Wha? He really had them? But but but…
BAGHDAD (AP) — Britain will help the Iraqi government dispose of what’s left of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons, still stored in two bunkers in north of Baghdad, the British embassy in Baghdad announced Monday.
The British Defense Ministry will start training Iraqi technical and medical workers this year, an embassy statement said. The teams will work to safely destroy remnants of munitions and chemical warfare agents left over from Saddam’s regime. He was overthrown in 2003 following an American-led invasion.
Saddam stored the chemical weapons near population centers so that he could access them quickly, despite the danger to his civilian population.
Most of Iraq’s chemical weapons were destroyed by military forces in 1991 during the first Gulf War or by U.N. inspectors after the fighting. The inspections halted just before the invasion.
Iraq is a party to the U.N. Chemical Weapons Convention and must get rid of the remaining material, according to terms of the pact.
Also, now that Syria has confirmed it has WMDs, this story deserves a recall:
Iraq’s WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says
The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein’s air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.
The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, “Saddam’s Secrets,” released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.
“There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands,” Mr. Sada said. “I am confident they were taken over.”
You may remember that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer guessed Jerusalem on Jeopardy when asked the birthplace of Jesus.
In a little noted decision on July 23, a federal district court judge concluded that internal DOJ documents about the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case “contradict Assistant Attorney General [Thomas] Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in” the decision to dismiss the case.
In other words, the sworn testimony of Perez, the Obama political appointee who heads the Civil Rights Division, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was apparently false.
The decision in Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice by Judge Reggie Walton was in a case filed by Judicial Watch after the Civil Rights Division refused to turn over documents about the NBPP case requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Walton is the same federal judge who presided over the prosecution of Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff.
Gawd, this is stunningly bad. The Houston Chronicle reports:
The phone rang before sunrise. It woke Craig Patty, owner of a tiny North Texas trucking company, to vexing news about Truck 793 – a big red semi supposedly getting repairs in Houston.
“Your driver was shot in your truck,” said the caller, a business colleague. “Your truck was loaded with marijuana. He was shot eight times while sitting in the cab. Do you know anything about your driver hauling marijuana?”
“What did you say?” Patty recalled asking. “Could you please repeat that?”
The truck, it turned out, had been everywhere but in the repair shop.
Commandeered by one of his drivers, who was secretly working with federal agents, the truck had been hauling marijuana from the border as part of an undercover operation. And without Patty’s knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration was paying his driver, Lawrence Chapa, to use the truck to bust traffickers.
At least 17 hours before that early morning phone call, Chapa was shot dead in front of more than a dozen law enforcement officers – all of them taken by surprise by hijackers trying to steal the red Kenworth T600 truck and its load of pot.
In the confusion of the attack in northwest Harris County, compounded by officers in the operation not all knowing each other, a Houston policeman shot and wounded a Harris County sheriff’s deputy.
But eight months later, Patty still can’t get recompense from the U.S. government’s decision to use his truck and employee without his permission.
His company, which hauls sand as part of hydraulic fracturing operations for oil and gas (more…)
At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.
In ”Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,“ Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book…
When the volatile Gregory Jaczko stepped down as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this spring, industry might have hoped that regulatory agency could get back to providing some calm governance. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid instead seems intent on keeping the NRC in a state of dysfunction.
Mr. Reid went thermonuclear this week on sitting commissioner William Magwood. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mr. Reid called Mr. Magwood, a Democrat appointed by President Obama, “unethical,” “a first-class rat,” a “miserable liar” and a “s—t stirrer.” This unseemly tirade follows a similar Reid outburst against Republican commissioner Kristine Svinicki, whom he also accused of being a liar, in hopes of scotching her reconfirmation to the NRC.
Consider this retribution for the part the commissioners played in Mr. Jaczko’s departure. It was Mr. Reid who installed his former staffer at the commission in 2004 with marching orders to shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository slated for Mr. Reid’s home state of Nevada. Mr. Jaczko did that, but in such a dictatorial style that he alienated much of the agency. By late last year, Democratic and Republican commissioners at the agency were publicly calling out Mr. Jaczko for his undemocratic methods and for his verbal abuse of staff. He resigned in May under pressure, and Mr. Reid is still furious that his pet pick is gone…
We worry about the sanity of people who go nuts and shoot up a movie theater.
