Showing posts from October, 2010

Passengers were target of al Qaeda ink jet bombs

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Telegraph: Both bombs found last week had been transported in the hold of passenger flights, suggesting that the terrorists were targeting tourists and other travellers, rather than simply trying to bring down cargo planes, as had previously been thought. A device found at East Midlands airport on Friday had left Yemen on a passenger aircraft, The Daily Telegraph has learnt, before it was switched to a UPS cargo plane. The second device, found in Dubai, was carried on two Qatar Airways passenger flights before it was intercepted. Sources close to the investigation in Yemen said because there were no scheduled cargo flights out of the country it was likely the terrorists knew the bombs would be loaded on to passenger planes for at least part of their journey. Theresa May, the Home Secretary , also admitted yesterday it was possible that the US-bound bomb found at East Midlands could have detonated over Britain if it had not been found, b

A new American revolution

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Janet Daley: More than three centuries ago, the residents of America staged a rebellion against an oppressive ruler who taxed them unjustly, ignored their discontents and treated their longing for freedom with contempt. They are about to revisit that tradition this week, when their anger and exasperation sweep through Congress like avenging angels. This time the hated oppressor isn't a foreign colonial government, but their own professional political class. In New York last week I was struck by the startling shift of mood since my last visit, during Barack Obama's first year in office. This phenomenon took varying forms, of course, depending on the political orientation of my interlocutor, but the underlying theme of despair and disgust was almost universal. Liberal Democrats (who hugely outnumber most other factions in that city) were despondent and disappointed with the collapse of Obama's popularity. A few of them (remarkably fe

Hey, big spenders?

Image via Wikipedia Jeff Jacoby: ... “We’re spending big,’’ AFSCME President Gerald McEntee boasted to The Wall Street Journal . “And we’re damn happy it’s big. And our members are damn happy it’s big — it’s their money.’’ AFSCME isn’t the only public-sector union “spending big’’ to influence the vote on Nov. 2. So is the National Education Association and the Service Employees International Union , respectively the nation’s largest and fastest-growing unions. Together, the three government-employee unions will have spent nearly $172 million campaigning for Democrats in the course of this election cycle. That outstrips by more than $30 million what the Chamber of Commerce and the Rove network combined are pouring into the 2010 campaign. I have no objection to close media scrutiny when business-linked organizations spend heavily on campaign ads. But it should be a far bigger story when public-employee unions do so. Indeed, it should be cause for concern. “It’s their mone

The ends of liberalism in the US would mean even greater debt

Image via Wikipedia Victor Davis Hanson: Please explain this: Barack Obama entered office; nationalized health care ; ran up record $1 trillion deficits; promised to hike taxes on the rich; pushed cap and trade through the House; took over large chunks of banks, insurance companies, and auto corporations; made hard-left appointments from Van Jones to Sonia Sotomayor — and in 21 months saw his positives crash from near 70% in January 2009 to little above 40%, with the specter of near record Democratic losses in the Congress just two years after the anti-Bush/anti-Iraq sweep of 2008. All the polls of independents and moderates show radical shifts and express unhappiness with higher taxes, larger deficits, a poor economy, and too much government. In other words, the electorate is not angry that Obama has moved too far to the right or stayed in the center or borrowed too little money. A Barney Frank or Dennis Kucinich is looking at an unusually tight race in a very liberal distri

Dems try to dodge reponsibility for the tone of campaign

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Nolan Finley: Yet another sin has been assigned to the tea party by the left and its media mouthpieces, who now blame the movement for the despicable advertising that has polluted this year's campaigning. They explain that politicians who fill the airwaves with vile attacks are merely tapping into the anger and frustration first expressed by tea partiers. It's another piece of the bizarre blame the victim strategy Democrats are pursuing this year as they frantically seek to avoid accountability for the mess they've made. This one doesn't wash. I've spoken at numerous tea party meetings, and nothing has matched the rabid frothing of, say, Joy Behar of The View, who said of Sharron Angle , the tea party candidate challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, "I hope this bitch goes to hell." I've never heard such trashy talk at tea party meetings, nor any rudeness or racism. As much as the left

The Soros war against Fox News

Image via Wikipedia Ron Arnold: Media Matters and Tides Foundation have a tough new recruit in their war against Fox News : People for the American Way. How tough? Behind PFAW's "ain't-we-wonderful" public face looms a crushing political force. PFAW is a lobbying organization with its own foundation, two 527 electioneering groups, a political action committee, and total revenues probably north of $20 million. PFAW is a 501(c)(4) and doesn't reveal its income, but its foundation alone listed $13.4 million in the most recent report. That's nothing to trifle with when it comes to flooding advertisers with angry "Drop Fox News" messages. But it was to be expected: Tides CEO Drummond Pike , who signed the anti- Fox campaign letter, helped television mogul Norman Lear create PFAW in 1980. Since 1999, Tides has given PFAW over $1.5 million, so it's hard to say no to Drummond. And, even though George Soros didn't give PFAW a special mil

