Friday, June 29, 2007
Hamas TV on Friday broadcast what it said was the last episode of a weekly children's show featuring "Farfour," a Mickey Mouse look-alike who had made worldwide headlines for preaching Islamic domination and armed struggle to youngsters.
In the final skit, Farfour was beaten to death by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, Farfour called the Israeli a "terrorist."
"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.
The MSM should be covering this but they wont. It would explain a lot about terrorism. But it is not the explanation the MSM wants anyone to hear.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Live blogging cloture vote
Nays are 53.
Cloture does not pass!!!
Reid immediately pulls legislation but says it will come back in the future. We can only hope not.
BTW Mom, Ensign voted no.
Update: Brownback voted for closure then saw the writing on the wall and changed his vote to no. He wasn't smart enough to wait for the fence sitters like Webb to vote. What a moron! Hahahaha. He is going to take a lot of grief for that vote.
Diego: Some big names pushed hard for this bill yet so far it has still failed to pass. Bush, Kennedy, Reid, Lott to name a few; all were denied. I like that. This was a top level, bipartisan scam that has been stopped for now.
Ending Racial Discrimination
Chief Justice John Roberts makes the point:
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race."Well put.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Another vote for the "Fairness Doctrine"
If you ever wonder why Americans of all political stripes do not trust or are particularly confident in the U.S. congress do yourself a favor and listen to Voinovich make a fool of himself on Sean Hannity's show.
I almost feel sorry for him. It really cannot be fun to be grilled on issues of which you have so little knowledge but what really is funny is George's faux good humor when he realizes that Hannity is not going to give him a pass. Then the senator can't handle the difficult questions so he feigns indignation and slinks off. It's painful to hear if you have any respect for the man but I really don't. In fact, I have heard although he might not be as dumb as Sam Brownback he is close.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Amnesty bill likely to pass
It won't do a lot of good but here is the Secure Borders Now petition.
Help us House Republicans, your our only hope.
Update: Cloture passed 64-35. Only thing left to do is count those that think they can fool the public by voting for cloture but voting against the bill. Barring a massive change of heart its on to the House.
Diego: This will be a test of blog power. Clearly the Senators who voted for cloture think that they can defy the will of the people and get away with it by washing themselves of their actions through time and technicalities (Y on cloture, N on amnesty). Best case scenario here is if the House rejects the bill and all those who ignored their constituents get voted out next election. The Internet does not forget and thus the voters should be aware of what is really going on here. Those who play this game must be taught a lesson. It is possible we will have better representation in the future because of this. Then again it is possible that it will be business as usual but I hope not.
Bill C: (Via Hot Air)
Here’s the roll of shame. The cloture vote on June 7th went 45-50; Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, actually switched from yes on that vote to no today. Which means the amnesty wing picked up a cool 20 yeses in the interim: Bennett, Bingaman, Bond, Boxer, Brownback, Burr, Coleman, Collins, Domenici, Ensign, Gregg, Kyl, Lott, McConnell, Murkowski, Pryor, Snowe, Stevens, Warner, Webb.
The boldface indicates Republicans, my friends. Sixteen of them — 15 no/yes switches plus Brownback, who didn’t vote on June 7th.
It's going to be hard to support Al Franken over Norm Coleman but I guess that is what needs to be done. Bond has said he will not vote for the second cloture vote on Thursday if he does not get his sure to fail amendment passed. Brownback is running for president but says he will quit the senate when his term is up in 2010.
Aaron Richard Burr is from conservative N.C. but won't be up for reelection until 2010. McConnell is from Kentucky and is up for reelection in 2008. Lott in 2012. Ted Stevens and Warner are both up in 2008. The rest are from sufficiently liberal states or are not up for reelection.
Bill C: I got a call from my mother after she had read this post and she was incredulous that Ensign and Kyl were supporting this bill. She is from Neveda and had contributed to the NRSC in the past. She just couldn't believe a good conservative like Kyl could support amnesty.
