Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mark Steyn, John Stossel, James Lileks with Hugh Hewitt

more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

White House Lawyers Look to Limit Sales of Chebama T-shirts

Julianna Goldman Julianna Goldman – Fri Jan 30, 4:16 pm ET

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama’s popularity makes him a marketer’s dream. Now, the honeymoon may be over for those trying to profit from his appeal.

White House lawyers want to control the use of the president’s image, recognizing the worldwide fascination about Obama’s election, First Amendment free-speech rights and easy access to videos and photos on the Web.

“Our lawyers are working on developing a policy that will protect the presidential image while being careful not to squelch the overwhelming enthusiasm that the public has for the president,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Obama’s calls for change and his “Yes We Can” campaign mantra are being evoked to sell assembly-required furniture in Ikea’s “Embrace Change” marketing campaign, bargain airfares during Southwest Airlines Inc.’s “Yes You Can” sale and “Yes Pecan” ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. shops.

“I can’t remember this ever happening to an active politician before, as a spokesperson or as an image for a brand,” said Brad Adgate, director of research for Horizon Media Inc., a New York-based advertising agency. “He’s in the highest profile of any person in the world right now.”

read the whole thing

Next step unclear as judge defies Obama on Guantanamo

By Carol Rosenberg | Miami Herald

The chief judge of the Guantanamo war court, Army Col. James Pohl, on Thursday spurned a request from President Barack Obama to freeze the military commissions there, and said he would go forward with next month's hearing for an alleged USS Cole bomber in a capital terror case.

The decision was immediately denounced by the head of the American Civil Liberties Union, which said the ruling smacked of Bush administration holdovers at the Pentagon trying to prevent President Barack Obama from fulfilling his promise to close Guantanamo.

read the whole thing

"Any delay in moving forward with the military commissions process is denying justice to the victims who have suffered as a result of these terrorist acts."

Iran says Obama's offer to talk shows US failure

'Western ideology has become passive'
Jan 31 08:16 AM US/Eastern

US President Barack Obama's offer to talk to Iran shows that America's policy of "domination" has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

"This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed," Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

"Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change," he added.

After nearly three decades of severed ties, Obama said shortly after taking office this month that he is willing to extend a diplomatic hand to Tehran if the Islamic republic is ready to "unclench its fist".

In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh tirade against the United States, demanding an apology for its "crimes" against Iran and saying he expected "deep and fundamental" change from Obama.

Iranian politicians frequently refer to the US administration as the "global arrogance", "domineering power" and "Great Satan".

read the whole thing

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


"The stimulus package being discussed is politically smart but economically stupid. It's that bedeviling, omnipresent Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy problem again. ... A far more important measure that Congress can take toward a healthy economy is to ensure that the 2003 tax cuts don't expire in 2010 as scheduled. If not, there are 15 separate taxes scheduled to rise in 2010, costing Americans $200 billion a year in increased taxes. In the face of a recession, we don't need that." --economist Walter E. Williams

"Bashing Rush Limbaugh last week, Obama urged GOP lawmakers to ignore the voices of obstructionism and sign on to his behemoth stimulus package: 'We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done.' ... History has shown us that 'Get Things Done' is mindless liberal code for passing ineffective legislation and expanding government for government's sake." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's 'lost decade' in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today." --two hundred economists in an open letter disseminated by the Cato Institute

"We all know how we got into this economic mess. We spent too much, borrowed with abandon, and acted like the bills would never come due. So what's the prescription for getting out? Spending more, borrowing more, and acting like the bills will never come due." --columnist Steve Chapman

"For those of you not shouting hosannas, it might have occurred to you that we are suffering from a rampant sickness in American life that casts government as the author of your dreams and an Illinois politician as the linchpin of your hopes." --Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi

the Most Famous Living Person EVER

100 Days
Is Obama the Most Famous Living Person Ever?
by Dee Dee Myers | January 27, 2009, 12:47 PM

Barack Obama is the most famous living person in the history of the world.

I’m not trying to induce an acid flashback to John Lennon’s infamous 1966 comment, “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” But whether you measure fame in terms of saturation or sheer numbers, it seems indisputable to me that more people know at least something about the new American president than anyone alive, at this point—or any—in the planet’s existence.

