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Friday, August 27, 2010

Why Small Business Isn’t Hiring

At the Volokh Conspiracy there was a post about why small business was not hiring. The blame was laid by one academic to the collapse of the housing bubble which in-turn made it hard for business owners to use the equity in their homes to get bank loans.

I question this reason. The government and academia seem to be fixated on business borrowing, as if extending credit to small businesses would cause these business owners to go into debt to hire and expand – despite a stagnant (or worse) economy. Business owners don’t go into debt for the purpose of hiring more people or buying a bigger building. The small business people that I know are hoarding their cash and hoping to survive until the economy improves; in other words, until they see an opportunity to expand without the serious risk of going bankrupt. Running a small business is inherently much riskier than running a large corporation. The small business owner’s skin is in the game, his family’s food, the mortgage payment and his retirement are all tied up in his business. If he fails, there are no severance payments, no golden parachutes. The last failed small business owner I ran into is selling cars at a Hyundai dealership.

The discussion became a back-and-forth between academics (one a professor at Harvard) and several small business owners explaining why they are not hiring. Academics simply don’t relate to small business owners and their concerns. It’s all macroeconomics and theory from people who have a lifetime job guarantee.

As someone who has worked for large corporations most of my life and recently started my own small business, I understand these people because I ‘m one myself. Most outsiders consider small business owners as risk takers, and we are to some extent. But once we’re in business we work very hard to minimize risk, knowing that a big mistake or some external issue over which we have no control can destroy the business that we have poured our life’s savings into and there is no one to bail us out. The economy can ruin us; technological change can ruin use; costs can spiral out of control and ruin us; regulatory agencies can close us down; taxes can take away our profit margin; if we depend on bank credit the bank can call our credit line; major customers can leave us; vital suppliers can disappear; and note that I have not even spoken about the competition who would like to take our customers.

So when the Federal Government decides to change the tax law, the health care laws, the environmental rules and the regulatory environment all at once while demonizing small business people who make over $200,000 per year on top of an economy that stinks and a stock market that fluctuates wildly only an academic who has never had a life outside Cambridge can tell us that we’re all wet. We should be going out and hiring, borrowing and investing because their economic models tell them that Obama’s got the US economy on the right track.

And the tone of voice is pitch perfect. It’s Obama talking down to the “bitter clingers” who are too stupid and bigoted to understand.

Her's Marcus who thinks it's a Republican conspiracy:
Actually, he’s wrong on all counts. Small businesses are not hiring because they don’t know whether people making over $2,000,000/year will be able to keep their tax cuts. I heard Boehner, or McConnell, or one of those other economic genii (Yay, Shakespeare!) say so.

On a slightly less snotty note, why is there no pressure brought to bear on the banks? They got their bonuses then closed their wallets. Is it because the poor banks were so brutally victimized by poor people that they are gun-shy, now? I mean, it’s time to let go, BigBanks. The people with no money and no power can’t hurt you anymore. At least until your next shady business practice blows up in your faces, that is.

And why are the Republicans, despite all of their best non-efforts to keep our economy in the tank until (and likely after) election day, reasonably expecting to be rewarded for their treacheries? Is it because, “Shut up, Obama’s a socialist, that’s why?”

David Welker opines:
This point about “uncertainty” is nothing more than another right-wing talking point. Or, to be more precise, the issue is not that “uncertainty” (also known as risk) is not a cost, but that there is an awful lot of selectivity about when those with right-wing inclinations decide that “uncertainty” is THE problem of the day. For more, see this excellent post on this topic by Brad DeLong here.

Right-wingers are kind of like used car salesmen. They will say anything to make the sale.

Anyone else amused about how right-wingers are so selective in invoking certain ideas? Anyone else amused how the right-wingers always invent a new talking point of the day (now it is uncertainty) that somehow always leads to the same preordained conclusions? Buy this lemon!

Here's from LN:
Nobody here is actually explaining how current Congressional actions are preventing them from hiring. Instead we get “well it makes absolutely no sense to hire in this economic environment, and I think Republicans are more favorable to small business owners on issues of taxes and regulation.” But I could have told you that and I’m merely somebody who works at a large company.

Duracom responds:
Here is an explanation of how the actions of obama and the democrats are causing small business to not hire.

Small business not expanding or hiring is basic economic self preservation in the face of tremendous uncertainty regarding government regulatory and tax policy.

The negative impact of obama and the democrat’s actions ripples through the economy. The guy below is not spending money because of uncertainty which means his vendors will have less money to spend on employees or expansion.

To which LN replies:
I understand that uncertainty makes life harder for people managing a business. This makes perfect sense. And in a competitive market profit margins are often quite small and very sensitive to changes in the prices of inputs and outputs. Yes yes.

What I don’t see in these testimonies is an honest consideration of the baseline. Life is always uncertain, there is always government regulation, there are always taxes, and profit margins are rarely that large.

I also don’t see much consideration of the fact that if you are affected by new taxes and regulation, it is very likely that your competitors are also affected by them.
What LN fails to appreciate is that my competitors are the least of my concerns. He believes that if all my competitors face the same burdens, it's no problem. But that's simply not true. My much bigger competitors can spread the cost of increased regulation over many more people and much more revenue. It's not like GE and Siemens both having to hire lawyers to explain the new regulations. A billion dollar business can afford a few lawyers. A million dollar business can't.  That's what people who have no practical idea of what small business does to stay in business don't understand.  It's a totally alien concept to them.  Need a lawyer?  Hire one!  Do you know what lawyers charge?  If you don't go out and hire one.  Mine charges $700 an hour, even when he's talking to his associate in his office.

I wish there was a pithy ending to this, but there's not.  People talking past each other.  Both side agreeing that small business isn't hiring but the ones wearing Team Obama colors think that small business owners are either stupid or part of a broad Republican conspiracy.  Business owners trying to give reasons why they're not hiring because not only is business bad but they don't know what costs the government is going to impose on them next.


