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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hating on FOX

“What is truth” asked Pilate. It’s a good question.

An equally good question “is who is credible and who do we believe?”

In that context, let’s talk about the sources of information from which we attempt to discern the truth. For more than a generation, the sources of information from which we try to discern the truth have been the newspapers and TV networks. These sources have been limited. It is claimed with some credibility that the NY Times sets the agenda for the alphabet networks. Can we agree that Liberals were generally satisfied with the media in the “good old days” when the Times view was reflected, like a series of mirrors in the rest of the media? Rush Limbaugh has a riff he uses innumerable times in which he notes a story that gets the same treatment in the NY Times, Washington Post, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, et cetera. It’s funny and it’s true.

But something has changed. It started with Limbaugh but has grown with the advent of his imitators and with FOX News. And it drives Liberals nuts. We can now appreciate the anger that must have shaken the halls of the Kremlin when the leaders of the USSR found that they had lost control of the information available to their citizens. They still had Pravda (Russian for “Truth”) and Izvestia (Russian for “Delivered Messages”) plus Soviet TV and Soviet radio. They spent millions blocking Radio Free Europe and sent dissenting voices to the Gulag. But samizdat and technology overcame the Party media monopoly, truth escaped, and that marked the beginning of the end for the USSR.

In America dissenting voices on the Right are dealt with differently. Lacking a Gulag, the Left deals with reporting from the Right with scorn and ridicule. Quote the NY Times or CNN and your references are treated with respect. Quote FOX and there are a dozen voices that will dismiss your evidence out of hand.  The Obama administration has chosen to take part in this fight,

What we call the “alternative media” to distinguish it from the MSM (mainstream media) - or dinosaur media – is gaining traction, but the weapons of ridicule and hate are powerful indeed. It’s effective. Let’s face it, even I will link to a MSM source to add credibility even knowing that the Times has the credibility of Pravda. I did a quick Google search of respected Libertarian blogger Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) and came up with some interesting data. Searching for Instapundit and FOX generated 955,000 links,
  • for Instapundit and CBS, 860,000,
  • for Instapundit and NY Times 577,000,
  • for Instapundit and NBC 561,000,
  • for Instapundit and PBS 333,000,
  • for Instapundit and CNN 326,000,
  • for Instapundit and ABC 221,000 and dead last
  • Instapundit and MSNBC 217,000.

What this tells us is that FOX is a credible news source for people on the Libertarian/Right but that the other sources still vastly outnumber the “Fair and balanced” folks on FOX.

But as the transition continues from a monolithic, Liberal approved “State Run Media” (as Limbaugh likes to put it with just a touch of hyperbole) to a truly democratic media cloud made possible by radio, cable TV and the Internet, the hating on FOX will intensify. Powers don’t give up their positions readily, quickly or easily. The entrenched establishment, not just in Big Media but Big Labor, Big Government, and Crony Capitalism, has too much at stake to just turn over the reins. The violence is already starting to move from being verbal and intellectual to physical.

Interesting times.

Star Wars

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wisconsin Democrat Fugitives on the Run

Warning, these fugitives are hazardous to your wallet.

What time are the Oscars?

I have absolutely no interest in the Oscars.  But for those who want to know, they start at 8:00 PM Eastern time on ABC.

This is an experiment.

Friday, February 25, 2011

American Capitalism vs. European Socialism are NOT alternatives.

Driving home from work today (yes, I did not take the day off to protest) I heard Representative Paul Ryan tell the radio audience that the choice America must make is between the American free enterprise system and European style socialism. I really wish that Republicans – especially Republicans who are labeled as fiscal hawks would stop this. It’s a false choice. It assumes that both systems are sustainable. If there is anything that the events in Europe are telling us is that the European style socialist system is not viable over the long term.

Greece is bankrupt and its people are rioting as its government tries to paper over its financial catastrophe. Spain, Portugal, Ireland, England and the rest of the European assemblage of socialist states are trying to prop themselves up like drunks gathered in a huddle. The facts are perfectly clear; the world cannot sustain a true socialist system that provides for both the needs and the wants of people. It has been said for the last 50 years that Europe has been allowed to free-ride on American military power for its defense while spending its money buying its people a cradle to grave lifestyle. The gravy train has ended as even skeleton military budgets have been absorbed by an ever-expanding demand for “free” public services. Even before Wisconsin declared virtual bankruptcy, European governments have come face to face with the fact that there is eventually a limit to what governments can pay before not just the cash but the credit limit of governments ends.

Let us be perfectly clear: Socialist countries – even those who don’t degenerate into Fascist or Communist dictatorships become economic cesspits. They have all the attractiveness of America’s welfare system without the ladder that allows motived people to climb out of the pit of dependency.

No, Paul, your choice is a false one. The European socialist model is nearing its useful life and the future looks like Greece without the Parthenon. Think Cabrini Green.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Union Thug Attacks Tea Party Woman

This Union thug, a member of the Communication Workers of America (in other words, the MSM) decides to punch out a 5 foot one inch woman.

I was taking pictures and video with my phone, and I heard my coworker getting into a heated exchange with one of the protesters. I turned on my iPhone camera and headed over to film it. They were going back and forth, the protester called my colleague a “little sh*t” just as I walked up, which is where the video starts. Then he noticed I was filming. Here’s what happened:

Remember when the Tea Party was protesting and the MSM could not stop talking about their "violence" but no violence ever erupted from the Tea Party?  Here is what the MSM and their muscle in the union wants to do to everyone who opposes them.  This is what the whimps with titles like "editor" or "reporter" really wants to do to conservatives.  Take a good look because this is the erupting id of the MSM.  This is the bearded rage that boils in every Liberal breast.  To quote Darth Vader: "Give in to the Dark Side" Liberal media man "You know you want to."

General Electric - "the for-profit arm of the Obama Administration"


The Democrats have become the “stupid party.” Like the Bourbons - French royalty - they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. They live in a world where the rich are wealthy plutocrats living off the toil of the working man. But the economic landscape has changed. The rich industrialists are no more. Today the filthy rich are the politically correct Hollywood moguls and the politically connected financiers at Goldman Sachs and industrialists like GE’s Jeff Immelt. They are the political operatives who get appointed to board positions at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so they can get wealthy while creating the housing bubble that resulted in millions of American losing their homes. Some of those names are familiar, like Rahm Emanuel who collected a mere $320,000 in 14 months for no known work. Others are not household names but built personal fortunes, $90 million for Franklin Raines before he was fired for cooking the books and $26 million for Jamie Gorelick whose name is more closely associated with the “wall” the prevented to FBI and the CIA from sharing information that could have prevented 9/11.

