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Pak arrests 'main operator' in Mumbai attacks
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Home Front: Politix
Deb Burlingame: Obama "uncertain, uninformed... just plain mistaken"
H/T villainouscompany.com/vcblog/

President Obama clearly didn't do his homework before ordering the suspension of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects. We have learned that even his own legal counsel admitted that Mr. Obama erred in discussing details about terrorism with families of victims last week, and that the administration was ignorant of a key point that terrorists exploit to their advantage. In his rush to fulfill a campaign promise to his more fervid anti-war supporters, the president's legal oversights risk the disclosure of some highly classified information to terrorists.

Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that was flown into the Pentagon on 9/11, was present at last Friday's White House meeting of families of terrorism victims. Her impression was that President Obama was saying the right words in general, but when it came to specifics he was uncertain, uninformed, and sometimes just plain mistaken. Ms. Burlingame is an attorney who has followed closely the legal aspects of the terrorism cases, and her detailed, probing questions were met with stammers, stares, and statements that betrayed an understanding of the law that was, she said, "flat out wrong."

Case in point: the president's knowledge of the role of the Classified Information Procedures Act or CIPA. This law governs the way in which classified information is used in trials. The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to confront their accusers and the evidence against them, but the government has an important interest in cases such as these in keeping sources and methods secret. Under CIPA rules, in cases where classified information is used, the government has the option of sharing the information with the defendant, or not using it.

The Bush administration sought to avoid this potential national security threat by resorting to other procedures in which 6th Amendment issues did not arise. But President Obama believes that the model for terrorism cases is the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Of course a number of those plotters escaped justice (some were found later hiding in Saddam's Iraq, but that's another story). More important, because of the openness of that process, al Qaeda learned a great deal about how to do a much better job next time - and even the classified information from that trial was in Osama bin Laden's hands within weeks.

The terrorists have learned a great deal about conducting legal guerrilla war, using rules like CIPA to their advantage. Notice that more and more terrorists are dismissing their appointed lawyers and representing themselves. This gives them direct access to the classified documents that will be used in evidence against them. In this way they can learn about U.S. intelligence sources and methods - how they were targeted, what information was collected, and who may have been the traitors in their midst. Even if the names of sources are omitted, for example someone who was present at a key planning meeting, the terrorist defendant will know enough about the circumstances to be able to narrow it down. After all, the terrorist is familiar with every aspect of the events; he knows much more about them than the intelligence community.

The alternative to handing over the secrets is for the government to not use the evidence in question. That creates the incongruous situation in which the defense wants to maximize the amount of evidence that implicates them, and the prosecution wants to minimize it. (Our legal system was not designed to accommodate defendants who welcome being put to death.) According to Ms. Burlingame, Obama's answer to this conundrum was "there is no reason we have to give [the terrorists] everything." Evidently the former editor of the Harvard Law Review seems to think that one of his powers as president is personally to pick and choose which constitutional rights apply to terror defendants and which do not. That's the very thing they were criticizing President Bush for.

White House Counsel Greg Craig, often seen whispering in the president's ear during question periods, admitted later to Ms. Burlingame that the chief executive was getting the facts of the law wrong during the discussion with the families. Craig asked her if CIPA covers a case in which terrorists defend themselves, noting that "this is something we hadn't contemplated." If nothing else, this admission of ignorance is more evidence that the decision to rush ahead with closing Guantanamo and shutting down the military tribunals was ill-conceived, poorly planned, and may ultimately be injurious to our national security. The president may talk a good game about "swift, certain justice," but it is becoming clear that justice will not be swift, is highly uncertain, and in the end may not even be just.
Posted by: Sherry || 02/12/2009 16:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oh no! This means... say it isn't so!...This means Rantburgers know more about counterterrorism and the law than our vaunted CinC.
Posted by: Cynicism Inc || 02/12/2009 18:37 Comments || Top||

#2  It's never too early to start testing dear-leader-replacement slogans (suitable for bumper stickers, e-mail footers, tattoos, and the like...). Here's my first offering:

"Drop the F-bama!"
Posted by: Hyper || 02/12/2009 20:12 Comments || Top||

#3  When I lived in California last year, I saw a license plate that said "IMPCHW". I am thinking of getting a plate that says "IMPCHO". If anybody asks, I could just say it's a little village in Korea.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/12/2009 20:45 Comments || Top||

#4  I had a discussion w/a lib prof a few months ago. I got on his good side by saying (and honestly imho) that as far as public speakers goes, W was one of the worst speakers I'd ever heard. I then pissed him off by saying that BHO was one of the dumbest. Yesterday's clown fest w/the huffington post ringside and the messiah not being able to string two sentences together vindicates that assessment.
Posted by: Unens McGurque aka Broadhead6 || 02/12/2009 22:48 Comments || Top||

#5  How about this for a bumper sticker:

Obama's First on the Docket
Posted by: badanov || 02/12/2009 23:28 Comments || Top||

Obama should have told us the whole sad truth
President Obama had his first prime-time news conference Monday, and 60 million viewers tuned in.

