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"The left needs two things to survive. It needs mediocrity, and it needs dependence. It nurtures mediocrity in the public schools and the universities. It nurtures dependence through its empire of government programs. A nation that embraces mediocrity and dependence betrays itself, and can only fade away, wondering all the time what might have been."
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THURSDAY,  SEPTEMBER 17,  2009


TREATING OUR FRIENDS LIKE ENEMIES - AT 11:35 P.M. ET:  An example of the "success" of Mr. Obama's foreign policy, from The Politico:

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk confirmed today that he declined last night to take a call from the U.S. informing him of the decision to scrap planned missile-defense bases in his country.

Two U.S.-based sources close to the Polish government said Thursday that Tusk also rejected a call from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — on the grounds that, as the head of the government, he should speak to the president.

"Hillary called — and the reason he turned it down was because of protocol," said a source.

Questions about the exchanges surfaced in the Polish press after Obama reached the Czech prime minister late last night to warn of the policy change, but did not speak to the Pole until this morning. And the static offers a glimpse at the distress beneath the diplomatic facade being offered by Eastern European leaders.

COMMENT:  We have no doubt that any leader of North Korea, Iran, Venezuela or Russia would be glad to take Hillary's call.  After all, the news would probably be good.

The sound you hear is either the laughter in the foreign ministries of our enemies, or the gasping in the foreign ministries of our friends. 

September 17, 2009   Permalink


DISMAY OVER MISSILES - AT 10:25 P.M. ET:  I've been monitoring the news programs.  The Republicans are doing an excellent job so far of denouncing President Obama's reckless decision to cancel the missile shield that President Bush had promised to Poland and the Czech Republic.

Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona has been especially strong, pointing out that, no matter how this is spun by the White House, it will be seen internationally as a complete capitulation to the Soviet Union.  This decision will be observed and studied in Iran, in North Korea, in Venezuela.

The administration is trying to argue that the missile shield was designed to counter long-range Iranian missiles, but that it's short-range missiles that pose the immediate danger.  Kyl points out how absurd the argument is.  True, the Iranians aren't quite there on long-range hardware, but they will be there in not many years.  It's time to prepare, not to cancel preparations.  We can counter both threats, if we're serious.  With this administration, that's a big "if."

This should be seen as a major issue, a symbol of Obama's weakness, and his lack of understanding of what weakness leads to.  If Republicans present the issue correctly, don't let it drop, and appeal to American concern over national security, the issue can be seriously effective.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


TERROR ALERT FOR INDIA - AT 8:56 P.M. ET:  While the Obama administration does its best to appease our enemies, and to do it with high style, there's a real world out there.

Israel's National Security Council has issued a terror alert for India, which was struck last year in the despicable attacks in Mumbai: 

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau at the National Security Council issued a severe terror warning for India on Thursday.

A Pakistani terror organization affiliated with al-Qaida and responsible for the attacks in Mumbai last year is planning to carry out a string of attacks throughout the Indian subcontinent, it warned.

The warning said that while all westerners in India are in peril of being targeted, Israelis and places where Israelis usually congregate in large numbers are in more serious danger.

The bureau asked all Israelis in India to steer clear of places where Western tourists are found in large numbers.

And...

The bureau rated the threat as "imminent and concrete," and emphasized the Jammu and Kashmir regions in India's North.

COMMENT:  While Israelis were understandably emphasized in the Israeli report, the warning applies to all Westerners, and that would especially include Americans.  So if you know anyone traveling to India, make sure they're aware of this. 

Here in New York we're keenly aware of anti-terror raids going on in the city.  I was in Grand Central Terminal last night, and the police and military patrols were clearly heavier than normal.

There is reality, and then there is Washington.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


ANOTHER POLL SLIP FOR OBAMA - AT 7:44 A.M. ET:  Rasmussen's daily tracker shows still further slippage for the president among likely voters.  Virtually the entire bounce he received after his speech to Congress has now dribbled away.

The president's overall approval has dropped to 47%, as against 52% disapproval. 

In Ras's presidential approval index, measuring the gap between those who strongly approve and those who strongly disapprove, the president comes out at minus eight, 32% to 40%. 

By the way, you'll often see strong approval numbers for Democrats hovering at about 30%.  That is their base, and it doesn't go much below that.  Or at least it normally hasn't.

