Monday, March 31, 2008

Pitcher-in-Chief

Say what you will about George W. Bush -- he's surely the only president in U.S. history to regularly throw 70+ mile-per-hour ceremonial first pitches.

Hey, and let's hear it for the liberal clowns who couldn't refrain from buffoonerizing* themselves during what should have been a celebratory occasion as the Washington Nationals inaugurated their brand-new ballpark.

Me, I'm a long-suffering Pirates fan. I think I heard somewhere that they open their season tonight. Whatever.

(*Yes, I just made that word up. Just now.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Whoa

Michael Ledeen at NRO alerts us to this startling and amazing bit of news (if true):
America is sitting on top of a super massive 200 billion barrel Oil Field that could potentially make America Energy Independent and until now has largely gone unnoticed. Thanks to new technology the Bakken Formation in North Dakota could boost America’s Oil reserves by an incredible 10 times, giving western economies the trump card against OPEC’s short squeeze on oil supply and making Iranian and
Venezuelan threats of disrupted supply irrelevant.
The upshot?
The US imported about 14 million barrels of Oil per day in 2007 , which means US consumers sent about $340 Billion Dollars over seas building palaces in Dubai and propping up unfriendly regimes around the World, if 200 billion barrels of oil at $90 a barrel are recovered in the high plains the added wealth to the US economy would be $18 Trillion Dollars which would go a long way in stabilizing
the US trade deficit and could cut the cost of oil in half in the long run.
This could be big. It could help the US dramatically from both an economic and a national-security perspective. Consequently, expect liberals to find some obscure North Dakotan species of migratory muskrat to deem endangered by increased drilling. We can't allow anything to ruin the perfectly good economic, environmental, and energy "crises" that presently form the predominant leftist excuses for further government intrusion on private industry and commerce.

But liberals should take heart. This is one more thing they can tax.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Don't Question Their Patriotism

Turns out, three Congressional Democrats who traveled to Iraq in 2002 to propagandize against the then-unstarted war had their travel paid for by . . . Saddam Hussein.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oh Come On

A 93-year-old Florida man is being prosecuted for trying to pay $20 to an undercover officer posing as a prostitute.

Priorities, people. Putting aside that it was the faux-hooker who approached him, and not the other way around, I think any 93-year-old man with enough gumption and optimism to even attempt such a thing should be awarded a medal and perhaps a contract as a spokesman for Viagra.

Checking In

I've been MIA lately, I know. Last week and this week have turned out to be rather busy at the office. That's not likely to improve much until this weekend. For now, though, a few thoughts:

(1) The new HBO documentary "John Adams" (produced by Tom Hanks, starring Paul Giamatti, and based on David McCullough's biography) is excellent. It strips any romantic shine away from one's mental image of the revolutionary period, it brings distant historical figures into sharp focus, and it reveals what a desperate and precarious endeavor the bid for independence really was. Check it out.

(2) Pastor Jeremiah Wright's replacement, Otis Moss III, is not an improvement. On Easter Sunday he informed his congregation that Wright has been "lynched" by America. He wasn't lynched -- either literally or metaphorically. He was exposed. And now so Moss has been. I wonder if Obama was in church this Easter. I wonder if Obama will claim not to have been in church this Easter. I don't wonder whether fawning liberals will contort their common sense to find a way to believe this doesn't matter. They will.

(3) Hillary gets caught in another bald-faced lie. Shocker.

(4) Chanting "Allahu Akbar," Muslim thugs assault an orthodox rabbi. In Brooklyn. But, hey, those of us who warn of the threat of Islamism are just "alarmists" and "racists," right? The good news: One of the rabbi's assailants was hit by a car while fleeing the scene. Justice.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Global Warming Update: Consensus = "Mystery"?

Today NPR ponders "The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat." And hilarity ensues:
Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.
Or it could mean that the scientists "aren't quite understanding" the climate -- not to mention it's temperature changes and humanity's role in causing those changes -- as well as they thought they did.

Nah, we can't consider that possibility, can we? That would constitute a failure to Stay On Message. Remember, The Scientists have spoken, and we have The Consensus!

The strenuous rationalization is stunning and almost funny:
"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," [scientist Josh] Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming."
Read that last passage carefully. Only the most willfully blind partisan could equate, in the span of two sentences, "slight cooling" with "less rapid warming." They are not the same. "Slight cooling" means things are getting cooler. "Less rapid warming" would mean that things are still getting warmer, albeit more slowly. The data show the former. Global Warming Zealots see the data and insist on calling it the latter. Up is down. 2+2=5. Anything, so long as they don't cede an inch of ground in their quest to make Western capitalism the Great Bogeyman destroying our ecosystem.

