Thursday, December 31, 2009

Is It Treason Yet?

The definition of treason:

1. the offense of acting to overthrow one's government ...
2. a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state.
3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

Bill Roggio reports:

The British are all smiles over the release of Peter Moore, a British citizen who was held hostage by an Iranian-backed Shia terror group in Iraq. But there is little talk about the price paid to secure Moore's release. The US military has freed Qais Qazali, the leader of the Asaib al Haq, or League of the Righteous, as well as his brother Laith, several Qods Force officers, and more than 100 members of the terror group, in exchange for Moore. And that isn't all. The British also received the corpses of three security contractors who were working to protect Moore when he was kidnapped at the Finance Ministry in Baghdad in May 2007. The three contractors were executed by the Asaib al Haq; another is also thought to have been killed.

Qais Qazli wasn't just some run of the mill Shia thug; his group is backed by Iran. Qazali's men were trained by Iranian Qods Force to infiltrate and assault the Provincial Joint Coordination Center in Karbala in January 2007. Five US soldiers were killed during the kidnapping attempt. The US soldiers were executed after US and Iraqi security forces closed in on the assault team.

I can't put it any better than Allahpundit who calls this move "mind-bendingly insane." Words fail me. And that doesn't happen often.

Andy McCarthy quotes Bill Roggio who says:

As Bill elaborated in the Long War Journal: “We let a very dangerous man go, a man whose hands are stained with US and Iraqi blood,” a military officer said. “We are going to pay for this in the future.”

It is just astonishing.

Is it treason yet?

(More at Memeorandum)

Related Post: Assault on Reason - Team Obama Negotiates With Terrorists

Further reading:
Negotiating With Terrorists - Andrew McCarthy, National Review Online, 24 June 2009
Obama's Third Way: Release the Teorrists - Andrew McCarthy, National Review Online, 3 March 2009
Clear and Present Danger - Thomas Joscelyn, The Weekly Standard, 1 December 2008
US Releases Iranian Oods Force Agents - Bill Roggio, The Long War Journal, 9 July 2009
The (Free) Irbil Five: Meeting Iran's Preconditions - Steve Schippert, National Review Online/The Tank, 9 July 2009
Growing Worries About our Pied Piper - Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, 10 July 2009

New Year's Eve in Shreveport

What to do in Shreveport on New Year's Eve? Here's a rundown:

Jayne Marie on Cross Lake is having a party. Details at Trudeau's place.

The Robinson Film Center has festivities, including a screening of When Harry Met Sally, followed by a party and live music. Details here.

Krewe of Elders is having a New Year's Eve party at the American Legion Hall on Cross Lake - open to the public for $30. Details.

Sam's Town Casino is having a party with Rockin' Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters.

Eldorado Casino and Resort has a party with Bushrod Jenkins and the Crisis.

There is a free fireworks show at Harrah's Louisiana Downs and for entertainment - The Spazmatics.

Boomtown Casino has the Groove Agents at their party.

Sciport has a New Year's at Noon celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 today.

The Warehouse on Commerce Street will have American Tragedy and ReflectionsBurn starting at 10:00. Details here.

If you're going downtown around the Shreveport casinos (there are also Bossier casinos), I'd recommend dinner at The Blind Tiger. Of course, you can eat at the casino, but The Blind Tiger is great! Unfortunately, their site is under construction but here is a partial menu, and here is a post I did on them last year.

If you're going the other direction, to the south end of town, eat at Vince's! We love to eat there, and it's a local establishment, as is The Blind Tiger, which I believe in supporting. All the typical chain joints are out that way, too, but you can't beat Vince's. Here is my review on them.

I'm sure there's more, so if you're local and you know of something to share, email me, or leave a comment.

Projecting Calm or Indifference?

Chris Stirewalt at The Washington Examiner has a piece today that will drive the Obami crazy because it's critical of their dear leader and his ability to lead.

In light of Team Obama's muddled response to the Christmas Day terrorist attempt, I've seen a couple of these critical columns lately. I was critical of Obama's response in a post earlier in the week, which of course, brought out his defenders. I'm sure they'll love Stirewalt's column.

Stirewalt writes:

As with other events in 2009 - the crackdown in Iran, the banker bonuses, the massacre at Fort Hood — Obama was late to put voice to the outrage felt by his fellow Americans. In each case, he found the words, but the delay invited questions about his sincerity and convictions, not to mention his Ivory Tower leadership style.

Obama’s remarks at Fort Hood may have been the finest speech of a career best known for oratory. But just hours after the attack, Obama was out in public talking to American Indian leaders about tribal subsidies, with a closing aside about a madman who had just wiped out a dozen soldiers on their way to a war Obama was escalating.

Obama nattering on about his commitment to American Indians while the nation was in shock at the carnage of Fort Hood was the strongest evidence yet that Obama’s famously quick political instincts were in fact a creation of his marketing team.

This will drive the Obami to distraction; as Steve Benen wrote last weekend, Obama is simply projecting cool. He's trying not to alarm people and use the politics of fear to capitalize on a situation. That was the last administration who did that.

More from Stirewalt:

The Obama administration has developed an attachment to the status quo in part because the job is obviously harder than the team from Chicago ever imagined it would be. The conceit on the Left that George W. Bush was stupid caused Obama to grossly underestimate the difficulty of the office.

But another reason the Obama team has gone from extolling the transformative virtues of crises to the overall message that the system “worked” may be that muscular leadership takes Obama out of his comfort zone.

Since the president believes himself to be the embodiment of American history, he apparently doesn’t feel the need to write any new chapters.

That ought to get the Obami fired up. Stirewalt isn't alone in this assessment. As I said, I've seen other columns to the effect in the past few days. Here is Jennifer Rubin today:

They remember, but they don’t learn. This gang makes the Clintons look high-minded and magnanimous by comparison. Part of this attitude stems from their lack of other, more appropriate governing skills. They don’t know how to craft an effective, bipartisan health-care bill, or make a swift decision on Afghanistan (or announce it without the need for days of “it really isn’t a timeline” statements), or put together an alternative to “engagement” on Iran that doesn’t smack of more of the same wishful thinking. But they do know how to win elections, feed the media machine, and attack their political foes.

