May 31, 2008

Breaking: Obama Quits Trinity United Church of Christ (UPDATE: But Is ‘Not Denouncing’)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:15 pm

Note: For the purposes of this post, I saved certain of the Associated Press’s reports on this event at my web host. This was done for fair use and discussion purposes.

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11:59 p.m. — The takeaway (11:56 PM AP report saved to host; transcript of Obama opening statement is here; transcript of the Q&A part of Obama’s news conference is here):

“I’m not denouncing the church and I’m not interested in people who want me to denounce the church,” he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and “the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them.”

Translation: “I’m not denouncing Black Liberation theology or the doctrines of America being all about ‘white supremacy‘ taught at TUCC (“We [in the USA] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”), I’m just leaving it.”

He has learned nothing, and nothing has changed.

Here’s another howler:

“This was a pretty personal decision and I was not trying to make political theater out of it,” he added.

Oh, stop it. Everything about this matter has been political theater because he has shifted positions so many times, feigned ignorance when there is no conceivable plausible deniability, and tried to have it both ways since the controversy broke open nationally way back in March — and he STILL wants it both ways. He wants credit for leaving, but doesn’t want to denounce TUCC’s radicalism. Sorry, pal — no sale.

This is reflective of the mindset we would see an Obama Administration. It’s totally unacceptable, and shows, once again, that he is objectively unfit to hold public office, let alone the presidency.

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(Begin original post)

Just off the wires (backup link at host):

Obama quits Chicago church after long controversy

ObamaOnTuccResignation053108

Barack Obama has resigned his 20 year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and more recent fiery remarks at the church by another minister.

Obama campaign communications director Robert Gibbs said Obama had submitted a letter of resignation to the church and would discuss his decision in a session with reporters later Saturday.

It happened “over the last few days,” Gibbs said.

….. Obama has condemned comments by both Wright and Pfleger, but the controversy has persisted.

For months, Obama has been hamstrung by the rhetoric of Wright, whose sermons blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks and calls of “God damn America” for its racism became fixtures on the Internet and cable news networks.

Here is the interesting part: No mention of Michelle. (but see 11:59 p.m. item that now opens this post)

Read the whole thing. In case the original report changes, I have the report by the AP’s Tom Raum as of 6:51 PM EDT save at my host. The AP photo is by Nam Y Huh.

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UPDATE: Fox News is concentrating on the “Why now?” angle and the timing in the context of the Dems’ review of Florida and Michigan. Great point.

UPDATE 2: These four paragraphs added in the 7:07 PM update (as saved to host) by AP’s Raum –

Republican John McCain also has had his woes with religious leaders.

Earlier this month, McCain rejected endorsements from two influential but controversial televangelists, saying there is no place for their incendiary criticisms of other faiths.

McCain spurned the months-old endorsement of Texas preacher John Hagee after an audio recording surfaced in which the preacher said God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land. McCain called the comment “crazy and unacceptable.”

He later repudiated the support of Rod Parsley, an Ohio preacher who has sharply criticized Islam and called the religion inherently violent.

Raum is a bleeping jerk.

UPDATE 3: Bizarre — the next two AP updates have been cut down to 4-6 paragraphs from the original 20 or so. Zheesh.

UPDATE 4: The first commenter at the Chicago Trib story nails it (except for the last sentence, which is not below –

What message is he trying to send??Obama can leave the church but his ideals and teachings and raving sermons stay in his head and heart….Sorry. Not impressed…20 years too late…..

Another commenter

Are kidding me??? This is the great uniter, the candidate of change, the prince of hope??

Barack Obama is leaving his spiritual home after 20 years. Is this really the man who is going to sit with people – who really hate us (Iran, Cuba, Venezuela) and broker the peace? He is effectively showing his first exit stratedgy after the line…”if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”. Why/how could he not even get his friends/church family to respect him and act in accord?

Truly sad.

UPDATE 5 — Obama, according to the Fox highlights, says that he discussed leaving the church with his family some time ago. Uh-huh.

UPDATE 6: The theory among the Truth in Blogging radio corps is that Barack is afraid that there is an explosive video of Michelle Obama going off from TUCC’s pulpit, and that his “resignation” (which, by the way, according to the latest AP report as of 9:10 p.m. (stored here at host is NOT a denunciation), ), is partially an attempt to prevent that from happening.

