Friday, August 29, 2008

Arrest Bush!

We saw this truck as we were leaving the Denver area this morning. Is her message: Crimes Against Humanity = 50 Million Liberated in Iraq and Afghanistan? What if we trigger a revolution of liberty-loving Iranians in Iran after a massive bombing campaign? Crimes Against Humanity - Squared?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Report Today

With the convention move to Investco and the unlikely event of conservative-on-liberal conflict, we decided to visit with family and friends today.  Here is a picture of Karl at the convention entrance Wednesday, while the police intimidated the Rage Against the Machine crowd.  Click the link below for video and pictures from Monday thru Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Limbaugh for President!

Cry Babies!

The honor today goes to this gentleman.  He is single-handedly lowering the political discourse at Denver. Harsh!

Monday, August 25, 2008


The only brave soul in Denver today! Today's post is in his honor. See our other pictures from today at the link below.

Guns: Obama's 10-Point Plan

The NRA outlines the "Change" that Obama will likely bring to gun-owners:

For gun owners, “change” could well mean an erosion of hard-fought reforms and hard-fought protections...
“Change” means removing the restrictions we secured against the Consumer Product Safety Commission from exercising a bureaucratic ban on firearms or ammunition...
“Change” means ignoring the strictures imposed on federal gun-control enforcement by Congress...
“Change” means that federal lawyers from multiple agencies with unlimited taxpayer funding will find “creative” ways to bring elements of the law-abiding firearm industry to court...
“Change” means giving the Center for Disease Control power to once again treat private ownership of firearms as a “disease” treatable by gun control...
...“change” also means using a host of federal government think tanks to create “studies” and white papers intended to spawn new gun-ban laws.
“Change” also means using the total lobbying and propaganda power of the White House and multiple federal departments to bring back a version of the Clinton gun ban...

Read it all.

U/T: Doug Ross

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Biden

Poor Obama. No matter who he selected as VP, he was going to be accused of desperation by adding someone with more experience on the ticket. These attacks are unfair and must cease immediately! You conservatives can be so harsh!

It appears the MSM is using our material in this VP announcement. And without giving us credit! Click here to see our previous post from Wednesday: MSM Response to Obama VP Pick.

Here is our new anthem, comrades:

UT: SondraK

Friday, August 22, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

Classless. That would be our reaction to Obama saying he would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. In an editorial about this, the WSJ points out a more telling message than Obama's judicial selection instincts - the real Obama (ie. without teleprompter and unscripted interview questions). Obama on Clarence Thomas, Monday:

Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat's answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn't expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn't merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court's black conservative isn't up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.

So much for civility in politics and bringing people together. And no wonder Mr. Obama's advisers have refused invitations for more such open forums, preferring to keep him in front of a teleprompter, where he won't let slip what he really believes.

More Saddleback fallout, as pointed out by Naomi Schaefer Riley in Wednesday's WSJ, Democrats Move Left on Abortion:

Mr. Obama's flip-sounding response did not go over well with the evangelicals in the audience of Saturday night's presidential forum. After a week in which the Democrats have been renegotiating their abortion platform, Mr. Obama was supposed to provide a voice of clarity, and above all moderation, for the party. His middle-of-the-road views were supposed to appeal to independent-minded Catholics and evangelicals who agreed with Democrats on some issues, but couldn't pull the lever for him if he was too radical on abortion.

It didn't work out that way. Add Mr. Obama's recent admission that during his time in the Illinois legislature he voted against a law protecting babies who survive an abortion procedure, and it seems as if the Democrats have accomplished the impossible: They have moved to the left on abortion.


More insight on the real Obama - and his communist inspirations - in Thursday's WSJ editorial page, Obama's Health-Care Tipoff:

'If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system," Barack Obama told an audience in Albuquerque on Monday. He was lauding the idea of a health-care market -- or nonmarket -- entirely run by the government.
Mr. Obama's health-care plan includes a taxpayer-funded insurance program, much like Medicare but open to everyone. The goal, like HillaryCare in the 1990s, is to displace current private coverage and switch people to the default government option. What's new is Mr. Obama's smoother political packaging.

With good reason, critics often call this a back-door route to a centrally planned health-care bureaucracy. For all his lawyerly qualifications, Mr. Obama has essentially admitted that his proposal is really the front door.


Last, Gabriel Schoenfeld writes in Thursday's WSJ, Russia's Nuclear Threat Is More Than Words.

the U.S., acting unilaterally and with virtually no fanfare, sharply cut back its stockpile of nonstrategic nuclear warheads. As far back as 1991, the U.S. began to retire all of its nuclear warheads for short-range ballistic missiles, artillery and antisubmarine warfare. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, not one of these weapons exists today. The same authoritative publication estimates that the number of tactical warheads in the U.S. arsenal has dwindled from thousands to approximately 500.

Russia has also reduced the size of its tactical nuclear arsenal, but starting from much higher levels and at a slower pace, leaving it with an estimated 5,000 such devices -- 10 times the number of tactical weapons held by the U.S.

He argues a ten-fold possession of tactical nuclear weapons has "emboldened the bear". Maybe. We wonder if the US' precision technology has allowed our strategy to defer to conventional weapons where tactical nukes once were the preferred, if only, option against certain targets. Tactical nuclear weapons are ideal for large, concentrated enemy forces. The border with North Korea, within artillery range of Seoul, comes to mind. Will Russia ever have such a situation? Even in a US-Russia conflict, US forces maneuver and attack in areas far larger than the kill radius of a tactical nuke. Plus, the US does have the forces at the strategic level to deter such a use of tactical nuclear weapons. We'll keep thinking this one through...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Choose: Russia or Georgia

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, writes in the Opinion page of today's WSJ. Here is a glimpse into our thoughts as we read his "opinion" piece:

In some Western nations an utterly one-sided picture has been painted of the recent crisis in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict. The statements of American officials would lead one to conclude that the crisis began when Russia sent in its troops to support its peacekeepers there.


Meticulously avoided in those statements: The decision of Tbilisi to use crude military force against South Ossetia in the early hours of Aug. 8. The Georgian army used multiple rocket launchers, artillery and air force to attack the sleeping city of Tskhinvali.

