Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Are You Free?

21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not (A) listen to the law?

22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, (B) one by the bondwoman and (C) one by the free woman.

23 But (D) the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and (E) the son by the free woman through the promise.

24 (F) This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from (G) Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be (H) slaves; she is Hagar.

25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

26 But (I) the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.

27 For it is written, "(J) Rejlice, barren woman who does not bear; breaker forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the desoltate than of the one who has a husband."

28 And you brethren, (K) like Isaac, are (L) children of promise.

29 But as at that time (M) he who was born according to the flesh (N) persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, (O) so it is now also.

30 But what does the Scripture say? "(P) Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for (Q) the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman."

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

-Galatians 4:21-31

State of the Union Post-Game

I didn't consider live-blogging the President's speech, and by the time I reconsidered it was already underway.

Without getting into much detail, I thought it was a standard Bush speech. Optimistic, forward-looking, overly conciliatory, getting the big things right (the GWOT, which includes Iraq - though it was flaccid on the ultimatum that needs to be given to Iran - giving shout-outs to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito and declaring that the Senate can expect more nominees just like them, banning human cloning, making the tax cuts permanent) and the "little" things wrong (weak on immigration, statist on energy policy - c'mon, nothing on expanding domestic energy exploration? - a mixed bag at best on health care, and punting not just Social Security but reform of Medicare and Medicaid as well to yet another "blue ribbon commission" - though I did like his rebuking line following the Democrats' boorish cheering about not doing anything about SS that, "This problem will not go away," which elicited a raucous GOP counter-cheer. Me thinks he and his speechwriters were anticipating the Donk response...).

But what can you say? Bush is a "big-government conservative," always has been, always will be. Never met a spending bill he wouldn't sign and never will. Open borders uber alles. No Reagan is he, but he's the best we're going to do for the foreseeable future.

Besides, always remember the alternative....

Moonbats Get Crazier!

Read this thread from the Democratic Underground, courtesy of Ankle Biting Pundits. Just to make sure you never forget who pulls the strings in the Democratic Party.

JASmius adds: Since I can't beat Jen's title, I'll just post this as an appendix.

Had Hugh Hewitt on just now, and heard that Donk Representative Lynn Woolsey (how appropriate that her surname so closely describes her mental condition) invited The Next Senator From California (or the would-be Evita Peron of Venezuela), Cindy Sheehan, to sit in the House gallery for the State of the Union show.

Reportedly Cindy agreed to behave herself, but Hugh wasn't buying it and neither was I. He and his callers engaged in feverish speculation as to what the President should do if she interrupted his speech with her bellicose neoBolshevik boilerplate. The consensus was it had all the "earmarks" of a PR disaster in the making no matter what Bush did.

I didn't think it would be quite that bad - remember the leftish protestors that tried to crash his GOP convention acceptance speech? - and figured that Bush would either keep right on speaking or pause to allow the Capitol Police to remove her. Yeah, the Extreme Media would try to spin it against him, but it seems to me that the image such hooliganism would have sent would have reflected so poorly on the Left with mainstream America that it would have been another nail in their political coffin.

At any rate, we'll never know now, because the dumb broad pre-empted her intentions by bringing a seditious banner with her like she was at a pro wrestling event, and the Capitol cops took her in to custody before the SOTUA could even begin.

What a dingbat. And how exquisitely symbolic of how grievously the Left has deteriorated, across the board.

But they're still going to pick up seats next November!

UPDATE: Gotta love this Rich Lowry line on the Democrats' cognitive dissonance vis-a-vie the NSA terrorist surveillance program:

Democrats are the first party ever to talk of impeaching a president for creating a program they themselves seem to support.

Congressional 'Pubbies ought to do like they did with Charlie Rangel's draft bill and John Murtha's cut-and-run-from-Iraq resolution and put a resolution on the NSA program to a vote. If you think the lib nutters are blithering NOW....

Congratulations, Justice Alito

It's official, by a vote of 58-42. He's already been sworn in, and will be in robes with his new colleagues tonight at the State of the Union show.

One Republican (Lincoln Chaffee) and four Democrats (Sheets Byrd, Kent Conrad, Tim Johnson, Ben Nelson) switched sides to provide a satisfyingly symbolic mirror reversal of the margin by which Robert Bork was rejected almost nineteen years ago.

Ed Whelan has a good summary of what the Bay State Road Block accomplished. To summarize:

1) Without a filibuster attempt, the left could argue that the confirmation vote margin leaves filibustering as a viable option; now that bar has been set above seventy votes and associated with a Justice that the Dems tried to depict as a monster, but which nobody outside the fever swamps believed.

2) Without a filibuster attempt, open intra-partisan war would not now be raging within the Democrat party between the kook-fringe base and the twenty Donk senators who refused to drink the Kool Aid.

And still I read predictions that Dems are going to pick up seats next November....

Revenge of the Demented

According to the American Spectator's Washington Prowler, DNC Chairman Howard Dean's seeming gaffe the other day about "Abramoff Democrats," of which Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is public enemy #1, was not an accident:

According to knowledgeable DNC sources, Dean about ten days ago was shown opposition research documents generated by the Republican National Committee more than three years ago, which laid out facts regarding Reid and his family's lobbying and ethical conflicts.

Dean, according to the sources, was fascinated by the details, and asked that his staff research and independently confirm everything on the documents. "Basically he oppo'd a member of his own party," says a DNC source loyal to Dean.

"Basically, we were looking at three- or four-page documents that made Jack Abramoff's lobbying work look like that of a rank amateur," says the DNC source. "Between the minority leader's past in Nevada and here in Washington, and the activities of his sons and son-in-law, there probably isn't anyone in this town with more conflicts. The Reid family is the symbol of what's wrong with Washington; it's their behavior that enabled the culture that spawned people like Abramoff."

Dean then went public over the weekend, saying that Democrats with an Abramoff problem would be in trouble, not only with voters, but with the Democrat Party. But why attack a senior member of his own party?

According to Democrat Party watchers and DNC staff, Dean has grown increasingly frustrated at how he is treated by the likes of Reid, Senator Dick Durbin, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Rahm Emanuel, who leads the House Democrat candidate recruitment effort. "They treat him like a lackey, not as an equal," says another DNC employee. "...What this comes down to a fight for the soul of our party, and if the chairman has to draw a long knife on a few of his colleagues, he's more than willing to do so."

Y'know how Rush Limbaugh is always going on and on about how the Democrats are "imploding"? Ordinarily I just relegate that to the realm of hyperbole, but combine this with the intra-Donk fallout from their Alamo-like last stand on Justice Alito's nomination, and it starts looking like El Rushbo is on to something yet again....

