Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category.

Strange But True

One of the great demonstrations of the universal value of Democracy and Liberty is that no matter how despotic and corrupt a regime is, it will always mouth the platitudes of Liberal Democracy.  N. Korea dutifully has elections, as does Iran.  All the worst places in the world are “People’s Republics” or “Islamic Republics”.  No one just says outright, “hey, I’m just a plain old despot claiming the absoulte right of kings.”  They have to couch their thugocracies in the trappings of Western Civilization because we have discovered something that borders on a universal human truth.

So, in a way, we might already have won if we would only hold all these petty dictators to account through the international bodies that exist.  Sadly, the UN is the playground of these same petty, corrupt dictators, so absent starting something else (and leaving the UN altogether for non-humanitarian issues), we’re not going to make much headway in that direction.  But I digress…

Over at the Contentions blog, Jennifer Rubin has been writing about Sotomayor’s sudden transformation into a rule of law girl now that she’s been nominated to the Supreme Court.  Never mind her years and years of giving speeches and handing down rulings in direct contradiction to the idea of judicial restraint, now that she’s on national television, she’s as Federalist as any Federalist out there.

If legislating from the bench is so wildly popular, why the need to lie about it during confirmation hearings?

And the same question could be asked of about a dozen of the Left’s legislative priorities.

They don’t want to nationalize health care, they swear. Even as they pass legislation geared to do exactly that.  They have no intention of raising taxes, even as “cap and trade” becomes the largest tax grab in the history of the US.  No one has ever been a stronger friend of Israel, even as we lean on them and put no pressure whatsoever on Hamas or Abbas or Syria or Iran.  Name one demand that Obama has made of the PLO.  I certainly can’t think of one.

But he and his supporters swear there has never been a better friend to Israel in the Oval Office.

Hogwash.  And hogwash again on Healthcare which the Left has been trying to socialize it since the 60s.  And hogwash again on taxes.

And hogwash again on Sotomayor’s judicial restraint.

But think about it.  If the West has already won the important debate about the truth of Democracy and Liberty and our evidence is the hypocrisy of Castro and Kim JongIl and the Ayatollahs; then what does the hypocrisy, not to say perfidy, of the Democratic party here in the US say about the domestic policy debate?

And if we’ve already won the battle of ideas (as I believe we have), then why aren’t our elected officials at least trying to do a better job of holding the government to account.  We know why the press won’t do it (they are on the other side).  But our congressmen should at least try to point out the utter ridiculousness of their opponents across the aisle saying one thing and doing another.

Perhaps calling Sotomayor on her silliness is a good start.

Iran, Obama and a certain liberal blindness

Krauthammer on Friday let loose on the Obama administration for kidding itself on so many levels and once again letting down the Iranian people…

Unfortunately for the United States, the country Obama represents, the prospective treaty is useless at best, detrimental at worst…

Obama says that his START will be a great boon, setting an example to enable us to better pressure North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear programs. That a man of Obama’s intelligence can believe such nonsense is beyond comprehension.

And that’s really the question.  Can Obama and the Left in general really believe that arms control works or that America cutting down from 2500 nukes to 1500 is going to change the strategic calculus for thugs in Iran butchering their people in the streets or thugs in N. Korea starving a people into non-existence?

Can they really believe it?  Another example, in an article ostensibly on the side of the Iranian people…

Who’s going to win? In the short run, the victors may be the thugs who claim to rule in the name of God: the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basij militia and the other tools of an Islamic revolution that has decayed and hardened into mere authoritarianism. They have shown they are willing to kill enough of their compatriots to contain this first wave of change.

“Decayed and hardened”?  Really?  Can Ignatius really believe that the Islamic Republic has been anything but “mere authoritarianism” since the day it took 53 Americans hostage?  The Iranian government has supported the worst forms of terrorism all around the world, actively butchers its own people in public executions, stifles freedom of the press, has never had a free election.  If there’s a fascism and totalitarianism index, Iran is right near the top.  There is nothing but mere totalitarianism in the very ideals of the “Islamic Republic.”  It is, as most Islamism is, nothing more than a warmed over version of the fascism of Europe with Islam taking the place of the Master Race.

How could Ignatius and Obama be so deceived about the nature of this terrible regime?  What causes intelligent people to take absurd positions vis à vis Iran and other obvious enemies of Civilization?

The answer is ideology, an ideology that focuses all the sins of the world in one place, America.  The Soviets weren’t bad, we were.  The Maoists weren’t (or aren’t) bad, we were.  We were the aggressors, we were the bad guys.  I mean, sure they had the gulag, but we don’t even have Universal Health Care!  Still!

