Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks Cable Dump Provides Insight into the Great Game

Even though I think Julian Assange needs to be jailed these top secret cables are pretty interesting for historians and followers of the Great Game like myself. Too bad they weren't leaked 30 years from now when the world is different than it is today. As they stand they might cause real problems in the world going forward.

1. Many Middle Eastern nations are far more concerned about Iran's nuclear program than they've publicly admitted

This was a long held secret belief but now sees the light of day. I think the other Arab Nations have just as much to fear from an Iranian nuke as Israel does. The whole detente in the area will be changed if Iran goes nuclear. This also exposes the true axis in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia and its allies versus Iran and its allies. The Israeli Peace Struggle is merely a sideshow and a distraction. The question going forward is whether Saudi Arabia will develop the Bomb as a counter measure. Also what will the Iranians do as a counter-Saudi strategy?

2. The U.S. ambassador to Seoul told Washington in February that the right business deals might get China to acquiesce to a reunified Korea, if the newly unified power were allied with the United States.

This is all planning for when North Korea falls apart or lapses into civil war. The idea that the Red Chinese is receptive to being bought off says quite a bit about them going forward. I bet the deals are for Chinese firms to rebuild the terrible state that North Korea is in. The Red Chinese would probably get the lions share of any minerals that the North might have as well. It sounds like a much better plan than eliminating the leadership of North Korea in order to bring them into their sphere of influence permanently. This doesn't solve the 1 million North Koreans fleeing into China issue though.

3. The Obama administration offered sweeteners to try to get other countries to take Guantanamo detainees, as part of its (as yet unsuccessful) effort to close the prison.

Ah so the White House tried to sell off the detainees to the highest bidder so to speak. Yeah, this one is pretty damaging to the White House so hopefully Assange goes on their enemies list in front of Fox News, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

4. Afghan Vice President Ahmed Zia Massoud took $52 million in cash when he visited the United Arab Emirates last year, according to one cable

The Afghan leadership is corrupt? You could have knocked me down with a feather.

5. The United States has been working to remove highly enriched uranium from a Pakistani nuclear reactor, out of concern that it could be used to build an illicit nuclear device.

This would be a serious threat of Al-Quida or the Taliban was able to take over this facility. This would be the source of a dirty bomb if there ever was one.

6. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ordered diplomats to assemble information on their foreign counterparts.

Yawn. Who would think this was news? You always need to know who you are up against in order to compete on a level playing field.   I'm pretty sure that these foreign ministers probably try to gather intel on her as well.

7. The State Department labeled Qatar the worst country in the region for counterterrorism efforts.

This is a bad deal because this means Qatar is running scared. They don't want reprisals so they are slow-playing us on counter-terrorism.  This might hurt our relationship with them going forward.

8. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are tighter than was previously known

This one is very interesting because Berlusconi seems to be Russia's man in Europe.  Some gifts and favors buy you Prime Ministers according to Putin. This is Great Game stuff at its finest. Putin is trying to influence the EU by creating an erstwhile ally in Italy. This same ally would probably be deployed if they got into trouble again on sphere of influence issues in the Ukraine or Poland. I would be willing to bet even money that if the Ukraine petitioned for entry into the EU Italy would veto the crap out of it. This is an embarrassing revelation for Italy and to a lesser extent Russia. I'm sure Putin is working on some other hapless Prime Minister in the EU as we speak.

9. Hezbollah continues to enjoy the weapons patronage of Syria.

Shocker! Everyone knew that Syria is bankrolling Hezbollah and is providing them with better and better weapons. This is all part of Iran's anti-Israel tactics. Now it would be interesting to see what Iran will deploy against the Saudis. My money is on some anti-House of Saud terrorist group drummed up with Iranian money and patronage.

10. Some cables reveal decidedly less than diplomatic opinions of foreign leaders. Putin is said to be an "alpha-dog" and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to be "driven by paranoia." German Chancellor Angela Merkel "avoids risk and is rarely creative." Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi travels with a "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse. 

Yawn. This stuff is decidedly low brow. Everyone knows that Putin is the alpha-dog of Russia.  A Czar in all but name. Karzai is also supposed to suffer from manic depression and be a borderline personality as well. This one could be the White House easing him out because "that dude is crazy" or it might be the truth. Merkel the German chancellor avoids risk? She is German unless someone forgot about that fact. Gadhafi travels around with a blonde nurse? Sounds about right for a billionaire playboy like him. I'm pretty sure Access Hollywood wrote that cable. 

Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed With Magnet Bombs: Was it Mossad or the Saudis?

You figure Mossad wouldn't be this brazen but Israel can't stand for a nuclear-armed Iran. Actually my money is on Saudi Arabia being the culprit. You can tell from the Wikileaks cables that the Saudi's probably fear a nuclear armed Iran even more than Israel does.

The attacks, as described by Iranian officials, appeared sophisticated.

In each case, assailants on motorcycles approached the cars as they were moving through Tehran and attached magnetized bombs to the vehicles, Tehran police chief Hossein Sajednia said. The bombs exploded seconds later, he said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

What would be interesting is if the Saudi's are going to ramp up these killings now that Wikileaks has shown their hand? No need for diplomatic couching and neutral statements. The Saudis should just declare war on the Iranian nuclear regime and get it over with. If you look in Great Game terms the Saudis have the most to gain from turning Iran into a democracy or simply getting a moderate leadership in that gets rid of their nuclear program.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Obama Takes a Beating: The GOP was not involved

Those White House people play pick-up basketball for keeps out there.

President Barack Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday with a group of family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Korea Attacks the South and Obama Couldn't be Bothered

This is exactly why his detractors have so much ammo against him.

Though the White House had strong words for North Korea, the administration was tempering Obama's direct involvement by planning a written statement from the president instead of having him speak publicly. The president, who was traveling to Indiana Tuesday to speak on the economy, was also expected to call South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak.

Top national security aides planned to meet at the White House late Tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation in North Korea. The White House said it would work with its international partners to determine the appropriate next steps.

I mean killing two marines with howitzers would be an act of war anywhere else in the world. Instead Obama is tempering and issuing written statements? This is one of our closest allies in the region attacked by a belligerent enemy what do you have to think about?

The response should be table pounding and a statement like "we will defend our staunch ally South Korea in any way they need us including with military force if necessary. An unprovoked attack in the region by North Korea will never be tolerated by the US."

Instead they temper and issue written statements when it comes to defending allies who we have lost American lives defending.  South Korea has been pretty loyal to us for 60 years and we temper and issue written statements when they are attacked?

This is exactly why he Obama is criticized. He hems and haws and think up excuses even when it comes to defending staunch allies. He is quick to ignore the issue in the strongest possible terms. I can't wait until Hillary runs him into the ground in the 2012 Democratic primary.

Woman Tired of Defending Obama gets Fired: Retaliation?

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the thin-skinned Obama people putting pressure on AmVets (the company that employed Velma Hart) to fire her for daring to question the the Anointed One.

Sadly, it may be, at least for a little while, as Velma Hart has been laid off by AmVets.

"It's not anything she did," Jim King, the national executive director of AmVets, told the Washington Post's Michelle Singletary. "She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line. Most not-for-profits are seeing their money pinched."

Um, why would you fire the CFO and not some people lower on the totem pole if it was just a bottom-line move? You figure they would be in line for millions in extra money since veterans affairs is probably one of the few departments that won't be cut going forward. Maybe someone in the White House said AmVets wouldn't be getting any of that money if they keep Hart on the payroll. That is wild speculation but this is the same White House that obsessively watches Fox News and follows Sarah Palin like they are her groupies or something.

I have no idea about the finances of AmVets but you figure they would want to lay-off people that would be easier to replace. Most of the time, replacing a CFO is a big deal and retraining a new person and getting them up to speed would cost even more. So when they eventually replace her position when things get better, it might cost almost as much as they would have saved by not keeping her on the payroll. Also a CFO is a pretty important job so they probably couldn't function too long without one.

What was interesting is this strange rebuttal of Hart today that seems to have been about a month too late. It might have been written a while back but the tag-line according to Yahoo says 2 hours and 21 minutes ago.

While it is expected to hear the type of dual-faced language coming from the opposition, it is quite awkward to hear it coming from those who voted for change and was told all during the campaign that this economy would not be fixed over night.

Ms. Hart's language is described as dual-faced (not quite sure why) in this article.  I just find the timing curious that Ms. Hart lost her job and here is this Ronnie Mann character kicking her on the way out the door. Could Ms. Hart been put on an enemies list by the White House? I guess we won't find out until the "so-called" Obama Tapes are released by some disgruntled staffer. In the meantime Velma Hart is yet another victim of the Obamaconomy. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Princess Kate the First Princess with a College Education?

Now this is an interesting factoid that I just picked up.

