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Annals of The New York ‘Reactionary’ Times—Travel Section

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

Sometimes The New York Times is so knee-jerk liberal/reactionary it can set you to giggling. This time it’s the Travel section with two articles so unintentionally hilarious they cannot be missed. They are:

Tahrir Square Square, Egypt’s Newest Tourist Draw and Luxury Camping in the Oman Desert.

[Be sure to get travel insurance and, no, I repeat, it's The New York Times, not The Onion.]

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Do You Believe in Miracles? (Basketball)

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

Yes, every now and then the Almighty gets involved in hoops.  Even if you’re an atheist you’ll enjoy this one.

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‘To save democracy,’ or just the Democratic Party?

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The unions and their allies have set up the budget battle in Wisconsin as nothing less than a struggle for the fate of democracy itself. Ann Althouse picked that up during her reporting in Madison over the weekend, while taking pictures of the trash the union protesters had left piled up around a veterans memorial:

A woman who does not have a Wisconsin accent noses in to tell me I’m “rude” to take pictures.

I say: “Let me ask you a question about ‘rudeness.’ This is a Veterans Memorial, for people who died in the war. These are all things…”

The rudeness expert interrupts me: “They do things for democracy, which is what we’re trying to save right now.”

Blogger Keith Olbermann sees the unions’ role in American life as similarly vital, when in an insufferably long-winded post he describes collective bargaining for public employees “one of the arch stones of democracy.” Isn’t it funny, that running away from votes is now saving democracy, when allowing a vote would amount to killing democracy.  And funnier, if the ability of government workers to engage in collective bargaining is such a fundamental part of democracy, the Constitution is strangely silent on it, and the federal government is downright hostile to it. Kimberly Strassel wrote a great piece about the gap between what government unions can do at the local and state level versus what they can’t do at the federal level. It’s a big gap.

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Your Tax Dollars at Work: Get Ready to Cry

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Jack Dunphy

The Los Angeles Times investigates wasteful spending on construction at L.A.’s community colleges. You’ll be appalled.

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The Lion of the Senate

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Clarice Feldman

Judicial Watch has finally got the FBI to more fully respond to its FOIA requests respecting the late Senator Ted Kennedy and reports on what they learned in the released files.

  • “While Kennedy was in Santiago he made arrangements to ‘rent’ a brothel for an entire night. Kennedy allegedly invited one of the Embassy chauffeurs to participate in the night’s activities.”
  • “[I]n each country Kennedy insisted on interviewing ‘the angry young men’ of the country. He wanted to meet with communists and others who had left-wing views. …Ambassador Freeman, Bogota, said the first person whom Kennedy wanted to meet was Lauchlin Currie.” (The document subsequently identifies Currie as a person who “had been mentioned in Washington investigations of Soviet spy rings.”)
  • “[I]n Mexico Kennedy asked Ambassador Mann that certain left-wingers be invited to the Embassy residence where interviews could be held. Mann took the strong position that he would not invite such people and stated that if any such interviews were to be conducted, all arrangements should be made by Kennedy himself.

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Creed

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Charlie Martin

“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

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Yet another disgraceful performance from David Gregory

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Stephen Green

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell pulled an almost unspeakable smear job on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Meet the Press this morning. Read this transcript from host David Gregory’s roundtable discussion:

MR. LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Well, you know, one of the things I was struck by in your interview with the governor is, just to go back to a point, is that he said that he rejected, rejected the idea of sending in troublemakers to the demonstrations. That means the idea was discussed. That means someone in the governor’s office said, “How about we send some people in there to cause physical trouble in these demonstrations?” And this governor thought about it, discussed it, rejected it. OK, he rejected it. But to say he rejected it and think, “Well, that’s the end of it, that’s a noncontroversial moment,” it’s quite shocking to think that there was a governor thinking about that. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

GOV. BARBOUR: Well, Larry, you added the word physical. Nobody ever–you could talk about should you send people out there to talk to the employees?

