Katia’s Afternoon Update

Good day to everyone…

Here are some stories I’m watching today.

Over on the Iran front…

Hot Air has an article on the latest brutal thuggery by the Iranian military and police.  Definitely, the ability to peaceably assemble and protest is in very short supply.

What will be interesting to watch…

1. How Obama continues to try and reconcile his inconsistencies among the statements he has made during the last week. Instead of a full-throated condemnation of the Iranian government last week, he only offered tepid language.  The actual condemnation didn’t happen until yesterday’s press conference, where several members of the press did hold him to account for his lack of being in the lead among the countries speaking out on the election and brutal tactics of the government.

2. Whether his condemnation yesterday will actually change events on the ground or not.  So far, no major change that I can see. But, time will tell whether the mullahs change their tactics.

3. It also will be interesting to see whether there is an about-face on whether the Iranian diplomats can attend Fourth of July celebrations at US Embassies.  So far, no change, but that could become a different story given public outrage.

Mullahs also appear to be joining the protests, according to Hot Air.  Not sure whether these are legit mullahs, but the symbolism is definitely interesting, because if they are mullahs, it indicates that not all the religious/clerical class in Iran is with the government.

Mark Sanford, once a presumed front-runner for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012, has found his career in pieces which can’t be picked up easily.  He was out of the country, in Argentina, seeing a mistress.  Hot Air has the article here.

I have also been watching the stories around the firing of the Inspector General for Americorps, Gerald Walpin.  You can see those links in older articles, further down the blog.

Katia’s bottom line ideas for today…

1. Events in Iran are still fluid and moving fast.  No one knows what the end result will be, but betting against the protesters in the street would be unwise.  They might not succeed in topping the regime, but they have shined a bright light on what the government in Tehran is capable of doing.  At the very least, the numbers and vociferousness of the protests should tell the world that there is a viable base to begin working from within Iran to effect change.  That, in the long run, might be what we need to head off Iran becoming a serious nuclear weapons state.

Obama did get it right in his press conference yesterday, but it should cause all Americans great concern when we have to wait for our President to take 10 days from the beginning of events to come out with what resembles anything like a full-throated condemnation of the police tactics and murderous things that the Iranian military have done.  So, I ask, why did it take the President so long?  And please, let’s dispense with the idea that Obama’s Cairo speech had anything at all to do with the events in Iran.  The two are not connected, and for him to suggest they are is beyond the realm of logic, and borders on insanity.

2. The Democratic attack machine has to be behind the effort to take down Mark Sanford.  We all know from the past how these guys operate.  They went after Sarah Palin, because she was the only bright light in an otherwise dismal McCain campaign last fall.  Now, as Sanford becomes a darling of the conservatives for 2012, he is now taken out.  Anyone who is planning to run in 2012 for the Republican nomination that looks like a threat better really gird themselves and make sure no skeletons are in the closet.  Otherwise, 2008 is going to look like a picnic compared to the level of animosity and ugliniess that will come out in the 2010 and 2012 election seasons.  The liberals are out to destroy conservatives completely and irreparably.  That is their goal.

3. The government is engaging in tactics that border on the criminal.  Inspectors General are put in place to ensure that taxpayer dollars are appropriated and spent by the receiving entity/agency in the manner which Congress wanted.  These IGs need to have autonomy and independence to objectively investigate the matters brought before them.  The law specifies that if an IG is to be let go, he/she is entitled to have the President send a letter to Congress stating the cause for termination, along with providing 30 days notice before the termination takes effect.  In the case of Inspector General Gerald Walpin who was investigating Americorps expenditure irregularities in Sacramento California, this law was not followed.  The Obama White House terminated his service as Inspector General without adhering to the law, which was written and sponsored by Senator Obama in 2008.

The sad thing is, Americorps will not be investigated now, and through a bill passed by Edward Kennedy, it got its operating budget doubled for this next fiscal year. We will never know where this money goes now.  Obama’s cronies who work at Americorps are free to do whatever they want with the money and there is zero accountability to anyone about how those dollars are spent.  Having Congress in Democratic hands also means no oversight will be forthcoming from Congress members.

