Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin: John Podhoretz on the "inexperience" nonsense

From Commentary's Contentions Blog:

Palin will be a failed pick if her conduct between now and November 4 reveals that she does not have the judgment to be a heartbeat away; that her comportment is not what we would wish of our leaders; and that she does not seem large enough for the office. A great many things will go into determining all of those things, as they are right now with Barack Obama — and, incidentally, John McCain, who has every qualification for the presidency one could imagine except that he hasn’t won an election for it yet.

The effort to pre-determine her unfitness is not only a losing proposition; there is something fundamentally foolish, about it. Even un-American, in the sense that it suggests rule by wonk rather than popular fiat. Ask Bill Clinton, who tried his best to make the case against Barack Obama and then stood on stage on Wednesday night explaining to America that people were saying about Barack Obama just what they had said about him, Bill Clinton, 16 years ago. That is what interesting elections do. They up-end expectations.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More on Sarah Palin: Authenticity

I really think Newt Gingrich is on to something here.

My wife and I (both products of Western public universities) were talking earlier about how normal Palin seems, how accessible to those who didn't graduate from Harvard or Princeton. I just looked at Palin's biography: She went to the University of Idaho.

Saith Newt:
Palin will make mistakes. The news media and the Obama researchers will find things to attack. But if she stays relaxed and continues to be authentically who she has been for 44 years, the country is going to love her, and they are very rapidly going to get disgusted with the cynical negative nastiness of politics as usual.
Those may be prophetic words, or Palin may be a bust. I suspect the former will turn out to be true. We'll see.

Sarah Palin: Quote of the Day


Victor Davis Hanson:
"We are supposed to believe that a first- term Alaskan governor is less qualified for the second spot than a first-term Illinois Senator is for the Presidency—who once again just announced to the nation that he is ready to invade nuclear Islamic Pakistan to get bin Laden, who wanted all troops out of Iraq by March 2008, and who once dismissed Iran as a small threat. Next in their wisdom they will go after Gov. Palin's husband—and therein re-invite comparison with Michelle's wise declarations."
Yep.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hezbollah in Venezuela--A Challenge to the Monroe Doctrine, and to Our Next President

Whether you spell it Hezbollah, Hizbollah, or Hizbullah, this story spells danger. The Los Angeles Times reports that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continues to deepen his nations ties with Iran and with its the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah. The Times reports:

"A top expert in the war against terrorism, speaking with the Los Angeles Times, said that agents of Hizbullah and the Revolutionary Guard of Iran have formed a special force designed to kidnap Jewish businessmen in South America and smuggle them to Lebanon. He said that Venezuelan employees of the international airport in Caracas have already been recruited to provide information about Jewish tourists who arrive in the country."

"IranAir flights also feature in recent intelligence gathered by Western anti-terrorism officials. Agents of Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah have allegedly set up a special force to attempt to kidnap Jewish businesspeople in Latin America and spirit them away to Lebanon, according to the Western anti-terrorism official. Iranian and Hezbollah operatives traveling in and out of Venezuela have recruited Venezuelan informants working at the Caracas airport to gather intelligence on Jewish travelers as potential targets for abduction, the Western anti-terrorism official said."


This would not be the first time that Iran and Hezbollah have launched terrorist attacks at Jewish targets in South America. As previously reported on The Hedgehog Blog, Argentina and Interpol have issued arrest warrants for leaders of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for their role in the July 18, 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center, which took 85 lives and injured 200 more.

The growing influence of a Iran, a foreign power hostile to the United States, in the Western Hemisphere is a challenge to the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine. Who is better able to lead the defense of America against this threat so close to our shores, Barack Obama, or John McCain?

Thank God We Live in a Nation Where Barack Obama Can Run For President


History was made yesterday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. An African American received the nomination of one of the two major political parties of our country, for the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America. Whether one is an Obama fan, or, like the Hedgehogs, one of those who plan to work for the election of John McCain, let's not let the moment slip away without comment and gratitude. Let's give thanks to God that our nation has overcome the legacy of slavery and that we live in a country where any native-born citizen, whatever his or her race, can be elected to her highest office. God Bless America!

McCain advertising folks are worth whatever he's paying them . . .

This ad is called "Remote Control," and it is devastating:



Jim Geraghty adds some thoughts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Left Prepares to Slander U.S. if Obama Loses

It was inevitable. Since liberal Democrats are so certain of the justice of their cause and the evil of the Republican Party, and since they can never imagine that fair-minded, reasonable voters might disagree with their party's ideology, there could only be one explanation, to the Democratic Left, of the current deadlock in the polls between the Annointed One, Barack Obama, and John McCain--and that explanation, of course, is racism. Still, one wondered when the charge would first be flung out in the mainstream media. Give the prize to Jacob Weisberg, in Newsweek. He writes:
"If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world's judgment will be severe and inescapable: the United States had its day, but in the end couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race."


The reader will note from the above quote and the rest of Mr. Weisberg's column as well that, as one would expect from the denizens of the American Left, Mr. Weisber's main concern is, "What will the rest of the world think of us?"

So there you have it. All of you out there who believe that John McCain is the better candidate, the better choice to lead our nation in a time of war and foreign challenges, the person most likely to appoint federal judges who do not legislate their own opinions into constitutional doctrine, and the candidate most likely to reduce the national deficit by cutting expenditures rather than ruinously raising taxes; all of you out there who believe that Obama has inadequate experience to hold the most powerful political office in the United States and the western world; all of you who find his appeals for change to be platitudes that are devoid of substance; all of you who are concerned by his past associations with the likes of William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright; YOU ARE ALL LYING TO YOURSELVES AND YOU ARE A BUNCH OF RACISTS. Or at least so says Mr. Weisberg in Newsweek.

Surprise! Russia Invaded Georgia on a Pretext



"I've hired you to help me start a war! It's an prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition." Vizzini, in The Princess Bride.


