Politics Archive

Quote of the Day

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You voted for Obama to prove you're not a racist. Now, who are you going to vote for to prove you're not an idiot?
(via Doug Powers)

Please please please...

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Please let this be referring to David Price.

Nah, it'll never happen. I have the misfortune to share a congressional district with Durham and East Berkeley Chapel Hill. Price looks to be safe... but I'm still going to go out and vote against him, and for his challenger, B. J. Lawson.

Funny how that works... how the hugely conservative western part of Wake County happens to be drawn into a district which includes the most liberal areas of the state.

Fingers crossed, maybe we'll get some proper redistricting around here in the near future.

(via Ace.)


Update: Dang... it refers to Lincoln Davis (D-TN).

Four Little Words

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There's a perennial debate about the effectiveness of negative or attack advertisements in political campaigns. Some — such as Alan Grayson's "Taliban Dan" ad — are so outrageous, so over the top, so demonstrably false that they redound to the benefit of the candidate on the receiving end of the attack.

By the same token, a simple truth spoken plainly can cut like a razor. Many ads I'm seeing and hearing this year feature four little words:

"Voted with Nancy Pelosi."

Plain. Factual. Dull, even.

And yet in this election cycle, lethally effective.

In many corners of the country, "voted with Nancy Pelosi" might just as well be synonymous with "Incumbent X soul sold his to Satan, and we have the documents to prove it." I don't think the Democrat power players who put Pelosi in the Speaker's chair have realized — or indeed are capable of understanding — that to most people who pay attention, Pelosi represents most of what is wrong with the Left in America.

There are reasons that Jeanne Kirkpatrick's famous 1984 constructions — "San Francisco Democrats" who routinely "blame America first" — ring so true. Pelosi is merely the current most visible exemplar.

Ace of Spades HQ routinely refers to her as "Granny Rictus McBotox." (I think I got that right.) Me, I think she's got the "Speaker Sardonicus" thing going on.

You be the judge.

It's quite a list of ne'er-do-wells.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

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Actor/comedian Stephen Colbert was invited to testify before Congress — in character — on the topic of immigration.

Well, why not? After all, we once had the spectacle of noted scientist Meryl Streep testifying about the use of Alar on apples, based on her extensive experience in the field of toxicology.

What lunacy inspired act of genius is next?

Perhaps the Judiciary committee could invite Robert Duvall to testify on civil rights, in character as Boo Radley?

I'm looking forward to the day when we can have Will Smith, in the role of Captain Steven Hiller, USMC talk to the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.

It'd be pure awesome if Mike Myers were to testify to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence while doing his Austin Powers voice.

It's just too bad there's no House Select Committee on Getting Off My Lawn, because I'd pay good money to see Clint Eastwood do his Gran Torino character there.

Nancy Pelosi, whose every utterance causes dogs across the country to whine and howl, suggests that, were it not for having been sponsored in a political career by her wealthy husband, she might have made a career in business.

"I love the markets. I watched them since I was a teenager. I'm fascinated by it and it's a force, it's a force in our economy."

Sure, Nan, sure.

Personally, I'm all in favor of putting as many professional politicians as possible (and their coterie of professional flunkies, as well) out of office and into the private sector. It looks like, come November, a good start will be made on doing exactly that. Maybe we could get some engineers in there, instead, some day....

Most of those soon-to-be-unemployed politicians are professional parasites, making their livings by feeding off the productivity of the American people and returning virtually nothing of value.

Most being lawyers, many without private sector experience, and virtually none who've created a single job or indeed benefitted the nation or the economy in any private capacity whatsoever, I expect (and maybe hope) a goodly number of them would either starve or end up in prison.

Where, incidentally, most of them belong anyway.

Governor Awesome

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I have no idea where New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stands on anything other than fiscal issues, but his fiscal chops look like they're second to none.

More than one video of the Governor has gone viral. This from the Republican Governors Association is way wa-a-ay too long for that... but it's an excellent look at the man tasked with getting one of the most overtaxed and underserved States in the Union into good shape.

November is coming. Chris Christie's election in, of all places, New Jersey shows that the GOP can pick up seats in any number of places in 2010.

Video spotted at Hot Air.

Quote of the Day

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You almost have to feel for the liberals at this point. They keep getting so close to that example of right-wing violence and hate that they're salivating over, and then Lucy keeps pulling away the football. It's like liberals have gotten so annoying, they've actually annoyed God, and now He is toying with them.

Frank J., in Right-Wing Viole– Oh, Never Mind, at IMAO

Plural?

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Prior to the Civil War, the usual usage when referring to the nation as a whole was "the United States are...."

Since the Civil War, "United States" has been treated linguistically as singular: "the United States is...."

Given the to-do over Arizona's immigration enforcement law, as well as the incipient revolt of a number of states over the health care individual mandate (among other things) I get the feeling that we're on the way to hearing more use of "the United States are...."

That's how it's registering in my thoughts, more and more. As it relates to the nature of state sovereignty within our federal republic, I'm fine with that usage.

Every single one. Remember this?

And I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase — not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital-gains taxes, not any of your taxes.

Right.

At Hot Air: Great news: Obama “firm pledge” on taxes now a “preference.”


On second thought, there's one promise he made that will come true, if Cap and Trade is ever enacted into law:

Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

That's as much a threat as a promise.

Quote of the Day

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James Lileks:

The left has nothing in their quiver anymore; QUESTION AUTHORITY was all edgy ‘n’ stuff, but GIVE AUTHORITY A LOVING TONGUE BATH doesn’t give you the same rebel cred.

Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys

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There was a bit of consternation yesterday due to an apparent ban on poles to which people might affix their signs and flags at today's Tea Party event at the state capitol in Raleigh.

There has, fortunately, been some resolution, and poles will be permitted. (Link via Instapundit.) It may have occurred to someone that Tea Partiers are the very essence of "peaceable assembly."

Because of my work schedule I cannot, unfortunately, make it to the capitol I guess I'll just have to review last year's photos, and perhaps listen to some music.

I get the distinct feeling most of the smart people have already left; idiots are in charge, and the majority of the populace appears to be moronic enough to keep them there.

Polled

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John Hawkins of Right Wing News regularly conducts polls of bloggers on the right side of the political divide — yours truly included. I may not be a big shot, but I have been around the dextrosphere longer than most.

This week's poll: The Ultimate Like/Dislike Poll For Famous People On The Right.

I was not at all surprised by who came in as least popular on the "passion" index. I think the implicit lesson there for politicians and media figures is: your followers and fans can make as much of an impression about you as you do for yourself. Click over to see who I'm referring to, and you'll understand what I mean.

The top five most popular were:

#4 - Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh (tied)
#2 - Marco Rubio and Michelle Malkin (tied)
#1...

Well, you'll just have to head over to RWN to find out who is the most popular person among the right side of the blogosphere.

A very worthy choice.

Coulter in Canada

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Ann Coulter had, shall we say, a bit of difficulty getting her message out to college students in Ottawa earlier this week. The intolerance of the Left was on full display.

Fortunately, however, she had a full hour, free from rude interruptions or censorship, on Canadian TV with chat show host Michael Coren.* Smitty at The Other McCain points to the first of five parts, but the whole show is fun viewing if you like Coulter... and probably head-asplodingly infuriating if you don't.

Me, I liked it.


Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5


* Smitty calls Coren "a cheap Canadian imitation of Bill O’Reilly." This is grossly unfair towards Coren. Bill O'Reilly is a pompous windbag, and a poor imitation of actual class acts like Michael Coren.

Memo to the GOP

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A few thoughts for the GOP, if they intend to retake and eventually retain majorities in the House and Senate:

1) "Repeal and replace" — that's a good first effort. Keep trying. Don't let the message get stale.

2) Emphasize our founding principles.

3) You might also consider somehow working "tar" and "feathers" into the messaging.

4) Take the message on the road. Face time beats screen time.

5) God bless Mitch McConnell, he is a great senator, and a great leader in the Senate, but the Senate Republican caucus desperately needs a different front man. McConnell has the facial expression and animation of a stroke victim who's sucked on a lemon. Get someone more photogenic out in front of the cameras.

6) Anything, anything at all, that smells even vaguely like what will be labelled by the Democrats and media (but I repeat myself...) as "corruption," maybe even "hypocrisy," needs to be cleaned out, root and branch. Never mind that Democrats (Rangel, Frank, Holder, et al.) routinely get away with behavior that any Republican would be roasted for. This cleaning might include such things as backing primary challengers of tainted incumbents up for re-election, or removing offenders from prime committee assignments. Egregious offenders ought to be removed from the caucus.

7) Once in the majority, enforce the law. Refer members of either party to the Ethics committee, or for criminal prosecution as necessary.

8) Commit utterly to ruthless fiscal discipline. No earmarks, no new programs, no accounting tricks.

That's all I've got for now.

The power to destroy

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I've often wondered, particularly since the Democrats in power in North Carolina killed off an entire sector of an industry by passing an incredibly short-sighted Amazon Tax, if there is any economic activity that can possibly go un-taxed? What is it about governments at all levels, from local to federal, that makes them feel compelled to tax every single aspect of our economic lives?

And more specifically, what gives the federal government the power to tax everything they see?

Well, I'm no legal scholar... but today David Kopel (an actual legal scholar!) discusses some of the very questions I've had on the taxation matter: Is the tax power infinite?

Good reading.

(Link via Instapundit)

Jim Treacher pithily rounds up Healthcare Reform commentary — do NOT miss what the inimitable Bill Whittle has to say on the matter:

These Marxist bastards have no idea what is coming for them. No idea.

Indeed not.

Quote of the Day

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On the healthcare reform "Slaughter option":

We've gone from passing Bills w/out reading them to passing Bills w/out *voting* on them?

John Thune, on Twitter (via Michelle Malkin.) You'll see this one all around, I expect.

I have an extremely bad feeling that if this monstrosity of a bill passes in such a shady manner, there will be turmoil in this country that will make the Tea Parties look like a mere tempest in... well, in a teapot.

Alternate Plan

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Last week, referring to the government healthcare takeover scheme, Nancy Pelosi infamously declared "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

Really.

Instead, I would suggest that we can get a much better view if we kill it and perform an autopsy.

At what point do we begin to see politicians hanging from lamp posts?

I don't know... but surely this [Flaming Skull alert is in effect] would take us one step closer.

The list....

Travis Childers
Dina Titus
Carol Shea-Porter
Ann Kuster
Harry Teague
John Hall
Michael Arcuri
Larry Kissell
Earl Pomeroy
Steve Driehaus
Mary Jo Kilroy
Zack Space
Kathy Dahlkemper
Bryan Lentz
Patrick Murphy
Chris Carney
Paul Kanjorski
John Spratt
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Roy Herron
Chet Edwards
Ciro Rodriguez
Glenn Nye
Tom Perriello
Denny Heck
Mike Oliviero
Julie Lassa
Steve Kagen
Steve Raby
Ami Bera
Joe Garcia
Trent Van Haaften
Stephene Ann Moore
John Callahan
Jon Hulburd
Jon Hurlburd
Stephen Pougnet
Lori Edwards
Ravi Sangisetty
Pat Miles
Tarryl Clark
Tom White
Matthew Zeller
Paula Brooks
Manan Trivedi
Brett Carter
Suzan Delbene
Colleen Hanabusa
Robert Dold
Cedric Richmond
Lisa Murkowski
Barbara Boxer
Michael Bennet
Alexi Giannoulias
Robin Carnahan
Paul Hodes
Lee Fisher
Joe Sestak
Harry Reid
Scott McAdams
Kendrick Meek
Charlie Crist
Jack Conway
Patty Murray
Russ Feingold
Richard Blumenthal
Joe Manchin
Chris Coons
Ron Wyden
Kirsten Gillibrand
Mike McMahon
Scott Murphy
Bill Owens
Heath Schuler
Charlie Wilson
Betty Sutton
Kurt Schrader
Mark Critz
Lincoln Davis
Rick Boucher
Gerry Connolly
Rick Larsen
Ann Kirkpatrick
Harry Mitchell
Jerry McNerney
John Salazar
Betsy Markey
Allen Boyd
Alan Grayson
Alan Grayson
Suzanne Kosmas
Jim Marshall
Debbie Halvorson
Bill Foster
Phil Hare
Baron Hill
Leonard Boswell
Frank Kratovil
Gary McDowell
Mark Schauer
Mike Ross
Dennis Cardoza
Christopher Murphy
John Barrow
Melissa Bean
Bruce Braley
Dave Loebsack
John Yarmuth
Chellie Pingree
Tim Walz
Russ Carnahan
Rush Holt
Carolyn McCarthy
Dan Maffei
Bob Etheridge
Mike McIntyre
David Wu
Jason Altmire
Tim Holden
David Cicilline
Jim Matheson
Ron Kind
Bobby Bright
Gabrielle Giffords
Jim Costa
Loretta Sanchez
Ed Perlmutter
Jim Himes
John Carney
Ron Klein
Sanford Bishop, Jr.
Walter Minnick
Joe Donnelly
Ben Chandler
Gary Peters
Ike Skelton
John Adler
Martin Heinrich

Irony

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Last night, on the news that Rush Limbaugh had been hospitalized, an old friend of mine who happens to reside on the liberal side of the aisle suggested that it was ironic that, after opposing socialized medicine, a.k.a. Obamacare, Limbaugh was initially treated by socialist healthcare ("government") paramedics.

I don't think this quite fits the definition of "ironic." Paramedic services are pretty much a "natural monopoly," as are fire and police departments, and don't necessarily have to be government-provided.

Here in my town, for instance, the EMT/ambulance service is privately operated. If you want to "subscribe," you can pay a modest annual fee, but if you are not a subscriber and they respond to a 911 call, you (or your insurance company) are going to pay a hefty charge.

Relying on a monopolized service isn't ironic.

On the other hand....

Would you call the following scenario ironic? Our country's most vocal proponent of socialized medicine, upon discovering a medical problem requiring expert care...

  • seeks out the world's best specialist in that particular field
  • travels hundreds of miles to receive immediate VIP treatment
  • with little chance of a cure
  • rather than wait in line to use local services under a more cost-efficient schedule.

Yes, I'm talking about Ted Kennedy, whose treatment may have given him a few months of life, but which I am certain cost well into the 6-figure range.* Could not those resources have been better used elsewhere?

But no, that's not irony.

That's hypocrisy.

In any event, neither term applies to Limbaugh.


* As regular readers will recall, I'd earlier had the same neurosurgeon do my own brain surgery, and I know how much that cost. Boy, do I ever know.

Quote of the Day

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Hot Air's Doctor Zero:

The Democrat Party is starting to look less like something you vote against, and more like something you overthrow.

via Twitter.

Apologies

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It's been brought to my attention that my referring to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as "no more or less intelligent than a retarded howler monkey" might be considered to be offensive.

He is, in fact, no more or less intelligent than a retarded baboon.

I apologize for the error.

For the record...

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is no more or less intelligent than a retarded howler monkey.

On that, the science is settled.

Hucka-has-been

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It was bound to happen.

I don't think I've ever made it a secret that I am not a fan of former Arkansas governor and GOP aspirant Mike Huckabee. He might be a decent, upstanding guy — I mostly believe him to be — but his executive judgement has always been questionable.

In the past, I opposed him because of his nanny-state tendencies. Though I would appear to fit squarely into his "base" demographic — protestant, evangelical, conservative, white male in the South — I am in fact rather more libertarian in my political leanings. More than once Huckabee has expressed a desire to use the power of government to intrude into peoples' lives in ways that are as obnoxious to a free society as is the currently proposed health care reform, and that's all I needed to know to oppose him. I am thoroughly antagonistic to that sort of government intrusion into the sphere of decisions which are inherently personal, whether it comes from the Left or from the Right.

What I was unfamiliar with before yesterday's horrific crime in Washington was his record as governor of Arkansas of issuing pardons and commutations, often against the advice of law enforcement officials. He took an admirable attitude — the Christian concept of forgiveness — entirely too far, applying it where it ought not to have been used. He failed to take justice into account.

For the Christian, forgiveness towards the person who has committed a crime against you isn't optional, it is commanded. But that does not remove the obligation to pursue justice for criminal actions, or for the criminal to pay the price for their crimes. Huckabee often let his personal feelings override his obligation as governor to see justice done.

Huckabee's response to the deaths does even more to call his judgement into question.

I'm only surprised that he hasn't tried to blame Mitt Romney and the Mormons.

His executive judgement is no longer a matter of speculation; I would no more trust him in the Oval Office than I trust Obama and his Chicago cabal. It was only a matter of time before his leniency would come around to bite him in the backside. I only wish it hadn't come at the cost of the lives of four police officers.

Quote of the Day

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On Obama:

Right now he looks like a pretty desperate sort of beta male chasing an alpha chick who happens to... well, you know, if the alpha chick hated Jews and wanted nukes.

The always informative (and easy on the eyes) Mary Katherine Ham, on tonight's O'Reilly Factor — a program I would not normally be inclined to watch.


Other than that, yeah, I completely concur with Ace.

I find myself cussing at the TV screen more and more these days.

Brain Dead

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I'm operating on a total lack of sleep last night/this morning, so I'm not at my thinkin'est best... indeed, I'm a vitual zombie at this point.

I've been led to believe there have been some elections today; I hear the New Jersey governor's race is within the margin of fraud. I suppose I could turn the TV on to a news channel to find out more... but if I get bored and fall asleep right now, my body clock will be completely hosed for the work week ahead.

I think I have an episode of Top Gear on the DVR... that'll keep me awake for an hour. After that, we'll see.

Polled

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I've been fortunate enough to be asked to participate in Right Wing News' most recent poll, Right-Of-Center Bloggers Select Their Least Favorite People On The Right (2009 Edition.)

It was an open ended question. I listed:

John McCain
Meghan McCain
David Brooks
David Frum
Ron Paul
Lindsey Graham
George Voinovich
Olympia Snowe
Susan Collins
Michael Savage

Bold indicate the ones that polled in the top 10. OK, so, Voinovich was a bit of a flyer — didn't make the list at all, not even an honorable mention.

Nevertheless, you may henceforth refer to me as a "conservative thought leader."

I'd have included Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs fame, but no one considers him to be on the Right anymore, do they?

Hitler rants about ACORN

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Hitler's rants from the film Downfall have been fodder for hundreds of parodies.

My first-ever shot at making a humorous* video is a bit topical. I wondered last night how long it would be before someone did this... then reasoned that perhaps I ought to do it myself. It made for a longish evening.

So here goes.

I'm guessing they will end up out of the bunker and under the bus.


* Assuming one defines "humorous" broadly.


Update, 21Oct09: Philadelphia... LOL.

Teddy and Me

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As I noted last year, when Ted Kennedy had brain surgery, I knew he had the best neurosurgeon in the world; that same surgeon was the one who had operated on me six months earlier.*

At the time, I sent the senator my best wishes, and I meant it. I'm not going to say that no one deserves to be killed by brain problems of whatever sort,† but even with all his well-documented failings Kennedy didn't fall into that class.

And now with his death, it's a certainty that the Left will use his legacy as a lever to try to inflict a government takeover of the medical industry on the nation. It was, after all, his "signature" issue over the years.

Here's the problem: under the scheme of government control of healthcare Kennedy advocated, a person in my shoes would not have had the same choices as Kennedy made for his own care, nor would care have been delivered as promptly as it was.

Let me be perfectly clear here. My condition, hydrocephalus, if left untreated, kills. Without timely diagnosis and treatment, permanent damage can result — a fact I have to live with every day now, and for the rest of my life. As regular and long-time readers may recall, in my case, diagnosis was difficult; there has been permanent damage, and now I cannot walk without a cane or crutches

I cannot tell you how glad I am not to have to wear adult diapers.

Kennedy spent his career fighting for a program under which, as in Canada, waiting times to see a specialist (like my neurologist) or to have a test (multiple MRIs and spinal taps) or to have surgery are vastly increased — time during which even more permanent damage than I have suffered would have happened to me.

In my case, a longer wait for treatment could have meant much much worse, and had Kennedy been forced to seek medical care under his own program,‡ he would not have lived as long as he did.

Clear?

So call it "socialized medicine" or "single payer" or "public option" or whatever you want. By any name, the system Kennedy spent his career pushing for would result in fewer doctors and nurses, rationed care, with longer waits for that care. And if you think it would be free, just wait until you see the tax bill.

I have a cousin in Nova Scotia who comes to the US annually to pay, out of her own pocket, for treatment for a chronic condition; she can't get that treatment under Canada's system. Under what conceivable circumstances would a sane nation want to inflict such a system, with evidence of its unworkability for all to see, upon itself?

If you really want to improve the medical system, let people have the same options that the Kennedys want for themselves: the right to choose their own doctor and seek medical care with whatever alacrity they desire, without government interference and without packs of ambulance chasers filing spurious malpractice lawsuits.

Which pretty much sounds like the system we already have, except for the tort reform.


* Not that my case required the best. My surgery, for the doctor in question, would have been like a miniature golf par 3 would be for Jack Nicklaus.

† I can think of a few people that really need to die in as horrible a manner as possible — bin Laden tops the list.

‡ Not that the political class in Washington will make themselves live by the rules they inflict on the rest of us, of course. If you think there won't be a "congressional exemption" from the rules, you haven't been paying attention.

Kennedy Dead

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I didn't think it would be long.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, the longtime, beloved lawmaker whose personal tragedies along with his professional triumphs and losses unfolded in the public eye, has died of brain cancer. He was 77.

Beloved by some, perhaps. Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Me, I merely rue the fact that of the four Kennedy brothers, he was the only one to live a full life. I swear, there must be a curse on that family. The sins of the father....

And if you thought Paul Wellstone's funeral was a political circus, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Quote of the Day

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Christopher Taylor:

That squeaking sound at night isn't crickets. Its people scraping the Obama stickers off their bumpers.

In "Apologies, sans tilts."

Heh.

Evilspeak

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Years ago, immediately after I'd graduated from high school, I was an extra in an eminently forgettable movie. It was being filmed in my hometown, and they needed people who knew how to march and wear uniforms, so they approached our JROTC department and asked for volunteers.

Having nothing better to do, I and some of my fellow cadets signed on. It was interesting to see the "behind the scenes" working of a movie location shoot, and we all pocketed a few dollars for mostly sitting around and waiting.

But no, I never saw the movie; I heard it was really truly awful. I have no idea if I ever got any screen time.

Oh, you want to know the name of the movie? "Evilspeak."


Forward to today. The excruciatingly tedious Senator Harry Reid has described vocal town hall protesters as "evil-mongers."

Pelosi earlier this week called protesters un-American.

Not to point out the obvious, but it takes one to know one.

I used to subscribe to the notion that one should never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity. Now, I'm not so sure. I sense malice galore — malice towards and hatred of the principles on which this nation was built, the fundamentals which made this country what Lincoln rightly and presciently described as the "last best hope of earth."

Just how morally bankrupt does one have to be to suggest that people talking — or shouting, even — at their elected representatives is evil or un-American? Particularly when the one making the suggestion is one of those public servants?

Reid and Pelosi need to be reminded that they work for the people. (Given recent poll numbers, though, I suspect Reid won't be representing Nevada much longer.) They are employees, not our rulers. And they seem to have a moral blind spot you could drive a Peterbilt truck through.

Speaking up to your representatives is neither evil nor un-American.

Sending thugs to silence dissenting opinions is evil and un-American.

Forcing people into a medical care rationing system they neither need nor want is evil.

Denying people the opportunity to seek medical care because "it isn't worth it" is evil.

Lying about the content and effect of bills that you are trying to enact into law — that's evil and un-American.

Chattel slavery — the worst evil of the 19th century.

Statism — the worst evil of the 20th century.

And yet what Reid, Pelosi and Obama and their cohorts continue to press for is nothing less than the enslavement of the entirety of the population to the will and the whim of the State. The mere fact that this is now the 21st century changes the equation not one whit.

They call it "reform," an effort at equality, and a way to address social ills, but the equality one has under the yoke of the State is still slavery. And that is evil.

As, I believe, are its primary advocates — nothing more, nothing less. I ascribe no positive motives to any of them. Mere stupidity can explain some peoples' willingness to "sign on" to the program, but it very definitely cannot explain the depth and breadth of what the leaders of that movement are attempting to do to our health care system, to our economy, and to our liberty.

It is evil, and un-American.


Update: Please, flag me. I insist.

Quote of the Day

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If the purpose of the Sotomayor [confirmation] hearing is to remind me how much I hate the Senate, it's working perfectly.

Red Eye's Andy Levy

The REAL story

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South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, as everyone now knows, is back at home and work, after a mysterious disappearance of several days' duration. He claims to have had an affair.

I have an alternate theory.

Politicians can be outed as being gay, they can be busted on video doing drugs, they can be nailed in bribery scandals, they can even be caught having extramarital affairs... and yet all of these are politically survivable.*

But for a politician of any stripe with presidential aspirations, there's one thing that would be the kiss of death, and it would explain why he would claim to have had an affair:

Alien abduction.

Bear with me here. Think about it... what do we know about aliens?

1) They prefer kidnapping people from the South; given the incidence of abductions, their eventual nabbing of a sitting governor rather than a one-tooth-havin' moonshiner is a statistical certainty.

2) The governor flew in from Argentina. Aliens are notoriously inconsiderate as to where they drop off their abductees, so it's not entirely unanticipated that they might drop off the Governor somewhere away from home. He should count himself lucky that they dropped him in the Western hemisphere.

3) The most commonly reported aliens are known as "greys." Where better for them to pick up a human than the birthplace of the Confederacy, South Carolina? Confederate uniforms were — you guessed it — grey.

It makes perfect sense.

Any politician claiming to have been abducted by aliens can kiss his presidential hopes, and perhaps his entire career, goodbye. Compared to that, marital infidelity can be thought of as an astute political move.


* Especially if you're a Democrat — the press has your back.
† Except for Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

[This post brought to you by the Andrew Sullivan School of Journalism. Prove me wrong.]

Hocus pocus

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I certainly enjoyed former VP Dick Cheney's speech yesterday. I didn't bother listening to Obama's.

It continues to irk me that Obama would release details about interrogation methods used against captured terrorists, but won't, per Cheney's request, release any information about what results were yielded, what specific terrorist plots were thwarted. Heaven forfend that anyone begin to suspect that our intelligence methods might be effective.

This turns the entire notion of "classification" on its head. One of the very first things they teach everyone in the intelligence business is that things are classified based on sources and methods, not on the results achieved.

The way he's operating, I suspect that if Obama had been president in 1942, he'd have released the details about Magic, but not told the American people about the US victory at Midway.

I'm not entirely convinced that Obama has our best interests in mind.

Cripple fight!

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As a new differently abled disabled handicapped cripple, I'm perhaps a bit more sensitive now to the issue when it comes up in public discourse.

I have not a lot of comment about this at Jules Crittenden's place, other than (1) complete agreement, and (2) to note that in a smackdown, I'll take Krauthammer with his physical disability over Klein with his clearly deficient thought processes.


Plus: I've always wanted an excuse to link this (language, violence, and hilarity alert): South Park: Cripple fight!!

Mission

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There's one aspect of the the whole Nancy Pelosi "CIA lied to me" story that hasn't been, but needs to be, made clear.

It's the CIA's job to lie to America's enemies.

Just sayin'.

Quote of the Day

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Nancy Pelosi's lies are so transparent birds are slamming into them.

Red Eye's Andy Levy

Senator Palpatine Arlen Specter has decided to switch to the Democrat side of the aisle, either because he is getting his ass handed to him in the PA GOP primaries, or simply to make his party affiliation match his voting record.

To be honest, I am surprised he ever wore the GOP label.

I liked him better when he had cancer; at least then I could feel something other than disgust for him.

Party like it's 1773: Raleigh

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I'm back from the Raleigh Tea Party, and have posted my photos with brief commentary below the fold.

Quite a crowd there today, which I would characterize as "politely rowdy." I would estimate there were 2500, perhaps 3000 people there, but that's just a guess on my part, using the "count 100 people and estimate how many hundreds are present" method. I could not see the entire crowd, which was composed of young and old alike.

It was a terrific turnout, hosted by Bill LuMaye of WPTF, opened by a stirring rendition of the national anthem and followed by a number of good speakers. I was, sadly, unable to get close enough to the rostrum to get any decent photos. Heck, I could hardly hear, what with all the passing vehicles honking and the crowd hollering in return.

[Update: here's a post (with video) from the Raleigh organizer, Melodye Aben. The police told her the attendance was 5-7000. Wow, was I way off.

So, apparently, was the Raleigh News & Observer... by a factor of at least 10. Typical.]

