Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Welcome to the post-Apocalypse version of Usually Right!

(Yeah... pretty much the same as the pre-Apocalypse version...)

We never lost power - though I was royally pissed off on Monday night when the friggin' "special hurricane reporting" preempted all my damn network TV shows!

WORSE... on Monday and Tuesday... WABC radio preempted Rush Limbaugh in order to broadcast round-the-clock blather about the storm.

Schools were closed here on Monday... for no friggin' reason.

Hey... I've got an idea! The next time they cancel classes in ADVANCE of a storm... bring the teachers and administrators in anyway and have 'em fill sandbags!

Hey... along the same lines... for post-storm school closings why not call in the teachers and administrators and assign 'em as helpers to electric company crews and general post-storm clean-up crews of municipal workers!

(I'm assuming teachers and school administrators are "trainable" for such tasks - and God knows the power-restoration and clean-up crews could make use of the additional "grunt" labor!)

By the way... kudos to the U.S. Postal Service! Mail was delivered both Monday AND Tuesday up here!

Well, folks... that's it. Our personal post-hurricane clean-up consisted of doing the dishes after hosting our friends Joey and Claire last night. And now... today... I'm back to my usual routine and tonight we'll be heading to Rob's and Maria's for their annual Halloween get-together.

Meanwhile... enjoy today's newsbites!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, October 29, 2012

Well, folks, welcome to the end of the world - East Coast, USA Edition!

Or so they're telling us... and telling us... and telling us...

Up here in Harriman, NY it's... er... raining.

Of course schools are closed... hundreds - no... make that thousands... - of school employees are being paid to... er... stay home.

Amazingly... my library is open! 

Remote blogging... here we go!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., Oct. 28 & 29, 2012

Well, folks... still sans working computer... remote blogging from a library which is about to close.

Busy weekend before me. Don't know if I'll get much - if any - blogging done.

But, hey... let me get this latest bit of news (via the Weekly Standard) out to you before I'm forced to vacate my perch here at the library:

* * * * * * 

Breaking news on Benghazi: the CIA spokesman, presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus, has put out this statement: "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”



So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need?

Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators.

Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.


It would have been a presidential decision.


There was presumably a rationale for such a decision. What was it?

When and why - and based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversations - did President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need? 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Barker's Newsbites: Friday, October 26, 2012

Folks... the collapse of the Obama administration cover-up of what actually occurred on September 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, continues.

The first paragraph to the story the above link references - which will be today's first newsbite...

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

How could anyone support the type of people who would knowingly and deliberately allow Americans to be murdered...?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Friggin' Computer...

Yep. Friggin' computer crapped out again! So here I am at the library letting you all know...


I don't know what's wrong; hopefully nothing that can't be fixed or at least nothing that has fried my hard drive and made transferring my files impossible.

(Yeah, yeah... I know... I should back up... yadda, yadda, yadda...)

Folks... it is what it is.

In the meantime it's back to half-assed blogging from various local library work stations. 

Wish me luck...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Well, folks... don't forget to scroll back to my Texas Travelogue now and then so as to follow my recent adventures in the Great State of Texas!

(I just got through posting about Tuesday, October 9th!)

Anyway... enjoy today's newsbites!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm Not Alone in Fearing the Imperial Presidency

In the spring of 2008, well before Sen. Barack Obama had secured the Democratic nomination, I wrote a book called "The Cult of thePresidency," arguing that for too long, Americans had looked to the presidency for far too much.

The hopes and dreams we'd invested in the office had transformed it into a constitutional monstrosity, too powerful to be trusted and too weak to deliver the miracles we crave.

I thought I'd said my piece on that subject. Then Barack Obama ascended to office on an unprecedented wave of adulation, promising to lay hands on "the arc of history" and "bend it once more to the hope of a better day."

When it comes to presidential cults, Barack Obama has turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving. To paraphrase Michael Corleone, "Every time I tried to get out ... he pulled me back in."

As I explain in my new ebook, "False Idol," "No federal chief executive in recent memory has done as much as the 'Yes We Can' president to stir Americans' longing for presidential salvation; nor has any recent president done quite as much to enhance the presidency's dominance over American life."

In an important new article for Newsweek, "PresidentObama's Executive Power Grab," Andrew Romano and Daniel Klaidman note that Obama has "expanded his domestic authority in ways that his predecessor never did." Frustrated by congressional resistance to his agenda, he's pursued "government by waiver," reshaping welfare, education and immigration law via royal dispensations and decrees.

