"Westerners may be stupid, but Hamas is not. It sees the new American administration making overtures to Iran and Syria. It sees Europe, led by Britain, beginning to accept Hezbollah. It sees itself as next in line. And it knows what to do. Yasser Arafat wrote the playbook."
Friday, May 8, 2009
RealClearPolitics - The Hamas 'Peace' Gambit:
"Only a few months ago, the anti-Syria coalition was expected to win the elections. Hope and change. Change in Lebanon, hope for Hezbollah."
"The interesting thing for me here is not that a politician might choose to dissemble over an embarrassing revelation, but that an arm of the federal bureaucracy would so deliberately impeach one of the most powerful (and vindictive) members of the political branch. CIA could have chosen to let sleeping dogs lie and give Pelosi a pass, but instead the spooks chose to publicly confront her with inconvenient facts.
There are any number of ways for a Speaker of the House to make things uncomfortable for an adversary that depends upon the disbursal of public funds and who can arrogate to herself (or her proxies) broad and penetrating oversight responsibilities. Either they’ve got more on her than they’re showing and this is a shot across the bow, or else they’ve taken the measure of her juice and they’re just not that impressed."
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Israel Today, the West Tomorrow:
"A New Yorker who had just moved to Britain to start a job at the Metropolitan University had her head cut open and had to be taken to the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel, causing her to miss the Holocaust Day “interfaith memorial service” at the East London Central Synagogue. Her friend, Eric Litwack from Canada, was also struck but did not require stitches. But if you hadn’t recently landed at Heathrow, it wasn’t that big a deal, not these days: Nobody was killed or permanently disfigured. And given the number of Jewish community events that now require security, perhaps Her Majesty’s Constabulary was right and these Londoners walking the streets of their own city would have been better advised to do so behind a police escort."
Poll: Don’t investigate torture techniques:
"A new national poll indicates that most Americans don't want to see an investigation of Bush administration officials who authorized harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, even though most people think such procedures were forms of torture.
Six in ten people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday believe that some of the procedures, such as water boarding, were a form of torture, with 36 percent disagreeing.
But half the public approves of the Bush administration's decision to use of those techniques during the questioning of suspected terrorists, with 50 percent in approval and 46 percent opposed."
Obama Policy as Bankrupt as Chrysler:
"If Chrysler’s lenders can’t get their contracts respected, other lenders will notice, and will be much less likely to fund big or small U.S. businesses, knowing that contracts can be so easily ripped apart by politicians. As an editorial in USA Today, a newspaper not known as a bastion of conservative or libertarian though, puts it, Chrysler’s creditors fighting the Obama administration “are not only defending their own interests, they are standing up for the principles vital to functioning credit markets.”"
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Stop Trying to Save the Planet:
"If this bothers you, get over it. We now live in the Anthropocene ― a geological epoch in which Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere and biosphere are shaped primarily by human forces.
Yes, nature is still around ― back-seat driving, annoying us with natural disasters from time to time, and everywhere present in the background ― but definitely in no position to take the wheel. That’s our job now. Don’t blame nature for global warming, sea level rise, invasive species, mass extinctions, crop failures and poverty. That’s our thing."
The Price of the King's Shilling:
"This is troubling, because it's now clear that the worry many of us had at the time of the bank bailouts has come true: the government is using its intervention in the banking system to pressure banks to give special deals to the government's special friends."
What particularly worries me is that it seems so unnecessary. I heard repeatedly from progressives, in the run-up to the bankruptcy case, that the holdouts were unreasonably holding out for a trivial improvement--about 500 million dollars. But if it was so trivial, why didn't the government just put the extra money in, rather than jeopardizing confidence in the bankruptcy system--and the creditworthiness of a large swathe of unionized firms? $500 million is about the price of one cup of coffee per American, a trivial sum relative to the overall budget. This move has shown potential partners that government funds are dangerous, and potential lenders that union firms are risky bets; both have probably cost American citizens more than they saved. So why did the government risk so much for so little gain?
