Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Review, Predictions and What Not

Have you made your New Year's Resolution yet?

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Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year January 1, 2009. Known for its choreographed and themed fireworks displays, this year's show, nicknamed "The Creation Storm", draws hundreds of thousands of people to the harbour foreshore to watch the spectacle.

I suggested to the posse at Flopping Aces that we might want to write a joint post with all our reflections on 2008, predictions for 2009 and anything else that comes to mind.

Here's my list:

2008 - Best of Moments

1. When it became perfectly clear we had won the Iraq war (not a single moment really, but a definite happening)
2. The day Sarah Palin was selected as John McCain's running mate.

2008 - Worst of Moments

1.Election night
2. The night John McCain clinched the GOP nomination

2009 predictions

Code Pink demands that Barack Obama be impeached for war crimes.

Personal New Years resolution?
To live up to last year's resolution.

Person(s) of the year

1. Sarah Palin: The entire political process was a bore before she came along.
2. Our victorious military in Iraq.

Other notables:

Joe the Plumber: He dared to speak truth to power and the fascists failed to take him down.
Michael Phelps
Tony Snow

Losers of the year and why?

1. Harry Reid "The War is Lost"
2.Anyone who thinks global warming is due to man's activity and can be prevented.
3. John McCain: The candidate who was supposed to be able to get moderate and independent voters.
4. Senator Chris Dodd, Cong. Barney Frank and all the Dems who said there was no problem at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
5. Peace Fascists who will say or do anything to make us lose a war.
6. Rev. Wright and self loathing America haters.

Quirkiest, funniest or most notable post or video of the year:

1. Muslims hate cute puppies
2.The Easter Bunny hates you!


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Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mike's America Returns to the South

This was Sunday:

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Hilton Head Island

This was Christmas Eve:

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Northwest Ohio

Caroline Kennedy Making Sarah Palin Look Like A Genius

Funny how some of the same folks who said Palin was an idiot are falling all over Caroline Kennedy!

Excerpts from a recent interview with Caroline Kennedy:

"I'm really coming into this as somebody who isn't, you know, part of the system, who obviously, you know, stands for the values of, you know, the Democratic Party," Kennedy told the Daily News Saturday during a wide-ranging interview.

"I know how important it is to, you know, to be my own person. And, you know, and that would be obviously true with my relationship with the mayor."
...
Kennedy revealed she has had several recent discussions with her former cousin-in-law, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is also considered a serious candidate for the Senate seat.

"Andrew is, you know, highly qualified for this job," she said. "He's doing a, you know, a great job as attorney general, and we've spoken throughout this process."

Despite his bitter divorce from Kerry Kennedy, in which her family accused Cuomo of spilling about his wife's extramarital affair, Caroline Kennedy said the recent conversations have been amicable.

"You know, I think, you know, we're sort of, uh, sharing some of this experience. And um, as I've said, he was a friend, a family member, and um so, and uh obviously, he's, you know, he's also had an impressive career in public office."
...
Bashed as a political novice, Kennedy argued that her ties in Washington, particularly to President-elect Barack Obama, can help her deliver for New York. She denied that her interest in the seat is driven by a desire to ensure the family continues its decades-long presence in the Senate.

"It's really, you know, it's not about just the Kennedy name," she said. "It's about my own work and what I've done with those values."
Like wow man! She talks even less well than Obama, you know?

If Caroline were a Republican she would be, you know, getting lampooned on a regular basis on Saturday Night Live.

Not everyone is falling for Caroline's big push to win the seat currently held by Hillary Clinton. The NY Daily News, which ran the interview above also posted this opinion piece by Michael Goodwin entitled "Say goodnight, Caroline:"

But a strange thing is happening on the way to the coronation. The wheels of the bandwagon are coming off. Fantasy is giving way to inescapable truth.

That truth is that Kennedy is not ready for the job and doesn't deserve it. Somebody who loves her should tell her.

Her quest is becoming a cringe-inducing experience, as painful to watch as it must be to endure. Because she is the only survivor of that dreamy time nearly 50 years ago, she remains an iconic figure. But in the last few days, her mini-campaign has proved she has little to offer New Yorkers except her name.

Her handlers and family enablers insist she feels no entitlement to the Senate job, yet there is no other possible reason to give it to her. Her name is the sole reason she even dares go for it. Camelot must be Gaelic for chutzpah.

Voters may reasonably wonder just how low Democrats hold their esteem when confronted with news that Dems are trying to raffle off a Senate seat to the highest bidder in Illinois, a sad clown is trying to steal one in Minnesota, and someone with no other qualifications than who her father was is seriously considered for the seat representing one of the largest states in the union.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bush Family Christmas at Camp David

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President George W. Bush and family gather at Camp David on Christmas, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. Seated front row, Lauren Bush, Ashley Bush, Ellie LeBlond, Gigi Koch, Elizabeth Andrews, Marshall Bush, Pace Andrews, Walker Bush. Second row, John E. Bush, George P. Bush, Barbara Bush, Pierce Bush, former President George H.W. Bush, former First Lady Barbara Bush, President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Jenna Hager, Top row, Mandi Bush, Sam LeBlond, Neil Bush, Ally Bush, Maria Bush, Bobby Koch, Doro Koch, Margaret Bush, Marvin Bush, Columba Bush, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Henry Hager, Noelle Bush, and Robert Koch. White House photo by Eric Draper

Bush's Third Term?

What will Bush haters think when Obama turns out to be Bush-lite?

Ice storms, not snow, are keeping me inside today in North West Ohio, so allow me to suggest a topic for discussion. Scott has been all over Obama's broken promises and how disappointing he is turning out to be to many of the lefties who voted for him.

Whether it was Obama's selection of Rick Warren to deliver the prayer at Obama's Inauguration or keeping Robert Gates as Defense Secretary while walking slowly away from his solemn vow to end the war in Iraq pronto Obama has made clear signals that he knows he can't deliver the whole radical enchilada he once promised the left wing zealots whose anger on these and other issues has been boiling over for the last eight years.

The question is: what happens to the left when Obama doesn't begin war crimes proceedings against President Bush and key aides? What will they do when Obama refuses to overturn what the left claimed was "domestic spying" with warrantless wiretaps? When Obama ramps up troop levels in Afghanistan and manages Bush's withdrawal plan for Iraq will the lefties feel betrayed?

When Dems took control of Congress in 2006 and failed to deliver on their promise to end the Iraq war they blamed it on President Bush's ability to veto their plans. But soon Dems will control the White House and the Congress. How will the Bush haters handle their disappointment when Obama, Pelosi and Reid tell them that the war isn't lost and immediate withdrawal isn't an option?

