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Maryland Conservatarian



Comments from a conservative-bordering-on-libertarian living in the great State of Maryland



Last Build Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:42:37 +0000

 



Remember, he reads every memo...

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 09:57:00 +0000


I don’t think that this:

The White House has held a series of secret meetings in recent months to examine the threat posed by al-Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa and consider for the first time whether to prepare for unilateral strikes, U.S. officials said….

“U.S. officials said the discussions have focused on ways to help regional militaries confront al-Qaeda but have also explored the possibility of direct U.S. intervention if the terrorist group continues unchecked.

“Right now, we’re not in position to do much about it,” said a senior U.S. counterterrorism official involved in the talks. As a result, he said, officials have begun to consider contingencies, including the question of “do we or don’t we” deploy drones.” White House secret meetings examine al-Qaeda threat in North Africa - The Washington Post

Quite jibes with the tone of this:

In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” President Barack Obama - 2012 Democratic National Convention



Avoid Stress; Join the Army

Thu, 30 Aug 2012 16:10:00 +0000


Newsweek used to be a premier news magazine with considerably more stature than US News. Nowadays however….

Read through the list; along with G’town and Hopkins, the usual suspects are there: Harvard, Yale…even Boston College (Ed. Note: not in Boston, not a college).  

Remarkably, NOT listed among the Top 25 are any of the military academies…..So Newsweek has now slipped so far that it can’t even mimic US News competently.
Side Note: In the comic strip Doonesbury, the character B.D. joins the Army and jets off to Vietnam to get out of writing a term paper. Even back then, Yale was that stressful.



Obama: “What? The Germans did all that?”

Thu, 31 May 2012 08:29:00 +0000


I spend a lot of time in Poland and occasionally have to address Polish concerns about how the US views Poland and the Holocaust. I usually begin by noting that I don't think most Americans are even conscious of the fact that Auschwitz is in Poland and, even if so aware, nobody in the US really associates the German Nazi atrocities with the Polish (I mean beyond the Polish being victims thereof).

Well, apparently, I am wrong.

Obama's 'Death Camp' Comment Angers Poles - WSJ.com

There is no real reason to expect Mr. Obama to be especially conversant in Poland's history but you really have to almost make a concerted effort to be as clueless about this country as the President has so far been. I was here in September 2009 when he chose the 70th Anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland for the announcement of his disavowal of the Bush Administration's previously agreed-to missile defense shield. Dear Poland, Happy Soviet Invasion Day. Love, Uncle Sam.

Trust me, now as then, you don't have to know a lot of Polish to understand what the general consensus here is of this man's "brilliance".




Good for Poland!

Fri, 16 Mar 2012 18:09:00 +0000


You know it's a good thing just by the reactions of the usual suspects....including the Washington Post

Coal-reliant Poland increasingly out of step with Europe on climate change



Well said, Justice Thomas

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 10:30:00 +0000

"Thomas’s affection for Holy Cross is longstanding; he has been a trustee and adviser to its students. His gratitude for those who reached out to him when he was a 19-year-old with “no place to go and no idea what I was going to do’’ does him great credit. But it reflects even more honor on the institution and the educator who believed in him and his fellow recruits. It was in Worcester, Thomas said, “that I took one long painful step to becoming a man.’’



Cheney Leads USA!

Thu, 14 Jul 2011 07:54:00 +0000

Of course I am talking about Lauren Cheney and her impressive goal and late game corner-kick that set up the winning goal for the US over France in World Cup semi-final action…but wouldn't that also have been an awesome headline on January 21, 2009. US over France 3-1




Burying the Lede

Tue, 13 Jul 2010 03:04:00 +0000

Reading this: Israeli review finds fatal raid on Turkish ship lacked planning and alternatives

…does one expect to read that:

“…it found that the presence of an Israeli navy commander at sea during the operation "proved effective in terms of the decision-making process" and "saved lives."


“Naval commandos operated "properly, with professionalism, bravery and resourcefulness," the report said. "The use of live fire was justified," and "the entire operation is estimable."

Turns out the review (based on reports and excerpts – it has not, as of now, been released) actually faulted the Israeli’s for faulty intel on the nature of the Turkish intruders. In other words, they failed to plan for just how non-peaceful the so-called peace activists turned out to be.