Isn’t it time Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pass a sanity test?
Fools run France. We have fools here who will do the same if they get the chance.
Earlier this month PSA Peugeot Citroën announced it would shutter an assembly line in Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris. Citing its high labor costs and sharp international competition, the company warned that some 8,000 jobs in France would have to go. Both President François Hollande and Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg declared the decision to be “unacceptable.”
“The State won’t let it happen,” Mr. Hollande told a French television interviewer after Peugeot’s announcement.
The main tactic so far has been to publicly rebuke Peugeot’s management as “cheaters,” with Hollande officials now accusing the company of concealing or even lying about its labor costs. Simultaneously, the Élysée is proposing some €600 million in new subsidies for French-made hybrid and electric cars, while Mr. Montebourg rails against “unfair competition” from South Korea and vows to review the EU’s 2010 free-trade deal with Seoul.
The Hollandites are making some progress, sort of. Peugeot CEO Philippe Varin has now promised that “there will be no forced layoffs and that we will do what is necessary to reindustrialize the Aulnay site.” Workers who voluntarily retire will receive generous buyout packages. Naturally, that’s still not good enough for the unions, which have organized strikes to show their contempt…
Such policies end in disaster. Even the Red Chinese figured this out.
The chattering class was abuzz yesterday about Mitt Romney’s latest “gaffe.” Read the full text below.
Obama has never given any indication that he’s thought about what makes a prosperous society tick. He’s a clod that knows how to bollix.
A Palestinian spokesman called Romney’s critique racist, apparently not realizing that culture and race are different. Furthermore, Jews and Arabs are both Semites.
I was thinking this morning as I prepared to come into this room of a discussion I had across the country in the United States about my perceptions about differences between countries. And as you come here and you see the GDP per capita for instance in Israel which is about 21,000 dollars and you compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority which is more like 10,000 dollars per capita you notice a dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality. And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States. I noted that part of my interest when I used to be in the world of business is I would travel to different countries was to understand why there were such enormous disparities in the economic success of various countries.
I read a number of books on the topic. One, that is widely acclaimed, is by someone named Jared Diamond called ‘Guns, Germs and Steel,’ which basically says the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there. There is iron ore on the land and so forth. And you look at Israel and you say you have a hard time suggesting that all of the natural resources on the land could account for all the accomplishment of the people here. And likewise other nations that are next door to each other have very similar, in some cases, geographic elements. But then there was a book written by a former Harvard professor named ‘The Wealth and Poverty of Nations.’ And in this book Dr. Landes describes differences that have existed—particularly among the great civilizations that grew and why they grew and why they became great and those that declined and why they declined. And after about 500 pages of this lifelong analysis—this had been his study for his entire life—and he’s in his early 70s at this point, he says this, he says, if you could learn anything from the economic history of the world it’s this: culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.
And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. One, I recognize the hand of providence in selecting this place. I’m told in a Sunday school class I attended— I think my son Tagg was teaching the class. He’s not here. I look around to see. Of course he’s not here. He was in London. He taught a class in which he was describing the concern on the part of some of the Jews that left Egypt to come to the promised land, that in the promised land was down the River Nile, that would provide the essential water they had enjoyed in Egypt. They came here recognizing that they must be relied upon, themselves and the arm of God to provide rain from the sky. And this therefore represented a sign of faith and a show of faith to come here. That this is a people that has long recognized the purpose in this place and in their lives that is greater than themselves and their own particular interests, but a purpose of accomplishment and caring and building and serving. There’s also something very unusual about the people of this place. And Dan Senor— And Dan, I saw him this morning, I don’t know where he is, he’s probably out twisting someone’s arm—There’s Dan Senor, co-author of ‘Start-up Nation,’ described— If you haven’t read the book, you really should— Described why it is Israel is the leading nation for start-ups in the world. And why businesses one after the other tend to start up in this place. And he goes through some of the cultural elements that have led Israel to become a nation that has begun so many businesses and so many enterprises and that is becomes so successful.
The loud noise you’ll be hearing about man-made global warming comes from a “converted” scientist doing research funded by the Koch brothers.
No doubt Richard Mueller’s tale will reach a wide audience via Big Baloney.
But other serious scientists, including those who believe in AGW, think Mueller’s science is crap.