Scott has suggested that the answer may lie in the ability of reality challenged lefties to simply flip a switch and all of a sudden discover that national security is important if it's a Democrat in the White House. It reminds me of that old Clinton saying: "it all depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why Global Warming Alarmism is WRONG!

"Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest.” --Stephen Schneider Lead Author of reports for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

While much of the United States is freezing, let's all warm ourselves by considering what a bunch of liars the global warming zealots have become!

Completely inadequate IPCC models produce the ultimate deception about man made global warming
By Dr. Tim Ball
Canada Free Press
December 22, 2008

E. R. Beadle said, “Half the work done in the world is to make things appear what they are not.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does this with purpose and great effect. They built the difference between appearance and reality into their process. Unlike procedure used elsewhere, they produce and release a summary report independently and before the actual technical report is completed. This way the summary gets maximum media attention and becomes the public understanding of what the scientists said. Climate science is made to appear what it is not. Indeed, it is not even what is in their Scientific Report.

The pattern of falsifying appearances began early. Although he works at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Stephen Schneider was heavily employed in the work of the IPCC as this biography notes.

Much of Schneider’s time is taken up by what he calls his “pro bono day job” for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group II of the IPCC from 1997 to 2001 and a lead author in Working Group I from 1994 to 1996. Currently, he is a Coordinating Lead Author for the controversial chapter on “Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risks from Climate Change,” in short, defining “dangerous” climate change.” - Pubmedcentral.nih.gov

He continued this work by helping prepare the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) released in April 2007.

Schneider, among others, created the appearance that the Summary was representative of the Science Report. However, he provides an early insight into the thinking when speaking about global warming to Discovery magazine (October 1989) he said scientists need, “to get some broader based support, to capture the public’s imagination…that, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we may have…each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest.” The last sentence is deeply disturbing--there is no decision required.

The Summary for Policymakers is designed to convince everyone that global warming is due to human production of CO2. In SPM AR4 issued in April 2007 they say, “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.” The term “very likely” is from a table reportedly produced by Schneider and means greater than 90%. Professor Roy Spencer says about probabilities in this context. “Any statements of probability are meaningless and misleading. I think the IPCC made a big mistake. They’re pandering to the public not understanding probabilities. When they say 90 percent, they make it sound like they’ve come up with some kind of objective, independent, quantitative way of estimating probabilities related to this stuff. It isn’t. All it is is a statement of faith.”

So they create an appearance of certainty about a human cause of warming. But what is the reality? The only place where CO2 is causing temperature increase is in the IPCC computer models. In every record of any duration for any time period in the history of the Earth, temperature increase precedes CO2 increase. So an incorrect assumption that a CO2 increase will cause temperature increase is built into the computer models. That is damaging enough, but the computer models themselves are completely inadequate to represent global climate or make any predictions about future climate. But don’t believe me. The IPCC Technical Report (“The Physical Science Basis”) produced by Working Group I and released in November 2007, says so.

Problems begin with the definition of climate change used because it requires they only consider human causes. From the United Nations Environment Program (article 1) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.” But you cannot determine the human portion unless you understand natural climate change. As Professor Roy Spencer said in his testimony before the US Senate EPW Committee, “And given that virtually no research into possible natural explanations for global warming has been performed, it is time for scientific objectivity and integrity to be restored to the field of global warming research.”

Media and public are allowed to believe the IPCC make climate predictions, but they don’t. The First Assessment Report (Climate Change 1992) said, “Scenarios are not predictions of the future and should not be used as such.” While the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios says; “Scenarios are images of the future or alternative futures. They are neither predictions nor forecasts. Climate Change 2001 continues the warnings; “The possibility that any single in emissions path will occur as described in this scenario is highly uncertain.” In the same Report they say, “No judgment is offered in this report as to the preference for any of the scenarios and they are not assigned probabilities of recurrence, neither must they be interpreted as policy recommendations.” This is a reference to the range of scenarios they produce using different future possible economic conditions. Of course, they didn’t build in the recent financial collapse.

Climate Change 2001 substitutes the word projection for prediction. Projection is defined as follows, “A projection is a potential future evolution of a quantity or set of quantities, often computed with the help of a model. Projections are distinguished from predictions in order to emphasise that projections involve assumptions concerning e.g. future socio-economic and technological developments that may or may not be realised and are therefore subject to substantial uncertainty”.

This and similar statements are based on the unproven hypothesis that human produced CO2 is causing warming and or climate change. The evidence is based solely on the output of 18 computer climate models selected by the IPCC. There are a multitude of problems including the fact that every time they run them they produce different results. They use an average of all the runs. The IPCC then take the average results of the 18 models and average them for the results in their Reports.

Tim Palmer, a leading climate modeler at the European Centre for Medium - Range Weather Forecasts said, “I don’t want to undermine the IPCC, but the forecasts, especially for regional climate change, are immensely uncertain.” This comment is partly explained by the scale of the General Circulation Models (GCM). The models are mathematical constructs that divide the world into rectangles. Size of the rectangles is critical to the abilities of the models as the IPCC AR4 acknowledges. “Computational constraints restrict the resolution that is possible in the discretized equations, and some representation of the large-scale impacts of unresolved processes is required (the parametrization problem). “ (AR4 Chapter 8. p.596.)

The IPCC uses surface weather data, which means there is inadequate data in space and time for most of the world to create an accurate model. Limitations of the surface data are surpassed by an almost complete lack of information above the surface. An illustration of the surface problem is identified by the IPCC comment of the problems of modeling Arctic climates.

“Despite advances since the TAR, substantial uncertainty remains in the magnitude of cryospheric feedbacks within AOGCMs. This contributes to a spread of modelled climate response, particularly at high latitudes. At the global scale, the surface albedo feedback is positive in all the models, and varies between models much less than cloud feedbacks. Understanding and evaluating sea ice feedbacks is complicated by the strong coupling to polar cloud processes and ocean heat and freshwater transport. Scarcity of observations in polar regions also hampers evaluation.” (AR4.,Chapter 8, p593.) Most of the information for the Arctic came from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and a diagram from that report illustrates the problem.

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The very large area labeled “No Data” covers most of the Arctic Basin, an area of approximately 14,250,000 km2 (5,500,000) square miles). Remember, certainties of arctic ice conditions are core to Gore’s alarmism.

In the Southern Hemisphere the IPCC identifies this problem over a vast area of the Earth’s surface. “Systematic biases have been found in most models’ simulation of the Southern Ocean. Since the Southern Ocean is important for ocean heat uptake, this results in some uncertainty in transient climate response.” (AR4. Chapter 8. p. 591.)

Atmosphere and oceans are fluids governed by non-linear rather than linear equations. These equations have unpredictability or randomness - also known as chaos – it explains why the models get different results every time they are run. These problems well known outside of climate science were specifically acknowledged in the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” (TAR, p.774.)