Is Helen Thomas now at IRIB?

Thu, 01 Jul 2010 11:40:00 +0000

Soccer Dad has an (as usual) interesting post up today: IRIB: "Ahmadinejad orders ban on Israeli goods"

Per the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting :

“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the implementation of a bill demanding major efforts to enforce a total boycott on goods with Israeli origin.

“According to the website of the Iranian government, President Ahmadinejad ordered the implementation of the pro-Palestinian bill, which was ratified by the Iranian Parliament earlier in June.”

What got SD (and me) was IRIB’s accompanying graphic (see link) which is a hodge-podge of very famous and previously not-known-to-be-of-Israeli-origin companies. The speculation then is whether the Iranians are going after just Israeli companies or those with any suspected Jewish ties.

If the collage of brands is any indication of what qualifies as a suspect company, then I am definitely rooting for the latter. The represented companies include CNN, Time, Starbucks, Apple, Timberland and Armani. As this is purportedly part of a pro-Palestinian effort, this could cause some consternation among the many leftists who have chosen to make common cause with other anti-Israeli efforts.

Side Note I: …and I suspect the reaction of Professors Walt and Mearsheimer to the idea of such Jewish influence over so many businesses to be a collective “Duh!”

Side Note II: Meanwhile, Tom Friedman is alerting all those who want to stay pure of Zionist-connected corporations to an excellent investment opportunity:  "Pssssst. I’ve got a stock tip. Ready? The Al-Quds Index."



Quick Hits

Thu, 01 Jul 2010 10:34:00 +0000

ACLU issues travel warnings to Arizona

The ACLU issues travel alerts?

Heh, heh! We don’t have to mock them; they’re doing just fine by themselves.

David S. Broder - Sen. Robert Byrd's vanished ethic

“Today, unfortunately, on the big issues that ought to be beyond partisanship, action in the national interest has almost vanished because the party leaders, unlike Byrd and Baker when they led their parties in the Senate, do not display that consciousness or evoke it in others.”

This is typical of the now-trendy muddled thinking that has Woody Allen yearning for a day of an Obama dictatorship and Tom Friedman salivating over China’s “enlightened” leadership. Sometimes matters become “Big Issues” because there is no clear consensus over how to resolve them. Sometimes “Big Issues” are simply in the minds of the beholder and not universally accepted. Mr. Broder doesn’t identify a current “Big Issue” that should be “beyond partisanship” but I can guarantee you that his preferred course of action will always be what he envisions as the “beyond partisanship, action in the national interest”.

…and it is only my respect for the recently deceased that keeps me from mocking the use of Senator Byrd as a now-bygone model for such altruism.

Jobless aid stalls in Senate; home buyers get more time

"For those who question whether this is an emergency situation, they should talk to the Nevadans who I hear from every day who rely on this assistance to put food on the table and pay the bills while they look for work," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said at a news conference with Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis.”

Wow – I had no idea; can I stop by your office next week to discuss this emergency and what we can do it about it? Oh, I see…not “before Congress returns to Washington after a week-long break.”



"Separate But Equal" - Harvard Law-style

Wed, 30 Jun 2010 11:28:00 +0000

Elena Kagan at her confirmation hearings defended her restrictions on military recruiters’ access to the Harvard Law Office of Career Services:

“She said she welcomed the military, and believed her policy of requiring recruiters to work through a student veterans group — first set by a predecessor — was a valid compromise.

"We were trying to make sure that military recruiters had full and complete access to our students, but we were also trying to protect our own antidiscrimination policy and to protect the students whom it is ... supposed to protect, which in this case were our gay and lesbian students," Kagan said.”  Kagan insists she didn't block military at Harvard

In other words, everything was cool because the military had “separate but equal” access.

This follows – with no apparent sense of irony - her extolling the virtue of constitutional changes via court decision, specifically citing the overturn of Plessy...you know, the Court decision that first introduced the “separate but equal” logic.



