February 5, 2009

Web Reconnaissance for 02/05/2009

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Iraq's Latest Progress - One sign that Iraq's local elections went well on the weekend is that there's been so little reporting of the event. Mayhem in the Middle East always gets attention, but a democracy growing in Baghdad is apparently a snooze. (READ MORE)

The 'Guarantee' Morgue - To much political fanfare, President Obama yesterday unveiled new limits on compensation for bank executives. Populists on the right and left applauded, but taxpayers shouldn't be fooled. The real drama is taking place behind-the-scenes as the biggest banks lobby to have the federal government guarantee their toxic assets, and the political class seems ready to oblige. (READ MORE)

Salazar Voids Drilling Leases On Public Lands in Utah - In a clear signal that the Obama administration is shifting the government's approach to energy exploration on public lands, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar yesterday canceled oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of federal land after opponents said the drilling would blight Utah's scenic southeastern... (READ MORE)

Congress Delays Troubled Switch To Digital TV - Congress yesterday approved a four-month delay in plans to halt analog television, the latest chapter in a troubled effort by the government to clear airwave space for emergency responders and wireless services by moving millions of households to digital television. (READ MORE)

Amid Anger Over Economy, Obama Looks For Right Tone - President Obama, who swept to the White House on a message of hope and inspiration, is struggling to contend with a different emotion among Americans -- anger. (READ MORE)

Holder Seen as a Chance To Right Racial Wrongs - For decades, the face of the criminal justice system in this country has been black and male: hundreds of thousands locked behind bars, arrested in disproportionate numbers and facing execution at rates far greater than those for the general population. (READ MORE)

Immigration Priorities Questioned - As the Obama administration vows to re-engineer immigration policy to target criminals, a new report says that in recent years, a high-profile federal program shifted its focus away from catching the most dangerous illegal immigrants who were evading deportation orders. (READ MORE)

As Anbar Counts Votes, Sheiks Voice Defiance - RAMADI, Iraq, Feb. 4 -- In a palatial house replete with guns, flags and other manifestations of tribal power, America's key ally in once-volatile Anbar province explained what he would do if the counting of votes in Saturday's election failed to show his party as the victor. (READ MORE)

U.K. Court Rules to Keep Detainee Documents Secret - LONDON, Feb. 4 -- Two British High Court judges ruled against releasing documents describing the treatment of a British detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison, but made clear their reluctance, saying that the United States had threatened to withhold intelligence cooperation with Britain if the... (READ MORE)

In Israeli Contest, Reverberations of Obama Campaign - JERUSALEM, Feb. 4 -- Israelis are still not sure what to make of President Obama. But less than a week before Israel holds national elections, he looms large on the campaign trail, with candidates borrowing his tactics and debating who can best work with him as he seeks a Middle East peace deal. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Steven Crowder: Lonewolf Diaries: If You Think Men and Women Are Different You’re Sexist? - It’s time to rally the troops once more and have another little pow-wow! Whereas the last column discussed Americans slowly giving up our liberties, here I hope to discuss a perpetual loss of sexual identity. To preface this; Personally, I’m a red-blooded American male, exclusively attracted to the dames (Hugh Jackman, not withstanding), I love chicken wings, all things fast and the occasional flying fisticuffs. The problem is that there is no longer a place for me to be what I am … a man. The thought hit me at the gym today when a fitness tart (the kind of gal who sports a revealing tank top and moisture-wicking pants) approached me in the middle of a lifting session to concernedly ask, “Are you okay?” I responded with a vexed stare. “It’s just that… You have chalk on your hands, your shirt is all dirty and your face is blood red. The gym is supposed to be fun!” she perkily exclaimed. (READ MORE)

