Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where are the Manners??

Didn't the gang at the National Republican Congressional Committee get the McCain memo?

"Thou shall not offend the Progressives!"

You would think there are some on the Right that aren't going to go into November without a fight. Just crazy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Golden State in Decline

A fitting post for our Slippery Slope series, the news from our temporary home state says it all:

July 25 - AP: California bans restaurants from using trans fats

California on Friday became the first state to ban trans fats from restaurant food, following several cities and major fast-food chains in erasing the notorious artery-clogger from menus.

July 29 - AP: Los Angeles wants to take bite out of fast food

The City Council was poised to vote Tuesday on a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a swath of the city where a proliferation of such eateries goes hand-in-hand with obesity.

And what did we Californians do in response? We rolled over. Again.

The John Edwards Affair

We waited on this story until we could make it 'fit' in the theme. Today it did with American Thinker's piece (links below) on the scandal. Not the John Edwards mistress scandal. Not the John Edwards love-child scandal. No, the scandal of the MSM who collectively chose to ignore this story. Can't we take a day off from the hourly updates of President Obama's latest pronouncements?

American Thinker - The Edwards Scandal is Now an MSM Scandal

The major media have virtually ignored the entire story, despite what appears to be rather convincing evidence assembled by the Enquirer. Fox News was able to find a corroborating witness, but the rest of the media has 86'd the story, despite its obvious appeal to a public that can't get enough when it comes to scandal.

National Enquirer - Latest Update: $15k/month checks to mistress

National Enquirer - Original Story

Pic from Nat'l Enquirer

A personal note: we think this is just sad.

Wednesday Afternoon Cigar

We listened to three days of Rush Limbaugh podcasts today as we smoked a Santa Damiana in honor of his radio show's 20th anniversary. Rush, looking forward to 20 more years!

Practice Random Acts of Sabotage

Freedom's enemies are catching some bad breaks lately.

The latest in a string of 'accidents' in Iran involved a military convoy that was destroyed, with 15 dead. In May, another incident at a "mosque in Shiraz that had just finished staging an exhibition of Iran’s latest military hardware". And earlier still, a train derails - as it was transporting weapons to Syria.

And yesterday, a blast destroyed a Hamas training camp in Gaza.

Glad to see the gloves are coming off. This is change we can believe in!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon Cigar

Rocky Patel Edge burned down to the fingertips.

Monday, July 28, 2008

G & A

The ripples of the Heller decision have made it to Morton Grove, Illinois. The first American town to fully ban handguns is dropping their ban.

We won't be happy until America resembles a more mature, evolved and enlightened culture. Like Israel's.


Penn and Teller call them "joiners". We call them communists.

These guys do a great presentation of both sides. Too bad one side looks like a bunch of fools.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cult of Personality

We didn't think of mentioning this, as any reader worth his salt already knows, the Obama revolution has many similarities with the Bolshevik revolution.

Good LT at The Jawa Report put these two images together for comparison and draws the same conclusion. He also offers a link to an American Thinker post from April with similar comparisons.

Sure, we are just paranoid.

More images at our Commie Obama store!

Don't Question Obama's Patriotism

A new McCain ad. Well done. Well timed.

Had Obama chosen to meet with the wounded troops, we bet he would have worn his lapel pin...

Update 7.27: Found this pic in the archives.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

It started off as a dry week for conservative prose. Hard to believe with Obama and the MSM on a World Tour, don't you think?

Here are two from the Wall Street Journal - one from Thursday, and one from today. Fun stuff!

Karl Rove compares the flip-flops of Obama with those of McCain. He is the first to put McCain's flips and flops in a positive light, in his "A Tale of Two Flip Floppers".

At least Mr. McCain fesses up to and explains his changes. Sen. Obama has shifted recently on public financing, free trade, Nafta, welfare reform, the D.C. gun ban, whether the Iranian Quds Force is a terrorist group, immunity for telecom companies participating in the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the status of Jerusalem, flag lapel pins, and disavowing Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And not only does he refuse to explain these flip-flops, he acts as if they never occurred.

