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Monthly Archives: June 2009

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Peggy Noonan has a word of advice for the president: Do less.

Mr. Obama’s White House is, at the moment, like most new White Houses. Every administration wants to do great things. Or, rather, it wants greatness. It wants to break through on some great issue or issues and claim to be, as they used to say, consequential…It’s adult to see limits, it’s right and realistic.

That’s right. Obama should do less to fix this mess. While he’s at it, he can make government less intrusive. In other words, he can become a Republican. Thanks, Peggy. It’s always nice to get advice from the opposition.

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Newsweek interviews Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan’s defeated Supreme Court appointee who many pro lifers thought could help end abortion by overturning Roe. He finds the concept absurd.

“I oppose abortion. But an amazing number of people thought that I would outlaw abortion. They didn’t understand that not only did I have no desire to do that, but I had no power to do it. If you overrule Roe v. Wade, abortion does not become illegal. State legislatures take on the subject. The abortion issue has produced divisions and bitterness in our politics that countries don’t have where abortion is decided by legislatures.”

Of course, it should be remembered that shortly before Roe was made the law of the land, the legislature in California had just liberalized its abortion laws. The governor at the time was Ronald Reagan. Ironic.

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Only in America  could a little black boy grow up and become a gorgeous white woman. And we thought Barack Obama’s journey was improbable. RIP, laddy.

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JibJab has done it again.

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Dick Cheney has found a friend in the Obama Administration. Just as the current President decided to withold compromising photos of US torture, Obama is making sure the Cheney interview doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

In an afternoon U.S. District Court hearing in Washington, Judge Emmet Sullivan presided as Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith defended the government’s refusal to release the details of the Cheney interview. David Sobel, an attorney for the group suing for the documents, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was there to argue in favor of disclosure. Here’s how it went:

Sullivan asked if President Barack Obama’s appointees stood by the Bush administration’s steadfast refusal to make the Cheney interview public, noting, “there’s a new administration.”

“This has been vetted by the leadership offices,” Smith said. “This is a department position.”

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…“The government doesn’t want to have what’s in these documents end up on a late-night comedy show,” Sullivan said.

I guess a laugh riot might break out.

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And I got it. I just hope for Ahmandinejad’s sake that Iran has an electoral college and a Supreme Court. This is soooo year 2000!

Iran’s Guardian Council has announced a recount of disputed votes from last week’s election as massive protests continued in the streets of Tehran. It’s not clear how extensive the recount will be or whether it could threaten to upset the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who flew to Russia on Tuesday.

A spokesman was quoted by state media saying the council was “ready to recount the disputed ballot boxes claimed by some candidates, in the presence of their representatives,” and, “It is possible that there may be some changes in the tally after the recount.”

It does not appear likely that Ahmadinejad will lose his job, though a recount seemed like a remote possibility 24 hours ago.

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And raise you. There’s another Ayatollah in town, and boy is he pissed:

In the name of God

People of Iran

These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you brothers and sisters, old and  young alike, from any social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.

But unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and to counter people protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientifics.

Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you :

1- A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress all critical views. I fear that this lead to the lost of people’s faith in Islam.

2- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

3- I invite everyone, specially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues in calm, and not let those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.

4- I ask the police and army personals not to “sell their religion”, and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before god. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today censor and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth.

I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.

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We have seen the enemy and it is us. The New Republic explains why health care reform is unAmerican:

Two nations, the Netherlands and Switzerland, have health care systems that provide convenient, high-quality care to all citizens–for much less money than Americans pay now. And they do so exclusively through private insurance. If it were possible to re-create those systems here, the United States would be in good shape.

The problem is that it’s nearly impossible to re-create those systems, in which government regulation is far more aggressive than anything American policymakers are contemplating. Swiss insurers can’t even make profits from the basic benefits package; Dutch health care has heavy price controls. Both countries also have stronger traditions of social solidarity and corporate responsibility. The rules work, in part, because insurers feel duty-bound to follow them.

American insurers have no such tradition. On the contrary, the history of American health care is replete with examples of insurers–like all industries–trying to maximize their profits, often in ways that leave Americans without the financial protection or medical care that they need

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I think Donald Rumsfeld said that about the time our messy democracy was making a mess of Iraq. But then democracy is always messy when the incumbent and his mulahs steal the election. It tends to rile folks up. So “democracy” has to beat them back down. A word of advice, next time you steal an election, try not to make it look like a landslide. People in “democracies” are  dumb, but not that dumb.

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It was the shot heard round the world. A cheap shot at Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old’s expense. Something from which young Willow should have been spared. But that goes at the bottom of an already long list of unfortunate things this young teen has had to endure over the past year. Add this to a mother who ambitiously accepts a nomination that would bring your older sister’s premarital shame into the limelight. Or the ridicule that results from a clueless parent trying to bluff her way through questions about world affairs. Or having siblings with first names that sound like moving parts in a Chevy engine  (Willow definitely got the best of those freakshow monikers). Or the embarrassment of every dumb thing your parents do being broadcasted to the planet. Remember how embarrassed you were to be seen with your parents at 14? Multiply that times a gazillion. Oh, and by the way, snarky cheap shots, tasteless jokes and lame non sequiturs have always been Dave Letterman’s brand of humor. Kinda surprised people are just noticing it.

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Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry was winding up the base today. Apparently, having a pro-choice president is a recipe for increased violence. All this murder and mayhem is Obama’s fault. Gosh, here I am wanting to blame Sarah Palin and Randall Terry for all their over-the-top rhetoric. I was way off.

In response to a follow up question from The Washington Independent‘s Dave Weigel about the correlation between violent right wing extremism and Democratic administrations, Terry recalled a quote, which he believed to have originated with either Robert or John F. Kennedy: “When you make peaceful protest impossible, you make violent protest inevitable,” adding, “I can promise you this–there is visceral contempt for this administration,” in the pro-life community.

Pro-lifers are beginning to sound a lot like the pro-deathers. Thanks alot, Obama.

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John Ibbitson says Obama is no Reagan. I’m not sure he grasps his own point:

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. And these are the heroes who helped end a war.” – Ronald Reagan, address on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

“Friends and veterans, we cannot forget. What we must not forget is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and the selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century.” – Barack Obama, address on the 65th Anniversary of D-Day

Barack Obama’s speech at Normandy does not compare with Ronald Reagan’s.

Guided by the pen of Peggy Noonan, the 40th president used simple words married to an inspired cadence to evoke his deep, personal reverence for the men who fought in a war he watched. It was among the greatest of his performances.

Mr. Ibbitson, tear down this blog.

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Are people who believe that President Obama is not an actual U.S. citizen more likely to kill people at a Holocaust museum? Or are wackos just more inclined to blog about crazy conspiracy theories, then take their shotgun and shoot up the joint? The Huffington Post has the answer.

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In the USA,  gunliness is close to godliness. Or so a Kentucky pastor believes. It’s “Bring your Gun to Church Sunday.” And it falls so very close to “Gun Down an Abortionist Sunday.” What  are the odds?