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Iraq suicide bomber kills 30, wounds 57
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
SNL: Tim Geithner addresses the banking crisis
Posted by: Mike || 03/09/2009 10:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Makes more sense that what's going on now.
Posted by: Icerigger || 03/09/2009 15:52 Comments || Top||

The Myth of the Two Talibans
Posted by: tipper || 03/09/2009 09:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What a maroon O is! He should stick to handing out DVDs to visiting dignataries and leave the more complex things to others.
Posted by: whatadeal || 03/09/2009 15:14 Comments || Top||

Islamic Hate Poster mailed around Luton North of London.
This disgusting piece of trash was sent to me by Sue of the Muffled Vociferation blog. It was pushed through her friend's letter box in Luton. Is this really the country we are living in? I don't normally get involved with stories about Muslims as I think there are far too many raving loonies going over the top about them. However, on this occasion I think that something needs to be done. I would like to believe that this leaflet does not represent the vast majority of decent Muslims living in Luton.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 03/09/2009 08:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Could one of the admins upload the scan of the hate mail?
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 03/09/2009 10:46 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Obama is a Great Pretender
As a society, we should pay in taxes what it costs government to provide desired services. If benefits don't seem equal to burdens, then the spending isn't worth having (exceptions: deficits in wartime and economic slumps).

If Obama were "responsible," he would conduct a candid conversation about the role of government. Who deserves support and why? How big can government grow before higher taxes and deficits harm economic growth? Although Obama claims to be doing this, he hasn't confronted entitlement psychology -- the belief that government benefits once conferred should never be revoked.

Is it in the public interest for the well-off elderly (say, a couple with $125,000 of income) to be subsidized, through Social Security and Medicare, by poorer young and middle-aged workers? Are any farm subsidies justified when they aren't essential for food production? We wouldn't starve without them.

Given an aging America, government faces huge conflicts between spending on the elderly and spending on everything else. But even before most of baby boomers retire (in 2016, only a quarter will have reached 65), Obama's government would have grown. In 2016, federal spending is projected to be 22.4 percent of GDP, up from 21 percent in 2008; federal taxes, 19.2 percent of GDP, up from 17.7 percent.

It would also be "responsible" for Obama to acknowledge the big gamble in his budget. National security has long been government's first job. In his budget, defense spending drops from 20 percent of the total in 2008 to 14 percent in 2016, the smallest share since the 1930s. The decline presumes a much safer world. If the world doesn't cooperate, deficits would grow.

The gap between Obama rhetoric and Obama reality transcends the budget, as do the consequences. In 2009, the stock market has declined 23.78 percent (through March 5), says Wilshire Associates. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page blames Obama's policies for all the fall. That's unfair; the economy's deterioration was a big cause. Still, Obama isn't blameless.

Confidence (too little) and uncertainty (too much) define this crisis. Obama's double talk reduces the first and raises the second. He says he's focused on reviving the economy, but he's also using the crisis to advance an ambitious long-term agenda. The two sometimes collide. The $787 billion "stimulus" is weaker than necessary, because almost $200 billion for extended projects (high-speed rail, computerized medical records) take effect after 2010. When Congress debates Obama's sweeping health care and energy proposals, industries, regions and governmental philosophies will clash. Will this improve confidence? Reduce uncertainty?

A prudent president would have made a "tough choice" -- concentrated on the economy; deferred his more contentious agenda. Similarly, Obama claims to seek bipartisanship but, in reality, doesn't. His bipartisanship consists of including a few Republicans in his Cabinet and inviting some Republican congressmen to the White House for the Super Bowl. It does not consist of fashioning proposals that would attract bipartisan support on their merits. Instead, he clings to dubious, partisan policies (mortgage cramdown, union check-off) that arouse fierce opposition.

