Thursday, January 31, 2013

Here's That Video of Chuck Hagel Folding Under Withering Questioning by Sen. Ted Cruz

A follow up to my earlier report, as promised, "Chuck Hagel's Bumbling, Stumbling Testimony at Senate Confirmation Hearings":


More at Lonely Con, "Chuck Hagel’s Very Bad Day – Updated."

Shoulda Ducked: Syria Fighter Dude Shot Dead in Wicked Roadside Sniper Pick Off

This is amazing, via Blazing Cat Fur.

Who knows if this dude's a FSA rebel, or what. Either way, he gets picked off but good:

Casey Wian Reports on America's Unsecured Southern Border

A great report.

Wian used to be Lou Dobbs' main hard-hitting immigration reporter. Glad he's still telling like it is, on CNN amazingly.

Chuck Hagel's Bumbling, Stumbling Testimony at Senate Confirmation Hearings

Hagel's getting ripped on Twitter, and for good reason. God, he's looks like a blithering idiot:


And lots more at Twitchy, "Snort: Senators reportedly in ‘shock’ over Hagel’s ineptitude, bumbling," and "‘Cruzed’! Senator Cruz crushes Hagel; Chuck Todd, other lapdogs try to save Hagel, slam Cruz."

I'll update later when I find a video of Senator Cruz questioning Hagel.

Roast Beef With Nigella Lawson!

I rarely mark the calendar to watch a television show, but I'm thoroughly enjoying ABC's "The Taste." All the hosts are great, but I get a kick out of Ms. Lawson. She's on Twitter, naturally, and this is just my kind of meal:


RELATED: London's Daily Mail finds an excuse to post this woman's photo: "Why Nigella Lawson could offer the perfect shoulder to cry on: Women in their 50s have have the most empathy, study claims."

EXTRA: On Tuesday's show, the vegan chefs all got the boot, and rightly so. Their food looked atrocious and their politics disgusting. Check the comments at the vegan post for more on that, "Vegan Chef Featured on ABC’s New Show The Taste."

Patty Andrews, Last Surviving Member of the Andrews Sisters, Dead at 94

A fascinating obituary.

At LAT, "Patty Andrews dies at 94; Andrews Sisters' last surviving member":

They were the swinging, sassy voice of the homefront for U.S. service personnel overseas during World War II, singing catchy hit tunes such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Rum and Coca Cola" that delighted Americans and catapulted the Andrews Sisters to the very top of the pop charts.

One of the most successful female recording groups in pop history, the sisters — LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews — became a beloved American institution, lifting the nation's spirits during a conflict whose outcome seemed often in doubt.

When the war ended in 1945, it was even the Andrews Sisters who announced it, to 5,000 GI's during a USO concert in Italy as the men were heading for duty in the Pacific. The troops' commanding officer had interrupted the show, handing the women a note that was read aloud by the youngest, Patty Andrews.

"At first there was dead silence," her sister Maxene told The Times years later. "Then Patty repeated the message. 'This is really true,' she told them, and then she started to cry. Suddenly there was a roar. They knew they would be going home, and they did."

Patty Andrews, the group's lead singer and its last surviving member, died Wednesday of natural causes at her longtime home in Northridge, according to her attorney, Richard Rosenthal. She was 94. Maxene, the middle Andrews sister, died in 1995 and LaVerne, the eldest, in 1967.

The Andrews Sisters began singing professionally in 1932, when Patty was just 14, and scored their first major success in 1938 with an English version of the Yiddish song "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen" (or "To me, you're grand," as the sisters put it.) The song zoomed to No. 1 and made them overnight stars.
Continue reading.

More video here.

The Left's Assault on the Boy Scouts

Folks have no doubt heard the news, posted the other day at the Los Angeles Times, for example, "Boy Scouts considers lifting ban on gays."

The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the First Amendment protects the Boy Scouts' freedom of association, and as a religious-based organization, to allow homosexual scout members would violate its fundamental charter. The organization founding creed, if not the organization itself, will be destroyed. Of course this is exactly what the left wants, to destroy any and all private associations that don't toe the homo-collectivist agenda. We're moving toward a society bereft of freedom of conscience. Put aside the scandals that have rocked the Boy Scouts. These are reprehensible of themselves and should open up the group to scrutiny, reform, and criminal prosecution. But that should be it. But at a time when the group is facing outside review in any case is just when progressives swoop in for the kill.

See Art Moore, at WND, "Why Scouts are rethinking 'gay' policy. Activists shamed corporate donors that tout diversity, tolerance":

Boy Scouts
The Boy Scouts of America’s apparent decision to reverse a century-old policy to bar homosexuals from its ranks coincides with a sudden drop in major corporate funding that began last summer after a gay-rights blogger for the Huffington Post published a collaborative report that named the donors and chastised them for violating their own policy of not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

At the same time, two prominent board members – including an adviser to the Obama White House – were carrying out a vow to change the policy from within.

Published in collaboration with The American Independent, the report called out Intel, United Parcel Service, United Way, Merck and others for contributing to an organization with a stated policy of banning homosexuals from membership.

The report came less than two months after the BSA affirmed its policy at the conclusion of a two-year examination of the issue by a committee of volunteers convened by national BSA leaders.

The Boy Scouts’ national headquarters in Texas said it is not granting interviews at the moment but invited questions submitted by email. Questions posed by WND were not answered, however.

At the time of the September report, shipping giant UPS insisted the Scouts’ policy would not impact its donations, which totaled close to $167,000 in 2010, the most recent year for which data was available for most companies.

However, bolstered by a petition drive by the homosexual-rights group Scouts for Equality, Intel – which led the way in 2010 corporate giving with $700,000 – announced that month it would stop funding Scout troops that adhere to the ban.

UPS followed Intel’s lead and also cut off its funding.

In December, Merck issued a statement saying it could not “continue to provide support to an organization with a policy that is contrary to one of our core beliefs.”

“We remain ready and willing to re-consider our funding position in the event that the BSA were to revise its policy,” the statement said.

At the moment, the Verizon Foundation, which donated more than $300,000 in 2010 is facing heat as more than 70,000 people have signed a petition asking the corporation to stop funding the Scouts.

The American Interest report said 23 of the top 50 corporate foundations, ranked by the Foundation Center in terms of total charitable giving, gave at least $10,000 each to the Boy Scouts in 2010.

Combined, they donated about $3.6 million.

Reversal

The Boy Scouts, with more than 2.7 million youth members and more than 1 million adult members, reaffirmed its policy on homosexuals July 17 upon the recommendation of an 11-member committee that had been meeting since 2010.

The policy states: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”

But last week, the national office signaled a reversal ahead of its national board meeting next week.

Speaking for the BSA National Council, Director of Public Relations Deron Smith explained the organization is discussing allowing, the local, chartered organizations that oversee Scouting to establish their own requirements.

BSA members and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.

He said BSA leadership “has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.”
Continue reading.

And from Robert Knight, at USA Today, "Boy Scouts shouldn't abandon morality." And more at LAT, "Boy Scouts gay ban generating emotional debate on both sides."

IMAGE CREDIT: Now the End Begins.

Dan Marino's Secret Love Child

Man, this is juicy.

At the New York Post, "EXCLUSIVE: NFL legend Dan Marino had a love child with CBS employee in 2005." The baby mama, Donna Savattere, started "living large" after the multi-million dollar settlement:

Dan Marino
Marino agreed to pay Savattere millions to care for Chloe, sources say, and she moved to Texas as part of the deal.

