Two Incredible Day-by-Day Cartoons
This site is dedicated to providing moderate-right opinions, and information and articles that counter some of the nonsense being inculcated in our young people by public schools and by many colleges and universities. It rejects multiculturalism, embraces the melting pot and celebrates the idea of America. *Vi er all Dansk nu.*
In anticipation of increased criticism of Obama’s mysterious handling of the request for 40,000 more troops by his hand-picked commander, General McChrystal, Senator Kerry and his colleagues trotted out a story this morning that the whole terrorist problem has been caused by the failure of American soldiers to capture Osama bin Laden. Of course, this failure occurred during the Bush presidency. Give me a break. The problem of Islamic fanaticism and terrorism is squarely in the hands of the current administration, as are all other problems we face. Stop acting like babies and stop whining.
Senate report: Bin Laden was 'within grasp'
Review could be seen as warning against opponents of a troop surge now
Nov . 29, 2009 MSNBC (Excerpt)
WASHINGTON - "Osama bin Laden was unquestionably within reach of U.S. troops in the mountains of Tora Bora when American military leaders made the crucial and costly decision not to pursue the terrorist leader with massive force, a Senate report says.
The report asserts that the failure to kill or capture bin Laden at his most vulnerable in December 2001 has had lasting consequences beyond the fate of one man.
Bin Laden's escape laid the foundation for today's reinvigorated Afghan insurgency and inflamed the internal strife now endangering Pakistan, it says.
Staff members for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Democratic majority prepared the report at the request of the chairman, Sen. John Kerry, as President Barack Obama prepares to boost U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The Massachusetts senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate has long argued the Bush administration missed a chance to get the al-Qaida leader and top deputies when they were holed up in the forbidding mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan only three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks." MSNBC
Labels: War on Islamic Terrorism
As the Democrat Congress rushes pell mell to impose a national health system most Americans don’t want, there are many signs that this system has failed everywhere else it has been tried. Socialized healthcare increases the employment of government bureaucrats, and that may seem to be a success to a certain kind of mind, but people die. Great Britain’s healthcare system is the third largest employer in the world (this does not include medical personnel).
Want to fix the NHS? Go private
By Simon Heffer November 29 2009 Telegraph
One of Labour's great triumphs with the National Health Service is that people now go into hospital to die rather than to be cured. It seems to render the whole debate about assisted suicide utterly pointless. Who needs a Dignitas clinic when you can check into a hospital in Basildon and be relatively certain to be taken out in a box?
It is a further achievement of our monitoring, regulating culture that even the monitors and the regulators don't seem to have a clue how bad things are – or they certainly didn't in Basildon. This exposes one of the great pretences of the NHS: that it is there first and foremost for the benefit of patients. It isn't. It exists these days mostly for the benefit of various trade unionists who are fully paid-up members of the Brown clientele, and who earn good money as petty bureaucrats trying to "manage" things that, if they need to be managed at all, could be far better done by fewer people in much more efficient systems.
The Government and its apparatchiks have been quick to say that the monitoring regime will itself be better monitored (quis custodiet ipsos custodes, as they no longer say in the schools Labour is also wrecking). What they seem slower on the uptake about is how the hospitals can be improved, and people can be prevented from dying unnecessarily in them.
There is a solution, but it would really put out of joint the noses of the clientele. When a hospital fails in the way that the Basildon and Thurrock Trust has, it should be turned over immediately to a private-sector hit squad to sort it out.
This does not mean violating the terms of the 1946 Act that set up the NHS, and depriving people of a health service free at point of use. It means that the people who provide them with that service do not work for the state, but for contractors employed by it. I can understand that this would upset Leftists in all parties – including in the Tory party, whose policy on the NHS is to do everything identically to Labour – but that would be too bad. The maintenance of the ideological purity of the politically motivated should not be put before the lives of those to whom the state has a duty of care: but that is precisely how things are at the moment.
What, indeed, is to stop the Department of Health from selecting the 10 worst-performing hospitals in the country (though getting accurate data by which to measure their iniquity is clearly, for the moment, a problem) and putting them all out to tender to the private sector? Something similar happens with failing schools.
They are bad enough: but a failing hospital is a matter of life or death, and demands radical attention.
The state would pay the private sector to deliver health care to the people through those hospitals. It could be done on three- or five-year rolling contracts, with penalty clauses and scope for immediate termination if the businesses could not do the job properly. This would, of course, entail the providers making a profit, which is what the Leftists claim to hate. But when they cry that "no one should make a profit out of health care", they forget that lots of people already do: from those who work in the NHS to its every supplier – drugs companies, equipment manufacturers, building firms. It is time that preposterous argument was buried once and for all.
It comes down to the point that any politician who willingly allows the present inefficient – and indeed lethal – set of arrangements to pertain will have blood on his or her hands. Does that worry them less than the vested interests of the health service unions? We shall see.
Labels: Liberals and Conservatives
I publish this without comment except to say that it is one of many signs of a great nation now committing suicide, which was the way of Athens, Rome and all the other great nations that fell.
Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist
By Rowan Scarborough November 25, 2009 FoxNews.com
Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.
The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called a captain's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.
Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.
Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.
Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.
Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.
Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.
Neal Puckett, an attorney representing McCabe, told Fox News the SEALs are being charged for allegedly giving the detainee a “punch in the gut.”
“I don’t know how they’re going to bring this detainee to the United States and give us our constitutional right to confrontation in the courtroom,” Puckett said. “But again, we have terrorists getting their constitutional rights in New York City, but I suspect that they’re going to deny these SEALs their right to confrontation in a military courtroom in Virginia.”
The three SEALs will be arraigned separately on Dec. 7. Another three SEALs — two officers and an enlisted sailor — have been identified by investigators as witnesses but have not been charged.
FoxNews.com obtained the official handwritten statement from one of the three witnesses given on Sept. 3, hours after Abed was captured and still being held at the SEAL base at Camp Baharia. He was later taken to a cell in the U.S.-operated Green Zone in Baghdad.
The SEAL told investigators he had showered after the mission, gone to the kitchen and then decided to look in on the detainee.
"I gave the detainee a glance over and then left," the SEAL wrote. "I did not notice anything wrong with the detainee and he appeared in good health."
Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, spokeswoman for the special operations component of U.S. Central Command, confirmed Tuesday to FoxNews.com that three SEALs have been charged in connection with the capture of a detainee. She said their court martial is scheduled for January.
United States Central Command declined to discuss the detainee, but a legal source told FoxNews.com that the detainee was turned over to Iraqi authorities, to whom he made the abuse complaints. He was then returned to American custody. The SEAL leader reported the charge up the chain of command, and an investigation ensued.
The source said intelligence briefings provided to the SEALs stated that "Objective Amber" planned the 2004 Fallujah ambush, and "they had been tracking this guy for some time."
The Fallujah atrocity came to symbolize the brutality of the enemy in Iraq and the degree to which a homegrown insurgency was extending its grip over Iraq.
The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Insurgents burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photograph.
Intelligence sources identified Abed as the ringleader, but he had evaded capture until September.
The military is sensitive to charges of detainee abuse highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The Navy charged four SEALs with abuse in 2004 in connection with detainee treatment.
Some think that the sliming of Sarah Palin and of her husband and of her children by those on the left has just been normal, political name-calling. If this is what you think, read on.
The Wilding of Sarah Palin
By Robin of Berkeley November 24, 2009 American Thinker
I finally beheld what my eyes had refused to see: that leftists are Mr. and Ms. Misogyny. Neither the males nor the females care a whit about women.
Women are continually sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. If under radical Islam women are enshrouded and stoned and beheaded, so be it.
My other epiphanies: those ponytailed guys were marching for abortion rights not because they cherished women's reproductive freedom, but to keep women available for free and easy sex.
And the eagerness for women to make good money? If women work hard, leftist men don't have to.
Then along came Sarah, and the attacks became particularly heinous. And I realized something even more chilling about the Left. Leftists not only sacrifice and disrespect women, but it's far worse: many are perpetuators.
The Left's behavior towards Palin is not politics as usual. By their laser-focus on her body and her sexuality, leftists are defiling her.
They are wilding her. And they do this with the full knowledge and complicity of the White House.
The Left has declared war on Palin because she threatens their existence. Liberals need women dependent and scared so that women, like blacks, will vote Democrat.
