Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Looks like air traffic control had to play a little D-FENS

Whadd'ya know, Caribou Express (aka Slidy McHump) actually had this one right from the get go:

Prendergast IS a douche.

Check it:

A pilot from Virginia nearly caused a major disaster at Kennedy Airport when he brought his single-engine plane down for a landing in the path of a Boeing 747, sending controllers scrambling to get other planes out of his way, according to a published report.

Hundreds of lives were threatened over the weekend as John Prendergast la-dee-da-ed his way around the sky trying to figure out where on earth Republic Airport in Long Island was, reports The New York Post.

Huh.

Btw, the original Prendergast, the source of CE's ire, is here:

The Insanity of Some Environmentalists

There are many flavors of insanity among extreme environmentalists, but one particularly amuses me and makes me sad at the same time. I am speaking of over-the-top animal lovers-the kinds that will stop at nothing to help and individual animal no matter the cost. Don't get me wrong, I love animals and nature, but I'm more of the TR ilk. That part that amuses me is that these people don't really understand all that much about the true nature of animals, which is very well illustrated by this story. The part that makes me sad is all the money spent on these endeavors. It's a typical liberal misconception that fuels the second part. The erroneous notion that resources are not finite. Oh well, poor Dunham.

Somehow...


you just knew it was coming.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

B-B-B-Bama

If you do nothing else today

make sure you watch this short video clip of Sgt. Crowley's colleagues supporting him, including one who says she voted for Obama but will never again. Tip to drudge for the original link.
Monday, July 27, 2009

Final Nail in Coffin?

Hopefully this latest bit of news about Dodd will further sink his chances at re-election next year.
Saturday, July 25, 2009

Health care

I could write miles about the debacle that is the current health care debate in Congress, but for now I'll just focus on this recent quote from Waxman in regards to opposition he's getting from the Blue Dog Dems within his own party:

Waxman, a California Democrat, indicated that he would bypass a committee vote if necessary and bring the bill directly to the House floor for a final vote.

"We're not going to let [the conservatives] empower the Republicans. I don't see any other alternative," he said.


Don't see any other alternative? Really. What about, I don't know, maybe trying to actually draft a sensible, realistic, bipartisan piece of legislation? What about trying to actually do something that would help America, rather than focusing on playing a political game and trying to ram through heavily flawed legislation just to meet an absurd and dangerous artificial timeline from the White House?

Guess not.
Friday, July 24, 2009

Throwback

Hey Fredo, I know you remember this absolute gem. Definitely NSFW listening, but absolutely suitable for OccObs listening...

Follow-up

Here's a follow-up to Fredo's earlier post about how the left's game plan was to put so many balls in the air that the GOP's efforts would be diluted and they could ram through anything they wanted. At least on this point, the MSM (or at least MSDNC, as Jay Severin calls them) caught on:

Remember when we wrote about how smart the White House has been about multi-tasking, forcing the GOP to aim its fire at several moving targets? Well, guess what: It isn’t doing that right now; it’s focusing on just one issue: health care. And that has allowed the political opposition and the media to zero in on that one issue.

"Mommy, Why Does Daddy Drink?"

Get Your Priorities Straight Jack**s!!

What the hell! I just saw on the news that Obama felt it was important enough that he call Buehrle about his perfect game. Now I obviously haave no experience being the POTUS, but I'll guarantee there are many many levels of more important things for him to be doing. This guy is a rock star, not a chief executive.
Thursday, July 23, 2009

USA Today lays a beatdown

Their target: tools in the House who insist on a scam investigation into the CIA program to target and kill terrorists that was never launched. I've got to love any article that starts off with this:

Heard about the latest intelligence "scandal" in Washington? You know, the one about whether an administration that's no longer in office failed to tell Congress about a CIA program that no longer exists, the purpose of which was to kill top terrorists?

If that doesn't sound like much of a scandal to you, you're right. But some key House Democrats seem to think otherwise.

