Note from a Republican in Exile

Governor Romney’s Remarks to the House Republican Conference Retreat

This was presented by the Governor to the House GOP, right after they said “Thanks, but no thanks!” to B.O.’s & the Donk Congs’ bloated bailout bill.

Just a few highlights:

This is a time of hardship and uncertainty for millions of Americans. The question is: whose leadership and ideas will turn things around. And in such a moment, it’s our job to offer the clear answers, the proven solutions, and resolute leadership that will make this country strong again.

The new President and the Congressional majority are having a difficult time doing that. After all, they have a lot of campaign rhetoric to make good on. And they’ve got plenty of special interests to pay back. As the opposition party, we’re entirely free to do what is right for the country. There are certain advantages to that kind of freedom, and I suggest we make the most of them….

That begins with a clear analysis of what’s needed to get the economy moving again. Predictions that we are almost out of the woods, based on the length of prior recessions, are wishful thinking. Americans have lost some 11 trillion dollars in net worth. That translates into about 400 billion dollars less annual consumer spending in the economy.

There’s something else people don’t talk much about: The pool of investment capital—all the money available for new investments, business start-ups, business expansions, capital expenditures, and new hiring. The size of that pool has shrunk by trillions of dollars. This was a huge loss in value, and the effect could be felt for years—in businesses that don’t start up or grow, in jobs that don’t get created….

We’re on an economic tightrope. That’s why it is so important to exercise extreme care and good judgment. So far, the Democratic leadership hasn’t shown a great deal of that. They’ve passed 355 billion in infrastructure spending, 60% of which won’t be spent by the end of 2010. Billions for electronic medical health records—it’s a fine idea, but it won’t produce jobs for years and years.

Even worse are the liberal payoffs—50 million dollars for the National Endowment for the Arts, hundreds of millions of dollars to the states for STD prevention and education. Until your loud protests got it dropped from the bill, there even was 200 million dollars for the DC Mall. That might have grown some grass, but it wouldn’t have grown the economy. And they’re doing this when the economy is on a tightrope….

We need to stimulate the economy, not the government. (emphasis added) A true stimulus package, one that respects the productivity and genius of the American people, could lift this country out of recession. And experience shows us what it should look like.

First, there are two ways you can put money into the economy, by spending more or by taxing less. But if it’s stimulus you want, taxing less works best….

Second, any new spending must be strictly limited to projects that are essential. How do we define essential? Well, a good rule is that the projects we fund in a stimulus should be legitimate government priorities that would have been carried out in the future anyway, and are simply being moved up to create those jobs now….

Third, sending out rebate checks to citizens and businesses is not a tax cut. The media bought this line so far, but they’ve got it wrong. Checks in the mail are refunds, not tax cuts. We tried rebate checks last year and they did virtually nothing to jump-start the economy….

Fourth, if we’re going to tax less and spend more to get the economy moving, then we have to make another commitment as well. As soon as this economy recovers, we have to regain control over the federal budget, and above all, over entitlement spending. This is more important than most people are willing to admit….

Fifth, we must begin to recover from the enormous losses in the capital investment pool. And the surest, most obvious way to get that done is to send a clear signal that there will be no tax increases on investment and capital gains….

And finally, let’s exercise restraint in the size of the stimulus package. Without restraint, it may grow as the days go by. Last year, with the economy already faltering, I proposed a stimulus of 233 billion dollars. The Washington Post said, and I quote: “Romney’s plan is way too big.” So what critique do they have for the size of the Democrat’s package? I’m afraid they’ve caught a bad case of liberal laryngitis. It’s everywhere these days.

In the final analysis, we know that only the private sector—entrepreneurs and businesses large and small—can create the millions of jobs our country needs. The invisible hand of the market always moves faster and better than the heavy hand of government.

The difference between us and the Democrats is this: they want to stimulate the government, and we want to stimulate the economy.

Sounds a LOT better to the Chief than most of what spews forth from the banks of the Potomac these days.

The Governor goes on and also comments on other issues…healthcare, the union card-check scam, abortion funding, and the status of GITMO and the war on Islamoterrorism.

Too bad that Romney wasn’t carrying the banner in November instead of The Manchurian Candidate.

