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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2010
ADDING INSULT TO INJURY – AT 8:32 P.M. ET: Since Barack Obama came to power, Iran has not only expanded its nuclear program, it has expanded its diplomatic clout – while the president of the United States engages in deep thoughts and profound philosophy. The Persians traditionally have been superb diplomats. Thanks to Ed Lasky of American Thinker for alerting us to this piece from the Washington Post:
NOW, A QUESTION: Do you think any of this would be possible without the weakness demonstrated by Obama? Other nations feel they can cozy up to Tehran because there are no consequences in their relations with the United States.
Now, weren't we promised something else during the 2008 campaign? Weren't we told that Obama understood the world, understood how attitudes toward America could be changed? Well, they have changed. They're filled with more contempt. The adolescents of Europe may still be in love with The One, and may even envy his rock concerts at the White House. But the grownups realize the damage that Obama is doing.
Iran will get the bomb. As it's getting it, it's strengthening ties around the world. It has outclassed us at every turn with its determination and its diplomacy. We couldn't even get Brazil to agree to sanctions on Iran at the UN today.
We are becoming a financially bankrupt nation. And we're becoming morally and diplomatically bankrupt as well. Who could have thought, as we watched the Berlin Wall come down, that we would someday elect a president who would strengthen the very forces in the world that built it in the first place?
June 8, 2010 Permalink
FINE PRINT ALERT – AT 7:41 P.M. ET: The UN Insecurity Council passed new sanctions on Iran today. The Obamans are strutting around as if this were the end of the Cold War and World War II combined.
Buyer beware. You have to look at the fine print. First, the sanctions were approved by Russia and China, both of whom issued statements essentially gutting them. They were opposed in the Council by Turkey, which is rapidly becoming an enemy state, and Brazil, which is now run by a Marxist who has delusions of intelligence. Brazil was run by that same Marxist when Bush was president, but, isn't it amazing, the Brazilian government didn't do much defying of the United States. Amazing what a new oath of office does.
The sanctions were whittled down to some steps that, Iran has already announced, will have no effect on Tehran's nuclear program or nuclear plans.
Here's the New York Times report. And this is the money quote:
Yeah, that's our new diplomacy. These sanctions are so soft you can dress a newborn baby in them.
I can't wait to hear Ambassador John Bolton talk about this. I'm sure he'll be on Fox in the next few days.
June 9, 2010 Permalink
SISTER SARAH PULLS IT OFF – AT 10:56 A.M. ET: One of the big behind-the-scenes winners in yesterday's primaries was Sarah Palin, as The Politico points out:
COMMENT: Not bad, not bad. If Sarah doesn't run for president herself in 2012, her endorsement may turn into campaign gold in the primaries. Of course, that cuts both ways. She's a controversial character, and that very endorsement might prove problematical in attracting centrists in a general election. We should get a better idea of that in November of this year, when Sarah's people are on the ballot.
June 9, 2010 Permalink
NO TURKISH DELIGHT – AT 9:32 A.M. ET: Turkey, a member of NATO, has been drifting further and further away from the West, into the vast nothingness of Islamic extremism. Its secular nature is fading away.
Although the code language of diplomacy often has politicians regretting Turkey's drift away from Israel, with whom it once enjoyed warm relations, its drift away from the United States is really the key issue:
There's the code language, followed by this:
Problem: Turkey, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, is leading the fight against those sanctions. As one observer noted, as soon as the Turkish representative raises his hand to vote against sanctions on Iran, Turkey's relationship with the United States will profoundly change.
I would not be shocked to see Turkey drifting out of NATO in the next few years, or even a situation where NATO members refuse to give Turkey full access to the alliance and its classified information. Turkey has chosen Islamism for its future, rejecting the secularism that worked so well for the country for half a century and more. Choices have consequences.
June 9, 2010 Permalink
MORE BUZZ FOR MITCH – AT 9:01 A.M. ET: Political buzz around Republican Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana is increasing. It's perfectly clear that Republicans aren't pleased with the 2012 offerings they're getting, and are looking elsewhere. From The Politico:
COMMENT: The key here is that competence has to be sold. Daniels is genuine, and his record is solid. However, he isn't the most interesting speaker, and he's got to make his plain-spoken style an asset, and not get lost in the crowd. He has a Calvin Coolidge quality.
Is he the "somebody" to beat the "almost somebody" in the White House? He's surfacing now, and will be tested. There's a big fundraiser planned for him in Washington. That's his coming-out party.
June 9, 2010 Permalink
NOTHING LIKE IGNORING A WARNING – AT 8:47 A.M. ET: Absolutely fascinating story of one of the two sweet, multicultural innocents arrested on terror charges last week, while trying to make it to Somalia. From Fox News:
COMMENT: So they had all that warning, and apparently not much was done about it. When a studnet needs a security guard present to receive his education, maybe the case should have gone further up the line. We'll see if this comes out at his trial.