A strong, self-sufficient woman, Palin eschews liberal protection. Drop her off in the Alaskan bush and she'll survive just fine, thank you very much. Palin doesn't need or want anything from liberals -- not hate crimes legislation that coddles her, and not abortion, which she abhors.
Palin is a woman of deep and abiding faith. She takes no marching orders from messiah-like wannabes like Obama.
And so the Left must try to destroy her. And they are doing this in the most malicious of ways: by symbolically raping her.
Just like a perpetuator, they dehumanize her by objectifying her body. They undress her with their eyes.
They turn her into a piece of ass.
Liberals do this by calling her a c__t, ogling her legs, demeaning her with names like "slutty flight attendant" and "Trailer Park Barbie," and exposing her flesh on the cover of Newsweek.
And from Atlantic Magazine's Andrew Sullivan: "Sarah Palin's vagina is the font of all evil in the galaxy."
Nothing is off-limits, not actress Sandra Bernhard's wish that Palin be gang-raped or the sexualization of Palin's daughters.
As every woman knows, leering looks, lurid words, and veiled threats are intended to evoke terror. Sexual violence is a form of terrorism.
The American Left has a long history of defiling people to control and break them. The hard core '60s leftists were masters of guerrilla warfare, like the Symbionese Liberation Army repeatedly raping Patty Hearst. Huey P. Newton sent a male Black Panther to the hospital, bloodied and damaged from a punishment of sodomy.
The extreme Left still consider themselves warriors, righteous soldiers for their Marxist cause. With Palin, they use sexual violence as part of their military arsenal.
Palin is not the only intended victim. As Against Our Will described, the brutality is also aimed at men. By forcing men to witness Palin's violation, the Left tries to emasculate conservative men and render them powerless.
The wilding of any woman is reprehensible. But defiling a mother of five with a babe in her arms, and a grandmother to boot, is particularly obscene. It is, of course, Palin's unapologetic motherhood that fuels the leftist fire.
Because as a mother and a fertile woman, Palin is as close to the sacred as a person gets. She is not just politically pro-life. Her whole being emanates life, which is a stark contrast to the darkness of the Left, the life-despoilers.
These "progressives" are so alienated from the sacred that they perceive nothing as sacred. And they will destroy anyone whose goodness shines a mirror on their pathology. The spiritually barren must annihilate the vital and the fertile.
It has been almost two years since I woke up and broke up with liberalism. During these many months, I've discovered that everything I believed was wrong.
But the biggest shock of all has been realizing that the Democratic Party is hardly an oasis for women. Now that it has been infiltrated by the hard Left, it's a dangerous place for women, children, and other living things.
In the wilding of Sarah Palin, the Left shows its true colors. Rather than sheild the vulnerable, leftists will mow down any man, woman, or child who gets in their way. Instead of a movement of hope and change, it is a cauldron of hate.
From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
In these dark times, with spiritually bankrupt people at the helm, thank God we have bright lights like Sarah Palin to illuminate the darkness.
A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a psychotherapist and a recovering liberal in Berkeley
Labels: Sarah Palin
I’m sure most of my readers are now well aware of the fact that e-mails that were discovered between global warming activist scientists revealed the fraud that has been perpetrated on the world in pursuit of government funding for their projects and to advance their liberal world view. So now we know for sure what most conservatives (especially those who believe in God) have known all along: there is no man-made global warming, just a continuation of natural cycles that have gone on for eons.
Other than to say, “We told you so”, what now? One thing we have learned about liberals is that they never let facts get in the way of their “feelings”, and they never give up, no matter how wrong-headed they may be. This is not only true of global warming, but also of aspects of Darwinism, of the current push for government-run healthcare and of many other pursuits that deny science and/or basic human nature.
We can’t let our guard down, because they will still persist in passing Cap and Trade, regardless of the facts, because global warming has only been a convenient vehicle for their real agenda – to cripple America’s wealth-producing industries to achieve “fairness” in their world vision, just as government-run healthcare is mostly a means to the end of controlling everyone’s lives.
Their first step (already under way) will be to spin the meaning of these e-mails and to try to change the focus from what the e-mails reveal - to the invasion of privacy committed by the hacker. The following article is fascinating, exploring the details and the meaning of these intercepted e-mails:
The Fix is In
By Robert Tracinski November 24, 2009 RealClearPolitics
In early October, I covered a breaking story about evidence of corruption in the basic temperature records maintained by key scientific advocates of the theory of man-made global warming. Global warming "skeptics" had unearthed evidence that scientists at the Hadley Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia had cherry-picked data to manufacture a "hockey stick" graph showing a dramatic-but illusory-runaway warming trend in the late 20th century.
But now newer and much broader evidence has emerged that looks like it will break that scandal wide open. Pundits have already named it "Climategate."
A hacker-or possibly a disillusioned insider-has gathered thousands of e-mails and data from the CRU and made them available on the Web. Officials at the CRU have verified the breach of their system and acknowledged that the e-mails appear to be genuine.
Yes, this is a theft of data-but the purpose of the theft was to blow the whistle on a much bigger, more brazen crime. The CRU has already called in the police to investigate the hacker. But now someone needs to call in the cops to investigate the CRU.
Australian journalist Andrew Bolt has a good overview of the story, with a selection of incriminating e-mails that have already been discovered in the hacked data. Note that these e-mails reveal more than just what it going on at the CRU, since they involve numerous leading British and American climate scientists outside of the CRU.
These e-mails show, among many other things, private admissions of doubt or scientific weakness in the global warming theory. In acknowledging that global temperatures have actually declined for the past decade, one scientist asks, "where the heck is global warming?... The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." They still can't account for it; see a new article in Der Spiegel: "Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out." I don't know where these people got their scientific education, but where I come from, if your theory can't predict or explain the observed facts, it's wrong.
More seriously, in one e-mail, a prominent global warming alarmist admits to using a statistical "trick" to "hide the decline" in temperatures. Anthony Watts provides an explanation of this case in technical detail; the "trick" consists of selectively mixing two different kinds of data-temperature "proxies" from tree rings and actual thermometer measurements-in a way designed to produce a graph of global temperatures that ends the way the global warming establishment wants it to: with an upward "hockey stick" slope.
Confirming the earlier scandal about cherry-picked data, the e-mails show CRU scientists conspiring to evade legal requests, under the Freedom of Information Act, for their underlying data. It's a basic rule of science that you don't just get to report your results and ask other people to take you on faith. You also have to report your data and your specific method of analysis, so that others can check it and, yes, even criticize it. Yet that is precisely what the CRU scientists have refused.
But what stood out most for me was extensive evidence of the hijacking of the "peer review" process to enforce global warming dogma. Peer review is the practice of subjecting scientific papers to review by other scientists with relevant expertise before they can be published in professional journals. The idea is to weed out research with obvious flaws or weak arguments, but there is a clear danger that such a process will simply reinforce groupthink. If it is corrupted, peer review can be a mechanism for an entrenched establishment to exclude legitimate challenges by simply refusing to give critics a hearing.
And that is precisely what we find.
In response to an article challenging global warming that was published in the journal Climate Research, CRU head Phil Jones complains that the journal needs to "rid themselves of this troublesome editor"-hopefully not through the same means used by Henry II's knights. Michael Mann replies:
I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.
Note the circular logic employed here. Skepticism about global warming is wrong because it is not supported by scientific articles in "legitimate peer-reviewed journals." But if a journal actually publishes such an article, then it is by definition not "legitimate."
You can also see from these e-mails the scientists' panic at any dissent appearing in the scientific literature. When another article by a skeptic was published in Geophysical Research Letters, Michael Mann complains, "It's one thing to lose Climate Research. We can't afford to lose GRL." Another CRU scientist, Tom Wigley, suggests that they target another troublesome editor: "If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted." That's exactly what they did, and a later e-mail boasts that "The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/new editorial leadership there."
Not content to block out all dissent from scientific journals, the CRU scientists also conspired to secure friendly reviewers who could be counted on to rubber-stamp their own work. Phil Jones suggests such a list to Kevin Trenberth, with the assurance that "All of them know the sorts of things to say...without any prompting."
So it's no surprise when another e-mail refers to an attempt to keep inconvenient scientific findings out of a UN report: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow-even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!" Think of all of this the next time you hear someone invoke the authority of peer review-or of the UN's IPCC reports-as backing for claims about global warming.
This scandal goes beyond scientific journals and into other media used to promote the global warming dogma. For example, RealClimate.org has been billed as an objective website at which global warming activists and skeptics can engage in an impartial debate. But in the CRU e-mails, the global warming establishment boasts that RealClimate is in their pocket.
