Monstrous, one in a series

July 31, 2009

One of the darkest aspects of Stalinist Russia was its willingness to punish not only those who had offended it, but their friends and families, too. Otherwise brave men and women were coerced into obedience and false confession for fear that their children or grandchildren would suffer Stalin’s anger.

Well, Stalin lives on in the form of the wretched little man who rules North Korea and the loathsome toadies who serve him. Not only can one be sent to the gulag for the most capricious reasons, but they’ll get your family, too:

Kim Young Soon, once a dancer in Pyongyang, said she spent eight years in Camp 15 during the 1970s. Under the guilt-by-association rule, she said, her four children and her parents were also sentenced to hard labor there.

At the camp, she said, her parents starved to death and her eldest son drowned. Around the time of her arrest, her husband was shot for trying to flee the country, as was her youngest son after his release from the camp.

It was not until 1989, more than a decade after her release, that she found out why she had been imprisoned. A security official told her then that she was punished because she had been a friend of Kim Jong Il’s first wife and that she would “never be forgiven again” if the state suspected that she had gossiped about the Dear Leader.

She escaped to China in 2000 and now lives in Seoul. At 73, she said she is furious that the outside world doesn’t take more interest in the camps. “I had a friend who loved Kim Jong Il, and for that the government killed my family,” she said. “How can it be justified?”

And yet time and again America has naively tried to appease Pyongyang’s rulers, both under administrations Republican and Democratic. That makes us complicit in this nightmare, too.

(hat tip: Weekly Standard)


Pelosi’s in a panic

July 30, 2009

That’s the only reason I can think of for her unleashing her inner socialist for all the world to see in this rant to reporters at Capitol Hill:

“It’s almost immoral what they are doing,” Pelosi said to reporters, referring to insurance companies. “Of course they’ve been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure,” she said, adding, “They are the villains. They have been part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening.”

Emphasis added. And if you think I’m exaggerating with the “inner socialist” remark, consider this: one of her political heroes and mentors in San Francisco politics was the Stalinist head of the Longshoreman’s Union:

The point of rehearsing all of this ancient history is that one of those he influenced and who still goes out of her way to honor that influence is Nancy Pelosi. In 2001, she took to the pages of the Congressional Record to effuse her sentiments on the hundredth anniversary of Harry Bridges’s birth, an occasion celebrated only by a gnostic few.

Here is what she said: “Harry Bridges [was] arguably the most significant labor leader of the twentieth century,” who was “beloved by the workers of this Nation, and recognized as one of the most important labor leaders in the world.” She added: “The International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union [was] the most progressive union of the time.” In other words, this Communist-run union was more admirable than all of the anti-Communist unions.

Pelosi delivered this encomium a full nine years after Bridges’s membership in the CP Central Committee had been revealed. Nor was this just a single moment. As recently as this February she visited ILWU headquarters to deliver this homage: “It is very special to me, any occasion that I can come to the ILWU hall and acknowledge the leadership of this great union. . . .”

Anyway, the Democrats’ internal polls on ObamaCare must be frightening, perhaps even worse than the public polls showing the electorate turning solidly against the idea. So what does the Speaker of the House do when she finds herself in a jam? Same thing she always does: find a scapegoat and demonize it. First it was the CIA, now the insurance companies – admittedly a decent choice, since they’re not popular with most Americans. What, then, must she think of her leader in the White House, since Barack Obama was the biggest recipient of insurance-company donations in 2008? Is he sleeping with the enemy for taking money from the villainous insurance companies?

This tells me the Democrats are close to panic over over one of their long-desired programs: with solid, filibuster-proof majorities in both chambers, they can’t even control their own members enough to pass the president’s signature issue. The moderate-conservative Blue Dogs won’t accept the so-called public option, while the hard-Left progressives won’t vote for a bill without it. They may get the bill out of committee, but there will be no final vote before Congress adjourns tomorrow. And don’t forget the problems in the Senate.

Of course, during the recess they get to hear from those increasingly restive voters in the many, many swing districts across this great country.

If I were Speaker Pelosi, I’d be panicking, too.

LINK: More at Hot Air, The Hill.

UPDATE: Well, what do you know? Nancy Pelosi herself has taken money from these evil, villainous insurance companies, to the tune of $120,000 in the last election cycle. I’m sure she’ll be giving it back any moment now, since she wouldn’t want to be tainted by dirty money.  Rolling on the floor


Good advice

July 30, 2009

From Victor Davis Hanson, some words of wisdom for America’s elite hypocrites:

Do the wealthy and the powerful lecture us about our wrongs because they know their own insider status ensures that they are exempt from the harsh medicine they advocate for others? Millionaire Gore is not much affected by higher taxes for his cap-and-trade crusade.

