Thursday, January 28, 2010

SOTU: Why Obama Is Doomed

Last night, Obama gave the single worst State of the Union speech I’ve ever heard and the worst speech of his career. There was nothing inspiring or memorable. His canned applause lines stunk, his “off the cuff” jokes were poorly scripted, and the rest of the speech can be summed up thusly: anger, accusation, blame shifting, political payoffs to interest groups and “admissions” that everyone else has served him poorly. This speech was meant to hit the reset button. . . it missed. It also tells us that he is doomed to failure.

Obama has a serious problem. Unlike other presidents whose approval ratings have risen and fallen with events, Obama’s have been on a steady downward course. This indicates a man who has lost the public. Thus, his objective last night was to reconnect with the public, to pull a mea culpa, to assure the public he will change, and to convince the public to give him a second chance. He failed. Instead, last night just highlighted why he lost the public in the first place.
Technical Problems: Lack of Inspiration
Obama is a poor speaker and his speech writers stink. He has yet to give a memorable speech, and last night was no exception. There were no memorable quotes, no incredible moments of truth, no compelling arguments, and no moment where he made a genuine call for all of us to come together. Instead, his speech was bland, with angry emphasis substituting for passion, half-hearted praise for America substituting for inspiration, an abundance of “too-perfect-to-be-true” letters from widows and orphans that felt like blatant manipulation, and “I” substituting liberally for “we.” He was snide, unpleasant, insulting and combative. He read poorly. His self-deprecating jokes were all backhanded slaps at his opponents, and he just wasn’t presidential at any point.

The contrast with Virginia Governor McDonnell could not have been starker.

Obama’s failure, by the way, was obvious in two facts from last night. First, the leftists hired by CNN to act as analysts were amazingly subdued. “He did what he had to do” was about the highest praise they could muster (even David Axelrod was subdued). They questioned his priorities (or lack thereof) and even scoffed at some of what he said. Not one person suggested this was a great speech or a memorable speech or that he’d “hit a homerun.” When your own PR people can’t praise your speech, something is wrong. Secondly, CNN’s instant poll showed a 20% drop in the number of people who gave this speech high marks compared to last year. Given that this poll would likely include a higher proportion of Democrats than last year’s, this was a horrible result for Obama.
Political Payoff Smorgasbord
Aside from poor writing and delivery, the main reason Obama’s speech will not resonate with the public is that it ultimately was not meant for the public, it was aimed at his special interest. As I’ve said before, the Democratic Party is no longer a party, it has become an alliance of tribes, each of whom want their share. Last night, emphasized that:
• Unions: Obama promised a second stimulus, aimed at putting “America” back to work. . . targeted at unionized jobs. Further, while he seemed to talk about free trade last night with South Korea, Panama and Columbia, he never said he would push the free trade deals already negotiated with those countries that are languishing in Congress. Instead, he talked about “enforcement,” which is the same anti-free trade garbage his side has been spewing about imposing environmental and labor regulations on our trading partners.

• Environmentalists: Obama promised to get a carbon tax, i.e. cap and trade, even if he had to bribe a handful of Republicans (like Lindsey Graham) to get it, by offering to include subsidies for nuclear power and limited off-shore drilling.

• Gays: He promised to end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and he promised “increased” civil rights office enforcement, i.e. more lawsuits.

• Feminists: He promised to fight for the feminist panacea “equal pay.”

• Blacks: He promised a national hate crimes law.
The middle class? You get to pay for these promises, and he repeated the silly plan I discussed the other day -- though he shifted the blame on that one to Biden. (FYI, that plan is actually aimed at feminists and college students and the poor, not the middle class.)

To cover his giveaways, he paid lip service to the public’s complaints. For example,
• Obama’s Deficits: He acknowledged the deficit problem, by blaming it on Bush. He then promised a “total spending freeze.” What he did not say was that this would only cover 17% of spending and that Pelosi has already said it won’t get through the House. He then tried to make this sound impressive by talking about the savings this would generate over the next TWO decades. Wally from Dilbert tried this once, claiming his plan would save the company one million dollars. . . over a million years.

• Job Destruction: Obama acknowledged that people remain unemployed, a problem he blamed on Bush. First, he tried to lump the 6.3 million jobs that vanished under his policies on Bush by claiming that the economy had lost seven million jobs in the past two years. Then he blamed lobbyists (which made no sense). Then he bragged about his stimulus bill creating two million jobs -- a well documented lie. (See here and here.)

Now he’s promising targeted tax cuts for small business “for job creation.” No one has any idea what he’s talking about here -- he probably doesn’t even know himself -- but if this is nothing more than a “one time tax cut for hiring” (a new favorite among Democrats) then this is doomed to fail.

• Terrorism: Obama acknowledged that terrorism exists, a big step for him. But he blamed the failure to stop it on Bush, and he specifically blamed the Detroit near-bombing on policies put in place by Bush. Yet, while he acknowledged Bush’s failures he offered no plan to address terrorism other than more of the same. He then, amazingly, made the childish claim that he had “killed more terrorists” than Bush did in 2008. This brought near eye-rolls from the Joint Chiefs.

• Health Care: Obama also whined about the opposition to his health care bill, which he blamed on obstructionist Republicans, corrupt lobbyists, and cowardly Democrats who are worried about elections, i.e. public opinion. Then he said, “I’m no quitter” (another demonstrable falsehood). He then reformulated his plan as “health insurance reform” because no one likes insurance companies, and he challenged anyone who would oppose him to come up with their own plan -- something many have done, though he wouldn’t know that because he refuses to listen. But he waited 27 minutes into his speech to raise this issue, leading one CNN pundit to declare: “he won’t give up on health care, but he’s signaled that he won’t fight for it either.”

• Iran: He acknowledged that Iran hadn’t been fixed yet, which he blamed on the Iranians and prior administrations, i.e. Bush. He then swore that there would be real consequences if they didn’t comply this time. Of course, he couldn’t think of any consequence to mention, nor did he say who would bear them.

• Iraq: He promised again to bring home all of the (combat) troops from Iraq at some point in time, it’s just taking longer than expected because the “three” (formerly “two”) wars Bush left him were such disasters.

• Corruption: Recognizing that most polls put corruption at the top of the public’s concerns about his administration, he (1) promised “to fight corruption”. . . in Afghanistan, (2) he demonized lobbyists and claimed to have kicked them out of his administration -- another lie, (3) he talked about undoing the Supreme Court’s decision that allows corporations to donate money to causes, something recent polls show the public considers a matter of free speech, and (4) swore he would highlighting earmarks to the public. . . as compared to his campaign promise to stop them. He made no mention of his awarding a no-bid contract to a supporter (something he once called “corrupt”) or of the massive amounts of corruption in his administration and in Congress (see here, here and here).
In other words, he paid lip service to the public’s concerns, and he showed that he refuses to accept any responsibility for the public’s concerns and he doesn’t intend to actually address them except with more lip service.
Angry Obama Gives Way To Nasty Obama
Finally, we come to Obama’s biggest problem: his paranoid hatred of “those who oppose.” In a nod to Rodney King’s “can’t we all just get along,” Obama mentioned the word bipartisanship and he spoke of the need to change the tenor in Washington. But then, like a petulant child, he set about settling scores.

He attacked the Republicans over and over, using any falsehood he thought would help him. He tried to blame them for his own failures and then, like a cartoon villain, he incredibly warned them that they would be held responsible for any further failure on his part. He called his own party cowards for trying to hear the message of the people. He blamed Bush for every single one of his faults and failures. And, as noted before, he petulantly tried to sound tough by claiming that he killed more terrorists than Bush did in 2008.

He demonized bankers and lobbyists, in ways not heard since the 1930s -- all the while ignoring the fact that they are his biggest contributors, that they are his closest advisors, and that he appointed them to serve in his cabinet and to run his treasury department.

He even tried to play the self-pity, phony-acceptance-of-responsibility game by taking “my share of the blame” only to twist that into accepting the blame for being stopped by the self-interested and politically motivated acts of others.

Incredibly, he made a highly inappropriate attack on the Supreme Court, in their presence. It is not that he criticized a court decision, but that he attacked the court personally, when he angrily accused the court of destroying “a century of settled law” in favor of special interests (impugning their motives). This caused Justice Alito to mouth the words “not true”. . . giving Obama a second “you lie” moment in as many trips to Congress. And, indeed, it was not true. By the way, as an active attorney, his attack on the Court is an ethics violation and he should be sanctioned.

Finally, he thanked no one for anything.

This man is a child. He knows nothing, and it shows. He out hates Nixon as a paranoid gatherer of enemies and a serial assigner of blame. He out wimps Carter as an effete warrior. He makes the obviously stupid Bush II look like Einstein, and the smarmy insider Bush I look like a zealous reformer. And he makes the dishonest and dishonorable Bill Clinton look like George Washington.

Obama is finished. Not because he doesn’t have time to change, but because he’s not willing or able to change.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama To Save Middle Class

As Team Obama digests the lessons of Scott Brown’s victory, they keep finding new things they “should have done” to entice voters, like "saving" the disappearing middle class. This usually means sops to big labor. In fact, nothing warms an ivory-tower socialist’s heart more than thinking of the great citizens of this nation toiling away in unionized hard-labor jobs. But Obama knows not of manual labor, so his plan to “save the middle class” is a tad different than you might expect. It's also laughable . . . to put it kindly.

