Here's the interesting part: Economists say it has to do with the stimulus checks we received.
Okay, so what they're telling us is that money taken out of government hands and put in the hands of the people caused the economy to grow. Wouldn't it then be logical to say that the economy would grow even further if even more money was in the hands of the people via tax cuts? Maybe it's time to not only make the Bush tax cuts permanent, but to cut taxes even more.
Expansion accelerated modestly in the second quarter as government stimulus payments helped consumers add more buying punch to the economy, a Commerce Department report on Thursday showed.
Ted Stevens is a classic example of what's wrong with life-time members of Congress. He needs to be pushed out of office immediately.
Case in point, Jonah Goldberg has put himself in line for some serious hate mail as he post a column in the LA Times today deriding ESPN for honoring Tommie Smith and John Carlos for their Black Panther salute during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. What do (or did) the Black Panthers stand for? Violence. Armed conflict with the United States. Murder of police officers. Is this what ESPN honors?
Well, of course not, they'll say if pressed. It's all about Radical Chic as Goldberg points out. It doesn't matter that Black Panthers were a black version of the Nazi Party. Honoring them makes ESPN feel good and gives them street cred and that's all that really matters. John Adams said facts are stubborn things. To the political left, they are the enemy.
The only way I can look at this is as the strongest endorsement for president John McCain could possibly hope for.
In the exchange, Reid told one reporter she should "watch the [Senate] floor more often. … You might learn something."
Another reporter explained she had watched the Senate proceedings and said it was not clear he was … offering separate amendments, to which Reid asked the reporter if she "spoke English."
"Turn up your Miracle Ear," Reid added.
Writer Andrew Klavan thinks the new Batman movie has a cleverly disguised conservative message and that George W. Bush and Batman have quite a bit in common. An interesting argument that makes me want to finally go see the movie.
"I am the Bat!"
MORE: Did a little research and I guess this theory is being debated around the Blogosphere with many liberal sites calling it conservative propaganda while some think this is an overreaction. When I go see it, I'll have the final word. Stay tuned.
Berlin, Paris, Kalamazoo. He could have given this speech anywhere. Obama goes to Berlin and winds up in Bangor. But maybe that was the point. Unlike JFK, Clinton, or Reagan, Obama's purpose in Berlin was essentially self-serving. The great cause at stake was his own campaign - not the threat of Communism, or adapting to a post-Communist world. The great purpose to which Obama was asking his Berlin audience to rally was his own presidential aspirations. Pretty thin, not the stuff of history books. And so far the American public agrees. All of the hoopla leading up to this moment has been in the press - not in the polling. Obama has yet to see a Berlin bounce. Maybe the visuals will help. The text was forgettable.
There's more to it, though. While JFK and Reagan were there to talk about the threat of Communism in Europe and said to those who favored Communism "let them come to Berlin" and demanded "tear down this wall," the underlying message in Obama's appearance in Berlin was that there is another threat that faces the continent: America. Sure, sure he said he was a proud American citizen and all that, but what he was there to do was impress upon his fellow "world citizens" that he represents a new day: the end of America exceptionalism.
Bottom line: the end of American exceptionalism would be akin to a second dark age. Call it arrogance if you must, but nothing of consequence happens on planet Earth unless it's done by America. America has liberated billions of people, it has fed billions of people, it has enriched billions of people. The last thing the world needs is for us to sit on the bench, but this is the goal of the Obama-nation.
MORE: Everyone knows that JFK made a speech in Berlin and said "Ich bin ein Berliner," but I would guess that few knew exactly why he said it. Below is his speech made at the Berlin Wall in 1963. These are the words of a true stateman and lover of liberty (emphasis mark are mine):
I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor, who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.
Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum." Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner."
I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the Free World and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it's true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. "Laßt sie nach Berlin kommen." Let them come to Berlin! Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last eighteen years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for eighteen years that still lives with the vitality and the force and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin.
While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it. For it is, as your Mayor has said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.
What is true of this city is true of Germany--real, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In eighteen years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with goodwill to all people. You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you, as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one, and this country, and this great Continent of Europe, in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner."
- John F. Kennedy
Obama is saying that the Surge in fact did not work, but coincidentally things got better in Iraq at the same exact time the Surge took place. Right?
