Saturday, March 31, 2007

Which Way Am I Growing?

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature [a] will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

-Galatians 6:7-10

Rosie's Ridiculous Rant

Okay, I know it's hard. But make yourself watch this video. You will be amazed at the idiocy contained there. Rosie O'Donnell exposes herself even more as a kook leftist, she has now joined the ranks of the conspiracy theorists. They're lovin' it too, check out this picture over at LGF. What is really troubling is the mindless twits in the audience cheering Rosie on. What is wrong with these people? Never mind, I know what is wrong with Rosie...a psychotic hatred for the Bush Administration, not to mention anything else decent. But the audience? Scary to think there are that many people who actually think what O'Donnell is saying makes any sense.

Here is a response to the idiot O'Donnell's rant from Popular Mechanics. Think she'll read it and recant?

JASmius adds: Well, Michael Savage DID say that liberalism is a mental disorder. He gets slammed for being too harsh even by some on our side, but Rosie the Blob seems determined to prove his words by example. (I'd say "embody" his words, except that that would require Savage to write a screedal tome roughly the length of Winston Churchill's A History Of The English Speaking Peoples.)

As to her audience, there must be a lot of people who actually think what O'Donnell is saying makes sense, because the Democrats ARE back in power.

Maybe Rosie'll be Hillary's White House Press Secretary....

Friday, March 30, 2007


6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the LORD. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the LORD. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the LORD's will is.

-Ephesians 5:6-17

Senior Years

An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%. The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again."

The gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!"

~ ~ ~

Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says: "Slim, I'm eighty-three years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?"

Slim says, "I feel just like a newborn baby."

"Really!? Like a newborn baby!?"

"Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants."

~ ~ ~

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, "Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great I would recommend it very highly."

The other man said, "What is the name of the restaurant?" The first man thought and thought and finally said, "What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know... the one that's red and has thorns.""Do you mean a rose?"

"Yes, that's the one," replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, "Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night...?"

~ ~ ~

Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn't need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him. "I don't know," he said. "She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown."

~ ~ ~

A couple in their nineties is having problems remembering things. During a checkup, the doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. "Want anything while I'm in the kitchen?" he asks. "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?" "Sure."

"Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?" she asks. "No, I can remember it." "Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. Maybe you should write it down, so's not to forget it." He says, "I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."

"I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, write it down." she snaps. Irritated, he says, "I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream - I got it, for goodness sake!" Then he toddles into the kitchen.

After about twenty minutes, the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment. "Where's my toast?"

~ ~ ~

A senior citizen said to his eighty-year old buddy, "So I hear you're getting married?" "Yep!"

"Do I know her?""Nope!" "This woman, is she good looking?" "Not really." "Is she a good cook?" "Naw, she can't cook too well." "Does she have lots of money?" "Nope, poor as a church mouse." "Well, then, is she good in bed?" "I don't know."

"Why in the world do you want to marry her then?"

"Because she can still drive!"

~ ~ ~

Three old guys are out walking. The first one says, "Windy, isn't it?" The second one says, "No, it's Thursday!" The third says, "So am I. Let's go get a beer".

~ ~ ~

A man was telling his neighbor, "I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but its state of the art; it's perfect."

"Really?" answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?"

"Twelve thirty."

~ ~ ~

Morris, an eight-two-year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.

A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?" Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.'"

The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful.''

[h/t: Uncle]

Feinstein Follies

Any bets on how long it will take the Drive-By Media to cover this?

"Senator Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein. As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design. She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband's companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp."

Imagine, if you will, a senior Republican resigning from a committee due to conflict of interest such as this. The bias of the leftist media in this country continues to amaze me. It shouldn't, but it still does. Can you envision how fast the Democrats would be calling for an investigation of Feinstein were a Republican? It would make your head swim. As it is, this will get very little attention. It's just sickening.

JASmius asks: Isn't the closest analog to this sort of thing on the GOP side former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham? And isn't he in jail?

Opined Cap'n Ed:

If the Democrats meant what they said in 2006, Feinstein provides an excellent test case for their new sense of ethics. They should expel her from the Senate and have California hold a special election to replace her. If they do nothing, then they have exposed themselves as the party of self-enrichment at the expense of taxpayers.

Except, of course, that the Donks exposed themselves as rapers and pillagers of the taxpayers a long, long time ago, and reiterated it again just the other day:

Based on [GOP profligacy], the nation gave the Democrats the majority in both chambers of Congress. What did we get? No decrease in federal spending; the Democrats want to grow the government by 2.4% each year, which would mean adding close to $100 billion in spending each year. In order to do that, they want to increase taxes across the board, choking off economic growth and making people even more dependent on the government.

By 2011, the added tax burden on every taxpayer would be over $1100 dollars. Twenty-six million small businesses would have to pay almost $4,000 in extra taxes. More than five million Americans whose incomes are too low to pay taxes now would have to start paying in 2011, making the Democratic plan more regressive than what it seeks to replace.

Democrats and taxes, together again after twelve years in the wilderness. It sounds like a movie romance - and we're footing the bill for the production.

And we knew what we were getting. Which means the people who voted for those despicable, corrupt, treasonous neoStalinists are without excuse for the disasters and privations to come.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


[Swamped today between work and family responsibilities. And just when blogging fodder is reaching critical mass again {sigh}. Fortunately....]

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, 3 He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [a] I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

-Psalm 23

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Weakness Is Not An Option, But An Inevitability

I'll give British Prime Minister Tony Blair his due - he certainly does talk a good game:

Tony Blair warned Iran yesterday that the dispute over the fifteen British servicemen seized in Gulf waters last week could move into a “different phase” if diplomacy failed to secure their release.

His words, immediately condemned by Iran as “provocative” [heh], came as the US Navy began its biggest show of force in the Gulf since the invasion of Iraq four years ago, with manoeuvres involving two aircraft carriers, a dozen warships and more than one hundred aircraft.

As tensions rose, Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, had a robust telephone conversation with her Iranian counterpart demanding immediate consular access to the captured Britons.

In an interview on GMTV, Mr. Blair said: “I hope we manage to get them to realise they have to release them. If not, then this will move into a different phase.”

Hey, I said he talks a good game. Talking a great game would dispense with diplomacy altogether and would go something like, "Return our fifteen sailors unharmed immediately or we will transform your country into a parking lot". Sure, that's not really the Brits' rhetorical style, but Winston Churchill managed to cloak the same sentiments in the fine silk of his unparalleled eloquence in the runup to and during World War II vis-a-vie Nazi Germany. And Margaret Thatcher left no doubts about her resolve to drive Argentine forces from the Falkland Islands a quarter-century ago if they didn't withdraw post haste.

One quite likely reason for Blair's peculiar mode of painfully understated bravado may be that he has made the systematic disembowlment of British naval power - and with it the ability to make good on "moving this into a different phase" - a top priority of his regime:

By this time next year, the once-vaunted Royal Navy will be about the size of the Belgian Navy, while its officers face a five-year moratorium on all promotions...

Since January, the Blair government has broadcast its intentions of gutting the Royal Navy's surface fleet. At the same time, it also announced its plans for withdrawing 2,500 British troops from Iraq. The result? First, the Royal Navy is finished as a credible military force. Second, the British Army's redeployment from Basra has been widely interpreted as abandonment of the Iraq mission, rather than as moving on to Afghanistan after a job well done, as Blair insists...

The mullahs in Tehran clearly see the new pacifist trend in Britain not as a hopeful sign of future accord, but as supine surrender. Just as clearly, they have singled out Britain as the latest weak link in the Coalition fighting in Iraq and in the War on Terror...

In places like Bosnia and the Persian Gulf, and in operations like Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, its help has been solid and genuine, as well as important in a symbolic sense. America always looks better when a couple of frigates flying the Royal Navy's White Ensignare side by side with those flying the Stars and Stripes. U.S. sailors also know that in a real fight, the men of the Royal Navy, which our navy men still call the "Senior Service," will never let them down...

Now those days are gone for good. Yet, if today's Britons thought that by shedding that historic responsibility they could buy themselves some peace of mind, the current hostage crisis has just proved them wrong...

Enemies like the mullahs and their terrorist allies recognize no time outs, no neutral ground. They see only strength and weakness, those nations they can manipulate and those they have to fear. Today they clearly feel they can pull the British lion's tail with impunity.

If the hostages are finally released unharmed, it will have a lot more to do with the presence of two American carrier groups off the Iranian coast than anything Blair is doing - and the British will have learned that what they really lost when they gave up their fleet and abandoned the fight in Iraq is their own self-respect.

Left-wingers don't have any self-respect, and equate neurotic, self-debasing prostration on the world stage with overarching moral virtue. They demand unconditional, unilateral retreat and surrender as penitance for the imagined, ideologically-manufactured sins of past countrymen and contemporaries that defend them and the notion of patriotism, nationalism, and core principles of freedom and self-determination in which libs no longer believe. No thought is given to the consequences of this stance because their ideology rules them out. And if they happen, well, it's all the fault of those right-wing warmongers.

