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Yemen sends thousands of troops to fight Qaeda
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Birmingham Sewer Vanity Follies
Elected in 2007, Larry Langford had to step down as mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, but not by his choice. A Tuscaloosa jury convicted Langford in October of all 60 counts of bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and tax evasion in federal court when he was president of the Jefferson County Commission.

Langford was undone by vanity. He charged more clothes than he could pay at many of the finest stores in the Birmingham area. Montgomery investment banker William Blount and lobbyist Albert LaPierre fixed this and a Langford tax debt, paying $235,000 in all. In return, Blount reaped $7.1 million in Jefferson County bond business related to the county's sewer consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This included fees paid to Blount for bonds placed through Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.

In a deal to testify against Langford, Blount and LaPierre pled guilty to two counts each. Blount is going to prison for 52 months and paying a fine of $1 million. LaPierre will serve 48 months and pay a fine of $372,000. Attorneys for Langford tried unsuccessfully to portray him as an innocent dupe of Blount and LaPierre.

If Jefferson County had only issued capital bonds for the sewer project, it would have been expensive but understandable. However, Jefferson County invested in derivatives such as interest rate swaps with predictable results; the county's bond rate fell and sewage rates soared. Before the Langford conviction, eight other figures in the Jefferson County sewer case were convicted of giving or taking bribes. Langford topped them all.

A special election January 19 to elect a successor to Langford has been narrowed to two. Ivy League attorney Patrick Cooper, who lost to Langford in 2007, is facing longtime City Councilman William Bell. Bell was acting Birmingham Mayor in 1999. He has lost twice before, including finishing fourth in 2007.

City finances are ailing, not least because city operating funds are used to paper over capital funding shortfalls, both candidates agree. It is obvious that the city is at least $32 million in the red because of reliance on sales tax revenue and a peculiar tax levied against employees, both of which are recession-prone. The difference is that Bell wants to build a domed stadium and Cooper wants a mass transit system that works better than Birmingham's current dysfunctional system.

Both Bell and Cooper are black, but Cooper's complexion is less dark. Bell has accused Cooper of being a slave-trader from Mobile and doing the bidding of predominately white communities over the mountains from Birmingham. It is a calculated risk to try to paint Cooper as not being black enough and not being from Birmingham. So far, Cooper leads with young people and the white sections of Birmingham.

Still free before he serves life in prison, Langford has endorsed Bell, which some wags have called the kiss of death. Ironically, some of the places where Langford shopped for clothes are in predominately white communities over the mountains.
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [330 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ironically, some of the places where Langford shopped for clothes are in predominately white communities over the mountains.
This sentence has no place in the article. Sounds like the author is trying to insert a bit of racism. I lived in Birmingham for 10 years and we always had problems with corupt city officials no matter their skin color. The author is trying to make it sound as if there are still some areas where black people can't go. BS.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 01/06/2010 7:45 Comments || Top||

#2  The author is trying to make it sound as if there are still some areas where black people can't go. BS. Posted by Deacon Blues

Not certain what he's attempting to say Deacon. But there are plenty of places in Birmingham where whites may not wish to loiter.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/06/2010 7:49 Comments || Top||

#3  places in Birmingham where whites may not wish to loiter.

Most blacks probably would not want to loiter in those very same places.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/06/2010 11:04 Comments || Top||

Disgraced Miss. judge reports to federal prison
Bobby DeLaughter, a former Mississippi prosecutor and judge whose legal conquests became the subject of books and a movie, reported to federal prison Monday for lying to the FBI in a judicial bribery investigation.

The next chapter of DeLaughter's life, as inmate No. 12930-042, marks a long fall from the height of his legal career in 1994 when he was a prosecutor who helped convict a civil rights-era assassin for the 30-year-old murder of NAACP leader Medgar Evers.

The 55-year-old DeLaughter (deh-LAW'-ter) reported to a federal prison camp in Pine Knot, Ky., before his 2 p.m. deadline, said Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Felicia Ponce.

The prison has a medium-security facility and minimum-security camp, though Ponce said she did not know how DeLaughter would be classified. All inmates in the federal system must work if they are physically able, with jobs ranging from cooks to groundskeepers, she said.

Prisoners make from 12 cents to 40 cents an hour depending on the job and their experience.

DeLaughter was sentenced to 18 months in November after pleading guilty to lying about secret conversations he had with a lawyer while presiding over a dispute between wealthy attorneys over legal fees. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped conspiracy and mail fraud charges.

DeLaughter made a name for himself as an assistant district attorney when he helped put away Byron de la Beckwith for Evers' 1963 murder. The case was the basis for the 1996 movie "Ghosts of Mississippi," with Alec Baldwin playing DeLaughter.

DeLaughter also wrote a book about the prosecution, "Never Too Late: A Prosecutor's Story of Justice in the Medgar Evers Case."

That acclaim helped DeLaughter get appointed to a vacant seat on the bench in 2002. He was later elected to the position.

His storied career ended with the same bribery scandal that toppled Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, chief architect of the multibillion-dollar tobacco litigation of the 1990s - which was depicted in the movie "The Insider," starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.

DeLaughter was presiding over a lawsuit in which a lawyer sued Scruggs for a bigger cut of millions in legal fees from asbestos litigation. Prosecutors said DeLaughter ruled in Scruggs' favor in exchange for a promise that he'd be considered for a federal judgeship, with help from Scruggs' high-powered connections.

DeLaughter ruled in 2006 that Scruggs didn't owe the former partner anything more than a belated $1.5 million payment. The ruling was contrary to the findings of a special master appointed to weigh the evidence before trial.

DeLaughter pleaded guilty only to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with his old boss, former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters. Peters was accused of receiving $1 million to influence DeLaughter, but he cooperated in the investigation and was not charged.
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The 55-year-old DeLaughter (deh-LAW'-ter) reported to a federal prison camp in Pine Knot, Ky

where the inmates will pronounce it differently, I suspect, and his cellmate will pronunce it any damn way he wants.
Posted by: Frank G || 01/06/2010 14:37 Comments || Top||

#2  DeLaughter pleaded guilty only to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with his old boss, former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters. Peters was accused of receiving $1 million to influence DeLaughter, but he cooperated in the investigation and was not charged.

The old boss is the winner. I don't hear anywhere that he gave up his $1 million.
Posted by: Phith Dingle6292 || 01/06/2010 17:17 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Queen Nancy Takes a Swipe at The One (cat fight?)
Nancy Pelosi takes swipe at President Obama's campaign promises

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, piqued with White House pressure to accept the Senate health reform bill, threw a rare rhetorical elbow Tuesday at President Barack Obama, questioning his commitment to his 2008 campaign promises.

