More tough talk today from junior birdman, Barky O’Bama. Maybe we should concede that he is an aspiring Irish comedian–a congenial guy who tells great stories that make people laugh, but has zero heft. Leave it to cartoonist Michael Ramirez to eviscerate him for his foolishness:

I suppose it is appropriate that Obama is in Rome today. He is certainly doing a good impression of Emperor Nero, who fiddled away on self-indulgence while Rome burned.

Meanwhile, in a tacit admission that Russia holds the upper hand, the US allowed its astronaut to blast off in a Russian spacecraft yesterday:

The crew of two Russians and an American has successfully blasted off into space. Despite the diplomatic skirmish on the ground, the greatest problems faced by the international Soyuz team are dozens of experiments to be done – and missing loved ones.

The spacecraft with its Russian-American crew on board that earlier blasted off into space has successfully performed two maneuvers to enter a new trajectory of docking with the ISS after a glitch during the first attempt.

So, if Russia is just a backward, weak country pretending to be a Super Power, then why in the hell are we dependent on them for a ride to the International Space Station. We are the ones behaving like a 14 year old boy who needs Mom to drive him to the school dance. Not exactly the image of a potent, suave operator. Right?

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.