Indeed. There is the famous story that artist Frederic Remington, on assignment for the Hearst Newspapers in Cuba in 1897, sent a telegram to his boss, publisher William Randolph Hearst, reading "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return." The popular account says that Hearst responded, "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." Scholars now question whether Hearst ever wrote his most famous "quote," but there is no question that the Hearst Newspapers deliberately fanned the flames of American public opinion into a frenzy of support for war against Spain.


Then we have the German-staged "Polish attack" on Germany, on August 31, 1939, which provided the pretext for Germany's invasion of Poland the following day.


To that list of achievements, we may now add the Russian invasion of Georgia this month. Originally portrayed by the "useful idiots" of the Western press as a response by Russia to a foolish provocation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who had sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia, almost no one believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had not pre-planned the invasion, just waiting for the inevitable excuse to launch his forces into Georgia. After all, the logistics for an invasion of the size and scope of the Russian attacks on Georgia, from the land, air and sea, require months of planning and staging of forces. However, Michael J. Totten reports:


Georgia didn't start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.

Thank you, Michael, and a hat tip to Little Green Footballs for calling the story to our attention.

Obama, McCain and Homes

Barack Obama has decided to make an issue (and the inevitable political advertisements) out of the number of homes John and Cindy McCain own. Sometimes candidates should be careful about the doors they open. Here's the Texas GOP's response:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dean Chemerinsky Gets a "C-" in Legal Writing, But an "A" in Liberal Bias


Regular listeners to Hugh Hewitt's radio show are familiar with the "Smart Guys" segment, featuring Chapman Law School Dean John Eastman and University of California at Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who comment on cases of current interest. In the August 2008 edition of the California Bar Journal, Dean Chemerinsky writes about the October 2007 term of the United States Supreme Court. He notes that in Baze v. Rees, 128 S. Ct. 1520 (2007), the Supreme Court upheld the three-drug protocol used by the State of Kentucky for lethal injection executions, against a challenge that it was cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Chemerinsky, in a effort to narrow the holding, writes:

"The decision was based on the record before the Court concerning the risks of Kentucky's method of execution. The door remains open to challenges to lethal injection based on more developed records that show a substantial or objectively intolerable risk of harm from the drugs used for lethal injection." (Italics added.)


Ah, yes, Dean Chemerinsky, we must assure that those lethal injections involve no undue risk of harm.

Of course, what Dean Chemerinsky really meant was that challenges might be asserted if the record showed a substantial or objectively intolerable risk of pain and suffering. However, isn't precision one of the essential characteristics of good legal writing? After all, this man is overseeing the legal education of impressionable young minds!

More disturbing is the liberal bias of the analysis. Of course, Dean Chemerinsky's column is labeled analysis, not news, and Chemerinsky is known for his left-wing perspective. Nonetheless, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, "You have the right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts." Dean Chemerinsky strains that license to the breaking point. Early in the article, he writes:

"Occasionally this term Justice Stevens or Justice Breyer joined with the five most conservative justices to create a 6-3 or 7-2 vote for a conservative result. But never did one of the most conservative justices--Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito--vote for a more liberal result in a case defined by ideology."


The intended implication is obvious. Liberal justices are open-minded, unlike those tunnel-visioned conservatives.

Yet, later in the same article, Chemerinksy notes that in recent criminal procedure cases, "The conservatives on the Court, such as Justice Scalia, have taken the lead in these areas in expanding the rights of criminal defendants."

Most of us would assume that expanding the rights of criminal defendants reflects a liberal result. So how does Chemerinsky justify his earlier accusation that the conservative justices "never" voted for a more liberal result?

The answer lies in the Dean's qualification, "in a case defined by ideology." Again, most of us, and quite fairly I think, would associate expanding the rights of criminal defendants, at the expense of criminal convictions, with liberal ideology. Not Dean Chemerinksy! In these cases, "ideology does not predict outcome"; and therefore hocus pocus, presto chango, now those cases are no longer examples of cases defined by ideology.

In sum, if a liberal justice joins with his conservative colleagues, that is the case of a liberal justice siding with the conservatives on a case defined by ideology. If, however, one or more conservative justices joins with the liberal justices, the case ceases to defined by ideology. As another liberal spokesperson (no doubt a follower of the same school of language theory as Dean Chemerinsky), Humpty Dumpty, said to Alice in Wonderland, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden clip: Requires careful watching! (Or. Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!)

This is an impressive bit of oratory, but you need to know the lies that run through it.



This is a guy who will be Vice President of the U.S. if Obama wins. (HT: Hot Air.)

Is Obama Funny?

Thanks to Founding Bloggers for this entertaining video:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

McCain Ad: "The One"

Worth watching. I think Obama and his people know how to deal with most attacks, but not with (richly deserved) ridicule:

It's Not Easy Being Fighting Joe Lieberman--Thoughts on the GOP VEEP Choice

In a column entitled "Lieberman Agonistes" (which Wikipedia tells me means "Lieberman the combatant," an alternative version of my favorite Lieberman nickname, "Fighting Joe"), the Wall Street Journal describes how Senator Lieberman is drawing fire these days from both sides of the political spectrum. The Democrats are aghast and vengeful over Lieberman's outspoken support of John McCain, and his critique of Barack Obama's weak national security credentials. The Republicans are grateful for his support, but wary that Senator McCain may be too grateful, and choose Lieberman as his running mate.

I tend to agree with the opinion of the editorial writer--Senator Lieberman would make a fine Secretary of State in a McCain Administration, but as a Vice Presidential nominee he would not enhance the prospects of the GOP ticket. Not only is he "pro-choice" and liberal in his legislative record, but he simply is not a great campaigner in national races. Witness his own lackluster campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination. Those conservative Democrats and independents who most like Lieberman probably are already voting for John McCain. Also, Republicans (being elephants) do not forget that his decision to caucus with the Democrats gave the Democrats majority control in the Senate. Finally, it is hard to name a single state, including his home state of Connecticut, where the choice of Joe Lieberman as McCain's running mate might bring the state into the Republican column.

