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Showing posts from January, 2009

Generous Texans

From the Houston Chronicle:

Texans let Ga. family keep possessions after eBay win
The Georgia family were auctioning their possession to pay for medical expenses for two disabled children. A Texas couple bit $20,000 and told them to keep their stuff.

Praying for patients leads to suspension in UK

Sunday Telegraph:

Caroline Petrie, a committed Christian, has been accused by her employers of failing to demonstrate a "personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity". She faces disciplinary action and could lose her job over the incident. Mrs Petrie, a married mother of two, says she has been left shocked and upset by the action taken against her. She insists she has never forced her own religious beliefs on anyone but politely inquired if the elderly patient wanted her to pray for her – either in the woman's presence or after the nurse had left the patient's home. "I simply couldn't believe that I have been suspended over this. I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. All I am trying to do is help my patients, many of whom want me to pray for them," she said.
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If someone wants to be sick or die without a prayer that is their business, but all they have to do is say no. As long as the nurse was not a pes…

Be wary of women with large chin?

Daily Mail on Sunday:

If you think it’s obvious why some men don’t fancy women with large chins, think again.
According to scientists, it may not be simply because they find them unattractive. In fact, they say, a prominent chin can be a telltale sign that a woman will be unfaithful.
Their conclusion comes from research conducted by a team of psychologists. They took a group of young women and questioned them on their sexual histories and fantasies. The women were then rated by a group of men on their desirability as a future partner.

The men were not told about the sex questionnaires. However, the results showed that women with larger chins were more sexually active than those with softer chins – and that men found these women unattractive.
The scientists, from four universities in North America, concluded that men will shun women with such masculine features when looking for a long-term partner because there is an instinctive fear of being cuckolded. A large chin is often the product of …

Obama worried that Carter label will stick

Sunday Times:

LESS than two weeks into his administration, President Barack Obama is being portrayed by opponents as a new Jimmy Carter - weak at home and naive abroad - in an attempt to dim his post-election glow and ensure that he serves only one term. The charge has stung because it was made privately by Hillary Clinton supporters during a hard-fought primary campaign and plays to fears about Obama’s inexperience. He is engaged in early trials of strength with Republicans in Washington and critics of the United States around the world – not least Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. Obama faces battles to talk Wall Street into giving up its addiction to large bonuses and US banks to start lending again. “Barack Obama thinks he can charm his adversaries into changing their ways but his personality can’t change the dynamics,” said Tom Edmonds, a Republican consultant.
“Carter [president from 1977 to 1981] had the same belief in naive symbolism. Their styles are very differe…

Limousine liberal tax cheat has a bad day

Politico:

With President Obama and Senate Democrats rallying behind Tom Daschle after Friday’s revelations of back tax troubles, Republican senators faced a difficult choice—whether to support the Cabinet nomination of a former member of their exclusive club, or strike a clean shot at the new Democratic president.

“If this were anyone else, I don’t think there would be any question that [the nomination] would not make it out of the committee,” said a top Senate GOP aide, referring to Daschle’s 18 years of Senate service, including stints as both majority and minority leader. “But he’s a former majority leader, which means a lot to these guys.”

Senate Republicans on Saturday were still trying to come to grips with the scale of Daschle’s tax issues, and had yet to decide whether to support him or block his nomination as Health and Human Services secretary.

Daschle will meet with GOP and Democratic members of the Finance Committee late Monday. Republicans on the panel want to hear from Dasch…

Where is Obama administration and FEMA for Kentucky ice storm?

Anchoress:

When a million people in flyover country are suffering, and 42 people have died, we don’t hear much about it. If this was New York, Washington, Boston, (or if the president had an R after his name) you’d see non-stop reports, and the press would be roundly criticizing FEMA’s absence, and the White House’s disregard. Right?

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There is more and she has a good point.

Democrats are just so much better at mad dogging and issue and generating a media feeding frenzy. That is especially true if they are trying to cover for an incompetent Democrat governor, but wait didn't the Democrats take the Kentucky Governor's mansion? It looks like the real key is that there is a Democrat in the White House which cures all ills allegedly.

Democracy in Iraq appears to work

CNN:

Voting in Iraqi provincial elections ended peacefully Saturday evening, and the mood was festive in some places, unlike the violence, intimidation and apathy that marked the balloting in 2005.

