Sunday, July 31, 2011

Senators May Yet Forge a Last-Minute Debt-Limit Agreement

The Washington Times has an article about a situation in which neither house of Congress or the President inspire public confidence.

Senate leaders said Sunday that they are nearing agreement on a debt-limit increase of up to $3 trillion that would include many of the ideas both Democrats and Republicans have floated in recent weeks to try to rein in future spending.

“There is no agreement that has been made, but we’re optimistic one can be,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said on the chamber floor as he opened up a rare Sunday session.

He said there are plenty of outstanding issues, but he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the outlines include a multi-step, long-term debt increase of about $3 trillion, a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and a special committee to propose future deficit reduction.

That committee’s report would come to both chambers under expedited rules that would ensure a vote.

“We’re really, really close,” Mr. McConnell told reporters in the early afternoon.

The agreement does not have any tax increases because Republicans said they could not accept them, but the total debt increase would last into 2013, which Democrats said was critical to avoid a repeat of this fight before the 2012 elections.

On Sunday afternoon, a test vote on an earlier Democratic proposal to raise the debt limit by $2.4 trillion failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance....

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ever Complain When Your Trash Collectors Misses a Day?


The Daily Mail (U.K.) has an astonishing illustrated article about the Cairo [Egypt] suburb of Manshiyat Naser, or Garbage City. The Zabbaleens who live there are part of the Christian minority, and make a good living by doing the dirty work, such as salvaging recyclable materials, that most Muslims will not.

PTSD Settlement - a Victory for Veterans

Steve Vogel, in Washington Post's Federal Eye blog describes how a class action suit at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims was decided in favor of 1,029 veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, who are now entitled to lifetime disability retirement benefits. All of these vets had been discharged from the military because of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Answer Is Alex Trebek. What is the Question?

Mental Floss mentions the recent incident in which "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek injured himself while chasing down a thief rifling through his possessions in a San Francisco hotel room. It also lists 9 other little-known facts about Trebek, including one that falls in the "TMI" (too much information) category.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

AWOL Islamist Mole Arrested in Texas

Unlike FOX News, I refuse to call this wannabe traitor caught with a supply of guns, ammunition, and explosives a Soldier.

An Army private has been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to attack Fort Hood soldiers that authorities suggest was close to being carried out. The arrest, first reported by Fox News, comes nearly two years after a deadly shooting rampage at the base.

Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell in Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen, Texas, Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody at the Killeen jail.

Abdo, 21, was found with weapons, explosives and jihadist materials at the time of his arrest, a senior Army source confirms to Fox News. He was arrested at around 2 p.m. Wednesday after someone called authorities to report a suspicious individual....

Glenn Beck's The Blaze has videos of two interviews that PFC Abdo gave, one to CNN - and one to al-Jazeera.

When They Ask for This Product by Name, They Don't Want Cat Food


The Guardian (U.K.) says that the former legal high known as mephedrone, or "meow meow," is still popular among teens and young adults despite its being banned in the U.K. last year. This street drug has been linked to not less than 25 deaths.

Home Office figures drawn from the authoritative British Crime Survey estimate that around 300,000 16 to 24-year-olds, or 4.4% of their age group, used mephedrone in the past 12 months.

This is a similar level of popularity to the use of powder cocaine by teenagers and young adults. The BCS survey, drug misuse declared 2010/2011, say that mephedrone and cocaine rank joint second in popularity behind cannabis for this age group.

Mephedrone ranks alongside ecstasy in popularity among all drug users aged between 16 and 59, with 1.4% of all adults reporting they had used them in the past year....

In Contrast, George Washington Refused Offers to Become King

RedCounty.com has the juicy details:

President Obama’s speech to La Raza this week, in which he said he was tempted to change laws on his own, drew criticism from those who are concerned about the rapid accumulation of power in the executive branch that’s occurred in the last three years. The discussion among conservatives whether Obama was serious, joking, or half-joking overshadowed the clear response La Raza members gave him—they begged him to become a dictator.

“Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own,” the president said while discussing laws against illegal immigration. He paused.

After a slow applause, the La Raza audience began a full-throated cheer.

“And believe me, right now dealing with Congress,” Obama started to say before being interrupted by chants.

“Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!” the audience shouted, urging Obama to become, in essence, a dictator....

Vietnam Veteran Who Defended Kerry Stripped of Silver Star

FOX News is one of the few sources of information about this Swift Boat veteran.

A Vietnam veteran who defended Sen. John Kerry against "Swift Boat" attacks in the 2004 presidential race has been stripped of his Silver Star by the Navy -- more than a year after he was sentenced to prison on a child pornography charge.

But the Silver Star wasn't stripped from Wade Sanders because of the child porn conviction, per se.

Military officials told Fox News the medal was revoked in 2010 after Navy investigators looked into his record and found administrative errors surrounding how the award was created. Sources said Sanders was responsible for those administrative errors and may have lied....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Now We Know: Smoking in a Port-a-Potty Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

MyFoxDC.com describes a most unfortunate accident in Australia:

A man from the Royal Australian Air Force suffered life-threatening third-degree burns after a portaloo exploded Monday at an airport Down Under -- an incident connected to an ongoing US-led military exercise in the area, The Courier-Mail reported.

Officials believe the man was using the portable toilet (also known as a port-a-potty) at Rockhampton Airport, in the state of Queensland, when he lit a cigarette.

"There was some sort of explosion," a Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said. "He suffered burns to his head, face, arms, chest and airways...."

Since Obama Is Already Running for Re-Election, We Need Posters of Our Own




Source: JeffHead.com

He's Got Almost Everybody Covered



This Human Events article by John Hayward is worth quoting in its entirety:

Revised Obama Enemies List
If you fit one of these categories, beware.
by John Hayward
07/26/2011

In his budget speech last night, President Obama laid out quite a list of enemies. Many of these names will be quite familiar to longtime Obama-watchers, since he repeated many of the same poll-tested phrases he always uses.

As a public service, here is the entire list of enemies sprinkled through the President’s fifteen minute speech, presented in the order Obama blamed them for the failures of his Administration. If you belong to one of the groups named below, please send money to Washington until you feel better, or at least until Barack Obama feels better.

1. George W. Bush

2. Anyone who got a tax cut in 2000

3. Seniors who participate in Medicare Part D

4. Businesses which have generated less tax revenue since 2009 due to the recession

5. Middle-class families

6. Anyone receiving unemployment benefits

7. States that were planning to fire teachers, firefighters, and police officers in 2009

8. Everyone except Barack Obama who had anything to do with making the national debt larger

9. Businesses that won’t hire people because the country can’t balance its books

10. Financial institutions that lend money to homeowners, students, and corner stores

11. The two major political parties, pointedly excluding Barack Obama

12. The Pentagon

13. The wealthiest Americans

14. The biggest corporations

15. People who want deep spending cuts

16. A significant number of Republicans in Congress who oppose tax increases

17. Those at the top of the income scales, from whom nothing is asked

18. Corporate jet owners

19. Oil companies

20. Hedge fund managers who pay lower tax rates than their secretaries

21. People like Barack Obama, who don’t need tax breaks

22. Americans who make over $250,000 per year

23. Anyone making more money now than they made 10 years ago

24. George W. Bush (again)

25. Republicans who want deep spending cuts without tax increases

26. Anyone responsible for causing a financial default that hurts America’s credit rating (other than Barack Obama, the only politician who has explicitly threatened to do so)

27. Anyone who expects Barack Obama to deal with the national debt again, in six months or less

28. Republicans who oppose tax increases (again)

29. The wealthiest Americans (again)

30. Republicans who want deep spending cuts (again)

31. Washington political warriors, other than Barack Obama

32. New members of Congress

33. Politicians who won’t compromise, other than Barack Obama

34. Leaders who can’t seem to come together, other than Barack Obama

35. Those who hold fast to rigid ideologies and refuse to listen to those who disagree, excluding Barack Obama

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

3,653 Post Offices May Be Closing

Daily Finance reports on a postal system that's drowning in red ink:

The Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the U.S. Postal Service, has suggested that the USPS release a list of 3,651 post offices, mostly in rural areas, that could be closed as a budget-cutting measure. In the last reported quarter, the USPS has lost over $2.2 billion, and could run out of money as soon as September....