At least there's one honest admission from Gore disciple Mr. Willis:
"But in fact there's a little bit of a mystery. We can't account for all of the sea level increase we've seen over the last three or four years," he says.
In other words, scientists really don't understand it all. Which is all we skeptics have been arguing all along: If we don't really understand what makes the climate do what it does, then shouldn't we exercise caution before implementing "solutions" like Kyoto and carbon credits that may have no salutary effects whatsoever yet are virtually guaranteed to cripple our (already tenuous) economy?

Anyone?

McCain In Israel

Obama has spent the week trying to dissemble his way out of his close association with conspiracy-nut and hater-of-all-whites Jeremiah Wright, and Hillary has spent the week very quietly watching Obama implode.

John McCain has spent the week in Israel, assuring Israel's leaders and citizens that his administration will stand firmly by our best ally in the Middle East.

Looks like to McCain, Israel isn't a "dirty word."

Obama's Latest

Today he tells us about the "typical white person." Nice. Power Line notes how tone-deaf this is (and how referring to a "typical black person" or "typical hispanic person" would end any white candidate's campaign.

But, hey, there's no double standard here. He's the "post-racial" candidate remember?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Circle Is Complete

We've written here both about Obama's penchant for selecting foreign-policy advisors who are hostile to Israel and the persistent, shocking rants of his anti-American, conspiracy-nut, race-baiting pastor.

Now these strains of woe converge. Pastor Wright, we now learn, considers "Israel" to be a "dirty word."

This won't bother the Left. But it will scandalize the Center. Hillary is not done. And even if Obama holds on to win the nomination, his prospects in a general election against the darling of Independents, John McCain, grow rapidly more bleak.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wayward Tornado

This little fella got lost on his way to a trailer park. CNN headquarters and other prominent downtown Atlanta buildings suffered heavy damage.

My mom had the line of the week: "Any chance it got the Carter Center?"

Sadly, no. (But, teeheehee.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Chuckle

Most major online stores invite feedback in the form of product reviews from previous purchasers. Amazon.com book reviews are probably the best-known example.

A collegue of mine told me today that not only has Amazon expanded its online wares to include groceries, but that these products can also be reviewed by consumers (or by anyone who happens to browse the site).

In a move I wish I could take credit for, somebody a couple of years ago decided to review milk. Yes, milk. A brand called Tuscan Milk, to be precise. Others followed. The result is some of the most hysterical, amateur parodic writing I've yet encountered. One writer simply parodies the site's book reviews:
The author of Tuscan Milk gets right to the point and saves the busy reader time with a crisp, focused narrative. I read it in one night and part of the next day. Not elaborate, the illustrations make the point: cows can fly in New York, although lunar gravity and near-light velocities "curve" space to create strange relativistic bovine warping. Lay readers will appreciate the constrained use of math, but may miss beloved traditional elements: Cat? Fiddle? Dish? Spoon? Stop looking! This is a modern work of milk that doesn't look back. Customers who liked Tuscan might like the edgy, high-tech read on Eagle Brand Condensed or even Carnation Powdered. Buying used is not a recommended option.
And then things start to get really creative. For example, there's the oenophile approach:
On the nose this milk is exceptionally elegant. Dominant floral notes (mint and white flowers) mingle with hints of fresh fruit (citrus fruits, fresh almonds). As it undergoes aeration, riper notes of vanilla and nougat come to the fore, giving a pleasant roundness to the milk. At this stage a typical whole milk characteristic, crisp elegance, clearly prevails over aromatic strength. In the mouth, the milk, especially in the gallon size, reveals its true personality. Fruity notes (white peaches, grapefruit and bergamot) dominate an energetic attack on the palate, which is prolonged by the structure and roundedness of the milk. The balance, a combination of freshness and vigour, is ideal. With a finish that is extremely persistent and clean, mineral notes add force to this noble cow juice.
This one also made me chuckle:

Has anyone else tried pouring this stuff over dry cereal? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
Then there's the literary approach:
As Lenny sat on the hillside, we could hear the dogs baying in the distance. He looked across the fields with that big goofy grin of his and said "Tell me about the Tuscan Whole Milk again, George"! So I shot him.
But I think my favorite is this one, emulating the infamous Nigerian email scam:
Dear Sir, Accept my sincere greetings from afar, I was given your name by a reliable colleague and I would like to enter into a confidential business transaction with you. I am Dr. G. J. Heifre, PH.D., a high-ranking civil servant at the Ministry of Milk. Due to civil insurrection at the highest level of our government and resulting confusion of invoices, I now find myself in possession of Twenty Five Million (25 million) gallons of Tuscan Whole Milk, and am seeking a reliable business partner, who, in return for fifteen percent of the proceeds,...
Classic.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"God Damn America"

So says the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a leader of Senator Barack Obama's church and the Democratic presidential candidate's spiritual adviser. He said this, apparently, in a 2003 sermon to his flock (via Geraghty at NRO:

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people .... God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
Nice. I wonder if he's ever preached against the killing of innocents like say, Danny Pearl. Or does the slaughter of innocent Jews not count for much in his eyes?

Not surprisingly, he also told his congregation right after September 11 that America had been asking for it and deserved what it got:

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye .... "

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost ...."
Apart from the appalling misinformation to be found in this diatribe (I don't recall us supporting South Africa during its apartheid days, and don't get me started on his calling Israel's defense of its citizens' right to exist "state terrorism"), I am overwhelmed at the outright contempt this man so obviously has for his country. And this is what he was saying on September 16, 2001 -- five days after the Twin Towers fell.

Can you remember what you felt like that day? Can you imagine hearing this from a so-called "Man of God"? Now, imagine a church full of people nodding their heads in agreement. That is where Barack Obama is coming from. Here's how the Senator characterizes Reverend Wright and his own church:
"I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial." He said Rev. Wright "is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with."
So, Obama is either a damned liar who thinks we're all idiots, or he presumes most Americans simply think like he does. Either way, this man is not presidential material in this humble blogger's opinion.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What Liberal Media? Part LXIII

Technically, I'm not talking about our media. I'm talking about the Beeb, a/k/a the BBC. But since so many liberals in this country take the BBC's word as Gospel (it must be something about the accents -- makes everything seem so much truthier) I'm posting it anyway.

So, it seems the Beeb aired a blurb about how those cruel Israelis bulldozed to the ground the home of the terrorist who, last week, marched into a yeshiva and murdered eight students in cold blood, and wounded many more. The only problem? The story was a complete farce.

Not only is this (thankfully, dead) terrorist's house still standing, there is a shrine outside, with pictures of the "martyr" fluttering in the wind. To date, the only thing the Israeli government has actually done is force the Palestinians to remove the Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad flags from the front of the home. OOOH, THOSE BASTARDS!

Am I surprised to learn that the BBC is outright fabricating news stories to make Israel look bad? No, not really. But it's a disgrace. I won't hold my breath waiting for the retraction.

Mamet: Revelation

David Mamet has long been one of my favorite writers. He's responsible for Glengarry Glen Ross, The Verdict, House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, and many others. He's also long been an outspoken Leftist.

Until now. This morning, Mamet announces -- in The Village Voice of all places -- that he is no longer, as he puts it, a "brain-dead liberal." He summarizes his 180-degree change in view thusly:
This is, to me, the synthesis of this worldview with which I now found myself disenchanted: that everything is always wrong.

But in my life, a brief review revealed, everything was not always wrong, and neither was nor is always wrong in the community in which I live, or in my country. Further, it was not always wrong in previous communities in which I lived, and among the various and mobile classes of which I was at various times a part.

Mamet describes his rediscovery of the Constitution, his realization that corporations and the military are not inherently evil, and his acquired understanding that while liberals strive to empower the government to "fix" just about everything, the government has a long track record of doing a pretty poor job fixing just about anything, compared with the performance of the free market.

The piece is, like everything Mamet's ever written, worth reading. And heartening. And -- for a man who makes his living in the arts -- courageous. Because there will be backlash.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bahahahaha!!!

I'm typing furiously, hoping to beat Puck to the punch on this one. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) has been busted for dalliances with $5,000-an-hour prostitutes.
Wait a second --

Bahahahahaha!!!

Okay. I'm better now.

Spitzer is the fellow who cultivated an Eliot Ness-like persona as the crusader for truth and justice against the evils of corporate excess as a Manhattan District Attorney and later as a U.S. Attorney. He's long been considered a rising star in the Clinton Wing of the Democratic Party (which is why I'm not so sure he'll resign -- do those people ever do the right thing?).

