Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Democratic congressman thinks the unions should ramp it up

Actually he says, "It's time to get bloody." From the NH Journal:
Dem Rep to unions: Time to get ‘bloody’
by Patrick Hynes

A Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts is raising the stakes in the nation’s fight over the future of public employee unions, saying emails aren’t enough to show support and that it is time to “get a little bloody.”
“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members.
Capuano’s comments come at a time when there is heightened sensitivity to violent rhetoric in the wake of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-Az.) shooting in January.
Capuano is considered a leading contender to take on Sen. Scott Brown in 2012.
This is not Capuano’s first brush with violent rhetoric. Last month Capuano said, “Politicians, I think are too bland today. I don’t know what they believe in. Nothing wrong with throwing a coffee cup at someone if you’re doing it for human rights.”
You will notice I am using red for highlights today, I am seeing red over this type of politics going on in my United States of America.

We need some recruiters for our cause to combat this

I've seen this in scattered readings this morning but I am presenting the LA Times article here.  It is one of the most bold, aggressives moves I have ever seen to be put forward to keep our "grand leader" in place. 
Obama recruits an army of community organizers to carry his 'movement forward for years to come'
The community organizer who became president has launched a massive pre-reelection year campaign to assemble and train an army of new community organizers to carry Obama's "movement forward for years to come."

Strengthening "our democracy" presumably has something to do with reelecting the revered leader in 2012.

However, the recruiting message says nothing about politics or election campaigns and strangely talks in military terms of "a grassroots program that aims to put boots on the ground and help foster a new generation of leaders -- not just to help win elections but to strengthen our democracy in communities across the country."

The message about what it calls the "Summer Organizing Fellowship" adds: "Effective organizing doesn't happen in a vacuum. It takes commitment, time, and hard work to build a movement around a cause." It does not specify what the "cause" is, other than promoting Obama and his agenda.

News of the community organizer drive went out in an e-mail to millions of supporters and past donors Tuesday night by the ongoing arm of the Obama campaign, Organizing for America.

It appealed for workers of all ages to volunteer to undergo professional organizational training this summer for stationing in communities all over the nation to drive President Obama's social and political agenda.

The cadres "will be assigned to a specific community," the message informs, "where they'll work to organize supporters street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood."

Their job will involve recruiting additional Obama workers, running Obama-related events, knocking on doors to talk of Obama "and lay new groundwork to carry this movement forward for years to come."

"In the end," the Obama campaign appeal says of the community organizer corps, "their work will take our grassroots power to an impressive new level."

The appeal cites as one role model Nikki Giancola who underwent the training, then quit her middle school teacher's job to become a regional Obama field director and the satisfaction she felt "in helping millions of people."

Another community organizer, Paras Patel, tells of one unforgettable moment actually meeting the leader for whom they all labor, President Obama. "He shook my hand," Patel recounts, "and told me that he was proud of me."

No mention of an Obama organizer flag, uniform -- or salute.

-- Andrew Malcolm
Americans, be afraid, be very afraid.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It looks like gov't unions have lost the Washington Post

Three editorials from yesterday do not support them.

Our fiscal paradox: Governments too costly to function
by Michael Gerson
....To fund commitments made to the providers of services, services must be cut. So piles of money go to government pensions and benefits instead of roads, education or mental health services. This is one of the primary reasons the public resists tax increases. A tax increase used to provide an actual public service might have a shot at support. But a tax increase to prop up a system that consumes endless resources while cutting services is a harder sell.
Government pensions, an obesity epidemic
by Richard Cohen (definitely not from the Tea Party) key points:
....
Like Reagan, Walker has tapped into a feeling of disgust - the always-dangerous sense that you and I have played by the rules and saved for our modest retirements, while government workers, on our dime, have run off with pensions they do not deserve. We feel we have been played for a fool.
To their credit, some union leaders have recognized that they have gone too far. They have - or will - agree to givebacks, and the teachers unions are acknowledging that they have to do something about incompetents. (Still, if there are cutbacks, it will be done by seniority - meaning some very good but young teachers will be let go.)
......
It was one thing when unions went after giant corporations run by guys who played golf at restricted clubs. But when it comes to government workers, we are the boss and we pay the bill. To quote what Sam Spade told the woman he loved in the "The Maltese Falcon," "I won't play the sap for you." When it comes to public-sector unions, my sentiments exactly.
Public employees must help rein in unaffordable pension and benefits costs
(they are really getting strong on the position in this editorial) key paragraph:
If the government-employee union movement wants to retain public sympathy and support, it must show definitively that it understands why so many people who are not Tea Party Republicans nevertheless worry about the cost of state and local pay and benefits. After all, Democratic officials - from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo - have also targeted unsustainable personnel costs. No one should demonize public employees, who by and large are as hardworking as their private-sector counterparts. But efforts to rein in unaffordable public-sector compensation are not necessarily an attack on workers and their rights. Public-sector workers and their unions should help lead the national search for equitable, creative solutions to the fiscal crisis of the states and local governments.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obama has shown his true colors in more than one way this week

The Wisconsin fiasco as orchestrated by the Democratic Party and approved by him has just about overshadowed what he was planning to do in the United Nations by comdemning Israel.  Here are some articles about both.

‘Class War is Here’: Video of Socialists Rallying in Wis. Supports Beck’s Theory - from Glenn Beck's The Blaze

Wisconsin Madness as Seen by the ‘Little People’
No longer basking in the glow of the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl victory, my friends on the other side of the Illinois/Wisconsin border are positively beside themselves at the insane behavior of their public servants. Pajama's Media

Obama and unions: Many in labor movement frustrated with president - read all of this one, they are frustrated not with his stance with the union but for overseas jobs. His
Wisconsin/Union stance is just fine.

US vetoes UN resolution on Israeli settlements- Washington Post

The U.N. veto and the real headline -Washington Post opinion by Jennifer Rubin
The final paragraph tells the whole story:
Sure, the U.N. once again has proven itself to be a hot-bed of anti-Israel rhetoric. But let's be clear what really happened this week. The U.S. representative, while reluctantly casting a veto, joined the pack of jackals that seek to make Israel the culprit for all that ills the Middle East. Shouldn't THAT be the headline?