They wanted to hear him and see him in action and hope that things weren't as bad as they were hearing every day from the media and in their hometowns.

He was glib, rambling, a little long-winded and very defensive. But he is a talent and very likeable even when he is being serious. And he had plenty to be serious about.

On numerous occasions, he made sure reporters and the millions tuning in knew that he had inherited a mess, the Republicans weren't helping him at all, and things were tough.

After spending hundreds of millions of dollars and traveling thousands of miles over the past two years running for this office, did he think he was going to get the big plane, the big house, the box at the Kennedy Center and Camp David without the heavy lifting? Well, maybe not this heavy a load.

This is a president who has promised transparency. He promised that we as a nation will know what our government is doing and what we are spending. Just go to the Internet, and it will be there. But not quite yet.

The president gave us a lot of rhetoric on Monday night.

Four million jobs will be created or saved, with 90 percent of them in the private sector. He didn't tell us how. Just trust me, and we will get you out of these tough times.

I know a president needs to be a cheerleader sometimes, but right now, I want a truth-teller.

He said, "at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle where lost jobs lead to people spending less money which leads to even more layoffs."

I ask, what resources does the federal government have? We are broke, too!

Real transparency would have been walking to the podium and saying, "Friends: This thing is a lot worse then I thought. Just like many of you, we are way over our budget. Some of you bought houses you couldn't afford. Many of you spent more money than you made and put the stuff you couldn't afford on your credit cards. The banks were irresponsible, and Wall Street was greedy, but I have to admit to you, the guys and gals over in the Congress have been spending at record rates, too. And they still have a bunch of pet projects they want to spend on, too. That's why this bill got bloated.

"And, oh, by the way, the $800 billion that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to spend is money we don't have. The U.S. is broke just like you are, and the banks that I have to borrow from are thousands of miles away in China. We are going to spend $1 trillion-plus more than we take in this year in revenue, and next year it will be $2 trillion. That's on top of the $10.8 trillion that we owe in national debt.

"And if you don't think the banks have any money, the Federal Reserve is loaning them trillions."

But he could have closed out that depressing little litany by saying, "Together, we are going to get out of this thing!"

Obviously, our new president is still a stranger to us. We like him. Many trust him. We all hope he will succeed. But we don't know a lot about his management style or the people he picked as his team (except that a few of them didn't pay all their taxes.)

But in the world of politics, you seldom get a second chance to make a good impression.

The president's news conference was the beginning of the selling process. It was a fair performance, and by the end, the stimulus bill designed by Speaker Pelosi and Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey was owned by him.

The new Treasury secretary was the man who was supposed to lay out the plan to rescue the banks the next days. Secretary Tim Geithner's performance Tuesday was a disaster, and his plan was nonexistent. And the market tanked.

The Democrats will get their bill, and the president will sign it quickly. More money will have been committed in a shorter period of time than ever in our history.

It will be declared a great victory for the new team. And we and our kids will be paying for it for a long time. I hope it works, because there is no money to try again! We will quickly learn whether social engineering really works and whether all these Keynesians are right.

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/12/2009 13:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But then, Mr Rollins, "hope" is all it ever was.

Posted by: no mo uro || 02/12/2009 14:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Col. Jessep: "You can't handle the truth!"
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/12/2009 15:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Isn't "Trust Me" how they say "F*ck You" in Washington, D.C.?
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/12/2009 17:43 Comments || Top||

#4  The Federal Gov't doesn't have any resources. It's the tax payer that is the resource - obama is like the cool jock that failed econ 101.
Posted by: Unens McGurque aka Broadhead6 || 02/12/2009 22:53 Comments || Top||

Hillary's Incredible Shrinking Cabinet Role
Snip, duplicate.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/12/2009 13:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

Obama Hopelessly Adrift on Foreign Policy
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 11:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Obama Hopelessly Adrift

You can stop there, it's obvious "SuperZero" has lost his way and is NOT competent to hold the job.

Hold on folks, it's going to get rough.
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/12/2009 12:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Excuse me, "Rougher".
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/12/2009 12:19 Comments || Top||

#3  ...lost his way

How can one lose what one never had?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2009 12:20 Comments || Top||

#4  He's certainly right on target with THIS one. For phuechs sake. Snark off.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2009 12:35 Comments || Top||

#5  Any truth to the rumor that the book beside Obama's night table is "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten"? Just asking.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 02/12/2009 13:37 Comments || Top||

#6  I watched a video of his presser. Not pretty. People whacked Bush for being evasive and not allowing follow-up. Bush looked good compared to Bambi's performance in this one. I can only imagine how he'd do in front of a hostile press, assuming that would ever come to pass ...
Posted by: Steve White || 02/12/2009 14:50 Comments || Top||

#7  Here comes that CHANGE we axed for. He's off to a great start....

