Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 10 Corrupt Politicians

Bruce linked this at No Looking Backwards.

Read the details. These scumbags no doubt will have a long and successful career in politics.

  1. Chris Dodd (second year on the list)
  2. John Ensign
  3. Barney Frank
  4. Timothy Geithner
  5. Eric Holder
  6. Roland Burris/Jesse Jackson, Jr.
  7. Barack Obama (third year on the list if you ignore dishonorable mention)
  8. Nancy Pelosi (third year on the list)
  9. John Murtha (dishonorable mention a couple of times)
  10. Charles Rangel (second year on the list)
I wonder how Reid, Conyers and Feinstein got off the list. Or maybe this list has gotten that much scummier. I guess Hillary finally got off the list because she's an appointee now and not an official political scumbag.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Obama's Xmas Present to Fannie and Freddy Execs

Did we just hear about what bastards the Wall Street guys or the Bankers were for paying out big bonuses, even when they were contractually required or just deserved? Well, apparently Obambi is now throwing money bonuses at Freddy and Fannie execs. Well that and handing them huge wads of money to accelerate their destruction of the economy.

Best of all, he hides it by handing it all out on Xmas eve.

The Obama administration pledged Thursday to provide unlimited financial assistance to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an eleventh-hour move that allows the government to exceed the current $400 billion cap on emergency aid without seeking permission from a bailout-weary Congress.

The Christmas Eve announcement by the Treasury Department means that it can continue to run the companies, which were seized last year, as arms of the government for the rest of President Obama's current term.

But even as the administration was making this open-ended financial commitment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disclosed that they had received approval from their federal regulator to pay $42 million in Wall Street-style compensation packages to 12 top executives for 2009.

The compensation packages, including up to $6 million each to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's chief executives, come amid an ongoing public debate about lavish payments to executives at banks and other financial firms that have received taxpayer aid. But while many firms on Wall Street have repaid the assistance, there is no prospect that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will do so.

But hey, don't worry, he's and his lackies are only hear to try and help the little guys.

Can't Give a Straight Answer

This baffled me when I saw it and I still can't figure out how she made the statement. It is obvious that the system failed terribly.
Making the rounds of the Sunday news shows, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared, "One thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked."

That drew the fire of Republicans and other critics, who said a tragedy had only been narrowly averted.

On morning news shows today, Napolitano sought to clarify her remarks, saying she was referring to the system of quickly notifying other flights and law enforcement on the ground.

"Our system did not work in this instance," she said on NBC's "Today" show. "No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way."
Of course the Republican critics were wrong as well. It wasn't averted, the attack failed. Averted would mean that someone did something to stop it. At the point anyone did anything the device was a failure.

Napolitano should be angering people with such statements. Be truthful right from the beginning. Don't choose what you meant the answer to be. Answer directly.

Of course the terrorists succeeded. The flight the next day to Detroit had the crew freaking out about a guy who was sick. Not to mention all the changes to the internal monitoring, that had nothing to do with the issue in the first place.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Obama's Afghan Policy

You can find the speech and transcript at Small Wars Journal.

Looks like it's not popular. The military types don't like it, putting it mildly, and the loony left, better known as "the base" don't like it either. James Taranto has a decent piece discussing some points. (title link) I especially enjoyed reading Rumsfeld's response that he linked to. I'm oh so very tired of hearing about how someone else buggered it up while the ditherer in chief delayed for months.

I personally preferred the drunk blogging of it. Stephen Green makes it easier to swallow especially with a martini (or bucket of vodka) chaser.

A couple of entries at Blackfive gives some taste of what military types are thinking.
Uncle Jimbo has this bit. Though I am a bit pained by the Palin quote he starts the discussion with.

UPDATE: Sarah Palin makes an interesting statement.

At long last, President Obama decided to give his military commanders much of what they need to accomplish their mission in Afghanistan. In the end, he decided to endorse a “surge” for Afghanistan, applying the counterinsurgency principles of “clear, hold and build” that worked so well in Iraq. Given that he opposed the surge in Iraq, it is even more welcome that he now supports a surge in Afghanistan.

I'm sorry did I miss something? He never said he was gonna do COIN and he certainly didn't say anything about "clear, hold and build". He didn't articulate any strategy at all. He had a goal of knocking back the Taliban, but didn't mention what our troops were going to do. Let me know if I missed something.

He also has a short bit here.

McQ (usually at QandO) has this piece.

Robert Haddick at SWJ has an interesting piece on the strategy. Here's a pretty damning bit that he starts off with.
The most controversial feature of President Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan is his decision to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from the country in July 2011. This feature (no doubt aligned with his re-election plans – why else withdraw troops at the start of the Afghan summer fighting season?) is a fatal flaw and makes it very likely that little will go right for his Afghan strategy. Indeed, it negates the point of hastily adding over 30,000 U.S. and European soldiers in 2010.

Over the past three months President Obama and his team have analyzed the Afghanistan problem from first principles. Yet in spite of this effort, their solution is not likely to make the problem go away. Regrettably, the next few years are likely to reveal that America still lacks a winning strategy for modern irregular conflict.

Yep, I pretty much read this all as only politics. No doubt it ends up outside of politics, but the calculations only came up with a strategy that will help him get re-elected. Anyone surprised?

Lots of other links, but I have to go to work.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Shoe Based Karma

Heh, this kills me:

PARIS (Reuters) - An Iraqi reporter imprisoned for throwing his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush found himself on the receiving end of a similar footwear attack in Paris on Tuesday.

Muntazer al-Zaidi, whose flare-up against Bush last December turned into a symbol of Iraqi anger, was speaking at a news conference to promote his campaign for victims of the war in Iraq when a man in the audience hurled a shoe at him.

Now that's karma.