Certainly not Iran, the archenemy of the Anglosphere and everything it stands - or used to stand - for, which sees the Blair government "going wobbly" and has decided, not unreasonably, that a modest push will topple it over, leaving the U.S. functionally alone in Iraq and therefore even more likely to bug out itself. Also an entirely understandable conclusion to draw in light of recent congressional events.

Yes, there is the "mammoth" American naval exercise in the Persian Gulf, which on the one hand the Pentagon insists has nothing to do with the latest Iranian act of war against the Coalition (the seizure of the aforementioned fifteen British sailors) and on the other is meant to "send a message" to the mullahs. I can't say that I'm all that impressed, personally. Looking at it from the standpoint of Adolph Ahmadinejad and his employers, I can't rightly see what message it's sending besides a lot of bluff, bluster, and spittle, a raucous rattling of empty sabres, the roar of a toothless, spiritually declawed grishnar cat without the heart to move beyond to the bite stage. I mean, let's get down to where the ol' cheese binds: I think President Bush would pull the trigger on the mullahgarchy without hesitation if they held fifteen American servicemen, but will he really take us to war on Great Britain's behalf? Especially given that the Democrats are trying to pre-emptively surrender to Tehran as well? Why else do you suppose the Iranians went after the Brits instead of us directly?

And if they were to have miscalculated, and we and the Brits did launch military reprisals, one cannot help wondering whether that would truly be a miscalculation in Islamist minds. One can imagine the firestorm of far left outrage that would erupt in the event of a U.S. attack on Iran; add to that the, um, "fallout" from a spectacular terrorist reprisal already planned, in place, and awaiting its "go" orders (take your pick - nuking Israel, a WMD attack inside the U.S. or against our two carrier battle groups in the Gulf) and the domestic political chaos here would be unimaginable. Suffice it to say, post-9/11 unity would be highly unlikely, and the fall of the Bush Administration a virtual certainty.

I think the Bushies know this, and so do the mullahs. Which makes this whole contrivance of a "mammoth" military exercise an even bigger humiliation for its rank, evident impotence. We have become, once again, the "pitiful, helpless giant" of the post-Vietnam era, possessed of unchallengable power and irredeemable cowardice. And so we march on toward Adolph's apocalypse, made all the more certain by the brazeness our weakness and suicidally short national attention span is encouraging.

Maybe the Iranians release the British sailors after they've milked enough embarrassment from the incident. Or maybe they'll execute them as "spies" and dare us to do something about it. And next time they will capture American soldiers, and nuke the carriers we send for the next "message-sending mammoth" Persian Gulf exercise.

With all due respect to Mark Noonan, this situation is already "out of control," and has been for years. And, most likely, beyond the Rubicon where a tragic outcome can still be averted.

That's the "next phase," no matter what the British grishnar cat roars, in its peculiar, understated way.


19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.

20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him.

29 Let him bury his face in the dust — there may yet be hope.

30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For men are not cast off by the LORD forever.

32 Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.

-Lamentations 3:19-32

Blankley Gets It

Tony Blankley, on the inevitability of President Hillary Rodham:

With every passing week it becomes more likely that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party nominee for president. This thought, alone, should provide the strongest possible motivation to the Bush Administration and the Washington Republicans to get their acts together so that the eventual Republican nominee for president doesn't start the general election campaign in too deep a hole.
Fat chance. When has that bunch had its act together at any time in the past four years? Heck, the latter are too busy trying to run away from the former to even notice Mrs. Clinton moving in behind them with the length of telephone cord.

The polls that show half the country saying they won't vote for Hillary should be discounted. At the election, the choice will not be Hillary or not Hillary -- it will be Hillary or someone else. And that is what the campaign is about. ...

Moreover, Hillary's strengths are not yet as appreciated as they will be. Don't get me wrong, personally I find her and her candidacy detestable as the worst form of unprincipled, ruthless, nihilistic, mud-throwing demagogic politics. But for the Democratic Party electorate (and some Independents and soft Republicans) her apparent strengths will become more persuasive.

I.e. the same "apparent strengths" that were so decisive for Donk congressional candidates last November - she's not a Republican. And, more to the point, she's the polar opposite of George W. Bush.

And, you know, Clintons always, um, pound Bushes.

Currently she suffers by the media's focus on her lack of spontaneity, charm or pleasant voice - particularly when compared with Obama and, to some extent, Edwards. But charm is not the only path to the American voter. Richard Milhous Nixon won more national elections than any politician in our history (two vice presidents, three presidential nominations and two presidencies - three if you count the stolen 1960 election against Kennedy). He didn't have any charm - but he was smart, shrewd, highly political, hard working and ruthless. Sometimes the voters are looking for what they think is competence rather than a love affair.

Double-underline "ruthless." Hillary sounds a lot like Nixon, but the biggest difference between them is that whereas Nixon's ruthlessness was bumblingly incompetent (C'mon, he'd have had to almost be trying to screw up not to be able to survive Watergate), Hillary's is a well-oiled machine. The Clinton machine, that is, that ran propaganda roughshod over every scandal-related pursuer and rings around the poor, clumsy, hapless Republican Party for eight insufferable years.

And while it is true, as the stubbornly clueless Cap'n Ed points out, that Mrs. Clinton is "nowhere near as charming as her husband" and "has all of Bill's slickness and none of the salesmanship that allowed him to get away with it," she'll have two clincher advantages: a vagina and a Republican as her opponent. The former will be so overpoweringly intimidating to the latter, whoever he is, that he won't DARE even think of waging the kind of campaign that she will, replete with blatant mendacities and vicious smears and dirty tricks from which the Clinton machine and the Enemy Media will completely insulate her. It won't matter what he says or does; he'll simply be swamped, eclipsed by her cult of personality, her juggarnaut of a pre-emptive coronational procession. Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney or (God help us) Rudy Giuliani will, like Rick Lazio did in her 2000 New York senate race, spend several months saying little more than "humina-humina-humina"; center-right voters will stay home again in frustration; "independents" will be dazzled by all her "competence" hand-waving, residual Bushophobia, and the novelty of electing a woman to the presidency; and lefties will be clawing their way out of tequila comas and covens and cemetaries and bathhouses for the orgasmic opportunity to exact the ultimate revenge for the 2000 election.

If Ronald Reagan could be resurrected or cloned, he might be able to take Hillary in 2008. But none of the actual or potential stable of GOP so-called "contenders" has a prayer, because they're already beside the point. They're the Washington Generals to her Harlem Globetrotters. They're what Rocky Balboa would have been to Apollo Creed in the real world. They're already beaten. Because the 2008 election is already decided. And they don't even know it.

Well, McCain probably does....

Esser's Lament

Another cry of impotence from Donkupied Washington. Beats me why the state Republican Party keeps emailing them to me.

What a bad week for Washington families and taxpayers.

[Former attorney-general] Gregoire and Democrats in both Olympia and Washington, D.C. showed once again that they’re still the party of three things: spending, spending and more spending. House Democrats blindly followed [Former attorney-general] Gregoire’s lead and proposed a budget that – surprise – adds billions in new spending. [Former attorney-general] Gregoire praised it as soon as it was released.

Assuming the Democrats pass a budget similar to the ones they have already proposed – and it’s virtually certain that they will – state government spending will have increased 33% since [Former attorney-general] Gregoire [overthrew legitimate Washington Governor Dino Rossi].

Let me say that again. A 33% increase in spending....

[Former attorney-general] Gregoire is busy spending billions on new programs and totally draining a record $2 billion surplus, but she and her fellow Democrats are ignoring the critical issues facing our state.

Her education proposals focus heavily on politically flashy new programs designed to aid her [Hugo Chavez-esque "]election["], while fundamental school needs remain overlooked.

[Former attorney-general] Gregoire is continuing to ignore the felon release crisis in her [junta] by refusing to build any new prisons – guaranteeing that law enforcement officials will continue facing the unacceptable choice of letting dangerous felons out early, or not arresting them in the first place.

And instead of improving Washington’s expensive and overbearing business climate, [Former attorney-general] Gregoire is laying the groundwork for lower business growth in the future.

State government has a record surplus this year, which provides an opportunity to start paying down billions of dollars in pension obligations and provide some much-needed tax relief, but instead [Former attorney-general] Gregoire is spending every penny and setting us up for more tax increases in the future....

Democrats, once again, are reminding us all of just how liberal and irresponsible their tax-and-spend politics really are.
For Washington taxpayers and families, it's been a bad twenty-three years (i.e. the last time the Evergreen State had a Republican governor that wasn't toppled by a Donk coup de tat), the occasional GOP legislative majority not withstanding. And even those interludes haven't provided much relief. Which is most of why the Republican Party has become so moribund in this state.

If that sounds a lot like California without a spineless RINO movie star governor, welcome to our nightmare.


