Mark Cuban/Brian De Palma
First the Dallas Mavericks owner funds the wacky, albeit creative, 9/11 conspiracy theory film Loose Change. Then he goes on to finance the awful, anti-troop, Brian De Palma flick, Redacted. My, how things have changed since the WWII era when Hollywood was actually rooting for our side and making films which made our soldiers look like the brave and noble individuals that most of them are.
Meanwhile, we don’t see anything coming out of Hollywood portraying the Jihadists as the bad guys. That wouldn’t be PC now would it?
You’d think that with all that this country has given to millionaires such as Cuban and De Palma they could give a little back when America is fighting a war against dangerous fundamentalists. But alas, they choose to make dishonest films, which are taken as fact by every Muslim who's looking for any excuse to hate us, and that individual now beileves that they are perfectly justified in blowing up more of our fighting men and women. You two truly exemplify what it means to be bad Americans.
Another crummy American this year was the Senate Majority Leader who, in his overly zealous attempts to undermine the President, has consistently stuck his thumb directly in the eye of our troops .
There is no question in my mind that Leader Reid has wanted us to fail in Iraq from the moment he sensed that there were political points to be scored from a defeat at the hands of the terrorists.
In order to ensure such a defeat, he has used his prominent position behind the Senate podium to send the following messages to our soldiers in Iraq.
“I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything.”
"As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results."
These quotes wouldn’t be a big deal if they had been found on the pages of Move.On or the Daily Kos, but the fact that they were uttered by one of the most powerful elected officials in Washington, says a lot about where the Democrats' priorities lie. I don’ t know what’s scarier: the fact that the Leader of the Senate was so very wrong about the surge strategy or the fact that he wanted so very badly to be right about it.
My favorite Reid moment, however, was when he referred to illegal immigrants as “undocumented Americans.” Funny, funny, scary stuff.
This blog spent a good part of the spring in an effort to get Rosie O’Donnell removed from The View, a campaign that was ultimately successful. I’m sick of talking about her, so instead I will focus on what she came to represent.
O’Donnell was the central figure in the exposure and subsequent humiliation of the 9/11 Truth movement.
What makes this group so intriguing is that it showed us all how powerful the Internet can be when used as a tool by gullible, albeit creative individuals who long for excitement and conspiracy, even at the expense of their own nation.
I covered a 9/11 truth rally, and it was little more than an extension of the Bush-hatred that has become so prevalent over the last seven years. The sign waving conspiracy enthusiasts outside of the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard were, for the most part, vapid and yet were all united in their belief that the American government was covering something up in regards to 9/11 and was probably behind the attacks in the first place.
As cars honked their support for the “Impeach Bush/Cheney” signs held by many of the participants, it became clear just how damaging bad information can be when seen on a well laid out website.
Thankfully, Rosie’s departure killed the chances of these particular conspiracy theorists gaining any credibility, whatsoever.
The Paparazzi/Perez Hilton/TMZ
I’m just going to come out and say it. If you read People Magazine, Us, In Touch or any of the other supermarket checkout rags focusing on the personal lives of celebrities, you’re part of the problem.
I will never understand it, but if you purchase one of these mindless magazines, or log on to one of the celebrity-obsessed sites that have grown in popularity as of late, you are putting money in the pockets of the paparazzi.
At least 15 photographers follow the Britney Spears train wreck everywhere it goes. Gas stations, fast food joints. She’s not that interesting. Neither are Brangelina or any of the other public figures who would probably be homeless if not for their good looks and hotel money.
My question is, do the people who care about this stuff vote? If they do, whom do they vote for? Can we stop them from voting? Perhaps if every awards show was broadcast on election day... Just a thought.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Mark Cuban/Brian De Palma
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:41 PM
Thursday, December 27, 2007
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"The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a tragic event for Pakistan and for democracy in Pakistan. Her murderers must be brought to justice and Pakistan must continue the path back to democracy and the rule of law. Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere -- whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi -- is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists' War on Us."
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:41 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush issued an order that effectively allowed the United States to hold suspects indefinitely without a hearing, a lawyer, or formal charges. In September 2006, Congress passed a law suspending habeas corpus for anyone deemed an “unlawful enemy combatant.”
Of course if Weiner had actually read the bill, specifically section 7 of the bill, he would know that the suspension of Habeas Corpus only applies to "aliens" deemed enemy combatants. This is far different from the president having the ability to deem any American an "unlawful enemy combatant" and throw them in prison.
The New York Times ladies and gentleman. Informing the terrorists and misinforming Americans since 2001. Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Falling Panda at 7:59 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
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"Yes, he's a consequential figure, who has just nominated a successor who looks like his pawn (at least for now; for a contrary view, see this speculation). But Russia ain't what it was when Time saw Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andropov as a dynamic duo. And who are Time's runners-up? Al Gore, who exaggerated the IPCC climate forecast by a factor of 20 to say that New York and London would be flooded by global warming (they weren't in the 13th century, when the weather was a lot warmer than it is now). J. K. Rowling, who has made millions writing books that children and adults love to read; all power to her, but she's not exerting the kind of influence over human affairs that Hitler did in 1938 and Stalin did in 1939. Or Hu Jintao, who is presiding over a system whose initiation, in 1978, was rightly honored by Time as a turning point in history. I have on my bookshelves somewhere (actually, it's not there, because I've just moved and haven't reshelved my books) a book by a China scholar entitled 1587: A Year of No Significance. I bought it because of the title and haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Hu Jintao is, so far as I can tell, like that book, of no significance. David Petraeus, No. 4 on Time's list, has made a much greater—a huger—difference. But Time doesn't want to acknowledge that, because to do so would be to admit that George W. Bush is not an ignorant tyrant and that the United States is not on the losing side of history. Better to elevate Vladimir Putin to a significance he does not deserve. Shame."
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:20 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Huckabee Sees WH 'Bunker Mentality'
By LIBBY QUAID
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Mike Huckabee, who has joked about his lack of foreign policy experience, is criticizing the Bush administration's efforts, denouncing a go-it-alone "arrogant bunker mentality" and questioning decisions on Iraq.
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor now running for the Republican presidential nomination, lays out a policy plan that is long on optimism but short on details in the January-February issue of the journal Foreign Affairs, which is published by the Council on Foreign Relations. A copy of his article was released Friday.
"American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out," Huckabee said. "The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists."
In one specific criticism, Huckabee said Bush did not send enough troops to invade Iraq. And he accused the president of marginalizing Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, who said at the outset of the war that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the invasion. "I would have met with Shinseki privately and carefully weighed his advice," Huckabee said.
He said this year's troop increase under Bush has resulted in significant but tenuous gains, and he said - much as Bush has - that he would not withdraw troops from Iraq any faster than Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander there, recommends. The military has now slowly begun to reverse the troop increase.
Huckabee has previously joked about his lack of experience in international affairs. "I may not be the expert as some people on foreign policy, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night," he said earlier this month.
While the Foreign Affairs article is missing the one-liners he is known for, it does have a few folksy comparisons to illustrate his points. On Iran, for example, he makes a case for diplomacy by saying, "Before we put boots on the ground elsewhere, we had better have wingtips there first."
He adds that the U.S. can exploit the Iranian government's hunger for regional clout, saying, "We cannot live with al-Qaida, but we might be able to live with a contained Iran."
Last week, Huckabee missed a report the White House released saying Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program; one day later, the candidate said he was unaware of the report and had been campaigning too hard to read the newspaper or be briefed. The Foreign Affairs article seems to have been written before the report was released, citing "urgent concerns about Iran's development of nuclear weapons."
In his article, Huckabee also thumped Bush for failing to pursue al-Qaida in Pakistan, noting recent terrorism plans, since thwarted, that were planned there: "Whereas our failure to tackle Iran seems to be leading inexorably to our attacking it, our failure to tackle al-Qaida in Pakistan seems to be leading inexorably to its attacking us again."
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:37 PM
Sunday, December 09, 2007
This has never been a very political administration. To a fault, President Bush has consistently done what he believes to be the right thing to do rather than the popular thing.
His poll numbers have tanked and he doesn't really seem to care.
Despite the fact that he has been attacked mercilessly by Democrats in an unprecedentedly vile fashion for the last eight years, he never fires back or uses the opposition's vitriol in order to gain politically.
Gone is the take no prisoners, win by any means, political style of the Clintons, although it’s trying to make a comeback.
