Domestic issues Law Politics The War on Terrorism

Soft on crime

If we punish lawbreaking, they might not break the law again

Election 2008 Foreign Policy Obama Politics

“Nonesense on Stilts”

From the Associated Press:

“What’s lost by embracing a tyrant who puts his people in prison because of their political beliefs?” Bush asked rhetorically. “What’s lost is it’ll send the wrong message. It’ll send a discouraging message to those who wonder whether America will continue to work for the freedom of prisoners. It’ll give great status to those who have suppressed human rights and human dignity.”

A U.S. president’s decision to talk with certain international figures can be counterproductive, Bush said.

“It can send chilling signals and messages to our allies,” he said. “It can send confusion about our foreign policy. It discourages reformers inside their own country.”

Sometimes, it is astounding how obtuse Mr. Bush can be.

Ezra Klein:

The idea that Bush — who regularly hangs out with, and thus “lends the status of the office and the status of our country” to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Russia, China, and Egypt — would ever try and take a strong, principled stand against meeting with, much less supporting, repressive autocrats…well, it’s what my grandmother would call chutzpah, and what the rest of us would call “nonsense on stilts.”

Foreign Policy The War on Terrorism

The Jihad Bunny

It might be funny if it weren’t so disturbing.

(h/t Sullivan)

Domestic issues Election 2008 Obama Politics The Clintons

How Hillary’s Think Tank Went for Obama

Michelle Cottle of The New Republic writes in this week’s issue about how Ms. Clinton’s think tank went for Senator Barack Obama:

Still, it’s hard not to see Hillary’s loss of the unofficial CAP primary as a microcosm of her surprisingly tenuous claim on the party establishment. Maybe it loved her in the beginning, or at least felt loyalty to her. Yet the relationship was always a bit codependent for some people’s taste, and, along the way, more and more Dems came to see it as unwholesome and costly. Obama may have been an attractive suitor. But he swept into the midst of a marriage that was probably shakier than most people realized.

Iraq Politics The War on Terrorism

Passive support for al-Qaeda

The National Review continues to push the long-discredited understanding of the Iraqi insurgency with this article in the current magazine describing:

a realistic and detailed picture of the enemy … in Fallujah… — “an insurgent global all-star team” that included “Chechen snipers, Filipino machine gunners, Pakistani mortar men, and Saudi suicide bombers.” The insurgents were not ordinary Iraqis fighting for their freedom against an invading power — but international Islamic militants supported by al-Qaeda.

The U.S. government estimates [pdf] that the insurgency in Iraq is made up of approximately 4% to 10% foreign fighters. This was widely reported in 2005 and 2006.

Keeping with the “fair and balanced” approach to news that let’s “you decide!” ((Aren’t FoxNews and the National Review basically the same thing?)) , the article concludes:

I’ll leave it to you to decide where passive support for al-Qaeda still persists.

Politics The War on Terrorism

Trial lawyers want to protect your civil liberties!

Just kidding.

Here’s Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post eviserating Mr. Bush and his press secretary over the warrantless wiretapping mess:

The ratio of useful information to hyperbole in White House press briefings has gotten dramatically worse under press secretary Dana Perino.

Here are just a few of the argumentative, nonfactual statements from yesterday’s briefing regarding the furious political battle over warrantless wiretapping.

“[L]ook, the President’s most solemn obligation is to protect the American people. And in some ways it seems that the House Democrats’ most solemn obligation is to help protect the trial lawyers – they’re the ones who have brought all these lawsuits.”

The leading lawsuits, of course, have been filed by non-profit public-interest groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Q If this is such a big deal, why didn’t the President accept another extension?

“MS. PERINO: Because the House couldn’t even pass an extension bill, even if they had wanted to. They couldn’t pass it.”

They couldn’t pass it because Republicans voted against it – on instructions of the White House.

It didn’t take long for the White House to start echoing Karl Rove about how “trial lawyers” want to protect consumer privacy. I guess old habits die hard.  I’m sure this line of attack made it’s way to the White House via Mr. Rove’s role as “an informal adviser”.

Election 2008 Liberalism Politics The Clintons

Pathological idiocy: Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn of the National Review proves once and for all that he has no idea how liberals, Democrats, or non-ideologues think with this surreal observation:

With hindsight, the oral sex was a master stroke. Bill Clinton likes to tell anyone who’ll listen that he governed as an “Eisenhower Republican,” which is kind of true — NAFTA, welfare reform, etc. If you have to have a Democrat in the Oval Office, he was as good as it gets for Republicans — if you don’t mind the fact that he’s a draft-dodging non-inhaling sex fiend. Republicans did mind, of course, which is why Dems rallied round out of boomer culture-war solidarity. But, if he hadn’t been dropping his pants and appealing to so many of their social pathologies, his party wouldn’t have been half so enthusiastic for another chorus of “I Like Ike.”

Mr. Steyn’s proof of this rather unusual point: “Hillary is what the Clintons look like with their pants up” – and she is losing. Therefore, most liberals supported Mr. Clinton because of his sexual escapades.

The logic used here is impeccable.

Election 2008 McCain Obama Politics The Clintons

How Barack Obama inspired the West Wing Finale

Domestic issues Election 2008 Foreign Policy Obama Politics The Clintons

The Obamanauts

From Noam Sheiber’s look at Mr. Obama’s policy team in The New Republic:

The Clintonites were moderates, but they were also ideological. They explicitly rejected the liberalism of the 1970s and ’80s. The Obamanauts are decidedly non-ideological.

It’s well worth reading the entire piece.

Election 2008 Obama Politics

Klansmen for Obama

David Duke, founder of the Louisiana-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, United States Congressmen, and presidential candidate, apparently would rather Mr. Obama over the other presidential contenders:

I don’t think Obama will be any more negative for the United States than Hillary or John McCain.  In fact, we probably have less preference for a European like a John McCain or a Hillary who has betrayed our interests, our heritage, our rights.

I’m suggesting a new motto for Mr. Obama: Who ever thought that David Duke and Louis Farrakhan would agree on something?


Edit – link updated after a warning that Google AdSense that the above link to TNR was broken.