Validation is essential for any model before using it for predictions. A normal procedure is to require proven evidence that they can make future predictions to a satisfactory level of accuracy. The IPCC use the term evaluation instead of validation, but they don’t evaluate the entire model. To do so they say shows problems but the source is not determined. Instead they evaluate at the component level. This means they don’t evaluate the important interactions between the components at any level.

IPCC Report AR4 makes a remarkable statement not repeated in the Summary for Policymakers. It speaks to the lack of valuation, which explains the failure of their projections. “What does the accuracy of a climate model’s simulation of past or contemporary climate say about the accuracy of its projections of climate change? This question is just beginning to be addressed, exploiting the newly available ensembles of models.” (AR4, Chapter 8. p.594.)

A simple single word definition of science is the ability to predict. It is not used by the IPCC, yet they present their work as scientific predictions. Media and the public generally believe the IPCC is making predictions and that is clearly the assumption for government policies. Sadly, members of the IPCC do nothing to dissuade the public from that view. All previous “projections” were wrong. The most recent example is the period from 2000 to 2008. IPCC predicted warming but temperatures went down while CO2 increased. Finally, the IPCC AR4 itself explains why IPCC model projections fail.

“Models continue to have significant limitations, such as in their representation of clouds, which lead to uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change.” (AR4, Chapter 8. p.600)

It is hard to imagine a better example of Beadle’s axiom paraphrased as follows, “Half the work done by the IPCC is to make things appear what they are not.”

Dr. Tim Ball is a renowned environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. Dr. Ball employs his extensive background in climatology and other fields as an advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition, Friends of Science and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

First Day of Winter Brings Big Freeze to Much of U.S.

Makes you wish global warming was real!

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For those of you wishing for a White Christmas, you might get your wish. Provided you haven't been frozen solid and are too cold to enjoy it.

And if you are shopping for a Christmas present for an environmentalist friend of yours who was among those that predicted the polar ice cap would totally melt in 2008, you might print out the above and hand it to him or her as a gift. Won't they be relieved that such a scary prediction didn't come to pass? And just think how happy the polar bears are!

Friday, December 19, 2008

George and Laura Unveil Official Portraits for the National Portrait Gallery

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President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush pose beside their portraits at the unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, December 19, 2008. Bush's portrait was painted by Robert Anderson and Laura's portrait was painted by Aleksander Titovets.

In her remarks at the unveiling in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington Mrs. Bush showed her always present humorous side:

MRS. BUSH: Thanks for working to unveil these portraits early -- while President Bush is still in office. Upstairs, I saw that Dolley Madison's portrait is praised for "offering a glimpse of the aging Mrs. Madison." (Laughter.) That's exactly the type of compliment I was hoping to avoid. (Laughter.) When your image is captured for posterity, my motto is the sooner the better.
A remarkable likeness!

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President looks at his portrait, painted by Robert Anderson.

President's Bush's remarks at the unveiling were loaded with his usual self deprecating humor:

PRESIDENT BUSH: I suspected there would be a good-size crowd once the word got out about my hanging.
...
want to thank the artists. Sasha, you had it easy -- it does not take much to make Laura look beautiful. (Laughter.) Anderson had a bigger challenge. (Laughter.) And therefore, I needed to find a person who would do the painting that would be a good and forgiving friend. And so I want to thank my buddy -- my college classmate, Bob Anderson, for painting this portrait. It actually looks like me, which is a good sign. (Laughter.) You did a fabulous job.

This is not the first time that Bob has painted me. He had a warm-up -- he did my portrait for the Yale Club. Recently, I asked him what was different this time around. He said, well, this time around he had to use a lot more gray. (Laughter.) I also understood Bob didn't have any difficulty depicting my eyes or my hands -- but he had a lot of trouble with my mouth. I told him, "That makes two of us." (Laughter.)

A former Washington resident once said: "Whenever you hear about somebody being done in oil in this town, you can't be sure whether that means painting, or boiling." (Laughter.) That was a wise observation from a good and decent man -- one who has offered me a lot of wisdom and advice throughout my life, and I am proud to have my portrait in the same room as President 41, George H. W. Bush.
Two weeks earlier, another portrait, this one in Philadelphia:

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U.S. President George W. Bush attends the unveiling of The Union League of Philadelphia's Portrait of the President at their headquarters in Philadelphia, December 6, 2008.

Agree or Disagree with the Bush's there is no denying they are a class act!

Tragic Clown Al Franken Now Leads in Minnesota Senate Recount

Let Democrats recount votes and they will keep recounting until their guy wins!

I first warned readers about Democrat attempts to steal the senate seat of Norm Coleman (R-MN) on November 11th. Coleman had won the election a week earlier by a several hundred votes and there was every indication that subsequent recounts being conducted by the Secretary of State George Soros's group hand picked for the job (warning: they are doing the same thing in other key states) would continue to use every technicality and twist of law to overturn the result and give the election to the idiot Al Franken.

But with the brouhaha over the alleged sale of Barack Obama's senate seat to the highest bidder in Illinois I admit I took my eye off the ball. That was a mistake! As Gomer Pyle used to say: "Surprise, surprise, surprise!" Democrats have now taken a narrow but steady lead for Coleman and turned it into a lead for Franken.

Track the latest recount update with this widget from the Minnesota Star Tribune:

How is this possible? Simple. In the last week nearly every dispute has been settled in favor of Al Franken. Even when hand recounts showed the vote in a particular precinct favoring Coleman, the Democrats insisted that the election night electronic tally be used. The same electronic tally that they reject in precincts favoring Coleman. Ballots mysteriously went missing in some precincts and were found in others. All seemed to favor Franken. And the issue of questionable absentee ballots which many thought was settled has now been reopened by the state Supreme Court.

In at least one precinct the number of ballots discovered exceeds the number of voters who signed in to vote. But who cares?

Ann Coulter describes one curious set of circumstances:
The day after the November election, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman had won his re-election to the U.S. Senate, beating challenger Al Franken by 725 votes.

Then one heavily Democratic town miraculously discovered 100 missing ballots. And, in another marvel, they were all for Al Franken! It was like a completely evil version of a Christmas miracle.

As strange as it was that all 100 post-election, "discovered" ballots would be for one candidate, it was even stranger that the official time stamp for the miracle ballots printed out by the voting machine on the miracle ballots showed that the votes had been cast on Nov. 2 -- two days before the election.