And then there’s the college education. Kate, now 28, looks set to become the first British queen in history with a degree. It was at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland—a popular choice for rich but not-so-academic Brits—that she met William. (He spotted her when she was modeling underwear at a charity fashion show.) By contrast, Diana belonged to a last generation of toffs to regard a college education as strictly optional for girls. For a product of her class and time, Diana followed a more conventional path: a few years in London and some work in a posh kindergarten—then marriage.

I wonder how much the monarchy will change when King William steps up to the throne? They look like a thoroughly modern couple. It will be interesting to see all the finery doled out out in the English tradition. Too bad there is all this austerity in Britain because one of those Lady Diana weddings would be a nice thing for many people in this generation to see. The Brits really know how to put on the dog. An actual Prince and Princess getting married would beat any rapper or Hollywood scumbag any day.

Ireland Bailout May Not Be for Ireland but For European Central Bank

I was wondering about this bailout as well and it seems there might have been some naked self-interest involved on the part of the EU.

It’s likely that the European Central Bank has large exposures to Irish debt. The ECB has been quietly buying European sovereign debt since May—although it won’t say exactly what debt it is buying. The purpose of the purchases is to stabilize the debt market and provide liquidity to the economies of Europe. The stabilization effort, at least, appears to have failed. Further purchases of sovereign debt in a renewed stabilization effort threaten to become inflationary—essentially the ECB monetizing sovereign debt in Europe. An official bailout may be an attempt to ward off monetization and inflation. 

So basically they are bailing out Ireland's counter parties to prevent them from losing value on Irish Debt. This would mess up the ECBs balance sheet if they suddenly show a loss due to Irish debt losing value.

It would also kill the balance sheets of many giant EU banks who probably have billions in Irish bonds on their books. I wonder if these banks would fail their stress tests if Irish debt lost even more of its value going forward? It would be interesting to see what the EU does about Portugal and Spain as their debt starts to lose value.

Poll Says Obama Doesn't Deserve to be Reelected

I wonder if this kind of polling would embolden Hillary to run against him?

The Quinnipiac University poll said American voters by 49 percent to 43 percent do not think Obama has earned a second four-year term, and they put him in a statistical dead heat with potential Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

Too bad they didn't poll on a head-to-head with Hillary and Obama. I think she would probably be 5 - 10 points ahead of him judging by how close Romney and Huckabee are to him. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

With Hawaii Joining the Mountain West: Lets Talk 24 TEAM SUPER-CONFERENCE!

I'm pretty happy that Hawaii looks like they might be moving up to bigger and better things according to sources. It got me thinking on what might happen if the MWC and Conference USA merged into a 24 team behemoth knows as the Big America Conference. The champion of the conference playoff would get an automatic BCS bid.

First You Break it into 4 Divisions:

BYU (if they decide to stay)
San Diego State
Fresno State

New Mexico

Air Force
Colorado State
Boise State

Southern Miss
Central Florida
East Carolina

What I mean by conference playoff is that on a revolving basis you would have the winner of each division play each other and then have the winner of those games play for the automatic BCS berth. So this year you would have Hawaii winning the West, TCU winning the South East, Boise State winning the Mountain, and Central Florida winning the Southland.

Then Hawaii plays TCU for instance and Boise State plays Central Florida. The team with the best record hosts the game. The winner of these two games play again for an automatic BCS berth at a revolving site amongst the different members or in whatever city has the headquarters of the Big America in it. 

Or you could use some other sort of formula for the two teams that play for the Big America Conference Title. Maybe head to head matchups, BCS ranking the week before the playoff game, wins outside of the Division, rankings that uses polls and computers etc., or what have you. Basically, you want the two best teams out of the 24 to play each other.  It really doesn't matter how it happens as long as it does.

Then you will have a bowl game for each of the four divisions. So the Poinsettia Bowl for the West, the Armed Forces Bowl for the Southeast, Humanitarian Bowl for the Mountain, and the Liberty Bowl for the Southland. Each of the winners of the division, if they aren't going to a BCS game, play in one of these bowls against some other conference. So the Pointsettia Bowl would be against the Pac 10, the Armed Forces would be against the Big 12, The Humanitarian would be against the Big 10, and the Southland would be against the SEC.

You also keep any school specific Bowl intact. So Hawaii would normally host the Hawaii Bowl, Nevada would host the Las Vegas Bowl, etc. That is unless that team wins the conference title and instead goes to their respective regional bowl game. I would love to see a Hawaii vs. Arizona State or Washington Poinsettia Bowl game played at Qualcomm Stadium.