UPDATE 7: Notice how the Obama pic wen’t from a downer to a favorable one –

ObamaPointing053108

UPDATE 8, June 1: The AP’s Raum, in his 5:16 a.m. report (saved to host), makes it look as if the things Wright said at the National Press Club on April 29 were his first such utterances. That is utter nonsense. More on this aspect later, in a new post.

UPDATE 9, June 2: Sweetness & Light has the text of Obama’s resignation letter to Trinity (I cleaned up typos and punctuation errors) –

Dear. Rev. Moss:

We are writing to make official our decision to end our membership at Trinity.

We make this decision with sadness. Trinity was where I found Christ, where we were married and where our children were baptized. We have many friends among the 8,000 congregants who attend there and we are proud of the extraordinary good works the church continues to perform throughout the community to help the hungry, the homeless and people in need of medical care. We also have come to appreciate your ministry and both think you have been, and will be, a wonderful pastor for years to come.

But as you know, our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Rev. Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views. Our larger concern is that because of my candidacy and membership at trinity, these controversies have served as an unfortunate distraction for other Trinity members who seek to worship in peace, and have placed you in an untenable position as you establish your own ministry under very difficult circumstances.

Our faith remains strong and we will find another church home for our family. But we also know that faith and prayer are not merely exercises to be discharged for two hours on Sunday. They are and always will be a bulwark for us in our daily lives.

We are grateful for our years as part of the Trinity community, and wish you all the best as you lead the congregation into the future. You, your family and the entire Trinity family will be in thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Michelle Obama
Barack Obama

Column of the Day: Krauthammer on Enviro-Controllers …..

Filed under: Environment,Quotes, Etc. of the Day — Tom @ 11:36 am

….. and where communists and their socialist sympathizers went when they lost 20 years ago:

For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class — social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies — arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).

Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher’s England to Deng’s China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history.

Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but — even better — in the name of Earth itself.

Environmentalists are Gaia’s priests, instructing us in her proper service and casting out those who refuse to genuflect ….. And having proclaimed the ultimate commandment — carbon chastity — they are preparing the supporting canonical legislation that will tell you how much you can travel, what kind of light you will read by, and at what temperature you may set your bedroom thermostat.

Only Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.

There’s no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

….. to reduce our carbon footprint in the interim ….. The most obvious step is a major move to nuclear power, which to the atmosphere is the cleanest of the clean.

But your would-be masters have foreseen this contingency. The Church of the Environment promulgates secondary dogmas as well. One of these is a strict nuclear taboo.

Rather convenient, is it not? Take this major coal-substituting fix off the table, and we will be rationing all the more. Guess who does the rationing.

Call these people what they are: Enviro-tyrants.

Positivity: Pilots run out of fuel, pray, land near Jesus sign

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:45 am

From New Zealand (HT to an e-mailer):

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — It seemed like an almost literal answer to their prayers. When two New Zealand pilots ran out of fuel in a micro-light airplane they offered prayers and were able to make an emergency landing in a field — coming to rest right next to a sign reading, “Jesus is Lord.”

Grant Stubbs and Owen Wilson, both from the town of Blenheim on the country’s South Island, were flying up the sloping valley of Pelorus Sound when the engine spluttered, coughed and died.

“My friend and I are both Christians so our immediate reaction in a life-threatening situation was to ask for God’s help,” Stubbs told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

He said he prayed during the ill-fated flight Sunday that the tiny craft would get over the top of a ridge and that they would find a landing site that was not too steep — or in the nearby sea.

Wilson said that the pair would have been in deep trouble if the fuel had run out five minutes earlier.

“If it had to run out, that was the place to be,” he said. “There was an instantaneous answer to prayer as we crossed the ridge and there was an airfield — I didn’t know it existed till then.”

After Wilson glided the powerless craft to a landing on the grassy strip, the pair noticed they were beside a 20-foot-tall sign that read, “Jesus is Lord — The Bible.”

“When we saw that, we started laughing,” Stubbs said.

Nearby residents provided them with gas to fly the home-built plane back to base.

Another version of the story is here.