But I digress. Timothy Carney has written an insightful article in the Washington Examiner which examines the real rage within the new populism.

The top donor to House and Senate campaigns in the 2010 elections -- the Service Employees International Union -- is otherwise known as "Obama's Union." The company that spent the most on lobbying in 2010 -- General Electric -- is also known as "the for-profit arm of the Obama Administration."  [Side note: notice how GE's advertising has become more patriotic as the company attempts to counter Immelt's image as Obama's bed-mate.]

In the retrograde liberal way of thinking, though, populism is about class warfare, in which the wealthy and corporations are the "special interests" arrayed against the poor working man. But in today's Wisconsin skirmish, the "working man" is implausibly the Wisconsin Education Association, the third-largest political donor in the state last election cycle.

Union-funded lawmakers take money from taxpayers and give it the government unions, who kick some of it back to union-funded lawmakers. It's not too different from banks or defense contractors donating to politicians who bail them out or give them no-bid contracts.

As long as Democrats think they're on the side of "the people" because the unions agree with them, they're politically lost.

It isn’t the poor and middle class resentment of the rich; it’s the resentment of most Americans against an apparent conspiracy of the political class to rip off the American people using the powers of government to amass personal wealth with no perceptible improvement in society. I can’t resent the extraordinary wealth of a Bill Gates because he created Microsoft which runs most the world’s computers. Ditto for Steven Jobs and his ability to create and market technological toys. Or the people who run Norfolk Southern who make the trains run, shipping goods from here to there. But Emanuel, Gorelick, Raines and the folks who collected billions at Goldman for near-criminal misdeeds cost the American people much more than their undeserved salaries. They destroyed millions of hopes and dreams all with the power of political appointment. What is the difference between these rent-seekers and the “court favorites” in the days of kings who received titles and lands for sucking up to the reigning monarch?

I can feel the beginning of a second American revolution; a repeat of the first. When we rebelled against George III we rebelled not just against a king, but against his royal governors and his royal bureaucrats who arrived here to enrich themselves on the backs of the settlers and pioneers. Like today’s political class they received political power as well as grants to vast estates because they had found favor at court.

Americans may not have the historical perspective to see it in that particular light, but they sense that something’s wrong in a Republic when political power gets your wealth and a political class is formed that includes public workers who are compensated with benefits that vastly outstrip those that are earned but the private sector workers. The combination of a relatively rich and unlovely protected political class at a time when most Americans are seeing a decline in their living standard has ignited a spark. It’s what the Tea Party is about. That’s what the rebellion in Wisconsin’s about. The Royalists may be having a tantrum at the Capital to protect their dominance. But they’ll lose because that’s not what this country’s about. In this country you can get rich by providing a good or service that people will gladly pay for. But the people resent wealth acquired at their expense by grants of political largesse.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Day Made of Glass

A truly fascinating look into the not-too-distant future.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What do you expect when a "Community Organizer" is elected President?

MADISON, WIS. - President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin's broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits and planning similar protests in other state capitals.

When did demonstrating at the private homes of politicians or corporate executives become an acceptable way to voice one’s political opinions?

Nearly two dozen activists from DC Vote swarmed House Speaker John Boehner’s Capitol Hill residence at 7:30 Thursday morning, chanting “Don’t tread of D.C.”
Wisconsin State Senator Mark Miller Calls Governor Scott Walker's Budget Tactics 'Insulting,' Asks for 'Respect'

That was the message the Wisconsin State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller wanted to send to Gov. Scott Walker after Miller and 13 fellow Democratic senators fled the state in order to avoid a budget vote that would take away state employee’s bargaining rights and increase health care costs and contributions to pensions.

About 40 percent of the West Bloomfield High School teachers didn’t show up for work on Feb. 15 in the midst of bitter contract negotiations.

Superintendent JoAnn Andrees said that 41 high school teachers didn’t show up and that 36 of those teachers were not within a normal “pattern” of absences. Andrees said as many as a dozen teachers could be out on a typical day. The Michigan Department of Education said there are about 100 teachers at the high school as of 2009-10.

“Nothing has happened to this degree before,” Andrees said.
Minnesota union members are watching the labor unrest in Wisconsin closely. And the head of the state’s 43,000-member public employees union says what’s happening in the Badger State is also headed for Minnesota.

Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, calls it a “deliberate plan” to break unions.

“This attack on unions and on working people emanates comes out of Washington, D.C.,” said Seide. “By extreme, cheap labor conservatives who want to pit public workers against private workers and drive down the wages and benefits of all workers.”

But Minnesota Republican leaders say voters are fed up with what they say is public union benefits that private sector workers don’t have.

“Government employees have become the haves and the private sector the have-nots,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa. He is the author of the “right to work” bill.

“And now it’s being challenged. It’s being challenged because we can’t afford the types of Cadillac versions of pensions, of health insurance and even salaries,” said Drazkowski.

In Radical-in-Chief, I describe the “inside/outside” or “good cop/bad cop” strategy favored by Obama and his organizing mentors. The idea is that a seemingly moderate “good cop” politician works on the inside of government, while coordinating his moves with nasty Alinskyite “bad cops” on the outside. Reports that Obama’s own organizers helped put together the Madison protests fit the model. That coordination is necessary to achieve Obama’s real goal: kicking off a national grassroots movement of the left that he can quietly manage, while keeping his distance when necessary.

Obama’s good-cop role allows him the flexibility to occasionally criticize protest tactics that cross the line. Yet the reality is that our presidential good cop and his bad cop buddies are in this together. Intimidating protests at the homes of enemy politicians are par for the course with Alinskyites (and, yes, Alinskyites think of their targets as “enemies”). Obama understands all this, and you can be sure that he’s on board with the protests held at the homes of Wisconsin Republican legislators, whether he disowns them or not.

Can we detect a pattern here?  Should we have listened more to Glenn Beck?

Here's a suggestion - sort of Cloward/Piven in reverse: pull your kids out of school.  Collapse the public school system; home-school!  Don't give the teachers a job to come back to.   Save the State from economic collapse by not using the public educational system.  If you can't home-school, join your neighbors and begin your own private neighborhood school.  You can do at least as well educating your children than these miserable failures.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Not funny

The Media Waging War Against Balancing the Budget.

From Richard Benedetto:
Now that budget battles have begun in earnest all around the country, those advocating spending cuts, Democrat and Republican, had better not expect any help in furthering their cause from the mainstream news media. In fact, the news media might be their most formidable foe.

