Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Fully 82 Democrats voted with the GOP — among them Pelosi, Hoyer, and … DNC chief Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, which is all the proof you need of how nervous the White House is about being on the wrong side of this issue.
we cannot as an online community let this tragic crime go unpunished. That it why I am announcing the Weiner Hacker Prize Fund to award a generous bounty for information leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of Pubic Enemy #1 - the pervert who stole Congressman Weiner's underpants identity.
...how have Turks multiplied by three additional million since September 2010, resulting in the number of eligible voters increasing from 49 million to 52 million? What has happened? Or, has someone placed in his pocket in advance some 10 percent of the vote in case of any emergency? It smells bad, does it not?
Not since "Mein Kampf" has a punch been so blatantly telegraphed."It's time for Israel to go, along with its tales and legends. It's time for the end of the great lie that has destroyed everything and poisoned relations between the Arabs and the West. It's time [for it] to go because the regimes protecting this entity are going; [indeed,] those that protect the borders of this artificial entity are toppling one by one. It has no choice but to go.
"They have taken their fair share of our blood, and they must dig up their graves and go, as Palestine's greatest poet, Mahmoud Darwish, has said. The Jews in Palestine, the occupiers and the colonialists, have no choice but to go, as the Palestinian will not accept any alternative to his homeland and soil, even if he is given the whole [rest of the] world.
This will not end well. Read the whole thing.
Here’s the sentence:Barry, the media may be excused as stupid, but I'm not persuaded that Obama doesn't understand.
The changes in the region are producing more extremism, not more moderation.
Last week, I was happy to get the opportunity to interview Ben Shapiro about his book. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of our conversation. Enjoy!
There was a time when Hollywood was more patriotic, conservative and loyal to the country. Americans think back to all the World War II movies, for example, compared to the anti-war movies of Vietnam and the Iraq war while our troops are in the field. How did the Left take over Hollywood in the first place?
Enter Sarah Palin in a black leather jacket, cruising through the nation's capital on a Harley-Davidson. "I love that smell of the emissions!" she told the crowd as she kicked off her tour at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally on Sunday.
And with that, the question arises: Could Palin leave some of the less charismatic candidates in the dust?
A political Merry Prankster, Palin clearly relishes her unique ability to confound and surprise her prospective opponents, as she test-drives a possible presidential run that she and her team -- with a discernible wink -- have publicly billed as something akin to a mere sightseeing trip.
Recently, she decided to participate in a local beauty contest. She placed seventh. But her passion for fashion may have led to her death. Shortly after the pageant, Koren went missing. Now, a young man has apparently admitted to police that he killed Koren under Shariah Law.
I’ve been writing this weekend about a once free people’s descent into hyper-regulatory tyranny. I thought this fishy footnote was the last word in statism’s lack of any sense of proportion, but several readers then alerted me to the federal rabbit police cracking down on magic shows. As they used to say in Nazi Germany, “Your papers, mein hare!”
Martin Reid says he’s been forced to buy a fishing licence to remove carp that are swimming in a metre of water on his flooded-out fields.
He says he bought the permit to avoid the problems he faced the last time he was forced to remove fish from his flooded farmland. In 1993, Reid was fined $1,000 for illegal fishing.
“My father and I … were charged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada,” Reid recalled. “We were jointly responsible for having caused the death of fish for reasons other than sport fishing.”
Reid says the fine will jump to $100,000 if he’s cited a second time.
He’s under strict orders to safeguard the lives of the carp once he begins to expel them.
Weiner, Weiner, Weiner,...remember two important facts about Twitter:
1. If two people follow each other on Twitter, they can send private messages unseen by others.
2. The difference between a direct message, seen by only the recipient, and a public tweet, seen by the world, is a single character.
The biggest problem for Weiner and his defenders on the left is not bloggers from the right. It’s the details of “#weinergate” can be understood by millions of ordinary people in 140 characters or less.
Weiner, Weiner, Weiner,
Weiner, Weiner, Weiner,
Weiner, Weiner, Weiner,
Americans are losing faith that the economy will keep improving, according to a monthly survey.
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 60.8 from a revised 66 in April, a sign of the toll that high gas prices, a choppy job outlook and a moribund housing market are taking on people's psyches. Economists had expected an increase to 67. It was the lowest reading since November.
Oh, and 'Double-Dip' in Housing Prices Even Worse Than Expected
Boy, that's a shocker! Frank J. Fleming explains:U.S. single-family home prices dropped in March, dipping below their 2009 low, as the housing market remained bogged down by inventory and weak demand, a closely watched survey said Tuesday.
The mainstream media often actually treats the idea that Obama is doing a good job on the economy as just another opinion, instead of the counter-factual viewpoint it is. Many TV news shows have these crazed individuals on all the time doing fact-free rants about how smart Obama is on the economy, and numerous papers publish their screeds as just regular columns.
Lewd Photo Sent Over Rep. Weiner'sWeiner does not call police; lawyers up.
And the media are confused: Sarah Palin's bus tour prompts confusion on Day 2
Of course they are, poor dears.