May 30, 2008

Obama’s Blueprint for Surrendering in the War on Terror, Unilateral Disarmament, and Endangering National Security

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 12:55 pm

Yesterday I asked this about the candidate I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters):

Does anyone doubt that Obama and a Democratic majority would further gut the military, as Clinton did, if they get the chance?

Geez, I had no idea that the proof has been out there, and so obviously (HT to Rush Limbaugh; Sept. 25 Update — Team Obama has disabled embedding, but the link still works).

Transcript (links added by me):

Thanks so much to the Caucus4Priorities for the great work you’ve been doing.

As President, I will end misguided defense policies and stand with Caucus4Priorities in fighting special interests in Washington.

First, I’ll stop spending $9 billion a month in Iraq. I’m the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning. As President, I will end it.

Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems. And I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a global on the production of fissile material, and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off of hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.

You know where I stand. I’ve fought for open, ethical, accountable government my entire public life. I don’t switch positions or make promises that can’t be kept. I don’t posture on defense policy, and I don’t take money from federal lobbyists or powerful defense contractors.

As President, my sole priority for defense spending will be protecting the American people. Thanks so much.

He doesn’t exactly come off as Mr. Sunshine in this vid, does he?

Nope, this is the real Barack Obama — a grimly determined Bill “No RegretsAyers/Bernadine Dohrn radical who has learned nothing from history.

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UPDATE: So why does Obama have so much to say about Russia and while uttering not a word about China? Answer: He must be okay with letting them arm further, and allowing them to catch up technologically.

UPDATE 2: From Rush (link will work for about a week) –

What you heard is real, and it is something that is frightening. Look, it’s patently obviously who this guy is. Make no mistake about it. This is a huge pacifist from the far-left fringe who is seeking the Oval Office.

Guest Column: ‘A Tale of Two Opinions’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:56 am

I’ve been meaning to get into the legal and constitutional specifics of the complete-nonsense California “ruling” on same-sex “marriage” and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sellout response to it.

An e-mailer, frequent commenter, and stay-at-home mom has serendipitously done it for me, and exceptionally well. I have that person’s permission to post the following:

A Tale of Two Opinions

In 1997, the Supreme Court of Ohio gave an “opinion” that the way we funded schools at the time was unconstitutional (DeRolph v. State, 1991). They “ordered” the Legislative branch to immediately and completely overhaul the process and even gave them a deadline (which was not met).

Now, our state law (Constitution) dictates that educational funding can be changed via our legislature or a constitutional amendment (there have been three proposed). And although liberals tried to use the courts to put their fox in charge of the henhouse on this issue, our Governor and legislature knew better and amazingly enough refused to implement what would arguably be ineffective, imprudent “repairs.”

The fundamental lesson here is that we have what is called “separation of powers.” One branch of government is NOT beholden to or bullied by another. Our Founders and subsequent states designed things that way to avoid creating another King George III situation. If that were NOT the case, and the judicial branch had power over the other two, then Ohio’s entire Legislature would be in contempt and/or jail to this day.

On May 16, 2003, the Supreme Court of Ohio ended all litigation and any further proceedings in DeRolph. We all continue to work together to implement the right kind of education reform and although not perfect, the process and rule of law were upheld.

Ironically, a few months later in November of 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued a similar “opinion,” that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional [Goodridge v. Dept. of Health, 2002]. A couple of differences here — the first being that Ohio’s Supreme Court had jurisdiction in DeRolph. Not so in Massachusetts, whose Constitution clearly states that only the executive and legislative branches can deal with/change matters of marriage (which the court openly acknowledged). Second, the Ohio branches followed the rule of law regarding the DeRolph opinion. Not so in Massachusetts. Mitt Romney, in tandem with a rogue, liberal court, unlawfully enforced a [non-binding] opinion without the legislation required by his state’s Constitution. Wow Mitt — meet King George III.

Now for some reason, so-called conservative pundits have given Mitt Romney a complete pass on this egregious dereliction of duty. Perhaps that is why they now refuse to argue the legal premise of what has been going on in California. If they “out” Arnold, no pun intended, then they “out” themselves!