Who else could it be? One friend suggest Muhammad Ali, another Princess Diana, and a third said Bill Clinton. Surely all are global brands with enormous reach and broad appeal. But all fall short of the man-meets-the-moment frenzy unleashed by Obama.

read the rest

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Are They Buying?

Hint: It's not an immediate end to the financial crisis.

By Thomas Sowell | National Review Online | January 27, 2009

. . . If you cut taxes tomorrow, people would have more money in their next paycheck, and it would probably be spent by the time they got that paycheck, through increased credit-card purchases beforehand.

If all this sound and fury in Washington was about getting an economic crisis behind us, tax cuts could do that a lot faster.

None of this is rocket science. And Washington politicians are not all crazy, even if it sometimes looks that way. Often, what they say makes no sense because what they claim to be doing is not what they are actually doing.

No matter how many times President Barack Obama tells us that these “extraordinary times” call for “swift action,” the kind of economic policies he is promoting take effect very slowly, no matter how quickly the legislation is rushed through Congress. It is the old Army game of hurry up and wait.

If the Beltway politicians aren’t really trying to solve this crisis as quickly as they could, what are they trying to do?

One important clue may be a recent statement by President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, that “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

This is the kind of cynical revelation that sometimes slips out, despite all the political pieties and spin. Crises have long been seen as great opportunities to expand the federal government’s power while the people are too scared to object and before any opposition can get organized.

That is why there is such haste to do things that will take effect slowly.

What are the Beltway politicians buying with all the hundreds of billions of dollars they are spending? They are buying what politicians are most interested in—power.

read the whole thing

Question: Has Barack Obama’s popularity already plunged by 15 points?

Answer: Citing a Gallup Poll, the London Sun reported President Obama is “down” to 68% approval. If this keeps up, he’ll be in negative numbers by Easter. But then there is the cool Etch-A-Bama, so all is good in Barackworld.

'Che' spurs debate, Del Toro walkout

Sonny Bunch | Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | Washington Times
A controversial new biopic about Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara is awakening old passions and provoking vigorous defenses and denunciations of the iconic revolutionary and - in the case of an interview with The Washington Times - a dramatic walkout.

"I'm getting uncomfortable," Benicio del Toro said after fielding a question about his new movie's portrayal of the Bolivian and Cuban revolutions. "I'm done. I'm done, I hope you write whatever you want. I don't give a damn."

With that, the Oscar-winning actor walked away, abruptly terminating an interview conducted late last week to discuss director Steven Soderbergh's "Che."

Heated discussion has inevitably followed this almost 4 1/2-hour film's portrayal of the revered and reviled figure who sought to spread armed insurrection throughout Latin America and became a romanticized icon of rebellion in the process.

Yet its star seems ill at ease in the hot seat.

Hunched over a plate of guacamole in the backroom of gourmet Mexican restaurant Oyamel in the District, Mr. del Toro seemed excited to discuss the picture, which he co-produced with Mr. Soderbergh and Laura Bickford. Though the movie has received mixed critical reception, Mr. del Toro won top acting honors at Cannes this year. In his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to Guevara.

The film was screened in Cuba, to much applause.

"Del Toro is spectacular in the role of Che, not only in his physical resemblance but also in his brilliant interpretation," wrote Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party. "After more than five hours of screening, the Cuban public gave its endorsement with a strong ovation."

Obama gets Mad (mag treatment)

by Frank James | Posted January 26, 2009 1:51 PM

We all know that President Barack Obama has assumed the presidency at a time when that pressure cooker of a job is even more so right now because of the worst recession since the Great Depression and two foreign wars.

So Mad Magazine's new Obama cover spoofs the notion of the president's first 100 days but accelerates it to his first "100 minutes."

The caricature shows a completely stressed-out Obama puffing on several cancer sticks simultaneously as he holds his head in his hands. (That's what happens when the world knows your're a reformed smoker who admits to occasional lapses.) An open bottle of Pepto Bismol is on the desk, as is a bottle of Excedrin.

Meanwhile, splayed out on the desk before Obama are newspapers (including the Chicago Tribune!) with blaring headlines like "Automakers Broke!" "Taliban Threat!" and "Dow Crashes!"

The only thing the artist missed was the chance to take a swipe at the president for those those Alfred E. Newman ears of his. Talk about your low-hanging fruit.

