God bless him

April 30, 2009

judges

Thanks to an obscure Senate Judiciary Committee rule and Joe Biden’s successful wooing of Arlen Specter, the Republicans have a fighting chance to block the worst of President Obama’s court appointments, which have suddenly become the talk of the town.

Thanks, Joe! You’re the bestest! Big Hug

 


Evening humor

April 30, 2009

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:

Laughing

 

Technorati tags: , ,

It is blasphemy to get sick

April 30, 2009

The Nation of Islam has forbidden its members to get swine flu. You hear that? Don’t you dare do it!

No, I am not kidding:

Saying it must strictly adhere to the rule that no pig shall pass their lips–or enter their bloodstream–Nation of Islam leaders today told members they should not contract the swine flu.

The NOI prohibits members from eating pork because it considers the pig to be an ‘unclean’ animal. It holds the same feeling toward the swine flu.

"The pig is a nasty foul beast and no man should eat of it," said Minister Bartholomew 298X, NOI chief of health and wellness for Mosque #458. "Nor shall he allow it to infect his white blood cells or his red blood cells or take residence in the holy places of his bowels."

The edict comes just two days after the U.S. government declared a public health emergency to respond to the flu, which has so far sickened people in Kansas, California, New York, and several other states.

"But you will notice that none of the afflicted are in the Nation of Islam," said Bartholomew 298X. "We adhere very strictly to our religion, unlike the devils who have contracted this foul disease."

"Holy places of the bowels"… I swear I can’t make this …er… "stuff" up. Laughing

Oh, and note the racist shot at the end. Nice.

(hat tip: Infidels Are Cool)

 


Turn that frown upside down

April 29, 2009

Is Specter's defection an opportunity for the GOP? Jennifer Rubin thinks so.


Who was on the plane, Mr. President?

April 29, 2009

Inquiring minds want to know. How about some of that promised transparency?

 


Global warming watch

April 29, 2009

Australia has just set record low temperatures. How about that, O Goracle?

Pope Al

 


Quote of the day

April 29, 2009

Obama has signed one major piece of legislation: the stimulus. But how big an achievement is that? Getting Congress to spend money is like getting a wino to drink.

–Matthew Continetti, "Obama thus far"

Hee hee

 


Quote of the day

April 29, 2009

Obama has signed one major piece of legislation: the stimulus. But how big an achievement is that? Getting Congress to spend money is like getting a wino to drink.

–Matthew Continetti, "Obama thus far"

Hee hee

 


Oh, good lord!

April 28, 2009

The Feds knew the photo-op of Air Force One could cause panic in New York and they did it anyway — and ordered New York officials to keep quiet about it.

This is just inexcusable. Heads should roll.

(hat tip: Sister Toldjah)

 


A perfect illustration of the 9-10 mindset

April 28, 2009

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the past 24 hours, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the low-altitude photo-op flyover of New York City by one of the planes used as Air Force One, while being escorted by an F-16 — an escort that looked like pursuit. In case you haven’t, here are three videos. The first illustrates the panicked reaction of New Yorkers near the Goldman-Sachs Tower. Ready, Tito?

I can see why New Yorkers panicked and evacuated buildings — I would have, too.

Forget for a moment the monumental stupidity it took to even conceive of this idea, a low altitude flyover of a city that suffered thousands of dead from hijacked airliners turned into missiles just a few years ago. And let’s not even think of the gob-smacking hypocrisy of an administration that publicly frets about global warming while burning tons of fuel and spewing tons of the demon CO2 into the atmosphere — all for a photo op.

This Kodak moment reveals something much more worrisome: that apparently the administration as a whole does not take seriously the threat from jihadist Islam – catastrophic terrorism that could strike at any moment. This is the most serious threat we face, now and for the foreseeable future. Yes, more serious than global recession and financial crises, for free-market economies are self-correcting. (Assuming governments don’t screw them up…) But this administration doesn’t get it.

As I’ve said before, the first and highest duty of any American presidency is the protection of the United States and her people from all threats, foreign and domestic. And there is no more pressing threat than that of another catastrophic attack on an American city, which we know is al Qaeda’s objective — and I bet Iran’s too. (Hizbullah is a tool of Iran, and it’s known they’re forming sleeper cells in the US.) An administration that had this threat and this duty in the forefront of their minds would never have approved a stunt like yesterday’s.

Instead what we saw was a picture-perfect metaphor for the entire 9-10 mindset, the attitude that existed before the attacks of September 11th, 2001: terrorism isn’t an existential threat, al Qaeda is just a bunch of guys in caves, and Iran is not a danger. Any menace they pose can be dealt with by police agencies. The rest of us can go about our lives, ignore the wolves beyond our borders, and think about the next cool photo-op.

