Showing posts from October, 2011

The Perry turnaround begins?

Rasmussen Reports: Wisconsin: Perry 46%, Obama 42% It is nice to be leading somewhere and Wisconsin is a surprising place for it.

The arrogance of Iran's religious bigots

Daily Mail: Iran demands APOLOGY (and money) from U.S. over plot to kill Saudi ambassador on American soil In the face of overwhelming evidence Iran has decided its best course is lies and bluster.

Hacking with fire

Guardian: Hackers threaten Mexican drug cartel Going after teh Zetas is a dangerous gang, even if they have been wounded of late.

Brits use small force to lure Taliban into a fight

Telegraph: Flying in darkness on board Chinook helicopters soldiers from the 1st Bn Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment descended on the final pocket of insurgency in the Nad-e-Ali district. The Daily Telegraph  accompanied troops as they flew into the enemy heartland of the Gulbuddin Strip. The distinctive double thud of a Chinook approaching broke into the predawn silence as the lines of soldiers waited pensively for its arrival at their base. Within minutes the troops of A Company were flying low a over soft landscape of tree-lined paths and ploughed fields. But flares firing from the helicopter's underbelly to deter potential missiles reminded that the land below held some who were hostile. At one minute before "L Hour" the RAF dispatcher held up a single finger. The aircraft swooped left and right then cakes of brown mud flew past the window followed by the thump of landing. Within seconds we were down the ramp and running through dirt to

I blame the Democrats for Cain attack

The Hill: Perry, Romney camps flatly deny pushing Cain allegations I think the story comes from liberals who are panicked by the Cain surge.  His success does great damage to their regular theme that Republicans and the Tea Party are racist, bigots and homophobes.

Democrats writing off the Catholic vote

Washington Post: Catholics at odds with Obama administration Despite the prominence of Catholics like Pelosi and Biden, the policies of the administration have put the liberal agenda first and ignored the moral objections of the church by requiring contraceptives and making abortion more available.  They have also cut off funding to stop human trafficking.

Arizona has huge bust of Sinaloa cartel dope operation

LA Times: Arizona officials have arrested 76 people suspected in the smuggling of at least $2 billion worth of drugs through the state's western desert in coordination with  Mexico's Sinaloa cartel . “We in Arizona continue to stand and fight the Mexican drug cartels, who think they own the place,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement about the investigation, dubbed Operation Pipeline Express. “While this is a historic drug bust, sadly this represents only a fraction of what my deputies face every day,” Babeu said. The arrests were made during a series of recent raids. Officials said the ring, based in Chandler, Stanfield and Maricopa, used backpackers and trucks to move drugs from the border to a network of stash houses in the Phoenix area. After arriving in Phoenix, the smugglers sold the drugs, which included marijuana, cocaine and heroin, to distributors from various states. Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcemen

Perry says he is not slick politician

This is a pretty good ad.  It is not too slick but it is authentic.

Document show Clinton administration caused housing crisis

Paul Sperry: ... Rewind to 1994. That year, the federal government declared war on an enemy — the racist lender — who officials claimed was to blame for differences in homeownership rates — and launched what would prove the costliest social crusade in U.S. history. At President Clinton's direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties. The threat was codified in a 20-page "Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending" and entered into the Federal Register on April 15, 1994, by the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending. Clinton set up the little-known body to coordinate an unprecedented crackdown on alleged bank redlining. The edict — co

Bankruptcy hits another green energy deal

The Hill: A Massachusetts company that received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday, a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra’s collapse. Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.   Beacon Power had received federal loan guarantee to help build an energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York that began operating in January. The Treasury Department’s Federal Financing Bank provided the loan. Beacon sought bankruptcy protection two days after the White House  ordered an independent 60-day evaluation  of the Energy Department's loan programs aimed at ensuring effective management and monitoring. ... You get the feeling there could be more such debacles in the energy Department loan portfolio.  These faith based loans were always a mistake and if any of these companies ever

Corzine--Doing for his company what he did for New Jersey

Jim Geraghty: Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine,  moving from success to success : “MF Global Holdings Ltd., the futures broker run by Jon Corzine, was suspended from conducting new business with the New York Federal Reserve today after posting a record loss. The firm’s board met through the weekend in New York to consider options including a sale to avert failure, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. It was stopped from doing new business with the New York Fed until it shows it’s able to fulfill its responsibilities as a primary dealer, according to a statement on the regulator’s website. Trading in MF Global’s stock was also halted… MF Global may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as soon as today and sell assets to Interactive Brokers Group Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported on its website, citing a person familiar with the matter it did not identify.”   It’s almost as if everyone forgot this is the guy who  left a record $8 billion budget