I like Bush's style. A good President is supposed to stay above the political in order to focus on....you know.....the nation's problems and stuff.
The NIE report on Iran released last week however, gave the president the political equivalent of a massive club with which to bludgeon his political foes over the head. Repeatedly. But Bush missed it.
The fact that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003 shows us that the invasion of Iraq has had incredibly positive repercussions on the Middle East and by default on the world.
One of the key goals of the invasion--to deter nations run by brutal totalitarian regimes from even thinking about buying or making WMD's--has worked perfectly.
At this point, every crazy dictator in the world knows that if he so much as acquires a weapon of mass destruction in a dream, he runs the risk of having his government toppled or having billions in nuclear technology blown up by the United States.
For all of you liberals out there: This is good. We want this kind of thing to happen, because it prevents nukes and horrible chemical weapons from being put in the hands of terrorists. It also prevents Israel being completely destroyed.
Like dominoes, the nations that we worry most about actually using an apocalyptic weapon have had to give up their dreams of holding their respective areas of the world hostage by threatening to lob a nuke into neighboring countries.
The principle of preemption has worked.
Democrats, of course, would never admit this but the increasingly positive news coming out of Iraq means that they will be unable to deny it forever. There is an incredible transformation underway in the Middle East.
The sour taste over Iraq remains in the mouths of much of the American electorate and this has allowed the Democrats to spin the NIE report as a negative. They say it is a further indictment of Bush's credibility and the sad state of our intelligence gathering abilities.
As usual, the "Bush lied" argument will never go anywhere. It's bogus. And while some will believe it now due to far-left sites that peddle misinformation, the accusation that Bush misled the American people either now or in the lead up to the Iraq war will never survive in the scope of history.
But some still don't get it. Liberal columnist Matthew Yglesias was allowed to throw this
"The problem with the Bush preemption doctrine isn't merely that it's been applied when the intelligence was lacking but that the underlying idea is unsound. By casting America as the threatening aggressor, it encourages countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction to defend themselves, as it undermines the sort of international cooperation that's necessary to halt the spread of those weapons. On some level, Democrats seem to recognize this, but if they're politically too timid to rule out the failed policy of preemption, they can't offer a coherent rationale for an alternative approach. Instead, they sometimes seem to be offering more of the same, only a bit less so. Thanks to the latest intelligence, preemption is moot for the short run."
Clearly this is bass ackwards. By casting America as the "aggressor",rogue nations appear to be encouraged to stop in their attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction? Like in Iran? The nation that you're talking about in the article you're writing, Matt? Right? Wait.....did I miss something?
We attacked Iraq. A couple of months later, their neighbor, who policy minds were incredibly worried about in the wake of 9/11, stopped making their nuke. That seems like a fairly simple scenario that anyone familiar with the concept of "cause and effect" should be able to grasp.
The reason that the Democrats won't rule out the policy of pre-emption is because they know it works. It's like ruling out the policy of brushing your teeth as a preemptive strike against cavities.
Yglesias also claims that the discovery of the recent intelligence"....signals that the hawks inside the Bush administration have lost. No U.S. airstrikes will be forthcoming."
Who? What hawks in the Bush Administration wanted to bomb Iran's nuke facilities? Does Matthew Yglesias have some sort of inside information about what Dick Cheney was recommending the President do about the Iran situation?
Does his position as associate editor of Atlantic Monthly allow him access to that type of inside information? I doubt it.
The incresingly partisan Joe Klein makes the same accusation in this week's Time Magazine, yet he provides no evidence to back up his claim.
Making an assumption based on guesses as to what is going on in the White House and then presenting it as fact is bad journalism. I expect that kind of thing from Yglesias, but not from a respected journalist like Klein.
Bush should have launched a pre-emptive strike on liberals like Yglesias as soon as the NIE report was released in order to connect the absence of Iran's nuke program to the absence of Saddam Hussein’s vicious regime.
The modern left has a long history of being wrong on foreign policy matters and then being incapable of admitting their mistakes once they’re evident.
Many liberals are still incapable of conceding that Ronald Reagan was instrumental in the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
Their refusal to acknowledge the success of the President’s surge strategy would be laughable if it wasn’t so depressing. In my favorite surge delusion, some liberals imply that the only reason that the civilian death toll in Iraq has dropped so dramatically over the past few months is because most of the Iraqi’s are already dead.
The fact that guys like Yglesias were so quick to spin the NIE's conclusions into a negative, in addition to the administration’s unwillingness to explain to the American people the likely reasons why Iran suspended its nuclear program in 2003, will probably allow for some short term political gains for the Bush haters and those against the use of military force for any reason whatsoever.
However, those of us who are able to separate the reality from the pathological spin of the left wing media, are becoming increasingly confident in the knowledge that history will cast the decision to topple the government of Iraq in a positive light and that so-called “cowboy diplomacy” has worked far more efficiently than most in the media are willing to admit.
- Dan Joseph
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Posted by Falling Panda at 8:15 PM
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
For several years now we have heard conspiracy theories floated by Iraq war opponents everywhere that the Bush administration had pretty much settled on attacking Iran. To hear them tell it, it wasn't simply going to be a strategic bombing of the rogue nation's nuclear facilities, but rather an all-out, Iraq-style, ground war.
Of course, there is no evidence that the administration was planning such an attack. But with the mission in Iraq going badly, it was political rhetoric which succeeded in making the far-left and the Democratic base hate the president even more and unite the left around the idea that a war against Iran was inevitable unless John Edwards or some other far-left dove was brought in immediately to stop it.
Now, keep in mind: all of this fear-mongering of another Bush war came against the backdrop of an Iran which most believed was in the process of (or close to being in the process of) building a nuclear weapon. Despite the obvious danger of such a prospect, the left showed that they were far more concerned with an imperialist America actually using its military than they were of a radical Islamic nation with a nuke.
Now a new NIE intelligence estimate tells us that Iran halted their development of nuclear weapons in 2003.
The left seized on this finding immediately and pointed to it as evidence that the Bush administration over-hyped the threat posed by Iran, with the goal of bringing us into another war. We've come to expect this type of knee-jerk reaction from the tin-foil hat crowd and Bush haters, but as is usual these days, on matters of foreign policy the opposition let their mouths get a couple steps ahead of their brains on this one.
Let the grown ups explain.
First of all, I shouldn't even have to point out that those who are trying to score political points off of this NIE report are the same folks who have been calling the President a liar or implying that he misled the nation in the lead up to the Iraq war. Of course, the intelligence that the president received which led him, as well as almost everyone else to believe that Saddam Hussein had WMD's and was possibly well on his way to acquiring a nuclear weapon was laid out very clearly in an NIE intelligence estimate.
It's political opportunism right out of the Clinton playbook. When the intelligence estimate says something that is subsequently investigated and turns out to be wrong, the president is a liar. However, when believing the NIE estimate can help the Democrats politically, they will use it as fact to try and make the president look like a liar.
Of course, the Democrats will never admit how hypocritical this pick-and-choose politics is. They will also never admit that this news is evidence that the war in Iraq has served as a deterrent to other regimes who seek weapons of mass destruction. Of course, to hear the left tell it, this whole war was about oil anyway so they probably wouldn't have the intellectual honesty or capacity to understand that deterrence was one of the major, strategic goals of the Iraq invasion in the first place.
We now know that Iran suspended their development of a nuclear weapon around the same time that we invaded Iraq in order to disarm Saddam. Coincidence? You can make the call on that one.
Common sense would suggest that like Libya, the powers that be in Iran decided that acquiring a nuke was not worth the threat of having the United States put the smackdown on them and overthrow their government. Something that they now saw we were perfectly willing to do, with or without the blessing of the U.N.
So our show of force in Iraq worked perfectly in that sense. Recently, North Korea has also promised to end their nuclear weapons program as well. So there you have it. The Axis of Evil is no longer a threat to the world or the stability of the Middle East, right?
Not quite. We know that we can't trust regimes like Iran or North Korea in the long run. Despite the fact that both Iran and Saddam were not as far along in their WMD capabilities as we thought, both regimes felt it necessary to keep the world guessing.
Iran is still enriching uranium, North Korea lied to us once before when we made a deal with them. You simply can't trust these guys.
Therefore, President Bush is correct in his assertion that Iran is still dangerous even without a current nuke program.