June 9, 2010 Permalink
REPUBLICAN WOMEN TRIUMPH – AT 8:19 A.M. ET: Hey wait. I thought all legitimate women were Democrats. What changed?
Well, strangely, a lot of women didn't get their orders from Liberal Central. Meg Whitman will be the GOP candidate for governor of California; Carly Fiorina will be the GOP candidate for U.S. senator from California; Sharron Angle will take on Harry Reid in Nevada; and Nikki Haley, although she must fight a runoff, will almost certainly be the GOP candidate for governor of South Carolina.
We're also happy to say that two Democratic women, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and Congresswoman Jane Harman of California, have won their primaries against challenges from the left. In Arkansas, Lincon defeated a candidate backed by MoveOn.org and national labor unions. In California, Harman defeated a challenger who made Joe Stalin look like Barry Goldwater.
With these results, ancient Gloria Steinem may have to seek political asylum in North Korea.
Not all these women are beloved within their parties. Nikki Haley, in particular, is no favorite of the South Carolina GOP establishment, which she regularly challenges, Sarah Palin style. Sharron Angle, in Nevada, needs some coaching in gaffe avoidance. But the fact that they all won indicates that women refuse to follow the script written in Manhattan and Beverly Hills. In fact, radical-left women of the old Bella Abzug stripe seem to be in the political shadows.
We'll have more on the primary results later. But what was clear last night was the sheer enthusiasm on the Republican side. Final figures aren't in, but turnout in GOP primaries was dramatically higher than usual, a good sign for November.
June 9, 2010 Permalink
TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2010
WE'RE LIVE BLOGGING THE PRIMARY RETURNS IN KEY RACES.
12:39 a.m. ET: Sharron Angle has won the GOP Senate nomination in Nevada, and will face Harry Reid in November. As we've reported, many GOP strategists are uneasy with Angle, believing her an amateur with a loose mouth. She'll need coaching, but of course we wish her well.
12:32 a.m. ET: We are awaiting results from the Democratic primary in California's 36th congressional district, pitting veteran incumbent, and pro-defense Democrat Jane Harman against political fringe operator Marcy Winograd. The California Democratic Party is very extreme, probably the most extreme "mainstream" party organization in the country. It produces nut cases like Maxine Waters and Pete Stark. Winograd is a "progressive" (read socialist, and probably Marxist) who, if elected, would become the new Cynthia McKinney. For example, she doesn't even believe Israel should exist. But Winograd is given a good chance of defeating Harman, whose pro-defense stand and grown-up approach to her job doesn't sit well with the later-day flower children of her district. We'll be watching.
12:24 a.m. ET: Sharron Angle is building up a strong lead in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. With 45% of precincts reporting, Angle has 37.4% to Sue Lowden's 29.4%. Not all Republicans are jumping for joy at this, believing Angle, because of a certain kookiness, might not be the strongest candidate against Harry Reid in November.
12:17 a.m. ET: Carly Fiorina has won the Republican nomination for the Senate in California. She will oppose incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, renowned for having a brain that operates on one cylinder. However, California is a Democratic state and Boxer is a fierce campaigner. This will be a tough, probably close race. Ironically, former Republican Congressman Tom Campbell, whom Fiorinia defeated, was running more strongly in the polls against Boxer than was Fiorina, but many Republicans considered him too moderate, and some past associations with pro-jihadist elements in the American Muslim community hurt him.
11:47 p.m. ET: Carly Fiorina is off to a commanding lead in the GOP Senate primary race in California. Money talks in the golden state, which requires huge campaign expenditures. Fiorina has the cash, as does Meg Whitman, who just won the GOP primary for governor. Not a great comment on our politics. Personal money ("buying the election") will probably become a campaign issue.
11:46 p.m. ET: Associated Press has just declared Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay, as the winner of the GOP primary for Governor of California. She will face former governor and 72-year-old elder statesman Jerry Brown in November. Ebay will be taking bids for the governor's mansion. (No, no, no.)
11:26 p.m. ET: Tea-party favorite Sharron Angle has a slight lead in the Nevada GOP Senate primary, with Sue Lowden just behind. Both candidates have about 34%. This is a complicated story. Angle has run a come-from-behind campaign, with vigorous tea-party support, but she is an untried candidate with a history of making kooky remarks. As former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said tonight on Fox News, she hasn't been fully vetted, which is not a compliment. The primary winner will face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Conventional wisdom has it that Angle would be the easiest candidate for Reid to defeat.