...But She Can See Arizona From Her Milwaukee Home

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 11:27:00 +0000

This has already gotten some play throughout the blogosphere but piling on is not a crime:County Board Delays Vote on Arizona Boycott That would be the Milwaukee County Board and: “There was an odd moment during the debate when Supervisor Peggy West stood up and seemed to be confused about her geography. "If this was Texas, which is a state that is directly on the border with Mexico, and they were calling for a measure like this saying that they had a major issue with undocumented people flooding their borders, I would have to look twice at this. But this is a state that is a ways removed from the border," West said during debate.”(Fortunately, fellow Board member Joe West was gallantly there for her: "I just want to assure my colleague that Arizona does in fact share a border with the country of Mexico.")I’d normally let such factually-free statements pass but she compounds it with her explanatory followup:"Had Texas come out with the legislation, having the largest border, I think that I would be more receptive to the fact that there was a problem. But having it be Arizona, having it be the second largest boarder [sic] and knowing there are troops on the border in Arizona, it didn't seem to me that this legislation was particularly necessary at this moment in time," West said.”When you think of the most efficient and well-run among our state and local governments, does Milwaukee ever pop into your mind? Well, maybe it should because apparently things are humming so smoothly out there that their Board Supervisors have the time to scour the rest of the nation to see what other governing entities could benefit from their wisdom. And so Arizona fell into their crosshairs.Remember, she doesn’t have a problem with such legislation per se; she clearly states she could be receptive to such a law had it instead been Texas articulating a need for it. No, what really appears to have riled up this champion of good government is just how unnecessary the Arizona law is. Now, many of you may have racistly NOT had the same reaction when you first read the Arizona law (and the numbers opposing the law does seem to be inversely proportional to the numbers having read the law) and may be wondering if this isn’t just some bit of ethnic posturing on her part. Why would you think that? Because she “has the unique distinction of being the first Latino/Hispanic American to be elected to the Milwaukee County Board.”? That’s irrelevant; Ms. West just happens to believe that ALL Americans deserve effective government (defined, I guess, as performing only that which is necessary...and politically correct). Accordingly, she will not deny Arizonans the benefit of her time management skills just because she, well, has absolutely no connection with Arizona and obviously no idea of what is going on there. Side Note: To further bolster her geographical bona fides, she offers this:"I did get a passing grade in Geography in high school and in college and I do obviously know that Arizona is on the border," West said in an interview after today's meeting.”Well, it’s not that “obvious” but ignoring that; she took Geography in college? Geography is certainly a legitimate course of study but I just don’t know many people who took it in college. So I checked her web page:She “graduated with a degree in Human Services from the Milwaukee Area Technical College.”That’s a 2-year Associate Degree and the latest iteration of it does not require (or even suggest as an elective) straying your studies into Geography. I guess it’s possible she took it anyway but I suspect otherwise. Still, who makes up studying Geography as a way to enhance her academic credentials?…and if I were in the Administration at MATC, I’d be issuing a press release denyin[...]



Baghdad Bob speaks for organized labor

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 17:25:00 +0000

On the PostPolitics page, they’re highlighting this:

Labor gunning for other moderate Dems
If working families were able to accomplish this in Arkansas, imagine what they can achieve in other states," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.”

What the “working families” – in the guise of organized labor - did was spend some $10,000,000 to support Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter’s bid for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination and, in an exciting two person run-off, they “accomplished” second place.

Congratulations "working families" on this significant accomplishment!



What's the matter - did it offend Helen Thomas?

Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:26:00 +0000

Right-wing D.C. think tank spawns Israeli PR blunder

“We think this is an important Israeli contribution to the discussion of recent events,” the Center for Security Policy's Caroline Glick wrote on her Web site Friday, touting a video mocking Monday night's deadly flotilla incident, “and we hope you distribute it far and wide.”

Evidently Israeli media-relations officials took Glick's advice -- and set off a public relations backlash.

We Con the World,” a parody of the 1985 Michael Jackson-Lionel Ritchie video…

My sympathies obviously lie with Israel so I think it’s rather well done. No back lash here.

Side Note: And when you saw this; Helen Thomas agrees to bow out as commencement speaker at Walt Whitman High, was your first reaction like mine: “why was she even invited?”



Even though this doesn't apply to me...

