Arguments against the President “Valerie, may I?” story

July 31, 2012

Yesterday I posted an article about the assertion in a forthcoming book by journalist Richard Miniter that President Obama let himself be talked out of the bin Laden assassination mission three times, before finally okaying it, by long-time close adviser Valerie Jarrett, a corrupt slum-lord. Now that I’ve had 24 hours to calm down (1), there are reasonable arguments for questioning the story. I’ll present them here and let you decide:

Anonymous sources: Miniter cites “an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.” The trouble with an unnamed source is that you have no way of verifying what the source is saying, because you don’t know who he or she is. You have to take the intermediary’s word (in this case, Miniter’s) that the source is credible, telling the truth.

What if the anonymous source was really in no place to know the things he claims? What if he’s making it all up to inflate his own importance? What if he observed things, but misinterpreted them? What if Miniter’s source and Ulsterman’s are one in the same? Then, instead of Miniter confirming the earlier piece, he’s merely repeating the same uncorroborated gossip. And (candy for the conspiracy buffs out there) what if the whole story is a Republican plant meant to embarrass Obama? It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened in American politics, that is, the press being used to bring down an opponent. From the reasonable to the wild, all these doubts show why we should be very careful of “anonymous insiders.”

In the end, it was his call, after all: The story paints a picture of Obama as indecisive, weak. As I put it, he ran to his political nursemaid to ask if launching the raid was a good idea, and she told him “no.”

But there’s another way to look at it. Obama is naturally cautious and diffident when faced with having to make a real decision, and invading the territory of an ally unannounced was darned risky — an act of war, without a doubt. And he is entitled to ask advice of anyone he chooses. Perhaps he felt the intel wasn’t solid enough and Jarrett’s arguments were enough to convince him of “not yet.” In other words, he sought advice, not permission. And he did, in the end, make the final decision to go.

Finally, Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot makes the following argument:

Put another way: apparently Valerie Jarrett made enemies like Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs at times. You don’t think guys like that would leak something like that if they knew, in an effort to undermine her influence?

Point taken.

(Geraghty also makes a political observation we should keep in mind: the Obama administration would love to argue about Osama’s death from now until election day, because the discussion always ends with “and then we got him.”)

For what it’s worth, the White House has denied and denounced the report, while Miniter has dared them to prove him wrong:

The author of a new book describing presidential paralysis prior to the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout is demanding the White House back up its vehement denials with documentation.

“I call on them to release the full [planning] timeline, starting in October 2010, of each of the major decisions that the president made relating to the bin Laden mission,” author Richard Miniter told The Daily Caller.

TheDC asked Miniter if his inside sources might go public with their accounts of presidential indecision. “Yes, yes,” he replied. “There is a chance.”

(via Nice Deb)

I hope the source does go public, since we, then, will be in a better position to make our own judgement. October surprise, anyone?

So, what do I think? At this point, I think it’s more likely true than not. Not because of Miniter’s or Ulsterman’s source(s), about whom we know nothing, but because it seems to fit with Obama and his long relationship with Jarrett. She has been a close patron and key counselor for Barack and Michelle Obama for many, many years. Close enough that the account in “Leading from Behind” is, I suspect, closer to the truth than not.

We’ll see.

Footnote:
(1) I freely and cheerily admit to having a “hot button” about 9/11, al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and a president’s proper response. Said response being “Hunt them down like rabid dogs and kill every last one of them!” And I get angry at any hint of softness on this issue. I doubt I’ll ever change.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear Senator McCain: you’re dead wrong, it *is* the culture

July 31, 2012

And I write that with all due and genuine respect for a man who suffered much for his country and was a true leader to the men who were prisoners of war with him.

But, this is just utterly wrong:

It’s government, “not cultures” that define the difference between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s according to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who appeared to differ with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney as he tried to defend him.

“I am sure that Gov. Romney was not talking about difference in cultures, or difference in anybody superior or inferior,” said McCain, a chief Romney foreign policy surrogate, today during a news conference after an event here with Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “What I’m sure Gov. Romney was talking was that the Israeli economy has grown and prospered in a dramatic fashion. And unfortunately, the Palestinians have not had that same economic development.