Or does the hypocrisy grow out of a sort of class snobbery? Do elites hector the crass middle class because it lacks their own taste, rare insight, and privileged style? Judging from the police report, Gates seemed flabbergasted that the white Cambridge cop did not know who he was “messing” with.

Or is the new hypocrisy an eerie sort of psychological compensation at work? Perhaps the more Al Gore rails about carbon emissions, the more he can without guilt enjoy what emits them. The more Professor Gates can cite racism, the more he himself is paid to spot it. And the more a Tom Daschle wants to tax and spend for health care, the less badly he feels about his own chauffer and tax avoidance?

Here’s a little advice for all of America’s aristocratic critics: a little less hypocrisy, a little more appreciation of your good lives — and then maybe the rest of us will listen to you a little more.

Read the whole thing. Applause


A true victim of the housing crisis

July 30, 2009

From reader Porkchop comes a link to a special report on a true victim of the housing crisis.

My heart bleeds for him.


Now this guy should be in Congress

July 29, 2009

At a townhall on ObamaCare somewhere in Missouri, a soldier explains the role of Congress under our Constitution better than most current members of the House and Senate could:

I’m not sure, but I think Senator McCaskill herself was there. She certainly got an earful if she was, and it was something she needed to hear.

Well done.  Applause

(via Hot Air)


And if you don’t like that lie, I have another

July 29, 2009

Corruption isn’t unique to one party or another (Duke Cunningham, anyone?), but sometimes it seems the Democrats are so deeply mired in it that they’ve lost any ability to feel shame or to recognize that they should feel ashamed.  Or even to keep their lies straight. Jim Geraghty at National Review reports that Chris Dodd is again changing his story about the sweetheart loans he received from defunct lender Countrywide:

Sen. Chris Dodd, defending himself from accusations that he received improper special treatment on his mortgage, in June of last year: “I guess so, yeah, I don’t know what the rates are today.”

Mrs. Dodd, in February: “Mrs. Dodd said she did most of the negotiations regarding the loans and when she asked about what the VIP program was she was told it meant nothing more than getting an actual person on the phone when she called. She said she never met any of the loan officers in person. She said in 2003 they decided to stay with Countrywide because ‘it was easier to stay with our current lender than move to a new one.'”

Those two comments suggest that the Dodds didn’t look around for other options, and preferred the simplicity of staying with Countrywide.

Sen. Chris Dodd, defending himself from accusations that he received improper special treatment on his mortgage, today: “We negotiated loans. We shopped.”

So Dodd, longtime member of the Banking Committee, didn’t know the rates, and he and his wife chose Countrywide out of simplicity, until now, when they say they chose them because they shopped around?

Next Dodd will claim Angelo tricked him into taking those special rates as part of a Karl-Rove plot. Yeah, that’s it…

Senator Dodd isn’t the only donkey Democrat caught up in this mess: Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) also got special treatment from Countrywide. (Fair disclosure: so did Bush HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson) Like Dodd, he claims not to have known he was getting the “friends rate” on his mortgage interest.  In an editorial linked to the Geraghty piece, the editors of National Review call foul on both men by quoting the testimony of the man who handled their accounts:

Senators Dodd and Conrad have protested that they did not know that they were being given preferential treatment. We therefore are implicitly asked to believe that the gentle souls at Countrywide were forgoing profits on loans to influential politicians out of a sense of public-spiritedness, and were carefully concealing the sweetheart deals from their beneficiaries. One might hope that the two men who would go on to chair the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Budget Committee would recognize unusual financial arrangements when they saw them — and signed their names to them. But whether either of these two possesses the financial acumen to assess the sweetness of a mortgage, their banker, Robert Feinberg of Countrywide’s VIP operation, now informs congressional investigators that both men knew they were getting preferential treatment.

“Who you know is basically how you’re coming in here,” Feinberg said. “You don’t say ‘no’ to the VIP.” Pressed directly about whether Senator Conrad was aware of the arrangement, Feinberg said, “Yes, he was aware.” Dodd, too? “Yes, yes.”

Corruption at any time is unacceptable, but it’s especially so when the Federal government is moving heaven and earth (and spending vast sums of money) to take over large segments of the economy. When the stakes are so great, the temptation to make a deal for oneself is almost irresistible. Corruption and venality are inevitable somewhere in the system.

