Tuesday, April 28, 2009

RINO No More

I have not been this upset since Farty McMartin announced he was going to start eating at a different lunch table, and he was taking his egg salad sandwich with him.

For reals.

Without a doubt, Arlen Specter's announcement today that he was making the bold switch from RINO to Democrat makes the Republican Party more conservative. And really, what votes could the conservatives have counted on from the ancient clinger anyway?

Apparently Senator Jim DeMint agrees:

“I would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than to have 60 that don’t have a set of beliefs.”
This is, of course, nothing more than a move of political expediency. Specter above all wants to remain in office and he is trailing badly in the Senate polls among likely voters for next year's Republican primary in the state of Pennsylvania. Switching parties makes it likely that Specter will at least get into the general election as a Democrat without losing in the primary as a Republican.

This is not about principles. This is about getting elected.

Good riddance.

The Epitome of Stupid

This is not a routine mistake that everyone on Earth is prone to make once in a while. We are not talking about missing a driveway or one of those spur of the moment exercise equipment purchases.

What we have here is akin to an unannounced SWAT team exercise outside of Columbine High School. (You know, the city's website needs a few new pictures of its troops in action.) This is a cognizant dismissal of concern for people because the concerns of people, when it comes to something as important as a photo-op, simply do not matter.

In a nation where unemployment is high and growing and where government is being accused daily of losing touch with the lives of everyday people, how can White House Military Office Director Louis Caldera have a job beyond yesterday afternoon? Rick Waggoner was ousted from GM for not being able to turn around a multi-billion dollar corporation in the midst of a huge economic downturn with the government and unions actively conspiring against his success. Let's see if Obama can pull the trigger on this buffoon who cannot even get something this obvious correct.

"The good news is it was nothing more than an ill considered, badly conceived, insensitive photo op - with the taxpayers' money."
This is the epitome of stupid.

h/t Protein Wisdom

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Levin Comments on his Own Report

Carl Levin (D-Michigan Socialist Republic) has come out and publicly blamed George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld for the abuses that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. His comments followed the release of a report issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee, a committee that Comrade Levin chairs.

"In my judgment, the report represents a condemnation of both the Bush administration's interrogation policies and of senior administration officials who attempted to shift the blame for abuse - such as that seen at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan - to low-ranking soldiers," said Senator Carl Levin, the committee chairman.

Claims that detainee abuses could be chalked up to the unauthorised acts of a "few bad apples", were simply false, he said.

"Authorisations of aggressive interrogation techniques by senior officials resulted in abuse and conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in US military custody," he said.
Carl, why don't we get all of this over with right now and have you put on an enemy uniform? Well, that is, if our enemy in this fight actually wore enemy uniforms.

What Carl would like us all to forget or ignore is that the military was conducting an investigation into the Abu Ghraib fiasco long before the infamous pictures of prisoners with women's panties on their heads were ever made public and used by the press to promote outrage against the US around the Muslim world. Clearly the treatment of prisoners at that prison fell outside of authorization hence the investigation, and those that perpetrated the actions were held accountable.

Guantanamo is another story. I have still not read a single unbiased report that convinces me that the "harsh" interrogation techniques used there amount to torture, or that any of the techniques used there were administered recreationally for sadistic kicks. Even if it is proven later that recreational torture took place at Guantanamo, the relative absence of widespread abuse in this war proves to me that the problem was not systemic, which it would have to be for Levin's charges to be even close to plausible. With hundreds of thousands of people serving in our armed forces it would be a virtual impossibility that each and every member of the services would be above engaging in unauthorized and illegal treatment of prisoners. For Levin to think otherwise is a pretty lofty ideal from anyone serving in the congressional fraternity given its own small body's dismal performance in following the letter of the law.

Not only does Levin want us to believe that there are no bad apples in our military capable of bad judgment and willing to act without a wink wink from the Secretary of Defense, he also wants us to believe that the government blessed whatever bad judgments were made by ignoring them, a position that is silly on its face and disproved by the military investigations into the alleged abuses, investigations that predate public awareness.

It is a sad state of political affairs when a leftist schmuck such as Levin that has zero credibility when it comes to fair mindedness, can maneuver a divisive report through his own committee and then comment on the report as if it were as fresh and clean as the wind driven snow. Beware the book review that is written by its own author.

It is time for Levin to get out of the Armed Services Committee and get back to doing what he is most successful at--nurturing the domestic auto industry.

On the bright side, Levin is still the smartest senator from Michigan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Favorite Tea Party Sign

with a hat tip to Powerline

Cheney Enters Memos Fray

The CIA, under Barack Obama, was more than willing to release internal memorandums that spelled out in detail which interrogation techniques the Bush administration approved of as acceptable in efforts to gather information from detainees in the war on terror. The release of the memos also included information that two high level detainees at Guantanamo were waterboarded a total of over 250 times.