Fri, 28 May 2010 22:55:00 +0000

Hillary Clinton in a classic:

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does] — whether it's individual, corporate or whatever [form of] taxation forms," Clinton: 'The rich are not paying their fair share' - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com

A way to avoid paying your “fair” share? Take a deduction for the donation of your used underwear.



Turning to sports...

Fri, 28 May 2010 17:15:00 +0000

I don’t normally call for a manager to be fired in midstream but…if I see Cla Meredith as much as change his sitting position in the bullpen while a game is still on the line, I will be buying first-class tickets on the bandwagon to get rid of Dave Trembley. There is nothing more discouraging than knowing – absolutely knowing – that the pitcher your manager has just summoned is going to screw it up. I mean, you just know it…and you can’t understand why the manager doesn’t know it also.

To refresh: Cla Merdith on Sunday - 10th inning, two outs - comes in when Simon comes up limping. 4 pitches later, game over as he serves up a no-doubt-about-it homerun to Josh Willingham.

2 pitches and 4 days later, that same Cla Merdith serves up a bases-clearing double to Oakland’s Kevin Kouzmanof and the 5-4 lead (again with two outs) he was brought in to protect became a 5-7 deficit.

This is the second time this season that Dave Trembley, for no apparent reason, has remained locked in on a pitcher (see Michael Gonzalez – 3 appearances, 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA) when even a casual fan could tell the pitcher was worse than useless for the situation. This has been a horrible season in a string of horrible seasons – the visage of Cla Meridith walking in from the bullpen is simply salt to our wounds.

Side Note: How unappealing is the field for this weekend's Lacrosse Final Four in Baltimore? I am now an avid Cornell fan.



Just another example of how awesome He is

Thu, 27 May 2010 16:26:00 +0000

Anne Kornblut’s article reads more like she is the President’s agent, looking to get her client a raise: When duty calls, President Obama has to put his holidays on hold

Poor guy.

“But Obama's schedule has been even more fluid than other presidents'. That is in part by design, as he seeks to prove that he is more adaptable and attuned to crisis than his immediate predecessor, who failed to rush to the scene of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.”

Let’s see: Oil Spill begins April 22nd and the President does his obligatory fly-over and meet-and-greet: May 2nd. Alternatively, Hurricane Katrina is downgraded to a Tropical Depression on August 31 and the less-adaptable and less-attuned President Bush visits the Gulf Coast September 1.



It’s All about Prioritizing

Thu, 27 May 2010 15:02:00 +0000

This, of course, is getting some prominent play: U.S. police chiefs say Arizona immigration law will increase crime

“Arizona's law will intimidate crime victims and witnesses who are illegal immigrants and divert police from investigating more serious crimes, chiefs from Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia said before meeting with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to discuss the measure. Counterparts from Phoenix, Tucson, San Jose and Montgomery County [sigh], among others, joined them.”

Of course, just by being here illegally, illegal immigrants increase crime…you know, because their very presence is a crime…hence the adjective “illegal”…is any of this registering?

As to illegal immigrant crime victims, well, one way to reduce crimes against them is for them not to be here. More generally, do we want to make this a de facto policy of the State? How far should we extend absolution on criminal behavior to victims and witnesses? As a defense attorney, you can damn well bet that if I am aware that a witness against my client is here illegally, I’m going to try to get that fact out (just as I would try to discredit any witness of whose criminal behavior I am aware)...no matter how pious our politically-appointed police chiefs are on the matter.

Finally, did these police chiefs really claim the law would “divert police from investigating more serious crimes”? Really?

First, that is just plain ignorance of the law as it clearly reads that a check on immigration status can only happen AFTER being lawfully stopped on a different matter. [Ed. Note: It does seem the most serious flaw of this law is the need that it be read.]

But secondly, I revert back to…Really? They’re making that claim now? They are worried about diverting police from “more serious crimes” NOW???

Do they mean “more serious crimes” like this?

“The "Click It or Ticket" campaign is set to run from May 24 through June 6, 2010. The mobilization, expected to involve more than 10,000 police agencies, is supported by $8 million in national advertising funded through Congress and coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The ads, which will air in English and Spanish, generate awareness of the increased enforcement efforts and the increased chance of getting a ticket if you are not buckled up. Ads will be aired on television, radio, and online.” U.S. DOT Targets 45 Million Americans Still Not Buckling Up



No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Wed, 26 May 2010 15:10:00 +0000

Connecticut AG (and former Harvard Swim Team Captain grad) Richard Blumenthal has bared his soul and delivered a tearful apology for earlier comments suggesting he had military service in Vietnam.

