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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami Crosses San Francisco Bay

Krauthammer Takes on Totenberg and NPR

NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg tries to defend her employer after the scandal of a fundraiser for NPR being secretly videotaped insulting the Tea Party, Christians and Jews. Charles Krauthammer cuts to the chase as only he can. - Reggie

THIS is Planned Parenthood - Do You Support This?

h/t The Right Scoop

Explosion at Fukushima nuclear plant

Huge blast at Japan nuclear power plant

A massive explosion has struck a Japanese nuclear power plant after Friday's devastating earthquake.

A huge pall of smoke was seen coming from the plant at Fukushima and several workers were injured.

Japanese officials fear a meltdown at one of the plant's reactors after radioactive material was detected outside it.

A huge relief operation is under way after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which killed more than 600.

Hundreds more people are missing and it is feared about 1,300 may have died.

The offshore earthquake triggered a tsunami which wreaked havoc on Japan's north-east coast, sweeping far inland and devastating a number of towns and villages.

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan declared a state of emergency at the Fukushima 1 and 2 power plants as engineers try to confirm whether a reactor at one of the stations has gone into meltdown.

It is an automatic procedure after nuclear reactors shut down in the event of an earthquake, allowing officials to take rapid action.

Cooling system failure

Television pictures showed a massive blast at one of the buildings of the Fukushima 1 plant, about 250km (160 miles) north-east of Tokyo.

A huge cloud of smoke billows out and large bits of debris are flung far from the building.

Japan's NHK TV showed before and after pictures of the plant. They appeared to show that the outer structure of one of four buildings at the plant had collapsed after the explosion.

Read the full story here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

No 'Daily News'

Because of the tragic, catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, The Daily News was canceled.

I considered posting several videos of the aforementioned devastation but there are too many. I'm sure you've seen your share of them so instead of posting videos, I'll give you links so you can choose which to watch. It is unbelievably heart wrenching to see. - Reggie

Buildings burn after an earthquake near Sendai Airport, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. (REUTERS/KYODO)

The above photo is from The Atlantic (click it for a larger view). Click here to see more incredible photos.

from Hot Air:

The Blaze:

Drudge Report:

The Right Scoop:

Finally, here is a page of videos on YouTube and CNN Live News Stream.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New report says U.S. has largest fossil fuel reserves in world

Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ranking Member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, will release a report Thursday from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) showing that the United States’ combined recoverable natural gas, oil and coal endowment is the largest on Earth. (emphasis mine)

Russia comes in as a close second with recoverable fossil fuel reserves, followed Saudi Arabia, China, Iran and Canada.

According to the new report, an updated version of a 2009 paper, the United States’ resources are larger than Saudi Arabia, China and Canada, combined. The report estimates that the U.S. has 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil and enough natural gas to meet the country’s demand for 90 years.

Read the full article here.

New video: NPR was going to accept Muslim Education Action Center donation and hide it from the government

New video released Thursday afternoon indicates National Public Radio intended to accept a $5 million donation from fictitious Muslim Brotherhood front group Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust – and that the publicly funded radio network might have helped MEAC make the donation anonymously to protect it from a federal government audit.

When a man posing as Ibrahim Kasaam asked, “It sounded like you were saying NPR would be able to shield us from a government audit, is that correct?” NPR’s senior director of institutional giving, Betsy Liley, responded, “I think that is the case, especially if you are anonymous. I can inquire about that.” According to conservative James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas organization conducted the NPR sting organization, the man posing as Kasaam made two follow-up phone calls to Liley after their lunch.

Liley said a $5 million donation would amount to about “10 years of support.”

Kasaam follows up by asking: “The fact that NPR is not only a tax-exempt organization, but also receives direct contributions from the government — does that invite some sort of government oversight or government examination of contributions, et cetera?”

Liley answered: “They have audited our programs at times and, I think, as part of that, they can look at our audited financials. If you are concerned in any way about that, that’s one reason you might want to be an anonymous donor. And, we would certainly, if that was your interest, want to shield you from that.”

Liley mentioned a precedent at NPR — in more than $80 million in donations from universities.

“As I said, like this guy that I used to work with who gave – where I used to work for the university, I don’t know, $5 or $10 or $12 million, he was just entered into the database as anonymous,” Liley said. “I knew who he was and about five other people did, but there was no paperwork in any official place that identified him as that donor.”


With that remark, Liley was likely referring to her time at Purdue University, where she was the assistant vice president for corporate and foundation relations. Liley said she and NPR have taken millions of dollars in donations anonymously before.