AJStrata: The Messiah Comes Crashing Back To Earth - I am now starting to get really worried about our political neophyte of a president. Maybe I am just seeing what I am disposed to see, but he seems close to breaking all records in terms of losing support. And for America that is a real danger. Obama and his inexperienced team have bungled numerous events since his election, despite the fiction the sycophant liberal media are spewing. He totally bungled the Blago incident, claiming he had no contact when it is clear his team was in numerous discussions with Blago - caught on wire taps. It was a ridiculous position to take, and I would guess it will come back to bite him again as the tapes become public. Obama’s first acts in office were to help terrorists responsible for 9-11 and other attacks on this nation. He generated an order to close GITMO, without the slightest idea what to do with the killers housed there. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Hope He Can Change - I get loads of quasi-hate mail about questioning Obama’s candidacy and governance. But I am worried, not about Obama, or the politics of governance, but about the nation itself. The media has forsaken us. But after only two weeks we are in a crisis stage of confidence, and the story is spiraling by the hour out of control. I write here not to score points, but to warn readers that this is all very serious. Obama is our President, and we must hope he does something fast to save his administration from general ridicule that will incur real dangers for all of us abroad. Again, anyone who cares about the US, at home and overseas, must be worried, very worried, about the disastrous last two weeks. Even the fawning media–that is responsible in some way for the crisis, given that they chose to be Pravda-like in encouraging the messianic style that got a haughty Obama in his present mess–will soon start bailing in efforts to restore their last fides. (READ MORE)

Chicago Boyz: A Tale of Two Poverties - In course of a single conversation, a leftist will tell you two opposing stories about the life of the poor in America. One minute they will tell that for a poor, unskilled, person of color, America is a cruel and oppressive place with so many structural impediments to success that no ordinary person can hope to better themselves without significant help from the government. Literally, the next minute, America is a boundless land of opportunity in which such a disadvantaged person can work their way up the income ladder with no special help from the government. Why this tale of two poverties? Why is it the best of times and worst of times to be poor in America? Simple, when the conversation is about native-born poor, America as a land of opportunity is a cruel hoax which frustrates people’s dreams no matter how hard they struggle. When the conversation is about illegal immigration, America is obviously the land of opportunity for anyone no matter how poor they start out. (READ MORE)

THE TYGRRRR EXPRESS: Judea Pearl and the Normalization of Evil - Maureen Dowd of the Jayson Blair Times once tried to justify the hatred emanating from Cindy Sheehan by declaring her viewpoint to be “morally absolute.” After all, she was a grieving parent. No parents should witness their children predecease them, but no one person can and should speak for everybody. Maureen Dowd and Cindy Sheehan both may wish to listen to Judea Pearl. Judea Pearl is a computer science professor at UCLA. I have no idea what he looks like, and I doubt many people would recognize this average, everyday American. Yet Judea Pearl is the father of Daniel Pearl, the man butchered to death by genocidal Islamofacists simply because he was Jewish. Most of us will never understand the pain that Judea Pearl will never escape. His opinion may not be absolute, but I certainly care about what he has to say more than most people. (READ MORE)

Melissa Clouthier: The Senate Republicans As "Inbred Cretins" - Spouting off on Twitter, as is my custom, I offended a Senate staffer who said that other Senate staffers (and maybe Senators themselves, who knows) were offended by my blanket statement that, to paraphrase, "Republican Senators are a bunch of inbred cretins". Okay, so that's not the nicest way to say what Thomas Sowell more elegantly wrote in his article "Republicans As Democrats." I'll quote him in a minute. The context of my comment was the notion that the Stimulus Bill could somehow be magically turned into better legislation by Senate Republicans rather than the bill being an inherently horrendous pile of economy-hurting poop that needed to die. The staffer was telling me about the Republican alternative legislation that would deal with "the root cause" and lower interest rates to 4.0-4.5% for troubled home owners. He was shocked at my outrage. (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: The Rest of the Sarah Palin Wolf Killer Story - Alaska's aerial hunting policy was explained during the campaign, but either those on the left don't understand it or they do and they just want to score political points against a rising GOP star. I suspect Ashley Judd, who has joined a campaign against aerial hunting, is mainly looking for some free media. (I haven't seen her in anything that wasn't a political ad in quite some time.) For those who need a refresher, Noel Sheppard reminds readers of the reason aerial hunting of wolves is allowed in Alaska and the reason bounties are offered. As shocking as it might be to some, it is not because Sarah Palin is a sadistic bloodthirsty monster. “What's astounding here is that nowhere in the ad is the viewer apprised of why the wolves are being hunted, or the history beyond this policy. Instead, as graphic video rolls of a wolf being shot, Judd says, ‘Using a low-flying plane, they kill in winter when there is no chance for the wolves to escape.’ Ummm...that's the point. After all, the wolves aren't being hunted for sport. They're numbers are being intentionally reduced to increase the population of moose and caribou which Alaskans depend on for food and wolves prey on.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: Michael Steele to RINOs - "Get Ready to Get Knocked Over!" My Kind of GOP Chairman. Steelers Deserved to Win Super Bowl - OK, first I should point out that I am the one who used the phrase RINO - Republicans in Name Only - in the headline. When former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele was making his acceptance speech after his election as the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee he actually said "obstructionists" are the ones who should get ready to get knocked over. I heard some media people who don't want to ruffle feathers saying that obstructionist means Democrat. I, on the other hand, want to ruffle some feathers and I am taking his comments to mean RINOs. RINOs are people who either infiltrated the Republican Party with the intent to divert it from its core conservative principles, thus weakening it, in other words saboteurs; or blithering incompetents who are so afraid of their own shadows that they can't steer a consistent positive course because someone did a fictitious poll - as most polls are - saying they should do something else. (READ MORE)