Friday, February 18, 2011

About that oil and gas decision I just mentioned --

This was in the Washington Examiner.
Federal judge to Salazar: Stop stalling drilling permits
By: Mark Tapscott

Federal District Judge Martin Feldman today gave President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar 30 days to act on five applications seeking permits to drill in the Gulf of Mexico submitted months ago by a Louisiana firm.

In issuing the directive to the government, Feldman, who sits on the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisian, noted that "it is undisputed that before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, permits were processed, on average, in two weeks’ time. In stark contrast, the five permits at issue have been pending from four to some nine months."

The permits were sought by Ensco Offshore, which is based in Broussard, LA. Virtually no new drilling has occurred in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, despite the fact the U.S. depends upon drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico for roughly a third of its oil and natural gas.

When that third isn't produced, it has to be replaced and that means more OPEC oil being imported by the U.S. and more of our dollars going to the international cartel. Unfortunately, Feldman doesn't seem optimistic that things are going to improve any time soon:

"It is also undisputed that these delays have put off indefinitely drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Ensco has incurred significantly reduced standby rates on its rigs and has been forced to move some of its rigs to other locations around the world. It is unclear when Gulf drilling will resume. The government’s assurances have been inconsistent."
Read more at the Washington Examiner

Equal Protection from the Obamacare bill

This is what I have been thinking since I first heard of any waivers from the law for certain states, then for certain people.  That is definitely not equal protection.  Dedroy Murdock addresses that issue in an article in National Review.
Unequal Protection You Can
Believe In
Obamacare waivers violate the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

Twenty-eight of these United States — encompassing 164 million people, 53 percent of America’s population, and 285 Electoral College votes — are suing the federal government to stop Obamacare. This litigation challenges the constitutionality of Obamacare’s mandate that individuals purchase health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to decide, once and for all, whether the Constitution’s Commerce Clause empowers Congress to force Americans to conduct commerce.

Shattering the Obamacare Death Star, however, may require slamming it from multiple directions. Hence, an additional legal strategy should address this law’s apparent violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause — which explicitly applies to the states, but which the Supreme Court has more or less hitched onto the federal government as well.

Obamacare is not being enforced equally at all. As of February 9, the Obama administration had granted 915 waivers, mainly to influential organizations, major companies, and pro-Democratic labor unions. Those less lucky or less well connected have a different option: Obey Obamacare.
Read the whole article.

Do they really not understand the Vinson Ruling or are they just playing games.

I'm pretty sure they are just playing games.   They have ignored the ruling and know they have crossed a constitutional boundary in not just the Obamacare case but in the oil drilling debacle in Louisiana. Read this.
Feds ask Florida judge to clarify meaning of health care ruling

(NewsCore) - The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to clarify the immediate impact of his ruling last month that declared the new health care law unconstitutional, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

US District Court Judge Roger Vinson in Florida, considering a challenge to the health care overhaul by a group of 26 states, ruled Jan. 31 that the entire law must be declared void. Judge Vinson found only one part of the law unconstitutional -- the provision requiring individuals to carry health coverage or pay a penalty -- but he said it was impossible to disentangle that part from the rest of the law.
If I can understand that  part why can't the administrations lawyers?

Texas has a lot of Energy and Energy Politics

This is strictly a Texas Issue- do we combine some of our agencies; do away with others; or live with the status quo?  This is from the Texas Tribune.
Energy or Railroad: Are the Politics Different?
by Ross Ramsey
What’s in a name?

Every two years, political reporters here haul out the story explaining that the Texas Railroad Commission has little to do with trains and everything to do with the oil and gas business. But that’s a little-known thing in the greater community, where work and kids’ soccer and grocery bills are of more immediate concern. It’s not like the label tells you what’s in the box. And, besides, trains are kind of cool.

But lawmakers are considering a list of changes at the agency, including the name — to the Oil & Gas Commission or to the Texas Energy Commission. Another proposal would cut the number of elected commissioners from three to one, focusing all of the attention on one election every four years. That would raise the political profile of the office and would give voters a hint at what they’re deciding.
This is just a hint of what is going on. Go to the Tribune site and read the article. Then take a look at the rest of the site.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

VDH - on the decline

Decline is in the Mind
It’s over? Really?

In the last two years, we have a heard a constant litany of “decline,” as in America is over as it once was. Fifth-century AD Rome is often evoked, as are the contemporary economic miracles in China and India to “prove” inevitable American waning. A few of the more imaginative declinists see us as Justinian’s Byzantium, a crumbling power vainly trying to hold on to a world long lost, with a Detroit no different from a half-populated failing Byzantine city in the Levant. This time around — remember our past serial crushing by the supposedly superior Soviet system of the 1950s, the Japanese, Inc. ascendancy of the 1970s, the EU soft power dominance of the 1980s, and the present Chinese supermen of the 21st century — we really, really, really are through, as if semi-literate suburban lounging American teens, with baggy pants, ears plugged with hip-hop, and sleeve tattoos will soon be slaving away to satisfy their new growling Tiger Mom People’s Republic bosses.


The gloomy prognoses come from both the anguished conservative who sees the culprit as the erosion of American individualism and self-reliance, and the new Obama coalition that thinks a sense of exceptionalism abroad is synonymous with arrogance and imperialism, and at home was symptomatic of an inherent unfairness, a downright mean country that, thank god, had to change. The one gags at the foul whiff of decline, the other sees it as an aroma of welcome reset. Both confess it is here, both unwelcomed and welcomed.

For the conservative, the depressing symptoms are staggering debt, as in the Obama administration plans to equal all the red ink of all prior administrations in nearly five or six years of planned governance (at $1.6 trillion a year that is not a hard thing to do). Surely, the president’s legacy for the next quarter-century will be ubiquitous line graphs and pie charts proving in an eye blink that the Obama administration was the mother of all borrowers. There is more, of course. We awoke one morning and suddenly General Motors was analogous to the Postal Service, its suspect, now politically incorrect competitors the far better run Fed-Ex-like Toyota or Ford. Abroad the bows, the apologies, the euphemisms for terrorism, the realignment to embrace enemies and snub friends, the deer-in-the-headlights, make-it-up-as-you-go-along diplomacy — all that was the unfortunate result of a larger desire to take the U.S. down a needed peg or two in a new multilateral fashion.