She's referring to the administrations "Pavlovian" attack on Dick Cheney and his critical remarks yesterday.

As Obama continues his Hawaiian romp and his golf games during this frightening time, Daniel Foster at NROs The Corner points out that "the difference between Bush and Obama is that after Bush left the golf course he oversaw an unprecedented global war on terror that put serious dents in jihadist causes from Buffalo to the Philippines, and forestalled attacks on American soil for eight years."

I'm going to differ with Steve Benen and suggest that Obama isn't projecting cool and calm, but projecting lackadaisical indifference. No, I don't believe he WANTS the terrorists to succeed, but he's projecting the message that things will just work out somehow if he delegates enough to the right underlings. He's projecting incompetence.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

iPhone Apps for New Year's Eve

With New Year's Eve approaching, you might be interested in a couple of apps for your iPhone if you're planning on driving home after a few cocktails. Via USA Today:

"R-U-Buzzed," a free application released Dec. 2 from the Colorado Department of Transportation, allows you to quickly determine your blood alcohol level. Simply spin the wheel to your weight, how many drinks you've had and the amount of time you've been drinking and the app will tell you if you're safe to drive.

Additionally, the app allows the user to contact a cab, although this feature only searches for cabs within Colorado. The app will guide users in other states to links for cabs in their areas.

There is also this:

One app that claims to provide more precision in determining users' blood alcohol level is "Last Call" from, a website that helps people find and select lawyers.

Last Call requires the user to input more detailed information on the size and type of drinks consumed, and tracks the amount of time drinking automatically.

This blogger will be staying home on New Year's Eve and does NOT advocate drinking and driving! iPhone apps are sometimes useful and sometimes just toys. Be smart!

"President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war ..."

Scroll down for updates.

Bill Burck and Dana Perino have a must-read article over at NRO today regarding the decision to treat the Undy-Bomber as a common criminal rather than as an enemy combatant (a term this administration no longer uses.)

The problem, of course, with this decision is that we won't be able to gather any intelligence from him:

The decision to charge Mutallab as a criminal, rather than designate him as an enemy combatant, was a momentous one that in all likelihood guarantees we will gain less intelligence about how the attack was planned, who planned it, and whether others are on the way.

Burck and Perino point out that what is truly frightening is how quickly this administration moved to make that decision; Mutallab was charged within 24 hours - hardly enough time to negotiate between agencies to determine the best course of action. And why is so much of what Mutallab has said so far even being released to the public:

Indeed, the fact that so much is becoming public about what he has told investigators is itself disturbing. Intelligence derived from interrogations of al-Qaeda detainees was previously so highly classified that even government officials with the highest levels of security clearance were not permitted to see the information without being granted special access.

It's as if Team Obama wants to make it clear to the world that we aren't extracting any significant intelligence from this guy and they are free to continue with their merry plans of jihad without interference from us.

Treating terrorism as a criminal justice matter has been proven to be a dangerous path, yet one this administration is determined to travel:

The risks of trying the 9/11 plotters in civilian court, including possible revelation of classified information and security threats to downtown Manhattan, where the trial will be held, have been well documented and debated elsewhere. But they pale next to the risks of treating newly captured terrorists as mere criminals with all the rights of U.S. citizens. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been locked up for nearly seven years with no access to his free compatriots around the world. Whatever information he may not have divulged under interrogation is most likely stale. Not so Mutallab and all the other Mutallabs out there whom we have not yet encountered. These are the next wave of terrorists, and our security depends on having the right tools to obtain the fresh intelligence they may have.

Burck and Perino contend that it isn't too late for the administration to dismiss criminal charges and have him charged as an enemy combatant. This won't happen because Obama is determined to empty Gitmo, not add to it.

Dick Cheney lambasted Obama's decision to treat this as a civilian matter, coming out with a harsh statement against Obama:

"As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.

“He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war."

There won't be any pretending for long. If we are to believe what Mutallab says, there are more like him in Yemen, and other locations, planning attacks on the U.S.

What are we to make of this mindset? Of the fact that our president seems so hellbent on lowering our defenses and endangering the country?

All the finger pointing that it was the Bush administration who freed some of the participants in this act does not change the fact that it exists. Obama should learn from the mistakes of his predecessors and make the right decision here, which is to treat this terrorist as an enemy combatant and gather all the intelligence he can from him.

That is not likely to happen.

Update: Ed Morrissey comments on the failure of the terrorists-are-common-criminals approach:

We tried this before, however, in the 1990s. It didn’t work out so well. Oddly enough, Osama bin Laden never appeared in federal court to answer his indictment, and the Clinton administration declined to have him delivered to US custody because we weren’t sure we could get a conviction in court. This approach resulted in an escalating series of attacks on US assets around the world during the 1990s, with hundreds of lives lost, and it culminated in 9/11.

Update 2: Michael Goldfarb reports Mutallab has lawyered-up:

Buried three paragraphs from the end of the report in today's Washington Post comes what ought to be the lede:

Abdulmutallab remains in a Detroit area prison and, after initial debriefings by the FBI, has restricted his cooperation since securing a defense attorney, according to federal officials.

It sounds like he was singing when they first got him, and of course we now know that the government already had enough information on him to justify sending a Blackwater hit team after him, but now that the people with all that information are finally in a position to ask the questions -- LAWYER.

Update 3: Add Gordon Cucullu, to the voices of the outraged:

Yet we respond to those who boast about American blood on their hands by expanding their venue and showering them with Constitutional rights previously afforded only to citizens, earned in blood by other citizens. With plans still under way to close Guantanamo and relocate the detainees to a prison here, the question has to be asked: Are we really that nuts?Update 4: And John Boehner has a few words:

“The Administration’s response following this attempted attack is consistent with its dangerous decision to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay and bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 terrorists to trial in the United States through civilian courts, rather than the military commissions already in place. We know the decision to close this prison has not stopped al Qaeda from plotting attacks on Americans, turning these terrorists over to other countries is not working, and we shouldn’t import them into the United States. It’s time for the President to halt terrorist transfers to other countries, including Yemen, and to reevaluate his decision to close the prison at Guantanamo.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Glenn Miller Orchestra in Shreveport

Oh for crying out loud! How much would I love to go see this!!!!

