Thursday, December 29, 2011

Much Ado About Iowa

With only 5 days to go before the Iowa caucuses, Michael Barone at the Wall Street Journal has an assessment that I can basically agree with.

Having the first-in-the-nation vote has been good for the state's economy, with presidential candidates such as Mitt Romney and Ron Paul spending lavish amounts of money on TV ads. But since turnout for the Republican caucus is traditionally low, winning this state is not a good prognosticator of gaining the party's nomination or winning the general election.

For quite some time it appears that Gov. Romney was more interested in New Hampshire, but lately has enjoyed a surge in popular support, while Gingrich's has plummeted (according to some polls, but not others that show an increase in his strength). If anyone deserves an "A" for effort it would be former Sen. Santorum, who was the first to visit all 99 of Iowa's counties. Rep. Ron Paul remains a strong contender, more so than Gov. Rick Perry or Jon Huntsman. Michele Bachmann may be facing a decision point: if she can't make it in Iowa, she probably won't be able to make it anywhere else and may have to withdraw from the race and endorse another candidate.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sears/Kmart Closing 100-120 Stores Soon

USA Today is the bearer of bad news. Citing a miserable Christmas shopping season, Sears Holdings Corp. of Hoffman Estates, IL announced that it will close as many as 120 "marginally performing" stores. There is not enough information to calculate how many jobs will be lost.

Nancy Pelosi Checks Into $10,000-a-Day Suite in Hawaii; Occupy Protesters Keep Their Mouths Shut

The Hawaii Reporter reports the news that many in the Big Media would rather suppress:

"Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, who served as Speaker of the House and is now head of the House minority, is once again spending her Christmas at the exotic Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu in Kona on the island of Hawaii.

"Pelosi reportedly plans to spend her Christmas Eve at midnight mass in St. Michael's Catholic Church in Kailua-Kona.

"Pelosi spent the last two Christmas holidays in Kona at the same hotel in an elaborate suite that rents for $10,000 a night....

"Pelosi has been escorted by local police during her last two holiday visits to Hawaii Island at a cost of $34,000 to local taxpayers.

"Obama’s trip to the island of Oahu has proved much pricier to state and federal taxpayers.

"In a Hawaii Reporter story published last week, the total cost (based on what is known) for a 17-day round trip vacation to Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is an estimated $4,113,038.

"That includes $3,629,622 for separate travel for the president and his family, $151,200 for housing for security, $72,216 for staff to stay in one of Hawaii's most luxurious resorts, the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki, and local police protection and ambulance detail for $260,000."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Moonbats on Parade

At a time when everyone is compiling lists for the year 2011, we can count on Media Research Center to shine the spotlight on the most outrageous examples of reporting, self-indulgence, and propaganda by the Leftmedia. The following quote was listed as #1 under "Twenty-Fourth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting":

Paul Krugman

“What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. [The] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons....The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”

— New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a September 11 posting to his blog

Pearl Harbor Survivor Rejoins Friends on USS Arizona

A Chicago Sun-Times story describes how Frank Cabiness, one of the Marines who survived the destruction of the USS Arizona, had his ashes interred in the ship with full military honors last Friday.

“He said it was because that’s where he belonged. Because he lost all of his friends there and he wanted to be with them,” Jerry Cabiness [son of Frank] said after the service.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Counterintuitive Finding on Gift-Giving

Just in time for Christmas, FOX News reports that "...when giving an expensive present, adding on a cheaper stocking stuffer as an extra gift actually diminishes the perceived value of the overall package in the recipient's eyes.

"Say you have the choice of giving your significant other a luxury cashmere sweater, or the sweater and a $10 gift card. Although it may seem that adding the smaller gift and therefore giving them more presents is the way to go, researchers found that giving only the sweater would be the better option.

"That's because the gift recipient is likely to perceive the gift of just the expensive item alone as more generous than the combination of the costly item and the cheaper item, according to the researchers, who conducted several experiments...."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Out for Himself

MSNBC and other news sources are running the story that billionaire Donald Trump has changed his party affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated to leave open the option of running for President as an independent candidate. It's no secret that he is not satisfied with the current selection of Republican candidates, and doesn't believe that any one of them is electable.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Looks Like Obama Gets to Go to Hawaii, After All

The illustration represents our reaction to Speaker of the House Boehner's decision to accept the Democratic-controlled Senate's payroll tax cut deal.

