December 18, 2013

A background in communicating...

Poor Peggy has a piece about how she's starting "to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management." I told her that was coming back in 2009, but did she listen?

Incompetence - Peggy Noonan's Blog - WSJ:

...People who run big businesses learn these facts of executive leadership early on. So do leaders of small businesses and great nonprofit organizations, and local political leaders in charge of local agencies whose success or failure can be charted.

Most of the Obama people just don't have a background in executing. They have a background in communicating, not doing. That's where their talent is--it's where their boss's talent is--and it's a good talent, but not one that will in itself force a government to work well....

They took a 46-year old who had never accomplished anything, never run anything in his life, and put him in charge of the whole shebang. And then people are surprised when he turns out to be more of a talker than a doer?

And "A background in communicating" can be useful... as long as you are communicating Truth.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 AM

August 5, 2013

Hollow men...

Roger L. Simon , The Rise of Al-Qaeda and Why the Administration Lied about Benghazi:

...Lately, Obama has incurred the ire -- with some justification, I think -- of new Egyptian military strongman al-Sisi for going against the wishes of the Egyptian people in favor of a kind of desperate nostalgia for Morsi and the Brotherhood. (Forget the rapes and the rest of it.)

So what accounts for Obama's weird attraction for this "Muslim revivalism," despite all its Medieval tenets and near-psychotic behaviors?

No, he is not a Muslim. I repeat NOT (just to be absolutely clear). Nor is the president a Christian, unless you count Reverend Wright as such, which is ridiculous (and we all know he's under the bus anyway).

Obama is a postmodern agnostic par excellence. But like so many schooled in post-modernism and cultural relativism, he has an immediate and intense enmity for anything that smacks of imperialism -- and an equally intense desire to be seen as supportive of (although certainly not to live like) the downtrodden of the Earth....
[Part of my nihilism posts. More here.]

Sorry, but I don't think "enmity for imperialism" explains much. It's just an often-useful excuse to attack what really bugs them. Lefties don't really care much about those post-colonial countries. They only take notice of them when the US or Israel impinges on them somehow. Obama has never given Kenya the time of day, though his father and brother are from there.

And if they cared about colonialism you would see lots of focus on the UK, France, Russia, Spain and Portugal. Do you see much of that?

People like Obama, and there are a lot of them now, are hollowed out. They have lost belief in anything. In anything bigger than themselves. And they know deep down something is wrong. They lack belief, so anything that smacks of belief irritates and pains them. They hate America and Israel, because those two countries are the only ones that command belief. They are symbols of belief, and this stuff works at the level of symbols perceived by the unconscious.

Other things that symbolize belief include our military, firearms and self-defense, traditional marriage, and the sanctity of life. Plus of course orthodox Christian and Jewish faith. (so of corse they find Islam attractive. A fake religion that works as a shield against God's Truth.) ALL of these things irritate lefties like Obama, as I can tell you, living as I do in über-liberal SF.

People like Obama do not in fact even believe in their leftism. They are never found dying in any revolution. They just wear leftism (or pacifism or some times libertarianism) as a disguise. And they are currently happily intertwined with Wall Street in a way that clearly shows they aren't of the Left. (The Wall-Streeters are hollow men too. None of them believes in capitalism or economic freedom. Only self.)

Posted by John Weidner at 4:47 PM

February 22, 2013

"What is the true state of our union?"

Charlene recommends this, Sarah Palin, on the State of the Union address, #SOTUGottaBKiddingMe | Facebook:

...We heard the same recycled rhetoric, and we heard his Orwellian declaration that the cornucopia of new federal programs he proposed, as well as his intention to eradicate world poverty, wouldn’t “increase our deficit by a single dime.”  

Of course, he glossed over the inconvenient facts. He boasted about job creation, but didn’t mention that real unemployment is higher today than when he took office. He touted all those still undiscovered “clean energy” jobs without mentioning the tens of thousands of real jobs the Keystone Pipeline will create if he would simply allow it to be built. He sang of new energy development, but didn’t mention that new offshore leases for oil and natural gas drilling have declined a decimating 61% under his administration.  

He talked about “helping” to build “a thriving middle class,” but didn’t address how the middle class is actually faring under his economic stewardship. This is important – his deception must be addressed: under his leadership, middle class families have seen the average price per gallon of gas increase 96%, the average cost of family health care premiums rise 24%, the annual cost per household from federal regulations rise to over $15,000, and real median household income decline $4,520. If this is what happens when he “helps” the middle class, then please, Mr. President, we implore you to stop “helping” us....


...What is the true state of our union? Though this may sound harsh, I’ll speak the truth here. We are a country going bankrupt to fund a bloated, distant, and often corrupt federal government led by venal politicians more concerned with paying off their campaign cronies and consolidating their own power than in preserving the constitutional republic that so many have fought and died for (including our brave men and women in uniform who were barely mentioned last night)...

I sort of post this for old time's sake. I've been mostly disappointed with Sarah since the 2008 election. She grew from city councilwoman to mayor to governor like a natural. But she doesn't seem to have grown into presidential timber.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2012

This post is very clear and concise on Benghazi...

Recommended by Charlene...

J O S H U A P U N D I T:

...It gets even worse. The men in the consulate contacted the White House by phone at 10 PM Libya time, 4 PM Washington time when the attack began, and the White House was able to communicate with them and watch the attack in real time while it was occurring, thanks to a drone overhead.

The president could have ordered F-18s to fly overhead on afterburners and even fire into the mob, something that's worked in the past when it comes to dispersing attackers. They could have been there in an hour. He could have immediately ordered a full contingent of Special Operations Forces to fly in from the U.S. military base in Sigonella, Sicily. They could have been on the ground in less than three hours.

The president did nothing except to belatedly order a 22 man force to proceed from our embassy in Tripoli, about the same distance away as Sigonella. They did not arrive at Benghazi airport until 4 AM Libya time, six hours after the attack began.

By that time, Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were dead.

They died because they were not treated as American personnel under attack who needed to be rescued, but as a situation to be managed so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities. And after their deaths, they became a political problem to be handled so as not to embarrass this president. So a scenario was concocted about a spontaneous protest aggravated over a video.It was a scenario that everyone directly from President Obama on down knew was false.

These e-mails and other information about the Benghazi debacle would likely not have surfaced if it hadn't been for President Obama's insistence that the White House was 'not informed', and his blaming the entire fiasco on the State Department and the intelligence community. Apparently some of the people involved in this didn't take kindly to that.

For President Obama, there's no cover, no spin and no excuses possible any more, although I'm sure the attempt will be made. What happened in Benghazi was the culmination of his failed foreign policy in the Middle East,and his reacting as he did a perfect example of his weakness and lack of character.

It was the ultimate appeasement in a failed presidency....

Yeah. And they were probably calculating what effect action would have on those cowardly hermaphrodites, the "undecided voters," may they have a special circle in hell allotted to them. Which is also presumably why Romney didn't blast Obama over this in the last debate.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:05 PM | Comments (7)

May 22, 2012

Well, he is like Jesus. Because...

Michelle Obama: 'This President Has Brought Us Out of the Dark and Into the Light' | The Weekly Standard:

...Michelle Obama made a remarkable claim when talking up her husband, President Barack Obama, at a campaign event earlier today in Nashville, Tennessee.

"I am so in," Michelle Obama said toward the end of her remarks. "I am going to be working so hard. We have an amazing story to tell. This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light."

The crowd of nearly 450 folks applauded as the first lady likened her husband to a Jesus-like figure....

...They both have the same middle initial.


Posted by John Weidner at 3:15 PM | Comments (2)

May 17, 2012

A work of fiction...

Charlene recommends: Part One — The Fiction and Non-Fiction of Obama, by Glenn Beck:

...With this in mind, Glenn Beck dedicated his Thursday evening broadcast to reviewing the staggering array of inconsistencies, embellishments and “manufactured lies” perpetuated by the president over the course of his political career.

“His life is complete fiction,” Beck said. Let’s review the non-fiction version before we go any further:...

Me, I don't think Obama actually exists. He's a sort of golem or shadow thrown up by the unconscious wish fulfillment needs of the nihilist left. One of these days he'll just go "Poof," and vanish and leave everyone scratching their heads and wondering if he was really here at all...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:11 PM | Comments (5)

December 27, 2011

"Optics"

Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs - The Washington Post:

Loathsome animals. But you knew that. What's amazing is how divorced they are from reality. Having government "pick winners" and direct investment into "socially beneficial" industries has always failed. But they seem oblivious.

Partly of course because every failure is just dropped down the memory hole. The Chinese high-speed rail project is now collapsing in scandal and and waste and gross failure. But will Tom Friedman apologize for repeatedly lauding this project and wishing the same on us? No, it will just be dropped and forgotten. The real world isn't real to these people. The 'optics" are reality.

...The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.

They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the "optics" in Washington and the impact that the company's failure could have on the president's prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra's collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology....


....Political calculus was especially on display in an e-mail early this year between administration staffers who calibrated the damage that could result from pushing back Solyndra's collapse by a few months at a time.

"The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad whenever it occurs," an OMB staff member wrote to a colleague. "If Solyndra defaults down the road, the optics will arguably be worse later than they would be today. . . . In addition, the timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up."

Solyndra executives and investors were attuned to the value of playing politics. Memos from Solyndra's lobbying firm, McBee Strategic Consulting, stressed the need to "socialize" with leaders in Washington and to mobilize a lobbying effort described variously as quiet, surgical and aggressive.

Beyond the West Wing, the documents provide a vivid glimpse into high-level machinations inside the world of clean-energy entrepreneurs.

Solyndra's strongest political connection was to George Kaiser, a Democratic fundraiser and oil industry billionaire who had once hosted Obama at his home in Oklahoma. Kaiser's family foundation owned more than a third of the solar panel company, and Kaiser took a direct interest in its operations.

With the 2010 midterm elections just days away, Kaiser flew to Las Vegas to help the party cause. He was a guest at a private fundraising dinner for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), but the real attraction at the event was its headliner — Obama. Realizing he might have an opportunity to talk with the president, Kaiser's staff prepped him with talking points about Solyndra.

Kaiser did not have to angle for Obama's attention. Organizers seated him next to the world's most powerful man — for two hours.
Posted by John Weidner at 1:45 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2011

"The abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime..."

I have nothing to add to this. It speaks for itself all too well...

Ann Barnhardt:

...Dear Clients, Industry Colleagues and Friends of Barnhardt Capital Management,

It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. After six years of operating as an independent introducing brokerage, and eight years of employment as a broker before that, I found myself, this morning, for the first time since I was 20 years old, watching the futures and options markets open not as a participant, but as a mere spectator.

The reason for my decision to pull the plug was excruciatingly simple: I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. Given this sad reality, I could not in good conscience take one more step as a commodity broker, soliciting trades that I knew were unsafe or holding funds that I knew to be in jeopardy.

The futures markets are very highly-leveraged and thus require an exceptionally firm base upon which to function. That base was the sacrosanct segregation of customer funds from clearing firm capital, with additional emergency financial backing provided by the exchanges themselves. Up until a few weeks ago, that base existed, and had worked flawlessly. Firms came and went, with some imploding in spectacular fashion. Whenever a firm failure happened, the customer funds were intact and the exchanges would step in to backstop everything and keep customers 100% liquid – even as their clearing firm collapsed and was quickly replaced by another firm within the system.

Everything changed just a few short weeks ago. A firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all of the non-margined cash held by customers of his firm. Let's not sugar-coat this or make this crime seem "complex" and "abstract" by drowning ourselves in six-dollar words and uber-technical jargon. Jon Corzine STOLE the customer cash at MF Global. Knowing Jon Corzine, and knowing the abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime and its cronies, this is not really a surprise. What was a surprise was the reaction of the exchanges and regulators. Their reaction has been to take a bad situation and make it orders of magnitude worse. Specifically, they froze customers out of their accounts WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, refusing to even allow them to liquidate. This is unfathomable. The risk exposure precedent that has been set is completely intolerable and has destroyed the entire industry paradigm. No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.

I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg. There is massive industry-wide exposure to European sovereign junk debt. While other firms may not be as heavily leveraged as Corzine had MFG leveraged, and it is now thought that MFG's leverage may have been in excess of 100:1, they are still suicidally leveraged and will likely stand massive, unmeetable collateral calls in the coming days and weeks as Europe inevitably collapses. I now suspect that the reason the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did not immediately step in to backstop the MFG implosion was because they knew and know that if they backstopped MFG, they would then be expected to backstop all of the other firms in the system when the failures began to cascade – and there simply isn't that much money in the entire system. In short, the problem is a SYSTEMIC problem, not merely isolated to one firm...

(There's more, if you can stomach it.)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:22 AM

October 20, 2011

This was a bit of a surprise to me...

I'm way too close to Silicon Valley to be terribly impressed by the political wisdom or general wisdom of tech entrepreneurs. Especially Baby-Boomers like Steve. But here's some wisdom...

Steve Jobs Biography Reveals He Told Obama, 'You're Headed For A One-Term Presidency':

...Jobs, who was known for his prickly, stubborn personality, almost missed meeting President Obama in the fall of 2010 because he insisted that the president personally ask him for a meeting. Though his wife told him that Obama "was really psyched to meet with you," Jobs insisted on the personal invitation, and the standoff lasted for five days. When he finally relented and they met at the Westin San Francisco Airport, Jobs was characteristically blunt. He seemed to have transformed from a liberal into a conservative.

"You're headed for a one-term presidency," he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where "regulations and unnecessary costs" make it difficult for them.

Jobs also criticized America's education system, saying it was "crippled by union work rules," noted Isaacson. "Until the teachers' unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform." Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year....

Of course if Jobs had been really awake, he would have realized that Obama wants Americans to be stupid and poor. As someone once said, "Liberals want America weak, and government strong."

Posted by John Weidner at 9:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2011

Schadenfreude strikes deep. Into your life it will creep...

snowy bear

I hope candidate Palin acknowledges that Obama has accomplished one good thing...

Planet Healer Obama Calls It: In 2008, he declared his presidency would result in 'the rise of the oceans beginning to slow' -- And By 2011, Sea Level Drops! | Climate Depot:

...President Barack Obama can take a bow. As Obama struggles with poor polling numbers, persistent high unemployment, the possibly of a primary challenge within his own party and a stagnant economy saddled with massive deficits and debts, one area where he can claim success is his prediction that he would slow sea level rise.

Obama -- in similar fashion to baseball legend Babe Ruth calling his home run during the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series -- called it successfully on sea level rise.

Obama declared in a June 8, 2008 speech, that his presidency will be "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Obama's prognostication occurred during his victory speech in St. Paul for the Democratic Party nomination.

Climate Depot can now announce it is official. Earlier this month, the European Space Agency's Envisat monitoring, global sea level revealed a "two year long decline [in sea level] was continuing, at a rate of 5mm per year."

In August 2011, NASA announced that global sea level was dropping and was "a quarter of an inch lower than last summer." See: NASA: 'Global sea level this summer is a quarter of an inch lower than last summer'...

To see the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) hoax unravelling is sweet sweet sweet. Alas none of the lefties will re-think. Al Gore will flip, from one day to the next, to warning about the apocalyptic dangers of Global Cooling, and all the little Chumskys will all flip with him. And all condemn those wicked capitalists and Republicans who are failing to pump enough Carbon into the atmosphere...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:15 PM | Comments (3)

September 22, 2011

You are what you DO

Charlene recommends this piece by Richard Fernandez, Bayes and Nice People:

...Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan are intelligent, well-educated people. Nobody has seriously suggested they are either perverse or evil. Now they see the truth. But once upon a time they didn’t have a clue. So the disturbing question is: how did they get it wrong? Setting aside for a moment the fact that someone slipped past, the most pressing problem is to determine why the system failed. Because as someone at Andrew Klavan’s blog said, “the republic can survive a Barack Obama; it is far less likely to survive the multitude of fools who made him president.”

The fact they are now getting it right is a good thing. John Maynard Keynes once wrote, “when the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?”  But Keynes was not not quite correct.  What he should have said was that “when new information comes to light, I change my opinion about what I saw. What do you do, sir?”

The first person to rigorously understand how this process worked was Thomas Bayes....

Fernandez thinks that people like Brooks were fooled by Obama, and Edwards, because they are "nice" people who don't come into contact with con-men and sharps. That's probably a lot of it. Charlene, for instance, deals with plaintiff's lawyers every day. She was totally not taken in by that slime-animal Edwards. She's seen those pretty boys a thousand times.

I was armored against the wiles of Obama in various other ways. One of them is the old battles I had concerning President Bush. So much of what was said about him was simply stupid, and I kept butting my head against the wall trying to explain it. The principle is very simple. You are what you DO. Not what you say, or hope, or aspire to, or dress like. (Bush, for instance, acted as president almost exactly as he did as governor of Texas. And his Texas business life was much of a piece with that. So the people who said that he was a preppy Ivy-Leaguer type were being brain-dead stupid.)

My dad, who was a very smart guy about life and people, once said to me when I was young, "By the time a man is 40, he is where he wants to be in life." It seemed like an odd and severe judgement to me at the time, but I haven't encountered any exceptions.

I remember telling people, "Obama has never accomplished anything. He's not going to change at his age." I was right.

I'll give you my piece of sage advice—take it, you're welcome, no extra charge—which I took from NRO's Jay Nordlinger: "You pretty much know all you need to know about a person if you know their positions on abortion and Israel."

Oh, and here's another guy who was right...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:12 AM | Comments (4)

August 5, 2011

Postrel on Glamour...

Virginina Postrel, Obama Glamour Can't Fix Charisma Deficit - Bloomberg:

...What's the difference? Charisma moves the audience to share a leader's vision. Glamour, on the other hand, inspires the audience to project its own desires onto the leader (or movie star or tropical resort or new car): to see in the glamorous object a symbol of escape and transformation that makes the ideal feel attainable. The meaning of glamour, in other words, lies entirely in the audience's mind.

That was certainly true of Obama as a candidate. He attracted supporters who not only disagreed with his stated positions but, what is much rarer, believed that he did, too. On issues such as same-sex marriage and free trade, the supporters projected their own views onto him and assumed he was just saying what other, less discerning voters wanted to hear...

...He was the political equivalent of the seductive high heels described by Leora Tanenbaum in her book "Bad Shoes": "When you see a pair of stilettos on display in a department store or featured in a fashion magazine, you can imagine yourself wearing them and becoming the kind of person who lives a magical life, gliding around gracefully with no need for sensible, lace-up shoes. The fantasy just might become realizable by stepping into the shoes and inhabiting them." That's glamour...


....Glamour is a beautiful illusion -- the word "glamour" originally meant a literal magic spell -- that makes the ideal seem effortlessly attainable. Glamour hides difficulty and distractions, creating a false and enticing sense of grace. We see the dance, not the rehearsals; the beach resort, not the luggage and jet lag. There are no bills on the kitchen counter, no freckles on the pale-skinned star, no sacrifices in the promise of change.

This illusion is hard to maintain for more than an escapist moment. Even the most beautiful shoes are never as glamorous once you've worn them and discovered they give you blisters or, at best, didn't transform your life. The same is true of presidents. Familiarity breeds discontent...

I well remember trying to argue with people about Obama, using... logic. What a joke. I can see now that a lot of people were looking forward to the whole country being Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. When you are under the spell, then the whole point is that all those tedious dragging things are not going to matter. Gravity will hardly pull at all.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:05 AM

May 14, 2011

Drill baby, drill....

Somebody's vindicated...:

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama, under pressure from Republicans and the public to bring down gasoline prices, announced new measures on Saturday to expand domestic oil production in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

High fuel prices have dented Obama's ratings in opinion polls and threaten to dampen the economic recovery that is critical to his re-election in 2012....

What fun to see those horrid America-hating weaklings cave in when there's pressure.

Of course Democrat promises are worth nothing, and they will soon find technicalities to avoid any serious expansion of American strength. That goes without saying. But we sure have the wind at our backs.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:14 PM

April 14, 2011

"There never was a there there."

Roger Simon, President Boring:

...But what is it about Obama that makes him so boring? I submit it is something quite simple — he has nothing to say. He is a boring person, the quintessential "hollow man" in the T.S. Eliot sense. He is kind of a socialist, kind of a liberal, kind of a multi-culturalist, kind of an environmentalist, kind of globalist, kind of a budget cutter — but none of them with any real commitment. Basically, he's a vague and uncommitted person pretending to be otherwise. He is the man that voted "present," now in the presidency. The fact that he never specified the targets of “hope” and "change"� during his election was far from a campaign ploy and more typical than we ever dreamed. There never was a there there. And now, I strongly suspect, there never will be....

I remember trying to point out to Obama fans that if a guy is in his mid-forties, and hasn't accomplished anything... he isn't going to start accomplishing things even if you make him President of the US. People show what they are. You cant help it. If there was anything to Obama, he would have already done something exciting with his life.

He's really the ultimate condemnation of "affirmative action."

Posted by John Weidner at 9:49 PM

February 10, 2011

The Iron Lady comments on Obama and Egypt...

Experience shows that if you lack a coherent set of beliefs and principles, you will flounder. You must know already what you want, and why, and broadly how best to attain it, if you are ever to deal effectively with the thousand-and-one crises that face you in government."
    -- Margaret Thatcher

That's just so true. Every would-be politician should have it tattooed on their elbow, to keep it in mind. Actually it's true about whatever you do. Life will always throw you curve-balls, and you need have general principles that can guide you in the unexpected situation.


On the same subject...

My truth must be firm, and who will love you if you veer and change your loves every day, and what will become of your great schemes? Continuity alone will bring your efforts to ripeness.
--Saint-Exupery

Or better yet, Chesterton...

..But there are some people, nevertheless — and I am one of them — who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy's numbers, but still more important to know the enemy's philosophy. We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether, in the long run, anything else affects them...
    -- from Heretics

Posted by John Weidner at 8:12 PM

February 5, 2011

What did anyone expect?

Obama Said to Fault Spy Agencies' Mideast Forecasting - NYTimes.com:

WASHINGTON — President Obama has criticized American spy agencies over their performance in predicting and analyzing the spreading unrest in the Middle East, according to current and former American officials....

Let me spell this out in words even a community organizer can understand.

YOU, Barry Obama, are the poster child for the idea that government can understand and manage complex and subtle issues and problems.

That idea is STUPID. Your philosophy is rotten at the core. It is absurdity. That idea almost made sense in the Industrial Age. In the Information Age it is ludicrous to imagine that centralized bureaucracies can be nimble and creative enough to keep up with a world that is changing at a mad pace...


Posted by John Weidner at 1:52 PM

October 31, 2010

A quote for Election Day...

Jennifer Rubin:

...There is a dreary predictability about Obama. Take outmoded liberal dogma. Double down on it. Ignore empirical evidence. Deride and bully opponents. And when the dogma fails, blame those who resisted. Whether we are talking about health care, economic policy, or the Middle East, the pattern is the same. It is not simply that Obama is wrong on the merits on these issues (although surely he is). It is that Obama's self-image as the "smartest man in the room" prevents him from learning from errors, absorbing the experience of alternative policy choices, and showing grace and magnanimity toward friends and foes. No wonder Obama has become a sour figure, and the public has soured on him.
Posted by John Weidner at 9:07 PM

October 26, 2010

Friction and intelligence...

Michael Gerson - What Election Day will bring:

...Some, Cook says, "are told all their lives that they are the most brilliant people on the planet. They don't get less bright, but hubris kicks in. [They DO get less bright. Literally.] [Obama] just assumed that he was going to be a success, as he had always been in life." [Liberals did to Obama the worst thing they could do. They deprived him of the friction that everyone needs, in order to grow and mature.]

According to Cook, this reflects a lack of experience. "Experience is not an end, it is a means to an end: judgment." Cook said that a few years in the Senate "don't give an understanding of institutions and their dynamics. If [Obama] had been in the Senate six or eight years, he might have accumulated the wisdom to match the intelligence." [Actually, being in the Senate also makes you less bright. Most Senators are surrounded by staffers who tell them they are wonderful. That destroys intelligence.]...

It's much better to run something than to be a Senator. Governors and Mayors tend to be much wiser than Senators and Congressmen. It's like Newman wrote somewhere, "it's the whole man that thinks." Not just the brain. Not just the logical facilities.

Probably the best preparation for leadership any of our current crop of leaders has had is Sarah Palin being mayor of a smallish town. People used to call her up in the middle of the night because they had a complaint, or because there was a pothole in their street. Priceless experience.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:03 PM

October 6, 2010

Biter bit...

Michael Barone, Dems turn on Obama over Iraq, Afghanistan, Gitmo:

...It was a lot of fun while it lasted, up to election night 2008 and Inauguration Day 2009. But then Obama had to govern. Knowing little of military affairs, he retained Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has loyally served presidents of both parties. Understanding even if not admitting the great headway Americans had made in Iraq, Obama declined to throw it all away.

Appreciating that Afghanistan was critical to protecting Americans, he made a commitment to increase troop levels there in May 2009, reconsidered it from August to November, then restated it Dec. 1, with a commitment to begin withdrawals in July 2011...


...In so doing, Obama implicitly confessed that the view of the world held with quasi-religious fervor by the Democratic left was delusional all along. Bush didn't lie, we didn't go into Afghanistan and Iraq without allies and against their wishes, we didn't carry out policies of torture, etc. The effort to cast Iraq as another Vietnam and America under Bush as an oppressive rogue power were perhaps emotionally satisfying but unconnected to reality

Without saying so, Obama has found himself having to teach this lesson to the Adam Serwers of the world. They don't like hearing it. They're keeping their ears plugged up and their eyes defiantly shut. Their MyObama Web pages are inactive and their checkbooks are closed. They've tuned out of the campaign and many of them won't even vote. The president they helped elect -- and the world -- have turned out not to be what they thought.

Though I hate much of what has Leftists have done since 9/11, at least I get to also savor the dilemma "liberals" have put themselves in by living as liars. Especially the exquisite torment President Bush prepared for them by taking them up on their nasty lies about how they were "anti-fascist." They had to scramble about pretending they'd been "pacifists" all along, and pretend they "hate war," though they like it well enough if America or Israel looks like losing.

And Obama. What mad incoherence he's trapped in. Trapped by his lies really. Like so many Lefties he bashed the Iraq Campaign by claiming that Afghanistan was being neglected--now they are all being justly punished by being given responsibility for... Afghanistan.

Crazy. The anti-American now runs America; the anti-military Leftist is Commander in Chief. Ha ha. Meanwhile we can remember how real Americans act...

Vice President Cheney with troops in Qatar, March 17, 2002

President Bush with soldiers

President Bush serving on chow line

Condi in black...


Posted by John Weidner at 9:24 PM

September 7, 2010

Your past is what you are...

This is kind of a silly article,. About political "scientists" gathering in conclave to reveal portentious revelations I could have told them two years ago... Early on, Obama was more polarizing than we knew:

One of the puzzling questions about Barack Obama's presidency is how the post-partisan candidate of 2008 became the polarizing chief executive of 2010. The answer may be surprising. He was far more polarizing from the start than many recognized. His choices in office and his opponents' responses have only hardened that divide....

There's nothing puzzling about it. Little old Random Jottings pointed out way back when that Obama in his political career had never done anything that could be labeled "bi-partisan" or "post-partisan." Therefore it was a near-certainty that he would not act that way as President. Anyone with a lick of sense could have seen it. That's how people are. You don't act one way all your life and then in your 40's act in a different way.

I remember my dad saying that his dad liked to say that: "If a man doesn't save at $20 a week, he won't save when he's earning $200 a week." (Adjust for inflation, of course) And it's true.

...During the campaign, Candidate Obama talked about the need to put the partisan divisions of the past behind. His victory fostered discussion about whether the country had turned a corner after years of bitter partisanship. In the glow of his inauguration, some people heralded a new era in American politics.

Such notions appear badly off the mark at this point in his presidency. A closer look at the time would have rendered such conclusions questionable at best. Equally questionable was the expectation that he could break the grip of partisan polarization in the country. [He never even tried.]

That, at least, is the conclusion of a number of scholars who have undertaken an early examination of the Obama presidency and whose work was presented at this weekend's meeting of the American Political Science Association...
Posted by John Weidner at 5:29 PM

August 24, 2010

Sorry guys, there's no "there" there...

I'm just doodling here. Nothing important...

Dems urge Obama to take a stand - John F. Harris and James Hohmann - POLITICO.com:

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs's recent complaint about the ingratitude of the "professional left" is a small symptom of a larger problem for President Barack Obama: He has left wide swaths of the Democratic Party uncertain of his core beliefs. [I doubt if the swaths have any more "core" than Barry Obama does.]

In interviews, a variety of political activists, operatives and commentators from across the party's ideological spectrum presented similar descriptions of Obama's predicament: By declining to speak clearly and often about his larger philosophy — and insisting that his actions are guided not by ideology but a results-oriented "pragmatism" [It would be harder to say a sillier thing. You can't avoid the deep questions by being "results-oriented," because you must decide first which results you favor. Which is something your philosophy must ultimately say.]— he has bred confusion and disappointment among his allies, and left his agenda and motives vulnerable to distortion by his enemies. [Ha ha. Couldn't happen to a more deserving Party. ]

The president's reluctance to be a Democratic version of Ronald Reagan, who spoke without apology about his vaulting ideological ambitions, has produced an odd turn of events: Obama has been the most activist domestic president in decades, but the philosophy behind his legislative achievements remains muddy in the eyes of many supporters and skeptics alike. There is not yet such a thing as "Obamism." [Sure there is, that's what Obama believes when he looks in the mirror]

The ability to transcend ideological divides and unite disparate parts of the electorate was a signal strength of his candidacy in 2008. [Only because his campaign was a total lie.] But that has given way to widespread — if often contradictory — complaints about his agenda (too radical or too cautious?) and the political tactics (too partisan or too conflict averse?) he uses to pursue it.

At first blush, it is a mystery: How could a political leader preside over nearly $1 trillion dollars in stimulus and other spending, and pass overhauls of the health care and financial services sectors, but still leave many of his own supporters uncertain of his larger aims? [They are not sure of their own "larger aims." ]

"He hasn't sought, I think, to bring coherence to the achievements of the last 20 months," said former Democratic senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart, adding that "it would not hurt" to do so soon. [Uh, did Gary Hart ever bring any coherence to Gary Hart?] ...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:08 PM

August 19, 2010

Wising up...

Public Policy Polling: Obama on the Trail:

Illinois voters say they would be negatively influenced if a candidate was endorsed by Barack Obama. And if his support isn't an asset in his home state it's hard to imagine where it is....

My position on the 2008 election has always been that what is important is not that people make mistakes, but whether they learn from them. So items like this one I find very interestin'.

The important thing about Obama is not the guy himself, but that he was a stealth candidate. His skin color and moderate stances on the campaign trail were a big lie. He's a white left-wing academic elitist.

For about 50 years Americans have not wanted to elect northern liberal Democrat senators president. Democrat southern governors yes, northern senators no. Obama was slipped in by slight-of-hand. My guess is that it will be another 50 years before we make that mistake again...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:33 AM

July 2, 2010

Charlene's calling the Gulf an impeachable offense...

I'd say probably yes. Won't happen, but it's nice to think about...

She especially recommends this post by Gateway Pundit...

It’s Day 73 of the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster–
There is now clear evidence that the negligence by the Obama Administration caused the destruction of the Gulf coastline.

** The feds only accepted assistance from 5 of 28 countries.
** It took the Obama Administration 53 days to accept help from the Dutch and British.
** It took them 58 days to mobilize the US military to the Gulf.
** The feds shut down crude-sucking barges due to fire extinguisher concerns.
** The Obama Administration ignore oil boom manufacturers that have miles of product stockpiled in their warehouses.
** They only have moved 31 of 2,000 oil skimmers to the disaster area off of Florida.
** Florida hired an additional 5 skimmer boats to operate off its coast due to federal inaction.
** There are no skimmer boats off the coast of Mississippi.
** The massive A-Boat skimmer won't be allowed to join the cleanup effort until the Coast Guard and the EPA figure out whether it meets their standards.
** The feds shut down sand berm dredging off the Louisiana coast.
** The president continues to hit the golf course, ball games, hold BBQ’s and party while the crude oil washes up on shore.

Now there’s this… Obama Administration lied about cleanup efforts of Gulf oil spill.
CNS News reported:

Billy Nungesser, president of New Orleans' Plaquemines Parish, sensed that a chart showing 140 oil skimmers at work — a chart given to him by BP and the Coast Guard — was "somewhat inaccurate." So, Nungesser asked to fly over the spill to verify the number.

The flyover was cancelled three times before those officials admitted that just 31 of the 140 skimmers were actually deployed.

The incident is detailed in a report released Thursday by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Republicans say the report provides evidence that the Obama administration misrepresented the assets devoted to the cleanup, misrepresented the timing of when government officials knew there was an oil spill and misrepresented the level of control the government had over the matter. It also claims the Obama administration seemed more interested in public relations than cleaning the mess and plugging the hole.

The report, which relies on interviews with several local officials in Louisiana, goes on to quote Nungesser, who had been on local and national television enough so that the White House became concerned. Two White House officials visited him on Father's Day and said, "What do we have to do to keep you off TV?" His answer was, "Give me what I need."

You could add lax supervision of BP, which just happened to give more donations to Obama that to any other politician. And the lies about the engineers report to justify shutting down drilling in the Gulf, which will kill about 120,000 jobs. And threatening criminal prosecutions to the very BP people who are tasked with fixing the problem. (sort of like threatening a surgeon during an operation.)

Any other suggestions?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:56 PM

June 26, 2010

What I've been telling you...

The Unengaged President - Mark Steyn - National Review Online:

...Raising the problem, Senator Lemieux found the president unengaged and uninformed. "He doesn't seem to know the situation about foreign skimmers and domestic skimmers," reported the senator.

He doesn't seem to know, and he doesn't seem to care that he doesn't know, and he doesn't seem to care that he doesn't care. "It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama's foreign policy is no heart at all," wrote Richard Cohen in the Washington Post last week. "For instance, it's not clear that Obama is appalled by China's appalling human rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia. . . . The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

"This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?"

Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses....

There ARE no core beliefs! That's what I keep writing, over and over. And our oh-so-wise pundits keep touching lightly on questions like: "Who is this Obama chap? What are his core beliefs?" If they read Random Jottings they would know precisely what's going on. [Link to my blog-posts on the subject of nihilism.]

Most liberals, especially the "activist" types, have no core beliefs. Nothing. It's all drained away. What are Nancy Pelosi's "core beliefs?" There are none. (Except they all have the belief that government must grow. But that's a "belief" only in the way the addict believes in Heroin.)

I feel like a combination of that boy who said the emperor has no clothes, and Cassandra. Although in this case the clothes have no emperor! Like Cassandra, I keep saying, "You damn fools, you just that wooden horse be!" but nobody listens...

And I keep telling you all that China and Russia are not real to our liberal nihilists. In their view of the world, only America and Israel exist. Why? Because these are the two countries that are beliefs. Are ideas. And belief is an irritant and an affront to the person who has no beliefs. The rest of creation only exists when touched by America or Israel. We see this every day, yet people won't "see" it. For instance the "Palestinians" only exist for Western liberals when Israel does something to them. Arab countries do far worst things to them than Israel does, yet those are invisible.

China's appalling human rights record means absolutely nothing to most leftists. But if I, an American, went to China with my ice cream cart and sold ice cream cones to Chinese children... and they got belly-aches... That would be a big deal! China would suddenly exist! We see this all the time. And if you listen to me, it will make perfect sense to you. (How's that for hubris! It doesn't matter; no one will notice ol' Cassie.