But $200 for tickets ($100 each) is out of my league. Not to mention the $2500 ones, or the $5000 ones! Wonder what you get with THOSE tickets?!

Steve and I love doing stuff like this, and we went often to the free military band concerts that would occasionally come through. I realize this is a fund-raising thing for the Shreveport Opera but they're pricing a lot of folks out of even trying to go.

But heck, if Stacy McCain can get to Pasadena, maybe if I rattle the tip jar, I can get to downtown Shreveport. Stranger things have happened.

Update: Fishersville Mike has a suggestion to help me out, but heck, I might actually come up with $1500 to see those chickens!!

Update 2: I like Stacy's advice in the comments; I think he's on to something! There's something to be said for strategic marketing.

Jihad Art Rehab

Here's an interesting look at the Jihadist Art Therapy Rehabilitation program from a PBS special:

According to this Psychology Today article, you can't really call it "art" because that is derogatory and has a negative connotation. There are other restrictions, too:

Islamic law prohibits the depiction of people or animals in artwork so drawings are gJihad art therapyenerally abstract, at times integrating text from the Koran or other sources. The calligraphy and depictions of sunrises and flowers do not really reflect the darker emotions confronted in treatment and are images Western therapists might not expect to see. In fact, some might define the content of their artwork as being "in denial" of the crimes committed. With these individuals, it's the process of making art and Alyami's careful interventions to help these men examine the consequences of past actions and discussion of their art that are the core of their art therapy.

Two of the four Detroit plotters were graduates of this program. I don't think it worked too well for them.

According to the video, most participants in the program complete a two month stay. The doctor in charge of the program says 208 completed the program and only 5% have relapsed. He might need to adjust those numbers now.

Time For Another Lacuna

Andrew Sullivan might need another lacuna to figure this one out:

I'm not sure why Palin wants a knock-down drag-out fight with the father of her grandson, but she acts so often out of spite, anger and with no solid grasp of the full consequences you never know what she might do next.

Speaking of someone with "no solid grasp" of things...

But hey, he gets the big bucks for live-blogging Sarah Palin on Oprah so who am I to criticize?

Obama is "Hard at Work" in Hawaii

Politico is under the impression that Obama is "hard at work" in Hawaii:

Many signs indicate that while President Obama is enjoying the sun and the tennis courts, he’s still hard at work in Hawaii. After Obama spoke about the terror attempt on Christmas and violence in Iran, the White House sent a news release saying that he had signed three bills into law, including H.R. 4314, which raises the debt ceiling from $12.104 trillion to $12.394 trillion.

I would go out on a limb here and say that's not really the impression that the American public has of Obama's vacation. "Hard at work"? I don't think so. He's hard at work on his golf game and little else.

Yes, he interrupted his vacation schedule to speak on a terror attack on our country and he briefly addressed the Iranian protests. He couldn't be bothered to put on a tie or look presidential for the occasion, but that's all part of his uber-cool, low-key style, right? I know it's Hawaii, and I know he's on vacation, but is it too much to ask that he at least look the part when he stands before the American people, and the world, to make such an anticipated and important statement? Make an effort?

To be fair, there were press conferences from Crawford where Bush didn't wear a tie. The argument isn't whether or not Obama wears a tie to a press conference, really, but appearing presidential at a time of such national importance. And I'd have said the same thing about Bush if he'd done it. Bush was accused of being "a cowboy" whenever he went to Crawford. But the press doesn't have the same criticism for Obama in Hawaii because he's cool. Hip.

As far as signing three bills into law, how hard can that be? He's probably pretty adept at signing his name.

Jim Hoft nailed it for me this morning when he recalled Obama's January statement that "everybody's gonna have to have some skin in the game." Everyone will have to sacrifice for the greater good. Everyone but Obama, that is.

I don't begrudge the man a vacation. Really, I don't. I always thought it was silly when people criticized George Bush for going to Crawford, Texas. But as nice as Bush's Crawford ranch might have been, it's not the luxurious rented pad that the Obamas are occupying in Hawaii. It's not even the cost of the vacation that bothers me. I don't care if Michelle wears $635 shoes to dinner or $540 tennis shoes to a food bank. She and her tacky plastic belts interest me less than none at all.

What is disconcerting is the images of Iranians protesting for freedom against an illegitimate government, dying in the streets for their freedom, while Obama searches for his golf ball amongst the palm trees. A Nigerian man with terrorist ties to al-Qaeda tries to blow up a plane in Detroit, kill Americans and announces there are more like him coming, and Obama goes out to dinner with friends.

It took him two days to make a statement on either.

Some skin in the game? Sacrifice? I don't think Obama has a clue what that even means. Working hard on vacation? Nah. I don't think so.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cashin' In Coke Rewards

I just cashed in 1400 My Coke Reward points and ordered this tea kettle. Cute! I knew I was saving all those coke caps for something.

I also donated points to the USO.

Something for me, something for the troops.

2010 Winter Classic

James Taylor will perform the National Anthem at the 2010 NHL Winter Classic.

Steve and I both look forward to the new tradition of watching the Winter Classic. We will settle in with our New Years food and watch the game. That first year was fabulous! The Penguins, the snow, the sheer joy with which they all played. It was great! Last year, the game wasn't as good (to me) and I got sort of bored with it by the end.

The Winter Classic is, of course, played outdoors. There is something about this particular game that captures what I think must strike right to the young hearts of all hockey players. There is something magic about skating outside in the cold and the wind, the snow, if you're lucky, playing a game that they so clearly love.

This year we have Philadelphia v. Boston, and Fenway is ready:

Here is my post from last year about the Winter Classic; in it I wrote about Jack Falla and his book Home Ice, about backyard skating rinks. The book is an ode to hockey and is beautifully written. Falla describes his initial trial and error attempts at building his own backyard rink. When he finally gets it right, he says:

Late that night I still had my skates on and was scraping the ice while listening to an oldies radio station...when my friend Doc showed up, skates and hockey stick in hand and a six-pack of Molson beer under his arm. We stuck the beers in a snowbank and wedged the bottle opener into a gap in the boards. 'I knew you'd build a rink and forget to attach a beer opener to the boards,' said Doc.