Who here sees a replay of the Carter years coming?  Carter was the nicest, most understanding, most apologetic President we’ve ever had and what did it get us?  A more beligerent USSR, a hostage crisis in Iran, aggresive terrorism throughout the Mideast and Europe.

When you apologize to thugs, they don’t take it as a kindness, they take it as weakness, and they quickly move to exploit any weakness they see.

And another thing, well two things actually; one on Putin and one on missile defense.  When Bush looked into “Putin’s soul” and saw a man he could do business with, he was universally derided on the Left as a fool who had been duped by Putin.  Of course, Bush never gave Putin anything, excepting maybe being a little less concerned with human rights in Russia than some wanted.  Obama flits over to Moscow and in a couple of days gives the Russians exactly what they have wanted for six years, a veto on our missile defense plans, selling out our allies and NATO members Poland and the Czech Republic in the process and he’s a genius for our time, .  Are you kidding me?

And what about missile defense?  The Left always screamed it wouldn’t work and even if it could shoot down one or two missiles, the Russians and the Chinese were going to send thousands at us, so what’s the point?  Of course, now it does work.  We’ve shot down missiles and satellites and just about anything else we’ve had a mind to over the past few years, so we don’t hear too much about the impossibility of hitting a bullet with a bullet anymore.  And yet the Left still vehemently opposes missile defence.  Confusing, no?

And the threat has changed as well.  We’re not worried about Russia throwing a thousand nukes over the North Pole at us, we’re worried about five from Iran or ten from PyongYang, exactly the kind of threat that missile defence, properly deployed could eliminate.

And yet the one place Obama chooses to save money next year is in cutting missile defence.  His one big “win” on the foreign policy circuit is giving away our right to defend ourselves and our allies to Russia.

The blind belief in disarmament has been part and parcel to the Left since Vietnam.  It has never been more dangerous.  It is of a piece with the belief that it is possible to make a deal with Iran’s thuggee rulers.  The Left as a matter of faith that if only we will repent of past wrongs, pay absolution and resolve to sin no more, then the world’s worst will accept our love, beat their swords into plowshares and we will all live happily ever after.

It’s daft.  It turns the rest of the world into mere reflections of America, absolving and infantalizing them at the same time.  Iran’s leaders have no interest of their own save resistance to American hegemony and American crimes.  Once those crimes are cleared up, all will be right with the world.  Iran’s belligerance is seen merely as a resistance (a legitimate resistance, I might add), to the monsters here in America.

We are the only bad guys, and we the only actors in this drama.  Everything revolves around us.  Obama doesn’t need to engage in tough diplomacy, he needs only change us and the messy world, with all its intractable problems, will simply melt away.

This is the fantasy that Obama and others like him hold dear.  Let us pray they wake up before it’s too late.

Tasteful Gifts, Part Two

Obamas Give Queen Elizabeth an iPod – NYTimes.com

I interrupt my temporary hiatus from Conservative Cabal to note this remarkable gift. Wow, the Obamas sure are bringing change to international relations — the world must be respecting us more now! I hope Obama has his own in working order, as he may need it to tune out the anti-capitalist protesters that have been rioting in London.

But nevermind, we’re just going to put our own earbuds in and ignore the fact that Congress has been giving itself (or rather, its aides) pretty hefty bonuses — on the taxpayer dime. Is anyone protesting THIS? Are they paying 90% in taxes?

Gibbs takes swipe at … us?

Gibbs takes swipe at Cheney, ‘Republican cabal’ « – Blogs from CNN.com

Hey, anytime Rush or Cheney wish to guest (ghost?) write on the Cabal here would be fine with us. We would be honored. Honored.

Mr. Gibbs’ response to Cheney’s critique is classic, time-honored, pure pabulum :

“I would say that the president has made quite clear that keeping the American people safe and secure is the job — is the most serious job that he has each and every day.”

Well, okay. If Mr. Gibbs says that that is what Mr. Obama has made clear to the American people — we can all rest easy.   Has he — will he — make it clear in word AND deed to those who actually wish us harm? Well at least terrorists are no longer being terrorized in Gitmo. Or rather, they won’t be as soon as he figures out what to do with the really bad ones. NOT that there are really bad ones (except for the ones, that are you know, uhhh, really bad).

Amateur Hour at the White House

This is the scary-smart diplomacy we were promised?   First, there was the ridiculous, tit-for-tat letter attempt from Obama to Medvedeev.  If only you’ll stop helping the Iranians with their ballistic missile program (not their nuclear power development as has been wrongly reported in some quarters), we’ll ditch our missile defense system.  Said system which I and my Democratic allies have been railing against since the Reagan administration.