4:02 p.m. | Live Updates Below |
Richard Muller, a cantankerous but creative physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who once derided climate change research, then dove in with his own reconstruction of terrestrial temperature changes and confirmed substantial warming, has now concluded that recent warming is “almost entirely” human caused.
He claims his new analysis, which has been posted* for public review but has not yet been peer reviewed (more on that below), provides an even firmer view of human-driven warming than the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here’s the general flow of events, which are — as Keith Kloor noted overnight — “great fodder for the long-running soap opera, ‘As the Climate World Turns.’”
Muller’s team last fall submitted four papers summarizing its review of a vast array of temperature records spanning two centuries to the journal JGR Atmospheres and posted them and supporting data and other material at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature, or BEST, Web site. (The papers have not been published yet and one of my first questions for Muller and his team now is have they been accepted?)
The team’s new strong conclusion about human-generated greenhouse gases driving recent warming is one of several findings in a fifth paper that Muller says is being submitted to the journal and posted on his Web site, as well [this afternoon].
Read it all, especially for the updates to his post.
Every time I hear a Democrat describe Obama as a pragmatist, I chuckle.
One of my favorite moments from the new book The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery:
Energy was a particular obsession of the president-elect’s, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, [White House economic adviser Christina] Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. “I don’t get it,” he’d say. “We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?” But the numbers rarely budged.
Now let’s fast forward to this past September:
A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show. The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.
So where are the new jobs coming from, at least the good-paying ones? From the industry Obama wants to replace as much as possible with “clean” energy: oil and gas. A new report from the World Economic Forum estimates the sectors “added approximately 150,000 jobs in 2011, 9% of all jobs created in the United States that year.”
Those numbers are even more impressive once you realize that some 40% of all new jobs are being added in low-pay sectors such as retailing and leisure. So nearly 20% of new “good jobs” are in oil and gas.
The nanny state is going after moms.
Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.
Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.
Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.
The Department of Homeland Security has ordered masses of riot gear equipment to prepare for potential significant domestic riots at the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and next year’s presidential inauguration.
The DHS submitted a rushed solicitation to the Federal Business Opportunities site on Wednesday, which is a portal for Federal government procurement requisitions over $25,000. The request gave the potential suppliers only one day to submit their proposals and a 15-day delivery requirement to Alexandria, Virginia.
If you have decided along the way that I despise liberals, it merely proves that you’ve been paying attention. I don’t just think they’re misguided or that they have a different take on the issues than I have, I believe they are evil. I believe that if they had their way, America would be a third world nation.
I think they lie, partly out of habit and partly because they know that the equally evil media will aid and abet them by providing cover and by churning out propaganda.
For instance, when some flabby-brained weasel like Barbara Boxer, Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi, claims that Republicans don’t care about the plight of old people and would love to just push them off the edges of cliffs, the way they illustrated conservative objections to ObamaCare in their TV ads, does anyone take them seriously? Even their fellow left-wingers must know better, but they belong to a cult that demands total fealty. Catholics will doubt the Pope’s infallibility sooner than liberals will doubt Obama’s. On the Left, you either fall into line or you stand condemned for heresy.
In a recent article, I questioned the wisdom of the 19th Amendment, the one that gave women the vote in 1920. Insisting that women just aren’t very good when it comes to voting shouldn’t be taken for misogyny, any more than saying that most men tend to get tongue-tied when trying to express their emotions should be regarded as my clumsy attempt to appear even-handed .
In spite of what the feminists say, the genders are not the same; each has its strengths and its weaknesses. The proof in this case is not in the pudding, but in the voting. Consider that starting with the 1980 presidential election, women gave Reagan only a 1% advantage over Carter. That’s Jimmy Carter, for heaven’s sake! In 1988, proving that it wasn’t a fluke, the ladies gave Bush a mere 1% edge over Dukakis. That’s Michael Dukakis, for heaven’s sake!
After that, things only got worse. In the next five elections, they not only helped to elect Clinton twice, but they voted overwhelmingly for Gore, Kerry and Obama.
If a major league baseball player struck out that many times, he’d be on the next bus to Trenton or Wilkes-Barre.
