The Sunday, Sept. 14, edition of The Denver Post was among dozens of newspapers nationwide that included a copy of the DVD “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” as a paid advertising supplement, drawing complaints in a Post article yesterday that called the documentary “anti-Muslim hate speech” and “hateful information on Islam.” The Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina had refused to carry the DVD at all, saying it was “divisive and plays on people’s fears and served no educational purpose.” Editor & Publisher cynically observed that the newspaper buys were in swing states, and questioned the New York Times about its policy on such inserts: “We believe the broad principles of freedom of the press confer on us an obligation to keep our advertising columns as open as possible. Therefore our acceptance or rejection of an advertisement does not depend on whether it coincides with our editorial positions,” replied the NYT. The advertising buy, by the way, coincided with the film’s Sept. 11 wide release in major retailers.
The likelihood of a US attack on Iran is almost zero. Simple reason: the Straits of Hormuz. Through this Iranian controlled waterway, roughly 40 percent of the world’s crude oil passes every day, including two-thirds of the oil from Saudi Arabia. This is enough reason for the US to veto an Israeli attack. But there is no reason whatever to expect diplomacy to give up its drive to become a nuclear power. As for tougher sanctions, Germany, Russia, and China have invested too much in Iran to cooperate. So, I think the US will do nothing more than help some reformers, hoping that that Iran’s bleak economy will produce regime change. www.PaulEidelberg.com
Last week was hardly John McCain’s finest moment when, deciding that the Securities and Exchange Commission bore major responsibility for the Wall Street madness, he essentially called for SEC Chairman Chris Cox to be fired.
It appears that the Obama campaign, or someone close to it, is engaged in a systematic effort to spread smears and lies about Sarah Palin using YouTube. This is a different tack from the stuff we’ve seen out in the open. This is a professional PR company engaged in a big-bucks media effort–a new kind of Chicago-style dirty trick. The MSM won’t pick up on this. But you should know. (h/t NRO’s The Corner)
Sometimes it’s easy to succumb to the herd mentality. Perhaps it’s because there is comfort in numbers. I bring this up because the current financial crisis has precipitated a lot of finger-pointing, as most Americans try to determine who’s to blame. Here’s where I move away from the herd: I don’t give a damn who’s to blame. I care about who’s going to come up with a viable solution to save our country.
OK, so I’ve been AWOL from this site for a while: It’s because I packed up and left L.A. to take a primo job offer at the Rocky Mountain News, just in time for the DNC (where, yes, I protest crashed and caught a nice whiff of pepper spray). And last week’s Kadima elections — plus rumors of a power-sharing deal being brokered between Labor and Likud with the cooperation of Shas — provided perfect material for my Rocky column yesterday. I really think that Kadima is *this close* to getting the rug pulled out from under it.
As shown by world networks, the hellish flames ravaging the Mariott Hotel in Islamabad seemed like a vision of the Apocalypse. That’s at least how many survivors of the Terror attack that massacred more than 60 and wounded hundreds have described it: “The end of the World.” But beyond the barbaric bloodshed and the human suffering ensuing, the heavy question fuses fast: How to read this Jihadi mayhem and what is the message behind the bombing?
This week is the 220th ratification anniversary of the American Constitution creating the Republic that is the longest lasting free government in history. America saved Europe from tyranny three times in the twentieth century, and today it is the only solid bastion of freedom against totalitarian Islam. What is not generally known, however, is that the American Constitution was rooted in ethical and political principles whose source is none other than the Torah, the Five Books of Moses. Protestant social revolutionary reformers, especially the Puritans of New England, saw in the Torah models for modern government. Strange as it may seem, contemporary Israel, reputedly a democracy, does not have a constitution.
Another terrorist bomb explodes in Pakistan and I hear our pundits repeat the Obama mantra: Afghanistan/Pakistan should be the central front for the war on terror. If only we could get out of Iraq and cut a deal with the Iranians to dump their oh so inconvenient big mouth Ahmadinejad, we could take on the the Taliban not only in Afghanistan but also in the Pakistan’s unruly NorthWest territories (God save us). “Know nothing McCain and Palin,” the Obama argument goes, do not realize that there is a difference between Sunni and Shia Islam; that the two hate each other’s guts and Shia is not the problem, Sunni Islam is.