Lots of American flags. Not a single kaffiyeh in sight.

I saw exactly one identifiable loon, wearing a 911 Truther t-shirt. I guess the rest of the moonbats had already met their fascism quota for the day.

Photos and links below the fold.

Tea Party

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There's a Tea Party in Raleigh tomorrow. I'll be attending, weather permitting. (Wet sidewalks are too risky for me.)

I'll have my camera and fresh batteries along. I hope to be able to post some decent pics. How hard it might be to use the camera while balancing on crutches, we'll see. (For an event of that duration, I'm not going to trust myself to just the cane.)

I'm really hoping to catch some moonbat counter-protesters/infiltrators.

Here's to you, Mr. Jefferson

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And by the way...

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I'm not outraged by the AIG bonuses. The bailout itself, yes, I'm a bit unhappy about. But with AIG remaining solvent thanks to you and me and future generations of taxpayers, I'm of the opinion that they should operate the way a business — not a government agency — should operate. Attracting and retaining talented individuals is part of the equation.

I saw some of the Congressional committee grilling of current AIG CEO Edward Liddy today, and it was clear to me that the only person in the room who knew the first thing about running a business was Liddy. Certainly none of the congressmen I saw had a clue how business works.

In fact, after seeing the verbal abuse he took today from Barney Frank & Co., if I were Liddy, I would tell Congress to get stuffed, and pay more bonuses to those AIG employees still on the payroll who are doing their jobs up to standard.

Outraged congresscritters' heads would likely proceed to do fair imitations of a MOAB.

The thought of which makes me smile.

Outrageous afterthought

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If it takes a college full of law professors to tell us that when the Constitution says X, it really means Y, then I figure the odds are heavily in favor of the Founders having meant X, and very definitely not Y.

The Constitution was written for all of us, not just for the faculty at Harvard Law School.

Let me get this straight. AIG has (or had) some employees with whom it has (or had) contracts, in which was stipulated there would be a bonus payment of some kind.

AIG, still solvent thanks to the US taxpayer, complies with its contractual obligations and pays out the bonuses, some of them alleged to be enormous.

Outrage ensues.

Now, I can see how some people — the ones who don't understand the concept of "contractual obligation" — might be upset, but the hyperbole I'm seeing in the news is beyond rationality. Senator Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) suggestion that hara-kiri might be appropriate was stupid beyond belief.

But more to the point, the remedies some are proposing strike me as being plainly and patently unconstitutional.

The response from Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) struck me as most egregious. From CNN:

"My colleagues and I are sending a letter to [AIG CEO Edward] Liddy informing him that he can go right ahead and tell the employees that are scheduled to get bonuses that they should voluntarily return them," Sen. Charles Schumer said on the Senate floor. "Because if they don't, we plan to tax virtually all of [the money] ... so it is returned to its rightful owners, the taxpayers."

If Chuckie were so concerned about the taxpayers, he'd have opposed all of the recent spending. He's not really concerned about the taxpayers — he's concerned about his image. He doesn't want to be known as one of the passel of legislators who let this one get past them.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but legislation written now to tax bonuses already paid sounds a lot like an ex post facto law to me.

Legislation aimed specifically at the AIG employees who received bonuses sounds a lot to me like a bill of attainder.

What the Constitution has to say about both is quite plain, and (to this non-lawyer) quite beyond debate. Article I, Section 9 says, in part:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Not, of course that that will stop The One and all his congressional Obam-automotons from enacting such legislation. Because of the outrage, you see.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer. I can only read the pretty plain English in which our Constitution was written. So perhaps I should turn to the thoughts of one of the men who actually wrote the Constitution, James Madison, in Federalist Number 44:

Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation.

I'd say the intent is pretty clear.

If politicians are so worked up about the results of the bailout laws they've passed, perhaps it would behoove them to actually read the bills they propose and vote on before passing them. Making laws plainly contrary to the black-letter words of the Constitution is a dangerous thing to do.


Interesting, via Instapundit: Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections in the 'Dodd Amendment' Rules

Quote of the Day

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Jim Treacher:

I know Obama's probably not a Muslim, but his teleprompter is like the Koran: Every time he reads from it, a market blows up.

Dis-appointments

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Instapundit notes the Obamessiah's difficulty in getting people into key positions, and offers links here and here today, as well as more in-depth linkage regarding one particular failed appointment.

Which brings to mind a joke I read/heard recently:

Q. What's the difference between Obama and Jesus?

A. Jesus could assemble a cabinet.

I wish I could remember where I read that.

Quote of the Day

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Mike Hendrix at Cold Fury:

Until Republican spokesmen reject the trap set for them by unscrupulous, forked-tongue propagandists who twist their beliefs, and their very words, into something that bears no resemblance to truth — until they discover the wherewithal to seize the initiative and voice this phrase directly to their blatherskite interlocutors on the Left — no useful discussion will, or can, occur.

I agree with Mike's premise.

California über unter alles

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At Hot Air: California grinds to a halt.

This was, of course, entirely predictable. Inevitable, even — if not this year, then next, or the next. And under normal circumstances, I'd say fine, let them sink.

The downside, though, is that my entire family and many of my friends are still there. As are several million other normal productive Americans.

For years, I've cajoled my family members to get out while the getting is good. I can understand their reluctance, though. My mom has a lifetime's worth of friends there. My brother's business is there. I'm not entirely sure why my sister stays.... And of course we're natives — unlike the vast majority of those who have done their utmost to entirely screw up the state.

It used to be such a great place. I loved growing up there. No longer. It is as if God had lifted the country up at the East Coast and all the human detritus rolled down and stopped in California.

If only the debris had gone another couple of hundred miles... out into the Pacific. That'd be one way of making sure the hippies had a bath.

As things stand now, though, I expect some very bad things will be happening in California. Confiscatory taxes on producers, property taxes on assets other than real estate, confiscation of personal assets on departure from the state (either by taxing real estate sales, or the death tax, or both) and so on, starting with the (for now) failed attempt by legislators to increase the tax burden by $14.4 billion — most of it going to feed the ravenous entitlements beast... and, it should be mentioned, the state's overgenerous underfunded employee pension funds, as Instapundit points out from time to time.

Add into the mix unchecked illegal immigration and voter fraud on a level that would make the late Richard Daley green with envy, and I have a bad feeling we're going to be seeing California turning into North Venezuela... or worse, West Zimbabwe.

Not too long ago, Victor Davis Hanson noted:

California is now a valuable touchstone to the country, a warning of what not to do. Rarely has a single generation inherited so much natural wealth and bounty from the investment and hard work of those more noble now resting in our cemeteries — and squandered that gift within a generation.

Sad, but as true as anything ever was.

Things are going to get ugly in California. The only question is, how ugly?

Quote of the Day

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Robert Stacy McCain:

So far as I can tell, conservatives aren't going through anything like the grief/angst/outrage that Democrats went through after the 2000 and 2004 elections. There may be activists who would like to generate that kind of reaction, but most conservatives have got real lives -- jobs and families -- and don't go in for the sturm und drang stuff like those 28-year-old gay grad-student types who attach themselves to the Democratic Party like barnacles to a ship's hull.

In short, we aren't whiny, puling little bitches.

Yes, you read that right. Deal with it.

Slack

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Just for the record, I'm not going to be hopping on the unicorn- and pegasus-drawn Unity Bandwagon of Hope, Change, Good Times, and Rock'n'Roll. Or whatever.

I would say I intend to cut Obama just as much slack as the Left did for Bush, that is to say, little or none, but I'm better than that. The Right, on the whole, tends to be better than that.

However, I do intend to blame Obama for the fact that I have not yet received my mid-month* paycheck.

I guess that makes me a racist.

* I get paid on the 5th and 20th of each month.

Quote of the Day

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Steve H. Graham:

America didn’t want a leader who believed in tried and true ideas (not that John McCain fit this description well). America wanted a flashy rock star. And that’s what we got. We got a young man who thinks the young have all the answers and that the old are stupid. He’s wrong, and unless he changes his philosophy, we are going to reap a harvest of misery from the implementation of his bad, discredited leftist ideas.

At Tools of Renewal (formerly Hog on Ice)

Tell me I'm wrong

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Instapundit:

Plus, an elaborate photographic tribute album, Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign. Inspirational photos from the campaign, with glowing blurbs from leading journalists.

Which is a fancy way of saying they merely copied a few dozen front page newspaper stories from 2008.

Instapundit cites a New York Times article on a serious allegation against congresscritter Charlie Rangel.

I note that Rangel's party affiliation isn't directly mentioned in the NYT article, though there's a passing reference to "fellow Democrats" in the sixth paragraph.

Sure, sure, those of us "in the know," politically, are well aware of Rangel's party affiliation, but when a majority or those polled after the November election believed, contrary to fact, that Republicans controlled Congress, I think it's reasonable to believe that a similar majority isn't going to know upon which side of the aisle Rangel sits.

Reflections on a scandal

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A few things about the Blagojevich matter crossed my mind while I was doing my household chores this afternoon.


Does this face say anything to you other than "mobbed-up scumbag"?

I say that, of course, with no intention of insulting actual bags full of scum*, what with them working hard every day serving the useful purpose to society of containing scum for easy disposal.

Which, incidentally, is an apt description of the place where Blagojevich will be spending the next 20-years-to-life.


The soon-to-be-ex-Governor was in the news yesterday, trying to strong-arm Bank of America (which today gave in, somewhat.) This seems to me to be a small example of what got the economy into the mess it's in: Big Government mandating to businesses that they behave in ways that do not make good business sense, pretty much forcing the business to lose (or give away) money.

See also: CRA.


This is the political culture into which Barack Obama deliberately insinuated himself.


This is not a good thing to happen to a President-elect.


At least with Bill Clinton, we waited a few years before any of his cronies were imprisoned.


Illinois, Illinois, Illinois... we're going to have to revoke your statehood if you can't come up with anything better than this.


I think the last truly Great And Good Thing to happen in Illinois was the Great Hippie Beat-Down of 1968...

... although, Mayor Jane Byrne was somewhat entertaining, for those of us who lived near Chicago in the early '80s. Cabrini Green!

... and I did date a wonderful girl while I was in college there.

OK, that wasn't so good for the country as a whole. But it was pretty good for me, while it lasted.

*sigh*



* Yes, I know. Dennis Miller. I don't think he'd mind me borrowing that turn of phrase.

With whom I happen to share a birthday.

This is news... how?

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A corrupt politician? In Illinois?

Illinois?

Say it isn't so.


I think I need a "Snark" category.

Spree for thee, not for me

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There is much chatter the past week or so about the run on gun stores — people buying up weapons and ammunition which is thought likely to be banned or made prohibitively expensive under an Obama administration.

The website for Classic Arms — one of my favorite purveyors of fine shootin' iron — tells the tale (I've cleaned up the HTML for readability) :

Let me give you some perspective. In the third quarter of this year, (July thru October) we sold the following:
7.62x39 ammo361 cases
AK 30 rd mags783
AK rifles (all types )243

By comparison, in the 10 days since the election we have sold

7.62x39 ammo1218 cases
AK 30 rd mags3855
AK rifles (all types )572

That is in addition to the AR rifles, Golani rifles, Tantals, and other firearms that have also sold like wildfire. Some of our larger dealer customers have been attempting to place orders for hundreds of firearms with us when we only had dozens in stock.

The traffic on the one and only "shooters" email list to which I am subscribed — a list populated by extremely intelligent/competent technical guys — is all about people stocking up while they can.

I happen to believe that the fears of these people are correct, that the incoming administration will in fact do everything in their power to make firearm ownership as burdensome as possible, and will restrict as much commerce in firearms as they can.

So here I am with a seemingly perfect reason to acquire more shootin' iron... but I have no need.

I'm maxed out. I'm over my limit of what, for health reasons, I can now put to use regularly at the range.

I already own ugly black plastic firearms that, for purely cosmetic reasons, are likely to be banned by this Congress and the new administration.*

Indeed, I've been considering selling off some of my small collection, simply because I can't make use of it any longer.

Sure, I could try stocking up on ammunition and high-capacity magazines before they're made either illegal or prohibitively expensive... but I already have plenty, and again, because of my new disability, I won't likely use it all in the foreseeable future.

I have a bad feeling that what more of us should really be stocking up on is cash.

And maybe canned food and bottled water.


* I have absolutely no confidence in the ability of the GOP portion of the Senate to maintain a filibuster. Not with useless tools like Snow or Specter there. I even doubt the willingness of the leadership to attempt a filibuster; a bunch of spineless weasels, most of them.

Quote of the Day

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Subtitled "Joe Explains It All":

It is not your money.

Rep. Joe Knollenberg, Republican of Michigan, inadvertently explaining why the GOP lost big in 2006 and 2008.

It's time, I would say, for a RINO hunt.

(Via Hot Air.)

Leadership battle

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I've been a Gingrich fan for a couple of decades now; I thought Steele would have made a good RNC chairman last time the post was vacant.

It's a pity we can't have both: It’s on: Gingrich versus Michael Steele for RNC chair.

Either would be an excellent choice to steer the GOP past the recent defeat and onwards to a future governing majority. Each would be smart to work with the other, whoever is chosen.

If only we'd had equally smart people running for president this past time around. It's one thing to have plans; it's something altogether different to have a guiding philosophy and to be able to articulate it.

This is what happens when Republicans allow Democrats and Independants a role in selecting their nominee. Open primaries never made sense to me, and this only confirms my negative opinion of them.

Not, of course, that any other particular Republican would necessarily have won... but any of them would have run a better campaign.


"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury."

Hence, Obama.


I figure the odds are 1 in 4 that Israel strikes Iran before the end of the year, while Bush is still Commander in Chief. They know they won't be able to count on any support from the new administration. If I were them, I'd be thinking of launching before the week is out.


No one can call the US a racist nation again. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are going to need to find honest work.

Yeah, right, who am I kidding.


I need to find a good hiding place for my rifles.


Obama has a lot of political debts to pay. Maybe he can use all those illegal offshore campaign contributions for that.


McCain ran on his character and record, both of which are clearly superior to Obama, but he never had a driving vision onto which people could latch.


This feels a lot like the Clinton/Gore win in 1992... which was followed, you'll recall, by the Republican congressional victories in 1994.


Palin/Jindal 2012!

At long last

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I've voted.

I went to the polling place with a camera, just in case there was something there worth a snapshot. There wasn't.

Maybe that, in and of itself, is noteworthy.

My polling place — the local elementary school — was pretty quiet. No long lines, not a lot of vehicles in the parking lot.

My legs are a bit "off" today, and I wasn't at all keen on standing around for even five minutes, so despite the lack of crowds, I opted to use the curbside voting. I was assisted by a cute girl who looked like she was barely of voting age herself. The process took all of ten minutes.

I did not have to show an ID. That really pisses me off.

I voted for McCain, and I didn't even have to be roaring drunk to do so.

Now can we please stop with the phone calls and commercials?

Godless Americans?

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I haven't seen one iota of polling here for the North Carolina Senate race between Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole and Democrat challenger Kay Hagen. All I see are the TV ads... over and over and over and over and over and over again... and I have no idea where the race stands as election day approaches.

Via Hot Air, here are two new ads, from the Dole campaign and from the National Republican Senatorial Committee. These could be devastating, here in North Carolina.

It matters with whom one associates.

Unless, of course, it is The One doing the associating, in which case it will be decided for you whether it matters or not.

The mask slips. . .

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... and falls completely off.

Wow.

OK, we've sort of known all along that Obama is as far to the left as any major politician in recent memory. Even farther left in his voting record than Bernie Sanders, the Socialist from Vermont. The record speaks for itself.

The man speaking for himself, though... this is damning:

Excerpt:

... the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.

Whether he's talking about general redistributionism, or a more nuanced and narrowly-tailored race-based reparations scheme, doesn't matter. Redistributionism is fundamentally and essentially un-American.

The only thing surprising about this "October Surprise" is that someone was actually able to pry the recording loose. There are skeletons in Obama's closet, and the press is busy jamming a chair under that closet doorknob.

Quote of the Day

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Sarah Palin:

I guess the looming crisis that most worries the Obama campaign right now is Joe Biden’s next speaking engagement.

Via The Corner at NRO


Just floating a random notion here. I've only had one cup of coffee so far, so maybe I'm not fully functional.... (Hey, give me a break. It's my day off, I slept late. So sue me.)

Biden said, "Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy...."

It occurred to me, in my pre-caffeinated condition, to wonder about that wording.

The cynic in me wonders if "generated" could equal "manufactured," as in a Canadian Bacon scenario, designed to boost support of an Obama presidency, particularly among those of us on the Right who stereotypically might be expected to toss aside partisan squabbles to support the nation's leadership in times of international crisis.

Would a foreign leader be willing to cooperate? I don't know. Sure, Obama has had a lot of support from overseas, but I think the real reason for that support is that a lot of people overseas would dearly love to see the U.S. weakened by an ineffectual president. They want us to be dragged down to their level — which is exactly what would result from the implementation of the Democrats' plans for America.

They envy America's greatness, are unwilling to emulate those qualities that made us great, and, like jackals around a lion, would love nothing more than for us to be brought low.

Maybe I should have another cup of coffee and something to eat.

Plus, the lathe beckons.


Update: Iowahawk brings the funny.

And there's now a Palin video at Hot Air.

Quote of the Day

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A "Joe" moment at a McCain rally:

"I was born in Colombia, but I was made in the U.S.A."

McCain-supporting construction worker Tito Munoz, as reported by Byron York at National Review Online. Great article — read the whole thing.

I am Joe

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Instead of bringing the funny (as is his wont) Iowahawk brings the righteous anger:

Joe simply had the temerity to speak truth (or, if you prefer, an uninformed opinion) to power, for which the politico-media axis apparently determined that he must be humiliated, harassed, smashed, destroyed. The viciousness and glee with which they set about the task ought to concern anyone who still cares about citizen participation, and freedom of speech, and all that old crap they taught in Civics class before politics turned into Narrative Deathrace 3000, and Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0.

Godwin's Law! you say? If the jackboot fits, wear it.

Read the whole thing.


I'm one of the guys who keeps the internet running smoothly; I work nights and weekends so you can do your browsing, IMing and emailing any time you want. I'm at work now, in fact. As with plumbing, you don't notice what I do until something is broken. And no one ever calls me because everything is just fine, so thanks, great job.

I've never been to a cocktail party. I've worn tuxedos — rented — four times in my life: to weddings and proms.

I smoke too much and I drink coffee by the pot. I drive a bigdamn pickup truck. I try to spend my free time at the shooting range or in a garage full of power tools.

I have the remains of a sixpack of beer in the fridge, and bags of charcoal in the garage. I shop at Target. I'm a veteran, and proud of my country.

I'd rather have the press do its job, and our elected officials keep their noses out of my life and their hands off my wallet. And if I get the chance to ask a politician a question, I expect an answer, not an Inquisition.

I am Joe.

Obama is no Robin Hood

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I'd really like someone to try to explain to me how, exactly,

I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, they've got a chance at success too. I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody. *

can be differentiated in any meaningful sense from

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.*

I don't think it can be.


The past few days, I've had a number of hits from search engines, people searching on "Robin Hood" and either "socialism" or "socialist" — the searches leading to this scribbling of mine from 2003: Robin Hood Was Not a Socialist. The important bits:

  • Robin Hood did not steal from the rich to give to the poor.
  • Robin Hood stole from the taxman to give back to the taxpayer.

I'll stand by that.

When in Rome...

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My brother flew to Cleveland today for a business meeting tomorrow.

I left him a message reminding him, while he's there, to register to vote.

Apparently, it's all the rage.

Note to Confederate Yankee

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CY wonders who the biggest fools are.

The answer is "all of them."

Obama's friends

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McCain needs more like this — on TV, not just on the web.

Quote of the Day

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Confederate Yankee:

If Bill Ayer's hands were any further up Barack Obama's backside, we'd have to change the Senator's name to Lambchop.

(Bumped.)

Stop the presses

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CNN clearly isn't keeping a tight enough leash on all its staff. I'm not sure how they let this slip through the cracks and onto the airwaves:

Whoa.

Any bets on if/when CNN willl try to have it yanked?

Via Flopping Aces.

Quote of the Day

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John McCain takes off the gloves:

My opponent's touchiness every time he's questioned about his record should only make us more concerned.

For a guy who's already authored two memoirs, he's not exactly an open book.

Today's campaign speech; video at Ace's.

Must-see videos. . .

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. . . at Ace of Spades HQ.

Today's reading assignments

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Quote of the Day

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"Racist!" says the AP. "Up yours," says the McCain campaign:

Americans need to ask themselves if they’ve ever befriended an unrepentant terrorist, or had a convicted felon help them buy their house — because those aren’t smears, those are true facts about Barack Obama.

Tucker Bounds, McCain-Palin spokesman

Palin

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OK, I lied when I said I'd watch some DVDs. Didn't get the opportunity. I did, however, catch some of the debate tonight during a slow period at work.

I think she beat Scowly McHairplugs Joe Biden like a rented red-haired bastard mule.

I'm not alone.


Oh, and Alan Colmes can go get bent. Dear lord, is there a more annoying person anywhere? Well, OK, the entirety of the MSNBC stable... but I never have to see them.

Dick Morris gives it to Colmes with both barrels:

Why do you insist on using segments with me to get reading practice on your talking points? Save that for a Republican.

[crosstalk]

Hey Alan, are you going to have me talk, or have another guest on? If you're going to have me on, you're going to listen to what I have to say. As far as I'm concerned, in the last debate I said that I thought Obama won, and this debate I think she won, and I don't think that that objectivity and fairness deserves your just spewing the talking points you've been handed.

[Colmes spews.]

You're incredible Alan, you're absolutely incredible. Is it that you can't think, or that you only know how to read those talking points? Unbelievable performance tonight, Mr. Colmes. Unbelievable.

[Hannity talks.]

[Palin's performance] was unbelievable, and anybody with a brain looking at it would conclude that... which does not include [Colmes] I might add.

Wonderful. Brought a smile to my face.


Update: here's a (crappy) video capture of the exchange. The fun begins at 40 seconds in, and cuts off before the end. Hot Air has the good video.

I mean, sure, it's important. A completely unvetted, infanticide-supporting gun-grabbing socialist from the corrupt Daley/Chicago political machine, with ties to unrepentant terrorists and anti-American racial hatemongers, is running for the presidency as the candidate of one of the major parties, with the full support of the media.

"Nothing to see here, move along" seems to be the mantra of the major media.

His opponent would do well to point all this out — loud, long and often — but he seems to me to be more interested in collegiality than in defeating the most hardcore leftist ticket ever to have a chance at the White House.

Ronnie, where are you when we really need you?

I think I'm gonna watch DVDs for the rest of the day.

We already know the media are in the tank for Obama. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit:

A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

The abrogation of their responsibilities by the fourth estate does more than shock the sensibilities, it shatters any pretense they may have towards objectivity or even credibility.

Think back with me a few years. On the eve of the 2000 election, Fox News — the allegedly right-wing Fox News — broke the story of candidate Bush's 1976 DUI.

Would CNN or any of the broadcast networks do the same if Obama's transgressions were the story?

The answer is obviously a resounding "no."

On the plus side, that obviousness does lead those who are interested enough in the political news process to apply the appropriate skepticism. I stopped trusting most journalism a long time ago.

On the down side, most people aren't interested enough, and swallow whatever they're fed, even poison, if it comes with a spoonful of sugar.

(Via the Anchoress.)


The title of this post comes from a Tom Clancy novel, I think it was Clear and Present Danger. (I wish I knew where my copy was — I have all the Jack Ryan novels in hardback... somewhere.) The son of a spec-ops sergeant has an unwanted encounter with a journalist, and pointedly refuses to believe that said reporter will do what he promises he will do. That has stuck with me like very few passages from novels have.

I just wish I was sure which book it was. I guess now I have to re-read them all.

Worst. Speaker. Ever.

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Way to go, San Fran Nan. Work non-stop for days to build a colaition to get your important legislation passed, to make the crap sandwich palatable, then open your mouth and drive a wedge between the different factions you counted on for support.

Nancy Pelosi, soooooper genius.

How we got to where we are

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I'm not an idiot, but neither am I an economist. So I talked with my brother (the finance executive) today and we chatted about the current news from Wall Street and Washington.

I still don't understand it all, but I have a better idea about what's going on.

I sent him the link to this video:

(Video via Ace.)

It makes sense to me, but I'm more interested in what my brother the banker has to say about it.

Who needs the kamikaze media anymore? I mean, other than those on the Left who enjoy hitting the talk show and cocktail circuit, being fawned over, sucked up to, and adored.

The new media of the Internet seems to be doing a pretty good job of reportage and analysis — one need only recall this to be reminded of the power of the web.

The latest effort from one of my favorite sites, The Jawa Report, is the kind of reporting that the media can no longer be relied upon to perform — especially when Democrats are involved.

To wit: Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated "Grassroots" Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them.

Devastating.

The above, which explores a smear of Sarah Palin — likely orchestrated by players in the Obama campaign — is a long, thoughtful, tech-savvy and well-researched investigative piece the likes of which you won't find in the press. Even when the target is a conservative, the press doesn't do things this thoroughly.

Kudos to Rusty Shackleford for his fine work. Maybe someone will sit up and take notice. Someone like, perhaps, the FEC.


FLAMING SKULL UPDATE [with the obligatory language alert] : Devastating, indeed. Ace notes that the videos in question have already been pulled from YouTube, minutes after Rusty's post. Good thing copies were made.

I see that the main YouTube account in question has been closed, too. The guilty flee....

Clingy elitist

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Via Hot Air: Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, decided to reach out to clingy gun owners in Virginia.

In an out-of-nowhere attempt to reassure a southwestern Virginia labor crowd about gun owners' rights, Biden — who regularly scores "F" ratings from the National Rifle Association — warned Obama that if "he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem."

"I guarantee you Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey," Biden said Saturday at the United Mine Workers of America's annual fish fry in Castlewood, Virginia. "Don't buy that malarkey. They're going to start peddling that to you."

Oh, it sounds good. But then he gave the game away:

Biden told the crowd that he himself is a gun owner. "I got two," Biden said, "if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem. I like that little over and under, you know? I'm not bad with it. So give me a break. Give me a break."

Emphasis mine.

Knowledgeable gun owners know that a Beretta over/under shotgun can cost upwards of $7,000. Not exactly the firearm of your average gun-and-religion-clinging working stiff. Heck, I'm now doing a fair amount better than average, and I can't afford one of those. I'll stick with my $450 Remington.

Beretta shotguns are very nice firearms indeed, but way out of the reach of the average shooter. You have to be either a competitive shotgunner (skeet, trap, etc.) or a very dedicated enthusiast to lay out the kind of money it takes to have one. I wouldn't pay $1500 for a shotgun... and that's the extreme low end of the price range for a new Beretta over/under.

So what Biden is saying here is that yes, he owns a shotgun. An expensive top-of-the-line shotgun. Useful for a narrow set of hunting situations and certain types of competition.

But the record shows that what he and his ilk don't have is any desire for you or me to have our affordable semiautomatic rifles with politically incorrect cosmetic features like pistol grips or bayonet lugs. Or useful features like high-capacity magazines.

For some reason, this reminds me of a quick bit of South Park, in which a wealthy celeb advises the pleb on how to live his life:

Man: Look man, I work fourteen hours a day at the saw mill. I just got off work and I need to relax.
Rob Reiner: Well when I relax I just go to my vacation house in Hawaii!
Man: I ain't got a vacation house in Hawaii!
Rob Reiner: Your vacation house in Mexico, then, whatever it is!

Quote of the Day

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On elitism in politicians:

Harvard isn't the answer - Harvard's the problem.
Ralph Peters

My blood isn't boiling... yet

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People are flipping out over an interview Charlie Rangel (D-NY) gave:

The question was simple: Why are the Democrats so afraid of Palin and her popularity?

The answer was astonishing.

"You got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel said.

Bear in mind here: though I'm still trying to wrap my head around the concept, the fact is that I'm disabled.

The exact language of the question would have helped here; "You got to be kind to the disabled" doesn't answer the question "Why are they afraid?"

On the other hand, why would Rangel — an undeniably astute politician — even think to use the word "disabled" in an answer about Sarah Palin?

Of course, he then went on towards full foot/mouth insertion:

That's right. The chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee called Palin disabled — even when CBS 2 HD called him on it.

CBS 2 HD: "You got to be kind to the disabled?"

Rangel: "Yes."

CBS 2 HD: "She's disabled?"

Rangel: "There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live.

Rangel's criticism of Palin could have taken many forms, but here, he's just being incredibly stupid.

Stupidity is no excuse. Just ask Trent Lott.

