According to a few folks, the Rapture is scheduled for Saturday. Try to look busy. And pious, or something. What do I know?
There has been a lot of discussion today about President Obama’s speech on the Middle East.
Apparently, the most notable aspects of the speech concerned Obama’s speaking of “secure and recognized borders” for Israel instead of the more concrete “defensible borders,” and his call for using the pre-1967 borders as the starting point for the negotiations regarding a two-state solution. So far, the reaction appears to be that Obama is (natch) throwing Israel under the bus. See several posts at Commentary Contentions, here.
I find myself persuaded. Obama her never been pro-Israel, and he simply does not appear to understand that the Palestinians have no desire for peace. The eat, drink, and sleep vile hatred for Israel, Israelis, and Jews in general, and have created a brutish and twisted sick society. The starting point for negotiations must be recognition and acceptance of Israel. Period.
Anyway, all this talk of borders led me to wanting to know more about the border history of Israel and the local area, so I did some searching and found this BBC series of maps on that very subject. I found it to be useful in understanding the issues better and thought others might too.
GQ has a really interesting story of survival. Surprisingly, it all began with a plastic jug of vodka.
The Financial Post has a post by David Evans with a great summary of the problem with climate “science” as it exists today:
This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.
That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.
Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.
This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.
At this point, official “climate science” stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory — that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters.
That’s right. The global-warming skeptics are not the ones who reject science. The folks who are anti-science are those who have so much invested in their models that they must ignore contrary empirical evidence and silence skeptics.
The first of our cities is the Pentagon. Its residents comprise the best military in the history of the world, and they planned an executed a beautiful raid into semi-hostile territory to kill and extract the leader of a sworn enemy with which we are at war. Even after a mechanical failure the operation went off without a major hitch. One head bad guy and three minions killed, and no Americans hurt. A job well done.
The second is Washington, D.C.. Its residents are rank amateurs with little real world experience who nonetheless consider themselves to be the finest communications operation ever conceived led by history’s greatest orator. Their job was to give the order, which President Obama admirably got exactly right — send in the military, kill him, obtain proof of death and any intelligence available, then get out. Kudos to you for ordering it, sir.
After that, all the Obama Administration had to do was announce the victory. How’d they do? Not so well.
FoxNews has the timeline of screw-ups, botched details, and misinformation that has emanated from the White House ever since the operation was completed. I don’t fault anyone for not having all the details immediately. War is messy, and this operation took place under cover of darkness a long way away.
But you don’t commit to a narrative when you don’t have the facts.
You don’t claim police acted stupidly in an encounter with a professor when you don’t know the facts. But Obama did. You don’t claim that political discourse caused violence when you don’t have the facts. But Obama did.
And you really don’t make claims about a military operation that just took place on the other side of the globe when you don’t have the facts. But wow, Obama sure did.
This was not a case where fuzzy intelligence had to be sifted and judgments made as to what’s happening in a place where we can’t go take a look — say Iraq circa 2003. The facts were available, but Obama and company were so desperate to recast Obama as a war hero — Obama’s entire announcement speech was a paean to himself — that they got ahead of the fats and botched the whole thing up: “From the first moments, a good number of the details about bin Laden’s killing, on points large and small, have been wrong.”
Was bin Laden taken in a firefight? At first maybe, then yes, then no.
Did he hide behind his wife? Yes, then no, now who knows?
Was bin Laden captured then killed, or shot immediately on sight?
And then, what about the photographs? Reasonable people can disagree on what proof of death should be revealed, if any. Mrs. Hound and I, in fact, sharply disagree. I say release whatever we have. She says it’s unnecessary and inappropriate. Neither position is unreasonable. So Obama’s ultimate decision is not especially monumental.
But his dithering and incoherence is. So too is his dismissal of those who think showing the proof would be helpful to our interests as wanting to “spike the ball” or somehow going against American values. Maybe when the Obama Administration itself cannot make up its mind, Obama should be less dismissive of those who disagree with the ultimate decision.
Anyway, this comment from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) about sums it up so far:
“Every day it seems like somebody is having to straighten out some fact,” he told the AJC. “You’d think that twenty-four hours after the fact, they’d be able to ferret things out a little more.” He told NJ, more sharply: “Twenty-four hours after it happened there should have been more clarification than what I heard coming out of Brennan.”
So does this from former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino:
“I am perplexed how they got so much wrong,” she added. “I don’t think it takes away from their achievement. I think that criticism will be relatively short-lived. However, for those people who might be critics of the administration, or have a little bit of distrust for the stories that are coming out of the White House, this will feed that. And it doesn’t help build credibility.”
I am not perplexed how they got so much wrong. The President, to his eternal credit, ordered the operation and caused it to be up close and personal instead of lobbing in a few bunker-busters and waking up the whole neighborhood. The military then did its duty with precision and skill.