But the wolves won’t go away, no matter how much you ignore them, no matter how tightly you shut your eyes and clap your hands to your ears. They’re out there, and they still want to kill us.

And unless the Obama administration starts taking this seriously and not just reading soothing words off a teleprompter, the next low-flying plane won’t be a stupid photo-op.

 


A perfect illustration of the 9-10 mindset

April 28, 2009

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the past 24 hours, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the low-altitude photo-op flyover of New York City by one of the planes used as Air Force One, while being escorted by an F-16 — an escort that looked like pursuit. In case you haven’t, here are three videos. The first illustrates the panicked reaction of New Yorkers near the Goldman-Sachs Tower. Ready, Tito?

The next gives you another view and shows you how low that plane was to the New York skyline:

And one more, from the view at Ground Zero:

I can see why New Yorkers panicked and evacuated buildings — I would have, too.

Forget for a moment the monumental stupidity it took to even conceive of this idea, a low altitude flyover of a city that suffered thousands of dead from hijacked airliners turned into missiles just a few years ago. And let’s not even think of the gob-smacking hypocrisy of an administration that publicly frets about global warming while burning tons of fuel and spewing tons of the demon CO2 into the atmosphere — all for a photo op.

This Kodak moment reveals something much more worrisome: that apparently the administration as a whole does not take seriously the threat from jihadist Islam – catastrophic terrorism that could strike at any moment. This is the most serious threat we face, now and for the foreseeable future. Yes, more serious than global recession and financial crises, for free-market economies are self-correcting. (Assuming governments don’t screw them up…) But this administration doesn’t get it.

As I’ve said before, the first and highest duty of any American presidency is the protection of the United States and her people from all threats, foreign and domestic. And there is no more pressing threat than that of another catastrophic attack on an American city, which we know is al Qaeda’s objective — and I bet Iran’s too. (Hizbullah is a tool of Iran, and it’s known they’re forming sleeper cells in the US.) An administration that had this threat and this duty in the forefront of their minds would never have approved a stunt like yesterday’s.

Instead what we saw was a picture-perfect metaphor for the entire 9-10 mindset, the attitude that existed before the attacks of September 11th, 2001: terrorism isn’t an existential threat, al Qaeda is just a bunch of guys in caves, and Iran is not a danger. Any menace they pose can be dealt with by police agencies. The rest of us can go about our lives, ignore the wolves beyond our borders, and think about the next cool photo-op.

But the wolves won’t go away, no matter how much you ignore them, no matter how tightly you shut your eyes and clap your hands to your ears. They’re out there, and they still want to kill us.

And unless the Obama administration starts taking this seriously and not just reading soothing words off a teleprompter, the next low-flying plane won’t be a stupid photo-op.


Nancy Pelosi wants a witch hunt. Give it to her.

April 27, 2009

witch burning

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is at the forefront of Democrats who want to prosecute and persecute former Bush Administration officials for the "enhanced interrogation methods" used on al Qaeda prisoners in the wake of 9/11. You know, those methods that likely enabled us to prevent a second-wave attack on Los Angeles. Whereas the Obama White House and Senate Majority Leader Reid want to limit the farce to congressional hearings, La Nancita wants a full-bore truth commission, as if the United States were a nation recovering from a brutal dictatorship, like Argentina or South Africa.

Then again, in Nancy’s Leftist fantasyland, maybe that’s just what she believes.

But she should be careful, since the flames she seeks to fan against those eeeevvviiillll BushChimpHitler officials might burn her, too. Pelosi herself was ranking minority member of the House Intelligence Committee during the time in question and, as former CIA Director and former Chair of that same committee Porter Goss, pointed out, the chairs and ranking members of both the House and Senate committees were briefed several times by the CIA on terrorist interrogations and fully supported them.

Yet now Nancy is shocked, shocked to discover that wars are nasty — she wants her witch hunt, blast it. She can just smell the political hay to be made from bashing Bush and the Republicans some more, but they are not going to let her get away with this case of convenient amnesia.

You want a truth commission, Mrs. Pelosi? Fine. Bring it on. Let’s have that full-throated discussion of "harsh" interrogation of terrorists who believe they’re doing Allah’s work when they carve off heads or fly planes into buildings and who’d dearly love to set off a nuclear weapon in the US. Let’s clear away the cobwebs of convenient amnesia to let the world know just how much you and your party members supported those same techniques, funding them year after year and even wondering why we weren’t doing more. Let’s bring out all the details of how those techniques saved Americans from horrible deaths and find out what the American people support: a government that recognizes that its highest, first duty is to protect and defend its citizens, or one willing to gut its intelligence service and put the people at risk, all in the name of a preening sanctimony that’s nothing more than a cover for a partisan hack job.

So, let’s have that truth commission, Speaker Pelosi. Just remember, truth hurts.