A leadership aide said it was no accident.
Wonder if she just got a new botox injection and was feeling goooooodddd?
Pelosi emerged from a meeting with her leadership team and committee chairs in the Capitol to face an aggressive throng of reporters who immediately hit her with C-SPAN's request that she permit closed-door final talks on the bill to be televised.

A reporter reminded the San Francisco Democrat that in 2008, then-candidate Obama opined that all such negotiations be open to C-SPAN cameras.

"There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail," quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.

People familiar with Pelosi's thinking wasted little time in explaining precisely what she meant by a "number of things" -- saying it reflected weeks of simmering tension on health care between two Democratic power players who have functioned largely in lock step during Obama's first year in office.

Senior House Democratic leadership aides say Pelosi was pointedly referring to Obama's '08 pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class, which she interprets to include a tax on so-called Cadillac health care plans that offer lavish benefit packages to many union members. The House aides, speaking on condition of anonymity,
Is there any other way folks in Washington speak? Just in anonymity? Chickens
said Pelosi has been miffed with Obama's tilt toward the Senate plan and his expectation that the House would simply go along with the Senate bill out of political necessity.

A Pelosi aide later downplayed the remark, saying, "It was a quip, not a jab at anyone."
A quip here, a jab here... quip, jab, what comes next? A right hook?
"She's setting up for the conference," said a leadership staffer. "It's strategic. She's staking out her territory."
And bearing her teeth. Hummm, wonder if her dentist has whitened her teeth lately? She will, of course, want to look her best!
It wasn't the first time she's done so.
Hasn't she heard of the Chicago Way? Or has all that botox effected some of her brain cells? Making her feel powerful and unafraid?
Pelosi has repeatedly expressed her frustrations about the inclusion of the Cadillac tax in the Senate bill and has sparred with Obama about the issue during face-to-face meetings. Her hope now, House aides say, is to get the administration to accept a tax that starts on family plans worth $28,000 -- $7,000 more than the threshold favored by Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The White House has shown a clear preference for the Senate product in the months-long, bifurcated health care debate. And Reid holds the two best trump cards in the form of Sens. Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, two wavering moderates who have already threatened to vote against a final compromise if it deviates significantly from legislation the Senate passed late last year.

That means the speaker needs to play her cards wisely -- even if it means directing some well-timed fire at the president.
Be afraid, Obama, be very afraid. Queen Nancy is taking aim. Any one up for this one to appear on Pay-to-View?
All year, liberal Democrats have been clamoring for Obama to get more involved in the health care negotiations, hoping he would weigh in to push their top priority -- the public option. The president is now promising to take a much more active role in these final negotiations -- his staff will convene a meeting with House and Senate aides as early as Wednesday to start laying the groundwork for the talks. But that might not be a good thing for the speaker or her liberal colleagues because of the White House preference for the Senate bill.

During a White House meeting Tuesday, Obama told the speaker and other congressional leaders that he would like to see them approve a final bill by his State of the Union address, set for late January or early February. Earlier in the day, House Democrats weren't convinced they could meet that deadline -- and seemed ambivalent about whether they even wanted to try.
This is just gonna get better and better -- fight!
Posted by: Sherry || 01/06/2010 13:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  She’s staking out her territory

explains the spray of urine as she left the press conference
Posted by: Frank G || 01/06/2010 14:39 Comments || Top||

#2  “Pelosi has repeatedly expressed her frustrations about the inclusion of the Cadillac tax in the Senate bill…”

Yeah…right. This broad ain’t got a principled bone in her body. Public option? She will demand her little Progressive weenies to get in line. And, as always, they’ll whine for a bit then dust off their “It’s not perfect but it’s a good first step” speeches. Abortion? She won’t hesitate to hand Stupak and the rest of the other…gasp…Pro-Life Democrats a shit sandwich (or a pass) as long as she has the votes. But piss off Andy Stern and SEIU? Boy howdy, she better make it look like she’s fighting fang and claw over that one.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 01/06/2010 16:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Its not the Cadillac she should be worried about, its the bus.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 01/06/2010 18:25 Comments || Top||

#4  This is just gonna get better and better -- fight!

Nope, she's pretty much caved already saying today that there are, "... a number of ways to reach the public option," and that the Senate bill is, "... a good start."
Posted by: AzCat || 01/06/2010 18:44 Comments || Top||

Democrats Open to Raising Medicare Tax to Fund Health Overhaul
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/06/2010 13:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'd favor a 99% Medicare tax on bonus payments awarded to Goldman Sachs workers. Fair's fair, after all.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 01/06/2010 13:49 Comments || Top||

#2  For every percentage point the Medicare tax is raised on working people, government employees pay double and elected representatives pay 10-fold.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/06/2010 14:55 Comments || Top||

#3  The Medicare "Trust Fund" will be bankrupt in 2017 anyway. This might postpone it, what, 2 years?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/06/2010 15:00 Comments || Top||

#4  the proposal is an new 0.9% tax on income over $200k (of $250k for a couple filing jointly)

this would probably increase the medicare receipts by at least 70%

of course it would hit states like NY, MA, MD, NJ and CA hard because of the number of people in this income group
Posted by: lord garth || 01/06/2010 15:27 Comments || Top||



Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/06/2010 20:57 Comments || Top||

Gallup: Obama Begins 2nd Year w/Highest Disapproval Rating in Modern Era
The latest job approval score is based on Gallup Daily tracking from Jan. 2-4, 2010 -- the first Gallup Daily survey conducted entirely within the new year.

"Obama enjoys 84% approval from Democrats, but closer to 50% approval from independents (currently 47%) and minimal support from Republicans (14%)."President Obama has been walking the public opinion tightrope represented by the 50% job approval line since about mid-November, with his rating wavering between 47% and 53%. However, even when 47% of Americans approved of Obama's overall job performance (in early December), slightly fewer Americans (46%) disapproved. Obama has yet to see his job approval rating descend to the point that more Americans disapprove than approve.

Still, Obama's initial approval rating in his second year as president is among the lowest for elected presidents since Dwight Eisenhower. Only Ronald Reagan -- who, like Obama, took office during challenging economic times -- began his second year in office with a lower approval score (49%). However, Obama's disapproval rating is slightly higher than Reagan's was (44% vs. 40%).

