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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2010
BULLETIN: CULTURAL MISUNDERSTANDING WATCH – AT 10:39 P.M. ET: From ABC News:
Federal air marshals subdued a man who authorities say attempted to "light his shoes on fire" on a United flight from Washington Reagan to Denver Wednesday night, federal law enforcement officials told ABC News.
Authorities say an explosive team is on the way to the airport, and that while the presence of explosives has not yet been confirmed, they believe it was an attempted "shoe bomb."
The suspect was identified by authorities as a diplomat in the Qatar embassy in Washington, Mohammed al Modadi. The FBI said the man had full diplomatic immunity as the 3rd secretary and vice-consul.
Authorities said two jet fighters were scrambled from Buckley Air Force Base to accompany United flight 663, a Boeing 757, as it flew the final 40 miles to Denver where it landed safely.
COMMENT: You see, here is where we really fall down as a country. Every truly sophisticated person in Manhattan or Beverly Hills knows that lighting one's shoes is an important custom for Islamic diplomats. So what's all the fuss about? What right do we as a Western, colonial, imperialistic, militarist country have to question what a person of the third world does with his shoes?
Given the mentality of the Obama administration, this "diplomat" will probably be invited to the White House for a full apology.
UPDATE: FALSE ALARM. THE DIPLOMAT STUPIDLY MADE A SARCASTIC COMMENT ABOUT LIGHTING HIS SHOES WHEN A CABIN ATTENDANT NOTED SMOKE COMING FROM A LAVATORY. ALTHOUGH THE CABIN CREW PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE NOTED THAT THE MAN'S SHOES WERE NOT ON FIRE, PROVOCATIVE COMMENTS HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY AIRLINES. THE DIPLOMAT SHOULD BE SENT HOME, AND HIS GOVERNMENT, QATAR, SHOULD COMPENSATE THE UNITED STATES FOR THE COST OF THE INVESTIGATION. NO APOLOGY FROM US IS REQUIRED, ALTHOUGH I WOULDN'T BE SHOCKED IF THE WHITE HOUSE ISSUED ONE.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
AMATEURS – AT 8:25 P.M. ET: What does President Obama think he's running, a student government? We've having a problem with President Karzai of Afghanistan, a country in which American troops are fighting. You won't believe how the minor leaguers in the Obama crowd want to deal with the problem. From AP:
WASHINGTON – In a new indication of strained relations, the White House said Tuesday it would consider canceling an upcoming visit by Afghan President Hamid Karzai if he continues to make troublesome remarks. Such a move would be a remarkable diplomatic slap likely to infuriate the mercurial leader.
Hey, they've gotten practice with the treatment of the British and Israeli prime ministers. Why not put some of those skills to work again, right?
Despite the public reproach, senior administration officials said the tough statement was really meant as a warning and a sign of Washington's continued unhappiness with the Afghan leader's comments. The officials, one of whom described it as "a shot across the bow," said canceling Karzai's invitation was not being seriously considered, at least not yet.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the administration's strategy, which they were not authorized to discuss publicly.
Karzai has infuriated the White House with accusations that the United Nations and the international community interfered in last year's fraud-tarnished presidential election in Afghanistan.
COMMENT: Karzai is no gem, and his comments are out of line. But there is a disturbing pattern here: This administration goes out of its way to insult allies, while appeasing enemies. The world is clearly noticing.
It's time for this administration to graduate from high school. The aura of amateurism and immaturity surrounding Obamaville is growing, and it is hurting the country's diplomacy. The fish rots from the head, and the blame must be placed squarely on President Obama, a man who has turned out to lack graciousness, or any other characteristic that would indicate humanity.
Deal with Karzai. Get firm with Karzai. But do it privately, fellas. That's the way the adults work.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
ASSAULT ON BLACK CONSERVATIVES – There is a concerted assault on black conservatives who have aligned themselves with the tea party movement. The race industry is on their backs, accusing them of selling out, of being Uncle Toms, and worse. The attacks are based on the libel that the tea partiers are racists.
Ward Connerly, the California black conservative who has fought affirmative action for years, and has been subjected to horrible abuse because of it, comments at NRO:
If I have learned one thing from life, it is that race is the engine that drives the political Left. When all else fails, that segment of America goes to the default position of using race to achieve its objectives. In the courtrooms, on college campuses, and, most especially, in our politics, race is a central theme. Where it does not naturally rise to the surface, there are those who will manufacture and amplify it.