MR. O’DONNELL: OK, let’s, let’s just–OK, I’ll, I’ll retract that. Let’s just say troublemakers. This–it’s, it’s shocking to think the governor, among the things they were discussing was, “Should we send in troublemakers?” How long did you–would you have to discuss that?

What you don’t get from reading the text, is O’Donnell’s tone. He put the accent on “say,” as in, “Let’s just SAY troublemakers.” Let’s just say it, he intones, even though we all know Governor Walker really did consider sending thugs in to beat up peaceful union workers. O’Donnell didn’t really retract his smear at all.

And Gregory — who by my count interrupted Governor Walker at least four times earlier in the show — couldn’t find a spare moment to help Barbour correct O’Donnell. The “impartial” host let the smear stand, as though it were a petty partisan difference between his two guests.

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Greens, reds and government union cheeseheads

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

As greens converge to join their fellow comrades in Madison and state capitals elsewhere, there has been little mention of why the former are in solidarity with the latter. But of course the same fellow who initiated the first collective bargaining for public employee unions, then-Gov. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, also then started Earth Day as Sen. Nelson a few years later, as you can see in the flier here.

So, you see, it clearly, really is coincidence that he chose V.I. Lenin’s birthday, April 22, for that struggle to declare solidarity with the newest victim of the horrors of capitalism, ‘the environment’, after it became apparent both that this was no longer the 1920s, and what unions were really doing. Our friends so addicted to argumentum ad hominem are then by definition well-schooled at changing the subject. Now is a good time to remember that.

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Real Threats or Just More North Korean Saber Rattling?

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Dan Miller

As noted in How About Adding a North Korea Crisis to the Mix? published on February 26th, the DPRK is showing multiple stress points – at least some news of revolts in Arab Lands has become available domestically, food shortages seem to be worsening and there have been limited popular protests. Meanwhile,  efforts directed toward another nuclear test are progressing and one may not be far off.

The DPRK is not known for reticence when it comes to threats. Recently there have been more. South Korea and the United States presumably have contingency plans to deal with those threats, although in light of recent surprises and ill considered intelligence it is far from clear that they will be adequate.

The United States and South Korea plan to begin joint Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills involving 200,000 South Korean and 12,800 US troops on Monday, February 28th. The DPRK has warned that its “‘unprecedented all-out counteraction’ . . . would turn the South’s capital Seoul into a ‘sea of flames,’ the Korean Central News Agency said Sunday.” That could happen if the Kim regime and the DPRK military (which may have different views) are willing to suffer the consequences.

Key Resolve, a command post exercise involving computer simulation, will last until March 10. Part of Foal Eagle, a joint air, ground and naval training exercise, will continue through April 30.

The exercise reportedly includes scenarios such as localised provocations, tracing weapons of mass destruction, a sudden regime change in the communist state and an exodus of refugees, Yonhap news agency reported.

It also said the US planned to deploy it 97,000-tonne aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for the drills.

Also stirring the pot are the psychological operations activities being conducted by South Korea.

Conservative opposition politician Song Young-Sun, citing a report from the defence ministry, said on Friday balloons carrying humanitarian supplies such as medicine and clothes were being launched across the border by the military.

She said the balloons also carried news of civil uprisings against repressive regimes in the Arab World and were aimed at getting information to the people of North Korea, who are largely cut off from the outside world.

. . . .

The North threatened on Sunday it would begin firing on border areas where the South’s activists and military launch the balloons.

“Our army will stage a direct fire at… sources of the anti-DPRK psychological warfare to destroy them on the principle of self-defence, if such actions last despite our repeated warning,” KCNA said.

Pyongyang tightly controls access to the Internet and attempts to block other sources of information about the outside world. But DVDs and mobile phones smuggled from China have been eroding barriers.

A survey by two US academics of some 1,600 refugees from the North found that roughly half of them had access to foreign news or entertainment — a sharp rise from the 1990s.

