Flashback:Bush’s Final Press Conference – When He Said He Was More Concerned About The Country Than Being Popular

Watch it and weep:

In certain quarters you can be popular by blaming  every middle Eastern problem on Israel….(thank you for not doing that).

Or you can be popular by joining the international criminal court…(Thank you for not doing that).

I guess I could have been popular by accepting Kyoto, which I felt was a flawed treaty….(Thank you for not doing that!)

And in terms of decisions I’ve made to protect the homeland..I wouldn’t worry about popularity. (Thank you!)

What I would worry about is the Constitution, and putting plans in place that make it easier to find out what the enemy is thinking…(the enemy being actual Islamic terrorists, not domestic political opponents)…

The anti-Bush will go along to get along, the best interests of the country be damned. But at least he’s popular…at least with some.

Bush wisely sums up: I’ve heard all that…most people around the world…they respect America….and some of them don’t like me, the writers… I understand that – that’s part of the deal. But I’m more concerned about the country, and how people view the United States of America (what not himself?!) and they view us a s strong, compassionate people who care deeply about the universality of freedom.

Compare to Obama, who shows such implicit hostility to his own country’s pre-eminence in the world, and never tires of regaling foreign audiences with examples of our (not His!) shortcomings and failures, real and imagined.mostly imagined.

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Hannah Giles Legal Defense Fund

Right here, in case you’d like to contribute. Yes, it’s legit, says Ace.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R., Neb.) told  National Review Online that O’Keefe and Giles are “unbelievably courageous” for standing up to ACORN:

“Here are a couple of young people who stepped into an ACORN office. The employees in each of the offices that they visited simply had the option to say ‘get the heck out of here, that’s not what our organization is about,’” says Johanns. “It was these young filmmakers, because of their courage, who were able to reveal a whole different side of ACORN. They saw ACORN employees counsel about how to break the law.”

The duo’s videos, says Johanns, “are some of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen in terms of exposing an entity that receives government funds. When I replay the clips today, I still find them shocking. I applaud them for their courage and feel so badly that ACORN decided to let it fly and sue them. Now, ACORN is trying to intimidate them just because they stood up and captured the truth about ACORN’s activities on camera.”

The suit, he adds, is “so typical of ACORN. This is an organization that decided to send missiles in someone else’s direction when the spotlight got too intense. I think that ACORN now has real problems. They’ll have a very difficult time convincing any jury. It comes down to this: The ACORN employees were caught doing things that are just outrageous. They’re going to have to convince the jury that notwithstanding the outrageous behavior, ACORN should be compensated. That argument doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.”

You can read the whole statement at NRO.

The pair really do deserve  a big round of applause.

Tab-Clearing Thursday Link Dump

Okay, I’m having trouble focusing on any one story, today…there’s almost too much to contend with, and I need to clear some tabs before my computer crashes, so I’m just gonna do a link dump. There’s lot’s of good stuff out there, today.

You can start with Peter Wehner at Commentary, who dissects Obama’s deplorable U.N. speech, concluding:

There is more to be said about the Obama speech—including the president’s tiresome pretense that he and he alone will lead the world out of its cul-de-sac, where “we bicker about outdated grievances.” But I cannot escape a depressing thought, one I hope is proved to be wrong over time: that Barack Obama, even though he is the leader of America, is constantly placing himself above it. His criticisms of our country are now part of a troubling routine, so much so that Obama is now winning the applause of people who genuinely hate America (like Fidel Castro, who complimented Obama for his “brave gesture” and “courage” in criticizing the United States at the UN).

Obama not only fails to strongly defend the United States; he is actually adding brush strokes to a portrait of our country that diminishes its achievements and standing. He seems unable or unwilling to speak out—in a heartfelt and passionate way—on its behalf. He is, of course, too clever not to ever say a word of praise for America; no, this sophisticated wordsmith and smooth politician, this cool customer ever in search of The Golden Mean, can speak in both text and subtext. He says just enough to deny the charge that he is not a strong defender of the country he leads. But by now we’re on to the game.