One of the most annoying things about this election is that people keep asking the candidates what they’ll do to create jobs. The problem is that the only way the federal government can create jobs is by hiring more bureaucrats, which is the last thing any sane person wants to see. The job of the president is to create an environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can flourish. That means you cut the tax rate and you get rid of stupid, power-grabbing, regulators, like the storm troopers at the EPA, and you take the jackboot of the federal government off the necks of those driven to succeed and get wealthy. Prosperity is the greatest engine for job creation and it’s the only way that a $16 trillion national debt won’t sooner, rather than later, turn us into Greece.
Speaking of money, in 2010, during the worst days of our recession, we were sending $4.16 billion in foreign aid to Afghanistan, $1.8 billion to both Pakistan and Haiti, $758 million to Mexico and $615 to Nigeria. All of that would have been bad enough, but that was money we had to borrow and then pay interest on to the Chinese. To me, that sounds a lot like the dumb schmuck who borrows money from a shylock and then races down to the corner bar to buy drinks for the house.
Speaking of Mexico, a nation that has seen 50,000 of its citizens murdered by drug dealers in recent years, I, for one, don’t believe that the government couldn’t wipe out the creeps if it really wanted to. Those goons may have a lot of semi-automatic weapons, thanks to Eric Holder, but they don’t have tanks. I suspect that the cartels are allowed to run wild for the same reason that Mexico does nothing to shut down its northern border: money, money, money.
If it weren’t for millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. wiring billions of dollars back to their relatives, and the drug loot that’s floating around south of the border, Mexican politicians would actually have to do something for the people or face a civil war. It’s the same reason that Pakistan lets its farmers continue to grow poppies, the source of most of the world’s heroin.
Finally, although several motives have been suggested to explain why John Roberts sided with the loons on the Court, the one I like best is that by doing so, he not only forced Obama to defend ObamaCare during the campaign, but to defend what is now officially, thanks to Roberts, the largest tax increase in history. Only time will tell, based on his future decisions, if Roberts suffered a brain cramp or if he is so diabolical that people might start referring to him as Mac, short for Machiavelli.
Although Obama’s immediate reaction to the Court’s decision was one of unbridled glee, by the time this all plays out, he may find himself like the fencing master in the cartoon who apparently dodges his opponent’s sword, and says, “Aha, you missed!” a second before his severed head drops to the floor.
Over a series of recent posts, I’ve been looking at the energy revolution that is changing the look of the 21st centuries. Some countries are losers, but the US in particular stands to make big gains at home and in its foreign policy.
On the whole, this news is about as good as it gets: trillions of dollars of valuable resources are now available to power the US economy, cut our trade deficit and reduce our vulnerability to Middle East instability. Hundreds of thousands of well paid blue collar jobs are going to reduce income inequality and help rebuild a stable middle class. Many of the resources are exactly where we would want them: in hard hit Rust Belt states.
World peace is also looking more possible: the great powers aren’t going to be elbowing each other as they fight to control the last few dribs and drabs of oil. Nasty dictatorships and backward-facing petro-states aren’t going to be able blackmail the world as easily.
But there is one group (other than the Russians and the Gulf Arabs and the Iranians) that isn’t sharing in the general joy: the greens. For them, the spectacle of a looming world energy crisis was good news. It justified huge subsidies for solar and wind power (and thereby guaranteed huge fortunes for clever green-oriented investors). Greens outdid themselves year after year with gloom and doom forecasts about the coming oil crunch. They hoped that public dislike of the Middle East and the costs of our involvement there could be converted into public support for expensive green energy policies here at home: “energy independence” was one of the few arguments they had that resonated widely among average voters.
Back in those salad days of green arrogance, there was plenty of scoffing at the ‘peak oil deniers’ and shortage skeptics who disagreed with what greens told us all was settled, Malthusian science. “Reality based” green thinkers sighed and rolled their eyes at the illusions of those benighted techno-enthusiasts who said that unconventional sources like shale oil and gas and the oil sands of Canada would one day become available.
Environmentalists, you see, are science based, unlike those clueless, Gaia-defying technophiles with their infantile faith in the power of human creativity. Greens, with their awesome powers of Gaia-assisted intuition, know what the future holds…
Read the whole thing.
In an interview, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said that she believes Republican Jews are “being exploited,” but she was sure to add, “And they’re smart people.”
Pelosi made the comments in response to whether Jewish voters would support President Barack Obama in the presidential election later this year.