How so? Well, now that we know the targets of the cuts, the news media, suckers for a sob story, are already throbbing with carefully orchestrated, heart-rending tales about what devastation those cuts will cause:

Children who won't be fed; students unable to afford college; classrooms bursting at the seams; cancers that will not be treated; trains that won't run; roads that won't be built; families becoming homeless or freezing in their unheated homes; single mothers who will lose child care and job training; food that will not be inspected; water and air that will be more polluted; farmers forced from their land; playgrounds, parks, museums, libraries and health clinics closed ...

You know the drill.

Glenn Reynolds
Too bad they can’t interview some folks from 2020, after the federal budget deficit produces governmental and economic collapse.

Chris Christie at the AEI

Full video.

Arthur the Subsidized Aardvark

Racism, Stupidity and Arrogance.

Remember when some guy in Detroit Washington DC was called a racist for using the term "niggardly?"  Firing people because they master the English language better than their critics?

Watch this by (I would guess) the product of the Dallas school system: 

And then there's this:

As Price stood to leave, he looked at Turner and the five other citizens who addressed the court. Price said to them, “All of you are white. Go to hell!”

Price repeated “go to hell” three more times. An unknown member of the audience said, “You should be ashamed!”

“I’m not ashamed!” Price answered. “I’m not ashamed! Go to hell!”


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The back alley abortion is back, and supersized

Mark Steyn
As I was leaving Fox News last night, I glanced up at the monitor and caught Juan Williams expressing mystification to Sean Hannity as to why Republicans in Congress were wasting the country's time on a "little thing" like abortion.

Gee, I dunno. Maybe it's something to do with a mass murderer in Pennsylvania, or Planned Parenthood clinics facilitating the sex trafficking of minors. From the Office of the District Attorney in Philadelphia:

Viable babies were born*. Gosnell killed them by plunging scissors into their spinal cords. He taught his staff to do the same.

This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale - and it barely makes the papers. Had he plunged his scissors into the spinal cord of a Democrat politician in Arizona, then The New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC and everyone else would be linking it to Sarah Palin's uncivil call for dramatic cuts in government spending. But "Doctor" Kermit Gosnell's mound of corpses is apparently entirely unconnected to the broader culture.

FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Robyn Reid didn't want an abortion. But when her grandmother forcibly took her to an abortion clinic one wintry day in 1998, Reid figured she'd just tell the doctor her wishes and then sneak away.

Instead, Kermit Gosnell barked: "I don't have time for this!" He then ripped off her clothes, spanked her, wrestled her onto a dirty surgical stretcher, tied her flailing arms and legs down and pumped sedatives into her until she quit screaming and lost consciousness, she told the Daily News yesterday...

In 2001, Davida Johnson changed her mind about aborting her 6-month fetus after seeing Gosnell's dazed, bloodied patients in his recovery room, she said. But in the treatment room, Gosnell's staffers ignored her protests, smacked her, tied her arms down and sedated her into unconsciousness, she said. She awoke no longer pregnant. ...

The Department of Health and Senior Services investigated the abortion facility and found dirty forceps, rusty crochet hooks used to remove IUDs, and a quarter-inch of dirt and debris under an examining table.

The back alley is back, and supersized: The above New Jersey clinic performs 10,000 abortions a year. When the pro-choice rally ends and Cameron Diaz, Ashley Judd and other celebrities d'un certain age return to Hollywood, and the upper-middle-class women with the one designer baby go back to their suburbs, a woman's "right to choose" means that, day in, day out, the blessings of this "right" fall disproportionately on all the identity groups the upscale liberals profess to care about - poor women, black women, Hispanic women, undocumented women, and other denizens of Big Government's back alley.


Palin Wins In Polarized Nation

Let's face it, the nation is polarized. That will help Palin win.

David Solway explains:
Let me begin with a paradox. The more Sarah Palin seems unelectable, the more electable she may actually be. The media blitzkrieg launched against Palin may be interpreted not as a sign of her unfitness for office but precisely as a measure of her eligibility. As I’ve written elsewhere, “Palin’s electability can be reckoned as an inverse function of the virulent campaign intent on her delegitimation. … The greater the fury … she is met with, the greater the likelihood that she poses a genuine threat. One does not raise a mallet to crush an ant.”

Along the way he manages to catalog some of the Democrats' salient features:
The enemy goes by the name of the Democratic Party of America, cosmetically liberal or “progressivist” in its self-definition but inherently socialist in its subtabular project. It is redistributionist in its economics, transnational in its foreign policy and Islamic in its sympathies. It shares a profound solidarity with an anachronistic trade unionist movement, works diligently against the entrepreneurial sector, pursues an extensive entitlement program at the expense of the country’s future solvency, accumulates unpayable debt, prints imaginary money and is corrosively skeptical of its own armed forces, gradually ceding the geopolitical field to America’s fervid antagonists. It is persistently re-interpreting the bedrock Constitution to weaken its binding force and is guilty of rampant electoral corruption. It sees the nation as a private fiefdom that it intends to control in perpetuity.
This Canadian has a gimlet eye for American politics.

Richard Fisher, Dallas Federal Reserve Chairman ... For President!

On Tuesday, February 8th, Richard Fisher, President of the Dallas Fed gave a speech containing some blunt criticism of Congress and the Executive Branch. As the budget battle is joined, Congress and the Obama administration will  make decisions that will determine whether the country will prosper or decline. 
Fisher's every word hits the mark. 

It’s a hard hitting presentation that should be widely disseminated.  Go to the Dallas Fed website and pull it up.  While you’re there pull up his prior speech filled with more “straight from the shoulder” discussions.
The new Congress and the new staff in the White House have their work cut out for them. You cannot overstate the gravity of their duty on the economic front. Over the years, their predecessors―Republicans and Democrats together―have dug a fiscal sinkhole so deep and so wide that, left unrepaired, it will swallow up the economic future of our children, our grandchildren and their children. They must now engineer a way out of that frightful predicament without thwarting the nascent economic recovery.

