Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just the Facts

AP fact checking Obama's SOTU. I found this interesting:

OBAMA: "I've called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can't be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans."

THE FACTS: Any commission that Obama creates would be a weak substitute for what he really wanted — a commission created by Congress that could force lawmakers to consider unpopular remedies to reduce the debt, including curbing politically sensitive entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That idea crashed in the Senate this week, defeated by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Any commission set up by Obama alone would lack authority to force its recommendations before Congress, and would stand almost no chance of success.

Makes you wonder when the Congress will get upset with Obama grabbing at their responsibilities.

This is good too:

OBAMA: Drawing on classified information, he claimed more success than his predecessor at killing terrorists: "And in the last year, hundreds of al-Qaida's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed — far more than in 2008."

THE FACTS: It is an impossible claim to verify. Neither the Bush nor the Obama administration has published enemy body counts, particularly those targeted by armed drones in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. The pace of drone attacks has increased dramatically in the last 18 months, according to congressional officials briefed on the secret program.

I guess I can give him the credit on that one. Not that it matters really. His dawdling around doing anything in Afghanistan did more damage than his drones have done good, so maybe he'll now let the generals actually do their jobs.

Oh, and one very poorly covered fact, that the ONE didn't bother discussing is Iraq.
December was the first month since the beginning of the Iraq war in which there were no U.S. combat deaths, the U.S. military reported.

There were three noncombat fatalities.

"That is a very significant milestone for us as we continue to move forward, and I think that also speaks to the level of violence and how it has decreased over time," said Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Must be related to the Iraqi's stepping up and taking the casualties in Harry Reid's "lost war."

November recorded the lowest casualty figures for Iraqis since the U.S.-led invasion, with 88 civilians killed and 332 wounded. In addition, 12 Iraqi soldiers died in November and 44 were wounded. Among Iraqi police, 22 died and 56 were wounded.

Previously, January 2009 had the lowest Iraqi civilian casualty figures since 2003. Since then, figures had been fluctuating, with August being the deadliest month for Iraqi civilians in more than a year.

Now just imagine a world where Obama would give at least the military credit for getting it right.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

McCain-Feingold Reversed

Looks like the McCain-Feingold suppression of political speach law has been seriously reversed.
The ruling represents a tremendous victory for free speech and a serious blow to proponents of campaign-finance “reform,” who have roundly denounced the ruling and have all but predicted the downfall of the Republic as a result. But the reformers’ rhetoric is just that; the Court’s ruling will simply result in a more diverse mix of political speech, and that is a good thing for American democracy.

The ruling in Citizens United is a straightforward application of basic First Amendment principles: “When Government seeks to use its full power . . . to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”
I have to say, I really am fascinated at just how many of the Dems are coming down against this. Especially telling is the fact that all the liberal justices dissented from most of the findings. So much for those bastions protecting your rights. I just don't see why the politicos on both sides can't realize that those rights were codified because they were of extreme value. Get Obambi's whine:
"With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. ... We are going to talk with bipartisan congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision." - President Barack Obama.
What forceful response would you like? And what response would not be unconstitutional? It's a victory for everyone, not just big companies.

Also, the disclosure and disclaimer parts of the bill are still standing. If anything this is the part that will aid in transparency and detection of corruption.

** Disclosure requirement: Any corporation that spends more than $10,000 in a year to produce or air the kind of election season ad covered by federal restrictions must file a report with the Federal Election Commission revealing the names and addresses of anyone who contributed $1,000 or more to the ad’s preparation or distribution.

** Disclaimer requirement: If a political ad is not authorized by a candidate or a political committee, the broadcast of the ad must say who is responsible for its content, plus the name and address of the group behind the ad.

Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter as the Court upheld those requirements.

I understand the finding is very large, so it will be interesting to see what comes out in the analysis.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Global Warming Demonstrably Disproven - Hell Freezes Over in MA

OK, I am still having problems with this. I'm quite pleased, mainly because I can't wait to see the Democratic leaderships head exploding. I'm even stunned that Coakley is reported to have conceded. At lest the BoGlob said so. Very strange times.

Now let's see how Deval can try to delay Brown's taking the seat, if he dares.

Then there is the play of the Senate Dems to get in a vote before he's seated. Or if that fails they can use the nuclear option. But I'm sure they won't choose that. They think this is bad, they play that game and 2010 regular elections will be a catastrophe. And personally, I don't want to see the Republicans with a super majority either. Well, unless the Dems do rush healthcare "reform" through. Then I could live with it for just long enough to repeal that abomination.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Government Meddling Mess

I'd be surprised if this didn't cause a mess. As usual the politicians put in place a foolish law and its results are warping the economy and damaging industry. This is a Bush mess that was brought to you by a democratically controlled congress.

It sounded like a good idea: Provide a little government money to convert wood shavings and plant waste into renewable energy.

But as laudable as that goal sounds, it could end up causing more economic damage than good -- driving up the price of raw timber, undermining an industry that has long used sawdust and wood shavings to make affordable cabinetry, and highlighting the many challenges involved in decreasing the nation's dependence on oil by using organic materials to create biofuels.

In a matter of months, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program -- a small provision tucked into the 2008 farm bill -- has mushroomed into a half-a-billion dollar subsidy that is funneling taxpayer dollars to sawmills and lumber wholesalers, encouraging them to sell their waste to be converted into high-tech biofuels. In doing so, it is shutting off the supply of cheap timber byproducts to the nation's composite wood manufacturers, who make panels for home entertainment centers and kitchen cabinets.

Imagine if politicians just did nothing for a while. Things would go so much more smoothly.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Obama's EO and that Inconvenient Constitution

This is startling.
Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945.

By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates - now operates - on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Go and read it. INTERPOL can now arrest anyone in the country and completely ignore our constitution. No fourth amendment protections. Makes you wonder how many CIA and Military personnel will now be hauled off to the ICC for war crimes by the definition of those fuckers.