Sunday, November 28, 2004

Winter of My Discontent

I wrote an essay of the same title twelve years ago, after the 1992 election debacle. This time it isn't quite so politically apocalyptic, or any kind of apocalyptic really, but there are still some sucky things on my personal horizon, as well as right now.

Like my cold, for instance. Mrs. HardStarboard came down with it a week ago, and I steadfastly stayed away from her (a herculean feat given my libido), and yet I still managed to come down with it. So I spent my Thanksgiving break doing what I usually do - being sick and trying to get rid of it before I have to go back to work.

Work will be a bitch because the normal five day week is effectively reduced to four, with twice the workload plus cross-training I'm conducting in my department. This after last week was a three-day week.

And then there's the jury duty I've tried to get out of for the past year, but of which the U.S. District Court for some reason adamantly insists I am a critical component, which will turn 8-10 hour days into 16-20 hour days for a minimum of two weeks. Depending on what happens and what I get stuck with, I might be sequestered away in a hotel somewhere for months, my job and family and life abandoned, and of course without a laptop to pass the time in the evenings. Sometimes I think getting drafted would be preferable - at least in that case I'd know what I was needed for.

Needless to say, blogging isn't going to be happening very much. I'll be going above and beyond the call just to keep updating my "Best of the Web" links.

But at least I won't be catching any more colds from my family.

My fellow jurors, on the other hand.....

Friday, November 26, 2004

Following Satan's Orders

According to the AP, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is sounding pretty pessimistic and whiney these days:

"An audiotape purportedly made by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lashed out Wednesday at Muslim scholars for not speaking out against U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying they have 'let us down in the darkest circumstances....'

"'You have let us down in the darkest circumstances and handed us over to the enemy... You have quit supporting the mujahedeen,' he said. 'Hundreds of thousands of the nation's sons are being slaughtered at the hands of the infidels because of your silence.'"

No, "thousands of the nation's sons are being slaughtered" because they listened to your demonic poison, and even erstwhile Sunni sympathizers are seeing the wisdom of making sure they're on the winning side - and that means the side that isn't sawing off heads for Internet dissemination, and is freeing and rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan, and fumigating it of murderous vermin like you.

Or, put another way, never underestimate the pervasive front-running, "look out for #1" nature of Arab culture.

You gotta love his condemnation of the ulama for selling out "God's orders" in exchange for their "money and sons." Apparently even Muslim clerics can do the PR math of what "following God's orders" makes them look like even in the cynical, amoral, corrupt eyes of the generally friendly "world community."

And maybe, just maybe, they're beginning to deduce the horned visage of the "god" Zarqawi serves.

Did Dan Rather "Fall" or Was He Leaving Anyway?

This was Jim Geraghty's reaction:

“This half-step by CBS is garbage, and they know it. Announcing this the Tuesday before Thanksgiving is comparable to announcing the news late on a Friday afternoon. The internal investigation - which we may never get to see at this rate - probably found that the entire CBS News structure is like the DNC press operations shop, only less accurate and with lower standards, and so this is the Sauronic Eye’s way of sweeping it under the rug. They’re every bit as bad as they were before the memo story ran, they learned nothing from this incident, and they ought to be thanking their lucky stars that an angry mob in pajamas carrying pitchforks and torches doesn’t march down to corporate headquarters like in some black and white monster movie.”

Mine is more cynical than that. I don't think this is even a half-step. I think Rather's retirement from the anchor desk was already in the works on this time-table, and the Blogosphere had zero, zip, nada to do with it.

If the "pajamahadeen" really had brought down Gunga-Dan, it would have been two months ago, not now. Hell, remember the producer that broke into normal programming to report (I believe it was) Yassir Arafat's death just a tad prematurely? That poor schlep was canned within a few days. But Mary Mapes, Rather's producer for the fabricated document smear against the President, is still on the job, last I checked.

Let's not kid ourselves, "great and svelt," about the extent of our influence. The megablogs helped give voice to the Swiftboat Vets, and shot down Memogate, but ain't no way that the "death star" has been blown up, or ever will be, at least any time soon.

The "Empire" isn't what it used to be, but it's still the Empire. There are plenty more "Darth Rathers" where he came from.

Infantile Atheism, or Just Clumsy?

"A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God - including the Declaration of Independence.

"Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School in [naturally...] the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.

"'It's a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful,' said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson. 'Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country,' he said. 'There is nothing in the Establishment Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from showing students the Declaration of Independence.'"

I don't know whether to rip Vidmar or laugh at her. Leaving aside her obvious attempt to impose her atheism on Mr. Williams and her school - does she really think that such numbskulled ham-fistedness is going to aid her cause from a PR standpoint? Teachers can't even show their students the Declaration of Independence??? For, well, God's sake, the Declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson - you know, the guy who first coined the phrase "Separation of Church and state". Vidmar and people like her may want to remake America into a heathen "blue" state utopia, but to attempt to cover up the nation's "red" state origins in such blatant fashion just makes her, and them, look all the stupider. It's not much above sticking their fingers in their students' ears and humming at the top of their lungs.

It's also very Sovietesque in its motivations. One cannot "transform" a society without first cutting it off from its own history that weighs against such transformations.

Happily for the forces of good, Vidmar's banning from her school's classrooms the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania has been so manifestly unsubtle that it can only fuel a further revival of the teaching of true American history, Christian trappings and all.

Looks like the devil's legions had better start planning for mass book burnings, because they're losing the spin war, and badly.

What do Christine Gregoire and Viktor Yanukovych have in common?

They're both trying to steal an election.

Gregoire, Washington's three-term attorney-general, lost the governor's race by 261 votes out of 2.9 million votes cast in the November 2nd election. The mandatory machine recount (plus unauthorized hand recount in King County that Secretary of State Sam Reed should have disallowed) narrowed the margin to a microscopic 42 votes, but former GOP state senator Dino Rossi is still the winner, and will be certified as such next week.

Or maybe not. Gregoire and the Dems are going to demand a second, Florida-style cherry-picking hand recount in precincts favorable to them. They have to pay for it, but if they overtake Rossi, the state has to do a full-blown hand recount that could last past Christmas.

Do I even need to point out the Florida 2K parallel?

Of course, there is a difference in scale. The stakes in the Evergreen state do not include civil war, or invertention by a large, menacing neighboring power.

Pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko won the Ukrainian presidential election. Exit polling (by Western observers who had no interest in skewing it) showed Mr. Yushchenko with a 54%-43% lead over Kremlin-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Yet the government-announced results indicated a Yanukovych upset, 50%-47%.

Do I even need to point out the...oh, never mind. Besides, the difference here is that the election theft has, so far, been successful.

Yushchenko isn't taking it lying down. He took the oath of office (unofficially), and has hundreds of thousands of supporters taking to the streets to rally and protest. Though the outgoing regime of Leonid Kuchma certified the aforementioned official result, now the Ukrainian Supreme Court is saying, as SCs are want to do, "Not so fast." Some are raising the spectre of nationwide strikes, and even civil war.

Now perhaps this next thought is a tad Machiavellian, but this crisis seems to be tailor-made for Vladimir Putin's little-concealed ambition of rebuilding the old Evil Empire. It might be an overstatement to say that Putin is orchestrating Ukraininan events, but they're certainly working in his favor. By ensuring the ascension of a Kremlin-approved puppet regime in Kiev Putin would be effectively restoring the key component of the old Soviet Union. And if a civil war did break out, what better pretext could their be for making said restoration literal by intervening militarily to "restore order" and maybe even on the pretext of preventing exploitation of the crisis by "terrorists"?

That sure seems to be the thinking underlying the surprisingly strong U.S. reaction to the Ukrainian situation.

"Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday the United States cannot accept the results of elections in Ukraine, which the opposition says was marred by fraud.

"Powell warned 'there will be consequences' for the United States' relationship with Ukraine as a result of the developments in the former Soviet bloc nation. ...

"Powell said he spoke with outgoing Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma and urged that his government not crack down on demonstrators. He also spoke with other regional leaders, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Powell did not elaborate about his conversation with Lavrov, but said he advocated a solution to the crisis in Ukraine that is 'based on the law, using legal procedures.'"

The message to Putin appears clear: Back off, and let honest diplomacy function.

Of course, Secretary Powell didn't specify what "consequences" to which he was making reference. But Putin is not yet in a position to drop all pretense of rapproachment and cooperation with the United States in favor of a new Cold War.

He does, however, have a notable advantage: his man is, officially, the president-elect of Ukraine. As long as that remains the case - as it probably will - he can wait out the life cycle of Ukrainian outrage and American "objections," and then move on to the next piece on the world chessboard.

Hopefully the Bush Administration's policy is an indication that it knows "the game is [already] afoot."

And hopefully Mr. Yushchenko's efforts to regain what was stolen from him will be as successful as Governor-elect Rossi's to prevent that same fate.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Social Security Privatization Poison Pill

Here we go again with President Bush's biggest blind spot.