You know the answer, don't you? Because they're planning to do it again.
"More to the point, political corruption is inevitable whenever you give hacks — of either party — too much discretion over public funds. Businesses look to Washington for profits instead of to the market. The thing is, this has become the governing philosophy of the Democratic party, from banking and cars to health care and now student loans. The federal government is taking over, and the culture of corruption inevitably trickles down. That in itself should be a scandal. Call it “Choochgate.”"
Do as We Say…Not as We Do
Jim Geraghty captures the absurdity: Obama praises actual, law-breaking tax cheats Tim Geithner and Charlie Rangel for their efforts to rein in “tax cheats” who actually followed the law, but took advantage of perfectly legal tax loopholes.
Patterico: Obama’s campaign to takeover healthcare is on
"As things stand today, the Democrats envision a health care reform plan and a Medicare physician payment fix that costs $1.75 trillion, but they have only $300 billion in offsetting savings and revenue on the table. The amount of creative accounting required to close that gap cannot pass the laugh test, even with the aid of the lapdog media. And that amount of dishonesty will likely shake public confidence in whatever Obama and the Democratic Congress propose."
WAIT, FIRST THE GUANTANAMO CLIMBDOWN, NOW THIS? Source: No charges likely over interrogation memos.
Wonder how the investigation over TARP deals will turn out?
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Lauria allegations of threats corroborated:
"Well, that’s certainly reassuring. The man at the helm during one of the biggest economic crises in decades is a madman who will act in an unpredictable and irrational manner if he doesn’t get his way. It sounds like they paint Obama as either a lunatic or a petulant child."
"I admire teachers. My mother started out as a teacher, and I’ve had great ones, as have my kids. But the educational system should be for the benefit of the students, not for the benefit of the teachers. Teachers’ unions seem to have transformed it into a system designed for their benefit. Why — other than because their unions are so powerful and successful — should teachers enjoy an immunity from the consequences of their actions that they wouldn’t enjoy if they worked in the private sector?"
Should I Worry About Chrysler?
Read the whole post. Megan, yet again, makes too much sense to ignore....
"Perhaps it's idealistic of me, but the American bankruptcy system actually works very, very well. I think we should be very cautious about mucking with it, particularly when there's no reason to. The administration didn't need to beat up the creditors in order to reorganize the company--or at least, they wouldn't have needed to do so, if they weren't trying to make the creditors take less than they'd get in a liquidation. Nor did it need to do so to keep the UAW at the table--unlike capital, the UAW isn't going anywhere. The administration is beating up the creditors because a) it wants to give the UAW a much better deal than they'd get in liquidation and b) they'd like someone else to pay for it. I recognize that the law is always kind of messy, but as far as I know, this kind of blatant political intervention between debt claims is unprecedented, and worse, it's a dress rehearsal for doing the same thing at GM. I don't think this is good for the rule of law, I'm pretty sure it will be bad for capital markets, and I'm nearly positive it's going to make it hard for any heavily unionized company to get substantial capital for the next decade. And why? It hasn't exactly enhanced Chrysler's already dicey chances of survival."
Read the whole post. Megan, yet again, makes too much sense to ignore....
Obama official Kareem Dale confirms White House's love for MSNBC :
"For some inexplicable reason having to do with who knows what, a widespread impression has grown among many politics fans that MSNBC and its crowd of talkers -- including Chris 'Thrill Up My Leg' Matthews, Norah 'The GOP Is Doomed to Die' O'Donnell and Ed 'It's Time to Grind Them Into the Ground' Schultz -- are somewhat in favor of President Obama."
Monday, May 4, 2009
"Do you really still insist they are people who feel the whole world is against them? You've just mapped out why they — and all of us — really should be alarmed. You have a massively powerful, ambitious President, unchecked by an opposition party, boosted and promoted by journalists who've forgotten what their role is. Now, go back to your imagination exercise and do it again."