Archive for December, 2009

The System Did What Now?

28 December 2009

In (yet another) sharp rebuttal to Janet Napolitano’s “the system worked” (didn’t I say that this was “the story just keeps on giving“?) we have this story from Detroit from a couple of attorneys who were also passengers on Flight 253:

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Michigan, who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday. Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man. … While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.'” Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab’s lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee. The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn’t see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane. … “I stood up and walked a couple feet ahead to get a closer look, and that’s when I saw the flames,” said Haskell, who sat about seven rows behind Mutallab. “It started to spread pretty quickly. It went up the wall, all the way to ceiling.” … As Mutallab was being led out of the plane in handcuffs, Haskell said he realized that was the same man he saw trying to board the plane in Amsterdam.

So a known terrorist who didn’t even have a passport (or possibly any other ID since his friend the “sharp dressed men” claimed he was from Sudan?) was allowed onto a plane with explosives. Yep! The system works! (Amid further evidence of Napolitano’s gibbering insanity, the call is spreading to fire Janet from the DHS.

This is today’s installment of an excellent daily webcomic called Day By Day, by Chris Muir. I highly recommend it, unlike Pirahna Club.

Addendum: Today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano conceded what every other sapient life form on Earth had already long-since realized: that the aviation security system failed when a young man on a watchlist with a U.S. visa in his pocket and a powerful explosive hidden on his body was allowed to board a fight from Amsterdam to Detroit. (AP) “Our system did not work in this instance,” she said on NBC’s Today show. “No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.” One assumes that this intensive review with involve a flashlight and a map to her ass, along with a chart indicating the ways in which one can distinguish between said ass and her elbows.

(She also had the gall to claim that it was Bush’s fault that he got the explosives on the plane. Really. “Oh, is that where he was hiding the explosives?” I replied. “In his bush?”)

Addemdum II: videotaped the entire flight. Don’t be surprised if the next move by the Obama Administration is to ban electronic devices. They’ve already made it illegal for other passengers to get out of their seats to intervene, next they’ll want to remove all evidence as well.

Obama’s Racist Fruit

28 December 2009

People continue to scour the world for any possible racist criticism of Barrack Hussein Obama. This is a Turkish apricot ad which has caused some controversy since the commercial features Barrack Obama to promote the darker variety of apricots – because these apricots are darker, Obama is black, etc. There are people out there on the net making a big deal about this.

The verdict of these commentators? The ad is not racist for two reasons:

  1. The commercial is Turkish. If it were an American corporation, racism would be automatically assumed; but the Turks were just assumed to not understand the nuances of political correctness and racism. That is in itself condescending PC racism, which comes as little surprise.
  2. The ad does not actually say anything negative or critical about Barrack Hussein Obama, so it therefore isn’t racist. We know this, because racism is defined and any criticism or disagreement with the man or his plans. (Give him a canal and we can try to build a palindrome.)

The last debate I had with a certain blog maintainer before being banned was my insistence that any criticism of Obama (or his wife, or their behavior/policies) is not, in and of itself, automatically racist and based in racism. He insisted on a dichotomy, where either you agreed that all criticism of Obama was racist or you were denying that racism in the right (always just the right, naturally) existed, with no gray area allowed for actual policy disagreement.

Great Balls of Fire!

27 December 2009

I hadn’t said anything yet about the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas by a man who had injected explosives into his groin – just days after Senator Murtha said “I don’t agree there is a threat to national security” from al-Qaida – because I’d been busy with my family for a couple of days, and the story was already all over the blogosphere by the time I got back to my own little cage. However, the story just keeps on giving as the stupid just keeps coming out of people’s mouths. This known terrorist never should have been allowed on a plane in the first place, and his attempt at mass murder was only thwarted through good fortune (apparently he has a problem with his fuse) and the bravery of a Dutch man who jumped him to keep him from trying again. Somehow, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed that the thwarting of his splodey-dope attempt demonstrated that “the system worked” and added that there was “no suggestion that [the suspect] was improperly screened.” She received a reality check from Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Peter Hoekstra (R-MI).

At least this known al-Qaida terrorist is actually being referred to as a terrorist (unlike the Fort Hood shooter); the mainstream media doesn’t seem to have come up with a proper way to excuse his actions yet. They can’t blame Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab’s desire for jihad on poverty, as his father is a banker; or his “culture” or lack of assimilation, as his own father “alerted U.S. authorities to his [son’s] ‘extreme religious views’ months ago”. The man was a known terrorist and the plot was cooked up in Yemen by al-Qaida. Suck it, Murtha. Still, assuming we can believe a word she says, Janet Napolitano assures us that “commercial flying is safe” and “there is no indication that [this attempt] is part of a larger terrorist plot.”

So far, the Obama Administration’s response has been to pass new rules requiring passengers to “remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight” – even though the terrorist had not left his seat and was in fact thwarted by the actions of the heroic Jasper Schuringa who did. So rather than respond to the terrorist’s actions, they’ve banned the actions of the man who stopped him. I only need the fingers of one hand to calculate the IQ of whoever thought up that brilliant scheme. Obama himself still hasn’t said anything about the incident, although apparently he’s finally thought up something to say. After his incompetent response to the Fort Hood shootings, one has to wonder what jokes he’ll open this speech with, and whom he’ll give a “shout out” to, before his teleprompter signals him to put on his grim and serious face.