Separately, Mad will have a lot fewer cracks at Obama. DC Comics, Mad's publisher, has announced that the magazine will be published on a quarterly basis instead of monthly, thanks to the economy and the advertising revenue woes afflicting the entire media industry.

Monday, January 26, 2009

will it ever NOT be about race?

FLOTUS duds get backlash
By NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON | 1/26/09 10:46 AM EST | Politico

FLOTUS's inaugural outfits sent designers to their drafting tables to design knockoffs and droves went to J.Crew to get those snazzy leather green gloves. But not everyone is happy with her choices. The Black Artists Association is chiding FLOTUS for not choosing any African-American designers.

They will send a letter to FLOTUS's office and appeal to her to include items from black designers in her wardrobe. BAA Cofounder Amnau Eele, who was a former runway model told Women's Wear Daily:

"It's fine and good if you want to be all 'Kumbaya' and 'We Are the World' by representing all different countries. But if you are going to have Isabel Toledo do the inauguration dress, and Jason Wu do the evening gown, why not have Kevan Hall, B Michael, Stephen Burrows or any of the other black designers do something too?"

Wu didn't find out Michelle O. was wearing his dress until he saw her on television Tuesday night. And aides said FLOTUS didn't even decide until hours before her big night.

The Obama Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009

Why Tax Rate Reductions Are More Stimulative Than Rebates: Lessons from 2001 and 2003
-- Brian M. Riedl -- Heritage Foundation

A 9/11 family member chides the new President for closing Guantanamo terror camp

By Michael Burke | Sunday, January 25th 2009, 4:00 AM

With his shameful order to close Guantanamo Bay, President Obama has perfectly filled the stereotype of the classic clueless ultra-Liberal - the one who can generate great passion for the rights of the guilty defendant and none for the innocent victim.

With a single stroke of the pen, Obama has delayed justice for the victims of 9/11, and in essence granted a reprieve for Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11.

America does not honor our "rule of law and the rights of man" as he put in his inauguration speech by such an action. Instead, this nation abdicated its duty to justice.

It seems the new President is too far removed from the victims of 9/11. Victims like 11-year-old Bernard Curtis Brown, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. Everyone onboard was killed, as well as 66 people in the Pentagon. Curtis was on a trip with several of his classmates to California sponsored by National Geographic.

Obama and the Democrats have had a blind spot for 9/11 and have yet to show they have an ounce of understanding what happened that day.

read the whole thing

what leftist policies have done to Detroit

How low can homes go? Try $0
By Al Lewis | Dow Jones Newswires
Posted: 01/18/2009 12:30:00 AM MST

Detroit real estate agent Ian Mason has sold homes for $1.

When I asked him to check the listings for other properties at that price, he found four more.

He then took me to a white, clapboard-sided house that his company, Bearing Group Real Estate Brokerage, has listed.

"If you want this house, you can have it," he said. "I'll just give it to you."

"I'm not allowed to accept anything of value from a source," I told him.

"Who said I was giving you anything of value?" he replied.

Earlier in the day, I'd previewed the North American International Auto Show, where the car of the year was a Hyundai. A Hyundai Genesis, to be precise, with an MSRP of $37,250. Here, even a Kia or a Pontiac listed for $16,000.

By contrast, the median price of a home sold in Detroit last month was $7,500, according to Realcomp, a Farmington Hills, Mich., multiple-listing service, down 50 percent from last year.

Mason counted 1,228 homes listed for under $10,000, 209 of which were under $1,000.

"Many of them are in pretty decent shape," he said, "and some can be lived in."

At the auto show, I had sat inside a 2009 Maybach with a list price of more than $526,000. I had no idea that for the price of this car, I could own entire blocks of the city outside.

In the neighborhood where Mason offered me a $0 house (not including closing costs, escrow, taxes, etc.), almost every dwelling was in shambles. Boarded windows. Abandoned cars. Collapsed porches. Ubiquitous graffiti.

The home across the street was charred, likely by arsonists.

We drove through snow nobody would ever plow.

"What's this place like in the summer?" I asked.

"You wouldn't be driving through here," Mason said. "There's a small chance you'd field a bullet."

Police stopped patrolling these neighborhoods years ago.

"So if I buy a $1 house, I'm going to need to hire some security?"

"Not necessarily," Mason said. "Some of these neighborhoods are so desolate, crime isn't much of a concern."