For ...reporters looking for more details, Palin isn’t providing them. Palin’s staff has been unresponsive to reporters’ requests or told them to check the SarahPAC website, which updates with information only after she’s stopped somewhere.
Yet still another conspiracy theory has emerged, even more divorced from reality and the facts than any of the previous ones. And it has already spread, as recent polls show that somewhere between 34% and 37% — more than a third of Americans — believe it. What is this new, insane notion? That the job President Obama is doing on the economy could be described as “good.”
Yes, it’s really hard for an educated individual to understand how one could hold such a belief when it flies in the face of all the facts we see daily. All the other conspiracy theories are, in a way, much more understandable because what they involve doesn’t directly affect the bored individuals who cling to them. It’s easy to just sit online and second guess things you don’t really understand and aren’t involved in, but this economy affects everyone. You’re reminded of it every day when you see all your unemployed friends and family and the high gas prices and just general malaise. How can anyone ignore that? It’s like holding to a conspiracy theory that the sky is orange despite each day seeing how blue it is.
Post or visit some forums in the fringe corners of the internet, and you’ll see complex yet incoherent rants saying that what has happened is actually a good thing and what Obama has been doing is smart. You’ll often run into this phrase common among conspiracists: “jobs saved or created.” This refers to an unprovable belief that Obama’s actions created millions of invisible jobs no one can see.
The mainstream media often actually treats the idea that Obama is doing a good job on the economy as just another opinion, instead of the counter-factual viewpoint it is. Many TV news shows have these crazed individuals on all the time doing fact-free rants about how smart Obama is on the economy, and numerous papers publish their screeds as just regular columns.
In fact, the New York Times has now put these people behind a paywall so they can charge a nickel a gander to people wanting to see the freak show.
It’s time for this to stop. We have to restore sanity to this country and fight against all these insane conspiracy theories — especially the destructive idea that Obama is actually doing anything useful for the economy. Saying that man didn’t land on the moon, that Bush caused 9/11, or that Obama knows what he’s doing aren’t simply other opinions — they’re false and destructive ideas, and the people who cling to them border on mental illness.
If we’re going to have any useful debates in this society, they have to come from people who all exist in reality — not a place where 9% unemployment and spiraling debt is a “good job.” It’s time for the people trying to fool themselves into believing that Obama is successful on the economy to stop manipulating facts into complex, incoherent webs that support their theories. Instead, they need to take a clear look at the data and apply Occam’s razor to come to the most simple, logical conclusion: Obama is a Muslim sleeper agent doing everything he can to destroy our economy from the inside.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I've been saying this for quite some time. My latest here.The GOP field arguably is weak ... compared to Bibi Netanyahu. But Republicans are running against Barack Obama, who's made a hash of the economy and foreign policy, and who seems to spend more time golfing and partying and campaigning than attending to his duties. The weaker candidate in 2012 won't be the Republican nominee.
The hyper-regulatory state is unrepublican. It strikes at one of the most basic pillars of free society: equality before the law. When you replace "law" with "regulation," equality before it is one of the first casualties. In such a world, there is no law, only a hierarchy of privilege more suited to a sultan's court than a self-governing republic. If you don't want to be subject to "tooth-level surveillance," you better know who to call in Washington. Teamsters Local 522 did, and the United Federation of Teachers, and the Chicago Plastering Institute. And as a result they've all been "granted" ObamaCare "waivers." Rule, Obama! Obama, waive the rules! If only for his cronies. Americans are being transferred remorselessly from the rule of law to rule by an unaccountable bureaucracy of micro-regulatory preferences, subsidies, entitlements and incentives that determine which of the multiple categories of Unequal-Before-The-Law Second-Class (or Third-Class, or Fourth-Class) Citizenship you happen to fall into.
Oh, and this tidbit from the ObamaCare law:
"The Secretary shall develop oral healthcare components that shall include tooth-level surveillance."
"Tooth-level surveillance"? Has that phrase ever been used before in the entirety of human history? Say what you like about George III but the redcoats never attempted surveillance of Gen. Washington's dentures. Why not just call it "gum control"?
- any old Twit(erer) understands what Weiner’s numbers mean: DTG
- Weinergate: two more coincidences?: Tatler
- The Evidence Suggests Anthony Weiner Wasn’t Hacked: RWN
- #1 suspect in Weinergate hacking hasn't been contacted: Ace
- It’s On!… Breitbart Confronts Anthony Weiner: GWP
- Weinergate 'Suspect' Denies Posting Weiner Photo: BigGovt
This is not because we cannot die daily in large numbers in a war. September 11th proved to us that we still die in the thousands, but many among us cannot now hold that number as a reality, but only as a "tragic" exception that need not have happened and will -- most likely -- never happen again.
That, at least, is the mind set that I assume when I read how the "War on Terror" is but a bumper strip. In a way, that's preferable to the the mind set that now, in increasing numbers among us, prefers to take refuge in the unbalanced belief that 9/11 was actually something planned and executed by the American government. Why many of my fellow Americans prefer this "explanation" is something that I once felt was beyond comprehension. Now I see it is just another comfortable position taken up by those for whom the habits of automatic treason have become just another fashionable denigration of the country that has made their liberty to believe the worst of it not only possible but popular.
