The genius of Amazon Prime

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Business Week explains:

Amazon Prime may be the most ingenious and effective customer loyalty program in all of e-commerce, if not retail in general. It converts casual shoppers like Tinsley, who gorge on the gratification of having purchases reliably appear two days after they order, into Amazon addicts. Analysts describe Prime as one of the main factors driving Amazon’s stock price — up 296 percent in the past two years — and the main reason Amazon’s sales grew 30 percent during the recession while other retailers flailed. At the same time, Prime has proven exceedingly difficult for rivals to copy: It allows Amazon to exploit its wide selection, low prices, network of third-party merchants, and finely tuned distribution system, while also keying off that faintly irrational human need to maximize the benefits of a club you have already paid to join. …

The company declines to disclose specifics about the program, though analysts estimate it has more than 4 million members in the U.S., a small slice of Amazon’s 121 million active buyers worldwide. Analysts say Prime members increase their purchases on the site by about 150 percent after they join and may be responsible for as much as 20 percent of Amazon’s overall sales in the U.S.

Ezra Klein

KENYA: Prime Minister Raila Odinga Calls For Jailing All Homosexuals

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has issued a call for his nation’s homosexuals to be rounded up and jailed.

“Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested,” Odinga said at a rally on Sunday, in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. “Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested.” Speaking to his home constituency, Odinga, also a member of parliament, argued that since August census results showed the national population was perfectly split between men and women, there was “no need” for homosexuality. “This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in this country. Men or women found engaging in those acts deserve to be arrested and will be arrested,” Odinga said to cheers and laughter in the crowd.

Odinga took power in 2008 after a widely-disputed election that resulted in riots and the deaths of more than 1500 people. While rarely prosecuted (at the moment) sex between men is illegal in Kenya, with penalties ranging from 5-14 years in prison.

Joe. My. God.

Obama Comes to Japan Bearing Gifts: Support for Japan Taking Permanent Seat on UN Security Council and Invitation to Washington for Prime Minister Kan

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Trade was at the top of the agenda when President Obama sat down with Japanese Prime Minister Kan this morning in Yokahama. The two leaders made brief remarks after their meeting, but took no questions….

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Political Punch

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Israel

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Oh, that we could hear such sentiments from Obama.

American Thinker Blog

David Cameron, Prime Minister, six months on

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


Smelly Hippie Throws Shoe At Australian Former Prime Minister John Howard

October 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Evidently, in third world Muslim countries like Australia, throwing a shoe at a leader is a sign of gross disrespect-or it’s a sign that a smelly hippie isn’t very creative and has to borrow insults from other cultures to make a point. In America, where former George W. Bush is starting to look a whole lot more appealing, Australia summarily dismissed Prime Minister John Howard before replacing him with a greenie whose name I can’t remember.

Just as an aside, since the greens took over, Australia rejected their version of Cap and Trade because it is an economy destroyer. John Howard is looking more popular these days, too-well, with people who aren’t smelly hippies.

Via Kate Doak on Twitter

Liberty Pundits Blog

Rasmussen Poll: People Prefer Life In Their Prime; In Other News, Water Is Wet

October 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Too old: great wisdom but no body to do anything with it. Too young: Great body, but no sense to use it in the best way. In midlife, if you’re lucky, you hit the sweet spot of awesome. And old people look back at this time with fondness. Makes sense:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 58% of Adults say the years between the ages of 18 and 49 are the best years of life for most people. Of that number, 20% say 18-29 are the best years and 20% say their 30s are the best. Eighteen percent (18%) think the 40s are the best years of most people’s lives. (To see survey question wording, click here).

Seventeen percent (17%) say 50 and up are the best, while 14% think childhood (under 18) takes the cake. Eleven percent (11%) more are not sure.

While a quarter of men (26%) prefer 18 to 29, roughly the same number of women (25%) prefers the 30s.

Perhaps not surprisingly, adults under 30 tend to favor the younger years. Adults over the age of 65 prefer the 30s and 40s.

So, I should be enjoying life now, because it only gets worse. Good to know.

Liberty Pundits Blog

UK Conservative Prime Minister Distances Himself From ‘Culture War’ Of American Tea Parties

October 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

cameronHertiage Foundation analyst Nile Gardiner claimed last month that the “the conservative revolution that is sweeping America” offers “the best hope for saving the future of the Special Relationship” between the UK and the US. But conservative UK Prime Minister David Cameron poured cold water on that assessment. In an interview with The Financial Times, Cameron emphasized his “differences with the American Right,” particularly the tea parties’ desire to engage in a “culture war“:

Later, I would ask him what he thinks of American conservatism’s lurch to the libertarian extreme.

