Last man standing

When I heard about the Terra Pass gift cards being handed out at The Oscars, it reminded me of the Catholic Church’s practice of selling indulgences. I thought about Luther, The 95 Theses, and the righteous rebellion against money and influence. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought about this. Thomas Lifson at American Thinker wrote about this, and also another analogy: the “commutation fee” during the American Civil War.

During the Civil War, it was possible for well-to-do men who were drafted to pay a $300 “commutation fee” and escape the draft. The move sparked much public outrage, creating the impression that the war was a “rich man’s war” and probably contributing to the disgraceful draft riots in New York City, which led to the lynching of African Americans.

gore.gifSo, Al Gore buys carbon offsets as forgiveness for his sin of producing too much carbon dioxide, or something like that. BUT who does he buy these offsets from? According to a story published at Ecotality by Bill Hobbs, he buys them from Generation Investment Management, a company he co-founded, and serves as chairman.

Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

As co-founder and chairman of the firm … he “buys” his “carbon offsets” from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself. To be blunt, Gore doesn’t buy “carbon offsets” through Generation Investment Management – he buys stocks.

And it is not clear at all that Gore’s stock purchases – excuse me, “carbon offsets” purchases – actually help reduce the use of carbon-based energy at all, while the gas lanterns and other carbon-based energy burners at his house continue to burn carbon-based fuels and pump carbon emissions – a/k/a/ “greenhouse gases” – into the atmosphere.

I wrote previously that Gore has decided to try and re-frame global warming as a “moral issue”, and the irony of the neo-moralists™ who reject any semblance of traditional faith, but have embraced the global warming cause with true religious zeal. It has become a matter of unquestioned faith – even though Gore himself admitted that the premise of his film was based on exaggerated rhetoric that he described in a 2006 interview as “over-representation of factual presentation”.

TV pundit and former congressman, Joe Scarborough, believes the stars have aligned for Gore.

Anyone vaguely familiar with Nixon’s long path to the presidency who was watching the Oscars had to be thinking that history was aligning Gore’s fate with that of the 37th president. And judging from my discussion with Joe Klein and Pat Buchanan last night on Scarborough Country, political experts are beginning to believe that Al Gore may be the last Democrat standing in 2008.

As Buchanan pointed out, Mr. Gore has been right on the war from the beginning. And unlike Barrack Obama, he has the experience to soothe the jangled nerves of Democratic party bosses. The Nation’s John Nichols also pointed out that Gore has more experience in Washington than Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama and John Edwards combined. That may not mean much when things are calm across the globe but these are not normal times.

As support for Hillary begins to dwindle in the African-American community, and Obama’s lack of gravitas becomes even more apparent, could Gore actually be the last Democrat standing?

hat tip: Swampwoman

Hang Right Politics: Face the tetxels

Woman Honor thyself: Just do it

Bill Hobbs: Color of Money

Taranto: Best of the web

Drain the Swamp, Part 2

There has been an unconfirmed sighting of back-bone from the Republicans in the House ……….

Republicans plan to force a floor vote on Rep. William Jefferson’s move to the Homeland Security Committee in an unprecedented maneuver to force Democrats to go on the record supporting their embattled colleague who is the target of a federal bribery investigation.

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) pledged to call for a recorded vote on the House floor when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduces a resolution to make the Jefferson move official.

Pelosi removed Jefferson from the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in response to Justice Department allegations that the Louisiana Democrat had accepted $100,000 in bribes and stored $90,000 of them in his freezer. The speaker then gave Jefferson a seat on the Homeland Security, and Democrats agreed to the change in a closed-door caucus in February.

“The idea that Homeland Security is less important than the tax-writing committee is ludicrous,” Blunt said Wednesday.

Read more

Lincoln at Cooper Union

newt.jpgCooper Union in New York City is sponsoring the “Lincoln at Cooper Union” dialogue series. The purpose of the series is to encourage serious discourse and debate from various sides of the political spectrum. The first of these dialogues will be held February 28th with Mario Cuomo and Newt Gingrich in attendance to talk about current issues.

“LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.” Abraham Lincoln, Cooper Union Address, 1860

6:30 EST … TONITE …. Should be interesting … Watch it ((((( HERE ))))

Draft Newt ’08: Why It’s Important

Jed Babbin: Gingrich vs Cuomo

NY Sun:  Come to Cooper Union

Election 2008: Democrats ‘Surge’….

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I want to take those profits

In the wake of disclosures showing that Al Gore uses more electricity at his home in a month than the average family uses in 5 years, the hypocrisy alarm has sounded for another Democrat: 2008 front-runner Hillary Clinton. Who can forget her much publicized rant against Exxon Mobil for having the audacity to make a record profit?