It’s not clear exactly how much Marino paid. But after getting the dough, Savattere apparently started living large.

She soon returned to New York from the Lone Star State, splitting her time between the Upper West Side and the Hamptons, where she became a fixture on the social scene.

She was even snapped by society photographers such as Patrick McMullan and New York Social Diary.
More at WeSmirch.

Israel Bombs Suspected Shipment of Anti-Aircraft Missiles Inside Syria

At the Wall Street Journal, "Israeli Jets Blast Arms Shipment Inside Syria":

Israel bombed a suspected shipment of antiaircraft missiles in Syria on Wednesday, according to regional and U.S. officials, in its most ambitious strike inside its neighbor's territory in nearly two chaotic years of civil war there.

The early-morning strike in a border area west of Damascus targeted a convoy of trucks carrying Russian-made SA-17 missiles to Hezbollah, the anti-Israel Shiite militant and political group in Lebanon, according to a Western official briefed on the raid.

Israeli officials declined to comment on the report, and to a Syrian allegation that Israel had bombed a Syrian military facility.

A strike draws Israel further into Syria's conflict—a civil war that has already deepened the region's divides as its powers have taken sides with arms and funding. It also marked a challenge to Iran, which has backed and financed Hezbollah.

"An attack of any kind is a major escalation," said Timor Goksel, an expert on Hezbollah and a professor at American University in Beirut. "Why would Israel do this out of the blue?"

The answer, according to several Western officials and security analysts, is that Israel took a calculated risk that Syria's government, strained by its own internal war, would choose not to retaliate. Meanwhile, Hezbollah and Iran—both facing coming elections and financial challenges—would also be unlikely to strike back at Israel now.

In addition to taking out weapons that could be used by Hezbollah against Israeli warplanes in a future conflict, Israel sent what amounted to a message of warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran against attempting to transfer any chemical or biological weapons to Hezbollah, U.S. and Western officials said. The use of such weapons has been singled out by President Barack Obama as a "red line" that could trigger a U.S. intervention.

Syria maintained that the accounts of a strike on an arms convoy near the country's border with Lebanon were wrong. Instead, Syria's military said, Israeli jets had attacked a military facility near Damascus.

"Israeli warplanes violated our airspace at dawn today and directly struck one of the scientific research centers responsible for elevating resistance and self-defense capabilities in the area of Jamraya in the Damascus countryside," Syria's military said in a statement carried by the official Sana news agency. The attack killed two workers and injured five others, it said, and "caused significant material damage and the destruction of the complex" and an adjacent parking lot.
Continue reading.

Report: IRA Assassins Plotting Terrorist Attack on G8 Summit in Northern Ireland

This whole world is descending into chaos.

This is like a headline from the 1970s.

At Sun UK, "IRA G8 bomb plot fear as world leaders gather for summit in Northern Ireland":

IRA Bomb
A rebel group, calling itself the New IRA, knows a bomb spectacular would hijack global headlines.

PM David Cameron, US President Barack Obama and Russia’s Vladimir Putin will be among those meeting in Enniskillen in June.

A Whitehall source said: “We can’t rule out some cowardly attack.”

The renegade terror group plotting to wreck the summit has 700 members, security chiefs warn.

Five militant groups opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process have joined forces to form the New IRA.

The summit, at the five-star loch-side Lough Erne hotel in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, will also be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian PM Stephen Harper, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Italian PM Mario Monti, if he is re-elected next month.

A senior Whitehall source said: “We are very confident that the G8 venue is completely secure.

“But we can’t rule out the possibility of some kind of cowardly attack in another part of the Province.”
It's like a Robert Ludlum novel, or something. A throwback, in any case.

Still more at that top link.

ObamaCare's Insurance Exchanges Are Already Turning Into a Disaster

At IBD:
Devoted users of Internet radio apps like Pandora may soon hear unexpected sound bites on their favorite music channels — ads touting ObamaCare.

That's right. In an attempt to drum up support for the law's health insurance exchanges, some states are planning advertising campaigns that could include everything from pro-ObamaCare coffee-cup sleeves to spots on popular music-streaming sites.

But no amount of advertising spin can obscure the fact that ObamaCare's insurance exchanges are shaping up to be disasters — saddling some consumers with higher premiums and state taxpayers with significant new spending obligations.

ObamaCare calls for the creation of state-administered health insurance exchanges, where Americans without employer-provided coverage can shop for government-approved policies. Enrollment is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, and coverage will take effect in 2014.

Those with incomes between 133% and 400% of the federal poverty level — up to $92,200 for a family of four as of 2012 — will qualify for federal subsidies.

States were given the choice of setting up their own exchanges, partnering with the federal government, or letting the feds handle things entirely.

Nineteen have opted for the first choice, and seven have signed on for a partnership.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is among the 25 governors who have refused to set up a state-based exchange. As Walker noted, "No matter which option is chosen, Wisconsin taxpayers will not have meaningful control over the health care policies and services sold to Wisconsin residents."

Walker is right. The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) dictates that all policies sold on the exchanges must meet one of four classifications: platinum, gold, silver or bronze. These categories indicate the percentage of health costs a plan covers for the average person: 90% for a platinum policy, 80% for gold, and so on.

Deductibles for all plans will be capped at $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families, with the limits adjusted over time for inflation. Such mandates prevent insurers from offering low-cost products that may best fit a family's budget.

ObamaCare doesn't just set the rules — it also tasks states with enforcing them.
The whole thing's a disaster, but continue reading.

Nina Agdal for Carl's Jr.

Via LAT:

Ignore Lena Dunham's 'Girls' at Your Own Peril, Conservatives

Well, I watched if for myself, despite R.S. McCain's warnings.

But see Kurt Schlichter, at Big Hollywood:

Lena Dunham
There’s plenty about Girls to annoy conservatives, yet this often creepy, usually skeevy, critically-acclaimed HBO series is also a test for conservatives.

Will we finally heed Andrew Breitbart's warnings about the importance of taking pop culture seriously or just keep fiddling as the culture burns?

If conservatives are going to be in the popular culture – and act to change it – they can’t simply ignore shows like Girls that capture the zeitgeist, even if the zeitgeist makes their skin crawl. Season two is well under way, and conservatives need to participate in the discussion.
Continue reading.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Late Cartoons

I meant to post cartoons on Sunday but never did get around to it, via William Warren:

William Warren

More at Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Also at Reaganite Republican, "Reaganite's Sunday Funnies," and Theo Spark, "Cartoon Roundup."

Still more at Jill Stanek's, "Stanek Sunday funnies, “40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade” edition."

Suspect Shot and Killed in Attempted Home Invasion in Fairborn, Ohio

Well, shouldn't this be flooding the news channels, considering everything else?

At Instapundit, "WAIT, I THOUGHT THIS KIND OF THING NEVER HAPPENED: Home Invasion Suspect Dies of Gunshot Wound."


More at WDTN-TV 2 Dayton, "Dayton man fatally shot in Victoria Ave. home former Ponitz grad."

Garrett McNamara Surfs 'World Record 100-Foot Wave' at Nazaré in Portugal

This is cool:

Gun Control Debate Intensifies in Senate Hearing

At the Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON -- There was little common ground between gun-control advocates and opponents at the first congressional hearing on guns since the massacre of children and teachers at Newtown, Conn.

“This is such a hard debate because people have such fixed positions,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, underscoring the entrenchment on display during the hearing put together to prevent future gun violence.