Falla's backyard rink attracted lots of friends and the friends of his children. They eventually installed lights and a stereo system and even started their own tournament. What fun that must have been! Falla's favorite memory seems to be of those late night solitary skates or those with his wife, after everyone else has gone.

The Winter Classic always makes me pull Falla's book off the shelf and re-read parts of it. One of my favorite vignettes is when, after an interview, Wayne Gretzky asks Falla "You shoot left?" and he gives Falla one of his old hockey sticks. While some people would have put it on eBay, Falla says

I appreciated the stick, but not as much as the question that suggested exactly what Gretzky intended I do with that stick. The same thing he'd do. Use it.

Eventually the worn out and battered stick served an end-of-life purpose as a tomato plant stake.

I've already bought a corned beef brisket and last night Steve bought the biggest cabbage in the whole wide world for us to eat New Years Day. I'll cook some black eyed peas and cornbread to go along with it all. Traditional New Years food.

I don't want to wish my vacation away, but I can't wait!

The War on Terror Does Not Exist in Obamaland

The Wall Street Journal makes note in an editorial today that the Underpants Bomber will be treated by the Obama administration as any other criminal. We are voluntarily foregoing the opportunity to obtain more information from him through lengthy interrogation. There is no "war on terror" anymore, you see? Never mind that terrorism attacks are on the increase. So, this man is a criminal suspect. Not a terrorist.

This increasing terror tempo makes the Obama Administration's reflexive impulse to treat terrorists like routine criminal suspects all the more worrisome. It immediately indicted Mr. Abdulmutallab on criminal charges of trying to destroy an aircraft, despite reports that he told officials he had ties to al Qaeda and had picked up his PETN explosive in Yemen. The charges mean the Nigerian can only be interrogated like any other defendant in a criminal case, subject to having a lawyer present and his Miranda rights read.

Yet he is precisely the kind of illegal enemy combatant who should be interrogated first with the goal of preventing future attacks and learning more about terror networks rather than gaining a single conviction. We now have to hope he cooperates voluntarily.

This is the point I was making yesterday, as was Andy McCarthy. This guy should have been subject to lengthy interrogation so we could attempt to learn what his actual connections with al Qaeda are. He claims to have picked up his PETN explosive in Yemen. Don't we have any questions about that?

The WSJ also questions the wisdom of returning Gitmo detainees to Yemen:

Mr. Abdulmutallab's alleged links to Yemen also raise questions about why the Administration is now returning Guantanamo detainees to that unstable Middle East nation. Pentagon officials have raised alarms about Yemen as an emerging al Qaeda sanctuary for at least a year, and now we may have the first case of a terrorist trained there to strike at U.S. airline or domestic targets. The Yemen government says it is cooperating with the U.S., and the CIA is said to be providing intelligence for some of Aden's anti-al Qaeda efforts. But at this point the repatriation of Gitmo detainees to Yemen seems dangerous, and recklessly so.

In light of the NYT report today that we've known and are actively working on terrorism cells in Yemen, why are we sending trained jihadists back there?

Team Obama can't stick their collective heads in the sand and pretend that al Qaeda has dropped its war against us because we elected Obama. They still hate us. They still want to kill us. Jennifer Rubin sums it up nicely:

Ordinary people, I suspect, are increasingly appalled by all this. And if we are not so lucky next time, the Obama administration’s sloth in conducting the war on terror will result in tragedy and their own political ruin.

Janet Napolitano is wrong. The system isn't working.

Update: Add to the discussion this from ABC News: "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, charged with the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253, told FBI agents there were more just like him in Yemen who would strike soon. "

Update 2: Add Michael Goldfarb to the list of the outraged: So a maximum of 40 years in prison, and perhaps the chance to get time off for good behavior. Of course, we also don't get to interrogate him to find out who he was working with and what other plots are out there. If he were treated as an enemy combatant and transferred to military commission system, we could use Army Field Manual techniques without Miranda (not as effective as enhanced techniques, of course, but much better than standard police practice). We could use his non-Mirandized statements against him in military commissions, so long as the statements were not forcibly coerced and were otherwise reliable. Instead, it's three squares a day, the best legal defense the ACLU can provide, and maybe the chance for parole before the kids he was trying to kill on that plane even make it out of college.

(More at Memeorandum)

What Books Can You Get Rid Of?

As the end of the year approaches I begin to notice a desire to clean out and throw away some of the useless clutter I have around here. Not surprisingly then, this New York Times article caught my eye: Books You Can Live Without.

The Times polled several authors and the owner of a used book store for advice on how to cull out your book collection. One of the authors couldn't bear to part with anything, saying "Get rid of books? Are you kidding?" I'm with him.

There are some valid suggestions in some of the responses, though. You don't need two copies of something and you should probably cull out things that are out of date. Fred Bass, owner of a used book shop, said:

My advice is to first clean out duplicates and books with repetitive information — why do you need six dictionaries? Next, remove all books with out-of-date information, like atlases and reference books. Political, economic and topical books should be the next category to sort through; you don’t really need that copy of Richard Simmons’ “Never-Say-Diet Book” (a 1981 best-seller), or a book on the future of the Democratic or Republican parties, written 20 years ago.

So, this morning I did a quick perusal of my shelves. I find that I am guilty of seeing something I want to read, or hearing about it, purchasing it, then forgetting to read it. My copy of Dick Morris's Catastrophe has been sitting on the table since summer, and I haven't touched it. I bought it the same day I bought Michelle Malkin's Culture of Corruption, which I have long since finished. I won't get rid of it, though. I'll get to it.

I'm a sentimentalist and keep books that I loved, even though I might not read them again. One book I read over and over is Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I also reread To Kill a Mockingbird, but since I teach that to my sophomores, I'm not sure that counts.

I have several collections I can't part with: all my Travis McGee books! An 8-volume antique set of Samuel Pepy's Diary. A two volume copy of The Life of Lincoln by Ida Tarbell that belonged to my grandparents. As an English major in college, I've filled an entire shelf with novels I had to read in school. Anthologies of English literature, Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy (not a favorite), among the other expected volumes.

