Fecklessness

Joe Katzman, on the administration’s Iran policy (and foreign policy in general):

Anne Applebaum writes…that “Tehran’s worst fear is a well-financed human rights campaign.” In other words, talk less to Iran and more to Iranians.

Unfortunately, this also seems to be Obama’s worst fear. Applebaum is also dead wrong to say that “he people who care about [the democracy movement] are rarely much interested in [Iran’s nuclear program] – and vice versa.” In fact, most of the people concerned with the nuclear program see the democracy movement as the best hope for progress, and have for some time. Obama, in contrast, has a consistent record of aversion to human rights, rule of law, and other niceties abroad. Which is why the drift will continue, until Iran has the bomb.

The only nuclear weapons that he seems truly concerned about are our own (and Israel’s).

And his polls are tanking on foreign policy as well:

On who they trust more to decide the next steps in Afghanistan. 66 percent say military commanders, while only 20 percent say the president. Even Democrats have more faith in the military commanders (by a 45 to 37 percent margin). On Iran, 69 percent say Obama has not been tough enough, including 55 percent of Democrats. Sixty-one percent favor a U.S. military action, if needed, to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Fifty-one percent think Obama apologizes for American too much.

That’s some rapid fail. He’s accelerated from zero to Jimmy Carter in less than a year. Actually, he makes me miss the robust, assertive foreign policy of the Carter years.

[[Update a while later]

More thoughts from Dr. Krauthammer:

When France chides you for appeasement, you know you’re scraping bottom. Just how low we’ve sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration’s satisfaction when Russia’s president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the U.N., that “sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.”

You see? The Obama magic. Engagement works. Russia is on board. Except that, as the Washington Post inconveniently pointed out, Pres. Dmitry Medvedev said the same thing a week earlier, and the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, had changed not at all in his opposition to additional sanctions. And just to make things clear, when Iran then brazenly test-fired offensive missiles, Russia reacted by declaring that this newest provocation did not warrant the imposition of tougher sanctions.

Do the tally. In return for selling out Poland and the Czech Republic by unilaterally abrogating a missile-defense security arrangement that Russia had demanded be abrogated, we get from Russia . . . what? An oblique hint, of possible support, for unspecified sanctions, grudgingly offered and of dubious authority — and, in any case, leading nowhere because the Chinese have remained resolute against any Security Council sanctions.

Confusing ends and means, the Obama administration strives mightily for shows of allied unity, good feeling, and pious concern about Iran’s nuclear program — whereas the real objective is stopping that program. This feel-good posturing is worse than useless, because all the time spent achieving gestures is precious time granted Iran to finish its race to acquire the bomb.

But we’re talking. That’s what’s important.

Did Cash For Clunkers…?

kill GM and Chrysler? Not single handedly, but it may have proven the fatal blow. Between that, and the fact that so many consider them Government Motors, and run by union thugs, they may never recover. The question is, what does the administration come up with next to punish Ford and level the playing field?

[Update a few minutes later]

More thoughts from Mickey:

…they seem to have grossly misperceived consumers’ reaction to the equities of the bailout itself. And that 45% can’t be all Republicans.

Nope.

I also have to say that this saddens me immensely, having come from a GM family (and having a brother who still works there). If they do go under, I hope that someone can take the assets and do something more productive with them. But that might also require an overhaul of the government in Lansing, and I’m not sure what the prospects are for that.

[Update mid morning]

Speaking of my last point: Michigan’s budget train wreck. And to think that some people a few years ago (and maybe even now) were bewailing that pesky Constitution that didn’t permit darling Jennifer to run for president.

Nutrition Thoughts

The costs and benefits of omega fats and Vitamin D. Getting this right would provide a much bigger improvement to our national health than any government “health care” program. And it’s frightening how retrograde the FDA is on these issues, and how many still take their recommendations seriously.

Of course, a healthy diet isn’t cheap, which is why it’s important to have government policies that promote wealth production, rather than destruction (as things like cap’n’tax, and government health care, would do).

Leaners Leaning The Other Way

Some poll results from Gallup that should concern the Donkeys:

Since Barack Obama took office as president in January, the Democratic advantage in leaned party identification has shrunk each quarter, from 13 points in the first quarter (52% to 39%) to 9 points in the second quarter (49% to 40%) and 6 points in the most recent quarter (48% to 42%).

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Yes, I Am An Idiot

I’ve been getting messages from my server that I left my header template and stylesheet in mid edit in vi. I got tired of getting them, and went in to close it out. Did I back up the files first? No, I did not. After doing ‘vi -r style.css’ and trying to exit, and it asked “don’t you want to save that?,” of course I did. As the post title says, idiot.

This by way of explaining why my blog is once again leaning left. But only in appearance, not in content.

The Division Series Is Underway

It wasn’t planned that way, but the schedule of Detroit and Minnesota worked out such that the last meeting of the season for both teams is a shoot out for the title. Going into it, Minnesota had to win three out of four to win, while Detroit only needs to win half the games. You’d think that would be good news for the Tigers (and a win would be a morale boost for the benighted Michigan residents, with the highest unemployment rate in the nation, albeit of their own making, due to poor political choices over the decades). But the momentum is with the Twins, who are on a hot streak, while Detroit has been slumping, particularly at bat. Their pitching staff has been great, but they haven’t gotten the runs they need to win, which is why they were separated by only two games going into the series this weekend, dropped from a seven-game lead early in September.

They were rain postponed last night, so today was a double header, and their unfortunate trend continues. They lost the first game this afternoon, 3-2 (again, can’t really blame the pitching staff). If the Twins sweep, they only need one more win, tomorrow or Thursday, to win the division. The Tigers would still be the wild card, but if they can’t win this series, there’s not much chance they can do the job when they have to win the league title, and then the championship. As a Tigers fan, I sure hope they can at least split today. As I type this, they’re up one to nothing.

Five Years Later

It’s hard to believe that it’s been half a decade since the first X-Prize flight. I remember it well because I had moved to Florida only a month before, was still recovering from being hit by two hurricanes within two weeks (Frances and Jeanne), and watching on television, frustrated that I could no longer just get in the car and drive up to Mojave to see it.

Now I’m back in California, and hope I’ll have more opportunities to go up and see the other exciting activities that it spawned. Things haven’t moved along as fast as people hoped, either for Virgin Galactic (due to some poor technical and contracting decisions on their part, in my opinion), or the field in general, but things are starting to pick up. As Arthur Clarke noted, we are often overoptimistic about schedules in the short run, but overpessimistic in the long run. It’s starting to be a longer run from 2004.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!