May 8, 2009

Web Reconnaissance for 05/08/2009

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

Rivrdog: Let's do some math, again! - About 3 weeks ago, we had this little math exercise, when the Obama Administration touted it's savings program. We saw then that Obama and crew consider a savings of six-one-thousanths of one percent to be meaningful sacrifice for government to make. Today, the figure is seventeen parts of thirty-five hundred (17/3,500) which is about five one-thousanths of one percent. It would seem that Mr. Obama's sense of government savings is getting dumbed down. Jay Leno will get yet ANOTHER few nights of yuks about Obama's savings program. BTW, as part of this "savings", the POTUS decided to cut out the LORAN radio navigation system, that the administration found is obsolete because of global positioning satellites, according to McClatchy newspapers. They don't know their navigation, and I do, having put in a career doing it for the USAF. (READ MORE)

Ari David: Terror Pictures, Torture Pictures - Declassification of the torture memos was big news a couple of weeks ago, with the glaring omission of what terror attacks were prevented by the water boarding. The news media did not seem to care though. Instead of “moving on” they enjoyed their “back to the future” moment of wallowing in the gloried past of the Bush administration’s “atrocities.” This week the Obama administration is going to give us another dose of the “America is evil” evidence by releasing photos and other visual evidence that shows Bush, Cheney and others allowing rogue CIA agents to do terrible things to helpless Muslims who were innocently targeted and hustled off to Guantanamo. This has made me think of other images of atrocity that I would actually like to see to remind me of our enemy’s brutality. (READ MORE)

AJStrata: AJStrataN Has Been “Deputized” By Congress! - I am proud to announce that AJStrata has been deputized by the United States Congress to provide oversight and status on the stimulus program instituted in a hurried rush by the Democrat Congress and President Obama a long 3 months ago: “So just who’s tracking that $787 billion in taxpayer money that President Obama and the Democrat-led Congress are doling out? You are. Or you’re supposed to be, anyway. ‘We are, in essence, deputizing the entire American citizenry to help with the oversight of this program,’ said Rep. Brad Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology’s subcommittee on investigations and oversight.” I am sure this great honor is in recognition of my efforts to date monitoring the flow of stimulus ’shovel ready money’ into the hurting economy. The flurry of activity in early February (with the resultant lack of debate or analysis) was meant to flow federal funds into the economy to increase jobs for the American people. (READ MORE)

In From The Cold: Budget-Cutting 101 - How does the Obama Administration plan to save money? If you guessed "cutting defense," give yourself a gold star and move to the head of the budgetary class. The Wall Street Journal reports that defense programs will absorb half of the $17 billion in planned cuts, which will be announced on Thursday. Some of the reductions have already been announced, including plans to halt production of the Air Force's F-22 stealth fighter. The rest of the cuts will come from domestic programs, although it's unclear if the reductions will actually occur. As one administration official told the Journal, virtually all programs have a constituency, meaning that someone will fight the planned reductions. (READ MORE)

William Teach: Obama Decides To Cinco De Cuatro The Border Fence - Lost in all the other fun stories of the day, ones such as Obama To Fire His First Gay Arabic Linguist, Obama asking to double the budget to catch tax cheats(snort!!!!!), and, as written at Fark, "Nancy Pelosi: I was not briefed on waterboarding practices. CIA: Our documents, let us show you them," is President Obama's plan for the border fence: “President Obama's budget blueprint Thursday shelved extension of the controversial border fence beyond the 670 miles already completed or planned -- rejecting the much-heralded security approach orchestrated by former President George W. Bush. The Obama administration's turnabout left funds for roads, lights and so-called tactical infrastructure -- but not a dime to extend the pedestrian fencing and vehicle barriers erected along roughly a third of the nation's 1,947-mile border with Mexico.” (READ MORE)

McQ: $3.4 Trillion in Spending and $17 Billion in Savings? - I am enjoying the spin on this - a $3.4 trillion dollar budget offset by $17 billion in "savings". And what does the administration want you concentrating on? That pittance of a savings. Now I welcome any program eliminations and reductions, don't get me wrong, but my goodness, $17 billion in relation to the spending that's being done with the budget and outside the budget for "stimulus" and bailouts makes these "savings" simply laughable. They're diversionary bait. They're larger than the 100 million Obama ordered previously only because of the derision with which that cut was met. In the context of total spending, this 'savings' is comparable. Even liberals aren't fooled for the most part. Isabel Sawhill, who was a senior official in the Clinton budget office and now with the Brookings Institute finds little to be excited about: (READ MORE)