One thing would be good about this is scheduling would be a snap, money would be huge because teams have a potential to play up to 5 more games at the end of the season. A team could play Hawaii, win their conference and play the first playoff round game, win the conference championship game, and then play in a BCS game. All of these things will bring in extra revenue. ESPN would have to have 2 channels to hold all of the games.

For instance: Hawaii's Schedule in 2014 could be.

Aug 30: at Georgia (the so-called body bag game)
Sept 6: Oregon State (the Pac 10 team Hawaii plays every year)
Sept 13: Centenary (the easy win at home game)
Sept 20: at Colorado (the other scheduled Pac 10 team)
Sept 27: San Diego State (in division game)
Oct 4th: at Fresno (in division game)
Oct 11th: Nevada (in division game)
Oct 18rd: BYU (in division rivalry game)
Oct 25th: at UNLV (in division game)
Nov 1th: at Tulane (out of division in conference game)
Nov 8th: Rice (out of division in conference game)
Nov 15th at SMU (out of division in conference game)
Nov 29th Minnesota (the Big 10 team Hawaii plays every now and again)

Hawaii goes 11-1 only losing to Georgia and thus winning Big America's West Division.

They would then play TCU in the first round and if they win they play a 4 loss East Carolina team that upset an undefeated Boise State team. They then play the title game in Texas at the Cotton Bowl against East Carolina. Hawaii holds on in a triple overtime thriller and goes on to the BCS game which is the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State.

40 Millionaires Against Extending Bush Tax Cuts: Why Don't they Just Double Their Tax Bills Then?

It seems that they are the same old Liberal money men according to this:

The group includes many big-time Democratic donors such as Gail Furman, trial lawyer Guy Saperstein and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (pictured). The list remains open to millionaires who want to sign on.

Um, I have a suggestion if these people feel they aren't taxed enough. When it says on the tax form you must pay X amount double it or triple it and send it to the government. That way they can get over the loathing they feel about how they got their money. Everyone else will get a tax cut and you folks can voluntarily pay for it by doubling your tax bill out of the kindness of your own heart.

The IRS needs to create a line saying: Amount paid above and beyond your tax bill. Then we will see how many of these liberal millionaires club will add onto that line. I' betting on them ignoring it completely. As the White House says taxes are for the proles.

Going 1 for 284 is Supposed to be a Good Thing?

There is no way the White House can spin the verdict on Ahmed Ghailani other then saying that it was a terrible defeat for the Justice Department.

Officials at the Justice Department and White House brushed aside the prosecution̢۪s weak showing in the New York trial, portraying the single-count conviction as a victory. They emphasized that Mr. Ghailani is facing 20 years to life in prison after being found guilty on the conspiracy charge.

“I would point out, as a general matter, that there are very few federal crimes that carry a mandatory minimum of 20 years,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Wait this guy conspired to murder 224 people including 12 Americans and he got 20 to life? I mean Bernie Madoff just stole a bunch of money and he got a stiffer sentence than that. I mean the man is only 35 so he could get out at 55 and still lead a relatively good life. There is no way that you can look at going 1 for 284 when a person conspired to kill 224 people. You can see this as a solid defeat in the War on Terrorism.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Economics Writer Ditches the Airlines because of Potential TSA molestation

I'm pretty sure she won't be the only one.

In fact, I've already left.  My cousin's wedding in Buffalo in October?  Drove eight hours each way.  Going to visit Dad in Boston over Christmas?  We're taking a slow train from DC rather than subject ourselves to the increasing indignity of flying.  If it's under 500 miles, I'll do anything rather than hop on a plane.  And if it's over 500 miles, it had better be way over . . . or I'd better be carrying a cooler with a still-beating heart in it.

I have been wondering if all this added TSA "sexual touching" is a stealth plan to get people to demand high speed rail. I'm pretty sure more people would ride a new "US Bullet Train" so they won't have to expose themselves in an airport screening machine or have some TSA person touching their junk.

The Human Brain is Complicated but I didn't know it Was Like This

Well, this article certainly exposes how fiendishly complicated the human brain is.

A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies.

This part was really an eye opener.

One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor--with both memory-storage and information-processing elements--than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.

So the brain contains 125 trillion microprocessor-like synapses each with 1000 molecular switches each. That means there are 125 quadrillion switches in a human brain. There are supposed to be 70 sextillion stars in the known universe. That means there are more neurons in 560,000 people than all the stars in the universe. 560,000 is basically the population of Vancouver, Canada. So there are more neurons in Vancouver, Canada then there are stars in the known universe. Now that is pretty staggering.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Questions that Obama Needs to Ask Himself

I hope Obama reads this article from a person that voted for him if he seriously thinks he can retool for the next election. I'll try my hand at answering the questions that the author Walter Russell Mead poses.