"There is a new norm of politics. ... It is truly a proud moment," Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh told CNN. "The distance that we have come is truly inspiring." Faraj al-Haidari, who chairs the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq, and Staffan de Mistura, special U.N. representative for Iraq, issued statements saying the election went smoothly.... Preliminary results from the electoral commission are expected within five days, de Mistura said. Final numbers are due at the end of February. "Some security incidents were reported during the day, but we didn't have any confirmation on serious security incidents that might effect the total electoral process," al-Haidari said. President Obama congratulated the Iraqis on the elections.
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It is go…

Medical robotic 'snake' could save lives

Jerusalem Post:

A snake is probably the last thing you'd ever want crawling around your heart. But in the case of a new American-Israeli invention called the CardioARM, this medical "snake" device may one day save your life. The new Israeli-American invention came by way of some brainstorming between Israel's Dr. Alon Wolf and his American colleague Prof. Howie Choset, when Wolf was working as a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in the US. "Both Howie and myself are experts in snake robotics," says Wolf, who is now based at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. "We are working with robotic snakes for search and rescue operations. So we started in the back of our minds thinking: If we can send snakes to crawl inside buildings to look for survivors, then why can't we send the same snake inside our body to fix it?" A few weeks later, Choset and Wolf had a eureka moment, and found a way to design a robotic snake small enough,…

Islamic religious bigot named President of Somalia

Bill Roggio:

Somalia's newly expanded parliament elected the former leader of the Islamic Courts Union as president of Somalia. The move comes just days after the Djibouti wing of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia joined in a power-sharing deal with the now-defunct Transitional Federal Government.Sheikh Ahmed Sharif was elected president of Somalia in the second round of balloting held in the capital of neighboring Djibouti. Sharif received 293 of the 421 votes cast, while Masalah Mohamed Siad, the son of a former president of Somalia, received 126 votes. The current and a former prime minister of Somalia withdrew from the race after poor showings in the first round of voting.The Somali parliament has been meeting in Djibouti as the security situation continues to deteriorate. The Ethiopian military, which has occupied southern Somalia since January 2006 after ousting the Islamic Courts, completed its withdrawal from Somalia this week. Shabaab and allied Islamist groups…

Iran says Obama reflects weakness

AFP:

US President Barack Obama's offer to talk to Iran shows that America's policy of "domination" has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday. "This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed," Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency. "Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change," he added.
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Obama is getting an education in his beliefs that talking to our enemies reflects strength not weakness. They disagree and it is unlikely that he will be able to persuade them otherwise through conversations alone.

Bolivia wants to be Saudia Arabia of lithum batteries

McClatchy/Miami Herald:

On a remote Andean plain here, a short drive on unpaved roads from the world's largest salt flat, 120 government workers are constructing a facility to help power the fuel-efficient electric cars of the future.The plant, in a sparsely populated region, is supposed to begin producing basic compounds of lithium, which is used to make batteries for cell phones, power tools, computers and other electronic devices, by year's end.Government officials think Bolivia possesses the world's biggest lithium reserves, and they also think the country is poised to profit big time from the automakers' push to develop electric cars that will run on lithium ion batteries. ''Bolivia will become a big producer of batteries in six years,'' Luis Alberto Echazú, the minister of mining and metallurgy, said in an interview. He ticked off three companies that he said have expressed interest in investing in the government's lithium venture: Sumitomo, Mi…

New approach to Afghan local security

Reuters:

Plans are being drawn up to form a new Afghan security unit to patrol dangerous areas where the Taliban insurgency is most acute, government officials said on Saturday.The unit, to be funded by the United States, will have its own uniform and work alongside the Afghan National Police (ANP), using the same weapons as the ANP who have AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles, Interior Minister Hanif Atmar told a news conference.He did not say how the unit would be recruited, how large it would be or exactly where it would be deployed.Both NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan have spoken in the past few months about plans to recruit police from within communities by cooperating with community leaders and tribal elders in order to secure remote areas overrun by insurgents.Some Afghan politicians have raised concerns about the units' resemblance to earlier and failed attempts to police hard-to-reach and hostile districts, which effectively out-sourced police work to local militias.But Atmar ins…

