Category Archives: News and Politics

Benghazi: Why Spend an Hour On the Phone With Bibi Netanyahu?

I’m intrigued that Obama (and apparently Biden) spent 56 minutes on the phone with Bibi three hours into the crisis, and just as they learned Ambassador Stevens was missing and perhaps a hostage.  Surely they discussed Benghazi, but to what end?  The call took place from 6:30  to 7:26 Eastern [12:30-1:26 Benghazi time].  That’s a very long conversation on what should have been a busy night.

The conventional wisdom is that seven weeks ahead of the election, with Romney very close in the polls,  Obama was merely paying a lengthy courtesy call to Bibi to bolster sagging support among American Jews while letting 42-year-old neophyte [then]  Deputy National Security Denis McDonough handle the crisis.

As hands-off and distant as Obama often appears, could he have been that passive in this crisis?

Maybe Obama reached out to Bibi because Israel is closer to Benghazi than US bases in Italy? Maybe because unlike the US military, Israeli forces were actually on alert on 9/11/12? Maybe because Israel already had armed aircraft patrolling over the Med? Maybe Obama wanted Bibi to pull our chestnuts out of the fire, but then backed out because he didn’t want to pay the political price of relying on Israel? Or Bibi balked?  Did the stand-down order go out because Israel was scrambling to pull our chestnuts out of the fire?

The one fun thing about this administration, apart from all the Hollywood parties, is the modified Twenty Questions game that just goes on and on. Or maybe the game should be called Twenty Thousand Questions.

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Congressman Jared Polis: Boulder’s Crony Capitalist.

Dreaming Big: A Republican Congressman ….. for Boulder?

In Peter Schweizer’s new book “Throw Them All Out,”  Colorado Congressman Jared Polis is one of the front-and-center exhibits of what is wrong in the scandal of  crony capitalist/congressional insider trading abuse.  Polis, the Congressman representing Colorado’s 2nd District (Boulder), invested heavily in BridgeHealth, a medical tourism company at the same time he was sitting on two committees working on the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act, betting that medical tourism will go up under the new plan.  His votes coincided with the work in the committee, leveraging his insider information for profits.  He also used insider information to buy biotech stocks in coordination with his closed-door committee work, just as it was inserting a 12-year production exclusivity clause for new biotech drugs, as opposed to the usual 5-year limit before generic production can begin.  That’s a huge  windfall for investments like PowerShares Dynamic Biotech and Genome ETF, which Polis made simultaneously with the bill moving forward.

Moving from a 5-year to a 12-year generic regime adds enormous costs to consumers, literally billions of dollars, most of which will be borne by seniors.  But hey, Jared got a sweet play out of the deal, all while blubbering that he cares about the health care costs for poor people and old people and middle class people.

The fact of Polis’ multiple insider-trading plays may make him even more vulnerable than he was already becoming.  With the once-a-decade redistricting, he now has an increased number of Republican precincts in his district, including all of center-right Larimer County.  With the whiff of corruption, added Republicans in the district, and the sheen coming off the green in Polis-promised “New Energy,”  it wouldn’t be impossible to see the 2nd District flip GOP in 2012.

It would still require a serious uphill battle, but with the right candidate and a lot of hard work, it just might happen.

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Race: Fear of the Dark.

Weirding out on “Colorism.”

Racism is sadly an almost universal experience.  Some societies have done better than others, but the fact remains that racist attitudes are common in many places.  And there is a pattern that needs explanation:

Why is it that lighter-skinned people tend to look down on darker-skinned people?  Why is it rarely the reverse?  Whether we are talking about Punjabis in India looking down on the darker-skinned Dravidians in the South or lighter-skinned Chinese looking down on the darker people of the south?  Whether in Brazil or Mexico or the USA, or Africa itself, the pattern is the same.  Even within the African-American community, there remains a general preference for light as opposed to dark.  As for politicians, recall Senator Harry Reid’s comment last year that President Obama had a lot going for him because he is “light-skinned.”  And that is at the same time disturbing and intriguing.