“We also got an $8 million gift,” Liley said. “I don’t know if you remember this; about two years ago a number of institutions, higher ed institutions, all with women as presidents, got donations that ranged from $5 million to $12 million. They were never identified who the gifts were from, but they totaled about $80 million dollars.”

The man posing as Kasaam asked Liley whether NPR accepts anonymous gifts on a regular basis, and if the process they were talking about was common among NPR fundraisers.

“I don’t know if they – I know at Purdue we were a public institution, so we were part of government, and therefore our books could have been, you know, open to any inquiry from a member of the public,” Liley said. “You’re a private nonprofit, and so we have a different standard. We do comply with government audit but I don’t think that they go into our donor database.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Military Trials Return to GITMO

click image for larger view

Marizela Perez: Still missing

This is so tragic. Please, keep Marizela Perez, Michelle Malkin and her family in your prayers. - Reggie

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 10, 2011 12:51 AM 

Dear readers,

Apologies for my absence. I’ll be getting back up to speed today, but it is hard to function with dread coursing through your veins.

Spread across the country, the family and friends of Marizela Perez — missing in Seattle since Saturday and last seen at the University District Safeway — are going through this:

You try to eat, but all you can taste is indigestible fear.

You try to breathe, but all that fills your lungs is stifling uncertainty.

You try to sleep, but all that comes is fathomless fatigue.

Your heart is weighted with grief, but your soul refuses to mourn.

On Monday, we walked UW’s University District — passing out flyers, checking campus-area hotels and motels, and visiting the Safeway where she was last spotted.

Still no sign of Em-em after she walked out of the store Saturday afternoon.

Deepest thanks to all of you who have helped spread the word about her disappearance. 

Read the full post here.

Senator Rand Paul on Consumer Choice in Energy Committee Hearing

The Daily News: March 10, 2011

Urgent Call to Kill ObamaCare

“The Extent of Radicalization" Among American Muslims

I am posting the hearing held by Congressman Peter King (R-NY) earlier today. The article below is about the cowardice of the Republicans as far as these hearings are concerned. - Reggie

Walid Shoebat: Political Correctness on the Right

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Senate GOP introduces national open-shop bill

This is perfect! Maybe the Republicans in Congress are getting some backbone, as well. It's about time. - Reggie

In the last session of Congress, Democrats eventually retreated from Card Check despite holding large majorities in both chambers, with a President in the White House willing to sign it.  Senate Republicans in this session of Congress appear less tentative in pursuing their own version of labor reform.  Piggybacking off of Scott Walker’s efforts in Wisconsin, eight Republicans introduced the National Right to Work Act which would end closed shops throughout the nation:
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), introduced the National Right to Work Act to “reduce workplace discrimination by protecting the free choice of individuals to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities,” according to a statement.
Seven other Republicans signed onto the effort: Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Risch (Idaho), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and David Vitter (La.).
“Facing a steady decline in membership, unions have turned to strong-arm political tactics to make forced unionization the default position of every American worker, even if they don’t want it,” Hatch said. “This is simply unacceptable. At the very least, it should be the policy of the U.S. government to ensure that no employee will be forced to join a union in order to get or keep their job.”
Republicans cited a recent poll they said shows that 80 percent of union members support having their policy and that “Right to Work” states outperform “forced-union” states in factors that affect worker well being.

Read the full post at Hot Air.

Paul Ryan Makes Case for Spending Cuts

Wisconsin Senate advances collective bagaining changes with no debate, or Democrats

Excellent! Finally, there are some Republicans with the backbone to play hardball politics. The unions won't go quietly and they have been known for extreme violence, in the past, but this should be the beginning of the end of these thugs ruling over us. I hope this quickly spreads to other states. - Reggie

Madison — A hastily scheduled conference committee stripped out collective bargaining from Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill and sent it immediately to the Senate, which advanced the measure 18-1 Wednesday night with no debate.

Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) was the only no vote.

None of the 14 Senate Democrats was present.

The Senate abruptly sent the budget-repair bill Wednesday to the committee of legislators from both houses at about 4 p.m. and the committee convened at 6, taking action within minutes.

The budget-repair bill by Gov. Scott Walker would end most collective bargaining for public employees and has been at a stalemate for three weeks because Democrats have boycotted Senate sessions. Those 14 Senators have been in Illinois since Feb. 17, denying quorum to majority Republicans.

To pass spending measures, 20 senators must be present, but Republicans hold just 19 seats. But Republicans would not need any Democrats to be present to pass the collective bargaining changes as a standalone bill because it is not fiscal in nature.

Attorney Robert Dreps, an expert on the state open meetings law, said he did not believe the conference committee could meet with such short notice.