While we must keep Iran on a steady diet of sanctions and carrots attached to sticks, in order to ensure that they improve their behavior in the region, today's revelation is good news for everyone.
For the time being, Iran's neighbors don't have to worry about having a bomb lobbed at them.
For now the U.S. does not have to be concerned with Iran handing off a nuke to Al-Queda or some other Islamic extremist group. The fact that it appears that Iran couldn't even possibly construct a nuclear weapon before the middle of the next decade buys us some much needed time to fight the War on Terror, without Iran having the bargaining power which a nuclear weapon would give them.
The real story here however is the left's continued attempts to spin every positive into a negative. To spin even the most promising intelligence into a gotcha moment for the administration.
But their days are numbered. As the surge in Iraq continues to work and democracy continues to evolve in the region, the Bush administrations decision to go into Iraq will eventually begin to get the credit it deserves for the dominoes which continue to fall as a result.
Of course I could be wrong. Maybe Iran just stopped their nuke program in 2003 because they were bored or lazy, or because they just wanted to be nice guys.
But if you are still not convinced, ask yourself this: If Iran had announced that it had suspended its nuclear weapons program a few days after the U.S. attacked Iraq, how would the media and the Democrats have reacted to that?
Whatever the case, it's time for some honesty from the Democrats and those in the media, who seem to believe that this story is more about the Administration's credibility than our sucesses in the War on Terror.
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:35 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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From The New York Times:
Bill Clinton Flatly Asserts He Opposed War at Start
By PATRICK HEALY
Published: November 28, 2007
"During a campaign swing for his wife, former President Bill Clinton said flatly yesterday that he opposed the war in Iraq “from the beginning.”
From a 2004 Time Magazine Inteview:
"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for. So I thought the President had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, "Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process." You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks. I never really thought he'd [use them]. What I was far more worried about was that he'd sell this stuff or give it away. Same thing I've always been worried about North Korea's nuclear and missile capacity. I don't expect North Korea to bomb South Korea, because they know it would be the end of their country. But if you can't feed yourself, the temptation to sell this stuff is overwhelming. So that's why I thought Bush did the right thing to go back. When you're the President, and your country has just been through what we had, you want everything to be accounted for."
Like husband, like wife.
Are we seriously talking about letting this guy back in the White House? Seriously?
One can only hope that this continued pattern of deception and evasivness will be recocnized by the American people, and remind them of the scandal ridden Clinton years, when bold faced lies became a standard part of the Democratic playbook.
The Clintons are attempting to build a political dynasty on their ability to take both sides of every issue. For the sake of the nation, let's hope we see through it this time.
Also, one of the talking heads who I like to listen to made a great point the other day.
While Bush was wrong in his assertion that Saddam had WMD's, Hillary has been wrong twice on Iraq. The first time with Bush regarding the weapons and again when she opposed the Surge strategy. And , she's not even the president yet.
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:46 PM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
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The last two years have been difficult ones for the GOP. An unpopular president, presiding over an unpopular war lead to Republicans losing congress, and conventional wisdom, until recently, suggested that the same was likely to happen in their quest to maintain control over the executive branch.
However, without the mainstream media noticing, sometime around mid-September the GOP bottomed out and since then, the party has begun a slow recovery, which although not evident in measurements of public approval, has GOP regulars hopeful that the return of the Democrats to the White House may not be such a sure thing.
Iraq appears to have turned around and if success in that nation continues it will leave the Democrats without the one issue that has provided them with any electoral success over the last eight years.
The Democratic congress has politicized every issue that they could get their hands on from the funding of our troops to an unnecessary expansion of the SCHIP program. While you would think that these would be easy issues to bludgeon the administration with, President Bush has outwitted the hapless Democrats at every turn.
In the Democratic presidential contest, aka. the Tattle of The One Term Senators, frontrunner Hillary Clinton was finally called out last week for her pattern of evasive answers and doublespeak. Unless these habits can be reversed it should be easy for the GOP to rightfully paint the Senator as waffling and unable to answer simple questions in a straightforward manner. As we saw with John Kerry, this can mean death for a presidential candidate.
So with things finally looking up for the GOP, party regulars face the decision as to who will be the standard bearer. While early grumblings among the party faithfu, that none of the major candidates were Reagan-esque enough to lead the party, the near certainty of a Hillary candidacy seems to have focused the candidates and has forced primary voters to weigh the candidate's negatives against the possibility of a second Clinton presidency.
Two questions must be answered.
First, who has the best chance of beating Hillary? All Republicans can agree that any of the GOP candidates and perhaps half of the Democratic hopefuls would be preferable to Clinton as an occupant of the Oval Office.
In addition to this we must be sure that whoever is nominated will espouse the basic principles of the party, and not waver on the core issues such as tax cuts and an aggressive foreign policy and will work to reestablish the GOP’s small government credentials.
Rudy Giuliani is the one who can meet both of these criteria He is also the most qualified of all of the candidates in either party despite Joe Biden’s silly comments at the last Dem debate. Comments such as Bidens are made out of fear of a Giuliani candidacy, rather than as serious commentary on Rudy’s accomplishments. One needs only look at what Rudy would bring to the table as a candidate in order to understand the fear that the Democrats understandably have of him being the Republican nominee.
Rudy will be able to attract moderate Democrats and independents into the party, especially those who have been turned off by 16 years of Bill and Hillary in the news every day.
The issue of abortion will be less salient since both he and Hillary are pro-choice, and yet Christian Conservatives would certainly much rather have new Supreme Court justices placed by Giuliani than by Hillary.
He comes across as straightforward, unscripted and imperfect, as opposed to Mitt Romney, whom for all of his positives, is still far too polished and untested to stand up to the coming Clinton onslaught without loosing his cool and losing his focus.
Rudy is a proven leader. He took a city, which had been crippled by years of Democratic bureaucracy, corruption and a lack of new ideas and used basic conservative principles such as tax cuts, lower spending and law and order to restore the city’s economy, reduce crime, make the city tourist friendly and restore the worldly reputation which New York had lost throughout the 70’s and 80’s. He was the chief executive in a city equal in size to many states. This is tantamount to being a governor, only with a much higher profile.
On 9/11, Rudy provided hope and unwavering leadership to America’s largest city during its darkest hours. We all witnessed it first hand, and while some have chosen to second guess some of his actions in the days following the attacks, these criticisms are mostly partisan in nature and nit-picky in substance.
On that day, Rudy guided a terrified city out of chaos. These actions alone, make him far more qualified than anyone else in terms of dealing with the type of threat we face from Islamo-facism in the 21st century.
Rudy, has never wavered in his support for the war in Iraq. Even though he has no vote directly connecting him to the war as Hillary Clinton does, unlike Hillary he never stuck his finger in the wind and altered his position and rhetoric on the war in order to maximize his political gains. Rudy has a history of doing the things he does because he believes in them, not because they will lead him to electoral success.
He is strong on tax cuts and we have no reason to believe that he would be any less hawkish than George W. Bush when it comes to Middle–East policy.
If one needs proof that Rudy is electable, they only need look at the current polls measuring head-to-head match-ups between Rudy and Hillary. Despite the anti-GOP mood in the country and Rudy’s relatively low profile as of late, especially when compared to Hillary, he still polls even with the Senator. If things start going the GOP’s way, Rudy could potentially run the table in the Electoral College with the ironic exception of his home state, where a large portion of the folks wouldn’t vote for Jesus Christ if he ran as a Republican against Satan himself.
The other GOP candidates in the race all have good qualities, but Rudy is the one who is the most like Reagan and the most likely to win in a general election.
Mitt Romney has brains, cash and charisma but is lacking in the substance department. While Rudy is guilty of finessing some of his policy positions in order to make them more palatable to the GOP base, Romney has completely flip-flopped in order to make himself appear to be a conservative. He needs another four years to shore up his conservative credentials before he can be considered seriously for the job. In addition, this election is far too important to risk a negative reaction from the public over the Mormon issue.
Fred Thompson is an all around great guy, but he is yet to present GOP voters with any real reason to support him other than his down home charm and what thus far appears to be a purist ideology.
Mike Huckabee is perfect for the Vice-Presidency and should be at the top of the list if Rudy captures the nomination.
John McCain seems to have lost his energy after losing momentum due to his compromises on issues like tax-cuts, immigration and water-boarding.
Rudy has a lot going for him in this race. He is a proven leader, a Washington outsider, he’s not a Bush or a Clinton, he’s not a phony and he knows how to work across the aisle.