Energy companys, environmentalist cooperate of fracturing rules

Image via Wikipedia Houston Chronicle: Energy companies and environmental groups have more often been adversaries than allies when it comes to hydraulic fracturing , the drilling technique used to unlock natural gas from shale rock nationwide. But a handful of gas producers and environmental advocates are striving to change that dynamic by collaborating on a plan to step up the safety and regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Now regulated at the state level, the technique involves injecting fluids deep underground and at high pressure to break up shale rock and produce natural gas. In New York, Pennsylvania and other states with promising shale formations, the industry has faced off with environmentalists who worry that natural gas or the liquids known as "fracking fluids" can contaminate nearby groundwater supplies. Both sides hope to gain by working together. For environmentalists, it's an opportunity to stiffen standards for a technique that is increasin

Barney Frank failed

Barney Frank is having to work harder than ever this year.  Hopefully he is humbled by the effort, although his kind of arrogance is what is wrong with Washington and liberalism.

Ding the ink jet bomber in Yemen

Image via Wikipedia Sunday Telegraph: US intelligence officials say the detonator on one of the devices is almost exactly the same as one he is thought to have made for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab , the so-called Underpants Bomber. Originally born to a pious family in Saudi Arabia , Ibrahim is one of 85 people on the kingdom's list of wanted terrorists. After serving jail time in his home country, he fled to neighbouring Yemen two years ago with his brother Abdullah to become key members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula , which has bases in the lawless mountain areas beyond the writ of central government. The slightly-built 28-year-old, who is the son of a retired soldier, is believed to be the movement's resident bombmaking expert - skills he first put to chilling use in a suicide attack in which he recruited his own younger brother, Abdullah, 23, to act as the "martyr". ... We need to find this guy most ricky tick. I have a flight through Dubai coming u

Job action required in Nevada

The sound of the Democrat coalition crackup.

But not in the obvious place

From the BBC: Cotswold flasher bitten by victim's dog

Teaming up against big China

NY Times: China’s military expansion and assertive trade policies have set off jitters across Asia, prompting many of its neighbors to rekindle old alliances and cultivate new ones to better defend their interests against the rising superpower. A whirl of deal-making and diplomacy, from Tokyo to New Delhi, is giving the United States an opportunity to reassert itself in a region where its eclipse by China has been viewed as inevitable. President Obama’s trip to the region this week, his most extensive as president, will take him to the area’s big democracies, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, skirting authoritarian China. Those countries and other neighbors have taken steps, though with varying degrees of candor, to blunt China’s assertiveness in the region. Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India are expected to sign a landmark deal for American military transport aircraft and are discussing the possible sale of jet fighters, which would escalate the Pentagon

Risk takers and the military

Image via Wikipedia NY Times: Senior Airman Michael Kearns had been back from Iraq for only two months when he was pulled over on a Florida highway for going more than 120 miles per hour on his new Suzuki. He knew his motorcycle riding was reckless, but after living through daily mortar attacks on his base in Iraq, he said he needed the adrenaline rush. “When you get here, there’s nothing that’s very exciting that keeps your pulse going,” Airman Kearns, 27, said in a recent interview. His experience is so common that the United States military , alarmed by a rising suicide rate and the record number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who die in highway accidents back home, is asking a provocative new question: Nearly a decade into two bloody wars, are the armed forces attracting recruits drawn to high-risk behavior? ... The military says the people who enlist to serve their country have always included plenty of adrenaline addicts, which recruiters say is a good thing when tro

Obama, Obama, Obama

Trevor Kavanaugh: Can Obama expect a poll hammering?--YES HE CAN  Optimism has turned to ashes for Democrats says Kavanaugh.  It will be a well deserved hammering.