I will get rid of certain novels that I've read; over the holiday I bagged up all my Michael Connelly books and gave them to my brother. I loved reading them, but I won't re-read them. The Sue Grafton alphabet mysteries have been passed on as have most of the Sara Paretsky and Patricia Cornwells. Same with James Lee Burke. Loved reading them, don't want to keep them.

Billy Collins, an English professor, said of great collections of books, "And who needs such elaborate announcements of one’s literary credentials? After all, is a gentleman’s library of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves anything more than a vanity?" I see his point, but disagree. While it's probably impossible for me to re-read all the books I want to keep, that's not really the point. I might want to refer to one of them, or look something up!

But surely there is something I can get rid of. Oh wait! There's a copy of Where the Heart Is that someone gave me that I can toss. I don't think I'll ever read it. And maybe that out of date atlas...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"This 'case' tees up like a slam-dunk."

Andy McCarthy is making the same point that I, and probably others, was making earlier today with regard to the Underpants Terrorist. Since this administration treats terrorists like shoplifters, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab will likely exercise his right to remain silent, lawyer up, and reveal nothing to investigators.

Imagine the information this clod could provide if he were actually treated like a terrorist! Training with al Qaeda in Yemen is bound to be somewhat interesting to interrogators. Any knowledge of future attacks? Names of active terrorists? Locations? Anything? No, as a result, we'll get nothing but, as McCarthy puts it, a "success" in the books of the Obama administration for catching a terrorist:

Here, no thanks to the government, the plane was not destoyed, and we won't get to the bottom of the larger conspiracy (enabling the likes of Napolitano to say there's no indication of a larger plot — much less one launched by an international jihadist enterprise) because the guy got to lawyer up rather than be treated like a combatant and subjected to lengthy interrogation. But the terrorist will be convicted at trial (this "case" tees up like a slam-dunk), so the administration will put it in the books as a success ... just like the Clinton folks did after the '93 WTC bombers and the embassy bombers were convicted. In their minds, litigation success equals national security success.

Honestly, they don't get it and it scares the crap out of me.

Maybe this is what Napolitano meant when she said "the system worked." Maybe she's thinking about the future conviction. What a dolt.

Because, trust me, "the system" didn't work. And it isn't going to at this rate.

Don't Tell Steve Benen What Joe Lieberman Said Today

Oh good lord, Steve Benen will go apoplectic when he hears this one:

"Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) Sunday said that Yemen could be the ground of America's next overseas war if Washington does not take preemptive action to root out al-Qaeda interests there."

Benen says "I told you so!" in 3, 2, 1...

Re: Seasonal Traffic Suckage Syndrome

Stacy McCain posted an entertaining piece yesterday about holiday traffic suckage, and if his theory is correct, you didn't read it.

I've been lamenting, in stoic silence, the lack of traffic for the past week. Compounding the holiday traffic suckage has been my inability to post regularly over the past two weeks because of a mental disconnect caused by teenager issues. Anyone who blogs knows that if you don't post regularly, and often, you don't get hits, well, unless someone big like Professor Jacobson, Stacy, or Insty links you. Or Malkin! Lately, I've been lucky to post once a day. Bah.

Because of this, I've fallen off the Memeorandum radar. This has happened before, and it'll come back around, but they're always decent for traffic for me.

Stacy complained about getting "less than 200 hits an hour" while I'd be happy to be back at 200 hits per day. I haven't broken a hundred in over a week. It's depressing. Blog hits are our capital! I'm not making any money from this! Oh, I get the occasional drop in the tip jar, which is GREAT! No, mostly I blog for fun, as we all do, and because I enjoy it. Well, Stacy blogs for money. But the hits are rewarding. It lets you know someone is reading. You get a little interaction going in the comments. You make friends. And enemies.

I guess I could go back to posting the occasional beefcake pictures of Russell Crowe from Gladiator or Matthew McConaughey in his swim trunks. Rule Five seems to work for some people. Stir up some traffic.

I've noticed whenever I post about Gitmo I don't get as much traffic. Is this a subject nobody cares about? Or do I just suck at writing about it? I post on Guantanamo a lot because I've read a lot about it and have a great concern for what happens there. Under the Guantanamo label I have 66 posts. Not so good for traffic, though.

Good for traffic? Sarah Palin. Anything Palin - the hits come in.

Ah well. Life goes on. The holidays will pass. I'm on vacation until after the first of the year. I'll keep blogging, even if there are only five people hitting me a day. Because I like to. I'll just quit checking my site meter.

Quote of the Day

Hadn't Abdulmutallab heard that we are closing Gitmo? Hadn't he heard that we're phasing out military-commissions so we can show the world that we give even the worst mass-murderers civilian trials with all the rights of American citizens? Hadn't he heard that President Obama has banned torture (yes, yes, I know, actually Congress banned it 15 years ago — details, details ...)? Hadn't he heard that the president has called for "a new beginning" in America's relationship with the Muslim world? Hadn't he heard that this is our new, smarter strategy to safeguard the nation from man-caused disasters?

I suspect he's heard all those things.

Andy McCarthy

What Do You Want to Hear From Obama?

Should Obama put down his golf clubs for a few minutes, forgo a sun drenched stroll along the beach, pass up a daily workout at the gym, and make a public statement regarding the attempted terrorist attack on the United States?

It depends on who you ask. Obama, thus far, has issued a brief written statement and nothing else. He's drawing criticism for appearing too cavalier about the attack.

Steve Marmel, writing at HuffPo, suggests that Obama should go "back to work." Marmel criticizes Obama's vacation routine and perpetual golf game, and says, "There are moments like these where it's important not to simply just do the work, or be told by others that the work is being done. We need to see it."

Ann Althouse suggested that Obama not get so far away from home on his vacations:

Why, exactly, are they in Hawaii — over 5,000 miles* from the White House? I'm not criticizing Obama in particular for going on vacations. I mean to criticize all the Presidents who go far away from Washington. If they need respite, let them go to Camp David. It's close to the White House, and it's set up for security. I can see returning to one's permanent residence, but even that is a luxury the President should eschew. The Christmas Day terror attempt may seem paltry, but it is a reminder of what can happen.