Obama thinks he can ignore these blatant inconsistencies. Like many smart people, he believes he can talk his way around problems. Maybe. He's helped by much of the media, who seem so enthralled with him that they don't see glaring contradictions. During the campaign, Obama said he would change Washington's petty partisanship; he also advocated a highly partisan agenda. Both claims could not be true. The media barely noticed; the same obliviousness persists. But Obama still runs a risk: that his overworked rhetoric loses its power and boomerangs on him.

Just for Yuks
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/09/2009 17:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  GB, that is one fantastic You Tube. Click through, everybody.
Posted by: Glenmore || 03/09/2009 19:39 Comments || Top||

#2  He may well be the greatest of all. Give the man his due.
Posted by: Grunter || 03/09/2009 20:01 Comments || Top||

#3  <<< In 2009, the stock market has declined 23.78 percent (through March 5), says Wilshire Associates. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page blames Obama's policies for all the fall. That's unfair; the economy's deterioration was a big cause. Still, Obama isn't blameless. >>>>

Its not in the least bit unfair. The market is forward looking. It believed the hopeamania. That's why it ran up in December through January. It started falling as soon as the wrapping was taken off the new package to reveal Pandora's box. It's fallen 12% since the dividend and tax changes were announced whaich are taking place this October.

In any case, pull apart the market move. Commodities and Oil have bottomed and are now on the way up. That's because the market knows that inflation is on the way. The inflationary effects of the budget proposal and spending bill, the yield curve and the intention to further tax oil companies in the GOM by removing deductions will further reduce domestic supply. Doubling alternative sources [which Bush in fact did] would take "alternative" power generation from 1% to 2%. Its nuts. No-one is paying sufficient attention to the big con in this area.

The other half of the equation is the continuing massive drop in banking because Geithner is proving by his actions that he is operating in a field well above his competency level.
Posted by: Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 || 03/09/2009 20:03 Comments || Top||

Posted by: badanov || 03/09/2009 22:19 Comments || Top||

Your feel-good video of the day
14-year old Jonathan krohn addresses CPAC:

Hope for the future.
Posted by: Mike || 03/09/2009 11:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We'll see. Five years from now he could be a communist. I'm not real impressed by the opinions of kiddies.
Posted by: Fred || 03/09/2009 13:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Him not likely ain't ever had a Hippie Squeeze yet.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/09/2009 18:46 Comments || Top||

#3  He was on before some years back.
Posted by: newc || 03/09/2009 23:39 Comments || Top||

Why Obama’s left leaning is no tactical feint
On this page last week I argued that Barack Obama's first budget showed him to be more of a left-leaning liberal than I and many others -- sceptics and admirers alike -- had previously supposed. People I respect have accused me of going off the deep end about this, or of neglecting Mr Obama's tactical finesse, or both.

Mr Obama is calling for little that he did not promise in the campaign, I am reminded, so he cannot be accused of springing a surprise. I welcome many of the budget's main elements, notably healthcare reform and the cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, and the president made it clear all along that he wished to reverse the Bush tax cuts for the high paid. So the revelation that Mr Obama is a progressive liberal must arise from the proposal to curb high earners' income-tax deductions. That was a surprise, but a small matter: hence the charge that I am getting carried away.

Alternatively, I am told, Mr Obama is playing a shrewder game. Like any good negotiator, he has adopted a maximalist opening position. He expects to be walked back from it, ending up where he wanted to be in the first place, with a more centrist plan than the one he pitched.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/09/2009 10:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  People I respect have accused me of going off the deep end about this, or of neglecting Mr Obama’s tactical finesse, or both.

Time to find some new friends I'd say.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/09/2009 12:27 Comments || Top||

#2  <<< His political skills are undeniable. >>>

It depends how that is defined. Did Carter have good political skills? Being popular before you get the job and conning your way into it is different from failing in the job and proving to be a dud.

