Daily Archives: November 7, 2014
Mary Landrieu just keeps demonstrating her incompetence; since her only qualification to hold office was that she is the daughter of Moon Landrieu, that’s hardly surprising, but still.
Before the election, she blamed her low polls on the fact that the citizens she represents are racist sexists; then on the Ebola scare. Yesterday, her fellow Democrats dumped her, canceling all ads they’d purchased for her runoff election. She then finished the job herself, by holding an elaborate press conference to accuse her opponent Bill Cassidy of failing to fulfill his political duties during Katrina. Only problem: Cassidy wasn’t in politics at the time.
Standing in front of a VA Medical Center construction site, Landrieu called Cassidy “wishy-washy, unreliable, undependable, not sure who he is, not sure who he was and not sure who he wants to be.”
Landrieu then proceeded to ask, “When this hospital needed a champion to build and rebuild, literally out of the rubble of Katrina and Rita, where was Sen. Landrieu? Standing here and fighting. Where was Bill?”
She even tweeted, “When the New Orleans #VA hospital needed to be rebuilt out of the rubble of Katrina & Rita, #WhereWasBill?” with a link to a press coverage of her news conference.
The attack was an odd one to make, considering Cassidy wasn’t involved in politics at the time. He wasn’t elected to Louisiana’s state Senate until 2006 and Congress until 2008, while hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the state in 2005.
The next day, Rep. Bill Cassidy told Louisianans where he was. At the time of Katrina and Rita, Cassidy was a medical doctor in Baton Rogue, he wrote on Twitter. Moreover, immediately after Katrina hit, Cassidy took the initiative in setting up a makeshift emergency hospital in an abandoned K-Mart to administer aid and care for victims.
Cassidy tweeted a response to Landrieu with a link to a news story on his activities, answering: “Mary Landrieu wants to know where I was during Hurricane Katrina? Setting up a surge hospital for refugees.”
Even the most tolerant of voters, those who might shrug off Landrieu calling her constituents racist pigs, will probably expect some semblance of competence from their senator. If so, we can move Louisiana over to the red column in the senate.
ISIS extremists have cancelled all classes except religious studies in Syrian schools – with even the two-times table banned in its new curriculum.
Militants have closed all schools in the eastern area of the country pending a religious revision of the syllabus to replace the current ‘infidel’ education, it has been revealed.
Activists in the area say ISIS has attempted to justify the move by claiming that ‘all knowledge belongs to the creator’.
These are the people Obama is writing love notes to.
The move betrays a profound misunderstanding of the Iranian leadership, and is likely to hinder rather than help achieve a durable resolution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as other US objectives on Iran.
If the reports are accurate — and the administration has not yet confirmed the scoop by the Wall Street Journal — the letter apparently urged Khamenei to finalize the nuclear deal and dangled the prospect of bilateral cooperation in fighting the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) as an incentive.
It marks the fourth time since taking office in 2009 that Obama has reached out to Khamenei personally, in addition to his exchange of letters (and an unprecedented phone call) with the country’s president, Hassan Rouhani.
However, it is precisely at the tactical level that an Obama letter to Khamenei at this juncture appears so spectacularly ill-conceived.
First of all, it poses no realistic possibility of advancing progress in the nuclear talks or any other aspect of US-Iranian relations. After all, only the most naïve and uninformed observer of Iran would believe that a personal appeal from Obama would sway the Supreme Leader in a positive fashion. (sounds like someone we know)
Khamenei’s mistrust and antipathy toward Washington has been a consistent feature of his public rhetoric through the 35-year history of the Islamic Republic.
He has described Washington with every possible invective; he indulges in Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracies; and he routinely insists that the United States is bent on regime change in Iran and perpetuating the nuclear crisis.
These views are not opportunistic or transient. Anti-Americanism is Khamenei’s bedrock, ingrained in his worldview, and as such it is not susceptible to blandishments — particularly not from the very object of his loathing.
Moreover, the Islamic Republic’s leadership is steeped in a Hobbesian understanding of the international system. As a hardline newspaper wrote, “our world is not a fair one and everyone gets as much power as he can, not for his power of reason or the adaptation of his request to the international laws, but by his bullying …”
Interpreted in this context, Obama’s appeal to Iran’s highest power at this critical juncture in the nuclear diplomacy will surely be read as a supplication — and as further confirmation of American desperation and weakness in the face of Iran’s position of advantage.
This may sound absurd, given the relative disparity in the two countries’ capabilities and international influence. And by any objective standard, Iran has a more compelling interest in a swift resolution to the longstanding nuclear impasse, since a deal would begin to curtail the devastating sanctions that have halved Iran’s oil exports and stranded its earnings in foreign banks that are off-limits to the Iranian treasury.
But Tehran has long sought to convince itself and the world otherwise.
Khamenei himself regularly revels in his conviction that America is on the retreat in the face of Iran’s superior power. As he explained recently, “the reason why we are stronger is that [America] retreats step by step in all the arenas which we and the Americans have confronted each other. But we do not retreat. Rather, we move forward. This is a sign of our superiority over the Americans.”
Obama is truly an ahistorical politician, knowing nothing about history and thus incapable of learning from it. He knew enough about Churchill to send his bust back to London, but that was it. Scary prospect, and all those cheering the “can’t go down” advance of the Dow ought to remember that we have to survive this man for two more years.
I admit I didn’t much care for Barack Obama before the revelation that he had secretly written Khamenei to induce the Iranian supreme leader to sign a nuclear deal in return for U.S. help battling ISIS. Now I despise our president. He is contemptible.
30 South End Court, Old Greenwich, sold for $2.050 million. Owners paid $1.5 for it in 2000, so no home run here: it’s in the VE flood zone, which probably hurt. The Fountain shacks across the creek, fortunately, sit on higher ground, and were brought into the clan at $15,000 and $0, respectively. We’ll do okay, which I mention only because I know you’re all worried.
I’d make an exception for Paul Simon, though.