Saturday, June 30, 2007

Recall Mel Martinez?

Michelle Malkin brought this to my attention:
So, Sen. Mel Martinez is mad about the failure of shamnesty. He is challenging opponents to act:
The chairman of the Republican Party on Friday lambasted Democrats and Republicans who helped kill an immigration bill in the Senate and challenged them to come up with a solution beyond “just build a fence along the border.”

“The voices of negativity now have a responsibility to come up with an answer, ” RNC Chairman and U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez said.

“How will you fix the situation to make peoples’ lives better? How will you continue to grow the economy? How will we bring people out of the shadows for our national security and for the sake of being a country that is just?” he demanded.

Attention, Floridians who want to act by replacing pro-shamnesty politicians with pro-enforcement lawmakers who keep their word: There’s a petition recall Mel Martinez here. The sponsors explain:
The site was launched June 18th 2007 by central Florida IT Tech Mr. Dewey Wallace to protest what he views as a reversal of Senator Martinez’s campaign promises of no Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants. The website has a secure SSL page designed to gather signatures in an attempt to make a legal recall via special election of the Senator.

Even though the stated goal of to gather enough registered Florida voters to recall the Senator, Mr. Wallace readily admits that it is going to be an uphill battle as over 514,000 signatures are required, and no national recall has ever succeeded. However seeing this as an opportunity to set a new legal precedent, Mr. Wallace states is moving forward with an optimistic eye on success.

I urge my Floridian guests to sign the petition to recall this wolf in sheep's clothing. Between his flip-flop on amnesty and his standing in the way of energy independence, this no-good RINO needs to go.

"Don't worry, Mel. If anyone knows how to revive a seemingly dead political career, it's me."

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Hilldawg and W-Buff pining away for higher taxes

Thanks to KG for passing this on. During the Shrillary fundraiser last night:
Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y) equated higher taxes with patriotism during the third nationally-televised Democratic Presidential debate Thursday evening.

When asked if she believed Americans were paying enough taxes, Clinton praised billionaire U.S. investor Warren Buffett because, as she said, “He’s honest enough to say, look, tax me because I’m a patriotic American.”

She went on, “We have to change the tax system and we’ve got to get back to having those with the most contribute to this country.”

According to Her Highness' logic, Dick Cheney is more patriotic than she is, since he pays more in taxes. What an imbecile.

Billionaire Warren Buffet decided to chime in on some economic dishonesty:
Buffett said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.”

That gives the impression that his secretary, surely a middle-class mother of modest means trying to make ends meet, is not being handsomely the point where her tax rate is 30%! Quick show of hands here: who wouldn't like to be a receptionist for THAT kind of jack?

Obviously, Buffett is no idiot. He is, however, incredibly misleading, as noted by Harvard economics prof Greg Mankiw:
You might wonder how Mr Buffett managed such a low tax rate. Most likely, it arose because corporate dividends and capital gains are taxed at only 15 percent. But the corporate income that funded those returns was already taxed at the corporate level, where the tax rate is 35 percent. Mr Buffett seems to be ignoring the first round of taxation. Is it possible that the world's most successful has failed to pierce the corporate veil? (If you want to more reliable data on the progressivity of the tax code, see this old post for numbers from the CBO.)

Even more striking to me is a fact that Mr Buffett did not emphasize: how low his taxable income is. His income of $46 million represents a mere 0.1 percent of his reported net worth of over $50 billion. That is not an impressive rate of return!

Why is it so low? I can think of at least four possible ways investors like Mr Buffet can keep their taxable income, as opposed to their true income, low:

1. They hold stocks that pay minimal dividends.
2. They avoid realizing capital gains.
3. They hold some of their portfolios in tax-free municipal bonds.
4. They give appreciated assets to charity, getting a deduction for the current market value without ever having to realize and pay tax on the capital gain.

Notice that raising tax rates, as Mr Buffett seems to want to do, would not much affect any of these tax avoidance strategies. Even if tax rates were raised substantially, the tax savvy Mr Buffet probably wouldn't be paying much in taxes as a proportion of his wealth or as a proportion of his true income.

In other words, higher tax rates would have a minimal effect on Buffett, but a HUGE effect on others who don't earn their money the same way he does. How convenient!

Buffett still pays a gazillion bucks more in income tax than his secretary does, but he's misleading about the rate of taxation on income. Then again, the left usually does get Kerryesque about taxes and tax cuts. The tax rate was cut by a smaller percentage for rich folks than it was for everyone else, but the Dems still scream "Tax cuts for the rich" because the totals (not the rate) were higher. Example: a man paying $10,000/year in taxes gets a 50% cut, and thus pays $5,000/year in taxes; a rich man paying $1 million/year in taxes gets a 1% cut, and thus pays $990,000/year in taxes. The left bitches about the $10k cut the rich guy got when the poorer guy only got $5k...never mind that the poorer guy got a 49% bigger tax cut and the rich guy still paid damned near a cool million in taxes.

Yet all of a sudden, now they want to focus on rate when Warren Buffett wants to use his secretary in an example. Geez, guys, pick a talking point and stick to it!

Plus, if Buffett feels that he's not paying enough to Uncle Sam to grow the bloated imperial monster in DC, he is more than free to cut a check as big as he sees fit and feed the bureaucracy beast. But that would take the sport out of the class envy game, wouldn't it?

Concludes Her Highness:
"So, yes, we have to change the tax system. And we've got to get back to having those with the most contribute to this country."

Right...because they don't pay nearly enough in taxes, do they? Oh, wait... (click to enlarge)

Top 40% pays 3/4 of federal taxes. Shrillary et al say "That's not enough!"


Big Government kicks diabetic elderly man off of train in middle of forest

With this level of incompetence, why would anyone want Big Government to run our health care system (among other things)? From the New Editor:
If you're among those who are amazed by the seeming incompetence of the government at almost every turn lately, whether it be the White House, Congress ... whatever, this story will fit that impression quite well...

From (emphasis added)
A 65-year-old St. Louis man is missing after Amtrak personnel, mistaking his diabetic shock for drunk and disorderly behavior, kicked him off a train in the middle of a national forest, according to police in Williams, Ariz.

Police said Roosevelt Sims was headed to Los Angeles but was asked to leave the train shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday at a railroad crossing five miles outside Williams.

"He was let off in the middle of a national forest, which is about 800,000 acres of beautiful pine trees," Lt. Mike Graham said.

Police said there is no train station or running water at the crossing, which is about two miles from the nearest road, at an elevation of about 8,000 feet.

Amtrak personnel told police dispatchers that Sims was drunk and unruly.

The Sims family said Sims is diabetic and was going into shock.

Forget the misdiagnosis concerning his behavior -- how can you you throw someone off a train in the middle of a national forest, two miles from the nearest road???


Amnesty postmortem

Short, sweet, and to the point from Instapundit:
My advice for next time:

(1) Make the process open, transparent, and timely, with hearings, drafts on the Internet, and no last-minute bills that no one has read;

(2) Earn people's trust, don't demand it, and treat enforcement like it matters;

(3) Respect people who follow the law, and make legal immigration easier, cheaper, and simpler, rather than the Kafkaesque nightmare it is now;

(4) Don't feel you have to be "comprehensive" -- address the problems you can deal with first. The trust needed to deal with other problems will come later, after you've shown some success and some good faith.

I would add "(5) Don't impugn the motives of people with serious concerns about enforcement, rewarding bad behavior, etc., by calling them 'bigots' or 'xenophobes'. Listen to their concerns, even if your mind doesn't change." Friendships have been ruined over this debate because of the tone of the dialogue, not because of the mere presence of the disagreement itself.

I want to dwell on point #4 above, though. I've said from the beginning that the "comprehensive", i.e. "all or nothing" approach was stupid. An analogy to illustrate its absurdity:

You're in your home during a tropical storm/hurricane. A hole's in in your roof and ceiling, and water beings pouring in. Your house also needs some other repairs: the carpet in the bedroom is peeling up in the corner, the bathroom closet's doorknob is horribly loose and probably needs replacing, the stopper in the bathtub is missing, and the tile floor in your kitchen is cracking near the stove and fridge.

The sensible approach? Fix the hole in your roof and ceiling NOW to stop the rain from gushing in! For Pete's sake, those other problems can wait! If you try fixing the other problems now without sealing your roof/ceiling, those other problems will be irrelevant, because your house will be so badly water-damaged that the other fixes will have been for naught.

The "comprehensive" approach? "I'm not going to fix the hole in my roof and ceiling until I figure out what to do about the carpet, doorknob, stopper, and tile floor. It's all or nothing!"