State law generally requires a 24-hour notice for public meetings, but can be called with just two hours notice when more notice is impossible or impractical, said Dreps, who has represented the Journal Sentinel in the past.

"I can't imagine how they can meet that standard," he said.

Demonstrations have rocked the Capitol for weeks as public workers have protested the changes to collective bargaining. Protests were quiet much of Wednesday, but grew louder as word of the conference committee meeting spread.

Protesters were chanting, "Shame!" and "This is not democracy!"

Opponents of the measure were calling for more protesters to descend on the Capitol Wednesday night.

Read the full story here.

The Daily News: March 9, 2011

Just like last night, the audio/video sync is off in the last segment. The second video below is the last segment only without the syncing problem.

This is the last segment, only, of the show:

Obama administration appeals healthcare ruling

(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday appealed a judge's ruling in Florida that struck down its landmark healthcare overhaul law as unconstitutional because it required Americans to buy healthcare insurance or face a penalty.

President Barack Obama's Justice Department filed its notice of appeal and the case will go to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta. The fight over the law is expected to reach the Supreme Court.

Healthcare reform is the signature of Obama's domestic policy and the administration has said it would continue to implement the law because halting it would cause irreparable harm.

The administration will likely seek an expedited hearing on the case but Charles Shanor, a law professor at Emory University in Atlanta, said it would still be with the 11th Circuit for months before a ruling was issued.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NPR executives caught on tape bashing conservatives and Tea Party, touting liberals

A man who appears to be a National Public Radio senior executive, Ron Schiller, has been captured on camera savaging conservatives and the Tea Party movement.

“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” declared Schiller, the head of NPR’s nonprofit foundation, who last week announced his departure for the Aspen Institute.

In a new video released Tuesday morning by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving, are seen meeting with two men who, unbeknownst to the NPR executives, are posing as members of a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The men, who identified themselves as Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, met with Schiller and Liley at CafĂ© Milano, a well-known Georgetown restaurant, and explained their desire to give up to $5 million to NPR because, “the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere.”

On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said.

Watch the video:

O’Keefe’s organization set up a fake website for MEAC to lend credibility to the fictitious group. On the site, MEAC states that its mission is combating “intolerance to spread acceptance of Sharia across the world.” At their lunch, the man posing as Kasaam told Schiller that MEAC contributes to a number of Muslim schools across the U.S. “Our organization was originally founded by a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America actually,” he says.

Schiller doesn’t blink. Instead, he assumes the role of fan. “I think what we all believe is if we don’t have Muslim voices in our schools, on the air,” Schiller says, “it’s the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn’t have female voices.”

When O’Keefe’s two associates pressed him into the topic, Schiller decried U.S. media coverage of Egypt’s uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, especially talk of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the protests and future of Egypt. Schiller said that is what he is “most disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population, so that you have this very large un-educated part of the population that carries these ideas.”

When the man pretending to be Kasaam suggests to Schiller that “Jews do kind of control the media or, I mean, certainly the Zionists and the people who have the interests in swaying media coverage toward a favorable direction of Israel,” Schiller does not rebut him or stop eating. He just nods his head slightly.

Read the rest of the story here.

And there's this: Republicans tee off on NPR after latest O’Keefe video

Hastings: 'We Need to Be Less Dependent on Foreign Sources'

Washington congressman on hearings to address energy concerns

The Daily News: March 8, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition

Five potential 2012 Republican Presidential candidates spoke in Iowa this evening at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Unfortunately, by the time I remembered this event it was already underway and I was unable to video capture the speech of Herman Cain but The Right Scoop got it. The other four speakers are below in the order in which they spoke. - Reggie

Big Payday for Some Hill Staffers

This is outrageous!! Politicians truly believe all money is theirs to divide however they will. - Reggie

Departing members of the House of Representatives awarded millions of dollars in extra pay to aides as they closed down their offices, according to lawmakers' spending records.

The 96 lawmakers paid their employees $6.7 million, or 31%, more in the fourth quarter of 2010 than they did, on average, in the first three quarters of the year.

That's about twice as much as the 16% increase awarded by lawmakers who returned to the 112th Congress, according to LegiStorm, an organization that tracks congressional salaries.

The disparity suggests retiring or defeated members used remaining funds in their official expenses budgets to boost salaries for staffers before they left Washington, cash that might otherwise have been returned to the U.S. Treasury.

The Daily News: March 7, 2011

Judge Napolitano will be hosting this show all week.

