I may have to get one.
I like the juxtaposition of the two quotes from the last two presidents.
Speaks well of how President Obama handled it, too — I didn’t see the parallelism. Good on him for that.
1. It’s really hard to predict the NDP race’s outcome.
It should be noted that nearly half of Topp’s points comes from Ed Broadbent’s endorsement, which would be by biggest quibble with the scoring system. Still, the model does a decent job of quantifying establishment support.
What it is likely less successful at, however, is predicting actual support. Many of these endorsers won’t sell more than a couple dozen membership forms and I suspect their influence over existing Dippers is negligible. Yes, sometimes there’s a correlation between endorsements and support…but sometimes that correlation is actually negative.
For proof of that, we need to look no farther than the Alison Redford and Christy Clark victories from earlier this year. Redford had the support of just 2 MLAs (one of which was named Alison Redford) on the first ballot and 5 on the second. Redford would have been projected as an also-ran under any endorsement model – especially one which weighted former leaders so heavily (Ralph Klein was a Mar man while Don Getty was all about Horner). …
None of this is meant to knock the 308 model which, as I said, does a decent job approximating establishment support. It’s just important to recognize that support among the establishment doesn’t always translate into support among party members, just as support among the general public doesn’t always translate into support among party members.
There are significant risks in being seen as an establishment candidate, so I remain unconvinced that the Topp juggernaut is as unstoppable as these numbers would suggest.
The NDP race, combined with the BC and AB experiences, has made me much more skeptical about the OMOV model of leader selection. I rather think that the CPC’s equal ridings model has much more to recommend it, albeit with the Scott Reid 2005 rotten boroughs amendment preferred.
2. Harper’s clampdown has Ottawa rattled:
In 2006, when Harper took over, he set about imposing his will on an Ottawa bureaucratic and media establishment that was largely hostile to him. He did so by subjecting those departmental communications people to political control.
There is now a complicated and mysterious series of approvals that communications officers must obtain before they can release the blandest bit of information. …
Harper’s former director of communications, William Stairs, gave a talk to a Quebec journalists conference on the weekend. He told them that Harper sees politics as a chess match, and when he moves a piece on the board by publicly communicating, he doesn’t want anyone else to do anything that messes with that message.
He has every right to exercise that control, but it’s getting a bit weird.
Nobody gets in trouble for keeping their mouths shut, but people in government are really afraid — like, really afraid — of Harper, and they are right to be. He has shown repeatedly that he will end the careers of public servants who contradict his message.
The result of this fear is paralysis and silence.
I don’t actually mind this — the way that the civil service establishment was able to bring elected politicians to their knees was a scandal — but it does feel rather Soviet sometimes.
Iran seems to be having trouble with explosions.
AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran’s military and atomic sites are under attack.
Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.
The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident”.
The explosion at Iran’s third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile defence program.
Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was intentional and part of an effort to target Iran’s nuclear weapons program. …
Major-General Giora Eiland, Israel’s former director of national security, told Israel’s army radio that the Isfahan blast was no accident. “There aren’t many coincidences, and when there are so many events there is probably some sort of guiding hand, though perhaps it’s the hand of God,” he said.
A former Israeli intelligence official cited at least two other explosions that have “successfully neutralised” Iranian bases associated with the Shahab-3, the medium-range missile that could be adapted to carry a nuclear warhead. “This is something everyone in the West wanted to see happen,” he added.
I like it just now.
Canada used its United Nations speaking slot Monday to lambaste opponents of Israel as no better than the appeasers who allowed fascism and communism to flourish before the Second World War.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird delivered Canada’s views to the General Assembly in a speech that put meat on the bones of the Harper government’s unflinching support of Israel. …
“Canada will not accept or stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory and its citizens. The Second World War taught us all the tragic price of ‘going along’ just to ‘get along.“’
Baird made no direct mention of the Holocaust in which six million Jews died at the hands of Nazi Germany. But he evoked the era when he quoted Winston Churchill as saying “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” …
“Canada will not go along with a double standard that castigates some UN members for alleged failings while ignoring the notorious abuses of others,” said Baird.