For years now, political pundits have told us how it would be impossible for Rudy to win the nomination, and yet here we are 53 days out of Iowa and Rudy still holds a wide lead in national polls. In addition to this, he has hardly advertised in early primary states and remains either ahead or within striking distance of Mitt Romney who has spent millions on commercials.
In past elections, there has been a sense that none of the candidates running were really the best possible person to assume the mantel of Leader of the Free World. Yet, they were the only choices that we had and we accepted or rejected them based on a whole host of issues, some related directly to their abilities and some not.
With Rudy Giuliani, it’s hard to imagine anyone who is better suited to lead the nation during these dangerous times. Even Reagan wasn’t perfect when he came on the presidential scene. He had previously been pro-choice, he had been divorced and had a tumultuous relationship with his kids. Despite all of this, today Reagan is the individual against whom all other Republicans are judged.
Rudy passes the Reagan test and is exactly the type of leader that America needs at this moment in history.
That is why Falling Panda is endorsing Rudy Giuliani for the Presidency of the United States.
- Dan Joseph
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:20 PM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
November 01, 2007
Despite the Gloom, More Bush Boom
By Lawrence Kudlow
If things are so bad, why are they so good?
With all the gloom coming out of Wall Street, the Democrats on the campaign trail and the mainstream media, a remarkable thing just happened: Real gross domestic product, the best summary report of the American economy, came in at a breathtaking 3.9 percent annual rate for the third quarter. In fact, following the 3.8 percent growth rate for the second quarter, the U.S. economy has posted its strongest quarterly growth in four years. The economy actually appears to be speeding up, following the relatively sluggish performance of the prior 18 months.
On top of this, the inflation rate is actually slowing down. The consumer spending deflator is reading 2.1 percent for the past year, compared to over 3 percent six quarters ago. The core inflation rate is down to 1.9 percent, below the Fed's 2 percent target.
Even employment is holding its own. According to Automatic Data Processing's private employment survey, which showed its strongest gain in four months, October looks like it will produce about 125,000 new jobs.
Meanwhile, rising exports of American goods and services are booming to such an extent that the deep housing recession is being cancelled out. And while many continue to predict a consumer collapse because of falling home prices and tighter credit, after-tax inflation-adjusted income is 4.1 percent ahead of last year, for a $344 billion gain, while the purchase cost of energy prices are flat. The little noticed factoid is that consumer energy use per unit of GDP has actually fallen by more than 50 percent in recent decades.
Again: If things are so bad, why are they so good?
The stock market roared after the Federal Reserve cut its target rate on Wednesday by 25 basis points to 4.5 percent. The rate cut was a small insurance policy, just in case the subprime credit crunch and the housing downturn take a larger toll on the economy.
But listening to the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, you'd think it was 1929 all over again. The litany of scare-talk complaints includes China trade unfairness, globalization, immigration, income inequality, stagnant wages, a shrinking middle class, the sinking dollar and high oil prices.
Yes, there is home deflation on Main Street and loan deflation on Wall Street. It will continue. But what about the rest of the story? When you listen to the hedge-fund short-sellers and the liberal politicians as they attempt to discredit the Bush economic boom, you could almost fall for their bear-market seduction. But the seductress turns out to be an economic harlot -- not a beautiful woman.
The true message of the strong economy is that we're virtually guaranteed of a Goldilocks soft landing or better -- and certainly not a recession.
It's interesting that while the Bush tax cuts of 2003 continue to encourage investment and entrepreneurship, expanding national income and higher tax collections have brought the big bad budget deficit down to $160 billion, or roughly 1 percent of GDP. Using something called the primary deficit -- which extracts net interest on the debt and can be used to measure fiscal stimulus on the economy -- we actually have a 70 billion surplus.
These are all reasons why it would be foolhardy to embrace large-scale tax-hikes to allegedly fight the budget gap.
House tax chief Charlie Rangel's great idea to reduce the corporate income tax is the first pro-growth tax-cut measure from a Democrat in many years, and hopefully his effort will spur a discussion of full-scale tax reform by the Republican and Democratic candidates. But looking to the rest of Rangel's plan, there are ways to eliminate the alternative minimum tax that do not require big tax hikes on the most successful earners and investors.
For example, the Bush administration's tax-reform panel, chaired by former Sens. Connie Mack and John Breaux, proposed a growth-and-investment plan with only three income-tax brackets of 15, 25 and 30 percent. They would repeal the AMT and reduce the corporate tax to 30 percent. Capital gains and dividends would remain at 15 percent.
Or there's the new plan from Wisconsin House member Paul Ryan, which would move to a 10 percent and 25 percent tax system while also eliminating the dreaded AMT.
In other words, there are a lot of ways to gently nudge tax rates lower while broadening the tax base that would keep the Bush boom going well into the future.
The print and broadcast media do not give President Bush much credit for his economic policies. But somehow I have to wonder whether low unemployment, strong growth, negligible inflation and record stock markets do not deserve just a bit of praise.
It is still the greatest story never told.
What Liberal Media?
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:09 PM
Monday, October 29, 2007
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We've always known that the Kos-bloggers and other loony leftists out there are not entirely stable when it comes to political discourse. Nor are they as bright or as up on current events as those of us who consider ourselves true political junkies.
Kos is kind of like a game of pick-up football being played by a bunch of guys with anger management issues, who have no concept as to what the rules of the game are. Also the players are all blind and have no arms.
Here's a posting from Kos in which some of the astute minds of the left talk about the toll that the Bush presidency has taken on their personal lives.
So very sad.
angrybird: Have the Bush years taken a toll on your relationships?
I wrote a diary a short time ago about how the Bush administration helped ruin my marriage. It wasn't because my husband was a Bush supporter or anything...it was because of all the stresses from job loses, living without health insurance and getting sick, to my husband being forced to take a job where he wasn't home much that helped ruin my marriage.
However...I started thinking about other relationships that have indeed been killed because those people where Bush supporters.
...Please share your stories about how the bush administration has taken it's toll on your relationships; they can be stories from economy related to the personal. I promise you will feel better if you share :-)"
begone: Hmmm, my relationship with myself, mostly.
Before my head began exploding a few years ago in response
to Busharama, I'd exercise a lot... I mean, almost daily, joyous-type
exericising. Now I come home with a slight frown on my face and
come here to hear the news & be a mojo-mama even if too
tired to comment, and hang for hours here and on other blogs,
as if the light will shine again and I'll be present to hear the
BREAKING news about that.
Bush, I blame you for my new-ish extra 20 pounds....
delphine: I haven't had a relationship since he took office.
But I can say that I've been trashed by potential online dating partners for stating I couldn't date anyone who thinks bush is a good presznit....
cowgirl: I have two co-irkers who are die hard Bushies. I've known them for years. Although we weren't all that close, I've spent time with them outside of work, spent many breaks and lunches together, and generally liked them a whole lot.
Eventually, their support for Bush got to the point where talking with them simply infuriated me. I'm still polite and cordial with them, but we don't hang out the way we used to. It's just hard to fathom their belief system. How can they not be angry at the war alone? That many deaths makes me sick to many stomach, and they support it? W.T.F.
I'm not a violent person, but the last few times I discussed politics with them, I had the strongest urge to thump them upside their pointy little heads...HARD.
Good riddance to bad rubbish, I guess.
Boadicaea: Somehow my family AND relationships are almost all at odds with me. If they're not pro-Bush, they're disparaging about my uphill efforts to do something about him ("You really think a march/what you write/a sign/etc. will make a difference?"). One of my oldest friends called me a "kook." And they all get frothy over who deserves their tax money.
The hardest is my dad, but he's steering clear of politics lately and I just spent six weeks with him with only a few mishaps. He's a retired USAF pilot and looks at everything as bad guys/good guys, liberal media, etc. We're both old enough now for thoughful avoidance; if I feel like the top of my head is about to blow off, I go somewhere far away. He knows why, but accepts it. We talk a lot about family and faith, so conversation isn't superficial.
There was an incident--he called me in to view a video he'd received in his email. Before I knew what it was, I was watching a smart bomb blow up a group of Iraqis--"bad guys"--while my dad raved about our advances in weaponry. He absolutely had no awareness of my reaction to the video and to his enjoyment of it.