This piece by a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Peace and Cooperation in Seoul suggests that having made best efforts to isolate the country from all outside news, particularly and most recently that of disruptions in Arab Lands, the Kim regime is very concerned that the South Korean psy-ops campaign will be effective and will underscore the anticipated massive failure of its announced plan to convert the DPRK into “a powerful and prosperous state with a revolutionary spirit and virtues, and with the fighting style of the Korean People’s Army” by the end of 2012.

Of course, actually achieving this is far easier said than done. No one, likely not even anyone in North Korea, believes the 2012 goal will be met. The fact that the regime’s failure to deliver on its promises is so obvious makes its chances of survival all that more uncertain.

In an effort to ensure dissatisfaction doesn’t inspire a repeat of what occurred in Egypt, the government has been heavily censoring news of the uprisings in the Arab world, underscoring the concern with which events there are being viewed. But just as bleak economic prospects and an external stimulus quickly transformed the situation in Egypt and pulled the rug from under the regime, North Korea’s elites will be aware of the potential unrest resulting from the country’s unfolding economic disaster.

Dictators, it’s often said, rarely die in bed. But should Kim perish quickly—whether naturally or as the result of discontent—it’s virtually impossible to predict how events will play out.

We may have better information on which to base predictions shortly.  We can hope — although with less than total confidence — that the Obama Administration has better information than has become publicly available.

If we have learned nothing else, it should by now be obvious that again caving in to the DPRK’s demands for “humanitarian” assistance and amelioration of sanctions is a species of  enabling and would be ill advised. Cancellation of the scheduled joint exercises would also further embolden the DPRK. President Obama, with his hands already full in other foreign venues, where situations are slipping through his fingers, and with his attention more focused on his domestic initiatives than foreign concerns, is in an unenviable position; so are we.

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Libya Under Pressure

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Terror Tracker

President Obama has called on Libya’s Dictator Muammar Gaddafi to step down in a call to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Shortly thereafter, the US Security Council passed sanctions on Libya’s leaders, froze their assets, imposed an arms embargo on the government, and referred Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court.

At this point the most likely interim leader is the former justice minister, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who said a body comprising military and civilian figures would prepare for elections within three months, Libya’s privately-owned Quryna newspaper reported.

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Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s love note to Qaddafi

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Richard Pollock

Representative of the adoration paid to Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi by American black radicals are the words of former Rep. Cynthia McKinney. In Tripoli in October 2009 she gave a loving speech to Qaddafi and his whacked out Green Book :

Colonel Khadafy should be highly commended for honoring our ancestors – the framers of true democracy – by reaching out from Africa to the entire world. We would like to thank him for this opportunity to discuss his thoughts as presented in the Green Book.

We are here to listen and observe, then to support and carry forth the ideas of democracy and equality, universal principles embodied in the Green Book, the goal of our effort being to link and empower Black, indigenous and oppressed peoples world-wide for the betterment of our earth and all of its inhabitants.”

I cannot make up this stuff.  The love notes thrown by radical black American activists are legendary and have been continuous over several decades.

One wonders when these Lefty radicals will they pay the political price for allying themselves with dictators from ranging Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Obacarter And the Global Insurrection

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

So now Qadaffi must go, the president says.  Why?  Because he maintains power by killing his own citizens.

And Iran, Mr President? By your standard, you should be proclaiming “Khamenei,  Ahmadinejad and the whole crowd must go.”  You should be demanding the release of all political  prisoners (most notably the Green leaders), equal rights for women, and proper standards of human rights.

But, so far as I can tell, you don’t.  Why?

Are you being blackmailed by your own foolish dream of making a deal with the murderous tyrants there?  Or is it the usual secret hostage negotiations?  Or what?

Or maybe you really do have a foreign policy, one that consists in trying to cut America down to size.  Creating a world in which American exceptionalism is no different from Greek  “exceptionalism,” as you have said?

