Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The Fruits of Appeasement

This is not good news: Lebanese Political Factions Reach Agreement

Our State Department, as usual, is clueless:

“The U.S.'s top diplomat for the region, David Welch, nevertheless welcomed the agreement as "a necessary and positive step" that will let the country's political process move forward, the Associated Press reported.

Hezbollah more or less got what it wanted; a significant presence in the government:

“According to the terms of the deal, Hezbollah will be given 11 seats in a 30-member cabinet -- enough to exercise an effective veto over government policies, as the group had demanded.”

Meanwhile, the government got jack:

“Significantly, the issue of Hezbollah's arsenal of weapons -- one of the most pressing matters for supporters of the U.S.-backed government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora -- was left to future negotiations.”

(Ed. Note: Washington Post writers like to use the stylistic tic of many lazy reporters and continually refer to the Lebanonese government as “U.S. backed”. No-one ever explains exactly what the level of our support entails.)

Somewhere, Jimmy Carter is smiling: for Syria and Iran, this is a “positive step” but for Israel, it no doubt means even more attention now needs to paid to southern Lebanon. Israeli PM Olmert’s failure to wage an appropriate war on Hezbollah back in 2006 has newfound significance as (and please don’t take this personally, Senator Obama) appeasement, cloaked as diplomacy, continues to demonstrate it is a failing policy.


"...a friendly, light-hearted character..."

“Meet Petey P. Cup. The 6-foot-11, walking urine vial is being unveiled today as the mascot of HealthPartners' new website and advertising campaign.” MinnPost - HealthPartners unveils offbeat ad mascot

‘nuff said.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


"Bartender, I need 3 beers so I can play a video game"

From today’s Slate:

“—A Silver-winning interactive campaign designed to reduce drunken driving in Frankfurt. Called "The Piss-Screen," it placed monitors on the walls above urinals in bars. By aiming their pee from side to side, men could steer a car in a video driving game. The game would ultimately demonstrate that the pee-er was unfit to be driving, as he couldn't even manage to accurately aim his stream of urine. After the inevitable crash, the screen would ask, "Too pissed to drive?" Celebrating shameless hucksterism at the Clios

I think we can all easily imagine competitions among those standing side-by-side. This could be the long-awaited breakthrough in getting men to tune in to their feminine side…by going to the bathroom together.

Monday, May 19, 2008


The Epidemic of Epidemics Continues...

As a kid, I wasn’t fat. Now I’m trying to remember how my family and I managed that without the federal government’s help. Today’s Washington Post has the following which is almost a parody of how many of us perceive the liberal thought process…except they’re serious here:

Inertia at the Top
A belated and patchy response to an epidemic of childhood obesity is hamstrung by U.S. government's inadequate direction and funding.
Susan Levine and Lori Aratani” (from the Home page at

The article notes favorably the national governments' approaches in the Nanny States of Europe and, of course, boils down the problem with our national government’s approach.

“Critics say the White House has not pushed the issue much beyond personal responsibility. They say the administration and lawmakers are not aggressively pressing for industry or food policy changes.”

Damn! Well, I’ve had some training in stochastic curves, variable equations and the like and when I crunch the numbers, there appears to be a direct correlation between the growth in federal government spending on social programs and the growth in kids’ waistlines.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


"My client is not an appeaser..but if he is an appeaser, it's the right thing to do"

Matthew Mosk is in the tank for Barack Obama.

Now, as a paid member of the Washington Post reporting staff, that was a probably a foregone conclusion. But his piece today offers an excellent example of subtle but real bias in print:

Paragraph 1

Sen. Barack Obama pushed back Friday against President Bush's implicit criticism of his approach to foreign policy ….”


· Transcript: Obama Responds to Bush's Attack
Bush’s attack?
· Bush's Veiled Swipe at Obama

Veiled swipe?