So, rather than be outraged [major language alert] I'll just feel pity towards the stupid old man.

I noticed in the news today that Jamie Gorelick, of 9/11 Commission infamy, turns up again as a player in the Fannie Mae kerfuffle.

Which got me to thinking. . . a dangerous precedent, that, but it happens from time to time.

I can see the political campaign TV commercial now. . . .

Despicable

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The desperation of the Left is palpable: The latest Sarah Palin smear from the Left: teen molester.

I can't imagine what it must be like to be so filled with hate.

Quote of the Day

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Glenn Reynolds:

A document so innocuous that, even though it comes from CBS, I doubt it was faked . . . .
Oh, snap!

At least, I think that's what the kids are saying these days.

First, but likely not the last.

"Lipstick on a pig"
Not the most apt simile
Say good night, Graceless.

Oh, stop whining.

Quote of the Day, part 2

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Dreamy:

Four times.
Read the rest at JammieWearingFool.

Quote of the Day

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On pragmatism:

For the Democrats, it's not about the welfare of the people but about keeping their jobs and about staying in line with their capricious candidate whose positions change with the wind--a wind so apparently strong that it ought to be considered an alternative energy source.
Juliette "Baldilocks" Ochieng

Meaningless trivia

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The #1 song on the Billboard charts on the day I was born: Soldier Boy. Interesting. I was in the Army, as a matter of fact, though hardly a boy at the time.

The week my brother was born: It's My Party. Heh.

When my sister was born: Wild Thing. No comment.

Not that there's anything at all meaningful in any of those, of course.... But let's see who else comes to mind.

Sarah Palin: I Want To Hold Your Hand.

Indeed.

Barack Obama: Tossin' and Turnin'.

I bet he is.

Movin' on up

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The best essayist in the blogosphere, Bill Whittle, has a column up at National Review Online. Tagline:

For the first time, I feel like we deserve to win more than they deserve to lose.

Definitely worth the read.

Employment sought

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The Obama camp claims — unconvincingly — that because he's been campaigning for the presidency, he is thus qualified to be President.

That sounds an awful lot to me like saying that filling out a job application and interviewing at a hospital is adequate qualification to be a surgeon.

Obambi more properly belongs on the unemployment rolls.

Speech, speech

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Short reaction after last night's speech by VP candidate Sarah Palin: I want to have her babies. OK, sure, I need to crack open a biology textbook. Still, the point applies.

I watched the speeches last night beginning with Mitt Romney, followed by Rudy Giuliani, and finishing with Sarah Palin.

Mitt wielded a rhetorical meat cleaver. He cut apart Obama and spread the red meat around the room.

Giuliani attacked with a verbal bowie knife. He stuck the knife in the democrats' guts and twisted, again and again.

Palin's speech was like a lunge with a rapier, hitting specific targets with finesse and accuracy, and driving deep to puncture the opponent.

She was en fuego. The media set a very low bar for her, with their attacks since the announcement of her candidacy, but even if they had set the bar high, she easily cleared it.

There is, of course, plenty of other reaction today to Palin's speech:

There's so much reaction out there, trying to get it all would be an exercise in futility.


Exit question: will anyone try to determine who gave the Code Pink fools press passes to get on the convention floor?

The answer to that question would be most interesting; I'd bet the passes came from someone at MSNBC.

Update, 5Sep08: Hmmmmmmmm....

Modern Nomenclature, part 2

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I think we can stop using the terms "mainstream media" or "legacy media."

Faced with a loss of market share and influence, and the increasing influence of new online media, members of the Obama Press Corps are flinging themselves suicidally against Sarah Palin in an effort to sink the GOP campaign, and ruining the one thing that ought to be most precious to anyone in journalism: their own credibility.

They are now the kamikaze media.

For numerous examples, see the Anchoress' Running Sarah Palin Thread of Hate & Doooom, and see one type of backlash, from Michelle Malkin.

Modern Nomenclature, part 1

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What is a "community organizer," exactly?

I can't help but think that it's a fancy way of saying "rabble rouser, on the payroll."

Sort of like using "sanitation engineer" instead of "garbageman."

Welcome aboard

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Welcome to our big tent, Bruce.

Sure, some of us who wear the Republican label can occasionally do remarkably dumb things, but we try not to make a habit of it.

How to handle a family crisis

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So Palin's daughter is preggers. While this isn't something most people are glad to hear, they way it's being handled by the Palin family seems exactly right.

"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.
Compare that to Obama's answer to a hypothetically similar situation:
Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby.
"Punished." That speaks volumes. He ought to be grateful his own mother didn't feel having him was a punishment.


About this kid who knocked up Palin's daughter, consider: she's the governor's daughter; her dad is as tough as men come. Fooling around with their daughter would have to have been an extreme act either of foolishness or dedication.

Either way, that boy must have brass cojones the size of Joe Biden's head.

And the child of such a union... I'll bet a dollar he ends up being named Kal-El.

Red state sense

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Jackie and Dunlap discuss Sarah Palin.

"At the very least he prevented a grateful nation from having to learn anything at all about Tim Pawlenty." That's funny right there. (No offense to Gov. Pawlenty, of course.)

The biggest loser

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McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate has already had a number of effects on the campaign.

  • Mainly, I won't need to be stinking drunk to pull the lever for McCain.
  • The base, which has been pretty cheesed off at McCain, is now enthused.
  • Donations in the 24 hours after Palin joined the ticket exceeded seven million dollars. In one day. Seven.  Million.  Dollars. That includes the contribution I made. I never thought I'd give a dime.
  • Early results indicate a dampening of Obama's expected post-convention bounce in the polls.

There are losers a-plenty after this.

  • Hillary!, who wasn't even vetted by the Obama campaign, and who, if either Obama or McCain win two terms, will be 70 years old come Election Day 2016. She's hard enough to look at now; eight more years won't do her any favors.
  • Joe "his mouth runneth over" Biden. He's about to have his ass handed to him by a woman who was in grade school when he first went to the Senate.
  • Mitt Romney. I actually feel a bit sorry for the guy, but he still has a future in politics, or in any other endeavor he chooses. He's a remarkable guy; any Republican who can win a race in Massachussetts can probably take care of himself.

However, the biggest loser to come out of the Palin candidacy is none other than our former North Carolina senator, John Edwards.

  • He can no longer claim to be the prettiest VP candidate in our history.
  • In fact, he was never the prettiest — that honor used to go to Garret Hobart. Just try to tell me I'm wrong.
  • He can, however, still claim to have the poofiest hair of any VP candidate.
  • That claim, though, would also be inaccurate. The honors go to Richard M. Johnson.

One claim he can make, accurately, would be to having the thinnest resumé of any VP candidate in recent history. Six years as our NC junior senator, with one of the highest absenteeism rates ever recorded, is nothing compared to Palin's record of leadership and accomplishment.

He certainly was of no help to the Kerry '04 campaign, which won neither Edwards' adopted home state of North Carolina, nor his actual home state, South Carolina. Not so much "favorite son" as "favorite SOB."

Plus, of course, had he not been the VP candidate, polling indicated that he would almost certainly have lost a 2004 senatorial reelection bid.

But I don't think he's quite dumb enough to brag about any of that.


9/3 update: See also The reason for the Palin bashing in the media.

I'll bet you didn't know this

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Follow me on this. I know, it'll be a shock to you. It certainly was to me.

I don't think anyone's remarked on it, but you know that Sarah Palin? I was watching the news, and I noticed... if you get past the tough reformer, past the leadership and wild approval ratings, past her principles.... Come on — you know who I'm talking about? — Sarah Palin? Governor of Alaska? McCain's VP nominee?

You might want to sit down for this. And send the kids out of the room — this is that shocking.

.
.
.

That Sarah Palin... she's, uh... she's kind of hot, don't you think?

I know it's not obvious.

I don't think anyone's mentioned that so far. Thought I'd point it out.

Comparisons

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It only just occured to me: with my two years as a squad leader in the Army, I have more executive experience than Obama does.

Sarah Palin's years as a decisive mayor and governor — and as a reformer — far outweigh Obama's history of "present" votes (or absenteeism) during his career as part of the — undeniably corrupt — Chicago political machine.

Veep

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It's Palin. Thank you, God.

I've always thought the first women and minorities to be elected to the highest offices would be Republicans. Democrat women and minority politicians tend to be rather too far to the left, too far away from what most Americans, men or women of any color, believe in.

Well, here's our chance to put a woman into the vice presidency. Based on what I know about her, she could be a great President someday.

And, as Bob Owens says,

Unlike Dick Cheney, who shoots small birds with a 28-gauge shotgun, Sarah Palin hunts moose. When she shoots a lawyer, they'll stay down.
Update: I just realized... she's younger than I am. This is a first for me.

And it does kind of make my life look like a turd sandwich.

Attack of the Obamautomotons

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Channelling Reynolds: "They said that if Bush were reelected, political speech that might tarnish the leader's image would be squelched, even outlawedand they were right!"

Hence the effort to shout down noted writer Stanley Kurtz, who's been doing some research.

One female caller, when pressed about what precisely she objected to, simply replied, "We just want it to stop!"
If that's what passes for political discourse, then we have either very little or a whole lot to worry about.

Of course, the efforts of the Obama camp are not meant to pass for discourse — they're merely pulling every lever they can to silence opposing voices.

They know that the Messiah's ties to unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, if widely publicized, would be a deal-breaker for the majority of the voting public.

And that simply cannot be allowed to happen.

Quote of the Day

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On Hillary Clinton's appearance during the DNC roll call vote to nominate the Obamessiah:

She looks so happy she could s**t a chainsaw.
The inimitable Ace.

Jonah Goldberg, on the Senator from Delaware, Joseph Biden:

The man loves his voice so much, you'd expect him to be following it around in a grey Buick, in defiance of restraining order, as it walks home from school.

Mr. Goldberg has additional thoughts on the Senator, in a post entitled "Biden's Brains." Worth reading.

[Originally posted 14Sept05.]

il colpo di grazia

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Nothing, absolutely nothing, must be allowed to stand in the way of Hopeiness and Changeitude™.*

Hence the Obama campaign's mob-like efforts to squelch this ad; it's got the potential to be the political kiss of death, and they know it.

If they want this to remain unseen, they'll have to do better than threaten.

Tell your friends.

More, from Mike Hendrix, on why Ayers matters.


* Or is that Changeiness and Hopeitude?

Vets for Freedom

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Obama hasn't taken a stand on the Surge; what he's really been doing is called posturing.

Those who were there might have something to say about that.

Via Hot Air.

3 a.m.

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Today's theme: campaign ads.

More to come.

Enjoy them while I'm shampooing the carpet.

Quote of the Day Month

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[Bumped and promoted to quote of the month because... well, you'll know soon enough if you don't already.]

Gravitas isn't enough:

Biden is essentially a buffoon. He's quick on his feet. He's slick. He can put on a good dog and pony show. But if the answer to "who you gonna call" is "Joe Biden" you may be asking the wrong question. The truth is that a guy like Sam Nunn has pieces of guys like Joe Biden in his foreign policy stool.
Jack M., at Ace of Spades HQ


8/23 addendum: Joe Biden couldn't carry my foreign policy jock.

Maybe it'll give Obama a chance to be competetive in Delaware.

I wonder: how will the PUMAs react?


More: Mickey Kaus: "He doesn't have gravitas. He has seniority."

Blog reactions at Stop the ACLU (STACLU).


Still more: discussing the Hillary! crowd reaction, Allahpundit provides a Quote of the Day:

The only way this could be more awesomely awesome is if it involved robots.

Congresswoman dies

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It is being reported that congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-OH, passed away today after suffering an aneurysm. I was no fan of her politics, but I can't think of any scandal associated with her name.

Young or old, rich or poor, famous or anonymous, ready or not: any one can go at any time. Be ready.

Condolences to the congresswoman's family and friends.

Update: doctors now say that she is still on life support, in critical condition.

Update 2: just (7:55pm) heard she's gone. Dunno why the reportorial confusion.

One ring to rule them all

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I know, it's late, but I finished work late, just had dinner, and now I've got the itch.

Via Instapundit, a bit on the U.S.News & World Report website:

One Nation, Under a New Obama Salute

o hai!

George Bush had his three-fingered W salute that supporters flashed when greeting him at presidential campaign events in 2000. And now, if a Los Angeles creative agency gets its way, Sen. Barack Obama will see fans meet him with his own salute like the one above.

Because the Obamessiah veneration wasn't already creepy enough.
"Our goal is to see a crowd of 75,000 people at Obama's nomination speech holding their hands above their heads, fingers laced together in support of a new direction for this country, a renewed hope, and acceptance of responsibility for our future," says Rick Husong, owner of The Loyalty Inc.
A new direction? What, in a circle?

I can tell you one thing that goes in a circle, millions of times daily. Accompanied by a flushing sound.

On the plus side, as long as people are making that symbol, you know their fingers aren't in your wallet.

Husong tells me that he got the idea after seeing the famous Obama-Progress poster by artist Shepherd Fairey.
Yeah, you know which poster — the one that looks like it came from a socialist agit-prop specialist.

OK, OK, the one that did come from a socialist agit-prop specialist.

I swear, the more I see of Obama the more I think he should have bypassed Berlin, saved a few steps and a lot of time, and given that "citizen of the world" speech at Nuremberg.

Coming soon: natty little armbands with the Obama logo.


Update: Michelle has more ideas for appropriate symbolism. And she beat me to the story, too. Dang.

Quote of the Day

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Ace:

Sometimes "Never Again" just means "Not Until It's Our Turn."

Keep talking, Nancy

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: every time Nancy Pelosi opens her yap, potential voters have more reason to question the rationale for voting Democrat.

Finally, as Ace points out, the RNC is acting on that puzzlement.

Keep talking, Nancy. Don't bother looking at the polls that show you to be far less popular than President Bush. You know in your heart that you're right, and in tune with Americans — your own staff of fellow San Franciscans tell you so, right?

Keep talking, Nancy. When Jeanne Kirkpatrick coined the phrase "San Francisco Democrats," she was talking about you. Not just representatives from S.F. (though I'm sure that really boosts your image among working class Democrat voters in the heartland) but a party wrapped up in the most loopy left-wing values, blaming America (and, by extension, Americans) first for all the ills of the world.

Keep talking, Nancy.

And while you're at it, can we have a nice photo of you with Obama?

Yes, yes, yes

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Finally, a Vision for America I can believe in.

Oh what a tangled Webb . . .

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I could have sworn that the Left was all about supporting the troops, but not their mission.

I guess that doesn't apply if the war has been over for nigh on 140 years, and if the supporter in question is a potential Vice Presidential candidate:

Barack Obama’s vice presidential vetting team will undoubtedly run across some quirky and potentially troublesome issues as it goes about the business of scouring the backgrounds of possible running mates. But it’s unlikely they’ll find one so curious as Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb’s affinity for the cause of the Confederacy.

Webb is no mere student of the Civil War era. He’s an author, too, and he’s left a trail of writings and statements about one of the rawest and most sensitive topics in American history.

He has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many of the racist legacy of slavery and segregation, for others it simply reflects Southern pride. In a June 1990 speech in front of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, posted on his personal website, he lauded the rebels' "gallantry," which he said "is still misunderstood by most Americans."

I'd say that pretty much kills Webb's chances for future advancement in the Democrat party, the privileges afforded ex-Klansman Senator Byrd notwithstanding.

The problem, of course, is slavery. While the root cause for which the South fought was indeed states' rights, the fact that the specific right they were defending was the right to own slaves taints the Confederacy beyond the hope of recovery. Had the casus belli been the right of states to set their own tariffs, we'd be having a different discussion. The Civil War would be a much less "raw and sensitive" topic if the South had acted as suggested by Lt. General James Longstreet in the film Gettysburg: "We should have freed the slaves, then fired on Fort Sumter."

For the sake of argument, can we posit that there is no one (apart from some vanishingly small number of nanocephalic cranks) in this country who believes that chattel slavery is a good idea? That no one, not even Senator Webb, would like to see a restoration of the antebellum South?

Might it then be just possible for the millions of Americans whose ancestors fought for the South to take some degree of pride in the undeniable courage and sacrifice of those ancestors — the overwhelming majority of whom never owned a slave?

My own ancestors were Northerners, or still lived in the Netherlands in the 1860s, so I really don't have a dog in this fight, but as a student of history, I can recognize gallantry for what it is, or was; a great deal of it sprang from the South in the period 1861-1865.


More at Gateway Pundit, Protein Wisdom, Hot Air.

More brains

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Ted Kennedy Diagnosed With Brain Tumor.

As much as I oppose pretty much every thing he stands for, I can't help but wish him and his family well in this time of trouble. This goes way beyond politics.

I know it entirely too well from my own recent experience: brain problems purely suck.

Equality of Misery

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At Hot Air yesterday, Allahpundit noted:

A winning campaign slogan if ever there was one: You're going on a diet.
Pitching his message to Oregon's environmentally-conscious voters, Obama called on the United States to "lead by example" on global warming, and develop new technologies at home which could be exported to developing countries.

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.

Obama wants us to tighten our belts, and overlooks the fact that the U.S. already leads by example, already develops new technologies. Only prosperous societies such as ours have the extra energy to spend on worrying about the environment. Subsistence-level farmers in, for instance, sub-Saharan Africa can't be bothered, when their main motivation is simply to avoid starving.

My question, however, is: who cares what other countries say? Since when do they get a veto over our lifestyle?

Obama apparently wishes that our way of life was more like that of other (read: poorer) countries. If he's given the reins of power, I've no doubt we'll get that opportunity.

In the meantime, I think today I'll go for a drive in my big-ass pickup truck, stop at Hardee's — it's only about 10 miles out of my way — for a monster burger, and when I get home I'll turn my thermostat down from 74 to 72, just to irk some other country. It's my patriotic duty.

Over... for now

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The best thing about yesterday's NC primary elections?

No more Obamessiah or Hillary! ads.

At least, no more until October, I figure.

Visitation

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Some time early this morning, far earlier than I am accustomed to being awake, I was woken up by the cats yowling. A shudder ran down my spine, and I noted through the window that a dark cloud had settled over this normally placid little town.

The feline complaining eventually ceased, and I went back to sleep puzzled by what had happened. What could have transpired to upset our sleepy little hamlet?

Then this afternoon, I read this.

Former President Bill Clinton courted Wal-Mart Democrats today, telling them his wife was well prepared to lead the country.

"If you vote for her, you'll make her the next president," Clinton told about 400 people at an Apex community center.

Mystery solved.

Hogwash

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Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, and Gateway Pundit (and undoubtedly scores of others) are all over the story of Nancy Pelosi's made-up Bible verses, which she trots out when she's trying to convince us clingy rubes that Earth Day is a biblical imperative. To wit:

The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’

This, from a woman whose main base of support consists of people who are extremely unlikely to read, much less obey, God's word.

Query: what other verses has she made up to support her stands on:

  • Abortion

  • Tax Increases

  • Gun Control

  • Tort Reform
or any other issue?

"Blessed are those who visualize world peace, for it is better to visualize peace than to actually go and make the peace."

Meh.

Please make suggestions in the comments.

Update: This story got me thinking; I knew there was an appropriate real passage from the Bible that might address this topic. It took a while, but I found it, in Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter 1, verse 25:

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.

That sounds precisely like what Pelosi is doing.

Snobbery

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Barack, Barack, Barack... did you think no one would notice?

. . . they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment. . . .

The condescension is breathtaking.

Actually, I suspect that Snobama never gave it a thought at all. That, I suppose, is what comes of being a liberal elitist; it's second nature. It's not as if upper-class leftists could be expected to think any different:

They are things that I think in a liberal world sound totally normal, and outside of that world I don’t know that he appreciates how it sounds.

No kidding? And they think the South is insulated.

The Democrat primary campaigns are coming here to North Carolina. I can't wait to hear what Obama thinks about us.

If he wants to get in touch with the people, maybe after a night working on the backbone of the Internet, I could offer to fry him up a mess o' possum or squirrel, and we could sit around on the porch picking our remaining teeth, playing banjos, whittling and spitting, while making passes at our cousins and firing shotguns at any small animals or foreigners that happen to wander by.

'Cause, y'know, that's just how we roll in the small-town South.

Stick a fork in her

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She's done.

The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary's history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther — and goes much deeper — than anyone realizes.

Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy's chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation — one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman's 17-year career.

Done? Well, no, not really. Were she a Republican she would be finished, and she certainly ought to be through, but the Clintons have the most remarkable ability to brush past scandal, to have their flaws overlooked. I can't think of anyone (with the exception of Ted Kennedy) who has more personal baggage and yet retains political viability.

If the story ever breaks into the mainstream media in a big way (and there's certainly no guarantee of that happening; Google News has five, count them, five listings for "Zeifman Clinton" at this writing — though the Obama Fan Club mainstream media might break it open, I suppose) some small number of people will be convinced to not support her, and many more will have their notions of her character confirmed... but the Democrat race to the convention will go on. She may be a liar, but she's not a quitter.

It's probable that Hillary!'s defenders will either declare this story to be old news and not relevant, or will call her former boss Zeifman a liar. Both tactics have been successfully employed before, having been swallowed — hook, line and sinker — by the Clinton partisans.

If, by some miracle, she gains the nomination, we can expect the story to be buried, or the Democrats' allies in the media will go on the attack on Clinton's behalf.

But then, I'm not telling anyone anything they don't already know.

I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible is happening near by.

Yeah, this would explain it.

Michelle Malkin tracks anarchist protest plans for the Democrat and Republican National Conventions coming up this summer.

For a long time I wondered why the GOP had a history of holding its conventions in cities known to be distinctly unfriendly to the party. I mean, wouldn’t you want to have a friendly local government siccing the police on the various protesters?

Then a couple of things occurred to me. One, if there are going to be big disruptive protests and/or riots generated by out-of-towners, wouldn’t it make sense to have them in unfriendly territory?

Two, no matter how things go outside the convention, it only serves to make our side look better. No riots? OK, you have a big crowd of GOPers having a good time and basically showing the denizens of the “unfriendly” town that we’re real people, too.

On the other hand, if there are problems with disturbances, the locals have to clean up the mess, and (should) get the inevitable bad press when the batons start swinging.

Me, I’m in favor of batons (and more) when the anarchists cross the line from peaceful protest to active disruption/destruction... but it never looks good in the papers.

Still… I’m put in mind of the line from Thank You For Smoking:

After watching the footage of the Kent State shootings, Bobby Jay, then seventeen, signed up for the National Guard so that he, too, could shoot college students.

Too harsh?

Paging Tammy Wynette

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Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation today, his wife by his side. Surprise, surprise.

What is it about politicians' wives that compels them to stand by their men, regardless of their betrayals? We see it over and over. Remember Jim McGreevy (D-NJ), who famously resigned his governorship after a gay affair was discovered? Even his wife stood by his side while he announced that he was a "Gay-American" and had carried on with a male employee. Now, of course, the McGreeveys are separated and on their way to a divorce.

More to my liking is the mental image conjured up by something Dick Armey (R-TX) said during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal:

If I were in the President's place I would not have gotten a chance to resign. I would be lying in a pool of my own blood, hearing Mrs. Armey standing over me saying, "How do I reload this damn thing?"

If only more politicians' wives were like that — there would undoubtedly be less misbehavior.

Update: Heh.

Deprogramming Needed

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Every time I say the words "my cane," it comes out sounding like "McCain."

I have got to stop watching the news.

I am **Terrible**

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I saw this headline at Instapundit: "WELL, IT'S PROGRESS: Hillary picks up half a delegate."

My first thought was, "Max Cleland?"

I am a bad bad bad bad man.

Class Act

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Senator Joseph Lieberman (Ind-CT) on the Senate floor, on the passing of Buckley.

Death Pr0n

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The media leftists sure do seem to want to paint their darling Obama as the next JFK, RFK and MLK all rolled up into one... and the fact that all three were assassinated hasn't escaped notice.

Dan at Protein Wisdom points to another example of the media's "Obama's gonna be assassinated" drek, and asks a vital question.

My guess: no one — he'll accidentally overdose while huffing changey hope-itude.

I've had a near lethal dose just from seeing the ongoing media reportage this campaign season.


More from Bluto at the Jawa Report.

History Sort Of Repeats

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I don't like John McCain a whole lot, but an unverified and unsourced NYT smear-job might just get me to support him. If they don't like him, there must be something worthwhile about his candidacy — the enemy of my enemy, etc., etc. I'm only surprised they didn't figure out how to hold the story until the Friday before the general election.

Just wondering... has anyone seen Dan Rather or Mary Mapes recently?

Coulter backs Clinton?

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Shorter Ann Coulter: "Why pick the lesser of two evils?"

Silly Iowans

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In the past, I've spent more than a little time working for Republican causes. My GOP bona fides can, I think, go unchallenged. I'm not a New York Times version of a "lifelong Republican."

But this year.... Let me put it this way: if Huckabee wins the nomination, I'm out. I won't vote for any of the Democrats, but there's no chance I'd vote for Huckabee. Zero. I won't lift a finger to help him.

We've already had one Jimmy Carter, and that was one too many.

We've already had one Arkansas governor in the White House, and that was one too many.

(See also: Frank J.)

Stark Raving Mad

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If anyone else were to talk like this, family members would be shaking their heads and muttering about how maybe it was time to put grand-dad in a home.

But it's just a ranting loon Democrat congressman, so I guess it's par for the course.

Quote of the Day

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On Hillary!'s propensity for gathering campaign funds:

The thing about donations from the Chinese is that no matter how much you get, you'll want more an hour later.
The too-clever-for-his-own-good Frank J.

Millions

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I believe the technical term for this is "making a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

Not, of course, that Limbaugh's comments that started the whole brouhaha could actually be classed as "sow's ear" by anyone who actually heard what he said at the outset.

Harry Reid, though, is just a self-serving opportunistic pig.

Opposites Detract

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What does it say about you if someone "brave, honorable, and true" is a problem for you?

A modicum of sanity in Oregon, where charges of felonious butt-swatting against two 13-year-old boys have been dropped. I don't care who you are, butt-swatting when a 13-year-old should in no way mark you as a sex offender for life. Indeed, I can't think of too many things a 13-year-old can do that ought to label them for life. Are you the same person now that you were when you were 13?


Steve H. prognosticates. He may be on to something there. Me, I think we're looking at a major redefinition of the term "boob-tube."


No, Gary, it's not just you.


Garofalo to join cast of "24." Fonzie to jump shark.


Louisiana Democrats attack Bobby Jindal's religion. (Isn't Louisiana a heavily Catholic state?) They once tried a whisper campaign about his ethnicity, so this really comes as no surprise. That they have to take his words out of context is not only unsurprising, it's pretty much the standard modus operandi for Democrats these days.


John Edwards: not so bright. Less bright: the people who ever voted for him for anything.


Breaking and entering? Illegal. Squatting? Not so much.


LOL, cat.

I Dance On Your Grave

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I've only commented once — and briefly, at that — on the Immigration bill mess.

Now it's dead, and I, along with others, dance on its grave.

What has puzzled me all along, what I can't figure out, is why Bush would have staked so much on such a wildly unpopular piece of legislation, one which has completely separated him from his base. Indeed, though I strongly backed him in 2000 and 2004 (including hundreds of hours of work on the Blogs For Bush website) I now no longer trust him on anything, except perhaps taxes and the war on terrorism.

Similarly, many GOP senators — McCain, Lott, et al. — ignored the voices of their constituents and backed the steaming pile of crap called Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the hilt.

Why would they do so much to anger their base? The only thing I can think is that either they are completely tone-deaf, or that Vincente Fox and Felipe Calderon have pictures of them all with dead Tijuana hookers.

Chuck Norris, Watch Your Back

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Adm. Painter: What's his plan?
Jack Ryan: His plan?
Adm. Painter: Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan.

The first time I ever heard of Fred Thompson was when he played Rear Admiral Painter in The Hunt for Red October. I suspect this would be true for a lot of people in my age bracket.

[The only thing that bugs me about Red October is that when Alec Baldwin is on screen I must forcibly restrain myself from throwing small dense objects at the TV... but when RADM Painter utters the line "you might consider cuttin' the kid a little slack," I am compelled to do so, and can watch the remainder of the movie in peace.]

Now that Fred Thompson is considering a presidential run (I could support him) the always insightful Frank J. has published a list to remind us of the sheer awesomeness that is Fred Thompson:

Quite a resumé, I would say.

Carbon Math

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In a multiply-updated post, Glenn Reynolds talks global warming and the effect thereupon of congressional "private" air travel.

