April 20, 2011

Quick Takes, April 20, 2011

ITEM: Is This Cool Or What? Department. From Hot Air (here) comes the news of the first successful test of an anti-ballistic missile system using an integrated systems approach. A missile was tracked from great range by a variety of integrated systems, including the Aegis Destroyer “USS O’Kane,” which fired the interceptor missile that shot down the target. Extra credit points for anyone who know for whom the O’Kane was named (no fair googling!) Answer at the end of the QTs.

ITEM: Is This Cool or What Too? Department: Go here for a short video of a test-firing of a practical, ship-mounted railgun in which General Atomics fired an aerodynamic sabot projectile for seven kilometers--after it punched through a steel plate at Mach 5! Propelled by powerful electromagnets, such projectiles destroy through kinetic energy rather than any application of explosives. Functional systems could be installed on US warships in less than a decade.

ITEM: By now, most Americans have seen a photograph (here) of crack TSA agents at the new Orleans airport frisking a blonde terrorist—a blonde, six year old, little girl terrorist who, if a photograph is sufficiently revealing, could scarcely have successfully concealed a piece of paper under her clothing. Regular readers know of my police background. I cannot conceive of any situation under which this particular child, or any such child, could be suspected of being a terrorist threat. Fortunately, I was not there. I fear that the child molester in government uniform would have experienced a rather more intense form of touching. When Ronald Reagan said “The most terrifying words in the English language are” ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help,’” he was more prescient than he could have possibly imagined.

ITEM: Cosmic Irony Department: A bill that would require all presidential candidates to prove their US citizenship has been sent to the desk of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (here). If the bill is signed, Arizona would be among the first states to make proof of citizenship a requirement for placement on the ballot. Considering Mr. Obama’s war on Arizona for the shocking offense of daring to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, there is a certain delicious irony in this. Discuss. UPDATE: The bill was vetoed by Governor Brewer; no news on a potential override as this is posted.

ITEM: Birther Redux: At Pajamas Media (here) David Solway explains why we should all just quit worrying about Mr. Obama’s birth bona fides and go with the spiritual flow. Hallelujah brothers!

ITEM: Continuing Tales Of The Religion of Peace: According to the AP via Fox News (here), the brutally beaten body of Vittorio Arragoni, 36, an Italian “pro-Palestinian activist” was found, hanged, in an abandoned Gaza Strip apartment a few hours after he was kidnapped by an Islamist group. Hamas, of course, blamed Israel: “Such an awful crime cannot take place without arrangements between all the parties to keep the blockade imposed on Gaza, said a Hamas “leader” Mahmoud Zahar. Remember, gentle readers, that it is these people with whom Mr. Obama reflexively sympathizes and whom he supports against our ally, Israel. Imagine what such peaceful people would do to someone who was not a pro-Palestinian activist.

ITEM: Political cartoons can be either stale political partisanship or brilliantly satirical and devoid of partisanship. A fine example of the latter by Nate Beeler of the Washington Examiner (Via Hot Air, here) is worthy of mention. By the way, what Sir Barack is holding is the scalpel he has sworn to use to brilliantly dissect the budget dragon.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Week: Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, the much-coveted Louis Renault Award goes to Sen. Harry Reid (D-State of Perpetual Nastiness and Confusion), who in 2006 said: “Why is it right to increase our nation's dependence on foreign creditors? Democrats won't be making an argument to support this legalization [raising the budget ceiling], which will weaken our country.” According to ABC News (here), Mr. Reid is now “embarrassed” that he said that, calling it a “political” statement designed to oppose Mr. Bush. Hmm. “Political statement?” I believe the common folk would refer to that sort of thing as a “lie.” I’m shocked, shocked! to discover that a United States Senator would lie about such a thing, truly! OK, OK, so I’m lying…

NOTE: For those not familiar with Louis Renault, he is a police captain in the classic Humphrey Bogart film, “Casa Blanca.” He confronts Bogart’s Rick, saying that he is shocked, shocked! to discover that gambling is occurring at Rick’s Place. The words are no sooner out of his mouth than one of Rick’s employees hands Renault a stack of cash saying “Here are your winnings, Captain.” Renault thanks him, pockets the cash and continues with his faux outrage without missing a beat.

