Getting Off Politics For A Minute

This was posted on No Kool-Aid, Just Goldwater and the writer is a fellow contributor at Conservative Badlands. All I can say about this post is, "Angela, you are right and thanks." Happy New Year, world.

There was about a month in my life where I was staring my own mortality right in the eye. First I needed surgery, and then I was waiting for the test results. They'd found a rather large ovarian tumor, and anyone old enough to remember Gilda Radner probably knows what that can mean. By the time ovarian cancer causes any symptoms, it has usually spread and is often terminal. They couldn't tell me before surgery that my tumor wasn't cancer - they weren't encouraging at all, really.

Terrified doesn't begin to describe what I was feeling.

I had almost a month between when I first landed in ER with abdominal pain, and when I saw the doctor post-op, to finally get all of the biopsy and pathology results.

I had almost a month to wonder if I would even see my daughter through to the end of her freshman year of high school, much less graduate high school, college, get married, etc.

I had almost a month to conclude that as challenging as my marriage can be at times, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. But I had that same month to mourn the dreams we'd shared for our retirement, when we'd finally have some real time to devote to each other, to really enjoy life.

It's quite an experience, to stare down your own mortality for an extended basis - to not only see your life flash before your eyes, but have time to contemplate the future that might not be.

This time, mortality blinked first. My tumor was a rare type that looks malignant, but is benign.

I'd like to think I learned something from the experience, other than the need for more regular preventive care and checkups.

It's pretty cornball, but I try (and yes, sometimes fail) to remember who and what is really important.

I try to be slower to anger and faster to forgive. My pride is a lot easier to swallow these days - I'd much rather lose a little face than lose precious time with loved ones that I'll never get back.

I may not talk to my parents a lot more often now, but I tell them I love them on every call, something I didn't used to do.

I'm not perfect, and I'm not a doormat, but the experience gave me some Teflon for the soul. Some things that would have infuriated me or deeply wounded me often just slide off now. I probably have a nice, long life ahead of me now - but what if I don't? I'd rather choose my battles more carefully, and not waste time on crap that just won't matter when I am on my deathbed, whenever that may be.

This was all a couple of years ago, but every once in a while, I need to remind myself.

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America’s wars and the next administration

Good article on President Elect Obama's foreign policy dilemmas. From the Western Experience.

Will Obama soon be forced to take ownership of America’s foreign wars just as Nixon did during Vietnam? Will the proposed troop surges in Afghanistan and the strategy to leave a sizable residual force in Iraq be seen as escalation and prolongation of the two wars by an Obama administration?

The long awaited decision on the Iraq troop withdrawal has all but ended. The Bush administration began hammering out SOFA agreements in the past months and the soon-to-be-arriving Obama administration added urgency to the process. The troop reduction will begin sometime in 2009 and is scheduled to be complete by 2010 or 2011. Of course, the unknown variables remain a huge part of the equation for the formula on success. If the security situation remains stable the withdrawal may go smoothly and according the plans hashed out by the U.S. and Iraq governments.

However, if the departure signals to the insurgency, believed to be somewhere between scattered and dormant, that they are back in business then obviously all bets are off and America will find itself in the fight for another round.

To those who expect a full withdrawal will be sorely disappointed. Roughly, a little more than a third of the troops are set to depart. Those are the troops serving in combat, frontline, roles in providing security for Iraq.

There will be an estimated 70,000 to 90,000 troops still remaining in Iraq. Withdrawal used in the language of the SOFA agreement is purposely misleading and leaves a large amount of leeway for both governments to remain flexible.

We may consider this phase two or the Iraqi project. The forces left in place will help provide for training, logistics, and security and to ensure that democracy has the opportunity to take root and blossom. Furthermore, Iraq has always been a bold longterm project. Their government has ambitions in becoming a prosperous, powerful and free nation. Nuclear ambitions are not out of the question, though, it is doubtful if it would mean anything other than peaceful purposes. These goals take time and it takes security for the infant democracy to grow. Americans can expect a longterm presence in Iraq with tens-of-thousands of troops scattered in various bases around the country.

This will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to some Americans who expected and rather naively believed that U.S. troop presence would vanish 16-months into the new Obama administration. It also may cause a backlash to Obama in Iraq itself. Since violence has been reduced, but likely to continue on some scale, a lot of Iraqis are expecting the presence of the U.S. to be gone soon.

It will be interesting to see what agreements and decisions will be made on Iraq after January 20, 2009.

In the meantime, we can judge for ourselves what the new Obama administration plans to do in Afghanistan. Admiral Mike Mullen announced that the Pentagon could double the existing forces there by 20,000 – 30,000 troops bringing the total up to 60,000. This comes on the heels of the report that showed this year was the deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001. Admiral Mullen also stated the 31,000 troops already in place were plenty combat efficient but more troops were needed to control and pacify the territory that had been cleared of Taliban.

President-elect Obama stated several times throughout this campaign that more focus was needed in Afghanistan and called for additional troops in the country. It appears that the Pentagon has announced an important piece of Obama’s early foreign policy initiatives and gives a good indication on what America, and the world, can expect from America’s military and goals in the Mid East.

The biggest questions are these: will the additional troops simply come from the ones pulled out of Iraq? Will Obama trade one war for another? And by doing so, does he inherent both wars especially by escalating forces in Afghanistan and leaving a sizable force in Iraq? Does he risk spreading the military too thin by committing to Afghanistan while Iraq is still susceptible to homegrown terror?

President-elect Obama may find himself in the same shoes that Nixon was forced to try on. He inherited an unpopular war on January 20, 1969, that America stumbled into under Kennedy and was woefully mismanaged by Johnson. Nixon withdrew forces, but because of reality it was not quick enough, and the death count was still too high for America to stomach in war that most did not understand. President Nixon called for devastating bombing campaigns along with renewed ground campaigns that sent the enemy finally reeling but was accused of escalation by doing so. Eventually his bold actions led America out of Vietnam but not before he was forced to assume ownership of the same war he campaigned against and was elected to halt.

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General Motors: Here a Billion There a Billion

From The Stafford Voice.

Good article on the where your tax dollars are going, funding inadequate managerial models and unionized fat cats. Lovely, eh?

Billions of Federal injections came to General Motors today as they received one “bailout” after another, thanks mostly in part to GMAC.

Last Wednesday, GMAC had all but staked their claim of TARP funding by changing over to a bank holding company. With a deadline quickly approaching, and sweat beading from the brow of GM exec's, today the Treasury has allotted GM's financing arm $5 billion. However, the Treasury did not stop there. Another $1 billion would be lent to GM in order to help in the reorganization as a bank holding company.

Bloomberg reports:

The fresh capital from the Treasury's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program will enable GMAC to expand lending to car buyers, which in turn may help save GM.

