February 12, 2009

Web Reconnaissance for 02/12/2009

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Andi: Public or Private: A Policy Under Review - On the one hand, I didn't want to write about this, for reasons spelled out below. On the other hand, I couldn't ignore the fact that this is a legitimate issue for military spouses and one that many of you clearly feel passionately about. In the end, it was that passion that won out. So, here goes.... I have mentally buried my husband a hundred times. I'm willing to bet you have, too. In fact, if you have and you think you're weird, you're not. Click here to find out why. In the process of mentally preparing my husband's funeral, I always pictured the moment I received his casket to be a solemn and private moment. My husband's remains and me. Sometimes the dog was there. Sometimes he wasn't. I didn't even think about extended family being present. As I wrote long ago: “I would meet my husband's body when it arrived at Dover. I would run my hands over the casket, hug it even, but I would try to remain as composed as possible.” (READ MORE)

Andrea Peyser: Celebutard of the Week: Cher - My new book, “Celebutards: The Hollywood Hacks, Limousine Liberals and Pandering Politicians Who Are Destroying America” can’t possibly keep pace with the full-mouth, feeble-brained rants that emanate regularly from the celebutard mouth. So I’m offering a Celebutard of the Week. The inaugural ‘tard is none other than Cher - the one time pop singer, actress and infomercial queen who’s turned into a full-time ninny. Cher recently said: “I just don’t understand how anyone would want to be a Republican. I just can’t figure it. I don’t understand. If you’re poor, if you’re any kind of minority - gay, black, Latino, anything. If you’re not a rich - I don’t know. If you’re not a rich born-again-Christian, I don’t get it.” Understand this, Cher - there are decent Republicans. (READ MORE)

Just the Library Keeper: Economic Stimulus passed in Earl's era... and area - Well, the President wasn't doing it, the Treasury wasn't doing it, Congress grilled the Banker Boys (soon to be replaced by women!) about busying the bucks Bush blew their way, and HR 45 hasn't died a decent death (stomped deep into the mud works for me) --- so I went and stopped at the local retailer and looked for new shoes, bought two pair and that should be my fair share. The economy should be shaken and stirred now. One pair made in China and one pair made in Vietnam, help the W.O.G.s out of their slow down. I came home and found my package from USAMidway, with 5 rd clips (2 ea), spotting scope (1 ea) and a Master Catalog #32 (dare I open it?). Wife was away, I heat the soup and wonder why my brother lives in a city with nut cases in charge of schools and fears of tape, wood and looks like a weapon of massive destruction. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Opening the package - Howard Kurtz writes in the Washington Post that “I’m not an economist, but when Tim Geithner unveils his long-awaited bailout plan and the Dow plunges nearly 400 points, that’s probably not a good sign.” Kurtz has a roundup of quotes from different sources suggesting a certain skepticism about its possible effect. “‘Investors had been expecting the Obama administration to unveil a shock-and-awe solution Tuesday for the nation’s hobbled banking system,’ the NYT reports. ‘But the main reaction was disappointment as the new plan raised more questions than it answered, sending stock markets — and the shares of banks assumed to be holding swaths of toxic assets — sharply lower.’ … This Huffington Post report doesn’t inspire confidence: “Administration officials were greeted with sarcasm and laughter Monday night when they briefed lawmakers and congressional staff on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s new financial-sector bailout project, according to people who were in the room.” (READ MORE)

No Looking Backwards: As If You Needed Further Proof... - ...that this foot-wide pork sausage we're about to get rammed up our ass has very little to do with re-invigorating the American economy, but rather expanding government control over the lives of a once-free populace. “US Senator Dianne Feinstein hopes to update President Barack Obama's $838bn economic stimulus package so that American ISPs can deter child pornography, copyright infringement, and other unlawful activity by way of ‘reasonable network management.’” Of course, "reasonable" in her totalitarian mindset can be defined as "Only members of Congress will be allowed to own and carry firearms. The rest of you dirt-eating peasants have to turn yours in to be destroyed". (READ MORE)