Lame Democrats

I wish I were as good at titling these things as Jim is! Fortunately, he comes in and rescues me sometimes. :-)

Anyway, after seeing the cloture vote yesterday I was happy and relieved. I expected it, of course, but you never know what kind of dirty trick the Democrats may come up with, and you never know about the RINOs. I know one thing...I'm writing to the RNC and telling them that as long as they see fit to support Chafee this year, the money I usually send to them will be going directly to Steve Laffey. Plus...Barak Obama's attempt at sounding reasonable while voting otherwise is laughable. Mr. Rising Star decries the Democrats' futile gestures and obstruction, then votes with them on cloture. Jerk. Plus...my Senator, Evan Bayh, is a real disappointment. When he was governor here in Indiana, he at least seemed to have some common sense and was a Democrat that I could live with. Not any more. Didn't take them long to bend him to their will there in Washington. I was also surprised when Lieberman announced his intention to vote against Alito. Talk about a mixed bag.

I can't wait to watch the President introduce new Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito! God bless him for all he has had to put up with.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Lost Library

6 A voice says, "Call out." Then he answered, "What shall I call out?" (A) All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

7 The (B) grass withers, the flower fades, when the (C) breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but (D) the word of our God stands forever.

-Isaiah 40:6-8

Impatient or Just Bored?

Hillary Clinton says, "Americans are growing 'impatient' as they wait for a woman to be elected president."

Meanwhile, ABC has "temporarily" pulled the plug on the program supposedly stoking this "impatience":

US presidential drama Commander In Chief has been temporarily pulled from the ABC-TV schedule because network executives are unhappy with the show's low ratings. [emphasis added]

Maybe viewers were less than thrilled with beholding President McKenzie Allen blundering into a nuclear disaster in North Korea and are projecting President Hillary Rodham doing it for real. And Geena Davis is easy on the eyes, too; can you imagine Medusa in your living room for eight years?

Mrs. Clinton is far less hostile to Hamas than she's trying to claim, BTW. Are Americans "impatient" to elect a terror-symp as their next president?

Sheesh, even President Allen hasn't done that yet.

It Sucks To Be Them

The vast, vaunted, and mighty obstructionist uprising hailed and led by the Massachusetts Manatee and the Boston Balker was unmercifully crushed this afternoon in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 72-25.

Voting to screw Justice Alito were: Bayh, Biden, Boxer, Clinton, Dayton, Dodd, Durbin, Feingold, Feinstein, Jeffords, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Menendez, Mikulski, Murray, Obama, Reed, Reid, Sarbanes, Schumer, Stabenow, Wyden.

Interesting, huh? Only two of the Donks are from "red" states (Bayh, Reid) and neither of them are up for re-election next fall. Two more are retiring (Dayton, Sarbanes) and will likely be succeeded by Republicans. And Robert Menendez is keeping Jon Korzine's old New Jersey seat warm for Tom Keane, Jr.

Yeah, Hillary's on the list, but she's in fence-mending mode with her fellow neoBolsheviks. And this vote would only have haunted her 2008 plans if it had actually been instrumental in sustaining an anti-Alito filibuster.

Those of the "gang of 25" who thought they were scoring points with their crazy base by making a symbolic gesture should surf on over to the Dark Side to find out just how wrong they were:

What I want is a complete list of every scumsucking fuckstick Democratic asshole senator who voted for cloture. That's what I want.

I don't know what to DO with that list, not yet - but I know for GODDAMNED sure I won't be VOTING for any of them, let alone sending them any goddamned MONEY.

Frankly, right now I'd like nothing better than to torpedo the entire lot of them. Just dump them like so much worthless, leaden, VICHY MOTHERFUCKING BALLAST.

I got nothin', folks. Don't look over here if you want comfort or a nice, uplifting LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY speech.

I'M DONE WITH THEM. They are DEAD to me.

Yeah. CANTWELL and BYRD and LANDRIEU and BINGAMAN and every last motherfucking one of them, I'm DONE with them.

I'm registering Independent tomorrow. You're welcome to join me.

They thought Alito could be stopped, ladies and gentlemen. They thought the Dems could block Alito, block the Republicans from banning confirmation filibusters. They really believed it.

But then they think they won the last three election cycles, too. They think Al Gore is the REAL president of the United States. They think 45 out of 100 makes a majority. They think that the American people agree with them. And they are blind to the fact that they are the reason their numbers in Congress are steadily eroding.

Profanity Man above doesn't realize what a favor he's doing for the party with which he purports to be "done."

BTW, support for Justice Alito's confirmation was comprehensive and overwhelming. And, oh yes, President Bush's approval number is back to 50%. And he will get the privilege tomorrow night of introducing and congratulating Justice Alito at tomorrow's State of the Union Address. Look for a sequel to last year's rude, boorish Donk SOTUA behavior.

Yep, today is a very good day. And tomorrow will be even better.

The Price of Delay

It has been common knowledge for at least the past two years that the six-month delay the Bush Administration gifted to Saddam Hussein by going through the motion of the UN weapons inspections regime instead of just invading Iraq in the summer of 2002 was put to good use by the cheeto-loving megalomaniac evacuating his WMD stockpiles to Syria for safekeeping against his anticipated return to power after the Americans had been "Vietnamized."

Last week a former Iraqi Air Force general provided further confirmation:

Best source confirms the intelligence of Iraqi wmd moved to Syria in 2002 provided by Iraqi Air Force general Sada in his new book, Saddam's Secrets.

Writing in [last Thurs]day's New York Sun, editor Ira Stoll, after a meeting with Sada at the Sun's offices, summarizes Sada's evidence. In June 2002, Chemical Ali supervised the transfer of wmd chemical stocks from Baghdad to Damascus by loading the cargo onto Iraqi Airlines 747s with seats stripped out. There were fifty six flights in all, with the cover story that Iraq was aiding Syria after disastrous flooding. Name of Syrian general receiving wmd not confirmed by best source, pending.

This is consistent with intelligence developed over many years that Iraq developed a multiple layered CBRN program.

Sada, fearing for his life, and the lives of his sources the pilots who flew some of the aircraft, also makes mention of civilian truck convoys transfering wmd to Syaria prior to the war. This connects with multiple reports from IDF general officers, active and retired, that convoys were observed travelling from Baghdad to Damascus and then onto Lebanon in late 2002.

This also connects with developing story of DOCEX, the program to translate and analyze two million documents captured in Baghdad that contain the pattern and practice of terror and wmd in Iraq 1999-2002.

This also connects to report of a CD (about to surface in the news) containing the voices of Saddam Hussein and staff planning to conceal wmd from UN and others, recorded in staff meetings from 1988 to late 2000.

I never have much understood why the Bushies have always been so reluctant to cite such evidence against the endless slanders of "misleading the country into war" the the DisLoyal Opposition hurled at them after no WMD arsenal was found. The only explanation I've conceived of is that if they did so, the Democrats would immediately start accusing the White House of plotting an invasion of Syria, either generating more bad PR they figured they didn't need or perhaps complicating the case-making for an invasion (or blowing the cover off any covert ops we have going on inside Syria). And since they survived all the "BUSH LIED!!!!!" crud to get re-elected anyway, why wake up sleeping dogs nobody knows about.