“I think [Obama] will” win the Jewish vote, Pelosi said, when pressed on the subject. “I think that he will, because the fact is when the facts get out. You know, as many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So Israel, that can be one reason they put forth.”
If we’re trading in ethnic stereotypes, you could say Jews are wealthy, too.
The interviewer then added, “That’s why some of the Republican Jewish supporters are really active.”
Pelosi responded, “Well, that’s how they’re being exploited. And they’re smart people. They follow these issues. But they have to know the facts. And the fact is that President Obama has been the strongest person in terms of sanctions on Iran, which is important to Israel. He’s been the strongest person on whether it’s Iron Dome, David’s Sling, any of these weapons systems and initiatives that relate to Israel. He has been there over and over again.”
Whew. I suspect an MRI of Pelosi’s brain would resemble the inside of a popcorn popper.
In other news, the head of CNN has resigned because the network is flopping.
When you’re a conservative and you are doing your level best to deal with all the crapola spewed by the Left, you don’t really need a newfangled BS detector. You just need one of those large brooms the circus provides the poor guy who walks behind the elephants. In my case, of course, it’s a team of donkeys I’m trailing behind.
For instance, is every liberal born knowing how to chant inanities or is it something they have to master once they enter college or join a union? And are they totally unaware that once normal people hear chanting in the streets, they know they are in the presence of the great unwashed?
Like most thinking human beings, I was delighted when on June 5th, not only did Scott Walker win a landslide victory in Wisconsin, but the voters in such staunchly liberal California cities as San Diego and San Jose, voted to cut the pensions of public sector unions.
It was predictable that once the polls showed that Governor Walker was going to survive the recall that Obama wouldn’t set foot in Wisconsin. Instead, it was Bill Clinton who showed up to endorse Mayor Barrett, and once again Clinton proved to have no more influence with the voters than he has with Hillary. Clinton actually believes he has the power to persuade for no other reason than that he can attract those women in NYC who can always be found fluttering around rich old guys.
The irony of Clinton’s siding with Barrett and against Walker is that he was governor of Arkansas for 12 years, all of them during the 68 years that it’s been a right-to-work state. And yet, like an old firehouse dog responding in Pavlovian fashion to a fire alarm, there he was in Wisconsin doing the dirty work for the public sector unions.
Speaking of the recall in Wisconsin, I found it amusing that MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell said that the victor of the election was…(drumroll)…Barack Obama! That’s because the exit polls reported that 53% of the voters favored Obama, while only 42% endorsed Romney. Far be it from me to question MSNBC, but those very same exit polls indicated that the recall was a toss-up. And so it was until the votes were actually counted and Walker won 53% to 46%. Anyone who regards that as a toss-up would probably say that Custer and Sitting Bull fought to a draw at the Little Big Horn.
Only a dunce like O’Donnell would find solace in the Wisconsin election, one in which Walker actually increased his margin of victory over Barrett from their initial battle in 2010. It reminds me of the old joke in which a reporter buttonholes Abe’s wife and says, “Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?”
Speaking of Clinton, though, reminds me that Henry Wolf, a guy out here in California, has sued BMW North America, claiming that a 4-hour ride on a ridge-like motorcycle seat has given him an erection lasting 20 months. Wolf is seeking compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress and general damage.
In related news, Pfizer, the company that produces Viagra, is considering suing BMW North America for patent infringement, and Bill Clinton, 66, has indicated an interest in taking up motorcycle riding.
With the news that yet another electric car company, Fisker, is going to stop production of its electric cars, it occurs to me that green energy is a lot like the game of soccer. No matter how hard some interested parties push it, America’s not buying it. In just the same way that we prefer football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf and, at least during Olympic Game years, even gymnastics and synchronized swimming, we dislike soccer. I’m not saying that nobody likes the silly game in which people pretend not to have arms and hands, and a 2-1 outcome has fans shaking their heads over the obvious lack of defense. I know that immigrants from Third World countries who grew up kicking a casaba melon around think it’s the cat’s pajamas. But most Americans prefer sports that don’t require using one’s own head as a bat.
As I was saying, it’s much the same with green energy. Although some people, especially those who have finagled a government loan to start a company, pretend to believe that wind and solar energy are an adequate substitute for fossil fuel, nobody else is buying the big lie. Something else they’re not buying, just in case you hadn’t noticed the scarcity of Volts on the open road, are electric cars.