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag
Posted by John Weidner at 10:17 AM

June 21, 2010

You're a racist if you even read this...

Excerpts from President Obama media doubles down on doublespeak - BostonHerald.com:

...Criticizing Bush - the highest form of patriotism. Criticizing Obama - hate speech. Who caused Bush's problems? - Bush. Who causes Obama's problems? - Bush.

Cindy Sheehan under Bush - a future recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Sheehan under Obama - give it up already, you old bag.

Bush playing a rare round of golf - complete video coverage, showing his utter indifference to the suffering of the American people.

Obama playing one of his endless rounds of golf - only still photos allowed, yet another glowing indication of our dashing president's youth and physical fitness.

Media reviews of Bush's handling of Katrina - he hates black people. Media reviews of Obama's handling of the oil spill - Halliburton did it.

Bush on Air Force One - junkets, fund-raising for GOP fat cats. Obama on Air Force One - fact-finding missions, reassuring the American people of his tireless FDR-like commitment to them.

Two hundred-point midday drops on the Dow under Bush - ominous plummet. Same drops under Obama - the market is seeking direction.

Democrat women elected under Bush - a triumph of feminism. Republican women elected under Obama - a setback for feminism...
Posted by John Weidner at 5:41 PM

June 14, 2010

Worse than we can imagine?

The Oil Drum — Deepwater Oil Spill - A Longer Term Problem:

...First of all...set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc....forget that, it won't be happening..it's done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.

So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?...there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It's really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you do...you will see the "sense" behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:

The well bore structure is compromised "Down hole".

That is something which is a "Worst nightmare" conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have "said" a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place...

This makes me queasy. We may be at just the beginning of the problem.

To every lefty environmentalist wacko who blocked drilling in ANWR or blocked extraction of tar sands or oil shale, who blocked development of nuclear energy...we've left a pistol and whiskey in the study.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:36 PM

April 7, 2010

Kick the little guy, bow to the bully...

In reference to this:

...April 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner delayed a scheduled April 15 report to Congress on exchange-rate policies, sidestepping a decision on whether to accuse China of manipulating the value of the yuan....

Charlene passes this on to you...

cartoon of Obama knuckling under to China, bashing Israel

(Thanks to Hope n' Change Cartoons)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:40 AM

March 28, 2010

We are all Israel now...

William A. Jacobson, We Are All Bibi Netanyahu Now:

The reaction to Obama's treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu was as strong if not stronger than I have seen in the comments here and elsewhere in the blogosphere on any other issue. (I didn't let through a number of over-the-top comments.)

Why this reaction? I bet a lot of the people having this reaction only had heard of Bibi Netanyahu in passing on the news.

Who would care if our President left a foreign leader to wait in the White House while the President supposedly went to have dinner with his family? Who would care if our President broke protocol by refusing to be photographed and hold a press conference with a foreign leader? Who would care if that foreign leader left tail tucked between his legs, humiliated at home at the treatment by the leader of the free world?

Part of it certainly is that the foreign leader in question was the leader of Israel, which is tremendously popular with Americans. In Israel the clear majority of Americans see a democratic nation surrounded by implacable enemies who also are our enemies, doing what it takes to survive and thrive. In so many historical, religious and political ways Israel is our kindred spirit, more than just one among many nations....

It's more than just being a "kindred spirit." Israel is us. Israel and the United States are the only two countries that are ideas. Anyone who "gets" America's idea as expressed in the founding documents, is an American. As much so as someone whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower. If I say someone is "un-American," you would not imagine that I'm criticizing their skin color, or accent, or lack of long residence in our country.

It's much the same with Israel. Jews from obscure corners of the world, with all sorts of languages and skin colors can make Aliyah and become Israelis.

Both countries have been refuges for the oppressed. And both have been founded by those who fled the control of their "betters" in the European elites. Fled and used only their own strength and courage to build a country from nothing. Both countries were toughened by fighting against savages, and by taming a harsh landscape.

Both countries are hated by Leftists, because Leftism is about taming people, and putting them under control of self-styled elites.

But there is a deeper similarity. It is my suspicion that much of what people believe and do is not because of rational thought, but is a reflection of spiritual struggles fought on a mostly unconscious level of symbols. We are all on a sort of path that can only be travelled in two directions: Towards God, or away from God and towards self-worship. And both America and Israel symbolically represent movement towards God. Not only in the religious elements of both country's formation, but symbolically in their demand that we consider an idea to be something bigger than ourselves; something for which we might even have to sacrifice our lives.

As I've bored you by mentioning before, I think that most "Leftism" today is not really Leftism at all, that the quasi-religious beliefs such as socialism or liberalism that were the old core of Leftist thinking have drained away, leaving nothing. Leftism today is mostly nihilism. The old-time Left didn't automatically hate America or Israel, because they considered it normal to believe in an idea—they just had a different idea. To the nihilist, belief is an affront!

And more than an affront. Almost an assault. They know somewhere deep in their hearts that they were made for something bigger, and the knowledge angers them.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:39 AM

March 27, 2010

Thought for today...

James Taranto:

...One sign that ObamaCare is both bad and unpopular is that since its enactment--indeed, since just before its enactment--its supporters have been laboring mightily to change the subject. They're eager to talk not about their great legislative and social achievement, but about how violent, racist and all-around crazy ObamaCare opponents are....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:55 AM

February 13, 2010

Must read...

American Thinker: Dear Mr. President: Why We Are Not Hiring:

...But first, I must add that every time you step up to the microphone -- for example, your impromptu presser on Tuesday -- the painful decision to shut down my business of eighteen years is validated by your words. And I should thank you for that.

For the record, that decision was formalized on November 5, 2008. Check your calendar.

Some fifteen months later, I can say that it was the best business decision I have ever made. With your hands on the levers of the government and the economy, I wanted to have as little at risk as possible.

Don't get me wrong -- it was a torturous and gut-wrenching decision that went against every fiber of my being. I had to betray deeply rooted entrepreneurial instincts and set some more mundane material goals. And while it might seem extreme, I think my mindset speaks to the real reason businesses are not hiring now.

So what is that mindset?

It's not complicated. I am neither a swooning David Brooks enamored of your pant crease nor a silver-spoon trust-fund baby like Christopher Buckley. I've simply had some twenty-five entrepreneurial ventures -- with a good number of strikeouts to be honest -- and real-world experience told me exactly who you are and exactly what the business climate under your rule would be like....

This piece is just dead-on right. I can say that as one who grew up in an entrepreneurial family and worked in the family business. And Charlene and I are both small business owners (very small, to be sure). And both of us are averse to hiring people, for various reasons that mostly have some connection with government.

One of the structural weakness of the modern world is that many businesses are so big that the people who work in them have little sense of being "in business." They are just doing a job in a big organization—many of could easily move to government or a non-profit or a university and do the same job. A file clerk at Microsoft does not think of herself as part of free enterprise or capitalism; probably does not even make the connection.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 AM

January 29, 2010

Detached from reality...

Charlene recommends this piece by Peter Wehner on the SOTU, A Self-Reverential State of the Union Address (Thanks to Alan):

...What made the speech a bit bizarre, and somewhat alarming, is how detached from reality the president is. After having spent much of his time blaming his predecessor for his own failures, he said he was "not interested in re-litigating the past." Barack Obama lamented waging a "perpetual campaign" – even though that is what the president, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs and others in his employ do on a daily basis. He said, "Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, is just part of the game" – yet his White House has played that very game with zest and delight.

Having gone on a spending spree that is unprecedented in American history, the president castigated the political class for "leaving a mountain of debt" to future generations. Having helped to create the worst fiscal situation in our lifetime, he says he will "refuse to pass the problems on to another generation of Americans." He says, "If we do not take meaningful steps to rein in our debt, it could damage our markets, increase the cost of borrowing, and jeopardize our recovery" – despite the fact that future generations will have to work to undo the deficit and debt he had done so much to increase.

It was as if we were being lectured on marital fidelity by John Edwards or Mark Sanford....
Posted by John Weidner at 11:40 AM

January 25, 2010

It's turned out like we predicted...

I remember arguing with Obamanoids, saying to them, "HOW can you vote for someone who's never run so much as a pop-stand to run the country??" You can imagine the non-responses I got. Now it is becoming obvious even to Leftists that that wasn't a smart idea. But the conservative criticism has not changed a bit. That's the point in this piece. (I confess to being wrong in the way I guessed that Obama would soon learn to triangulate skillfully like Clinton did. No sign of it yet.)

Jim Geraghty, Obama-mania Skeptics Understood This Man Before Anyone Else - :

I continue to hear a lot of talk among liberals that the reason their health-care reform effort is in trouble, the reason Obama has mediocre-to-lousy approval ratings (particularly on the economy and health care), the reason Democrats are losing big races, and the reason 2010 is looking like an impending political bloodbath is essentially right-wing "misinformation campaigns."

Look, conservatives spent much of 2007 and 2008 arguing that Obama was a pleasant, charismatic man with few legislative accomplishments, no experience as a manager, few concrete results in any area where he had worked, some naïve beliefs hidden by extraordinary eloquence, and no idea of just how hard the job of the presidency is. He underestimated the intractability of certain problems (Middle East peace), wildly overestimated the effectiveness and efficiency of government programs (stimulus spending), had a bad eye for talent (Biden, Geithner, Richardson, Daschle, Napolitano), often had bad first instincts ("I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother"), seemed to trust those who didn't deserve it (Iran), and had sailed along in the world of politics because up until now, everyone was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Throughout that time, a large percentage of the American people rejected that argument. "He seems to know what he's doing. His campaign was a well-run ship. Look at that calm temperment. He was editor of Harvard Law Review. He'll be fine, and he'll probably be great," they concluded.

From 2007 to now, the arguments of the Right haven't changed; what has changed is that now the evidence to support the Right's initial perception — collected by watching this president in action — is becoming more and more compelling by the day.
Rush Limbaugh: Better He Should Fail
Posted by John Weidner at 10:52 AM

January 19, 2010

Well, he finally has an enemy to lead America against...

Now He's Preparing a Combative Response? - Jim Geraghty:

Politico: "President Barack Obama plans a combative response if, as White House aides fear, Democrats lose Tuesday's special Senate election in Massachusetts, close advisers say."

Well, we didn't really expect humility, did we?

Great to know, Mr. President, that Iran shot protesters dead in the streets, beat the hell out of young kids, North Korea's firing off missiles so regularly you can set a clock to them, al-Qaeda tries to blow up a plane on Christmas, al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch is winning "Franchise of the Year", China's hacking Google until every search brings back at least one smiling Mao photo, Kabul's blowing up, our southern border looks like a war zone, and after a year of outreach, reset buttons, "changing the tone" and 364 days of kumbaya we finally get to see a "combative response" from you... to a Republican winning a race.

I look forward to his Oval Office address announcing that the electorate has deeply disappointed him, and that he expects more of us.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:24 AM

January 17, 2010

Today's quote...

Seen at Instapundit:

...Meanwhile, Dr. George Milonas writes: "If Obama thinks Bush is such an incredible incompetent, why did he send Bush to help rescue the Haitians? Does he hate black people that much that he is willing to inflict Bush on them?"...

If Democrats really believed the crap they lay on us, they would send Ray Nagel.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:38 PM

December 31, 2009

Kill Americans and win valuable concessions...

Andy McCarthy , It's Not Yet Friday, But It Is New Year's Eve -- What Better Time to Release an Iran-Backed Terror Master Who Murdered American Troops?:

...Today, New Year's Eve, while everyone's attention is understandably on family and friends, we learn (thanks to the ever alert Bill Roggio, reporting on the Standard's blog) that the administration has now released Qais Qazali, Laith's brother, [released previously by Obama] who is the head of the Iran-backed terror network, in addition to a hundred other terrorists. In violation of the long-standing, commonsense policy against capitulating to kidnappers and terrorists because it just encourages more hostage-taking and murder, the terrorists were released in exchange for a British hostage and the remains of his three contract guards (whom the terrorists had murdered).

So, as the mullahs, America's incorrigible enemies, struggle to hang on, we're giving them accommodations and legitimacy. And the messages we send? Terrorize us and we'll negotiate with you. Kill American troops or kidnap civilians and win valuable concessions — including the release of an army of jihadists, and its leaders, who can now go back to targeting American troops....

He's on the other side.

Keep this outrage in mind when "moderates" deride us extremists for suggesting that Obama's not a loyal American, or not willing to fight the War on Terror.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:59 PM

December 30, 2009

Is this a valid complaint?

President Obama takes the heat President Bush did not - - POLITICO.com:

Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber's attempt to blow up a transatlantic airliner was thwarted by a group of passengers, an incident that revealed some gaping holes in airline security just a few months after the attacks of Sept. 11. But it was six days before President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made any public remarks about the so-called "shoe bomber," Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the press or any opposition Democrats that his response was sluggish or inadequate.

That stands in sharp contrast to the withering criticism President Barack Obama has received from Republicans and some in the press for his reaction to Friday's incident on a Northwest Airlines flight heading for Detroit....

There's one big difference. President Bush, on September 11, 2001, had the moral clarity recognize, and to say, that we were at war. No one knows whether Mr Obama has the same moral clarity. (I strongly suspect that he has never given the underlying question serious thought.)

That's something the President has to say. It's not his job to lead in battles, other people do that. But seeing clearly and speaking clearly about what the deep problem is, is what a President does. That's what America is still waiting to hear from Obama, and why we are frustrated at his insipid response to Ft Hood, and now to the close call with the "knickerbomber."

Watch this video, if you've forgotten....



Posted by John Weidner at 8:19 AM

December 28, 2009

"horrible desiccated complacency"

Mark Steyn :

...Putting aside the stuff that was just plain wrong (this guy's an "isolated extremist" - oh, yeah?), the President's remarks had a horrible desiccated complacency. "Alleged..." "suspect..." "charged..." - because this is no different from a punk holding up a gas station, right? In all their alleged allegedness, this Administration has an allergy to the concept of war, and thus to the tools of war, including strategy and war aims. In essence, they've accepted a Fort Hood model for this challenge: every so often, something will happen and people will die, and we'll seal off the crime scene and take the alleged suspect into alleged custody. But it's reactive, and it cripples our ability to prevent the death of innocents.

There's a difference between an alleged suspect (which is what he is is the President's fantasy) and an enemy combatant (which is what he is in reality). If this were a war, we would question him about who he hooked up with in Yemen, who did he meet with in London, and maybe get a lead on attacks to come. Instead, the authorities, having issued the Knickerbomber a multi-entry visa, having permitted him to board the plane, and having failed to detect his incendiary underwear, now allow him to lawyer up and ensure that we'll never know who he knew in Yemen or anywhere else.

This would be a big enough gamble in the best of circumstances. Up against the broader background Derb discusses, it makes disaster inevitable....

"The Knickerbomber!" Perfect.

It's treasonous not to be water-boarding this guy right now. But they can't do so because that would be to admit that we are the good guys, at war with monsters. And most Leftists can't admit that, because they are self-worshippers, and it would be admitting that there are things more important than themselves.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:42 PM

December 23, 2009

So many horrid things, you can't even keep track of them all, much less oppose them...

Andy McCarthy, Why Does Interpol Need Immunity from American Law?:

...Interpol is the shorthand for the International Criminal Police Organization. It was established in 1923 and operates in about 188 countries. By executive order 12425, issued in 1983, President Reagan recognized Interpol as an international organization and gave it some of the privileges and immunities customarily extended to foreign diplomats. Interpol, however, is also an active law-enforcement agency, so critical privileges and immunities (set forth in Section 2(c) of the International Organizations Immunities Act) were withheld. Specifically, Interpol's property and assets remained subject to search and seizure, and its archived records remained subject to public scrutiny under provisions like the Freedom of Information Act. Being constrained by the Fourth Amendment, FOIA, and other limitations of the Constitution and federal law that protect the liberty and privacy of Americans is what prevents law-enforcement and its controlling government authority from becoming tyrannical.

On Wednesday, however, for no apparent reason, President Obama issued an executive order removing the Reagan limitations. That is, Interpol's property and assets are no longer subject to search and confiscation, and its archives are now considered inviolable. This international police force (whose U.S. headquarters is in the Justice Department in Washington) will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States.

Interpol works closely with international tribunals (such as the International Criminal Court — which the United States has refused to join because of its sovereignty surrendering provisions, though top Obama officials want us in it). It also works closely with foreign courts and law-enforcement authorities (such as those in Europe that are investigating former Bush administration officials for purported war crimes — i.e., for actions taken in America's defense).

Why would we elevate an international police force above American law? Why would we immunize an international police force from the limitations that constrain the FBI and other American law-enforcement agencies? Why is it suddenly necessary to have, within the Justice Department, a repository for stashing government files which, therefore, will be beyond the ability of Congress, American law-enforcement, the media, and the American people to scrutinize? [My emphasis]....
Posted by John Weidner at 6:45 AM

December 2, 2009

Quote of the day...

Rich Lowry on Obam's speech:

...Yes, it would've been better if Obama hadn't sounded at times like a premature Nobel Peace Prize winner shoved uncomfortably into a role of wartime leader. But, as Don Rumsfeld might say, you go to war with the president you have.
Posted by John Weidner at 7:48 AM

November 27, 2009

Utter contrast...

I thought last year that the 2008 presidential election was really between Obama and Palin, with McCain and Biden just place-holders in nice suits. Everything that has happened since just seems to confirm that. And the pattern is always that Obama is given every possible advantage, and ought to simply outshine Governor Palin...... and yet it never happens! If someone had written this story as a novel it would be dismissed as "too contrived."

In the story below there is a line about how the press didn't fact-check Obam's books because "they likely feared what they would find" Wow, isn't that just the pattern of so much we see on the Left? Isn't that exactly why they keep insisting that the "science is settled?" Wasn't that the Bush-Kerry military service clash? The Left lives in fear. We need to understand that. That's what "political correctness" is; a whole bunch of "don't go there signs." Don't discuss, don't fact-check, don't criticize. Fear.

I recommend this piece by Jack Cashill in American Thinker, The Competing Narratives of Barry and Sarah:

...In 1992, while an anxious Obama dithers in an office that the University of Chicago has given him to write Dreams, half of his $150,000 advance already cashed, Palin is pulling her babies, Track and Bristol, along on a sled as she goes door-to-door seeking votes in her run for Wasilla city council.

Not yet thirty, Palin settles upon the philosophy that will guide her political career: reducing taxes "and redefining government's proper role." Like few Republicans this side of Ronald Reagan, Palin will adhere to these principles throughout her political ascent.

Not surprisingly, Palin's tenacity makes enemies among those who have cashed in their Republican heritage for the perks and power of office. Palin's perseverance in the face of this resistance makes for compelling political drama. That she is a woman challenging the good old boys of backroom Alaska heightens that drama.

Yet despite pushing the boundaries of female accomplishment throughout her career -- as sports reporter, as commercial fisherman, as councilwoman, as mayor, as oil and gas commissioner, as governor, as vice-presidential candidate -- Palin never loses her sense of the feminine. Having five children surely helps. So does living in an environment where manly virtues still matter.

An exchange with the larger-than-life Todd helps clarify Alaskan reality. Todd is a four-time winner of the Iron Dog competition, a 2,200 mile snowmobiling marathon. One night, Sarah expresses interest in competing. Says Todd:
Can you get the back end of a six-hundred-pound machine unstuck by yourself with open water up to your thighs, then change out an engine at forty below in the pitch black on a frozen river and replace thrashed shocks and jury rig a suspension using tree limbs along the trail?
When Sarah answers "Nope," Todd replies, "Then go back to sleep, Sarah." Todd lives his Eskimo heritage. He does not just dream about it, let alone exploit it...
...While Palin is slugging through Alaska's political morass like a determined Iditarod musher, Obama is cruising through Illinois politics on skids greased by his Chicago cronies. In his 2004 run for U.S. Senate, both his chief primary opponent and his expected general election opponent are undone by damaging personal information leaked to the media. Obama wins both elections easily.

The combination of his black genes and white upbringing makes the famously "articulate and bright and clean" Obama an irresistible choice to keynote the race-conscious 2004 Democratic convention. "I mean, that's a storybook, man," alleges the inimitable Joe Biden.

The story told in Dreams will become a huge bestseller in the wake of the 2004 convention. The lofty, lyrical style of the book will seal the Ivy-educated Obama's reputation as a genius, and its much-celebrated narrative would serve as a foundational myth for Obama's ascent to the White House.

Said NEA chairman Rocco Landesman just last month, reiterating the accepted wisdom of the chattering classes, "This is the first president that actually writes his own books since Teddy Roosevelt and arguably the first to write them really well since Lincoln."

The establishment will not be so kind to Palin. In the week of Going Rogue's release, the New York Times house conservative David Brooks will call her "a joke." Dick Cavett, the Norma Desmond of TV talk, will dismiss her as a "know-nothing." Ex-con Dem fundraiser Martha Stewart will brand Palin "a dangerous person." And literally thousands of lesser liberal lights will deride her as "stupid," an "idiot," or a "moron" (8.5 million Google hits and counting for "Palin" "moron").

In that same week, Chris Matthews was worrying out loud that Obama was "too darned intellectual," and author Michael Eric Dyson was celebrating Obama's "sexy brilliance." But while the Associated Press was sending a platoon of reporters to fact-check Palin's book, neither the AP nor any other media outlet dared check either Dreams or Audacity of Hope.

They likely feared what they would find -- namely that Obama's genius depends solely on his willingness to lie about it. "I've written two books," Obama told a crowd of teachers in Virginia last year. "I actually wrote them myself." He did no such thing. He had massive help with both books....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:04 AM

November 25, 2009

Remember this when people chirp about Palin's RNC campaign clothing expenses...

The Associated Press: First lady wears Naeem Khan gown to state dinner:

...Designer Khan is no stranger to helping women make a grand entrance; he has become a fixture on the Hollywood red-carpet circuit, dressing Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Katherine Heigl and even Queen Noor of Jordan. Mrs. Obama's gown took three weeks at the designer's family workshop in India — with 40 people working on it — to complete, Khan said....

40 people, working three weeks. I struggle with complex math, but that looks to me like 120 man-weeks. Which is, ummm, a bit over 2 man-years. (I suppose I should say "person-years.) For one dress.

But it would be racist of me to criticize...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:13 PM

November 14, 2009

My prediction: More terror attacks...

I recently read an interesting book, The Battle: A New History of Waterloo. It was very useful in explaining something about 18th Century battles that I vaguely knew, but hadn't focused on. Those battles never started with a big all-out attack. Rather, two armies would start grinding at each other here and there in a small way. Like a fire in damp grass that flares up and then dies down, as Clausewitz put it. In those days each commander could see the enemy forces in the distance, and could draw conclusions from how they reacted to artillery fire or probing attacks. (And of course the officers involved in the attacks would report back on what they were seeing—and they would often get close enough to "see the whites of their eyes!") There was a kind of "body language" to armies and their various divisions and battalions that could convey weakness or resolve.

Napoleon watched the allied lines at Waterloo, waiting for flinching or wavering. That would be his moment to launch a powerful attack against that point. And Wellington, who was on the defensive, watched for the same thing, and would shore up weak sections of his line with battalions from his reserve. (On a modern battlefield things are very different. If you peek out and actually see other people, probably nothing much is happening. If you see no one, duck!)

The funny thing is that war we are in—if war it should be called—has brought us back to the time when our "body language" of aggression or weakness is being watched, scrutinized, by cold and bitter eyes. The slaughter by Major Hasan was a probing attack. It doesn't matter whether Major Hasan was formally a terrorist or totally a nut-job one-man-show. The effect is the same.

And Obama flinched. That's the simple fact. He has just told the world that he is weak, and doesn't want to fight. He's doing the same thing with Afghanistan. So he—and all of us—are going to be hit.

Terrorists do things for a purpose. One of the things they want is to force us out of Afghanistan. Therefore the correct response to Hasan's attack would have been to announce that we are sending an extra 5,000 troops to Afghanistan forthwith. (And we should take Anwar Al Awlaki's scalp, of course.) But instead Obama has chosen to do what will cause more people, including Americans, to be killed. He should have said that if you mess with Americans you're gonna get a poke in the eye with his eye-poking stick. Instead he has told them clearly that violence will get them things they want.

On of the odd things about Joe Biden's political Tourette's Syndrome is that he sometimes blurts out the truth... without being taken seriously of course. Remember this?...

Barack's been tested, and has failed...

Correct response:

Terrorists turned to grease spot in Yemen.

* Update: This is just armchair theorizin', but I think that if Bush were still President, Major Hasan would not have "gone Muslim." My guess is that he's totally in tune with jihadi thought patterns, whether or not he gets direct input. And that it's 'in the air" right now that Obama's looking like a weak sister, and isn't going to hit back. I don't think they thought like that about Bush at all. He's a man, and showed it in Afghanistan, Iraq, and especially with the Surge, doubling down when things got tough. Even if Hasan is crazy, well, living in the big city one notices that crazies usually aren't as crazy as they look. They never seem to harass the guy who's going to punch them in the nose!

Posted by John Weidner at 12:38 PM

November 12, 2009

"A House majority that is caught in amber circa October 2008"

Rich Lowry has a great piece on how our Constitution is designed to prevent demagogues from ramming through legislation in the heat of the moment:

...The Democrats enjoy such a large House majority thanks partly to an accident of timing. The election was held in uniquely disastrous circumstances for the Republicans, in the immediate wake of the collapse of Lehman and the ensuing financial panic. Piled on top of the other causes of Republican woe (some of them quite well-deserved), the crisis allowed Democrats to run up the score. But in a matter of months public opinion began snapping back to its center-right state. So we have a House majority that is caught in amber circa October 2008 when the nation's mood has already moved on.

Hey, you might say, such is the dumb luck of timing in elections. True. But in their wisdom our Founders devised a check to keep a majority augmented by temporary circumstances from running amok. It's called the Senate.

The House stands for election all at once, capturing public opinion at one moment in time. In contrast, only one-third of the Senate stands for election at once. Originally, its members were selected by state legislatures, further shielding it from public opinion (a feature done away with by the Seventeenth Amendment, of course)....

Seventeenth Amendment, bad move....

...If Obamacare is so necessary and wise, there's no true need to hurry. If it fails to pass the Senate, Democrats should campaign on it around the country. They should keep talking of its wonders, and build up public support for it, turning around the polls. They should enhance their majority in the House and the Senate, bringing new Obamacare Democrats to Washington. That's how you build toward passing historic legislation in a system such as ours naturally resistant to large-scale change...

The Dems know it's a steaming pile of you-know-what. If you have a clean conscience, you don't rush bills through before anyone has had time to read them.

My personal opinion is that their consciences are a lot muckier that most people guess, and a more honest nickname for this legislation would be "Screwtapecare."

Posted by John Weidner at 8:52 AM

November 7, 2009

Pathetic. Obamba's a girly-man.

Reuters : One year on, Obama cites struggle with Bush legacy:

...MADISON, Wis. — A year after his historic election, President Barack Obama sought to remind Americans on Wednesday the biggest problems he is grappling with — from the economy to the war in Afghanistan — are the legacy of his predecessor, George W. Bush....

Ya'know, Brrack old chap, President Bush left you another legacy as well. He left you a splendid example of how a MAN deals with tough situations. You may have forgotten, but he also inherited an economic recession. The Dot.Com bust happened just before he was inaugurated. And 9/11—a legacy of shocking Clinton neglect—dealt us another heavy economic blow a few months later.

Did you ever hear him whining that Clinton had left him a bucket of worms? No, he never did. Not once. He never complained or pointed fingers, he just rolled up his sleeves and started fixing the problems. That's what grownups do.

Oh, and legacy #3. He fixed his economic problems. Tip: Start by cutting taxes. Wait one year. Cut again. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary. It works.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:47 PM

October 28, 2009

"Chilling from the standpoint of freedom"

Good stuff, by Thomas Sowell:

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers— that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?

Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?...

That last bit is very interesting. Suppose I was in a big hassle with the IRS or some other government agency. And I had to drive to their office and go to meetings that might have dire consequences for me.

I would probably scrape the Republican bumper stickers off my car!

It would just make sense. Most government employees are liberal Democrats. And a large percentage of them are not committed to high ideals of fairness and impartiality. We know this, we can see it. Just think back to when "Joe the plumber" embarrassed Obama in the 2008 campaign, and government employees in Ohio instantly leaked Joe's records to the press.

And the really ugly thing was that none among liberals and Democrats seemed to be ashamed! None of them hung their heads in shame and apologized for this disgusting behavior. And now it is being proposed to give these people control over us in our most weak and vulnerable moments...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:30 AM

October 25, 2009

Evil deeds come back to bite them...

Victor Davis Hanson: Whom is Barack Obama Afraid of?—Another Barack Obama 

One of the reasons why President Obama may be hesitating to commit fully to a renewed Afghan front is that he is worried that political opportunists might seek to gain advantage by loud rhetoric that unfairly simplifies the bad and worse choices, that he, like all other presidents in time of war, are confronted with.

In other words, he fears someone very much like an on-the-rise Barack Obama himself—who in 2007 in loud fashion demanded that all combat brigades leave Iraq by March 2008 and then flat-out declared to the nation that "the surge is not working" (a mantra for months posted on his website until Trotskyized in summer 2008). Ditto all that with Guantanamo, elements of homeland security, and Iran—and one can see that Obama knows first-hand the opportunities for demagogic and unprincipled political ankle-biting that a decisive wartime President invites. After all, what President, after making a tough decision to surge into Afghanistan, wants a young charismatic rival barnstorming the nation, without evidence assuring the public that "the surge is not working!"

It certainly would be poetic justice. Scoundrels like Obama trashed our country's noble efforts in Iraq while pretending—with limitless pomposity—to want to fight the good fight in Afghanistan. Now the loathsome liars are caught in their own trap.

Posted by John Weidner at 3:03 PM

October 24, 2009

Maybe I'll add this to my already cluttered sidebar...

Bush ready to fight, Obama to dither
Posted by John Weidner at 10:59 AM

October 12, 2009

Missed opportunity...it really is too bad.

Ross Douthat, in the NYT...Heckuva Job, Barack:

This was Barack Obama's chance.

Here was an opportunity to cut himself free, in a stroke, from the baggage that's weighed his presidency down — the implausible expectations, the utopian dreams, the messianic hoo-ha.

Here was a place to draw a clean line between himself and all the overzealous Obamaphiles, at home and abroad, who poured their post-Christian, post-Marxist yearnings into the vessel of his 2008 campaign.

Here was a chance to establish himself, definitively, as an American president — too self-confident to accept an unearned accolade, and too instinctively democratic to go along with European humbug.

He didn't take it. Instead, he took the Nobel Peace Prize.

Big mistake....
Posted by John Weidner at 12:59 PM

October 9, 2009

In honor of the great honor given our president...

Imagine some people who have had a wild drunken party, and now they are starting to sober up... and the sun is coming up, and they are sitting in the squalid mess. Ugh... and they pour one more round of drinks, to try to keep the party alive... That's what I think this "Nobel Prize" idiocy is like.

Musings of a psychotherapist, Robin of Berkeley:

...Even out here, things are starting to feel spooky. While it's always weird central in Berkeley, now there's a malaise in the air.

Yes, there are plenty of people so far into the communist schtick, they would gladly sacrifice their children, their granny, and their life savings for the Left.

But most liberals still want their houses, jobs, Hondas and iPods. When they voted for Obama, they weren't giving a thumbs up for the country to go the way of Ché.

So there's a strange, foreboding vibe in these parts; that creepy feeling you get when you know there's bad news ahead.

Many liberals look dazed and confused because they have no language, no information, no way of understanding what in the world is going on.

Interestingly, there's this eerie silence about Obama. You don't hear a peep about him. Or course, liberals are still foaming at the mouth about Sarah Palin, tea baggers, birthers, and all things conservative.

But adulation for Obama: Missing in Action. A telling sign: the life size black and white cardboard doll of Obama in a storefront near my office has been taken down. Where did it go -- to the local recycling center with other discarded Obamabilia?

Because I'm a psychotherapist, I'm intrigued by what goes on inside and outside. People not only suffer because of neurotic minds, but because of what people do to us when they abuse their power.

The family dramas, problems at work, or dysfunction in D.C. unnerve us. As Presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis, indelicately put it, "Fish rots from the head down." ...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:08 AM

October 6, 2009

A march of a thousand miles begins with...

I was thinking about the Obamanoids dressing their tame doctors up in identical white doctor suits to make a photo op... and just then I encountered this...

I wish I had the skills to computer-animate marching armies like they do in the movies, with Imperial storm troopers, Orcs, etc, . Doctors goose-stepping past the giant posters of The One would be very funny. Especially the corps of psychiatrists with identical beards and tweed jackets...

Posted by John Weidner at 12:21 PM

October 4, 2009

No plan, just wishful thinking...

No Master Plan at All, by Jennifer Rubin...

...Could it be that there is less to Obama and his team of geniuses than we were led to believe? Maybe Obama's domestic and foreign-policy agenda is all based on wishful thinking: a cost-neutral health-care plan will emerge from Congress, talks with Iran will produce results, sweet-talking the Russian bear will pan out, there is some magic pill to achieve victory in Afghanistan that has escaped the nation's leading counterinsurgency gurus, and private-sector jobs will return despite the anti-employer policies flowing from Washington.

Could it be that Obama is not, in fact, a sophisticated analyst and astute policy wonk but merely has led a charmed political life, benefiting from a series of inept opponents (think Alan Keyes, the snarling infighters in Hillaryland, and the McCain gang-that-couldn't-shoot-straight), a sycophantic media, and an electorate willing to give him every benefit of the doubt? It might just be that neither he nor his advisers have thought through much of anything because they convinced themselves that they had the secret weapon, the gravity-defying political colossus. Obama could get away with doing seemingly inexplicable things (e.g., picking a fight with Israel over the nonstarter settlement freeze, backing the lunatic Manuel Zelaya, allowing the left wing in Congress to write his agenda) because this charismatic leader would inevitably defy the odds (not to mention public opinion, geopolitical realities, and common sense) and get results that mere mortal politicians could not.

The IOC rebuff may turn out to be Obama's man-behind-the-curtain moment, straight out of the Wizard of Oz. It may be that the whole Hope and Change routine has been little more than a lot of cheesy special effects—and a cynical game to convince the public that the great and powerful leader really is worthy of awe.

Flaily, flaily. Poor Obama's never faced a stiff political fight in his life. (Or held a real job.) He's the ultimate poster-boy for the spiritual evil of Affirmative Action, which was designed by "liberals" to destroy the souls of blacks and other favored minorities, and keep them addicted to big government and the blood-suckers of the Dem Party.

Don't look back, Barry. Somebody somebody might be gaining on ya. Somebody who can shoot straight...

Sara Palin with dead caribou

Posted by John Weidner at 5:09 PM

October 3, 2009

Never again.

Charlene recommends this piece by Robin of Berkeley in American Thinker, Sympathy for the Devil. It's very much a "read the whole thing" thing. But I will quote a line that struck me...

...We have a man who has been privileged with the greatest honor, the Presidency, and what does he do? Does he demonstrate an ounce of gratitude or humility?

No, he betrays us in the most profound way possible: by not protecting and defending us....

And defending us means defending Israel. Israel is part of us. Part of our DNA, as Spengler put it. A sibling, in a way no other country is. An almost invariable marker of the sickness of Leftism is ice-heartedness towards both America and Israel.

Thanks to Roger Simon for these...

And this...

AFP: Israel gets two more German submarines:

...JERUSALEM — Israel has taken delivery of two German submarines ordered four years ago, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

"We have received two Dolphin-class submarines built in Germany," he said, on condition of anonymity. The submarines, called U212s, can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, although when it confirmed the sale in 2006 the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons. The subs were ordered in 2005 and delivery was initially expected in 2010.