No one believes America’s history is pristine; we are all familiar with the catalogue of our own sins, beginning with slavery. Other presidents have recognized them, and a few have given voice to them. But it was done in the context of a reverence for America—for what it has been and stands for, for what it is and can be. Think of the words of George Washington, who said of America, “I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.” That is a noble sentiment from a man whose love of country knew no bounds. They are also words that I cannot imagine President Obama saying, at least with conviction. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like his country or admire things about it; it means that he has yet to really speak out for it. And it means that he has shown, so far at least, that he is more interested in advancing his interests than in speaking on behalf of the nation that elected him. There are enough critics of America in the world; we don’t need to add America’s president to that list.

Perhaps Mr. Obama will come to understand that there is a problem when the president of the United States—an “inestimable jewel,” Lincoln called her—has harsher things to say about his own country than he does about many of the worst regimes on Earth.

It is all quite disturbing, and to have to say this about an American president almost makes me sick.

Read the whole thing.

Next!

OMG, have you been hearing about Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar”? Not good!:

President Obama’s “safe schools czar” is a former schoolteacher who has advocated promoting homosexuality in schools, written about his past drug abuse, expressed his contempt for religion and detailed an incident in which he did not report an underage student who told him he was having sex with older men.

Conservatives are up in arms about the appointment of Kevin Jennings, Obama’s director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, saying he is too radical for the job.

This is the kind of person you want no where near the education system, yet there he is! A friggin’ Czar in charge of keeping schools safe?! But nothing about this administration surprises me anymore.

Next!:

The American Thinker: The Soros/Axelrod Axis? (why the question mark)?

There is no proof, but there certainly is reason to suspect that Soros also has been working in cahoots with David Axelrod, Obama’s former campaign strategist and now his numero uno domestic policy adviser. Soros has expertise in influencing our nation’s foreign policy by forming faux astroturf groups that operate under the guise of being independent. Soros, the hedge fund billionaire, is one of the world’s most astute investors. He has mastered the art and science of politics and invests in a panoply of think tanks, 527 groups, politicians, astroturf groups, and the Democratic Party to provide himself with the tools to influence our nation’s policies. In this administration , he may have reached the pinnacle of his power. Now many of his groups are starting to look like tools the White House is using to drive policy.

Next!:

Obama’s Speeches– Obama Mentions Self Nearly 1,200 Times!

Yeah, some guy has clocked how many times Obama has referred to himself in just 41 speeches so far this year, not including this week’s big speech at the United Nations.

Next!

Obama and ACORN: A Love Story

You know how this one goes, by now…but Candace de Russy at PJ Media has a good synopsis up, just to punctuate the risibility of Obama’s attempts to distance himself from ACORN.

Next!

Prez Comes Across As A Gullible Sap

Rich Lowry has been on a roll, lately,  pulling no punches:

President Obama yesterday did his best impression of a high-school soph omore participating in his first Model UN meeting, retailing pious clichés he learned from his pony-tailed social studies teacher.

Even Woodrow Wilson might have blanched at the mushy-headed exhortations to world peace and collective action better suited to a college dorm-room bull session or a holiday-season Coca-Cola commercial.

“No nation can or should try to dominate another nation,” Obama intoned. “No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.”

Has an American president ever expressed such implicit hostility toward his own nation’s pre-eminence in world affairs? Or so relished in recalling its failings, or so readily elevated himself and his own virtues over those of his country?

Have you seen this, yet?:

Czech President:U.N. climate meeting was propaganda:

Czech President Vaclav Klaus sharply criticized a U.N. meeting on climate change on Tuesday at which U.S. President Barack Obama was among the top speakers, describing it as propagandistic and undignified.

“It was sad and it was frustrating,” said Klaus, one of the world’s most vocal skeptics on the topic of global warming.

“It’s a propagandistic exercise where 13-year-old girls from some far-away country perform a pre-rehearsed poem,” he said. “It’s simply not dignified.”

Love it.