But hey, wasn't "border security" party of the, "comprehensive"...package? Sure it was. It was also part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 in October of last year, which authorized and ordered the building of nearly 900 miles of double-reinforced barriers along major points of criminal immigration entry into the U.S. to be completed no later than April 2008. While there is still roughly ten months left for the completion, our government has thus far completed a whopping...13 miles!

Therefore, our politicians are going to have to forgive us peons for not exactly having the utmost of confidence in their desire/ability to secure the border. It's simple: secure the border, first and foremost, like you said you would do in 1986 and then again in 2006. Cracking down on employers (via an employer verification system) is a fantastic idea, as is fining the violating employers with a fine so stiff that it strips them of any financial incentive to turn a blind eye to criminal immigrants. Deporting illegal aliens who are in jail for other crimes (not just criminal breaking-and-entering into our country) is a no-brainer, which is why many liberal politicians voted that down.

However, until the aforementioned and aforepromised border enforcement is done, don't talk to us about amnesty or "comprehensive" or whatever else.


Jesse Jr.: Apple doesn't fall far from the tree

From Rep. John Campbell:
Federal Funding for Phantom Airport
Today I introduced an amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations bill that would strip taxpayer funding for the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission in Illinois designated for "minority and small business development and procurement opportunities”. Now I find nothing wrong with minority and small business development; I’m a businessman myself. My problem with this earmark is that Abraham Lincoln National Airport doesn’t exist. There are no long lines, crowded terminals, or delayed flights at this airport. There’s not a single passenger there. The truth is, Abraham Lincoln National Airport only exists in concept which has been developed by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. – who requested the $231,000 for this project.

Here are some facts that you may find interesting:

· The Executive Director for the Airport Commission is Richard Bryant, who also happens to be the Deputy District Administrator for Jackson’s Congressional office.

· Congressman Jackson was the main catalyst behind forming the Airport Commission.

· From a 4/13/06 press release from Congressman Jackson's own campaign, the Airport commission "plans to launch an advertising campaign urging (Illinois) Gov. Rod Blagojevich to lease it the land the state is acquiring for the airfield." From the same press release, "So far, the commission has raised about $100,000, said Jackson aide Rick Bryant, the commission's executive director."

· Later that same year, on November 16, 2006, Congressman Jackson issued a press release from his official office where he promised to not seek federal funding for the airport. “So even with the change of leadership in Congress, I won’t pursue federal funding for the Abraham Lincoln National Airport. Chicago’s share of federal dollars is already committed to O’Hare modernization.”

Congressman Jackson’s request for $231,000 for this non-existent airport, to a commission managed by one of his top congressional staffers that so far has only commissioned an advertising/lobbying campaign, only months after Congressman Jackson himself promised to not request federal funds for this commission, are all reason's why I introduced this amendment to remove these taxpayer provided funds from the Financial Services Appropriations bill. There are some very important questions that Congressman Jackson’s constituents and all taxpayers deserve answered.

The "culture of corruption" chugs along.


Coulter's latest flap, but she fires back

By now, many of you have heard that just a couple of months or so after jokingly (though in p#sspoor taste) referring to the Breck Girl as "fa&&ot", the mean ol' beanpole Ann Coulter wished a painful death on the beloved Silky Pony. She said "If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

Wow. Hard to defend that, huh? Well, not really, once you look at the entire line that lead up to it. While speaking to Chris Cuomo on Good Morning America, the following exchange took place (courtesy of Newsbusters):
Coulter: "Though about the same time, Bill Maher said– And, by the way I did not call John Edwards the F-word. I said I couldn’t talk about him because you could go into rehab for using that word."

Cuomo: "You said you were joking. You were joking."

Coulter: "Oh, yeah. Yeah. I wouldn't, I wouldn’t insult gays by comparing them to John Edwards. That would be mean. (Now THAT is funny! "Not funny haha, funny queer...mmm-hmmm!" - Ed.) But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So, I’ve learned my lesson. If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

I mentioned at The Conservative Manifesto that Coulter should have finished her quote with "I mean, if Bill Maher can say something like that about Dick Cheney and catch no grief from you or your leftist ilk, Chris, then I'm afraid you're going to have to immunize me from any grief, too." Not that this would have resulted in any less dishonesty from the left, but it still would have done some good.

At any rate, Coulter has had enough and has struck back with both barrels blazing. Her retort is here (please read must read it!), and a couple of excerpts follow:
The Edwards campaign is apparently still running low on donations, so this week they went back to their top fundraiser: me.
Say, did any TV host ever surprise Al Franken, Bill Maher or Arianna Huffington with a call by the wife of someone they've made nasty remarks about? How about a call to John Edwards from the wife of a doctor he bankrupted with his junk-science lawsuits?
The usual nut Web sites posted a zillion denunciations of my appearance on "Good Morning America" immediately after I appeared Monday morning. But it didn't occur to any of them to simply lie about what I had said. No, it took them nearly 36 hours to concoct a version of that quote that included the Edwards part, but not the Maher part, or what English language speakers call: "the point."

By tomorrow it will be: "Ann Coulter tried to kill John Edwards on 'Good Morning America'!"
Let me also quote from campaign consultant Bob Shrum's book "No Excuses":

"(Kerry) was even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he'd never told anyone else -- that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he'd do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade's ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before -- and with the same preface, that he'd never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn't pick Edwards unless he met with him again."

Apparently every time Edwards began a story about his dead son with "I've never told anyone this before," everyone on the campaign could lip-sync the story with him.
John Edwards injects his son's fatal car accident into his campaign by demanding that everyone notice how he refuses to inject his son's fatal car accident into his campaign.
Manifestly, I was not making fun of their son's death; I was making fun of John Edwards' incredibly creepy habit of invoking his son's tragic death to advance his political career -- a practice so repellant, it even made John Kerry queasy.

I'm a little tired of losers trying to raise campaign cash or TV ratings off of my coattails, particularly when they use their afflictions or bereavement schedules to try to silence the opposition. From now on, I'm attacking only serious presidential candidates, like Dennis Kucinich.

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sub shop customer, retired Marine, renders armed robbers "toes up"

UPDATE (7:12 A.M. EST): I don't know how I missed it, but the customer who gave a couple of armed punks their celestial dirt nap is a retired Marine. In the span of two days, we've had two elderly Marines teach lawbreaking vermin a lesson (see pickpocket story yesterday).

Chalk one up for the Second Amendment here. Piggybacking on yesterday's story about law-abiding citizens not putting up with criminals is this one from south Florida (via Hot Air):
This is what licensed carry is all about.
According to investigators, two armed men entered the restaurant, pointing guns and demanding money. One customer turned around and saw a gun pointed at his face. Plantation police said that’s when the customer took the law into his own hands.

“As the customer was being forced into the restroom at gunpoint, the customer, who was in fear for his life and legally armed, shot the robbery suspects,” said Plantation Police Dept. Spokesman Robert Rittig.
Police said one of the suspects was fatally shot in the head. The other man was shot in the chest and was able to run nearly 300 yards into a nearby Bank Atlantic parking lot while trying to escape, police said.

Click to watch a video report. It may be the only time you hear a reporter describe someone who shoots and kills in legitimate self-defense as “legally armed and well within his rights.”

Had that customer been in D.C., he'd probably be dead by now. Instead, the world is one thug lighter than it was before the incident (with the other thug presumably heading to prison).


Specter: All the rich people I know support amnesty, and they're the majority

You abso-freakin'-lutely must see the video on Hot Air of Arlen Sphincter droning on about the "silent majority". You know, those verbal 14% who supported the now-defunct shamnesty bill? Yeah, that "majority". Anywho, from Hot Air:
Video: The people at my gym told me they liked the bill, says Specter

Never mind those polls. What about the “silent majority” comprised of his gardener, the voices in his head, and the guy he works out next to on the elliptical machine at the local Bally’s in Philly?

This is why I scoff at threats that we’re going to bounce those who voted for amnesty with primary challenges. If we had any power to get rid of incumbents, don’t you think we would have sent this tool packing decades ago?

Sphincter may be somewhat immune from being deposed (though Toomey gave him a good run in the GOP primary a couple of years ago), and alas, likely so is Lott, but I firmly believe that others like Grahamnesty, Martinez, and Gregg are ripe for a challenge. Sam Brownback (now being referred to as "Switchback") "Kerry-ed" his vote, voting "Yes" for cloture then reversing course and changing it to "No" afterwards.

By the way, if you wanna see Ted Kennedrunk blow a gasket on the Senate floor, here's a link (scroll down to the video to play it).

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You may already know this, but if not, here it is: Amnesty is dead. To use the AP's language, we "drove a stake through" its black heart.