"I could take you to 30 square blocks of urban prairie."

read the whole thing

PELOSI says killing babies will help economy

Sun Jan 25 2009 22:13:43 ET | Drudge Report

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi boldly defended a move to add birth control funding to the new economic "stimulus" package, claiming "contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

Pelosi, the mother of 5 children and 6 grandchildren, who once said, "Nothing in my life will ever, ever compare to being a mom," seemed to imply babies are somehow a burden on the treasury.

The revelation came during an exchange Sunday morning on ABC's THIS WEEK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best Obama Action Figure Ever Battles Darth Vader, Terrorists, Dick Cheney

By Jesus Diaz, 4:30 PM on Wed Jan 21 2009, 76,419 views [Via Gizmodo]
This is, without a doubt, the best President Obama action figure ever: Posable, with facial expressions, interchangeable hands, katanas, 9mm gun, assault rifle, and a lightsaber, among many other complements.

Seriously, the level of detail in this thing is simply amazing. And the possibilities are endless. I mean, what could be better than El Señor Presidente fighting the forces of Evil with dual katanas? OK, scrap that. What could be better than President Obama fighting the forces of Evil armed with a lightsaber and a shotgun? Actually, forget about all this. It's silly. Just imagine R&B Barack singing a Barry White ballad to Palestinians and Israelis and all the rest of the morons tearing each other apart, bringing peace to the planet at last. Or failing that, pointing at them with his two index fingers and saying: "You, you, you. YOU!"

Must. Buy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama reverses "Mexico City Policy"

USA TODAY | January 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday quietly ended the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option.

Liberal groups welcomed the decision, while abortion rights foes criticized the president.

Known as the "Mexico City policy," the ban has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.

A White House spokesman, Bill Burton, said Obama signed an executive order on the ban, without coverage by the media, late Friday afternoon. That was in contrast to the midday signings with fanfare of executive orders on other subjects earlier in the week.

Obama tells GOP to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh



Last updated: 9:07 pm
January 23, 2009
Posted: 8:13 pm
January 23, 2009

WASHINGTON -- President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package

gonna be rich . . . becuz we have Barack O-bama

new photo of Fidel with Argentine prez

AP/Argentine Press

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mark Steyn With Hugh Hewitt

Thursday January 22, 2009
Hugh talks about the news of the week with Columnist To the World, Mark Steyn.
hear more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

Libya's Kadhafi says Obama means a 'new America'

TRIPOLI: Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, who applauded Barack Obama's election, has said the United States under the new president is a "new America."

"Today, America is a different America," Kadhafi said on Wednesday in a video link-up with students at Washington's Georgetown University, according to extracts published on Thursday by the state news agency Jana.

Kadhafi, who for years was Washington's bete noire, underscored what he said was the "need to give an historic world opportunity to President Obama and the new America ... to permit the new America to be a state that is loving of peoples and freedom."

He said he hoped Obama's campaign call for change would mean that the country is neither imperialist nor hostile to the peoples."

read the whole thing at Times of India

Miller Time

New tone from Obama campaign hasn't materialized, Jay Z and Young Jeezy have racist hate filled rant at an Inaugural Ball. O'Reilly and Miller talk about the video.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Argentine prez: Fidel Castro 'believes in Obama'

Jan 21, 5:53 PM (ET) |

HAVANA (AP) - Fidel Castro watched the U.S. inauguration on television and said Wednesday that Barack Obama seems "like a man who is absolutely sincere," Argentina's president said after meeting with the ailing Cuban icon. "Fidel believes in Obama," Cristina Fernandez said.

The meeting with Fernandez, just before she ended a four-day visit to Cuba, dispelled persistent rumors that the 82-year-old Castro had suffered a stroke or lapsed into a coma in recent days.

"I was with Fidel about an hour or more," she told reporters at the airport as she left. "We were chatting, conversing. He looked good."

Obama is now, really, truly the president

Obama takes presidential oath again after stumble

WASHINGTON (AP) — After the flub heard around the world, President Barack Obama has taken the oath of office. Again. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the oath to Obama on Wednesday night at the White House — a rare do-over. The surprise moment came in response to Tuesday's much-noticed stumble, when Roberts got the words of the oath a little off, which prompted Obama to do so, too.

Don't worry, the White House says: Obama has still been president since noon on Inauguration Day.