Including the two new ones, Israel has five German submarines -- the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel's arsenal.

Germany, which believes it has a historic responsibility to help Israel because of the mass murder of Jews in World War II, donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:01 AM

October 2, 2009

It'll be Bush's fault...

That's what Charlene said as we were driving this morning listening to Rush talk about Obama's wipe-out in Copenhagen. What a debacle!

It's really the fault of the Gasping Media. They've been repeating their garbage about Obama having "amazing powers of persuasion" since 2004. And the poor boobie has apparently believed it, even though he's never actually persuaded anyone to do anything they didn't want to do anyway.

Rush thinks this will be one of those defining moments of weakness, like Dukakis in the tank, or Jimmy Carter and the killer-rabbit....

Rush Limbaugh: Better He Should Fail

* Update: Charlene ahead of the crowd...

Top 10 Reasons Chicago Didn't Get the Olympics - Rich Lowry - The Corner on National Review Online:

An e-mail:

10. Dead people can't vote at IOC meetings
9. Obama distracted by 25 min meeting with Gen. McChrystal
8. Who cares if Obama couldn't talk the IOC into Chicago? He'll be able to talk Iran out of nukes.
7. The impediment is Israel still building settlements.
6. Obviously no president would have been able to acomplish it.
5. We've been quite clear and said all along that we didn't want the Olympics.
4. This isn't about the number of Olympics "lost", it's about the number of Olympics "saved" or "created".
3. Clearly not enough wise Latina judges on the committee
2. Because the IOC is racist.
1. It's George Bush's fault.
Posted by John Weidner at 10:16 AM

September 28, 2009

Speaks for itself...

ThreatsWatch.Org: Commentary: General Silence:

...David Martin, CBS: How often have you talked to the President?

Gen. McChrystal: I've talked to the president since I've been here once on a VTC [Video Tele-Conference via secure satellite communications].

David Martin, CBS: ...You've talked to him once in 70 days.

Gen. McChrystal: That's correct.

David Martin, CBS: Do you expect to be talking to him more than that? It seemed the theater commander spoke with President bush on a weekly basis.

Gen. McChrystal: Well I don't think I lack for guidance or an understanding of his intent, but it would certainly be up to him on the frequency. ...

McChrystal is an honorable officer who won't criticize the Commander in Chief if he can possibly avoid it. But we can fill in the dots. And we can remember those foul lying leftists, including Obama, who excoriated Bush for supposedly neglecting the "central front" in the WoT. Just 'till they got power, of course. Now their true natures are coming out, in horrid betrayals of our troops and those countries who made the mistake of trusting us...

Rush Limbaugh: Better He Should Fail

Posted by John Weidner at 12:52 PM

September 23, 2009

Obama explained... National Review Online

This is from a great piece by Victor Davis Hanson, Barack Obama, College Administrator. He shows how Obama's weirdness makes perfect sense, if you understand that he's known little except academic life, and is acting like the president of a college...

...Some wonder where Obama got the idea that constant exposure results in persuasion. But that too comes from the talk-is-everything mindset of a university president. Faculties are swamped with memos from deans, provosts, and presidents, reiterating their own "commitment to diversity," reminding how they would not "tolerate hate speech," and in general blathering about the "campus community." University administrators instruct faculty on everything from getting a flu shot, to covering up when coughing, to how to make a syllabus and avoid incorrect words....

....Czars are a university favorite. Among the frequent topics of the daily university executive communiqués are the formulaic "My team now includes . . . ," "I have just appointed . . . ," "Under my direction . . . " (that first-person overload is, of course, another Obama characteristic), followed by announcement of a new "special" appointment: "special assistant to the president for diversity," "acting assistant provost for community affairs and external relations," "associate dean for curriculum enhancement and development."

Most of these tasks are either unnecessary or amply covered by existing faculty, department chairs, and deans. Czars, however, proliferated on campuses for fairly obvious reasons. First, they are spotlights illuminating the university administration's commitment to a particular fashionable cause by the showy creation of a high-profile, highly remunerative new job. When loud protests meet the university's inability to create a new department or fund a trendy but costly special program, administrators often take their loudest critics and make them czars — satisfying the "base" without substantial policy changes.

Second, czars are a way to circumvent the usual workings of the university, especially faculty committees in which there is an outside chance of some marginalized conservative voting against putting "Race, Class, and Gender in the Latina Cinema" into the general-education curriculum....
Posted by John Weidner at 7:00 PM

September 22, 2009

Satire no longer possible...

Obama's message to Abbas, Bibi: 'I'm losing patience':


President Obama's central message to the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York today was simple, a U.S. official said: He's running out of patience.

"The President of the United States is impatient," said the senior U.S. official. "That's what he told them."

"There's a limited window of opportunity here, and he's determined, but he's also impatient and we need to get going," the official said....

Posted by John Weidner at 10:28 PM

September 19, 2009

Because, you know, he's this amazing "communicator"

Hilarious. Right after the trumpeted speech to a Joint Session of Congress! His own party is scratching their heads and wondering what he means...

Dems find what Obama wants on healthcare still anything but clear - TheHill.com:

Democrats hope President Barack Obama will use his multiple Sunday show appearances to clarify his demands for healthcare reform....



Didn't Obama keep talking about "my plan" in the big speech? I think some Republicans leaders ought to file a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of Obama's plan! I mean, there has to be one. We've been told in no uncertain terms that calling the President a liar is "racism." So his claim to have a plan can't be a lie, therefore he actually has a plan...

So let's see it!

Posted by John Weidner at 7:06 PM

September 18, 2009

My response to the notion that opposition to Obama is "racism"...

Obama poster


Posted by John Weidner at 4:54 PM

September 13, 2009

We can all learn from the politesse of the Left...

President Obama says the angry scenes on televised town halls represents a "coarsening of our political dialogue." [link]

Go HERE to see examples of the comity and general un-coarseness of our esteemed opponents on the Left...

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag

Posted by John Weidner at 3:23 PM

September 12, 2009

You will need a "government permit to live."

James Taranto:

...Most criticisms of ObamaCare have focused on its cost in terms of money and lives, but it's worth noting that in exchange for spending trillions of dollars in taxpayer money to set up a system that will inevitably ration care, President Obama proposes a fundamental curtailment of your individual freedom.

In his speech to a joint session of Congress last night, the president offered what presumably was meant to sound like an innocuous, or at least reasonable, analogy:
Unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek--especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions--just can't be achieved. And that's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance--just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.
In fact, no state requires individuals to carry auto insurance. The owner of a car, which may be either an individual or a corporate entity, is required to carry insurance as a condition for a government permit allowing the car to be driven on public roads. Individual drivers, of course, are also required to obtain a government license, which requires fulfilling other conditions.

Driving is such a central part of most Americans' lives that the cliché that "driving is a privilege" seems a bit nonsensical. It feels like a right. There even is a constitutional right to travel--an unenumerated one, but one whose existence is not in serious dispute. Yet here is how Justice John Paul Stevens described that right in Saenz v. Roe (1999):
The "right to travel" discussed in our cases embraces at least three different components. It protects the right of a citizen of one State to enter and to leave another State, the right to be treated as a welcome visitor rather than an unfriendly alien when temporarily present in the second State, and, for those travelers who elect to become permanent residents, the right to be treated like other citizens of that State.
The right to travel is not a right to drive, but if a state were to require visitors to provide proof of insurance when arriving by train, plane or bus, on foot, or as a passenger in a private car, this would clearly violate the first two components of the right to travel.

Obama's proposal to coerce all Americans into buying health insurance is even more intrusive than our hypothetical state requirement would be. The ObamaCare mandate would violate not only the right to travel but the right to remain at rest. The implication of the auto-insurance analogy is that the president believes Congress has the authority to require Americans to obtain a government permit to live.... [Thanks to Bookworm]
Posted by John Weidner at 10:27 AM

September 10, 2009

It's been Palin v. Obama since 8-29-08...

...Biden and McCain were just the comic sidekicks...

David Horowitz:

...But perhaps the most remarkable moment of the speech — and certainly the most politically bone-headed — was to single out Sarah Palin and call her a liar because she has dramatized the indisputable fact that when you have government-controlled health care you have rationing, and when you have rationing you inevitably create a government bureaucracy which will encourage and then force elderly and infirm people to premature deaths. Palin's image of "death panels" to capture what is the undeniable truth about the Democrats' plans (Greta Van Susteren actually read, on-camera, the passage from the bill which justifies Palin's claim) was a politically brilliant stroke. In singling her out and defaming her tonight, the president made her the symbol of the opposition to the steamroller he is driving. And that's the fight she wants and anyone opposed to the Democrats' socialized scheme should want, too.... (Thanks to C4P)

It's hard to realize how strange this is. Sarah was unknown a year ago. She lost as VP, quit as governor (for good reasons, but most people don't know them). She's a private citizen, who made a post on FaceBook. To which the President of the United States has just replied in an address to a joint session of Congress! Incroyable! Stupefying! What an amazin' time to be alive, if you are a conservative! The collectivists have WON! They control the White House and Congress. We should be in despair. They should be on cloud nine. And yet they are flummoxed! By a chick from Alaska no one had heard of one short year ago! Sweet. Sweet! SWEET! Sarah Palin, I love you forever! If only for the pain you are inflicting on those frauds!

And there was a recent quote from one of these Obam guys—Axelrod or Emmanuel—claiming they don't sit around in the white House worrying about Palin. HAH! How many times has Obam defended himself against Romney, or Steele, or Pawlenty or Gingrich?

By the way, It's not just old people that are nudged over the edge. I've read at least three news stories about Canadian women being sent to the US to get care for prematurely-born babies. The Canadians have far fewer neonatal ICU beds than we do (per capita).

WHY? Because some government committee decide not to spend money on such a low-return investment. And what do you call that committee? Well, "death panel" is a logical fit, is it not?

Charlene and I know about this subject because our oldest son was born with a lung problem, and spent 7 weeks in the ICU. If he'd been born in Canada, well, who knows?

Posted by John Weidner at 11:24 PM

September 4, 2009

I second this: Afghanistan Is Not "Obama's War"

I have utter contempt and hatred for the scoundrel dogs who claimed that the Iraq Campaign was "Bush's War." The Iraq Campaign was voted for by Congress. That makes it America's war! No American citizen has the right to stand aside and sneer. All Americans owe a solemn duty to give warm-hearted, generous-hearted support for our troops and our country's objectives. (NO, I'm not saying that one can't make constructive criticisms.)

Likewise with Afghanistan. It is America's fight. No Republican has the right to oppose it just to hurt Obama or the Democrats. That would be despicable.

Dan Senor and Peter Wehner: Afghanistan Is Not 'Obama's War' - WSJ.com:

...We also believe supporting the president's Afghanistan policy is politically smart for Republicans. For one thing, isolationist tendencies don't do well in American politics. Even in a war as unpopular as Vietnam, George McGovern's "Come Home, America" cry backfired badly. So has every attempt since then. There is no compelling evidence that the congressional GOP was politically well served in the 1990s by opposing intervention in the Balkans.

In addition, indifference or outright opposition to the war would smack of hypocrisy, given the Republican Party's strong (and we believe admirable) support for President Bush's post-9/11 policies, its robust support for America's democratic allies, and its opposition to rogue regimes that threaten American interests. Republicans should stand for engagement with, rather than isolation from, the world. Strongly supporting the president on Afghanistan would also be a sign of grace on the part of Republicans. We know all too well how damaging it was to American foreign policy to face an opposition that was driven by partisan fury against our commander in chief. Republicans should never do to President Obama what many Democrats did to President Bush.

Mr. Obama's policies shouldn't be immune from criticism; far from it. Responsible criticism is a necessary part of self-government. And we are particularly concerned about reports that retired Marine Gen. James Jones, Mr. Obama's national security adviser, told Gen. McChrystal earlier this summer not to ask for more troops and that the Obama White House is wary to offer what Gen. McChrystal says he will need to succeed.

We do believe, however, that Republicans should resist the reflex that all opposition parties have, which is to oppose the stands of a president of the other party because he is a member of the other party. In this instance, President Obama has acted in a way that advances America's national security interests and its deepest values. Republicans should say so. As things become even more difficult in Central Asia, it's important to keep bad political patterns we have seen before from re-emerging.
Posted by John Weidner at 7:40 PM

Sarah one year ago today...

Can she call 'em, or can she call 'em? (Thanks to C4P)

"This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word 'victory' except when he's talking about his own campaign...........

"But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed.....when the roar of the crowd fades away.....when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot.....When that happens, what is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?
  • "The answer is to make government bigger.......
  • "And take more of your money..........
  • "To give you more orders from Washington...........
  • "And reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world...........
  • "America needs more energy...........our opponent is against producing it.
  • "Victory in Iraq is finally in sight.........he wants to forfeit.
  • "Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay..........he wants to meet them without preconditions.
  • "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America........he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?
  • "Government is too big........he wants to grow it.
  • "Congress spends too much money.......he promises more.
  • "Taxes are too high........he wants to raise them. His taxes are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific: The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes.......and raise payroll taxes........and raise investment income taxes.......and raise the death tax.......and raise business taxes.......and increase the tax burden on American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

Toldja. And remember, Obama ran as a sort of moderate. Orrin Judd has a great post on how Bush as President worked to pass the very things he campaigned on. And how Obama in office is not at all like Obama on the campaign trail.

Here's an ad from the lying Obama presidential campaign:

Can we say "bait and switch?" Tooooo bad, all you "independents" and "moderates" who voted for hopey changey. You were suckered. You were played for fools. You should have been reading Random Jottings. [Link, link, link, link.] But NOOOOO. That would be tacky. Fad and fashion and wishful thinking are much more important than truth.

And all you "Progressives" and far leftists who assumed that Obama was a vicious liar who would say anything to get elected, but would then come home to his real self, taught by Ayers and Wright? You were right! You win! Your prize will be big "Democrat" Party losses in 2010! And maybe a President Palin in 2012. Ha ha ha. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of commie creeps.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:11 AM

September 2, 2009

The leader is going to speak to the children!

On September 8! (Here's the scoop.)

chinese children with portraits of Comrades Mao and Stalin

...On the "Activities for grades PreK-6" document, the Department of Education has lined up some ideas on what teachers can do with their 4-14 year olds in the classroom. What is odd about the list is that all of the ideas revolve around Obama, not about the students or the country.

"Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama..." is the tip for what to do before Obama's speech. Why is it so important to know about him? Is is really appropriate for schools to have students read all about Obama as a standalone project and not encourage and more in-depth civics lesson as part of the curriculum? Teachers should be careful with the suggested reading and make sure their 2nd grade class doesn't get to read all about how Obama tried cocaine, as he admitted in "Dreams From My Father."

Throughout the speech, teachers are asked to encourage students to think about many things... mostly relating to Obama himself:

"As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following: What is the President trying to tell me? What is the President asking me to do? What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?" (emphasis added).

"Students could discuss their responses to the following questions: What do you think the President wants us to do? Does the speech make you want to do anything? Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us? What would you like to tell the President? "...(emphasis added).

Stephen Green: It's not mere education — it's learnyness!

Posted by John Weidner at 11:58 AM

The gal from Harvard (Glacier)....

This piece is good, and funny. Every "Czar" should get such a smack-down: American Thinker: Sarah Palin vs. Dr. Death:

Ezekiel Emanuel is upset. The president's health care czar sees the growing resistance to his vision, to his brave new world of government-run "communitarian" health care in which politicians and bureaucrats control one-sixth of the economy and 100% of our bodies. He doesn't quite understand how it all came apart on him, but he does know who started the unraveling: Sarah Palin.

Where does she get off attacking him? Sarah Palin, it seems forever Sarah Palin. And he wonders, as have so many others, what it takes to put a stake through her heart? People should listen to him, not Sarah Palin. He is the philosopher king of Democrat health care. And he went to Harvard, you know.

One day he was vacationing in the Italian Alps, a top-level government bureaucrat and Democrat insider enjoying the fruits of his labors on behalf of the common good. Government health care was cruising and Zeke was the guy Time magazine predicted will build the most "equitable and ethical" health care system north of Cuba. Marty Peretz, his friend and publisher of The New Republic, described him as quintessential Harvard, "very impressive" and stuffed with "gravitas."

And then he got the call: Sarah Palin had done the unthinkable. She had read the health care bill. Mainstream journalists hadn't read the bill. Congress hadn't read its own bill. But Sarah Palin did. Sarah Palin! He has a medical degree and doctorate in political philosophy from Harvard. The only Harvard she's knows is the chunk of ice off Prince William Sound, Harvard Glacier....

I'm just holding my breath waiting for "communitarian" health care!

Posted by John Weidner at 11:53 AM

August 31, 2009

Oh how I miss Laura...

AOG:

Pay levels for First Lady Michelle Obama's staff which totals out near $1.3M/year. Puts the whole "Palin's fancy clothes" thing in perspective.

Lordy, I hate to think of the pardons that will have to be sold to keep this up post-White House. She's gonna make Hillary look good by comparison...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:30 PM

August 29, 2009

Obama the post turtle...

(Thanks to a commenter at Fresh Bilge)

Obama the post turtle:

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our President.

The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Obama is a 'post turtle'.'

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was. The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle'.'

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain.

'You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there!'
Posted by John Weidner at 10:30 AM

August 22, 2009

Just another one of my imaginary conversations...

Pay it no mind. Just fisking some person named Eleanor Clift in some web-site called Newsweek.com:

The first duty of a political party in retreat is to find something its people can rally around, and saying no to Obamacare is working nicely for the Republicans. [Lots of independents and even Dems are not liking it either.] They've managed to hold together in the House and Senate with no real leadership and no real message except to block Obama. [Fairly true. We need Sarah!] Despite all the advantages Democrats enjoyed at the start of this year, the responsibility of being in the majority and actually legislating is causing fissures between the party's dominant wing of progressives and the much smaller group of conservative, self-described blue dogs from the swing districts that gave Democrats control of the House. [So you admit it's NOT the Republicans who are blocking Pelosi-Care.]

Republicans are united, but that shouldn't be confused with victory. Republicans stood together against Social Security and Medicare, [This is a flat-out LIE. Both those had large Republican support.] and when those programs proved popular, opposing them left a residue of distrust for the GOP. President Obama has pushed his bipartisan shtik about as far as it will go, [shtik is the word. It was never sincere.] and if Republican recalcitrance means the Democrats have to go it alone on health care, Obama should embrace the new reality and cry all the way to the signing ceremony. [So DO IT! Shut up and do it. I double-dog dare you.]

Getting Republicans to support health-care reform is a lost cause. [Well, duh. A far-Left massive expansion of government, and she's surprised Republicans aren't on board? How stupid is that?] Other than the two women senators from Maine, there aren't any moderates left for the president to partner with in the GOP. Obama campaigned on his fabled ability to bring people together. [Something he's never actually DONE in his political life. It's just gas.] Voters loved the idea of everybody getting along in Washington, but seven months into the Obama presidency, we know it's a mirage.

The White House needs to find ways to leverage the huge tactical and strategic advantages Democrats had coming out of the 2008 election to advance legislation in Congress. [Hey, I gotta wild and crazy idea. How about legislation that ordinary Americans would approve of? You know, those untermensch who shop at Walmart. I know that's not the Dem tradition, but why not give it a try?] Instead, Obama has played the same old inside game of currying favor with power brokers on Capitol Hill who for the most part, like Senate Finance chair Max Baucus of Montana, represent sparsely populated rural states and respond more to their corporate benefactors than to White House pressure.
Obama won the election because his campaign had a great ground game and they had him, a super communicator who made the media swoon. [How about: "Obama won the election because he made the media swoon."] In the White House, the once crack team was slow to organize while opponents of health-care reform ran roughshod over the message and dominated the debate. All the White House has to counter the opposition is Obama, ['cause the TRUTH is really ugly. You can't use that.] and he's not enough. The magic has waned. People don't line up for miles to see him the way they did in the campaign. And judging by the anxiety showing up in the polls, voters don't trust Obama enough on health-care reform to set aside their historic distrust of government. [This may be too advanced for a journalist to understand, but trust in Obama is irrelevant! He's not writing the legislation, and he's not going to be administering it. (Unless there's a secret cloning project we don't know about. Maybe 100,000 mini-Obamas will run things and sit on the Death Panels, and reproduce themselves forever. In that case "trust in Obama" would have some point here.)]

The '08 campaign was such a searing experience that Obama and his key aides tend to view everything through that prism. [Why was it more "searing" than any other Presidential campaign? It was a picnic compared to 2000, but Bush calmly started achieving real things from his first day in office. With no snivelling about being "seared."] There were the early days when Obama seemed bored and his interest in the campaign lagged, along with his standing in the polls. Then came his heady win in Iowa followed by a humbling loss in New Hampshire, then the period when it all could have slipped away, when Rev. Jeremiah Wright taunted white America and Obama was torn between defending his minister and recovering his candidacy. If there's a campaign analogy to where Obama is now, this is the Reverend Wright period, when the prize hangs in the balance. [This is a very odd analogy. Obama should cynically toss something under the bus? But what? Or who? Or does Wright = health care reform? What joy, we can not only get rid of useless people, we can be JUDENREIN!] Opponents of reform won the first part of summer. Now it's up to Obama to regain the momentum. He prides himself on being a good clutch player, someone who can perform when the pressure's on. [I haven't seen it.] "Just give me the ball," he said to David Axelrod as he stood waiting to go onstage for his first presidential debate with John McCain.

Republican strategist Karl Rove was known for zeroing in on an opponent's strength, destroying John Kerry, a war hero, by portraying him as weak. [He's a weakling and a cad. And only a "war hero" in the descriptions of the press. His fellow vets made it clear they know he's a total jerk.] ....
Posted by John Weidner at 3:52 PM

August 21, 2009

Flaily flaily...

Rich Lowry:

The Obama team is saddled with a foundering health-care strategy. But it has a fallback plan — relying on the sheer dimwitted gullibility of the American public. How stupid do they think we are?

Stupid enough to think that a new $1 trillion health-care entitlement is just the thing to restore the country to fiscal health.

Stupid enough not to know that almost every entitlement known to man has cost more than originally estimated, with a congressional committee in 1967 underestimating by a factor of ten Medicare's cost by 1990. 

Stupid enough not to realize that it is through budget trickery — the taxes begin immediately, the spending is put off for a few years — that the program in the House shows "only" a $239 billion deficit over the first ten years.

Stupid enough not to focus on how the gap between the House plan's revenue and spending steadily grows after the first ten years, making it a long-term budget buster.

Stupid enough to think increased preventive care will save the government money, just because Pres. Barack Obama constantly repeats it, despite all the independent studies to the contrary.

Stupid enough to believe that a program with no cost controls that can be discerned by the Congressional Budget Office will control costs....
Posted by John Weidner at 6:59 AM

August 19, 2009

I'm feeling cranky. It's time to say "Toldja"

Michael Goodwin in the NY Daily News, Health care debate confirms this is not the Barack Obama we elected:

...Where have you gone, Barack Obama? Where is the sunny-side-up young man who promised to inspire and unite an unhappy nation? [It was just an ACT. If you want to know what people ARE, you fool, you look at what they've DONE. Obama never "inspired or united" ANY normal americans in his mini-career.]

Gone into the partisan sinkhole of Washington, that's where. [From the sweet concord of Chicago politics. Right.] Like some novice swimmer too confident of his own ability, Obama is suddenly finding himself in water over his head. [We TOLD YOU. But of course you can't listen to conservatives. That would be tacky.]

His flailing, including a foul habit of demonizing dissent, is not pretty. [Flaily flaily. Obama said OPENLY that he was an acolyte of Sol Alinsy--so what the hell did you THINK was coming? Fool.] And that brief foray into e-mail tracking of critics showed a win-at-any-cost side. [Toldja.]

Where is the appealing man we elected? Where is that Barack Obama? [He never existed! We TOLD you.]
Let's find him quick because the whole nation is paying the price for this impostor's irrational exuberance. Or hubris. [SO, Mr Goodwin, isn't it time you said "sorry" to us conservatives? Hmm? "Sorry, you were right, we were wrong, and now we have a dime-store Sol Alinsky for President?"]

Americans, more of them every day, are growing disenchanted with the expansion of government and the massive pile of debt. [YOU mush-brains elected a far-Leftist, and now you are...surprised? Disenchanted?] Yet the President, certain he can change their minds if only he talks to them again, keeps trying to sell bigger as better. [I bet you are STILL hoping he'll work the deception on you again.]

The public's not buying it. And as a measure of the nation's mood, a recent poll was practically cruel: Nearly half think the President is on television too much. Ouch.

Obama fatigue occasionally surfaced during the campaign, but this is different. [No, it's the SAME. We repeatedly pointed out during the campaign how overdoses of Obama made people queasy. YOU wouldn't listen.] He's the President, and if the country tunes him out, there is no Plan B. He's the rock star-turned-salesman, and everything in his administration depends on his stage act. [Trusting "rock stars" is STUPID.]

That the novelty is wearing thin is obvious. The danger is that the health care fiasco turns him into an unpopular and ineffective President... [He was ineffective from the git-go. For pity's sake, the guy has never run so much as a pop stand in his life! OF COURSE he's ineffective. We told you so. AND we told you the only candidate of the four who WAS qualified was Palin, who has actually run a city and a state successfully. I'm sure you are STILL too shit-stupid to acknowledge this obvious fact. ].
Posted by John Weidner at 3:23 PM

August 16, 2009

THIS is what Sarah was writing about...

There was some confusion about what Sarah Palin meant when she used the phrase "death panels," thereby causing guilty-conscience-convulsions on the Left. She wasn't writing about the end-of-life planning mandated in the bills; she was referring to rationing. The "death panel" she meant doesn't say "You must die," it says stuff like the following....

Fraser Health Authority confirms cutbacks to surgeries, services:

The Fraser [British Columbia] Health Authority confirmed Thursday it intends to cut surgeries, seniors' programs and services for the mentally ill to help deal with a budget shortfall of up to $160 million.

However, it said the emergency department at Mission Memorial Hospital will stay open.

Confirmation of the cuts, expected for some time, came as the authority's board of directors met in Mission Thursday. The board said 10 to 15 per cent of elective surgeries will be cut in the latter part of the 2009-10 fiscal year, with slowdowns already scheduled for the Olympic period.

MRIs will be limited to the same number done last year, and programs for seniors, the mentally ill and people suffering domestic violence will be cut....[Thanks to Mark Steyn]

...and then people die, or suffer unnecessarily, but IT'S NO ONES FAULT. Everyone is doing the best they can with scarce resources. We'll put you on a waiting list.

That's always how it is with government health care. Or government anything.... They cut back the number of crews fixing potholes, but no one decides that a certain pothole won't be fixed. It's just that fixing them takes longer and longer. (And government never cuts back on the number of supervisors and bosses.)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

August 13, 2009

I thought this was pretty funny...

Megyn Kelly of Fox tries to pin down White House spokesman Bill Burton on what's going to happen to those e-mails they've solicited reporting "fishy things." The poor goop desperately wants to avoid admitting that they are keeping the e-mail addresses of those who have been reported for having wrong thoughts... but in fact Federal law requires that they all be kept.

Squirm, squirm squirm...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

August 4, 2009

All your body are belong to us...

Serving as I am as an embedded journalist in Pelosiville, I have never had the slightest doubt that Obama intends to destroy private health care. Obama is just a golem. He doesn't exist except as a physical projection of the collective psyche of the far left.

And they want a "single-payer" system so badly they are drooling. Not because it would help the poor or provide better medicine, but for the power it will give them. Government bureaucrats are overwhelmingly leftish, and they are going to be in charge of us at our weakest and most vulnerable moments. Think about it.

This video is great! You want to know what they are thinking? Watch...

Think about a future where you scrape the Palin bumper-sticker off your car before you go beg for a CAT scan or MRI...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:22 AM

July 29, 2009

Midget president...

Washington Times - Obama still cashing in on Bush's failings:

Facing the first real rough patch of his presidency, President Obama and his supporters are once again resorting to a tried-and-true tactic: attacking George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

In his White House press conference last week, Mr. Obama referred to the Bush era at least nine times, three times lamenting that he "inherited" a $1.3 trillion debt that has set back his administration's efforts to fix the economy.

With the former president lying low in Dallas, largely focused on crafting his memoirs, Mr. Obama has increasingly attempted to exploit Mr. Bush when discussing the weak economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the difficulty closing the military prison at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As he took power, Mr. Obama promised a "new era of responsibility" that would transcend partisan politics....



President Bush, as I recall, never whined or finger-pointed over the problems he inherited from Clinton, such as the dot-com recession. Especially, he never played the blame game over 9/11, although he very obviously could have. He is a gentleman. All man. Obama is a nasty little creep.

I'll just add this to my list of Bush accomplishments...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:04 AM

July 24, 2009

Roll over the rotting log...

Michelle Malkin, investigating what it might mean when administration officials say, "We'll just let the science decide."

....Well, I did indeed read one of [Obama Administration "science czar"] Holdren's recent works that reveals his clingy reverence for, and allegiance to, the gurus of population control authoritarianism. He's just gotten smarter about cloaking it behind global warming hysteria. In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full slide presentation on its website.

In the opening slide, Holdren admitted that his "preoccupation" with apocalyptic matters such as "the rates at which people breed" was a lifelong obsession spurred by scientist Harrison Brown's work. Holdren heaped praise on Brown's half-century-old book, "The Challenge to Man's Future," then proceeded to paint doom-and-gloom scenarios requiring drastic government interventions to control climate change.

Who is Holdren's intellectual mentor, Harrison Brown? He was a "distinguished member" of the International Eugenics Society whom Holdren later worked with on a book about — you guessed it — world population and fertility. Brown advocated the same population control-freak measures Holdren put forth in Ecoscience. In "The Challenge to Man's Future," Brown envisioned a regime in which the "number of abortions and artificial inseminations permitted in a given year would be determined completely by the difference between the number of deaths and the number of births in the year previous."

Brown exhorted readers to accept that "we must reconcile ourselves to the fact that artifical means must be applied to limit birth rates." If we don't, Brown warned, we faced a planet "with a writhing mass of human beings." He likened the global population to a "pulsating mass of maggots."...

One of the promises of the "Enlightenment" was that if people threw off the shackles of "superstition," the result would be happiness and progress. This assumed that the "real person" inside us was born good, and any badness we manifest was learned. But various peculiar things happened when those hoary old superstitions were discraded. One of them was the rise of a considerable number of people who think that "happiness and progress" depend not on enlightening people, but in simply eliminating them!

Guys like Stalin and Mao and Hitler and Pol Pot worked in round numbers of tens of millions. Today's "scientists" consider them pikers trying to nickle-and-dime it. Now we get the "big vision," expressing the numbers of people to be eliminated in nice tidy "billions!"

That's the "real us" that emerges without the "shackles" of traditional "superstition." The "real me" for that matter; I can easily look at the maggot-like masses swarming the city and think, "How much better things would be if the bottom 20% we eliminated." How much happier. How much cleaner!

Posted by John Weidner at 9:01 AM

July 13, 2009

"Woolly internationalist notions"

Krauthammer's Take - NRO Staff - The Corner on National Review Online:

...But Obama compounded it because he is a man who spoke about how he is going to unite the world, and has all these woolly internationalist notions. He goes to the summit of the G-8. He precedes it by trying to ram a cap-and-trade energy tax through the Congress which he knows is going to hurt the American economy in the name of climate change, in the name of demonstrating American leadership, and what does he get at that summit? No support from any of our allies.  

The Russians explicitly say they're not going to do anything on climate change if it impinges on their economy. And the Chinese and Indians say that as well, which means that anything he does at home on cap-and-trade will hurt us and do nothing about the emission of greenhouse gases....

You have to be brain-dead to think "internationalism" is ever going to work, but that's what liberals are. Or rather, what they make themselves. The alternative might be to acknowledge that their own liberal principles (which they no longer believe) mean that they owe a profound debt of gratitude and duty to this great nation, which is the very fountain of freedom and progress in the world.

It's much better to give yourself a lobotomy of the critical thinking lobes than admit that. It would compromise ones "autonomy!"

Posted by John Weidner at 10:46 AM

July 9, 2009

The little tick-boxes give structure to life...

Orrin Judd:

...Sure, it's a failed presidency, but on the bright side we got a do-nothing president and crossed "elect a person of color" off our to-do list.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:31 PM

July 4, 2009

Anybody sayin' "Yes We Can" these days?

Roger L. Simon, Storm Clouds on the Fourth of July:

...Obama is already over. In six short months the now-spattered bumper stickers with "Hope and Change" seem like pathetic remnants from the days of "23 Skidoo," the echoes of "Yes, we can" more nauseating than ever in their cliché-ridden evasiveness. Although they may pretend otherwise, even Obama's choir in the mainstream media seems to know he's finished, their defenses of his wildly over-priced medical and cap-and-trade schemes perfunctory at best. Everyone knows we can't afford them. His stimulus plan - if you could call it his, maybe it's Geithner's, maybe it's someone else's, maybe it's not a plan at all - has produced absolutely nothing. In fact, I have met not one person of any ideology who evinces genuine confidence in it.

On the foreign policy front, it's more embarrassing. He switches positions every day, such as they are, while acting like a petit-bourgeois snob with our allies and then, when people with genuine passion for democracy emerge on the scene (the courageous Iranian protestors), behaves like a cringeworthy, equivocating creep. Enough of Obama....

Sounds about right to me. Of course Obama can still do tons of damage, but he's a young guy with old ideas. Old and moldy. Ideas that have failed a thousand times.

There's also this, which, sorry Roger, I think is malarky:

...No, my suggestion is even more radical. We should junk the liberal and conservative orthodoxies that have divided - and blinded - us for so long and go back not to Eighteenth Century America, but Nineteenth, to the days of that most American of philosophies - pragmatism. "The pragmatists rejected all forms of absolutism and insisted that all principles be regarded as working hypotheses that must bear fruit in lived experience." Now there's a thought that might brighten even grumpy me on the Fourth of July...

Pragmatism was and is bullshit. Along with all the other invented philosophies and moralities of modernity. Why? Because they all lack any fixed and immutable yardstick to measure anything by. The Pragmatist says: "principles...must bear fruit in lived experience." OK, so who defines "fruit?" The original Pragmatists seem to have assumed that the world was destined to be run by people like them—educated well-to-do white gentlemen of northern European Protestant extraction. And therefore everyone would continue to define "the good" the way they would. How has that worked out?

Most of them were, by the way, Eugenicists, and the "fruits of wise policy" they envisioned included the elimination of inferior people and inferior races. Which probably included Roger Simon's poor raggedy Jewish ancestors. And blacks and Hispanics of course.

Every man-made philosophy or or morality or system for living faces the problem of drift. The world changes, and the philosophy is rigid and can't change with it. Or the philosophy is flexible, but then who can say exactly which flexes are the right ones? Who decides? What's the yardstick? And if you really could invent an immutable yardstick for your philosophy, it still wouldn't work, because the very meanings of words and concepts are always changing.

Only one philosophy, one institution, has solved this problem. And it isn't "man-made."

Posted by John Weidner at 4:02 PM

June 25, 2009

"State-sanctioned terror against its own..."

Victor Davis Hanson, Sorta Sums It All Up:

From today's news: "Reacting to Obama's comment Tuesday that he is 'appalled and outraged' by crackdowns in Iran, Ahmadinejad said, 'Mr Obama made a mistake to say those things . . . our question is why he fell into this trap and said things that previously Bush used to say.'"