Some Republicans seem to only want to talk about the economy, which should obviously be the focus of their messaging, but perhaps not their only message. There are wildly unpopular Democratic positions on foreign policy (constitutional rights for foreign terrorists) and social policy (taxpayer-funding of abortion) that Republicans could effectively highlight. In 2006, the Democrats hammered Republicans on Iraq first and foremost, but that didn't stop them from talking about stem-cells and corruption.
From the Weekly Standard

NRA Will Not Be Endorsing Harry Reid this Year

This is big: 
The NRA-PVF also operates under a long-standing policy that gives preference to incumbent candidates who have voted with the NRA on key issues, which is explained in more detail here.

The U.S. Senate recently considered a number of issues important to NRA members, including the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Out of respect for the confirmation process, the NRA did not announce its position on Ms. Kagan's confirmation until the conclusion of her testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee. Her evasive testimony exacerbated grave concerns we had about her long-standing hostility towards the Second Amendment. As a result, the NRA strongly opposed her confirmation and made it clear at the time that we would be scoring this important vote.

The vote on Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year's confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.
Glenn Reynolds notes:
This is actually kind of news — Reid’s been pretty good on gun stuff by Dem standards, and lots of people expected NRA to back him. In fact, this represents a change. In normal elections, the back-incumbents-who-have-been-pretty-good-regardless-of-party approach makes sense. But this isn’t a normal election, and I think the NRA has figured this out.
Lots of people have figured it out. on “Wheat, Weed, and ObamaCare: How the Commerce Clause Made Congress All-Powerful”

Via Volokh

In the video, Erwin Chemerinsky, defends the right of congress to literally do anything, pass any law or regulate any activity based on the commerce clause of the constitution. He states that the Constitution is no protection against tyranny; and approves.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Oh yeah, that would be a great spot for a mosque"

Via American Digest

"He’s a Holocaust survivor? Obviously he didn’t learn his lesson.”

Pro Ground Zero Mega Mosque ranter curses out Holocaust survivor for protesting mosque.

71% of Americans opposed to Ground Zero MegaMosque

Why the Republicans Will Do Well in November: Guaranteed Results

Frank J. at IMAO tells us why Republicans will win in November.  It's funny, but it's true.

I think a reason Republicans are going to do really well in November is that while when Obama was elected people had a hope of him making things better, people absolutely know for certain that Republicans will make things better.

Look at this way: In 2008, America was feeling really sick and crummy. And then comes along Dr. Obama who said, “I can make you all feel better!” And everyone was really hopeful that was true — despite a few suspicions since Dr. Obama didn’t have any diplomas hanging on the wall. So America hired Obama… who then started to hit us repeatedly in the crotch. And we were all like, “Ow! Stop that! Stop that now!” And Dr. Obama said, “Shut up, stupid! I don’t have to listen to you!” And then Dr. Obama’s Democrat congress assistants held us down so he can punch us even easier.

So now it’s 2010 and people are looking to Dr. GOP. And given Dr. GOP’s record, they’re not very hopeful he’ll actually be able to cure what originally was ailing America. But there is one thing America knows for certain: The GOP will be able to get Obama to stop hitting us repeatedly in the crotch, making us all feel a ton better. And guaranteed results like that is a powerful thing.
Republicans may not be able to cure us but they sure as Hell are going to stop hurting us.

Republican vs. Democrat: the polls say it's a clean sweep.

Via Powerline.

Nissan Ad

The Defense Industry

The Defense Industry®™ is now in full combat mode in defense of Barack Obama. I refer, of course, to the lads and lasses who brought us the “Lightworker” who would bring us together, heal the earth and make the oceans recede; yes, the man whose words brought a thrill up their legs and almost made them forget he was black.

Having invested the last, lint covered, shreds of credibility in getting him elected, they are now busy buffing and polishing this buffoon – once again. This time they no longer have the luxury of creating an image based on his rock-star rallies combined with a concentrated effort to hide his past. The American people are now beginning to understand the real Obama. They know that the trillion dollars spent on stimulating the economy did no such thing. They know that the value of their homes is till eroding. They know that they or their friends have lost - or are about to lose - their jobs. They saw the disastrous ObamaCare bill passed, over their opposition without being read, even by its sponsor, Max Baucus. They see their investments erode as the market is about to take a double dip.

So what is the Defense Industry ®™ doing? The only thing left: ridicule the majority of the American people. The Defense Industry ®™ has long years of experience with this. It’s the only industry that actually thinks that it will build its business by insulting its product. From the inside, the media knows that its customers are really the advertisers. But the advertisers are buying access to your eyeballs (you're the product) and the media are delivering fewer and fewer eyeballs to their advertisers every time they take another swipe at the American people.

Before the information revolution, the media could do this with impunity. Where are you gonna get your information, sports scores, the weather report or the crossword puzzle? The answer is everywhere and you don’t have to take some fat assed bastard son of a poxed whore telling you how stupid you are as part of the package.

Meanwhile the actual unhinged and violent people who are being stirred up by the MFM are sending death threats to the Tea Party activists, and the media are doing such a good job of demonizing "Country America" that Democrats are fire-bombing their own offices and blaming it on their opponents. 

Ann Coulter has fun with this MSNBC Swears to Allah that Obama's Not a Muslim as only she can:

MSNBC's Monday programming was dedicated to denouncing Sen. Mitch McConnell's response to a question about whether Obama is a Muslim.

What McConnell actually said in response to the Muslim question was: "The president says he's a Christian. I take him at his word. I don't think that's in dispute."

Over at MSNBC, that's Republican code for: "He's a Muslim!"

North Korean TV's Ed Schultz hysterically babbled: "McConnell gave cover. That's what he did. He gave cover to all those low information voters out there who still believe this garbage about President Obama being a Muslim. ... The Republican leadership just loves to feed the fire."

Chris Matthews was so impressed with Schultz's nonsensical argument that he spent the entire hour on NKTV's "Hardball" making the same one: McConnell had expressed insufficient fervor when he said he believed Obama was a Christian! (Perhaps if McConnell had added something about a thrill running up his leg ...)

The statement "I take him at his word," Matthews said, was a "pitch-perfect dog whistle to the haters." He continued: "Yes, sure, whatever he says. Right. This is not about belief. It's an accusation that President Obama is not one of us. The right wing's attempt to de-Americanize the president."
You may think this is funny, I do, but this is what the mainstream media, which is otherwise busy demonizing the majority of Americans, actually believes.  And this kind of drivel is not passed around via Internet spam messages. This is "Big Time" media, the new Obama Defense Industry®™.