In the course of the post, Reynolds cites this statistic from Tourjet (which, as the name implies, is an aircraft chartering agency catering to celebrities):

The typical American is responsible for 10 tons of CO2 emissions annually through their direct energy use of home, cars and air travel, and about 24 tons of CO2 including their purchases, activities and the other services we all share throughout the economy.

By comparison, a Gulf Stream III business jet (10-12 passenger) from New York to Los Angeles will emit around 31 tons of CO2 during the 6 hour flight.

I'm no airplane expert (merely a well-informed hobbyist, you could say) but it seems to me that if a cross-country fight produces 31 tones of CO2, this means the aircraft would have to carry well over 31 tons of fuel, as not all the consumed fuel would be exhausted as CO2. I have a hard time believing that.

Turning to airliners.net we can see a bit of info on the weight of the Gulfstream III:

Empty 14,515kg (32,000lb), operating empty 17,235kg (38,000lb), max takeoff 31,615kg (69,700lb)

Quick math.... OK, so at the very most, the plane can carry 37,700 pounds (18.85 tons) of non-airplane weight.* That's passengers, luggage, cargo, and fuel. While that is a lot, it's not 31 tons, it's not all fuel weight, and not all of of the fuel would be used on a NY-LA flight, since the aircraft's range is something over 4,000 miles.

Unless, of course, there's more than one airplane called the Gulfstream III....**

It is hypocritical for "jet set" celebrities and politicians to blather about reducing greenhouse gas emissions while burning fuel by the ton, but accuracy counts, too. In this case, it's not quite as bad as it appears at first glance.

(So, I hope I got the numbers right....)


* It's just a guess on my part, but I think the difference between the "empty" weight and the "operating empty" weight might be the airplane plus a full fuel load, which would make the fuel capacity 6,000 pounds.

** Update: Errr... nevermind. I forgot all about the oxygen input into the chemical reaction, which would indeed boost the output CO2 mass to something rather higher than the carbon input into the equation. Good thing I don't make my living as a chemist.

Namecalling

I've been called many things before.

"Stretch," "Tiny" — classics. "Sasquatch," "Lurch" — a bit more creative. "Uncle Russ." My all-time favorite.

I won't get into the various insults.

But I don't think I have ever been called a "fine blogger."

It's not actually true. . . but I'll say thanks anyway to Jay Tea, who is 100% correct in the rest of his post on election dirty tricks. No one, but no one, gets a pass to mess with the integrity of our elections.

Verdict

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Saddam guilty, sentenced to swing. More at Hot Air.

As I predicted. Almost three years ago. Sort of.

Countdown to moonbats questioning the timing — in three... two... one....

A Stitch

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The truth can hurt.

Right now my ribs ache, having seen the greatest political advertisement ever.

I needed a laugh. I talked to my niece today; we're all still pretty "down" about Bubba's passing.

Five Years

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[This is a re-post, modified, from 9/11/2004]

One morning while working from home I turned on the TV in time to see one of the World Trade Towers burning. As I watched, an airliner slammed into the second tower; in that second, the world changed.

No, that's not right. The world didn't change — we all woke up.

As events unfolded, I could only think of the people trapped by the fire, and I wondered how the authorities would evacuate so many people. Helicopters on the roof, I figured.

Then the towers fell. A plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and everyone expected there would be more attacks.

Our "vacation from history" was over, and we were at war. Against whom didn't quite matter at that moment.

Remember the preliminary casualty estimates? Numbers upwards of 30,000 were cited that morning. The shock I felt could only have been the merest shade of the horror and despair felt by the families of the victims watching on TV, wondering if their loved ones had escaped... or wondering if the body falling from the tower was their family member.

Five years later, we count ourselves fortunate that "only" 3,000 died on 9/11.

From that day and in the years since, we have learned of acts of incredible courage and steadfastness, starting with Todd Beemer and his fellow passengers on Flight 93, continued by the people who stopped Richard Reid's potentially deadly shoe-bomb plot, carried on by men leaping into the darkness over Afghanistan, with leaders like GEN Tommy Franks, and continuing today with all our armed forces.

We are also fortunate that the man in the White House is a man of moral courage and intestinal fortitude, who knows that doing the right thing should not be subject to an opinion poll.

Since 9/11, the war on terrorists and terrorist states has gone very well overall, with few mistakes and a blessedly low casualty rate for our soldiers. We have also been lucky enough — and good enough — not to have suffered another attack approaching the magnitude of 9/11.

The lesson I take from all this is that we can never again allow ourselves to nap through history; it has a way of catching up with us, and when it does, it will take all our skill, intelligence and courage to face it down. The bad guys, present and future, may get lucky again some day, but real Americans are made of stern stuff. No matter the setbacks we may face in the future, we will ultimately win.

Object Lesson

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Part 1 of ABC's docudrama The Path to 9/11 airs tonight and, as Tigerhawk points out (h/t: Prof R) due to the Democrats' incessant blathering in every available media outlet about the unfairness of it all, it'll likely have a significantly larger audience than it would have, had the community of Clinton defenders simply pretended the miniseries didn't exist.

No one I know of is claiming that the miniseries is completely accurate, any more than The Longest Day was a 100% completely faithful account of the D-Day landings — but that movie is still a good way to learn about the Normandy invasion.

Perhaps this can be an object lesson for the Left on the difference between "reality" and "reality-based."

They Want You

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There's much chatter today about "assassination chic" as it relates to an upcoming film, in documentary style, about the imagined assassination of President Bush.

The real problem is not that such a film has been made. Jeff Goldstein mentions several other political thrillers which tend to fall into the category of what Jeff refers to as "ideological wish fulfillment."

No, the problem is that in the BDS-charged atmosphere of today's far Left, this new TV-movie is not going to be merely a docudrama.

It'll be a recruiting film.

Veteran Campaigner

John Kerry tosses his hat in the ring... again.

Ass

Following columnist Robert Novak's revelation earlier this week that the source for the "outing" of Valerie Plame was not in fact Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, or any of the usual people lefties wish to see in handcuffs and shackles, Plame and her husband "Lying Joe" Wilson have filed a civil suit against those same people.

It seems that the very people who are not being prosecuted by the government for leaking are being sued for the damage their not-leaking may have done.

Suing people for damaging your reputation would be a legitimate thing to do, but in Joe Wilson's case, perhaps it might be best to disappear off the radar of publicity. The idea of such a suit is to gain back your reputation, but this case will almost certainly destroy Wilson's. If this suit ever goes to trial, old Joe is going to have his ass handed to him. There will undoubtedly be uncomfortable questions a-plenty.

Personally, I'd rather like to hear his explanation of how he could report one set of Niger facts to congress, and then publicly use a contradictory set of facts (read: "lie") in the NY Times in an attempt to damage the President. Now that is something that ought to be lawsuit-worthy....

Joe Wilson seems determined to go down in history as the man who put the "ass" in "ambassador."

Status

Jeff Goldstein (the thinking man's Argus Hamilton), having had his family threatened, and subsequently having been the target of repeated Denial-of-Service attacks, has now achieved a status that in future will undoubtedly earn him great deference from the Left: he is now a victim.

To members of the political Left, being a victim is like having a Platinum AmEx card and never having to pay it off. It's like Chobham armor. It's as good as having a fusion-powered bullhorn.

Therefore:

It is henceforth forbidden to gainsay Jeff. He is a victim.

His opinions on all matters must be respected. He is a victim.

Those who criticize Jeff for any reason at all may be mere insensitive cretins, but odds are they're card-carrying Nazis. Because, of course, Jeff is a victim: blameless and praiseworthy.

. . . .

What's that you say? He's one of those "neo-cons"?

Never mind.


Update: Heh.

Good News on the Legal Front

Almost three years ago, I suggested that the Racketeering, Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes be used against the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, who line their pockets at our expense, for very little actual return.

Today at Captain's Quarters, Ed has some related news.

A Note to Illegal Aliens

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Thanks for coming. We have sampled your various cuisines. Lots of good food there. Thanks.

But now we have your recipes.

Your culinary contributions to America have been noted. Now go home.

Encore!

Nice.

(Via Beth.)

Don't Let the Door Hit You...

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Columnist George Will, not usually known for thinking the difficult isn't worth doing, says it would take "200,000 buses in a caravan stretching bumper-to-bumper from San Diego to Alaska" to deport all the illegal aliens currently in the country.

I say we'd better get started, then.

SOTU

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Not a bad speech, all in all. Pretty good, in fact. Maybe very good. I just have one small nit to pick....

Given that illegal immigration and border security is hugely on the minds of Americans, I was hoping there might have been some real red meat on the topic. Instead, we were served a bowl of weak broth and platitudes.

One might be tempted to think that Vincente Fox must have a photo of W with a dead Tijuana hooker.


Update: LaShawn Barber focused on illegal immigration during her liveblogging.

Hearings

Since I'm off work on Mondays, I can watch the Alito confirmation hearings today.

I won't be live-blogging them (or even live-blogging the live-blogging) — I'll leave all that to:

and to whomever else I might happen to find, if I bother to look for more.

Feisty

Dear Betty,

I have two vacancies — will you please be my grandmother?

Maybe Clothes Do Make the Man

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Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) made rather a big splash this past week by very publicly "changing" his mind about the course of the war in Iraq — changing it to the same position he's held since last year, if not earlier. We already know this, of course, from a number of reports.

Murtha served honorably in the Marines, initially on active duty, and retiring from the Reserves in 1990, and is often described as a hawkish Democrat.

From the congressman's biography, I note that he has been in the House since 1974. Hmmm.

Murtha had a total of 37 years in the Marines, active and reserve. He had some number of years on active duty — his bio doesn't make it clear, but let's call it 12 years. I have no doubt that his years in uniform were spent completely honorably, and we know he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor during his tour in Vietnam. His service to the country cannot and should not be denigrated.

On the other hand, he has been a full-time Democrat congressman for more than 30 years.

Murtha has spent perhaps twice as much time in a suit as in a uniform. Which wardrobe, do you then suppose, has had more influence on his public pronouncements about the war?

No... No Bias There....

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Last night while flipping through the on-screen TV guide, I noticed something on a channel I've not watched before: the Discovery Times channel, a cooperative effort of the Discovery Channel and the New York Times.

Showcasing the best in journalism from The New York Times,

This bit of.... No, no, no, it's just too easy. It just wouldn't be sporting of me.

... Discovery Times introduces NEW YORK TIMES REPORTING. Working with the newspaper's award-winning journalists from around the world, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTING will offer insight into some of the most important domestic and international stories in the world today.

Popular science plus shoddy journalism — finally, together in one neat package!

I wonder if Jayson Blair hosts any programs?

Back on topic... the program listing that caught my eye was "Why Intelligence Fails: Intelligence to Please," the description for which was:

Intelligence agencies receive pressure from governments to gather certain information.

Digging into the channel's website leads one to the online description of the program:

The mission of intelligence agencies is to gather information. In the United States, pressure on intelligence agencies to provide evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has become a flashpoint for political criticism.

Except, of course, we know that there was no such pressure. [Don't believe me — believe the Senate Intelligence committee. Go here, scroll down to Conclusion 83... y'know, where it says there was no pressure.] On the face of it, it looks like the Times is attempting to pass off an hour of BDS-laden historical revision as a documentary. And the media wonder why many on the right think they're a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party.

I recorded the last half of the program, and if I think my stomach can handle a production with which the NY Slimes was involved, I'll watch it later and report back.

Update, 3:15pm: I watched it, and I feel like throwing up. The only good things that can be said of the program are that it wasn't funded by my tax dollars, and that Discovery Times doesn't have many viewers at 2am.

For the first 40 minutes or so, the program documents other countries' intel failures and the disasters that followed therefrom. [Surprisingly, the NYT thinks the 1968 Soviet crushing of Czechoslovakia was a bad idea. Walter Duranty, call your office!] This is known as "the setup." The show then moved on to the Iraq war, attempting to prove that the administration pressured the CIA to arrive at its pre-war WMD conclusions.

I don't know about you, but if I'm pressured to agree with my boss, against my better judgement, I'm not going to be enthusiastic enough about it to use the expression "slam dunk."

Apart from David Kay, ADM Stansfield Turner and Frank Gaffney (the sole Bush/Cheney defender on the program), I didn't recognize any of the people interviewed for the program, but Google can be useful:

Bob Baer: former CIA agent, current CIA gadfly.

Thomas Powers: former CIA guy, author of "The Vanishing Case for War."

Karen Kwiatkowski: former USAF Lt.Colonel, LaRouche supporter, conspiracy theorist.

Ray McGovern: notable, if at all, for his claim that the Bush administration didn't merely misinterpret existing intelligence, but that it manufactured the intelligence.

Greg Thielmann: State Department analyst since the Carter administration. Notable mainly for his disagreements with (now UN Ambassador) John Bolton and for his public disagreement with the current administration.

In short, however, the entire thrust of the documentary (one which Michael Moore would no doubt have been proud to produce) was to assume that the only casus belli was WMD, and then to try to show that the Bush administration pressured the CIA into delivering the results the White House wanted with regard to Iraq's WMDs, with the inevitable conclusion from Thielmann being that the actions of the administration amounted to a "high crime."

Do you suppose those last words were carefully chosen? What do you think the people at the Times are trying to say?

Question of the Day

SCOTUS, Again

In light of the need for the President to make another Supreme Court pick, I'd like to remind Mr. Bush: there's one more potential nominee who bears consideration.

Miers Memos

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It is clear now that no one in the White House is going to face up to reality and reconsider the decision to nominate Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. While I heartily disagree with the selection, I cannot fault the President for his loyalty to his associates. And we now know that Miers will not be withdrawing herself from consideration.

On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with her. I'm sure she has a squeaky-clean record, and her known accomplishments are real — though comparatively modest. The problem is that she just is not what those of us who voted for this President either wanted or expected: a Justice in the mold of Scalia or Thomas.

I've been perusing the historical record, looking for past examples of presidents' nominees who have withdrawn themselves from consideration for various positions. It occurs to me: it would be awfully convenient if Miers had in the past used illegal alien domestics — maids, gardeners, drivers, or even nannies (assuming, of course, that Miers actually has children, of course. Hey, I'm spitballing here. I don't have time to do elementary research.)

Faced with evidence that she had used such employees, she would surely have to stand aside.

In order for an illegal alien employee "tarbrushing" to succeed, the story would have to be credible enough to be believed by the Old Media, so that it will receive plenty of airplay, but little or no scrutiny. As luck would have it, I found a historical example of exactly that kind of tarbrushing.

Given a batch of crudely-forged memos with unverifiable provenance, the media will surely take them at face value and race to get them on the air in an attempt to torpedo the nomination.

All that's needed, then, is the aforementioned batch of crudely-forged memos.

The NC State Fair is in town... I think they have a livestock show.

Now... where I can find a Kinko's?

SCOTUS Pick

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Harriet Miers?

Who?

Well, at least it isn't Alberto Gonzales.

Indictment

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Travis County, Texas district attorney Ronnie Earle today managed to get an indictment against Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, as well as against two of his associates.

Ronnie Earle has been after DeLay for quite a while, to no practical effect before today. He seems to be obsessed, perhaps out of sheer partisan hackery, perhaps because he's simply a bad prosecutor, perhaps because he's a complete nut.

This is, after all, a man who indicted himself — thereby proving that if no ham sandwiches are readily available, you can get a grand jury to indict a fruitcake.

I suspect DeLay will weather this storm and come through vindicated.

Update: Captain Ed weighs in.

Sooo-weeee

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The newly-initiated PorkBusters blog-campaign to find waste in the federal budget is a good idea, but it won't do a lick of good unless the people who actually appropriate the money can be persuaded or pressured not to do so.

I would therefore propose an appropriations rule (or perhaps even a law) which might have a positive effect for the national budget: prohibit the naming of any federally-funded project after any living person. If that's too extreme, prohibit naming them after any serving legislator. Removing the self-aggrandizement motive for federal spending might rein in some of the more extreme spenders' projects for which we all have to foot the bill.

One could start, for instance, with the projects brought to us by the King of the Swineherds, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).

Byrd is so notorious for his ability to bring home the bacon (as well as sausage, tenderloin, pancetta, Boston Butt, chops, baby back ribs, ham, and crispy rinds) for his home state that he has his very own tribute page at the website of Citizens Against Government Waste.

How many of the West Virginia projects below would not have been paid for with federal tax dollars (read, our money) if there was no incentive for a certain Senator to use them as campaign ads?

  • Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center
  • Robert C. Byrd Highway
  • Robert C. Byrd Federal Correctional Institution
  • Robert C. Byrd High School
  • Robert C. Byrd Freeway (what, having only a highway wasn't good enough?)
  • Robert C. Byrd Center for Hospitality and Tourism
  • Robert C. Byrd Science Center
  • Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia
  • Robert C. Byrd Cancer Research Center
  • Robert C. Byrd Technology Center at Alderson-Broaddus College
  • Robert C. Byrd Hardwood Technologies Center, near Princeton
  • Robert C. Byrd Bridge between Huntington and Chesapeake, Ohio
  • Robert C. Byrd addition to the lodge at Oglebay Park, Wheeling
  • Robert C. Byrd Community Center, Pine Grove
  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships
  • Robert C. Byrd Expressway, U.S. 52 near Weirton
  • Robert C. Byrd Institute in Charleston
  • Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing
  • Robert C. Byrd Visitor Center at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  • Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse
  • Robert C. Byrd Academic and Technology Center
  • Robert C. Byrd United Technical Center

Really, it could just as easily be any Senator... any one at all... but when a target just walks into the crosshairs, it seems so wrong not to pull the trigger.

[In a strictly metaphorical sense, of course.]

Texan's Road Trip

Beth of Yeah, Right, Whatever took a little road trip Monday...

... to Crawford, TX.

Someone recently asked me why more pro-WoT Gold Star Families don't speak up (against the group at Camp Casey, and against the anti-war protesters in general). I've been thinking about it, and (though R hasn't confirmed it) I think I have an idea. Most Gold Star Families, the ones who believe in what their children/spouses were doing with their lives, just want to be left in peace to mourn. They have faith in our country, and in the mission their family member was on. They don't want to be part of a movement.

Read about her trip here.

I've Got a Secret

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Ok, no, I don't have a secret. Not about the Federalist Society, anyway.

Perhaps the mainstream media wouldn't think the FedSoc was so secretive:

  1. if any members of the press or anyone in their social circles were members of the society
  2. or

  3. if the press actually bothered to pay the Federalist Society the same level of respectful attention when there isn't a Supreme Court nomination pending that they pay to the ACLU on an ordinary everyday basis.

(Via Michelle)

SCOTUS Sexist, Racist

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It won't be long before we hear complaints from the feministas and the race hustlers that Bush has chosen a white guy for the Supreme Court.

Tough.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who thinks it is both sexist and racist to assume that only women or minorities are capable of judging issues related to women and minorities.

Roberts for SCOTUS

Bush is announcing his selection of John Roberts of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to replace Sandra Day O'Connor.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. I guess he didn't see that I was willing – and qualified – to take the position.

Plenty on that interloper Roberts from Michelle Malkin. And, of course, from Prof. Reynolds.

Update: In an altogether unsurprising development, Senator Schumer has made clear he won't settle for Roberts receiving the same treatment from the Judiciary Committee that nominees like, say, Ginsberg received. It's gonna be ugly.

Update 2: Even if I knew nothing else about the man, based solely on the groups already lining up to oppose him, I'd support his nomination.

Update 3: Best link collection ever at The Truth Laid Bear.

Credentials

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[This post was originally published 21Jun05. Due to the topicality today, I thought I'd bump it up.]
[There are updates - see below.]

Neat-o. An actual lefty koolaid drinker, right here on my very own site.

Now, I wouldn't be surprised if someone from the anti-American anti-war camp had found this site accidentally — it happens all the time, and some occasionally drop a turd or two in the comments — but this fellow actually came here from my mini-bio page at BlogsForBush. He came here looking for a fight to pick.

As is so often the case with the anti-American anti-war crowd, he rolled out what he thought would be a rhetorical nuke: the tired and discredited "chickenhawk" argument — questioning my "credentials," my qualification to offer opinions about the war. I guess the obvious military theme here escaped his notice, and I called him on it.

Not content to leave well enough alone, however, he decided to leave another steaming pile in the comments. I figured it deserved an up-front response. I know it will fail utterly to convince him, as he apparently arrived at his current opinions shortly before turning off his brain, but a response is nonetheless warranted.

Read on and, as always, feel free to comment.

Why, Oh Why?

Of all the Kennedy brothers, why did this one have to be the one to live to a ripe old age?

The evidence of alcohol's efficacy as a preservative continues to mount....

Prayer of the Day

Please, God — not another Souter.

SCOTUS, Minus One

Breaking News:

Justice O'Connor Retires From Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justrice Sandra Day O'Connor submitted her retirement notice to President Bush on Friday, setting the stage for a contentious battle over her replacement.

I would once again like to make mention of my availability and suitability for a seat on the Supreme Court.

I haven't received any calls from the White House yet. I'm somewhat disappointed.

El Supremo

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With the anticipated retirement of one or two Supreme Court justices, the discussion this week is naturally revolving around who Bush will nominate to fill the expected vacancy or vacancies.

I know the perfect candidate for the bench, one whose name has not come up in any previous discussion, yet one who nevertheless is perfectly qualified to be on the Court.

Me.

Yes, me. No, I'm not a lawyer, but... so what? There is no requirement that a Supreme Court justice be a lawyer. Indeed, I think having someone on the bench who is not a lawyer would be a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Which still doesn't answer the question, what makes me think I am qualified to sit on the Supreme Court? Two things, really.

   • I have a copy of the Constitution and the Amendments.
   • I can read plain English.

The Constitution was written in plain (but obviously literate) English, and was meant to be understood not only by the comparatively small number of people who have been to law school, but by all of "We the people."

"Make no law" and "shall not be infringed" are supposed to mean exactly what they say.

Two supplementary facts might be mentioned as well:

   • I have a dictionary to help me with the big words, but
   • There are no big words in the Constitution. The biggest words I can find in a quick scan of the Constitution are "representatives," "representation" and "ratification." Maybe there's a bigger word in there, but whatever it is, I'll bet I know its meaning without having to look it up.

My "judicial philosophy" can be summed up as:

   • If the Constitution doesn't address it, neither should the Federal courts.
   • The actual written words and plain meaning of the Constitution and the law always trump "nuance" and "precedent."
   • Scotty couldn't change the laws of physics; judges shouldn't try it, either — pi will never equal 3.
   • The Constitution was written by Americans for Americans. Foreign influences have no place in American jurisprudence.
   • Opinion polls are no basis for interpreting law.

Obviously, my nomination wouldn't stand a chance.

[Yo, Rusty - I got yer fatwa right here.]

Private, Schmivate

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Our rulers in robes, the Supreme Court of the United States, having just effectively destroyed the right to private property, must be overruled.

The President should get out in public — now — and propose legislation to protect property owners from legalized theft eminent domain seizures designed to benefit private parties. This is a Federal civil rights issue at least as important as the right to free speech.

This assumes, of course, that the Legislative and Executive branches are actually co-equal to the Judicial branch, in practice as well as in theory.

Mighty big assumption, that.

I wonder now how long it will be until the Tree of Liberty gets the watering that it apparently needs? I think that sad day has come more than just a little bit closer.


Update: via a commenter at Wizbang!, a reminder of this quote from the Hildebeast:

"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
— Hillary Clinton addressing a San Francisco Democratic Fund Raiser on June 28th, 2004.

Doesn't seem so far-fetched now, does it?

Update, 3:42pm: Shep Smith on FoxNews just now, at the end of a story on this abominable ruling, closed the item with the line "Molly Henneburg, reporting live from Havana... I mean, uh, Washington." Make of it what you will.

Kerry "Releases" His Records

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So John Kerry has released his military records to the Boston Globe. The Globe, being the upstanding paradigm of journalism that it is (see here, for an example of their journalistic credibility), will undoubtedly give the world the straight story on the contents of those records.

Yes. And someday I might don a cape and tights and fly under my own power.*

Globe reporter Michael Kranish tells us there is a "lack of any substantive new material about Kerry's military career" in the files.

I'm wagering that what we have just witnessed is a completely new usage of the word "substantive." Someone should let the folks at Merriam-Webster know about this.

Kranish — who, as Michelle Malkin notes, co-authored the Kerry campaign suck-up book John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best (a title as wordy as the former candidate himself) — would appear to be Kerry's "go-to" guy in the print media.

Kerry thus gets the benefit of being able to claim full disclosure, without the slightest potential of a critical word being said by the news staff at his media outlet-of-choice.

As a sop to the critics, however, details of Kerry's academic career were published, including a photo of the undergraduate Kerry.

Guess which one is the young Brahmin:

bad Kerry photoStar Trek: salt vampire

OK, that was just cruel. Deliciously cruel. But it's no wonder he didn't want those records released. The camera just isn't friendly to him at all.

* I might someday fly under my own power, but I will never wear tights and a cape. Which, all things considered, would be for the best. Trust me on this.


Update: looks like some other folks are having fun with the yearbook picture. And no, I don't have my own yearbook picture handy, like some folks do. This will have to do:

Update 2: Matt scores some commentary from Swift Boat Vet kahuna John O'Neill.

Leanings

Just in case you were wondering where I might be on the political spectrum....

Your Political Profile

Overall: 95% Conservative, 5% Liberal
Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

I must have missed one in there somewhere. I guess I'm just an old softy.

You, too, can take the quiz: How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

Note to Senator McCain

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To: Senator McCain
From: a GOP voter

I don't care how long you spent shackled in a cell in a Vietnamese prison camp. You have now burned up every bit of goodwill your wartime sacrifices might have engendered, and are now operating on a "GOP-karma" deficit.

If this nation should ever be so unfortunate as to have you on the presidential ticket, I will almost certainly vote against you.

No one who spends as much time aggrandizing himself and preening for the media at the expense of the party and principles which got him into office as you do deserves the support of the party or the people who adhere to those principles. No one who so obviously craves attention and acclaim deserves either.

Do your party and its voters a favor, and retire from public life.

Update: Patterico is on the same track. Ace, too.

Compromise

Well, big surprise, eh? And people wonder why the GOP is occasionally referred to as "the stupid party."

For a promise to not filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees except under "extraordinary circumstances," the GOP cowards moderates have agreed not to pull the trigger on the so-called nuclear option during this session of Congress.

Idiots. Morons. Sellouts.

If there's any possible silver lining to this dark-cloud deal made by that batch of chickenshit moderate GOP senators, it is that if the Democrats decide to use the "extraordinary circumstances" excuse to filibuster any judicial nominee similar to Owens, Brown and Pryor, the GOP can call the deal off. If Owens, Brown and Pryor are acceptable to the democrats now, they can hardly claim a similar judge is unacceptable in the future.

But I'd bet money that the GOP senators will be too yellow to call it off. Fools.

Update: Charles Austin uses the perfect word to describe the GOP side of Senate: Republican'ts.

Justices Delayed

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The one thing that irritates me most about the judicial filibuster showdown is the blatant dishonesty of the Democrats.

They aren't being honest about why they oppose Bush's nominees to the various courts, and are prevaricating about the supposed history of Republican use of filibusters against Clinton court nominees.

Anyone with the eyes to see can tell why they are dead-set against Bush's court picks. Having lost all elective political power, they will go to any length to preserve their hold on the courts, thus ensuring additional decades of left-wing judicial activism. Since the Left can't win at the ballot box, they must rely on judges who will legislate from the bench. This much is obvious. [And yes, I am the master of the obvious, thankyouverymuch.] They lie about the nominees, and even go so far as to try to apply the label "activist" to judges whose judicial philosophies and records are demonstrably not activist. Leftist protestations notwithstanding, taking the Constitution to mean exactly what it says is not "judicial activism," conservative or otherwise.

The lying — and that's what it is, in no uncertain terms — about GOP blockage of Clinton nominees is a lie of omission. Harry Reid and Teddy Kennedy can blather and drone on all they want, but they will never mention the essential fact that then, as now, Republicans were in the majority in the Senate, and thus legitimately in the position to approve or disapprove Clinton's nominees.

If the Democrats want to exercise the power to deny Bush his picks to the Federal courts, they should begin by taking their case to the voters and winning elections. Until and unless that happens, they should remember the old adage, "to the victor belongs the spoils."

CODB

In businesses of all kinds, the expression "cost of doing business" (often abbreviated "CODB") is used to mean the total cost incurred by an organization in the act of providing a good or a service.

If I'm selling widgets at retail, my CODB is more than the wholesale price of the widgets I sell. Warehouse and office spaces, payroll, utility bills and all other operating expenses have to be figured in before I can make a rational attempt at setting my retail price.