It's a nice little video, but its fatal flaw is who it comes from: John McCain. He was once the apple of the MSM's collective eye, but now he's been pushed aside for a younger, more liberal piece of eye-candy. While the video's message is true, coming from McCain one can easily make the "sour-grapes" argument. We need to hope and pray that McCain has learned something from all this...but I'm not optimistic.
MORE: Lanny Davis has admitted it.
According to the World Bank, 16 of the 20 most pollution emitting cities are found in China. China is run by a totalitarian regime which is going to do whatever it takes to hold onto power and acquire wealth. That includes polluting the planet, which for them is a small price to pay for power and wealth. Thus, the only way to fix these cities and the planet is to topple the regime in China.
If Gore is really serious about fighting for the climate, this will be his call, this will be his quests.
But wait, maybe his desire is to destroy the United States and its capitalist system. Maybe his desire is to punish the country that denied him the White House. Maybe his desire is power and wealth. If that's the case, then he would generally leave China alone and work toward a United States that looks more and more like China. If he's serious about global warming then he would fight to change China...if not, then I would have no alternative but to assume the latter, that he is out to destroy America. Tell me I'm wrong.
It is a subject upon which he can dilate effortlessly. In his victory speech upon winning the nomination, Obama declared it a great turning point in history -- "generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment" -- when, among other wonders, "the rise of the oceans began to slow." As economist Irwin Stelzer noted in his London Daily Telegraph column, "Moses made the waters recede, but he had help." Obama apparently works alone.
It really is astounding that we've reached a point in this country where we're possibly going to elect a president on personality alone. The man has almost nothing on his resume, but he's handsome and speaks well, and for many that's all you need. But even a man with little or no paper-trail could win my support if he had a strong ideology that he believed in. Barack doesn't even have that really. Sure, he's a socialists at heart, but more than that, he's an Obamist. No belief is too sacred that it can't be thrown under the bus whether it's Iraq, gun-control, or whatever. Unbelievable.
What have I been saying? You don't have to drill to lower the price of oil, you just have to let the world know you're prepared to do it. Pelosi and Schumer know this too...they know it damn well.
MORE: The Popinjay's Senior Analyst for Economics and Coffee, a.k.a. "UJ" has this to add:
Don't forget one of the more obvious causes of high oil prices...the U.S. dollar. If you were an Italian oilman and purchased a barrel of oil in the year 2000, you would have paid 45 Euros for it. Today you would pay about 80 Euros, so oil has really only gone up about 90%, not 350% as it has here because of the devaluing of the dollar. Many uneducated people do not understand this including the MSM. Need I say more?
"They're smart enough to figure out whether they're going to drive less or not. I mean, you know, it's interesting what the price of gasoline has done," Bush said at a news conference in the White House press room, "is it caused people to drive less. That's why they want smaller cars: They want to conserve. But the consumer's plenty bright. The marketplace works."
"You noticed my statement yesterday, I talked about good conservation and - you know, people can figure out whether they need to drive more or less," he said. "They can balance their own checkbooks."
"It's a little presumptuous on my part to dictate how consumers live their own lives," the president added. "I've got faith in the American people."
Take that last paragraph to heart. There aren't many folks left in Washington that feel that way. Say what you want about President Bush, we're gonna miss him when he's gone and all that's left are Chuck Schumer Stalinists.
"Once again, the oilman in the White House is echoing the demands of Big Oil.
"The Bush plan is a hoax. It will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence. It just gives millions more acres to the same companies that are sitting on nearly 68 million acres of public lands and coastal areas.
"If the President wants to bring down prices in the next two weeks, not the next two decades, he should free our oil by releasing a small portion of the more than 700 million barrels of oil we have put in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
"It's time to tell the oil industry: 'You already have millions of acres to drill. Use it or lose it.'"
Once again, I remind you of the fact that this "millions of acres to drill" she speaks of are not oil reserves but merely land pulled out of a hat. No one knows if there is oil in these acres or not and years of study has to be done. You don't just go drilling and hoping for the best. And how the hell is releasing "a small portion" of the 700 million reserve gonna help? The Saudis must be laughing their heads off.
The state board of directors reached the decision this month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals to own handguns.
