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December 04, 2009

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Ignatz

Might as well post it here too.

A couple of interesting articles about Afghanistan by Diana West and Andy McCarthy.
Take a look.

Neo

you really can fool some of the people some of the time .. or at least get them to drink the Kool-Aid

Neo

The other way for a cynic to take this Obama goes to war story is that he wants to prove once and for all that military action is useless.

Bill in AZ

"I'm sure the speech sounded better in the original French."

dammit - another new screen and keyboard...

Jim Miller

After reading that Brooks column, I started singing "And They Called It Puppy Love". Really I did.

In my post, I noted that Brooks did not seem to notice that this wonderful Obama decision-making process has, again and again, produced lousy decisions. (Brooks may not care about that, but I do.)

NK

TM-
wasn't Orwell's "Big Brother" and his toady cadres technocrats? oh never mind I am sure it's merely a coincidence.

Let's see, with Barry O's world-class brain engaged, there is no question that the Taliban and al-Queda will be routed in AfPak just like the Baathists and A-Q were in Iraq. BTW, remind me, how were the Baathists and A-Q dispatched out of Iraq, giving that country a chance to become a modern self-governing society? Didn't that feller Bush have something to do with that?

Extraneus

Thanks for the excellent McCarthy link, Ignatz.

anduril

Hey, Diana West and Andy McCarthy have excellent articles on the whole situation in Afghanistan--not just current political potboilers but replete with historical context and other good stuff. Here are the links...oh, wait! Yeah, h/t to Ignatz.

I like this from McCarthy's article:

Has anyone noticed that in Mecca and Medina, the crown jewels of our Saudi partners, non-Muslims may not enter — not occupy, but even enter?

That's the religion of Muslims who come to the US. Why are we letting these people in here? Oh, yeah, clarice says it would be "foolishness" not to let them in.

clarice

I say it is foolish to pretend you can keep them out.Assuming you could get such a law passed, hoe would you know the blonde fellow from Brixton didn't convert? Just as I say the line veto cannot be passed without a constitutional amendment ..and so on and so forth to the fantastical versus the realistic.

anduril

I'm on your pass over list, eh? Seems more like your stalk list!

Try this idea: if the Muslims can figure a way, surely we can, too. If some get through, we can always toss them out later--right back to where they came from, Saudi, Brixton, I don't care.

Charlie (Colorado)

Anduril, is your complaint that Clarice is ignoring you, or that she isn't ignoring you enough?

narciso

Right wasn't one of the members of the transatlantiv plot the son of a Conservative member of Congress. Chechens, more often than not, look very Caucasian.

anduril

Merely an observation, knucklehead. I registered no complaint. Keep drawing incorrect inferences like that and I'll sick boris on you. Or were you merely implying?

anduril

This is interesting--the Neocon invite-the-world, make-war-on-the-world syndrome right before our eyes! Some may sneak through, so let's tear down the borders! Yay!

Jane

anduril is just on an endless quest for attention - we know that diagnosis, don't we?

anduril

And you're feeding my quest? How dumb is that? Back to your cave, Jane--PLEASE!

clarice

PISTOLAS !!!!!!!!!!xh%*&$)#)%&#$^(#

duck for cover

DrJ

Time for an addition to the narcisolator.

Old Lurker

Yep DrJ. Waste of perfectly good pixels.

bad

The advantage of the Obama governing style is that his argument-based organization is a learning organization.

Hopefully the "organization" is learning how inadequate and ignorant they are.

Ignatz

Stealing from a previous thread:

Is anduril one of our crazies or one of theirs?

bad

Hey Chaco, thanks for the advice on cooking the turkey. We roasted first, then tented, and the bird was the best we've ever had.

Neo

CNN has Obama's approval at 48%, disapproval at 50%

bunky

"......drop your bombs between the minarets, down the Casbah way....."