But a 40% strong disapproval of a president is something for the White House to worry about, clearly.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


NOTHING WILL GROW FROM THIS LITTLE ACORN - AT 6:22 P.M. ET:  The House has followed the Senate in acting against ACORN.  From AP:

WASHINGTON -- The House has voted to deny all federal funding for ACORN, the community organizing group that has been caught up in several scandals.

The House action came several days after the Senate took a similar vote to block the Housing and Urban Development Department from giving grants to ACORN.

Republicans, long critics of the liberal-leaning group that advocates for the poor, led the effort to cut off all federal funds.

California Republican Darrell Issa, who sponsored the measure in the House, says the "scandal surrounding the criminal activities of ACORN have called into question their role in all aspects of government."

The vote, on a provision attached to a student aid bill, was 345-75. All 75 no votes were Democrats.

COMMENT:  I want (and will get) a list of the 75 Dems who voted with ACORN.  I'll bet that all or almost all come from safe districts.  They probably have, essentially, lifetime jobs. 

But we are making progress on ACORN - thanks to independent filmmakers, no thanks to the mainstream media.

There's a lesson in this.  It was taught to us by Ronald Reagan, who showed us how you speak above the mainstream media, directly to the American people.  Our side may be learning it.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


THIS SAYS IT - AT 2:16 P.M. ET:  This headline in London's Telegraph says it all:

Russian delight as Obama abandons missile shield

Another proud day for America in the age of Obama.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


BULLETIN - AT 1:58 P.M. ET:   We don't run many bulletins here, but this is worthy.  On the very day we announce that we're not going to build missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, the Associated Press reveals a secret paper that makes our decision look absurd and reckless, which it is:

VIENNA (AP) - Experts at the world's top atomic watchdog are in agreement that Tehran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead, according to a secret report seen by The Associated Press.

The document drafted by senior officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency is the clearest indication yet that the agency's leaders share Washington's views on Iran's weapon-making capabilities.

It appears to be the so-called "secret annex" on Iran's nuclear program that Washington says is being withheld by the IAEA's chief.

The document says Iran has "sufficient information" to build a bomb. It says Iran is likely to "overcome problems" on developing a delivery system.

COMMENT:  That's as close to definitive as it gets.  But The One will solve the crisis.  He will talk to the Iranians.  He will make nice comments about their culture.  He will apologize for the United States.

And the nuclear threat will go away, as the oceans start to recede and Americans start to live forever under the miracle cures of Obamacare.

Yuch.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


CONNECTICUT WOES FOR OBAMA - AT 9:13 A.M. ET:  Poll results from Connecticut, a Democratic state not exactly known for racism, pretty much disproves the nutty idea that opposition to Obama is based on race.  From Real Clear Politics, citing the latest Quinnipiac poll:

President Obama's job approval rating in Connecticut stands at 57%, while 36% disapprove. While still healthy, this is another net 10-point decline from last month's rating (63-32) which was at the time his lowest approval rating to date.

Since his inauguration, Obama has lost 12 points in job approval in Connecticut, decreasing from 69 to 57, while his disapproval rating in the Nutmeg State has doubled from 18 to 36 percent.

And once again we see, even in a true blue state like Connecticut, that President Obama is more popular than his policies. On his handling of health care, only 47% approve while 45% disapprove. While some Dems may disapprove that Obama isn't pushing harder for liberal policies, the main source of the difference between Obama's overall job approval and his approval on health care comes from Independents.

Independents give Obama a 56% job rating overall, but when it comes to health care their approval drops to 43% while disapproval rises to 49%.

Overall, 47% of voters in Connecticut support Obama's health care plan while 42% oppose.

COMMENT:  If this is what's happening in wine-and-Brie Connecticut, we can only imagine what's happening in the heartland.

The desperate attempt to portray Obama's opponents as racists is unbecoming, and will simply anger the American people.  There is a suggestion in the "racist" charge that people don't have a right to disagree with the president.  If Americans get that message, Mr. Obama will be a one-termer.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


OUR EMBARRASSMENT - AT 8:48 A.M. ET:  Do you remember the good old days, when Americans prided themselves at often taking principled stands internationally, while chiding the Europeans for their appeasement and commercial interests?  Ah yes, I remember it well.

But what a difference an election makes.  From the Christian Science Monitor:

PARIS - Europe's strong advocacy for more sanctions on Iran – led by France, Germany, and Britain – will now wait for the Oct. 1 talks between Washington and Tehran to play out, analysts here say.