"The Nevada ACLU respects the individual’s right to bear arms subject to constitutionally permissible regulations," a statement on the organization's Web site said. "The ACLU of Nevada will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights."
"This was the consensus," said Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel for ACLU of Nevada. "There really wasn't a lot of dissent."
But the state affiliate’s position puts it at odds with the national organization.
The New York City-based ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling, saying in a statement that it interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right to own guns and not an individual one.
"In our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue," according to the position on its Web page.
It's that position that has long infuriated gun rights advocates.
Bravo. I know Gary Peck, the Executive Director of the Nevada ACLU from my days in TV news. While I didn't agree with a lot of his positions, Gary always did what the ACLU is supposed to do: defend those who don't have the means to defend themselves. This is a commendable stand by the Nevada ACLU and I hope it gives other state branches of the organization something to think about.
UPDATE: Wow! When I'm right, I'm right! Bush made a joke at his last G8 Summit today:
The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.
Translation: "&*@! you, you hypocrites, you elitists, you socialist swine! I'm right and I know I'm right and someday history will show that I'm right. Peace out!"
I've never been so proud of him.
One cannot enter a tourist bazaar without stumbling across all manner of Lenin paraphernalia, including ubiquitous metallic busts of the great man that peer inscrutably from dusty shelves. Sometimes, the head of his accomplice and successor, Joseph Stalin, stands next to him. In one market on the outskirts of Moscow, I saw a fine little statuette of Lenin seated in a chair, clearly thinking deep thoughts. I wondered what weighty matter was he pondering at the moment the artist conceived this iconic image. The annihilation of a village that would not bend to his will? The murder of a rival? Or perhaps he was thinking about killing some meddlesome shopkeepers who didn't quite see the wisdom in submitting themselves to "the dictatorship of the proletariat."
Imagine if the scene were Berlin instead of Moscow. Imagine if, near Brandenburg Gate, there stood a hundred-foot-tall statue of Adolf Hitler with his arm raised in a Nazi salute. Imagine if one could buy a bronze-plated bust of Hitler in a flea market in the Tiergarten. Imagine if one could window-shop in the Hilter-Strasse or have lunch at an outdoor café in the Hitler-Platz. Or if one could view Hitler’s body - or his ashes, perhaps - in a sacred tomb at the edge of the Alexanderplatz. Editorial pages, interest groups, and political leaders throughout the civilized world would surely howl with indignation and anger, and rightly so.
But there is no indignation. Amnesty International has nothing to say on the matter, nor does anyone else on the political Left. It's maddening for many, but all you can do is continue to teach future generations and welcome the day when Putin's generation is dead and gone.
Obama has urged greater emphasis on fatherhood, advised parents to choose reading books over playing video games and most recently told young students to stick with school and forget about a career as a rap star or professional basketball player.
Jackson said that in doing so Obama was hurting his relationship with black voters, "that the senator was cutting off his you-know-whats with the black people and black churches."
So what's he supposed to say, Jesse? Tune in, turn on and drop out?
It just goes to show you that while he says he supports him, Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to Jesse Jackson and the rest of the race hustlers. He wins the presidency, their "business" is damaged if not completely destroyed. How can you shakedown white folks for money when the president is black?
Hillary voted no.Captain Ed raises the delicious question: is she setting herself up for a netroots push at the convention? Please let it be so!
A lot of chatter on the blogs about a line in a recent Obama speech: "We have got to have a civilian national security force that is just as strong." Just as strong as the military, he means. His argument is that we cannot solve international problems with military action along and we need a separate branch of national security full of civilians with expertise in agriculture, engineering, linguistics, etc. Now for many, this conjures up images of the Hitler Youth or the Brownshirts. More specifically, what this is is an attempt to get as many people in the public sector as possible.
"If we've got a State Department or personnel that have been trained just to be behind walls, and they have not been equipped to get out there alongside our military and engage, then we don’t have the kind of national security apparatus that is needed," he said. "That has to be planned for; it has to be paid for. Those personnel have to be trained. And they all have to be integrated."
Apparently, this is a reworked version of an idea by current Secretary of Defense Gates. Altruistic or not, it means more government, more bureaucracy. Dovetail this with his call for more volunteerism from the nation's youth and you get quite the little "domestic army" indeed.