Click on the link for some other delightful pictures of the trip.Big Guy told the Polish people that because of their history and their experience with throwing off the shackles of oppression in the pursuit of democracy, they can serve as an inspiration and guidepost for the nascent democracies in the Middle East. Remember when we used to provide that function?
Maybe we should take notes now on how it was that Poland managed to overthrow communism. You know, just in case we need to reference them at some future date? And it probably wouldn’t hurt to keep Lech Walesa's number in our electronic rolodex.
I know many of you were disappointed that Lady M decided to go home with a sick headache instead of accompanying Big Guy to Poland. Butt trust me, I saw what she had packed for that leg of the trip, and I think it was just as well.
... many quite broad spectrum words and their underlying concepts have fallen prey to conflation: racism, poverty, genocide, promiscuity, and torture, for example. We can learn here, as in many other left-oriented articles, just how widespread “racism” is: all opposition to President Obama’s policies and initiatives is “racist.” “Poverty” is no less widespread; the word is used as applicable to both the United States and Haiti and all places in between. In Haiti, 40.6 percent of the workforce of 4.81 million are unemployed and eighty percent of the population exist below the “poverty line” (2003 estimate — it is likely worse now). Not having a color television and an automobile seems, in the United States, to be associated with poverty. Not so in many other countries. Genocide is a term often applied to Israel’s activities in trying to keep Palestinians from sending missiles and terrorists into Israel to kill Jews and anyone else in their way as well as to the activities at German death camps during World War II’s Holocaust. Promiscuity suggests flagrant sexual conduct, but that means many different things to many different people, particularly when it is done to mock religion. That’s true of many activities. Even threatening to burn a Koran is viewed by some as terribly bad because it sets off massacres among Islamists, but burning a Bible or soaking one in urine is hardly even newsworthy because Christians and Jews aren’t likely to go on killing sprees on account of it.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Read the whole thing ... and weep. Who ever thought that academia would turn out the be the next big scam?But why dwell on the costs? As college studies show, a college diploma is a bargain at any price! Oh sure, four to seven years ago you could have taken out a $200,000 loan and bought a nice starter house, or a new Ferrari. But where would that leave you today? With a four to seven year old Ferrari, that's where. Instead you have this priceless diploma signifying your wise financial choice to put your debt where your brain is, and hot rod that sucker with the latest nitro-fueled, supercharged academic knowledge this side of Jacques "Big Daddy" Derrida. That knowledge hurtled you down the quarter mile at Deconstruction Valley Dragways and now you claim the prize - this diploma naming you as Top Patriarchy Eliminator. And unlike a Ferrari, no repo man will ever load your knowledge on a flatbed and haul it away - even if he wanted to.
Yes, some of you may have invested your cash in pursuing mercenary "professional" degrees, like engineering and nursing and accounting, with their tedious emphasis on "right" answers and "employment." Some of those graduates aren't even here, because they'd rather be working at their new jobs than joining us in this celebration of the life of the mind. Happily though, the majority of you came to this university to learn how to think, not what to think. You learned how to speak truth to power, and how to question authority. If you were hungover for the big Questioning Authority midterm, you learned how to plead the TA for an extra-credit paper, topic of his choosing, and how he wanted it worded. You learned how everything can be deconstructed and critiqued, with the exception of Deconstruction and Critical Theory.
From The Other McCain:
That's a lot of evidence being disposed of if a crime has been committed.UPDATE IV: I just got off the phone with Andrew Breitbart, who denies any insinuation of wrongdoing on his part in reporting the story now known by the Twitter hashtag #WeinerGate.
Frances Martel at Mediaite writes that the story is “a reminder that Andrew Breitbart’s editors and writers do not aim to abide by accepted journalistic standards.” Exactly how the hell “accepted journalistic standards” should be applied to a congressman (apparently) Tweeting a picture of his penis to a college student, I’m not sure.
But here is a question Breitbart posed during our phone conversation: If someone hacked Rep. Weiner’s online accounts, isn’t that a crime? Isn’t it, indeed, a national security threat?
OK, so has Rep. Weiner reported this crime to the police? Is the FBI investigating? When will we have a press conference at which Rep. Weiner vows to get to bottom of this crime against him, and bring the perpetrators to justice?
There is a dog there, you see. And as Sherlock Holmes might point out, that dog is not barking.
...UPDATE VI: “Anthony Weiner’s Self-Proclaimed Girlfriend is a 21-Year Old Coed, only 25 Years Younger Than the Married Congressman.” But who are we to judge?
UPDATE VIII: WeinerGate has been at the top of the Memeorandum aggregation for hours, and yet it appears that no traditional news organization finds it newsworthy. Da Tech Guy decided to do some reporting:
I took the liberty of calling congressman Weiner’s office, the recorded messaged referred me to a press number to call after hours. I called the number and the gentleman named Joe who answered claimed I had the wrong number so I called back the congressman’s office to confirm the number in question (it was correct) and called the press number again. It now goes directly to voice mail. I left my name and home and cell numbers at both locations, and I’ll let you know if anything pans out, but I found that reaction…interesting.