UPDATE: We (members of the "new media") have gotten into a rut by complaining about the MSM and it's refusal to print stories that are critical of the Left but we should stop. It's a tired theme and it will not change the old media. We're never going to get them to change because they believe they're right and will defend their people no matter what. Here's a response from Rob De Witt at Gateway Pundit:
“It’s just a shame the media won’t report this” is a lame plaint. You’re the media; you’re reporting it. Approval and validation by Pretty Perky Katie Couric and her ilk is less than meaningless at this point, and the diminishing portion of the population which still gets its news that way won’t recognize the truth anyhow.
Instead, feel sorry for the families of those working in a dying industry.  This is as good as it gets for them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Not to be Seen

Middle School Coach Gets Fired For Co-Writing Anti-Obama Song On His Own Damn Time

Ace says:
This is how it is going to have to be: First of all, all of the school board members here have to be run against, and run hard against, and ejected from office. And then the principal needs to be fired, and every administrator along the way.

Second: Conservatives must begin, immediately, to get liberals fired from their jobs for any political expression. Any. Political. Expression.

We have tried to reason to them that this fascism is unfair. They don't care, they don't get it. All they see is the upside of fascism, the "good" side, the happy side, the I-get-to-coerce-my-opponents-and-hold-them-in-terror side.

They haven't been held in terror themselves, worried that any stray comment they make may cause them to lose their livelihood (in the worst recession since the depression, no less). They do not "behave" as conservatives are forced to stay in line because they haven't experienced the terror of of a hostile political bloc which has seized control of all the apparatuses of government.

They must be made to be afraid. And when a certain number of them have experienced the bad side of fascism, perhaps then they will be amenable to reason.

But they won't be until then. It's time to start using their despicable tactics against them. Not out of vengeance -- but as a teachable moment.

C BS Evening News Disappearing from View

The network newscast ratings for last week are in and "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" tied its all-time low in total viewers with an average of 4.89 million tuning in during the five days. 
 For this she get $16 million a year?

Are Professors Beyond the Reach of the Law?

Is academic fraud illegal?

There seems to be an opinion in academia and the pages of the Virginian Pilot that fraud in academia is not a crime.

I admit that I have a hard time defining the issue of academic fraud. I suppose that if an academic simply made up numbers or facts out of thin air it could be labeled academic fraud. And if – in the process - an academic was paid for an academic study that involved the use of fake data, which could be interpreted as fraud in the way that ordinary people define it.

But it seems that academics and their allies in the media don’t agree that this is fraud. Because they are totally opposed to having Virginia Attorney General Cuchinelli examine even the possibly that a fraud was committed by an academic.

The issue that they frame is that it is totally illegitimate to examine the issue.

I am a student of history. I have read that criminals (or people sought by the authorities) in medieval times could go into a church and claim sanctuary from the civil authorities. Is Academia the modern-day cathedral to which academics – whether they have committed crimes or not - can run because, not matter their guilt or innocence, they are beyond the reach of the secular law?

Is there more than one Jihad?

Asked to tell us, the Administration point man on this issue, John Brennan, folds his papers and leaves.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ground Zero Imam Says U.S. Worse than al-Qaeda

Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugged:
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: "We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations. And when Madeleine Albright, who has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years, when she was Secretary of State and was asked whether this was worth it, said it was worth it.

No mention of the 270 million victims of over a millennium of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilation and enslavement. No mention of the recent slaughter by Muslims of Christians, Hindus, Jews, non-believers in Indonesia, Thailand, Ethiopia, Somalia, Philippines, Lebanon, Israel, Russia, China................ no candor, no criticism of Islam.

Imam Feisal: "The West needs to begin to see themselves through the eyes of the Arab and Muslim world, and when you do you will see the predicament that exists within the Muslim community."

On the question of reforming Islam and expunging the texts of the threat doctrine and mandated violence and conquest:

Imam Feisal: On the issue of the reformation, in terms of what is again intended by it, Islam does not need a reformation.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

LA unveils $578M school, costliest in the nation

This will be a monument to government waste: 
At RFK, the features include fine art murals and a marble memorial depicting the complex's namesake, a manicured public park, a state-of-the-art swimming pool and preservation of pieces of the original hotel.

On being a 20-something

Glenn Reynolds linked to an aspiring writer for the NY Times, Jessie, a 20-something who moved back with her parents until her career took off.

When I was growing up, most of the parents I knew were not rich enough to let their kids “find themselves.” Some people I know did, but I hated them. Getting a job, renting a crummy apartment, buying my own car – and maintaining it – was not nearly as much fun as going to California and living at the beach on parental support checks. But for most people in my Midwest community, mom and dad didn’t have it to spend. Besides that, I would just be putting off the inevitable and others would be getting the careers that I had to look forward to.

Of course, I didn’t dream of becoming an author or movie star. Just getting a career and having enough money to buy a new car rather than a used jalopy like my parents drove was my primary motivation.

Moving back with mom and dad was not an option unless the alternative was homelessness. In those dark ages, somewhere between 1900 and 2000, living with the folks was an open admission of failure. You were either an alcoholic, drug addict or an idiot – literally.

So now 20-somethings are living at home to “find themselves.” Like Jessie Rosen is until her career takes off. I wonder if the Jessie Rosens realize that they are reverting to the pre-industrial age when children lived with their parents. Lived at home to help with the chores, milk the cows, feed the chickens, plow the fields, run the farm.

And why should they ever move out? Today’s homes are big enough, God knows, to allow several generations to live in what most of the world would consider not just comfort but luxury. As the elders become enfeebled, can’t get around much anymore, need help feeding themselves, develop Alzheimers or dementia, there are the 20-somethings now 60-somethings – and their spouses and their children – to take care of the parents that have been such a great safety net during their young lives.  And when the parents die, the old house is right there for the next few generations.

Perhaps Jessie Rosen should reconsider her plans. You can be a successful author living in your old room in your parents’ house. And, like your other 20-somethings you could be the trailblazer, the start of a new trend that is really an old custom.  Think of the reduced carbon footprint Jessie.  Back to the future.

Ring Galaxy

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Unemployment Spreads.

H/T Instapundit

"Drunken White House Parties"

The Globe surpasses the NY Slimes in credibility.