Members of certain left-wing groups, people with way too much time on their hands, are complaining that the drone attacks targeting Islamic terrorists are also killing innocent civilians. I’m sure that when they voice their criticism of the only thing that Obama has done right, they feel they possess the deed to the moral high ground. But what they overlook is that there are no innocent bystanders hanging around with Islamic terrorists. If we get word that these creeps have started walking around with puppies or small children strapped to their chests, we can talk. Until then, I suggest these self-canonized saints go back to their regular job; namely, holding candlelight vigils for serial killers about to be executed.
In conclusion, let me say that Team Romney is starting to embarrass me. First they put out a press release in which they managed to misspell “America.” More recently, they changed Ronald Reagan into Ronald Regan. Perhaps instead of approaching them, offering to help write the candidate’s speeches, I should have suggested they employ me as their official spellchecker.
Wahoo! GM turns to subprime loans to hawk its cars. Your tax dollars at work.
President Obama has touted General Motors (GM) as a successful example of his administration’s policies. Yet GM’s recovery is built, at least in part, on the increasing use of subprime loans.
The Obama administration in 2009 bailed out GM to the tune of $50 billion as it went into a managed bankruptcy.
Near the end of 2010, GM acquired a new captive lending arm, subprime specialist AmeriCredit.
Renamed GM Financial, it has played a significant role in GM’s growth .
The automaker is relying increasingly on subprime loans, 10-Q financial reports shows.
Potential borrowers of car loans are rated on FICO scores that range from 300 to 850. Anything under 660 is generally deemed subprime.
Subprime Key Driver
GM Financial auto loans to customers with FICO scores below 660 rose from 87% of total loans in Q4 2010 to 93% in Q1 2012.
The worse the FICO score, the bigger the increase. From Q4 2010 to Q1 2012, GM Financial loans to customers with the worst FICO scores — below 540 — shot up 79% to more than $2.3 billion. The second worst category, 540-599, rose 28% from about $3.4 billion to $4.3 billion.
Morgan doesn’t seem like the jerk he is when on American soil.
Advance to 14:50 to hear Romney deliver a succinct, off-the-cuff explanation of how capitalism works.
This letter to the editor appeared in today’s LA Times
I grew up in the Soviet Union, where the ban on the possession of assault weapons and handguns by private citizens was absolute. It was unimaginable that such lethal stuff might appear on the shelves of retail stores.
Bad regime? Yes. Evil empire? Yes.
But get this: Over the 40 years of my life there, I never heard of a single shooting rampage at a school, movie theater or workplace.
When I lived there, it never occurred to me that such horrific events were possible. This isn’t to suggest that the United States should adopt anything resembling the Soviet Union’s totalitarian system. But whenever I hear people say that banning guns wouldn’t be effective, I think how wrong they are.
Dear Vladimir, the Soviet Union was a police state. East Germany was a prison — citizens trying to escape were shot to death.
Prisons and police states rarely arm their inmates.
In 2009, I watched the Iranian mullah’s goons shooting and beating Iranian protesters with impunity and thought: that could never happen in the US because our citizens are armed.
If only liberals could see themselves…we wouldn’t have so many liberals.
They see racism everywhere, so much so it’s practically a psychiatric disorder. This post brings you two prime examples.
First, the Christian Science Monitor is a prime enabler.
In the presidential election, it’s not a matter of whether racism will appear in campaign messaging, but when. President Obama is running for reelection with the support of the majority of black and Latino voters. Mitt Romney is challenging Mr. Obama with an almost exclusively white constituency behind him. Both candidates will raise and spend unprecedented amounts of money on political advertisements, as will their respective parties and allied super PACs.
A crucial question is: How will we know when pro-Romney ads are potentially racist? It’s not always so easy to recognize.
Reasonable people will disagree about whether an ad appeals to race in an innocuous or outright racist way. This is why we developed the Index of Racist Potential.
Oh, how helpful. But two thoughts:
- Obama is half white. Can’t we just say our criticisms of him is aimed at his white half?
- If 95% of blacks vote for Obama just because he’s black, isn’t that racist?
What counts as racist according to the CSM?
