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FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 13, 2008


By Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy




By Charles Johnson

Barack Obama may intend to meet with Iran without preconditions (yes, he did say it, no matter how often he tries to deny it now), but Iran isn’t granting Obama the same courtesy: Iran’s Vice President Sets Two Preconditions for Talks with US.

They’re very simple conditions, really. Just remove all US forces from the Middle East, and abandon Israel to the wolves.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Vice President for Media Affairs Mehdi Kalhor said on Saturday that Iran has set two preconditions for holding talks with the United States of America.

In an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency, he said as long as U.S. forces have not left the Middle East region and continues its support for the Zionist regime, talks between Iran and U.S. is off the agenda.

It is the Americans who are in dire need of reestablishing ties with Iran, he underlined.

Iran is not obliged to reestablish ties with the U.S., he said. “If they take our advice, grounds for such talks would be well prepared,” he said.  Sunday, October 12, 2008




By Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez




By John Hinderaker

We've noted many times that John McCain was one of the prescient legislators who saw the dangers posed by the runaway Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae and tried to do something about the problem. Until now, though, I'd never seen this letter of May 5, 2006, signed by McCain and 19 other Senators, that couldn't have been clearer about the dangers posed by the Democrats' reckless treatment of Fannie and Freddy, and the need to take action to protect the taxpayers and the economy. It's hard to see how any warning could be more spot-on. Click to enlarge:

Among the more prescient observations:

We are concerned that if effective regulatory reform legislation for the housing-finance government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole. ...

Today, almost half of the home mortgages in the U.S. are guaranteed by these GSEs. They are mammoth financial institutions with almost $1.5 Trillion of debt outstanding between them. With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would pay this debt if Fannie or Freddy could not? ...

It is vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that these institutions benefit from strong and independent regulatory supervision, operate in a safe and sound manner, and are primarily focused on their statutory mission. More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event either GSE should fail.

Via Human Events. One thing I hadn't realized is that McCain's reform legislation was passed through the Senate Banking Committee, but was not able to gain majority support on the Senate floor. All twenty Senators who signed the letter calling attention to the urgency of reforming Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were Republicans. After May 2006, the Democrats continued to use Fannie and Freddy as their private slush funds until the inevitable collapse, which McCain had warned against so eloquently, occurred.

For some inexplicable reason, John McCain seems unable to claim the credit he deserves for being one of the few politicians in Washington who saw the present crisis coming and tried to do something about it. He is even more unable to vigorously and unambiguously put the blame where it belongs: on the Democratic Party. Which is one of the principal reasons why, as everyone expects, he will lose in November.  Saturday, October 11, 2008




By Ed Morrissey

John Kass tries to explain how unrepentant domestic terrorists like William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn could be considered “mainstream”.  It takes a healthy dose of The Chicago Way, but also a healthy dose of infiltration by some of Ayers’ old radical compatriots into the Daley Machine.  One of Ayers’ staunch defenders in Chicago, Marilyn Katz, was part of the same SDS that launched the Weather Underground — and who now works on Team Obama:

One friend of Obama and Ayers is former ’60s radical Marilyn Katz, now an Obama fundraiser, strategist and public relations maven. She’s often a go-to quote for reporters to knock down the Ayers-Obama story.

“What Bill Ayers and [former Black Panther, now U.S. Rep.] Bobby Rush . . . did 40 years ago has nothing to do with [the presidential campaign],” Katz was quoted as saying in the Chicago Sun-Times in April. “[Ayers] has a national reputation. He lectures at Harvard [University] and Vassar [College].”

What that story and many other pro-Obama articles gloss over is that during the violent protests of the 1968 Democratic National Convention here, Katz was the security chief for the radical Students for a Democratic Society. She once advocated throwing studded nails in front of police cars, back in the SDS days when the group was alleged to have thrown cellophane bags full of human excrement at cops and cans of urine and golf balls impaled with nails.

How things change.

Under this Daley, her firm, MK Communications, has many city deals, and one involves public relations for the Chicago Police Department’s community policing program. From nails to contracts, the Chicago Way. Apparently, irony was not a ’60s thing.

When you hear that Ayers is mainstream, consider the source.  And while we’re at it, how many more SDS radicals now work for Barack Obama?  Sunday, October 12, 2008


By Ed Morrissey

Somehow, I doubt that Russia’s latest diplomatic project will gain much traction with its closest European neighbors, but it does at least expose the Russians as something other than allies to the US.  Dmitry Medvedev has called on France and other European nations to form an anti-American front.  Nicolas Sarkozy declined direct comment:

THE President of Russia has called on Europe’s leaders to create a new world order that would minimise the role of the United States.