Stimulus bill was an excuse

Image via Wikipedia Jeffrey Miron -- Why the Stimulus Hasn't Helped ... That the Administration and Congress chose the particular stimulus adopted suggests that stimulating the economy was not their only objective. Instead, the Administration used the recession and the financial crisis to redistribute resources to favored interest groups (unions, the green lobby, and public education ) and to increase the size and scope of government.4 This redistribution does not make every element of the package indefensible, but even the components with a plausible justification were designed in the least productive and most redistributionist way possible. ... This is consistent with what I have been arguing for some time.  The bill was an excuse to pass on money to democrat constituency groups.   Now we know for a fact that doing so will not benefit the economy there is no further need to listen to Democrats on their big spending policies. Related articles Jeffrey Miron "

Democrats lose the suburbes

Image via Wikipedia Joel Klotkin: Ideologues may set the tone for the national debate, but geography and demography determine elections. In America, the dominant geography continues to be suburbia – home to at least 60 percent of the population and probably more than that portion of the electorate. Roughly 220 congressional districts, or more than half the nation’s 435, are predominately suburban, according to a 2005 Congressional Quarterly study. This is likely to only increase in the next decade, as Millennials begin en masse to enter their 30s and move to the periphery. ... The connection between suburbs and political victory should have been clear by now. Middle- and working-class suburbanites keyed the surprising election win of Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts in January. Suburban voters were also crucial to the 2009 Republican gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey, two key swing states. Nationally, suburban approval for the Democrats has

Obama calls this progress?

From the Houston Chronicle: Obama warns of progress reversal if GOP wins If this be progress, let's have more reversal and faster.

Hispanics voting Republican this year

Texas Insider has more on the Hispanic move to the GOP. The NY Times looks at the Canseco-Rodriguez fight in Southwest Texas.

China training with Thailand Marines

Image via Wikipedia Washington Times: China is expanding its military reach by sending, for the first time, a marine unit of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to train with another country in an upcoming exercise with Thailand 's armed forces. The U.S. and other nations will be eyeing the China-Thailand exercise, which began Tuesday and is scheduled to run through Nov. 14 in and around the Sattahip Naval Base near Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand, as Beijing seeks to secure its access south to strategic sea lanes amid a spate of recent disputes between China and its Asian neighbors. The Blue Assault-2010 exercise is the first time China's marines are training with another country's forces, according to the Chinese National Defense Ministry, though other PLA units have trained with foreigners. "The joint drill will focus on anti-terrorism. It will also aim at helping marines from Thailand and China learn from each other, enhance mutual understanding, ste

Explosives sent via FedEx from Yemen

Image via Wikipedia NY Times: Two packages containing explosive devices originating in Yemen and bound for two places of Jewish worship in Chicago set off a global terror alert on Friday. One package was found at a FedEx facility in Dubai , and another was found early Friday morning at an airport in Britain, sparking a day of dramatic precautionary activity in the United States . Speaking at the White House Friday afternoon, President Obama called the packages a “credible terrorist threat against our country,” and confirmed that they “did apparently contain” explosives. Earlier reports had said that the device found in Britain did not. The wide-scale alert spread to the United States on Friday morning, when officials isolated two cargo planes at airports in Newark and Philadelphia and searched them for packages originating in Yemen, and New York police searched a delivery truck in Brooklyn. None of the shipments reaching the United States from Yemen were found to contain expl

Rejecting Democrats again

Image by שאול חנוכה Shaul Hanuka via Flickr Opinion Journal: Democrats and their allies are already rationalizing their likely defeat next Tuesday, variously blaming the economy, GOP obstructionism, corporate money, or an inexplicable collapse in President Obama's communications skills. Whatever minor truth lies in these excuses, they obscure the larger reality: Americans appear ready to repudiate Democratic governance for the fourth consecutive time. Far from being a unique historical event, a GOP victory on Tuesday will repeat the pattern we have seen since the 1960s. Four times Democrats have won control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and four times they have attempted to govern from the left. Each time Americans saw that agenda and its results, and they rejected it at an early opportunity. Maybe there's a lesson here. We cite the 1960s as a watershed because it marked the creation of the modern Democratic Party . The Southern conservatives who had checked the

Religion of execution of tenn girls

NY Times: Somalia’s most powerful Islamist insurgents, the Shabab, executed two teenage girls on Wednesday after deciding they were spies, setting off fears among residents, officials and witnesses said. The two teenagers — one 18, the other 14 — were shot by firing squad in the center of the town of Beledweyne, near the border with Ethiopia, witnesses said. Pickup trucks with big loudspeakers drove into the town, ordering the residents to watch the execution. Residents were also told to switch off their cellphones and were warned not to take pictures, a prohibition that has been enforced at some Islamist executions in the past. “The teenage girls were executed in the regional headquarters at the center of the town. Some of the women who were watching fainted at the scene,” said Abukar Elmi, a witness. “This is a shocking event.” The Shabab official in the town, Sheik Yusuf Ali Ugas, told local journalists that “the two girls were found guilty of spying for the Ethiopian gove