Goodbye American Exceptionalism

Krauthammer On Honduras

As usual, Charles Krauthammer hits it out of the park:

This guy is acting extra-constitutionally. Yes, he was elected, but Hitler was as well, and Chavez also was. It's easy to dismantle a democracy if you are president—if you are intent on doing it—and he is intent on doing it.

So our decision ought to be, yes, a coup isn't a nice thing, but it's preferable to having Zelaya dismantle the democracy. And we should insist on the elections of a president as scheduled in November, so it is a temporary situation.

Look, a rule of thumb here is whenever you find yourself on the side of Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the Castro twins, you ought to reexamine your assumptions.



Fred Travalena Dies

Another day, another entertainer death. Today it's Fred Travalena...man of a thousand faces (or should it be voices?), who was a mainstay of TV and the Vegas circuit for many years. He was also one of those rare Hollywood Republicans, most recently playing Jimmy Carter in the parody film "An American Carol."

SCOTUS Overturns Sotomayor

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned an appeals court decision that was supported by (but not written by) Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. And guess how the vote broke down: (give up?)

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide and make it harder to prove discrimination when there is no evidence it was intentional.
"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters "understandably attract this court's sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them."

Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens signed onto Ginsburg's dissent, which she read aloud in court Monday.

Emphasis mine. What is that supposed to mean Ruth? The court's full of white guys so naturally they want to help out their own kind?

As usual, the dissenters are being disengenuous and Justice Alito called them on it:

I join the Court’s opinion in full. I write separately only because the dissent, while claiming that “[t]he Court’srecitation of the facts leaves out important parts of the story,” post, at 2 (opinion of GINSBURG, J.), provides an incomplete description of the events that led to New Haven’s decision to reject the results of its exam. The dissent’s omissions are important because, when all of the evidence in the record is taken into account, it is clear that, even if the legal analysis in Parts II and III–A of the dissent were accepted, affirmance of the decision below is untenable.

And, as usual, Justice Anthony Kennedy has proven himself to be the most powerful man in the country. Yikes.


Racists Or Racialists?

Despite having to tighten the budget, there's plenty of great stuff over at Pajamas Media. Roger L. Simon is doing a bang-up job of getting some of the brightest minds in the world of entertainment and politics together, including activists Joe R. Hicks who has this excellent video commentary on the Sonia Sotomayor and identity politics.

If you can, support Pajamas Media either with a little money or daily readership.

TV Pitchman Billy Mays Dead

What is going on here? I hate to sound crass, but it's almost like G-d is nearing the end of the fiscal year and he's trying to clear a bunch of stuff off the books.

Honduran President Deposed In Coup, Socialists Outraged

I was able to piece most of this together from the lack of information in the AP writeup. There was a referendum vote about to start, but they don't bother to mention that the referendum was about allowing President Manuel Zelaya to run for President again despite term limits. I suppose that sounds too Chavezesque, so the AP didn't want us to be inclined to pick a side. They did mention, however, that Chavez is outraged, so that should settle that.

This is as close as the AP can come to giving us the full story:

Zelaya's constitutional successor, Congressional President Roberto Micheletti, has been one of the president's main opponents in the dispute over whether to hold the referendum. The head of the Supreme Court was also opposed to Sunday's election. The nonbinding referendum was to ask voters if they want to hold a vote during the November presidential election on whether to convoke an assembly to rewrite the constitution.

Rewrite it to say what?

Journalism is dead.

Military coups are rarely a good sign for democracy, but it seems that the Honduran military saw the writing on the wall early and knew they had another Chavez on their hands and they'd best act quickly. Time will tell.


House Passes Global Warming Bill

Boehner Attempts Filibuster In The House

Trying to stop or slow the progress of the Global Warming fraud bill by reading most of it into the record. Can't go on forever, but if he can buy some time to win over some Democrats...

Live feed from C-SPAN here.

The Prescience Of Protest

Natan Sharansky knows more about fighting for freedom than anyone on earth. His take on the protest in Iran:
Once again, the world is amazed. As with the seemingly sudden appearance of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s, or the gaudy, grand-scale collapse of the Soviet empire at the end of that decade, the massive revolt of Iranian citizens has elicited the unmitigated surprise of the free world's army of experts, pundits and commentators. Who would have known? Who could have predicted this eruption of protest in a system so highly repressed, where a generally quiescent populace lives under such a deeply entrenched revolutionary regime?