He said the Harper government plans to follow through with its election promise to create an office of religious freedom within the Foreign Affairs Department in Ottawa.
He said Canada will not “go along or look the other way when a minority is denied its human rights or fundamental freedoms.”
Well, this will be interesting.
What to make of him?
1. The man was incredibly brave, confronting Hitler in the courtroom — and did what the best lawyers aspire to: he coolly used the law against those who would overthrow it.
2. But the man associated himself with Communists who were just as violent, just as lawless, just as totalitarian — he just wore a different coloured hat.
What should we say about Hans Litten?
I actually thought of that old LBJ quote when I read this article:
Netanyahu beat Obama like a red-headed stepchild; he played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent. It was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters go up against the junior squad from Miss Porter’s School; like watching Harvard play Texas A&M, like watching Bambi meet Godzilla — or Bill Clinton run against Bob Dole.
The Prime Minister mopped the floor with our guy. Obama made his ’67 speech; Bibi ripped him to shreds. Obama goes to AIPAC, nervous, off-balance, backing and filling. Then Bibi drops the C-Bomb, demonstrating to the whole world that the Prime Minister of Israel has substantially more support in both the House and the Senate than the President of the United States.
President Obama’s new Middle East policy, intended to liquidate the wreckage resulting from his old policy and get the President somehow onto firmer ground, lies in ruins even before it could be launched. He had dropped the George Mitchell approach, refused to lay out his own set of parameters for settling the conflict, and accepted some important Israeli red lines — but for some reason he chose not to follow through with the logic of these decisions and offer Netanyahu a reset button.
I haven’t got too much use for my second country’s current president, but I’m not sure I like the implications of this.
Anyway, it seems worth having a look at the two speeches that bookended this little contretemps.
When a foreign leader is said by a respected foreign policy analyst to have beaten the president of the United States “like a red-headed step-child”, something is deeply amiss in Washington DC.
Update: I’m watching Netanyahu’s speech — wow, does he ever know how to talk to Americans.
And in the speech, he hugs the president ever closer.
Now, as to whether the policy he’s pushing will, in the long-term, be successful — well, that can be judged only by historians.
Update again: Krauthammer –
Every Arab-Israeli negotiation contains a fundamental asymmetry: Israel gives up land, which is tangible; the Arabs make promises, which are ephemeral. The long-standing American solution has been to nonetheless urge Israel to take risks for peace while America balances things by giving assurances of U.S. support for Israel’s security and diplomatic needs.
It’s on the basis of such solemn assurances that Israel undertook, for example, the Gaza withdrawal. In order to mitigate this risk, President George W. Bush gave a written commitment that America supported Israel absorbing major settlement blocs in any peace agreement, opposed any return to the 1967 lines and stood firm against the so-called Palestinian right of return to Israel.
For 2 1/2 years, the Obama administration has refused to recognize and reaffirm these assurances. Then last week in his State Department speech, President Obama definitively trashed them. He declared that the Arab-Israeli conflict should indeed be resolved along “the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
Nothing new here, said Obama three days later. “By definition, it means that the parties themselves — Israelis and Palestinians — will negotiate a border that is different” from 1967.
It means nothing of the sort. “Mutually” means both parties have to agree. And if one side doesn’t? Then, by definition, you’re back to the 1967 lines.
Nor is this merely a theoretical proposition. Three times the Palestinians have been offered exactly that formula, 1967 plus swaps — at Camp David 2000, Taba 2001, and the 2008 Olmert-Abbas negotiations. Every time, the Palestinians said no and walked away.
And that remains their position today: The 1967 lines. Period. Indeed, in September the Palestinians are going to the United Nations to get the world to ratify precisely that — a Palestinian state on the ’67 lines. No swaps.
Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war — its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus the starting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian — alien territory for which Israel must now bargain.
The very idea that Judaism’s holiest shrine is alien or that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter is rightfully or historically or demographically Arab is an absurdity. And the idea that, in order to retain them, Israel has to give up parts of itself is a travesty.
Well, that’s where we’re at. Israel will refuse to give up Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, and there probably won’t be peace.
According to “Clinton insiders”, yes:
Fed up with a president “who can’t make his mind up” as Libyan rebels are on the brink of defeat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is looking to the exits.
At the tail end of her mission to bolster the Libyan opposition, which has suffered days of losses to Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, Clinton announced that she’s done with Obama after 2012 — even if he wins again.
“Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up,” a Clinton insider told The Daily. “She’s exhausted, tired.”
Clinton is said to be especially peeved with the president’s waffling over how to encourage the kinds of Arab uprisings that have recently toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, and in particular his refusal to back a no-fly zone over Libya.
In the past week, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s former top adviser Anne-Marie Slaughter lashed out at Obama for the same reason.
Remember, this is from Rupert Murdoch’s iPad publication. On the other hand, Murdoch does like Hillary Rodham Clinton, so it’s less likely that his folks could just launch a pure hatchet job on her — this is probably genuine.
Of course, Colin Powell was clear that he didn’t like the direction the Bush administration took — so perhaps this is just what happens when younger presidents have high-powered secretaries of state…
This is kinda mean.
Japan may be on the verge of an unprecedented catastrophe. Saudi Arabia is all but colonizing Bahrain. Qaddafi is close to retaking Libya, with bloodbath to follow. And, as Jim Geraghty notes, the president of the United States is going on ESPN to talk about the NCAA and delivering speeches today on his rather dull plan to replace No Child Left Behind with No Teenager Left Behind, or something like that. …
We’re going on four weeks now, or more, that Barack Obama has been reading My Pet Goat. …
Conservatives love to say that Obama is the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Liberals are taking comfort, as this analysis of a meaningless and silly all-adults-not-voters poll in the Washington Post today reveals, in the thought that Obama is Bill Clinton circa 1995. But I’m now thinking he’s beginning to resemble George H.W. Bush after the Gulf War in 1991, with his obstinate refusal to take sides in democratization efforts and a general preference for the pretense that his job is largely managerial.
Oddly enough, the best model for Obama to follow, perhaps, would be Richard Nixon’s in his first term. Nixon faced an unimaginable number of worldwide disasters throughout that first term. And what he did, primarily, was attempt to get a hold of them (as a reading of Henry Kissinger’s magisterial White House Years reveals) and have a developed American response for all of them. …
Nixon was elevated by his handling of the presidency. Obama is diminishing himself, and Americans and the world will know this.
That’s the case for “Obama’s simply a bad president”.
There’s an alternative case — that America simply no longer has the resources to play the role, internationally, that it did during the latter half of the Cold War.
I’m not sure which is right. People who think Obama has done the best he could with a bad hand will incline towards the latter; others will incline towards the former.
Apparently someone from CAIR went to have a chat with Congressman Allen West (R, FL-22) at one of his town hall meetings.
What happened? Well, you can see the video here.
Instapundit calls it a “massive fail”.
TPM describes it neutrally, but their commenters are less restrained.
Well, that sucks.
What should be done?
1. Start arming merchant ships that pass through that part of the world.
2. Actively encourage people planning to sail through there to carry guns.
3. Find the pirates’ base, and go blow stuff up.
This is an 18th century problem, and there’s a nineteenth century solution to it. It’s not like we didn’t arm East Indiamen, and it’s not like there isn’t sufficient grounds under the good old-fashioned parts of international law for the United States or other powers to take action against the pirates.
If our government and our navy is too wimpy to take direct action, I suggest that the Congress start issuing letters of marque.
There’s no reason for Western ships to remain easy prey.