She referred to those profits as the highest in the history of the world, and she said: “I want to take those profits…” Not I want to take part of those profits. “I want to take those profits,” she said.

Confiscatory taxes are a desirable thing for Democrats who time and again fail to understand that for corporations to survive, they must make a profit. Corporations are a convenient boogeyman for Hillary, who not only knows much better how to spend those profits than you and I, but also better than the Boards of Directors of these publicly traded companies. In Hillary’s world, corporations exist to serve government. Period. Stockholders be damned.

BUT, in an “oversight” of truly Clintonian proportions, The Washington Post revealed today that Hillary has some disclosure problems which violate the Ethics in Government Act.

“… members of Congress [are required] to disclose positions they hold with any outside entity, including nonprofit foundations. Hillary Clinton has served her family foundation as treasurer and secretary since it was established in December 2001, but none of her ethics reports since then have disclosed that fact.

The foundation has enabled the Clintons to write off more than $5 million from their taxable personal income since 2001, while dispensing $1.25 million in charitable contributions over that period.”

Hillary dispensed just 60% in charitable donations than she would have paid in taxes without the write-off. Tax cuts for the rich. indeed.

Kent Cooper, recently retired from the Federal Election Commission, made an interesting observation about these and similar “oversights”. Candidates “know there is no great consequences, and so the habit has developed that people dismiss an omission as a clerical error, when in fact it is a crucial piece of the puzzle about a member’s finances that is being hidden.”

read more at Sweetness and Light

Gibson: Hillary already making policy

A New Lubricant:May Make Ball-Bearings Unnecessary

I came across this article at Defense Review. As one that has always looked for improved performance with all of my mechanical toys, I have tried nearly all of the newest lubricants for the past twenty five years, for vehicles and guns. Some have been disappointing, some have shown themselves to be effective, but nearly all had some drawbacks.
The problem with most of the lubricants I’ve tried, are the elements added to give them their unique qualities. It is those additives, often heavy metals and different petroleum derivatives, that can cause the products to have diminished performance, over time, as the coating they created would often breakdown.
So, what would you say to a lubricant that contained none of these additives, and in fact even penetrated into the metal pores? Well then, welcome to the world of Nano-Bearings ™. As it states in it’s website:

Imagine 50 millions Nano-Bearings per square millimeters of contact surface on metal to metal all doing their job of substantially reducing friction while keeping equipment cooler. The Nano-Bearings molecules are magnetically induced to adhere to microscopic crevices and actually penetrates metals, providing a very low friction-dynamic contact .

Further:

Ball bearings in certain applications are no longer necessary and actually renders the devices less desirable due to frictions and or vibrations. Bushings with closer tolerances can be used instead when designing with NanoLube by StClaire ™.

The folks over at Defense Review, are so enthusiastic about the applications for this revolutionary product, they will be categorizing in their forums by engineering disciplines, and every day use, for actual problem solvers that have used this new product.
Below is a partial list of some companies that will be using this product in their manufacturing process.

Remington Arms Company — Alexander Arms US Army Arsenal — Smith & Wesson — SpringField Armories — Remington — Ruger — Rogue — Barrett — Leupold — G A Precision — Rogue MCS Corp. — Air Force — Blade Tech. — StreamLight — SureFire — Spyderco — New Zealand Repeating Arms Co. — Luger — etc.

I don’t know about anyone else, but checking into a local distributorship might be a great idea.

Al Gore: It’s morality, stupid.

goracleLast night’s coronation of The Goracle was truly wonderful theater. It had everything: glitz, glamor, beautiful people, song and dance, and the man of the hour, The Goracle, himself, making the claim that “This [global warming] isn’t a political issue, it’s a Moral Issue.”

To many people, this entire issue appears to be nothing but a political power grab. So, for Gore to try and re-frame global warming as a “moral issue” is interesting. These neo-moralists™ are the very same people who claim that Christians are trying to force morality down their throats to establish a THEOCRACY. Yet, here they are, applauding The Goracle for staking out a claim on the “moral issue” of our lifetime. An issue, that to accept in toto, requires more faith than science.

And, just in case he’s forgotten, since Al Gore was offered the opportunity (in person) to facilitate serious debate on the underlying science of global climate change, 1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks, 1 day, 8 hours, 43 minutes, and 34 seconds have elapsed.