Cultural Projection

Supporters of the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque … uhh …Cordoba Mosque … uhh …51st Street Cultural Center tell us that building it is not only the Right Thing To Do™ because it validates our own First Amendment freedom to worship, but it will show the Islamic world that we value the freedom to worship no matter what your faith.

To put it another way, we will show them that we value religious pluralism and put that value into practice even if it hurts the memories of those who lost relatives and friends on 9/11 and is opposed by the majority of our fellow countrymen. And the demonstration of that act of religious pluralism will make us better liked in the Islamic community.

The primary result of the mosque/center being built on that particular spot is to persuade the followers of Islam to like us because we stuck to our values. 

That begs the question, are our values their values? What is the evidence that Islam values religious diversity? Is it the absence of religious diversity in Saudi Arabia? The “Holy City” of Mecca forbids non-Muslims to enter, not exactly an invitation to diversity. Images of Mohammad as a cartoon character causes deadly riots halfway around the world, not a demonstration of live-and-let-live. The Koran, which is interpreted as the final and authoritative word of Allah, does not permit the worship of other gods and required the death of those who leave the faith; diversity for thee but not for me. It is becoming ever clearer that the Arab – Israeli conflict is – at its root - a religious war: a Jewish state is rejected in the Arab world and non-Muslims are being forced out.

It is common to project your values on to other people and to assume that they value what you value. But religious pluralism, and respect for other faiths on an equal footing with Islam is not part of that belief system. One day, perhaps, if Islam sees a reformation similar to that which Christianity went through. But at this point in time, the multiculturalists are simply projecting, and telling the rest of us to shut up.

As economy worsens and unemployment climbs, Obama takes vacation

From the American Thinker.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get" .... oh forget it, it's time for my sixth vacation this year.  And this is how it's presented by the MFM, kneepads in place: 
"Oil spill plugged and Iraq combat over, Obama takes break."

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange wanted for rape, molestation in Sweden

A set-up?  we don't know.

We don't know enough to even guess yet, so perhaps we should just contemplate the fate of someone who proved himself a publicity whore and may have gotten burned for it.

"Shut up" he explained.

Scott Shane at the NY Times:
U.S. anti-Islam protest seen as lift for extremistsExperts: Rhetoric over planned Islamic center near ground zero feeds anti-U.S. sentiment
Free speech is not valued when it conflicts with multiculturalism at the NY Slimes

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Imam Speaks


The definition of insanity

The definition of doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs.

A great illustration is found by Patterico
It is Accepted Wisdom™ that:

It is not the Ground Zero mosque. It’s not at Ground Zero and it’s not a mosque.

And at the same time:

Having the mosque at Ground Zero is a testament to our religious tolerance.
The Muslims who bought the property apparently though it was very important to be as close to Ground Zero as possible. So even as the AP tells its editors to avoid the term "Ground Zero Mosque," the people who wnat to build the mosque are all over the designation.
# A December 8th, 2009, New York Times article stated, “The location [next to Ground Zero] was precisely a key selling point for the group of Muslims,” and quoted Rauf as noting that they got a property “where a piece of the [9/11] wreckage fell.” ASMA then touted the piece in its 2009 Year End Report.
# A simple Google search of the Cordoba Initiative’s website reveals the phrase “Ground Zero” to be seeded throughout as a rather inept 1999-era SEO tactic to bring people looking for information about Ground Zero to the mosque promoters’ website.
# On May 5th and 6th, ASMA’s Daisy Khan was on her Twitter account, boasting first that the “new muslim center near ground zero gets unaminous vote of approval from community board one in downtown nyc,” and then that she had a “Media blitz day for ASMA / Cordoba [on the] muslim commuity center near ground zero.”
# On June 15th, Daisy Khan told the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn that “a divine hand” led to the Ground Zero proximity.

Obama has himself to blame for Muslim problem

Byron York says that Obama has a "Muslim problem." 

Why is the fact that about one-quarter of the American people believe that Obama is a Muslim a problem?  As Seinfeld said of homosexuality: "... not that there's anything wrong with that." 

The American leadership - from Bush after 9-11 on - has been at pains to tell us that virtually all Muslims are peaceful and moderate.  We have two Muslims in Congress.  Why is the White House upset that a growing number of people believe he's Muslim?

We note two things about references to Obama as a Muslim.  The Left vehemently denies it and calls it a slur.  The Right also denies it and tries to explain the (mis)perception of so many Americans. 

Obama supporters point to his professed Christianity from his books.  The problems with Obama's professed Christianity is that he was "converted" by a racist, anti-Semitic bigot named Jeremiah Wright whose congregation was harangued with Liberation Theology rants that had more to do with racial hatred than with Christianity.  Wright is a Christian like Fred Phelps is a Christian.  In other words, they are bigots disguised as clergy.

The Right also states that Obama is a Christian based on exactly the same evidence ... taking Obama's word for it. 

People in both camps suggest that Obama joined Wright's church more for political reasons than religious reasons.  I concur.

I am of the opinion that Obama has no personal faith in God.  I also believe that in his youth he was culturally influenced by Islam.  From York' article...
As Obama said, his grandfather was a Muslim. His father was raised a Muslim before becoming, by Obama’s account, “a confirmed atheist.” Obama’s stepfather was a Muslim. His half-sister Maya told the New York Times that her “whole family was Muslim.”

Obama spent two years in a Muslim school in Indonesia and later, in a conversation with the Times’ Nicholas Kristof, described the Arabic call to prayer, the beginning of which he recited by heart, as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
Most people are imprinted at a very early age into the religion that surrounds them.  Many people will tell you they are Christians who never go to church.  These people are "cultural Christians" but not people of faith.  Obama's personal antipathy toward Country America, his political radicalism and his childhood immersion in a Muslim culture, may not make him an adherent of the Muslim faith, but it may make him more of a cultural Muslim than a cultural Christian.
In the polls we are reading, that may be the driving force behind the way that people are responding to the question about his religion.

UPDATE:  The Daily Caller
Here’s the lede of WaPo’s take on the “You Are Too Dumb to Appreciate Obama” story:

The number of Americans who believe — wrongly — that President Obama is a Muslim has increased significantly since his inauguration and now account for nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population.