Ace has a related story:

The Dog Ate My Global Warming Evidence: Having Refused to Disclose Temperature Records for Years, UN’s Climate Research Unit Now Claims Its Evidence of Warming Was Just Lost

Sound like a joke? It’s not a joke…

Neither is this:

Obama’s Policies Would Redistribute Nearly $1 Trillion in Wealth Every Year

By 2012, nearly $1 trillion from the top 30 percent of American families will be redistributed among the bottom 70 percent if Obama’s proposals on taxes, health care, and climate change become law, according to the Tax Foundation.

Ugh…uncle!

This one is sobering, but not groundbreaking to those of us who have been paying attention:

Mark Tapscott: Beware the Stalin in progressive hearts:

Consider: Nowhere does the Constitution grant Congress authority to require every American to buy a particular private service or product on pain of forfeiture of a significant portion of their wealth. Yet, every version of Obamacare currently being discussed in Congress requires just that.

Forcing all of us to buy officially approved health insurance is essential to a functioning government-run system. As Obama told Congress, “many of insurance reforms we seek – especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions – cannot be achieved” without the individual mandate.

Why? Because the politicians and bureaucrats who will manage the government-run health care program know that, without the force of government behind them, they won’t be able to make the rest of us do what they tell us to do.

Once the power is granted, the question becomes how severe will the enforcement be. Fines will suffice, for Obamacare, for now. For Stalin, the first choice was usually the Gulag, or a bullet. It’s just a matter of degree.

But that is what government always does as it becomes more costly, intrusive and intolerant of dissent. As if to drive the point home, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a gag order this week telling all private companies participating in the Medicare Advantage program to shut up. Violators would face fines and jail time. Forget the First Amendment.

The gag order was issued after Humana Corp. sent a letter to its policyholders who participate in Medicare Advantage telling them the facts about Obamacare’s effect on the program. The companies were ordered “to end immediately all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your website.”

The bureaucrats added this blunt threat: “Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings of our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions. ….”

Those, my friends, are the words of soft tyranny. How much longer before it becomes a hard tyranny?

One more from Ace:

Treasury Dept. IG Launches Investigation of ACORN for Impermissible Partisan Activities
Synchronicity: WH Moves to Obscure Ties Between ACORN and Big Labor

Another sobering read from Michael Ledeen:

Is Obama Naïve?

I don’t think so. I think that he rather likes tyrants and dislikes America. I think he’d like to be more powerful, I think he is trying to get control over as much of our lives as he can, so that he can put an end to the annoying tumult of our public life. As when he said (about health care) to the Congress, “Okay, you’ve talked enough, now it’s time to do the right thing (my thing).” And he’s trying to end American power in the outside world. He’s saying “I’m going to stop us, before we kill again.”

Report: U.S. To Engage In Joint Military Training Exercises With Venezuela and Nicaragua

Honduran blogger, Gerardo Paredes tipped me to this story in a Nicaraguan newspaper, La Prensa, today:

Translated:

The Parliament today authorized the entrance of troops, ships and airships of the Armed Forces of the United States and Venezuela, to participate in an interchange of experience in this country with humanitarian aims, informed legislative sources today. The entrance of the American and Venezuelan military was proposed by the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, with character urgent, and approved today in the plenary session by 63 of the 92 deputies before the National Assembly, needed the president the Legislative one, the sandinista René Núñez.

The Congress authorized the entrance of the 10 military of the special forces of the United States to participate in a joint training with the commando of special operations of the Army of Nicaragua of the 1 of October to the 31 of next December, indicated by its side the first secretary of the Assembly, the liberal Navarrese Wilfredo opponent. Also it ratified the entrance of ship USWEST of the Navy of the United States to participate in an interchange of training with personnel of the Naval Force of the Army, from the 5 to the 30 of next November, indicated. Also, it authorized the entrance of the five military of the naval school of the United States to participate in a training interchange. The Parliament also authorized the entrance, of rotating form, of the 30 military, ships and airships of the Air Force of the Army of Venezuela to participate in an exercise of training interchange in operations of humanitarian aid with personnel of the Army of Nicaragua of the 1 of November from 2009 to the 10 of April of 2010.

Is it standard procedure for the U.S. military to conduct military operations in countries that are hostile to the United States? Is this an ominous sign for Honduras, and Columbia?