Such is the case with the claims that the “Tea Partiers” are a bunch of racists and that many of them spat upon members of the Congressional Black Caucus and called them “n*****s.” I am convinced beyond any doubt that all of this is part of the strategic plan being implemented by the Left in its current campaign to remake America.
In a video that has been played repeatedly showing CBC members as they walked past the tea partiers, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is seen using his telephone to tape the event. If he had any evidence to corroborate the racial claims, why hasn’t he come forward with his phone by now to settle this matter? I believe we all know the answer.
I agree with earlier Corner posts on the matter: By their reckless accusations, those who are alleging “racism” without evidence are doing inestimable harm to the social fabric of America.
COMMENT: Absolutely accurate. But, sadly, look for the cries of racism to increase. We are going to be sold the message that anyone who votes against Obama's program is racially motivated, and that the only way we can redeem ourselves is to reelect Obama and his army.
The tragic fact is, it may work. It has worked before. It is a staple of college-campus conversation.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
LIZ – AT 7:12 P.M. ET: Sorry for the absence. I was in New York City today, visiting my taxes. I also had the distinct pleasure of introducing Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, at a Hudson Institute lunch.
As always, Liz was terrific, warning us that the lax national-security attitudes of this administration, including the regular insulting of allies, was putting us in danger. What struck me about Liz, although I'd seen it in her TV appearances, was the clarity of her thought and the directness with which she spoke. She has the ability to organize and English sentence and hurl it at the audience, like a weapon. Several members of the audience suggested that she run for office. Many people will say that gratuitously to a speaker. In this case, it was meant. She'd make a wonderful, attractive candidate, and has the right views and the knowledge to back them up. She also has a great family, with five kids. Can't hurt in politics.
Liz is co-founder of KeepAmericaSafe.com. Visit the site. You'll get good, current information about national security.
One of Liz's co-founders in KeepAmericaSafe, Debra Burlingame, was also at the meeting. Debra is a lawyer, formerly with Court TV, and an expert on the legal aspects of national security. Her brother, Chick Burlingame, was the captain of the hijacked American Airlines plane that was plunged into the Pentagon on 9-11.
Here were two women involved in national security, a field normally dominated by men. It's good to see that.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
UNBELIEVABLE, JUST UNBELIEVABLE – AT 9:32 A.M. ET: India is the world's largest democracy. At one time, especially in the 50s and 60s, it was openly anti-American, identifying us with the colonial powers. Indian diplomat V.K. Krishna Menon, the country's ambassador to the UN, regularly appeared on American television to denounce, in the most hateful way, the U.S.
But in recent decades American presidents have reversed the tide, turning India into an American ally. Now, under Obama, that progress seems to be in grave jeopardy. Once again, we are faced with catastrophic failure. Surprisingly, this is from the usually in-the-tank-for-Obama Newsweek:
Barack Obama is in danger of reversing all the progress his predecessors, including George W. Bush, made in forging closer U.S. ties with India. Preoccupied with China and the Middle East, the Obama administration has allotted little room on its schedule for India, and failed to get much done in the short time it did make. Hosting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the November state visit, the administration managed to produce cordial photo ops, but the agreements reached on education, energy cooperation, and the like dealt with trivia.
Have you ever seen an administration like this? Abuse our friends, respect our enemies. That is the apparent slogan.
Indian diplomats close to Singh say the lackluster results show how far the relationship has fallen since Bill Clinton and the two Bushes transformed a strained Cold War rivalry into a close strategic partnership between the world's largest democracies. Obama's predecessors built a relationship around trade negotiations, joint military exercises, and ad hoc coalitions for humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the Indonesia tsunami. Despite his reputation for uniquely pushy diplomacy, it was George W. Bush who concluded the landmark deal that recognized India as a legitimate nuclear power and opened the door to the sale of civilian nuclear technology to India. No single American move has done more to demonstrate Washington's respect for New Delhi as a rising and equal power. Now Obama, who came to office promising to respect U.S. allies, is backpedaling on that deal, to the growing chagrin of the Indians.
Obama appears largely oblivious to India's concerns. When the U.S. gathered its allies in the Afghan war at a London summit in January, Indian officials felt they were marginalized because their views were not sought or paid heed to in any fashion.
COMMENT: Bush was gentle compared to Obama. But Obama affects the persona of an intellectual with a third-world pedigree, so he gets little criticism from the wine-and-Brei crowd in the United States.