Tell us.

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The Great Scholar Speaks

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

Bernard Lewis, in a brilliant interview in the Jerusalem Post.  It’s as good s it gets.  He calls our attention to two big things:  the women are the key to the future of the Middle East;  and in the Islamic world it’s not so much freedom/oppression that organizes thought and action, as justice/injustice.

He’s 96 years old;  he’s been thinking hard for a long time.  We should pay attention.

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Should Roger L. Simon have worn his hat on Fox & Friends Sunday morning?

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by The Tatler

He didn’t, but the consensus of the Twitter feed says he should have. (Simon was on Fox & Friends to discuss his book Turning Right at Hollywood & Vine: The Perils of Coming out Conservative in Tinseltown.)

JesseInSC Jesse Hathaway
@rogerlsimon Shoulda went with the hat.
1 minute ago

PajamasMedia
@LCBaum @SissyWillis @ClericalGal thanks for watching @rogerlsimon on Fox this morning!
19 minutes ago

LCBaum Jay Baumgartner
@rogerlsimon Just watched and enjoyed your spot on Fox & Friends. Thanks for getting up so early on the left coast. I enjoy your website too
56 minutes ago

SissyWillis Sissy Willis
“They like to parade their liberalism so they can rape & pillage in private,” quipss @rogerlsimon re Hollywood & media types @foxandfriends
1 hour ago

ClericalGal Cheryl Herin
@rogerlsimon Just saw you on @foxandfriends . Yes, I am a Californian who wakes up early on Sunday morning. Great to see you on TV.
1 hour ago

SissyWillis Sissy Willis
“Who’s the best director around now? … Clint Eastwood,” says @rogerlsimon on @foxandfriends
1 hour ago

SissyWillis Sissy Willis
Tuck asks “Where’s his hat!?” @rogerlsimon on @foxandfriends
1 hour ago

SissyWillis Sissy Willis
Woo hoo! @rogerlsimon, “a conservative in Hollywood speaks out” is on @foxandfriends.
1 hour ago
»

ClericalGal Cheryl Herin
@rogerlsimon is on @foxandfriends now.
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply

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Salon defends whistleblowers! (Sometimes)

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Christian Adams

Salon defends whistleblowers against attacks from the DOJ, at least some whistleblowers (the ones who reveal classified information.)  To read Salon’s coverage of other whistleblowers, click “Wash Post gives New Black Panther story new life.”    To Salon, it all depends on whose whistle is getting blown.

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New White House trial balloon on reasons for Obama timidity on Libya

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Richard Pollock

This morning the Washington Post’s Scott Wilson has a floated front page trial balloon article defending the Obama administration’s timidity in the face of Libyan crisis.  Citing White House staffers, he tries out a new story line that contains two threads.  The first is that the real reason for Washington’s slowness in reacting to Libya was the protection of American citizens trapped in the country.  The second is that the administration is packed with academic experts who understand atrocities and genocide.

Yet there are European countries that had more nationals in Libya — France, the U.K. and Italy, among others.  The Europeans have been bolder than Obama. The few measures in place are there because European leaders publicly pushed hard for them.  Many normally apologetic international organizations for Arab misbehavior have been outspoken, including the sycophantic Arab League which bounced Libya from its brotherly body five days ago.

Defensive about its inaction, the White House also has trotted out its meritocracy theme again. Apparently we learn the administration is packed with academics and journalists who studied previous genocides and understand them. Wilson cites as an example Samantha Power, the National Security Council’s senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights. (What a title!) Once called a “Harvard brainiac”, Prof. Power is known as a hard driving and crudely outspoken person like Rahm Emanuel who once was kicked off the Obama campaign because of her coarse words against Hillary Clinton.  Professor Power won the Pulitzer Prize for a book  on genocide that she wrote while she was at Harvard Law School.  UN Ambassador Susan Rice, David Pressman, Michael Posner and Harold Kol are all people who have “worked on the subject of mass killing for decades,” Wilson writes.