Some honest independent observers acknowledge that a surprised Russia didn't respond immediately. We started moving our troops in support of peacekeepers only on the second day of Georgia's ruthless military assault. Yes, our military struck sites outside of South Ossetia. When the positions of your peacekeepers and the civilian population they have been mandated to protect are shelled, the sources of such attacks are legitimate targets.

Luckily the "surprised Russia" had staged two mechanized infantry divisions just North of the border. Did the Georgian army strike at Russian forces from the pipeline and bridges outside S. Ossetia - those parts of Georgian infrastructure targeted by Russian aircraft?

Our military acted efficiently and professionally. It was an able ground operation that quickly achieved its very clear and legitimate objectives. It was very different, for example, from the U.S./NATO operation against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999, when an air bombardment campaign ran out of military targets and degenerated into attacks on bridges, TV towers, passenger trains and other civilian sites, even hitting an embassy.

How about some caviar with that whine, eh comrade? Bet you didn't see the Polish-US missile defense agreement coming either. Did ya? The G8 conversion to the G7 is next. No thugs allowed.

In this instance, Russia used force in full conformity with international law, its right of self-defense, and its obligations under the agreements with regard to this particular conflict. Russia could not allow its peacekeepers to watch acts of genocide committed in front of their eyes, as happened in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica in 1995.

International law is what those with tanks say it is. Always has been. Always will be. This means, however, if the US has tanks, its opinion is important here too...

ut what of the U.S.'s role leading up to this conflict? U.S. involvement with the Tbilisi regime—past and future—must be addressed to fully understand the conflict. When the mantra of the "Georgian democratic government" is repeated time and time again, does it mean that by U.S. standards, a democratic government is allowed to act in brutal fashion against a civilian population it claims to be its own, simply because it is "democratic"?

Another real issue is U.S. military involvement with the government of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Did Washington purposely encourage an irresponsible and unpredictable regime in this misadventure? If the U.S. couldn't control Tbilisi's behavior before, why do some in the U.S. seek to rush to rearm the Georgian military now?

Russia, by contrast, remains committed to a peaceful resolution in the Caucasus.

Ok comrade. We're going to stop reading here. If you promised, yet again, in this 'opinion' piece to remove your forces from Georgia, our missing it won't matter. Will it?

So Sergey, you want a choice? Ok.

We choose a peaceful democracy.
We choose Georgia.
We choose an environment where journalists don't fear for their lives if they openly criticize their government.
We choose Georgia.
We choose those who are willing to fight a superpower for their freedom.
We choose Georgia.
We choose those who do not invade sovereign neighbors with 2 divisions and a weak claim of victimhood.
We choose Georgia.

In other "news", Pravda publishes a DailyKos-like opinion article about Secretary Rice: Condoleeza Rice and the insult to international diplomacy. This is hard-hitting journalism one should expect from the remaining Russian journalists... and their comrades in the US media!

In the equation which makes up the odious, criminal and murderous Bush regime and its murderous, criminal and odious foreign policy, the constant factor is constituted by a teacher, promoted to positions way above her personal and intellectual station by a gullible fool of a President. This teacher, whose sheer incompetence as National Security Advisor and as Secretary of State is today so blatantly apparent, goes by the name of Condoleeza Rice.
The constant arrogance and hypocrisy of this failed female makes it that much more apparent that here is a person way out of her depth. Instead of regarding sensitive issues from a balanced viewpoint as she is supposed to do, this incompetent loud-mouthed, bad-mannered, bullshit-mongering bimbo takes one side, ignores the other and then speaks down from a holier-than-thou platform as if she were on a lecture dias.
This is not a classroom, Condoleeza Rice, and you are not a diplomat. You are a liar, a cheap, shallow, failed, wannabe actress on the diplomatic stage. This is the real world and out here, you have to be prepared to face up to your responsibilities.

Can we assume the Kremlin is behind this language? Could we also assume that Secretary Rice may be applying the proper pressure in the appropriate places? In other words, can we say she is using a little more hammer than sickle?

U/T: James Taranto for the Pravda link.

Wednesday Morning Cigar

Christmas came early! We received our official Obama Energy Plan tire gauge today!

MSM Response to Obama VP Pick

Here is what we expect from the MSM once Obama announces his VP pick. MSM outlets: please give us due credit if you decide to use our material. Thanks.

It is no wonder Barack Obama kept us in suspense! This magnanimous announcement of the distinguished ___ for VP was worth the wait as much as it was transcendent. ___ will compliment the ticket with __X__ (choose: years, months) of experience as a pragmatist and seasoned problem-solver with successes in ____ (choose: Global, National, or Hollywood) challenges. Barack Obama is clearly selfless in his VP choice, obviously willing to share the stage with ___. Clearly Obama has put America and her problems first and foremost, ahead of any personal ambition or praise.

Choosing ___ is a serious choice made by a serious candidate. The benefits to the campaign are incalculable. Incomputable. It is too early for polling data, but this decision is expected to thrust the Obama campaign to numbers rarely seen in modern politics.

The excitement Obama has injected into his campaign by naming ___ as VP is in stark contrast to the failed policies of the Republican Party and their chosen successor to George W. Bush, John McCain. The Obama campaign, in this first-class VP selection, has once again demonstrated a noticeable shift away from illegal wars, alienation of allies, and failed diplomacy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Henry Poole

We read the movie description for Henry Poole Is Here, a movie that opened this weekend, and didn't think much of it. Then we read Debbie Schlussel's review - here - and decided to give it a try.

Here is our review:


UT: Debbie

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Russia Losing the PR War?

The Foreign Policy Association's Russia blog has a post called The CNN Effect: A Tale of Two Wars. This is a great review of media coverage of the Russian-Georgian conflict which suggests Georgia won the PR war while taking the inevitable loss on the ground. Is it possible the Russians have lost their ability to sway the useful idiots in the US media??