Okay, I made up the bit about it being tearful…I may even be making up the part about it being from him. What we actually got…well, we didn’t actually get it, the Hartford Courant got it…was a statement from his spokesperson…well, it was really just an email and…anyway, you have to love the opening:

"At times when I have sought to honor veterans, I have not been as clear or precise as I should have been about my service in the Marine Corps Reserves…”

“At times when I have sought to honor veterans…”

Roll that phrase over in your mind a few times.

Doesn't it read as if perhaps Richard Blumenthal thought Vietnam veterans would be “honored” if a person of his ilk (did I mention he went to Harvard) would so deign to be associated with them?

Side Note: In 1973, being in the military wasn’t cool and having been in Vietnam less so. So, while he was at Yale Law School then, how many times do you think Mr. Blumenthal mis-spoke about his time in Vietnam…or that he even mentioned his "pride" in his service (he was still in the Reserves)?



Next Year, Why Not Just Give Them an OSHA-Approved Ladder

Tue, 25 May 2010 12:40:00 +0000

Navy plebes have smooth climb up lard-free Herndon Monument
"A plebe reached the top of the obelisk Monday afternoon in two minutes, five seconds. No one was injured. No one even got particularly dirty. The sense of collective letdown might have been captured best in the words scrawled onto one midshipman's T-shirt: "Where's the grease?"

"Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, the departing academy superintendent, instructed the midshipmen not to grease the obelisk this year."

As a Naval Academy graduate, Adm. Fowler should know better but then again, he also later earned a Masters Degree from...Harvard.

Side Note: "Herbert McMillan, a 1980 graduate, put it this way in a 2008 account in The Washington Post: "We're going to send these guys to war but they can't climb a monument because they might get hurt? Come on."

Herb is also an excellent Republican candidate to represent the Annapolis area in the Maryland House of Delegates.
HerbMcMillan.com and on Facebook

...and yes, that was his son Hall playing football at Holy Cross a few years back.



Is Iran a Distraction From Arizona?

Mon, 24 May 2010 22:24:00 +0000

All month, this Administration has been all “wee-wee’d up” over an Arizona law they had no hand in drafting and for the most part have not even bothered to read. But I guess since they’re all Ivy Leaguers, they nevertheless have had no problem identifying multiple ways that that law could be misused. Meanwhile, on a matter that they were directly involved in drafting and that clearly involves the most important job of any federal Administration:“U.S. officials also acknowledged that a loophole slipped into the language of the draft Security Council resolution on Iran would exempt a Russian-Iranian missile deal from a proposed ban of major arms sales to the Islamic republic.” Moscow makes gains in Iran deal as U.S. lifts sanctions against RussiaWe’re supposed to be trying to negate Iran’s nuclear ambitions and our wunderkinds at the UN sign off on a Russian-Iranian missile deal? Here’s what they’re calling a “loophole”:“Yet it also emerged Friday that the draft includes a loophole that would exempt a 2005 Russian deal, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, to sell Tehran five S-300 surface-to-air missile systems capable of intercepting ballistic missiles and aircraft, making them particularly valuable in the event of an Israeli air attack.”(Sigh) Had I dropped out of ROTC after my first Monday drill, I would still have more experience in the military than the President, Vice President, Secretary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice collectively. If nobody was familiar with the purpose of a “surface-to-air” missile system then perhaps someone should have asked…or at least googled it. It gets better:“Although the resolution does not formally outlaw the sale of such missiles to Iran, it does call upon states to "exercise vigilance and restraint" with regard to them, according to a U.S. official. "It's worth mentioning that Russia has not transferred the S-300s," the official said. "That's not to say they couldn't do it tomorrow. But they haven't done it." Why is that worth mentioning? If they had already transferred the S-300s, what would be the purpose of putting in a prohibition on the transaction?Further, the NY Times reports:“Another senior official, who is involved in the discussions but not authorized to be identified, said the administration would have liked to have banned the S-300 sale but believed it had an understanding with Russia not to proceed with it.”We’re going on an “understanding” with the Russians? So…just to put things in perspective then, this Administration is apparently more trusting of the Russians than of Arizona to do the right thing. But, as Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (CA) observed:“On the S-300s, he said, “It’s hard to understand why they would insist on that if they weren’t intending to deliver.”But proving again that there is no issue or problem that can’t be reduced to mere platitudes by this President:"The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times. Countering violent extremism and insurgency; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials…" At West Point, Obama offers new security strategyViewing the recent actions of China with North Korea as well as Russia, Brazil & Turkey with Iran, do you think he was going for irony? Perhaps the Obama Administration would have better luck – and display more passion – if they worked instead on a UN sanction's resolution against Arizona.[...]