Item: Louise Renault Award Honorable Mention: The Washington Examiner (here) reports that on April 14, every Senate Democrat rejected killing ObamaCare funding. The vote was 47 to 53, and was strictly party-line. I was shocked, shocked! to learn this. The Examiner notes that Sen. Joe Manchin (D. WV) won a special election last year by portraying himself as an independent, even saying he would vote for repeal of ObamaCare. Hmm. It would appear that Mr. Manchin and the other Senate Dems learned even less than seems humanly possible from the last Congressional election. Even Pavlov’s dogs would seem to be more capable of learning, and they drool just as well as Dems when given the proper stimulus. The 2012 election will be interesting on more levels than most previously thought. Discuss.

ITEM: In light of Mr. Obama’s recent suggestion that wealthy people are just aching to give more of their money to the government, but have not done so because Mr. Obama hasn’t asked them, it may be time to revisit a simple concept: Charity. For the benefit of our readers, charity occurs when a citizen willingly and altruistically gives of their assets to help another. When the government demands it, that’s taxation. The IRS doesn’t “ask.” Discuss.

ITEM: Democrats Are All About The New Civility: And lying, don’t forget lying! At the Daily Caller (here) we find a charming little story about Keith Olbermann, who tweeted (Twittered? Twitted? Tweetyed?) about smart and lovely conservative pundit S.E. Cupp: “On so many levels she’s a perfect demonstration of the necessity of the work Planned Parenthood does .” Check out the brief story to see Olbermann’s pathetic attempts to backpedal and claim that he was talking about Planned Parenthood’s voluminous services other than abortion. So he meant that she’s a perfect demonstration of the necessity of pap smears? Of pre-birth counseling? Of sonograms? Of proper breast-feeding techniques? This is very confusing. Obviously, a superior intellect like Mr. Olbermann’s must be involved to make sense of it all.

ITEM: Judging Future Behavior By Past Performance Department: Investors .com has a lovely little story (here) about the reality of Mr. Obama’s conviction, expressed during his historic budget deficit teleprompter reading of April 13. He has actually promised (when running for president) to implement a system that would allow “40 million Americans” to “do their taxes in less than five minutes.” I’m not sure who the 40 million are, particularly considering that some 47% of Americans--who are reportedly very happy with the current tax system--pay no taxes at all, but apparently the other 260+ million have benefitted little under Mr. Obama. On his watch, it now takes 23 hours to fill out a 1040. It was 21 hours last year. And it now takes seven hours to fill out form 1040 EZ! I’m with Ronald Reagan: Please Mr. Obama, no more help, please!

ITEM: Flee! Flee As From A Pestilence! Department: The Obama Commerce Department (here) announced its new internet initiative that would provide a supposedly secure, individual identity/password for those who “choose” to participate. There is substantial hard and software development yet to be done. I don’t know about you, but the idea of the federal government having that information, and thus, unfettered access to my computer life—so to speak—does not give me chills of joy and warm-fuzzy security feelings, particularly not the present administration. Discuss.

ITEM: Those Evil Republicans! Department: From Hot Air (here) comes news of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s evil actions. He has beaten the unions at every turn, and now the state budget office predicts that his economic actions have essentially eliminated the budget deficit and will hold the growth of property taxes to no more than 1% per year for the next two years. Those cruel, heartless Republicans, killing children and old people and kicking puppies! How dare the Wisconsin public elect adults, and expect them to do what they were elected to do!

ITEM: With a margin of some 7300 votes, incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has been declared the winner of the election over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg. Kloppenburg, who all but affirmed that she would be a reliable liberal/union vote, initially held a margin of approximately 200 votes, but a mistake in reporting more than 10,000 votes overturned her slim margin. While it is possible that Kloppenburg will demand a recount, it is unlikely, considering the margin, that she will overturn the result. Recounts in such elections commonly change fewer than 200 votes.