It wasn't that hard to win the job when the MSM doesn't ask questions. The post today concerning Obama ringing back the NYT to find out if the "socialist" question is an example. Probably the first time he was asked a searching question and the idea shocked him more than the question.
Posted by: Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 || 03/09/2009 19:35 Comments || Top||

Is President Obama Overexposed?
Barack Obama is ubiquitous. In his first six weeks in office, he's given an inaugural address, a State of the Union-like speech to a joint-session of Congress (since new presidents don't really report on the state of the union), and an hour-long press conference. He's also made several campaign trips and has been a daily fixture on magazine covers and the news shows. He's talking to us all the time.

Yes, he's an intriguing and appealing figure. But you don't have to go out on a limb to surmise that he may be risking overexposure -- which often leads to failure.

This is not an argument about the longevity of political popularity. Rather, it has to do with Obama's creating what political scientist Theodore Lowi called "a personal presidency," in which one unreasonably exaggerates the power of a president to influence events -- especially economic ones. Going down that path, warned Lowi, is a sure road to political failure.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 || 03/09/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cult of Personality 101.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/09/2009 2:54 Comments || Top||

#2  "Yes, he's an intriguing and appealing figure."

I have to wonder if I am a member of the same species as the writer. To me O is about as intriguing and appealing as dandruff.
Posted by: Cynicism Inc || 03/09/2009 5:00 Comments || Top||

#3  I agree. Every time I see his picture on (yet another) magazine cover, I want to throw up.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 03/09/2009 7:42 Comments || Top||

#4  "As visibility goes up, so do expectations and vulnerability,"

Barry, a quick solution. Leave the kids upstairs with granny, take Queen Michelle and go hide somewhere in the White House basement. Rahm will know where you are and keep in touch by crackberry. The sooner you turn OFF that NEW SOCIALIST IDEA MACHINE, the better we'll all be.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/09/2009 8:07 Comments || Top||

#5  Yeah, chalk me up as another one, sick to death of seeing him or Michelle on magazine covers at the super-market check-out stand. I'd take a quiet oath to never buy another one of those magazines again - but I didn't buy them before, so a buycott (deliberate miss-spelling there)would have no effect.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 03/09/2009 8:30 Comments || Top||

#6  If things improve soon, the president will claim the credit. If they don't, it's all his fault -- even though he had nothing to do with creating this crisis and doesn't have all that much direct ability to solve it, either.

In other words only Bush could fail to solve the problem.

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/09/2009 10:11 Comments || Top||

#7  There is one magazine cover which should bear his photo - American Gun - and a caption "Gun Salesman of the Year".
Posted by: Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 || 03/09/2009 11:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Depends on who the stage hands are that day.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/09/2009 11:50 Comments || Top||

Jumping Jacks, Iraqi Style
Ooooh, man...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/09/2009 13:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They look like primary school kids who haven't been trained in the skill yet. I'm surprised the exercise leaders didn't stop to break down the exercise for them -- the Iraqis won't get nearly as much out of it so long as they do it wrong.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/09/2009 16:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Our family Marine Sergeant says that the adults are some of the most 'uncoordinated people he's ever met'.

He says the kids are normal, coordinated and very active. They just lose interest or get lazy as they get older.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 03/09/2009 17:02 Comments || Top||

Olde Tyme Religion
Islam Should Prove It's a Religion of Peace
The film "Fitna" by Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders has created an uproar around the world because it links violence committed by Islamists to Islam.

Many commentators and politicians -- including the British government, which denied him entry to the country last month -- reflexively accused Mr. Wilders of inciting hatred. The question, however, is whether the blame is with Mr. Wilders, who simply exposed Islamic radicalism, or with those who promote and engage in this religious extremism. In other words, shall we fault Mr. Wilders for raising issues like the stoning of women, or shall we fault those who actually promote and practice this crime?

Many Muslims seem to believe that it is acceptable to teach hatred and violence in the name of their religion -- while at the same time expecting the world to respect Islam as a religion of peace, love and harmony.