Cap trap in California

Stephen Moore:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was all smiles in 2006 when he signed into law the toughest anti-global-warming regulations of any state. Mr. Schwarzenegger and his green supporters boasted that the regulations would steer California into a prosperous era of green jobs, renewable energy, and technological leadership. Instead, since 2007 -- in anticipation of the new mandates -- California has led the nation in job losses.The regulations created a cap-and-trade system, similar to proposed federal global-warming measures, by limiting the CO2 that utilities, trucking companies and other businesses can emit, and imposed steep new taxes on companies that exceed the caps. Since energy is an input in everything that's produced, this will raise the cost of production inside California's borders.Now, as the Golden State prepares to implement this regulatory scheme, employers are howling. It's become clear to nearly everyone that the plan's backers have underestimated i…

GOP's Sen. Gregg could be Commerce Secretary by Monday

Jake Tapper:

An Obama administration official tells ABC News that Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is now the leading candidate for Commerce Secretary and could be announced as soon as Monday.Gregg would be at least the third Republican to join the Obama administration, joining the ranks of Transportation Secretary and former GOP congressman Ray LaHood and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. (The political party of National Security Advisor and retired Army General Jim Jones is unclear, though he is a longtime friend of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and appeared at a McCain campaign event.)...
However The Hill reports that Gregg will not take the job if it will give the Democrats a 60 seat margin in the Senate. That would mean the Democrat governor of New Hampshire would have to agree to name a Republican to take his place. That seems unlikely. Either choice would roil New Hampshire politics.

That was quick

From The Hill:

GOP losing patience with Obama, Dem leaders
Democrats speak with forked tongue on stimulus.

Life sentence for sex in Alamo

San Antonio Express-News:

For urinating on the Alamo in 1982, metal music madman Ozzy Osbourne was banned from performing in San Antonio for two decades.

For having sex with a 14-year-old San Antonio girl in one of the Alamo’s bathrooms, Charles Wayne Carmony, 43,of Kentucky found out Friday that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Carmony, a convicted sex offender who was handed probation sentences for having sex with another 14-year-old girl there, apologized for lying to the San Antonio girl and her family while carrying on a relationship with her.

Over the course of at least three years, Carmony duped the San Antonio girl, now 17, into believing he was 19 years old. He was 40 at the time.

He gave her gifts, including a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and had sex with her in various places, including movie theaters around town and in the men’s restroom at the Alamo. He also posted sexual images of her on an Internet chat room, bragging that he was in one image having sex with the …

Inside Gitmo

Fox News:

Assaults, cartoons and art class — all are part of the daily life at Guantanamo Bay, CubaOn a tour of the U.S. detention facility's camps four, five and six, which include the maximum security camps, FOX News was shown a place where often the facts are stranger than fiction."Once again on behalf of the joint task force, welcome to Camp 5. This is a maximum security facility," said Navy Commander Jeff Hayhurst, the deputy commander of the joint detention group and FOX News' guide for the day."It opened in 2004, cost $17.5 million. It’s modeled on a max security facility in Terre Haute, Indiana. Most of it was pre-fabricated off island and constructed once it arrived. … Again max security."This camp is for the most non-compliant detainees — those who refuse to follow the rules."There's assaults by bodily fluids, feces, urine, semen, water, physical assaults, head butts, stomps, kicks — anything of that nature, that occurs routinely," H…

The Verizon stimulous

NY Times:

UPDATE: Verizon has posted its thoughts on the broadband stimulus on its policy blog.Four words buried in a provision to help subsidize high-speed Internet service contained in the latest Senate version of the economic stimulus legislation could mean hundreds of millions of dollars a year in tax credits for Verizon Communications, according to telecommunications analysts. Indeed, John Hodulik, an analyst with UBS Securities, said the provision might give Verizon $1.6 billion in credits in the next two years, even if it does not hire one more person than it currently plans to do.At issue is the part of the stimulus package meant to bring fast Internet connections to rural and low-income areas. The House bill that passed Wednesday provided $6 billion in grants to broadband projects. The latest Senate bill increases those grants to $9 billion. Most significantly, the bill before the Senate also includes tax credits for investment in broadband services to low-income neighborhoods…

Democrats to cut spending on military stimulus

DefenseNews:

Confronted by two costly wars and a collapsing economy, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee is preparing to trim military spending on weapons, committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin said Jan. 30.