"Mexico and [the United States] agreed to introduce similar legislative initiatives whereby Mexican workers who paid into Social Security in the United States will be refunded their contributions when they return to their homeland, President Vicente Fox said here Monday.

"'The initiatives entail the recognition of all those (Mexicans) who have worked in the United States legally or otherwise, so they will have the right to the savings they accumulated while working in the neighboring country,' said Fox, who is visiting Ecuador."

Worked here illegally is what he neglected to mention.

Given the no-holds-barred, knock-down/drag-out, Katie-bar-the-door, Pier-6 brawl battle royal that enacted Social Security private accounts is going to be as it is, why on Earth is the President pissing in this roiling punch bowl with a flat-out give-away to millions of aliens who aren't even supposed to be here?

It really makes one wonder - especially when one sees stories like this one:

"More than any other leader of either political party, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton has been focusing on immigration reform and border security - taking hard-line positions that appeal to frustrated Republicans in a move that could guarantee her enough support in red states to win the White House in 2008."

Her hubby got elected in 1992 by getting to Pappy Bush's right on several core issues, peeling off a significant portion of the Republican base in the process. #1 son may have gotten a nominally greater percentage of the Hispanic vote this time via pandering such as that referenced above, but he's laying the ground-work for his would-be GOP successor to get waylaid by Whorellary in four years.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Did Bush Rescue His Detained Secret Service Detail, or Save His Own Life?

President Bush was in Santiago, Chile over the weekend at the APEC summit, when something odd happened, that may have had far more sinister implications.

The Washington Times describes the scene (the video can be found here):

"Mr. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush arrived at 8 p.m. local time yesterday at the Estacion Mapocho Cultural Center for the official dinner of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. After the first couple posed for photos with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and his wife, the four entered the doorway with a line of Chilean security guards and uniformed police closing quickly behind him.

"The President's lead agent approached the line of men as quickly as it closed and demanded to be allowed through. Within a few seconds, the confrontation began to escalate with voices being raised and shoving in all directions.

"During the fracas, another Secret Service agent was roughly pulled from the tumult and pushed against a concrete wall by Chilean security. A few seconds later, after posing for yet more pictures about 15 feet inside the doorway, Mr. Bush and the rest of the party turned to enter the dining room. But the president quickly turned his head to the growing din just outside. Mr. Bush calmly turned right as the other three continued on and inserted himself into the fight. The president reached over two rows of Chilean security guards, grabbed his lead agent by the shoulder of his suit jacket and began to pull.

"A few Chilean guards turned their heads and noticed that the arm draped over their shoulders was that of the president, and the line softened. Mr. Bush pulled his agent through, who was heard to say, 'Get your hands off me' as he passed roughly through the doorway."

Now that's a great Dubya story, as B4B and Powerline both observed - "In role reversal, Bush rescues Secret Service agent" - but it gets one to thinking. In this day and age, when even members of the domestic political opposition have expressed the desire to see George W. Bush assassinated, isn't it at least somewhat alarming to see foreign security personnel interfere with the President's Secret Service protection?

Dafydd ab Hugh certainly thought so in a rebuke to the Powerline gents:

"Judging from your comments, I don't think you guys realize the seriousness of what happened in Chile. Let me put it into perspective: the president has been marked for death by hundreds of terrorist groups; he is in a foreign country, one where there have been near contintuous riots against America and against him, personally, over the Iraq War; as he's walking into a banquet hall, the local police intentionally cut him off from his security detail.

"If the first thought that popped into your mind when you heard about that was not 'assassination,' then your mind is still laboring in a pre-9/11 world.

"It's entirely possible that rather than 'rescuing' his detained Secret Service detail, Bush in fact saved his own life. If there was a plan, if this wasn't just a random act of rudeness by the Chilean police (why would they do that?), then Bush's quick thinking may have forced the would-be attackers to abort the operation....

"There are a lot of people out there who want to see George W. Bush dead; alas, there are a lot of heads of state who would not shed a tear. In this day and age, when armed local cops intentionally cut the President off from his security detail, that should be taken as no less a violent act that when an anti-aircraft missile battery 'paints' an American plane with fire-control radar."

An American military officer stationed in Santiago pooh-poohed this incident as just a misunderstanding. But even if it was, it still interfered with the President's protection. And given the attention that it's drawn, I doubt the lesson was lost on the many groups, organizations, and crazies who'd like nothing better than sufficient opening to do the "world" the favor it bloodthirstily seeks.

Just as with counter-terrorism, the only "winning" percentage for the Secret Service is perfection. Given how much more difficult protecting the POTUS is post-9/11, it's imperative for them to make sure that no more such "poor coordination" ever happens again.

If We Don't De-Nuke Iran, the Israelis Will

Two articles over the weekend struck a clanging contrast with each other on the red-alert foreign policy issue of what to do about Iran's home-stretch drive to acquired nuclear weapons.

Writing in the Manchester Union-Leader, Nicholas Schmidle, a graduate student at American University in Washington who spent the summer of 2004 in Tehran, argues that our greatest asset is our popularity with the Iranian people, in stark comparison to their hatred of the mullahcracy.

"Of all the governments in the Middle East, the Iranian regime remains the most resolute in confronting the United States. The Iranian leaders' persistence in vilifying the U.S. illustrates the deep antagonisms between the two countries. Indeed, regime-generated anti-Americanism is the product of the Islamic ideology promoted by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but also a reflection of the tense and complex history of their relationship.

"Yet Iran itself suffers from internal contradictions that the mullahs wish did not exist. The Iranian people love America, and there is very little the government in Tehran can do to cool pro-Americanism on the streets. In an ironic twist of political fate, 25 years after the Islamic revolution, Washington probably influences public opinion in Iran more than the Islamic regime. The Iranian government unwittingly created pro-Americanism in their country; Washington should be diligent not to unwittingly destroy it.

How would we do that? By invading the country to prevent the mullahs from going nuclear, of course.

"Just beneath the veneer of avid pro-Americanism, the Iranian mind is crowded with a vivid sense of nationalism and memory of past American deeds. Kaveh, a doctoral student at Tehran University's faculty of law, illustrates the complexity of Iranian relations with the United States. One evening, Kaveh railed against the Islamic regime. 'This government is not a "national" government,' he said. 'They only care about their family, friends and their pockets.' The next night, Kaveh knocked at my door and handed over a note. It explained that he thought my room was under surveillance and our conversations were being recorded. He wanted to resume our discussion 'on tape,' but this time, direct his diatribe toward the America government. It quickly became apparent to me that he was as passionate in his criticism of the U.S. as he was of his own government. 'The United States is only looking to establish an economic and militaristic foothold in the region,' he contended. 'They want Iraq to be another Okinawa.'

Schmidle's conclusion? "While many Iranians remain predominantly pro-American in a region where anti-Americanism spreads quickly, U.S. policymakers should respect the prevailing complexities of the Iranian polity. Just because there is a reserve of good will for America doesn't mean Washington can take it for granted. For while keeping a lid on Tehran's nuclear program might not be within Washington's means, preventing an explosion of Iranian nationalism is.

"As I was cautioned by Hamid, a 25 year-old student activist, 'If one U.S. soldier comes to Iran, all this [positive sentiment toward America] will change. It is like we are in the 90th minute of a soccer match. Anything can happen.'"

I could buy this if there was any indication anywhere that this simmering unrest I keep reading about actually stood a chance of boiling over into a popular revolt that could overthrow the Islamist regime. Even as hardboiled a realpolitiker as NRO's Michael Ledeen has spoken far more often of helping the Iranian people reclaim their own country than of our invading to effect regime-change ourselves. And nowhere in Schmidle's piece is there the slightest hint of such a revolt. His is an argument for maintaining an untenable, increasingly combustible status quo in order to preserve an essentially empty and meaningless strategic asset.

As is my recurring theme on this topic, the eight-hundred-pound gorilla nobody wants to acknowledge is Tehran's headlong hurtling toward nuclear weapons, a horrifying possibility that could become reality next year, if indeed it hasn't already. Given the mullahs' well-earned reputation as terrorism central, their harboring of al Qaeda, and their oft-declared intention to eradicate Israel, we are faced with at least regional Armageddon, and soon, whether we like it or not, Iranian popular opinion be damned.

So observes Caroline B. Glick in the Jerusalem Post. Leave it to a principle Israeli publication to not waste time with pussy-footing and get right down to brass tacks.

Her first sentence throws the brutal reality of the situation into the full light of day, like a skillsaw fart during communal prayer, visceral, unmistakable, and unavoidable:

"The agreement that France, Germany and Britain reached with Iran this week signals that the diplomatic option of dealing with Iran's nuclear weapons program no longer exists."

