Monthly Archives: June 2010

Obama Changes His Tune

I’m glad that President Obama has appointed Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. McChrystal, but I can’t help wondering whether Obama himself feels any discomfort at turning to the hero of the Iraq surge to try to bail the administration out in Afghanistan. After all, Obama opposed the Iraq surge before it happened, and after the fact claimed that it had made only modest gains and was not responsible for »

Obama’s beef with India

Yesterday, in a post about the “arm’s length disdain” with which President Obama treats the popular pro-American government in Colombia, I also wondered why Obama has been chilly towards India. “What portion of left-wing orthodoxy,” I wondered, “puts India in the dock?” Reader Peter Rice, a retired US diplomat who was stationed in New Delhi in 1997-99, provides what looks like a persuasive answer: Hindus run India (they are 80+ »

McChrystal out, Petraeus in

President Obama has accepted General McChrystal’s resignation and has named General Petraeus to replace him as the man in charge of our military operations in Afghanistan. It’s the smart move, I think. Obama could not easily have co-existed with McChrystal going forward, but replacing him with anyone other than Petraeus would have been seen as reducing our prospects for success. This way, Obama avenges the insult (both to him and »

Nearly knocked out, the U.S. advances to the knock-out stage

The U.S. has advanced to the second round of the World Cup on a 1-0 victory over Algeria. The goal came in the 91st minute. It was off the foot of Landon Donovan, who also helped set it up, but Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore, and Clint Dempsey were all involved. Algeria might be hard-pressed to score if it played the entire World Cup field, but they are strong defensively (just »

Sharia Comes to Michigan

Under Sharia law, it is forbidden to proselytize to Muslims, and no Muslim can leave the faith. Dearborn, Michigan, is home to a substantial Muslim population, and there is strong evidence that local authorities now enforce sharia in preference to the Constitution of the United States. Thus this Associated Press story about the arrest of four Christian missionaries that took place on Friday: Police in the heavily Arab Detroit suburb »

Judicial sadism

President Obama has nominated federal district judge Robert Chatigny to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Paul wrote about Obama’s nomination of Chatigny here and here. Judge Chatigny is perhaps best known as the guy who invented the concept of “sexual sadism” as a factor mitigating the murders committed by serial killer Michael Ross, “the Roadside Strangler.” Judge Chatigny went so far as to state that, »

The persistence of Orszagism

In connection with the resignation of Obama administration OMB director Peter Orszag, Ira Stoll recalls Orszagism: Mickey Kaus, the blogger-turned-California Senate candidate-turned-blogger-again (he never really stopped being a blogger, actually), has been one of Mr. Orszag’s most persistent critics, coining the term Orszagism for the budget director’s approach of selling ObamaCare to Congress and the public as a way of reducing the federal budget deficit by bending the health care »

The gathering storm, cont’d

Must reading on the gathering storm are Lee Smith’s “The next Lebanon war” and the pseudonymous Reza Kahlili’s “There will be war.” »

Who is Barack Obama?

Many have likened Obama to JImmy Carter, a comparison that Glenn Reynolds insists is a best-case scenario. Whatever Obama decides to do with General McChrystal — Glenn Thrush suggests that this might be McChrystal’s “MacArthur moment” — Harry Truman he is not. Indeed, he is the un-Truman. Now Jeb Bush has got me thinking. In Matt Bai’s New York Times article on him, Jeb characterizes Obama as “Hubert Humphrey on »

Good news from Colombia, but does Obama appreciate it?

On Sunday, Colombia elected Juan Manuel Santos to succeed Alvaro Uribe as its president. This is very good news. Santos is an ally of Uribe and, as I noted here, Uribe is a staunch friend of the United States and a thorn in the side of Venezuela’s dictator, Hugo Chavez. Even more importantly, he is perhaps the most successful president in modern Latin American history. In the words of the »

Nation’s Most One-Sided Senate Race

One-sided Senate races generally feature incumbents, but this year, remarkably, the nation’s most one-sided contest appears to be in North Dakota, where the Republicans are poised for a pick-up. In the race for the seat now held by Democrat Byron Dorgan, Republican Governor John Hoeven leads Democrat Tracy Potter by an astonishing 73%-19%. This illustrates, I think, a significant point: when things are generally going well, voters in states like »

Today’s GOP

The news from South Carolina is a sign of the times, not an anomaly: State Rep. Tim Scott, an African-American, clobbered Strom Thurmond’s son Paul in the Republican primary for a Congressional seat, while Nikki Haley easily won a runoff election to be the Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina. The State reports: Scott, 44, owns an insurance business and became the first black Republican in the South Carolina »

Another Embarrassment for the Administration

The Obama administration is having a very bad week. Today, federal judge Martin Feldman issued an order barring the administration from implementing its six-month moratorium on deep-water oil exploration in the Gulf. Judge Feldman reviewed the order under the Administrative Procedure Act. Applying the APA’s standard, Judge Feldman found that the administration’s action was arbitrary and capricious. Judge Feldman was influenced by the fact that the Obama administration’s order relied »

Compare and Contrast

At NewsBusters, Lachlan Markay points out how differently our news media reacted to criticism of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld by military officers, compared to the media’s reaction to the McChrystal episode. To be sure, no two incidents are precisely parallel. On the whole, though, Glenn Reynolds’ summary appears fair: Under a Republican President, it’s listen to the generals. Under a Democratic President, it’s all about civilian control of the »

The McChrystal flap, does it really matter?

Our society is an undisciplined one, especially when it comes to holding one’s tongue and keeping disputes private. The McChrystal flap serves as a reminder (if we needed one) that this lack of discipline extends to the military. But even so, the airing of military grievances in Rolling Stone seems extraordinary enough to cry out for additional explanation. I assume that the conduct of Gen. McChrystal and his aides reflects »

The McChrystal Flap

It’s another severe embarrassment for the Obama administration, as the general the President hand-picked to run the war in Afghanistan gave remarkable access to a reporter from Rolling Stone (!) who recorded any number of ill-considered comments General McChrystal’s aides made about members of the administration, including Joe Biden (“Bite me!”), General Jim Jones, and Obama himself. For the most part, the contemptuous comments came from McChrystal’s aides, and the »

Where he’s coming from

When Eric Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee last month, Rep. Lamar Smith asked Eric Holder whether “radical Islam” might have had something to do with the three notable terrorist attempts in the United States within the past year. Holder came off as a clown. Radical Islam? Don’t say it, man! Was Holder following orders? The higher wisdom that prevails within the Obama administration instructs us that jihad is »