Opposition was bipartisan, but so was unity. McCain can kiss his GOP primary aspirations goodbye, and Lindsey Grahamnesty and Mel Martinez are likely to get a primary opponent in SC and FL, respectively, in 2010.

Speaking of ol' Mel, I sent this to his office a couple of days ago:
You can kiss my future vote goodbye. No hablo "Mel Martinez", Sénor Turncoat!

I never vote Democrat, but I'll be d#mned before I vote for you again. You and Jorgé W. Bush conned me in 2004 for voting for you, and now I need a shower to get that feeling of disgust off of me. Just leave the pesos on the dresser, Sénor Martinez.

Neither you nor your party can expect a friggin' dime from me in the future, you sell-out!

Not that I figured it would make a difference, but I sent it anyway. My other Senator, Bill Nelson, was a pro-amnesty guy, too, but since he just got elected over the inept Katherine Harris last November, he's safe for another 5.5 years.

Anyway, congrats on the work, folks. Some politicians don't like us peons questioning them, but fortunately, others listen. Remember that when you vote next time.


SCOTUS shoots down racial preferences, upholds WA voters' wishes

From Michelle Malkin:
If any of you followed my work at the Seattle Times, you know how closely I covered the battle against government racial preferences in Washington state. You may remember that Washington passed Initiative 200 to ban government racial preferences in public hiring and education. Despite massive establishment opposition (led by my then-publisher), the measure was approved overwhelmingly–even in liberal enclaves like Seattle and other parts of western Washington. As in California and Michigan, the Left fought bitterly to undermine the letter and spirit of the law. One of the areas where inequality in the name of “diversity” reigned was the Seattle public school system. Several parents rose to challenge the racial bean-counting and have fought in court since 1998. Their case reached the Supreme Court, which will issue a decision this morning.
10:34am Eastern update breaking:
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected public school assignment plans that take account of students’ race.

The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle could imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it leaves public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity.

The court split, 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the court’s judgment. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a dissent that was joined by the court’s other three liberals.

Chalk one more up for the good guys! With today's shamnesty vote failing, today is turning out to be a darned good day! :-)

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Voinovich humiliates himself, then Sessions piles on

Sen. George Voinovich (RINO-OH), known for sobbing when his constituents bellyached at his objections to confirming John Bolton, embarrassed himself yesterday on Sean Hannity's radio show. The link to the audio is here, but in a nutshell, he didn't know what the Fairness Doctrine was and he was shamed into admitting that he didn't know what was in the amnesty bill (including various amendments). He wound up getting rude to Hannity and, shall we say, "prematurely ending the call"?

Afterwards, on the floor of the Senate, amnesty opponent Sen. Jeff Sessions (true R-AL) piled on the schmuck even further. Money quote:
“Radio talk show hosts know more about this bill than most Senators, if you want to know the truth.”

Not naming names, of course! :-D

Sessions is right, though. So many Senators have been bought off by business interests that they don't need to know what's in the bill...they just need to vote for it.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Alter defends Obama's outreach to black racist

Tucker Carlson takes leftard Jonathan Alter behind the woodshed on this one. Jonathan Alter, hopelessly leftist "editor" from Newsweak (you know, those guys who made up the whole Koran-flushing story?), tries to whitewash NYC Councilman Charles Barron. Barron, a former Black Panther and big time apologist for Zimbabwe's dictator Robert Mugabe (who starves his own people), is remembered for his "I wanna slap Whitey" remarks.

Anywho, Alter gets schooled, as seen here on Newsbusters:
Understanding fellow, that Jonathan Alter . . .

On this afternoon's "Tucker Carlson" on MSNBC, the eponymous host mentioned that Barack Obama had travelled to NYC to seek the support of Charles Barron of Brooklyn. Carlson knows Barron well, the NYC Councilman being a frequent guest on Tucker's show. Carlson described Barron as a "pretty straightforward racist, pretty straightforward black nationalist, anti-white character, exactly the kind of person you would not expect Obama to be courting." He then asked guest Jonathan Alter: "What is Obama doing?
SENIOR NEWSWEEK EDITOR JONATHAN ALTER: "Well, I think Obama wants the support of everybody, and I think the question is whether he can have a tent that's actually as big as the United States . . . The whole point of his campaign Tucker is to say "don't judge me by any one of my supporters, I'm trying to get a super-big tent here" . . . I think it would be unfair to hold any of his supporter's politics, you know, hold him accountable for what Charles Barron thinks.

Tucker wasn't buying, and drew the logical analogy.

MSNBC HOST TUCKER CARLSON: If Rudy Giuliani went down and asked David Duke for his support, would you say, "you know, it's unfair to hold Rudy Giuliani accountable for what David Duke said?" No, of course not! You'd write a cover story attacking him. That's a ludicrous point.

ALTER: Charles Barron is not David Duke, so let's not let that slide through, he's not David Duke.

CARLSON: I would say he's pretty close.

ALTER: If he was David Duke, you really wouldn't have him on your show, Tucker. Even you have limits.

CARLSON: No, actually, I don't.
Whether Barron is a black David Duke can be debated. But it is beyond cavil that Alter would vociferously condemn a Republican candidate who sought the support of a white leader with views mirroring Barron's.

Score this one for Tucker.

Score, indeed. Alter is typical of what I generally expect to get from the left: a P.C. panderer who speaks before he thinks (since he also "feels" before he thinks). Carlson nailed him with an appropriate analogy, and the best that Alter could muster was "it's not the same thing"...when actually, yeah, it is the same thing.

So, to recap Alter's position: shmoozing with a black racist is "super big-tent outreach", but shmoozing with a white racist would be horrible. Got it. Thanks for the clarification.

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"Ex-Marine teaches pickpocket a lesson"

Naturally, the AP gets the headline wrong. There are very few "ex-Marines" (James Carville and John Murtha as exceptions). Once a Marine, always a Marine. Anywho, from the AP:
Bill Barnes says he was scratching off a losing $2 lottery ticket inside a gas station when he felt a hand slip into his front-left pants pocket, where he had $300 in cash.

He immediately grabbed the person's wrist with his left hand and started throwing punches with his right, landing six or seven blows before a store manager intervened.

"I guess he thought I was an easy mark," Barnes, 72, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story Tuesday.

He's anything but an easy mark: Barnes served in the Marines, was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer and retired after 20 years as an iron worker.

Jesse Daniel Rae, the 27-year-old Newaygo County man accused of trying to pick Barnes' pocket, was arraigned Monday in Rockford District Court on one count of unarmed robbery, a 15-year felony.

Barnes said he had just withdrawn the money from a bank machine and put it in the pocket of his shorts before driving to the Marathon service station and Next Door Food Store in Comstock Park, a Grand Rapids suburb.

He remembers noticing a patron acting suspiciously, asking the price of different brands of cigarettes and other items. While turned away, Barnes felt the hand in his pocket, so he took action.

"I guess I acted on instinct," he said.

Kent County sheriff's deputies said the store manager quickly came around the counter. The three of them struggled through the front door, where two witnesses said the manager slammed Rae to the ground and held him there.

"There was blood everywhere," said another manager on duty, Abby Ostrom, 25.

Barnes was a regional runner-up in Golden Gloves competition in the novice and open divisions before enlisting in the Marines in 1956.

He lived most of his adult life in Comstock Park with his wife, Patricia, before recently moving to Ottawa County. The couple have three children.

After retiring as an iron worker, he now works part-time as a starter at a golf course.

Barnes said he'd probably do the same thing again under the same circumstances, if for no other reason than what he would face back home.

"I wouldn't want my wife to give me hell for lettin' that guy get my money," he said with a smile.

Wait until the guys in the joint find out that Rae got his #ss kicked by a 72-year-old. He'll be somebody's b#tch by the end of his first week!

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Popular liberal talk radio host claims libs can't get fair shot on radio

Ed Schultz, one of the only successful liberal talk radio hosts (and in cherry red North Daokta, no less), laments that his leftist brethren can't get a fair shake on talk radio. From NewsMax:
A popular left-wing talk show host claims liberal radio listeners are being denied the "fair market opportunity" their conservative counterparts receive, but a national media expert countered that the only standards any radio personality must meet are "ratings and revenue."

"The numbers are undeniable - this industry is owned, operated and programmed by conservatives," Ed Schultz said during a broadcast late last week. As a result, he told listeners that "progressive talkers are being held to a totally different standard than conservatives."

"What you hear on this program you do not hear from 450 right-wing talkers in America who permeate the ears of those who don't follow the news and [who] influence elections," said Schultz, who is carried on more than 100 stations nationwide.

"This is about market opportunities. This is also about ownership. This is also about being given an opportunity to be on an equal signal with equal promotion," he said.

