Grace and Gratitude
3 hours ago
The Democrats and most of the national media seem not to have noticed that the defeatist truisms about Iraq have passed their sell-by date. Senator Clinton and Senator Obama seem to assume that the great majority of their countrymen recognize the Iraq expedition to have been a disaster and that that is the end of it.
The latest intelligence findings in Iraq, generally ignored by the national and world media, detailing Saddam Hussein’s long and extensive promotion of terrorism, leave the Republicans with plenty of room to reargue the casus belli. Iraq’s 75% reduction in violence, 30% increase in oil production, taming of al-Sadr and other factional leaders, and possibly the world’s highest annual economic growth rate since the upward “surge” in U.S. forces, seem not to have entered into the Democratic electoral strategy.
Now to Obama's grandmother. There was a time spanning the 70's to the mid-90's when many blacks and whites in large American cities expressed the same feelings on street crime held by Obama's grandmother. Indeed, Reverend Jesse Jackson made similar comments in 1993 at a meeting of his organization, Operation Push, devoted to street crime. According to a November 29, 1993, article in the Chicago Sun-Times, he said, "'We must face the No. 1 critical issue of our day. It is youth crime in general and black-on-black crime in particular.' Then Jackson told the audience, 'There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved....After all we have been through,' he said. 'Just to think we can't walk down our own streets, how humiliating.'"
Isn't that exactly what Obama's grandmother was referring to? To equate her fears, similar to Jesse Jackson's, with Wright's anti-American, anti-white, anti-Jew, and anti-Israel rantings is despicable coming from a grandson. In today's vernacular, he threw her under the wheels of the bus to keep his presidential campaign rolling.
A military strike three weeks ago killed Raúl Reyes, No. 2 in command of the FARC, Colombia's most notorious terrorist group. The Reyes hard drive reveals an ardent effort to do business directly with the FARC by Congressman James McGovern (D., Mass.), a leading opponent of the free-trade deal. Mr. McGovern has been working with an American go-between, who has been offering the rebels help in undermining Colombia's elected and popular government.Read the whole thing. And try not to swear too loudly. Think of the children.
Hillary Clinton may not realize it yet, but she’s just endured one of the worst weeks of her campaign....
Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance....
For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery when the contest touches upon race, gender or patriotism. The policy debates between the two have been long exhausted, so the only way to get the public really engaged is by poking some raw national wound....
John McCain’s approval ratings have soared 11 points. He is now viewed positively by 67 percent of Americans. A month ago, McCain was losing to Obama among independents by double digits in a general election matchup. Now McCain has a lead among this group.
For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.
When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness....
Why does she go on like this?...
The better answer is that Clinton’s long rear-guard action is the logical extension of her relentlessly political life.
For nearly 20 years, she has been encased in the apparatus of political celebrity. Look at her schedule as first lady and ever since. Think of the thousands of staged events, the tens of thousands of times she has pretended to be delighted to see someone she doesn’t know, the hundreds of thousands times she has recited empty clichés and exhortatory banalities, the millions of photos she has posed for in which she is supposed to appear empathetic or tough, the billions of politically opportune half-truths that have bounced around her head.
No wonder the Clinton campaign feels impersonal. It’s like a machine for the production of politics. It plows ahead from event to event following its own iron logic. The only question is whether Clinton herself can step outside the apparatus long enough to turn it off and withdraw voluntarily or whether she will force the rest of her party to intervene and jam the gears.
For instance trondhjemite is defined as ‘Any leucocratic tonalite, esp. one in which the plagioclase is oligoclase’. I have my doubts as to whether anyone has ever thought to themselves ‘I wonder what trondhjemite means?’ But if someone did, and went to look it up in the OED, it seems unlikely that this definition would clear things up much.
Ross Douthat (March 17, 2008) - Denominations and Double Standards (Politics): "Here's a thought experiment: Suppose John McCain were a member of Opus Dei. Or to push things a bit further, suppose he attended a schismatic Latin-Mass parish which had, among other things, bestowed an award on a Lefebvrite bishop given to anti-Semitic remarks. Do you think this would earn him media scrutiny, and make a difference in the Presidential race? Do you think it ought to? Your answer, I think, should go a long way toward determining how you think about the case of Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright."
Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal' by David Mamet: "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.
And, I wondered, how could I have spent decades thinking that I thought everything was always wrong at the same time that I thought I thought that people were basically good at heart? Which was it? I began to question what I actually thought and found that I do not think that people are basically good at heart; indeed, that view of human nature has both prompted and informed my writing for the last 40 years. I think that people, in circumstances of stress, can behave like swine, and that this, indeed, is not only a fit subject, but the only subject, of drama.
