LESS THAN JUST WORDS
Netanyahu's visit managed to overshadow even Obama's visit to the UK. Israeli leaders have come to Washington before, but rarely has it been such big news. The visit itself was significant mainly because Netanyahu kicked back against the narrative. His speech compromised on too many areas, but it was a show of independence against a leader who has no credibility on Israel. It was what so many conservatives and Jews wanted to hear.
How much any of it matters is another question. Netanyahu's warm reception makes applying pressure more difficult, but far from impossible. And Obama is certainly not throwing in the towel.
But where's the beef. Take Congressman Dan Burton's "H.R.1006 - Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2011" that would finally accomplish something as elementary as recognizing the actual birthplace of children born in Jerusalem and moving the embassy to the nation's capitol. How many of the congressmen and senators who made passionate speeches are really on board with it? If it gets through congress, will Harry Reid support it? A number of organizations are preparing to lobby for it this summer. But will there be traction? Are all the speeches more than just words.
MEET YOUR NEW POODLE.
While Netanyahu was telling off The Big Zero in his own house, over in the UK, Cameron had another slap waiting for him with a unilateral pullout. Back in the Bush days, UK leftists were complaining that Blair had become his poodle. Now Obama has become Cameron's poodle.
Obama joined in on Cameron and Sarkozy's Libyan adventure, only to have Cameron march the UK out of Afghanistan ahead of schedule. This weakens the administration's hand in negotiating with the Taliban. Cameron clearly doesn't give a damn. Just as he has no problem slashing the military budget, cutting up a carrier and then starting a war. Which puts him slightly ahead of Obama in the irresponsible world leader sweepstakes. But it also shows just how impotent Obama's foreign policy has become.
BORIS WINS AGAIN
In the ongoing saga of the international triumphs of the son of a Kenyan adulterer and a ditzy Dunham, the Russians just keep slapping him around like a toy puppet. Republican Senators who fell for the arms control treaty that O was lugging around like the world's worst vacuum cleaner salesman, have got to be doubly infuriated by this latest turn of events.
President Obama had just finished touting the “outstanding relationship” he and Dmitry Medvedev have built between themselves and their nations – the American leader even used the “reset” button metaphor again – when the Russian president turned to the thorny issue of Washington’s plan to upgrade its missile defense shield, and uncorked a stunner.
I have told my counterpart, Barack Obama, that this issue will be finally solved in the future,” Medvedev told reporters in Deauville, France, “like, for example, in the year 2020.”
Yes in the reign of King Biden the First, Protector of the Wilmington Amtrak Station, Keeper of the Cask of Dewar's and Master of Falling Asleep With His Eyes Open.
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev threatened Wednesday a return to the Cold War, saying the US decision to push ahead with a contested missile defense shield could prompt "retaliatory measures."
One word. Outstanding. Okay, two words. Outstanding Relationship.
ANDY SULLIVAN DEVELOPS NEW PALIN RELATED OBSESSION
Andrew Sullivan having plumbed the depths of Palin's pregnancy is headed into the whirlpool of a fresh new obsession. Sarah Palin and Queen Esther. Back when the resident lunatic was at The Atlantic asylum, other contributors had to humor his claims that Palin was pregnant with her own grandchild, and that she really thought she was Queen Esther.
But neither of those obsessions proved very marketable. That hasn't stopped Sullivan from mentioning them constantly. His latest comment on Palin.
I, for one, feel nothing but a chill go up my spine. Queen Esther is coming. Look busy.
I, for one, feel a chill go up my toe when I think that someone out there takes Andrew Sullivan's PDS seriously. "Stop her people, she's really Queen Esther in disguise!"
Jared Loughner has been found mentally incompetent. The bullseye hoax is dead as a doornail. (Are we still allowed to say 'doornail'?) But now Scarborough seemed to claim that Keith Olbermann was pushed out of MSNBC and Glenn Beck out of FOX over a new tone set after the shootings. It makes you wonder who's really mentally incompetent here.
