VIDEO: Remember, the hate is all on the right.
Does the West have the ability to paralyze Iran — without firing a shot? Trevor Butterworth reports on the “Stuxnet” worm which infests Iran’s electrical grid:
Computer World magazine recently pronounced Stuxnet, “a piece of malware so devious in its use of unpatched vulnerabilities, so sophisticated in its multipronged approach, that the security researchers who tore it apart believe it may be the work of state-backed professionals.” And according to the latest article in the magazine, speculation is rife that Israel may have been behind the worm – and that it was designed to sabotage or even take control of the operating systems for Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor.
Whether that is what really happened is beside the point. The reality of Stuxnet (and more to the point, its next incarnation) is that critical state infrastructure can be commandeered and destroyed without anyone firing a shot. The very prospect that Israel – or whomever – could shut down Iran by destroying its electrical grid through causing every generator to overload in a matter of minutes is a powerful signal: the signal that cyber war has physical consequences that make conventional air strikes look quaint and maladroit, so 20th century.
But who’s willing to throw the switch?
Pretty much everybody has probably read the NYT writeup of Bob Woodward’s new book. But this is the graf that stuck out for me:
The president concluded from the start that “I have two years with the public on this” and pressed advisers for ways to avoid a big escalation, the book says. “I want an exit strategy,” he implored at one meeting. Privately, he told Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to push his alternative strategy opposing a big troop buildup in meetings, and while Mr. Obama ultimately rejected it, he set a withdrawal timetable because, “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”
Something here doesn’t add up. President Obama campaigned on the assertion that Iraq was a “distraction” and that Afghanistan was “the necessary war.” And yet he can’t even sell his own party on the necessity of it? Either there’s something wrong with the Democrats as a whole, or with our Democratic President in particular.
Well, President Obama has lost Kathleen Parker. Here’s the damning bit from her column today:
Is it true? Is Obama responsible for our near-dire circumstances?
I have never been a fan of presidents who place blame on their predecessors or who accept credit for events that couldn’t have been engineered so soon in their tenure. Politicians will always massage the data to tell the story their way. Bill Clinton’s happy economy surely owed some credit to Reagan. George W. Bush’s ill fortunes surely had at least some of their roots in Clinton’s lack of attentiveness. Obama clearly inherited a load of fertilizer, but his policies also have exacerbated those effects. Obama’s successor most certainly will benefit or suffer to some degree from seeds the current president planted.
Nevertheless, it is probably fair to say that Obama’s ideas were too big for America’s appetite. It would have been nice had he made a few incremental repairs to the economy and left the transformative events for a less stressful time.
Parker’s handwringing was brought on by this very clever “Mourning in America” ad by Citizens for the Republic. But the question is: Where were you two years ago, Kathleen?
The American public was sold out by Parker, David Brooks, Peggy Noonan and Chris Buckley — all those conservative commenters who helped Obama pass himself as a moderate. Look, the Complicit Media was 100% in the bag, which is why we needed those “moderate” conservatives to help blow the lid. Instead, they joined the game.
So, Ms. Parker, I know you don’t like Presidents who “place blame on their predecessors.” But we’d respect the hell out of a columnist who can voice the occasional mea culpa.
Fifteen? We might be doing better than I thought.
Trifecta: It’s another special show, just for PJTV subscribers. Topic — Does the GOP finally get it, and how should they go about doing it? And we don’t get even a little bit dirty.
C’mon, pony up five bucks and you’ll get one of these each and every week. It’s in my new contract that I don’t get my first cocktail until 5:15 now on Tuesdays, so now we have time to do one special one each week.
I’ll say this right up front: Your friendly neighborhood VodkaPundit has lots of secondhand — and even a little firsthand — experience with modern witchcraft. That’s right: I’ve broken bread with witches, suffered them to live, and lived to tell the tale.
But first you need to know that “witchcraft” is a loaded word, and an inaccurate one, too. Ask your modern witch what she (or he) calls herself, and most likely she’ll tell you: Wicca.
During my northern California days, and even here in conservative southern Colorado, I’ve known quite a few Wiccans. And way back in the day, I even participated in a Samhain ritual — mostly out of curiosity, not conviction. I’ve also been to Catholic mass, Jewish passover seders, and more. So, from the frontiers of religious exploration, I can report to you that Samhain was quite lovely, and that Satan was never once observed, not even in the breach.