Romney once touted parts of 'Romneycare' as a national model

If Romney is the 2012 Republican nominee, Obama will be re-elected. - Reggie

Romney once touted parts of 'Romneycare' as a national model

Washington (CNN) - Back in 2006, as a Republican governor in a deep blue state, Mitt Romney signed into law a health care plan that would insure almost every resident of Massachusetts. At the time, it was praised by supporters of health care reform as a landmark achievement for the then-governor. The lynchpin of "Romneycare" was an insurance mandate that required the people of Massachusetts to get health insurance.

In an interview with CNN in 2009, as Washington was debating President Barack Obama's health care proposal, Romney said portions of the Massachusetts law could serve as a model for the country.

"I think there are a number of features in the Massachusetts plan that could inform Washington on ways to improve health care for all Americans," Romney told CNN. "The fact that we were able to get people insured without a government option is a model I think they can learn from."

When the president signed his health care plan into law, it no longer had a "public option." But it did have an insurance mandate, something many conservative Tea Party Republicans view as unconstitutional.

Rep. Alcee Hastings Sued by Employee for Sexual Harassment: “Unwelcome Sexual Advances” and “Unwelcome Touching”

This story has been released today. The politician in question is a liberal Democrat who, by the way, was impeached and removed from the bench in Florida before he was elected to the U.S. Congress. 

Because of these charges, will he be investigated by the House Ethics Committee? Will he be censured? Will he resign from Congress? Will he be expelled? Don't hold your breath. Like I said, he's a Democrat. - Reggie

Hastings Allegedly Retaliated Against Victim for Complaining About Conduct

Washington, DC -- March 7, 2011

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it filed a lawsuit on March 7, 2011, against Florida Democrat Congressman Alcee Hastings on behalf of a female employee who was repeatedly subjected to “unwelcome sexual advances,” “unwelcome touching” and retaliation. The alleged harassment and retaliation began in 2008, when Hastings was Chairman of the United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Commission is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Also named is the Commission’s former staff director, Fred Turner. Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit on behalf of Commission employee Winsome Packer (Packer v. US Comm. On Security & Cooperation in Europe, and Hastings and Turner (CV No. 11-00485 D.D.C.))

According to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, filed on Monday March 7th with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia:
For over two years, from January 2008 through February 19, 2010, Ms. Packer was forced to endure unwelcome sexual advances, crude sexual comments, and unwelcome touching by Mr. Hastings while serving as the Representative of the Commission to the United States Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Although Ms. Packer repeatedly rejected Mr. Hastings’ sexual attention and repeatedly complained about the harassment to the Commission Staff Director, Fred Turner, Mr. Hastings refused to stop sexually harassing her. Rather, Mr. Hastings and Mr. Turner began to retaliate against Ms. Packer—including making threats of termination—because she continued to object to Mr. Hastings’ conduct.
Ms. Packer was particularly vulnerable to such threats because she was a Republican working for the Democratically-controlled Commission, a point that both Mr. Hastings and Mr. Turner used to threaten and intimidate her. Eventually, the emotional distress, anxiety, and humiliation caused by the sexual harassment and retaliation caused Ms. Packer to suffer severe health problems and forced her to leave her prestigious position.

ObamaCare's March Madness

After one year as the law of the land, mayhem abounds.

Sports fans relish this time of year for the NCAA Championship Basketball Tournament, aka "March Madness." But this year the tournament has a serious contender for that title. March is also ObamaCare's anniversary month.

Last year, President Obama gave Congress an arbitrary deadline to pass his health-care takeover legislation before the Easter recess at the end of March. This forced lawmakers to hurry their votes on a deeply flawed bill that very few of them had read. Worse, many made false promises to secure final passage.

We're already seeing ObamaCare's madness in its first year of implementation, which is why the American people continue to call for defunding, repealing and replacing it with more sensible reforms. Here are a few examples of the mayhem.

• More than half the states—28 and counting—are challenging the law in court, saying that it violates the constitutional rights of their citizens and the sovereignty of the states. A new study from the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce Committees found that as a result of ObamaCare, budget-strapped states face at least $118 billion in unfunded mandates during the first 10 years after the law takes effect.

• Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has handed out nearly 1,000 waivers to allow select companies, unions and states to escape, at least temporarily, some of the burdensome new insurance rules she has created. This is a continuation of the trend of the "Cornhusker Kickback" and the "Louisiana Purchase" that Senate Democrats used to get the law passed in the first place, and that so disgusted the American people.