But with this further development in the story today, another, less savory possibility comes to mind:

A former senior military advisor to Saddam Hussein is warning that the chemical weapons used by top al-Qaida terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi in a foiled 2004 plot to attack Amman, Jordan were the same weapons Saddam Hussein transported to Syria before the U.S. invasion.

General Georges Sada offered the stunning revelation Saturday while explaining why he didn't decide to go public about Saddam's hidden WMD stockpile until recently.

"As a general, you see, we should keep our secrets," General Sada told WABC Radio's Monica Crowley. But when news broke of the foiled WMD attack on Amman, he changed his mind.

"I understood that the terrorists were going to make an explosion in Amman in Jordan . . . . and they were targeting the prime minister of Jordan, the intelligence [headquarters] of Jordan, and maybe the American embassy in Jordan - and they were going to use the same chemical weapons which we had in Iraq," he told WABC.
This actually isn't news per se, at least not to anybody who pays close attention to this subject, though as you might suspect it hasn't exactly received a lot of Extreme Media coverage. But it does suggest an additional reason why the Bush Administration hasn't been very eager to draw attention to the pre-war evacuation of Saddam's WMDs. If they got distributed to terrorist networks, most especially al Qaeda, that would throw a very uncomfortable spotlight back upon the decision to indulge the "multilateralist" crowd in the hopes of gaining international approval for toppling Saddam Hussein that was never, ever going to be forthcoming, and how it facilitated the Iraqi dictator's WMD falling into the hands of Islamist berserkers.

Sure, it would require the Left to perform yet another logic backflip (akin to the "Bush didn't connect the dots on 9/11"/Bush is the new Big Brother" media contortion) by leaping from excoriating Operation Iraqi Freedom to flaying the President alive for not bypassing Turtle Bay altogether and invading six months earlier, but "any port in a storm" has been their SOP for years now. The point is the Bushies would have no answer for this criticism, and that really could erode Dubya's credibility on the war and national security in general.

Hey, the Dems are rattling phony sabres against Iran while slamming Bush for following their own appeasenik advice in allowing the Euros to diplodiddle themselves endlessly while the mullahs nuclearize themselves beyond any hope of Saddam-like removal - an even more egregious repetition of that same mistake. Is a CYA suspicion really such a stretch to harbor?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Greatness of Gratitude

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.

12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy [a] met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?

18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"

19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

-Luke 17:11-19

Mrs. Sheehan Goes To Washington?

Seems like whenever I post about this crazy shrew I start the same way: you just can't make this stuff up. Fresh off her summit meeting with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, the neoBolshevik Mother Teresa has decided that somebody has to take out that warmongering Bush toady Dianne Feinstein:

Cindy Sheehan, the peace activist who set up camp near President Bush's Texas ranch last summer, said Saturday she is considering running against Senator Dianne Feinstein to protest what she called the California lawmaker's support for the war in Iraq.

"She voted for the war. She continues to vote for the funding. She won't call for an immediate withdrawal of the troops," Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview while attending the World Social Forum in Venezuela along with thousands of other anti-war and anti-globalization activists.

"I think our senator needs to be held accountable for her support of George Bush and his war policies," said Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.
I'm not surprised that the Extreme Media continues to cultivate this Moore-on. They're always on the lookout for fresh Bushophobic copy, and she's as reliable a source of it as they'll ever have, even though her PR-useful shelf life expired months ago. What does surprise me - nay, astonish me - is that Senator Feinstein actually felt compelled to issue a defensive public response:

Feinstein's campaign manager, Kam Kuwata, said the senator "doesn't support George Bush and his war policies."

"She has stated publicly on numerous occasions that she felt she was misled by the Administration at the time of the vote," Kuwata said by phone from California.

But with troops committed, Feinstein believes immediate withdrawal is not a responsible option, Kuwata said.

"Senator Feinstein's position is, let's work toward quickly turning over the defense of Iraq to Iraqis so that we can bring the troops home as soon as possible," he said.
Cindy Sheehan isn't a pimple on Dianne Feinstein's ass. Why should she give a frog's fat leg what "Traitor Mom" says? Or that she's contemplating a primary challenge? That's akin to somebody taking on a Borg cubeship with a rowboat.

The answer lays bare the ideological contagion racking the Democrat party these days: Because its inmates are running their asylum, and they are where all the party's money and energy is. So much so that even a senator-for-life like DiFi has to pay them at least lip-service homage.

And to think I'm still reading how the "experts" keep predicting that Dems are going to regain seats in Congress next November. But I actually wouldn't mind a Sheehan upset; it's an unattainable seat for the GOP anyway, and that way Babs Boxer would actually have some competition for the title of Senate mental case.

She might even have to surrender her rubber-walled office....

There Goes The Neighborhood

Well, the "peace process" has finally produced its inevitable conclusion: Hamas (which I've always thought should be named "Natas," since an annagram of "Satan" seems so much more appropriate) is now the ruler of the Palestinians and Israel's new "partner in peace" (via CQ):

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has announced his resignation, saying Hamas must form the next government following the parliamentary elections....

Hours before official results were due to be released, Fatah officials privately admitted that Hamas had won.

Hamas claimed it had won at least 70 seats in the 132-member parliament, while EU election observer Richard Howitt told the BBC he had been informed that Hamas could have won up to 80 seats....

Another Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri, warned that Hamas would not hold peace talks with Israel. "Negotiations with Israel is not on our agenda," he said. "Recognising Israel is not on the agenda either now."

Not to put too fine a point on it, but recognizing Isreael was never on Fatah's agenda, either. They just told European and American diplomats what they wanted to hear for the past fifteen years in order to keep the foreign aid gravy trains rolling and the propaganda pressure on Israel to keep making concessions. It was a tremendously successful scam, too; if Yassir Arafat hadn't gotten greedy back in September of 2000, when then-Prime Minister Ehuk Barak offered him Gaza and 95% of the West Bank with East Jerusalem as his capital, Isreal would probably have already been overrun by now, "Palestine" established in its place, and the Holocaust resumed.

As it is, despite Arafat's foolish resumption of the terror war, Ariel Sharon of all people rescued Fatah from its consequences by retreating from Gaza last year - a factor, along with Arafat's death a year ago, cited by Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post as key in bringing about Hamas' rise to power.

And so the Palestinian people, weaned for two generations on the notion of religioethnic hatred and permanent war with "the people of the book," have (not unlike American Democrats) decided to throw aside Machievellian scheming and drop the pretense of negotiation and "compromise" (even though all the compromising came from the other side). The result is that they have traded corrupt secular nationalist terrorist rulers for crazy Islamist genocidal terrorist rulers.

In case you have any doubts, take a gander at Hamas' political manifesto:

"Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious...The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realized...

"The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: 'The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews. When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him...'

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

"The day The Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies...

"The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion... It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups.