The 50% approval threshold is important because no sitting president whose average approval rating fell below this level in the year he ran for re-election succeeded in winning a second term. However, it may not have much significance relative to re-election at the beginning of year two, as the two presidents (other than Obama) with the lowest approval ratings at this stage of their White House careers were both re-elected, and one of those with the highest approval ratings (George H.W. Bush) was not.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/06/2010 12:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [332 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Never underestimate the utility of a Teflon coating and great cliffs of money supporting a perpetual campaign. Obama only has to keep fooling some of the people some of the time.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 01/06/2010 13:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Barry's acute NPD will never permit him to extend any credence to these ratings, or recognize the fact that he has reneged on campaign promise after campaign promise or repeatedly denied the will of the American people. The politics of convenience has little to do with truth or logic.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/06/2010 13:53 Comments || Top||

#3  What promises can he run on that he hasn't already broken? And health care will stink so bad he won't be able to run on that!
Posted by: tipover || 01/06/2010 14:11 Comments || Top||

#4  "As an American I am not so shocked that Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize without any accomplishments to his name, but that America gave him the White House based on the same credentials."

Newt Gingrich

Posted by: Besoeker || 01/06/2010 14:24 Comments || Top||

Departure of ND senator unsettle Senate Democrats
North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan stunned fellow Democrats when he decided not to seek re-election this fall and swung open a race that Republicans are convinced will help the GOP dent the Democrats' fragile majority in the Senate.

Dorgan's announcement Tuesday means Democrats will have to defend open Senate seats in at least four states in what could be a challenging election year. Anti-incumbent sentiment is brewing among voters, and the party in power typically gets blamed for the county's troubles.

North Dakota Republican Gov. John Hoeven — who has won his last two elections with more than 70 percent of the vote — appeared ready to jump into the 2010 race. The three-term governor had shrugged off questions about challenging Dorgan, but said Tuesday he was considering a run "very seriously."

"I expect we'll announce our intentions here within a couple of weeks," Hoeven, 52, told The Associated Press.

Dorgan, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after serving a dozen years in the House, said he reached the decision after discussing his future with his family over the holidays. Dorgan, 67, said he "began to wrestle with the question of whether making a commitment to serve in the Senate seven more years was the right thing to do."

"Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life," he said in a statement.

North Dakota Republicans were jubilant, saying they were confident Hoeven would run and could overcome any Democratic challenger in the fall.

"I believe this seals the deal," said Kevin Cramer, a Republican state public service commissioner who is considering running for the U.S. House.

Democrats hold an effective 60-40 majority in the Senate — enough to break Republican filibusters — if they and the chamber's two independents, who align themselves with Democrats, stick together.

North Dakota's three-person congressional delegation has been solidly Democratic since Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., defeated incumbent Republican Mark Andrews in 1986. Republicans have held the governorship since 1992 and controlled the state Legislature since 1995.

Dorgan had been preparing for his fourth Senate race for almost two years. He had hired a former aide in 2008 to lay the groundwork for a campaign and raised $3.9 million through last September — a princely sum in North Dakota politics.

Early polling showed Dorgan trailing Hoeven in a hypothetical contest, and Democrats expected a competitive race if the matchup materialized.

Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy is a possible Senate candidate, and Democratic activists believe Heidi Heitkamp, a former Democratic attorney general and tax commissioner, could run. Heitkamp did not respond Tuesday to phone and e-mails seeking comment. She lost to Hoeven in the governor's race in 2000. A Facebook page set up by a Heitkamp supporter collected well over 200 supporters in less than three hours Tuesday night.

Pomeroy issued a statement praising Dorgan's public service but didn't mention whether he planned to run for Senate. A Pomeroy spokeswoman said he was unavailable for comment.

President Barack Obama said in a statement that Dorgan gave "30 years of devoted service to the U.S. Congress" and was a champion for family farmers and praised his work to improve health care on American Indian reservations. Dorgan is chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Conrad said in a statement that Dorgan "produced important and lasting results for North Dakota" and said he expected Dorgan would be in line for a future Cabinet appointment in Obama's administration.

Many Democratic incumbents could face challenges in 2010 amid high unemployment rates, concerns about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and anger at incumbents.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was considered in serious trouble, and five-term Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut was expected to announce Wednesday that he won't seek re-election, according to officials who would speak only on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement. The other seats vacated by Democrats are in Delaware and Illinois.

Republicans are defending open seats in Ohio, Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Kansas.

Dorgan's decision also could have ramifications for another of Obama's top priorities — climate and energy legislation.

Representing a large oil and coal-producing state, Dorgan opposes the bill backed by the White House and Democratic leaders that would put a limit on heat-trapping pollution and would allow companies to swap valuable emissions permits. Dorgan instead has pushed an energy bill that would boost renewable energy production and oil drilling.

With no re-election race, Dorgan could become even more of a wild card on the issue.
Posted by: Beavis || 01/06/2010 06:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dorgan was apparently running 30% behind a generic Republican and was also down 42-40 to "Undetermined". Really.
Posted by: AzCat || 01/06/2010 9:47 Comments || Top||

#2  At this point, a cucumber sandwich could have beaten him. You don't threaten your voter's livelihood without some serious repercussions.
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/06/2010 10:47 Comments || Top||

#3  This seems to be another case of the loyal foot soldier recognizing that the “Emperor has no Coat tails”. Leadership expects him to vote for the Dem agenda even though it’s politically unpopular in NoDak. He has repeatedly compared Cap and Trade to a Mark to Model Ponzi scheme worse then the Housing derivative disaster. Most likely the final straw was when his generic drug import amendment was tanked in favor of the White House Pharma deal.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 01/06/2010 10:59 Comments || Top||

#4  This guy's vote killed the Balanced Budget Amendment back in the 90's. He's already overstayed his welcome by a wide margin.
Posted by: Iblis || 01/06/2010 11:55 Comments || Top||

#5  Unfortunately, he's still got plenty of time to hose us all with Crap and Trade, not to mention this unholy Obamacare nightmare that they are trying to reconcile behind closed doors.

Don't underestimate the damage that can be inflicted by someone with nothing left to lose.
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 01/06/2010 12:19 Comments || Top||

#6  The Donks are asking Special Ed to run.
Posted by: Beavis || 01/06/2010 12:29 Comments || Top||

Chris Dodd to step aside announce today that he won't run again?
Be still my beating heart ...
Embattled Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) has scheduled a press conference at his home in Connecticut Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek re-election, according to sources familiar with his plans.

Dodd's retirement comes after months of speculation about his political future, and amid faltering polling numbers and a growing sense among the Democratic establishment that he could not win a sixth term. It also comes less than 24 hours after Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced he would not seek re-election.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is widely expected to step into the void filled by Dodd and, at least at first blush, should drastically increase Democrats' chances of holding the seat. Blumenthal, who has served as state Attorney General since 1990, is the most popular politician in the state and has long coveted a Senate seat; he had already signaled that he would run for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) in 2012.