Read the full article

Big Night in Iowa for Five Presidential Hopefuls

As the 2012 presidential campaign begins to heat up after a sluggish winter, the stakes are high for the five prospective Republican candidates who will address a large crowd of GOP activists at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition forum on Monday night.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer will have just 10 minutes each to make an impression on the crowd of several hundred expected to gather for the event in Waukee, just west of Des Moines.

The forum will mark the first time that multiple prospective 2012 contenders will share a stage in the nation's first voting state, and former Iowa Republican Party executive director Chuck Laudner said that the risks and incentives for each of them would be significant.

"If you stumble, it could very well be the end. It's that big," Laudner said. "When they're standing on the same stage and one of them doesn't measure up, they're probably not going to rebound to win support later on. So the one that wins the day takes a huge step forward. If there's 500 people in the room, and 250 say, ‘Yeah, I can support that guy,' you're one step forward to winning the Iowa caucuses."

Michelle Malkin's Cousin Missing

Missing: Marizela Perez

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 7, 2011 03:57 AM 

I just got off the phone with my family.

This is my beautiful cousin, Marizela Perez:

She is a University of Washington undergrad and she has been missing since Saturday afternoon, when she left the Rainier Beach neighborhood headed to the UW Seattle campus. Her parents have been trying to reach her all weekend; she apparently never made it to campus and has not been heard from by phone/Internet. They’ve filed a missing persons report with the Seattle Police Department. Hospitals have been alerted, according to family members, and bus and train routes have been checked. No sign.

Here’s more info we’re trying to spread via Facebook and Q13Fox/KCPQ in Seattle:

Read the full post here and keep Michelle and her family in your prayers.  I pray Marizela is found safe and sound. - Reggie

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wisconsin’s Teachers: Betraying Students, Robbing Taxpayers

Public employees ruined Rome. In the 2nd century BC, the general Marius wanted to turn Rome’s citizen army, then a troop of part-timers, into a professional fighting force. To entice men to sign up for lengthy stints far from home, Marius promised his soldiers cash bonuses and — more importantly — land on which they could settle after their terms expired. It was one of the world’s first government pension plans.

Unfortunately, Marius’ reform turned out to be a recipe for civil conflict and, eventually, economic collapse. Roman soldiers began to look to individual generals, rather than the state, as their benefactors, and began to serve for financial reward rather than patriotic duty. Roman military leaders were forced to promise more and more public resources to maintain the loyalty of their troops, until one day there was no more money — by the 3rd century AD, the army cost more than tax receipts collected, an unmistakable sign that the end was near.

Public employees are now ruining the American republic, though our malefactors come not from the army but from the legions of unionized workers laboring in government service. For decades, public-sector unions have used their influence to help elect their own bosses and demand lavish pension and health care benefits. The result is 44 states facing an estimated budgetary shortfall of $125 billion.

Wisconsin is just one state finding that the cost of its employees exceeds its tax revenues. If something isn’t done to put the state’s finances on sound footing, a $3.6 billion budget shortfall looms. Gov. Scott Walker is attempting to do just that. Among other things, he’s asking his state’s unionized employees to contribute more to their health and pension plans. Those workers, especially teachers, responded with massive protests against Gov. Walker and his plan.

New York Times Reports Fox News May Split with Glenn Beck

I have no idea if this is true or not but I'm sure Beck will issue a statement tomorrow on one of his shows. Matt Drudge broke the story and his latest tweet is below. - Reggie

UPDATE: Glenn Beck is taking several days off (interesting timing) but Scott Baker has posted a response to the New York Times article on The Blaze.

The Fading Power of Beck’s Alarms
Almost every time I flipped on television last week, there was a deeply angry guy on a running tirade about the conspiracies afoot, the enemies around all corners, and how he alone seemed to understand what was under way.

While it’s true that Charlie Sheen sucked up a lot of airtime last week, I’d been watching Glenn Beck, the Fox News host who invoked Hezbollah, socialists, the price of gas, Shariah law, George Soros, Planned Parenthood, and, yes, Charlie Sheen, as he predicted a coming apocalypse.

Mr. Beck, a conservative Jeremiah and talk-radio phenomenon, burst into television prominence in 2009 by taking the forsaken 5 p.m. slot on Fox News and turning it into a juggernaut. A conjurer of conspiracies who spotted sedition everywhere he looked, Mr. Beck struck a big chord and ended up on the cover of Time magazine and The New York Times Magazine, and held rallies all over the country that were mobbed with acolytes. He achieved unheard-of ratings, swamped the competition and at times seemed to threaten the dominion of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity at Fox.