Subject: great first week!

"...Obama's approval rating plunges 15 points from the stratospheric 83% to 68% after the first week in office according to recent Gallup Polls..." (CNN)

-First day in office, Obama scowls and reprimands his VP (Biden) in front of cameras over a little joke about swearing in a second time... (Way to undress your running mate and now second in command on day one!)

-Already preparing nation for broken promises. Quoted saying "I want to be realistic here -- not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace that we had hoped." Ummm, why weren't you realistic while you were making promises in order to get elected? It was only four months ago when you promised this....was it that different then?

-Obama vowed to immediately start clearing out troops from Iraq (I suppose that was a campaign promise, so no surprise there...)

-Obama, on Thursday, issued an order to shut down Guantanamo Bay without any plan in place to move al-Qaida prisoners or a legal plan for doing so.

-Within in 72 hours of office, he's failed to initiate tax cuts for 95% of working Americans as promised
during his campaign only 3 months ago.

-After bashing Bush for our Trillion dollar deficit created over 8-full years, he's managed to Initiated a bill to double that amount in 1 week. (i.e. "stimulus plan" - LOL) - (includes budget for handing out condoms to our kids and also ...does it get any better? LOL)

-Obama creates ugly scene in the press room because he didn't like the question asked by a reporter.
(After being asked about placing a ban on lobbyists in his administration... [with irritation in his voice] He said; "..See this is what happens? I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here." (HELLO!!!!! That is what the press does at press conferences, they grill you Mr. Prez...lighten up, you're the "leader of the free world" - Get used to it! LOL

-President Barack Obama on Friday struck down the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to perform abortions abroad...

-Obama vows to push the "Anti-hate Crimes" bill previously vetoed by Bush. (Of course Bush wanted such a bill, but there was provisions in the old one making it possible for our pastors to be arrested for preaching that homosexuality is a sin.

-Obama ordered the closure of any remaining secret CIA "black site" prisons abroad and barred CIA interrogators form using harsh techniques already banned for military questioners.

-Obama lifted a ban on federal funding for stem cell research... (Here comes cloning and more killing of human life for the sake of science....)

-And on the fifth day, from the Honorable Patrick Fitzgerald office, subpoenas were served to nearly all of Obama's senior staff - that didn't take long...

-Quote. "...Finally, Obama made his first really dumb political move when he picked a fight with Rush
Limbaugh, telling GOP senators that they shouldn't listen to the talk show host and get on board with his stimulus package. (Quote: "...Obama broke the first rule of political gunslinging: never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel -- or in the case of Rush Limbaugh, someone with 23 million daily listeners and 3 hours every day with which to make you look like an idiot...")

Only 207 more weeks to go! Can't wait to see what week 2 brings

Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2009 17:27 Comments || Top||

#8  -And on the fifth day, from the Honorable Patrick Fitzgerald office, subpoenas were served to nearly all of Obama's senior staff - that didn't take long...

You'd think this would be big news, but hadn't heard a peep. Like an MSM cone of silence surrounding the American people.

Media averts eyes from subpoenas to Obama top staff
Doug highlights the names of the Obama biggies:

David Axelrod, Obama's "Karl Rove" and the biggest surprise on the list. Obama's team issued a report in December that said his staff had no "inappropriate contact" with Blago, so the inclusion of Axelrod is a bit of a shock.

Valerie Jarrett, Blago's "Senate Candidate 1", a real estate management executive and political hack of the first order. Her ties to failed and fraudulent real estate deals in Chicago were the subject of numerous investigations and should have instantly disqualified her for any public office.

Rahm Emanuel was already deeply involved in the case with some reports describing as many as 21 conversations with Blago's office during the period in question.

Tony Rezko, Obama's first advocate, fundraiser and adviser, was convicted last year on numerous charges related to kickbacks, is awaiting sentencing. Rezko is "cooperating with authorities, FBI Agent Daniel Cain said in an affidavit."
Posted by: ed || 02/12/2009 17:55 Comments || Top||

#9  While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Obama him being our President. The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Obama is a "post turtle." Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a "post turtle" was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a "post turtle".

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. "You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there."
Posted by: Chiger Grundy5306 || 02/12/2009 18:56 Comments || Top||

Republicans Trail Obama Dems By One Point in Poll--Anti-Stimulus Push Is Working
Astonishing news on the generic ballot question. Pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that Democrats are currently ahead of Republicans by only 40 percent to 39 percent. Given that this generic ballot question over the years has tended to understate Republicans' performances in actual elections, one gathers that if the 2010 election for House seats were held today, Republicans would win or come close to winning a majority of seats--which is to say, they would gain about 40 seats. By way of comparison, they gained 52 seats when they won their majority in 1994.