The two White House staff who appear to be pushing the story line is Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisers for strategic communications, and Power.

So there you have their two new excuses.  First, their President was silent to protect American lives and not to worry — they have many national security eggheads who know about genocide.

The first line of reasoning certainly will give many people pause, although European calls for actions during Obama’s silence probably will take some of the air out of this trial balloon.  As for the intellectual firepower within the administration: they said the same thing about their economic team.  Look how successful all of them were on jobs and the economy.  And all of them have exited the administration.

Oh, and for those who are interested in who is WaPo’s Scott Wilson, yes he is the same Scott Wilson who continually filed one sided anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian articles as the newspaper’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief.

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A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Seltzer Down Your Pants

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Clarice Feldman

This is, as I explain, what I think of the Obama foreign policy every time the Obama-Rice-Clinton team is at bat. There’s more in the review of this week’s events  titled The Fierce Moral Urgency of WTF:

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Pajamas CEO to get up at four a. m.

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by The Tatler

No, it won’t be for a meteor shower. But maybe for a cold shower – because PJ Media CEO Roger L. Simon will be getting up at four a. m. Sunday morning to motor over to Fox Studios in West Los Angeles. Simon will be appearing on Fox & Friends at 5:35 AM Pacific/ 8:35 Eastern to discuss Sunday’s Oscar show and the new extended and amended paperback edition of his memoir Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming Out Conservative in Tinseltown.

What authors won’t do to promote their books…. (He’s setting his alarm now.)

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Ron Paul: Now Is The Time For Freedom

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Owen Brennan

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) earned more than $700,000 in one day for his PAC. Will this make him 2012 presidential material? He tells Alexis Garcia, “How can anybody turn down freedom. And it makes so much sense. Do People want the government in their bedroom? Nobody wants that. Do people want the government to tell them how to spend? No they don’t want that. Do they want high taxes. No.”

In this interview from the Tea Party Patiots’ Policy summit he also addresses his more isolationist foreign policy ideas. Watch the full interview here.

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Discovery docks and a historic photo may follow

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Christian Adams

Discovery successfully docked with the International Space Station today.  Right now there are spacecraft from Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency docked along with Discovery.    Later in the mission, an amazing and historic photo opportunity might happen.  If all goes well and everyone concurs, crewmembers will undock one of the Russian Soyuz capsules, back away from the ISS, and take a photograph of Discovery, the remaining Soyuz and all of the other spacecraft docked at the ISS.  With the Shuttle’s retirement in a few months, there will never be a repeat.  Of course in space, simple tasks don’t exist.  So whether the photo is attempted remains to be seen.

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Tim Pawlenty: The government is too damn big

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Owen Brennan

At the 2011 Tea Party Patriots’ Policy Summit, former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) told the crowd, “Our Founders put it in terms so simple even a politician should be able to understand: They started with a most important principle. They didn’t say we’re endowed by our member of Congress or we’re endowed by our bureaucrats.  They said we’re endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights — and that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed.”

Watch his complete interview with Alexis Garcia here, where he reveals the key players in America’s new ruling class. He also explains how a President Pawlenty would react to growing chaos in North Africa and the Middle East.

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Report: Iranian democracy leaders Mousavi & Karoubi taken to secret prison

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by The Tatler

UPDATE: CNN now reporting similar information as earlier PJM report below.

http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=391&load=4888

From the blog of frequent PJM contributor Reza Kahlili:

According to two reports on Pars Daily News, an Iranian news website, both opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi have been transferred to a secret prison in Tehran.

The source of the first report filed is from another Iranian site, “Siasat Iran, Politics of Iran,” indicating that, based on reports from inside Iran, both Mousavi and Karoubi were transferred at 3 a.m. this Friday under heavy security to a secret prison located in the Parchin Military Zone under the control of the Defense Ministry.

