Friday, September 14, 2012


"US President Barack Obama's Middle East policy is in ruins."

Gentlemen's agreements only work between gentlemen. If one side does not have honor or grace, then they simply fall apart. One such agreement has been that as soon as the president's opponent has been nominated by their party, they start to get foreign policy briefings, to get them up to speed should the American people pick them for the presidency. The Obama administration has given Mitt Romney no such briefings, claiming a "logistics" problem. Now, starting next week, the Obama administration claims they'll finally get Romney this information. Well... President Obama has been blowing off the briefings for weeks, I guess he figured Romney wouldn't want to see them either. Obama claims he's so good at intel he doesn't need the briefings, and besides, he had a concert to see.

NASA is pretty much a mess these days despite dropping yet another probe on Mars, but in the past it did develop an amazing array of technology just to reach the moon. The website Fotomage has a series of images showing many of these inventions, including the CAT scan, scratch resistant lenses, cool suits, neoprene insulation, and many others.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, the EPA sent out an email to its employees including a picture of mass murdering coward Che Guevarra. Apparently the EPA thinks you celebrate heritage by celebrating someone who killed thousands of hispanics. Part of the text was quoted without attribution from a website.

One day before the embassy attacks, Michelle Obama declared that obesity was "absolutely" the greatest threat to national security in the United States. Commenter Dumb_Blonde at Ace of Spades HQ quips:
Until a bunch of fat chicks storm an embassy, kill an ambassador and raise a Jenny Craig flag I'm going to call this mostly untrue.
Foreign policy party, huh?

Ebola has broken out in Africa again, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola kills so fast it cannot spread very effectively, but it is incredibly lethal. So far 31 people have died from the deadly virus.

According to Woodward's book on the Obama administration, New York Times columnist Peter Orszag sent a draft of a piece he wrote on the ACA to Valerie Jarrett to make sure it was okay with the white house. The response:
How could you have done this? It’s ridiculous. You’re so disloyal. You have got to realize the health care bill is wildly unpopular, Orszag replied. Every single speech I give, if I lead with this reflection on its imperfections, the dynamic changes. People will then listen. You can’t hold this law out as perfect. It won’t sell. People think it’s a piece of crap. The weaknesses must be acknowledged. Then it’s credible to say, here’s why it is good and why it is the only thing that will work. Jarrett’s answer was delivered with Politburo finality: You have burned your bridges.
I somehow doubt he sent a lot of pieces to the Bush white house to make sure they were acceptable. There's so much wrong with a reporter being accused of disloyalty by a president's staff and the reporter protesting its difficult to even express.

Jonathan S Tobin at Commentary notes that the Obama victory dance over announcing Bin Laden's death has reached its end:
Not only were the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department sleeping while terrorist forces plotted a full-scale assault on our mission in Benghazi, Libya but other al Qaeda operatives were at work throughout the region plotting mischief.
Getting one obvious call right (after several stalled attempts, according to reports) does not a foreign policy president make.

Jason Selch was unhappy with his company being merged with Bank of America, so much so he mooned his boss. Initially he was given a warning, but he was subsequently fired. Selch argued that he had a contract and they couldn't fire him, but the court disagreed. Still, he has a good story to tell.

Although the attacks on embassies were clearly planned days in advance to commemorate 9/11 (there was buzz of something being planned weeks ago), the story being pushed is that they were in response to a film almost nobody has seen attacking Islam. Attorney General Holder announced that the justice department has opened a criminal investigation into the man who made the movie and not only identified him but the news showed his house on national TV to make sure angry Muslims knew where to kill. Freedom of speech? Not when you criticize Islam, apparently.

Meanwhile, some in Libya are standing up in support of the United States, hoping to let people know they don't support the murderous attack. The group was small, but public and welcome.

According to reports, the embassy guards were by official policy not permitted to load their weapons with live ammunition in Egypt. No, there were no critical steam pipes that would lead to a reactor overload should they be damaged by gunfire.