Chinese Government Closes Fake Apple Stores

Orange News (U.K.) has this story:

Chinese officials have found five fake Apple stores in a south-western city and ordered two of them to suspend business while they are investigated, a local government website said.

Officials could not do anything about the other three stores - which prominently displayed Apple signs and logos - because they did not find any fake Apple products for sale, according to a report by a local newspaper posted on the Kunming city government's website.

The investigation follows a blog post last week by an American woman who lives in Kunming, in Yunnan province, who stumbled across three shops masquerading as bona fide Apple stores in the city. She took photos and posted them on her BirdAbroad blog.

She said they were modeled on the company's iconic stores right down to the winding staircase and the staff wearing the customary blue T-shirts....

Monday, July 25, 2011

IBD Recommends Putting Balanced Budget Amendment on Hold

An editorial in Investor's Business Daily proposes that Congress table the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA), and wait until the Republicans recapture the presidency and both houses of Congress. We are inclined to agree with that position, as supporters of BBA cannot assemble a two-thirds majority at this time, but may be able to after the 2012 election.

The same editorial praises Republicans for making a stand on other issues near and dear to the heart of conservatives, such as cutting spending (the only cuts that the Obama administration has in mind are in the Dept. of Defense) and holding the line on taxation.


You Could Be Breaking the Law - and Not Know It

Wall Street Journal has a chilling article about the thousands of ways you can get convicted of a federal crime.

...As federal criminal statutes have ballooned, it has become increasingly easy for Americans to end up on the wrong side of the law. Many of the new federal laws also set a lower bar for conviction than in the past: Prosecutors don't necessarily need to show that the defendant had criminal intent....

The U.S. Constitution mentions three federal crimes by citizens: treason, piracy and counterfeiting. By the turn of the 20th century, the number of criminal statutes numbered in the dozens. Today, there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, according to a 2008 study by retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker.

There are also thousands of regulations that carry criminal penalties. Some laws are so complex, scholars debate whether they represent one offense, or scores of offenses.

Counting them is impossible....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Norwegian Tale of Heroism

The Daily Mail (U.K.) has one positive story to come out of the massacre on Utoya Island. Kasper Ilaug was told something terrible was taking place on the island, so he took an 18-foot fishing boat and rescued dozens of young people at the risk of his own life.

UPDATE: Der Spiegel has an article (in English) about how members of the Gleffe family and other campers at a nearby island rescued 150 people trying to escape from the massacre.

Obama, a President of Many Firsts

Check this partial list out:

• First President to Preside Over a Cut to the Credit Rating of the United States Government

• First President to Violate the War Powers Act

• First President to Orchestrate the Sale of Murder Weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels

• First President to be Held in Contempt of Court for Illegally Obstructing Oil Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

• First President to Spend a Trillion Dollars on 'Shovel-Ready' Jobs -- and Later Admit There Was No Such Thing as Shovel-Ready Jobs

• First President to Have a Law Signed By an 'Auto-pen' Without Being "Present"

• First President to Arbitrarily Declare an Existing Law Unconstitutional and Refuse to Enforce It

And that's not all! See the complete list at Doug Ross @ Journal.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Air Show Disaster

Oh, the humanity!

Amazing photos show great detail.

The pilot at low level had no control over his aircraft. It narrowly misses a crowd gathered for the air show and slams into four buildings.

One can only imagine the horror of the occupants inside those buildings.

Gen. Shalikashvili Dies of Stroke


Former Gen. John Shalikashvili (1936-2011), who rose through the ranks from being a draftee to serving as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away at the age of 75 at Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA (south of Tacoma), according to CNN.

Shalikashvili was born in Warsaw, Poland of Georgian parents, who had to flee for their lives after the Warsaw Uprising. They moved to Peoria, IL, John learned to speak English from watching John Wayne movies, and was drafted in the Army in 1958. After a distinguished military career, he retired in 1997.

The general had suffered a stroke previously, in 2004. More recently, he was in the news for his support of a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

"Cut, Cap, and Balance" Bill Smothered in Cradle by Senate

CNS News described the grisly fate of the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill that passed the House. Senate Majority Leader refused to even consider it, so this proposed legislation will have to wait until the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate.

“I think this piece of legislation is about as weak and senseless as anything that has ever come on this Senate floor. And I’m not going to waste the Senate’s time day after day on this piece of legislation, which I think is an anathema to what our country is all about,” Reid said on the Senate floor....

At Least 87 People Lose Their Lives in Oslo-Utoya [Norway] Massacre

The Associated Press has an article about an explosion in Oslo and shooting spree by a mass murderer posing as a policeman on the nearby island of Utoya. Some of the dead drowned while trying to escape from the gunman. One suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has been arrested.

UPDATE1: A Herald-Sun/AP article provides some additional details about Breivik's "right-wing" views. It turns out he had neo-Nazi and anti-Muslim tendencies (many conservatives do not recognize Nazi as right-wing), and was not being watched by the police as they had little documentation on him, and he had maintained a low profile until yesterday.

UPDATE2: According to a CNN article, the death toll for the Oslo-Utoya massacre has risen to 92. Police are looking into the possibility of more than one perpetrator, as witnesses on the island of Utoya said that another person in addition to Breivik was shooting people.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good News, Bad News

The good news, it seems, is that politicians in Washington will suddenly recognize that their political survival is on the line, and work out a compromise that buys some time in the continuing saga of the budget impasse. The bad news is that an agreement worked out in haste will not satisfy most members of both parties throughout the land. The Economist tends to fix the blame on Republicans' refusal to raise taxes, but the Democrats are equally as stubborn about raising tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.

ChiComs Working on EMP Weapon

The Washington Times has just published an article which describes how China is working on an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) weapon which, if detonated 30-40 kilometers above Taiwan will effectively paralyze any efforts to defend the island from a Chinese invasion by frying the circuits of any electronic devices that the Taiwanese or Americans may have.

"EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that knocks out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an aboveground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii...."

Where Political Correctness Trumps Being in Touch with Reality

Alex Jones' Infowars.com has a disturbing article about how the Dept. of Homeland Security is engaging in fear-mongering - of white, middle-class Americans. A recently-issued video, “See Something, Say Something,” is part of a $10 million campaign which the author says is part of a long-range plan to take away our freedoms in the name of public security.