And yet, just as in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, there were those in Iran who did know all along, who foresaw and even foretold today's events. These were Iran's democratic dissidents, some at home, some in exile, some having served long sentences in Iranian prisons or on their way to those prisons right now.
At various Western conferences and forums in recent years, some of these dissidents even succeeded in gaining the ear of leaders of the free world. They were greeted with sincere expressions of sympathy and support -- but also with silent skepticism. Surely their assessments of the Iranian situation were unreliable at best. Heroic they undoubtedly were, but objective? After all, they lacked access to classified information, to satellite photography and the other tools of modern intelligence-gathering. They could not see the whole picture.
Now it turns out that, like their predecessors in the Soviet Union, they were right.

Putting It All Together

That was the week that was....

Quote Of The Day

Congress Prepares To Destroy Capitalism

While the world awaits the autopsy results for Michael Jackson, the United States Congress gets primed to put a very large nail into the coffin of American capitalism.

Cap and Trade, the largest tax increase in the history of the universe, is on the way. Add this to the eventual nationalization of health care and we can pretty much pack it in.

Everything dies eventually. The great American experiment was never immune from this undeniable truth.



Michael Jackson Dead

Man, what a weird day! We lose Farrah Fawcett, then Michael Jackson just like that. Throw in Ed McMahon and the Rule of 3's is proven once again.

UPDATE: Did I say it was a weird day? Apparently, their were rumors running rampant the last few hours that Jeff Goldblum had died while working on a movie in New Zealand. There's rumors have been debunked by actor Kevin Spacey on, you guessed it, Twitter!

Another side note...maybe it's a strange way to look at things, but I feel sorry for Farrah Fawcett. She was such an icon in the 1970s and with the death of Jackson, she's not really getting her due. Reminds me of how Groucho Marx's death was under-reported due to the fact that Elvis Presley died at about the same time.

Crazy ol' world.

Apple iPhone Offers Topless Girls App...For About 5 Minutes

Today a much ballyhooed announcement of the first adult app for the Apple iPhone called "Hottest Girls" was short lived as the app has been pulled by Apple for reasons unknown. Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE: Heh! Excess demand for boobage too much for servers. App pulled temporarily, but designers say it will be back soon.

Farrah Fawcett Dies

Just breaking.

Obama Flubs Health Care Special

Geesh. The guy gets ABC to sign over any and all journalistic credibility that remained with the network and then he whiffs during the one-sided special giving the false appearance that ABC actually did some journalism.

While Obama had to field some difficult questions -- from the audience and ABC -- he faced no Republican critics of his proposals. The network also allowed him to dominate the program with long-winded and vague answers. Out of the 75 minutes the network dedicated over the two programs (commercials excluded), the president managed to take 60 percent of that time: 45 minutes to give 19 vague responses – not exactly the “dialogue” advertised by ABC.

Then a major fumble:

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care."


Kasparov: Iran's Uprising A Threat To Putin

Let's hope he's right.


A Second Helping Of Hot Dog Diplomacy

It just gets better. President Obama has decided to return ambassadors to Venezuela and Syria.

After a four year absence, the US will once again have an ambassador in Syria.

The White House announced the plans Wednesday, saying the move reflects President Obama's commitment to be more "fully engaged" in the Arab world.

"This strongly reflects the administration's recognition of the role Syria plays, and the hope of the role that the Syrian government can play constructively to promote peace and stability in the region," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

According to Gibbs, since Obama took office in January there have been a series of meetings with administration officials and Syrian leadership.

The US pulled its ambassador to Syria in February 2005, expressing "profound outrage" over the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who had protested Syrian influence in his country. Although Washington never directly accused Syria of carrying out the murder, the US had criticized Syria for its support of Hamas and Hezbollah, and for not doing enough to end the influx of militants into neighboring Iraq.

This would be outrageous enough at any other time, but to do it while there's a slaughter taking place in Iran is the ultimate in sheer hubris. I have no words.

Sanford Saga Pales In Comparison To Real News

Okay, I'll comment on Mark Sanford. Never have I seen a promising political career flame-out so fast. He was emerging as a leader of the loyal opposition to our pseudo-Marxist President, but he threw it all away for a woman. It's a story as old as our country and it still amazes. How do these men, Clinton, Spitzer, Packwood, Kennedy, et al not realize what they're doing? Granted the Democrats rarely suffer from such actions, but that's a tired conversation for another time.