I wanted you guys to know that you're free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through.... We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you'd like us to include.
[T]hink of RC as a resource that is at your disposal.... We'll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics don't get to use the RC comments as a megaphone.
And anyone doubting that the mainstream media is in on it, too, should check out New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin's toadying apologia for the CRU e-mails, masquerading as a news report.
The picture that emerges is simple. In any discussion of global warming, either in the scientific literature or in the mainstream media, the outcome is always predetermined. Just as the temperature graphs produced by the CRU are always tricked out to show an upward-sloping "hockey stick," every discussion of global warming has to show that it is occurring and that humans are responsible. And any data or any scientific paper that tends to disprove that conclusion is smeared as "unscientific" precisely because it threatens the established dogma.
For more than a decade, we've been told that there is a scientific "consensus" that humans are causing global warming, that "the debate is over" and all "legitimate" scientists acknowledge the truth of global warming. Now we know what this "consensus" really means. What it means is: the fix is in.
This is an enormous case of organized scientific fraud, but it is not just scientific fraud. It is also a criminal act. Suborned by billions of taxpayer dollars devoted to climate research, dozens of prominent scientists have established a criminal racket in which they seek government money-Phil Jones has raked in a total of £13.7 million in grants from the British government-which they then use to falsify data and defraud the taxpayers. It's the most insidious kind of fraud: a fraud in which the culprits are lauded as public heroes. Judging from this cache of e-mails, they even manage to tell themselves that their manipulation of the data is intended to protect a bigger truth and prevent it from being "confused" by inconvenient facts and uncontrolled criticism.
The damage here goes far beyond the loss of a few billions of taxpayer dollars on bogus scientific research. The real cost of this fraud is the trillions of dollars of wealth that will be destroyed if a fraudulent theory is used to justify legislation that starves the global economy of its cheapest and most abundant sources of energy.
This is the scandal of the century. It needs to be thoroughly investigated-and the culprits need to be brought to justice.
When Saturday Night Live turns on a liberal president, you know he's in trouble.
(There's a commercial at the start that takes a moment).
Two of the most deceitful partisans on MSNBC are Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. They constantly slime and attack conservatives while putting positive spins on everything and anything liberal politicians do. Along with the SNL skit, this dialogue from Chris Matthews seemed especially significant. Obama is even losing some who have been most committed to him:
Chris Matthews appears to have lost that loving feeling for Barack Obama.
On "The Chris Matthews Show" Sunday, the once smitten MSNBCer called some of Obama's recent mistakes "Carteresque":
In the Carter presidency, the optics were not exactly robust, and Ronald Reagan rode that to a big victory in 1980. Is the Obama White House sending some Carteresque signals these days?
These "signals" included bowing to the Emperor of Japan, getting nothing on his trip to China, and deciding to try terrorists in New York City.
Potentially as surprising as Matthews bringing these issues up was the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut and David Ignatius agreeing with him.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Welcome back. The word these days is optics, visuals, signals.
In the Carter presidency, the optics were not exactly robust, and Ronald Reagan rode that to a big victory in 1980. Is the Obama White House sending some Carteresque signals these days? Some see that in the deep bow to the Emperor of Japan, an unforced error say critics. Then there was, there was what happened in China: Obama got nothing in the way of concessions over there in spite of playing the polite visitor. And his effort to speak directly to the Chinese was jammed by the government. Third, that decision to try the terrorists up in that federal court in New York City. Again, nothing that had to be done, and critics say it shows that Obama, his team doesn't understand this is a war we're in. David, that's the question. These optics are everything in a president. Carter used to carry that garment bag over his shoulder. This president is he making mistakes like in China like in Japan?
DAVID IGNATIUS, WASHINGTON POST : I think he is coming across as stiff. He is talking too much sometimes and communicating too little. So the opposite of what we saw during the campaign. Although the decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York apparently was Eric Holder's, it strikes me that it really is a mistake. I mean, there are too many bad things that could happen. There is no reason to have to have done this. And, you know, it's a political feel for decision-making. That wonderful thing you just did about President Johnson's feel for the moment. That's what I think is missing now with this group in the White House. I don't know where it's gone. They certainly had it during the campaign. Maybe they'll get it back. But it's missing now.
MATTHEWS: It's the political touch. You were in China. You just got back. Tell me about that. The president tried to speak to the Chinese people and apparently it was jammed. Tell me about that.
ANNE KORNBLUT, WASHINGTON POST: This was the big moment of the whole trip to Asia in fact, eight days in Asia he was going to speak to Chinese students in Shanghai unfiltered at least in his answers, and in fact the Chinese government, you know, they allowed the event to take place, but it was only shown locally on Shanghai television. People didn't see it. The one piece of news he made in it saying that the internet should be free and people should have access dribbled out to the Chinese public and then started being deleted from all the Chinese websites. So, then, the following day he held a quote unquote press conference with the Chinese President Hu Jintao in which there were no questions and they read statements. Now, this is of course, this is the Chinese, it's their home turf. They were allowed to do what they wanted to. That was the White House's argument. And the White House haggled with them to get it more open.
MATTHEWS: The White House got jammed here. Did they know this was coming, that it wouldn't get to the people?
KORNBLUT: Sure. They knew, previous presidents had been allowed to reach the Chinese public. They knew that it might or might not. It did. But they didn't have to stand there at a press conference, call it a press conference, and not answer questions. And I think they're expect, they may have raised expectations a little for how much they were going to be able to do.
One of the worst outrages of the Obama Administration - and one that may be the last straw that will sink it - was the decision to try the planner of the 9/11 attacks in the USA. The decision is so illogical and damaging to US interests as to be indefensible - as so many of the administration's apologists are finding out. We have little use for Lindsey Graham, but occasionally he gets something right, as our friends at PowerLine point out in excellent fashion:
Reading Bin Laden His Rights
November 18, 2009 PowerLine.com
Lindsey Graham frequently drives us crazy, but it can't be denied that he has his moments. In today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he took Eric Holder to the woodshed:
If Video Does Not Load Go Here
Graham is right, of course. Under the Obama administration's policies, if we capture Osama bin Laden tomorrow, the first thing we will have to do is read him his rights, and the second is get him a lawyer at taxpayer expense. The argument that Holder tries to interpose--maybe we won't have to Mirandize bin Laden because the evidence of his guilt is "overwhelming"--is pathetic. Can you imagine trying to explain to a federal judge that a criminal defendant had a constitutional right to have his rights read to him, but you skipped that step because the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming? The fact that the Obama administration needs to resort to such silly evasions demonstrates that its policy is indefensible.
To the extent that the Obama administration tries to justify its criminalization of the war against terror, its excuse is that doing so "vindicates the rule of law."
But, as Holder's exchange with Graham showed, the administration is happy to abandon the "rule of law" as soon as it becomes inconvenient. In that regard, one basic question has always been, what happens if we prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his confederates and the result is an acquittal or a hung jury? Senator Kohl asked Eric Holder that question today:
KOHL: Mr. Holder, last week you announced that the department will bring to Guantanamo detainees accused of planning the 9/11 attacks to trial in federal court in New York, as we've talked about this morning. On Friday you said that you'd not have authorized prosecution if you were not confident that the outcome would be successful. However, many critics have offered their own predictions about how such a trial might well play out.
One concern we have heard from critics of your decision is that the defendants could get off on legal technicalities, in which case these terrorists would walk free.
Does this scenario have any merit? If not, why? And in the worst case scenario that the trial does not result in a conviction, what would be your next steps?
HOLDER: Many of those who have criticized the decision -- and not all -- but many of those who have criticized the decision have done so, I think, from a position of ignorance. They have not had access to the materials that I have had access to.
They've not had a chance to look at the facts, look at the applicable laws and make the determination as to what our chances of success are. I would not have put these cases in Article III courts if I did not think our chances of success were not good -- in fact, if I didn't think our chances of success were enhanced by bringing the cases there. My expectation is that these capable prosecutors from the Justice Department will be successful in the prosecution of these cases.
KOHL: But taking into account that you never know what happens when you walk into a court of law, in the event that for whatever reason they do not get convicted, what would be your next step? I'm sure you must have talked about it.
HOLDER: What I told the prosecutors and what I will tell you and what I spoke to them about is that failure is not an option. Failure is not an option. This -- these are cases that have to be won. I don't expect that we will have a contrary result.