I for one, don’t buy into The Goracle’s version of morality. Forgive me, but I’ve heard all the weasel words before. Furthermore, I am extremely suspicious of anyone who wants to shut down the debate by claiming that the debate is over before it has even truly begun. Especially, since The Goracle himself, declared that his entire premise for global warming hysteria is based on a classic Gore trait — exaggeration.

In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis. source

I thought about his over-representation of factual presentations as he walked to the stage, the announcer intoning (I paraphrase) “The film crew had to evacuate from New Orleans on the day before Katrina struck. An event which brought home the seriousness of global warming……”

Oh, really?

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Other good reads:

The Chattanoogan ,The TN Center for Policy Research ,Doug Ross: A donation has been made in your name,

Travis Johnson: Jesus, Mary, and their son, TraderRob: A real inconvenient truth, Brussels Journal: Global Warming is a myth, Hot Air: Inconvenient Al’s mansion consumes 20x more energy than average household, Fire and Ice,

Toyota to build assembly plant in Mississippi

4000 employees, plus thousands more new jobs in support businesses. This is welcome news for north Mississippi which has seen the redeployment of thousands of furniture manufacturing jobs since the passage of NAFTA.

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi plans a major economic development announcement on Tuesday amid reports the state will become home to a Toyota Motor Corp. manufacturing plant.

The Nikkei, a Japanese business newspaper, said on its Web site Monday that Toyota will build an $880 million sports utility vehicle plant in Mississippi, eliminating sites in Arkansas and Tennessee from contention.

Barbour spokesman Pete Smith, asked if the announcement involved Toyota, responded: “We’re not saying anything about it.” Daniel Sieger, spokesman for Toyota’s North American manufacturing division, said there was “nothing to announce at this moment.”

Mississippi Development Authority officials did not immediately return calls for comment.

Nissan Motor Corp. opened an assembly plant north of Jackson in 2003. The 4,000-employee plant produced about 278,000 vehicles last year.

Officials in three northeast Mississippi counties _ Pontotoc, Lee and Union _ have been trying to market a 1,700-acre site as a possible location for an auto manufacturing plant.

The site, nicknamed “Wellspring,” is about 10 miles northwest of Tupelo. It’s next to U.S. 78, a federal highway that’s scheduled to be designated as Interstate 22.

Source: wkrn.com

Governor Haley Barbour’s press announcement is set for Tuesday, but nobody is officially confirming it. Trent Lott (the hair-do) is scheduled to be in Tupelo on Tuesday (Imagine that).

Barbour’s Democrat opponent in the upcoming election, John Arthur Eaves, is scheduled to make his official announcement of candidacy tomorrow also. But, with the Toyota announcement, nobody will hear him, nor will anyone care. Barbour just got re-elected. Cha-ching.

Tags: vehicle | utility | Sports | spokesman | Site | saying | responded | Reports | plans | opened | Newspaper | manufacturing | involved | eliminating | Development | business | become | ASSEMBLY | Asked | announce | Tupelo | tuesday | Toyota | Tennessee | Smith | sieger | Place | pete | nikkei | MOTOR | Monday | Mississippi | JAPANESE | Jackson | Haley | daniel | CORP | barbour | Arkansas | American

Dems redeploy away from Murtha plan

After winning a symbolic victory with a non-binding House resolution, moderate Democrats have decided to redeploy from the Murtha-Pelosi “slow-bleed” strategy which would defund and/or manipulate the Iraqi war effort, as well as possibly endanger the lives of US troops in Iraq.

To many Democrats, that was not only impolitic, it was disloyal.

“He stepped all over Speaker Pelosi’s message of support for the troops,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.). “That was not team play, to put it mildly.”

Even after that Web appearance, some senior Democratic aides say Murtha might well have been able to save his plan if he had quickly laid it out before the Democratic caucus and marshaled Democratic leaders behind a defense. Instead, the House recessed for a week, Murtha disappeared from the media, and Democratic leaders were silent, saying they could not discuss Iraq legislation because no real plan existed.

In the face of an unanswered Republican assault, the Democratic rank-and-file cracked — on the left and the right. source

The nutroots can’t be too happy about this. But this doesn’t let the 17 turncoat Republicans who voted for the House resolution, and the eight in the Senate off the hook.

The names of these white flag Republicans, courtesy of Victory Caucus

Sudden Jihad Syndrome: Salt Lake City

Events surrounding the Salt Lake City mall shooting by a Bosnian Muslim are getting very interesting. While shouting “Allahu Akbar,” on February 12, 2007, 18 year old Sulejman Talovic shot six people to death and wounded several others. [See original article on the shooting here.]