Democratic election officials in the miracle-ballot county simply announced that their voting machine must have been broken. Don't worry about it -- they were sure those 100 votes for Franken were legit.
Keep an eye on the vote tracking widget above. In the last few hours it's showed a miraculous and steady lead for Franken. After weeks and weeks showing Coleman ahead, it must seem like the Christmas miracle. Even to liberals who don't believe in miracles!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Last Bush Christmas

Earlier this week readers got into the holiday by spirit by enjoying the ever popular "Barney Cam" White House video. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to White House Christmas celebrations. It's been years since I attended my first White House Christmas party hosted by President and Mrs. Reagan, but I am glad to see the Bush's maintaining and expanding on the holiday tradition. With all the unknowns of what may happen with the next Administration we can all enjoy this last Bush Christmas in the White House!


Sue Harman drives a horse-drawn carriage delivering the official White House Christmas tree Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008, to the North Portico of the White House. The Fraser Fir tree, from River Ridge Farms in Crumpler, N.C., will be on display in the Blue Room of the White House for the 2008 Christmas season. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Mrs. Laura Bush walks from the White House Cross Hall into the East Room, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008, to begin the Christmas press preview of the White House decorations and preparations. White House photo by Chris Greenberg

President George W. Bush is smothered in little hands as he says goodbye to a group of children in attendance Monday, Dec. 8, 2008, for the Children's Holiday Reception and Performance at the White House. The President and Mrs. Laura Bush traditionally invite children to a White House celebration for the holidays, and this year, the audience included kids of active duty and reserve military service members from Russell Elementary at Quantico Marine Base, Dahlgren School at Dahlgren Navy Base and West Meade Elementary at Ft. Meade Army Base. White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush pose for their 2008 holiday portrait Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, in the Blue Room of the White House. White House photo by Eric Draper

More photos here.

Make sure to check out the ornaments designed by artists for each state and Congressional district which decorate the tree in the Blue Room.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama is Time Mag's "Person of the Year 2008"

What a surprise! (sarcasm)

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Obama smoking something... from Time's Obama: The College Years.

After a presidential campaign where some segments of the media admitted they were in the tank for Obama throughout it's no surprise that Time Magazine would make the messiah their Person of the Year for 2008. The accompanying article titled "Why History Can't Wait" is filled with the sort of hero worship that became commonplace throughout the campaign.

Ah well. Let the Obamatons have their fun. Fairly soon they'll realize that actually governing and producing results is a lot more difficult than giving a speech!

Ten Years Ago, Bill Clinton: "Iraq Has Abused It's Final Chance"

Clinton talked. Bush acted. And now, a nation that was a constant threat to world peace has been transformed into an ally!

What bugs me most about the debate over Iraq is the failure to consider what would have happened had we not taken the action we did. Viewing the 9 minute clip below of the speech President Clinton delivered on December 16, 1998 is a reminder of the constant menace that Saddam Hussein posed to the world and international efforts for peace.

Imagine if Saddam were still in power today. The Oil for Food scandal which robbed his people to pay for Saddam's weapons programs might still be ongoing. Saddam would still be paying the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who killed innocent men, women and children in Israel. And instead of an ally which has done more to fight the war on terror than any other nation save the U.S. we would have an enemy willing to use whatever power it had to work against our efforts to fight the global war on terror.

"Mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them. Because we're acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future." -- Bill Clinton, December 16, 1998
That was then, this is now:

President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki shake hands following the signing of the Strategic Framework Agreement and Security Agreement at a joint news conference Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, at the Prime Minister's Palace in Baghdad. President Bush said, " The agreements represent a shared vision on the way forward in Iraq." White House photo by Eric Draper

Ten years! It seems like a lifetime. But things have changed for the BETTER all due to the leadership and vision of President Bush!

Thanks for the reminder Johnny Utah!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"News" Media Pushing Government Paycheck for Michelle Obama?

Maybe we could just give her a cut of the latest raffle of Dem senate seats!

At least when it came to what name he would use when he was sworn in, Obama declared he was all for tradition:

“I think the tradition is that they use all three names, and I will follow the tradition, not trying to make a statement one way or the other. I'll do what everybody else does.”
Funny how when anyone used his middle name, (for all you ignorant Obamatons: his middle name is Hussein) the Dems said it was a smear. But that's not the point here.

The point is that Obama declares he supports the traditions of the swearing in ceremony (even though President Reagan did not use his middle name Wilson) but what about so many other fine traditions of the office?

For instance, last week liberals sniffed that the Bush's had dissed Obama by denying his request to move into Blair House, the President's guest house, ten days early. The tradition is that the incoming first family occupies the residence in the five days before the new president is inaugurated. What would the Obamatons think if Bush asked for two more weeks to move out of the White House?

But now, another chip at the traditions of office and this time the suggestion is coming from the "news" media: pay Michelle Obama a salary for her work as First Lady?

For first lady, free work but no free time

By ANDIE COLLER
The Politico
December 9, 2008

...While the position carries no official duties, the president’s spouse has long been expected to serve as a highly visible goodwill ambassador for the nation, performing a wide range of ceremonial and quasi-diplomatic jobs. The work involved is not insubstantial: Although Hillary Rodham Clinton was accused during her presidential campaign of having inflated her policy efforts as first lady, she wasn’t just at home baking cookies, either.

Her 11,000-page schedule implies a fair amount of time and energy put in on behalf of her husband and the country.

Yet because they are presidential spouses, first ladies are expected to volunteer their assistance. So on Jan. 20, Michelle Obama will go from being a high-profile, highly compensated professional to serving as her husband’s full-time, unpaid ... helpmeet? Resuming her previous work for the University of Chicago Hospitals would be difficult in her husband’s conflict-averse regime. But giving up her paycheck and re-envisioning herself in the role of hostess in chief will undoubtedly be an adjustment for the Harvard Law grad.
...
Without Barack Obama’s books, the Obamas’ 2006 tax returns show that Michelle Obama would have been the hands-down breadwinner in the household, bringing home $316,000, or nearly double Barack Obama’s Senate salary of $165,000. While Laura Bush, a former librarian, had not been employed for quite some time before she became first lady, Hillary Clinton also had the more lucrative job before her husband became president: In 1990, her income from the Rose Law Firm was more than $100,000; her husband’s salary as governor of Arkansas was $35,000, plus a public relations appropriation of $19,000.

NBC News, otherwise known as the Obama Channel, picked up the story and is planning a major report on the subject for their Nightly News program. They even have a poll question linked to the Politico story: Should the first lady be financially compensated? Vote here.

One of the commenters on that poll reminds us that the wives of our troops serving overseas sacrifice far more for their country and their family than any First Lady and they are not compensated.

As Jim Geraghty at National Review points out, there is nothing to stop Obama from cutting his wife in on the $400,000 annual salary he'll be bringing home. But considering all the perks of office, it's not likely that Michelle will need much spending money for anything other than clothes and shoes.

