Friday, January 8, 2010

Dead White Guys

I got a kick out of this article. Those who argue that rock and roll is nothing more than nostalgia can use 2009's top sales as a centerpiece for their argument. I know that MJ wasn't really white, but he was getting pretty close. I also know that Paul and Ringo are still alive, thanks.


Unsurprisingly, Michael Jackson was the year’s best-selling artist, as the singer’s June 25th death led to a massive resurgence of his catalog. In total, the King of Pop sold 8,286,000 units in 2009, easily beating out the 4,643,000 combined albums Swift sold last year. Jackson’s 2003 compilation Number Ones was also the year’s third-best-selling album, totaling 2,355,000 units sold. Jackson came in at Number Three on the top-selling digital artists chart.

In a year that featured new releases by U2, Green Day and Pearl Jam, it’s surprising that the year’s best-selling band is, well, no longer a band. As Rolling Stone previously reported, the Beatles’ best-of collection 1 was the decade’s top-selling album, and 40 years after the breakup, the Fab Four were amazingly also the top-selling act of 2009. Thanks to their remastered catalog, the Beatles sold 3,282,000 units in 2009 without the aid of digital music services, placing the group third behind Jackson and Swift and in front of Boyle on the 2009 top-selling artist chart. Additionally, Abbey Road was the year’s best-selling vinyl with 34,000 copies, beating out Jackson’s Thriller and Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. Radiohead, however, was the year’s best-selling artists on vinyl with 45,700 records combined.

Obama renominates anti-Catholic Dawn Johnsen

From Bill Donohue of the Catholic League:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue calls attention to the decision of President Obama to renominate Dawn Johnsen to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel:

Most of the critics of Dawn Johnsen focus on her strong pro-abortion record. While that is disturbing, a pro-abortion president can be expected to staff his administration with such persons, and no one doubts President Obama’s position on this subject. But it is an entirely different matter when a president selects bigots to work for him.

Dawn Johnsen is not someone who simply takes issue with the Catholic Church’s pro-life position: she wants to punish the Church. In the late 1980s, she joined a cadre of anti-Catholics to strip the Catholic Church of its tax exempt status. The charge? The Church was guilty of violating IRS strictures because it took a strong pro-life position. The lawsuit failed.

The person who led this assault was Lawrence Lader, co-founder of NARAL with Dr. Bernard Nathanson. (Nathanson later dropped his pro-abortion position, became a strong pro-life advocate and converted to Catholicism.) At the time the two men founded NARAL, Lader, according to Nathanson, liked to refer to the Catholic Church as “our favorite whipping boy,” maintaining that his goal was to “bring the Catholic hierarchy out where we can fight them. That’s the real enemy.” (Italics in the original.) That was in the late 1960s. Twenty years later, Lader published a vicious book assailing the Catholic Church, and it was at this time that he launched his bid—assisted by Johnsen—to break the Church.

This is who Dawn Johnsen is. She is a person who is so fueled with hatred of the Catholic Church that she would like to destroy it. Having failed to secure her appointment last year, Obama has decided that he just can’t proceed without her. How telling.

Johnsen is not the first anti-Catholic chosen by Obama, but she is by far the most extreme and the most dangerous.

Bigotry is like potato chips, I guess. Or maybe crack. Addictive.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Seattle Airport Customs plays IRS

Here's one for the "good grief" file. Michael Yon—a preeminent war correspondent and Green Beret—was arrested for refusing to disclose his salary.

Got arrested at the Seattle airport for refusing to say how much money I make. (The uniformed ones say I was not "arrested", but they definitely handcuffed me.) Their videos and audios should show that I was polite, but simply refused questions that had nothing to do with national security. Port authority police eventually came—they were professionals—and rescued me from the border bullies.

Here's a more full account of what went down. It's possible that these guys gave Yon a hard time because of this article he wrote about TSA, referring to them as "border bullies". In the reader comments on the BigGovernment entry, it is mentioned that TSA will soon be unionized. That's great; they'll be even more unbearable while continuing to let guys named Muhammed bring pipe bombs onto the plane.

Update: Whoops, per Michael Yon, it was the customs people who were asking the inappropriate questions. I updated this entry somewhat. But his "border bullies" article was talking about Homeland Security in general.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Obama screws the CIA

Remember the mock outrage about the Valerie Plame non-story? Well check this out from Redstate. Excerpt:

It appears Barack Obama inexperience and amateurishness has just started bonfires on the bridges connecting him to the American intelligence community and delivered a huge, HUGE psychological win to Al Qaeda.

People tell me the President’s rush to acknowledge the attack on the CIA in Afghanistan and mourn the deaths openly, publicly, and via press release is a huge no no. The CIA and greater intelligence community would prefer not to have the attention put on them. Additionally, because the President took the time to draft a blanket statement focused on the CIA in general instead of individually and more privately focusing on the families of the victims, it acknowledges the CIA’s work in Afghanistan, acknowledges that the attack has an impact on the CIA, and gives the terrorists a new recruiting tool — “you too can cause America to publicly mourn the loss of their spies.”

To you and me this may not seem like a big deal. But I’m told this is hugely significant and shows just how out of touch the Obama administration is with the intelligence community. I’m told that no other President has issued such blanket statements of public mourning directed toward an attack on the CIA and thereby having the White House itself confirming an attack on our intelligence community.

Then he links to this piece of devastation. It turns out that Obama had been at least to some degree warned about the Christmas sausage bomber incident. Excerpt:

Presidential aides are concerned that Obama will somehow be unfairly accused of dropping the ball on the fight against terrorists in Yemen—a country where, in fact, the evidence suggests that Obama, as early as last summer, ordered a significant increase in U.S. intelligence activity. In the weeks before the Christmas incident, several U.S. officials have told NEWSWEEK, Obama authorized a major expansion in U.S. intelligence, military, and material support to Yemen's government—an escalation that some officials acknowledge could be characterized as a new covert war. But Obama's public and private actions in expanding counterterrorism operations in Yemen may not help him avoid answering further questions about what intelligence agencies told him—and didn't tell him—about possible threats to the U.S. homeland in the days and weeks before the alleged underpants bomber boarded his Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Italics mine. Because President Bush was never unfairly accused of anything, was he?