This revelation of theocratic hurt, surprise, and hubris actually explains a lot: Iran — given the six months (or longer?) of Obama's both backdoor and overt efforts to normalize relations — believes (a) that it has an understanding now with the Obama administration that normal relations with the U.S. trump all other American concerns, and more or less gives the regime a green light to do what it wishes — hence Ahmadinejad's shock at Obama's belated and unexpected criticism; (b) this was quite different from the past administration, which made it clear the U.S. was nauseated by Iran's nefarious activities and didn't care much to normalize unless and until it reentered the family of nations and ceased being a terrorist state (at home and abroad); (c) Iran doesn't much care what the U.S. has said, now or in the past, and apparently assumes that Obama acted out of his accustomed character ("a mistake") and will soon "express ... regret." I suppose all our videos, apologies, and global addresses to the Muslim world at least achieved an Iranian admission that America now has acted out its new character and is beginning to resemble its old character, which translates into something like "Bush was tough on us, you aren't — so what's going on with this 'appalled' stuff?"

Meanwhile, as the mullahs begin the long, drawn-out work of hunting down and doing away with dissidents in the wee hours of the night, how can an American president be seen with, talk to, or reach out toward a police state in the systematic process of state-sanctioned terror against its own?...

Good question...

Posted by John Weidner at 12:06 PM

June 23, 2009

Doggie diplomacy...

Hoy. Funny, but kinda misses the point...

Another bit that came out of today's press conference was President Obama's refusal to rescind invitations to Iran's diplomats across the globe to July 4 celebrations at U.S. embassies — aptly described as "weenie diplomacy."

All of this, of course, raises a major issue: Are the hot dogs real, American-style hot dogs which are typically made with — pork!? If the embassies are serving all-beef hot dogs, are they Oscar Meyer or are they Hebrew National? Would an Iranian theocrat diplomat eat a Hebrew National hot dog?

Has the White House thought through this very important issue?...
C'mon, Matthew. Obama. State Department...we're talking commies. There will be elegant buffets with things...you know, French. Quelque chose. Any hot dogs cooked up will be just for display; no one will actually eat them. They will smile at them. Democracies, thugocracies, mullahcracies, people's republics, cannibal islanders...it doesn't matter. The elites at the embassies will look at each other and smile.

We could be roasting babies in our various embassy gardens, and everybody would understand that that's what leaders need to do to appease the swining masses so they can get on with the real business of running the world.

Doggie Diner Heads

[Link]

Posted by John Weidner at 10:52 PM

I think this is about right..

Andy McCarthy Understanding Obama on Iran:

...The fact is that, as a man of the hard Left, Obama is more comfortable with a totalitarian Islamic regime than he would be with a free Iranian society. In this he is no different from his allies like the Congressional Black Caucus and Bill Ayers, who have shown themselves perfectly comfortable with Castro and Chàvez. Indeed, he is the product of a hard-Left tradition that apologized for Stalin and was more comfortable with the Soviets than the anti-Communists (and that, in Soros parlance, saw George Bush as a bigger terrorist than bin Laden).

Because of obvious divergences (inequality for women and non-Muslims, hatred of homosexuals) radical Islam and radical Leftism are commonly mistaken to be incompatible. In fact, they have much more in common than not, especially when it comes to suppression of freedom, intrusiveness in all aspects of life, notions of "social justice," and their economic programs. (On this, as in so many other things, Anthony Daniels should be required reading — see his incisive New English Review essay, "There Is No God but Politics", comparing Marx and Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb.) The divergences between radical Islam and radical Leftism are much overrated — "equal rights" and "social justice" are always more rally-cry propaganda than real goals for totalitarians, and hatred of certain groups is always a feature of their societies.

The key to understanding Obama, on Iran as on other matters, is that he is a power-politician of the hard Left : He is steeped in Leftist ideology, fueled in anger and resentment over what he chooses to see in America's history, but a "pragmatist" in the sense that where ideology and power collide (as they are apt to do when your ideology becomes less popular the more people understand it), Obama will always give ground on ideology (as little as circumstances allow) in order to maintain his grip on power....
Posted by John Weidner at 6:31 AM

June 20, 2009

Quote for today...

Commentary—Blog Archive—Obama's New Historic First: Indifference to Revolution:

Abe Greenwald: ...Pundits speak as if only hawkishness can become dogmatic, but the U.S. is dealing itself out of an anti-Khomeinist revolution because of the administration's fanatical "realism."...

Revolutions are for Americans and other freedom-loving types. What possible interest could a reactionary Alinsky-ite like Obama have in one?

Posted by John Weidner at 1:07 PM

Must-read. Makes sense of what we see...

Highly recommended. Joshua Muravchik has a long piece putting together all the evidence of a general theme of The Abandonment of Democracy by the Obama administration...:

The most surprising thing about the first half-year of Barack Obama's presidency, at least in the realm of foreign policy, has been its indifference to the issues of human rights and democracy. No administration has ever made these its primary, much less its exclusive, goals overseas. But ever since Jimmy Carter spoke about human rights in his 1977 inaugural address and created a new infrastructure to give bureaucratic meaning to his words, the advancement of human rights has been one of the consistent objectives of America's diplomats and an occasional one of its soldiers.

This tradition has been ruptured by the Obama administration...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:37 AM

June 19, 2009

Am I the only one who notices that what we are doing is INSANE?

North Korea has announced that it will shoot a missile in the direction of Hawaii. So what do we do? We take defensive measures! Arrrghhh!

I mean, like, if a 400lb crazy brute is harassing people, you do want to be a wee bit cautious about how you handle the situation. But suppose a two-foot tall midget lunatic is wandering around whacking people with a golf club. And we react...How? By being very careful not to provoke him, and by trying to bribe him not to express his feelings. And by advising people to wear shin-guards, just in case.

And by searching our consciences to find out what we've done to deserve these blows. And by declaring that stopping this pint-sized juggernaut would be un-Chistian. And that even talking about doing so is evidence that one is dangerously bellicose, and not to be trusted.

And then when we learn that he's trying to build a machin e gun, we...do what? Why, redouble our efforts to be pacifistic and non-judgemental.

And if I point out that he has people imprisoned in his basement, and is torturing them and starving them to death.... Why, that means I'm some kind of neo-con imperialist! A bad person, obviously!

Mark Steyn, on the Hugh Hewitt Show...

...HH: Now let me play for you an extraordinary, historic bit of tape, Mark Steyn. Earlier today, Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense:

RG: We do have some concerns of they were to launch a missile to the West in the direction of Hawaii. I've directed the deployment again of THAD missiles to Hawaii, and the SBX radar has deployed away from Hawaii to provide support.

HH: Mark Steyn, he's talking about North Korea shooting missiles in the general direction of Hawaii.

MS: Yeah, and this has been a slow-motion train wreck, I think, for American credibility in the world. Ostensibly, they're not supposed to have the capability to do this. Again, the Washington bigwigs used to mock the rumors that were, going back now to I think 1998-1999. There was a rumor that the North Koreans were planning on firing a nuke at Vancouver or Montreal because it would demonstrate to the Americans that they were serious, but without inviting their own nuclear retaliation. And the State Department mocked it as preposterous. Now flash forward ten years later, and we have the Secretary of Defense of the United States making a serious, sober statement about protecting Hawaii from a nuclear attack by a state that has a lower GDP per capita than Zimbabwe. This is deeply damaging to American credibility in the world today....
Posted by John Weidner at 5:03 PM

June 8, 2009

They wouldn't have tried this on Bush...

Reporters get 12-year terms in N. Korea - CNN.com:

Two U.S. journalists who were detained in North Korea while covering the plight of defectors living along the China-North Korea border have been sentenced to 12 years in labor prisons, the country's state-run media said Monday....

The correct response is war.

The even more correct response is to have been so war-like in the past that crazy tyrants don't even dream of trying this kind of thing. America should always be the "crazy unilateralist cowboy" that Bush was falsely accused of being. That's how you get peace.

Pacifism causes war. Pacifism makes diplomacy futile. Diplomacy only works as an alternative to war.

Alas, what I'm sure we are going to get in the current situation is "negotiations" and bribes to free people who never deserved to be imprisoned. In other words, paying ransoms to kidnappers.

What happens if you pay ransoms? You get more kidnappings! AND, it's much harder to stop once the habit of kidnapping becomes established. It is far wiser to to totally tough when the first kidnapping occurs. That first victim may die, but there won't be any more victims.

The analog in foreign policy is to be ready to fight over the slightest insult. It sounds "war-like" but it's actually the true pacifism.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:20 AM

June 6, 2009

All those who harshly criticized Bush for issuing "signing statements..."

You are, are you not, going to criticize Obama now that he's doing the same thing?

Hmmm? I'm waiting..........

(And Clinton too, of course. Somehow people never got around to that one.)

Posted by John Weidner at 12:12 PM

June 5, 2009

"Equidistant Position"

David Frum is very good Obama's speech... (Thanks to Hugh Hewitt.)

...The president's Cairo speech: worse than feared. Let's itemize the ways.

President Obama likes to position himself as an intermediary, explaining two conflicting parties each to the other. He did so in his race speech in Philadelphia, he did so when he spoke about abortion at Notre Dame

In Cairo, he took a similar position between the United States and the Islamic world. He urged Americans to take a positive view of Islam, and urged Muslims to take a positive view of the United States.

But whereas in Philadelphia and Notre Dame Obama was explaining two groups of Americans to each other, in Cairo he exhibited the amazing spectacle of an American president taking an equidistant position between the country he leads and its detractors and enemies. It is as if he saw himself as a judge in some legal dispute, People of the Islamic World v. United States. But the job to which he was elected was not that of impartial judge, but that of leader and champion of the American nation...

There's plenty more worth reading.

Of course that "equidistant position" is exactly how leftists like Obama talk. I hear it here in San Francisco. "Americans are... militaristic/racist/crude/Walmart/greedy...whatever" Said as if the speaker is not part of that horrid crowd.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:58 AM

June 4, 2009

Slippery and dishonest...

Obama has belatedly, and quietly, issued a statement about the shooting of two soldiers in Arkansas:

... "I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence against two brave young soldiers who were doing their part to strengthen our armed forces and keep our country safe. I would like to wish Quinton Ezeagwula a speedy recovery, and to offer my condolences and prayers to William Long's family as they mourn the loss of their son."

It makes an interesting contrast with the statement he made about the murder of the abortionist...

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence....

For one thing, it's the Tiller killing that is a "senseless act of violence," since all pro-life groups and leaders explicitly condemn vigilante attacks. It was done by someone who had lost his senses.

The shooting of the soldiers, on the other hand, was NOT senseless. The number of Islamic groups and leaders who endorse or encourage such violence is legion. (That's why "pacifists" and "anti-war" activists like them so much.) The attack made perfect "sense" to a large subset of the world's Muslims.

And notice how the second sentence of the abortionist statement implies, in the slippery dishonest way one expects from Leftists, that "Americans" are resolving our differences by acts of violence. This is a dirty lie. One very reminiscent of the deceptious way that Clinton linked the Oklahoma City bombing to conservatives. (And refused to investigate the connections the bombers had to radical Islam, by the way.) [Link, link]

On the other hand, it would NOT have been a lie if it had been applied to the Muslim who shot our soldiers!

But mostly it's the different tone of the two statements that is telling. I live among lots of people who think like Obama does. I have no doubt that they reacted just like Obama did. The murder of s soldier was not important to them, but the murder of an abortionist provoked "shock and outrage." (And ooohhh yes, instant political calculation.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:40 AM

May 25, 2009

If Dems didn't have Bush they'd have to invent him...

I think it's really low-class and creepy the way Obama continues to take every opportunity to slam the Bush Administration. It is contrary to American tradition, and un-Presidential. George W Bush, being a gentleman and a decent American, has not answered back. Obama is trying to cover up the emptiness of his Leftist soul, and his lack of any positive vision.

Chris Stirewalt notes Obama's ugly use of Memorial Day for politicking, instead of making this a day for all Americans to share appreciation of our honored dead: Obama takes swipe at Bush in Memorial Day message | Washington Examiner:

And he includes this little gem...

...It gets little notice, but even to this day Bush makes calls on wounded veterans at military hospitals, corresponds with families of fallen servicemembers and gives his own money to veterans charities. In office, Bush hugely increased funding for veterans programs and worked relentlessly to improve the lot of ordinary troops....

Try to imagine liberals, especially Mr Obama, doing that! I'd bet Obam never has and never will give one penny of his own money to veterans charities...

Some links about Bush and soldiers and vets...Link, link, link President Bush with soldiers
Posted by John Weidner at 12:22 PM

May 24, 2009

A great American versus an amiable con-man...

I liked this piece by Michael Goodwin, Obama gets schooled on terror: Cheney bests him in speech duel — by sticking to the facts:

* NOTE on the caricature below. It's by cartoonist F. T. Rea. (With permission.) I think it's cool—I LIKE tough old white guys who haven't succumbed to lefty nihilism and relativism. Possibly I'm not on quite the same, er, philosophical wavelength as Mr Rea, but hey, great art transcends partisan politics!  ;-)


It was a tale of two speeches. One was clear, direct and powerful. Barack Obama gave the other speech.

It would have been heresy to write those words any other time, so commanding has President Obama been with the spoken word. [Not if you prefer honesty and straight talk.] But the real Mission Impossible was to imagine that wheezy old Dick Cheney would be the speaker to best Obama. [Character and honesty trump all. TRUTH trumps all. And real Americans HONOR those who have grown old and wise in the service of their country.]

Yet that happened last week, and I predict it won't be a fluke. From here on out, results will increasingly trump the sensation of Obama's high-toned lectures every time.

Especially if they are as dreary as last Thursday's, which was so disingenuous and self-reverential as to be one of the low moments of his presidency. Besides not being able to clearly lay out his plan for Guantanamo detainees, Obama never mentioned what will happen to others we capture in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Good question!] Perhaps we will take no more prisoners? [We will continue to take prisoners—we're the good guys. But it would be perfectly legal and reasonable to just shoot them—they torture and kill any Americans they capture. Which never bothers the fake-liberals who pretend to "care" about prisoners.]

Meanwhile, the occasion showed that Cheney, the darkest of dark horses, is emerging as a fact checker in exile. With Democrats holding all Washington power, the ex-veep's willingness to challenge Obama's narrative of the war on terror is a poor substitute for an institutional check-and-balance, but it's all we have. [Cheney's always been the same guy. It's only those who believe the lies of our lying press who are surprised by his vigourous defense of our country in time of war.]

What I love about Dick Cheney is that he doesn't buy into the idea that leftists get to set the terms of the debate. That we have to be mealy-mouthed about our patriotism and our determination to destroy terrorist animals. He doesn't CARE if lefty journalists call him a "hate-monger." Bless the man.

In that sense, Cheney's ability to outduel Obama could mark a turning point in the debate on this and other critical issues. His TKO over the President recalls the three most important things in real estate: Location, location, location. The key to Cheney's powerful performance: Facts, facts, facts.

Cheney, whose wife jokes that calling him Darth Vader "humanizes" him, coughed his way through a 40-minute defense of the Bush administration's anti-terror strategy. He glossed over huge lapses, such as the flawed intelligence leading to the invasion of Iraq, [WRONG. That was the SAME intelligence EVERYBODY had, including Dem leaders in Congress. We learned through the Duelfer Report that Saddam's own generals thought the WMD's were there! Saddam's guys were more honest than our "Democrats," who now claim "Bush lied" for believing exactly what they believed and said in 2002.] but used to great effect the most compelling fact - no successful attacks on America since 9/11...
In a contrast-and-compare sequence, he challenged Obama's approach, including the release of the so-called torture memos and talk of prosecuting Bush officials.

"To the very end of our administration, we kept Al Qaeda terrorists busy with other problems," Cheney said. "We focused on getting their secrets, instead of sharing ours with them. And on our watch, they never hit this country again. After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed." [Amen, brother Richard. And a lot of the credit goes to you.]

For his part, Obama sounded like a put-upon plaintiff arguing a Supreme Court case. The heavy symbolism of his setting, the National Archives in front of an original copy of the Constitution, added to the worrisome impression he is lost in the legal and political weeds. [Not to mention that he's a pygmy compared to that setting.]

Ironically, his criticism that Bush took his eye off the ball to invade Iraq [WRONG of course. Iraq is precisely WHY they haven't attacked us again. It was what the terrorists hate and fear most—democracy and freedom planted right smack-dab in their heart of darkness. If Dems REALLY want peace they should promise that America will do the same thing again if we are attacked. Then we WON'T be attacked.] has a corollary in Obama's fixation on interrogation techniques. He is missing the larger point

[PS: Don't tell anyone, but the real reasons I advised George and Dick and Tony to invade Iraq are here.]

After conceding terrorism presents unique challenges, Obama argued "the decisions that were made over the last eight years established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable - a framework that failed to rely on our legal traditions and time-tested institutions; that failed to use our values as a compass." [We have no "time-tested institutions" for this new situation. All we have is the template Bush has created—which Obam is, in fact, following closely!]

Whoa Nellie - are the terrorists going to hit us again or not? That's what people want to know, not whether a bunch of lawyers think we're being too tough on them.

Unfortunately, Obama was less than reassuring, saying: "Neither I nor anyone else standing here today can say that there will not be another terrorist attack that takes American lives." [What a PASSIVE thing to say. Compare with JFK promising to "pay any price" to defend freedom. Or Bush promising to "smoke 'em out."]

That's a fact, of course, but it's also a fact that he's been warned his policies will make it more likely we will be hit again. It's a warning he dismisses at America's peril.

I actually think the Mr Cheney's arguments are too narrowly focused, concentrating on just the defense of the USA. The poor folk in various Third World countries are a thousand times more at risk than we are. I'd suggest this as a better context for our debates:

America has, reluctantly, and because no one else will do it, become almost the only "cop on the beat" in the rough gang-ridden neighborhood that is our planet. A neighborhood where one hears screams coming out of buildings at night, and bodies are found on the sidewalks in the morning. This cop sometimes roughs-up suspicious characters, and it may be right to criticize him. BUT, if he fails, then criminal gangs take over, and the little people's sufferings will be extreme.

Therefore, the starting point for criticism is to be in sympathy with the cop and his extremely difficult task. And to be in solidarity with the common citizens who are going to be crushed if hoodlums can take over the streets. One should start by imagining what it must be like to try to preserve the rule of law among vicious criminals. It is hard, dangerous and thankless. And then imagine what it must be like to try to raise an child to be honest and moral in a place where drug-dealers and gangsters strut and kill people, and seem more successful than those who obey the law.
Posted by John Weidner at 6:07 PM

May 22, 2009

The genius of democracy....

Krauthammer:

...If hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, then the flip-flops on previously denounced anti-terror measures are the homage that Barack Obama pays to George Bush. Within 125 days, Obama has adopted with only minor modifications huge swaths of the entire, allegedly lawless Bush program.

The latest flip-flop is the restoration of military tribunals. During the 2008 campaign, Obama denounced them repeatedly, calling them an "enormous failure." Obama suspended them upon his swearing-in. Now they're back.

Of course, Obama will never admit in word what he's doing in deed. As in his rhetorically brilliant national-security speech yesterday claiming to have undone Bush's moral travesties, the military commissions flip-flop is accompanied by the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy....

And this is right on the money...

...The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.

That's happening before our eyes. The Bush policies in the war on terror won't have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds....

Like I been telling you since November of 2001, [link, link] President Bush has been doing what is right, strategically, tactically, legally and morally...in the Global War On Terror. And now we see Obama agreeing with me and the former President. Running the circus "concentrates the mind."

And not once have the slippery Lefty cowards who snipe at me engaged in serious principled debate. They say life imitates art. Well, I say life imitates Random Jottings!

Posted by John Weidner at 8:29 AM

May 21, 2009

We are the Good Guys. That's the politically-incorrect truth...

I recommend former Vice-President Dick Cheney's Speech at the AEI. An antidote to the moral squalor and squashiness of the Obama universe...:

...The United States of America was a good country before 9/11, just as we are today. List all the things that make us a force for good in the world--for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences--and what you end up with is a list of the reasons why the terrorists hate America. If fine speech-making, appeals to reason, or pleas for compassion had the power to move them, the terrorists would long ago have abandoned the field. And when they see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, or whether foreign terrorists have constitutional rights, they don't stand back in awe of our legal system and wonder whether they had misjudged us all along. Instead the terrorists see just what they were hoping for--our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity.

What is equally certain is this: The broad-based strategy set in motion by President Bush obviously had nothing to do with causing the events of 9/11. But the serious way we dealt with terrorists from then on, and all the intelligence we gathered in that time, had everything to do with preventing another 9/11 on our watch. The enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees and the terrorist surveillance program have without question made our country safer. Every senior official who has been briefed on these classified matters knows of specific attacks that were in the planning stages and were stopped by the programs we put in place.

This might explain why President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation should he deem it appropriate. What value remains to that authority is debatable, given that the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against, and which ones not to worry about. Yet having reserved for himself the authority to order enhanced interrogation after an emergency, you would think that President Obama would be less disdainful of what his predecessor authorized after 9/11. It's almost gone unnoticed that the president has retained the power to order the same methods in the same circumstances. When they talk about interrogations, he and his administration speak as if they have resolved some great moral dilemma in how to extract critical information from terrorists. Instead they have put the decision off, while assigning a presumption of moral superiority to any decision they make in the future....

Vice President Cheney with troops in Qatar, March 17, 2002

Posted by John Weidner at 5:33 PM

May 16, 2009

Toldja...

Another Friday, another bow to Bush's antiterror legacy -- WSJ.com:

...President Obama's endorsements of Bush-Cheney antiterror policies are by now routine: for example, opposing the release of prisoner abuse photographs and support for indefinite detention for some detainees, and that's just this week. More remarkable is White House creativity in portraying these U-turns as epic change. Witness yesterday's announcement endorsing military commissions....

Just call me Sister Toldja. I wrote on August 23, 2008....

...George W Bush has set the template of the Global War on Terror, much like Truman did for the Cold War, and that's the way we will proceed from here on out... [Link]
And here's another link. June 07, 2008...
...President Bush has created the template for fighting the War on Terror, just as Truman set our course for the Cold War. Future presidents will be limited to filling in the details. Even pygmies like Obama. If they are smart, they will just read Random Jottings.

Or, better yet, listen to this deep old file....
Posted by John Weidner at 11:41 AM

May 14, 2009

"Bake sales against genocide"

Mark Steyn:
Michael, re Obama's view of the Holocaust:
Those numbers can be our future, our fellow citizens of the world showing us how to make the journey from oppression to survival, from witness to resistance and ultimately to reconciliation. That is what we mean when we say "never again."
I take your point that "it may be what he means by 'never again,' but most everybody else means 'we're going to act to throttle the next would-be Hitler.'" But I'm not sure everybody else does mean that, not anymore.

The French thinker (if you'll pardon the expression) Alain Finkielkraut says that "Never again" to a European means "Never again power politics. Never again nationalism. Never again Auschwitz" — which sounds like a slightly different order of priorities from yours. And over the decades the revulsion against any kind of "power politics" has come to trump whatever revulsion post-Auschwitz Europe might feel about mass murder. That's why in the early Nineties the EU let hundreds of thousands die on its borders in the Balkans rather than act to prevent it. Indeed, they "acted" only to prevent the Americans coming in and doing something about it, because they found it easier to tolerate the murder of their fellow Europeans than the idea of American military action to stop it.

It's interesting how easily the Obama definition of "Never again" fits that kind of passivity. Two of the three "causes for hope" the president cites — Rwanda, Sudan — are textbook "Never again" scenarios that roll around again and again and again. In fact, Darfur is still ongoing, so to congratulate yourself merely because some American high-schoolers have formed "Save Darfur" chapters looks at best like moral preening and at worst like the kind of feeble passivity that enabled the Holocaust first time round. It's grand to be a member of the Grade Ten "Save Darfur" campaign, not so good to be back in Darfur wondering when the actual saving's going to start. If "Never again" now means "Bake sales against genocide," we're all doomed.

"Bake sales against genocide." Mr Steyn hits on the right phrase as usual.

How I despise liberals who talk abut Hitler in self-congratulatory terms, as a great liberal victory. Them liberals are long gone. Just imagine the situation of, say, 1936 were to exist today, and President George W Bush was urging Americans to go to war and stop this menace while it could still be done with relatively small loss of life! Do you have any doubt that our 'liberals" and fake-pacifists would happily let the Jews fry?

Posted by John Weidner at 11:16 AM

April 24, 2009

Testing Obama...

At Least 60 More Are Killed in New Attacks in Baghdad - NYTimes.com:

BAGHDAD — Two suicide bombers struck outside the gates of the holiest Shiite site in Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 60 people and wounding scores more, according to preliminary reports from police officials....

They aren't doing this because they have any hopes of restoring the Caliphate in Mesopotamia. Or of frightening Nouri al-Maliki!

Nuh uh. This is aimed at one place. Washington DC. They know perfectly well who the weak sisters are. They know who's been traveling the globe apologizing for America's horridness, and threatening to prosecute those who have kept America safe for eight years.

This is what "pacifism" and appeasement get you. The moral and pacifist thing for Obama to do right now is to poke al-Qaeda in the eye with his eye-poking stick. Give them a brutally painful lesson.

But he won't. So you may expect things to get worse. The next test will be bigger...

Posted by John Weidner at 12:49 PM

April 17, 2009

I call them heroes...

John Hinderaker at Power Line, About Those "Torture Memos":

...You can read the memos here. If you do, you will see that DOJ's lawyers grappled carefully and fairly with issues that are, by their nature, both difficult and distasteful. I find much to agree with in the memos and little, if anything, with which I disagree from a legal standpoint. Several things about the memos are striking: the concern that is shown for the health and well-being of the detainees; the very limited circumstances under harsh interrogation techniques were used (only when the CIA had reason to believe that the detainee had knowledge about pending terrorist attacks, among other limitations), and confirmation of the fact that thousands of American servicemen have been waterboarded and subjected to the other techniques in question, as part of their training--a practice that continued at least up to the dates of the memos.

I think the opinions were correct in substance; in any event, CIA officials were obviously justified in relying on them. In this context, the Obama administration's announcement that it will not prosecute the CIA personnel involved is evidently grandstanding. Of course they won't be prosecuted: to do so would be a double-cross of the worst sort, and the likelihood of getting a conviction would be nil. The fact is that the CIA officials who extracted valuable information from captured al Qaeda leaders--information that we have every reason to believe prevented successful terrorist attacks--are heroes. Their task was a thankless one, but, based on all the information we have, including the newly-released DOJ memos, they performed it well....

They are heroes. Exactly. They do the rough work necessary to protect us, while the fake-liberals who sneer and stab at them continue to luxuriate in the safety we have. And would howl in outrage if any danger actually approached them. Frauds. Pigs.

And none of the "anti-torture" crowd acknowledges that the US and Coalition militaries ended (at a painful sacrifice in dead and wounded) torture by the Saddam regime that was a million times worse than even what America is accused of. None of them ever said "thank you" for our ending (while "liberals" sat fat and safe, and never lifted a finger to help the suffering) the mass-production torture that was going on in Iraq. They are frauds, all of them. Their "concern" about torture is pure enmity against America and Bush. (I especially despise Mark Shea in this, since he is a well-known Catholic writer who just radiates partisan hatred and venom. What a twisted disgrace to our faith.)

* Update: [link] "Most prominent among those briefed on waterboarding was Nancy Pelosi. According to the Post’s interviews, members of the Congressional oversight committees understood that they had to weigh the limits of inhumane treatment of people known to have Al Qaeda connections against the threat of new attacks. They believed that these techniques struck the right balance in the circumstances. Yet I haven't heard of any serious call for prosecuting Speaker Pelosi or any of her colleagues for complicity in torture."

Posted by John Weidner at 12:55 PM

April 14, 2009

So why do you CARE?

One of the squirrelier things I've stumbled on today is this: Happy Easter - To hell with the Vatican edition...

The old celibates and child molesters at the Vatican have said no to a US Ambassador who supports abortion and stem cell research. Vatican blocks Caroline Kennedy appointment as US ambassador...

...Now I'm not sure why we even need an ambassador to a church but I think my friend Jazz gets it right.

"The broader point there, though, is the truly bizarre concept that foreign entities should be rejecting ambassadors because of policy differences between them and the person selected. Perhaps our ambassador to Venezuela should only be someone who supports Castro, hates America and wants Russian missile installations throughout Central and South America? Here's an idea... let's have an ambassador to England who wants the United States to forfeit its independence and go back to being a territory of the U.K.

A quick note to our Obama bashing pundits who are cackling with glee over this: ambassadors, by definition, are representatives of our nation and, in particular, of the positions and views of the current administration. The current administration happens to be pro-choice, and to the extent that should ever come up in discussions, they need to represent those views. All they really need is the ability to communicate well and be, well... diplomatic. They deliver messages, gather information and facilitate relations behind the scenes."

This is a false analogy. For a better analogy, think of the old days when we would send ambassadors to communist countries. They never were upset that our ambassadors were mostly capitalists. BUT, suppose we had sent an ambassador who was a prominent Communist who believed fervently in the right to private property! THAT they might well have objected to, since it would be a clear attempt to subvert Communist beliefs using fake Communists.

More interesting would be what the nomination of that "pro-private property communist" would have said about us. It would have said that we believed in Communism, and needed to subvert it within its own philosophical framework.

That's what Obama (and the quoted bloggers) are revealing about themselves. They know exactly who their real opponent is, and they CARE. Same thing with Obama's HHS picks, Daschle and Sibellius. Pro-abortion Catholics both of them. Why did he choose them?

This all reminds me of the way satanic cultists will steal consecrated hosts from a Catholic Mass to use in their ceremonies. Why do they care?—why not just BUY communion wafers from a religious supply company? The satanic-types are admitting that what happens in the Liturgy, in the central Christian Mystery, is real! (also interesting is that nobody steals communion bread from Protestants! The Devil knows what's what.)

Also, if one is honestly interested in diplomacy, then the reaction to being told that one's ambassador is unacceptable is to say. "Thanks, we almost made a big mistake." It's not diplomacy Obama's pursuing here in his sneaky cowardly way, it's war.


Posted by John Weidner at 1:56 PM

April 11, 2009

I would normally just blast the squalid hypocrisy of the Obamanoid's, but...

...even more aggravating is the STUPIDITY of the general population of the world who took the attacks on Guantanamo seriously. If you fight a war, you will have to lock up prisoners, right? Unless you want to just shoot them on the battlefield, right? And you know who to lock up, and how long, only if your enemy follows the LAWS OF WAR, and does things like wearing uniforms, and having ranks and serial numbers, and keeping combat away from civilians.

If an enemy like al-Qaeda does not do such things, then they are committing war crimes. And if we lock up people without being perfectly sure that they are in fact combatants, it is because of al-Qaeda's war crimes. Not because we are doing anything wrong, but because we've been forced into doing things in an imperfect way.

The leftists who heaped criticism on the Bush Administration for Gitmo committed a vile injustice. Which they are now compounding by following—as logic demands—the very same policies. There's nothing I can do about it, except express my utmost contempt for the horrid lefty worms who took part in such a loathsome betrayal of decent Americans. And did so not out of conviction, but to gain political power.

Likewise, it is not our fault if the detention is of indefinite duration. Imagine if our enemies in WWII had been almost impossible to clearly defeat, because they could magically disappear whole armies, and then emerge in a year or two in a distant place to start fighting again. What would have been the fate of any prisoners we held? They would have been kept in indefinite detention, right? Am I right?

Now think of the above fantasy, and imagine that the Republicans orchestrated a huge clamor against Presidents Roosevelt or Truman. Enough so that they seriously hindered the Allied war effort, and forced the administration to release prisoners. Who subsequently returned to the fight and killed American soldiers. What would that be called? What's the word we are groping for???

Obama Administration Will Appeal Court Ruling Which Allows Habeas Petitions for Certain Captives in Afghanistan:

...The Obama administration has announced that it will appeal a recent Federal District Court decision, which held that three captives at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan could challenge their status as "enemy combatants" in United States courts. The District Court held that the Supreme Court's ruling in Boumediene v. Bush, which allows Guantanamo Bay detainees to file habeas corpus petitions, also gives Bagram detainees access to United States courts. The Obama administration opposes the petitions and has announced that it will appeal the District Court's ruling.

Civil liberties advocates blasted the Bush administration for subjecting Guantanamo Bay captives to indefinite detention and for denying them access to federal courts. The outrage over Guantanamo Bay among President Obama's liberal base and among the populations of certain United States allies (particularly in Europe) probably explains why President Obama's first set of executive orders included a provision directing the closure of the controversial detention facility.

The Obama administration, however, has taken the position that Supreme Court's reasoning in Boumediene does not confer habeas rights to Bagram detainees. This is the same argument that the Bush administration made.

This logic, however, could support the capture and transfer of individuals to Bagram, where they could face prolonged and indefinite detention and denial of access to United States courts. Bagram could become the functional equivalent of Guantanamo Bay....
Posted by John Weidner at 2:07 PM

April 4, 2009

A morning quote...

Response to Ted Olson's Endorsement of Harold Koh - Andy McCarthy - The Corner on National Review Online:

...This is an argument about policy, not personality, honesty or qualifications. The mainstream media did not vet President Obama. His transnational progressive positions were not scrutinized — and even though the President is even now on an important trip, crafting new global regulatory arrangements with other heads of state, we still have not gotten anything approximating an examination of Obama's views. Bluntly, the public has been better informed about Gov. Sarah Palin's handling of the Alaska State Police than about their President's fondness for international redistribution of wealth, international treaties, and the transfer of national sovereignty to transnational bureaucracies and tribunals.....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:29 AM

April 2, 2009

Traditions exist for reasons. Often good reasons.

From an e-mail from one of my sons....

...But now on to the heart of this email: I read that Mrs. Obama touched the Queen while visiting her. Apparently it is Etiquette to not touch the Queen. Unless the Queen extends her hand to you, you are supposed to just touch it, not firmly shake it. Why is that? When did this tradition start? Do you know if there is there something similar with other monarchs around the globe? Or with His Holiness Pope in Rome?...

In the past, before this new-fangled democracy business muddled things up, one would always treat anyone of higher rank with respect. Which included avoiding anything that smacked of "familiarity." Touching someone says, in body language, "I'm your equal."

There was a whole language of gesture, ceremony, pomp, and display, most of which we've forgotten. And the messages conveyed by this language had big political implications. One could "read" a political situation by observing subtleties of posture. Allowing familiarity by an inferior could be dangerous—a signal that one was uncertain, insecure, hesitant. A political enemy might decide this was the time to strike.

Nowadays in political conflicts one can just take a poll! Or ask focus groups. Or make a speech in Iowa and see how the world reacts.

But this only applies to domestic politics. You can't do that kind of thing in international relations. On the international stage gestures of strength and confidence—or weakness and uncertainty—are still critically important. Because they are "read," by friends and enemies alike.

Traditions usually embody wisdom learned in the past. It is not a minor thing that traditionally in America we have believed that "partisanship should end at the water's edge." It's extremely important. If we look divided, or weak, or confused, we invite attack by enemies. And we are telling friends we can't be trusted. That's why Obama's bumbling diplomacy is a deadly serious matter.

I'm sure all my readers have seen the film Russian Ark, since I recommended it. Think back to the scene of the reception of the Persian delegation. Ponder that elaborately staged performance, its beauty, splendor, grace and power. That was not just done for swank, it was a political message. It said Russia is strong and young and confident. Like an athlete whose strength and gracefulness intimidates the competition.