(Why isn't he vacationing in Chicago? I guess we can be glad he isn't vacationing in Kenya? Where's he from, anyway?)

On the flip side, there are others who contend that poor, tired Obama deserves and needs this vacation and that he is simply doing the right thing by staying in the background on this. Marc Ambinder says that a statement from Obama at this point would only exacerbate the situation and elevate it to a higher level of importance than it is. Eventually, though -

Obama of course will say something at some point. Had the terrorist blown up the plane, it;s safe to assume that Obama would no longer be in Hawaii. In either case, the public will need presidential fortification at some point. But Obama is willing to risk the accusation that he is "soft" on terrorism or is hovering above it all, or is just not to be bothered (his "head's in the sand, "golfing comes first," )in order to advance what he believes is the proper collective response to a failed act of terrorism.

Apparently Obama's strategy on terrorism is to play-it-cool unless something really bad happens. Let's see...when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people at Fort Hood, how long was it before Obama made a statement? He gave a shout-out to Dr. Joe Medicine Crow at a speech first, then he told us not to jump to conclusions, and finally he made a brief statement.

Ambinder praises Obama for "projecting his calm on the American people, just as his advisers are convinced that the Bush Administration projected their panic and anger on the self-same public eight years ago."

Is he really suggesting that there was no reason for panic and anger after 9/11? Seriously? At what point are we supposed to become outraged about attacks on our homeland and what would the appropriate reaction be, according to Ambinder?

Steve Benen suggests a similar response when he writes,

In the Bush/Cheney era, we know officials read from a far different script. Incidents like these became opportunities to exploit. Top officials -- Bush, Cheney, Rice, Ashcroft, Ridge -- would fan out and start hitting the talking points. There'd be talk about invading Yemen.

So, while Bush and Cheney were only exploiting 9/11, Obama is adopting a "mature response":

Obama and his team obviously prefer a far more mature, strategic approach. It's about projecting a sense of calm and control.

As opposed to the Bush administrations irrational approach to 9/11, I suppose.

The left will let no chance to criticize George Bush pass them by.

As far as Obama's approach to this situation, I don't necessarily want him on my television pontificating about how we shouldn't jump to conclusions and we shouldn't jeopardize the criminal investigation.

Part of the problem has been treating terrorists as criminals and not like terrorists. This guy ought to be put in Gitmo and interrogated. Do you think we're actually going to learn anything from him via Eric Holder's approach to interrogation? Do you think we're even going to be able to ask him about his terrorist ties, knowledge of future attacks, or terrorist networks? No. He's going to get a fine American lawyer and be treated like your common shoplifter.

In the end, Obama's bobbing around golf-courses and strolls along the beach project a cavalier approach to the problem. Should he rush back to Washington and start making speeches? No. Should he project a tougher stance on terrorism than he has to date? Absolutely. If Benen wants to talk about "projecting a sense" of anything, it should be one of toughness and resilience against this sort of attack.

A sense of "calm and control" isn't the projection I'm reading from Obama's drives from the back nine.

(H/T: Memeorandum)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Suspect Charged in Attempted Destruction of Flight 253

The Nigerian terrorist has been charged, via Fox News:

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman read 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab his charges in a conference room on Saturday at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, where he is being treated for burns.

Agents brought Abdulmutallab into the room in a wheelchair. He had a blanket over his lap and wore a green hospital robe.

The judge asked Abdulmutallab if he understood the charges against him. He responded in English: "Yes, I do."

And Eric Holder is outraged! Outraged!

"This alleged attack on a U.S. airplane on Christmas Day shows that we must remain vigilant in the fight against terrorism at all times," Attorney General Eric Holder said. "Had this alleged plot to destroy an airplane been successful, scores of innocent people would have been killed or injured. We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously, and we will use all measures available to our government to ensure that anyone responsible for this attempted attack is brought to justice."

And terrorists worldwide quake in fear.

Wyblog the Poet!

Chris at Wyblog just made my day with a nifty poem - the blogger's Night Before Christmas!

Here's my part:

In Shreveport meanwhile
Pat says "how do!"
How do all my friends
eat badger stew?

Read the whole thing!

Thanks for the smile, Chris!

"We should be gravely concerned - to say the least."

At The Weekly Standard, Thomas Joscelyn has some preliminary analysis of yesterday's thwarted terror attack:

Finally, all of this could also further complicate the Obama administration’s attempts to close Guantanamo. Around 90 or more of the remaining 198 detainees are Yemeni. The Bush administration did not repatriate many of them to their home country because of security concerns. The Obama administration has similarly been reluctant to transfer large numbers of detainees because the Yemeni government has an abysmal track record when it comes to keeping tabs on known al Qaeda terrorists.

President Saleh’s regime is also notoriously duplicitous, and works with al Qaeda and like-minded jihadist organizations at times. Thus far, the American government has not wanted to risk transferring or releasing the Gitmo Yemenis to Saleh’s custody because it could easily lead to their rejoining the jihad in short order.

The Yemen part of Mudallad’s story is, therefore, of paramount importance. It is too early to tell how important this aspect is, but we should be gravely concerned - to say the least.

The Obama administration has already released Gitmo graduates to Yemen as recently as last week. I wonder how long before those guys show back up in the terror cycle. Joscelyn is right that it is certainly something we should be concerned about.

Additionally, Mark Steyn at NRO's The Corner has the story of the passenger who was first to react:

Schuringa, sitting in seat 20J, in the right-most section of the Airbus 330, looked to his left. "I saw smoke rising from a seat ... I didn’t hesitate. I just jumped," he said.

Schuringa dove over four passengers to reach Abdul Mutallab’s seat. The suspect had a blanket on his lap. "It was smoking and there were flames coming from beneath his legs."

"I searched on his body parts and he had his pants open. He had something strapped to his legs."

It's reminiscent of Flight 93 and the passengers who thwarted that attempt. Thank goodness for the bravery and the vigilance of Americans who continue to stay alert to the threat of jihad.

And finally, who knew about "suicide underwear"? Good grief. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Lots more at Memeorandum.

