During one of his cadenas (where he addresses the country in every licensed TV & radio station), Hugo Chavez announced the arrival of a “batallion of Russian tanks” (link in Spanish):
“Dentro de poco comenzarán a llegar batallones de tanques rusos para la brigada blindada”, afirmó Chávez, sin más precisiones
(“Batallions of Russian tanks will soon start arriving for the armored brigade”, Chavez stated, without offering further details)
The Noticias 24 article points out that Venezuela has acquired $4.4 billion worth of Russian weaponry since 2005.
For peaceful purposes? Certainly his neighbors don’t think so:
WikiLeaks: Lula was afraid of Venezuela’s purchase of Russian aircrafts
The former Brazilian president expressed his concern to his US counterpart
Cross-posted at The Green Room
Been busy all day, but found time for a roundup,
Bookworm lost her patience and now explains Attitude is everything . . . or why I yelled at my 88 year old mother
Play me the world’s smallest violin for Barack Obama and Robert Gibbs, but James Warren shows No Pity for Robert Gibbs and His ‘Modest’ Salary, and neither do I.
NPR exec who fired Juan Williams follows him out the door. Juan Williams rips NPR, for good reason. Tammy Bruce has video and transcript.
Doug Ross has the Great News: U.S. Department of Education helping to teach educators about Alinsky, Cloward-Piven and the Need for State-Run Media. Just what we needed.
Could somebody please tell John Boehner to stop crying? It’s unmanly, and annoying. Heck, the girl in True Grit would have smacked him on the side of the head for doing this,
Happy 80th Birthday to The Mighty Robert Duvall, and may he tango on for many more years,
Today’s Wall Street Journal’s editorial on Vicky Peláez (emphasis added):
The recent swap of 10 Russian spies for four men held by the Kremlin on spying charges sounds like a fair deal, given that the Russians seem to have gathered no important secrets. But there’s one footnote that doesn’t sit right.
That’s the case of Vicky Peláez, a naturalized American from Peru who was busted for allegedly delivering information to Russian agents in South America in exchange for cash. She pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government and was allowed to leave the country. Peláez’s husband was one of the 10 but he is Russian—though he masqueraded as Uruguayan—and his motives could be chalked up to patriotism.
But how to explain Peláez? And how to explain that she got off so easily? Until her arrest two weeks ago Peláez was a columnist for El Diario-La Prensa, the largest and oldest Spanish-language daily in New York. We still don’t know the nature of the information she transported for Russia, but she certainly seemed to hate the America that took her in and let her make a good living attacking its interests.
Even by the standards of much of the Latin press, Peláez was hard left. Two of her former colleagues at the paper say she had photos of Shining Path terrorist Abimael Guzman and Che Guevara hanging in her cubicle. They also say she referred to the Cuban-Americans who worked in her office as “gusanos” (maggots), the term Fidel Castro uses for Cuban exiles.
Peláez published regular anti-U.S. diatribes and routinely praised Castro, and the paper adopted her politics in its news coverage. Sometime in the late 1990s Peláez was made Latin American desk editor. Her work, as well as that of former El Diario editor-in-chief Gerson Borrero, was reprinted in Granma, Cuba’s state newspaper. Justo Sánchez, who was once the paper’s editor for arts and culture, described her articles as “poorly disguised agit-prop.” Mr. Sánchez adds that it was common knowledge around the newsroom that the Cuban government paid for Peláez’s trip to the island in 2006.
El Diario has been very influential in the Latino communities in the Northeast US. The WSJ wants El Diario to apologize to its readers – which will probably never happen.
Scott Johnson posts on the Russian spy swap:
Ishmael Jones: On the Russian swap. Jones is the deep cover name of a former CIA agent, who focuses on the politicians the spies targeted, and how fast the spies were deported, and concludes,
Espionage was the only area of achievement in which the Soviet Union thrashed us. Russia remains very good at it. I believe that it is plausible that the speed with which the Obama administration exchanged the Russian spy ring was a way to stifle any embarrassment resulting from the ring’s involvement with current or former members of the administration and its allies in Congress.
Including Peláez, too, who was an advocate of ending the “embargo”.
Meanwhile, in Cuba, Babalu has breaking news on the political prisoners who were supposed to be released and expelled from the country – the deportations are apparently suspended:
BREAKING NEWS: Cuban prisoner deportations suspended. At the same time, Ricardo Alarcón, the president of the Cuban parliament, claims that the released prisoners may stay in Cuba, and that more than 52 may be released (article in Spanish).
At least El Diaro had the class to hire an actual spy.
Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the healthcare TV show today,
David Gergen, on CNN Live today,
“The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.”
CNN‘s “highlights” post spent more time repeating what its employees said than what the Republicans had to say.
More Ryan, via Ace,
The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.
On Monday, President Barack Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. The plan is based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.
The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government’s behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.
General Motors issued a vague statement Sunday night that did not officially confirm Wagoner’s departure.
Here’s how I see it:
GM had the option of declaring bankruptcy and reorganizing under Chapter 11. Instead they agreed to taking buckets of government money, hence making private enterprise a governmental entity.
Bad for GM, worse for the country.
Worse yet: now the government is telling the CEO/chairman to leave.
Is the government going to pressure the unions to make the necessary concessions that could turn GM into a profitable enterprise? The same administration that’s in favor of card-check?