Shortly afterward, another report was filed indicating that the prison referred to above is located in Shahid Hemat Industrial facilities (a subordinate of Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO); which is responsible for Iran’s liquid-fuelled ballistic missile programs and sanctioned by the United States on September 26, 2007, under Executive Order 12938 for engaging in proliferation activities).

PJM has no way as yet of confirming these reports, but we thought you might be interested.

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How Bold Should Obama Be on Libya?

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Rick Moran

Even the left is wondering about the president’s Libyan response. From Leon Wieseltier writing at TNR:

“This violence must stop.” So President Obama declared the other day about the depravity in Tripoli. This “must” is a strange mixture of stridency and passivity. It is the deontic locution familiar from the editorial pages of newspapers, where people who have no power to change the course of events demand that events change their course. This “must” denotes an order, or a permission, or an obligation, or a wish, or a will. It does not denote a plan. It includes no implication, no expectation, of action. It is the rhetoric of futility: this infection must stop, this blizzard must stop, this madness must stop. But this infection, this blizzard, this madness, like this violence, will not stop, because its logic is to grow. It will stop only if it is stopped. Must the murder of his own people by this madman stop, Mr. President? Then stop it.

Nothing is ever as easy as it looks, and one can appreciate — if not agree — with the president’s dilemma. He was late to the condemnation chorus, largely (we are told) out of fear of what the Libyan madman might do to American citizens. The hostage crisis that paralyzed Jimmy Carter and the United States for more than a year is never far from any president’s mind in situations where there is a breakdown in civilization. The argument has been advanced that the president acted prudently by waiting until almost all Americans were clear of Libyan territory before issuing a strong statement condemning the bloodletting. This is correct — as far as it goes. Other western countries had citizens at risk but that didn’t prevent their governments from laying into the Libyan dictator for his shocking behavior.

Wieseltier wonders why the president is reluctant to use our power in this situation as well as other crisis of his presidency:

Why is Obama so disinclined to use the power at his disposal? His diffidence about humanitarian emergencies is one of the most mystifying features of his presidency, and one of its salient characteristics. These crises—in Tehran two years ago, in Cairo last month, in Tripoli now—produce in him a lame sort of lawyerliness. He lists the relevant rights and principles and then turns to procedural questions, like those consultations. The official alibi for Obama’s patience with Qaddafi’s atrocity is his concern for the Americans who are still stranded within Qaddafi’s reach; I was amused to learn from a friend that the spin out of the White House includes the suggestion that Obama’s restraint is actually the wisdom of the hostage negotiator. But Obama’s statement about Libya suggests another explanation for his slow pace. This was its climax: “So let me be clear. The change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region. This change doesn’t represent the work of the United States or any foreign power. It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life.”

They are fighting authoritarianism, but he is fighting imperialism. Who in their right mind believes that this change does represent the work of the United States or any foreign power? To be sure, there are conspiracy theorists in the region who are not in their right mind, and will hold such an anti-American view; but this anti-Americanism is not an empirical matter. They will hate us whatever we do.

Lara Logan probably agrees.

There are two possible explanations for the president’s hesitancy; the first is that he does not believe that the application of American power is a positive good in most cases and refrains from intervening because it is against his principles. The second is that he can’t make up his mind.

A good case can be made for both reasons.

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Obama:You’ll Never Walk Alone

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Clarice Feldman

Fox News’ Eve Zibel reports:

When candidate Obama was campaigning in South Carolina in 2007, he said he was proud to wear the “union label” and that if workers were denied rights to organize or collectively bargain when he was elected, “I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I’ll will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America.”

But as the protests over collective bargaining rights drag out in Wisconsin, President Obama has yet to join the demonstrators outside the Capitol building in Madison, and it appears his administration is trying not to get involved in the fight.