I have been outspoken about the limits of monetary policy as a salve for the nation’s fiscal pathology.[3] The Fed has done much, as I see it, to provide the bridge financing until the new Congress gets to work restructuring the tax and regulatory incentives American businesses need to confidently expand their payrolls and capital expenditures here at home.[4]

The Federal Reserve has held short-term interest rates to nil. We have expanded our balance sheet to unprecedented levels, with the effect of holding down mortgage rates and the rate of interest paid on Treasuries and the myriad financial instruments that are priced off of Treasuries, including corporate debt. After much debate―which included strong concern expressed by one member with a formal vote and others, like me, who did not have voting rights in 2010―the FOMC collectively decided in November to temporarily undertake a program to purchase U.S. Treasuries that, when added to previous policy initiatives, roughly means we will be purchasing the equivalent of all newly issued Treasury debt through June.

By this action, we have run the risk of being viewed as an accomplice to Congress’ fiscal nonfeasance. To avoid that perception, we must vigilantly protect the integrity of our delicate franchise. There are limits to what we can do on the monetary front to provide the bridge financing to fiscal sanity. The head of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, said it best recently while speaking in Germany: “Monetary policy responsibility cannot substitute for government irresponsibility.”[5]


But here is the essential fact I want to emphasize and have you think about today: The Fed could not monetize the debt if the debt were not being created by Congress in the first place.

The Fed does not create government debt; Congress does. Deficits and the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security are not created by the Federal Reserve; they are the legacy of Congress. The Fed does not earmark taxpayer money for pet projects in local communities that taxpayers themselves would never countenance; only the Congress does that. The Congress and administration play the dominant role in creating the regulatory environment that incentivizes or discourages job creation.

It seems to me that those lawmakers who advocate “Ending the Fed” might better turn their considerable talents toward ending the fiscal debacle that has for too long run amuck within their own house.

A look within the United States makes clear the overriding influence of fiscal and regulatory policy. Monetary policy is uniform across the 50 states; the base rate of interest paid on a business or consumer loan or a mortgage in Michigan, California, Ohio or New York is the same as that paid in Texas. Yet there is a reason that Michigan and California each lost more than 600,000 jobs over the past decade while Texas added more than 700,000 over the same period. There is a reason that the population of Ohio grew by only 183,000 residents over the past 10 years, while Texas grows by that number every five and a half months. There is a reason that with each passing census, the state of New York has been losing congressional seats and Texas has been adding them; a reason that, in the recent census, California failed to gain any while Texas gained four. There is a reason that, as documented in the Jan. 12 issue of the Wall Street Journal, college graduates—the best and brightest of the successor generation—are leaving New York and Cleveland and Detroit and moving to Austin, Texas.[6] There is a reason no state in the union houses more Fortune 500 headquarters than Texas. There is a reason for the disparate employment growth that has taken place in the 12 Federal Reserve districts over the past two decades, data that are documented in the graph at your place setting.

That reason has nothing to do with monetary policy. It has everything to do with the taxation and fiscal and regulatory policies of the states. The cost of capital does not explain the different economic performances of the states; the cost of doing business has everything to do with those differences. However well-meaning tax and regulatory initiatives in the laggard states may have been when they were conceived and levied, they have had unintended consequences that have led to economic underperformance and job destruction.

Similarly, the key to correcting the underperformance of the American economy and American job creation does not presently rest with the Federal Reserve. It is in the hands of those who make fiscal and regulatory policy.

Commenting on jobs:
The Fed has reduced the cost of business borrowing to the lowest levels in decades. It has seen to it that liquidity is widely available to banks and businesses. It has kept the economy from deflating and it has kept inflation under control. This has helped raise the economic tide. Recent data make clear that the risks of a double-dip recession and deflation have ebbed and that economic growth and job creation are beginning to flow. Yet the ships of job-creating investment remain, with some exceptions, tied to the docks—or worse, are choosing to sail for foreign ports where tax and regulatory conditions are more favorable, very much in the same way that Ohio, Michigan, New York and California businesses and workers have navigated to Texas.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls fell by 8.75 million jobs from their peak in January 2008 to their trough in February 2010. Estimates are that the population of Americans of working age increased by 4.4 million during the same period, creating a shortfall of over 13 million jobs. Since February 2010, the shortfall has only gotten worse: Although employers have added approximately 1 million new jobs, the working-age population has increased by an additional 1.7 million. All in all, we have approximately 6 million more people of working age than we did when the recession began—and a net loss of 7.7 million jobs. Divining policies that will encourage the private sector to increase hiring by enough to make up some of this lost ground is both an urgent and a daunting task.

I don’t believe the Fed is constraining job creation. None of my business contacts, large or small, publicly held or private, are complaining about the cost of borrowing, the lack of liquidity or the availability of capital. Just this morning at 7:30, for example, the National Federation of Independent Business released results from a survey of 2,144 randomly selected small businesses. It said, “Ninety-two percent [of those surveyed] reported that all their credit needs were met or that they were not interested in borrowing.”[7]

A recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey reports that about 80 percent of those who were reluctant to hire said they were afraid revenues wouldn’t increase enough to justify the expense.[8] The problem is not the availability of credit. The problem for businesses, small or large, is generating enough final sales at a profit; the need is for revenue that exceeds the expense of incurring that revenue.

You can’t have stronger sales if you don’t have stronger job creation. We will not have robust job creation until businesses are confident they can earn a good return on the investment they must make to add new workers. Employers live in a world in which they are free to invest their monies in expanding operations and hiring workers anywhere in the world, in any place they have the best opportunity to earn a superior return on investment. This is one of the legacies of the Reagan era—of having won the Cold War and having the majority of previously closed or dysfunctional governments choose prosperity as their goal rather than the economic suppression of their people. To achieve that prosperity, they need job-creating investment. To attract that investment, they provide incentives through tax and regulatory incentives and other means.

Whereas before we lived in a world of mutually assured destruction, we now live in a world of mutually assured competition. We have no choice but to create the conditions that incent businesses that operate in the United States to compete using American workers. This requires rethinking by Congress―the sole body with the power to shape our nation’s taxes and spending and write regulatory laws to condition economic activity. Our lawmakers must do so in a manner that both stimulates the desire of businesses to put Americans back to work at the earliest opportunity and provides meaningful assurance that long-term fiscal imbalances they have wrought will be brought under control, assuring the long-term viability of the U.S. economy.

Before the recent mid-term election, most all of my business contacts claimed that taxes, regulatory burdens and the lack of understanding in Washington of what incentivizes private-sector job creation were inhibiting the expansion of their payrolls. They felt stymied by a Congress and an executive branch that have appeared to them to be unaware of, if not outright opposed to, what fires the entrepreneurial spirit. Many felt that opportunities for earning a better and more secure return on investment are larger elsewhere than here at home.

