March 9, 2009

Web Reconnaissance for 03/09/2009

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Black & Right: Rush's Republican Response - As I (a Washington Times-recognized "African American leader") am personally being blown off by our new party chairman, I'm looking for real leadership. While the Obama Administration's acknowledging of Rush Limbaugh is a strategic one, I consider his words of more substance that anything coming from our "leadership". The following is what the GOP should have said in response to President Obama's prompted, weekly address… The Obama Daily Tracking Poll, down 228 points today — that would be the Dow Jones Industrial Average — another month of over 600,000 people unemployed. The Citibank share price, Citigroup is fluttering and it's around a dollar. It's been under a dollar at points today. Do you realize that a share of stock in Citibank will cost you less than an ATM fee? I think it's time we start looking at something very seriously. Now, I think you should be seated for the rest… Down at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, the United Auto Workers are having a lavish convention. (READ MORE)

Michael Wilson: Michael Moore Trashed My Movie… My Response - Michael Moore wrote a piece for the Huffington Post last week. I didn’t find out about it until today because I was doing more important things like volunteering and watching my 6 year-old daughter’s all-girl hockey team beat up on the boy teams here in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. While I was busy watching Kylie score 6 goals in 5 games, including the only 2 in a 2-0 victory, Michael Moore was once again telling us how we should be like Europe, and how most Americans agree with him and blah, blah, fuckity blah. He also mentioned my movie by name. It’s enough to make a guy go bugnutty. I appreciate the plug Mike gave me, but I need to lay some things out. You see, since that movie came out, I’ve become one of the people that you would think would agree with Moore. I’m about to divulge deeply personal information, but I think it’s relevant to the conversation… and a friend recently reminded me that, as Lenny Bruce said, the purpose of art is to stand on stage naked. (READ MORE)

Andrew Breitbart: The Hollywood Awards Show Not Shown on TV - SIMI VALLEY, Calif. After spending two weeks on something akin to a fact-finding mission in depressed New York and depleted Washington, D.C., I found no answers to our nation’s mounting ills. I discovered that there is much to be angry about and unlimited reasons for deep concern. But on the evening after my return, the stars aligned on the outskirts of Los Angeles at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and for a brief moment I felt safe again in America. On Saturday, my wife and I were privileged to attend the second annual “Celebration of Freedom Gala.” We joined more than 1,000 others who, like us, were electrified to honor 43 of the 98 living Medal of Honor recipients. We also gave our thanks to former first lady Nancy Reagan, war hero and actor Charles Durning, and Gen. David H. Petraeus. In between courses, we heard rousing patriotic vignettes. One was Steve Amerson’s refreshingly traditional and soaring national anthem. (READ MORE)

AJ Strata: If Johnny Liberal Jumped Off A Bridge … - As should be well known, folks on the right have found clear evidence of liberal democrats wanting President Bush to fail. Heck, I can find evidence of Amnesty Hypochondriacs on the right wanting Presidente Bustrada -Ze Traitor - to fail as well. No shocker here, except for those crazy souls who think only Rush Limbaugh has dabbled in the absurd act of wishing ill will would come to America to prove them right. Which brings me to my main point - so far the right has been rationalizing their zealotry by pointing to the zealots on the left and claiming ‘they did it too!”. This is not providing a clear choice of a better direction for the country, one which MOST people could rally behind. Rush got his ratings hit, the GOP got a black eye for defending the absurd. Instead of even mentioning failure (we seem to be neck deep in it right now) what people need to present are ways out of failure. We don’t need to be praying for more of what we have. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Oh, the Debts We Will See! - Going broke without style… $3.6 trillion budget. $1.7 trillion annual deficit. $800 billion plus borrowing stimulus. $600 billion plus in outlays for new nationalized health care, and then another $600 billion again for cap-and-trade. These numbers are so fantastic, so absolutely crazed, that the thought of ever paying them off boggles the mathematical senses. (I have surreal nightmares that as we haggle with the Chinese for another $500 billion dollar note to fund cap-and-trade, or another DMV-like national health care center, the USS Carl Vinson radios that it is broke and has no credit to buy supplies off Dubai, or its F-18s sit in rows on its deck, gathering brine for want of parts to take off). “They” will pay - How many of those diabolical rich making $250,000 and above are there left to gouge to pay for this all? It simply doesn’t compute. One is left with the only possibility that we slash defense, or we will inflate our way out, since no foreign debtor will want to supply those staggering sums of cash. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Talking to Hezbollah - The Guardian describes Britain’s newest diplomatic initiative. Talking to the Hezbollah. “Britain overturned its policy on a key Middle East issue yesterday by agreeing to talk to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia movement which fights Israel and is banned as a terrorist organisation by the US. Bill Rammell, the Foreign Office minister, told MPs the government would authorise ‘carefully selected’ contacts with the political wing of Hezbollah, which is represented in the Lebanese parliament. Other EU countries, including France, already deal with the group. The move, urged privately by British diplomats for some time, may be partially intended to encourage the US to follow suit as Barack Obama’s administration pursues a fresh approach of engagement with parties shunned by George Bush.” The Hezbollah is a state within a state. Despite the fact that it is formally part of the Lebanese government, it is actually a rival to it and is widely perceived as a proxy for both Damascus and Teheran. By talking to Hezbollah directly, Britain is treating with a force that is subversive to what is nominally a sovereign government. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Michael Steele Needs To Up His Game - When Michael Steele originally announced his intention to run for RNC Chair, I said some very nice things about him: “Michael Steele would be an excellent selection as well. He's young, charismatic, gets it, likes the blogosphere, is popular with conservatives, and understands how to pitch younger voters.” Moreover, when the RNC Chair race turned into a two man race between Steele and Katon Dawson, I was strongly, publicly pulling for Steele. Just in case you're wondering - yes, I do still support him. However, his recent performance has been worrisome for a number of reasons. Any Republican politico should know that you don't trash Rush Limbaugh. He's very popular with conservatives, he's a tremendous ally of the Republican Party, and in Steele's case, he has been one of his supporters. (READ MORE)