[Yes, yes, I'm a computer geek... but for my degree I had to take three semesters of Accounting.]

In the political realm, a $12,000 fine from the FEC seems a trivial addition to the total CODB for an organization that hands out hundreds of thousands of dollars each campaign cycle, particularly if the anticipated "profit" is one or more election victories gained in part by illicit contributions.

If you're in the business of trying to buy elections, it's a very small price to pay, given the stakes involved.

I wonder if they (or any such non-profit outfit) can write off such fines when they file their tax forms?

Bias? Say It Isn't So!

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From Reuters:

Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush
By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. media coverage of last year's election was three times more likely to be negative toward President Bush than Democratic challenger John Kerry, according to a study released Monday.

Well, duh. I mean, really: duh. It oughtn't to have taken a study to figure out the negativity was slanted in favor of Kerry — only to quantify it.

Three quarters of the way through the article, however, we come across this gem:

"It may be that the expectations of the press have sunk enough that they will not sink much further. People are not dismayed by disappointments in the press. They expect them," the authors of the report said. [Emphasis mine.]

A "Quote of the Day" candidate if ever there was one.

(via Drudge)

Profile in Cowardice

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Perhaps it's been difficult for Senator Ted Kennedy, living all these years in the shadows of his late brothers. Said the Senator:

We have reached the point that a prolonged American military presence in Iraq is no longer productive for either Iraq or the United States. The US military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Lovely, just lovely. Such fine words. Note to the Senator: our troops eliminated the problem. His name is Saddam, and he sits in a jail cell awaiting justice.

At least 12,000 American troops -- probably more -- should leave at once, to send a strong signal about our intentions and to ease the pervasive sense of occupation.

[Quotes via Rush.]

Compare those gems to JFK's words:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

Living in JFK's and RFK's shadows is no excuse for such cowardice from Ted Kennedy.

Perhaps someone ought to send the Senator a case of scotch, with the proviso that he use it for the sole purpose of drinking himself into a coma.

Realization

Having noted this article on Senator John Thune's new office, it occurred to me... I've neither seen nor heard former Senator Tom Daschle (D-Nothing Anymore) being deeply saddened by anything lately.

I really like that "former Senator" appellation.

Others to whom I'd like to see it applied: Leahy, Feinstein, Boxer, Kennedy — not necessarily in that order. Oh, and I mustn't forget the weasel Jeffords.

Stand Up, Get Shot Down

More evidence (or confirmation, at any rate) that John Kerry and the people around him have no business being in power.

"Abuse" only begins to describe what has happened to a man who stood up to them. Surely, we dodged a bullet.

(Via Ian S.)

Product of a Fevered Imagination

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Attempting to stanch the flow of blood from the 1,000 cuts received last week, the Democrats apply a tourniquet... to their party's neck.

The lack of oxygen to their collective brain shows more than usual.

[All emphasis in the quoted text is mine.]

Democrats Vow to Hold Bush Accountable

From the Washington Post... so you know it has to be good. Well, it's not the NY Times, so at least it's got that going for it.

[Actually, this does indeed look like a straightforward piece of reportage. Now that the election is over, the WaPo can afford to be magnanimous in defeat.]

Congressional Democrats returned to Washington in a defiant mood yesterday, making no apologies for the campaign in which they lost congressional seats and the presidential race and vowing to hold President Bush accountable for his handling of the deficit, the Iraq war and other issues.

We the people already held President Bush accountable once this month. Last week's election must be such a painful memory that it's already been buried in their subconscious.

In years hence, there will undoubtedly be "recovered memory" psychotherapists of dubious reputation holding up little donkey-shaped dolls to traumatized Democrats and asking "where did the nasty Republicans touch you?"

Hint: it wasn't a touch, it was a kick... you know where.

In his first public comments since conceding defeat to Bush, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) did not rule out a bid in 2008 and promised to keep pushing the issues he championed this year.

Issues like personal aggrandizement, good hair, lying about his opponents' records, Botox-abuse, cussing at underlings, stabbing our military in the back.... You know — the usual.

"Let me tell you one thing that I want to make clear," Kerry said in a brief meeting with reporters in the Capitol. "Fifty-four-plus-million Americans voted for health care, they voted for energy independence, they voted for unity in America, they voted for stem cell research, they voted for protecting Social Security.

At least he knows they weren't voting for him.

"We need to be unified, and we have a very clear agenda. And I'm going to be fighting for that agenda with all of the energy that I have and all the passion I brought to the campaign."

Mr. Passion. Oh. Yeah. I know everyone was excited by his [**yawn**] passion.

Maybe a guy who's had his prostate, er, "dealt with" ought not to be touting his ability to generate, er, "passion." On the other hand, that might explain Teh-ray-zah's odd behavior of late.

Asked about his brother Cameron's comment, published in yesterday's Boston Globe, that it was "conceivable" Kerry would run for president again, the senator quipped: "I was intrigued by it. I called him up and said, 'Where did you get that?' " He added: "It's inconceivable to me that anybody is even talking about that stuff right now."

Smart Democrats know that running Kerry again would sound the death-knell for their party. For better or for worse, the smart Democrats are outnumbered by about 50 to 1.

Returning to the Capitol, where he will resume serving his fourth Senate term, Kerry met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who will succeed Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) as Senate minority leader.

Modern political giants, all. [You have no idea how hard it was to type that and keep a straight face.]

Oh, yes: adios, Tommy boy. I'll bet there's a dog-catcher job open on one of your state's Indian reservations.

Pelosi, addressing reporters after lunching with about 100 House Democrats, said her party will speak out when it believes Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress are mismanaging Iraq, tax policies or the deficit.

They'll also speak out when they believe the Republicans are mismanaging restaurant menus on the Left Bank, the life cycle of the cicada, the weather (in both the northern and southern hemispheres), the orbits of the planets, and the 2005 NFL football schedule.

Keep talking, Nancy. Every time you flap your gums, a coal miner in Pennsylvania asks himself "why is it that I vote for Democrats? Why are her people getting my vote?"

"The president won't be able to blame anyone, because the Republicans have full control," Pelosi said. Although Republicans have controlled the White House, Senate and House for two years, she said, "the American people did not know that. And now they do."

"The American people did not know" the Republicans have been running things? Didn't know? Note to Nancy: calling your potential supporters ignorant is one of the reasons they are only potential supporters instead of actual supporters.

The American people had their chance to blame the Republicans last week. Instead, the Donks had their asses handed to them.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) rejected arguments that Republicans care more than Democrats do about traditional values. "We are the party of moral values," he said.

Killing babies = moral. Taking half of a family's assets when the breadwinner dies = moral. Taking half a person's income before they ever see it in their bank account = moral. Keeping felons out of prison = moral. Right.

Cutting taxes "for the very rich" increases the deficit and forces spending cuts in education, health care and housing, he said. "And so throughout the next two years, you're going to hear a lot [from Democrats] about moral values."

The Laffer curve is just abstract geometry to the likes of Charlie Rangel.

Meanwhile, the Democrats' post-election self-examination continued at a forum hosted by the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

I wonder if they found a lump?

DLC founder Al From said the 2004 election continued a "40-year slide" for the party, interrupted only by the elections of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Two lumps!

Democrats must close the security, reform and culture gaps, he said, adding: "You can't have everybody who goes to church voting Republican."

No, you can't... except for the ones who take their religion seriously.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who won reelection, said Democrats must trust voters' instincts and intelligence. "We can only lead people that we trust, and they'll only follow if they trust us," she said.

Then they'll never lead. Elitists do not, cannot, trust the people. It's against their nature. If they did, their entire platform of "we know what's best for you better than you do" would collapse.

Some congressional Democrats also say the party needs to do more soul-searching, but most are lying low. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), the party's second-ranking House leader, did not join Pelosi, Rangel and others who addressed reporters. Hoyer "wants to think things through" but will not challenge Pelosi or surrender his post as party whip, said a source close to him.

I know little or nothing about Hoyer. Maybe he's one of the smart and honest Democrats... which would make his rise to the position of Minority Whip [which, much to my surprise, is a floor wax and a dessert topping! - ed.] a truly miraculous occurrence.

Pelosi must choose a successor to Rep. Robert T. Matsui (Calif.) as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Those interested include Reps. Mike Thompson (Calif.), Janice D. Schakowsy (Ill.) and Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Capitol insiders said.

Who?

W = Winner

w-wins.jpg
There's an old saying, "Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks." In four historic years, America has been given great tasks, and faced them with strength and courage. Our people have restored the vigor of this economy, and shown resolve and patience in a new kind of war. Our military has brought justice to the enemy, and honor to America. Our nation has defended itself, and served the freedom of all mankind. I'm proud to lead such an amazing country, and I'm proud to lead it forward.

Post-election Chat

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My first conversation this morning, with a buddy who goes by "darth" on IM:

darth: Kerry is supposed to give his concession speech after lunch...
Me: so I have read
Me: he can do basic math
darth: yeah...but for some reason, he can't seem to get past the "60s"

That may well sum up the entire campaign.

Post-electoral Shindig

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Voting is done here in the east, so now all I have to do is tend the under-the-covers stuff at Blogs For Bush (where, amazingly enough, I happen to be the webmaster.) (And where, amazingly, the server has not completely melted, despite record traffic volume.)

Whether it's a win, lose, or draw for Bush, I'm going to begin celebrating the freedom we all enjoy to choose our leaders.

isleofjura.jpg

That's a 10-year-old Isle of Jura single malt Scotch whisky, about which I have previously written. Short version: gooooooood stuff. I wish I could find their 21-year-old. Maybe next time.

If I remember, I'll take another picture of the bottle later — just to see how much I've drained.

Update: I like the way this man thinks.

Update 2: No, I have no idea what time the polls in Scotland closed, nor how they voted.

Exit Poll

| 1 Comment

Exit poll here in North Carolina:

US President:
Bush: 100%
Kerry: 0%

US Senate:
Burr: 100%
Bowles: 0%

[Number of voters sampled: 1 (one.) No statistical adjustments have been made for race, age (dang!), or gender (whew!) No shifting of these numbers is expected for the remainder of the day.]

Voting in NC

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A few observations...

I got to my polling place at 11:20 this morning. I had expected it to be a bit busier than usual, but this really surprised me.

apex-voting.jpg

[The cars are those of physically disabled voters, who are allowed to vote at the curbside.]

The last time I voted, I had a waiting time of zero minutes. Today, the wait was about 35 minutes. The line was much longer at 11:20 than it was at noon, when I took the picture.

The poll workers — the same batch as always — were their usual polite helpful selves.

Though there were campaigners from both parties present, they strictly observed the 100-foot rule we have here. I observed no misbehavior of any sort at the polling place. As in the past, no ID was required to vote — just state your name and address, sign the form, and take your ballot. We need to change that.

North Carolina is about as safe a state for President Bush as there is, yet the turnout is rather heavy — prompted, no doubt, by the down-ballot races, the US Senate and NC governor races particularly.

It's a great day to be an American.

Endorsement Redux

I perhaps ought to have waited to publish my endorsement for this election. In case you missed it, it's right here.

The best line (in my ever so humble opinion):

Kerry has already told us how he would approach the international community: on bended knee.

I impress myself sometimes.

Now get out there tomorrow and vote Bush!

An Honest Democrat

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One might be tempted, in this campaign season, to think that honest Democrats were few and far between*, if they exist at all. The shrillness and vitriol of their talking points are far more extreme than ever before. Their mouthpieces in the press make virtually no pretense of being fair-minded deliverers of news.

You need only to look at any "talking heads" news program to see the spinners of the Left interrupting, shouting down and talking over their political opponents, manners be damned. Lawrence O'Donnell's shameful (and shameless) performance on the air with John O'Neill just a week ago is an extreme and noteworthy example.

It would be one thing if they were using actual truth as the weapon against their opponents, but frankly, the Left would neither know nor care about the truth if it stood in front of them with a flaming sword, threatening cauterization (with the attendant need for such) if they were not to mend their ways.

It is not merely in debate that their extremism is evident. Theft and vandalism have been reported nearly every day for the last month. GOP offices have been burgled, ransacked, and even shot at. If sanity does not pull the extremists' choke-chains, eventually someone is going to get hurt, perhaps even killed. The left-wing extremists had better think twice — or even just once — before they go down that road; it leads through dangers from which they will not emerge victorious... if they emerge at all.

The hard-core Left are losing their minds. I'm already convinced they've lost any love of country they ever had. Scoop Jackson, oh, how we miss you. Zell Miller, where can we get more Democrats like you?

... they seem like scattered rowboats on an ocean of sulphuric acid.
Fortunately, there are outposts of sanity remaining on the left side of the aisle. Some who wear the label "Democrat" retain the intellectual honesty and love of country that used to characterize their party, but they seem like scattered rowboats on an ocean of sulphuric acid. One might be excused for feeling like Diogenes, looking for an honest Democrat in the public arena.

Orson Scott Card, whom I have cited before, is one such honest man. He examines the current state of mind of the Democrat party — the scamming, the lying, the pseudo-intellectualism, the mockery of faith in God, and the unswerving notion that they are entitled to rule — in The Death of Shame. A brief excerpt:

The falsehoods are thick on the ground, and contrary to the impression some might try to give you, they are not conducted equally by both sides.

When they trumpet examples of Republican "lies," they usually turn out to be in the following categories:

1. Statements that turn out to be wrong, though they were believed to be right at the time they were spoken. (In the rational world, we call these "mistakes.")

2. Statements that interpret legitimate data in ways that support the Republican view. (In the rational world, we call these "differences of opinion.")

3. Statements that point out obvious contradictions between what the Democratic candidates say and what they have said and done in the past. These are called "negative campaigning" and "mudslinging" and "distortions" and, of course, "lies," but these countercharges are offered instead of coherent explanations.

[Italics and parenthetical comments in the original.]

I don't need to tell you to read the whole thing, do I?

* I refer, of course, to the leadership and public face of the Democrat party, not to the millions of decent folk who remain members thereof. Those folks should, however, be dismayed that their party has been taken over by the extreme Left. Maybe after a thorough trouncing, they'll do something about it.

Zzzzz...

"Wake up, America" sounds an awful lot like "What, are you people too stupid to vote for me?"

Surprise?

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Endorsement

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For those of you who may still be on the fence with regard to your selection of a candidate in this presidential election, I'm going to elucidate a few of the reasons I support the re-election of President George W. Bush. You may disagree, and that's OK. It's still a free country, after all. But I think that if Kerry is elected, we as a nation will have made a mistake that will have repercussions for years to come, for decades to come.

And possibly forever.


First, I support President Bush for his stands on domestic matters. There are places I disagree with him — the budget, and his failure to use his veto power when necessary — but in most areas, I support him unreservedly. I'll cite just one example: Social Security.

The Social Security system — a Ponzi scheme if ever there was one — is broken. It will inevitably fail; the only question is when.

It has been 70 years (or thereabouts) that the system has been in place. In that time, the overall life expectancy of Americans has risen; the number of people living to age 65 and beyond has risen, and they are living farther past age 65. In other words, more people than ever before are receiving Social Security benefits, and are receiving them for more years.

The age at which people can begin collecting benefits has not increased to match these demographic trends. Nor, due to political cowardice on all sides, is it ever likely to do so.

Meanwhile, fewer workers than ever are paying into the system for each recipient. Few people age 40 or below believe that Social Security will be in place for them 25 or more years down the road. I'm 42, and I certainly don't believe Social Security will be there for me, should I happen to defy all expectations and live to a ripe old age.

How then does the problem get fixed? Who has the best ideas?

Raising taxes to fund Social Security is a scheme akin to using a bailing bucket for flood control on the Titanic.
Kerry offers nothing but more of the same. Under a Kerry regime, there are only two likely courses of action. In the first, nothing will be done and the problem will again be pushed off to yet another set of future politicians. The second option is equally unpalatable: taxes will have to increase drastically to keep the system going. To see how successful that might be, one only needs to look at the impending demographic-driven failure of the European welfare states, in which there fewer and fewer people paying into the system to keep it afloat for long. Raising taxes to fund Social Security is a scheme akin to using a bailing bucket for flood control on the Titanic.

There's no stopping it — the ship will sink. Kerry would prefer that we form a bucket brigade and bail as fast as we can.

President Bush, on the other hand, would rather let us man the lifeboats and get off the sinking ship. He'd rather make sure there are enough lifeboats for everyone, and if it means pulling planks off the sinking ship's deck to build them, so be it.

Privatization — the term being used to scare senior citizens — is the right thing to do, but it doesn't mean what Kerry says it means. (Of course, anything Kerry says is usually unrelated to the truth, except perhaps by accident.) Allowing people to build their own retirement savings and to have ownership of even a small portion of what they pay into the mandated system is a major improvement over the status quo.

President Bush has a plan for the future, a plan that has a chance of working. Kerry doesn't. It's as simple as that.


While there is a great deal of import in what a president does domestically, his role in foreign affairs is equally, if not more, important.

Kerry has already told us how he would approach the international community: on bended knee.
The president's job, when dealing with the rest of the world, consists solely of making sure America's interests are advanced. That's all. A president has no business making other countries happy at our expense.

Kerry has already told us how he would approach the international community: on bended knee.

Kyoto? Back on the table, despite the shoddy pseudo-science upon which it is based, despite the irreparable harm it would do to the American economy and consequently to all Americans. Why? Because it would make the rest of the world respect us? Not hardly. The rest of the world, China in particular, would like nothing more than to see our economic hands tied.

The United Nations? "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…" except perhaps at the Elysee Palace. The UN has become nothing more than a debating society for tinpot dictators and kleptocrats, but Kerry would have us submit to their judgement of what's best. Should we really care about the opinions of those who stole billions of dollars which should have gone to feed the people of Iraq? No thank you.

The Middle East? The rest of the world would like to try to make the problems of the Middle East go away, and so would Kerry — by throwing an ally to the wolves.

President Bush, on the other hand, knows that a President is supposed to look out for America's interests — first, last and always. He knows that the de facto leader of the free world cannot actually lead if he is busy following others. And if the international community doesn't like it, that's just too bad for them.

And that's good enough for me.


All the above notwithstanding, the single most important duty of a president is to protect the nation. I am utterly unconvinced that John Kerry is ready, either by inclination or experience, to carry out that duty effectively.

I am convinced that President Bush is thus prepared. We have, after all, nearly four years of evidence.

By withdrawing from the Anti-Ballitic Missile treaty — a suicide pact with a defeated enemy — he showed that he is determined to protect America from future foes armed with the deadliest of weapons… weapons for which our adversaries can thank the Clinton administration.

I believe that Kerry would have adhered to the ABM treaty. He would place a higher value on looking statesmanlike to the rest of the world than he would on protecting the American people.

Kerry would fail to take the fight to the enemy.
Had Kerry been president when we were attacked on September 11th, 2001, it is no stretch of the imagination to say that he would have taken none of the actions President Bush took to overthrow the Taliban or Saddam Hussein. Kerry would fail to take the fight to the enemy.

Kerry has said and done nothing whatsoever to convince me that he believes we are at war with something bigger than Al-Qaeda. His "law enforcement" approach to the war against Islamofascism is bereft of any pretense of seriousness about defending America. His "wait to be hit then prosecute the offenders" stance did not work for Clinton after the first attack on the World Trade Center, and it would continue to be a failure in the future. His view of radical Islamic terrorism as something that can be comfortably reduced to a nuisance betrays a complete lack of understanding of the essential nature of this war in which we are now engaged.

Sure, Kerry talks a big game on the campaign trail. Well, you can either believe what he says, or you can look at his record. The simple fact that his words do not match his actions make him less than credible, and unsuitable for the highest office in the land.

And lest it go unsaid, his personal history of self-aggrandizement at the expense of his former comrades-in-arms, while aiding and abetting our enemies, is something I will not forgive. Not now, not ever.

By way of contrast, in little more than three years President Bush has seen our country viciously attacked, and in response set us on a course which has thus far destroyed two enemy regimes and brought freedom from tyranny to 50 million people on the far side of the world, while at the same time doing his best to make us safer here at home.

There will almost certainly be terrorist attacks against us on our own soil again in the future — perhaps even between now and the election a few days hence. I am convinced that President Bush is the better man to handle such crises.

There is one immutable, undeniable truth about the candidates: President Bush is better on national security than Kerry and will do a more effective job of protecting this country (and a few others — call it "collateral improvement") and taking the fight to the enemy.

I take that back. There are people who routinely deny President Bush's superiority, who will say with a straight face that Kerry will be a better leader in the war against Islamofascism.

They are liars.

They are either lying to you, or to themselves, or both. The candidates' records clearly tell the tale.


If Kerry is elected (or steals the election, as his followers and surrogates will attempt to do for him), we as a nation will have made a mistake that will have repercussions for years to come, for decades to come.

And possibly forever.

Yes, forever. To paraphrase Lincoln, America is the last best hope of freedom on the Earth. But if the slide into European-style socialism is not checked, if we surrender to the will of other nations, and if our enemies can strike us at will, then the guarantor of our God-given freedoms, our constitutional republic, will be doomed — and there will be no peaceful way to recover it. John Kerry would not only fail to protect us from these threats, but would actively embrace two of them, and the republic will be that much closer to collapse.

President Bush offers the hope that these all-too-real threats can be staved off. No, he is not the perfect candidate — no one ever has been or ever will be — and I think it's safe to suggest that he'd be the first to say as much. We all know that no one is perfect. But President Bush is unquestionably the best candidate in the race this year, and that's what matters.

And so, on November 2nd, I will cast my vote to re-elect President George W. Bush.

Bad Boys

Is it possible that misbehavior by hardcore Democrat voters might lose them support from "softcore" voters?

I read this at Powerline and I have to wonder if any "squishy" Democrat voters — those not of the extreme Left — might be turned off by these sorts of behaviors? Might reports like this from early voting tend to suppress the "rational Democrat" vote, or fire up the Republican vote?

Left or Right, Republican or Democrat.... most people don't like to be associated with a**holes.

Except other a**holes, of course.

Get a Rope

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I swear, sometimes I think we're not going to get through this election season without seeing trial lawyers hanged from lamp posts and overpasses.

Sergeant Saunders Says...

Sergeant Chip Saunders from 'Combat!'
All right, knock it off.

Yeah, you! Shut up and listen up.

You people make me sick. Go on, look at yourselves. You call yourselves Americans? You're a bunch of goof-ups!

I said, listen up!

OK, now look... we have a dangerous mission ahead of us. Yes, us again. I know there are other outfits that might be able to handle this operation, but they wanted the best, and that's us. We've had our share of danger, you bet. But when the hard job has to be done, there's no one better qualified to handle it.

We've lost a lot of good people in this war — a lot of 'em were just minding their own business when the world fell on them — and we'll lose more before this war is over. No one said it would be an easy fight. But it's up to us. Yep, the Brits and Aussies are with us in this fight, and the Poles are on our side, and plenty of others too. Glad to have 'em. They've come to help us, just like we'd go to help them if they needed....

What's that, Caje? The French? They're mostly collaborators. Can't trust 'em in this war. Now shut up until I'm done talking.

So anyway, we have this fight we're hip-deep in, and some people think it's time to trade our commander-in-chief for a new one. I've heard some crazy knuckle-headed ideas before, but that one really takes the cake.

We've got a fine C-in-C now, doing a pretty good job, and it sure isn't General Eisenhower running against him. Nope, it's a swabbie, a Lieutenant of all people. Oh... sorry, Lieutenant Hanley.... As I was about to say, I know some sailors, and I know some Lieutenants — most of 'em are OK by me. But this one abandoned ship as soon as he could. A four-month tour in a combat zone. How long have we been here? Heck, some of us have been in harm's way for over three years now.

That Lieutenant didn't just leave his buddies behind, though. As soon as he got home, he started bad-mouthing them and everything they were doing. He lied about them. That doesn't sit too well with me.

Now he wants the top job, the Oval Office, and so far the one thing we know is he'll say anything to get it. Heck, he'll even make nice with those French collaborators. I don't like the sound of that. I'll bet you don't either.

So now it's time to go vote for our C-in-C for the next four years. You can choose — but there's only one choice if you want us to win this war. When you hit that voting booth, I want you to pull the lever for George W. Bush.

Any questions? OK, we've got a job to do.

Saddle up.

[This message brought to you by the Heroes for Bush project.]

[Also see Ambassador Kosh's endorsement.]

[Update: And don't miss the Heroes for Bush roundup.]

Kosh Says...

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Kosh says: Once the avalanche begins, it will be too late for the pebbles to vote.  Be part of the avalanche.  Vote Bush/Cheney in '04.

[Click image for full size.]

John Kerry claims to have foreign leaders on his side. Ha! Who needs France and the U.N. when you can have a Vorlon?

[This message brought to you by the Heroes for Bush project.]

[Also see Sergeant Saunders' endorsement.]

[Update: And don't miss the Heroes for Bush roundup.]

Heroes for Bush

NZ Bear has a pretty darn good idea.

If this is to be done on Friday, right now would be a good time to get my Photoshop mojo working.

Debate Meta-Liveblogging

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Due to difficulty spending long periods of time staring at [anything] this week, I have decided that I will have to meta-liveblog the liveblogging, rather than liveblog the liveblogging.

How?

Easy: I give you the links; you check them for yourselves.

A tabbed browser works best for this exercise, and has the added benefit of not being as huge a security risk for your system as Micro$oft's Internet Exploder is.

Debate Live-blogging Experiment

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NOTE: this post is for debate #2. My debate #3 post is here.

"Liveblogging the liveblogging"

I took a different approach to liveblogging the debate.

9:00pm EDT - loaded the following sites in my browser:

I then proceeded with the main event.

Chaos

Doc Russia describes the path to chaos. He's not leading or directing, but warning.

It's not a long trip, and it's definitely a road best left untravelled.

VP Debate Result

Having watched the debate last night, and having had time to soak up as much punditry as I can tolerate, I have come to one firm conclusion:

I, your humble host, am more qualified to be Vice President than Señor Lightweight John Edwards is.

But I don't want it, thanks very much.

Could it be...?

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Separated at birth?

Berkeley weirdoKerry bunny suit

Thanks to Zombie, via Bill at INDC Journal for the picture of the lefty weirdo. Which one that is, I'll leave to you to decide.

(Apologies for the crappy photoshop job.)

Update: Welcome, Instapundit visitors. My very first 'lanche, and it had to be on a cheesy photoshop job.

Late update, 1/30/2007: At Hot Air, suggestions that Kerry's photo op was a violation of campaign law. It was a great picture, though.

Debate Followup

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And the winner is.... Kerry on style, Bush on substance.

But the real winner will be determined by who makes best use of all the soundbites from the debate. In that regard Bush will win, and win big.

Kerry provided such a huge and seemingly never-ending stream of fodder for pro-Bush advertisements that the hard part for the Bush campaign will be figuring out which specific Kerry utterances will be best to use.

I'd go with the "global test" business.

And now I'm off to bed.

Debate Predictions

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I predict...

   —   John Kerry will look haughty and French

   —   President Bush will squint and chuckle periodically.

Well, those aren't too hard to guess, really. Here's my way-out prediction:

   —   President Bush will pronounce "nuclear" as "noo-klee-ar" (vice "noo-kyu-ler") for the first time in his life.

That would certainly throw everyone for a loop. I would enjoy the heck out of it, as would most of America, I suspect.

Another Forgery?

Using Word for Windows to create a forgery is bad.

Using Photoshop to try to authenticate the forgeries is worse.

I read the professor's "report" (which strikes me as being more like "alternate history" than research). If he were really trying to demonstrate that the forged memos could have been produced by using a typewriter, wouldn't he have been smarter to try the replication using an actual typewriter?

[Unless, of course, the result was predetermined, and the "facts" had to be manufactured to meet that expectation.]

[But a Kerry-donor college professor would never stoop so low, right?]

Update: I include here my comment to Paul's post:

The professor's "report" says at one point

Using the hypothesis established from examining the Bush memos, it becomes possible to create a virtually flawless replica. Please understand, however, the replica is not typed. It is produced by examining and replicating the original font used in the memo. It is not a demonstration that I can type a replica memo, it is a demonstration that the font in the memo is probably Typewriter.

(Emphasis mine.)

What is he trying to prove, that he, too, can create a forgery? And that therefore the CBS documents are authentic?

Riiiiiight.....

Update 2: Be sure to read the comments to the post, too. Especially those by the smartest guy I've ever known, John Rylander. Why he's not blogging escapes me completely.

Whisper Campaign

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Why hasn't John Kerry signed the Form 180 to have his complete set of military records released? Why no medical records?