Ed, you guys had (and still have) plenty of opportunities, especially with Air "we pilfer from the poor" America. AA was broadcast in liberal enclaves like NYC and LA, and it still failed. Conversely, Ed, your show broadcasts in a conservative city and state (Fargo, ND). Obviously, there's more to it that you're letting on to, you know. Continuing:
... "In Miami, Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Diego and Albuquerque, we [liberal radio shows] are making tremendous gains, and these radio stations are viable, salable products," he said. Why don't companies that own several stations "go after some progressive talk?" he wondered.

If those gains are as tremendous as you claim, then what are you b#tching about? Maybe this?
Highlighting what he said were the problems hosts like himself face, Schultz said he had been put on the air in Salt Lake City, but after two weeks, the program was taken down after "some soccer moms" gave the station "a little smoke and a little pushback."

You mean...the market in Salt Lake wasn't receptive to your message? Well, it MUST be the market's fault, right?

OK, enough of his pap. Time for the debunking:
But Michael Harrison, publisher of the Talkers trade magazine, said Monday he did not believe that liberal and conservative talk show hosts are judged by different standards.

"The only standards anyone is held to are ratings and revenue," he told Cybercast News Service. "Liberal or progressive hosts face the same challenges that conservatives do."

While acknowledging the success of conservative Rush Limbaugh, Harrison said he "does not represent across-the-board radio. At his biggest and his best, he is only a small player in the broader picture of radio."

Harrison was also critical of the report and those who support its conclusions, saying it merely proves that "conservative talk radio is dominated by conservatives, just as sports talk stations are dominated by football."
The writers of the report "picked more than 200 stations owned by certain companies and created the impression that's all of talk radio, and that all of talk radio is dominated by conservatives," he said.

"Where's National Public Radio [in the report]?" Harrison asked. "Millions and millions of people - some of the biggest radio audiences in the country - are listening to NPR. It certainly is not conservative, but it certainly is talk."
"Stations that play rock don't like to play opera. What if you did a survey of the top 200 rock stations and found they're 95 percent rock and only five percent classical music? Would that mean opera is held to a different standard than rock?"

The finishing touches:
Even if what the report said is true, he said, "it's still very dangerous" for politicians to determine such issues for the media. "I think that terrestrial radio is regulated enough as it is while it competes against all the other media available today."

Harrison stressed that both he and his magazine are nonpartisan. "The only reason I'm critical of this [liberal report] is because it's wrong. I would be critical of anything that the conservatives came out with that was wrong as well.

"What I'm in favor of is what should be on everyone's agenda - free speech, the free marketplace of ideas and the First Amendment," he added.

Yes, but "free speech, the free marketplace of ideas and the First Amendment" have never been the left's area of expertise, now has it? That, in addition to their shameful desire to silence their ideological opponents in a manner used by Hugo Chavez, is why they want Big Daddy Gubmint to come to their rescue.


"Big-Government Conservatives"

Excellent column by John Stossel, via RCP:
"Reviving the Hamilton Agenda." That's the headline the New York Times gave David Brooks's recent column honoring Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father perhaps least interested in limiting political power. Unlike his rival Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton favored strong central government and weaker states.

And he didn't trust the free market. He was an old-fashioned mercantilist -- he wanted politicians and bureaucrats to control private economic activities for the sake of special business interests.

In the true Hamiltonian spirit, Brooks also doesn't trust the market -- which means he doesn't trust free, peaceful individuals and private property. He writes, "We Hamiltonians disagree with the limited government conservatives [I assume Brooks has libertarians like me in mind] because, on its own, the market is failing to supply enough human capital."

Now David Brooks is a bright guy, so I wonder how he can blame the free market for failing in this way. He continues, "Despite all the incentives, 30 percent of kids drop out of high school and the college graduation rate has been flat for a generation."

Excuse me, but why is that the market's fault? Government dominates education in America. K-12 education is a coercive, often rigidly unionized government virtual monopoly that fights every attempt to experiment with free-market competition.

Brooks writes that Hamiltonians like him "think government should help people get the tools they need to compete." But when has government ever been good at that?

He claims the state can "increase the quality of human capital" by, for example, providing "Quality preschool [to] help young children from ... disorganized homes. ... "

Really? What is the chance that it would be "quality" preschool if government runs it? Even the acclaimed Head Start has not been shown to have any lasting effect on academic performance.

Why does Brooks think the government is competent enough to "help ... people compete"? He writes that liberals' "programs haven't worked out," but then proposes his own. When I challenged him on that, he said his ideas are in a "different category" and argued that some intervention is effective and necessary.

Please. When I asked Brooks why a government that performed as ineptly as FEMA did after Hurricane Katrina will be better at running preschools, he said, "Some lives are so screwed up, it's hard to make them worse."

Government coercion almost always makes things worse. It discourages individual effort, and sucks capital away from more productive uses.

Brooks, like a good Hamiltonian, favors coercive government micromanagement. He says, "Bigger child tax credits and increasing the earned income tax credit [welfare] can reduce the economic strain on young families. ... [G]overnment should increase funding for basic research, especially in math, engineering and physics.

"The list could go on."

That's what I'm afraid of.

Government will choose which "basic research" to fund? Does he recall the 1970s synthetic-fuels program or the 1990s Superconducting Super Collider boondoggle ?

Child tax credits? Just cut taxes for everyone!

Brooks even advocates national service, "forcing city kids to work with rural kids, and vice versa."

Why are pundits and politicians so eager to use force against others?

America became an economic power despite, not because of, Hamiltonian intervention. Hong Kong and much of East Asia went from abject poverty to affluence in a few decades not because their governments gave people "tools they need to compete" -- they didn't -- but because they exercised limited powers.

I wish Brooks and other Hamiltonian conservatives understood that freedom and prosperity have nothing to do with bureaucrats managing society through schooling and tax manipulation. Prosperity comes from leaving people free in a legal system that respects their persons and property so they can pursue their dreams while taking responsibility for their actions. Free people find their own tools if the state leaves them alone.

In the era of big government, the last thing we need are champions of the statist Hamilton. What we need now are champions of the libertarian Jefferson, who said in a very un-Hamiltonian way: "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."


Hamas member works for the Beeb

That would explain why the Beeb was soliciting tips on allied troop locations in Iraq last month, now wouldn't it? From Hot Air:
And just like that, last summer’s controversy over the mixed motives of Arab stringers takes on a repulsive yet exciting new dimension. What’s next? Hizb ut-Tahrir members working for the Guardian?
Despite Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) opposition and per the request of the BBC, the coordinator of government activities allowed a Hamas member who works for the BBC to enter the Gaza Strip last week to assist in efforts to release kidnapped journalist Alan Johnston.

Defense officials told The Jerusalem Post that a week ago, a request came from the BBC asking that a Palestinian employee of the news company who is believed to be a close associate of senior Hamas officials be allowed to enter Gaza.

And to think, I thought the biggest absurdity of the Alan Johnston kidnapping would be Hamas playing the role of hostage negotiator. Exit question one: Why would an infamously left-wing news organization employ members of a genocidal religious fascist group? Hmmm.

LGF asks a valid question: "Can anyone explain to me how this does not violate British law? Because Hamas is an officially proscribed terror group in the UK." liberal media bias! Actually, I can't use that tagline anymore for the Beeb, since they admitted that they are indeed left-wing.

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Quote of the day

As many of you know, the Senate voted to invoke cloture yesterday on the wildly unpopular amnesty bill, bought and for by business interests. A bunch of Republicans insulted your intelligence by claiming that they voted for cloture but will vote against the bill (apparently, Kerryitis is contagious), knowing that the bill is likely to pass despite their "No" votes. Interestingly and surprisingly, socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voted "No" to invoke cloture.

With that in mind, I bring you today's "Quote of the Day" from Laura Ingraham:
When Bernie Sanders is more in touch with the American people than President Bush on this issue, you know the Republican Party is in trouble.


Just want to come here, work, assimilate, etc. Right?

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cop violated rights of criminal aliens who tried to kill him

More insanity from The United States of Amexico. From WND:
Texas Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez, convicted of violating the civil rights of two illegal aliens, was transferred from a Texas prison to a federal facility in another state and placed in the general population, according to his former boss, who believes the officer's life is in danger.

Don Letsinger, sheriff of Rocksprings, Texas, told WND Hernandez has asked his family to not contact him in the federal prison, saying he fears for his life.

"I am concerned that Gilmer is being singled out for special punishment because of the push to demand the resignation or the dismissal of the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton," Letsinger wrote in an e-mail.