The first choice of The Hedgehog Blog for the Republican Vice Presidential nomination is and always has been Mitt Romney. However, if Senator McCain insists on risking the alienation of the GOP base by naming a pro-choice politician as his running mate, the Kosher Hedgehog recommends that he choose Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania Governor and Secretary for Homeland Security. Ridge, still an immensely popular figure in his home state, instantly puts Pennsylvania, with its 21 electoral votes, in play as a possible Red State gain. (Gore won the state in 2004.) Winning Pennsylvania might well mean a McCain victory in November.

A choice of Mitt Romney offers the prospect of securing Michigan's 17 electoral votes. (One might argue that Romney could possibly carry Massachusetts for the GOP as well, garnering another 12 electoral votes, but in my view that is a pipe dream.) Just as importantly, Romney offsets two perceived weaknesses of McCain as a presidential candidate: (1) his age; and (2) his limited grasp of economics and business. Mitt Romney is relatively young and vigorous, has an extensive knowledge of economics, and stands apart from the field in his demonstrated mastery of business.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Democrats Say Goodbye to "Safe, Legal and Rare"--and Move Left on Abortion

Naomi Schaefer Riley, writing in today's Wall Street Journal, notes that the Democrats have achieved what one might have thought impossible--the party has moved left on abortion. Her evidence includes Obama's "above my pay grade" dismissal of Rick Warren's question regarding when human life begins, and the dropping of the phrase "safe, legal and rare" from the party platform.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Barack Obama: Off The Teleprompter

This is a video of Barack Obama giving a speech when his teleprompter goes on the blink -- he seems to struggle to think of something to say as he repeatedly sneaks peeks at the teleprompter screen locations hoping that his script has reappeared.

video

The debates with McCain might be pretty entertaining.

About that Jerome Corsi book on Obama

Corsi's a nutter and should be ignored into oblivion. This is from Pete Wehner, a former GWB speech writer and still a member of Bush's brain trust:

Corsi’s approach to politics is both destructive and self-destructive. If Senator Obama loses, he should lose on the merits: his record in public life and his political philosophy. And while it’s legitimate to take into account Obama’s past associations with people like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright–especially for someone like Obama, about whom relatively little is known–it wrong and reckless to throw out unsubstantiated charges and smears against Senator Obama.

Conservatism has been an intellectual home to people like Burke and Buckley. The GOP is the party that gave us Lincoln and Reagan. It seems to me that its leaders ought to make it clear that they find what Dr. Corsi is doing to be both wrong and repellent. To have their movement and their party associated with such a figure would be a terrible thing and it will only help the cause of those who hold both the GOP and the conservative movement in contempt.
He's right.

People should read David Freddoso's book about Obama instead. He's a serious journalist with something to say.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kobe Bryant, Patriot

Kobe, I have frequently been amazed by you, but today, for the first time, I am truly proud of you. Read why in the Wall Street Journal Online.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quote of the Week: Russia, Georgia, Obama and the Left

Victor Davis Hanson:
Obama initially sounded like the therapeutic high-school principal and his 'zero-tolerance' doctrine of moral equivalence as he expels both the victim and the bully; but his calls for UN solutions, talks with equally at fault parties, and apparent trust in the wisdom of the EU and the power of NATO may not just scare Eastern Europeans but even those 200,000 who deified him at Berlin. (But in fairness, they were warned when Obama lectured them that the "world" had saved Berlin during the airlift rather than the US Air Force.) Nothing is scarier for a Western European than to be praised for his sophisticated dipomacy as a prelude to being asked to lead on his own in times of crises.
Well-said.

Kadima, the "Seinfeld" Party About Nothing

While looking through recent posts at Jewish Current Events, run by Rick Richman, I came across this article from August 5, noting Hillel Halkin's call for immediate elections in Israel. Halkin was attacking the fact that the upcoming primary election of the ruling Kadima Party will determine who will be the next Prime Minister of Israel, even though Kadima's 70,000 registered voter members, not all of whom will go to the polls in the September 17 primary, represent only about 1% of the Israeli population.

Rick also linked to a recent (July 31) column in the Jerusalem Post by Caroline Glick, a favorite on these pages, entitled "Kadima's Legacy of Nothingness." Glick wrote:
From 1977 when Likud first rose to power until 2006 when Kadima formed the government, all of Israel's elections revolved around contrasting ideologies. For 29 years, voters were required to choose which side of the ideological divide they preferred. And making choices isn't easy. Both sides seem to have something to offer.

Then Kadima entered the political stage dead on center and offered voters a way to avoid making a decision. It professed to be all things to all people.

But of course, no one and no political party can be all things to all people. And since Kadima's leaders won't choose whose side they are on for longer than opinion polls stay constant, their party has been nothing to all people.

That observation reminded me of an association: Kadima, the party that stands for nothing; and Seinfeld, the sitcom that professed to be "a show about nothing." The mental association of the Seinfeld show with the Kadima party brought to mind the above photograph of Ehud Olmert with Jerry Seinfeld, used once previously on this blog. Once I began burrowing through the Hedgehog archives for past references to "Seinfeld," I discovered that as far back as Israeli election day in March 2006, Caroline Glick had wondered aloud how the Israeli voters could choose a party that stands for nothing. Back then, the Hedgehog Blog, linking to Caroline's column, made the analogy of Kadima to Seinfeld, even without the benefit of the photograph.

Even if it is a re-run on The Hedgehog Blog, it makes for a lovely association: The show about nothing meets the party about nothing. Let's just hope that this season Kadima is finally cancelled.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

FROM THE PHONE BOOTH: The Smallest Space in Hollywood

Sit, OTO, Sit:
That’s a Good JOOTH


by
Steve Finefrock
Hollywood Conservative Forum

[Editor's note: As a Saturday treat for your readers, we present here another in an occasional series of guest posts by Mr. Finefroco. Enjoy!]