If Todd is Sarah’s wind beneath her wings, Naftali is Tzipi Livni’s. Cherch les femme has to be changed to cherch les homme. To climb successfully the political greasy pole, a person needs a helper. The two women need them badly for not only are the long knives readied for them but the men feel they can humiliate them with impnity. Charlie Rangel describes Sarah as disabled. Defeated Shaul Mofaz and coalition partner Ehud Barack refuse to even meet with the new Israeli PM designate. No, as even Hillary discovered, gender matters.
This particular kind of report doesn’t make me mad. Lots of things in politics do (and I try to avoid them and/or stop letting them bother me), but not this. My honest first thought is how sad it must be to walk around every minute in this frantic state of mind:
I don’t mind rough-and-tumble political ads, but I mind them when they (a) come from someone who tells one and all that he — his elevated self — rejects the old politics and (b) his old-style politics campaign ads traffic in flat-out lies and distortions. Enter Barack Obama and his new Spanish language ad “Dos Caras” (”Two Faces”).You can see the ad here and read The Washington Post’s story on the ad here. Here’s The Post’s run-down and translation of the ad:
Political campaigns are highly orchestrated affairs, and both the McCain and Obama campaigns have tightened press access so reporters don’t dare see any “unscripted” or even “candid” moments. With six and a half weeks to go before the election, neither campaign can risk the press seeing something that might become an uncontrollable story.
On September 17, Kadima, the ruling party of Ehud Olmert’s coalition government, held an election to determine who would replace him as Israel’s Prime Minister. The election was won by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, portrayed in the media as “Mrs. Clean.” The previous day, Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, wrote: “Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni may not be a crook, but she is a fraud … just one fraudulent election away from becoming our next prime minister.” As we shall see, however, Livni is not the mother of all frauds—merely one of its many children. Glick sees that “unlike all the other party primaries that have been held over the years, the Kadima primary is designed not as a preparatory step ahead of general elections to the Knesset. Rather,it is intended to replace general elections.” Having won that primary, Livni will have 42 days to put together a ruling coalition. Failure to do so would mean a new general election in early 2009, a year and a half ahead of schedule. Olmert, who is a crookas well as a fraud, will remain as a caretaker leader until a new coalition is approved by the Knesset. (This could easily take 3-6 months.)
There are may theories about what or who is to blame for the current economic crisis. The reality is that no system of finance or governance or anything else is any better than the people who inhabit it. In other words, without a clear understanding of ethics and morality, the rest doesn’t matter.
It is a long-standing political truth that a sitting president gets credit for a good economy and blame for a troubled one. It has never mattered that this makes little sense. Tanking economies are rarely the fault of the White House. And if a nation’s economy booms, it has far more to do with the initiative of its people than with the beneficence of its leaders.
How lame is the energy bill that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had her House Democrats pass through the House on Tuesday? Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu said before the vote that Pelosi’s handiwork would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate. This from a Democrat who’s up for re-election in an oil-and-gas state that would seem to gain from the bill’s much-ballyhooed expansion of offshore drilling?What gives? For starters, Landrieu knows that the limited drilling the House leadership allows in principle — it opens up waters 50 miles from shore with state approval — is made next to impossible in practice. How? By not allowing states to share in the revenues. Why would they agree to oil rigs off their shores when there’s nothing in it for them?
He is, simultaneously, the most invisible man in the presidential race and the biggest elephant in the room. President Bush. Republicans don’t want to be seen with him (or get anywhere near his 30% job approval, although members of Congress, sporting a 12% job approval, would eat their own knees for Bush’s number.) Democrats are trying to tie John McCain to Bush, while claiming with a straight face that Republicans are the ones “fearmongering.”
Walid Phares, a visiting fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, talks to RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel about Al-Qaeda’s setbacks in Iraq and the future of its ideology.
Remember back way back in the pre-Sarah Palin age when first-term U.S. Sen Barack Obama was running against Hillary Clinton and a host of more experienced Democratic presidential candidates? I do. What I recall is how many Obama supporters would say that, well, there’s really no experience that prepares one for the White House so why not “The Chosen One.”In the most recent Weekly Standard, Ronald Reagan biographer and Winston Churchill scholar — and altogether snappy guy — Steven Hayward has an article on Palin and the experience issue that manages to rise above the current political back-and-forth and explore serious questions about the nature of self-government and elitism in the United States.