The killer’s father Soljo Talovic, fought in Bosnia as a muhajideen and is a congregant at the Noor mosque which was close the the shopping center where the massacre took place. And so the ‘poor boy’ platitudes begin… He was exposed to warfare in Bosnia as a child. Poor boy. This resulted in trauma. Poor boy……….

Right Truth gives us the “inconvenient truth” about the mall massacre in SLC, a story that the 4th estate has deemed not newsworthy when compared to Anna Nichole’s corpse, Britney’s rehab, or The Goracle’s march to Oscarville. I highly recommend that you read it all.

The Sweaty Young Man And His Fi-Fitty!

This photo is of the SYM’s Honda CB550-4, with friends, in his driveway. He didn’t keep this motorcycle very long, just over four months, as it would only reach 95mph as it’s top speed, regardless of whether it was on level ground, or going down a mountain. The availability of aftermarket products at that time was limited, so was the gearing, and sprocket sizes for this, otherwise, wonderfully balanced and smooth machine.
Eventhough the SYM didn’t keep this bike very long, it was involved in much fun, and merriment, after a harrowing first day of ownership.
It all began one morning, as the SYM met the milk truck driver at the Clark AB dairy, after calling in a favor, for his delivery run to Subic Bay Naval Base, which was to the SouthWest by about 45 miles, but was a one and a half hour drive, through winding mountainous roads. To complicate things, a typhoon was approaching from the east of the island, off of the Pacific ocean. The SYM had learned the day before, that the Base Exchange at Subic Bay had one last Honda CB550-4 in stock, and that the next shipment would reflect a substantial three hundred dollar price increase. SYM had to act fast, and hustled over to the Credit Union, secured the loan, and had his check ready when he boarded the milk truck.
Upon arriving at Subic, and proceeding to the Base Exchange facility that handled motorcycle sales, he completed the transaction, and was officially the proud owner of his new bike, the last of it’s kind in that color scheme, and that price. SYM was quite pleased with himself for a few moments, then reality set in. The shop foreman, responsible for assembling the bike, gave him a perplexed look, and informed him that a five dollar assembly fee was required, but due to so much work ahead of his, he couldn’t guarantee he could get to it that day. SYM had been in the Philippines for about one year, and he knew what to do, and offered to triple the assembly fee, at which time a smiling and suddenly energized foreman got to work, and proceeded to get his bike ready.
The SYM soon found himself riding on his new Fi-Fitty, on his way back to Angeles City, but not without a care, as the typhoon was now dumping buckets of rain. The highway was almost abandoned, as he crossed a few high water areas, where the water came almost up to the carburetors, but he eventually made it home, with pruny fingers. He had a rain suit on, helmet with eye protection, and boots, but not gloves. That never happened again.
As he got more familiar with his Fi-Fitty, he came to appreciate how well balanced it was, as he could approach a redlight, slow to a stop and hold it for a moment, perfectly still, without having to put a foot down. It had a pleasant exhaust note from the four baffled exhaust pipes, handled, braked, road very smooth, and was a handsomely styled bike. It just wouldn’t go fast enough, and the SYM was beginning to get very upset with all of the bikes blasting past him.
The Fi-Fitty was a great friend for those few months, and was perfect to ride up and down the Cordilleras mountain range. According to another bike rider that traveled with him up the mountains to the summer capitol of Baguio, the SYM was “nuts” for riding so fast on the way down. The SYM scoffed at this notion, as he believed the one making that assertion didn’t realize the SYM was immortal.
About a month prior to selling the Fi-Fitty, and going to Japan to find something more powerful, the SYM realized that his best bud, let’s call him Grandpa Bob, was “short” for the PI. The realization that his closest friend and confidante would soon be leaving, and who knows, may never be seen again, compelled the SYM to request one weeks leave. If they might not ever get together again and tear it up, then by golly, they were going to tear it up for a week.
The festivities began innocently enough one day, as the two buds climbed on the Fi-Fitty to go get something to eat and drink. Soon it was all about the drink, San Miguel beer specifically, and soon that was their only sustenance. The two buds had curfew passes, so the midnight to 4a.m. curfew didn’t apply to them, as the party stretched into the second day, then the third, and a fourth, with little food, no sleep, and lots of beer, they were trying to delay the reality of Grandpa Bob’s departure, and return to the world. The SYM was still hanging tough, albeit goofy, but he noticed Granpa Bob, a much thinner person, was starting to have some trouble with his emotions, equilibrium, vision, speech(among other things), and was becoming difficult to control. When Grandpa Bob became Quixotic, and started attacking the trash containers that were harassing him, SYM knew the party was over, and physically restrained Grandpa Bob, put his helmet on, and instructed him to get on the Fi-Fitty..time to go home. As the Fi-Fitty turned onto MacArthur Highway, and headed south to Del Rosario compound, SYM had the bike humming along nicely, at about 40mph, when he suddenly felt Grandpa Bob let go of his grip and start moving about on the seat. The SYM became alarmed, maybe Grandpa Bob was hallucinating again, and was thinking of getting off the bike, so he slowed down, and turned his head to tell Grandpa Bob, not to let go. It was at that moment that Grandpa Bob turned his head to his left and began “blowing beads” as they traveled down the abandoned highway, at 3a.m. When the SYM realized what was happening, he flicked the throttle grip, and quickly accelerated to over 60mph, with Grandpa Bob still spraying the contents of his stomach down the road. The SYM thinks to himself, at that moment, he has got to get a bigger bike. He got Grandpa Bob home, and safely inside, and went home himself. They didn’t see each other until later that evening, a little worse for wear, but they continued to hang together, until the day Grandpa Bob left the island.
Thankfully, to this day, the two friends are as close as ever, eventhough they don’t get to see each other very often. The wonders of the innernut have made it much easier to share thoughts, feelings, and memories, than ever before.
The SYM, from that time forward, swore off owning a motorcycle smaller than 750cc’s.