The One, he be: Barack is Obama The One, but predictions are already beginning that he may return to being just one of hundred Senators in a branch with 435 others in the south chamber of the U.S. Capitol. And for that coming absurdist political drama, we must tighten our seatbelts. The absurdist branch of political theatre will be boosted, since that theatre began in 1896 with “UBU Roi” or “UBU Rex” – written by a disenchanted 15 year old seeking revenge against an authoritarian physics professor.

William Goldman declares that he writes his stories [film scripts and novels] primarily “for revenge” – and so with most writers, and most reformers. The political stage is filled with Carrie Nation activists, the nationalists seeking their group’s advantage with a sympathetic story of suffering that deserves reparations. Carrie suffered at the hands of three consecutive drunken husbands, so she blamed alcohol in general, not her own specific judgment in choosing men to share her life. So she took an ax handle to saloon inventory, until one day a saloon owner returned wood, being a woman herself and able to whack the whacker of all that booze.

Already the Adults Are In Charge, or so appearing, with Russians coming, indeed having come already in Georgia, making Obama The One [OTO] seem a bit weak in the knees and between the big ears. The absurdist theatre is visiting the political stage, and will display itself more profoundly than UBU Productions’ Labrador retriever closing to Gary David Goldberg’s TV comedies, such as Spin City and Brooklyn Bridge. Each episode features the dog named for the key character of the precursor to absurdist theatre appearing in a family album photo of the dog holding a Frisbee in its mouth, a voice declaring “Sit, Ubu, Sit! Good Dog!” and then a bark.

Ubu accompanied Goldberg and his pregnant wife-to-be on a 1976 trek thru Europe, on the poverty-with-dog tour plan. Ubu is forever enshrined in that show-closing segment, the mutt having passed to hamburger heaven in 1984, shortly after Goldberg’s first hit, Family Ties was making Michael J. Fox into a teen throb, and Goldberg richer than he’d ever imagined. A long way from selling his blood for ten dollars to feed his pregnant gal and big dog in Europe that poverty-ridden summer.

Now, we will see Obama’s family ties amidst his spin-city attempts to convince Americans he’s an adult, as the real adult in Mac is rising in the polls. For numerous reasons, some specified by Rush this past week [the transcript of his claim is on the show’s website], it’s plausible that Barack will get clobbered on election day. The outflow of that defeat will render the nation in a great crisis for a generation, for no matter the real reasons, the ‘reel’ reasons of Hollywood fans on the left will be that it was all because the nation is rife with racists.

But for the Senate, to which OTO must return as Just One Of The Hundred, it will be a carousel of ego. Having experienced the most addictive duo – eyeballs [of adoration] and adrenaline [of life-on-the-edge daily drama] – will make Obama strive to stand out, to keep on the TV. And in concert with Hillary, vying then to try to challenge Mac’s VP in ’12. Two huge Hollywood egos violating Tinseltown publicist-manager Jay Bernstein’s warning: Don’t have two big Stars in the same room for an event at the same time.

This is a case of two senators striving valiantly to become our Tsar – confiscate oil profits, pass out goodies in the name of Doing Good Things For Others. These two wannabee tsars will be vying for attention in the Senate chamber, tempting whoever is presiding to ask the former candidate to please sit, be quiet, let the Senate do its work. But like JFK, Obama wasn’t there to do work, but merely to step over all to his role as our moving-&-shaking tsar of politics.

It will be absurdist theatre, as this latest Carrie nationalist goes thru withdrawal symptoms like from crack cocaine, these withdrawals meaning that being a JOOTH [just one of the hundred] is such a downer, a bummer, and bad for the ego. From UBU Roi, assassinating King Wenceslas of Poland in a play with a cast brashly listed as including “the entire Russian and Polish armies” after the play opens with the first line, “Merdre” – to January’s coming absurdist eyeball-adrenaline withdrawal symptoms on CSPAN for all to see [unless the democrats turn off the cameras then also], it’s going to be a bumpy ride indeed.

Will there be a bold and daring presiding officer in the Senate, when OTO gets high on his horse, garnering sympathy for his loss ‘due to racism’ who will say, Sit, OTO, Sit. Be a good JOOTH?

OTO is likely to be a long-running play, being only 47 when he’s “robbed” of the presidency. He seeks, yearns, craves to be OTO Rex, his cast of thousands are not the Russian or Polish armies, but our economy, our productivity, our bread and butter. As JOOTH he will still be OTO, and may actually do some work! Introduce some legislation, maybe even hold some hearings, learn a few things past what community organizing taught him, and what he practiced in leadership as editor of his law review.

It will be absurdist theatre, at least a half-century later, when it can be seen for the funny prancing that it appears then. But for our remaining political lifetimes, it will be a long-suffering tragedy without comity. Prepare to suffer the little children who will fill the Senate floor with their absurdist claims, as the Pelosi Players keep playing with political fire. Far too many on the MoveOn.org left will see King OTO as their Rex, as royalty denied the throne by an evil plot contrivance called an election.

You think they were enraged by Gore v. Bush? Mere child’s play compared to “OTO Roi” – coming to a political absurdist theatre near you. It will indeed be lots and lots of ‘merdre’ – look that one up in your French dictionary.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Arabs of Gazan Town Wish Israelis Would Return


The Arabs of Mawassi in Gaza (top photo) wish the Israelis would come back. Prior to August 2005, Mawassi was isolated from the rest of Gaza. It was surrounded by the Israeli settlement block of Gush Katif (lower photo), and its Arab residents worked in the greenhouses and other industries run by the Israeli settlers. "I want [the Israelis] to come back," says Riyad al-Laham, an unemployed father of eight who worked in the area's Jewish settlements for nearly 20 years. "All the Mawassi people used to work in the settlements and make good money. Now there is nothing to do. Even our own agricultural land is barren." Read the entire story in The Christian Science Monitor, a publication that is not known for its friendliness to Israel.



Thursday, August 14, 2008

How Three Years of Kadima Misrule Have Weakened Israel


The Hebrew graffiti on a bomb shelter in Northern Israel, pictured above, says it all. It reads, "Wake up, Sharon! Olmert is in a coma."