This result may just be a momentary blip, which will pass away as quickly as it appeared, and we are a long, long, long way from the November 2010 elections. But if I were a Democratic member of Congress in even a marginally marginal district, I would be just a little bit worried. And if I were a conservative cheerleader against the Obama/Pelosi stimulus package, I would be concentrating less of my fire against the three Republicans who supported the Senate version and more on Democratic members of the House and (at least those who are up for reelection in 2010) the Senate.
Any Republican in the House who survived 2008 isn't going to be worried about 2010. The Pubs know that Bambi isn't going to get his army of followers mobilized for a mid-term. Even if the economy doesn't tank they should pick up 20 to 30 seats and that puts them in range for 2012. The problem is the Senate, where pick-ups look to be few, if any.
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 06:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Tipper, as good as this news might be, I don't think the Repubs can draw an easy breath just yet.

How can I say that? It's simple. You'll know when the Obamanauts and Dems in general feel that they are in real trouble in their internal polling when they start accusing every (and I mean EVERY) critic of their policies as being motivated by racism.

That hasn't happened yet. When it does, it'll be time for R'burgers to rejoice, because you'll be certain that they are desperate enough to use the nuke.

The Dems may be dusted up, perhaps worse than they think, but not enough that they are worried.
Posted by: no mo uro || 02/12/2009 16:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Wait till the interest rates begin to climb and The One starts whittling away at Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2009 16:58 Comments || Top||

#3  But if I were a Democratic member of Congress in even a marginally marginal district, I would be just a little bit worried.

Hence the ad campaign. Watched big monday you know why the baseball question was asked during the press conference, gave P.O. face time every commercial. The pressure is working don't give up; its how Mizz beat KU in the end (ugh).
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/12/2009 17:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
'WAR IS DECEIT" - Little Green Liars
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 06:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I clicked through, and as far as I can tell he's bashing LGF for how LGF covered the Geert Wilders matter.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Posted by: Mike || 02/12/2009 7:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Mike, there appears to be a war amongst the right wing bloggers, at this stage it appears to be Charles Johnson V's the rest. See this post on LGF as an example
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 8:05 Comments || Top||

#3  In a nutshell, LGF rejects any association with neo-Fascist parties in the war against Radical Islam. (A position I agree with, BTW).

The neo-Fascist sympathizers see Charles as "soft on Radical Islam" for his outspoken stance on the issue.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 02/12/2009 8:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Scooter, everyone rejects any association with Fascists, neo or otherwise, but methinks Charles is showing signs of mental disorder, witness his obsession with evolutionary theory and creationist. Personally when I find people carrying on about issues like that in a monomaniacal manner, I just sigh and think how sad, another cost to the mental health care system coming up.
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 9:46 Comments || Top||

#5  I also agree with Charles and applaud his principled stand. We do indeed all reject any association with fascists: they're just the other side of the coin from the communists and progressives. Nationalism and progressivism are dead-end ideologies.

Charles sees the creationist nonsense as just another type of fascist nonsense. He might be right or wrong, but here again, I agree with his stand: intelligent design is nonsense if considered as science.

I might also note that Charles, with all his other skills, is very shrewd in the building and marketing of his blog. He's figured out how to bang a drum loudly on a few key subjects and he's very good at it.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/12/2009 10:02 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm not sure that I agree with the people siding with Charles on this one.

It seems to me that calling Wilders a fascist is over the top and smacks of Bush fascist. Nationalists are not necessarily fascist and many of those currently tagged with the F word aren't. The tag was put on by the LLLs and I think it would behoove us to be careful lest we fall for the left wing "conventional wisdom".

In the particular case of Wilders what are his fascist positions? Is he a fascist because he wants to cut down/out Muslim immigration? because he wants to ban the Koran? If the latter, does that make those who have banned Mein Kampf fascist too?

Posted by: AlanC || 02/12/2009 10:19 Comments || Top||

#7  FWIW, Charles lost me when he insisted he knew more about European politics, based on a tour or two there as a musician, than people like Bat Y'eor, more about Islam than Robert Spencer etc.

He's a blow hard whose ego expands every time he's proven wrong or ill-informed. This particular dead horse started when Europeans began meeting to try to figure out a political solution to the rapid suppression of all but pro-Islamicist opinions on the Continent. He was a) not invited and b) annoyed that they had the audacity to take the advice of speakers with PhDs in recent European history, those who grew up under Islam, etc. rather than his own, obviously more enlightened, insights.


And no, I'm not exactly in the Adam-and-Eve-played-with-dinosaurs camp either. But Johnson has just gone way beyond his expertise on most of these issues, while growing more and more strident and hostile to critics.
Posted by: lotp || 02/12/2009 10:32 Comments || Top||

#8  LGF is still the best. I'll tell you why Charles refers to Wilders as fascist. It's Wilders desire to see both the Koran and Islam banned. That is fascism plain and simple.