Failure is not an option! Let's hope that's true, in the sense that if a jury acquits KSM or fails to reach a verdict, he would be kept in custody anyway. But, that being the case, isn't the criminal prosecution fundamentally fraudulent? Barack Obama, like Eric Holder, has assured the American people that KSM will be convicted:
In one of a series of TV interviews during his trip to Asia, Obama said those offended by the legal privileges given to Muhammed by virtue of getting a civilian trial rather than a military tribunal won't find it "offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him."
Obama quickly added that he did not mean to suggest he was prejudging the outcome of Mohammed's trial. "I'm not going to be in that courtroom," he said. "That's the job of the prosecutors, the judge and the jury."
Can you imagine any other context in which the President of the United States would assure the public that a criminal defendant is guilty; that he will be convicted by a jury; and that he will be executed? Such comments make a mockery of the "rule of law" as normally understood.
It's true, of course, that Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are obviously guilty of the terrorist attacks of which they proudly boast. We don't need a judge and jury to tell us this. In my view, we would be amply justified in simply shooting them.
But if only one jury verdict is acceptable; if the President is willing to assure the American people of conviction; if acquittal or a hung jury is "not an option;" if, assuming such a result, the defendant would be returned to prison anyway--then it is ridiculous to say that we are going through this charade in order to "vindicate the rule of law."
November 19, 2009 PowerLine.com
We noted last night that under the Obama administration's law-enforcement approach to terrorism, if we capture Osama bin Laden the first things we'll have to do are read him his rights and get him a free lawyer. When Lindsay Graham pointed this out to Eric Holder in yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Holder feebly responded that maybe we wouldn't have to Mirandize bin Laden because the evidence against him is "overwhelming."
This answer was essentially nonsensical, but Pat Leahy amplified it this morning, in a further effort at spin control:
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of that committee, said that arguments raised by Republican senators about whether bin Laden would be afforded Miranda rights if he were captured was a "red herring."
"The red herring that my friend [Sen.] Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was covering is not realistic," Leahy said during an appearance on "Washington Journal" on C-SPAN.
"For one thing, capturing Osama bin Laden -- we've had enough on him, we don't need to interrogate him," Leahy added.
There you have it: under the Obama administration's approach we won't be able to interrogate bin Laden, but that's OK--we don't need to! Do you think bin Laden might know a thing or two about al Qaeda's plans, operations, personnel and methods that it might be useful for us to find out? Leahy's claim is beyond stupid, but this is what happens when the administration embarks on a policy that simply cannot be defended.
At Fort Hood, Malik Nadal Hasan reminded us again of the depravity of Muslims practicing jihad by butchering innocent people. As of today, Muslims have carried out more than 14,000 murderous attacks around the world since 9/11. In case anyone has forgotten recent history, let's turn again to the heroic Dutch lawmaker, Geert Wilders, whose life is constantly at great risk as he attempts to warn the western world of the dangers posed by multiculturalism in general and Islam in particular.
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Anti-Islamic Dutch Lawmaker Event at University Cut Short as Crowd Turns Nasty
11/20/09 Terrorism Awareness Project
"Where Islam sets roots, freedom dies," Geert Wilders told the students during his 30-minute address organized by a new student group called Temple University Purpose and funded by the California-based David Horowitz Freedom Center, a foundation that promotes conservative scholarship.
His remarks were met by a mixture of applause and boos, and occasionally gasps — particularly when he stated that "our Western culture is far better than the Islamic culture and we should defend it."
He decried as a "disgrace" a resolution co-sponsored by the U.S. and Egypt, and backed by the U.N. Human Rights Council earlier this month, deploring attacks on religions while insisting that freedom of expression remains a basic right. Wilders also criticized President Barack Obama for his efforts to extend a hand to the Islamic world, saying that such appeasement marks "the beginning of the end."
If the spread of Islam continues unabated in the Western world, "you might at the end of the day lose your Constitution," he told the assembly. "Wake up, defend your freedom."
He also touched on common themes in his speeches, including calling for an end to Muslim immigrationand referring to the Muslim holy book, the Quran, as "an evil book" that promotes violence and intolerance.
A question-and-answer session was cut short after the tone of the event began to turn nasty, when some in the crowd of several hundred students began shouting jeers. Wilders' security detail quickly ushered him from the room.
"In order to improve our understanding of others, we need to learn," said Alvaro Watson of Purpose, the student group. "We can't fight for something if we only know one side."
Before his remarks at Temple, a public university serving about 34,000 students, Wilders showed his 15-minute anti-Islam film, "Fitna," which juxtaposes passages from the suras, or chapters, of the Quran with images of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, beheadings, shootings and speeches from clerics advocating violence against non-Muslims.
"I think it's completely wrong that someone who promotes racism and intolerance should be given a platform at this university," said Temple student Josh Rosenthal. "It's hate speech disguised as free speech."
Another student, Joseph Rodrigues, said that being able to voice unpopular opinions is a freedom not to be taken lightly. "I might not like what he said, but I think it's important that he be allowed to say it," he said.
Temple officials issued a statement saying the university "is a community of scholars in which freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression are valued."
"We respect the right of our student organizations to invite people who express a wide variety of views and ideas," the school said in a statement.
British officials once banned Wilders from visiting for fear it would spark violence. He successfully sued the government and visited Friday.
Wilders is scheduled to speak at Columbia University in New York on Wednesday.
Labels: War on Islamic Terrorism
I keep asking my liberal frends how they can continue to support Democrats like Senator Reid when they all lie almost everytime they open their mouths. How can Reid say, with a straight face, that his bill will "save Medicare"? If they cut Medicare by almost $500 billion as his bill intends, it will destroy Medicare. If the Democrats restore the cuts in a slight of hand, it will destroy our economy.
(I could not enlarge the table from the CBO, so I entered the figures they are projecting in the table below published by the CBO).
Have Democratic Leaders Gone Mad?
November 20, 2009 RealClearPolitics
With the introduction of Harry Reid's health care bill - talk will inevitably focus on whether the public option or the Stupak amendment will undermine the legislation. Yet, if the bill dies, I do not think either of these will be the primary cause of death.
I think the real culprit will be: The cuts in Medicare factored in Reid's bill.
The CBO's analysis of how the Reid bill will cut Medicare comes out to $491 billion over 10 years when everything is factored in.
The following has been said by other commentators, but I have to add my voice to the chorus: This is insanity, Democratic leaders. Why are you doing this?
Getting AARP's support might give you cover among the Washington crowd, but let's inject some common sense here. Lots of people are members of AARP, but that does not mean they are intensely committed to it, and will therefore follow its lead on such an important issue. AARP is not like the unions in that regard. Lots of people join to get discounts on auto insurance and movie tickets, meaning that affiliation with the organization is broader than it is deep.
Obama's current numbers among senior citizens demonstrate the validity of this point, not to mention the concern that Democrats should have heading into 2010. Gallup has him at 45% among those over 65, and at 49% among those between 50 and 64.
Hint. Quinnipiac has him at 42% with those over 55. Hint hint. Rasmussen currently shows Democrats losing the generic ballot among seniors by 15 points; in 2008, Democrats split the senior vote with the GOP. Hint hint hint.
Let's review the political power that American seniors wield. In the Virginia gubernatorial election, people over 65 accounted for 18% of all voters. In New Jersey it was 19%. People over 65 accounted for 19% of all voters in the 2006 House midterm. And even in the "Yes We Can!" presidential election of 2008, when college kids supposedly overwhelmed the normal electoral process, the 65 and over crowd still accounted for 16% of the electorate (unchanged relative to 2004).
The 2006 House exit poll showed the Democrats winning the national vote by a margin of 54 to 46. If, however, we plug in Rasmussen's current generic ballot number among seniors in place of what the Democrats actually won from that cohort in 2006, their lead falls to 52-48. Note that this assumes no change among younger cohorts. That's seniors alone cutting the Democratic margin in half. This also assumes that seniors do not come out in greater numbers in 2010 to defend against perceived assaults on their Medicare benefits.