Muslim Council Advice on Islamic Education in State Schools.

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RoP™ work accident

“students at local seminary” … Of course, since this is a muslim country, the muslim apologists won’t have to go on tv to proclaim their victim status and wring their hands about the pending muslim backlash…

CHEECHA WATNI, Pakistan— Three Islamic militants died in eastern Pakistan when a powerful bomb they were transporting by bicycle accidentally exploded Saturday near a bustling cattle market, police said.

Mohammed Shakil, a police inspector at the scene, told The Associated Press one of the men riding a bicycle had strapped explosives to his body that exploded prematurely, killing himself and the two others in Cheecha Watni, a town about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Multan, a city in Punjab province.

Shakil said the slain men were students of a local seminary and had links with Sipah-e-Sahaba — a Sunni militant group outlawed by the government in 2001 in an effort to purge Pakistan of extremism….

The severed head of one of the militants was found in a nearby field, Shakil said. Police collected the suspects’ remains for DNA testing.

no raisins for stupidity.

Train crash:”possibility of sabotage”

from the Daily Mail...

Rail crash investigators were facing up to the possibility that the Virgin train derailment could have been the result of sabotage.

Four vital steel bolts from a set of points that the train had just crossed were found lying at the side of the track.

The bolts should have been firmly fixed to a track stretcher bar on the high-speed West Coast line at Grayrigg, near Kendal, Cumbria.

Network Rail, which is responsible for track maintenance, said it would require a specialist heavy spanner used by rail engineers to remove the bolts.

One senior railway executive told The Mail on Sunday last night: “Four bolts were lying there neatly. They had been removed recently. It’s very odd. It’s a mystery. We cannot give a rational explanation. We have to try to find out who has been there recently and why somebody would do this. Sabotage cannot be ruled out.”

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Investigators are also comparing similarities to the Potters Bar crash five years ago which killed seven. In addition, some 600 key sites are being checked around Britain for faults.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union,
said: “There was a track inspection a few days ago and there were no
problems. But all of a sudden the bolts are off.”

Tags: vital | Stretcher | specialist | spanner | sabotage | remove | possibility | points | maintenance | lying | INVESTIGATORS | high-speed | firmly | facing | engineers | Derailment | crossed | crash | cannot | bolts | Virgin | Travel | Network | Kendal | Grayrigg | Britain

All Cool Jihadi’s Wear them!

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Mmmmm…. how long before this isn’t just a toon?

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Let this be a lesson to all Jihadi’s! Osama left his cave once without his Burkha specs – and look what happened (see below).

Once Again…Is Osama Dead?


Found this story at Anti-Mullah.
Is Osama bin Laden dead?

Osama bin Laden, charismatic founder of al-Qaeda, died of typhoid earlier this month in Pakistan, according to a highly classified intelligence brief given to the King of Saudi Arabia and President Chirac this week, and leaked to the French newspaper L’Est Republicain.

That’s the opening paragraph. Sounds good to me, and cause for a mini-celebration for those of us serious about the GWOT.
Well, what at first appears to be an interesting and informative article about the demise of an evil homeless person, responsible for the death of thousands, quickly descends into an article bashing President Bush’s administration.

