Archive for April, 2010

Al Gore: Rising oceans not quite yet

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Al Gore, Tipper Gore snap up Montecito-area villa
The Italian-style home has an ocean view, fountains, six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.
With nine bathrooms, there’s never any waiting time!

In case you wonder if that baby’s carbon footprint would contribute to making the ocean levels rise and swallow up California, Al will assure you don’t need worry:

The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

I wonder if Al’s keeping the million-dollar 100-foot BS1 houseboat on Center Hill Lake,Tenn., and if he does, how about the carbon footprint of flying back and forth between the two locations?

Maggie’s Farm has the picture of The Fearless Al Gore:

VIDEO: Now Chavez wants Fidel and Evo to tweet, while Venezuela’s in ruins

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Now that Chavez tweets, he wants his buddies to join him,
Chavez exhorts leftists Fidel, Morales to Twitter

Delighted at his cyber success, Venezuela’s new Twitter convert President Hugo Chavez on Thursday invited Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales to join the micro-blogging site too.

After several months grumbling that social networking sites in Venezuela were dominated by opponents of his socialist government, Chavez opened his own account this week and was clearly elated to have gathered 106,000 followers in two days.

“The potential this has … it’s not capitalist, it’s not socialist, it depends on how it is used,” he said after posting two messages on his page @chavezcandanga.

“I invite Evo and Fidel,” Chavez said. “Evo – are you on Twitter? Let’s invite Evo to Twitter,” Chavez said during a visit to a cattle ranch with Bolivia’s president.

Here he rambles on (in Spanish); notice how he says he’s received messages “from Russia, from China, well, maybe not from China”,

Lest you believe it’s all fun and games,

Separately, a 29-year-old Venezuelan was arrested on Thursday in connection with text messages calling for the assassination of Chavez, authorities said.

Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami said the man was detained in Merida, a city near the border with Colombia, along with computers and other materials.

“Death to Hugo Chavez, for a fatherland free of tyrants,” read the text, according to the minister.

Don’t miss Juan Forero’s report, Oil-rich Venezuela gripped by economic crisis

“We just stop,” said Jesus Yanis, who paints cars. “We don’t work.”

Neither does the rest of Venezuela, where a punishing, months-old energy crisis and years of state interventions in the economy are taking a brutal toll on private business. The result is that the economy is flickering and going dark, too, challenging Venezuela’s mercurial leader, Hugo Chávez, and his socialist experiment like never before.

No matter that Venezuela is one of the world’s great oil powers — among the top five providers of crude to the United States. Economists say Venezuela is gripped by an economic crisis that has no easy or fast solution, even if sluggish oil production were ramped up and profligate state spending were cut.

“The government is paralyzed, unable to handle the situation — and there are no fiscal plans to deal with the crisis,” said José Guerra, a former Central Bank economist who directs the economics department at Central University in Caracas, the capital. “Our situation is unbelievable, because we have one of the biggest reserves of oil in the world, thermal-electrical and hydroelectric sources.”

Read it all.

In Silvio’s podcast right now

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Talking about Latin America right now.

Hillary to Ahmadinejad: “Beee-have!”

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Rather than deny the little toad a visa, Hillary’s telling Ahmadinejad to behave:
Clinton cool to Iran’s Ahmadinejad attending UN nuclear meeting
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely receive a visa to attend next week’s Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York. But Hillary Clinton says he won’t have a ‘receptive audience.’

Hillary believes that granting Ahmadinejad a visa “means little,” and she used strong language.

I’m sure they mullahs are quaking in their boots.

Obama thinks you’ve made enough money, and that it’s his to take

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Ed Morrissey posts an off-the-teleprompter moment from Obama:

We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.

Obama made $5 million last year. Why doesn’t he cede all that income to the federal government? Or hasn’t he reached the point where he believes he’s made “enough money”?

Hypocrite.

Obama of course didn’t stop at that:

Now, we’re not doing this to punish these firms or begrudge success that’s fairly earned. We don’t want to stop them from fulfilling their responsibility to help grow our economy.

Cassandra wants to know,

When did it become the “core responsibility” of ANY business to “help grow our economy”?

In the America I grew up in, the economy grows when individual businesses – who are in business to make a profit for themselves and their shareholders, not to “grow the economy” – grow and prosper. Businesses have no duty to “help grow the economy”. They don’t work for the President of the United States, nor for their fellow citizens.

They work to provide for themselves and their families.

This president displays a stunning cluelessness regarding the incentives that motivate ordinary people. Explains a lot about health care reform, doesn’t it?

It explains a lot about all his economic policies.

Postcript:
Maybe the country ought to learn never to elect to office anyone who’s never held a job in private industry.

Ed Driscoll:

This is a man whose biographer wrote in 2007:
“[Obama] always talked about the New Rochelle train, the trains that took commuters to and from New York City, and he didn’t want to be on one of those trains every day,” said Jerry Kellman, the community organizer who enticed Obama to Chicago from his Manhattan office job. “The image of a life, not a dynamic life, of going through the motions… that was scary to him.”

I took the trains (New Jersey Transit and Path) every workday from Convent Station to Manhattan. The hundreds of people in those trains were pursuing their goals, not simply “going through the motions”.

Now we’re paying (and our children and us will be paying through the nose) for having elected a narcissistic elitist socialist to the highest office in the land.

Related:
On the unintended consequences of President Obama

It’s just that President Obama’s understanding of how the world outside of politics works – he understands how the world of politics works very well – is the opposite of the truth. What he thinks will work, will fail. And what he thinks will fail, will work.