Hi everybody! Sorry for the limited posting, I have an extra client this week as I'm filling in for another transcriptionist, so life is even busier than usual at the moment.

I just wanted to comment on Jim's post below. Unfortunately, this reaction from the kooks on the Left is totally predictable. I have no doubt that the worse the news is for Tony Snow, the more they will celebrate. These are truly awful people. Take a look at these comments in the Washington Post's blog section. (H/T Little Green Footballs).

Must be awful to be them.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Unlikely Heroes

7 The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.

8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres [a] in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what He had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, Who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger 13 because they forsook Him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In His anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as He had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

16 Then the LORD raised up judges, [b] who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the LORD's commands. 18 Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, He was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

-Judges 2:7-19

Be Careful What You Hope For....

Huff & Puff commenters last Friday after the announcement that a new growth had been detected in White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's large intestine:

- “Sure holding all that bullshit in your gut would make anybody sick..!”

- “You can only swallow so much............can you say karma.................”

- “The growth in his abdomen is his head stuck up his ass. Fuck him!! He is pure lying scum and should die ASAP!!”

The latest update following Mr. Snow's surgery this morning:

White House press secretary Tony Snow, who has become the face of the Bush presidency over the last year, has cancer again.

Snow's deputy, Dana M. Perino, broke into tears at an off-camera briefing this morning as she announced that the cancer has spread to his liver.

Hey, Huff & Puffers, KosHacks, DUmmies - let the celebration begin! Your father the devil may be giving you your twisted wish! Whoopie! I bet you're so proud of yourselves.

Meanwhile, back in the land outside the Hades Express:

President Bush, in brief remarks to reporters later in the White House Rose Garden, asked Americans to pray for his ailing spokesman, who he said called him this morning from the hospital to pass on the information that his cancer had returned.

"His attitude is one that he is not going to let this whip him, and he's upbeat," Bush said. "My attitude is that we need to pray for him and for his family." He said his message to Snow is "stay strong; a lot of people love you and care for you and will pray for you. And we're hoping for all the best."

Bush added, "I'm looking forward to the day that he comes back to the White House and briefs the press corps on the decisions that I'm making and why I'm making them. In the meantime, I hope our fellow citizens offer a prayer to he and his family."

Indeed. And for John and Elizabeth Edwards, the latter of whose cancer has also returned and spread to her bone marrow.

That isn't "karma"; rather, it's a reminder that there are, after all, areas of life that do still fall outside the perview of partisan politics.

And In the Stables Before the Race....

Straw polls months before the fact ought to be buried in the "For What It's Worth and That Ain't Much " Department. But what the heck, I love cutting & pasting java code....

Newest entrant and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson's novelty hasn't worn off yet. But it will, it will.

De Ja Vu All Over Again

The following story, cited by the estimable Cap'n Ed, got me to thinking of pregnant historical parallels:

More than forty major international banks and financial institutions have either cut off or cut back business with the Iranian government or private sector as a result of a quiet campaign launched by the Treasury and State departments last September, according to Treasury and State officials.

The financial squeeze has seriously crimped Tehran's ability to finance petroleum industry projects and to pay for imports. It has also limited Iran's use of the international financial system to help fund allies and extremist militias in the Middle East, say U.S. officials and economists who track Iran.

The U.S. campaign, developed by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, emerged in part over U.S. frustration with the small incremental steps the U.N. Security Council was willing to take to contain the Islamic republic's nuclear program and support for extremism, U.S. officials say. The council voted Saturday to impose new sanctions on Tehran, including a ban on Iranian arms sales and a freeze on assets of twenty-eight Iranian individuals and institutions.

If you're like me, you roll your eyeballs when you see articles like this. Imposition of economic sanctions never succeeds in coercing enemy regimes; it just punishes their enslaved populace while their dictatorial rulers obtain what they want and need from "alternative" sources and steadily erode away the sanctions regimes themselves. Saddam Hussein is a most pertinent case in point. Consequently such a policy that abjectly failed in Iraq is even less likely to succeed in bringing down the mullahgarchy next door. It just wastes time that we could be putting to much better use by initiating the inevitable war with Iran ourselves, on our own terms and timetable rather than waiting for them to strike first.

However, then I perused the wrinkle that Mr. Morrissey appended to the above quote:

The US has targeted the Revolutionary Guard with its attempts at isolating the Iranians. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has transformed the Guard into an economic powerhouse in Iran, a major defense and civilian contractor even outside of its arms trading. This has made the Guard very loyal to Ahmadinejad, and the sanctions aim to both drive a wedge between the Guard and the president and also to cripple their ability to prop up the current regime....

The Bush Administration has successfully conducted an indirect war on Iranian interests, and it is a progressive war. The effects of these efforts will be cumulative, and the Iranians have not much time left before their economy begins to completely collapse under the weight of them. Oil production accounts for 80% of their exports, and once those facilities start to fail, they will have nothing left with which to bargain - and it will take years to repair the damage. When they reach that stage, Iranians will find plenty of motivation to shake off the disastrous reign of the mullahcracy, and even the Revolutionary Guard will not find much motivation to protect them. [emphases added]

None of the above will prevent the mullahs from going nuclear, of course, which is supposed to be the raison d'etere of our Iran policy. However, because of the years we've already wasted dithering and appeasing the Islamic "Republic", that outcome is a fait accompli. The mullahgarchy is already in the nuclear club, and is going to be a, shall we say, "active" member.

So where does that leave us? Well, if the above analysis is correct, any military action is begated by Iranian nuclear blackmail. Is bringing down the mullahs worth the annihilation of Israel? Or European capitals going up one by one? Or a warhead hidden in a cigarette vending machine and smuggled into the Super Bowl (Yes, I'm a Sum of All Fears mark, even if the only casting choice for the Jack Ryan character less appropriate than Ben Affleck would have been Leonardo DiCaprio). Presumably the answer is no. That leaves passive measures, ineffectual measures like....economic sanctions.

Let's assume, though, just for the sake of argument, that these financial restrictions really will bite hard enough to put the mullahs in a genuine squeeze. Remember why any twenty-first century tinpot dictator wants nukes: to avoid Saddam Hussein's fate. To stay in power and be able to wage war against the United States and its allies with impunity. But if the Great Satan in effect lays siege to your regime instead, and targets its direct underpinnings (i.e. the Revolutionary Guard), those nukes won't be of much use in staving off revolution unless you're willing to lay waste to your own country, which is more than a little self-defeating.

I would call almost ingenious, except for the fact that this strategy has been followed before, with consequences quite unintended.

The United States was in a not dissimilar position in the late 1930s vis-a-vie Imperial Japan. Like Iran today, the Japanese were a willful, head-strong, ambitious regional power, convinced of their own manifest destiny to dominate Asia and the inevitability of victory over the "soft, decadent" Americans should they try to stand in the way. Like the Bush Administration today, President Franklin Roosevelt felt constrainted from taking more direct action to stop the Japanese, and resorted to sanctions, and finally an outright embargo, on a commodity that constituted Tokyo's shorthairs: oil. Japan imported all their oil, and without oil, their air force would be grounded, their navy couldn't set sail, and their army would be halted.

Putting an embargo on Japan's oil imports put the Japanese goverment itself on a set and narrow time-table if their regional ambitions were going to be realized. Far from coercing them to give up those ambitions, FDR's economic squeeze forced Tokyo's hand and propelled them toward the day that still "lives in infamy."

I'm not convinced that the Bushkins' financial embargo is as dire to the mullahs, but if it has anywhere near the adverse effect on Tehran that the Cap'n suggests it will, it may force their hand as well, and sooner rather than later.

That's the context in which to look at the Iranians' seizure of fifteen British sailors in Iraqi territorial waters last week, which Pajamas Media suggests may have been in retaliation for the success of the "Surge" strategy in Iraq in thwarting what had been an embarrassingly unopposed Iranian subversion operation:

American forces in Iraq now hold some three hundred prisoners tied to Iran’s intelligence agencies, Pajamas Media learned from both diplomatic and military sources.

This is believed, by both sources, to be a record number of prisoners tied to Iran. Virtually all were captured in the past two months.

[Last] week’s seizure of fifteen British sailors by Iran in the contested waters of the Shattab al-Arab, the ship channel that divides Iraq and Iran, may have been payback for the capture of record number of Iranian operatives inside Iraq. “It may be a bargaining chip,” one diplomatic source said.

The intelligence community is still debating whether the unlawful detainment of British sailors was ordered by Iran’s government or was presented to it as a fait accompli by relatively low-level Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers.

The roughly three hundred prisoners held in Iraq—the number grows frequently—are either Iranian nationals or Shiites recruited from neighboring countries that are employed one of its almost two dozen intelligence or paramilitary services.

The record haul of Iran-linked prisoners may not be a sign of [an Iranian counter-"Surge"]. The Islamic Republic’s participation in the Iraq war, which includes funding, arming and training both Shiite and Sunni militias, has been known to be significant for some time.