Christmas Carol Puzzle 2008

During this time of year "Christmas Carol Puzzle" is the most popular search items at Mike's America. And since this site ranks #3 for that search at Google we get quite a few visitors as a result. The puzzle is below but I hope readers will stick around and visit the main page.

It's an old puzzle, but a fun one for this time of year. Great for parties, families and while sitting around the office waiting for the next financial bailout. Guess which Christmas carol is depicted in the boxes below. If you get stumped, leave a comment and perhaps another reader will offer you a clue. The answers are here.

xmasgame

For those of you who prefer crossword puzzles, here's one based on Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol."

Also, a longer version of the Christmas Carol puzzle is here.

Merry Christmas
from Mike's America!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Get in the Holiday Spirit with Barney Cam 2008

The last Barney Christmas video co-stars Olympian Michael Phelps!

Merry Christmas!

Gov. Bill Richardson (DEMOCRAT) Target of Grand Jury in Pay for Play Investigation

Obama's Secretary of Commerce designate doesn't even live in Chicago. Must be a Democrat "culture of corruption!"
Grand Jury Probes Richardson Donor’s New Mexico Financing Fee
By Martin Z. Braun and William Selway
Blomberg News
Dec. 15, 2008

A federal grand jury is investigating how a company that advised Jefferson County, Alabama, on bond deals that threaten to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, did similar work in New Mexico after making contributions to Governor Bill Richardson’s political action committees.

The grand jury in Albuquerque is looking into Beverly Hills, California-based CDR Financial Products Inc., which received almost $1.5 million in fees from the New Mexico Finance Authority in 2004 after donating $100,000 to Richardson’s efforts to register Hispanic and American Indian voters and pay for expenses at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, people familiar with the matter said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation asked current and former officials from the state agency if any staff members in the governor’s office influenced CDR’s hiring, said the people, who declined to be identified because the proceedings are secret. Richardson, who is President-elect Barack Obama’s designate for Commerce Secretary, has a staff of at least 30 people.

“They’re looking at everything related to CDR,” William Sisneros, the finance agency’s chief executive officer, said of the FBI probe. “They’re just trying to evaluate all the relationships to see what CDR was doing for the money.”
...
In October 2003, CDR President David Rubin gave $25,000 to Moving America Forward Inc., a political action committee formed by Richardson, disclosure forms show. Seven months later, CDR, known then as Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co., gave $75,000 to ¡Si Se Puede! Boston 2004 Inc., formed to help pay expenses at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, where Richardson was chairman.
They didn't even mention Richardson's party affiliation until the 10th paragraph. Is it any wonder some of the Obamatons think it's only Republicans who are involved in scandals?

President Bush in Afghanistan!

No shoes thrown.
Plus: more photos from Iraq.


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President George W. Bush pauses for photos with troops at Bagram Air Base Monday, Dec. 15, 2008, in Afghanistan. The President made the pre-dawn visit to the base before meeting with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. During his remarks to the troops, the President said, "What you're doing in Afghanistan is important, it is courageous, and it is selfless. It's akin to what American troops did in places like Normandy and Iwo Jima and Korea. Your generation is every bit as great as any that has come before. And the work you do every day is shaping history for generations to come." White House photo by Eric Draper


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U.S. President George W. Bush embraces Afghan President Hamid Karzai as Bush departs the Presidential Palace in Afghanistan December 15, 2008.

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President George W. Bush walks alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai past an honor cordon upon arrival at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, during an unannounced visit on December 15, 2008. The trip comes immediately following a similar surprise visit to Baghdad, Iraq.

More Iraq Photos:

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President George W. Bush is greeted to Baghdad International Airport by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, left, and U.S. Commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008 in Baghdad, where President met with Iraqi leaders and visited with U.S. military personnel. White House photo by Eric Draper



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President George W. Bush, joined by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, center, rides in a military helicopter Sunday, Dec. 14. 2008, from Baghdad International Airport to Salam Palace in Baghdad, where President Bush met with Iraqi leaders. White House photo by Eric Draper

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President George W. Bush reaches to shake as many hands as possible as he meets with U.S. military and diplomatic personnel Sunday, Dec, 14, 2008, at the Al Faw Palace-Camp Victory in Baghdad. White House photo by Eric Draper

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President George W. Bush stands on stage with U.S. Commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, following his address to U.S. military and diplomatic personnel at the Al Faw Palace-Camp Victory in Baghdad. White House photo by Eric Draper

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Granny Tells Princes William and Harry to Knock Off the Extravagances in Hard Times

While she lays it on for the annual opening of Parliament!

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace en route to The Palace of Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament, in London, on December 3, 2008. Queen Elizabeth II was to unveil the British government's legislative programme for the next year Wednesday, with the emphasis likely to be on bolstering the economy against further mayhem. Ministers are under heavy pressure to introduce measures which would force Britain's banks -- some of which are now part state-owned -- to do more to help businesses weather the financial storm.
Queen Elizabeth II reins in extravagance as credit crunch grips
Agence France Presse
Dec. 14, 2008

Always concerned about staying in touch with her subjects, Queen Elizabeth II has invited the royal family to follow her example and tighten the purse strings during the financial downturn.

The 82-year-old monarch has warned her grandsons Princes William, 26, and Harry, 24 -- third and fourth in line to the throne -- that all ostentatious signs of living it up would be inappropriate, according to newspapers.

British subjects are apparently in no mood to see the young royals partying in exclusive London nightclubs while the kingdom sinks into recession, the cost of living rockets and jobs are lost.

"Whatever is the mood of the nation, she (Queen Elizabeth) tries to go along with that mood," Nicholas Davies, an author of several books on the monarchy, told AFP.

The sovereign has a personal fortune of 320 million pounds (475 million dollars, 355 million euros), according to The Sunday Times newspaper's 2008 Rich List, but is not a spendthrift.

"She's not a flamboyant character and never has been," Davies said.

"She is not someone who has gone and spoiled her children, because she doesn't believe in spoiling them. She would expect them all (the other royals) to follow her example this Christmas.

"Children or grand-children, they will all behave in the same way. It is unlikely that this coming season we will see William and Harry going out to nightclubs, getting blind drunk and fooling around with attractive girls."

Adapting to the credit crunch should not be difficult for Queen Elizabeth, who has long since garnered a reputation for looking after the pennies.

For example, she insists that the Buckingham Palace lights are turned off when rooms are vacated and left-overs from banquets are re-used.

Annual head of state expenditure has dropped from 87.3 million pounds in 1991-1992 to 40 million pounds in 2007-2008.
Shockingly, the Queen appeared at a state function wearing a dress previously seen in public! Oh the horror.

In all seriousness, I'm a big fan of Queen Elizabeth the Second and have seen her at both a White House event and in a joint address to Congress. She's an icon of the 20th Century who has managed to hold on into the 21st.