Headlined by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, Mark Kelly, and National Rifle Assn. Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, the Senate hearing focused on gun ownership, law enforcement and mental health issues brought to the forefront by the spree of mass shootings last year.

Kelly echoed his wife's emotional opening to the proceedings, strongly calling for universal background checks that he said would at least delay and impede criminals or mentally troubled individuals from obtaining firearms through legal means.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the committee, engaged in a heated exchange with LaPierre, pressing the NRA leader on his opposition to background checks at gun shows, which currently are subjected to minimal federal regulations.

“Please, Mr. LaPierre, I'm not trying to play games here,” Leahy said curtly following an answer he regarded as insufficient, prompting LaPierre to clearly state his opposition to the background checks.

“It does not make sense to extend the law to hobbyists and private sellers,” LaPierre said, claiming that “the law right now is a failure,” and any background check extensions will be ineffectual due to improper enforcement by federal prosecutors.
A full video of LaPierre's testimony is here.

And see the commentary at Memeorandum.

Added: At the Right Scoop, "Dishonest Dick Durbin smears NRA at hearing, uses dishonest tactics with panelists."

Hadiya Pendleton, Honors Student Who Performed at Inaugural Events, Shot to Death in Chicago, Blocks From Obama's Home

Here's your national gun crisis, or it should be if American politics wasn't FUBAR.

At the Chicago Tribune, "January homicide count worst since 2002" (via Memeorandum).

And, "Girl who performed at Obama inaugural events slain on South Side," and Teen shooting victim was 'slaughtered,' says brother, 10," and "

Hadiya Pendleton

Also at London's Daily Mail, "Honors student, 15, who performed in school band at Obama inauguration falls victim days later to Chicago murder epidemic - just a few blocks from the President's home."

Photo Credit: J A Y Dubb on Twitter.

Christina Milian Hot Bikini Collection

This ought to perk up the late risers this morning:


And see London's Daily Mail, "Christina Milian struggles to contain her curves as she hits Miami Beach in a plunging swimsuit."

CNN Drops Soledad O'Brien's 'Starting Point' — Show's Ratings Trailed Behind Robin Meade's Headline News 'Morning Express'

Well, old Soledad couldn't even beat out Robin Meade for the morning doctor's office demographic. CNN's resident Obama attack dog is on the way out, at least for now.

See The Other McCain, "CNN’s ‘Poorly Rated’ @Soledad_OBrien Will Lose Her Show Nobody Watched."

Unexpectedly! U.S. Economy Contracts in Fourth Quarter of 2012

The economy's shrinking and the Democrats are doing everything else besides working to fix it. That's not what we were promised during the campaign, but you already knew that. And that's Rick Santelli at the clip below, ranting away like only he knows how, apparently. As noted, I feel that populist insurrection rising, and it's not just over the libelous gun control narrative. The permanent political class is systemically worsening economic conditions to further cement its grip on power. Think about it.

At the Wall Street Journal, "U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Contracts in Fourth Quarter":

U.S. economic momentum screeched to a halt in the final months of 2012, as lawmakers' struggle to reach a deal on tax increases and budget cuts likely led businesses to pare inventories and the government to cut spending.

The nation's gross domestic product shrank for the first time in 3 1/2 years during the fourth quarter, declining at an annual rate of 0.1% between October and December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

It was the first time the broad measure of all goods and services produced by the economy contracted since the recovery from the financial crisis began. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected 1.0% annualized growth.

The decline reflects worries about the so-called fiscal cliff. The economy reversed from a 3.1% pace of growth in the third quarter largely because federal government spending fell by 15% and private business, likely fearing slack in demand, let inventories dwindle.

"Think of it as a giant hand holding down the economy," said Tim Hopper, chief economist at TIAA-CREF. "The underlying fundamentals are quite strong."

With the worst effects of the pending budget cuts and tax increases averted after Congress and the White House reached an agreement this month, Mr. Hopper said he expects the economy to return to moderate growth this year.

However, tax increases and possible federal budget cuts could weigh on advances in the first half of the year, said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group PNC +0.03% . Exports are still a concern because of the recession in Europe.

"The economy has less momentum going into 2013 than initially thought, making it vulnerable to external shocks," Mr. Hoffman said in a research note. "A turnaround in the housing market will be a key support to the economy this year."

For all of 2012, gross domestic product expanded 2.2%, an improvement compared with 1.8% growth in 2011.

The decline in federal spending last quarter was the largest drop since 1973. Spending at all levels of government fell 6.6% in the period.
And see all the buzz at Memeorandum. The idiot leftist are blaming it on the decline in defense spending, losers.

Why Hillary Clinton Will Run in 2016

Look, Hillary Clinton will run. She's been spinning her machinations since before her philandering presidential husband left office. At this point it's just a matter of predicting when she'll make the announcement of her candidacy.

See Dorothy Rabinowitz, "Hillary's Future":

It was impossible to miss the foreshadowings of the future as Hillary Clinton's week of public appearances wound down to its ending. This, was, of course, the arranged love fest on "60 Minutes," a program that was once the pride of CBS, an unequalled model of investigative journalism. Whatever the object of this piece of investigation was would have been hard to say—but its results, like Mrs. Clinton's appearance before the Congress earlier in the week, left us with a powerful sense of the candidacy to come in 2016. A candidacy not only very much like the one that culminated in the victory of Barack Obama—but one modeled on all its claims, its assumptions.

Mr. Obama had won office despite an astounding lack of experience and a negligible record. His indisputable political skills, his race and all symbolic values attached thereto—not to mention the promise, now apparently abandoned, of a new and unified America that transcended race—had swept him into office. No one can miss the parallel track the outgoing secretary of state is set to pursue.

What is already clear—what should stand out blazing in neon—are the extraordinary claims now being made for Mrs. Clinton's achievements as secretary of state. One of the greatest secretaries of state America has known, according to the president—and his is one of the more modest assessments. It's not the sort of view, to be sure, for which she can be held responsible, but it is an indicator of the passions that would drive her candidacy for the White House: the first woman president.

No one would dispute Mrs. Clinton's hard work, her travels across the globe, her famous capacity to show up armed with encyclopedic detail on every issue, every side of every question. She has been the most dutiful of secretaries of state, has obligingly and diligently carried forth Mr. Obama's designs for shrinking the American presence in the world. She leaves office having left behind no imprint of a vision, no evidence of concerns other than the dictates of diligent obedience.

The Magic of Jerusalem

Via Israel Matzav:

Gabrielle Giffords Testimony Before Senate Gun Control Hearing

I hate to say this, but it's time for Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords to limit their political exposure. It's painful to watch Giffords testify and as Althouse reported earlier, she's vulnerable to political exploitation by the gun-grabbing left.

At London's Daily Mail, "'Too many children are dying, the time to act is now': Gabrielle Giffords makes emotional plea to Senate on gun violence."

Neil Heslin Wasn't Heckled

I took an interest in this story initially because I've posted a couple of times on Neil Heslin. Just seeing the headline, I thought, "You know, they should just let that guy say his piece." But I moved on to other topics and by yesterday afternoon the story had been brutally debunked on Twitchy, "Outrageous: How the left-wing media lied about Newtown ‘hecklers’." The radical left really went to town on this, eyeing a decisive takedown of conservative gun rights supporters:


Mediate ran a piece last night reluctantly confirming that Twitchy debunked the left's malicious meme, "Did The Media Blatantly Mischaracterize Video Of Newtown Father Being 'Heckled' By 'Gun Nuts'? (VIDEO)."