"We should not forget to remind every Muslim that when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that 'Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women.'

"Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. 'May the cowards never sleep.'"
Gee, there's no tension there, is there?

U.S. officials made a show of being "shocked" at the Pal election results and vowing that unless Hamas "lays down its arms and renounces violence," Washington will withdraw all support from the Palestinian Authority. But I recall a time, about fifteen or so years ago, when U.S. officials said the same thing about Yassir Arafat and the PLO, and we know what happened since. And the EUnuchs have never gone even that far, indulging instead their Arabist, quasi-anti-Semitic leanings for decades.

Rest assured I share the sentiments of Cap'n Ed...

The first item on our list should be an absolute end to all aid to the Palestinian territories and government. The US should not subsidize Hamas, nor should it give money to a people whose only aim appears to be genocide. Second, the US should allow Israel to respond militarily to any and all provocations - no more pressure from Washington on [Jersualem] to moderate their responses to suicide bombings and missile attacks. And if Hamas and the Palestinians still want to wage war after that, then let the IDF roll across the West Bank and Gaza Strip and push the whole lot of them right into the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. That's what total war means, and as soon as the world stops preventing the Palestinians from the risks of their own choices, the sooner they will conclude that war is the worst possible choice for them.

...but I do not share his expectation that they have a chance in hell of being realized. The reason why is as sublimely simple as it is patently obvious: Israel no longer controls its own fate. In truth, they haven't for years. Morrissey himself inadvertently concedes that when he says, "the US should allow Isreal to respond militarily to any and all provocations." The fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter how grievous the provocation offered up by the Palestinians, no matter which terrorist gang is ruling them; as soon as the Jews "respond militarily" to any degree and in whatever form, international condemnation will fall upon them. Israel's designated role is to is to bleed eternally and bottomlessly at the alter of Palestinian victimology. And it is a role they cannot escape.

Consequently, it really doesn't matter who the Israelis elect or what decisions those leaders make. Maybe "Israel won't get fooled into thinking that Hamas spent its election cycle joking around." Perhaps "[t]oo many of the Israelis will see the same kind of denial that took place among Western leaders when Adolf Hitler came to power, after having written Mein Kampf, which outlined all his political goals." Possibly they might even restore Binyamin Netanyahu on the platform of rebuilding Israel's deterrent:

Israel's deterrent powers can only be rehabilitated by a stubborn, uncompromising campaign against Palestinian terror infrastructures and chains of command. Such a continuous campaign is the only way to make the Palestinians realize that they have nothing to gain by continuing their war against Israel. The Palestinians' internalization of the understanding that pursuing their war against Israel will bring them no advantage is the necessary precondition for any future peace.

But it will avail them nothing because they are as powerless to prevent their own national dismemberment as Czechoslovakia was sixty-eight years ago. It's all right here in this AP blurb (h/t CQ):

Following their resounding election victory, the Islamic militants of Hamas met the question of whether they will change their stripes with a loud "no": no recognition of Israel, no negotiations, no renunciation of terror.

But the world holds out hope that international pressure can make them more moderate. At stake is the future of Mideast peacemaking, billions of dollars in aid and the Palestinians' relationship with Israel, the United States and Europe. [emphasis added]

There it is. That's what "the world" considers to be important. The "peace process," the indulgence of the Pals as permanent welfare clientele, but no mention, not even a hint, of the one glaring omission: Israel's right to survival as a national entity.

It's as I said when Bibi ascended to the Israeli premiership a decade ago: he's won the deed to a house that has already been condemned. And Hamas is revving up the bulldozers.

Harry Reid Has A Screw Loose

That title sounds a bit caustic, doesn't it? Like I'm seated before my keyboard after an excessively aggravating afternoon puncuated by a particularly restlessly nap that has left me more tired and groggy than I was before it and consequently feel more like unloading indiscriminately than I do putting forth the effort to produce something to my usual high standards of cleverness and rapier wit.

Except that I really believe it. Oh, it's not a clinical diagnosis by any means, but alternative explanations for Dirty Harry's roaring hypocrisies of late are highly elusive.

Try this one on for size:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid urged President Bush Tuesday to "come clean" in next week's State of the Union speech and acknowledge "the costs of Republican corruption."

"In his 2000 campaign, George Bush promised to bring 'dignity' to the White House, but we've since found that he brought Jack Abramoff instead," said Reid, D-NV. He spoke at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, in remarks previewing Democratic criticism of the presidential speech on January 31st.

"President Bush needs to quit stonewalling about his White House's connection to corruption, and finally tell us how he's going to reform Washington," Reid said.
This from the man who is titular head of a party that spent the entire decade of the 1990s defending Bill Clinton. This from the man who is the #1 target of the Justice Department's Abramoff investigation. This from the man who responded to questions of his own Abramoff connections with a brusque, heatedly furtive, and Bart Simpsonesque, "Don’t try to say I received money from Abramoff. I’ve never met the man, don’t know anything.” And this about a man of whom there is not a single molecule of evidence ever took anything from Jack Abramoff or provided any access or favors to "the man" whatsoever.

Reid's crazy allegations have all the seriousness of, "Oh, yeah? Well I'm rubber, you're glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you." Which is also pretty descriptive of them as well.

Incidentally, "the costs of Republican corruption" have counted one of Reid's Donk colleagues, Pat "Leaky" Leahy, as a prime beneficiary of thousands of smackers in contributions from Abramoffic law firms according to the Vermont Guardian, earning a suitably "caught red-handed-with-hand-in-cookie-jar-and-deer-in-the-headlights" denial from Leaky's spokesman. It's clear that this Abramoff stuff is bipartisan to a fault, public polling numbers prove that general perception, and yet Democrats continue to pathetically try and pigeonhole blame on their foes. Even "pathological" strains to encapsulate it.

And as if anticipating this very criticism, Senator Pencil-Neck attempted on Friday, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, to "speak up and remove all doubt":

Cities are at risk because the Bush Administration is too preoccupied with its political problems to properly prepare for another natural disaster or terrorist attack, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told mayors from around the country Friday....

Reid said the poor choices of the Administration and Republicans in Congress are also evident in steps securing the nation after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Efforts to spend more money for emergency workers in cities were rejected as well as efforts to restore money for extra police, he said....

Reid also said many steps recommended by a commission examining national security after the terror attacks have not been taken, such as strengthening security for ports and rail transportation. He questioned spending billions on Iraq and tax breaks for the wealthy rather than for security improvements in cities.

"If we can spend $2 billion every week to protect the Iraqi people, we can do more to protect our people at home," Reid said.
This from the man who bragged to a rabid Dem throng last month, "We've killed the Patriot Act!"

It's as I predicted years ago: the party of Bill Clinton has all of his integrity and not the first smidgeon of talent at effectively using it. The true "felon-in-chief" was a pathological liar, but he was a good at it - indeed, arguably the best ever. Harry Reid, by contrast of the aforementioned, is like the hapless fat guy in the Capitol One commercials whom David Spayed can't train to consistently tell customers "no!". Reid lies, but they're such obvious whoppers that have not the slightest chance of convincing anybody beyond the fifth or so of the public that already hates Bush as insanely as Reid does - or is compelled by partisan necessity to pretend that he does.