In this present age, no one in this administration in the abstract can explain why Israel is a more humane place than Syria — and why that fact deserves our preference. Or why Japan plays more by the rules than does China, or why Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic deserve our empathy and support in a way Russia does not. Or why a jail in Guantanamo is more humane than any outside the fence in Cuba. (In truth, the inmate at Gitmo has access to better food, health care, and freedom of religion than the “free” man in Castroland). In short, traditionalists are aghast at the last two years, and see it as a sort of gangrene that has spread from a long festering but heretofore treatable old wound.
I really didn't plan to copy this much of it, but there is more, much more. Go read it all.

Liberal, thy name is Irony.

One of my favorites, Richard Fernandez, writes his Belmont Club in Pajamas Media now. Today he takes on liberal irony.
Context Change
The Berkeley City Council, after passing a resolution calling for the resettlement of detainees released from Guantanamo in the United States, voted against inviting such persons to live in their fair city, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Earlier, an organization called “Move America Forward, proposed in a statement that Berkeley City Council members ‘go live in GITMO where they can hang out with hundreds of terrorists.’ The group said it would pay for their air fare.”

Meanwhile, Nir Rosen, who scoffed at Lara Logan’s assault in Tahrir Square, was fired from his position as fellow at the NYU’s Center on Law and Security. Jim Geraghty at the National Review says he never thought to see the day, but is glad the Center on Law and Security did it anyway. {read this part here]
.....
Why the outbreak of reason? A succession of recent events, from the financial crisis to the wave of unrest sweeping the Middle East, has created a new sense of mortality in everyone. Dick Morris, in an article titled “The Damage Obama Has Done,” presents a table, which while not entirely the best source for identifying the various factors which went into causing the change, nevertheless gets the point across: reality hurts. For all its shortcomings, Morris’ table best explains our new psychological world.
Be sure to read Morris' blog here.

The Corner takes on the Muslim Brotherhood; talks about Christie;

They usually have some good stuff.  Today is no exception. 

The Real Face of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Delusions of Its Supporters
by Ron Radosh

Much has been written about the Muslim Brotherhood in the past few weeks, and for good reason. Since no one disputes that at present they are the most organized and ready-to-go political force in Egypt, there exists sound worry that they are well placed to assume power — if not immediately, then in the near future.

At present, the Brotherhood leaders pledge to not seek a presidential candidate and to be content with having a place at the table, as they do in the coalition that is meeting to write a new Egyptian constitution.

Their apparent stance of moderation is leading many pundits to proclaim that they are not a threat, that they remain but one force in an Egypt whose rebellion was sparked by non-Islamist and even secular-minded Egyptians, mainly composed of the country’s youth. Some have argued that their position has been exaggerated by those dreadful neo-cons who wish only to find a new reason to extend America’s imperial reach in the region, and who want our country to be the power guiding and later putting in place the kind of government friendly to U.S. interests.
Read the rest here.
‘Put Up or Shut Up’: Christie Takes on Entitlements, Obama, and the House GOP
by Daniel Foster

New Jersey governor Chris Christie said today he believed President Obama was “missing an historic opportunity” “to do the big things” that will right the course of the country for the next generation.

“I look at what’s happening in Washington right now and I’m worried,” Christie told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, after an introduction from Henry Olsen that described him as “the most consequential governor of New Jersey in at least 100 years.” He said the president’s speech in Arizona had encouraged him that Obama had the momentum to deliver a State of the Union address that would tackle difficult issues. He even “feared as a Republican” that the president would use the speech to “cement reelection.”

“What I was looking for that night was for my president to stand up there and challenge me,” Christie said. Instead, Obama focused on “investments” (Christie used air quotes) like high-speed rail and electric cars, calling them “the big things” (a phrase, Christie noted, that he had used in his own State of the State speech two weeks prior).

“Ladies and gentlemen, that is the candy of American politics. That’s not the big things,” Christie said.

The big things, according to Christie, are entitlements: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Read it all.  Sign up for their daily newsletter, they will send you all the links.

How many more were there?

By now you all know about the CBS reporter, Laura Logan, being brutally assaulted during the uprising in Cairo. She was saved by some good people who were Muslims  and did not approve of the assault, and by about 20 police officers of the same mind. It occurs to me to wonder how many Muslim and Christian women are assaulted every day, and during that series of events, who were not saved, those whom we did not hear about? 

We read of the terrible toll taken by rape victims in those countries.  The Now women seem not to notice. the honorable Laura Bush addressed those issues.  What have we heard from the liberal women of the world? Nothing, so far as I can see.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bye bye Frannie, Bye bye Freddie

Is a little reason actually coming from the administration?  This would indicate it may be.  Maybe some of the adults are giving advice nowadays.  The Washington Post has these articles.  Guess I should go check out what the New York Times is saying about it.
Obama report on Fannie, Freddie plan may boost mortgage rates
By Zachary A. Goldfarb and Brady Dennis

The Obama administration wants to raise fees for borrowers and require larger down payments for home loans as part of a long-term effort to restructure the nation's housing market. But it warned that these measures could boost mortgage rates and make it harder for home buyers to secure the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, a mainstay of American home buying for decades. 


In a long-awaited white paper, the administration said it intends to wind down the federal mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and curtail the Federal Housing Administration to help reduce the government's outsized role in mortgage funding.

The housing finance system, which has ensured that Americans can get home loans, came crashing down in the financial crisis, helping fuel millions of foreclosures and the recession.
Obama administration proposals to reduce federal role in housing market
By Dina ElBoghdady

The future of Fannie and Freddie
The White House is going to propose a range of options to reform Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the mortgage market, which could cause changes to the face of American housing.

The Obama administration is pressing to scale back the federal government's role in the mortgage market. On Friday, it presented Congress with several proposals that would raise the costs of federally backed loans, a move designed to help the private sector better compete with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. Here are some highlights from the administration's report:

FEES

-NOW: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac negotiate "guarantee fees" with lenders. Those fees are usually included in the interest rates paid by borrowers. When borrowers fall behind or default on their mortgages, Fannie and Freddie use these fees to pay their mortgage bond holders. As for the Federal Housing Administration, it charges borrowers an annual premium that is used to compensate lenders for loans gone bad.

- LATER: The administration proposes raising guarantee fees over the next several years, which would boost interest rates on loans backed by Fannie and Freddie. Starting April 18, the FHA will raise its annual premium by a quarter-percentage point. For the vast majority of loans, the premium will rise from 0.9 percent to 1.15 percent. That means that a borrower who takes out a $170,000 mortgage (the average FHA loan size) would pay an extra $34 a month.
There is much more explanation, read it here.