“And that goes to the leadership of the Palestinians. Everybody knows that Yasser Arafat was corrupt. And we also know that the Palestinian people have not been blessed with the kind of government that has lower regulations, less taxes, entrepreneurship, which have caused the Israeli economy to be one of the world’s most successful. It has nothing to do with cultures. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. But facts of the booming Israeli economy has to do with the kind of government that the Israeli people have freely and democratically elected which has given them a very prosperous country.”

McCain noted he had not seen or heard Romney’s remarks, but that didn’t stop him from defending what Romney meant.

He has it exactly backwards: culture determines the type of society a nation has and shapes its form of government. Both are a reflection of the values of that society. Western civilization, which includes Israel, echoes the Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman and, yes, for parts, Anglo-Saxon values that shaped it. It is a culture that values the individual and individual liberty, fosters initiative and wealth-creation, and that recognizes life is precious and not something to be taken carelessly. (1)

Arab Islamic culture on the other hand… What has it given the world lately? Dictatorship? Kleptocracy? Contempt for democracy? The near-enslavement of women? Honor killings? Suicide bombings? “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death“?

You want an example of the difference in cultures, Senator? Here’s just one from among hundreds. Israelis fight to save the life of a mother and child, even though they come from their sworn enemies. Palestinians murder Israeli children in their sleep, and the culture celebrates the killers as heroes.

Those values ripple throughout the respective cultures, and you can bet your bottom dollar they make a difference.

Natan Sharansky wrote a brilliant book called “The Case for Democracy.” In it he discusses the difference between what he calls “free societies” and “fear societies.” The Israelis are an example of the former, the Palestinians the latter, and the differences explain why, as Mitt Romney pointed out, Israel is successful, while “Palestine” is a failure.

You should read it, Senator. You might for once know what you’re talking about.

But I guess that’s a bit much to expect from a man who doesn’t even bother to check what his party’s nominee said before bloviating on it.

via Slublog

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, far from perfect, but also far better than the alternatives.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Shorter Nancy Pelosi: “Republican Jews are just in it for the money.”

July 30, 2012

But you Jews are very smart!

Wow. In an interview with Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), dismissed growing concerns among Jews about President Obama’s lack of support for Israel and a growing number supporting Mitt Romney with the following statement of tolerance:

Pelosi made the comments in response to whether Jewish voters would support President Barack Obama in the presidential election later this year.

“I think [Obama] will” win the Jewish vote, Pelosi said, when pressed on the subject. “I think that he will, because the fact is when the facts get out. You know, as many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So Israel, that can be one reason they put forth.”

The interviewer then added, “That’s why some of the Republican Jewish supporters are really active.” 

Pelosi responded, “Well, that’s how they’re being exploited. And they’re smart people.

In other words, Jews supporting the Republicans this year don’t really give a tinker’s cuss about Israel, they’re just being… greedy. She might as well have added:

“And they’re sharp dressers and good dancers, but I wouldn’t want my sister marrying one.”

Nah. No stereotyping here. Not from a progressive. They’re just too open-minded for that.

The unnamed editor at Twitchy.com is spot-on. This is just one example of the Left’s corporatist, racialist obsession with identity politics:

Ms. Pelosi, like her fellow travelers, believes that everyone should be packaged up into little identity group boxes. And then blindly follow along with whatever their Democrat masters tell them to do, and think. They know best, you see. All “you people” should just think alike! It’s the same thing Senator Boxer (D-Calif.) did when she was flabbergasted that a black man disagreed with the NAACP. And when Harry Reid (D-Utah) sneered, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.

They are the racists, the sexists and the bigots, because they believe that some people aren’t individuals and cannot think for themselves. In Nancy Pelosi’s case, she also adds vile anti-Semitism to the mix. All “those people” care about is money.

Standard question: Can you imagine the reaction if a Republican had said what Nancy said?