Without Dodd as a foil, Republicans chances of taking over a seat in this solidly blue state are considerably diminished. Former Rep. Rob Simmons and wealthy businesswoman Linda McMahon are battling it out for the Republican nod but either would start as an underdog in a general election matchup with Blumenthal.
Posted by: lotp || 01/06/2010 00:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dropping like, well like...FLIES!
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/06/2010 6:01 Comments || Top||

#2  According to the radio, he's already bailed.

Took one for the team.
Posted by: Bobby || 01/06/2010 6:07 Comments || Top||

#3  I'd sooner have seen him lose the election. This keeps the seat a D.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/06/2010 7:10 Comments || Top||

#4  that bloated chode should resign in disgrace
Posted by: Frank G || 01/06/2010 7:36 Comments || Top||

#5  A vain hope, I know, but it would be nice if he didn't commit catastrophic damage on the country before his term ends.
Posted by: lotp || 01/06/2010 7:41 Comments || Top||

#6  Unfortunately, he's already committed catastrophic damage on the country. It'a also a vain hope that he will truly pay for that damage.
Posted by: Spot || 01/06/2010 8:35 Comments || Top||

#7  It's official.
Posted by: Frozen Al || 01/06/2010 12:14 Comments || Top||

#8  Richard Blumenthal, just what this country needs, another Liberal Jewish Senator.

Carl Levin
Arlen Specter
Frank Lautenberg
Herb Kohl
Joe Lieberman
Dianne Feinstein
Barbara Boxer
Russ Feingold
Ron Wyden
Charles Schumer
Ben Cardin
Bernie Sanders
Al Franken
Ted Kaufman
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/06/2010 12:45 Comments || Top||

#9  Looks like the Senate has an affirmative action problem.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/06/2010 13:11 Comments || Top||

#10  Good bit of snark from Mickey Kaus:

Now Angelo Mozilo can safely title his autobiography "Dodd is My Co-Pirate."
Posted by: Mike || 01/06/2010 16:06 Comments || Top||

#11  Nothing to be happy about. By bailing, he turns the candidacy over to a Dem who is more likely to win. This simply allows him to continue to misrepresent his constituents and not have to suffer for it. He'll then retire to is cottage in Ireland while escaping any investigation into his criminal activity. Disgusting.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 01/06/2010 21:38 Comments || Top||

#12  Flies? More like rats off the sinking ship.

In this case it hurts, because the GOP looked to steal this seat if Dodd were to have run. Instead we get another Harvard Grad Yale Law School hardcore lefty statist in the Old Boys club, where we will nto be able to pry him out until he dies or is caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

We need to repeal the 17th amendment, and put in term limits for the very existence of the republic.
Posted by: OldSpook || 01/06/2010 23:36 Comments || Top||

Colorado Gov. Ritter -D calls it quits

Democratic sources tell The Associated Press that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter won't run for re-election this fall.
Well, considering your approval numbers are tanking like Mr. O's, it is not surprising.
The first-term Democrat was elected in 2006 in a pivotal swing-voting state. He has been widely considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.
See Corruption, overspending, entitlement and trying to raise taxes for "Rising Star In Democrat Party"
Two Democrats with knowledge of Ritter's decision disclosed it on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the governor's political plans.

Among potential Democratic candidates: Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff, a former state legislator who is challenging Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet for the party's nomination.

Two Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination: former congressman Scott McInnis and businessman Dan Maes.
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [407 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is not to avoid bad numbers, its to avoid prosecution.

Google Ritter, Villafuerte, Voorhees.

Radio host Peter Boyles has been all over this and is scraping away the muck that the mainstream media has steadfastly refused to investigate. The chickens are now coming home to roost for the crooks and the crooked Denver Post media.


This is the tip of a big scandal in the Denver DA office, the 2006 Democrat smear campaign financed by Congressman Jared Polis, and reaches into DHS and ICE.

Perjury, lying to FBI investigators, covering up the lie, and impeding investigations. As bad or worse than the stuff they sent Scooter Libby to prison for.

This could bring down Napolitano, and possibly even AG Holder if the AG's office can be shown to be involved in the cover up over the past year in office.

Thank God for internet radio so I can hear this stuff even in Richardson and San Jose.

You heard it first here on Rantburg.
Posted by: Jeager Panda5130 || 01/06/2010 11:08 Comments || Top||

#2  It's a good time for incumbants to step aside and let some patsies take the fall for the very unpopular spending & program cuts and tax increases that must come soon. After that, they can easily regain office by promising to feel and ease everyone's pain.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/06/2010 11:08 Comments || Top||

#3  So have they started calling him "Ritter the Quitter" yet?
Posted by: Mike || 01/06/2010 15:57 Comments || Top||

White House Spokeswoman Says Different Bertha Lewis on Visitor's Log
According to Politico's Ben Smith, the Bertha Lewis who went to the White House is not ACORN's CEO but another woman named "Bertha Lewis." I contacted Smith to tell him that Big Government would offer a correction if the "administration official" who offered the information went on record and told us who the "other" Bertha Lewis is and got the unnamed administration source to come out from behind the veil of anonymity and use his/her name.
Which Bertha Lewis was it?
A different Bertha Lewis.
So far, according to unnamed White House sources, "different" people with the familiar names of Malik Shabazz, Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers were discovered on White House visitors logs.
Wottabout them others?
They're different too.
More than one set of parents abused their child by naming it Malik Shabazz?
As I skeptically asked on my Twitter account, "What are the odds?"

First thing Monday morning, Smith contacted the White House and White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki came from behind her anonymous veil and confirmed for Smith, "it was a different Bertha Lewis, though she declined to share details about that visitor, citing privacy reasons."'
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  These are not the Bertha Lewises you are looking for? Nice try, Jen!
Posted by: SteveS || 01/06/2010 2:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Let's be realistic now. There are probably several people named Bertha Lewis, and all of them want to visit the White House, each for their own reason. Just like there are several gorbs out there, and all of them want to visit the White House, too. Probably for different reasons, too. Now that I think about it, there are probably several people named Dick Cheney who want to visit the White House to invite someone to go hunting with them. I wonder how many dozens of visitors named George Bush visited the White House just to joke about having the same name as the former President. Or how many folks named Barack Obama have shown up. Or people named Monkeysshootingbottlerocketscomeflyingoutofmyass have shown up, too. So it could happen.
Posted by: gorb || 01/06/2010 13:57 Comments || Top||

#3  I should think they'd have security cameras taking a picture of every guest unless they intentionally want these things secret.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/06/2010 20:42 Comments || Top||

#4  Monkeysshootingbottlerocketscomeflyingoutofmyass?

good one, gorb. A comment like that will get you on a TSA no-fly list, and a standing invitation to the WH.
Posted by: Skunky Glins**** || 01/06/2010 23:37 Comments || Top||

Curt Schilling endorses Scott Brown in Mass. Senate race
Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher who had toyed with running for the Senate in Massachusetts, has endorsed Republican state Sen. Scott Brown.