As for the creationist/intelligent design crap, I'm with him 100%. If that crap ever got put in a school my kids were in I'd sue. I believe in God and I believe he created the universe, but if you are a young earther or other assorted looney you can respectfully keep that crap out of the class room thank you very much. Most of his heat on that issue is fundamentalist Christian nitwads thinking he's bashing Christianity when in reality it is very specific, backwards strain that he's against. God gave us gifts and you truly have turn away from the gifts God gave us to believe any of that creationist horseshit.
Posted by: AllahHateMe || 02/12/2009 14:18 Comments || Top||

#9  Wilders does not want Islam or the Koran banned if the coercive verses are excised from the Koran or declared abrogated. Likewise he feels Islam can stay if it isn't coercive.

If we substitute the words "National Socialism" and "Mein Kaumf", you can see the issue more clearly.
Posted by: mhw || 02/12/2009 15:53 Comments || Top||

#10  What do Charles Johnson and Al Gore have in common? I'll tell you at the end of this post.

I find it hard to understand how Charles Johnson, as someone who understands computer programming, can not understand why Darwin's principles and creationism are not mutually exclusive. Does he not think that most computer programs today can not be traced back to their roots in basic and Fortran? Is that not intelligent design and evolution working together? Does not the Roomba "genetically evolve" as each new model comes out? Do the programmers not fix what was wrong with the previous models or adapt the newer models to differing purposes such as the scooba? Each computer program and each robot can trace its beginnings back to the beginning of computer programming...ie: intelligent design and evolution.

It just seems to me that a computer programer should be able to grasp the concept that intelligent design and evolution are logical and natural.

Those of you who scoff at the idea of creationism as if you have some sort of superior understanding, I would say, Oh really? How do you explain the big bang theory? That there was nothing and then suddenly a spark in a pure vacuum created something? It's laughable on its face. No matter how overeducated you are to THINK you understand it, the fact is that you can't understand what is not comprehensible. So quite pretending that you are somehow more enlightened because you believe in an unprovable theory. It simply is not provable because it is beyond human ability (at least at this point in human history) to understand how nothing became something. To say you understand it is folly.

Yes, some of the creationist/intelligent design people may be attempting to get religion in a back door. But that isn't the point, is it? The point is that one side, the Darwin anti-creationist people are attempting, like the Muslims and liberals often do, to silence any discussion of alternative points of view from their own beliefs. It's never good to silence discussion. Why can't the creationists have their ideas discussed in a textbook too? What happened to allowing free speech and open discussion and the pros and cons of those ideas?

To me, thos who refuse to allow discussion are the ones crushing scientific discovery. And please don't tell me that some fanatics have some crazy ideas. Sure they do. But why is it that creationism and intelligent design, beliefs held by the majority of people in the world (most people do believe in a higher power) are simply off limits of even DISCUSSION because a number of little science Nazi's have decided that the debate is over and everyone agrees?

Is that not exactly the same as the global warming debate? "It's been decided and the debate is over and I can point to a number of scientists who agree with me". That is what Al Gore and Charles Johnson have in common. Their belief that debate is simply over and if you don't agree with them, you are crazy, bad and worthy of contempt.

What I don't understand is how Charles Johnson can see this in Al Gore, but not see this in himself. Get a mirror, Charles.
Posted by: Gluting Fillmore6653 || 02/12/2009 15:59 Comments || Top||

#11  Charles Johnson is a disgusting piece of trash. For one simple reason. If anyone who has a user id and password allowing that individual to post, and that person posts an opposing comment to his positions on creationism, etc., and that individual is posting strong and effective information to support their position, he immediately bans that individual. To which many, many commenters have been banned that have posted strong arguments countering his positions on these issues.

That makes Charles Johnson the very type of FACIST he claims to be against....
Posted by: Deadeye Gletch7681 || 02/12/2009 17:51 Comments || Top||

#12  tl;dr
Posted by: badanov || 02/12/2009 18:35 Comments || Top||

#13  ROFL
Posted by: ryuge || 02/12/2009 22:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Guys, you are forgetting one basic thing. The site belongs to Charles and he can do pretty much whatever he wants with it without checking with any of us first. Fred could do the same with Rantburg if he felt like it.

I could care less about the whole creationist thing he's gone off on lately. But it is still his blog, not mine. No one is forcing us to read it. Your life will not come to an end if he bans you. I doubt you will get fired, your significant other will leave you, or your mortgage rate will get hiked if you get banned.
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 02/12/2009 23:18 Comments || Top||

Daily Show: Tom Ricks
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 07:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

Olde Tyme Religion
Intimidating critics of Islam
By Rick Santorum
Posted by: ryuge || 02/12/2009 05:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

Science & Technology
Obama's Position on Space Treaty is Impractical and Dangerous
According to a recent article in Global Security Newswire, President Barack Obama might seek an international agreement to limit weapons in space, reversing Bush administration policy. As noted on the White House Web site, the new administration is calling for "a worldwide ban on weapons that interfere with military and commercial satellites." The president's position on this issue is impractical and dangerous.