Equal in the Eyes of God


CNN has a heartwarming story about a young man in the Mississippi Delta, Lucas McCarty, who was born with cerebral palsy. He quickly learned to feel at home at the Trinity House of Prayer, where he was the only white member, and its pastor, John Woods, treated him as though he were his own son. This story became the basis of a book, Year of Our Lord, by T.R. Pearson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Obama Flunkey Indulges in the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Real Clear Politics has a truly astonishing statement by White House press secretary Jay Carney (with video):

"Leadership is not proposing a plan for the sake of having it voted up or down, and likely voted down because it is — look, you know how this town works and how Congress works. If an individual, whether Democrat or Republican leader, steps forward and says, this is my plan and solely my plan, it makes it a lot harder for that plan to be the basis for a bipartisan compromise. The way to reach a bipartisan compromise is in bipartisan negotiations where a plan emerges that is the product of that negotiation and is supported by Republicans and Democrats and then presented. Otherwise, your chances of actually achieving something diminish greatly...."

What Will the World's Largest McDonald's Look Like?


Since the Left likes to demonize successful businesses such as McDonald's, we have the satisfaction of linking to this MSNBC article about a temporary, 1,500-seat restaurant they plan to build for the 2012 London Olympics, one of four that will serve the sports complex. McDonald's, which takes its sponsorship seriously, expects to feed 1.75 million hungry athletes, spectators, and news reporters during the 29 days of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Don't Misunderestimate Rep. Brooks!

Real Clear Politics describes how Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) took MSNBC's Contessa Brewer to school - against her will.

Today, Contessa "educated" a conservative Representative that without the bailout, the country would be in "a depression." Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said he disagreed which prompted the MSNBC host to ask him if he had a degree in economics.

"Yes ma'am, I do. Highest honors," Rep. Brooks responded.

According to his Congressional page: "Mo graduated from Duke University in three years with a double major in political science and economics, with highest honors in economics. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Alabama Law School."

Wendi Murdoch Rushes to Defend Her Husband as He Is Being Grilled in Parliament

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch defended himself in Parliament by denying knowledge of the industrial-scale hacking that took place at News of the World. Suddenly Jonnie Marbles, a self-styled comedian, threw a shaving-cream pie at him. Murdoch's Chinese-born wife Wendi immediately sprang into action, taking a swing at him and knocking him down to the floor. A YouTube video captures this moment.

Liberals Sharpen Knives for Dept. of Defense

This barely qualifies as news, as the Washington Times reports that the one government program that liberals are ready to impose substantial budget cuts on is the military.

The political left is pressing the White House and Congress to inflict a wave of Pentagon budget cuts not seen since the post-Cold War 1990s.

Liberals are citing the debt crisis and troop drawdowns from Iraq and Afghanistan to argue that now is the time for the Defense Department to shed people, missions and weapons after a decade of doubling arms spending after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The proposals, including one from the Center for America Progress, go well beyond President Obama’s call in April for $400 billion in defense cuts over 12 years. The center — run by John Podesta, who served as chief of staff to President Clinton — wants that much in reductions over the next three years and $1 trillion from what had been projected increases over the next decade....

Playing Both Sides of the Street

The Hill's Hillicon Valley blog brought up a startling (but not surprising) point:

Political donations by News Corp., its employees and their families were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with President Obama the all-time leading recipient, according to a report from the Sunlight Foundation.

The transparency watchdog noted Tuesday that Democrats received 51 percent of contributions while Republicans received 49 percent, despite the firm's highly publicized links to the GOP, such as a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association in August.

News Corp. is the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and Fox News, among others. The firm is currently under scrutiny in both the U.S. and U.K. over allegations its subsidiary News of the World hacked into voice mail accounts and bribed public officials....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shocking Experience for Copper Thieves

In Cowpens, SC, one copper thief paid the ultimate price at a Duke Energy substation trying to steal copper, according to WYFF4.com. He caused a fire and explosion that knocked out power to half the population of the town.

CNS News reports that a man trying to steal copper from an elementary school in Albuquerque, NM apparently got a 480-volt shock. Police found a scorched T-shirt and assorted tools, and are now checking emergency rooms for burn victims.

Another copper thief paid for his attempt with his life earlier this month at an electrical substation in Whitley, KY [source: ECT.coop].

A Snopes.com message board has some disturbing photos of what can happen when you touch a live wire at an electrical substation. This incident may have happened in southern California in 2009.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Closing the Book on Borders

USA Today and many other news sources have reported that beginning on Friday of this week, Borders Books will be closing its remaining 399 bookstores after liquidating as much merchandise as they can. By September all 10,700 employes of this chain will lose their jobs. One of the contributing factors to the downfall of Borders has been that unlike Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, they missed the boat on the e-book revolution.

"News of the World" Whistleblower Found Dead

The plot thickens as reports come in of Sean Hoare being found dead at home of unknown causes, according to a Telegraph (U.K.) article.

Mr Hoare, 47, who accused his former editor, Andy Coulson [who was arrested for his part in the hacking scandal], of complicity in the illegal activity, was discovered at his home days after he made a series of fresh allegations against executives under whom he worked.

Police said his death was “unexplained”, but said they did not at this stage suspect foul play.

The news came as David Cameron cut short a trip to Africa to fly home as another day of developments turned the phone hacking scandal into his gravest crisis as Prime Minister.

Mr Cameron, who employed Mr Coulson as his Downing Street media strategist after the former editor quit his post at the News of the World, faces a barrage of questions from MPs tomorrow after Parliament’s summer recess was delayed so he could make an emergency Commons statement.

SEIU Gives Employers and Employees the Middle Finger with Intimidation Manual - It's What They Do

The Washington Times describes how the existence of a 70-plus page intimidation manual was confirmed during the discovery process in a pending court case.

The new union tactic is to use pressure on corporate boardrooms as a means of organizing entire companies nationwide rather than recruiting workers on a site-by-site basis; in short, to organize employers rather than employees. To create this pressure, unions attempt to push businesses to the edge of bankruptcy, with little regard for the welfare of employer and employee. They attempt to strong-arm businesses into agreeing to take away the secret ballot for employees in union-organizing elections via card check. They also try to force employers to restrict their own speech on union issues so that workers will not get both sides of the story on unionization. Among the SEIU’s demands is that employers agree to bargain only with it, to the exclusion of all other unions, regardless of what workers want....

EDITORIAL COMMENT: This revelation only confirms what we have believed for years, that unions are desperate for new members and will resort to any means to recruit them. Secondly, the union-friendly NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) is unlikely to do anything about these strong-arm tactics.

UPDATE: Breitbart's Big Government has an article in the same vein about how the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AF$CME) operates.

Paramedics Take Cancer Patient on a Special Trip


KATU-TV of Camas, WA has a story that will hopefully take our minds off the depressing news this blog has been reporting lately.

Jim Orr has been fighting advanced melanoma for more than a year. He loves coaching his son’s little league team, but his treatment often takes him out of the game.

This past June was the last time he visited the field, although it wasn’t a planned trip.

He was getting a ride in an ambulance to get another round of radiation treatment when he met paramedics Della Bornman and Dan Carlton.