More likely, the large number of Iran-linked prisoners reflects a change in tactics following the arrival of Multinational Force Iraq commander Army General David H. Petraeus. Previously, Iranians and other foreigners could not be picked up without a provable connection to terrorism. Now, American and allied forces are encouraged to seize militants based on a reasonable suspicion of involvement in insurgent attacks. This is consistent with Iraqi law.

You can see the pattern - we checkmate Iranian subversion in Iraq, they escalate by capturing Coalition military personnel, perchance to use as bargaining chips, perchance to liquidate as an example of what the mullahs have in store for us if we don't quit Iraq and withdraw from the region altogether. Apply the pattern in the bigger strategic picture of the mullahgarchy's own hold on power being undermined by America's economic siege and, well, you get the picture. The only question lingering is whether that is the point of the Bushies' strategy - or another unintended consequence. Not a small uncertainty, given what a twenty-firest century Pearl Harbor could look like, of which 9/11 would be but a foretaste.

Kinda makes the inevitable left-wing conspiracy-mongering all the more ironic, doesn't it?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Eeyore Theology

A prayer of Moses, the man of God

~ ~ ~

1 LORD, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.

2 Before the mountains were born or You brought forth Earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God.

3 You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men."

4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning - 6 though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.

7 We are consumed by Your anger and terrified by Your indignation.

8 You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.

9 All our days pass away under Your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.

10 The length of our days is seventy years — or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span [a] is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due You.

12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on Your servants.

14 Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad for as many days as You have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.

16 May your deeds be shown to Your servants, Your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor [b] of the LORD our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.

-Psalm 90

The Perfidious Devilspawn Yaps Again

I was just combing through our voluminous archives and came across this post about allegedly Republican Senator Charles Hagel of Nebraska and his reckless, idiotic anti-war rantings:

There's an old saying: don't imitate a moose mating call if you don't want Bullwinkel's intimate companionship. Just ask Rocky.For reasons I can only ascribe to a sheer idiocy I pray I never contract, Senator Chuck Hagel (RINO-NE) appears never to have learned that lesson - until, one likes to hope, now.Let's review, shall we?

Last week, the Nebraska senator made headlines when he criticized the Administration’s Iraq policy saying, “The White House is completely disconnected from reality... It's like they're just making it up as they go along.” Hagel also warned that Iraq was on the verge of becoming another Vietnam.

But for the sobriety and cornbelt buzzsaw accent, you'd have sworn that was Uncle Teddy going off on another brandy bender. You'd also think that "maverick" wannabes would learn that you can't out-McCain McCain - who, as it happens, is still backing the Bush Administration on the war.

But the Left doesn't care which RINO turns heel - they'll still use his wayward words anyway:

While Hagel’s comments faded from media attention, MoveOn went into action. The same day as this week’s speech by President Bush on Iraq the MoveOn PAC began a new advertising campaign calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces. They took Hagel’s words and placed them alongside claims that President Bush, “is trying to change the subject from Iraq to terrorism and September 11-implying that Iraq attacked us in 2001.”

On Wednesday, MoveOn sent out a fundraising letter to supporters asking for $500,000 dollars to “expand the advertising into the hometowns of Republican members of Congress who will have tough elections in 2006. That will help send a signal that Congress will pay a price at the ballot box because of the Iraq failures.” The letter explains that 84% of MoveOn’s 3.3 million registered members support a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

The ad itself is titled “Hagel” and reads in part: “It’s time to come home. We went in the wrong way, let’s come home the right way.”

Anybody who is surprised by moveon's opportunism, stand on your head.

Senator Hagel would be advised to refrain from this activity, though, since it might drain all the blood out of his brain:

Hagel’s office was not pleased when they received word of the new ad. Hagel claims MoveOn used his words out of context and asked for the ad to be taken down immediately. Hagel's official statement on the ad reads in part:

"This ad is dishonest. I have never supported immediate removal of American troops from Iraq. I have said that to withdraw from Iraq now would have catastrophic consequences that would ripple across a generation of Americans, Iraqis, and the entire Middle East. I have said I believe we can succeed in Iraq. MoveOn neglects to mention that in their ad.

"I have differences with the Administration over the execution of our war policy …War is deadly serious and the debate over our policy should match the seriousness of the situation. Americans are entitled to an honest public debate about our policy in Iraq. Cheap, misleading 30-second partisan political attack ads debase our debate."

In the statement addressed to MoveOn Hagel demands that the ad be pulled down.

As if. If I were running moveon I'd be laughing in Hagel's face at his rank foolishness. They didn't "take him out of context"; what other possible context could there be to calling the President delusional and invoking the Left's favorite anti-war parallel? Nor did they trick or trap him; indeed, Hagel has been going out of his way to sound as shrilly Bushophobic as anybody across the aisle. Nobody made a sucker out of him - he braided his own noose, stuck his own neck through it, and kicked the stool out from under himself. All moveon did is snap a pic or two and otherwise enjoy watching him swing.

If Hagel truly thinks moveon's ad is "dishonest," "cheap," and "misleading," perhaps he will revisit his own dishonest, cheap, misleading rhetoric that got his words and name prominently featured in spots that will be used against Republican congressional candidates next year.

Or maybe he's just sore because his perfidy got caught in the klieg lights of public scrutiny, necessitating more "dishonest, cheap, misleading" rhetoric to try and cover his worthless ass.

If Nebraska's senior senator still harbors 2008 presidential ambitions, it would seem that it's not the President of the United States who's suffering delusions.

That was July of 2005. It's now twenty months later, Hagel's words DID contribute to GOP defeat last November, and he's evidently grown a lot more comfortable with the traitors on the other side of the aisle without having the integrity to actually cross and make it official:

Some lawmakers who complain that President Bush is flouting Congress and the public with his Iraq policies are considering impeachment an option, a Republican senator said Sunday.

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and a frequent critic of the war, stopped short of calling for Bush's impeachment. But he made clear that some lawmakers viewed that as an option should Bush choose to push ahead despite public sentiment against the war.

"Any president who says 'I don't care' or 'I will not respond to what the people of this country are saying about Iraq or anything else' or 'I don't care what the Congress does, I am going to proceed' — if a president really believes that, then there are … ways to deal with that," Hagel said on ABC's This Week. ...

Hagel may have "stopped short" yesterday, but in at least one other venue he "went all the way":

In the April edition of Esquire magazine, Hagel described Bush as someone who didn't believe he was accountable to anyone.

"You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment," Hagel told the magazine.

Actually, no, you can't, as Cap'n Ed wryly points out. Foreign policy disagreements do not qualify as "Treason [pot, kettle, black], Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." What impeachment as Hagel floats it would amount to is an attempted coup de tat, and for it to have its intended policy effect it would have to be a blue plate special and cashier Vice President Cheney at the same time. Thus, if Hagel is truly serious about this, he is effectively pushing for the elevation of Crazy Nancy Pelosi to the presidency by illegal, extraconstitutional means to keep the big chair warm for Hillary Clinton.

The only time such a thing happened before in American history was in the summer of 1867 when a dispute over post-Civil War Reconstruction policy between President Andrew Johnson and the ruling Republican faction in Congress (the so-called "Radicals") grew so heated that the latter passed a blatantly unconstitutional law called the Tenure of Office Act. It forbade the president to fire Cabinet officers without Senate permission. Since the Radical Republicans knew that no president could tolerate such an encroachment on Executive Branch powers, it was an openly contrived excuse to remove Johnson from office once he violated the new statute, as he did when he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, an ally of the "Radicals".

The House quickly impeached Johnson, and the Senate tried and came within a single vote of toppling him from office. But it was never about the Constitution, and had everything to do with power. Johnson, just as Abraham Lincoln before him, was the lone obstacle to the "Radicals'" ambitions to rule the old Confederacy like a conquered enemy, with all the obvious implications for how the rest of the country would have been governed. America had just emerged from its worst upheavel, and was at its most vulnerable to being transformed into something the Founders never, ever intended.

That's my second significant digression, but it, too, has a point. As in 1867, the Democrats of today have the amassing of vast power in their own grubby little hands as their overarching objective. What they lack is the national upheaval to create the circumstances for such a total power grab. Bringing down the Bush Administration - literally - would help generate them. And the terrorist maelstrom that would descend upon the country from a unilateral surrender in the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism that would follow would guarantee it.

Now there's nothing remarkable about any of that; it's what the Dems have openly agitated for for years. What is stomach-turningly infuriating is that a Republican senator - and one who has the unmitigated gall to harbor presidential ambitions AS A REPUBLICAN - has become one of their prominent mouthpieces.

Chuch Hagel is not a Republican, he's a Democrat. Indeed, he's considerably to the left of his fellow Nebraskan (and Democrat) Ben Nelson, for whom I have a great deal of respect. He should join those vermin, and if he won't go willingly he should be bound, gagged, and dragged there by his tool. There's ain't no party "Big Tent" big enough to house such a backstabber, and no party can afford to maintain one and still remain coherent, cohesive, and viable.