Schilling made the announcement on his blog Monday, calling Brown "exactly what this state and this country needs right now."

"He's for smaller government, stopping the concentration of power in one political party, a strong military and vigorous homeland defense, as well as -- and probably most appropriate and meaningful right now -- giving all Americans health care, but not by creating a new government insurance program," Schilling wrote.

"This state can literally change the nation in one day," he added. "Think about that, and then go vote for Scott Brown and make it happen."
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [456 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thus securing the World of Warcraft, EverQuest, and ASL vote. Do the first two groups vote?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 01/06/2010 0:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Brown has been busting his butt campaigning, and with two weeks to go, has been on Hannity radio yesterday and bill bennetts this am. His campaign is underfunded, but I expect donations will be coming in from 'little donors' across the nation. Meanwhile, Steele's RNC has given but $50K(K) to his campaign figuring "No shot" to win. Steele has been on tv/radio this week, pimping his new book and zero mention by him about the race. Bad timing??
Posted by: Tom- Pa || 01/06/2010 8:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Given the stink that surrounds the RNC it may be to Brown's advantage that they are not associating themselves with him.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/06/2010 11:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Hellfish sent him a couple of bucks from NJ. I warned him about deciding to go RINO if he wins.
Posted by: Hellfish || 01/06/2010 12:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Just got a request for money from the RNC. I'll put, "Until you fully fund canidates like Brown instead of RINOs, I won't fund you."
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/06/2010 15:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Eric... LOL!

Some the WoW community votes, but only those who played ASL. Is it enough to put Brown over the top?

There's got to be someway to adapt ASL to online gaming. My stubby fingers really struggled with those counter stacks, especially in a crowded Red Barricades mapboard.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 01/06/2010 21:32 Comments || Top||

#7  This is a chance to submarine the Dems. I don't care if he's a RINO. Its MA, Home of the Massholes - he breaks the 60 right here right now, and will be the killing vote on the healthcare monstrosity before they can ram it through.

I say its worth it to roll the dice.
Posted by: OldSpook || 01/06/2010 23:32 Comments || Top||

Chafee joins RI governor race as an independent
Former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who succeeded his father in the Senate but repeatedly broke ranks with party leadership until a Democrat defeated him, announced Monday that he will run as an independent candidate for governor of Rhode Island.

Chafee, 56, pledged fiscal responsibility in a heavily battered state economy as he entered an already competitive race untethered to either major political party and dogged by questions about whether he could raise enough money to remain a viable candidate.

But he touted himself before a roomful of supporters Monday as a strong fiscal conservative who had more leadership experience than other candidates and had the best ideas to revive a state facing massive budget deficits and nearly 13 percent unemployment.

"Running as an independent will free me from the constraints that party politics impose on candidates," Chafee told supporters at a hotel in Warwick, where he served as mayor before joining the Senate. "This freedom will allow me to bring in the best people from both major parties to solve our problems."

Chafee said that if elected, he would work to repeal costly mandates on cities and towns, such as school bus monitors, control spending, and focus on job training.
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [449 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another member of the American 'royalty' - politics as the family business. Vote 'em all out, regardless of party or position.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/06/2010 11:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Agreed.
Posted by: Hellfish || 01/06/2010 12:30 Comments || Top||

#3  I suffered under this clown when he was mayor of my city (Warwick) before he inherited his father's Senate seat. He was a lightweight then and has been dieting ever since.
Posted by: xbalanke || 01/06/2010 16:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Go Away. You didnt get the message the first time, you blue blooded turd, someone should take the clue-by-four to this guy's cranium.
Posted by: OldSpook || 01/06/2010 23:30 Comments || Top||

If the Price Is Right
This health care pork round all started with Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who bragged about receiving a $300 million increase in Medicaid funding for her state (what some are calling the Second Louisiana Purchase), though it turned out that it was only $100 million. (Isn't that a relief?)

Then there was the now infamous Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who gained his 15 minutes of yuletide fame when he sold out his critical 60th vote to pass Obamacare by accepting a governmental bribe that covers Nebraska's Medicare expansion costs to the tune of $100 million over the next 10 years.

Obama had told the AARP back on July 28 that he considered Medicare Advantage an example of "wasteful spending," so you could bet Obamacare would reflect his commentary. And in a statement released after the Senate's health care bill passed Dec. 24, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., confessed that he had a sweetheart deal made behind closed doors: "I was able to pass an amendment to the bill that excluded some 800,000 policyholders all across Florida from cuts to Medicare Advantage."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., finagled $600 million in additional Medicaid benefits for his state over 10 years.

Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota secured additional Medicare payments for their rural hospitals.

Referring to the increase in Medicare payments to eight medium-sized hospitals in his state, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa -- chairman of the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee -- openly confessed: "I fully admit that I was part of it. I put something in the bill that was particular to the state of Iowa. Yes, I did."

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a primary architect of the legislation, secured extra Medicare benefits for select Montana residents.

The manager's amendment singles out Democratic Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye's home state of Hawaii as the only state to receive a disproportionate share hospital extension.

At the last minute, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., inserted a $100 million kickback in the bill to construct a new hospital for the University of Connecticut.

Most important is this question Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, posed to his colleagues: Who will pay for these special deals? "The answer," he said, "is simple: every other state in the union."

And all the costs haven't even been calculated yet because the bribery isn't over. The House and Senate leaders will hold private negotiations this month to merge the Senate's $871 billion health care bill and the House's $1 trillion bill.
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [325 views] Top|| File under:

Approximately 43.0MILYUHN-plus SQF = 4.0MILYUHN SQMS, or the equivalent of 15 EMPIRE STATE BUILDINGS. Excess capacity = Building-Space Glut means no gains to be had via new construction.


CA Legislative Anlayst's Office > CA will have US$21.0BILYUHN BUDGET DEFICIT this fiscal year and next, or US$42.0BILYUHN total.


CA State Treasurer's Office > California has US$68.0BILYUHN in PUBLIC DEBT.


"SACRAMENTO BEE" NEWSPAPER > Unlike above figure for CA State Traesurer's Office, California's tote public debt, for all types of State-wide organized public entities, is closer to US$500.0BILYUHN.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/06/2010 1:20 Comments || Top||

Jackson Lee challenged by Jarvis Johnson
Houston's flamboyant, long-serving Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee faces a late-breaking challenge for the Democratic congressional nomination from Houston City Council Member Jarvis Johnson in Texas' March 2 primary.