Weiner’s press secretary dodging phone calls? Perhaps more reporters ought to call 202-225-6616 and try to get some answers, because the questions keep piling up out here. Dan Riehl asks, “Why Would Rep Weiner Care What Time It Was In Seattle?”
Liz Benjamin notices something else: “The woman to whom the picture was sent has since deleted both her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Very odd.”
Indeed, it is very odd. If Ms. Cordova was merely the victim of a hacker’s hoax, why would she delete her accounts?
UPDATE XI: Neil Stevens at Red State observes that Ace of Spades hilariously eviscerated Weiner’s “I was hacked” explanation. I’d imagine the congressman spent most of Saturday evening trying to come up with a plausible defense.
UPDATE XII: Linked by Moe Lane, who notes that somebody spent a lot of time Sarturday trying to scrub the name “Gennette Cordova” off the Internet — even having her byline removed from articles she wrote for her college newspaper!
As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word "unexpectedly" or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy.
"New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed," reported CNBC.com May 25.
"Personal consumption fell," Business Insider reported the same day, "when it was expected to rise."
"Durable goods declined 3.6 percent last month," Reuters reported May 25, "worse than economists' expectations."
"Previously owned home sales unexpectedly fall," headlined Bloomberg News May 19.
"U.S. home construction fell unexpectedly in April," wrote the Wall Street Journal May 18.
Those examples are all from the last two weeks. Reynolds has been linking to similar items since October 2009.
"How many times in a row can something happen unexpectedly before the experts start to, you know, expect it? At some point, shouldn't they be required to state the foundation for their expectations?"
One answer is that many in the mainstream media have been cheerleading for Barack Obama. They and he both naturally hope for a strong economic recovery. After all, Obama can't keep blaming the economic doldrums on George W. Bush forever.
I'm confident that any comparison of economic coverage in the Bush years and the coverage now would show far fewer variants of the word "unexpectedly" in stories suggesting economic doldrums.
This took place in Ireland, where the laws clearly differ from our. Can you imagine if Americans were able to sue after being called racist? Liberals everywhere would be penniless. Entire swaths of the media would disappear, MSNBC would cease operation.
She sued Ryanair after the airline accused her of racism for complaining that the airline did not feature any Irish women in a charity calendar featuring bikini clad models.
The Queen Anne's Revenge shipwreck site, located off North Carolina's coast, has yielded more than 250,000 artifacts and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The area was located in 1996 by a Florida company called Intersal, Inc.
The anchor is believed to be the second biggest on the site, measuring about 13 feet long with arms that are eight feet wide and weighing about 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg), said Mark Wilde-Ramsing, a deputy state archeologist.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Bill Whittle: "Barack Obama is a Turncoat"
"You only have to cheat on your wife once to forever destroy that relationship."
The ugly part of it is that he's dragging us along with him. it will take decades to repair the damage he's done.
Roger Kimball likes what Bill Whittle has to say.
So, what is a “turncoat”? Colloquially, it means someone who abandons one side for another. Yet a “turncoat” is not quite the same thing as a “traitor,” someone who betrays his own side. A turncoat surrenders, but does not necessarily betray.
Click on the link for the video.Carolyn Owlett pulled her hair back into a ponytail, threw on a frumpy skirt, and walked around London asking if she could have everything for free, from a bus ride to a piece of cake. Most people looked at her like she was crazy. Then she curled her hair into shiny ringlets, put on makeup, a tight dress, and high heels, and did the same thing. Most people looked at her ... and then gave her whatever she wanted.
H/T: Glenn Reynolds
Why did she refer to him as his girlfriend?
Stacy McCain compiles the questions and answers.
I'm waiting for the DNA tests.
- Flint, MI
- Detroit, MI
Well, they’re white kids, except for the one who’s not white. And they’re wearing white. That’s (whiteness x 2) – 1. I call that a formula for racism. What more do they need to do, put on white hoods? Duh!Via "Daily Caller"
The Cost of Obama
PAPER: Inflation bumps cost of Memorial Day weekend BBQ by 29%!
One sausage or two?
You may be lucky to get half at this weekend's Memorial Day cookout, which is set to cost 29 per cent more than last year, thanks to inflation.
Those thinking of hosting a BBQ - even a modest one - can expect to fork out an extra $45 on food to serve a dozen guests.
The total cost comes to $199, or around 29 per cent more than last year... and that's before soda and alcohol, according to the latest data for metro New York.
Lettuce has sky-rocketed 28 per cent since last year's traditional BBQ, while an ear of sweet corn is now 50 cents, up from 20 cents last year.
Those who don't like tomatoes are in luck though: they're up a staggering 86 per cent on last year.
Nationwide the story is the same.
- Ground beef up 12.1%
- Potatoes up 13.4%
- Sausages up 6.2%
- Ice cream up 5.1%
- Coffee up 13.1%
Families spending $168 more per month on gas than a year ago...