(The exact same thing is seen in bad neighborhoods, where the rule of law and electoral politics have broken down. The gangster projects power and confidence with his flashy cars and babes, his attentive entourage, his bold gestures in defying the law. If he stumbles or looks confused in any way, watchful eyes will note, and his position my be challenged. And if you touch him with familiarity in public you might end up sleeping with the fishes! The same applies to the forces of law and order. Imagine a dramatic raid by the police, and the gangster led off in cuffs looking helpless! That might be a game-changing display. Earth is a kind of bad neighborhood, and we are the cops.)

That's why it was wicked folly for Democrats to attack and weaken President Bush in his works of diplomacy and warfare in the War on Terror, and the Iraq Campaign particularly. That was warmongering. It heartened our enemies, and made the Iraq Campaign longer and more bloody. It made future conflicts more likely. It invited future 9/11's.

And that's why Obama's disgraceful performances with the PM, and now the Queen, make our situation in the world more dangerous. Britain usually stands with us in world crisis, but now it is certain that our relationship is being re-calculated in Whitehall and London. You don't to stand shoulder to shoulder with a nation led by erratic goofballs...

* Update: To me an even more interesting question is WHY are so many Democrats making elementary mistakes in this field. Stupid obvious mistakes. My theory is—sorry to repeat myself—that the morphing of liberals into nihilists is to blame. The nihilist hates those things which have a claim on us. Which are bigger than the individual. Things that make claims of duty and respect, to which we should put our selves second. They trash the great traditions and customs of our civilization in the same way they vandalize our traditions of art and architecture, the same way they malign America and Israel, the same way they crucify God as a daily routine.

And now poor Obama is like a dirty child who has always scorned manners and courtesy, and finds himself visiting a polite household. He's spitting on the floor not because he's trying to express insult, but because the habits of trashiness are all he, and his group, ever let themselves learn. It's the same with Clinton. How could anyone make an official visit to the Western Hemisphere's most important religious shrine, and not bother to learn the story of it? She's learned a few things, but deep down she's a child of dirt. She showed precisely the same inner squalor, and hatred of the good and beautiful, when her husband was getting started in Arkansas politics and she offended people by still wearing hippie sandals.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:27 AM

March 24, 2009

Two Obamas...

neo-neocon: What's behind Obama's Teleprompter addiction? (thanks to Rand):

...The late great Dean Barnett was one of the first to not only notice this but to understand what it might signify besides a simple desire for fluency. Writing in February 2008 about a speech Obama had made a few days earlier, Barnett shrewdly observed [emphasis mine]:
....But...[w]ith no Teleprompter signaling the prepared text, Obama failed to deliver the speech in his characteristically flawless fashion. He had to rely on notes. And his memory. And he improvised...

Virtually every time Obama deviated from the text, he expressed the partisan anger that has so poisoned the Democratic party. His spontaneous comments eschewed the conciliatory and optimistic tone that has made the Obama campaign such a phenomenon...[T]his different Obama was a far less attractive one...
Barnett noticed—as many had, even at the time—the enormous difference in articulateness between Teleprompter-Obama and Obama unplugged (the latter is the title of Barnett’s article). That was the easy part. The more discriminating observation Barnett made was between the message of Teleprompter Obama and the message of ad-lib Obama. The two were not just different in degree—they were profoundly opposite in tone and essence. Ad-lib Obama was far more angry and more radical—indeed, although Barnett doesn't mention it, this Obama resembled the angrier and more radical Michelle Obama, in her earlier campaign remarks that drew so much controversy.

Obama is addicted to his Teleprompter not only because he knows he sounds better—smoother and smarter—with it than without. The deeper reason for his reliance on it may just be that he differs so profoundly from the persona he wishes to convey that he quite literally cannot trust himself to speak without it....

Until recently it was a given that the Dems could not elect a Northern liberal president. They've only succeeded with Southerners since JFK (who wasn't very liberal by today's standards). And Obama was only elected by sneakiness—if America had known what he was really like he wouldn't have stood a chance.

It's not just being liberal that's the problem, it's that most liberals don't interact with conservatives. They stay in their lefty comfort-zones and talk to each other. And get their comfort-news from the NYT. But if you are going to be a Democrat governor of Arkansas or Georgia, then you need to be able to work with conservatives and Christians. You need to know what they are thinking, even if you don't agree.

Poor Barack is just clueless. He's spent his entire life in big-city Lefty cocoons. He doesn't know stuff.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:24 AM

March 21, 2009

This show is in trouble...

Barack Obama Is a Terrible Bore, by Michael Wolff...

...Sheesh, the guy is Jimmy Carter.

That homespun bowling crap on Jay Leno, followed by the turgid, teachy fiscal policy lecture, together with the hurt defensiveness (and bad script for it) that everybody in Washington "is Simon Cowell... Everybody's got an opinion," is pure I'm-in-over-my-head stuff. Even the idea of having to go on Jay Leno to rescue yourself from the AIG mess is lame. Be a man, man.

The guy just doesn't know what to say. He can't connect. Emotions are here, he's over there. He can't get the words to match the situation....


...What happens when you move into the White House?

Well, shit, of course. The true secret of the power of language is in quickness. Barack Obama can't keep up. He evidently needs too much preparation. And then there's the organization. He's undoubtedly got too many people debating what he should say. That's the other secret of language: You've got to just go for it. Can't think too much about it. It's like hitting the ball. And then there's knowing who you want to be—which is different than knowing who you are. You're on the stage. You're acting. You've got to make yourself believable, cleverly make yourself up as you go along.

This guy is leaden and this show is in trouble.

True, but that's not the essence of the Obam's problems. THIS is the real lack:

Experience shows that if you lack a coherent set of beliefs and principles, you will flounder. You must know already what you want, and why, and broadly how best to attain it, if you are ever to deal effectively with the thousand-and-one crises that face you in government."
      -- Margaret Thatcher

Flaily flaily!

Posted by John Weidner at 4:05 PM

March 20, 2009

"We are Socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians"

On Charity, by James V. Schall, S.J.

Bruce Fingerhut, the good director of St. Augustine's Press, sent me the other day the following amusing, but provocative citation: "Bertrand Russell, who, when asked why he did not give to charity, replied: "I'm afraid you've got it all wrong. We are Socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians.'" Needless to say, that witty retort contains a whole theology and a philosophy that deserve to be spelled out. The logic of classic socialism makes Christianity not only superfluous�everyone has everything by rights�but impossible�no one has anything to give.

Russell is right, of course. In a socialist world, no charity can exist because there can be no need that is unfulfilled by the commonality's duty. It is a world in which there can be no gratitude. I can thank someone for giving me what is really his. I cannot thank him for giving me what is by rights already mine. And if everything belongs to the community, how can I give it away? Or if I do give it away, how can it be anything but stealing from the commons on my part and receiving illicit booty on the receiver's part?...

Rush Limbaugh: Better He Should FailI remember an incident, maybe back in the 70's? The king of Sweden donated a large sum of money to charity. And Swedish leftists were outraged, and there was a big flap about it! It was treated as an insult to Sweden's socialistic state!

I'd guess that the recent proposal by the Obama administration to limit the deduction for charitable donations was not an accident. Charity is an area where any socialist will want to start squeezing out the private sector and gathering all "charity" into the hands of government...




Posted by John Weidner at 8:57 AM

March 18, 2009

We're a "vast and broken-hearted thing." Why wasn't I told?

I liked this piece by Noemie Emery, Palinphobes and the audacity of type:

Now that the Obama presidency is nearing the 60-day mark, it's time to thank those fastidious scribes on the left and the right who worked so hard to warn us against Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, and the dire things that would surely occur if she ever got close to executive power.

How right they were to insist that she was unfit for high office. Let's just imagine what she might have done:

As president, she might have caused the stock market to plunge over 2,000 points in the six weeks after she assumed office, left important posts in the Treasury unfilled for two months, been described by insiders as 'overwhelmed' by the office, and then gone on to diss the British Prime Minister on his first state visit, giving him, as one head of state to another, a set of DVDs plucked from the aisles of Wal Mart, a tasteful gift, even if they can't be played on a TV in Britain. (Note, the Prime Minister, who is losing his eyesight, may even be blind in one eye).

As vice president, she might have told Katie Couric that when the stock market crashed in 1929, President Franklin D. Roosevelt went on TV to reassure a terrified nation. Or on her first trip abroad as Secretary of State, she might have, as the AP reported, "raised eyebrows on her first visit to Europe...when she mispronounced her "EU counterparts names and claimed U.S. democracy was older than Europe's," then gave the Russian minister a gag "reset" button, on which the word "reset" was translated incorrectly.

What a good thing that Palin, whom Christopher Buckley called "an embarrassment, and a dangerous one," wasn't in office to cause such debacles, and that we have Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton instead.

"This is not a leader, this is a follower," wrote ex-Reagan muse Peggy Noonan. "She follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine...she doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts."...

Poor Peggy. Sad case.

Alaska, by the way, seems to be weathering the financial crisis better than many places. I saw this headline: Alaska Dodges Banking Collapse, and thought it referred to some scary almost-disaster narrowly averted. But the article is merely about how Alaska financial institutions are in good health because they've mostly avoided risky loans and toxic assets. This has probably got nothing to do with Palin personally, but perhaps a lot to do with AK being the sort of place that produces people like her. I'd not be surprised if Wall Street hot-shots (yuppie Democrats most of them) feel the same contempt towards back-wood bankers that Beltway pundits feel about Sarah. So who's looking good now?

And I didn't know about the PM's vision problems. Way t'go, Barack. Give a blind man DVD's, to make him feel good.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:56 AM

March 12, 2009

An even worse snub to a friend of America....

Big Lizard writes that before Obama's snubs to Gordon Brown, he had treated the PM of Japan even worse...

From a Japanes story on Prime Minister Taro Aso's visit. (Which I bet you didn't even know happened--I didn't.)

...It was unprecedented that there was no state lunch or joint press conference [sound familar?].

There was no private one-on-one meeting, which is what is needed to meet the requirement of a "summit."

Just before the meeting, President Obama talked about the importance of the U.S.-Japan friendship and strengthening the alliance for east-Asian security. However, Mr. Obama did not take any action to publicize the message.

Mr. Obama gave his first speech to Congress that same night. The U.S. government, public, and media attention were all on that speech; they paid little to no attention to the prime minister's visit.

This meeting reminded Japanese of Prime Minister Tomiichi Murakami's visit to the U.S. in January of 1995. However, even during that visit, Murayama was allowed to stay at Blair House, the official guest house. But not Aso; he was forced to stay in a hotel in a Washington DC suburb. The duration of the visit was less than half of Murakami's....

Rush Limbaugh: Better He Should FailThis is insane. Or rather, it is if you think of Obama as a normal president. If you visualize him as a lefty activist-type who would at most make a good president of a state university, THEN it makes perfect sense. Imagine the lefties you know--how many of them would have been pleased to learn that President Bush had strengthened our alliance with Japan? Or with India, which is a far more important accomplishment of the Bush Administration? I'd lay money that the PM of India would be treated the same way, if he visited now. Lefties are anti-American, and Obama is running true-to-form.

More and more I'm coming around to Rush Limbaugh's view. I was originally guessing that Obama would aim to be another Bill Clinton, leftish by inclination but aware that that is not what America wants. Therefore I would support his more sensible moves (similar to my support of NAFTA and welfare reform under Clinton) and argue against his unwise ideas. Now he's looking more like one of those horrid cowardly sneaks trained by Saul Alinsky to pretend to be moderate so they can infiltrate institutions, and then seize power for marxist ends. (If any "Alinsky-ites are reading, I spit upon you with the utmost detestation! Sneaks! Termites!..... Hermaphrodites!)

But it doesn't look like that's what Obama is going to be. So, it is the moral and sensible thing to hope he fails. If anyone is interested, that what I'm feeling at the moment. I hope he fails even worse than Carter, which is saying a lot!. Then at least a few people will wake up from their stupor.

[I put up this picture of Rush so as to be unambiguous about how I'm feeling. Since I'm not a moral coward like 98% of leftists are, I write clearly what I think, and if I change my mind, or turn out to be wrong, I will just say so.]

Posted by John Weidner at 7:51 AM

March 3, 2009

Another sucker wakes up.... sort of.

David Brooks, in the NYT, A Moderate Manifesto:

....Those of us who consider ourselves moderates -- moderate-conservative, in my case -- are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. [It was not thought, it was wishful thinking.] His words are responsible; his character is inspiring [Bet you can't name ONE thing he's done that shows exceptional character.]. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice. ["on notice!" Don't be rash and hasty now.] As Clive Crook, an Obama admirer, wrote in The Financial Times, the Obama budget "contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal's dream of a new New Deal."

Moderates now find themselves betwixt and between. On the left, there is a president who appears to be, as Crook says, "a conviction politician, a bold progressive liberal." [He's a corrupt Chicago pol, and it's all about boodle and power for Dems.] On the right, there are the Rush Limbaugh brigades. The only thing more scary than Obama's experiment is the thought that it might fail and the political power will swing over to a Republican Party that is currently unfit to wield it. ["unfit" only because it's got too many guys who think like Brooks, and too few who think like the excerpt from Limbaugh's speech which I've pasted below the fold.]

Those of us in the moderate tradition -- the Hamiltonian tradition that believes in limited but energetic government -- [Hamilton would despise you bloated cream puffs] thus find ourselves facing a void. [the void is in your souls.] We moderates are going to have to assert ourselves. [Yeah, right. Settle your spectacles firmly on the ears and bridge of the nose. Look grave. Very grave.] We're going to have to take a centrist tendency that has been politically feckless and intellectually vapid and turn it into an influential force. [You are a "centrists" precisely BECAUSE you are feckless and vapid. Perhaps you might try furling your umbrellas more tightly.]

The first task will be to block the excesses of unchecked liberalism. [Can't fight something with nothing.] In the past weeks, Democrats have legislated provisions to dilute welfare reform, restrict the inflow of skilled immigrants and gut a voucher program designed for poor students. It will be up to moderates to raise the alarms against these ideological outrages. [Conservatives have already raised the alarms. It's time for you to put up or shut up.]

But beyond that, moderates will have to sketch out an alternative vision.... ["Sketch out." Doesn't that tell us all we need to know.]
Here's a bit of Rush's speech. Of course Republicans are "unfit" for office, if they believe this kind of rabid partisan hate-mongering. How embarrassing it must be for Mr Brooks in Manhattan to be even tenuously connected with such bigoted madness...
....Let me tell you who we conservatives are: We love people. When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don't see groups. We don't see victims. We don't see people we want to exploit. What we see -- what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don't think that person doesn't have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government.

We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. Liberty, Freedom. And the pursuit of happiness. Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault. Thank you. Thank you.

We don't want to tell anybody how to live. That's up to you. If you want to make the best of yourself, feel free. If you want to ruin your life, we'll try to stop it, but it's a waste. We look over the country as it is today, we see so much waste, human potential that's been destroyed by 50 years of a welfare state. By a failed war on poverty. ...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:09 AM

February 25, 2009

The vision thing...


Orrin Judd
...The President has been handed a great gift, an economic contraction that's unusual enough these days that he could use it to enact to some big legislative changes. But, instead, all he offered was: the McCain-Lieberman-style cap-and-trade program, despite the collapse of Europe's; a promise to reduce health care spending while pumping money into the industry; a promise to reduce the cost of education while pumping more money into that system; and tax increases on the tiny fraction of the population that already pays 60%+ of them? We've been pretty disparaging of the notion that this guy has any vision of what he wants to do with the presidency, but even so, this is laughably small potatoes for a "day of reckoning."

Obama is the extremest example of that common problem, the politician who just wants office. He "wants" it to fill some void in his soul, or some hunger for public validation of his importance. Unfortunately that "want" squeezes out out of a tiny soul other wants, like wanting to build a better world or dreaming of solving some great problem or undertaking some important reform.

Bush senior was a similar figure, and I still gnash my teeth in frustration thinking of how, after the Gulf War, he had 90% approval ratings and political capital to burn......and had nothing in mind to accomplish with them! What a tragic waste. He was a very competent administrator, but should never have been given a leadership position. His son is a hundred times more a man.


Posted by John Weidner at 7:37 AM

February 17, 2009

The Manchurian Podium...

This story about a new press-conference podium with built-in computer screen to feed words to the supposedly eloquent Obama made me laugh.

Can you just imagine the SNL skit that could be made, with someone like our friend Andrea hacking into the Obam's magic podium, and feeds the poor creature conservative good-sense during his "press conferences?"

The American Spectator : In All Fairness:

...One wouldn't know it from reading the Washington Post or New York Times, but some inside the White House don't think that President Barack Obama hit a home run with his first national press conference last week.

"It looked scripted beyond the scripted part, the speech," says one former communications adviser, who has been feeding notes and suggestions to the White House team and worked with them on the inauguration. "Every president has gone into one of these things knowing that there were some pre-arranged questions or journalists to be called on, but this one was pretty ham-handed."

To that end, he says, the White House is looking to install a small video or computer screen into the podium used by the president for press conferences and events in the White House. "It would make it easier for the comms guys to pass along information without being obvious about it," says the adviser. The screen would indicate whom to call on, seat placement for journalists, pass along notes or points to hit, and so forth, says the adviser.

Using a screen is nothing new for Obama; almost nothing he said in supposedly unscripted townhall events during the presidential campaign was unscripted, down to many of the questions and the answers to those questions. Teleprompter screens at the events scrolled not only his opening remarks, but also statistics and information he could use to answer questions.

"It would be the same idea with the podium," says the adviser.

Obama had a teleprompter set up for his remarks last week, before taking questions, but the White House couldn't use the teleprompter for anything but the remarks, because the journalists were so close to the screens. Further complicating matters, teleprompter copy can't be easily updated in real time, in a setting like a White House press conference...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:28 AM

February 8, 2009

Shadow Warrior...

Another good one from Mr Judd:

...Both the Left and the Right have radically misunderstood the clear signals from Mr. Obama's personal history. He has moved through a number of institutions without leaving any noticeable mark on them. He is, after all, a legislator without a single piece of legislation to his name. He wants to be president in order that it will be said that he was president. That is the entire extent of his ambition. Until he moves on to the UN anyway...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:49 PM

February 7, 2009

Funny Obama-fantasies...

Is the Honeymoon Over for Barack Obama? -- New York Magazine (thanks to Orrin Judd):

... The quick end of that sweet and blissful interval comes as something of a shock. There were five good reasons to expect that Obama's runway would be longer and less littered with obstructions than usual. The first was the smoothness of his transition and the superstar-laden lineup he installed. [Superstars? What a joke! Here is a comparison of Bush and Obama cabinet picks. ] The second was the scale of the economic and financial crisis that confronts the country, which would seem to have raised the political cost of rank obstructionism [Obstructionism in the defense of sanity is no vice! And how 'bout the political cost of dithering incompetence?]. The third was the consensus from left to right that supersize action was required [but super-size Democrat political pork? Consensus on that? Nah.]. The fourth was the magnitude of Obama's electoral victory and the mandate it ostensibly bestowed [Bush had almost as big a victory in 2004. I bet you didn't say HE had a mandate. Anyway, to have a mandate you have to run on something. ]. And fifth were his skills as a communicator, which even his staunchest foes were apt to compare to Ronald Reagan's [Dream on, dweeb. Name ONE single instance where Obama has communicated difficult concepts so ordinary people could suddenly grasp them.] (my emphasis).

That these five factors have produced something less than a nirvana-like political environment can be blamed on an array of villains. [Oh, right. Anyone who opposes the messiah is a "villain."] The irresponsibility of congressional Republicans regarding the stimulus. [Since we think it is bad policy, it would be irresponsible NOT to oppose it.] The ham-fistedness of congressional Democrats [It's not ham-fists, it's an utter inability to put country ahead of buying votes.] (and their propensity to paint targets on their backs). The economic illiteracy of almost every talking head on cable. [And writers at New York magazine.] But there's no denying that the bulk of the blame must be laid at the feet of the Obamans, who have squandered or let lay idle almost every political advantage they possessed at the outset...
[The political advantage was always a mirage. Actually Obama himself is a sort of mirage. He's never accomplished anything of note, never taken a strong stand on anything (except for infanticide), never revealed his philosophy or core values--I myself don't think he has any. He's an amiable con-man, but now he's in territory where reality tends to bite hard....]

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

February 4, 2009

If the dog catches the car...

Orrin Judd::

It's not just that this [stimulus] plan is a political disaster...but that he isn't doing anything else. During his first 100 days George W. Bush was pushing through--or pushing for--tax cuts, No Child Left Behind, SS Reform, abortion limits, CFR, missile defense, killing Kyoto, the FBI, a hemispheric free trade zone, attacks on Saddam Hussein, etc. Mr. Obama, by contrast, is doing just one thing and doing that badly...
I often think about the speculation of Christopher Hitchens, that Obama had no expectation of winning the nomination on this go-round. Now he's a dog in the embarrassing position of having caught the car he was chasing. And he's doubly hampered because, I speculate, he's never really dreamed of doing anything. He has no cause; there's nothing he believes in. He's like a talented writer who has nothing to say.

Now me, I'm a nobody, but I often think of things I'd do if I had the power. Because I care, because there are many things that I consider bigger than me, and worth sacrificing for. I'm sure I'd make a lousy leader of anything, but if I was suddenly catapulted into a position of power, I'd start scribbling a list of things I would like to do, and I'd quickly have a a page full.

And the "stimulus" plan isn't even Obama's--it's Pelosi's, gawd help us. I could come up with an interesting stimulus plan, so why can't Obama? Absurd. The guy's an �ber-nihilist.

George W Bush in the Texas Air National Guard
George W Bush in the Texas Air National Guard

* Update: sometimes when my daughter's in a certain state of mind she signs her e-mails: "flaily flaily." I thought of that, and then Obama, and now I can't think of the poor guy without "flaily flaily."

Posted by John Weidner at 12:19 PM

February 3, 2009

Remember "Bush epic fail?"

I remember well the foul dishonesty with which lefty-bloggers and "journalists" used Hurricane Katrina as a club to beat President Bush. Now we see how much they really believed what they wrote, as Obama gets a disaster of his own.

I'd say it is time for a lot of people on the Left to apologize. But that would be what adults do; we can't expect it from "liberals." The Anchoress puts things well:

More Ice storm & More | The Anchoress:

...The severe ice storm that has crippled parts of the midwest and devastated Kentucky is getting a little more attention from the press than it has since last Tuesday, when the storm hit. This is the Monday after. Time Magazine writes a professional-sounding piece that is completely devoid of emotion, mentions President Obama exactly once (in passive voice) and never ever strays into unfair wonderings such as "why isn't more being done," or "where is the President, why isn't he present here," or "how can the president stay warm, eat steak and watch football when scores have died, half a million remain cold and helpless, without power, water, heat and sometimes without food?" No one is asking why there are no pictures of bodies for the press to print. Wolf Blitzer, who famously (and terribly) cried of the Katrina displaced, "they are so poor, and so black," is not standing in teeth-chattering frost declaring, "these people are so cold, and so white..."

That would also be a terrible thing to say, and I think playing the racism card is stupid, but the point is, when Katrina hit, the press pulled out every stop they possibly could - including the racism canard - to identify that disaster with a "Bush epic fail." They ignored his early pleadings to Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco to evacuate. They ignored his declaring NOLA and surrounding areas as Disaster Areas even before Katrina hit, so the fed could immediately get to work. They ignored the proper jurisdiction of emergencies (local, then state, then fed) and the extreme incompetence of the Louisiana leadership and made Katrina all about "what Bush did or didn't do." By contrast, the press seems to be going out of its way to insure that Obama is not associated with this week-long drama at all.

We"ve heard that "Bush ate cake", while people suffered. (Obama ate steak and watched the Super Bowl). Bush did not quickly enough go to the disaster area to survey it and hug people and cry. (Obama - like the derided Bush - is wisely staying away so as not to impede relief efforts, but he remains un-derided). Bush dared to praise FEMA, even though FEMA was late because flood conditions and Gov. Blanco prevented them from doing much at first. Obama...hasn't said much of anything....

The main responsibility for disaster response is always local. That should be obvious. My criticism of Bush is that he should have used to mandate of 9/11 to make FEMA more of a goad to improve local response capability, rather than trying to place more responsibility at the federal level.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:52 PM

February 1, 2009

It's the "anti-torture" crowd that is promoting torture...

Apparently the Obama Administration is banning "harsh interrogation techniques," but preserving the option of rendition!

The twisted logic of this just stupefies me. It's like chopping off a painfully injured limb to avoid the danger of becoming addicted to painkillers.

The simple fact is that waterboarding someone is a thousand times more humane than shipping them off to Jordan to be tortured. Am I right? Any liberals reading this, am I not right? Hmmm? People undergo waterboarding voluntarily. We use it on our own troops in training.

But "liberalism" is about making liberals feel good, not about actually helping human beings.

LAT: Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool The role of the CIA's controversial prisoner-transfer program may expand, intelligence experts say.

The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool.

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism -- aside from Predator missile strikes -- for taking suspected terrorists off the street...

"...taking suspected terrorists off the street." Jeeez. That's what Guantanamo was for. Gitmo is in fact a far more humane facility than ordinary American prisons. European penologists have visited it and reported that it is better than anything they have back home. A thousand times better than what a prisoner will get if shipped to Egypt. But since the evil Bush started it, it has to go. And who cares how much people suffer. Not liberals.

And liberals care nothing about the suffering of the victims of terrorism. In Iraq al-Qaeda has set off powerful bombs in pet markets, where people take children to see the animals. Think about it, you leftists who despise America for extracting information that can stop terror attacks.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:38 PM

January 30, 2009

It's a pity we no longer have a liberal in the White House...

Mark Steyn, talking on the Hugh Hewitt show about Obama's al-Arabiya interview...
Hugh Hewitt: A lot of people have missed the Obama appeal to Arabiya, and the fact that he didn't bring up its gender apartheid, Christopher Hitchens calls it. It's where gays are executed. And he made no rebuke to these societies. I found it astonishing, Mark Steyn. What did you think?

Mark Steyn: Well, you don't have to be gay, an oppressed homosexual about to be executed. You don't have to be a woman who's being sold to an arranged child marriage. You just have to be a moderate, centrist Arab intellectual in, say, Cairo or Amman, and you listen to Obama sucking up to these creeps, and there's nothing for you in it. What he's doing is he says, he's saying to hell with the Bush freedom agenda. We just want to get back to schmoozing the feted Arab dictatorships and the mullahs in Tehran all over again. And so if you're a gay or a woman, you're out of there. And as I said, if you're a moderate Arab who just would like to have a free society in Cairo or Amman or wherever, you're out of it, too. You're on the Obama horizon. It was a pathetic, disgraceful Jimmy Carter speech.

Hugh Hewitt: I agree with this, and he did it on the day that the Iranians arrested those horrible criminals in Tehran who allowed the women soccer players to play with the men soccer players....

Mark Steyn: ....I think in fact, on that al-Arabiya interview, he just sounded basically way out of his league. And I hope someone brings him up to speed soon, because going around giving those interviews, as I said, he was talking about getting us back to thirty years ago. Well, thirty years ago, they were taking Americans hostage in Tehran. Thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter was communicating weakness to the world, and the Ayatollah rightly concluded these Americans are pushovers. And Obama shouldn't be doing that message all over again. [Transcript of the whole interview here.]

"A pathetic, disgraceful Jimmy Carter speech." Exactly.

It's important to remember how strongly Bush was pressuring the Middle East tyrants towards democracy and human rights, before the Democrat/al-Qaeda Alliance cut the ground from under him. Now we get a "Democrat" sucking up to dictators in the true Carter style.

I'm sure glad I'm not a part of such an evil party.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:35 AM

January 17, 2009

"Real" truth and the "state" truth

Bookworm, Can't fight group think:

Several years ago, I read one of Natan Sharansky's books in which he described his life as a refusenik in the former Soviet Union. One of the points he made that struck me with incredible force was the way in which citizens in totalitarian regimes develop an internal life entirely separate from the external forces against them. For example, Soviet citizens were forced in public to accept that their economy was a miracle of Communist exceptionalism, even as their logical brains figured out that this propaganda bore no relationship to the truth. Their brains developed a binary quality, processing the "real" truth and the "state" truth, creating an exceptional level of intellectual and emotional stress.

I was rather brutally reminded of that yesterday, when my husband and I had the opportunity to listen to our children speak to third parties about the upcoming inauguration. Both of them, using almost precisely the same words, stated that they were very excited about the inauguration because Obama is the first African-American president, which makes him special.

Later, Mr. Bookworm said to the kids that it sounded a bit funny to him them saying the same thing, and asked if they really meant that. Both assured him that they did not. That is, they didn't bear any hostility to Obama because of his race. They simply didn't care. However, both earnestly explained that, if they didn't say this rote line about Obama's historica importance, they would be ostracized....

A side effect seen in totalitarian states (you could call SF, and Bookworm's Marin County, sort of "honorary totalitarian states") is that those pushing the "state truth" are intellectually weakened, and that they become fearful. Liberals around here are often angry and defensive, and push the "state truth" stridently and insistently. They are afraid. They are living in fear, exactly like a tyrant who does not know who might be plotting against him.

Another irony is that Obama's election has been robbed of most of its "historic meaning" precisely because he ran as someone who was going to be "historic." That's sort of like letting all your friends know you would like a surprise birthday party. The affirmation that you are loved and valued lacks a certain indefinable something...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:10 AM

January 15, 2009

This is interesting...

I confess I've stopped following the news from Bailout-istan. Too confusin'. But this piece was less opaque than most things I've read...

Why A New Power Grid Will Pay - Forbes.com:

...Officials have thus far dispensed TARP money in ways that make it very likely that private sector recipients of those funds will repay the government over time. As a result, taxpayers will ultimately be responsible for little to none of the TARP expenditures.

As the TARP money has been doled out to banks and other financial companies, the government has taken back preferred stock and equity warrants in these companies.

The Treasury Department can sell these securities or hold them until they are redeemed by the companies that issued them. So in any company that survives--and most will with the benefit of government support--the government should get all its money back with interest.

New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg's recent estimate that the TARP funds have earned the government a profit of $8 billion in three months only underscores this point. As the new administration looks for ways to revive the economy, it should favor projects that could be sold or leased to the private sector after completion.

For example, the federal government could rebuild the nation's electricity transmission grid. The project would create thousands of new jobs, many of them skilled. And a modernized grid would have immediate commercial value both to existing power companies and to the new green energy companies that Obama has talked so much about....

Sounds like something that it actually makes sense for government to do. Hopefully culminating in selling the stuff off to the private sector. And if Mr Obama tried something like this, he would at least get a good lesson in the twisted way environmentalist wackos render impossible the very green-energy projects they claim to favor, by blocking anyone from building transmission lines from the usually rural areas where things like wind and solar power happen. And he could employ his socialist-bully muscles in steam-rollering over some Greens! that would give me a laugh or two...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:36 PM

December 18, 2008

Well, Wright's a prophet, doncha know...

Mary Katharine Ham, Liberal Logic: Wright vs. Warren

Let me get this straight:

A 20-year association with a radically leftist, anti-American, racist preacher whom Obama referred to as a spiritual adviser meant absolutely nothing about Obama's judgment or philosophy, and illustrated only the bigotry of those who dared criticize it.

A 20-minute association with one of the country's most well-liked, mainstream evangelical preachers who happens to support traditional marriage cannot be countenanced and illustrates only the bigotry of those who would dare allow it.

Got it.
Posted by John Weidner at 4:40 PM

"One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing . "

The Phoenix, Take Back Barack:

.....Millions of us stood up and shouted, handed out fliers, talked to our neighbors, donated hard-earned money, and drove people to the polls for Change. We screamed, hugged, kissed, and cried when we learned Change had come to America. We knew Change wouldn't come overnight, that it would take time, but we were excited that we had elected a man who was open to Change, who said he wanted to consider real people's needs while in the Oval Office. We eagerly awaited the first hints of Change, as the president-elect's transition developed.

And now, we have reason to worry that Change is not coming to America after all. For nearly two years we were encouraged to 'Be the Change you want to see in America.' It is now obvious that we have a ways to go toward Being that Change. And so does President-elect Barack Obama. And that, above all else, needs to Change....(Thanks to Orrin Judd.)

I suppose I ought to feel pity for the starry-eyed who swooned over Obam, and worked hard for "Change," but the fact is, they are so STUPID they deserve to be winnowed out of the gene-pool by Darwinian selection. If a person has reached the age of 46 years, then you can see what sort of person they are. If they are one of the rare people who changes things, then they will have already changed something! Accomplished something.

Obama and "change" is like a person who has been a shy introvert all their life announcing that, if elected, they will be an effervescent extrovert. C'mon now, how likely is that? How STUPID would a person have to be to believe that?

Actually, I don't think they are intrinsically stupid. They are rendered stupid by bad ideas.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:08 AM

December 17, 2008

I just like the way Jonah writes...

Jonah Goldberg:

...There's the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times � which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial-board meetings in a refrigerator box � created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palin's background, all the while treating Obama's Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girls' bedroom walls. See there, Suzie? That's a Pegasus. That's a pink unicorn. And that's a beautiful sunflower giving birth to a fully grown Barack Obama, the greatest president ever and the only man in history to be able to pick up manure from the clean end...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:57 AM

December 16, 2008

Giggle of the morning...

TIME: Cheney Lauds Obama's National Security Team.

Dick Cheney on a Segway

I bet Obam's secretly wishing he could keep someone else from the Bush team...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:47 AM

December 15, 2008

I can hardly write amidst such turmoil...

Matthew Hoy:

In a report out today, the Associated Press makes an assertion.
President-elect Barack Obama, relatively young and inexperienced, is facing a rapidly growing list of monumental challenges as he prepares to take the reins of a nation in turmoil.
I'd really appreciate it if someone with access to the Lexis/Nexis database would do a search to see if the media ever referred to Obama as inexperienced on its own � not as a report of GOP criticism � during the campaign.

My thoughts:

Hackneyed prose alert. "Monumental" is a word that should be used sparingly. If all your challenges are "monumental," then when one really is monumental, you will have to call it "hyper-monumental."

Did they ever give any incoming Presidents named Bush such sympathetic treatment?

"Nation in turmoil." What does that mean? I'd guess it means: "Nation under Republican leader." After January 20 you may look forward to soothing balm being applied to a prostrate nation's wounds, and the fallen lifting their heads and blinking in surprise at a new dawn.

They are laying the groundwork to explain failure. If a "young and inexperienced" person faces a long list of monumentals, well, "what can anyone do?"

Posted by John Weidner at 7:38 AM

November 27, 2008

Thankful for the little things...

From Barack Obama, Supply-Sider? by Kevin A. Hassett...

If you paid attention to the political rhetoric that President-elect Barack Obama engaged in during the Democratic primary, then you probably expected his economic team to be made up of left-wing ideologues. When Obama took a rare holiday from blaming all of America's problems on NAFTA and deregulation, he bashed Hillary Clinton for her cozy relationship with that corporate symbol of evil incarnate: Wal-Mart.

But that rhetoric was, we now know, just that. How "sensible" is Obama's economic team? So sensible, that one can construct a pretty stirring defense of supply-side economics relying solely on their work...

Pretty funny, (especially for one like me who stood firm on Reaganomics at the time of David Stockman's apostasy, and has been vindicated by history). Of course I suspect it would be better for the country if the administration was overtly socialist, and was for that reason tossed out in 2010. (My guess is that they will be overtly moderate and Clintonian and probably popular, while covertly doing everything possible to subtly undermine traditional American culture and morals, secure in the knowledge that that will get them where they want to go in the long run.)

But one must be thankful for life's little pleasures, and one of them right now is thinking about the duped Leftizoids who just assumed that hope-n-change meant their policies, and that Obam would be listening to them! Ha ha ha...