Europe's leaders have talked an increasingly tough line on Iran sanctions, including cutting off imports of oil and gasoline, should Iran not satisfy nuclear demands by the United Nations (UN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the end of September. That deadline is now trumped by the Oct. 1 talks.

And...

"The EU has so far been able to agree to sanctions stronger than the UN asked for," says Bruno Tertrais of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. "The consensus position on Iran is fairly hawkish."

But here's the shame:

How long the unity will last among European Union members, given that some of them have large commercial interests at stake, is unclear, he says. But he also adds that "If the EU is divided, it is also because of the lack of a clear US policy."

COMMENT:  I'm afraid our policy gets more clear by the day.  Appeasement.  Extensive talks about talks, leading to endless talks.

It's now widely believed in many circles that we've given up on stopping Iranian nukes, just as we've given up missile defense systems for Eastern Europe. 

Why is it that our enemies seem to have gotten stronger since Obama took office?  Just asking.

September 17, 2009   Permalink


CARTER? NEVER HEARD OF HIM - AT 8:32 A.M. ET:  It isn't just the White House that's distancing itself from Jimmah Carter's peanut-sized comments about race.  There's a rush for the exits, as the Politico reports:

Jimmy Carter is 84 years old and three decades removed from the White House, but he still has the power to make Democrats run.

Away from him, that is.

From the White House to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Democrats raced to distance themselves from the former president’s claim that racism was behind Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie” outburst and other attacks on President Barack Obama.

“Listen, he’s the former president, and he’s entitled to his point of view,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “I personally believe President Obama and his administration are focused on the issues, and I agree with that.”

“I don’t see this as a racial issue,” added Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). “There are a lot of people upset about how we on the Democratic side can engage like we have been, and there’s a lot of anger out there. So, I don’t see it as a racial issue.”

And...

Congressional Democrats have no interest in starting a racial argument that could turn off swing district voters whose support the party will need if it plans on keeping its grip on Congress in 2010.

COMMENT:  I'd say it's time for Carter to go on one of his 'round-the-world trips, but he probably does less harm by staying home and making foolish and mean-spirited statements. 

The man was president.  How did this happen?

September 17, 2009   Permalink


THE DISGRACE - AT 7:57 A.M. ET:  Readers Douglas Nelson and Joseph J. Gallick alert us to articles reporting that President Obama has decided to cancel the missile shield that President Bush pledged to Poland and the Czech Republic.

At first I thought this was a rumor, or prediction, but it's now been confirmed, as AP reports:

PRAGUE – President Barack Obama has decided to scrap plans for a U.S. missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland that had deeply angered Russia, the Czech prime minister confirmed Thursday.

NATO's new chief hailed the move as "a positive step" and a Russian analyst said Obama's decision will increase the chances that Russia will cooperate more closely with the United States in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

Premier Jan Fischer told reporters that Obama phoned him overnight to say that "his government is pulling out of plans to build a missile defense radar on Czech territory."

"The same happened with Poland. Poland was informed in the same way about this intention," Fischer said.

The eloquent Niles Gardiner comments in Britain's Telegraph:

This is bad news for all who care about the US commitment to the transatlantic alliance and the defence of Europe as well as the United States. It represents the appalling appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel missile defence installations sends a clear message that even Washington can be intimidated by the Russian bear.

What signal does this send to Ukraine, Georgia and a host of other former Soviet satellites who look to America and NATO for protection from their powerful neighbour? The impending cancellation of Third Site is a shameful abandonment of America’s friends in eastern and central Europe, and a slap in the face for those who actually believed a key agreement with Washington was worth the paper it was written on.

COMMENT:  Gardiner gets it right.  This is a dark day. We're also letting slip our "deadline" on Iran, and have shown little interest in Iran's democracy movement.  We've capitulated to North Korea's demand for one-on-one talks with Washington.  And we're appeasing Chavez and Castro, while harassing the new, constitutionally formed government of Honduras. 

Great to be an ally of the United States, isn't it?

September 17, 2009   Permalink

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY,  SEPTEMBER 16,  2009


THEY FINALLY PUT BATTERIES IN THE CALCULATOR - AT 10:57 P.M. ET:  Certain statistical truths are coming out about Obama economic programs.  Not good, not good.  From CBS:

The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.

A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.

A second memorandum, which was prepared for Obama's transition team after the November election, says this about climate change policies: "Economic costs will likely be on the order of 1 percent of GDP, making them equal in scale to all existing environmental regulation."

The documents (PDF) were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute and released on Tuesday.