I hope that the Democrats don’t have any second thoughts about running Obama for re-election in 2012.High prices at the pump are putting a squeeze on the family budget as the traditional summer driving season begins. For every $10 the typical household earns before taxes, almost a full dollar now goes toward gas, a 40 percent bigger bite than normal.
Households spent an average of $369 on gas last month. In April 2009, they spent just $201. Families now spend more filling up than they spend on cars, clothes or recreation. Last year, they spent less on gasoline than each of those things.
Jeffrey Wayman of Cape Charles, Va., spent Friday riding his motorcycle to North Carolina's Outer Banks, a day trip with his wife. They decided to eat snacks in a gas station parking lot rather than buy lunch because rising fuel prices have eaten so much into their budget over the past year that they can't ride as frequently as they would like.
"We used to do it a lot more, but not as much now," he said. "You have to cut back when you have a $480 gas bill a month."
Michelle's $2000 dress ...
Don't you feel better now about being permanently unemployed?
Friday, May 27, 2011
As a consequence, [of demogrpahic changes] there is a widening divergence between young and old in states such as California: The old are very white (with some black), and the young are very Hispanic (with some Asian). The principal beneficiaries of the mid-20th century entitlement programs are honky geezers. The fellows expected to fund them are increasingly Latino. That doesn't sound a recipe for social tranquility. The welfare state developed in small ethnically homogeneous northern European nations with a strong sense of intergenerational solidarity. That model applies less and less on an Islamizing Continent, and it makes just as little sense for southern California. When the Democrats' dependency culture collides with their immigration policies, it isn't going to be pretty.
The Very Large Telescope at work.
I hope that the Democrats run Obama.
- 20% under/unemployment.
- $4.00 - $5.00 gasoline.
- Skyrocketing food prices.
- Dropping home prices with record number of people underwater in their mortgages.
- Skyrocketing deficits measured in trillions, not billions.
- ObamaCare that most people hate.
- Promises of higher taxes.
- Medicare going bankrupt.
- Social security going bankrupt.
This is a president who can’t run on his record.
Who wants another 4 years of what we have just gone through?
Why would we want to see the Democrats put anyone else up?
Instalanche: Thanks Glenn.
The man in the aisle seat is trying to tell me why he refuses to hire anybody. His business is successful, he says, as the 737 cruises smoothly eastward. Demand for his product is up. But he still won’t hire.
“Because I don’t know how much it will cost,” he explains. “How can I hire new workers today, when I don’t know how much they will cost me tomorrow?”
He’s referring not to wages, but to regulation: He has no way of telling what new rules will go into effect when. His business, although it covers several states, operates on low margins. He can’t afford to take the chance of losing what little profit there is to the next round of regulatory changes. And so he’s hiring nobody until he has some certainty about cost.
What is to be done? Read the whole thing, but one answer is to make the government assist you rather than hinder you.
The latest measure of this discontent came in a thoughtful national survey on economic opportunity released last week by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project. If numbers could scream, they would probably sound like the poll’s results among working-class whites.
One question asked respondents whether they expected to be better off economically in 10 years than they are today. Two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics said yes, as did 55 percent of college-educated whites; just 44 percent of noncollege whites agreed. Asked if they were better off than their parents were at the same age, about three-fifths of college-educated whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics said they were. But blue-collar whites divided narrowly, with 52 percent saying yes and a head-turning 43 percent saying no. (The survey, conducted from March 24 through 29, surveyed 2,000 adults and has a margin of error of ±3.4 percent.)
What makes these results especially striking is that minorities were as likely as blue-collar whites to report that they have been hurt by the recession. The actual unemployment rate is considerably higher among blacks and Hispanics than among blue-collar whites, much less college-educated whites.
Yet, minorities were more optimistic about the next generation than either group of whites, the survey found. ...
But the noncollege whites are the gloomiest: Just one-third of them think their kids will live better than they do; an equal number think their children won’t even match their living standard. No other group is nearly that negative.
...lacks faith that either government or business cares much about its plight.
The National Association of Realtors says pending home sales plunged 11.6% To 81.9 in April. Expectations were for a smaller drop, to 92 from 94.1 in March.
Yes, Peggy, this is what the Tea Party was all about when you and all the beltway Solons were smearing it as knuckle-dragging redneck racists.The people, of course, saw the crisis coming before most politicians did, and every elected official in Washington is now quick to preface interviews with, "The people were ahead of us on this." They say this with an air of discovery, the little Sherlocks. The people were ahead of them. Public concern began to deepen in the polls after the introduction of the new spending bills that followed the crash of 2008. Voter concern was made vivid in the 2009 and 2010 elections, when centrists voted like old-style Republicans who worried about red ink.
"Despite my long professional life, I was unprepared for the advances of the managing director of the IMF," wrote Piroska Nagy, an IMF staff economist whom Mr. Strauss-Kahn pursued until she agreed to a brief affair in 2008. "I did not know how to handle this," she added in a letter to a law firm investigating the affair. "I felt, 'I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't.'"