How does one save the middle class? Jobs, jobs, jobs, according to Obama. Creating new jobs and reducing unemployment is “the single most important thing we can do to rebuild the middle class,” read Obama from his TOTUS. Then, like OJ Simpson before him, Obama assured us that “I won’t rest until we’re doing just that.”

But if Obama really wants to create jobs, then why doesn’t his plan include anything that could actually lead to the creation of jobs? Could this just be a shallow attempt to buy votes or is Team Obama really that stupid. . . or both?

Here is Obama’s four point cradle to grave plan:

Part One: Child Storage

The first part of Obama’s plan to save the middle class involves a sop to feminist thinking, which holds that a lack of “affordable daycare” enslaves women. So Obama takes the big step of promising to “double the child care tax credit.” Sounds good, but. . .

First, in this case, the word “double” doesn’t actually mean “double” in the traditional sense. Instead, it means increasing the percentage of the qualifying costs that can be deducted from 20% to 35%. Moreover, this applies only to children under the age of 13 because women with children over 13 years of age are evil. Oh, and this increase only applies to families making less than $85,000 a year (the new “millionaire” cut off). Not to mention the amount you can claim is capped, so the maximum benefit is only $900 more than it was before his proposal -- with most receiving far less than that. (As an aside, if $900 in tax cuts is all it takes to save the middle class, why hasn't Pelosi's House enacted such a change before. . . say in 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009?)

Now, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this proposal does nothing to create more jobs. That means you can't expect to benefit from this, unless you already have a job, which kind of undermines the purpose of motivating people to get jobs. But at least there is symmetry between the non-motivation and the non-job creation. . . and symmetry is beautiful.

Part Two: Enslaving College Kids

Turning to your school years, Obama’s second proposal is intended to deceive college grads. With all the guile of an evil credit card peddler, Obama essentially proposes to reduce the minimum payment on your student loan debts. He phrases this as capping the amount you can be forced to pay in any one month to 10% of some living wage, whatever that means. But the reality is that this will establish a minimum payment amount that you can pay happily for the rest of your life. Because, while he's proposing to reduce the amount you can be forced to pay at any one time, he’s not changing the amount of interest you are being charged. Thus, if you pay only the maximum payment (minimum) you will be paying on this loan forever. . . and you will pay far more than you would have paid under the old system.

Liberals used to call that "unconscienability." But a better description might be a tax on stupidity, or a tax on the educated. . . either way works for me. But what’s more interesting, this very practice is one of those practices that Obama promised to stop evil credit card companies from doing. Now he’s turning around and proposing to do the same thing to college grads. Nice!

But Obama’s not entirely heartless (his behavior toward his grandmother and his brother notwithstanding). While this will make college students long term indentured servants of the federal government, it won’t actually run forever. After twenty years of servitude, you will be released from your burden. . . only three times longer than the indentured servant contracts of the 17th and 18th Centuries. (By the way, because federal government employees are so put upon, with their massive salaries and their unpaid taxes, Obama proposes to free those who “work” for Club Fed after 10 years instead of twenty. . . call it time off for lazy behavior).

In terms of creating jobs, this doesn’t do squat, but it makes up for that by keeping the future middle class poorer. Enjoy your free lunch college grads, you’ve earned it!

Part Three: Slaving For Retirement

As you toil away in the salt mines, you are no doubt worried about your retirement. Some day, you’ll be too old to work and social security is looking pretty flimsy. So it’s time to start saving for retirement, lest you enjoy eating dog food under bridges. To help you, Obama is planning to force your employer to provide workplace-based retirement savings accounts (formerly known as 401ks). . . and no, your employer doesn’t have to contribute, they just need to do all the paperwork for you. That should raise the unemployment rate from 10% to 11%.

Sadly, if I read my tax code correctly, this will kill off your right to have your own personal 401k, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for getting your hands on a hot self-funded retirement account! Now I know what you’re thinking -- isn’t Obama just proposing to replace our 401k’s with a different kind of 401k? Yeah, but this one is tied to your employer, which makes it less convenient and less flexible, so shut up and stop looking a gift whore in the mouth!

To sweeten the pot, Obama wants the government to match up to $500 if you put in $1,000! I hope you’re ready to live the highlife! Of course, you need to make less than $65,000 to qualify for this amazing benefit, because anyone who makes more than that is rich and, thus, subhuman.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Obama promised to excuse small businesses. . . the very companies that don’t provide retirement plans now. So maybe this whole thing is just a wash?

Part Four: Chump Change for Geezers

Finally, as your loved ones speed toward their appointment with the grim reaper, Obama wants to lift some of the burden you’ll bear in taking care of these oldsters. Did you know that in 2006, Americans spent $333 billion caring for the elderly? And that was under the evil George Bush, back when we used to toss the elderly into the streets and run them over with SUVs. Imagine what it must cost now, in the age of the enlightened one!

So how is Obama promising to lift this burden imposed by these dirty, dirty old people? How about a tax credit for taking care of elderly relatives. . . you know it, baby. . . $100 million worth!!! Awesome, that’s like giving $3.30 to someone who makes $10,000 a year! All we need now is for McDonalds to add elderly care to their dollar menu and we’ll be set!

At least this one, unlike the prior three, could create jobs. . . if you believe in magic.

Poverty, thy days are numbered!

Note: By the way, if you want to see what Obama could have done to create jobs and/or raise middle class incomes, check out our proposal for a real stimulus plan. Unlike Obama, we didn’t take stupid pills before coming up with our plan.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Sale of Two Cities

It was a far, far sleazier thing that I was planning than I’d ever done before. But I was tired of working hard and trying to make a success of myself. There was another way, an easier way. But like all quick fixes, this one came at a price -- I'd have to sell my soul. Still, what’s a soul worth?

I walked into the Rotunda Club, the seediest bar in town. I clutched my briefcase in my right hand. I had business to conduct and this was the place to do it, but I’d have to watch my back.

The center stage was empty, waiting for the next act. In the corner, Chris Dodd danced at a private table; he wore only some mortgage documents over his private parts. He danced under the name Sweetheart Deal. . . the brokers loved him.

Nancy Pelosi, a.k.a. Angel Dust, was on the stage to my left doing what could have been a comedy act. It’s hard to tell with her, but whatever it was, it would end with a strip tease. Today, she seemed to be imitating Castro, only she danced a little slower and I doubt Castro ever wore a feathered boa. But Angel Dust was classy. She never took dollars from the crowd, though they offered and they offered. No, if you wanted a piece of Nancy, you had to promise part ownership of your business. Then she would rock your financial world.

In the corner, I saw a couple bankers slip Maxine Waters a stack of bills. She smiled and picked up the cell phone they handed her. In the booth next to her, Charlie Rangel sat with an accountant, possibly working on his taxes, maybe just talking about loopholes. Rangel got comp'd all the rum he could drink, so he usually got pretty wild.

Harry Reid, the manager, likes to roam the room wearing half a cowboy get up. . . the top half. He seems kind of pathetic these days as he goes from table to table vacillating between telling dirty jokes and making half-apologies, and always asking for help, like a monkey grinder begging for pennies on a street corner. His life has seen better times.

Hidden in a dark booth just beyond the stage, I could see regular Mark Penn still counting the $6 million in stimulus money that he got for "stimulating" Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I hadn’t seen her much in the Rotunda Club lately. . . she used to do this fantastic act, where she’d pretend to go around the world, as the audience stuffed money in her husband’s bag. She was big with the foreigners who liked to visit the place. . . especially the Chinese tourists. But that was along time ago.

A loud noise erupted to my left. The new act appeared on center stage. He was some new kid I’d never heard of before. He called himself O.M.G., and he came out dressed like some sort of 14th Century French aristocrat. I’d heard he came from Chicago, where he did well for himself buying and selling real estate, particularly empty Senate seats. He used to draw huge crowds when he started, but his act lacks substance and people have started drifting away. These days he attracts mainly the union types and the Hollywood types. Still, they shower him with money. At one infamous party at the club, Stephen Spielberg slipped $1.3 million in small bills into O.M.G.’s jock. . . with his teeth.

This whole scene makes my stomach turn, but I keep telling myself that I'm only here to do business.

As I near my table, Congressman Jim Moran nuzzles up to me.
“Hey big contributor, wanna lap dance?”

“No thanks Jim.”

“Oh come on, me legislate for you long time. . .”

“No thanks, I’ve got business with Mary Landrieu.”

“What do you need with The New Orleans Madame? You don't need her. I can do anything you want. I got my biggest contributors $50 million in earmarks. . . they call me the Human Slot.”

“Sorry Jim, not today. But if you see Landrieu, send her over.”
I slipped Moran a fiver to improve his eyesight.

It didn’t take long before Landrieu appeared at my booth. I could smell her perfume, Ode du Corrompu. She wore her hair up these days, but that didn’t help. She still looked like a three dollar Bourbon Street whore. She looked a lot better than her twin sister Blanche, but that wasn’t saying much. Their parents couldn't have been too proud.
“I hear you’re looking for me big boy,” Landrieu said as she lit a cigarette. “My, that’s a pretty briefcase.”

