Archive for February, 2008

Obama’s record

Friday, February 29th, 2008

One criticism of Obama is that his portfolio is mighty thin. He has no record. Well, he actually does and and here it is. Pretty interesting.

It’s a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what’s interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

Why was that ? In 2002, the Democrats took over the Illinois legislature, not because of Bush as the reporter says, but because the Republican governor got caught selling drivers’ licenses to truckers with bad driving records. A disastrous truck accident splashed the whole story across the newspapers and the Democrats took over in the next election.

The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James “Pate” Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama’s. He became Obama’s ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city’s most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

“He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'”

“Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

“Barack Obama.”

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

“I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen,” State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. “Barack didn’t have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

I don’t know if the Republican was really “race baiting,” or the comments were really “racist,” but the rest sounds pretty accurate. Obama is an artificial candidate and this explains how they did it. The last empty suit we elected president was Warren G Harding. And, by the way, that reporter is a lefty or he would not have lied about why the Democrats took over the Illinois legislature in 2002.

And then there is his adviser on the middle east.


He has another adviser, who may actually end up in his cabinet if he is elected. In 2002, she recommended that we invade Israel !

what we need is a willingness to put something on the line in helping the situation. Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean sacrificing—or investing, I think, more than sacrificing—billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence. Because it seems to me at this stage (and this is true of actual genocides as well, and not just major human rights abuses, which were seen there), you have to go in as if you’re serious, you have to put something on the line.

That sure sounds like an invasion to me. When asked about it later, she attempted to disavow the quote.

Power herself recognizes that the statement is problematic. “Even I don’t understand it,” she says. And also: “This makes no sense to me.” And furthermore: “The quote seems so weird.” She thinks that she made this statement in the context of discussing the deployment of international peacekeepers. But this was a very long time ago, circumstances were different, and it’s hard for her to reconstruct exactly what she meant.

I really wonder if he can keep the balls in the air until November.

UPDATE: Power resigned last week, allegedly because she called Hillary a “monster.” Actually, even the Washington Post agrees that it was because of her BBC interview in which she disavowed many of Obama’s policy pronouncements, like immediate withdrawal from Iraq. She may say some crazy things but she knows that most of what he is saying is just not realistic. The Goolsby affair, for example, has many lefties with their knickers in a twist. Everybody knows these advisors are trying to save Obama from himself.

Civil war among the Democrats

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

The Obama campaign seems to have stimulated some real antipathy among Democrats. This essay, by a left wing professor, accuses Obama of using the race card and gets into a lot of the pathology that is being exposed. I wonder if these people are going to be able to run a unified campaign this fall.

But we should not worry about his talents as a diplomat as his staff has warned Canada that he would be attacking NAFTA and not to take him seriously.

The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.

But Tuesday night in Ohio, where NAFTA is blamed for massive job losses, Obama said he would tell Canada and Mexico “that we will opt out unless we renegotiate the core labour and environmental standards.”

Late Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Obama campaign said the staff member’s warning to Wilson sounded implausible, but did not deny that contact had been made.

I think they call that “plausible deniability.”

I call it risible deniability.

This, of course, is what they are warning Canada about. It’s a good thing for the world that he is lying.

More confirmation that Obama is lying in this story about NAFTA and Canada.

Even ABC has the story of his lies and they are in the tank for him. This is pretty inept.

More trouble for Obama

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Obama has had ties to a Chicago developer and slumlord who has now been indicted. The Times of London has found an English connection that may be big trouble. Obama has come out of nowhere with a very thin record. Stories like these are going to burst his bubble unless the public has really lost its senses.

Oh Oh

This writer, an anthropologist like Obama’s mother, really doesn’t like him. Maybe we should pay attention.

Of course, the New York Times fears assassination by a “right wing hit man” and names Bill O’Reilly as provocateur.

The recent chilling encounter in New Hampshire between Bill O’Reilly and an Obama aide was a forecast of how easily mad dog media men can stimulate mad dog hit men. In this case, O’Reilly played both roles. … what safeguards do the government have in place to prevent some ravenous red state acolyte from deciding there is no place in American politics for a man with African blood?

They are without shame.

More on “centrist” Obama.

The military is worried about him as a potential commander-in-chief and they are right to do so. Retired (early) General McPeak, who is his only military supporter was a loose cannon on active duty and worse since he entered the punditocracy. Among other things, McPeak is responsible for Air Force reorganization that is blamed for the overflight of a B 52 with six nuclear warheads that was unauthorized. McPeak has been a prominent critic of the Bush administration so he is a natural for Obama.

His legacy as Chief of Staff has been the subject of much debate. Many accuse him of trying to run the Air Force as a corporation, with his introduction of Total Quality Management and the uniform changes which strayed from the traditional military style. Some of his uniform changes were soon undone after his retirement. He was often accused of ignoring the needs of enlisted men, and looking out solely for his officers. There was a large debate over the somewhat traditional act of inducting the outgoing chief of staff into the Order of the Sword. Most members of the Air Force that served with or for Gen McPeak have a poor opinion of his judgment.

More evidence of the deterioration of the Lancet

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Today the New York Times describes more politicization of science by the Lancet. The cause is female genital mutilation and results are subjected to statistical manipulation to attain “correct” results. Now if they would only turn their attention to gun crime and global warming.