Right Wing News: Head Teacher Driven Out for Promoting Integration - The moonbat–Muslim alliance has claimed another victim. Head teacher Julia Robinson of Meersbrook Bank primary school in Sheffield, England has resigned "after a lot of pressure." She was accused of being a "racist" for wanting Muslims to attend the same school assemblies as the other children. Islamic activists have been throwing the tantrums that serve them so well, egging on parents to withdraw their kids from school assemblies if they don't get their own separate Muslim ones. The liberal education establishment is only too happy to pander to these militant colonists by throwing overboard anyone accused of resisting dhimmitude. So much for liberals' vaunted "inclusiveness" — and so much for assimilation, which will not be permitted to happen until demographics allow the native British population to be assimilated into the ummah. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: I'd Like To Thank The Academy For My Malkin Award... - Yesterday, I was given a "Malkin award" by Andrew Sullivan, which in liberal lingo, I suppose, is intended to convey some sort of insult or another. Here's the statement that won me such acclaim from Andrew Sullivan: “‘This stimulus bill is huge, so disastrous, and so harmful to our country that even though Obama has been in office for less than a month, I think it's already fair to label him as one of the worst Presidents in American history,’ - Right Wing News, ‘knee-capping Barack Obama at every opportunity’.” My first reaction after reading this was, "This is awesome, it's like the sort of copy I would put in ad for Right Wing News if I were running it on National Review!" But then, I took another moment and said, was I really spot-on with that assessment? Did that REALLY reflect what I honestly think about Barack Obama? With that in mind, I'd like to amend what I said just a little bit. Here we go... (READ MORE)

Justin Miller: Don't Bail - Republican primaries in three competitive 2010 U.S. Senate races may see attacks from the right on candidates who voted for the financial bailout last year. The bailout was never particularly popular among Republicans, even when nominee John McCain supported it. Now just 35 percent of Republicans say that passing the $700 billion bailout was a good thing, according to a December Gallup poll. This low support could mean uphill battles for Republican House members who are running for Senate next year. In Missouri, former Sen. Jim Talent (R) announced today he would not run for Sen. Kit Bond's (R) open seat next year, leaving the Republican contest a likely fight between Rep. Roy Blunt and state Treasurer Sarah Steelman who are said to be considering Senate campaigns. Blunt could face heavy fire from Steelman for voting twice in favor of both versions of the bailout last year and being the chief House Republican negotiator with Democrats to pass the bill. Steelman said in September she would have voted against the bill. (READ MORE)

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred: The SC&A Idiot’s Guide To The Obama Stimulus Plan, Part Two - Yesterday, we took a first look at the Obama administration stimulus plan. We discussed car company bailouts, the cost of jobs under the plan and how dealing with just a small portion of illegal immigration and jobs policy can dramatically impact our economy. Today, we are going to take a look at the administration’s plans for the banking and real estate industries. We are being told by Washington bigwigs that some banks cannot be allowed to fail. Let’s look at a couple of examples. As of today, Bank of America is now trading in the $5.50 range. Last year, the share price was in the mid $40.00 range. Citigroup, another recipient of government bailout funds, is trading at a little over $3.00 a share. Last year, Citigroup was trading at over $23.00 a share. Whether Washington wants to admit it or not, these banks have already failed. (READ MORE)

This Ain't Hell: Julio the Disk Jockey vs. Joe the Plumber - You’ve probably seen this video, but, in case you haven’t, here it is; Young Julio Osegueda star-struck youngster that he is, thanks God that Obama takes time out of his day to speak to the people of Ft. Meyers, FL. “Time out from his day”? Of doing what? Making rainbows and herding unicorns? Julio, the President’s job is to talk to the people who elected him. Michelle Malkin calls it a “Savior-based economy“. Julio complains that he has to go to college and work at MacDonalds and he can’t get ahead. Probably because he’s spending too much time asking God and Obama for a job instead of doing it on his own. A lot of us took crappy jobs when we were in college because that’s the only kind of jobs college students can get. I worked as a security guard on a construction site and as a VA counselor in our campus office - I was 39 years old when I finally went to college full time, had three teenagers and a wife to support on a full time minimum wage job and a part time minimum wage job. (READ MORE)

