Monthly Archives: January 2010

Bloomberg's U-Turn

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has done serious if not fatal damage to Barry’s effort to suck up to the international left by trying 9/11 mastermind KSM in lower Manhattan:

The Obama administration on Wednesday lost its most prominent backer of the plan to try the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks in Lower Manhattan when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the trial should not be held in New York City.

The mayor’s reversal was a political blow to the White House’s efforts to resolve a landmark terror case a few blocks from where Al Qaeda hijackers rammed planes into the World Trade Center, a trial that the president saw as an important demonstration of American justice.

Mr. Bloomberg said that a more secure location, like a military base, would be less disruptive and less costly. His remarks echoed growing opposition from Wall Street executives, the real estate industry and neighborhood groups, who have questioned the burdens that such a trial would bring to a heavily trafficked area of the city.

Also:

…Congressional Republicans are threatening a financial maneuver to block the trials from being held in New York and are certain to seize on the mayor’s remarks. On Tuesday, six senators wrote to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and urged him to abandon the idea.

The letter, signed by Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut; John McCain, Republican of Arizona; Blanche L. Lincoln, Democrat of Arkansas; Susan M. Collins, Republican of Maine; Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia; and Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, read, in part, “You will be providing them one of the most visible platforms in the world to exalt their past acts and to rally others in support of further terrorism.”…

“Financial maneuver” in timesspeak means withhold funding. Looks like Barry (and Eric) will have to stiff the loony left on this one as well.

A Quasi- Religious Faith

Michael Barone on the poor “boobs” who voted for Scott Brown:

… Members of “the educated class” may have heard of Edmund Burke, but they take the very un-Burkean view that those with elite educations can readily rearrange society to comport with their pet abstract theories. These often secular Americans have a quasi-religious faith in government’s ability to, in Barack Obama’s words to Joe the Plumber, “spread the wealth around” and to recalibrate the energy sector to protect against climate dangers they are absolutely sure are impending.

Ordinary Americans, even in Massachusetts, may not have heard of Edmund Burke, but they share his skepticism that self-appointed experts can reengineer institutions in accordance with abstract theories…

In other words, as Orwell wrote: “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them. No ordinary person would.”

And the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick on Barry’s foreign policy:

…Given the congressional backlash to the Massachusetts election, it is possible that Obama will be compelled to put aside his domestic initiatives, or at least to repackage them. US presidents have only a limited capacity to unilaterally implement massive changes on the domestic front. Congressional support is required for most major endeavors. Today, it seems likely that many Democratic lawmakers will refuse to fall on their swords for Obama. So his health care initiative, like his environmental and immigration agendas, may well be buried in committee.

On the other hand, the US Constitution gives the president a much freer hand in foreign affairs. And here we are likely to see a full-court presidential press to force through his radical agenda on everything from nuclear weapons to counterterrorism to appeasement of the Islamic world. Given the prominence Obama has already given to his anti-Israel posture, it can be assumed that Israel will be the focus of even more intense pressure from the White House in the months and years to come…

A Failure to Communicate?

I watched Meet the Press this morning where I heard liberals opine that the Massachusetts election (and the almost certain demise of Obamacare) was due to a failure to communicate the wisdom and logic of the Democratic program. In other words, Obamacare is wise and logical, but the poor shlubs out there aren’t smart enough to get it, so we have to explain it better.

My view is that if Jesus Christ himself had decided to devote his Sermon on the Mount to explaining Obamacare, Christianity would have remained a tiny cult confined to university faculties.

These Great Modern Professors

Last night on Jim Lehrer’s show the idiotic old hack Mark Shields said the following:

… I — first of all, all great revolutions are led by aristocrats. That is the reality of history.

So, the idea that [Barry] went to Harvard Law School does not in any way preclude his leading a populist revolution…

Actually the “great revolutions” he’s talking about are always led by intellectuals, not aristocrats, and those intellectuals are usually the kind that philosopher Eric Hoffer described as “two-bit” meaning they “read a book.”

These are the kind of whom Dostoyevsky wrote:

If these great modern professors are given the full and utter possibility of abolishing the old society in order to reconstruct it anew, it will result in such gloom, in such utter chaos, something so gross, so blind and so inhuman that every building will collapse under the curses of humanity, even before they have a chance to finish construction.

