Through the Grinder
"The US Senate is holding special one man sessions throughout Christmas and the New Year to prevent President George W. Bush from making appointments without the approval of the Democratic majority.(h/t Michelle Malkin)
With the bang of a gavel, Democratic Senator Jim Webb declared the first session open on Sunday morning before closing it seconds later, without any of his colleagues present in the hall.
The brief ceremony will be repeated every two to three days until January 18, when lawmakers resume their work after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The Democratic majority is staging the move to avoid any formal recess for Congress extending over several days. A recess would allow Bush to appoint ambassadors, judges and other top posts without seeking a Senate confirmation for his nominations."
Als courtesy Michelle, I'm sure most of us still have the cupcake's-ban story fresh in our minds. And speaking of fresh, here's fresher - or as some call it, the removal of one's tin foil hat.
The War of Words puts the War on Terror at stake. Let us stay strong, and resolute.
In my previous post, I talked about the dilemma inherent in the practice of atheism. Rand Simberg notes:
"One of the dangerous (and false) assumptions underlying the "progressive" project is the notion that there is no human nature, and that human beings are almost infinitely malleable and mutable. All that is needed is to pass the proper laws, and to punish those who refuse to bend to the dictates of the superior morality. Such notions lie at the heart of most of the human catastrophes of the last couple centuries, from Robespierre, to Lenin and Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. And of course, it is at the heart of the war in which we're now engaged, with the new totalitarians who would, if they could, bend us to their extreme Islamic will."
And to finish off, Claudia Rosett on the UN:
America vs the UN Mob.
Just in case anyone thinks the folks at the UN don’t work long hours, check out the news on the UN General Assembly budget vote, held at 5:55 A.M. — on Saturday morning, no less — following “marathon talks that lasted through the night.” The result was the adoption of a record-busting $4.17 billion core budget for 2008-2009, passed by a vote of 142 to 1.
And who was that lone dissenting member state? You guessed it: as Mark Steyn has called it, America Alone.
Is that because 142 member states (including Belarus, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Laos, Libya, Burma, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe) are right? and America is wrong?
Or is it because the UN system is structured to encourage the mob of member states to treat American money as an all-you-can-eat buffet?
American taxpayers bankroll 22%, or $917 million of this whopping biennial core budget — by far the biggest contribution of any one member state — with just a handful of other countries, including Japan and a few from the European Union, accounting for the bulk of the remainder.
This is just the core budget, of course. The UN system-wide budget is about ten times the size (and for that, the U.S. foots an even bigger portion of the bill, or about 25%), thus likely to total well over $40 billion for the same two-year stretch. Though due to a UN system growing like kudzu, and just as impenetrable, the exact numbers are almost impossible to keep up with.
And does all this money go to make a better world? In a statement to the General Assembly, the U.S. ambassador for management reform, Mark Wallace, noted that this budget contains funding for a conference dubbed Durban II, “an event noxious to my country and a disgrace in the International Community.” That funding was approved 141 to one (yep, America alone) by the UN budget committee at 1:05 AM Saturday, just a few hours before the pre-dawn General Assembly vote. Details of that remarkable scene on Inner-City Press. (And then there is the usual roster of high-ticket UN endeavors entwined with the usual UN money and sex scandals, legitimization of tyrants, routine demonization of Israel and the U.S., and failure to stop the genocide of the hour).
Finally, there is the interesting spin in the UN press release headline about this budget vote, which offers no hint that the U.S. had good reasons for its dissent. Instead (also linked at the top of this post), from the UN we get “General Assemby approves nearly $4.2 billion UN budget despite US Opposition,” and from the New York Times (can anyone spot the difference?), we get “Despite U.S. Opposition, United Nations Budget is Approved.”