Proponents of the ban argue that because the U.S. has the most space-based assets to lose in a future space war, it also has the greatest interest in restricting the use of space to peaceful purposes. An international treaty is seen as an effective means of creating a weapon-free zone outside of Earth's atmosphere. Treaty proponents also assert that U.S. restraint in deploying space weapons will forestall an arms race by removing the need for other states to develop countervailing capabilities. However sincere these assertions might be, they are simply not grounded in reality. Consider three arguments against a space weapons treaty:

First and foremost, there is no internationally agreed-upon definition of a space weapon. One proposed definition includes only space-based systems specifically produced to destroy other space objects. But that raises the question of intent, always difficult to prove. This definition also fails to take into account Earth-based systems that could be used to destroy objects in space, like the anti-satellite weapons used by the People's Republic of China in 2007 and the United States in 2008. Nor does it include terrestrial laser systems capable of jamming satellite communications. An alternate definition -- any object in, or passing through, space that has the capability of damaging or destroying another space object -- is equally unfeasible. Theoretically, any object in space could be used to intercept or collide with another object, again raising the issue of determining intent.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/12/2009 12:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  First and foremost, there is no internationally agreed-upon definition of a space weapon.

Get with the program. The firmament is held by P.O.'s head, which means anything over his head is a space weapon.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/12/2009 12:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe the information contained in the post, above:
Iridium Satellite Destroyed in Crash With Rooskie Junker
will clarify Obamacles' mind...but then again...
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 02/12/2009 16:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Obama's Position on Space Treaty is Impractical and Dangerous

There, title fully repaired.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2009 17:00 Comments || Top||

Strategypage: F-22 Secrets Revealed
February 12, 2009: The U.S. Air Force has released some performance data on the F-22. The stealthiness factor of the F-22 has turned out to be better than predicted. For radar purposes, the F-22 is about the size of a steel marble. The F-35 comes out as a steel golf ball. The AESA radar turned out to have a longer effective range of about 210 kilometers, versus a 200 on the official spec sheet. The AESA radar is also able to detect enemy radars at a considerable distance, meaning that, if an approaching enemy aircraft is using its radar, an F-22 can detect it about 300 kilometers distant. That gives the F-22 more time to get into position for a decisive first shot at the enemy aircraft.

These goodies are being released as the air force makes a pitch to delay some F-35 production in order to build more F-22s. The air force generals point out that the first 500 or so F-35s will cost $200 million each (without taking R&D into account), while F-22s only cost $145 million each (without taking R&D into account). The construction cost of the F-35 will eventually go to about $100 million each as more are produced.

The air force also points out that their simulations (which are classified, so it's difficult for anyone check their accuracy) indicate the an F-22 would destroy 30 Su-27/MiG-29 type aircraft for getting destroyed. But the F-35 would only have a 3:1 ratio, while the F-15 and F-16 would only have a 1:1 ratio (there are a lot of F-15 and F-16 pilots who would dispute this). Thus the need for more F-22s, even if it means fewer F-35s (in the near and long term).
That would be because the F-35 is designed for those icky bombing missions instead of being a pure fighter designed to make aces out of God's annointed ones.
The air force also points out that, with a force of 183 F-22s (all Congress will allow them to build at the moment), only about a hundred would be available for combat (the rest would be down for maintenance or used for training.) By building another 60-100 F-22s, and reducing initial F-35 production by that much, American air superiority would be much improved, at no (well, not much) additional expense. Or so goes the pitch.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/12/2009 11:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let's see if I understand: the F35 is both more expensive and less capable than the F35 and it is getting into production? Anyone sees the rationality? (That is assumming it is not built in Murtha's constituency).

Yes I know about the air to ground role) but, except for the VTOL frames wouldn't it be more rational to develop an air to ground version of th e F22 a la Strike Eagle and shutdown the F35? (Screw the Euros) At least while less capable the F16 was cheaper than the F15.
Posted by: JFM || 02/12/2009 12:24 Comments || Top||

#2  They are going with the F-22 and F-35 for the same reason they did a F-15 and F-16 mix. High/low cover. The F-22/F-15 are designed to take on aircraft and provide air cover for the other planes. They can provide air-to-ground cover if needed. The F-16/F-35 is the multi-role part of the mix. They get in low, bomb and provide the air-to-mud mix, but they can perform as good air-to-air fighters if needed.

The reason the air force likes the smaller and cheaper aircraft for the low mix is they will have a much higher attrition rate than the high mix aircraft. Bullets flying at you from all directions will do that. Therefore it makes logical sense that the cheaper aircraft are designed for the low mix. The F-35 was supposed to follow the same principle, but with all multi-committee designed projects the costs have spiraled.