Scholars in the most prestigious Islamic institutes and universities continue to teach things like Jews are "pigs and monkeys," that women and men must be stoned to death for adultery, or that Muslims must fight the world to spread their religion. Isn't, then, Mr. Wilders's criticism appropriate? Instead of blaming him, we must blame the leading Islamic scholars for having failed to produce an authoritative book on Islamic jurisprudence that is accepted in the Islamic world and unambiguously rejects these violent teachings.

While many religious texts preach violence, the interpretation, modern usage and implementation of these teachings make all the difference. For example, the stoning of women exists in both the Old Testament and in the Islamic tradition, or "Sunna" -- the recorded deeds and manners of the prophet Muhammad. The difference, though, is that leading Jewish scholars agreed to discontinue these practices centuries ago, while Muslim scholars have yet to do so. Hence we do not see the stoning of women practiced or promoted in Israel, the "Jewish" state, but we see it practiced and promoted in Iran and Saudi Arabia, the "Islamic" states.

When the British government banned Geert Wilders from entering the country to present his film in the House of Lords, it made two egregious errors. The first was to suppress free speech, a canon of the civilized Western world. The second mistake was to blame the messenger -- punishing, so to speak, the witness who exposed the crime instead of punishing the criminal. Mr. Wilders did not produce the content of the violent Islamic message he showed in his film -- the Islamic world did that. Until the Islamic clerical establishment takes concrete steps to reject violence in the name of their religion, Mr. Wilders's criticism is not only permissible as "controversial" free speech but justified.

So, Islamic scholars and clerics, it is up to you to produce a Shariah book that will be accepted in the Islamic world and that teaches that Jews are not pigs and monkeys, that declaring war to spread Islam is unacceptable, and that killing apostates is a crime. Such a book would prove that Islam is a religion of peace.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/09/2009 17:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front Economy
‘Manchurian Candidate’ Starts War on Business
Posted by: tipper || 03/09/2009 17:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Currently, the U.S. has the second-highest corporate tax on Earth. U.S. firms can compete in Europe by opening a subsidiary in a low-tax country and locating the profits there. Since the high U.S. tax applies only when the money is mailed home, and firms can let the money sit abroad for as long as they want, the big disadvantage of the high rate is muted significantly.

End that deferral opportunity and U.S. firms will no longer be able to compete, given their huge tax disadvantage. With foreign tax rates so low now, it is even possible that the end of deferral could lead to the extinction of the U.S. corporation.

If any firms are to remain, they will be festooned with massive carbon-permit expenses because of Obama’s new cap-and- trade program.

Perot would have nothing on the huge sucking sound of U.S. Corporations leaving the U.S. for foreign soil.

In fact I am beginning to think that is the whole idea behind Bambi's tactics.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/09/2009 18:33 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Disliking Rush and Sarah
Blogger "theoptimisticconservative"

From a distance, it looks like David Frum's "New Conservative Majority" is distinguished primarily by its dislike of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

Perhaps it looks different up close. This passage comes across as pretty pointed, however:
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Mike || 03/09/2009 09:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

Jay Nordlinger on Rush
"The Corner" @ National Review

I'm going to wade into Rush, one more time -- one more time, for now. I wrote about the fuss about him here. And I wrote a little more in this column, in which I talk about how painful it is when friends disagree, or are at each other's throats.

In the course of the second column, I said, "I love David Frum, and he has long been one of my favorite people. I love Rush, too. What a stinker of a situation." David had gone after Rush hard. And he has gone after him again, in this article, which is the cover of Newsweek.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Mike || 03/09/2009 09:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

The real character of Muslim-Americans

PEW has an interesting analysis explaining the differences between findings related to the character of Muslim-Americans in two polls. One was conducted by PEW, the other by Gallup. Look how differences in methodology (the language used) lead to different findings:

Gallup estimates that more than one-in-three American Muslims (35%) are black, compared with Pew's estimate of 24%. Gallup estimates that 40% of Muslim Americans have obtained a college degree; Pew estimates that 24% have done so. And Gallup estimates that more Muslims are currently employed than does Pew Research (70% vs. 57%).