Bottom line, it's hard for me to get too worked up about this in light of what's going on in Iran. Sexed-up politicians really mean nothing by comparison.

Tiananmen Comes To Iran

Worst fears realized. The military thugs in Iran are killing protesters right and left in Baharestan Square in Tehran. Despite what many thought, the threat didn't temper the protests and the people have taken to the streets once more.

Ron Paul, call your office.

The Trouble With Libertarians

Eric Dondero aptly points out something I've struggled with for years: Conservatives tend to be more (small-l) libertarian than the so-called (capital-L) Libertarians. For the life of me, I've never understood how you can call yourself libertarian, support free markets, free speech, gun-rights, et al, but at the same time embrace isolationism. To me, libertarianism is not about living under a rock but dealing with world and domestic events with a solid foundation of classical liberalism. To act like we can live our lives totally free of what's happening in the next hemisphere over is more than just tomfoolery, it's derelict.

Dondero writes:

Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana was the author of the House resolution in support of the protesters. Pence is generally regarded as a staunch Conservative.

And in an irony of all ironies, Ron Paul, often labeled a "libertarian," cast the lone vote against Pence's resolution, saying: "I have always hesitated when my colleagues rush to pronounce final judgment on events thousands of miles away about which we know very little. And we know very little beyond limited press reports about what is happening in Iran."

(Scratching head)

Just who is the libertarian again? Pence or Paul??

Take it from me...it's Pence. (Hat tip: Instapundit)


Ed McMahon Dies

Via NBC:

The 86-year-old TV personality and former late-night sidekick died this morning surrounded by his family at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in California, his agent Howard Bragman told NBCLA.

McMahon had a "multiple of health problems the last few months," Bragman said, though he declined to name the entertainer's cause of death. A person close to the TV personality told the Associated Press that he had bone cancer, among other ailments, and had been hospitalized for several weeks.

Mullahs Take Tyranny To New Level

Families of dead protesters being charged "bullet fees" by the Iranian government.

Somewhere Janet Reno is saying "Why didn't I think of that?"

Ronald Reagan Reconsidered And Misunderstood

As Obama and his followers try to remake the country and the world in his image, there are a lot of articles recently about Ronald Reagan and what his legacy really is and so on. Naturally, many in the MSM are trying to disprove pretty much every belief about the Gipper, but Steve Hayward and Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO brings some order to the chaos.

Obama Now Trying To Take Credit For Iranian Uprising

No. Shame.


Weird: SC Governor Mark Sanford Goes Missing

Sort of. Via Politico:

First lady Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press today her husband has been gone for several days and she doesn't know where he is.

The governor’s personal and state phones have been turned off and he has not responded to phone and text message since Thursday, a source said.

Jenny Sanford said she was not concerned.

She said the governor said he needed time away from their children to write something.

The governor’s office issued a statement Monday afternoon: "Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session, and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside.

"We are not going to discuss the specifics of his travel arrangements or his security arrangements.

One official familiar with the situation said there is no indication that foul play is involved because Sanford occasionally makes trips without his security detail.

Bizarre. This is not the sort of thing the press is likely to forget should Sanford make a presidential run.

UPDATE: Contacted.

Siemens And Nokia In A "Jam"

Roger L. Simon takes aim at Siemens and Nokia for their sale of web monitoring equipment to the Iranian Mullahs. Time to man up boys and decide what's really important.

Sarkozy Slams Burqas

Says they will not be welcome in France.


Who Is Hossain Mousavi?

That's the question many are asking given the recent events in Iran. He's the opposition leader, though many point out he's hardly another George Washington. However, compared to Khomeini and his gang of thugs, he might be good enough. This is assuming he's able to amass any power at all.

There are also rumors that the Mullahs are thinking of cutting off the Ayatollah at the knees and forming a committee to lead Iran. Could be an American style trial balloon, but either way, it means they're scared which is a good thing.


I Scream, You Scream...

The Obama's scream for ice cream...while the Iranian people just...scream.

Patterico takes competing Twitter accounts and turns it into brilliant political reporting.

Are we making too much out of this? Perhaps, but I doubt the folks on the Iranian street would think so.

Michael Moore, call you office.