"Obama is drafting a playbook for future presidents to deploy in response: How to Get What You Want Even If Congress Won't Give It to You," Romano and Klaidman write. The result is an "extra-constitutional arms race of sorts: a new normal that habitually circumvents the legislative process envisioned by the Framers."

Alas, there's no presidential "man on horseback" ready to ride in and restore normalcy. Presidential messianism infects the Romney camp, as well. 

Yes it does, folks... yes it does! This is what terrifies me! Both parties are dominated by those who are ready, willing, and able to circumvent and indeed trample the Constitution and our most cherished civil liberties for the sake of power... for the sake of expediency via the pursuit of "pragmatism."

On the stump and in his campaign ads, Gov. Romney insists that this is "an election to save the soul of America." In a recent speech at the Virginia Military Institute, he made clear that his ambitions went well beyond preserving the Constitution and faithfully executing the laws: "It is the responsibility of our president to use America's great power to shape history," he told the cadets.

In Romney's answers to an executive-power questionnaire late last year, he suggested that the president has great power indeed: He could launch a war without Congress, order the assassination of American citizens via drone-strike and use the U.S. military to arrest American citizens on American soil.

This is the legacy of Barack Hussein Obama... and the legacy of George W. Bush.

Romano and Klaidman note that Obama "has been known, during discussions about executive authority, to worry about 'leaving a loaded weapon lying around.'"

It doesn't seem Obama lost much sleep over it. But for the rest of us, that metaphor ought to concentrate the mind wonderfully. Even rabid partisans ought to strive to see past the next election cycle and recognize that the powers forged in one administration usually do pass on to the next.

Yeah... sure... and if wishes were pisses we'd all have empty bladders!

"I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system," President George W. Bush famously proclaimed in December 2008. By so doing, he made sure that President Obama would inherit staggering new powers over the U.S. economy, effectively becoming commander in chief of the American auto industry, and much else besides.

Obama's successor - whether eventual or immediate - will inherit an expanded National Surveillance State and a presidential "kill list" that includes American citizens.

The "Cult of Obama" is fading. But the powers we've ceded to the office will remain - a loaded weapon for future presidents to wield.

Why I'm a Republican-Hating Republican

Reading the following column by Dennis Prager literally has my eyes welling up with tears:

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board reported Friday that the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Arizona, Congressman Jeff Flake, has little support among some powerful big businessmen in Arizona:

In his razor-tight race for Arizona’s open Senate seat, Republican nominee Jeff Flake — a six-term U.S. congressman — recently met behind closed doors with about a dozen leading businessmen in the state, including two powerful and respected CEOs: real-estate developer Mike Ingram and former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo.

Both businessmen supported Mr. Flake’s opponent in the Republican primary (Mr. Flake won by 40 points), and both are pushing for federal financing of a road project that would stretch from Phoenix to Las Vegas. In the western part of the state, the 300-mile highway would bisect their 34,000-acre Douglas Ranch, where they have plans to develop a luxury hotel and upscale homes. A person who attended the meeting recalls that the two asked Mr. Flake: “We need to know. Are you going to be an Arizona senator or a U.S. senator?”

I’m told that Mr. Flake responded by saying that with the country facing a $16 trillion debt, dealing with that problem was his priority.

Good answer; wrong audience.

The two CEOs still haven’t endorsed Mr. Flake.

In an interview, Mr. Ingram confirmed the meeting and explained that the business executives in the room “worry that Mr. Flake may not support business compared to Democrat Rich Carmona.”

This report should surprise no one.

Big business has often been at ideological odds with conservatism.

For example, many big businesses did business with the Soviet Union. A well-known example was Occidental Petroleum’s Armand Hammer — a major donor to the Republican party, no less — who did business whenever possible with Soviet dictators.

And Pepsi Cola began selling its product in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

How is one to explain the lack of conservative principles among big businessmen?

There are two things at work here. One is an absence of thought.

Whenever I read about multimillionaire and billionaire businessmen advocating and financially supporting Left-wing causes, I am reinforced in my belief that most businessmen are proficient at one thing: making money. I hasten to add that this not a criticism. Most doctors are proficient only at practicing medicine; most lawyers are adept only at practicing law; most baseball players know more about baseball than anything else.

That is the nature of most excellence. Nearly all people who achieve great success in their field do so because they have been preoccupied with succeeding in that field.

That is why it is foolish to take seriously any statement on public policy signed by “a hundred Nobel Prize laureates.” Why would one care about what a Nobel laureate in, let us say, chemistry thought about capital punishment? Or, for that matter, global warming? We should care about what a Nobel laureate in chemistry has to say about chemistry - and only chemistry - unless the individual is known for his wisdom, in addition to his mastery of chemistry.