And now MSNBC, which salaciously ran the false edited video clip of the alleged "heckling," is doing a review of its libelous reporting, "MSNBC ‘reviewing’ Newtown ‘heckled’ video" (at Memeorandum).

Check over at Twitchy for more, for example, "Ace of Spades shreds media for perpetuating Newtown heckling hoax."

Ruth Wisse on the Future of Conservatism

See, "What Is the Future of Conservatism?":
I take this presidential election as a call for university reform as well as tax reform. For a start, I suggest citizens challenge the use of “diversity” for racial and gender profiling and argue for reinvestment in teaching the foundational texts of Western thought. To conserve our liberal democracy, conservatives and other concerned citizens will have to work harder.
RTWT.

Mission Creep in Mali? Britain's Growing Military Commitment

At Independent UK, "Gamble for Africa: Mali mission sucks in 350 British troops":
Mali Britain
Britain’s growing military commitment to Mali and West Africa is likely to pass 400 within a matter of weeks, sparking fears of “mission creep” and cross-party criticism that UK forces are being sucked into a Vietnam-style conflict without a defined exit strategy.

A fortnight ago David Cameron promised that Britain would only send “tens, not hundreds” of troops to help the French-led operation. That prediction from the Prime Minister has been shredded as UK assistance to the French-led operation has significantly increased.

The growing importance of the unrest in West Africa was highlighted last night when Downing Street announced the PM would be flying to Algeria tomorrow for urgent talks with Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal.

Mr Cameron was already scheduled to attend a development conference in Monrovia, Liberia, but added the Algerian meeting following the recent hostage crisis at the Amenas gas plant which left six Britons and 47 others dead.

Number 10 said the discussions were likely to include the military campaign in Mali, a neighbour-state to Algeria.

The Defence Secretary Phil Hammond was forced to make a statement to the Commons today admitting that troop numbers in the region would substantially rise with new support for an EU training mission in Mali and up to 200 additional personnel who will assist a United Nations-backed training programme for forces from neighbouring West African states.

UK military advisers are already in place helping the UN’s Africa-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA). Ground and technical support teams for a Sentinel surveillance aircraft plus two C-17 transport planes protected by combat-ready troops from the RAF Regiment, have also been deployed.

Around 20 British personnel are in the Malian capital, Bamako, liaising with French forces that have already passed the 3500 mark. Further British military assistance in the form of a specialist ferry to help land French armoured vehicles at ports in Senegal or The Gambia, alongside the offer of expert personnel to help staff a joint UK-French logistics headquarters in Mali , is also being considered.

Britain’s national security adviser, Sir Kim Darroch, has been in Paris this week holding talks with his French counterparts. The talks – focused on France’s short-term military shopping list for Mali – suggest the UK’s role could grow...
Well, Britannia's not ruling the waves these days, that's for sure. You'd think the country which once boasted the world's most powerful empire could handled deploying a few hundred commandos to Central Africa. Sheesh.

New York Times Publishes Anti-Israel Screed by Radical Law Professor George Bisharat

Professor Bisharat has a long history of bashing Israel, it turns out. See, "George Bisharat uses NYT to publish out-of-context accusations":
Meet George Bisharat, currently a professor at the UC Hastings College of Law. Bisharat was born in 1954 in Kansas, to a Palestinian family from Jerusalem, eventually earning BA in Berkeley and MA in Georgetown. Later, Bisharat studied in Harvard, and assumed position of professor of law at University of California. Bisharat is an author of ‘Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the West Bank’, worked with Palestinian Legislative Council and on editorial board of Journal of Palestine Studies.

I believe the above gives us clear understanding of Bisharat’s allegiance; however, it is also clear he is a smart man. Bisharat criticized Israel’s conduct in 2006 Second Lebanon War, pushes for the boycott of Israel, alleges Israel’s conduct in 2008 Gaza campaign constitutes war crimes and an avid supporter of a one-state solution (read: Israel ceases being a Jewish state).
Well, that's pretty much a perfect criticism of Bisharat's hit job at today's New York Times, "Why Palestine Should Take Israel to Court in the Hague." Virtually every one of Bisharat's attacks on Israel are decontextualized, and this one's a blatant falsehood:
No doubt, Israel is most worried about the possibility of criminal prosecutions for its settlements policy. Israeli bluster notwithstanding, there is no doubt that Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are illegal. Israeli officials have known this since 1967, when Theodor Meron, then legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry and later president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, wrote to one of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s aides: “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Under the founding statute of the I.C.C., grave violations of the Geneva Conventions, including civilian settlements in occupied territories, are considered war crimes.
Bull. See Danny Ayalon, "Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the West Bank." And especially Professor Michael Curtis, "Israeli Settlements an Obstacle to Peace?":
International law gives no clear answer on the issue of Israeli settlements. The Fourth Geneva Convention does forbid government deportation or "individual or mass forcible transfers" of population into territory it occupies. This Convention was formulated because of the activities during World War II of the Nazi regime, and by inference the Soviet Union, in transferring population into occupied territory for political or racial reasons, or for colonization. As a result of those activities, millions were subjected to forced migration, expulsion, slave labor, and extermination. On this issue two factors are pertinent. One is that Israeli governments have not aimed at any displacement of the population in any of the disputed areas. The other is that neither the Geneva Convention nor any other law prevents the establishment of voluntary settlements on an individual basis, nor on their location, if the underlying purpose is security, public order, or safety, and as long as the settlements do not involve taking private property. It is absurd to suggest that the state of Israel "deported" or "transferred" its own citizens to the territories.

This conclusion was buttressed by a report, in July 2012, of the independent Israeli three-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, which held that the classic laws of "occupation" do not apply to "the unique and sui generis historic and legal circumstances of Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria spanning over decades." The committee held that consequently Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria, and that the establishment of settlements is not illegal.
Bisharat's not an honest commentator on Israel. And it turns out he's a contibutor at the anti-Semitic hate site Mondoweiss. (Last summer Armin Rosen posted a devastating take down of Mondoweiss, at the Atlantic, "A Reminder That Anti-Semitism Has No Place in Debates Over Israel.") And while I enjoy reading the New York Times, as readers can tell, the editors should be ashamed at publishing such a shitty little piece of anti-Israel propaganda.

Beth Humphreys for Front Magazine February 2013

At Egotastic!, "Beth Humphreys Topless Teasy Tasty Hot for Front Magazine (Prepare to Fall in Lust)."

Beth Humphreys

Matt Lauer Interview With Epic Hypocrite Al 'Jazeera' Gore

It's really hard to find a bigger hypocrite than Al Gore. He just keeps putting out.

Lauer: "Isn't there a bit of hypocrisy in this" sale to Al Jazeera? Gore: "Well, I get the criticism. I just disagree with it, because this network has established itself. It's objective. It's won major awards in countries around the world. And its climate coverage, as I said a minute ago, has been outstanding and extensive..."

That's it? As long as Al Jazeera has "extensive" climate coverage no hypocrisy here. Check. Asshole.

And at Washington Free Beacon, "Gore Defends Current Sale to Oil-Backed Al Jazeera." And at Accuracy in Media, "Al Gore Says He Isn’t A Hypocrite for Selling Current TV to Al Jazeera [Video]."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bloody Bodies Line River in Allepo, Syria

At the New York Times, "Fifty Corpses Line a River in Aleppo."


Also at Telegraph UK, "Aleppo executions: 79 bodies pulled from Syria river":
At least 79 Syrian men and teenage boys, each with a single bullet hole to the head, have been found dead in a river in Aleppo in the biggest mass execution of the country’s two-year civil war.