The high-profile showdown developed this afternoon as Johnson filed paperwork with Texas Democratic Party to join the primary ballot to confront the eight-term Houston Democrat, herself a former member of the Houston City Council.

"Leadership should be chosen by their examples of delivering meaningful services to their communities," Johnson said in a statement. "We're going to have a frank discussion on who's capable of bringing and creating good paying jobs for the people of the district, who can spark genuine economic development and who can provide leadership to marshal resources to help eliminate the dropout rate."

Jackson Lee had no immediate comment on Johnson's challenge.

The race is bound to revive fissures within the African American community created by the 2008 presidential primary battle between then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Jackson Lee was a stalwart Clinton supporter in the New York Democrat's unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last year and even appeared on stage with her when she eventually pulled out of the race. Johnson was an Obama supporter.

Jackson Lee, a graduate of Yale University and University of Virginia law school, appears frequently on televised coverage of House proceedings delivering one-minute speeches and debating legislation working its way through the Democratically-controlled House. She also has prided herself on being a "bring-home-the-bacon" kind of lawmaker, fighting to obtain federal funding for programs that target Houston.

Latest Federal Election Commission filings showed Jackson Lee with $451,444 cash on hand as of Sept. 30, 2009 -- the most recent report.

Three Republicans also have filed to face the winner of the Democratic congressional primary between Jackson Lee and Johnson -- Brenda Page, Tex Christopher and John Faulk.

The primary contest in Texas' 18th Congressional District promised to dominate the early phases of the 2010 mid-term congressional election in Texas.

Most of the state's other 31 House members -- including six of the nine lawmakers representing the greater Houston area -- faced uncontested races in the March primaries en route to the midterm congressional elections in November, according to candidate filings on hand late Monday.

Candidates had until 6 p.m. CST Monday to file last minute paperwork with respective state party officials to obtain a place on the ballot in the March primary and the November election.

In addition to the Jackson Lee-Johnson intraparty contest in Houston, two Republicans faced challenges from within.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, who has amassed a re-election war chest of more than $2 million, faced a challenge in the GOP primary from four Republicans who have filed paperwork with GOP state officials -- business consultant Tim Graney, teacher Jeff Cherry, industrial supervisor Gerald Wall and school district administrator John Gay.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, whose congressional district stretches to the northwestern suburbs of Houston, faces a primary challenge mounted by Republican Joe Petronis, a Vanderbilt University MBA who worked for management consultant Deloitte Consulting before joining Dell Computer Corp.
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Jackson Lee, a graduate of Yale University and University of Virginia law school

Yet, The Congressional bonehead award goes to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) who, on a visit to JPL, asked if Mars Pathfinder had taken an image of the flag planted there in 1969 by Neil Armstrong! Quipped Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) to the Washington Times: "We just don't teach enough science." Worse, Jackson Lee, who represents Houston, is a member of the House Science Committee's space subcommittee. Perhaps some committee reassignments are in order...
Posted by: Beavis || 01/06/2010 8:56 Comments || Top||

#2  “She also has prided herself on being a "bring-home-the-bacon" kind of lawmaker…”

Oh yeah, she listens to the concerns of her constituents all right.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 01/06/2010 11:29 Comments || Top||

Judge sworn in with hand on dictionary
A judge in New York state took the oath of office with his hand placed on a dictionary rather than a book of scripture because officials could find no Bible.

The glitch, in a packed courtroom of the historic Ulster County Courthouse in Kingston, N.Y., provided "a light moment" in the swearing-in of Donald A. Williams as Ulster County judge, the Daily Freeman of Kingston reported Sunday.
Ah yes, Ulster County.
Williams said later he didn't mind using a dictionary instead of a Bible because the swearing-in Saturday was purely ceremonial.

The former district attorney, a Republican, officially became the county judge Friday.

U.S. government officials are not required to swear in on a Bible, but most do so as a demonstration of the binding nature of the promise. The act also adds solemnity to the ceremony.
Only if you think the Bible means something other than a bound bunch of pages.
Most officials use their own family Bible.
That assumes they have one. This is New York we're talking about here.
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  seems appropriate for those who don't believe in God. It's all just a word game rather than a belief in a higher calling.
Posted by: Jumbo Slinerong5015 || 01/06/2010 5:49 Comments || Top||

#2  It's all the same words anyway, just different order and frequencey, so it should be just fine to substitute a dictionary for a Bible.

(However I am not sure I see a legal justification for using a Bible in the first place, at least not at the request of the government; I am fine with allowing the oath taker to use it if he chooses.)
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/06/2010 11:27 Comments || Top||

#3  The original idea was two-fold: an oath on God's own book would naturally be more binding because God would take an interest if it weren't, and also that the Bible would reject a false oath (remember that this started before the Salem witch trials). For non-believers that's all moot, but there weren't many non-believers in those days, and precious few permitted to believe even slightly differently than the majority.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/06/2010 13:39 Comments || Top||

#4  The dictionary thing seems a bit silly, though. On the other hand, the office manager/administrative assistant who didn't ensure that the bible was ready to hand, as it were, should be demoted.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/06/2010 13:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Williams said later he didn't mind using a dictionary instead of a Bible because the swearing-in Saturday was purely ceremonial.

I think I see what the problem with government is.

But in truth it is probably more appropriate, because law has become the de facto religion, and the hair-splitting that comes along with interpreting a religious text for certain religions seems to have an odd parallel here when it comes to words and their intent for legal "interpretations".
Posted by: gorb || 01/06/2010 14:02 Comments || Top||

#6  dictionary vs bible?

Obama: "words...just words"
Posted by: Frank G || 01/06/2010 15:25 Comments || Top||

Barney Frank: Fannie and Freddie now a 'public policy instrument'
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now basically a "public policy instrument" of the government, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) suggested Tuesday. Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, asserted that the companies, which were taken over by the U.S. in September 2008, have become an extension of the government's policy-making tools.

"Remember now that Fannie and Freddie have been converted," Frank said during an appearance on CNBC. "Part of the losses of Fannie and Freddie are that since the housing collapse, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have become a kind of public utility."

Frank made that claim in response to reports that the government may lose as much as $400 billion from its conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie, assistance that was made available when the home loan companies were put on the brink of collapse due to the subprime mortgage crisis.

The Financial Services chairman defended those losses, saying they were incurred in part due to a conscious decision by the government to use the companies to extend assistance to homeowners with underwater mortgages.

"They're not what they used to be -- that inappropriately hybrid, private stock company, public policy instrument," Frank said. "They have become the public utility that finances housing in America to a great extent. Part of the loss is a public policy decision that it would be worse to not have some support for the housing market."