Here is the startling part:(Didn't they start this mess?)
It's all about Dodd-Frank
By Ezra Klein

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be wound down. The government will continue to use taxpayer money to make it cheaper and safer for Americans to take out mortgages on home purchases. The administration is offering a range of options for how that commitment will be structured in the future, as they don't want to commit to any one path only to see the Republicans tear them apart for it. Those, I think, are the headlines out of the Treasury Department's new report on the future of housing finance. But I'd add one more: The implementation of Dodd-Frank really, really matters.
More here.

This from a Federal Reserve Member:
Federal Reserve board member: U.S. investigation into mortgage servicing has found 'widespread weakness'
By Ariana Eunjung Cha

The preliminary results of a multi-agency federal review of the mortgage industry has found "widespread weaknesses" that impair the function of the housing market and hurt consumers, according to Federal Reserve board of governors member Sarah Bloom Raskin.

"We have reached the point where this sign of failure is hindering our economy's ability to rebound," Bloom Raskin said in remarks prepared for delivery to mortgage finance executives at a conference in Utah Friday evening.

Bloom Raskin said that she has seen "little to no evidence of improvement" until now despite the government scrutiny and that things remain similar to when the crisis began in 2007.

Bloom Raskin offered what she called her "initial thoughts on how to rebuild an important but currently dysfunctional sector of the housing market."


One of the major problems, she said, is that mortgage servicing operates on a "flawed business model that creates misaligned incentives."

For instance, she said servicers are paid on an annual fee basis by loan originators but that means that they are being paid too much when the loans are current but perhaps not enough when the loans are delinquent because there are additional costs associated with managing troubled loans.

"The current model also rests on the expectation that, in good times, servicers are using some of the residual income to build out systems and procedures to handle the pressures that come with worse times," she added. "Unfortunately, as we have seen, this has not happened."

Bloom Raskin also suggested that the pooling and servicing agreements that govern securitized mortgages should be more detailed about what a servicer can or cannot do: "They should explicitly allow for loan modifications and other non-foreclosure workout actions when they are determined to lead to a smaller loss to the investor than would a foreclosure."

Bloom Raskin called on "relevant private sector actors need to think beyond their bottom line and focus on how their firms' actions are or are not contributing to the economic recovery."

While Bloom Raskin said in her speech that she did not want to dwell on how the industry came to such a crisis and instead focus on solutions, she did take some time to issue a harsh reprimand to mortgage brokers, loan originators, loan securitizers, sub-prime lenders, Wall Street investors and ratings agencies whose "selfish free-for-all," she said, "ultimately led to an economic slide the effects of which are still visible in the boarded-up houses and sheriffs' foreclosure notices posted all over America.
It's interesting to see there is some logical reasoning going on.  But nowhere have I see it said on the Washington Post that the government wishing to "spread the wealth" and create more homeowners caused the problem.  Somehow maybe they have gotten the message that people who cannot afford homes should not buy them.

An Eminent Domain fix for Texas

I found this on a blog on the Houston Chronicle site.
Senate seeks to protect property owners with eminent domain fix
By Sen. Carlos Uresti

Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, plans to offer weekly reflections of the week. Here is his fifth update of life in the Texas Legislature:

The state Senate tackled the controversial issue of eminent domain this week, sending the House a bill that provides strong new protections for Texas property owners.

I joined my colleagues in a unanimous vote on SB 18, which prohibits the government or a private entity from taking property if it is not for public use.

The measure would also give property owners more rights regarding easements across their land and -- for the first time in Texas -- allow them to repurchase property if a project doesn't show any progress in 10 years. The issue of eminent domain has been simmering in Texas for years. The Legislature tried but failed on two previous occasions to mend loopholes in the law. Both times, critics said the effort did not go far enough. Despite the stated intent of the authors and the comprehensive nature of this bill, it has critics as well.

Some say that SB 18 could still allow the taking of private property for non-public purposes through the "commingling" of government and private entities, particularly in the area of toll road development. That is no small charge, given the widespread and passionate public opposition to the proposed Trans Texas Corridor, which is no longer on the drawing board.
Read it all here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Now even Sarkozy of France gets it

I saw this in several places but Rick at Wizbang put it so well.
Now it's Sarkozy
Posted by Rick

On Monday, I referred to the lessons from Europe coming our way via Britain and before that Germany.
It's France's turn:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared Thursday that multiculturalism had failed, joining a growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.

"My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure," he said in a television interview when asked about the policy which advocates that host societies welcome and foster distinct cultural and religious immigrant groups.

"Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want... a society where communities coexist side by side.

"If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France," the right-wing president said.

"The French national community cannot accept a change in its lifestyle, equality between men and women... freedom for little girls to go to school," he said.


"We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him," Sarkozy said in the TFI channel show.
Hope in Europe.
Might it emigrate here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why I read the blogs

You learn so much you will not learn without spending 24 hours a dad perusing the web.  And I do spend many hours at it, there just isn't time enough in the day to read it all. So I do like to read them and then pass the information on to you.

This is from a blog on Investor's Business Daily. I read Ann Althouse several times a day so I knew exactly the points she had made but you may not have without my post.
If ObamaCare Is Valid, Could Congress Mandate Abortion?
By Ed Carson

Ann Althouse took down Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe’s pro-ObamaCare NYT op-ed in a trio of blog posts Tuesday. Althouse, herself a law professor, called out Tribe for trying to equate activity with choice, when there is a big difference.
In fact, the cases refer to “commercial activities,” and a switch from “activity” to “choice” is immensely important in the health care litigation, in which opponents stress that the failure to buy insurance is inactivity, not activity, and therefore beyond even the broadest interpretations the Supreme Court has ever given to the Commerce Clause.
Moreover, she points out that the liberal legal scholar is playing with fire. Arguing that society can stop the individual from making a choice now that possibly could have negative consequences down the road could undercut the philosophical case for a women’s right to choose, Althouse notes (cross-throughs in original):
If we take a similarly broad view of choice, we could say — as anti-abortion advocates do — that women who know they may be fertile have a choice when they go ahead and have sexual intercourse with a man. They can refrain from having sex, but if they go forward, they know that if they need emergency-room care that they can’t pay for get pregnant, the public will pick up the tab they can get an abortion.