"In exchange, the Senate will appoint negotiators who will meet with House lawmakers to next hammer out an extension of the tax cut for the rest of 2012.

"The deal still has to clear both chambers, and rank-and-file Republicans already are expressing concern about the terms Boehner outlined. But the agreement was modeled after a solution Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell proposed earlier Thursday.

"McConnell's statement, as well as a very public campaign by the White House to lambaste House Republicans for holding up a deal, had put pressure on Boehner to find a way out of the impasse, and fast. Without a deal, the payroll tax rate is set to rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1, which would mean about $40 less a paycheck for a family making $50,000."

See FOX News for more details.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Who Would Think of Shipping Fireworks to China?

BBC News has an astonishing story about a China-bound ship that was intercepted in Finland carrying 69 Patriot missiles!

The MS Thor Liberty had docked in the Finnish port of Kotka after leaving Germany last week.

Dock workers became suspicious after finding explosives poorly stored on open pallets, and the missiles were then found in containers marked "fireworks".

The managing director of the ship's owner, Thorco Shipping, expressed surprise. Thomas Mikkelsen told AFP news agency from Denmark that he was unaware of the matter.

Another company official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the ship had been detained in Finland and said the missiles could have been loaded on to the vessel by mistake, AFP adds.

Police did not confirm Finnish media reports that the ship had also been scheduled to stop in South Korea, Reuters news agency reports....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Clear Case of Projection

Warner Todd Huston at Right Wing News reminds us once again of the Left's never-ending efforts to brand the Tea Party movement as agents of political violence. An unsuccessful candidate for city council in Carson, CA, Jules Manson, published a threat to President Obama and his family and attributed it to a "Tea Party darling." After the OWS debacle, we maintain that the leftists among us are the principal advocates of violence and coercion in our society.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Eric Holder Plays Race Card, Is Trumped By Rep. Allen West

An article in illustrates how desperate this Obama crony has become:

Attorney General Eric Holder told The New York Times this weekend that “the more extreme segment” of his Fast and Furious critics are motivated by — you guessed it — racism. But Florida Rep. Allen West will have none of it.

In remarks to The Daily Caller, West interpreted Holder’s shameless rhetorical tactic as a sign of desperation — and called him out for his non-race-related incompetence:

“I think this is absolutely the last card in the deck, and that shows how weak their ground is,” West said in a phone interview. “But, what that means is they want to make white individuals afraid of continuing to put the pressure on Eric Holder because they don’t want to be seen as racist, and that is something that we have got to move beyond....”

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kim Jong-il Dead at 69

Now that MSNBC/AP has reported on this item, it is now out of the rumor stage. His third son, Kim Jong-un, is next in line to take over North Korea.

Vaclav Havel, Leader of Czech Freedom Movement, Dies

We regret to announce that Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), who risked his life to defy the Soviet Empire, passed away at his weekend home in the northern Czech Republic.

Lech Walesa, former Polish president and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning founder of the country's anti-communist Solidarity movement, called Havel "a great fighter for the freedom of nations and for democracy."

Source of this information is AP/Yahoo News.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cell Phone Ban Challenged by Insurance Group

CNN Money has an article that seems to support our position that a law or regulation is meaningless unless it can be enforced:

Cell phone bans, such as those recently recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board, have so far proven useless when it comes to actually reducing car crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Insurance Institute is a private group financed by auto insurers. The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that states adopt strict rules banning all non-driving-related use of hand-held devices such as cell phones - even hands-free - while driving.

Many states already have bans on hand-held cell phone use and on texting while driving. The Insurance Institute has studied crash rates before and after bans were enacted in various states and also compared them to crash rates in nearby states with no such bans.

While the bans have resulted in actual reductions in phone use, they have not resulted in any reduction in crash rates, according to the Institute.

The Institute found similar results from bans on text messaging while driving. In fact, in a strange twist, texting bans actually resulted in more crashes in several states, according to an IIHS study.

The lesson, Insurance Institute spokesman Russ Rader said, may be that cell phones aren't really the problem, drivers are....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Republicans Overcome Incandescent Light Bulb Ban

The Washington Times is the bearer of this good news:

Congressional negotiators struck a deal Thursday that overturns the new rules that were to have banned sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.