What is remarkable is the way the results have been reported. Kloppenburg’s 200 vote margin of victory was proclaimed as a righteous vindication for union solidarity and a stunning repudiation of Republican Governor Scott Walker’s budget-cutting agenda. Prosser’s reelection to a ten-year term is seen as a narrow, highly suspect win meaning virtually nothing at all. In this case, the unions poured men and money into a state judicial race and accomplished nothing, except the continued gratuitous squandering of member dues. On the other hand, that’s what they do best.

ITEM: No Man Is Above The Law! Department: Unless, that is, you’re the Obama Attorney General (here). It seems that Eric Holder was recently caught in the act of failing to pay property taxes. That makes how many members of the Obama Administration? Is anyone surprised? After all, when the Treasury Secretary cheats on his taxes, anyone else is something of an anti-climax for the most transparent administration in history. Discuss.

ITEM: Tax The Rich! Department: From Powerline (here) comes an interesting exposition on the futility of taxing the rich as a means of cutting budget deficits. It has been often observed that even if we confiscated 100% of the income of the most wealthy Americans, it would amount to a teardrop in the ocean of our staggering debt. This article makes that point in a convincing way.

ITEM: Ah, Cuba! Land of sunshine and opportunity! The favorite place for vapid Hollywood celebrities and assorted American Marxists to visit and praise as a model of enlightened, humane governance! And that Fidel Castro! The very model of the modern leader! Yeah. Not so much. Go here to examine the reality of one of the last, horribly failed Marxist states. This, gentle readers, is what Mr. Obama and his most ardent followers want us to emulate. I mean, I like 1950s cars as much as the next guy, but...

ITEM: Nothing Succeeds Like, Um, Success? Department: Go here, for a short story on the grassroots success of the “Coffee Party,” which is billing itself as a “non-partisan alternative to the Tea Party.” It’s spreading like wildfire! Well, OK, not so much… Could this be why liberal talk radio is so overwhelmingly popular, even threatening to eclipse Rush Limbaugh in ratings…what? It’s not? It’s an enormous failure? It always has been? Oh.

ITEM: Global Warming Is True! Really! Why Won’t Anyone Listen To Me?! Department: From the Daily Caller (here) comes news of more climate shenanigans from the UN. It seems that in 2005 the UN Climate Program boldly predicted that Global Warming would create 50 million “climate refugees” by 2010. Hmm. Not so much; in fact, not at all. The UN is now predicting 50 million climate refugees by 2020. Visit the article to see the UN’s hilarious coverup hijinks! We must immediately surrender American sovereignty to the UN!

ITEM: The Most Neglected Aspect of National Defense Department: Go here for an article about the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse weapon. A nuclear bomb exploded high over a target produces an enormous EMP which destroys electronics, computers, cars, electric grids, anything that relies on electronic circuitry. Iran, for example, is very much aware of this and would be very likely to use it against us. Visit the article to more fully appreciate the potential consequences of smart diplomacy, cutting the defense budget, and outreach to those who would see us dead.

ITEM: I’ve always been fond of Dick Cavett, who wrote in his autobiography about his undergraduate days at Yale. As the only student on campus from Nebraska, he was a curiosity. Other students actually sought him out to have their photos taken with him as though he was an alien. To the upper crust, I suppose someone from the far-away mystical land of Nebraska was an alien. He wrote that he never joined a fraternity because he could “get nude, drink beer and throw up,” perfectly well alone. Go here for his article on why offending people is a good thing, you %##((**^$&&!!!

MANDATORY PC DISCLAIMER: I was not actually swearing at anyone. It was a joke. You know, a joke? Oh never mind...

ITEM: Shrinking The Deficit! Department: Go here for an account of the report by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General who discovered that the IRS allowed some $500 million in first time homebuyer tax credits to people who were ineligible to receive them, including 128 IRS employees. Hey! I have an idea for deficit reduction…

ITEM: Oh Goody! Department: Standard & Poor’s ratings service (here) has officially downgraded America’s sovereign debt rating from “stable” to “negative” due to political inability to get the deficit under control. S&P’s has warned that it might further lower America’s rating if positive steps are not taken soon. Unsurprisingly, the stock market tumbled on this news. So let’s see, our credit rating is nearing the bottom of the barrel and some countries are calling for the replacement of the dollar as the international reserve currency. We’re obviously in the best of hands. Now if the Republicans will only quit trying to kill children, women, old people, adorable kittens, puppies and baby ducks, we can make some progress. Somehow, this must all be George W. Bush’s fault.