Military spending cut myths

Robert Samuelson: ... Three bogus arguments are commonly made to rationalize big military cuts.   First, we can’t afford today’s military.   Not so. How much we spend is a political decision. In the 1950s and 1960s, when the country was much poorer, 40 percent to 50 percent of the federal budget  routinely went to defense , representing 8 to 10 percent of our national income. By 2010, a wealthier America devoted only 20 percent of federal spending and 4.8 percent of national income to the military. Spending on social programs replaced military spending, but that shift has gone too far.   Second, we spend so much more than anyone else that cutbacks won’t make us vulnerable.   In 2009, U.S. defense spending was six times China’s and 13 times Russia’s, according to estimates from the  Stockholm International Peace Research Institute . The trouble with these numbers is that they don’t truly adjust for differences in income levels. U.S. salary and procurement costs are orders of m

Still trying to hide the decline in temperature

James Delingpole: ... As you know, I had my doubts about Muller's findings from the start. I thought it was at best disingenuous of him to pose as a "sceptic" when there is little evidence of him ever having been one. As for his argument that the BEST project confounds sceptics by proving global warming exists – this was never more than a straw man.  Now, though, it seems that BEST is even worse than I thought. Here is what Muller claimed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme:  In our data, which is only on the land we see no evidence of [global warming] having slowed down. But this simply isn't true. Heaven forfend that a distinguished professor from Berkeley University should actually have been caught out telling a lie direct. No, clearly what has happened here is that Professor Muller has made the kind of mistake any self-respecting climate scientist could make: gone to press with some extravagant claims without having a smidgen of evidence to support them

The angry woman in the White House

Joseph Curl: Michelle ’s back, and she’s madder than ever. She was already pretty angry, seemingly unhappy with just about everything. As her husband wrapped up the Democratic nomination in 2008, she let fly her real feelings: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” A few months into her job as first lady, her French counterpart asked how she liked the gig: “Don’t ask!” she reportedly spat. “It’s hell. I can’t stand it!” She even seems to be mad at her silver-tongued husband. When the two were to set off on a luxurious 10-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, she left early - four hours early - and flew up alone. And those private vacations. She’s traveled to some of the world’s most plush resorts, taking 42 days off in the past year - that’d be eight weeks of vacay time if she held down a normal job. Now, she is ready to spew her bilious disgust with America on the campaign trail. A dignified, transcendent first lady? No chance.  Michelle is goin

Perry's quest for a second look

NY Times: With time running short before the first votes are cast in the Republican presidential contest, Gov.  Rick Perry  of Texas is urgently trying to convince voters that his candidacy warrants a second look. He is retooling his campaign with a newly emphatic anti-Washington message and steering the race into a sharper ideological contrast with  Mitt Romney . A new team of advisers for Mr. Perry, recruited to join his tight circle of Texas strategists, is conducting new research in early-voting states to study how to better introduce his candidacy and seize upon the vulnerabilities of his rivals, particularly Mr. Romney and  Herman Cain , whose popularity and resilience has complicated his path. “I’m a doer, not a talker,” Mr. Perry says in a new television commercial scheduled to air Monday in Iowa, in which he looks directly into the camera and tells voters that he is not “a slick politician.” The advertising campaign will be amplified by his first statewide radio push,

Cain gets early comparison to Bill Clinton

Byron York: Herman Cain's campaign headquarters has released a response to a  story , broken this evening on Politico, that in the 1990s two female employees of the National Restaurant Association "complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain," who at the time was head of the trade group. Calling the story "thinly sourced allegations," Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said: "Since Washington establishment critics haven't had much luck in attacking Mr. Cain's ideas to fix a bad economy and create jobs, they are trying to attack him in any way they can."  Gordon did not address any of the specific allegations in the report.  Asked for a more specific answer, the campaign did not provide details. ... Roger L. Simon  compares the story to the John Edwards affair and calls it a "Return of the High-Tech Lynching."  The liberals seem worried about his campaign. The media did not show th