Via Hot Air, the perfect metaphor for the Republican party right now.
Labels: Illegal Immigration
Monday, June 25, 2007
Struck by the similarities between her daughter and Matilda, the title character in the Roald Dahl story about a gifted child, Mrs Brown began to worry about Georgia's future education.
She contacted Professor Joan Freeman, a specialist educational psychologist, for advice.
Professor Freeman applied the standard Stamford-Binet Intelligence Scale test to Georgia and was amazed to find this was too limited to map her creative abilities.
She said: "Even at two she was very thoughtful.
"What Georgia did on some questions was of a higher quality than that which was necessary to gain a mark.
"She swept right through it like a hot knife through butter.
"I would ask her things like 'give me two blocks or give me ten blocks' and she would manage it as easily as you would expect a five-year-old.
"In one test I asked her to draw a circle and she did it so perfectly.
"Most adults would struggle to do that. Her circle was near to being perfect.
"It shows she can physically hold a pen well but also that she understands the concept of a circle." [Emphasis added.]
Newspaper misspells the name of the I.Q. test. Not so smart.
Which makes me wonder. Could she have been coached? Either way, this is one smart baby. Now I am feeling guilty about not buying those Baby Einstein videos for William.
Smokers to destroy Al Qaida
On the evening of the 24th I spoke with a local Iraqi official, Colonel Faik, who said the Muftis would order the severance of the two fingers used to hold a cigarette for any Iraqis caught smoking. Other reports, from here in Diyala and also in Anbar, allege that smokers are murdered by AQI. Most Iraqis smoke and this particular prohibition appeared to have earned the ire of many locals. After an American unit cleared an apartment complex on the 23rd, LTC Smiley, the battalion commander, reported that residents didn’t ask for food and water, but cigarettes. In other parts of Baqubah, people have been celebrating the routing of AQI by lighting up and smoking cigarettes. [Emphasis added.]
The Coming Credit Meltdown or not
With interest rates spiking higher over the past month or so it is not surprising to see a few people pointing out the causes of weakness in the market. It is a little funny to an old market watcher to see this degree of pessimism just one day before an important low in bond prices. If WaPo is right you better scrape together some pencils and apples to sell 'cause the depression is starting now.
It is impossible to predict when the magic moment will be reached and everyone finally realizes that the prices being paid for these companies, and the debt taken on to support the acquisitions, are unsustainable. When that happens, it won't be pretty. Across the board, stock prices and company valuations will fall. Banks will announce painful write-offs, some hedge funds will close their doors, and private-equity funds will report disappointing returns. Some companies will be forced into bankruptcy or restructuring.Robert Samuelson is a bit more restrained.
But the damage won't be limited to Wall Street and its investors. For if we've learned one thing in the past 20 years, it is that what happens on financial markets, in booms and in busts, can have a big impact on the rest of the economy.
But this grim fate is hardly preordained. Judged by historical standards, the increase in interest rates is modest and may reflect a strong economy as much as tighter credit. Indeed, credit is still ample, just less so than a few months ago. Aside from subprime mortgages, delinquencies on other bonds and loans remain low. Interest rate "spreads" -- the gap between rates on safe and risky loans -- also remain low.
I really shouldn't beat up on these guys at all because I happen to think they are right but their timing is classic. Not quite Death of Equities funny but close. The credit markets are choking on bad debt right now and I seriously doubt the bear market in bonds is finished but let this post stand as a testiment to the folly of making financial decisions based on what's in the news. In this case, at least short term decisions.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Shenandoah National Park
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Short egomaniac lusts for power
Bloomberg has quit the Republican party probably as a lead into a presidential candidacy.
Political consultants fat and happy through 2008.
Moscow most expensive city
Enough ranting. The funny part of thie article about the cost of living in Moscow was this:
In Moscow, a luxury two-bedroom apartment will cost an expat $4,000 a month; a CD rings up at $24.83; one copy of an international daily newspaper is $6.30; and a fast-food hamburger meal totals $4.80. [Emphasis added.]