Nevertheless, Obama and Roberts went through the drill again out of what White House counsel Greg Craig called "an abundance of caution."

This time, the scene was the White House Map Room in front of a small group of reporters, not the Capitol platform before the whole watching world.

"We decided that because it was so much fun ...," Obama joked to reporters who followed press secretary Robert Gibbs into the room. No TV camera crews or news photographers were allowed in. A few of Obama's closest aides were there, along with a White House photographer.

Roberts put on his black robe.

"Are you ready to take the oath?" he said.

"Yes, I am," Obama said. "And we're going to do it very slowly."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

He flubbed the swearing in

It's bugging me that the crowd is chanting his name. Did that ever happen to the other presidents? I guess it helps that his name is three syllables and mostly vowels. You didn't hear Bush, Bush, Bush, or even Clinton, Clinton, Clinton did you?

Who flubbed the swearing in? Was it Justice Roberts or Obama? Campbell Brown of CNN blames Justice Roberts. My first impression was that Obama rushed it, flubbed up and forgot the words. You would think Obama would have memorized those words and burned them into his brain. Not a great way to start the presidency.

I Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Looks like Roberts was the one who messed up.

The messiah has been coronated! Nice 21-gun salute.

Now his speech.

Just wish he had said, my fellow "Americans", instead of my fellow "citizens". But hey, we are citizens of the world now aren't we! Citizen Barack, say good-bye to Citizen Bush.

This poem could have been written by a fifth grader. And the way it's being read . . . tedious.

Obama seems to tilt his head up a lot. I wonder if that's natural, or is it planned so every photo of him looks heroic?

OK, it's over.

Listen to the recording. Doesn't it sound like Di Fi pronounced "oath" of office as "oaf" of office? I did a double take when I heard that. Listen and see if you agree. Rush Limbaugh just mentioned it too, and I think he was surprised, because he's been using that word.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Venezuela's Chavez says Obama has "stench" of Bush

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:44pm EST | Reuters

CAMPO CARABOBO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday Barack Obama had the "stench" of his predecessor as U.S. president and was at risk of being killed if he tries to change the American "empire."

Most world leaders expect a new era of U.S. foreign relations when Obama, a Democrat, is sworn in as president on Tuesday after Republican George W. Bush's eight years in the White House.

But Chavez said frayed ties with Washington were unlikely to improve despite the departure of Bush, who the Venezuelan leader has often called the "devil."

"I hope I am wrong, but I believe Obama brings the same stench, to not say another word," Chavez said at a political rally on a historic Venezuelan battlefield.

"If Obama as president of the United States does not obey the orders of the empire, they will kill him, like they killed Kennedy, like they killed Martin Luther King, or Lincoln, who freed the blacks and paid with his life."

. . . Until recently, Chavez had said he hoped relations with Washington could improve. But in the last few days, he has picked up on comments he attributes to Obama accusing him of obstructing progress in Latin America and exporting terrorism.

Barack Obama Collectible Million Dollar Bills

Product Description
Our Barack Obama Million Dollar Bills are a very popular collectible item. The first African American president in our history. Give these out to all of your family and friends. Own a piece of history. Same looks and feel as real currency. Same size and shape. Printed on both the front and back. A great historical memorabilia item.

These may be worth more than our real money soon!

Mark Steyn with Hugh Hewitt - 01/15

more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

Friday, January 16, 2009

is the Obama Honeymoon starting to fade already?

Joe the Plumber owed a lot less taxes than Timothy Geithner

There's already plenty of opposition to Obama in the right-wing fever swamps of the Internets, of course. (I would link that sentence to Ann Coulter's site, but she's such a cartoon character, I don't want my vast audience to give her any traffic. That'll fix her.)

But eventually, even mainstream media outlets will turn their guns on the man who, in the eternal formulation of insider Washington, will become known as "this President." No matter how much the media was in the tank for Obama during the campaign, no matter how enthusiastic they were in celebrating the coming of BAM-A-LOT, eventually Obama and his Administration will make missteps that even the most liberal papers cannot ignore.

Monday, January 12, 2009

who knew Che was a Jew hater?