From NewsBusters and not a surprise to most of us:
Major Media Miss: Muslim Brotherhood's Stated Goal Has Long Been 'To Seize U.S.' ByTom Blumer

While looking for something else, I accidentally stumbled across a 2007 item in my blog's archives that makes the current soft media treatment of the Muslim Brotherhood even more outrageous than it already appears.

In November of that year, the Dallas Morning News, covering the Holy Land Foundation terrorist funding trial, directly described what had been learned about the Muslim Brotherhood and its goals -- not in Egypt, but the in U.S. (link is to excerpt at my blog; DMN article is no longer available at Dallas.com or in the ProQuest library database):

Muslim Brotherhood’s papers detail plan to seize U.S.
Amid the mountain of evidence released in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, the most provocative has turned out to be a handful of previously classified evidence detailing Islamist extremists’ ambitious plans for a U.S. takeover.

A knot of terrorism researchers say the memos and audiotapes, many translated from Arabic and containing detailed strategies by the international Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, are proof that extremists have long sought to replace the Constitution with Shariah, or Islamic law.
From Roll Call on pensions for former members of congress
Taxpayers are likely to foot the bill for at least $26 million in pensions for former Members of Congress this year, even as Congress embraces austerity by curbing its annual pay raises and voting to slash office budgets.

That estimate, drawn from data published by the Congressional Research Service, is based on payments to 455 former Members as of October 2009 and doesn’t include potential payouts to dozens of newly retired lawmakers who are eligible to draw their pensions.
From Canada Free Press:
Obama’s Trumpeted Super Intelligence is Strictly a Myth 

From Gateway Pundit
Blow to “O”… Egyptian VP Says There Will Be No Regime Change
Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 10:34 PM

On Tuesday the Obama Administration asked Hosni Mubarak to step aside.

On Wednesday they said that transitioning power “now means yesterday.”

On Saturday morning the Obama Administration said Mubarak must stay.

On Saturday evening the Obama Administration said Mubarak should step aside.

On Sunday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Mubarak must stay in power.

Today the Obama Administration said that political reform will be a gradual process.

Is it any wonder then that the Obama Administration has alienated all sides in Egypt?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mandatory Arabic Classes Coming To Mansfield « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

I find this troubling. Shouldn't this be a voluntary thing? I agree that it should be available to interested students, but mandatory?

Mandatory Arabic Classes Coming To Mansfield « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

UPDATE BY ROCKPORT CONSERVATIVE:
After reading this I wonder if it's true or some sort of weird, early April Fool's joke:
The FLAP grant was awarded to only five school districts across the country, including Mansfield.
If it is true, what a mistake of a name. A flap about FLAP.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Just in case you were not concerned with the Egyptian Uprising here's some headlines on areas of concern

From MSNBC online:
Concerns grow over Egypt's WMD research
U.S. has been quiet about Cairo's weapons programs, but revolt changes the calculus

From Tea Party Nation
Islam and the Prospect of World War Three

Pajamas Media's Richard Fernandez in his Belmont Club - Tea Party People be sure to read this one.
The Egyptian Tea Party

Victor Davis Hanson at Pajamas Media: This one has a good history of the liberals turning on the Iraq war.
Clueless on Cairo

Roger L. Simon in, you guessed it, Pajamas Media- a good critical roundup of liberal takes:
Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood & Oyster Stew

From the Washington Post:
Egypt diplomacy: White House races to keep pace with events put in motion by protests

Also from WP:
Egypt's real parallel to Iran's revolution

More from WP:
Iran's opposition leaders hope to draw from protests in Egypt

Also from WP Robert J. Samuelson on oil and Egypt
Reminder from Egypt: The age of oil isn't going away

I haven't checked with the New York Times yet, there may be updates later.  I think the MSM is trying to keep this going, the Egyptians have grown weary of it and things will probably limp along for a while.  I'm wondering what political shenanigans we are missing while we are consumed with only Egyptian coverage.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Two Reagans on Reagan

Last night they featured both of the Reagan brothers; Ron on C-Span, Michael on C-Span 2, Book TV's After Words.  Both were very interesting. If you get a chance, go to the website and listen to both.  Ron, Jr. has the arrogance of the liberals yet he had some very good stories to tell of his Dad's life.

It is always interesting to hear tales of President Reagan and he tells some good ones. I was particularly taken by his story of when he told his father he was an atheist.  His father never gave up on him.  This story was followed by a story in the Michael Reagan segment when his dad, knowing he didn't have the time left to do it, asked him to try to get his brother to become a Christian.  Time will tell how that part of the story plays out.

View them both at C-Span.
Ron at: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Fathera
Michael at:
http://www.booktv.org/Program/12222/After+Words+Michael+Reagan+The+New+Reagan+Revolution+hosted+by+John+Avlon+Daily+Beast.aspx

Windpower Failure - Big Time!

From News Talk Radio 790 in Lubbock -
Over-dependence on Wind Power Causes Energy Emergency in Texas
By: Robert Snyder
As was discussed on the February 2nd edition of Pratt on Texas, the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) rolling blackouts across the state could have been prevented with better planning and policy.

Electrical engineer, Ross Aten, joined Robert Pratt to talk about how too many coal and natural gas power plants within ERCOT were taken offline for maintenance. Ross also explained that if you, ‘ran the numbers’, the only way ERCOT could have met peak winter demand usage is if wind energy across the state was producing at significant totals. However, because of the ice storm and lack of wind, windmills weren’t producing any energy.

That is scary to think about. ERCOT without any public proclamation or policy announcement, put all of its proverbial eggs into the ‘wind energy basket’. Or, think about it this way, because of bureaucratic policy and bad planning, millions of Texans had to deal with rolling blackouts during deathly cold conditions.

We heard some horrible stories on the show from people in Abilene that had electronics damaged, and destroyed, because of the electricity popping on and off during the rolling blackouts.

A quick aside, I know the term ‘rolling blackout’ has become accepted because it’s a temporary blackout that is supposed to ‘spread the pain’, but in reality a blackout is a blackout. It doesn’t matter how your home or business doesn’t have power. If you don’t have power, you can’t work and in many conditions, can’t live.