But a funny thing happened on the way from the revolution. Since last August, when he summoned more than 100,000 followers to the Washington mall for the “Restoring Honor” rally, Mr. Beck has lost over a third of his audience on Fox — a greater percentage drop than other hosts at Fox. True, he fell from the great heights of the health care debate in January 2010, but there has been worrisome erosion — more than one million viewers — especially in the younger demographic.

He still has numbers that just about any cable news host would envy and, with about two million viewers a night, outdraws all his competition combined. But the erosion is significant enough that Fox News officials are willing to say — anonymously, of course; they don’t want to be identified as criticizing the talent — that they are looking at the end of his contract in December and contemplating life without Mr. Beck.

On the other side, people who work for Mr. Beck point out that he could live without Fox News. Unlike some other cable hosts, Mr. Beck has a huge multiplatform presence: he has sold around four million books, is near the top of talk-radio ratings, has a growing Web site called The Blaze, along with a stage performance that still packs houses. Forbes estimated that his company, Mercury Radio Arts, had more than $30 million in revenue.

How could a breakup between Mr. Beck and Fox News — a bond that seemed made in pre-Apocalyptic heaven — come to pass? They were never great friends to start with: Mr. Beck came to Fox with a huge radio show and had been on CNN Headline News, so he did not owe his entire career to Fox and frequently went off-message. The sniping between Fox News executives and Mr. Beck’s team began soon after he went on the air in 2009.

Many on the news side of Fox have wondered whether his chronic outrageousness — he suggested that the president has “a deep-seated hatred for white people” — have made it difficult for Fox to hang onto its credibility as a news network. Some 300 advertisers fled the show, leaving sponsorship to a slew of gold bullion marketers whose message dovetails nicely with Mr. Beck’s end-of-times gospel. Both parties go to some lengths to point out that that the discussion has nothing to do with persistent criticism from the left.

But the partnership, which has been good for both parties, may yet be repaired. On Wednesday’s show, Mr. Beck went to some lengths to demonstrate gratitude and fealty to Fox News.

“Two years ago, I was on a cable channel that no one was watching at the time, doing a show that no one was watching, and I was about to leave television. And then I had the opportunity to come and work here,” he said. “If you’re going to do news or commentary, the only place, I think in the world, the only place that really makes an impact is Fox.”

William Kristol of The Weekly Standard suggested that Mr. Beck is “marginalizing himself” by arguing that socialists and leftists were working with Islamic radicals to sow worldwide chaos. But Mr. Beck has always marched to his own idiosyncratic music, and his ratings actually began dropping long before Egypt rose up against its leader.

The problem with “Glenn Beck” is that it has turned into a serial doomsday machine that’s a bummer to watch.

Mr. Beck, a more gifted entertainer than most cable hosts, can still bring it, lighting up with characters and voices. But much of the time, there is sense that the fatigue from always being on alert, tilting forward in the saddle against the next menace, is starting to wear him down.
What had been a fast and loose assault on all things liberal has grown darker and less entertaining, especially with the growing revolution in the Middle East, a phenomenon Mr. Beck sees as something of a beginning to some kind of end. He’s often alone in the studio with his chalkboards and obscure factoids, a setting that reminds me of an undergrad seminar on macroeconomics with an around-the-bend professor I didn’t particularly enjoy.

Last Wednesday, as he grabbed all the disparate strands from around the globe and tied them into a great, grand bow of doom, he ambled alone about between various blackboards, each jammed with portentous bullet points. He often looked away from the camera into a middle distance as he spoke of a calamity that only he can see.

Governor Palin on Judge Jeanine

Son of Hamas: Islam Believes 'Allah & Mohammed Hate the Jews'

via The Right Scoop who says that this video has already been removed from YouTube once, so watch it fast or download it, like I did. - Reggie

While the White House slept: Once again, our government was caught off guard by the Middle East

As Libya's bloody conflict rages on, important lessons for U.S. foreign policy are emerging from the past month's Middle East turmoil. Starting with Tunisia, the Obama administration has seemed repeatedly surprised by anti-regime demonstrations, unsure of the stakes for America and its allies and unprepared conceptually and operationally to deal with the consequences.

In Egypt, there was contradictory, unhelpful White House rhetoric when silence would have been prudent - and in Libya, silence when strong American words (and actions) were amply warranted.

But even presidential rhetoric is only rhetoric. The real test is whether our government is prepared for uncertainty, and how its policies are implemented under stress.

Here, the Obama administration has looked shaky at best. Consider the following questions we should now be asking about recent events in order to increase our readiness before the unknown overwhelms us yet again.