This Ain't Hell: Safe enough for ya now, TJ? - We got an IVAW press release today announcing their intention to send two representatives to an Iraqi Labor Conference. It’s um, pretty funny; “Since the U.S. occupation began, Iraqi workers have been targeted in an attempt to suppress the population and control Iraq’s natural resources. Labor leaders have been killed, tortured and imprisoned; worker’s rights have been routinely violated; and union bank accounts have been frozen. In turn, Iraqi labor unions and workers have been among the leading non-sectarian forces defending Iraqi sovereignty and democracy.” Notice how they fail to mention who is doing the killing of these labor leaders. The implication, of course, is that either US troops or the Iraqi government is doing it. I’m not going to speculate about who they think is responsible - but it sounds like they lifted the whole line from a presser from the US labor unions about Colombia. You’d think they’d point fingers at who they they think is the culprit. (READ MORE)

Soccerdad: Cohen: killing Jews is legitimate - After defending the Mullahcracy of Iran, Roger Cohen has followed his premise to its logical conclusion in Middle East Reality Check. “Like Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah has long been treated by the United States as a proscribed terrorist group. This narrow view has ignored the fact that both organizations are now entrenched political and social movements without whose involvement regional peace is impossible. Britain aligned itself with the U.S. position on Hezbollah, but has now seen its error. Bill Marston, a Foreign Office spokesman, told Al Jazeera: ‘Hezbollah is a political phenomenon and part and parcel of the national fabric in Lebanon. We have to admit this.’ Hallelujah. Precisely the same thing could be said of Hamas in Gaza. It is a political phenomenon, part of the national fabric there.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: The GOP DOES Have a Leader; But Will He Lead? - Discussion on a minor spat between newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh has provided a vital diversion for the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress this past week as it attempts to pass a bloated, $410-billion federal spending plan. The current maneuvering in Washington is just the opening act for President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget he is proposing for the 2010 fiscal year. The diversion began a week ago when Steele made a couple of unflattering comments about Limbaugh's style of engagement, which prompted a response from Limbaugh, and ultimately an apology from Steele. This as our country is being sold down the river by politicians from both parties who are engaging in "wealth redistribution" disguised as "change." (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Obama's "Honest Budget" - My Dad and I are huge fans of Robert Samuelson. Dad has been reading him longer than I have. He writes: “Robert Samuelson has never before in my memory taken to criticism of a President . He has always been very even in his criticism of the government, sticking to issues that affect the economy.” Now I will be the first to admit that I haven't had time to validate my Dad's observation regarding Samuelson's columns, but what I can say is that one of the reasons I have read him for as long as I have is that, like David Broder, he strikes me as one of those rare beasts: a pundit who puts his operating principles first and then even-handedly applies them to the situation at hand, accepting wherever this process leads him even if he doesn't like the conclusion. Too many others seem to start from a predetermined conclusion and reason backwards until they can justify it. What Samuelson has to say is devastating: (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: Obama is not trying to solve the economic crisis. He is using the crisis to socialize America - “Not letting a good crisis go to waste.” This idea popped up multiple times in the past seven days as multiple members of Obama’s administration seemed to be in total agreement. Their conclusion: by not quickly solving the crisis of the American economy, we can create drastic social and structural change. Not surprisingly, this is the path even President Obama alluded to in his Saturday address to the nation. On Saturday the President challenged his country to see its hard times as a chance to “discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis.” “That is what we can do and must do today. And I am absolutely confident that is what we will do,” Obama said in his address. But is that what “we the people” hired him to do? To use “great opportunities” to change the face and fabric of the nation? (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: Replacing the sheep - Oh dear. Just when the forces of engagement had steamrollered any opposition to talking to Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taleban, Syria, Iran and any other enemy of civilisation they could find to make nice with -- all on the basis that the Northern Ireland ‘peace process’ proved that through talking to terrorists swords would be beaten into ploughshares and lions lie down with lambs -- Northern Ireland terrorism picked up its automatic weapons and started firing again. Two British soldiers were killed and four other people injured yesterday when masked gunmen opened fire on a group of soldiers outside the Massereene Barracks in Antrim. Tonight, the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack followed hard on the heels of a warning by Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, that the threat against his officers and military personnel was at its highest for almost a decade. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Symptoms of Large Group Regression: Part II - First, some clarification is in order. One of the reasons I decided to write a post clarifying what is meant by large group regression is to provide a metric by which to assess the state of our, and other, societies, in the face of an ongoing, massive economic trauma. Under such strain, past history tells us that some societies will become less free and others will regress toward tyranny. After the last 8 years, when parts of the left spent much of their time worrying about a knock on the door in the middle of the night, it would be troubling to see parallel reactions from the right. To that end, it is important to understand that even if a leader is anti-democratic (and most Presidents at one time or another have wished that their critics would be silenced and that their opponents would be marginalized) the determinative factor of a regression to tyranny remains the reactions of the greater society. (READ MORE)