The companies, which were initially chartered by the U.S. government, had previously operated as private entities.
One could argue that Mussolini's definition of fascism ('everything inside the state, nothing outside the state') is operative here. But the reality is more that of the Russian mob -- grab everything that isn't nailed down; if it nailed down, get a crowbar, pry it loose, then grab it.

What Barney Frank is acknowledging is that Fannie and Freddie are now a playground for 'policy', while the directors make their multi-million dollar salaries, the friends of policymakers and directors get their special access, and the taxpayers get, well, nothing useful. "Support" for the housing market translates to "support" for the friends of Barney Frank. That is the new policy, see if it isn't over the next few years.

I almost find myself agreeing with the progressive left on this one: what we are seeing is a monetizing of the bank losses in the mortgage securities markets the last two years with the taxpayers holding the bag. The banks get their money back, the elites get to keep playing the New York-to-Washington-and-back game, the apparatchiks get their deals and favors, and the working and middle classes get higher taxes and mounting deficits.

Such a deal.

George Bush didn't do us any favors with the pell-mell rush to 'save' the financial system in September, 2008. I understand what the dangers were and I understand the need to do something, but he helped kick open a door that Obama, Geithner, Frank, Gorelick and many others are now going through in their plans to 'transform' America -- into, essentially, a kleptocracy.

This, by the way, is the essence of the David Brooks article that the conservative side was scorning elsewhere this week. Brooks is right about one key point: it is indeed the 'educated', the elites, that have caused a lot of problems, and it's the unwashed who are realizing it.

Not sure how we'll fight the war on terror and fight for freedom when the current bunch is done.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now sure how we'll fight the war on terror and fight for freedom when the current bunch is done. I think you meant 'not sure.' I don't see how we'll BE ABLE to fight the war on terror & fight for freedom when the current bunch is done with us. When they're done with us, we may be done for.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 01/06/2010 0:31 Comments || Top||

#2  You're right, I meant 'not sure', and have corrected it. Thanks.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/06/2010 0:43 Comments || Top||

#3  A conservative revolution would place Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on the auction block.
Posted by: badanov || 01/06/2010 1:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Academic economists at annual American Economic Association meeting have a dim view of the government's response to the crisis. Over the past few days, economists here highlighted the many ways in which the lessons of the crisis have yet to sink in. Few think the U.S. and other governments have made needed repairs to the financial regulatory system. The crisis isn't over for banks. The worst-case scenarios in last year's stress tests, which restored the market's confidence in U.S. banks, included only two years' worth of losses. But banks are likely to face losses for many years to come as losses on real estate loans are realized. "If the U.S. government could credibly say [to banks]: We'll never bail you out again, it [the banking system] would collapse," said Kenneth Rogoff, of Harvard University. "The GSE structure [Fannie & Freddie] must be ended because it creates inevitable failure based on the incentives," said Dwight Jaffee, of UC-Berkeley.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 01/06/2010 3:37 Comments || Top||

#5  Brooks is right about one key point: it is indeed the 'educated', the elites, that have caused a lot of problems

I'm not so sure about that. They just seem like the suckers who buy tonic for baldness, boobs and well... another word that begins with a b.
Posted by: Jumbo Slinerong5015 || 01/06/2010 5:55 Comments || Top||

#6  In my humble opinion... the hedge funds, big banks and insurance companies HAVE DONE more DAMAGE to the USA than Al Qada could ever have dreamed of doing. I don't understand why the top perps have not been WATERBOARDED.
Posted by: 3dc || 01/06/2010 6:29 Comments || Top||

#7  Of course my preferred result - after using any means to find and recover the stolen/mis-used/mis-handled monies - keelhauling in shark filled seas until done.
Posted by: 3dc || 01/06/2010 6:32 Comments || Top||

#8  All together now ah....

Every morning
Every evening
Don't we have fun
Twins and cares dear come in pairs dear
Don't we have fun
We've only started
As mommer and pop
Are we downhearted
I'll say that we're not
Landlords mad and getting madder
Ain't we got fun
Times are so bad and getting badder
Still we have fun
There's nothing surer
The rich get rich and the poor get laid off

In the meantime
In between time
Ain't we got fun.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/06/2010 6:40 Comments || Top||

#9  I don't understand why the top perps have not been WATERBOARDED.

I don't think you can waterboard Congressmen such as Dodd, Barney Franks, Waters, and the others.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/06/2010 8:20 Comments || Top||

#10  Of course they're instruments of public policy, Barney. YOU made them so years ago. Their buying up of bad mortgages was a direct cause of the housing bubble. Waterboarding, bah. Something more serious is in order.
Posted by: Spot || 01/06/2010 8:45 Comments || Top||

#11  No Bwany. It is more like the worst public policy disaster in history that single handedly destroyed our banking industry.

You are a criminal bwany. You should be in pound you in the @$$ prison right now for your criminal activity in DC. SCUMBAG.
Posted by: newc || 01/06/2010 10:39 Comments || Top||

#12  Hey, Dr. Steve, we're educated - why can't we get in on the stealing?
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/06/2010 11:32 Comments || Top||

#13  You all can talk about Kaliphornia, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein all you want. But as long as Massachusetts keeps sending Bawney Fwank to Congress the voters of that state are the worst disgrace to democracy there has ever been. They make me fear for the future of democracy. It's so sad.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 01/06/2010 11:44 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
The real blowup
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab couldn't ignite the bomb in his underwear on Flight 253 on Christmas Day. All he managed to blow up was a worldview.

His failed attempt put paid to the notion that terrorism is the byproduct of a few, specific US policies and of our image abroad. This view dominates the left and animates the Obama administration. It informs its drive to shutter Guantanamo Bay, to get out of Iraq and to cater to "international opinion." If we are only nice and likable enough, goes the theory, the Abdulmutallabs of the world will never be tempted to violent mayhem.

Only the young Nigerian didn't appear the least bit moved by President Barack Obama's commitment to close Gitmo in a year. He didn't seem to care that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will get a civilian trial in New York. He didn't appear to be fazed at all by Obama's Cairo and UN speeches, or a year's worth of international goodwill gestures. He just wanted to destroy an airliner.

It shouldn't be hard to fathom why. Abdulmutallab was in the grip of a violent ideology with an existential hatred of the United States at its core, an ideology promoted by a global terrorist conspiracy under the loose rubric of al Qaeda. This is the essential fact that the left tends to minimize or deny. Obama called Abdulmutallab an "isolated extremist" in his initial statement on the incident, and left the same impression about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the terrorist of Fort Hood. How coincidental that we are beset by isolated extremists believing the same things and inspired by the same people -- in the cases of Abdulmutallab and Hasan, the radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

A totalist rejection of the United States, this ideology will never lack for particular reasons to hate us. For years, we were told that the Iraq War was al Qaeda's best recruiting tool. Now, new recruiting tools are at hand. Hasan reportedly was disappointed that Obama stayed in Afghanistan. In taking responsibility for Abdulmutallab's attempted attack, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed it was in retaliation for a US-sponsored strike against its leadership in Yemen.