Luckilly (for today) [Feb 4th], the Lubbock Power & Light and Xcel Energy grids in the South Plains and Panhandle is not connected to ERCOT. I’d imagine that if those two companies systems were connected to ERCOT, the rolling blackouts would have encompassed an even larger portion of the state.
Funny we who suffered those"blackouts" didn't get this on our news.

Made in America, it still happens folks

Here is something I would not have seen if my sister (Concerned Conservative) had not posted it on Facebook. It is by Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe. It is very good to know.
Made in the U.S.A.

IN ECONOMICS AS IN APPAREL, most fashions come and go. But like the navy blazer or the little black dress, bewailing the decline of American manufacturing never seems to go out of style.
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back.
So sang Bruce Springsteen in "My Hometown," a hit song from his 1984 album, "Born in the U.S.A.". More than a quarter-century later, that sentiment (if not the song) is as popular as ever.

"You know, we don't manufacture anything anymore in this country," says Donald Trump in an interview with CNNMoney. "We do health care; we do lots of different services. But . . . everything is made in China, for the most part."

The Donald has his idiosyncracies, but on this issue, he is squarely in mainstream.

A recent Heartland Monitor survey finds "clear anxiety about the decades-long employment shift away from manufacturing to service jobs," National Journal's Ron Brownstein reported in December. The "decline of US manufacturing" is giving Americans a "sense of economic precariousness" -- only one in five believe that the United States has the world's strongest economy, versus nearly half who think China is in the lead. "Near the root of the unease for many of those polled is the worry that the United States no longer makes enough stuff." When asked why US manufacturing jobs have declined, fully 58 percent cite offshoring by American companies to take advantage of lower labor costs.

There's just one problem with all the gloom and doom about American manufacturing. It's wrong.

Americans make more "stuff" than any other nation on earth, and by a wide margin. According to the UN's comprehensive database of international economic data, America's manufacturing output in 2009 (expressed in constant 2005 dollars) was $2.15 trillion. That surpassed China's output of $1.48 trillion by nearly 46 percent. China's industries may be booming, but the United States still accounted for 20 percent of the world's manufacturing output in 2009 -- only a hair below its 1990 share of 21 percent.

"The decline, demise, and death of America's manufacturing sector has been greatly exaggerated," says economist Mark J. Perry, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. "America still makes a ton of stuff, and we make more of it now than ever before in history." In fact, Americans manufactured more goods in 2009 than the Japanese, Germans, British, and Italians -- combined.
To read the rest and see the graph go here.   I don't know about you, but I find this very reassuring about the true state of American Exceptionalism.

"Free Speech" in America and out of America

Two articles in today's Washington Post show us just how delicate free speech is in America and how it does not exist in some countries that believe they are the model for the world's freedoms.
Palin event canceled due to 'an onslaught of personal attacks
By Emi Kolawole

Former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was scheduled to speak at an event for a Colorado nonprofit group May 2, but the event was canceled the day after it was announced due to "an onslaught of personal attacks" against Palin.

Palin was to speak at the Patriots & Warriors Gala at the Infinity Park Event Center in Glendale, Colo., which was billed as an awards banquet and fundraiser for military families in need and for a grief camp for children who had lost loved ones in combat.

But the event, sponsored by the Sharon K. Pacheco Foundation, was canceled Saturday, a day after it had been announced to the media. A press release posted on the sponsoring organization's Facebook page reads, "Due to an onslaught of personal attacks against Gov. Palin and others associated with her appearance, it is with deep sadness and disappointment that, in the best interest of all, we cancel the event for safety concerns."

The press release goes on to say that no direct threats were made against Palin, nor were any made against members of the organization's staff, but in light of the shooting rampage in Arizona last month, the negative rhetoric "raises concern for her safety and the safety of others despite the call for civility in America."

"The organization deeply respects Sarah Palin," reads the release, "and appreciates her willingness to come and honor our military. The organization plans to host the event at some point in the future, featuring another speaker."

The cancellation of the speaking engagement frees Palin to attend the NBC/Politico Republican presidential primary debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in California, also scheduled for May 2. But none of the potential 2012 Republican candidates have said they will attend.
(h/t Denver Post)
What a spoiled lot we are when we do not allow free speech of an opposing view to ours.
The same is true for the organizations who threaten and bully in Switzerland.  You will notice though, it was organized by an organization based in New York.  I am ashamed for some of my country men.
Bush trip to Switzerland called off amid threats of protests, legal action
by Peter Finn

A planned trip to Switzerland by George W. Bush was canceled after human rights activists called for demonstrations and threatened legal action over allegations that the former president sanctioned the torture of terrorism suspects.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and several European human rights groups
said they were planning to file a complaint against Bush and wanted Swiss prosecutors to open a criminal case against him once he arrived in the country. (ed.note there is nothing like a holier than thou to make the issues clear, politics is the issue)
In what would have been his first European trip since leaving the presidency, Bush was scheduled to speak in Geneva on Feb. 12 at a dinner in honor of the United Israel Appeal. A lawyer for the organization said Bush's appearance was canceled because of the risk of violence, and that the threat of legal action was not an issue.

"The calls to demonstrate were sliding into dangerous terrain," the lawyer, Robert Equey, told the Swiss daily Tribune de Geneve.

A spokesman for Bush said the former president regretted that his speech was canceled.

"President Bush was looking forward to speaking about freedom and offering reflections from his time in office," David Sherzer said in an e-mailed statement.

Sherzer said that Bush has traveled to Canada, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East since leaving office.

Organizers of a rally outside the Hotel Wilson, where the speech was scheduled to take place, had called on demonstrators to each bring a shoe, an effort to echo the assault on Bush during a news conference in Baghdad in 2008 when an Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at him. ( oh yes, definitely politics!)The Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement that they had planned to bring the complaint under the Convention Against Torture on behalf of two of men, Majid Khan, who remains at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Sami al-Hajj, a former Al Jazeera cameraman who was released in May 2008. The 2,500-page complaint will not be filed in court, but will be released Monday at a media event in Switzerland."Whatever Bush or his hosts say, we have no doubt he canceled his trip to avoid our case," the Center's statement said. "The message from civil society is clear: If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

A Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman told the Associated Press that the country's Justice Ministry had concluded that Bush would have immunity from prosecution for any alleged actions while in office. The Center for Constitutional Rights disputed that interpretation, arguing there is no such immunity under the Convention Against Torture.
The Center, and its European partners, earlier filed suits against former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials in Germany and France. Those cases were dismissed.