Addendum: Over the weekend Rep. Peter King (R-NY) weighed in on racial profiling in the wake of the attempted terrorist attack on Flight 253, saying there is “too much political correctness” and:

“I think there are situations like this where we are afraid of being accused of profiling. The fact is while the overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding people, on the other hand 100% of the Islamic terrorists are Muslims, and that is our main enemy today. So while we should not be profiling people because of their religion, at the same time we should not be bending over backwards to somehow keep them off a list.”

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) Drunk on Senate Floor

27 December 2009

Even the Democrats need a good stiff drink or seven over the Health Care Obamination. Then again, that’s probably one of the few ways it becomes possible to claim, with a straight face, that Republicans are the ones who are failing to be bipartisan. Susan Flowers of the South Bend Conservative Examiner opines:

Is this behavior and lack of leadership acceptable to U.S. Citizens who are paying his salary? … If you disapprove, call and write the other Senators and request he be charged with disorderly conduct. No one in the Congress or Senate should be allowed to be intoxicated when officially representing the Citizens of the USA.

They say that alcoholism is a disease. If the Senate cannot take care of a disease in one of their own members, why should we trust them to take care of us?

Always Fun and Enlightening

27 December 2009

The Media Research Center has released their awards for The Best Notable Quotables of 2009 – the 22nd Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting. They have the winners and runners-up in sixteen categories…

  1. The Coronation of the Messiah Award for Fawning Inaugural Coverage
  2. Master of His Domain Award for Obama Puffery
  3. The Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh
  4. Damn Those Conservatives Award
  5. The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble
  6. Spread the Wealth Award for Socialist Sermonizing
  7. Long Live Camelot Award for Lionizing Ted Kennedy
  8. The Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin
  9. The Un-Fairness Doctrine Award for Slamming Media Conservatives
  10. Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Obsequious Obama Interviews
  11. Barry’s Big Brain Award for Journalists Bedazzled by Obama’s Brilliance
  12. The Audacity of Dopes Award for Wackiest Analysis of the Year
  13. The Obamagasm Award for Seeing Coolness In Everything Obama Does
  14. Michelle, the Media Belle Award
  15. Media Hero Award
  16. The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity

…Just start at the first one, and follow the “Next Category” links to work your way down the list. Some of these we remember (with infamy and nausea), some of these we’ve forgotten, and there are some we managed to miss that will make us face-palm for the first time. This is definitely worth going through when you’ve got the time.

Merry Christmas, All!

25 December 2009

And happy holidays as well. I’m spending the day with my family, and hope that those of you who are willing and able are also with your loved ones. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday Roundup

23 December 2009

According to the AP, the recovery is not as strong as previously thought (or, at least, previously announced/boasted). “The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the third quarter, as the recovery got off to a weaker start than previously thought. … The Commerce Department’s new reading on gross domestic product for the July-to-September quarter was slower than the 2.8 percent growth rate estimated just a month ago. Economists were predicting that figure wouldn’t be revised in the government’s final estimate on third-quarter GDP.” There’s a big surprise. In Connecticut, unemployment claims are overwhelming servers. In California, the state whose Governor has the gall to try hold up his failing state as an example to others, small-business bankruptcies are up eighty-one percent. Things are tough all over. The Obamas may even delay their Hawaiian vacation. Oh, the sacrifices Teh One is willing to make!

Meanwhile, as the people in this country try to cope with the real problems they face in life, a new book (“Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale) is telling people that their pets are a bigger threat to the environment than SUVs.

The Vales, specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington, analysed popular brands of pet food and calculated that a medium-sized dog eats around 164 kilos (360 pounds) of meat and 95 kilos of cereal a year. Combine the land required to generate its food and a “medium” sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) – around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4×4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car. To confirm the results, the New Scientist magazine asked John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, to calculate eco-pawprints based on his own data. The results were essentially the same. “Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat,” Barrett said.

It’s bad enough that Build-a-Bear is getting into the business of brainwashing children on the evils of global warming with underhanded and completely dishonest scare tactics (“Christmas may be canceled this year!”), a business in which they are not alone*, now they’re going to be told that their beloved pet is also destroying the world.

*This is Pirahna Club, a newspaper strip which has been running a story since December 14th (so they’re already in their second week) about the polar icecap melting, causing Santa’s workshops and elves to sink into the ocean:

Hello, Cleveland!

23 December 2009

(H/T Iowahawk)

Blah Blah Raaaaacism

22 December 2009

56% of Americans disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. (Rasmussen) 83½% of Americans agree that Congress drafts lengthy, complex bills to hide spending on special interests and to prevent constituents from understanding what’s in them before a vote is taken. (Zogby) Carbon prices are falling in the wake of Copenhagen. (Financial Times) Phones are ringing off the hook with outrage over Ben Nelson’s sixtieth vote on ObamaCare. (Omaha World-Herald) Why are things going so wrong for our leaders, who know better than us what is best for us? It must be those racist corporations!