“Glad you approve. Commentarama needs a license and we’re having trouble with the faceless bureau boys.”

“That’s too bad, you sound like someone who needs help. . . if only I could remember who could help you.”
I placed the briefcase onto the table and popped it open, flashing the wads of $100 bills I had collected from selling “invisible T-shirts” online, one of the greatest internet scams I’d ever seen.
“And here I thought you were just happy to see me,” she purred. I tried not to vomit.

“Always babe, what can this do for me?”

“What kind of license do you need?”

“Doesn’t matter. You pick one. I just want the regulators off my back.” I leaned in closer. “And I want my competitors shut down. . . I want a monopoly in at least two large cities, got it?”
She stroked my briefcase. She was being coy.
“I can make that happen, but a monopoly is gonna be hard.”

“How hard?”

“GE spread around $27 million last year. So did Exxon. Pfizer gave $22 and Blue Cross $18. That’s a lot of love.”
I couldn’t compete with that, but I knew she was just holding out to get a better price. This money was going to her and nobody else, that played in my favor. Also, I didn’t have to compete against the biggest boys, just some poor suckers who had never heard of the Rotunda. I upped my price. “There’s another briefcase in my car, just waiting for the permits to clear, and it’s all yours.”

She ran her fingers over my briefcase again. Finally, she clutched the handled and started to walk off. She called over her shoulder: “See you soon Mr. C. . . E. . . O. . .”

I had done it. Commentarama was about to become one of the most successful businesses in the country. I didn’t know yet what we were going to do, but with friends like these, those are details that just don’t matter.

I finished my drink and left the joint. On the way out, I saw Barney Frank legislating in a car with a couple of the boys from Goldman Sachs. I hated this place.

I felt dirty. . .

. . . but that would pass.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Part Two: How To Fight Islamic Terrorism

Last night, we talked about the myths that our leaders believe which keep them from designing effective policies to combat Islamic terrorism. Now let’s talk about what they should be doing. To defeat Islamic terrorism, we need to stop ordinary Muslims from wanting to become terrorists. Otherwise, this struggle will continue generation after generation. To achieve this, we need to change the mindset that leads average Muslims to become terrorists. We also need to hunt down existing terrorists, but the real key will be in stopping the flow of volunteers.

Stopping The Flow of Volunteers

The only way to stop Islamic terrorism is to stop Muslims from wanting to become terrorists. Without volunteers, their leadership becomes powerless and their organizations fall apart. There are no quick fixes in this regard, but there are certain policies that will work over time.
Policy No. 1: Reforming Islam
The first thing we need to do is to reform Islam. Yeah, you read that right.

The primary motivational force turning Muslims into terrorists today is fundamentalist Islam. The Islamic world is dotted with thousands of schools where radical clerics teach young children that all of their problems are the result of evil westerners and that eternal glory awaits them if they die fighting us. But to call these “schools” is a bit misleading. They are brainwashing centers. They teach children a version of the Koran (by rote memorization) that disdains all other knowledge and breaks the world into believers and infidels, all in the hopes of creating the next generation of jihadists. There is nothing scholarly going on here, it is pure brainwashing akin to doomsday cults.
NOTE: Many Muslims will complain that this is an unfair characterization because the majority of these schools do not teach radical Islam. But if radical Islam were truly considered a blight on Islam -- rather being seen as useful ally, the rest of Islam would work to eradicate it. . . they are not. And, in any event, their contention is irrelevant. These schools exist, and they either go unchallenged or whatever the moderates are doing isn’t working. In either event, it’s time to act.
What we need to do is to take a page from the terrorists own book. As they have done, we too must establish thousands of these schools across the Muslim world. As they have turned their schools into community focal points, so must we. These schools must network with other like-minded institutions. They must use the money available to them to provide jobs and charity and to provide “government services” where local government basically does not exist. This is the same model that Hezbollah uses to great effect in the Palestinian territories. It is the same model used by successful insurgents the world over. This is the model that lets you change the hearts and minds of local people.

Now for the controversial part. First, this needs to be a covert program. As far as the world can know, these schools must appear to be set up by one or more Islamic foundations of scholars or wealthy benefactors. If there is the slightest hint that America is behind the creation of these schools, they will be as welcome as lepers.

Secondly, and this is the real key, we need to control the curriculum. And by that, I don’t just mean whether or not math is taught. I am talking about controlling how Islam itself is taught at these schools. Specifically, we need these schools to teach an interpretation of Islam that removes the ideas (1) that there is a distinction between actions taken against believers and those taken against infidels, (2) that education is bad, (3) that Allah encourages murder, and (4) that women are inferior and should not be educated.

This may sound horrible to American sensibilities, given our rich history of religious freedom, but this is hardly unique in the world. The French are already doing something similar by requiring that all Imams in France receive the approval of the government before they can preach -- the idea is to keep out radical Imams. Other countries have created panels to offer approved versions of Islam. Similarly, keep in mind that these radical schools are themselves using a form of reinterpreted Islam created by Wahhabism. We would simply be changing that back.

The goal behind this plan would be to draw ordinary Muslims away from the more radical schools, and to inject a more tolerant and peaceful form of Islam into their increasingly radicalized society. If done correctly, this could change the Muslim world from one focused on hatred and beset by discrimination to one that can live in peace with its neighbors.
Policy No. 2: Eliminate Grievances
We also need to change the things we do that outrage the Muslim world. Two come to mind immediately.
Policy No. 2a: Eliminating Grievances: Minimizing The American Presence In Muslim Lands
The first thing we need to do is to lower our profile throughout the Muslim world. Rightly or wrongly, Muslims see the United States as the new colonial master. They are upset that we have troops scattered throughout the region. They are particularly upset at our presence in Saudi Arabia, at the war in Iraq and our continuing presence there, and at our war in Afghanistan. To fix this, we need to do the following:
• We need to exit Iraq and Afghanistan, and we need to stop sending large contingents of ground forces into the region. When military action is called for, we need to use covert operations, air strikes, or local troops whenever possible, preferably without claiming responsibility.

• We need to move our military out of sensitive countries, like Saudi Arabia, i.e. places considered holy by Muslims, and relocate them to places where their presence will be less controversial. We should also locate our bases away from their population centers.
The disappearance of American troops will rob the terrorist of their claim that we are crusaders or occupiers. Along the same lines, our leaders need to stop talking about this being a war, and they need to stop making bellicose threats. This is a propaganda war, and we need to stop playing into the terrorists hands by sounding like we intend to dominate the region.
Policy No. 2b: Eliminating Grievances: Changing The Way We Deal With Regional Governments
We also need to change the way we deal with governments in the region. Most Arab countries are run by repressive, corrupt despots. We get the blame for that because we have supported them throughout the years. We need to make significant changes in this regard.

First, we need to aim for energy independence by allowing off-shore drilling and investing in the necessary resources to spark a massive conversion to natural gas, instead of petroleum. Why? Because right now our need for Middle East oil holds us hostage to some of these governments. If we can achieve energy independence, which we can, then we free ourselves to act more freely throughout the region (not to mention that I would rather send $500 billion a year to middle America than the Middle East).

Secondly, we need to create a list of principles that we will treat as a prerequisite for getting aid from the United States. These principles should be designed to significantly improve the every day lives of people in these countries: free and fair elections, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, transparent government and enforcement of strong anti-corruption laws, respect for due process and rule of law, and independent judiciaries. We need to very publicly announce these and we need to stick with them.

These steps will make it virtually impossible for anyone to convince “the Arab street” that we are responsible for the oppression or failures that beset Muslims.

Third, when we do provide aid, we need to use this as a public relations opportunity. In other words, we need to stop handing out money and then looking the other way. Instead, we need to target specific projects or causes for which the aid is intended, and then we need to administer those ourselves. We need to let the local people know that American money is providing them with their jobs, with their roads, and with their food aid -- all of which needs to be prominently labeled with American flags and distributed by American workers.

This will ensure that our money is not wasted or misused, and that we get credit on the ground for our charity, rather than having the credit taken by the local governments.

All told, this will go a long, long way to making us again the beacon of hope and freedom, and making it so much harder for terrorists to find grounds for inciting hatred against us.

Hunting Down Terrorists

In addition to stopping the flow of volunteers, we do need to continue hunting down existing terrorists. This calls for infiltration combined with military action, and policing.
Policy No. 1: Infiltration & Military Action
Our main focus in terms of stopping existing terrorists must be infiltrating their organizations. We need to send hundreds of agents to every corner of the world to join these groups. And we need to treat this as a military operation, not a law enforcement operation. Our goal should not be to gather enough evidence to bring these people to trial, but should be to determine who they are and where they are so that they can be wiped out by military force.

Yet, we must be smart about this. We should not send the military to fight large scale ground wars against Muslims because that only feeds their propaganda machine and plays into the motif of America as colonizer. Instead, these should involve the so-called surgical strikes -- air strikes, snipers, special ops -- against specific targets, like terrorist training facilities or identified terrorist leaders or cell. And in each instance, we need to go in with the understanding that the moment the strike is over, our forces withdraw, preferably without ever claiming responsibility.
Policy No. 2: Effective Policing
In addition to infiltration, we should continue out policing efforts. This involves trying to interdict their money and weapons, and trying to build ties with local communities so that they turn these terrorists in. Generally, this involves doing the same kind of police work it takes to bring down street gangs and drug cartels -- something at which the FBI has become quite adept.