Liberals' education scam

Jonah Goldberg: Amidst all of this talk about education this week, there’s an omission that drives me crazy. Yes, yes, the horrid state of American  education  is an  American  problem, and to that extent we’re all to blame in some abstract sort of way. But is there another major area of American public policy that is more screwed up and more completely the fault of one ideological side? Which party do the teachers’ unions support overwhelmingly? What is the ideological outlook of the bureaucrats at the Department of Education? Which party claims it “cares” more about education and demagogues any attempt by the other party to reform it? Who has controlled the large inner city school systems for generations? What is the ideological orientation of the ed school racket? Whose preferred teaching methods have been funded and whose have been ridiculed? ...  There is much more. Teacher's unions have made it difficult to manage bad teachers and get rid of them.  Far too much has als

Drone to fly 4 days at 65,000 feet, with hydrogen fuel

Daily Mail: The maiden flight of a revolutionary drone aircraft that can stay in the air for four days at 65,000 feet is just days away.  The Phantom Eye, made by Boeing's secretive Phantom Works division, is powered by hydrogen and is designed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions while remaining at high altitude. It will produce only water as a by-product.  Its inaugural flight will take place at Edwards Air Force Base in California and is expected to last between four and eight hours.   Boeing also is developing a larger unmanned plane that will stay aloft for more than 10 days and 'Phantom Ray,' a fighter-sized UAV that will be a test bed for more advanced technologies, which made its inaugural flight in April.   The drone technologies being developed by Phantom Works mean the day when dog fights take place between unmanned aircraft is getting much closer.  'Phantom Eye is the first of its kind and could open up a whole new market i

Terror searches stop on Canadian border

Daily Mail: U.S. relaxes Canadian border checks as agents are told to STOP searching buses, trains and planes for illegal immigrants Nothing like giving the terrorist a heads up on where to make their entry into the country.

They did not get rich because they are stupid

Daily Mail: Looks like the protesters are right! The richest 1% give the least to the Occupy Wall Street movement (is anyone surprised?) Actually I am surprised any intelligent people give money to them.

The tank dog costume

I don't think my dogs would go for this outfit.

Woman al Qaeda leaders sentenced to 15 years

Telegraph: The woman was accused of trying to commit terrorist attacks, financing anti-state groups to the tune of more than a quarter of a million US dollars, and forging identity papers to help smuggle operatives to join the insurgency in Iraq. Although the official  Saudi  statement announcing her sentence did not name the woman involved in the court case, she had previously been identified by local media as Heila al-Qusayyer, who was arrested in February 2010. A middle-class housewife and mother with a geography degree, now around 48, she became radicalised while married to her first husband, Abdulkareem al-Humaid, who was at the time an oil industry executive. After he gave up all his worldly possessions, became a radical preacher and was later jailed, they divorced so she could remarry into al-Qaeda. Her next husband was killed in a shoot-out with Saudi police in Riyadh in 2004. When she was arrested last year, she was said by one report to have been intending to

Those drunk on ethanol oppose Perry

National Journal: Rick Perry  has never pretended to be a friend  to the ethanol industry. In 2008, he urged the Bush administration to roll back the so-called "ethanol mandate'' which requires the federal government to annually boost biofuel production, mainly through corn-based ethanol. When he entered the race in August, renewable energy lobbyists said they would wait and see whether he would strike a different tone as a presidential candidate. Well, now they've waited and seen, and they don't like it. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association put out a statement today that calls his oil-heavy energy plan "a one-two punch in Iowa's economic gut.'' It also assails the  television ad  he is running in Iowa that promotes oil and natural gas. ...  Perry has indicated that the subsidies for ethanol need to be phased out.  That is a winning position outside of Iowa where drivers suffer from the subsidy and the added cost to the country and to transpor

The descent of the Wall Street squabblers

Michael Goodwin: They’re railing against freeloaders and ex-cons for stealing their stuff and spoiling their utopia. They’re squabbling with each other over money and power. The weather is turning frightful and a cumbersome bureaucracy of their own making is strangling their spontaneity.  Their invasion is costing downtown Manhattan businesses and residents a boatload of money. But watching the Occupy Wall Street vagabonds bang their heads against the laws of human nature -- that’s priceless!  Oops, I just echoed a dreaded corporate slogan. My bad -- but somehow it fits the moment.  In fact, the problems the protesters face are almost enough for me to hope the police don’t break up the party. The “Lord of the Flies” descent from utopia to petty power struggles, in front of TV cameras, is a political-science lesson, not to mention deliciously ironic.  Running a protest movement apparently involves a lot of dirty work and isn’t so much fun. Imagine how hard it will be