COMMENT:  I suspect that this kills cap 'n trade in the Senate.  While some Democrats, who really don't care about the costs borne by the average household, will still vote for it out of party loyalty and ideological serenity, most senators will want to file this one under LOSER.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


SMART POLITICS - AT 10:10 P.M. ET:  The White House doesn't want to go near Jimmah Carter's charge that racism is fueling criticism of the president.  From The New York Times:

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, pretty much rejected today the views of former President Jimmy Carter, who publicly characterized as racist the remarks made by Representative Joe Wilson and the motives of some angry protesters against President Obama’s policies.

At the White House briefing, Mr. Gibbs repeatedly reverted to quoting from his television interview on Sunday, before Mr. Carter injected yet another level of highly charged views into a boiling flashpoint aimed at Mr. Obama. Mr. Gibbs echoed sentiments among administration officials in recent days, by seemingly and deliberately tiptoeing around the race question, preferring to paint the often vociferous opposition as rooted in upset over the economic downturn and fear.

COMMENT:  Smart politics by a White House that has faltered politically in recent weeks.  When you charge something as nefarious as racism, you'd better have the goods.  The White House understands that Carter, a creep in creep's clothing, doesn't have anything but his own illusions and resentments.  Obama is smart enough not to want to be linked with Carter, whose book on the Arab-Israeli conflict was recommended this week by Osama bin Laden. 

The faster the "r" word goes away, the better it is for Obama.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


WE'RE BACK - AT 10:04 P.M. ET:  Just got back from a book party for Norman Podhoretz.  It was a pleasure to be in a room filled with right-thinking people.  Former Attorney General Michael Mukaysey was there.  He stood fast against terrorism, in contrast to...well you know who.

Fouad Ajami, the great scholar from Johns Hopkins, was also there.  A Muslim, who has never hesitated to speak openly of the tragedy of the Muslim world.

Some of the great journalistic heroes of our side attended - Frank Luntz, the group survey expert; Claudia Rosett and Anne Bayefsky, who rip open the dry rot at the UN; and Jim Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, who does Best of the Web Today. 

If the rest of publishing was only a third as rational as that room tonight, we'd all be in better shape.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


WHEN YOU'VE LOST JON - AT 3:42 P.M. ET:  The immensely popular Jon Stewart hosts Comedy Channel's Daily Show.  He's known to be liberal, and he has an impact on the opinion of young people.  Even he is disgusted by the mainstream media's ignoring of the ACORN story.  From the Washington Examiner:

Last night, Jon Stewart featured video clips of ACORN employees advising undercover journalists posing as a pimp and a prostitute how to hide the nature of their business in their tax forms.

The video clips debuted on biggovernment.com and were featured by FOX News commentator Glenn Beck. Since then the clips have circulated widely on conservative blogs and news sites and sparked a vote in the Senate to de-fund the organization.

"The bad news is that ACORN appears to be a criminal organization that aids and abets criminals and get millions of dollars in taxpayer money!" Stewart said, after highlighting the clips on his show.

Stewart joined conservatives in their criticism of the media, wondering why major media outlets failed to investigate ACORN or report on the investigative videos.

“Where were the real reporters on this story…Where the hell were you?" Stewart screamed into the camera,

"You’re telling me that two kids from the cast of High School Musical 3 can break this story with a video camera and their grandmother’s chinchilla coat, and you’ve got nothin’?" he asked.

"I’m a fake journalist, and I’m embarrassed these guys scooped me," he added, "Let's get to work people!"

COMMENT:  But they won't get to work.  The ACORN story doesn't fit the party line of mainstream liberal journalism, and the line is almost always maintained.  Thumbs up to Jon.

So much for the people's right to know.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


MORE ON HOMELAND TERROR - AT 3:16 P.M. ET:  Following on our 9:09 A.M. post, we apparently may have some further action here in New York.  From the New York Daily News:

Fearful of a Madrid-style subway train bombing, authorities are poised to make more raids to seize bomb-making materials at locations in Queens, sources said Wednesday.

The FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team arrived in New York in anticipation of the offensive to thwart a Denver-based terror cell with ties to Al Qaeda, police sources told the Daily News.

Another source said an earlier raid uncovered nine backpacks and cell phones, raising memories of the March 2004 bombings in Madrid. A series of terrorist bombs detonated aboard commuter trains killed 191 people.

The source said authorities feared a potential attack on the city subway, with its 5.2 million daily riders.