1. Did we have adequate intelligence of what was about to happen? The obvious answer is "no," across the board. The ensuing debate about why we were caught so flatfooted will undoubtedly reverberate over the next several months. We are not looking for predictions, but for more information for policy makers and less reliance on foreign intelligence services. Our dearth of human sources in the Middle East has been a problem for decades during many administrations. And what we need now are more resources and operations, not fewer.

2. Were we prepared to protect American citizens, in country or through evacuation if necessary? This is our government's first responsibility. As Libya descended into chaos, our government was plainly unprepared; hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans were at risk in the conflict's perilous early hours. Our readiness must be vastly improved. Yet even now, we have precious few military assets in the Mediterranean, and we have escaped a 1979 Iran hostage-style crisis only through good fortune. We cannot risk a repetition.

3. Do we fully understand our interests, and the pluses and minuses of precipitous regime change? This is the grand strategy question, one too complex to be answered in a few words. But I am not reassured by Obama's reactive handling of the crisis.

The truth is, while regional turmoil ignited nearly simultaneously in several countries, the causes of the uprisings require intelligent analysis of what's going on in each nation, not trying to cram it artificially into a preconceived narrative.

We haven't seen this emerge. In Egypt, Obama had at least four different official positions before Hosni Mubarak finally fell. His wavering damaged American credibility throughout the region, particularly with other governments that considered themselves friendly to the United States.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The End of the Beginning

Congressman West Defends the Continuing Resolution

The Film "Too Hot" for Public TV

As Congress debates federal funding for public TV and radio, Mary Grabar has written a column for Pajamas Media about how telling the truth about the Castro regime in Cuba is not an assignment that the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has wanted to take on.

She focuses on how Agustin Blazquez, a Cuban exile, ran into a series of roadblocks from PBS and its parent, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), when he requested funding for films on life under the Castro dictatorship and Castro’s murderous accomplice Che Guevara. Not only did public TV refuse to fund the anti-communist films, public broadcasting would not consider airing them.

His new documentary, Che: The Other Side of an Icon,” also got the label “too hot” for public TV. It is a response to what Blazquez calls “the pro-Che propaganda in the popular press.” He explains, “It profiles the life of the man killed in Bolivia, as well as ‘Che,’ the icon, who lives on today. It presents the real man behind the myth, his legacy and why he has become so popular among the youth, revolutionaries and terrorists of the world. It explores the dangers of believing in Che’s carefully constructed fake public image.”

The film includes interviews with people who worked directly with Che, knew his family in Argentina and Havana, and who were knowledgeable about his personal background and philosophy. It documents how Che was not a hero but a sadistic killer.

Donald Rumsfeld: Man of War

Ohio GOP State Senator faces nasty threats from unions on Facebook, in restaurant

With the whole world watching the labor unions’ behavior in Wisconsin while they’re protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s budget plans, the media hasn’t paid much attention to their antics in Ohio – until now. Newly-elected Ohio Republican State Sen. Frank LaRose has received several distasteful threats from his state’s union members, including a high-ranking official in the police officers’ union.

LaRose, a 31-year-old Iraq war veteran, was the tiebreaking vote in Ohio’s Senate, which just sent a bill similar to Wisconsin’s budget bill to the State’s House of Representatives. That caused Michael Piotrowski, the general counsel for the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), to siege LaRose’s Facebook page.

“Funny thing about cops,” Piotrowski posted on LaRose’s Facebook wall, “they hold a grudge.” In another comment responding to someone’s criticism of his comment, Piotrowski wrote: “Nick, with all due respect, I don’t care about your views. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

Perhaps most surprisingly, though, the cop union’s top lawyer compared Republicans calling union violence “union thugs” to using the “n-word.” “When Republicans talk about ‘Union Thugs,’ they may as well be calling people the n-word.”

The folks who discovered Piotrowski’s comments and identity were College Republicans from the University of Akron. Joe Manno, the chair of the student group, told The Daily Caller that Ohio’s bill had some provisions that are “even more anti-union than Wisconsin, so the unions around here have been going kind of crazy, similar to what’s going on in Wisconsin. But, it’s starting to get a little more violent and a little more hostile environment here in Ohio.”

After the vote LaRose cast for the union-crippling budget bill, Manno said, “the kind of hostility and the un-civility started coming out on his Facebook wall. It really started to escalate.”

After Piotrowski wrote the nasty comment on LaRose’s Facebook wall, Manno and other College Republicans took to defending LaRose under the impression that Piotrowski was “just some upset cop.” But, after Googling around for him, Manno said he and his friends found out he was a high-ranking leader in the state’s cop union.