Then there is Iraq. Throughout 2006 and early 2007, Mr. Obama pledged to remove all U.S. troops, even voting to immediately cut off funds for the troops while they were in combat. Then, in July 2007, he started talking about leaving a residual U.S. force, in Kuwait and elsewhere in the region, able to go back into Iraq if needed.

By October, he shifted again, pledging to station the residual U.S. troops inside Iraq with two "limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

Last week, writing in the New York Times, Mr. Obama changed again. He increased the missions his residual force would perform to three: "going after any remnants of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces." That's not all that different from what U.S. troops are doing now.

And just how many U.S. troops would Mr. Obama leave in Iraq? Colin Kahl, an Obama adviser on Iraq, has said the senator wants to have "perhaps 60,000-80,000 forces" in Iraq by December 2010. So much for withdrawing all combat troops.

It's dizzying. Yet, Mr. Obama acts as if he is a paradigm of consistency. He told a Georgia rally this month that "the people who say [I've been changing] apparently haven't been listening to me." In a PBS interview last week he said, "this notion that somehow we've had wild shifts in my positions is simply inaccurate."

And a great piece called What Bush and Batman Have in Common, by Andrew Klavan:

There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Holy Legacy, W!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Afternoon Cigar

We burned a Romeo Y Julieta today as we relished in the TOTAL embarrassment of Obama's Berlin "Citizen of the World" speech.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.

Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan come to Berlin in the form of heroin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all.

In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. And that is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone.

What a joke.

Two corrections, your Messiah:

1) Karl's stogies are doing far worse to the ice caps than any Boston Prius, and
2) There is still one nation that CAN defeat the challenges of the day. If you were paying attention, this nation has put far more effort into RESTRAINING its forces than in fighting the enemy. Allah help the enemies that face our FULL wrath.

Howard Stern: "Democrats are Communists"

Say What?!?

From the Business and Media Institute:

“I go, ‘That’s it!’” Stern said. “[I] go, ‘You know what Don, I’ve voted Republican and I’ve voted Democrat. I have vowed I will never vote for a Democrat again. I don’t give a [expletive] – no matter who they are. I don’t care if God becomes a Democrat.’ I said, ‘I backed Hillary Clinton, I backed Al Gore, I backed John Kerry. I am done with them.’”

Stern took it a step even further and called Democrats on the FCC “communists” and referred to their tactics as “gangsterism.”

“The fact that these Democrats on the FCC are communists,” Stern said. “They’re for communism. They don’t want to see companies – this is gangsterism. I said, ‘This is crazy.’”

We learned a long time ago to take the Commie Dems in stride. Howard is still stuck in the Anger phase of the 12-step program. Hang in there Mr. Stern. Step 12 is mockery, and it is so worth the wait!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Insurgent Flag?

Did Obama borrow that flag from one of the few remaining insurgents?

U/T: Townhall

Media in Tank for Obama?

Here is a McCain video, Obama Love, that addresses the media's infatuation with Obama. A good job. Let's see more of this!

U/T: Politico's Jonathan Martin

UPDATE 7.26: Video taken down over copyright complaints! The MSM, the first to whine about the First Amendment, is also the first to tell us what we can and cannot broadcast. Pathetic. HotAir has the story - link.

Not to worry - we're still posting biased MSM headlines on the home page. Be sure to leave your votes and comments!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama a Socialist?

Ed Morrisey, proud Ushanka owner and Hot Air blogger, takes a stab at this question in a HotAir post today.

However, that’s not to say that Obama doesn’t believe in the Leftist principles of top-down statist control and redistributionism. One only need to consider his policies on capital-gains taxes, new federal spending, and massive expansion of regulatory and bureaucratic management to understand that much about him. Obama may not be a Bernie Sanders Socialist, but his proposals rely heavily on the same philosophy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Start Your Weekend Right!

A new Stoli commercial:

Karl's Weekend Reading

Bret Stephens at the WSJ, on Tuesday, provides background on the planned prisoner exchange, Wednesday, between Israel and Hezbollah.

We now know that Israel turned over a living murderer, Samir Kuntar, and four other losers in exchange for two murdered Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

Bret's criticism is well earned:

Israel's predicament is a self-inflicted wound.
But whatever happens, Israel has once again demonstrated to its enemies that their strategy of taking hostages works. Worse, it works even when those hostages are killed.