Personally, I think it would make more sense to make more F-22s, provide them with ARMM capabilities and then let the F-16s go in and tear up shit. Later we can design, on our own (US) a stealthy replacement to the F-16. The F-35 will be a good aircraft, but now is becoming so damn expensive that most countries will not be able to buy it.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/12/2009 12:56 Comments || Top||

#3  If we need to spend billions of dollars to stimulate the economy why not buy more F-22s and F-35s more quickly?
Posted by: Donald McConnell || 02/12/2009 14:35 Comments || Top||

#4  To add to this, the F-35 comes in both Air Force and Navy/Marine versions. It's also our export fighter of the future, and the Brits, several Euro nations and the Aussies have put serious coin into its development. That was done in part to drive down the unit cost by ensuring sufficient sales. The F-22 was supposed to be USAF only with no export, but the Japanese in particular would love to have some.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/12/2009 14:47 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
Kanjorski and the Money Market Funds: The Facts
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 13:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Culture Wars
Ending Welfare Reform as We Knew It
Pres. Barack Obama vowed to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration but instead is determined to undo one of the great successes of the Clinton years: welfare reform. Democrats have inserted provisions into the catch-all stimulus bill that will reverse Clinton-era welfare reform, re-establishing the wasteful, incentive-killing system whose transformation was the bipartisan pride of the 1990s.

Prior to reform, the federal government simply gave the states more money for every family they added to the welfare rolls. The predictable result was that the states worked hard to maximize their welfare caseloads in order to maximize the amount of federal funding they could therefore claim. The system had zero incentive to help people make the transition from welfare to work and independence—in fact, the states were financially punished for doing so. The Clinton-Gingrich reforms replaced that bounty-hunter system with a flat rate for each state, based on population and other factors. That gave state-level welfare authorities a better set of incentives, encouraging them to use their resources in the most effective manner and to reserve them for the truly needy.

The results were successful—spectacularly so. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act was followed by reductions in both the number of families on welfare and the rate of poverty. Single women entered the workforce in substantial numbers and the household incomes of former welfare recipients went up. In other words, the incentives to reduce welfare dependence and help people to find work, worked.

Obama, in what is plainly a sop to ACORN and the rest of the “community organizing” gang, is overturning those reforms. Under the provisions in the stimulus bill, states will once again be paid a bounty for expanding their welfare rolls. As reported by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, the federal government will now pay states 80 percent of the cost for each new family they sign up for welfare. That means that states will get $4 for every $1 they spend. This will leave the main welfare program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), with a funding mechanism similar to the one that supports Medicaid. As Brian Blase argues here, Medicaid’s funding ratio, which gives states $1 to $3 for every dollar they spend, has caused state Medicaid spending to skyrocket. If Medicaid’s dollar-for-dollar model has proved ruinous, Obama’s new $4-to-$1 ratio for welfare will prove, in all likelihood, four times so.

What can Republicans do about this? Not much. House Republicans hung tough against the stimulus only to have their position undermined by three of the usual suspects in the Senate: Senators Specter, Collins, and Snowe. Republicans were locked out of the process by which the differences in the House and Senate versions were resolved—their last (forlorn) shot at taming this beast of a bill.

Given that the states will receive $4 from the federal government for every $1 they add to their welfare budgets, even conservative governors will feel pressure to inflate their welfare rolls in order to wring every dollar they can out of Washington. And there are early rumblings about removing the already weak work requirements that rounded out the Clinton-era reforms.

The Democrats are stuffing years’ worth of legislation into their “stimulus” bill. They are operating in the legislative shadows, evading scrutiny and debate, while enacting an expansion of the welfare state that would never survive a more considered process. Obama’s right-hand man, Rahm Emanuel, put it bluntly if cynically: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Obama obviously intends to make the most of this one as he proves that he is, after all, the Second Coming—of Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 13:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Stupid move.
Posted by: newc || 02/12/2009 13:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Why not? Socialism has worked so well in the past. Look at the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, and China (before capitalist reforms) - models of paradise.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/12/2009 14:12 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
Barack Obama and Tim Geithner rob Main Street of $3 trillion
"The sparkle has gone from his eyes already," an American acquaintance said to me yesterday, referring to Barack Obama. "He doesn't know what to do." Obama's performance at his press conference confirmed that impression, with the rhetoric of the campaign trail, fluent and banal as piped musak, replaced with long hesitations not just between sentences, but between clauses. This was an auto-cue junkie suffering cold turkey.

When a political lightweight is out of his depth, he seeks to compensate by counterfeiting the certainty he is far from feeling. Obama's rantings in defence of his stimulus plan have assumed an apocalyptic intensity. Unless Congress agrees to flush almost $1 trillion of Joe Citizen's hard-earned bucks down the sanitation, "Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse."