11: 03 p.m. ET: Polls in California are just closing. We'll be looking at these races: The GOP gubernatorial primary; the GOP Senate primary; the GOP primary for secretary of state, where a "birther" candidate, who doubts President Obama's birth claims, is running, and is considered an embarrassment to the party, and a Democratic congressional primary pitting veteran pro-defense Congresswoman Jane Harmon against a real, genuine hard leftist, Marcy Winograd.
11:01 p.m. ET: BULLETIN: Associated Press is declaring Sen. Blanche Lincoln the winner in the Arkansas Democratic primary runoff for the U.S. Senate nomination, over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. We'd said earlier that the trend was in Halter's favor, but that trend apparently wasn't enough to overcome Lincoln's small lead. Lincoln currently has 52%, Halter 48%. This is a major victory for "moderates" in the Democratic Party. Halter was backed by the strong-arm tactics of leftist groups and public-employee unions, who essentially created his candidacy as a means of punishing Lincoln because of suspicion of moderation. That Halter came so close in a moderate state indicates both Lincoln's unpopularity and the clout that leftist groups still have.
10:23 p.m. ET: With 49% of the precincts in, incumbent Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln is leading her primary challenger, Bill Halter, by only two points, 51-49%. Despite Lincoln's lead, the trend is in Halter's favor. As we reported earlier, Halter, the lieutenant governor, is a creation of left-wing political groups and public-service unions. Arkansas is the last place you'd expect a guy like that to win, but remember that this is a Democratic primary.
9:53 p.m. ET: Polls close in Nevada in seven minutes. The key race will decide who will face Senate Majority Leader Harry "Mr. Excitement" Reid in November. Polls close in just over an hour in hugely important California, where GOP candidates for governor and U.S. senator are being chosen.
9:52 p.m. ET: In Arkansas, with 20% of the vote in, incumbent Dem. Senator Blanche Lincoln is only leading her primary challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter by four points, 52-48%. Looks like a long night.
9:46 p.m. ET: Associated Press is declaring that Nikki Haley will not get the 50% needed to avoid a June 22nd runoff for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina. However, with about 84% of the vote in, Haley has 48%, her nearest competitor 21%, so Haley is pretty much assured of winning the nomination in two weeks, unless the charges of marital infidelity she's battled during the primary can be proved by 3-D videotape.
9:22 p.m. ET: With 70% of the votes in, Nikki Haley has 49% of the vote in the South Carolina GOP gubernatorial primary, just short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff against Gresham Barrett, who has 21%.
9:02 p.m. ET: With only four precincts in, incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln, generally a moderate, leads Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, 54-46%, for the Democratic Senate nomination. Halter is a creation of unions and leftist activist groups.
8:52 p.m. ET: With 42% of the vote in, Nikki Haley continues leading with 46% of the vote in the South Carolina GOP gubernatorial primary. Gresham Barrett has 25%. But, as we've said, Haley needs 50% to avoid a runoff.
8:38 p.m. ET: With 28% of the vote in, Palin-endorsed Nikki Haley is well ahead with 46% of the vote. Her nearest competitor is Gresham Barrett, with 24%. But Haley needs 50% to avoid a runoff. She's been harassed by charges of marital infidelity, but polls do not show that the charges have hurt her. She is from a family that immigrated from India.
8:36 p.m. ET: Polls in Arkansas have just closed. This runoff will decide the fate of Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln. See our post, "The Liberal Sandbox," below.
THE LIBERAL SANDBOX – AT 7:23 P.M. ET: Don't you love it when politicians fight over nothing, like an almost-worthless Senate nomination? Watch that play out tonight in Arkansas.
Incumbent Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln is in the fight of her life, competing in a runoff for renomination against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. What makes the race interesting is that Halter is running well to Lincoln's left in a decidedly unliberal state. He is a creature of a national campaign organized by ultra-lefty MoveOn.org, one of the most oddly named political groups I've ever seen, and major public-employee unions, determined to punish Lincoln for frugal thoughts.
Lincoln has not been an outstanding senator. Representing a state with little in common with New York, Massachusetts or California, she's had to balance the required moderation with the demands of a "progressive" national party. She usually winds up botching it, but has tried to appear at least somewhat centrist. That is not sufficient for the party's ultras, who prefer candidates with the mentality of Japanese kamikaze pilots. Just crash your campaign. You will meet Karl Marx in socialist heaven, which is located above Sweden.
So Halter, beneficiary of a huge national effort, and funding to match, may actually win the Deem runoff tonight.
But then comes November. Republican candidate John Bozeman is well ahead of both Lincoln and Halter in the polls. Someone would have to prove that Bozeman does strange things with antelopes to dent his lead. So the Deem nomination, decided tonight, will probably be worthless.
But if Lincoln is defeated, the crazies in the party will have proved their clout. They're willing to destroy the house just to prevent anyone else from living in it. They've gotten behind Halter as a warning to anyone who plans on challenging the public-employee unions. After all, why stop at bankrupting New York and California?
