Tuesday, July 29, 2008


What happened?

Barack Obama in Minnesota – June 3, 2008

“…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…” Text of Obama's speech Tuesday June 3, 2008

Barack Obama in Berlin – July 24, 2008:

“As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya ...” Obama speech: The Independent

Monday, July 28, 2008


Using that Harvard Law education

Remember these insightful words from your childhood:

“The more you know, the more you forget;
The more you forget, the less you know;
The less you know, the less you forget;
The less you forget, the more you know:
Why study?”

I was reminded of that when I read this snippet from a Q&A with Senator Obama:

“[Newsweek]You've been talking about those limited missions for a long time. Having gone there and talked to both diplomatic and military folks, do you have a clearer idea of how big a force you'd need to leave behind to fulfill all those functions?”

“[Senator Obama] I do think that's entirely conditions-based. It's hard to anticipate where we may be six months from now, or a year from now, or a year and a half from now.Obama's Sober Mood Newsweek.com

Huh? As anyone even flipping channels during the Democratic primaries knows, Barack Obama’s candidacy was at least initially fueled by recognition of his uncanny ability to sort out future US military failures. He knew years in advance our efforts in Iraq were going to be a bust, accurately predicted the inadequacy of our military’s surge actions before the first additional soldier landed in Iraq and pinpointed 16-months as the perfect timetable for getting us out of Iraq.

Then he goes to Iraq, actually sees first-hand what it’s like over there; gets to talk to those on the ground and after receiving such an education…becomes clueless.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Visiting Poland: A Warning

For business reasons, I’ve spent just about all of July in Poland and have very much appreciated the opportunity to do so. I enjoy it here and would normally recommend others to visit as there is a lot to see and do. However as a service to any liberal progressive readers I may have, I feel duty bound to highlight, in the interest of full disclosure, some of the more unpleasant aspects of modern-day Poland.

One of the perceived great joys of European travel is the chance it gives you to sit back with like-minded individuals and bash America. Alas, I have to report that I’ve not encountered even one instance of anti-Americanism here in Poland (and I’m in Warsaw, their capital city).

And it’s not like I haven’t given them the opportunity. When asked, I’ve talked openly about our upcoming elections, our chance at redemption...and still nothing; not even a gratuitous swipe at President Bush. I’m not trying to judge them but I can’t help but feel that most Poles are just not consumed by the possibility of a Barack Obama presidency. That’s right; I’ve not come across one visible sign of Obamamania. No signal that they recognize how his election would CHANGE everything.

Which is not to say that if he came to Poland, a crowd wouldn’t also show up to listen to him. (Hell, if I was here, I’d probably show up). The faithful in the crowd would understand him because he no doubt would be speaking to them in Tongues. But the rest of us would understand him because he would also be speaking in English. That’s because English is widely spoken here as a second language. I’ve valiantly tried to learn some Polish but it’s not an easy language to learn and an American can probably get around here without any Polish comprehension (this is particularly true in the larger cities). Sadly, though, the people here don’t seem to have any clue concerning just how much of a victim they are of our cultural imperialism; a recent poll showed that 91% of the populace thinks English should be a mandatory subject in their schools. (Mr. Obama’s recommendation of Spanish didn’t even register.)

Another recent survey showed that Poland was near the bottom when it came to cancer care. Unfortunately, that same survey put the US at the very top and some Polish people who pointed this out to me were upset with Poland’s poor showing and admiring of America’s leadership in this matter. I patiently tried to explain to them that their system of nationalized health care was so much better because it meant that their relatively poor cancer care was at least equally available no matter how rich or poor. (Well, except that the richer Poles are usually advised to go to America to take advantage of our superior cancer treatments.) Further, I described how our system, despite the impressive breakthroughs, also risks making some people richer for their efforts, therefore encouraging even more investments into health care innovations and thus…well by that time I had forgotten what my point was but I think everyone was impressed with my obvious grasp of the superiority of a nationalized health care system. Still, such Polish admiration for an American success story is not a good trait and may make some of you world citizens a bit uncomfortable.

And as world citizens, a few of you probably also remember Poland’s role in the downfall of the noble leftwing experiment that was Communism. Lech Walesa and Solidarity were the beginning of the end for the communists here in Europe and the Poles don’t seem too apologetic about it. That’s led to all kinds of outbreaks of Capitalism and improved standards of living but it also decreased the role of government in people’s daily lives. Some of you may be aghast at the acceptance of such tradeoffs.

Pope John Paul II was also an inspirational figure in that time and his image is everywhere – in shops, taxis and even restaurants. This leads me to note another unfortunate aspect of the Polish landscape: just about everyone here is Catholic. Church holidays are state holidays and on Sundays the cathedrals are full. Now Catholics can be useful citizens and all that but as any liberal Supreme Court watcher can tell you, too many of us Catholics in one place and bad things happen.

And so it is here: remarkably, despite this country’s claims to be a functioning democracy, its judicial system has yet to unilaterally impose Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. Sadly, this means I cannot report that that progressive lodestar of individual rights – that of a 14-year old girl to have an abortion without parental approval or knowledge – is respected here.