The NYTimes states:
The Treasury will buy $5 billion worth of preferred equity shares in GMAC, which used to be the financing subsidiary of General Motors and is now owned jointly by GM and Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns Chrysler.

Both GM and Chrysler had been, and still are, working very hard in order for this to be finalized. Both companies had spokespeople saying they were in final stages of completing all the paperwork.

Currently, Reuters reports Ford Motor Co has said its liquidity was adequate for now and that it did not need a loan at this point. This comes at a time when both Chrysler and GM are dipping ever so deeply into their cash reserves.

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El Coyote Plot Thickens

I have stayed away from culture war issues in the past. Largely due to fact that the arguments really don't go anywhere, with either side. It usually ends up in worthless banter and rhetoric spewing, you know, the usual populist garbage du jour. However, the personal issue the LGBT community has with Marjorie Christoffersen is rather disturbing and shows a distinct bent of hypocrisy.

Here are examples of Ms. Christoffersen's hate-mongering and homophobia.

From Right Wing News,

Right Wing News-When one of her gay employee's partner died from AIDS, Marjorie paid for his mother to fly out for his funeral.

She went on to say, "Over the years Coyote has financially supported many charities and thousands of dollars most particularly have been given to the gay interests and charities. The restaurant does not support any political group." She then became too emotional to continue. She has since resigned from El Coyotes'.
At least this evil and vile creature has been dispensed of. Kudos to the LGBT community for the infatada against Mormon zealots like Ms.
Christoffersen, hopefully she has learned her lesson. Viva la Gay revolution!!

Have no fears, the other hate-mongers and homophobes at the restaurant are running with fear. Like head-bigot-in-charge and manager, Billy Schoeppner.

Right Wing News-The openly-gay restaurant manager Billy Schoeppner, announced that El Coyote would make two $5,000 contributions, each to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and the Lambda Legal Defense Fund. All this has not been enough for the gay activists though. They felt there wasn't an "outright apology."
More Right Wing propaganda, all in the name of hiding behind their veil of hypocrisy and HATE!!!

Right Wing News-All of this has backfired on the gay activist community, making them seem shrill, vindictive, and mean. Even supporters of gay marriage are turned off by these tactics of intimidation. People should be free to give to causes they believe in without worry that some radical group is going to use that information to attack them and the business they work for. It's just wrong and any reasonable person can see that.

For the life of me I cannot see why the gay community doesn't put the full force of their passion into getting civil unions passed in all states. The majority of Americans are fine with that, and it would give gay couples the legal rights of any married couple.

Of course this is from a Right Wing news pub, if you want to call it news. They have even subverted the great minds of Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic, who led the investigation into the "twoof" behind Sarah Palin's "grandson" Trig and Mellisa Etheridge, who is obviously off her meds.


Maybe I need to be a little clearer,

(I think my sarcasm gets the point across. Maybe someone will realize how ridiculous all of this bemoaning and feet stamping by the LGBT activists really is? Maybe somebody will do it the right way and not through intimidation? Probably not.)

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Israeli Ground Game


Israel's devastating response to the Hamas rocket attacks is escalating even further. So far, almost 300+ are reported dead in Palestine and many Hamas symbols of power lay in ruin. And the attacks seem to be just ramping up.

According to an AP report, the Israeli army has just re-called almost 6,500 reservists, doubled the number of troops of the Gaza border, and called up an artillery battery to the border, also.

Israeli operations have not just been isolated to Gaza City. From Media Line, air-strikes, in the opening hours of the operation, have also been launched against the tunneling operations between Egypt and the Gaza strip. These conduits have been serving contraband outlets supplying terrorists with logistics to keep up operations against Israel. Estimates have been made that at least 40 of the tunnels have been hit so far. Egyptian officials were warned prior to the air raids so that their forces could be pulled back from the border.

The IDF is giving more hints for an upcoming ground offensive in Gaza. From Reuters, "You've got to go," an army spokesman told a Reuters correspondent after she appealed a military police directive to clear out. Excluding the press could help Israel keep under wraps its preparations for a possible ground assault against Hamas."

Meanwhile in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, seems to share these concerns. From; in a televised speech Nasrallah said, "This is exactly what happened with us. The possibilities and the same possibilities, the conspiracy is the same, the battle is the same battle, and the result, Allah willing, will be the same result," the Hezbollah leader told the crowd."

Although a two front war, one in the south with Hamas and another in the north with Hezbollah, would stretch the IDF further. Nasrallah has given no indication that they will be attacking Israel in the near future. Most of his rhetoric has been directed at the Arab world., "In a televised speech, Nasrallah attacked the Arab world, accusing some Arab nations of collaborating with Israel. He urged residents of Arab states to take to the streets to protest the IDF attacks. "

All of this, and Pakistan moving about 100,000 troops to the Indian border. What can you say, just another day at that the office.

Articles on the conflict:

CS Monitor-
Gaza: Why Israel and Hamas are trading rocket fire-Good overview of events.

CNN World-
Barak: Israel in 'all-out war' with Hamas-Some surprisingly good reporting from CNN.

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On the Hill (Axelrod, RNC, Pat Quinn)

Been awhile since an "On the Hill" segment. Take a look at what the blathering herd has to say today. So, without further adieu, here it is; Axelrod says he won't be another Rove, RNC soul for sale, and Chicago Lt. Governor Quinn as confused as Blago.

Axelrod says he won’t be another Rove

The White House adviser David Axelrod said Sunday that he will focus on helping the country and not spend his time worrying about President-elect Obama’s reelection.

“Our view is that we’ve got tremendous challenges in this country right now, and what we should be thinking about is how we’re going to address those and not the next election,” Axelrod said on NBC’ “Meet the Press” when asked to compare his role to that of former Bush adviser Karl Rove. “And if we do that well, the next election will take care of itself."

Axelrod stated that his job would be to help “disseminate the message of Barack Obama, working with the communications team to make sure that we’re true to the ideals and the values and the programs that he wants to advance in this country.” read more...

Hmm, doesn't sound much different from what Rove did. After all, he progressed Bush policies and completely strayed from campaign promises. Kind of like what the Obama administration is doing right now. Axelrod may not be trying to be like Rove, he sounds like he is trying to one up him.

Ideology steers RNC chairman race

The battle for the soul of the Republican Party has spilled over into the contest for national committee chairman, as conservative members are prodding candidates to shift their way.

Now that the presidential campaign is over and the congressional leadership elections are settled, conservative activists are turning to the race for chairman as their next chance to shape the party.

Already, one candidate has come under fire for his association with a centrist organization, while a group of prominent RNC members is set to put others through an exhaustive test of their personal conservatism. read more...