Evelyn Gordon reviews the sorry record of three years of Kadima misrule in The Jerusalem Post. She argues that the most damaging aspect of Kadima's record is how it has shredded Israel's deterrence. Ms. Gordon cites Yuval Diskin, chief of Israel's security agency Shin Bet, who identifies three major blows to the nation's deterrence: first, the Gaza disengagement; then, the Hamas' subsequent takeover of Gaza; and third, the Second Lebanon War. The Kadima Party was formed to carry out the first blunder, and presided over the second and third.

Contrary to what the graffiti might suggest, Ariel Sharon, as well as Ehud Olmert, must share the blame for the weakening of Israel in the eyes of her enemies. Although Olmert was the original public advocate of Gaza disengagement, the disastrous policy became a reality only when Sharon embraced it. Moreover, it was Sharon who orchestrated the legal parliamentary coup d'etat that made him the first Kadima Party Prime Minister. Following Sharon's election as a Likud Prime Minister, on a Likud platform opposed to territorial concessions to the Palestinians, he and his followers abandoned Likud when the party refused to back his disengagement idea, and formed a new ruling coalition under the banner of Kadima, without ever resorting to new elections.

Ms. Gordon augments Mr. Diskin's list by noting how Olmert has since further damaged Israeli credibility by refusing to respond to Hamas' continuing rocket and artillery attacks on the south of Israel, strengthening the Arab perception that Israel's armed forces are afraid to militarily confront the far weaker and smaller Hamas forces. Culminating this parade of errors was the Kadima government's agreement to a ceasefire that Diskin has characterized as a "lifesaver" for Hamas. Israel erased all of its previous redlines in agreeing to the ceasefire. It gave up its demand for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit. While Hamas is not firing rockets at Israel currently, it allows other Palestinian terrorist groups to do so, and Israel has not responded to those violations of the ceasefire. Most dangerously, Gordon writes:

Hamas has exploited the truce to prepare for future conflict. It is training troops and smuggling in masses of arms (i.e. four tons of explosives). It is stockpiling nonmilitary essentials such as food and fuel, since the truce, with its reopened border crossings, more than tripled the volume of cargo entering Gaza. And it is building bunkers with cement supplied courtesy of the lull. All this will increase IDF casualties in any future Gaza operation, making governments even more reluctant to approve one.


She concludes that under Kadima's "leadership," instead of Israel deterring Hamas, Hamas is deterring Israel.

Moreover, a similarly sorry picture prevails in the north, where Hezbollah has replenished its pre-war arsenal three-fold, to some 40,000 rockets, and has upgraded its rocket weaponry to the point where nearly all of Israel's cities are within its firing range. Moreover this rearmament allowed Hezbollah to effectively take over control of the government of Lebanon as well.

If Ms. Gordon's column is inadequate to thoroughly depress the pro-Israel reader, one may resort to Caroline Glick's earlier column in the Jerusalem Post, entitled, "Ignoring Failure in Gaza." She discusses, on the third anniversary of the Gaza withdrawal, why the Israeli public has never called Kadima to account politically for the discredited policy of the Gaza disengagement, the failure of which became obvious within hours of its completion.

There is hope, however, if in upcoming elections Israeli voters first repudiate Tzipi Livni, the third architect (along with Sharon and Olmert) of Kadima and the withdrawal from Gaza, and then return a Likud-led nationalist government to power, probably under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Georgian Crisis Shows McCain is Ready to Lead; and Obama is not!


Remember the brouhaha during the Democratic Primaries, when Senator Hillary Clinton suggested that either she or Senator John McCain were ready to take that 3:00 a.m. crisis phone call to the White House, but Senator Barack Obama had not proven himself.

Well, figuratively, it is 3:00 in the morning and the crisis phone is ringing. Today, President Bush spoke forcefully in defense of the democratically elected government of Georgia, and Georgia's territorial integrity. Senator McCain reacted even earlier. On the day of the Russian invasion, he called on Russia to withdraw its forces from Georgia. On August 11, Senator McCain said that the United States should seek U.N. Security Council condemnation of Russian aggression against Georgia. (Of course Senator McCain recognizes that Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, would veto any resolution, but the diplomatic pressure would be enormous.) Senator McCain's remarks have repeatedly demonstrated that he is familiar with Georgia and with the roots and implications of the Georgian-Russian conflict, and that he has a clear-cut vision of where America's interests lie in this crisis--in the defense of a fledgling democracy against the efforts of Vladimir Putin to place Georgia once again under the paw of the Russian bear.

On the Democratic side, Senator Clinton, of course, is out of contention and in the background. Yet, the presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator Obama, has scarecely been more vocal or public during the crisis than has Senator Clinton, apparently viewing the fate of Georgia as an unfortunate interruption of his well-earned Hawaiian vacation. As Jonah Goldberg pointed out in a column in the Los Angeles Times, Obama's performance has not served his campaign well. He seems helpless without a script. Goldberg writes:

[The crisis] is not a new challenge but a very old one. Perhaps this is not a time for a novice spouting grand rhetoric about a new page in history, but for someone who's actually read the pages of some old, but still relevant, books. Perhaps this is not the time for playacting.


In another context, prior to the Russian invasion of Georgia, Natan Sharansky made a very similar observation, from the perspective of Israel, another small democracy that requires U.S. protection. In an interview with Shalom TV, an American cable television network, Sharansky said:

In the case of McCain, we know exactly where his policy is. I know, personally, McCain for 20 years. He is a person of principle, and he is also a person who has absolutely a great record of supporting Israel. Getting to Obama, there is no record. Nobody can know for sure what will be. It can happen to be good. It can happen to be very bad. It's a risk.