Quick Hits - Saturday May 22

Sun, 23 May 2010 00:53:00 +0000

Maryland's Attorney General Doug Gansler, talking about the new Arizona law:

“Clearly it's not constitutional for a state government to be charged with the enforcement of federal laws," Gansler, in an interview on Thursday, said….”

Who’s “charging” Arizona with enforcement of federal law? Left unsaid (as usual) is any mention of exactly what part of the new law runs afoul of our Constitution. Now were Arizona to make up its own rules for citizenship, then Mr. Gansler would have a point but since it doesn’t, his comments are irrelevant.

…unless maybe he thought the interview was about the expansion of the Medicaid program mandated by the new so-called health care reform law.

Obama says diplomacy, military go hand in hand

“The U.S. must shape a world order as reliant on the force of diplomacy as on the might of its military to lead, President Barack Obama said Saturday as he outlined a foreign policy vision that repudiated the go-it-alone approach forged by his predecessor, George W. Bush.”

Go-it-alone? Is AP writer DARLENE SUPERVILLE suggesting that President Obama has had more success in forging international alliances? That contributions from other nations’ to our Afghan efforts are on the upswing? That perhaps our influence at the UN is now at all-time high? That “vision” more closely resembles an abdication by a man clearly not comfortable with doing foreign policy once he steps away from the Teleprompter.

Clinton says North Korean attack on ship will not go 'unanswered'

Obviously we’ve got our best people on the problem:

“…said a senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue…."The hope is that this was a one-off action," he said, adding that North Korea has a long history of violence against South Korean targets.”

I dunno – I’m no expert but “a long history of violence against South Korean targets” kind of suggests to me that this wasn’t a “one-off”.



The Quintessential Tom Friedman

Fri, 21 May 2010 17:38:00 +0000

Let’s say you think the world needs a parody Tom Friedman column. Dutifully, then, you set out to create one. At a minimum you know you need to throw in the following elements: • A display of a man-crush on Barack Obama,• A gratuitous slap at George W. Bush,• An example of just why the Chinese are awesome,• A painful analogy or simplification to make it more comprehensible to the rest of us     and • At least one reference to a past bit of Tom Friedman brilliance.Or you could save yourself the trouble and just link to his May 18th column: Obama and the Oil Spill.Let’s review:• Man-crush on Barack Obama:“To the contrary, Obama’s team has done a good job coordinating the cleanup so far. The president has been on top of it from the start.” [huh?]• Gratuitous slap at George Bush:“President Bush’s greatest failure was … his failure of imagination after 9/11 to mobilize the country to get behind a really big initiative for nation-building in America.” [actually this is just the start of his rant against the former President]• The Chinese are awesome:“So today, gasoline costs twice as much at the pump, with most of that increase going to countries hostile to our values, while China is rapidly becoming the world’s leader in wind, solar, electric cars and high-speed rail.”• Painful analogy or simplification to make it more comprehensible to the rest of us:“No, the gulf oil spill is not Obama’s Katrina. It’s his 9/11 — and it is disappointing to see him making the same mistake George W. Bush made with his 9/11.” [a two-fer]• At least one reference to a past bit of Tom Friedman brilliance:“I suggested a $1-a-gallon “Patriot Tax” on gasoline that could have simultaneously reduced our deficit, funded basic science research, diminished our dependence on oil imported from the very countries whose citizens carried out 9/11, strengthened the dollar, stimulated energy efficiency and renewable power and slowed climate change. It was the Texas oilman’s Nixon-to-China moment — and Bush blew it.” [another two-fer…or two-and-a-half -fer if you count the China mention]Ahh, the “Patriot Tax”, he laments what might have been:“Had we done that on the morning of 9/12 — when gasoline averaged $1.66 a gallon — the majority of Americans would have signed on.”Umm okay, maybe…but the far-thinking Mr. Friedman didn’t suggest the “Patriot Tax” until October 5, 2003. And the initial impetus was to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq before we got around to using any excess funds on “other good works”. As to all the good the tax would have done, well, all of Europe is a high fuel tax zone and places like Spain have spent billions on alternative energies. And today, as a result of all that feel-good kind of stuff, the EU imports over 70% of its fuel (it had been below 60% in 2000), the Euro is tanking and Spain has an unemployment rate of 20% to show for all its investments in the future of energy. Mr. Friedman’s disappointment in the President is actually a point in the President’s favor.UPDATE: Welcome Corner readers. Thanks to Jonah Goldberg![...]