Turns out, the California Supreme Court decided to issue the same “opinion” as Massachusetts, that the state’s voter-driven Prop 22 adopting the traditional definition marriage as law, is unconstitutional. And hey, why not? If a Republican Governor in Massachusetts can help subvert the law, it is only logical that California will want to keep up with the Jones’s — or King Georges’ as the case may be. Problem is that since Prop 22 was made law via a voter-initiative, then by law, only the voters can reverse it. And whereas the CA Supreme court is allowed to [jurisdictionally] review the state Constitution all day long, they cannot make law, grant special rights or override the people without a binding statute/legislation — nor can their Governor.

Look, if the citizens of California have changed their minds and now want to be able to marry their hamsters, then have at it, just another reason to annex the state back to Mexico. But even they are going to need another ballot initiative, constitutional amendment and/or binding legislation (ratified by the people) to reverse Prop 22. Acquiescing this legal premise is why judicial activism is on the rise and society on such a sharp decline. Nevertheless, Governor Schwarzenegger, in tandem with a rogue, liberal court, plans on ignoring the legally-binding, overwhelming will of his constituents and follow in Mitt & George’s footsteps. Wow Arnold — meet King George III.

While we are still awaiting commentary from our ostensible, conservative leaders, I have an opinion of my own regarding their culpability in all of this and you know who you are…I’m tired of being lied to by faux conservatives caught up in their own bureaucracies soliciting “fight the good fight” donations under the guise of advancing conservatism, which they only do when it fits their narrative. The more we understand and spread the word about the fundamental rule of law regarding these matters, the more we will reject those who have ignored it by publicly continuing to debate on the false premise that “Same-Sex Marriage” has or can be made legal via the judiciary.

It’s hard to pick which is worse:

  • Mitt Romney’s acquiescence to the open defiance of specific language in his state’s constitution by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which had no legal right to even accept the Goodridge case, let alone to render an opinion — “All causes of marriage – shall be heard and determined by the governor and council, until the legislature shall, by law, make other provision.” (PART THE SECOND, Ch. III, Article V.)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger’s near-eagerness to defy the expressed will of California’s people as described in the column.

Mitt Romney proved by what he did that he was, and remains, objectively unfit to hold public office. Schwarzenegger is about to do the same.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Big-Government Environmentalism Wears Out Its Welcome’) Is Up

It’s here.

Their home-page tease is pretty good too — “America’s presidential hopefuls are pushing government-heavy approaches to climate change — just as the rest of the world is rebelling against them.”

I will post the column here at BizzyBlog Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) under the title “Governments Find It’s Not Easy Being ‘Green’ While Trying to Fleece Citizens” after the blackout expires.

Follow-up thought: It’s interesting how the “we ought to follow world opinion” crowd, and their media water-carriers in the US, are stone silent on “the world’s” rejection of draconian taxes and living-standard reductions to fight “global warming.” Maybe it’s because the “rest of the world” has figured out that it’s all a bunch of globaloney.

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UPDATE: Today’s edition of the CCNet daily e-mail I referred to in the PJM column has these three stories leading it, each from the UK (links added by me) –

(1) GREEN TAXES ON THE ROPES AS PUBLIC BACKLASH GROWS — Local Transport Today, 30 May 2008

The Government was struggling to maintain its green taxation agenda on transport this week amid truckers’ fuel protests, a media onslaught and a revolt by its own backbenchers. Ministers, already alarmed at Labour’s plummeting poll ratings and stung by this month’s byelection defeat in Crewe and Nantwich, this week insisted that they were in listening mode to the protestors, which suggests they may be prepared to abandon policies that are central to their attempts to reduce transport’s carbon dioxide emissions.

(2) BROWN HIT BY WORST PARTY RATING EVER — Jeremy Lovell, Reuters, 30 May 2008

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s ruling Labour Party has registered its worst opinion poll showing since surveys began in 1943, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday. It said the YouGov poll showed Labour on 23 percent against 47 percent for the opposition Conservatives, underlining voter concerns about a slowing economy, rising fuel and food prices and a botched tax reform that have battered Brown’s popularity.

(3) GAS BILLS SET TO CRASH THROUGH THE £1,000 BARRIER — Gerri Peev, The Scotsman, 29 May 2008

Householders have been warned to brace themselves for “catastrophic” rises that could take their gas bills to £1,000 a year, after prices nudged to a record high yesterday. The average bill is set to soar by nearly £400 as energy companies prepare to pass on the costs of wholesale gas prices, which have surged. This would take the average gas bill from £665 to £1,091, the first time it has been more than £1,000. This is double what it was in January last year and treble the average bill just six years ago.