Why has all the ‘get tough with Israel’ advice from Middle East ‘realists’ led him to one disaster after another?  

Getting tough with Israel can't look like you are tougher on them than the Palestinians are. Whoever the "Middle East Expert" was that told Obama that Israel can't build in East Jerusalem should be fired if he still around. They actually put a restriction on Israel that went beyond what the Palestinian negotiators wanted and it has damaged the whole process. These sort of unforced errors in reading the history of the region should never happen again. My advice to Obama is to forget the whole region until you get some real "Experts" on the payroll and then listen to them. Israel is not the bad guy and neither is an honestly negotiating Palestine so treat them that way.

Why has ‘split the difference’ strategy in Afghanistan worked so poorly?  

Pretty much because it was another half measure. If Obama is serious about winning in Afghanistan he will throw away any time-table and say they will be in it for the long term. That tells Karzai that the Americans might actually outlive his rule so he shouldn't cut a deal with Iran or the Taliban for "when the Americans leave." Some Obama arrogance by saying "we leave on our terms" might go a lot farther then we are out by 2011.

Why is it that every time he listens to environmentalists something politically bad happens?  

Obama needs to realize that environmentalists are horrible at crafting policy and leave it at that. Any environmentalist that talks about wind power and solar without talking about heavy nuclear is a dreamer and should not council Obama on these issues. Also green jobs needs to be fleshed out better because right now it is just airy nonsense. A Green Jobs Initiative that has concrete steps and a long term plan (that has nothing to do with Van Jones) will go a long way.

What are the three to five fixes he could make that would take the edge of the health care debate?  

First he needs to go through Obamacare with a hatchet and cut out things like the IRS requiring you to have health insurance on pain of a fine. Also he needs to get rid of the requirement that all small businesses file a form with the IRS whenever they have a transaction over $600. If they have to go through it page by page with a focus group to see what needs to be cut and why. If Obama can point out the bad things and get behind their repeal he would go a long way toward fixing the things about Obamacare that people hate.

Why is it that public service unions so consistently give advice that is bad for both his political health and the future of the country?  

He needs to realize that when other Americans can't find a job public worker unions getting paid and jacking up the bailouts rubs people the wrong way. If Obama froze federal payrolls (or rolled them back 5-10%)  and encouraged states to follow his example he would go a long way toward showing actual fiscal responsibility.

Why does he have so much trouble persuading the white working class that he is on their side?  

This one is really tough. He needs to stop talking down to working class whites by saying that they are too stupid or scared to follow what he is trying to tell them. Even though he might feel that in his heart he can make a show of not telling even a fully liberal audience how he really feels about the electorate. He needs to show actual empathy and respect when he sees someone hurting and not go into a long policy speech. The Ivory Tower pseudo-intellectual act lost him the independents but a new-found respect and an "I feel your pain" approach might get some of them back.  

Why don’t conciliatory gestures to foreign leaders and political currents lead to concrete negotiating concessions?

Well, because other nations are pursuing their interests his the same vigor that America pushes theirs. They want the best deal for their country and America loses out so be it. Obama also needs to stop attacking his allies and embracing his enemies. Being nice to Ahamadinajoke doesn't slow their nuclear program but helping dissident groups opposing him sure would. America needs to show the world that dissidents and people of conscious still matter to the Dems.

Why does his staff keep sending him to high profile, high stakes international negotiating events (Copenhagen I on the Olympics, Copenhagen II on climate, Seoul on Free Trade) without a winning script?  

This is simple. He needs to fire his negotiators because they have obviously done a poor job. This is just like how some football teams fire the offensive coordinator during the season when the offense doesn't produce. If they can't make a breakthrough and have a deal in hand then the President does not show. It is just that simple.

Why does all the advice from the legalistic Goody Two-Shoes community turn out to be unworkable (as on Guantanamo) or destructively unpopular (as on the question of trying KSM in Manhattan)?

Again fire Holder and bring in someone that isn't tone-deaf about these things. He had two years and Guantanamo hasn't been solved and KSM still hasn't been tried. The next guy has two years to do it right this time.

Antimater Trapped in Gravity Bottle: Geordi La Forge Was Not Involved

This experiment in trapping anti-matter sounds like something out of Star Trek all right.