One day I was looking at a photo on our refrigerator of a gathering of some friends, and suddenly a theory popped into my head.  Our group was inter-racial, and one of our friends is an African-American who is especially dark.  In the photo, everyone is smiling, happy together, with expressions ranging from delight to anticipation to warm contentedness.  Except for Namon.  In the picture, he’s just too dark to read any expression.  I’m sure he was happy at the time, but to look at the photo, I just can’t tell for sure.

Is that what explains the ubiquitous bias for “light” as opposed to “dark?”

Maybe we’re uncomfortable when it takes a bit longer to “read” someone’s emotions.  Maybe it takes a little longer for “fear of the unknown” to subside, and it affects the way we respond to people.

Just somethng to think about.

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Double-Standardized Latinas

Sonia we know, but Susana…..Who is she?

From the “Damning with ‘Ain’t Praise” Department:

Glorious Praises were heaped upon Sonia Sotomayor last year, when she was nominated to the position of Associate Supreme Court Justice. She was featured on cover after cover of every major newsmag, some of them featuring her pleasant countenance more than once.  She was feted and greeted and interviewed by everyone from Oprah to Chopra.  There were mountains of TV  yak-yak.  And that’s all fine, first Latina to sit with the Supremes was a real milestone.

But contrast those quivers of shivers with November, in which the first Latina ever was elected to the office of  Governor.  No magazine covers, few articles, no Oprah, no Chopra.  Just a terse one-sentence comment, quickly deposited, “Susana Martinez of New Mexico is the first Latina to be elected governor of any state……..” and then, like a whisper lost in the night air…..nothing.  I thought it might change with Inauguration Day, but no.

You see, Susana Martinez is one of them, a Republican, and worse, a Palinite.  Since the great majority of journalists in the USA selected their career path because, in their words,  they “wanted to make a difference, by which they invariably mean, “a positive impact for leftist viewpoints, they are subconciously engaged in the art of ostrich emulation.  It really is kind of humorous to see the choreographed unity of all those liberal butts sticking up in the air.

You think it’s just an oversight?  If you’re a political junkie, explain this:

Also in November, for the first time, an African-American female was elected Lieutenant Governor of a state.  Remember the story? Can you name her? Can you name the state? Of course not….she’s a Republican….., a conservative Republican.


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One-Fifth of Americans Do NOT think Obama is a Muslim.

Be serious. “Do you think President Obama is:

A. a Christian christian?”

B. a muslim Muslim?”

C. don’t know.”

Look, if the pollsters called me on the phone and asked that same question, I would have answered “B, Muslim” for the sheer fun of it.  President Obama’s got himself so tied up in the dizzy inanities of political correctness, it’s amazing he can even see the teleprompter.   His three most favorite activities are golf, grousing about Bush, and sucking up to those who dislike us.

The man just can’t stop himself from playing with our heads on this muslim thing.  It’s as if the man has some kind of weird oppositional tune whirling inside his head that keeps leaking out and snidely pestering us with a subliminal “but so what if I was a Muslim, huh, huh?”

Then again, let’s run through quick litany of some of the reasons why some folks might reach the wrong conclusion:

1.  His mom and grandparents who raised him were quite proud that they had no religion.  So the only religious background President Obama had was the Islam of his dreamed-of father, Barak Sr., and his temporary step-dad, Lolo Soetero.

2. The name “Barack Hussein Obama” is a muslim name.  Now in our western world that surely doesn’t mean he’s a muslim, but in the muslim world, it means exactly that.  The Pakistani press will gladly supply you with archived articles asserting his loyalty to the Prophet.  We probably shouldn’t expect the White House to correct every error in the Pakistani press.