PaulL

CNN has Obama's approval at 48%, disapproval at 50%

Hear that NYTimes and cBS? Time to up your polls' approval rates for Ibama to compensate.

maryrose

Great news Neo. When CNN has you down for the count you know there's been a seismic change in attitude.Imagine being elated because part-time workers have been hired for the Christmas season so the unemployment numbers look temporarily better. This bunch is truly grasping at straws and are now considering using our tax money {TARP funds} to try and get the economy going. It's truly a Marx brothers Freedonia moment.

Barbara

TM-

I'd want Obama next to me at a seminar, but I'd rather share a foxhole with George Bush.

I certainly agree! But I would add this as well: Obama would be constantly borrowing your notes and trying to copy your answers during an exam. I think that you'd be better off with GWB in both places.

glasater

"I'm sure the speech sounded better in the original French."

I read somewhere perhaps here that Zero had to wait for the Afghan speech to be translated from Russian before he could deliver it...

sbw

I forget. Why do I care about Brooks' opinion?

Old Lurker

Anybody had time to dig into to those surprising job stats today?

glasater

"Anybody had time to dig into to those surprising job stats today?"

I don't believe them either. Something fishy is going on. Gold down sixty plus and the dollar up on such news? Give me a break!

errol

What's surprising about a tiny reduction if unemployment, now that we're in the Christmas gift buying season? Retail employment surely must have ticked up a bit in Oct and Nov.

Remember, many economists predict unemployment throughout 2010 will hover near 11%.

Of course, 10 or 11% seriously low-balls the actual figure, which is likely around 17% unemployment.

Hey, I know, let's keep bringing 1.5 million "immigrants" here each and every year. We need more, more, more people (to prove we're not racist!). Bring all of Mexico, India, China and the Arab/Moooslim world here. Surely we won't be able to be labeled racist xenophobes then, huh?

Rick Ballard

I'm with you, Glasater. The revision on this one is going to be huge. Maybe they hired Phil Jones to do a little data massage?

Old Lurker

OT of course, but is this Bloomberg quote not completely out of line for a Treasury Secretary? Does it not undermine global confidence in our entire banking system? And what's with the "WE have to change the way these guys are paid"? Is he not getting ahead of himself on the ownership question?

"Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner criticized the record bonuses expected to be paid by big banks this year and refuted claims by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that it would have survived without government aid.

Taking aim at what he called “an era of irresponsibly high bonuses,” Geithner said all banks -- even those that have repaid government aid -- need to restrain the amount they pay their leaders and tie compensation to long-term goals.

“We want to see fundamental constraints on how senior executives are paid at these institutions,” Geithner said in an interview today for Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt,” that will air this weekend. “It is very important that we change the way these executives are paid, the form of compensation, this year.”

The Treasury chief also disputed claims made by Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein that his firm would have survived last year’s financial crisis without assistance from the federal government.

“The entire U.S. financial system and all the major firms in the country, and even small banks across the country, were at that moment at the middle of a classic run, a classic bank run,” Geithner said.

Of the big banks, “none of them would have survived a situation in which we had let that fire try to burn itself out,” he added. "

Rob Crawford

the Obama administration is able to adjust and respond more quickly than, say, the Bush administration ever did.

Except that it took Obama longer to make a decision in re Afghanistan than it took to remove the Taliban from power in 2001.

Ignatz

--Anybody had time to dig into to those surprising job stats today?
--

I don't find them surprising, OL.
They may be adjusted but I still maintain there is a very good chance of a sharper than expected bounce back from last year. The vast majority of the tax increases will not occur until the end of next year which will provide even more incentive for economic activity in 2010. After the tax hikes though, all bets are off.

bunky

well obviously the stimulus is working.

bgates

I loved covering the Obama campaign.

He sure played that close to the vest, didn't he?

I'd want Obama next to me at a seminar

Me, too - who would want the professor to think, "that rube with the drawl is making the guy next to him look pretty slow" instead of "the guy next to the pompous rambling jackass makes some decent points"?

peter

"I'm sure the speech sounded better in the original French."

I read somewhere perhaps here that Zero had to wait for the Afghan speech to be translated from Russian before he could deliver it...

My closed captioning carried it in Austrian.