1. Does the Ad Reference Racial Stereotypes?
Does the ad reference a longstanding racial stereotype historically associated with African-Americans? Does it state or suggest that President Obama is untrustworthy or prone toward criminality? Does it imply that he takes advantage of the system or is lazy?
A recent ad from the Romney campaign, for instance, has the effect of presenting the untrustworthiness stereotype, calling Obama’s statements “not true,” and “misleading.” Then the ad goes a step beyond, by saying, “but that’s Barack Obama,” that is, the kind of person who misleads and says things that are not true.
Got that? If you call Obama on his lies, you’re a racist.
President Obama came to the White House with big plans. He’d halve the deficit. Strengthen the economy. Lower unemployment. What did we get? National Debt over 15 trillion and climbing. Unemployment above 8 percent for 40 straight months. An ongoing economic crisis with no end in sight. He tried. You tried. It’s OK to make a change.
All that stuff about what the president promised he’d do and didn’t isn’t what bothers me. Obama did make big plans. But inheriting a free-falling economy followed by a stubborn recovery coupled with congressional Republican recalcitrance, not to mention some backtracking on various things he promised, have made achieving many of those goals impossible. So, he and his campaign have to deal with that as best they can.
No, what bothers me is that last line spoken by the narrator as we see a black-and-white still image of a downward looking Obama.
He tried. You tried. It’s OK to make a change.
Millions of Americans were swept up in the drama of the 2008 presidential contest and were proud to cast a ballot that helped elect the first African American president of the United States. Doing so was and will remain one of our nation’s crowning achievements. But there’s no denying that many of those same millions have soured on Obama because of what they believe he hasn’t been able to achieve. Yet, they are conflicted.
Choosing a president for his race is not a crowning achievement, it’s racialist. But here’s what worries him: people can vote against Obama and not feel racist. Oy!
By telling potential voters “It’s OK to make a change,” the RNC is acknowledging all that I mention above. It’s OK to like the guy personally but not vote for him again. This is not a popularity contest. It’s OK to vote against the black guy. You gave him a shot. He gave it his best shot. He failed. And the most effective message is: “It’s OK to make a change” — and not be thought of as a racist.
Title IX opened collegiate sports to women. Depending on who you ask, this was a good idea.
A definitely bad idea–Obama’s idea–is to extend that to science and math education to make it more “fair.”
When college women study science, they tend to gravitate toward biology–about 58 percent of all bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in biology go to women. In contrast, women earn some 17 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science and just over 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees in physical sciences and mathematics.
The likely reason for this, found in the study The Mathematics of Sex” (2009) by Cornell psychologists Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, is that women tend to be drawn to “organic” fields involving people and living things, whereas men are more interested in the objects and abstractions that are the focus of STEM majors. Aversion to math plays a role too: a University of Bristol study finds that biologists tend not to pay attention to scholarly articles in their field that are packed with mathematical equations.
Yet the Obama administration sticks closely to the hard-line feminist argument that the problem is bias: women are somehow being denied access to STEM courses. On June 20 the White House announced that it would issue guidelines expanding the scope of Title IX to cover science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The bias argument is blatantly unscientific. As Christina Hoff Sommers wrote:
Males and females appear equally intelligent, on average. But on standardized intelligence tests, more males than females get off-the-chart test scores—in both directions. The greater variance of males on intelligence tests is one of the best-established findings in psychometric literature. More males are mentally deficient, and more are freakishly brilliant.
The elites are the point of our intellectual spear.
It makes no sense to dumb down the elites (and when you speak of dumbing down this cohort, the “dumb” are way brighter that the average mortal, just not as bright as the geniuses).
Well, it does make sense to an ideologue such as Obama. If he gets his way, our intellectual talent pool will be watered down. We will lose our edge. Human potential will go untapped.
And the progressives boast that Obama is a pragmatist.
For more on this, read Christina Sommers from 2009.
Last week, a California biotech company announced that its human stem cells restored memory in rodents bred to have an Alzheimer’s-like condition—the first evidence that human neural stem cells can improve memory.
The company, called StemCells, is betting that its proprietary preparation of stem cells from fetal brain tissue will take on many different roles in the central nervous system. The company and its collaborators have already shown that its stem-cell product has potential in protecting vision in diseased eyes, acting as brain support cells, or improving walking ability in rodents with spinal cord injury.