And the following part of the article is well worth reading, because one occasionally encounters a certain argument that correlates tax-cuts with poor economic growth or stock market values. Or tax increases with economic growth...

...Incoming head of the Council of Economic advisers Christina Romer also has made numerous significant contributions toward our understanding of supply-side economics. Most importantly, she, along with her husband, David Romer, wrote perhaps the most important paper in the area in the last decade.

One problem hampering the study of tax policy is that it is endogenous. When the economy is bad, politicians tend to reduce tax rates. That means tax reductions tend to be associated with worse than average growth. Given that set up, it is easy to make the mistaken conclusion that tax policy is ineffective.

But the Romers had the brilliant insight that tax policy occasionally happens for reasons that are unrelated to the business cycle, that is, some tax changes are exogenous. If taxes change in 2010, for example, they will do so because the Bush tax cuts expire, something that was set in motion a decade earlier, when policymakers had no clue what the 2010 economy might look like. By isolating episodes when changes are exogenous, the Romers were able to better identify their impact than has been done in the past.

Their conclusion is striking and worth quoting, "The resulting estimates indicate that tax increases are highly contractionary. The effects are strongly significant, highly robust and much larger than those obtained using broader measures of tax changes."....
Posted by John Weidner at 10:44 AM

November 26, 2008

He laughs, bitterly...

Michelle, on the latest from the Obama transition process, aka: Becoming Grownups In 60 Days...

...Nothing clarifies the mind like a jihadi boomerang. Never before have an administration and its followers matured so quickly in office -- and they haven't even taken office yet. While Obama paid lip service to the "Close the Gitmo gulag!" agenda on 60 Minutes over the weekend, his kitchen cabinet is proceeding more pragmatically. Believe it or not, the Obama crowd is now contemplating a preventive detention law and an alternative judicial system for the most sensitive national security cases involving the most highly classified information. Information that has no place being aired in the civilian courts for public consumption...

...Moreover, Obama transition team members have suggested to the Wall Street Journal that despite his campaign season CIA-bashing, "Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight."

Next thing you know, they'll start arguing that the world has been fooled by years of sob-story propaganda about the Gitmo detainees-- funded by Kuwaiti government-subsidized lawyers who cast them all as innocent potato farmers and schmucks dazed and confused on battlefields.....

The deeper issue revealed here is that the domestic opponents of our efforts in the War on Terror have been deeply dishonest and morally corrupt. Random Jottings has been arguing that since November 2001. People put on a guise of principled opposition to war, or religious opposition or pacifism or respect for "international law." But these are just camouflage for brutally expedient Leftism.

Just you watch. Once a Dem is in the White House, then a bit of roughness in dealing with terrorists will be no big deal. Laudable, even. Remember, "extraordinary rendition" was an invention of the Clinton Administration.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:49 AM

November 24, 2008

Heavyweights vs. Lightweights?

Orrin Judd:

...and it may be unfair to compare his cabinet to the best since George Washington's, it's nonetheless embarrassing to see what lightweights they are alongside W's:

VP: former Chief of Staff and Defense Secretary vs. Senator

Secretary of State: former General, Chairman of Joint Chiefs, and National Security Advisor vs. Senator

Secretary of Defense: former Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense vs. well, he got the double Bush holdover right

Secretary of Treasury: former CEO of Alcoa and chairman of Rand vs. well, another Bush holdover but promoted.

Attorney General: former governor, senator and US attorney vs. US attorney

Secretary of HHS: former governor vs. former senator

I'm not one of those who thinks executive experience is the most important thing, but there are going to be a lot of mistakes that will trip up all these former senators, because they've never run anything. And it is interesting , just the whole lightweight/heavyweight thing. Bill Clinton had 8 years as president. Where are the "seasoned executives" that he brought up through the ranks, so to speak?

Maybe they are there, and I just don't follow these things closely enough to know them. And also, where are the guys like Cheney or Rumsfeld, who, when their party is out of power, go run big companies? And then take huge pay-cuts to come back and serve thir country?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:24 AM

November 11, 2008

But... He's "shredding our civil liberties!"

Shannon Love:
....Let the rehabilitation of Bush begin! For the past 8 years, the most strident and hysterical leftist criticism of Bush has centered on his intelligence policies which leftists assured us arose purely out of a callous disregard for civil liberties and human rights, if not outright evil.

Now we read this from the WSJ [h/t Instapundit]:
President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say... They say he is likely to fill key intelligence posts with pragmatists.
Whoa, whoa whoa! Pragmatic? Bush's polices are suddenly pragmatic? What about the incessant ranting for years that Bush had gone far beyond any practical necessity?

Poof, it's gone. It's gone because it has fulfilled its purpose. Leftists demonized and distorted Bush's policies for one of two reasons: (1) They were idiots who didn't understand modern technology and conditions or (2) they sought to demonize Bush for their own political gain. I think Obama operates from Reason 2. Now that the responsibility for national security falls in his lap, the steps that Bush took to bring intelligence methods and law into the 21st Century suddenly look like nothing but common sense. Obama will not risk American lives and his own legacy merely to pander to leftist hysterics who still think everyone communicates over analog phone lines....

In advance, I spit with utmost contempt on all you leftists and "Democrats" who are going to shrug off Obama's doing the very same things that you howled in fake-outrage over Bush doing... You shit upon this great country in her hour of need, and now that it suits your politics you will take shameless advantage of the selfless labors of real men and women....

Posted by John Weidner at 4:14 PM

Surprise! Obama lied.....

We still know little about what sort of President Obama is going to be. But there a certain things leftists always tend towards, and we can be almost certain they will make themselves known in the coming months. One of them is hating Jews and Israel...

Today we got some concrete evidence...

...After it became known Malley was working on the campaign and the ensuing backlash, the Obama campaign immediately issued a statement saying Malley was only giving the campaign "informal advice."

Then in May, the London Times reported that Malley � who wasn't supposed to be working on the campaign � had been sacked from a post on the campaign's Middle East advisory council because he had recently held meetings with Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Well now sources are reporting "Aides said Obama had sent senior foreign policy adviser Robert Malley to Egypt and Syria over the last few weeks to outline the Democratic candidate's policy on the Middle East."...

There's going to be lots of this kind of thing over the next four years. The new administration will be filled with leftists, and so they won't be able to help it. Politically it is just not smart to have toxic swine like Malley sucking up to tyrants and terrorists. But you watch. You will see the Obama crowd doing this over and over---and then lying like crazy to cover up their Jew-hatred...

And "liberal Jews" will be squirming and wriggling and doing everything they can to fudge the issue, even though it means helping people who would be delighted to saw their heads off with rusty knives, and then circulate the video-tape...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:17 AM

November 10, 2008

Retraction

I need to retract one criticism I have made of Mr Obama. I wrote that no one has come forward with any stories of the little good deeds that people do without expecting recompense or praise.

A friend sent me a link that mentions such stories...

....Good stories about Obama abound; from his personal relationship with his Secret Service agents (he invites them into his home to watch sports, and shoots hoops with them) to the story about how, more than twenty years ago, while standing in the check-in line at an airport, Obama paid a $100 baggage surcharge for a stranger who was broke and stuck. (Obama was virtually penniless himself in those days.) Years later after he became a senator, that stranger recognized Obama's picture and wrote to him to thank him. She received a kindly note back from the senator. (The story only surfaced because the person, who lives in Norway, told a local newspaper after Obama ran for the presidency. The paper published a photograph of this lady proudly displaying Senator Obama's letter.)...

Make of it what you will. It's not conclusive evidence, but it is evidence. The rest of the article is preposterous Obama-worship, of the sort I could spend half a day tearing to shreds, if I didn't have to do things like work for a living....

Posted by John Weidner at 12:57 PM

November 3, 2008

Dead fish floating up....

Baseball Crank:

I will make now a prediction about one thing we will see in the event of an Obama Presidency, and stick by it: Obama will never be free of his past.

During the 8 years of the Bush presidency, we have heard relatively little new information about his pre-presidential career, with the exception of the 2004 effort to dig further into his Texas Air National Guard service to contrast him with John Kerry. There's a reason for this: when Bush ran for President in 2000, the media crawled all over whatever they could find, most famously culminating in the story of his 1976 DUI arrest that broke the week of the election.

Much the same was true of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The press dealt mostly with their tenure in office, having already fully vetted them prior to their elections. We have seen in recent months the same process for Sarah Palin, with every aspect of her life being turned over by investigative reporters. And of course, John McCain as well.

Contrast the Clinton Administration - during the Clinton years, we had a steady stream of stories, often starting either with legal processes or with reportage by conservative media outlets, bringing us new information about the Clintons' past, ranging from Hillary's 1978 commodities investment (which was fully concealed during the 1992 campaign by concealment of f the Clintons' tax returns) to the ins and outs of the Whitewater investigation to Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick to things like the Mena airport saga that came out gradually....

Me, I would not want to be a chomsky right now, and be facing four years of subliminal nervousness, wondering about the dead fish that will be floating to the surface from time to time. It's much smarter to be open and honest, than to try to pull a fast one...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:46 PM

Disinformation....

I'm sure no RJ reader needs this sort of reminder, but it is quite possible that a lot of the polls are disinformation, for the purpose of vote suppression... To persuade Republicans to just give up in discouragement.

VOTE ANYWAY.

And I'm sure the vile "news" media will be announcing early on that Obama has an overwhelming lead, whether he does or not. To persuade us westerners to just say, "The heck with it."

VOTE ANYWAY.
My guess is that Obama will be elected. And when he is it will be claimed immediately that he has a MANDATE for all the leftist schemes that he hasn't had the guts and honesty to actually run on. Things that he has done his best to hide during the election.

VOTE ANYWAY. That will make it slightly harder for lying Dems to say the voters really want them to bankrupt the coal industry and raise electricity prices. (They will say it even if he wins by one vote, but it will be a harder sell...)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:01 AM

Next, little stuffed animal toys....

Nibras Kazimi, on the New official Obama campaign T-Shirt, the slogan of which reads: "One Voice Can Change The World".

I really don't know what to say to this. I'm speechless. It's like a freshmen orientation slogan at a liberal arts college.

America, where are the grown-ups?

Good question. Democrats: party of cutesy banality....

Posted by John Weidner at 5:22 AM

November 2, 2008

Does this say it all or does this say it all?

Jay Nordlinger, at The Corner:


Senator Obama said this about John McCain: "By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich." That's interesting. Obama evidently thinks of communists as people who share. I think of them as people who kill.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 PM

October 30, 2008

And you want this animal to be President?

Times (of London; no US paper investigates the Messiah)
...But a few miles from where the Democratic presidential candidate studied at Harvard, his Kenyan aunt and uncle, immigrants living in modest circumstances in Boston, have a contrasting American story.

Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr Obama's best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.

A second relative believed to be the long-lost "Uncle Omar" described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a "sawed-off rifle" while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city. He was later evicted from his one-bedroom flat for failing to pay $2,324.20 arrears, according to the Boston Housing Court...

Unbelievable. Obama's touching tales of his Kenyan relatives helped to make him a millionaire, and yet some of those actual people are now living in squalor in Boston, and he's never visited them or loaned them a penny. (But sent campaign workers to tell them to keep their mouths shut 'till after the election!)

And there are other stories like this that have leaked out. He has brothers living in poverty in Kenya--he doesn't care. And he visited a school there that had been named after him, and promised to help it--but never did a thing.

This guy is an obvious scoundrel. A fraud and a sham. (In fact I'm starting to think he's a sociopath.) And brain-dead Democrats are going to vote for him, and then glow with smug self-satisfaction because they are on the side of "good," and aren't like those greedy heartless "Americans."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:47 AM

October 28, 2008

We are all so GOOD!!!

Ron comments on the previous post:

You know, I've been thinking about this Obama phenomenon for some time, and it just doesn't make any sense. Where did he come from and how in the world did he get such a following in such a short period of time? It's downright spooky. Could someone out there explain this all to me....

You came to the right place, Ron. Random Jottings knows all, tells all. I think this post, with its quote by Shannon Love, gets closest to explaining...

A bit of the quote:

...I think that politics on the Left has become a social process, i.e., a means of group identification and self-validation. Leftists care less about the triumph of ideas and far more about the triumph of a group of people with which they ego-identify. They need their ego-identity candidate to win so that they can feel good about themselves. The character and policies of the actual candidate does not matter....

When I was a wee lad, if a person wanted to be a "non-conformist," they became a Beatnik, or joined some similar artsy subculture. That is, they conformed to the ways of a group that was non-conformist! The idiocy of this sort of thing rarely seems to be noticed, then or now. (I remember it well. People daringly drank French wine and Italian coffee, and ate Moussaka. And looked down on the conformist rabble.)

It's similar now. If you want to be "good," you can't just, like, you know, be good. No way. You have to join a group that is perceived to be good. In popular imagination today that means liberal Democrat. (The fact that they are actually evil is of no consequence.) And then whenever the Democrat candidate wins, you get a sort of "validation." As if the world is giving you an accolade for being "good." Confirming your superiorty, as it were.

Now if the Dem candidate is the usual white middle-aged career pol, this validation is sort of muted. It lacks pizazz. But if the candidate is cool, and handsome, and youngish and well-dressed (all qualities one would like to have rub off on oneself)---wow, the payoff is bigger by an order of magnitude.

AND, if the ego-identity candidate is.....brace yourself for a thrill running down your leg....if he is.....yes......African-American....a magic negro....the coolest thing....the ego-validation is just stratospheric!

The Dems could probably run a cardboard cut-out of Mr Obama and have a good chance of winning....

* Update: As a historical note, I remember reading somewhere about bohemian non-conformist types in New York, around maybe 1910. They would head down to The Village, which was then Italian, and be really artsy and different by eating......Spaghetti! I laugh every time I think of that.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:17 PM

The McCain ad I would be running...

...If I ran the campaign circus... (Inspired by this great post by Bill Dyer)

Scene: A schoolyard. A father is picking up his daughter...

Child: Daddy, daddy, I got 98 points on my math test! That's an "A"

Teacher: Now Susie, you know that 27% of those points will have to be given to those who are less fortunate than you. Other children don't have the points you have. Your grade will be C+.

Child: But, but.....I worked HARD! And those other kids just goofed off!

Teacher: Remember how I told the class how Leader Obama has taught us about "redistributive change.." You are supposed to be happy to help the poor and those harmed by white racism...

Clip of Obama speaking: "... the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change..."

Father: But, what about our Constitution?

Teacher: Leader Obama wishes to preserve our sacred Constitution from desecration and change. That's why he has had it revised and brought up to date...

Clip of Obama speaking: "...The Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution..."

Teacher: Susie, your mind is still filled with white ideas about personal property. Next week we will begin studying Education Leader Ayers' new book "Social Justice for the New Millenium," and you will start to understand about giving to people in accordance with their needs...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:22 AM

October 27, 2008

"redistributive change"

Barack Obama, just a few years ago:
...But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties...

And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change...

He's a Commie, who wants to destroy our country and way of life. It's that simple.

Hey, my Lefty readers. Obama says: "[the Warren Court] didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" in favor of "redistribution of wealth." That's obviously what Obama wants. Are you OK with this or not? Yes or no? Show some guts and honesty for once, scrubs, and take a clear stand

Posted by John Weidner at 3:21 PM

October 20, 2008

Crooked picture...unbearable...

Kathy Shaidle:

If you vote for Obama because he's black, you're a racist, a moron, or both

And that includes Colin Powell.

I agree

Actually, there is another possibility. Perhaps people are supporting Obama just as an artistic convention. If you look at advertising or television or movies, you will see that it is an unwritten law that any group pictured that has more than X number of people must have someone at least vaguely dark-skinned/black included.

Imagine you worked at an advertising agency, and you were mocking-up an ad that claimed that mathematicians preferred your client's brand of whisky. The fact that mathematicians are overwhelmingly white or asian, and male, would not matter in the slightest. The picture of happy carousers would still have its quota of blacks and women.

Perhaps people really support Obama just because it's a compulsion, like the way some people have to straighten a crooked picture on the wall.....

Posted by John Weidner at 6:28 AM

October 15, 2008

Darn good question...

Question for Obama [Jonah Goldberg]

"You speak constantly about helping the middle class, why did you belong to a church for so long that considered 'Disavowal of the Pursuit of 'Middleclassness' to be a religious obligation?"

Actually, the sick-making insanity is that there are 50 million or so middle class Americans who REALLY want to be seen as hip, cool, bohemian....and NOT middle class!!!

And 97% of them are buying the same trendy cool hip mass-produced consumer goods as all the others buy, to show that they are "special" and "different."

And they give their children this year's trendy names, to show that they are not anonymous and insipid. I had to laugh today, thinking of a certain pretentious family in one of our kid's schools (maybe 1995) who named their children "Paris" and "Somerset." Because I was in Kragen Autoparts, and the nice but not classy young black woman at the counter had a name tag that read...... "Paris."

And all those 50 million brain-dead middle-classians are now going to prove that they are hip and with-it and not middle-cass by voting for an amiable con-artist... Funny.

As Andy Warhol put it, "There is nothing so middle class as the "Disavowal of the Pursuit of 'Middleclassness."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:51 PM

October 14, 2008

Prepare for the Jew-haters...

..and the America-haters...

Jesse Jackson: PREPARE for a new America: That's the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.

He promised "fundamental changes" in US foreign policy - saying America must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.

Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House....

Actually, although ugly anti-Semitism is still common on the Left, the really big motivator is hatred of developed Western countries that still believe in themselves enough to fight for themselves. Who could that be? Let's start a little list...America...Israel..... Ummm, anybody else? No.

And which countries do Leftists hate? Amazin' coincidence!

(Note: As far as leftists or pacifists care, the people of the undeveloped world can happily slaughter each other. They are not human beings. Unless they ally with the US--then they are evil human beings, and must be opposed by "liberation movements.".)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:08 AM

October 11, 2008

"A drug lord or a stuffed duck"

I think this thought from Shannon Love is dead on about Obama....

EVEN TO HIS SUPPORTERS: Weeks Before the Election, Obama Remains an Enigma.
I think that is very true. I don't see a lot of Obama supporters who know much about his voting record or can address any of the questions raised about his radical and corrupt associations.

I've come to the conclusion they simply do not care one way or the other. Obama could be a drug lord or a stuffed duck and they would still support him.

I think that politics on the Left has become a social process, i.e., a means of group identification and self-validation. Leftists care less about the triumph of ideas and far more about the triumph of a group of people with which they ego-identify. They need their ego-identity candidate to win so that they can feel good about themselves. The character and policies of the actual candidate does not matter.

Obama serves merely as a symbol of a group aspirational identity. Only the symbol matters, not the actual individual human being. Because of this, leftists do not care if Obama the man has been through a vigorous vetting and testing that will expose any weaknesses before those weaknesses do damage to the leftist cause or the nation as a whole....

In other words, don't bother asking Obama supporters why they are voting for a man who has never accomplished anything. It doesn't even matter to them.

My prediction is that an Obama presidency will be an embarrassment to those who voted for him but are not radical Leftists. I also predict that it will NOT cause those people to start THINKING clearly. The besetting ailment of our time is people worshipping themselves, and holding no higher cause. And to those people, the outside world is not real. It is just a stage upon which the all-important self stands in the spotlight. Obama is just a prop, or a supporting character in the internal drama.

He will be discarded when no longer useful.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:39 AM

October 10, 2008

Guilt by association

"Guilt by association" is bad only when it is a matter of some casual association being blown up out of proportion. (Think of the photo of Rumsfeld, on a diplomatic mission, shaking hands with Saddam, which was portrayed as indicating friendly complicity.... Plus as hypocrisy when we opposed him! That was a dirty lie by dirty liars.)

But guilt by association is a good thing, when a person really has chosen that association. Who we chose to associate with tells a lot about us. It is especially true with a chameleon like Obama...

Krauthammer puts it better than I can:

Convicted felon Tony Rezko. Unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. And the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is hard to think of any presidential candidate before Barack Obama sporting associations with three more execrable characters. Yet let the McCain campaign raise the issue, and the mainstream media begin fulminating about dirty campaigning tinged with racism and McCarthyite guilt by association.

But associations are important. They provide a significant insight into character. They are particularly relevant in relation to a potential president as new, unknown, opaque and self-contained as Obama. With the economy overshadowing everything, it may be too late politically to be raising this issue. But that does not make it, as conventional wisdom holds, in any way illegitimate.

McCain has only himself to blame for the bad timing. He should months ago have begun challenging Obama's associations, before the economic meltdown allowed the Obama campaign (and the mainstream media, which is to say the same thing) to dismiss the charges as an act of desperation by the trailing candidate....
Actually, more important than the question of how well Obama knew Ayers, was the fact that Obama chose to spend most of his life in circles where Bill Ayers was considered "cool!" That's really sick.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:58 AM

October 9, 2008

I'm used to this cowardly idiocy...

I posted some of this piece by Bookworm before, but it's more apposite now than ever.
...When I vote against Obama on November 4, 2008:
  • It won't be because Obama thinks that a nuclear Iran is no threat to the Western World, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because I think it's an incredibly stupid idea for the most powerful nation in the world to approach evil totalitarian dictators as a supplicant, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because I hate the idea of a President who will subordinate America's interests to the UN (as he inevitably will), it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama has the thinnest resume ever in the history of Presidential candidates, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because I think Obama's Leftist connections (Ayres, Dohrn, Soros, Pfleger, Wright, etc.) show him to be either stupid about or complicit with an agenda antithetical to basic American values, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama consistently chooses as advisers people who have opted for the wrong side in the completely binary debate about Israel's right to exist, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama wants to socialize American medicine, which I believe will destroy the high quality of medical care available to most Americans, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama wants to gut the military and reduce us to a nation with a big target painted on our collective backside, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama wants to gut the Second Amendment and destroy Americans' Constitutional right to protect themselves from foreign and domestic enemies, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama has already announced loud and clear that he will support activist judges who place their “feelings” above the law, it will be because I'm a racist.....

Us Republicans are accustomed to being called "racists" and "homophobes" and "sexists" and all the usual Lefty crap that substitutes for actually debating the issues. I expect to hear a ton of it if Barack loses. Well, in anticipation, I spit with contempt on all cowardly Leftists.

I sometimes get those things on Facebook, like, "Jill Smith has sent you a marine mammal. Click here to accept." I wonder if there's a widget that goes: "John Weidner sends you a huge glob of contempt for your cowardice..."
Posted by John Weidner at 7:20 PM

Don't go there...

You know, if I became a Democrat, and (oxymoron alert) I continued to be able to think and reason clearly, I'd be voting against Barack Obama, because putting him at the center of the world's attention for four years is likely to destroy the Dem Party. There are lots of dead fish starting to float to the surface, but it takes time for hidden facts to be untangled and organized. And for their import to sink in...

Probably, alas, more time than we have before the election. But not more time than we have before 2012...or even 2010... Do you really want to spend the next four years waiting for the next shoe to drop? and the next? Does the name Rashid Khalidi ring a bell? Do you really want to find out?

Dr Sanity:

...Nothing disgusted me more about the last Presidential debate (and believe me, there was LOTS to be disgusted about) than Obama's casual remark that, "A lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11."

Yeah, I remember that day. And it wasn't a fucking tragedy--like some sort of natural disaster--it was an act of war in which 3000 Americans were killed in the blink of an eye by despicable people with ideologically distorted minds eerily similar to William Ayer's and his ilk. I am not the one who has forgotten that day and what it meant and still means.

Yeah, I remember 9/11; and I am also not likely to forget any terrorists who despise this country and what it stands for and want to destroy it--whether they hail from Al Qaeda, Mr. Obama's neighborhood, or any address on the extreme political left.

The simple fact is that Barack Obama is anti-American. He has spent his adult life swimming in Leftist schools of fish. I know these people. I went to college at Berkeley, and I live in San Francisco. They use code words in public discourse, but they savor any flaw that's noticed about this country. When abu Ghraib is mentioned their cheeks glow and their eyes sparkle.

And even the code words are giveaways to anyone who cares to think and notice. People who refer to 9/11 as a "tragedy" do NOT love this country. Imagine someone whose family-member was brutally murdered by an evil maniac. Would they call it a "tragedy?" As if it was just one of those random bad things that happen? No way! They'd call it murder, and do their best to see that the killer was locked-up forever, at the very least.

Real Americans love their country the way they love their family. (No, I'm not saying that precludes criticism.) I may criticize my relatives, even fight with them, but if one of them is attacked, it's like an attack on ME. I would not be standing at a distance, I would have no cool reserve. Likewise if this country is attacked.

When Leftists reacted to 9/11 with detachment, they were saying clearly that they do not love our country. Barack Obama is wholly a person of the Left. He does not love America. Democrats, if you elect this guy people are going to figure it out eventually.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:09 AM

October 8, 2008

Oh Sarah. Go Sarah!

It may be too late, but it is sweet to finally finally see the Obama rock turned over, and some light shone on all the horrid crawly things as they go scurrying away to their crevices...

ABC News:

..."You know, what's next, claiming that he didn't know two of his biggest supporters were running Fannie Mae, the subprime mortgage giant? Palin said. "Maybe he thought they were just guys in the Washington neighborhood."

Palin continued the line of attack by questioning Obama's judgment in saying he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"And since he got called out on his plans to meet unconditionally with terror state leaders like Ahmadinejad, will he now claim he was unaware of his radical background?" Palin added, in mocking reference to Obama saying at a Democratic primary debate last year that he would meet leaders of rogue states without preconditions....

Heck, ol' Mahmoud is just one of those guys around the neighborhood. Or at least, he would fit in fine in Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood. He hates America, he hates Jews, has a violent revolutionary past, wears a suit now but is really still the old hostage-taker. He could help Obama be a "school reformer, no problemo... Or hey, Mahmoud could move to San Francisco. Get a Prius and an Obama sticker....He'd be popular...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:30 AM

October 6, 2008

Schwarzenegger...a bodybuilder? Why didn't anybody tell me?

John at PowerLine, on Obama's claim not to have known about the pasts of certain of his Chicago-politics pals:

....But it is inconceivable that Barack Obama knew Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn well enough to kick off his first political campaign in their living room, but didn't know that Ayers and Dohrn were Communists who led the Weatherman faction of SDS, urged young people to "kill your parents," carried out approximately 30 bombings, including New York City's police headquarters, the Capitol and the Pentagon, celebrated the Charles Manson murders, spent years living underground to avoid criminal prosecution, and continued to express their lifelong hatred for the United States in books, magazine articles, and public speeches.

This is rather like a person claiming that he had worked closely with Arnold Schwarzenegger for years, but had no idea that he was once a bodybuilder and movie actor. Ayers' and Dohrn's radical past is their only claim to fame...

You might want to recall this charmin' bit of Obama trivia...

....Consider Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers' wife and the co-host of Obama's career-launching fundraiser. When she was in the Weather Underground she was one of those members typically fascinated with Charles Manson (I discuss this briefly in my book). Speaking of Manson's famous murders she exclaimed, "Dig It! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim's stomach! Wild!" In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a threefingered "fork" gesture its official salute...
Posted by John Weidner at 6:02 PM

September 25, 2008

Clueless about ordinary Americans...(refers to Obama, natch.)

From Obama's Revealing Disconnect by Hugh Hewitt....

....Hank Adler has written on the Obama's 2004 tax returns and what they reveal about his economic life. In a nutshell, the Obamas were like many classic Yuppies that rose quickly from very modest means and saved little along the way, an analysis that tracks closely Michelle Obama's frequent campaign trail references to how strapped the young couple was by student loans and the costs associated with a young family until the big book deals came along after Barack Obama's 2004 keynote address. It appears, in fact, that the Obamas had little in the way of savings or investments prior to his big publishing scores, though their combined incomes were quite high. Nor does it appear that either had inherited anything from their families as their tax returns show no interest or dividend income or distributions from inherited IRAs.

Combine this inability to save prior to the windfall years with the well known accounts of Obama's rather modest circumstances growing up and the picture emerges of a young professional who is essentially clueless about savings and investment growth. Of course he has never started much less grown a business, and there is nothing in his background to indicate he grasps what it means to need and responsibly use business credit, or to spend decades patiently accumulating mutual fund assets through regular payroll deduction.....

My dad once told me that his dad said to him: "If a man doesn't save when he's earning $20 a week, he won't save when he's earning $200 a week." Adjusted for inflation, that's still a basic truth about human nature. With the added problem now that he's likely to say, "Why isn't the government helping me?"

....Obama's inability to understand the genuine fear in the middle class and to respond appropriately and with a priority on protecting the long-and-painfully accumulated assets of the savings culture should be a huge warning flare to the electorate.

Obama just doesn't get it, and really cannot be expected to get it. He comes out of a career in the professional liberal-to-leftist political class spent tending to the needs and crises of the urban poor and the academic elites and special interest groups of the Chicago machine. His life growing up was not spent among the small business owners and white collar savers that mark so much of suburban, small town and rural America. He has zero experience with real business, and he's not worried about the college funds of his girls.

Obama revealed a great deal yesterday beyond his obvious inability to react quickly to unanticipated events. He showed us a profound ignorance not just of the financial crisis but of the people it threatens to injure and injure deeply....
Posted by John Weidner at 10:16 AM

September 22, 2008

Not ready for the majors?

An interesting thought from Christopher Hitchins...
..By the end of that grueling campaign season, a lot of us had got the idea that Dukakis actually wanted to lose---or was at the very least scared of winning. Why do I sometimes get the same idea about Obama? To put it a touch more precisely, what I suspect in his case is that he had no idea of winning this time around. He was running in Iowa and New Hampshire to seed the ground for 2012, not 2008, and then the enthusiasm of his supporters (and the weird coincidence of a strong John Edwards showing in Iowa) put him at the front of the pack. Yet, having suddenly got the leadership position, he hadn't the faintest idea what to do with it or what to do about it.

Look at the record, and at Obama's replies to essential and pressing questions. The surge in Iraq? I'll answer that only if you insist. The credit crunch? Please may I be photographed with Bill Clinton's economic team? Georgia? After you, please, Sen. McCain. A vice-presidential nominee? What about a guy who, despite his various qualities, is picked because he has almost no enemies among Democratic interest groups?...

It would explain a lot...

One of the problems with politics is that people often run for office because they are psychologically needy, not because there is something they want to accomplish. The first President Bush is a classic example. And he's also an example of why words like "accomplishments" and "qualifications,"which everyone is using right now, are misleading. Bush senior was a very "qualified" V-P candidate. And he had "accomplishments," in the form of having run various organizations successfully.

But he had zero accomplishments in the sense of dreaming of building something, or changing something, and then sparing no effort to do so. Sarah Palin is the exact opposite. From the PTA onward, she always ran for office because she wanted to fix something. (And has always succeeded, so far.)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:57 PM

September 21, 2008

Obama squirted with seltzer water...

Peter Robinson has a good article on what could be Mr Obama's big lack as a presidential candidate. A sense of humor....

...True, you could have argued that so far he hadn't needed much of a sense of humor. Hillary Clinton hadn't had them rolling in the aisles herself. That changed the following week, when the Republicans held their own convention. In an acceptance speech of just 3,000 words, Sarah Palin provided no fewer than six laughs--real belly laughs, each followed by thunderous applause--five of which came at Obama's expense.

Gov. Palin's performance undermined Sen. Obama in two ways. It made him appear prim and self-serious by comparison. And it thoroughly unnerved the man. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,'" Palin told the GOP convention, contrasting her work when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, with Obama's efforts on the south side of Chicago, "except that you have actual responsibilities." For several days afterward, Obama appeared dazed. "Community organizer," he kept insisting at campaign appearances, was so a real job. Even now, more than two weeks later, he has yet to employ humor effectively. Instead he has "sharpened his speeches," to quote the Associated Press, adding "bite." Obama can take a blow. What he can't take is a joke.

Sen. Obama's self-seriousness is understandable. At Columbia and Harvard, the faculty would have seen him, an exceptionally gifted African-American, as destined for great things. In Chicago, he would have been seen as destined for great things because he had attended Columbia and Harvard. What no one anywhere appears to have pointed out to him, however, is that humor itself is great thing....

Obama's problem is that humor is always conservative. Leftish thinking is based on the possibility of fixing this world. Making things OK, making the trains run on time. Making people happy.

We conservatives are sure those aren't possibilities. Not only will Utopia never be achieved, but if we even think we are within telescope-distance of the most minor sort of utopia (or just a veto-proof majority in the Senate) we are probably about to crash spectacularly and look like fools. And humans will never be happy or contented.

Sara Palin with ski planeThe old name for this is Original Sin. And even those who are not religious at all can understand it. (An atheist can be a conservative, but he really ought, out of simple justice, to admit to himself every half-hour or so that Irenaeus got this one right.) And it's funny as long as you don't expect perfection. We conservatives slip on a banana peel, and laugh at ourselves. Or at least admit that other people have a right to laugh.

But the liberal is the Grand Dame whose very body-language radiates, "That's NOT funny!" Whose elegant party is reduced to chaos by the Marx Brothers squirting bottles of seltzer.

And we saw it happen! Think of sober Mr Obama with his Greek temple and stadium full of fans and his not-quite-thrilling climactic moment. And then the next day John McCain grins and waves his cape, and poof! Presto! The anti-Obama! The most stupendous political reversal of our lifetimes. It was wacky! It was FUNNY. It's still funny.

Has ever a joke produced such a quantity of sputtering outrage from the fat ladies? From the straight men? We keep trying to analyze the Leftist responses to Palin, but really they all add up to, "How DARE they!"

Posted by John Weidner at 11:12 PM

September 18, 2008

The biter bit....

Patrick Ruffini has an interesting post, Yes, Obama Turning Down Public Financing is Still an Epic Mistake

...Ambinder writes, "The campaigns are spending about $15m in ads per week; each is spending about $7.8 million." So, with an over 2-to-1 Obama spending advantage, McCain is keeping pace with Obama in ad spending. How does he do it?
most of McCain's ads are paid for with both McCain campaign money and money from the RNC; 97% of Obama's ads are paid for by the candidate.
Therein lies the nub of the problem. McCain's $84 million in public finance is just the tip of the iceberg. The real action is at McCain-Palin Victory 2008, the joint fundraising committee that includes the RNC, state parties in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennylvania, and McCain's GELAC (or compliance) committee. According to their website, Victory can raise up to $67,800 per donor (and presumably, up to $135,600 per couple). Here is how the money gets divided up, according to their disclaimer:
For Individuals- The first $28,500 will go to the RNC, the next portion will be divided evenly between the Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania state parties' federal accounts up to a maximum of $9,250 for each Committee, and the final $2,300 will go to the Compliance Fund. For Federal Multicandidate PACs- The first $15,000 will go to the RNC, the next portion will be divided evenly between the Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania state parties' federal accounts up to a maximum of $5,000 for each Committee, and the final $5,000 will go to the Compliance Fund.
Yes, Obama is theoretically capturing more money into his committee by going private, but at a massive opportunity cost. All of his fundraising energies from now until the election will be spent fundraising for an account with a $2,300 fundraising limit, vs. McCain and Palin, who will be fundraising for a committee with a $67,800 limit (and presumably, $135,400 for couples). Obama has essentially turned down $84 million in free money in exchange for nothing....

I hope Ruffini has this right. Obama's dropping public financing was disgustingly cynical. He promised to use it, and he courted the support of many people who really believe in it. And then he said, "Tough luck suckers. I can use you and discard you, because you have to vote for me anyway."

Just think about those young people who are really excited by Obama, really care, and are going off with stars in their eyes to help him....and they're just chop suey to that corrupt Chicago pol. That really angers me.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

September 16, 2008

Charlene recommends this article....