I was down the hall, thinking I would puke, when he hollered "Do you want to see it again?" I knew if I said anything but no we'd have a horrible and fruitless spat, so I just disappeared for a few hours....
meldroc: Bush has also damaged my mental health.
After I actually took the trouble to inform myself about politics a couple years ago, and learned the true extent of the damage Bush has done to this country, I have a constant boiling rage inside me. Absolutely constant. Never ceases, though sometimes I can get it down to a simmer so I can go out in public and hang out with friends without doing something stupid. On top of the anger is a generous dose of fear and anxiety, coming directly from the Bush administration's march to fascism.
Frequently, I'm so intensely angry that I hit things. I just broke my bookshelf today because I hit it. My knuckles have decent callouses on them from hitting things, and various pieces of my property show signs of my rage. Thankfully, I've never turned violent against people since I was in high school, though I was sorely tempted to deviate the septum of a wingnut who called me a traitor and faggot to my face at the anti-war march last Saturday.
Of course, it's unhealthy to harbor this much anger, especially if I'm stuffing it down all the time so people around me don't see me acting borderline psychotic. These emotions leak out, turn into other emotions, like depression, which I've fought with since college. I've also developed a venomous hatred of Bush and his cronies and the 23-percenters that support him. Hatred's never a good emotion to hold, but there it is. I literally hate those motherf*ckers who are destroying our country.
By all rights, I should be getting help, but I'm not going to. I was soured on the psychiatry business by my experience with anti-depressants - I ended up nearly emotionless, apathetic, and lost my motivation and creative drive, and as a result, I was unemployed for three years and had to move back in with my parents. I was your classic anti-depressant zombie. They didn't like the changes to my personality either, and stopped paying for the meds. After I tapered off the anti-depressants, I got my drive back, I was able to find work as a software engineer again, move into my own apartment, and now I'm supporting myself again. On top of that, if I told a counselor about my feelings, or that I'm so afraid of my government that I literally spent several hundred dollars on a shotgun, a deadly weapon, to defend myself against my government, I'm afraid I could get thrown into the psych ward. And I value my freedom enough that I will not allow that to happen under any circumstances. So, no shrinks.
I haven't talked to my best friend and ex-roommate in weeks because of a few personal issues between us, including politics - he's Republican, and though he's no fan of Bush, he constantly mocks and belittles my politics when I talk to him. So I don't."
Bush Derangement Syndrome. It's a disease that effects one in four Americans. If you know someone who suffers from BDS, consult your psychiatrist and ask him about Lierbertrol. The drug that turns left-wing lunatics into mainstream Democrats.
Thanks to Right Wing News for bringing this to our attention.
Posted by Falling Panda at 9:25 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
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Hey Look! A natural disaster! Let's blame the president!
"...the ability of the state's National Guard has been compromised because too much of their equipment and personnel is in Iraq." Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
"How about sending our National Guard back from Iraq, so that we have those people available here to help us?" - CA. Lt. Gov. John Garamendi
Your BS detector should be going crazy right now.
While roughly 2,000 National Guard troops from CA are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 17,000 troops remain in the state to help with the fires if they are needed.
Just one more example of the Democrats attempting to politicize anything and everything. When will they have to deal with the blow back? Sadly in a state like CA, this type of repulsive and misleading rhetoric is generally rewarded by the voters and ignored by even those with integrity within the Democratic machine.
Posted by Falling Panda at 5:14 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
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Socks the cat, whom helped Hillary Clinton revive her frigid image in the early Clinton years, was given away by the Senator and Democratic frontrunner after he was no longer needed for political purposes.
In the Clinton worldview, the family pet is not a beloved addition to the household, but is rather a tool to be used to advance the political ambitions of the clan.
Yet another relationship which appears to exsist for the sole purpose of gaining power. There's something a bit scary about that.
Posted by Falling Panda at 9:19 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
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Bill and Hillary Clinton are the ultimate political opportunists.
While the Bush and Reagan presidencies were essentially guided by ideology and core beliefs, the Clintons have shown that their political philosophy is far more flexible and can be bent and molded in order to maintain popularity and win elections. Whether or not you think this willingness to abandon principle for power is a good quality for “the leader of the free world” to have, is an argument for another time. However, if Hillary is elected president we will see political opportunism as we have never seen it before. While George W. Bush refused to sink to such a level in his administration’s infancy, we shouldn’t expect similar courtesy from Hillary towards her predecessor.
When George W. Bush first came to power, the economy had been well on its way into recession for several months. While it technically fell into recession within the first month of the Bush presidency, no serious economic analyst blamed Bush for the downturn. He had not passed a budget, nor had any of the president’s economic policies taken effect. It was essentially a recession that the president inherited from the Clinton years.
President Bush could have tried to make political hay out of the economy early on and blamed his predecessor for the slow rate of growth and in turn built support for his pro-growth tax policies. He did not. His supporters know that this president has never been the type of mudslinger that the Clintons were. It’s simply not in his nature. Hillary will not be as kind.
Despite Robert Reich and Paul Krugman’s insistence that a recession is right around the corner (a claim that they have been making since 2003) the economy remains strong and stable. However, recessions cannot be avoided forever. Even if a recession occurs a year or two into a Clinton presidency, Hillary will not hesitate to heap the blame on President Bush, especially if it advances her political goal of raising taxes. That kind of political move was beneath Bush, but Clinton will jump at the chance.
In addition to this, at the rate that federal revenues are pouring into the government's coffers, the budget will likely come into balance by 2009 or 2010. While the deficit has been dropping dramatically throughout the Bush presidency, due in large part to expedited growth because of the tax cuts, Hillary will find a way to take credit for yet another “Clinton Surplus.” She will most likely attempt to connect the inevitable balanced budget to a tax increase or allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. The truth of course is that, a third Bush term would result in a balanced budget as well, but the mainstream media should be more than willing to adopt the Clinton narrative on the coming Bush surplus.
The Iraq war will likely provide another opportunity for Hillary to accumulate some undeserved political capital. Although you wouldn’t know it from reading The New York Times, the situation in Iraq is improving rapidly.
Civilian and Iraqi military deaths are down nearly 75% since late August. Al Qaeda has been decimated, and the Iraqi people are finally starting to realize that America is in Iraq to help, not to colonize.
Despite the long, bloody march towards success in Iraq and the mistakes which have defined the campaign up until the surge strategy was implemented, will Hillary Clinton give credit to President Bush for the miracle of eventually creating not one, but two democracies in a region that has never seen one before? Not to mention overthrowing two brutal and tyrannical regimes? Of Course Not!
As long as there are still troops in Iraq, Hillary will attempt to take credit for success in the region, even if her policy is only a continuation of Bush’s policies. As soon as the last troop is pulled from Iraq, Hillary and the Democrats will claim that they achieved what the Republicans never could.
While President Bush is likely to oversee a size able American exodus from the nation towards the end of 2008, Hillary will still be more than willing to take credit for the incredible accomplishment which up until this point, Democrats have insisted was impossible.
Bill Clinton's administration took credit for a multitude of accomplishments which he had very little to do with.
He signed a Republican welfare reform bill after vetoing it twice and today takes credit for the bill's incredible results.
He took credit for an economic recovery that was already taking place when he took office. The reality is that Clinton postponed real economic growth by raising taxes when he came to power.
The Clintons fondly reminisce about peaceful days. That borrowed time was cashed in on September 11, 2001, by Al-Qaeda, which had been ignored during the Clinton years despite numerous attacks on American interests around the world.
The Clintons are masterful politicians and will do anything to gain power, keep it and build a legacy around the narrative which they build for themselves, often at the expense of others.
They will not hesitate to do so again and their allies in Congress and the media will aid and abet them in this endeavor. It will be up to historians to sift through the rhetoric and find the real story behind America's economic prosperity and success against terrorism in the 21st century.
- Dan Joseph
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:59 PM
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"Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."
- Democratic Rep. Peter Stark
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:04 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
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"The Western mind-set—that if we respect them, they’re going to respect us, that if we indulge and appease and condone and so on, the problem will go away—is delusional. The problem is not going to go away. Confront it, or it’s only going to get bigger." - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:52 PM
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Posted by Falling Panda at 8:30 PM
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The best of times, the worst of times?
America’s public gloom contradicts people’s enduring, if private, confidence
By Michael Medved
It's no wonder that Americans feel so deeply disconnected from their elected leaders when their contradictory opinions show them similarly out of touch with themselves.