The death of bin Laden, if it is confirmed, will be cloaked in the propaganda of martyrdom, mourning and revenge. It could also trigger a major rethink of such notions as “Global War on Terror”, which is long overdue. It will be a blow to the sloganising of the neo-conservatives – and their notion of the “clash of civilisations” – and to the high-flown rhetoric of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.

How typical.
A journalist and online publication, both of whom I’ve never heard of til now, can’t just report the info, they also have to tell me what to make of it, from a leftard point of view.
Once again, give us the info…all of it, and keep your editorializing to yourself…or the editorial page.
For my part, if OBL is no more…ceases to exist, then it’s good news that stands alone.

Friday Links –ESPN gets it, what about CNN and FNC?

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ESPN gets it. Think about it……On a crisp Autumn Saturday afternoon, you’re getting ready to watch your favorite team play on ESPN. You’ve got your hot-wings, chip-n-dip, beverages, everything, all laid out and ready to go. Only one problem. The prior game is running past its allotted time, and it looks like you’re going to miss kickoff, and probably a significant portion of the first quarter.

So what does ESPN do? They activate a special channel called ESPN “alternate”, and start the coverage of the game on time. Then, when the other game is over the coverage is switched back to regular programming, and everybody is happy. It’s a great concept, I think, which should be incorporated by the cable news channels.

There is no other news when oygen-sucking non-news stories covering the likes of the corpse of Anna Nichole, Britney’s latest, OJ, ad nauseum, tweak the ratings meters of the 24 hour news biz. And, it is most certainly a business. I understand and respect this. So, how about CNN “alternate”, or FNC “alternate” for times such as these? The flagship channels can continue their non-stop ratings boosting coverage, and even put their celeb “A”-team in the anchor chairs to keep those heady ratings up there as long as possible. And the news of the day can get sent over to “alternate”, to be returned to normal programming when the hype dies down.

Here is the Friday Open thread. Links, trackbacks, snark, and comments are welcome. Of course, extra “special” rants might be more appropriate on the Friday Foad Thread. Have a great weekend y’all. Nuke.

Tags: switched | running | RATINGS | programming | prior | Portion | passed | news | looks | laid | kickoff | incorporated | hot-wings | going | gets | favorite | crisp | Coverage | concept | chip-n-dip | CHANNEL | called | cable | beverages | allotted | afternoon | activate | Saturday | People | links | friday | FNC | ESPN | CNN | Autumn

trackback posted to:  Gulf Coast Pundit

Cheney comes out swinging

And it’s about time. There is only so much that the alternative media can do to push back against liberal politicians and pundits who have dominated the news cycle for months. From global warming to retreat in the War against islamic terror, the lack of a strong voice from the Administration has led to a weakening of the National Security message, as well as a cause for celebration on the left, who have viewed the results of the last election as validation for every loony-toon idea ever hatched in the marxist playbook.

Cheney’s remarks during a Tokyo interview were aimed directly at the Democrat leadership, the non-binding resolution, and their stated intentions to defund and/or manipulate the military effort in Iraq:

“I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the al-Qaida strategy,” the vice president told ABC News. “The al-Qaida strategy is to break the will of the American people … try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit.” source

I don’t think it is a coincidence that Cheney’s words come at the conclusion of the Libby trial, which, even though short on substantive importance and relevance, has served to muzzle not only Cheney, but Karl Rove as well. Now that this farce of a trial is in the final stages, perhaps the Administration will begin to get back on message.

h/t n2l

See also: velvet hammer–reconquista hate group joins lefties in DC march…

Financing Terrorism 3.0

Over the past 5 years, I’ve spent a great deal of time reading and writing about the War against Islamic terrorism, with special emphasis on exposing the myths of the religion of peace™, as well as pounding the keyboard exposing and criticizing their willing accomplices on the political left. Looking back, one area in which I have not spent a great deal of time, is in understanding the business aspects of terror cells.

As most small businessmen understand, the lifeblood of a successful business is money. Specifically, that boils down to cash flow, and the ready availablity of affordable capital (borrowing). It’s really no different for a terror cell (with the obvious differences of producing death and mayhem as both a mission statement and product/service instead of a legitimate product/service with necessary transparency and oversight). Terror cells, as a business, require the ready availability of cash, and sufficient cash flow to support daily operations.

The Bush Administration has generally received good reviews for their efforts to freeze terrorist assets, with the understanding that much still needs to be done. For example, as Rachel Ehrenfeld reveals on the Terror Finance Blog, unless regulators intervene, obtaining the necessary cash for a terror cell may be just a few simple keystrokes away for anyone with a cell phone:

cellphone.jpgThe GSM Association, the mobile telephone operator trade body, announced that 19 mobile phone companies will allow more than “600 million customers in over 100 countries,” to use their cell phones to transfer money internationally. “The system will allow a person to put cash onto their mobile, and order it to be sent to a mobile phone number abroad, where the recipient receives a text message saying that money has arrived.”