Ms. Glick goes on at great length and to devastating effect to lay out how the Iranians have effortlessly manipulated the Euros, particularly France's maniacal anti-American perfidy, to both isolate ourselves and Israel even from the Brits, and prevent any direct pre-emptive action to abort Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

"In the unlikely event that the issue is ever turned over to the [U.N.] Security Council [the principle announced objective of the Bush Administration], France will veto sanctions even if Russia and China could be bought off to abstain. As the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal has shown, even if sanctions were to be levied, there is no credible way to enforce them."

So, as British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said recently, "I don't see any circumstances in which military action would be justified against Iran, full stop." Right?

Wrong. Unfortunately for the striped-pants-and-stability crowd, there is, as usual, one crucial factor they have failed to consider: Israel cannot accept a nuclear Iran.

"So where does this leave the Jews who, in the event that Iran goes nuclear, will face the threat of annihilation? Crunch time has arrived. It is time for Israel's leaders to go to Washington and ask the Americans point blank if they plan to defend Europe as Europe defends Iran's ability to attain the wherewithal to destroy the Jewish state. It must be made very clear to the White House that the hour of diplomacy faded away with the European Trio's latest ridiculous agreement with the mullahs. There is no UN option. Europe has cast its lot with the enemy of civilization itself."

In short, there is going to be war with Iran, and we cannot escape involvement in it. The only question is, just as with Desert Storm/Shield and Iraqi Freedom next store, whether we'll fight it directly and overwhelmingly with as few complications as possible, or hang back, force the Israelis against the wall to where they feel like they have to strike, and get dragged into a far more unpredictable conflict over which we have far less control, where the chances of disaster are vastly greater.

If the Iranian people are truly favorable towards us, they'll understand. If not, their fickle pride can hardly be allowed to be an obstacle to the elimination of a garish threat to regional stability and American national security.

If Iran is allowed to go nuclear, the GWOT cannot be won.

The stakes are literally that high.

It's as simple as that.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Clinton Presidential Landfill

I thought people were kidding about this thing looking like a double-wide, but they're not....

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not at all appalled, as I would have been if they had, say, torn down the White House and replaced it with something like this. Not only is Mr. Bill's glass and steel monstrosity entirely appropriate for the sordid contents and mendacities contained within, but it reminds me of Gary Aldrich's description of decorating the Clinton Christmas trees in his book Unlimited Access.

"Sure enough, in 1993, I was invited back to assist in hanging the Christmas decorations, but I declined. I was fed up with the attitude of the Clinton administration and its endless scandals.

"Just before Decorating Saturday, I ran into some of my old team members from the previous Christmas. They were next to the Oval Office working on wreaths....

"'Gary, how you doing? I hear you can't help us this year. Why not?'

"I made a flimsy excuse and avoided eye contact.

"'Well, don't feel too bad about it, pal. You aren't missing anything. You wouldn't believe what they're calling "Christmas decorations" this year. It's unbelievable. In fact, it's downright disgraceful. There's this one ornament, a clear lucite block, and inside are some old computer parts, and that's a Christmas ornament, see?'

"My other former team member chimed in, 'Yeah, it's true, and there's all of this carved dark wood, not resembling much of anything - just sticks and twigs tied together. They look like fertility gods or something. We can't tell.'

"'Yeah, and there are pots and carvings, some that look kind of obscene, and boxes, but nowhere can we find anything that resembles Christmas. Nowhere.'

"'And have you seen Bertha?'

"Yes, I had seen Bertha - big, ebony Bertha. Bertha was a statue that Hillary had selected to be placed along the public tour line. About eleven other examples of modern art were in the Jackie Kennedy Garden. Bertha was twice life-size and was very naked. In addition, Bertha had enormous buttocks, far out of proportion to the rest of her body.

"That is why the permanent White House staff named her Bertha, which was short for 'Bertha's Big Ass.' This is what the first lady considered appropriate for the eyes of the thousands and thousands of visitors who daily toured the White House - Bertha's Big Ass.

"I could just hear my child saying, 'Daddy, why doesn't that lady have any clothes on? Daddy, why does she have such a big, fat ass?'

"Later that same day, I drove to the Cannon House Office Building for some interviews. As I waited at a stop light, I looked over at the national Christmas tree. What a sight it was. Gone were the multicolored Christmas balls and other ornaments that traditionally symbolized Christmas. Gone was the star from the top of the tree, symbolizing the night when Christ was born.

"Instead, on top of the tree was a large stainless-steel ball pierced by colored shafts. It looked like the ball that sat atop the Daily Planet building in the Superman comic books I read as a child. This ball and the square and triangle tinfoil ornaments made the tree look like a robot. I couldn't wait to see what the Clintons and their friends would do the following year....

"I arrived early. Everyone was in a good mood, but I was surprised to hear the first family was at home. They had not gone to Camp David, as was traditional - that way, the decorating could go on undisturbed and they could be surprised when they returned for the great unveiling. Perhaps Hillary didn't trust us. She had, in fact, 'hired' some volunteers of her own. While in New York, Hillary had seen an office she thought was well-decorated. She ordered the staff to find the decorators and bring them down.

"The permanent White House staff wasn't wild about this idea, but, after all, it was the first lady's show, and everyone understood that it would be done the way Hillary Clinton wanted it done.

"'Gary, you and your team will work on the Blue Room tree.'

"What? I had been 'fired' two years before from the Blue Room tree, the first lady's tree, for complete decorative incompetence. 'They must have forgotten,' I thought....

"The GSA, Park Service, and Residence maintenance staff had erected all the trees. Some staff were on high ladders, hanging evergreen garlands. We gathered around folding tables to unpack the ornament boxes.

"It took about ten seconds to get the first reaction: 'What in the world?'

"Then another: 'What the hell?'

"Then another: 'Look at this thing! What is it?'

"'Hillary's ornaments is what!'

"From one end of the hall to the other, about forty people were picking up these 'things,' staring at them, turning them around, trying to figure them out or stifle their embarrassed laughter. I turned to one of my team members. 'What are these things?'

"'I heard the theme is The Twelve Days of Christmas, as interpreted by art students from around the country. Hillary sent a letter out just two months ago, really late actually, asking budding artists to send in an interpretation of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and this is what they came up with.'

"I couldn't believe what I was looking at. 'This stuff is just childish garbage! We can't hang this stuff on any White House Christmas tree! This is a bad joke.'

"'Gary, the orders from the first lady's office are to hang these. It's what she wants, so we have to hang them. Anyway, many of them are from "blue ribbon" art schools, as designated by the Secretary of Education. The whole administration has a stake in this.'

"'Well, if this is blue ribbon, then we're in serious trouble, educationally.' I pulled out one ornament that was five real onion rings ("five golden rings") glued to a white styrofoam tray, with a hook attached to the back so it could be hung. But where? Maybe in Bill Clinton's bedroom so he could rip off a midnight snack?

"I was disgusted, but some of it was actually pretty funny.

"'Gary, come here, look at this!' It was a mobile of twelve lords-a-leaping. They were leaping, all right. The ornament consisted of tiny clay male figurines. Each was naked and had an enormous erection. My friend said, 'Whoops!' and dropped it on the floor. Then, 'Oh, no!' as he stomped on it. He joked, 'Man, I hope I don't get in trouble with Hillary for that!'

"Some of the ornaments were silly and some were dangerous, like the crack pipes hung on a string. We couldn't figure out what crack pipes had to do with Christmas no matter how hard we tried, so we threw them back in the box. Some ornaments were constructed out of various drug paraphenalia, like syringes, heroin spoons, or roach clips, which are colorful devices sometimes adorned with bird feathers and used to hold marijuana joints.

"Two turtle doves became two figurines that had the shells of turtles but the heads of birds; there were many of these. Four calling birds were - you guessed it - birds with a telephone, and there were at least two miniature phone booths with four birds inside using the telephone. There was a partridge in a pear, without the tree - a clay pear with a severed partridge head sticking out of it. Three French hens were French-kissing in a menage a trois. So many of the ornaments didn't celebrate Christmas as much as they celebrated sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Several of the birds had dark glasses and were blowing saxophones.

"'Hey, Gary. Come over here.' I walked over. It was another leaping lords ornament. Each 'lord' had a wooden body with a photograph of Rush Limbaugh for a head. A dozen dittoheads, suitable for hanging, but nobody had the guts to hang Rush Limbaugh from Hillary's tree, so back in the box it went....

"I went over to one of the tables I hadn't look at yet. What's this? Of course. Two turtle doves, but they didn't have shells this time - they were joined together in an act of bird fornication.

"I picked up another ornament that was supposed to illustrate five golden rings. One of the male florist volunteers grabbed my arm and laughed and laughed.

"'What's so funny? What are you laughing at?'

"'Don't you know what you're holding?'

"No, I didn't, but he was happy to explain it to me: the golden rings I was holding were sex toys know as 'cock rings' - and they had nothing to do with chickens.