The damage Obama is doing! Day by day.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
OH DEAR, DO YOU SENSE A BACKLASH COMING? – AT 8:50 A.M. ET: Apparently, a lot of Americans didn't get the memo on Obamacare. All those juicy benefits? Well, maybe someday. All that free care? Well, not really. Eternal life? Well, we're working on it.
Watch the anger start. From McClatchy:
WASHINGTON — Two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the big health care overhaul into law, Americans are struggling to understand how — and when — the sweeping measure will affect them.
And a lot of us are still struggling to understand what's in the bill.
Questions reflecting confusion have flooded insurance companies, doctors' offices, human resources departments and business groups.
"They're saying, 'Where do we get the free Obama care, and how do I sign up for that?' " said Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for eHealthInsurance.com. The California-based company sells coverage from 185 health insurance carriers in 50 states.
McLean said the call center had been inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage. That widespread misconception may have originated in part from distorted rhetoric about the legislation bubbling up from the hyper-partisan debate about it in Washington and some media outlets, such as when opponents denounced it as socialism.
Oh, come on. There's that bias again. Some reporters can't help themselves.
"We tell them it's not free, that there are going to be things in place that help people who are low-income, but that ultimately most of that is not going to be taking place until 2014," McLean said.
Adults with pre-existing conditions are frustrated to learn that insurers won't have to cover them until 2014 (though those under 18 will be protected in late September); then they become both hopeful and confused upon learning that a federal high-risk pool for them will be established in the next few months. "Health insurance is so confusing. You add this on top of it and it makes it even more confusing," McLean said.
COMMENT: Yeah, it's confusing. And it's complicated. And the nation deserved better than the mess we were given. The biggest losers will of course be the very people the bill was designed to help. And they will get very, very angry.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
AH, THE FRUITS OF OBAMA'S POLICIES – AT 8:27 A.M. ET: Well, folks, the results of President Obama's change in nuclear-weapons strategy are pouring in. Can you hear the applause? You can't? Must be something wrong with your ears.
Well, actually, there is no applause. Our allies – the countries most Americans think of as allies, but Obama doesn't – must be shivering in their boots to see that American foreign policy is governed by a doctrinaire leftist.
And, of course, Obama claimed he was trying to influence Iran to change its ways by setting a good example, pure as the Campfire Girls. Here is Iran's reply, via AP:
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's hard-line president on Wednesday ridiculed President Barack Obama's new nuclear strategy, which turns the U.S. focus away from the Cold War threats and instead aims to stop the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists.
Obama on Tuesday announced the new strategy, including a vow not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them. Iran, however, was a notable exception to that pledge, along with North Korea, because Washington accuses them of not cooperating with the international community on nonproliferation standards.
Concerns over Iran's nuclear program figure prominently in the new U.S. strategy. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the focus would now be on terror groups such as al-Qaida as well as North Korea's nuclear buildup and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided Obama over the plan in a speech Wednesday to a crowd of thousands in the country's northwest.
"American materialist politicians, whenever they are beaten by logic, immediately put their finger on the trigger like cowboys," he said.
And get this:
"Mr. Obama, you are a newcomer (to politics). Wait until your sweat dries and get some experience. Be careful not to read just any paper put in front of you or repeat any statement recommended," Ahmadinejad said in the speech, aired live on state TV. "(American officials) bigger than you, more bullying than you, couldn't do a damn thing, let alone you."
COMMENT: The warmth, the gratitude, the respect. This is what Obama gets after more than a year of "engagement."
Will he learn?
I recall one of those five-year-old minds in the body of an adult who once announced to me proudly that she'd been a Communist until the Soviet 20th Party Congress, when "Stalin was unmasked." I remember asking myself, "When did Stalin ever wear a mask?"
I get the same sense about Obama. He won't change until the facts are so crushing that even his adolescent mind must accept them. By then the damage will have been done, and he'll probably be writing his 17th book about himself.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
ANOTHER RETREAT – AT 8:06 A.M. ET: It is getting very disturbing. Each day seems to bring more news of still one more American retreat in foreign policy. Obama knows that the congressional elections are seven months away, and that he will probably lose a number of seats. He has seven months to run wild without much fear of congressional opposition. And he is running wild.
Yesterday, he announced a new doctrine governing the use of nuclear weapons. It tries to influence the world by setting a good example. That's nice. Question: When has any nation ever changed its policies because of an American "example"? Nations act in their interests, and they probe for weakness. The probes don't have to go very deep these days to find American weakness.
Now, this morning, we learn something else:
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's advisers will remove religious terms such as "Islamic extremism" from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said.
The change is a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war and currently states: "The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century."