He jokingly asked them to swing by his son’s baseball game. After working out the details, the two paramedics made a detour and granted Orr’s wish.

“We thought it would be a great experience for Jim, maybe a healing experience for him, give him a little more motivation,” Bornman said....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Would You Like White or Brown Gravy with That, Mr. President?

National Review online has preserved some words that President Obama will have to eat soon:

While President Obama’s economic advisor Austin Goolsbee argued Sunday that a refusal by the Senate to increase the government’s debt ceiling (currently $14.3 trillion) would be “catastrophic” and a sign of “insanity,” that’s not the position the president has held in the past.

Here are Obama’s thoughts on the debt limit in 2006, when he voted against increasing the ceiling:

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better...."

Newsweek.com to Bite the Dust - Can Print Edition Be Far Behind?

Accuracy in Media announced that the Newsweek Web site will come to an end on the 19th of July.

What is a weekly news magazine without its own website? We are about to find out as according to The New York Newseeek editor Tina Brown has decided to shutter the ailing magazine’s website and redirect visitors to The Daily Beast.

This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as rumors circulated to this effect when it was announced that Newsweek and The Daily Beast were merging last year....

And It Came to Pass in the Age of Insanity

Quoted in My Thoughts Exactly and other blogs & Web sites.

And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America, having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as The One.

He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, “I am sent to save you. My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. For I shall save you with Hope and Change. Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed.”

And the people rejoiced. For even though they knew not what The One would do, He had promised that it was good; and they believed.

And The One said “We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!”

And the people said, “Hallelujah!! Change is good!”

Then He said, “We are going to tax the rich fat-cats,”—-

And the people said “Sock it to them!”

“—- and redistribute their wealth.”

And the people said, “Show us the money!”

And then He said, “Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody.”

And Joe the plumber asked, “Are you kidding me? You’re going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??”

And The One ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe’s personal records were hacked and publicized.

One lone reporter asked, “Isn’t that Marxist policy?”

And she was banished from the kingdom!

Then a citizen asked, “With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?”

And The One said, “Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!”

And the people said, “Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!”

Then The One said, “I shall give 95% of you lower taxes.”

And one, lone voice said, “But 40% of us don’t pay ANY taxes.”

So The One said, “Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!”

And the people said, “Hallelujah!! Show us the money!”

Then The One said, “I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!”

And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed.

And He said, “I shall mandate employer-funded health care for EVERY worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine
and transportation to the clinics.”

And the people said, “Gim’me some of that!”

Then he said, “I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas.”

And the people said, “Where’s my rebate check?”

Then The One said, “I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!”

And the people said, “Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don’t care for that part about higher electric rates.”

So The One said, “Not to worry. If your rebate isn’t enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with ACORN and your troubles are over!”

Then He said, “Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let’s grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing . . .”

And the people said, “Hallelujah!!” And they made him King!

And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed and blamed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of support.

Then The One said, “I am the The One - The Messiah - and I’m here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!”

But our foreign trading partners said unto Him, “Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more . . . ”

And the people said, “Wait a minute. That is unfair!!”

And the world said, “Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!”

And the people cried out, “Alas, alas!! What have we done?”

But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon The One and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung.

And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change The One had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.

And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, “Give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!”

But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.

Written by: Lee W. Lawrence

Genuine News: Bank of America Employee Provides Good Customer Service!

Chris Morran at The Consumerist reports on this rare incident:

With all the horror stories we read and write about Bank of America, it's easy to forget that there are BofA employees who understand the value of treating the customer as something other than livestock.

Consumerist reader Josh has a free checking account with Bank of America. Unfortunately, part of the stipulation of such an account is that he add money to the account via direct deposit or face a fee.

Well, Josh just started a new job and his first couple of paychecks were actual paper checks because it takes a few weeks for his direct deposit to kick in. Alas, this means he's stuck with paying the fee to BofA to deposit the checks.

A key part of his description: "The representative was really polite, reviewed my account history, and spontaneously refunded both July and June's maintenance fees because she 'understood exactly' and 'appreciated my good business.'"

"The Undefeated" Playing to Packed Houses in Limited Run; Ignored by Dinosaur Media

John Nolte at Breitbart's Big Hollywood describes a disturbing pattern in the Left's reaction to a new movie about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin:

...It isn’t strictly accurate to say that I sat through the whole movie alone. Just as the previews started, two young women walked in giggling together and took seats three rows behind me. Afraid that they’d ruined the only story I had at that point — What If Sarah Palin Starred in a Movie and No One Showed Up? — I hoped they’d at least oblige me with an interview, and so they did.

From there, the corrupt MSM has been gleefully off and running and amplifying the glorious news:

The hard-left film site Movie Line:

Empty Theaters, 0% Positive Reviews Greet Sarah Palin Documentary

New York Magazine:

For the debut of the Sarah Palin documentary, Atlantic scribe Conor Frieserdorf was alone in an Orange County, California, theater, one of just ten nationwide showing The Undefeated.

Frum Forum:

Palin Movie Opens to No Crowds

Salon:

Palin movie debuts to an audience of empty seats

And naturally, Politico’s Ben Smith of the Tanning Bed Smiths:

The Unwatched

One writer. One article. One screening. Apparently, what we used to consider anecdotal now equals news. And as a result you have a genuine media narrative being brewed with headlines intentionally written to create the perception that the “The Undefeated” is DOA — in the Republican stronghold of Orange Country, no less.

Translation: It’s over, Palinistas! Please form a single-file line to the right where all your hopes and dreams will be stripped and burned....

[NOTE: This report of low attendance was based on a midnight showing on a Thursday.]

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Revenge of the Passenger: Woman Arrested for Groping TSA Agent!

This man-bites-dog story courtesy of MyFOX New York;

PHOENIX - We hear a lot of complaints about security screeners groping airline passengers [and getting paid for it!].

But now, a Colorado woman is accused of putting her hands on a TSA agent at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

Court records show 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae grabbed the left breast of the female agent Thursday at the Terminal 4 checkpoint.

Police say she squeezed and twisted the agent's breast with both hands.

Officers say Mihamae admitted to the crime....

Divorced from Reality

The Hill describes how President Obama is trying to convince skeptics that an overwhelming majority of the public wants tax increases.

President Obama on Friday kept up the pressure on Republicans to agree to revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, claiming 80 percent of the public supports Democrats' demand for tax increases.

"The American people are sold," Obama said. "The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically."

Throughout the press conference, Obama blasted Republicans for ignoring what he said is the will of the American people by rejecting tax increases that would balance out spending cuts in a debt package....

EDITORIAL COMMENT: This blog remains constant in stating our position, that now is not the time to raise taxes, as we believe that doing so will make a bad situation worse.

Obama Has Nothing to Show for Bowing to and Bootlicking Arab Leaders

IPS News confirms what we intuitively suspected, that a Zogby poll consisting of 4,000 face-to-face interviews indicated that U.S. standing in the Arab world has plunged during the Obama administration.

The United States' popularity in the Arab world has plummeted to levels lower than the last year of the George W. Bush administration, according to a new survey of public opinion in six Arab countries released here Wednesday.

The "Arab Attitudes" survey found that favourable ratings of the United States have fallen by nine percent or more in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the past two years.