In case you don't know, now ya' know

An all-time classic Delta "commercial" from years ago. Always worth watching again though! Marginally suitable for work.

How things change

I'm a little more than halfway through this excellent bio of George Washington. Many times the author emphasizes how much Washington went out of his way to avoid providing any direction on policy or legislation to the Congress; the president should not provide any guidance. In his opinion the sole job of the president with respect to policy was to approve or veto bills from Congress. Furthermore, his belief was that the president should only veto a bill if it somehow was going to violate the Constitution.

A far cry from our political situation today.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OccObs 2012 wishlist

Is it just me, or is it possible that Hillary might challenge Obama for the Dem nomination, should O's approval rating be in the low 40s by mid '11?

How sweet would that be?

Nothing screams weakness like a sitting President getting a strong challenge from his own party.

Last few examples that come to mind: Bush 41 (Buchanan) in '92; Carter (Kennedy) in '80; LBJ (McCarthy) in '68. All three incumbents failed to get reelected, with LBJ opting out of running.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hope For the Future

At least there are some kids learning to take care of business on their own instead of being all wishy-washy and "talking through conflict":



The Empire doesn't stand a chance.

And even better, his victim's resemblance to a robot raises my spirits that a real-life John Connor will save us from the inevitable robot apocalypse.
Monday, July 20, 2009

An Insight Into my Mind

I get the same uncomfortable feeling from watching this as I do from watching anything pertaining to the current administration.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Counter the Previous Post

With this crew. May I suggest a death match?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Caption Contest

Remember all that talk about a "government health care option?"

As in, you can keep your current health care? If you bet that the private insurance industry would thrive alongside of a government option, well, in the words of Warner Wolf, "You lost!"

The bill passed by the House wants to put private health insurers out of business, or at least have them exit the industry. From Investor's Business Daily:

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

From the beginning, opponents of the public option plan have warned that if the government gets into the business of offering subsidized health insurance coverage, the private insurance market will wither. Drawn by a public option that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington's coverage.

The nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated in April that 120 million or more Americans could lose their group coverage at work and end up in such a program. That would leave private carriers with 50 million or fewer customers. This could cause the market to, as Lewin Vice President John Sheils put it, "fizzle out altogether."

Good news

I must've missed the good news. Apparently Social Security is swimming in money, based on the party they just threw themselves.

For What It's Worth

I haven't paid any attention to the Sotomayor hearings, assuming she's a shoo-in to get confirmed and the whole thing is a charade. Taking a "glass half full" look at things, though, I came across this interesting summary, from the NYT no less:

Several legal experts said Judge Sotomayor’s testimony might make it harder for Mr. Obama to name a more liberal justice next time.

She repudiated the president’s assertion that “what is in a judge’s heart” should influence rulings and rejected the liberal idea that the Constitution is a “living” document whose meaning evolves with society. Instead, she said the Constitution was “immutable” and did not change except by amendment. And she dismissed any role for foreign law in deciding cases, an influence some liberal legal experts argue should be considered.


Of course, how she testifies and how she rules might be two very different things (see Souter; or see Obama's campaign rhetoric vs. actual policies). But at least those comments above are encouraging.

Welcome Back

Well, our old friend "soak the rich" is back in vogue. Creating an irresponsible, poorly thought-out, rush job of a health plan and can't figure out where to pay for it? Soak the rich.

Putting a bloated, ineffective, falsely-named "stimulus" plan into place and can't find the funds to cover it? Soak the rich.

Except for one problem: it doesn't work.

I also love our new style democracy. Apparently I misunderstood the word bipartisanship and the phrase "reach across the aisle" during the Obama campaign. Apparently they mean willfully ram legislation through in a purely partisan fashion. After all, as Mr. Axelrod says:

“Ultimately, this is not about a process, it’s about results,” David Axelrod, Obama’s senior political strategist, said during an interview in his White House office. “If we’re going to get this thing done, obviously time is a-wasting.”