“The system will allow a person to put cash onto their mobile, and order it to be sent to a mobile phone number abroad, where the recipient receives a text message saying that money has arrived… the initiative could double the number of recipients of international remittances to more than 1.5 billion.” This new initiative, which is said to help migrant workers to send money to their families, would undoubtedly defeat most efforts to identify the users and follow the money trail. A terrorist dream comes true.

On a final note, isn’t it interesting that a terror cell’s cash flow dream is being marketed as a way to help migrant workers to send money to their families? I suppose that includes illegal immigrant workers as well. This makes BofA’s decision last week to issue credit cards to illegal immigrants even more alarming. Now those very same borrowed funds will be theoreticaly available to be sent across the borders. Cash flow + ready availability of capital. Somebody please wake me up and tell me I’m dreaming.

Related: Israel News Agency

US deficit is shrinking, balanced budget in one year?

“Find me a one-handed economist,” President Harry Truman used to say, expressing his frustration at his economic advisers’ tendency to say “On the one hand, Mr. President…, but on the other hand.”

This story from Christian Science Monitor is chock full of two-handed predictions…

Despite the ongoing costs of US military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the outlook for the federal budget has grown substantially brighter.

Tax revenues are rising much faster than spending, according to Treasury Department numbers released last week. The recent trend is strong enough that, were it to continue, the budget could move into surplus in barely a year, one economist calculates.

Already, the federal deficit is shrinking toward about half the size that it has averaged since 1970, when analyzed as a percentage of gross domestic product.

Source: csmonitor.com

The possibility of a balanced budget should be heady news for this embattled Administration, embroiled in a divisive foreign policy. And as campaign craziness season begins in earnest, look for both sides to claim credit for the improved economic situation, seeing it as either evidence that supply-side economics has worked again, and that the ’01 tax-cutting program should be made permanent, OR as proof that tax-cuts should be phased out in 2010 as scheduled, and needed investments to the social infrastructure should be made.

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Little Bundle of Toons for your Edification.

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I Dreamed Of Iraq Being Abandoned!

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Many of you know I have been feeling the effects of a cold for the past week. They are never pleasant to contend with, and the single best cure seems to be plenty of rest, which doesn’t always come easily.
After the past weeks events, when the traiterous leftard congress critters sent a message that they were prepared to abandon the mission in Iraq, for their political advantage, and no other benefit, it was unsettling to many Americans. Many of you also know of my participation in the evacuation of Saigon, just before it fell to the communist, and the feeling of betrayal to the wonderful people of South Vietnam I, and many others, have felt for the past three decades.
So it shouldn’t be any surprise that I have strong reservations against what the Defeatocrats are attempting, based on historical events. Which brings me to a disturbing dream I had, during a feverish sleep on Sunday.
I dreamed I was standing in a sprawling neighborhood in Iraq, possibly in Baghdad, and the cut and run policies of the Defeatocrats had already been implemented. I was not a participant, just an observer, watching all that was taking place. The last of the troops had just left in their vehicles, and the Iraqi people were scrambling around, gathering up what belongings they could carry. The men weren’t present, just women and children, all screaming in fear and panic. Mothers with their children, young girls, pre and post adoldescents, in a cacophony of terror, which now included the sounds of the mufsidun, Sunni or Shiia, it didn’t matter, and the sound was that of a pack of wolves. I stood and watched, as the women ran from the street, down an embankment and attempted to flee. I watched with horror, a young Iraqi girl, perhaps twelve, attempt to join the fleeing women, when an enormous wolf pounced on her, turning his head sideways so as to wrap his giant muzzle around the young girls waist. As he did, she was screaming without sound, and the blood from her body was sprayed all over the people that ran by, as the wolf took his time devouring the girl. I only watched this for a moment, and looked around and saw wolves circling, attacking , and killing every person in sight, and when one person might appear to make it to the other embankment, another enormous wolf would appear and destroy them as well. This scene faded to black, and my horrific dream was over…thankfully.
I don’t often remember my dreams, as they mostly seem innocuous, or of a nature that I would not feel comfortable posting on my friends blog. This dream, however, was poignant, and is not the future I wish for the Iraqi people, or for any, not even the disgustingly immoral leftards in this country that refuse to see how important the fight in Iraq is, and how much the majority of Iraqis want us there, and want our help. The mufsidun are the wolf pack, and they are at their best when the weakest and most vulnerable are present, and when the hunters are gone.
Let me close with a brief email from my Kurdish bud. This is the last email I got from him, and this was 20 Jan. I would have heard if anything had happened to him, I think he is very busy, as he is a translator with the U.S. military, and is involved in the new Baghdad security plan.