UPDATE: Twitchy.com later corrected their post to show that Harry Reid is from Nevada, not Utah.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama hates missile defense, except when he’s trying to buy votes

July 30, 2012

Mitt Romney is on an overseas trip to Great Britain, Israel, and Poland. Worried about the Jewish vote at home because of his noted lack of support for Israel and wanting to steal a bit of the limelight from Romney, President Obama signed a bill giving Israel $70,000,000 for their (very promising) Iron Dome short-range missile defense system. What’s notable about that, you ask?

It’s all about the pandering, baby.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“President Gutsy Call” turns out to be President “Valerie, May I?”

July 30, 2012

Wuss-in-Chief

Even Jimmy Carter wasn’t this much of a wimp:

At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.

In ”Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,“ Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.

Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.

Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

But when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.

Okay, while the usual caveats about unnamed sources apply, this just nauseates me. The man simply does not get his role. Message to “President” Obama: you are the Commander in Chief. You are in charge of the most powerful military the world has ever seen. Osama bin Laden massacred nearly 3,000 of our people in an act of jihad — war. When you have him in the crosshairs, you whack him; you do not go running to your political nursemaid to see if it’s a good idea.

And who the Hell is Valerie Jarrett, a corrupt slum lord, that she should have what appears to be a deciding voice on military operations?

Next time, President Obama Short Pants, just let Jarrett handle the press conferences. She’s clearly the one in charge.

Bah.

PS: And yet CBS and Newsweek can call Mitt Romney a wimp? Yeah, that’ll hold up.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Tales of the Nanny State: Bloomberg commands breastfeeding!

July 29, 2012

Call me crazy, but isn’t the choice whether to breastfeed one’s baby one the mother should make, perhaps in consultation with her doctor?

Not when Mayor Mike is in charge!

The nanny state is going after moms.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.

Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.

Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

While breast-feeding activists applaud the move, bottle-feeding moms are bristling at the latest lactation lecture.

“If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed,” said Lynn Sidnam, a Staten Island mother of two formula-fed girls, ages 4 months and 9 years. “It’s for me to choose.”

Under Latch On NYC, new mothers who want formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will keep infant formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications.

With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead.

Lovely. So not only will Mike Bloomberg and his merry band of statists play hide-the-bottle to force one to breastfeed, but those who don’t get with the program will be nagged until they do — “We know what’s best for your baby. You don’t. Why do you insist on a bottle? WHY DO YOU HATE YOUR BABY??”

That’s the essence of liberal fascism, of the nanny-state, of arrogant would-be Czars like Mike Bloomberg: there is no limit, no point at which they say they control enough. Every minute aspect of your life –how much salt you use, how much soda you drink, how you feed your baby– is subject to the state’s direction.

Every. Single. Bit.

via David Freddoso

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Democrats think Americans are idiots, one in a series

July 28, 2012

Sure, all politicians lie to one degree or another; the need to run for election and reelection, and to build support for policies, encourages it. Most of the time it’s just a bit of spin or shading, or ignoring key contrary facts. Minor stuff. We’re used to it.  We expect it, even.

But when they tell us bald-faced, easily disprovable total lies, that says only one thing: “We think you’re such rubes, you’ll believe anything“:

Daniel Halper has called attention to Nancy Pelosi’s remarkable interview with Al Hunt on the topic of Barack Obama and Israel. I’d note one comment in particular: Pelosi’s claim that President Obama “has been there [Israel] over and over again.”

Wow. I’m involved with the Emergency Committee for Israel. We have an ad up in several states calling attention to the fact that President Obama, who’s been quite the world traveler, has never visited Israel as president. Did we make a terrible mistake? Were we unjust to President Obama? Do we have to pull down the ad?

No, no, and no. Contrary to Pelosi’s apparent claim, President Obama hasn’t been to Israel over and over again. He’s never been as president, which is certainly what Pelosi implied. Well, maybe he visited Israel “over and over” before becoming president, and that’s what Pelosi meant to say? No. When he was senator, Obama went on two trips to Israel, once with several other freshmen members of Congress, and then as a presidential candidate. And he’d never been interested enough in Israel to visit as a private citizen. So much for the notion that Obama’s been “over and over again.” 