First off, the luxury apartments for $4,000 are in the center surrounded by what is known as the Garden Ring Road. Roughly 250k of Moscow's 11+ million live in this area. Thanks to the marvelous transport system, it is possible to live miles outside of the center and to get anywhere fairly cheaply. Secondly, nobody in Moscow pays almost $25 for a CD. There is an enormous indoor market filled with kiosks carrying every blackmarket CD/DVD called Garbushka. You can buy the latest movies for about $2 a pop. Not that I have in case the MPAA is reading this. So this is highly ridiculous.
Besides, the Russians are pretty good at pirating music off the internet. That is, when the internet is working.
Sopranos series finale: What did it mean?
Slate has a roundup of alternative endings.
Even Hillary has gotten in on the act. (Via Hot Air.)
You know what I would like to see from Fred Thompson. A commercial with him in one of his roles from a movie in which he breaks into a campaign pitch. Like the DirecTv commercials that have an actor, Ben Stein for example, resprising his role in Ferris Buellers Day Off.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Victims of Communism Memorial
RFK and TR
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Give Murphy credit for being dogged.
I never, ever met a false rape claim, by the way. My own statistics speak to the truth.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Paul Potts sings opera
This is a truly uplifting moment. Just amazing to see this man shine. Why is this inspirational?
I think that is the wellspring of the emotion that pervades his performance. He is fighting against a life of obscurity. By the song’s end, what was an average Joe has stepped up, beaten back his fear, and broken through. In those few seconds, he put the void behind him, and his life will probably be changed forever because he called up the courage at that moment to show what he was really made of. We saw greatness, long denied, finally being born.
He is just going to have a tough time booking a gig in Cambodia.
The Trouble With Islam
Via The Corner
Too bad our elites and politicans can't speak the truth like this. That they can't is no accident.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The chart to the right is a weekly bar chart of the 10 year Treasury Note futures. Given the drastic run up in rates starting in May I am beginning to wonder if we are not experiencing a meltdown similar to what happened in 1994. That bond bear market was the result of historically low yields (for the time) which lowered credit spreads. It looks like people have been reaching for yield recently. Reaching for yield means they are buying lower quality/higher risk debt instruments in order to receive a higher interest rate. To be honest, I was caught off guard by this because I had expected interest rates to go lower this year because of the weakening economy. May retail sales numbers that were released today and which were higher than expectations show that the economy might not be as weak as previously thought. Today saw a dramatic spike higher in rates (lower in prices) and then a reversal which isn't surprising. Rates have moved a long way in a short time and we are near some resistance levels. (Look at the previous lows to the left.) I'll keep an eye on this but if we are in a credit crunch then expect rates to keep going up. None of this will be good for the economy or the stock market going forward but right now the party is still on.
Is wave 4 in? Maybe. I think likely. Soon, I owe you a look at the big picture in the stock market which will put this small graph into perspective and should make you realize that it matters very little because we are near the end of the bull that runs back to the beginning of 2003. But until that time, the trend is still up. And if wave 4 is over we are in for one heck of a rally.
US as compared to the world
David Chase speaks
Rudy tacks right, McCain '08 bid losing steam
The big story is Fred Thompson's launch into a virtual tie with Rudy. All of the Republican candidates have suffered vs. Fred but none more than Maverick. Hence, the cynic in me thinks, Rudy is trying to brand himself as a conservative. But it won't work. He has too much baggage. I like Rudy but I worry that once he is president he can do whatever he wants. That is why the past positions you have held matter more than your current rhetoric.
I am a Fred fan but objectively it is hard to imagine any other candidate winning the nomination at this point. Barring scandals and an unlikely poor performance, Thompson has seized the mantle of conservative and this should be enough. Rudy has the libertarians but that support is capped as you can see his poll numbers have steadily eroded.