It doesn't take much imagination to guess that there's something in his records he doesn't want publicly known, something that would put the lie to the public claims he has made regarding his service in the Navy.

It takes a bit more imagination to guess what, exactly, he wants to keep hidden. Sadly, I'm unimaginitive — my best guess is that there is documentation of his Purple Heart shenanigans in there.

If there is derogatory information in his records, don't we have the right to know?

Retraction: a How-to Guide

Jim Geraghty, author of the Kerry Spot at National Review Online, shows the right way to do a retraction when an erroneous report is published and disseminated:

NOTE OUR CORRECTION BELOW [09/23 05:45 PM]

Matt Drudge linked to, and Sean Hannity discussed, a posting below. Well, it turns out that the RNC timeline that the posting referred to was wrong, and I dropped the ball for not checking this out. Terry McAuliffe had several press events about President Bush's military record, but he did not - repeat, did NOT - refer to "sugarcoated" the way the memo did.

His first use of the term was in an e-mailed statement that was distributed to reporters as the "60 Minutes II" report was being broadcast. It was based on seeing the memo on CBS News web site.

Again, the fault is entirely mine for not nailing this down. My apologies to all who ran with it.

[Link in the original.]

It has been over two weeks, and CBS and Dan Rather, who have offered mealymouthed weasel-word laden apologies of the "we're sorry we got caught" variety, have yet to offer an actual retraction of their forgery-based Bush/TANG/AWOL hit-piece.

Will they ever publish a retraction? Probably not, if they can avoid it in any way at all. Of course, their credibility is already shot to hell, so there probably isn't much for them to gain there. But they most certainly owe specific and direct apologies to the parties involved:

  • the Killian family, for tarnishing the reputation of their husband and father
  • Colonel Staudt, for suggesting that he would be irresponsible enough to give any substandard officer a "pass"
  • General Hodges, who was misled into authenticating memos he had never seen
  • the document experts whose opinions were either distorted or ignored
  • all the pajama-clad individuals who searched for the truth, only to be labeled partisan hacks
  • Laura Bush, for suggesting that she needed a reason to disbelieve CBS after the memos were shown to be forgeries
  • President Bush, obviously

    and most importantly:

  • the American electorate, for attempting the most stunning fraud in American political history.

Of course, maybe CBS is withholding a retraction because they found out I have a photoshopped graphic ready and waiting for that moment:

Vandals

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During this election cycle, I've heard and read of peoples' concern about their property being vandalized because of their support for Bush, usually in the context of cars being "keyed" because of a bumper sticker, but also the hacking of websites, and the theft or destruction of yard signs (or even a little girl's sign.)

In this context, talk show host Larry Elder publishes a letter from one of his fans.

Last Thursday I put out one of my Bush/Cheney signs in my front yard. Between midnight and 3:00 a.m. someone stole it. On Friday night I put out sign No. 2. Since I didn't have to get up early, I thought my dog and I would "stake out" our sign. This time I put the sign a little closer to the gate leading to my backyard. With my dog on an extra long leash, I planted myself on a lawn chair and read "Unfit for Command" by flashlight until about 1:00 a.m. Here comes the fun part . . .

Go read the rest of it (scroll to the last half of the article) and have a good laugh.

About Time?

Finally? Well, no.

Is CBS retracting their fraudulent forgery-based story?

Well, no — no retraction per se — yet. They claim to have been duped, in what I presume is an attempt to relieve themselves of a modicum of responsibility for their slander. But in this case, if CBS was a dupe, it was a willing dupe.

What Dan Rather won't say is what everyone else in the country knows by now, that the documents are forgeries, though he does acknowledge that the provenance of the forgeries is yet an issue:

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

[Interesting speculation on the documents' origin from Allah and Jeff Goldstein.]

Though not (yet?) retracting the substance of the story, they now admit to having no evidence to back it up. Perhaps they think if there are no facts, they can't be fact-checked.

When the first evidence of forgery came out, I briefly (10 seconds, max) had in mind the old saying never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity. Certainly CBS was stupid, but deliberately and maliciously so; the phrase "reckless disregard for the truth" was coined precisely for episodes such as this.

Now having been caught in their obstinate malice, they're putting on their dunce caps. But it's far, far too late for that. We're onto them.

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.

Of course, not too many years ago, it might have taken weeks or months for a network to make an admission of error, nevermind a full retraction. In an even earlier time, no such admission would ever have come, and the lies would stand as part of the historical record.

That it has taken CBS almost two weeks to even hint that their reporting was flawed says volumes about them and their rooted-in-the-20th-century attitudes towards their audience and its power. The lesson thus far from this entire sordid episode: fraud will not go unchallenged. Reportorial laziness and stupidity will be pounced upon and torn to shreds.

In the future, I expect we'll more frequently hear echoes of a line from Tom Clancy: "Why should I trust you? You're a reporter."

Heads should roll at CBS. I'm not confident that they will — not the right heads, at least. Pity the poor junior staffers.

See also:

Update: Don't miss the commentary at JustOneMinute, either.

Volunteering

In late 1990 or early 1991, shortly after my return from Korea to stateside duty, and during the windup to Gulf War 1, the call went out in our unit for volunteers to go to the Persian Gulf theater to do classified work in various headquarters elements.

This was unusual in that our division (7th Infantry) was tasked for deployment to Korea in case something happened while the bulk of the Army was otherwise engaged in the sandbox.

The only requirement for the volunteers was the appropriately high security clearance, and due to the nature of our unit (107th MI Battalion) pretty nearly everyone had the necessary clearance.

Our company commander, or maybe it was our first sergeant, made the call for volunteers one morning during first formation.

"Let me see a show of hands... Koreans put your hands down!"

Those of us who were Korean linguists were not allowed to volunteer to go to the war zone. About twenty of us — yes, yours truly included — already had our hands up and had to lower them.

So now, what I get to say about my service is that I am a Gulf War Era veteran.

[Ultimately, only six from our company were sent over, where they acted as classified file clerks in Schwartzkopf's headquarters, I think. Six months later, they came back with a bunch of medals and service ribbons, and a combat patch on their sleeve. <shrug>]

Roll back the calendar to the early 1970s, and consider the "Palace Alert" program.

Col. William Campenni:

The mission of the 147th Fighter Group and its subordinate 111th FIS, Texas ANG, and the airplane it possessed, the F-102, was air defense. It was focused on defending the continental United States from Soviet nuclear bombers. The F-102 could not drop bombs and would have been useless in Vietnam. A pilot program using ANG volunteer pilots in F-102s (called Palace Alert) was scrapped quickly after the airplane proved to be unsuitable to the war effort. Ironically, Lt. Bush did inquire about this program but was advised by an ANG supervisor (Maj. Maurice Udell, retired) that he did not have the desired experience (500 hours) at the time and that the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.

This morning on Fox & Friends, E. D. Hill interviewed Colonel Earl Lively, TANG (ret.)

E. D. Hill: We're rejoined by Colonel Earl Lively, and just to set it up, he spoke to the person who was directly above the Colonel who allegedly wrote these memos [COL Killian - ed] regarding George Bush, and he talked to the person directly below him as well. That person is now deceased, so the person above and below would have the most knowledge.

You say that they both told you that President Bush volunteered to go on a tour of rotation in Vietnam, and I haven't heard that before. What did they tell you, exactly?

COL Lively: Well, they had a program called Palace Alert where Air National Guard F-102s were rotated to Vietnam to fly cover for the fighter-bombers. And, well, people talk about the Air National Guard not being in Vietnam. They had a presence there, and the F-102 did actually go. General Hodges himself went on a tour, and they had people volunteer for that, and Lieutenant Bush, [Colonel] Via said LT Bush volunteered and everyone I've talked to said he did, but they were only taking their most experienced pilots, long-time pilots who had experience in air-to-air combat tactics and he was refused. Killian's sons said that his father told him that and Colonel Via told me that again yesterday.

Don't try to tell me that LT Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard to avoid going to Vietnam. It looks to me like he raised his hand, only to be told "no."

Update, 9/27/04: Russell Wardlow comments. So does Bill Hobbs.

Missing in Action

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None of the usual liberal pundits were on in the analysis segment of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume tonight. Typically, either Mara Liasson or Juan Williams of NPR (or both) are on the panel. Tonight, neither — nor was there a "liberal replacement."

I can only presume that they went into convulsions when they heard about this:

"[Bush] didn't use political influence to get into the Air National Guard. I don't know how they would know that, because I was the one who did it and I was the one who was there and I didn't talk to any of them."

"He was highly qualified. He passed all the scrutiny and tests he was given."

"No one called me about taking George Bush into the Air National Guard. It was my decision. I swore him in. I never heard anything from anybody."

Though if Juan's behaviour over the past week is any indication, his head might have exploded.

Rank Abbreviations

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Allah discusses the rank abbreviations used in the CBS forgeries.

Back in the late '70s my Army ROTC commander abbreviated his rank "Lt Col," not "LTC." I'm sure if I went through my Mom's attic I could find a document with his signature block on it, but I'm not flying cross-country to do so.

So I googled for Vietnam-era documents to find which abbreviations were commonly used at the time. I looked specifically for Army after-action reports.

It took me only a few minutes to find examples of both types of abbreviation in use in the historical documents. Interestingly (?), most of the signature blocks in the (admittedly few) documents I looked at had the officers' ranks spelled out in full, followed by their branch of service. Example:

John Smith
Colonel, Infantry
Commanding

I don't think any conclusion of any kind whatsoever can be drawn about the author of the forged documents merely from the use of "Lt Col" or "1st Lt" vice "LTC" or "1LT." Both styles appear to have been in common use 30-40 years ago. I am, however, open to suggestions or counter-arguments.

Sweet Sweet Serendipity

Hello, Life? Yes, I'd like an order of the Serendipitous Synchronicity, with a side of Schadenfreude.

[Penalty, on the offense. Bad Alliteration. 5 yards and loss of down.]

Having finished with the nightly news, and reading the summaries thereof from the many sites listed on my blogroll, I turned to my Tivo Time Warner Cable Digital Video Recorder to watch the Simpsons (on twice nightly hereabouts.)

Admit it — you do it too. Or you would, if you had a Tivo TWCDVR.

As it started, I thought I'd made a mistake programming the recorder. I was watching the CBS Evening News:

The following tale ... is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies, but they're entertaining lies, and in the end isn't that the real truth?

Actually, it was The Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files," introduced by Leonard Nimoy and guest starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.

Hello, I'm Leonard Nimoy.

The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies, but they're entertaining lies, and in the end isn't that the real truth? The answer... is no.

Sometimes the really tasty bits of Life just fall out of the sky and land on your plate, just in time for dinner.

Update: It's nice to get a tasty bit here or there. An Instalanche would have been nice, too.

Truth Delayed

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CBS News President Andrew Heyward, via Allah:

We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing.

I'm going to give Heyward the benefit of the doubt here and presume he means that the questions he wants answered are those about the authenticity of the memos rather than the questions raised by the phony memos.

Not so long ago, it would have taken weeks or months for a retraction. In an even earlier time, no retraction would ever have come, and the lies would stand as part of the historical record.

Looks like the truth on this story will have to wait a while, too.

Questions remaining for CBS and Dan Rather: How long will you continue to support this fraud? Who gave you the forgeries?

We're waiting.

Update: Hey! That does say "accurate," not "authentic." I retract my "benefit of the doubt" statement, based on their weasel-words.

Somehow, I get the impression that CBS is doing its utmost to turn Rather into television news' version of Walter Duranty.

Update 2: That's what I meant to say. Really. I was gonna... but... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. It wasn't my fault!

CBS AWOL

CBS has kept us waiting a while for whatever it is they're supposed to be saying about the forged memo story. First it was noon, then 3:30pm, then 5pm, and still nothing.

They're not showing up to do their duty. They're AWOL.

CBS Forgery Roundup

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I see I'm getting a lot of traffic from various search engines — folks searching for information on Rathergate. Thanks for dropping by.

There are better sites to go to — people doing a first-class job of info-collecting and reporting. Pretty much everything you want to know can be found at these excellent sites:

Plenty of information and links available at all those sites.

[No pajamas here. Gym shorts, t-shirt, and Acorn slipper socks.]

Spit Back

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Barbara Stock at FrontPageMag.com, on Vietnam Veterans:

Satisfaction and hopefully peace will come when Vietnam vets see and hear John F. Kerry give his concession speech the night of November 2, 2004 with the knowledge that it was their votes that helped defeat him. There are approximately 2.5 million Vietnam veterans in America and they have not forgotten.

Kerry denied them their rightful place as heroes and they will deny him his dream of the presidency. Angry Vietnam veterans, silent for so long, will finally have their say. Payment in full will be delivered to John Kerry on November 2, 2004.

On November 2, Vietnam veterans will have their opportunity to dish out some payback to the one man who did the most to defile their honorable service, the one man most responsible for their shoddy treatment at the hands of "peace" protesters upon their return home.

Soon, Kerry will know what it's like to be spat upon.

(link via Florida Cracker)

Sec. 912

United States Code, Title 18, Section 912:

Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both

So... does forging a document in the guise of a Texas Air National Guard officer with the intent of obtaining a thing of value (to wit, the Presidency) count as a violation of this section of the U.S. Code?

Sometimes I wish I knew more about the Law.

Update: does "obtain" mean only for one's self? Can it mean for one's friends, family, or associates? I presume so.

Can it be interpreted to mean to deprive another person of a thing of value? I have no idea.

See? That's why I wish I knew more about the Law right about now.

(Inspired by this followup to this post at JustOneMinute.)

Update, 16Sep04: Bill notes the laws — Federal and Texas — on forgery.

Crime?

I would like to know:

  • Forgery is a crime, right?
  • Wouldn't forging of military documents be a federal crime?
  • Isn't fraud a crime, even in the context of "political dirty tricks"?
  • What part of "free speech" protects deliberate falsehoods?
  • Where and how does the crime of "conspiracy to commit [xyz]" enter into it?

    And

  • Who is going to end up facing the music for the CBS forgery scandal?

Their protestations notwithstanding, things look bad for the folks at CBS.

Egads... I hate to say it, but I think I would need to ask a lawyer to get the answers to these questions.

Update: I'm not the only one wondering.

Burn

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To: Dan Rather
CC: Chairman, Federal Elections Commission

It's pretty clear that your source (the Kerry campaign?) for the Bush memos has burned you. Badly.

If there's one thing I know journalists don't like, it's being "played" by their sources.

(Played unwillingly or unknowingly, I should note — many in the mainstream media seem to have no problem at all "playing ball" with certain political factions in this country.)

Dan, you went along with the story. We all know why — all protestations to the contrary, you are a partisan, and willingly took the bait, hook, line, sinker, rod and reel. I'll bet you feel like a complete putz (at the very least.) You ignored the old saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

You also ignored your primary responsibility: to tell the truth. You have, in fact, been made into a tool of the Democrat Party, in essence giving them free campaign season advertising for their scurrilous lies.

This being the 21st century, it is no longer fashionable for a disgraced man to take a bottle of liquor and a revolver into a room and close the door behind him to "do the honorable thing." In this day and age your only honorable option, Mr. Rather, is to offer an apology and immediately submit your resignation.

But that's not enough. When you have to make your public retraction and apology for the false story based on the forged documents, you should take the opportunity to issue a little payback.

Name your source, Dan. Tell us all where you got the forged documents.

Burn him, Dan — publicly.

Subject him to the opprobrium of the journalistic profession. Let Americans know who has deceived them, so that his word is ever after worthless to anyone with any appreciation whatsoever of Truthfulness.

Sure, some will treat that person as a hero. "Nice try," they'll say, "too bad you got caught." Michael Moore will no doubt be signed to direct the bio-pic.

I want to see who comes to the defense of your source, Mr. Rather. I want to know who it is that will excuse this inexcusable behavior.

Do the right thing, Dan. You have the opportunity. Tell us the truth — the whole truth.

Good Questions

The question that has (mostly) gone unasked about the CBS documents: who created the forgeries?

I wouldn't dare narrow it down further than "Democrat operatives." I'm fairly sure no one actually in the employ of CBS created the forgeries (but only fairly sure.)

I have another question that needs an answer: what is the criminal penalty for forging a military document? No less than for burglary, I would imagine. Forget the libel or slander (only for the nonce)... someone needs to go to jail for this.

It's hard to argue with the Commissar's take on the matter.

Finding a DDO

This being the political season, we can expect to see the Suspiciously Timed Release (STR) of Documents of Dubious Origin (DDO) more and more as we proceed towards election day.

The memoranda used by CBS certainly qualify as DDO.

Clearly, "finding" old documents (memoranda, files, photos and so on) is an activity in which we as Americans all have the right — nay, the duty — to participate.

John Hawkins has found another document from CBS.

Here's the one I found stuck to the back of my DD-214:

memo-small.gif

(Click for full size.)

I encourage you all to go out and find documents of particular interest, post them to the web, and let me know about them.

If you have a request for a particular incriminating document to be found, I'm sure someone can oblige.

Update: Jay has one, too. As does the Commissar.

Update 2: And let's not forget ScrappleFace.

Superscript

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No typewriter I've ever seen has a superscript "th", as used in such words as "187th."

Nor, might I add, did any typewriter have a superscript "st" (as in "121st"), "nd" ("102nd") or "rd" ("123rd").

Back then, we just rolled the platen half a line up or down for a super- or sub-script.

Just sayin', is all....

Vigor

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Anyone remember Paul Tsongas?

He was the Massachussets Democrat (former) Senator who left the Senate in 1984 to deal with cancer. John Kerry was elected to the open seat.

In 1992, he was deemed healthy enough to re-enter politics, and ran in the presidential primary campaign. Not being economically liberal enough for the majority of Democrats, he lost to Bill Clinton. He was, from all the accounts I've heard, a decent fellow.

During the '92 campaign, his earlier battle against cancer was — rightly, to my way of thinking — an issue. Americans prefer that their candidates be in good health.

In 2003, Tsongas' successor in the Senate, John Kerry, underwent surgery to remove his cancerous prostate gland. We have yet to get any glimpse whatsoever of Kerry's medical records.

Meanwhile, like the previous JFK, Kerry spends a great deal of time being photographed while engaged in vigorous pursuits — in Kerry's case: skiing (and cussing at Secret Service Agents), bicycling, sailboarding, shooting.

Robert Musil notes:

So why does Senator Kerry bring the media along on his sporting jaunts so often, even with a potential downside so obvious and potentially serious and sometimes clearly experienced? Certainly some physical activity helps present the image of a vigorous leader. But the current and most past presidents have not felt the need to go beyond taking the media along on presidential jogs or periodic wood chopping on the ranch. Why does John Kerry go so much further?

Well, one thing an over-documented sporting life has been used for in the past is to conceal serious health problems - with the most notorious example being John F. Kerry's idol, John F. Kennedy. John Kennedy is now known to have been a very sick man, with a seriously injured back and Addison disease, among other problems. At critical points in his term he was impaired by powerful painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs. It is now also known that John Kennedy and his organization used an ultra-active media campaign depicting Mr. Kennedy in sporting and physical activities to distract attention and counter adverse consequences arising from his precarious health.

(Emphasis in the original; link via JustOneMinute.)

After the 1992 primary campaign, Paul Tsongas lived just five years. The cancer that everyone thought he had beaten finally killed him. He was only 55 years old.

It's time for Kerry to release his medical records.

Well, That Didn't Take Long

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No sooner do I point out that mud is certain to be flung at Bush, than we see this tripe:

Author Kitty Kelley says in her biography The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, that the US President first used coke at university in the mid-1960s.

She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either."

Kelley, who alongside Oliver Stone and Michael Moore can be counted on to lend whole new nuances of meaning to the words "truthful" and "accurate," had to go to a former sister-in-law to find someone to make the allegation. A disgruntled former sister-in-law, no less.

Perhaps Kelley's business card should include a motto along the lines of "If you have an axe to grind, I have the whetstone."

Don't Get Cocky

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Folks, there's been a lot of good news in the few days since the convention, and a lot of news that may turn out to favor the President's campaign.

  • The President appears to have received a decent bounce in the polls.
  • The electoral vote count has shifted towards Bush.
  • The Kerry campaign is melting down so hard and so fast that it makes Chernobyl look like a candle dripping wax.

And that's just the news we know about already... but....

But.

We have yet to see the full venom, wrath, bile [Harsh language alert! - Ed.] and dirty tricks of the Kerry camp unleashed. They will try their usual smears, and they will repeat old and new canards with, we can expect, the help of their allies in the mainstream media. We have to remain on the lookout for those attacks, and vigorously defend against them.

At the same time, the best defense is a good offense. No, I am not suggesting that we make things up about Kerry. Indeed, nothing could hurt our credibility more.

The difference between their candidate and ours, though, is that we don't have to make things up. All we have to do is point out the truth.

Folks, it's still a long way until Election Day. A surge like we've seen is no reason to call it a win, no reason to declare victory. As they say, the only poll that matters is going to be on the 2nd of November.

As the great Yogi Berra said, "it ain't over 'til it's over." Optimism is a great thing, but don't get cocky.

So until Election Day: keep charging, keep speaking up, keep moving forward, keep fighting. Make a contribution, start your own blog, or volunteer to work for the campaign.

Then, on the 3rd of November, we can all take a deep breath and relax, secure in the knowledge of a job well done.

[Cross-posted at Blogs For Bush.]

Less Estrich, Please

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Have I mentioned Fox News commentator Susan Estrich recently? I have? Indeed I have.

Each night during the Republican Convention, Greta van Sussussterusterenenenen... whatever... asks Estrich what she thought of the major speeches, and — predictable as Old Faithful — Estrich gives each speaker low marks, as if wishing could make it so.

Zell Miller came in for harsh criticism tonight, of course — because, as I noted before, Estrich is a complete left-wing hack. Rather than merely disagreeing with the speeches or offering meaningful criticism, she engages in character assassination; she is useless for substantive commentary.

This coming from a woman so politically astute she actually managed a presidential campaign.

Michael Dukakis' 1984 (oops!) 1988 campaign, in fact. You might remember that one: one of the biggest losses ever in presidential election history.

Did I say astute? I meant obtuse.

Her sheer abrasiveness and (not to put too fine a point on it) unattractiveness is the best possible evidence of Fox News Channel's alleged conservative bias, short of Brit Hume doing a broadcast wearing a W'04 button on his lapel and matching face paint, waving a "W" poster and interrupting his guests with occasional interjections of "Four More Years!"

Susan, your day in the sun ended in 1988. Leave political commentary to the serious adults.

[Instapundit likes her, though. There's no accounting for taste.]

Zell! Zell! Zell!

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Ya. Oh, ya.

Update: Butt ointment? Well, yes... someone definitely got reamed.

Confirmation

What I said last night — doubled, and in spades.

Convention Bit 2

And let's not forget Michael Steele, Lt. Gov. of Maryland.

What truly defines the civil rights challenge today isn't whether you can get a seat at the lunch counter, it's whether you can own that lunch counter to create legacy wealth for your children.

Take that, inheritance tax!

More:

Now, at the Democratic convention, we heard one word over and over again: hope.

But there's a problem my friends.

Hope is not a strategy.

Hope doesn't protect your kids from terrorism.

Hope doesn't lower your taxes; hope doesn't help you buy a home.

And hope doesn't assure a quality education for your children.

As the Book of James reminds us, it's not enough to just have faith. Faith that does not show itself by good deeds is no faith at all.

One term as governor under his belt, and Mr. Steele could be a national candidate.

[Again very grateful for the DVR. I'd have missed the speeches tonight otherwise.]

Convention Bit

Who knew Rod Paige was such a good speaker?

[I am so glad I have a digital video recorder....]

Another Reason to Despise Kerry

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This can't be good for a certain candidate: Flyer from Kerry.

As a veteran, I'd like to take this opportunity to give the finger, retroactively, to the entire VVAW — John Kerry most particularly included.

(Link via Blackfive)

Foxy - Not

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Who at Fox News thought Susan Estrich would be a commentator people would want to see or hear?

Lord, the woman is abrasive. "Harpy" would be a step up for her. What a hack.

The conspiracy-minded might be tempted to think that Fox wanted to put the worst possible face on the Left. Intent or not, that's what they got.

Suits

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Another indication of Purple Heart problems for Kerry.

When I was a JROTC cadet 1977-1980, our chief advisor was Lieutenant Colonel Whitham; when I was in college, our ROTC commander was Lieutenant Colonel Shine. [I didn't stay with the college ROTC. Big mistake.]

LTC Whitham was a veteran of Korea, where he led a tank platoon, and where he earned two Silver Stars for gallantry in action. Being an Armor officer, he didn't see action in Vietnam. Rather, he faced down the Soviets across the German frontier during the darkest years of the Cold War. After he retired from active duty, he went into the school system to teach JROTC cadets, and later continued to serve his country in ROTC programs at the college level. He died in 2002.

LTC Shine (who later retired as a full Colonel), his two brothers, and his sister all served in Vietnam. One brother was killed, the other was MIA, and he was himself severely wounded. As I recall, he couldn't completely straighten his arm - the scars looked pretty rough. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. After retiring from active duty, he headed an academy for ten years, and now (if my sources are right) leads "history tours" of Europe.

I have met very few men as fine as these two. They are two of my personal heroes, and even as a snotty teenager, I was awed by their presence, and humbled by the fact that they would take the time to try to teach me. Neither spoke much at all about their combat experiences, and neither ever talked about their courage. Their character wasn't something they put on like a suit; it was the essence of their being.

By contrast, we now see John Kerry. He did earn some medals in Vietnam, as he is fond of reminding us all. But as is becoming clearer, he didn't quite earn them all. It looks very much like he manipulated the system to get himself an early out from service in Vietnam. From what I've seen, heard and read, I'm sure that if the first Purple Heart had been denied (the second time he put himself in for it) he'd have found another way to leave early.

He himself looks more and more like an empty suit — the character he wears, and the lack of any character underneath.

(Via Michelle Malkin)

How Smart?

How smart is John Kerry, really?

Not very, if the last month has been any indication. Of course, it might be that his handlers are the dumb ones.

As evidence, one need only cite the way Kerry's been completely played, completely abused and used, by both the Swift Boat Veterans and Karl Rove in the month of August.

Almost everyday since the Democratic convention ended Kerry's been roughed up, shoved into a locker, and had his lunch money taken away. And it only seems to be getting worse.

[Italics mine; link in the original.]

Well said, Mr. Miller. It's a pity I already picked my Quote of the Day.

Excedrin Headache #527

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Max Cleland has clearly either lost his mind, or has sold his soul. It would be laughable if it were not so sad.

Cleland served honorably and courageously in Vietnam, winning a Silver Star at Khe Sanh, and was later horribly injured in an accident (which could have happened anywhere in the Army — that it happened in Vietnam was a coincidence.) I remember many years ago seeing a news-magazine item about him during one of his campaigns for Georgia Secretary of State and thinking "there's a guy I could vote for, just on his war record."

Well, no more.

In the time since his Senate re-election loss in 2002, he seems to have come unhinged. He claims to have been called unpatriotic during that campaign; in fact, all that was questioned was his Senate record, which is what is suppposed to happen in a Senate election. He was then one of those who led the charge on the proven-false claims that President Bush was AWOL from his National Guard service.

And now he is used as a prop by the Kerry camp. Today it was the letter to be given to the President:

Mr. President, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, we believe you owe a special duty to America's combat veterans when they are under false and scurrilous attacks. We hope you will recognize this duty, and speak out against this group and their efforts to smear the reputation of a man who has served this country nobly.

[As if the Swift Boat Vets didn't serve nobly, as if none were wounded, as if none have won awards for bravery. As if the "attacks" are either false or scurrilous.]

Tomorrow it'll undoubtedly be something else.

If Kerry wants the activities of SBVT to stop, perhaps he ought to release all his military records. Or he could attempt to rein in the foul trolls at MoveOn(dot)org. Until then, Bush has given him the correct answer: go pound sand.

Kerry seems to have taken a lesson or two from his Vietnam experience — he accuses others of doing the things he does himself. I think it's called "projection."

Update: a reminder of who really has connections to 527s.

Color Me Reassured

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It's always nice to know that some of the big-dog pundits agree with me.

...[R]eal heroes don't call themselves heroes. Honorable soldiers or sailors don't brag. They let their deeds speak for themselves. Some of the most off-putting words any veteran can utter are "I'm a war hero."

I wonder if Mr. Peters read what I wrote here?

Riiiiiiiiight....

Daily Report

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While on the way to the store today I did not get hit by a bus.

I did not win the lottery of any state today.

I was not mugged at an ATM today.

No one burgled my house today.

I did not go to see Alien vs. Predator today.