Public approval of Congress has plummeted to an historic low (18%, with a staggering 76% disapproval, according to a recent Gallup Poll) while an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey reports that more than two-thirds of us (68%) believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
Meanwhile, when asked about our own lives, Americans express overwhelming contentment and dazzling confidence. In a mid-August Harris Poll that asked respondents to evaluate their satisfaction levels "with the life you lead," an amazing 94% declared themselves satisfied (with a clear majority — 56% — choosing the highest rating of "very satisfied"). Meanwhile, 62% expected their "personal situation" to get even better in the next five years, as opposed to a paltry 7% who anticipated that their circumstances would get worse.
(Illustration by Web Bryant, USA TODAY)
On the surface, these responses look almost laughably inconsistent. Some 68% of us believe the nation is "off on the wrong track," but by a ratio of nearly 9-to-1 we're confident that our lives will improve, rather than deteriorate, in the next five years. Only 17% say our personal status "got worse" in the past five years (while 54% reported improvement), but by crushing margins of more than 4-to-1, we tell pollsters we disapprove of the job our leaders are doing.
In other words, Americans seem to embrace the odd conviction that each of us dwells upon some sun-kissed, optimistic island of happiness and advancement, while the rest of the country marches dramatically toward catastrophe and collapse.
The media influence
The most important explanation for this bizarre contradiction involves the impact of mass media in a nation where the average individual devotes close to 30 hours per week to his TV set. Instead of working in the news business, most broadcast journalists actually toil in the "bad news business," with natural disasters, bloody accidents, crime, terrorism, battlefield casualties, political conflict and economic threats dominating every day's televised reports. Reassuring news items can hardly rival terrifying dispatches when it comes to riveting the attention of a restless public, powerfully armed with a hair-trigger remote control. Most entertainment, very much including televised comedies, similarly emphasizes conflict, danger, degeneracy and embarrassment — The Sopranos can capture our attention far more readily than the Cleavers. Weekly series about wholesome, ordinary families making steady economic progress stand little chance of grabbing ratings or publicity in a ferociously competitive pop culture marketplace.
Politicians make an additional contribution to the prevailing gloom about the status and direction of the nation at large. It almost always makes sense for candidates and public officials to exaggerate problems and magnify threats. If they're challengers, they cite the miserable state of affairs in order to discredit incumbents, and if they're current office-holders, they emphasize the bad news in order to justify sweeping, ambitious and expensive new programs.
In the face of the grim conclusions conveyed by complaints of politicos and the inevitable alarms of broadcast media, Americans struggle to come to terms with the contrasting evidence of their own eyes and lives.
An ordinary American might worry about frightening talk of Iranian threats or trade imbalances, but that can't shake his pride in becoming a homeowner for the first time, or watching a child become the first one in family history to get a college education.
Economists and statisticians might argue back and forth about trends and living standards, but some new statistics from the IRS seem incontrovertible. In the most recent five years, the number of those earning less than an inflation-adjusted $25,000 a year shrank by 5.5% — representing 3.2 million fewer individuals who were trapped in those poverty level incomes. Meanwhile, the number of taxpayers making more than $100,000 per year grew by nearly 3.4 million and accounted for more than two-thirds of the total growth in the number of returns filed.
Anyone who questions the widespread conclusion that our personal circumstances have improved need only look to the urban area in which you live. Every major city — very much including previously forlorn "rust belt" metropolises such as Detroit and Cleveland — boasts new parks, condo developments, cultural facilities, highways and transit, and commercial districts. Nearly every downtown in the country has notably improved — and it's even tough to single out neighborhoods that have moved in the wrong direction. In recent years, gentrification has become a bigger, more hotly debated problem than the expansion of slums.
It's not surprising that Americans tell pollsters that they feel pleased with their improved circumstances in the past five years and see further enhancements ahead, regardless of the fulminations and failures of our political class.
Comfort closer to home
American satisfaction with the near-at-hand and cynicism about distant reality turned up clearly in the NBC News/Journal poll with contrasting attitudes toward local and national institutions. For instance, 54% expressed "high confidence" in "small business," but only 11% felt similarly positive toward "large corporations." Some 34% deemed "local government" worthy of "high confidence," as opposed to only 16% who felt the same way about the federal government — and 18% who trusted and respected "national news media."
In other words, Americans feel better about institutions and realities the closer they come to their own cities, their own neighborhoods, their own homes. They like and value their personal status, but fret or shrug over the state of the nation. In this context, nothing could improve the national mood more substantially than a new effort by influential figures in media and politics to apply some of our privately grateful, self-reliant and optimistic attitudes to public discussions of the society at large.
Nationally syndicated radio talk host Michael Medved is the author of Right Turns. He is also a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.
Posted by Falling Panda at 5:36 PM
Monday, October 08, 2007
Iraqi Security Forces and Civilian Deaths
Jun-07 1,345 - Surge Strategy Implemented
Alright Mainstream Media! Let's get working on those stories about the sucess of the surge! Hello? Is this thing on?
Information taken from icasualties.com
Posted by Falling Panda at 11:05 PM
Thursday, October 04, 2007
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33-points behind eventual Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama is looking to the far-left, anti-America crowd for support, in order to remain competitive.
Essentially, Obama is saying that he's ashamed to wear the American flag on his lapel.
Obama Stops Wearing Flag Pin
Oct 4 03:39 PM US/Eastern
By MIKE GLOVER
Associated Press Writer
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Asked about it Wednesday in an interview with KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Illinois senator said he stopped wearing the pin shortly after the attacks and instead hoped to show his patriotism by explaining his ideas to citizens.
"The truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.
"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," he said in the interview. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism."
So if by some miracle Obama were to win the White House next year, would he remove the American Flag from The White House? Perhaps as an apology to our European "friends" for our "arrogant" behavior in taking on a tyrannical dictator who had constantly ignored the will of the world and was believed to be stockpiling weapons of mass Destruction?
Seriously Barack. If you're ashamed to wear the symbol of America proudly, how can you be trusted to stand up to anti-American sentiment around the world?
The first time you meet Hugo Chavez are you going beg his forgiveness? "Your right Hugo. You've been right about everything. We're sorry. Please come to White House and tell us how much better things are in your dirt-poor, dictatorship than they are here."
But this is what the Move.On crowd loves to see. Candidates who do not believe that America is a force for good in the world, with noble intentions and a beacon of freedom. But who instead imply that American values are being pushed on the world because of our own hubris, that our society is unfair and unjust in almost every way and that we should be ashamed of who we are and what we do.
The John Edwards campaign is over, with his wife getting more media attention these days than the candidate himself.
The far-left activists who despise Hillary for her early support of the Iraq war and her refusal to commit to surrender in the region if she becomes President, are going to have to get behind someone. Knowing that he will not be the choice of mainstream Democrats in the primaries, by removing the symbol of America from his lapel, Obama has sent a signal to the far-left that he is their protest vote.
Politically it may not be such a bad move. Hillary will want to unite the party, after the primaries and by picking Obama as her running-mate she will get the radical elements of the far-left behind her and not risk losing them to a third-party, thus handing the race to the GOP.
But for Obama it's just political. That's what makes this latest move so disturbing.
Posted by Falling Panda at 5:03 PM
'Star Wars' Indeed
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Security: Perhaps you haven't heard, since the media would rather ignore the success of what they've derided since Ronald Reagan floated the idea 24 years ago, but America now has a working missile defense system.
The news was not entirely ignored. The New York Times/International Herald Tribune covered it. But it has gone largely unreported elsewhere.
When a senior military officer says that a key defense system is operative, newspapers should splash that on their front pages and television and radio should begin their broadcasts with the news.
It's as if the media don't believe the U.S. is worth protecting.
But some Americans do, and last week they held another successful test. On Friday, the kill vehicle from an interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California hit a target dummy warhead launched in Alaska that had been tracked by radar at Beale Air Force Base, outside of Sacramento, Calif., as well as sea-based X-band radar and an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ship. Multiple tracking is an important factor in neutralizing decoys.
The outcome was enough for Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command U.S. Northern Command, to declare that the system is ready to be used at any time. With interceptor bases in Vandenberg or Ft. Greely, Alaska, the U.S. has formed a virtual shield that can protect the country from a limited missile attack launched from Asia.
"I'm fully confident that we have all of the pieces in place that, if the nation needed to, we could respond," the Air Force general said.