This will offer a welcome distraction from presidential politics over the next couple of weeks, though it's not an entirely separate issue. New York is an important state in the race. Moreover, the focus of the Democratic primary is squarely on Pennsylvania for the next month or so, and Pennsylvania's close enough to New York to conflate the discussions. Add in a camera-loving Pennsylvania Governor (Ed Rendell) who is a Clintonista of like stripe, and there's a broad conversation to be had that is not good news for Hillary.

Indeed, I suspect this will be something of a boon for Obama. He's been faced with a tough dilemma of late -- whether to keep up his "beyond politics" loftiness or to get down and dirty and sling some mud back at Hillary. I don't think he needs sling any mud for awhile. The media and Obama's surrogates will have no difficulty painting Spitzer's indiscretions as part and parcel to the selfishness and double-standardism that characterizes old-school Democratic politics.

I should point out that I feel terrible for Spitzer's wife. The expression on her face in the above photo pretty much says it all.

Me, I'm just glad I had the good judgment not to title this post "Spitzer Swallows."

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Obama and the Courts

It seems like we're really piling on Senator Obama over here, and I guess we are. But the man's run a campaign that provides about as much substance as a hollowed-out Twinkie, and the national media spends its time drooling over him rather than actually examining his record. We're here to make sure that anyone out there who is thinking of voting for Senator Hopey McChangeypants -- the self-styled uniter whose actual record of "reaching across the aisle" appears to be limited to giving his Republican brethren the figurative middle finger -- knows exactly what he or she is electing.

Benedick has talked quite a bit about Obama and Israel. The Weekly Standard has recently posted an excellent article examining the type of jurist Senator Obama would be likely to appoint to the Supreme Court. This is no small matter: the next eight years might see between four and six vacancies a bit of turnover on the Supreme Court; there are plenty of open slots as well in the federal district courts and courts of appeals.

Says Ed Whelan, one of the nation's leading conservative court-watchers:

Although Obama has served in the Senate for barely three years, he has already established a record on judicial nominations and constitutional law that comports with his 2007 ranking by the National Journal as the most liberal of all 100 senators. Obama voted against the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, and he even joined in the effort to filibuster the Alito nomination. In explaining his vote against Roberts, Obama opined that deciding the "truly difficult" cases requires resort to "one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy." In short, "the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge's heart."
(emphasis mine).

Silly me. Here I thought the critical ingredient was, "What does the Constitution say?" I guess that's why I didn't get into Harvard. In case you were wondering what specifically needs to be in the judge's heart to make it past Obama's sniff test:

Obama has explicitly declared: "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old--and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges."
Um, excuse me? Whatever happened to the rule of law? How about judges who apply the law fairly to all who come before them -- whether the defendant is a poor, gay, disabled member of an ethnic minority group or a multi-billion dollar corporation? Where in the Constitution is it written that young teenage moms require special treatment?

The answer is, of course there's no such thing in the Constitution. Which is why activists seeking to accomplish certain liberal ends that are repeatedly, and roundly, rejected during the legislative process (think partial-birth abortion), seek refuge with their fellow travelers in the court system if the great unwashed happen to vote against their proposed law of choice. "Of the people, by the people, for the people" -- sure, unless those people are too stupid to know what's good for them.

Obama is one of these. Contrary to how he has presented himself -- and how the media has continued to present him -- the man is no centrist.

Obama's constitutional activism is particularly evident on the touchstone issue of Roe v. Wade. Obama calls abortion "one of the most fundamental rights we possess" and promises to "make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as president." He has harshly criticized the Court's 2007 ruling that the federal partial-birth abortion act (which was supported by broad bipartisan majorities in Congress, including abortion supporters like Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy) is constitutionally permissible.
I'm an attorney, so these are issues at the very top of my checklist when I go to vote. But, that does not mean that they are unimportant, or that the impact of a president on the courts is limited to us slick law-talkin' types. This affects all of us -- possibly for decades. So concludes Ed Whelan:

The central question of the last several decades is, rather, whether it is legitimate for judges to alter the Constitution's meaning willy-nilly--in particular, whether judges have unconstrained authority to invent new constitutional rights to suit their views of what changing times require. The cliché invoked by Obama of a "living" Constitution disguises the fact that the entrenchment of leftist policy preferences as constitutional rights deprives the political processes of the very adaptability that Breyer and company pretend to favor. As Scalia has put it, "the reality of the matter is that, generally speaking, devotees of The Living Constitution do not seek to facilitate social change but to prevent it."
Indeed.