Does the inept Obama administration have anyone with the managerial skills needed for GM to even survive without bailouts?
I wonder how many millions in Wagoner’s golden parachute, and whether the administration will enact more confiscatory taxes on them.
Welcome to Obama Motors, folks.
UPDATE, Monday 30 March
How many millions in Wagoner’s parachute? Twenty:
GM has received billions in loans from the U.S. Treasury Department, and recently asked for billions more. Under its agreement with Treasury, it cannot pay severance fees to senior executives. That ban does not appear to apply to retirement benefits, however.
We’ll see what the outcome is to the second part of my question.
If you only read one blog post today, read Doug Ross’ Obama and Communism: Ayers, Dohrn and FARC, where he asks,
* Will Obama disclose his full relationship with Ayers and Dohrn?
* Will Obama disavow his relationship with Ayers and Dohrn as well as return any money that they have donated to him in the past?
* Were Obama’s representatives speaking directly or indirectly with the communist terrorists known as FARC?
* Will Obama completely denounce Marxist-Leninist ideology, which was espoused by his father as well as friends like Ayers and Dohrn and groups such as FARC?
More tough questions at IBD
In a Feb. 28 letter, FARC chieftain Raul Reyes cheerily reported to his inner circle that he met “two gringos” who assured him “the new president of their country will be Obama and that they are interested in your compatriots. Obama will not support ‘Plan Colombia’ nor will he sign the TLC (Free Trade Agreement).”
Aside from some interesting possibilities about who these “gringos” are — a congressional delegation did visit Ecuador and an international leftist “congress” was held in Quito around this time — the real question is why anyone secretly consorting with FARC would be able to speak for presidential candidate Obama.
Obama hasn’t said a whole lot about Colombia other than to criticize President Bush’s good relations with President Uribe. With this correspondence suggesting that FARC knows what he thinks, maybe the American voters have a right to know what he thinks, too. Five questions come to mind:
1. Is it true Obama would cut off Plan Colombia military aid to our ally, which would serve the terrorist group FARC’s interests?
2. Does Obama still oppose a free trade agreement for Colombia, even though that puts him on the same side as FARC in the debate?
3. Does Obama know or care that one of his staffers or supporters is claiming to disclose his positions in secret meetings with FARC terrorists outside government channels?
4. Can he tell us why his supporters would pass on such information to terrorists, and what he or she could gain from it?
5. Will Obama, as president, treat FARC as the serious terrorists they are, given that they still hold three Americans hostage?
These aren’t idle “gotcha” questions, by the way. Based on his campaign so far, Obama favors meeting and negotiating with rogue leaders without preconditions, passing secret messages to foreign countries at odds with his public positions and tolerating Che-flag wielding leftists among his supporters who advance a radical agenda in his name.
American Thinker correctly warns we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but we’re still waiting for the media to aks Obama a few tough questions. These would be a good start.
According to Chris Stephen of the Scotsman (via the Baron), It’s Obama, stupid: Carter and Gore to end Clinton bid. Apparently
Former president Carter and former vice-president Gore have already held high-level discussions about delivering the message that she must stand down for the good of the Democrats.
My initial reaction was that I highly doubt that Carter, whose administration was a case study for wussiness and buckling under pressure, and Gore, who could have forced Bill to do the honorable thing and step down when impeached but didn’t, have the gonadal fortitude to finally stand up to the Clinton machine after all these years.
Both Carter and Gore occupy the rarefied position of elder statesmen – in addition to their White House past, both are winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, giving them additional gravitas to carry the party with them.
Gravitas, schramitas. Nowadays the Noble Peace Price is the Norwegian Badge of Uselessness, which fits those two to a “t”.
BUT, if they have the entire Democrat party behind them, yes, they might:
But the party’s top brass have concluded her further participation in the race can only harm the party as Republican nominee John McCain strives to take advantage of her increasingly bitter battle with Obama.
After all, Nancy – who never ceases to amaze and entertain – is on their side:
The campaign to force Clinton to make an early exit is being masterminded in Congress, home to the most influential of the superdelegates. Senate Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have called on superdelegates to hold an unofficial congress in early June to anoint a winner, rather than waiting for the convention in Denver.
Pelosi has drawn withering fire from the Clinton camp for saying that these superdelegates must follow the national vote, with Clinton insisting that they should “vote with their conscience”.
Unfortunately for the lot of them, Obama’s managed to step neck-deep in doo-doo by insulting the Pennsylvania wahoos who from now on will have to clamor for his help
in order for BHO to retain that lead he’s worked so hard to lose.
While Al and Jimmy ponder the alternative use of their energies, folks at the New Republic are saying that a Clinton Campaign Further Strengthens the Democratic Party.
Months ago I said during one of Ed Morrissey’s after-debate podcasts that Hillary wasn’t going to give up until after there was blood on the Convention floor. So far she hasn’t disappointed.
This week’s WSJ’s Five Best Books, on Popes’ lives, selected by Rev. Jay Scott Newman:
Today’s shoes: Clark’s Artisan Anissa
When I was fourteen and grew up to be 5’9″ I wanted to continue growing until I was 6′. I stopped before that point, but these make it possible. At the same time it’s a very comfortable shoe even when you spend all day walking. I got them last summer but they’re still available.
Pat has the Carnival of the Insanities, so please check it out.