Someone with military knowledge please clue me in.

Chavez recently boasted of the Russian missiles it has procured from Russia:

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has announced that the country will soon take delivery of Russian missiles with a range of 300km (185 miles).

Returning from a 10-day tour of Africa, Asia and Europe, including Russia, Mr Chavez is also planning to buy Russian T-72 and T-90 tanks.

“Soon some little rockets are going to be arriving… and they don’t fail,” he announced at the presidential palace.

***

Venezuela is involved in a long-running diplomatic stand-off with neighbouring Colombia, over the latter’s plans to allow US troops greater access to its military bases.

A year ago,  September 2008, Moscow sent ships to the Caribbean to engage in joint exercises with the Venezuelan Navy, which was seen as “one of Russia’s most provocative exercises in the Western Hemisphere since the Soviet Union supported Marxist guerrillas in Nicaragua and El Salvador”.

In his weekly television address, President Chavez of Venezuela said: “Russia’s naval fleet is welcome here. If it’s possible, we’ll stage an exercise in our Caribbean waters.” Anticipating criticism from Washington, he taunted his northern neighbor, saying, “Go ahead and squeal, Yankees.”

Despite Mr. Chavez’s tough rhetoric, the Venezuelan leader has suffered some setbacks in the last year, among them the weakening of the FARC, the Colombian Marxist rebel group that Mr. Chavez has supported.

Nonetheless, the Venezuelan government, flush with cash from its petroleum exports, has indicated that it is seeking to purchase Russian submarines.

The announcement of the military exercises comes as the Bush administration is navigating its response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia, a former Soviet republic that hosts a small American military base.

Over the weekend, Vice President Cheney had particularly harsh words for Russia, calling the recent invasion an “affront to the standards of the civilized world.”

Now we’re conducting military exercises with Chavez and Ortega? Like Obama said in his UN speech, we’re forming new coalitions…

RELATED?

Paraguay rejects U.S. military co-operation deal

UPDATE:

A friend who is former Air Force  emails:

my own prelim assessment is, yes, the US does participate in some exercises with just about all the countries of the S. Hemisphere. in fact we just finished PANAMAX 2009 – which is our annual protect-the-canal ex with about 21 countries. very interestingly, this year’s total was officially 20. guess who was uninvited?  and here is a curious slam on Honduras from the extremely Leftist COHA group:

the more ominous aspect is that the Nicaraguan press release (i assume its from Nic?) mentions two separate things:  first there will be 10 SF ops allowed in (thats an A-team!) for “training” ahead of an unknown US navy ship later (there is no “USWEST” ship) during the joint Venezuelan “humanitarian” training ex.  THAT is what is very bad mojo.
MORE:
My source says responses to his request for opinions in the military community are mostly of the “nothing to see here move along”  variety.

However  his own opinion is that this might be a sort of “gunboat diplomacy against Honduras”.

I don’t know. Having no background with the military, myself, it seemed strange that we would be conducting military exercises with anti-American countries.

Remember The Good ‘Ol Days…

…when the thugs of the world hated our President?

Oh, how the world hated G.W. Bush. Lefties reminded us of that nearly every single day. The Imperialistic policies of King George had reduced our standing in the world. Bla bla bla…emote emote emote.

Standing with whom?

These d-bags?

Moammar Kadafi:

We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as the president of the United States.”

Fidel Castro:

That admission of America’s past errors “was without a doubt a brave gesture,” Castro wrote in comments published by Cuban state-media Wednesday.

“It would only be fair to recognize that no other United States president would have had the courage to say what he said,”

Hugo Chavez no longer smelling sulfur, last June:

“Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right,” Chavez joked on a live television broadcast.

Syrian President Bashar Assad in a July 4th telegram:

“The values that were adopted by President Obama during his election campaign and after he was elected president are values that the world needs today,” Assad said in the telegram that was carried by state-run news agency SANA.

“It is very important to adopt the principle of dialogue in relations with countries based on respect and mutual interest,” Assad said.

Why did I feel more secure when our enemies feared and loathed our President?