As the late Bernie Mac might have said, "America, you decide."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Something a little different

This is perhaps the most fascinating wildlife video I've ever seen, and is simply worth watching, if you have a few minutes:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quotes of the Week

Jennifer Rubin:
We also have the obligatory column from Clark Hoyt admitting that the New York Times was wrong, but denying that their reticence to cover the Edward story was the result of liberal bias. Yes, who could imagine such a thing of the paper which ran a front-page, uncorroborated story of the Republican nominee’s alleged relationship with a lobbyist some nine years ago?
Indeed. Now ask yourself: Without new media, would the Edwards story ever have seen the light of day? Tim Rutten, no conservative he, notes the sine qua non role of non-MSM reporting in this story:
When John Edwards admitted Friday that he lied about his affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter, a former employee of his campaign, he may have ended his public life but he certainly ratified an end to the era in which traditional media set the agenda for national political journalism. From the start, the Edwards scandal has belonged entirely to the alternative and new media. The tabloid National Enquirer has done all the significant reporting on it — reporting that turns out to be largely correct — and bloggers and online commentators have refused to let the story sputter into oblivion. . . . the illusion that traditional print and broadcast news organizations can establish the limits of acceptable political journalism joined the passenger pigeon on the roster of extinct Americana.
(Emphasis added.) One wonders whether the recklessly philandering John F. Kennedy would survive politically in today's world. I doubt it.

Raise taxes, or cut them? Two economists' views


Ben Stein says, "the unhappy fact is that it’s necessary to raise my taxes and the taxes of all upper-income Americans. (I do wish, however, that “upper income” started just a dollar above me.)"

Stein makes very interesting arguments and manages to do it without calling anyone evil or greedy. An example for us all.

Ah, but here's another economist, J.D. Foster, who didn't get the memo Ben Stein got. He's a Heritage Foundation guy. His view: "The Tax Relief Program Worked: Make the Tax Cuts Permanent."

Must be one of those guys who loves the super-rich.

Just goes to show that the old adage is true: If you took all the economists in the world and lined them up end to end, they still wouldn't come to a conclusion.

Friday, August 08, 2008

No Peace Without Democracy

In today's Wall Street Journal, Natan Sharansky and Bassem Eid, a Palestinian Arab and the founder and director of Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, based in East Jerusalem, write that there is no hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians without a democratic reconstruction of Palestinian civil society. They write how in the wake of the Oslo Accords, Israel and the United States collaborated with Yassir Arafat to create a corrupt dictatorship in the regions controlled by the Palestinian Authority. That process led directly to popular rejection of Fatah in favor of Hamas, and the absurd spectacle this week of some 200 Gazan Palestinians affiliated with Fatah seeking asylum in Israel.

Back in 2004, Sharansky published "The Case for Democracy--The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror." While the books received much admiration and praise, there were many pundits, especially in Israel, who condemned Sharansky as being naive in thinking that democracy was a prerequisite to peace. This criticism became especially strong in January 2006, when Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. "See what happens when you give such people democracy," the critics crowed.

One can only conclude that the critics never actually read Sharansky's book. In it he emphasized how free and democratic elections are the final step in progress toward a democratic civil society, not the first step. Democracy requires, as a prerequisite to free elections, the emergence of a political culture that is supportive of freedom. He posited what he called the "town square test":
if a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. The Palestinian Territories, under Arafat, Assad and Hamas, were and remain a fear society. Democracy also requires, in Sharansky's view, freedom of religion and transparency in government and the court system.

What democracy does not require, in Sharansky's view, is a dilution of national, religious or ethnic identity. In his most recent book, "Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Defending Democracy", Sharansky strongly criticizes the trend toward post-nationalism in Western democracies, including post-Zionism in Israel. He argues that just as the enemies of democracy have strong identities, the citizens of democratic societies must feel that their cultures offer a history and values that transcend the individual, a culture to live for, and, if necessary, to risk one's life in defending. A society whose ideal is expressed by John Lennon in "Imagine," with "no countries," "no religion," "nothing to live or die for," and "all the people living for today," is one that is ripe for decay, destruction and conquest. The Kosher Hedgehog strongly recommends this short, readable, but pithy book by one of the great moral figures of our time.

Obama and the First Rule of Holes: "81% Say Finding New Energy Sources is Urgent National Need"


From Rasmussen:
Americans overwhelmingly believe there is an urgent national need to find new sources of energy, and this need is more important that reducing current energy usage, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

With energy issues taking center stage in the presidential campaign, 81% of Americans see development of new energy sources as an urgent priority. Only 9% disagree.

For nearly two-thirds (65%), finding new sources of energy is more important that reducing the amount of energy Americans now consume. Twenty-eight percent (28%) think reducing current usage is more important.

(Emphasis added.) This is why it's so idiotic for Obama to continue to insist that his "tire inflation" remark is correct - and why I hope he keeps on talking about that remark! He keeps voters focused on his pro-conservation bent, which is a political loser. I heard one of his surrogates last night on Fox News, arguing that the Obama's statement is correct (it's not -- look here).

In light of polling data like this from Rasmussen, I think Obama will shut up about it or insist his words are being twisted. But again, I hope he doesn't stop.

The Senator does have an interesting habit of not giving up on a gaffe when he makes one, or "doubling down" on a stupid remark, as Hugh Hewitt calls it. It's amazing how a presidential candidate can be so obtuse as to disregard the first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging!

Update: National Review's Rich Lowry has a nice summary of of the facts on Obama's foolish tire inflation gaffe:
On the question of tire pressure, [Obama] was wrong when he said that properly inflating tires would save enough gas to make up for whatever oil we might get from more offshore drilling. Only an estimated 27 percent of cars have underinflated tires, and having properly inflated tires saves at most only 3 percent on gas consumption, so the number gets quite small. Obama’s estimate of an overall savings of 3 percent to 4 percent on gas consumption is wildly optimistic.
When Republicans ridiculed Obama for this pratfall, he responded: "It’s almost as if they take pride in being ignorant.”

Another shovelful of dirt. Keep it up, Senator!