Ms. Nagy's letter—which added that Mr. Strauss-Kahn was "a man with a problem that may make him ill-equipped to lead an institution where women work under his command"—has received considerable media attention in recent weeks, and rightly so. But perhaps its real interest lies in the way none of Ms. Nagy's points seem to have found their way into the firm's October 2008 report to the IMF Executive Board.
On the contrary, the report, conducted by three lawyers at the firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, concluded that "there is no evidence that the MD [managing director], either expressly or implicitly, threatened the female staff member in any way to induce her to engage in the affair or to keep it confidential." The IMF board gave Mr. Strauss-Kahn merely a wrist slap for a "serious error of judgment," along with board assurances that the episode would "in no way affect the effectiveness of the Managing Director in the very challenging and difficult period ahead."
Remember that Mr. Wolfowitz's alleged sin was that he had arranged a job transfer, along with a substantial raise, for his companion Shaha Riza, a bank employee at the time Mr. Wolfowitz took the helm in 2005.
But any suggestion that favoritism had been involved quickly fell apart when it came to light that Mr. Wolfowitz had disclosed the relationship with the bank's board before taking the job; that he had sought to recuse himself from the matter; that the bank's ethics committee had forbidden him from recusing himself; and that the committee had also directed him to arrange a promotion and pay raise for Ms. Riza "on the basis of her qualifying record" and out of concern for the "potential disruption" to her career for a conflict of interest that was not of her own making.
...his sexual pursuit of underlings forgiven, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was treated in the media as a hero for pushing vast sums on bankrupt economies like Greece. Even now, with the bailouts failing and their mastermind on bail, he is seen as a visionary brought low by his fatal flaw.
Yet what ought to be clear is that the reason Mr. Strauss-Kahn was so popular within the IMF (female company excepted) was that his own behavior was so in tune with the ethos of the institution. Here is a place where power can be exercised without electoral accountability, privileges can be enjoyed without scrutiny, salaries can be claimed without taxes, and other people's money can be spent with abandon.
UPDATE: More is being released from the letter that Piroska Nagy wrote. Here's an interesting tidbit:
“I believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn abused his position in the manner in which he got to me."Despite being treated as a part of DSK's harem, a disposable peace of meat, she calls her seducer brilliant and charming. She's a perfect member of the IMF.
“I provided you the details of how he summoned me on several occasions and came to make inappropriate suggestions to... I did not know how to handle this; as I told you I felt that I was ‘damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.’"
"[DSK is a] brilliant leader with a vision for addressing the ongoing global financial crisis. He is also an aggressive if charming man..."
Not News? Columbia Professor and Huffington Post Contributor David Epstein Pleads Guilty in Incest Case
You will recall that Palin-hating blogger David Epstein was arrested in December and charged with felony incest for having sex with his adult daughter (now 24) from 2006 through 2009.
Incest, rape and sex with a subordinate may be crimes, but not for Democrats or Leftists. So it's not newsworthy.
HEY, HOW COME THIS GOT SO LITTLE COVERAGE? Not News? Columbia Professor and Huffington Post Contributor David Epstein Pleads Guilty in Incest Case. I guess it’s not news. Now if he were a FreeRepublic contributor and a professor at Liberty Baptist, it would be a top story!
The Boston Globe reports on the ethics of Fannie Mae and Barney Frank.
Ethics and Barney Frank are words that don't belong in the same sentence.
According to the Urban Dictionary, a person with “the Sidam Touch” has an ability that is “[t]he opposite of The Midas Touch, which turns everything to gold.” A person with the Sidam Touch “breaks and/or ruins everything.”
To say that President Barack Obama and his administration, especially what’s left of his economic team, has the Sidam Touch is the understatement of the 21st century.
In early February 2009, in the run-up to the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), known to most as “the stimulus,” the newly sworn-in Obama flexed his Sidam Touch muscles, repeatedly telling the nation: “Doing nothing is not an option.” ...
So how has it worked out? In December 2010, James Cogan and John Taylor at the Hoover Institution overestimated the impact of the stimulus plan by saying that it accomplished “zero.” On May 12, Professors Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor released more precise results demonstrating that ARRA really “created/saved 450 thousand government-sector jobs and destroyed/forestalled one million private sector jobs.” For the math-challenged, that’s a net loss of 550,000 jobs. A bit over two years later, it is abundantly clear that doing nothing would have been vastly preferable.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” television show is back in the news – and the big reveal doesn’t have a happy ending.
....Chuck and Terri Cerda appeared in a March 2009 episode showing the precautions their two children, Molly and Maggie, have to take because of a rare immunodeficiency disease. They received a McMansion equipped with air filtration systems and a solar-heated swimming pool. (Extreme recipients also receive other goodies, including cash. In this story, there were also two oboes, a flute and $2,000 worth of music lessons.)
But, according to news reports, the family struggled financially the supersized bills and sold the house. ...
...financial drama isn’t unusual for Extreme recipients: They often struggle to keep up with their expensive new digs. In many cases, the bigger, more lavish homes have come with bigger, more lavish utility bills. And bigger tax assessments. Some homeowners have tapped the equity of their super-sized homes only to fall behind on the higher mortgage payments. After using the home’s increased equity Eric Hebert lost his Sandpoint, Idaho, home to foreclosure in 2009. This is said to be the show’s first known foreclosure.