RELATED: Noemie Emery has an excellent article with the same message: Let the hearings begin! Victor Davis Hanson worries about the damage the Leftist witch-hunters will do to the nation, and not just to its security: The Damnation of Memory.

 


Sunday links fiesta

April 26, 2009

It’s a busy weekend here at Public Secrets Secret HQ(tm), but I thought I’d point out a few links worth following:

Gird Your Loins Watch:

Is Pakistan in danger of collapse? Proving once again that appeasement is futile when the other fellow wants everything, the Taliban are now within 60 miles of Islamabad and closing. Questions of the day: Can the Pakistani government hold out for even six months, and what happens to Pakistan’s nukes when the state finally fails?

On a related note, Mark Steyn recalls that Britain once transferred global dominance and the defense of civilization to America. Now that President Obama seems intent on ushering in a post-American era, who leads now?

 

WTF??

Former CIA director and head of the House Intelligence Committee Porter Goss blisters the Obama Administration for putting partisan political gain ahead of our national security. (Related: Should President Palin prosecute former Obama Administration officials? It’s only partly tongue-in-cheek.)

Has the Obama Administration declared war on the practice of law, itself?

And are they moving to end the right to counsel for individuals facing police interrogation? The answer is no; Patterico has the details. What the administration is doing is bad enough — we have to be extra careful not to fall prey to Obama Derangement Syndrome.

 

Miscellaneous:

Did you know the six states with the highest unemployment rates also have the highest tax rates, while the six with the lowest unemployment also have the lowest taxes? Correlation or causation?  Thinking

Congressman Henry Waxman shows a scary ignorance of basic science. And, in the economy-killing cap and trade bill he’s pushing for the administration, is Waxman bribing giving incentives to his colleagues? Finally, to follow up on an earlier global warming entry, here’s more on that quiescent sun.

 

Needed laughs:

Some chuckles to bring the weekend to a close. The latest NewsBusted, starring Jodi Miller:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks. Happy

 


The President must be proud

April 25, 2009

Iowahawk has just announced that President Barack Hussein Obama is the winner of the coveted 2009 Iowahawk Earth Week Virtual Cruise-In Grand Champion Carbonator award for his fuel-guzzling, carbon-spewing trip to Iowa to lecture us all on … energy conservation on Earth Day. The money quote from the award’s announcement:

The sheer, mindboggling nerve it took to pull off a eco-prank like that simply shames anything I’ve ever accomplished, and I daresay you. And the best part: most of the clueless ecoweenie marks still don’t realize they’ve been punked!  Now that’s what I call "The Audacity of Carbon."

Rolling on the floor

Well done, Mr. President. Just as you did on election day, you proved Mr. Barnum right.

 


Quote of the day

April 24, 2009

From Gerald Warner in the Telegraph:

He cynically subordinated the national interest to his partisan desire to embarrass the Republicans. Then he had to rush to Langley, Virginia to try to reassure a demoralised CIA that had just discovered the President of the United States was an even more formidable foe than al-Qaeda.

Less than 100 days into his administration, President Barack Obama has indeed opened Pandora’s Box.

 


Breathtaking hypocrisy

April 24, 2009

It’s okay to "out" gays — if they’re Republican.

 


Quote of the day

April 23, 2009

"This is a guy who was teaching law. Good God." Doh

 


Time for a federalism amendment?

April 23, 2009

Is it time to amend the US Constitution -or even call a constitutional convention- to restore the balance in federal-state relations? Many on the Right and in the Center (and even some on the Center-Left), are growing concerned that the Federal government has grown too big, that its reach has grown too far as it seeks control not only over large swathes of the economy, but even over a private citizen’s medical choices. Some states have begun pushing back with sovereignty resolutions, while a grassroots tea party movement has sprung up to protest federal borrowing, spending, and taxing that seems far beyond government’s rightful needs.

Professor Randy Barnett of Georgetown published an article in the online Wall St. Journal today arguing the case for an amendment to clarify the boundaries between federal and state power. He points out that, under the Constitution, this can be done in one of two ways: Congress can craft an amendment that is then sent to the states for approval, or two-thirds of the states can petition Congress for a convention to propose amendments, a call Congress could not refuse. Barnett points out that the threat of a convention was instrumental in persuading Congress to pass the 17th amendment, so there is precedent for the states breaking out the "big stick."

These are the relevant clauses of Dr. Barnett’s proposal:

Section 1: Congress shall have power to regulate or prohibit any activity between one state and another, or with foreign nations, provided that no regulation or prohibition shall infringe any enumerated or unenumerated right, privilege or immunity recognized by this Constitution.

Section 2: Nothing in this article, or the eighth section of article I, shall be construed to authorize Congress to regulate or prohibit any activity that takes place wholly within a single state, regardless of its effects outside the state or whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom; but Congress may define and punish offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States.