On the surface, it's not necessarily a bad idea, but you have to look at what's behind it. Take environmentalism. In reality, it's great when people decide to conserve, be less wasteful, look for alternative energy resources, etc. Those are good things, but the premise behind it is fatally flawed...the premise that mankind is destroying the planet and that consumption of any kind is bad. Here we have Obama looking to start a civilian national security force, but to what end? To help spread democracy in the Middle East? Hmmm...kinda doubt it. To be meals on wheels for the people suffering under appeased dictators? Natch. To brainwash a generation of Americans? Double natch.
And it's ultimately to our detriment in the area of safety. A civilian army has to be paid for and raising taxes ain't gonna cover it all. What then? Well, he would cut missile defense:
"I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space."
Okay, so in a dangerous world where Islamic psychos want to kill us all or at least destroy our way of life, he thinks we should cut back on defense systems that could deter these little kooks should they get nukes and instead fund an army of linguist and agronomists. Feeling safer yet?
And speaking of linguistics, Barack has some interesting ideas on the subject of learning other languages. His belief is that spoiled Americans shouldn't spend so much time worrying about whether immigrants are learning to speak English and should instead be learning to speak Spanish.
Again, here you have what is actually a good idea, but the premise underneath is ridiculous. It's always a good idea for Americans or any people on the planet to learn other languages. It makes travel easier and more enjoyable. It's a learning experience and could lead to other career opportunities. If you speak Arabic (and you're not gay), you can get yourself a very nice job with the U.S. Military. But again, the premise is completely screwed up. What he's saying is that it's our fault. When immigrants have a hard time making it America and assimilating into our society, it's our fault for not speaking their language, not their fault for not speaking ours. In the same breath, he gripes that we don't speak European languages when we visit the continent. So which is it? Is it the immigrant's responsibility or the native's responsibility to learn the other's language? As Captain Ed says, it smacks of America bashing.
This is the future, America. Either get used to it, or do something about it.
Anywho...the impetus of this post:
The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.Hopefully with the "£" tipped you off that this is from the UK. Or will it be America soon? It's hard to stay optimistic when you see that the PC crowd (or if you will, Cultural Marxists) are winning the culture war. A three-year old is labeled racist if he doesn't say "Mmmm, that's Italian!" When are people going to put up their hands and say "STOP!"?
This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.
From Gateway Pundit: Nancy Pelosi was sending messages to FARC through a surrogate, Congressman Jim McGovern while she was at the same time blocking a free trade agreement with Colombia.
Somebody should tell this guy to take all this energy for balloon flight and put it into making a battery good enough that John McCain will pay you $300-mill.
Today, we have news from an Israeli source that Syria is floating the idea of making peace with Israel and the United States by breaking links with Iran and thus tempering the terrorist state's influence in the region. In return, Syria wants the Golan Heights back and a better diplomatic standing with Washington. Now, this could be a pipe dream to end all pipe dreams, but the fact that the idea is even being discussed shows a change in the dynamic of the Middle East. I would argue much of this has to do with democracy in Iraq. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say, but the seeds for a freer, less dangerous region have been planted, and the farmer was George W. Bush.
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
That's the word on the street. Perhaps the greatest NFL Quarterback that ever lived may return to the Green Bay Packers after a short retirement. It was inevitable that he would miss playing, but I think it would be a mistake to try and go back, but it's his life.
Hitch comes down on the side that waterboarding is torture and shouldn't be used by Americans. He makes good points, but the "ticking clock" scenario still lingers. They say, how do you know the information you'll get is reliable? You don't, but when lives are in danger, can you really justify not doing everything possible?
The bottom line, whether we officially ban such interrogation techniques as waterboarding or not, what will be done will be done depending on the circumstances.
I sometimes think about guys like Hersh, Peter Arnett, et al, who made their names in Vietnam breaking big stories and then face another 40 years trying to get back to the glory days, never realizing those days are gone. They end up turning into miniature Oliver Stones, trying to convince the public to see the world through their eyes using lousy sourcing and infantile reasoning. I used to dream of being a foreign correspondent in my younger days. I guess that's why I pity guys like Hersh.