On race, education and employment, Muslims interviewed in English by Pew Research are roughly similar to Muslims interviewed by Gallup. Muslims interviewed by Pew Research in Arabic, Urdu or Farsi, by contrast, exhibit very different characteristics than those interviewed in English. For instance, only 8% of Muslims interviewed in these languages describe their race as black, compared with 27% of Muslims interviewed by Pew Research in English and 35% of Muslims interviewed by Gallup. Only 14% of Muslims interviewed in these languages report having graduated from college, about half the number of college graduates among those interviewed by Pew Research in English and about one-third the number of Muslims interviewed by Gallup. And only 25% of those interviewed in Arabic, Urdu or Farsi are currently employed, which is less than half the employment rate seen among Muslims interviewed in English by Pew Research or Gallup.

Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/09/2009 05:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fascinating. "Black" means something different in America than elsewhere, which we too often forget. "College" does as well. In the U.S. we don't differentiate between college and university as terms for tertiary education, except when specifying institutions which provide masters and doctoral degrees. Much of the rest of the world uses college in the British sense, meaning a trade school or institutions providing a 2-year tertiary (associate) degree.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/09/2009 16:42 Comments || Top||

#2  A degree is a 3(or 4 for honours) year course in the U.K.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 03/09/2009 19:19 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
Welcome to Nationalized Citibank..
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/09/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now that its nationalized - I supposed it'll take them 3 months to process my ontime credit card payment - and then they will declare it 2 months overdue right?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/09/2009 0:56 Comments || Top||

#2  See CF - and you thought you didn't understand high finance.
Posted by: GORT || 03/09/2009 7:49 Comments || Top||

#3  You missed the increase in interest rates for late payment, plus penalty.

...and to avoid runs, you're limited to 300 dollars cash withdraw a day. Enjoy the lines :)
Posted by: Procopius2k || 03/09/2009 9:17 Comments || Top||

#4  you're limited to 300 dollars cash withdraw a day

Could be coming sooner than some may think!
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/09/2009 10:01 Comments || Top||

#5  I just wanna know when I can expect my dividend check?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 03/09/2009 12:15 Comments || Top||

#6  Sorry EU - I don't think even CitiBank will issue a check with a negative amount.

(Congress on the other hand....)
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/09/2009 12:40 Comments || Top||

#7  No dividend? Why would I invest in that?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 03/09/2009 13:37 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
3Govt of Pakistan
1al-Qaeda in Iraq
1Govt of Sudan
1Islamic Jihad
1Lashkar e-Taiba

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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Scooter McGruder
john frum
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2009-03-09
  Iraq suicide bomber kills 30, wounds 57
Sun 2009-03-08
  Palestinian PM submits resignation making way for unity govt
Sat 2009-03-07
  US taps Delhi on Lanka foray: Marines to evacuate civilians
Fri 2009-03-06
  Marwan to be 'freed' as part of Shalit deal
Thu 2009-03-05
  ICC issues arrest warrant for Sudan's president-for-life
Wed 2009-03-04
  Lanka troops in last Tamil Tiger Towne
Tue 2009-03-03
  Lanka cricketers shot up in Lahore
Mon 2009-03-02
  Hariri tribunal gets underway in The Hague
Sun 2009-03-01
  Mighty Pak Army claims famous victory in Bajaur
Sat 2009-02-28
  Bangla sepoy mutiny: Mass grave horror stuns nation
Fri 2009-02-27
  Paleofactions agree to form unity govt
Thu 2009-02-26
  Bangla: At least 50 feared dead in sepoy mutiny
Wed 2009-02-25
  Lanka: Troops enter last Tamil Tiger-controlled town
Tue 2009-02-24
  Mulla Omar orders halt to attacks on Pak troops
Mon 2009-02-23
  100 rounded up in Nineveh
Sun 2009-02-22
  1 European killed, 9 others wounded in Egypt blast

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