Hagel for Lieberman. Sounds like a hellava deal. Or, even better, Hagel for Lieberman and Ben Nelson. But even just jettisoning Hagel would be worth it, a rare case of genuine addition by subtraction.

Taxes Uber Alles

One more entry into the "C'mon, How Could You Not Have Expected THIS?" file.

Sharks swim, eat, and make little sharks. Democrats lie, cheat, steal, persecute, agitate, backstab, betray, and, of course, tax and spend like their hair is on fire.

Case in point:

[Senate] Democrats are trying to make future tax cuts virtually impossible to pass. They've proposed a procedural change that would require 60-vote super-majority to post any tax cut. To put this into perspective, if a super-majority had been required when the Bush tax cuts were passed, they simply would never have happened. Which means the economic growth we experienced as a result of Bush's tax cuts never would have happened and we'd probably be in the middle of a Depression.

Matt Margolis is exaggerating a bit by using the word "depression," though perhaps not as much as you might think given the post-9/11 stock market crash, 2005 hurricane season, the stagnation of the war, and the nearly $3 a gallon gasoline I'm seeing at my neighborhood filling station. Without the Bush tax cuts, a return to the stagflation of the 1970s would have been a likely possibility.

At any rate, tax cuts are to Democrats what a crucifix is to a vampire. They are genetically compelled to stamp them out, burn the remains, and pave over the mass grave at all costs. So Donks stacking the legislative deck against any more tax cuts of any sort ever again was as inevitable as diarrhea after a Mexican orgy.

But that was just the appetizer. The main course is being served up on the House side of occupied Capitol Hill:

Earlier today, I wrote a post discussing the Democrats proposed budget for next year. I briefly mentioned that this proposal is a sham to the American taxpayer. Having now listened throughout the day to their acrobatic attempts to justify it, I wanted to specifically tell you why it is so bad. Here we go...

Their budget proposes the largest tax increase in American history - The Democrats' budget calls for a tax increase of every tax bracket, slashes the child tax credit, raises the death tax, and reinstates the marriage penalty. And this is just a sampling, there is more. In all, the Democrat's plan will cost taxpayers over $390 billion in the next 5 years.

What is particularly frustrating about this ill-advised action is that the Democrats are blatantly ignoring the economic consequences and fiscal benefits that lower taxes have brought to the treasury the past few years. Revenue has increased in double digit [percentages] the last two years alone because of the economic expansion encouraged by reduced taxation. This revenue growth has been crucial in reducing the deficit.

The Democrats refuse to recognize this, though, and instead they just want to tax us to death. This is a recipe for disaster.

That isn't the whole story by a long shot. Representative Campbell bullet points the rest of the Donks' proposed fiscal infamy:

***Their budget proposes massive increases in spending, expansion of government;

***Their budget proposes no [spending cut] offsets to pay for these increases;

***Their budget proposes no fix to the [alternative minimum tax, a "soak the rich" leftover from the 1986 tax reform act];

***Their budget proposes no entitlement reform plan;

***Their budget proposes no accountability standards [i.e. performance audits, rooting out waste, fraud, abuse, etc.]

I dunno about you, but this elicits little more than stifled yawns from me. Anybody with the slightest familiarity with the American political landscape over the past generation had to know that returning the Democrats to power was going to yield this sort of stubborn, irrational, brain-dead fiscal insanity. It's part of their civic religious sacrament, along with killing babies and spitting in the faces of American soldiers (and giving evangelical Christians the finger). It's as inevitable as lack of public decorum at Huff & Puff. It's what the American people voted for last November.

So, then. Will Senate Republicans paralyze the upper chamber to stop this recession-in-the-making? Will President Bush wield his veto pen like a mighty flaming sword of fiscal justice? Will this become the biggest domestic policy donnybrook of the Bush43 era? Or will the GOP go meekly along and watch the Dems roll back virtually every budgetary gain of the past quarter-century - even if it means going against the expressed will of the people to do what is right and best for them?

The center-right is marching towards its version of Valley Forge. Summer legislators and sunshine partisans are not welcome.

Nothing Worth Fighting For?

Whew! Back from another weekend trip, this time to Chicago, for a Feis. My daughter didn't do as well as we would have liked, but you can't always be at the top of your game. She'll just work harder and do better at the next one.

While there, I saw a young man, probably a boyfriend of one of the dancers, walking around wearing a T-shirt that said, "I'm already against the next war." Wow. How typical of the liberals. Apparently to them there is nothing in or about America worth fighting for. That's exactly what that sentiment says. This poor guy is only in his late teens and has already been brainwashed by the kooks. Pretty sad.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hearing The Sermon Again

[Busy day. Church in the morning, my daughter's birthday dinner at Olive Garden in the afternoon, purchasing a new TV technologically compatible with the new DVD recorder we bought a week ago that still doesn't work, just like the digital answering machine we got along with it that doesn't work either. Then I surfed past Blue Collar Comedy Tour III: One For The Road, followed by a new Bill Engvall special and I was done.

Forgive my blogging indolence, though I did know what I was doing. Otherwise I might have to start asking you to take off your shoes upon entering.]

~ ~ ~

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He returned to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." [a]

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

-Matthew 4:12-17

VBC Missionaries Of The Week: Kevin & Emma Barnhart

Kevin is involved with the Bible College Movement in Ukraine, developing strategic relationships with the colleges nationwide. Their desire is for each school to work closely with the local church bodies, and to meet their full potential for training individuals for biblical ministry.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Barefoot, Pregnant & Pussy-Whipped

22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the LORD. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the Word, 27 and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of His body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

-Ephesians 5:22-33

"Oracle," Or Just Reading The Handwriting On The Wall?

Hal Lindsey in World Net Daily, January 5, 2007:

I predict 2007 will be the year the West formally switches tactics from offense to appeasement. The Iraq Study Group proposes abandoning Israel and negotiating ways to appease Iran and Syria in an effort to dissuade them from destabilizing Iraq. One idea being floated is to force Israel to give back the Golan Heights.

Another is to pressure Israelis to abandon ambitions for a unified capital at Jerusalem. To minimize Israeli interference, the ISG recommends excluding them from the conference. [emphasis added]

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, less than forty-eight hours ago:

In a bid to open a channel to the Arabs, Israel's premier is embracing a long dormant Saudi peace proposal that would divide Jerusalem and could flood the Jewish state with Palestinian Arab refugees with family claims to land evacuated in the 1948 war that created the state.

Speaking in Tel Aviv yesterday, Prime Minister Olmert said Israel was prepared to make "sweeping, painful, and tough concessions" in order to forge open contacts with Arab states that offered in 2002 to acknowledge Israel's right to exist in exchange for its full retreat from the territories it won in the 1967 war.

"The Saudi initiative is interesting and has many sections that I would be willing to accept — though, predictably, not all of them — and it could certainly be a convenient basis for continued dialogue between us and Arab moderates," he said.

Heck, who needs the ISG when you've got this panzy and the U.S. State Department?

Condoleezza Rice has another round of diplomatic visits in the region, and she is expected to push the moderation of rhetoric about Israel as a forerunner to regional talks. Rice and the US have likely pushed the Saudi initiative as a replacement for the so-called Roadmap; it's doubtful Olmert would have embraced it on his own. It's hard to understand why the US keeps pushing this on Israel when the Palestinians won't support the treaties they've already signed, let alone agree to bargain in good faith with Israel now.

I don't consider Olmert submitting to nationally suicidal terms to be "doubtful" at all, not after Israel's defeat at the hands of Hezbollah last summer. What I find perplexing to this day is how the Bush Administration can claim to be committed to fighting a "war on terror" and yet mindlessly bulldoze its closest Middle East ally into surrendering to those very same terrorists in the name of a "peace" that will never come.

General Douglas MacArthur said it best (paraphrased): "Appeasement only begats new and bloodier war; peace only comes from victory." Or, to reprise my modification of the old Maoist adage: "Peace comes out of the barrel of a gun. That gun must never slip from the grasp of the United States of America."

Or its allies, until we drive them to defeat.


I think they finally pissed Bush off:

The purpose of the emergency war spending bill I requested was to provide our troops with vital funding. Instead, Democrats in the House, in an act of political theater, voted to substitute their judgment for that of our military commanders on the ground in Iraq. They set rigid restrictions that will require an army of lawyers to interpret. They set an arbitrary date for withdrawal without regard for conditions on the ground. And they tacked on billions for pet projects that have nothing to do with winning the war on terror. This bill has too much pork, too many conditions and an artificial timetable for withdrawal.

We all know the Democrats want America to lose. That has been apparent for a long time. What was not known was how public they would be about it, how much they value the kooks on their...well, I was going to say fringe, but they're now the leftist mainstream. The best part of Bush's response was this:

Amid the real challenges in Iraq, we're beginning to see some signs of progress. Yet, to score political points, the Democratic majority in the House has shown it is willing to undermine the gains our troops are making on the ground.