In Egypt, they fell from 30 percent to a meagre five percent. Only in Lebanon did positive views of the U.S. (23 percent) remain consistent....

Friday, July 15, 2011

True Confession: Sen. McConnell Admits He Doesn't Know the Constitution Any Better Than Obama



Tim Cavanaugh in Reason.com reports on the murky but obviously unconstitutional surrender of congressional authority over the budget and the government's borrowing authority. His predecessors would have fought like cornered wolverines to defend the very considerable power of the purse, but now they're trying to avoid responsibility for some very hard and unpopular decisions that will have to be made soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Obama to Celebrate His Birthday on the 4th of Aug.

The White House Dossier blog has this juicy tidbit:

President Obama will be celebrating his 50th birthday in style at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Prices for admission will range from the pauper rate of $50 to the deluxe package (which includes a private dinner with the President and live entertainment) for $35,800.

"Undoubtably, the sight of so much money getting thrown around and dissolute stars crooning to Obama will make a stirring contrast with a federal government bankruptcy featuring unpaid government workers, seniors and soldiers wondering how they’ll afford the groceries, shuttered national parks, and angry investors trying to cash out their Treasury Bills.

"If the government defaults, you can be sure the birthday bacchanal will do much more to harm Obama’s reelection prospects than help them. Maybe House GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has been refusing to back down while needling Obama to the extent that the president stomped out of a White House meeting yesterday, already knows this...."

If You Don't Want to Become Solyent Green, We Can Turn You into Jell-o


Science Daily describes this alternative to bovine gelatin:

ScienceDaily (July 13, 2011) — Scientists are reporting development of a new approach for producing large quantities of human-derived gelatin that could become a substitute for some of the 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for gelatin-type desserts, marshmallows, candy and innumerable other products.

Their study appears in American Chemical Society's Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Jinchun Chen and colleagues explain that animal-based gelatin, which is made most often from the bones and skin of cows and pigs, may carry a risk of infectious diseases such as "Mad Cow" disease and could provoke immune system responses in some people. Animal-based gelatin has other draw-backs, with variability from batch to batch, for instance, creating difficulties for manufacturers. Scientists thus have sought alternatives, including development of a human-recombinant gelatin for potential use in drug capsules and other medical applications.

To get around these difficulties, the scientists developed and demonstrated a method where human gelatin genes are inserted into a strain of yeast, which can produce gelatin with controllable features. The researchers are still testing the human-yeast gelatin to see how well it compares to other gelatins in terms of its viscosity and other attributes. Chen and colleagues suggest that their method could be scaled up to produce large amounts of gelatin for commercial use.

Obama Threatens to Starve Grandma

Mark Levin is on top of what we believe to be an empty threat. His Web site includes links to articles and videos that discuss what the Lamestream Media dare not mention:

"On Wednesday's Mark Levin Show: President Obama is now saying that Seniors might not get their Social Security checks come August 3rd when the federal budget apparently runs out. Mark says that you must realize that this is being purposely done by Obama for political reasons because the money is there to fund Social Security and other programs. The focus by Republicans and conservatives is the non-essential programs and the massive spending that is destroying the country - that is what needs to be cut and why the debt ceiling shouldn't be raised...."

What to Do About Fat Children? Make Them Wards of the State

ABC News covered this controversial suggestion:

Harvard University child obesity expert Dr. David Ludwig's recent claim that some parents should lose custody of their severely obese children has sparked outrage among families and professionals across the country....

Dr. David Orentlicher, co-director of Hall Center for Law and Health at Indiana University of School Law, also disagreed, saying that based on past instances, child protective service agencies might be far too quick to place overweight children in foster care.

A family in Albuquerque, N.M., disagreed with the idea, based not on any medical expertise but on a painful personal experience that they say tore the family apart more than a decade ago.

In a case that shocked many people across the country, 3-year-old Anamarie Regino, weighing 90 pounds, was taken from her outraged parents by government officials and placed in foster care.

"Literally, it was two months of hell. It seemed like the longest two months of my life," mother Adela Martinez said.

As it turned out, it was two unnecessary months of hell. Anamarie didn't improve at all in foster care, and she was returned to her parents. The young girl was later diagnosed with a genetic predisposition.

"They say it's for the well-being of the child, but it did more damage that any money or therapy could ever to do to fix it," Martinez said.

Anamarie, who is now 14, agreed....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No Wonder Rupert Murdoch Flew to London!

At this time it appears that Rupert Murdoch is facing an unprecedented crisis, with the freedom of several ex-employees of News of the World and his own son James on the line, and the future of his media empire in jeopardy. The hacking scandal in the U.K. has forced News Corp. to withdraw its bid for BSkyB. Meanwhile, the liberal media, according to an Investor's Business Daily editorial, is salivating over Murdoch's troubles. They never could forgive him for his conservative views, and are envious of his success.

UPDATE: Tim Graham at NewsBusters says that the Leftist Media is ready to do a victory dance over Rupert Murdoch's troubles, but we believe it will take far more to finish him off.

Vyan at Daily Kos is getting giddy in a post headlined “Could we soon see a world without Fox News?” It's apparently all over for FNC: "In less than a week the News of the World Wiretapping and Bribery Scandal has quickly metastasized into a Multi-Headed Dragon of Death for Murdoch Empire and simply lopping off one head, doesn't seem to be enough - the infection has already spread."

Now that Fox-hating liberal interest groups, bloggers, and Democrat politicians are vowing to investigate, the Kosmonauts think Murdoch's "criminal enterprise" is about to collapse....

Glenn Beck Migrating to Dallas, TX

Glenn Beck's The Blaze has an article about how he is in the process of moving to Dallas, where a state-of-the-art radio and television studio is being built for his new network, GBTV.

“I’m moving to Dallas, Texas, and my family is there now, and I will be there shortly. We’re keeping our business, Mercury [Radio Arts], in New York. Nobody is surprised by this, I’m sure. We have been planning for a long time.”

Let's Hope This Doesn't Crash

Billionaire Bill Gates has teamed up with the German government to develop an inexpensive toilet that doesn't require large amounts of water, produces fertilizer instead of sewage, and prevents the spread of disease, says TIME Magazine.

Remember the Medical Scooters You See Advertised on TV? Sellers Could Be Ripping Off Medicare, Patients

USA Today has run a cautionary article about scammers who have bilked the government out of millions of dollars. They bill Medicare at an inflated amount, then deliver cheaper models to their customers (if they send them anything at all). These operators are so slick they have obtained motorized wheelchairs for people who don't need them, leaving less money for those who do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

McConnell Compromise: A Bitter Pill for Conservatives


A White Flag of Surrender is awarded to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R?-KY). MSNBC says:

The top Republican in the Senate proposed on Tuesday giving President Barack Obama sweeping new power to, in effect, unilaterally increase the nation's debt limit to avoid a first-ever default on U.S. obligations.

...Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a new plan to allow the president to demand up to $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority by the summer of next year in three separate submissions.

Those increases in the so-called debt limit would automatically take effect unless both the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate enact legislation specifically disapproving it....