Such information, as you can imagine, raised an international as well as a domestic stink. Meanwhile, almost unnoticed, the USA has remained free of any terrorist attack on its homeland since 9/11/2001.

The latest person to enter the fray is former VP Dick Cheney who suggests the CIA should release even more documents--namely the ones that contain the details as to how many terrorist attacks were averted because of the harsh interrogations.

Mr Cheney said that the decision to publish the memos was a mistake.

And it was misleading, he said, because the documents did not include those demonstrating that harsh interrogation delivered intelligence "success".

"One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is that they put out the legal memos... but they didn't put out the memos that show the success of the effort," Mr Cheney told Fox News.

"There are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified. I formally ask that they be declassified now."

The American people should have a chance to weigh the intelligence obtained alongside the legal debate, he said.
We will see if the Obama administration feels it necessary to release all of the documents in its quest to achieve a higher level of transparency, one of the reasons behind releasing the original CIA memos in the first place, or if the release was just another tired attempt by Obama to discredit the US and the Bush administration.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Making of a Terrorist Cell

Barack Obama made a promise prior to his election (one echoed by John McCain by the way) that the Guantanamo terrorist detention facility needed to be shut down. Accusations of torture and the denial of basic human rights were at the center of the firestorm, never mind that the most severe form of interrogation techniques, the waterboard, was never indiscriminately applied to detainees gratuitously or without proper review.

During its follow up on the campaign promise to close the camp, the Obama administration has run into a little snag, namely that

[after a review of] the Uighurs detention, the inter-agency panel found that they weren’t the ignorant, innocent goatherds the White House believed them to be. The committee determined they were too dangerous to release because they were members of the ETIM terrorist group, the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” and because their presence at the al-Queda training camp was no accident.
So, what should a fledgling administration do when its own review of terrorist detainees reveals that the terrorists are, indeed, a dangerous threat and should not be released?

Do over!
Would anyone be surprised if, indeed, the Obama administration is overruling the intelligence community in order to implement preconceived policy preferences? Would anyone be surprised if those policy preferences include erring on the side of aiding suspected terrorists (to "repair our image," of course) rather than protecting the United States?

As Babbin puts it, "there is now no ETIM terrorist cell in the United States: there will be one if these Uighurs are released into the United States."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Obama Casually Accepts Ortega's Words

If Daniel Ortega was not a Marxist tyrant in Central America but instead a humble preacher in Chicago, you could bet our great President Obama would have chosen to sit his butt in the pews of the Rev. Ortega regularly for years. The Rev. Ortega would have been an inspiration to the president, a part of his being.

This is why I was not surprised by Obama's humble acceptance of the words of Ortega at the Summit of the Americas.

Barack Obama feels comfortable sitting down and listening to his country being slandered and misrepresented as one of the world's great evils because this is something that he is accustomed to. He has been listening to it for years from his mentors and friends, from the church pews and across his dining table.

America is evil. Get used to it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Great Day in Lansing

I would have to consider the Lansing Tea Party protest a major success.

Thousands of people attended and, to my knowledge at least, there were no f-bombs spewed about, no piles of trash left behind, no fighting, no exposed sex organs, no communist symbols, no Che t-shirts, no riot gear, no thefts, and no vandalism.

In other words, it wasn't one of those typical anti-American protests routinely organized by the people of Code Pink, Move On, or ACORN who are so good at demonstrating by example how an ordered society should appear.

Today was a great day to be an American! (At least if one overlooks the tax part.)

Nick has pictures of the event at Right Michigan and Kim Priestap has photos from a smaller event in Traverse City.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remembering Mark

Pitchers have forever taken their position on that mound, 60' and 6" away from home plate. They have always taken their signs and gone to the stretch on that small piece of rubber, atop the hill.

Ernie Harwell described it the way that it was. There were times when a foul ball was captured by a gentleman from Saginaw, and there were other times when the batter stood there like the house by the side of the road.

That is the way that I grew to love baseball. It was the background to my summers. When we played ball in the yard, ball was also on the radio. Many a firefly was captured in a glass jar during Ernie's flavored commentary, and I won't even bother to mention the carnage that Ernie might have witnessed could he have seen out of his radio during june bug season when we were carrying our ping pong paddles. At family reunions, the radio was as much a part of the table setting as was the potato salad. In the early years we all had a favorite player. Nothing hurt a neighborhood kid more than the suffering caused by the retirement or trade of a "favorite player."

Slowly and imperceptively the sounds of baseball became interwoven with my overall memory of summer. It was never overpowering. It was subtle. Baseball was a game not relegated to the background, but a game that thrived at the fringe of my senses, much like any horizon sits just beyond life's hills.

And then came the summer of 1976. That was the summer of "The Bird" and the summer when baseball needed to be watched instead of just listened to.