FBI Director Robert Mueller, speaking at a Senate hearing Wednesday, said the plot posed "no imminent danger."

"New Yorkers are well benefited from the work of the NYPD and (Commissioner) Ray Kelly," said Mueller, offering no other details on the HRT deployment.

COMMENT:  I'm not sure it's wise to make these movements public, but the news is out there.  Clearly, this is regarded as a serious potential threat.  I guess the assumed conspirators didn't get President Obama's "outreach" message.  People should really watch CNN every now and then, or at least browse The New York Times. 

Not really.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


SARKOZY TELLS IT LIKE IT IS - AT 3:07 P.M. ET:  As the United States treats enemies like friends and friends like enemies, the French - yes, the French - provide a little truth-tellin':

After Paris warned that new sanctions against Teheran remained an option despite the likelihood of negotiations with Iran, French President Nicolas Sarkozy maintained that the Islamic republic was still working on a nuclear weapons program.

"We cannot let Iran acquire nuclear" weapons because it would also be a threat to Israel, he added.

The word "also" is critical here.  Sarkozy clearly believes that Europe is threatened by an Iranian nuclear program, tied to a missile program. 

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero had warned that Iran must make "concrete gestures" at the long-awaited discussions. He said the sanctions option remained on the table in case Teheran makes "an error of choice."

COMMENT:  Contrast please with the behavior of President Obama, who was reluctant to denounce the murderers in Tehran as they were gunning down their own citizens in the streets, because that might "offend" people we were trying to bring to the negotiating table.

Have you ever seen France tougher than America? 

More change to bring us embarrassment.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


THE BOUNCE HAS BOUNCED - AT 10:03 A.M. ET:  Rasmussen's daily tracker shows pretty clear signs that the bounce Mr. Obama received from his speech to Congress has begun to fade.  Overall, 51% of likely voters disapprove of the president's job performance, while 49% approve.

In Ras's presidential approval index, measuring the gap between those who strongly approve and those who strongly disapprove, the president stands at minus six, 32%-38%, a deterioration from minus three only three days ago.

And on the critical issue:

One week after President Obama’s speech to Congress, opposition to his health care reform plan has reached a new high of 55%. The latest Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll shows that just 42% now support the plan, matching the low first reached in August.

COMMENT:  I personally believe that voters have started losing confidence in the president, and are not simply opposing him on health care.  This can reach critical mass if other things go wrong, like a major failure in foreign policy, where Mr. Obama is pursuing a high-risk appeasement policy, with no apparent results.

September 16, 2009   Permalink 


REGAINING FOCUS - AT 9:09 A.M. ET:  While the Democratic Party has been busy with the important work of launching the 1,237th denunciation of Rep. Joe Wilson for his outburst against President Obama, mature adults  are busy with the critical business of defending the country.  From CBS: 

NEW YORK (CBS)   Counter-terrorism officials on Tuesday urged local police to be on the lookout for evidence of homemade bombs, a day after the FBI raided four apartments in Queens looking for bomb-making components.

Police departments are being urged to be on the lookout for specific indicators of terrorist activity.

"I believe it's prudent to put that information out. We welcome it," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The directive speaks of the possible use of hydrogen peroxide in bombs, and to look for people who may have burns on the face, hands and arms.

We have to wonder what has happened to prompt this alert.  But it's good to know we have people on guard...until the ACLU gets to them.

Officials Monday were apparently looking for an Afghan national from Colorado who may have links to al-Qaida. Sources said he stayed at the home of an acquaintance on a recent trip to New York.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press Tuesday that the FBI had put Najibullah Zazi under surveillance in connection with a suspected plot to make homemade bombs.

COMMENT:  This activity broke in New York on a day when President Obama visited the city to make a speech.  Yet, the worthies of the Democratic Party didn't express the slightest concern for the president's safety.  They're more worried about tea-party goers and town-meeting speakers, who, they apparently believe, constitute some grave threat to the nation and the president.

Talk about misplaced priorities.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


THE ROAD TO HACKDOM - AT 8:25 A.M. ET:  The Obama White House, which refused to intervene in the cesspool of Illinois politics to prevent the appointment of a hack, Roland Burris, to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat, seems to have no hesitation about meddling in Massachusetts politics.  From Fox:

The Obama White House has left the sidelines and jumped in with both feet as Massachusetts lawmakers debate whether to change current law and appoint an interim U.S. Senator to replace the deceased Edward M. Kennedy.