The revisions are part of a larger effort about which the White House talks openly, one that seeks to change not just how the United States talks to Muslim nations, but also what it talks to them about, from health care and science to business startups and education.
That shift away from terrorism has been building for a year, since Obama went to Cairo, Egypt, and promised a "new beginning" in the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. The White House believes the previous administration based that relationship entirely on fighting terror and winning the war of ideas.
COMMENT: May I just point out that Barack Hussein Obama Jr. has been in office for a year and a third, and has "engaged" the Muslim world. As Johnny Carson used to ask, "Notice the difference?"
Apparently, we will no longer be permitted to mention who we're fighting, or even why. Only a child will think that these changes will make any positive difference at all. Indeed, their immediate effect may well be to discourage the democratic forces astir within the Islamic world. If the United States won't tell the truth, who will?
Some say that Obama has done some positive things in defense policy, like strengthening our commitment to Afghanistan. Nonsense. He couples that move by announcing to our enemies that we'll start to leave Afghanistan in 2011. Hey, Adolf, don't sweat it. We bomb today, we'll be out of Germany tomorrow.
So remember, we're fighting the enemy from nowhere. And if strikes us again in the United States, he has no name. Let's get with the program.
April 7, 2010 Permalink
TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 2010
HERE IT COMES – AT 9:15 P.M. ET: When conservative talk show hosts said this was coming, the better people laughed and sneered, and made nasty comments about I.Q. and college board scores. But, alas, the trial balloon has gone up:
(Reuters) - The United States should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax, White House adviser Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.
Volcker, answering a question from the audience at a New York Historical Society event, said the value-added tax "was not as toxic an idea" as it has been in the past and also said a carbon or other energy-related tax may become necessary.
Necessary for what? That's what Americans want to know. Necessary for programs that a majority of Americans don't want? Necessary to pay the inflated benefits and pensions for an increasingly powerful public sector?
Little by little, the Obama administration is turning us into Europe. That's not what we want to be. The majority of Americans are descended from those who fled Europe in search of something better.
We are headed for a major social schism – a clash between the doers and the takers, between traditional believers in limited government, and believers that dynamic countries like Sweden (snore) have found the answer.
Barack Obama ran as a moderate. Hold the laughter.
April 6, 2010 Permalink
BIBI REDUX – AT 8:16 P.M. ET: A few weeks ago President Obama went all out to humiliate the prime minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu. Now, having gotten some quality practice, he's out for the president of Afghanistan. The Wall Street Journal reports Mr. Obama's strange tactics:
President Obama isn't faring too well at converting enemies to friends, but he does seem to have a talent for turning friends into enemies. The latest spectacle is the all-too-public and counterproductive war of words between the White House and our putative ally, Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The only winner so far in this spat is the Taliban.
The Obama Administration seems to have had it out for Mr. Karzai from the day it took office, amid multiple reports based on obvious U.S. leaks that Vice President Joe Biden or some other official had told the Afghan leader to shape up. The tension escalated after Mr. Karzai's tainted but ultimately recognized re-election victory last year, and it reached the name-calling stage late last month when President Obama met Mr. Karzai on a trip to Kabul and the White House let the world know that the American had lectured the Afghan about his governing obligations.
This is the same American president who took four days to wander up to a microphone and denounce the suppression of democracy demonstrators in Tehran. Strange set of priorities.
The public rebuke was a major loss of face for Mr. Karzai, who later returned fire at the U.S., reportedly even saying at a private meeting that if the Americans kept it up, he might join the Taliban....
...The kindest word for all of this is fiasco. American troops are risking their lives to implement a counterinsurgency strategy that requires winning popular support in Afghanistan, and the main message from America's Commander in Chief to the Afghan people is that their government can't be trusted. That ought to make it easier to win hearts and minds.
We know Karzai has been a disappointment, but this is not the way pros handle a situation like this.
Mr. Karzai has been disappointing as a nation-builder, has tolerated corrupt officials and family members, and can be arrogant and crudely nationalistic. Presumably, however, Mr. Obama was well aware of these defects last year when he recognized the Afghan election results and then committed 20,000 more U.S. troops to the theater.
You go to war with the allies you have, and it's contrary to any diplomatic principle to believe that continuing public humiliation will make Mr. Karzai more likely to cooperate.
The common sense to all this:
Coming on the heels of the U.S. public chastisement of Israel's government, the larger concern over the Karzai episode is what it reveals about Mr. Obama's diplomatic frame of mind. With adversaries, he is willing to show inordinate patience, to the point of muffling his objections when opposition blood ran in the streets of Tehran. With allies, on the other hand, the President is unforgiving and insists they follow his lead or face his public wrath. The result will be that our foes fear us less, and that we have fewer friends.
