US Politics Obama Years
Immediately below Paul Mirengoff describes one despicable Democratic congressman (Alan Grayson) waging a despicable campaign in search of a winning message, or at least a suitable bogeman. Southern California Rep. Loretta Sanchez is another despicable congressman waging a despicable campaign. Sanchez faces a strong challenge from Republican Van Tran. In the case of Sanchez, the bogeyman is her opponent. He's a native of Vietnam, you see, having left Saigon with his family shortly before South Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975.
In today's Star Tribune Katherine Kersten tells the story of the cartoonist formerly known as Molly Norris. Norris is the former Seattle Weekly cartoonist who he drew a lighthearted cartoon of a poster announcing "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Tongue firmly in cheek, Kersten recalls, she named the day's sponsor as a nonexistent group: "Citizens against Citizens against Humor." Everything about Molly Norris is "former" because she's "gone ghost" on the advice of the FBI. That is, she has changed her name and identity and abandoned her livelihood because of a fatwa issued against her by Anwar al-Awlaki. Seattle is unsafe for cartoonists who blaspheme against the tenets of Islam. Norris is now in her very own cartoonist protection program. For some reason, however, we haven't heard much about Molly Norris. It's almost as though our media seek to abet her transition to the status of a nonperson.
Rush Limbaugh added an interesting footnote to our disagreement with Mark Levin on the Delaware Republican Senate primary contest. We thought that Rep. Mike Castle was the preferable candidate under William Buckley's rule of thumb that conservatives ought to support the rightwardmost viable candidate in a given race. Levin supported Christine O'Donnell as the rightwardmost candidate in the race.
The funny thing about President Obama, Charles Kesler notes in "The Stakes of Obamacare," is how resolute he is despite poll numbers that ought to be discouraging. Forty-two percent of Americans now call themselves conservative, compared to 20 percent who call themselves liberal; and the president's job approval ratings have steadily eroded since he took office. With midterm elections on the horizon, one might expect the president to stand a little less firmly, to give a little. But Obama, Kesler argues, will do no such thing. He is the most ambitious and the most ideological president we've had in decades, and he's playing a very long game.
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, given his sexual sadism, Ross "never should have been convicted, or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death." Despte Judge Chatigny's best efforts, Ross was ultimately executed by Connecticut authorities in 2005. Yesterday's Hannity Show on Fox News featured an excellent report on Judge Chatigny focused on his role in the Ross case (above). Senators Sessions and Coburn distinguished themselves in the hearing on Judge Chatigny held by the Senate Judiciary Committee this past March. Judge Chatigny's nomination to the Second Circuit should not receive the Senate's consent. This story deserves the wider notice that Hannity's attention gives it.
Politico covers the effort to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics led by Rep. Marcia Fudge and several fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Politico attributes the effort in large part to the ill will generated by the OCE's referral of an investigation involving the PMA lobbying group to the Department of Justice. Politico neglects the origin of the hostility of Rep. Fudge and other Congressional Black Caucus members to the OCE. This is an important story. Readers looking to round out the picture presented by Politico would be well served by reviewing the New York Times stories that we linked to in "The Fudge factor."
Taking his cue from Spike Lee, President Obama is engaged in a mission to discover "whose ass to kick" regarding the catastrophic oil gusher that is polluting the Gulf. What a guy!
When Israeli commandos intercepted the Turkish flotilla to Gaza, they were ambushed on board the Mavi Marmara. The ambush produced the desired publicity and international furor sought by the friends of Hamas among the flotilla's organizers and passengers. The object of the flotilla was obviously to facilitate in one way or another Iran's takeover of Gaza as a base to conduct its war against Israel. Mainstream media organizations like the AP dutifully played their accustomed role as useful idiots in playing along with the purported "humanitarian" nature of the flotilla's mission. To understand the game afoot in the flotilla's effort to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, it helps to understand the political situation in Turkey. For help in understanding, I recommend columns by astute observers who know what they are talking about. Among these columns I would point to Robert Pollock's "Erdogan and the decline of the Turks," Claudia Rosett's "Turkey's two-faced aid for Gaza," Ralph Peters's "DC's Turkish denial," and Mark Steyn's "Israel, Turkey and the end of stability." The Jerusalem Post continues to shed light on the nature of the flotilla. Among its recent reports are "PM: Mercenaries aboard Gaza ship" and "Pics of beaten commandos published." The Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF has identified a group of about 50 men - of the 700 on board - who were wel
As a dedicated Beatles fanatic from the age of 13, I was touched when Paul McCartney turned up at the Concert for New York City following 9/11. What a guy, I thought to myself. New York had played a special role in the ascent of the Beatles, with Cousin Brucie, Murray the K, Ed Sullivan and all the rest. It was moving to see McCartney repay the favor in the form of his appearance at the concert. Thus I was disappointed to hear McCartney's classless putdown of President Bush at the White House after he received the Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize this week, leaving this as his parting remark: "After the last eight years, it's good to have a president that knows what a library is." I would like to associate myself with Jay Nordlinger's comment: Can anyone tell me why people are such schmucks? Why they are so graceless and clueless and nasty? I mean, Paul McCartney's like the richest, most popular, most honored musician in the world. Does he not have it in him to behave like a gentleman -- or at least a non-boor -- while he's being celebrated at the White House? Does he have to be the Wanda Sykes of popular music? Is it not possible to love Obama, as McCartney does, without hating Bush -- or at least insulting him on a high, non-political occasion? I don't care that "Penny Lane" is a pretty tune, Paul McCartney is a horse's butt. Let me amend that: He acted like one, on Wednesday night. Jay summarized one set of responses to his comment as saying: "Even worse than McCartney's insult was that the Obama crowd laughed like junior-high hyenas." To this he added: "Ye