Monday, July 28, 2008
Yes, it was a monumentally successful trip. The man who thinks there are more than 57 states in the United States learned everything needed to become a world leader in 5 days. Very impressive considering he even took time off for basketball and working out in the gym. It is a good thing he didn’t visit the troops in Germany since that would have deprived Barack and the benighted world of the time necessary for the great transformation. Legend has it that it took FDR months to become a great world leader. Winston Churchill had to spend seven weeks learning what it takes to be a great conquering hero. But these are mere mortals and everyone know I’m just being silly comparing them to a real leader like Barack. They are such sad creatures by comparison. Barack would have understood that the real focus of WW II was Pearl Harbor. He would not have been duped into sending troops much beyond Honolulu .
Sarcasm aside, what was so great and wonderful about Obama’s trip? Someone else booked all of the reservations and did most of the packing. Someone else told him it was time to leave and lead him by the hand to the airplane. Other people lead him by the hand to the meetings and events that someone other than him had scheduled and arranged. Now if the guy could have done all of the planning himself and flown coach from the regular terminal and gone through the same security as everyone else, I might get ready to be impressed. But I can’t muster respect for someone who wants to be POTUS but avoids reporters, avoids answering honest questions about real issues and avoids debate. What is he trying to hide? (You might get an idea of some answers to this by reading this blog a couple of months ago, when I first started writing about him.) When he does talk to reporters he doesn’t answer the questions they ask.: he keeps repeating talking points with little relation to the questions. Robert Novak recently wondered why Obama can’t get to 50% in spite of all of the forces working for him. Maybe it is because Americans look at the interviews and say, “I’m not going to vote for someone who won’t give a straight answer to an honest and important question.” Just maybe.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
"Onlookers chanted: “Oba-ma! Oba-ma! Oba-ma!” But in truth, the prophet underwhelmed. As he implied, he is neither genius nor idiot, just an everyday global saviour."
Obama's "nothing" is sometimes interesting anyway; there are pointers in the vacuousness, as I saw when I read the full text on his campaign's website. He began the speech, as he often does, with a summary of his own life history, which elided into a history of the Cold War--mixing the two together, with his customary grandiosity. The history was nicely written up but not news. And the lesson he drew from it was, to be kind, idiosyncratic: The West's victory in the Cold War, he said, proved that "there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."
This will come as a surprise to anyone who lived through the Cold War or has even read about it. The thing about wars, even cold ones, is that the world doesn't stand as one; that's why there's a war. And in the Cold War the Soviet side was as united as the West; more so, probably. Left out of Obama's history was any mention of the ferocious demonstrations against the United States in the streets of Paris and West Berlin during the 1960s and 1980s, when American presidents were routinely depicted as priapic cowboys and psychopaths. Probably a fair number of the older members of Obama's audience had been hoisting those banners themselves 25 years ago.
So if "standing as one" didn't win the Cold War, what did? Obama didn't stop to answer, since his own reading of history seems to deny the premise of the question. Instead he hustled on to the present moment. Now, he said, "we are called upon again." To do what? Presumably to stand as one all over again, in the face of "new promise and new peril." Included in the latter are terrorism, global warming, and nuclear proliferation. But those perils aren't the worst of it. "The greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another."
The sentence is the heart of the speech and an instance of Obama's big weakness--his preference for the rhetorical flourish over a realistic account of things as they are. Most politicians share the weakness, and the preference has proved wildly attractive to Obama's supporters. But think it through: "New walls to divide us" is just a metaphor, a trope. A trope can't be the "greatest danger of all." A terrorist setting off a nuclear bomb in London--that's a danger. A revolution in Islamabad--that's a danger. A figure of speech is just a figure of speech.
And what will Obama have us do to avoid those nonmetaphorical dangers? He declined to get specific, aside from urging us to "answer the call." Floating along on a cloud of metaphor and generality allows Obama to do what he wants to do, in the Berlin speech and elsewhere. As a public figure he means to rise
It doesn't matter that human affairs never work out this way, no more in domestic politics than in foreign policy. The assumption that they do is what lends so many of Obama's utterances their greeting-card simplicity and appeal. The effect is almost soporific: "America cannot turn inward," he says. Check. "Now is the time to build new bridges." All set to go. "We must defeat terror." True dat. "Every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday." Roger. "We must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East." Go ahead: Argue.
To pump a little vigor into his limp sentiments, Obama attached them to a hypnotic refrain. "This is the moment," he said in Berlin, repeatedly. But where's the urgency come from? What's the rush? In the long train of platitudes he suggested no discrete, definable policy that needed to be adopted urgently, beyond his call to unity, which isn't a policy but an aspiration. You get the idea that the urgency doesn't arise from an assessment of reality but from a rhetorical need. He's got to keep the folks on their toes somehow.
Obama couldn't come to Berlin and deliver a speech full of portent, as Reagan and Kennedy did before him, and as his publicists suggested he might. For all the talk about this being our time and us being the people, Obama shows no sign of really believing we live in portentous times. This is surely part of his appeal. It's not surprising that when he came to Berlin and said nothing at all, none of his admirers seemed disappointed. After eight years of overheated history, nothing comes as a relief.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
This is from a story in The New Republic by Gabriel Sherman dated 7-24-08. I picked it up from a post by Allahpundit on Hotair.com (link at left).