The media's weak coverage of this milestone should have been expected. They have long been an ally of the politically driven missile defense opponents who said the system was the foolish dream of a doddering old man. It will never work, they piously claimed. Can't hit a bullet with a bullet.
Yet the bullet has hit another bullet — six times out of the past nine tests since 2001. Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, has noted the system has not had a major problem in more than two years.
"I think this goes a long way to answering" the skeptics' questions, Oberling said.
The system is, of course, limited. But its development will advance — unless it's derailed by senseless politics — as all technologies advance. Already it is able to sift through other objects in the sky, select its intended target and then destroy it.
The system's next test is scheduled for some time in the first half of 2008. From that test, its ability to deal with airborne decoys will be assessed. Further tests, and the inevitable improvements, such as multiple kill vehicles deployed from a single interceptor, will continue as long as there is a will to complete the job.
While the political left here and abroad continues to be skeptical, sober leaders in Japan, Poland and the Czech Republic have expressed interest in a system that Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy once derided as "Star Wars." At the same time, Russia has threatened to aim missiles at Europe if parts of the missile defense system are deployed on European soil.
Why so much fuss, we wonder, over a fanciful dream that can never be achieved?
Posted by Falling Panda at 4:48 PM
Friday, September 28, 2007
Important life altering questions like this, apparently qualify you to be a CNN analyst on the topic of race in America.
Dr. Watkins, a professor at Syracuse, attacked liberal (yes children, there are liberals on FOX)FNC commentator Juan Williams last week, for defending O'reilly when he was smeared by CNN.
It wasn't just an attack for defending someone whose political views Watkins disagreed with. Watkins called Williams a "Happy Negro."
For those of you who don't know, that's the same thing as calling a black person an "Uncle Tom" or a "House N*****." But for some reason Williams is the bad guy? CNN had Watkins on again once he called Williams a "Happy Negro" the first time.
Who's booking the guests over there at CNN? Danny Glover?
To give you even more of an idea of the level of rhetoric which Watkins deals in, I found this gem on his website as well:
"I was on the second show with a black conservative that runs some organization of black Republicans. Perhaps we shall call them the House of Coons."
The debate on race in America has changed dramatically over the last year. It started with the Duke lacrosse fiasco and has continued on until last week, when most American's ignored the Jena 6 story.
It has become evident that most American's no longer see the race issue as an "either you're with us, or you're against us" situation.
Dr. Watkins still thinks that blacks need to stand together regardless of whether their cause is just or not. Common sense African Americans however, are beggining to think for themselves and know that the N-Word needs to go and that Blacks should no longer be ostricized simply because they don't share the politcal beliefs of 90% of the black community or because they associate with conservatives.
Dr Watkins should apologize to Juan Williams for his incredibly offensive remarks. Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Falling Panda at 11:25 PM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
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As if CNN hasn't shamed itself enough already in this whole O'Reilly/Media Matters mess, today they allowed another race-baiter to go on the air twice and refer to Juan Wiliams, who was on the air with O'Reilly when the conversation in question took place, as a "Happy Negro."
The cowardly CNN anchors didn't even challenge his remarks.
Nice. This guys name is Boyce Watkins, so make sure not to take him seriously the next time he pops up on the air.
Also check out "Media Research Center" in the "Links" section of this blog, for more on how this story is playing out.
Posted by Falling Panda at 5:55 PM
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
You know, this whole liberal media bias thing, that conservatives like myself talk about all of the time, isn't just something we crazy Republicans made up one day because we were bored.
There are oodles of examples and the Internet has made it so much easier to point them out to all of the sceptics.
Now, I know that getting pummeled in the ratings night after night by someone whose political views they detest, must really suck for the folks over at CNN, but that's no excuse for the stunt that the network pulled on Monday.
CNN race corespondent Roland Martin took a few lines from O'Reilly's morning radio broadcast in which he was talking about his experiences at a restaurant in Harlem and proceeded to take them out of context in order to make them sound as if O'Reilly had said something racist. You can view the video here:
It turns out that CNN had gotten the quotes from the left-wing website, Media Matters, whose whole reason for being is to nit-pick every statement made by right- wing talk radio hosts and FNC commentators and then twist it so that it sounds like they're lying.
Now, I listened to the entire Radio Factor broadcast that morning. When listened to in its entirety there is nothing that could be construed as even remotely racist in what O'Reilly said. In fact its just the opposite. Don't believe me? Think I'm just some crazy right-winger trying to defend racists? Well then check it out. You can listen to the entire hour of the show here:
This incident, in concurrence with the discount which The New York Times gave to Move.On for they're "General Betray Us" ad paints a picture of a mainstream media that is not only liberal, but also corrupt to the core.
They are so desperate to compete with FNC that they have become mouth pieces for vicious left-wing sites. The only practical purpose such sites serve is to be used as an outlet for individuals who hate the Bush administration and conservatives in general. Any self-respecting journalist could tell you that they should never, ever be used as a news source.
This whole incident is disgusting, but fortunately, O'Reilly is no shrinking violet. If there is any justice, this whole thing should be a lesson for CNN, just as the Move.On ad was a complete embarrassment for The Times and pretty much destroyed any credibility Move.On had to begin with.
As for Roland Martin, he's the new poster boy for irresponsible journalism, since Dan Rather needs to now be ridiculed for his insane lawsuit instead of for his bogus story.
They should give me his job. Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Falling Panda at 10:14 PM
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Sphere: Related Content
Everytime Jesse and Al take to the streets I tune out, and the Jena 6 situation presents a perfect opportunity to do so once again. The idea that 17-year old Mychal Bell, who undeniably added assault and battery to his already impressive wrap sheet, deserves anything better than prison is laughable.
Yet here's the black community and their enablers in the media and in congress turning these kids into heroes. Heather Mac Donald has an interesting take on the issues surrounding this farce.
Heather Mac Donald
The Jena Dodge
Demonstrators and the media avoid the stubborn truths of black social breakdown.
24 September 2007
Let’s assume the worst about Jena, Louisiana, and the charges of attempted murder brought against five black youths for beating a white student unconscious last December: that the district attorney’s indictments were motivated by rank racism, and that the racial tensions in this town of 3,000 are exclusively the product of white animus against blacks. Does it follow that this latest object of frenzy on the media’s racism beat is emblematic of America’s judicial system or the state of race relations today?
That is certainly what the ever-expanding army of racial victimologists and their media enablers would have you believe. Since the Jena story became international news last week, the media, the advocates, and pandering politicians have erupted in an outpouring of seeming joy at the alleged proof—after so much diligent trolling for evidence—that America remains a racist country. Senator Hillary Clinton told the NAACP: “This case reminds us that the scales of justice are seriously out of balance when it comes to charging, sentencing, and punishing African Americans.” Senator Christopher Dodd declared that Jena reveals that “de facto segregation”—in the spirit of Jim Crow—“is still very real” in many parts of America. Britain’s Observer announced that Jena shows “how lightly sleep the demons of racial prejudice in America’s deep south.” The New York Times has designated Jena “a high profile arena in the debate on racial bias in the judicial system”—a debate that perhaps not everyone was aware that we were having. J. Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said: “I think a lot of people recognize that the criminal justice system grinds down people of color every day. Oftentimes, it’s nameless, it’s faceless. . . . People see Jena as the tip of the iceberg and ask: What lies beneath?” Needless to say, the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have vowed with Biblical thunder to avenge the Jena innocents and force America to own up to its mistreatment of blacks.
Unquestionably, the attempted murder charges (which were later dropped for four of the defendants, while a sixth assailant was booked as a juvenile) merit scrutiny. If the indictment in fact resulted from discrimination, then the prosecutor would deserve the strongest punishment—debarment at the very least and harsh federal penalties for civil rights violations. And the incident that seems to have led to the group assault on the white student—three students’ hanging of nooses from a school tree where white teens congregated—was a despicable provocation. If adults in Jena condoned such incendiary behavior, then these grown-up enablers truly are throwbacks to a vicious American past, and all citizens should revile them. There is evidence, however, that such adolescent cruelty is not official policy. The school principal told a black student who had inquired about the segregated tree that he could sit there or anywhere else he pleased.
But even if the worst possible interpretation of these events is merited, the massive international attention to this tiny town would seem vastly disproportionate to the cause, unless Jena stands for a more widespread problem. The idea behind the protests and the politicians’ exploitation of them is that just as these five youths were overcharged, the hundreds of thousands of blacks in prison are also the victims of systemic abuse. But for institutional racism, the black prison population would be much smaller.