3. So he comes into office, repeatedly speaking of the need for “outreach” to the Islamic nations, frequently invoking the Koran, which he prefers to call the “Huuly” Koran, whereas the Bible is not referred to as “Huuly.”  The Bible is the plain and mundane Bible,  nothing special there.  This unequal treatment, which is ubiquitous, ticks a lot of people off, and is so deeply imbedded in our culture that this stupid but widely used spell-checker I’m using at this very instant keeps telling me that “muslim” requires the honorific of a capital “M,” but that an honorific “C” for “christian” would be incorrect.

4. First big speech after inauguration?  Georgetown University, a catholic school, where the only place big enough to hold the honored guests is the chapel.  Yes, that chapel.  The one with that Jesus guy right there up in front.  Panicked by the thought of how it would scandalize the world to see President Obama with Jesus looking over his shoulder, the White House Messaging Battalion dispatches a detachment to the Walmart to buy up 30 sets of sheets (white sheets.  Oh, dear, is that a statement?).  Rushing back to the chapel, they successfully enshroud Jesus and his cross, narrowly avoiding igniting an international incident.

5. Two months later, Cairo and The Grand Pandering Address to the Muslim World.  There were no speeches to the Cc hristian, Jjewish, Bbuddhist, Aagnostic, Aatheist or any other of the Llesser Wworlds. Nor are any planned for the future.

6. “An Invite to the National Day of Prayer? Me?  You’re kidding.*  Uh, I’ve got a golf tee time, heh-heh. But thanks.”

7. December at the White House.   “Welcome to our Winter Holiday Party.  There ain’t no Jesus here, ’cause were like open, y’know.*  But we do have some images on our Seasonal Tree of penny-ante murderer Che and the All-Time Bloodiest Dictator, Mao. Way cool, huh?  The college kids like it.”

8. “Church? I haven’t been to church since I didn’t go to Reverend Wright’s church. Which is why I didn’t know nothin’ about the Best-Of-Reverend-Wright DVDs that the church proudly sold in the lobby and on the internet.   And when I said he was my mentor?  Y’know. I didn’t mean it like a mentor mentor.  Other than not attending there, I never did church.”

9.  “But did I tell you my girls were baptized at the Reverend’s church?  Yup, follow after their mom, that way.  Not me though, heh-heh.  I don’t do baptism.”

10.  He-hey, Let’s get that ReStart button from Hillary.  It’s Ramadan, Eid-al-Fitre.   Barack has got the hots so bad that even though there’s never been a Christmas observance* at his White House, this is important, so he breaks with established protocol, invites in a raft of muslims, the ones who are faithfully and dutifully silent about human rights violations in the middle east, and then mentions their holiday by name (imagine that!!).  And let’s get over the mosque thing.  Sure the landing gear of that 767 crashed through the roof where the want to build The Great American Mosque, and so did body parts.  But hey, muslims died that day too, you know.  In fact, those body parts might have been from Mohammed Atta himself.  Build it.  That way, they’ll know we’re way cool.  Or at least, that I’m way cool.

Muslim? No.

Lame? Very.

So on second thought, I’ll answer “B, muslim Muslim.” Just for the sheer fun of it.

*……In fairness…..the image folk have helped the President out this year with these issues, having him show up at the annual Prayer Breakfast and calling the December 25th holiday “Christmas.”

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Obama Drills Deep.

The Obama Administration Took a $10 Billion Dive into Ultra-Deep Ocean Drilling.

Attempting to deflect blame for their feeble response to the Gulf oil disaster, the administration keeps repeating “Bee-Pee, Bee-Pee” so relentlessly that they can’t get through a paragraph without sounding like the frantically peddling Roadrunner of cartoon fame.

While most of the press has slowly gotten around to criticizing the pathetic containment and cleanup aspect of this gusher, no one seems interested in fact that the Obama administration has a multi-billion dollar investment in deep ocean drilling.  Actually, in ultra-deep ocean drilling.

Last August, after a warm personal visit with Brazilian President Lula de Silva, President Obama ordered the US government-controlled Export-Import Bank to extend a $10 billion loan to oil giant Petrobras for the purpose of funding deep water drilling off the coast of Brasil.  While  BP’s big gusher was drilled an astonishing 5,000 feet under water, the US-funded offshore Brazilian field lies under 7,000 to 9,000 feet of water.