“How shall I put this? We seem to have drifted apart… there is an element of American conservatism that is headed in a very culture war direction, which is just different. There are differences with the American right.”

Indeed, the passion of the tea party movement seems to arise from racial angst, an anti-immigrant posture, opposition to gay rights, and Islamophobic fears, among other factors. Those issues seem to have less sway with conservatives across the pond. One British conservative activist, who is trying to lead a British tea party-like effort, conceded, “We are less concerned with God, guns and gays.”

Think Progress

Likely Voters Steer Clear of MSNBC, Don’t Like or Don’t Know Prime Time Talkers

September 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

According to a recent poll, likely voters get their political news primarily from cable television. Among cable channels, 42 percent, a plurality, watch Fox News for its political coverage. Only 12 percent said they watched MSNBC. What’s more, most likely voters don’t like or have never heard of MSNBC’s prime time talent.

The poll, conducted by Politico and George Washington University, used a sample split evenly between political parties - even slightly favoring Democrats in some areas: 41 percent of respondents identified as Republicans, while 42 percent said they were Democrats. Forty-four percent said they usually vote for Republicans, while 46 percent answered Democrats. Forty-eight percent voted for Obama, while only 45 percent voted for McCain.

Even among this group, Fox News is by far the most popular cable outlet. CNN comes in at second, with 30 percent. A sorry MSNBC brings up the rear.

Among cable news personalities, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly - consistently the highest-rated cable news talker - is the most popular. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they thought O’Reilly has a positive impact on the American political conversation. Thirty-two percent said he has a negative impact.

Interestingly, respondents - again, split evenly among the two parties - thought all three of Fox’s evening opinion commentators (O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity) have a net positive impact on the national debate. All three have a positive spread in the category. Also of note, for none of the three did majorities answer "never heard of".

MSNBC’s hosts are a different story. Only 23 percent said Keith Olbermann has a positive impact on the debate, while 25 said he has a negative one. A plurality, 42 percent, had never heard of him

But at least it was only a plurality. Majorities said they have never heard of Ed Schultz or Rachel Maddow - 70 percent and 55 percent, respectively. The positive impact/negative impact responses were split down the middle for both.

In other words, the vast majority of likely voters either do not like MSNBC’s prime time talkers, or have never heard of them (with the notable exception of Chris Matthews, whose name was not included in the poll).

"How did it get to this state?" wonders Ed Morrissey.

After all, NBC had a long history in television news, starting decades before CNN and even longer than Fox. Its partnership with Microsoft should have given the cable news network a distinct advantage in the New Media world. Their roster of news anchors, present and future, should have immediately challenged CNN for primacy and marginalized Fox, who may have had cash but relatively fewer newsgathering resources in the US when it launched.

Under the direction of GE’s Jeff Immelt, though, NBC’s cable network went for the full-insane demographic. Fox took CNN’s talking-head format and simply reversed the bias, although Fox rightly argues that it presents more opposing viewpoints than CNN did as part of their establishment talent and not just occasional guests and party spinmeisters. NBC decided to emulate Air America with its cable lineup instead, perhaps seeing some opportunity in the last Bush term to capitalize on his unpopularity and become a center of opposition opinion.

Rather than accomplish that, the decision by NBC and its parent GE has not just destroyed MSNBC’s credibility but also NBC’s as well. With the exception of Joe Scarborough, who is hard to pigeonhole but certainly isn’t a hard-Left hysteric, the entire lineup is exactly what one would find on the failed libtalker radio network. It’s no coincidence that two of its featured hosts come straight out of Air America, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz. Maddow has, at least, produced a watchable show, albeit with a hard-Left tilt that clearly is out of touch with the mainstream, but Schultz is barely coherent. Top that off with a daily "news" broadcast from Keith Olbermann that almost literally consists of a Two Minute Hate (Olbermann’s WPIW lists), and it’s a recipe for the kind of disaster that only political hacks could love. The wonder is that GE and NBC apparently seem content to alienate 88% of the viewing audience with its trainwreck theater. - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard to Deliver Thatcher Freedom Lecture

September 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style="float: right; margin-bottom: 1px; margin-left: 1px;"> href=""> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43649" title="John Howard" src="" alt="" width="373" height="240" />

On Tuesday, September 28, at 4 pm, the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard, will deliver the seventh Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture at The Heritage Foundation, under the auspices of the Margaret Thatcher Center, on href="">The Anglosphere and the Advance of Freedom.

The Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture invites distinguished advocates of freedom to explore fundamental questions surrounding freedom as a primary principle of foreign policy. The first Freedom Lecture was delivered on September 7, 2006, by the Honorable Natan Sharansky, who asked the eloquent question “Is Freedom for Everyone?” That lecture was followed by others on economic freedom, religious freedom, the United Nations, the relationship between security and freedom, and President Obama’s universalism. The full texts of all the Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lectures are available through the href="">Thatcher Center. id="more-43648">

John Howard was Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007 and won four consecutive general elections. He presided over a period of unprecedented economic growth and prosperity, and of Australian leadership in world affairs. After the 9/11 attacks, he announced Australia’s “steadfast commitment to work with the United States,” and committed Australia’s military to the war in Afghanistan. In 2003, Australia joined the U.S. in Operation Iraqi Freedom, after Howard stated that this “is right, it is lawful, and it is in Australia’s national interest.” In 2009, he received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush.

Like The Heritage Foundation, John Howard believes that freedom is for everyone. But throughout his career, Howard has fought for his belief that the English-speaking nations, the Anglosphere, have a special role to play in promoting the cause of freedom around the world. These nations have enduringly democratic political systems that are ultimately rooted in their shared commitment to individual freedoms and the rule of law. They are sovereign nation states, and deserve their sovereignty because of the liberties they embody.

The nations of the Anglosphere must retain their cultural self-confidence, which if lost will limit their commitment to liberty, and be wary of supranationalism, which will erode their ability to govern themselves and to collaborate freely with each other. In this lecture, Howard will speak on these life-long convictions, and on the unique contributions the Anglosphere nations have made—and must continue to make—to the advance of freedom.

The lecture is free and open to the public: href="">click here to RSVP. If you cannot attend in person, the lecture will be available live on-line through href="">

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Is the GOP Ready for 2010 Prime Time?

September 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

With the GOP seemingly poised to politically bury the Democrats in the November mid-term elections, David Frum asks a key question: Is the GOP ready for prime time?

The Moderate Voice

Majority of British voters agree, Margaret Thatcher was the best Prime Minister

September 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The organization YouGov and The Sun newspaper placed a poll of almost 2,000 British voters on who they favored as the best prime minister in Post War Britain.

More about this poll here.

Liberty Pundits Blog

Prime Snark: MoDo on Obama’s New Oval Office Man Cave

September 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


As usual, Maureen Dowd’s latest musings in the pages of the once-august New York Times — she’s writing in the same space where  collosi like Flora Lewis and “Red” Tony Lewis once trod! — are a free-range mental mix of banal social observation, half-baked politics and quotes from famous movies (doesn’t she know that’s Frank Rich’s job?).  Still, there’s a barb or two aimed at Barry that ought to please discriminating tastes:

The Oval Office, the classiest, most powerful place on earth, is now suffused with browns and beiges and leather and resembles an upscale hotel conference room or a ’70s conversation pit with a boxy coffee table that even some Obama aides find ugly.

It almost made me long for the Technicolor Belle Watling swagging and swathing style of the Clintons’ Little Rock decorator, Kaki Hockersmith.

The recession redo, paid for by the nonprofit White House Historical Association, was the latest tone-deaf move by a White House that was supposed to excel at connection and communication. Message: I care, but not enough to stop the fancy vacations and posh renovations.

As Obama himself said in February 2009 when he released his first budget: “There are times where you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times where you need to focus on rebuilding the foundation.”

It might have been wise, given America’s slough of despond, to hark back to a time when presidents just went to work and took their office pretty much as they found it, without the need to make a personal statement. As the former White House curator Rex Scouten once told me, in the era from Taft to Truman, the green rug in the president’s office was changed only once, when it wore out, to a new green rug.

Guess he changed his mind.

Big Journalism

Obama wants prime time Iraq address

August 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
President Obama wants to deliver a prime time address on Iraq.

President Obama wants to deliver a prime time address on Iraq.

(CNN) - President Obama wants to deliver his major address on Iraq from the Oval Office in prime time next Tuesday, according to a senior administration official.

The official said the White House is formally requesting time from the broadcast networks for the President to deliver the remarks in prime time, elevating the speech marking the end of combat operations in Iraq in a major way.

Obama has only used the communications tool of an Oval Office address once before, when he wanted to signify the gravity of the Gulf Oil spill back in early June.

CNN Political Ticker

Australia’s Prime Minister and her socialist past

August 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

It isn’t just her hair that is red:

American Thinker Blog

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