....Obama's missing years, by Clarice Feldman...
Now that we've had full field MRIs of Palin, her family and their pets, perhaps the media could focus on the many missing aspects of Obama's bio.

Tom Maguire noted that we know virtually nothing about his time in NYC when he was attending Columbia (where no classmates seem to remember him and we have no transcripts or other records of his attendance there).

Dan Riehl notes why we should be especially concerning about those missing years.
By 1980 at Occidental Obama ran partly with a circle of wealthy, drug using Pakistani friends. He traveled to Pakistan between Occidental and Columbia in 1981. That was during the Second Military Era (1977-1988) - Pakistan was under Sharia Law and not the most welcoming to foreign visitors, especially without some graft or connections.

Based upon documented accounts, Obama seems to have also travelled the country-side, not just in the cities. By 1981 Pakistan had become the world's number one supplier of Heroin. Upon his return Obama took up residence with one of the drug using Pakistanis in a run down, presumably drug infested part of NYC in an apartment they couldn't qualify for based on income.....
It must be hard being a Democrat, and having an un-vetted candidate.
Posted by John Weidner at 10:28 AM

September 15, 2008

Lefty panic makes my morning coffee taste SO good...

By Gary Kamiya, in Salon:

....Palin represents the reappearance of the one part of Bush that never died -- the culture warrior. [What's hilarious is that she doesn't have to be a culture warrior. She hardly mentions "God guns 'n gays. Neither did Bush. And Palin never mentions abortion. She just IS the Culture of Life.] Democrats may have forgotten about the notorious red state-blue state divide, or hoped that the failures of the last eight years had made it go away. But it hasn't. It's been there all along. [And it's coming to your home town!] If Palin catapults McCain to victory, it will be revealed to be the most powerful and enduring force in American politics. And that fact will raise serious questions about the viability of American democracy itself. [Right, it's not a democracy if those stupid voters reject their betters]

The culture war is driven by resentment, on the one hand, and crude identification, on the other. Resentment of "elites," "Washington insiders" and overeducated coastal snobs goes hand in hand with an unreflective, emotional identification with candidates who "are just like me." [Resentment of "proles" goes hand in hand with an unreflective, emotional identification with a metrosexual nihilist "who is just like me"]

Large numbers of Americans voted for Bush because he seemed like a regular guy, someone you'd want to have a beer with. [He IS a regular guy.] As Thomas Frank argued in "What's the Matter With Kansas," ideology also played a role. As hard-line "moral values" exponent and former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer told the New York Times, "Joe Six-Pack doesn't understand why the world and his culture are changing and why he doesn't have a say in it." [Well, Mr Kamiya, that's a very good question. This is a democracy. Why, EXACTLY, do you think Joe S should NOT have a say?] The GOP appealed to Joe Six-Pack by harping on cultural issues like the "three Gs," gods, guns and gays.... [We don't have to harp. You Lefties keep assaulting the beliefs of ordinary Americans. You do all the heavy lifting. We just have to look like more-or-less like ordinary people, and we get elected.]

....It's terrifying that so many Americans are so driven by resentment that they will vote against more qualified candidates simply because they seem "different" from them. [That's very true. Sarah Palin is clearly the most qualified to be President of the four candidates, yet the resentment of Lefty nihilists because she is "different" won't even let them consider her.]

For what this means is that anyone with expertise, unusual intelligence, mastery, special knowledge, is likely to be rejected by voters who are resentful of "elites." [As an example, mastery of energy issues, expertise in working across the aisle in the Senate, or special knowledge of the nuts and bolts of state and local government. Or the unusual intelligence needed to rise quickly in politics without riding anyones coat-tails, or having an Ivy League education.] This constitutes a rejection of the very idea that it matters if someone is better at something than someone else. [It's a shocking thing. I see it daily here in SF.]

The peculiar thing is that this only applies to politics: Voters who would not dream of taking their car to an incompetent mechanic or their body to an unlicensed physician have no problem electing totally unqualified candidates to perform the most difficult and important job in the world, simply because they identify with them. [The Obama strategy in a nutshell.]

Posted by John Weidner at 9:17 AM

September 12, 2008

Kooks---fewer than they appear?

I gave my son a ride to SF State this morning, and we were listing to a bit of Rush. And he said that he thought that the kooks who are at the heart of the Democrat Party are really not that great in number, and that their influence is amplified by the Drive-By Media.

I think there's a lot of truth in that. Actually, I hope there's a lot of truth in it. My perspective is probably slanted, living here in SF as an "embedded journalist" within the post-moral Left.

There are surely large numbers of ordinary Americans who vote Democrat because they always have, and because the liberal platitudes seem appealing. But who would recoil in horror if they could eavesdrop on a private conversation between Barack and his pal Bill Ayers.

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flagThe Dem Party is sort of like student government on a college campus. Go to almost any college or university in America, and look at student government, and you would guess that the entire school is a glowing fire-pit of anarchism, Marxism, jihadism, La Raza-ism, and environmentalist-wacko-ism. You would think the guy in the picture is the norm.

Actually, 90% of college students pay no attention to "student government" at all. They just want to get their education, plus have some fun. The Leftizoids can take over the student gov because they are the only ones who care! (It's different in High School, where status is the great disideratum. Thank God my kids are all past that!)

Similarly, Obama was nominated on the strength of the votes of caucus-goers (and the infatuation of the media). If all the states had primaries, he would not be the candidate. It's the extremists who care enough to drag themselves out for the lengthy tedium of a caucus.


Posted by John Weidner at 10:58 AM

He's never done ANYTHING.....

Jim Geraghty of NRO:

I applaud Barack Obama saying he thinks that universities should not turn away the Reserve Officers' Training Corps because of disagreement over military policy.

Of course, it would have helped if the senior lecturer/professor had ever said or done something about it while he was teaching at the University of Chicago, which kicked ROTC off campus during the Vietnam War.

Right now, University of Chicago students can participate in the Army ROTC by treking to the University of Illinois-Chicago and students who wish to be a part of Air Force ROTC must commute to the Illinois Institute of Chicago...

I think there is something profoundly sick about Mr Obama. What you ARE is basically what you DO. It is meaningless for you or me to to express lofty sentiments if we don't actually DO anything when we have a chance.

Obama is a person of rare gifts who has held positions of real power. A state legislator or US Senator, even if they can't pass important legislation, has a lot of influence. They can call attention to things; give publicity to good causes. Their favorite charity is sure to flourish. They can get the attention of bureaucrats in a way ordinary citizens can't. They can hold hearings and help correct abuses.

What has Obama DONE with the power he has had? That's the question we should be asking.

People sneer at the position of Mayor of Wasilla, but that's utterly stupid. What Palin did as a mayor reveals what she will do as V-P, or President. For that matter, what she did on the PTA showed what she would do as mayor. People don't really change that much. The way you tackle the little job is basically the way you will handle the big one. Bush as an owner of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise was the same guy as Bush the President. If you had know him then, you could have guessed what sort of President he would be.

So, the question is, WHAT from Obama's past tells us what kind of President he would be? Hmmm? Any Dems out there care to comment?

I'd say his past tells us he's a phony. Either he's just a lot of hot air, or he's hiding what he really is.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:11 AM

September 10, 2008

Please, Br'er 'Bama, pleeeese don't trow me in dat briar patch!

The day McCain's party blew its political advantage By James Carville

In all my years in national politics since 1982 there had been one constant until August 29. It was that the Republican party cornered the national security market. They were willing to give up advantages on healthcare, environment and, in the end, even fiscal responsibility. But never, ever, would they cede that patch of high ground they refer to as "American security". Any time I had a race against a Republican opponent, I respected their operation. And often (I am not afraid to admit), I was scared to run against them because you knew most of the candidates were going to be selected carefully, based on a combination of experience, adherence to tradition, national security or public safety credentials. John McCain fits this profile almost to a T. Strangely, he has chosen to cede this advantage not just for himself but for the Republican party for the foreseeable future...

Please attack us on this! I beg you, Barack. Go for it! Convince America that the soft delicate flower from the sheltered purviews of Wassila is going to crumple when tough men oppose her on the world stage. And that the steely-eyed crisis-tested metrosexual from Hyde Park will never get rattled when things get hairy....McCain/Palin sign with caribou


Posted by John Weidner at 3:49 PM

All shook up...

re: the lipstick on a pig remark, I think the McCain campaign made a mistake in claiming sexism.

Let other people make that connection. Their point should be that this guy is obviously rattled. By a Girl! Do we want such a brittle character in charge of the government if there's a crisis?

Posted by John Weidner at 8:42 AM

September 9, 2008

Sweet... Well-deserved troubles...

This NYT piece on how the Barackmo Campaign may be struggling with fund-raising made us smile. The Times of course does not see fit to mention the teensy-weensy little fact that Obama promised to use public financing, and that breaking his pledge when it seemed expedient was a kick in the teeth to the more idealistic of his lefty backers...
NYT: Straining to Reach Money Goal, Obama Presses Donors After months of record-breaking fund-raising, a new sense of urgency in Senator Barack Obama’s fund-raising team is palpable as the full weight of the campaign’s decision to bypass public financing for the general election is suddenly upon it. Senator Barack Obama, who spoke Monday in Flint, Mich., has bypassed federal financing, giving him more freedom but requiring continuing fund-raising. Pushing a fund-raiser later this month, a finance staff member sent a sharply worded note last week to Illinois members of its national finance committee, calling their recent efforts “extremely anemic.” At a convention-week meeting in Denver of the campaign’s top fund-raisers, buttons with the image of a money tree were distributed to those who had already contributed the maximum $2,300 to the general election, a subtle reminder to those who had failed to ante up...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:39 AM

September 3, 2008

tell 'em, Newt!

Posted by John Weidner at 9:14 AM

September 2, 2008

Vetting...

Another thing that's making me smile right now are the Leftists who are, pathetically, suddenly talking about vetting...

Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant. McCain campaign claims he was aware of this before selecting Palin as his VP, despite evidence and rampant speculation that Palin was not seriously vetted. Governor Palin is a strong supporter of abstinence-only sex education.

Tom Eagleton lasted 18 days before withdrawing from the McGovern ticket in 1972. My money says Palin doesn't last that long.

Turns out, ooops, that Bristol's condition was not even a secret. Everybody in town knew. (Take a look at Nathan Thornburgh's good piece on Wasilla.) The local folks just happen to be decent Americans, and don't blab about people's private lives.

And of course Eagleton had had serious mental health issues, which is a very different sort of thing. But there's a more important point...

...We now know far more about Sarah Palin in just four days than we've learned about Barack Obama in 17 months. That is just sad. It's a pathetic reflection of the mainstream media's unwillingness to do their jobs for fear of finding stories that would hurt the candidate so many of them openly desire to win.

But periodically appearing to read teleprompters isn't vetting, not matter how many months a candidate has done it, and Obama's ability to perform in set-piece debates is both dubious�Hillary once famously took him apart�and irrelevant. Barack Obama really has never been fully vetted. He hasn't even come close...

One of the really cool things about being a conservative is that I don't have to live in fear of people finding out what I really am up to. I can just be open about it...

* Actually, I'd guess that the sicko rumor-mongering about Trig Palin played into the hands of the campaign, and allowed them to get the news out early with an appearance of reluctance, and the sympathy of all decent-minded people. Ha ha.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:57 AM

August 30, 2008

The best joke of the year...

Mark Steyn, of course, sees the joke...

First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, "all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy...

...Fourth, Governor Palin has what the British Labour Party politician Denis Healy likes to call a "hinterland" - a life beyond politics. Whenever Senator Obama attempts anything non-political (such as bowling), he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting shanghaied into some impenetrable local folk ritual. Sarah Palin isn't just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won't need the usual stage-managed "hunting" trip to reassure gun owners: she's lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we're often told it's easy to be against it in principle but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that.

Fifth, she complicates all the laziest Democrat pieties. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama, she's been to ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there.

Sixth (see Kathleen's link to Craig Ferguson below), I kinda like the whole naughty librarian vibe.

This is the best joke of the year! Maybe the decade. Us intellectual conservatives have been debating about identity politics and leftist nihilism endlessly, without much success. Who reads boring arguments? And we have been thinking John McCain hasn't been really seeing things clearly enough for our taste. But the party-loving wise-cracking flyboy is wiser than we. And the pie in the face of the pompous fat lady---perfect.

Sarah is a joke that everyone can see at a glance. She is worth a thousand issues of National Review...
Obama, Palin, Three Stooges-1
As I said in a comment to a previous post....

...In postmodern literary terms, what we are doing is subverting the narrative. The text we have presumes a hierarchical distinction of canonical forms whose dialectic cannot be resolved without inverting the bourgeois typos and collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm.

In other words, we are playing with your heads, you silly stuffed-shirts...

Mooseburgers!!!!

Posted by John Weidner at 7:53 AM

August 26, 2008

Looks like someone hit a nerve....

From a "Daily Kos" diarist:

...The recent William Ayers ad plays on the theme of Obama-is-the-enemy and highlights the Republican platform in 2008. Some Republican Billionaire and accomplice of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth paid for the Ayers ad

Fortunately for us, the Obama campaign is making good on its promise to prevent McSame's efforts to extend the reign of Bush through the same old lies and tricks.

From Politico: Obama’s campaign has written the Department of Justice demanding a criminal investigation of the “American Issues Project,”

Furthermore, the Obama camp has also written 2 letters to news networks

Here is the key of the whole article from Politico and the essence of the message from our most excellent Presidential nominee:

"The Obama campaign plans to punish the stations that air the ad financially, an Obama aide said, organizing his supporters to target the stations that air it and their advertisers."....

Wow! Something tells me there's more to this Ayers story than we've heard yet. Maybe stuff like this, by Jonah Goldberg:

....Consider Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers' wife and the co-host of Obama's career-launching fundraiser. When she was in the Weather Underground she was one of those members typically fascinated with Charles Manson (I discuss this briefly in my book). Speaking of Manson's famous murders she exclaimed, "Dig It! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach! Wild!” In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a threefingered “fork” gesture its official salute...

Dig It!

Posted by John Weidner at 12:46 PM

August 24, 2008

Sacrifices...

David Harsanyi writes:


Biden on Haditha
In June 2006, straight-talking Joe Biden went on Meet the Press and demanded accountability from the administration for the so-called Haditha massacre. Biden spoke about the incident as if the accused marines were guilty (before a trial) and called on the administration to proceed — and to be treated — as if there were a cover-up at the highest levels of government.

Well, it turned out Biden was wrong about Haditha. Eight of the Marines charged for the “massacre” and “coverup” have already been exonerated. (One case is still pending.)...

[Thanks to
Glenn R]

He writes that Biden ought to admit he was wrong and apologize, especially since Biden demanded apologies and admissions of mistakes from the administration. In fact demanded that the Secretary of Defense should be fired immediately!

I completely agree with Harsanyi, but I don't think that's what's most important here.

There are claims made on us by things that are higher and more important than our selves. Of course the highest is our duty to God. But there are also claims on a lower level that work in an analogous way, and are mysteriously tied to each other. One of these is the duty we owe to our country. Especially in a case where ones country is not just a nation or a volk or race, but is based, like the United States, on ideas handed down from our forefathers.

And the claims of our country are strongest in time of war. We have then, all of us, an especial duty to put our selfish interests second to the needs of our land. This will involve for some people putting their lives at risk. Others owe different sacrifices. Politicians have a duty to put their political advantage second to the needs of war. (No, I'm not saying they can't criticize, but any criticism must be constructive, and done with the utmost care.)

This is a duty. There is no evading it.

An example of this is our four great wars of the Twentieth Century. All of these were Democrat wars. Democrat presidents led us into WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. And in each of these wars the Republican Party was a loyal opposition, and gave up many opportunities to criticize. No Republican stood up in the Senate and pointed out that Belleau Wood or Iwo Jima or Slapton Sands or LZ Bitch were blunders that threw away lives needlessly. No Republican demanded that Stimson be fired for the Battle of the Bulge. Why not? Because it would have undermined the war effort and the confidence of our troops.

When Joe Biden condemned the Haditha marines, declared them guilty before the incident had even been investigated, he violated this solemn rule. In fact what he did was to commit treason, just as much as if he had given secrets to the enemy. He voted to send those men into battle in the Iraq Campaign, and then he betrayed them. He sent American men and women to risk death in war, and then he turned around and spit on them.

This is close-to-certain evidence that he is a nihilist. That he puts nothing higher than himself. Why do I say that? Because the claims of higher things are tied to each other. Each one teaches us about the others. I put my children's welfare higher than my own, and this is a very easy thing for a parent to do. But that duty teaches me a lot about how to undertake other solemn duties. (As a Catholic I would say that these things are somehow linked sacramentally. The small things touch on the greater things, and vice versa, in ways that are supernatural and mysterious.)

Mr Biden's casual flouting of a solemn duty is strong evidence that he acknowledges no higher duties of any sort. Of course I could be wrong about this, but I would be surprised to learn that he has some philosophy or cause or set of deep principles that he holds sacred, that he would sacrifice his own interests for. And I think that what he is says a lot about the party and the type of people who have put him forth as a possible Vice-President.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:02 AM

“People of Earth! Stop Your Bickering"

I liked this column by Jonah Goldberg, No Change. I do have to mention that this item

...Perhaps therein lies the answer to this supposed mystery. Indeed, perhaps there’s no mystery at all, and Obama’s problems are the same problems Democrats always have at the presidential level: He’s an elitist...

was pointed out here last April:

...I think my dear wife just captured Mr Obama's essence perfectly. She said, "He's a white liberal elitist."

I think Charlene hit the nail more squarely. Anyway, Jonah's piece has some great lines...

...Ask the typical Obama supporter why this should be so [tied in polls with McCain] and you’ll get a range of answers. Some just stare at the poll numbers the way my late basset hound would look at me when I tried to feed him a grape: with pure unblinking incomprehension. Others act like the guy who sits alone with his shopping bags at the public library, muttering about Fox News conspiracies and how Karl Rove-like aliens are doing terrible things with probes of proctological exactitude. Still others just shake their heads at the racism of anyone who could possibly have a problem with a very left-wing politician with almost no experience, who often sounds like his campaign slogan is: “People of Earth! Stop Your Bickering. I Am From Harvard, And I’m Here To Help.”...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:00 AM

August 23, 2008

Biden?

Pretty funny, really. The guy who has never DONE anything, just talked talked talked talked............picks a running-mate who has...........yes, exactly.

And also he picks the closest thing the Dems have to a "neo-con" hawk. Someone who voted for the Iraq Campaign! Well, I told you that it doesn't matter who's president, George W Bush has set the template of the Global War on Terror, much like Truman did for the Cold War, and that's the way we will proceed from here on out....

Mostly I think this is just so revealing of the empty souls of the "Left." To accomplish anything one must, at least in some obscure way, believe in something. For a person to possess the awesome power available to a member of the United States Senate, and to do nothing of note with it—that's just stupefying!

It says as clear as day that you have nothing inside. You are hollowed out.

And if a large segment of society thinks these hollow men are fit to be President and Vice-President........what does that say about them?

You read it here first...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:12 AM

How to tell the genuine from the phony...

...It's a matter of what you DO, not what you say...

I have a few times quoted things by blogger Juliette Ochieng (Baldilocks) but hadn't followed her recently—too many bloggers in the world, too little time. But I was fascinated by this article (Thanks to Rand) about how her life story is amazingly intertwined with Obama's, and how she is trying to make right a failed promise of Mr Obama. (You might want to make a donation.) I recommend the article.

She says that her efforts are not a political stunt, and I believe it. This is the kind of thing that real people, especially Christians, do all the time. I was just thinking about a friend of ours, a surgical nurse, who goes once a year with a surgical team to a hospital in Guatemala. The hospital was founded by an American doctor who visited the town, and decided to help it... (She says they just love the work. Two weeks of pure medicine, with no insurance companies, no parasite-lawyers, no bureaucracy.)

...In August 2006, Senator Obama toured Kenya, his first trip to his father's nation. Thousands of Kenyans welcomed him, international media followed wherever he went, and glowing stories flowed forth.

One spot he visited was the recently renamed Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School in Nyang'oma-Kogelo, a village in equatorial western Kenya where Obama's roots go deep: His father, Barack Sr., was born there. His 86-year-old step-grandmother, Sarah, still lives there in a brick shanty with a tin roof and no running water.

Almost exactly two years ago, Barack Obama visited the school built upon land that, decades ago, Obama's grandfather donated. In anticipation of Obama's visit, the school changed its name to honor the village's most famous progeny, Barack Jr.

The school had only four classrooms. It lacked water, functioning bathrooms and even electricity. A third of its students were orphans. Its extreme need made Senator Obama's speech there all the more riveting for the village residents.

"Hopefully, I can provide some assistance in the future to this school and all that it can be," Obama said. Looking directly at the school's principal, Yuanita Obiero, and her teachers, he added, "I know you are working very hard and struggling to bring up this school, but I have said I will assist the school, and I will do so."

In the two years since, Obama has experienced a meteoric political rise, becoming the Democratic flag-bearer, authoring a best-seller and last year, with his wife, Michelle, earning $4.2 million. He bought a luxury home. Last year, he gave $240,000 to charities.

But apparently not to the Senator Obama Kogelo School. "Senator Obama has not honored the promises he gave me when we met in 2006 and in his earlier letter to the school," Principal Obiero has told the London-based, conservative tabloid EveningStandard. "He has not given us even one shilling. But we still have hope."

As the Standard reports it, Principal Obiero explained, "We interpreted his words as meaning he would help fund the school, either personally or by raising sponsors or both, in order to give our school desperately needed modern facilities and a face-lift."

Enter Baldilocks, who lives in a rough area of Los Angeles, is the caregiver for an elderly relative and worries, like most people, about her bills. She hasn't got millions and didn't attend an Ivy League school.

But she was embarrassed by her fellow Luo-American, Barack Obama. She rushed to fill the financial void, forming a California nonprofit to funnel money to the African school. With a flair for drama, she named it "Save Senator Obama Kogelo School" and held a mini fund-raiser. She's raised $3,500, so she's a long way from the $750,000 she wants to raise within two years...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:02 AM

August 22, 2008

Same old same old...

Same lefty BS I've been hearing all my adult life---the little jabs about how [insert communist/socialistic country] does something or other better than America. Cuba has wonderful health care, people of X truly enjoy life, Euro product Y has je ne sais quoi, Chinesians don't suffer from individualism... Little jabs and sneers always delivered with a certain glow of satisfaction....

Here's a recent one from Barackmo:

Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a coporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, "Beijing looks like a pretty good option."

Well, Mr O, China recently had an earthquake. And hundreds of schools collapsed, killing thousands of children. But government buildings did NOT collapse--they were well built. And people like me were outraged and horrified. THAT'S what WE think about when the topic of Chinese infrastructure comes up.

And I think we can guess now that it's not what YOU think of when that subject comes up.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:24 AM

August 17, 2008

True with a capital T...

VDH, good as always:

More on the Warren Interview—St. Nuance

One is struck by Obama’s postmodern worldview. There are no absolutes, just nuances and contexts that preclude certainty. Evil for Obama: “A lot of evil’s been perpetuated based on the claim that we were fighting evil.” Could he be specific where we have perpetrated “a lot of evil?”

Again, the gut instinct for Obama—whether talking about our “tragic history”, or the need for more “oppression studies” or evoking our sins in front of the Germans—is always to start out with the premise of a flawed America, rather than appreciation of the vast difference between us and the alternative. Never a word here about evil abroad, or bin Laden or Dr. Zawahiri. No, instead, we need humility about that “lot of evil” perpetrated by you know whom.

Somehow he is pro-choice, but anti-abortion, for man/woman marriage, but not in the legal sense, not for merit pay, but for rewarding good teachers—all this is in the manner he was against the Russians and for them while for and against the Georgians. His mushy responses were emblematic of the therapeutic style—empathy with everyone, judgment on no-one. We may soon be back to Jimmy Carter, paralyzed how to divvy up the White House Tennis Courts among feuding subordinates. He can’t say much pro or con on abortion, other than there is an ethical and moral element to the issue. And any of you who deny that, well are just darn wrong. He is against late-term abortion— but only if the mother’s life is in danger. And so on.

After watching some of this, I don’t think Obama will be having many town hall debates with McCain. However undeniable his calm and presence, he is simply incapable of extemporizing. A written transcript of this interview would be embarrassing, since it would be largely streams of meandering—and, but that, ah, you know, that, and, with uh, uh, I don’t think, ah, ah, that, that, I think, that, that, on, on, an issue…”

It's no wonder Obama is the Dem candidate; he IS contemporary liberalism. There is nothing solid inside him. No principles, no guiding philosophy, no core values. No moral absolutes.

Nothing that could ever let him be pinned down. And his real audience is those like him: millions of "hollowed-out" people. And they know he's one of them. They, like me, listen and hear nothing---but that's exactly what they want to hear!

And Obama's advantage over the equally nihilist Hillary Clinton is his magnetic style that can make it all sound good. His listeners can feel like they are good and superior people, without actually committing to anything being True with a capital T.

Posted by John Weidner at 2:31 PM

August 15, 2008

Somebody, somewhere, likes this guy a lot...

Pamela Geller has a fascinating piece in American Thinker about her research which has turned up huge numbers of clearly fraudulent campaign donations the Obama campaign is receiving from overseas. Such as half a million dollars from people who list themselves as "unemployed!" (I've pasted a few samples below the fold, for your entertainment.)

But what's equally interesting is the response of the "news" media. Which has been to ignore the facts about Obama, and gin up phony stories about...McCain! Gettin' nervous, guys?

If I were a Democrat, I'd be concerned and ashamed about this pile of stinking stuff. (But most of those who are capable of shame have already become Republicans.)

....Obama's overseas (foreign) contributors are making multiple small donations, ostensibly in their own names, over a period of a few days, some under maximum donation allowances, but others are aggregating in excess of the maximums when all added up. The countries and major cities from which contributions have been received France, Virgin Islands, Planegg, Vienna, Hague, Madrid, London, AE, IR, Geneva,Tokyo, Bangkok, Turin, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Roma, Zurich, Netherlands, Moscow, Ireland, Milan, Singapore, Bejing, Switzerland, Toronto, Vancouver, La Creche, Pak Chong, Dublin, Panama, Krabi, Berlin, Geneva, Buenos Aires, Prague, Nagoya, Budapest, Barcelona, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Zurich, Ragusa, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Uganda, Mumbia, Nagoya, Tunis, Zacatecas, St, Croix, Mississauga, Laval, Nadi, Behchoko, Ragusa, DUBIA, Lima, Copenhagen, Quaama, Jeddah, Kabul, Cairo, Nassau(not the county on Long Island,lol), Luxembourg (Auchi's stomping grounds), etc,etc,etc,

Half a million dollars had been donated from overseas by unidentified people "not employed".

Digging deeper, all sorts of very bizarre activity jumped at us. Dr and JJ continued to break it down and pull data from various sources. We found Rebecca Kurth contributed $3,137.38 to the Obama Campaign in 112 donations, including 34 separate donations recorded in one day,

How about this gibberish donor on the 30th of April in 2008.

A donor named Hbkjb, jkbkj

City: Jkbjnj Works for: Kuman Bank (doesn't exist)

Occupation: Balanon Jalalan Amount: $1,077.23

or the donor Doodad, The # of transactions = 1,044

The $ contributed = $10,780.00

This Doodad character works for FDGFDGF and occupation is DFGFDG

The more questions we answered the more questions we discovered.

Thousands of Obama's foreign donations ended in cents. The "cents" did not make sense. And we compared McCain donation documentss to Obama's. McCain's records are nothing like Obama's. McCain's are so clean. No cents, all even dollar amounts. But Obama's contained thousands of strange, odd amounts -- evidence of foreign contributors, since Americans living overseas would almost uniformly be able to contribute dollars. Still no media...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:52 AM

August 13, 2008

What do these items have in common?

NY Sun:

The Obama campaign's conference call yesterday on Republicans who back the presidential bid of the Democrat from Illinois showcased quite a crew...

What do they have in common? I should be very tactful here, and use diplomatic circumlocutions so as to be politically correct, and not "hateful," as lefties are always claiming about us conservatives. But, oh, the heck with it. They are pro-terrorist Jew-haters. That's the kind of people who are "drawn" to Barack.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:28 AM

July 24, 2008

"Arrested development and star-struck immaturity..."

VDH:

....What is fascinating about the tingly-leg press is that they are exhibiting the very symptoms of arrested development and star-struck immaturity that they always accuse America in toto of suffering. The usual critique of the elite media is that we are a nation of mindless followers, who go from one fad to another, and value looks, youth, and pizzazz over substance.

But the current spectacle suggests something worse — that the press who claims they know better and are more sophisticated are, in fact, far more infantile than most Americans, and essentially Access Hollywood, People Magazine, and the National Enquirer dressed up with network logos and NY-DC bylines.

After all, few conservatives ever said that Reagan made their leg tingle. Had a candidate Reagan (remember the fury at the contrived Michael Deaver photo-ops) or even Clinton (remember the irritation at the run-on speeches and habitually late/missed appointments) created his own seal, lobbied to speak at the Brandenburg Gate, or run a campaign tour overseas as if it were a Presidential summit (replete with Freudian slips about already being coronated President), or made Bush's nuclear gaffes seem minor in comparison, he would have been crucified by self-righteous haughty reporters. If one were to take Obama's recent deer-in-the-headlights comments, stutters, pauses, contortions, and false starts when asked about the surge, and put them into the mouth of Dan Quayle, well, case rested......

Just in case you haven't seen it, here's a funny video, "Obama Love," from the McCain campaign...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:59 AM

July 17, 2008

There's no sucker like an Obama supporter...

Dick Morris has a nice run-down of recent Obama flip-flops. Of course any candidate—any person—should change a position now and then. A person with principles should be expected to stick with those principles, or do some serious explaining if he feels he has to change one. Positions, however, can be changed as new facts emerge, or as one thinks them out...

But none of that applies to Barackmo. His whole public career is signally lacking in any sign of principles or deep core values...

....Obama has carried flip-flopping to new heights. In the space of a month and a half, this candidate - who we don’t really yet know very well - reversed or sharply modified his positions on at least eight key issues:

• After vowing to eschew private fundraising and take public financing, he has now refused public money.

• Once he threatened to filibuster a bill to protect telephone companies from liability for their cooperation with national security wiretaps; now he has voted for the legislation.

• Turning his back on a lifetime of support for gun control, he now recognizes a Second Amendment right to bear arms in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

• Formerly, he told the Israeli lobby that he favored an undivided Jerusalem. Now he says he didn’t mean it.

• From a 100 percent pro-choice position, he now has migrated to expressing doubts about allowing partial-birth abortions.

• For the first time, he now speaks highly of using church-based institutions to deliver public services to the poor.

• Having based his entire campaign on withdrawal from Iraq, he now pledges to consult with the military first.

• During the primary, he backed merit pay for teachers - but before the union a few weeks ago, he opposed it.

• After specifically saying in the primaries that he disagreed with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) proposal to impose Social Security taxes on income over $200,000 and wanted to tax all income, he has now adopted the Clinton position....

Actually, I take it back. Liberal Obama supporters are mostly NOT suckers. They are getting exactly what they want. They have no principles, and they increasingly hate anyone who does. As witness Joe Lieberman. Obama is perfect for them. A cypher, an empty man, who won't make them uncomfortable...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:53 AM

Humor theory...

Orrin Judd pins down the peculiarity of the New Yorker-cover kerfluffle...

It's probably useless trying to explain humor theory to people who acknowledge that their ideology forbids them to kid about the guy, but ask yourself a really basic question: what is it they were supposed to be satirizing?

In their derangement, the Left imagines this massive campaign to portray Senator Obama as a crypto-Muslim Medinian Candidate. And, indeed, there were a few hints to that effect from the Clinton camp, but they were more desultory than systematic and Republicans would rather attack from the playbook that always works: he's just a garden-variety Northern liberal. Why confuse the issue?

Effective satire requires an established and recognizable template that you can subtly play off of in order to show the humor inherent in the original. But for anyone outside the lunatic fringe--of both parties--this magazine cover is the original, the first time we've seen the accusations. Thus, it isn't satire but a statement.

Satirizing the perception of Obama as an elitist, or McCain as a loose cannon, works, because these perceptions of the person are really there to be satirized. Satirizing Obama-as-Muslim or Michelle-as-Angela-Davis, does not work, because there's no original to poke fun at. That's not the way us hateful right-wingers see them.

Rush Limbaugh made a joke recently, discussing the cover, and the Obama campaign's reaction, and concluding, "And who gets upset over cartoons? MUSLIMS!" It was a good joke, and funny precisely because no one is really worried about Obama being a Muslim.

Me, I think the Obamas are absurd because they are both white liberal elitists trying to be ghetto. Sort of like those hoodlem-esque rappers who get unmasked as having grown up in suburban comfort. And the same goes double for the fans. Supporting Barackmo is about as meaningful and "authentic" as a "Free Tibet" bumpersticker on a Volvo.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:25 AM

July 16, 2008

Neither tough nor principled...

Joe Lieberman responds...

...Senator Obama this morning said that he wants a foreign policy that is “tough, smart, and principled.” This afternoon, I ask: was it tough when Senator Obama voted to order U.S. forces to retreat from Iraq on a fixed timeline—regardless of the recommendations of our military commanders, regardless of conditions on the ground? Was it smart when Senator Obama opposed the surge and predicted that it would fail to improve security? Was it principled when Senator Obama said that he would order U.S. troops to retreat from Iraq, regardless of the humanitarian consequences for millions of innocent Iraqis—even genocide? Was it tough and principled when Senator Obama said he would be open to changing his plan for Iraq after going there and talking to General Petraeus—only to change that position a few hours later after being heatedly criticized by organizations like Moveon.org? I say respectfully, the answer to all of those questions is no.

Senator Obama also said this morning that he wants a foreign policy that recognizes that we have interests “not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi and Tokyo and London.” But what Senator Obama does not seem to recognize is that—in an interdependent world—what happens in Baghdad affects our interests in Kandahar and Karachi and Tokyo and London. What Senator Obama does not seem to understand is that—had we taken the course he had counseled and retreated from Iraq—the United States would have suffered a catastrophic defeat that would have left America and our allies less safe not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi and Tokyo and London...

Thank you Senator Joe...

It is good to remember that ALL our big Twentieth Century wars were Democrat wars. WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam... and in ALL of the them Republicans supported America as a LOYAL opposition. This was hard for us, because we had to refrain from many of the criticisms that might have helped us politically. For instance, we've been hearing Democrats howling about mistakes made by the Administration. Well, the mistakes made in the Democrat wars dwarf anything that's happened now. There were mistakes that caused casualties in the tens-of-thousands, in the space of weeks or days. But no Republican leader undermined our war efforts by publicly pillorying the administration.

To be loyal in war time does not mean "no criticism,' but it does mean only constructive criticism within the context of general support for our country and the success of our military.

The Iraq Campaign is not "Bush's war," it is America's war. It was voted for by the Congress of the United States of America. Once that happens, to undermine our troops, to undercut our war efforts for mere political advantage is treason. Sorry, I know that's a harsh word. But I'm a very minor blogger, not influential, and I don't have any reason to pussyfoot.

What the Dems have been doing is treason. What Obama is doing is treason. To encourage our enemies by publicly promising retreat is treason. And, of a certainty, these actions have killed, and will continue to kill, American troops. The blood of our soldiers is on their hands.

To vote Democrat at this particular time is to vote for traitors. It is morally wrong.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:31 AM

July 11, 2008

I volunteer YOU...

Apparently Barackma has been proposing a push for "voluntarism," or some such.