Blanche Lincoln knows what I'm talking about. When she won reelection in 2004, seniors made up 16% of the electorate and went 59-41 for her. In the 1998 midterm, seniors made up 26% of the electorate and went 60-37 for her. In both contests, they were her strongest supporters. I wonder what she thinks of Table 2 in the CBO's analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Bob Dole knows what I'm talking about, too. From January through September of 1995, Bill Clinton's job approval numbers were tepid, with a typical net approval rating of about +2.5. Things turned around for him in late 1995 when the budget battle heated up and Clinton took a stand against...GOP reductions in projected Medicare spending! I'll let Michael Barone finish the story. This is from the 1998 Almanac of American Politics:
[I]n August 1995 [Clinton] started running political ads against the Republicans' Medicare plan. All this was part of a strategy pollster Dick Morris called "triangulation," taking positions between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans so as to elevate the president's stature above both...In November and December he negotiated on the budget with Speaker Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, promising them agreement at times, but he ultimately vetoed most of their appropriations bills. That technically shut down non-emergency functions of the federal government, a step which many Republicans initially welcomed and thought would be popular. This was a stunning miscalculation, as was their lack of a strategy to deal with Clinton's vetoes...By the time Republicans backtracked and agreed to Clinton's terms, their ratings were down and they were running behind Democrats in the polls.
The President declared at the time the deal was struck that his proposal was a "sensible solution" that showed "you can balance the budget in 7 years, and protect Medicare and Medicaid, education and the environment and provide tax relief to working families." He cruised to reelection.
Not coincidentally, Dick Morris was the first to suggest that mucking around with Medicare would mean trouble for the Democrats. He knows what he's talking about, and in September he wrote:
The Democratic Party, led by Obama, is systematically converting the elderly vote into a Republican bastion. The work of FDR in passing Social Security in 1937 and of LBJ in enacting Medicare in 1965 is being undone by the president's healthcare program. The elderly see [Obama's] proposals for what they are: a massive redistribution of healthcare away from the elderly and toward a population that is younger, healthier and richer but happens, at the moment, to lack insurance.
(Remember that the uninsured are, by definition, not elderly, not young and not in poverty - and if they are, they are currently eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP and do not need the Obama program.) The elderly see the $500 billion projected cut in Medicare through the same lens as they viewed Gingrich's efforts to slice the growth in the program in the mid-1990s.
Why are Obama, Pelosi, and Reid doing this? How could they be so foolish as to repeat the most egregious mistake of the Republicans of the 104th Congress? Why are they forcing their vulnerable members to vote on a bill that would cut Medicare in this fashion? Do they dislike their moderate colleagues? Do they find the chore of being the majority party too burdensome? Have they simply gone mad?
Labels: Liberals and Conservatives
Yesterday Iran announced that, by gosh, it just could not accept the proposal to have its uranium processed in some other country, but that maybe some possible changes in the proposal could be worked out. Maybe discussions could take place on this over the coming months. In other news events Bill Clinton said he did not have sex with that woman, and Congressman William Jefferson said he had no idea where the $90,000 in his freezer came from.
Of course, the report that Iran's nuclear weapons program may be hampered by the existence of impuities in its uranium stock is an added complication, but do we really want to hang the future of the civilized world on a rumor that may have been planted by the Iranians? Given the evidence of their behavior over the past several years, the only safe course is to assume the Iranians are continuing to stall so that they can complete their development of nuclear weapons. In his column reproduced below, Christopher Hitchins doesn't think so. (Mr. Hitchins is well known for his liberal beliefs and opposition to many conservative views, but he was one of the few prominent liberals who understood the need to depose Saddam).
Why Wait To Disarm Iran?
There's no possible advantage in waiting until Tehran has nukes.
By Christopher Hitchens Oct. 19, 2009 Slate
A contradiction must be faced by those of us who don't especially like the propaganda name neoconservative but who wish that there was a useful term for someone who favors a robust American attitude toward totalitarian and aggressive states. This contradiction often takes the form of wanting to emphasize a threat without overstating it. One can begin by viewing this argument from its opposite side. In the recent past, extremely nasty and dangerous one-party or one-man regimes in Serbia and Iraq have made real trouble for their neighbors and been a nightmare to their "own" people and have mocked all the canons of international law but have been considered by many commentators as too risky to confront. Go look this up, and you will discover that those who didn't want to confront Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein would always stress the awesome power of violence that they had at their command. If NATO bombed the Serbian positions around Sarajevo, say, it would unleash a monster of reaction that would draw a Russian intervention on the side of Belgrade, trigger a massive backlash throughout the Balkans, drown the region in bloodshed and "a wider war," and all that.
Likewise, a military move against Saddam Hussein would incite him to saturate our troops with chemical weapons, ignite the oilfields, destroy Israel, inflame the "Arab street," and overthrow every friendly Middle Eastern government, etc., etc. Those of us who wanted to get rid of these hideous governments were bombarded with arguments that said, in effect, they are not only a threat but actually a lethal threat, and their forces are made up of people who are 10 feet tall. The contradiction cut both ways, in other words.
So, much kudos to David Ignatius of the Washington Post for his column last Friday, in which he restates the findings of a little-known trade publication with the arcane name of Nucleonics Week. To quote directly, the article reports that there might be some reason to think that:
Iran's supply of low-enriched uranium—the potential feed-stock for nuclear bombs—appears to have certain "impurities" that "could cause centrifuges to fail" if the Iranians try to boost it to weapons grade.
Among other things, this could explain why Iran is cynically negotiating to send its low-enriched uranium to other states, such as France and Russia, to have it enhanced to a higher grade. Such a move, of course, would also be compatible with a "peaceful" program, if anyone is left who believes that this is all the Islamic republic really wants.
So backward has the theocracy made its wretched country that it is even vulnerable to sanctions on refined petroleum, for heaven's sake. Unlike neighboring secular Turkey, which has almost no oil but is almost qualified—at least economically—to join the European Union, Iran is as much a pistachio-and-rug-exporting country as it was when the sadistic medievalists first seized power. So it wouldn't be surprising in the least if a regime that has no genuine respect for science and no internal self-critical feedback had screwed up its rogue acquisition of modern weaponry. A system in which nothing really works except the military and the police will, like North Korea, end up producing somewhat spastic missiles and low-yield nukes, as well.
But spastic missiles and low-yield nukes can still ruin the whole day of a neighboring state, as well as make a travesty of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and such international laws and treaties as are left to us. Thus, if it is true that Iran is not as close to "break-out" as we have sometimes feared, should that not make our deliberations more urgent rather than less? Might it not mean, in effect, that now is a better time to disarm the mullahs than later?
Remember that Iran acquired a good deal of its original materiel on the black market, buying through proxies and using other means of deception, before anyone knew what was going on. This in turn means that it would be very much harder to acquire replacement supplies, in the face of continuing invigilation from the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and several intelligence services.
Logically, then, even a minor disruption or dislocation of one of the existing key Iranian sites could have the effect of retarding the whole tenuous program for quite a while. And in the meanwhile, the internal clock of Iranian society is running against the continuation of outright dictatorship. So who should be scared of whom?
I have never been present for any discussion of any measures that could even thinkably be taken against Tehran that does not focus obsessively and exclusively on the possibly calamitous outcomes. Israel hits Iran and—well, you fill in the rest.
The target sites are, anyway, too much dispersed and too deeply buried. You know how it goes. Apparently, nothing can be done that does not make a bad situation worse.
It is as if there could be a worse outcome than the nuclear armament of a lawless messianic state that tore up every agreement it signed even as it bought further time while signing it.
In that case, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and many others should never have said that such an eventuality was unacceptable. They should have said that there were some conditions under which it was acceptable, and also clearly specified what those conditions were. If there's no saber in the scabbard, then at least don't make the vulgar mistake of rattling it.
Against this, we are at least entitled to consider the idea that a decaying regime that is bluffing and buying (or rather stealing) time on weapons of mass destruction is in a condition that makes this the best moment to do at least something to raise the cost of the lawlessness and to slow down and sabotage the preparations. Or might it be better to wait and to fight later on more equal terms? Just asking.
Labels: War on Islamic Terrorism
There was an AP article this morning about a ruckus in Moscow between a group labeled “anti-racist” and another group called “neo-NAZI” in one place and “right-wing” at another point. Since NAZI is the acronym for a particularly perverse form of socialism, how did we ever let the mainstream press get away with calling NAZI supporters “right-wing”? The real definition of “right-wing” is “freedom-loving supporter of the Republic form of government”, a precious possession left to us by our Founding Fathers. Left-wing, on the other hand, is a term properly applied to statists, those who want to give up freedom for the supposed security of an intrusive government, operating under the banner of Naziism, communism, socialism, or something approaching one of those isms.