How is this not news in the US? If this were happening to Tony Blair over opposition to British military involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’d be reading about it daily.

UPDATE 2: In light of the previous update, isn’t it “amazing” that the New York Times’s coverage of Labor’s Crewe and Nantwich losses last week says absolutely nothing about unpopular “green” taxes on older vehicles or the truckers’ protest? In fact, you’ll see a bit of blame-shifting to the US (not kidding) for Gordon Brown’s troubles.

Positivity: Little Annie to rescue, in a big way

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Lake Oswego, Oregon:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pam Fischer usually wags a finger and says “hush” when her little dachshund, Annie, starts barking. But now, she’s glad her 9-1/2-pound friend has such a big mouth.

Around 1 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a complaint about a barking dog waking residents in the Lake Grove neighborhood. Sgt. John Brent expected to find a giant, frothing canine. Instead, he was confronted by a very small, very agitated dachshund that was so aggressive it blocked Brent’s patrol car.

At first Brent, who heads Lake Oswego’s police canine unit, tried to catch Annie — formally named Annabelle — but that only made things worse. Not only did the dog keep barking with unwavering ferocity, she wouldn’t let Brent pass and stopped him when he tried to leave in the other direction.

That’s when the officer heard a faint cry for help.

Following the sound, he discovered Fischer lying behind a bush. She’d been lying there, unable to get up, for nearly an hour.

The 60-year-old woman says she had returned from the airport earlier that evening, after visiting her parents in Hawaii. The 51/2-hour flight was an ordeal, so she took a shower. Afterward, she felt so refreshed that she took Annie for a walk.

But Fischer, who suffers from degenerative joint disease and walks with a cane, tripped when she tried to step up a high curb. Falling, she grabbed a flimsy street sign and hit her head. Down she went, and she couldn’t get up by herself.

“I knew I would be OK, if I could get a little help,” Fischer said. “But Annie went crazy. She was licking my face and barking. She knew I didn’t belong on the ground. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.

May 29, 2008

Despite Recession (/sarc), 1st Quarter 2008 GDP Growth Revised Upward to 0.9%

Predictions:
- Reuters — +0.9%.
- Bloomberg — +0.9%.

Actual (link here; the release timing at the top is wrong, but it IS today’s release; 9:30 a.m. – they fixed it): +0.9%.

As I’ve said several times, this is nowhere near acceptable. But it sure as bleep isn’t a recession.

UPDATE: Initial AP reax from BizzyBlog fave Jeannine “Averse to Positive News” Aversa (bolds are mine) –

The economy plodded ahead at a 0.9 percent pace in the first quarter – slightly better than first estimated – but still underscoring caution on the part of consumers and businesses walloped by housing, credit and financial problems.

….. The figure didn’t meet a definition of recession, which under a rough rule is two straight quarters of shrinking GDP, and might raise hopes the country can dodge a full-blown downturn.

Uh, Jeannine, even if the figure had been NEGATIVE, it wouldn’t have met the definition of recession.

The existence of a “downturn” requires a negative number; yet Aversa writes of avoiding a “full-blown downturn,” as if a smaller one already exists. Will somebody please tell poor Jeannine that there hasn’t been ANY “downturn” yet?

UPDATE 2: Warren “by any commonsense definition, we are in a recession” Buffett (first item at this link) will just have to spin harder.

These items are also discussed at this NewsBusters.org post.

Couldn’t Help But Comment (052908, Morning)

The faux recession tidbits from this morning’s earlier post reminded me to get to thisPer the Associated Press via USA Today, “Buffett sees USA in recession”:

Asked by Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly whether he thinks the U.S. could still avoid a recession, he said that as far as the average person is concerned, it’s already here.

“I believe that we are already in a recession,” Buffett was quoted by Spiegel as saying. “Perhaps not in the sense as defined by economists. … But people are already feeling the effects of a recession.”

“It will be deeper and longer than what many think,” he added.

Warren, what is “it”? Would that be the recession as economists define it, or as people feel it?