Latest McCain Ad: "Painful"

These kinds of messages are going to leave a mark. Good.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mitt Romney, Mormonism, and The Wall Street Journal

The following is an excerpt from today's post at Article VI Blog:
______________________________________________

In its lead editorial today, the Journal ran a summary of McCain's best choices, and said this about The Question:

A name often mentioned is Mitt Romney, who looks and speaks the part and as an entrepreneur himself could help on the economy. The former Massachusetts Governor failed to catch fire in the primaries, though, and, however unfairly, his Mormonism seems to be an issue with many evangelicals. Our own concern is that he continues to defend his state health-care reform even as it looks increasingly like a fiscal disaster.

(Emphasis added.) This is fascinating on several levels. To begin with, the same piece describes Senator Joe Lieberman as "a splendid VP in our book" who "is solid on foreign policy and taxes," but would "probably alienate too many social conservatives." No mention of whether Lieberman's Orthodox Jewish faith would "be an issue" with any voter demographic.

So maybe Judaism has passed the "Kennedy test" and is now an acceptable faith for a presidential candidate, just as Catholicism is. (I am not so sure.)

I always like to re-cast statements made in the press about Romney's Mormonism, using other personal characteristics. Try these evaluations of any potential vice presidential pick:

  • "However unfairly, his Hispanic heritage seems to be an issue with many anglo voters."
  • "However unfairly, his African-American ancestry seems to be an issue with many white voters."
  • "However unfairly, her female gender seems to be an issue with many voters."

Kind of hard to imagine, aren't they?

What we have here is the foremost conservative editorial page in the country throwing up its hands on this question: Can a Mormon be elected president?

No, they say; that's unfair, but it's the reality.

I am not convinced, but for discussion purposes, let's assume they are.

If you're a Mormon kid in this country, your parents cannot yet tell you that you can grow up to be president of the United States.

If you're an evangelical, even one who supported Romney for president and who would like to see him as vice president, you must accept the distasteful reality that enough of your co-religionists have made such a stink about Romney's faith that the leading conservative newspaper in the nation thinks the Governor is not viable as McCain's running mate.

If you’re James Dobson or Al Mohler, you might toss and turn just a bit in your bed at night and wonder if you should have shown a bit more leadership — even a little spine — toward those who look to you as a leader.

Maybe you regret just a little bit that a paper like the Journal, which is friendly to the people you lead, simply assumes the existence of unyielding religious prejudice among them.

Maybe you regret even more that the Journal finds such prejudice so unyielding that a political candidate who professes a particular religion is destroyed.

Maybe you realize that you were in a position to stop that from happening, but did nothing — and probably even gave license to the prejudiced members of your flock.

That cannot feel good, deep down.

We might have a chance to see if the Journal is right, if McCain does pick Romney.

I have my doubts. But what we should all be thinking about is the place to which we have come.

It is not pretty.

______________________________________________

I'll pose one further question: Will any credible national Evangelical leader write to the Wall Street Journal and take issue with the Journal's pragmatic conclusion that "however unfairly [Romney's] Mormonism seems to be an issue with many evangelicals," and that he is therefore a problematic choice for veep? That would be nice to see, but I am not holding my breath.

(More on this at Article VI Blog.)

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

AP Bias On Full Display in Story On Hamdan War Crime Conviction

The U.S. military court jury in the war-crime trial of Salim Hamdan, former driver and body guard for Osama Bin Laden, reached a guilty verdict today. In America's first war-crimes trial since the aftermath of World War II, the jury declared Hamdan guilty of aiding terrorism, but exonerated Hamdan on two charges of conspiracy to attack the United States.

Here is how Associated Press Writer Michael Melia described the trial result, in the lead sentence of his story:

"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - The conviction of Osama bin Laden's driver by a U.S. military court after a 10-day trial provides an indication of what to expect as dozens more Guantanamo prisoners go to court: shifting charges, secret testimony — and quick verdicts."


Is it just me, or is that an incredibly biased lead? Mind you, Mr. Melia's story is not an opinion column; it is not presented as "news analysis." Rather, it is supposedly a straight news story--the AP's news report on the outcome of an important trial. To my eyes, Mr. Melia has adopted the critique of Hamdan's defense counsel and the left-wingnuts, and has made it the lead and theme of his story.

Mr. Melia further notes in the story that "the judge allowed secret testimony and hearsay evidence. Hamdan was not judged by a jury of his peers and he received no Miranda warning about his rights." All indisputedly true, but since Mr. Melia decided to stray into news analysis, he might have considered that the application of those criminal procedure standards to the cases of Hamdan and other prisoners captured during combat in Afghanistan and Iraq would make criminal trials impossible to conduct; even though Bush Administration critics such as John Kerry and Barack Obama have repeatedly argued that terrorism should be dealt with by the criminal justice system.

Secret evidence is necessary when the case against the accused is built in part on classified intelligence, including perhaps the testimony of agents whose life would be in danger if their identities were exposed. Hearsay evidence may be the only evidence available where the original speaker is an uncaptured terrorist, a wanted fugitive, dead or otherwise unavailable. We do not admit hearsay in our domestic criminal trials, although even in those trials there are huge exceptions that allow admission of hearsay testimony, but the hearsay rules are rules of evidence, not constitutional doctrines or indipensable attributes of due process.

One wonders what Mr. Melia would consider a jury of Mr. Hamdan's peers. Would the jurors have to be citizens of Yemen who somehow found their way to Afghanistan, to work for Al Qaeda? As for the Miranda warning, some weeks ago I did a satirical Hedgehog post about World War I hero Sergeant York, in which he faces court martial for failing to give his 132 German prisoners a Miranda warning upon capturing them. Little did I realize that to the Associated Press, life imitates farce.

Obama: Pride and Presidents


Tony Blankley's column today, "He Is Who He Is," is a devastating commentary on Senator Obama's overweening pride:
"Here is a man who talked almost contemptuously of Gen. Petraeus. Explaining His differences with the general, He said that His "job is to think about the national security interest as a whole; (the generals') job is just to get their job done (in Iraq)." Of course, right at the moment, the junior senator from Illinois doesn't yet have "His" job, while Gen. Petraeus, as confirmed Centcom commander, has direct responsibility for both Afghanistan and Iraq and everything in between and around them. But in the mind of Sen. I Am, He already is, while He thinks the man who is perhaps our greatest general in two generations is just another flunky carrying out routine orders. It is repulsive to see such a mentality in a man who would be president."
Unfortunately, the odds are that Obama will in fact be our next president. I am worried for the country.