Battle for the heart and soul? Most of the 168 member voting bloc of the RNC are as brain dead as the candidates they have been putting up for elections. Instead of listening to gang of 168, here is a new approach for us; try listening to the everyday conservative who is in the trenches. They might be able to steer the Party in the right direction, where the "intellects" have failed.

Quinn predicts Blagojevich will be removed soon

The Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) on Sunday predicted that the state legislature would remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) from office before Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday on February 12.

The Illinois state House can impeach Blagojevich with a simple majority, and it takes two-thirds of the Senate to convict.

“There’s far more [senators] than that ready to” remove Blagojevich, the lieutenant governor claimed on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” read more...

Seems like everybody up in Chi-Town is living in a dream world. Blagojevich for thinking he didn't do anything wrong, Madigan for thinking she could get him proven mentally unfit for office, and now the Lt. Gov. for promising he will be out by Feb. 12th. Personally I don't see it happening, just MHO though.

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The Pelosi Prerogative

Obama's strange retreat to the left-of-center and moderate cabinet appointments, has caused some speculation on the Left that he will not govern as a pure Progressive. Many, with a California agenda in mind for the rest of the country, do not seem to thrilled with this prospect.

In an interview with The, former Democratic Sen. Richard Bryan (Nev.)said, “Because the Democratic caucus is itself diverse, reflecting many different points of view, it will be a challenge for the leadership to keep that coalition of interests together on the priorities established.”

In no uncertain terms, have either Nancy Pelsoi or Harry Reid given any indication that they will relinquish control of their fiefdoms to a central authority like the White House. In fact it is quite to the contrary.

Reid has stated, according to The, that Biden will not be welcomed to the weekly Democratic Senate luncheons, except on a few occasions. A stark contrast to their Republican counterparts who had an open door policy with VP Cheney.

According to, Pelosi has already made it clear to Emanuel that there will be no back door dealings with individual Democratic members of the House and all attempts at contact will be made through her. She has even gone as far as to demand the she has knowledge of contact between Emanuel's staff and the Senate.

Pelosi, unlike Reid, actually may have the clout to be dictatorial with the Obama administration. The Democratic caucus from California has 34 members, the largest from any other state. There are many key Obama administration positions also held by California natives. And Rep. Henry Waxman is serving as the White House liaison to Congress. This makes the California delegation fairly powerful and influential throughout Congress and the White House.

There are other problems facing the Obama administrationas well. Even in the past, when Democrats controlled Congress, there was never this amount of segregation within the party. Right now you have; the Hispanic caucus, the Black caucus, the progressive caucus, the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition.

Obama might look forward to dealing with such problems as India and Pakistan, Israel and Hamas, and Russia. These situations might prove far easier to tame than Pelosi and the rest of the Democratically controlled Congress. Who knows, Republicans might end up being the best friends Obama has ever had.

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Israel and Hamas, Round One

Hamas has resumed hostilities with Israel by increasing its rocket attacks on Israel proper. The Israelis, in-turn, responded with a massive air-strike against Hamas held facilities killing 210 and wounding 750.

The Israeli attack started at about 11:30 AM. This was done in retaliation for the lightly press covered week of rocket attacks Hamas began launching on December 19th. Within 30 minutes, the Israeli Air Force hit almost 30 targets, most were security compounds held by Hamas.

Israel Prime Minister Olmert said "The air strikes, dubbed “Operation Cast Lead” by the government, are designed to stop rocket attacks by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza."

One of the more surprising events was how stunned Hamas was by the level of Israel's response. With elections only six weeks away, it seems that they had assumed that Olmert would not attack with such force due to election pressures. Another factor of interest, is today is the Jewish Sabbath. Perhaps, Hamas might have figured this would give them a day or two free of military action by the Israeli Defense Forces. Of course, Israel has engaged in military operations on Holy days, as it did in the Yom Kippur War.

It seems that Hamas is getting a very painful lesson for its troubles. This is not to say that Operation Cast Lead will decimate the terrorist group, but, it might stave off Hamas attacks for a little while. Giving Israel a chance to breath at the least.

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Gay McCarthyism and Tyranny of the Minority


A raucous is being raised by the homosexual community over a small restaurant's donation of $100 to the Prop 8 campaign. Attempts at appealing to the protesters by making and even larger one to repeal Prop 8 still has not quelled gay activists from boycotting the business.

After a sit down with activists at the restaurant, the El Coyote, the group could still not be dissuaded from their protest. El Coyote employees raised $500 to be donated to repealing Prop 8. However, the "activists" were adamant that Marjorie Christoffersen, the woman who made the original donation and daughter of the owner, donate $100 to assist in the repealing Prop 8 campaign, personally.

Christoffersen refused on grounds of her Mormon faith. As she left the meeting "You are not my friend if you take my civil rights," was shouted at her by an activist.

El Coyote manager's have stated that their business has been slashed by 30% since the onset of protesting. According to a Wall Street Journal article, internet blacklists of businesses, where one or more employees or management, donated to the Yes on 8 campaign are appearing.

Tyranny of the Minority:

The Wall Street Law Blog just ran a post on which grounds California AG, Jerry Brown, is attempting to declare Prop 8 unconstitutional before the state Supreme Court.

WSJ LawBlog-Although voters are allowed to amend other parts of the Constitution by majority vote, to use the ballot box to take away an “inalienable” right would establish a “tyranny of the majority,” which the Constitution was designed, in part, to prevent, he wrote. “For we are talking, necessarily, about rights of individuals or groups against the larger community, and against the majority — even an overwhelming majority — of the society as a whole.”
Interesting that McCarthyism and legal intervention, blocking the will of the voters, are now the new weapons of the LGBT community; all under the guise of protecting "civil rights." While homosexuals engage in selective targeting operations of people who opposed their movement. Not one iota of thought is being given to the civil rights of these individuals who backed Prop 8. They have been relegated to smear campaigns, vandalism, and now blacklisting. Unfortunately, there is nothing civil about any of this.

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Blagojevich Files (Blag's Lawyer Wants to Subpoena Obama Staff)

Blagojevich's attorney, Ed Genson, is doing a full court press with the state panel overseeing the Governor's impeachment process. Genson is requesting more than a dozen Obama staffers to be subpoenaed, they include; Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, more than a dozen others, and including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Video from MSNBC,

Odds are that this would somehow interfere with ongoing prosecution of Blagojevich. Or, it could be a test run, by Genson, to see what will work once Blag is indicted. Unlikely that much will come of it.

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China, America's Economic Drug


After a decade or so of rampant American consumerism and deficit spending, while relying on the Chinese to bankroll it. The stale reality of what it costs just maybe coming home to roost here in the United States.