The office of Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, which has been following the case, confirmed to WND Hernandez has been transferred

As WND reported, Sutton prosecuted Hernandez for injuring two Mexican illegal aliens in a van. Hernandez fired at the van's tires as the illegals escaped from a routine traffic stop, attempting to run over the officer as they drove away.
As WND reported Sutton decided to prosecute Hernandez only after the Mexican consulate wrote letters demanding it. An investigation by the Texas Rangers concluded Hernandez did nothing wrong in discharging his weapon at the fleeing van.
The two illegal aliens injured in the Hernandez incident, Maricela Rodriquez-Garcia and Candio Garcia-Perez, won a $100,000 settlement in a lawsuit against the officer. (That'll buy a lot of burritos, si? - Ed.)

But hey, since my criminal alien apologists want cheap strawberries, then by all means, let's give these "undocumented" cop killer wannabes amnesty, m'kay?


Left wants withdrawal from Afghanistan

I wonder what took them so long? Anywho, Allahpundit breaks it down:
A.k.a. home of the “real” war on terror, the good fight that the left had been spoilin’ to win before Bush went and distracted them with that “fake” war that’s killed ten times as many troops. “You don’t hear people saying, ‘We need to get out of Afghanistan,’” declares Russ Feingold, followed immediately by a bunch of people saying we need to get out of Afghanistan.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), a senior defense authorizer, wants the U.S. out of Afghanistan immediately, calling operations there “futile” in trying to effect political change in a country with a tangled history…

“There is no useful purpose for our troops there,” Abercrombie stated in a recent interview. “The military should withdraw now,” he said, though he stressed that the U.S. could keep “isolated pockets” of special operators.

Instead of using the military to effect political change, the U.S. should have a complete diplomatic re-engagement in the region, “with an understanding that our role there should change,” Abercrombie added…

Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, said that it is time for the U.S. military to start leaving Afghanistan and the Middle East altogether.

“We are not securing America by being there,” she pressed. “The longer we are there, the more plots start growing in our country.”…

Meanwhile, several anti-war members, including Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), stress that any troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the military’s first leaving Iraq.

“I’d like to get out of Iraq first and look at Afghanistan and if it does not work … we should be impatient,” Woolsey said, adding that she is not prepared to give a timeline for withdrawal. “There was a reason [for being] there, but now we really need to reassess what we are accomplishing. It depends on what our mission is in Afghanistan; if our mission is to find Osama bin Laden, that is one thing.”

It’ll be darkly amusing watching the Democratic leadership try to be Afghan hawks and Iraq doves simultaneously, on the one hand demanding a troop presence in Kabul to prop up the fledgling Afghan government while on the other demanding withdrawal from Baghdad so that we don’t have to prop up the fledgling Iraqi government. The difference, you see, is that Iraq’s in a hopeless civil war whereas the suicide bombs and guerrilla raids in Afghanistan by Taliban Afghans and Pakistanis is...a minor rebellion? Let’s call it an insurgency. Actually, the real difference is that Al Qaeda’s leadership is in Afghanistan, not in Iraq … although it’s actually not in Afghanistan at all, but in Pakistan, and of course top AQ leaders have been seen, and even caught, in Iraq. Maybe the difference is that Iraq has become a magnet for jihadis from around the region whereas Afghanistan is still basically a closed theater. Or maybe not.

It seems there’s still quite a lot of nuance to be parsed here. They’ll figure it out.

Murtha says he’s not ready to throw in the towel yet because we still have “a chance” of winning but he’s going to revisit the issue in September when they take up the next war supplemental. A sneak preview from the mind that brought us the Okinawa redeployment plan: “We should have never gone to Iraq, because we would have been out of Afghanistan [by now].” QED.

"The longer we are there, the more plots start growing in our country." Because, you know, no such plots existed before we went in there or anything, right?

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Germany bans Tom Cruise film location because...

...Cruise is a member of the cult "religion" known as Scientology. From al-Reuters:
Germany has barred the makers of a movie about a plot to kill Adolf Hitler from filming at German military sites because its star Tom Cruise is a Scientologist, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Cruise, also one of the film's producers, is a member of the Church of Scientology which the German government does not recognize as a church. Berlin says it masquerades as a religion to make money, a charge Scientology leaders reject.

The U.S. actor has been cast as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, leader of the unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Nazi dictator in July 1944 with a bomb hidden in a briefcase.

Defense Ministry spokesman Harald Kammerbauer said the film makers "will not be allowed to film at German military sites if Count Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult".

With all due respect to anyone here who may be Scientologists, I have no respect for your "religion" at all and I think that Tom Cruise is a crazy couch-jumping weirdo. However, I don't think I'm being out of line by saying that Germany's decision to ban the filming of Cruise's film is stupid as heck and typical of warped Euro thinking.

I mean, if Cruise were an atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Pagan, Rastafarian, or even Christian, would Germany care? Would Germany care if Cruise were an actual real-life Nazi? Probably not. But because he belongs to a "religion" that they don't like, then it becomes a problem for him to film a movie in their country? A movie that, in all probability, doesn't even reference Scientology? That's just messed up!

Those Euros are an odd bunch, aren't they?

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards supports same-sex marriage

From San Fran-istan:
Elizabeth Edwards, starring at the kickoff event of San Francisco's signature Gay Pride Parade, came out in support of legalized gay marriage today -- taking a position which she acknowledged is at odds with her husband, presidential candidate John Edwards.

"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me," she said. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."

Of course she's "completely comfortable" with same-sex marriage...she's in one right now! I mean, "not that there's anything wrong with that"...

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PBS pays for, then spikes, program on "moderate" Muslims vs. terrorism

From Moonbattery:
PBS blew $675,000 of our money on a documentary exploring the difference between peaceful Muslims and the ones who are trying to annihilate our civilization. But when they saw the finished product, PBS execs decided it was "alarmist, overreaching and unfair" — i.e., not sufficiently sympathetic to the terrorist maniacs who are trying to kill us. So they sat on the project, refusing to air it. Instead they ran "fair" material like Bill Moyers' long-winded denunciations of America.

But now Fox News has gotten hold of Muslims Against Jihad, and is going to put it on tonight, hosted by the lovely E.D. Hill. Tune in at 9 PM Eastern.

It came on last night (Sunday, June 24) at 9:00 p.m. EST. Yeah, that Fox News sure is biased, on account of running a PBS story, right?

"PBS execs decided it was 'alarmist, overreaching and unfair'", or in other words, dead-on accurate! Yet another reason (among many) to defund PBS.

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Dunkin Donuts: Doin' the job that America's employers won't do

Kudos to Dunkin Donuts for taking the criminal alien problem seriously. From Michelle Malkin:
Last spring, I praised Dunkin’ Donuts for volunteering to participate in a government database program to verify that workers are here legally. The company was responding to customer concerns about illegal employees. Only 6,200 out of the nation’s 8 million employers participate in the screening program.

The company continues to be vigilant. The Star-Ledger reports today that Dunkin’ is suing franchisees that it says were knowingly employing illegal aliens:
[The company has] filed a lawsuit in federal court asking a judge to terminate the franchise agreement it has with two stores in Central Jersey, saying the owners knowingly accepted false documents, used false Social Security numbers and paid employees in cash.

The company has filed similar lawsuits seeking to sever ties with franchises in Boston, Atlanta and Florida, where it is has accused three franchises of hiring illegal immigrants.

The lawsuits come a year after Dunkin’ Donuts became the most well-known corporation to enroll in Basic Pilot, a voluntary U.S. Department of Homeland Security program that allows employers to perform electronic document checks to verify that applicants are eligible to work.

Under the Senate bill, the electronic verification program, currently used by less than 1 percent of all U.S. businesses, would become mandatory.

Dunkin’ Donuts officials declined to comment on the lawsuits.

In a written statement, company officials said that requiring its 5,100 stores to enroll in Basic Pilot “is the right thing to do for our franchisees, for Dunkin’ Brands, and most of all, for our franchisees’ workers.”

Go buy some Dunkin’ gear here. It’s the right thing to do. And yummy, too.

If you aren't on a diet, I'm advising you to get on one...but if you won't listen to that advice, then I'm advising you to patronize Dunkin Donuts. :-) I'm not going to be eating donuts anytime soon, but I'll gladly enjoy their coffee instead.


HuffPost moonbats: Bring back Hitler

As Ace notes: "I thought The Big H was the one line of comparative apologism a liberal wouldn't dare cross. Stalin? No big deal; they all kind of think Stalin is just the victim of bad right-wing press anyway." Anywho, think I'm "Godwin's Law"ing myself? Check out this nugget from Arianna Huffington's moonbat cave and you be the judge:
Former Washington Post sportswriter, Seinfeld writer and executive co-producer, and television comedy writer Peter Mehlman has written something for The Huffington Post that might qualify as the most hyperbolic nonsense written by a member of the Hollywood Left, a 'progressive' -- or whatever appellation they are giving themselves these days -- in at least the last week.