Section 3: The power of Congress to appropriate any funds shall be limited to carrying into execution the powers enumerated by this Constitution and vested in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof; or to satisfy any current obligation of the United States to any person living at the time of the ratification of this article.

Section 4: The 16th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed, effective five years from the date of the ratification of this article.

Section 5: The judicial power of the United States to enforce this article includes but is not limited to the power to nullify any prohibition or unreasonable regulation of a rightful exercise of liberty. The words of this article, and any other provision of this Constitution, shall be interpreted according to their public meaning at the time of their enactment.

I admit I find this idea fascinating, even elegant. The core of the argument today is over the role of the federal government: a small, limited government of enumerated powers, or a large central authority which takes on new responsibilities as it sees fit and plays an active role in directing our lives? This proposed amendment seems to clarify this, even going so far as to eliminate the income tax to reduce Washington’s power by limiting the money that flows to it.

I have questions about the text, however, and I’d be curious to know readers’ opinions: a friend on Twitter argued that section two seems limited to only the Commerce Clause, which Congress has used for decades to justify expanding federal power. I wonder though if, by the law of unintended consequences if nothing else, this couldn’t be interpreted to block the Supreme Court from incorporating the Bill of Rights to state law, which was the vehicle used to break the Jim Crow regime, for example. Could this amendment prevent the federal government from intervening if, in a hypothetical case, California passed a law saying Scientologists could not serve as teachers in state-funded schools?

I don’t know. I’m no constitutional scholar and I’m not sure that’s even a valid hypothetical. My correspondent on Twitter thinks section five may prevent that problem. What do you think? I dont know

Regardless, the groundswell that’s grown up around tea parties, sovereignty amendments, and now this proposal tells me that what Jonah Goldberg has called our nation’s libertarian antibodies are kicking into high gear, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see calls for a convention begin to appear in state legislatures. This allergic reaction will likely grow, not fade, and the coming months and years promise to be consequential ones, indeed.

(hat tip: that WSJ widget-thingy on the left.)

 


Moving the goal posts

April 23, 2009

An example of how the advocates of the theory of anthropogenic global warming try to prove their case by changing the rules of evidence whenever facts don’t fit the narrative.

 


Quiescent sun

April 22, 2009

2180main_MM_Image_Feature_22_rs4

An interesting post at Watts Up With That about the continuing dearth of sunspot activity: the International Sunspot Number has dropped below a mean of 1.0:

…running mean of the International Sunspot Number for 2009 just dipped below 1.00.  For anything comparable you now need to go back before 1913 (which scored a 1.43) which could mean we’re now competing directly with the Dalton Minimum.

Just in case you’d like another tidbit, here is something that puts our 20 to 30 day spotless runs in perspective… the mother of all spotless runs (in the heart of the Maunder Minimum, of course!) was from October 15, 1661 to August 2, 1671.  It totaled 3579 consecutive spotless days, all of which had obs.

The Dalton Minimum was a low in sunspot activity that lasted roughly from 1790-1830, coinciding with a period of global cooling within the overall Little Ice Age, which lasted from the beginning of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th. The year 1816 was called the "year without summer." And now, in this supposed crisis of anthropogenic global warming, we're competing with one of the lowest sunspot periods of one of the colder epochs in recent centuries.

Why is this significant? I think it is because I'm firmly of the belief that Earth's changing climate is more a result of cyclic fluctuations in the activity of the Sun than anything to do with "greenhouse gases." In fact, it is the theory of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark that variability in the Sun's magnetic field influences the amount of cosmic rays reaching the Earth, thus affecting cloud formation and our planet's climate. The waxing and waning of the magnetic field correlates with the amount of sunspot production: strong when there are many sunspots being created, weak when there are few or none, as now. I do not think it a coincidence that the Earth has been in decade-long cooling period that has coincided with declining solar activity.

(Svensmark's arguments and evidence are detailed in his book, The Chilling Stars.)

It of course could be that climate change is driven by mankind's activities and we're heading for disaster, but I think the weight of evidence is against it and that the evidence for natural cycles being responsible grows more convincing with each passing day. And clearly we should not undertake any of the draconian, economy-killing regimes advocated by global-warming alarmists until they can produce something more than faulty computer models, bad temperature data, and predictions that don't pan out.

RELATED READING: Another good work for climate change skeptics is Singer and Avery's Unstoppable Global Warming: every 1,500 years. I'm awaiting with interest the US publication of Ian Plimer's Heaven And Earth: Global Warming – The Missing Science.

UPDATE: WUWT has posted asking for a name for what appears to be a new minimum, and provides links to articles showing that the MSM has finally begun to notice this inconvenient truth.