Cassy Fiano: Nancy Pelosi: We’ll lose 500 million jobs A MONTH without a stimulus package! - OH NO! Unless we pass the stimulus package, we’re going to lose 500 MILLION JOBS a MONTH! EVERYONE PANIC!!!!!!!!!1!!11!!!1!!!1!!! So, let’s see… there are approximately 300 million people living in the United States at the last census count. But somehow, we’re going to lose 500 million jobs? A month?! And all because we won’t bend over and take it with a great big smile on our faces. Heaven forbid Americans actually question what Democrats are trying to do in Washington! I guess we better shut our traps and just let them go ahead with their massive $800 billion pork-laden spending spree, because otherwise, we are clearly screwed. Hear that, all you conservative right-wingers? All of you Blue-Dog Democrats? There will be no hesitating at all to accept the Porkzilla Plan. (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: Rights and wrongs out of control - After the British courts ruled on ‘human rights’ grounds that foreign terrorist suspects could neither be thrown out of the country nor locked up pending their potentially being thrown out of the country – measures which were said to represent ‘a defeat for our own values’ -- the government in desperation settled upon the idea of ‘control orders’, under which such suspects would be detained in their own homes under varying degrees of restriction. These orders were in turn challenged and watered down under pressure from the ‘human rights’ lobby. In response to the anxiety that control orders were not adequate to maintain public security against terror suspects, the government insisted that they constituted a robust protection and that there was no cause for alarm. Now, however, the government’s anti-terrorism adviser, Lord Carlile of Berriew, QC, has revealed that a few of these controlees (there are currently 15 of them) are plotting a return to terrorist activity with extremist associates despite being held under virtual house arrest: (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Disabled Veteran Being Tapped For High Level VA Position - One thing that I feel is very important as President Obama continues to pick key people to fill in his cabinet, especially in the areas that concern the military, is that he is careful to chose people who have experience with the vital issues that are relevant to our Troops and Veterans. It was recently announced that the white House intends to nominate Disabled Iraq war veteran, Tammy Duckworth, who is currently serving as the director of the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Duckworth is a Major in the Illinois National Guard and lost both of her legs and partial use of her arm when the helicopter she was flying in Iraq, was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. The formal nomination of Duckworth will be made following the completion of background checks and once Duckworth completes the paperwork and disclosure statements are required. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Jihad's Latest Recruitment Tool: Rape - Well, we knew that the Islamic terrorists were barbaric, but their depravity continues to know no bounds. I guess I'm culturally insensitive because I find that raping women and men to coerce them into becoming suicide bombers is so beyond repugnant that words actually fail me. The idea is that the jihadis would target people and coerce them into becoming suicide bombers because the rape victim becomes so scarred and shamed and are told that the only way to rehabilitate their image is to become a jihadi and blow themselves up for martyrdom. In Iraq, The Times of London notes the following: (READ MORE)

Donald Douglas: Mark Thompson and the Scientific Falsification of God - It's certainly cliche to suggest that faith in the public square is in retreat. Of course, while polls show that Americans by a huge majority "believe in God or a universal spirit," there's nevertheless an extremely vocal and increasingly influential contingent on the progressive left that is intent not only to deny the potential epistemological basis for religious faith but to excoriate anyone who deigns to make a reasoned case to that effect. I normally don't get involved in these tussles, but with the vicious neo-Stalinism we've seen on the left in response to California's Proposition 8 and the Warren invocation (and that's just for starters), it's pretty clear that the hordes have swept over the windswept passes of the barbarian steppes and folks of good standing need to stand a post and do battle in defense of eternal goodness and right. (READ MORE)