Phyllis Chesler: Manchurian Candidate, Simply Overwhelmed, or Asleep at the Wheel? - According to Frank Gaffney, President Obama has allegedly slighted British Prime Minister Gordon Brown-and yet, in truth, Obama seems to be following in Britain's very European pro-Arab and pro-Islamist footsteps. Obama's first call to a foreign head of (a non-existent) state was to Palestinian, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank; his first interview in the foreign media was with Al-Arabiya. According to Daniel Pipes,(who is far from "shocked" by Obama's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's various changes of mind vis a vis Israel), Clinton has "hammered" Israel for its failure to release funds to Gaza more quickly. The Obama administration is also on record as committed to funding terrorist groups in Gaza, (all good intentions aside, that is what happens to the money that the international community pours into Gaza), and proudly on record as willing to conduct European-style "diplomacy" with states who sponsor terrorism both against Israel and against the West. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Long War, Petty Battle, Cheap Shots - If the world were a perfect place, I’d advise David Kilcullen at Small Wars Journal not to waste any time or energy responding to the intellectually dishonest Andrew Bacevich’s trashing of Kilcullen’s The Accidental Guerrilla. Not least because lately Bacevich has been incapable of managing a coherent essay, not that that stops people from printing them. But Australian Army LTC Kilcullen (ret’d), former aide to Gen. Petraeus, didn’t ask me and it’s far from a perfect world. Boston University IR prof and former armor Col. Bacevich is widely viewed as an authoritative voice, which leaves Kilcullen little choice but to respond to this mountebank. Full disclosure: I have not read “Accidental Guerrilla,” only excerpts and reviews, and I’m not sure I agree with all of Kilcullen’s conclusions as I’ve seen them presented, but I’ll grant he’s beyond qualified to make them. (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: Cocktail Party Banter - We've now reached the point at which it is not only polite, but it's one's civic duty to wonder aloud as to what exactly is the deal with Boo Boo's rampant incompetence. I think there's sort of a time/error ratio that has yet to be defined in poll-type numbers, but when you have definitive issues with nominees who have "tax problems" plus a Treasury Secretary who is curled up in a little fetal ball somewhere wishing it would all go away, the Dow in freefall, and foreign policy gaffes and blunders that are too numerous to count, AND Porkulous AND the Omnibus Spending Disaster, all in the space of seven weeks, it's perfectly natural to wonder: can you be this bad by just sitting there, or do you have to be intentionally inept? We already had a nice round of this a coupla posts down (wicked, dim, etc.). Over t' the View, Philo is narrowing the field of possibilities to simple idiocy. (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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