Iran Continues To Boil

Stay tuned over at Gateway Pundit as the great Jim Hoft continues to update us on the unrest in Iran. How it will all turn out is anyone's guess, but the one good thing we can take away is that things will never be the same for the Mullahs after this, no matter what the end game turns out to be.

"Goode" Show Targeted

Mike Judge's new show, The Goode Family, that pokes fun at enviro-liberals is actually pretty darn good, but the entertainment establishment is already targeting the show due to the Hollywood credo that you may only make fun of conservatives, southerners, etc. Hopefully the Fox network will pick it up when ABC inevitably caves to pressure. American Thinker has more.


Irony! The USS John McCain Sent To Intercept North Korean Ship

The Naval Destroyer is named for Senator McCain's father and grandfather, both were Admirals.

The U.S. military is planning to intercept a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.
The USS John McCain, a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The order to inderdict has not been given yet, but the ship is getting into position.
The ship left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which put sanctions in place against Pyongyang.


So Much For "Right-Winged" Fox News

Looks like the cable news leader may have been the impetus for Senator John Ensign's recent extramarital affair admission and subsequent leadership resignation.


The Battle For Iran

There's talk of even more bloodshed coming tomorrow. Rush Limbaugh looks at the influence of a free Iraq.


Fired Inspector General Fires Back

If this were happening in the Bush Administration, we'd already be knee-deep in impeachment hearings.

All Hail Twitter!

I have a Twitter account. I go by PopinjayRose. I use it as a sort of platform for performance art. I put entries like Chess moves (Qd4) or my latest weight in pounds (I've lost 30 this year). Or sometimes I put in quotes from Brother Theodore: "With every failure, my reputation grows!"

I'm not a technophobe...far from it. I admire the technology that makes things like Twitter available to the public. Though I thought it silly that anyone anywhere would be interested in an update on my every move: "8:18am...need to take a number 2."

Then, Iran. The folks at Twitter can hold their heads high for what they have done for the people of this despotic nation who are trying to kill a monster with nothing but their hands and their voices. Twitter proved to be such a valuable platform for getting the word out to the rest of the world that our own State Department stepped in and asked Twitter to delay a schedule network upgrade (and thus temporary shutdown) in order to keep the information flowing.

That's interesting...that matters.

All hail Twitter.

Putin Warns Obama Not To Raise Corporate Taxes

What a completely screwed up world we are living in. The leader of Russia (Putin, not the puppet Medvedev) is a capitalist pig and the leader of the United States of America is a Marxist.

Yes, I know that's an exaggeration, so don't bother emailing me to say so.


Iran: Sarkozy Denounces; Obama Hedges

The violence continues in Iran over their recent rigged election. It's weird that everyone is so worried about who is President of Iran when he's really nothing more than a press spokesman for the Ayatollah.

Anywho, my heart goes out to these young people fighting for their freedom from despotism. Gateway Pundit has a roundup.


And We're Back...

Took a few days of respite from the world...didn't realize Iran would explode while I was away. I'll get back into the game tomorrow.


Kevin Hassett: Obama Tells American Business To Drop Dead

Usually I'm pessimistic in this regard, but I'm starting to wonder if there isn't an awakening taking place. Obama's been in office for just over 4 months and already many are realizing that the only conclusion to draw is something like the following:

June 8 (Bloomberg) -- I’ve finally figured out the Obama economic strategy. President Barack Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing “failed” firms, that they have developed a scheme to gain the same power over every business. The plan is to enact policies that are so anticompetitive that every firm needs a bailout.
Once that happens, their new pay czar Kenneth Feinberg can set the wage for everybody and Rahm Emanuel can stack the boards of all of our companies with his political cronies.
I know, it sounds like an exaggeration. But look at it this way. If there were a power ranking of U.S. companies, like the ones compiled by football writers for National Football League teams, Microsoft would surely be first or second to Google. But last week, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer came to Washington to announce what Microsoft would do if Obama’s multinational tax policy is enacted.
“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said, “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S.” If Microsoft, perhaps our most competitive company, has to abandon the U.S. in order to continue to thrive, who exactly is going to stay?



Happy Anniversary, George Orwell!

It was 60 years ago today that 1984 was published.

Oh, how prophetic you were.

