Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time Man of the Year

In case you didn't believe the left controls the media, and the media loves the left...

Time announced their man of the year - Czar Putin. Critics have been unavailable for comment...

Time's home page begins their defense with:

At singificant cost to the principles that free nations prize, he's brought Russia roaring back to the table of world power.

Could the editors at Time list any priciples that free nations prize? Hmm?

Picture #1 from Drudge (Nice Hats!), #2 from Time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturday Cigar

Three weeks without a cigar is too long! Today we enjoyed a Rocky Patel Sun Grown as we read The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism by Paul Kengor.

Karl's Weekend Reading

Things we saw this week include Putin's next role, his effort to remain unopposed, the long list of accomplishments of the 2007 US Congress, and Huckabee's rise in the polls. Here are some excellent write-ups that expand on each:

The Perils of Putinism, as outlined on the Journal's Opinion page:

Mr. Putin knows that leaving power is dangerous for a Russian politician. Every single previous national leader went out in a coffin (from natural or unnatural causes) or in disgrace. So he is looking for ways to protect himself by holding on to the reins.

This transition could have helped Russian democracy to mature. The country lost an opportunity in this decade of good economic times to build a proper and predictable political system around institutions rather than men. The blame falls squarely on Mr. Putin.

The Daily Mail reports that a Putin opposition leader was force-admitted to a psychiatric hospital prior to a planned demonstration. We wish Artem Basyrov a speedy recovery, and remind him that it could have been worse.

We're sure you'll agree it is too early to judge the performance of Pelosi's congress for 2007. There are two weeks left - more than enough time to do America's work. But, the Journal has already weighed in with their editorial "The Delta House Congress. Great comments on Iraq, AMT, Wiretaps, Schip, and Bush's vetos.

Say what you will about Tom DeLay, at least he knew how to run the joint. Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are letting their left-wing troops and interest groups run all over them, with the result that their signal achievement this year is a higher minimum wage. Considering most of their policy goals, this failure is good for the country. But the dysfunction amply shows that Democrats are attempting to govern with an agenda that is too far left even for many in their own party, never mind the country.

Huckabee is gaining steam despite endless attacks in the media. NOT the MSM, but OUR little sliver of conservative media. Here at HQ, we spend 98% of our attention span on the other side because, well, they are both funny and communist. And we usually accept what we hear in the conservative press as, well, truthful. But the comments on Huckabee's agenda, especially James Taranto's excessive criticism of the Fair Tax this week, seems to be a bit over the top. Do our fellow conservatives, and the Journal Editorial Board, require a tax plan to be without assumptions that may not fully pan out in order to support it?

James P. Pinkerton writes a counter-point piece in, "Huckabee, like Reagan, wouldn't be an 'easy kill'". No reference to the tax plan, but a good, feet-on-the-ground assessment of Huckabee's chance at winning if nominated.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bias at NBC? [Comments]

Newt Gingrich is calling for a boycott of NBC.

We don't even know which of our 300+ cable channels is NBC, but if we did, we'd participate!

12.8 Update: Found the video. Talk about out of line!

12.8 Update #2: Well that was quick! Drudge reports the following:
*Under pressure from outraged viewers, NBC has reversed its decision not to air the Freedom's Watch ads thanking troops... Developing...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Let us get this straight... [Comments]

US intelligence lied when they said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and they shouldn't be trusted. But they are telling the truth in the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report that Iran has halted its atomic weapons program, and they should be trusted.

The Democrats are outraged that the CIA destroyed interrogation tapes to protect its agents (from the enemy within?), and equally outraged that former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage shared the non-agent, ultra-lib, send-my-loser-husband-on-a-trip, pose-on-the-cover-of-Vanity-Fair CIA employee Valerie Plame's identity with the media.

Could we label this coordinated Democrat & MSM behavior as "partisanship over national security"? I think we'd call that conclusion a slam dunk!

Karl's Weekend Reading

Elections in Russia and Venezuela, the contradicting CIA National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, the familiar Clinton campaign tactics were the topics this week.

WSJ's Bret Stephens reviews the recent elections in Russia and Venezuela, and the benefits and risks of using fear in the pseudo-commie countries.

Plainly the fear factor is central to the politics of both countries. But neither is it the whole story. Russians and Venezuelans alike elected their current leaders with bitter memories of democracy: economic collapse and social chaos under Boris Yeltsin; the incompetent revolving-door governments of Rafael Caldera and Carlos Andrés Pérez. Messrs. Putin and Chávez both came to office promising to reverse the disintegrating trend with what the British Prime Minister Anthony Eden once called "the smack"--he meant the word in its physical sense--"of firm government." Their track records over the past eight years represent, if nothing else, the fulfillment of that promise, and the widespread gratitude that promise-keeping engendered.

The WSJ editorial board responds to the NIE report on Iran:

Mr. Bush's efforts to further sanction Iran at the U.N. were stalled even before the NIE's release. Those efforts will now be on life support. The NIE's judgments also complicate Treasury's efforts to persuade foreign companies to divest from Iran. Why should they lose out on lucrative business opportunities when even U.S. intelligence absolves the Iranians of evil intent? Calls by Democrats and their media friends to negotiate with Tehran "without preconditions" will surely grow louder.

Boy did we miss the Clintons! They're back! Senator Boxer is holding up James Rogan's nomination to sit as a US District Court judge. Wouldn't be for Rogan's role in the impeachment hearings, hmm? "Hillary's Revenge" at the WSJ:

Dan Henniger at the WSJ asks when our presidential candidates will address the real threats in this, "Still a Dangerous World".

Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

Found at The Jawa Report:

Of course, we're dreaming of a RED Christmas...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hats in the News

Where can we get a sexy hat like one of these?

Garry Kasparov explains the recent news in a WSJ editorial:

When I was arrested last April and fined $40, some poked fun at the trivial amount. And five days in a Moscow jail is not the worst fate that can be imagined. Some commentators even suspected I wanted to provoke my own arrest for publicity, a chess player's far-sighted strategy.

First off, the penalty is not the point; the principle is. Are we to have the rule of law in Russia or not? Second, I have no intention of becoming a martyr, or in leading an opposition movement from prison. I had no illusions and now I can confirm it is not a pleasant place to be. And this is not chess, with its cold-blooded calculations. This is about honor and morality. I cannot ask people to protest in the streets if I am not there with them. At the rally on Saturday, I said our slogan must be "We must overcome our fear," and I am obliged to stand by these words.

It is also essential to point out that these arrests are only the tip of the iceberg. Such things are taking place all over Russia on a daily basis. Opposition activists--or just those who happen to be in the way of the administration--are harassed and arrested on false charges of drug possession, extremism, or the latest trend, for owning illegal software.