Stupid Enough To Think We're Stupid Enough

Mark Steyn on Barry’s wacky spin:

…”The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” said Obama. “People are angry, and they’re frustrated, not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

Got it. People are so angry and frustrated at George W. Bush that they’re voting for Republicans. In Massachusetts…

Presumably, the president isn’t stupid enough actually to believe what he said. But it’s dispiriting to discover he’s stupid enough to think we’re stupid enough to believe it…

And Conrad Black:

…this president seems overwhelmingly confident, strangely detached, and, as Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan’s leading speech-writer, and now one of the leaders of the Obama Buyers’ Remorse Movement, wrote, ‘cold and faux eloquent.’ He is fluent and sonorous, but rather vapid. And now, Maureen Dowd, foxy doyenne of New York Times columnists and pin-up girl of the D.C. Democratic establishment, niece of FDR’s top fixer, former co-leader, with Michelle, Caroline Kennedy and Oprah Winfrey, of the Obama massed, synchronized cheerleaders, has apostacized and reviled the president as a nasty egotist. When A Democratic president has lost Ms. Dowd and the Kennedys’ Senate seat, it is time to return to the drawing boards…

Brown Won Because Of Bush

Barry said in an interview with ABC News:

“Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts but the mood around the country — the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” Mr. Obama said. “People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

Brit Hume deftly analyzes Barry’s preposterous spin:

Floating in the river of commentary on the Massachusetts senate election is the claim that it mostly reflects an anti incumbency mood and that Bay state voters are just as angry at Republicans as Democrats. Well if that’s true they have a peculiar way of showing it. Scott Brown is no watered down greened up Republican-lite. On the economy, he campaigned for across the board tax cuts, the Ronald Reagan kind. And against the current wave of big spending on defense he wants a military quote second to none and no constitutional protection for enemy captives. He’s even asserted waterboarding is not torture. On the environment, he’s skeptical man is warming the planet and he flatly opposes the cap and trade bill being pushed by the president. And of course he’s against the centerpiece of the Obama agenda, the health care reform bill. Those positions you might expect from a Republican running in a conservative state. But Scott Brown ran on them in liberal Massachusetts and won convincingly because tens of thousands of people who normally vote D voted R. President Obama said today that the anger that elected Brown is the same anger that elected him and it goes back eight years. In other words Massachusetts has elected its first Republican senator since the 1970s because it was still mad about the Bush Administration.

Three Cheers For British Imperialism

More wise observations by Mark Steyn.

Excerpt from Hugh Hewitt radio program:

HH: …Very few people have traveled as far around the globe as Mark. Mark, have you ever seen anything remotely approaching this Haiti thing?

MS: No, because I think Haiti is, certainly in the Western Hemisphere, as near as you can get to an entirely non-functioning state. By the standards of the Caribbean, it’s a failure and a disaster before the earthquake strikes. If an earthquake had happened to strike the Bahamas, or even the Turks And Caicos, it would not have looked like this. And that’s why although earthquakes are indiscriminatory, and the earthquake certainly doesn’t have any preferences to whether Haiti or the Dominican Republic, is either side of the border line, the impact of the earthquake is certainly very different according to what side of the line you’re on.

HH: Mark Steyn, I know, I assume, and I think I’m right about this that you’ll agree with me in rejecting Pat Robertson’s analysis of why this happened. But why is it that Haiti is such a basket case?

MS: Well, for a start, it was a French colony rather than a British colony. I mean, we can make that comparison almost anywhere in the world. I’m a bit of an old school British imperialist, and I know obviously the majority of your listeners for very good historical reasons will have a different view on that, but generally, and it’s a good guide in the world, even in the worst parts of the world, that if you’re trying to do business, it’s easier to do business in Malaysia, say, than Indonesia. And if you’re trying to do business, obviously, you’re better off in Jamaica than Cuba, and you’re certainly better off in Jamaica than in Haiti. And I think what it is, is that no nation was ever really built there. It’s always very moving to me when you go to the British Caribbean, if you go to Barbados or the Bahamas, or wherever, and you go into those little parliaments, which are like little, mini Westminsters, you see the speaker with his wig, and the mace, and hansard, just like in London or Ottawa or Canberra, whatever one feels about imperialism, functioning societies were built there. There has never been a functioning civil society or public infrastructure in Haiti. And so when a natural phenomenon strikes, it’s devastating there, not just by comparison with an earthquake in California, but even by the standards of an earthquake in Iran, for example…

He Talks Like Us

Noemie Emery on Barry and the “educated classes”:

David Brooks notes that in the last year, something dire has happened: The public has turned decisively against the “educated classes” and all of their works. At the same time, it has also moved against Barack Obama, who began his term with approval ratings that bumped up against 70, and have now sunk to the high to mid-40s, with “strongly disapprove” ratings that rival those of George W. Bush at his worst.

It has also moved strongly against his — and the educated classes’ — ideas. It is more pro-life, more anti-climate change, more free market, less statist, more inclined to favor “harsh” measures against terrorism suspects, more in favor of “waterboarding” the terrorist caught in the brief-bombing effort, more opposed to the closing of Guantanamo Bay.