And while she may live rather frugally on a personal level, the old girl has a job to do after all:

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A general view of the ceremonial procession which accompanies Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, as she travels the Mall, from the Houses of Parliament in central London, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008.

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From the House of Lords Britain's Queen Elizabeth II delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament in London, on December 3, 2008.

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Good to see that Lady Margaret Thatcher was well enough to attend.

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) leaves the Palace of Westminster following the State Opening of Parliament in London, on December 3, 2008.

You youngins behave now ya here?

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Prince William and Prince Harry arrive for the Royal World Premiere of the new James Bond 007 film 'Quantum of Solace' at the Odeon, Leicester Square, on October 29, 2008 in London, England.

Obama and Illinois Gov. Blagojevitch (D): Questions Remain

A new video lays it all out, but McCain objects!

McCain scolds GOP for whacking Obama
By MIKE ALLEN
The Politico
12/14/08

In a surprising rebuke to the warriors who fought for him through tough times, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday sided with President-elect Barack Obama and scolded the Republican National Committee for fanning the Illinois corruption scandal.

On ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos asked: “The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mike Duncan, has been highly critical of the way President- elect Obama has dealt with this.

"He's had a statement every single day, saying that the Obama team should reveal all contacts they've had with Governor [Rod] Blagojevich. He says that Obama's promise of transparency to the American people is now being tested. Do you agree with that?”

McCain replied: “I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary. You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody — right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary. And so, I don't know all the details of the relationship between President-elect Obama's campaign or his people and the governor of Illinois, but I have some confidence that all the information will come out. It always does, it seems to me.”
That's our boy McCain for you! He didn't win any votes from the left or the right with that kind of statement but that doesn't stop him from undermining the GOP message.

Is it any wonder that Obama's voters didn't have a clue about the scandals which swirl around Obama?

Bush Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq

And some Sadrist fool throws his shoes at the President! Is that all the fight the jihadis have left?

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US President George W. Bush steps off of Air Force One at Baghdad International Airport during an unannounced visit to Baghdad, Iraq, on December 14, 2008. The trip marks Bush's fourth visit to the country during his presidency. Unlike previous visits, today's landing by Air Force One was in broad daylight which underscores the improvement in the security situation.


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In this image from APTN video, an man throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad. The man threw two shoes at Bush, one after another. Bush ducked both throws, and neither man was hit.

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The journalist, Muntazer al-Zaidi from Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, was frogmarched from the room by security staff, an AFP journalist said.

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President Bush, alongside Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, motions for everyone to sit down after the shoe throwing inciden during a joint press conference at Maliki's private office.

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Obviously the trip wasn't all bad as President George W. Bush smiles during a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

The purpose of the trip was three fold: First, the President wished to thank our troops who continue to serve in Iraq and whose excellent performance has transformed Iraq. Second, the President wished to say good bye to Iraqi leaders who have risked their lives to begin rebuilding their country. Third, the President and Iraqi leader signed the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) that covers our overall political, economic, and security relationship with Iraq, and a Security Agreement – otherwise known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) – that implements our security relationship. (White House Fact Sheet)

Charles Krauthammer has this excellent op-ed on that agreement:

Milestone in Baghdad
By Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post
Friday, December 5, 2008

The barbarism in Mumbai and the economic crisis at home have largely overshadowed an otherwise singular event: the ratification of military and strategic cooperation agreements between Iraq and the United States.

They must not pass unnoted. They were certainly noted by Iran, which fought fiercely to undermine the agreements. Tehran understood how a formal U.S.-Iraqi alliance endorsed by a broad Iraqi consensus expressed in a freely elected parliament changes the strategic balance in the region.

For the United States, this represents the single most important geopolitical advance in the region since Henry Kissinger turned Egypt from a Soviet client into an American ally. If we don't blow it with too hasty a withdrawal from Iraq, we will have turned a chronically destabilizing enemy state at the epicenter of the Arab Middle East into an ally.

Also largely overlooked at home was the sheer wonder of the procedure that produced Iraq's consent: classic legislative maneuvering with no more than a tussle or two -- tame by international standards (see YouTube: "Best Taiwanese Parliament Fights of All Time!") -- over the most fundamental issues of national identity and direction.

The only significant opposition bloc was the Sadrists, a mere 30 seats out of 275. The ostensibly pro-Iranian religious Shiite parties resisted Tehran's pressure and championed the agreement. As did the Kurds. The Sunnis put up the greatest fight. But their concern was that America would be withdrawing too soon, leaving them subject to overbearing and perhaps even vengeful Shiite dominance.
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That any of this democratic give-and-take should be happening in a peaceful parliament just two years after Iraq's descent into sectarian hell is in itself astonishing. Nor is the setting of a withdrawal date terribly troubling. The deadline is almost entirely symbolic. U.S. troops must be out by Dec. 31, 2011 -- the weekend before the Iowa caucuses, which, because God is merciful, will arrive again only in the very fullness of time. Moreover, that date is not just distant but flexible. By treaty, it can be amended. If conditions on the ground warrant, it will be.
...
A self-sustaining, democratic and pro-American Iraq is within our reach. It would have two hugely important effects in the region.

First, it would constitute a major defeat for Tehran, the putative winner of the Iraq war, according to the smart set. Iran's client, Moqtada al-Sadr, still hiding in Iran, was visibly marginalized in parliament -- after being militarily humiliated in Basra and Baghdad by the new Iraqi security forces. Moreover, the major religious Shiite parties were the ones that negotiated, promoted and assured passage of the strategic alliance with the United States, against the most determined Iranian opposition.

Second is the regional effect of the new political entity on display in Baghdad -- a flawed yet functioning democratic polity with unprecedented free speech, free elections and freely competing parliamentary factions. For this to happen in the most important Arab country besides Egypt can, over time (over generational time, the time scale of the war on terror), alter the evolution of Arab society. It constitutes our best hope for the kind of fundamental political-cultural change in the Arab sphere that alone will bring about the defeat of Islamic extremism. After all, newly sovereign Iraq is today more engaged in the fight against Arab radicalism than any country on earth, save the United States -- with which, mirabile dictu, it has now thrown in its lot.
No discarded footwear is going to take away the fact that our plan in Iraq is succeeding. No wonder the jihadis are upset!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One More Time: UNIONS to blame for Auto Maker Troubles!

After my post regarding the successful GOP filibuster of the United Auto Workers bailout bill I received a comment suggesting that Republicans were engaged in "union busting" and others trying to distract from the real issue here by launching onto convenient tangents. All good Democrat talking points, but as usual, all WRONG!