At the same time, there is nonetheless an obligation of honor and responsibility to the public. (Oh, stop laughing.) These leaders oversea important areas of the government and the economy: they spend our money, wield great power, and are demanding more of both as part of President Obama’s New-New Deal. Yet they’ve been revealed to be petty, self-dealing wretches and liars who treat their responsibilities as their right – public servants who see themselves as the public’s masters.

Again, this is unacceptable in any politician at any time; it’s too much to expect the Senate in it’s current configuration to expel Conrad and Dodd for corruption (and with their party engaging in so much of it), but one can hope that their constituents will remember this in 2010 and 2012. If not, then the voters will get the republic they deserve.

UPDATE: Reader TLC in the comments offers a link to a Huffington Post article that disputes whether Dodd knew he was getting special treatment or even if he got special treatment at all.


Quote of the Day

July 28, 2009

William Jacobson takes a needed clue-bat to the birth-certificate Truthers:

Who are the primary beneficiaries of the conspiracy theory? Not the people pushing it; they remain on the fringe. Not the Republican party.

No, the primary beneficiary of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory is Obama. He is running the country into the ground at break-neck speed, but the conspiracy theory has handed Democratic operatives like Media Matters, Think Progress, and all the left-wing blogs which jump when the whistle blows, a great way of distracting the public from the damage being done.

(…)

So stop looking for the birth certificate, and start reading the health-care-reduction bill, the cap-and-tax fiasco bill, the unemployment numbers, the national debt and deficit analyses, and the latest Obama speech apologizing for who we are. And contact your Congressman and Senator and demand they read legislation, and give the public opportunity for comment, before they vote on it.

Bravo!  Applause


A grand, misbegotten scheme

July 28, 2009

Rich Lowry marvels at President Obama’s ability to continue telling bald-faced lies about the costs of his health plan in the face mounting evidence that its a fiscal disaster:

The Left branded George W. Bush a “liar” for making assertions about Iraq’s weapons that were supported by the evidence, but turned out not to be true. Obama is saying things that aren’t even supported by the evidence. They are routinely debunked by the independent Congressional Budget Office, but that doesn’t stop Obama from continuing to say them. It’s as if the CIA issued reports every other week in 2002 explaining that no, Iraq didn’t have a nuclear program nor any stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, and Bush kept warning of the nonexistent WMD anyway.

Since the phantom cost-saving measures that Obama touts can’t be detected by anyone else, including Blue Dog Democrats and the CBO, Obama’s team came up with a deus ex machina. They’d create a council to come up with recommendations for Medicare. If Obama accepted them, they’d automatically go into effect unless Congress voted to block them. CBO looked at the council and estimated it’d only save a minuscule $2 billion during the next ten years, adding that “the probability is high that no savings would be realized.”

Will this stop Obama from selling health-care reform as a cost savings? Of course not. He can’t admit that he is bending the famous cost curve upward, any more than he can admit that the House plan might throw millions of people out of their private coverage or that the bill will — despite its raft of new taxes — add another $239 billion to the deficit over ten years. In its latest missive, the CBO says the numbers get even worse beyond the ten-year window. So the entire budgetary rationale of Obamacare — improving the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook — has been obliterated.

Lowery writes about how people are coming to miss the Obama of 2008, who seemed so cool, competent, and moderate. But those who paid attention know this was a carefully crafted “Potemkin village” of an image, meant to slip a radical Progressive past a generally Center-Right nation. The mainstream media colluded in this, in all but a few cases preferring to dwell on key issues such as Sarah Palin’s tanning bed and how good Barack Obama looks in jeans rather than investigating the Democratic nominee’s background and record.

But facts have a way of forcing themselves through even the most carefully crafted image. The people are seeing more and more the disconnect between the president’s words and the likely results of his plan, especially in the wake of the colossal failure of his pork fiesta stimulus package to meet any of his stated goals. They gave him his chance when he said it had to be passed NOW, before anyone had the time to really read and consider it. They can see how well that worked, and they’re wary of trusting him again with yet another massive program.

Call it a teachable moment for the public. Today’s lesson: “fool me once…” .

RELATED: Speaking of “teachable moments,” Byron York writes today on the GOP’s Teachable Moment on the Risks of Obamacare. The August recess is crucial to stopping this train wreck before it happens.


Nixon’s lost 18.5 minutes found?

July 28, 2009

Here’s a really interesting article on the possibility of finally finding out what was said during the infamous 18.5-minute gap on Richard Nixon’s “Watergate Tapes.”

