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Showing posts from August, 2008

On Paper Tigers

Around the time Vladmir Putin was off shooting tigers – and not paper ones – he offered this sunburst on the West, which he considers a paper tiger. After the Russian invasion of Georga, Mr. Putain said he saw no “practical steps which indicate a cooling in relations,” between Moscow and the Europen Union. “If any of the European countries wants to serve someone’s narrow political interests, then go ahead. We cannot stop them. But we think, as they say in such cases, ‘You have to look out for No1,’ “I think that many of our partners, and first of all our European partners, will be guided by this fairly crude but very descriptive saying,” he added. Analysis, the TimesOnLine notes, “say that Russia’s role as a supplier of more than a quarter of Europe’s gas makes tough EU action unlikely at the summit.”


If Michael Moore, Palm d’Or winner, had three feet, he would have stuck all three in his mouth on this occasion: This is what the Germans call schadenfreude, joy at the discomfort of others. While everyone should rejoice at Moore’s celebration of theism – the presence of storm Gustav off the shore of New Orleans, he says, is proof of God existence – the proof, which St. Thomas Aquinas missed, strikes some as a bad joke.

Palin and the Reversal of Fortune

We don’t know yet whether Sen. John McCain’s choice of Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin will jump start the Republican Party’s sagging fortunes, but the choice and the resulting hubbub among the chattering class, in any case, suggests a classic Greek reversal of fortune. Before Palin, Democrat ladies were licking their sores at Sen. Barack Obama’s impertinent refusal to bring into his administration as Vice President Sen. Hillary Clinton, credited with putting 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling that has prevented women from rising from the kitchen to the steamy and hot political kitchen. It was feared that former President Bill Clinton might tag along and disturb Obama’s so far placid universe. (It was not necessary to read between the lines of Bill Curry’s dispatches from the Democrat Party convention to understand that the enormously talented politician and columnist, once an advisor to president and co-president Clinton, quite obviously preferred Hillary as VP. And after Bill

The Putin of Latin America

According to The International Herald Tribune , Venezuelan loud mouth Hugo Chavez will nationalize fuel distribution: “Distributors, including subsidiaries of British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, had hoped to persuade the government not to seize total control of their businesses.” But they failed to persuade the Vladmir Putin of Latin America, who earlier had nationalized other privately owned companies. “Under Chávez,” the Tribune reports, “the government has nationalized Venezuela's largest telephone, electricity, steel and cement companies and has assumed majority control over four major oil projects.” Exon Mobile and Chevron are American companies. It is unknown at this point whether Mayor of New Haven Connecticut John DeStefano will protest the seizure by refusing to accept winter shipments of oil from Chavez distributed through a company run by Joseph Kennedy . Chris Dodd, Connecticut’s expert on Lain America, has offered no diplomatic suggestions that might temper

Pope Pelosi on Abortion

The entertaining Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is not yet running for Pope, but this has not prevent her from correcting Catholic theologians when they fall short of modern perceptions. Most of the Catholic Church, minus Mrs. Pelosi, is unhappy with the slaughter of the innocents that has occurred in the Unites States since the US Supreme Court, in various opinions, struck down state laws forbidding abortion. The Catholic Church’s doctrine on abortion began to take form in the first century. To be sure, doctrine, as Cardinal Henry Newman insists (see "On The Development of Christian Doctrine"), does admit of development; which is to say, the doctrine, as it encounters different obstacles in its course through history, does change somewhat to meet new contingencies. But there is a world of difference between development and categorical change. During the birth cycle, developmental changes occur in the fetus, but there is no radical change – in th

What the Income Tax Really Did for Connecticut

Mr. James Willhoft, a resident of Manchester, Conn., has written a piece for the Journal Inquirer on the Lowell Weicker Jr. income tax that lists in painful detail the real accomplishments of the tax. Republicans should reduce the item to a wallet sized card and keep it close to their hearts for ready reference, the silly season now being upon us.


We know the places where Senator Obama lived as a child, and we know his white grandfather wanted Frank Marshall Davis to be his mentor. We know Davis mentored him from approximately age 14 to 18. We know Davis was a black communist writer and poet. We don’t know the details of what Senator Obama did in Chicago.* We could know more but the University of Illinois, apparently at the instance of Bill Ayers who stored the Annenberg Challenge Project files there, has denied investigator Stanley Kurtz access to those 132 boxes containing 947 files. Obama says he was a “community organizer” in Chicago. The organization for which he community-organized was. The years were probably 1985 to 1988, when he left to attend Harvard Law School. About his relations with Bill Ayers, “domestic terrorist”—the FBI’s characterization—Senator Obama reveals only that he’s that “guy who lives in my neighborhood.” These, then, are the themes of his pre-U.S. Senate experience: community organ