The key to ending Islamic terrorism is to starve these terrorist organizations of the volunteers they need to wage their terror campaigns. That makes this a propaganda war, not a shooting war. When we turn this into a shooting war, we play into their hands and feed their propaganda machines. Instead, we need to deprive them of the grievances upon which they rely, we need to wage our own propaganda war to combat fundamentalist Islam, and, when we do need to use force, we need to do so quietly.

The alternative is that we spend the next 100 years fighting in one Muslim country after another, as a never-ending supply of terrorists continue to mount attacks all over the world.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Part One: How To Fight Islamic Terrorism

We fight Islamic terrorism the wrong way. Yeah, this is one of those posts. Our leaders don’t understand the nature of terrorism, nor do they understand what motivates these terrorists. Thus, they don’t know how to fight them. In fact, they keep doing things that only make the problem worse. This is a two part post. In this part, we’ll talk about the three biggest myths we buy into that keep us from fighting Islamic terrorism effectively. In part two, I’ll offer some suggestions on new policies.

Myth No. 1: There Is A Military Solution To Islamic Terrorism
I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this, but there simply is no military solution to Islamic terrorism. In fact, using the military will be counter-productive in most instances.

Here’s the crux of the problem. Terrorists are not military forces. They do not fight on battlefields. (We’ll get to Afghanistan in a moment.) They do not hold territory, they do not occupy positions, and their goals are not to overcome your armed forces -- their goals are to cause your society enough terror and pain that you give in to their demands. Thus, they rarely present targets for the military to attack. Without targets, all the planes, tanks and troops in the world mean nothing.

Indeed, history is full of examples of governments trying to use their militaries to stop terrorists. But none of them succeeded. . . not honorable armies like ours that play by the rules of international law, not colonial armies that played by few rules, not even brutal, genocidal armies like the Nazis in the Balkans or the Russians in Chechnya who felt little guilt about wiping out population centers. They could all kill terrorists whenever the terrorists exposed themselves, but they just couldn’t stop the terror no matter how much force they used.

Why? Because terrorists have the ability to mask their identifies and to blend into civilian populations. This is the proverbial needle in a haystack problem. Worse, it is the needle in a stack of needles problem because terrorists can make themselves indistinguishable from the surrounding populations. Moreover, they choose the populations in which they will hide, which means you can't even narrow down the area you need to search.

Consider this. During the past ten years, Islamic terrorists have committed major acts of terror in each of the following countries: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Nairobi, Indonesia, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Chechnya, Russia, Spain, the Philippines, China and even the United States, among others. In most of these instances, it was a small cell of five to ten terrorists who pulled off these terroristic acts, and they struck without warning -- without anyone even knowing they were there. How could they pull that off? Because, until they acted, they were indistinguishable from the local populations. Thus, there was nothing military action could have done to stop them because it simply is not possible to kill what you cannot find or what you do not know exists.

Some argue that we can defeat terrorism by killing their leaders. But how do you find the leaders when you do not know who they are and they could be hidden anywhere on the planet? We've been trying to kill Al Qaeda's leaders for ten years and we haven't succeeded -- and we even know who many of those are. Arab states have been trying to kill the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood since 1928 and haven't succeeded. The British were never able to eliminate the IRA's leaders, and so on and so on.

And what’s to keep the terrorists from simply finding new leaders? Or what do you do about cells that work without direction from a leadership? To stop terrorism, you need to stop every terrorist, not merely rough up their network. Yet there just isn’t any way to do that with military action, no matter how strong your military is, because you just can't find them all.

Moreover, the danger of using the military to fight terrorism is that you may feed the fires of hatred that send people running into the arms of the terrorists. This is particularly true with Islamic terrorism, where every government in the Arab world (friend or foe) and every Imam from Detroit to Riyadh to Jakarta has used the United States as a scapegoat for so long that the United States has become the boogeyman for every single failure suffered by anyone in the Muslim world.

Further, the entire concept of Islamic terrorism has its roots in the idea that the West is seeking to dominate the Muslim world and is occupying Muslim lands. Sending the military to fight in those lands simply plays into that storyline and incites more young Muslims to join the cause.

Our leaders are kidding themselves when they claim that there is a military solution to Islamic terrorism.

NOTE: This is not to say that there aren’t moments when the use of military force isn’t appropriate or effective. Afghanistan was one such example (though I would suggest that we are now at a point where the costs of staying far outweigh the benefits). In Afghanistan, Al Qaeda aligned themselves with one side in what was essentially an Afghan civil war. In so doing, they exposed many of their leaders and followers in ways that let the U.S. military inflict damage on their network. However, while this might lead to a defeat for Taliban forces in their civil war, this cannot lead to the defeat of Al Qaeda, much less Islamic terrorism. Al Qaeda currently operates in as many as 65 countries. Thus, even if every single Al Qaeda member in Afghanistan could be killed, the rest of the network would continue. Not to mention that Al Qaeda is just one of hundreds of Islamic terrorist groups.

Myth No. 2: Terrorists Need Vast Sums of Money
This one frustrates me to no end. Every time a government intercepts money headed to some terrorist organization, they hail this as a huge victory. They rush to the nearest podium to describe this “significant blow to terror” and then assure us that without hundreds of millions of dollars, terrorists cannot function. What scares me is that they actually seem to believe this.

I don’t want to get into handing out of ideas, but with a $40 sledgehammer and a train schedule, an intelligent terrorist could reign havoc on any country with a rail system without ever getting caught. Look what Timothy McVeigh did with a rented truck and some fertilizer. The 9/11 hijackers spent a few dollars for knives and could have bought their airline tickets on credit cards. The DC sniper needed only an old, beat-up truck, a drill and a rifle. So don’t tell me that it takes money to be an effective terrorist. All it takes is creative thinking.

Depriving terrorist groups of money is a good idea, but we are again kidding ourselves if we think that can stop them.

Myth No. 3: We Can Defeat Islamic Terrorism Without Addressing Its Root Causes
I hate the phrase "root causes," but it is appropriate here. If you don’t understand what motivates your opponent, then you cannot understand how to defeat them. Sadly, our leaders have shown repeatedly that they don’t want to understand Islamic terrorism.

Islamic terrorism is motivated by religion, and fueled by a perception that we are the cause of all their problems. But our leaders don’t want to hear that.

Take the issue of religion. Until we are willing to admit that there is a problem with fundamentalist Islam, we will not be able to solve the problem of Islamic terrorism. Why? Because fundamentalist Islam is teaching vast numbers of Muslim children to hate westerners, to blame westerners for their problems, and that killing westerners is the pathway to eternal glory. These beliefs are wrong, but that doesn’t matter -- they are believed. With over a billion Muslims on Earth, it only takes a miniscule percentage of them accepting these beliefs to create a massive terrorist movement.

Yet, our left doesn’t want to believe that people can be truly motivated by religion, and they don’t want to tarnish "Muslims," who they view as allies against the religious right and against a Western culture the left despises. They don’t grasp that their willful blindness prevents them from undertaking the very policies that are needed to stem the flow of angry Muslims into these terrorist movements.

But the right isn’t much better. They don’t want to understand Islamic terrorism either because they don’t want the nuances interfering with the narrative that “Islam” is a unified enemy that needs to be “defeated.” They don’t grasp that there is a true civil war going on between modern Islam and fundamental Islam -- a slow-motion civil war being fought throughout the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia -- and that lumping them together has only made us an enemy of both sides.

Secondly, take the issue of perception. The United States has gone from being perceived as the beacon of freedom from colonial oppression to being seen as the new master and as the cause of all that is wrong in the Muslim world. Why? Two reasons. First, because of our support for oppressive regimes, we have come to be seen as imposing rotten government on Arab nations and, therefore, are seen as responsible for their actions. This has been made worse by the penchant of our “friends” in the region to use us as scapegoats. Secondly, maintaining a visible American military presence in Muslim countries feeds the argument that we are crusaders looking to occupy their lands, or that we have simply replaced the old colonial powers. All of this leads to a sense of outrage on the "Arab street" and makes it very easy for terrorist groups to recruit.

If we don't understand this, then we cannot come up with policies that let us defuse the hatred that drives these people to terror. If we can't stop them wanting to become terrorists, then we simply can't stop Islamic terrorism. Not only will they have an unending supply of volunteers, but we won't be able to get the kind of help from these communities that we need to locate and eliminate the terrorists.

Unfortunately, our leaders don’t want to hear this because it is very convenient for them to leave things as they are in the Middle East.

That's the problem.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll present some solutions.

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Live Blogging The State of the Union

Nothing makes the pain of an Obama speech go down quite like boos, or a live blog. So join us one week from today, January 27th, as we live-blog the State of the Union speech. Mark it in your calendar. . . now. [+] Read More...

What Can Brown Do For You?

Last night’s election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts could be one of the most significant elections in American history. Not only will Brown become the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 30 years, but his election may signal the fall of the American left. . . before they even have their rise. :-)

So what lessons can we take from last night?

Lesson 1: The Republican Electorate Is Getting It

In three elections now, New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts, independent-minded Republicans (read: conservatives) have pushed aside “safe” establishment candidates in primaries, finding instead candidates with perfect pitch. What’s interesting, is that their perfection comes not from being perfect but from being common.