Charlene would like me to mention how repulsive we think obligatory voluntarism is. Having three children, we've been treated to a ton of that stuff by schools. Both for parents and kids. (I kinda liked one school, which said that our "donation" to the "annual campaign" was set at $400, and we will get a bill. That's honesty, and there was none of our time wasted on fund-raisers and galas and similar idiocy.)

It's not just the work (often pointless) but also the saccharine sentiments that go with it. If I'm in the mood to be philanthropic, or whatever, I'd prefer to do it all on my own, without any liberal fluff-brains telling me I'm saving the planet or helping the poor victims of capitalism...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:49 PM

July 3, 2008

"I have a little list"

Hugh Hewitt has a good summary on Mr Obama, ready for discussions while standing around the barbecue enjoying the sizzle: Obama In Focus On The Fourth...

I recommend it.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:10 AM

July 2, 2008

Shoulda known it was a fake...

I wrote yesterday about Mr Obama's embrace of Faith Based Programs. How-ev-er, there's a catch. Obama will, generous fellow that he is, allow your group to be based on faith. But you can't discriminate in hiring, say, by discriminating in favor of those who actually, like, have faith. That would be wrong.

Terry Eastland at the Weekly Standard Blog...

....A key issue in the eight years of Bush’s faith-based initiative has concerned the authority of religious entities as employers: May they take religion into account when hiring people to do the work that government funds? On numerous occasions Bush has asked Congress to pass legislation confirming such authority--on the argument that otherwise the character and mission of faith-based organizations would be compromised. With Congress refusing to do that, Bush has used executive orders to try to secure that authority. In announcing his faith-based initiative yesterday, Obama made clear that he sides with Congress. Which is to say that under Obama religious charities would not be allowed to consider religion when making their hires. In other words, a Methodist charity could not hire only Methodists or otherwise make Methodism a ground for an employment decision.

Obama’s position on this matter is likely to weaken his effort to appeal to religious conservatives. Especially since he also supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (known as ENDA), which would make sexual orientation a forbidden basis for employment decisions--including, necessarily, those made by religious charities taking federal dollars....

The idea that a Catholic charity should hire Catholics, or a Jewish charity should hire Jews, is reasonable. (And in practice such organizations are normally very diverse and tolerant, and are rarely white-supremicist pre-millenarian death-cults.) The opposition by collectivists like Obama has nothing to do with preventing discrimination. It's all about destroying faith.

By the way, I'm by no means sure that Faith-Based is a good idea. I wrote in a comment in that previous post:

I've never decided what I think about Faith Based Programs. On one hand it is indisputable that many of then do a better job, for less, than secular alternatives. And the interpretation of the constitution that claims we can't give funds to them is both both false and stupid.

On the other hand, while I see no plausible danger of faith-based groups corrupting the republic, I see a big danger that government funds may corrupt the groups. If you start sending me a fat monthly check, I'll probably start to discover that your ideas have a lot more merit than I had previously supposed... (I'll try the experiment, if anybody's willing) ;-)

Plus what government agency is going to.........discriminate? Say against nice innocent faith-based Wahabbist groups? Or Scientologists? Or Wiccans? They may do so at first, but then a Dem gets in the White House, or donations are made to congressmen.....
Posted by John Weidner at 5:48 PM

July 1, 2008

They all laughed...

..when I suggested that George W Bush was the visionary and that following presidents would have to follow the templates he created...

AP / JENNIFER LOVEN: Obama to Expand Bush's Faith Based Programs
Reaching out to evangelical voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans that would expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and — in a move sure to cause controversy — support their ability to hire and fire based on faith...

The grownups lead, the children follow...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:03 AM

June 27, 2008

"To his credit, Senator Obama has been very artful"

From a talk by Ward Connerly, (Thanks to Alan)

....In my private life, where I began, I worked at the Redevelopment Agency of Sacramento. That was my first job out of college. And my job was to go out and buy properties for the Redevelopment Agency that we would put into more productive uses through the power of eminent domain but in a different context, by defining a neighborhood, and I always had some misgivings about redevelopment process, but nonetheless, a guy's got to eat, and I had a young family, so I went to work right out of college for the Redevelopment Agency.

That's where I learned something about community organizing. My great enemies were community organizers. I have never met in 40-some years a community organizer who was not a socialist.

Now, I don't like to stereotype, but I want to tell you that when you are a community organizer, you have to have a certain view of the world, a certain view of things that puts you at variance with free enterprise, puts you at variance with the notion of individual rights, makes you want to redistribute the wealth. That's what community organization is.

The country seemed surprised by Reverend Wright and Father Phleger's comments. I don't know why you're surprised because if you've had one debate about affirmative action on a college campus, the rhetoric of institutional racism, the nation just heard it with Phleger and Reverend Wright. The problem is the media doesn't understand the debate enough to be able to ask the right questions of Senator Obama, not whether you think the rhetoric is divisive.

You know, when I first got involved in all of this, some of my fellow Republicans would say, "We can't support that because it's divisive." Not a question of divisive. Public policy is divisive. The question is, do you agree or do you disagree with the merits of the issue?

So when Senator Obama says it's divisive, he is very artfully avoiding the question of whether he agrees or disagrees with the inherent philosophy. And what Phleger and Wright are saying is that view of the nation in which whites, basically white males, are inherently evil and don't want to share the good life with anybody else and that the order has to be changed in our nation, change -- change -- so that all of this is reconfigured, this is a defining moment.

To his credit, Senator Obama has been very artful. He has not shucked and jived his way by saying, "I don't agree with the inherent philosophy." He has been artful, and if we let him get away with it, shame on us. But there is a profound change that is being offered to the American people, a profound change about our economic system, about the relationship between the government and its citizens, and if we embrace that, our kids and our grandkids are going to have a tough life from here on out because America, as we know it, folks, will not be the same. It will not be the same....

"Artful." In other words, he's trying to slip a fast one past us. Connerly is saying that being "artful" is better than flat-out lying. I'm not so sure myself. It's like sin. The flagrant sinner is in a better position than the person who thinks, "I'm a good person so God, if there is a God, will surely approve of me." The sinner can see that he's in trouble and repent! The other guy has wrapped himself in dangerous falsehoods that he probably wont be able to see past.

It's the same with Obama's "artfulness." It's designed to prevent serious thought and criticism. To prevent the country from debating and voting on the real issues.

As is much of today's leftist rhetoric. Leftists don't debate the ideas in question, they criticize the delivery. It's "divisive," it's "polarizing," it's "hateful," or "hate speech." It's "contemptuous," it's "questioning my patriotism." It's "censorship."

Well, for the record, I think there are some things that should be hated, that should be treated with contempt. And therefore there is nothing intrinsically wrong with pouring scorn upon them. And if someone doesn't like it, let them debate fairly.

Obama, if he were honest, would possibly talk lot like Wright and Phleger. It would be hateful, but that would be a good thing. The issues could be debated openly. (Or maybe if Obama were really really honest he would say, "I want to be president because I, to myself, am the most important thing in the universe, and my hungers are paramount.)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:39 AM

June 21, 2008

Cowardly liar....

Reuters: Obama says Republicans will use race to stoke fear

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said on Friday he expects Republicans to highlight the fact that he is black as part of an effort to make voters afraid of him.

"It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy," Obama told a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid.

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"...

What a vile and despicable accusation. Neither McCain nor any Republicans of prominence have brought race into the campaign. Nor are they going to. (Nor would it do any good, since any racists we might be appealing to probably already have some slight awareness of the color of Mr Obama's skin.)

And it is doubly vile because the only ones who have brought race into politics so far are involved in the Democrat primary. Actually the only real racism in the primary was the fact that neither candidate could slam the other as had as they should have because of fear of being called "racist" or "sexist." The real racism today is contained in the identity politics that leftists practice. It is racist to go light on a candidate because of his race. Or gender.

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me." That's totally bogus. We are planning to make people worry—even be afraid—of where Obama's policies will lead the country. There's nothing wrong with that. Who would bother to try to make people afraid of Obama himself? That would be giving him more substance than he has.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:58 PM

June 18, 2008

Hilarious...

Beware the Chicago boys: Obama's vow of love for free markets gives reason to fear a replay of Bill Clinton's 1993 U-turn (Naomi Klein, 6/13/08, The Guardian)

Barack Obama waited just three days after Hillary Clinton pulled out of the race to declare, on CNBC: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." Demonstrating that this is no mere spring fling, he has appointed the 37-year-old Jason Furman, one of Wal-Mart's most prominent defenders, to head his economic team....

Delightful, to think of all the leftizoids who will be sucking on this little lemon!

And they tend to love Obama because they think he's magical. If Obama is elected, then things will just happen. There won't be any hard work and discipline needed, the world will just change. (It's like, who could oppose him? That would be racist!) But reality lurks, ready to pounce on even those who eat in the trendiest restaurants.

There are lot of people whose whole economic philosophy is: "Big corporations are icky." (And the really wierd thing is that they can be people who actually know a lot about economics! I love reading tech writer Daniel Eran Dilger, who is totally lucid in explaining what big corporations like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Sun etc are up to. But he recently wrote: "Obama’s campaign is known for its grassroots outreach to individuals, as opposed to the typical political campaigns catering to corporate lobbyists...")

And I guess the "big corporations are icky" crowd are going to have some painful shocks if they think a corrupt Chicago pol will make evil economics just magically disappear. Or maybe they won't; human capacity for self-deception is unlimited, and, at least in the news media, ickyness WILL disappear if a Dem is in the White House.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:14 AM

June 13, 2008

Great post...

Bookworm writes Say it loud, say it proud: I am a racist!

When I vote against Obama on November 4, 2008:

There's more, plenty more!

Posted by John Weidner at 3:38 PM

June 12, 2008

Get on the bandwagon...

I read that this is an Obama campaign slogan: “Let’s Unite for Our Common Purpose.”

Would you care to elaborate, Mr O, on what, precisely, our "common purpose" might be? And just exactly when we all got together and agreed upon it? I guess I didn"t even get the memo about the convention where the "common purpose" was voted in....

It's actually a great campaign line for such a Rorschach candidate....Millions of people will hear it and sigh, "He understands me! Finally, someone who is in deep sympathy with my ideas..."

Posted by John Weidner at 8:39 PM

June 7, 2008

Perhaps I owe Mark Morford an apology...

It's possible I was too negative towards Mark Morford in my post this morning.

It's not true that Mr Obama has never accomplished anything. He did in fact have one "Profiles in Courage" moment, when he went out on a limb, and took a stand that was not politically necessary. It was due to "unique high-vibration integrity," I'm sure. (I've copied an article about it below the fold.)

Hey Morford, why don't you show the article to those people you've been talking to? The "enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence." Could you please bring us some specific reactions from those "spiritually advanced people," those "philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order?"

I'd like to hear their take, being myself just a cowed-by-religion member of the the armies of BushCo darkness. Enlighten me!

Obama More Pro-Choice Than NARAL
by Amanda B. Carpenter
Posted: 12/26/2006

Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) portrays himself as a thoughtful Democrat who carefully considers both sides of controversial issues, but his radical stance on abortion puts him further left on that issue than even NARAL Pro-Choice America.

In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. That same year a similar federal law, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, was signed by President Bush. Only 15 members of the U.S. House opposed it, and it passed the Senate unanimously on a voice vote.

Both the Illinois and the federal bill sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention.

When the federal bill was being debated, NARAL Pro-Choice America released a statement that said, “Consistent with our position last year, NARAL does not oppose passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act ... floor debate served to clarify the bill’s intent and assure us that it is not targeted at Roe v. Wade or a woman’s right to choose.”

But Obama voted against this bill in the Illinois senate and killed it in committee. Twice, the Induced Infant Liability Act came up in the Judiciary Committee on which he served. At its first reading he voted “present.” At the second he voted “no.”

The bill was then referred to the senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, which Obama chaired after the Illinois Senate went Democratic in 2003. As chairman, he never called the bill up for a vote.

Jill Stanek, a registered delivery-ward nurse who was the prime mover behind the legislation after she witnessed aborted babies’ being born alive and left to die, testified twice before Obama in support of the Induced Infant Liability Act bills. She also testified before the U.S. Congress in support of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

Stanek told me her testimony “did not faze” Obama.
Posted by John Weidner at 1:08 PM

"I'm feeling those good vibrations"

Hard upon discovering the WaPo editorial I just blogged-up, about Obama re-alligning his foreign policy positions to something amazingly Bush flavored, I read this by Mark Morford, in the SF Chron. The juxtapose is just too too delicious...

I find I'm having this discussion, this weird little debate, more and more, with colleagues, with readers, with liberals and moderates and miserable, deeply depressed Republicans [We are just puddles of misery] and spiritually amped persons of all shapes and stripes and I'm having it in particular with those who seem confused, angry, unsure, thoroughly nonplussed, as they all ask me the same thing: What the hell's the big deal about Obama?

I, of course, have an answer. Sort of.

Warning: If you are a rigid pragmatist/literalist, itchingly evangelical, a scowler, a doubter, a burned-out former '60s radical with no hope left, or are otherwise unable or unwilling to parse alternative New Age speak, click away right now, because you ain't gonna like this one little bit. [Click away? No way brother, you are making my day.]

Ready? It goes likes this: Barack Obama isn't really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway. [Chariots of the Gods? Remember that one?]

This is what I find myself offering up more and more in response to the whiners and the frowners and to those with broken or sadly dysfunctional karmic antennae - or no antennae at all - to all those who just don't understand and maybe even actively recoil against all this chatter about Obama's aura and feel and MLK/JFK-like vibe.

To them I say, all right, you want to know what it is? The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?

No, it's not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn't have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity. [Chicago politics seems to bring that out in people.]

Dismiss it all you like, but I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence [Intuitively. Not one of them can make a principled argument for any of this.] - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence - to say it's just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord. [So Mark, shall we put some money on it? My $100 says it's gonna be "vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores" all the way down.]

Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious [meaning having a creed that can actually be pinned down], mind you, but deeply spiritual [meaning indistinguishable from nihilism] ) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies [Ooops] or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul. [How about the soul of the Democrat Party? As a kind of, you know, "test case?" Do we see peace? Philosophy? Sweetness and light? Anybody evolvin' there?]
The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare. [Poor poor Frodo, crawling across Mordor.] And this why he is so often compared to Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., to those leaders in our culture whose stirring vibrations still resonate throughout our short history. [So you would think—Obama is 46 years old—that Mr Morford would now be pointing to some actual "lightwork" that Mr Obama has actually accomplished. If a person is, like, radiant, and he's been involved in public life for a couple of decades, SOMETHING ought to have happened. Right? Hmm? Something, uh, luminous? I'm sitting here, just waiting to be impressed. Mark?]

Are you rolling your eyes and scoffing? Fine by me. But you gotta wonder, why has, say, the JFK legacy lasted so long, is so vital to our national identity? [Maybe because we are narcissists who value feel-good emotions over actual facts?] Yes, the assassination canonized his legend. The Kennedy family is our version of royalty. But there's something more. Those attuned to energies beyond the literal meanings of things, these people say JFK wasn't assassinated for any typical reason you can name. It's because he was just this kind of high-vibration being, a peacemaker, at odds with the war machine, the CIA, the dark side. And it killed him. [He was killed by a Communist "Progressive," who hated it when he got tough on St. Fidel. Ooops, sorry, that's too literal. Stupid of me. I'm SO "not attuned to energies beyond the literal meanings of things."]

Now, Obama. The next step. Another try. And perhaps, as Bush laid waste to the land [smokin' ruins as far as the eye can see] and embarrassed the country [Euro elites and Middle East tyrants, PLEASE forgive us for being Americans] and pummeled our national spirit into disenchanted pulp [Speak for yourself, pulpy pal] and yet ironically, in so doing has helped set the stage for an even larger and more fascinating evolutionary burp,[?] we are finally truly ready for another Lightworker to step up.

Let me be completely clear: I'm not arguing some sort of utopian revolution, a big global group hug with Obama as some sort of happy hippie camp counselor. [Coulda fooled me] I'm not saying the man's going to swoop in like a superhero messiah and stop all wars and make the flowers grow and birds sing and solve world hunger and bring puppies to schoolchildren.

Please. I'm also certainly not saying he's perfect, that his presidency will be free of compromise, or slimy insiders, or great heaps of politics-as-usual. While Obama's certainly an entire universe away from George W. Bush in terms of quality, integrity, intelligence and overall inspirational energy, well, so is your dog. Hell, it isn't hard to stand far above and beyond the worst president in American history. [Hey Morford, want to put another C-note on what the history books end up saying?]

But there simply is no denying that extra kick. As one reader put it to me, in a way, it's not even about Obama, per se. There's a vast amount of positive energy swirling about that's been held back by the armies of BushCo darkness, and this energy has now found a conduit, a lightning rod, is now effortlessly self-organizing around Obama's candidacy. People and emotions and ideas of high and positive vibration are automatically drawn to him. It's exactly like how Bush was a magnet for the low vibrational energies of fear and war and oppression and aggression, but, you know, completely reversed. And different. And far, far better. [That's too intrinsic for me to even comment on. But Mark, would you care to set a few specific benchmarks, so we can eventually come to some judgement on all this?]

Don't buy any of it? Think that's all a bunch of tofu-sucking New Agey bulls-- and Obama is really a dangerously elitist political salesman whose inexperience will lead us further into darkness because, when you're talking national politics, nothing, really, ever changes? [Yep] I understand. I get it. I often believe it myself. Not this time.

Dick Cheney on a Segway

I am evolving! It's a new way of being on the planet!

[By the way, I have nothing against: "...The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture..." It's real, it just happens to be discoverable in the Church founded by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. And not in "swirling vibrational energies." Rather it's about giving up self-love, and taking up ones cross, and following.]

Posted by John Weidner at 9:16 AM

June 3, 2008

Tip-toe around a little problem...

Yet another Dem lays the groundwork for blaming Obama's coming defeat on racism. It's got to be racism; a repudiation of Leftism or infanticide or "change" can't possibly happen in a country that is eager for higher taxes, racial quotas, feminism, and more government control of everything! Of course Mr Cohen has to tip-toe around a wee teensy little problem....This is a primary, and no Republicans are involved. (Thanks to Hugh)

....I tell them, for I am wont to please, that this campaign is indeed great when, as history will record, it is not. I have come to loathe the campaign.

I loathe above all the resurgence of racism -- or maybe it is merely my appreciation of the fact that it is wider and deeper than I thought. [And it is all among DEMOCRATS. You Lefties have, for decades, been delighted when you could claim (usually dishonestly) that Republicans are racist.The biter is bit.] I am stunned by the numbers of people who have come out to vote against Barack Obama because he is black. I am even more stunned that many of these people have no compunction about telling a pollster they voted on account of race -- one in five whites in Kentucky, for instance. [You "opinion leaders" have TAUGHT them to think in terms of interest groups, not individual worth. And now you are surprised?] Those voters didn't even know enough to lie, which is what, if you look at the numbers, others probably did in other states. Such honesty ought to be commendable. It is, instead, frightening...

[We've been POUNDED with racialist propaganda for half a century. By people like you, Mr Cohen. Everything must be judged in terms of RACE. Or gender, or sexual orientation. (I know this; I've raised three children in SF. My daughter once said that at her school, "Black History Month comes four times a year!") But a lot of us—mostly Republicans—believe that God values every human being equally, and doesn't give a f*** whether they are black or white. We REJECT your leftist racism. We spit upon it. We judge people by their merits, and would have judged Colin Powell or Condi Rice in exactly the same way we chose between McCain and Romney.]

...I acknowledge that some people can find nonracial reasons to vote against Obama -- his youth, his inexperience, his uber-liberalism and, of course, his willingness to abide his minister's admiration for a racist demagogue (Louis Farrakhan) until it was way, way too late. But for too many people, Obama is first and foremost a black man and is rejected for that reason alone. This is very sad. [It is not "sad," it is evil. And it is your evil. Now you have to face it.]

I loathe what has happened to Hillary Clinton. This person of no mean achievement has been witchified, turned into a shrew, so that almost any remark of hers is instantly interpreted as sinister and ugly. All she had to do, for instance, was note that it took Lyndon Johnson to implement Martin Luther King's dream, and somehow it became a racist statement. The Obama camp has been no help in this regard, expressing insincere regret instead of a sincere "that's not what she meant.".... [I could go on and on here, but I've got to get back to work. You get my drift...]

* Update: Remember when Obama gave his fake-apology speech on race, and said, I think, "We need to have a national dialog on race?" Something like that?

Well, we've had a "national monolog" on race for the last 50 years, with liberals endlessly haranguing us ordinary white Americans, who are supposed to hang our heads and shuffle our feet, and feel guilty about how horrible we are. Well, maybe, just maybe, this Obama campaign may be the catalyst for a true dialog. And some people may at last be able to answer back. Starting with answering back to the claim that liberals are "morally superior beings" because they "wave the bloody shirt" of the Civil Rights Movement all the time.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:05 AM

May 28, 2008

My dad called them "educated fools"

Hugh Hewitt writes...

...It has become obvious in a very short period of time that Senator Obama attended some very fine schools and learned almost nothing of American history. He has, however, hung out with radicals for the past few decades, and their view of America and its history has sunk in, leaving Obama not only gaffe-prone, but wholly unprepared to be the Commander-in-Chief. He's a product of his years and years in the Chicago machine with its nonsensical view of why things are the way they are and how the county and the economy works.

This takes us back to the Rev. Wright and Obama's two decades of listening to and reading the pastor's worldview, and before that to his college years in California and New York, and working as a "community organizer" in Chicago. Senator Obama has lived his entire life in places where the distorted history of left-wing radicalism prevailed, and the consequences of this long immersion in pseudo-history and pseudo-economics are easy to see and will be disqualifying for most voters.....

This is absolutely consistent with my experiences, living in liberal SF, but especially in attempting, as a blogger, to have reasoned debates with left-leaning people. Or watching other bloggers do so.

That's never happened. It's never worked. Lefties live in a fantasy world.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:40 AM

May 22, 2008

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a....

Well, well, I'm just SO surprised. Mr Obama has yet more Jew-hating pals. (But of course he's a supporter of Israel. He says so! What more could anyone ask?)

Sabrina Leigh Schaeffer, The Company Senator Obama Keeps:

....The senator has tried to dismiss Wright as a “crazy uncle,” but if you take a closer look at the crowd the senator runs with, it appears he has a whole lot of crazy relatives to disinvite from dinner.

It was widely circulated that Wright supported — and even publicly commended — radical black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan. Yet little has been said about Sen. Obama’s relationship with Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Catholic pastor at St. Sabina, also on the South Side of Chicago. In 2004, Obama told the Chicago Sun Times that Pfleger was one of his three spiritual mentors.

Pfleger’s name became more widely recognizable two years ago when Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed a Farrakhan aide to serve on a hate-crimes commission. When the appointee, Sister Claudette, refused to denounce Farrakhan’s racist and anti-Semitic remarks, three Jewish members on the commission resigned — a situation that prompted Pfleger to respond, “good riddance.”

No less reprehensible than Reverends Wright and Pfleger is the Obama campaign’s national co-chairman, retired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Merrill “Tony” McPeak, who has made numerous anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments. While the general has a long blame-Israel-first record, the most repugnant remark came during a 2003 interview, when he blamed the Jewish-American community for the failure of the peace process between Israel and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Despite calls on Senator Obama to remove McPeak as a key adviser, the general continues to serve on the campaign.

Obama’s support among radicals in the Palestinian community — and even from Ahmed Yousef of Hamas — has not gone unnoticed. In fact, in 2003 Obama helped honor Rashid Khalidi, a well-known critic of Israel and advocate of Palestinian rights, at a celebration where anti-Israel poetry was read and the United States was sharply criticized.

That evening, Obama told guests stories about his long relationship with the Khalidis, the meals he had shared with Rashid and his wife, Mona, and the effect they had had on his political thinking.

Last month, another concerning relationship came to light between the Obamas and Hatem El-Hady, former chairman of the Toledo-based Islamic organization Kindhearts for Charitable Human Development — a group shut down in 2006 for raising money for Hamas. Until recently, El-Hady had a personal website on the official Obama campaign site and Michelle Obama was listed as one of El-Hady’s three “friends.”....

All them crazy uncles, who knows where they come from? No blame attaches, these things just happen. (Unless you are a Republican. Then it's wrong to hate the Jews---then you're a Nazi.)

Here's a YouTube of Pfleger in action. Ugh.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:03 PM

May 21, 2008

"A defining feature of his campaign and of his political persona..."

Caroline Glick, from Jerusalem, refreshingly blunt.

....The only strong reaction that Bush's remarks provoked in Israel was relief. In spite of the Bush administration's own participation in the six-party talks with North Korea, its support for the EU-3's feckless discussions with the mullahs, its paralysis in the face of Hizbullah's takeover of Lebanon, and its support for the establishment of a Palestinian state run by Fatah terrorists dedicated to Israel's destruction, at the very least, standing before the Knesset, Bush effectively pledged not to allow Iran to acquire the means to conduct a new Holocaust.

From an Israeli vantage point then, it was shocking to see that immediately after Bush stepped down from the rostrum, Obama and his Democratic supporters began pillorying him for his remarks. Most distressing is what Obama's reaction said about the Democratic presidential hopeful.

Obama's response to Bush's speech was an effective acknowledgement that appeasing Iran and other terror sponsors is a defining feature of his campaign and of his political persona. As far as he is concerned, an attack against appeasement is an attack against Obama....

Of course he's an appeaser. And anti-Israel. He could not possibly be a successful and popular Democrat candidate otherwise. If he weren't, the "activist" Dems would turn on him, like they turned on Joe Lieberman. It's the party of appeasement. And you already know why it's the party of appeasement, 'cause I've told you lots of times.

And also good is Bret Stephens, Obama and the Jews...

...Or take Iran, which Israelis universally see as their deadliest enemy. Yes, there are arguments to be made in favor of presidential-level negotiations between Washington and Tehran – perhaps as a last-ditch effort to avert military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. But does anyone seriously think Mr. Obama would authorize such strikes?

Instead, Mr. Obama says he favors "tough diplomacy," including tighter sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps. Last fall, however, he was one of only 22 senators to oppose a Senate resolution calling for the IRGC to be designated as a terrorist organization, a vote that made him a dove even within the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama argued at the time the amendment would give the administration a pretext to go to war with Iran. It was an odd claim for a nonbinding resolution...

"Tough diplomacy." Right. There's no such animal. If you are tough in general, then diplomacy often works. Diplomacy is a way of avoiding a fight. But out enemies will look at Obama and know he doesn't want to fight. So why should they negotiate?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:18 AM

May 17, 2008

Fisk du Joor...

There's a certain sort of article where every sentence brings a sarcastic reply to the tip of my tongue. And now, thanks to the magic of the Interweb, I can share my snark with all of you! [Heads nod towards sleep, eyes glaze over, the crowd shuffles away. That's OK, I do this mostly for my own fun. You've read it before, so feel free to skip.]

Harold Meyerson | May 15, 2008 | The American Prospect

If the McCain campaign is still trying out songs, there's one by a couple of Brits, W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, that it should consider. We have to change the words "an Englishman" to "American" to get it to work, but, that done, the song expresses succinctly and entirely the case for John McCain and, by implication, against Barack Obama:

For he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is American!
That he is American!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sum total of the Republican message this year. That is why McCain's first post-primary ad proclaimed him "the American president Americans have been waiting for." Not the "strong" or "experienced" president, though those are contrasts he could seek to draw with Obama. The "American" president -- because that's the only contrast through which McCain has even a chance of prevailing. [Uh, right now, Obama fans are howling because he's being tarred as an appeaser, and pounded for associations with Wright, Rezko, Hamas, etc. If these attacks have no "chance of prevailing," why the fuss?]

Now, I mean to take nothing away from McCain's Americanness by noting that it's Obama's story that represents a triumph of specifically American identity over racial and religious identity. It was the lure of America, the shining city on a hill, that brought his black Kenyan father here, where he met Obama's white Kansan mother. It is because America is uniquely the land of immigrants and has moved beyond a racial caste system that Obama exists, has thrived and stands a good chance of being our next president. [But, curious thing, Barry achieved the "American dream" (Harvard Law, Wall Street, big $, etc.) and then proceeded to SHED that American identity, becoming a "community organizer," joining an "Afro-centric" church, and reinventing himself as a black person. In fact, re-inventing the racial caste system! So why, exactly, should pointing this out be a bad thing?

In fact you are only bothered by this issue because you know that the charge is TRUE. I live among people like you and the Obama's. I know you. I know perfectly well your utter alienation from ordinary Americans who enjoy Christian faith, bowling, Nascar, deer-hunting, suburban life, and the Superbowl. Why, exactly, should they not reject a candidate who rejects THEM, who rejects the very things the ARE? Why should McCain not point these things out?]

That's not the America, though, that the Republicans refer to in proclaiming their own Americanness. For them, "American" is a term to be used as a wedge issue, a way to distinguish their more racially and religiously homogeneous party from the historically more polyglot Democrats. Such separation has a long pedigree: Campaigning for GOP presidential nominee Alf Landon in 1936, Republican leader Frank Knox said that the Democratic Party under President Franklin Roosevelt "has been seized by alien and un-American elements. Next November, you will choose the American way."

Knox meant two things: that the New Deal represented an ideology outside the pale of American thinking and that the New Deal coalition, which represented record numbers of foreign-born, non-Protestant Americans, was therefore un-American.[Well, it was true. Socialism IS outside the "pale of American thinking," and we now know that some of the New-Dealers were secret agents for Stalin.] In more recent elections, Republicans have depicted Democratic presidential candidates as un-American cultural elitists heading up a dangerously diverse party. [Diverse is an interesting word to pick, since it has become a code-word for racial quotas, which are very un-American. So much so that a code-word is necessary. And, come to think, Obama probably favors racial quotas, but will lie like Ananias about the subject, and many other similar subjects. So really, calling him "un-American" is a proxy for real and substantive ISSUES that he would prefer to duck.]

This year, we can expect to see almost nothing but these kinds of assaults as the campaign progresses. The Republican attack against Obama all but ignores the issue differences [Obama is currently under attack on the issues of foreign policy and Federal judicial nominations, to name just a few.] between the candidates to go after what is presumably his inadequately American identity. He is, writes one leading conservative columnist, "out of touch with everyday America." [Obviously.] His reluctance to wear a flag pin, writes another, shows that he "has declared himself superior to an almost universal form of popular patriotism." [It's the simple truth. I live in SF, I know.]

There are good reasons Republicans are focusing on identity rather than issues this year: In poll after poll, there's not a single major issue on which the public agrees with them or their presumptive nominee. [Surrre. Americans are SO ready for higher taxes, abortion, gay marriage, nationalized health care, appeasement, speech-codes and multiculturalism.] Not Iraq, certainly. Not the economy. Should the election turn on the question of "What are you going to do for America?" rather than "Are you a real American?" Republicans are doomed. They offer no solutions for the stagnation (or decline) of American living standards, [So why is building extra storage space for people's stuff a booming business?] or for the weakening of America's economic power. [The EU, China--they're gonna steam-roller us any day 'cause they're so superior!] They offer no resolution to America's war of choice in Iraq. [Except winning--we are providing that one. I know it disgusts you lefties, but Americans go for winning our wars.] Their party leader, the incumbent president, let a great American city drown. [Oh right, he had a little button he could push that would re-build the failed levees, and cause the Democratic leadership of Louisiana to be honest and effective. But he just sat there and didn't push it.] They are the American party, and McCain the American nominee, that hasn't a clue about how to help America in its (prolonged, I fear) moment of need. [We're sinking, we're sinking! We need Big Government and Barack to save us. Glub, glub.......]

What remains for the GOP is a campaign premised more on issues of national identity, aimed largely at that portion of our population for which "American" is synonymous with "white" and "Christian," than any national campaign has been since the American Party (also known as the Know Nothings) based its 1856 campaign chiefly on Protestant bigotry against Irish and German Catholic immigrants. In Appalachian America (the heart of which went to the polls yesterday in West Virginia), as Mark Schmitt notes in the forthcoming issue of the American Prospect (which I edit), a disproportionate number of people write "American" when answering the census question on ethnic origin. [That is so disgusting, "American." Ugh! Horrid rednecks. And they've only been here since the 18th Century! They should think of themselves as an ethnic group oppressed by white Christians, and needing Affirmative Action.] For some, "American" is a race -- white -- no less than a nationality, and it's on this equation that Republican prospects depend. [We get the picture. In fact,the real point of this piece is preparing for defeat. if Obama loses, it means we are RACISTS, not that we are rejecting Obama's leftism. I spit, with the utmost contempt, upon that formula. In fact, we Republicans would be delighted to consider voting for a black person. IF they were also, like Colin Powell or Condi Rice, or Bobby Jindal, or Janet Brown, AMERICANS. Not anti-American leftists.

Which is why Gilbert and Sullivan penned what could be the perfect McCain marching song:

But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains American!
He remains American!
[Which in itself is good reason to vote for him, rather then Mr Fraudulent.]

PS: I hate to break it to you, Mr Meyerson, but the knuckle-draggers in Appalachia are perfectly aware that "American" is not usually considered an "ethnic origin." They do that because they loath your identity-politics, which are un-American.

Posted by John Weidner at 3:04 PM

A cautionary tale...

Dean Barnett writes...

...Barack Obama continued to display his surprisingly flimsy grasp of American history yesterday. “This whole notion of not talking to people,” began the longtime community organizer. “It didn't hold in the '60s, it didn't hold in the '70s ... When Kennedy met with (Soviet leader Nikita) Khrushchev, we were on the brink of nuclear war."

There’s only one problem with this analysis – Khrushchev and Kennedy met in the first months of Kennedy’s term. The Cuban Missile Crisis didn’t happen until 16 months later. Furthermore, if we really want to dig into the history, many historians believe that the Vienna Summit between the two leaders did much to trigger the Cuban Missile Crisis. Khrushchev, relying on the Bay of Pigs fiasco and what he later saw at Vienna, determined that his American counterpart was a weak sister who could be bullied.

Since Obama obviously knows nothing about the Vienna Summit, he surely doesn’t know that in some circles it’s viewed as a cautionary tale regarding the inherent risks of diplomacy with malevolent regimes (or “talking to people” as Obama prefers to think of such activities)....

A lot of Charlene's work as an attorney is negotiation. Almost all cases settle; it's unusual to take one to trial. She mentioned this morning that a tactic she often uses is to act a little crazy. The other side makes some trivial demand, and she says, "Forget it. We're outta here. We'll take it to trial!"

It's a ploy, and the more experienced of her opponents know it. But they still respect her more because of it. Because she WILL take a case to trial if she thinks she can't get a fair settlement for her clients. (And it's in the record; they can look her up and see the trials she's won.)

Going to trial is like going to war. It's what happens when you can't resolve things through negotiation. And in ALL negotiations, if you want to avoid war, it is essential to be clearly willing to go to war. It's the same in a labor negotiation; if you are seen as willing to go on strike, (or lock 'em out) you are more likely to resolve things peacefully.

Being warlike is the way to peace.

Being "peaceful" is the way to get war. Barack Obama is a warmonger. "Pacifists" are warmongers. Quakers are warmongers.

Barack Obama's entire campaign is an incitement to future wars. He projects fecklessness and naiveté. He is an obvious target to bullies.

If I were a jihadist, or an evil dictator, I'd look at Obama right now and think one thing: "He will flinch. If I act crazy, he will flinch away from war."

Obama is another Jimmy Carter. (And, like Carter, he is especially an incitement to attacks on Israel. He has already sent many signals that he will betray the Jews if he can get away with it.)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:47 AM