We still think the best solution is a million man march. Get a million Israeli solders, or as many as you can, line them up at the North border of Gaza, from the coast to the East border, then let them march South. Nothing is more frustrating than watching a nation with the means lack the will.

Commie Obama hat owner and former UN Ambassador, John R. Bolton, is as impatient as we are waiting for the military option for Iran. In his Tuesday WSJ article, Israel, Iran and the Bomb, he concludes:

hus, instead of debating how much longer to continue five years of failed diplomacy, we should be intensively considering what cooperation the U.S. will extend to Israel before, during and after a strike on Iran. We will be blamed for the strike anyway, and certainly feel whatever negative consequences result, so there is compelling logic to make it as successful as possible. At a minimum, we should place no obstacles in Israel's path, and facilitate its efforts where we can.

These subjects are decidedly unpleasant. A nuclear Iran is more so.

On the lighter side, James Taranto of the WSJ's Best of the Web series reacted to the collective fear of nearly everyone to combine humor and Obama. So, he offered some Obama jokes in his Thursday post. The first from Andy Borowitz, the rest are James'.

Barack Obama and a kangaroo pull up to a gas station. The gas station attendant takes one look at the kangaroo and says, "You know, we don't get many kangaroos here." Barack Obama replies, "At these prices, I'm not surprised. That's why we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."
A guy asks Barack Obama, "Who was that lady I saw you with last night?" Obama replies, "I think people should lay off my wife. The notion that you can attack my family--that's not what America is all about. It's too easy to get caught up in these distractions."
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from the so-called leaders of the Christian right, who have been all too eager to exploit what divides us.
And then there's the one about the definition of audacity: when a guy throws his grandparents under the bus, then pleads for mercy because his parents are orphans (or would have been had they not predeceased their own parents).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

DNC Video Request

When the DNC calls, we answer! Howard Dean is asking for 2-minute videos explaining why you are a Democrat in 2008. Well, PC is a Democrat, and he explains to MAC why he is a Democrat in 2008.

We celebrated our latest video with a Paul Gamarian cigar at our local cigar hangout.

Howard Dean Calls

We answer!

Howard Dean asks for YouTubers to send in 2-minute videos explaining why they are a Democrat in 2008. Here is our contribution to the cause!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MAC vs. PC: Does Obama Flip Flop?

We were swimming against the current on this one. Every time PC thought our script was ready, MAC would find another "refinement".

The guys discuss the following refinements:
1) Public vs. Private Campaign Finance options
2) NAFTA - Renegotiate, or not?
3) Telecom Immunity - For or against?
4) Chatting w/ Dictators - Unconditional, or Preparations?
5) Troops left in Iraq after withdrawal - 2,000 or 60,000?
6) DC Gun Ban - Constitutional, or not?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Afternoon Cigar

Santa Damiana and fresh squeezed Leninade!

Civilian National Security Force

Loving your country shouldn't just mean watching fireworks on the 4th of July. Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it. - Barack Obama

And for those of you who like this country the way it is, skip the hope and proceed straight to change!

[W]e are going to grow our foreign service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot to continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we have set. We have got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded. - Barack Obama

So not to be accused of not doing our part, we decided to suggest a name for Obama's civilian national security force - The Cheka. Short for: Change. Hope. Energy. Kindness. Action.

We suggest President-Elect Obama form the Cheka on December 20, 2008. Time must not be wasted, Comrades!

U/T: Free Republic

Link: Wikipedia - Cheka. Be sure to scroll down to the "Number of Victims" and "Cheka Atrocities" sections.


Wait a minute! Mikhail and Karl discussed this security force over salads today, and determined the Civilian National Security Force already exists. The 80 million US gun owners are ready to repel whatever enemies Obama iimagines, and they are self-funded! Money saved - and hopefully returned to the tax payers in Obama refund checks!

Seeing this in a new light, we now understand Obama is pro-gun. If he sees a need for more civilian defense, then he must want the other 200 million citizens to buy guns! And his appeal to America's youth suggests we'll lower the legal age of firearm ownership and restart the old high-school shooting clubs. Maybe he'll organize an annual Father-Daughter Hunting event. And, Mikhail offered a great suggestion: Add a checkbox on the tax return for automatic membership with the NRA.

