Sunday, June 30, 2013

Meanwhile in Egypt...

The people of Egypt have had enough.

Enough of the Muslim Brotherhood -- and their mouthpiece, President Mohamed Morsi -- trying to create another Mullah-ruled, Sharia-crazed Islamic "republic" in their backyard.

Today, more than 17 million Egyptians took to their streets (according to the BBC, "The number of people protesting today is the largest number in a political event in the history of mankind") across Egypt calling for Morsi's resignation. The protesters accuse the country's first Islamist president of failing to tackle economic and security problems since taking power a year ago.

In the capital, Cairo, tens of thousands of people are massed in Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace. They have vowed to stay on until Morsi steps down. Stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is a watershed moment: Muslims are protesting in the millions against Islamism.

There is hope.

Late add: Anti-government demonstrators in Egypt expressed anger and contempt for the Obama administration as they took to the streets on Sunday to demand the removal of Morsi.

More of that "smart diplomacy" America was promised...right?

Bonus photo: That's one way to handle things -- Egyptian protesters direct laser lights on a military helicopter flying over the presidential palace in Cairo.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Do Obama and Biden disagree over government surveillance?

It would appear so...

Bill Clinton's legacy dies a little more...

William J. Clinton did a lot of things while he was president. Like every president, some were positive; others...not so much.

Today, we learned that two of his "legacies" have died.

The first: Marc Rich, the former fugitive oil trader and founder of the commodities trading giant Glencore International, died on Wednesday in Lucerne, Switzerland. He was 78. Rich, who often operated his "businesses" in the shadows (including "buy[ing] oil from Iran after the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution despite American sanctions against the country") was pardoned by Clinton "on his last day in office in early 2001. The pardon brought the oil trader back into the headlines after it was revealed that Mr. Rich’s former wife, Denise Eisenberg, had given [significant] donations to the Democratic Party in 2000, according to official records."

The second: the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which Clinton had signed into law, was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court (5-4 decision). In a statement issued jointly with his wife, Hillary, there was no mention of the role Mr. Clinton played in making DOMA the law of the land. "By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court recognized that discrimination towards any group holds us all back in our efforts to form a more perfect union," the couple said in the statement. "

Bill Clinton signing the Defense of Marriage Act into law.  

Two big hits like that in one day? Ya gotta feel for Bill...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where was he?

Where was President Obama as Americans waited for help in Benghazi?

"Brave men died last September...more than nine months later, the question remains unanswered: Where was the president?"

Read more here...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yeah, about those claims...

News item: "The head of the National Security Agency said U.S. surveillance programs had helped disrupt more than 50 possible attacks since September 11, 2001, as sympathetic members of Congress also defended the use of the top-secret spying operations."

"You can't win 'em all"...right?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yes, Chuck Hagel said that...

Secretary of Gaffes?

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asked a questioner at the University of Nebraska Wednesday whether he was a member of the Taliban...before finding out the Indian gentleman was a college professor. (Hagel had previously answered a question on Afghanistan and negotiating with the Taliban.)


Hagel's spin doctors at the Pentagon provided a statement it was hoped might calm things a bit: “Absolutely no slight toward any individual in the audience was intended. That’s the last thing the Secretary would do under any circumstance, in this or any other setting. He didn’t know who would be called next to pose a question.” (Which is total B.S., considering Hagel called on the professor.)

[h/t: BuzzFeed and Washington Free Beacon]

"The sun was in my eyes!"

(Photo: CBS News)

Think back to your days of playground or sandlot baseball or softball. One constant was the kid always making excuses for dropping a fly ball.

"The sun was in my eyes!" was the ball yard equivalent of the weak explanation offered to generations of teachers: "My dog ate my homework."

In other words, "B.S."

Today, delivering and address in Germany before a few thousand invited guests, President Barack Obama delivered a mostly forgettable speech.

Of course, Obama sycophant Chris Matthews has an explanation for his Holy Tingleness' weak showing: "The sun was in his Teleprompter." (What? The most-gifted political speaker to occupy the White House can't speak without a Teleprompter?! Banish the thought!)

Here's Matthews making the excuse:

If it weren't so predictable...and tedious...and would be silly.

Bonus: According to The Weekly Standard, "Last time around, when Obama delivered a speech in Berlin in the 2008 presidential campaign, when he was still a senator, 200,000 folks came out to see him. The pool reporter says only 4,500 were present for Obama's speech [today]." Plus, this time he spoke from behind bulletproof glass. Times change!

Friday, June 14, 2013

In The Name of ... Democracy

Last week, on a rooftop in New York City, U2 recorded an acoustic performance of  'Sunday Bloody Sunday' - and dedicated it to democracy in Iran.

Meanwhile (today), in the totalitarian state that is Iran, voters minded orders calls to cast ballots in that country's presidential election. While there is little doubt that hardliners will hold on to power, the campaign leading up to the vote showcased the divide that has the strongmen trying to retain their authority, while reformers hoped against hope and backed a single candidate on the Left.

Today's voting began with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei taking a swipe at American concerns regarding the election's integrity, telling Washington "the hell with you" after casting his ballot in a the already decided/rigged vote.

Well, at least we can rest comfortably knowing that U2 & Co. "rocked the vote."

Late add bonus: "With over 121% of precincts reporting, Iran is still a brutal theocracy."
-- Sohrab Ahmari 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

California's next gold rush?

Depending on who you listen to, if California allows "fracking" (hydrological fracturing for petroleum extraction), the state will give into energy companies that will trash the beauty of the Golden State...or it will enrich California's public coffers and help drive America toward greater energy independence. (Some even claim it could make California "like Texas...or even Saudi Arabia.")

According to experts, there could be as much as 15 billion barrels of oil in the state's massive Monterey Shale formation that could be accessed by fracking. Even California's green-leaning Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has said, "the potential is extraordinary" for the state.

Opponents claim that the chemicals used to frack contribute to polluted water and a variety of toxic waste products. Pro-fracking groups, however, maintain that safety and environmental protection are paramount (and being continuously improved on).

At one point, there were as many as 10 anti-fracking bills in Sacramento, but that has now been whittled down to just one piece of legislation. The surviving (proposed) law, Senate Bill 4 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), "would set up a permitting system, require energy companies to share more information with the state and with property owners and have the California Natural Resources Agency commission a study on the environmental repercussions of fracking."

Read more here:

It's hardly a millstone around the necks of energy producers, considering the value of the state's natural resources and concerns over earthquakes. As with most legislatures, California's one-party lawmaking club has a tendency toward mission creep. In other words, regardless of how seemingly insignificant the burdens are now, everyone knows they will grow.

The question is, will California exploit one of this nation's greatest energy reserves -- cleanly and responsibly -- or will it follow the path it's become accustomed to? Namely, a path that leads to greater dependency, fewer jobs, and a treasury that is further diminished?
Read more here:

The New Yorker Magazine

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Approved reading materials...

If you're wondering which books your little ones need to read this summer, stop your worrying.

Here at The Bliss Index, we've got you covered.

Without further ado, here is our suggested (NSA approved!) reading list.


(Sources: multiple)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

We're baaaack...

The Bliss Index (blog edition) is back after a long hiatus. As our way of saying "hello," again, we present the following meditation on the current administration...