Earlier this year, the Harvey family in Hastings, Fla., faced foreclosure on the home they received in 2005. Tax payments soared to $5,200 from $500 a year to, while utilities spiked to $400 a month, from $60. An auction has been canceled, which isn’t that unusual as families fight to keep their homes.
Labels: sexual politics
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaking to the AIPAC conference, May 22:
The following story illustrates Israel's dilemma. A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life.
What kind of culture leads one to do that? Sadly, it is a culture infused with resentment and hatred. It is this culture that underlies the Palestinians' and the broader Arab world's refusal to accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. This is the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not about the '67 lines.
And until Israel's enemies come to terms with this reality, a true peace will be impossible.
What more can be said?
Glenn Reynolds: SPIN: MSN Money: Quit grousing about $5 gas — it’s good for you, and America! This cries out for an IowaHawk parody.
You can't make this sort of stuff up.
No, not the one on the left.
The establishment has fought public disclosure of scientific documents. The establishment lost this round.Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II says a judge’s order compelling the University of Virginia to turn over thousands of pages of climate-change research will likely alter his own battle for the long-sought documents.
The Republican attorney general and state Delegate Robert G. Marshall have battled the university for more than a year over the release of documents related to the work of former professor Michael Mann. Mr. Mann had been involved in a leaked email exchange with colleagues that climate-change skeptics claimed showed scientific misconduct.
Labels: global warming
One of the most important Democratic donors in the past two decades, whose generous contributions helped pay for the DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C., has indicated that he will not contribute to President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, because of the administration’s stance on Israel.
What took so long?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.
"The Undefeated" conveys the dramatic extent to which Palin's world has changed in just a few years, as it shows her announcing her gubernatorial campaign not at a massive rally but at a sparsely attended press conference in her kitchen. ...
If she does decide to run, "The Undefeated" will be the key element to her initial coming-out party. The film's impending release -- and the frenzied media attention that it is sure to generate -- will serve as a vivid wake-up call that despite the many obstacles in front of her, Palin's entry into the race would turn the campaign on its head in an instant, just as it did in 2008.
As she mulls her decision in the coming weeks, the other Republican candidates in the field will be left to prepare for a hibernating grizzly who appears poised to rise up once again.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
And the Winner Is: "Not Barack Obama"
“… a Republican nominee will require a more hopeful message than just budget cuts.”
“A winning candidate will need to talk not only about austerity but about opportunity.”
“Which Republican has the best chance of crafting a general-election message of economic mobility?"
"Pawlenty is both less vivid and more conservative than Huckabee."
“Pawlenty also governed as a reformer with populist instincts”
Monday, May 23, 2011
Obama: "Israel, You're On Your Own."
"As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat."
Put succinctly, Chomskyan psycholinguistics is not a science, but an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine that mobilizes enormous resources to get very little done. Nevertheless, many of us are seduced by an intricately latticed diction and dazzled into submission by indomitable complexity.
... the mind that is at work postulating a theory of generative grammar is the same mind that is busy expounding an ideological program of anti-capitalist, anti-American, and anti-Israeli doctrine, that excuses the Soviet Union for invading Afghanistan and is sympathetic to totalitarian North Korea, that supports Latin American and Islamic autocrats, that can defend a mass murderer like Pol Pot, a Holocaust denier like Robert Faurisson, and a terrorist like Hassan Nasrallah, and that can argue that George Bush’s “crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s.” And it can do so because it is not bound by the rules of testability.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
"The gilded princelings of statism"
Read The unzippered princeling and the serving wench where he serves up not only Strauss-Kahn but also
- Timmy "unable to follow the simple yes/no prompts of Turbo Tax" Geithner,
- Ted "She died so that the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act might live" Kennedy and
- Charlie "I don't deal in average American citizens" Rangel
Selective enforcement of the law is the first sign of tyranny. A government empowered to determine arbitrarily who may operate outside the rule of law invariably embraces favoritism as friends, allies and those with the best-funded lobbyists are rewarded. Favoritism inevitably leads to corruption, and corruption invites extortion. Ultimately, the rule of law ceases to exist in any recognizable form, and what is left is tyranny....
Americans deserve and, in fact, are guaranteed by our Constitution a level playing field. We were never promised equality in results, but we do deserve to play by the same rules and to be judged by the same standards. When a new law like Obamacare is so deeply flawed that its supporters openly violate these American bedrock principles to sustain it, it’s time to repeal that law.
I will repeat the same question I’ve been asking since the first health care waiver was granted: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep exempting its best friends from it?
Saturday, May 21, 2011
"Maybe they’ll say we need a moat. Or alligators in the moat." - Borderline Barack ObamaThis X-ray, provided by officials in Chiapas, Mexico, shows migrants from Latin America and Asia inside a truck heading to the U.S. Local police said they found more than 500 migrants Tuesday inside two trailer trucks. The red arrows mark distance. -- WSJ
“This is Barney Frank’s M.O. — burn the house down, then take his hand off of the gas can and say, ‘It’s (the GOP’s) fault,’ ”Let's see: who chaired the House Financial Services Committee up to and including the financial melt-down in 2008? Oh yeah, Barfney "My Boy Lollipop" Frank.