I've always considered that whole "process" thing of democracy and checks and balances overrated anyway.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We're Watching You Nancy

You can track Nancy Pelosi and any other member of Congress using a new website - http://legistalker.org/. I don't know how good or interesting the info is yet, but I'm glad to see more tools to attempt some sort of accountability.

A different type of Democracy

There was an interesting story I saw on the internets recently--past month or so--that talked about how Russia and, to a lesser extent, China, have been pushing back against American influence in foreign policy. One of their diplomats was quoted in theis article saying that America has no right imposing its "style" of democracy on the rest of the world. The Russian or Chinese "style" of democracy are just as legitimate. Of course, with Obama speaking all types of equivocation, this is a difficult argument to refute.

But it is interesting to see how the Russian "style" of democracy plays out in reality. Here is today's installment of, Freedom of the Press, Putin style:

MOSCOW -- A prominent Russian activist who investigated abductions, killings and other rights abuses in Chechnya was found killed Wednesday, hours after being kidnapped in the Chechen capital, police officials and her organization said.

Natalya Estemirova's body was found in Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya to the west, Oleg Orlov, the chairman of Memorial, her rights group, told The Associated Press.

Ms. Estemirova's body was discovered with two close-range bullet wounds in her head not far from the region's main city, Nazran, said Ingush Interior Ministry spokeswoman Madina Khadziyeva.

That's about right


There's just something really funny about this pic to me..

And you know what, having now lived through 6 months of the alternative I'd gladly take back Bubba (along with a solidly conservative Congress to counter, of course).

Schumer is a Tool

As if you didn't already know that. If you happened to catch him on the verge of tears when describing Sotomayor as a role model, your knowledge of his tooldom would be confirmed. Here's a quote from Newsday:

"Now in 2009, there are many more role models," he said, including Sotomayor. Schumer seemed to choke up as he made the remark, and television cameras caught several spectators wiping their eyes."
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't Talk to Robots

One of the PSAs from the future reminds us not to talk to robots. It looks like DC may be right about them taking over.
Sunday, July 12, 2009

Erick Erickson explains the big picture

Erickson provides a good synopsis of how the left plays politics. Dangle a few accusations that will suck up all the oxygen in the room, while cramming major policy initiatives through Congress.

Here is how the game is played.

The President pushes cap and trade to the Senate while also advancing socialized healthcare.

As those balls advance, the Attorney General makes rumblings about prosecuting individuals who engaged in enhanced interrogation techniques.

While conservatives get distracted by the Attorney General, the administration claims Dick Cheney refused to disclose a CIA program and the Democrats will investigate.

Tomorrow Sonya Sotomayor begins her confirmation hearings.

By throwing all of these balls around, the left hopes to distract the right. Our natural inclination is to be distracted by the shiny national security balls. Some of us will fixate on Sotomayor.

Meanwhile, the leftist agenda makes it way further through Congress.
Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sotomayor has weak public support

According, to, if you can even believe it, CNN:

Forty-seven percent of respondents to the poll say they would like to see the U.S. Senate vote to confirm Sotomayor versus forty-percent who say they would not. In the final CNN poll taken before Miers withdrew her nomination, forty-three percent of respondents said the Senate should oppose her confirmation.

No other recent nominee, not even Robert Bork, whose own nomination under President Ronald Reagan was scuttled, faced public opposition this severe. In the last poll taken during the Bork confirmation fight, thirty-eight percent wanted to see him confirmed versus thirty-five percent who did not.

All other nominees polled by CNN—Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Roberts and Samuel Alito—enjoyed wide margins of public support.

Interestingly, independents are split down the middle on Sotomayor. Forty-two percent believe she should be confirmed. Forty-one percent believe she should not be confirmed.

ht: Anthony Dalke @ Race 4 '12

Are you serious with this?