My friend hit and run, suggests there’s a reason we don’t see Obama’s footprints in Madison:

One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with Obama.
Many scenes from my life
flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed
footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were
two sets of footprints,
other times there were
one set of footprints.

This bothered me because
I noticed that during the most
challenging periods of my life,
when I was speaking truth to power,
trying to break down walls,
and was being held down by the man,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to Obama,
“You promised me Obama,
that if I followed you,
you would strengthen me with hope
and lift me up with change.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been
one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
have you not been there for me?”

Then Obama replied,
“The times when you have seen
only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I thought getting involved
might have compromised
my aspirations for higher office.”

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Stuxnet again? More Iranian nuclear embarrassment

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by The Tatler

Breaking from AP:

In a major setback to Iran’s nuclear program, technicians will have to unload fuel from the country’s first atomic power plant because of an unspecified safety concern, a senior government official said.

The vague explanation raised questions about whether the mysterious computer worm known as Stuxnet might have caused more damage at the Bushehr plant than previously acknowledged.

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Ask Hillary:Your Seat on the Dais

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Clarice Feldman

Congresswoman Renee Elmers is offering you an opportunity to submit questions to be asked of Secretary of State Clinton.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs will host a hearing on Tuesday, March 1 at 9:30 a.m. entitled “Assessing U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities and Needs Amidst Economic Challenges.” Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be testifying. You can submit questions through the Committee’s online feature, “Your Seat on the Dais.” The Committee will review the questions, and some will be asked by Members on behalf of the submitter. This is a wonderful opportunity to have your voice heard. To participate, please visit: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearings_question.asp

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Why liberals are reactionaries – part 4009

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

You think the story of Lara Logan is bad, try this from the Holy Land:

Roni Aloni Sedovnik, a feminist activist, penned an article in News1 – an independent website run by respected investigative reporter Yoav Yitzchak – under the heading “The Left’s Betrayal of Female Peace Activists Who were Sexually Assaulted.”

“A nauseous atrocity has been going on for a long time behind the scenes at the leftists’ demonstration at Bil’in, Naalin and Sheikh Jarrah [Shimon HaTzaddik],” she writes. “A dark secret that threatens to smash the basic ideological values upon which the demand to end the occupation of the Territories rests.”

It turns out, she explains, that when female peace activists from Israel and abroad come out to Judea and Samaria and demonstrate against the Israeli “occupation,” they are assaulted sexually by the Arab men whom they have come to help. These are not isolated incidents, Aloni-Sedovnik stresses. Rather, this is an “ongoing and widespread” phenomenon that includes verbal and physical abuse. She accuses the ‘peace’ camp of purposely covering up the trend so as not to offend “the Palestinians and their heritage, which sees women as sexual objects.”[bold mine, but was it necessary?]

There’s plenty more at the link.

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Quote of the day

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Charlie Martin

“If these people would just carry around signs that say ‘I want your money,’ I would respect them more.”

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I knew Emilio Estevez and you, sir, are no Emilio Estevez!

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

From Charlie Sheen Says He’s Not an Anti-Semite:

Sheen denied accusations that he is an anti-Semite after he referred to Lorre by his Hebrew name during a Thursday call-in to radio’s “Alex Jones Show.”

“It’s nothing this side of deplorable that a certain Chaim Levine, yeah that’s Chuck’s [Lorre] last name, mistook this rock star for his own selfish exit strategy bro,” Sheen said.

“I was referring to Chuck by his real name, because I wanted to address the man, not the [expletive] TV persona,” Sheen told the celebrity website TMZ. .

“So you’re telling me, anytime someone calls me Carlos Estevez, I can claim they are anti-Latino?” Sheen told ‘GMA,’ referring to his birth name.

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MORNING READ: Andy McCarthy’s warning

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by The Tatler

The OIC and the Caliphate: The Islamic agenda is not coexistence, but dominion.