COMMENT: I suspect that Obama, very much a third worlder, has contempt for those who ally themselves with the U.S., since he believes this country is hopelessly immoral.
It must do wonders for the morale of American troops in Afghanistan to watch this public spat. It must do wonders for the Chicago Democratic machine to see how well they taught their disciple to act like a political thug.
April 6, 2010 Permalink
REPUBLICANS DO THEIR HOMEWORK – AT 8:08 P.M. ET: A controversial Obama judicial nominee is in trouble, thanks in part to real digging by the GOP. From The Politico:
Law professor Goodwin Liu is young and progressive, and could be on the fast track to the Supreme Court — but his nomination to a lower court has already hit a troubled patch after he neglected to send some of his most controversial statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
On Tuesday, Liu sent an additional 117 items to the committee — including some of his most incendiary statements on issues such as affirmative action, school busing and constitutional welfare rights. Liu’s hearing has already been postponed once, and his failure to disclose controversial writings has Republicans saying Liu’s nomination is in “jeopardy.”
The missing material “creates the impression that he knowingly attempted to hide his most controversial work from the committee,” Judiciary Republicans wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Tuesday.
Liu has been nominated to the 9th Circuit, a traditionally liberal bench, and conservatives from California to Washington are declaring war on his nomination.
COMMENT: Liu's nomination is just further proof that Obama wants to move the country far to the left, not just more toward "liberalism." Republicans will have a popular stand here, although, again, it means antagonizing another ethnic group, in this case Asian Americans. But this is not a man we want to see on the Supreme Court, or any other for that matter.
April 6, 2010 Permalink
A BIT OF BOTHER ON THE BORDER – AT 10:23 A.M. ET: Guess who's coming to dinner? From the Washington Examiner:
Somalis with ties to a terrorist organization are believed to be plotting to illegally enter the United States after being mistakenly released from custody in Mexico, a confidential federal law enforcement report said.
The report, obtained by the Washington Examiner, said that 23 Somalis who entered Mexico illegally earlier in the year were caught there, then released in late January.
Only 16 of the 23 people were identified by both Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials, while the "other 7 are unknown," the report says.
Included in the group is Mohamed Osman Noor, 35, of Somalia, who U.S. officials suspect has strong ties to Al-Shabaab Mujahideen, an Islamist insurgency group in the ongoing war in Somalia with ties to al Qaeda.
The report was written by an intelligence official with the Laredo Sector Border Intelligence Center, a joint federal task force under the Department of Homeland Security that operates on the border.
"All were in Mexican Immigration custody due to illegal entry into Mexico and were released on January 21, 2010," it said. "All agents are reminded to maintain a heightened level of awareness and emphasize officer safety tactics when encountering individuals at all times. All agents are highly encouraged to wear ballistic armor, utilize long arms and work in groups when responding to illicit activity along the immediate border."
COMMENT: That's okay. Stay cool. They just want to come to register for Obamacare. No, not really.
For years there's been speculation that terror groups have been eyeing our southern border for logical entry points. Now, with Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil establishing close ties with radical Mideast nations, the threat from the south becomes greater. This Somali group entered Mexico illegally, but one has to assume that Mexico wasn't their ultimate destination.
A source of legitimate concern. What are we doing about it?
April 6, 2010 Permalink
ANOTHER SETBACK FOR AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY – AT 9:26 A.M. ET: After all the chest-thumping about sanctions on Iran – coming in weeks, the president said, sounding like a pitchman for a new feature film – we've suffered a setback at the UN. Financial Times reports:
The United Nations Security Council yesterday failed to include Iran's nuclear programme on its agenda for April, underlining the likely slow road to sanctions that Barack Obama, US president, had hoped to have in place "within weeks".
Japan's Yukio Takasu, this month's president of the 15-member council, said no meeting had been scheduled because it was not yet clear "when this might be taken up. It may not be taken up."
What? What did that man just say?
Mr Obama, buoyed by what Washington officials perceived as a shift in China's attitude towards imposing fresh sanctions on Iran, said a week ago that he wanted to see a fourth round of UN measures in place within weeks.
China had insisted that further time should be given for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear stand-off. But western diplomats said that Beijing was now ready to engage on the sanctions issue by attending talks in New York among ambassadors of the so-called P5 plus one - the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany.