Egypt Invites the Arsonists to put out the fire

The Egyptian government, whatever that means, has met with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not good news for America.  This is being touted by the New York Times and Fox News.
The NYT headline:
Muslim Brotherhood Joins Egypt Talks
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood joined other opposition groups meeting with Vice President Omar Suleiman on Sunday in what seemed a significant departure in the nation’s uprising and political history.
The Brotherhood is an outlawed Islamist organization often depicted by the authorities as committed to the overthrow of the secular order in the heart of the Middle East. Official attitudes toward it here have swung between outright repression and reluctant tolerance. But it has remained Egypt’s biggest opposition force against the autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
After the meeting had started, The Associated Press said that talks included some of the top issues for the opposition — including freedom of the press and the release of those detained since antigovernment protests started — as well as agreement to begin setting up a structure to study amending the country’s constitution.

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, Gamal Nassar, said the huge and sometimes violent demonstrations that have paralyzed Cairo for 13 days, reverberating around the Middle East, would continue “until the political path can have a role in achieving the aspirations of the protesters” — an apparent reference to their goal of removing Mr. Mubarak.

Mr. Nassar said mediators had brokered the encounter with Mr. Suleiman, who Saturday received public backing from the Obama administration and other Western governments that confirmed him as the West’s choice to guide any transfer of power.

“The brothers decided to enter a round of dialogue to determine how serious the officials are achieving the demands of the people,” Mr. Nassar said. “The regime keeps saying we’re open to dialogue and the people are the ones refusing, so the Brotherhood decided to examine the situation from all different sides.”

“The Egyptian regime is stubborn, and cannot relinquish power easily,” he said. “In politics, you must hear everyone’s opinions.”

Another member of the Brotherhood, the former lawmaker Mohasen Rady, said the organization had not abandoned its demand for Mr. Mubarak’s ouster. “He can leave in any way the regime would accept him to leave, but it has to be that he is out,” he said.
Read the rest here.

Fox News:
Egypt Makes New Concessions to Opposition Groups

CAIRO -- Egypt's vice president met a wide representation of major opposition groups for the first time Sunday and agreed to allow freedom of the press, to release those detained since anti-government protests began nearly two weeks and ago and to lift the country's hated emergency laws when security permits.

Vice President Omar Suleiman endorsed a plan with the opposition to set up a committee of judiciary and political figures to study proposed constitutional amendments that would allow more candidates to run for president and impose term limits on the presidency, the state news agency reported. The committee was given until the first week of March to finish the tasks.

The regime also pledged not to harass those participating in the anti-government protests, which have drawn hundreds of thousands at the biggest rallies. The government also agreed not to hamper freedom of press and not to interfere with text messaging and Internet.

Sunday's meeting was the broadest representation of Egypt's fragmented opposition to meet with the new vice president since the protests demanding the immediate ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak began on Jan. 25.

The opposition groups represented included the youthful supporters of leading democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei, who are one of the main forces behind the protests.

The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, and a number of smaller leftist, liberal groups also attended the meeting, according to footage shown on state television.

Mubarak, Egypt's ruler of nearly 30 years, has rejected calls to step down immediately and instead promised a package of unspecified political reforms -- part of a series of concessions the regime has made in an unsuccessful bid to quell the protests.

The two sides also agreed at the meeting that the government would open an office that would field complaints about political prisoners, according to the state news agency.

The government also pledged to commission judicial authorities to fight corruption and prosecute those behind it. It agreed to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the yet unexplained disappearance of police from Cairo's streets more than a week ago, which unleashed a wave of lawless looting and arson.

Egypt's emergency laws were imposed by Mubarak when he took office in 1981 and they have been in force ever since. The laws give police far-reaching powers for detention and suppression of civil and human rights. Lifting the laws has been a longtime demand by the opposition.

Read more.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Is this the Answer for Egypt?

It seems to be the truth, but is there really any answer at all?  From The Daily Beast by  Leslie H. Gelb.
Obama's Egypt Flip-Flop
U.S. media pundits are intoxicated with protests and naïve about religious and military extremists—and the White House's daily policy shifts aren’t helping, writes Leslie H. Gelb. Plus, full coverage of the Egypt uprising.

As the Egyptian earthquake rumbles into its second week—with implications for U.S. security in the Middle East rivaling those for the Soviet Union during the 1989 uprisings in Eastern Europe—three matters roil my mind:

First, most of the American talkocracy is now so utterly intoxicated with protestocracy, which they call democracy, that they outright neglect the enormous trials of getting from the streets to a real democracy. It's hard as hell, and the process lends itself to hijacking by extremists.


Second, the Muslim Brotherhood jumps immediately to mind as hijackers, but don't overlook the potentially equal or greater threat to democracy from Egypt's beloved armed forces. The history of venomous domestic and foreign-policy pronouncements by the MB should keep us all awake at night. And never forget that the murderers of the great President Anwar Sadat were Muslim Brothers embedded in the army. All who ignore this history are naïve, best suited to cable-TV commentary, not policymaking.

Third, the Obama White House hasn't helped matters by shifting policy ground almost daily, causing confusion, and thereby squandering America's credibility and limited but precious influence. President Obama has got to learn the fundamental rule of dealing with careening crises: State your basic principles and then shut up publicly! (Meaning, just boringly repeat your mantra daily.)

I'd like to believe that, if I were an Egyptian, I would be in the streets with the protesters. I'd be mad as hell with Mubarak and would want to get rid of him as quickly as possible. But that wouldn't make me or my fellow mobsters democrats. Generally, one cannot count on mobs, no matter how nice or liberal or unfilled with hatred, to produce democracies.

The United States has no power to shape events in Egypt, but it does have real influence. Using that influence effectively absolutely requires consistency out of the White House. That has not been forthcoming.

The best way to get from the streets of Cairo to some semblance of a constitutional government that ensures rights and freedoms is, of course, to get Mubarak and his lot to help with the transition from dictatorship to the desired end. That's what the Obama administration is now trying to do behind the scenes. And that's the right approach. The protestocracy is justifiably skeptical of involving Mubarak and his bunch in any capacity whatsoever. And that's understandable because he disappointed and lied to them so many times before. And they're afraid that if they get out of the streets and let him take the lead, Mubarak will revert to business as usual or worse. I'd think that way if I were in their shoes as well.
Read the rest of this man's wise words here

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tea Party for Dummies, at last we are explained in a way even liberals can understand

From Politico
'Tea Party' for dummies
By CURT ANDERSON
I’m fed up with all the foolishness written about the tea party. Virtually all the analysis has been off base. Liberals don’t get it. Democratic political players mistakenly think they can use it against Republicans. And the Republican establishment is cowed and terrified.

