Tarry for the Nonce

February 9, 2010

The Top 10 Most Corrupt Politicians

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 5:54 pm

This is couple months old, but for thems that missed it, Judicial Watch has published their list of the ten most corrupt politicians for 2009:

1. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) – for accepting kickbacks from financial firms and undervaluing his foreign property. He has had a formal Senate ethics complaint filed against him.
2. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) – for misusing the power of his office to cover up an extramarital affair. He is being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee.
3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) – for misusing the power of his office to influence the Treasury Department and for accepting kickbacks from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in exchange for his support.
4. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner – for tax evasion, misrepresenting his (not insignificant) role in the AIG bonus scandal, and employing illegal aliens.
5. Attorney General Eric Holder – for repeatedly refusing to investigate charges of corruption, obstructing investigations and employing double standards of judicial enforcement along party lines.
6. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL)/Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) – for suspicious involvement in the buying selling of Obama’s senate seat. One man has already gone to jail.
7. President Barack Obama – for possible involvement in the selling of his Senate seat, for breaking federal laws regarding the logging of White House visitors, for using taxpayer dollars to have the NEA publish pro-administration propaganda, and for systematically appropriating control of the private sector.R
8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – for using taxpayer money and the American military for her personal travel, for lying about her knowledge of CIA waterboarding techniques, and for ignoring corruption within her party as a party leader.
9. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) – for tax evasion, for undervaluing his net worth by $1M in his financial disclosure forms, and for improperly using his influence to provide tax loopholes for his major contributors.

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) was also included on this list for accepting kickbacks from the PMA lobbyist group in exchange for tens of millions of dollars in earmarks, and charges of nepotism in regards to defense contracts, but he died Monday. He considered himself a “deal maker” and repeatedly stressed that Congress was all about “making deals” to benefit one’s constituents. I suppose it’s all in one’s perspective.

Obama’s Approach to Terrorism

Filed under: News, Politics — lmwalker @ 5:22 pm

I’ve read several articles in the same vein over the last month, and it’s so very true that Obama – for all his grandiose blustering about change in terrorist policy – has effectively maintained the status quo:

[T]he Administration has tried to break from its predecessors on several big antiterror issues, and it is on those that it is suffering the humiliation of having to walk back from its own righteous declarations . . .

Begin with Mr. Obama’s executive order, two days after his inauguration, to shut the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay within one year . . . Mr. Obama’s deadline has come and gone, and Guantanamo remains open. In part this is the result of political opposition from Americans—including many Congressional Democrats—who understandably do not want terrorists in their backyards. Another problem is that European allies, while pressing for Guantanamo’s closure, have been reluctant to accept more than a handful of detainees who are deemed suitable for release. The upshot is that Congress may never appropriate the money to close Gitmo, and Mr. Obama never mentioned the prison in his State of the Union address.

Policy Failure One.

The Administration similarly has been backing away from its intention, announced in November, to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other enemy combatants in civilian court a few blocks from Ground Zero . . . Mr. Obama himself responded to criticism by suggesting that what he had in mind was a series of show trials, in which the verdict and punishment were foreordained. When NBC’s Chuck Todd asked him in November to respond to those who took offense at granting KSM the full constitutional protections due a civilian defendant, the President replied: “I don’t think it will be offensive at all when he’s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.” Mr. Obama later claimed he meant “if,” not “when,” but he undercut his own pretense of showcasing the fairness of American justice . . . In the event of an acquittal or an overturned conviction, it would be entirely legitimate under the laws of war to continue holding KSM and the others as enemy combatants. But this would defeat the moral rationale of a trial and require the Administration to explain why it was continuing to detain men whose guilt it had failed to establish in court.

Policy Failure Two.

A third policy under increasing criticism is the Administration’s approach to interrogation . . .Mr. Obama declared that responsibility for interrogating detainees would shift from the CIA to a new, FBI-led High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which would employ only tactics that are “noncoercive” or approved by the Army Field manual . . .Then came the attempted Christmas bombing . . . On [Attorney General Eric] Holder’s order, investigators immediately classified him as a criminal defendant. After interrogating him for just 50 minutes, they advised him of his right to remain silent, which he promptly exercised. Fifty minutes was plenty of time, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs assured “Fox News Sunday” viewers last month: “Abdulmutallab was interrogated, and valuable intelligence was gotten as a result of that interrogation.” Mr. Holder told Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter last week that Abdulmutallab “more recently . . . has provided additional intelligence to the FBI”—which is encouraging if true, but makes Mr. Gibbs’s earlier assurance look empty.

I wouldn’t immediately classify this as a policy failure, but we don’t know what was done to elicit the additional intelligence. If his artificially imposed civil rights were still in place, then one may presume he gave up the information voluntarily, but he seemed a reluctant attacker in the first place. Can we rely on future attackers being so magnanimous?

Personally, I am glad that Obama has responded to public opinion and has opted not to exercise some of the more nonsensical points of his hearts-and-flowers policies, but I wonder where the liberal outcry is. Perhaps they are learning that it’s more difficult to quarterback outside the armchair.

April 20, 2009

But Eight Billion is Miniscule

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 10:55 pm

Robert Gibbs is rapidly becoming one of the most annoying personalities ever to grace the podium. A reporter asks a legitimate question about the much-touted mosquito bite deficit reduction that Obama has proposed, and Gibbs glibly replies that it’s a lot of money “for hundreds of millions of Americans.”

Way to miss the point, Bob.

March 10, 2009

Flying High

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 10:48 pm

Nancy Pelosi seems to be abusing her privileges:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly requested military aircraft to shuttle her and her colleagues and family around the country, according to a new report from a conservative watchdog group.