Writes Mehlman: (emphasis added)
... we're six and a half years into Bush and everyone from Helen Thomas on down is declaring him the worst president ever. What no one is saying is the one overarching reason he's the worst: the Bush administration is the first that doesn't even mean well.

With the possible exception of immigration reform -- and who knows what grotesque financial incentive underlies that -- try to pinpoint even one policy motivated by the desire to lessen human suffering, to improve the life of citizens. Nothing. There is nothing.

Nothing supported by Bush is well-meaning; it's all evil: Efforts at improving education in "No Child Left Behind," the prescription drug benefit for seniors, Social Security reform -- no matter how one feels about their relative merits or efficacy -- none of these things were done with good intentions.

The increase in spending to combat AIDS in Africa, the stated dream of a manned mission to Mars -- all selfish acts not meant to achieve some benefit for people. Of course the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq are both inspired by pure evil.

It goes without saying.

In fact, Bush is so evil that Mehlman believes he is worse than "the world's worst fascist dictators": (emphasis added)
You could argue that even the world's worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc. Only the Saudi royal family is driven by the same motives as Bush, but they were already entrenched. Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of "I'm so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends' good?"

How can anyone not see it? It's not that their policies have been misguided or haven't played out right. They. Don't. Even. Mean. Well.

How can those of us who disagree with Mehlman's assertion not see this? Bush is pure evil -- worse than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. They were just misunderstood; Bush is much worse.

Sure, Hitler wanted to exterminate Jews and gays, but despite his sociopathic tendencies, he meant well in his own misguided genocidal kinda way! Un-friggin'-believable.

Allahpundit makes the following observation:
What you’re seeing here is the ne plus ultra of leftist argumentation, where every policy disagreement devolves inevitably into accusations of bad faith and suspicions of ulterior motive. That’s why they’ve always been a bit uneasy with the “Bush is incompetent” meme, true though it may be: incompetence doesn’t speak to motive. It’s perfectly consistent to believe that Bush wanted to build a liberal democracy in Iraq but cocked up the planning so badly as to make it impossible; it’s not consistent if you also believe, as a matter of faith, that conservatives must and can only be motivated by greed or malice.

So there you have it: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc., all "meant well" in their murderous ways, but Dubya doesn't. Geez, I knew leftards cared more about intentions than results, but they can't even seem to be able to read intentions correctly!

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Bad news for moonbats: Americans see terrorism as bigger threat than global "warming"

A little sanity out of the electorate is a good thing, don't you think? From Angus-Reid:
Many adults in the United States believe political violence is more menacing than climate change, according to a poll by Opinion Dynamics released by Fox News. 52 per cent of respondents think global terrorism poses a more serious threat to the world than global warming.
Polling Data

Over the coming decades, which do you think will pose a more serious threat to the world—the effects of climate change and global warming or the effects of global terrorism?

Effects of global terrorism: 52%

Effects of climate change and global warming: 28%

Equal effects: 15%

Don’t know: 4%

Source: Opinion Dynamics / Fox News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 900 registered American voters, conducted on Jun. 5 and Jun. 6, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Trent Lott can go to hell

Evern since Lott was deposed a few years ago over that mountain-out-of-a-molehill comment about Strom Thurmond, he's soured on the GOP. Though he has been semi-restored in the party's leadership via his Minority Whip position, he's still sore about that whole thing. As a result, he's showing nothing but contempt for the people of Mississippi, as well as for constituents of his party.

It wasn't bad enough that he said talk radio was a problem that needed to be "dealt with". He had to take it one step further by insulting and provoking his base. From Novatownhall:
Meanwhile, Lott says regarding the phone calls, take a hike, but bring it on:
"I've had my phones jammed for three weeks. Yesterday I had three people answering them continuously all day," Lott said. "To think that you're going to intimidate a senator or any senator into voting one way or the other by gorging your phones with phone calls - most of whom don't even know where Gulfport, Mississippi, is - is not an effective tactic. But it's their right to do that."

How about that? "What do them hicks from Miss'sipp know about what's good fer 'em?" Apparently, voicing your displeasure to your elected official is now known in D.C.-speak as "intimidation". The arrogance of this buffoon is astounding.

As for the "talk radio is a problem that must be dealt with" comment made by Lott, Mark Levin shows where Lott falls on the side of free speech and the (un)Fairness Doctrine:
Trent Lott and the Fairness Doctrine
Associated Press, June 3, 1987
"But Rep. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said the burden on broadcast journalists is minimal.
'We have unfairness now even with the Fairness Doctrine,' he said. 'Heaven knows what would happen without a Fairness Doctrine.' "

Communications Daily
October 26, 1987

Since Reagan's veto of the earlier fairness bill, Hollings and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) have vowed to see the doctrine become law by other means. And in case fairness is lifted from reconciliation in the Senate, the lawmakers are said to have a backup. Dingell, reportedly with the blessings of House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) and minority leaders, Robert Michel (R-Ill.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), plans to fasten a fairness amendment to a catch-all spending bill (the continuing budget resolution). The current resolution, which keeps the government operating, expires on Nov. 10, and Reagan would be unlikely to veto such a measure.

Yep...Trent Lott supported the freakin' Fairness Doctrine and fought Reagan on the matter! By the way, Trent, to respond to your rhetorical scenario "Heaven knows what would happen without a Fairness Doctrine", I'd say "how does a 12-year run as the majority of Congress sound?"

Trent Lott is a fool, and while I know that Mississippi will in all probability NOT send a Democrat to DC for their Senate seat, perhaps the good people there can find a primary opponent who doesn't show that kind of arrogance towards and contempt for his constituents.

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"MSM: Major Iraq Offensive Against Al Qaeda Succeeds In Producing 14 Dead US Soldiers, Uncovers 25 Caches of Vietnam Analogies"

Ya gotta love Ace for coming up with this stuff:
What the MSM tells you about the offensive.

What Michael Yon tells you about the offensive.

You make the call.

In entirely unrelated news, reporters donate 9:1 to Democrats and liberal causes over Republicans and conservative causes.

Their political affinities in no way whatsoever color their reportage. liberal media bias.

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Silky Pony's "charity to fight poverty" mostly benefited...himself

If Al Gore can buy carbon offsets from himself, then Silky Pony figured he could set up a charity to help himself. From the NYT:
John Edwards ended 2004 with a problem: how to keep alive his public profile without the benefit of a presidential campaign that could finance his travels and pay for his political staff.

Mr. Edwards, who reported this year that he had assets of nearly $30 million, came up with a novel solution, creating a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of fighting poverty. The organization, the Center for Promise and Opportunity, raised $1.3 million in 2005, and — unlike a sister charity he created to raise scholarship money for poor students — the main beneficiary of the center’s fund-raising was Mr. Edwards himself, tax filings show.

A spokesman for Mr. Edwards defended the center yesterday as a legitimate tool against poverty. (I defended Mr. Edwards as a legitimate tool. - Ed.)

The organization became a big part of a shadow political apparatus for Mr. Edwards after his defeat as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004 and before the start of his presidential bid this time around. Its officers were members of his political staff, and it helped pay for his nearly constant travel, including to early primary states.

While Mr. Edwards said the organization’s purpose was “making the eradication of poverty the cause of this generation,” its federal filings say it financed “retreats and seminars” with foreign policy experts on Iraq and national security issues. (Exactly WHAT does Iraq and national security have to do with poverty? - Ed.) Unlike the scholarship charity, donations to it were not tax deductible, and, significantly, it did not have to disclose its donors — as political action committees and other political fund-raising vehicles do — and there were no limits on the size of individual donations.
But it was his use of a tax-exempt organization to finance his travel and employ people connected to his past and current campaigns that went beyond what most other prospective candidates have done before pursuing national office. And according to experts on nonprofit foundations, Mr. Edwards pushed at the boundaries of how far such organizations can venture into the political realm. Such entities, which are regulated under Section 501C-4 of the tax code, can engage in advocacy but cannot make partisan political activities their primary purpose without risking loss of their tax-exempt status.

Because the organization is not required to disclose its donors — and the campaign declined to do so — it is not clear whether those who gave money to it did so understanding that they were supporting Mr. Edwards’s political viability as much or more than they were giving money to combat poverty.