What is troubling is the US media’s willingness to similarly tow the party line, but in the absence of any of the coercive measures, such as the state censorship, that the Russian press endures. There have been no William Dunbars on CNN, despite the fact that every report I’ve seen on the channel yesterday had been framed as “Russian invasion”, with endless clips of Saakashvili alleging Russian crimes etc, in a loop of totally pro-Georgian coverage. Georgia is a key US ally, the 3rd largest troop contingent in Iraq, and occupies a strategic, oil rich zone. The self-policing in the US media, which has basically been uncritically promoting government talking points, is very disturbing.

To the uninformed viewer, it was Russia, not Georgia, which used the cover of the Olympic games to invade; in reality, they both did.

The blog Classical Values is calling Georgia the victor based on the cease-fire agreements. A very detailed review of the latest developments.

I can't find a link now, but at the start of the conflict Russians were asking the Georgian President to step down and that he be tried for war crimes. That is not going to happen.

UPDATE 8.18: Let's see if this gains momentum...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

Georgia dominates this week's weekend reading, and there are plenty to choose from. To keep this to a minimum, we deferred to a known list of authors. We posted other articles in a post three days ago - link.

John McCain writes in the WSJ Thursday - We are all Georgians:

As the NATO secretary general has said, Georgia remains in line for alliance membership, and I hope NATO will move ahead with a membership track for both Georgia and Ukraine.

At the same time, we must make clear to Russia's leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world. The U.S. has cancelled a planned joint military exercise with Russia, an important step in this direction.

Garry Kasparov also writes in Thursday's WSJ - How the West Fueled Putin's Sense of Impunity:

Russia reverted to a KGB dictatorship while Mr. Putin was treated as an equal at G-8 summits. Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and Germany's Gerhardt Schroeder became Kremlin business partners. Mr. Putin discovered democratic credentials could be bought and sold just like everything else. The final confirmation was the acceptance of Dmitry Medvedev in the G-8, and on the world stage. The leaders of the Free World welcomed Mr. Putin's puppet, who had been anointed in blatantly faked elections.
Mr. Sarkozy is attempting to remedy a crisis he helped bring about. Last April, France opposed the American push to fast-track Georgia's North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership. This was one of many missed opportunities that collectively built up Mr. Putin's sense of impunity. In this way the G-7 nations aided and abetted the Kremlin's ambitions.

Commie Obama Rally Cap owner John R. Bolton offers suggestions in Thursday's - After Russia's Invasion of Georgia, What Now for the West?

...we should have a foreign-minister-level meeting of Nato to reverse the spring capitulation at Bucharest, and to decide that Georgia and Ukraine will be Nato’s next members. By drawing the line clearly, we are not provoking Russia, but doing just the opposite: letting them know that aggressive behaviour will result in costs that they will not want to bear, thus stabilising a critical seam between Russia and the West. In effect, we have already done this successfully with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
If Europeans are not willing to engage through Nato, that tells us everything we need to know about the true state of health of what is, after all, supposedly a “North Atlantic” alliance.

Charles Krauthammer offers suggestions in his Townhall article - Time to get Serious with Russia:

What is to be done? Let's be real. There's nothing to be done militarily. What we can do is alter Putin's cost-benefit calculations.

We are not without resources. There are a range of measures to be deployed if Russia does not live up to its cease-fire commitments:

1. Suspend the NATO-Russia Council established in 2002 to help bring Russia closer to the West. Make clear that dissolution will follow suspension. The council gives Russia a seat at the NATO table. Message: Invading neighboring democracies forfeits the seat.

2. Bar Russian entry to the World Trade Organization.

3. Dissolve the G-8. Putin's dictatorial presence long made it a farce but no one wanted to upset the bear by expelling it. No need to. The seven democracies simply withdraw. Then immediately announce the reconstitution of the original G-7.

4. Announce a U.S.-European boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi. To do otherwise would be obscene. Sochi is 15 miles from Abkhazia, the other Georgian province just invaded by Russia. The Games will become a riveting contest between the Russian, Belarusian and Jamaican bobsled teams.

And the WSJ editorial board closes the week with Making Putin Pay. Here is the lead paragraph, and a great suggestion:

Vladimir Putin proved last weekend that Russia's army can push over Georgia's army. In the past 48 hours, the West has begun to push back. If its leaders stay the course, they may yet turn Mr. Putin's meager military success into a significant political defeat.
Yesterday the Russians said their General Prosecutor's Office would undertake a "genocide probe" in South Ossetia, and they called for putting President Saakashvili on trial at the Hague for "war crimes." As it happens, Chapter 1, Article II of the U.N. Charter, signed amid the smashed borders of World War II, forbids Members from the "use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." The U.S. and France should force Mr. Putin's U.N. ambassador to veto a Security Council resolution describing his week-long mockery of those words.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Afternoon Cigar

We turned the front placard around to "Hillary '08" in honor of her latest victory. She will get a floor vote on her nomination in Denver... as a sign of unity. That's like Rielle Hunter advising Elizabeth Edwards on bed linens in order to put the whole affair/love child thing behind them. Another Rocky Patel Edge was freed from Humidor Hell.

Stick that in your Ushanka, Putin!

Bloomberg reports the US and Poland signed a deal today to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski:

Only people of ill intent should fear this agreement.

Let's start negotiations to increase the number to 500. How does Friday sound?

Endorsement Non-News

Are there any members surprised at this week's Obama endorsement by the Communist Party USA?

A broad multiclass, multiracial movement is converging around Obama’s “Hope, change and unity” campaign because they see in it the thrilling opportunity to end 30 years of ultra-right rule and move our nation forward with a broadly progressive agenda.
The struggle to defeat the ultra-right and turn our country on a positive path will not end with Obama’s election. But that step will shift the ground for successful struggles going forward.

Read it all - here.


PUMA, or Party Unity My Ass, is something to watch in the next two weeks. PUMA is a movement of disaffected Hillary supporters that reject the unity message of the Obama campaign and the DNC. This movement is pushing Delegates and Super Delegates to either repeat their support for Hillary, or change their vote to Hillary.

PUMA's message is clear: 1) Obama is not electable. 2) Obama was nominated by selection, not election.