"Another mystery ornament was the gingerbread man. How did he fit into The Twelve Days of Christmas? Then I got it. There were five small, golden rings I hadn't seen at first: one in his ear, one in his nose, one through his nipple, one through his belly button, and, of course, they ever-popular cock ring.

"I couldn't believe the disrespect that these ornaments represented. Many of the artists invited to make and send something to hang on the tree must have had nothing by disgust, hatred, and disrespect for the White House and the citizens of this country, a disgust obviously encouraged by the first lady in the name of 'artistic freedom.'

[Is this sounding familiar....?]

"I thought of all the children, grandmothers, and grandfathers walking past the White House's Blue Room, looking at the first lady's Christmas tree and wondering what in hell had possessed the White House.

"Here was another five golden rings ornament - five gold-wrapped condoms. I threw them in the trash. There were other condom ornaments, some still in the wrapper, some not. Two sets had been 'blown' into balloons and tied to small trees. I wasn't sure what the connection was to The Twelve Days of Christmas. Condoms on a pear tree?

"When we were through, the first lady's tree had all the beauty and majesty of a landfill."

That concluding phrase captures not just the Clintons' White House Christmas trees, but their entire misbegotten, malfeasant hijacking of the presidency, and certainly this tacky post-modernist dump on the banks of the Arkansas River, complete with "saxophone row" and an entire shank (er, wing) devoted to, that's right, the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy". Even the opening ceremony was appropo - dank, dreary, and depressing, held in a driving November downpour the assembled "blue"-staters (Presidents Bush wouldn't have been if they'd had a politic choice - not unlike how Big Media and Hollywoodies would never have set foot in a hick backwater like Little Rock for any other reason) didn't have the collectiv(ist) sense to get out of, so mordantly nostaglic were they for the "rock star" hero who single-handedly laid waste to their party yet whose zeitgeist they are incapable of letting go, even as he rapidly catches up to Jimmy Carter in wizened, grizzled, stooped-over troll-like appearance.

Guests stayed at the same hotel at which then-Governor Clinton propositioned Paula Jones (aka the Kiss-It Hilton). It even had a stroll down impeachment lane, when the following exchange took place between Mr. Bill and Peter Jennings:

JENNINGS (Discussing rankings by presidential historians]: They gave you a forty-first in terms of moral authority - after Nixon.

CLINTON: They're wrong about that. You know why they're wrong about it? They're wrong about it.

JENNINGS: Why, sir?

CLINTON: Because we had $100 million spent against us in all these inspections. ... In spite of it all, you don't have any example where I ever lied to the American people about my job, where I have let the American people down. And I had more support from the world when I quit than when I started. And I will go to my grave being at peace about it. And I don't really care about what they think.

JENNINGS: Oh, yes you do.

CLINTON: They have no idea ...

JENNINGS: Excuse me, Mr. President. I can feel it across the room. You care very deeply.

CLINTON: No, no. I care. I care. You don't want to go here, Peter. You don't want to go here. Not after what your people did. And the way you - your network - what you did with Kenneth Starr. The way your people repeated every little sleazy thing he did. No one has any idea of what that's like.

Oh, yeah, he's "moved on."

A waggish high school classmate of mine once opined that, from the air, our school looked like a "giant Triscuit." I once depicted Clinton, sitting in the Oval Office staring out into the Rose Garden, dreaming of sandblasting Mt. Rushmore clean of the busts of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, and replacing them with a gargantuan sculpture of his aroused genitalia. "It'll be the world's biggest bathroom wall," I imagined him saying as he beheld his equivalent of Nebechudnezzar's golden statue in his mind's eye. He probably won't get that, but I suspect that an aeriel view of "Clinton Library and Massage Parlor" provides a Monica's-eye-view of essentially the same narcissized sight. Very symbolic, in fact, of what Bill Clinton did to America, his own party, and what the latter is still trying to do to the land of the free and the home of the brave to this day.

And look what he, and they, have to show for it: a glorified landfill and a handful of sullen, cock-ringed, fat-assed, heathen mourners, who have no idea just how long, and much, they actually have to lament.

Goes to show that it does, indeed, rain on the unjust as well as the just.

This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse

"New York Senator Hillary Clinton warned Thursday that she already sees signs of corruption, with Republicans firmly in control of the House, the Senate and the White House."

Doesn't seem possible that we in the guts of the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" could ever forget the outrageous, jaw-dropping, teeth-grinding audacity that was the Clinton stock-in-trade. Such reminders will be ever more useful as Medusa's 2008 coronation draws nigh.

Losing in Advance, Yet Again

Well, as I cynically predicted two weeks ago, yet hoped fervently against, Senator Arlen Specter has been given the GOP seal of approval to be the next Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Which means we can kiss any hope of dislodging the judicial nomination logjam, and with it the last chance of bringing down the Imperial Judiciary, goodbye - this time, most likely, for good.

What explains this rabidly stubborn refusal of Republicans to learn from mistakes they endlessly repeat? How can it possibly be that the GOP, within two and a half weeks of its most comprehensive national triumph since the Coolidge Administration, has conceded a substantial portion of that hard-won mandate back to the Democrats? Why are conservatives afraid to win?

This time I'm not even bringing the Hugh Hewitt "pre-emptive surrender" crowd into it. I'm referring to others who recognized the overt threat the pusillanimous Pennsylvania pissant posed to the President's possible picks (among other issues, like tort reform) and yet are now in full rationalization mode.

"For Specter to be denied his chairmanship would have been a good thing, but yesterday it was confirmed that that is not going to happen. What has happened is even better," John Tabin wrote on the American Spectator site yesterday.

"Yesterday the famously prickly Specter issued a remarkably deferential statement, prepared at the behest of his fellow committee members, saying in part:

I have assured the President that I would give his nominees quick committee hearings and early committee votes so floor action could be promptly scheduled...

I... will use my best efforts to stop any future filibusters... If a rule change is necessary to avoid filibusters, there are relevant recent precedents to secure rule changes with 51 votes.

I intend to consult with my colleagues on the committee's legislative agenda, including tort reform, and we'll have balanced hearings with all viewpoints represented.

I have long objected to the tactic used in bottling up civil rights legislation in the Judiciary Committee when it should have gone to the floor for an up-or-down vote. Accordingly I would not support committee action to bottle up legislation or a constitutional amendment, even one which I personally opposed, reserving my own position for the floor."

Talk is cheap, right? Especially now, when Senate 'Pubbies actually had him over the only barrel he cared about. Amazingly, Tabin doesn't think so:

"One needn't simply take his word when Arlen assures us that he's no longer Snarlin'. Specter is caught in a virtuous cycle of mutual back-scratching with his junior Senator, Rick Santorum, the third-ranking Senate Republican who worked behind the scenes to save Specter's hide. First elected during the Republican wave of 1994 with just 49% of the vote and reelected in 2000 with just 52% of the vote against a weak Democratic challenger whom he outspent three to one, Santorum will be among the most vulnerable incumbents in 2006. [Not a universally held opinion by any means] Specter's debt to Santorum involves helping calm suburbanite voters who, wary of Santorum's staunch social conservatism, might be inclined to support a Democrat in large numbers. But perhaps more importantly, it means not turning conservatives against Santorum. Santorum will no doubt campaign in part on his ability, thanks to his leadership position, to advance the interests of Pennsylvania, and coming to Specter's aid may be cited as an example; it won't do for Specter's behavior over the next two years to anger Santorum's base."

The above is based upon two unsubstantiated assumptions: (1) that Specter's word can be trusted; and (2) that Specter gives a rat's ass what happens to Senator Santorum. Need I remind you all of the "Kerry-Specter" signs that sprinkled the Keystone state landscape this past year, in the immediate aftermath of Santorum and President Bush saving Specter's primary bacon from conservative rising star Pat Toomey? It would be entirely in character for Snarlin' Arlen to blow off this supposed "debt" and leave Santorum to twist slowly in the wind, if not back a RINO primary challenge against him. Such treachery is what the man is most famous for.

Finally comes this utter flight of fancy:

"If Specter makes trouble for conservative nominees during the next two years, his betrayal, he must now realize, will have consequences. His fellow Senators were nearly willing to throw away precedents to deny him his chairmanship because of conservative mistrust of the kind of things Specter might do as Judiciary Chairman; Specter would be a fool to give them an immediately recent record to point to."

What consequences? If Senate Republicans weren't "fully" willing to deny him the Judiciary gavel in the first place, what in the world is there to suggest that they'll be even "nearly" willing to take it away from him when - not "if" - he becomes Pat Leahy's remote control?