But truth doesn’t matter to the Pelosis of the world: it’s the Big Lie told over and over again, in the hope that it snares just enough voters, that really matters.

And these are the leaders of the Democratic Party.

via Power Line

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) on fire on the House floor

July 27, 2012

Congressman Kelly went to the House floor yesterday to denounce the crushing burden federal regulation imposes on American business and, by the time he was done, he had earned a rare standing ovation from his colleagues and chants of “USA! USA!”

Enjoy, my friends, enjoy.

Preach it, Brother Mike! 

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Some day the Obama campaign will learn not to give gifts like this to Romney

July 26, 2012

I mean, a lousy economic “recovery,” unemployment above 8% for the longest stretch since the Great Depression, millions more on food stamps than when he took office, and yet Obama can say that his plan worked?

I guess, if by “worked” he meant it in the “Evil Mastermind rubbing hands in glee” way.

Anyway, the Romney camp came up with a very nice reply:

Some day they’ll learn to quit handing Romney clubs with which to beat them, but hopefully not until after November.

PS: Romney 2012, because his English dictionary wasn’t printed on the Bizarro World.


(Video) This will -or, at least, should- worry the White House

July 26, 2012

You may recall that, a couple of weeks ago, Mitt Romney spoke before the NAACP at their annual convention. The reception he received was mixed: some standing ovations mixed with jeers at his promise to repeal ObamaCare.

Still, he apparently made some converts who were willing to go on the record:

(via The Jawa Report)

That’s gotta hurt.

Then there’s this item from Breitbart – CBS News: Blacks Unsatisfied With Obama

CBS does a pretty good job giving a myriad of examples of that dissatisfaction, even while in nearly every other paragraph, CBS reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell mentions how, dissatisfied or not, they are all still voting for Obama.

But that constant reassurance aside, the piece is filled with example after example of the grumbling from black community leaders and politicians all essentially saying how disappointed they are that Obama has done so little for them.

The piece leads with complaining from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), both of whom are annoyed that black unemployment is so much higher than that of other communities.

Obama is also criticized for not showing much leadership on other issues that affect the black community. The piece notes, for instance, that Obama has done little on the violent crime that plagues big city black communities, and he’s also criticized for not speaking before any of the nation’s African American organizations like the NAACP or the National Urban League.

All in all, it seems that many in the African American community feel that Obama has failed to live up to his “unique role in history” and that he’s allowing “political expediency” to rule the day.

It’s been noted many times that the Democratic Party relies on near-total bloc voting by African Americans to win elections; they regularly garner above 90%. Even losing just a few percentage points from that bloc could cost them elections at the national and state levels.  Combine the Black vote being depressed because of dissatisfaction with Obama with the sight of NAACP leaders saying it’s okay to vote for Romney, and…

Well, let’s just say David Axelrod probably isn’t sleeping well at night.

Darn.

PS: Romney 2012, because I want a president who cares about Americans, but doesn’t care about their skin color.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


July 26, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

PF: Washington built this!

Originally posted on International Liberty:

President Obama recently got himself in a bit of hot water with his “you didn’t build that” remark, which trivialized the hard work of entrepreneurs.

But he is right – in a perverse way – about government playing a big role in the life of small businesses. Thanks to a maze of regulations, the government is an unwelcome silent partner for every entrepreneur. And we’re not talking small numbers.

But sometimes an image helps to make things easy to understand. Here’s a chart from the Joint Economic Committee, which maps out the web of regulation imposed by Washington.

This chart does more than just show sources of…

View original 203 more words


Good news! Another Islamist government wants ICBMs! Huzzah!

July 25, 2012

Via Claire Berlinski, in case you were sleeping too easy at night:

The Turkish Armed Forces have begun working on a project to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), broadcaster NTV reported on its website today. 
 
A decision to launch the project was made in a July 17 meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Board, headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel. Erdoğan had previously requested that the military develop missiles with a 2,500-kilometer range.
 