The problem has been very simple, America has engaged in a gluttony of buying cheap Chinese manufactured products. Thus generating a huge profit return for the Chinese government. Then in turn, they would finance the US government's deficit spending, using manufacturing profits, by buying up billions worth of government bonds and government mortgage backed securities. (Total invested by China so far, $1,000,000,000,000.) This massive investment allowed interest rates to be lowered to such a point to fuel the aggressive housing purchases which led up to the mortgage crisis.

From the New York Times article,Chinese Savings Helped Inflate American Bubble ,
NYTimes-Chinese leaders chose to park the bulk of that in safe securities backed by the American government, including Treasury bonds and the debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which had implicit government backing.
The Chinese were able to keep their products at all time lows by refusing to allow the value of their currency to be affected by the market. There was no moderation of their manufacturing potential, which allowed them to horde their profits. Americans, in the meantime, were exercising their right to spend. Americans were buying up every product with "Made in China" stamped on the back of it, funding the Chinese loans to US government in the form of profits. Simply put, frugality versus consumption.

NYTimes-China tied itself even more tightly to the United States than did Japan. In 1995, it devalued its currency and set a firm exchange rate of roughly 8.3 to the dollar, a level that remained fixed for a decade.
Now that we are in the process of spending $700 billion TARP fund and getting ready to acquire almost $ 1 trillion more debt for an Obama stimulus package. Guess who is waiting in the wings to loan us the capital?

NYTimes-The Treasury is conducting more auctions than ever to finance its $700 billion bailout of the banks. Still more will be needed to pay for the incoming Obama administration’s stimulus package. The United States, economists say, will depend on the Chinese to keep buying that debt, perpetuating the American habit.
However, as Americans are revisiting the "old-fashion" ideas of frugality and spend-thriftiness the demand for foreign products are slowing. Taking into account China's own addiction and dependency on American consumption, the result for them may be as equally harmful.

From, world’s fourth-largest economy grew at the slowest pace in five years in the third quarter as a global recession cut demand for exports and companies reduced output. Overcapacity in almost all industries and “unprecedented” drops in some commodity prices may hurt profits further, Li Yizhong, head of the nation’s industry regulator, said this month.
This recession is a unprecedented opportunity for America to let the free-market work in its favor. By re-industrializing, the United States can return to its own reliance on Stateside profits to finance its needs. Also, enticing some foreign investment back into the country, however, creating an environment in which there is equitable trade between partners, not rivals.

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Merry X-mas!

Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas. Remember, it is one the day of the year where the best in most of us comes out. Try and keep it that way always. It is the best birthday gift you could give Christ.

Merry Christmas to you and yours
and God Bless.

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Biden' Christmas Gift: Excuses for Upcoming Failures

Now I understand why the Obama camp has sought to sequester ole Joe from the media and the public. Even when given soft-ball questions by the likes of Larry King, he can still find a way to same something ...well...stupid.

From the Politico,
Politico-Vice President-elect Joe Biden is worried about the “exceedingly high expectations” the world community has for Barack Obama’s presidency.
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that what we were lead to believe? Wasn't the bar raised so high that this is the what we should expect?

This is an excerpt from an interview between Spencer Ackerman and unidentified Obama foreign policy advisers on the American Prospect back in March.

AmPros-To answer these questions, I spoke at length with Obama's foreign-policy brain trust, the advisers who will craft and implement a new global strategy if he wins the nomination and the general election. They envision a doctrine that first ends the politics of fear and then moves beyond a hollow, sloganeering "democracy promotion" agenda in favor of "dignity promotion," to fix the conditions of misery that breed anti-Americanism and prevent liberty, justice, and prosperity from taking root. An inextricable part of that doctrine is a relentless and thorough destruction of al-Qaeda. Is this hawkish? Is this dovish? It's both and neither -- an overhaul not just of our foreign policy but of how we think about foreign policy. And it might just be the future of American global leadership. read more...
In short, and highly lacking on specifics and Obambiguous, a re-shifting in the philosophy of foreign policy. A dream, minus the reality of intelligence briefs, which will fundamentally change the way America does business abroad. Instead of dropping JDAM's and Daisy-Cutters, we bomb them with bunny rabbits and balloons.

Biden has gone on further to tout Obama's promise of returning home America's premiere Alpha-Dogs, the US military, before the timeline laid out in the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) made with Iraq not to long ago. (Kudos to Lameduck President Bush for that one.) Although, this falls short of the Pres-elect's premature ejaculatory promise of 16 months, as Joey reminds us. But, don't you fret none, it's in the same ballpark.

Politico-But Biden also signaled that there might be some flexibility in another key Obama campaign promise that world leaders are watching closely: bringing home troops from Iraq. Biden said troops would be out “within the next two years” — longer than President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign promise of within 16 months but “in the same ballpark,” Biden said.
However, as Liberal-Hawk, Samantha Power said, the ending of the Iraq war mindset is of the utmost importance, at least in March. How inspirational, I wonder if our enemies are as equally inspired by such wise words as to lay down their arms? And please quell all fears, Obama and his team are going back to one of America's greatest generals, Franklin Roosevelt, for their inspiration.

AmPros-"He goes back to Roosevelt," Power says. "Freedom from fear and freedom from want. What if we actually offered that? What if we delivered that in the developing world? That would be a transformative agenda for us." The end of the Iraq War mind-set, it turns out, may be the beginning of America's reacquaintance with its best traditions.
Final thoughts on Obama foreign policy; what a joke.

Note: I would like to take a moment to thank my brothers and sisters, in the military, making the ultimate sacrifice to deploy abroad. You are the reason my family and I can be safe on this Christmas eve. I will never be able to say thank you enough for what you are giving up. May God bless you and make you successful in all endeavors.

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Left Wing, Right Wing, and Terrorist Wing Blogs

No one could ever deny the impact that significant Left Wing bloggers have had on the Democratic Party. It was so powerful that their Right Wing counterparts are attempting the same coup d'etat. What is often overlooked by the mainstream is the impact that terrorist blogs and message forums are having on the terrorist wing. Well, it seems the Feds haven't ignored it.

From USA Today,

WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department may soon start scouring the Internet to find blogs and message boards that terrorists use to plan attacks in the USA.

The effort comes as researchers are seeing terrorists increasingly use the Internet to plan bombings, recruit members and spread propaganda. "Blogging and message boards have played a substantial role in allowing communication among those who would do the United States harm," the department said in a recent notice.

Homeland Security officials are looking for companies to search the Internet for postings "in near to real-time which precede" an attack, particularly a bombing. Bombings are "of great concern" because terrorists can easily get materials and make an improvised-explosive device (IED), the department said. read more...
A fairly innovative approach that is long overdue. Sometimes, HumInt isn't face-to-face, but, screen-to-screen.

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America's Liberal Shift?