That agreement is tucked inside the massive 1,200-page spending bill that funds the government through the rest of this fiscal year, and which both houses of Congress will vote on Friday. Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, which heads off a looming government shutdown....

The spending bill doesn’t actually amend the 2007 law, but does prohibit the administration from spending any money to carry out the light bulb standards — which amounts to at least a temporary reprieve.... [In other words, no funding, no enforcement.]

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feeling Lucky? Then Check Out the East Coast Grill

WBZ (CBS Boston) has a spicy tale about a restaurant in Cambridge that serves food so spicy that you have to sign a waiver to try their Pasta Plate from Hell.

"Those who think the waiver is some kind of a publicity stunt only need to look at an incident Tuesday night.

"The spicy food forced one man to get medical assistance. An ambulance showed up after witnesses say the man passed out....

"The secret ingredient of Hell Week is the Naga pepper, one of the hottest peppers on the planet.

"A scoreboard keeps a tally of the torture. Many have tried, but only a handful have eaten the whole bowl.

"And while there have been trips to the hospital, the good news, according to Schlesinger, there have been no fatalities so far."

Tebow Is Not Your Enemy!

Tim Tebow, the quarterback who helped put the Denver Broncos back on the map, is drawing fire from unbelievers for striking a pose that has entered the dictionary already as "Tebowing." It is more an attitude of prayer than a victory dance. But who would have guessed that a New York rabbi would join the chorus of critics? Hoosier Access has the story:

In the category of bigotry and hatred spares no religion, we find such hatred hiding behind religion in one “Rabbi” Joshua Hammerman of New York City. Hammerman has indulged his inner Father-Coughlin-in-reverse by proclaiming that if Tim Tebow wins the Super Bowl, why, Christians will go on a rampage that will result in the burning of mosques and the bashing of gays. Now, are you ready for some football?...

What is even more curious is the aftermath of this tirade:


Since my criticism of Hammerman’s Tebow anti-Christian screed, he’s gone into his post and edited out the paragraph I reported here. Hammerman did not note on the story that he edited the piece to remove offensive material. So, down the memory hole goes the truth once again.

I have a screen shot of the original, though. CLICK HERE to see it.

**UPDATE 2**

Hammerman’s edited piece has now been completely removed from The Jewish Week website. Hammerman has also removed the piece from his own blog and replaced by a message that reads: “The piece has been taken down and I apologize to all those whom it has offended. Some additional reflections will be forthcoming. Thank you.”

One hopes that the rabbi will reflect on his personal animus against both Tim Tebow and Christians and that a more acceptable apology is forthcoming.

**UPDATE 3**

Now “rabbi” Hammerman has deleted his entire blog. Talk about memory hole, now he’s trying to deep six everything he’s ever written! Driven out of the gates and into the wilderness!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

British Give Argentina Another Reason to Regret Losing the Falklands War

The Sun (U.K.) describes how the discovery of offshore gas and oil fields near the Falkland Islands is infuriating the government of Argentina. If they decide to invade this British colony again, the U.K. will have a much smaller military to work with compared to the 74-day war with Argentina in 1982.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's See How Far This Takes Him

A highly classified American reconnaissance drone falls into Iranian hands. Do you:

1. Cause the aircraft to self-destruct?
2. Order a commando raid to blow it up?
3. Ask the Iranian government very politely to give it back?

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out Obama's reaction. Yahoo/Reuters has the story.

UPDATE: A former Pentagon official, who wished to remain unnamed, told USA Today that the reconnaissance drone that Iran proudly displays is a fake.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Newt Gingrich's Claim that Palestinians Are an "Invented" Nationality Supported by Arab Source has an article, "Newt Gingrich Tells the Truth About the Palestinian Non-Entity," that quotes this revealing statement by PLO Executive Committee member Zuheir Mohsen in 1977:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.”

So the reason for maintaining the fiction that "Palestinians" are a sovereign nation entitled to some territory is merely a political ploy with the long-range goal of grinding down the State of Israel.