Ironically, it's that last act, if act it truly is, that alone is convincing - and is more than sufficient to keep Reid's party securely in the minority for years to come.

Talk about a walking, living, breathing Peter Principle. Pity for his sake that he's a talking one as well.

Howard Does It Again!

Poor Howard Dean...he just can't stop himself from chewing on his shoes:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Sunday that Democrats who took money from Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff and who did something on behalf of those tribes have "a big problem."

Dean made the statement apparently unaware that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has reportedly done exactly that.

Remember how in his last couple of interviews he has adamantly stated that no Democrat ever got anything from Jack Abramoff? How misinformed can one person be...? And this is the head of the DNC? Talk about laughable.

Under questioning by "Fox News Sunday's" Chris Wallace, Dean claimed that Democrats did no favors for Abramoff's Indian tribe clients:

"Nobody got anything out of the Democrats from Jack Abramoff," the top Democrat insisted. "No Democrat delivered anything and there's no accusation and no investigation that any Democrat ever delivered anything to Jack Abramoff. And that's not true of the Republicans."

And then the kicker:

But Wallace countered: "So if we find that there were some Democrats who wrote letters on behalf of some of the Indian tribes that Abramoff represented, then what do you say, sir?"

Dean's response: "That's a big problem. And those Democrats are in trouble. And they should be in trouble."

Well Howard, here ya go:

In November 2005 the Associated Press reported that Senate Minority Leader Reid had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from an Abramoff client, the Coushatta Indian tribe, after interceding with Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton over a casino dispute with a rival tribe.

Reid "sent a letter to Norton on March 5, 2002," the AP said. "The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second tribe represented by Abramoff sent an additional $5,000 to Reid's group. Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004."

It'll be interesting to watch him wheedle his way out of this one. Oh, he'll try. And it'll be good for a few more laughs.

Nephew Back From Iraq

Whew! Sorry for the absence for a couple of days. I have picked up a couple of new offices in my transcription business and they're keeping me hopping!

Had a family reception and dinner for my nephew, Sgt. Nathan Baldwin of the 80th Airborne Division. What a fine young man! He is back from his 2nd tour in Iraq, stationed in Fort Bragg now and taking leadership training. They let him come home for a few days and we all got together to see him before he goes back. I was just in awe of him, listening to the stories of securing the areas around the election sites, finding cars with the trunks taken out and filled with explosives (he and his team diffused two of those headed for one of the election sites in December). He said there were enough explosives in those cars to take out the entire polling site. They were tipped off to one of them by an Iraqi man. He told of the U.S. securing the area around schools and hospitals so that contractors could go in and repair and rebuild. He said the civilians always wanted to come up and talk to them, smiling and saying "Hey, American!" in their thick accents. Quite a different story than you hear in the mainstream press most of the time.

One thing that struck me is he didn't complain about *anything*. Not the conditions there, not the 100 lbs. of gear he had to carry around all the time, not the time away from home, nothing. He very firmly believes in what we are doing over there, and is quite willing to go to Iraq as many times as they send him. As I said before, he is a fine young man.

Which makes me even more furious at treasonous Democrats like Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry, to name a few. The things they say and do make things harder for soldiers like Nathan, and I believe more dangerous. They embolden the enemy by making them think that if they just keep it up a little longer, more and more people will come to agree with the lunatics on the Left and we will give up and go home. All they have to do is listen to John Murtha to believe they can win if they just hold on and kill a few more Americans. It's hard to believe that these dumb Democrats don't realize that...which makes it worse that they go ahead and do it anyway. Power and personal gain, that's all they care about. They make me sick.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Choice Is Ours

1 Therefore if you have been (A) raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, (B) seated at the right hand of God.

2 (C) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on Earth.

3 For you have (D) died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, (E) who is our life, is revealed, (F) then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

5 (G) Therefore consider (H) the members of your earthly body as dead to (I) immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

6 For it is because of these things that (J) the wrath of God will come [a] upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and (K) in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

8 But now you also, (L) put them all aside: (M) anger, wrath, malice, slander, and (N) abusive speech from your mouth.

9 (O) Do not lie to one another, since you (P) laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
10 and have (Q) put on the new self who is being (R) renewed to a true knowledge (S) according to the image of the One who (T) created him - 11 a renewal in which (U) there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, (V) circumcised and uncircumcised, [b](W) barbarian, Scythian, (X) slave and freeman, but (Y) Christ is all, and in all.

12 So, as those who have been (Z) chosen of God, holy and beloved, (AA) put on a (AB) heart of compassion, kindness, (AC) humility, gentleness and (AD) patience; 13 (AE) bearing with one another, and (AF) forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; (AG) just as the LORD forgave you, so also should you.

14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is (AH) the perfect bond of (AI) unity.

15 Let (AJ) the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in (AK) one body; and be thankful.

16 Let (AL) the word of [c] Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom (AM) teaching and admonishing one another (AN) with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, (AO) singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

17 (AP) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD Jesus, (AQ) giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

-Colossians 3:1-17

Homeland Security Roundup

Here are some of the week's headlines in this area:

FISA Fears Shielded 9/11 Plotters

Contrary to the claims of Bush Administration critics, the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has seriously hampered U.S. counterterrorism efforts - and actually helped to shield at least two key 9/11 plotters from detection by U.S. law enforcement....

[Reagan-era Justice Department official Victoria] Toensing notes that the vaunted FISA law became the basis for former [Clinton] Deputy Attorney General Jamie
Gorelick's notorious wall of separation in 1995 - which prohibited intelligence agencies from sharing information on terrorists with U.S. law enforcement....

Toensing said that if intelligence agencies had been able to wiretap terrorists operating inside the U.S. as they do under the Bush program, "we could have detected the presence of Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in San Diego, more than a year before they crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon."
Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales and President Bush decisively reiterated this point in speeches this week as well as establishing beyond any argument the legality of the NSA's terrorist surveillance program.

That isn't slowing down the DisLoyal Opposition from dishonestly screeching otherwise, of course (though none of them has actually come out and called for the eavesdropping to be shut down, which the logic of their so-called argument would seem to demand), or agitating for another acts of suicidal insanity:

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to strike down a provision of the Patriot Act that prevents foreigners who endorse terrorism from entering the U.S.
The details are almost irrelevant, aren't they?

Thank goodness there are some Republicans actively defending the Patriot Act, and the RNC is doing its part as well. Perhaps that's why even a typically skewed CBS/New York Times poll shows majority support for the NSA program and Patriot Act renewal.

And if all of the above wasn't sufficient, this story would seem to be the clincher (via CQ):

Colombia has dismantled a false passport ring with links to al-Qaida and Hamas militants, the acting attorney general said Thursday after authorities led dozens of simultaneous raids across five cities.