"The GOP seems to think that the only important political issues are those on the immediate political agenda," wrote NR's John O'Sullivan nearly four years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the Florida Insurrection. "They have an actual aversion to raising sensitive issues that have no immediate political payoff." Four years later, nothing has changed. GOPers refrained from pulling the trigger on passing over Snarlin' Arlen out of unfounded fears that he would lead a RINO stampede across the aisle, wiping out the gains made in the election. This despite no less than Lincoln Chafee's recent rebuff of newly-minted Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's unsubtle seduction to make him 2005's answer to Triple-J. Yet they've now handed the Judiciary Chair over to a man who is an ideological foe, an iconoclastic grandstander, and whose word has repeatedly proven to mean nothing. And it's not going to be long in coming back to bite them in the ass.

"Until Republicans realize that today's political battles were decided yesterday, and that tomorrow's will be decided today, they will continue to lose in advance and to repent in retrospect," O'Sullivan concluded. To that counsel now has to be added the realization that any political battle - to say nothing of the next election battle in 2006 - is lost before it begins when you put a turncoat in command.

No More House Coups-by-Suits

Brother Hinderaker has the precisely right take on the freshly-passed "DeLay Rule":

"Ronnie Earle, the Democratic District Attorney in Travis County, Texas, is a notorious partisan who has a history of bringing politically-motivated indictments.

"In September, Earle indicted three aides to Tom DeLay, accusing them of financial improprieties in connection with the Texas legislative elections in 2002. Earle alleges that the aides engaged in 'money laundering.' What happened is that a number of corporations, including Sears, made contributions to the Republican National Committee. The RNC made contributions to Republican legislative candidates, which corporations are not permitted to do.

"That's it. That's the purported 'crime.' Needless to say, these sorts of contributions are made constantly by both parties. Earle's charges are ludicrous, and were made (less than two months before the election) for the sole purpose of embarrassing Delay. The charges will be dismissed and will soon be forgotten.

"It is entirely reasonable to believe, however, that in the meantime, Earle may also indict the Majority Leader. It would be an outrageous injustice for a single, politically-motivated district attorney to dictate who is eligible to serve in a leadership position in the House of Representatives. Thus, the rule change is wise and appropriate."

It also brings GOP caucus rules into line with the ones House Democrats already have.

Inexplicable worry-warts like John Podhoretz need to do a political reality check. The DisLoyal Opposition used criminal persecution to destroy the Speakership of Newt Gingrich. They seek to similarly destroy Tom DeLay for the very same reason - his success in beating the Democrats at their own political game. There is no reason on God's green Earth why Republicans should pretend there's bipartisan moral equivalence and hand the other side their superior ethical virtue as a weapon of mass manipulation.

We don't expect our military troops to go into battle unarmed. Why should we expect it of their political counterparts?

France has Joined the Axis of Evil

A few more pieces of evidence:

* The French are fighting in Iraq after all - for the enemy.

The BBC reports that three Frenchmen died fighting for the terrorists in Iraq. At least a dozen other Frenchmen have traveled to Iraq to join the insurgency, but this report is probably grossly underestimated. (Hat Tip: Captain Ed)

* The Jerusalem Post reports the following:

"In a move that angered French Jews, the French broadcasting authority (CSA) announced on its site Friday that it has finalized an agreement with Hizbullah's Al-Manar television, allowing the controversial anti-Israel broadcaster to remain on the airwaves in France.

"In January 2003, over the Muslim festive season of Ramadan, Al-Manar broadcast Al-Shatat, meaning Diaspora, which portrayed the history of Jews and Zionism from 1812 till 1948. Based on the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Syrian-produced program alludes to a Jewish conspiracy for world domination, inspired by the Talmud, and shows, among other incitement-charged scenes, a group of Jews, acting on the orders of a rabbi, killing a Christian toddler to use his blood in baking matzots for Passover.

"[S]ome programming broadcast on Al-Manar 'depicts violence toward civilian populations in a favorable light,' and could incite hatred among religious or national groups and 'bring trouble to the public order.'"

"Representatives of Jewish organizations in France were outraged by the agreement.

"'This is very serious for France's Jewish community ... these terrorists are used to the worst kind of lies,' said Roger Cukierman, CRIF president. 'These are people that we should not be dealing with. I feel the attitude of the French government in this affair is distressing. We are scandalized by the total redirection in the position of the CSA.'"

In light of the long, disgusting French tradition of anti-Semitism, they really shouldn't be.

* The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that Ba'athism has found a new home:

"With the defeat of the Saddam Hussein regime on April 9, 2003, the Ba'th ruling party was outlawed and a committee for the de-Ba'thification of Iraq was established. However, the Ba'th's propaganda machine appears to have found a new abode in Paris, France, whence threats to the U.S. are issued regularly in three languages - English, French, and Spanish.

"The resurrection of the Ba'th Party on French soil was further strengthened by France's proposal that representatives of 'la resistance' should participate in any future conference that will be convened to discuss the future of Iraq. This position was clearly stated by Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, in an interview with the French TV station France Inter. In the interview, Mr. Barnier called for a political process in Iraq that would include 'a number of groups and people who have today opted for the path of resistance through the use of weapons.'"

* Another Jerusalem Post piece lays out Black Jacques Chirac's global ambitions thusly:

"Chirac's statement exposes, once again, France's main interest in international affairs today. To wit: France wishes only to box in the US to the point that the Americans will not be able to continue to fight the war against terrorism. The French do this not because they necessarily like terrorists. They do this because as Chirac has said many times, he views the central challenge of our time as developing a 'multipolar' world. France's obsession with multipolarity stems from Chirac's perception that his country's primary aim is not to free the world from Islamic terror, but to weaken the US."

And to think that John Kerry was going to kiss the ass of this abruti poignardant-arrière.

It's a pity we couldn't have defeated Nazi Germany without liberating France. These days the difference between the two is getting smaller and smaller all the time.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Liberals are Racists

Click on the links below and then try to refute it. Go on. I dare you. I'm begging you.

Oliphant Doonesbury Danziger Mirror

And trust me, it isn't anything new....

Sino-Iranian Axis

These three stories have come over the wires in the past five days.

1) The Khan network of Pakistan has already given the Iranian mullahcracy the necessary plans for nuclear weapons as well as a small amount of weapons-grade uranium.

2) The United States has intelligence indicating Iran is trying to fit missiles to carry nuclear weapons.

3) While the U.S. is "aggressively" pressuring the government of Iran to curtail its nuclear program, the Bush Administration does not seek "regime change" in Tehran.

If that all weren't sobering enough, now check out this blurb:

"Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the growing Iran-China alliance is the Islamic republic's access to the improving technology being developed, deployed and utilized by the People's Liberation Army.

"Nowhere are U.S. concerns greater than in the area of ballistic missile technology. American officials have sanctioned Chinese companies for improperly transferring such technology in January 2002 and as recently as early this year, but that hasn't stopped the transfers, experts and analysts believe.

"And now, as Iran continues to develop its nuclear program, U.S., European and Israeli officials worry Iran is using the missile technology to build better weapons – weapons that eventually could carry nuclear warheads."

And the Bush Administration doesn't seek the liberation of Iran? That may be - hell, it is - the only available means of preventing the world's principle terrorist state from acquiring doomsday weaponry that we know they will not hesitate to use.

As to the ChiComms, I don't know what to say. We haven't had a sensible, realistic China policy in over thirty years, and Dubya has done nothing to change that. Maybe he's had his plate full the past few years, but that's not likely to diminish over the next four - particularly if we're not going to deal with the mullahs while there's still time to squash their regime, and its nuclear ambitions along with it.

I dunno. Given what's lurking and looming ahead in the not too distant future, one can make the case that Americans re-elected George W. Bush to be the political equivalent of a kamikaze pilot, making the tough decisions and agonizing calls the nation's survival and preservation need that will also destroy him in the process.

And if he ducks the mullahs, particularly in light of the ChiComm connection....well, there will likely be substantially fewer Americans to eviscerate him for his Kerryian dereliction.


This pretty much speaks for itself:


I'm sorry. You were right. We deserve to be blown up.

After last Tuesday, well... what can I say? You had us pegged dead-on the first time--although I was in denial and refused to believe it up until now. We as a nation obviously ARE a bunch of mindless sheep, grown fat with consumerism and easily led down the primrose path into corruption. After what happened November 2, there's just no denying it anymore. I'm ashamed that I was so blind for so long.

After 60% of eligible voters turned out and 51% of those voted for Bush, I can't do anything but concede your point: There are no innocents left in America. We've brought this on ourselves. Go ahead and do your worst. We've got it coming - in a big way. All I ask is this: Give New York a break, okay? And leave New England, California, and the rest of the West Coast out of it as well. We're on your side already! Please, stay focused and plan your next attack against the real enemy: those "red states" in the middle of the map. Fly a Cessna into the stands of a NASCAR rally. Put a suicide bomber on the Arch in St. Louis. Drive a truck-bomb into the Grand Ole Opry. Release anthrax at an Astros game. It's all good! They've got it coming. I'm just sorry it took me so long to figure out how very right you were. Can you ever forgive me?