Civilians of the US - Arm Yourselves!

New Yorker Cover

Our slight modifications to the New Yorker cover...

Thanks Nancy!

Found this at Hugh Hewitt today. We don't go so far as to put all the blame at the Dems feet on current gas prices. The wonders of Capitalism, combined with the Dem's commie restrictions on supply, put us here.

But, great use of the visual!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Climate Change & Black Hawk Down

This just in from CNS News:

[Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey] told high school students gathered at the U.S. Capitol Thursday that climate change caused Hurricane Katrina and the conflict in Darfur, which led to the “black hawk down” battle between U.S. troops and Somali rebels.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House (Select) Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee, also equated the drive for global warming legislation with the drive for women’s suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

His party deserves to run this country?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow, RIP

Class. Dignity. Loyalty. Kind. Fun. Too young. The first six of an endless list to describe Tony Snow, dead today after a three-year fight with colon cancer.

Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend, Tony Snow. The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character. - President Bush

UPDATE 7.13: Debbie Schussel was friends with Tony Snow for over 20 years. Here is a link to her post.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The OBAMAnable Snowjob

In the ongoing culture war, where conservatives try to outdo each other with controversial videos that expose the left for who they are, we have just been sent back to second place. A hearty Ushanka-Tip to YouTuber, OBAMAnableSnowjob, for the two-part series below.

Friday Afternoon Cigar

The Rocky Patel Edge was a nice change to a day where we saw our Apple iPhone go dead for 7 hours due to Apple's failed launch of the phone's 2.0 software. We call it "Vista". Big technology projects are a like lot war. Fog of Battle, every plan is thrown out the moment it is implemented, the reasons for fighting aren't always the reasons for starting, the human element adds an unexpected ripple, etc.

Apparently Steve Jobs executed a surge, and most phones are back online. Also like war, everyone knows who is ultimately responsible. The good news, the infrastructure changes at Apple will minimize risks in the future. They're smart, they just tripped big today.

Karl's Weekend Reading

Charles Krauthammer discusses the virtues of "hard power", and its role in the 15 freed FARC hostages last week, in his Townhall article, The Alter of Soft Power.

Betancourt languished for six years in cruel captivity until freed by a brilliant operation conducted by the Colombian military, intelligence agencies and special forces -- an operation so well executed that the captors were overpowered without a shot being fired.

This in foreign policy establishment circles is called "hard power." In the Bush years, hard power is terribly out of fashion, seen as a mere obsession of cowboys and neocons. Both in Europe and America, the sophisticates worship at the altar of "soft power" -- the use of diplomatic and moral resources to achieve one's ends.

Thursday's WSJ Opinion page was packed with Obama commentary by the masters, Karl Rove and Daniel Henninger.

Karl gives plenty of praise for Obama's masterful 'refinements' in his lurch to the center in, Barack's Brilliant Ground Game. You have to read to the end to get to the 'but':

Mr. Obama is assuming such dramatic reversals will somehow avoid voter scrutiny. But people are watching closely, and by setting a world indoor record for jettisoning past positions, Mr. Obama may be risking his reputation for truthfulness. A candidate's credibility, once lost, is very hard to restore, regardless of how fine an organization he has built.

Mr. Henninger is optimistic about Obama's lack of emotional and personal attachment to the 60's in Will Obama Let the Sunshine In?

His recent flip-flops on guns, the death penalty and Iraq suggest he is less inclined to belief-based '60s style activism than to pragmatic opportunism. The old school wanted to triumph. He wants to succeed.

The Democratic bloggers, truly a tribe descended from 1968, hate Obama's easeful flexibility. But it explains in part how he is slipping by with a standard liberal policy-set no one seems to notice. A lot of moderate Democrats and younger voters, who consider themselves mainly achievers rather than activists, are OK with this. They would rather vote for a flexible opportunist than a committed man of the left. So that's what they're getting.

If he wins, though, the country would have a president who lacks personal and political clarity. This would give the politics of hope new meaning. What precisely do voters think they're getting? You don't have to wait for an answer. It will be supplied in January by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the House caucus and many others who turned professional after the '60s and know what to do with a big governing majority in Congress.