Old Lurker

Thanks, Iggie. I know you have been in the glass half full camp, trying to talk sense to us pessimists...but I was still surprised by this report and wonder if it will bear out.

Ignatz

--Thanks, Iggie. I know you have been in the glass half full camp....--

Only to this extent OL; economies tend to bounce back even, and maybe especially, from terrible shocks.

But it is certain that Barry, Pelosi, Reid and co are standing around the struggling body with socks full of our quarters just waiting to beat its brains out if it does get on its feet.

Jane

Aren't the job numbers reflecting Christmas hirings?

anduril

Time for an addition to the narcisolator.

Posted by: DrJ | December 04, 2009 at 02:06 PM

Hey, lay off narciso! anduril and narciso are a two man band of brothers now that we're both on board for rigorous and impartial enforcement of FARA. Mess with narciso and you've got me to deal with.

glasater

"But it is certain that Barry, Pelosi, Reid and co are standing around the struggling body with socks full of our quarters just waiting to beat its brains out if it does get on its feet"

Heh Ignatz--Pelosi, et al will be yelling " Oh Goody--let's raise taxes...now!"

After Zero got elected some wag suggested that economic news would get the rosy scenario treatment--after bashing Pres Bush for years over what terrible shape the US was in economically.

anduril

Apparently Obama gave a speech (in Allentown?) today in which he said, with reference to increased productivity numbers, that employers who have not been hiring are trying to "squeeze" more productivity out of their workers, and that we need to do something about that. I can only imagine what his proposal would be--enforced hirings? Just amazing, still, to hear such nonsense.

Neo

Nov 2009 Net Birth/Death Adjustment, not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)

Trade, Transportation, & Utilities +16
Education & Health Services +14
Professional & Business Services +11
Construction -7
Leisure & Hospitality -14

DrJ

anduril, you have no idea what the narcisolator is, or you would not have made such a silly comment.

narciso

Back to reality, I installed the program, after I had some people look into it, but it's not really responding, for example
to the task master screen

RichatUF

Ignatz-

...economies tend to bounce back even, and maybe especially, from terrible shocks.

Usually, but recessions triggered by financial shocks and global recessions tend to be deeper and longer than normal and they are less responsive to government spending and trade. Recessions caused by oil shocks impair trade and domestic demand in oil importing countries and take longer than normal to work out. But you never know...

I found the jobs report odd but nothing really jumps out. Healthcare was an area of strength and retail, surprisingly, lost a modest amount of workers. And for all those "shovel ready projects", construction is still losing employment.

Maybe is has to do with workers leaving the workforce (discouraged and retirement) at a faster rate than job losses now.

Rick Ballard

Jane,

The Christmas seasonal hiring is "smoothed" in the numbers. It may be larger than normal due to the increase in layoffs and firings but my bet is that this is a boomer artifact. I know (from their own data) that the BLS and SS have both seriously underestimated the percentage of people taking early retirement and this increase in temp hiring may be due in large part to folks using up all sick and vacation days prior to breaking into that Johnny Paycheck tune on their way out the door.

It might be a real green shoot but we won't know for sure until February.

peter

Excellent writeup about Krauthammer in National Review print edition about two weeks ago. He comes from a family of doctors, didn't truly want to become one himself, but instead completed medical school despite becoming paralyzed during his freshman year, was a liberal for many years, and is now an unabashed conservative. He is pro-choice, although not after first trimester. Query: how long before he undergoes the Sullivan-Johnson-Hitchens back conversion?

Steve C.

David Brooks is pleased our CINC heads a learning organization!

David, this is the big leagues, not the law review.

The office of the President is a DECISION MAKING ORGANIZATION.

Old Lurker

"...economies tend to bounce back even, and maybe especially, from terrible shocks."

By the construction of those words, it assumes the shock is in the past; what if we are but in the eye of the storm?

anduril

anduril, you have no idea what the narcisolator is, or you would not have made such a silly comment.