Mr. Mosk’s language and tone reflects the spin of the Obama campaign and not the facts of the situation. Here is what the President said:

“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.” Prepared Text of Bush's Knesset Speech -

Just why Senator Obama, the Democratic Party hierarchy and their acolytes in the press recognize the Illinois senator in those remarks is probably the more interesting story.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


One of these people just doesn't belong...

From The New Republic: Maybe We Can't,which discusses one writer’s aversion to Barack Obama:

“You hear this kind of talk all the time. Never mind the dignified glories of Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Colin Powell, Kurt Schmoke, and others.”

Kurt Schmoke???


John Edwards, The Preakness and other matters...

In endorsing Senator Obama, John Edwards waited until AFTER Senator Clinton crushed the Illinois Senator in West Virginia to declare:

"… the voters have made their choice, and so have I."

Well, not ALL the voters….there are still a few primaries left as well as that disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan Democratic primary voters. But the voters have chosen wisely in the past few years in not making John Edwards their choice.

What a contrast in the Mideast: Israel is celebrating their 60th anniversary as Lebanon threatens to descend into a civil war. However, the Washington Post reports today that there may be a calming in Lebanon – apparently the government there is backing off on some actions against Hezbollah. Here’s my favorite part of their reporting:

“While the army was long considered neutral in the crisis…”

Their army is considered neutral in a fight against its government??? (sigh) Israel remains a singular bastion of common sense and civility over there. We should all celebrate its existence and pray for its continued success.

BTW: Yesterday, Soccer Dad sent me a link to a Q&A with Post writer Griff Witte about Israel’s 60th anniversary. Let me just publicly thank him then for such an utter waste of my time whereby, from Mr. Witte’s responses, I learned absolutely nothing new about Israel, the Palestinians or anything going on in the Mideast. The questioners as a whole came across as better informed. Soccer Dad and I share a general head-shaking, eye-rolling reaction to much of the coverage of Israel published in the Post of which Griff Witte is just the most recent exhibit. SD has more here: Soccer Dad: Half witte

The Preakness is this Saturday and I look to be there in plenty of time to bet the 1st race – Post Time 10:30AM. The Big Race has a field of 13 horses – only two of which raced in the Kentucky Derby. The remaining 11 horses COMBINED are $167,000 short of Derby winner Big Brown’s lifetime earnings of $2,114,500…which is why he is a deserved overwhelming favorite this weekend.

No doubt many of you were wondering what Marie Cocco’s latest thoughts were. (I confess, I didn’t know who she was either but it says she is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group.) Anyway, here are her thoughts: Misogyny I Won't Miss

Fortunately, most of the people she cites for insensitivity on this matter are obvious Lefties. Here’s here ham-handed and predictable conclusion:

“But for all Clinton's political blemishes, the darker stain that has been exposed is the hatred of women that is accepted as a part of our culture.”

Puh-leez. Forget about men getting in touch with their feminine side; we need some of these women to get in touch with their masculine side.

And no, I’m not talking to you Mrs. Clinton; you’re doing fine…

I don’t regularly watch a lot of non-sports television but if I’m still up and watching weekdays at midnight, I’m likely to be tuned to WGN and Corner Gas. It’s a Canadian import and probably requires a few viewings to get a handle on the characters but it is genuinely funny.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Alright! My Intersection is #3!!!

“If you drive on Great Seneca Highway near Muddy Branch Road in Gaithersburg, you have the dubious distinction of passing through Montgomery County's most clogged intersection….

No. 3 is Route 355 at King Farm Boulevard…” Montgomery Traffic Fixes Are Ineffective, Study Says -

See, this is why we need to elect more Democrats…oh, wait


Maybe Hamas is right after all...

In April, Hamas adviser Ahmed Yousef glowingly spoke of Senator Obama:

“We don’t mind–actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy…”

I’m reminded of that as I read what Byron York over at NRO describes as “Fun facts from the Democratic popular vote race”:

Obama's lead, including estimated vote totals in caucus states(which favors Obama) plus results from Florida (which favors Clinton),but nothing from Michigan: 411,915

Obama's margin of victory over Clinton in Cook County, Illinois: 429,052

Heh, heh.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Indiana went for Clinton so Indiana is racist.