There were two things wrong with this silly letter (well two besides it being leaked and summarily rejected).  Diplomacy is not Chicago-back-room-pork-trading.  Russia’s not in it to divvy up the spoils of a captive set of tax-payers.  Russia is in it for Russia, so even if you were to offer them something, they are not going to want to give you anything in return.  That’s why diplomacy is so hard, even if you’re really smart and not just a poser with a teleprompter.  Diplomacy isn’t you and Rezko and Daley in a back room deciding how to slice up a pig, it’s Russia with a large club, trying to get all the pigs into his poke and not give you any.  So you better pick up your club, smart guy.

And here’s a little tip.  When offering the Russian bear a deal, you might not start with this line, “You give me what I want and I’ll give you what I want.”  It might work on the South-Side rubes the Democratic party has been taking advantage of for years, but it isn’t going to work on the world stage.  You can’t let the whole world know you want to scrap missile defense (EVEN THOUGH IT WORKS!), and then use it as a bargaining chip.  Oh, and the Poles, Czechs and Ukranians all say thanks for selling them back into Iron Curtain Slavery.

But hey, that was only stage one in the three stage, scary-smart diplomacy of the Obama Administration.  Read on, McDuff…

Continue reading ‘Amateur Hour at the White House’ »

Gregg Withdrawal and the Census

Good for Senator Judd Gregg to withdraw his nomination as Commerce Secretary. As a fiscal conservative, a New Englander, AND a Senator, he is needed more (than ever) now on the Finance Committee.

And as a matter of principle, we are opposed to the frankly unconstitutional desire of the Obama administration to move the Census to the Chief of Staff’s office, and away from the duties of Commerce. It’s already politicized enough, isn’t it? We imagine Judd Gregg did not want to be part of that, either.

Conspiracy theory: Perhaps Obama folk just wanted Gregg removed from his position as ranking member of the Finance Committee and then in a couple months he would be forced out of the Commerce area, or his duties there would be piece-meal taken over by the Administration.

Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution says: The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

Law directs that the Census Bureau is under jurisdiction of the Commerce Secretary.

So yeah, Obama can just nominate someone else who doesn’t mind White House interference in the Census. But now that Gregg is out, is seems less likely that Obama’s team will find that necessary. After all, they made noise about doing this mainly because some folks believed Gregg, as a conservative, wouldn’t “push hard” for a count of Hipsanics (and other traditionally solid Democrat groups).

But this is boring. Statisticians at Census take their job seriously, right? And why are conservatives always so quick to jump to conspiracy theories anyway? Geez, relax.  (And why are we so sarcastic?)

The Fakers

Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and other excellent classical musicians who performed in frigid temperatures during last Tuesday’s inaugural address were, how shall we say this — bow-synching.

Do we blame them for not playing? NO. It was freezing. But… why fake it? Why did they not just play the recording and admit that such cold temperatures are actually BAD for instruments? Or skip it and get to the oath already.

Because admitting it was a recording, or canceling the performance, would disrupt the theatrics of it all, and we of course cannot have that.

This reminded me rather strongly of China ensuring  a “cute” girl would  “sing” Ode to the Motherland during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies last summer. There was some disgust with that — typical communists, etc. etc. And here we are now, lapping it up for the coronation of Obama.

It’s a small thing, of course, and I am not saying conservatives should run out and make a lot of noise about it, but it’s interesting. And typical.  Perhaps if Obama can lull the far left fringe of his party with assurances and grand sweeping meaningless gestures like this, we can hope that real and larger damage will be limited.

Hypocrisy Court

Bailiff:  All Rise, for here comes the Judge.

Judge: Be seated.  We’re going to hear a couple of cases here today and I don’t want them to take too long, so let’s get busy.  You there, in the funny hat, what’s your business with this court.

Dar-Al-Islam:  We demand that Jerusalem be returned!

Judge: Based on what?

DAI:…

Judge: What’s the basis of your claim, why should I order it back to you?

DAI: Well, because it is ours!

Judge:  No, if it was yours I wouldn’t need to give it back.  Why do you think I should give it back?

DAI:  It was taken from us!

Judge:  And?

DAI:  …

Judge: Look son, I don’t mean to be rude but we’ve got a lot of work to do so if that’s all you’ve got.

DAI:  It was wrongly taken from us!  The Joos and the Crusaders and the Colonialists took it!

Judge:  uh-huh.  So taking is wrong?

DAI:  Yes, it must be returned!

Judge:  Constantinople.

DAI: …, you mean Istanbul?