The key there is the “wrongly.” Gotta set it apart with em dashes, even! You can almost taste the indignation. I’m surprised they didn’t use bold, italics, and all caps as well. “WRONGLY!!”
After the 2004 election, some lefties branded the U.S. “Jesusland.” Now they’re scrambling to deny rumors that Obama doesn’t love Jesus. Odd, yes?

How dare we not worship "Him."

UPDATE 2:  From NBC News, hammering home the "wrongly" oops "correctly"  
The results from a new Pew make you want to shake your head about, well, the entire media landscape of the 21st century. Per the survey, only 34% believe -- correctly -- that President Obama is a Christian (down 17 points since 2008); 18% think he’s a Muslim (up six points since ’08); and 43% say they don’t know his religion (up 11 points). Inside the numbers: “The belief that Obama is a Muslim has increased most sharply among Republicans (up 14 points since 2009), especially conservative Republicans (up 16 points),” the poll’s press release says. “But the number of independents who say Obama is a Muslim has also increased significantly (up eight points).” These results don’t many anyone look good -- Obama’s political opponents (who have helped spread false information about the president’s religion and birthplace), the press (which obviously hasn’t done its job here, thanks to some outlets even serving as a megaphone by running false equivalency debates), and the American populace (which should be embarrassed).
You rubes ought to be ashamed; after all, thanks to the MFM Obama is an open book.  We know all about him.   And this just PROVES how deeply religious he is:  His blackberry is more religious than you are!
The irony here: The big irony of this story: President Obama is more religious than Reagan or H.W. Bush ever was; in fact, he gets Bible verses sent to his blackberry EVERY DAY.
The ACLU should sue him for failing to separate Church and State.  The man is a walking, talking Bible.

Rauf on the Road

From the Rosett Report dated 8/19/2010.  The Imam Has Landed … So When Does He Phone Home?
...the State Department, after two weeks of hemming and hawing, finally confirming on Wednesday the bare-bones dates of his taxpayer-funded travels to Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

But I can report a recent sighting, of sorts. Not a sighting of Rauf himself, mind you. Nor the sound of his voice. But late Thursday night, New York time — Thursday morning in the Middle East — I phoned the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, the first stop on Rauf’s “public diplomacy” tour.

Asked if the imam had arrived in Bahrain, an embassy official told me: “Yes, that’s correct.”

And that, folks, is the sum total right now of the information available to the American public about the taxpayer-funded public outreach activities these next few days of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in Bahrain.
For someone raising $100 million building cultural bridges, the Imama is remarkably silent.

From Rosett's August 16th report:
By now, there is information in Rauf’s silence. He launched his Ground Zero mosque and Islamic center project in the name of “dialogue,” “outreach” and “bridge-building” in lower Manhattan. In doing so, he trampled on raw feelings, and set off a divisive debate. Rauf’s apparent dismissal of public questions as not worth his time, while he travels to the Middle East on U.S. taxpayer money, suggests enormous contempt for the American public.

I would say that goes double for the Ruling Class heading the US Government.

NY Times: "Obama the Apostate"

In this article written by Edward Luttwak Barack Obama is a lapsed Muslim.

Senator Obama is half African by birth and Africans can understandably identify with him. In Islam, however, there is no such thing as a half-Muslim. Like all monotheistic religions, Islam is an exclusive faith.

As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.

Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.

His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).

With few exceptions, the jurists of all Sunni and Shiite schools prescribe execution for all adults who leave the faith not under duress; the recommended punishment is beheading at the hands of a cleric, although in recent years there have been both stonings and hangings. (Some may point to cases in which lesser punishments were ordered — as with some Egyptian intellectuals who have been punished for writings that were construed as apostasy — but those were really instances of supposed heresy, not explicitly declared apostasy as in Senator Obama’s case.)
So according to Islamic law Barack Hussein Obama should be ....?

Forget Bush. Obama now blames poor job situation on Congress...

From the LA Times: Obama now blames poor job numbers on congressional inaction. Wait! His party runs Congress

Obama had facts wrong in Ohio; Stimulus dollars didn't aid project...

Our "really, really smart President" fucks up again.

From the Columbus Dispatch:
A local project that President Barack Obama cited during a visit Wednesday to Columbus as an example of how the federal stimulus package has worked isn't actually being funded with stimulus dollars.

When called on it, a White House spokesman blamed Congressional Republicans.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When giving a BJ, get a room

Margaret Carlson performs sex in public:
He is so supremely confident in his intellect that he forgets, on his way to the correct decision, to slow down and pick up not-so-gifted stragglers.
Gag me with a spoon.  Monica Lewinski had a better excuse.

"A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim," not that there's anything wrong with that

James Taranto in the WSJ's "Best of the Web" is always quotable, and this line caught my eye (homage to "Seinfeld")
"A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim," not that there's anything wrong with that, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Eighteen percent of those polled think the president is a Muslim, up from 12% in October 2008. The Ground Zero mosque doesn't explain this shift, as the poll was conducted before he stepped into that controversy.
Of course the Left will blame Rush or Glenn Beck.  But like the accusation of being gay, aren't Muslims practicin the "religion of peace?"  What's wrong with that?  Would it be an insult to call Obama a Catholic?

Who's the Extremist?

Who is - and who is not - a "Moderate Muslim"

Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal (Our 'Moderate Muslim' problem) reminds us that the title of "moderate Muslim" is often applied by the Liberal/Left to any Muslim who stands out from the crowd and can be described as a leader.

Items of interest in the news media's coverage of "moderate Muslims":

• The New York Times, Oct. 19, 2001: "Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, spiritual leader at the Dar al-Hijra mosque in Virginia, one of the nation's largest. . . . is held up as a new generation of Muslim leader capable of merging East and West."

• NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Dec. 9, 2004: "It's the TV industry's newest experiment, 'Bridges TV,' billing itself the 'American-Muslim lifestyle network,' featuring movies, documentaries, cartoons. . . . It's the brainchild of Aasiya Hassan, an architect, and her husband, Muzzamil Hassan, a banker, who are disturbed that negative images of Muslims seem to dominate TV, especially since 9/11."