(Via Hotair, Fred was on Leno's show last night and performed well.) Also, Hotair points to an article at Politico.com in which Fred's opponents lay out avenues of attack against Fred.
Politico runs down the five points on which Fred’s Republican rivals are going to try to hit him. Three of them focus on his alleged centrism — his voting record, his support for McCain-Feingold, and his flirtation with a federalist pro-choice position, which ironically is belied by his actual voting record. I eagerly await watching Rudy McRomney trying to tar someone else as too liberal. As for the other points, his history as a lobbyist and his record as a trial lawyer, they’re less than meaningless. Particularly given that his most famous moments as a lawyer are (a) exposing corruption in Watergate, (b) exposing corruption in the Tennessee governor’s office, and (c) fighting corruption on “Law & Order.”
If the worst they have against Fred is supporting McCain-Feingold, which he has admitted was a mistake, then he should have clear sailing.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Pirates, Nationals, Memorials, and Stars
I read her transcript of a portion of Bush's speech at the ceremony and noted the following in bold:
"We dedicate this memorial because we have an obligation to those who died, to acknowledge their lives and honor their memory. The Czechwriter Milan Kundera once described the struggle against Communism as "the struggle of memory against forgetting." Communist regimes did more than take their victims' lives; they sought to steal their humanity and erase their memory. With this memorial, we restore their humanity and we reclaim their memory. With this memorial, we say of Communism's innocent and anonymous victims, these men and women lived and they shall not be forgotten."
This will provide for a good conversation with my travel companion as we roadtrip through D.C. this weekend. Not long ago I attended a party with several Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's in Chicago) employees who were discussing the name and logo change of the Chicago area stores. Several had stories to tell about customers who were upset with the name change to their favorite store.
In some way's the changes seem trivial but there were a few older customers who complained about the red star in the Macy's logo that offended them because they thought it symbolized communism. The mostly younger (under 26) crowd thought that ridiculous. I understand somewhat if they did not think the star represented communism but the negatives of communism seemed completely lost on them as well. That is unfortunate.
No too long ago I was with the same crowd discussing the deadly tsunami of 2004. We were all surprised that the news reports suggested that the locals did not know the warning sign - when the shoreline quickly recedes - of an impending tsunami. I had seen some nature specials on tsunamis before on television and was aware of the process. So how could the locals not know?
Likely after the last tsunami to strike generations ago they were very aware of the warning signs. The parents and children who witnessed the destruction probably made sure that the next generation was aware of such a possibility. But after the next generation grew up with no tsunami their children may have been a bit suspect of such a story of huge waves and massive flooding. And their kids probably made fun of grandma for warning them to be mindful of a quickly receding shoreline that would be followed by a huge wave and massive flooding. Sounds a little like the struggle of memory against forgetting.
Monday, June 11, 2007
"a slow process we call ideological subversion or...psychological warfare. What it basically means is to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their communities and their country.
It is a great brain washing process that goes very slow and it is divided in four basic stages the first one being demoralization, it takes from 15-20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years which requires to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy exposed to the ideology of the enemy.
In other words Marxism, Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students without being challenged or counter balanced by the basic values of Americanism...The results you can see.
Most of the people who graduated in the '60s, drop outs or half-baked intellectuals are now occupying the position of power....You're are stuck with them. You cannot get rid of them. They are contaminated. They are programed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information."
That was just a portion of the five minute interview posted.
If you look at the results of this effort by the KGB you might be tempted to conclude that they were successful. I'm not so sure. The end result was achieved but I wouldn't say for sure that it was their doing. I'm not convinced that lessons of the past simply get lost as time goes by and thus leaves the youth exposed to new and flawed ideologies. But Bezmenov's description of the current state in America is accurate.