Watch for PUMA references in Denver! Here is a taste - a snippet from PUMA PAC:

Gov. Rendell’s pressure on delegates to pipe down and fall in line is just one of many in a concerted, serious, and outrageous effort to hold the Unity Pony in check at ALL COSTS. Delegates in Colorado being threatened with replacement if they sign the 300 Petition; delegates in Kentucky told they will be “primaried” and punished by the Party if they ask for a roll call vote and nomination. And outrageous (and I mean OUTRAGEOUS) pressure on Hillary to RELEASE her delegates immediately in order to KILL the NOMINATION question DEAD.

Here are some links we found on the PUMA movement:

The Denver Group
Just Say No Deal
The Confluence
YouTube: TristKiss

Hillary Supporters of the World, Unite!

Glenn Beck Wears Our Hat - Again!

This time as he introduces Jon Voight in the segment, Modern Day McCarthyism?

Link to Jon Voight's Washington Times op-ed, My Concerns for America.

The Democratic Party, in its quest for power, has managed a propaganda campaign with subliminal messages, creating a God-like figure in a man who falls short in every way. It seems to me that if Mr. Obama wins the presidential election, then Messrs. Farrakhan, Wright, Ayers and Pfleger will gain power for their need to demoralize this country and help create a socialist America.

Link to the first time Glenn wore our hat.

Thanks again, Glenn!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The New (Cold?) War

They're saying we are entering a new Cold War. Don't people have to stop dying for the war to be "Cold"?

Russia agreed to France's cease fire proposal two days ago. Reports of continued Russian aggression in S. Ossetia, Gori and the port city, Poti, are still coming in. To say this is still in response to some peacekeepers in S. Ossetia being abused - reports that are still unconfirmed - is to be generous at best.

To restate our motivation here at Communism is the biggest threat to the free world. Period.

Here is a wrap-up of three WSJ articles from today, the latest from President Bush, reported by Bloomberg, and our $0.02.

Melik Kaylan explains how this is a war for oil, that the conflict in Georgia is the start of pressure on other former Soviet states, that pressure on the Caucasus states and Central Asian states will negatively influence our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and any future pressure we wish to apply to Iran. Opinion article, Welcome Back to the Great Game.

Having overestimated the power of the Soviet Union in its last years, we have consistently underestimated the ambitions of Russia since. Already, a great deal has been said about the implications of Russia's invasion for Ukraine, the Baltic States and Europe generally. But few have noticed the direct strategic threat of Moscow's action to U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Kremlin is not about to reignite the Cold War for the love of a few thousand Ossetians or even for its animosity toward five million Georgians. This is calculated strategic maneuvering. And make no mistake, it's about countering U.S. power at its furthest stretch with Moscow's power very close to home.
According to Georgian authorities, Russian warplanes have tried to demolish the Georgian leg of that pipeline several times in the last days. Their message cannot be clearer.
We could walk away from this challenge, hoping for things to cool off, and let the Russians impose sway over the lower Caucasus for now. But no one will fail to notice our weakness. If we don't draw the line here, it doesn't get easier down the road with any other border or country. We would be risking the future of Afghanistan, and the stability of Iraq, on the good will of Moscow and the mullahs in Tehran. This is how the game of grand strategy is played, whether we like it or not.

In the WSJ editorial, Bush and Georgia, US credibility is rightly questioned, and suggestions offered.

President Bush finally condemned Russia's actions on Monday after a weekend of Olympics tourism in Beijing while Georgia burned. Meanwhile, the State Department dispatched a mid-level official to Tbilisi, and unnamed Administration officials carped to the press that Washington had warned Georgia not to provoke Moscow. That's hardly a show of solidarity with a Eurasian democracy that has supported the U.S. in Iraq with 2,000 troops.
The NATO leader also said Georgia's potential membership remains "very much alive" and that it would be a member of NATO one day. Georgia and Ukraine's applications come up again in December, and perhaps even Germany, which blocked their membership bids earlier this year, will now rethink its objections given that its refusal may have encouraged Russia to assume it could reassert control over its "near abroad."
The Georgian people also deserve U.S. support. One way to demonstrate that would be a "Tbilisi airlift," ferrying military and humanitarian supplies to the Georgian capital, which is currently cut off by Russian troops from its Black Sea port. Secretary of State Rice or Defense Secretary Robert Gates should be in one of the first planes.

The front page article, Russia Agrees to Halt War by Jay Solomon, Neil King and Marc Champion offers background on the tensions between the two countries. Here are the comments regarding NATO:

Russia succeeded in its military goals. It punished Georgia's President Saakashvili and demonstrated to its neighbors that it is the sole military power in the region.
President Bush has been a big supporter of expanding NATO membership to include former Soviet states including Georgia and Ukraine. NATO, a mutual defense pact, was started following World War II to contain the Soviet Union. Under its rules, an attack on any single member is considered an attack on all.

Mr. Bush pressed hard after the attacks of Sept. 11, seeing Eastern Europe as a proving ground for the "freedom agenda" he hoped would revamp the Middle East and Central Asia. He reveled in the gains U.S. policy produced, culminating in 2004, when Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were accepted for NATO membership.

The latest: Holly Rosenkrantz at Bloomberg reports President Bush's latest warning to Russia. A US cargo plane is en route and Secretary Rice will be dispatched to Tbilisi. George W. Bush:

Russia's ongoing actions raise serious questions about its intentions in Georgia and the region.
We're concerned about reports that Russian forces have entered and taken positions in the port city of Poti, that Russian armored vehicles are blocking access to that port, and that Russia is blowing up Georgian vessels

Our suggestions:
1) Push for early NATO consideration for Ukraine and Georgia. December is too long of a wait. Threaten retroactive membership if Russia pushes.
2) Return the G-7 to the original seven.
3) Postpone WTO membership one year. Two if Russia pushes.
4) Supply the Georgians with useful supplies. A Russian plane falling from the sky, or several tanks destroyed by a land mine are paradigm-shifting events.
5) Open all US to drilling to bring the price of oil as low as possible for the foreseeable future.
6) Expedite both the missile shield in Europe, and the designs for its larger-scale successor.
7) Begin arrangements to move the US Army Division out of Germany and into Ukraine.

Harsh, you say? Then you haven't been paying attention to Russia's behavior these past few years.