Yet, outrageously, for the most part, restaurant and bar owners still have the right to set their own smoking rules. Yep, if you want to go into a bar and have a cigarette with your beer - and the bar owner doesn’t object - you can do so. I’ll leave it to you to contrast those examples of an obvious lack of perspective.

Of course the biggest problem Poland faces today is a distressing lack of Diversity. You only have to be here a short while before it hits you: pretty much everyone here is Polish. (Oh sure, their politics runs the full gamut of the political spectrum but we all now know that viewpoint diversity ain’t what’s important.)

As you can imagine, this unfortunate situation leads to all kinds of awkward moments. For instance, I’ve talked to a number of Polish men and none have admitted to the straight, white, male angst that marks intelligentsia membership among U.S. men. What’s more, the Polish people I’ve met seem oblivious to the guilt they should be carrying on account of what some people of similar skin tone did over a hundred years ago. (I don’t even think they have government-mandated US-styled Affirmative Action programs in place!)

Not a pretty picture, I know, but I include all of this to ensure that if you come over, you come over forewarned and forearmed. Of course, as with any place so besotted with problems, therein lies great opportunity. An ambitious young person could spend a few years over here community organizing, perhaps even getting some job-placement center built. Such a singular achievement would obviously then qualify that person for anything – even leadership of the free world.

Friday, July 25, 2008


The Annointed One

Andy McCarthy is right: This is hysterical:

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.” He ventured forth to bring light to the world Gerard Baker - Times Online

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Barack Obama: He's not just talk for Israel

Some people are understandably having some fun with the latest Obama-without-a-teleprompter head shaker:

“[Senator Obama] Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.

But as Powerline points out, it is not so easy to look at Obama's deeds as there is a fundamental problem with the example Obama provides--it is not true:

But Obama is not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Obama just made that up so he could count the committee's action as one of "my deeds." Soccer Dad: Obama Talks About Commitment To Israel While Pointing To Imaginary Accomplishments

The Obama people can explain (H/T The Campaign Spot at NRO):

“U.S. Senator Barack Obama today applauded the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee's passage of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2008, which includes provisions Obama offered last year in the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007 (S. 1430).”Senate Banking Committee Passes Obama Provisions on Divestment in Iran Sanctions Bill U.S. Senator Barack Obama

(Ed. Note: I also like this bit of flattery from the man who risks muscle tears from reaching across the aisle so much: “I commend Chairman Dodd for his leadership on this important issue, and I call on the Senate to quickly pass this legislation.” You would never know that Senator Obama’s self-decribed own committee refers to it as the Dodd-Shelby Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2008.)

Here’s a link to the text of the hard-hitting Iran Sanctions Enabling Act that the Illinois Senator proposed last year. Its most significant features allow for state and local governments to direct divestments from investments in Iran (which the current bill also has) and this gem:

1) PUBLICATION OF LIST- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of State, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, shall publish in the Federal Register a list of persons, whether within or outside of the United States, that, as of the date of the publication, have made an investment of more than $20,000,000 in the energy sector of Iran. The list shall include a description of the investment made by each such person, including the dollar value, intended purpose, and status of the investment, as of the date of the publication of the list.”

Whoaa Senator! You want to publish a list of the names of very rich people investing in the energy sector of Iran? Wouldn’t it be more diplomatic to just start lobbing bombs?
Unfortunately, the good Senator must have been too exhausted from the heavy-lifting of just introducing such a harsh measure to do any more with it because apparently that’s as far as it went.

Now here’s a look at some of what the Senate committee actually passed:

“To impose sanctions with respect to Iran, to provide for the divestment of assets in Iran by State and local governments and other entities, to identify countries engaged in transshipment, reexportation, or diversion of certain sensitive items to Iran, and for other purposes.”

Didn’t see anything about a rich guys list though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Will He ever be wrong?

“Still, when asked if knowing what he knows now, he would support the surge, the senator said no.

"These kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult," he said. "Hindsight is 20/20. But I think that what I am absolutely convinced of is, at that time, we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with, and one that I continue to disagree with -- is to look narrowly at Iraq and not focus on these broader issues." ABC News: Post-Tour, Obama Still Balks at Troop Surge

Ahh CHANGE...Of course, that was our number 1 priority. I’m just glad his campaign’s stock phrase wasn’t along the lines of getting in touch with our feminine side. These kinds of hypotheticals aren’t difficult at all, especially if the surge leads to a victory for your COUNTRY!!!

For the record, if I knew then what I know now, I would never have entertained all those cockamamie, liberal policies I embraced as a youngster. But that’s part of growing up: admit your mistakes, learn from and try not to repeat them. The surge was not a policy in and of itself but rather a means toward an end: Success in Iraq. By his response we learn that that success is obviously of little interest to the One.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


What takes less time: a Decade or 10 years?