Larry Kudlow, the host of CNBC's Kudlow & Company, goes into detail on the issue and his article is worth reading in it's entirety. Excerpts are below:

Who's Losing the U.S. Car Business?
By Lawrence Kudlow
Real Clear Politics
December 13, 2008

After Chairman Mao's revolution about 60 years ago, people in the U.S. played the blame game by asking, "Who lost China?" Well, following the breakdown of an arduous seven-hour Senate negotiating session on Thursday night, many are asking, "Who lost the U.S. car business?" Right after the UAW vetoed a compromise, bankruptcy-lite, Detroit-little-three rescue plan put together by Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger played the blame game by blasting Corker and the Republican party for "singling out" union workers to shoulder the burden of reviving the U.S. car business.

In truth, the UAW is to blame.

If Sen. Corker's plan had prevailed, with UAW support, many believe it would have had 90 votes in the Senate. GM could have gone forward with a clean-as-a-whistle balance sheet under a three-part restructuring plan that included a $60 billion bond-refinancing cram-down, a renegotiation of the $30 billion VEBA health-care trust, and a pay-restructuring plan that would put Detroit compensation levels in line with those of foreign transplants Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and BMW.

Average compensation for the Detroit little three is $72.31. Toyota's average wage is $47.60, Honda's is $42.05, and Nissan's is $41.97, for an average of $44.20. So Corker's idea was to bring that $72 a lot closer to that $44. (Corker notably knocked out Korean carmaker Kia, which has super-low wages.)
...

All Corker asked was a 2009 date for union pay restructuring. Sen. Corker never specified his date. He asked the UAW to name its date for a new pay package. But it had to be in 2009. In return, union members would get a lot of stock in this deal -- up to $10.5 billion of new equity as GM's heavy debt burden would be converted into common shares.

But the UAW refused to make concessions. Instead, it insisted it would only renegotiate its current contract when it ends in 2011. That was the sticking point that killed the deal.

You have to ask this question: If the Detroit carmakers are in dire straits, going broke in two weeks, right now in late 2008, how can the UAW wait until 2011 to make its concessions? The financial problem is today, not two years from today. The threat of liquidation, with perhaps a few million autoworker, supplier, and car-dealer jobs lost, is today's threat, not a 2011 threat. So what's the UAW waiting for?

That's easy. Gettelfinger is waiting for President Obama and a Senate with 58 Democrats.
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So while Sen. Corker was negotiating in good faith (even with the support of Democratic big-wig Chris Dodd), Gettelfinger doomed the deal, knowing full well that the Democratic Senate conference would never walk away from the UAW.
Why should workers whose companies and their unions manage themselves in a way to produce a profit be forced to pay for a bailout for a union and companies that simply refuse negotiate in good faith?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Day A Movie Bored Me to Death: Save Your Money and Don't See "The Day the Earth Stood Still"

Unless you like being lectured on how man, most especially the U.S., is destroying the earth. And you can get that free every day from a lib!

[Note: I don't usually do movie reviews, but in this case I am making an exception. With these economic hard times brought on by the advent of the Obama Administration people need to save their hard earned money to buy a better place in the coming bread lines]

I'm a big fan of the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still" so I took a chance and went to see the 2008 remake starring Keanu Reeves. I wish I had waited for it to play for free on cable.

Rather than give people an entertaining sci-fi scare, this film proceeded to be nothing more than the usual Hollywood slicked up preaching we can get for free every day.

Whether it was in the opening scenes where the astro biologist played by Jennifer Connelly was being removed from her home with overtones of national security excesses or the constant refrain that man is destroying the earth it was all too much. On top of that the U.S. military was portrayed as a bunch of wild reckless shoot first cowboys whose actions were going to get us all killed. How original is that?

The film did offer a really neat 30 foot tall robot GORT but he had so few scenes and ended up turning himself into a swarm of planet devouring metal locusts which just didn't have the same scare power. (Sorry if I spoiled the plot for you but you really do need to save your money)

Towards the end of the film Kathy Bates who played the U.S. Secretary of Defense (President Obama had gone into hiding -- voted present?) looked at her watch which had stopped. I can imagine quite a few in the theater were looking at their watches too and wondering: how much longer is this tripe going to go on?

Next time I'll read a review before I go to a film I am unsure about:
  • 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' doesn't do original justice, USA Today: "a good portion of this sci-fi disaster movie is unintentionally comical. And the parts that aren't funny are just plain dull."
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still: Alienating Time Mag: "The new director is a dope named Scott Derrickson, who has teamed with a morally deaf screenwriter named David Scarpa, and they have made what must be the worst major release in what may be the most disastrous year in recent Hollywood history... Suffice it to say that these morons have, quite simply, turned The Day the Earth Stood Still on its head and what's falling out of its pockets in that upended state is a stream of junk."
They didn't even have the classic line: "Klaatu Barada Nickto." Fortunately, the original played again on Turner Movie Classics the other night and I got to see the classic scene with Patricia Neal below:



When will theater goers get a bailout from all these bad, preachy Hollywood dolts?

GOP Filibuster Kills Big 3 Auto/Union Bailout Bill

There is a better way. Will Congress consider it or simply wait until next year so they can reward their union buddies?

Thursday night a filibuster by Senate Republicans against the bailout bill for the Big Three automakers and their unions effectively killed the bill.

Thank you to the thirty five Senators who voted no because they know there is a better way to help the auto industry while avoiding throwing billions more down a rat hole.

I'm especially proud of the role South Carolina's conservative Senator Jim DeMint (R) played in the process. In an interview with National Review DeMint described the problem at General Motors this way:

We don’t want any of these auto companies to fail. And they won’t fail unless they completely ignore their responsibilities and wait for the government to bail them out instead of doing what they need to do — what they should have done a while back. GM had its best sales year ever in 2007. It sold over 9 million cars around the world — the same number as Toyota. But Toyota made $20 billion, and GM lost $40 billion. Their viability is not going to change if the cost structure is such that they cannot succeed. Until they restructure, we’d just be throwing good money after bad to prop them up for a few months.
What good would it have done to simply hand the big three billions more with nothing in return from their management and unions except a promise that they would try harder to address the fundamental problems which keep the companies from making a profit?

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has also been a key player in the negotiations and put his finger on the problem: the unions are refusing to voluntarily agree to concessions that will make the restructuring of auto companies feasible. Last night he said: "We were about three words away from a deal," referring to any date in 2009 on which the UAW would accept wage cuts. In return, Corker is being vilified by Tennessee union bosses who will fight tooth and nail to retain their privileges even if it destroys the companies they work for.

It may be true that the big three automakers are "too big to fail." Too many people depend on the jobs at the Big Three and their suppliers and many are already being hit with layoffs. But to simply throw more money at the problem without solving it would force those who work at profitable businesses to pay even more in taxes to cover the mistakes of the greedy union bosses at these failing firms who don't seem to care what impact their intransigence and greed has on the rest of us.