This is not to say that there are no wise businessmen, baseball players, physicians, or chemists. Of course there are.

But if a businessman has made hundreds of millions of dollars, the only thing we can be sure he knows about is how to make hundreds of millions of dollars. How else to explain people who have made large amounts of money thanks to the free-enterprise system supporting Left-wing candidates who wish to undermine that system?

The other problem with big businessmen and big businesses is that the bigger the business, the more likely it is to be removed from conservative values. Profits trump conservative concerns — especially if the business is publicly owned.

Last year, US Airways allowed a man who was dressed in a bra and women’s underwear to board one of its planes and to remain on board for the duration of the flight.

It is safe to say that the overwhelming majority of the men and women who work at US Airways — including its owners and directors — find such behavior lewd, unacceptable, and harmful to society. But, as a rule, the bigger the business, the more Politically Correct it becomes.

The point of all this is to make it clear that, Left-wing claims notwithstanding, conservatism is not the home of big business.

That is why some of the biggest businessmen of Arizona are not supporting the Republican candidate for Senate, Jeff Flake.

Flake asks, “What is best for America?” The businessmen ask, “What is best for my big business?” And Flake’s Democratic opponent asks, “What is best for big government?”

Barker's Newsbites: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's morning... (in America...)

No. Just kidding with the Reagan reference. (Unfortunately, that is...)

After a good night's sleep do I still have the urge to seek out Mitt Romney and beat him bloody with baseball bat? Yep...

Tryin' to get over it. Tryin' to remember how much worse Obama is...

Still... it's hard.

Let me just throw one thing out: Romney accuses China of being a currency manipulator, right? And Obama... he "kinda" agrees... it's just that he's not willing to do anything about it even though he seemingly agrees with Romney that it's true.

Mr. President... Governor Romney... allow me to introduce you to Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve, and the low dollar policies of first the Bush administration and then (doubling down, of course) the Obama administration!

Jeezus... we're the biggest currency manipulators on the friggin' planet! And it's a flawed policy! It's hurting the middle class... hurting responsible savers... hurting our position in the world!

OK... I can't help myself... allow me to rant against that friggin' moron Romney:

Russia...? Russia as "#1 Bad Guy...?!?!" Is this idiot kidding...? Did he somehow misspell the word C*H*I*N*A as "Russia?"

And, no... Iran isn't the "most immediate threat" to the United States. Yes... Iran poses a threat to world peace in the sense that the middle east is a tinder box... and yes... obviously we don't want the Mullahs to have control of nuclear weapons... but for Christ's sake (pardon the pun) let's keep in mind that compared to past threats such as... oh... say Imperial Japan... Nazi Germany... the Soviet Union... North friggin' Korea... well... Iran isn't all that scary.

What bugs me most about Romney's foreign policy instincts and (false) beliefs is that he's clearly a Wilsonian... a George W. Bush Republican... when it comes to foreign policy. 

Deficits? What deficits! Debt? What debt! We've gotta play the role of "Sugar Daddy to The World!"

Poor people abroad? Send 'em American tax dollars! (And hell... borrow money from China and send it overseas as well!)

But, hey... is this any different than Obama? No. Obama talked the talk last night about worrying about America first... but he doesn't mean it in the sense that I do. No. Obama is quite content with lessening American standards of living until we have a more level... er... world playing field.

(Hell, folks... after the Muslim Brotherhood/President of Egypt allowed our Cairo Embassy to be attacked and violated on 9/11/12 Obama still went ahead with massive billion dollar plus giveaways of American financial resources to the very government which had just shown their utter contempt for us!)

Again, folks... a Romney presidency will likely - at best - "rescue" America from the fire... only to dump us smack dab right back into the center of the frying pan.

And whose fault is it that our candidates for the presidency are Barack Hussein Obama and Willard Mitt Romney...? The American Peoples', that's whose!

The country is lost, my friends. We've fucked it up beyond repair. We no longer have a reliable and trustworthy Rule of Law and democracy is but a means for the Oligarchy to exercise power via Special Interest groups... and moronic individual citizens who don't know (nor care for) the first thing about what true citizenship means.

The American People reject Ron Paul. They also reject Newt Gingrich. Yet they accepted Barack Hussein Obama and chances are they'll accept Willard Mitt Romney. What does that tell you...???

Anyway... rant off... enjoy today's newsbites!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Brilliant Strategy... or Grabbing Defeat From the Jaw of Victor?

I hate Mitt Romney.

That said...

Was Romney's dismal performance, his refusal to nail Obama, purposeful campaign strategy?