Cartoons found at


Most of the Hammer & Sickle cartoons we post are related to policies of the US Democratic Party.

Should we assume, now that the symbol has returned to its original owners, that the US and Russia will coexist in peace? Or just the US Democrats and Russia?

Cartoons found at Townhall.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New McCain Ad

First there is debate. But if one party doesn't want to debate...
Second comes sarcasm. But some say sarcasm is 'harsh', or 'in bad taste'...
Third comes mockery. When the other party relies on moral equivalence for relevance...

UT: McCain Campaign

Gang of 5

Why couldn't the Senate take 5 weeks of vacation?

WSJ's Kimberley A. Strassel had the phones ringing at US Senate offices on Friday after her article Republican Energy Fumble hit daylight. Rush Limbaugh started with her article, and by the end of his show he had one of the Senators calling his show trying to explain this failure in Republican leadership wasn't a failure in Republican leadership. Read here.

In short, five Republican senators joined five Democrats in a "bipartisan" energy agreement last week, an agreement that Strassel says "The Sierra Club couldn't have penned it better". An act that runs counter to the great efforts by 30-some House Republicans working in the dark to bring us more US oil, now.

That's because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast -- putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska's oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.
Not one of the five Republicans in the Gang is facing a tough election this year. That's the sort of security that leads to bad decisions. And theirs is the sort of thinking that could leave Republicans in a permanent minority.

THIS is why, when asked if I'm a Republican, that I say "no, I'm a conservative". This isn't a Gang of 10 bipartisan agreement. It is a Gang of 5 surrender of the one of the best political issues since Hillary Care in 94. As Rush explained to Saxby Chambliss, some in congress live to compromise and reach agreements, and others are there to defeat the Democrats.

The Gang of 5 (pictured above): Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker, John Thune, and Lindsey Graham.

U/T: Kim

Monday Afternoon Cigar

We smoked a Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 as we added our blog posts for the day.


We finished the June 2008 book today - Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent, by Fred Burton.

This is a great review of the terror attacks in the 80s and 90s from a State Department DSS counterterrorism agent on the front lines. Fred Burton was one of three agents in the CT group when he joined the department, and led the department's expansion into a full CT operation. Some interesting facts about Lybia, the KGB's role in the assassination of Pakistan's president AND the US Ambassador to Pakistan. He even shares some little-known information on Lee Harvey Oswald.

Buy Now - Amazon Link

Russia & Georgia

We are still forming opinions on the Russia-Georgia conflict. Here are some early thoughts, some early clips, and some additional links.

Our thoughts:

1) Russia's aggression gives the US and Israel a green light for strikes against Iran. Let the cycle of violence continue!
2) Russia's aggression gives the US a powerful reason to begin drilling - everywhere. The hint of US drilling has brought the oil price down from $150/barrel to today's $113/barrel. Putin/Medvedev & Co. feel this dip, and deserve to feel more.
3) As a US taxpayer, I'd prefer my tax dollars to go towards a large, covert shipment of anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to Georgia.
4) The whole "Democracies don't go to war with democracies" theory is dead. New rule: "Powerful democracies ruled by thugs go to war with other democracies".
5) This is all about Georgia's desire to join NATO. Russia caring about their peacekeepers in South Ossetia? If anything, Russia wanted their peacekeepers attacked to give some credibility to military action. The level of military action shows this has nothing to do with the well being of the Russian peacekeeper.
6) With over 2000 dead in three days, many of them civilians, we're still waiting for Pelosi, Reid and Obama to denounce this illegal war.

Ok. Maybe we have formed some conclusions...

We're learning the history in this region as the story develops. We turned to the WSJ for some core facts:

Marc Champion and Andrew Osborn write the first full WSJ piece in Saturday's (Aug. 9) paper, Russia, Georgia Clash Over Breakaway Province:

The U.S. has strongly supported Georgia's bid to join NATO. Late last month, the U.S. conducted joint military exercises that included 1,000 U.S. troops and 600 Georgian troops just outside Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. The exercises were called "Immediate Response."

Both the Georgian and the Russian sides have been upping the ante of late. Moscow in April persuaded Germany, a NATO member, to block Georgia's bid to start membership talks, in part because of the unresolved disputes with Russia and separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But NATO also set a date in December to review the question.

Since then, Russia has taken a series of provocative steps. They include offering legal recognition to Abkhazia's separatist government, sending additional troops into the territory, and shooting down a Georgian drone aircraft. Georgian officials have said these moves amount to a creeping annexation.
"We are being attacked because we want to be free," President Saakashvili told CNN. Separately, he told a news briefing that Russia's actions flouted Georgia's sovereignty. "One hundred fifty Russian tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles have entered South Ossetia," he said. "This is a clear intrusion on another country's territory."

Same paper, editorial War in the Caucasus:

"War has started," Vladimir Putin said yesterday as Georgian and Russian forces fought over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia. War is certainly what the two countries have seemed to want for some time, and the chances of avoiding a drawn-out conflict now are slim.

It's unclear at this stage which side is more at fault for the current fighting. Georgia says it moved on the South Ossetian city of Tskhinvali yesterday after rebels there broke a cease-fire. But President Mikheil Saakashvili has long pledged to retake South Ossetia and another separatist area, Abkhazia, and may have underestimated Moscow's reaction.
The biggest question now is whether Moscow will simply try to restore the previous status quo in South Ossetia -- with Russia and the rebels controlling most of the territory -- or go further and crush Georgia while deposing Mr. Saakashvili. Russian state TV yesterday reported that Georgian soldiers had killed at least 10 Russian troops and were "finishing off" wounded Russians, a worrisome sign that the Kremlin is trying to inflame public opinion ahead of a major operation.
Western leaders should have seen this coming. Russia has baited the hot-tempered Georgian leader with trade and travel embargoes as well as saber-rattling. Georgia has had to tolerate a few thousand Russian troops on its soil -- only Moscow recognizes the self-declared independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And in April, Russia downed a Georgian drone over Abkhaz -- that is, Georgian -- air space. Russia in recent years has also granted citizenship to the separatists. That looks like premeditation now: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged yesterday to "protect the lives and dignity of Russian citizens, no matter where they are located."