The Olympic boxing quarterfinals were not held in my living room today.

No one shot at me today.

Because, y'know, if I don't write down that it didn't happen, it must have happened. Especially if someone else falsely reports that it did.

Oh, but you can take John Kerry's word for anything.

Wholly Owned Subsidiaries

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Kevin at Blogs for Bush has a nice (and freshly updated) graphic that draws the connections between the Kerry campaign and several 527 organizations — MoveOn.org, for instance.

He also points out that the DNC is boasting about their ties to those shadowy organizations.

For the record, I've nabbed a screenshot (click here) of the web page in question. Mysteriously disappearing web pages are not an unknown phenomenon in Democrat-land.

The only question that remains is whether the DNC owns the 527s, or vice-versa.

War Stories

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If there's one military tradition that has endured throughout the ages, it is the telling and retelling of "war stories." In the civilian world, we'd call them "tall tales." There's a saying: the true stories are never exciting, and the exciting stories are never true. Well, almost never, but near enough that it makes for a good rule of thumb.

Regular readers (both of you!) may have noticed that from time to time I'll recount some incident from my time in the service. Those episodes that I choose to tell about (like this one) will only be about the tangential things, never about my core function.

I say again: what you'll never see me do is tell about any of the real-world intelligence missions in which I participated. Apart from the whole issue of classification (I have no idea if anything has ever been or will ever be declassified) those stories are — without fail — exceedingly dull.

One of the essential truths of the matter is that in the military, exciting incidents tend to be deadly. Those who survive are not often likely to retell those stories over and over, except to recount the bravery of one or more of their brothers-in-arms.

The most heroic virtually never tell their own stories; heroes don't claim to be heroic. Sure, on vanishingly rare occasions they do, but generally, no. If I hear someone claiming to be a hero, I make sure my valuables are secure. (Why? See the book Stolen Valor.)

And maybe that's what bugs me most about John Kerry and his campaign. I have no doubt that on occasion he acted nobly, perhaps bravely. He did go into combat, after all. What really irritates me, though, is the unabashed way in which he continually blows his own horn. Even if his reported deeds are all true (about which there is now considerable doubt) it strikes me as thoroughly unbecoming for him to tout them as a qualification for the highest office in the land.

The list of decorated combat veterans who have run for the Presidency is long and distinguished. The list of those who have bragged about their combat decorations is a very short one, indeed.

Of course, given Kerry's Senate record (or lack thereof), I can't say that I really blame him.

Balkin'?

I did not see Michelle Malkin's appearance on Hardball last night, mainly because I can't abide Kerry's shrill shill Chris Matthews.

However, I've heard excerpts of the "interview" touching on the Swift Vets book.

I have not heard that anyone was accusing Kerry of deliberately inflicting a wound on himself in order to gain a Purple Heart and/or avoid combat duty. See the problem in that? The accusation I've heard is that he deliberately did something that resulted in an unintentional wound. In short, Kerry was reckless.

But in an astonishing display of the Straw Man logical fallacy, Matthews kept pounding Malkin to get her to say, yes or no, whether Kerry deliberately wounded himself to avoid combat.

If my understanding of the event in question is accurate, the technically correct answer is "no" — but that is the problem. Kerry did wound himself, albeit inadvertently. He then did claim a Purple Heart for the incident.

However, by denying the exact claim Matthews was making, without expanding on it, Malkin would have given him exactly what he wanted: a noted conservative denying a key Swift Vet claim.

The correct answer, what Malkin ought to have said, was "no, but...." Sadly, that's too much nuance for partisan hack Matthews. Spoons has it right: Matthews is a horse's ass.

Anticipation

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The word is out that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have another ad coming out today.

I've never actually been eager to see an ad before.

I figure the new one will be aimed at debunking Kerry's claims of having witnessed war crimes. I'll bet a dollar on it.

Update: I am so behind the curve on this. The moment I clicked the "Post & Publish" button (I use w.bloggar; it's an excellent tool for composing posts) a confirming item came up on FoxNews. But someone still owes me a dollar.

Tax Question

At what point do the New York Times' operating expenses stop being legitimate tax deductions, and start being listed as non-deductible campaign contributions for Kerry?

Wait... I thought it was illegal for for-profit corporations to make campaign contributions. No?

I guess at the rate the Times has gone the last few years, they'll be non-profit soon enough.

War Hero

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I need to update my DD-214. In Senator Tom Harkin's world, I'm a Gulf War veteran.

Voices In My Head

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Maybe I'm obtuse, but I only now have noticed something. John Kerry seems to have almost entirely shed his Boston accent.

Having been a linguist, perhaps I have an ear for these things. Nonetheless, I never consciously noticed Kerry's near-accentlessness until today. Maybe it's because his other speaking habits are so ponderously annoying, or because what he says makes me want to tune him out completely. If you can bear to do so, listen to his voice recorded during his 1971 Senate testimony, and compare it to one of his speeches today. The difference is astonishing.

OK, granted, he's lived in Washington DC for nigh unto 20 years. But I can think of a whole roster of politicians (past and present) who spent decades in Washington yet never lost their regional accents. Jesse Helms, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Phil Graham... the list goes on and on.

One is tempted to think that maybe Kerry has actively cultivated a neutral accent. Perhaps it's because he knows that "Boston liberal" is not an image of himself that he wants portrayed during his campaign.

Update, 8/19/04: Greyhawk noticed the same thing, and now has a link to a video of Kerry on the Dick Cavett show. Go. See.

Not Who He Meant

When Al Gore used the expression "digital brownshirts," I presume he meant these people, right?

Right?

Note to Al: expressing an opinion online does not make one a "digital brownshirt." Using online tools to shut down other peoples' freedom of speech does.

(Link via Bill Hobbs writing at Blogs for Bush.)

McGreevey Out

Talk about a headline chock full of innuendo....

NJ governor McGreevey a) announces he's gay, and b) simultaneously announces his impending resignation under a cloud of scandal.

McGreevey, apparently, is going to be slammed for sexually harrassing a male state employee.

Of course, he won't actually resign until a date that ensures that his Democrat successor will hold the seat until the term is finished, rather than immediately, which would force a special election. God forbid the Republicans might have a shot at winning the office.

The funny thing about all this is that resigning [rather than using the power of his office to defend himself and/or destroy his enemies] actually makes him one of the more honorable of recent scandal-ridden Democrat politicians.

Jeff Jarvis has a collection of links.

Fitness

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On the subject of John Kerry's military records and the incomplete release thereof, I was going to speculate on the possibility that his Officer Evaluation Reports (OERs) might be less than stellar — hence the reluctance to release the full record.

The OER, known during the Vietnam era as the Fitness Report (FITREP), is the report card given to officers. (NCOs, naturally, receive NCOERs.) A good report isn't necessarily good enough, but a bad OER is a career killer... and the badness doesn't have to be obvious to civilian eyes. There is a culture of understatement, and language that might at first glance appear to be glowing approval may actually be a slap in the face.

For example, this may sound great to a civilian:

This officer is a fine example to his subordinates and can perform their duties as well as or better than they can.

But to other officers, what it really says is:

This chump is supposed to be better than his subordinates. Obviously, he does not compare well to his peers, and should not be promoted.

OK, I made that example up myself, but it illustrates the point.

Now, I expected that Kerry's FITREPs might have been in the material withheld from public release. So I Googled it, and... I was wrong.

Some or all of the FITREPs were in the released material, but it still doesn't look too good for Kerry. McQ at QandO has already addressed the matter.

King Him

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Is it just me, or does the whole Kerry "hamster CPR" episode have a Nixonian "Checkers speech" feel to it?

I didn't actually see/hear Alexandra Kerry telling the hamster CPR story, but it strikes me as one of those things politicians do (or that they have done on their behalf) in an attempt to humanize themselves.

Here's a hint for Kerry: don't act human; don't send the kid out to tell us you're human; just be human.

George W. Bush doesn't need that sort of story told about him — we know he's genuine.

(Minor) Liberal Evils

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As the Democrat convention begins, I think the thing we can most expect to hear is a litany of the eeeeeeeeeevils the Republicans (themselves eeeeeeeevil) are allegedly responsible for.

Puh-leeze.

We know some of the bad things the Democrats and leftists in general have inflicted on us all, some big (political correctness), some really big (multi-generational families dependent on Welfare), and some too humungous to believe (Michael Moore's ass).

I've decided to collect a list of some of the minor evils — the little everyday things that we could all do without — perpetrated on us by leftists and Democrats.

Your help in collecting these (in the comment, of course) will be much appreciated. I'll start:

  • Crabgrass - pure evil, but minor. I'm pretty sure it was brought into the country by John Kerry on his return from Vietnam, as a way to irritate all those rich Republicans who can afford to own houses with lawns. (And I'll bet you never even knew Kerry served in Vietnam....)

  • Andy Rooney - He used to be funny and clever, now he's just a bitter old has-been who has managed to retain his five minutes on TV every week because he hates conservatives.

  • The United Nations - brought to us by the FDR and Truman administrations, as well as assorted one-worlders. Whose idea was it to give Liechtenstein a vote equal to ours? (No offense to Liechtenstein, I'm sure it's a pleasant place and all, but really....) If the UN had their own armed forces, maybe they'd be dangerous. As it is, it's merely a Kaffeeklatsch for tyrants and their diplomats, who complain about Israel and annoy New Yorkers by parking illegally.

  • Spam - pure evil, but minor. Not the tasty pork product, which was developed by Good Capitalists, but the unsolicited e-mail variety. A California law firm started the whole thing to drum up business, and we all know whose side those nasty trial lawyers are on.

What are your liberal-generated peeves?

I, Voter

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Today was the North Carolina primary election, delayed for two months due to a nasty redistricting battle.

In the time between completing my previous post and beginning this, I was able to complete the voting process: verify the polling location on the Wake County website, find my keys, drive to the polling place, check in, vote, drive to the quicki-mart for my vice a pack of smokes, drive home, and explain the whole thing to the Parental Unit.

As I strolled into the polling place — the local elementary school — I noticed the rather low turnout, but all the people ahead of me were in the line for surnames beginning with letters M thru Z, so I was able to walk to the head of the line.

The nice little old lady behind the table asked my name and address, looked me up, asked my party affiliation (this was a primary election; here in NC, one apparently doesn't get to vote in other party's primaries — that's the way things should be), had me sign a paper (apparently to verify that I was indeed present) and proceed to the next table to pick up my ballot.

The fellow at the next table took and examined my signed form, handed me a ballot, and directed me to a booth, where I made the appropriate marks on the ballot.

From there, I took my ballot to the reader machine and inserted it. It made a series of self-satisfied whirring and clicking noises, followed by a smug sigh, which I took to mean that my votes had been tabulated, since upon hearing that noise yet another nice lady fairly leapt to my side and handed me the traditional "Be nice to me, I voted" sticker, which I obligingly fixed to my shirt before making my way out of the building and back to my truck.

As during elections in the past, not once was I ever asked to prove that I was who I claimed to be in order to vote. No request to see a voter registration card, no demand for a driver license or ID of any kind.

That's just wrong.

Sandy Berger: "Plumber"

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The Sandy Berger thing seemed ripe for comment, especially since I know a thing or two about handling highly classified documents, but I remain rather busy with the Parental Unit in town.

I figure the parallels to Watergate are obvious enough. I bet Berger's parents would be so proud that he has chosen a career as a "plumber."

And besides, Steve has everything you need to know on the matter.

Compare and Contrast

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George W. Bush, in various speeches (this one from March 2002):

And this enemy of ours hates what we stand for. They can't stand us. They're ruthless murderers. And they must not have understood America when they attacked us. They thought we were weak. They thought we were so self-absorbed in our materialism that all we would probably do is just sue them. [emphasis mine - Russ]
July 2004: Kerry selects John Edwards (D - Trial Lawyers), alleged to be the Senator from North Carolina, to be his veep candidate.

Discuss.

$58 for 58

Today being President Bush's 58th birthday, a $58 donation to the reelection campaign would be a nice gift.

Go. Donate.

(Idea from Blogs for Bush)

Edwards?

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Quick thoughts... I'm sure I'll have more later, if I can stomach it.

So John Kerry has picked John Edwards to be his veep nominee. What a team. In this ticket, we see two of the worst attendance records in the Senate. The most liberal senator and a done-nothing lightweight; one a tool of the NEA, the other a tool of the Trial Lawyers. [Tools... heheh.] What a mix. I'm glad I'll be voting against them.

No, I'll cheerfully vote against them. And as a two-fer, I get to vote for Bush/Cheney. Win/win.

Kerry trotted out the "Let America be America Again" line. What exactly is that supposed to mean?*

Ah, yes... the obligatory call for national healthcare.

Reliance on foreign oil... check. Say, Senator Kerry - you voted for ANWR, didn't you? No?

I never knew this, but apparently Kerry served in Vietnam.

Can't forget to mention the "Bush Lied!!!!" complaint. From Kerry, it sounds like he's complaining about hemorrhoids.

"Horseface and Prettyboy." Sounds like the name of a bad movie. Sounds like a worse ticket... for the Donks.

* Update: Ith of Absinthe & Cookies examined this very question a couple months ago. I should have remembered - I quoted her.

Smackdown

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Michelle Malkin gently corrects boots AlGore upside the head.

A final tribute

I have been most remiss in failing to point to the latest from the Imperial Poet Laureate, DoggerelPundit, and his paean to Ronald Reagan.

Libertarianism

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Politically, I count myself a strong conservative, with some libertarian tendencies. Getting government's hand out of my wallet would be an exceptionally good thing. Consistent with protecting the country against danger to our existence and protecting citizens from the depredations of homegrown miscreants, I am generally a government minimalist.

There's a reason, though, that I am not now nor will in the foreseeable future be a "big-L" Libertarian. Actually, there are quite a few reasons. The Libertarian Party has taken some stands that I find to be less than responsible, particularly with regard to the war on Islamofascism. Apparently, they'd rather we take a punch in the face before reacting, rather than preemptively shooting the terrorists while they wind up to deliver the punch. The Libertarians are not serious about ensuring our national survival.

They are ambiguous on the issue of abortion. While they (rightly) decry government funding of abortions, they seem to have no particular problem with abortion itself. How this squares with the rights of an unborn child is beyond my comprehension.

Then there's the Libertarian Party position on drugs.

Well, it's not so much a position as a sword upon which they repeatedly fall. They then get up, brush themselves off, and repeat. They wonder why no one takes them seriously.

Here's a hint, guys: when the issue you are consistently loudest about is the one that tells people you are a pack of raving stoners, you are not going to win many hearts and minds, nor do well at the polls. You can beat that drum all the live-long day, but people aren't going to dance to it.

(Well, they may try, but if they do they will be jerky and uncoordinated, will have fits of giggling for no readily identifiable reason and will occasionally wander off, muttering to themselves, to get some Twinkies™.)

Hence, I can sympathize with Neal Boortz when he notes:

I believe to this day that if individualism, freedom, economic liberty and constitutional government are to be restored and preserved in the United States it will be the libertarianism, if not the Libertarian Party, that gets the save. The way the party is playing right now, that save looks in doubt.
I think that's just about right.

She does, so I don't have to

Michelle Malkin takes the Wall Street Journal to task over their editorial stance (and today's editorial column) in favor of illegal open immigration.

The WSJ is so strongly opposed to immigration reform (specifically, anything that would restrict the number of illegals flowing across our borders), you could be forgiven for thinking the editorial offices at the WSJ were staffed by day-laborers picked up from a street corner in New Jersey every morning.

Change of Venue

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It seems the Dems want to move their convention... though not without a bit of arguement from Law Enforcement:

Police Dispute Mars Dem Convention Plans
Who writes these headlines?

Update: Woo-hoo! I got it into today's Best of the Web!

No Comment

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It has been suggested to me that I, presumably in my role as a native Californian, comment on that irredeemable treacherous harpy, Nancy Pelosi, and her partisan shrieking against the President.

I wouldn't dignify her ravings that way. Nancy Pelosi is beneath both contempt and comment.

Hearing

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If I heard it right, Senator Lieberman (D, Conn.) sounded like a completely rational patriot in the Senate hearing today.

No wonder he got creamed in the Democrat presidential primaries.

[I'm still trying to find the quote....]

UPDATE: Hillary!, however, was a complete b****. I don't know what she said, but the fact that she's a total b**** remains a constant.

UPDATE 2: I did hear him correctly. Click "more" for the transcript of Senator Lieberman's remarks, courtesy of the WaPo.

Where's mine?

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According to the Senator's military doctor, the wound for which John Kerry received his first Purple Heart was minor, and close to having been self-inflicted:

Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

That seemed to fit the injury which I treated.

What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry's arm. The metal fragment measured about 1 cm. in length and was about 2 or 3 mm in diameter. It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle.

I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. I doubt that it penetrated more than 3 or 4 mm. It did not require probing to find it, did not require any anesthesia to remove it, and did not require any sutures to close the wound.

The wound was covered with a bandaid.

Well, heck.

The wound I described here was inflicted by a piece of metal about 1.5cm wide by .3cm thick (by 15cm long), and penetrated 3 or 4 millimeters. I pulled the metal out myself, and didn't bother with a bandaid.

Where's my Purpleheart?

Faith and Politics II

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In my previous post on this topic, I had a few choice words for Senator Kerry. I suggested that he is a hypocrite. I'll stand by that.

What I could/should have done, however, was shine a brighter light on the alleged "keepers" of the faith: those who are charged with maintaining the concrete fundamentals of their faith.

All too often, we hear of bishops, et al., who act contrary to the tenets of their faith, and worse, who fail to stand up for what are supposed to be core principles. The recent example of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) -- the consecration -- making a bishop -- of a man who openly flouts the teachings of his church regarding homosexuality was just the most recent instance of this sad trend towards spinelessness.

[For ongoing bloggish examination of the state of the ECUSA, as well as a whole variety of other topics, I highly recommend Christopher S. Johnson's blog, Midwest Conservative Journal.]

Imagine, then, my surprise at reading of a church leader who actually acts on the tenets of his church: N.J. Governor Denied Communion:

CAMDEN, N.J. – The incoming leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden has decided that Gov. James E. McGreevey cannot receive communion.

The Most Rev. Joseph Galante said Thursday that he was taking the stance primarily because the divorced governor, who is Catholic, remarried without receiving a church annulment. He also cited McGreevey's support of abortion rights, stem-cell research and other positions that contradict church views.

Note to John Kerry: not every bishop or other church leader is going to roll over or give you a big thumbs-up just because you're running for President.

"Go along to get along" may play well in Senate offices, but when confronted by men of conscience like soon-to-be-Bishop Joseph Galante, it won't work.

Dodging

John over at Balloon Juice remonstrates with Democrats: "stop whining and to start engaging in honest debate...."

Just have your candidate stop lying and have him actually defend his record. Every time Kerry is asked a question about his record, he avoids any response and immediately launches into a salvo about how bad Bush is.
"Salvo"...? Considering all the frothing at the mouth that occurs in the "hate Bush" camp, I think a better way to describe it would be "salivo."

["Salvo" + "saliva." Do the math.]

Kerry's Medals

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Big kerfuffle today over John Kerry's medal-tossing. Did he toss medals? Ribbons? His own? Someone else's? Listening to Mr. Waffle, one might be forgiven for thinking it was simultaneously all, or maybe none, of those.

It seems to me that if he had been so willing to return his medals, he'd have requested to have them stricken from his Navy personnel records.

Unless, of course, he then was and now remains nothing more than a posturing hack who wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

Assertions

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John Kerry seems to forget that one of the jobs of the President is to conduct foreign policy.

Spotted at Best of the Web:

John Kerry "quickly seized on [Bob] Woodward's assertion on Sunday that the Saudi ambassador to the United States had agreed that his country would make sure that oil prices did not get too out of hand and would lower them to boost the American economy prior to the election--a decision that would presumably help Mr. Bush politically," reports the New York Times:
"That is outrageous and unacceptable to the American people," Mr. Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, declared during a campaign stop in Florida.
Of course, Woodward's assertions are just that: assertions. But as David Frum notes on NRO:
But is it true?

Ask yourself this: Who could have been Woodward’s source for this claim? Only one person: the canny Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States and a frequent purveyor of titillating items to selected journalists.

Next question: If such a deal existed, what motive could Prince Bandar have for revealing it? The revelation could only hurt Bush, the candidate Bandar was allegedly trying to help.

Logical next thought: If, however, Bandar wanted to hurt Bush, then the revelation makes a great deal of sense.

But why would Bandar want to hurt Bush? Don’t a hundred conspiracy books tell us that the Bush family are thralls of Saudi oil money? Perhaps the Saudis don’t think so. Perhaps they see President Bush’s Middle East policy as a threat to their dominance and even survival. What could after all be a worse nightmare for Saudi Arabia than a Western-oriented, pluralistic Iraq pumping all the oil it can sell?

In other words, if what Bob Woodward reports is true, then the Saudis are meddling to defeat Bush, not elect him.

But Kerry doesn't care what's actually true. He merely cares about scoring political points.

The real point, though, is that he seems to think lower oil prices are bad based on who does the legwork to assure the free flow of oil. Perhaps he'd rather we had a repeat of the oil embargo of the '70s.

Actually, if he could blame President Bush, I think that's exactly what he'd rather have.

Scheduling

The schedule for the 2004 DNC convention has been announced.

Ith has the details.

More Donk Outrageousness

If a Republican organization had run an advertisement recommending that Vietnam veterans correct a lapse on their part by "fragging" John Kerry this year, the outrage and uproar in the press and elsewhere would be justifiably intense.

But when a Democrat organization runs an ad suggesting that Donald Rumsfeld be put up against a wall and shot....

Virtually nothing.

Huh? What liberal media?

[Update: 20 minutes after I posted this, Brit Hume covered it on Fox News. Well, Mr. Hume is no Democrat apologist. Let's see if CNNABCMSNBCCBS cover it.]

Faith and Politics

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On Foxnews.com, Analysts: Faith Less of a Factor for Kerry

No kidding.

John Kerry is only the third Catholic candidate this close to getting all the way to the White House, but whether he can win over the Catholic vote in November could depend on his skill in separating his religious and political beliefs.
In other words, how well he can pay lip service to his alleged faith while telling the lies he thinks will win him the White House.
"He's in opposition to the Catholic Church on essential church teaching. He has the most radical stand one could have on the subject [of abortion]," said William Donahue, president of the Catholic League. "There's a serious question here that he's so out of sync with the church's teachings on the life issues that it's going to be a problem."
Indeed... But if he's so out of sync, why does anyone bother calling him a Catholic? Doesn't the Catholic church have rules about who can be a member?
"To ask each communicant if they are pro-choice or pro-life is impractical," said former California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon, who argued that Kerry should not be judged by his faith any more than any other individual.
Agreed. At the same time, however, it is perfectly legitimate for him to be judged by how well he holds to the principles to which he, as a Catholic, is supposed to hold.
Kerry's Web site touts the presumptive Democratic candidate as a committed adherent to the Catholic faith, similar to earlier Democratic nominees John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Alfred E. Smith in 1928.

"John Kerry was raised in the Catholic faith and continues to be an active member of the Catholic church," it reads.

Active... how? Does he show up for every Bingo night? Or is he just one of those people who thinks he can throw his wife's money into the poor box and consider his obligation fulfilled?
The Massachusetts senator agrees with the church on social justice issues, including immigration, poverty, health care and the death penalty, and he did seek an annulment from the church after his first marriage. But Kerry holds different opinions from church doctrine on such issues as abortion and same-sex unions, both of which he supports.
The Catholic church is not a Chinese restaurant, and the catechism is not a menu. You're not allowed to choose three items from column A and two from column B. It's supposed to be an all-or-nothing proposition.
Kerry has argued that he is a politician and not a cleric, and should be judged not on his adherence to his faith, but on his commitment to the U.S. Constitution (search).
John, John, John... if you aren't willing to adhere to the tenets of your faith, how can anyone believe that you would adhere to the U.S. Constitution?
But whether or not his faith matters remains to be seen.
It may matter to him, but less than the White House does.
Catholics, who are 65-million strong in the United States, make up one-fourth of the electorate and traditionally lean Democratic. Republicans have chipped away at that advantage over the years. No presidential candidate since 1980, save Al Gore in the 2000 race, has won the Catholic vote and lost the White House.

But Catholic Democrats disproportionately backed Kerry over his opponents during primary season, and a Fox News-Opinion Dynamics poll taken earlier this week shows that of 269 registered Catholic voters polled, 47 percent supported Kerry while 41 percent preferred President Bush. Catholics also have a favorability rating of Kerry of 48 percent, while the general public has a rate of 43 percent. The margin of error was 6 percent.

Small poll sample size... big margin of error... I'd call that poll statistically worthless.
The numbers have led some analysts to question whether Kerry's departures from Catholic doctrine will have any impact at all.
Well, if the bishops took things seriously, they'd take Kerry to task for his lapses. They, after all, have the authority to say who is and is not Catholic.
"The church can make its own rules, but it is also between the person and God," said radio talk show host and Fox News contributor Ellen Ratner.
Indeed. But if you stray from Catholic doctrine as far as Kerry does, you really don't have the right to call yourself Catholic. Hence we have Lutherans, Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians....
"I'd like to think that religion is not a big factor these days. I think people will say whatever religion he has, that’s his," said Rev. Robert F. Drinan, a Catholic priest and former Democratic congressman from Massachusetts.

Drinan, now a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said Kerry's faith may even help pick up Catholic Republicans, adding that a GOP attack on Kerry's observance "could boomerang badly."

Priest... former Donk congressman... from Massachussets... you think he's not going to back Kerry to the hilt?

Kerry could sacrifice a virgin to Satan on the pitcher's mound at Fenway, in front of 50,000 witnesses and on national TV, and the Massachussets Democrat machine would continue to push his candidacy. No doubt accompanied by claims of a GOP smear campaign....

While Kerry does not adhere to all the strictures of the faith, Bush may not be any better a choice for Catholics, added Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (search).

"There is no candidate that is in agreement with the church on all issues," she said.

If I were Catholic, I'd rather have an honest Methodist in the White House than a hypocritical alleged-Catholic.
Still, church decisions could play a central role in swaying Catholic voters. In January 2003, prompted by international debate on stem cell research and human cloning, the Vatican released a "doctrinal note." Among other things, it said that "a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals."
Indeed, anyone who votes against or campaigns on a platform that contradicts the fundamental contents of their faith and morals is nothing more or less than a whore.
In February, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis advised Kerry not to "present himself for communion" at any church in the city. Earlier in the year, Burke had cited support for abortion and euthanasia as issues he could not reconcile with political candidates.
Brave man. Expect a Thomas á Becket moment in his future.
In Kerry's Boston diocese, Archbishop Sean O'Malley has instructed Catholic politicians who back abortion rights to abstain from communion. But, unlike Burke, O'Malley has not suggested that priests refuse communion if politicians like Kerry present themselves. Kerry is expected to receive the sacrament on Easter Sunday at his church in Boston.
Kerry, in a not unexpected move, ignored the archbishop. How, exactly, is is this consistent with Catholicism?
Donahue said that not only will many Catholics reject Kerry's commitment to his religion, but he may also expect a backlash among non-Catholics.

"One more time, is he speaking out of both sides of his mouth? It's adding to the profile that he seems to be everything to everybody. That is something he is going to have to answer when it comes to the subject of religion," he said.

Preach it, brother Father.

"It's not going to be whether there's an animus against Catholics, but is he a Catholic in good standing," Donahue said.

Exactly. I'm not Catholic myself, though could I be if it weren't for a couple of doctrinal issues on which I am at variance with Rome. But I still respect the church. Kerry, on the other hand, wants to have his cake and eat it too by claiming to be one thing and acting like another.

Added American Enterprise Institute Research Associate John Fortier, questions of Kerry's faith demonstrate just how much the country has changed since 1960, when anti-Catholic bias arose in questions about whether Kennedy would be more committed to his church than his state.

"The fact that really very few people have even noticed [Kerry's religion] shows that we're largely beyond it. I don’t think were going to face much talk about whether his loyalty is to the U.S. or the pope as we did with Kennedy," Fortier said.

Again we come to the idea that it is not the specific religion that is so important in American politics, but rather whether or not a candidate can actually keep the promises, vows, or commitments he has made.

On this score, Kerry fails the test.

A Question

The 9/11 commission hearings today, and the treatment of Dr. Rice by one commissioner in particular, brought to mind a question I've wanted to ask that one particular commissioner for a very long time:

Mr. Ben-Veniste, is your name really "Richard," or do you just use that because so many people call you Dick?