Posted by: DrJ | December 04, 2009 at 04:45 PM

That's true, and I didn't even care enough to try to find out--just dashed off a silly comment because I felt like it. With keyboarding skills like mine it's a constant temptation which I, fortunately, almost always keep under tight control. Write it off to seasonal giddiness.

anduril

He is pro-choice, although not after first trimester.

I wonder what the percentage is by trimester?

peter

Blago's tapes stolen.

Extraneus

I don't see what could induce anyone to hire permanent employees in this climate, before finding out what the health care, cap & trade, and other penalties will be. If there ever was a time to hire temps, this is it.

As a corollary, I bet employment spikes up if health care "reform" goes down in flames.

Btw, has anyone seen a graph of stock averages overlayed with Obama's approval rating? I know the market tanked when it became evident that he would win, and it's been up since he's been sliding down. Just wondering if there's a lag or if these are simply inverse correlations.

bad

Blago's tapes stolen.

Where was Rahm (or Rahm's thugs) at the time...

Ignatz

--By the construction of those words, it assumes the shock is in the past; what if we are but in the eye of the storm?--

Well if the jackal scats in DC have their way and beat it back into submission by 2011 then I suspect by 2012 we will recognize we were in the eye of a very large storm. That's precisely what 1933-36 turned out to be, thanks to the cretinous FDR tax policies.
But in the meantime the Dems maintained control of the country.
I'm afraid the Repubs are not prepared election-wise for a substantially improved economy come late summer 2010.

Frau Waffenlos

Ignatz - both articles were good finds and appreciated.

"CNN has Obama's approval at 48%, disapproval at 50%"
The Bamster may want more, but he still has all the power he needs. IIRC after his impeachment,Clinton managed to make "good" use of his remaining months in office.

NCC

Brooks: "I loved covering the Obama campaign."

Does anyone doubt him?

Andrew_M_Garland

Quip: Let's see. Jump over the ditch, or not. Let's split the difference.

From my post
The Political Manual: Taking Positions
:

Remember and apply the tested technique for keeping two girlfriends. Tell each one that you love her, but that you must keep the other relationship for now, distantly, because you share business interests, and a breakup would cost a lot of money.

For now, I think Obama has convinced much of the Left and the Independents that he is telling them the truth about what they want to hear, while not being serious about what they dislike, in order to appease their opponents. He has to watch out that everyone does not decide that he is untrustworthy about everything.

Old Lurker

So true re 1933-36. The re-crash of 37 was a doozy.

Ignatz

Current event question for the day:
Is it a better indication that Ahnold is an idiot because;
A. He thinks San Francisco is going to flood because of global warming, or;
B. He thinks it's a negative if San Francisco is flooded by global warming.

centralcal

Ignatz, I would write-in:

C. Both

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Krauthammer should know better. The first trimester is thru the 12th week. As you can see at 12 weeks, it is a fully formed baby, not a lump of ectoplasm or whatever it is the murderers call it.

image

PD

I forget. Why do I care about Brooks' opinion?

How will you know what to think about creases in pant legs otherwise?

Ignatz

Hope Charlie doesn't see that.

PD

employers who have not been hiring are trying to "squeeze" more productivity out of their workers

Schoolmarm-in-Chief Obama used the same phrase during his "summit" yesterday. I think it was before he broke up the class into small groups to do their assignments.

Janet

Ha Ignatz! Too funny...

anduril

Thanks, Sara. I totally agree with you and appreciate your post, but I don't think Krauthammer's position has anything to do with science. My understanding--and, please, anyone correct me if I'm wrong--is that Krauthammer's position conforms more or less with the Orthodox Jewish position. I think other Orthodox Jews--Michael Medved comes to mind--share that position, although they temper it by advocating against the practice. It's simply what they believe is allowed under Torah. They would draw a distinction between what is allowed (or licit) and what is preferable. It's a very different position from, for example, the Catholic argument which is based on natural law morality. That's as far as I'll take it, because I don't want to offend anyone. CTM.