This Ain't Hell: CIA: Pelosi knew about EITs - Last month, I got an email from Code Pink calling on Nancy Pelosi to press forward with the investigations of the Bush Administration’s use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs) against terrorists. The Washington Times and the Washington Post both announced this morning that Speaker Pelosi knew about Enhanced Interrogation Techniques according to records of the briefings to Pelosi and Porter Goss on September 4, 2002. The Times; “The report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, indicates that a classified CIA briefing of Mrs. Pelosi included specific details of the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ or EITs, on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah. ‘Briefing on EITs included use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed,’ the report said of the Sept. 4, 2002, briefing.” (READ MORE)

Matthew Vadum: Conyers Kills ACORN Probe - Some coincidences live in infamy. It would have been hard Monday for Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) not to understand how Bill Ayers felt the day the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked. Unforgiving history records that on Sept. 11, 2001, the retired domestic terrorist's "I don't regret setting bombs" comment ran in a New York Times profile. While obviously of a much lesser magnitude, the House Judiciary Committee chairman's May 4 statement exonerating ACORN couldn't have come out at a worse time. "Based on my review of the information regarding the complaints against ACORN, I have concluded that a hearing on this matter appears unwarranted at this time," Conyers said in a statement aired that night on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight." Just hours earlier his fellow Democrats in Nevada, Secretary of State Ross Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto dropped a bombshell. ACORN and two former senior ACORN employees in the state, they announced, had been charged with a total of 39 felony counts related to voter registrations. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Price of Mathematical Illiteracy - If you are not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative when you are old, you have no brain. We have all heard that old adage at one time or another. It is a short hand way of saying that as one gets older and gains experience and responsibility, the demands of reality eventually cause us to temper our youthful wishes. Modern liberalism is based on the wish that no one should have to suffer any disadvantages and that we can have whatever we desire, whether it is universal health care, a pristine environment, cheap gasoline, or expansive home ownership available to almost all. None of these things are remotely possible in an unforgiving world in which 2 + 2 always equals 4, never 5 or 3. Today David Ignatius, in the course of explaining the impending financial disaster about to fall upon the baby boomers, explains why so few of us actually understand and appreciate our limitations: (READ MORE)

Donald Douglas: Mainstream Bigotry and Racism on the Democratic-Left - I've long documented the most vile bigotry and racism on the left end of the dial. During the 2008 primaries, we witnessed some of the most disgusting racism and sexism in decades. And across the blogosphere, the most reprehensible racial slurs and bigoted attacks on conservatives are considered fair game, penetrating social "commentary," and biting "satire." Take TBogg's post yesterday, for example, and his Sambo logo above. If any conservative blogger or columnist were to post a black Sambo eating a watermelon the entire netroots would erupt in feigned outrage at the modern day lynching. But it's standard operating procedure on the left. Michael Steele was attacked as Sambo himself. And recall Jane Hamsher's blackface attack on Senator Joseph Lieberman. And via Memeorandum, Roy Erdoso's literally got a post up this morning entitled "Black Comedy," calling out Red State's outstanding post which hammers President Barack Obama's shameful hypocrisy and malign neglect for black kids in D.C.'s school voucher program. (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: TENTH AMENDMENT MOVEMENT SURGES FORWARD - TENTH AMENDMENT: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Does the US Constitution give the federal government the right to dictate to a state how long it must supply unemployment compensation insurance? Or where it must spend its money on health care? Or how it runs its welfare programs? It’s called “The Forgotten Amendment” for good reason. While everyone waxes poetic about their love for the Bill of Rights - the first ten amendments to the Constitution - some of us are very selective in which of those amendments we actually recognize and support. (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: Democracy v Authority in Nation Building - In the wake of Vietnam we forswore nationbuilding. Today we are heavily engaged in at least two such enterprises, Iraq and Afghanistan. Amazing how circumstances force such changes in policy. But in a sense the West has been engaged in nationbuilding for decades, if not a century, whether we wanted to admit it or not. The Weimar Republic in Germany was a form of nationbuilding in that we pretty much forced democracy on that country in the wake of what was then called The Great War. In the 1950s and 60s, when ex-colonies were becoming nations, we insisted that they choose their government in democratic fashion. While some turned out to be one-man, one-vote, one-time, others, such as India, have turned into successful democratic states. It is unclear whether our ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan will be successes or failures. What is clear is that it's not easy to create anything like what we would call a democracy in either. (READ MORE)