He's Baaack

Karl Rove, that is. According to Politico, Rove is now formally advising the McCain campaign. This is positive news for the GOP. Democrats hate Rove because he's the best at what he does. I'm heartened to hear he'll be doing his thing in 2008.

McCain as Prisoner of War

John McCain's POW experience in North Vietnam is certainly a widely known facet of his personal history. Until this morning, however, I'd never read anything other than brief summaries of the five-and-a-half years he spent in brutal captivity.

I discovered, however, that shortly after his return to the U.S. in 1973 McCain dictated a thorough account of his imprisonment. Not surprisingly, the details are chilling, starting with McCain's recounting of his initial capture:

I pulled the ejection handle, and was knocked unconscious by the force of the ejection-the air speed was about 500 knots. I didn't realize it at the moment, but I had broken my right leg around the knee, my right arm in three places, and my left arm. I regained consciousness just I landed by parachute in a lake right in the center of Hanoi, one they called the Western Lake. My helmet and my oxygen had been blown off.

I hit the water and sank to the bottom. I think the lake was about 15 feet deep, maybe 20. 1 kicked off the bottom I did not feel any pain at the time, and vas able to rise to the surface. I took a breath of air and started sinking again. Of course, I was wearing 50 pounds, at least, of equipment and gear. I went down and managed to kick up to the surface once more. I couldn't understand why I couldn't use my right leg or my arm. I was in a dazed condition. I went up to the top again and sank back down. This time I couldn't, get back to the surface. I was wearing an inflatable life preserver-type thing that looked like water wings. I reached down with my mouth and got the toggle between my teeth and inflated the preserver and finally floated to the top. '

Some North Vietnamese swam out and pulled me to the side of the lake and immediately started stripping me, which is their standard procedure. Of course, this being in the center of town, a huge crowd of people gathered, and they were all hollering and screaming and cursing and spitting and kicking at me.

When they, had most of my clothes off, I felt a twinge in my right knee. I sat up and looked at it, and my right foot was resting next to my left knee, just in a 90-degree position. I said, "My God-my leg!"

That seemed to enrage them I 'don't know why, One of them slammed a rifle butt down on my shoulder, and smashed it pretty badly. Another stuck a bayonet in my foot. The mob was really getting up-tight.

McCain describes the severe torture inflicted on himself and others. He reveals the anguish of resisting the constant offers of special treatment he received as the son of an admiral. He describes in particular the visits of American Leftists whom the North Vietnamese invited into the camps to compose anti-American propaganda.

What struck me most while reading the account, however, were the lessons McCain learned and the notable lack of bitterness attending his reflection. Here is how he concluded his remarks:

I think America is a better country now because we have been through a sort of purging process, a re-evaluation of ourselves. Now I see more of an appreciation of our way of life. There is more patriotism. The flag is all over the place. I hear new values being stressed-the concern for environment is a case in point.

I've received scores of letters from young people, and many of them sent me POW bracelets with my name on it, which they had been wearing. Some were not too sure about the war, but they are strongly patriotic, their values are good, and I think we will find that they are going to grow up to be better Americans than many of us.

This outpouring on behalf of us who were prisoners of war is staggering, and a little embarrassing because basically we feel that we are just average American Navy, Marine and Air Force pilots who got shot down. Anybody else in our place would have performed just as well.

My own plans for the future are to remain in the Navy, if I am able to return to flying status. That depends upon whether the corrective surgery on my arms and my leg is successful. If I have to leave the Navy, I hope to serve the Government in some capacity, preferably in Foreign Service for the State Department.

I had a lot of time to think over there, and came to the conclusion that one of the most important things in life-along with a man's family-is to make some contribution to his country.
A man who returns from five years of brutal captivity with the notion that he has not yet served his country enough is a rare specimen indeed.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Democrats' Self-Flagellation

If you don't read everything Mark Steyn writes, you're missing out. In his syndicated column this week Steyn assesses the carnage attending the battle between Historic Crimes Against Blacks and Historic Crimes Against Women to carry the Democratic nomination.

And he has some (poignant) fun along the way:
As for victims, you have to feel sorry for John Edwards. He was born in a mill. He weighed 1.6 pounds and what did his dad get? Another day older and deeper in debt. John spent most of the 19th century as a spindly 7-year-old sweep with rickets, cleaning chimneys in Dickensian London until Fagin spotted him and trained him up as a trial lawyer. And it worked swell in the 2004 primary but it counted for nothing this time round because, even with all that soot on his face, he's still a white boy.
Chim-chim-cheroo.