While the liberal Left controls the White House along with both houses of Congress, the country it governs has moved to the Right. These phenomena are all interrelated: The country is moving Right in reaction to Obama’s theories of governance, and Obama and the educated class are one and the same.

He epitomizes that class and was sold by that class to the country, which purchased the product and has come to regret it. It now wants its money returned…

In a sense, Obama has never been more than his education (Columbia, Harvard), which for some people was more than enough. When Brooks met Obama in 2005, the new senator had no experience and no accomplishments, but he was perfectly briefed in the requisite talking points…

People in newsrooms all over the country decided that someone who talked the way they did was the cure for what ailed the country, and are stunned to find out it is not.

His cosmopolitan cool hasn’t defanged the terrorists, who still want to kill us, disarmed North Korea or derailed Iran’s bomb. His knowledge of Burke hasn’t united the country, which is now more divided and angry than ever.

Obama, Brooks concedes, has “recoiled” the country, but seems at a loss to say why.

Could it be that The One has misjudged both the times and the country?; that he made a strategic mistake in pushing for health care (and a tactical one in trusting the Congress)?; that he created a nightmare for most in his party, who face epic losses this year? Heaven forfend.

To acknowledge this is to indict their own judgment, to face the fact they themselves may be less than insightful, that “talking like us” means next to nothing, and that writing for magazines doesn’t equip one for greatness, or leadership. In fact, it only equips one to write for more magazines.

And what does this say? That our “educated class” is educated beyond its intelligence, and mistakes mastery of its patois and attitude for wisdom and competence.

It is full of itself, and values too highly its skill sets, which are entertaining, but not on the optimum level of consequence. On this optimum level are resolution, moral clarity, and an ability to understand and connect with a great many people, things for which the chattering class is not known.

Or as Harry Reid might have put it, he’s a light-skinned Negro who talks like us. Who could ask for more?

Islamoschmoozing

Mark Steyn on Barry’s “Islamoschmoozing”:

…Barack Obama has spent the past year doing big-time Islamoschmoozing, from his announcement of Gitmo’s closure and his investigation of Bush officials, to his bow before the Saudi king and a speech in Cairo to “the Muslim world” with far too many rhetorical concessions and equivocations. And at the end of it the jihad sent America a thank-you note by way of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s underwear: Hey, thanks for all the outreach! But we’re still gonna kill you.

According to one poll, 58 percent of Americans are in favor of waterboarding young Umar Farouk. Well, you should have thought about that before you made a community organizer president of the world’s superpower. The election of Barack Obama was a fundamentally unserious act by the U.S. electorate, and you can’t blame the world’s mischief-makers, from Putin to Ahmadinejad to the many Gitmo recidivists now running around Yemen, from drawing the correct conclusion…

And Steyn on liberal racism:

…To those of us who find identity politics repugnant, it would seem to confirm that an unhealthy obsession with “anti-racism” eventually becomes so condescending it’s indistinguishable from racism — or, at any rate, the micro-classifications of apartheid — to the point where bigtime Dem honchos are sitting around saying, “What we need here is a clean octoroon.” “Well, this high yaller from Chicago might do the trick.”…

Irrelevant Rhetoric

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Barry’s irrelevant rhetoric:

…Well-deserved mockery has already been heaped on the move-along-folks-nothing-to-see-here tone of the administration’s initial pronouncements—from Janet Napolitano’s “the system worked,” to President Obama’s statement that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was an “isolated extremist.” This week brought little improvement.

The president acknowledged that the plot had been hatched in Yemen, but not without adding the misleading statement that Yemen faces “crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies.” That Yemenis have to cope with “crushing poverty” is irrelevant here. Abdulmutallab is the son of a wealthy Nigerian banker. Other jihadists, including the physician who blew himself up and killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan last week, and indeed the millionaire Osama bin Laden, prove that poverty does not beget terrorists. “Deadly insurgencies” is a half-truth, which omits the fact that the Yemeni government itself has supported al Qaeda and continues to harbor at least two people—Jamal Ahmed Mohammed Ali al-Badawi and Fahad Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso—involved in the bombing of the USS Cole…

What the gaffes, the almost comically strained avoidance of such direct terms as “war” and “Islamist terrorism,” and the failure to think of Abdulmutallab as a potential source of intelligence rather than simply as a criminal defendant seem to reflect is that some in the executive branch are focused more on not sounding like their predecessors than they are on finding and neutralizing people who believe it is their religious duty to kill us. That’s too bad, because the Constitution vests “the executive power”—not some of it, all of it—in the president. He, and those acting at his direction, are responsible for protecting us…