The board decided to form a satellite launch center that would have a two-fold effect on Turkey’s aerospace and military endeavors. First, the center will enable Turkey to place its own satellites in orbit, and second, the center will allow the Turkish military to launch missiles that can navigate outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Attaining an ICBM launch capability is reportedly the chief aim of the satellite launch center.

Far from being the moderate Muslim leader the Obama administration fools itself into believing he is, Prime Minister Erdogan, head of an openly Islamist party, is Antisemitic, anti-American, anti-democratic, and an Islamic supremacist.

And he wants ICBMs. If anyone wants to bet that he and his supporters will refrain from trying to tip those with nuclear warheads, you’re on.

The Turkish sultan was for centuries also the Islamic caliph, spiritual leader of the world’s Muslims, and the revival of the caliphate is the dream of Islamists, everywhere.  A Turkish leader with nuclear missiles would have a strong claim on the leadership of a new caliphate, one that would have a hard time resisting the call to jihad.

There are regional geopolitical issues to worry about, too. Iran has its own nuclear and missile program and, while Iran and Turkey currently enjoy cordial relations as fellow Islamic supremacists, they have been rivals for hundred of years, fighting several wars with each other over influence in the Middle East and Central Asia. Those rivalries are buried, not dead, and Turkey has reason to want nukes if Iran gets them, too. And with its former province of Syria falling into chaos, Turkey is in a position to extend its influence over its ancient dominions in the Fertile Crescent. Possession of nuclear missiles would give it an edge over Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The same can be said with regard to Russia and the belt of Turkic language speakers ranging from Europe to China, over which Turkey has long dreamed of exerting influence and leadership. Much of this area used to be part of the Russian Empire and the USSR, and Moscow still thinks of it as its “sphere of influence.” Who wouldn’t want to see a nuclear-armed and angry Russia squared off against a newly-nuclear, inspired-by-jihad Turkey?

It’s been said that, if Iran gets nuclear weapons, other nations in the region will rush to get their own. That goes double if both Tehran and Ankara get the Big Firecrackers.

Sleep well, and hope that the next administration revives our missile defense program.

UPDATE: Think I’m exaggerating about Erdogan’s Islamism? Check out who’s visiting him at home.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


So now global warming can reach through time?

July 24, 2012

I can’t wait to see how the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming rationalizes this:

Polar bears split from ancient bears more than 4 million years ago, suggests ancient DNA and the gene maps of multiple bears.

The polar bear genome finding reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal contradicts earlier gene studies finding much more recent times for the ancestral split, within 600,000 years, between polar bears and grizzly bears, which can still mate and produce viable offspring.

What’s more, the report suggests that polar bear numbers have been on the decline for at least 500,000 years, driven by climate fluctuations.

Y’see, all that CO2 we’ve been dumping into the atmosphere is so powerful that it can cross time and space to induce climate change before it even existed!!!

You laugh, but I half-expect some cultist to seriously offer that explanation.

My take on the article is that natural, probably cyclic, climate change has expanded and contracted the polar bears’ range, sometimes reducing it considerably. In those times, more polar bears were forced to live on land and wound up mating with brown bears, a related species from which they split about 4-5 million years ago, but can still breed with. Hence, as we are in a gradual warming from the last ice age (and from the Little Ice Age that ended around 1850), their range is shrinking again, and there is some risk of them inter-breeding out of existence.

Perhaps, but, for now, their numbers seem to be rising.

Meanwhile the climate alarmists may need to get a new poster-animal.

via Jeff Emanuel

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Goat Man of Utah identified?

July 24, 2012

An end to the mystery that has captivated America?

State wildlife officials have identified the man who has been spotted dressed in a goat suit among a herd of wild goats in the mountains of northern Utah.

Phil Douglass of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Monday the mystery man is a 57-year-old hunter from Southern California.

Douglass told the Standard-Examiner that the hunter called officials and provided enough information to put their curiosity to rest. Douglass says he didn’t ask for a name.

The man told Douglass he was preparing for an archery hunt of mountain goats next year and testing a goat suit.