Other Links:

HotAir - Ukraine Enters Caucasus Fray

Washington Post, Robert Kagan - Putin Makes His Move

This war did not begin because of a miscalculation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a war that Moscow has been attempting to provoke for some time.
His war against Georgia is part of this grand strategy. Putin cares no more about a few thousand South Ossetians than he does about Kosovo's Serbs. Claims of pan-Slavic sympathy are pretexts designed to fan Russian great-power nationalism at home and to expand Russia's power abroad.
Historians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. Russia's attack on sovereign Georgian territory marked the official return of history

New York Times, Bill Kristol - Will Russia Get Away With It?

But Georgia, a nation of about 4.6 million, has had the third-largest military presence — about 2,000 troops — fighting along with U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq. For this reason alone, we owe Georgia a serious effort to defend its sovereignty. Surely we cannot simply stand by as an autocratic aggressor gobbles up part of — and perhaps destabilizes all of — a friendly democratic nation that we were sponsoring for NATO membership a few months ago.

WSJ, Georgia President MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI - The War In Georgia is a War For the West

Our offers of peace were rejected. Moscow sought war. In April, Russia began treating the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as Russian provinces. Again, our friends in the West asked us to show restraint, and we did. But under the guise of peacekeeping, Russia sent paratroopers and heavy artillery into Abkhazia. Repeated provocations were designed to bring Georgia to the brink of war.

When this failed, the Kremlin turned its attention to South Ossetia, ordering its proxies there to escalate attacks on Georgian positions. My government answered with a unilateral cease-fire; the separatists began attacking civilians and Russian tanks pierced the Georgian border. We had no choice but to protect our civilians and restore our constitutional order. Moscow then used this as pretext for a full-scale military invasion of Georgia.

Over the past days, Russia has waged an all-out attack on Georgia. Its tanks have been pouring into South Ossetia. Its jets have bombed not only Georgian military bases, but also civilian and economic infrastructure, including demolishing the port of Poti on the Black Sea coast. Its Black Sea fleet is now massing on our shores and an attack is under way in Abkhazia.

Blog Link - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is blogging the war.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Afternoon Cigar

We burned a Rocky Patel Edge as we kept one eye on the Olympics, one eye on the Russian-Georgia conflict, and one eye on the Edwards admission of a loveless affair. What a day.

Karl's Weekend Reading

Commie Obama Ushanka owner and former UN Ambassador, John R. Bolton, explains the five reasons why sooner is better than later when dealing with Iran militarily. Tuesday's WSJ, While Diplomats Dither, Iran Builds Nukes:

Can we believe that if diplomacy fails we can still take military action "in time" to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons? "Just in time" nonproliferation assumes a level of intelligence certainty concerning Iran's nuclear program that recent history should manifestly caution us against.

Every day that goes by allows Iran to increase the threat it poses, and the viability of the military option steadily declines over time. There are a number of reasons why this is so.

Fellow Cubs fan, George Will, writes in Townhall about Obama's Berlin speech - If Berlin Can't Close the Deal, What Will?

Does Obama have the sort of adviser a candidate most needs -- someone sufficiently unenthralled to tell him when he has worked one pedal on the organ too much? If so, Obama should be told: Enough, already, with the we-are-who-we-have-been-waiting-for rhetorical cotton candy that elevates narcissism to a political philosophy.

And no more locutions such as "citizen of the world" and "global citizenship." If they meant anything in Berlin, they meant that Obama wanted Berliners to know that he is proudly cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitanism is not, however, a political asset for American presidential candidates. Least of all is it an asset for Obama, one of whose urgent needs is to seem comfortable with America's vibrant and very un-European patriotism, which is grounded in a sense of virtuous exceptionalism.

Daniel Henninger calls Obama and Pelosi "environmaniacs" in his WSJ opinion piece, Environmania.

Don't be oil-industry deniers. Mr. Obama and Rep. Pelosi want to hammer and punish the only players on the field who actually know how to put massive amounts of energy on the grid. Don't we want them using their resources to drill here, rather than off in some godforsaken place producing gushers of cash for people who want to pound us into a hole? We need Smart Oil on our side for at least 10 years.

Democrats this week chose the prayer of alternative energy over proven prosperity. They've handed prosperity in the here-and-now to the Republicans. Run with it.

WSJ's Mary Anastasia O'Grady writes in Monday's Opinion section about Hector Palacios, a cuban dissident who recently left a Cuban prison for heart surgery in Spain. Palacios is planning to return to Cuba, and most likely prison upon his return, because he believes the communist system there is near collapse.

Mr. Palacios told me that the aggressiveness of the ministry of the interior has diminished in the past two years. This supports the theory, which has been gaining currency among Cuba watchers, that there are widening cracks inside the regime and among the traditional pro-government set.
Mr. Palacios believes that if Fidel were to die to tomorrow, Raúl would let the political prisoners go free. That's a surprising but not necessarily charitable take on the ruthless Raúl. It suggests that he knows the nation is near insurrection and that only with change can he survive. He certainly knows that dissidents are not going away.

Ann Coulter reacts to the Edwards affair in her Townhall article, Only His Hair Dresser Knows For Sure.

The mainstream media's reaction to the National Enquirer's reports on John Edwards' "love child" scandal has been reminiscent of the Soviet press. Edwards' name has simply been completely whitewashed out of the news.
I assume it would be jejune to point out that the MSM would be taking the wall-to-wall approach, rather than the total blackout approach, to the love child story if it were a story about Mitt Romney's love child or, indeed, Larry Craig's love child. They'd bring Ted Koppel out of retirement to cover that. Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Charles Gibson would be anchoring the evening news from Romney's front yard. They might even get Dan Rather to produce some forged documents for the occasion.

But with a Democrat sex scandal, the L.A. Times is in a nail-biting competition with The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC, NBC and CBS for the Pulitzer for "Best Suppressed Story."

Victor Davis Hanson comments on the poor showing by Obama in his Townhall article, Hillary's Growing Shadow.