UPDATE: It now appears that the Obama Administration tried to talk S & P's into not announcing the downgrade. I can't imagine that. I'm shocked, shocked!

ITEM: Learning From Past Mistakes Department: USA Today (here) has an article wherein Mr. Obama argues that it’s appropriate to try foreign terrorists captured on the battlefield in civilian court in New York City. “I think it's very important for us not to elevate folks who are murderers and thugs into something special. Our criminal justice system is -- and our trial system is capable of prosecuting terrorists,” said Mr. Obama.

Let me see if I have this straight: Holding a show trial in NYC, a trial that would cost hundreds of millions, disrupt the city for years, give terrorist scum a world stage on which to spread their ideology, give them access to defense and intelligence secrets, and paint targets on the backs of untold thousands of New Yorkers would not constitute elevating “folks who are murderers and thugs into something special,” while trying them in isolation at Gitmo would. With that kind of logic, it’s little wonder we’re in such trouble.

ITEM: Attack of the Death Panel! If you do nothing else this week, read this article by Stanley Kurtz (here) at National Review Online about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the actual death panel established by ObamaCare. Kurtz suggests that if Republicans fail to fully publicize this thoroughly evil creation and to use it against its maker—Mr. Obama—they’ll lose in 2012. I agree. Do read it.

ITEM: In a past QT, we reported on Arizona border sheriff Larry Dever who has claimed that Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to do their jobs. Not surprisingly, government officials have called Dever a liar and DHA Secretary Janet Napolitano has claimed that the situation on the border is better than ever. Now comes Fox News (here) with information from current and former Border Patrol officers and others in a position to know who fully support what Dever has said. Apparently, Border Patrol Supervisors have even been heard ordering officers—by radio—to “TBS” illegals sneaking into to America, to make them “turn back south,” which only causes most to sneak across later. It’s an article well worth visiting if you want to know the truth about the Obama’s Administration’s border policies. Be sure to have your blood pressure medication close at hand. If you don’t need any, you probably will after reading this.

ITEM: Man, I’m Glad I Don’t Live in New York State! Department. From Fox News (here), comes the bizarre news that the legislature has enacted safety regulations to protect our children from some of life’s most treacherous dangers, dangers such as: Capture the flag, dodgeball, flag tag, flag football, kickball, red rover and tag. Any summer camp that wants children to engage in such dangerous games must pay a $200 registration fee and have medical staff on hand. No. This is not an Onion satire.

UPDATE: Due to immense public ridicule, the NY Health Department has allowed that perhaps they’ll sort of, you know, kind of, reconsider the whole thing. As Emily Litella would have said: “Never mind!”

ITEM: What’s going to become of grandma and grandpa if the evil Republicans have their way? That’s right! Grandpa will have to resort to stripping for sorority parties! See the shocking truth right here!

And on that “stimulating” note, it’s time, once again, to thank you for stopping by, and to look forward to seeing you again next Thursday!

EXTRA CREDIT ANSWER: The USS O’Kane is named for Rear Admiral Dick O’Kane who commanded one of America’s most famous and effective WWII submarines, the “USS Tang.” His memoir of that command, “Clear the Bridge” is justly famous as well. The Tang was ultimately sunk due to a circular run by one of it’s own faulty torpedoes.

Posted by MikeM at April 20, 2011 08:41 PM

I now look forward to Thursdays even more than Fridays! Thanks Mike --

Posted by: Stephen at April 21, 2011 12:33 PM

"Wow, chicks must really dig Rear Admirals, 'cuz it says here they get all the Tang they WANT!"

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Posted by: Walt at April 21, 2011 06:20 PM

While I have never before agreed with Keith Olbermann, I would be happy to work with S.E.Cupp on breastfeeding techniques...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at April 21, 2011 06:40 PM

Rear Admiral Richard H. O'Kane, United States Navy. Awarded the Medal of Honor as Commanding Officer of USS Tang in World War II. I had the honor of meeting Admiral O'Kane.

Posted by: Phil at April 23, 2011 07:54 PM