You may have donated money to the center because you wanted to "combat poverty" though you didn't support Edwards for president, yet you'd be screwed because he used your money to line his own already fat pockets to fund his prez campaign. Nicely done, Silk. I thought only Republicans could be that greedy and slimy. (For those of you on the left, the prior sentence was sarcasm.)

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Journalists dole out cash to politicians (quietly)"

Journalists are citizens, too, so in and of itself, no big whoop. So just to whom are these purveyors of "unbiased fact-reporting" donating? Glad you asked. From MSNBC:
A CNN reporter gave $500 to John Kerry's campaign the same month he was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq. An assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine not only sent $2,000 to Republicans, but also volunteers as a director of an ExxonMobil-funded group that questions global warming. A junior editor at Dow Jones Newswires gave $1,036 to the liberal group and keeps a blog listing "people I don't like," starting with George Bush, Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, the NRA and corporate America ("these are the people who are really in charge").

Whether you sample your news feed from ABC or CBS (or, yes, even NBC and MSNBC), whether you prefer Fox News Channel or National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker, some of the journalists feeding you are also feeding cash to politicians, parties or political action committees.

OK, so it sounds like pretty balanced donating going on, doesn't it? Well, not exactly. You have to look a little farther down to get to this nugget: identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

So out of this sample of 144 journalists who gave, 125 of them (or 87%) gave to Democrats and 17 of them (or 12%) gave to Republicans. While it is true that this is only a sample of journos who donate to politicians (and not inclusive of journos who don't give money), the numbers virtually mimic other polls taken over the years that show roughly 85%-90% of journalists vote Democrat in presidential elections. Continuing:
What changed? First came the conservative outcry labeling the mainstream media as carrying a liberal bias. The growth of talk radio and cable slugfests gave voice to that claim. The Iraq war fueled distrust of the press from both sides. Finally, it became easier for the blogging public to look up the donors.

As the policy at the Times puts it: "Given the ease of Internet access to public records of campaign contributors, any political giving by a Times staff member would carry a great risk of feeding a false impression that the paper is taking sides."

Um, a "false impression that the paper is taking sides"? It's clear from studies like this that the impression is far from "false", people. While our country's MSM sources may not exactly be hanging pictures of "Bush as Hitler" in their newsrooms like the unhinged Beeb does, obviously the American people can see with their own eyes what kind of leftist groupthink occurs in newsrooms across the country.


CNN exposes porker Congressmen

I hate to do this, but I must give CNN props for doing this to the "most ethical Congress in history" (via Newsbusters):
ANDERSON COOPER: Drew, it's just amazing that nothing has changed. What happened to all those promises about transparency, about having this whole process be open? I can't believe you had all those interns calling for days and some 330 lawmakers said they just wouldn't even give out the information.

GRIFFIN: Anderson it's mind-boggling. One congressional aide even sent us an e-mail saying, listen, my congressman is an advocate of the open process and at the same time said we're not going to release our earmark requests.

It's just been an eye-opening experience, but quite frankly the more we're doing this, the more we're keeping them honest and other groups are, the more open they are grudgingly becoming so tonight we have posted at the results of our surveys. We're going to show you who did send us the earmarks and their earmark requests, who said no, who wouldn't respond and even, Anderson, who was rude to those poor little interns when they called asking what Congress wants to do with our money.

COOPER: The fact that people would be rude, that is really annoying, you know. This is -- this is, A, what journalists are supposed to be doing but it's also what citizens should be able to do, you know, to the people who represent them.

GRIFFIN: Clearly it's annoying to them. They don't like to be called on the carpet, especially, I mean, I hate to get political here, but have you to. The Democrats promised in December open, transparent process. Now they are being called to come up with that open, transparent process and it's been difficult because for so many years and decades, quite frankly, business as usual has been slipped in those earmark requests and we'll continue to pay for them.

I'm sure CNN will do something to tick me off in the next day or two, but I have to give credit where it is due.

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Double dose of Dilbert

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Beeb's newsroom Godwins itself

From Moonbattery:
Ray Drake of the highly recommended blog Davids Medienkritik was interviewed in an excellent two-part report by the Christian Broadcasting Network on anti-Americanism in the European media.

Though you won't be surprised, you will be appalled. Here's an excerpt:
Polls clearly show that Europeans have turned against America in increasing numbers. You can blame Iraq or George Bush. But it's also true that Europeans have been fed a steady diet of media distortions about America for years.

And if you repeat a distortion long enough, it can become reality.
A former BBC journalist says a drawing of Bush as Hitler is hung in the BBC newsroom.

Not that this should surprise anyone, especially since the Beeb admits its own moonbattery. I just wish the left would stop pretending that the Beeb is a legitimate news source, when by their own admission, they're a mouthpiece for the left.

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Non-political (and just plain surreal) post of the day

Via Hot Air:
Somewhere Christopher Hitchens pours himself another scotch and chortles sinisterly. Taste the cold steel of Sister Domenica’s blade:
TWO PEOPLE were injured and another two were arrested after scuffles broke out between two rival factions of nuns residing in an Old Calendarist convent in Avdellero late last night.

Nuns and priests from both sides confronted each other after unrest broke out at around 10pm.

The church was covered with blood as nuns and priests from both sides attacked each other using sharp objects...

It has been reported that the convent is segregated, with Archimandrite Sevastianos’ followers occupying certain buildings and the resident nuns staying in others. At nightfall, Sevastianos and his nuns barricade themselves inside the chapel, as a precaution, with friends and relatives of the two groups taking turns at patrolling the premises.

Fortunately, one of our voyeurs "investigative journalists" (we'll call him "Louie") from the Crush Liberalism Objective World News Service (aka CLOWNS) was on vacation in Cyprus and claimed to have transcribed the following conversation:
Sister Mary-Katherine: Yo, yo, yo...this is our turf, Sevastianos Crips!

Sister Ruth Hosanna: Don't think so, bee-yotch! Get to steppin', or my peeps will get medieval on your...

Sister Delilah: That's it, Ruthdawg! I'm poppin' a cap in your...uh...well, we don't have guns here, so I'll use this letter opener instead. 'You down with G-O-D? Yeah, you know me!'

Sister Sheneequa: Oh no, you dih-unt! It's on, Mutha Penguin!

Sister Delilah: Who you callin' a 'penguin', you nappy headed...

At this point, the violence and bloodshed began, so Louie bolted for his safety. And of course, I believe Louie's version of events, especially since he said the transcribed document was cleared by Dan you just know it's authentic!

All over the world, CLOWNS getting the news to you... :-)

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"Bernstein: Clintons Would Operate Joint Presidency"

From the NY Sun:
If Americans elect Senator Clinton as president next year, they will also be re-electing her husband, according to the author of a new biography of the former first lady.

Carl Bernstein, one of the reporters who broke the Watergate scandal which brought down President Nixon, told the Daily Telegraph that the couple would operate a joint presidency in which President Clinton would advise on policy and tactics as well as act as troubleshooter.

"There is no question in my mind it would be a co-presidency because he has better judgment than she does on most political matters. He would be a constant presence," Mr. Bernstein said.

And exactly how would this differ from the Bubba presidency? This confirms what the rest of us have already known: (1) the Clintons don't have a "marriage" as much as they have a "power-sharing partnership"; (2) Her Highness is NOT going to "be her own woman" in this campaign or in her (God in Heaven forbid) presidency, should we have the misfortune of experiencing it.

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Congressional approval at historic lows

From USA Today:
Just 14% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.

This 14% Congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure, which Gallup initiated in 1973. The previous low point for Congress was 18% at several points in the period of time 1991 to 1994.

And it was in 1994 that Congress was cleaned out. It seems that the Dems have outdone themselves here in that they've managed to do in six months what had before taken them three years.

More bad news for the left:
Congress is now nestled at the bottom of the list of Gallup's annual Confidence in Institutions rankings, along with HMOs. Just 15% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in HMOs. (By way of contrast, 69% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military, which tops the list. More on this at on Thursday).

They're as unpopular as HMO's. Lovely. And much to the chagrin of Reid, Murtha, Kerry, the Code Pinkos, et al, Americans love our soldiers and think our military is doing a great job. That's gotta sting.

So what's the Dems' solution for dealing with this perception that they suck? Simple: pass a criminal alien amnesty plan that only 3% of Americans support! In the words of those dudes on the Guiness commercials: "Brilliant!"


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ohio's Dem governor meets with terrorist organization

Said organization is CAIR. From Hot Air:
On Sunday, June 18 — after the Council on American Islamic Relations was named an unidicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding case — Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) spoke at CAIR-OH’s anniversary banquet. He delivered typical banquet boilerplate.
Governor Strickland addressed the crowd of 350 people, saying: “On behalf of all Ohioans, [my wife and I] appreciate your vision to promote justice and mutual understanding. We gather under CAIR-Ohio’s theme this year, ‘American Muslims: Connecting and Sharing,’ to do just that, to connect and share and get to know each other better.”