Where left-wing forms of government always break down is that they cannot work at all unless the central planners have control over the production and distribution of goods and services – and there are always those stubborn individuals who refuse to conform and must be dealt with – usually at gunpoint. This is the legacy of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro and the ongoing crimes being committed against the Venezuelan people by the Chavez regime. Even when they work they don’t work, hence the current reports of toilet paper shortages in Cuba and blackouts and water shortages in Venezuela, a country blessed with immense natural resources.
In between these left-wing forms of government and a Republic like ours is pure democracy, which always starts out fine but always slides into a chaotic situation that is rescued by an oligarchy type of dictatorship of the left. The reason that this happens is due to human nature. Without specific prohibitions (like our Constitution), those who work and produce and give are always eventually overcome by those who won’t work and only take.
The Tea Party protestors are mainly composed of people some of whom may not be able to articulate the slippery slope from a Republic of free people to a socialist form of government, but they recognize the signs and want to stop it from happening. They are being maligned by the statists with every kind of foul epithet (like teabaggers), but they, like Sarah Palin, will not be easily defeated.
I can hardly watch the news anymore because of the number of outrages that wash over us on a daily basis. We can hardly assimilate the meaning of one outrageous policy initiative before there is another one – policy initiatives that are directed at driving us from this precious Republic form of government to one closer to socialism. My reaction to this has been to write blog post after blog post criticizing the policies and criticizing the man, Obama, who is behind them.
I am a conservative, but sometimes someone like me will say something I feel I must counter, because it goes too far. In this vein I feel like those opposing Obama must also be getting tired of reading about his many warts, even though they agree with the sentiments being expressed. It’s like not wanting to hear the news anymore or even seeing polls – even encouraging ones. I am therefore going to try to concentrate on policy reviews and on publishing good stuff – like the heartwarming reception Sarah Palin is getting:
1500 wait in freezing weather to meet Palin on book tour
November 18, 2009 Hotair.com (Excerpt)
"In case anyone needed an example of the drawing power and political energy that Sarah Palin wields, the Detroit Free Press report on the start of her book tour should fill the gap nicely. Despite freezing temperatures, people gathered by the hundreds early this morning to greet Palin in person at a Grand Rapids bookstore.
By 5 am, five hundred people stood outside the Barnes & Noble — and two hours later, the numbers had swelled to 1500:
And that’s 4:55 this morning when the thermometer had dipped into the 30s. But the 500 or so people in line didn’t mind the sleepless night or the onset of winter.
“What she represents is what we’re standing in line for,” said Robin Case, 44, of Traverse City, who set up a chair and sleeping bag at 9 p.m. Tuesday to make sure she got the chance to meet Sarah Palin, former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate. “She’s real and she’s standing up for what we believe in.”
Palin was scheduled to begin her “Going Rogue” book tour at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers in suburban Grand Rapids.
By 7 a.m., the line had swelled to more than 1,500 people as Barnes & Noble wrapped orange wristbands around Palin fans’ wrists.
Most authors would be pleased to get 1500 people in total to show up for a book tour. (Heck, most authors would kill to sell 1500 books.) Even the Lord of the Rings openings didn’t attract 1500 fans for a 7 am show. Star Wars didn’t get this kind of response."
I guess that, even though I have a Master's Degree from Harvard, I am a doofus because I admire Sarah Palin and want her to run for president. The main reason I like Sarah is that she lives her life by traditional values no matter how difficult that may sometimes be, and therefore she can be trusted to do what she says she will do!
USAToday 11/16/09 (Excerpt)
Former presidential candidate John McCain on Sunday played down any discord between his camp and aides to Sarah Palin, as detailed in the former Alaska governor's memoir, Going Rogue.
Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., said he has read the book by his vice presidential pick, which goes on sale Tuesday, and considers it "a good account" of the 2008 campaign. He acknowledged "tensions, a lot of back-and-forth" and "contradictions."
He did not elaborate on Palin's claim that she was "bottled up" from the news media and had to pay a $50,000 tab for a background check the McCain campaign ran on her. McCain campaign lawyer Trevor Potter said Palin was not billed for any vetting expenses. "It's a great book," McCain said.
Palin's Popularity vs. Media ManiaLabels: Sarah Palin
By Robert Stacy McCain on 11.17.09 American Spectator
Monday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh pointed out the most evil, mean-spirited act Sarah Palin has ever committed: She didn't include an index in her new book, Going Rogue.
Elite journalists don't read political books, but instead skim the index to see if their names are mentioned, Limbaugh explained to his national radio audience.
Therefore, Palin omitted the index to exact revenge on her tormenters by forcing them to read her book. To her liberal enemies, this was a deed as inhumane as her moose-hunting.
Rush played an audio clip of MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell complaining about "Sarah's index-and-footnote free, score settling campaign memoir." The same network's Andrea Mitchell -- apparently having assigned some flunky to read the whole book -- recited on her show the only page of Going Rogue (p. 397) where Palin mentioned Mitchell.
What is it about Palin that sticks in the craw of liberal journalists? Perhaps the same thing that has always annoyed them about Rush Limbaugh: Sarah Palin doesn't need their help, and all their efforts to harm her appear impotent.
Her media enemies cite polls to demonstrate that the former Alaska governor is unpopular. Yet her book is a bestselling blockbuster, while anti-Palin outfits like CBS, MSNBC and CNN are the least-popular TV news organizations in America. And as far as Republicans are concerned, Palin is infinitely more popular.
At this point, Palin controls her own destiny. She is independent, and has no need to court the approval of the media "gatekeepers." She's the hottest topic in political news, and if the New York Times or the TV networks want a piece of the action, they have to play by her rules. They're so used to dictating the rules -- every book must have an index! -- that Palin's rogue refusal to follow their rules is even more offensive to them than her good looks, her handsome husband, and her five children.
The Associated Press reportedly tasked 11 staffers to fact-check Going Rogue. How many AP reporters fact-checked Barack Obama's books? Maybe the number wasn't zero, but it sure as heck wasn't 11.
If the AP ever decides to start fact-checking what is written about Sarah Palin as rigorously as it fact-checks what is written by Sarah Palin, maybe they'll be doing a service to journalism. As it is, they're just another tiny cog in the massive anti-Palin machine that also includes Media Matters and every liberal's favorite "conservative," David Brooks. (ABC's "Good Morning America" ran a clip of Brooks calling Palin a "joke" as evidence that "even conservatives" are against her.)
Newsweek devoted its latest cover story to attacking Palin -- a refreshing change of pace from Newsweek's weekly cover stories praising Barack Obama. According to Newsweek, she's a "problem" in need of a solution, perhaps because she looks good in shorts.
There seems to be a media competition at work, a sort of championship tournament.
Every reporter, anchor, and pundit in America is engaged in a frantic effort to be the hero who fires the silver bullet that slays the Republican werewolf from Wasilla.
Whether or not Sarah Palin is the last, best hope of the GOP, she is inarguably the worst nightmare of crusading liberal journalists. Not since Oliver North showed up for a key congressional hearing in his Marine Corps uniform has the Washington press corps been so spectacularly vexed at its inability to destroy an intended victim. Her mere survival makes her Evil with a capital "E." The only way Republicans can save Palin from this incessant maelstrom of media hatred is to nominate a Limbaugh-Coulter ticket in 2012.
The result of this constant Palin-bashing is exactly the opposite of what the bashers intend. Possessing an amazing ability to enrage liberals, she causes them to expose their own nuttiness, as when Andrew Sullivan -- Patient Zero of the Palin Derangement Syndrome media pandemic -- accused her of being "obsessed" with him.
In one of those million-to-one coincidences that have attended Palin's skyrocket ascent, her collaborator on Going Rogue is Lynn Vincent, with whom I co-authored on Donkey Cons. Lynn is a veteran journalist whom I first met when she recruited me to the staff of the Jacksonville (Ala.) State University student newspaper.
This connection caused the werewolf-hunters to cry "A-ha!" and to engage in what one blogger dubbed "second-degree guilt-by-association." In the process of trying to prove that Lynn is a hatefully homophobic racist, however, they exposed the awful truth: She has gay friends and relatives, and attends a megachurch with a black pastor.
Given the mindless ferocity of liberal hatred focused on Palin, she can never expect the media to treat her with the reverential deference that Obama customarily receives from reporters. All she asks is that they stop "making stuff up," but even this seems too much to ask, causing her critics to accuse her of "whining."