But it also seems that both networks wanted their high profile personalities gone. And the Tuscon shootings became an excuse for a local purge of on air talent.
The New York Magazine piece on Ailes is depressing reading. How true it is, is another matter. But the likely takeaway is that Ailes is more liberal than the average FOX viewer. To his media colleagues he may look like a crazy right winger, but that may well be how he thinks of his own audience.
The clash of egos between personalities undermines movements. The more that media personalities make it about them, their own success and image, the less able they are to champion a cause they have to sacrifice for because it's the right thing to do.
WHO NEEDS BIBI ANYWAY
I know you were probably wondering what Roseanne is doing. Playing another TV matriarch or posing with another Hitler mustache? You wish.
She's running for president of the United States and prime minister of Israel on a platform of being crazy, and hating Israel.
Actually her program is to legalize drugs, build reeducation camps, bring back the guillotine and pay Muslims not to shoot at Israelis (aren't we doing this already, it isn't working). As part of her Green Tea Party program, she also pledges to redesign "the matrix of the stock market", stop the twelve or sixty evil Jews who run the world, and "make heaven on earth for every child within one year".
I think Gary Johnson and Ron Paul just got their VP. But Roseanne wants Cynthia McKinney to be her running mate. Cynthia McKinney though seems to want Kaddafi to be her running mate. But sooner or later this will all get sorted out. And at least she has a birth certificate.
NEW YORK TIMES DISCOVERS ALTERNATE UNIVERSE
You know that absolutely miserable failed trip by Netanyahu to the United States? That horrible miserable disastrous trip? What you've never heard of it. That qualifies you to work as the Middle Eastern correspondent for the New York Times.
But don't line up yet. Ethan Bronner is still on the job inventing an alternate reality for his bosses in New York.
Sure even the radical leftist Haaretz admitted that Netanyahu's trip was a success. But Ethan Bronner tirelessly and diligently works on his imaginary reality in which the trip was a complete failure.
How does Bronner pull it off? He quotes only opponents of Netanyahu and not very many of them. His supporting evidence is one Yediot cartoon, an ambiguous comment from a Maariv columnist, both tabloids. An opposition politician. And then nothing except Bronner coughing up pages of inkstains on his alternate universe.
Said universe, includes repeated claims that Kadima is a centrist party. Just like the Democratic party is a centrist party. Or Bronner is centrist.
ALTERNATE UNIVERSE CONTINUES EXPANDING
After a night snorting cooked toads, Matt Yglesias sat down and invented what he calls post-Jewish Zionism. In one of the more baffling talking points to come out of the TP mill (Think Progress, not Toilet Paper, though works as both), Yglesias claims that Zionism isn't Jewish anymore.
Yglesias' confusingly racist argument is that Israelis have turned brown, religious, Russian and right wing and don't have much in common with American Jews anymore. And the Zionists outside Israel are Christians now. Which must be why theSalute to Israel Parade's 30,000 marchers and million spectators includes no Jews anymore. And AIPAC is now a Christian organization. Frank Luntz's poll which shows deep and abiding support for Israel... feh.
Also Netanyahu's trip was a disastrous failure. I'm not sure what the difference between liberalism and LSD is anymore.
BAD DAY IN NY-26
NY-26 wasn't just about Medicare. It was also about a phony tea party candidate and a morale booster for the Democrats who want this to be their Scott Brown. Their proof that the Republicans are vulnerable and a Democratic wave is coming to shore.
The Democrats put more resources and focus into NY-26 and they won. Sometimes it is that simple. Especially when the New York State Republican party couldn't find a drop to drink at the bottom of a well, let alone an election strategy. But that doesn't mean Medicare wasn't an issue. It certainly was.
Which is why peddling advice to the Republican party to run on privatizing Medicare is seven kinds of insanity and eight kinds of experiments in driving a car off a cliff to prove a point.
