The unassuming ship captain who escaped the clutches of Somali pirates made a triumphant return home Friday, insisting he's no hero, just an ordinary seaman. Richard Phillips said the U.S. Navy, which pulled off the daring high-seas rescue that ended his five-day captivity, deserves the credit.
"They're the superheroes," a relaxed, hale-looking Phillips said upon his arrival at Burlington International Airport. "They're the titans. They're impossible men doing an impossible job, and they did the impossible with me. ... They're at the point of the sword every day, doing an impossible job every day."
Obviously the SEALs are heroes as well, but let's remember this guy put his life on the line to save his crew:
Phillips, who had offered himself up as a hostage after pirates made an aborted attempt to seize the Maersk Alabama cargo ship April 8 off the coast of Somalia, survived the ordeal after Navy snipers on the USS Bainbridge killed the three pirates holding him with simultaneous shots under the cover of night.
Hey, credit where credit is due; I was pissed earlier in the week when I heard that 9-11 Truther Ernie Hancock might speak at the tea party on Wednesday. I have not heard what happened on that front, but let me point out that a bunch of 9-11 Truthers tried to sell their revisionist history at the local event and what happened?
In the first three months of the year, Hillary Clinton paid off $3.7 million in bills left over from her failed presidential campaign, according to a report her campaign filed Wednesday afternoon with the Federal Election Commission.
The report shows that Clinton has only one vendor left to pay off: pollster Mark Penn. Her campaign paid his firm $3 million in the first quarter, but still owes it $2.3 million.
But I did have to blink a bit at this claim:
Though Clinton had $2.6 million in the bank at the end of March, she couldn't use that to pay off the remainder of the Penn debt because her campaign operation still has overhead costs it needs to pay.
For instance, in the first quarter, the campaign paid $9,400 in salary to staffers in New York and Washington, plus $2,300 in phone services, $7,000 for website maintenance and $30,000 in travel costs.
That's about $50,000 in the first quarter. Let's be generous and multiply that by 4, even though the expenses for things like salary and travel have to be going down now at Hillary for President, right? So that's $200,000. It sure sounds like she has plenty to pay off Penn.
Feb. 15: Keli Carender, who blogs as “Liberty Belle” spread the word about a grass-roots protest she was organizing in Seattle to raise her voice against the passage of the trillion-dollar stimulus/porkulus/Generational Theft Act of 2009. It’s the first time she had ever jumped into political organizing of any kind. She is not affiliated with any “corporate lobbyist” or think tank or national taxpayers’ organization. She’s a young conservative mom who blogs. Amazingly, she turned around the event in a few days all on her own by reaching out on the Internet, to her local talk station, and to anyone who would listen.
Good pushback against the lefty meme that this is some Fox News-sponsored enterprise.
They're trying to stir up outrage because Sarah Palin nominated Wayne Anthony Ross to be Attorney General of the State of Alaska. Somebody went through some old columns that Ross had written and found that he (gasp) defended a student who did a statue of a KKK member.
I saw this yesterday and was struck that despite the provocative title of the essay (KKK art project gets 'A' for courage), the people who were pushing it seemed unable to come up with any really objectionable pull quotes.
Come today, and Sam Stein, the designated smear merchant of the Huffington Post, has the complete article reproduced. And what do you know, there's a lot less to this story than the first breathless accounts indicated.
The art project in question was done as part of an assignment on "Nightmares and Monsters", not "people I admire." Ross notes there would have been no controversy if he'd done a statue of a fictional monster like Freddy Krueger:
But a KKK figure is a real monster. And the nightmare of racial prejudice is real also. And if we are ever to achieve equality of races in this country, we must be prepared to fight such monsters and end such nightmares, once and for all.
So whence come the cries that Ross is a racist? Well, apparently he was insufficiently sympathetic to those who protested the statue, one of whom threatened to take down the statue if the university administrators did not. Shockingly, Ross seemed to feel that there was something wrong with a person threatening university administrators with an illegal act if they did not bow to her demands.
And of course none of this is about Ross; it's all about Palin. The kooks are clutching at straws here.
As the time approached, my assistant Anne said, “They want to know who you want to follow.” Borrowing language from Anne’s generation, I said, “Duh?”
I know Tiger from our Stanford connection. I once sat with him at a Stanford-Duke basketball game. Stanford won on a buzzer-beater, and we stormed the court together. With that kind of bonding, whom else would I pull for? I had decided that if Tiger did not win, I would champion the cause of Phil Mickelson (met him at the White House and he’s a really nice guy); Stewart Cink (met him in Atlanta and he’s a really nice guy); or Anthony Kim (haven’t met him but I like his swagger).
In the last week alone, the Obama DOJ (a) attempted to shield Bush's illegal spying programs from judicial review by (yet again) invoking the very "state secrets" argument that Democrats spent years condemning and by inventing a brand new "sovereign immunity" claim that not even the Bush administration espoused, and (b) argued that individuals abducted outside of Afghanistan by the U.S. and then "rendered" to and imprisoned in Bagram have no rights of any kind -- not even to have a hearing to contest the accusations against them -- even if they are not Afghans and were captured far away from any "battlefield." These were merely the latest -- and among the most disturbing -- in a string of episodes in which the Obama administration has explicitly claimed to possess the very presidential powers that Bush critics spent years condemning as radical, lawless and authoritarian.
It may seem like they're being consistent in opposing wiretapping and invasions of privacy whether it's under Obama or Bush. But that's not really the issue. What the left is pushing for is diclosure of information on wiretapping during the Bush era, in the hopes that there will be something in there that will result in jail for top administration officials. That's really what Greenwald wants and what Obama (quite sensibly) is opposing.
Their new meme of the week is that Fox News came up with the idea. Not so.
Here’s the nasty little bigot Jane Hamsher saying that the Tea Party protests are nothing but a Fox News/big corporation operation. And here she is again saying the same thing. Notice how she scampers away like a scared rat when someone asks her if she has anything close to, you know, proof.
Steve Benen’s on the same kick and he quotes Oliver Willis who put on his deerstalker cap and came up with, you guessed it, exactly the same conclusion.
If Hamsher, Benen and Willis are against it, it must be good because those idiots are always wrong. And yes, I am 100% serious about that; Hamsher and Benen are the biggest dolts on the left imaginable.
The only thing I am warning people about is that there absolutely are infiltrators at this point, and thus you should be very suspicious of people who want to divert the talk to "the real problem" which is (fluoride in the drinking water/The Federal Reserve/The international banksters, the Council on Foreign relations).
Ever heard of the "diamond pattern"? CPUSA operatives used this tactic to control meetings (of labor unions, etc.) back in the day. Send four operatives to the meeting, stationing one at the front of the room, one at the rear, and one each on the left and right sides of the midpoint of the room. When one operative stands up to make his point, the other three are like, "Yeah, he's right!" This creates the appearance of support throughout the room, in order to bring bandwagon psychology into play.
Another common tactic is the provocateur ploy; try to whip up the more extreme elements of the crowd with calls to "Burn the books" as that one gal did at the Ohio tea party that I pointed out the other day.