CSI: Watergate?

Many have since tried to figure out what transpired during that gap. But now, Phil Mellinger, a one-time systems analyst at the National Security Agency (NSA) who went on to a career in high-tech corporate security, thinks he has discovered a way to determine what was wiped off the tape. And the National Archives believes he’s on to something. In response to a request from Mellinger, the Archives unit in charge of the Watergate files has proposed conducting a scientific test that could yield information on what was said during the missing minutes. This procedure would not, as has been tried unsuccessfully in the past, seek to recover the obliterated audio. Mellinger’s approach takes a simpler route: resurrecting Haldeman’s notes via a CSI-ish technology that can extract information from the imprints made by a ballpoint pen.


The Fruits of Smart Power(tm)

July 27, 2009

The Obama campaign promised us a new era of intelligent diplomacy that would restore our standing in the world and our allies faith in us after the dark years of the BushChimpHitler and Darth Cheney regime. So far, we’ve humiliated the prime minister of our closest ally, dissed the premier of another, stabbed two allies in the back over missile defense after they stuck their necks out to support us, and interfered in the internal politics of another. And now the administration begins to reap what it has sown:

Anti-Obama rally in Jerusalem

For the first time in years, the nationalist camp will hold a large scale rally against United States policies vis-à-vis Israel.

The protest will be held in downtown Jerusalem, on Agron St. on Monday evening, and is being organized by the Residents Committees of Binyamin and Samaria, as well as the nationalist umbrella organization Mateh Maamatz, the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities, and Komemiyut.

Knesset Members and others representing various parties, including the Likud, will speak.

“Not since the days of [U.S. Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger has there been such a protest against American policies,” said MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), chairman of the National Union party. “The pressure that Barack Hussein Obama is exerting against us to simply stop growing and stop living will not work.”

The Obama administration has made it clear that Israel must stop building of all types throughout Judea and Samaria (Yesha), as well as in parts of Israel’s capital city that were liberated during the Six Day War of 1967.

How’s that Hope and Change working these days?  Doh


Cambridge Police Profiling Still A Grim Reality for Harvard Faculty Assholes

July 27, 2009

Iowahawk once again turns over his pulpit to a wronged American who wants to share his pain with the people, the pain and humiliation he experiences everyday as an Asshole at Harvard:

When I first learned of the arrest of my colleague Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates after he stood up to the fascist jackboots of a declasse, ill-educated Cambridge police officer, I was of course angered — but scarcely shocked. L’Affaire Gates simply aired, in public, the dirty 100-thread-count table linen of an American culture where Harvard faculty assholes still face a daily struggle against profiling, abuse, and insolence.

It will come as no surprise that Skip’s arrest was the talk of the Douchebag Room at the Harvard Faculty Club last Friday. I and a group of colleagues had assembled for our weekly lunch; I opted for their competently-prepared Ahi Tuna Tartare and an amusing glass of ’05 Hospices de Beaune Premier Cru Cuvee Cyrot-Chaudron. I had noticed that the Franz Fanon Memorial Booth — Skip’s long-reserved lunch spot — was uncharacteristically empty, and asked our waiter Sergio for an explanation.

“Professor Skeep, he no is come today,” said Sergio. “I tink he is in the jail.”

Our table exchanged knowing glances, for we knew immediately that Skip was only the latest victim of a system that singles out the Harvard faculty asshole for stigmatization and unequal justice. It is a system that all of us knew too well, and provided an opportunity for an open conversation about our shared experiences as Harvard faculty assholes in America while waiting for Sergio to bring the dessert cart.

Read the whole thing. It’s a sad, tragic tale, and one can only hope this great nation will unite to fight for the rights of academic assholes everywhere.

Rolling on the floor


Man, are we ever lucky or what?

July 27, 2009

We could have been stuck with that Palin dope instead of Joe Biden. Whew


Actually read the bill? You must be joking!

July 27, 2009

Ed at Hot Air has a doozy of a video clip: House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (whose wife recently plead guilty in a bribery  scandal) at a National Press Club luncheon scoffing at the idea that members of Congress voting on proposed health-care legislation should actually read it and know what’s in it. Ed writes:

Representative democracy rests on having the people send Congressmen and Senators to Washington DC to vote on legislation so that we don’t have to hold constant national referendums on issues. If the elected representatives don’t bother to read the legislation, then we have surrendered representative democracy and adopted an autocracy of Capitol Hill staffers and lobbyists.