And Ushanka owner Mike Adams talks about the recent unwritten additions to the Constitution - rights that seem to be there, yet they aren't. He talks about those who add these new rights in his Townhall article, My Right to Unlimited Rights.

This trait of being more in love with consumption than production is one shared by most of my socialist colleagues in academia. They base their lives on the idea of taking “from each according to his ability” and giving “to each according to his need.” The problem is that they do a better job of articulating their needs than promoting their abilities. This is, of course, because socialists are generally short on abilities. They seek socialism because they think being guaranteed an average outcome is safer than trying to beat the average in a system based on merit, which is otherwise known as ability.

Anyone watching the 2008 presidential race has doubtless seen a similar dynamic among supporters of Barack H. Obama.

Iran Doesn't have Nukes Yet,

But they have Photoshop! They are not alone...



Plenty more at:

Snapped Shot
And, as usual, Little Green Footballs who started it all!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

RNC Ad: The Surge

The Hillary supporters must be going nuts. They, and their candidate, know words can come back and haunt you, even destroy you. Remember "I voted for the war before I voted against it"?

Hillary played it smart, and she's on the sidelines. Well, maybe 2012.

U/T: Nice Deb

Tuesday Afternoon Cigar

We celebrated the end to our video drought with today's posting of the latest: Mac vs. PC - Is Obama a Communist? So far, a 5-star rating on YouTube. That'll change as soon as the Obamatons see it! The humidor is chocked full of Rocky Patel Edges, minus one. Life is good.

The One that Didn't Get Away!

We found a hammer & sickle in the Townhall cartoons this week, and never a more appropriate honor than to give the late Senator Jesse Helms credit for this catch.

Link - to our post of his passing.

Another White Flag Appears!

Found this at Townhall:

You're Fired!

Hugo Chavez doesn't waste any time! This is the beauty of communism. Get the right guy in charge, and let him start making decisions unchecked. Progress!

Last week's rescue of the 15 FARC hostages put FARC in the hot seat. It wasn't the loss of the 15 hostages per se, it was how those Che-wearing imperialists did it by flying a helicopter into the camp and having FARC help load the hostages! Thanks Comrades!

Well, the Dear Leader from Venezuela has shifted his support, resources and attention to Hezbollah. 

Mac vs. PC: Obama a Communist?

Thanks for your patience these past few months. The video editing took a back seat to hat sales and site enhancement priorities.

The video above is a Mac vs. PC skit. These are lots of fun because we get to impersonate a leftist. In this video, our PC (Progressive Communist) took lines verbatim from the Huffington Post. Our Mac (Mature American Conservative) showed great restraint and intelligence, as expected. We like this format, and will scan the lefty blogs for more material. (As if that is a big chore...)

Monday, July 07, 2008

FARC in Check

Part two of our review of the hostage rescue in Columbia. Part one - link

Mary Anastasia O'Grady, of the WSJ, has a great opinion piece in today's paper - FARC's 'Human Rights' Friends.

While we focused on the brilliance, humor and audacity of the rescuers wearing Che t-shirts, O'Grady discusses the FARC's absolute trust that some nameless Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) will provide helicopter support to the terrorists. While the operation had been planned for nearly a year, and surely picked up steam with the recent laptop recovery - link -, the fact that the helicopter support wasn't questioned by the FARC demonstrates NGO cooperation and sympathies to terrorists in the past.

It may have taken years for army intelligence to infiltrate the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and it may have been tough to convincingly impersonate rebels. But what seems to have been a walk in the park was getting the FARC to believe that an NGO was providing resources to help it in the dirty work of ferrying captives to a new location.

The Colombian military tricked the FARC into releasing their most valuable hostages. I am reminded of President Álvaro Uribe's 2003 statement that some "human rights" organizations in his country were fronts for terrorists. Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd got his back up over Mr. Uribe's statement, and piously lectured the Colombian president about "the importance of democratic values."

But as the helicopter story suggests, Mr. Uribe seems to have been right. How else to explain the fact that the FARC swallowed the line without batting an eye?

