Monthly Archives: January 2009

How steely is Steele?

Michael Steele is now the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Steele is, in many ways, an impressive guy. He’s extremely personable, as I learned first-hand when, two decades ago, he was a legal assistant at the law firm I was with. More than that, Steele is an excellent advocate for the Republican side, and is particularly good on television. These days, that’s a big part of the job. Whether »

Obama’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ten Days

In the realm of foreign affairs, the first ten days of Barack Obama’s administration were a disaster. It’s hard to believe that even a foreign policy neophyte like Obama could blunder so badly, on so many fronts, in such a short time. We spent the better part of an hour of today’s radio show talking about Obama’s serial missteps, which I wrote about here, here and here. If I get »

Some scales finally fall from the FB-eyes

The FBI has cut off contacts with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. The break occurred last summer when federal prosecutors were preparing for a second trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). CAIR and its chairman emeritus, Omar Ahmad, were named un-indicted co-conspirators in that case. Moreover, both Ahmad and CAIR’s current national executive director, Nihad Awad, were »

Unholy Alliance

During the conflict in Gaza, Venezuela expelled Israel’s ambassador and later broke off diplomatic relations. Israel responded by sending Venezuela’s diplomats home. Earlier today, Venezuela’s foreign ministry held a welcome home party for diplomats Jonathan Velasco and Roland Betancourt. As you can see in the photo below, they were presented with flowers, and also with scarves labeled “Palestine.” The scarves show a map of “Palestine” with no Israel, in the »

Ho Hum

Iraq’s provincial elections were conducted successfully today. The Associated Press headlines: It’s just a typo, though, or maybe a Freudian slip. What the AP actually reports is: Iraq’s provincial elections have wrapped up without any reports of serious violence. Polls closed at 6 p.m. local time (10 a.m. EST) on Saturday–an hour later than planned. Millions of voters cast ballots for influential regional councils around most of Iraq. Turnout seems »

Obama pays his union dues, first installment

The New York Times reports that President Obama signed three executive orders pleasing to unions. The Times quotes Obama directly addressing the union officials at the White House ceremony: “Welcome back to the White House.” The Times summarized the substance of the orders in one paragraph: The orders Mr. Obama signed, which union officials say will undo Bush administration policies that tilted toward employers, make it more difficult for federal »

Soft Power Comes to Washington, Part Two

Samantha Power’s substantive views on foreign policy, including her stridently anti-Israel positions and attitude, make her a poor choice for the senior foreign policy position President Obama has bestowed upon her. Yet there has always been reason to suspect that Obama shares many of these positions, including quite possibly her antipathy towards Israel. At a minimum, I think it’s fair to say that Obama wants Power’s views to be part »

Corruption, Democrat Style

As a life-long politician, Tom Daschle never earned much money. But he retired from the Senate, after being defeated for re-election by John Thune, as a multimillionaire. He retired to Georgetown, of course, not to South Dakota. This happens a lot in Washington, and Daschle’s case is pretty typical. His wife Linda is or was a lobbyist, and she was the one who reported the family’s income. (This is inference, »

Soft Power Comes to Washington

As Scott and John noted earlier today, President Obama has given Samantha Power a senior foreign policy job at the White House. She will be named senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council. Last year, I wrote a series of posts contending that Power is anti-Israel, and at times viciously so. Here is a summary of my evidence: In a 2002 interview, Power advocated investing billions of »

Bipartisan Opposition to Pork-Fest?

Despite all of Barack Obama’s talk of bipartisanship, the fact is that in the House of Representatives, it was opposition to Obama’s pork extravaganza that was bipartisan. Support for the misbegotten bill came exclusively from Democrats. It may be that the same thing will happen in the Senate. This morning, John Cornyn expressed optimism that Senate Republicans will unite in opposition to Obama’s bill, while Democrat Ben Nelson wondered how »

Stimulating, part 2

Charles Hurt takes a look inside the trilliion dollar grab bag passed by the House this week and finds “five words that could drastically undo two decades of welfare reforms.” Kimberly Strassel takes a look and finds Democrats enacting “Obama’s agenda of government-run health care — entirely on the QT.” Strassel finds that the bill dramatically expands the number of Americans who qualify for Medicaid: Under “stimulus,” Medicaid is now »

The return of soft Power

uring the campaign Samantha Power served as one of Barack Obama’s most trusted foreign policy advisers, until she let slip in an interview abroad that Hiilary Clinton is a “monster.” The interview occurred during the trip Paul Mirengoff dubbed the book tour from hell. Power was peddling Chasing the Flame: One Man’s Fight to Save the World (formerly subtitled Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World). »

“US-EU Trade War Looms”

The Dems’ pork bill is bad in just about every possible way. One feature of the bill that hasn’t received a lot of attention (here, anyway) is the “buy America” provision. But the Europeans have noticed, and they say it may lead to a trade war. From England’s Telegraph: The EU trade commissioner vowed to fight back after the bill passed in the House of Representatives late on Wednesday included »

Bye-Bye, Blago

We won’t have Rod Blagojevich to kick around anymore; at least, not until his criminal trial gets underway. In the Democrats’ culture of corruption, Blago occupies a special place. When we first started seeing him in the news, he was a puzzle: how in the world did this goofball become Governor of one of our largest states? By now, though, we’ve come to appreciate his unique talent–genius, almost–for chutzpah. Now, »

Iran Honors a Murderer

Samir Kantar arrived in Iran yesterday, where he will be honored by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a function in Tehran. You might not recognize Kantar’s name, but he is well known in the Middle East. He is best remembered for smashing a four-year-old girl’s head with a rifle butt during the course of a terrorist attack on Israel. Now released after close to 30 years in prison for murdering five »

Better Late Than Never

The FBI has severed its relationship with CAIR as a result of information about the relationship between CAIR and Hamas that came to light in connection with the Holy Land Foundation prosecution. Congressman Keith Ellison continues to be closely associated with CAIR. To comment on this post, go here. »

Not So Fast!

The question of what to do with those prisoners at Guantanamo Bay came up again this morning. The Obama administration has asked our European allies to take some of them. EU anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove says it will take some time for the Europeans to decide how to respond: “President Obama said he will need a year to close Guantanamo, it shows how difficult it is,” EU anti-terrorism coordinator »