Like Christy in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia, Brown comes across as his own man. He doesn’t sound like he’s part of the machine and he doesn’t sound like he owes anyone anything. He doesn’t get his views from talking points memos or consultants. But he also isn’t taking on the role of faked-outsider like some others. Indeed, like Christy and McDonnell before him, he doesn’t seem to be playing any role at all.

Moreover, Brown can do something that has eluded Republicans for so long now -- he speaks in common sense terms. He doesn’t talk about procedures or minutiae, he doesn’t speak in bombastic tones, and he doesn’t fill his sentence with words he thinks you want to hear. Indeed, unlike so many recent candidates, Brown, Christy and McDonnell actually seem to understand the things they believe and can articulate those without the aid of speech writers or scripted appearances.

The lesson for Republicans is clear: forget the professional politicians who stink of K Street and the fake outsiders and phony mavericks, and start supporting common sense, no-nonsense conservatives. Look for the candidates for whom conservatism is second nature.

These elections also have shown the key to running a resonant campaign. Internal Democratic polls showed that the most effective attacks Brown made were to describe ObamaCare and Cap and Trade as tax hikes. The same was true in New Jersey and Virginia. Deviate from this at your own peril.

The party establishment is catching on too. Last night, GOP Chairman Michael Steele very astutely noted that Brown’s “message of lower taxes, smaller government and fiscal responsibility clearly resonated with independent-minded voters.” Note the focus on independent-minded voters and the unmistakable message of small government conservatism. This bodes well.

Lesson 2: The Republicans May Have Found A Front Runner For 2012

It’s far too early to say that Scott Brown could or should run for President (not coincidentally, his term will end in 2012). Indeed, we don’t know yet how he will act in the Senate. Everything about him could be an illusion at this point. But in a Republican field that remains as lightweight as it was in 2008, Brown has the potential to become an instant front runner because he has something all the other candidates lack: genuine charisma. He also seems to be quite a formidable campaigner and gives off all the indications of being rather intelligent. But it is too early to tell. At this point, let us leave it that he has shown a potential that is lacking in the rest of the contenders.

Lesson 3: Democratic Dirty Tricks No Longer Work

Christy was fat. McDonnell was a crazed religious lunatic. Brown was a right-wing tea bagger who wanted to force hospital emergency rooms to turn away rape victims. None of those attacks worked. Going negative only served to show us the moment the Democrats knew their races were lost.

Blaming Bush didn’t work either, though the Democrats are too insane to change. Rep. Chris van Hollen (D-Md) notes that Democrats plan to blame Bush for their problems despite this not working for Coakley. They will claim:

“President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident. President Obama and congressional Democrats have been focused on repairing the damage to our economy.”

Lesson 4: The Democrats Don’t Understand What They Are Doing Wrong

The most important outcome of this election may be that it will save our health care system. You all know that ObamaCare is a disaster waiting to happen, and you know that the voters intend to punish anyone who supports it -- just ask Sen. Ben Nelson who got booed trying to eat at a restaurant. But the Democratic leadership doesn’t want to hear this.

Rather than recognize the error of their ways, Team Obama tried to shift the blame to Coakley, with an off-the-record smear campaign that hit high gear eight hours before the polls even closed. They accused her of running a campaign that equated to political “malpractice.” Pelosi echoed this and even went further, implying that Coakley hid her failures: “In the House, we don’t have surprises when it comes to elections. We are fully prepared and have been for a long time.” Let’s see about that in November.

Sen. Robert Menendez, head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, claims to have heard the voters: “I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts. There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now.” But then he completely misidentifies the message sent: “Americans are understandably impatient.” Right, because it’s the lack of speed that’s bothering us, not the fact the Democrats have aimed the ship at an iceberg.

Of all people, leftist television hack Gloria Borger probably put the finest point on the message delivered on Tuesday night: “In 2008, people said they wanted change. Tonight they said this isn’t the change they wanted.”

Yet, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) didn’t get that message. He seems intent on passing the Senate bill: “the Senate bill is better than nothing.” Not according to voters. Hoyer’s assertion even comes in the face of the realization by several rank-and-file Democrats of the disaster of continuing this course. For example, Rep. Jim Costas (D-Cal.), one of the last Democrats to vote “yes” on PelosiCare now says that he’d like to go a different path: “I’ve maintained for months now that incremental reform in the health care package would make much more sense.” He then notes that he’d like the formerly-perfect Obama to tell voters that “we may have been overreaching” and then pursue a much more limited reform. Fat chance.

Even Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), one of the leading advocates of PelosiCare, now concedes: “I don’t think it would be the worst thing to take a step back.” He warns, “If there isn’t any recognition that we got the message and we are trying to recalibrate and do things differently, we are not only going to risk looking ignorant but arrogant.”

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) extended these concerns to the entire Democratic agenda. Said Bayh: “It’s why moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message. They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems. That’s something that has to be corrected.”

So we have the set up for a bloody civil war. On the one hand are the leaders, who refuse to acknowledge the message. On the other are individual members who suddenly see their own political mortality. We can expect this to result in increasing numbers of Democrats bolting from the collective and triangulating against their own party to save their own political careers. That will doom virtually the entire agenda Obama has put forth.

Lesson 5: Obama Has No Coat-Tails

Finally, speaking of Obama, this election revealed just how far Obama has fallen. Obama is zero for three now in the last three significant elections. What’s more, two of these losses (NJ and Mass) occurred in states where Republicans simply don’t win. That means he no longer has the ability to motivate the electorate. That’s disastrous for Obama’s ability to push his agenda.

What a great day for America!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Doctor Commentarama Is In. . .

You may not know this, but Commentarama operates a Talk Radio show called “Dr. Commentarama.” At least, we did until someone figured out that none of us have medical training. Qualifications, bah! Any hoo, here is the transcript from our last show. Enjoy!

Dr. C: Yeah caller, I’d cut that off. . . I doubt you’ll miss it. Our next caller is “Joey B.” from Delaware. Go ahead caller.

”Joey B.”: Doctor, I’ve got this itch.

Dr. C: Of course you do.

”Joey B.”: I got it from this woman at work. Let’s call her “Hillary.”

Dr. C: Let’s not.

”Joey B.”: Oh man, she’s great. She’s not much to look at, like my wife. . . man, she’s a knockout. But I like her because she’s not very smart. Women shouldn’t be too smart. My wife is a doctor and she’s too smart. But this isn’t about Hillary. There’s this other woman at work. She’s clean and articulate, man she’s a storybook. She’s even got a magic garden that produces vegetables faster than it’s humanly possible.

Dr. C: So you’re interested in this woman?

”Joey B.”: Oh yeah, at some point. But right now, I’ve got my eye on this little filly. . . a real dog man, not like those women from the Ukraine, but she’s rock stupid. I mean she’s really dumb. I know my IQ is higher than hers. I love that!

Dr. C: What’s your question Joe?

”Joey B.”: Oh yeah, my question. How much Viagra can I take at one time?

Dr. C: Doesn’t it say on the bottle?

”Joey B.”: It might, but I lost the bottle. I've just got handfuls of the stuff in a briefcase. So how much can I take?

Dr. C: As much as you like Joe, as long as you drink to excess.

”Joey B.”: Won’t that cause my elbow to go double-jointed?

Dr. C: It might. Next caller, “Timmy G.” What’s up caller?

”Timmy G”: Thanks for taking my call. I have an embarrassing problem and I need you to assure me that no one will find out about this.

Dr. C: You do understand this is a radio show, right “Timmy G”?

”Timmy G”: I understand that. So can you assure me that no one will find out about this?

Dr. C: We can assure you of anything you like. What’s the question?

”Timmy G”: I used to have this job, and we had this program, let’s call it CARP. We did some things we probably shouldn’t have and there were a lot of documents. . . too many to shred in the office.

Dr. C: And?

”Timmy G”: Well, we needed to get the documents out to a commercial shredder, and I was watching a show about prison and I saw something they were doing.

Dr. C: You didn’t?

”Timmy G”: Yeah, it’s called “suitcasing.”

Dr. C: What happened?

”Timmy G”: They got stuck, about ten files full.

Dr. C: I’m speechless.

”Timmy G”: I wasn’t, I was screaming. I kept yelling at Barry and the Doddster, "stop stuffing, stop stuffing. Ow it hurts!"

Dr. C: What did you do then?

”Timmy G”: I, um, tried to extract them with my hand. . . but my hand got stuck in one of the binders.

Dr. C: Uh. . .

”Timmy G”: Then I tried the other hand and that got stuck too.

Dr. C: Wait a minute, how are you holding the phone?

”Timmy G”: I’m on speaker. I’m still in my office and I’m in a jam. How do I extract myself from this situation? I think the press is outside waiting for me.

Dr. C: I’d suggest eating more roughage. Let’s go to the next caller. This is “Hillary” from Foggy Bottom. Go ahead caller.

“Hillary”: Dr. C, I keep having this recurring dream.

Dr. C: Is this the one with the pink elephant and the tutu?

“Hillary”: No, but my boss keeps having that dream. This is the one where I go to work naked.