Obama, the Joyful Cynic, and the Pitcher

The rapidity with which the “candidate of change” changes is astounding. In choosing as his Vice President Joe Biden, a fixture that has been in the senate long enough to acquire cobwebs, Obama has surrendered any claim to be the candidate of change in Washington. What Obama's choice really signifies is that the promises a primary candidate makes on the campaign trail “ain’t worth a pitcher of warm p**s,” as FDR’s Vice President John Nance “Cactus Jack" Garner once said of the vice presidency. Garner, incidentally, was not a cynic. He served in Congress for 30 years, two of them as Minority Leader and two as Speaker of the House. He ran for president against Roosevelt but released his delegate to FDR at the nomination convention, for which he was awarded the warm pitcher of p**s. He opposed Roosevelt’s decision to run for a fourth term, challenged FDR for the party’s nomination, lost, and thereafter retired to his Texas homestead, regaling the locals with colorful stories a

This Will Not Please the Ladies

An unnamed Democrat official is quoted in Politico as having said that Sen. Hillary Clinton was never vetted for the Vice President position in the Barack Obama campaign. “She was never vetted,” a Democratic official reported. “She was not asked for a single piece of paper. She and Senator Obama have never had a single conversation about it. How would he know if she’d take it?” The official also said Clinton never met with Obama’s vetting team of Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy.” However, an unnamed Obama aide retorts, "Absolutely exhaustive research was done on her over the course of the 16 month primary. She was researched more closely than any candidate in history." So, maybe yes, maybe no. The title of the Politico report by Mike Allen is, “Hillary Gets Stiffed.” If she did get stiffed, this will not go down well with her supporters.

Joltin Joe Lieberman

Sen. Joe Lieberman, once a Democrat and now an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats in Washington, has hitched his rising or falling star to Sen. John McCain, the presumptive nominee for president on the Republican Party ticket. Lieberman’s support of McCain is trans-ideological. Theories abound: Some, mostly hot-headed leftist in the party of former President John Kennedy and former Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, both Democrats who were not uncomfortable with a strong and vigorous military, regard Lieberman as a traitor and scoundrel; others think he is primarily interested in the survival of Israel, whose foreign policy is more compatible with that of the United States than, say, Iran’s or Russia’s; still others view him as an independent in the mode of former Sen. Lowell Weicker, whom Lieberman displaced when state Republicans tired of being kicked around by a faux Republican who, they thought, belonged in the Democrat Party. When Lieberman ran for Weicker’s office, they summo

McCain Steps Up

A new Reuters/Zogby Poll shows Sen. John McCain with a comfortable lead over Sen. Barack Obama. “In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday. “McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.”

Fatherhood and the Hood

In cities like Hartford, the hood has replaced fatherhood and some people, notably state Sen. Gary LeBeau of East Hartford and Chris Powell, the Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer, have taken notice that the lack of fathers in families is the primary cause of urban pathologies. In an eye-opening column, Swiftian in spirit, “ A city boy's chances may be better in prison ,” Mr. Powell quotes former New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the subject of disordered fatherless cultures: “"From the wild Irish slums of the 19th-century Eastern seaboard to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future -- that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, disorder -- most particularly the furious, unre

Putin, Once a Stalinist, Always a Stalinist

In 1932-33, Joseph Stalin’s withering hand touched Ukraine. In what has come to be called the Holodomor , upwards of 5 million people died of famine. Labeled genocidal by the United Nations, the Stalin produced famine, was the first time in history that famine on this scale was used as a totalitarian instrument of oppression. Two courageous reporters who defied Moscow’s ban on travel, Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge, took trains out into the countryside and reported on the famine, Muggeridge by concealing in diplomatic pouches his dispatches to a London newspaper. The truth about the famine, as it happened, was a very slender reed. The news was overcome by stories written by Walter Duranty for the New York Times. Duranty, whom Muggeridge later would say was the greatest liar he had met in all his years in journalism, reported that there was no famine in Ukraine, later admitting that 10 million people had died in the non-existent famine. Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for h


We know the places where Senator Obama lived as a child but not why he chose Chicago nor what he has done which bears upon the requirements of president.* Experience? Leadership? Of his activities in Chicago prior to running for the U.S. Senate, he says he was a “community organizer.” The organization for which he community-organized was ACORN. The years were probably 1985 to 1988 when he left to attend Harvard Law School. About his relations with domestic terrorist William Ayers, he revealed only that he’s that “guy who lives in my neighborhood.” These are the themes of his pre-U.S. Senate experience and leadership, community organizing and William Ayers. On community organizing, much is known about ACORN. ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), organized in 1970, physically seized an empty building owned by the City of New York and put squatters in it. The City later gave ACORN the building. The mortgage-giant Fannie Mae between 1980 and 200