This metamorphic ability is not so surprising—they are stem cells, after all. But experts say the quality of scientists involved in StemCells and the interesting properties of its cells sets the company apart. “They’ve really been steadfast in their work to get these cells into clinical trials. That is a tough road and they’ve done it,” says Larry Goldstein, a neuronal stem-cell researcher and director of UC San Diego’s stem-cell program.
The company discovered the technique to isolate these cells from brain tissue in 1999 and has since spent some $200 million improving the technology. “Now we are really in the exciting phase, because now we are looking at human clinical data, as opposed to just small animals,” says StemCells CEO Martin McGlynn.
With $$$ from Homeland Security, comes this video on how to survive a crazy shooting. Reminds me of duck and cover.
As a rule, the guy running for president chooses a running mate he thinks will help him win a specific swing state, which explains Kennedy picking Johnson. Sometimes he picks someone whom, he hopes, will energize the electorate, which explains McCain picking Palin. But, nearly always, he selects a person nobody really wants to see wind up as president. After all, when some guy is just a heartbeat from the Oval Office, you don’t want to have millions of people hoping you have a heart attack. And that explains why such nonentities as Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, Al Gore and Joe Biden, have all held the office.
It also helps if your laddy-in-waiting is the sort of goof who refers to putting out the hit order on Osama bin Laden as the height of courage and audacity. If butt-kissing were an Olympic event, that’s the sort of thing that could earn Joe Biden a gold medal in London this summer.
Unfortunately, Biden doesn’t come cheap. According to Newsmax columnist Ron Kessler, Joe Biden costs the American taxpayer over a million dollars a year just in weekend travel expenses. It seems that the man Obama appointed to root out wasteful government spending takes a helicopter, designated as Marine Two, every weekend to Maryland, where he then gets on Air Force Two to fly him home to Delaware. When the weather is warm and Obama isn’t out of town raising campaign funds, Biden will return to Washington on Saturday so that he can play a round of golf with his boss before heading back to Delaware. The cost of the one-hour round trip on Air Force Two is $22,000. The cost of two such trips in a weekend is therefore $44,000, not counting the helicopter rides and the lost golf balls.
All of this is in addition to his $230,700 salary and the rent-free vice-presidential mansion, where five Navy stewards cook, clean, shop for food and do the laundry, at no cost to the Bidens. Lest you think that’s the end of it, the taxpayers are also stuck with the cost of renting 20 condominiums in the Wilmington area for the Secret Service agents who have to accompany him on his weekend jaunts to Delaware.
In case you were wondering, this is what the Vice-President has in mind when he refers to himself as just a regular Joe. By such standards, Napoleon’s Josephine would have been well within her rights to describe herself as just a regular Jo.
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the adventures of Elizabeth Warren, the would-be senator from Massachusetts, it now appears that in addition to not being a true Cherokee, she is not even a true socialist. In spite of trying to pass herself off as an enemy of capitalism in general and predatory banks in particular, she and her relatives have a long record of buying up foreclosed homes in Oklahoma and flipping them for huge profits. In one case, which has taken its place in Cherokee lore, she bought a house for $30,000 and sold it five months later for $145,000!
She even tried her hand at usury, lending dough to one of her brothers at 9.5% interest. That explains why one of her many Indian names is Sister Shylock, and why the Mafia is considering underwriting the Elizabeth Warren course to be known as Moneylending 101 at Harvard.
For the past three years, we have heard Barack Obama insist that the only reason he doesn’t attend church services is because he doesn’t want to be a distraction to the other churchgoers. What makes that so puzzling is that he never seems to give a second thought to the disruption his motorcades create every time he flies into a city for one of his 200-plus fundraising events. And it didn’t seem to bother him in the least when, in order that he have a photo op, the Secret Service closed down the Vietnam Memorial to veterans, their families and the survivors of fallen warriors, for seven long hours this past Memorial Day
If I didn’t despise Obama, I might even feel sorry for the guy. An incumbent, after all, has only two choices, and that’s to run on his record or from his record. And as fight fans used to say about the various palookas who faced Joe Louis in his prime, they can run, but they can’t hide.
There’s also a saying that criminals always return to the scene of the crime. I have no way of knowing whether or not that’s true.
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if Obama goes back to Chicago next January.