So, everyone is puzzled why the Democratic candidate isn't at least 10 points ahead. It seems the more Americans get used to Barack Obama, the less they want him as president -- and the more Democrats will soon regret not nominating Hillary Clinton.
If the polls are right, a public tired of Republicans is beginning to think an increasingly bothersome Obama would be no better -- and maybe a lot worse. It is one thing to suggest to voters that they should shed their prejudices, eat less and be more cosmopolitan. But it is quite another when the sermonizer himself too easily evokes race, weekly changes his mind and often sounds like he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

In a tough year like this, Democrats could probably have defeated Republican John McCain with a flawed, but seasoned candidate like Hillary Clinton. But long-suffering liberals convinced their party to go with a messiah rather than a dependable nominee -- and thereby they probably will get neither.

Charles Krauthammer discusses the same topic in his Townhall article, The Democrat Plan for Losing.

The Italian Communist Party could win this election. The American Democratic Party is trying its best to lose it.
On the other hand, drilling requires no government program, no newly created bureaucracy, no pie-in-the-sky technologies that no one has yet invented. It requires only one thing, only one act. Lift the moratorium. Private industry will do the rest. And far from draining the treasury, it will replenish it with direct taxes, and with the indirect taxes from the thousands of non-subsidized new jobs created.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Speed Cameras to Catch Illegal Guns

Illinois takes the Slippery Slope light off of California as the governor has endorsed a plan to install speed cameras on the interstate freeways. Not to catch speeders, which will provide the byproduct of $90 million in state revenue, mind you. No, the purpose for a speed camera in Illinois is to find illegal guns.

See the Sun Times article if you want to hear more liberal-speak about how less freedom and more government control is good.

We guess Illinois is still embarrassed about that whole Jake and Elwood misunderstanding...


A hearty Ushanka Tip to Hugh Hewitt for posting this story.

USMC Corporal Garrett Jones lost his left leg above the knee in a roadside bombing in Iraq on July 23, 2007. In just a year, he has not only recovered, but has redeployed, now in Afghanistan.

LA Times Story

2008 Olympics

Let the games begin!

Charles Krauthammer made the following comment on FoxNews:

Look, if you are going to have Olympics in a dictatorship, you have to expect stuff to happen, and it's happening. The curtailment of the internet, the putdown and protests.

And what we saw, the protesters in the street today are women, mostly older people who are -- a million driven out of their homes-- to make room for the plush hotels that westerners will be staying in, and athletes will be staying in.

That's what happens in a command economy, in a command society that's run by Leninists. So you have got to expect that.

But look, this is a political event. When the Olympics were given to countries like Italy, Japan, and Germany in the 60's and 70's, it was a way to welcome them back into the international community after the second World War.

It's also a way of anointing a country as a great power--Nazi Germany in '36, the Soviet Union in '80, although it went awry because of Afghanistan, Seoul in '88, and now China. This is a coming out. It is an announcement of her status as a great power. That's what all of this is about.

And Ellen Bork writes in today's WSJ, Don't Forget About China's Dissidents.

Estimates of the number of people employed to monitor the Internet run into the tens of thousands. According to Reporters Without Borders, at least 50 Internet dissidents are in jail. Of course, none of this will be visible to a foreign visitor.

Pollution, skyscrapers and development reflect China's rapid economic growth, not political change. There have been no significant political reforms in China since the 1980s. Meanwhile, economic growth has enabled more intense but sophisticated approach to political repression.

Meanwhile, the never-ending olympics continue in Washington...

Cartoons found at Townhall.

No Description Available

Don't call us racist! We just saw this on YouTube and had a good laugh.

This reminds us of our find on Hillary's site back in January - link

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Protests in Caracas

AP writer Ian James reports:

CARACAS, Venezuela - Riot police used tear gas Wednesday to block hundreds of Venezuelans protesting the latest moves by President Hugo Chavez to concentrate his power. The demonstrators said a blacklist of opposition candidates and a series of socialist decrees are destroying what's left of their democracy.

Though the protest of about 1,000 people chanting "freedom!" was small compared to past marches, there is a growing public outcry over the sidelining of key government opponents ahead of state and local elections in November.

Decrees include: Civilian Militia, government confiscation of goods, control over food stocks, and prison sentences for business owners that violate government price controls. Sound familiar, Comrades?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon Cigar

We smoked a PG Soiree as we uploaded our latest video, Obama Record - Low Income Housing. Link

Obama's Record - Low Income Housing

Here is our latest video. It is a sad tale about a housing area called Grove Parc in Chicago. This is the area where Obama gave four years as a community organizer, four years in a law firm offering neighborhood economic development, 8 years as Grove Parc's representative in the Illinois State Senate, and four years as a US Senator.

Grove Parc received TWENTY years of Obama's attention. The streets should be paved in gold, right?

Three questions:

1) Should Obama be given yet another chance to help this community?

2) Do the residents of Grove Parc appreciate his help thus far?

3) Is it worth risking that the rest of America will resemble Grove Parc after an Obama administration?

U/T: Pictures are from Doug Ross' blog.

Quotes from the article, Grim proving ground for Obama's housing policy. See their video at the article too.

Comparison: Obama & Castro

U/T: The Astute Bloggers

Monday, August 04, 2008

Commie Inspirations

Even Obama's German enthusiasts see the links in this video we found at Ed Driscoll's site.

Somebody is Thinking

The latest from the McCain camp. Click, donate, and get your very own "Obama Energy Plan".

We made our very first campaign donation today.

MSM Bias - Spike Detected

Daily visitors will have noticed an obvious spike (>2x) in the number of biased headlines posted to our home page. We'll watch your ratings to confirm our suspicions that the bias intensity has increased as well.

Here are some of the August headlines (go to the home page for links, voting and commenting):

Can Paulson Save the Economy?
Interview: McCain on Energy, Torture and Gaffes
Obama leads McCain among low-wage workers: poll

Obama says offshore drilling stance nothing new
GOP convention attracting array of demonstrators
A Push to Wrest More Oil From Land, but Most New Wells Are foe Natural Gas

GOP takes over empty House floor
Obama's Paris Visit Captivates French Minorities
Obama Camp See Potential GOP Discontent

Poll: Hispanic Voters Back Obama by Wide Margins Did Obama Snub Wounded Troops? McCain Links Castro With Obama

Is there a sense among the liberal elites that 'Everything Seemingly is Spining Out of Control'?

