July 20, 2014

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Noah Rothman of Hot Air posts on how Ronald Reagan addressed another Russian atrocity 31 years ago. We have a link to Reagan’s Oval Office address. Nice to hear a real president.

… It is unfair to be too critical of the president for waiting to gather his facts before addressing the situation. But 31 years ago, at a time with far less reliable technology or communications capabilities, President Ronald Reagan immediately addressed an eerily similar situation – when Soviet forces shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 over the KamchatkaPeninsula.

On the day of the attack, calling it an “appalling and wanton misdeed,” the president ordered American flags to fly at half-staff at all federal and military installations.

Three days later, Reagan delivered an address to the nation from the Oval Office: …



Streetwise Professor asks if there is anything that would make this president cancel a fundraiser.

… Obama, certainly, was less than Churchillian or Reaganesque in his first response to the crime over Donetsk. Sayeth Barry: “It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.”

First: it was not a tragedy. It was an atrocity.

Second: “looks like”? “May be”?

Go out on a limb there, Barry.

Words fail. Truly.

With that box checked, Barry went on to tell some jokes. And give a banal speech about infrastructure or some such. Then he jetted off to a fundraiser. Or maybe it was (according to CBS News) a “political meeting”, as if that makes it all better.

I have a serious question. I mean it. I ask this in all seriousness: Just what would it take for Obama to cancel a fundraiser? …



President Narcissist has taken to call himself the “bear” when he forays out of his cocoon. Matthew Continetti says he’s more like a cub and that the real bear is in Moscow. 

“The bear is loose!” President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to “connect” with “real people.” Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, “restless,” bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear—intimidating, wild, untamed, roving—escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow.

One can trace a line from any global hotspot to Russia and its authoritarian ruler. Iran? Russia has assisted its nuclear program for decades. Syria? Russia is Bashar Assad’s arms dealer. Iraq? Russia is sending men and materiel to the central government. Afghanistan? Putin muscled nearby Kyrgyzstan into closing our air base there, crucial for transport, resupply, and reconnaissance in the war against the Taliban. The contretemps between the United States and Germany is the result of Edward Snowden’s breach of national security. Where is Snowden? In Russia, where he has just asked to have his visa renewed. I wonder if Vladimir Putin will say yes.

Then there is Ukraine, where Putin has been driving events since March, when he illegally annexed Crimea. The West thought sanctions would intimidate Putin, would force him into retreat. For a time, he drew down his troops on the Ukrainian border, leaving the fighting in eastern Ukraine to separatists trained, armed, and led by Russian special forces. The West thought it could ignore the situation. A guerrilla war in the east, it was assumed, does not threaten democracy in Kiev. The Ukrainian economy returned to its lethargic equilibrium. The Ukrainians elected a president. President Obama, in his speech at West Point, trumpeted his Ukraine policy as an example of “our ability to shape world opinion” and “isolate Russia.” …



If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, what is economic patriotism. Asked and answered by David Harsanyi.

So Barack Obama is again using one of the most contemptible phrases in American politics — “economic patriotism.”

There are many credible reasons to despise this rhetorical construct. Patriotism, after all, is the attachment to one’s homeland, a nationalistic devotion to one’s country and the values that make it great. If a person not only resists things that are “patriotic,” but opposes them, then logic dictates that person is being unpatriotic. So the president is really asking one question: Why do you hate America?

Obama has been dropping the phrase for years, though it’s nothing new. In recent history, Paul Tsongas, preparing to run in the Democratic presidential primaries in 1991, demanded that people demonstrate “economic loyalty” to the United States. He argued that “many of those who lament the decline in our standard of living are driving foreign cars” and that this kind of consumer choice would “benefit another country’s team” and hurt the economy. In 1993, the right’s leading isolationist/protectionist Patrick Buchanan used the exact term “economic patriotism” to describe his vision for the future, and these days we have people like Richard Trumka or Katrina Vanden Heuvel arguing that limiting innovation and free trade are forms of patriotism.

Obama takes the idea in a different direction, arguing that when profits go overseas we not only (supposedly) lose jobs here at home, but we damage our future because government can’t expand at the rate he prefers: …



Ron Christie writes an open letter to the attorney general.

… Just after you assumed office, Mr. Holder, you said America was a “nation of cowards” on matters of race. What is cowardly is the manner in which you, the president, and other officials of this administration have stoked up the racial animus you claim to deplore. America’s first black president was expected to usher in a new era of racial equality. Instead, we have watched the bonds that hold Americans together become more frayed.

We are now more polarized and more divided along racial lines than the day you took office. By recklessly accusing your opponents of racism, you have turned back the clock on race relations in this country. We are all worse off as a result, and weaker as a country. 

Your use of the race card to explain away genuine political opposition to President Obama’s policies upsets many people, particularly black conservatives like myself. You and the president have pandered to Al Sharpton—one of the most divisive figures in our political life, and one who has made his career and fortune by stoking racial animus. Perhaps he’s the one who taught you that cries of racism can be used to stifle legitimate debate. 

You’ve failed me, Mr. Holder. I looked to you as a role model 16 years ago. And I truly believed that you would use your high office and prestige to move America toward racial reconciliation. 

Instead, you and President Obama have sought to divide America for political gain. You asked us at that graduation so many years ago to devote our personal lives not just to doing well but to doing good. If only you could heed your own words.



Andrew Malcolm has late night humor.

Conan: Obama’s approval rating is at its lowest point ever — 41%. The president said, “When did I become less popular in this country than soccer?”

Meyers: Afghanistan held its presidential election runoff the other day. How it works is: Everyone runs off and whoever’s slowest has to be president of Afghanistan.

Conan: A California man was found to be running a meth lab in a retirement community. Or as he was known to residents, “The guy who stays up until 8.”

Conan: A Texas daycare center was accused of duct-taping children to their mats at nap-time. Parents were outraged. They also wanted to know if it worked.

One comment to July 20, 2014

  1. D JOHNSON says:

    ED , I was going to Moscow to give a talk . I had long wanted to see Russia but because of a
    AEC clearance , I had not been ALLOWED .
    After the Korean fiasco , I was ordered to stay put . End of trip to Russia .

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