HughS: Democrat Theater - Today's political theatre began at the House Financial Services Committee with Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) when she castigated the captains of the universe for raising her credit card fees, a rebuke that at once detailed both the depth of her banking industry knowledge and literary clichés (Tom Wolfe should sue her for brand impairment). Waters' comments were met with the classic deer in the headlights look from the eight assembled bank CEO's (and an unusual caution by Chairman Frank to "calm down"). But not to be outdone, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stole the show on Capitol Hill at another meeting by rolling Speaker Pelosi in an embarrassing display of political chutzpah and backstabbing. The Politico comments: “According to a half dozen Congressional aides and members, Reid went before the cameras Wednesday to announce a stimulus deal before Pelosi had agreed on all the details of school construction financing. ‘It's ruffled feathers, big time,’ said a House Democrat speaking on condition of anonymity. ‘The speaker went through the roof.’ Added one House Democratic aide: ‘He tried to roll her and she knew it.’” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: Lieberman Calls the Three RINOs Heroes for Defying the American People - It's amazing how easily the Democrats, Lieberman, and the RINOs 3 are willing to spit on the will of the American people. We learn from Politico that the phones in Collins', Snowe's, and Specter's office are jammed with people calling to express their disdain for the stimulus bill. One aide to Senator Snowe tried to say that it was people calling to express their support for her. That's total bunk. Not when 67% of the American people trust their own judgment over that of Congress and 44% of the American people believe that they could randomly choose their representatives from the phone book and get a better Congress: “When it comes to the nation's economic issues, 67% of U.S. voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress...Forty-four percent (44%) voters also think a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation's problems than the current Congress.” And who can blame them when the Democrats and Joe Lieberman are hailing the RINOs 3 as heroes for defying the will of the American people: (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: A short note on the Merrill Lynch bonuses - I, for one, feel a bit sorry for Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, and not just because he had to suffer through Maxine Waters' inanities yesterday. First, the government pushed Bank of America not to walk away from the acquisition, as it had every right to do once the extent of Merrill's losses became evident. The Fed was worried that if the Merrill acquisition blew up it would cause a panic on Wall Street, so it twisted BofA's arm hard. Now, everybody is busting Lewis for the bonuses that Merrill paid before Bank of America owned it. The claim is that Bank of America "signed off" on the lavish pre-closing Merrill bonuses. I doubt it. The linked article from the Times, and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, intentionally or ignorantly miss the point that acquirers have to take great care to avoid interfering with the business decisions of the target before the acquisition closes. There are at least two reasons for this. (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: What is the Rush on the "Stimulus" Bill? Slow Down and Look This Over! - The screaming headlines and urgent sound bites declaring that Congress has to pass an "economic stimulus" bill right this second or the world will collapse into an eon of darkness and chaos reminds me way too much of slick sales tactics used to put something over on unwary buyers. For example: A couple of decades ago a close associate was being pressured into buying a car. He said the salesman was a really good guy who was always really nice to him and wouldn't screw him over. He was sure of it. I didn't like the rush job the salesman was putting on my associate, and said so. I was accused of being over-protective. So I said, "Tell him no. Then see what kind of reaction you get." (READ MORE)