I'm not the average voter. Far from it! Heck... I'm far from the average Republican voter! Does the fact that I had to restrain myself on several occasions from throwing my beer mug through my TV screen necessarily mean that the average American "saw" what I saw?

I know I spent most of the debate cursing Romney for his non-answers... his "me too" answers... his actual friggin' kudos to Obama at times... but if Romney has already reassured the American People in the first two debates that he's the best choice to take the helm and "fix" our economy... well... perhaps by portraying himself as "Obama lite" in terms of foreign policy he connected with enough wary "independents" and undecided voters (in the sense of reassuring them that his policies would pose no threat of even worse international chaos than we already face) to ensure that "fear" of what his presidency would mean in terms of expanded international disasters was lessened.

Hey... perhaps I'm fooling myself, simply trying to put the best face on things, but the truth is... folks like me... Republicans in general... we're sewn up! No matter what Romney says we're voting for him - that's how dangerous we view the possibility of an Obama second term.

Sure... people like me... we can be disgusted by Romney performance tonight - literally sickened by it, by all the lost opportunities that Romney (I'm guessing deliberately) squandered.

But to your "regular Joe," your "regular Jane," did Romney come off as weak... or did he come off as "reasonable"... as "presidential"... as a guy you might trust to have his finger on the button should the shit hit the fan... a guy you'd be comfortable with answering that phone call at 3:00 a.m.?

I could go over the whole debate line by line and slam Romney left and right. (And perhaps tomorrow I'll spend some time doing so!) But what purpose does crying over spilled milk serve? The debate is over. Arguably this was Obama's best performance; unarguably this was Romney's worst.

Folks... I've said it from the beginning! Romney sucks!

The thing is... Obama sucks worse.

Yes... I can mumble to myself about how Gingrich would have simply demolished Obama and his failed foreign policy record... but even assuming that's true (as I do), the simple truth is that a majority of the idiots who make up the Republican primary voter contingent went for Mitt Friggin' Romney and not Newt Gingrich.

I'd welcome the thoughts of others. 

In the meantime... it'll be interesting to see what immediate consensus reaction is tomorrow morning... and... to see how the fact-checking figures into that initial "read" over the following few days.

In the meantime... goodnight.

Pre-Debate Announcement





Samuel Smith's...






Sen. Paul Asks President Obama: "Where in the Hell Were the Marines?"

On Saturday, Sen. Rand Paul spoke at a gathering in New Hampshire, and had some strong questions for President Obama and his Administration's mishandling of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya last month.

Folks... nothing new here... nothing you won't find in terms of facts via going though the 9/11/12 thru Present archives here at Usually right.

Still... since Rand Paul is one of my favorite politicians... allow me to "give him the floor."

*  *  *  *  *  *
I have some questions and you get presidential candidates up here, so I want you to ask the President this when he comes up here: Where the hell were the Marines?

In Libya, where were the Marines?

There were no uniformed Marines guarding our ambassador? Where do you think the most dangerous embassy in the world is? It's got to be Libya or Iraq.

In Iraq, I think they've got 17,000 people guarding the ambassador. They're not all Marines, but there's probably several hundred Marines, but there's a host of armed people guarding the ambassador.

We have a fortress guarding the ambassador there!

We didn't have any uniformed Marines? There was personnel, a 16-person security team! If the President comes up here, ask him: Why in the hell did you send them home? They specifically requested to stay.

Col. Wood, who is head of the security team, says he sent the cables: "I want to stay in Libya because it's unsafe and the ambassador is unsafe."

The President says the buck stops here... ask him where in the hell were the Marines?

Ask him... where the hell was that 16-person security team?

And then finally... ask him... what happened to the plane?

There was a DC-3 there supposed to be able to help people out of the country or to move about the country - they took their plane!

They took their plane on May 4 of this year.

You know what happened on May 8 of this year, four days later? The State Department spent $108,000 buying a new electrical charging station to green up the Vienna embassy.

So you have to ask yourself, is the green initiative, is the global warming campaign, more important than the security of an embassy?

Greening up the Vienna Embassy?

You know the electric car; it's subsidized [at] $250,000 per car. We probably spent $1 million to buy these electric cars to make a political statement in Vienna. We spent $100,000 for an electrical charging station to show off how green we were, but we wouldn't have one Marine guarding our embassy, we wouldn't allow 16 personnel to stay in Libya, we wouldn't allow them a plane, but we've got enough money to make a show of a very politicized agenda by the President.

I think it's inexcusable and if he [the President] says the buck stops here... someone should be fired.