Update 3PM PST: We found a good video on MSM bias, released today, at Ed Driscoll's site. U/T to Ed.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's Hot in Iraq

Classic: "I know I got it made, because they see their reflection in my aviator shades"

Deployed to war.
Separated from their families.
Suffering 110+ degree heat.
Risking all for our freedom.
Keeping that American GI sense of humor!

Friday, August 01, 2008

We Called It!

Obama is hinting of an ANOTHER flip flop - offshore drilling. We called it in our July 15th Mac vs PC video below.

We're hoping Obama will come out in support of school vouchers next. Change!

Link to story

Friday Afternoon Cigar

We smoked a Rocky Patel Edge as we crafted our latest Mac vs. PC script. Video will be posted in a few days!

Where are the Manners?

Oh, the humanity!

The best campaign ads are the ones that use the opponent's own words. We hope McCain is ready for the counter-attack. Obama will have plenty of material to work with...

So, was McCain just giving lip service to running a polite and clean campaign? Or, as the issues and differences become more clear, has McCain finally decided this election is too important to play nice? Whatever the reason...

Update 8.2: replaced the wide screen version with the YouTube version, and added Rusty's photoshop at The Jawa Report. Excellent!

Karl's Weekend Reading

"Is the $300'ish/year subscription to the WSJ enough, or should we be paying them more?" That was the question on our lips Tuesday morning when we opened the opinion section. It is one of those days where we clear the next hour of our morning schedule and pour a large cup of coffee. The first three recommendations below are from Tuesday's paper, the fourth from Thursday's.

Garry Kasparov criticizes Obama for the missing message in his Berlin speech in Obama Should Stand Up to Russia's Regime. The missing message: lack of confrontation towards countries that do not respect human rights. Primarily, Russia and China.

The stage for his disappointing performance was set several weeks ago, when the Illinois senator rejected John McCain's proposal to eject Russia and exclude China from the Group of Eight (G-8). Mr. Obama's response during a July 13 interview on CNN -- "We have to engage and get them involved" -- suggests that it is impossible to work with Russia and China on economic and nuclear nonproliferation issues while also standing up for democracy and human rights.

It has repeatedly been shown that the exact opposite is true.

The U.S. does not cede leverage with authoritarian governments when it confronts them about their crimes. Instead, the U.S. increases its credibility and influence with foes and friends alike. Placating regimes like those in Russia and China today only entrenches hostile, antidemocratic forces.
In short, the candidate of change sounds like he would perpetuate the destructive double standards of the current administration. Meanwhile, the supposedly hidebound Mr. McCain is imaginative enough to suggest that if something is broken you should try to fix it. Giving Russia and China a free pass on human rights to keep them "at the table" has helped lead to more arms and nuclear aid to Iran, a nuclear North Korea, and interference from both nations in solving the tragedies in Darfur and Zimbabwe.

Stanford economics professor Michael J. Boskin reviews the tax changes of an Obama Administration in Obamanomics Is a Recipe for Recession. Some high-income libs are in for a shock...

The top 35% marginal income tax rate rises to 39.6%; adding the state income tax, the Medicare tax, the effect of the deduction phase-out and Mr. Obama's new Social Security tax (of up to 12.4%) increases the total combined marginal tax rate on additional labor earnings (or small business income) from 44.6% to a whopping 62.8%. People respond to what they get to keep after tax, which the Obama plan reduces from 55.4 cents on the dollar to 37.2 cents -- a reduction of one-third in the after-tax wage!

Editorial writer William McGurn exposes the generous offer from Blackwater's CEO Erik Prince to train African Union soldiers to fight the Darfur murderers, and comments on the lack of interest in the best and cheapest solution to date.

Darfur gets plenty of news coverage from sympathetic reporters sickened by the carnage and devastation they have seen. What the people of Darfur do not get is an armed force capable of taking on the Janjaweed -- a horse-mounted militia. The Janjaweed has murdered men, gang-raped women, beaten children to death, and left poisoned wells and burnt-down villages in its wake.
Mr. Prince has a remedy. He believes that with 250 or so professionals, Blackwater can transform about a thousand of the African Union soldiers into an elite and highly mobile force. This force would also be equipped with helicopters and the kind of small planes that missionaries use in this part of the world. It would be cheaper than the hundreds of millions we are spending to set up a larger AU/U.N. force. And he says he'd do it at cost.
Strongly worded resolutions, sanctions and boycotts are generally what you do in place of decisive action. I understand that the whole idea of Blackwater helicopters flying over Darfur probably horrifies many of the same people frustrated by Mr. Bashir's ability to game the system. But it's at least worth wondering what that same Blackwater helo might look like to a defenseless Darfur mother and her daughters lying in fear of a Janjaweed attack.

Karl Rove discusses the "Iraq problems" that both candidates suffer from in Obama's Iraq Fumble. How each candidate resolves his Iraq issues will provide the voters valuable information on judgement and character. His comments on Obama:

Mr. Obama's problem is he opposed the policy that created the progress that makes victory in Iraq possible. Mr. Obama's unbending opposition to the surge undermines his fundamental argument that he has better judgment on national security. Mr. McCain needs to use Mr. Obama's retrospective mistake to shape voters' prospective conclusion, convincing them that Mr. Obama's badly flawed judgment on the surge shows he cannot be trusted with major foreign-policy decisions.

Mr. Obama also created a problem by canceling a visit to U.S. soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and are now recuperating at Landstuhl hospital in Germany. His campaign has offered a welter of explanations. What's the real one? My rule is that when in doubt, see what a candidate said at the time and judge his candor. In a July 26 London news conference, Mr. Obama explained: "I was going to be accompanied by one of my advisers, a former military officer. And we got notice that he would be treated as a campaign person, and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy, but he wasn't on the Senate staff."

The solution was obvious. Leave the campaign adviser behind and visit the wounded troops. Mr. Obama's decision to work out in the hotel gym instead adds to his growing reputation for arrogance.