FOX News has learned Senior White House adviser David Axelrod called the president of the Massachusetts Senate on Monday to lobby for the law change to fill Kennedy's Senate seat until the Jan. 19 special election is held.

Axelrod called Therese Murray to discuss the matter, Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton confirmed to FOX late Tuesday.

Burton said Axelrod was "checking in" with Murray, but Democratic sources say the call was designed to underscore White House interest in seeing Massachusetts law changed and an interim Senator appointed as crunch-time approaches in the health care debate.

And...

Two names continue to surface as Kennedy's replacement: former Kennedy aide and former DNC Chairman Paul Kirk, and former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis.

COMMENT:  Can you just hear the excited murmur among Democrats:  "Dukakis is back!"  Then everyone sleeps.

Whoever is appointed, if the law is changed, will apparently have to pledge not to run when the formal election is held.

We wish the White House had been as zealous in preventing the Illinois embarrassment, but even a president might feel intimidated about taking on Illinois pols.  Wouldn't want to be tainted.  (You can laugh now.)

September 16, 2009   Permalink


WRONG GUY - AT 8:10 A.M. ET:  From The Politico:

Obama is due to meet with former Secretary of State Colin Powell at the White House tomorrow, his public schedule indicates. Obama's calendar has Powell meeting with Obama at the White House at 2 pm, followed two and a half hours later by a 4:30 pm meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. That's a pretty long meeting with the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff whose Powell doctrine emphasized only going into conflicts when willing to commit overwhelming force. And the former Bush official who said in hindsight he had misgivings about the decision to invade Iraq and who of course endorsed Obama. Does one think tomorrow's meeting agenda involves Afghanistan strategy/ public relations?

COMMENT:  Will someone remind me of the last time Colin Powell contributed anything to anything?  Powell, an outstanding young officer, turned out to be a dull, unimaginative, Washington bureaucrat whose contributions to the war on terror after the 9-11 attacks can be counted on the head of a pin.  He never seemed all that interested, and his tenure as secretary of state was marked by a distinct stay-at-home style that hardly thrilled foreign nations. 

Powell's endorsement of Obama in 2008, against fellow veteran and Republican John McCain, was an act of distinct disloyalty to people who'd made his career and appointed him to high positions.  He could have remained silent. 

We know that this president has surrounded himself with an assortment of characters, some of whom clearly do not belong in a national administration.  (Does the name "Van Jones" ring a bell?)  He should consider Powell's advice very cautiously.  The president is in trouble in Afghanistan and elsewhere, partly because of an appeasement strategy that is backfiring.  It's unlikely that Powell, based on his non-record since leaving the military, will have any significant insights into improving the situation.

September 16, 2009   Permalink


OLD RELIABLE - AT 7:46 A.M. ET:  The cry of "racism" is the standard battle cry of the left.  When in doubt, charge racism.  It had to happen with Mr. Obama in the White House.  I'm surprised it happened this soon.

The reckless left wants us to believe that Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst toward President Obama - "You lie!" - was racially motivated.  Now Jimmah Carter has joined in the fun:

"I think it's based on racism," Carter said in response to an audience question at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."

I wonder how Jimmah knows what's in Joe Wilson's mind.  This is a man - Carter, I mean - who has overlooked the most profound bigotry in the Arab world against Christians and Jews, a man who said, while running for president in 1976, that he understood people who wanted to keep their neighborhoods ethnically pure.  But he denounces Wilson as if his own background was Ivory clean.

As I've said here before, there are of course racists.  Of course, some small-minded people will never accept Barack Obama.  But to smear people people with he "r" word so loosely is not only corrupt and mean-spirited, it is likely to create a backlash.  And it is not doing President Obama any good.

I'm afraid we'll have more of this, and it's likely to extend into foreign policy.  I have no doubt that some misguided souls will warn us that if we don't reelect Mr. Obama in 2012, it will "offend" nations of color around the world, and possibly cause trouble for us, maybe even violence.   

So far the White House has publicly disassociated itself from irresponsible cries of racism, but the president must do so himself, and publicly, pointing out that Americans know the difference between racism and legitimate criticism, and saying that he expects the latter. 

And reckless columnists like Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, who have been stirring the pot, might be advised by editors at her paper to take a sabbatical.  No chance of that.

September 16,  2009   Permalink 

 

 

 


 

 

 

"What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.

 

THE ANGEL'S CORNER

Part I of this week's Angel's Corner was sent late last night.

Part II will be sent late Friday night.

 

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