From Power Line:
President Bush did many things for which his enemies will never forgive him. The last, and perhaps most unforgivable, was winning in Iraq.
AJ Strata on the FISA court’s decision upholding the terrorist surveillance program that was blown to the public (and the terrorists) by a disgruntled, narcissistic Justice employee and the New York Times:
All those moans and groans about the 4th Amendment and Bush spying on Americans was a bunch fantasy fiction. And now the court has made it unanimous, all three branches of government have supported the changes. Maybe now the NY Times and all those nuts on the left can finally eat their crow – they have a lot of it to shovel down.
Three points, nothing but net.
Stephen Halbrook, author of The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, testified against the confirmation of President-elect Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder. There are a lot of good reasons to reject Mr. Holder; among them is his opposition to an individual’s right to bear arms, contrary to the Founders’ intent when writing the Second Amendment and to the recent Heller decision — which his soon-to-be boss supports. Halbrook stated:
“Eric Holder has taken a constricted view of Second Amendment rights. Millions of law-abiding Americans exercise the right to keep and bear arms. Mr. Holder’s opinion is that the people have no such right unless they are commanded to exercise it in a formal militia, which renders the right meaningless. . . . Many Americans have reason to be uneasy about Mr. Holder’s nomination for Attorney General. They deserve to have a person in this role who is committed to upholding all parts of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, Mr. Holder has proven himself not to be that person.”
In my opinion, Holder is the worst so far of the several questionable nominations Mr. Obama has made, and that says a lot when looking at Messrs. Geithner or Panetta. The Republicans should draw a line in the sand and oppose Eric Holder, filibustering him if need be.
(hat tip: Instapundit)
UPDATE: Power Line thinks Holder will be confirmed, but offers defensible reasons for voting against him.
Two Latin American nations are in the news today, but not for reasons they’re happy with.
Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.
The command’s "Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)" report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. "In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.
"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."
(The full report is available here.)
Being compared to Pakistan, a basket-case nation and terrorist haven on the verge of collapse due to pressure from Islamist rebels, cannot please our friends in Mexico City, but the facts there are grim: the city of Juarez has been ripped by violence, suffering 35 murders since the new year — an average of 2-3 killings per day. The situation there is so bad that the Mexican government has had to send an additional 2,000 troops to restore order. Lest you think "so what," bear in mind that Juarez lies just over the border from El Paso, Texas.
Corruption is endemic in Mexico, and Ed Morrissey notes that it has spread deeply into the government and security forces — many in the army and police are in the pay of the drug cartels. The problem is apparently so bad that planners in the US worry about a sudden collapse of the Mexican state. It sounds ludicrous, to be sure, but Fausta reports that Mexicans of her acquaintance…
…don’t rule out the need for an invasion from the US military within the next five to ten years. Considering how territorial Mexicans can be, that is an astonishing statement on their parts.
We’ve had the benefit of a relatively un-militarized border with Mexico ever since we defeated the country in war 160 years ago. In fact, the porous, thinly guarded border has provided benefits to both countries: for example, as a safety valve for Mexico, through which to send people who can’t find work at home, and a source of cheap labor in the US. The transformation of Mexico into a failed state would require a far greater security presence along our border, create economic troubles for both sides, and raise the possibility of US military intervention. Ironic, since we’re nearing the centennial of the last US intervention in Mexico, which happened under President Woodrow Wilson.
President-elect Obama ran for office promising to get tough with Pakistan; he may well find himself facing a foreign crisis much closer to home.
Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez has so ravaged his country’s oil industry with his incompetence that he has had to do the unthinkable: open his oil fields to bids for exploration rights from the hated Western oil companies. And, having driven off anyone in Venezuela who actually knew something about running an oil business, the coca-paste caudillo has had to turn to foreigners to actually run his oil business, including that bete-noire of the Left, Halliburton.
Dick Cheney’s master plan has worked.
I have a hard time imagining Chavez getting good terms from the oil companies: Venezuelan crude is harder to refine than other crude oils, thus it commands a lower price on the world market. With the price of oil futures tumbling to around $35 per barrel today, Venezuelan crude brings in even less money. And don’t forget that these companies have no love for Chavez, since he nationalized their holdings within the last year.
Somehow, I don’t expect Royal Dutch Shell to offer Caracas a sweetheart deal for its sour crude.
The collapse of oil prices raises all sorts of problems for Chavez. Like the boor who’s tolerated at society parties because he’s wealthy, Chavez has made all sorts of friends and allies in Latin America because he’s had the cash to spend like a drunken sailor at a brothel on payday. He’s also been popular with the poor in his own country on account of the money he’s spent to subsidize prices for staples and other consumer goods.
I wonder how many friends he’ll have when he next opens his wallet and a moth flutters out?
And, while I laugh at that thug Chavez, chaos in Mexico and Venezuela would not be good for us, especially in a time of economic weakness. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that PEBO appoints good people to the Latin American desks in his government.
Not that I expect him to, but one can always hope.
The liberal establishment is under such stress over the possibility that Israel might succeed in protecting her own people that they are letting the mask slip a little. The latest is Bill Moyers giving us a raw peek into the consciousness of The Saint of PBS. Talking about Gaza and going back to the book of Deuteronomy, he referenced the biblical commands to take the promised land and jumped (I am not kidding!) to this outrageous bit of racism: “So God-soaked violence became genetically coded.”
Your charge about violence being genetically coded, for instance, finds recognizable parallels with the rhetoric of Nazi racial antisemitism. In addition, the continuities that you seem to draw between biblical accounts of ancient Israel’s conquests and present-day Israeli military action in Gaza find a familiar place in the history of Christian anti-Judaism.
No respectable historian today would make such a claim.
There’s a strain of anti-Semitism running through the Liberal Left that’s both surprising and disturbing, hidden as it is behind concealing layers of moral equivalence, multiculturalism, and faux-tolerance. Moyers just let the disguise slip a bit.
(hat tip: Infidel Bloggers Alliance)
UPDATE: Who said it? Bill Moyers or David Duke?