UPDATE: Additional proof that former Speaker of the House Gingrich has struck a raw nerve can be found in a BBC article that mentions the Arab League lost no time condemning his statement about Palestinians being an "invented people" and "terrorists."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pyramids Around the World

Pyramid at Candi Sukuh, Indonesia (right)

This is an amazing article in Survive 2012 about cultures and civilizations outside Mexico, Central America, and Egypt that built pyramids. World Pyramids also has additional material and illustrations.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mitt Romney's Service in the LDS (Mormon) Church

Alana Semuels of the Los Angeles Times has written a thoughtful and revealing article about how presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney performed his duties as a bishop and later stake president (leader of several congregations) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mixing Meth Is So Wrong, But Why Walmart?

KLTV in Tyler, TX describes how a woman in the Tulsa, OK area was arrested trying to make meth in a Walmart store.

"They reported the suspect, Elizabeth Alisha Greta Halfmoon, had been in the store for about six hours, taking chemicals from bottles and mixing them in order to make meth. One police officer received minor injuries when the chemicals in the bottle burned his hand.

"Nobody else was hurt. Tulsa Police Officer David Shelby said it was the first time he had seen anyone actually try to mix meth in a store.

"'There are elderly people, there are children, there are all kinds of people in that store right now,' he said."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Frank J. Identifies The Reason Why America Hasn't Thrived Under the Leadership of Obama

Frank J. Fleming at PJ Media zeroes in on the real reason, all right: we're not worthy to have a President like Obama!

President Obama has always been able to open up better when speaking in foreign nations, because they … get … him. I think we Americans have always been a little standoffish with him, as we just don’t relate to him very well, so you can understand his being more comfortable in an international setting. So while speaking to CEOs at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, he said that American businesses have “been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades.” And this isn’t the first time he’s criticized American businesses, as last September he said that our country “had gotten a little soft” over the last couple of decades....

Look at what Obama did to try and get our economy going. He had this big, hundreds of billions of dollars stimulus that was designed by all the great economists who work in his administration — the top minds. It should have worked. The economy should be roaring right now and unemployment a thing of the past. America should be a utopia. So what was missing from the equation? That the people the stimulus was used on are a bunch of lazy dimwits. Obama did everything he possibly could, but apparently Americans just aren’t very good at running businesses and creating jobs. Obama has given us so many advantages that even chimpanzees should have been able to create jobs, but we just sit there like useless blobs while our companies crumble around us. We’re failing the country. We’re failing him....

We recommend that you read the whole article and reflect on the many ways he is too good for the USA.

Still in Denial: Fort Hood Massacre Labeled as "Workplace Violence"

FOX News describes how some members of Congress are objecting to the trivialization of the 2009 terrorist incident at Fort Hood, Texas.

Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation's Armed Forces at home.

During a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, the Maine Republican referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood shootings as workplace violence. She criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam....

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, said the military has become a "direct target of violent Islamist extremism" within the United States.

"The stark reality is that the American service member is increasingly in the terrorists' scope and not just overseas in a traditional war setting," Lieberman told Fox News before the start of Wednesday's hearing....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Been 70 Years Already!

Destruction of the battleship USS Arizona (right)

Today is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. FOX News has coverage of 120 survivors, who are joining the Secretary of the Navy and many others to observe a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., Hawaii time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Natives Are Getting Restless

Front Page Magazine online describes telltale signs of public dissatisfaction with Vladimir Putin's way of running things in Russia.

"Elections under Vladimir Putin’s 'managed democracy' have become grimly predictable affairs. Rampant fraud and bans on all but fringe or manufactured opposition parties have ensured that Putin’s United Russia Party routinely triumphs in a landslide, with Putin then trumpeting the results as a vindication of his authoritarian regime. This weekend’s parliamentary elections largely followed this script but with a surprise ending: United Russia failed to capture even 50 percent of the vote, a major setback considering its blatant manipulation of the election and one that highlights the extent of the Russian public’s discontent with the country’s corrupt one-man, one-party rule...."

If Putin were less tone-deaf to cries of public anguish than President Obama, he might be able to read the writing on the wall, but unfortunately he is, if that were possible, more inclined to block out any opinion that does not nourish his Siberia-sized ego.

GM Clarifies Position on Volt "Buyback"

The Ottawa Citizen reports that General Motors' announcement of a buyback offer was not absolute or ironclad. This is an update to our story of 2 December.

"The program we put in place (earlier this week) hasn't changed," said Faye Roberts, GM Canada spokeswoman. "We're going to reach out to our Volt customers and make them aware of the investigation and as part of that, we want them to get any questions they have answered and if they feel uncomfortable then they do have the option of getting a loaner vehicle...."