O'Grady mentions some names in her article. Commie Hugo Chavez has been long linked to the FARC. Colombian Sen. Piedad Cordoba is pictured with the Venezuelan leader. She is under investigation in Columbia for ties to the FARC. US Senator Chris Dodd, former Democrat presidential candidate and Countrywide VIP is mentioned in the quote above. And, our Dear Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who has been pushing for hostage trades (aka diplomacy) with the FARC.

Presidents Bush and Uribe are mentioned too, but in a different light... The video below offers a good summary.

Here is a video of one of the three US hostages, Marc Gonsalves. U/T: Hotair.

Cuba Dissidents Arrested, Released

The MSM must have a hard time with stories like this.

A communist dictator arrests about 35 pro-US dissidents before their planned meeting. That's news. But wait! The gracious and merciful communist dictator releases most of those arrested shortly thereafter. Not news anymore. Why? Geography?

In other words, would the MSM deem this news if it happened in the United States?

Interestingly, the article author devotes a couple paragraphs to the arrests, then spends the remainder of the article presenting the dictator's generous reforms.

The Communist Country is Cuba. The dictator, Raul Castro. The pro-US group of dissidents, Agenda. The article is from the AFP, the only MSM outlet to report this story.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

For this 4th of July weekend, let's start with Obama's latest defense against non-criticisms. Nope, not racism. That was earlier in the week. To keep questions about taxes and national security at bay, Obama's camp is in full defensive mode on trivial matters. The last couple days: Patriotism. Here are just a few great comments in James Taranto's Best of the Web:

The problem for Obama is that he is a child of the counterculture to a greater extent than any past presidential nominee has been. Bill Clinton flirted with it a bit, but had long since "sold out," if you'll forgive the '60s argot, by the time he arrived on the national stage. John Kerry was more deeply immersed, as a leader in a radical anti-Vietnam group--but years before he ran for president, he reinvented himself (albeit implausibly) as a war hero.

By contrast, until a few weeks ago, Obama belonged to a church whose pastor blamed America for all that was wrong with the world. He made his political home in Hyde Park, Chicago, where unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists are regarded as upstanding civic leaders. And he seems to have absorbed the counterculture's complicated view of patriotism and disdain for those for whom it is a simpler emotion...
Patriotism ultimately is not a matter of policy, or even of symbols or actions, but of feeling. The sense one gets from Obama is not that he isn't patriotic, but that his feelings about America are complicated. But when expressing feelings, simpler usually is better. Saying "I love you" in three words is many times more powerful than saying it in 3,000.

Hugh Hewitt chimes in with a LONG list of the "core of Obama" in his Townhall article "Obama In Focus On the Fourth":

He's hard left.

He wants the marginal rate on total federal taxes...

Obama has proposed more than a trillion dollars in new spending.

Obama wants to cut and run from Iraq...

He supports the decision extending habeas rights to Gitmo detainees...

Also at Townhall, Larry Elder responds to the Heller decision that re-affirms the individual's right to keep and bear arms with some interesting quotes from our founders, and from a few other characters:

Dictators throughout history sought to disarm their citizenries in order to impose power:

Vladimir Lenin said, "One man with a gun can control 100 without one."

Mao Zedong said, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Josef Stalin said: "We don't let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?"

Adolf Hitler said: "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so."

Bret Stephens at the WSJ has an excellent piece on the religion of global warming, "Global Warming as Mass Neurosis. Probably the best summary on the subject - a must read.

Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What's remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about?

As it turns out, a lot, at least if you're inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature's great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.

Karl Rove writes a piece on Obama's fund raising expectations - "Can Barack Buy the Presidency?". That subject doesn't excite us, but we did pull this gem out of the article:

Mr. Obama's ads show he's aware of his vulnerability on two fronts: his liberal values and his meager achievements. Yet he should be more cautious with these weaknesses. His bio ad says he was raised with "values straight from the Kansas heartland," though he grew up in Hawaii. He claims to have passed three bills, but fails to mention that two were in the Illinois state Senate and that he didn't vote on the third in the U.S. Senate. His new ad praises welfare reform, yet he opposed the legislation when a Republican Congress passed and President Clinton signed it.
...when running for president, money alone can't buy a candidate love. Cash matters, but being a good candidate and right on the issues matters even more.