I want to welcome readers today who might have found the blog through Jimmy Z’s recommendation.  Many thanks to him for recommending me.  If you have a blog (doesn’t matter what political stripe), send it to me and I’ll add it to my blog roll if it is interesting and noteworthy. I encourage you to add mine.

Thanks for dropping by.

Iran Update and Obama Superhero Cartoon

I thought I’d put these two stories up.  Things in Iran may start to get ugly, very fast.

Over at Hot Air, this afternoon, two links worth reading…

Here’s one which indicates the brutal police tactics are definitely in full force.

Here’s another one.  Seems like Mousavi has been told to be silent.  Time will tell whether that holds, but the chilling record of the Iranian government in silencing opposing political figures seems to be continuing unabated.

Finally, here’s the blog over at the Guardian which I’ve found seems to do a good job of collecting the important events in real-time.

Then, here’s the Obama Superhero cartoon that’s been making the rounds on the Web.

If you are a new reader, read the other posts on this blog. I put it up to give my perspectives on the news events of the day, and from time to time, I will post thought pieces or shine the light on other aspects of our current events that the mainstream media is not reporting.

I am open to any and all comments, and if you have a favorite blog you’d like me to link to, send me an email.  My address is katia98dog (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for coming and have a great weekend, and don’t forget to tell your friends about this blog!

Katia’s afternoon update – June 18th, 2008

Greetings to all…

Wanted to bring you up to date on a few stories worth paying attention to today…

1. The New York Times issued a poll which seems to still show a gap between the President’s personal approval ratings, and how the public feels about specific policies.  People appear to like the president, but his policies aren’t receiving the same perception. The question for all of us is how much more damage can he sustain on the policy front in terms of negative perception before his own personal ratings also start to suffer.  Note: registration may be required to click on the NY Times link and get to the story.

2. I found an excellent live blog over at The Guardian in the UK that appears to be doing a pretty decent job of indicating what is going on in Iran in more or less real-time.  I offer the link here for your bookmarks.  You might have to go back to their main page here to find the same blog tomorrow, as the above URL appears to have today’s date hard-coded in it.

3. The Democrats appear to want to cut spending on the missile defense system. The link over at Pajamas Media is here.  With North Korea having missile technology and the means to produce nuclear weapons grade material, this seems like a foolhardy move because it does not take that much of a leap in rocket technology to get a missile that can reach from North Korea to Alaska or Hawaii, or even Tokyo.  According to the article, $32M has already been spent to put the interceptors in Alaska, $120M remains to be spent to finish these sites and put the technology in.  The article correctly points out that many civilian technologies come out of the military domain where a requirement is stated, technology is developed and then put into military applications, which is something many Democrats forget. Well, let us consider some ideas in that regard…

  • The Internet (apologies to Al Gore for being incorrect) was invented through work by the military.
  • The idea of routers/switches that drive all the traffic across the networks you use to view this Web page.  Also came from the military
  • GPS and most commercial navigation systems came out of the military
  • High speed jet engines also came out of the military
  • The reduction of transistors and integrated circuits into smaller and smaller spaces also came from the military.  Without that, the technology to develop the iPhone and mobile cellular phones that are so sleek and small wouldn’t have happened.

My point with the above list is it is a complete fallacy for Democrats to say that military spending provides no useful benefit.  In this case, with a confirmed madman in Pyongyang, and a government there that has both rocket technology and nuclear material, I believe it is wise to consider all defense options that we have.