The average American is going to the polls thinking about basic economic issues. Right now he's for cutting spending, for the debt limit and for small government. That doesn't mean he's prepared to deal with the implications of radical changes that will affect him and his family. Especially when finances are already tight. A sizable number of people didn't reject ObamaCare because they had copies of Ayn Rand under their pillow, but because it was radical change. Like it or not, privatizing Medicare is radical change too.
The Ryan plan isn't bad, it's badly timed. It may be the worst timed plan in political history. Announcing a controversial plan that will lose you votes at a time when you can't actually pass it makes no sense at all.
Conservatives have to defend the plan, but making it the center of an election strategy... well you might as well just buy tickets to Obama's next inauguration.
At the National Review, Jonah Goldberg says, the die is cast, and we might as well embrace it. But no the die isn't cast. Defending the plan is not the same thing as running on it. Turning it into the focus is not only a bad idea for all the obvious reasons, but because it sidelines the issues that voters actually are concerned about.
'Are you better off than you were four years ago' might win an election. 'Hey, let me take you through the implication of a plan to privatize Medicare to avoid a meltdown' will not.
The Ryan plan's proper place is within the context of government reforms that have to be made. And that's the context that needs to be maintained. Focus on Medicare loses that larger context. It becomes a debate over Medicare itself. And the Democrats will humanize that debate and win.
Pie charts and graphs don't look very impressive next to suffering people. You can't fight accusations of heartlessness with pie charts. It doesn't work. The only way to avoid that fight is to connect to voters by telling the larger story of lost jobs, lost opportunities, rising prices, overregulation, the cost of fuel, etc. The narrative that we had and that we're in danger of losing thanks to the badly timed Ryan plan.
The less we talk about Medicare, the more we can talk about comprehensive reforms that include Medicare. Reforms that voters will be much more comfortable with as a package deal.
THE LEFT'S BIGOTRY LESSONS PAY OFF
Here is an obviously and ugly case of the left's bigotry lessons paying off. In Ireland, acceptance of gay people is way up, unwed mothers up and travelers up. But Jews and especially Israelis are another matter.
The book-length study, “Pluralism and Diversity in Ireland,” found that 22.2% of Irish people would exclude Israelis from Irish citizenship, while 11.5% would deny it to all Jews... The research found prejudice against Jews was most prevalent among young adults in the 18-25 age group.
Contrast that with
Twenty-three years ago, just 12.5 per cent of the population said they would welcome a gay person in their family. This survey found 62.8 per cent would.
This is not historical prejudice at work, this is the media.
Prejudice ratings normally increase with age. With few native Irish even having met a Jew or Israeli-- there's only one source for this spike among the young, and that's media and social media demonization of Israel. Younger age groups consume more media and they integrate the left's bigotry into their own worldview.
CAN YOU TAKE THE TURKEY CHALLENGE
Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey's loony neo-ottomanist foreign minister, is offering to teach Israel how to be a normal country. Davutoğlu didn't mention if those lessons would include occupying territory, repressing an entire people, banning their language and using chemical weapons against insurgents in another country. All things that Turkey specializes in.
WHEN CRAZY AND EVIL MET CRAZY AND EVIL
What happens when two crazy dictators meet and shake hands? Sparks fly. Atomic sparks.
Zimbabwe's chief thug Mugabe has cut a deal with Iran's chief thug Ahmadinejad for that precious commodity that two countries with serious food shortages need most of all. Uranium.
SERIOUSLY GUYS, THE SORCERY THING WAS MORE PLAUSIBLE
In the ongoing split between Iranian leaders Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, the former have accused the latter of having wizards serving him, and now of being secretly friendly to Israel. Imagine a country where David Icke and Alex Jones were doing attack ads, and you get some idea of how crazy Iran is.
It's a lot more plausible that Ahmadinejad has magic powers than that he's a secret Israel lover, but accusing each other of secretly working for the Jews is a typical tactic in Muslim fights. Both sides in the Egyptian revolution have been accusing the other of working for Israel. It's just something you do when your religion is rabidly bigoted and your society is so backward that smashing people over the head with stone clubs seems like the height of progress.
