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Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Obama the Fox Hunter
Topic: Decline of the West


OK, I don’t much care for Barack Obama, but nonetheless I’m going to give him some good advice: Mr. President, call off your brain-dead jihad against Fox News. It makes you and your administration look like adolescent whiners—“crybabies,” as Chris Wallace put it—and, quite frankly, it’s behavior unworthy of the presidency. George W. Bush took numerous shots from the media compared with which the criticism directed at you is as mild as a spring breeze. It’s not too difficult to imagine what he must have been thinking about the New York Times and CNN. Yet somehow your predecessor, reviled by you and yours as a cowboy thug, managed to hold himself in check. He demonstrated class; you appear to possess none.


Not incidentally, your feud with Fox News has caused the network’s rating to soar. Sure, maybe your base is thrilled by your attacks on Fox, but to the majority of Americans you’re beginning to look like an insecure sissy who can’t take a punch. And history isn’t on your side. Richard Nixon spent a lot of time agonizing over what the New York Times thought of him—and look where he ended up.

Posted by tmg110 at 8:01 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 October 2009
A Sad Lack of Direction
Topic: Decline of the West

Afghanistan? Clausewitz would be rolling his eyes.

Not long ago, President Obama seemed to have a good grip on that difficult situation. He called it a  "war of necessity" and installed a new commander with a mandate to craft a new strategy. General Stanley McChrystal did just that—but when the President got wind of the General's recommendations (which include 40,000 additional troops), he had a panic attack. Now the US strategy is up in the air, and it's hard to escape the conclusion that Obama is looking around for the exit.

But he just can't decide what to do. And in war, even a bad decision is better than no decision at all. In the meantime, US soldiers and Marines continue to die. For what? If the President can't answer that question, how can I?

Posted by tmg110 at 8:54 AM EDT
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A Target-Rich Environment
Topic: Decline of the West

Back from a road trip, I glance over the news and inquire of myself: "Where do I begin?!"

Posted by tmg110 at 7:57 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 October 2009
The Road to (Health Care) Serfdom
Topic: Liberal Fascism

BaucusCare just made it out of committee, which has some (not all)progressives cheering. It's another small step, you see, along the road to socialized medicine.

But if you examine the details of the bill, it looks more like a stumble than a step. BaucusCare would spend close to $1 trillion over a period of ten years or so—yet we're told that it won't increase the deficit. So where's the money to come from? You and me.

Barack Obama promised that he would never, ever raise taxes on the middle class. The Baucus bill does just that. Democrats have long treated Medicare as a sacred cow, immune from even the smallest spending cut. The Baucus bill would slash Medicare spending by $500 billion. And with all this, the Baucus bill includes provisions for government rationing of health care—another supposed no-no, according to President Obama.

Maybe the Baucus bill will never make it through the long, arduous process of congressional approval, especially with the 2010 elections looming. On the other hand, maybe Democrats are so desperate to pass something on health care that they'll cut their own throats by enacting this atrocious legislation.

Posted by tmg110 at 8:44 AM EDT
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Two States to Watch
Topic: Decline of the West

New Jersey and Virginia will be electing governors next month, and both races bear close watching.

In Virginia, the Republican candidate holds a comfortable, perhaps commanding, lead over his Democratic opponent. A GOP win in the Old Dominion, which has been shifting from red to purple in recent years, would certainly be a blow to the Democrats and a bad sign for Barack Obama. But New Jersey is really the one to watch.

In the Garden State, the GOP challenger, Chris Christie, is clinging to a narrow lead over the unpopular incumbent, Democrat Jon Corzine. But New Jersey is the most azure of Democratic Party strongholds, with powerful unions and a big Democrat advantage in voter registration. Nor has Christie proved to be the most adroit of candidates.Still, he has several things going for him, not least among them New Jersey's parlous economic condition, sky-high taxes and culture of corruption. So he has a real shot at unseating Corzine—and it that happens, expect to to see signs of panic among congressional Democrats as they prepare to face the voters in 2010.

Posted by tmg110 at 7:42 AM EDT
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Hit It Again, Hillary
Topic: Decline of the West

One of the more enjoyable aspects (from the cosmic justice standpoint) of the Obama Administration has been the humiliation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Remember the Russian Relations Reset Button? Well, Hillary hit it in the hope of bringing Russia on board the Iran Sanctions Express.

In hopes of garnering Russian support for action against Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Obama Administration betrayed two US allies, Poland and the Czech Republic. These nations had agreed to host US anti-ballistic missile (ABM) sites on their territory. Russia didn't like that, so Obama canceled the deployment.

Now comes the payoff: Russia Not Budging on Iran Sanctions. Having obtained, at no cost to itself, a major concession from the US, Russia simply pocketed it—and, in passing, stuck a finger in Clinton's eye. Couldn't have happened to a nicer girl.

Posted by tmg110 at 7:27 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 13 October 2009
The Hate Goes On
Topic: Decline of the West


World leaders—including, sadly, the President of the United States—are competing energetically for the Suck Up to a Genocidal Maniac Award. And Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be laughing himself silly. The crazier he gets, the more desperately the “world community” scrambles to appease him and the regime he represents. The latest offender is the widely admired President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil. He will be hosting Ahmadinejad next month, when the latter pays an official state visit to Brazil. And David Harris of the American Jewish Committee just can’t figure it out.


Let me suggest one possibility. The Holocaust, which consumed the lives and bodies of some 6 million Jews, finally terminated anti-Semitism’s status as an overt, mainstream prejudice. With exception of fringe kooks such as Holocaust deniers, the West abandoned overt Jew hatred.