One of the more bizarre recent examples of PC idiocy occurred at Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis (IUPUI) where finally administrators there “revoked their finding that a student-employee was guilty of racial harassment merely for publicly reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan“ FIRE - Victory at IUPUI: Student-Employee Found Guilty of Racial Harassment for Reading a Book Now Cleared of All Charges

Today’s Washington Post has a front page story that also involves Indiana: Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause. Highlighted within is anecdotal evidence of Indiana racism. Unfortunately, there is very little reporting involved. Post writer Kevin Merida seems to simply take at face value whatever the Obama supporter says. Of course, Senator Obama lost the Indiana primary; Senator Obama is, like, kind of awesome so obviously racism is the only explanation for his loss there.

If the conventional wisdom is to be believed, many modern-day voters are reluctant to state to a pollster a preference for a white candidate over a non-white candidate (the so-called Bradley effect). But apparently in Indiana, they have no problem using racially-derogatory comments to supporters of the non-white:

“"One caller, [Obama volunteer] Switzer remembers, said he couldn't possibly vote for Obama and concluded: "Hang that darky from a tree!"

…and that’s how much of the story goes: Mr. Merida reports on very little first-hand – it’s all what the Obama supporters tell him. The above noted anecdote could presumably have been checked out by having Mr. Merida call the supposed bigot back to confirm but there is no evidence that any such confirming work was done.

And the more overt happenings are even less clear as to racial underpinnings. An Obama campaign office was vandalized the night before the primary:

“Other windows were spray-painted with references to Obama's controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and other political messages: "Hamas votes BHO" and "We don't cling to guns or religion. Goddamn Wright."

Well, who is Hamas supporting? And disdain for the Rev. Wright should certainly be considered an acceptable mainstream emotion. Vandalism is criminal but it isn’t necessarily racial….unless I also missed Mr. Merida’s piece on the racial elements behind the Wisconsin slashing of tires just prior to the 2004 election.

This brings us to Mr. Merida’s capstone anecdote:

“Ewing, 47, is a chain-smoking middle school guidance counselor, a black single mother of two and one of the most fiercely vigilant Obama volunteers in Kokomo, which was once a Ku Klux Klan stronghold. On July 4, 1923, Kokomo hosted the largest Klan gathering in history -- an estimated 200,000 followers flocked to a local park. But these are not the 1920s, and Ewing believes she can persuade anybody to back Obama.”

I guess Mr. Merida thinks that 1923 bit of history is somehow relevant but the Klan then is also not the Klan of today. At its peak in Indiana, the Klan was primarily an anti-Catholic organization. Many of the recent (legal) immigrants coming into America at that time were Catholic and many Americans were wary of their loyalty to the Pope. That’s why, as noted above, things came to a boil in South Bend, Indiana at Notre Dame less than a year later.

I have no doubt that there are those out there who will not vote for Senator Obama because of his half-race – just as there are those who will not vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. But I believe these anti’s are more than offset by those voting FOR Senator Obama precisely because of the color of his skin and those voting FOR Senator Clinton precisely because of her sex.

(Ed. Note: People who think this way are allowed to vote accordingly because both candidates are Democrats. If they are Republicans, black and female candidates are mere inauthentic tools of the Man. See, e.g., almost any recent election in Maryland).