Bye-bye Blago!

Received the following from an e-mail correspondent (not associated with the state government) from Springfield, Illinois:

Hurray!!!! :)

The impeachment of Rod Blogjevich has been sustained by the Illinois Senate and they also voted that he may not in the future hold any public office in the State of Illinois. Both votes were unanimous.

When he addressed the Senate this morning his speech was all about himself and how he was being treated unfairly, no mention of his treatment of we the people.

Seems to make the point. The Chief concurs.

Beware of the RINOs!

Senate GOP leader says party must change

Better late than never!

After crushing defeats in back-to-back elections, the top Senate Republican warned Thursday that the GOP risks remaining out of power in the White House and Congress unless it better explains its core principles to woo one-time faithful and new loyalists.

“Unless we do something to adapt, our status as a minority party may become too pronounced for an easy recovery,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told the Republican National Committee on Thursday. “The situation is challenging, but it’s far from irreversible.”

After the House GOP hung tough in yesterday’s vote on the B.O. Omnibus Bailout/Boondoggle Spending Act,
the Chief takes this as being encouraging. If the Senate GOP’ers can also discover that yes indeed, they DO actually have a spine and can stand up to the Donkey party. If this is really the case, then the party’s troubles will be on the road to solution.

Glowbull Warming News

James Hansen’s Former NASA Supervisor Declares Himself a Skeptic

AlGor’s climate guru takes a swat.

(Meanwhile, AlGor has made one of his famous climate change lectures in the middle of a major snow storm. This has happened before, repeatedly!)

NASA warming scientist James Hansen, one of former Vice President Al Gore’s closest allies in the promotion of man-made global warming fears, is being publicly rebuked by his former supervisor at NASA.

Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fears soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.” Theon joins the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of anthropogenic global warming fears.

B.O. Bail Out B.S.

10 Reasons to Whack Obama’s Stimulus Plan

Some people are going to oppose President Obama’s ginormous stimulus package just because they’re on a different political team. But when you look at the economic evidence, it sure seems like an economic recovery package that’s heavy on government spending and light on tax cuts is just the opposite of what we should be doing right now.

Following are the 10 reasons noted…all from economics heavy hitters…including from within the B.O. administration. But is B.O. listining? From all evidence to date, not really, all’s the worse for the country.

Greatest “Peace” letter since 1938

Revealed: the letter Obama team hope will heal Iran rift

Read it all if you want to, but the Chief doesn’t want to dwell on the swill that is passing itself as a diplomatic initiative.

Symbolic gesture gives assurances that US does not want to topple Islamic regime

There. That pretty well sums it up without reaching the retch-point.

This is reminiscent of another letter that promised “peace in out time” that Chamberlain exchanged with Hitler in 1938. But hey, who cares about history any more, anyway?

B.O.’s Bailout Rides Out of House on Donkey-back

House OKs $819B stimulus bill in win for Obama

In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night, filled with new spending and tax cuts at the core of the young adminstration’s revival plan for the desperately ailing economy. The vote was 244-188.

Note: solid Donk support, NO GOP backing.

There is so much crapola in this mess, that it is beyond description. Stimulus? most of the money won’t be spent for a year or more…so much for worrying about the immediate economy.

So what’s relly going on here? The Chief recalls an old African proverb: “Any stick will do if you want to beat a snake.” In this case, the recession stick does a great job of beatin gthe Donk’s snake…an ever expanding government with the bureaucracy expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

Although Queen Nancy got her way…it may just come back to bite her in the butt…with NO support from ANY GOP, the Donks will end up with this Albatross firmly and finally lashed around their neck, which also happens to reflect the view of this OpEd from across the pond:

Hollow victory: Republicans deliver slap in the face to Barack Obama

President Barack Obama got the $825 (or $1.2 trillion over a decade) stimulus package through the House of Representatives but the 244 to 188 vote is a hollow victory indeed. Without a single Republican voting for the bill, his high-profile visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday came to exactly naught – at least on the House side.Obama vowed to change Washington and usher in a new post-partisan era. The the mood music and optics were pitch perfect as he trekked up to the Hill. Republicans praised his gesture, welcomed his sincere demeanour and appreciated his willingness to listen.