An interesting observation from Powerline commenting on the 20th anniversary of Reagan's 'Tear down this wall!' speech:
America's effort to resist Communist imperialism was indeed bipartisan for the first 25 years following World War II. But after the 1960s, the Republicans were on their own, much as they are today in the war against Islamic terrorism. In the later years of the Cold War, it was not unusual for the Democrats to actively side with the Communists, as in Latin America through the Boland Amendment and in Western Europe through the nuclear freeze movement.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The Sopranos: The End
Bill C adds:
In a way it reminded me of the last episode of Cheers. Some loose ends were tied up. Old themes reinforced. If only Woody had been whacked. I liked it in that it wasn't too sugary but you were left with the impression that their lives would go on in the weird world they inhabited.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Do We Count?
Forget about 12 million illegal people. What about 140 million American workers?
Not just the workers but all citizens need representation here. The immigration bill reads and the debate sounds as if only those here illegally matter. It seems to have been killed for now but it came alarmingly close to passing in the Senate.
Senators don't appear to be listening. Trent Lott had this to say:
"I am getting calls, but I would say to my constituents: Do you have no faith in me after 35 years that I am just going to buy a pig in a poke here, or be for something that is bad?"
Pig in a poke? I can't imagine Lott supporting any kind of pork scam.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
The immigration bill is dead
Via MM big bill demise roundup, Polipundit told us last year after the election that losing the Senators we did probably made an immigration bill less likely. Look at the Dems who voted no on cloture.
D - Baucus, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Dorgan, Landrieu, McCaskill, Pryor, Rockefeller, Tester, Webb
Via Hot Air, Rightwing News says that it was South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint who was instrumental in killing the immigration bill according to an anonymous Senate staffer.
At that point, all the senators who were participants in the "Grand Compromise" AKA the "Masters of the Universe" by the opponents of the bill, leaned on DeMint to try to get him to give consent for the bill to move forward. Unfortunately for them, DeMint wouldn't budge. This essentially killed the entire afternoon that the pro-amnesty side hoped to use to shore up support for the bill.
While DeMint was gumming up the works, the opponents of the bill, including most prominently Jim DeMint, Jeff Sessions, and Tom Coburn, huddled and came up with a list of conservative amendments they wanted considered.
The "Grand Compromise" crowd didn't want a lot of these amendments to be voted on because either some of the amendments would have been accepted and it would have killed the bill or alternately, they would have had to vote against common sense enforcement measures and made themselves look bad.
It seems that the "Masters of Disaster" tried to force this bill through the Senate as fast as possible but the few Senators opposed to amnesty used the Senate rules to gum up the works. The bill is not completely dead but it is so crippled it would take a miracle to save. The light of day is lethal to a stinker like this bill which is exactly what the blogosphere shone on it. This is a victory every bit as important as the Harriet Miers fiasco and the 'wingnut, hypochondriac, etc.' members of the blogosphere and talkradio have every right to crow about this victory.
Labels: Illegal Immigration
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
George W Bush is a genius, The big immigration con
I am not surprised to have heard that the bill is running into difficulties. I, like Diego, thought that this bill would be like the Harriet Miers nomination and quickly go away because of overwhelming dislike of the particulars. My fear is that it is not going away fast enough and that fear is exaserbated by knowing that it is our political class which is pushing for 'reform', the voters be damned.
Frank Luntz was on Fox on a couple of different shows. I can't be bothered to find which but I think it was in this one where he said that the immigration issue is off the charts as far as the leaders not hearing the base. And that is because they aren't listening. I don't know how this could be possible because the decible level is getting pretty loud where I am standing.
Then it hit me while I was reading the comments to the above linked Huffington Post post. What could possibly get Democratic voters to vote for a Republican? What issue does the rightwing own? And what issue are the Democrat Presidential candidates treating with kid gloves? Immigration! About a week or so ago, Newt did an interview with...I forget but he said that the only way a Republican was going to win was if he ran away from George W Bush the same way Nick Sarkozy ran from Chirac in France. Like us, France has a immigration problem and Sarkozy took a hardline against it.