The GOP was unarguably massacred in 2008 on several fronts; in the Presidential election, the House, and the Senate races. At first glance, there seems to have been a shift in the paradigm of thought within the American voter’s mind. But the question remains, was it against conservative principles and a movement towards a more modern progressive-left philosophy? Or was it a repudiation for the betrayal voters felt that the Bush administration, enabled by a Republican held Congress, had perpetrated on them?

President Bush has been accused on numerous occasions of floating in the waters of the Liberal Left and abandoning the more conservative ways of the GOP’s Reagan Revolution. With President Bush, we received a bill of goods that was not what was promised. In the NRO piece, Bush the Hall Monitor, authors Frederick M. Hess & Michael J. Petrillita take note of this.

At a recent speaking engagement at the American Enterprise Institute, President Bush spoke about his main domestic accomplishment, the No Child Left Behind Act.

NRO-“The basic principle inherent in No Child Left Behind, the philosophy of it, remained very much intact in the bill — and it’s working,” he said." You can compromise points, but don’t sell out the principle that is inherent in the bill.”
Originally presented as conservative styled reform which, in principal, sought to increase the successes of output while downsizing the interference of legislators. However, after numerous compromises with the Left the face of NCLB, was quite different. What was reached was a increase in federal micromanagement, race based accountability for schools, and an increase of federal spending on education with little effort to enforce transparency on how the money is being spent.

Then we have the bailouts; the biggest Bush shot at fiscal conservatism was the highly controversial $700 billion reactionary TARP. The main problem with the TARP was that no one took a breath and at least tried to figure out how to do it properly. Fear was motivating a solution.

From the Brookings Institute,
Brookings-What went wrong with TARP? The GAO audit observes that Treasury has failed to track how banks are deploying their TARP dollars. Legislators argue that Treasury has undermined congressional intent by failing to use TARP funds to help stem the tide of residential foreclosures and by being too lenient on banks receiving taxpayer capital.
Not many people argued against a shot of liquidity for banks, but what has been questioned is the amount of power given to Secretary Paulson, the amount of taxpayer money being spent, and how deployment of these loans was never regulated. The Bush economic doctrine has been spend, spend, spend, and when the economy tanked, it was spend some more. Only this time the largess has pushed free-market capitalism to the brink of socialism.

The second volley was the Auto Bailout and the administration’s betrayal of Senate Republicans, who blocked the measure, by possibly allocating funds to the UAW and Big 3 without any real stipulations (Ford, as of now, has not chosen to partake in TARP assistance.).

As G. Tracy Mehan, III points out in his article on the American Spectator, Compassionate Conservatism for Detroit,
AmSpec-What the Bush administration has essentially done is hand out many billions of dollars with essentially zero leverage over the final restructuring of the companies including the product lines and platforms, dealerships, UAW wages, benefits and work rules. The so-called conditions are so much hot air. Absent a pre-arranged or "orderly bankruptcy," the Big Two will most assuredly become perpetual wards of the federal government with two of three branches firmly in control of the Democratic Party and, pari passu, the UAW. There will be no true reform or accountability. It is the same old same-old.

Many Republican constituents have felt duped by actions that the Bush administration has carried out over eight years. The particular situations only highlight the administration’ s sinking into a sea of government expansion and Republican Socialism. Many of the President’s policies have deviated from the tenets of conservatism thus alienating a large segment of the GOP’s voting base.

Kristin Soltis of Pollster. com showed that the Democratic increase in the electorate was only up 2%, from 37% to 39%. An aggregate increase of 3.6 million more Democratic voters in 08' over 04'. Whereas 5 million fewer Republican voters came out, or switched their party affiliation to Independent. Turnout among Independents was up by about 4.5 million voters. It seems that some people no longer identified with the present GOP brand that President Bush represents and wanted something different. Not talked about in Ms. Soltis’s article is the inclusion of Hillary voters (PUMA’s) who have switched to Independent.

It seems plausible that many former GOP’ers simply stayed home, either due to their dislike of Palin, or more evident, their dislike John McCain. In conclusion the Progressive hype about the changing mentality in America to Center-Left is just that, hype.

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Highway Robbery, Wall Street Style


There is no amount of words possible to even begin describing this situation. The jaw dropping arrogance displayed by the banks and financial institutions is definitely one for the books. The AP approached 21 financial firms, which received bailout money, and asked for accountability on how the money was being spent. Some of the responses from these institutions range from outrageous to flat out apathetic. If this doesn’t anger you, then I don't know what will.

From the AP,

JP Morgan Chase,
AP-"We've lent some of it. We've not lent some of it. We've not given any accounting of, 'Here's how we're doing it,'" said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."
Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc,
AP-"We're not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking," said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.
Regions Financial Corp,
AP-"We manage our capital in its aggregate," said Regions Financial Corp. spokesman Tim Deighton, who said the Birmingham, Ala.-based company is not tracking how it is spending the $3.5 billion it received as part of the financial bailout.
Not one bank provided exact information on how the money they received, from you and I, is being spent, lent, or held onto. The oddest part was the push by Congress and the White House to obtain this money without any type of regulation or stipulation being put on it.

The money from the TARP was provided for one reason and one reason only; to free up credit so businesses could start borrowing again, thereby alleviating the credit crunch. Well, that has yet to transpire, and all we have for our trouble are Banks hording money while the economic system further deteriorates.

Only furthering frustration, many of the top execs, whose companies are receiving government assistance, had spent $1.6 billion on bonuses and compensations last year.

From the AP,
AP-Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis more...

While Congress is calling for stiffer regulation and oversight before the rest of the TARP fund is to be released. The main question is, "Why didn’t they do this in the first place?" With the lack of transparency on Wall Street being one of the contributing factors to the subrpime bust, when did Congress ever get the idea that these banks and financial institutions could be trusted? Of course, whoever said Congress could be trusted? None of them need their hands held, they need them tied in front of them so they can watched.

Here is a list, via Pro Publica, of institutions who have received TARP money and how much. It should be regularly updated as more information becomes available.

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Obama's Snubbing of the South

President Obama has conceivably put together one of the more diverse cabinets since President Bush’s choices in 2001. Presently, his picks range from five women, four blacks, three Hispanics, and two Asians. As diverse as his cabinet is, does it really represent the face of America?

Obama’s cabinet choices might be ethnically representative of the US as a whole, however, regionally there is much left to be desired. So far the only pick from below the Mason-Dixon line is the Southern-lite US Trade Rep. and former Dallas mayor, Ron Kirk.

Why could this possible attitude be a hindrance to Obama and the Democrats in the future?

The South is traditionally painted as rural rednecks, totting Confederate flags, draped in sheets, carrying shotguns, bellowing, “The South shall rise again!” While this caricature may have applied some fifty odd years ago. The face of the New South is quite different than what our brethren on the West Coast and in the North East might have you believe.