Anthoney Cordesman on Iraq and Afghanistan

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Cordesman is a senior defense expert who has been skeptical about Iraq. He is now more sanguine but warns of the consequences of the Democrats’ plans to cut and run. He has also produced a frightening report on a possible war between Iran and Israel. His estimates include 600,000 Israeli dead, 30 million Iranian dead and the end of the “Petroleum Age” as the middle east goes up in smoke. Of course, Obama will solve the problem with talk.

College applications and Microsoft

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Microsoft set the standard for corporate arrogance in the computer industry. I believe they may have hit a new high (or low) point. Word 2008 for Macs and Word 2007 for PC documents are not compatible with previous versions of Word. There is supposed to be a converter but several people on the Macintosh news group I subscribe to have found that the converter doesn’t work. The result ?

Interesting to hear that only Word 2008 & 2007 will read the Word Docs.

That is only the default as the product ships. (As if that is not bad.) The user of Office 2008 can set their default to be for the earlier format (and I would suggest that they do that.)

The same situation exists for Office 2007 on the PC. I’ve had several clients find that the colleges that they’d sent their applications to were not able to read the new format files and the colleges had taken the quick route and just ignored the application since it was unreadable by the college (and had not followed the specification if one existed.) With the average user not having a clue for the un-readability, many college applicants got denied or lost a significant opportunity due to having the most recent version with a default of a non backward compatible Office.

The colleges are being pretty calloused to ignore applications without a warning to the applicant but Microsoft had to know that this sort of thing would be a problem.

The new version of Word is also supposed to be slow. The solution ?

There are Open Office and Star Office, both of which produce documents compatible with the older Office standard. And they’re cheap ! College students don’t need all the bells and whistles of Microsoft Office.

Airborne emergencies

Monday, February 25th, 2008

I was on a flight to Baltimore in October 2006 during which we had two emergencies in the air. On both occasions, the stewardess asked if there was a doctor on the flight and several responded before I could get out of my seat so I was an observer. We landed at Kansas City to disembark one ill passenger and then landed again to disembark the other. My non-stop flight turned into a day-long marathon but both passengers survived although I’m not sure that both situations were life threatening. That was a Southwest Airlines flight and the situations were handled efficiently.The passenger on an American Airlines flight from Haiti was not so lucky. She died after two oxygen bottles were found to be empty and a defibrillator may not have worked. A doctor was present and declined to comment but we will probably hear more about this.Airline travel when I took my first flight in 1957 was a bit exotic. Nowadays, it is the equivalent of the Greyhound bus in “It Happened One Night.” Airborne emergencies happen all the time and the cabin pressure at 5,000 feet can be dangerous to some passengers with marginal cardiac or pulmonary function. Airlines must be more responsible than this story suggests American was.

Castro’s legacy and the truth

Monday, February 25th, 2008

I love this piece about Cuba.

Cuba features a universal health care system, a minuscule 1.9 percent unemployment rate, near-total literacy, complete political “unity” — and hundreds of thousands of people ready to risk their lives to get the hell out.

Here’s more with photos from another source
. Note the comment.

The Serbs again

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

UPDATE #2: My opposition to intervening for or against the Serbs does not mitigate worrisome information about the Kosovars who may be getting radicalized by the Wahabbis.

In many areas young Kosovo Albanians are being converted to the Wahabist faction, and are highly visible in their telltale short haircuts, beards, and ankle-length pants. As well, many Arabs are present from the Middle East and France….Moreover, anti-Western jihadist sermons are now a regular feature at many of the new mosques. Western military intelligence officials have stated that the findings of their investigations into the jihadist terror networks is routinely ignored or blocked by NATO, UN and US officials.

UPDATE: The Serbs seem incapable of adjusting to the historical decline of their little country if this piece in the NY Times is any indication. Kosovo is 90% Albanian. The Serbian attachment is to a battle in 1389 that they lost! Those who have read the history of Serbia as I have (and I recommend Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West) understand that the Serbs botched what chance they had to withstand the Turkish invasion in the 14th century by failing to join with the Hungarians in an earlier battle that saw Hungary conquered and left Serbia without an ally.

The point of this is that the Serbs are great at starting battles and wars but they lose them. They are war-like losers. We owe them nothing. If we choose to stand aside from this latest commotion, which I recommend, history will play out and Serbia will stand or fall, as usual, without allies. They have to choose now. They cannot subject the Kosovars to genocide, as was their intent. Ultimately, Kosovo will probably end up as part of Albania.

Back in the days of the Serb massacres of Bosnian Muslims, I had an argument with David Hackworth, one of America’s great soldier heroes, about the Serbs. Soldiers have always liked Serbs because they are good fighters. What else are they good at ? Anybody ever drive a Yugo? They apparently are pretty good at looting. Aside from that, they seem to be history’s losers. They had a short winning streak in 1918, after they started World War I, but it ended about 1990. Since then ? Nothing but losing.

Some of the looters are pretty cute but who wants to date a thief ?

Obama as the Arabs see him

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

There has been much rhetoric about Obama “restoring our place” in the world after George Bush wrecked the great love that everyone had for us. Maybe his ideas need more thought if this analysis of Arab opinion is any guide.

I hope he knows more about the Middle East than he knows about the army.

Obama gets some support from ABC’s Jake Tapper who has talked to the captain. He was commanding a platoon when he was a lieutenant and a couple of the other parts of the story are different. Still, Obama got it mostly correct.