Friday, March 07, 2008

No More Samantha Power

And she's done. Obama advisor Samantha Power has apparently made one gaffe too many, this time referring to Hillary Clinton as a "monster." Ironically, while she may be right for once, the camel's back could hold no more straw.

She won't be back unless Obama wins. In which case, yikes.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

More Samantha Power

Samantha Power is one of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisors. She's also, as I've written before, tremendously hostile to Israel. Seems Power is on a Europeon book tour and has caught a nasty case of Michelle Obama Syndrome. She just can't keep her mouth shut.

Power Line has the details, including the following bit:

The interviewer then turned to the difficulties Power has encountered with bloggers who have "fiercely attacked" her "for questioning the US's axiomatic support for Israel on security matters." (Actually, most of the criticism has pertained to her axiomatic support of a variety of slanders against Israel). Power complains that "so much of it is about: 'Is [Obama] going to be good for the Jews?'"

In reality, of course, the concern that results from Power's status as key adviser is not whether Obama will be "good for the Jews," but whether he'll be a steadfast supporter of Israel, or instead will reverse the course of American policy to Israel's detriment. Tellingly, it is Power, not her critics, who seems to see this as a dispute about Jews.
The Obama Administration: Coming soon to a federal government near you.

Michelle Obama Just Keeps Digging . . .

Michelle Obama -- who justifiedly took heat a couple of weeks ago after bleating that for the first time in her life she's finally proud of her country -- has done it again. Now, according to our would-be First Lady, America is just plain "mean" and "getting meaner."

And she caught Paul Mirengoff on a bad day, it seems. His rejoinder, quoting John Podhoretz's related piece in part, is devastating.

And yes, Mid-Western swing voters do pay attention to these sorts of things. Who's running that campaign anyway?

You know what I think? I think Michelle Obama wants to be the next Hillary Clinton. But she's missing two important ingredients: (1) an ounce of political savvy, and (2) Bill Clinton.

Everybody Hold Your Breath

The United Nations will be issuing a stern rebuke of the Palestinians any minute now. Really.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire in a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem on Thursday, killing at least eight people and wounding 20, the Israeli emergency service Zaka said.
Aaaaaaany minute now.

More Liberal Fascism

What do you do when your community has a problem with drug-dealing and -addiction? The drugs themselves are already illegal, and that hasn't produced any results. What to do?

Ah, yes. Ban the plastic baggies in which they're often sold. Brilliant! Because people who are brazen enough to risk long prison sentences by flouting state and federal felony drugs laws will most certainly be cowed by the threat of a *cue ominous music* municipal fine.

And, as a bonus, you can start arresting people for attempting to keep their carrot sticks fresh on the way to school. It's only a matter of time before the eco-crazies come out in favor of this law for its sheer planet-friendliness.

No matter the justification, the government is going to take away our pastic bags . . . for our own good.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Steyn Steps In for Levant

I've noted on several occasions the case of Ezra Levant, who was prosecuted by Canada's "Human Rights Commission," which is actually a hyper-P.C. and leftist kangaroo court that has taken to punishing journalists and private citizens alike for free expression whenever some kook claims to take offense.

Levant (whose charges stemmed from having published the infamous Mohammed cartoons) has prevailed. Next up is Mark Steyn, who had the audacity to actually publish a book called "America Alone," in which he argues that demographic trends in the West pose cause for concern about becoming Islamized.

Steyn is probably the funniest conservative writer around, a regular contributor at National Review, and a consistently great read. As a current victim of the CHRC, he offers his unique (and defiantly irreverent) perspective in the current issue of Maclains.

Unsolicited Confession No. 6

Just about every time I pause to think about what it would be like to be able to fly -- to soar through the clouds at unimaginable speed -- I find myself distracted by the harsh reality that I would probably need to have special clothes made for me out of materials and fasteners that can withstand the extreme forces and friction that being strapped to a man who can fly at such impossible speeds necessarily entails. And that's kind of an annoying detail.

Thought Experiment

An Israeli professor is floating a theory that Moses and his followers were hepped up on hallucinogenic drugs -- and not recipients of divine communication and intervention -- while wandering through the desert on their way to the Promised Land.

Okay. Whatever.

Do you see outraged religious Jews taking to the streets? Do you hear the rabbis placing death sentences on the professor's head? Has he gone into hiding for fear of retribution? No?