Fortunately, she won't need any favors from CBS or CNN to reach thousands of Americans face-to-face in the coming weeks, as she embarks on a national book tour that is sure to attract massive crowds at every stop along the way. Palin announced the schedule, as she announces everything else, on her Facebook page, which has a readership larger than Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC audience.
Why do they hate her? Because Sarah Palin is guilty of a sin for which liberals can never forgive a Republican: She's more popular than they are. And everybody knows it.
Like many white Americans I do not understand why the president hates me and my country so. After all, it was through the friendship of strangers (who were Americans) that he was able to rise from relatively humble roots and graduate from a prestigeous college and get a law degree from Harvard. Then, with no experience at all, he was elected by a fluke to become president of the greatest and most generous nation in the world - a fluke caused by a massive credit crunch and a deep recession - both brought on largely through the policies of his own party.
I have worked hard all my life for what I have, and I don't think I have ever done anything to hurt him or anyone else. All I want from my president is 1. to keep the freedoms won for me by so many others who shed their blood, 2. to be protected from the muderous Muslim terrorists who every day are committing acts of mayhem and massacre all over the world, and 3. to keep what I worked so hard to acquire while my grandchildren have the same opportunities I had. Is that too much to ask of my president?
Why does he hate us?
Barack Obama's America-effacing presidency
By: Paul Mirengoff November 15, 2009 Washington Examiner
On the morning after the deadliest instance of Islamist terrorism in the United States since 9/11, President Obama warned the American public not to "jump to conclusions" about the motives that impelled Nidal Hasan's rampage of mass murder at Fort Hood.
By the time Obama issued this warning, it had already been reported that Hasan yelled "Allahu akbar" before he opened fire. This assertion of the supremacy of Allah is invoked by Islamic terrorists worldwide before they kill.
It was also known that Hasan's fellow participants in an Army program on public health had complained to military authorities about Hasan's anti-American propaganda. Hasan had made a presentation that justified suicide bombing and argued that the war on terror is a war against Islam.
Yet no conclusions were warranted, as far as Obama was concerned. "We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing," our "philosopher in chief" intoned.
Obama has not always been cautious about jumping to conclusions. When a white police officer in Cambridge, Mass., arrested an African-American Harvard professor, the president was quick to proclaim that the officer had "acted stupidly". Obama was soon forced to back away from that statement, which was based on ignorance of the facts.
There is no underlying inconsistency between these seemingly divergent responses. Both are founded on the same antipathy Obama harbors toward America.
Obama prematurely concluded that the professor's arrest was improper because this conclusion comported with his view that American law enforcement officers habitually harass black Americans. In Hasan's case, it was imperative to resist the obvious connection between Islamism and the killings because, in Obama's view, Americans habitually are on the verge of persecuting Muslims.
As the president's wife once put it, America is "just downright mean."
Our malevolence is not confined to relations with our own minority groups, either. In our president's opinion, we are global miscreants.
For example, Obama has insisted that to compensate for our past arrogance, we need to negotiate, even absent any preconditions, with our worst enemies, including Iran. Applied to Russia, this has meant going hat in hand to the Kremlin and agreeing, among other concessions, to abandon missile defense for Russia's Eastern European neighbors in the hope of demonstrating that we have turned over a new leaf.
Obama must therefore believe that the thuggish, autocratic, expansionist Russian regime is more sinned against than sinning in its relations with the United States. But if Russia is our victim, are there any regimes as to which we hold the high moral ground? Judging by Obama's foreign policy to date, only Israel, Honduras, and perhaps Great Britain come to mind.
It might be argued in our defense that the United States faced down the Soviet Union, paving the way for the triumph of freedom in Central and Eastern Europe. But this fact apparently does not impress Obama. When heads of state gathered in Berlin last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Obama was absent.
Obama did appear in Berlin via video. But the president omitted from his remarks any mention of the Soviet Union or communism, Harry Truman, or Ronald Reagan. As my blog partner Scott Johnson put it, Obama neither "decried the villains nor saluted the heroes of the story." That's because we were the heroes.
Obama reportedly is contemplating a visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. It's a long trip, but the venue is perfect for Obama's signature public hand-wringing on behalf of his country.
Obama's antipathy toward America should come as no surprise. Although he has lived a rich and varied life, there has been one constant - exposure to the left's disparaging narrative about America.
Obama grew up in a radically left-wing household, attended elite colleges where a jaundiced view of America is orthodox, and spent the remainder of his formative years as a community organizer alongside the likes of former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and the "God d America" ranting Jeremiah Wright.
No wonder Obama is serving up a "God d American lite" presidency.
What will be the consequences of that presidency? Domestically, we can expect the president to continue trying to remodel the American economy along radical lines. And given his mistrust of his countrymen's instincts, we can expect attempts to curb personal freedom.
Fortunately, in the domestic realm, Obama cannot implement very much of this agenda without the "consent of the governed", as expressed through their elected representatives. Thus, Obama can be constrained. If the electorate chooses not to constrain him, he will have earned the right to work his radical transformation.
In the area of foreign and national security policy, however, Obama can operate largely unchecked.And a weak, guilt-ridden policy toward our foreign adversaries is almost certain to produce grave consequences.
To some extent, we have seen this act before. The damage of just four years of Jimmy Carter's America-effacing presidency included Soviet expansion, communist inroads in Latin America, the replacement of a friendly government with a virulently anti-American theocracy in Iran, and a prolonged hostage crisis that came to symbolize the new American impotence.
But although Carter was ambivalent about America, his efforts to promote democracy abroad showed that he thought we had something to offer to world. Obama will not grant America even that.
Emulating Carter the ex-president, rather than President Carter, Obama has shown essentially no interest in human rights or democracy promotion. His belated support of the Iranian protesters following this summer's election could hardly have been more lukewarm.
It seems that, in Obama's view, all we have to offer the world is our non-interference in its affairs, except perhaps when it comes to bullying our allies.
In the past, we have offered much more. We defeated fascism and communism, liberated Europe in two world wars, and took the lead in fighting back against Islamist extremism.
A country burdened by a battered self-image will be incapable of any such achievements. We will suffer for it, and so will the world.
Left Click to Enlarge ------- Credit RushLimbaugh.com
SOME COMMENTS BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
IF VIDEO DOESN'T LOAD GO HERE.
I CAN'T EXPRESS IN PUBLIC THE THOUGHTS I AM NOW HAVING. THEY GO AGAINST EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER BELIEVED AND STAND FOR. GOD HELP US.
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In my previous post, I presented Part I of this article, which examines the evidence for concluding that we have somehow elected a president who despises everything America stands for. His administration is filled with socialists, communists, 9/11 truthers and a variety of haters and disaffected pseudo-intellectuals who want to bring down every institution that traditional Americans revere. We have to stop Obama from succeeding with his programs as best we can, and then we have to get this nasty crowd out of office.
The Man Who Despises America
By Mark Hyman on 11.11.09 American Spectator Part II
In less than six months in office, Obama apologized for Guantanamo Bay; for alleged mistakes committed by the CIA; for U.S. policy in the Americas; for America's history of slavery; for "sacrificing [American] values;" for "hasty decisions" in the war on terror; for "America's standing in the world;" for American errors in foreign policy; and for U.S. relations with the Muslim world.
He pronounced Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology acceptable and he warned Netanyahu against targeting Iran's nuclear facilities. Obama's approach to Iran is eerily similar to that of Jimmy Carter, whose actions contributed to the fall of that nation into the control of Islamic radicals.
This summer, the door to greater individual freedoms in Iran was firmly closed shut when Obama announced the U.S would not meddle in Iran's election and he offered no encouragement to democracy activists who protested the obviously stolen elections. His silence was deafening when regime security agents savagely attacked and killed countless Iranians who took to the streets.
In contrast to his deference to anti-American leaders such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, and Daniel Ortega, Obama strong-armed Netanyahu on key Israeli matters. In addition to snubbing the Israeli Prime Minister's requests to meet, Obama demanded an end to Israeli settlements and insisted on the creation of a two-state Palestine solution.
Obama abandoned NATO members Poland and the Czech Republic by canceling the central Europe missile defense plan just as rogue nations North Korea and Iran make advances in nuclear and ballistic missile production. The cancellation was demanded by Moscow authorities who have adopted a more confrontational posture toward the west.
