Friday, July 10, 2009


The Administration Reacts to Illegal Immigration

In Shift, Clinton Calls for 'Amnesty' for Jailed U.S. Journalists

“The two journalists and their families have expressed great remorse for this incident and I think everyone is very sorry that it happened," Clinton told State Department officials at a town hall meeting in Washington. "What we hope for now is that these two young women would be granted amnesty through the North Korean system and be allowed to return home to their families as soon as possible."

And what had these two reporters done wrong?

“A North Korean court last month sentenced Laura Ling, 32, and Euna Lee, 36, to 12 years of "reform through labor" for illegally crossing the border and for commiting [sic] a "grave crime."

And all Secretary Clinton wants for them is amnesty and a trip home? What about Social Security-type benefits and a path to citizenship?


The Trip to Russia

The President had a recent sit-down in Moscow with ABC’s Jake Tapper during which he explained what a remarkable job he is doing “resetting” things with the world. Charles Krauthammer has a more practical outlook on the President’s performance:

“The pursuit of such an offensive weapons treaty could nonetheless be detrimental to us. Why? Because Obama's hunger for a diplomatic success, such as it is, allowed the Russians to exact a price: linkage between offensive and defensive nuclear weapons.”

Anne Applebaum, who is usually a fairly levelheaded read, opines that the President spending the bulk of his time with Medvedev vice Putin was some sort of grand design:

“The decision to focus the American president's visit on Medvedev instead of Putin could therefore be what British civil servants call "very brave," not least because if you don't talk to the person who's really in charge, you can't expect to get much done.”


…maybe it was Putin who couldn’t have been bothered to spend more time with our President. By most accounts, Russia has avoided Obamania so no political advantage was to be gained by taking advantage of such a photo op. Putin could reasonably have figured he could send out his lackey and get the same results.

Besides, I’ve seen nothing that indicates the Russians have any particular respect for our “brilliant” president but at least some indication that they (read: Putin) may enjoy tweaking him…because we all know that the surest way to stick it to this Administration is to say nice things about the previous one:

“During the last years we have been working on strengthening Russia-U.S. cooperation. Although there were differences between our countries, I always valued your openness and sincerity," Putin said, congratulating Bush on his 63rd birthday on July 6.” Putin praises Bush hospitality during Obama visit

Side Note: President Obama’s main speechwriter, Jon Favreau, went to Holy Cross. I am fairly certain he did not write this (from that same Jake Tapper sit-down):

“Now, the question that some have argued is okay what next? Maybe you stop the freefall but you still have close to 10 percent unemployment, and you know this is something that we wrestle with constantly. The more that we can do to stimulate the economy in the short term, the challenge we've got as everybody knows is that we inherited a big deficit, and it is at a certain point potentially counter productive if we're spending more money than we're having to borrow.”

I've read and re-read and am still clueless as to what he is getting at here. Can any of you Ivy Leaguers out there explain just what your fellow Ivy Leaguer is trying to say? (H/T – Jim Taranto’s July 9th BOTW in which he includes this as his deliciously titled “Bushism of the Day”)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Waxman Just Loves the Competition

Rep. Waxman, fresh from his Waxman-Markey boondoggle, is turning his attention to health insurance….this can’t be good:

“But Waxman took the usual Democratic counterargument one step further and asserted that he not only rejects the contention that the public option will drive insurers out of business but that a competitive insurance market needs both public and private components.

We want competition but we don’t want the public plan to win,” Waxman said during remarks at an event sponsored by National Journal, “because that would drive out the private insurance competitors.” - Waxman: Dems don’t want government to 'win' over insurers


The market is about winning: a public option not priced to beat private insurance offerings kind of misses the intended point, doesn’t it? Nobody buys from the government when a product of equal or better quality is available on the private market.

Conversely, a public option priced less than the private market takes over the marketplace. Look no further than the public option that is Medicare and Medicaid for an example – any such private offerings are now sold as supplemental insurance only.

As a long term member of the Congress, his public utterances of his understanding of markets are probably more a reflection of his ideology and a pandering to associated ideologues. I am charitable enough not to ascribe such displays of public ignorance as instances of his actual ignorance.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


But we're not meddling....

I’ve previously noted my puzzlement at the Administration’s inexplicable siding with ousted Honduras president, Manuel Zelaya. Today only strengthens my concerns; Secretary Clinton met with Zelaya today as part of an effort to mediate the uproar over the seemingly constitutionally-compliant removal of Zelaya by other factions of the Honduran government (…which Ms. Clinton so eloquently and baselessly refers to as “the de facto regime.”).

President Obama also weighed in on this today:

"America supports now the restoration of the democratically-elected president of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies," Obama said in a speech in Russia.

"We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not," he added.” Zelaya says to meet coup backers on Thursday Reuters

Just wondering but do you think the President is preaching such respect for this elected official as way to establish a framework for future talks with other, you know, “democratically-elected” officials such as Ahmadinejad and Haniya? Hell, Kim Jong Il might even qualify under the Obama Standard.