The Weekend Wrapper

As we approach Thermador, the party conventions, things, as Alice in Wonderland once observed, become curiouser and curiouser. In a Freudian slip, Democrat Party chairman Howard Dean called the Republican Party the “white party.” Mr. Dean is white. Democrat Party Central has opened on former Governor of Massachussetts Mitt Romney an aggressive assault reminiscent of the attack launched by former Russian President and string puller Vladimer Putin against Georgia, a U.S. ally in the Iraq war that in the near past and may again, assuming Putin has his way, become a prisoner in chains of Moscow. “He is the most intellectually inconsistent politician in the history of politics. I have never seen anyone so completely without any commitment to any particular principle and so willing to say whatever he thinks will help him win the next election," said Rep. Barney Frank of Mr. Romney. In a story that includes the above quote, Mr. Lee Davidson of Deseret news reminds us that Rep. Fra

You Shall Not Co-operate with Federal Authorities in Enforcing Federal Law

The purpose of Hartford’s recent illegal immigration ordinance , we are told, “is to codify the policies of the City of Hartford regarding its residents and usage of City services as it relates to their immigration status.” It’s always nice to have everyone on the same page. The ordinance provides that, “Any service provided by a City of Hartford department shall be made available to residents, regardless of immigration status, unless such agency is required by Federal law to deny eligibility for such service to residents because of their immigration status.” Or to put it in other words, the ordinance stipulates that no service currently provided by the city to citizens, natural born citizens and legal immigrants shall be denied to illegal immigrants. The ordinance specifies that workers providing services to illegal immigrants “…shall encourage residents, regardless of immigration status, to make use of all City services provided by City departments for which residents are not de

The Kiss 2

Shouldn’t someone be making a couple of paper mache puppets to immortalize this pre-convention moment?

Sunday Round-up

Bill Curry , now a columnist for the Hartford Courant and once an advisor to the President Bill Clinton and his lovely co-president Hillary Clinton, has chosen Sen. Barak Obama’s Vice President. And the winner is… No big surprise. If Obama, in a rare act of foolhardiness, does choose Hillary as his VP, he will be the only president in history to have had two co-presidents, the second being Bill who was, Toni Morrison reminds us, the first black American president. Kevin Rennie is hot on the trail of U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd. He thinks Attorney General Richard Bluementhal may be interested in getting his paws on recorded phone messages between the senator and his patrons at Countrywide. John Edwards is still blue. But his mistress has refused to supply DNA to clear up a question of paternity, which is the first good news Edwards has had since two burly reporters from the National Inquirer accosted him on a staircase in a hotel where Edwards reputedly was visiting Baby O .

Another Eros Stricken Married Male Bites the Dust

This Friday, August 8, 2008, Sen. John Edwards, once a Democrat presidential candidate, now a repentant philanderer, announced that he did indeed have an affair with a young lady who filmed his campaign. According to an Associated Press front page story in the Journal Inquirer Edwards has “denied fathering a daughter born to the woman with whom he had the affair, and offered to be tested to prove it… After the story broke Friday, Edwards released a statement that said, 'In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment… I recognized my mistake and told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. I was honest in every painful detail with my family. I took responsibility for my action in 2006, and today I take full responsibility publicly.'” The cause of Edward’s infidelity was that ol’devil hubris, according to the AP report and Edwards’ statement: “In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasi

B**ch Slappers and the McCain Ad

Here is Maureen Dowd’s b**ch slap on McCain : First, Dowd cites, without mentioning a name, one of McCain’s “old pals in the senate,” who cringes “at what they (sic) see as his soulless transformation into what he once scorned.” The quoted portion here is Dowd’s gloss on what was said by the anonymous “they,” who is not quoted on this point directly. Could it be that “they,” the source upon which Dowd hangs her vituperation, is one of his former Democrat pals in the senate who now support Barack Obama? Some of the lights of the Democrat Party are featured in the new McCain ad that appeared after Ms. Dowd’s column was in print. “He can work with Democrats on Key issues. Whether it’s campaign reform or tobacco policy, he’s worked with us” – Tom Daschle “John McCain is a great friend, a personal friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain” -- Sen. Joe Biden “I have enormous respect for him. He is a courageous, patriotic American who stands up for what he belie

There’s Bad News and There’s Bad News.