Solidarity with freedom-loving East Germans has been a staple of the American presidency for nearly 50 years. John Kennedy pronounced himself a Berliner. Ronald Reagan demanded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev "Tear down this wall!" Yet, this bricks and mortar icon of first, Soviet totalitarianism, and then, second, the end of Soviet domination did not make the cut as Obama chose not to attend the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall. In the summer of 2008, Obama altogether skipped mentioning the role of the U.S. -- or even the West, for that matter -- in bringing down the wall, instead crediting "a world that stands as one."
Obama's disagreement with American values and institutions is evident in domestic issues. He has stocked his administration with wild-eyed radicals who believe foreign law trumps the U.S. Constitution (Harold Koh); include an avowed Marxist and "truther" who believes George Bush was complicit in the 9/11 attack and is also an ardent supporter of cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal (Van Jones); and include a devoted admirer of Mao Tse-tung who slaughtered as many as 75 million people (Anita Dunn). (In contrast, George W. Bush's Attorney-General nominee John Ashcroft was savaged by the news media for being an Evangelical Christian.)
Three weeks after America's first black president was sworn in, the nation's first black Attorney-General who was hand-picked by Obama, called America "a nation of cowards" for some perceived race relations shortfall. The understood meaning of Eric Holder's comments is that white people are still racists. However, the reality is the people most preoccupied with fomenting the racial divide are those who populate the ranks of the Obama Administration.
Obama's Homeland Secretary designated military veterans as terrorists-in-waiting to be equally as dangerous as other domestic terrorists including pro-lifers and citizens opposed to the flood of illegal aliens.
One of Obama's very few suggestions to cut into his $1.4 trillion budget deficit was to have servicemen and women pay for their own war injuries. He's all for providing free health care to illegal aliens but believes wounded warriors should foot their own hospital bills. In fact, the Defense Department is about the only sector of government in which Obama has proposed slashing spending.
Hours after a belligerent "African-American Studies" Harvard professor engaged in behavior unbefitting anyone let alone a professional man, Obama accused the exceedingly tolerant Cambridge police officers as having "acted stupidly" and then digressed into how people of color have been unfairly treated by white America.
Bush was prolific in quietly and privately visiting the military wounded and family of the fallen. In contrast, Obama attempted to make political capital of his one visit to Dover Air Force Base. Obama's motives were so transparent that families of 17 of the 18 fallen denied permission for Obama to engage in a photo-op alongside the returning caskets.
In May, Obama immediately issued a statement that he was "shocked and outraged by the murder" of a Kansas doctor specializing in partial-birth abortions. He called it a "heinous act of violence." Attorney-General Holder mobilized U.S. Marshals nationwide to provide protection to abortion clinics.
But Obama remained silent the very next day when two U.S. soldiers were gunned down by a Muslim extremist outside a Little Rock recruiting station. After repeated prodding for a presidential comment, the White House faxed an after-hours statement to select media outlets two days later offering a tepid remark that Obama was "saddened" without even mentioning the soldiers were murdered.
Five months later, another Muslim fanatic gunned down nearly four dozen Americans, killing 13, at the Ft. Hood army base. It was an act that demanded the most serious demeanor of the military's Commander-in-Chief. Yet, Obama referenced the massacre in the most insincere fashion just seconds after a jocular shout-out to an audience member during a public speaking engagement. It was the equivalent of attending a funeral in swimwear while en route to the beach.
The odd inadvertent comment or occasional verbal faux pas can be explained away as just that. However, Obama has a lifetime of comments and actions including 10 months as president that belie his real attitude toward the U.S. The difference between Obama and his immediate predecessors such as Ronald Reagan, the George Bushes and Bill Clinton who actually revere and honor the greatness of America and its citizens and institutions cannot be overstated.
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President Obama's response to the Fort Hood massacre (not tragedy) is so off-the-wall, I do not understand how any patriotic American (other than left-wing loons) can refrain from making the judgment made below by Mark Hyman. I present his essay in two parts:
The Man Who Despises America
By Mark Hyman on 11.11.09 American Spectator Part I
The very next paragraph is going to make the nut jobs on the far left excitable beyond belief. I am not referring to all Democrats or even a majority of liberals. I am singling out the "they've-lost-all-touch-with-reality" crowd. This includes Media Matters for America led by the admitted hit-and-run, drunk-driving serial liar. The group includes the unshaven, bathrobe-clad unemployed who live in their mother's basement and are devout followers of MoveOn.Org. It is also the bitter, aging spinster working at the New York Times, the morbidly obese documentary film maker, and cable TV news' resident drama queen who hosts MSNBC's Countdown. They are about to simultaneously suffer from brain aneurisms. So without further delay, I'll say it.
Barack Obama despises America.
When people who voted for Obama in 2008 -- including registered Democrats -- start speaking in normal conversational voices at dinner parties, neighborhood gatherings and PTA meetings that the over-inflated ego from Chicago has it "in for America," then it's clear most reasonable people have reached the same conclusion.
The central conviction of Obama's ideology is that America is guilty of limitless moral failures and is the chief architect of the world's ills. Obama has boundless enmity for America, its key institutions, and its longtime allies. Consider these facts.
The 30-years of Obama's post-adolescent life are radical by any measure. First, he grew up listening to the ramblings of committed Communist Frank Marshall Davis. It had such a profound effect on him that he wrote fondly of Davis in his first book. In fact, that book is replete with statement after statement about how the U.S. is deeply flawed. Most Americans believe in American exceptionalism. Not so with Obama.
Patriotic Americans would not have listened to the bigoted, anti-Semitic, hate-America rants of a fringe religious leader for 20 seconds let alone for 20 years. Yet, Obama who admitted he attended services at Trinity United Church at least twice a month for two decades called Jeremiah Wright his mentor and his moral sounding board.
Nor would most Americans cultivate a close friendship with an admitted domestic terrorist and his wife whose most notable life's accomplishments were to set off bombs that killed and maimed innocent people.
Joining Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright in organizing attendance at Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's 1995 march on Washington is beyond imaginable. Especially after Farrakhan demonstrated public support for Colonel Muammar Qaddafi during the Libyan Leader's most bellicose years against the U.S., which included Libyan complicity in numerous terrorist attacks.
Obama's view of America in national security and foreign affairs is profoundly disappointing to say the least.
Americans overwhelmingly view the men and women who saved Europe and the Far East during World War II as comprising the Greatest Generation. By his comments and actions, President Obama obviously thinks otherwise.
Obama did not honor American greatness on the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift while on his first European trip. Instead, he accused "America [of having] shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" toward its European allies.
He also denigrated the accomplishments of the American G.I. during World War II in the Pacific theater when he offered a thinly veiled apology for the U.S. having dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those acts brought the war to a swift conclusion, perhaps saving hundreds of thousands of lives when it appeared Japan was prepared to wage an island-by-island battle to the last man.
Obama ordered the release of the so-called CIA "torture memos," seriously damaging delicate intelligence relations with allied nations and placing at grave risk the safety of U.S. intelligence officers working overseas. The impact of his action handcuffs the ability of U.S. intelligence officials to protect the U.S. and American interests from acts of terrorism.
In a matter of weeks last spring, Obama gave deference to a variety of belligerent leaders while stiff-arming longtime American allies. First, he called for closer relations with Cuba while ignoring that nation's long list of continuing human rights abuses. Then he warmly welcomed Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez at an Organization of American States summit.
Next, he failed to respond and set the record straight after Nicaragua's Communist leader Daniel Ortega listed alleged U.S. crimes and atrocities during a nearly one-hour rant at the OAS meeting. It is unsettling that in his own remarks Obama incorrectly claimed the OAS has 36 members rather than the actual 34. Ortega and the hemisphere's other Socialist leaders claim the OAS would include 36 members if Cuba and an independent Puerto Rico were allowed to join. Mere coincidence or Freudian slip?
Immediately following the OAS embarrassments, Obama ignored a request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet. Obama would repeat this snub six months later before agreeing at the last moment to meet Netanyahu after the Israeli leader was en route the U.S.
In his speech before the Muslim world, Obama made the patently absurd claim of equivalency between the status of displaced Palestinians and the slaughter of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. His claim that 7 million Muslims live in the U.S. is a figure inflated by as much as 700%.
In an earlier speech, Obama claimed that the U.S. is not a Christian nation, which is at odds with the fact that 79% of Americans self-identify as Christians and the nation's founders were devout Christians.