The DOJ Reading List

Wed, 19 May 2010 11:02:00 +0000

We know they haven’t bothered to read the Arizona law and now, apparently, no one down there can even be bothered to read their own memos:

Memo from 2002 could complicate challenge of Arizona immigration law

“The 2002 opinion, known as the "inherent authority" memo, reversed a 1996 Office of Legal Counsel opinion from the Clinton administration. "This Office's 1996 advice that federal law precludes state police from arresting aliens on the basis of civil deportability was mistaken," says the 2002 memo, which was released publicly in redacted form in 2005 after civil rights groups sued to obtain it.

“Office of Legal Counsel documents do not have the force of law but carry great weight within the executive branch and are considered to be the Justice Department's official position on a legal or constitutional issue.”

But, deep thinkers that they are, I’ll bet they can all quote their Niebuhr.



Del. man charged with faking his way into Harvard

Tue, 18 May 2010 10:05:00 +0000

(Admit it - you see that headline, you think "Joe Biden")

I've been in a kind of piling-on-Harvard mood lately so this feeds the feelings perfectly. Think how you'd feel if you had been rejectd by Harvard, only to then read that this, shall we say, non-diverse individual makes up a few crdentials and voila , he's a bona fide Johnny.

What They Say I:
"There is no formula for gaining admission to Harvard. Academic accomplishment in high school is important, but the Admissions Committee also considers many other criteria, such as community involvement, leadership and distinction in extracurricular activities, and work experience. The Admissions Committee does not use quotas of any kind. We rely on teachers, counselors, headmasters, and alumni/ae to share information with us about applicants' strength of character, their ability to overcome adversity, and other personal qualities--all of which play a part in the Admissions Committee's decisions."

What They Say II:
"This year the Committee will admit a small number of transfer students who present a clearly defined academic need for transfer, supported by both a proven record of achievement at the college level and strong faculty recommendations."

Reality:
"Adam Wheeler, 23, of Milton, Del., was admitted to Harvard and became a student in 2007 after he falsely claimed he had earned a perfect academic record at Phillips Academy in Andover and had studied for a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, prosecutors said Monday."

Speaking of prosecutors, it seems Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's Attorney General and a Democrat seeking to replace the (finally) retiring Chris Dodd in the US Senate, has kind of stepped in it:

Candidate’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ From History (NY Times - May 17)

If you’re unfamiliar with the Conn. AG, here’s a short blurb to help you out:

"Blumenthal -- the highest Democratic vote getter in the state -- graduated from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude), and Yale Law School, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal.

...or so he says.



I guess technically it's not a corporate expenditure...

Mon, 17 May 2010 11:16:00 +0000


So I'm perusing NRO and there on the side, under Ads by Google I see:

 

Meet Barack Obama

See how this leader from an amazing background will shape U.S.'s goals
www.america.gov/obama.html

 It takes you to a site that describes itself thusly thusly:

"This site delivers information about current U.S. foreign policy and about American life and culture. It is produced by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs."

Follow the link on the page to the Obama Today page. Compare and contrast it with the Organizing for America site run by the DNC (as a continuation of the Obama campaign site). Seriously, the only thing missing seems to be a Donate Here button.