Saturday, May 28, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

After...and before:  Joplin, MO
All one can say is 'wow' - I mean look at this devastation of a nice hamlet town in Missouri - Joplin.  This article shows more pictures.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

American "Idols" Into Lame Finish

Pia was the best.
I have written my opinion on so many blog sites that I feel I have posted this many times.  I was not impressed with the two finalists Scotty and Lauryn (loved Pia and Haley) but congrats to Scotty anyway.  I don't know how these two (he and Lauryn) got to the finals (besides the obvious cheering from the "non-partisan" judges) given the superior talent amongst the final 11, but so be it.  Last year's winner Lee Dwyze sucked also.  People have written about the power of southern states voting but that doesn't explain why Dwyze, from Chicago, won last year with no discernable talent, over the very talented Crystal Bowersox.  What does explain some of it is the fact that this was the first year one could vote on-line via Facebook, and up to 50 times with a mere tap of your mouse, but only by signing over access to all of your information - and your "friends" information - to AT&T.  That kind of disclosure prevents me from voting on-line - but it won't stop 12 year olds.  That's why Ryan Seacrest can crow from week to week about the record  breaking vote totals - well you have on-line voting from tweeners now.   They are going to have to change that.  Lauryn Alaina's duet with Carrie Underwood showed us why.  Many on blogs say she will be the next Carrie.  When Lauryn croaked out the first verse of "He Cheats" we could see this was certainly not the case - thank god Carrie came on to finish the song properly.

So was Haley.
The final show is generally good for solid entertainment value and it did start out great with 4th place James Durbin singing with Judas Priest, but it really fizzled at the end with an overwrought slow Beyonce song (where she pleaded "make love to me" over 30 times on a purported family show featuring young country singers that many "fans" claim is "what we need") along with a bad Broadway Spiderman song featuring U2's Bono and The Edge and some other offkey guy - really dreadful.  What we really wanted is Pia - who many thought should have won - to sing a feature song.  But I guess finishing 8th place doesn't give her a platform on the finale (no - we had to watch JLo shiver for the wife-beating Mark Anthony) and even Haley couldn't bring it up a notch singing a non-plussed duet with Tony Bennet - a nice gig any other time - but rumors were she wanted to sing a new song she rehearsed with her father.

Tweener voters couldn't attend.
AI - you need to fix this krap.  They think they had a successful year - and the overall talent was entertaining (loved Casey as well) - but they did not create an atmosphere to let the best win at all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shoot to Thrill

I spent the weekend in Sedona, AZ and didn't spend too much time on politics.  But, when I returned, I thought some of the threads being spun were terrific.  Specifically, the one that juxtaposes the killing of Bin Laden with the legitimacy of enhanced interogation techniques such as waterboarding.  Fox News" Chris Wallace had a White House security team member as his guest on Sunday and he posed the most interesting question of the past 10 years - "why is it legal to shoot an unarmed Bin Laden in the face twice, but we somehow cannot waterboard similar terrorists to unearth intelligence in the war on terror?" 

Of course, the confused official could not come up with an answer, because there is none.  In recent days some media types have rhetorically asked why Republicans can't give credit to Obama on this issue and it's precisely because of these antics - they won't ever own up to the fact that frankly being tough on our enemies actually yields results.  Even at this moment, Attorney General Holder would still like to imprison Bush officials who provided legal analysis regarding enhanced interrogation techniques - but in the same breadth want to give Obama full credit for taking Bin Laden down.  You can't have it both ways Barry.  And there's the rub.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Gitmo Hypocrisy Marches On

This podium ain't big enough for the two of us.
Here are two great threads that describe in detail the hypocrisy (as described in my May 2nd post below) surrounding the zealous over-celebration of Obama the great in "finally getting Bin Laden" in light of the fact that every George W. Bush anti-terror mechanism he left in place helped the US get him.  And these were the things that the left, and Obama, campaigned and managed against during his term. 
 First Rush Limbaugh's excellent take.  And then Dana Loesch even adds more to the fire with leaked internal Democratic party talking points that stress to the liberal faithful to not give any credit to Bush.  These are must reads if you care about the leftist media spin. Boy, I really liked that call to unity Obama was talking about.  Way to go, lefties.  And, additionally, political analyst Michael Barone lays to bare the real irony here - that the very policies Obama and the left decried help bring Bin Laden down - and now they want overriding political credit for it.

By the way, Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone.  You too, Barry.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Can't Gitmo Satisfaction

The Situation Room: What? "Red Eye" isn't on?
Congratulations goes out to President Obama, the country's national security team and our military in executing a strategic ground strike with brave Navy Seals to exterminate Osama Bin Laden.  It is another step in our continuing "war on terror" - but it is not the "most significant achievement" in this war (as the President claimed) and it does not bring an end to our conflict with radical Islam.  Personally, I was never obsessed with "getting" this guy as some in the media were (just as others in the media thought "we should finish the job in Iraq" after the first Gulf War - but, surprisingly, did not support the later war, where we did).  It is now proven that Bin Laden was isolated with only communication through trusted couriers and with no internet or TV at his compound (which by the way was not a "mansion").

The  OBL"mansion"
But credit should go to all who were involved with this and I look at it obviously as a victory for the country.  But it is interesting in Obama's overly self-congratulatory speech last night (his use of the words "I", "my", "me" and "mine" were on full display as usual) is that this event occured primarily by following the Bush anti-terror policies that he has kept in effect in his two-and-a-half year term.  It is quite clear that intelligence was gathered by the existence of detainees at Gitmo (something he ordered to have eliminated on his first day in office), by rendition (interrogation and detainage of prisoners abroad), and aggressive interrogation techniques (i.e. waterboarding) - all of these things he campaigned against and even tried to indict Bush staff over during his current term (and these were the most significant accomplishments on the war on terror - the things that have kept us safe).  Now he's out there showboating claiming it all occured "at his direction".  And wasn't the term "war on terror" outlawed in his first year? - not anymore; he rolled it out for the first time last night and even said Bin Laden wasn't a Muslim (then why did we bury him like one?")

"Party on, Garth"
Another reaction I had was to the seemingly spontaneous celebrations, mostly by young white college students studying for the final exams, in front of the White House and in Times Square - and the incessant, and to me, jingoistic chants of "U-S-A".  If people think the very existence of a jail-called-Gitmo outrages terrorists (which I don't believe) then what do you think a bunch of coed's yelling "U-S-A" while broadly "just partying on, Wayne" can do?  I never have really liked that chant whether its at an Olympic hockey game or in the streets.  I mean, keep it in your pants, man. Look like you've been there.