4. According to The Hill.com, Senator Baucus now has the problem of having to cut $600 Billion from the healthcare bill, and Republicans, rightly so, are deriding the whole thing as a sham. The basic problem is that neither party has been able to come together with the other one to draft some principles that are bipartisan.  So, the bill that makes it to the House and Senate floor will be much more tilted towards the Democrat perspective.  What one should watch for is whether the public (government) option is created in such a way as to drive the private insurers out of business over time.  Remember that government can run losses on such a plan, as they’re doing with Medicare, and then we all lose because if there is less choice in the private marketplace, businesses will cut your current insurance and dump everyone in the government plan.  My preferences would be to

  • Figure out how to get the people who are NOT insured covered
  • Put more preventative care clinics in areas where they’re needed
  • Invest heavily in more doctors/nurses, and offer to pay or forgive some of their school loans if they serve in these clinics
  • Put together a catastrophic care bill that can be offered to EVERYONE so that people do not get wiped out by a large surgery or illness that traditional insurance won’t cover

5. Senator DeMint is going after Senator Boxer for her comments to a general who was testifying on the Hill.  Link is here at Hot Air. Apparently, the general decided to call her “ma’am” and she chided him and asked him to call her Senator.  I only include this one here because it is interesting how the Senator forgets that everyone in uniform has seen things in wartime that are unimaginable and many of them give up huge sacrifices to be in uniform for us. She should defer to the General, not the other way around.

That’s the evening roundup for today.  Come back tomorrow for notes on the interesting stories I’m following.  Have a great evening, and thank you very much for coming by.

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Iran putting reporters in lockdown

From Hot Air.  This was predictable.  I’m not at all surprised, but they can’t seem to shut Twitter down completely.  As long as there are people able to send volumes of tweets from inside Iran, this revolution is going to continue to have legs.

So, let’s see what should we be watching on this….

  1. How the recount procedures are implemented, if that ever gets made public. Somehow I doubt that”ll happen.
  2. Whether Iran offers any kind of response to the speech by Netanyahu.  I offered a post up last night that contained a link to Netanyahu’s speech. You can read that post here. I recommend reading his speech for yourself.
  3. What further communications come out of US or other Western countries.  The Europeans have been strangely silent on a lot of this.  Wonder if they’re planning to hedge their bets if the revolution goes south and the government doesn’t get toppled.
  4. Whether Twitter remains a force to be reckoned with in communications.  From what I can tell, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and both the mullahs and the protesters in Iran know it.

Have a good afternoon!

Seven Point Manifesto – Iranian Resistance

Here it is. What the people in the street want.  Wonder how many of these things the government in Tehran will cave on?

We know the longer the protests go on, the weaker the government gets in the eyes of the people and the world, so either this gets resolved in a bloody fashion soon, or we’re seeing the beginning of the end for the current framework of goverment in Iran with the current guys in power.

Mullahs agree to re-count votes??

This is somewhat surprising, but I caution my readers that this is most likely an attempt to grab a fig leaf to add some legitimacy to the elections.  So, ask yourself:

  1. Who sets the rules by which the votes are re-counted?
  2. If the votes truly show that Ahmadenijad lost, would he concede and allow Mousavi to be installed as President?
  3. How scared is the Iranian government, given the spectacle of people demonstrating in the streets, along with the Iranian military taking a neutral position, AND our State Department saying in essence that the students might, possibly, have a small leg to stand on.

Here’s the Hot Air article.

Katia’s News… Three Articles to Read

Top of the morning to everyone.

By now, everyone knows about the goings on in Iran.  The Iranian government is backed into the proverbial corner. In short, the protests in the streets have forced them to reckon with a population that knows the franchise was stolen from them.

I would keep an eye on The Drudge Report, Hot Air, Real Clear Politics, and your mainstream news paper of choice to stay apprised of things.  Also, plug into the #iranelection channel over on Twitter.

But, here are three links you should visit to get some perspectives on what’s going on outside of the Iran story

  1. The Congressional Budget Office released figures yesterday that show that the Kennedy bill for Obamacare would add $1 Trillion in costs over the next 10 years.  Yes, that’s TRILLION…  And, it doesn’t even insure all the people that the liberals want to cover.  Click here to read the article at Politico.
  2. Benjamin Netanyahu answered Obama’s Cairo speech with a speech of his own.  It is worth analyzing this, because in the long term, the next move in the chess game on Iran might well come from Israel.  Notable is that Netanyahu has endorsed the two state solution, but he has conditions on such a framework that might not have appeared before. Click here to read the article at Human Events.
  3. For all the talk about Hope and Change and the “middle of the road” in American politics, it appears as though polarization of the electorate is still the modus operandi.  Here’s the article over at Hot Air referencing a Gallup poll of voter preferences.