Population growth is one reason. Back in July CNN reported that 7 out of the 10 fastest growing cities were in the South or South-lite regions.

City State Population Growth
New Orleans La. 239,124 13.8%
Victorville Calif. 107,221 9.5%
McKinney Texas 115,620 8.0%
N. Las Vegas Nev. 212,114 7.4%
Cary N.C. 121,796 7.3%
Killeen Texas 112,434 6.5%
Port St. Lucie Fla. 151,391 6.3%
Gilbert Ariz. 207,550 5.8%
Clarksville Tenn. 119,284 4.8%
Denton Texas 115,506 4.7%

There is also the demographic shift in South that is contributing to massive change in identity. Most still stereotype Southerners as “traditional agrarian whites.” The South is actually home to almost 50% of the nation’ s American-African community, also, there is a migration of Hispanics into the region as well.

US Census Bureau,

Census Bureau-(Hispanics) This ethnic group was the most mobile of the four discussed here as 56 percent changed residence during the five-year period; the South and the Midwest recorded net gains while the West and the Northeast showed net losses; Florida recorded the largest net gain among states (92,000) while Clark County, Nev. (56,000), led all counties.

The South is also growing economically, maintaining its viability through the housing bust into the credit crunch. Although, not immune from its effects, the Southern economy has proven a certain amount of resiliency from the present economic turmoil. Almost two-thirds of the fastest growing counties were in the Southern United States.

Despite the a vast shift in the economic, demographic, and sociological makeup in the South these simple facts seem to allude to the pundits and political scientists. There is almost a blatant relishment, on their part, that the South has somehow faltered in its political power.

From the NY Times,

NY Times-That could spell the end of the so-called Southern strategy, the doctrine that took shape under President Richard M. Nixon in which national elections were won by co-opting Southern whites on racial issues. And the Southernization of American politics — which reached its apogee in the 1990s when many Congressional leaders and President Bill Clinton were from the South — appears to have ended.

“I think that’s absolutely over,” said Thomas Schaller, a political scientist who argued prophetically that the Democrats could win national elections without the South.

Furthermore, there is the stereotypical argument that voters in the South are ignorant Confederates, who will only vote Republican due to racist views and lack of education.

NY Times-One reason for that is that the South is no longer a solid voting bloc. Along the Atlantic Coast, parts of the “suburban South,” notably Virginia and North Carolina, made history last week in breaking from their Confederate past and supporting Mr. Obama. Those states have experienced an influx of better educated and more prosperous voters in recent years, pointing them in a different political direction than states farther west, like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and Appalachian sections of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Of course an analysis done by the Public Policy Polling shed a little more light on why Obama received his increased support among White constituents in Southern states. The abandonment "Confederate mindset," which had been done many years earlier, had little or nothing do with it. Some in the South, like many portions of the US, succumbed to fears concerning the future of the economy.

Public Policy Polling-Economy, Economy, Economy. Among white voters in North Carolina who list it as their top issue Obama is actually up 48-46. In Florida Obama has the same 48-46 lead with whites most concerned about the economy. In Virginia it’s a 49-46 advantage.

With these factors in mind it would behoove the President-elect to look towards the South for future political gains. Alienating this region with its growing demographic support and approaching it with a West Coast or North East frame of mind could be a severe mistake.

With states such as California and New York suffering major blows to their economies. It is feasible to assume that an increased number of people holding hourly wage jobs could potentially migrate to states with more stable economic situations (i.e. The South). Coupling this migration with the large representation of minorities in this area, there will inevitably be an increase in the number of electoral votes allocated to each Southern state. Eroding the Democratic lock on California and New York, which contributes a significant number of electoral votes to their cause.

By ignoring this region, Democrats are offering a grand opportunity for GOP strategists to capitalize on. Republicans, as of now, are shifting the dynamic of the GOP and an outreach to minority communities is high on the priority list and they are already firmly rooted in the South. Combining this with white support could solidify the base of the GOP even further and represent a return to a "New Southern Strategy," which could work in favor of conservatives.

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Obama Promises an Additional 500,000 Jobs

President-elect Obama has challenged his economic team to find a new plan that will create an additional 500,000 to his original goal of 2.5 million. Although Obama has not given specifics on how he will accomplish this he has stated that any economic recovery is going to be expensive. Possibly costing between $650 billion to $775 billion. Ironically, while Obama is talking about massive deficit spending to cure economic woes, some other politicians are taking a different road.

From CNN,

CNN-The officials said Obama is increasing his goal from 2.5 million to 3 million jobs over the next two years after receiving projections early this week that suggest the recession will be deeper than expected.The projections showed that unless significant action is taken, the nation is likely to lose up to 4 million jobs over the next year and that the unemployment rate will probably rise above 9 percent, a transition aide told CNN.

After hearing the projections, Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden "argued that we were being too timid and that we needed to develop a plan that would save or create at least 3 million jobs," the aide said. Read more…

Democratic aides would not put an exact price tag on any plans that they will be implementing, but said it could be approved by the President-elect as soon as Inauguration Day. Read more…
Since harldy anything in the world is free, the President-elect's plan comes with quite a hefty price to taxpayers. One which we could see as early as Inauguration day.
CNN-The Obama team isn't putting a price tag on its economic stimulus plan, which Democratic leaders want to have ready for the president-elect to sign either on or very soon after Inauguration Day. The transition aide told CNN that Obama aides met with Capitol Hill staff this week to discuss plans costing between $675 billion and $775 billion.
While the Obama team is planning on throwing good money out with the bad , some state and city officials are trying to curb spending.

From My Way,
DETROIT (AP) - The mayor of Detroit says the city's deficit is approaching $300 million and he has ordered all departments to reduce their budgets by 10 percent.

Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. said in a statement Friday that new problems are being discovered daily regarding the finances and financial reporting practices of the administration of his predecessor, Kwame Kilpatrick.

He says the discoveries confirm that Kilpatrick "misled Detroiters and misled City Council." Read more…
Even Governor Schwarzenegger is getting in on the cutting spending mentality.

From Bloomberg,
Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today ordered all state workers to take two days of unpaid leave each month to conserve money amid a record budget deficit and a legislative impasse over how to fix it. Read more…
The economic stimulus plan Obama has been touting, supposedly will generate jobs by upgrading government buildings, weatherizing 1 million homes, massive infrastructure rebuilding projects, doubling renewable energy sources, and upgrading computers in public schools. Once passed, the second stimulus package will increase the budget deficit to almost $2 trillion dollars, with no end to spending in sight.

Of course, everyone has heard the President-elect remark that this is a new and fresh approach. And that we cannot rely on the "traditional" Washington ways.