After that, we are simply seeing the overall incompetence of the Obama Administration in action. As Jim Treacher said the other day, “Obama Administration takes victory lap in clown car.”
After yesterday’s election, the herd running for Denver Mayor has been thinned to two — Chris Romer and Michael Hancock. With neither candidate receiving 50% of the vote, we get to have a runoff. Yippee.
I don’t know squat about city politics, so I asked a friend who is very much an expert on all things Denver Democratic politics what happens next.
There were three front-runners, the third being James Mejia. Although he is now out of the race, Mejia may hold the key to victory for one of the other two. Both of the other candidates are right now figuring out what position in the new Administration to offer him in return for his endorsement, and it may very well be decisive.
Meanwhile, the candidates have thus far avoided going negative. That’s about to end. Apparently, Romer has some skeletons rattling about in his closet from his days at JPMorgan Chase relating to New Mexico politics.
I hope Hancock doesn’t have similar baggage, since his life story is so compelling. But who knows? If he’s done his homework, Romer should know if Hancock has any.
Should be interesting.
As Obama attempts a few victory laps and claim all credit for slaying Osama bin Laden, Marc Thiessen reminds us that Obama has not exactly been gracious to those who made it possible to find him. And he’s not talking about President Bush:
On his second day in office, Obama shut down the CIA’s high-value interrogation program. His Justice Department then reopened criminal investigations into the conduct of CIA interrogators — inquiries that had been closed years before by career prosecutors who concluded that there were no crimes to prosecute. In a speech at the National Archives, Obama eviscerated the men and women of the CIA, accusing them of “torture” and declaring that their work “did not advance our war and counterterrorism efforts — they undermined them.”
Now, it turns out that the very CIA interrogators whose lives Obama turned upside down played a critical role in what the president rightly calls “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.”
It is time for a public apology.
Indeed. President “I get all credit while you take any blame” has been quick to misjudge, insult, and attack those who came before him while taking credit for the results of their difficult decisions. Isn’t it long past time someone in the media asks him about that?
The Other McCain has reactions from all over the place.
I am with Sarah Palin on this one:
Check out the rest at the link.
I’m not complaining, mind you. Our troops did the right thing and executed the bastard in his home rather than dragging him back here for some sort of trial.
But someone might want to ask those who screeched that waterboarding terrorists, making them sit in cold rooms, or slapping them during interrogations was a human rights violation why it is OK to shoot dead an unarmed OBL.
Or was all that complaining just becahse W did it?
Some very smart folks have provided some initial analysis at NRO in a bin Laden Symposium. A few tidbits I liked:
- “In Osama bin Laden, we have killed a mascot — an icon of terror, but a coward who died as he lived, hiding behind innocent noncombatants.”
- “Bin Laden’s death at the hands of a small team of American ninjas deep in Pakistan sends the world — especially our enemies — a powerful and much-needed reminder of some essential American attributes: courage, audacity, resolve, competence, honor, patriotism, loyalty, lethality. ‘Don’t Tread on Me.'”
- “Thank God for the men and women of the American military. Kudos to U.S. intelligence. Deep appreciation to President Bush for his leadership and courage in launching the War on Terror, including some of its most controversial aspects. And great credit to President Obama in his finest hour as our commander-in-chief.”
- Lest we forget — “A couple of days ago, a bombing destroyed a café in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, killing eleven foreigners. In Israel in just one month, an entire Jewish family was butchered in Itamar, a bus was bombed in Jerusalem, a schoolboy was killed near Gaza, and religious Jews were killed at a Biblical tomb. Bin Laden didn’t order those killings.” It ain’t over, folks.
- “Bin Laden’s death will paradoxically put President Obama in a national-security quandary, because it will be harder to continue to make the case for “overseas contingency operations” now that the number-one contingency is gone. The “war of necessity” in Afghanistan will seem a lot less necessary, whether it is or not.”
- “Bin Laden is dead. Now, let’s stop engaging terrorists and start killing them.”
There is a lot more at the link.
Treacher spells out the liberal line on terrorists as of late last night:
Dampening a terrorist’s forehead is bad. Putting a bullet hole in it is good. Keeping a terrorist awake for days at a time is bad. Making him sleep forever is good. Glad we got that straightened out.
Professor Jacobson summarizes it nicely:
Extra-judicial killing, with no attempt to capture and bring bin Laden to NYC for trial in federal court. Breach of international law by invading a sovereign nation. Key intelligence obtained from Gitmo detainees, before they were read their Miranda rights. The only thing which could make the situation worse would be if there was an illegal wiretap involved because a key conversation or e-mail was routed through a U.S. based server.
What’s a lefty to do? We already know, don’t we. They ignore all of the stuff they were so vehemently against about 10-2 years ago and pretend that their opposition didn’t exist.
Thank you, Mr. Bush:
Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful. Former president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama closed the prison system.