SOUNDS good…but wait…the typical liberal formula…symbolism over substance, especially when it comes to what looks more and more like a pattern of faux-bipartisanship:

Problem was, he wanted only to listen and did not want to act on what Republicans said.

It’s going to be a long 4 years.

Obamanation Shaping Up?

PREZ ZINGS GOP FOE IN A $TIMULATING TALK

President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

What is described here is tantamount to political shunning. So much for the one the ‘Bamster told about being President for everybody…including conservatives.

Obama: The Opiate of the People

The Audacity Of Dope

Add heroin to the scores of products that have been branded with President Barack Obama’s name. Cops in upstate New York this week broke up a drug ring that allegedly sold heroin under several brand names, including “Obama.”

The Chief is not sure what the greater significance of this is.

Perhaps it’s sort of like a piece of political abstract art…what you think, is what you see.

Glowbull Warming Updates – cont’d

Oceans are cooling according to NASA

More cooling…caused by glowbull warming? Yeah. Right.

The NASA glowbull warming clique is talking overtime to straighten this our to suit them…perhaps they think if they generate enough hot air that man-made glowbull warming will actually occur.

So, could these reports indicate that melting cools the oceans and has a negative feedback on warming? Is this just a speed bump in the general trend of warming? Does this ‘surprise’ almost sound like they are dissapointed that the warming trend has not continued so far? Or is this just part of a natural cycle, such as the seasons, but on a larger scale? With regard to cycles, we have only been sampling and studying a small part of Earth’s history and have perhaps jumped to conclusions about the impact of carbon dioxide (there are more potent gases such as methane that don’t make headlines).

View from a Brit…and “it ain’t pretty at all”

Barack Obama inauguration: this Emperor has no clothes, it will all end in tears

Interesting perspective from across the pond.

This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence – la trahison des clercs – in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right.

The Brits have been down this road before us…after 11 years of a “progeressive” regime led by a “new generation” young. charismatic leader & his followers of similar ilk, the once puissant British lion has been reduced to bankruptcy.

So if we go down a similar path, we will have a different outcome? Nah. Not a chance!

As Warner from the Telegraph concludes:

It is questionable whether the present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution, teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a catastrophe.

These are frank, even ungracious, words: they have the one merit that, unlike almost everything else written today about Obama, they will not require to be eaten in the future.

The Chief concurs.

Cease Fire? Really?

Hamas agrees Gaza ceasefire as Israeli troops withdraw

Hamas has announced a one-week ceasefire after Israel said it was pulling its forces back to the Gaza border and suspending the 22-day war. It issued a statement saying it would halt rocket strikes as long as troops were taken out of Gaza within a week and the borders of the devastated enclave were opened up to international aid.

In the absence of a full ceasefire agreement, the Israelis said the decision to wind-up Operation Cast Lead remained under review. Twenty rockets were fired by militants, drawing retaliatory fire but no resumption of the bombardments and fierce fighting of previous days which have left more than 1,300 dead. (Emphasis added.)

If both sides are still shooting, where’s the cease fire?

I know, I know. Why be logical about these things and expect words to mean anything in the media, and/or diplospeak.

The Chief is just old-fashioned that way, I guess.

Obamacracy: ANYTHING GOES?

‘Anything possible,’ Obama tells joyous crowd

Two days from the White House, President-elect Barack Obama joined a vast throng Sunday at a joyous pre-inauguration celebration staged among marble monuments to past heroes. “Anything is possible in America,” declared the man who will confront economic crisis and two wars when he takes office.

So, what’s wrong with this? Sounds nice? Lots of possibilities? Right?

Er…what ever happened to Constitutional government? According to that ANYTHING is NOT possible…there are some definite limitations as to what any American government is allowed to do, even with a President Obama.

Unfortunately, the crop of politically ascendant LibDonks (admittedly the outgoing Bushites also) seem to have no cognizance if any restraint on their near-orgasmic response to the prospect of untrammeled government.

Glowbull Warming in Holland

Canal ice helps Dutch rediscover national identity

For the first time in 12 years, the Netherlands’ canals froze this month, bringing the Dutch, who like their tulips in neat rows, a heady mix of pandemonium and euphoria.