I'd observed that lust, greed, envy, sloth, and their pals are giving the world a good run for its money, but that nonetheless, people in general seem to get from day to day; and that we in the United States get from day to day under rather wonderful and privileged circumstances—that we are not and never have been the villains that some of the world and some of our citizens make us out to be, but that we are a confection of normal (greedy, lustful, duplicitous, corrupt, inspired—in short, human) individuals living under a spectacularly effective compact called the Constitution, and lucky to get it."
http://www.qando.net/ - David Mamet, George McGovern and Free People: "There are many problems in the world, many things of which we should disapprove, many things we should seek to change. But government is force, and force should rarely be a tool of quick resort."
Commentary » Blog Archive » Shocked: "So as we continue in this presidential election year, we should be wary of discounting evidence and overlooking the obvious. We know that the Clintons are ruthless and will do and say anything. So if Hillary is elected we shouldn’t be shocked by the next financial or personal scandal or the next vindictive crusade against her political opposition. We know that Barack Obama has zero executive experience and virtually no foreign policy expertise. So if he is elected he shouldn’t be shocked by executive incompetence or foreign policy blunders. We know John McCain does not always play well with others. So if he is elected we shouldn’t be shocked if he winds up in shouting matches with Congressional leaders. In short, if we kid ourselves less now, we’ll be less shocked later on."
Megan McArdle (March 12, 2008) - Eliot Spitzer resigns: "To be sure, many people--including, yes, me--are taking glee in Spitzer's downfall even though we think all his actions should be legal. There you are: having people you disagree with revealed as stunning hypocrites is emotionally satisfying. Plus there's a positive side (I mean, beyond New York State possibly getting a decent governor). If this makes everyone rethink our nation's ridiculous prostitution laws, Eliot Spitzer will finally have made a lasting positive contribution to his country."
The Red Phone in Black and White - New York Times: "when I saw the Clinton ad’s central image — innocent sleeping children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger — it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat."
"Q: On ABC's 'This Week' on Feb. 17, in response to a question, 'Are you a 'read my lips' candidate, no new taxes?' you replied, 'No new taxes.' Did you mean that literally?
A: I'm not making a 'read my lips' statement in that I will not raise taxes. But I'm not saying I can envision a scenario where I would, OK? But I'm not making it a centerpiece in my campaign.
I want lower taxes. I want the family to keep more of their money.
So is the senator opening the door to raising taxes or not? Because it sure sounds as though he is. If he doesn't mean to open that door, he ought to close it now."
Freedom Means Responsibility - WSJ.com: "Since leaving office I've written about public policy from a new perspective: outside looking in. I've come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society.
Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don't take away cars because we don't like some people speeding. We allow state lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money. Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don't operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in life.
The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else."
Global-Warming Payola? - TierneyLab - Science - New York Times Blog: "Do the critics really think there’s more money and glory to be won by doubting global warming than by going along with the majority?
I ask this question not because I doubt the integrity or competence of the researchers and environmental groups who are getting billions of dollars from government agencies, corporations, foundations and private donors concerned about climate change. If I write about prominent climate scientists like James Hansen of NASA, I don’t feel obliged to note how much research money they get — or how much extra money is going to their field because of the concerns they’ve raised about climate change."
Liberal Fascism on National Review Online: "The fundamental insight of libertarianism is that the government is the government. It cannot be your mommy, your daddy, your big brother, your nanny, your friend, your buddy, your god, your salvation, your church or your conscience. It is the government. A big bureaucracy charged with certain responsibilities, some of which it is qualified to carry out, many of which it is not."
"I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, and the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in."
March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia's military has killed a top rebel leader and 16 of his comrades in a predawn air strike against his jungle camp in neighboring Ecuador, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said.Hmm... Predawn airstrike, the base was fired upon from Columbian airspace. One wonders what sort of weapons were used and who supplied them. The implied accuracy is pretty good and reminiscent of ... certain other recent events.
Mullings An American Cyber Column By Rich Galen: "[T]he 'ultimate fear bomb' is not saying 'Barack Hussein Obama.' The 'ultimate fear bomb' is saying President Barack Hussein Obama."
I don't disagree with your assertion that a classic conservative wouldn't flirt with fascism, I'm merely stating that we don't have any classic conservatives, we have Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians --> all of whom exhibit fascist behavior on occasion. Conversely, the Green Party will occasionally not exhibit fascist behavior.