The gang allegedly supplied an unknown number of citizens from Pakistan, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and other countries with false passports and Colombian nationality without them ever stepping foot in the country.

An undisclosed number of those arrested are wanted for working with the al-Qaida terror network and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, said acting Attorney General Jorge Armando Otalora.

The counterfeit Colombian, Spanish, Portugese and German passports were used to enter the United States and Europe, he said.

Ed adds that three Iraqis traveled to Columbia in 2002 for the purpose of infiltrating the U.S. on Israeli passports supplied by Hamas and al Qaeda via this false passport ring.

Wanna connect the dots now? Between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein? Between al Qaeda and Hamas, the latter of whom is now Israel's new "partner in peace"? How about the most important connection of all:

The NSA program just went from an academic exercise to a practical application. The Colombians know that at least eight people snuck through on faked passports and are now in the United States. Do you suppose that an NSA program designed to check international calls might help locate these suspects - and perhaps help stop a planned attack on an American target?...

How does everyone feel about that international surveillance now? Sounds like a pretty damned good idea, doesn't it?


But please, do keep flogging this issue, my good Donk friends. Which is another way of saying, "Please, do keep slamming your collective ballsack repeatedly in a pneumatic press." Feel free to do so all the way through next November and beyond.

Please. I'm begging you.

Operation Iraqi Freedom A Bargain

Here's a little note to one of our commenters who claimed that the "trillion dollar" war in Iraq is bankrupting the country. Turns out it ain't so.

Turns out the cost to date of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as a percentage of GDP, is on a par with the Mexican War, Spanish-American War, and the 1991 Gulf War - a cumulative total of about 2% of a single year's GDP, or about $250 billion in today's dollars. This is in contrast to the War of 1812, Korea, and Vietnam (~10% of GDP), World War I (~25%), the Revolutionary War (~65%), the Civil War (~105%), or World War II (~130%).

And, of course, World War II needn't have been a global conflict if the aggressors - Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan - had been confronted pre-emptively in the 1930s. A lesson we applied to Iraq that we are, foolishly, failing to apply to Iran.

The cost of that error could cost a helluva lot more than just dollars and cents. But it's a "buck" that you know tinfoil hat-wearers like the aforementioned commentor will always pass no matter how much they own it.

Threat Of The Pink Panther

My first reaction to this comment from French President Black Jacques Chirac was uncontrollable laughter:

French president Jacques Chirac said [last] Thursday that he would use nuclear weapons against any state that served as a base for terrorists who attacked his country or even considered using weapons of mass destruction.

"The leaders of states who use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using, in one way or another, weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part,” Chirac said, in quotes picked up by London's Financial Times.

"This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind,” he added ominously.

Hee hee. That Jacques, what a josher. He has a second career waiting for him in Vegas after he leaves office.

C'mon, this is the president of France we're discussing. King of the EUnuchs (in his own mind, anyway). The top cheese-eating surrender monkey. Chief fellator of Middle East dictators. The anti-cowboy. Black Jacques Chirac rattling the nuclear sabre is like...well, like Jimmy Carter doing it. Whenever I think of this comment I can't help seeing Steve Martin trying to say the word "hamburger." Does anybody really take President Clouseau's bluster seriously?

Allan Topol considers it in the Washington Times this week:

So, what happened? There are two contributing factors. The first is the civil unrest in France several months ago, which involved nightly riots and a myriad of car burnings in many areas of the country. This violence had the same kind of impact upon Mr. Chirac and the French government that September 11 had upon the United States.

In his speech, Mr. Chirac bluntly declared, "In numerous countries, radical ideas are spreading, advocating a confrontation of civilizations." Mr. Chirac now understands the problem. The jihadists are attempting to capture town by town, areas within Western Europe. As one French government official put it, "This is more than a clash of civilizations. It is a cancer within our country that if unchecked will destroy all of France."

With his statements, Mr. Chirac is warning Iran and the Arab countries to desist in supporting and encouraging residents of France who launched last year's attacks and are undoubtedly planning to do far worse. His approach is to cut off terror at the source. This resembles the policy being pursued by the U.S. government, although it is hard to imagine how great the public outcry would be if President Bush threatened to use nuclear weapons.
Indeed. And why is this? Because, despite what the Democrats endlessly claim, George Bush is honest as the day is long. His words have credibility. He doesn't make empty threats (about the war, at least). That's why people believe what he says. If he made the same threat Chirac did, it would be taken seriously.

This makes all the more ironic Bush's Kerryesque deference to the Euros' ridiculous diplomatic forays against Iran's nuclear weapons program. As though, just as with his pre-Iraq war indulgence of the UN, he feels the duty to demonstrate the futility of the domestic (and international) political opposition's policy demands before pressing ahead to actually deal with the threat at hand.

And press ahead we will. The precious-time-wasting diddling of the Brits, French, and Germans has made war with Iran inevitable. And when that war begins, you can count on Black Jacques Chirac to be leading the pretentious howls of international outrage at the latest act of "American neocon imperialist aggression."

Those words won't be serious either. But they will be believable, considering the source.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fellow Workers

1 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of (A) Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at (B) Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.

2 Therefore the people (C) quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water that we may drink " And Moses said to them, "(D) Why do you quarrel with me? (E) Why do you test the LORD?"

3 But the people thirsted there for water; and they (F) grumbled against Moses and said, "Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and (G) our livestock with thirst?"

4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A (H) little more and they will stone me."

5 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pass before the people and take with you some of (I) the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which (J) you struck the Nile, and go.

6 "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at (K) Horeb; and (L) you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

-Exodus 17:1-6

Message From The Future

Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed, and other days there's not time for anything else.

Plus, after a, shall we say, "full day," I decided to stuff my face over a good book (To Reign In Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh) and, as is my want, proceeded to devour the book in similar fashion. This time I managed to get to bed relatively early - about 3:15 AM as opposed to 4:45 AM the last time. Of course, I'm now two reviews behind on Battlestar Galactica, so the five-hour nap I took this afternoon has crowded me on blogging yet again. Unless, of course, I stay up half the night again, which won't happen if wifey is either frisky or "cooperative," which most times is a far more descriptive term.

All of which is far more than any of you are probably either interested in or ever wanted to know. But sometimes even I need a break now and then, and with a lineup of contributors only one of whom ever actually contributes, which was not my original intention, it scratches the accountability itch.

It also proves that, contrary to the stubborn insistance of the Vulcan Science Directorate, time travel is, indeed, possible.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Magnifying Our Master

23 Are they (A) servants of Christ? - I speak as if insane - I more so; in (B) far more labors, in (C) far more imprisonments, (D) beaten times without number, often in (E) danger of death.