So while restricting US deep drilling, shallow-drilling, and terrestrial drilling, Obama put the US taxpayers on the hook to guarantee a $10 billion loan for ultra-deep drilling by Petrobras, which already controls 80% of the world’s deep-water drilling rigs.

And who is Petrobras? The socialist-led government of Brazil owns 50.1% of Petrobras’ voting stock, while the rest is owned by private investors. The biggest of these investors is Democrat sugar-daddy George Soros, who showers all manner of left-wing causes with what some might consider “protection money.”  Petrobras is Soro’s largest single investment, estimated to be somewhere around $811 million.  His other large investments include Hess Petroleum, other oil and mining interests, and an active position in energy hedge funds.

More recently, Soros sold 22 million shares of Petrobras common stock and purchased preferred stock, which has a dividend premium set at 10% per year. This was accomplished just days before President Lula announced the government was undertaking a larger nationalization and sent common shares reeling, with common stock investors losing $7 billion in a single day.

Soros’ oil investments are clustered around imported oil, and consequently, he has a massive interest in restricting US domestic production.  And he funds the anti-drilling lobby in the US generously, all without the slightest curiosity from the astonishingly naïve American press corps.

Sources:

http://www.oilonline.com/News/NewsArticles/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/21509/US-government-to-loan-Petrobras-10-billion.aspx

http://preview.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive_en10&sid=aFHPjfeUvtl8

http://www.geoexpro.com/brazil/realityhits/

http://preview.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive_en10&sid=aV._LdPUcaNU

http://preview.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive_en10&sid=a.V5sgGzdsQY

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574346610120524166.html

Update: Petrobras announced Friday that they will expand deep drilling to the Black Sea off Turkey in 7,000 feet of water.

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The Tea Parties and Washington’s Alien-Nation.

There is the country called the United States….and then there is another country called “Washington, DC.”

DC is a nation with a different culture, economy, ethics and even language from the rest of the United States.   And that’s what the Tea Parties are really all about.

The ruling class does not get it.   And that’s why November is shaping up to be a nasty appointment with reality for those living so comfortably on “Government Island.”

While the country remains mired in economic stress,  a USA today study found that the number of government employees making over $100,000 a year increased from 14% to 19% in an 18-month period(  http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20100304/BENEFITS01/3040301/1001 ).

The number of  employees in that 100G-plus category jumped by a whopping 35% in a period of severe difficulty for the taxpayers. The average federal employee earns about $7,000 more than his counterpart in the private sector. And let’s not even begin to talk about the disparity in benefits.  In the end, it is the private sector that pays all the bills for the government.

Yet there is little comment on this gross inequity from the In-the-Bubble press.  The Congress, with support from the President, authorized a 2% Cost-of-Living increase for 2010 at a time when those picking up the tab are experiencing a contraction in personal income. The obvious but unasked question is: “How can there be a cost-of-living increase when there is no increase in the cost of living”? These employees already are getting generous step and grade increases (an increasing rarity in the private sector), and are blessed with job-for-life security, and yet the rest of the country is required to cover this nonesense through their taxes and their childrens’ debt burden.  The result is an increasing Us-versus-Them polarity that we see expressed in the Tea Parties.

Instead of insightful analysis, the Washington World talking heads, in open display of their crude ignorance, exchange befuddled commentary about rumors of racism they can’t quite seem to actually find, or prattle on about undercurrents of violence which were somehow invisible when George Bush and Dick Cheney, depicted with blood dripping from their canines and incisors, regularly were denounced as “Nazis” and lynched in effigy on 1,000 campuses.

Increasingly, there are two classes, two nations, in the United States:  The Ruled Class and the Ruling Class.  And the ruled are getting mighty restless.  This last month I attended my precinct and county caucuses.  People are still  angry, but not so vocal as a year ago.  The noise has been replaced by steely determination.   And November 2nd is just 28 weeks away.

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