Amen. The Democrats seek to undermine the troops. It's about time he said it. Now he needs to say it again and again. In Rush's words, the Democrats Own Defeat. They are losers, they want America to join them.

I hope the President keeps telling it like it is, and stops trying to be nice to people who lack a shred of decency.

Believe it or not, though, I am optimistic. I have faith in our military, and I think the surge is going to work. I think our troops will continue to succeed in securing Baghdad, and this will spread to other regions in Iraq. Eventually, our media will no longer be able to ignore it, as they have this story regarding a carnival in Baghdad. You have to search and search to find any positive reporting despite the great advances that are being made by our fine military people. I believe, though, that there are enough outlets who want America to win that the news will get out despite seditious organizations like The New York Times. They will become increasingly irrelevant as more and more people recognize their anti-America, pro-liberal slant. Soon the only people subscribing will be the kooks on the Left, and that won't sustain them because most of them are jobless and living with their parents. (A little sarcasm there...but only a little)

In the end, I think the truth and America will emerge victorious. Until then, we have to keep fighting the treasonous Left, and hope Bush continues to tell it like it is.

JASmius adds: I'm not the optimist Jen is, but there are some encouraging signs out there.

For starters, the lengths to which the enemy is having to go to even mount attacks:

A US military official has said children have been used in a bomb attack in Iraq, raising fears that insurgents are using a new tactic.

General Michael Barbero said a vehicle stopped at a checkpoint was waved through because two children were seen in the back, but was then detonated.

Militants were changing tactics in response to tighter security, he said....

General Barbero said there had been also two adults in the car. They parked it near a market, abandoned it with the children inside and apparently detonated it.

The two children died, along with three civilians in the vicinity, officials said.

I've never been much for the notion of "winning the hearts and minds" of the local populace in this war. Muslim culture is so front-running that I've always believed that if we win, swiftly and crushingly, on the battlefield, if we fight the jihadis as ruthlessly and mercilessly as they fight us, the alliegence of Iraqis would follow. Plus, you know, all that other stuff about getting utilities working, building schools, keeping the oil flowing and the trains running on time. And ferris wheels. Whereas any hesitation, vaccilation, or indecision would seed doubts about our willingness to do whatever it takes to win, and provide the enemy with reason to believe that they can wait us out.

Last November was a huge step in the wrong direction in this regard. But "the Surge" has offset that grievous setback, and the spectre of using children - unsuspecting or not - as suicide bombers is despicable even for terrorists, and cannot possibly gibe with the notion that the Iraqi people at large are still even hypothetically sympathetic to their demonic cause.

Here's further evidence of the success of General Petraus' strategy:

After warning that the threat of deadly EFPs, or Explosively Formed Penetrators, was growing at an alarming rate, the U.S. military now says there's been a "dramatic" decrease in the use of the powerful roadside bombs.

EFPs "can punch through most of the armor out on the battlefield today," Army Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman said of the devices, which U.S. officials have said come from Iran. ...

"In February, we noticed a 47% decrease in explosively formed penetrators being detonated against our troops, a 53% decrease in the number of troops wounded and a 51% decrease in the number of troops killed" by the devices, he said.

The reported decrease came as the U.S. military offered to reporters what it said was proof that weapons like EFPs were being manufactured in Iran. The Iranian government has denied any involvement in providing weapons or material support to Iraq's insurgency.

According to Garver, the reasons for the marked drop in EFP incidents could include the detention of three Iranians in Baghdad in December. One of the men was believed to be a high-level Operations Officer with the Quds Force of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.
If the QF can't get EFP fixin's into Iraq, and Iranian proxies are deprived of the facilities in which to assemble them, and the stepped-up presence of U.S. and Iraqi security forces impedes their distribution and deployment, the end result is fewer roadside bombs killing or maiming American and Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi civilians. And children are, to put it lightly, a piss-poor substitute.

As the Cap'n put it yesterday, "It looks like the surge is succeeding faster than the anti-war critics can get Congress to declare defeat."

It also looks like the Fifth Columnists that control Congress are having unexpected difficulties in debasing the war effort into another Vietnam debacle:

Democrats are divided on the [war] and hold only a narrow majority in Congress. Their leaders, hands tied if just a few members stray, are finding it tough to pass legislation that would require Bush to start bringing troops home.

[S]everal hurdles remained. Several anti-war liberals were expected to join Republicans in opposing the measure because they say it continues to bankroll an immoral war. And if the bill does scrape by in the House, it may sink in the Senate, where many Democrats have resisted firm timetables on the war.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, continued Wednesday to press party members to back the bill, unsure whether she had enough votes to pass it. In a closed-door meeting, former President Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, tried to convince party skeptics that the bill was their best chance at ending the war.

Pelosi initially had planned for a final vote Thursday but pushed it off until Friday, a tactic that gives her more time to ensure she has the votes to pass it.

"Pressing party members to back the bill" is a prissy euphemism for, "pump it so full of pork that the Capitol dissolves in a tsunami of bacon grease." $24 billion worth, all targeted at turning the votes of the subtely-named "Out of Iraq Caucus" who object to the bill because it establishes the deadline for pell-mell retreat a year and a half from now rather than immediately.

It is highly educational as to where the "center" lies in the Democrat Party these days. Also highly revealing that the Washington Post both notices it and does not approve:

Today the House of Representatives is due to vote on a bill that would grant $25 million to spinach farmers in California. The legislation would also appropriate $75 million for peanut storage in Georgia and $15 million to protect Louisiana rice fields from saltwater. More substantially, there is $120 million for shrimp and menhaden fishermen, $250 million for milk subsidies, $500 million for wildfire suppression and $1.3 billion to build levees in New Orleans.

Altogether the House Democratic leadership has come up with more than $20 billion in new spending, much of it wasteful subsidies to agriculture or pork barrel projects aimed at individual members of Congress. At the tail of all of this logrolling and political bribery lies this stinger: Representatives who support the bill - for whatever reason - will be voting to require that all U.S. combat troops leave Iraq by August 2008, regardless of what happens during the next seventeen months or whether U.S. commanders believe a pullout at that moment protects or endangers U.S. national security, not to mention the thousands of American trainers and Special Forces troops who would remain behind.

The Democrats claim to have a mandate from voters to reverse the Bush Administration's policy in Iraq. Yet the leadership is ready to piece together the votes necessary to force a fateful turn in the war by using tactics usually dedicated to highway bills or the Army Corps of Engineers budget. The legislation pays more heed to a handful of peanut farmers than to the 24 million Iraqis who are living through a maelstrom initiated by the United States, the outcome of which could shape the future of the Middle East for decades. [emphasis added]

The Iraqi's "maelstrom" was not, of course, "initiated by the United States," but by our, and their, enemies who are determined to re-subjugate them. And as Jen notes above, "maelstrom" is a rank Enemy Media exaggeration in any case. But I suppose the Post op-eders had to get their shot in.

Still, the balance of the piece is startlingly condemnatory, considering its source. It's difficult to say which Donk faction is the more reprehensible - the overt traitors who insist we surrender NOW!, or the corrupt traitors who are perfectly willing to sell the lives of countless Iraqi (and, eventually, American) civilians into butchery for billions in spinach subsidies, moehair grants, and an unlimited supply of magic beans. To say nothing of timing the last-helicopter-bugging-out-from-the-Baghdad-green-zone photo op for what may be the night Mrs. Clinton gives her nomination acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention. You can bet the two would be coordinated.

Guess what? The "Out Of Iraqers" had their price. Proving that they're ALL corrupt and ALL traitors. But to what end? There's no way that even the cowards in the Senate GOP remnant won't filibuster this bill until the retreat timetable is expunged from it. And the President has already promised a veto. The DisLoyalists will never get what they want.

Or will they, after a fashion? Dubya himself pointed out the method behind this latest bit of Donk madness:

These Democrats believe that the longer they can delay funding for our troops, the more likely they are to force me to accept restrictions on our commanders, an artificial timetable for withdrawal, and their pet spending projects. This is not going to happen. Our men and women in uniform need these emergency war funds. The secretary of defense has warned that if Congress does not approve the emergency funding for our troops, by April the 15th, our men and women in uniform will face significant disruptions, and so will their families. Democrats have sent their message. Now it's time to send their money. This is an important moment of decision for the new leaders in Congress. Our men and women in uniform should not have to worry that politicians in Washington will deny them the funds and the flexibility they need to win. Congress needs to send me a clean bill that I can sign without delay. I expect Congress to do its duty and to fund our troops. And so do the American people. [emphasis added]

As El Rushbo described it, "[T]he President turned around, a bunch of military people in uniform standing behind him, he turned around, he looked at them, you could see the look on his face, 'I am your commander-in-chief. I have your concerns. I'm the one that's on your side.'"