"We are going to cut weapons systems," Levin said during a news conference in an ornate Armed Services Committee hearing room.

"That's not just me speaking. The secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs [of Staff] have spoken about [how] we have got to face the reality that there's going to be a reduction somewhere in the defense budget," said Levin, D-Mich."We don't want to reduce personnel; we don't want to shortchange personnel" amid a war, he said. "So we've got to look to the future and make savings there. There's the fact of life."Levin declined to name specific weapons that are likely to be on the chopping block. But he said "I'd love to see" cuts to the missile-defense program. Too…

Iran makes war on 'uppity' women who demand rights

Elham Gheytanchi:

ON Oct. 15, the Iranian Ministry of Information arrested Esha Momeni, an Iranian-American student at California State University/Northridge. To this day, she is trapped in Iran by officials who won't let her leave. She had gone there to make a documentary about women's-rights activists - at least 50 of whom have been arrested in the last year, the latest three on Friday in Tehran. Esha and the activists are charged with "endangering national security" as "agents of Western powers" - a routine charge against human-rights workers in Iran. The regime plainly fears that a velvet revolution is underway; to prevent a mass uprising, it has been imprisoning civil-society activists with exactly this charge - participating in a revolution that hasn't happened. Yet Iran's women's-rights activists are engaged only in a grassroots social movement - the One Million Signature Campaign, which this year received the prestigious Simone de Bea…

Stimulus for promiscuity

Mark Steyn:

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, is on TV explaining the (at this point the congregation shall fall to its knees and prostrate itself) "stimulus." "How," asks the lady from CBS, "does $335 million in STD prevention stimulate the economy?""I'll tell you how," says Speaker Pelosi. "I'm a big believer in prevention. And we have, er… there is a part of the bill on the House side that is about prevention. It's about it being less expensive to the states to do these measures."Makes a lot of sense. If we have more STD prevention, it will be safer for loose women to go into bars and pick up feckless men, thus stimulating the critical beer and nuts and jukebox industries. To do this, we need trillion-dollar deficits, which our children and grandchildren will have to pay off, but, with sufficient investment in prevention measures, there won't be any children or grandchildren, so there's that problem solved.The m…

Battery problems for electric cars

Washington Post:

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... while battery technology has traveled far from the big clunkers in the late 1990s, the costs and limits of current batteries remain the biggest obstacles to mass marketing plug-in vehicles. Although nearly every major auto company is moving ahead with electric car plans, the batteries still cost about $8,000 or more each, experts estimate, and that could make electric cars money-losers. Moreover, electric carmakers warn, the industry's manufacturing capacity is limited, and few factories are in the United States.

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While they have somewhat reduced the size of the batteries and the weight the cost is a killer not only for the initial purchase price, but think about having to fork you another $8,000 when the battery quits operating after about five years. That would be a very nasty surprise that would overwhelm any savings on the cost of fuel.

Al Qaeda trails should continue

NY Post:

Army Col. James Pohl, the chief military judge at Guantanamo, threw the Obama administration into a tizzy after refusing to honor the president's request to halt all ongoing trials of terrorist detainees. Specifically, Pohl refused to delay the scheduled arraignment of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri - the accused mastermind of the 2000 attack on the destroyer USS Cole, which killed 17 sailors. He called the government's request "not reasonable." Good for him. Of course, Pohl's decision can - and likely will - be overruled by Susan Crawford, the Pentagon official who oversees the Gitmo trials system. Just recently, she threw out a case against the so-called "20th hijacker" after ruling that he'd been "tortured" at Gitmo. The White House wants to re-evaluate the whole detention system and possibly move to try the accused terrorists in US criminal courts. Bad move. Consider: The last time a Democrat held the White House, the officia…

Perilous resuce options

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Nate Beeler at the DC Examiner looks at Obama's strategy for dealing with the economy.

Power struggle in North Korea?

Washington Times:

North Korea's announcement Friday that it is scrapping all political and security arrangements with the South could be a cover for an ongoing policy struggle inside the secretive state's leadership, a Korea specialist here said. "I think [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-iI is trying to coordinate different views, but these views are definitely competing," said Choi Jin-wook of Seoul's Korea Institute of National Unification. "And I think one view is the military's." Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Friday that agreements "putting an end to the political and military confrontation between the North and the South will be nullified." These include a 1992 agreement on recognition of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea border between the Koreas in the Yellow Sea. Mr. Choi said the military "could try to exaggerate tension with the South" to justify its continued pre-eminenc…

Daschle's tax problems larger than first reported

Washington Post:

Thomas A. Daschle, nominated to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, did not pay more than $128,000 in taxes over three years, a revelation that poses a potential obstacle to his Senate confirmation.