Perhaps because I live so far outside the Beltway—among the Washington-skeptical, independent-minded people of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District—I was therefore not surprised by the outcome of the recent election. As I watched it unfold, I thought of one of the better books I had read in the summer of 1998, at the recommendation of a friend, the eminent historian David McCullough. It was titled Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, written by Mark Kurlansky, and was considered by the New York Public Library to be “one of the 25 best books of the year.”[9]

Buried in the middle of that remarkable little book is a wonderful description of the causes of the American Revolution. Kurlansky wrote that “Massachusetts radicals sought an economic, not a social, revolution. They were not thinking of the hungry masses. … They were thinking of the right of every man to be middle-class, to be an entrepreneur, to conduct commerce and make money.” Referring to John Adams, John Hancock and John Rowe―everyone seemed to be named John in New England in those days―he posited that the revolution “was about political freedom.” “But,” he went on, “in the minds of its most hard-line revolutionaries, the New England radicals, the central expression of that freedom was the ability to make their own decisions about their own economy.” He concluded that “all revolutions are to some degree about money,” reminding the reader that, reflecting upon France’s revolution, the Comte de Mirabeau said, “In the last analysis the people will judge the Revolution by this fact alone [sic] … Are they better off? Do they have more work? And is that work better paid?”[10]

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mika Brzezinski tries to give Obama credit for success in Egypt. Fails.

The MSM is desperately trying to make it appear that Obama had a tremendous success in Egypt.  Both they and he are miserable failures.

H/T Ann Althouse

Just How Broke Are We? You Cannot Even Begin to Imagine It

H/T Vanderleun

Time is running short

The fabric of reality is tattering. Academia regrets the demise of the Soviet Union. Mysticism is on the march waving a bloody knife. “Liberals” are euphoric about a military coup and the suspension of the constitution in Egypt; Jihad is proclaimed in Friday prayers.

Soon the Saints will pitch their camp.

Dreams are becoming unsettlingly prophetic.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A few things to remember, while we’re celebrating the optics of a Pepsi moment

Via Protein Wisdom
85% of Egyptians believe Islam’s role in politics is positive. 48% want it to play a large role in politics. 59% of Egyptians identify with Muslim fundamentalists, while only 27% identify with modernizers. 49% of Egyptians have a favorable view of Hamas. And 20% hold a favorable view of Al-Qaeda.

...What could possibly go wrong?
From the Pew Center:
Asked whether there is a struggle in their nations between those who want to modernize their country and Islamic fundamentalists, a 61%-majority of Muslims in Egypt said they did not see a struggle. Just 31% of Egyptian Muslims saw a struggle between modernizers and fundamentialists in their country. Among the seven Muslim publics surveyed in 2010, only in Jordan (20%) did fewer say they saw such a struggle.

Among Egyptian Muslims who did see a struggle, a 59%-majority sided with the fundamentalists. Just 27% of those who saw such struggle sided with the modernizers.
Does anyone else see any conflict between Fundamentalist Islam - the kind of Islam that engenders murderous mobs in response to cartoons - and a pluralistic democracy?  Modernity? 

Egypt Faces a Long Night of Despair

I foresee a very dim future for Egypt.  It's people (and good people around the world) may one day look back on the era of Mubarak as a golden age.  Not that he was not a repressive autocrat, but like the Shah of Iran, he was better than those who followed.

My concerns have heightened even as the MSM and most of the talking heads have become more euphoric. 
I am supported in my belief by the incomparable Mark Steyn who calls the belief that we are witnessing "the youthful buds of new democracy" deluded.
This is not a happy ending but the beginning of something potentially very dark. The end of the Mubarak regime is the biggest shift in the region in 60 years, since Nasser overthrew King Farouk's dissolute monarchy and diminished London's influence in Cairo. We are witnessing the unraveling of the American Middle East - that's to say, of the regimes supported by Washington in the waning of British and French imperial power after the Second World War. The American Middle East was an unlovely place, and perhaps the most obviously repellent illustration of the limitations of "He may be an SOB but he's our SOB" thinking. It's "our" SOBs who are in trouble: After the fall of Mubarak, what remains to hold up the Hashemites in Amman? Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood is more radical than Egypt's, the regime is less ruthless, King Abdullah's Arabic is worse than his English, and pretty westernized Queen Rania, who seems so cute when CNN interviewers are fawning all over her, is openly despised outside the palace gates.

Iran is nuclearizing, Turkey is Islamizing, Egypt is ...what exactly? Well, we'll find out. But, given that only the army and/or the Muslim Brotherhood are sufficiently organized to govern the nation, the notion that we're witnessing the youthful buds of any meaningful democracy is deluded. So who'll come out on top? The generals or the Brothers? Given that the Brotherhood got played for suckers by the army in the revolution of '52, I doubt they'll be so foolish as to make the same mistake again - and the hopeychangey "democracy movement" provides the most useful cover in generations. Meanwhile, James Clapper, the worthless buffoon who serves as the hyperpower's Director of "Intelligence", goes before Congress to tell the world that the Muslim Brotherhood is a "secular" organization. Americans ought to take to the streets to demand Clapper vacate whatever presidential palace in DC he's holed up in.

Amidst all this flowering of democracy, you'll notice that it's only the pro-American dictatorships on the ropes: In Libya and Syria, Gaddafy and Assad sleep soundly in their beds.

Perhaps I would feel more hopeful if Obama were not president, but he is and his performance - and the glimpses he has given of his belief system - cast a pall of gloom over the developments in Egypt.

WMDs found in the US

San Diego Port Director Claims WMD Found in U.S.

It appears that the government does not want us to know. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sex Appeal

Who would have thought that a short, balding white guy would have such sex appeal?

Revolutions take time.

The Russian revolution was not completed until four years after the Czar abdicated.

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us of the timeline from the rule of the Shah to the rule of the Mullahs took over three years. The process was accompanied by constant lies as the Mullahs denied political ambitions and willful blindness on the part of the press.

So let us reflect for a moment on the revolutionary era in Iran to remind us that the end of freedom there was not instantaneous, but insidious. Massive demonstrations broke out against the Shah of Iran in January 1978 — similarly characterized by the prominent role of the middle and upper urbanized and Westernized classes. He was forced to flee Iran almost a year later, on January 16, 1979. The Ayatollah Khomeini arrived in Tehran shortly afterward, on February 1, 1979, disavowing any political ambitions other than “spiritual guidance” — as he was showered with positive appraisals from academics and other “Middle East” experts.