John Hawkins at Right Wing News is quick to express his displeasure in "I'll Fully Support Mitch McConnell's Great New Debt Limit Compromise if He Resigns as Minority Leader." Erick Erickson brings in a biblical reference in "Mitch McConnell Just Proposed the 'Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011'.″

Spongiforma Squarepantsii Discovered in Borneo


The SFGate Web site has an interesting tale about a spongy mushroom discovered in the rain forest of Borneo that was named after the cartoon character SpongeBob Squarepants.

Dennis E. Desjardin, a world-roaming mycologist, has just identified, described and named the curious fungal blob that a team of colleagues brought to his laboratory at San Francisco State University. It looks nothing like your standard mushroom with a cap and stem, but much more like a sponge, bright orange and squishy, and about the size of an egg....

Practical Advice for Conservatives Dealing with Liberals

Pajamas Media has started an advice column by Belladonna Rogers, and she tackles the problem of "The Unbearable Smugness of Liberals: A Guide for the Perplexed." She says it is important not to sink to their level because "While people can and do change, they don’t turn around on a dime because of a single powerful conversation over drinks or dinner. Change occurs, if at all, over years or decades, through the slow accretion of new or newly-understood information and newly-formed impressions, as well as through the gradual accumulation of experiences and observations."

A Real-Life "Running Man"

AJC's "News to Me" by George Mathis relates the sad tale of a man in Utah who announces on his Web site that he will offer himself up as human prey for $10,000 ($12,000 if he's in the nude). No further proof of Mork Encino's desperation over being chronically unemployed is needed.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due


Leftists everywhere would be throwing a fit if anyone had a good word for former President George W. Bush, but Gateway Pundit reports that the people of South Sudan give him credit for making their independence from the brutal Muslim regime a reality.

An Investor's Business Daily editorial scoops the dinosaur media with the following statement:

As South Sudan joyfully celebrated its independence from Sudan, President Obama hailed it as the fruit of partnership, togetherness, hope and unity. South Sudanese, however, hailed President Bush.

Proudly wearing the black cowboy hat given to him by President Bush, South Sudan's new president, Salva Kiir Mayardit , couldn't have made a stronger statement about who made his country's independence possible after 50 years of warfare.

"It was George Bush and the Christian fundamentalists who heard the cry of South Sudan," affirmed a South Sudanese man quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

But to hear the White House — in its official recognition of the new republic, as well as on the White House blog and in an op-ed published earlier this year, President Bush had nothing to do with this.

"Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible," wrote Obama, as if such events just .. . happen.

Fact is, these events didn't just happen....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gov. Brown's Office: "My Way or the Highway!"

This Redstate.com article starts out with a recent proposal to carve out a new state out of 13 southern counties (excluding Los Angeles, of course). But a spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown issued the following statement:

“If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona,” Brown spokesman Gil Duran said.

No wonder so many Californians have been voting with their feet in recent years!

U.S. Withholds $800 Million in Aid to Pakistan

CNN mentions that the United States government is suspending an $800 million payment to Pakistan.

...White House Chief of Staff William Daley confirmed a report in the New York Times that the aid was being withheld.

While Pakistan has "been an important ally in the fight on terrorism," Daley said, "now they've taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid which we're giving to the military, and we're trying to work through that."

A spokesman for the Pakistani military told CNN the military was not informed of any such plan....

OMG! Scientists Discover "Superbug" Strain of Gonorrhea

A Reuters article reports that Japanese scientists have discovered a strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to all known antibiotics and could be a game-changer in the treatment of this sexually transmitted disease.

Michele Bachmann Inches Ahead of Mitt Romney in Iowa

HotAir reports that Rep. Michele Bachmann is four points ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, according to a recent poll. Do the citizens of Iowa like the fact that she's originally from that state, or are they confused and frustrated over the number of times Romney has contradicted himself? It could be a combination of both, so now the Romney campaign faces a problem that's too big to ignore.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mongolia's Fabulous Mineral Wealth

Financial Times describes how mega-investors from all over the world are showing interest in the vast mineral resources of Mongolia. One can imagine China casting a hungry eye at this country, which is estimated to have enough coal to feed every power plant in China for 50 years, and plenty of copper, gold, and silver.

Half a Loaf

The Washington Times reports that Speaker of the House John A. Boehner has told President Obama that he cannot accept $4 trillion in spending cuts (over 10 years) if it includes tax hikes. Conservatives throughout the land have been adamant in opposing any tax increases. Another plan involving $2 trillion in spending cuts seems more likely. In our opinion, the federal government needs to slash its budget by well over $1 trillion a year to maintain our "good faith and credit" and reassure our creditors that we are serious about controlling runaway spending.

Secretary of Defense Panetta Says Defeat of al-Qaeda is "Within Reach"

An AP article quoted Panetta's optimistic assessment, which Gen. Petraeus agrees with. The hard part: taking out 10 to 20 key leaders in several countries to cripple their command-and-control structure.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Finding a Use for Invasive Species

Edible Manhattan has an article that supports our position that you can justify just about anything, as long as you have a good recipe for it: "We Ate Invasive Species, and We Liked It: Smart Seafood Guide’s Tasty Solution to Save Our Waters."

This mouth-watering article describes ways to prepare invasive species such as European green crab, wild blue tilapia and the dreaded lionfish.

The Supreme Court Gets Some Revenge

Looks like the Obama administration's disrespect for the Supreme Court has consequences. The Canada Free Press describes Obama and Holder's unsuccessful attempt to stop the execution of convicted rapist-murderer Humberto Leal Garcia, an illegal immigrant, in Texas. They argued that as a citizen of Mexico, he should be judged by Mexican law, which prohibits capital punishment.

The end of this article will be savored by conservative readers, after being subjected to a slew of bad news:

SUPREME COURT JUST LAUGHING AT OBAMA NOW

The part of the court that doesn’t consist of the Wise Latina, the Braying Breyer, the Lesbian Counsel and the Why Doesn’t She Retire Yet So We Can Replace Her With a Spry 50 Year Old Ginsburg… anyway.

This is the legal equivalent of slapping him across the face with a wet fish over and over again. Or slowly explaining to him as if he were a four year old, just how stupid he, Breyer and Holder and the whole crew are.

Read on for the punch lines…

“We have no authority to stay an execution in light of an “appeal of the President, presenting free-ranging assertions of foreign policy consequences, when those assertions come unaccompanied by a persuasive legal claim.”

“Neither the United States nor JUSTICE BREYER, post, at 1–6 (dissenting opinion), cites a single instance in this Court’s history in which a stay issued under analogous circumstances.”

“The United States does not endorse Leal’s due process claim. Instead, it asks us to stay the execution until January 2012 in support of our “future jurisdiction to review the judgment in a proceeding” under this yet-to-beenacted legislation.”

“Our task is to rule on what the law is, not what it might eventually be.”

“The United States and Breyer complain of the grave international consequences that will follow from Leal’s execution. Congress evidently did not find these consequences sufficiently grave to prompt its enactment of implementing legislation, and we will follow the law as written by Congress.”

“We decline to follow the United States’ suggestion of granting a stay to allow Leal to bring a claim based on hypothetical legislation when it cannot even bring itself to say that his attempt to overturn his conviction has any prospect of success.”

This is the Supreme Court’s classy was of pointing a finger and saying, “You are so stupid. Why are you so stupid?”