What Perry needs to do

John Dickerson: When Rick Perry brought on a new team of advisers, the assumption was that he was about to initiate a  scorched-earth campaign against anemic  front-runner Mitt Romney. These advisers, who had helped Gov. Rick Scott win  a rough-and-tumble race  in Florida, were supposed to know how to play nasty. They would surely pummel Romney because time is short, no one has been able to lay a glove on him, and there is such ample opportunity. That might happen someday. But if the new Perry team is smart (and it is), it’s not going to go after Romney before repairing Perry's image first.   Perry's problem is within the Tea Party. In a   CBS poll   five weeks ago, 30 percent of those affiliated with the Tea Party said they supported Perry. Now only 7 percent do. That number is not going to be improved by exposing the wires in Romney’s control panel.  Those voters are not looking at Romney. They are looking for the best candidate to carry their values forward.

Sub Prime Student Loans?

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: It’s officially a crisis. Student loan debt has hit the $1 trillion mark, exceeding Americans’ total credit card indebtedness. Unemployed graduates with huge loan balances are camping out in “Occupy” camps -- the Hoovervilles of our age -- around the nation. And President Obama, perhaps afraid those camps will be dubbed “Obamavilles,” as indeed they have already been by some, has unveiled a new proposal that promises to help graduates who are drowning in debt.   Unfortunately, “promises” is the correct word. Though unveiled with much fanfare, the Obama proposal doesn’t really do much. First, as the Chronicle of Higher Education pointed out in an article characterizing it as mostly political, “The benefit is available only to current students. Those jobless college graduates who are protesting on Wall Street and at similar events elsewhere won’t qualify.”  Second, even for those who do qualify, the benefit doesn’t amount to much. Daniel Indiviglio of Th

Good luck with that

NY Times: What’s Luck Got to Do With It? It is an interesting piece on how some smart people like Bill gates turned good fortune into fabulous fortune by moving beyond just good luck.  In my experience really smart people seemed to know where to position themselves or their company in order to take advantage of changes.  In racing a sailboat they always seemed to be inside the wind shifts that put their boats closer to the finish line.

Conservatives outside GOP may control its political destiny

NY Times: About once a month, a dozen or so of the country’s most influential Republicans meet in a bare-walled conference room in Washington to discuss how to make further gains in the Congressional elections next year and defeat President Obama. They share polling and opposition research, preview their plans for advertising and contacting voters in swing states, and look for ways to coordinate spending hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 12 months, drawing on years of experience laboring for the party. But almost none of them hold office or a job with the  Republican Party  itself. Instead, they represent conservative groups that channeled tens of millions of dollars into last year’s Congressional campaign. And as 2012 approaches, the groups — among them the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads, the Republican Governors Association, the American Action Network and Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers — have gathered into a loose

Social Security goes cash negative

Washington Post: Last year, as a debate over  the runaway national debt  gathered steam in Washington, Social Security passed a treacherous milestone. It went “cash negative.” For most of its 75-year history, the program had paid its own way through a dedicated stream of payroll taxes, even generating huge surpluses for the past two decades. But in 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax collections for the first time since the early 1980s.   Now, Social Security is sucking money out of  the Treasury . This year, it will add a projected $46 billion to the nation’s budget problems, according to projections by system trustees. Replacing cash lost to a one-year payroll tax holiday will require an additional $105 billion. If the payroll tax break is expanded next year,  as President Obama has proposed , Social Security will need an extra $267 billion to pay promised benefits. ...  Social Security is part of t

Perry not through debating

Houston Chronicle: Rick Perry says he’ll do at least five more debates That is probably about four to many in my opinion.  It is better off responding to attacks after the debates when he can do so without giving the other side more time on the clock.

US to keep large force in Kuwait to deal with Iraq

NY Times: The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq  this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in  Kuwait  able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran. The plans, under discussion for months, gained new urgency after  President Obama’s announcement  this month that the last American soldiers would be brought home from Iraq by the end of December. Ending the eight-year war was a central pledge of his presidential campaign, but American military officers and diplomats, as well as officials of several countries in the region, worry that the withdrawal could leave instability or worse in its wake. After unsuccessfully pressing both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government to permit as many as 20,000 American troops to remain in Iraq beyond 2011, the Pentagon is now drawing u