UrbanGrounds: Camille Paglia Takes on the Stimulus Package and the Fairness Doctrine - I’m becoming more and more convinced that Liberal and Feminist icon Camille Paglia might be one of the most intellectually honest journalists/pundits writing today. Skewering the Bush administration and Conservatives in general is easy and lots of Liberal pundits have made a life of it. Most of them with very little honesty and integrity. Paglia, on the other hand, has always seemed to be pretty fair-handed and consistent in her criticism of the Right. But what gains my respect for her is her ability to honestly and — at times — brutally criticsize her own party. I’ve noted her ability and willingness to do that here, here, here, and here. Today, at the Liberal Salon, she goes after Obama and his “stimulus” package. She’s right on target with this honest rebuke of Obama: “To defer to the House of Representatives and let the bill be thrown together by cacophonous mob rule made the president seem passive and behind the curve.” (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Maxine Waters "brings the crazy" - Megan McArdle writes that "Maxine Waters brings the crazy" to the Congressional hearings on the TARP: Her questions to the bankers are so bizarre that they don't know what to do. Ken Lewis looks like a deer in the headlights as Waters asks her about offshore loss mitigation efforts. He can't even figure out what she's talking about, and neither can I. She also asks the bankers, few of whom are in the credit card business, how many of them have cut credit limits to people on the basis of where they shop. It's like watching your crazy aunt challenge your boyfriend to prove that fairies aren't real. Sadly, Megan did not include the video, which ought to be parodied on "Saturday Night Live," but which probably will not be. The look on Ken Lewis' face at roughly 5:45 is absolutely priceless (when Waters asks him about taking "fees" for the TARP funds), and would be laugh-out-loud funny if it weren't so tragic. (READ MORE)

Right Truth: We're dealing with barbarians both at home and abroad - Let's review what's been happening since Barack Obama became President of the United States of America, the enemies we face and the future threats: His first call to any head of state as president was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory. His first one on one interview with any news organization was with Al Arabia television. He ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military trials of detainees halted. He ordered all overseas CIA interrogation centers closed. He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind the USS Cole and 9/11. Today we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refuges to move to and live in the US at American taxpayer expense. Anyone else seeing a pattern here? (READ MORE)

Reformed Chicks Blabbing: What about privacy? - Lefties have been blathering on and on about invasion of privacy under Bush for years but where are they now that the government is trying to get between you and your doctor and force your doctor to make decisions based on standards that may not be applicable to your situation or face penalties for not doing so: “But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and ‘guide’ your doctor's decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, ‘Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.’ According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and ‘learn to operate less like solo practitioners.’” It's bad enough that the insurance company is involved in the decisions concerning our health care but at least they have a financial stake. The government isn't paying for my health care, why the heck should they be involved? (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Who's Winning? - The Democrats' "stimulus" bill is a bad joke as a matter of economics. It is 100% politics, so the question is: will it be successful, politically, or not? It's obviously necessary to separate the short term from the long term here. In the short term, it appears that President Obama's press conference and his other efforts to get behind the Pelosi-Reid porkfest have had some effect. Rasmussen finds, based on one night's polling, that "the press conference worked as expected. Support for the stimulus package increased as did the number of people who Strongly Approve of the President." Tomorrow Rasmussen will release the latest data on the "stimulus" package, but even if support is up a bit, it is unlikely that the results will show much enthusiasm for the pork-bill among voters. Rasmussen has already found that two-thirds of Americans think they could do a better job on the economy than Congress. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Meanwhile, In Worm Turnage News - Greenwald’s been in a state of excitment for some time over the mounting crimes of the Obama administration, but today, he’s thrilled to see that Kennedy, Leahy, Arlen Specter etc. … the left wing of the United States Senate’s left wing plus fellow travelers … are turning on Obama’s DOJ over failure to practice the new openness, or more specifically, employing Bush tactics to shield Bush-era secrets. It is a fascinating development. Greenwald’s right to pay it this much attention, though in his lust for vengeance upon American war criminals, he misses a key point: what does the Obama admin now know that it didn’t know before that has it lined up on the wrong side of the Bushitler Nuremberg trials? Or is it a legacy thing, there but for the grace of God will go my presidency. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Historians: Lincoln might have supported the stimulus, or something - It must be true. He supported a national bank and wanted to help the working man get ahead; from there, it’s a mere hop, skip, and a jump logically to $800 billion in pork and infrastructure spending. I realize the media has a certain quota of “Obama is the new Lincoln” hagiographies to file each week, but can we at least spare America’s greatest president (I don’t care what the polls say) the comparison on his birthday? Good lord. “Obama’s situation is different from Lincoln’s, as is the political environment. But historians say their responses to their crises bear striking parallels. ‘Both Lincoln and Obama advocated big government and actively believed it could do good,’ said Timothy Roberts, professor of American history at Western Illinois University in Moline, Ill.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Ride the Porkulus Rail to Harry Reidland! - When I want to drop my money in Vegas on useless machines, I prefer to at least have the slight chance of winning some of it back. Thanks to a sleazy back-room deal between Barack Obama and Harry Reid, the city least in need of government bailouts will get a $8 billion pork project in the final version of Porkulus. Now Southern California residents can have another way to lose their money, and we can all pay for the ride: “In late-stage talks, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pressed for $8 billion to construct high-speed rail lines, quadrupling the amount in the bill that passed the Senate on Tuesday. Reid’s office issued a statement noting that a proposed Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas rail might get a big chunk of the money.” And what got cut to ensure Reid’s pork bonanza? (READ MORE)