Chinese officials have been circumspect and the talks, which could be a prelude to Beijing accepting increased pressure on Iran, have yet to be scheduled.
I can't stand the swift pace of this progress. I'm out of breath already. Aren't you?
Mr Takasu said yesterday that, even if the P5 plus one eventually agreed a package of proposed sanctions, it would be "highly desirable" for the 10 nonpermanent members of the council, including Japan, to also be consulted. "It's the intention of the concerned countries to have a resolution in the Security Council," said Mr Takasu, whose country has supported previous sanctions measures. "How soon and how we will be consulted, we will have to wait and see."
COMMENT: Wait and see? What a sense of urgency. Our relationship with Japan has deteriorated recently, and Mr. Takasu's marked indifference might be a reflection of that. Maybe if Japan attacked Pearl Harbor again, Obama would show the Japanese more respect. It's the way things are.
April 6, 2010 Permalink
A MOMENT TO PAUSE – AT 9:03 A.M. ET: There has been a mine tragedy. We sometimes look at these stories, then quickly glance over to something else. But please remember that these men are the salt of the Earth. They get the work of this country done every day. And, at the end of a work day, you can actually see what they've done, and accomplished. So take a moment to pause and reflect:
MONTCOAL, W.Va. — The death toll from a blast at a West Virginia coal mine rose to 25 on Tuesday, federal safety officials said, making it the worst mining accident in the United States in 25 years.
Four miners were still missing, and the officials said it was likely that those men also had been killed in the explosion on Monday.
A recovery operation was called off early Tuesday morning because high levels of methane gas made the mine unsafe for rescuers. Workers were boring holes into the mine to try to get more oxygen inside, an effort that was not expected to be completed for several hours.
“The bodies will not be recovered until the mine is ventilated,” Ronald L. Wooten, the state’s mine health safety director, said at a news conference early Tuesday.
COMMENT: The New York Times, to its credit, has an excellent set of photos on its front internet page, depicting life in a mining community after an accident.
April 6, 2010 Permalink
THE FIELD MARSHAL SPEAKS – AT 8:41 A.M. ET: President Obama, fresh from his great victories in international affairs – in the immortal words of Dwight Eisenhower, if you give me a week, I might be able to think of something – is now changing America's nuclear-weapons doctrine. Better start building those shelters. Pre-fabs available from Home Depot. From David E. Sanger and Peter Baker of The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — President Obama said Monday that he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons.
That's like John Edwards rewriting the rules for women's dormitories.
But the president said in an interview that he was carving out an exception for “outliers like Iran and North Korea” that have violated or renounced the main treaty to halt nuclear proliferation.
Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.
Sure. Why would we develop new weapons just because the Iranians are? I don't know how long Bob Gates, a good defense secretary, will put up with this leftist stuff.
Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers like Russia and China.
Hey, guys, who fed you that line? When it comes to nukes, traditional powers will be heavy hitters for decades to come.
As far as the "sharp shift" from his precessors, I have a question: Who would you trust on national defense? Ronald Reagan or Barack Hussein Obama Jr.? Who would you trust? George W. Bush or Obama? Who would you trust? Richard Nixon or Obama? Who would you trust? Harry Truman or Obama?
Don't you like easy pop quizzes?
This story worries me. Get this:
It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.
April 6, 2010 Permalink
IMAGINE IF CBS COULD FINE NBC – AT 8:18 A.M. ET: The United States Government, which runs General Motors, has imposed the maximum possible fine on Toyota. This raises very serious conflict-of-interest questions.
We learned in school that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Same with the power to fine or even harass. From the Washington Times:
Toyota Motor Corp. faces a maximum penalty of more than $16 million, a record civil penalty against an automaker, for failing to promptly notify the U.S. government about defective gas pedals among its vehicles, federal officials announced Monday.
Toyota has recalled more than 6 million vehicles in the U.S., and more than 8 million worldwide, because of reports of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the popular Prius hybrid model.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Monday that documents obtained from the Japanese automaker showed that Toyota knew of the problem with the sticking gas pedals in late September, but did not issue a recall until late January. The sticking gas pedal recall involved 2.3 million vehicles.
"We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations," Mr. LaHood said in a statement. "Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families."
COMMENT: I don't know. This bothers me. Not to defend Toyota, but please note that this administration is running GM, a major Toyota competitor. Also note that the United Auto Workers, which has vast influence among the Obamans, hates Toyota.
Creepy feelings, creepy feelings. Much government power.
April 6, 2010 Permalink