About another year later, on January 25, 1980, Abulhassan Bani-Sadr was elected president of Iran by an overwhelming margin — to expressions of joy that a sort of European-like socialist republic had replaced the Shah’s crass cowboy westernization. He ruled for a little more than a year and a half, then fled for his life from Iran on July 28, 1981 — his reign characterized by pitiful demonstrations of anti-Americanism designed to curry favor with the murderous Islamists. The entire revolutionary period between January 1978 and July 1981 was characterized by two general developments: repeated assurances from the Ayatollah Khomeini that there would not be a theocratic government, and insidious, constant erosion of secular government by Khomeini’s clerical followers.

In other words, when the crowds go home and return to their jobs, the most zealous, organized, and ruthless will go to work to consolidate power.

The MSM will continue to wear blinders; it's part of the job description. This time, there's a new media and that will change the viewpoint if not the result.

Isn't freedom wonderful? "Egypt's military dissolves parliament, suspends constitution."

From CNN:

Egypt's military dissolved parliament and will run the country for six months or until elections are held, it said in a statement Sunday, two days after President Hosni Mubarak resigned.
Egypt's ambassador to the United States said he did not expect opposition figures to join the government before elections.

"This current composition is basically a technocratic government to run the day-to-day affairs, to take care of the security void that has happened, and to also address the issues related to the economy,"

And that's the good news. It could have been worse.

Meanwhile in Turkey, Pınar Doğan and Dani Rodrikis in The National Interest explain how trumped up charges against the Army are being used to make sure that the army does not interfere with Government plans for a theocracy.  A once staunch secular society is being sent back into the orbit of the Mullahs.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Re-creating a nation.

I’m not an expert on Egypt; never been there and not planning to go. I can only speak about parts of Western culture with which I am familiar. America, for example.

What did the people of this country have in common when the nation was founded and grew? The first was a Western European heritage, predominantly English. Dominant factors included Christianity, monogamy, respect for the law, literacy. What the American colonies shook off with the founding were flaws they saw in European culture such as the rule of hereditary kings and the separation of religion and the state. There is another factor at work in America: you had to come here. Emigration from one’s home country takes a significant amount of courage or desperation. You had to be an adventurer, or on the brink of despair to take the ocean voyage - often in small, leaky uncomfortable sailing ships – to America, the home of “red Indians” ready to scalp you. In other words, you were not seeking the continuation of things as you had known them all your life.
And after you made that journey, you were over 3000 miles and several months journey away from the center of government. Oh, there were colonial governors, but you were mostly on your own. The central government was not very interested in spending its resources in helping you. Distance in time and space leads to thought of independence and freedom.
Over several centuries, Western Europe has evolved toward the American model. Part of this was due to several global wars from which America emerged triumphant.

Which brings me back to Egypt and the reason why I do not believe that Western-style democracy will be adopted by this country. The dominant religion of Egypt is even more intertwined with the State than the Church of England and the British crown. “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s” is not part of Islam. Egyptian history is not encouraging, the country has never experienced any type of Democratic experience. Abject poverty and subjection of the people to its rulers remains an historic fact.   So is invasion and rule by foreign potentates.

Today, Egypt’s rulers are its military, not an unusual situation in many parts of the world. We can confidently predict that tomorrow’s Egyptian rulers will not be American style democrats.   America imposed democracy on Germany and Japan only after subjugating them in war.  It remains to be seen if this fragile flower will survive in Iraq. 

We do hope that the Egyptian people will be well governed, that its people will be raised from poverty and illiteracy and that differences of opinion will be freely expressed. That, in itself, will be a tremendous improvement over the past. We also hope that Egypt will continue some policies that its previous government pursued, peace with Israel and avoidance of theocratic rule.

If these things come to pass, Egypt, along with an American imposed democracy in Iraq, may cause other countries on the region to follow suit.   Then perhaps, this bloodless coup will have been a watershed in history.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Everything for the State, Nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.

The NY Times and the rest of the Democrat party agree, in the words of Benito Mussolini that if it's not a government program, it does not exist. 

Here's how the combined NY Times/Democrat editorial reads:

“Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle supports a plan in Congress that would cut education by 40 percent,” said one of the ads, directed against a newly elected Republican from upstate New York. “And her plan would cut science and technology research by 40 percent, too. Research and development is how we get the new products that create new jobs.
In the statist imagination of Democrats in and out of the media GE, DuPont, IBM, Intel, Apple, Cypress, Dow, Microsoft, Ford, GM, 3M, Boeing, Caterpillar, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, AT&T, Verizon, ExxonMobil, Samsung, Hitachi, Sony, Toshiba, Dell, Motorola, Oracle, Google, etc ......  Do. Not. Exist.  Their research does not count.  They are not the origin of the marvelous new devices, drugs and appliances that grace our lives.

Read the editorial again: "Science and technology research" would go down by 40% if the Federal government decides to reduce spending.  "Education" would go down by 40% if the Feds cut spending. 

I guess all those billions of dollars spent by the technology giants in the private sector really are chopped liver.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Racism, violence and "its most virulent supporters in the media"

From Instapundit.  The NY Times: 
The New York Times raises no objection to murderous, racist rhetoric at a Common Cause rally....

The New York Times editorial page, a division of the New York Times Co., on Saturday endorsed Common Cause’s personal attack on Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. . . . That campaign took an even more sinister turn at a Common Cause protest Jan. 30, as we noted Thursday. Participants in the rally were captured on video advocating the assassination of Scalia, Thomas, Thomas’s wife and Chief Justice John Roberts. Two of them explicitly called for Justice Thomas, the court’s only black member, to be lynched. ...

By the Times’s standards, surely it is legitimate to hold Common Cause, and particularly its most virulent supporters in the media, responsible for the depraved sentiments expressed at the Common Cause rally. That the editorial said nothing at all about the subject is further evidence that the paper’s pieties about “civility” are fraudulent–a cheap exercise in partisanship and a thuggish attempt to burnish its own reputation by tearing down those of its media competitors.
For the entire article read James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Too late!

Deer in the headlights.

Palin vs. Reagan

It is amazing, isn’t it that Sarah Palin has no supporters on the Left and few on the Right, but manages to highjack virtually every discussion on the internet and the MSM. 

What is her unique gift?  What is it about a woman who her enemies characterize as dumb, uneducated and incurious (what does that even mean), yet lives in their heads rent-free? 

Most mainstream Republicans are looking for Mr. “Anyone-but-Palin.” 