Uh-huh, sure. Just what are they really hiding up there? Goats? I didn’t watch all those 70s horror movies for nothing, y’know!

(And, naturally, he’s from California… )

via Vermontaigne

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“Blame Bush” card played out

July 24, 2012

It took longer than I thought, but Obama and the Democrats’ ability to avoid responsibility for the nation’s economic woes by blaming George W. Bush has finally worn out:

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.

These are numbers that should terrify Democrats. The result of “bad policy?” Well, gee, who was the author of those policies? Couldn’t have been George W. Bush; he’s been out of office since 2009, and was really in no position to make long-term policy after the election in 2008. So, who could it have been? Hmmm…

Oh, yeah. That guy.

I’ll willingly grant that Obama came into office facing a terrible mess, and that President Bush had made serious mistakes in dealing with the financial crisis that began in late summer of 2008. But Obama became president in January, 2009, and and enjoyed a nearly unbeatable majority in Congress. At that moment, the responsibility became his and theirs alone. And what a record they’ve accumulated:

  • Unemployment at over 8% for over 40 months, the longest stretch since the Great Depression. Remember, in return for borrowing nearly a trillion dollars for Obama’s centerpiece stimulus program in 2009, we were assured unemployment would be below 5% by now. How did that work out?
  • And speaking of borrowing, our current national debt is almost $16 trillion dollars. It was about $10 trillion when Obama took office. Bad enough, but he has done nothing to even slow its growth, let alone bring it under control or reduce it.

The public’s patience with excuses has run out. No more blaming “headwinds from Europe,” or natural disasters in Japan, or obstructionist Republicans… or even the demon “Bush.”

American voters have started holding President Obama and the Democrats accountable, and that account will be settled in November.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) First there was California’s “Demon Sheep,” now there’s the “Goat Boy” of Utah

July 23, 2012

At last, video proof of the existence of…. a very weird person:

Background here.

I wonder what the over/under is on how long it will be before some nearsighted hunter finds himself with a really odd trophy?

via Gateway Pundit

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Anti-military purge underway in North Korea?

July 22, 2012

Hope and Change?

The other day I noted reports of an armed clash between soldiers loyal to North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Un and those of Marshal Ri Yong-Ho, which may have resulted in the army chief’s sudden retirement death. At the time I speculated on a few possible explanations, all of which were equally likely given the difficulty of knowing just what is going on there.

Now news comes of further changes, indicating that the move against Marshal Ri is part of a larger drive to take control of the economy from the military and, perhaps, institute needed reforms:

Impoverished North Korea is gearing up to experiment with agricultural and economic reforms after young leader Kim Jong-un and his powerful uncle purged the country’s top general for opposing change, a source with ties to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.

The source added that the cabinet had created a special bureau to take control of the decaying economy from the military, one of the world’s largest, which under Kim’s father was given pride of place in running the country.

The downfall of Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho and his allies gives the untested new leader and his uncle Jang Song-thaek, who married into the Kim family dynasty and is widely seen as the real power behind the throne, the mandate to try to save the battered economy and prevent the secretive regime’s collapse.

The current Kim’s father had, like Emperor Septimius Severus, decided to “enrich the soldiers, and scorn all others.” While it preserved his rule, it was an utter disaster for the North — repeated famine and economic ruin. If his son (and the son’s eminence grise uncle) are going to institute reforms along Chinese lines, liberalizing the economy while retaining absolute political control, we can only hope for their success. Not only would the people’s lives be improved, but North Korea would move further away from a state collapse that could have catastrophic effects on the region.

Or, maybe not. It may be that the North is too far along the road to failure to stave off the inevitable for more than a few years. And it’s sometimes been noted that revolutions happen when circumstances start improving and the people demand their rising expectations be fulfilled, because a starving, brutalized population hasn’t the time for revolt. In that case, Kim III’s reforms might be the cracks that cause the dam to break.

Who knows? Whatever the truth may be, one hopes that Kim Jong-Un is aiming for real reform and that it succeeds, if only to bring some relief to the long-suffering people of the world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a nation.