Judge:  No, I mean Constantinople, the seat of Orthodox Christianity, the home of the great and beautiful Byzantine Empire.  Sacked, burned and enslaved by muslims and forcibly converted to ‘Istanbul’.  The beautiful cathedral of the Hagia Sophia, defaced, and turned into a mosque.

DAI:  Yes, of course, what’s your point.

Judge:  My point is that Islam has spread by the sword from the beginning of its existence.  Muhammad returned to Mecca with an army.  The whole of the Islamic world is steeped in the blood of these conquests, so it’s a little late in the game to be claiming that conquest is an illegitimate means of occupation.

DAI:  But that is different.

Judge:  Uh-huh, and why is that?

DAI:  Because Allah has willed it through his prophet Mohammad.

Judge:  Uh-huh.  You have to understand son, we don’t believe your little book, so you can’t use it as a claim of justification.  If your conquests are legitimate, than you have to tell my why other’s conquests aren’t.

DAI:  Allah has willed it.

Judge:  Well than Allah can will Jerusalem back to you.  Absent that, I’ll order than when Constantinople has been restored to its rightful place as the home of Eastern Christendom and Mecca has been freed from Islamic oppression, than I will order Jerusalem back to you.  Next Case.

Drooling Obama Worshippers:  Hi Judge, we’d like to imprison George Bush and throw a party for President Obama because he just outlawed torture and closed Guantanamo.

Judge:  Uh-huh.  We like to do one thing at a time here, so how about we start with the New President’s party.

DOW:  Yeah, we’d like to throw him a party because he stopped torture and he’s closing that travesty to human rights in Cuba.

Judge:  You mean Castro, he’s toppled Castro?

DOW:  No Judge.  You’re silly.  We mean Guantanamo, the evil US prison for poor oppressed muslims.

Judge:  Uh-huh.  So it’s closed then?

DOW:  Well, not yet, it’s very complicated.  But he’s said he’s going to and he’s studying it now.

Judge:  How about we revisit that when it’s done?  We’ve been studying alternative energy for about forty years now and still get most of our power from fossil fuels..

DOW:  Obama’s working on that too!

Judge:  Yes, isn’t that special.  What I was trying to say before you interrupted me was that we’ve been working on that problem for a long time and still don’t have any good answers.  Do you know why?

DOW:  Evil oil companies have kept the technologies from being brought to market.

Judge:  Uh, no.  How old are you anyway?

DOW:  35.

Judge:  A little old to be believing in fairy-tales aren’t you?

DOW:  ?

Judge:  Anyway, the reason the alternative energy thing hasn’t been solved is because it’s a hard problem.  And I’m thinking Guantanamo might be a hard problem too.  Taking up arms against people in Afghanistan is not a violation of any US law that I’m aware of (although doing so without a uniform and outside of any recognized chain of command is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and other laws of war).  And released, many of these men have returned to the battlefield, either in Afghanistan/Pakistan or in Iraq.

How about we revisit this issue when the President has actually done it instead of just talked about it?

DOW:  But that’s not fair!  We want to throw a party now!

Judge:  Didn’t you just have a party?

DOW:  Yes, but..  Hey, we could still throw a party because He ended torture.

Judge:  Around the world?

DOW:  No silly, he stopped our American baby-kille… oops, I mean our proud American men and women in the armed forces and CIA from torturing, which I’m sure they didn’t want to do anyway, they were just being controlled by the evil Dr. Cheney.

Judge:  You mean former Vice-President Cheney?

DOW:  Yes, he was evil and should be proscuted for torturing people too.

Judge:  Evil?  Really?

DOW:  uh-huh.  He shot his friend and he once curdled milk just by looking at it.

Judge:  And Obama’s new policy is better how?

DOW:  He’s outlawed torture and stopped any harsh treatment of prisoners.

Judge:  Any?  All the time?

DOW:  Well he has allowed for some harsh treatment in some cases where really bad guys have been caught.

Judge:  And this differs from the Bush administration how?

DOW:  He was torturing everybody, all the time!  He was teh 3V1l!

Judge:  Please, no leet-speak in my courtroom.

DOW:  S0rr4.

Judge:  Obama’s new policy is no different from Bush’s old policy.  Well, it’s slightly different.  He will allow the use of harsh treatment on high-value detainees with important information in the war on terror.  Bush allowed the same, and the CIA, under Bush’s administration, waterboarded..

DOW:  GASP!

Judge:  Oh, pipe down.  ..waterboarded all of 5 people.  All very high-value detainees with important information in the war on terror.  Obama’s policy is no different than Bush’s excepting maybe that Bush allowed ink to be spread on some lower level guys.  Ink is not a human rights violation.