Wow, guess which NewsWEAK "journalist" is apparently a bitter ex-Catholic.

Sorry, Ms. Townsend, that the Catholic church stands for something and principles are not negotiable to simply fit what you would like. I realize this is impossible for you to understand.
Friday, July 10, 2009

More Web Awesomeness

here

WSJ

Wow, Peggy Noonan totally excoriates Palin in her opinion piece today. The last 4 paragraphs really sum it up, and I have to say I totally agree.
Thursday, July 09, 2009

Uh-oh


Hmmm, that doesn't look like Mrs. Obama.

Courtesy of Drudge.

Stimulus, Cont'd

Opinion piece in the Journal today driving home the point that the original "stimulus" package is in anything but, and in fact is simply a government expansion.

With the economy weak and the labor market continuing to decline, there is now talk of a second stimulus (which is actually the third, counting President Bush's 2008 tax rebates). This would be a mistake. The truth is there hasn't been any stimulus to speak of so far this year. Moreover, what's being called stimulus is just a smoke screen for a permanent expansion of government.

If ever there was a case crying out for the death penalty,

this is it.

Back in the day, in the South Carolina of yore, I wonder if a jury of his peers would have skipped all that pesky procedure, and gone straight to the punishment phase. As the expression goes (with a h/t to IMAO): "Murderer. Rope. Tree. Some assembly required."

Panetta

Good luck retaining the confidence of your people and serving as an effective CIA leader with this letter out there.

"Recently you testified that you have determined that top CIA officials have concealed significant actions from all members of Congress, and misled members for a number of years from 2001 to this week," said the letter, signed by Eshoo and six other House Democrats...

No surprise, the letter was headed by a House Dem in CA. My guess is this is a smear leak to force Panetta out of his job; looks like Pelosi will win this round.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Stimulus

By the way, don't kid yourself about the intent of the timing of the stimulus money. The goal always was to architect a turnaround by summer 2010, not sooner. Why? Because as SHK Sr. pointed out to me the other day, that's when people will start making up their minds for mid-term elections. Economy turns around next spring/summer, things look rosy, guess who gets to remain incumbents?

Hey Fredo

Watched RT again the other night, thanks again.

- This really isn't a tax issue, is it?

- I suppose not. I'm not sure why I put it that way.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Ow. My sides are split.

2012 Primary

Latest Rasmussen poll has Romney with a slight early lead, both with the highest votes as to who GOP voters plan to vote for, along with the fewest votes as to who they'd least like to see win the nomination.

Stimulus

With presidential adviser and liberal economic hack Laura Tyson calling for a second stimulus, one has to wonder when the MSM will wake up.

The first "stimulus" is not, in fact, a stimulus. It was a policy grab bag, nothing else. To date only 10% has been spent. Ten percent. Even worse, the administration's stated goal is only to have 70% spent by September 2010. That's correct: 2010, not 2009. If the original lie argument advanced by the Obama team to sell the stimulus was that a large rapid infusion of cash was necessary to stimulate the economy, why then is the planned rollout anything but rapid? One is left with only the simple truth that this was never intended to truly be a stimulus, it was simply the upshot of years of liberal program dreams.

Even more disingenuous, perhaps, is Biden's recent comment that not only did the administration misread the economy, but so did everyone else. "The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures..." Biden said. This is false on two levels. First, the Obama administration did not misread the economy. They knew exactly how bad things were, but sold a song and dance to the American people. Second, the consensus opinions were absolutely NOT aligned with the administration. This was one of the few times the MSM questioned Obama early on, pointing out that his projections were far more "rosy" than consensus. Even USA Today had this to say:

Worse, the Obama administration's budget gets those uninspiring deficit targets with rosy economic projections.

Obama calls this honest accounting. At best, it's optimistic accounting, and if it proves starry-eyed, the credibility of Obama's far-reaching agenda will be in doubt.