Palin detractors are now comparing her – unfavorably – to Ronald Reagan whom they pretend to admire.    Reagan, the man who left office with an approval rating lower than Palin’s during her governorship was classified as an “amiable dunce” by “Whiz Kid” (and Liberal icon) Clark Clifford.  He was accused on “Sleepwalking through History” by veteran newspaperman Haynes Johnson.  SDI was ridiculed as “Star Wars” by Senator Kennedy because as everyone knows, you can’t shoot down ICBMs.  Meanwhile, we are reminded that Jimmy Carter was touted as smart because he was a nuclear engineer and had a degree from Evelyn Wood’s speed reading class. 

Credentials are everything until you want something done. 

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Should Clarence Thomas be sent to work in the fields?

Here’s an interesting subject for an editorial in the Virginian Pilot: where’s the Liberal outrage about Liberals – sponsored by the mainstream Liberal group Common Cause - at a big rally, stating that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be “put back in the fields” – a clear reference to slavery?

Is that worse or better than calling him a “ … dumb shit scumbag?”

Is this the new civility that the Liberal media was advocating just a few days ago?

Or the recommendation by one pretty young Liberal that Thomas should be tortured by “cut[ting] off his toes one by one and feed them to him.” This was followed by a call for “revolution now, just like in Egypt.”

Somehow the call to “string up” Clarence Thomas - and his wife - has an entirely different impact on the MSM when the people calling for the lynching of a black man are made by their fellow Liberals.

A sweet old lady dressed in pink demanded a duel with Glenn Beck. She said her weapon of choice was a Glock.

Recall the wall to wall rage about the unsubstantiated accusations that someone in a Tea Party rally used the “N” word?  A $100,000 reward was issued for proof.  The reward remains unclaimed. 

The only place that these racist, bigoted death threats will get coverage is in Glenn Beck’s show. The MSM prefers to change the subject. These racist pigs are, after all, their people.

"The country's in the very best of hands."

Glenn Reynolds has several recurring themes, one of which is the tongue-in-cheek tag: "The country's in the very best of hands,"  a song from the 1956 musical "Lil' Abner".  Even then - a time that many consider the Golden Age in America - you could get a laugh at the expense of the Federal Government.

I was reminded of this when I read about the success that an Islamic terrorist had in penetrating British Airways plotting to get a bomb on board and disrupt the airline's computer system.

Via the Wall Street Journal:
LONDON—U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki directed a U.K.-based employee of British Airways PLC to cause "chaos" by attacking the airline's computer systems and to help ship a "package" on board a U.S.-bound plane, prosecutors alleged in a London court Tuesday. ...

In messages prosecutors say Mr. Awlaki sent Mr. Karim in early 2010, the cleric tells him to stay in his job to find the "limitations and cracks" in airport security. Mr. Awlaki also laid out his biggest priority: the U.S.

"Anything there, even on a smaller scale compared to what you can do in the U.K., would be our choice," Mr. Awlaki allegedly said in messages read in court.

Of course the TSA has safeguards against this happening in this country.
Generally speaking, employees who work in high-level jobs or behind security checkpoints at airports get the most scrutiny. In the U.S., for example, any employee who has access to secure areas of the airport has to go through a security-threat assessment carried out by the Transportation Security Administration. That includes checking for outstanding warrants, criminal history and the like.

But ....

Mr. Karim arrived in Britain in 2006 and laid low, never expressing radical views, prosecutors said. The married father of one belonged to a gym and played football, coming across as a mild mannered and respectful neighbor in the northern English city of Newcastle. But Mr. Karim had a particular skill: his knowledge of IT.

That's right; he had no outstanding warrants, no criminal history, married, played football, and was mild mannered. In fact, he displayed fewer indications of adherence to violent Jihad than Major Nidal Hasan before he went on his murderous rampage at Fort Hood.   And because one of the holiest commandments in the Liberal bible is that THOU SHALT NOT PROFILE, we can be sure that our version of Mr. Karim will receive less scrutiny than Joe Lunchbucket from Peoria.  After all, that's how Major Hasan managed to avoid getting the boot before he killed 13 and wounded 30 more shouting "Allahu Akbar!"

The country's in the very best of hands.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hope vs. experience

It is said that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. Right now, the optimism that I hear from the administration and the MSM in the midst of a very fluid situation sounds very much like the hope for the second marriage.

The problem with the optimism that many are expressing for the revolutions in the Middle East is that, while there are many examples of happy marriages, there are no examples of democratic Islamist regimes. The Middle East was substantially converted to Islam following the dictates and example of Muhammad whose rule and religion was spread by the sword. This situation has not changed substantially since Mohammad’s death in 632. Before Mohammad the region was ruled by Romans, king and Pharaohs; after him it was ruled by Caliphs. There is no - zero - example of Democracy in the Middle East with the exception of Israel and a very shaky state – Iraq – which was created, nurtured and shaped by the American military following the invasion under George Bush. To repeat, there is no history or political culture of representative government in the Middle East.

The one unifying factor in the region is Islam, a religion that demands submission to its political and theological dictates on pain of death. Not since Henry the Eight created the English church and became its political head have rulers held such secular and religious power.

It is said that in every human breast there is the desire to be free. Perhaps, but it’s also true that in many human breasts is the desire to force others to our will. To believe what we believe and agree with our ideas. In the dominant culture in America that wish is expressed in the demand that Glenn Beck should be fired, that Rush Limbaugh should be banned and Sarah Palin should shut up. In many Islamic countries it’s expressed in beheading, hanging or stoning.

The Egyptian people have been misruled by Mubarak for decades. But he’s not the first or the worst. The people in the Middle East have been misruled for centuries. If the levelers in America were truly concerned about wealth discrepancies, they would slink away from criticizing American wealth disparities and focus on the truly incredible differences between the rich and the poor in Africa and the Middle East.

With no history of democracy and a culture and religion that disdains individual freedom, the concept that democracy will spring from the revolutions that are now engulfing the region is unrealistic. Remember what we were told about the revolution in China: that Mao was an agrarian reformer. Castro was sold as a freedom fighter. We helped overthrow the Shah to usher in a repressive theocracy despite a population that favors Western values.

And, God help us, we have a President who really doesn’t like the America he was elected to lead.

I would like to be wrong, but Democracy is a rare flower; repression and authoritarianism is the global rule not the exception. Hoping and wishing that the people of Egypt will throw off the yoke of literally millennia of repression – all by themselves – and usher in the rule of law and a representative government is as believable as the Easter Bunny.

I pray I’m wrong, and would love to have to eat my words in a year. But the odds are loaded heavily in my favor. The problem is, if I’m right, we lose and so do the poor people of the Middle East.