The back taxes, along with $12,000 in interest and penalties, involved unreported consulting fees, questionable charitable contributions, and a car and driver provided by a private equity firm run by entrepreneur and longtime Democratic Party donor Leo J. Hindery Jr., according to a confidential draft report prepared by Senate Finance Committee staff. A spokeswoman for Daschle confirmed last night that he recently paid back taxes in excess of $100,000. She said that Daschle, a former Senate majority leader, and his accountant discovered the error regarding the luxury car service and reported it to the committee after his vetting was completed. Daschle paid the back taxes six days before his first Senate confirmation hearing with the Senate Health, E…

Oh Brother...

CNN:

George Obama, the half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, has been arrested by Kenyan police on a charge of possession of marijuana, police said Saturday.

Inspector Augustine Mutembei, the officer in charge, said Obama was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis, known in Kenya as Bhang, and resisting arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Mutembei said. He is being held at Huruma police post in the capital of Nairobi. CNN Correspondent David McKenzie talked with George Obama at the jail where he is being held. Speaking from behind bars, Obama denied the allegations. "They took me from my home," he said, "I don't know why they are charging me."...

I think his brother calls it a "little blow." Sadly, the jail cell is probably an upgrade from the little hole in the wall where he was living. The guy is so poor, it is surprising that he could afford any Bhang. Or an addiction could be one reason he is so poor. It is too bad h…

Brits upset with boneheaded Dem 'stimulus'

Times:

Lord Mandelson risked causing the first clash between Britain and President Obama's Administration yesterday with an outspoken attack on US plans to launch a “Buy American” campaign. The Business Secretary turned his fire on a provision written into Mr Obama's $825 billion fiscal stimulus plan presently in the US Congress. If passed into law, the proposal would prohibit foreign-made steel from being used in US projects paid for by the economic rescue package. In a broadside against the plan, Lord Mandelson said national schemes to encourage countries' own consumers to buy products made at home created a serious danger of igniting protectionist trade confrontations. “I understand why people want to make their own choice. That is why if these ‘Buy American', or ‘buy this', or ‘buy that' campaigns get underway you will stand at risk of translating that into real barriers to trade, which is the last thing we need in the global economy,” he said.
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The Oba…

Norks acting nuts again

Telegraph:

In a significant escalation of tensions, North Korea cancelled all military and political agreements after accusing Seoul of aggressive posturing. Pyongyang's decision to nullify all accords increases the prospect of an armed confrontation on the Peninsula, where over a million soldiers face each other across the Demilitarised Zone that divides the two Koreas. North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea blamed the South for pushing the two countries "to the brink of a war". Pyongyang said it now regarded the maritime border between the two states as "void". The last time the two countries clashed militarily was at the disputed frontier in the Yellow Sea, when their navies fought a deadly gun battle in June 2002. In comments reported by state media in North Korea, the Committee, which is in charge of inter-Korean affairs, claimed that the relationship between the two sides had sunk to a new low. …

Daschle bigger tax cheat than Treasury Secretary

NY Times:

President Obama’s pick for secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle, filed amended tax returns and paid more than $100,000 in back taxes on Jan. 2, administration officials said on Friday.Mr. Daschle concluded that he owed the taxes for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by Leo Hindery Jr., the founder of a private equity firm known as InterMedia Advisors, the officials said.Mr. Daschle was chairman of the firm’s advisory board. In a financial disclosure statement filed this month with the Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Daschle reported that he had received large amounts of income from InterMedia, including more than $2 million for consulting and $182,520 in the form of “company-provided transportation.”The belated tax payments help explain delays in the confirmation of Mr. Daschle, a former Senate Democratic leader who had been expected to win swift approval from the Senate. An administration official said that Mr. Daschle had paid $31,46…

Steele in at RNC

Politico:

Former Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele triumphed over four opponents in the race for Republican National Committee chairman Friday, giving the party its first black chairman as well as a forceful communicator at a time of political weakness.