Senator Corker has a plan which will permit the Big Three to restructure. He covered key points of that plan in his speech on the Senate Floor last night.

The question is: will Democrats ever agree to any plan which forces the United Auto Workers union to compromise and accept the contract changes necessary to save the Big Three?

Historic Snow Fall in New Orleans: So Much for Global Warming

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

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Snow falls on the St. Charles Avenue streecar on December 11, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The last time it snowed in New Orleans was 2004, and the city has only experienced measurable amounts of snow 17 times since 1850.

More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Minority Report
Dec. 11, 2008

The chorus of skeptical scientific voices grow louder in 2008 as a steady stream of peer-reviewed studies, analyses, real world data and inconvenient developments challenged the UN and former Vice President Al Gore's claims that the "science is settled" and there is a "consensus." On a range of issues, 2008 proved to be challenging for the promoters of man-made climate fears. Promoters of anthropogenic warming fears endured the following: Global temperatures failing to warm; Peer-reviwed studies predicting a continued lack of warming; a failed attempt to revive the discredited “Hockey Stick”; inconvenient developments and studies regarding CO2; the Sun; Clouds; Antarctica; the Arctic; Greenland; Mount Kilimanjaro; Hurricanes; Extreme Storms; Floods; Ocean Acidification; Polar Bears; lack of atmosphieric dust; the failure of oceans to warm and rise as predicted.

In addition, the following developments further secured 2008 as the year the “consensus” collapsed. Russian scientists “rejected the very idea that carbon dioxide may be responsible for global warming”. An American Physical Society editor conceded that a “considerable presence” of scientific skeptics exist. An International team of scientists countered the UN IPCC, declaring: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate”. India Issued a report challenging global warming fears. International Scientists demanded the UN IPCC “be called to account and cease its deceptive practices,” and a canvass of more than 51,000 Canadian scientists revealed 68% disagree that global warming science is “settled.”

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“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical. “The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology, and formerly of NASA, who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“So far, real measurements give no ground for concern about a catastrophic future warming.” - Scientist Dr. Jarl R. Ahlbeck, a chemical engineer at Abo Akademi University in Finland, author of 200 scientific publications and former Greenpeace member.


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“Anyone who claims that the debate is over and the conclusions are firm has a fundamentally unscientific approach to one of the most momentous issues of our time.” - Solar physicist Dr. Pal Brekke, senior advisor to the Norwegian Space Centre in Oslo. Brekke has published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the sun and solar interaction with the Earth.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” - Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet.” - Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

“The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse. It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way round…A large number of critical documents submitted at the 1995 U.N. conference in Madrid vanished without a trace. As a result, the discussion was one-sided and heavily biased, and the U.N. declared global warming to be a scientific fact,” Andrei Kapitsa, a Russian geographer and Antarctic ice core researcher.

Read the full report right after you go out and buy a snow shovel!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obama Not Guilty of "Pay for Play" the Chicago Way? Oh Really?

Obama has a history of engaging in the same wheeler dealer politics that took down his friend Gov. Blagojevitch!

Photobucket At today's news conference President Elect Obama was forced to respond to the mounting questions regarding contacts his transition team had with Obama's former longtime political friend, the disgraced Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevitch. Obama called on the Governor to resign and insisted that his staff would release records relating to any contact they may have had with Blagojevitch.

Obama's name and that of his advisers are mentioned dozens of times in the criminal complaint against Blagojevitch and it strains credulity to believe that none of the Chicago people such as incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who along with Obama worked on Blagojevitch's campaigns, had any contact with him on this important subject.

Obama went on to say that:
"There's a view of politics that says you go in for sacrifice and public service, and there's a view of politics that says this is a business, and you're wheeling and dealing, and what's in it for me."
Earlier Obama stated that the wheeling and dealing brand of politics was "a violation of everything this campaign has been about." Really? We're supposed to believe that the most massive fundraising operation of all time didn't have it's fair share of pay for play the Chicago way?

Only time will tell just how much of the $750 million Obama raised for his presidential campaign was raked in using the Chicago way. What we do know is that the convicted slum lord Tony Rezko, who was a key player in Blagojevitch's schemes (see the criminal complaint), was also intimately linked to Obama and raised funds for his campaigns. The infamous real estate deal surrounding Obama's home purchase after he became a U.S. Senator being the most obvious example of funny business. There is even a question as to whether Governor Blagojevitch's wife Patti, a real estate agent who worked for Rezko, might have had a hand in that suspicious deal.

Guilt by Participation

Our liberal friends like to point at such obvious negative connections and claim they represent nothing more than an attempt by Obama's critics to suggest guilt by association. Mention any of these Obama related scandals and they cover their ears.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, John Fund draws our attention to this:

What remains to be seen is whether this episode will put an end to what Chicago Tribune political columnist John Kass calls the national media's "almost willful" fantasy that Mr. Obama and Chicago's political culture have little to do with each other. Mr. Kass notes that the media devoted a lot more time and energy to investigating the inner workings of Sarah Palin's Wasilla, Alaska, than it has looking at Mr. Obama's Chicago connections.
And yet Obama's participation in the Chicago way has already left evidence that he was no different. He may not have reached the volume of corruption that Blagojevitch did, but it would appear he know exactly how to play the game. As a U.S. Senator Obama made over $750 million in earmark spending requests. Of these, at least two directly benefited organizations to which his wife and campaign contributor had a vested interest:

In among [Obama's earmarks} was a request for $1 million in federal funding in 2006 for a new pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where his wife, Michelle Obama, was a vice president at the time.
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That same year, Obama requested $8 million in funding for “High Explosive Air Burst Technology” made by General Dynamics, a military contractor with close ties to a major fundraiser.

Obama’s Illinois Finance Chairman, billionaire James S. Crown, a longtime Obama supporter who has raised at least $200,000 for his presidential campaign, is a director of General Dynamics, and his family has a large investment in the company. The request ultimately resulted in $1.3 million in funding for the project.
It's important to note that after Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, his wife Michelle's salary at the hospital more than doubled. When asked about that, an executive at the hospital said: "she's worth her weight in gold."

The house deal and earmarks for his wife's hospital and a major fundraiser are just two examples. I invite readers to share others by leaving a comment with a link to the source.

If Obama Can't Clean UP His Own House.....

Our liberal friends are suggesting that we have to take Obama at his word that he played no part in the senate seat for sale scandal. That unquestioning attitude might have worked in the "news" media during the campaign but it won't wash now.

If Obama can't even clean up the mess in his home state what makes people think he can clean up Washington or handle difficult foreign policy challenges like the Iranians?

At some point it won't be enough to take Obama at his word. Words and speeches are fine up to a point. But when you have to produce results, a press release won't cut it!
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