The Barnyard: How Would A Windfall Profits Tax On Oil Companies Affect Us? - Liberals and their allies in the green movement love to rail against oil companies and their seemingly enormous profits while threatening to impose additional taxes on them. The truth is oil companies pay about $3 in taxes for every after tax dollar they earn in profit and that is passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices which are also taxed at the pump. My friend Jane at the American Petroleum Institute sent along this study they commissioned about the other affects higher taxes on them would bring on the American public. Not only would it cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs it would burden the American people with higher energy bills but it would send an additional hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign suppliers of that oil and natural gas. Why not keep those jobs and that money here? This comes along with news that the Obama team is stopping the exploration for oil and NG in Utah that Bush opened up, bad move, at the cost of jobs and government revenue from one of the few sources that is not from taxes. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Dawn over Manhattan - Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned in an interview of a “high probability” that terrorist organizations will attempt a catastrophic attack, perhaps involving nuclear or biological weapons, on an American city. He also believed that the policy changes instituted by Barack Obama are making the enemy chances of success better. “I think they’re optimistic. All new administrations are optimistic. We were,” he said. “Cheney said ‘the ultimate threat to the country’ is ‘a 9/11-type event where the terrorists are armed with something much more dangerous than an airline ticket and a box cutter – a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind’ that is deployed in the middle of an American city.” If Cheney’s language was dramatic, the setting for the comments was almost bizarrely pedestrian. His office is in a non-descript suburban office building in McLean, Va., in a suite that could just as easily house a dental clinic. The office is across the hall from a quick-copy store. The door is marked by nothing except a paper sign, held up by tape, saying the unit is occupied by the General Services Administration. (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Did Obama Negotiate With Our Enemy? - Barack Obama was pretty quick to point out that there was only one president at a time. He usually pointed this out when something tough came up and he did not want to commit himself to it. The Israeli/Hamas conflict comes to mind. The one president meme did not stop Obama from injecting himself into other things and if one of them that is now being reported is true, he should be tried for treason. The Washington Times is reporting: “‘Diplomatic sources said Barack Obama has engaged several Arab intermediaries to relay messages to and from al Qaeda in the months before his elections as the 44th U.S. president. The sources said al Qaeda has offered what they termed a truce in exchange for a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. For the last few months, Obama has been receiving and sending feelers to those close to al Qaeda on whether the group would end its terrorist campaign against the United States,’ a diplomatic source said. ‘Obama sees this as helpful to his plans to essentially withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq during his first term in office.’” (READ MORE)

Big Lizards: The Cookie Monster - President Barack H. Obama wants to be "different" from George W. Bush. Obama is the lightbringer, the agent of change, the avatar of hope. He is post-partisan, and he demands that the entire "old way" of Washington D.C. be defenstrated in favor of his new way. And he is indeed "reaching out" to Republicans: “Can the shrill tone of Washington be changed through a presidential act of contrition? Or, perhaps, an enticing platter of oatmeal raisin cookies? This week, President Obama has already served up both at the White House. To one set of visitors, a gathering of Democratic and Republican members of Congress whom he invited to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, he carried around the freshly baked cookies as he mingled with his guests. To another set of visitors, the five broadcast and cable television anchors he invited to the Oval Office on Tuesday, he extended a blunt mea culpa and said he took responsibility for nominating aides with tax troubles.” By golly, that'll bring those recalcitrant Republican nay-sayers around! (READ MORE)