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Glad It's Over Edition

It's the after Christmas edition of the Saturday Reach Around. This one's going to be short and sweet because I can't wait to get this dead tree out of my house and Christmas boxed up for another year. I never got into the spirit at all this year and mostly couldn't wait for it to be over. I hate it, but it just happens some years that way.

I've had some real life distractions over the past month and just couldn't get my mind in play for Christmas. Maybe next year. In fact, I haven't even been blogging regularly and my stats are so far in the tank I may never rebound! Pitiful!

At any rate, let's get linkin':

Ann Althouse has some fun with Google maps and suggests that Obama (and all presidents, for that matter) not get so far away from home.

Speaking of the Obama Hawaiian vacation, Pundette adds up the expense. Fat cats! Ha! Gateway Pundit has video of the digs.

Doug Ross reports the religious angle of yesterday's terrorist attempt. Donald Douglas has some very thorough coverage as well.

Legal Insurrection reports on the Times of London's person of the year; amen to that.

Smitty, at The Other McCain, comments on the parting shot from Congress as they left town.

Bread Upon the Waters likes my campaign to send a retirement card to your Congressman and also laments the crap weasels in Washington who are selling us out.

Camp of the Saints is trying out new digs - check it out! I like it! Stacy McCain is trying out something new, too.

Okay. I know it's short and I'll add more later. I have GOT to get rid of this dead tree. Now.

Update: The tree was on the curb at 11:42. Not quite a record (that was the year I put it out on Christmas Day). Almost everything is packed and boxed and I'm thinking about breaking out the Mardi Gras decorations. Now THAT I might can get into this year.

Revisit Issues of National Security

Dan Riehl has been closely tracking the terrorist attempt yesterday to blow up an airplane in Detroit. He's the first that I've seen to post the same theory that's been in the back of my mind, which is

I'm wondering if this wasn't a probing attack to test a new detonation device with more skilled and experienced Al Qaeda operatives looking to capitalize somehow down the line.

The left is foaming at the mouth over Rep. Pete Hoekstra's comment yesterday that this attack is somehow connected to Obama's weak stance on national security. Via Memeorandum, Steve Benen writing for The Washington Monthly calls him a "shameless buffoon" for saying this:

"It's not surprising," U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Holland Republican, said of the alleged terrorist attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight in Detroit. ... "People have got to start connecting the dots here and maybe this is the thing that will connect the dots for the Obama administration," Hoekstra said.

Both Hoekstra and Dan Riehl seem to be saying the same thing - this isn't the last attack attempt we're likely to see. I'll go one further and say that if the Obama administration doesn't quit releasing terrorists into the wild and doesn't toughen up the rhetoric on national security, then we'll see more of these attempts, failed or not, in the future. This is a lesson we've learned in the past, and now apparently forgotten.

Think Progress accuses Hoekstra of only attempting to score "cheap political points" with his statement simply because he hadn't yet been briefed on the incident.

I haven't been briefed and I'm scoring no political points. But it's pretty clear to me that a terrorist attack of some sort was attempted yesterday, although there are many on the left who hesitate to even call it that. Folks in the comments section of both the Think Progress post and the Washington Monthly post, are alternately blaming Bush (for letting small amounts of liquids on planes after 9/11), and the Dutch and Nigerians who let the guy on the plane in the first place.

To be clear, so the left can understand, I'm not blaming Obama for not personally searching every single passenger. I'm saying the national security policies of this administration are ignoring the lessons of the past -- not necessarily with this incident alone, but in general.

Pete Hoekstra's concern with security breaches is admirable, in my opinion. These issues need to be revisited by this administration. Bringing terrorists to New York City for trial is one example. Housing them in Thomson, Illinois is another. Closing Gitmo, another. Releasing detainees to Yemen, Afghanistan, Somaliland is another.

"Centrist" Democrats Like Their Abominable Bill Just the Way it Is

After 25 straight days of "the longest Senate debate in recent history," our senators are now off work until after the first of the year. Meanwhile, the health care bill that we had to hurry up and pass because "people are dying!" sits on a lonely desk somewhere waiting for more changes, revisions, and debate. That won't happen until January, although no doubt the back room deals and bribes are still underway.

The Hill reports this morning that there is "very little wiggle room" in the upcoming talks to merge the two bills. Nearly two dozen "centrist" senators, including Mary Landrieu, who don't favor changing their version of the bill very much. (Although how anyone can call Mary Landrieu a "centrist" escapes me.)

They don't want a "bill that imposes a tax surcharge on the nation’s highest income earners or reduces the tax burden on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans, which are held by many unionized workers." They also don't want a public option included in the final bill.

Landrieu is adamant about keeping that provision that taxes those "Cadillac" plans because she's concerned about cost-containment. If she's so worried about cost-containment, she should refuse her $300 million bribe, but that's beside the point.

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska says he won't support the bill if it taxes those making over $500,000.

Do either of those two people have any credibility left?

These senators that were bought off, Landrieu, Nelson, and all the others, try to excuse this action by saying that it's just politics; it's done all the time! If you don't understand that, you don't understand politics! Mary Landrieu said, “Those who have dubbed this provision the ‘Louisiana Purchase' know little about lawmaking and even less about my views on health-care reform." Business as usual. Got it.

I'm sure back room deals are, in fact, part of how Washington works and I'm sure it's been that way for a long time. Doesn't make it right. And it especially doesn't excuse passing bad legislation. If you make a back room deal to get something for your state, at least try to be sure the rest of the country isn't getting totally screwed in the meantime.

At any rate, the poor, overworked senators are all back at home (call them!) as are your representatives (call them, too!). They'll mosey on back to Washington in January, all the while patting themselves on the back for their "historic" achievement, and begin the final task of driving the nails into the heart of the American heath care industry and economy.

Historic, indeed.

(H/T: Memeorandum)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We're Closing Gitmo to Save the Taxpayer Money!

Team Obama has maxed out mommy's credit card and doesn't have the cash to purchase Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois. When approached with the idea of adding $200 million to the military appropriations bill to fund the endeavor, Congress balked.