No, asshole, he won't forgive you. And if al Qaeda does manage to get another attack through our homeland defenses, I hope you're sitting right smack at the next ground zero, that you see it coming, and that in those last few terrifying moments you remember the above - and realize that you're getting precisely what you deserve.

Hat tip to Blogs4Bush, Dean's World, Improved Clinch and No Treason.

Our Military Can Conquer Iraq in 3 Weeks, But It Runs Away from the ACLU

Does it strike anybody besides me as a profoundly pathetic contrast that while our troops are battling Islamist jihadi terrorists overseas, here at home the Pentagon can't muster the courage to tell their domestic atheist Boy Scout-bashing counterparts to go pound sand?

American Legion National Commander Thomas P. Cadmus definitely noticed.

"The idea that sponsorship of Scouting by American military units is 'unconstitutional' goes beyond the absurd, even well past the point of stupidity," Cadmus wrote. "How is it the government can fund chapels on military bases, and Chaplains in the military, but not accommodate Scouting? Why is it that the rank of Eagle Scout is an attribute highly sought in candidates for military academies, but will soon become unwelcome on military bases? How is it the Congress can sanction Scouting by issuing them a federal charter, but the courts can declare them 'outlaws'?

"Is there no one in Washington, D.C., at the highest levels of government that will stand up for Scouts, for Scouting and support this movement that has long been an institution of highest reputation in America?" Cadmus asked. "Where's the President? Where's his Cabinet? Where's the Congress? What are the courts doing? Where is the outrage?

"For certain, outrage over this and other actions taken against the Boy Scouts of America in recent times is, today, reverberating through the ranks of The American Legion," Cadmus said.

"On behalf of the 2.7 million men and women of the Legion, I am asking you to hold the line of assault on the Scouts. Stand up to the ACLU. Find a way to give those who serve our nation the chance to serve their children. Do what is necessary to blend the private organization that Scouting is with the military organization of our Republic. It has been done freely and openly for almost 100 years – That's a precedent that cannot be disregarded."

Today came a story warning that the DoD's craven capitulation could have a detrimental impact on recruitment.

"Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, told Wednesday that with the Pentagon's new edict to military bases, a condition of settling a lawsuit filed by American Civil Liberties Union, the military is sending the wrong kind of message.

"'I don't think the Department of Defense should endorse that mind-set [of ACLU] by making a deal or capitulating prior to litigation or taking a step that really would be, I think, very disturbing to the people who are the primary constituency of the military in terms of recruiting,' Donnelly said.

"Donnelly suggested that the Pentagon's decision to settle wouldn't be popular because 'people don't support the ACLU' and its attempt to 'eliminate ... expressions of religion by independent organizations' such as the Boy Scouts.

"A backlash is sure to happen, she said, from 'the people who support their sons and daughters in the decision to volunteer for the armed forces. The same type of families...would be very disturbed to see the Department of Defense cowed by the ACLU,' she said.

"'Is the Department of Defense now going to treat the Boy Scouts as some kind of a pariah organization, not worthy of any kind of support?' she asked.

Didn't we just have an election? Didn't "Jesusland" win? Is it too much to expect the most conservative of institutions to display the same size cajones in a DC court room as it is in the steets of Fallujah?

"Going Nuclear" with Snarlin' Arlen in Possession of the "Football"

There's been quite a lot of talk since the election, and the GOP gains therein, about Senate Republicans putting that muscled up majority (which may be increasing if Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson either jumps or accepts the Bush Administration's offer to be Secretary of Agriculture) to good use by changing the rules to prohibit filibusters against judicial nominees.

Some inexplicably timid voices are urging restraint, which would be in essence to piss away the gains made in an election that was conducted, on the President's side, on the specific proviso of breaking Democrat obstructionism. Others, recognizing the opportunity to de-imperialize the federal bench that is before conservatives, as well as the greater loss to be suffered from the GOP betraying its own base as opposed to "alienating moderates," and the practical reality that only by "going nuclear" can Senate Dems be thwarted, urge moving full speed ahead, and firing torpedoes in lieu of damning them.

What I find interesting, particularly in light of reports that Senator Arlen Specter is winning over his eternally naive GOP colleagues, is that if, from the lib perspective, the backstop of Dem filibusters is removed, Snarlin' Arlen, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, becomes the Left's last line of defense against the redemption of the courts.

Can anybody, knowing Specter's prickly, iconoclastic history, doubt for a moment that in those circumstances-of-a-lifetime he would not stick it up the President and his own party balls-deep?

If changing the rules is "going nuclear," handing the Judiciary gavel to Arlen Specter is like the warheads blowing up in their silos before they're launched.

Desperate ABC

Can we cut through the BS on this Nicolette Sheridan/TO Monday Night Football skit?

First, everybody knew about it in advance. The NFL knew, the Philadelphia Eagles knew, ABC knew, EVERYBODY knew. Promotional activities do not take place in a vacuum.

Second, ABC and the NFL knew that there would be a negative reaction after the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake "wardrobe malfunction" stunt, and had the pre-canned apologies and tut-tutting all ready to go.

Third, this "skit"'s purpose was not to promote Desperate Housewives, which is, regrettably, already a huge hit. It was to drum up additional viewers for Monday Night Football, the ratings for which have been in the toilet for years. ABC tried to generate cross-over appeal with Dennis Miller, and then John Madden, to no avail. So now they have a gorgeous starlet who plays a whore on a popular show take off her clothes and seduce an NFL star playing in this past Monday's MNF offering.

Fourth, while the sports/entertainment world is definitely talking about MNF, one has to wonder if this is the kind of publicity ABC really wants. As Jim Caple points out today, this is far from the first time that that network has mixed T&A with the NFL. The difference is that in the past instances he points out, it was MNF giving the rub to other ABC programming, not the reverse. It hardly seems likely that viewers who tune into Desperate Housewives but not MNF are going to be encouraged to take in a football game because of this stunt. Rather, it just makes ABC look desperate for sinking to such depths to try and save a long-declining prime time franchise that is on life-support.

The saddest part about it all is that, for all the patently phony apologies, nobody is really taking any responsibility. "Blue" America and "red" America indulge in the rhetoricizing typical of each, but in the end the "blues" win hands-down because of the very tactics employed. Just splatter "inappropriate material" across the screen unannounced and then contrive contrition as ass-covering. It couldn't be any more cynical, but once something like this airs, the damage is done, and broadcasting standards are eroded that much more.

Who knows? Next time it might be Nicolette Sheridan and Teri Hatcher mud-wrestling nude over Tom Brady. And ABC will "apologize profusely," decent people will howl in frustrated outrage, and the amoral barbarians will snickeringly tell the rest of us to just "change the channel."

All I can say is, thank God for cable. You can't go wrong with the History Channel.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Can't Somebody Muzzle Chris Matthews Already?

BSNBC's Chris Matthews, on last night's Hardball, posing a morally dumbassed question about the alleged shooting of a wounded Fallujah terrorist by a United States marine:

"Well, let me ask you about this. If this were the other side, and we were watching an enemy soldier - a rival, I mean they're not bad guys especially, just people who just disagree with us, they are in fact the insurgents, fighting us in their country - if we saw one of them do what we saw our guy do to that guy, would we consider that worthy of a war crimes charge?" [my emphasis]

You know, I don't know why anybody to the right of Fidel Castro even goes on that f'ing travesty of a program. Ever since Matthews shouted, bullied, and all but physically threw Michelle Malkin off his set, I've had no more use for the aggravating bastard. Okay, I've never had any use for him, but I'm talking "put an axe through my TV" no use.

If I had been Ken Allard, Matthews' hapless retired military guest, I would have removed my mic, gotten up, and left the studio. Either that or verbally gutted him from asshole to bellybutton for drawing grotesquely ignorant moral equivalence between an American soldier taking no chances with his life and those of his unit by making sure all the terrorists in that particular Fallujah mosque were dead - precisely the sort of situation in which our troops have been subjected to booby traps and possum-playing ambushes - and the demonspawn who get off on beheading innocent victims and seek to eradicate us by the millions.

I love how Brother Hinderaker cast this incident:

"Regrettably, one of the hideous, twisted beings who had tormented Fallujah's residents survived the Marines' initial assault on a mosque the day before yesterday. Fortunately, he was killed by a Marine who arrived the following day and, seeing that the terrorist was still alive, finished him off."


Thus should it be for all Islamist petaQ.

I'd settle for a permanent muzzle on Herr Matthews.

Or a transfer to al-Jazeera, where he'd fit right in.

Go Ahead and Secede, "Blue" States; George Bush's Union Will Squash You Like 19 Grapes

Mackubin Thomas Owens posted a fun piece on the secession craze sweeping the post-Apocalypse (i.e. Bush's re-election) Left.

He begins with a straight rebuke of the "neo-fireaters":

"On one hand, I don't think much of the concept of secession. Several years ago I wrote The Case Against Secession, in which, following Lincoln, I observed that...