Dr. C: Ok, dream interpretation is easy. Being naked in a dream is usually a sign of stress, a sign that you are worried about being unprepared.

“Hillary”: I’m not worried about the naked part.

Dr. C: Your co-workers would be.

“Hillary”: After I get to work, I walk into my boss’s office and I start smacking him around. . . beating him to a pulp. The whole time he’s crying, “yes we can, yes we can.” And that just makes me angrier and angrier. As he crawls off into the corner crying, I grab this big red button off his desk and I push the button.

Dr. C: What happens when you push the button?

“Hillary”: Pakistan blows up.

Dr. C: Sounds fair. Why Pakistan?

“Hillary”: My husband is visiting a brothel in Pakistan at the time.

Dr. C: I see.

“Hillary”: I think this dream means that I should run for President.

Dr. C: That’s how I would interpret it. Final caller today is “Janet from DHS.” Go ahead caller.

”Janet from DHS”: Hi, my name is Janet.

Dr. C: Yeah, we know.

”Janet from DHS”: I have this job.

Dr. C: I figured.

”Janet from DHS”: I have to fight terrorists in my job.

Dr. C: I feel safer already.

”Janet from DHS”: Is there anything I can take that fights terrorists? Like something topical?

Dr. C: Napalm.

”Janet from DHS”: Can I get that over the counter?

Dr. C: Uh. . . Janet, are you sure you know what you’re doing? Terrorism isn’t really a medical problem.

”Janet from DHS”: It’s not?

Dr. C: No Janet, it’s not.

”Janet from DHS”: Jeez, everybody in my office told me to call you. I think I’ve been punked.

Dr. C: From the sound of it, so has the nation Janet. Alright folks, our time is up. Join us next week when we hear from Nancy P. who is suffering from early on-set zombism and soul death, and Harry R. who seems to have diarrhea coming out of his mouth. Take care.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

The Weekly Bidenism Obamaism

This week, Lying Joe Biden's been busy plying his craft in Louisiana, where he lied about the number of jobs created in the state -- "in Louisiana there’s 400 people a day losing their jobs". . . Louisiana was the only state to see job growth last month in Obama's economic wasteland -- and he blamed those Biden-fabricated job losses on Governor "Jin-dell": "Governor Jindell. . . what’s he doing?" That's "Jindal." Still, we should excuse Joe because "Jindell" is as close to "Jindal" as we can expect from a man who hates Indians, and truth is hardly Joe’s strong suit. So let’s talk about Obama instead on today’s very special The Weekly Bidenism. . .

Obama. What can we say about Obama? According to the left, their lord and savior Obama is the smartest man to ever occupy the White House. If that’s true, then it’s time we burned the place to the ground. But I don't think it's true, so hold those torches.

For example, smart people generally don’t have problems remembering key details about their lives. Obama does. Like when he forget his own religion during a September 2008 interview with ABC news:
"What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith . . ."
Of course, it’s hard to blame Obama for not knowing much about his faith as he apparently never listened to a word his Pastor Jeremiah Wright said. . . at least, he didn’t listen to Wright’s repeated anti-American or anti-Semitic comments. Otherwise, he assures us, he "wouldn't have felt as comfortable staying at the church." So maybe that's not proof of anything.

But then he did forget on July 23, 2008 that he wasn’t on the Senate Banking Committee:
"Just this past week, we passed out of the out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee -- which is my committee -- a bill to call for divestment from Iran as way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon."
Most people remember where they work. He also forgot the details of how he met his wife, claiming to meet her “in class” when she had already graduated before he even arrived. Hmm.

But we want to be fair. So while maybe he can't remember big, unforgettable details about his private life, we must admit that he's shown himself to be a master of detail in other areas. . . except for the time he did slightly over-estimate the number of people killed by a tornado in Kansas:
"In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died -- an entire town destroyed."
In reality, twelve people were killed. And, I guess, everyone’s heard his claim about having visited “57 states -- I think one left to go.” But, in his defense, knowing how many states there are isn't one of those things they teach you. Just like nobody knows what they speak in Austria:
"It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There's a lot of -- I don't know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing."
Actually, it’s called “German” genius. . . deutsch for the initiated. You know, this has shades of Dan Quayle’s famous comment about brushing up on his Latin before heading to Latin America, and we all know how stupid the left claimed that made him! Maybe they’re long lost brothers?

At least Obama makes up for his lack of knowledge about facts with his sensitivity, with his compassion, with he knowing how to say the right things at the right time. For example, who can forget his first speech after the Fort Hood terrorism attack. After spending several minutes playing around with the assembled press, he gave a special “shout out”:
"I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow was around, and so I wanted to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner."
Of course, Dr. Medicine Crow is not a Medal of Honor recipient, and it probably wasn’t a good idea to start a press conference right after a national tragedy by acting like a clown before discussing the murder of American troops. "Hooo hoo hey kids! Guess what happened today! Honk honk."

Ok, so maybe he's not that sensitive, but he can be suave, like when he told a female reporter from ABC’s Detroit affiliate: “Hold on one second, sweetie, we're going to do -- we'll do a press avail.” Or when he angrily told a reporter who asked him a foreign policy question during a visit to a diner in Pennsylvania: “Why can't I just eat my waffle?

Hmmm. Now that I think about it, he did slander his own grandmother. . . not to mention "typical whites":
"The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, you know, there's a reaction that's been bred in our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way, and that's just the nature of race in our society."
And he did call out his kid for her bad grades. . . “teachable moment”? Yes, but what lesson Mr. President? Of course, he slandered middle America too:
"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
He also slandered Nancy Reagan at his first press conference:
"I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any séances."
But at least he never made fun of the Special Olympics. . . at least until he appeared on The Tonight Show in March 2009:
"No, no. I have been practicing. . . I bowled a 129. It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something."
But he has always been a gentleman to Hillary, like when he told her: "You're likeable enough, Hillary." I understand she swooned upon hearing that.

Hmm. Maybe he’s not as “articulate and bright and clean” as some people think? Maybe he’s not a “storybook” after all? Or maybe he’s just not the story some people thought? Cinderfella. . . no, The Pied Piper. . . perhaps.

In any event, we leave you with this interesting revelation. . . something you didn’t know about your President. . . he can see dead people:
"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

Good grief.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

It’s Time To Raise Taxes

Obama and the Democrats’ reckless and wasteful spending (read: pillaging to help their contributors) has put this country into a bind. They spent so much money that we can no longer afford to pay for many of the things government needs to do -- we certainly can’t afford any of the daffy items on their liberal wish list. And the debt the Democrats are leaving to future generations borders on criminal. But I have a solution. . . a proposal as it were.

There is an industry in this country that is just packed to the gills with rich, bastards who don’t pay their fair share. According to one accounting firm, the industry is worth almost two trillion dollars. Yet, they pay little in taxes. Most of the money they make disappears in phony accounting gimmicks and a good portion gets hidden overseas. Those are the same disgusting, rich-bastard-type loopholes that the Democrats claim to hate (except for Charlie Rangel).

What is this evil industry? Hollywood.

Thus, I propose a 50% gross receipts tax on all ticket sales, as well as a sliding tax on DVD sales and television licensing receipts -- the sliding scale would begin at 10% and then increase depending on the amount of money taken in, so that the richest pay the bigger share and the overall tax equals 50%. Why a gross receipts tax? Because that’s the only way to keep their hired accountants from finding dirty loopholes in which to hide their excessive profits.

How much would this raise? Well, worldwide box office receipts were around $25 billion last year. Another $65 billion was made on “packaged media” (DVDs, blue rays, and games). PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that the television industry made another $174 billion. That’s $264 billion right there. If we tax that at 50%, then we bring in $132 billion per year. . . or $1.32 trillion over ten years. That just about pays for ObamaCare (assuming that somehow Obama’s numbers are true).

In other words, Hollywood could pay for our health care!

This is only fair. These people are rich, and therefore rotten, greedy bastards. We know they don’t pay their fair share because they’re successful. So it’s time that we forced them to do their patriotic duties.

Moreover, this is not a patriotic industry. They outsource a lot of work to cheaper countries to avoid paying American workers. They hire expensive lobbyists in Washington to guarantee themselves favorable tax treatment, to make changes in the law akin to the worst elements of the anti-American Patriot Act which let them pursue anyone they themselves designate as a pirate (even without legal process), and they demand and receive government subsidies because many states give them tax breaks to film within those states. How much more rotten could an industry get?

Now, I know some of you will claim that this might lead to fewer movies being produced. But the Democrats assure us that taxing something is a way to stimulate its growth, so I will reject your concerns as being manufactured by a corrupt industry that just wants to avoid paying its fair share.

But I’m not done there. For far too long, too many in this industry have gotten stinking rich while Main Street suffered. Johnny Depp made $92 million in 2007 alone! For what I ask? Will Smith made $80 million 2008. Mike Myer and Eddie Murphy made $55 million each. Oprah makes $385 million a year! George Lucas has a net worth of $3.6 billion. Steven Spielberg has a net worth of $2.8 billion!! This is outrageous.

Thus, I am proposing a “millionaire surcharge” on anyone working within the entertainment or software industry. This “millionaire surcharge” will tax any income above $250,000 at 90%. I don’t know how much money this could bring in (though I’m sure it’s a lot), but that’s not the point. The point is that the world is upside down. We’ve reached a point where the people at the top earn thousands of times what the people at the bottom earn, and they simply don’t need all that money.