If we pull our troops from Afghanistan, they'll object to our missile strikes in Pakistan. If we stop the missile strikes, they'll object to our training of foreign militaries. If we stop that, they'll object that we have the temerity to maintain a blue-water navy. Nothing short of suicidal abdication will suffice. The other great reputed recruiting tool was Gitmo. But what's worse -- holding terrorists in a facility condemned by the world's scolds, or releasing them to re-invigorate al Qaeda's franchise operations?

AQAP got a critical boost from one former Gitmo detainee who, according to The New York Times, is "the rising star of the local movement," and another who is "the mufti, or theological guide." The Wall Street Journal says 11 Gitmo returnees have joined the ranks of Yemeni militant groups, making the detention facility AQAP's farm team.

No matter. Just before Christmas, the administration returned six more Gitmo detainees to Yemen, home to about 90 of the 200 remaining prisoners. Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan pledges to keep sending them back, and insists that "several" or "many" of the six latest returnees are in Yemeni custody. Whatever that means. Yemeni government is not a model of Prussian precision. In February 2006, AQAP managed a mass break from a Yemeni high-security prison. The environment there is so treacherous that we were just forced to shut our embassy temporarily.

The administration is loath to admit that vacating Gitmo has itself proven a powerful tool for the terrorists. It can't give up its operating theory of terrorism, no matter how tattered. Instead of designating Abdulmutallab an enemy combatant and interrogating him, we have granted him all the protections our justice system provides a civil defendant. Whatever comes of this foolish act of generosity, we can be sure that the next Abdulmutallab will be singularly unimpressed.
Posted by: Fred || 01/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, he didn't change my worldview. Certainly didn't change the minds of other 'Burgers.

And probably not Obama's, either.
Posted by: Bobby || 01/06/2010 6:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Perhaps the Gentleman is viewed differently by the Arab culture - Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent or a person who has both black ancestry and white ancestry Some dictionaries and scholarly works trace the word's origins to the Arabic term muwallad, which means "a person of mixed ancestry". Muwallad literally means, "born, begotten, produced, generated; brought up," with the implication of being born and raised among Arabs, but not of pure Arab blood. Muwallad is derived from the root word WaLaD (Arabic: æáÏ direct Arabic transliteration: waw, lam, dal), and it should be kept in mind that colloquial Arabic pronunciation can vary greatly. Walad means, "descendant, offspring, scion; child; son; boy; young animal, young one." Muwallad referred to the offspring of Arab men and foreign, non-Arab women.

Will the Arab culture think of this person as a whole or a part ? Seriously or not Seriously ? That is the question.
Posted by: Big Chusoque2260 || 01/06/2010 7:11 Comments || Top||

#3  A totalist rejection of the United States, this ideology will never lack for particular reasons to hate us. For years, we were told that the Iraq War was al Qaeda's best recruiting tool. Now, new recruiting tools are at hand. Hasan reportedly was disappointed that Obama stayed in Afghanistan. In taking responsibility for Abdulmutallab's attempted attack, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed it was in retaliation for a US-sponsored strike against its leadership in Yemen.

They hate us because we are different than them. We are viewed as contemptible infidels that are less than them. They don't believe in freedom of speech or freedom of religion. They believe they should rule the world. They have a religion that justifies lying to achieve their purposes. They have a religion that justifies violence and terror in the name of Allah.
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/06/2010 7:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Let’s see here…Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan attacks Ft. Hood and gets a reservation at a military brig. Abdulmutallab attacks an airliner gets 3 hots and a cot with a public defender to boot. And now it’s estimated the KSM civilian trial in Manhattan is going to cost a cool 2 million. I’m no AQ muckity muck but their choice between a hard and soft target may have gotten much easier. Just sayin…
Posted by: DepotGuy || 01/06/2010 12:40 Comments || Top||

#5  "...cost a cool 2 million."

Ooops...that's a cool 200 million.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 01/06/2010 12:44 Comments || Top||

#6  Muwallad referred to the offspring of Arab men and foreign, non-Arab women.

Thank you, Big Chusoque2260, for a fascinating and useful post. In this particular case, young Mr. Abdulmutallab's mother is Yemeni, his father is the non-Arab. Very much the opposite of the way Things Are Supposed To Be for bigotted Arabs, who I'm sure assume the muwallads result from captured non-Arab concubines... at least if some of the posts we've seen at Rantburg from that part of the world are any indication.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/06/2010 13:57 Comments || Top||

#7  BOA (Big O Administration) has this ideological model they are working under with respect to the Islamic terrorists. It is a typical liberal Left model of the misunderstood miscreant, and how we make them angry. BOA is always trying to fit the model to the situation, even though it does not make sense. Like trying to keep turning the wrong piece in a puzzle in hope that it fits. BOA, being the ideologues that they are, will not re-examine their assumptions and change the model, like rational people are. They do not and will never GET IT. All this done at the public's expense in safety and security.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/06/2010 17:30 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
2Govt of Iran
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1al-Qaeda in Arabia
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1al-Qaeda in Pakistan

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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
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john frum
Bright Pebbles
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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2010-01-06
  Yemen sends thousands of troops to fight Qaeda
Tue 2010-01-05
  Two Qaeda bad guyz banged in Yemen
Mon 2010-01-04
  Fresh US drone attacks kill 5 in Pakistain
Sun 2010-01-03
  Yemen sends more troops to al-Qaida strongholds
Sat 2010-01-02
  At least six killed in two drone attacks in North Wazoo
Fri 2010-01-01
  US drone strike leaves two dead in Pakistan
Thu 2009-12-31
  7 CIA workers killed in suicide kaboom
Wed 2009-12-30
  Iran MPs call for 'maximum punishment' of protesters
Tue 2009-12-29
  Iran MPs rally against populace
Mon 2009-12-28
  13 turbans titzup in N.Wazoo dronezap
Sun 2009-12-27
  Mousavi's nephew banged in Tehran
Sat 2009-12-26
  Delta boomer wasn't on no-fly list
Fri 2009-12-25
  Nigerian attempts to detonate on Delta flight from Amsterdam
Thu 2009-12-24
  Yemeni strike kills 30, targets cleric linked to Ft. Hood attack
Wed 2009-12-23
  Iran militia attack pro-reform cleric's home in Qom

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Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
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