The War Powers Resolution was Meant to Apply Only to Republican Presidents.
The law, passed in 1973, requires that the president withdraw U.S. forces from hostilities after 60 days unless he secures Congress's approval or a formal declaration of war.
In the depths of the Vietnam War and Watergate era, a Democratic Congress enacted the War Powers Resolution over Richard Nixon's veto.
Well, I'm glad that's settled. Obama can't fight World War 3 for more than 60 days without congressional approval.
DRUDGE headline: I DON'T NEED YOUR PERMISSION
I can do anything I want and you can't stop me, or you're a racist.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Netanyahu told Obama his endorsement of a long-standing Palestinian demand to go back to Israel's 1967 boundaries -- meaning big concessions of occupied land -- would leave Israel "indefensible."
"Peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle East reality,"
"You're often the first ones to get the blame when things go wrong and you're always the last ones to get the credit when things go right," Obama said.
I thought that was George Bush.
The vision that brought us together in 2008, that's undiminished in me. The confidence I have in the American people, in their decency, that's undiminished. My faith that we can make tough choices on behalf of future generations, that's undiminished. My belief in you has not lessened.Sure, we're small, insignificant, and not always 100% faithful to the One. But he still believes in us.
What's the difference between God and Obama?
God doesn't believe he's Obama.
Read the whole thing.Even if (unlike yours truly) you’ve no interest in the subject of the cable, it’s a fascinating glimpse of the level of expertise you get from America’s lavishly remunerated foreign service. Almost every single fact in that paragraph is wrong: Richard Warman has never filed complaints against me or Maclean’s. He has never filed complaints before the Ontario “Human Rights” Commission or the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal. The Maclean’s article was accused not of anti-Semitic and anti-gay hate speech but of “Islamophobia.’ The British Columbia case was not dismissed: It went to trial, and the troika of judges eventually found us not guilty. Etc.
Now, though, it’s clear that the AARP is set to make millions, if not billions, of extra dollars in Medigap plan sales moving forward because they’ve effectively knocked out their biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage, through Obamacare.
"I have reserved one of the executive dining rooms for February 5th, which is the date he (Awlaki) preferred," a defense department lawyer wrote in the e-mail announcing the event.
"He (Awlaki) will be leaving for an extensive period of time on February 11th."
The e-mail states that New Mexico born al-Awlaki was the featured guest speaker on “Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Culture."
The Defense Department lawyer who vetted the imam wrote that she "had the privilege of hearing one of Mr. Awlaki's presentations in November and was impressed by both the extent of his knowledge and by how he communicated that information and handled a hostile element in the audience."
Having declared himself on the side of the demonstrators and no longer the defender of the status quo, many of the participants in the Arab Street will ask Obama to make his bones. And the only way President Obama can prove that he’s on their side is to throw one or two dictators their way. The Bush plan would be to throw Khamenei and Assad to the crowds first. But that appears to be off the table, because he wants to talk to them, so in the Obama variation the alternative appears to be giving only America’s allies in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, the heave-ho. When it is too hard to ditch your enemies, ditch those who trusted you....
I think the president believes he can achieve a nuanced outcome by taking both sides of history in the Middle East; to preserve U.S. security interests while spreading democracy — all largely achieved by the State Department. Maybe he will succeed. But the worst case scenario is that this will lead to a complete unraveling of the U.S. position in the region coupled with an unwillingness and inability to defend any red line whatsoever. Consider: if Plan A fails, what on earth is Plan B?
Israel is not going to go quietly into that good night.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
This is happening in part because investors see their play as a hedge against hyperinflation. While the rest of the world uses the current calculation of the Consumer Price Index as a proxy for the cost of goods, some farmland investors are using a different equation, one from 1980. These investors assert inflation should be calculated the way it was before the Boskin Commission's 1996 reworking of the CPI formula-in which case, it would be much, much higher.
"The CPI supposedly today is something like 1.5 percent," says the hedge fund manager. "We think the actual rate of inflation is something closer to 6 or 7 percent on an annual basis. It's also not about what it's been over the last 10 years; it's about what it's going to be over the next 10 years."
Yuppies are seeing some of the biggest and fastest price hikes:
The rising cost of food can be seen even in New York's yuppiest enclaves, where prices are high to begin with. Bloomberg food critic Ryan Sutton has been running a blog called The Price Hike wherein he measures the shifting costs of food at the plate in Manhattan restaurants. Mario Batali's Del Posto is charging 21 percent more per meal since October. Gordon Ramsay at The London? Sixty-nine percent more since last month. Michelin favorite Bouley? Forty percent. The Breslin, at the Ace Hotel? Thirty-three percent. And so on.
The diners at exclusive Manhattan eateries are putting their meals on American Express. In other parts of the world, the reaction is a little more extreme.