Suddenly, Ernie was not enough. He could not adequately describe the antics of Mark Fidrych on the mound. The Bird talked to the baseball. He would run to and from the mound he famously groomed. He would strut and pump his fist. He kept the ball low and he worked fast, pitching in many games that lasted barely over two hours. And yet, he did all of this while being so self dismissive that he didn't even notice that his actions were not unnoticed. That was so much of his charm. His inadvertent showmanship was tempered by an all healing genuineness.

On those rare occasions when a Mark Fidrych game happened to be televised, the radio remained silent and ignored, an unwanted relic of a game that had passed it by. Sadly, injury sidelined Mark after that huge 19-9 rookie season and despite attempts to return, he never regained his dominance.

Last summer during a Tiger telecast from Boston, Mark Fidrych spent a half inning in the booth with the current Tiger's television broadcast team of Mario Impemba and Rod Allen. It was apparent that he had not changed a bit during the thirty years or so since his leaving the game.

He still loved baseball and loved Detroit. He remained thankful for the opportunity that he had to play in the majors, realizing a dream that any other kid I knew growing up would have done anything to experience.

Even after all those years had expired The Bird was simply grateful that baseball had been able to take him along for that one glorious ride, still seemingly unaware that he was the person that had carried baseball for that magical season and consequently, had hauled me excitedly along with it.

There really are few things as sweet as a fond childhood memory.

Thank you Mark. You will be greatly missed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

GM's Impending Bankruptcy

It is going to be very interesting in early June when the expected GM bankruptcy becomes reality. We will find out at that point exactly how much control over the automakers the feds bought with all that ill advised bailout money, and also how much control over the Democrat party the unions have purchased with their monolithic voting habits.

One of the most interesting outcomes to examine will be the way in which the pensions for UAW workers will be handled by the government. Clearly the pensions are not sustainable and were a large motivator of the auto maker's ailing bottom line. However, union members voted overwhelmingly for socialist Democrats, and this bailout plan will be approved by the socialist Democrats elected into office.

Will the average American taxpayer, whose retirement is headed into the dumper, be forced to bail out the unsustainable pension obligations owed to the en masse Democrat voters of the UAW?

Time will tell.

Credit Where it is Due

Captain Richard Phillips is free, thanks to some well trained snipers and a Navy Captain unafraid to stick his neck out.

This outcome is the best outcome possible, and it should be noted that Barack Obama did not screw things up. I don't care who you are or how much you despise our socialist Commander in Chief, this operation was a total success.

How much credit is deserved by our president is certainly up for debate, but it should be noted that it takes very little on the part of a president or his administration to screw up even small military operations. (Mogadishu anyone?)

I will hammer Barack Obama whenever I see fit, but I am going to give him credit where it is due. This operation was a success by any measure and could not have ended in better fashion.

Let us hope that all future military operations are carried out with as much success and that politics, as we go forward, is not allowed to dictate outcomes.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


The greatest navy this planet has ever seen needs to make an example of the Somali pirates now floating adrift in a powerless lifeboat with an American citizen held hostage.

When an American flag flies above a boat, the boat should be deemed untouchable. Let countries that negotiate with pirates be the ones to worry about future incidents.

This, of course, cannot be done without the hostage being placed in perilous danger. All attempts should be made to kill the pirates without killing the hostage. This, I suppose, puts the big guns and torpedoes off limits for this particular operation.

Three world televised sniper shots should be adequate.

Let the French negotiate.

CBS News Brings the Importance

One of the unexpected perils of unemployment is the off chance that the television might be accidentally tuned to the CBS Morning News on a weekday morning better spent at an office not crushed under an inevitable economic collapse caused by socialist policies.

So there I sat, unable to find the remote control, when up popped the announcement that the seemingly serious news show was going to spend part of their next hour interviewing someone, someone who I assumed was of national importance.

Who was this surprise interviewee? Was it a world leader? Was it a national politician? A scientist? A philosopher? Someone with a critically important viewpoint as it relates to anything of even modest importance?

No, of course, to all of these questions.

The promised interview was with Levi Johnson, the teenage kid whose sole claim to fame was his success at impregnating an Alaskan governor`s daughter. He has some dirt on the first family of Alaska, and according to CBS news, a jilted teenager`s animus toward ex-potential in-laws is newsworthy. (Funny how much less attention a current VP`s child`s actions receive in comparison to a potential VP`s child, that is when the losing candidate happens to be a conservative.)

CBS news is at the epicenter of a left wing news media that has thrown aside any intent it once had to provide objective or important journalism. CBS news is now, as it has been for several decades, little more than a pipeline through which intellectual puppeteers attempt to influence the opinions of unfortunate early morning couch potatoes. CBS fears Sarah Palin and it will do whatever it can to tarnish the reputation of a conservative with importance to the national party.

Who could have guessed that in the years following Dan Rather`s demise, that the network could actually go backward in objectivity?

Thankfully, I have found my remote.