Mencken asked us not to underestimate the decency of the human race. That can be hard sometimes. But Melanie Philips has a reminder that it still exists. Though finding it can be a challenge.
In these terrible times when western elites are dominated by the fellow-travellers of Islamo-fascism and genocidal Judeophobia, it is very important to realise that there are also some outstandingly decent, courageous and rational individuals who are putting their heads above the parapet and speaking up for Israel, truth and justice.
As Memorial Day approaches, Robert Hall presents his book, "The Coming Collapse of the American Republic".
Robert makes the point that we face converging threats that risk bringing an end to the republic.
1. The incomprehensible debt and unfunded financial liabilities of all levels of government;
2. The threat of uncontrolled, illegal immigration to our economy and culture;
3. The asymmetric war imposed on us by Islamic Jihadists; and,
4. The rise of China as a competitive military and economic power determined to dominate Asia.
I don't necessarily agree with his entire proposed approach, but it's worth thinking about. And some of his advice, from a successful veteran of political campaigns needs to be considered today.
Elections are won in the middle. They are usually decided by people who are not too interested in and don’t like politics. By voters who are much less informed than activists about current events, government and history—the independents. Think about the people on Leno’s popular feature “Jaywalking,” all voting. Think about people being given a ride to the polls on election day who ask the driver, “Who’s running?”
Robert is a Vietnam Vet, a former member of the Massachusetts State Senate and money from sales of the book will go toward wounded veterans. He has a blog at Tartan Marine.
Speaking of worst case scenarios, a look at the feasibility of Alaskan secession from Arctic Patriot. (Via Western Rifle Shooters) Of course if worst comes to worst, it won't be the US army at work here. It will be something that looks like the Soviet Union, an army of the criminal and the unemployed, overseen by political commissars, with none of the finickiness about rules of engagement and collateral damage. Hungry people who don't care about very much except who feeds them. Still the Finns provide an example of fighting in a cold climate and using it to their advantage.
Want to see the future of Palestine? Read Steven Plaut's Palestine 2013 Peace At Last
How do you feel about paying to bring Islamists to power? The G8 have committed 20 billion to the Arab Spring. It'll be 200 billion before it's done.
At INN, Dr Rhynhold tries to quantify the Obama Doctrine as applied to the Arab Spring. (Via Israpundit)
While admitting that there will be bad days as well as good days, the Obama doctrine rests on a quasi-religious American creed that believes in the inevitable and universal triumph of liberal democracy. For Obama, the ‘Arab Spring’ recalls the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution, Rosa Parks and the struggle for civil rights, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Eastern European transition to democracy.
That's the rhetoric it rests on, these are traditional liberal beliefs, but I doubt Obama and his associates are doing anything more than using ideas like these as cover. We are not dealing with great believers in democracy here, but in getting their way. And their way is not democracy. It's power.
The question is power for the sake of what?
Speaking of a world power that knows how to throw its weight around, FrontPage Magazine has the story of the DeSinifcation of Red Dawn.
The updated version of the film, which was ready for distribution in 2010, substituted Chinese troops for the Soviets. But that worried MGM execs, who didn’t want to jeopardize future movie deals in China’s massive market. So MGM ordered the film to be radically redone in post-production, taking what The Los Angeles Times calls “the highly unusual” and “extraordinary step of digitally altering a film to excise bad guys from the communist nation lest the leadership in Beijing be offended.”
The result, according to published reports, is that most references to China have been replaced with North Korea. The MGM self-censors have gone so far as “digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols.”
So when the invasions comes... the invaders will be... those guys.
Another interesting phenomenon of the species that Australian readers may be more familiar with are the John Marsden Tomorrow books which feature an invasion of Australia by an unknown foreign speaking enemy with vast military resources and the ability to intimidate the United States-- but whose identity is never clarified.
There's something tragic about such ponderings of a war against an enemy we dare not name.