According to a report by the Independent, the US State department knew of an imminent attack 48 hours before the Libyan Consulate was burned and its staff killed. Get this: it was Hillary Clinton that originally claimed a vague report about al`Qaeda attacking the US using planes was enough information for President Bush to have prevented 9/11... and she's in charge of the US State Department.

Shocking, I know, but the Government Accountability Office has announced that President Obama's unilateral decision to allow states to ignore the work requirement in welfare law is in fact illegal. They aren't actually arguing that the president cannot direct his agencies to ignore a law passed by congress, though. They are saying he didn't follow proper procedure. Well to a bureaucrat that's definitely the greater sin.

Quantitative Easing hasn't helped the US Economy, but Fed Chairman Ben Berneke wants to give it another try. QEIII is following up on the previous ones that devalued the dollar and resulted in inflation last time. This one is open ended though, not end point for lower interest rates being announced. Super rich and massive corporations love this kind of thing, it lets them borrow money for ridiculously cheap and invest it for massive profits. Regular folks, not so much. This would be less of a problem were it not for the fact that these investments don't involve jobs (or even the United States in many cases) and that the administration keeps claiming its against the big rich fat cats and for the little guy.

Disputes with a neighbor are never pleasant, but sometimes they can be comical, such as a Rhode Island woman who trained her cockatoo to call her neighbor a whore. The bird's owner has been charged with an animal noise ordinance violation.

Wyatt Erber had a plan. His town held a scavenger hunt, with a $1000 prize. He was determined to win it and when the 8-year-old boy did, he asked his parents one question: “How much chemotherapy will this buy Cara?” Not much, but he gave all the money to Cara, a 2-year-old girl living on his block that was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.

Vice President Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, challenged the press to 'fact check' his claims in his speeches. So Jim Hoft did, noting that Biden was already known for plagiarism in his past. The results were not pretty: Biden is less than completely honest, to put it mildly.

One month before 9/11, a bomb went off in Jerusalem:
The blast occurred at 2 pm, on a summer holiday afternoon, when the restaurant was filled with customers and the street crowded with pedestrian traffic.

The terrorist and his bomb had been transported by taxi to the area by a woman named Ahlam Tamimi and another Palestinian, and it was concealed inside a guitar case. The pizzeria had been carefully selected by Tamimi to maximize civilian casualties. When the Palestinian suicide bomber exploded the bomb, 15 people were killed and at least 130 more were injured. Among those killed in the blast were two American citizens: Judith L. Greenbaum, 31, of New Jersey, and Malka Roth, 15, of New York. Several other Americans were injured.
The woman responsible, Ahlam Tamimi is not being sought by the Obama administration for the deaths of these Americans, and his in fact hosting a TV show for Hamas in the palestinian settlements, having become somewhat of a celebrity. Well, what's one bomb between... uh friends, I guess.

When packing for a trip to Orlando, an Ohio woman didn't realize she packed a stowaway: her young cat Bob-bob. The 14 month old cat snuck into her luggage and evaded notice by the TSA and the owner until he opened it at his destination, shaken but purring. Curiosity, and all that.

According to President Obama, President Obama is great at everything he does. He's a great cook, a great 'doodler', a great basketball player, a great golfer, a great campaigner, a great speaker, a great planner, a great intelligence officer, on and on it goes. He said he's the most interesting man in any room he enters. He said he's better at every job of his subordinates than they are. In short, he's incredibly arrogant and egotistical, a fact even the New York Times had to notice, although they try very hard to spin it as "competitiveness."