Dear (n2l) Hi,
Thank you for understanding the whole picture, it is very danger if we free world people stop aiding Iraqi people in this battle, it will affect the whole world in a very near future, this battle between good and bad , there is to much hate in the heart of these fanatic against the western country all together, if they could they will destroy us all in a Minuit, I wish all American understand this,

I am not known as a clairvoyant, and I sincerely hope this was just a bad dream, induced by an elevated body temperature.

Addendum:Iraq War Attitudes.

Mass exodus from Cuba?

The Miami Herald is reporting on a new $18 million facility that the US Government is building at Gitmo in anticipation of a “mass exodus” of up to a half-million Cubans after the death of Castro.

“The U.S. Navy base, on the eastern tip of Cuba, apparently would be used as a shelter of last resort if the volume of Cubans interdicted at sea overwhelms the U.S. policy known as “wet foot/dry foot.”

cubans1.jpgUnder that policy, Cubans who make it to U.S. territory are allowed to remain. Those intercepted at sea are interviewed aboard Coast Guard vessels and most are repatriated to Cuba. A few who have been found to credibly risk persecution if returned to Cuba have been taken to Guantánamo for more interviews while U.S. officials arrange for their resettlement in third nations.

U.S. officials refused to say whether the wet foot/dry foot policy will be changed in case of an exodus, since such an announcement might prompt many Cubans to leave.

For years, migrants captured during surges ended up in tent camps at Gitmo on a bluff called Radio Range, on the larger Windward side of the base.”

Previous large migrations of Cubans were in 1980 “mariel boat-lift”, and 1994 when some 50,000 Cubans and Haitians sought refuge, with most of the Haitians being returned to Haiti. The latter was a memorable point on the learning curve for President Bill Clinton who initially encouraged the migration, but later returned the Haitians, giving rise to the coinage the phrase “words mean things.”

And, in a liberal-exploding-head sidenote, Boing-Boing is reporting that the new facility is being constructed by ……………………………………………………………...wait for it………………………………………………………………………………..Halliburton!

 

Fat Tuesday Open

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WASHINGTON — A Muslim group said Monday it had invited Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., to expand on biting remarks he made last week during debate on a House resolution disapproving of President Bush’s decision to send more than 21,000 U.S. troops into Iraq.

The Muslim American Public Affairs Council has “extended this invitation to Congressman Goode to give him a venue to explain his recent comments about Muslims and Islam,” MAPAC Executive Director Marc Conaghan said in a statement.

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Fish. barrel. shoot.

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all.

What are the people like?

Teflon Don answers the question, “What are the people like?” His observations on patrol in al-Anbar draw a sharp contrast to the images that we see from the Green Zone Media. I’m going to excerpt a large part of his most recent post, but I’m sure that you will want to follow the link back to his blog, Acute Politics, and check out several other posts that he has highlighted as his favorites:

teflondon.jpgThere are the middle-aged men in black robes and red headdresses who glare at us as we pass. They squat in circles and whisper to each other, and strike their children when they wave and call to us. I rarely see women among them.

There was the young Iraqi girl in an orange headdress that blew a kiss at me as we passed her at a checkpoint. She got embarrassed and hid her face when I smiled back.

Once, as we returned to Ramadi from Falluja, I saw an Iraqi man driving his truck through the rain. There were four women in traditional garb in the back of the truck, huddled together for warmth. On the front seat next to the man was his dog.

In one small village near the canals in Falluja was one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen. She was only four or five, and looked like my sister did at that age- curly dark hair around her round, dimpled face. She smiled big and waved, asking for candy- I spread my hands and told her I didn’t have any. She covered her eyes and started pouting, and then turned again to smiles within seconds. As we drove out of sight I could see she was still waving.

There was the old man out working his field- I saw him leaning up against his shovel watching us leave underneath the setting sun. He was old enough to have known life before Saddam as well as after. I can’t help but wonder what he thinks of us.

Everywhere, there are children. If the streets are free of children, we start to look for the imminent attack. They love to have their picture taken, and all of them know that American troops are endless wells of candy. These kids are the future of Iraq. If they grow up to hate, I have little hope that there will ever be peace on this place.

TIME NEVER DIES

Sercan Ondem

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