CNN-Obama also stressed to the team that it can't rely on "traditional Washington programs and politics" when drawing up the economic recovery package, the aide said. That means no earmarks, a use-it-or-lose-it policy for local funding, full transparency and "investing in what works," the aide added.
Unfortunately for Obama, his plan smacks of Keynesianism and is hardly fresh. In fact, this is almost identical to the economic plan used by FDR during the Great Depression. The very same economic thought which prolonged the Depression for about 7 extra years.

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On the Hill (Markos Moulitsas, KOS, on Harry Reid)

Moulitsas is often a mired in foolishness and seldom makes any sense. I guess this can be expected of a Juris Doctor. On this one, like his rants at the KOS, he doesn't disappoint.

From The,

The, Senate Republicans are in the minority for at least one more cycle. And it’s true that their conference is over 10 percent smaller than it was in the last Congress. But the GOP has retained its ace in the hole: Harry Reid is still majority leader.

Reid (Nev.) took the helm in 2006 after his Democrats overcame a 10-seat deficit in the Senate, but the new majority immediately began frittering away its mandate through embarrassing displays of obsequiousness to George W. Bush and the Republican minority in Congress. From Iraq to the FISA battle to the financial-industry bailout, Democratic promises of effective governance were sacrificed to the capricious whims of an incompetent president and his congressional enablers.
His first mistake was expecting effective governance from the Democrats. The second was expecting effecting governance from a caucus whose leadership includes Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

The Senate’s handling of the $700 billion financial giveaway prior to the election was pathetic, with the majority handing Bush a blank check for his pals on Wall Street. Yet just a few weeks later, Senate Republicans were able to block approval of a $14 billion loan to the Big Three Detroit automakers — a bid to break the back of the United Auto Workers that recklessly threatened the health of the broader American economy.

Did Reid blast Republicans for playing chicken with the millions of jobs dependent on our domestic auto industry? Of course not. He responded by praising Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, leader of the union-busting effort.
Union busting effort? This whole deal, as pointed out here about 20 times was hinged on $3/hour less in wage until the Big 3 become financially stable. How's about a middle-class protection effort? Nary a mention of any of that in any publication I have so far read concerning this particular issue. The only talking point you hear about is how a Detroit failure will cause the loss of millions of jobs. Another government scare tactic playing upon people's uncertainties to protect organized labor.

What is glossed over is how people's taxes are going to have to be raised to pay for the Stimulus Package I, the $700 billion bailout for the robber barons, and the Stimulus Package II being proposed by the President-elect. They don't want you thinking about that now do they?

Moulitsas, like many of his fellow Progressive colleagues, are being intellectually disingenuous by leaving out this little fact. All they see is the opportunity provided by votes from big labor to further their agendas. Although, that comes with a price. After all, how can the government forget about a $1billion lobbying campaign by the likes of the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win Federation and not pay that back?

Yet Reid’s acquiescence flows in one direction only. When Democratic activists pleaded that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) be stripped of a committee chairmanship after campaigning for John McCain and other Republicans in 2008, Reid refused in the name of “unity.” But “unity” was easily cast aside when Reid applauded Sen. Evan Bayh’s (D-Ind.) plan for a Blue Dog-style caucus in the Senate. Both moves are great news for Republicans — they keep their mole inside Democratic ranks, while Democrats fragment their majority.
What a balance in the political spectrum of the Democratic Party? Oh no the horror!! God forbid that anyone would dare step in the way of the Progressive juggernaut. Of course it would be "disingenuous" of me if I did not point out that the GOP is afflicted, at times, with the same problems. Its Far-Right has demonstrated this towards RINO's.

Harry Reid to put it mildly, is a twit. But based on this read his acquiescence is not the only one who flows in one direction.

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California AG Reverses Personal Opposition to Prop 8

The California Attorney General, Jerry Brown, is urging the state Supreme Court to overturn the ban on gay marriage. This is actually a reversal of position for the AG who originally supported the ban.

From Yahoo News,
SAN FRANCISCO – The California attorney general has changed his position on the state's new same-sex marriage ban and is now urging the state Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.
Jerry Brown filed a brief Friday saying the measure that amended the California Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman is unconstitutional. He says it deprives gay couples of a fundamental right.

After California voters passed Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, Brown said he would fight to uphold the initiative in his role as attorney general, even though he personally voted against it. read more...

Being a hate-mongering, homophobic, red-neck, Right-Winger, I am against gay marriage. However, what I find more disheartening, is the California AG caving to pressure and reversing his position. The voters of Cali. spoke, they don't want it. Let it be until the next opportunity for ballots to be presented to the public.

In the mean time the Homosexual community should continue its campaign to attempt to sway the voters consciousness. Vandalizing Mormon churches is not going to help their cause though.

Peaceful protest and presenting your case to the constituency is the way to go. It may take a little more time. Nevertheless, in the long run, the rulings would be more respected than incisive whining, badgering, and feet stamping. This makes this gay community look like children, which they are acting like.

UPDATE: Just minutes after posting this article I came upon an interesting post by Trig Palin Twoofer, Andrew Sullivan. It seems that Ole' Sullie is on his meds and had a moment of serene clarity. Unknowing to me, I was echoing his sentiments. Ugh, scary world we live in sometimes. Here is his thought.

The Atlantic-The bitterness endures; the hurt doesn't go away; the pain is real. But that is when we need to engage the most, to overcome our feelings to engage in the larger project, to understand that not all our opponents are driven by hate, even though that may be how their words impact us. To turn away from such dialogue is to fail ourselves, to fail our gay brothers and sisters in red state America, and to miss the possibility of the Obama moment.

It can be hard to take yes for an answer. But yes is what Obama is saying. And we should not let our pride or our pain get in the way. read more...
Still doesn't change my mind, but, I can at least respect the sentiment for honest dialogue. Too bad, Sullivan is usually loopier than an inmate in an asylum.

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Bush Approves Bailout


George "The Dopeman" Bush has given the Bailout-Junkies the fix of liquidity they have been jonsing for. He approved a $17.4 billion mainline for the addicts, via the TARP. Hank "Street-Slinger" Paulson, has already asked the pharmacists in Congress to release $350 billion worth of their finest Washington-Green product. Not wasting anytime so it can hit the streets. I guess we can forget about rehab in Chapter 11.

From Yahoo News,

WASHINGTON – Citing danger to the national economy, President Bush approved an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry Friday, offering $17.4 billion in rescue loans in exchange for tough concessions from the deeply troubled carmakers and their workers.Allowing the massive auto industry to collapse in the middle of what is already a severe recession "would worsen a weak job market and exacerbate the financial crisis," Bush said. "It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession. And it would leave the next president to confront the demise of a major American industry in his first days of office."

Dopeman fails to address the point, what if they still don't make it? Then we have a gaping hole in our economy plus $17.4 billion down the tubes.

And while the United Auto Workers said the plan would keep factories running, the union said it was upset by loan conditions "singling out workers."