Now imagine that any professor of any subject anywhere in the world publicly declared that Mohammed and his followers were under the influence of drugs, rather than vessels for the wisdom of Allah. Is there any doubt about the mayhem that would follow? The torched embassies? The riotous mobs? I didn't think so.

Election "Irregularities"

We like to discuss accusations of electoral irregularities around here, such as voter fraud, purported "disenfranchisement," and the like. Generally -- aside from unfounded tantrums from liberals about the "stolen" 2000 election, indicators of electoral "irregularities" always seem to implicate Democrats.

This primary season is apparently no different. As Obama and Hillary duke it out for key swing states, is it any wonder that this sort of thing is happening?
Irregularities in Texas had the campaigns leveling a series of charges against each other: that operatives were trying to gain an upper hand by loading up caucus sheets with signatures before the evening events started, that biased precinct chairs were locking the caucus venues before rival supporters could enter, and that campaign supporters had stolen the packet of materials that granted them control of the caucus site.

Officials from the Texas Democratic Party issued memos urging the campaigns to play fair. But party officials grew increasingly frustrated with the feuding as the day wore on. "These are two professional campaigns with professional organizations, and we expect both to abide by the rules," said Hector Nieto, a party spokesman.

The Clinton campaign took a more aggressive posture, holding a conference call with reporters to allege what Texas campaign manager Ace Smith called a "tremendously disturbing pattern" of behavior by Obama supporters. "What's happening tonight is just truly an outrage," Smith said.

And now, a Reader Challenge: Can someone please point me to an example of GOP campaigns engaging in this sort of primary shenanigans? Of course not. Remember the contrast the next time Democrats jump up and scream "Fraud!" during a general election (while their activists bribe homeless people with booze and cigarettes to cast ballots they aren't registered to cast).

Stayin' Alive

Well. Hillary lives to see another primary. Last night, Sen. Clinton won by a substantial margin in Ohio, plus taking Texas and Rhode Island. The math still favors Obama, but Hillary needed a big night last night to continue her campaign into the next round of primaries.

For my money, the longer the Democrats battle each other for the nomination, the better it is for McCain. Because once the general election begins, the press will commence functioning as a dull (but heavy and powerful) bludgeoning tool of the Left. For now, the liberal press is divided and cannot help but cover the barbs and jabs being traded by the candidates.

If there's a downside from my perspective, it's that last night's results mean the Democrats will be campaigning relentlessly in my home state of Pennsylvania from now until our primary on April 22. That's a loooong way off, and I am not looking forward to a multi-media barrage of mindless hope-and-change sloganeering. But I suppose it's a small price to pay to keep the Clinton Dirty Tricks Machine grinding away at the Democrats' still-almost-certain, eventual nominee.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Iraq and the War on terror

It remains liberal dogma that Iraq and Radical Islam are separate issues, that Al Qaeda is only in Iraq because we invaded first, and that our continued presence is not only a failure in and of itself, but also strengthens Radical Islam.

Today Power Line's Paul Mirengoff puts the lie to each of these myths, collecting some astonishing facts and statistics that one seems to have to scour conservative blogs in order to become privy to. The Narrative has no room for this sort of inconvenient truth:
Our amazing progress in Iraq is demonstrating that, for now, al Qaeda rather than the U.S. is the weak horse in the very country that al Qaeda has identified as the key battleground in its struggle against us. Consequently, as Peter Wehner shows, the tide within the Islamic world is beginning to run strongly against al-Qaeda. For example, Sayyid Imam al-Sharif recently published a book -- Rationalizations on Jihad in Egypt and the World -- in which he argues that the use of violence to overthrow Islamic governments is religiously unlawful and practically harmful. He also recommends the formation of a special Islamic court to try bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s number two and its ideological leader. These words are significant, Wehner says, because Sharif was once a mentor to Zawahir and has been described by terrorism expert Jarret Brachman as “a living legend within the global jihadist movement.”
Statistics such as these do not grace the pages of mainstream American newspaper:
Public opinion polls seem to confirm al Qaeda's suddenly low standing in the Muslim world. Wehner points to a survey in Pakistan finding that in January less than a quarter of Pakistanis approved of bin Laden, compared with 46 per cent last August, while backing for al-Qaeda fell from 33 per cent to 18 per cent. And Pew reports that the percentage of Muslims saying suicide bombing is justified in the defense of Islam has declined in seven of the eight Arab countries where trend data are available. In Lebanon, for example, 34 per cent of Muslims say such suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified. In 2002, before the Iraq war began, 74 per cent expressed this view.
There's much more in Paul's post, so read it all. And consider what the tragic consequences of our Democrat presidential candidates' calls for precipitously pulling out of Iraq could be.

