Friday, June 29, 2007

Rep Kirk turns the screws on Iran

From IHT,
Saeed Leylaz, an economist and political analyst in Tehran, said, "The high gasoline consumption has made Iran very vulnerable, and this is a security decision now."

"We are importing gasoline from 16 different countries," he said. "The country would be on the verge of collapse if they suddenly decide not to sell us gasoline. The government has to find a way to lower the consumption."

In Washington on Thursday, leaders of a bipartisan House panel, led by Representative Mark Steven Kirk, Republican of Illinois, and Representative Robert Andrews, Democrat of New Jersey, proposed legislation intended to punish any company that provides Iran with gasoline or helps it import gasoline after Dec. 31. Such a company could lose its access to American customers through sanctions.

The Iranian government had planned for a year to ration gasoline but had postponed the move, fearing unrest. Iran offers the highest subsidies for gasoline in the region, buying foreign gasoline for slightly more than $2 a gallon, according to official figures, and offering it for 34 cents a gallon.

"Iran is in a bind," said Vera de Ladoucette, an energy analyst with Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Paris. "They have acted too late and too harshly."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

LaHood to go?

From Novak,
Independent-minded Republican Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois will leave Capitol Hill after 30 years as a House member and staffer if offered the presidency of his alma mater, Bradley University, in his hometown of Peoria. LaHood's liability in seeking the post is that he has no degree higher than a bachelor's.

A LaHood fund-raising coffee scheduled for last Wednesday on Capitol Hill was called off Monday with a terse e-mail: "Cancelled Till Further Notice." LaHood told me it would be "a little unseemly" to raise campaign money while he awaited Bradley's decision, though that is common practice by congressional colleagues facing similar situations.
Also at SJ-R.com , the Trib, and PJStar.com. With Hastert, LaHood both probably going, a chance to start fresh with the GOP delegation?

Obama's Maccaca Moment

Via Rich Miller and Greg Blankenship over at IR.
When United States Senator Barack Obama entered the American Presidential race, he staked out his turf on the moral high ground with a call for a new kind of politics, devoid of personal attack and characterised by debates on the issues that matter.

His campaign apparently has not been listening: Members of the Senator’s campaign staff have been circulating a document that, in its title, slightingly refers to Democratic rival Senator Hillary Clinton as the Democrat from Punjab — a seeming slur on Clinton’s ties with India and Indian Americans.
Have to wonder what it is about Democrats and South Asians.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paglia on Gore and Democrat's pack

Paglia on Gore:

"Run, Al, run!"

This chant, according to media reports, is being heard from the crowd wherever former Vice President Al Gore speaks.

Shudders of déjà vu. Do Democrats really want to stampede down that soggy path again?

I think they will and it will be a Gore-Obama ticket and while few are saying it now, Paglia nails it below after watching the Democratic and Republican candidates debate.
The second Republican debate, in contrast, overflowed with spontaneous energy. Yes, the contenders are all middle-aged white men, but they sure know how to give and take a punch! There was drama, humor and electricity (literally, when a bolt of lightning cut out Giuliani's mike). I continue to be alarmed at what I perceive as Republican momentum toward next year's national election. The confident Republican foregrounding of military and security issues is going to present a very high hurdle to the Democratic nominee. Democrats are already acquiring a dismaying reputation for underestimating the threat of global terrorism.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More Obama and Rezko

The Trib via Reverse Spin where Dan C is doing a bang up job covering our preachy Senator's seedy friends,
The two contributors whose money is being turned away from the Obama campaign have not been charged with any crimes, but both businessmen have been linked to Rezko deals that are the subject of federal indictments. The campaign announced the actions following inquiries by the Tribune about the contributions.

Federal prosecutors describe both men — without identifying them by name — in court papers outlining charges against Rezko. The Tribune confirmed their identities through sources familiar with the ongoing federal corruption probe. Civil suits over the same transactions also identify them by name. Both are well-known business leaders.

America's New Iranian Hostage Crisis and Lee Hamilton: "we don't know who to talk to"

via NCRI,
Iran has detained a fourth Iranian American, California businessman Ali Shakeri,the U.S. State Department said on Thursday, calling his arrest a "disturbing pattern" of harassment of dual citizens.
Lee Hamilton, the advocate of talks with Iran says something about one of the hostages that should make him pause and reflect,
She is being held at Tehran's Evin Prison, which houses many Iranian dissidents and political prisoners.

Former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton is leading the effort to get Esfandiari released but admitted Wednesday that "we don't know who to talk to."

"We are just trying every lever we can possibly find," Hamilton told CNN's "American Morning."

"We're doing everything we know how to do, but you don't know where the power setters are in that country."

DePaul denies tenure to Norm Finkelstein

The Alma Mater redemed it self a bit.... a small bit... The Pundit covers it all here.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Marathon Pundit: Obama gives back donation from Ali D. Ata

The Rezko crowd really had their hooks into Obama. The Pundit on the latest after Ali Ata's indictment. Why would Obama have kept the donation until now? Axelrod didn't see this coming long ago? That's what's really hard to figure.

Jane Arraf on fighting in Amiriya

Jane Arraf writing over at IraqSlogger on the uprising agaisnt Al Qaeda in the Sunni neigborhood of Amiriya. More here...