Thursday, January 08, 2009

Quick Takes

Four mini posts on news of note and interest:

Obama Predicts Deficits "trillion-dollar deficits for years to come."

Just one problem: What happens when China stops loaning us money? The credit crunch of all time? Who will bail out the U.S. government?

There used to be a time when deficit spending was a huge campaign issue. That time may come again as the Obama deficits dwarf any that have come before. Soon, Republicans in Congress will get their first opportunity to show they stand for the principles of lower spending less government. We can't win by running on the "me too" or Obama lite platform.

PhotobucketBush Family Cat Dies in White House

The Bush families cat, a female black American Shorthair, named India, but often called "Willie" or "Kitty" died at home at the White House on January 4, 2009 after 18 years of love and devotion to the First Family.

India often let Barney and Miss Beazley, the Bush's two Scottish Terriers steal the show as she preferred more aesthetic pursuits such as music (shown here listening to a piano serenade). But she was obviously a good sport about it all as you see in the photo below of her being licked by Miss Beazley while Barney looks on.

Obama Intelligence Picks Short on Experience but Long on Politics

Conservatives may have been somewhat comforted with Obama's decision to leave Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense and choose a solid National Security Advisor, but as we all know intelligence gathering has been the weakest link in the national security chain.

And after years of lefties claiming that intelligence was somehow politicized during the Bush years doesn't it strike anyone as odd that Obama chooses the very political Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff, a man who has very little intelligence experience, to head the CIA?

Even the liberal editorial board of the Houston Chronicle sees the problem:

Puzzling over Panetta
Nation needs assurance on surprise Obama choice.
Houston Chronicle
Jan. 6, 2009

President George W. Bush is within a few days of achieving his personal "Mission accomplished": Keeping this nation safe from a terror attack on the horrendous scale of 9/11. Love him or loathe him, Bush made protecting the country from terrorism a priority for his presidency. So far, so good.
The words of Vice President-elect Joe Biden during the presidential campaign speculating that an Obama administration would likely be tested by terrorists within its first few months ought to be heeded. So should predictions that chances of another major, disruptive terrorist event in this country in the next few years are 50/50. This is no job for a rookie.
One thing about the Bush record ought not change: The president's commitment to keep this nation safe from terrorist attack.
Israeli Defense Forces Interrupt Gaza Television

this shows chutzpa!

On Friday, Hamas's political supremo Khaled Meshaal was calling on Palestinians to rise up against Israel when his picture suddenly disappeared from the Al-Aqsa TV broadcast.

"Hamas has misled you and abandoned you," a man's voice said in Arabic. "If you call any leader of Hamas, nobody will answer."

An Al-Aqsa official said the Israeli army was behind the spoiler interruption, which was repeated several times during the broadcast of what appeared to be a pre-recorded speech.
Earlier the radio's programme was interrupted with a man's voice speaking in Hebrew-accented Arabic: "Hamas leaders are hiding in the tunnels and are leaving you on the frontline of Israel's Defence Forces."

"Hamas leaders are lying to you and they are hiding in hospitals," he said. "Launching rockets puts civilians in danger."

Meanwhile a broadcast on Al-Aqsa television was interrupted with an image of a ringing phone that no one was answering.

"Hamas leaders are hiding and they are leaving you on the front line," says a voice in accented Arabic.

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