Some of the bodies had been so recently killed that blood still flowed from their wounds. Others had clearly lain stagnant in the water for days, their bodies bloated and the skin disintegrating and grey.

The hands of each had been roughly tied with string or wire. Each had circular wound in their forehead or eye. The large exit wounds at the backs of their heads suggested they had been shot at close range.

Family members arrived in their hundreds to identify missing sons, saying many had disappeared after crossing from rebel-held territory in Aleppo into regime areas on the other side of the river.

It was impossible to be certain who was responsible for their deaths. But those identified, at least half the total by nightfall, were from rebel-held districts, and locals blamed government checkpoints on the other side of the river.

Day of Resistance

John Hawkins talking about the national Day of Resistance:


I love the rallies. The tea parties tapered off but now we may be having Second Amendment parties. More at DayofResistance.com and Right Wing News.

'Crazy Crackers'

OMG this is hilarious:



Via Mediaite and Memeorandum.

Caleb Moore in Critical Condition After Monstrous Snowmobile Crash at Winter X Games 2013

Well, they call these extreme sports for a reason.

At ABC News, "Snowmobiler Caleb Moore in Critical Condition After Winter X Games Crash."

Why Would Anyone Jewish Want to Live in Britain?

I need to follow-up on my earlier piece, "Britain's National Sickness."

At that link is Melanie Phillips' essay discussing the disease of British anti-Semitism. It's a powerful piece. I beat a lot of folks to the story and, mostly out of haste, decided against posting the rabidly anti-Semitic cartoon that ran at the Sunday Times (William Jacobson has it, in any case).

It turns out there there's even more news out of Britain on this. Blazing Cat Fur links to Douglas Murray at the Gatestone Institute, "Britain's Little Anti-Semitism Problem." Murray discusses the recent London panel discussion on Israel's settlement policy held at Intelligence Squared, "Israel Is Destroying Itself With Its Settlement Policy," and he writes:
There are good places and reasons to debate Israeli settlement policy. But it is, to say the least, questionable to make the one Israel debate in a debate series a discussion proposing that it is settlements that threaten Israel's future. Rather than (plucking them off the top of my head) the promise of nuclear-bomb-owning Mullahs or say (admittedly old story) the seven-decade long refusal of any leading Palestinian to recognise the Jewish State? There is something obscene about presenting a debate in such terms. But debates need to be punchy and provocative. They also need to involve open minds. What Glick and the other Israeli guest on her side – Danny Dayan – had to witness was very far from a demonstration of that.

Glick rightly saw that the case for Israel needed to be made. But against her and Dayan were two young darlings of the London anti-Israel establishment. The undeservedly arrogant J-Street founder Daniel Levy enjoys a following in such London circles because of his father (Lord Levy)'s money. Meanwhile, the other member proposing the anti-Israel motion, William Sieghart, is a member of a prominent London family who did poorly in the family brains distribution and so has ended up promoting Hamas. Both are the sort of rich, privileged figures who mistake their own ignorance and stupidity for profundity with daring. Their careers are spent providing respectability to those who would erase the Jewish people.

Unfortunately, and predictably, the smart London audience sided overwhelmingly with the local idiots, heckling and shouting down points made by the visiting team. The hostility – heckling, booing and more – shown towards Glick and Dayan was unique and appalling. At the end the vote was 5 to 1 in favour of Levy and Sieghart.

In a searing response to what she had seen, Glick penned the article 'Bye-bye London', writing:
I can say without hesitation that I hope never to return to Britain. I actually don't see any point. Jews are targeted by massive anti-Semitism of both the social and physical varieties. Why would anyone Jewish want to live there?
There's more, but upon reading that I clicked over to Caroline's site for the links and immediately listened to her talk, and was riveted. I doubt few people are as knowledgeable on these things, and virtually no one evinces as much moral clarity. Do yourself a favor, take a few minutes and listen to this talk:


Caroline's entry is here, "Video of Intelligence Squared Debate in London." And here's "Bye-bye London."

And as I always point out, it's all of a piece. No matter how compelling, no matter what overwhelming evidence Caroline could have presented, the results of the debate were preordained. She landed in an ideological cesspool. Arguments against Israel are always based on hatred and illogic. People of decency, of moral righteousness just have to stand their ground and keep up the fight. And sometimes that requires removing yourself from the scene of so much utter atrocity. It's too bad for all of us that that includes the entirety of Britain itself.

Kate Upton for Sam Edelman Footwear

Via Ms. Upton on Twitter:

Kate Upton Shoes

Newport Beach Murder Suspect ID'd as Stanwood Fred Elkus, Prostate Patient Battling Health Problems for Years

A follow up to last night's entry, "Doctor Shot and Killed Inside Newport Beach Medical Office."

The Orange County Register reports, "Shooting suspect had health problems":

Stanwood Fred Elkus
NEWPORT BEACH – A 75-year-old man who has been battling health issues for years is suspected of shooting and killing a doctor at his office Monday night, authorities said.

A neighbor of Stanwood Fred Elkus said he was often negative about his persistent health problems, and after helping him work on a motor home Sunday night, Elkus insisted he take $10 for the work and a pair of wire cutters.

"I might not be alive much longer," James Lord, 54, said Elkus told him.

Lord said he didn't think much of the statement, knowing Elkus was often pessimistic about his health.

"I wish I could have seen the signs of it," he said.

Elkus was taken into custody in the second-floor offices of 520 Superior Ave., at the offices of Ronald Franklin Gilbert. Gilbert was identified by the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities said about a half-dozen shots were fired at about 2:45 p.m. inside the Newport Beach medical offices. When officers arrived, Elkus was taken into custody without incident, said Kathy Lowe, spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department.

Gilbert was the former chief of Hoag Hospital's Department of Urology, and had worked in the hospital for almost 20 years, according to a statement released Tuesday by Richard Afable, President and CEO of the hospital.

"Dr. Gilbert dedicated his career to serving others," the statement read.
His 53rd birthday would have been Wednesday.

Lord – the neighbor – said he'd known Elkus for about five years, and would be often asked to watch over his Lake Elsinore home while Elkus attended doctor appointments.
For years, Elkus had been battling prostate health problems, he said.

"I'd always tell him thinks would look better," Lord said.
More at that top link.

The dude flipped. His health problems were mental as well as prostate.

Video at KABC 7 Los Angeles, "OC doctor shooting: Suspect was longtime patient, employees say."

Naked Griffiti Girls

Amazing.

At London's Daily Mail, "Meet the naked graffiti girls: Trend for tagging women's bare bodies with street art becomes internet sensation."

Dana Loesch Debates Guns With Piers Morgan on CNN, Pulls Out Mini AR-15 Rifle

I was checking this out last night. It's a lighter she picked up at the gas station, via Gateway Pundit:


The full 10-minute segment is available here.

'It Really Was Something You'd Expect From State-Run Media'

Here's Kirsten Powers yesterday slamming Steve Kroft's "60 Minutes" Barack-Hillary softball interview:


And I watched Kroft's interview with Piers Morgan last night, and he defends his pussy interview style as key to maintaining access to "The One." Talk about state-run media, at Newsbusters, "CBS's Kroft on Why Obama Does 60 Minutes: 'He Knows We're Not Going To Play Gotcha With Him'."

Syria FSA Insurgent Blown to Bits in RPG Misfire

This dude get f-ked up bad.


Hat Tip: Pat Dollard.