Zombie, (the protest photographer featured at LGF), was at this weekend’s antisemitic protest in San Francisco.
See more anti-Israel protesters here

NYT reporter warns of one-term Obama

By ALEXANDER BURNS | 1/11/09 7:58 PM EST

White House reporters for The New York Times predict that the market collapse will force President-elect Barack Obama to abandon for now many of his campaign promises.

If his stimulus plan "doesn’t work out, he may very well be a one-term president,” said Jeff Zeleny, who covered Obama’s campaign. “It’s hard to imagine that he could be reelected if the economy’s in the exact same position four years from now.”

Bush at his last presser: Most urgent threat facing Obama is potential for attack on America

January 12, 2009, 5:15 PM (GMT+02:00) | DebkaFile

Eight days before ending his two terms in office as US president, George W. Bush said "There is still an enemy out there who wants to attack America and Americans." The homeland is still threatened. That is the most urgent threat facing Barack Obama. He was answering media questions for the last time Monday, Jan. 12.

On the Gaza conflict, Bush said: I'm trying for a sustainable ceasefire that stops Hamas firing rockets into Israel. "The choice is for Hamas to make. The best way to achieve it is to work with Egypt to stop the smuggling of weapons used by Hamas to fire those rockets." Israel has a right to defend itself and I would hope less innocent people are hurt and humanitarian aid is expedited. Countries supplying Hamas with those weapons must stop and be forced to by international pressure.

Asked about his failure to achieve a Middle East peace, Bush quipped: "It's a long time since they've had peace in the Middle East. Vision is important." The president said most people have accepted his two-state vision and Palestinians are getting more efficient in managing security with US help. He warned: "People are willing to murder to stop the advance of freedom, "he said, citing Hamas and al Qaeda. He added: "North Korea is still dangerous, Iran is still dangerous."

Regarding the economic crisis, he said he was not comfortable approving funds for the people in who caused the crisis. "Wall Street got drunk and my administration got the hangover."

Rich people versus politicians

By Walter E. Williams | Examiner Columnist | 1/11/09 6:23 PM

Sometimes I wish there were a humane way to get rid of the rich. Without the rich for whipping boys, we might be able to concentrate on what's best for the 99 and a half percent of the rest of us.

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, with about $60 billion in assets each, are America's richest men. With all that money, what can they force us to do? Can they take our house to make room so that another person can build an auto dealership or a casino parking lot? Can they force us to pay money into the government-run retirement Ponzi scheme called Social Security? Can Buffett and Gates force us to bus our children to schools out of our neighborhood in the name of diversity? Unless they are granted power by politicians, rich people have little power to force us to do anything.

A GS-9, or a lowly municipal clerk, has far more life-and-death power over us. It's they to whom we must turn to for permission to build a house, ply a trade, open a restaurant and myriad other activities. It's government people, not rich people, who have the power to coerce and make our lives miserable. Coercive power goes a long way toward explaining political corruption.

read the whole thing

leftists' dirty little secret: they love depressions and recessions

Obama climate czar has socialist ties
by Stephen Dinan
Originally published 05:45 a.m., January 12, 2009, updated 05:45 a.m., January 12, 2009

Until last week, Carol M. Browner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick as global warming czar, was listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for "global governance" and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change.

By Thursday, Mrs. Browner's name and biography had been removed from Socialist International's Web page, though a photo of her speaking June 30 to the group's congress in Greece was still available.

Socialist International, an umbrella group for many of the world's social democratic political parties such as Britain's Labor Party, says it supports socialism and is harshly critical of U.S. policies.

The group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, the organization's action arm on climate change, says the developed world must reduce consumption and commit to binding and punitive limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr. Obama, who has said action on climate change would be a priority in his administration, tapped Mrs. Browner last month to fill a new position as White House coordinator of climate and energy policies. The appointment does not need Senate confirmation.

Friday, January 9, 2009

House impeaches Gov. Rod Blagojevich

By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
CHICAGO — The Illinois House of Representatives voted Friday to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich on a 114-1 vote, setting the stage for a trial in the state Senate that will decide if he should be removed from office.

House members who spoke before the unprecedented vote charged that he betrayed his oath of office and is not fit to lead the state. Blagojevich is the first Illinois governor to be impeached.