Indian Chris: Coulter vs. Behar - I'm not a fan of Ann Coulter. She's just too far out there for my taste, but there are some things I like about her and agree with on. She recently made an appearance on Larry King Live with Joy Behar guest-hosting in which the following took place. BEHAR: OK. All right. I want to know if you want to be waterboarded, because Sean Hannity has volunteered to be waterboarded, but I don't see him sticking his head under the faucet yet. COULTER: Well, for one thing, about half of the male hosts on Fox News have been waterboarded on TV. I've seen worse on "Fear Factor." And, no, I don't want to be waterboarded. Do you want to be... BEHAR: Are you sure? COULTER: Do you want to be aborted, because I think you support abortion? In fact, could we abort the terrorists instead of waterboarding them? (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Looking Ahead to 2012 - On Wednesday, I was part of a group that heard Minnesota's Governor Tim Pawlenty talk about his current battles with the Democrat-controlled Minnesota legislature; Pawlenty, like Horatius at the bridge, is all that stands between Minnesotans and a massive tax increase. But that was only the beginning: Pawlenty went on to lay out his vision for Minnesota with respect to some of the big issues of the day--the economy, education and health care. With few exceptions, his observations and prescriptions could easily be adapted to the national stage. It was a masterful performance. Pawlenty is a conservative with a disarmingly moderate style. He is smart, articulate, youthful, energetic and likable. He is, to boot, one of the funniest storytellers in American politics. (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: A death to be regretted? - Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby argues that liberal bias isn't killing newspapers. Jacoby contends that the dead and dying newspapers are the victim of an obsolete business model. I think it's a fair point, but it requires qualification. It would be hard to see how liberalism has hurt the Globe, anyway, which is a great liberal newspaper serving an overwhelmingly liberal community. Yet some newspapers -- newspapers not dependent on classified advertising -- continue to turn a profit, and one would think their example would be cause for some soul-searching among those who support the cause of the newspaper trade. Even some small local newspapers and their owners (I'm thinking specifically of Forum Communications) seem to have adapted to the current environment and continue to turn a profit. (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: If you can't spin it, quash it - In January of this year, the Inspector General of the Defense Department (DoD IG) issued a report exonerating the Pentagon of wrongdoing in connection with a public relations program that involved retired military officials who worked as military analysts on television and radio. The DoD IG investigated the matter as a result of reporting by David Barstow of the New York Times which claimed that some of the retired military officers in question used the special access granted them under the program to gain unfair competitive advantage for defense contractors they represented. The DoD IG concluded that Barstow's allegations were baseless. Despite that conclusion Barstow received a Pulitzer Prize last month for his reporting on this matter. Now, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times reports that the DoD IG has withdrawn his January report. Gertz calls this move "unusual" and I'm told that it may well be unprecedented. The question thus arises: why did the DoD IG take this extraordinary step? (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Obama threatens CA to protect union wages - Earlier, in writing about California’s fiscal meltdown, I noted that Barack Obama has threatened the state with a suspension of its stimulus funds, on which Sacramento depended for its budgetary calculations. The story behind that threat is worth pursuing. In attempting to bridge a huge shortfall, the state lowered compensation to for home health care workers, saving $74 million. Obama wants those cuts rescinded, and it’s not hard to see why: “Reporting from Sacramento — The Obama administration is threatening to rescind billions of dollars in federal stimulus money if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers do not restore wage cuts to unionized home healthcare workers approved in February as part of the budget. Schwarzenegger’s office was advised this week by federal health officials that the wage reduction, which will save California $74 million, violates provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Failure to revoke the scheduled wage cut before it takes effect July 1 could cost California $6.8 billion in stimulus money, according to state officials. …” (READ MORE)

John T. Simpson: Why Reagan Was a Better Friend to Gays Than Obama - I really thought my Republican platform piece here at BH would have been my last for awhile. Plenty for readers of all stripes to chew on. And I got too many other things to do. The reason for my reluctant return is yet another critical issue the Obamamedia and our LibDem government are completely flat-lining on: the officially sanctioned exterminations of LGBTs in Iraq, and on our dime. Not to mention State’s cold and lame response. More on that later. Too much more, actually. First, the one of the main points of this fact-based opinion piece. And I know I’m going to catch hell from the Streisand and Brolin crowd on this one! Ronald Reagan was a hero to gays, and Obama has not been to date. I know, I know. The Evil Ronald Reagan, who practically invented AIDS? Reagan, the Adolf Eichmann of the Gay World? Not true. Not by a country mile! (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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