Via Walter Russell Mead, who notes that the regime is blustering again about nuclear tests. Sounds to me like a bone tossed to the military, to make the economic changes more palatable.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Democrats who demand Romney release his tax returns, but refuse to release their own

July 22, 2012

In other words, typical election year hypocrisy by truly desperate hack pols:

In stunning examples of hypocrisy, though, Pelosi, Reid, and Wasserman-Schultz all refused to release their tax returns when asked by McClatchy Newspapers

“The leader has filed a complete financial disclosure report as required by law that includes financial holdings, transactions and other personal information,” Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami told McClatchy. 

At a news conference, Wasserman Shultz said, “I file full financial disclosure required under the law” and refused to release her tax returns.

Reid also would not let McClatchy look at his tax returns.

In recent weeks, Pelosi has said Romney’s failure to release his tax returns makes him unfit to even be a Cabinet member while Reid said it made Romney unfit to be even a dogcatcher. 

Wasserman Schultz said Romney’s refusal to release his returns was an example of Romney’s “penchant for secrecy.” 

“Required under the law.” Funny, that’s the same reason Romney gives for refusing to release more of his returns. But then, that’s different; there’s an “R” after his name, and the Democrats have nothing else to run on, so they have to create distractions, plant doubt and suspicion, try to divide people on class and ethnic lines.

Thus we get Romney’s dog, Ann Romney’s horse, the fake “war on women,” voter ID equaling a return to Jim Crow, outsourcing, and so many other “Look, it’s Elvis!” moments.

Because the facts of their collective record of abysmal failure are all against them.

PS: Mitt Romney 2012, because I don’t care what he does with his own money. I care what’s done with our money.

via Tai Chi Policy and Vermontaigne

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


This takes the idea of a “nature walk” a bit far, no?

July 21, 2012

I mean, I like to observe animals in the wild, but that doesn’t mean I have to dress like them, too:

Utah wildlife officials want to talk to a man spotted in the mountains wearing a goat suit amid a herd of real wild goats.

Phil Douglass of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says the person is doing nothing illegal, but he worries the so-called “goat man” is unaware of the dangers.

Sixty permits will be issued for goat hunting season in September in the same area in the mountains above Ogden, north of Salt Lake City. Douglass also says the goats could be dangerous.

Something tells me Goat Boy will be lucky if he doesn’t wind up strapped to the hood of someone’s truck.

via Blue Crab Boulevard


North Korean marshal may not have been quite ready to retire

July 20, 2012

Gee. And here I thought I was only joking when I said on Twitter that Marshal Ri Yong-ho’s retirement for “health reasons” meant a case of “sudden lead poisoning.”

Looks like it may not have been a joke:

A gunbattle broke out when the North Korean regime removed army chief Ri Yong-ho from office, leaving 20 to 30 soldiers dead, according to unconfirmed intelligence reports. Some intelligence analysts believe Ri, who has not been seen since his abrupt sacking earlier this week, was injured or killed in the confrontation.

According to government officials here, the gunbattle erupted when Vice Marshal Choe Ryong-hae, the director of the People’s Army General Political Bureau, tried to detain Ri in the process of carrying out leader Kim Jong-un’s order to sack him. Guards protecting Ri, who is a vice marshal, apparently opened fire. “We cannot rule out the possibility that Ri was injured or even killed in the firefight,” said one source.

Guess that rules out the traditional gold watch…

Seriously, North Korea is such a tightly closed, controlled state prison camp that’s it’s almost impossible to decide what this means — if it really happened at all. It could be a sign of Kim III consolidating his grip on power by getting rid of rivals and of the resistance being nothing more that a goon squad showing loyalty to their boss, or a small crack hinting at larger fissures in the military. (It’s hard to imagine everyone was hunky-dory with an untried twenty-something taking over as Supreme Leader and Living God) Or it could just be random, murderous wackiness that means nothing in the long run, except to remind outsiders to be grateful they don’t live in North Korea.

Regardless, North Korea will bear watching, even if through a glass, darkly. It’s murderous wackiness could all too easily and all too suddenly turn deadly for the rest of us, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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