• Boston Globe editorial, Aug. 4, 2010: "The simple fact is there's nothing threatening about the proposed Islamic center, which is being spearheaded by Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the most respected moderate Muslim leaders in the country."
So how "moderate" were these Muslims?
Most readers probably know of Awlaki as the U.S.-born imam who presided over the mosque attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers. Awlaki also served as theological mentor to Fort Hood killer Nidal Malik Hassan, would-be Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. President Obama has authorized the military to assassinate Awlaki, now thought to be living in Yemen.
I would not put a great deal of faith in the NY Times ability to distinguish between "moderate Muslims" and their radical brethren.

Rather than inspire his followers to kill more Americans, Muzzamil Hassan only cut off his wife's head when she tried to leave him.  It's merely an Islamic custom.  That make him more "moderate" than Awlaki.

Feisal Abdul Rauf, the latest "moderate Muslim" is the leader of the group planning to build the Ground Zero Mosque.  He lays part of the blame for 9/11 on America and refuses to call Hamas a terrorist group. If this is as "moderate" as Islam gets, I agree with Roger Kimball when he says
My own view, which I’ve stated in this space before, is that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with “foundational Western values like free speech, the separation of church and state, and equality under the law. Such things are not simply missing from Islam: they are positively repudiated by Islam.”
It seems that it takes a certain set of characteristics to be anointed a "moderate Muslim" by the MFM.  One indispensable characteristic is to be at least as anti-American as the MFM.  If you can denounce Country America with -at least - the vehemence of the NY Times, you're a "moderate Muslim."

Pelican Nebula Close-up

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 WE REMEMBER

Heart rending video.

Obama: "My father served in World War 2." His father was 10 years old when the war ended.

That’s weird.
His ‘official father’ was a 10 year old Kenyan at the end of WWII.
Who’s he talking about?

Remember when Timothy Geitner was the ONLY ONE who could get us out of the financial crisis?

Remember when Timothy Geitner was the ONLY ONE who could get us out of the financial crisis?

If your memory doesn't go back that far, a Google search came up with an interesting summary of Liberal opinion by the invaluable Rush Limbaugh:

RUSH: Here's Andrea Mitchell with Mika Brzezinski today on Scarborough's show on MSNBC. Mika Brzezinski says, "Tim Geithner, is this a big problem, some tax issue for the guy?"

ANDREA MITCHELL: He is hugely smart, they need him right away on the job, I think both senators in the -- Democrats and Republicans from the finance committee say that they need him right away to get confirmed. He did his own taxes, by the way, which is -- and then he got an accountant who didn't tell him all the back taxes that he needed to pay.

HARRY REID: Timothy Geithner is a person that is extremely well-qualified to be one of the finest secretaries of Treasury this country's ever had. And there is a few little hiccups, but that's basically what they are. I am not concerned at all.

In the immediate aftermath of Obama’s election, network journalists covering Obama’s possible picks for key economic positions touted Geithner as “highly regarded,” “brainy,” “well-thought-of,” “much-admired” and deserving “tremendous respect.” Of 56 stories mentioning Geithner between Nov. 3 and the official announcement of his selection Nov. 24, 34 portrayed him in a positive light while 22 were neutral or balanced. There were no negative stories about his appointment.

The reaction to his failure to pay income tax?


Move over Steve Slater

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque: Follow the money, continued.

The person who bought the old Burlington Coat factory a year ago was
... a waiter at Sarafina Restaurant (NY) in 2002 and worked as an apartment rental agent on commission only, yet this Muslim man managed to save up enough cash to purchase a little piece of Islamic Paradise right in the heart of downtown New York City. I guess Allah is Akbar after all!
(more here)

The property was bought for cash(according to the video)so that means a waiter made over $5 million since 2002. I would like to see the tax records of Sharif El-Gamal, the "developer" from Soho Properties.

Follow the money.

More on God's Creation

When we see God's work on Earth we rarely appreciate His majesty.  Our faith propels us to the past, at Jesus' birth and sacrifice.  But God created the universe and modern science reveals his majesty as no one in history has been able to perceive Him.  God's glory for those with eyes to see.

Bill Whittle Weighs In On the Ground Zero Mosque Controversy.

H/T Instapundit.

Obama is a much more ardent defender of the Muslim faith than of the United States.

Barack Hussein Obama has spent much of his Presidency apologizing for the United States.  Can you remember when he last apologized for the faith of his father; for the religion he grew up in while living as child overseas?  Is there no aspect of this faith that deserves criticism?

To remind yourself of his criticism of the America he leads, take a few minutes to watch this video

Scott Johnson at Powerline gives us ten thesis on Obama's Iftar speech. Excerpt:
Here is what President Obama said Friday night at the White House iftar dinner in front of a room full of Muslims regarding the Ground Zero Megamosque (GZM):

Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities - particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
Obama carefully read his speech, including this statement. When he got to this passage, he spoke slowly, with some vehemence and condescension. Regarding these remarks, as the late, great William Buckley used to say, a few observations.

1. Obama's tone was not one calculated to persuade. He both hectored and belittled those who oppose the GZM. If you respectfully beg to differ with Obama, it is hard to like the persona Obama had on display Friday night.
During the election, Obama presented himself as a healing figure.  He has become the opposite.  The country has never been more divided.  The election of 2008, despite George Bush's unpopularity, was never viewed by the average American as an escape from tyranny.  Why?  Because George Bush had the common touch.   People may have become impatient with the war, they may have disliked his spending, Conservatives were never comfortable with his big government programs.  But they never thought he was speaking down to them.
10. With great reliability Obama stands athwart the feelings of ordinary Americans. Indeed, he is a much more ardent defender of the faith of Musims than he is of the United States, of its history or of its people. Although Obama framed his GZM remarks as a citizen and President of the United States, he seems to think of himself less as a citizen of the United States than as a citizen of the world and less as president than as philosopher king.
The fact is that "Country America" believes that it has been taken over by a group of people who believe themselves the chosen elite who have not only the right, but also the responsibility to run the country as they see fit.  The beliefs and the feelings of the people be damned.  That's why the November election is seen as a watershed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Which one is Michelle?

Here’s a pic of our illustrious First Lady visiting royalty in Spain. You’ll have to guess which one is Michelle Antoinette."

UPDATE:  It's a photoshopped image.