Obama says we need a college football playoff

Obama Unveils Intelligence Team -- sock puppet named CIA Director

Obama camp 'prepared to talk to Hamas'

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington, Friday 9 January 2009 03.18 GMT

Incoming administration will abandon Bush's isolation of Islamist group to initiate low-level diplomacy, say transition sources

photo by MATEUS_27:24&25

Venezuela: 2008 Inflation Was 30.9%, an 11-Year High

By REUTERS | Published: January 9, 2009

Venezuela’s inflation rate reached 30.9 percent in 2008, an 11-year high, the central bank said Thursday. The rising price level is among the economic challenges facing President Hugo Chávez as the global financial crisis, and particularly falling oil prices, threaten to curtail growth. The central bank also said prices rose 31.9 percent in the capital, Caracas, the highest level since 1997, outstripping the 2007 figure, 22.5 percent.

photos of the Oakland riots

Photos by hapoomoosh, kimberlywarne, The Inadvertent Gardener, and See more photos from last night tagged “oakland protests.”

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mark Steyn with Hugh Hewitt - Jan 8, 2009

Back spending plan, urges Obama
Page last updated at 00:44 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009 | BBC News

Obama warns of dire consequences without stimulus

By JENNIFER LOVEN – 39 minutes ago | AP Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday the recession could "linger for years" unless Congress pumps unprecedented sums from Washington into the economy, making his highest-profile case yet on an issue certain to define and dominate his early presidency.

"I don't believe it's too late to change course, but it will be if we don't take dramatic action as soon as possible," Obama said in a speech set to be delivered at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., outside Washington. Excerpts from his prepared text were released in advance by his transition team.

It was the fourth day in a row that Obama has made a pitch for a huge infusion of taxpayer dollars to revive the sinking economy he will inherit from President George W. Bush.

Obama's events have increasingly taken on the trappings and air of the presidency, with the speech — coming a full 12 days before he takes over at the White House — a particularly showy move. Presidents-elect typically stick to naming administration appointments and otherwise staying in the background during the transition period between Election Day and Inauguration Day, but Obama has clearly made the calculation that a nation anxious about its economic outlook and eager to bid farewell to Bush needs to hear from him differently and more frequently.

"A bad situation could become dramatically worse," Obama said, painting a dire picture — including double-digit unemployment and $1 trillion in lost economic activity — that recalled the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

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why sock puppet may not become CIA director

Hugh Hewitt discusses the controversies surrounding Barack Obama's selection of Leon Panetta as the new head at the CIA with Frank Gaffney of the Center For Security Policy.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Obama Faces Heavy Fire Over Panetta Selection

By Karen DeYoung and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 7, 2009; Page A01

President-elect Barack Obama said yesterday that he has selected a "top-notch intelligence team" that would provide the "unvarnished" information his administration needs, rather than "what they think the president wants to hear."

But current and former intelligence officials expressed sharp resentment over Obama's choice of Leon E. Panetta as CIA director and suggestions that the agency suffers from incompetent leadership and low morale. "People who suggest morale is low don't have a clue about what's going on now," said CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield, citing recent personnel reforms under current Director Michael V. Hayden.

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Hugh Hewitt with Dreier and Goldberg (Jan 05 broadcast)

Hugh Hewitt talks domestic politics with House Rules Committee ranking member David Dreier, and with National Review's Jonah Goldberg.

more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

Morning Update

Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama picks sock puppet for CIA director

WASHINGTON – Two Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama has chosen former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to run the CIA. Panetta was a surprise pick for the post, with no experience in the intelligence world. An Obama transition official and another Democrat disclosed his nomination on a condition of anonymity since it was not yet public.

Panetta was director of the Office of Management and Budget and a longtime congressman from California.

He served on the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that released a report at the end of 2006 with dozens of recommendations for the reversing course in the Iraq war.

Panetta currently directs with his wife Sylvia the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay a university he helped establish on the site of the former U.S. Army base, Fort Ord.

Putting Propaganda In Its Place

That Hamas is using bottle rockets with no explosive warheads is pretty lame either way - true or not. Either fight like men or stop with the incessant and cowardly killing of Israeli civilians every day.

The Arab and Persian world, with its billions and billions of petro-dollars and hate towards Israel -- surely it could wipe out Israel in less than six days if they had any real desire to do so. It just seems they don't want that. They want a scapegoat instead. They want someone to blame for their own failures. They want to argue and fight piddly neighborhood wars and do it endlessly, than to live in aything resembling real peace.