Hundreds of thousands of skaters, their cheeks as red as apples in the freezing temperatures, took to the ice, and hospital wards were filled with dozens of people with fractured arms, sprained ankles and broken legs….

“For us, it’s in our genes,” said Gus Gustafsson, 68, a retired insurance executive, explaining why he and his wife had rushed out to buy new skates and take to the ice under a cloudless blue sky. “It was like a frenzy that came over people, including lots of kids, like my granddaughter, who is 5.” With thousands of others, they skated northeast toward the cheese capital, Gouda, then toward Utrecht.

With an influx of immigrants, the country has been struggling to maintain what it considers its Dutch soul, and Gustafsson was one of many here who thought the skating experience enabled the Dutch to reconnect with their identity. “There were only Dutch people on the ice,” he said. “I saw no people of Arab descent.”

16skaters550.jpg

“Every picture tells a story, don’t it?”

Under the TARP

Senators switch stances on federal bailout

Three months after splitting their votes on the $700 billion bank bailout, South Dakota Sens. Tim Johnson and John Thune are poised to swap sides on whether to release the second $350 billion installment to the U.S. Treasury.

Thune, a Republican, originally voted in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) while Johnson, a Democrat, originally voted against it.

A couple of thoughts on this:
Firstly, Johnson won his re-election, so he can climb back on board the Obamanation juggernaut of state without fear of the consequences, in spite of the poor record racked up by the previous applications of “bail-out” funding.

Thune on the other hand is showing the possibility that he is educable…inclining at least in the direction of John Maynard Keynes observation about changing one’s mind when the facts change.

But after seeing how the Bush administration spent the first half, Thune said he’s leaning against letting President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming administration spend the rest.

Thune said he’s unhappy that President Bush loaned $17.4 billion from the fund to Chrysler and General Motors to help them avoid bankruptcy.

Others have complained that the TARP fund has been used to recapitalize financial institutions rather than buying their troubled assets as initially planned. Banks have used the money to bolster their bottom lines, not to make more loans.

Sen. Johnson is no doubt beyond hope, but the Chief hopes that Sen. Thune continues to move into the opposition to what IMHO has turned out to be corporate welfare on the grandest, and most abusive scale in the history of the Republic.

Gov. Surprised by Sudden Legislative Session?

A number of things in Governor Rounds’ budget message this year that at first glance seem to make sense…but…so sorry! No figures ready yet. Stay tuned until the 21st, which sort of leaves the legislature twiddling their thumbs as regards their most significant function.

Maybe Gov. Mike needs to get a Palm, or Blackberry or something, along with instructions on how to set reminder alarms. If this was a college paper, coming in 2 weeks late would earn an “F” grade.

Granted, in the current economic situation this job is harder than usual, but really, it’s not like the opening of the 2009 Legislative Session was a surprise…or was it?

Moonbats! Right Here in South Dakota!

PETA, wouldn’t you know.

PETA wants Spearfish High School name change

The activist animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked school officials to change the name of Spearfish High School to “Sea Kitten High School.”

The new name would “reflect the gentle nature of its current marine namesake,” the organization said in a letter to Steve Morford, Spearfish High School principal.

PETA said the letter is part of a new Sea Kitten campaign aimed at children.

If children were taught to refer to fish as “sea kittens,” reflecting that fish, like cats and dogs, are “individuals” that “do have friendships,” fewer fish might be killed for food or sport, said Pulin Modi, a PETA spokesman.

SEA KITTENS? Give me a BREAK! They seriously need to get a life of their own to worry about.

Meanwhile, the Chief will continue his enthusiastic activity in the OTHER version of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals.

Glowbull Warming Updates – cont’d

At this moment the Chief’s location is at -25 deg F, so this seemed to be pretty appropriate.

Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age

Quick and dirty abstract of this piece: It’s the sun, stupid!

The earth is now on the brink of entering another Ice Age, according to a large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science. Many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years.

Ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record, and studies of ancient plant and animal populations all demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern of Ice Age glacial maximums which each last about 100,000 years, separated by intervening warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years.