Confident that a row with Europe prompted by Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August was over, Dmitry Medvedev arrived in the French spa town of Evian on Wednesday determined to woo his fellow leaders into creating an anti-US front. …

In a speech delivered to European leaders at a conference hosted by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to discuss the international financial crisis, Mr Medvedev sought to show that the US was at the root of all the world’s problems. He blamed Washington’s “economic egotism” for the world’s financial woes and then accused the Bush Administration of taking Europe to the brink of a new cold war by pursuing a deliberately divisive foreign policy.

He also maintained that the US was once again trying to return to a policy of containing Russia.

Small wonder.  Vladimir Putin has tried strongarming former Soviet republics into falling back into Moscow’s satellite system.  He attempted to interfere with elections in Ukraine, with some convinced that the Russians were behind the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko, who then launched the Orange Revolution and pushed the pro-Moscow Viktor Yanukovych out of power.  The UK believes that the Russians assassinated former KGB agent and Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko, which Litvinenko himself said before he died of radiation poisoning from a dose of polonium.  The attack on Georgia only escalated Putin’s return to empire-building.

Medvedev wants an end to NATO.  Instead, he wants a new European security pact based on the “inadmissibility of the use of force”, which hardly sounds like a security pact at all.  In fact, in light of Russia’s attack on Georgia, it’s staggeringly hypocritical.  Russian forces invaded Georgia — they didn’t ask the West to pressure Georgia to stop attacking separatists who had attacked them, with Russian backing.  The newly militarized Russia wants Europe to end its century-long partnership with the US and disarm itself, and undoubtedly there are enough fools in western Europe that this proposal will get taken seriously — especially in France and Spain.

They should talk to Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, the Czechs, and others in the former Iron Curtain region.  They know and understand Russia better than anyone else in Europe, and they understand the nature of the beast Putin has created again in Moscow.  They have lived for centuries under the threat of Russian oppression as well as the reality of it, and they have no desire to experience the latter again.  Russia wants its empire back, and they want Europe as a doormat once again.  Saturday, October 11, 2008




By Blake Dvorak

Well, one prognosticator McClatchy reporter Steven Thomma spoke to thinks so, and the others are all but calling this one over:

Former Reagan political adviser Ed Rollins likened today's landscape to that in 1980, when voters were angry at President Jimmy Carter and the Democrats and turned to Reagan in droves once they felt comfortable with the idea of him as president.

"Barack has met the threshold," Rollins said. "Once Reagan met the threshold, people wanted to get rid of Carter and they did in a landslide. This is going to turn into a landslide."


"The fundamentals have come together almost perfectly and at just the right moment for the Democrats," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "It could hardly look better for the Democrats."

"This election right now is exclusively about economy," said independent analyst Charlie Cook. "Despite the fact that the House and Senate are in Democratic hands, Republicans seem to have total ownership of the problem. Fair or not, it's true."

As Kyle mentioned in his 10/10 Recap, Virginia has moved into Lean Obama territory, putting him above 270 on the RCP Electoral Map.

Add to this the doom-and-gloom coming from Republicans and there's a real sense that this one is slipping quickly away from McCain.

Of course there's a lot of campaigning left. Polls may tighten, the CW could shift yet again, leading to a very close election. But the trajectory of the race doesn't look good for McCain.  Sunday, October 12, 2008




By Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie




By John Hinderaker

Mark Steyn makes a good point:

If Obama is elected in November, at G7 meetings, for the first time since time they began, America will have a more left-wing leader than any other member of the group - Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Britain (and that's before Gordon Brown loses to David Cameron). Right-of-center government throughout the western world - except Washington.

American liberals have yearned to match Europe's supposed sophistication as long as America has existed. Maybe someone should give them the news: adopting Euro-style leftism in 2008 would be a bit like having a go at European fascism in 1945.


By John Hinderaker

You have to hand it to the mainstream media: they are utterly shameless in their effort to hand this year's election to Barack Obama. The latest MSM theme is "Republican rage." Supposedly, Republicans have become dangerously angry; the evidence is mostly that at McCain/Palin rallies, Barack Obama is sometimes booed!