Happy 4th!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Jesse Helms, RIP

A shock to both Karl and his professors, Jesse Helms invited Karl to testify at his Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1997. We had written a paper that identified flaws in the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty. Flaws others had missed. The senator, one of the few opponents of the treaty, wanted his committee to hear what we had to say.

Long story short, our employer at the time told us to pick between testifying, and keeping our job. We didn't testify.

We remember Senator Helms for his tenacity for, and stubbornness towards, conservative principles. He didn't compromise on the important issues. Ever.

"I had sought election in 1972 to try to derail the freight train of liberalism that was gaining speed toward its destination of government-run everything, paid for with big tax bills and record debt," Helms wrote in his 2005 memoir, "Here's Where I Stand."

"My goal, when my wife, Dot, and I decided I would run, was to stick to my principles and stand up for conservative ideals."


UPDATE 7.5: WSJ articles: Editorial,

As a Senator, Helms was a forceful anti-Communist, resisting Nixon's detente of the 1970s and promoting U.S. support for dissidents behind the Iron Curtain and freedom fighters in Central America.

and John Fund.

Jesse Helms was a major influence on American conservatism, but his career provides a blueprint for anyone who represents an embattled minority viewpoint. You can, with persistence and unflinching determination, change the political odds in your favor.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Che Shirts - For Good, Not Evil

Columbian Army to FARC Leaders:

Comrades! The Worker's Paradise is close at hand! Just a little more sacrifice, and we will have our Utopia!

Alfonso Cano, our newest Dear Leader, requests the transfer of selected hostages for intense negotiations with the imperialist forces. He is close to a breakthrough in the negotiations that our murdered founder, Manuel Marulanda, and our strongest supporter, Hugo Chavez, started long ago. He has the capitalists on their knees, Comrades!

On July 2nd, two helicopters from a sympathetic non-governmental organization will come to pick up the hostages. The high-value hostages - the three US contractors and that bothersome French woman are to be included in the group of 15 - shall be escorted by two of our own in addition to the security forces that arrive with the helicopters.

The helicopters will be unmarked, but the security forces will be wearing Che Guevara t-shirts, just like the trust-fund kids in San Francisco! Give them your cooperation, Comrades.

Workers of the World Unite!

**FARC email service is for Official Use Only**

And the rest is history! Che Guevara t-shirts on capitalists?! What will they think of next? Ushanka's worn by American conservatives?!

Picture: Reuters picture of Ingrid Betancourt and three US hostages with President Alvaro Uribe.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

District of Columbia v. Heller

We'd like to offer deep analysis of the District of Columbia v. Heller 5-4 ruling this past week, but frankly, the narrowness of the ruling has left us a bit reserved. Apparently, four members of the highest court are unaware of a document called the constitution or their role in its interpretation.

While we're left scratching our heads (and clinging to our guns), we offer the always thoughtful analysis of Jackie and Dunlap:

Commie Jokes

David Frum at the NRO has posted a few communist jokes in his diary. Here are our favorites:

What do you call a Soviet quartet that goes abroad? A trio.

Three men in a Soviet labor camp are sitting around the barrel stove one night and the subject of what they are incarcerated for comes up. The first one says: "I am here because I voted for Comrade Petrov in 1934." The second one says: "I am here because I voted against Comrade Petrov in 1934." The third one says: "I am Comrade Petrov."

A Frenchman, a Brit, and a Russian are admiring a painting of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. The Frenchman says, "they must be French, they're naked and they're eating fruit." The Englishman says, "clearly they're English. Observe how politely the man is offering the woman the fruit." The Russian notes, "they are Russian of course. They have nothing to wear, nothing to eat, and they think they are in paradise."

There was the Russian who bought a car and was told it would be delivered ten years from the purchase date. "Morning or afternoon?" he inquired. "What does it matter?" asked the salesman. "The plumber is coming in the morning."

In the 1980s the Soviet leadership decided to open a strip club in Moscow. It was a miserable failure. The commissars in charge of the project were sitting in a meeting pondering what went wrong. One said, "It couldn't be the food. It is as good as what goes into the Kremlin." Another lamented, "It couldn't be the vodka. It is the best made in all Russia." A third said, " It couldn't be the strippers. They all have been loyal Party members since 1942."