Instant Classic

National Review Online Editor Kathryn Jean Lopez today shares an email from a reader who seems like the kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with:

You may’ve heard we’re having a closely contested Presidential primary here in Ohio. I just had a young lady, age 22, call me up from the Clinton campaign to see if I had voted yet. I said no, but it was raining, and I wasn’t sure I was going to get out and vote. She wanted to know who I was supporting, Hillary or Obama? I said it was difficult to choose between the two of them, and asked for her opinion. I kept that poor girl on the line for about a half hour (work-wise, I was having a slow day). I had her jumping through hoops on NAFTA, health care, the war in Afghanistan, etc. No matter what we talked about, I would get squishy and head off in a different direction (that’s my usual impersonation of a lib). I started expressing my concern that “the minority community” would feel betrayed if Obama doesn’t get the nomination. “What will this do to future of the Party?”

The only time this girl didn’t have a ready answer was when I asked her what she thought was Hillary biggest accomplishment as a U.S. Senator? She said she couldn’t pick one. So I said that was okay, but just asked her to name a few of them. Eventually, she came up with “health care.” But I pointed out that Clinton hadn’t actually passed anything in this area.

Finally, I decided I had put her through enough. She pressed again about who I was supporting. I allowed that my first choice had actually dropped out of the race. She asked who that was, and I said Fred Thompson. She became confused, but said, yeah, she liked him on Law & Order. I said mostly I just liked him because of his political beliefs. She really started to slow down at that point, and then asked, but between Hillary and Obama, who do I want to win? I said I wasn’t particular, I just wanted them both to go on vigorously contesting for the nomination, and to have a real knock-down battle at the convention. Why did I want that, she asked? I said because I’m a conservative, and a divisive Democrat convention would probably help elect a Republican. The call kind of went downhill from there. In ending our chat, I complimented her exhaustive knowledge of the politics, and enthusiastic work on behalf of her candidate, but she kind of seemed perturbed with me.

I’m wondering if the Obama people will be calling soon.

Classic.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Trouble With Islam

How is it that this guy has not been beheaded yet?

Human Shields, Ctd.

Q: How do you make sure that a whole bunch of civilians get killed so you can get the international community to ignore your months-long,unprovoked acts of terrorism directed at Israeli citizens?

A: Take over civilian homes and use them as your base of operations while the women and children are still inside.

Fine chaps, those Hamas folk. Splendid men indeed.

BENEDICK ADDS: Puck, you're missing the point. The only reason Hamas is forced to use civilians as cannon fodder is that the Israeli Oppressors have made it impossible to "resist" in any other way. Because the super-powerful Jew Army has all the weapons and all the technology, the only way to save the innocent Palestinians is to throw them in front of grenades. No, wait, that's not it exactly. Uh, the only way for Palestinians to achieve peace is to thin out the ranks of their . . . no, that's not it either.

*pause*

Hey, can some typical liberal come over here and explain again how we go about justifying Palestinian behavior? I don't have a deft enough touch.

NY Jews Turning Their Brains Back On?

Could be, if prominent Orthodox leader Dov Hikind is any sort of bellwether.

ARRRRRGGGGH!!!!

My first post in weeks, a nice good long one too, and the damn computer ate it just as I was proofreading.

So, with apologies, here is the short version.

As Benedick told you a few days ago, Israel's been on the receiving end of Palestinian fire from the Gaza Strip for months. You haven't heard about it because "Israel under fire from Islamic militants" is the ultimate dog-bites-man story and because the U.N. is apparently too busy with other gravely important things to condemn Hamas for its indiscriminate killing of Israeli civilians.

Well, as Benedick predicted, Israel has finally said, "enough." And it fired back. And what do you think the U.N's response was?

Yep.

Like clockwork.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Global Warming Update

Winter carnival activities canceled

GILFORD, N.H. (AP) - Much of this week's winter carnival in Gilford has been canceled, due to too much winter. Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene notes that the cancellation of 2 events was due to poor road conditions and snow-filled parking lots. Of the three events originally scheduled for Wednesday, the Cardboard Box Sled Derby has been rescheduled to Friday morning.

"Too much winter." In New Hampshire. Maybe we can relocate all those poor polar bears to New England.