Gosh, I hate to be so cynical, but the report’s last paragraph struck me:

Omaha-based Berkshire has about $35 billion in cash and is looking to invest. Berkshire’s subsidiaries include insurance, clothing, furniture, natural gas, corporate jet and candy companies. Berkshire also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co. and Anheuser-Busch Cos.

It seems to me that Buffett would benefit greatly if there is a recession, or at least if people think there’s one, even when there’s not. The two companies cited are old reliables that investors gravitate to for safety when times are tough. Additionally, that $35 billion will buy a lot more in acquisitions if people think the economy is bad and asset prices go down.

Update: Buffett told CNBC in early March that “I would say, by any commonsense definition, we are in a recession.” This is the same Buffett, with tons of money to invest, who famously said that he wants to invest in times of pessimism.

The Oracle has no clothes — He clearly stands to benefit from feeding the pessimism, and appears to be on a campaign to feed it.

These items are also discussed at this NewsBusters.org post.

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Here’s one of the latest “gaffes” (as of about 12 hours ago, so I may be behind by two or three at this point) by the presidential candidate I irreverently refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas HusseinObambi“ Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters). He said that he isn’t interested in going to Iraq with John McCain to see what conditions are like on the ground, or in meeting with General Petraeus.

He apparently revised that later by saying he’s “considering” visiting Iraq himself (HT Ben Keeler at The Point). But we know from previous statements that Obama will meet with Iran’s Ahmadinejad without preconditions.

Why the visceral initial negative reaction to Iraq and Petraeus? I’ll tell you why: It’s the same reflexive dislike and distrust of the military Bill Clinton and his wife, the presidential candidate I refer to as “HR4C” (Hillary Rodham Cackling Crying Complaining Clinton), brought to the White House in 1993.

Does anyone doubt that Obama and a Democratic majority would further gut the military, as Clinton did, if they get the chance?

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Another reason why Obama might not want to go to Iraq, or anywhere else outside the cozy confines of the US, from IBDeditorials.com (bolds are mine):

They said the surge would fail. They claimed we had no allies. They called Iraq a quagmire. They sought to cut and run. Now, our victories over terror are accelerating across the world.

Take a look at what happened in the global war on terror just over the Memorial Day weekend:

Iraqi forces ran al-Qaida terrorists out of Mosul, the terror organization’s final urban stronghold.

….. Iraqi troops also cleaned out Basra and Sadr City, reducing any prospect for domestic insurgents to take power by force. Along with al-Qaida, these terrorists may try to continue, but the will is fading as the pressure is ratcheted up.

In Colombia ….. three of FARC’s seven top leaders have been killed since March, and the rest are headed “for the grave …..

Hundreds of FARC foot soldiers are now furtively phoning the government to beg for a deal.

….. British forces for the first time drove the Taliban from a southern stronghold in a 96-hour battle this month.

….. In the south Philippines, Marxist and Muslim terrorists are desperate.

….. In Egypt’s al-Qaida inner circle, a leading jihad ideologue, using the nom de guerre Dr. Fadl, has now openly questioned terrorism as a tactic, given al-Qaida’s mounting losses. He threatened to renounce violence — a new blow to the jihadists.

Has there ever been such an epidemic of terrorist surrender? And the trend is growing. For the first time, the possibility of a world without major terror organizations is real. The world has shrunk for them, while the nations that fight back are getting stronger.

Significantly, those doing much of the winning are U.S. allies — the ones we supposedly don’t have.

The British have sprung to life after years of ineffectiveness. They now show their old mettle as they break the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi, Colombian and Philippine militaries have become effective anti-terrorist fighters after U.S. training. Those countries’ forces were directly responsible for victory in Mosul, and big reversals in the jungles of Colombia and Philippines.

As victories crescendo, it should be trumpeted loudly: The surge is working.

This is all happening in a month where US military deaths in Iraq will (praying) be the lowest in over four years.