Most of the long-term climate data collected from various sources also shows a strong correlation with the three astronomical cycles which are together known as the Milankovich cycles. The three Milankovich cycles include the tilt of the earth, which varies over a 41,000 year period; the shape of the earth’s orbit, which changes over a period of 100,000 years; and the Precession of the Equinoxes, also known as the earth’s ‘wobble’, which gradually rotates the direction of the earth’s axis over a period of 26,000 years. According to the Milankovich theory of Ice Age causation, these three astronomical cycles, each of which effects the amount of solar radiation which reaches the earth, act together to produce the cycle of cold Ice Age maximums and warm interglacials.

Glowbull warming my…posterior!

Every picture tells a story…

By now, most have seen horrific images of Palestinian “victims” of Israel’s current Gaza offensive.
Here’s some images that don’t make the network news, or NYT, etc.

The Images they Show…

There are images that break your heart. The news is filled with them today and they can easily sway you to think that all of the situation in the Middle East comes down to a picture. How horrible, truly tragic, unacceptable and wrong it is to have a child die.

It is so horrible, sometimes you forget to look behind the picture. It’s so simple, really. A child should be able to go to school and be safe. I last spoke to my son days ago and in the background I could hear the sound of explosions. Through the phone, dozens of kilometers away from me, and quite a distance from Elie, I could hear another unit firing. Can you imagine how loud that would be up close?

Yesterday, mortars were fired FROM the school In Jebalya. This was a direct and intentional attack on Israel, on Israel’s soldiers and population. Mortars are explosions. They are loud. You can’t pretend you didn’t hear them.

This is reality:

Everyone in that building yesterday KNEW that the school was being used as a launching ground…and yet, apparently not one of those thought it would be a smart thing to leave. That seems strange to me, unnatural. I was once in Jerusalem, walking with by two daughters when something “exploded” ahead of me. Everyone around me stopped, as I did. It was a bus hitting something that went flying in the air and crashed loudly into something else. People began to move and yet I stood there, unsure what to do. It should be both human instinct and parental instinct to move away from danger.

And the people who now mourn the “innocents” who died in yesterday’s attack on the United Nations school don’t question why people remained in the building from which these weapons were fired. They don’t question that this defies human instinct and certainly what should have been every parent’s first reaction. The people in the school died for three simple reasons:

1. Palestinians decided to use the United Nations school as a launching base to attack innocent civilians….

2. The United Nations did not stop the Palestinians from using their area….

3. The families and parents. I heard a father mourning the death of his son. He blames the Israeli government, and I blame him. “Are you insane?” I want to ask him. “How could you allow your son to be near mortars being fired? What did you think Israel was going to do?” Why didn’t you take your son? Why didn’t you behave responsibly?…

And finally, a SAMPLE of the images that you’re not shown. Go the the site…there are a lot more, equally surreal.

blog30.png

“Jesus wept.”

Mein Kampf = al Jihad

Appropriate that the above equality is actually a literal translation of the terms in the two relevant languages.

Protester Calls for Jews to ‘Go Back to the Oven’ at Anti-Israel Demonstration

Like many other protests of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, this one ended badly — police had to cool an ugly fight between supporters of Israel and Gaza, breaking up the warring sides as their screaming and chanting threatened to turn into something worse.

But some protesters at this rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., took their rhetoric a step further, calling for the extermination of Israel — and of Jews.

Ah yes – “The Religion of Peace” – the Peace of the Graveyard.

Does the word SEDITION still exist? (It SHOULD!)

Do we still have a functional Department of State? Or a Department of Homeland Security? Doesn’t anybody notice stuff like this except the blogosphere?

Top American Islamic Cleric Threatens U.S. on Egyptian TV

Islamic cleric Salah Sultan appeared on Egypt’s Al-Nas TV last week and delivered a warning of death and destruction for America. Not only did he attack the U.S. for its military support of Israel in its fight against the Hamas terrorist organization, but he vowed retaliation such that more Americans would be killed than those Palestinians (and, presumably, Hamas terrorists) killed in the present conflict in Gaza, emphasizing that this would take place “soon”:

America, which gave [Israel] everything it needed in these battles, will suffer economic stagnation, ruin, destruction, and crime, which will surpass what is happening in Gaza. One of these days, the U.S. will suffer more deaths than all those killed in this third Gaza holocaust. This will happen soon.