To create antihydrogen and keep it from immediately annihilating, the ALPHA team cooled antiprotons and compressed them into a matchstick-size cloud. Then the researchers nudged this cloud of cold, compressed antiprotons so it overlapped with a like-size positron cloud, where the two particles mated to form antihydrogen.

All this happened inside a magnetic bottle that traps the antihydrogen atoms. The magnetic trap is a specially configured magnetic field that uses an unusual and expensive superconducting magnet to prevent the antimatter particles from running into the edges of the bottle - which is made of normal matter and would annihilate with the antimatter on contact.

The idea of a special magnetic bottle sounds pretty cool. It brings to mind the Enterprise Warp Core which IIRC is trilithium crystals floating in a magnetic containment field.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Death of the Printed Page

I have to agree with this article that says that books are slowly dying out because of the E-reader.

Tipping points come faster now. Just three years after launching its Kindle e-book reader, Amazon sells more e-books than books in hardcover. The big-box stores are loading up on cheap e-readers, which they bet will be this season’s iPod. One expert, quoted in The New York Times, predicts that, within a decade, fewer than 25 per cent of all books sold will still be print on paper. So what if my beloved Blake is decomposing in a landfill? I can read him any time I want, virtually for free.

The only problem I have with the e-book is that you pay like $9 for a bunch of text though. The book has heft and actually feels like something that is worth $9. An e-book is just a 30 second download and then a few days of staring at a gray screen. I may eventually get an E-reader of some kind but I probably will miss buying a book or magazine at the Barnes & Nobles down the street.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WaPo Says Obama Do Not Run for Reelection

It seems the media love affair with Obama is finally over for good according to this.

To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012. 

If the president goes down the reelection road, we are guaranteed two years of political gridlock at a time when we can ill afford it. But by explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose. 

What is interesting is if he didn't run it would allow Hillary to go into campaign mode and she would have a very good chance of beating whoever comes out of the GOP. That goes double if the GOP nominates Sarah Palin. Maybe the Washington Post understands a weakened Obama running for reelection might get trounced and take the Senate with him. That would be a full GOP takeover just 4 years after they were supposed to be reduced to a rump party. In any case the media has just thrown Obama under the bus. What a difference 2 years makes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

America's Rabbi Defends the Tea Party

I have to agree 100% with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach when he talks about the Tea Party.

The effort to recapture the dignity that springs from self-reliance is what the tea party, at its core, should be all about.

America's rapid rise to the forefront of global economic power was not an accident but the direct result of the cultivation of a fierce individualism and a rugged self-reliance on the part of its citizenry. 

The Tea Party views government's role as giving you a helping hand when you need it but not put you on a dignity sapping dole like they do in Europe. All the talk about racism and xenophobia and other attacks from the Left are BS.

The Tea Party is essentially a group that wants to make government spending smaller and thus diminish the role of the government in their lives. They want to have the choice whether they want to buy health insurance or not and not have the government imposing fines if they don't buy it. They also don't want people telling them what is good for them, and how to spend their money, and whether they have enough of it, no matter how smart the media claims they are.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Great Cold Tips. Gargling with Salt Water and Eating Honey?

Here are some really good cold tips. These two I haven't even tried before but will go for it if I feel a cold coming on in the near future.

We've actually mentioned this remedy before, but it bears repeating: One of the oldest tricks in your mother's book, it seems that gargling with salt water is actually an effective home treatment for the common cold. Not only does it alleviate throat pain and loosen irritating mucous, but it can even help prevent colds: A study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found people that gargled warm salt water three times a day were less likely to get sick during cold season. Just dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water, gargle for a few seconds, and spit it out. Photo by Casey Serin.

I'm not sure why gargling with salt water prevents a cold but I will try it the next time I feel a cold coming on to see if it works or not.

Another popular home remedy with some strong evidence behind it is honey. A 2007 Penn State University study found that one to two teaspoons of honey is not only effective at treating nocturnal cough, but it's actually more effective than dextromethorphan, the cough supressant found in oh-so-popular cough syrups we mob to. Photo by Bethany Egan.

The Ancient Egyptians used honey for all sorts of things so this isn't too far of a stretch to see.

Schools Failing Black Youth

It doesn't seem to be only poverty either.

The study found that just 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, the New York Times reports.  Only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.

The report also says that black boys drop out of high school at nearly twice the rate of white boys, and have SAT scores that are 104 points lower, on average.