IUPUI administrators found racial harassment in the reading of an anti-Klan book and Kevin Merida reports there is widespread racism in Indiana because pro-Obama, anti-Clinton campaign workers told him about it. But white voters in Indiana voted in a much greater percentage for Senator Obama than did blacks for Senator Clinton (40% vice 8%). Whites even voted in a greater percentage in Indiana for Obama than they did in North Carolina. Unfortunately, while North Carolina went for Obama, Indiana still went to Senator Clinton; hence the hatchet piece on the Hoosier state in today’s Post. Simply put, if you tell Kevin Merida something he wants to hear, he’ll report it. This is a bad faith story that is a harbinger of things to come through November.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Noted Zionist, Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s attitudes towards Israel and the Palestinians are subject to a legitimate concern of many people. Daled Amos over at Soccer Dad features the Senator’s response to some questions on the Zionist issue in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic: Obama: Zionism Is For Holocaust Survivors

Mr. Obama has some nice sounding answers, but, as the Reverend Wright informed us, he is a politician.

Actually, that was also the point made by Ali Abunimah back in March 2007:

“If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising. He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power.” ei: How Barack Obama learned to love Israel

Friday, May 09, 2008


McCain's 2000 Ballot

Unlike me, our very own Crablaw apparently holds blogress Arianna Huffington in high esteem (although it seems much of that esteem is hormonally related). Unfortunately, he was unable to timely attend a recent DC book-signing event by the same Ms. Huffington. Too bad, because she is back in the news on a topic that was addressed at that event.

A story with some recent play concerns John McCain’s presidential vote in 2000. According to Arianna Huffington, Senator McCain (and his wife Cindy) explicitly told her shortly after the 2000 election that, in fact, they had not voted for President Bush.

“At a dinner party in Los Angeles not long after the 2000 election, I was talking to a man and his wife, both prominent Republicans. The conversation soon turned to the new president. "I didn't vote for George Bush" the man confessed. "I didn't either," his wife added. Their names: John and Cindy McCain (Cindy told me she had cast a write-in vote for her husband).”

That story didn’t come out until Monday on Ms. Huffington’s blog and was immediately and emphatically denied by the McCain campaign.

Now the New York Times reports that two other sources are backing up Ms. Huffington ….sort of:

“Now two other guests at the same dinner, given by the actress Candice Bergen, at her home in Beverly Hills, say they heard much the same thing as Ms. Huffington. Both of them, the former “West Wing” actors Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff, were asked by Ms. Huffington to speak to The New York Times.”

But when you read their accounts, you get the sense that apparently John McCain did little else at that party but go around confiding in people that he didn’t vote for George Bush:

“Another guest then asked Mr. McCain, Mr. Whitford recalled, whether he had voted for Mr. Bush. “And he put his finger in front of his mouth and mouthed, ‘No way,’ ” Mr. Whitford said.”

So, according to Mr. Whitford, he mouthed – not spoke – it. But then we read Mr. Schiff’s account:

“Mr. Schiff, who played Toby Ziegler, the White House communications director on “The West Wing,” said he was listening to Mr. McCain from the other of the two tables in the room....

“...And the person said, ‘Did you vote for him?’ And McCain said, ‘No.’ ”

And yet, remarkably, this story has stayed undercover for almost seven-and-a-half years. With no other reports of other times John McCain confiding his 2000 presidential vote that I’m aware of, we are left to conclude that the Senator picked this one occasion to confide this matter with several people with whom he had no obvious close relationship and with no obvious Republican ties.

I’ll pass.

Friday, May 02, 2008


The low bar of legal scholarship

The Post re-introduces a controversy that really isn’t: McCain's Birth Abroad Stirs Legal Debate

This is such an obvious matter that I can’t help but think less of the legal prowess of anyone arguing otherwise. It's simple - all U.S. citizens can be divided into two groups: Citizens-at-birth or naturalized citizens. …and no-one can be a citizen at birth who is not also the constitutionally-mandated “natural born”. Anyone really want to argue that Senator McCain wasn't a citizen at birth?

In summary: Any so-called legal scholar who claims that there is any kind of issue with John McCain’s eligibility to become President based on his birth place (the Panama Canal Zone) is either a partisan hack or a publicity-hungry law professor hoping to get quoted in the “A” section of the Washington Post...or both.

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