Gov. Jerry Brown Looks at Reshaping California's Higher Education

I wrote on this previously, "Governor Brown Seeks Dramatic Community College Makeover."

And now at the New York Times, "In California, Son Gets Chance to Restore Luster to a Legacy":
LOS ANGELES — During a 1960s renaissance, California’s public university system came to be seen as a model for the rest of the country and an economic engine for the state. Seven new campuses opened, statewide enrollment doubled, and state spending on higher education more than doubled. The man widely credited with the ascendance was Gov. Edmund G. Brown, known as Pat.

Decades of state budget cuts have chipped away at California’s community colleges, California State University and the University of California, once the state’s brightest beacons of pride. But now Pat Brown’s son, Gov. Jerry Brown, seems determined to restore some of the luster to the institution that remains a key part of his father’s legacy.

Last year, he told voters that a tax increase was the only way to avoid more years of drastic cuts. Now, with the tax increase approved and universities anticipating more money from the state for the first time in years, the second Governor Brown is a man eager to take an active role in shaping the University of California and California State University systems.

Governor Brown holds a position on the board of trustees for both Cal State and UC. Since November, he has attended every meeting of both boards, asking about everything from dormitories to private donations and federal student loans. He is twisting arms on issues he has long held dear, like slashing executive pay and increasing teaching requirements for professors — ideas that have long been met with considerable resistance from academia. But Mr. Brown, himself a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, has never been a man to shrink from a debate.

“The language we use when talking about the university must be honest and clear,” he said in a recent interview. “Words like ‘quality’ have no apparent meaning that is obvious. These are internally defined to meet institutional needs rather than societal objectives.”

California’s public colleges — so central to the state’s identity that their independence is enshrined in its Constitution — have long been seen as gateways to the middle class. Mr. Brown said his mother had attended the schools “basically free.” Over the last five years tuition at UC and Cal State schools has shot up, though the colleges remain some of the less costly in the country.

Governors and legislatures are trying to exert more influence on state colleges, often trying to prod the schools to save money, matters that some say are “arguably best left to the academic institution,” said John Aubrey Douglass, a senior research fellow of public policy and higher education at Berkeley. So far, Mr. Brown has not taken such an aggressive approach, but half of the $250 million increase for the university systems is contingent on a tuition freeze.

“He’s creating stability, but basically he’s looking at cost containment with an eye on the public constituency,” Mr. Douglass said. “But the system has been through a very long period of disinvestment, and this may meet an immediate political need, but it is not what is going to help in the long term.”
I think he could do more for education --- and for the state as a whole --- by expanding economic growth and opportunity. It would take pressure off the higher education system, for one thing. As it is now the colleges and universities are expected to be saviors for all manner of societal failure, especially crime, poverty and social breakdown. A strong economy, through deregulation and business expansion, would help create a rising tide to lift all boats. I hope that doesn't get overlooked amid all the hoopla about increasing tax revenues. People need to learn the lessons of the past decade.

More at that top link, plus interesting photos.

And from some not unrelated thoughts, see Joel Kotkin, at the O.C. Register, "California Is Becoming Less Family-Friendly."

Commissioner Kelley Says NYC's Real Enemy is Illegal Guns

At the New York Post, "'This is the enemy:' Are handguns worse than assault weapons?":

This is the enemy
The nation’s looming assault-weapons ban is plain common sense, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday — but the city’s real enemy is illegal handguns.

“For us in New York City, and I believe in most urban centers throughout America, the problem really is concealable handguns,” Kelly said.

The city’s top cop made the remark on CBS’s “Face the Nation” during a discussion on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s pending legislation to severely tighten restrictions on military-style firearms and high-capacity ammunition clips.

“We don’t want them on the streets, make no mistake about it,” Kelly said, referring to AK-47s and AR-15s, such as the one used in the Newtown, Conn., elementary-school massacre. “But the problem is the handgun.”

Handguns account for nearly all murders by firearm in New York City and state, data show. An analysis by the NYPD determined that assault weapons were used in just three of the 1,400 instances of gunplay in the city last year.

The biggest obstacle in stemming the flow of the illegal weapons — both assault rifles and handguns — is the less restrictive laws in other locales, Kelly said.

A universal background check would eliminate loopholes that allow these guns to be sold with virtually no questions asked and without documentation, he and other supporters say.

Responding to Kelly’s national call for action against handguns, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) told The Post, “Whether it’s handguns or assault weapons, universal background checks will help prevent both from falling into the wrong hands.”
I doubt it.

Adam Lanza just stole his mother's guns. And Aurora murderer James Holmes bought all of his stuff legally. His psychiatrist didn't give authorities warnings of his likely violent inclinations. The university was on epic freak out mode when the news of the massacre broke. Gun legislation didn't do jack to stop that carnage. We all support keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. But the Democrats want just the opposite: keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens. It's really perverse. Authoritarian even.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Doctor Shot and Killed Inside Newport Beach Medical Office

Details are sparse, but see the Los Angeles Times, "Doctor fatally shot in exam room of Newport Beach medical office."

And a video report from KABC 7 Los Angeles, "Doctor shot, killed inside Newport Beach medical office."

These are medical offices run by Hoag Hospital of Newport Beach. My youngest son was born at that hospital. And his pediatrician's office is just up Newport Boulevard, about a half-mile away. I'm going to say a prayer in a few minutes when I get into bed. And I'll be updating this story tomorrow. I've got a couple of posts queued up for overnight.

Until then...

David Frum, CNN's Faux Conservative, Claims Americans 'Do Not Need Firearms to Protect Themselves, They Are Safer Than Ever Before...'

There's a lot going on at this Erin Burnett OutFront segment from earlier today, seen below.

Burnett starts off very skeptical, announcing to viewers, "Obama the skeet shooter. Yeah, I’m not making this up, and if someone is, it isn’t me" (check Mediaite on Twitter for full clip). She then asks contributor Roland Martin if the president need to provide "proof" that's he's really skeet shooting at Camp David. (Martin of course freaks out like this is the beginning of yet another allegedly racist attack on Obama, like when Obama had to "go through four years" trying to prove he was American, or whatever.)

And most sensational is when Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn challenges Obama to a skeet shooting contest, "TRENDING: Doubting congresswoman challenges Obama to skeet shooting match" (via Memeorandum).

But what frankly shocked me there was listening to so-called "conservative" pundit David Frum claiming that the gun debate is "not about hunting" but "fear of crime." And that allegedly crime has dropped so dramatically, perhaps to the lowest point in the history of the republic, "and what Americans need to know if they're going to think intelligently about the use of weapons, is how much crime has declined in the country over the past 20 years. People don't appreciate, I think, the magnitude of this drop, and how if you look at the statistics today Americans are safer from crime than ever before, since good records began, and probably ever before in the entire history of the republic. If people knew that, that would have an impact --- they do not need ... they do not need ...  they do not need firearms to protect themselves. They are safer than ever before. That's the point to drive home. And meanwhile they are risking accidents, they are risking suicide among their loved ones. That's what the gun debate is about..."