The Most Bizarre Case Of Stockholm Syndrome You'll Ever See

Dutch journalist, Joanie de Rijke. She goes to Afghanistan to write a sympathetic story about the Taliban. Upon arrival they hold her captive and repeatedly rape her. However, they did give her tea and biscuits, thus de Rijke says that while they did horrible things to her...

“They also respected me,” and emphasized “They are not monsters.”

Thank you and good night. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit)

CNN Ratings Down The Drain

Ed Driscoll has the scoop.

Lebanon Shocks The World

Rick Moran over at the American Thinker looks at the electoral victory of pro-democracy forces in recent Lebanese elections.

EU Elections, The Morning After

Daniel Hannan has a list of 10 things to take away from yesterday's Euro-elections. Good news for free marketeers, though always remember that European conservativism is not Reagan conservativism, but it's still a much, much better choice than the Labour Party.


Fall Of The Left In Europe?

While America is under the grips of Obamania, there is some good news in Europe as the Left leaning parties are in big trouble in upcoming EU elections. Daniel Hannan has the scoop on this, plus the slow political death of British PM Gordon Brown. He can suck up to The One at "Obama Beach" all he wants, it won't be enough to save him.


Krauthammer: Dictating Only To Israel

The usual calm and collected Charles Krauthammer seems fit to be tied by Obama's latest apology tour. As he points out, there is one country that will be dictated to: Israel.

President Obama repeatedly insists that American foreign policy be conducted with modesty and humility. Above all, there will be no more "dictating" to other countries. We should "forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions," he told the G-20 summit. In Middle East negotiations, he told al-Arabiya, America will henceforth "start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating."
An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone -- Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imperiously explained the diktat: "a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions."
What's the issue? No "natural growth" means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them -- not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns -- even before negotiations.
To what end? Over the past decade, the U.S. government has understood that any final peace treaty would involve Israel retaining some of the close-in settlements -- and compensating the Palestinians accordingly with land from within Israel itself.


The Big Show In Cairo

Well, Obama gave his big speech in Cairo. So far it looks like the usual suspects are impressed...the state-run media and the academics. Meanwhile, Israel, American conservatives and Muslim extremists are not so enamored. The Rightists in Israel are putting out a new poster that you see here. Rather extreme, but I don't blame them for being fearful.
The part about the Palestinian state is what gets my goat. Yes, everybody is for a two-state solution, except for one very important party...the Palestinians! They turned down the offer in 1999 because they will only accept a one-state solution which would involve the total destruction of Israel. Why can't anyone get this?

Meanwhile, there was this statement:

Conservative critics seized on a passage in which he said: “Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; progress must be shared.”

Hard to get too worked up about this, because it's nothing new. This was a view held by many of the Foggy Bottom wonks in the Clinton administration. Many believe it would be a better world if many countries had nukes rather than just the United States which was part of the reason the Clintons sold missile technology to the Chinese. It's also believed by some that democracy is no better than any other system...it's all relative. Yes, Postmodernism is back, in a big way.

UPDATE: Great minds think alike. Victor Davis Hanson on Obama's postmodernism.

Kung Fu Star David Carradine Dies

It appears to be a suicide while working on a movie in Bangkok.


Quote Of The Day

Actually, yesterday...

"I understand that during her career, she's written hundreds and hundreds of opinions. I haven't read a single one of them, and if I'm fortunate before we end this, I won't have to read one of them,” the majority leader told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday.


Playboy Practices Ideological Confusion

Ed Driscoll has a complete rundown of the controversy over a recent Playboy Magazine feature called "Conservative Women We'd Like To Hate-F**k". The early list includes the likes of Sarah Palin and blogger Mary Katharine Ham. What I find ironic in all of this is this line from Salon's Gabriel Winant:

“conservababes” on Playboy ‘author’ Guy Cimbalo’s hate-f*** list “are parasites on the body of feminism, free-riding on its gains to denounce its goals.”
Interesting. Last time I checked my history, Playboy Magazine was not exactly seen as a friend to the "great" feminists of our time like Gloria Steinheim, Kathy Ireland or Betty Friedan. While soldiers for free speech marched to support Playboy in the 60's and 70's, the feminists looked to end everything the magazine stood for. Now, what am I supposed to take away from this? Is Playboy siding with the feminists or free speech? Which is it Hugh?


Government Motors

What can I say about GM's bankruptcy filing today? We knew it was coming and we know what President Obama want to do to the auto industry. The only shocking thing here is how fast it's all happened.