Georgia Cheating Scandal Forces School Superintendent into Retirement

Kyle-Anne Shiver at Pajamas Media reports on a scandal the Big Media would rather not talk about:

Atlanta’s citizens are in a state of paralytic shock this week. A year-long investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) into systematic teacher cheating in Atlanta’s public schools has just been released.

Dr. Beverly Hall, that oh-so-highly-acclaimed superintendent with all the national education awards, has gone into early retirement. All those rising test scores from the past decade have been revealed as a disgraceful sham, the result not of actual improved education, but of teachers having “cheating parties” where answer sheets were used to change the answers of failing students so that required benchmarks could have the appearance of being met....

It’s highly likely that Atlanta’s recent high school graduates had already faced the shock, which now grips the whole city. Just imagine a young person, who was recently hired or accepted to college on the strength of one of those faked diplomas, receiving the rude awakening of a firing or college flunk-out all because he couldn’t actually read or write....

Petty Bureaucrats Threaten Woman with 93-Day Jail Sentence - For Growing Vegetables


Glenn Beck's The Blaze reports that the city of Oak Park, MI is coming down hard on Julie Bass for planting a vegetable garden in her front yard.

The city and the Bass family are at odds over the meaning of the local code that reads;

“...all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material”

Ms. Bass has started a blog, Oak Park Hates Veggies, to chronicle her running battle with the city.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Former First Lady Betty Ford Is Dead


Betty Ford, 93, widow of former President Gerald Ford, passed away at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, according to FOX News. Along with Ambassador Leonard Firestone, she founded the Betty Ford Center, a leading rehab facility, in 1983.

Another first lady, Nancy Reagan, said, "I was deeply saddened this afternoon when I heard of Betty Ford's death. She has been an inspiration to so many through her efforts to educate women about breast cancer and her wonderful work at the Betty Ford Center."

Her family plans to organize a service in California in a couple of days, after which she will be buried alongside her husband in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

UPDATE: Country music artist Larry Gatlin writes a tribute to Betty Ford, whom he credits with saving his life when he needed treatment for alcoholism.

Happy Independence Day, South Sudan!


An Associated Press/AJC article describes how the Republic of South Sudan became the world's newest independent nation at one minute after midnight on Saturday. The people of this oil-rich but poverty-stricken country have paid a high price for this milestone in their history: 2 million lives between 1983 and 2005.

Murdoch Closes Down Britain's Oldest Newspaper!

Rupert Murdoch, acting through his son James, has ordered the closure of the tabloid News of the World, according to an ABC News article. His international news empire has been shaken to the roots because the paper was charged with hacking into the voicemails of over 4,000 people, including crime victims and relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The last issue of the newspaper will be published on Sunday. There are reports that several people will be arrested in the next few days.

An article in the New York Times says that closing News of the World is Murdoch's attempt at damage control. Eventually the paper may be reorganized or resume publication under a different name. Also, according to this article, Murdoch is anxious to salvage his attempt to gain a controlling interest in British Sky Broadcasting.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Lost" Leonardo da Vinci Painting Discovered

A painting known as "Salvator Mundi" (Savior of the World) has been authenticated as being by Leonardo da Vinci, and will be put on display in November. For many years it was believed that this oil painting on a walnut panel had been destroyed, and that the only evidence that it ever existed were two preliminary drawings, about 20 copies by students, and a 1650 etching by Wenceslaus Hollar.

Hezbollah Branches Out into Mexico

Doug Ross @ Journal and Pajamas Media mention an internal memo of the Tucson Arizona police department that was leaked by anonymous hacker collective LulzSec indicating that Hezbollah has established a presence in Mexico. This puts them in an excellent position to infiltrate the porous border between Mexico and the USA to launch attacks on American soil. We reported on 11 May that Pima County (which includes Tucson) is entertaining the possibility of breaking away from the rest of Arizona, and one of the main reasons for this is because they disagree with a recently-passed state law cracking down on illegal immigration. By the way, Tucson is a "sanctuary city."

Your Tax Dollars at Work

With a headline like that you can expect this shamelessly conservative blog to hand you the snark factor: i.e., the leftist media hadn't told you that $10 million of stimulus money was used to bankroll "Operation Fast and Furious, also known as Project Gunrunner." But Free Republic and Michelle Malkin are in the know, and the latter adds that not all the blame belongs to the Democrats. FOX News reports that BATFE agent Vince Cefalu, who blew the whistle on this scandalous activity, got fired for spilling the beans. The Sipsey Street Irregulars blog has been following what they refer to as "Gunwalker" more closely than we have, and even mentions a Honduran connection.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Melson Sings Like a Bird

This Pajamas Media story is enough to make the Dept. of Justice want to circle the wagons:

In a blockbuster development in the Operation Fast & Furious gun-running scandal, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson secretly testified before House and Senate investigators on July 4 with his own personal lawyer present, former United States Attorney Richard Cullen, without the knowledge of the ATF or the Department of Justice.

This morning, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley released a copy of a letter they sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on July 5 about Melson’s testimony. Melson’s revelations raise even more serious issues not only about the operation itself, but about apparent attempts by the Justice Department to mislead Congress on the details of the operation.

Contrary to the Justice Department’s denials, according to Melson, ATF agents specifically witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without taking any further action. Melson claimed that it was not until the public disclosure of the operation that he personally reviewed the “hundreds of documents” related to the case. He said he became “sick to his stomach” when he learned the full story....

Not Less Than 11 California State Employees Make More than the President of the United States!

Bloomberg.com reports that a prison psychiatrist was paid $838,706, according to data released by Controller John Chiang, to include bonuses and unpaid vacation time that he cashed in. Seven of the top 10 were prison doctors or dentists....

We Now Have More Information on Michele Bachmann's Law School Days than on Barack Obama's

Real Clear Politics illustrates once again that people tend to reveal what kind of leader they will make early in their careers. This article on Rep. and presidential candidate Bachmann was based on the testimony of former students - the faculty was unwilling to comment, remembering what happened when the news media worked over one of their colleagues, Anita Hill, during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

UPDATE: Allahpundit at Hot Air says that Michele Bachmann is gaining on Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.

Old theory: Mitt Romney really doesn’t want to have to face Perry or Palin in this race. New theory: Mitt Romney really needs Perry and/or Palin to run to divide tea partiers and halt Bachmann’s ascent.

Her net favorable rating is now +40, up 20 points in just two months. In New Hampshire....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The System Worked, Says Former Prosecutor on the Acquital of Casey Anthony

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro wrote an article for FOX News that presents his professional opinion as to why he believed the jury did its job. "Proving anything ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ is the highest standard under the law. It is much more severe than the civil standard of proving a case ‘by a preponderance’ of the evidence, or the evidentiary standard of ‘clear and convincing,’" he wrote. In spite of all the drama and speculation swirling around this well-publicized trial, the jury was bound to base its verdict strictly on the basis of known facts.

A Sure Sign That New York City Is Getting Desperate

The New York Post reports:

NYC rationing toilet paper at Coney Island


By RICH CALDER

Last Updated: 10:08 AM, July 4, 2011

Hey buddy, can you spare a square?

The city is so hard up for cash that it's rationing toilet paper in women's public restrooms -- to the point where bathroom attendants are doling out a few measly squares per patron -- along the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk.