He also invoked a notorious Islamic hadith on the inevitable annihilation of the Jews by Muslims:

The stone, which is thrown at the Jews, hates these Jews, these Zionists, because Allah foretold, via His Prophet Muhammad, that Judgment Day will not come before the Jew and the Muslim fight. The Jew will hide behind stones and trees, and the stone and the tree will speak, saying: “Oh Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” The only exception will be the Gharqad tree.

This harangue would be nothing new on television in the Islamic world; in fact, it is commonplace. What is unique about Sultan’s threats against America is that he holds U.S. permanent residency status and, according to one federal law enforcement official, travels regularly on a U.S. passport. And as I have reported elsewhere, Sultan is pursuing U.S. citizenship (the status of his application is unknown due to federal privacy laws). Thus, Salah Sultan has lived quite comfortably for more than a decade under the protections of the very country he now threatens with death and destruction.

It should be noted that Salah Sultan is not some obscure figure in the American Islamic world. He serves as a member of the Fiqh Council of North America. Touted as the top Islamic governing body in the U.S., the Fiqh Council is an arm of the Islamic Society of North America. Sultan founded and served as president of the Islamic American University in Southfield, Michigan; he was the national director of tarbiyah (Islamic instruction) for the Muslim American Society; and he continues to operate the American Council for Islamic Research, based in my hometown of Hilliard, Ohio.

Islamofascist. Rope. Tree. Some assembly required.

First “Five Year Plan”

Obama Bets Big on Big Government

President-elect Barack Obama enunciated his vision for an activist — and expansive — government as the best way to address the economic crisis in a speech this morning, and in the process placed a major bet that the majority of Americans’ attitude toward government has changed drastically in recent years.

“Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy — where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending,” said Obama during his economic address at George Mason University — a stunning rejection of then President Bill Clinton’s 1996 declaration in his State of the Union address that “the era of big government is over.”

This is BIG government, at its biggest. And since it is a long term program…beyond the length of a Presidential term…it’s not a far reach to label his concept as the U.S.’s First Five Year Plan.

Today Chicago, tomorrow the Nation?

Chicago Public Schools’ cappuccino bill: $67,000

Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General.

That was just one example of questionable CPS actions detailed in the inspector general’s 2008 annual report. Others included high school staffers changing grades to pump up transcripts of student athletes and workers at a restricted-enrollment grade school falsifying addresses to get relatives admitted.

Isn’t B.O.’s designee for the Sec’y of Education coming directly from running the Chicago schools? Don’t look for anything effective, or efficient to come out of D of Ed if this is a sample of his management expertise.

Diplomats Keep Yakking, Terrs Keep Rocketing

Diplomats: Arabs and West agree on Gaza resolution

Key Arab nations and Western powers called for an immediate Security Council vote Thursday night on a Gaza cease-fire resolution, after they reached agreement on final wording of the draft, officials said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced the agreement on the resolution calling for an immediate and durable cease-fire between Hamas militants and Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

The UN actions are again up to its usual quality…like organizing a shuffleboard league on the listing Titanic.

The resolution was supported by the United States, Israel’s closest ally, and Arab nations that have close ties to Hamas. But it will be up to Israel and Hamas to decide to stop their military activities.

DUH!

The media’s most ignored fact in this whole situation is that there WAS a cease-fire in place, which was ignored by Hamas re-starting its rocket barrage of Israel…and as far as negotiating with them…why bother…recent interviews with Hamas leadership again confirms their basic promise that the only solution to the problem is to drive the Israelis into the sea. Hitler would approve.

Meanwhile B.O. is apparently willing to pursue relations with Hamas as though they were a rational organization.

Obama camp ‘prepared to talk to Hamas’

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush’s ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

If this plays out as reported…it will be indicative of an extremely poor situational awareness of the nature of the Hamas beast.

Navy vs Pirates

New US-led naval force to battle Somali pirates

At first glance this sounds like a great step in the right direction, at last.