Enjoy your day here in the US, and for our readers elsewhere in the world, thanks for dropping by and I hope you had a good day or are having a good day.  Remember, you can get the backstory on important issues here.  I will always seek to find what the mainstream media isn’t telling you!

Washington Post article on Iran misses the point… again…

Click here to read the Washington Post article. Sadly, the writer misses some key points.

  1. Managed democracy, as she defines it is a misnomer.  Democracy, by its very definition implies that voters have a franchise. That means that votes are cast, counted and the candidate of the voter’s choosing gets elected.
  2. Hamas getting elected in the Palestinian elections is more of what a democracy might be, but again, this misses the point. Hamas was elected in a democratic manner insofar as votes were cast and counted.  But, it can hardly be considered a free election when candidates are chosen by the government to run on the ballot.
  3. True democracy, then implies two things that have to be present at the same time… First, candidates should be able to go through some sort of nominating process or process sanctioned by the public where the public hears the views of a wide range of candidates on the issues of the day.  This implies a free press, and no squelching of opposition figures via arresting them, or killing them, in some cases.  Second, the elections themselves should be carried out in an open, free manner where the legitimacy of the results cannot be questioned on a wide scale.  Even here in the US, we have an imperfect system, but we won’t usually have millions of people protesting in the street the day after elections saying the outcome was not legitimate.
  4. I doubt anyone could argue that either condition was met in Iran.  This whole idea of a “managed” democracy is simply a device by which the writer offers a fig leaf to other countries which do not care to honor the fundamental precepts of a representative democracy. Not to belabor the above, but if there is no debate about the candidates, and no opposition that can offer ideas, and no free elections, then you cannot use the word democracy.  Managed or not..

So, if this story is really not written from the right perspective, where to go then?

Try this… Instead of wringing your hands, trying to figure out whether it is a managed democracy, or something else, why not figure out what you are going to do about it now??

The editors over at National Review Online have it about right.  Check out their thoughts here. There were plenty of ways that one could point out that this was not a legitimate exercise in democracy, but really, the end game here is laid out by the writers quite starkly…

The supreme leader and his president have little choice except to pretend to strength. President Obama should call them on it, lending the opposition his rhetorical support. So far, he has given the impression that he wants the dictatorship to stabilize itself so he can get back to the work of appeasing it. The more Obama extends that hand of his, the likelier the regime is to try to crush its bones.

So, we watch and wait.  Given the weakness of Obama’s speech in Cairo, and the fact that the fix was in for Iranian elections from the beginning, the Iranian government is seeking legitimization that they never can have. They wanted a position of strength to bargain with Obama, and they’ve made themselves weaker.  But, the nuclear weapons work still continues.  Notice that part of the story has kind of fallen off the front pages??

Update: Just saw this one over at Hot Air.  Liebermann has come out and said he’s with the protesters in the streets. It’s about time someone did.

Iran’s gambit… Failed…

Here’s a great article over at the Guardian.

The basic premise, which is worth noting is that the election was a sham, and so no amount of legitimacy can be conferred upon Ahmadenijad. He and the mullahs may want to claim they’re a legitimate government, but the rest of the world knows different.

While you’re here, you might also want to check out Hot Air’s afternoon update on the protests in Iran. Somehow, I think when 2-3 million people take to the streets, the calculus of the equation changes. Now the government can’t brutally oppress people because they know the world is focused on what is happening in Tehran.

Events in Iran – Calling Wile E Coyote?

This one almost had me laughing, but I suppose the chain of events was quite predictable.

  1. Offer peace to Muslim world, including its most thuggish dictators
  2. Make it seem as though no one would pursue vigorous military action.  Just check out how the administration re-titled the War on Terror to “Overseas Contingency Operation”.  Also how military and CIA officers are retiring en masse.
  3. Say nothing about the good things going on in Iraq as the country begins to put itself together

Is it any wonder to anyone that Iran is behaving as it is now?

Click here
to read the Hot Air article.