The Post witnessed stone-faced Parks Department employees leave toilet-paper dispensers empty last week and instead force astonished female beachgoers to form "ration lines" in the bathrooms....

Toilet-paper rationing isn't an issue in the men's rooms -- but only because they apparently don't have any to ration. The toilet paper was gone whenever a The Post reporter went to inspect the men's rooms....

Dianna Carlin, owner of the Lola Star Boutique, said the bathrooms should be in better shape considering boardwalk merchants agreed to pay the city fees this summer to keep them open longer.

"I gave $1,000 but would've been better off buying $1,000 worth of toilet paper and dropping it off," she said.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Evidence That Obama May Not Be a Closet Muslim After All

This shocking news courtesy of Gateway Pundit indicates that the Obama administration should receive an F- in cultural competency:

Smart Power… Pakistani Radicals Call For Holy War After Team Obama Holds Gay Rights Event at Embassy
Posted by Jim Hoft on Monday, July 4, 2011, 6:00 PM

This must be more of that smart power we heard so much about…

They’re still pooping in buckets but Obama thinks they’re ready to celebrate gay rights.

Pakistani radicals called for a holy war after the US Embassy held its first ever gay rights celebration....

Under Islamic laws in Pakistan, homosexual acts are punishable by whipping, imprisonment or death
....

Today, the Constitution is Relevant

Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, provides this rebuttal to a recent article in TIME magazine:

The 4th of July cover article of Time magazine claims that the Constitution is irrelevant.

Frightening.

As proof of its irrelevance, Time lists a dozen products of modern society inconceivable to the framers, including antibiotics, "sexting," and Medicare. The Constitution's only virtue, they say, is that it has many meanings and thus leaves us able to do whatever we want to do.

But not everything has changed since 1787. When it comes to ordering society under the rule of law, what is most important? Knowledge of "collateralized debt obligations" or knowledge of human nature?

Here are a few things the framers did know something about: Religious Freedom. Education. Tyranny. Friendship. Happiness. Sovereignty of the People. Virtue.

The Constitution does not allow us to do whatever we want to do. In the words of James Madison, the Constitution was framed out of the belief that "it is the reason, alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government. The passions ought to be controlled and regulated by the government."

The genius of the Constitution lies in its having a definite meaning on the fundamentals--that every individual has rights, that the people are sovereign, and that the governmental powers must remain separated--while leaving wide latitude to local government, or the people themselves, on issues not specifically addressed in the Constitution.

The framers were no gods; the amendment procedure was included for good reason. Yet for more than two centuries the United States has flourished in a project long thought impossible: self-government.

Liberty. Equality. Self-government.

If the Fourth of July is a celebration of these things, it is a celebration of the Constitution as much as the Declaration of Independence. No constitution in history has proven itself more deeply committed to these principles, and no nation has been more richly blessed in return.

The basic truth within the Constitution is that the government cannot have limitless power, for the simple reason that government is made up of people. A Constitution with no definite meaning gives free reign to the passions of those people within and without the government. A Constitution with a meaning honored and obeyed becomes a guardian of all people, for it sustains a government that is strong within its defined powers but limited in order to protect the liberty and equality of citizens.

Instead of scoffing at those Americans concerned that their federal government has overrun its limits in the name of energy and modernity, perhaps Time should consider what an American President said about the principles of the Declaration and the Constitution on the 150th anniversary of July 4th, 1776:

"It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."

- Calvin Coolidge
July 5, 1926

Reflections on the 4th of July

In "On This Independence Day, Another Revolution at Hand," rock legend Ted Nugent makes some bold declarations at Human Events:

Thomas Jefferson would be shocked and appalled if he could see what America has done to this grand experiment since he drafted the Declaration of Independence. On this 2011 Independence Day, Jefferson would not be celebrating our independence, but rather encouraging Americans to revolt once again.

America has compromised the Founding Fathers' dreams of a limited federal government for a centralized federal government that is bloated, grossly ineffective, putridly expansive, irresponsible, tremendously expensive, and soullessly bureaucratisc.

Our federal government is more burdensome, costly and controlling than the British government of King George 275 years ago, the very beast that our Founding Fathers took up arms against and fired a freedom shot that was heard around the world....

UPDATE1: Old and busted: President Obama ships bust of Winston Churchill back to England. New hotness: Former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, represents the USA at the unveiling of a 10-foot statue of President Ronald Reagan in London.

UPDATE2: On the strength of a Harvard study that sees a correlation between rainless Fourth of July celebrations and the likelihood of kids turning into Republicans, I joined the Independence Day parade in Monument, CO for the children.

A Marine and His Dog in Iraq

Pajamas Media has a heartwarming story about a Marine officer and a miracle dog:

While in Iraq, Marine Major Brian Dennis and an Iraqi stray dog — later named Nubs — developed a friendship that turned into a lifelong companionship. Major Dennis (along with Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery) has since written a children’s book about his buddy: Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle.

Dennis and his unit, part of a Border Transition Team, were deployed to help train Iraqi soldiers at a fort 15 miles east of the Jordanian/Syrian/Iraqi border, traveling between the fort and their forward operating base. During one of those visits, as Brian stepped out of his humvee, a mid-size dog resembling a German shepherd came up to the major. Nubs was the alpha dog of a pack of 12 to 15 strays. Says Nethery: “It was like the alpha dog meets the alpha Marine. It is definitely fascinating how that happened.”

The bond between Dennis and the dog was instantaneous and surprising, since there was little reason for a wild dog to trust a human. Dennis named the dog Nubs because an Iraqi soldier had cut the dog’s ears off to make him into a fighting war dog — tougher and more alert....

This article describes how the dog survived being stabbed by an Iraqi who apparently didn't like Americans, how Nubs managed to find the unit in 2 days after it moved 70 miles to a new location, and how Dennis raised $2,000 to ship the dog to San Diego, CA after his unit was ordered to "get rid of the dog, or else."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

An Educational Article from the Left

Truth-Out.org just ran an article, "14 Propaganda Techniques Fox 'News' Uses to Brainwash Americans" that perfectly describes the vast catalog of persuasion techniques that leftists themselves use to push their agenda. You only need to change some names.

UPDATE: Phillip Dennis at BigGovernment.com asks the rhetorical question: "What Has Happened to Liberals in the Past 50 Years?" At one time in the mists of history it used to be that liberals were the good guys, fighting for racial equality and siding with anti-Communists rather than thugs and sworn enemies of the United States.

Observing Another Anniversary: The Battle of Gettysburg


Mental Floss has an article about the 50th anniversary observance of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1913, where over 50,000 Civil War veterans showed up, and President Woodrow Wilson gave a speech on the 4th of July. Extraordinary feats of logistics has to be executed to bring them in by the trainload and provide for their needs, but organizers of this reunion rose to the occasion.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Another Korean Tradition Challenged: The Seongnam Dog Meat Festival!


"Don't worry about me, Mom, they feed me well every day."

An AFP/Yahoo.com article describes how the ancient Korean custom of serving dog meat as a delicacy is stirring up more controversy than ever before. Animal-rights activists and Koreans who consider this meat product an international embarrassment have expressed their displeasure to the point of forcing the cancellation of this festival.