The McNamara Lesson

David Ignatius in today’s Washington Post:

“Nobody gets to do over his mistakes, least of all Robert McNamara. But perhaps the memory of this brilliant and tragic man will keep us from being too certain of our own judgment -- and encourage us to consider, even when we feel most confident, the possibility that we could be wrong.”

Yet judging from some of his past writings, I somehow doubt he thinks this is a lesson for our current President.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Because I know You Are Interested

Holy Cross Names Sean Kearney Head Men's Basketball Coach

He was an associate head coach under Mike Brey at Notre Dame.

Just Win!!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


The State Department Rewrites the Honduras Constitution

Our State Department explains the Honduran “crisis”:

"Our goal is the restoration of constitutional order in Tegucigalpa, which means the restoration of President Zelaya. There is a process led by the OAS [Organization of American States] which is in place," Kelly said at the State Department at his afternoon briefing. "We think that this process should be allowed to play out, and we would discourage any actions that would prove to be an obstacle to this process reaching its desired outcome -- which is of course the restoration of Manuel Zelaya in power."

"Asked if a premature return of Zelaya could be an obstacle, Kelly said, "It could be. What everybody needs to focus on now is the OAS mission, mandated by the OAS special assembly." U.S. 'hits the pause button' on aid to Honduras -

So, to summarize: restoring constitutional order in Honduras means restoring a man that no less an authority than the Honduran Supreme Court had ordered removed for his unconstitutional actions. But that man shouldn’t go back any earlier than an outside organization – with no specified role in Honduran constitutional order – says so.

Side Note: I think Honduras may have screwed up by having a decent diplomatic relationship with Israel; mimicking the anti-Israeli spiels so prevalent from some other developing nations might have earned them at least an “outreach” effort from this Administration.


"But for Malta?"

In A Man for All Season, Thomas More witheringly addresses his former best friend, Richard Rich, after Rich had offered perjured testimony in exchange for the position of Attorney General for Wales:

"Richard, the Lord said that it did not profit a man to gain the whole world if he lost his soul. The whole world, Richard ... but for Wales?"

In other news, President Obama has named Doug Kmiec to be Ambassador to Malta.


The Urban President

From Robin Shulman’s latest puff piece: Obama Seeks Dialogue on Urban Issues

The article also focuses on “Adolfo Carrión, the director of the Office of Urban Affairs”. Anyone who has been paying attention to the doings of this Administration will not be surprised to learn that President Obama just made this office up.

Her reporting here is tireless; she gets reactions from “Advocates of equal opportunity”,Economists”, “Environmentalists” and even “pragmatists”. Not surprisingly, since the subject is a President Obama initiative, few nay-sayers could be found (and none among the group just mentioned). And after reading Ms. Shulman’s report, one can only conclude that U.S. cities have had no better friend in the White House in years:

“The Obama administration has engaged in unprecedented outreach to mayors…”

For example, just a few weeks ago:

“The Obama administration is boycotting a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Providence, R.I., this weekend to avoid crossing picket lines and taking sides in a decade-long labor dispute between the local mayor and firefighters union.”

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Do they even teach Honduras law at Harvard?

I am well aware that our president is a Harvard Law graduate, our Secretary of State is a Yale Law graduate and that supposedly all of that is somehow significant when they opine on legal matters. But the Administration's knee-jerk reaction to the events in Honduras reflects little appreciation for the facts on the ground. President Obama needs to explain why his understanding of Honduran law runs counter to that of just about every significant institution in Honduras and why his is the wiser.

….however, in their defense, they could just be relying on bad analysis…

…which is just my cheap way to segue into a latest effort by Scott Wilson of the Washington Post:

Ousted Honduran President Plans Return But Future Is Unclear

“Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is preparing to return to his country, days after the military pushed him from office and into exile…For one, Honduras is scheduled to hold presidential elections in November, and Zelaya is prohibited from running again (a restriction he was trying to change before his ouster).

“Zelaya's popularity is well below that of Chávez and Aristide, who at the time of their ousters, both enjoyed enormous support from an ardent group of followers. But, given the military's intervention, it appears to be high enough among the poor to give him a chance of winning a referendum allowing for a second term. They stepped in on the day that a nonbinding resolution to begin that process was scheduled.”

Remarkably, Mr. Wilson’s “analysis” fails to mention a few key points that should alter anyone’s understanding of the Honduras situation:

1. Then-president Zelaya had been embarking on a series of deemed unconstitutional actions – from running a referendum to possibly allow for his re-election to firing the head of the military.

2. The military didn’t just decide to take out Mr. Zelaya on a whim. They were ordered to by the Honduras Supreme Court.

3. The “unelected successor” (as Mr. Wilson refers to him) is Roberto Micheletti. He is not a member of the military but is instead the president of their Congress and was unanimously chosen by their Congress to complete Mr. Zelaya’s term (and the two belong to the same political party).

But anyone relying on Scott Wilson for their understanding of what is going on down there remains decidedly ignorant of the situation. Please Mr. President, stop relying on the likes of Scott Wilson and instead adopt the sage advice of Charles Krauthammer:

“Look, a rule of thumb here is whenever you find yourself on the side of Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the Castro twins, you ought to reexamine your assumptions.”

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