Wow. How deranged can you get? Of course, John McCain gets booed at Obama rallies, too. But that's different: McCain deserves to be booed. When Republicans boo the reporters' beloved Barack, that's an entirely different phenomenon.

The reporters' favorite example of Republican Rage happened right here in Minnesota, at a McCain rally on Friday. We wrote about it here. My friend and radio partner Chad Doughty was there and posted this report. You can see for yourself the pitiful examples of "rage" that reporters tried to promote from molehill to mountain here.

For those who have observed the lunacy that has gripped the Democratic Party and liberals generally over the last seven years, the idea that we are now witnessing "Republican rage" is laughable. Michelle Malkin does a definitive job of reminding us what hate, rage and lunacy really look like. Rage has been the public face of liberalism for the last seven years.

UPDATE: Now crazed Obama supporters are throwing Molotov cocktails. Do you suppose stooges like Frank Rich and Paul Krugman will take this as a sign that Democrats are angry? No, I don't think so either.

FURTHER UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has more examples of liberal rage.  Sunday, October 12, 2008




Click to view map of attacks in Afghanistan by province, 2007 versus 2008. The numbers are thru August 2008.

US, British, and Afghan forces defeated two Taliban attacks in eastern and southern Afghanistan on Sunday. Seventy Taliban were killed during the two engagements. Five were killed as they attempted to attack from inside Pakistan.

In eastern Afghanistan, US forces launched two separate artillery strikes into Pakistan after Taliban mortar teams attempted to hit a US outpost inside Afghanistan. The outpost is located in the border district of Barmal in Paktika province, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told The Long War Journal. The strikes were launched across the border into North Waziristan.

ISAF said the strikes were coordinated with the Pakistani military. US forces launched the first artillery strike after three Taliban were seen setting up a mortar tube. Pakistani forces confirmed two Taliban were killed. An hour later, a Taliban mortar team was seen setting up to hit a Pakistan Border Point. US forces launched a second volley "in defense of the Pakistani military." Three Taliban were confirmed killed by Pakistani forces.

The artillery strikes occurred the same day as a US Predator strike was launched against a Taliban and al Qaeda safe house outside of Miramshah in North Waziristan. Four Taliban were reported killed.

The Haqqani family and Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadar run a parallel administration in North Waziristan, and have launched multiple cross-border strikes in Paktia, Paktika, and Khost provinces this year. Taliban and allied al Qaeda forces have attempted to over US and Afghan outposts and district centers in eastern Afghanistan this year.

In southern Afghanistan, US and Afghan forces killed more than 65 Taliban fighters after they attempted to attack an Afghan National Security Forces outpost in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. The Taliban were seen gathering outside the town and were preparing a mortar attack when British and Afghan forces launched a counterattack. An airstrike resulted in most of the casualties, ISAF said in a press release. Mullah Qudratullah, the commander of the Taliban force, was killed in the attack, the provincial governor's spokesman told Reuters.

The attack in Helmand comes as the British are pushing for peace talks with the Taliban and news has broken that a senior Pakistani military officer was killed during a raid in Helmand province more than a year ago. British intelligence believes the Taliban have split from al Qaeda, and the time is right to cut a deal. Talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government were pushed by the British. But the so-called Taliban representatives have no standing with the group. Several members have been expelled from the organization.

US intelligence told The Long War Journal that there is no evidence of a Taliban-al Qaeda split, and in fact believes that the Taliban and Mullah Omar's ties to al Qaeda are stronger than ever. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the US would be willing to negotiate with the Taliban, but only with “reconcilable” elements – those without links to al Qaeda. Mullah Omar and other senior Taliban leaders are not considered among the reconcilable elements of the Taliban.

Afghan officials accuse the Brits of covering up a report of the death of a Pakistani military officer who was advising Taliban forces in the Sangin district in Helmand province. "When the British soldiers entered the compound they discovered a Pakistani military ID on the body," The London Times reported. The Brits covered up the incident "because they care more about their relations with Islamabad than Kabul," an Afghan official told the paper.

At the time, the British were in the process of secret negotiations with the Taliban and had set up "training camps" for Taliban fighters. British diplomats claimed "the camp was just a place for them to be reintegrated, learn about hygiene and things." The cover-up and subsequent secret negotiations infuriated the Afghan government, and two British diplomats were later expelled after they were found to be conducting secret negotiations with the Taliban.  Sunday, October 12, 2008


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