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Let’s Move (Away From The Office of First Lady as a Power Center)

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Clarice Feldman

The Harvard Crimson quite correctly notes the disturbing way Democrat First Ladies seem to view their jobs–as yet another power center. To illustrate, the author notes our own busy mom, fashion icon and food guru, Michelle Obama. I think he has a point:

Perhaps it is a little crass to lament the tendency of fashionistas across the land to behave as if they were coerced at gunpoint into a compact to swoon over Mrs. Obama’s every outfit, no matter how tawdry or undignified (sleeveless may or may not be trendy—hell if I know—but it is not puritanical to value decorum). And perhaps it is a little crass to bemoan such national embarrassments as the scuttled attempt to fund Mrs. Obama’s pet project by cutting food stamp funding or her preposterous assertion that obesity is a matter of national security (if obesity is a national security issue, then quite literally anything can be a national security issue). Perhaps it is a little crass to engage in ad hominem attacks against someone whose only crime was to marry a future president. But was that really Mrs. Obama’s only crime?

Shorn of a real job since her husband’s election but eager to maintain the guise of productivity, Obama has busied herself with her “Let’s Move” initiative. Perhaps it can be forgiven that every First Lady arrives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with the expectation that she is to jettison any erstwhile frumpiness in order to fulfill her new role as the nation’s flagship fashion icon while fruitlessly championing some innocuous initiative. The fulfillment of this expectation is little more than a public nuisance. But when the First Lady begins to dabble in legislative activism, it contributes to a more nefarious phenomenon—the institutionalization of the Office of the First Lady as a power center in American government.

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Discovery docks with space station today

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 - by Christian Adams

The Discovery crew was awakened today to music and everything on STS-133 is going well.  The orbiter docks with the International Space Station today at 2 p.m. EST and you can watch here.

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Today’s weird e-book pricing

Friday, February 25th, 2011 - by Charlie Martin

Okay, explain this one:

You’re reading it right:

Kindle Edition $98.61
Hardcover $ 106.83
Paperback $135.00

The Kindle edition is odd enough: I’ve written chapters of Spring books, and have plenty of friends who have written for them, and one little thing that hardly gets mention is that ever since Don Knuth invented TEX, books of this sort are composed and typeset by the authors.  Publishers often provide formats, and have more or less copyediting, but mathematics is no longer what linotypists called “penalty copy.” The authors just turn in camera-ready — which is itself already an obsolete term; there’s not much in the way pf a physical camera involved any longer.  Best as I can guess, the total margin per copy on this must run right around $98.

The hardback costs $8 more, probably what the printing costs, roughtly.  That makes sense.

But then the paperback is $135? I don’t get it.

(And before you even ask, yes, this is what I buy for pleasure reading.)

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Hitchens: Is Obama Swiss?

Friday, February 25th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

On Slate, Christopher Hitchens chides some Republicans for their quixotic search to prove the President a Nigerian Muslim. But then, in the midst of the Libyan mess, he asks a bigger question, “Is Obama Swiss?”:

The Obama administration also behaves as if the weight of the United States in world affairs is approximately the same as that of Switzerland. We await developments. We urge caution, even restraint. We hope for the formation of an international consensus. And, just as there is something despicable about the way in which Swiss bankers change horses, so there is something contemptible about the way in which Washington has been affecting—and perhaps helping to bring about—American impotence. Except that, whereas at least the Swiss have the excuse of cynicism, American policy manages to be both cynical and naive.

Cynical? Naive? Hitchens gives them more credit than I do. I don’t think there’s even a policy to begin with. (h/t: AM)

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Libyans being slaughtered in Tripoli as they leave Friday prayer services

Friday, February 25th, 2011 - by Richard Pollock

As they leave mosques from Friday prayers in Tripoli, there are new reports unarmed people are being mowed down by militiamen loyal to Col. Mummar Qaddafi.

“People are being slaughtered,” reports the Financial Times as militiamen appear  to be opening fire on congregants who are streaming from the mosques in the city center.

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