Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

Senator Arlen Specter put pork over principle and became a Democrat:
Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, a move intended to boost his chances of winning re-election next year that will also push Democrats closer to a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.
"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Specter said in a statement posted on a Web site devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office. Several Senate officials said a formal announcement could come later in the day or Wednesday.

Specter, 79 and in his fifth term, is one of a handful of Republican moderates remaining in Congress in a party now dominated by conservatives. Several officials said the White House as well as leaders in both parties had been involved in discussions leading to his move.
Conservatives are actually viewing this as a positive revelation. Specter was always going to vote with the Democrats anyway; now it's up to the Democrats to pay for it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obama is paying off for Hugo Chavez.

It's starting to look like Hugo Chavez's recent meeting with President Obama really was the diplomatic coup that Chavez claimed. Here's the latest big news from Venezuela:
Venezuelan opposition leader and Maracaibo Mayor Manuel Rosales, who was scheduled to appear in court yesterday on corruption charges, has left the country and is seeking political asylum in Peru.

The mayor is being “politically persecuted,” said his wife, Eveling Rosales, in comments broadcast by CNN’s Spanish- language channel. Manuel Rosales, 56, lost the 2006 presidential election to President Hugo Chavez.

“The fundamental problem is that there’s no credibility in the judicial system, which is a system that’s been completely politicized,” Leopoldo Lopez, a member of Rosales’s Un Nuevo Tiempo party and former mayor of the Caracas borough of Chacao, said in a telephone interview. “This is retaliation and selective repression.”
This looks like a political disaster for the anti-Chavez opposition as well as a direct consequence of his amigo Obama's approbation.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

If this man were a Republican, Obama would have torn his head off.

Instead, he was a socialist revolutionary, so Obama felt obliged to listen patiently:
President Obama endured a 50-minute diatribe from socialist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that lashed out at a century of what he called terroristic U.S. aggression in Central America and included a rambling denunciation of the U.S.-imposed isolation of Cuba's Communist government.

Obama sat mostly unmoved during the speech but at times jotted notes. The speech was part of the opening ceremonies at the fifth Summit of the Americas here.

Later, at a photo opportunity with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Obama held his tongue when asked what he thought about Ortega's speech.

"It was 50 minutes long. That's what I thought."

Obama is paying off for the Iranians.

I never thought that the United States would go to war with Israel... until recently:
It is bad enough that President Obama uses almost every opportunity he can to set the parameters of a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Now US officials are openly using Israeli anxiety over Iran's fledging nuclear program as a bargaining chip to force Israel's hand on giving up control of the West Bank Palestinian territory.

No less a figure than White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel — whose father fought with the militant Zionist group the Irgun, and whose appointment had provided such reassurance to Israeli officials — was quoted this week laying down the law to Israel.

If Israel wants US help to defuse the Iranian threat, Mr Emanuel was reported to have told Jewish leaders in Washington, then get ready to start evacuating settlements in the West Bank.

Talkback radio blazed with fury across the country the same day, as Israelis protested that no US official had the right to tell them where to live.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Typical Liberal Bull

You can tell that the liberal idiots are really in charge of things when the government starts warning about right-wing extremists again.

Bonus: Mark Steyn reminds us that liberals live in "homes" while conservatives live in "compounds".

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Grand Conspiracy Theory, or Reality 1, Obama 0

Let's take a look at some of Barack Obama's major diplomatic moves in the Middle East. Primarily, these are:
  • A state visit to Turkey;

  • maintaining American troops in Iraq for the next 18 months;

  • a diplomatic charm offensive towards Iran

  • sending more troops to Afghanistan to stabilize both that country and, by implication, Pakistan

So what do Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan have in common? The answer is the Baghdad Pact. A solid chain of pro-American regimes from Turkey to Pakistan to contain Russia's south to south-western expansion is an ancient Cold War dream of the West. It also implies that Obama is retreating to the "plan B" after the United States found itself able to do little to protect Georgia from Russian adventuring last year.

The first problem with Obama's plan is that both Russia and Iran have serious interests in defying it. From Russia's point of view, this should be obvious. Iran breaks the wall of containment on Russia's southern flank; has tons of natural gas and oil; is a major player if not quite regional hegemon in the Middle East; and is a market for Russian technology (military or non-military, conventional or non-conventional). Iran benefits from Russian markets, money, and technology as well as seeing its interests defended with a permanent veto on the United Nations Security Council.

The second problem with Obama's plan is that Obama is the guy in charge of carrying it out. To date, Obama's approach towards disrupting the Russian-Iranian diplomatic alliance has been to appease it with goodwill statements and diplomatic concessions -- exactly the kind of behavior that strengthens alliances instead of weakening them!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

We can officially say goodbye to McCain 2012 now.

One of the pillars of Senator McCain's senate career is his campaign finance regulations. But not anymore:
"No Republican in his or her right mind is going to agree to public financing. I mean, that's dead. That is over. The last candidate for president of the United States from a major party that will take public financing was me," the Arizona Republican told The Washington Times.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Giftgate II

The good news about giftgate I was that President Obama promised that he was not going to bungle the gift for his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II. The bad news was that Obama's promises pretty much don't mean jack at this point. Here's the latest fiasco:
President and First Lady Obama gave Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II a video iPod with inscription, songs uploaded and accessories, plus a rare musical songbook signed by Richard Rodgers.

Uploaded onto the iPod:
  • Photos from the Queen's 2007 White House State Visit

  • Photos from the Queen's 2007 Jamestown, Va., Visit

  • Photos from the Queen's 2007 Richmond, Va., Visit

  • Video from the Queen's 1957 Jamestown Visit

  • Video from the Queen's 2007 Jamestown Visit

  • Video from the Queen's 2007 Richmond Visit

  • Photos from President Obama's Inauguration

  • Audio of then-state senator Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and

  • Audio of President Obama 2009 Inauguration Address
Britain's Press Association reports that the Royal couple gave the Obamas "a silver-framed, signed photograph of themselves."
The Royal couple's gift is, from what I've heard, the standard diplomatic gift -- that's no surprise after what happened to Gordon Brown.

Obama's gifts, on the other hand, are at least a step up from his standard "Dude, where's my car?" style of diplomacy to the kind of thoughtful gifts that one associates with, say, Bart and Lisa Simpson. One gift says "We could have bought something at Walmart, but we decided to be classy and hit the Apple store and YouTube instead." The other gift says "You're old. It's old. You should like it."

UPDATE: Obama's "Dude, where's my car?" style of diplomacy in action:
It's not everyday the American president's driver is told to move his bulletproof car.

But Queen Elizabeth II's handlers made the request Wednesday after President Barack Obama's reinforced Cadillac limousine was found to be blocking the garden entrance driveway at Buckingham Palace.

After it was moved, Jaguars carrying Prince Charles and other members of the Royal family pulled up for the queen's reception for leaders attending Thursday's G-20 summit.