To Save America, We Must Dethrone King Obama

Incredibly, Obama continues to boldly go where no other president has gone before. Apparently, none of the rules apply to him. Without consequence, at will, Obama ignores laws and the Constitution to implement his progressive/socialist agenda.

America's first black president has morphed into America's first king. All hail King Obama, our supreme ruler. Think about this folks, King Obama has put together his royal court of an unprecedented 32 czars who only answer to him. His czars consist of people who have socialist and communist leanings, many simply do not like America. King Obama's czars, without congressional over sight, set new rules and regulations for our lives; boldly ignoring laws and the U.S. Constitution.

Given Obama's unprecedented government overreaches, when we vote him out in 2012, will His Royal Obamaness surrender the Oval Office? Just kidding. Such a concern is a bit over the top. Right? Right?

Meanwhile, displaying an amazing total disregard for the sanctity of freedom, guess who cheers on Obama's every unprecedented lawless "power grab" and dis of the Constitution; the despicable liberal media.

How the Obama Administration is Going to Bring Disaster to the Middle East and U.S. Interests

By Barry Rubin

In a moment, I'll present you with what might be the most frightening paragraph in the modern history of U.S. Middle East policy. But first, here's one that's among the most deplorable. It's from a Washington Post article:

"The Obama administration is preparing for the prospect that Islamist governments will take hold in North Africa and the Middle East, acknowledging that the popular revolutions there will bring a more religious cast to the region's politics."

What? While people like me have been warning about the emergence of Islamist regimes, in contrast the Obama administration, European governments, mass media, and most academics have repeatedly assured us there's no such danger! Those people doing the warning have been almost totally shut out of the mass media.

But now is the Obama administration realizing that those changes they've been cheering and even promoting could end by producing Islamist regimes? Is that the kind of regime that's anti-American, promotes terrorism, subverts neighbors, and wants to wipe Israel off the map?

Now we come to the paragraph I warned about, the explanation for how the administration may be about to plunge into the biggest disaster in U.S. foreign policy of...well, of a very long time.

Here it is:

"The administration is already taking steps to distinguish between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in government. An internal assessment, ordered by the White House last month, identified large ideological differences between such movements as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda that will guide the U.S. approach to the region."

Get it? Al-Qaeda is bad because it wants to attack U.S. embassies, the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon.

BUT the Muslim Brotherhood is good! Because it merely wants to seize state power, transform Egypt into an Islamist state, rule almost 90 million people with an iron hand, back Hamas in trying to destroy Israel, overthrow the Palestinian Authority, help Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood overthrow the monarchy, and sponsor terrorism against Americans in the Middle East.

I'm sure you can see the difference. This is the nonsense that the administration has been working toward for two years. It is the doctrine pushed by the president's advisor on terrorism, elements in the CIA, and White House ideologues. The State and Defense departments are probably horrified.

Financial terrorism suspected in 2008 economic crash

Evidence outlined in a Pentagon contractor report suggests that financial subversion carried out by unknown parties, such as terrorists or hostile nations, contributed to the 2008 economic crash by covertly using vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system.

The unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that “a three-phased attack was planned and is in the process against the United States economy.”

While economic analysts and a final report from the federal government's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blame the crash on such economic factors as high-risk mortgage lending practices and poor federal regulation and supervision, the Pentagon contractor adds a new element: “outside forces,” a factor the commission did not examine.

“There is sufficient justification to question whether outside forces triggered, capitalized upon or magnified the economic difficulties of 2008,” the report says, explaining that those domestic economic factors would have caused a “normal downturn” but not the “near collapse” of the global economic system that took place.

Suspects include financial enemies in Middle Eastern states, Islamic terrorists, hostile members of the Chinese military, or government and organized crime groups in Russia, Venezuela or Iran. Chinese military officials publicly have suggested using economic warfare against the U.S.

In an interview with The Times, Mr. Freeman said his report provided enough theoretical evidence for an economic warfare attack that further forensic study was warranted.

“The new battle space is the economy,” he said. “We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems each year. But a relatively small amount of money focused against our financial markets through leveraged derivatives or cyber efforts can result in trillions of dollars in losses. And, the perpetrators can remain undiscovered.

“This is the equivalent of box cutters on an airplane,” Mr. Freeman said.

Paul Bracken, a Yale University professor who has studied economic warfare, said he saw “no convincing evidence that ‘outside forces’ colluded to bring about the 2008 crisis.”

“There were outside players in the market” for unregulated credit default swaps, Mr. Bracken said in an e-mail. “Foreign banks and hedge funds play the shorts all the time too. But suggestions of an organized targeted attack for strategic reasons don’t seem to me to be plausible.”