Ignatz

Here is Bob Stein's take (Brian Wesbury's partner) on the Nov jobs report. They're optimistic.

anduril

Clarification: That was the point of my query re the percentage of abortions by trimester. My suspicion, based on WAG, is that an awful lot of abortions are done in the first trimester. Again, I'm open to correction. But this is one reason why I find Krauthammer's position particularly threadbare from a moral standpoint. After all, we are talking about human lives here--Unanimous Supreme Court Recognizes Unborn Human Being to Be a “Child”:

In the course of relating the criminal convict’s troubled childhood, the unanimous Court states, “Porter routinely witnessed his father beat his mother, one time so severely that she had to go to the hospital and lost a child.” Slip op. at 4. The unmistakable reference is to a miscarriage. The stage of gestation is not mentioned.

Whelan adds: Outside the abortion context, every Justice knows that a pregnant woman carries “a child.” Krauthammer knows it, too.

anduril

Ignatz, nobody cares about Stein and Wesbury--I can listen to Hugh Hewitt anytime I want to hear their cheerleading. Here's something a helluva lot more interesting as we go into winter: More Signs Of A Natural Gas Apocalypse.

Neo


"Excitable Andy" sez ...

I think the Birthers are nuts. But there is no reason on earth that the original cannot be retrieved and shown. Jon Klein and CNN were wrong, and I retract my apology of yesterday.

Obama promised total transparency. Where is it? Or will it arrive at the moment when he tackles the deficit, and withdraws from Iraq?

.. and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion calls it a "Friday Night Prisoner Exchange" which leads a commenter to say ...

Right, a baby's birth certificate is a fair trade for proof that the president of the United States does/does not meet the Constitutional requirements to hold his office.

Maybe we could get a pre-K class to donate a week's crayon drawings in exchange for the raw station data that the East Anglia CRU used in their global warming models.

Genius

RichatUF

In the Friday night news dump, Obama has decided to attend only the last day of the Copenhagen conference instead of making his presence know the day before he picks up his peace prize.

JM Hanes

"Unanimous Supreme Court Recognizes Unborn Human Being to Be a “Child”

I checked out that headline yesterday and concluded it was a tongue in cheek Hosannah. We've got your precedent setting, colloquial admission of sin right here!

clarice

British Met(meteorological office) insists on reviewing all 160 years of its own climate data, a process which will take ttill some time in 2012 and which is creating Labour party agita.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6945445.ece

Porchlight

Query: how long before he undergoes the Sullivan-Johnson-Hitchens back conversion?

Oh goodness, I hope not. We need Krauthammer.

Remember, Sullivan-Johnson-Hitchens are mostly lefties turned hawks post-9/11 (though Sullivan dallied in "conservatism" during his TNR days in the 80s, I suppose). Krauthammer seems to share not only conservative first principles but also a deep disdain for the left, which the above 3 never truly exhibited imho.

Porchlight

"Unanimous Supreme Court Recognizes Unborn Human Being to Be a “Child”

Wasn't Scott Peterson tried for double murder? Seems like that says it all right there.

Rick Ballard

Rich & Clarice,

Tie those two together with AL. Ron Gore's cancellation and Pachauri's 180 and I'd say the tracks are humming. I just hope the Wall Street boys who went deep on "can't miss" carbon trading scams don't have enough insurance bets to cover the losses.

JM Hanes

Porchlight:

That's precisely the precedent that Lacie's(sp?) Law was designed to set. There's a whole roster of similar initiatives, including what superficially appear to be minor changes in legislative language. A sufficient body of law recognizing the unborn as children will be the tipping point for a full fledged challenge in the Supreme Court.

clarice

Oh, Rick, I hope you're right. I hate to see such a monumental waste of resources and further impoverishment of the poor and middleclass only to fatten the wallets of the Church of the Perpetual Gristers.

And I think this may be a disaster for the Labour party and the Tranzia and the Dems.

I felt the inute I saw those emails the earth was going to move underneath this fiasco.

matt

In the news today:

Speaker of Danish Parliament questions politician's role in AGW debate.

British MET (meteorological) office to review 160 years of climate data.

Barbara Boxer on the hackers "off with their heads!"

clarice

**Grifters**

Porchlight

A sufficient body of law recognizing the unborn as children will be the tipping point for a full fledged challenge in the Supreme Court.