Something Wonderful: Right Network is Launching September 8, 2010

Cheery stories about the dismal economy

James Taranto's "Best of the Web" in the Wall Street Journal is a must-read for news junkies. Here's something that caught our eye today:

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
From the Boston Globe:

It's happening in offices across the country. Employees leave, and their vacant cubicles remain.
Rather than let this "empty-desk syndrome'' serve as a daily reminder of laid-off colleagues and days of bigger profits gone by, some companies are getting creative. They're putting up walls and subletting part of their space to another firm, or moving in with another company and sharing a receptionist.
Others have found ways to capitalize on the extra space, ripping out vacant cubicles to set up new meeting areas, or adding new facets to their business. A few are doing away with their offices altogether.
The headline: "With Layoffs, Room for Creativity." We have to say, when the Democrats are no longer in power, we're going to miss these cheery stories about the dismal economy.

Holy Frickin' Reagan: Best Advertorial You'll See

How many "top priorities" does Obama have?

According the the White House correspondent for CBS news, Mark Knoller, as many as he wants:
More than any other issue, he has used the phrase "top priority" about digging the economy out of the recession and creating jobs. And on this issue, he drew a distinction between "a" top priority and "the" top priority.

"Creating jobs in the United States and ensuring a return to sustainable economic growth is the top priority for my Administration," he said in an Executive Order last March on his National Export Initiative.

Early in his administration, Mr. Obama also assigned the "top priority" label to his campaign promise to overhaul America's health care system. But a check of his speeches since taking office, reflect a bevy of other "top priorities:"

FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS: "...that's something that's going to be a top priority." (4/27/10)

ENERGY SECURITY: "And that's why my energy security plan has been one of the top priorities of my Administration since the day I took office." (4/28/10)

EDUCATION REFORM: "To train our workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we've made education reform a top priority in this Administration." (2/24/10)

STUDENT LOAN REFORM: "This is something that I've made a top priority." (2/1/10)

EXPORTS BY SMALL BUSINESSES: "This is going to be a top priority." (12/3/09)

HEALTH ASSISTANCE TO 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS: "I'm not just talking the talk, we've been budgeting this as a top priority for this Administration." (2/3/10)

END HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS: "I've also directed (Veterans Affairs) Secretary Shinseki to focus on a top priority: reducing homeless among veterans." (8/17/09)

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS: "Our top priority is ensuring the public safety. That means appropriate sheltering in place or if necessary, getting as many people as possible out of harm's way prior to landfall." (5/29/09)

H1N1 FLU VACCINATIONS: "And throughout this process, my top priority has been the health and the safety of the American people." (5/1/09)

SUPPORT FOR MILITARY FAMILIES: "These military families are heroes too. And they are a top priority of Michelle and me. And they will always have our support." (5/30/09)

STRENTHENING TIES WITH CANADA AND MEXICO: "We're going to make this a top priority..." (10/16/09)

CONSUMER PROTECTION: "During these challenging times, the needs of American consumers are a top priority of my Administration." (2/11/09)

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: "So this is going to be a top priority generally improving our environmental quality." (11/5/09)

The dictionary defines "top" as a singular entity: "the part of anything that is first or foremost."

By designating a multitude of "top priorities," Mr. Obama can be seen trying to score political points with the constituencies for all of these issues.
This can't be good for Knoller's career.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seriously, Where Is Imam Feisal … and What’s with His Web Site?

Caloudia Rosett seems to be the only reporter who's actually looking into the Iman who's heading up the Cordoba Mosque. I'm not going to ask why that is; the answer is obvious to everyone.

But for those who care to follow the twists and turns of this saga, click on the link to her latest article and the saga of the disappearing website.

And while he’s on these travels, what’s going on with the web site of his Cordoba Initiative? Last week, after someone in his Malaysia office referred all questions back to his office in New York, the phone number and address of his office in Malaysia quietly vanished from the Cordoba web site. Roughly around the same time, as Anne Bayefsky noticed and explained in a Pajamas Media post this week, Rauf’s Cordoba Initiative web site also erased a photo showing Rauf meeting in Malaysia a while back with an Iranian official, Mohammad Javad Larijani — who, as Bayefsky explained, “was the Iranian official who defended Iran’s abysmal human rights record before the UN Human Rights Council in February and June of this year.”

Friday evening, after Obama gave his de facto endorsement to Rauf’s Cordoba/Park 51 Ground Zero mosque and Islamic center project, I took another look at the morphing Cordoba Initiative web site, and discovered it now has a note on the main page saying “Website is currently under construction.” (Grab your screenshots now — parts of this site are already sliding down the Memory Hole).

What’s going on? Why the vanishings of the Malaysian address, the Rauf-Larijani Iranian connection photo, and the elusive Imam Feisal himself? Have either Obama or Bloomberg made even the smallest effort to inquire about what use will be made, or by whom, of these de facto endorsements they are handing out?

Gallup Poll Summary (It Doesn't Look Good)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"If we don't let Jihadis build a victory monument at Ground Zero the terrorists will have won."

That seems to be the message from the Liberal/Left/Progressive end of the political spectrum and amplified by Barack Hussein Obama.  And make no mistake about it; there's no way that anyone believes that Cordoba House is not a victory monument.  No one - literally no one - is that stupid,

To really rub our faces in it, the Government is paying Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the mosque, to take a junket at our expense to the Arab world where he will raise the funds to build the monument to Islam's greatest victory of this century over the "Great Satan."

Lenin famously said that The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them"  He was understating his case.  The Ruling Class in America won't sell the Jihads the rope; they'll provide it free while congratulating themselves on their generosity.

UPDATE: Via Flag_This at FreeRepublic

From Sarah Palin:
Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque steps away from where radical Islamists killed 3000 people? Please tell us your position. We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they? And, no, this is not above your pay grade. If those who wish to build this Ground Zero mosque are sincerely interested in encouraging positive "cross-cultural engagement" and dialogue to show a moderate and tolerant face of Islam, then why haven't they recognized that the decision to build a mosque at this particular location is doing just the opposite? Mr. President, why aren't you encouraging the mosque developers to accept Governor Paterson's generous offer of assistance in finding a new location for the mosque on state land if they move it away from Ground Zero? Why haven't they jumped at this offer? Why are they apparently so set on building a mosque steps from what you have described, in agreement with me, as "hallowed ground"? I believe these are legitimate questions to ask.