Secession constitutes a repudiation of republican government as understood by the Founders....When the States ratified the Constitution of 1787, they pledged that they would accept the results of elections conducted according to its rules. In violation of this pledge, the Southern States seceded because they did not like the outcome of the election of 1860. Thus secession is the interruption of the constitutional operation of republican government, substituting the rule of the minority for that of the majority."

Then he looks at the actual logistics involved in Civil War II:

"To begin with, where would the blue-state secessionists get the military force they would need to vindicate their action? After all, to paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, principles, no matter how noble, are mere wind without the sword. Most U.S. servicemen come from the red states, or from the red counties of the blue states. The blue states have made it next to impossible for their citizens to own firearms, so they can't count on 'a people, numerous and armed' to vindicate their secession.

"[W]hen a red-state soldier or Marine is putting down the blue-state rebellion, what is he going to think of this exchange from the aforementioned Bill Maher website? 'You do realize that over 80% of our troops support Bush, don't you?' 'Yes darling — I do.... That's only fair isn't it? Why should decent people die in your bogus war you murdering hun. I hope the whole lot of them are decapitated...but getting their butts blown off will suffice.'

"And who would lead this blue-state secession? Martin Sheen? Well, why not? He is already president of a parallel universe....Of course, President Sheen wouldn't actually control much territory, and the rebellion probably wouldn't last too long since the unarmed secessionists he would be leading wouldn't be able to feed themselves. The U.S. Navy would detach a frigate or two to blockade New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The Air Force would close down blue-state airports. So an 'Anaconda Strategy' might work this time.

"The Unionists in the blue states would, of course, create loyal governments recognized in Washington. The red counties of California, New York, and Pennsylvania might even form new states on the model of West Virginia in 1864....

"A blue-state rebellion shouldn't take too long to put down. What then? Can we expect continued resistance on the part of Maureen Dowd and Michael Moore? What will the occupiers do? And, will these seceded blue states have to be 'reconstructed?' Now, that might be fun. I say skip the 'with malice toward none and with charity for all' stuff and go right to 'radical Reconstruction.' Treat the rebellious blue states as conquered provinces, disorganized communities without legitimate civil governments that cannot regain statehood until the federal government is ready to give it to them. Take Charles Sumner's position: that the seceded blue states have committed suicide and therefore revert to the condition of federal territories."

Don't leave out the possibility of "Old Europe" intervening in the conflict on the side of Kerrytopia. Wouldn't that be a grand slam? Sheen, Dowd, Moore, and the Axis of Weasels all in one, swift, massive, efficient blow!

Then there'd be what to do with all the political prisoners. They'd have to be shipped to labor camps at the very least. Say, in Alaska, working on clearing away wilderness for business development, oil drilling, and pipeline construction. And certainly there would be mandatory re-education in Christian fundamentalism. Conversion could reduce sentences depending upon how quickly each prisoner saw the light and repented of his/her sins. Failure to convert would be punishable by transfer to Baghdad where prisoners would be turned over to al Qaeda, never to be seen again.

Owens reassures the reader in his closing graf that he's just kidding, and doesn't think crazy jackasses like Larry O'Donnell are serious either. But Owens is wrong - libs like O'Donnell are serious. They just don't have any power to implement their insanity. That's why I think it will take the form of domestic terrorism instead.

But for fever-swampers who want to indulge in treasonous hate screeds like these, let the above serve as sobering food for thought: we red-staters are ready for you.

In every sense of the word.

Bushophobic CIAers Proving Their Girly-Manliness

I can't speak directly for anybody else, but I'm enjoying the hell out of the ass-kicking and name-taking President Bush is doing to mutinous bastions within his Administration. Hardline, straight-talking Condolezza Rice - how does "the Velvet Hammer" sound as a nickname? - has been commissioned to fumigate Foggy Bottom after four years of Colin Powell's indulgence of the sclerotic status quo. And new CIA boss Porter Goss - remember him? - is turning Langley upside-down.

"YEEEE-HAWWWW!!!", as they say.

Jed Babbin, one of my favorite pundits, captures the travails of the bureauspooks delightfully:

"Juxtapose two images in your mind's eye. First, the dirty-faced young Marine, taking a cigarette break between skirmishes in Fallujah last week. Second, a CIA bureaucrat, taking tiny sips of chardonnay in those delicate intervals when he takes time out from writing his resignation to whine to the Washington Post. There is no way to reconcile those images.

"Deputy Director John McLaughlin....resigned - according to the Post - because Goss's top guy and former hill staffer Patrick Murray was "treating senior officials disrespectfully and risked widespread resignations." Next was Deputy Director of Operations Stephen Kappes, who also resigned after a confrontation with Murray. The Sunday Post told us that four more senior undercover officials may resign as early as today."

Wah, wah, wah. If they can't have things their way, if they can't maintain the fat, dumb, happy, incompetent, ineffective status quo, they'll take their ball and go home. Except the ball isn't theirs, and it's been taken away from them because they don't know what they hell to do with it, and they actually think that's defensible.

Babbin leaves not a single scrap of flesh left sticking to their bleached professional skeletons:

"In the hope that some of those who are thinking of resigning may read this, I want to address you directly. Each of you should ask yourself the following questions. Do you think your job is important to the war against terrorists and the nations that support them? Do you believe you're good at it, and are making a significant contribution to the nation's defense? Do you think that, by your hard work and experience, you may save one American's life or give the president one more option in any decision he has to make? Do you believe that your subordinates rely on your leadership and mentoring? If you answered any of those questions with a 'yes,' and you still dare to resign, you should hang your head in shame for the rest of your born days. It's all about duty, honor and country. If you think your personal gripes are more important, then go ahead and resign. And good riddance to you."

And let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, too.

A de-donkified CIA whose mission is actually to gather intelligence and fight the nation's enemies. Can you imagine?

Gosh, what is George Bush thinking....?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Serpent-head on "Man-dates"

From yesterday's Press the Meat:

MR. RUSSERT: George Bush have a mandate?

MR. CARVILLE: The only politician in America I know with a mandate is Jim McGreevey, Tim.

MS. MATALIN: Oh, gee.

MR. CARVILLE: No, of course he does. I mean, he's going to...

MR. RUSSERT: Who's running this guy's material, Mary? This...

MS. MATALIN: Oh, I'm not. I'm not getting up anymore.

Captain Ed raged at installment fifty bazillion and three of the Left/Right double standard:

"Can you imagine the outcry if Karl Rove - or hell, even Mary Matalin - had made fun of James McGreevy's sexual orientation on national TV? ACT-UP would already have pickets outside Capitol Hill demanding someone get fired, and the New York Times would be clucking its editorial tongue at the GOP for insensitivity and sexual bigotry. The Ragin' Cajun probably gets a pass."

Well, of course he does. As the base drum player in my high school marching band cracked at the end of a competition in which it was day-glo obvious which school was going to win (hint: it wasn't us) and the PA announcer tried to gin up some phony suspense before his announcement of the results, "Nooooooo shit; Christ, what was your first guess?"

Our band and the ones on either side of us collapsed in a mass convulsion of laughter.

Not unlike I did when Limbaugh played the audio clip of Carville's crack this morning.

The truth none of us 'Pubbies wants to admit is that if Carville were on our side, we'd treat him like a rock star. But he's a donk, so we loathe him.

But you can't completely despise a donk with a wicked sense of humor. And frankly that's a trait that has all but vanished from the contemporary left.

If we have to get it from libs that look like Ming the Merciless after a series of radiation treatments, I, for one, am not going to complain.

Frist Making Specter Squirm - But It's Not Enough

From yesterday's AP wire:

"Senator Arlen Specter must prove to his Republican colleagues that he is the right man to head the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday.

"Specter, R[INO]-PA, will make his case to GOP colleagues this week when Congress returns for a postelection session.

"Frist, R-TN, said he expected a chairman to understand that he is responsible 'to the feelings, the wishes, the beliefs, the values, the procedures that are held by the majority of that committee.'

"He added that Specter, as chairman, 'has a clear obligation ... to take what the President nominates (and) get that nomination through committee.'

"Frist would not say if he backed Specter for the job."

I like the tenor and content of Senator Frist's remarks, as far as they go. My concern, though, is that they have the feel of not going far enough. Like Specter getting the Judiciary gavel he covets is a given, and Frist is finger-waggingly setting the parameters within which he expects Snarlin' Arlen to operate. But of course, once Specter is Chairman, there really isn't a whole lot Frist can do to control him or rein him in when he bolts the reservation again.

A darker interpretation is that Frist's remarks aren't directed so much at Specter as at spinning a GOP base that is quite understandably alarmed at the prospect of the "borker" taking over the Judiciary Committee and doing the Dems' dirty work for them and doesn't want to take the chance on the Clinton-acquitter confirming their suspicions instead of the President's judicial appointments.