June 8, 2010 Permalink
WAKE UP, BARACK – AT 9:53 A.M. ET: One thing about weakness in foreign policy – it produces immediate results. Barack Obama, bringer of peace and good will, hasn't quite cut it on the international circuit, and others are filling in the vacuum that he leaves. From The New York Times:
When will Barack Hussein Obama Jr. realize that Turkey is no longer an ally, but an increasingly Islamic state, that relations with Russia have not been "reset," and that Iran will not change a thing? He will probably never realize these things because Obama's beliefs amount to a religion, not subject to facts, judgment or maturity. The president increasingly acts like a character in "Hair."
Yes, sanctions will probably be voted on at the UN this week. But what kind of sanctions? It is highly unlikely that anything acceptable to China and Russia, who have veto power, would have any effect on the Iranians.
Other nations have sensed Obama's weakness, his Carteresque foreign policy, and are establishing their own arrangements. But Obama hosts really good music concerts at the White House.
June 8, 2010 Permalink
WHERE IS HE NOW? – AT 9:14 A.M. ET: We cannot confirm this story, but there have been other stories to this effect, and I think it's wise to present it as part of the conversation. The translation comes from MEMRI:
COMMENT: If true, and we stress that we can't back it up, that might explain the baffling disappearance of bin Laden from Afghanistan, and our difficulty in finding him.
This is absolutely intriguing, and I hope journalists pursue it. If Iran is protecting bin Laden, it will challenge the conventional wisdom about relations between terrorists and their supporters.
June 8, 2010 Permalink
OFF THEIR MEDS AGAIN – AT 8:53 A.M. ET: The "progressive" movement in America can be compared to a rejected suitor who stalks a woman thinking that, if he's around enough, she'll come to love him. Don't these people get the message? From WaPo:
These are the kind of people who'd rather have a pure nothing than an impure 50%.
If this woman hadn't married the fabulously wealthy Mr. Huffington, and gotten a huge divorce settlement, do you think she'd be anybody?
Yeah, right. The Gulf oil spill was caused by bipartisanship. The American people will really believe that. And the environmental extremists, who force oil companies to drill in dangerously deep water, where accidents are more likely, have no blame at all.
This is pathetic stuff. This crowd represents maybe 20% of the electorate, but they truly believe that the army of the people is behind them, marching forward, chanting odes to tofu.
The problem is that these people have an inordinate influence in education, which is why we must still be on guard for our future. They grab our kids and teach them. Otherwise, the "progressive" movement, which isn't very progressive, is perpetually out of synch with America.
June 8, 2010 Permalink
A JOKE – AT 8:37 A.M. ET: There's this rich guy in Australia who wants to do good, and started this foundation that rates countries according to their peacefulness. You know exactly what's coming, don't you? From the Washington Times:
Well, we know exactly where these chaps are coming from. Military expenditures make a country less peaceful. No, military expenditures, when correctly applied, help keep the peace. Most people with a mental age above 12 understand that. Unfortunately, that rules out a number of the world's self-proclaimed "intellectuals."
Look at that list of peace-loving states. Can't wait to settle down in peace-loving Libya, China, and Cuba. Might even live to see an election.
When countries don't have external challenges, when they appease threatening immigrant populations, when they choose not to live up to their international responsibilities, they sure can seem "peaceful." And some of those, like Denmark, are fine countries. Others, like Sweden, are "peaceful" because they don't lift a finger to keep international peace, and buy off their own populations.
That tells the story. Put Iraq, now a liberated and struggling country, in last place. Must slap down those Americans. And of course, Israel, with one of the lowest crime rates in the world, must also be near last, to satisfy the international left.
The sad thing is that lists like this are believed. They're read in "intellectual" and academic circles, and reprinted in magazines.
It's interesting how low we rank after 17 months of Obama. I guess he hasn't made that much of an impression.
June 8, 2010 Permalink
AS MICHIGAN GOES? – AT 8:13 A.M. ET: Michael Barone examines his home state of Michigan as a possible bellwether for national politics, and finds the results troubling for the Democrats.
Michigan, with its auto industry, has been severely hit by the national recession. Its governor is an Obama-supporting Democrat.
The standard analysis fails:
And most important:
Yes, I'm afraid we see it here in New York: Liberals of a certain class continue to cling to Obama the way they cling to global warming and the UN. New York is losing more residents through out-migration than any other state, because of high taxes and high living costs, its state government is collapsing, and its political leadership is a joke...but liberal Democrats remain near shoo-ins for high state offices. In New York, liberalism is the state religion.
We hope trends in Michigan point the way to the future, and that New York and California fall, politically I mean, into the sea.
June 8, 2010 Permalink
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