Listen at the last half of the clip:


It's been an amazing month and a half or so since the Newtown massacre, and I can't remember a more important teaching moment over the divide in this country between the Washington political establishment ---- a.k.a. the permanent political class --- and the regular rank and file "bitter clingers" among the rest of us. It's everyday Americans who send the party hacks to D.C. on election day and who underwrite the cable news sinecures of these stupid elitist snobs like David Frum trough the television viewing. The straw man argumentation is enormous here. Frum shifts the debate away from Barack Obama, by alleging that the president is "missing the target here." Well, no he's not. The president must be feeling enough political heat from the gun-toting electorate that he's reduced to making up stories of skeet shooting at presidential retreats. I think people indeed want to know if he's really shooting skeet on the weekend. So kudos to Marsha Blackburn. She's got his number. What is more, Frum's shift to the crime thing just dodges the issue even further. Who cares what the statistics are on crime? They're important? Okay, but that's not the issue. The issue is the right of Americans to keep and bear arms. The issue is the right of Americans to be free and independent people and not dependent of the appendages of the state for protection. As the News Junkie indicates at Maggie's Farm, "Police rarely prevent crime. They cannot be everywhere. Their main job is to find [criminals] after the crime. Your own job is to prevent crime against you and your family." And folks should read over at Protein Wisdom, as well, for more on why the right to bear arms is central to liberty, "“Feinstein Says She Wants to Go After More Than Just ‘Assault Weapons’”."

I've never seen such a brazen across-the-board assault on the basic liberties of the people in my entire life. When we see commentators writing about a growing grassroots insurrection, it's easy to see why --- I can feel a growing popular insurgency against the Washington political class in my bones. It's a feeling of anger and contempt for the idiots touting themselves as our bettors. When I walked around the gun show last weekend I saw everyday people, buyers and sellers, entering into free exchange and commerce as a free people. That's the way it should be. But the Democrats in Washington and their Beltway enablers haven't the slightest clue about how badly they're misjudging how deeply Americans cherish their freedoms. A storm is brewing, and it's going to be a frightening sight if the political class fail to back the f-k off.

Obama Bundler Anna Wintour's Boyfriend Owes $1.2 Million in Back Taxes

According to a report last week at PuffHo, Anna Wintour "is the editor of Vogue and the role model for the character played by Meryl Streep in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. She is a citizen of the United Kingdom as well as the United States so it may not be clear which government she is serving. But she is one of the President's biggest bundlers." But according to New York Magazine, she's no long being considered for the post, and I've heard little about it lately, so who knows? She and her boyfriend are certainly members in good standing of Washington's permanent political class. Although a wee bit of boyfriend back taxes might have been an indelicate subject at Wintour's confirmation hearings.  See Telegraph UK, "Anna Wintour's boyfriend 'owes US government $1.2 million in taxes'":
J. Shelby Bryan, the long-term boyfriend of Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor in contention to be Barack Obama's next ambassador to Britain, owes the US government more than $1.2 million (£760,000) in taxes.
Mr Bryan, a former adviser to Bill Clinton who helped raise funds for Mr Obama's re-election campaign, has owed the money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since 2006, according to court filings obtained by The Daily Telegraph from Texas.

Mr Bryan, who has been in a relationship with Ms Wintour since 1999, was also pursued for outstanding Texas property taxes, and has had energy companies he owns in the state chided by local authorities for falling behind on their financial filings.
The findings may threaten Ms Wintour's confirmation as a US ambassador if nominated by Mr Obama. Her appointment would need to be approved by the US Senate, which has in the past objected to irregularities in the tax affairs of nominees and their partners.

Mr Bryan, 66, was said to have a fortune of $30 million when he left his second wife, Katherine, for Ms Wintour 13 years ago. He reportedly suffered a decline in personal wealth amid the financial crisis, however, and frequently stays at Ms Wintour's $10 million townhouse in Manhattan.

Ms Wintour was one of Mr Obama's leading fundraisers during his re-election campaign, bringing in $500,000 to the president's coffers. At one $35,000-a-plate fundraising dinner in August, Mr Obama thanked "Anna and Shelby for being such extraordinary hosts".
Continue reading.

RELATED: At Big Journalism, "Bannon on Boomtown: Media Must Investigate Permanent Political Class."

God, you can say that again.

Some Overdue Lucy Pinder Rule 5

I haven't posted pics of this lady in awhile, via Twitter.

And more at Subject to Change, "Rule 5." And from Bob Belvedere, "Rule 5 Saturday: Haley Marie."
Lucy Pinder

More at Pirate's Cove, "If All You See……is an ocean that will rise up and cover all the land, you might just be a Warmist."

Also Randy's Roundtable, "Thursday Nite Tart (on Friday): Jessica Cediel." And The Other McCain, "Rule 5 Sunday."

(This is a brief round --- add your links to the comments and I'll update with your post!)

Why Women Prefer AR-15s

Hey, listen to Celia Bigelow make the case for the AR-15 with the 30-round magazine:

Michael Kinsley's Hate Mail

This is really a story of Michael Kinsley slinking back to The New Republic for the umpteenth time. He first wrote at (for) the magazine 36 years ago. He's been just about everywhere else since, including an extremely undistinguished stint as the editorial and opinion editor of the Los Angeles Times about a decade ago. In any case, here's his piece, at the completely made-over TNR, "Sixth Time's the Charm: My Journalistic Life in (Nasty) Letters":
In 1979, I received a letter that I can still recite by heart, because it was very short, and it was taped on the wall next to my desk for many years, reminding me of the first time I came back to The New Republic. I had quit as editor in an ethical dispute with the editor-in-chief.

Ted Kennedy was challenging President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. At this point, before he remarried, Kennedy's dual reputation for girth and senatorial statesmanship had not yet overcome his reputation as a party boy. My position was that Kennedy's attitude toward women was a legitimate issue; the editor-in-chief's position was that even Ted Kennedy had a right to privacy. I sulked for a couple of weeks, reflected on the nature of capitalism, and slunk back to work.

The letter arrived a few days later. I don't remember who from. It made up in pith what it lacked in colorful details. It read:
Dear Mr. Kinsley:
I didn't know that you had gone, but I'm sorry to see that you're back.
That reader has suffered a lifetime of disappointment, because this week marks—depending on how you count—the fifth or sixth time I have knocked on The New Republic's door. And each time, they have let me back in. My reasons for leaving have varied: greater glory (or so I thought), bigger audience, more money, disputes with the management, an opportunity (one of two that, according to Gore Vidal, you should never turn down) to appear regularly on television. But I always came back eventually.

It's 36 years since I first worked for The New Republic, 23 years since the last time I wielded the editor's scythe, and 17 years since I have written for the magazine regularly. The last time I resigned as editor, the current editor-in-chief and owner was five years old. Needless to say, he is wise beyond his years.

This time, I return not as the editor (please direct your complaints and article submissions elsewhere) but as "editor-at-large." I see this as a sort of avuncular role, in which my primary duty will be cornering the young people in the office and forcing them to listen to tedious anecdotes about the old days. I also plan to write self-indulgent, lachrymose memoirs of journalistic colleagues and friends as they, one by one, drop off their perches.

Project Bore the Interns will be immeasurably aided by my recent discovery of several boxes of letters hidden in a corner of my garage.
Continue reading.

It's actually an interesting piece. And I used to think Kinsley was interesting back in the old "Crossfire" days. But by this stage in the game I've read too many of his very left-wing op-eds to be that excited. Although TNR's publishing makeover looks pretty snazzy. More on that at the New York Times, "The New Republic Reimagines Its Future" (along with the additional commentary at Mediagazer and Memeorandum).

The World According to Dianne Feinstein

More knowledge-based goodness from Emily Miller:


And she's got still more at the Washington Times, "The high-capacity magazine myth: Anti-gun crowd deliberately misleads the public."

Straight Shooting Jessie Duff!

An interview with Judge Pirro:


And ICYMI, "Jessie Duff - World Champion Shooter with Sean Hannity."