“This is awesome,” Steele told RNC members in a victory speech. “It is with a great deal of humility and a sense of service that I accept and appreciate and thank all of you for the opportunity to serve.”

Steele emerged victorious from a lengthy, six-ballot voting process. Running against him were incumbent RNC Chair Mike Duncan, South Carolina Republican Party Chair Katon Dawson, Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

The Marylander, who entered the race in November, received 46 votes on the first ballot, but gained momentum in later rounds after Duncan faltered on the third ballot and Anuzis withdrew after the fifth. He was declared the winner after collecting 91 votes from a total of…

Stimulus bill needs to change

Mathew Continetti:

The economy is in recession. There's no end in sight. The number of unemployed continues to rise. Equities markets are in the dumps. The real estate sector hasn't hit bottom. The banks are drowning in a sludge of toxic assets. Excuse us while we break out the Prozac.Washington's response? Pathetic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi let her appropriators out of their cages and had them draft the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This is the economic stimulus package that everyone has been waiting for. And it's a clunker. The more you learn about the economic stimulus plan, the less you like it. Charles Krauthammer called it the "worst bill in galactic history." This is only a slight exaggeration.What the Democrats have done is write down every single item on their liberal wish list, append dollar amounts next to the items seemingly at random, and call it "stimulus." The president wanted the bill to be free of pet projects and…

Bipartisan considerations in Obama administration

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Gary Varvel looks at the post partisan presidency.

California continues anti energy policies

LA Times:

It was cast as an unprecedented compromise, a deal that would allow a Texas oil company to sink new wells off the Santa Barbara coast in return for an agreement to shut down all four of its offshore platforms within 13 years.

But the State Lands Commission on Thursday killed the deal crafted by Santa Barbara's most vociferous anti-oil groups and Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production, closing the door on a plan that would have been the first approval to drill for oil in state waters since 1969.

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, one of three members of the lands panel, said allowing any new drilling in state waters would suggest the state welcomes offshore drilling and send a come-hither message to other oil companies. His view was echoed by legislators from coastal districts, including Assemblyman Pedro Nava, who represents Santa Barbara.

Approval would have been "a message heard very, very clearly by those who call for 'drill, baby, drill,' " said Garamend…

Basra buddies

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MNFI:

A U.S. Army Soldier walks down a street with two children in the Hayaniyah district of Basra, Iraq, Jan. 20, 2009. The Soldier, assigned to the 793rd Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, was in the area to deliver medical supplies to a local hospital. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andre N. McIntyre.Interesting blond ponytail on that soldier. This is a long way from a year ago in Basra, where women were being killed for walking alone outside.

The fight at Tora Bora

David Forsmark:

In the September 30, 2004, presidential debate, John F. Kerry continued a long-standing Democrat tradition of distorting classified information for political ends — and counting on the Republican opponent to be too principled to give away classified information in rebuttal -- when he intoned in his best Lurch impression:

"(W)hen we had Osama bin Laden cornered in the mountains of Tora Bora, [he had] 1,000 of his cohorts with him in those mountains. With the American military forces nearby and in the field, we didn't use the best-trained troops in the world to go kill the world's number one criminal and terrorist. They outsourced the job to Afghan warlords, who only a week earlier had been on the other side fighting against us, neither of whom trusted each other."

...

Now, for the first time, we have the details that directly refute Kerry and the Democrats' Big Lie about Tora Bora. In Kill bin Laden, the commander of the Delta Force unit that pulverize…

America continues to bail out Muslims, they still think we're enemy?

Charles Krauthammer:

Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew. Yet, when Barack Obama in his inaugural address reached out to Muslims with "to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," his formulation was needlessly defensive and apologetic.