So, follow me here, Bush is setting up Fred Thompson to win the WH by snookering the Democrats into supporting a bill that a
This first graph is from May 24th. I did the labeling back then and it looks like it is holding up. Pay attention to the small 4. It is the fourth wave down in a larger pattern and is a good place to look for support as the market falls.
Here is a chart I did yesterday or early this morning. I am too tired to keep track of time. As you can see and know from watching the markets today, the lower trend line was broken. This doesn't mean the up trend is over but it does mean we have to start looking for support and a point where we call the trend over. As I said in the comments to The Next Step, 13,000 looks good to me. Too early to tell but we have been in an up trend since 2003 and the world is percolating with bubbles that are ripe to burst.
Finally a daily chart of the ten year note futures. I have expressed my surprise that interest rates are rising (price runs inverse to the interest rate so as prices fall, as in this chart, interest rates rise) in what is supposed to be a weak economy with little sign of inflation. Of course, everyone else could be working on this assumption and you know what happens to markets that get unbalanced in one direction? Yeah, neither do I . At least I used to think I did. One thing I do know is that rising rates are not good for our favorite bubble. But they are good for my favorite bond coupon clipper.
I'm with Fred
Averaged close to 1,500 people per hour signing up as friends Averaged $12,000 per hour in contributions Raised more than $220,000 dollars via the website Seen just under half of the Friends send a message to others asking them to sign up or give.
Also, Fred is tied for second in this poll and in first place according to inTrade.
Labels: Fred Thompson
"No one has a right to come to America. We get to decide...we allow on our terms and conditions... our immigration system is set up to serve the national interest...No one has a constitutional legal right to demand entry into America. It amazes me the lack of comprehension shown...We set the standards. We have the most generous set of laws in the world. We're not going to end immigration or act irrationally. To set reasonable standards, as Cornyn is attempting to do, only makes common sense."
It is good to see someone speaking up but I'm beginning to feel as if there might not be enough opposition to the bill to defeat it. I originally thought this would be like the Harriet Meyers Supreme Court nomination that would simply die out as time passed but I'm not encouraged by what I've read of the current debate.
Sessions has a list of loopholes in the bill here and I'm guessing there is much more not to like.
Some Sopranos Inside Stuff
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Bush Should Pardon Libby
Libby gets 30 months in jail and a $250k fine. Berger gets off easy.
Pardoning Libby would cause an uproar among the media and Democrats but it would shine some light on Berger who owes answers.
The Next Step
First off, I put up these charts on May 24th with every intention of posting them but babies have a way of changing your priorities.
This first graph is a continuation of the chart I first posted on May 8th. As you can see we broke out of the trendlines so it is time to consider what pattern we are in and whether we are in for a change in trend.
This is an abortive attempt to find a new trendline. No luck.
So I go back to the start and establish new trendlines off the top and bottom of the high and low which kicked off the big uptrend from a low of Dow 11940. Why am I doing this now? Two reasons, I had some time and I noticed that interest rates have been creeping up. I am surprised to see interest rates rise in what is supposed to be a weak economy. So events are developing which will let us know whether the trend will stay up for the stock market or not. More later, baby permitting.
Near Disaster Avoided
After lunch I went over to the cookies and was about to grab one and bite into it when I realized that it was not a chocolate chip cookie but rather an oatmeal cookie with raisins. Why do they make those? In the past I have taken a bite of such a cookie anticipating the joyous taste of sugar and chocolate to touch my taste buds only to have the taste of raisin juice hit my mouth with a nasty surprise.
Fortunately no such incident occurred. But I was disappointed that there were no more good cookies left.
Monday, June 04, 2007
I'm a Fredhead
For more info here is the Draft Fred Thompson website and the messageboard. I am looking forward to debating Fred's and the other candidates positives and negatives with my other blogmates; that is, if they still read it.*
*Diego, that doesn't include you.
Labels: Fred Thompson