Join me in passing this proposal along to our representatives. It’s time that we made sure that these faceless corporations and greedy actors pay their fair. It’s time that they gave something back to our country from which they've taken so much.

Final Note: I’m not sure if I’m serious or not, but if our government is going to start playing the “target particular groups for taxes” game, then I vote we tax liberal, liberal Hollywood first. Thoughts?

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Technical Assistance, Commentarama Style

Sometimes a relationship goes stale. The chase becomes tedium. The challenge is gone. You’ve said everything you have to say. Those little things you once found charming. . . they become annoying. That’s how I feel about Nigerian Scammers. Who did you think I was talking about?

I, for one, am sick of the low quality garbage these Nigerians keep sending to my inbox. They’re dull, pointless, and about as see-through as the latest Obama jobs claim lie. Blech. I miss the old days, when you looked at your inbox and you weren’t sure what was real or what wasn’t. Now it’s nothing but Spanish Lottery winners and rich widows trying to leave Africa. Come on people! You’ve got to step up your game.

So I’m going to offer some free advise to my friends from Nigeria. . . or Kenya.

The crux of the problem is this. Nobody believes that you would pick a “trusted friend” from a random e-mail. Not happening. BUT. . . people will believe that they stumbled upon something. So start with this: “Dear Harry, I have the money and am ready to send it to your account. But I need to act fast. If you were unable to open the account, then find me someone who can do this instead of you. I’m willing to share with whoever it is.”

Notice the advantages here. First, you don’t need to know who you’re talking to because your target thinks you were sending the e-mail to “Harry” and they will just assume you sent it to them by mistake. That means no more awkward e-mails to “Dearest Mr. Commentarama” or “My trusted friend flamingasshat7”. Secondly, this is believable because the target will think they’ve stumbled upon a scheme, not that you’ve offered them one. Trust me, humans are suspicious of offers that sound too good to be true (except from Congress), but they’re suckers for sneaky schemes.

Next, stop talking about lottery winnings. Everyone knows that nobody wins the Spanish lottery, not even the Spanish. And calling it the British lottery doesn’t help either. You need a better angle for where you got the money. I would suggest playing on the current strain of angry populism: “Harry, I got the TARP money from that rich greedy bank.” This has many advantages. First, banks aren’t people, they can’t feel pain so people feel no qualms about stealing from them. Secondly, some politicians reinforce this by telling us that it’s ok to take things from banks, because they’re evil and greedy. . . and foreign banks are the worst!

But if that isn’t simple enough for you, take a page from the frat party ad book. Send the following: “I’m going to shoot this panda if you don’t support ObamaCare send us $100.” Just make sure to include the picture of the panda. If you need to, substitute a baby.

Finally, get yourself an English speaker on staff. Seriously, the investment will pay for itself in days. If you’d like us to help you, just send us your account information and we’ll get right on that.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Commentarama Saves or Creates 10 Billion Jobs!!!

Yep, we did that. . . and you can’t prove otherwise. You can thank us later. How did we get to that figure? The same way Obama got to his newly-revised claim that his stimulus binge created two million jobs: he made it up. But this week Obama earned his place in history for something his fake job-creation claims can't cover up: he gave us the first jobless decade!

If you haven't heard, Obama has found a new way to calculate the number of jobs his stimulus plan “saved or created.” Rather than trying to count actual jobs (his first plan) or trying to count fantasy jobs in non-existent districts (his second plan), Obama has struck upon the ingenious plan of counting any job that receives any money from the stimulus plan as being saved or created, because obviously those jobs wouldn’t have existed without that money. . . just like that kid at McDonalds owes his job to my $1.32.

But that’s not what put Obama in the record books this week -- no, it takes more than that to get into the liars record book. Instead, Obama has found himself in a different record book. With the loss of another 85,000 jobs last month, Obama has given us the first decade with no job growth.


Zero percent. Zip. Nada.

In every decade since the 1940s (and probably earlier), job growth in the United States has exceeded 20%. That means that there were at least 20% more jobs in the United States at the end of the decade than there were at the start of the decade. In the 1940s, there were actually 40% more. And over the past 70 years, the average growth was 27%.

But in the age of Obama, the 2000s, job growth was exactly 0%. That’s right, there were no more jobs in this country on January 1, 2010 than there were on January 1, 2000 (see the chart on the right).

This is the direct result of Obama’s policies “saving or creating” 6.7 million jobs into oblivion. High taxes, misplaced and wasteful spending, and threats of regulation that terrified employers into putting off hiring. . . no idea was too stupid to try.

Not coincidentally, economic output in the 2000s rose at the slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s. Middle-income households made less in 2009, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999. This was the first decade with a falling median income and the first decade where the net worth of American households declined.

Without Obama’s job destroying policies, job growth would have been around 10% for the decade, which would have just about covered the additional 28 million people added to the country during the decade (we went from 281 million in 2000 to 309 million this year). But Obama couldn't leave well enough alone. . . much less do the right things. So he set about destroying the jobs market.

And none of Obama’s false jobs claims can cover this fact because 17% of the population is out of work -- ironically, because more and more people are giving up looking for work, the official employment rate actually went down to the (still shockingly high) 10%. This is because people who have given up trying to find work don’t count against the unemployment rate. Indeed, the labor participation rate, i.e. the percentage of the work-eligible population that has work or is seeking work, is at an all time low.

So Obama can claim as many fake jobs as he wants, but fake people don’t vote -- except in Chicago. And with millions of Americans unable to find work and tens of millions more finding themselves poorer than they were ten years ago, Obama and the Democrats are in real trouble when voters ask themselves Ronald Reagan’s famous question.

“Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Terrorism: Uh, Just Because. . .

Why does Al Qaeda want to kill us? That sounds like the first thing you’d want to know if you were planning to fight them, doesn’t it? But apparently, knowing the answer to that question isn’t so important to the Department of Homeland Security. That was the lesson of a recent press conference put on by Janet Napolitano’s National Security team.

On January 7, 2010, White House correspondent Helen Thomas asked a simple question to Janet Napolitano and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan: “why does Al Qaeda want to kill us?”

The non-answers were disturbing. Here is their exchange:
Brennan: “They’re motivated by a sense of religious, sort of, drive. Al Qaeda has perverted Islam and has corrupted the concept of Islam. Al Qaeda has the agenda of destruction and death.”

Thomas: “You’re saying it’s because of religion?”

Brennan: “I’m saying it’s because of an Al Qaeda organization that uses the banner of religion in a very perverse and corrupt way.”

Thomas: “Why?”

Brennan: [smirks] “This is a long issue but Al Qaeda is just determined to carry out attacks here against the homeland.”

Thomas: “But you haven’t explained why.”
Thomas and Napolitano then moved on to other questions.

Did you notice how Brennan was unable to answer the simple question of why Al Qaeda wanted to harm us? All he was able to say is that they want to harm us because they are determined to harm us. That doesn’t exactly give one a warm fuzzy that DHS has the slightest clue how to fight Al Qaeda does it? Understanding your enemy is the first rule of any sort of engagement, from war to politics to negotiations. And if they don’t even know why Al Qaeda is doing what they are doing, then they don’t understand their enemy.

For the record, foreign policy experts think that Al Qaeda was founded in the 1980s by Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden formed Al Qaeda because he believed that jihad is required to replace all ideologies in the Muslim world (pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, democracy) with Sharia law. This was his original goal.

In 1990, he became enraged when the House of Saud chose to accept the help of the United States during the First Gulf War (1990) to defend Saudi Arabia, rather than accept his offer of support, which entailed bringing his army of mujahideen Afghan fighters to Saudi Arabia to oppose any invasion by Iraq. After that, he became obsessed with driving non-Muslims from the “land of the two mosques” (Mecca and Medina). He believes that the presence of American (foreign) troops in Saudi Arabia profanes sacred soil.

He particularly hates the United States and other Western countries because of perceived injustices they have perpetrated against Muslim states. These include putting non-Muslim troops in Saudi Arabia, supporting dictators in the Muslim world, and supporting Israel (which he believes needs to be eliminated). He also is angry about American culture, which he perceives as lacking morality. Indeed, in October 2002, he wrote a letter calling on Americans to “reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling and usury.”

That's why he wants to kill us, and that's the agenda that most Islamic terrorists have adopted.

Why couldn't DHS say that? And if they don't know that, why should we believe they know how to fight him?

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Monday, January 11, 2010

"Climategate" Explained

Climategate is the most important scandal of our time. For decades now, a small group of scientists have dominated the debate on global warming. Based on their “research,” governments around the world have begun spending billions of dollars and doing trillions of dollars of damage to their economies, all in the name of stopping a problem that this group tells us could destroy our planet. They lied.
Good Science v. Bad Science
Before we delve into the fraud exposed by Climategate, let’s begin with a quick background on how science works. Scientists work by observing facts, creating theories about what causes those facts, and then trying to prove their theories and disprove all alternative theories. The global warming crowd didn’t do that. They created a theory and then set about trying to find facts that fit into that theory. That’s not science, that confirming your prejudices.