So, America had better listen to the man who "screwed up" over Tom Daschle because he alone has the wisdom to extricate the US of A from financial disaster. The instrument of salvation is the biggest barrel of pork that the undeserving needy have ever seen in American history, from sea to shining sea. The financial crisis may seem complex, but the solution - the real solution - depends on one simple premise: tax cuts revive economies, handouts do not.

Trillion-dollar giveaways are like buses: there will be another one along in a moment. Driving the next vehicle is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who thinks it would be a nice gesture to hand another $2 trillion to Gordon Gekko and his pals on Wall Street. Apparently the last handout made no appreciable difference, so better throw some more moolah into the piranha pool - some of those poor SOBs are down to their last executive jet.

Where will the money come from? No problem - we just divert it from Main Street to Wall Street, an increasingly familiar route to those in the White House and on Capitol Hill who specialise in redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich. This seems to be in addition to Geithner's $0.5 trillion scheme to stimulate spending in real estate, drawing cash largely from the US Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

So, overall, Barack and Tim are currently disposing of more than $3 trillion of taxpayers' money. The only remotely comparable stimulus scheme proposed for America was a fictitious one: when the James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger planned to detonate a nuclear device in Fort Knox and irradiate the nation's gold reserves. Incinerating $3 trillion in dollar bills could not be more wasteful than the Obama stimulus plan.

It is madness. These lunatics are mugging Main Street of $3 trillion and squandering it on a liberal fantasy. It could be a generation before America recovers - not simply from the loss of these funds, but from the economic mismanagement of which it is a symptom. The fall-out will be very serious for the rest of the world. Hope? Change we need? Vote in haste, repent at leisure.
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 10:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So at what point could someone bring to trial that these appropriations should be reserved for the annual budget and these packages are outside of the federal budget procedure, making them unlawful?

Second, in the spirit of windfall oil revenue, when can we get our tax break for windfall federal tax expenditure?

Third, P.O. was right when he said he was going to inject the money into the segment of society which will most likely spend it fast - government.

Fourth, if Wall Street wants to be anything other than the slaves of incompetent lawyers they better come clean - even start making noise about the corruption of congress. That would be you shareholders as well.

I believe people who invest/follow stock prices make money and/or know how the economy works. I don't trust any poll that says a politicial has an approval rating of +60% as an indicator of confidence what I do trust is the market. Someone can be both popular and wrong at the same time. Back in high school I had a chemistry class with the big time basketball player - fun guy, everyone liked him, but I sure didn't like getting teamed with him during a lab and was bottom 1/3 in class grades.

Any rate, not going to invest in markets till they get off the gov tit and will have no confidence in the 2nd grade pagent of a congress and the high school pop jock acting president.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/12/2009 11:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't expect a Truth Commission on this one ...
Posted by: Steve White || 02/12/2009 11:28 Comments || Top||

#3  The greatest swindle in history. For now on pay me with FCX stock.
Posted by: newc || 02/12/2009 17:26 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
"Is Michael Steele Barack Obama's Evil Twin?"
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 10:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No, but I think Barack Obama might be Michael Steele's evil twin.
Posted by: Mike || 02/12/2009 12:10 Comments || Top||

#2  One can hope.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 02/12/2009 13:19 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
Banking CEOs: We didn't think the bailout was necessary
Posted by: tipper || 02/12/2009 06:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As we watched one back close it's doors and be bought out by yet another, neither did any of us!
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2009 6:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Does that mean we can have our money back?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/12/2009 13:10 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
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On Sale now!

A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
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trailing wife
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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2009-02-12
  Pak arrests 'main operator' in Mumbai attacks
Wed 2009-02-11
  Taliban Attack Afghan Government Buildings, Killing 20
Tue 2009-02-10
  FBI woman sexually harassed me: 26/11 accused terrorist
Mon 2009-02-09
  Female Tamil Tiger bomber kills 28 after hiding among refugees
Sun 2009-02-08
  India wants Pak declared terrorist state
Sat 2009-02-07
  Russia allows transit of US military supplies
Fri 2009-02-06
  Islamabad High Court frees AQ Khan
Thu 2009-02-05
  Thirty dead in Pakistan blast: hospital
Wed 2009-02-04
  Bridge Attack Severs Afghan Supply Route
Tue 2009-02-03
  Somalia orders recapture of Baidoa
Mon 2009-02-02
  Bomber in police uniform kills 21 Afghan policemen
Sun 2009-02-01
  Sheikh Sharif elected as Somalia's president
Sat 2009-01-31
  Polls Close in Iraq Elections, No Major Violence
Fri 2009-01-30
  'Incompetent' Hamid Karzai's political future in doubt
Thu 2009-01-29
  Pakistan busts suicide bomb gang

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