I think he meant “oligarchy” instead of “autocracy,” but the point about the point of representative democracy is spot-on. It’s a big, red warning light that the Federal government is trying to do too much, too fast if members complain they haven’t the time to read the bills. And it’s even worse when they accept this dereliction of duty as just the way things are. It’s corruption not in the sense of criminal bribery or graft, but in a deviation from the intended role of Congress so great that the institution itself can only be seen as debased and rotted.

Really. Go watch the video. Poor man, and how terribly arrogant and unfair we in the public are for expecting him and his colleagues to actually do the job for which we voted them into office.

Maybe it’s time we voted them out. Waiting


Everything in one place

July 26, 2009

The great Inspectors-General scandal master index site. Want to see everything that’s been written on this so far? There’s your one-stop shop.

(hat tip: Smitty at The Other McCain)


Patriotic Americans know when to die

July 26, 2009

The Anchoress presents a poster the satirizes both the Orwellian nature of the Obama administration’s health-care “reform” plan and the Socialist Realist art it seems so fond of.


Bush lied, ice died

July 26, 2009

tinfoil-hat

Well, according to the Truther community George Bush was secretly behind the 9/11 attacks and really invaded Iraq to steal its oil, so why not this, too?

Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide

Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global warming in the Arctic have been released by the US military. The photographs, taken by spy satellites over the past decade, confirm that in recent years vast areas in high latitudes have lost their ice cover in summer months.

The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week. President Barack Obama is currently trying to galvanise Congress and the American public to take action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Don’t forget, this is coming from a supposedly respectable newspaper. One that apparently couldn’t be bothered to research the historic variation in arctic ice cover that’s been observed over the last couple of centuries, or that the ice cover, even if shrinking in the north, is increasing in Antarctica. Of course, as William Jacobson points out, the whole idea that the Bush Administration was hiding some dire secret is ludicrous, as a simple Google search reveals.

How convenient, too, that this article comes out just as the Obama administration is pushing controversial cap-and-trade legislation to regulate the output of greenhouse gases and prevent global warming – a problem their models can’t even show exists. The Waxman-Markey bill barely passed the House and has run into serious difficulties in the Senate because it’s dawning on the public that this bill will do serious damage to the American economy.

So, what else can Team Obama do but trot out the old “blame Bush” excuse? Talk to the hand

Thankfully, fewer and fewer people are buying it, whether from Obama or his shills in the media.


Video: Saturday afternoon funnies

July 25, 2009

Jodi Miller of Newsbusted takes a satirical look at the news from a Center-Right view:

Hee hee


Rush Limbaugh on Sarah Palin and the economy

July 24, 2009

Should I be worried? I used to think Limbaugh was a big, fat idiot. But that was without ever really listening to him. Now, when I do, I don’t always agree, but I do think he has plenty of good points. Tito’s queued the video – you tell me:


Guest editorial: Senator Kennedy explains the need for universal health care

July 24, 2009

Iowahawk stands aside to give the podium to the Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy (D-Waitress Sandwich):

You Stay Here While I Swim and Get Us Some Universal Health Care

The statistics are sobering: the cost of American heath care is rising almost as fast as the cold, briny water bubbling up from our floorboards. So far we have already lost the 8-track player and several Vic Damone tapes, and if allowed to continue these trends threaten to engulf all of us within the Oldsmobile. We must quickly wake up and face the facts: inaction is no longer an option. That is why it is critical for the future of all the occupants that one of us swim off and get us some kind of free health care program. I nominate me.

Like the best satire, this is funny and brutal. Read the whole thing. Rolling on the floor

And remember Mary Jo Kopechne the next time that fat pig the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts is praised by some talking head. Sad


Monstrous

July 24, 2009

That’s the only word for it. According to defector reports, North Korea is testing biological and chemical weapons on children:

When Im Chun-yong made his daring escape from North Korea, with a handful of his special forces men, there were many reasons why the North Korean government was intent on stopping them.

They were, after all, part of Kim Jong-il’s elite commandos – privy to a wealth of military secrets and insights into the workings of the reclusive regime.

But among the accounts they carried with them is one of the most shocking yet to emerge – namely the use of humans, specifically mentally or physically handicapped children, to test North Korea’s biological and chemical weapons.

“If you are born mentally or physically deficient, says Im, the government says your best contribution to society… is as a guinea pig for biological and chemical weapons testing.”

Read the whole nauseating thing. This is what comes of an all-powerful state. There is no death too cruel, no hell too deep for these rats.

LINKS: Ed Morrissey talks about the link to missile defense while shaking his head at the barbarity of it all.