This is an old complaint, for which no proof has ever been offered, Hillary Clinton’s irresponsible statement notwithstanding. The usual evidence in support of the charge that the criminal laws discriminate against blacks is the far stiffer sentences for selling and possessing crack cocaine compared with powdered cocaine. But that colorblind sentencing regimen, which dates from 1986, was a heartfelt effort to protect the overwhelmingly black victims of crack, not to penalize them. Black liberals such as Congressman Charles Rangel were loudest in sounding the alarm about the effects of crack in the black ghetto. Not even the most deluded racial apologists have ever explicitly suggested that racial bias motivated Congress’s efforts to combat a drug that results in much higher rates of violence among dealers and users, quicker and more onerous addiction, and more emergency room visits than its powdered cousin.
The reason that the black incarceration rate is the highest in the country is that blacks have the highest crime rate—by a long shot. Don’t trust the police, prosecutors, or judges to give a fair picture of black crime? Then go where the bodies are. Los Angeles is representative. In the first seven months of 2007, blacks in Los Angeles were murdered at a rate ten times that of whites and Asians. Who’s killing them? It’s not whites and Asians. While a minor proportion of the assailants of blacks are Hispanic, the vast majority are black themselves. Nationally, blacks commit murder at about eight times the frequency of whites. In New York, any given violent crime is 13 times more likely to have been committed by a black person than by a white person, according to the reports of victims and witnesses. Though they are only 24 percent of the city’s population, blacks committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in New York last year. Whites, who make up 34.5 percent of New Yorkers, committed only 5.3 percent of violent crimes. These ratios are similar across the country. In Los Angeles, blacks committed 41 percent of all robberies in 2001, according to victims’ descriptions, though they constitute only 11 percent of the city’s population. Robbery victims identified whites, who make up 30 percent of the Los Angeles population, just 4 percent of the time.
When attacking the justice system, racial agitators work mightily to change the subject from violence to drugs, using their flimsy argument that crack cocaine penalties are too high. But the vast preponderance of prisoners are in the pen for violence and property crime. In 2003, 52 percent of inmates in state prisons were serving time for violent offenses, 21 percent for property offenses, and only 20 percent for drug offenses. To be sure, black incarceration rates are off the charts. Black men were 41 percent of the more than 2 million men in federal, state, and local prisons at midyear 2006. At the end of 2005, there were 3,145 prison inmates per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared with 1,244 inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 471 inmates per 100,000 white males. Is that because violent and property crime is overpenalized, as race advocates sometimes argue? No. Despite the advocates’ constant complaints about three-strikes laws, the criminal justice system actually underpenalizes crime because of inadequate prison space. Prosecutors cut deals to lessen sentences; sheriffs overseeing local jails regularly devise new schemes for dumping offenders back on the street to make room for the next batch. And in any case, even if penalties for particular offenses were too draconian, the punishments affect all offenders the same.
No one in the Jena stampede dares whisper a word about black crime, because it undercuts the portrait of a victimized race. You can listen to every protest across the country glorifying the “Jena Six” and you will never hear an acknowledgement of the massive social breakdown that is the black crime rate: no mention of the violence in inner-city schools that black students commit overwhelmingly; no mention of the rising homicides in midsize cities that young black males commit when they feel “disrespected.” It is not racism that is putting black men in jail; it’s their own behavior.
What about the broader significance of Jena? Again, assuming for the sake of argument that this minuscule Louisiana town seethes with the crudest bigotry, held uniquely by whites against integration-seeking blacks, is Jena’s supposed state of affairs a microcosm of America? To the contrary: there is not a single elite institution in the country that is not twisting itself into knots in favor of African-Americans. Every minimally selective college is desperately seeking to enroll more black students. Boosting black enrollment requires drastically lowering a college’s admissions criteria to overcome the intractable 200-point SAT gap between black and white high school students, but every college institutes such double standards for the sake of “diversity.” Any black student who graduates from high school with decent grades and respectable SATs will leapfrog over thousands of more qualified white and Asian students right into the Ivy League. Blacks are also the hottest commodity for exclusive private schools that serve as training grounds for the Ivies. Andover, Exeter, Choate, and every other fancy prep and day school practice the same double standards in their eagerness to admit African-American students. After college, law schools, business schools, medical schools, engineering schools, and others accept black students whose test scores would disqualify them if they were white or Asian.
The preferences continue into the professions. Wall Street law firms annually flagellate themselves over their lack of proportional representation of black associates and partners, even though the number of blacks who graduate from law school with grades and bar-exam scores comparable with the firms’ white hires is negligible. The lack of comparably qualified black candidates does not stop the law partnerships from hiring black associates, though. Corporations have saddled themselves with massive “diversity” bureaucracies whose only function is to justify hiring and promoting less qualified African-Americans and Hispanics. Newspapers, TV stations, and advertisers put enormous pressure on themselves to have blacks on their staffs and to show black faces to the world.
In short, the opportunities for blacks to roar ahead in the economy if they stay out of trouble, study, and apply themselves are legion, but the numbers taking advantage of these opportunities are not. California’s state superintendent of public instruction broke a longstanding taboo this August by pointing out that middle-class black students in the state score worse on math and English than poor white and Asian students—a disparity that applies across the country. The usual poverty excuse for black underachievement does not hold up.
The Jena protesters will go home in denial of these truths. In fact, the purpose of such mass celebrations—and that is indeed what they are—is to make sure that attention stays far away from the actual problems holding blacks back. Astronomical rates of black criminality are not the only topic that the Jena rallies have obscured. No one wallowing in Jena promotion has had the courage to speak about an even more important crisis, the breakdown of marriage. The nearly 70 percent national illegitimacy rate for blacks—a number that can approach 90 percent in inner cities—is a cataclysm. Its consequences go far beyond the harm to individual black children—especially boys—who grow up without fathers. The real poison of the marriage crisis is the message it sends to young men about personal responsibility. The first duty in civil society is toward one’s own children; everything else is built around it. But when boys are raised without any expectations that they will have to support their children and marry the mother of those children, they fail to learn the most basic lesson about responsibility. They also are freed from the civilizing force of the marriage requirement, which pressures young men to become attractive mates. With enough support, individuals can overcome the moral perils of the illegitimacy culture, but given the prevalence of black crime and disaffiliation from the working world, it’s clear that not enough young men are finding ways to do so.
The race industry will try to keep Jena in the media and political spotlight for as long as possible, and to reinforce the notion that this episode exemplifies blacks’ situation in America. But if there were many other instances of (arguable) overcharging for black crime, we would have heard about them by now. The orgy of Jena coverage will not just fail to improve the lagging performance of blacks; it will impede such improvement by strengthening the victim mentality. Both whites and blacks are complicit in this sabotage. These ecstatic festivals of racism-bashing are a crippling ritual in the codependency between absolution-seeking whites and angry blacks, a phenomenon that Shelby Steele has powerfully analyzed. The demonstrators exhibit a palpable desire for the moral clarity of the civil rights era, as do the reporters, who have covered their every utterance. “This is the first time something like this has happened for our generation,” one student told the New York Times. “You always heard about it from history books and relatives. This is a chance to experience it for ourselves.”
He’s right; there has been nothing like Selma or Montgomery for the current generation, because much of America has accomplished almost an about-face on race since the 1950s. The current martyrs to American bigotry are a far cry from Rosa Parks. Like the “Jena Six,” they tend to have committed acts of violence or other crimes for which they are allegedly being excessively punished. Think of the six high school hooligans from Decatur, Illinois, whom Jesse Jackson tried to beatify in 1999 when their schools expelled them for a violent stadium fight; their backgrounds included robbery, trespassing, truancy, and failing whole school years. We are only belatedly learning that Mychal Bell, the sole member of the “Jena Six” to have been prosecuted for knocking out and kicking Justin Barker, has a previous arrest record that includes battery and property damage. Barker’s injuries led to $14,000 in medical bills, according to a lawyer.
The Jena situation is undoubtedly a bit more complex than the tale that the press has woven of hate-filled whites and peace-loving blacks. But even if it were not, the catharsis that this morality play has offered to its participants is spurious. The real tragedy is the dysfunctional culture that holds back too many blacks from seizing the many opportunities open to them.
Stop Bitching! Start Snitching!
Posted by Falling Panda at 12:46 PM