The bottom line is that Arlen Specter can be trusted only to do what he has always done when not under concentrated political pressure: screw his own party. Not just on judicial selections but on every single issue that falls under the purview of Senate Judiciary. His chairmanship shouldn't even be under consideration, because once he gets it, with no more re-election considerations to tug him rightward, there'll be nothing to stop Specter from becoming Pat Leahy's Charlie McCarthy.

That's not primarily up to Bill Frist. But it would be prudent of him and the pachyderms he leads to give more heed to the 60+ million voters who gave George Bush another term to try and de-wackify the federal bench than to the contrived, extraneous Senate "customs" that in this case will effectively thwart the will of the people - without the Democrats having to lift a finger.

Up That Famous Crick at Turtle Bay

There's good news and bad news for Sol III ruler-for-life-in-his-own-mind Kofi Annan, courtesy of Senator Norm Coleman's Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

The good news is that the Committee has cleared the UN "Oil for Terror" program of larding ten billion illicit dollars on former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The bad news is that the Committee has determined that the UN "Oil for Terror program did lard the former Iraqi dictator with over twenty-one billion dollars. And the cash register is still running.

"'This is like an onion — we just keep uncovering more layers and more layers,' said Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN), whose Senate Committee on Government Affairs received the new information at hearing Monday.

"New figures on Iraq's alleged surcharges, kickbacks and oil-smuggling are based on troves of new documents obtained by the committee's investigative panel, Coleman told reporters before the hearing. The documents illustrate how Iraqi officials, foreign companies and sometimes politicians allegedly contrived to allow the Iraqi government vast illicit gains.

"The findings also reflect a growing understanding by investigators of the intricate schemes Saddam used to buy support abroad for a move to lift U.N. sanctions."

And yet Annan continues to stonewall, up to and including "affirmatively telling individuals not to cooperate." His reaction to a "blistering" letter from Chairman Coleman and ranking Dem Carl Levin (D-MI) was to describe it as "very awkward and troubling." Further, he clucked that he won't release the results of fifty-five UN audits "because you don't want to have the documents flying all over the place."

But Annan doesn't stop there. He is demanding that the Coleman Committee suspend its investigation and wait for the results of a U.N. probe, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, that is moving so slowly and gingerly that whatever whitewashed results it does produce won't be available for months.

Quite obviously it is the Coleman Committee that Annan fears because it is actually motivated to gut this scandal once and for all.

Well, most of it anyway. While sane donks like Joe Lieberman backed Chairman Coleman to the hilt in his angry condemnation of UN obstructionism, Senator Levin (whose caucus knows a thing or two about obstructing Republicans) offered this comment:

"For the most part the U.N. sanctions achieved their intended objective of preventing Saddam from rearming and developing weapons of mass destruction."

Perhaps Levin didn't read the aforementioned "blistering" letter before signing off on it. Or hear this particular testimony:

"'Saddam Hussein attempted to manipulate the typical oil allocation process in order to gain influence throughout the world,' Mark L. Greenblatt, a counsel for the Senate panel's permanent subcommittee on investigations, said in prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press.

"'Rather than giving allocations to traditional oil purchasers, Hussein gave oil allocations to foreign officials, journalists, and even terrorist entities, who then sold their allocations to the traditional oil companies in return for a sizable commission.'"

Foreign officials like the French, the Germans, the Russians, the UN, etc. And journalists like - oh, hell, does that even require elaboration?

As Bob Novak concluded, "[T]he U.S. Senate is not the Russian Duma. These are not just a few right-wing voices in the wilderness who are confronting Kofi Annan. 'In seeing what is happening at the U.N.,' Coleman told me, 'I am more troubled today than ever. I see a sinkhole of corruption.'

"The United Nations and its secretary-general are in a world of trouble."

Such as U.S. withdrawal from this dictator-loving, anti-Semitic den of thieves? And maybe even its expulsion from our soil? What on Earth are we getting for our continued support and subsidizing of an organization that even now excoriates the crackdown on Fallujah yet continues to turn a blind eye to the Iranian subversion of free Iraq?

Only cutting the "world body" off from Uncle Sam's wallet will generate what King Kofi would consider "trouble." I rather doubt that he's even capable of "embarrassment" at this point.

Condi Gets State

I've already begun to notice a post-election pattern: almost as soon as a member of President Bush's first-term Cabinet announces his/her departure, the White House announces his/her replacement.

First it was Attorney-General John Ashcroft, quickly succeeded by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. Today came Secretary of State Colin Powell, and the White House has already designated Condoleezza Rice as his successor. I would expect the same to be the case for Spence Abraham at Energy and Ann Veneman at Agriculture.

The accompanying pattern is close, trusted advisers being replaced by...close, trusted advisers. Just as with Gonzales, the tapping of Dr. Rice means continuity in a key Administration post.

I'm still in love with the Zell Miller suggestion, but we could do a lot worse than Condi. Want proof? Just look at the initial Big Media reaction.

UPDATE: Newsmax has more negative reinforcement:

Best possible sign of Condoleezza Rice's excellent qualifications to be secretary of state: The notoriously anti-American bureaucrats who infest Foggy Bottom despise her.

"State Department officials dislike her intensely because they love Powell and believe her staff demeaned the State Department," the Washington Post today quoted one former pencil pusher at State as saying.

The Post claimed, "Officials on both sides of the Administration's debate over North Korea faulted Rice for failing to fashion a coherent approach to dismantling North Korea's nuclear program." The pro-Democrat paper failed to mention that it was Bill Clinton and his horrible secretary of state Aunt Madeleine who abetted North Korea's nuclear weapons program with U.S. taxpayer dollars.

In another anti-Rice story, the Post even solicited comment from Clinton's disgraced former national security adviser, Sandy "Sox Docs" Berger.

Berger lectured that there would be "teeth-gnashing" by many foreign officials over Colin Powell's departure and Rice's arrival. "Colin was the side door they could get into when they could not get through the front door," the disgraced Clintonista said.

The Post, naturally, continued the media establishment's wall of silence about Berger's theft of documents from the National Archives by refusing even to mention his scandal.

Here's hoping that Rice, with help from State's patriotic loyalists such as undersecretary John Bolton, can finally clean up the department.

More proof of Rice's backbone: The weaselly French don't like her either.

According to the Associated Press, the axis of weasel is in a dither over something "Rice was widely quoted as telling associates" in the spring of 2003: "Punish France, ignore Germany, and forgive Russia."

Even though France has just begun to smell the rotten fruits of its policies punishing Israel and favoring Muslim terrorists, the left-wing daily Liberation complained about Rice's "very hard and firm tone with which she speaks of the Palestinians."

As a former boss of mine was want to say, "Gotta like that!"

Looks like we're gonna get a "leaf-blower" at Foggy Bottom after all.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Left Is Vindictively Selfish, To Put It Charitably

From James Taranto, via Mark Noonan:

"Democrats like to present themselves as the party of the downtrodden while characterizing the GOP as the party of the selfish rich. But a study by the Catalogue of Philanthropy suggests the opposite may be true. The Catalogue ranked all 50 states based on the percentage of adjusted gross income their residents donated to charity. The top five states were Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Alabama, all of which President Bush carried. Indeed, all of the top 24 finishers are 'red' states; New York, at #25, is the highest-ranking 'blue' one. Only four red states appear in the bottom 12: Virginia, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada."

Michelle Malkin has the actual listing here.

As if to brag about their preference for outsourcing generosity, "A post on, by someone called 'mgdecombe' offers one explanation:

Got a call from the March of Dimes today. I listened to the woman's prepared text, and said, "I'm sorry, we will no longer be donating, please take us off your list." She asked why, and I said, "Due to the election results, we have decided not to enable the Bush Administration by supporting charitable organizations who are filling the vaccuum [sic] caused by his mishandling of the country. It's all up to President Bush now."

She sounded surprised.

We will say this to all of the organizations we donated to last year, when they come a' callin' this month and next.

For the next four years, we help our own, and that is it. We contribute to political causes, and that is it.

"Liberals, it seems, are quite generous--but only with other people's money."

Will Rogers first made that observation some seventy years ago.

Still, don't be surprised if "mgdecombe" and friends increase their contributions to Muslim "charities" dramatically over the next four years, seeing as how "The more illiberal the religion, it seems, the more liberals are likely to e[mbrace] it."

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Michelle Malkin's Big....Media Corollaries

Have you ever heard of Van Tran? Have you ever heard of Bobby Jindal?

But I bet you have heard of Barack Obama, right?

Why is this?

"Minority Democrats in public office are inspirational role models. Minority Republicans in public office are embarrassing sellouts.

"Minority Democrat politicians are principled. Minority Republican politicians are misguided.

"Minority Democrat politicians represent the hopes and dreams of all Americans. Minority Republican politicians are traitors to their 'communities.'"

And Ms. Malkin, figuratively speaking, has balls the size of grapefruits.

Now if only she could plant her foot right in Chris Matthews' literal set....