But I know what some folks reading this must be thinking: Satanism! Devil-worshippers! Witches!
Well, no — and I say that gently.
Modern Wicca has nothing to do with Satan. To look at a Wiccan ritual and see any kind of Satanism is to go to Wimbledon for a pro-wrestling fight. Sure, tennis and wrestling are both sports — but neither takes any heed of the other. It’s the same with Wicca and Satanism. Or to be more accurate: it’s the same with Wicca and Christianity. Wiccans neither worship nor recognize the Christian pantheon. So you can call Wicca “pro wrestling,” if you like. But it’s still tennis, and usually just as genteel.
For the uninformed, Wicca is a modern medley of ecology, herbalism, and somewhat squishy spiritualism, all wrapped up in the divine feminine mystique. (Yes, I’m cutting corners here, and my old Wicca friends and acquaintances would shudder at my description — and to them I apologize.) Inwardly, Wicca is ancient folk wisdom combined with modern touchy-feelyness. And outwardly, in my experience, Wicca is entirely harmless — except maybe to those looking for witches to burn.
Coast to Coast Tea Party: Funnest one yet. I got to talk with Merlin Froyd, going up against Hollywood’s pet congresscritter, Howard Berman. Also, Froyd put together the best campaign commercial I’ve seen this cycle — check it out on the show.
Froyd himself is sharp, smart, funny, and has a future in politics if he wants one. Keep your eye on this guy.
President Barack Obama, defender of the status quo:
President Barack Obama, seeking to fire up an important part of his support base ahead of November’s elections, told black leaders on Saturday he wanted their support to “guard the change” he was delivering.
Margaret Thatcher called it “the ratchet effect.” Once a lefty policy was enacted, no matter how awful or unpopular, it proves nearly impossible to repeal. It’s also sometimes been known as “the Brezhnev Doctrine.”
I’ve always argued that the “multiplier effect” of government spending was a myth, and a stupid one at that. But then you read that the “stimulus” requires $111 million to create just 55 jobs in Los Angeles — and you’re forced to realize that government spending must have a “divisor effect.”
You can’t get rich flushing wealth down the toilet like that. You can’t stimulate with borrowed money. It’s very simple: Spending is the opposite of wealth creation. The creation must, by definition, come first — but we have an Administration loathe to get out of the way and let the economy do its thing, and ecstatic about the spending.
It’s failed New Deal thinking all over again, but at least in the 1930s, nobody knew any better. Today, we have no excuse.
Forgot to link yesterday’s Trifecta, a look at how to get rid of the income tax. It might be easier than you think, except for the little part where it’s politically impossible. Although I get the feeling that “politically impossible” doesn’t mean what it used to.
And on today’s episode, Bill Whittle examines the secret connection between President Obama and… Justin Bieber?
Yes: Justin Bieber.
I’m a Tea Party guy. I don’t just go to rallies, I speak at them. And I believed in this less-taxing/less-spending/small-government stuff waaaaay before it was cool. Like, I made Reagan look squishy.
Please keep all that in mind when I say: Christine O’Donnell might just be about 17 different kinds of crazy. Now about 11 of those ways are the exact kinds of crazy I think Washington needs big tons more of — but the other six just leave me scratching my head and wondering how the hell she happened in Delaware. That’s like hearing a DJ spin up “Stairway To Heaven” in a gay club, or that Larry King got picked up on an indecent exposure charge.
But let’s get back on topic with a recap:
1. I’m nuts, always have been.
2. O’Donnell is nuts, even more so than I am.
And yet — O’Donnell raised half a million dollars yesterday.
Half a million bucks.
The woman too crazy for me, even when I was making something of a career out of dating the crazy ones, got half a million dollars in a single day. All so that she can continue to wage a campaign which everyone agrees is just hopeless.
So what happened? Did the United States go insane?
Well, no — not exactly.
It’s just that we’re governed by Democrats.
That can do things to a country.
We shot a bonus Trifecta this week, just for subscribers — and we’re going to try to do this every week from now on. Just to say thanks. And because working with these guys is a blast.