Sorry Joe, but this is one lie that there is ample evidence on record to counter.

Hey

Did you hear Michael Jackson died?
Monday, July 06, 2009

I laughed so hard I actually got an aerobic workout

There's a first time for everything.

If you want to see how to write a complaint letter, here's a good place to start.

Gingrich-Rice 2012

You heard it here first. Newt is the only guy out there that I can get excited about as a candidate and I think Condie Rice would be a great choice for a running mate despite her association with W. Both are extremely intelligent and (AFAIK with Rice) solid in conservative principles.

Palin

Time magazine says we'll see your six possible reasons why Palin quit, Fredo, and raise you these five.

60s Day Continued: Peace Signs

Recently I've seen a resurgence in fashion accessories with peace signs. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but it does. I think it's a combination of things. Firstly, I associate it with people who unthinkingly and unilaterally call for peace. They have no context or conditions for anything but peace. This is extremely naive. Secondly, there's a crowd who don it because they like what that side of the 60s represented: free love, drugs and self-righteous protest. I see it as a destructive period that I'd rather leave in the past.

What do you think?

'60s Day at OccObs

OK, it's not just at OccObs since these are both national stories. But, here's a couple of oldies-but-goodies:

1) Robert McNamara. The JFK and LBJ defense secretary passed away, having lived a full nine decades plus. For those who lived through the '60s, and particularly for those who smoked pot, the man was a villain for trying to win in Vietnam. For those who came of age in the Reagan era, he was the introspective and wise old man in The Fog of War. Which, if you haven't seen, you should.

2) Jacqueline Kennedy Kennedy Onassis. I can't even. Just read the story here. Normally I assume scurrilous gossip has about a 10% chance of being accurate. But with the number of named sources this guy has, I have to think it's true. Never mind what this says about the Kennedys (nothing we didn't already know), but could you imagine the press keeping this quiet for a Republican?
Sunday, July 05, 2009

More truths about the second amendment,

Courtesy of D.C.
Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Sarah?

Well, this is obviously the news of the day. Palin resigns, and we don't really know why yet.

My initial reaction was that this basically ends her as a potential Presidential candidate, for the exact reason GOP pollster Whit Ayers highlighted in this quote:

"If you're a serious politician and you're seriously interested in higher office, the best thing you can do is as good a job as possible in the current office," Ayers said. "I suppose it frees her from the responsibility of a full-time job. It does nothing to enhance the image she has that she's not material for the president of the United States."

Since Sarah already had pocket kings if she was running for the GOP nomination (Mitt and maybe Huck are the only Republicans with the name recognition and ready-made donor base that Sarah had), I have a hard time believing she's quitting to "build an organization" to run for President. She could have served out her term, not looked like a flake, and then started building her organization in late '10, in plenty of time for the '12 election. Yet I can't totally discount the fact that she's doing this for political reasons. It may just be a bad miscalculation. After all, Kristol hardly sounds convinced that she's abandoned hopes to run for President in 2012: "It's a huge gamble -- but some of her gambles have paid off in the past."

Still, it's a move that makes little to no sense for that purpose. So if she's not resigning for her national political ambitions, what then?

Possibility 1: Blackmail. Maybe someone has the goods on that "Sarah was unfaithful" rumor that floated around, or some other act of ethical impropriety. Perhaps she was threatened with "resign or I'm leaking this." And to protect her rep, her family, and the state caucus, she gave in.

Possibility 2: Self-indulgence. Maybe she just doesn't like being governor that much. Whether it's the daily drudgery of state administration, personnel decisions, negotiating with the legislature, or some other element of the job, maybe she just likes campaigning more than governing.

Possibility 3: Bad moon arising. Maybe Sarah knows or surmises something bad is coming down the pike for the State of Alaska (e.g., plummeting oil prices affecting the state budget), and wants to hand the hot potato (and the blame) to someone else.