There does not seem to be any question that Bush is drawing the metaphorical line - this far, no further. I say "seem" because only time will tell whether his line is drawn in concrete or sand. Ditto whether, as Limbaugh added, "[The American people] don't want the troops underfunded and the American people do not want the US military to lose," or the American people want the troops home, NOW!, the nation to retreat into neoisolationism, and to hell with Iraq and Afghanistan just like we sent Indochina spiralling into genocide thirty years ago. Because the latter is, no matter what anybody else says, precisely what the American people voted for almost five months ago.

Maybe it's finally dawning on the President that no idea, no matter how self-evidently right and virtuous, will sell itself when hordes of ignorant, rabid extremists wage unshirted war against it. That his failure to make that realization, as well as his stubborn, irrational devotion to "the New Tone," is what has inflicted on the country a Congress that would enact such disgusting infamy. And that there is only a difference of degree, and not much at that, between the Islamists who want to destroy us in the name of their demon god, and the neoStalinists who are so eager to let them do it.

Or maybe his base "reaching out" instinct will quickly reassert itself.

On that outcome does a whole lot more than just the future of the Middle East ride.

UPDATE: "You won’t find a more intelligent summary of how the denizens of Capitol Hill find themselves increasingly estranged from reality." [h/t DB]

UPDATE II: One of the GOP presidential hopefuls takes my advice and weighs in decisively:

Capitol Hill Democrats have once again proved their inability to make Washington work in the right manner.

The Democrat Congress' maneuver to micromanage our military efforts from their offices on Capitol Hill, along with the fiscally deplorable action of loading up a wartime spending bill with pork barrel earmarks unrelated to our military's fight against terrorism has provided the American people with yet another example of the Washington mindset run amok.

Democrats in Washington have established a dangerous policy that essentially provides the enemy a planning calendar with a date certain surrender. By voting for such a policy, they have jeopardized our chances for success and endangered the mission of establishing democracy and defeating the terrorists in Iraq.

All Americans want our troops out of Iraq, but we should never do so in a way that would jeopardize American security. Setting a public timeline without consideration of future circumstances, as they may exist at that time, is reckless and irresponsible.

I urge President Bush to veto this measure and send a clear message to Washington Democrats that they must not and will not undermine the efforts of the United States military.

Wow. Mitt Romney really does want to be our next president.

He won't be, but his heart's in the right place, even if a majority of American voters have lost their minds.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Keep On

1 Shout with joy to God, all Earth!

2 Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious!

3 Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.

4 All Earth bows down to You; they sing praise to You, they sing praise to Your name."

5 Come and see what God has done, how awesome His works in man's behalf!

6 He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot — come, let us rejoice in Him.

7 He rules forever by His power, His eyes watch the nations — let not the rebellious rise up against Him.

8 Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of His praise be heard; 9 He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.

10 For you, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver.

-Psalm 66:1-10

Bush Fears Ahmadinejad

That's the only conclusion I can reach after analyzing the following series of events. See if you don't end up where I did.

First, witness the success the U.S.-led Coalition in Iraq has had slicing and dicing Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army:

The violent Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army is breaking into splinter groups, with up to 3,000 gunmen now financed directly by Iran and no longer loyal to the firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, adding a potentially even more deadly element to Iraq's violent mix.

Two senior militia commanders told The Associated Press that hundreds of these fighters have crossed into Iran for training by the elite Quds force, a branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard thought to have trained Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

The breakup is an ominous development at a time when U.S. and Iraqi forces are working to defeat religious-based militias and secure Iraq under government control. While al-Sadr's forces have battled the coalition repeatedly, including pitched battles in 2004, they've mostly stayed in the background during the latest offensive.

Indeed - they'll live longer that way, assuming their seventy-two virgins will stick it out for that long.

The key thing that interests me is how the Mahdis have essentially cut out the middle man - Sadr (who himself fled to Iran an abject failure, which is why the Quds are stepping more directly into the fray) - and removed any doubt about who they're really working for. It's the clearest indicator yet that we are at war with Iran and that we are hamstringing ourselves by remaining in a defensive crouch in Iraq instead of fully engaging the mullahs and sending them the way of Saddam Hussein.

So guess what our side is doing: - trying to reach out to Sadr:

The U.S. military Wednesday released a senior member of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr's movement at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

The decision, officials said, was made with the hope of easing tensions between Sadr's Al Mahdi militia and U.S.-led forces in Iraq. Sheik Ahmed Shibani, who had been in prison for 2 1/2 years, was handed over to the office of the Shiite prime minister.

"In consultation with the prime minister and following his request, coalition leaders determined that Sheik Shibani, who was detained since 2004, could play a potentially important role in helping to moderate extremism and foster reconciliation in Iraq," U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver said in a statement.

Well does Cap'n Ed ask what the point of Sheik Shibani's release is on its face. When has Sadr or his gang ever helped to "moderate extremism and foster reconciliation" before? Wasn't the Mahdi Army one of the targets of "The Surge"? If they've been splintered and driven from the country, why turn around and given them an engraved invitation to return?

It does appear perplexing, until you factor in the extreme reluctance of the Bush Administration to give off any possible hint, the slightest suggestion, that Iran is engaged in barely disguised hostilities with us. To acknowlege that would require a lot more aggressive stance against the mullahgarchy across the policy board, and that is something the Bushies, for whatever reason, are utterly loathe to do. So what better way out of the Mahdi Army revealing itself to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards than to release a Sadr lieutenant, make him the face of Sadr's faction, and re-muddy the waters around the true source of their resources and marching orders?

If you're Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you have to be marveling at how snivelingly frightened the big, bad Great Satan has become of you. That even the warrior president George Bush trembles at your presence. It's quite unsurprising, then, that such perceptions lead to such actions as this:

Iran captured fifteen British Royal Navy personnel during a “routine boarding operation” in Iraqi waters on Friday, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said.

Iran’s ambassador in London has been summoned and Britain is demanding the immediate safe release of the sailors.

“At approximately 1030 Iraqi time this morning, fifteen British naval personnel, engaged in routine boarding operations of merchant shipping in Iraqi territorial waters ... were seized by Iranian naval vessels,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We are urgently pursuing this matter with the Iranian authorities at the highest level and on the instructions of the Foreign Secretary, the Iranian ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign Office. The British government is demanding the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment.”
Is this not an act of war? Invading Iraqi territorial waters and seizing British sailors? There are any number of different purposes the Iranians may have had for this attack - holding the Brits hostage to coerce their government or ours; turning the British, our only ally of any significance left in the Coalition, against us and forcing their withdrawal; or just to show that they can capture Coaliton troops with impunity, and thus how weak and impotent we are in the face of "Persian Power".

Persian nuclear power, that is. With Tehran already in possession of several crude warheads and working on producing a full arsenal, and with our intelligence resources and capabilties inside Iran just as awful as they were inside Iraq four years ago, the Bush White House clearly is determined to avoid any confrontation with the mullahs, no matter what the provocation, for fear that we have overestimated Iranian nuclear capabilities - or that we've underestimated them, and will unleash a catastrophe.

The problem is, that catastrophe is coming either way. We can either incur it on our terms or the mullahs'.

It's always seemed to me that the former is preferable. History certainly teaches that. But history also teaches that pols never learn from history.

George W. Bush did, for a while. But he's had the lesson browbeaten out of him, to the point that no future president will pick it back up.

Well, no American president, anyway. Which is why the lesson will be a lot costlier the next time around.

Itching For A Fight?

Judging by this email from the RNC, do you s'pose GOP poobahs are alarmed at the party's grassroots supporters', shall we say, dismayed reaction to the craven flaccidity with which congressional Republicans and even the Bush White House left Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales twisting in the partisan winds for most of the past week?:

Alberto Gonzales is a man of integrity and high ethical standards. He has pledged to cooperate with Congress and I am confident he will. I have said that it is irresponsible to pronounce judgment on the replacement of the U.S. Attorneys before we have the facts. Unfortunately, some would prefer to make political pronouncements instead of getting the facts. There is no question that U.S. attorneys, like all political appointees, serve at the pleasure of the President. That was true when Bill Clinton's Justice Department replaced all 93 U.S. attorneys, and it remains true today. The Democrats may feign outrage to distract from their discord on the serious issues our nation faces, but sooner or later they will have to face the real responsibilities of governing.

Below, please find the President's remarks on this issue that he made [Tuesday] night.


Senator Mel Martinez
Republican Party General Chairman

I didn't watch Bush's remarks live, so I'll react to them here on the virtual printed page first:

Earlier today, my staff met with congressional leaders about the resignations of U.S. attorneys. As you know, I have broad discretion to replace political appointees throughout the government, including U.S. attorneys. And in this case, I appointed these U.S. attorneys and they served four-year terms.
Reiterates the baseline of this phony dispute. Very good, because with no criminal allegations, invoking executive privilege against the Donk subpeonas to Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will be airtight.