Is it "new" to acknowledge Muslim interests and show respect to the Muslim world? Obama doesn't just think so, he said so again to millions in his al-Arabiya interview, insisting on the need to "restore" the "same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago." Astonishing. In these most recent 20 years -- the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world -- America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved -- and resulted in -- the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kos…

White gets closer scrutiny with senate race

Houston Chronicle:

It is an eye-catching campaign ad: Spliced between photos of President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. is one of Mayor Bill White, intended to salute the accomplishments of the other two. The ad appeared last week as downtown businesses got White’s letter promoting a campaign supporter’s luxury apartment building.The pair of oddities might merit zero mention in any description of White’s legacy as Houston mayor.But as a freshly declared candidate for U.S. Senate, experts said, White is subject to a Texas-sized political version of the Miranda warning: Anything he says and does as mayor can and will be used against him in Midland/Odessa, Wichita Falls and Vidor.“If you’re riding two horses, you have got to be a lot more careful than if you are riding one,” said Austin-based political consultant Bill Miller. “You always have to pay attention, and little things make big things happen.”For the next 11 months, Miller and others said, White’s moves for Houston coul…

The 'stimulus' should be shelved

Lawrence Kudlow:

Wednesday night's House tally on the Democratic stimulus package, where not a single Republican voted in favor, was another shot across the bow for this incredibly unmanageable $900 billion behemoth of a program that truly will not stimulate the economy. Sure, the Democrats won on a party-line count. But Team Obama is now regrouping in the face of mounting criticism of this package.GOP economist Martin Feldstein revoked his prior support of a stimulus plan in Wednesday's Washington Post. "In its current form," Feldstein wrote, "[the plan] does too little to raise national spending and employment. It would be better for the Senate to delay legislation for a month, or even two, if that's what it takes to produce a much better bill. We cannot afford an $800 billion mistake."Clinton economic adviser Alice Rivlin made the same point in testimony before the House Budget Committee. Her message: Divide up the package and slow down the process.An…

Union leaders who don't understand economy or business

Times:

The gloom surrounding this year’s World Economic Forum descended into confrontation yesterday as international labour leaders launched a withering attack on the 1,400 business executives and 41 heads of government at Davos over what the labour leaders alleged was their failure to respond effectively to a deepening crisis of their own creation. Guy Ryder, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), said that the current financial turmoil had triggered a social timebomb that would lead to deepening civil unrest and soaring crime. The comments from the confederation, which represents 168 million workers in 157 countries, are the most ferocious example yet of a backlash that has persuaded many who attend frequently to stay away from Davos this year. Yesterday Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, became the latest political figure to stay away from the meeting, after a similar move by David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary. Mr Ryder, speaking as strik…

The stimulus screw up

David Brooks:

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... they’ve created a sprawling, undisciplined smorgasbord, which has spun off a series of unintended consequences. First, by trying to do everything all it once, the bill does nothing well. The money spent on long-term domestic programs means there may not be enough to jolt the economy now (about $290 billion in spending is pushed off into 2011 and later). The money spent on stimulus, meanwhile, means there’s not enough to truly reform domestic programs like health technology, schools and infrastructure. The measure mostly pumps more money into old arrangements. Second, by pumping so much money through government programs, the bill unleashes a tidal wave on state governments. A governor with a few-hundred-million-dollar shortfall will suddenly have to administer an additional $4 billion or $5 billion. That money will be corrosive both when washing in, and when it disappears in a few years time. Third, the muddle assures ideological confrontation. A stimulus package …

Stimulus for Philippines vetrs?

Washington Times:

Senators say their goal is to stimulate the U.S. economy, but the Senate's economic recovery package spends up to $198 million in lump-sum payments to aging Filipino veterans of World War II -- two-thirds of whom don't live in the U.S. and are unlikely to be pumping much money into the economy. The money, long-sought by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, would go to about 15,000 living veterans who served in World War II as a part of U.S.-led forces and who were promised postwar benefits, including U.S. citizenship.
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This is just another example of the bad faith of Democrats who are cramming all of their pet projects into this big enormous bill and calling it a stimulus. This is the politics of fraud at its worst.

Israel responds to war crimes allegations

Jerusalem Post:

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In addition to stressing the role of humanitarian instruction and legal counsel in IDF operational decision-making, the strategy involves a heavy dose of turning the tables on Hamas and emphasizing the terrorist group's own humanitarian violations. Under the heading "distinction," the accompanying slide show emphasize Hamas's use of civilian structures with special status and protection such as mosques and medical facilities, describing it as part of Hamas's "modus operandi." The use of such structures, the presentation emphasizes, "renders them legitimate military targets." It then stresses that this behavior by Hamas "is in breach of international law and amounts to war crimes." The talking points blast Hamas for "intentionally and systematically endangering civilians by imbedding themselves within the civilian population," and condemn Hamas's "despicable methods of warfare" which "hav…