Possibility 4: Feeling victimized. With political opponents putting her in the crosshairs, she's constantly being threatened with new ethics charges, and having raise money to defend herself. Maybe she wants to play the guerilla army and not the regulars for a change. Or, in other words, maybe she wants to go rogue. A woman scorned, etc. etc. [Update: see this story from the NY Post, which shows the type of "enemy" that Palin may be more interested in striking against than she is in her political career.]

Possibilty 5: Get paid. As reported in the Politico, "Leaving the governor’s office at the end of this month leaves her free to travel the country, command large speaking fees, and begin the process of rallying her devotees without pesky home-state opponents criticizing every move." Keeping buzz about a 2012 run high will also increase crowds and fees. [Update: Time points out it will also help her book sales]

Possibility 6: She's running for Senate in AK in 2010. If this were the case, it might make sense to get a head start now. But why wouldn't she announce that as her intention?

Mark Steyn wrote an empathetic entry at the Corner that explains why Sarah might have made the decision, "who needs this?" Basically, Steyn's point is that a normal person wouldn't want to undergo the vitriol that she has had to endure. And that, as a result, "National office will dwindle down to the unhealthily singleminded (Clinton, Obama), the timeserving emirs of Incumbistan (Biden, McCain) and dynastic heirs (Bush). Our loss."

Probably a true statment, but not exactly a new phenomenon.

Sarah supporters are arguing that she can't effectively run in the lower 48 when she's stuck in Alaska, and that she could become the de facto spokesman for the national party if she was camped out in D.C. or another major media center. Still, I'm not sure that would counteract the bad image of Sarah that this resignation is reinforcing. As conservative blogger AC Kleinheider wrote: "Sarah Palin has now succeeded in becoming, if she was not already, pretty much everything her critics have accused her of being."

At the end of the day, I'm not really sure what's motivating Sarah at this point, but I agree with Steyn that, "as a political move for anything other than the 2010 Senate race, today's announcement is a disaster."

Ya had it all kid. And ya blew it.

Colin Powell: Just about a year late and a dollar short

Why didn't we ever talk like this before, Sec. Powell? Say, before the election?
Friday, July 03, 2009

I'm just gonna get this out on the table right now.

Your boys had their chance, SingleWing. Don't come crying to me later when you realize Greg could have brought you to the Roses.
Thursday, July 02, 2009

While they are shaken by the ideological madness of their government,

our heroes refuse to buckle.

L to R: Beetz McDogg, ManBeast, D.C.

My Absence

I've been absent from OccObs mainly because I'm so upset/jaded/disturbed/sad at the state of things. I don't think it can get too much worse in terms of people in power. I suspect the election tides will start turning next November. Things will certainly get worse in terms of the country/economy/terror threat, but I think that's the only hope to restore some sanity. It has to get bad enough for people to realize that Obama is Carter 2 - Electric Boogaloo, but much worse. When the out-of-control inflation hits, Iran and Israel nuke each other, China pwns our economy totally, the New York Times becomes a weekly and some other predictable stuff happens, I hope people will WAKE THE HELL UP!

I'm back and ranting.

Newt! Newt! Newt!

Newt is the only guy I am psyched about as a possible contender in 2012. I think we'll as a country be ready for him after 4 years of Obama.

Newt! Newt! Newt!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009

As if McCain wasn't facing a steep enough hill to climb in 2008

his campaign was staffed, at the highest levels, with self-serving rats. These people were consciously throwing the candidates themselves under the bus so that people would talk about the candidate's failures and flaws, instead of the campaign's failures and staffers:

...a McCain campaign staffer intimately familiar with the situation said he didn’t want to speculate on what he might have motivated Schmidt and possibly others to denigrate Palin to the media, but notes, “What people were talking about was how deeply flawed Palin was, rather than how deeply flawed the handling of Palin was, which was [the leakers'] strategic goal.”

I can't even do this post from the Corner justice. You have to read it for yourself.

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