Gateway Pundit: UN General Assembly President: "Fidel Castro Is the Closest Thing We Have to a Saint" - Here is more proof that the UN is a joke. A Cuban-American visits the Cuban Memorial, a symbolic cemetery, in Tamiami Park in Miami, Florida February 6, 2009. Cuban exiles placed more than 10,000 crosses in the park to honor loved ones who died fighting Fidel Castro's government or trying to cross into the United States. UN General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto praised Fidel Castro on World Day of Social Justice saying the Cuban tyrant is the closest thing we have to a saint. Granma and The Real Cuba reported: “The Nicaraguan priest said that with respect to Fidel Castro, he is more than a hero, and is the closest thing we have to a saint in our anguished world, according to a report by the Prensa Latina agency.” (READ MORE)

Chuck Z: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 God, I hate the media. - Over at mudville gazette, Robert Stokely writes a piece about the media asking for access to Dover AFB to film returning warriors, to illustrate the "true" cost of war. Not the triumphant parade of soldiers and marines who should be lauded with flowers and ticker-tape, but rather the solemn ranks of flag-draped caskets. To the news media, anything they can't get access to begins a tantrum of "we (or the people)have a right to know!!!" (Which, oh by the way, is not a right enumerated in the constitution.) When their cries are ignored, they switch tactics, like their recent ploy: “Ed Henry with CNN, who asked the President whether he thought the arrival of American coffins at Dover should be accessible to the media to ‘show America the real cost of the war....’ and would he reconsider the policy of not allowing the media in.” First, any American who doesn't understand that people die in war, isn't going to understand what a flag-draped casket coming off of a C-17 means. (READ MORE)

TheAnchoress: The $13 a week stimulus - Hey, $13 dollars is $13, I guess. In January that falls to $8. Here is our 800 billion dollar stimulus mostly-spending bill we must see passed, and we must gratefully accept as the only possible solution to our “catastrophic” problems and our growing malaise. The ONLY solution. This other one, over here, brought up by another Democrat? Ignored. Just ignored. I just have one thing to ask: “What does Michelle Obama suggest we do - how we will stimulate the economy with our $13?” As I recall, when there was a $600.00 stimulus check rolling down the pike a while back, Mrs. Obama rather sneered at it: “‘You’re getting $600. What can you do with that? Not to be ungrateful or anything. But maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn’t pay down every bill every month…’” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: “I’m A Relic” - From 1948 to 1973, young men were required to register for the draft when they reached the age of 18 years of age, during both peacetime and times of conflict. The idea was that these men would be drafted into the military, to fill the positions that couldn’t be filled through voluntary enlistment. In 1973, the draft ended and the registration requirement was suspended in April 1975. Men who were drafted into the military during that time period, saw combat in several combat situations that our country was involved in. In 1980, the registration requirement was reinstated by President Carter and it continues today. However, since the draft ended in 1973, no men have been called to duty through the system. The military has been steadily working towards an ‘all volunteer’ military. They neglect to remember that there is still one Soldier serving on active duty, who was drafted. That Soldier, CSM Jeffrey Mellinger still serves today, as the CSM in charge of the US Army’s Materiel Command. (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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