The bad news is that in the three months ending in June, according to a report by Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, new businesss start ups dropped to an eight year low. And the other bad news is that that 3,000 businesses closed in the second quarter of this year, also an eight year low. Bysiewicz tried to put some lipstick on this economic pig when she said, “Businesses throughout the nation are struggling to cope with escalating energy prices, health care costs and the national credit crisis, and Connecticut's businesses are no exception.” Economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association Peter Gioia said the state was in better shape than the nation and pointed to jobs added over the last couple of months, while the national economy has suffered seven continuous months of job losses. A member of Governor Jodi Rell’s Council of Economic Advisors, Don Klepper-Smith, pointed a crooked finger at the national credit crunch, Given the tight credit, Klepper-Smith

Connecticut’s Conspirator’s Corner

The entrée of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s J. Edgar Hoover, into the Countrywide scandal has caused several conspiracy theories to arise. Conspiracy theory 1: Blumenthal really, really, really wants to be senator. But there is a problem. One of Connecticut’s senatorial chairs is occupied by Sen. Joe Lieberman, formerly a Democrat, now a Democrat leaning Independent. Lieberman, unhorsed by Ned Lamont in a Democrat primary, ran in the general election as an Independent and cleaned the clock of former Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker ’s favorite politician, fellow Greenwich millionaire Lamont. The other chair is held by Sen. Chris Dodd. As a general rule in Connecticut politics, opportunities for senatorial slots do not become available until the grim reaper hauls off the reigning incumbent across the Styx. Weicker, torpedoed by Lieberman, was the exception that proves the rule. The Countrywide scandal presents a rare opportunity for Blumenthal. Hoover, the

What Next? The Persian Gulf

It is now possible to imagine a victory of sorts in Iraq and pop the question: What next? In no prearranged order, these are the elements that have improved conditions on the ground in Iraq: the 2007 surge; the capable leadership of General Petraeus, known as General Betray Us by idiot bloggers; the huge number of jihadists killed in the five years since 2003; the increase in size and competence of Iraqi Security Forces; and the understated political acumen of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. As mentioned in this spot before, the new realities on the ground have forced some prior run-for-the-hills opponents of the new strategy adopted by President George Bush to adjust their rhetoric. Almost no one any longer argues for an immediate withdrawal of troops, and talk of impeaching President Bush is now limited to such political losers as U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, twice a failed candidate for president on the Democrat ticket. Kucinich has not formally retreated from his peace “plan” for

Swan Dives

Tom Swan , the head of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and the campaign manager for Ned Lamont in his unsuccessful run for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat, is kicking dust on John "Corky'' Mazurek’s shoes. Swan prefers Karen A. Houghtaling over Mazurek. Houghtaling is described in one story as “a 41-year-old grandmother who works more than 60 hours a week in two jobs as a receptionist and a waitress in Waterbury.” She is backed by CCAG and labor union groups such as the United Auto Workers, AFSCME Council 4, and the Working Families Party, the usual culprits who sit like gargoyles on the left wing of the Democrat Party. The Working Families Party is one of those odd party organs that developed as reformers attempted to bring political parties, increasingly viewed as unnecessary, into the 21st century. The “party” in Connecticut has, according to one account, fewer than a dozen registered members and a line on political ballots. It’s the line on the ballot, used by the WFP

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

It is easy to think that Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the author of “The Gulag Archipelago,” the book that helped to bring the Soviet Union to its knees, was a contemporary of yet another great Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoevsky. They both lived in cursed “interesting times,” Dostoevsky at the end time of the Czars, and Solzhenitsyn at a time when Soviet communism began to stink in men’s nostrils. Dostoevsky, the author of “Poor Folk”, imprisoned by the Czar for subversive activity, was sent packing to Siberia, where he spent several years in the harsh Russian winters concocting “The House of the Dead,” his fictional novel that drew on his prison years. Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned for subversive activity by modernity’s version of the Czars, the Politburo, and he spent his time concocting “A Day in the Life of Ivan Desenovich,” which drew on his prison years. A faithful biographer of Dostoevsky, tells us that the Czar had arranged a tormenting send off for those early socialists, writers

In The Rough, Hillary Agonistes

Women’s groups are trying to make lemonade out of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid. Stacy Mason, executive director of a political action committee called Women Count, and others are demanding a plank in the Democrat Party’s upcoming convention protesting slights committed by exuberant supporters of likely presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama. “There were so many examples in the media of sexist commentary,” said Ms. Mason, “where we never heard from, the party leadership or Barack Obama.” Like what? Quoth the Los Angeles Times: “Some Clinton supporters have complained of jibes against the New York senator by TV talk show hosts, off color novelty items that surfaced during the campaign and incidents such as one where hecklers yelled, ‘Iron my shirt!’” Oddly enough, this sort of thing never happens to the iconic Madonna or Paris Hilton, the light as air hotel princess noted chiefly for her notoriety. Hilton recently flitted through a recent John McCain video, her presence in t