How is it that Hollywood can claim they lose money on films that make hundreds of millions more than they cost to produce? How is it that they can refuse to pay profits on films to stars who negotiated deals when they make so much money? The man who played Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi was supposed to get a small portion of the profits, but he's not seen a single penny from the 15th biggest selling movie of all time. How is that possible? Because each film is set up as a corporation, and they deduct expenses from profits, adding in expenses that aren't even related to the film until they lose money on paper.Derek Thompson explains at The Atlantic:
Confused? Imagine you're running a lemonade stand with your buddy Steve. Your mom says you have to share half your profits with your sister. But you don't wanna! So you pretend your buddy Steve is actually a corporation -- call him Steve, Inc -- charging you rent for the stand, the spoon, etc. "Dang, mom, I don't have any profits, I had to pay it all to Steve, Inc!" you say when you come home. But the money isn't gone. It's as good as yours -- in your best friend's pocket.
Plus, they get a special, specific tax break from the federal government signed into law in the Eisenhower administration. All the while they make movies talking about how evil greedy corporations are.

While I'm big on the constitution and support the right to self defense in the form of "keeping and bearing arms" I do believe there are limits. And when it comes to the federal government I think there are even more limits. Recently Mitt Romney was interviewed about guns by Chris Cox at the NRA:
Cox: Would you support legislation to provide national reciprocity for Right-to-Carry permit holders so that they can protect themselves when they’re traveling outside their home states?

Gov. Romney: Absolutely. Fundamental rights don’t disappear when we cross state borders, and self-defense is a fundamental right.
The problem is, what individual states do within their borders is no concern for the federal government. The federal government is involved only in the act of moving between states, not what states do within their borders after you have moved. Thus, the federal government cannot constitutionally order states to accept concealed carry permits from other states.

Immune deficiency diseases are terrible to deal with, and one of the worst is severe combined immune deficiency syndrome (SCID), known better as the 'bubble boy' disease. This ailment is so bad that any illness is almost certainly lethal to the sufferer as depicted in the John Travolta movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Now, with a new gene therapy treatment, at least some kinds of this illness can be treated and the sufferers live a more normal life.

President Obama is refusing to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu over the threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons development. Obama has never liked Netanyahu and despite claiming he's Israel's "best friend" his actions have been less convincing and the church he went to over a decade continually portrayed Israel as an evil oppressor. Still, expect American Jews to vote for Obama by over 75%.

Moody's is anticipating another downgrade of the US as an investment soon if something isn't done about the national debt. While I'm skeptical of these big companies and their declarations, it isn't hard to see that a nation with more debt than its gross domestic product is not a top notch investment.

California's state assembly is considering legislation which would require any state college professor to complete 'social service' to receive tenure.
Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee writes that "The specifics of Assembly Bill 2132 appear to give great weight to political or at least semi-political activities favored by those on the political left. They include, in the words of a legislative bill analysis, 'developing programs for underserved populations' and 'outreach programs developed to promote cultural diversity in the student body.'"
Although as one commenter points out, those two criteria would be easily met by working to help any conservative or Republican party club at the local university.

Colorado's Adams University offered course credit for volunteering for the Obama reelection campaign (including the Obama website address in the announcement). It has since been retracted, as it appears that the idea would violate state law. No such equivalent was offered for the Romney campaign.

Mary Katherine Ham, sweetheart of the conservative, has the eight dumbest things said about free speech recently in regards to a foolish movie put out by the director mentioned above. Included is the "violent psycho's veto" from serial fool Christiane Amanpour and how free speech doesn't cover saying things that upset Muslims from a professor. Hint: freedom of speech is part of what protects us from psychos.

Blair remembers how the New York Times referred to the "Piss Christ" display at a museum:
A museum is obliged to challenge the public as well as to placate it, or else the museum becomes a chamber of attractive ghosts, an institution completely disconnected from art in our time.
And now, with a movie that attacks Islam?
Whoever made the film did true damage to the interests of the United States and its core principle of respecting all faiths.
Tim wonders where the need to challenge the public went.

And that's the Word Around the Net for September 14, 2012.


tim said...

On guns/NRA...

“The problem is, what individual states do within their borders is no concern for the federal government.”

No concern? So state laws supersede federal laws? Incorrect.

Christopher R Taylor said...

Federal laws have no legal weight if they deal only with matters within a state's borders, according to the US Constitution. The federal government may not order a state to color all its buildings green, not legally.