He ventured forth to bring light to the world
The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers
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.
When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.
And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.
He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the
Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.
And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the
Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.
From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.
And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.
And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.
From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.
In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.
As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.
And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.
The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.
And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.
Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.
And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.
Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.
But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.
And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.
Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.
On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.
And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
"The show's staff wrote a sketch featuring Hillary Rodham Clinton trying to hire a hit man to kill her rival. Her effort is thwarted when the murderer refuses to take the job because he is bisexual, and in love with Obama.
The actress playing Clinton says: "Your precious boyfriend isn't perfect, OK? He's a smoker. He's done coke. He doesn't have enough experience."
"I know all of that," the hit man replies. "But I don't care. Haven't you ever loved a man so much you could ignore his faults?"
It is good to see Obama treated with something other than worship by the entertainment establishment. Most of them would never make a joke about a Muslim or a Democratic politician or anyone else that might possibly strike back. They stick with beating up on people with little power within the media establishment like Republicans and Christians. They pick on those they see as weak and unable to defend themselves: they are bullies.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
By the Editors
I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse: I think it takes pressure off the Iraqis to arrive at the sort of political accommodation that every observer believes is the ultimate solution to the problems we face there. … And the problem is the Iraqis, I think, take that message to mean that, no matter how little they are compromising with each other, Americans are still going to be present. As long as we are not willing to provide any consequences to failure for them to arrive at a political compromise, we’re going to continue to see the sort of sectarian bloodshed that’s been evident over the last several months.
— Barack Obama, January 2007, in response to President Bush’s speech announcing the surge.
It’s bizarre to see an American political party so afflicted by American military success. The Democrats have been laboring to look the other way from the security gains forged by the troop surge in Iraq, but now the progress is so widely acknowledged that they have had to change tack. Sen. Obama’s advisers have taken to saying that the Illinois senator knew all along the surge would improve security, an obvious falsehood (see the quote above). Old Cold Warriors will recall this trick from the end of the Soviet Union — as soon as we had won the Cold War, opponents of our winning efforts said they had favored it all along.
pasted from NRO
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
By Jimmie on Jul 9, 2008 in Featured, Our New Democratic Overlords, The Economy and Your Money
With the price of gasoline getting up over $4 a gallon, what has the Democratic Congress done to ease the pressure on the market? Well, they’ve decided not to vote on a major energy bill for fear that the Republican will let us drill for our own oil.
The Democrats’ policy, as given by a Congressional aide is, “Right now, our strategy on gas prices is ‘Drive small cars and wait for the wind’.” Running away like Brave Sir Robin also appears to be a fundamental part of their strategy, too.
In related news, Congress’ approval rating has dropped to a single digit for the first time in recorded history.
from the Sundries Shack at http://www.sundriesshack.com/?p=4793
Displays a distance from reality on a parr with, "Let them eat cake."
He’s not your grandfather’s conservative. The “campaign finance reform” legislation that bears his name displays contempt or indifference to the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. The disgusting thing about this “campaign finance reform” is that it has done nothing to reform campaign financing. It has just made it easier for the incumbents in congress to get reelected. And it has made it almost impossible for an outsider to run against anyone in congress. So McCain favors members of congress being able to keep their positions regardless of their effectiveness or lack there of. And he snuck it through hidden in a Trojan horse of mock “reform.”
I am very disappointed in McCain’s endless flogging of “comprehensive” immigration “reform.” Give me a break. Basically he’s an amnesty whore. And here, also, he is indifferent to concerns and wishes of the American public. He doesn’t care that the majority of Americans want nothing to do with his sellout legislation.
Closing the borders is basically a national security issue. As it now stands, anyone who wants can come across our border with anything they can carry. Call me crazy, but I don’t think this is the optimal situation when you are at war with a guerilla force. It plays to their strengths. And the flood of people entering to find work or sell drugs just gives cover to people we really, really don’t want entering without our knowledge. And if amnesty is seriously contemplated it just further motivates this to continue. With all of his talk about national security, McCain is clueless to this major threat to our safety. More than that, he is deeply committed to making the situation worse.
So this is how I see McCain. He doesn’t care about free speech except to suppress it. He is more concerned with keeping his job and helping the rest of the thieving bribe takers in congress to stay in office, public be damned. And he is far from fully committed to national security.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
-John Adams, 1776
I picked up this quote on Hot Air.com (link at left).
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Don't tello anyone they said any of this, they want to keep it a secret.
It is sad that lying and manipulation for the aggrandisement of one political party has replaced concern for what is best for America. It is sad to see men in positions of power prefer gaining a few seats in congress to saving the lives of US soldiers and Marines.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
There's the swing/jazz way of being in the world. There's the soft rock way and the rap way and folk music/organic veggie way. Oprah wants to initate you into the splendors of the universe unseen by any other talk show.