The Justice Department, with the approval of the White House, believed new leadership in these positions would better serve our country. The announcement of this decision and the subsequent explanation of these changes has been confusing and, in some cases, incomplete. Neither the Attorney General, nor I approve of how these explanations were handled. We're determined to correct the problem.
Too apologetic. They didn't owe anybody, much less the Democrats, ANY explanation for these personnel moves. Unfortunately, the "New Tone" compelled them to provide explanations anyway, and communication is for this White House like walking a straight line is for Ted Kennedy on an average Saturday night. Which, in turn, makes correction of the problem highly unlikely, since they don't even grasp what the true problem really is.

Today I'm also announcing the following steps my Administration is taking to correct the record and demonstrate our willingness to work with the Congress. First, the Attorney General and his key staff will testify before the relevant congressional committees to explain how the decision was made and for what reasons. Second, we're giving Congress access to an unprecedented variety of information about the process used to make the decision about replacing eight of the 93 U.S. attorneys.

In the last 24 hours, the Justice Department has provided the Congress more than 3,000 pages of internal Justice Department documents, including those reflecting direct communications with White House staff.

This, in itself, is an extraordinary level of disclosure of an internal agency in White House communications.
Way, way too much, IMHO. Sure, these disclosures document the utter falsity of the Democrats' hysterical allegations, which is all fine and good, but it also keeps this kerfuffle crackling indefinitely when what it really needs is to be starved of fuel instead. Or, put another way, there's no need for such defensive measures, or to try yet again to demonstrated how "fair" and "reasonable" they can be to people who don't have the first notion of what those terms even mean.

Did the great white shark go away when Chief Brody threw more chum in the water?

Third, I recognize there is significant interest in the role the White House played in the resignations of these U.S. attorneys. Access to White House staff is always a sensitive issue. The President relies upon his staff to provide him candid advice. The framers of the Constitution understood this vital role when developing the separate branches of government. And if the staff of a President operated in constant fear of being hauled before various committees to discuss internal deliberations, the President would not receive candid advice, and the American people would be ill-served.

Ah, if only he'd left it at that.

Yet, in this case, I recognize the importance of members of Congress having - the importance of Congress has placed on understanding how and why this decision was made. So I'll allow relevant committee members on a bipartisan basis to interview key members of my staff to ascertain relevant facts. In addition to this offer, we will also release all White House documents and emails involving direct communications with the Justice Department or any other outside person, including members of Congress and their staff, related to this issue. These extraordinary steps offered today to the majority in Congress demonstrate a reasonable solution to the issue.

However, we will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants.

You'll have to forgive me if I don't recognize the difference, Mr. President. Besides, it won't be enough for the Dems, and that'll just give the "controversy" longer legs.

The initial response by Democrats, unfortunately, shows some appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts. It will be regrettable if they choose to head down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials when I have agreed to make key White House officials and documents available. I have proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse. I hope they don't choose confrontation. I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials. [emphasis added]
Hmmm. HMMM. Why do I keep picturing a matador waving a red banner in front of an angry bull?

I'll leave out the balance of the President's statement since it was basically a restatement of the quotes above. I want to come back to my matador/red banner/bull metaphor, which I can only partially claim. The imagery is mine, but the underlying theory was first floated by Dean Barnett, who did watch the President's presser:

Last night as I finally made my way back to the Sunshine State, I watched President Bush’s press conference in its entirety. At first I thought, “He doesn’t even care anymore.” The President was unusually feisty. But he was also charmless. I can’t remember any other time in his Administration when he’s made a public appearance and been so utterly indifferent to looking and acting nice.

And then I thought, “Shrewd.”

I would have thought, "FINALLY! It's about damned time!"

The President understands that, political obsessives aside, no one really cares about this U.S. Attorney thing....In short, there’s no Constitutional crisis to see here – just move along. But the President understands something about these Democrats who now sit on Capitol Hill. They were elected with a narrow agenda – Get Bush!!! And if you can’t get Bush, be damn sure to get Rove!

Partisan witch-hunts are to be the order of the day. The President also understands that the American public is predisposed to dislike Congress. What’s more, this Congress, once its true colors show, will be uniquely unpopular. Already, Gallup has Congress’ approval numbers sinking to the level the Republican Congress sat at before the November calamity. [Though there's some question as to whether that unpopularity is do to the Donks' partisan witchhunts or that they're not producing scalps fast enough.]

So why not pick a fight with Congress? Drag the bloody affair out. Let the battle rage so long that it becomes apparent that the only thing this Congress cares about is partisan warfare. What’s best about this little plan is it involves a freak side show in which the performers are Karl Rove and Harriet Miers. It doesn’t involve matters of real consequence such as the war.

Well, strictly speaking, it's Congress that has picked the fight with Bush. He would just be engaging them for a change. A move with so much novelty behind it that I'm eager to see it just for that reason alone.

Having said that, I don't think this White House would be particularly effective in such an inter-branch partisan scrum for the same reason that they got into this mugging in the first place: they're worse at communicating than a man with a hairlip in a restaurant trying to order Worchester sauce. The Clinton Machine they ain't, and unlike that bunch of virtuouso escape artists, the Bushies'll be fighting both master hearings-conductors and the Enemy Media, both rabid for Dubya's downfall.

I think the White House would be better off telling the Democrats to bleep off, invoke blanket executive privilege, and go into their favored rope-a-dope strategy. After all, it's not as though Bush's approval numbers can get much lower, or he's got Republican congressional majorities to worry about losing. Heck, he doesn't even have any Republican congressional defenders at all. So what would he have to lose?

Maybe that's what the President is planning with this "take it or leave it" offer. I just wish I could be confident that is what this is, or that the Dems could be lured into focusing on "Speedygate" to the exclusion of all their other partisan witchhunts. Because while it's never too late for the President to start fighting back against the DisLoyalists for whom destroying him has become a sacred crusade, the fact remains that he and his party are basically powerless, institutionally and spiritually. The latter is on another decades-long political exile, and the former really will be doing his best simply to serve out the balance of his term.

And don't forget that all of these partisan witchhunts have a 2008 component to them. That's what makes it imperative that the President (and the GOP remnant on Capitol Hill) do more than just play defense - they've got to "score political points" of their own so that, if nothing else, the Republican base has a reason to even bother turning out in nineteen months.

And that will not happen simply from the Democrats "showing true colors" that have been garishly on display all along.

UPDATE: The Donk reaction, in the form of a temper tantrum from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick "Leaky" Leahy, was predictable in sooooo many ways. First, there was this exchange between Leahy and "Snarlin' Arlen," the ranking Repubican on the committee:

SPECTER: If we don't like what we get, we can always issue a subpoena, and move with a subpoena if we don't like what we get.

LEAHY: That's not -

SPECTER: Why not - why not take what we can get in the efforts of -

LEAHY: No! What - no! What - No! What we're told we can get is nothing, nothing, nothing. We are told that we can have a closed-door meeting with no transcript, not under oath, limited number of people, and the White House will determine what the agenda is. That to me is nothing.

Wow. That's the kind of outburst I usually get from my twelve-year-old son whenever I tell him to do his homework, or put away the clean dishes out of the dishwasher, or get up, or go to bed, or pretty much anything he doesn't want to do, really. Fascinating seeing such open puerility coming from a top Donk senator.

What Leahy's pissed about is that the White House is telling him he can't have his de facto show trial of Karl Rove; he can't put White House lieutenants under oath in order to seed new Scooter Libby prosecutorial snipe hunts; the Bushies are not compliantly climbing the gibbet platform and inserting their necks into the Democrats' waiting nooses. That's what Leahy wants, that's what Democrats were elected to secure, and dammit, that's what he's going to get, or else....

Well, that's a good question, actually, since Congress has no constitutional authority to compel testimony under oath from White House staff in the absence of criminal allegations, of which there are none in this instance. That's what Leahy's demanded public hearings would be for, to generate more "process" crimes having nothing to do with the original topic of dispute. The White House has offered all that it reasonably can and still protect its separation of powers prerogatives, as any White House would do.

It would seem that Dubya has called the Donks' bluff. Assuming, of course, that he sticks to his guns on it. If he does, he might even start lifting up the "Grand Old Pussies" from under their desks and reinfusing some spine into them. If he doesn't....

Well, there'll be time to lament that soon enough.

UPDATE II: I guess the Democrats could always sue to force White House compliance with their subpeonas. Shouldn't be too hard to find a Carterite or Clintonoid judge to rule in their favor. And recent history shows this White House ALWAYS complies with court orders, no matter how unconstitutional. Only drawback for the Dems would be the time it would take for the appeals to reach the SCOTUS. Bush might be out of office by the time it gets to Olympus.

That would redundantly illustrate what a collosal waste of time the whole pointless exercise has been already. But you'll never convince the Democrats of that - or the majority of Americans who elected them to implement another partisan Reign of Terror.

At least GDub isn't going quickly into that good night.