Interesting, JMH. I haven't followed this aspect of things but I'd like to know more.

JM Hanes

Ditto that to the nth, Rick. The first carbon trading exchange was set up in London within days (or even hours) of the Kyoto ratification. I wouldn't be surprised if Gore was there at that creation, although I've never tried to check the start up date for his own London HQ.

Adding to the fun we've got Gore proven wrong on the http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/dutch-gore-wrong-on-snows-of-kilimanjaro/ "> Snows of Kilimanjaro, his favorite three alarm fire bell, and a massive fraud in Denmark's CO2 quota register, the largest of such exchanges in the world. Denmark! How sweet is that?

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Grifters is the correct term and it applies to the whole fascistic endeavor to create an illusion of scarcity in a time of plenty. BigGov has never been as tightly tied to BigBiz as it is today and we're not getting out of Zombietime until the links are severed.

If our speculations are correct, the revelations are going to generate a wave of populist anger that will put a goodly number of "old familiar faces" in very dark places. I don't believe that I can come up with a "they've gone too far" scenario regarding the potential aftermath.

jimmyk

My understanding--and, please, anyone correct me if I'm wrong--is that Krauthammer's position conforms more or less with the Orthodox Jewish position.

You are wrong. The Orthodox Jewish position is essentially anti-abortion, with exceptions to save the life of the mother, and possibly with some added leniency related to the mental health of the mother, but only up to 40 days (not 12 weeks). The fetus is not, however, considered a "child," which is why the mother's life takes precedence. The Orthodox tend to be against outright abortion bans because of the exceptions and the need to evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis.

jimmyk

I should add that it is possible that Krauthammer's position corresponds to the Orthodox Jewish position on what secular law should be (for reasons mentioned in the previous post--to leave it between a woman and her Rabbi), but there is no way that Jewish law condones discretionary abortion on demand in the first trimester.

Charlie (Colorado)

I'll sick boris on you.

Meaning he'll be able to add another grudge to his list of things I've already forgotten?

JM Hanes

Porchlight:

I haven't been tracking it closely enough to be able to supply specific links, or to point you to anywhere that objective has been explicitly spelled out, but there's been a pretty clear pattern of such changes going on, just under the usual MSM radar.

In some places, things like an assault on a pregnant woman is now differentiated as a double offense, whether or not the perpetrator knew she was pregnant at the time. In other places, the language on government related assistance to a pregnant woman, for example has been changed, for no otherwise apparent reason, to read assistance to a mother and her unborn child -- i.e. essentially treating them as independent entities without actually altering anything else about the assistance in question.

It all speaks to questions of legislative intention and sufficient recognition of personhood in law.

Charlie (Colorado)

Mess with narciso and you've got me to deal with.

1+ε ≈ 1

RichatUF

Rick-

Hope you're right. Looking at the market price on CO2 contracts over in Europe, the story doesn't seem to have been priced in though. Has anyone put together a "green" ultra short fund yet?

Charlie (Colorado)

Query: how long before he undergoes the Sullivan-Johnson-Hitchens back conversion?

I'd bet money against it, but in any case, Hitchens isn't a convert to conservatism; he's still an unabashed Trotskyite,.

clarice

It's interesting that inthe US because the SCOTUS set the law on abortion and the lower courts have been loathe to touch it much you can get an abortion here later IIRC than you can in Britain where it was done by legislative action and a medical panel determines the date.

We have since Roe been able to save preemies born earlier and the concept of viability is far more fluid than once we thought.

Charlie (Colorado)

not a lump of ectoplasm

protoplasm. Ectoplasm is what ghosts are made of.

Charlie (Colorado)

My suspicion, based on WAG, is that an awful lot of abortions are done in the first trimester.

Something in the neighborhood of 20 percent of pregnancies end in abortion in the first trimester, usually very early.

Oh, did you mean induced abortions?

JM Hanes

Can I sign up for protection too, Charlie? Not that you'd get much of a workout.

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