UPDATE:  There is another realist at the PJ Tatler: Egypt: Reasons for Abject Despair and Pessimism.

On free elections in the Palestinian territories:
The laudable Bush project of democratizing the Middle East took a major hit when, in January 2006, the Palestinians elected the Islamist movement Hamas to lead their government.  Given the choice of free elections for the first time in their lives, they chose what amounts to the repressive religious war party.  Granted, their other choice was terrorist Fatah, but they chose the more radical option.

On Iraq, where we built a model for the rest of the Middle East:
It was just five months later that Iraqis, freed from secular despotism by American arms, wrote Islamic sharia law into their constitution. In their 2005 and subsequent elections, Iraqis have chosen to empower Islamist political parties. The Islamists don’t have absolute or even majority control in Iraq, and as long as American troops are in country they will not. But our trajectory there is to draw our troops out. What will Iraqis choose when we leave?

Where's the hope? the case of a religio-political ideology like Islam, it appears to create the very environment in which people choose with their vote to give up freedom and empower radicals they believe to be holy or spiritually driven, even when the choice means a loss of personal freedom and increases the chances of war and death. The past five years have been quite instructive on this point: Honor killings in the free West, the creep of sharia worldwide, the empowerment of Hamas in Palestine, the slow but steady Islamization of Europe and Canada, and so forth. People who have been fed a steady diet of this religio-political ideology will not suddenly turn into Jeffersonians in a snap. It hasn’t happened in London; where is the evidence it will happen in Cairo?

It's the culture that shapes government.  The culture is deeply embedded and wrong.  I am beginning to believe that Ann Coulter's advice was prophetic.

Clueless in Cairo? Do US Leaders and Journalists Understand Egypt?
Clueless in Cairo? Do US Leaders and Journalists Understand Egypt?
Clueless in Cairo? Do US Leaders and Journalists Understand Egypt?

UPDATE 3: Meanwhile the "Arab Street" is confirming my analysis:
Anti-Mubarak Protesters Scream for "Jihad" While Attacking other Egyptians

Out of a week of chaos in Egypt comes the bloodiest day yet. Early Thursday morning, the military and anti-Mubarak protesters clashed while small groups of people opened fire on others. The causality toll is quickly rising, as news stations show live streaming video of people being literally lit on fire and others being lynched in front of the camera.

Just as chilling is the fact that hundreds if not thousands of anti-Mubarak protesters have been screaming for "jihad" as they beat other Egyptians, possibly to death.

"Look, a squirrel"
This also comes after much of the Main Stream Media, particularly MSNBC, said the Muslim Brotherhood had "no" or "almost no" influence in Egypt. "Analysts" on the station also stated that conservatives were intentionally inflating the Muslim Brotherhood's influence in the country.
It doesn't look good for Israel: 
Ghannem stated that gas flowing from Egypt to Israel should stop immediately, “in order to bring about the downfall of the Mubarak regime.”...Talking about what the Muslim Brotherhood is prepared to do, Ghannem stated that “the people should be prepared for war against Israel.” This implies that a war with Israel could be inevitable if the group takes substantial power in Egypt.

Further making the situation tense is the fact that Jordan warned that, should Mubarak be kicked out of power, their peace treaty with Israel would likely end. It has been one of the Muslim Brotherhood's major platforms to "prepare Egypt for war" with Israel.

The Revolution Wanders From The Script
On balance, the US administration has probably helped the government, and Washington’s intervention in the crisis is not (yet) turning out very well. Public pressure on President Mubarak to step down has allowed the Egyptian authorities to wrap themselves in the national flag. “Let’s find an Egyptian solution to Egypt’s problems,” they can say. “President Mubarak will not be running for re-election; do not let the Americans dictate our timetable for change.” Many in the Egyptian army who normally might have wanted to shed Mubarak quickly will now want to let him hang on through the fall to spite Obama if for no other reason. At the same time, foreign pressure gave the government an opening to crack down on foreign (and domestic) journalists, helping to deprive the revolution of the attention and television coverage vital to keeping public excitement and mobilization alive.
Read the whole thing.

Progressive-in-chief Obama stuck in a time warp.

Obama's antique vision of technological progress

Michael Barone remarks on the fact that Barack Obama's ideas of the future are similar to the Disneyland

Barack Obama, like all American politicians, likes to portray himself as future-oriented and open to technological progress. Yet the vision he set out in his State of the Union address is oddly antique and disturbingly static.

It reminds you of the strangely retro feel of Tomorrowland at Disneyland.

Bottom line:

If you put together Obama's resistance to just about any serious changes in entitlement spending with his antique vision of technological progress, what you see is an America where the public sector permanently consumes a larger part of the economy than in the past and squanders the proceeds on white elephants like faux high-speed rail lines and political payoffs to the teacher and other public-sector unions. Private-sector innovation gets squeezed out by regulations like the Obama FCC's net neutrality rules. It's a plan for a static rather than dynamic economy.

It's a perfect illustration of the dreary, static ideas and creations that all socialist societies create.  All initiative is supressed except for the schlerotic ideas of the leadership.

If you can't tell a General from a waiter you must be part of the Obama administration.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Valerie Jarrett to uniformed general: More wine, garçon!

Jarrett was seated at the head table along with several other big-name politicians and a handful of high-ranking military officials. As an officer sporting several stars walked past Jarrett, she signaled for his attention and said, “I’d like another glass of wine.”

Via Glenn Reynolds.

UVA Discriminates

Well of course.

Via the Daily Caller: 

For months, the University of Virginia has been involved in a legal battle with state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli over an investigation into government grants given to a university professor who allegedly used the money to falsify research supporting climate change. Now, some are also accusing the university of treating a professor whose views do not exactly accept the mainstream view of man-made global warming unfavorably.

At issue are the documents and research materials of two former university professors: Pat Michaels and Michael Mann. The university received Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for research materials from both professors, but its response to the respective requests has left some accusing the school of bias.

When Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall submitted a request for the research materials of Mann, he was told by university officials that the documents had been destroyed because the professor was no longer an employee.

When Greenpeace, a national environmental advocacy organization, requested the same materials for Michaels, university officials promptly began the process of complying with the FOIA and told the organization how much the fee would be.

The Virginian Pilot has been waging a vendetta against Cuccinelli for daring to question whether Mann committed scientific fraud while at UVA and the University has stone-walled. Not so when a professor who questions man-made global warming. I doubt if this little matter gets printed in the local bird cage liner.