Think of it this way. A scientist who sees an elephant standing on a pond and wants to understand why the elephant doesn't sink, would observe relevant facts, like the depth of the water, would create theories, like elephant-buoyancy, and would devise tests to confirm or disprove those theories until they come up with the only possible explanation. The global warming crowd is more like a scientist who assumes elephants can walk on water and then spans the globe looking for evidence to support that theory.

Even worse, they have manufactured evidence where they couldn’t find any and they’ve zealously demonized all who disagree with them. For example, in 2008, NASA’s James Hansen called for trying global warming skeptics for “high crimes against humanity.” Robert F. Kennedy declared of warming skeptics: “This is treason and we need to start treating them as traitors.” He also called for sending coal company CEOs to “jail for all of eternity.” Former Clinton Administration official Joe Romm warned warming skeptics: “An entire generation will soon be ready to strangle you and your kids while you sleep in your beds.” The Nazis had nothing on these creatures.
What is Climategate?
Climategate began when a hacker took computer code and several thousand e-mails from the computers of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit ("CRU") in England and uploaded them to a Russian website for all the world to see. Those e-mails and comments made in the computer code revealed that researchers at the CRU and other locations have been lying and manipulating data to give the impression that the earth is warming.
Why is the CRU important?
The CRU is important because it is one of a handful of centers around the world that collects and disseminates global temperature data. Indeed, the CRU is the biggest feeder unit for UN climate data used by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change ("IPCC"), the main UN group addressing “climate change.”

This is an important point because one of the defenses that warmists have raised in response to Climategate is that whatever the CRU may have done, they are just one of thousands of scientists monitoring global warming and, thus, this scandal is irrelevant. But in reality, (1) there are only a handful of sites monitoring temperature data, and problems have now been exposed at other sites as well (NASA, New Zealand and Australia), and (2) most all of these thousands of supposedly independent researchers obtain their warming data from the CRU.
So what was exposed?
Climategate exposed three types of misconduct: (1) the stifling of opposing views, (2) collusion to hide or destroy evidence, and (3) the manipulation or manufacturing of data to create a warming trend.
Misconduct: Stifling Opponents
The first misconduct exposed was the concerted efforts by warmists to stifle dissenting views. Not only did this include a good deal of hateful comments, like CRU director Phil Jones “cheering” the death of a skeptic or talking about being tempted to “beat the crap” out of opponents, but, more importantly, this demonstrated their efforts to keep their opponents from getting published in scientific journals.

Why was this important? Because they would then cite the lack of articles by their opponents as proof that the scientific community unanimously agreed with the warmists' views. They would also attack individual skeptics for not having published any work in such “peer-review” journals.

For example, Michael Mann of Penn State told the New York Times that Stephen McIntyre, founder of the website Climate Audit and one of the most important skeptics, “operate[s] entirely outside of this system [and is] not to be trusted.”

How did they achieve this? First, people like Mann and Jones controlled the peer-review process and would reject any view which did not support their own. At one point, they even changed the rules for publication midstream to prevent opposing views from being published. Climategate e-mails also showed them discussing which scientists could be trusted to sit on the peer-review committees and which should be excluded because they were not “predictable.” And if journals nevertheless considered printing such views, they would blackball the journal.
Who is Mann?
Mann, a climatologist from Penn State, is the warmist who created the infamous hockey stick diagram that Algore used in his movie. The hockey stick diagram purports to show that global temperatures remained flat or declined until 1900, and then began to rise steadily, shooting up most recently. This results in a diagram that looks like a hockey stick turned on its side, with the blade facing upwards in the current years. This graph was used by Algore and others to argue that warming had to be caused by mankind and industrialization.

However, in 2003, Stephen McIntyre pointed out that the hockey stick failed to account for a medieval warming period, which could not have been caused by mankind or industrialization. McIntyre then demolished the hockey stick diagram entirely by showing that the mathematical model Mann used to create it would cause a hockey stick formation to appear no matter what numbers were inserted into the model. This was later backed up by eminent US statistician Professor Edward Wegman.
Misconduct: Colluding To Hide And Destroy Evidence
The second misconduct exposed was the warmists' attempts to prevent anyone they did not trust from verifying their work. This involved attempts to illegal avoid responding to FOIA requests and to destroy incriminating evidence.

For example, in a series of e-mails, Phil Jones of the CRU is caught stating that he has “managed to persuade [East Anglia] to ignore all further FOIA requests if the people have anything to do with Climate Audit.” In another e-mail, David Jones of Australia’s version of the CRU states that they will ignore FOIA requests from known skeptics. In another, Jones asks Mann to delete e-mails between Mann and certain others.

All in all, in these e-mails, various warmists admit deleting data, hiding source code, manipulating data to make it more difficult to use, and flat out refusing to comply with the law whenever skeptics sought information.

In his defense, Jones now admits that “some of the published emails do not read well” but he notes that “some were clearly written in the heat of the moment.” As if that was a valid defense.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has noted similar problems with NASA, noting that NASA has ignored most of their FOIA requests. NASA claims to be working on their requests. . . for years now.

NASA, by the way, has been caught repeatedly massaging their data. For example, McIntyre caught James Hansen of NASA manipulating his data to increase current temperatures. It has also recently been revealed that NASA was inserting data from warmer months into colder months to raise the temperatures. NASA has even been forced to recalculate its data as a result of criticism.

At one point, CRU “admitted” (claimed) that they had thrown away the raw temperature data upon which their predictions of global warming are based. This would have prevented anyone from verifying their data. But this now appears to have been a lie as they have recently promised to release the data.

This is important because the only data CRU has ever agreed to make available is what they call “value-added data.” What is value-added data? Value-added data is the temperature data they use after it’s been subject to scaling and adjustments by the CRU. Why is that important? Because those adjustments account for more than 80% of the rise in temperatures that the CRU is calling global warming. Read that again: 80% of the case for global warming was added by the CRU as a fudge factor to the temperatures that were actually recorded.

Consider the following. US Historical Climate Network reports for the lower 48 states show a temperature increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius since 1940. But 0.5 of those degrees are the result of adjustments or fudge factors -- only 0.1 of those degrees were actually recorded. This data comes from the NOAA’s own webpage.

Take a look at the following chart (again from the NOAA’s own webpage). The chart shows the difference between the recorded temperature and the “adjusted” temperature by year. Notice that until the 1940s, this data was barely manipulated. Indeed, if anything, the adjustments lowered the temperature. But since then, the warmists have been adding more and more to the adjustments each year.

Misconduct: Manipulation/Manufacturing of Data To Create Warming Trend
The misconduct that has received the most notice involves the manipulation of data to create warming where none otherwise exists. The e-mail that really hit the headlines was one from Jones in which he writes about using the “trick of adding in the real temps” to get the data to show that warming was occurring. Jones tried to claim he did not mean anything deceptive by the word “trick,” that he only meant “a clever way,” but that’s not what really happened, nor is that the only damning evidence.

Once again, we turn to Stephen McIntyre who explains the trick. What Jones was doing was averaging each data point with surrounding data points to create a smooth curve. This makes the data appear more consistent and definite. But when one reaches the end of the data points, there are no further data points that can be used to smooth the curve. The “trick” involved using temperature records to provide additional data that could be used to smooth the curve.

That sound esoteric and seems minor, but McIntyre has been kind enough to show us the effect of this in a series of graphs. Take a look at this first graph. This shows the data as prepared by Jones and crew. The various colored lines represent different ways in which temperature has been measured, e.g. ice core samples or tree ring size. Notice the dramatic upswing. This is similar to the hockey stick graph.

Now take a look at the last few decades in isolation. Pay particular attention to the sudden drops that each of the temperature lines experiences -- see the orange arrow. Notice also, that despite that drop, the temperatures turn around again and shoot up.

That’s the trick. If the trick is removed and the date is simply shown without the trick, the temperatures actually continue to fall. Here is a chart of what the data would have looked like without this supposedly harmless trick:

And that’s not the only evidence to show that CRU was faking its data. Another of Jones’s e-mails reads: “I would like to see the climate change happen so the science could be proved right.” In other words, there is no proof to support their claims, even though they were producing studies that purported to show such proof.

Moreover, an examination of the comments within their software code reveal a system that is either hopelessly dysfunctional and/or was intentionally manipulated to achieve the desired result. Here are some of the comments that were found within the code itself:
• One warmist admits manufacturing the result he wanted: “What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah -- there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have :-)”

• Another complains that the Australian weather reporting stations (among others) are a mess and “this renders the station data meaningless.” He then adds, “of course, it’s too late for me to fix this.” Thus, admitting the use of flawed data.

• Various warmists warn repeatedly not to incorporate data from prior to 1960 because this would create a cooling trend

• Another notes that recent cooling trend data has been removed from the database, but complains that the data will still be too accurate: “NOTE: recent decline in tree-ring density has been ARTIFICIALLY REMOVED to facilitate calibration. THEREFORE, post-1960 values will be much closer to observed temperatures than they should be”

• Another complains: “OH FUCK THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.”
That’s why Climategate matters. It’s shown that the handful of people who created the entire global warming industry have lied, manipulated data, manufactured evidence, suppressed countervailing evidence, and waged a dirty war against anyone who disagreed with them.

This doesn’t necessarily disprove global warming (that’s for another post), but it does show that the evidence upon which it is based is false.

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