First, there should be a rule that no one can write about the tea party without attending events outside the Beltway. Here is what you would find: a mishmash of Americans who are a bit unusual yet oddly refreshing. There would be housewives with strollers, young people with edgy signs, old-timers with walkers, bikers with flags and Republican workers handing out literature that no one wants.
Like any political event, there would be smart people and dumb, well-intentioned folks and troublemakers, folks with their lives together and folks who need medication. There are clever signs and stupid signs.

Sometimes emotions run high. I saw a confrontation last year at a tea party event in Madison, Wis., between an obnoxious young “protester,” wearing a “Feingold for Senate” T-shirt, and a grizzled Vietnam veteran. The protester was filling the air with expletives, so the vet came over and said he was going to shove his cane down the protester’s throat. Sadly, the protester immediately stopped exercising his First Amendment rights.

I love it when enlightened pundits observe that there are “crazy people” at these events. No kidding. Ever been to a Democratic or Republican convention? Plenty of attendees would not pass a CT scan. Ever been to a PTA meeting? There are crazy people in America, on your TV and in your neighborhood. You may even be one of them. Deal with it.

Republican leaders are grappling with the tea party phenomenon as we speak. While publicly genuflecting to the tea party, many are privately scared and embarrassed. What do its members want? Are they trying to take over? How do we deal with them? It’s the cause of much consternation on the D.C. cocktail circuit.

A little history: My first job in politics began in 1984. There was a different, yet in many ways similar, dynamic afoot. This thing, which the media pejoratively labeled “the religious right,” had emerged as a political force and was threatening to upset the seating chart in the Republican universe.

Hand-wringing was everywhere. The late Jerry Falwell’s moral majority and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition were the proverbial Huns at the gate — threatening to crash the party.

The religious right had a beef with the GOP: The party was not conservative enough, particularly on cultural issues. President Ronald Reagan was the exception, not the rule. Rep. Bob Michel and Sen. Howard Baker were the moderate rulers on Capitol Hill — and were suspect.
There is a lot more in here comparing the Tea Party to the Christian Right showing the differences............
Today, the tea party movement presents the GOP with a similar challenge — albeit with its own unique wrinkles. If it was sometimes difficult to figure out who was in charge of the religious right, it’s impossible to do so with the tea party. For one thing, tea partiers are suspect of anyone who wants to be in charge or any party that wants to harness them.
.......
The tea party remains a movement. As such, it is darn near impossible to contain, organize or control. Don’t waste your time trying. Call it rugged individualism.

You can either appeal to its concerns by voicing the issues it cares about, or you can try to organize and control it. If you choose the latter approach, good luck.

In the tea party world, structure is bad, political parties are corrupt, politicians are liars and authority is suspect. In other words, members are just like my kids and American voters — but a little more so.

Many Republican elites fret about the downsides of the tea party. They point to the disastrous failure to beat Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada or to the absurd TV ad that began with the genius phrase, “I’m not a witch.”

Yep. You have some of that. Democracy is messy. But you also have some benefits — like control of the House. Let’s face it, at the end of 2008, the Republican Party was almost out of gas, having been routed in two consecutive elections.

The energy of the tea party movement, in concert with tremendous help from President Barack Obama and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), created the potential for the Republican landslide of 2010. This is not an arguable point.

So enough hand-wringing already.

Curt Anderson is a Republican strategist and a partner at OnMessage Inc., a GOP media and polling firm. He co-wrote Gov. Bobby Jindal’s book “Leadership in Crisis.”

Read it all here.  You might want to print it out and have it handy to hand to your liberal friends who don't get it.

Who Do We Believe? Probably they are both the truth. Egypt is in Chaos

This first hand account from Greg Palkott from Fox News:
Bloody in Cairo: A Firsthand Account
CAIRO, Egypt – It was Wednesday afternoon. We were covering the clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters near Tahrir or Liberation Square in Cairo.

A short time after we started our shooting, cameraman Olaf Wiig was threatened by a small group of pro-Mubarak thugs.

We ducked down an alley. It turned out to be a dead end, so we dashed into a nearby building.

At first it was a perfect vantage point to cover the street battle. Then it quickly turned into a battle station for the pro-government side.

Olaf, producer Ibrahim Hezbroun, a Canadian journalist, and myself hunkered down in an apartment in the back of the top floor.
Go to here to read the full battle account, I am cutting the length to give you his take on the culprits.
Then when the hospital staff said we were good to go, we were still held by the authorities. We were jammed into the back of a small jeep, driven across town, held blindfolded at the Ministry of Military Security, marched lock-step to a location, then videotaped and photographed as if in a line-up.

We were later to learn other journalists were treated the same way.

When I looked around at the people there, in plain clothes, some with guns, many with angry faces, all of a sudden it came full circle.

I felt I was back in Tahrir Square with the pro-Mubarak thugs.

Still blindfolded, we were thrown back into the jeep and driven to another location. Happily it was not to some jail for political prisoners, but to a car with those working to get us free.

In a half an hour we were with the Fox team set for a later trip home.

The experience we endured filled us with revulsion at those Egyptians who use violence and repression and those in higher places who support those actions. It also filled us with a deep admiration for the good and courageous Egyptians who will be continuing the struggle today and the days to come, who are putting their own lives on the line.

Hopefully they’ll come out on the other side of this with a better country.
This article blames Mubarak also, but in a different way.
Islamist Muslims Attack Two Christian Families in Egypt, Killing Eleven
Two Islamists groups Killed eleven Copts, including children

News of a massacre of two Christian Coptic families by Islamists just emerged from Upper Egypt with the return of the Internet connections after a week of Internet blackout by the Egyptian regime. Two Islamists groups, aided by the Muslim neighbors, descended on the roof of houses owned by Copts, killing eleven Copts, including children, and seriously injuring four others. 
These events are sickening.  I hate to think what will happen to the Coptics or other Christian sects if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over.  Read the whole story.