Obviously, at least to me, it’s more than “the surge.” And though I’m hesitant to go as far as IBD did, given the nature of the enemy, it seems clear that an Obama trip outside the US would do nothing more than show how wrong he and his party have been all these years.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (052908, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 8:02 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • A Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday noted that countries like Mexico (!) and Indonesia are taking steps to reduce tariffs on imports and cut subsidies, while our Congress moves in the opposite, economy-stifling direction.
  • Last week, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters told the truth, for once — “And, guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be about socializing… uh, will be about, basically taking over and the government running all of your companies.” Video is at Gateway Pundit. Priceless: The length of the pause, and her facial expressions, while Waters figures out what she’ll say next. By the way, do you think anyone besides Fox ran this video? Allah at Hot Air says that no other TV outlet touched it.
  • This CNN “it’s worse than it looks” piece profiles a Pittsburgh couple with five kids, three grown, “struggling to stay in the same place.” The husband is a software engineer. The story doesn’t say whether the wife works, even part-time. If she doesn’t, there’s no indication in the report that they’ve even considered it. Why is that (I acknowledge that there can be lots of good reasons)? Did the reporter even ask?
  • That same CNN piece has this inane comment from a different person at the end — “That’s the scariest part. Is my grocery bill going to double again? What will we do?” Pal, if your grocery billed has doubled, it must be that you’re not pushing yourself away from the kitchen table. This Associated Press report says that food inflation in general was 4% last year, and cites increases on specific items ranging from 7% to 13%.
  • Which reminds me — The AP report I just referred to is a classic “look at the headline, but please don’t read me” story. The headline, “Sales of Spam rise as consumers trim food costs,” is supposed to make readers think that millions of people can’t afford anything better. When you read the detail, you see that Spam sales are up, not because of hard times, but because the company embarked on its first national advertising campaign for the product, and has created “new products like individually packaged ‘Spam Singles’ slices.”
  • Which further reminds me — The Business & Media Institute found that business reporting today is “so outlandishly negative that coverage of the Bear Stearns buyout was vastly worse than reporting of the 1929 stock market crash.”

Marvel: Printing May Never Be the Same — Memjet Technology

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From the company’s home page, this is a Positivity Post because there are video demos at the site show that the technology works:

Memjet technology is a patented breakthrough in print engine components that delivers the benefits of ink and laser technologies at radically new price/performance levels. Memjet technology is comprised of four tightly integrated components: page-width printheads, driver chips, ink and software. Printheads are comprised of individual microchip segments, joined together into page-width printing systems with 70,400 nozzles in a standard A4/letter printer, delivering color page-width printing at 60 pages per minute. The printheads and driver chips can scale from 20mm to large format sizes, enabling printing in virtually any width. Customized water-based inks ensure great print quality whether printing photos, office documents or industrial labels.

You must see at least one of the video demos available at the site. Some of them are:

  • Photo retail — shows 4×6 photos printing in 1-2 seconds.
  • Wide-format — a 1600 dpi banner at least four feet wide is produced at a rate of 12 inches per second.
  • Home and office — full-color documents at 60 pages per minute.
May 28, 2008

Michigan Shows That Supply-Side Econ Also Works When You Raise Taxes….

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:24 pm

…. but in the wrong direction:

….. the latest news of Michigan’s deepening budget woe is a national warning of what happens when you raise taxes in a weak economy.

Officials in Lansing reported this month that the state faces a revenue shortfall between $350 million and $550 million next budget year. This is a major embarrassment for Governor Jennifer Granholm, the second-term Democrat who shut down the state government last year until the Legislature approved Michigan’s biggest tax hike in a generation. Her tax plan raised the state income tax rate to 4.35% from 3.9%, and increased the state’s tax on gross business receipts by 22%. Ms. Granholm argued that these new taxes would raise some $1.3 billion in new revenue that could be “invested” in social spending and new businesses and lead to a Michigan renaissance.

Not quite. Six months later one-third of the expected revenues have vanished as the state’s economy continues to struggle. Income tax collections are falling behind estimates, as are property tax receipts and those from the state’s transaction tax on home sales.

When a government increases taxes on economic activity, it gets less of it, meaning that tax collections come in lower than expected, e.g., Michigan.

When a government cuts taxes on economic activity a bit, it gets a bit more economic activity, meaning that the expected reduction in tax collections ends up not being as high as expected.

When a government cuts taxes by enough to really matter, its get lots more economic activity, often to the point where tax collections end up being higher — sometimes a lot higher — than they were before, e.g., the 2001 and especially the 2003 Bush tax cuts.

Yet the reality denial by those who believe they can tax us into prosperity, like Michigan’s Granholm (and in Ohio, former Governor Bob Taft and the go-along General Assembly that cooperated with him), never stops.