But anti-Semitism, perhaps the world’s oldest form of racial prejudice, proved too hardy a perennial to be uprooted by even the Holocaust. The desire to hate the Jews remained, and the establishment of the State of Israel eventually provided it with a respectable outlet. Now it’s possible for anti-Semites such as Pat Buchanan to bash the Jews to their hearts’ content. They’ve got nothing against Jews, you see, it’s just those wicked Israelis they can’t stand.


When progressives whine about the “neocons” and Israel’s supposed lock on US foreign policy, they’re simply recycling old conspiracy theories in an updated form. The Jews, it seems, are still plotting to take over the world, and their evil influence circles the globe. Now wonder that the ousted president of tiny Honduras (holed up in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, come to think of it)  has claimed that “Israeli mercenaries” are shooting death rays into his head.


That the establishment of Israel has given anti-Semitism a new lease on life is a sad historical irony. I suspect, however, that if Israel did not exist, something else would have come along to reanimate this ancient prejudice. We’d do well to remember that hate can be as vital as love.

Posted by tmg110 at 8:07 AM EDT
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Further Thoughts on the Messiah's Nobel
Topic: Liberal Fascism

It’s true that in the past, the Nobel Peace Prize has been given to some pretty dubious characters. But even with that caveat, this year’s award to Barack Obama seems bizarre.

Let me stipulate at this point that I’m not criticizing the President for winning the prize. As far as we know, he was as surprised as anyone by last week’s announcement. It may even have embarrassed him. For surely Obama realizes that the Nobel came to him not for anything he’s done but rather for what he is: America’s first post-patriotic president.

Consciously or not, Obama has communicated the impression that he sees nothing special about America. To him it’s simply one country among many—larger, richer and more powerful than most, to be sure, but American exceptionalism? Please! Small wonder that Europe’s postmodern elites—to whom anti-Americanism comes as naturally as breathing—love this guy. He also shares their hostility toward Israel, albeit in a less virulent form. From the European point of view, therefore, no American could be more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

But it seems to me that there was also an element of condescension in Obama’s selection— condescension toward both the man and the country he leads. Perhaps that explains why the Nobel Peace Prize, supposedly such a high honor, has left him looking slightly diminished. Since when has an American president required the encouragement of a committee of jaundiced Norwegian leftists? For that was the motive behind their selection of Obama: to encourage him in his post-patriotic course. An approving pat on the head at this juncture might prevent backsliding later.

I’d like to believe that the President is too smart to fall for such a transparent ploy. But everybody likes flattery, after all, and when it comes to a man as vain as Barack Obama, laying it on with a snow shovel generally does the trick.

Posted by tmg110 at 7:26 AM EDT
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Friday, 9 October 2009
Being There
Topic: Liberal Fascism

OK, I've managed to stop laughing long enough to post the news: Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Since nominations for the award closed on February 1, this means that he is being recognized for the achievements of his first ten days in office.

No, seriously, I get it—I really do. President Obama is being honored not for anything he did, but for what he is, or rather isn't. He's not that oafish yet sinister, quasi-fascist neocon cowboy, George W. Bush, and that's enough, it seems, for the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Just by showing up on January 20, Obama clinched the award.

Indeed, in a subtle way, the Committee's decision is an insult to America. For quite clearly, Obama's Nobel Peace Prize honors all that America is not: left-leaning, post-patriotic, postmodern. What Europeans really like about the guy is precisely what is causing his domestic poll numbers to fall.

Besides being ridiculous, the award seems ill-timed. It comes at a moment when Obama is wrestling with the decision that may decide the fate of his presidency: What to do about Afghanistan? If he decides to accede to General Stanley McChrystal's request and send 40,000 more troops to the Afghanistan, how might that play in Oslo?

I suspect that even the Obama claque will be clearing its throat and shuffling its feet over this silly business.

Posted by tmg110 at 8:16 AM EDT
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The Pain in Spain
Topic: Liberal Fascism


The Spanish prime minister is coming to Washington, DC, which makes this a good time to have a look at one case of “real, existing socialism.” (Michael Moore, pay attention!)


Reelected just 18 months ago on a left-wing platform that would gladden the heart of the most worshipful Obama hymn-singer, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is not a happy camper nowadays. For despite the wonderfulness of his Euro-progressivism, Spain’s unemployment rate stands at 18%—and no, that is not a typo. When the books are closed on 2009, economists expect to record that the country’s GDP will be found to have contracted by 4%. But there’s one statistic that’s arrowing up: thanks to the Zapatero government’s profligate spending, Spain’s budget deficit is expected to reach 10% of GDP this year.


Zapatero has blamed Spain’s economic woes on “neocons” and “radical liberalism.” In sharp contrast to these sinister reactionaries, he has proposed an innovative response to the economic crisis: higher taxes. Good idea in the middle of a deep recession.


Incidentally, Zapatero is also a leading Greenshirt. The green energy initiative that he cobbled together has been cited by President Obama as a model for the United States. Yet somehow, green jobs have failed to arrest Spain’s precipitous economic decline, while the country remains Europe’s leading greenhouse gas emitter.


On the foreign policy front, Zapatero showed himself to be a good little soldier of progressivism by withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq with days of his 2004 election. He followed up with a steady stream of anti-American rhetoric. All this earned him the lasting enmity of the Bush Administration, which spent the subsequent four years more or less ignoring Zapatero’s existence.


So needless to say, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero can expect a cordial welcome at the White House. In so many ways, he’s Barack Obama’s kind of guy.


(A tip of the hat to Soeren Kern, whose article in the Weekly Standard alerted me to Zapatero’s impending visit, and reviews his sorry record.)

Posted by tmg110 at 7:37 AM EDT
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