24 Five times I received from the Jews (F) thirty-nine lashes.

25 Three times I was (G) beaten with rods, once I was (H) stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.

26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my (I) countrymen, dangers from the (J) Gentiles, dangers in the (K) city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among (L) false brethren; 27 I have been in (M) labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in (N) hunger and thirst, often (O) without food, in cold and (P) exposure.

28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for (Q) all the churches.

-II Corinthians 11:23-28

Futile Gestures

Ah, what it must be like to be a Democrat these days. Trapped between an extremist, parsecs-out-of-the-mainstream base and the majority of the electorate that base demands they alienate, like the, well, donkey that starved to death between the two bales of hay, Senate Donks are coping with the inevitable confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court by scattering to the four winds in a rousing rendition of "every man for himself" helter-skelter.

Ken Salazar of Colorado was a one-man scattering all by himself, unable to bring himself to back a filibuster (which wouldn't exactly be the platform on which he ran in 2004) and unwilling to disclose how he'll vote (though that seems somewhat less than difficult to deduce), and trying to cover both by sliming Justice Clarence Thomas as an "abomination." Which, of course, will please nobody, not the lib crazoids who would only be interested in impeaching Thomas, and only after Judge Alito was stuffed, and not the rest of us normal people who already have written off Salazar as Kerry with a twang.

Speaking of Mr. French, he advocated, er, "nuking" Alito in a frothing, raaaaahbid floor speech yesterday that was so commital (as in the opposite of non-commital) that you just knew the other shoe would drop post-haste:

From a Senate source: Kerry's call for a filibuster comes after his leadership, that is, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, decided there won't be one. In other words, Kerry was making a brave, Kos-friendly pronouncement in the total confidence that a filibuster will never happen. And now, word is, he is off to Davos to continue what some Republicans are calling a "filibluster."

And to think this man wanted to be president of the United States. And came within eighteen Electoral Votes of succeeding. Brrrrrrr.

Florida's Bill Nelson, not only from a "red" state but up for re-election this fall, couldn't even risk the floor-joist level of candor Senator Salazar mustered, and hence justified his anti-Alito vote by questioning the liklihood of the incoming Justice's voting to overturn the Kelo decision:

I explained how a recent Supreme Court decision has frightened many of our constituents who fear that their homes can now be seized by the government to make way for a private developer's project. And while he expressed sympathy for the parties whose homes had been seized in this personal meeting with him he offered no misgivings about the legal reasoning that led to that outcome.

I'm sure Floridians will be flattered at the level of collective intelligence their senior senator accords to them. As if they're unaware that it was the oligarchist bloc on the SCOTUS that voted for Kelo's rank evisceration of private property rights, and that it was Senator Nelson and his minority party colleagues who depicted Judge Alito as, among other things, a "tool of big business." If you've ever wondered what rigor mortic straw-grasping looks like, Bill Nelson just gave you an el primo demonstration.

Hillary Clinton, tacking toward the neoBolsheviks this week, indulged in the cheeky, ironic projection for which she is infamous in what might be dubbed her "Alito is a radical ideologue" speech. Ed Whelan of Bench Memos has the analysis of it if you're interested. My take is that she's trying to get her estranged left-wingnut groupies, with their utter obtuseness to subtlety, off her back and doesn't have to triangulate to hold on to her senate seat. All of which makes another fine contribution to the PR ammunition dump for 2008. Can't get too much of that, after all, and we're going to need every last round before it's over.

Meanwhile, on the side of sanity emerged South Dakota's Tim Johnson (who looks to have learned from Tom Daschle's debacle) and Robert "Sheets" Byrd, who obviously wants to die in office. Byron Dorgan, another exposed "red"-stater, is also expected to make the right choice.

Byrd seems to have conveniently developed a conscience in his old age:

Many people and including foremost, as I say, the people of West Virginia in most uncertain terms, were, frankly, appalled by the Alito hearings. I don't want to say it but I must. They were appalled. In the reams of correspondence that I received during the Alito hearings, West Virginians — the people I represent — West Virginians who wrote to criticize the way in which the hearings were conducted used the same two words. People with no connection to one another, people of different faiths, different views, different opinions, independently and respectively used the same two words to describe the hearings. They called them an “outrage” and a “disgrace.” . . .

It is especially telling that many who objected to the way in which the Alito hearings were conducted do not support Judge Alito. In fact, it is sorely apparent that even many who oppose Judge Alito's nomination also oppose the seemingly made-for-TV antics that accompanied the hearings. . . .

And then there were the media and the media's contribution to the deterioration of this very important constitutional process. Mr. President, was it really necessary to subject Mrs. Alito to the harsh glare of the television klieg lights as she fled the hearing room in tears? Fighting to maintain her dignity in response to others, with precious little of their own?
Indeed, Byrd may even have started reading that pocket Constitution he's always waving around:

I regret that we have come to a place in our history when both political parties, both political parties exhibit such a take-no prisoners attitude. All sides seek to use the debate over a Supreme Court nominee to air their particular wish list for or against abortion, euthanasia, executive authority, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, corporate greed, and dozens of other subjects.

All of these issues should be debated but the battle line should not be drawn on the Judiciary. It should be debated by the peoples' representatives right here in the legislative branch. However, too many Americans apparently believe that if they cannot get Congress to address an issue then they must take it to the Court. As the saying goes: "if you can't change the law, change the judge."

This kind of thinking represents a gross misinterpretation of the separation of powers. It is the role of the Congress, the role of the legislative branch to make and change the laws. Supreme Court justices exist to interpret laws and be sure that they square with the Constitution and with law. [emphasis added]

Wow. Does Senator Kleagle really believe that? And either way, does this mean that Barack Obama won't be stumping for him on the campaign trail anymore?

Assuming all 55 Republicans vote "yea" (only Snowe, Chaffee, and Stevens haven't publicly committed), Ben Nelson, Johnson, Byrd, and Dorgan would bring Alito's total up to 59, and the anti-filibuster total easily clears the 60 mark. With today's cloture filing by Majority Leader Frist for a cloture vote Monday afternoon and a final floor vote Tuesday morning, it is, quite literally, all over but the shouting.

Never Mind With The ABP

Swamped yesterday. Got lazy last night. Feel asleep at 8:30PM. Swamped again today. Won't get lazy tonight. I'd never catch up with all the crapola of the last two days if I did.

Actually, I probably won't anyway, but it won't be for lack of trying.

Unless wifey gets frisky.

Stay tuned.

Wrong Again

I was reading this this morning, and it occured to me that isn't it sad that the Secretary of Defense has to spend his time rebutting Democrat attempts at undermining our military's mission and morale?

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday disputed reports suggesting that the U.S. military is stretched thin and close to a snapping point from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, asserting "the force is not broken."

"This armed force is enormously capable," Rumsfeld told reporters at a Pentagon briefing. "In addition, it's battle hardened. It's not a peacetime force that has been in barracks or garrisons."

Of course it is enormously capable. Look at what they've accomplished. You'll have to look, as the MSM has chosen not to publish any reports that might be construed as positive for our American military.