Poverty isn't the sole explanation for the differences.  The report found that poor white boys do as well at reading and math as non-poor black boys.  That will give a boost to those who argue for the need to look at differences in culture and child-rearing techniques.  That "culture of poverty" approach, championed by the late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has long been treated gingerly, out of concern that emphasizing cultural differences could be perceived as a form of racism.  But it has been making a comeback of late.

It sure would have been nice to see if this study was broken down by school. If the black kids are failing because they are being taught in failing schools it would be more of a cause. Also if you add charter schools and vouchers to private prep schools into this equation to see how this changes test scores? I believe you can overcome a rough background if you have the right teachers and the right situation. That is why you see so many high achieving blacks that come out of the military.

White House Fakes Drilling Documents

Well, it seems the Obama White House can't go a day without doing something underhanded toward business.

The Interior Department's inspector general says the White House edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts supported the administration's six-month ban on new drilling.

The inspector general says the editing changes resulted "in the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer reviewed." But it hadn't been. The scientists were only asked to review new safety measures for offshore drilling.

The science has been settled. They agreed on how to fake it to reach their policy goals. They don't like the domestic drilling industry and are against jobs in the Gulf for whatever reason so they faked the peer review to get their way. Could this be a precursor to what will happen if they try to ram Cap-and-Trade through the Senate or use an end-around via the EPA?

Mystery Vapor Trail? Yep, its a UFO

At least that is my first impression on viewing the footage and reading this tidbit:

The Federal Aviation Administration ran radar replays from Monday afternoon across a large area west of Los Angeles and saw no sign of fast-moving, unidentified targets, Lapan said. And the FAA had no reports of unusual sightings from pilots in the area, he added.

So it didn't show up on radar so that is suspicious in the extreme. The military denied it was an accidental missile fired from a sub or something. If it was the Red Chinese showing off their submarine launching capability they would not have done it with Obama in Asia and him heading toward a G20 summit. They would not have fired a missile off our coast and embarrass themselves right before a major meeting.

It could be North Korea showing that they are much more advanced then they are letting on. However, they would have probably beat their chest and proclaimed it was the Dorky Leader (or whatever Kim Jong Un name is) showing the West what is in store for it. They were quiet about it so that kind of rules them out.

It could be some top secret launching by the Skunk-works or the CIA or something but why would they do it during the day like that? They would have done it at night and not just 35 miles west of LA and farther out to sea. The Pacific Ocean is a big place so shooting a top secret missile off like could be much better hidden.

So there is only one thing that it could be. It is an underwater UFO taking off into the upper atmosphere. There has been a kind of undocumented UFO thread about Unidentified Submerged Objects (so called USOs) and this kind of fits the narrative. Unfortunately you have to delve into a lot of Atlantis and secret polar base stuff that probably doesn't apply to this. It would be interesting to hear the official story on what this is supposed to be.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tifatul Sembiring is Going to Hell!

Wait until Allah gets a load of this!

Sembiring sought to deflect criticism by claiming Tuesday's skin-to-skin contact was all Michelle Obama's fault. "I tried to prevent [being touched] with my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me [so] we touched," Tifatul Sembiring explained on his Twitter page (according to a translation provided in the AP report).

Some local observers laughed at that idea, and one female reporter gleefully said he wouldn't be able to avoid shaking her hand anymore, AP reported.

I think he needs to immediately resign from office and cleanse himself of the impure thoughts that the touch of a female hand will bring to him. How can he be the information minister with this grievous sin hanging over his head?

As the Koran says: [16.117] A little enjoyment and they shall have a painful punishment.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Liberal Reaction to the Midterm "Shellacking"

This is a pretty funny rundown of the reaction of various liberal pundits over the Midterm "Shellacking."

In the wake of Tuesday’s “shellacking,” I offer a few of my favorite columns from disappointed Obama supporters. This oneThe Hill, insists that American voters aren’t “frustrated” or "angry," they’re simply “fickle and dumb.” In a 245 word piece, Press manages to denounce his fellow Americans as "dumb" a total of three times. No surprise here. Last summer, as Obama’s poll numbers were buckling, Press from former CNN fixture and current Ed Schultz imitator Bill Press, writing at told his radio audience that the American people were "spoiled."

The actually funny part about the Liberals repeatedly calling the voters dumb is they actually expect these people to support them. In other words Liberals say "Hey dummy vote for me because you are to stupid and scared to know any better." I'm sure the great unwashed mass of Independents would flock to that banner.

Olbermann Suspended for Political Giving

I guess he forgot that you aren't supposed to give to political campaigns when you are pretending to be a newsman.

"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night," MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement. "Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."