The New York Times reports:

Still, it is not clear that Congress will be willing to approve money enabling the transfer of Guantánamo detainees to domestic soil — especially as the 2010 midterm election campaign heats up, with the likelihood that Republicans will pick up seats.

Incredible insight there on the part of Congress, no? I suspect they are starting to hear the American people and many of them know when they rubber stamp this Obamacare abomination, they are toast. Out. Now they are worrying about keeping their jobs.

The Times also reports this new rationale for closing Gitmo; the administration says that moving the detainees to Illinois will save the taxpayer money. No, really:

The White House has argued that closing Guantánamo would enhance national security by removing a symbol used by terrorist recruiters. It also said the closing would save taxpayers money because the Defense Department pays $150 million a year to operate the Guantánamo prison on the naval base there, while running the Illinois prison would cost $75 million.

You spend nearly $200 million to acquire a property you don't really need, and that saves money? Got it. And as to the operational costs, I'm supposed to believe it will cost $75 million annually to run Thomson because...they say so? Where will that savings come from? Cutting out those high caloric meals? The nutritionists? No more DirectTV? Cutting costs by not providing prayer rugs, oil, and copies of the Koran? Soccer balls? Maybe that's it.

Honestly, this administration's concept of saving money scares me to death.

I guess holding those civilian trials in New York City are supposed to save us money, too. So much cheaper than a military tribunal held at a facility where the defendant already is incarcerated and for a crime to which he has already confessed. No, I guess spending millions on security measures is also a cost-saving measure.

We're just to stupid to realize it.

I wish Obama would quit trying to help me and save me money.

"The non-descript faces of the foosball table's characters have been chipped off..."
Attempting to Fathom the Logic of Gitmo North
Gitmo North

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Obamacare Forever

Today is our last day of finals at school, then I'm off until after the first of the year and we'll start a new semester when we return! Yay!

While I'm giving finals this morning, and figuring grades, you might like to read this nugget from Red State (or this from Weekly Standard) about the provision in Reid's bill to prevent future Congresses from repealing Obamacare:

Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards a/k/a the Death Panels.

Oh, they'll tell you that's not what it means, but they'll also tell you that this bill lowers the deficit, doesn't fund abortions, and doesn't cover illegals.

They lie.

Don't forget to send those retirement cards, and be sure to add Harry Reid to your list.

Monday, December 21, 2009

As far as I know, the U.S. has never transferred a 'high-value detainee' from its custody."

I posted earlier today about the report at both Hot Air and Weekly Standard where the Obama DoJ has released two Gitmo detainees to Somaliland, a breakoff country of Somalia, one with which we have no relations.

I posted that via my iPhone and if you can add links to your posts through there, I can't figure out how. At any rate, I wanted to delve into the release a little deeper than phone-blogging would allow.

The entire Catch and Release program that the Obama administration seems to be practicing with regard to terrorism suspects is troubling enough, but this one is especially problematic because of the Somaliland angle and the fact that one of the detainees in question, Abdullahi Sudi Arale, was, as recently as 2007, classified as a "high value detainee."

Thomas Joscelyn at The Weekly Standard points out that "As far as I know, the U.S. has never transferred a 'high-value detainee' from its custody," and refers to this June 2006 Department of Defense statement that says:

Abdullahi Sudi Arale is suspected of being a member of the Al Qaeda terrorist network in East Africa, serving as a courier between East Africa Al Qaeda (EAAQ) and Al Qaeda in Pakistan. Since his return from Pakistan to Somalia in September 2006, he has held a leadership role in the EAAQ-affiliated Somali Council of Islamic Courts (CIC).

There is significant information available indicating that Arale has been assisting various EAAQ-affiliated extremists in acquiring weapons and explosives, and has facilitated terrorist travel by providing false documents for AQ and EAAQ-affiliates and foreign fighters traveling into Somalia. Arale played a significant role in the re-emergence of the CIC in Mogadishu.

Joscelyn, as you may recall, visited Gitmo recently. He spoke to Brigadier General Timothy Lake who explained that he and his staff have "zero input" as far as who gets transferred and who doesn't. Joscelyn concludes that "the DOJ and Foggy Bottom control transfer decisions, not the military officials who have been responsible for detaining, interrogating, and analyzing the intelligence collected on each Gitmo detainee."

It seems to me that those military officials should have some input into the decision, but, that does not appear to be the case.

And, while it's true that the Bush administration also released a detainee to Somaliland, he was not a "high-value detainee" as Arale was. Muhamed Hussein Abdallah was released November 4, 2008 at the recommendation of Gordon England.

Just as it's true that the Bush administration determined that many of the Guantanamo detainees were cleared for release, so too has the Obama administration. Neither side has always been correct. The recidivism rate is alarmingly high. All the more reason to proceed with caution now when considering who should be released.

Stephen Hayes reports that a "classified Defense Intelligence Agency report leaked to the New York Times in May supported that claim. Return to the Battlefield showed that 74 detainees transferred or released from Guantánamo had returned to jihad. That's one in seven--a recidivism rate of 14 percent." However, that report is out of date.

Hayes goes on to say that "the Defense Department has now produced an updated version of Return to the Battlefield. According to four separate sources familiar with the study, the rate of recidivism is increasing. One source said there has been a 'spike' in the number of former detainees involved in jihad against the United States and its allies. Another called the increase 'significant' and 'deeply troubling.'"

How large is the "spike"? We don't know because the most transparent administration in history won't release the report.

In fact, Congressman Frank Wolf has now written a letter to the Obama administration calling for the release of said report.

The truth is, combined with the blind decision to close Gitmo, the quixotic release of detainees hither and yon (despite high recidivism rates), the efforts to bring high-value detainees to New York City for trial, and not to mention the actual importing of terrorists into the United States to Thomson Correctional Center, the bitter attacks on the CIA, the scaling down of weapons programs and national defense spending, the elimination of the missile defense system, glad-handing with dictators, alienation of allies,'s all enough to make one wonder. Where exactly are the priorities of this administration?

It seems to me that we couldn't be much more of a blind, sitting duck if we tried. As I questioned earlier, at what point does it become treason? Aiding and abetting the enemy?

It's enough to keep one awake at night.