There Goes One

22 December 2009

As reported in the previous post, “after her initial 220–215 victory, Pelosi can afford to lose only two net votes” when the reconciled final version of the widely differing House and Senate Health Care bills comes out of committee to get re-voted on by both houses of Congress. (The Senate Democrats, on the other hand, cannot lose a single vote.) Well, what we can only hope is the first domino in an avalanche has fallen: Representative Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama who had originally voted for ObamaCare, is switching parties to join the GOP.

“A radiation oncologist who founded a cancer treatment center, Griffith plans to blast the Democratic health care bill as a prime reason for his decision to switch parties – and is expected to cite his medical background as his authority on the subject.”

Interesting that this makes another Congressional doctor who’s throwing sand in the gears of the rush to ObamaCare. If only we had more doctors and less lawyers in the Congress (or indeed, more of anyone and less lawyers), ObamaCare might not have made it even this far, at least not in this tentacled horror form.

Don’t Give Up Your Parents and Prescriptions Yet

22 December 2009

Rich Lowry (editor of the National Review) and Robert Costa (William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at the National Review Institute) provide us with Five Reasons ObamaCare Might Not Pass. Here they are, summarized (read the article for the full analysis):

  1. Public Revulsion. The bill was already under water in every major public-opinion poll, and opposed by a margin of almost 2 to 1 in the latest CNN poll. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll put its support at freezing, 32 percent. A few ticks downward and the bill will be in the 20s. … Democrats have set out to disprove Lincoln’s adage that without public sentiment nothing can succeed. They may yet succeed, but sailing into the teeth of such a howling headwind of public opinion won’t be easy.
  2. The Stupak Dozen. Nelson cut a deal so far short of the Stupak language in the House that the National Right to Life Committee is going to score the cloture vote on the bill as a vote to subsidize abortion on demand. That won’t matter to anyone in the Senate, but it could have a major effect in the House. After her initial 220–215 victory, Pelosi can afford to lose only two net votes. Bart Stupak has declared the Nelson language unacceptable and vows to oppose the final bill if it doesn’t include the restrictions contained in his amendment. … Stupak was part of a bloc of Democrats who wrote a letter to Pelosi saying they’d stand against “any health-care-reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or -subsidized health-insurance plan.” Eleven of those signatories voted for the House bill. Then there’s Joseph Cao, the Louisiana Republican who voted for the bill at the last moment during the first House vote but has said he would vote against the bill – even if doing so might cost him his seat … if it funds abortion.
  3. Who Pays? …the differences in financing between the Senate and the House bills are vast. The Senate relies on a so-called Cadillac tax on pricey insurance plans, the House on a surtax on the wealthy. The Senate long ago declared the surtax anathema, and the House is just as dismissive of the Cadillac tax. The unions hate the Cadillac tax, since they enjoy such plans themselves, the fruit of collective bargaining. If the House gives in, it will create even more unrest on the Left. If the Senate gives in, it could upset the fragile deal for 60…
  4. Feeling Blue. “Blue Dog Democrat” is understandably becoming a term of derision, denoting a willingness to object only enough to be noticed before caving in to the Democratic leadership. Yet the Blue Dogs still have to be a worry for supporters of the bill. … As Michael Barone points out, nearly 70 percent of the Blue Dogs represent districts that voted for John McCain. A vote for this bill must look even more like a potentially career-ending decision now than it did the first time around…
  5. The Left. Progressives are pained, at what should be their very moment of triumph. The Senate dashed their dreams of the public option. Without it, many on the left are abandoning ship. … No fewer than 60 liberals in the House imprudently made a pledge to oppose a bill without a public option. Almost all of them can be expected to eat it. But what if one or two don’t? Public-option scold Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) is continuing to pressure Obama to move further left. … perhaps a few of Weiner’s colleagues are ideologically besotted enough to lash out at the president’s “betrayal” when he doesn’t “come in” the way they hope he will.

Their conclusion? “All of this means that Democrats shouldn’t be celebrating until they have the bill on Obama’s desk. … Early next year, the question may shift from whether Democrats can pass the bill, to whether Republican can make the sort of gains in 2010 and 2012 necessary to repeal it.”

Copenhagen Flatulence Awards

20 December 2009

The Toronto Sun provided a rare (for the MSM!) counterpoint to the coverage of Hopenchangen in Copenhagen by handing out their own awards (H/T FinallyFree at SS&C)

Now that the enviro nuts have finished handing out their “Fossil of the Day” and “Colossal Fossil” awards, unfairly smearing Canada at the just-completed Copenhagen climate summit, let’s return the favour with some well-deserved honours of our own. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, we present the Copenhagen Flatulence Awards, honouring those who raised the art of generating hot air and gassy emissions to new intensity levels during the UN-sponsored festival of indignation…

It’s no surprise that a slight majority (five out of nine) went to Canadians, but (Spoiler!) Al Gore got the first one.

(P.S. There’s no truth to the “rumour” that those extra U’s that the Brits, Canadians, and Aussies insist on sticking into perfectly good words like “favor” and “honor” are also contributors to global warming.)