Olbermann gave the maximum individual donation of $2,400 to three candidates in Tuesday's election: Arizona Reps. Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva and Senate hopeful Jack Conway, who lost in Kentucky to Republican Rand Paul. (Grijalva appeared on Olbermann's "Countdown" on Oct. 28, the same day the host donated to his campaign; Conway was last a guest in May).

It couldn't have happened to a more nasty sort of person. I stopped watching Football Night in America before the NBC late game because they had Olbermann on the show. Now that they got rid of him I can tune in without having to hear him speak. I guess Olbermann can now begin his new life as an annoying lefty pundit.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Forbes Knows Why the Democrats got Hammered: Backlash Against the Creative Class

 I have to agree that some of the losses the Dems faced in the Midterms can be attributed to the backlash against the so-called Creative Classes.

Of course, few on the progressive left--more expressive of a dictatorship of the professoriate than that of the proletariat--seem likely to confront these class realities. Many will ascribe last night's disaster to the dunderheadness of the American people, or to the clever venality of the right. Certainly some tea party candidates, inexperienced and untested, did appear incapable of passing a high school civics test. But the results had less to do with Karl Rove's money than the Democrats disconnect with the middle class.

They can blame the "anger" and shady money all they want but if the Dems actually treated the Middle Class with some respect and tried to cut them some kind of deal they wouldn't have gotten slaughtered in the midterms.

The Middle Class have been hammered by the recession and the Dems were too busy with Obamacare to notice. Large and Small Business are afraid to hire more of these Middle Class people because they have no idea what their healthcare will cost or how much extra tax they will have to pay. I'm pretty sure that a member of the Creative Class once displaced would find a job far faster then a member of the Middle Class.

So in other words the Middle Class which this article pegs at 45 million souls have seen everyone else get paid except for them. They see state and government workers bailed out by the stimulus while they got $400 - $800 a year in "tax cuts." Obama kept touting tax cuts that amounted to a dinner at a nice restaurant or 1/3 of an NFL ticket more per month. Most Americans didn't even know that they got this money in the first place because it was so small.

They also saw the banksters and the Wall Street types and even autoworkers have their jobs saved by Uncle Sam just in the nick of time. However, the Middle Class has been downsized and has had their house foreclosed on and have been condescended to at every step. The Creative Class knows what is right for you Middle Class dullards.

Well, I guess you can say that the Midterms allowed those forgotten 45 million to rise up and start to get their fair share. All this class warfare that Obama engaged in has finally bit him in the ass. People finally understood that a $400 - $800 a year couldn't keep them quiet. The Dems had to pay for their inability to create a job or stimulate growth even after spending trillions of dollars.

Evan Bayh Is 100% Correct in the Next Move for the Dems

I hope Obama got a copy of this editorial and will paste it up on the wall if he will do anything other than lose more seats in 2012.

First, we have more than a communications problem — the public heard us but disagreed with our approach. Democrats need not reassess our goals for America, but we need to seriously rethink how to reach them. 

Second, don’t blame the voters. They aren’t stupid or addled by fear. They are skeptical about government efficacy, worried about the deficit and angry that Democrats placed other priorities above their main concern: economic growth. 

So, in the near term, every policy must be viewed through a single prism: does it help the economy grow? 

A good place to start would be tax reform. Get rates down to make American businesses globally competitive. Reward savings and investment. Simplify the code to reduce compliance costs and broaden the base. In 1986, this approach attracted bipartisan support and fostered growth. 

If Obama does what Bayh suggests he will win a second term pretty handily. The idea that our competitors are paying a tax rate far below us is ludicrous. I think companies waste far too much time trying to get out of paying taxes or keeping their cash overseas instead of bringing them home in order to avoid taxation.  If Obama came out with a bipartisan tax reform plan it would be a winner any way you slice it.

Let's say he slashed corporate taxes in half, allowed companies to repatriate their overseas cash tax free, and then doubled the R&D tax credit it would create jobs in a hurry. Then you add some trade agreements to this mix with maybe South Korea, Panama, and Colombia at first you would ramp up exports. The South Korean one alone would be worth billions to our high tech companies.

In fact if Obama really wanted a lasting legacy he would go all out to make America into the Germany of our region. The Germans are making a bundle from exports to emerging economies in Eastern Europe. America could do the exact same thing with Central and South America. The idea of an America/Brazil axis that improves the standard of living for South and Central America would be huge. Just allying ourselves closely with Brazil where they will supply our oil in exchange for our technology, retailing and manufacturing would be a great idea.