These chumps just better shut the hell up. Can you believe the nerve of addicts who want street product with no stipulations? Not only junkies, but childish ones. You better remember their attitude America, they were willing to flush the rest of us over $3 an hour less.
Under terms of the loans, the government will have the option of becoming a stockholder in the companies, much as it has with major banks, in effect partially nationalizing the industry. Bush said the companies' workers should agree to wage and work rules that are competitive with foreign automakers by the end of next year.
Keeping the junkies on the hook through a little application of Socialist thought. Clever, Dopeman, really clever. Now that the Fed has a stake in the Big 3, you can pretty much call Barney "Fatman" Frank the CDSO (Chief Dope-Slinging Officer). Wagoner, move over, you've been replaced.

And he called for elimination of a "jobs bank" program — negotiated by the United Auto Workers and the companies — under which laid-off workers can receive about 95 percent of their pay and benefits for years. Early this month, the UAW agreed to suspend the program.

Dopeman is ahead of the power-curve, calling for the removal of something the junkies have already agreed to suspend. How nice of the cry-sacking, porn-stache wearing, backwoods thief, Gettlel-Giving America the-Finger, to give us a bone. Or maybe it should be giving us the bone. Thanks Ron, you are Aces in my book!!

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the congressional oversight panel for the Wall Street rescue program, decried the decision, saying a Chapter 11 reorganization, not loans rewarding decades of mismanagement, would have been a better decision."Unless union contracts are renegotiated, and unless demand picks up for domestic autos, $14 billion, $34 billion, $74 billion — even $104 billion — will not solve the problem," Hensarling said. "I fear that a devastating precedent has been set that the federal government will now be pressured to bail out every failing company in America — something that taxpayers and future generations cannot afford."

Don't you fret none Jeb, this is GREAT for the economy! Somebody is going to have to print all that new money, can imagine the jobs opening up for printers? The Fed will have to expand its operation to all fifty states just to keep up. What a wonderful country we live in!

In all seriousness, the American people already got majorly hosed with the TARP ( The Highway Robbery Bill of 2008) and even though the $17.4 billion wasn't anything additional. It was used as an excuse to release the other $350 billion that had not been committed yet. In effect the middle-class just got it put to them by the Big Three, the UAW, Congress, and the White House. Wonder when the Supreme Court is going to get their shot in?

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Clean Coal and Lies

You may have seen this video concerning clean-coal technology, via They make the claim that it doesn't exist. Well, some news out of China puts a different light on the Green spin about clean-coal tech.

From Technology Review,

Technology Review-China looks set to overtake the United States in the application of technologies to clean up coal-fired power generation, if several proposed projects come to fruition. GreenGen--a joint venture established by Chinese utilities--has broken ground on China's first integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant and signed agreements to build two more. read more...
The Chinese have been leading the way in gasification technology since 2004 versus zero attempts here in the US. Actually the technology was looked into as an alternative in the 70's due to the energy crisis. However, in the 80's when fuel prices fell the science was largely abandoned.

How it works, via Technology Review,
Technology Review-Gasification transforms coal's complex mix of hydrocarbons into a hydrogen-rich gas known as synthesis gas, or "syngas." Power plants can burn syngas as cleanly as they can natural gas. In addition, with the right catalysts and under the right conditions, the basic chemical building blocks in syngas combine to form the hydrocarbon ingredients of gasoline and diesel fuel. As a result, coal gasification has the potential both to squelch power plants' emission of soot and smog and to decrease China's growing dependence on imported oil. It could even help control emissions of carbon dioxide, which is more easily captured from syngas plants than from conventional coal-fired plants. read more...

I guess it is safe to accuse the the folks at of blatantly lying to the American public. With the amount of coal that is in this country our energy concerns could easily be alleviated. However, groups such as this do not want to hear about any options other than what they offer. They don't like competition, especially ones which could prove more successful. More Gore-bull Warming at its best.

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The Fairness Doctrine, Again!

Well, it hasn’t taken Liberal activists long to start the talk about the “Fairness Doctrine, " again. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo(D-CAL), is trying to whip the tribe up and bring it back. In addition to radio and television, Achoo wants to extend its greasy reach into the world of cable and satellite television also.

From the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club,

“I’ll work on bringing it back. I still believe in it,” Eshoo told the Daily Post in Palo Alto."
The Fairness Doctrine was implemented to provide “honest and equitable” reporting on matters of interest to the public. It was handled on a case by case basis after its establishment in 1949, then in 1967 when certain provisions were integrated into FCC regulations. In 1987, under the Reagan administration, the FCC abolished the Fairness Doctrine, stating it inhibited the freedom of speech and was deemed un-constitutional.

Liberal motivation behind the re-implementation of the FD is simply to target any market dominated by the Right Wing establishment. This is in order to curb voices that might provide opposition to their causes or effect legislative outcomes.

Attempts have been made in the past to label conservative talk “hate speech” and “biased” in order to draw criticism to its platforms.

From the Traditional Values Coalition,
I’m looking at it [reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine], as a matter of fact, … because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side. And, unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way. – Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA)

…talk radio, or in some cases hate radio, where they [conservative talk show hosts] go on and on and on in a xenophobic, anti-immigrant [manner]…. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, speaking about the amnesty immigration bill with PBS’s Charlie Rose.

Even if the station doesn’t balance the hate-jock, or allow an on-air discussion of hate speech, just publicizing bigoted statements changes the terms of the debate. Hate flourishes when other views are not heard. By challenging it as often as possible, you diminish the ignorance that is necessary to racism, sexism, and homophobia. – Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting “Challenging Hate Radio: A Guide for Activists.”

Enough Hate-speak. Hate destroys. Hate kills. Hate corrodes. Hate Radio has got to go. Do you hear us, Rush? You will soon. – web site.
The accusation of being hate filled is utterly ridiculous and as far as being biased, that would only be an issue if it was not advertised as Right leaning. At least they are being more up front than the NY Times or Wapo.

The FD, in simplest terms, is a violation of Free Speech, as well as free markets. If the American population, as a whole, wanted to listen to Progressive and Liberal talk shows, their formats would have been more successful, however, that is not the case.

This controversy is easily solved by one of three actions; if you don’t want to listen turn off the radio or switch to a station that reflects your views. If none are available, start one and use some good old fashion entrepreneurship to make it successful. The government has no business regulating the thoughts and ideas of ANY American with regards to the political landscape, especially if it's privately funded. Is it Rush’s fault that Air-America is an abysmal failure?

Note: While President-elect Obama says he is not in favor for a revival of the Fairness Doctrine, he is a proponent of "localism" and how it applies to talk radio and other media formats. For more information of how either, the Fairness Doctrine or localism, can be implemented please read, Fairness Doctrine rev 3.0

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