Rumsfeld spoke a day after The Associated Press reported that an unreleased study conducted for the Pentagon said the Army is being overextended, thanks to the two wars, and may not be able to retain and recruit enough troops to defeat the insurgency in Iraq.

Congressional Democrats released a report Wednesday that also concluded the U.S. military is under severe stress.

Reports suggesting that the U.S. military is close to the breaking point "is just not consistent with the facts," he said.

And who are these "experts" who keep telling us that our military is not capable?

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Perry, both members of the Clinton administration, were credited among the authors of the study that congressional Democrats released.

Clinton people. Those awe-inspiring heroes of foreign policy. It still baffles me how anyone could think that Madeleine Albright was qualified for that position. But I digress.

Rumsfeld said that "retention is up" and that recruitment levels must meet higher goals, ones raised because of the operations on the ground.

At the same time, Rumsfeld added: "There is no question if a country is in a conflict and we are in the global war on terror, it requires our forces to do something other than what they do in peacetime."

"The force is not broken," Rumsfeld said, suggesting such an implication was "almost backward."

"The world saw the United States military go halfway around the world in a matter of weeks, throw the Al Qaida and Taliban out of Afghanistan, in a landlocked country thousands and thousands of miles away. They saw what the United States military did in Iraq.

"And the message from that is not that this armed force is broken, but that this armed force is enormously capable," Rumsfeld said.

Amen. Too bad our Democrats cannot understand that...or worse, that they DO understand that and want to downplay it as much as possible. But...they support the troops, right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

And It Was So

1 (A) In the beginning (B) God (C) created the heavens and Earth.

2 The earth was [a](D) formless and void, and (E) darkness was over the surface of the deep, and (F) the Spirit of God (G) was [b] moving over the surface of the waters.

3 Then (H) God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

4 God saw that the light was (I) good; and God (J) separated the light from the darkness.

5 (K) God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And (L) there was evening and there was morning, one day.

6 Then God said, "Let there be an (M) expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

7 God made the [c] expanse, and separated (N) the waters which were below the expanse from the waters (O) which were above the expanse; and it was so.

8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

9 Then God said, "(P) Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let (Q) the dry land appear"; and it was so.

10 God called the dry land earth, and the (R) gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, "Let Earth sprout (S) vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on Earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so.

12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.

13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

-Genesis 1:1-13

President Hillary Is Inevitable

I borrowed that line from Terminator III, substituting "President Hillary" for "Judgment Day." Fits that meme quite nicely, doesn't it?

The New York Sun reports today that Democrats around the country are getting increasingly "nervous" about Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential candidacy and its ostensible foregone-conclusion status because {chuckle} they don't think she can win:

Senator Clinton's emergence as the early and perhaps prohibitive favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 is fueling anxiety among Democratic strategists and operatives who are worried she would lose to a Republican in the general election.

Recent polling underscores some of those worries. In a CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll made public yesterday, 51% of voters said they would definitely not vote for Mrs. Clinton if she chooses to run for president in 2008. In a separate nationwide poll conducted this month for a spirits company, Diageo, and a political newsletter, the Hotline, 44% of all voters and 19% of self-described Democrats said they viewed the New York senator unfavorably.

According to Democratic Party insiders, such numbers are adding to skittishness about Mrs. Clinton's potential candidacy. ... A former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Richard Harpootlian, is among those who will own up to such misgivings. "Mrs. Clinton, because of some positions she has taken over the years, gets a visceral reaction to her here, both negative and positive. I'm afraid around the South and Midwest the visceral reaction is not good," he told the New York Sun.

First of all, this is January 2006. The 2008 cycle doesn't begin for another year, and not in earnest until a year after that. Polls taken now are worse than useless as indicators of national or political trends.

Second, remember the #1 lesson of the 1990s: The Clintons always win. They're death to the rest of their party, but the Clinton machine is invincible.

And third, keep this in mind: the key to Bill Clinton's two election triumphs had a name - Ross Perot. Without a significant third candidate in the race to split the center-right vote, Mr. Bill never becomes president to begin with, and "the li'l general" provided the same insurance buffer against Bob Dole four years later.

Now let me throw out another name, and one that Republicans should all know all too well: John McCain. The conventional wisdom, which is always wrong, has "Sailor" cruising to the '08 GOP nomination. But I can and will guarantee that that will never happen because when all's said and done few in the GOP nominating electorate really, truly trust the man. And why should they? He's pro-Kyoto, anti-tax cut, waffling on abortion, and is undermining the GWOT effort with his recent "anti-torture" legislation. He's a Rockefeller Republican in every sense of the term. And the Extreme Media love him. The latter is disqualifying all by itself, it seems to me.

Knowing what we know about McCain's petulant reaction to losing the 2000 nomination race to George W. Bush, when he's denied again in 2008, how do you think he'll take that decisive rebuff?

Do the words "third party" ring a bell?

It doesn't matter what the "visceral reaction" to Mrs. Clinton will be in the South and Midwest. With Darth Queeg as her wedge, she will part the "Red" Sea twenty-two months from now and make the Clinton restoration a reality.

And then the nightmare will truly begin.

[HT: CQ]

2,000th Post!

I know, I know, you probably thought that number is missing an extra zero (at least)....

Bad News From Ford

Neil Boortz has a great column up regarding the bad news for Ford workers that came out yesterday. He lists several reasons, but to me the most obvious is this:

Have you been around a major union auto plant lately? Look at the bumper stickers on the cars. You'll see many more bumper stickers that say "UAW" than you will that say "Ford." Watch the workers as they arrive or leave on a chilly day. They're wearing UAW jackets, not Ford or Chevy jackets. Many of these people have far more loyalty to their union than they do to the company that is actually writing their paychecks. The financial burden that has been on these automakers by inflated union contracts has been crippling. Many years ago the UAW developed a game plan for bleeding the automakers dry. They would pick one of the big-three, either Ford, Chrysler or General Motors. They would then hit the target automaker with a demand for huge pay and benefit increases. That automaker would balk, and the UAW would go out on strike. Finally, after huge loses, the automaker would cave. A new contract would be signed, and the unions would then force that contract on the other automakers. Over the years these contracts created a burden on the automakers that could not be sustained. In some cases these automakers can't even lay off employees without having to continue their paychecks years into the future.

Another big reason is the terrible tax bite that corporations must absorb. Read the whole article, it's a good one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Bad Day?

15 The sound of (A) joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the (B) right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

16 The (C) right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

17 I (D) will not die, but live, And (E) tell of the works of the LORD.

18 The LORD has (F) disciplined me severely, but He has (G) not given me over to death.

19 (H) Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.

20 This is the gate of the LORD; the (I) righteous will enter through it.

21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have (J) answered me, and You have (K) become my salvation.

22 The (L) stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.

23 This is [a] the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day which the LORD has made; let us (M) rejoice and be glad in it.

-Psalm 118:15-24