DOW:  But they tricked them!  They thought it was blood!  Menstrual Blood!

Judge:  These men sawed the heads off of people, they are not afraid of a little blood.  And trickery is also not a human rights violation.

DOW:  But Bush WARTERBOARDED!

Judge:  Yes, and Obama has said he will too if it’s needed.

DOW:  But, Obama will use this power wisely, unlike Bush.

Judge:  Now you’re being silly.  Look, President Obama just restated Bush’s policies that were already in place.  So, my ruling is as follows:  No, you cannot arrest Bush.  And you cannot throw Obama a party for stopping torture, since by any definition, he hasn’t done that.  If Bush was “torturing”, than Obama will be too, and if Bush wasn’t, than there was nothing to stop.  You also cannot throw a party for Obama for closing Gitmo because he hasn’t done that either, although we can revisit that next year (and the year after that most likely).

However, you can throw a party for President Obama when he goes through his first term without a terrorist attack on US soil.  That is, if you have already thrown such a party for Bush.

The court it closed.

Bailiff:  All rise.  You heard the Judge people, everybody out!

The Closing of Gitmo

In one of his first acts as president, Obama has signed an executive order closing the prison at Guatanamo Bay within a year. And now the question everyone on the Right has been asking (for a while): Where will the prisoners go? Well — to their own countries probably. Or here, to await federal trial (sigh). Maybe they will all go to  live with John Murtha — to stimulate western Pennsylvania(??).  And how.

Liberals (such as, say, Andrew Sullivan) argue that closing Gitmo and the secret CIA prisons, and banning “harsh interrogation technigues”, is necessary because they symbolize torture. From the AP:

Obama said he was signaling that the U.S. would confront global violence without sacrificing “our values and our ideals.”

How long will we have values and ideals if we are not willing to make tough decisions to get information from terrorists to prevent the slaughter of innocents?

It’s hard to say this, because we are all human, and we do not want to have to interrogate ANYONE harshly, and the thought is more than distressing. But we did NOT choose this war. We did NOT. The thought of another 9/11 is more distressing than the idea that someone caught as an ILLEGAL combatant in Afghanistan or Iraq might think he’s drowning, or might not have habeas corpus, or might have to stand for 4 hours.

QOTD and More

Obama’s inaugural was forgettable (save for its regrettable partisan edge), let us revisit one far better. Lincoln touches on so many issues and feelings in his first inaugural that we must approach it in parts (and here only a few of the many parts of interest).

The Supreme Court

I do not forget the position assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case, upon the parties to a suit, as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be over-ruled and never become precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

A nice summation of that body’s proper role especially with the possibility that Obama will get to appoint two justices in his first term. The Left has used the court as a legislature of last resort to force certain positions down the throats of the people for too long. A return to Lincoln’s understanding of their proper place would be welcome.

Executive Power and The People

The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people… His duty is to administer the present government, as it came to his hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor.

Would that he also said unenhanced… (continuing)

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope, in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North or on yours of the South, that truth, and that justice, will surely prevail, by the judgement of this great tribunal, the American people.

We can simply substitute the Right and Left of our own time for North and South… (continuing)

By the frame of the government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals.

While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.

Of course, since Lincoln’s time, the politicians have increased their power for mischief significantly and the “Virtue and Vigilance” of the people appears to be in decline, but the sentiment is still valuable… (continuing)

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well, upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it… If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied, hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.

This is all taken from Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, and we haven’t even quoted the oft quoted final paragraph…

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

I don’t think it’s petty to point out this is way better than anything Obama has ever said, even when he quoted it. You can read the whole thing here.

Lincoln never passed up an opportunity to recognize the humanity and goodness of those who opposed him. He understood that our differences do not arise out of the moral or intellectual failings of our opponents, but from the simple difficulty of the issues we are trying to address.

There is no simple answer to poverty. We emphatically do not know what to do about it or a range of other issues. There is no conspiracy keeping the era of prosperity and pollution free energy from raining down upon us. A Perfect Union is forever beyond our grasp.

Lincoln knew this and articulated it even as he struggled mightily to keep the Union together through its most difficult and bloody time.

Today, we are left to wonder when our opponents will even acknowledge our humanity, let alone our good will. Any disagreement over even trivial legislation is treated as tantamount to Nazism. Opposing the Global Warming farce is tantamount to holocaust denial and should be prosecuted! This is the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression you insensitive jerk!

Obama’s people made a big show of using Lincoln’s bible for the swearing in (strange that the church-going Obamas have no bible of their own). Would that he used some of Lincoln’s thoughtfulness and magnanimity.