Blackfive: Witness to History - Part 2 - Marine General Sounds Off About Iraqi Election - Another email. Major General John F. Kelly writes this note to Seamus about the elections, our Marines, and Iraq: “I don't suppose this will get much coverage in the States as the news is so good. No, the news is unbelievable. Something didn't happen in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, today. Once the most violent and most dangerous places on earth, no suicide vest bomber detonated killing dozens of voters. No suicide truck bomber drove into a polling place collapsing the building and killing and injuring over 100. No Marine was in a firefight engaging an Al Qaida terrorist trying to disrupt democracy. What did happen was Anbar Sunnis came out in their tens of thousands to vote in the first free election of their lives. With the expectation of all of the above (suicide bombers) they walked miles (we shut down all vehicle traffic with the exception of some shuttle busses for the elderly and infirm) to the polling places.” (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT OF 'REALITY' - One of the things that regularly irks the psychiatrist in me is when members of the "reality-based" community write articles like this: “DENIAL AS POLITICAL STRATEGY - Behind all the back and forth over the Stimulus Bill is a simple fact: the debate in Washington is rapidly moving away from any recognition that the US economy -- and the global economy, for that matter -- is in free-fall....” So, who exactly is denying that the economy is a mess right now? I haven't noticed anyone contesting or even avoiding that reality. The question is WHY is the economy in a mess, and WHAT to do about it. Those are the two key issues in question here. It is not denial to suggest that this putrid stimulus spending package--the greatest spending debacle in the history of this country--that Obama, Pelosi and the Democrats are trying to force down America's throat is not only not going to work, but is likely going to make matters worse. That is common sense. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: The Most. Corrupt. White House. Evah - Another Cabinet appointee is tainted by scandal. Move over Warren Harding. Stand down U.S. Grant. There is a new kid in Old Washington who has taken over the White House and filled his Cabinet with corruptocrats. Obama is like a corruption magnet. Even when he appoints a Republican, the appointee is tainted by a scandal. Before I delve into the case of the corrupt ex-staffer of Republican Judd Gregg, let me review: A secretary of state whose husband gave pardons for pay and who accepted millions from foreign governments. An attorney general who arranged those pardons. A treasury secretary who refused to pay his taxes. An appointee as health secretary who refused to pay his taxes. A CIA director who collected $700,000 in speaking fees last year, including speeches to banks just before they were bailed out. (READ MORE)

TXPoet: Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest - Public education in America at all levels is responsible to _________. Can you fill in the blank? Unfortunately the American people who read and can understand this article are few. John Stossel of ABC did a show on “Stupid in America“. In this show he investigates why “modern” education doesn’t work and why it cheats the children. He hammers home the point that there is no encouragement for teachers or schools to excel. The education system is tied to the socialist union programs. Stossel outlines why the “monopoly” of public education is not competitive and why it continues to fail regardless of how much money is thrown at it. In his investigation he did not get into the indoctrination that is mandatory in public education. The requirements of school systems to teach socialist doctrines and socialist mores and the inability of schools to “protect” students. (READ MORE)

Chuck Z: Failing Logic - Today two things happened that are colossal logic failures. Although they sound like good ideas, I'll pick apart the results, and illustrate the logic failure. The first will affect all of us, the second affects mostly me. First: The President signed an order limiting the salary of someone working at a taxpayer-bailout firm at $500K. (We'll call the company BailoutCorp.) This sounds super. Sounds like great fiscal responsibility. Sounds really, really stupid to me. Let's make a couple of assumptions here: The Executives at BailoutCorp are the best in their fields - The Executives at BailoutCorp commanded exceptionally lucrative salaries and bonuses because of this. - BailoutCorp is one of the largest in the country because it was very good at what it did, and could afford those salaries and bonuses because of its success. (READ MORE)

Dymphna: Holland’s Muddy Waters - The following essay was emailed to Gates of Vienna today. The writer said that the ideas expressed in the email were too long for a comment, but needed to be understood by us in order that we might have an accurate picture of the political culture in the Netherlands (my paraphrase). “There is a problematic reality in Dutch society that is discussed only within its borders. However, this phenomenon gets little attention outside the country, and Gates of Vienna is no exception. Outsiders need to understand how this problem muddies a coherent understanding of Freedom of Speech as it is understood in the Netherlands. That problem is: Alles Kan, Alles Mag. Translated as “Everything is Possible, Everything is Allowed”, this is the leftist-liberal ethic that has been a sore spot, particularly amongst elderly Dutch.” (READ MORE)