A new international naval force under American command will soon begin patrols to confront escalating attacks by Somali pirates after more than 100 ships came under siege in the past year, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.

But then, at second glance, it’s more of the same ole’ same ole’ pussyfooting around.

But the mission—expected to begin operations next week—appears more of an attempt to sharpen the military focus against piracy rather than a signal of expanded offensives across one of the world’s most crucial shipping lanes.

The force will carry no wider authority to strike at pirate vessels at sea or specific mandates to move against havens on shore—which some maritime experts believe is necessary to weaken the pirate gangs that have taken control of dozens of cargo vessels and an oil tanker.

Ah, so what’s the point if nothing actually changes policy-wise?

The new force underscores the urgency to act after a stunning rise in pirate assaults off the Horn of Africa last year: At least 111 ships targeted and 42 of them commandeered, including a Ukrainian cargo shop loaded with tanks and heavy weapons and a Saudi oil tanker with $100 worth of crude.

At two more ships have been hijacked this month, leaving about 15 vessels and about 300 crew members in pirate hands, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center.

OK – so it “underscores the urgency to act…”, so why isn’t there an actual plan TO ACT? More “symbolism over substance” won’t address the problem.

“This task force does not does have any greater rules of engagement,” said Cmdr. Jane Campbell, a 5th Fleet spokeswoman. “It does, however, bring a greater focus to counter-piracy operations under one command.”

This only reinforces the above noted problem, with an open admission that there is no loosening of the R.O.E.

But it also carries the suggestion that it could one day take stronger measures. The force’s flagship, the USS San Antonio, is an amphibious ship capable of bringing hundreds of Marines ashore. This is the type of action needed to truly rattle the pirates, said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center.

THIS would work! (All we’ve got to do is step up to the plate.)

“Right now there is no major deterrent,” he said. “The military maybe chases away the pirates, but they regroup and come back for another attack on another ship. Piracy will continue until their networks and bases are hit.”

Hopefully somebody in Washington will remember that action here would be a renewal of the the Navy’s oldest tradition…overseas suppression of Islamopiracy. It worked against the Barbary States’ pirates, it would work now too.

Senator Frankenstein?

The dirty joke from Minnesota

This election and its aftermath has been as synthetic as the efforts of Mary Shelley’s fictional doctor, and the results is just as monstrous as the original monster who was widely known by the name of said doctor: Frankenstein!  It fits!

1105franken.jpg

A lot of the venal sins of Congress could be judged pornographic, both politically and otherwise, but we’ve never had an Official Senate Pornographer before. Sen. Chuck Schumer says Al Franken will fit right in.

“With the Minnesota recount complete,” he says, gleefully, “it is now clear that Al Franken won the election.” Actually, it isn’t clear at all, as Mr. Schumer well knows, even though the Democrats managing the recount declared Mr. Franken the winner yesterday. The Democrats in the Senate are eager to get Al seated quickly because once he’s seated among equals a bum is difficult to throw out. There’s honor among senators, similar to the honor among thieves. (The difference is that thieves often hold to higher standards.)

The gory details of the stealing of the election are obvious, brazen, and detailed in this column.  In the words of a Warren Zevon song:  “It ain’t that pretty at all.”

The thought of  Al Franken(stein) in the Senate is just about enough to make one truly sympathetic of the normally hideous Roman Emperor Caligula, who appointed his favorite horse as consul of the empire, as a means of showing his contempt for the feckless and corrupt Senate of his day.

With the Minnesota Border about 25 miles away, the Chief hopes that their state environmental agency has means to keep the slime on that side of the line if this buffoon is finally confirmed to the Senate, but Caligula would feel at home.

Not really a surprise “…you know…”

Poll: Caroline Kennedy losing favor with voters

Caroline Kennedy’s popularity has suffered a “clear hit” as a result of her public campaign for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate seat, while Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s positive ratings have shot up, according to a new poll.

In case there is any sensitivity in the reader about Ms. Kennedy’s interview outcomes, the Chief has decided to dedicate this posting to her, using her own modes of speech:

You know…ah…the Chief, you know, has 9th grade students, you know, that are more, you know, articulate and sensible that the interview bites that were, you know, on the news over the weekend.