"Invest in a Clean Energy Future
Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy: Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, invest in low-emissions coal plants, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid. A principal focus of this fund will be devoted to ensuring that technologies that are developed in the U.S. are rapidly commercialized in the U.S. and deployed around the globe." Barack Obama.com-issues-energy

In Barack Obama’s world, that ten-year plan is called the “fast-track”:

"Announcer: And fast-track alternatives so we stop spending billions on oil from hostile nations. New leadership for a changing world.
Obama: I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message."

Meanwhile, John McCain apparently just wants to lollygag his way through the “crisis”:

“Not a drop more.
McCain plan to open up our coastlines to drilling would not bring meaningful new production on-line for ten years.
U.S. Dept. of Energy)"

Barack Obama New Energy for America

(H/T Greg Pollowitz at NRO)

Side Notes I: And just for fun, go on and hit the link for the “U.S. Dept of Energy” that the Obama campaign site uses to supposedly back up that analysis. Bonus points if you actually find a reference to the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Side Notes II: And what is it with Senator Obama and 10 years:

“The objective of this trip was to have substantive discussions with people like President Karzai or Prime Minister Maliki or President Sarkozy or others who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years.” The Corner on National Review Online

Is he expecting an encore two years awarded at his curtain call after he’s used up his constitutionally-limited eight years?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This part of the script has long been written...

Soccer Dad was kind enough to comment on my last posting and raised a good point about whether the Washington Post would play the experience against Senator Obama when it comes to making its endorsement for the November election (as it did against Michael Steele in 2006). Clearly his query was a rhetorical one as most of us do not expect the Post to so radically deviate from its ethical duty to support the liberal candidate. (Although, in all fairness, they did endorse Bob Ehrlich over Martin O’Malley in the 2006 Maryland gubernatorial election…which I think took most of us by surprise.)

In fact, is there any doubt as to how most newspapers will be writing their endorsements in the weeks leading up to the November election? I’d be willing to wager a healthy sum of money that collectively – without a single “maverick” among them – all the following newspapers will enthusiastically be touting the redemptive opportunity that America is presented with if only the populace will follow their editorial lead and vote for Barack Obama:

The New York Times; The Washington Post; The Baltimore Sun; The Philadelphia Inquirer; The Boston Globe; The LA Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Again, if just one of those newspapers deviates, I lose the bet. Think anyone in Vegas would take the bet?

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The Washington Post: Ich bin ein Obamer

One of the many perks of my job is foreign travel – specifically to Poland (Warsaw) where I have been spending most of my time the last month plus. Unfortunately that has cut into my time and opportunity for commenting on the ways of the world as well as following my fellow bloggers take on the same. Hopefully this breaks the ice for me this time:

Today’s Washington Post has an article that leaves little doubt as for whom the writers will be casting their votes. Start with the headline: Germany Denies Being Pressured on Obama

“The German government strongly denied Friday that it had been pressured by the Bush administration to discourage Sen. Barack Obama from giving an address in front of the landmark Brandenburg Gate during his upcoming European tour.”

The 25+ paragraph article then goes on to not list a single bit of evidence that the White House has said anything about the matter to the German government. They do note the comments of a Treasury official but later also note evidence that his comments came BEFORE the issue of an Obama visit to Brandenburg was even raised. (On the other hand, this Administration is noted for its preemptive strikes.) So the Headline could just as easily have read: No Evidence Of White House Pressure on Germany Regarding Obama Visit. But this is the Washington Post and I guess they are required to by modern journalistic ethics to put a negative Bush spin whenever possible.

That said, we do well to remember the words that have made speaking in Berlin of such symbolic importance:

“There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.” John F. Kennedy Speech - Ich bin ein Berliner

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Ronald Reagan... Brandenburg Gate

It is unfathomable to me that ANY prominent modern day Democrat could speak in such non-relativist terms today. It is simply no longer in their DNA to be able to say, on behalf of the USA: “We’re right – you’re wrong”. Towards this I present Senator Lieberman as Exhibit A.

It should be enough for Senator Obama that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is apparently not keen on the idea. As president that’s who he would be dealing with – not the mayor of Berlin. But wherever he speaks in Germany, I’d like to hear him speak in favor of our strong alliance with Israel, the importance of our success in Iraq and the need to curtail Iran’s military ambitions. But if he wants to get an enthusiastic response from his fans in Germany, he’ll have to deliver one of his typical rhetorically strong but weak-kneed bits of verbiage. I know what I’m expecting.

Side Notes: The writers of the Post piece are much taken with Senator Obama’s apparent popularity in Germany:

“Obama's campaign has declined to confirm the dates of his trip, but politicians here continued to squabble over where, exactly, to lay out the red carpet for the presumptive Democratic nominee, who, in contrast to President Bush, is very popular with the German public.”

“A poll commissioned by Bild Am Sonntag, Bild's Sunday edition, found that 72 percent of Germans surveyed wanted Obama to win the U.S. presidency, compared with 11 percent who supported Sen. John McCain.”

Of course, they note all this because the German populace is world-famous for its long-standing commitment to wanting what’s best for other people as well as in the careful choosing of their own leaders.

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