Do you trust the news? You are part of a small minority.

From the Gallup poll:

The findings are from Gallup's annual Confidence in Institutions survey, which found the military faring best and Congress faring worst of 16 institutions tested. Americans' confidence in newspapers and television news is on par with Americans' lackluster confidence in banks and slightly better than their dismal rating of Health Management Organizations and big business.
In 1990 about 39% of the American people trusted newspapers.  That has fallen by over one-third.  In other terms, in 1990 about 117 million people trusted newspapers, today only 75 million do.  That still represents lots of gullible people, but the number of the gullible are dropping.  That's why newspapers are losing readers, losing money and losing the race to survive.

Runaway Slave

It's worth 5 minutes of your time. A teaser for the documentary coming in 2011.

The mystery of Jerry Brown’s pension

Just as Californians are becoming aware of outrageous salary and pensions being paid to government employees (see Bell), it turns out that Jerry Brown is one of a handful of government pensioners who are getting a special pension that the people thought had been abolished years ago.

As Jerry Brown grabbed the spotlight with his criticism of Bell city officials and their outrageous pensions, The Watchdog got to wondering: How much will the Democrat for Governor make in retirement?

That, as it turns out, is a very difficult question to answer. After more than a month of investigation, the Watchdog can only say for certain that Brown and a handful of other top officials are eligible for generous benefits under a special pension fund so obscure that few people in government know how it works and many thought it had been eliminated 20 years ago by outraged voters.

Under the law, Brown should have accrued, at most, 16 years of service credit in this special fund, known as the Legislators’ Retirement System, or LRS. Actuarial statements produced by LRS, however, indicate that an unnamed person of Brown’s age and earning Brown’s exact salary has been credited with 25 to 29 years of service. The difference would mean tens of thousands of dollars in additional pension payments for Brown each year.

Brown’s campaign staff acknowledge the unnamed person sure looks like the gubernatorial candidate but have been unable to explain the discrepancy over service. ...
As best as we can tell, Brown would be eligible for an annual LRS pension of $73,720 if he has 16 years of service. If, somehow, he has 25 or more years, it would be $110,580.
This can't help Brown in the election.

"There is a distinctly Titanic-like feel to the Obama presidency"

The UK Telegraph's Nile Gardiner give us 10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in meltdown
Here's number 10, and it's a crucial reason why Obama CAN'T lead America:

10. Obama doesn’t believe in American greatness

Barack Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, and has made apologising for his country into an art form. In a speech to the United Nations last September he stated that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.” It is difficult to see how a US president who holds these views and does not even accept America’s greatness in history can actually lead the world’s only superpower with force and conviction.

There is a distinctly Titanic-like feel to the Obama presidency and it’s not hard to see why. The most left-wing president in modern American history has tried to force a highly interventionist, government-driven agenda that runs counter to the principles of free enterprise, individual freedom, and limited government that have made the United States the greatest power in the world, and the freest nation on earth.

This, combined with weak leadership both at home and abroad against the backdrop of tremendous economic uncertainty in an increasingly dangerous world, has contributed to a spectacular political collapse for a president once thought to be invincible. America at its core remains a deeply conservative nation, which cherishes its traditions and founding principles. President Obama is increasingly out of step with the American people, by advancing policies that undermine the United States as a global power, while undercutting America’s deep-seated love for freedom.
In fact, Obama does not really like America.  But we knew that before the election, didn't we.

Friday, August 13, 2010

An Iranian Connection to the Cordoba House Ground Zero Mosque?

When there is suspiction of bad faith, always "follow the money."
More questions have arisen about the attempt to build a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero, as part of the so-called Cordoba Initiative. In particular, why has the Cordoba website just removed a photograph of Iranian Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the High Council for Human Rights in Iran? Is the move an attempted cover-up of their Iranian connections?
Is there any question that Iran would love to see this mosque constructed here? I sthere any question that the connections are there?

Read the article.

Can you tell which of these government spending projects are real or fake?

Via Instapundit  

"EduGate" at the Washington Post

It seems that the Washington Post company has been supporting its propaganda arm by running a fraud on college students.  The fast-growing Kaplan University, an on-line diploma mill educational firm with a number of actual brick-and-mortar campuses has been scamming students and the general public.

Kaplan, which boasts that “We build futures,” is in trouble as a result of the scandal and the high-flying unit is therefore threatening the viability of the Post newspaper, leading possibly to layoffs or firings of news personnel.

Kaplan has been the largest and fastest-growing division of the Post Company.

On August 4, the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions held a hearing featuring Gregory Kutz, Managing Director, Office of Forensic Audits and Special Investigations of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO found that “Undercover tests at 15 for-profit colleges found that 4 colleges encouraged fraudulent practices and that all 15 made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements to GAO’s undercover applicants.” Kaplan was one of the guilty parties.
It's not a surprise that the Washington Post would put the best possible spin on this story, after all, they own the paper.  Here's Steven Pearlstein's defense.  They promise never to do it again, and point out that the traditional higher education establishment is as bad or worse.  In this they have my my sympathy; Big Academia exists for its own benefit.  The students get both the bill and the shaft.  Still, it brought a smile to my face to see the moral prigs at propaganda factories like the Washington Post to be revealed as the chiseling crooks they are.
Meanwhile, in the real world, the sharks are circling.  Kendall Law Group Investigates The Washington Post Company for Shareholders 
Kendall Law Group, a national securities firm led by a former federal judge with attorneys that include a former U.S. Attorney, is investigating The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO - News) for shareholders. The investigation concerns potential breaches of fiduciary duties by the board of directors and other company executives in connection to alleged fraudulent, deceptive, or otherwise questionable marketing practices. ... Kaplan College in Florida, a Washington Post school, was named by Kutz as one of the schools that provided “deceptive and questionable” information.
The Washington Post Company sold Newsweek for $1.  It lost over $31 dollars a share when the news of the fraud was revealed.   The stock currently trades at $348, down from $547.  Warren Buffett is a major shareholder and Bill Gates' wife is on the board along with Buffett.  Everyone in the MFM has its problems and everyone has different problems but they all come down to the core problem: readers are leaving them in droves.  Like the parrott in the Monty Python sketch, they only look like they're alive, "pining for the fiords."