Governor Strickland also expressed appreciation for “the Muslim traditions of strong family, hard work, and education,” and presented a proclamation honoring CAIR-Ohio’s work.

Hm. No mention of Hamas’ recent efforts to promote a very rough form of justice in Gaza?

As BizzyBlog notes, thus far the press in Ohio hasn’t reported Strickland’s appearance at the CAIR affair. The only place outside a few righty blogs that you can find anything about the appearance is CAIR’s own web site.

Let’s put this in some perspective. CAIR was named as an unidicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case. Various CAIR officials have been named and nabbed in several terror cases. California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, rescinded an award that her office intended to bestow on a CAIR official when the senator learned of CAIR’s terror connections. Another Democrat, NY Sen. Chuck Schumer, characterized CAIR as part of an international terror network. That was back in 2003, so it’s not like this information is so fresh that Gov. Strickland could have just missed it. And Strickland can’t blame CAIR’s problems on the “Rethuglican noise machine” or anything like that.

The MSM is quieter than a cageful of gerbils in a San Fran pet store. liberal media bias!

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NH: "Live free or die"?

That used to be their motto, but considering that their identity has been slouching more towards the socialist side of their neighbors in Vermont, I don't see how they can keep that motto with a straight face. From Boston's fishwrap:
Governor John Lynch signed a law yesterday banning smoking in New Hampshire's bars and restaurants.
"The science is clear (no, it's not. Ed.) -- secondhand smoke poses a dangerous health risk, and that is why this new law is so important," Lynch said.

More than a dozen states and hundreds of cities and counties around the country ban smoking in restaurants, bars, or both. New Hampshire was the only state in New England that did neither.

The law will take effect in 90 days.

Supporters said the ban was needed to protect workers and customers from the health risks of secondhand smoke.

"Smoking is banned in almost every other workplace in New Hampshire," Lynch said. "We should not continue to subject our hard-working citizens in the restaurant industry to the harmful dangers of secondhand smoke."

Opponents argued for education instead. They said restaurant and bar owners should decide when or whether to ban smoking, not the state.

We've covered the "smoking in private business" debate before, so I'll try not to rehash it too much here. My only point is that there is nothing in banning a legal product in a private business that gives the impression of freedom, so I wish NH would find a new motto.

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Let the boo-birds eat cake!

How dare those miscreants boo Her Highness? From NRO:
Sen. Hillary Clinton was booed again this morning at the Take Back America conference, sponsored by the lefty activist group Campaign for America's Future here in Washington. At this same conference last year, Sen. Clinton was booed for her position on the war in Iraq. This morning, she was enthusiastically received as she bashed the Bush administration — "a stunning record of secrecy and corruption" — but the crowd became less friendly when, at the end of her speech, she turned to Iraq.

"We're going to end the war in Iraq and finally bring home the troops," she said as a number of Code Pink protesters stood up in the audience. When she declared, "The American military has done its job," boos began to be heard around the room. As the boos increased, Sen. Clinton raised her voice. "The American military has succeeded," she said, to more boos. "It is the Iraqi government that has failed to make the tough decisions." Still more boos.

At that point, there was a round of cheers. "I love coming here every year," Clinton said. "I see the signs, 'Get Us Out of Iraq Now.' That's what we're trying to do."

So the moonbats got their red meat with the "corruption" and "secrecy", but then she had to piss them off by giving props (however disingenuous) to the soldiers. But hey...they "support the troops", right?

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NY Times giving press coverage to terrorist group

Check it out: Hamas gets space to run an op-ed in the NYT. Then again, considering how the Slimes has done its level best in getting the terrorists tipped off to our intel, this should come as no surprise.

The money quote:
We reject attempts to divide Palestine into two parts and to pass Hamas off as an extreme and dangerous force. We continue to believe that there is still a chance to establish a long-term truce. But this will not happen unless the international community fully engages with Hamas.

Yeah, if you can get past that whole "We are committed to wipe Israel off the map" mission statement and countless suicide bombings over the years, they're just a bunch of peace-loving centrists.

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Deport drunk driving criminal aliens

From Patterico via Hot Air:
I have long argued that any effort to deport illegal aliens should begin with those illegals who commit crimes after they arrive — especially crimes that endanger people’s lives. In my home town of Los Angeles alone, 34,000 illegal aliens flow through county jails every year — yet only a fraction of that number is identified and deported. This sickening failure is replicated across the country, day after day — meaning criminals who shouldn’t be in the country in the first place are set free to commit more crimes.

Recently, our failure to Deport the Criminals First cost three more human lives.

From the March 29, 2007 edition of the Houston Chronicle:
[Ignacio] Gomez-Gutierrez was driving with a blood-alcohol content that was three times the legal limit when he plowed into the rear of a car on U.S. 59 near the entrance to Kingwood, investigators said. The car’s occupants, Maria Ortiz and her daughter, Vanessa, who was five months pregnant, died instantly.

Vanessa Ortiz was carrying a baby boy, and his name was Nathaniel.
Blogger Texas Rainmaker witnessed the accident, and reports: “It was a terrible wreck and I was in shock in seeing the car crumpled like a soda can.” He links to a video of the aftermath of the accident, from which this still image was taken:

Here’s the kicker: the culprit is an illegal alien, and this is his fourth DWI offense.
Gomez-Gutierrez, a 25-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, is now facing his fourth drunken driving charge. But this time it has been elevated to two counts of intoxicated manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid. Investigators say he fled from his disabled vehicle after the wreck.

The handling of Gomez-Gutierrez’s case has sparked criticism from victim advocates.

They say they are upset not only for what they call lenient sentences but because immigration officials did not deport him after he finished serving time on three prior DWI convictions in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

Three prior DWIs and not one single deportation.

Who is at fault? The Harris County Sheriff’s Department blames the feds for not deporting illegals. But local police in Houston have a sanctuary policy that prevents officers from asking suspects about their citizenship status.

There is plenty of blame to go around. The failure is systemic; it occurs at every level of government — from cities like Houston that perpetuate sanctuary policies, to the federal government, which refuses to staff local jails with enough ICE agents.
The bottom line is simple: until we are deporting every single illegal alien who is in this country committing crimes and putting people’s lives at risk, don’t talk to me about amnesty. Maria Ortiz, Vanessa Ortiz, and Nathaniel Ortiz deserved better from our government.

As long as we get our cheap strawberries, this is just part of the cost of living in America, right? Wrong.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bloomberg wants to pay the poor to try and live right

From FNC (h/t Kanaka Girl):
Poor residents will be rewarded for good behavior — like $300 for doing well on school tests, $150 for holding a job and $200 for visiting the doctor — under an experimental anti-poverty program that city officials detailed Monday.

The rewards have been used in other countries, including Brazil and Mexico, and have drawn widespread praise for changing behavior among the poor. Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to Mexico this spring to study the healthy lifestyle payments, also known as conditional cash transfers.

In New York, the two-year pilot program with about 14,000 participants will use private funds Bloomberg has raised because he did not want to spend government money on something that is highly experimental. More than $43 million has been raised toward the $53 million goal, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs said.

The theory behind cash rewards is that poor people are trapped in a cycle of repeated setbacks that keep them from climbing out of poverty. A person who doesn't keep up with his vaccinations and doctor's visits, for example, may get sick more often and struggle to stay employed.

Bloomberg, a billionaire Republican, said he believes paying people in such circumstances to make good decisions could help break those patterns. The program "gives New Yorkers in poverty a financial incentive to look ahead and make decisions that will improve their prospects for the future," he said in a statement.

Seems like a patently ludicrous idea. However, something even stupider follows:
But some critics have raised questions about cash reward programs, saying they promote the misguided idea that poor people could be successful if they just made better choices.

"It just reinforces the impression that if everybody would just work hard enough and change their personal behavior we could solve poverty in this country, and that's not reflected in the facts," said Margy Waller, co-founder of Inclusion, a research and policy group in Washington.

Wow. Just "wow". The idea that poor people could be successful if they made better choices is "misguided"? Poor people changing their self-destructive personal behavior wouldn't help get them out of poverty? Simply astonishing!

No wonder this lady served as a domestic policy adviser to Bubba! She reinforces leftist politicians' warped and perverted view that people are simply unable to help themselves out of their predicaments and need the heavy hand of Big Mama Government to provide for them for the rest of their lives. After all, keep a person dependent on government, and you've got a guaranteed Democrat voter for the rest of that person's life (and, in the case of Democrats, even after that person is dead).

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