Friday Focus

If it's Friday, you know there'll be a new article by Victor Davis Hanson. Lovin’ Europe by Leavin’:

Oh, we recognize our common intellectual and cultural heritage. We appreciate the need for joint action in the so-called war against terrorism. And we like visiting European capitals, and enjoy many aspects of present-day European culture. But it is for those very reasons of wishing to preserve some sort of relationship that we must abandon the status quo and think of radically new ways to relate to our friends and stewards of our common cultural ancestry.

Delusional Europe

The rest of the world doesn't "get" us -- they do not and cannot understand America, and they likely never will.

Why do the EUnuchs (in particular) have such a hard time understanding us? Stephen Den Beste explains:

It's because too many of Europe's opinion makers are living in a delusional world anyway. They believe that raising taxes and increasing social spending doesn't stifle economic growth, and that labor laws which prevent layoffs increase employment. They think they can catch up to the US economically by 2010. They think all disagreements can be settled through negotiations and that no one needs or should have a military any longer. They think all citizens should rely on the state to protect them from criminals, and any who try to protect themselves should be punished.

They think they're still important, and they think that the world views them that way. Amidst that great sea of delusion, it's hardly surprising that they also think America is becoming more and more European as it finally grows up, and that deep down we admire them and want to be more like them.

So it won't be any surprise when they continue to find our behavior bewildering and infuriating as they continue to botch their dealings with us.

That sums it up nicely. But go read the whole thing.

Crushing of Dissent Attempted

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My buddy Matt, the founder of Blogs for Bush (for which I provide technical service) and who (of course) runs his own blog, is a frequent counter-protestor when the moonbats come out to play rant, rave and froth at the mouth.

Yesterday in Boston he carried on his fine work, supporting the President and countering the idiots protesting outside the President's fundraiser venue. This time, though, he had a bit of a run-in with a gang of leftist union thugs.

Read all about it.
Read more about it.
Read even more about it.

Naturally, there were no arrests. There never are when leftists commit these sorts of assaults.

Schadenfreude Alert

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Headline: Kerry Fights Off Media Probe of Recent Alleged Infidelity.

OK, OK, it's Drudge... but he's been right so many times before.

Don't like Drudge? Well, Scott Ott is all over the story, too: Alleged Kerry Intern Scandal Sparks Clinton Endorsement

Personally, I don't buy it. This is John "Cash And" Kerry we're talking about here... and after all, how rich is a mere intern likely to be?

Lie Slain

Like a vampire of legend, the "Bush was AWOL" lie seems to live on and on.

Bill Hobbs, however, finds the wooden stake, and drives it through the heart of the "Bush was AWOL" lie.

The difference between a vampire and the the "Bush was AWOL" lie is that the vampire never received first aid and life support from the Democrat party and the media.

Ethical (?) Edwards

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Our delinquent North Carolina Senator local presidential candidate has run into a wee bit of a campaign financial ethics problem.

Timbo calls him on it.

Edwards has missed some significanly large proportion of Senate votes since he took office. He seems to have mostly avoided taking any particular stand that would simultaneously a) irritate us in NC and b) irritate Democrat primary voters.

You'd almost think that he was treating his tenure in the Senate as merely a stepping-stone to higher office.

Naaaah... couldn't be....

(BTW, check out the rest of Timbo's site, too.)

Two out of three ain't bad

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Not a bad speech from the President, overall. I'd have ended stonger, but still, not bad.

I heard two of the things I wanted to hear. War on Terrorism. Tax cuts.

Excellent.

I wish he'd finished with inspiring words on the future of the space program. Oh, well, can't have everything.

The best part of the speech:

Some critics have said our duties in Iraq must be internationalized. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our partners in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, El Salvador...
[Long standing ovation.]
... and the 17 other countries that have committed troops to Iraq. As we debate at home, we must never ignore the vital contributions of our international partners, or dismiss their sacrifices. From the beginning, America has sought international support for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.
Hoo rah! If I could have stood, I would have. I had to settle for cheering and near-giddy laughter. And a big s***-eating grin.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Chirac.

Update: GMTA.

Quote of the Day

Frank Gaffney, on Gen. Wesley Clark:

Anyone who pledges that, if elected, he will ensure the American people are never exposed to future terrorist incidents — including ones vastly more destructive than those that befell us 27 months ago — is sufficiently delusional or dishonest, or both, to be disqualified for the Oval Office.
in "General Disqualification" at National Review Online

Amendments

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Citizen Smash's open thread today asks the question:

If you could add one amendment to the US Constitution, what would it be?
Well, I couldn't limit myself to one... and I'll bet I could come up with more:
"The sixteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed."
No income tax. Congress would have to come up with some other scheme to raise the money they use to buy votes fund programs.
"No person who receives a paycheck or largess from the federal government, or the same from a non-governmental entity funded 50% or more by the federal government, shall be entitled to vote in elections for federal offices."
Ya, that'll make a lot of people unhappy... people from all over the political spectrum.

[Update: yes, the second was meant to be tongue in cheek, but I suffer from the handicap of already knowing what I mean to say and how I mean to say it. Thanks, Charles, for pointing this out.]

Slogans Wanted

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There has to be a way the Donks can blame this on Bush:

Woman Knocked Unconscious By Wal-Mart Shoppers
Witnesses: Shoppers Stepped Over Woman Having Seizure

ORANGE CITY, Fla. -- A 41-year-old woman was knocked unconscious and then trampled by a mob of shoppers who continued to step over her as she suffered a seizure during a Friday sale at Wal-Mart in Orange City, Fla., according to Local 6 News.

Well, obviously this never would have happened if the President hadn't cut taxes. If people would just let the government have more of their paychecks, they wouldn't have as much to spend for the holidays, and we'd never have to see this sort of tragedy again.

Now that the Bush tax cuts are setting the economy back on track after the recent slump (which I might remind you, gentle reader, began before he took office), and now that the general public recognizes that things are getting better, and now that people are actually going out to spend their own money, we can undoubtedly see more such frenzied shopping-induded tramplings, right? Right?

The part of my brain responsible for rhyming can't come up with any catchy slogan for the moonbats to shriek about this....

"Bush cut tax rates -- people in dire straits!"

Wow, that's incredibly -- even amazingly -- weak.

I'm open to suggestions. In the meantime, I'm going to go have more coffee.

(link via James at VRWC)

Why Was He There?

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This business about Howard Dean's late brother has me wondering.

Active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are upset over being forced take part in a military repatriation ceremony today for remains believed to be those of the non-military brother of presidential candidate Howard Dean, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

"His brother will receive full military honors...flag over the coffin and all!" fumes one soldier, who asked not to be named.

Governor Dean is set to visit to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the repatriation of his brother to Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

The brother's remains were recovered in Laos by a JPAC recovery team this past month. JPAC's mission is to search, recover, and identify remains of US service members who were killed in previous wars.

During the Vietnam War, Dean's brother and an Australian friend treked into Laos as civilians -- and were captured by the Vietcong and killed.

JPAC was pressured to not only recover his brother's remains, but to bump Dean's recovery over numerous other MIA's who actually died fighting for their country, a well-placed military source tells the DRUDGE REPORT.

(Via the Drudge archives)

OK, I can understand the troops being unhappy about this. I'm none too thrilled by it myself. Military honors should be reserved for military personnel (or high-ranking government officials). But I have a question:

     What were those two guys doing over there?

I can think of only three types of civilians (other than the press) who might have gone to Laos in 1974:

  • aid workers, akin to the Red Cross or CARE,
  • sympathizers/supporters of the North Vietnam (read: communist) regime, akin to "Hanoi Jane" Fonda
  • drug traffickers.
Am I missing something here? Someone please clue me in.

UPDATE, 3Dec03: I have since been clued in. Apparently, he was there as a "adventure tourist." Which leads to the question, why would anyone think tourism in what was (for all intents and purposes) a war zone would be a good idea?

Thankfulness

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I bring a message on behalf of America: We thank you for your service, we're proud of you, and America stands solidly behind you. Together, you and I have taken an oath to defend our country.
gentear.jpg
You're honoring that oath. The United States military is doing a fantastic job. You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq, so that we don't have to face them in our own country. You're defeating Saddam's henchmen, so that the people of Iraq can live in peace and freedom.
wtear2.jpg
Each one of you has answered a great call, participating in an historic moment in world history. You live by a code of honor, of service to your nation, with the safety and the security of your fellow citizens. Our military is full of the finest people on the face of the earth. I'm proud to be your commander in chief. I bring greetings from America. May God bless you all.
I daily thank God that we have a President who is an honorable man, who genuinely cares for our troops (one of which, I might remind you, I used to be) and who has devoted himself to the protection and preservation of our nation, the "last best hope of Earth."

This is a President of whom we can and ought to be proud.

Peace Creeps

The anti-American peace creeps are at it again.

They call themselves "anti-war." Nothing could be further from the truth.

It cannot be said loudly enough or often enough:

     they are not against the war - they are on the other side.

Go see the commentary from:

Without Representation

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I am so glad we in North Carolina have a principled voice-of-the-people senator in our own John Edwards. I'm glad to see him taking a stand on pay raises for the Senate.

Oh, wait. He didn't.

This shouldn't be a surprise, given his track record.

Would someone be so good as to tell me how, exactly, taxation with representation is any better than the same without?

Who's looting now?

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There's much afoot in blogdom (from much bigger dogs than Yours Truly) about the Democrat-led Senate plan to extract repayment from Iraqis for the help we are giving them.

The Senate -- courtesy of most of the Democrats and a handful of defecting Republicans -- insists on repayment.

The President does not.

Excuse me, but I thought the President was the one who wanted to invade Iraq to seize the output from the oil fields? That's all we seemed to hear from the Left - "no blood for oil," et cetera, ad nauseum.

It seems to me that the Democrats are throwing away a talking point - a false one, but a rhetorically useful one.


Update: A Tony Snow interview of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Fox News (sorry, no linkage at this time) leads me to conclude that this provision will die in the House/Senate conference committee. Lefties, you may resume your chanting.

Life Imitates Art

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Babylon 5... ah, B5.... Do you remember it?

What do you mean, no? It's only the Greatest Television Series Ever Made. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking with it.

In October 1997, the 86th Babylon 5 Episode aired, titled "Endgame."

What do you mean, you haven't seen it? Are you a barbarian? Well, this post contains spoilers, so before reading further, go and watch the first 86 episodes, up to and through "Endgame," then come back and finish reading below....

Howard Dean, Son of Liberty?

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Matt Margolis thinks not, and proceeds to dissect Dean.

Did I say "dissect"? Sorry - he vivisects Dean.

With a chainsaw.

Gotta Wonder

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I'm a bit late to this party.... but as everyone seems to have noticed today, General Hugh Shelton, US Army (retired), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the highest-ranked uniformed member of the armed forces) seems to have a less-than-stellar opinion of the newest Democrat candidate for the presidency, General Wesley Clark (retired):

"What do you think of General Wesley Clark and would you support him as a presidential candidate," was the question put to him by moderator Dick Henning, assuming that all military men stood in support of each other. General Shelton took a drink of water and Henning said, "I noticed you took a drink on that one!"

"That question makes me wish it were vodka," said Shelton. "I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote."

As everyone from Donald Sensing to Matt Kennicott to SGT Hook has opined, this sort of muted criticism from a fellow member of the 4-star club is the rhetorical equivalent of a Daisy-Cutter. Generals just do not criticize each other in public.

Personal anecdote time: once, long ago, I attended a Sergent Major's retirement ceremony, and everyone - enlisted, NCOs and officers, including the 2-star Division commander - showed up. But as has been rumored around the 'sphere [anyone with more info, please comment], no one of note even bothered to attend Clark's retirement ceremony. This is absolutely stunning.

<rant>

A question that arises from all this is, what exactly could Clark have done that earned such a level of disrespect from his fellow officers - not to mention what appears to have been an involuntary early retirement?

"integrity and character issues"
I mean, come on, people - what could it have taken for the Clinton administration to fire someone for "integrity and character issues"?

If Clark were running under a GOP banner, the press would be on him like, well, like ugly on me. Four words for the news media: Freedom of Information Act.

</rant>

Missing the Obvious

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James Taranto in today's Best of the Web makes a valid criticism of Juan Williams' verbal assault on Howard Dean. Said Williams:

Gov. Dean has suggested that states like Vermont, Montana and Wyoming, with overwhelmingly white populations, really don't need gun control, in part because of their rural character, but urban areas, such as Baltimore, Md., with large minority populations, do need gun control.
This is an unwarranted interpretation of Dean's actual position. No one believes Dean is racist.

On the other hand, Dean's actual position on gun laws - and on the Constitution, generally - is far, far worse. If summarized accurately by Taranto, it is Constitutionally insupportable. Taranto writes [emphasis mine]:

Howard Dean deviates from liberal orthodoxy on one issue: gun rights. Coming from Vermont, the state with the nation's least restrictive gun laws, Dean holds a genuinely moderate position. He opposes new federal gun-control laws, but he also believes the 10th Amendment trumps the Second and that states have the authority to pass whatever gun laws they see fit.
Surely, Dean cannot seriously believe this?

On this basis, would it then be a reasonable position to believe that the 10th Amendment trumps the First, that states should be able to pass laws restricting speech, the press, religion, and the right to assemble?

How about the Fifth - shall states be able to seize private property without compensation, if they see fit to do so? Or put a person on trial twice for the same crime?

Carried to the extreme, maybe the 13th Amendment? Should Vermont be able to reinstitute slavery?

This sort of "reasoning" betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The amendments are there to guarantee and protect the basic rights of the people. Anything not specifically addressed is left to the states, under the Tenth Amendment.

Such basic errors should be considered an absolute disqualification from holding an office under the federal Constitution.

Buh-bye, Howard.

Civil Wrongs

Gray "Red" Davis is going to sign a law allowing illegal aliens to receive drivers licenses.

Whether the sponsors say it or not, the law is designed expressly to allow illegals to vote -- and yes, they'll vote Democrat -- and Davis will sign it this time. He knows his goose is cooked, recall-wise, and he seems determined to go down in flames, doing as much damage as he can on the way out, in a Gotterdammerung-esque act of scorched-earth spite.

Now, if I were a Californian, I would immediately talk to a lawyer and go to Federal Court to block this law.

The grounds for a Federal claim? OK, I'm not a lawyer, but consider:

  • in California it is either de facto or de jure against the law to ask for proof of elegibility to vote
  • "Motor voter" gives any driver license applicant the opportunity to register to vote
  • Illegals with drivers licenses will certainly be voting, though they have no right to do so.
Dilution of the value my vote and that of my fellow citizens - in short, an equal protection or voting rights claim - would be a Federal matter. It's soon going to be time for the Feds to step in.

I'd rather they get around to doing something about the actual problem: illegal immigration. But don't hold your breath - I won't.

More on this at :
A Little More to the Right
Emperor Misha I
Right Thinking
Serenity's Journal
Pardon my English

Guest Editorial

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Devin is a good friend of mine from the tech business and, like me, a former military linguist. He's a prolific writer of letters to editors, and has a good track record of being published - usually as the sole voice of the political Right.

Stuck as he is in California, he has a right to be a little upset with the state of the State. I can't blame him. Here's his latest.

Encounter with Arnold

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As promised, here's my brother's tale. Take it away, Brad....

...

So my buddy Mike and I were on the town one evening in the fall of 1996. After a couple of beers at a local hangout in Santa Monica, we decided to upscale the night a bit and go down to Schatzi On Main in Santa Monica.

Schatzi's is Schwarzenegger's restaurant, so Mike and I figured we could at least get a decent Austrian/German beer. When we arrived, it turned out that it was Oktoberfest-time and Arnold was setting things up with special live music and special Oktoberfest kegs flown in from the Old Country just for the occasion.

As we bellied up to the bar for a couple of $9 beers (Arnold might be a Conservative, but he's definitely a Capitalist), Mike asked the bartender "Where's Arnold?" The sudsman said, "Oh, he's in back." and nonchalantly pointed his thumb over his shoulder toward the back of the dining area.

I decided right then and there that we needed to say hello, so we headed toward the back. We got about halfway there, when a couple of security dudes let us know that the back area was off limits "for a while."

We weren't going anywhere, and decided to wait. Half an hour and half a Macanudo later, Mike and I were positioned perfectly to say hello if Arnold decided to call it a night before we did, and our patience was rewarded -- Arnold was working the room and headed in our direction. He shook a few hands but mostly waved that well-practiced celebrity wave. I was a bit surprised by one thing - he's only about 5'11" or 6'0" - not as big as he's made out to be on the bigscreen. At 6'5" I towered over him.

As Arnold got to where we were, I popped up and walked over to him and stuck out my hand. "Arnold, I'm a big fan" with that half stogie clenched in my teeth. He shook my hand and replied, "Ja, thank you." and before he could move off I added "..and a Republican." The double-take was the best - he smiled and said in his best Austro-English:

"Absolutely."

...

Sweet.

Coming Attractions

Coming next week: a visit by guest blogger (and brother) Brad, who's had a close encounter with California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I'll probably not be able to spell "Schwarzenegger" the same way twice without cut-and-paste. I keep trying to insert a "t" before the "z". Maybe I need to define a keyboard macro.

Once More, With Feeling

Well, well, well. Al Gore shoots off his mouth.

In front of a cheering crowd of sycophantic moonbats -- the MoveOn.org crowd -- the man voted "most likely to be mistaken for a petrified tree" delivered up a number of steaming piles of excrement.

"... most of the benefits of the tax cuts actually are going to the highest-income Americans, who, unfortunately, are the least likely group to spend money in ways that create jobs during times when the economy is weak and unemployment is rising."
Yes, Al. The "poor" are going to go out this minute and start businesses, hire employees, and make capital investments. They'll then give up over half their incomes in taxes. Sure.

No, Al, that's not how it works, but it would be pointless to try to educate you and your frothing-at-the-mouth fan club.

" In truth, the current executive branch of the U.S. government is radically different from any since the McKinley administration 100 years ago."
I suppose Al never heard of Teddy Roosevelt.
"... we still have the same bad economic policies and the problems have, if anything, gotten worse."
Al hasn't been reading the newspapers, apparently. Unemployment is going back down, the recession is over, companies are turning profits... there's good news breaking out all over. Except for Democrats who want to be president -- it's all bad news for them.

But then Al goes off into LoonyLand with his frenetic gibbering about the Iraq war. He tells his trollish followers about all the "false impressions" the Bush administration had given while making the case for war with Iraq:

"Saddam Hussein was partly responsible for the attack against us on September 11th, 2001...."
Gore lies. The Bush administration actively disclaimed this notion, even discounting a fairly credible Czech report that Iraqi agents met with the 9/11 hijackers in Prague.
"Saddam was working closely with Osama bin Laden and was actively supporting members of the Al Qaida terrorist group...."
Whether that impression was made or not, documents captured since the fall of the Baathist regime have confirmed the cooperation between Al Qaeda and Hussein.
"Saddam was about to give the terrorists poison gas and deadly germs that he had made into weapons which they could use to kill lots of Americans. "
Again, the Bush administration never made such a claim. What they did say was that such a scenario was possible. Is Gore denying the possibility? Has his hatred of George W. Bush completely blinded him? Yes. Yes, it has. Gore, and by extension the Democrat party, care less about national security than they care about scoring political points. That alone should disqualify them from ever holding power.
"Saddam was on the verge of building nuclear bombs and giving them to the terrorists...."
Uh... who said that? It wasn't Dubya. He did make a true statement on the general subject (remember those 16 words? They were true.)
"our GIs would be welcomed with open arms by cheering Iraqis...."
This is the closest Gore gets to the truth anywhere in the speech. Yes, there was a lot of speculation from all quarters on how the Iraqis would react, much of it overly optimistic. The Iraqi peoples' uncertainty about the outcome of the war -- understandable, given the propagandizing by the Husseins (and Al-Jazeera, and the BBC, and CNN, and, and, and...) -- muted many of their reactions at the beginning.

Not all, though. Remember these three words from a free Iraqi: "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!"

Ask the average Iraqi how they feel now about being freed from the Baathists. They're pretty darned pleased.

"...the rest of the world was mostly opposed to the war, [but] they would quickly fall in line after we won, and then contribute lots of money and soldiers to help out...."
A couple points here. First, why should we care what the rest of the world thinks? If France jumped off a bridge, I'm sure Al would be right there with them. Second, there are other countries helping out - just not the "old Europe" axis of weasels.

You know, I followed the run-up to war pretty closely. The "false impressions" Gore cited didn't come from President Bush -- they mostly came by way of extrapolations and exaggerations by the media, setting up strawmen for the Donks to try to knock down. Even then, the strawmen are hardly falling -- Gore can't land a punch, flail though he might. The Donks have no credibility whatsoever on the security of this nation.

Consider: on 9/11, did you say to yourself "Thank God Bush is president," or did you say "too bad Gore isn't president"?

Ya, that's what I thought.

UPDATE: Aw, nuts. I got beaten to it. Beaten like a rented mule.

RICO

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One aspect of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") statutes that is not widely known is that private citizens, not just government prosecutors, may bring charges under the statutes.

This legal ability was recently misused by the National Organization of (Leftist) Women in an attempt to stifle the speech of a group called the Pro-Life Action Network and to monetarily penalize the group for their protests. (In an 8 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court took a rather dim view of NOW's attempt at suppressing speech.)

On the other hand, if the statute is designed to prevent corrupt organizations from threatening damage to another party with the express goal of extracting cash from the threatened party (which to me seems a reasonable definition of "extortion") there is one particular organization that must be reined in -- the sooner the better. They enrich themselves at the expense of businesses, inflict economic damage that we all end up paying for, and they buy politicians to protect their nefarious schemes.

Never in the history of this country (or, indeed, the world) has a non-governmental organization profited so much by use of the bludgeon. The Mafia must be wishing they'd thought this one up; these vermin make the bull-necked men of la Cosa Nostra look like a bunch of 90-year-old blue-haired ladies by comparison.

I refer, of course, to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

The ATLA (or more specifically, its minions) wreak havoc on our nation - frivolous and nuisance lawsuits, skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates, stupid disclaimers and warning labels on products... they line their own pockets at the expense of all of the rest of us.


(Links found at overlawyered.com)

Buying politicians... can anyone reasonably deny that the Democrat party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ATLA? They routinely kill tort-reform legislation, and this time around one of their own - Edwards, who made his money suing doctors - is running for President. G-d help us all if someone like him is ever President.

Because of what these litigious brigands do and how they do it, I can read stories like this and feel little pity.

I say it's time to shut down the ATLA under the provisions of RICO. While lining their pockets, they make the goods and services I buy more expensive, they restrict my freedom to choose what to eat or drink, smoke, wear, shoot, or even how to entertain myself. They must be stopped, and the irony of doing so in a court of law makes the potential for justice so much sweeter.

There's just one problem...

Where am I going to find a lawyer?


Update, 19May2006: Almost three years later, Captain Ed has some good news.

Quote of the day

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Daniel Henninger, in "A Failure To Communicate":

The Democratic Party now resembles a vast hospital nursery, with each colicky baby lying in a separate crib screaming for attention--right now, for me. And if a Joe Lieberman or Dick Gephardt doesn't run right over and pour political formula down their throats, they'll keep right on screaming.

Lives, Fortunes, Sacred Honor

An indispensable educational resource: A User's Guide to the Declaration of Independence.

It is a shame that the average American doesn't read the Declaration even once a year, much less take the trouble to understand it. I know an immigrant or two who treasure it more dearly than do many or most of my fellow native-born citizens. Sometimes it's enough to make me wonder if a mere accident of geography is an adequate standard for conferring citizenship.

Of course, the average American, even ignorant of the specifics, still knows in his heart that he has rights that cannot be trampled on. Though he may not understand why -- on what basis he enjoys his rights -- he still knows in his gut that they are his.

There are those who, having been born & brought up here in the same great nation as you and I, the only nation specifically created on the basis that The People are the masters of government and not its servants, are intent on turning that equation on its head. These people -- we could call them elitists, I suppose -- believe that average people don't know what's best for them, and seek to impose a de facto system that ensures that government is indeed the master of us all, controlling our lives from afar in innumerable ways.

These "elitists" can often be found in adademia, in the media, in various lobbying groups. Lots of places. People who would not only say that they know how you ought to live your life, but are also willing to force you to do it their way. Naturally, these elitists propose to be the masters, based on their self-defined superiority. They do not, in other words, trust people to take care of themselves.

In many ways, they have succeeded. Don't believe me? Try buying a gun in Washington, DC. Try smoking in a bar in New York. Try not having a Social Security Number.

That bunch of "dead white guys," the Founding Fathers, understood these dangers. Not merely understood -- they lived through them, ruled without representation by an unaccountable government. They, to our good fortune, decided to do something about it.

But they did not act unthinkingly, without principle. In most countries most of the time, revolutions serve only to replace one set of masters with another -- but there are always masters.

We got lucky; the Founders didn't seek to put a local King on an American throne. They had a guiding set of principles, clearly expressed, on which they built a nation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
As they say, read the whole thing.

Happy Fourth.

Robin Hood was not a Socialist

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On CNSnews today, Ron Marr, drawing comparisons to the Robin Hood tale, points out that, despite their claims and posturing, the Left is ultimately not the Friend Of The Little Guy:

The poor are their pawns - useful tools to whom them throw gristle and moldy bones in return for votes. Though the Democrat ruse is to convince low wage earners and the voluntarily unemployed that refuse from their tables is but a sample of the gourmet meal to come, such is a bald-faced lie. They have no intention of ever providing anything but the most meager of rations.

The reason? The vision of the left is to foster false hope and create inescapable dependency. They wish to make the poor reliant, to position themselves as heroes of the common man. Their theology has far more in common with a noble/serf relationship than it does with helping one free themselves from the chains of poverty.

I'd sum up the Robin Hood issue thus:

Robin Hood did not steal from the rich to give to the poor.
Robin Hood stole from the taxman to give back to the taxpayer.

Don't let the Left tell you otherwise.

Geology - specifically, soil subsidence - can be a bad thing.

Due to this bad thing, my driveway settled and broke across the middle and had to be replaced. Fortunately, it was under warranty. So yesterday, the contractor ripped out the existing concrete, dug a big hole, and filled it with gravel.

Today, the new concrete is going in.

driveway.gif

Well, geology can be a good thing, too.

"Now what," you might ask, "does this have to do with the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?" Well... just think of the opportunities geology can provide.

Next time you wonder "whatever happened to [insert name of Idiotarian here]", consider:

  • a big ol' hole in the ground;
  • a ton of gravel;
  • a fresh concrete slab.

The rest I leave as an exercise for the reader.

The Ties That (No Longer) Bind

Kim du Toit writes something I've been thinking for a while, but does so in a way I was unable to express adequately without significant amounts of foul language (something any reader here knows I try to do without, despite my soldierly past.)

The anti-American Left has gone so far off the deep end that they've essentially departed the arena of ideas, where logic and discourse could once be counted on to persuade, or at least to reasonably exhort. Civil discourse, of course, is essential to the conduct of civil society.

No longer. The extreme Left is no longer capable of persuading or being persuaded. Rancor is their stock in trade, and hate is their motivating emotion. Thought, logic and reason rarely enter into the Left's conduct.

So like I said, Kim says it better than me: There is no "we" anymore.

War and Feminism

I'm no expert on feminism - mainly because the shrieking harpies usually identified with the modern American feminist movement are so philosophically unpalatable that I cannot stand to listen to them. I'd rather puncture my own eardrums than listen to Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Smeal or Kate Michelman.

Wendy McElroy, on the other hand, sounds to me like a reasoned and reasonable voice. Today she writes Iraq War May Kill Feminism as We Know It.

No wonder the Left hates her.

Win one for, uh, me

Reagan
Republican - You believe that the free market will
take care of most things, but that the
government should be there with moderate
taxation to provide for national defense and
enforcing morality. Your historical role model
is Ronald Reagan.

Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

My hero! I got to shake his hand once....

But "enforcing morality"? Oh, puh-leeze. I prefer to think of it as "deterring behavior harmful to society," if anything.

Like all "Poll-bots", the results should be taken with a significantly huge grain of salt. I'd have thought it would take more than 6 questions to figure out who my historical role model is.....

21st Century Bund

[Author's Note: this was originally posted on 2/13/2003 at Halcyon Media. I've made minor formatting, grammatical and vocabulary changes, but the gist remains the same - Russ]

 

History really does repeat itself. No matter how evil or twisted America's enemies are, they'll have their supporters right here in our own metaphorical backyard. I refer, of course, to the virulently anti-American, peace-at-any-price-even-our-own-destruction idiots from Hollywood and organizations such as ANSWER and NION.

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