"On the question of the buyback, I think Mr. Akerson was taken a bit out of context," she said. "He was talking about customer satisfaction, which is really what the whole program is about and we're serious about keeping our customers happy.

"We would ultimately consider all options to meet our customers' expectations, but the program is designed to ensure customers are satisfied and the program doesn't include anything beyond what we talked about on Monday. But of course we're focused on the individual customers and what their concerns and needs are."

GM has sold only 6,000 Volts in the United States and 243 in Canada.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Newt Outsmarts ex-Queen Nancy has the juicy details:

Last Friday Nancy Pelosi told Talking Points Memo that she had all sorts of investigative dirt available on current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich.  Specifically, “I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”

So… Newt Gingrich responded today by thanking Pelosi for the early Christmas present and noting “…if she’s suggesting she’s going to use material that she developed while she was on the ethics committee, that is a fundamental violation of the rules of the House and I would hope that members would immediately file charges against her the second she does it.”

Annnnnd now we’re being told (via Weasel Zippers) – it would be cruel* of me to use the word ‘frantically’ – that what the former Speaker of the House really meant by her comments to TPM was that there was plenty of public record information about Newt Gingrich available.  Not that there was any private dirt.  Nope.  Not at all....

Seven Surviving Candidates Await Iowa Caucuses

A recent poll shows that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is leading in Iowa, followed by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, in that order. At this time the situation is extremely volatile; many Iowans are still undecided. This state could make or break Rep. Michele Bachmann, as she is the closest thing to a "favorite daughter" candidate, and if she can't even make it in Iowa, she's unlikely to succeed anywhere else. Holding up the rear are: Gov. Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum. Dr. Paul bears watching: he is one of the few candidates capable of running on a third-party ticket, and both he and Rep. Bachmann could be the recipients of protest votes from citizens dissatisfied with the competition.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cain Suspends Campaign

Embattled Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has suspended his campaign in the face of extreme pressure surrounding allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity, according to FOX News.

His wife Gloria standing by his side in a rare public appearance, Cain decried the sustained accusations as false and declared he is "at peace" with his wife and with himself. But he said the claims have "sidetracked and distracted" from his ability to present a new vision for the country, to the point that he must call off the campaign.... In addition, these accusations have caused his poll numbers to plummet.

The True Worth of a Chevy Volt

It is a sure sign of desperation that Government Motors has offered to buy back every Chevy Volt, after concerns about its safety, i.e., the possibility that the battery may cause the car to catch fire in a collision. The Associated Press has more details.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Releasing Unemployment Statistic on a Friday Is No Accident

Count on John Lott at FOX News to break the truth to us: the 8.6% unemployment rate being touted by the Obama regime is misleading in that it fails to take into account the 487,000 people who gave up looking for work.

Only conservative news sources have bothered to look into this announcement, as the news cycle reaches a stopping point on Fridays, a well-known fact to politicians. Rush Limbaugh had a few choice words to say about this fudged statistic earlier today, which frankly is still embarrassingly high.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World's Largest Insect Found in New Zealand

Some readers may find this story a bit gross, but the Daily Mail (U.K.) ran it anyway.

Mark Moffett, a former park ranger from Colorado, traveled all the way to Little Barrier Island in New Zealand to find the largest living insect. Weighing 71 grams, it is heavier than a sparrow and about 3 times as heavy as a mouse. Mark found that this insect likes to eat carrots, but was careful not to feed it too much.

Giant wetas used to live on North and South Islands, but were wiped out by rats accidentally introduced by colonists.

Retired Sheriff Arrested, Detained in Jail Named After Him!

This has got to be one of the most ironic stories in recent memory. The Denver Post has this story:

Authorities began investigating former Araphoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan after a Centennial man called police in September and said "an old guy" was trying to get his roommates back into drugs and had been smoking methamphetamine with them, according to a police report. The article also mentions that during the incident that led to his arrest, he was attempting to trade meth for sex.

When the Centennial man asked Sullivan to leave and said he was going to call 911, Sullivan told the man "If you want the police I am the police," the man told officers.

Sullivan later told detectives he is on a meth drug task force and helps recovering addicts get clean, according to another report. He also said he worked for the state health department's drug treatment office.... [Terms of use for this newspaper require that we refer the reader to the original article for more details.]