UPDATE:
At some point you have grabbed enough power

U.N. Elects Iran to Commission on Women’s Rights

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Two days after boobquake

U.N. Elects Iran to Commission on Women’s Rights

Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged “immodest.”

Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is “dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women,” according to its website.

Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of “vacancies in subsidiary bodies,” was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was “elected by acclamation,” meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States.

The US, asleep at the wheel.

Shame.

(h.t The Corner)

UPDATE
The U.N. Is A Drag On The Body Politic

Citroen pokes more fun at Sarko’s height

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Being a head of state while you’re only 5’5″ must be tough, even when your wife is 5’10″:

People joke about your stoop:

And use your height in car ads:
German ad pokes fun at Sarkozy’s height:

Car rental company Sixt makes fun of Nicolas Sarkozy in a poster advertising campaign. Will the French president see the funny side?
There could be trouble ahead for the car rental company Sixt following its latest advertising campaign.
A German poster for the company carries a picture of the French hatchback the Citroën C3 with the slogan encouraging customers to “Do the same as Madame Bruni, choose a small French model” ((“Machen Sie es wie Madame Bruni. Nehmen Sie sich einen kleinen Franzosen”).

Here’s the ad:

Obviously they didn’t realize what it means when a short man is with a tall woman…

Illegals leaving Arizona

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Associated Press reports that the Arizona law may be having the desired effect:
Illegal immigrants plan to leave over Ariz. law

Many day laborers like Diaz say they will leave Arizona because of the law, which also makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants.

Supporters of the law hope it creates jobs for thousands of Americans.

“We want to drive day labor away,” says Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, one of the law’s sponsors.

An estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants have left Arizona in the past two years as it cracked down on illegal immigration and its economy was especially hard hit by the Great Recession. A Department of Homeland Security report on illegal immigrants estimates Arizona’s illegal immigrant population peaked in 2008 at 560,000, and a year later dipped to 460,000.

The law’s supporters hope the departure of illegal immigrants will help dismantle part of the underground economy here and create jobs for thousands of legal residents in a state with a 9.6 percent unemployment rate.

A study of immigrants in Arizona published in 2008 found that non-citizens, mostly in the country illegally, held an estimated 280,000 full-time jobs.

Because of this, Following Passage Of Arizona Law, At Least Seven States Contemplate Anti-Immigrant Legislation. The Wonk Room‘s post shows a chart (below) listing the legal immigration enforcement efforts in Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah:

STATE BILL STATUS
Utah Require immigrants to carry proof of status, require law enforcement officers to question anyone they believe is in the country illegally, and target employers who hire or transport undocumented immigrants. Legislation still has to be drafted, but Rep. Stephen Sandstorm (R) claims he “has the support to do it.”
Georgia Nathan Deal (R), who is running for Governor, wants to propose legislation that mirrors Arizona’s. Tentatively pending Deal’s election.
Colorado Today, Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis (R) said that if he were governor, he would seek to pass something “very similar” to what Arizona enacted. Tentatively pending McInnis’ election.
Maryland State Delegate Pat McDonough (R) “plans to start sending a survey to every candidate for the General Assembly — along with the candidates for governor — asking them whether they agree with Arizona’s approach.” McDounough’s survey will start being circulated this week as he hopes to “know who is in favor of the Arizona bill and who is not” by this summer.
Ohio Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones and Ohio Rep. Courtney Combs (R) sent a letter to Gov. Ted Strickland asking him “to employ” his “leadership role” “to assure legislation is passed that will mirror” Arizona’s. Strickland’s press person says he “hasn’t had an opportunity to review Arizona law” and is concerned it might be unconstitutional.
North Carolina Local anti-immigrant groups claim that lawmakers have told them that “the chances similar legislation will be filed here is over 95%.” The same groups also concede that such legislation wouldn’t “get far” in their state.
Texas Republican state Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball says she plans to push for a law similar to Arizona’s. Riddle says she will introduce the measure in the January legislative session.
Texas Farmers Branch, a Dallas suburb of 30,000 people, passed an ordinance written by IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach which would prevent landlords from renting houses or apartments to undocumented immigrants. Last month, a U.S. District judge ruled the ordinance unconstitutional. IRLI is helping Farmers Branch repeal the District judge decision.
Missouri The state legislature is considering a law, likely written by Kobach, that would make it unlawful for any person to conceal, harbor, transport, or shelter “illegal aliens” and would also make it a crime for undocumented immigrants to transport themselves. The bill has been referred to the Missouri House International Trade and Immigration Committee.
Oklahoma Restrict the ability of undocumented immigrants to obtain IDs or public assistance, give police authority to check the status of anyone arrested, and make it a felony to knowingly provide shelter, transportation or employment to the undocumented. After IRLI filed an amicus brief in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of HB 1804, the court refused to reconsider its decision that prohibits Oklahoma from enforcing two of the main parts of HB 1804.
Nebraska Residents in Fremont Nebraska likely will vote in July on a proposed ordinance to ban the “harboring,” hiring and renting to undocumented immigrants. Last Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that there was no authority to stop an election on the ordinance following a petition filed by Kobach.

Dania Virgen Garcia and the Ladies in White

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern,
Val Prieto, Ziva, Marc Masferrer, and Monica Showalter join to talk about the arrest of Cuban blooger Dania Virgen Garcia over her support of the Ladies in White.

Chavez tweets!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

You too can follow Hugo Chavez’s Tweeted wisdom – read about it at my Real Clear World post!

Related:
Chavez and the “terrorist” Twitter: 15 Minutes on Latin America