Hamilton, Madison, and Jay: Senate begins stripping the Pork-A-Palooza - HT to Gabriel at AoSHQ for this one. It seems that Democrats are finally admitting they don't even have the votes to pass the Pork-A-Palooza out of the Senate. So what are they doing? The WaPo reports that both sides are getting together to cut a good chunk of this pitiful "stimulus" out: “Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.” [Stop. This means the Democrats can't even keep their caucus together and they're seeking cover from the GOP. Instead of working with Reid I'd tell him to drop dead. Nope. Sorry. Not working with you Harry. You'll never strip out enough to end the pundit's criticism that this is, in fact, a crap sandwich.] (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Discredited Lancet study gets even more discredited - The British medical journal Lancet published a study of civilian casualties in 2006 that estimated Iraqi civilian deaths at more than 2% of Iraq’s pre-war population, around 655,000. Later studies produced numbers of less than a quarter of Lancet’s totals, and the authors of the study were largely discredited. Now a research association has publicly rebuked Gilbert Burnham for not disclosing his methodology, and Burnham may face action from his employer, Johns Hopkins: “In a highly unusual rebuke, the American Association for Public Opinion Research today said the author of a widely debated survey on ‘excess deaths’ in Iraq had violated its code of professional ethics by refusing to disclose details of his work. The author’s institution later disclosed to ABC News that it, too, is investigating the study.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: The Last Honest Reporter In Washington - Gets the bum’s rush from the Secret Service after jumping the ropeline at the White House to get an autograph, to just be closer. Politico. The unidentified scribbler loved too much? “Tis better to have loved and lost credentials … “A reporter was escorted out of a White House event by Secret Service agents on Wednesday afternoon after he approached President Obama to seek an autograph. At the end of an East Room signing ceremony for legislation funding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, an unidentified member of the media jumped the rope penning off reporters from invited guests in an apparent attempt to get Obama’s autograph, according to a White House aide. Secret Service agents swooped in and stopped him.” (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Who Needs $501,000? - The Obama administration has capped executive compensation at financial companies that get bailout money from the feds at $500,000. Most people probably think this is a good idea. I don't disagree with the concept that taxpayer money shouldn't be sucked up by bonuses for executives in failing companies. Of course, I don't think the government should be investing money in failing companies in the first place. Beyond that, I have a couple of specific objections. First, a number of banks were forced by the federal government to accept TARP funds that they didn't want. I don't think the government, having bullied those banks into taking unwanted money, should now be in a position to dictate compensation decisions. Second, while $500,000 may sound like a lot of money, the idea that you can find an executive who will competently run a multi-billion dollar enterprise for that salary is a joke. A car dealership in a mid-sized city, yes; Citigroup, no. So Obama's decree is basically grandstanding: it will work only if attractive stock option packages supplement the cash salary. (READ MORE)

Warner Todd Huston: Tax Cheats, Unethical Lobbying, Now Porn Pushers for Team Obama? - That Obama fella knows how to pick ‘em, I have to say. First we get a former governor of New Mexico that has to bow out over possible participation in illegal pay-to-play scams. Then we get a series of tax cheats offered up for various positions on Obama’s cabinet and in his administration. Then we find out that Obama has “relaxed” his rules against lobbyists and hired a slew of them — with one of them, Wanda Solis, having unethically lobbied her own House colleagues at the same time she was guiding through the House the very bill she was lobbying for. She was in essence lobbying herself. And NOW Obama has picked a porn pusher for the number 2 man at Justice. (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: O-Bull In The WaPo Today - This item by Obama is a farce meant to trick the American people. If the government doesn't spend over a trillion dollars immediately unemployment may approach double digits: “Unemployment will approach double digits.” Gasp! Clue Obama. It reached double digits in 82 and it didn't take a trillion dollars of our money and mortgaging our children's future to dig us out. It took calm and perseverance to endure some hardship, both of which you apparently lack. The economy entered 1982 in a severe recession and labor market conditions deteriorated throughout the year. The unemployment rate, already high by historical standards at the onset of the recession in mid-1981, reached 10.8 percent at the end of 1982, higher than at any time in post-World War II history.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Derailing Strategy - There has already been a fair amount of concern expressed, from left and right, about the poor start of the Obama Presidency. The Stimulus Bill is a mess, filled with pork, designed by Nancy Pelosi with little apparent regard for the interests of much of the country (including Barack Obama); serial tax evaders have been nominated to high positions in the administration, a few of whom have been forced to withdraw; there is a lack of clarity on whether or not the previous administration's policies regarding the war on whoever-it-is-we-are-fighting are now null and void or merely to be continued with different PR. Further, questions about foreign policy missteps abound: Were Obama officials really attempting to engage Iran and al Qaeda even before his ascendancy to the office? Is he really going to waste his prestige and political capital on Hugo Chavez? (READ MORE)

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