Blood of Tyrants

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."Thomas Jefferson.
The left's gun-grabbers are fomenting a patriotic insurrection so fierce even old Thomas Jefferson would be gobsmackingly astonished.

At SHTF Plan, "Will You Submit & Obey?":

This Time
In New York, we have a prequel of what’s to come – the repeal of the Second Amendment and summary criminalization of peaceful citizens merely for possessing the means of self-defense, even in their own homes. As in Great Britain, citizens of NY face prison if they use proscribed weapons against murderous thugs – even in their own homes. The tyrants Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo have made their decision. Now New Yorkers will have to make theirs. And so will the rest of us – if, as seems likely, the federal tyrants succeed in issuing a New York-style fatwa that applies to the rest of the country. Which brings us to the question:

What will you do?

It is a very hard question. Perhaps the hardest question Americans have had to face since 1861. As then, there may be no peaceful way to preserve our rights. There may be blood. As then, one side is absolutely determined to impose its will at bayonet-point. To murder us in the thousands – perhaps millions, this time - if we refuse to submit. There is no reasoning, no discussing. What we face is violence against our persons by people who absolutely will not leave us in peace – no matter how peaceful we try to be – until we have submitted to them utterly and for all time to come. We wish only to be left alone – and demand that our right to defend ourselves against those who will not leave us alone be respected. That self-defense is the most basic of rights – a right conceded even to the lowest animal. They do not acknowledge our rights; they despise the very notion of us having any rights at all. They regard their power over us as limitless in principle – and rage at even the smallest assertion of freedom of action. They loathe our guns because our ownership of guns is an expression of our determination to defend our very lives – and thus, of self-ownership.

And that is what cannot be tolerated. Which is why the current bum-rush to disarm us has become absolutely frantic. The moment is at hand. We will either stand up and be reckoned with as free men – or we will sit down forever and accept any degradation, any humiliation. And in that case, we shall have proved worthy of such treatment. Future generations will look upon us with the same mixture of incomprehension and contempt that our generation looked upon those who meekly lined up naked in queue for their turn at the edge of the pit. Because it will come to that, in time.
Continue reading (via Director Blue and Cold Fury).

RELATED: At the New York Post, "Only rebellion can save America," and Canada Free Press, "Understanding the Obama Conspiracy & U.S. takeover."

EXTRA: At Right Wing News, "2/23/2013 Will Be a Day of Resistance."

President Obama and Secretary Clinton on Benghazi

At the Daily Beast, "Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s Lovefest on ‘60 Minutes’." And at Weasel Zippers, "Obama on Benghazi: “Somewhere, Somehow, Somebody In the Federal Government Is Screwing Up”…"

And previously, Sen. Kelly Ayotte:

The Lightworker's Cosmic Essence

At the Other McCain, "BREAKING: Lightworker Astride Unicorn Transcends Space-Time Continuum."

Lightworker

Rep. Carolyn McCarty: Women Can't Handle AR-15s

Snarks Moonbattery, "Funny, this woman learned how to handle an AR-15 quickly enough":


At at the Truth About Guns, "Carolyn McCarthy: Traditional Rifles Better for Women’s Self Defense Than AR-15s."

How Do You Kill 11 Million People?

Via BigFurHat:

Future of the NFL

From Sam Farmer, at the Los Angeles Times, "NFL future: Feeling a bit woozy":
NEW ORLEANS -- Over the last two decades, the NFL seemingly could do no wrong.

The Dallas Cowboys, bought by Jerry Jones for $150 million in 1989, are now valued at $2.1 billion. Twenty of the league's 32 teams are valued at $1 billion or more.

Eight of the country's top 15 most-watched TV programs were Super Bowls, and more than 100 million people around the globe are expected to tune in for next Sunday's matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. Fans will pay thousands of dollars per ticket just to get inside the Superdome to watch the game in person.

Even after the labor meltdown and player lockout of 2011, when another league might have lost legions of fans, the NFL had a typically captivating season — including the unexpected bonus of Tim Tebow — and grew in influence and popularity.

But fissures have formed in the once-pristine NFL edifice. More than 2,000 former players are suing the league over head injuries, and what they were and weren't told about the long-term damage of concussions. Junior Seau, among the greatest linebackers in league history, committed suicide last spring and was later found to have a concussion-related brain disease. Seau's family this week filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the league. A study released last week shows signs of an ailment similar to Seau's in five living NFL alumni.

"The culture of the athlete is still too much of a play-through-it, rather than player-safety mentality," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in November in a speech to the Harvard School of Public Health. "Many players have publicly admitted to hiding concussions and other head injuries.… This is unfortunate, but we are working with players, team doctors and coaches to change that culture. It is changing, but will take more time, resolve, patience, and determination."

The NFL is considering the drastic move of doing away with kickoffs in the name of player safety. However, Goodell and team owners also have explored the possibility of expanding the regular season from 16 to 18 games, potentially increasing the likelihood of injuries. There also have been discussions about expanding the playoff field from 12 to 14 or 16 teams.

"There's an uneasy feeling around the NFL, because although the league is arguably more popular than it's ever been before, there are also these glaring areas of deep concern about player safety on the field, and the players' health off the field and after their careers are over," said Michael MacCambridge, author of "America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation."...
Well, if President Obama had a son he wouldn't let him play football, so it's just one more nail in the coffin of American exceptionalism.

Just enjoy it while it lasts, I guess.

More at that top link, in any case.

Israel Attack on Iran's Fordo Nuclear Facility?

I saw news of this on Twitter yesterday, and my good friend Norm in New York gave me a hat tip as well.

See the Times of Israel, "Israeli minister welcomes report of huge blast at Iran nuclear plant."

And at Astute Bloggers, "BREAKING: IRAN NUKE FACILITY BOMBED?" And Israpundit, "Blast hits key Iranian nuclear site?"

With so much at stake you'd think there'd be more coverage of this, but when Israel took out a Syrian nuclear facility a few years back, the reporting was sparse. Don't doubt that Jerusalem will act without U.S. cooperation. The Israelis won't take a chance on Tehran obtaining nuclear strike capabilities.

Lawyers Behaving Badly Get Dressing Down From Civility Cops

At the Wall Street Journal, "Adversarial System Grows Obscenely Nasty; 'Get More Results With Sugar'":
In New York one night recently, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan donned his robes, walked onstage and belted out to his colleagues this heartfelt plea for lawyerly politeness (to the tune of "If I Were a Rich Man"):

"If lawyers were more civil

Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dum

They'd treat their breth-er-en with more respect

Wouldn't always yell, 'object.' "

The ditty struck a nerve—and brought down the house, a largely pinstriped crowd of 80 or so lawyers there for a musical refresher course on the virtues of civility.

But it is no laughing matter to those who fret that a tide of rudeness has engulfed the legal profession.

From courtroom yelling matches to insulting letters and depositions that turn into fistfights, some lawyers and judges worry that the adversarial system of justice has gotten a little too adversarial.

To rein in "Rambo" litigators, the politeness patrol is pushing etiquette lessons, and even seeking to have civility included in attorney oaths.

The well-mannered caution that lawyers who shout, lie and shoot off vulgar emails don't merely alienate judges and juries. They also slow the wheels of justice and cost clients money.

"Lawyers already have a bad enough reputation," said Stewart Aaron, a litigator and head of Arnold & Porter LLP's New York office. He performed alongside Judge Sullivan in the revue.
Continue reading.

This is professional civility, not political civility, or what Althouse calls the "civility bullshit."