Representatives for Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents from a Freedom of Information request, said the correspondence shows Pelosi has abused the system in place to accommodate congressional leaders and treated the Air Force as her “personal airline” . . .

But Judicial Watch said that Pelosi was notorious for making special demands for high-end aircraft, lodging last-minute cancellations and racking up additional expenses for the military.

An Obama-Nation

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 10:40 pm

Again, I love Camille Paglia, but John Hawkins and Howard Fineman have interesting articles too.

My blogging has gotten seriously lazy. I will try to put something of more substance up here tomorrow.

March 5, 2009

The Littlest, But Assuredly Not the Last

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 11:35 pm

After the newly validated EPA finishes its destruction of the automakers and the farmers, it can go after the burping worms.

Somehow I think the worms have them outnumbered.

Famous for His Teleprompter

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 11:05 pm

Having given a few speeches in the world of competitive forensics, I find it mildly frustrating that the media considers a man who can’t extemp a simple speech to be a good orator.

Oh, and he managed to offend Great Britain too. They are in a fine tizzy.

I really need to find another topic to blog about. The lameness of the President is becoming old-hat and he hasn’t even been in office 100 days yet!

March 4, 2009

“Profit and Earning Ratios”

Filed under: Business, Politics — lmwalker @ 11:13 pm

From the man who brought you 57 states, we now have . . . “Profit to Earning Ratios.”

James Taranto‘s commentary is, as always, insightful.

And he’s a lot nicer about it than J. Christoph Amberger is:

Now, if his predecessor had voiced such assessment, using the same terms, this gem would’ve been a keeper for the Big Book of Bushisms. Since standards are different (double even, some claim!) and finance isn’t really the bailywick of the Adulatory Corps sitting in at White House press conferences, it went unnoticed.

Which is a pity, because it would give our media something other to investigate than Michelle Obama’s exercise regimen for her upper arms (CNN), or what soft drink the White House prefers. (Is it Coke? Is it Pepsi? Let the investigative machine at Time magazine razzle-dazzle you!) . . .

Let’s assume, for charity’s sake, that he really means P/E ratios . . .

You see, once there are no earnings, the formula becomes useless for all practical purposes: Even in the Obama New Math, you cannot divide by zero. And the stock of a company with no earnings is a pure speculation on its future success.

Even U.S. News has to begrudgingly admit that our President is talking out of his ear. MSNBC, on the other hand, tries to gloss over it by noting that it’s “more commonly called price to earning ratios” and, oh, by the way, check out the President’s newly designed logo!

Of course, MSNBC is the home of Chris-of-the-Thrilled-Leg Matthews, so expectations were low. But with their “hard-hitting journalism” cooing over a new logo as they gloss over what amounts to Obama’s blatant ignorance – when they in the past devoted an entire article to a single Bush misstatement – MSNBC demonstrates that it really has nothing resembling neutrality.

And For Those of Us Who *Like* Rush Limbaugh . . .

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 8:42 pm

The vilification of Rush Limbaugh is a rather odd political strategy on the part of the White House.

In the first place, it’s demeaning for the highest office in the land to personally attack a private citizen with such an obvious mis-representation – a fact which will be immediately evident when their spotlight increases the size of his audience.

In the second place, it highlights the very fact that the Republican leadership hasn’t been listening to Rush Limbaugh for years . . . and that they probably ought to.

In the third place, it’s just annoying inasmuch as Rush Limbaugh has no intention of running for political office and conservative Republicans (like me) are desperately searching for some Republican leader to arise. It’s rather depressing that the Republican leadership lacks Limbaugh’s gift as a communicator.

Oh, well. It seems the Democrats have glommed onto some poll that indicates that people under 40 have a negative view of Rush Limbaugh. But, of course, people under 40 are also not listening to AM radio of any sort, so they poll by regurgitating the opinions produced from late-night SNL skits – a phenomenon I was frankly shocked to find quite prevalent during the last election, when I personally knew seemingly bright, informed people who based their political opinion of Sarah Palin on Tina Fey’s comic spoof. Insanity.)

In any case, I maintain that disapproval of Rush Limbaugh stems almost exclusively from individuals who have never listened to his program for any considerable length of time and have difficulty understanding the difference between “leadership” and “commentary.” True leadership is restrained. Political commentator Rush Limbaugh is not.

I swear, I have to do everything in my power to avoid the press briefings of Robert L. Gibbs. His fatuity makes me despair for the future of the world. How I long for the days of Tony Snow!

February 28, 2009

Where is the Outrage?

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 8:25 pm

Venezuela is unhappy with Obama.

“Is there a new government in the United States or is it Bush still in power? Obama seems to be a continuation of the Bush era. But it doesn’t matter to me. Regardless of US imperialism, this revolution will continue its course,” [Hugo] Chavez said in a speech.

Iran is unhappy with Obama.

Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee didn’t attend the latest U.N. Security Council meeting on Iraq. But the moment the 3-hour session was over the Iranian delegation was circulating a strongly worded letter from Khazaee that had a very clear message for the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama: Stop talking like Bush.

Civil libertarians are unhappy with Obama.

When the Obama administration last week claimed that the executive’s “state secrets” privilege requires dismissal of a case challenging the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, the move rang alarm bells.

In fact, Obama is determined to maintain many more Bush policies than expected.

He maintains Bush policies, except, of course, in the cases of abortion – which, if enforced, will compel Catholic hospitals to close their doors – and the economy – where, apparently, Obama is determined to stem the tide of entrepreneurship..

Can’t say it wasn’t expected. Although, frankly, McCain is handily proving that he is as much of a pansy-ass as he ever was.

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