Sunday, November 30, 2008

A plan to survive the Obama years

A few days ago in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Z. Dwight Billingsly put forth his plan to survive the Barack Obama years.

And he's not happy about the way he's been treated since Election Day.

Another side effect has been white people contacting me to say that I should be proud to see a black man become president. Could there be a comment that is more condescending, more insulting, than that? If I believed that in America a black man could not be president, then I would be proud to see any black man elected president. But because I always have believed that nothing in America prevents a black man from becoming president or anything else he wants to be, I can be embarrassed, not proud, to see someone as unqualified and inexperienced as Obama become president.

Which brings us to Billingly's plan:

Jackie Robinson, the first black man in modern-day major league baseball, illustrates my point. He was the right man with the right combination of talent, temperament and character at the right time to be successful for that important "first." Obama? An empty suit who will fail.

I'm going to approach the Obama years the same way liberals handled the Iraq war. Just as they claimed to support our troops while opposing the war, I'm going to support my country while opposing Obama and what he stands for in every way that I can. It's only four years and with the astute Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as Senate minority leader, Republicans can stop the Obama extremists for two years until mid-term elections in 2010 give Republicans the boost in Congress that inevitably will come.

And in 2012, we'll have Sarah Palin to clean up Obama's mess and remind us again of America's exceptionalism.

Related posts:

Obama-McCain meeting: It was about Mitch McConnell

McConnell: The Great Kentuckian

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Runner finds undiscovered Oregon Trail remnant

When I started Marathon Pundit, I had envisioned that twenty percent of my posts would be dedicated to running.

It didn't turn out that way. But wait, I have a rare running post for you.

Doug Mauck of Topeka, Kansas, who probably runs in the same three or four locations every week, has come across a previously undiscovered remnant of the Oregon Trail. He saw something on the ground in the town of Willard that reminded him of something in Kansas' capital city.

Runners are good at finding stuff like this...Although my greatest find was a lowly $20 bill.

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

"I immediately saw that the Willard (trace of the Oregon) trail was exactly like what I was seeing at MacLennan Park," Mauck said, referring to the park around much of Cedar Crest, the governor's mansion.

Mauck said he first spotted traces of the Oregon Trail when he was jogging at MacLennan Park and noticed a trail.

He linked the Oregon Trail to MacLennan Park when he saw the traces of the trail at the Green Memorial Wildlife Area on N.W. Douglas Road near N.W. 17th near Willard in northwest Shawnee County.

In Topeka, the ruts were about 100 yards south of Cedar Crest and in the adjoining MacLennan Park, which has 224 acres, according to the Kansas Trails Council.

Trail ruts, even when they are marked by signs, are very subtle. They don't just jump out at you. Which makes Mauck's discovery quite amazing.

Related post:

My Kansas Kronikles: Wagon ruts

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Can we stop the Great Depression comparisons?

Brother...can you spare a minute to read nine paragraphs?

Economically we are going through a difficult patch, but this is nothing (ask my mother) like the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Kansas City Star's Scott Canon agrees with me (and Mother Marathon Pundit.)

But walk down the sepia-tinted memories with a few Kansas Citians who made it through the 1930s, who grew up facing those dark days.

They knew the Great Depression firsthand.

And as painful as today's circumstances may be for many, they told The Star, this time is not that time.

Our economic future is cloudy, but even with evaporating retirement portfolios and vanishing jobs, it's hard to imagine a 21st-century America dotted with shantytowns of the Hooverville variety. There are the homeless, yes, but not a generation of men doomed to hoboing and train-hopping. Food pantries for the poor are nothing new, but soup lines ... Nor is the prairie blowing away Dust Bowl-style.

By trash-talking the economy, as he did during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama gains political capital if the economy rebounds during his first term.

But what we're suffering through now is not as bad as the 1981-83 recession. Obama was around for that one, and some parts of America, such as Chicago's South Side, were never the same afterwards. After a couple of years as a community organizer, even Obama realized that the Chicago steel mills that closed during that recession weren't coming back.

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Autumn sprout

Almost all of the leaves on the trees near where I live have fallen. Yesterday, however, I came across what appears to be a young Red Oak tree in Morton Grove's Linne Woods that stubbornly refuses to drop its leaves.

That may change--the Chicago area is expected to receive up to 6 inches of snow later today.

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India--Terrorists have a foothold

Sadly, the barbaric terrorist attacks in Mumbai appear to be much more than an opportunistic strike by al Qaeda and its surrogates. Support for radical Islam is growing in India.

In short, the choice of the city based on much more than a sentiment such as "Mumbai isn't too far from Pakistan, we can get our guys there easily, and there are a lot of westerners in that infidel haven." And maybe Pakistan isn't needed to stir up trouble.

Writing for the New Republic, Joshua Kirkpatrick explains:

In part, this was because there had been little radical infiltration of most Indian mosques. India's Muslims historically practiced a moderate, syncretic form of the faith, and for years Persian Gulf-based radicals groups found little welcome in the Indian Muslim community. Indian terror experts I know did not, until recently, believe Al Qaeda had established any kind of footprint in the country.

That has changed. In just the last few months, an allegedly homegrown terror network called the "Indian Mujahedeen" claimed responsibility for launching strikes in Delhi, Bangalore, and other cities. In the September Delhi attack, another sophisticated strike with coordinated bombings, 24 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Strikingly, several of the men arrested in one bust of this group were middle-class Muslims, including a software engineer. After one attack, the Mujahedin made clear that they were homegrown, declaring in a message that their strike was "planned and executed by Indians only."

After years of moderation, India's Muslims--including even some middle-class Muslims--finally may be striking back at the discrimination stacked against them, creating space for them to at least be inspired by al Qaeda. Though a few Muslims have risen up in society, like the previous Indian president, Abdul Kalam, overall India's 150 million Muslims remain a permanent underclass. One national survey taken in 2006 discovered that Muslims consistently lag behind their Hindu peers in earned income, education, and other signs of progress. The study further found that Muslims have been sliding down the social ladder in recent years, and now face discrimination that some have concluded is comparable to that faced by India's notorious Dalits, or "untouchables."

At the same time, radical Hindu organizations, who long have targeted Muslims--they have been involved in several notorious anti-Muslim pogroms--have become more sophisticated themselves, and are launching strikes against Muslim targets. This month, in fact, the Indian government arrested members of a Hindu terrorist organization for the first time.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels: No national run for me

One of the few bright spots for the Republican Party on Election Day was Governor Mitch Daniels resounding reelection win in Indiana. Hoosier Democrats, on the other hand, still had reason to celebrate--Barack Obama became the first Democrat to win Indiana since 1964.

So how about a national run--for the Senate, or perhaps even for president, for the popular governor.

But Daniels promised voters that the recently concluded campaign would be his last.

No wonder he did so well.

But Daniels isn't nibbling on the speculation, advanced by columnists David Broder and Bill Kristol, that Daniels should towards Washington.

Here is what he told Matthew Tully of the Indianapolis Star:

The reason the answer is 'no, no, no, exclamation point,' is that I have an assignment here and, by the way, we're going to have our hands full. I hired on for four years, so I feel I owe this citizenry four full years.

Pretty strong stuff.

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