Meanwhile, Robert Samuelson reviews a new book by Bill Bishop, "The Big Sort: Why The Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart," and offers some excellent insights, including this one:
What Arthur Schlesinger Jr. called "the vital center" is being slowly disenfranchised. Party "bases" become more important than their numbers justify. Passionate partisans dislike compromise and consensus. They want to demolish the other side. Whether from left or right, the danger is a tyranny of true believers.
Please read the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Clark Judge on "Obama's Bad Trip"

Courtesy of Hugh Hewitt, Here's Mr. Judge's view of Obama's overseas effort:

Obama’s argument has been that the nation’s principal problems will not be solved by the application of policy – foreign or domestic – so much as by the repair of souls. The candidate’s sometimes-messianic tone has been a bi-product of a proposition that America is in a state of sin manifested by the divisions among us, that these divisions include those of excessive partisanship, and that Obama’s very election would represent the country’s transcending of its divisions.

This proposition is incompatible with a visit to a war zone and a speech given near where the Berlin Wall once stood. The world is a dangerous place, the journey acknowledged. Every moment invited comparison of a recently elevated state senator of no particular distinction with an opponent who in military service and the United States Senate has devoted his life to the nation’s safety.

In other words, in venturing overseas, Obama abandoned his agenda and embraced Senator McCain’s. He did this without prompting and apparently without realizing how foolish an errand he was on.

Read the whole thing.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, RIP

From James Lileks:
In the summer of ’78 I was back home in Fargo between college years – exiled from the civilized world, cast into barbarity. During the day I labored under the hot sun painting giant fuel tanks in the hot sun, next to an auto-body shop that exhaled poison and Eagles all day. A sensitive soul, cast into such grim circumstances. A noble soul, a poet, reduced to living on the gruel of hometown “culture,” almost unable to stir himself each day to face the hopeless allotment that stretched forth until the sun turned its face away.

Naturally, I was in the perfect mood to read the entire Gulag Archipelago. I got all three volumes from the drugstore – which should have told me something about the land in which I lived, that one could buy this work from a creaky wire rack at the drugstore – and it taught me much about the Soviet Union and the era of Stalin. After that I could never quite understand the people who viewed the US and the USSR as moral equals, or regarded our history as not only indelibly stained but uniquely so. Reading Solzhenitsyn makes it difficult to take seriously the people in this culture who insist that Dissent has been squelched. Brother, you have no idea.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Jeff Dunham: "Spark Of Insanity - Walter - Part #1"

Long, but fun:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Call the U.N.: Indiscriminate Shelling of Crowded Palestinian Neighborhood Kills 9! 12 Children Among Wounded! Oops, Never Mind--It Wasn't Israel.

Photo credit: Mahmud Hams, AFP, Getty Images, from The Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times reports that a crowded Palestinian neigborhood in Gaza suffered a relentless, indiscriminate 14-hour attack by artillery and machine gun. Nine Palestinians were killed. The 72 wounded included 12 children! Can anyone doubt that this war crime, this travesty of human rights, will soon receive the international condemnation it so richly deserves? Surely, the international media, the European Union, Human Rights Watch, the U.N. Human Rights Council, perhaps even the Security Council will make their voices heard, as they have in the case of other alleged Israeli atrocities, including ones that never occurred, such as the Jenin non-massacre.

Well, probably not. You see, in this case, the perpetrators of the attacks were the Palestinians themselves, specifically Hamas, directing its mortars and machine guns against the urban stronghold of the pro-Fatah Hillis clan in Gaza City. Since the world community always gives authoritarian regimes and Palestinian thugs carte blanche to perpetrate violence on their own people, as well as on Jews, don't expect much outrage.

Ironically, the survivors of the Hillis clan militia sought refuge from none other than those notorious perpetrators of genocide against the Palestinian people, the Israelis. Even more ironically, as reported in the Jerusalem Post, Fatah Chairman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, after first requesting that Israel allow the refugees to cross the border from Israel, then refused to grant those Fatah loyalists asylum in the West Bank. Instead, he asked Israel to return the unwounded Hillis clan members to Gaza, where they faced immediate arrest by Hamas, and perhaps death. This despite the fact that seriously wounded Palestinians, who were allowed to remain in Israeli hospitals, accused Hamas of waging "a war of genocide." Good luck, fellas, but unless you claim that the Zionists were behind the attack, no one cares.




A 700 horsepower electric car?


Well, I hope it works. Info about the car, called the "Lightning," is here. It's described as "all classic GT, with a long hood, low curving roofline, and massive multi-spoke alloy wheels."

I must say I don't care too much about how "cool-looking" the car is or having 700 horsepower.
Just think about this: If a substantial percentage of cars in the USA were electric, and we had the nuclear power plants necessary to generate enough electricity to power them all, how different a place would the world be?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

andy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. Shortly before the lecture he learned that he had about six months to live.

Here it is:

This whole "you brought up race first" effort is not going so well for Barack Obama

Here's some spot-on advice for Obama:
He brought it up. He can't use his race as a factor and disqualify it simultaneously. Pick a position and stick to it. Obviously, the better position for Obama is transcending race, and obviously, if he thinks he can dip gracefully into the subject whenever it works for him, he's wrong.
Also, after initially denying it, Obama had to concede that he did indeed bring up race with his "dollar bill" comment.

Sigh. And I once thought Senator Obama was going to be a different kind of presidential candidate. I guess we're all just deeply, sadly disappointed in both Obama and McCain.

Sigh. (I repeat myself.)

Gerard Baker reads "He Ventured Forth To Bring Light To The World"

Very much worth watching: