Saturday, June 30, 2007

Heart Trouble

1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature [a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of His great love for us, God, Who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

-Ephesians 2:1-10

More Shamnesty Post-Game

Came across these few items after Thursday's post-mortem but was unable to cram them into today's show.

***Chucky Schumer appears to be as clueless of who voted for and against cloture on Thursday morning as George Voinovich was:

....Chuck Schumer, this morning complained on the Senate floor about the impact of an “ideological, extreme group” that “set back our country” by opposing the immigration bill. He said: "Yesterday was a very sad day for America…an ideological, extreme group set back our country. On immigration we had lots of prattling, lots of scare tactics, and, as a result, the immigration bill is paralyzed."

Are Max Baucus and Evan Bayh and Jeff Bingaman and Sherrod Brown and Robert Byrd and Byron Dorgan and Tom Harkin and Mary Landrieu and Claire McCaskill and Ben Nelson and Mark Pryor and Jay Rockefeller and Bernie Sanders and Debbie Stabenow and Jon Tester and James Webb all ideological extremists in Senator Schumer's book? They all voted against the immigration bill.

I think those two grafs tell you all you need to know about the degree to which Chucky knows what the devil he's talking about. The pic of Schumer ambling amiably down the hallway next to the diminuitive (in poll numbers and physical stature) Lindsey Grahamnesty may explain the source of the New York senior senator's dazedness.

***Mel Martinez, the junior GOP senator from Florida and erstwhile chairman of the RNC - Now THERE's a presigious job - pulled a Schumer (or a Teddy) yesterday, only at a significantly higher decibel level:

The Chairman of the Republican Party on Friday lambasted Democrats and Republicans who helped kill an immigration bill in the Senate and challenged them to come up with a solution beyond "just build a fence along the border.''

"The voices of negativity now have a responsibility to come up with an answer,'' RNC Chairman and U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, R-FL said.

"How will you fix the situation to make peoples' lives better? How will you continue to grow the economy? How will we bring people out of the shadows for our national security and for the sake of being a country that is just?'' he demanded.

Admiral Ed didn't have any apparent difficulty meeting Martinez' challenge:

The answers seemed very clear to everyone outside of the Senate chambers for the past four weeks. Instead of offering a repeat of 1986, fix the underlying problems that allow for lousy border and visa security, as Congress has repeatedly promised, before saying "Trust us!" How difficult is that to comprehend?

"WHAT AAH THEY FOR!" thundered the Massachusetts Manatee on the Senate floor Thursday. But he knows the answer; so do Schumer and Martinez and Reid and Grahamnesty and Lott and Kyl and McCain and the Bush Administration and every other senator who tried to steamroll this unwanted amnesty over the top of an aroused and resistant American public. They just don't want to acknowledge the answer, because then they'd have even less of an excuse for all these years of ignoring it, and then trying to make the status quo even worse while selling the attempt as its opposite.

We, the People, got another nauseating look at how, well, anti-democratic "the world's greatest deliberative body" can really be. The members of that body got a harrowing (and stupendously frustrating) taste of the reality that they can no longer pull "jam-downs" like they used to.

***Think the ASSociated Press wasn't a little bent out of shape that the GOP managed to escape the "comprehensive immigration reform" noose?

When President Bush's "grand bargain" on immigration fell apart, Jeff Sessions, the Republican senator from Alabama who is named after a pair of famous Confederates, was very proud.

"Hopefully our Senate has learned some things," Sessions crowed on the Senate floor on Thursday after his colleagues killed a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's immigration law, bouncing on his toes and struggling to contain a grin, like a boy who just popped his lynching-cherry. [emphases added by me, the last nine words added by Ace of Spades]

Lest any possibility of AP's readers not getting the "Sessions is an f'ing racist!" drift be left to the slightest degree of chance, Ben Evans, the article author, later elaborated further:

His deep Southern roots are evident in his full name: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a family name handed down from his father and grandfather after the former president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, and General P.G.T. Beauregard, who fired on Fort Sumter in 1861 to open the Civil War.

Ahh. Senator Sessions is the new Zachary Taylor, aiming to send the U.S. Army sweeping through Mexico, burning and pillaging and raping and stringing up as many [insert favorite anti-Hispanic epithet here] as humanly possible. Gotcha.

Kinda harkens back to K-Lo's point above, doesn't it?

The K.I.S.S. principle would seem to have applied to this mess. Any "sweeping," "comprehensive" overhaul of ANYthing, particularly on so sensitive and controversial a topic as immigration, is pretty much the worst, most inefficient, unwieldy, fragile approach one can take if one actually aspires to see true "reform" enacted. It depends on too many people and too many factions with too many mutually exclusive priorities to stand more than a vanishingly remote chance of surviving the legislative process. Which, naturally, is why Bush/McCain/Kyl/Kennedy/Lott/Grahamesty/et al was a backroom deal whose hatchers tried to sneak it past all that scrutiny in the first place, and when that didn't work tried to bludgeon it through with a battering ram of graft, lies, and cynicism. And now they're all pissed because the American people - there theoretical superiors - rose up and stopped them.

It is said that in a democracy, the people get the kind of government they deserve. After last November's results, I'd say that adage is more vindicated than ever. After this past month, I'd say we've taken the first step towards, perhaps, taking it back.

Central Command News, 6/30/07

Friday, June 29, 2007

Around The Donk Horn

Because it's been far too long since we here at HS have focused exclusively on bashing the Democrats (a beloved pasttime whose return is a fringe benefit of finally killing off that blasted amnesty bill), let us indulge ourselves, shall we?

***Inverted nipples, inverted imperialism, what's the difference?

Call Edwards' imperialism Inverted Imperialism: Wherever America is, she should not be. Wherever she is not, send her soon. He will boldly go where no Bush has gone before. We cannot get out of Iraq and into Sudan quickly enough, as if the problem in each country isn't the mass slaughter of innocents. We must confront Hezbollah but leave Iraqis to the sectarian wolves. North Korea and Iran are to be called out on the carpet, while Iraq, in shambles, should be left on its own to discover a "political solution," even as the most necessary ingredient of political compromise - security - remains elusive.

Principled military isolationism is fine, admirable, even. Attempting to build both national security and anti-war credentials simultaneously by abandoning one partisan intervention for another is grossly inhumane.

Not to mention nauseatingly confusing. Which may explain how I missed the part where Opie advocated confronting the mullahs, Hezbos, and NoKos. Not that he ever would, you understand. Advocate those ideas, that is. Not exactly what the America-hating, Fifth Columnist Donk base wants to hear. That would be more along the lines of offering to export the "religious Right" to Sudan once the Islamist dictatorship there runs out of indigenous Christians to martyr.

***Barack Obama, on the other hand, evidently is willing to cross the nutroots - on a matter even nearer and dearer to their flinty black hearts:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid out list of political shortcomings he sees in the Bush administration but said he opposes impeachment for either President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.

Obama said he would not back such a move, although he has been distressed by the "loose ethical standards, the secrecy and incompetence" of a "variety of characters" in the Administration.

"There's a way to bring an end to those practices, you know: vote the bums out," the presidential candidate said, without naming Bush or Cheney. "That's how our system is designed."

Obama isn't offering to smoke the bipartisan peace bong; he's just being practical. With the final (?) killing off of "shamnesty," at least for this Congress, the Bush presidency has officially jumped the shark if it hadn't already. "Comprehensive immigration reform" was Dubya's last chance at a legislative "accomplishment" to stick on his "legacy" resume. All that's left for him now is to play out the string by blocking as much of the Democrats' insanity as he can. Which will actually be a helluva lot more useful to his party and his country.

Bottom line is, in political terms the President will be strategically irrelevant, if not tactically so. But by continuing to harass and persecute GDub at every turn, the Democrats run the risk of making themselves irrelevant as well. Indeed, the other way that Dubya can make himself most useful to his party is to stoke the DisLoyal Opposition's obsession with him by fighting them at every turn, even goading them to go further, all the while luring them farther and farther away from what should be their main focus: laying the foundation for building their majorities back to their formerly prohibitive levels, and getting Mrs. Clinton into the Oval Office to go with them. Playing out the string can become running out the clock and perhaps even a double reverse.

It looks like the White House has figured out this strategery for themselves and begun implementing it. Much to the next VPOTUS' chagrin.

***The blogosphere is all abuzz about Fat Albert canceling a global warming sermon in Taiwan and clearing his greenstremist evangelizing schedule for the next six months. Is he gonna run for president? Is he, is he, IS HE?!?

Odd, the divergent reactions I've seen to it. Admiral Morrissey is convinced that a third Gore candidacy would be a mortal threat to the woman who tried to evict him from the West Wing fourteen years ago:

We should keep our eyes and ears open for other cancellations. If a rash of them suddenly appears, I think we will have our answer. Given the mood of the activists in the Democratic Party, Gore could give Hillary a real problem in the primaries - and she might wind up at the bottom of the ticket.

I don't want to speculate on what could have prompted Ed into such a brain fart as to suggest that Hillary Clinton would be ANYBODY else's warm spit bucketeer. Never mind what could make him think that such a tired, wheezing, ranting retread could EVER get any traction.

Brother Hinderaker's initial impression was much closer to my own:

Having Gore in the race would certainly add entertainment value. Also, if Gore jumps in, can John Kerry be far behind?

I know that sounds like a punchline. And it is one. A good one.

But the best punchline is that it isn't outside the realm of possibility.

***About last night's Donk presidential panderfest, I think this line from J-Ger says it all:

The winner of this debate? Anyone who skipped watching it.

Kind of describes any interaction with Democrats, come to think of it.

Sticky Burdens

1 Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

2 Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD" — and You forgave the guilt of my sin.

6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You while You may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach Him.

7 You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

-Psalm 32:1-7

Bubble, Bubble, Mullahs Got Trouble

If I had ever taken a psychology course in college (and I don't mean "Dirty 230"), I'd probably understand what I instinctively know: that there is an ominous correlation between the turmoil the Islamic Caliphate of Iran is wreaking abroad and the turmoil it is unleashing at home.

Here, here, here, and here you can see videos and still pics of a rampaging crackdown by the mullahgarchy against...well, pretty much everything and everyone that internally threatens them, on the most ludicrous of premises - "non-Islamic dress," soccer shirts on men, low-cut veils, listening to music, phony drug charges, "socializing in public," looking at the theocratic police crosseyed, you name it. Initial punishments include all manner of beatings and clubbings and bludgeonings (but definitely not torture! Right, Senator McCain?), to humiliations like being forced to suck on lota handles (basically the Iranian equivalent of bathroom tissue).

There's nothing new about such crackdowns. But the context in which they're taking place is. In this case, the novel situation of an oil-exporting nation having to ration gasoline to its own citizenry:

At least one petrol station has been set on fire in the Iranian capital, Tehran, after the government announced fuel rationing for private motorists. Iranians were given only two hours' notice of the move that limits private drivers to a hundred litres of fuel a month.

Despite its huge energy reserves Iran lacks refining capacity, forcing it to import about 40% of its petrol.

Tehran is trying to rein in fuel consumption over fears of possible UN sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Iran fears the West could sanction its petrol imports and cripple its economy.

Lack of refining capacity, eh? Finally Uncle Sam and the mullahs have something in common.

Makes the "morals" crackdown look like pre-emptive crowd control against the likely public reaction to the gas rationing, doesn't it? It would also speak to the point of the bite that true, legitimately tough economic sanctions could take out of the mullahs', um, lotas.

Remember, however, the historical parallel with FDR's oil embargo against Imperial Japan. Those sanctions were legitimately tough and really were bringing the Japanese to their knees. But rather than allowing themselves to be economically strangled, the militarist regime of Hideki Tojo opted to gamble on a frontal attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor and a quick seizure of their territorial objectives before we could stop them.

Given the growing pressure on the mullahgarchy, economically and in terms of keeping the lid on the restive and captive Iranian population, it becomes easy to see why they are trying to stamp out even the hint of the possibility of insurrection before it can come close to thinking about getting started, and why they're in an all-out rush to acquire nuclear weapons. It's not so much to keep themselves in power indefinitely, though that is doubtless a significant factor; it is, rather, to keep themselves in power long enough to unleash the nuclear Armageddon that will, they believe, bring back Adolph Ahmadinejad's "twelfth imam" or the Shia Muslim messiah that will supposedly wipe up the formica of the planet with the infidels' (i.e. our) dead bodies.

It may be that the Bush Administration views sanctions as the means of forcing the mullahs into open war against the United States before they're ready, which would justify the devastating response that would, at the very least, eradicate their nuclear program, and preferably, topple them from power outright, AND which would never, in the current domestic political circumstances, even be contemplated.

It may indeed be the best strategy available. But given how dangerously late we are in the "stop Iranian nukes" game, the chances of blundering into a nuclear Pearl Harbor grow exponentially. Whether that would, as in 1941 (or even 2001), unify the American people behind finishing the war as we should have four years ago, or whether we would conform to Islamist stereotype and run away in utter, shrieking terror, is anybody's guess.

It's rather like drawing the dormitory bed you yourself short-sheeted. When you're reduced to a bad choice and a worse choice, you make the best choice you can and hope and pray for the best. Otherwise we'll be left sucking on things a lot worse than lotas.

One More Step Towards The Dream

It was rumored that the Roberts SCOTUS would be producing some refreshingly constitutionalist decisions this term. It has, for the most part, though not to the degree to match the expectations raised.

This appears to have continued in the racial preference ruling announced today. Though from the way the New York Times phrases it, you'd think that Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito had white hoods to go with their black robes:

With competing blocs of justices claiming the mantle of Brown v. Board of Education, a bitterly divided Supreme Court declared Thursday that public school systems cannot seek to achieve or maintain integration through measures that take explicit account of a student’s race.

Voting 5 to 4, the court, in an opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., invalidated programs in Seattle and metropolitan Louisville, Kentucky, that sought to maintain school-by-school diversity by limiting transfers on the basis of race or using race as a “tiebreaker” for admission to particular schools.

Both programs had been upheld by lower federal courts and were similar to plans in place in hundreds of school districts around the country. Chief Justice Roberts said such programs were “directed only to racial balance, pure and simple,” a goal he said was forbidden by the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” he said. His side of the debate, the chief justice said, was “more faithful to the heritage of Brown,” the landmark 1954 decision that declared school segregation unconstitutional. “When it comes to using race to assign children to schools, history will be heard,” he said.

The Chief is right, of course. Equal protection means, well, EQUAL PROTECTION. The law is to be impartial vis-a-vie race. Discrimination against any particular group is verbotten, and so is discrimination in favor of any particular group, even if racists of the opposite stripe try to justify it by the previous decades of discrimation that group suffered. "Racial justice," in other words, is just like any other kind of justice: individual, not collective.

Roberts' words are so refreshing precisely because they are so commonsensical. And of course, common sense has no place in the contemporary Democrat party, as last night's Donk presidential confab ritualistically reiterated:

HILLARY!: For anyone to assert that race is not a problem in America is to deny the reality in front of our very eyes. This decision turned the clock back on Brown vs. Board of Education. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. The march is not finished...

SENATOR HAIRPLUGS: Still the defining issue... People criticized me for being awful tough on Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. The problem was, the rest of us weren't tough enough on them.

RICHARDSON [BILL....GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO]: "Leadership is about being authentic. It's about speaking honestly... " Richardon’s answer meanders as much as any other… Cites himself as the first Latino.

Donna Brazile gives an approving nod.

Edwards panders a bit by thanking the Howard Bison, a guaranteed applause line. Goes on to cite two Americas, two public school systems in America, two health care systems... race plays an enormous role in health care disparities. All of us have work to do. I'm making sure that for people of color, their voice is heard and their vote is counted.

OBAMA: Cites Thurgood Marshall and founders of Howard - if it had not been for them, I would not be standing here today... Their idea was not that racial equality was not just good for African-Americans, but for America as a whole....

KUCINICH: Criticizes those who say, "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, then they steal your boots." Calls for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing educational
equality. Eliminate No Child Left Behind. Take away resources from war and military buildup and make sure every child gets a quality education.

GRAVEL: This is fairest debate we've had thus far. Racism was here when . Goes to criticize war on drugs. Compares to prohibition. Pledges to end war on drugs, says it savages our inner city. Compares Iraq to Vietnam, and says drugs are a public health issue.

DODD: Thanks Howard U. The shame of all this is that long before this decision came down, shame of resegregation has been going on for years in this country... No issue
is more important to me than education. This is the key to equal access in our education. Calls court decision "a major step backwards." As president, I would use any tools available to me to make sure we reverse this decision of today.

There's actually a remarkable consistency between today's Dems, those of the mid-twentieth century, and those of the post-Civil War period. They all share the common thread of repressing and exploiting black Americans for economic and political gain. Dislodging the new brand of Donk racism will be as difficult a struggle as dislodging the old version was. That George W. Bush will leave behind a SCOTUS that took this large step back toward true racial equality and reconciliation may end up being his only lasting accomplishment.

That this large step wasn't a giant leap can be blamed on Justice Kennedy, whose reputation for sweeping, grandiose jurisprudential "creativity" suspiciously evaporated on this case:

Today's Supreme Court decision in the race-based school assignment cases turns out to be a disappointment. Chief Justice Roberts wrote an excellent opinion explaining why the two plans are unconstitutional, and four other Justices agreed with the result. However, one of them, Justice Kennedy, would not sign on to a key part of the Roberts opinion - the part that says assigning students to schools by race cannot be justified as a means of achieving a racial balance in particular schools that reflects the school district's racial demographics. This leaves the door open for school systems to develop different types of plans for assigning students by race for that purpose, and then to try and persuade sympathetic lower courts that the plan in question does not run afoul of what Kennedy said in his concurrence.

Just as with the campaign finance case earlier this week where Chief Justice Roberts refused to go the full mile and throw out McCain-Feingold as the unconstitutional anti-First Amendment abomination it clearly is, here Justice Kennedy stopped the 5-4 majority from making this a truly landmark decision invalidating the very concept and practice of discriminating in favor of minorities on the basis of race. All that was struck down were these two local school "diversity" programs, while their thousands of siblings across the country remain fundamentally unscathed.

It was another nibble when what is needed is huge, gaping, great white shark-sized bites. With the kind of justices President Hillary! is going to appoint, time is of the essence.

If justice delayed is justice denied, the Roberts SCOTUS had better get the lead out while it still can.

al Qaeda Masters Thesis

Remember a few weeks back when the al Qaeda "graduation" video came out concurrent with the story that the transnational terrorist network had dispatched fresh jihadi teams to open a new offensive in Europe and the U.S.?

Well, today we got a look at an AQ alumnus' first crack at graduate school.

The plot unfolded over the course of the day today as AQ plots always do. The London Daily Telegraph had the first report:

A car bomb left in London's West End would have caused "significant injury or loss of life" if it had not been defused by police.

The explosive device, consisting of gas cyclinders and nails, was discovered at 2am outside a packed nightclub in The Haymarket, near Piccadilly Circus. ...

One witness said that door staff at the nightclub Tiger, Tiger alerted police after the car was driven into bins last night and the driver ran off.

The witness said the large silver saloon car was being driven "erratically" before the minor crash. The driver was not stopped.

Serious stuff, but initially not linked to AQ because the driver didn't appear to be eager to stay and commit suicide for Allah. However, that was before the second nearby car bomb was discovered:

Police in London's bustling nightclub and theater district on Friday defused a car bomb that could have killed hundreds after an ambulance crew spotted smoke coming from a Mercedes filled with a lethal mix of gasoline, propane and nails. Hours later, police confirmed a second explosives-rigged car was found nearby.

The first car bomb, found near Piccadilly Circus, was powerful enough to have caused "significant injury or loss of life" at a time when hundreds were in the area, British anti-terror police chief Peter Clarke said.

Clarke said Friday evening that the second car — another Mercedes — was originally parked illegally on nearby Cockspur Street, but had been towed from the West End to an impound lot near Hyde Park.

"The vehicle was found to contain very similar materials to those that had been found in the first car," he said. "There was a considerable amount of fuel and gas canisters. As in the first vehicle, there was also a quantity of nails. This like the first device was potentially viable."

Multiple simultaneous bombings are an al Qaeda trademark. So is bragging about them in advance, which an "abu Osama al-Hazeen," a regular on jihadi Internet bulletin boards, did profusely last night in the "al Hesbah" chat room, a cybervenue known as an AQ and Taliban propaganda outlet.

More, um, fuel on the fire came from the capture of the first car bomb driver on surveillance video. Turns out he's been dragneted before in connection with a known al Qaeda operative:

British police have a “crystal clear” picture of the man who drove the bomb-rigged silver Mercedes outside a London nightclub, and officials tell the Blotter on he bears “a close resemblance” to a man arrested by police in connection with another bomb plot but released for lack of evidence.

Officials say the suspect had been taken into custody in connection with the case of al Qaeda operative Dhiren Barot, who was convicted of orchestrating a vehicle bomb plot involving targets in London, New York, Newark, N.J. and Washington, D.C.

The Barot connection, combined with an arrest of two other "Jihadi U." "graduates," in Germany, have effectively clinched that this was, indeed, an al Qaeda operation:

Last year, al Qaeda operative Dhiren Barot was convicted by a British court for a plot to use limousines to carry similar bombs as those defused today to similar targets as the nightclubs allegedly targeted today.

In his own personal manual, Barot described how the cylinders, "if carefully orchestrated can be as powerful as exploding TNT," and "are easily available to the general public," designed for a "synchronized, concurrent (back-to-back) execution on the same day and time." Videos posted on al Qaeda Web sites also show in full detail how to rig propane and butane cylinders as powerful bombs.

And today's explosive devices - composed of five or six propane and butane cylinders as well as thirty-three gallons of gasoline, all rigged to detonate with calls to two cell phones - followed Barot's manual and the al Qaeda videos closely. Officials say the cell phones failed to initiate the explosions, even after each phone had been called twice, preventing a shrapnel-filled fireball from launching and killing people in the surrounding area.

But the bombs were duds, so no big deal, right? And if they had gone off, well, it'd have been George W. Bush's fault anyway for invading Iraq, right? You know, the country in which American and British (well, American, anyway) troops are locked in lopsided mortal combat Qaeda.

It's more than metaphorical to say that new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown dodged a bullet today. And thank God for it, of course, as hundreds of British civilians are still alive and whole who would have been maimed and dead otherwise. But there will always be a next attack, and one of them will succeed. Will this near miss inject the slightly shriveled version of Tony Blair with some Blairesque realism (vis-a-vie British forces staying in the fight in Iraq)? Or will it take another tsunami of Londoner blood and guts to re-teach the lesson?

Yes, that's another rhetorical question. At a time when Britain could really use another Churchill, or even another Blair, the UK has to make do with a guy who could have been Tobey Maguire's understudy. Only without the Spidey suit, powers, and courage. Even l'il Jackie Wright would have been an improvement.

Man, Londoners really had brace themselves for an Islamist "Blitz," hadn't they?

Central Command News, 6/29/07

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

Duty to Country Is Family Affair for Edmondsons.aspx

Posted: 29 Jun 2007 04:57 AM CDT

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq - Many children follow in their parents footsteps, but very rarely do the parents follow their in their children's footsteps.

VTC brings servicemembers closer to home.aspx

Posted: 29 Jun 2007 04:41 AM CDT

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq - Deployments can put a lot of stress on servicemembers and their families. Sure, they could use the phone, write letters and send e-mails to stay in touch, but nothing can substitute for real-life interaction with their families.

Navy mechanics keep missions rolling at PRT Farah.aspx

Posted: 29 Jun 2007 04:32 AM CDT

FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan - The sound of air-power tools, wrenches clanging and engines turning can be heard throughout the makeshift motor pool here.

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 29 Jun 2007 05:43 AM CDT


Posted: 29 Jun 2007 05:28 AM CDT


Posted: 29 Jun 2007 05:23 AM CDT


Posted: 29 Jun 2007 05:18 AM CDT


Posted: 29 Jun 2007 05:09 AM CDT


Posted: 29 Jun 2007 05:04 AM CDT


Posted: 29 Jun 2007 05:01 AM CDT


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 10:00 AM CDT


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 09:47 AM CDT

"Fairness" Doctrine Goes Down

Well, we had a pretty good day yesterday. The House voted 309-115 for Mike Pence's amendment preventing the FCC from implementing the Hush Rush bill. Here are some highlights and lowlights of the discussion on the Senate floor.

JASmius adds: I can't let David Obey's antics go unquoted:

I want to see Rush Limbaugh and Sean (Hannity) them bloviate in all their glory. Everyone knows he’s plugged in to Republican National Headquarters. He’s thoroughly discredited and I’d like to keep it that way. Let right-wing talk radio go on just as it is now. Rush and Sean are just about as important in the scheme of things as Paris Hilton.”

If Limbaugh or Hannity were "plugged into Republican National Headquarters," would there have even BEEN an immigraton amnesty bill in the first place? And if they were, how does that flip over to their being "discredited" and "less important than Paris Hilton"? This is pure gibberish.

And then this:

“This hasn’t been the most scintillating debates in the history of the House floor. But the folks on talk radio and yap-yap tv are publicly admitting they aren’t 'fair and balanced.' If the media were really 'liberal,' then conservatives would be pushing for the Fairness Doctrine."

"The folks on talk radio" never claimed to be "fair and balanced". Fox News does, but they back it up. It's the Enemy Media that claims to be objective but manifestly is not.

And if the Right were going to push for the Fairness Doctrine to muzzle the EM, wouldn't the esteemed (heh) congressman from the land of Vlad Masters think people like Mike Pence - or Limbaugh or Hannity - would have attempted it, like, decades ago? What does he think we're waiting for, his permission?

The Dems are letting their emotions overwhelm their discretion. As on the attempted amnesty, loose lips from Dennis Kucinich and Dianne Feinstein (and an assist from T.L. Worthless) sent up the red flag, and the believing Republican remnant plus the GOP base rallied against it.

They desperately need a dose of President Hillary's disciplined guile. From the looks of things, it can't get to them fast enough.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the LORD's will, we will live and do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

-James 4:13-17

Cleaning Up After The Party

Mmmmboy, that barbeque was good. Compared to last year, the teriyaki chicken breast was enormous. Some might say (as I did this morning) that I blew off my diet, but the truth is I'm not on a diet, but rather trying to change what, and how much, I eat, with the emphasis being on lowering my sodium intake. For me that's a fate worse than....well, not death, since that's what I'm trying to defer, but let's just say my childhood nickname "saltaholic" wasn't unearned. Which is fine when you're in grade school, but not so fine when you're middle-aged and your systolic blood pressure reading is indeterminable.

I suppose that still makes BBQ a no-no. But it was free and I ran out of time to have my normal bowl of Special K (i.e. ricecakes in skim milk), so I indulged. Besides, I had additional good reason.

There are a few loose ends that I'd like to tug on before the page is turned on this sorry episode, though. Such as the national self-humiliation of Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich. And the principled, monolithic courage of wannabe POTUS Sam Brownback:

Then there was this little detail in the $4.4 billion the Bush Administration threw into the kitty as a "border enforcement" sweetener to buy off GOP fence-sitters:

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) released Wednesday a report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) which says the new Senate immigration bill contains a major loophole in border security. Supporters of the bill say it provides $4.4 billion in immediate mandatory spending for border enforcement, but according to the CRS analysis, the funds could also be used immediately to implement the amnesty provisions [of the] bill.

“This is just another example of how this bill claims to do one thing but does something else entirely. It’s another example of an empty promise being used to buy votes for amnesty,” said Senator DeMint. “The supporters of this bill have been running around trying to convince people that this money will be used to secure the border first, but now we know that’s not the case. If you read the fine print, the bill says this money can also be used for amnesty.

According to the CRS report provided to Senator DeMint, the mandatory spending in the bill could immediately be used for Z visas. It says, “(r)eceiving, processing, and adjudicating applications for the Z visa authorized by Title VI of the Act is one of the trigger mechanisms outlined in Section 1; this means that funding from the Immigration Security Account could be used for this purpose.”

In addition, the report says the funds could be used for Y visas and other programs once the trigger mechanisms have been met but it does not require the Secretary of Homeland Security to certify the trigger. The report says, “S. 1639 does not explicitly stipulate whether the certification required by Section 1 would have to take place prior to funding being made available for the additional purposes outlined in Section 2(C).”

“Not only can this money be used for things other than border security and enforcement, it looks like another backdoor trick to promote amnesty,” said Senator DeMint. “If Congress appropriates money later this year for the border, the money provided in this bill will turn into a slush fund the Administration can use to ensure illegal immigrants are legalized.” [emphases added]

Which is, of course, the border erasure crowd's definition of "legal immigration."

A former boss and mentor of mine had a very direct way of dealing with people who tried to BS him. He'd get right in their faces, thump two fingers in their chests, and exclaim, "You're a LIAR!" Given that he was a former IRS agent, I imagine he got ample opportunity to practice that little mannerism. Given that he is also hugely passionate about border control and enforcement and was doubtless driven up the wall by this amnesty crapola, well, I can't imagine what he'd have done to Ted Kennedy when the latter vomited his "Gestapo" slur in his morning rant. But I know it would have justified C-SPAN going on pay-per-view.

Dean Barnett has the winners and losers. Pretty standard for anybody who's followed this onrolling fiasco over the past month, but he did have two very pregnant points:

I’ve admired this President for a long time, but I’ve reached a point where I’ve had it up to here (my hand is at my forehead) with this Administration’s chronic obtuseness and arrogance. The top priority right now for the Administration should be the war. And yet the President spent what little political capital he had trying to shove this atrocious immigration bill down the country’s throat....

President Bush is going to need a united base come September if he wants to stay the course in Iraq. Given that consideration, calling 90% of that base bigots probably wasn’t a very good idea....

Will the Republican base forgive the Administration for its actions surrounding this bill? My guess is no. We’re moving on to finding another leader for the party, and in 7 months or so we’ll have one. In the meantime, thanks to this idiotic gambit, there’s a power vacuum right now in the White House.
All I can add is what I said last Saturday: We all knew that Dubya was a huge open-borders guy. He never made any secret of it going clear back to the genesis of his presidency in early 1999. But the 9/11 attacks HAD to change that priority. If he wanted his amnesty and his guest-worker program, both his responsibility as Commander-in-Chief and the politics of the issue demanded that he establish a track record of vigorous border control and enforcement of existing immigration laws at a minimum. With that baseline any White House-backed immigration legislation would then have had to augment the enforcement side first; the combination of both would then have laid the foundation for an advocacy of amnesty that the public could have reasonably accepted.

The President had better than six years to do this. He did none of it. Instead he whipped out a reprise of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty, only this time his Senate proxies pursued its enactment with a level of dishonesty, dishonor, and arrogance worthy of....well, the Democrats, which is what made Uncle Teddy's sodden prominence in this saga so appropriate. And since Bush let Ted Kennedy write his education bill ("No Child Left Behind"), that's an appropo closing of a very disgusting "bipartisan" loop.

Here's the POTUS expressing his "disappointment" over the stuffing of his legacy quest. Cry me a river, Mr. President. Because that's all this was to you, a legacy quest, an ego trip, an additional page in the history books. I suppose all two-termers succumb to that itch at this stage of their presidencies, but you did so at the cost of your honor, your credibility, your leadership, and the imperilment of who knows how many American civilian lives that have already been endangered by your utter disinterest in recognizing that border control is a lynchpin of national security in an age of nuclear terrorism.

And you lost.

Too bad for you, but not for the rest of us, which brings us to DB's second slice of salience:

Now, the Democrats have given us the greatest gift of all – an issue that moves the country much more than members of the political class realize and on which the Democrats find themselves on the wrong side. The Republican congressional candidates should be able to have a lot of fun with the issue of border security in 2008. So should the Republican presidential nominee....
That would take a bit of jiu-jitsuing to pull off, but it's hard not to notice the shrill haste with which, for example, Crazy Nancy tried to "blame" the killing of a "shamnesty" bill that nearly four Americans out of every five detested on the Republicans. Which means the Dems are all but handing a winning issue to the GOP for the rest of this election cycle, if they'll only have the brains to take it and run with it.

Winning the Senate back next year after this mess ain't happening (any more than retaining it in '06 was likely after the McCain Mutiny), but the House might be a different matter. Ditto overcoming the Hillary threat and retaining the White House. If Republicans embrace and tout border control/enforcement leavened with favorable bromides toward legal immigration, and get out of the way of the increasingly irrelevant Donk Bushophobic jihad, while Fred or Mitt takes the Reaganian path free of any need to defend the man who would be their predecessor, the Dems and all their tiresome extremism, rage, and hatred could be lumped in with Dubya as "old news," a chapter from which the American people want to turn the page and, well, "move on" from. Particularly if Mrs. Clinton heads the Democrat ticket.

Yeah, it's laboring optimism, not unlike listening to me run up a flight of stairs. But Congress' approval rating is the lowest it's ever been right now, and it's happened on Crazy Nancy's and Dirty Harry's watch. Just imagine the fallout if RINOs like Dick Lugar (I still can't say that name without snickering) facilitate the Donk immediate-surrender-to-al Qaeda-and-Iran policy, Congress pulls the plug on the war, and it yields the expected military disaster. Maybe follow that up with an Iranian invasion of Iraq and/or missile strikes against Israel and/or another major terrorist strike here at home. After the past six years, there's no way on Earth that the Democrats wouldn't get tarred with responsibility for bringing all that blood and gore down on us. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." That party would be finished, no matter what disarray the GOP was in and how savvy, powerful, and ruthless the Clinton machine is.

And to think it all would have been born in the crucible that came so close to combusting the GOP itself.

Don't worry, lib readers, there's no defeat that my party can't pull out of victory's jaws. The GOP could botch a wet dream. Certainly they pissed away their greatest chance to make hay in the last Congress in record time.

But you people had better be aware of where the ol' metaphorical pendulum is. This immigration war may well have started it swinging back in the direction from whence it so recently came.

Counting The Dead

A guest post by George Meredith

~ ~ ~

Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead. The Amnesty Bill is finis. Too bad, so sad.

While the Drive-By Media is having an absolute orgasm of self congratulatory spasms over their tipping of the scales of political power in Congress in the midterm elections, it’s a sure bet that most Americans have no idea how many of their fellow citizens - men, women and children – are being murdered or otherwise harmed by illegal aliens.

According to numbers released by Representative Steve King, (R–IA), 4,380 Americans are murdered annually by illegal aliens – 21,900 since 9/11. That’s twelve murdered Americans a day; approx seven times the number of military deaths in the War Against Islamic Terrorism. Additionally, Rep King reports that thirteen Americans are also killed daily by drunken illegal alien drivers – that’s 23,725 unnecessary deaths since the 11 September sneak attack. And that raises to approx 15 times the death rate a day of American military personnel involved in the War Against Islamic Terrorism.

There’s more, and it only gets worse. Sexual assaults, including 2,500 cases of child molestation annually, have become so bad that four years ago ICE launched a task force just to deal with the problem (Operation Predator – see These numbers seem to track very much in line with Rep. King’s figures. He reports eight American children are victims of sexual abuse by illegal aliens every day – a total of 2,920 annually.

King’s figures are greater since he gets them from state and local jurisdictions, which would not be included in the numbers from ICE. So it would appear that ICE deals only with the smaller half of the problem, but King’s figures probably do not deal adequately with the real situation either, since so many local jurisdictions, and even some states, regard themselves as “sanctuaries” and do everything they can to cover up illegal immigrant crimes.

It gets uglier and uglier:

The Violent Crimes Institute of Atlanta estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each (remember we are now speaking of sex offenses against adults as well as children). This reflects the work of Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Institute. She analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006, including serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants. Please note that her study straddles the 11 September sneak attack (

In April 2005, the Government Accountability Office released a report on a 2003 study of some 55 thousand illegal aliens jailed in federal, state, and local facilities. The GAO found that the fifty-five thousand jailed illegals represented between them some 459 thousand arrests, an average of eight arrests per inmate. The GAO also reported that those arrests grew out of some 700,000 criminal offenses, an average of some thirteen offenses per inmate. And finally, 36 percent had been previously arrested at least five times (I no longer have that GAO link, but I’ll bet you can find it if you really want to).

What relevance do all these numbers have to the Illegal Immigration Amnesty bill that caused such an uproar in the Senate until this morning, you ask? Well, certainly just as much relevance as the death toll of GIs reported daily by the Drive-By Media has to the War Against Islamic Terrorism (surely by now you must know where I am going with this).

If, for a mere six months, not for the last five and one half years:

The Drive-by Media had reported the Immigration Amnesty battle the way they have reported the War Against Islamic Terrorism;

If they had reported each day, in some detail, the murders committed by Illegals (including the names of the victims);

If they had reported, singularly, the several instances of child molestation committed by Illegals each day (without the names of the victims, of course);

If they had reported each day, the instances of other serious crimes, including the rapes and sexual assaults, and including attacks on citizens;

Is it even remotely possible that Senator Kennedy and President Bush would have had the arrogance, much less the courage, to roil the US Senate in a three week battle in an attempt to ram this Amnesty Bill down the throats of the American People?

Not hardly.

Let this be exhibit A to remind us why we hold the Drive-Bys in such low regard.

America Strikes Back!

Okay, I couldn't help telegraphing my enthusiasm in the post title. But the ride will still be a lot of fun.

~ ~ ~

Before we check in on the final cloture vote on the United States of Mexico Permanently Ruled By the DemobananaRepublic Party Act of 2007, I want to send another warm, heartfelt message to the formerly Republican senator, and near-future former senator period, from South Carolina.

This, for your consideration, is the catalyst:

“There’s racism in this debate,” Mr. Graham said. “Nobody likes to talk about it, but a very small percentage of people involved in this debate really have racial and bigoted remarks. The tone that we create around these debates, whether it be rhetoric in a union hall or rhetoric on talk radio, it can take people who are on the fence and push them over emotionally.”
Senator Graham, you pusillanimous, perfidious pissant, you can take your senatorial deliberation and go bleep yourself with it, then pass the sloppy seconds around to "Sailor," T.L. Worthless, and Uncle Teddy, who is doubtless very familiar with the concept. But be sure to save your personal Profiles in Cowardice award for your AWOL Minority Leader, who stalwartly took a powder on the whole thing yesterday and disappeared, an act of rank cowardice that puts him right down there with Bill Frist, T.L. Worthless, Bob Dole, and Howie Baker in the "Doofus" hall of fame.

Now, then. I've grown pessimistic over the past few days about the likelihood of stopping "comprehensive immigration reform". We killed it once, but Uncle Teddy vowed "nevaa" to give up. They were going to shove this open borders outrage down our throats if it was the last thing they did. Yesterday Dirty Harry Reid showed just how determined the border erasure extremists really were.

Pity for him and them that the Nevada chisler bungled it so spectacularly. The second and final jam-down blew up on the launching pad, highlighting all the process skullduggery that generated so much senatorial opposition outside the open borders cabal the first time. Suddenly the chances that this piece of crap could be extinguished a second (aaaaaand final) time were themselves resurrected.

Were those hopes justified? Is the official sanction and approval of the passive Mexican invasion of America once again six feet under, or does the beast still slouch toward the House, to assimilate fresh 'Pubbie drones to join the senatorial ones in its wake?

Aw, shucks, go see for yourself. I'm going to go kill my diet at the celebratory barbeque.

Hopefully it won't come back to life either.

Shamnesty is Dead

53 NO votes. Hallelujah!

Lots of coverage, especially at The Corner and Michelle Malkin. Check 'em out.


Strange vote. My Republican Senator, Richard Lugar, voted yes and my Democrat Senator, Evan Bayh, voted no. Yes, Mr. Lugar has heard from me loud and clear regarding his amnesty vote and his "we've lost" attitude on the war. Looks like lots of Senators heard from America loud and clear...and some listened, thank God.

JASmius adds: Six of the nine Republicans up for re-election next year who voted for cloture on Tuesday (Coleman, Collins, Domenici, McConnell, Stevens, Warner) flipped this morning.

Regrettable that they can cite Harry Reid's second jam-down attempt yesterday as the excuse rather than the execrable content of the amnesty bill itself. But as long as the damn thing stays dead this time, I'll figure out a way to live with it.

Central Command News, 6/28/07

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

Yusufiyah-area Men Flock to IP Recruitment Drive.aspx

Posted: 28 Jun 2007 03:43 AM GMT-06:00

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Over 1,200 Iraqi men came to Joint Security Station in Yusufiyah during a three-day police recruitment drive that ended June 25.

Marines of 6th PSC Train Djiboutian Navy in Less Lethal Force.aspx

Posted: 28 Jun 2007 03:34 AM GMT-06:00

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti - In an effort to fine-tune port security procedures at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, the Marines of 6th Provisional Security Company (PSC) trained members of the Djiboutian navy in less lethal force tactics during a three-phase training exercise June 10-17.

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 03:51 AM GMT-06:00


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 03:45 AM GMT-06:00


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 02:25 AM GMT-06:00


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 08:38 AM GMT-06:00


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 07:13 AM GMT-06:00


Posted: 28 Jun 2007 05:59 AM GMT-06:00

At War

Here is a great monologue by Rush regarding what the Democrats want to do to this country. We all know most of this, but seeing it put so succinctly and clearly is enough to scare the pants off anybody who loves this country. I've known for a long time that the Democrats are not worried about our national security. Why, I don't know. Do they really believe the terrorists can be talked out of bombing us again? Do they think they are safe where they are and do not have to worry about an attack? What is behind their naivete'? Why are they so willing to leave America vulnerable, even if it is for their own personal gain?

Their mindset floors me...I guess I'm glad I don't understand it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who's Really Running America?

An email from my friend George Meredith:

Tell me again, Senator Lott, who it is that runs America?

Tell me again, Senator Grahamnesty, who it is that is sending the destructive and hate-filled message on this immigration controversy?

America is an idea; not a piece of real estate. Kill the idea and the real estate isn't worth much. Who understands that? Who doesn't?

~ ~ ~

We'll find out tomorrow.

Integrity 101

1 I will sing of Your love and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praise.

2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life — when will You come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart.

3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.

4 Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.

5 Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.

6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.

8 Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD.

-Psalm 101

~ ~ ~

Sounds to me like King David would have been a lousy U.S. senator....

Tyrannical Incompetence

I don't know which is the more astonishing: that the Senate border erasure crowd tried yet another "jam-down" of the immigration amnesty bill, or that Dirty Harry Reid so thoroughly botched the attempt.

As Dave Berry says, I swear I'm not making this up.

On Tuesday eveing Richard Miniter sounds the red alert:

Rocketing through Republican Washington is a memo predicting Senator Harry Reid will use a unprecedented combination of legislative procedures to shove through the immigration bill today—without real opposition.

The memo was drafted by a former Secretary for the Majority and Minority in the U.S. Senate, Elizabeth B. Letchworth. As an expert in senate rules, she was asked by several senators skeptical of the immigration bill to use her sources and her expertise to anticipate the legislative moves of the immigration bill supporters. She wrote the memo as private work, for concerned friends.

This memo, made public on Pajamas Media for the first time, lays out a purported plan by Democrats to use obscure senate procedures to force through the immigration bill hworkwith no amendments from skeptical or critical senators.

Letchworth predicts that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will try this [Wednes]day.

She calls it “The Reid scenario,” which she says will kick off in less than two hours from this writing. Letchwork writes in an email: “The Reid scenario of offering amendments in strategic places in order to block any and all other amendments will commence when they return from their weekly party caucuses @ 2:15PM. [Today, Eastern] At the end of the amendment. offering process Senator Reid will file cloture on the bill.”

The mind reels. This is the second time that backers of this turkey have tried to use a parliamentary battering ram to force it through the Senate without scrutiny or amendment. Whereas the first attempt last month was a wished-for act of stealth and legerdemain that stepped on a couple of squeak toys called talk radio and the blogosphere, this one was a piece of legislative thuggery that would have made even Uncle Hugo exclaim, "Espere un minuto, tipo."

Even the inattentive intellect has got to start getting the impression that this bill, in the words of Hank Hill, "just ain't right". All the GOP senators who keep keeping this monstrosity alive in order to "improve" it via amendments that Dirty Harry has now (again) tried to prevent them from attaching - all in the name of the illogical but all too typical Beltway groupthink legislative instinct to "Don't just stand there, DO something!" - should be getting the message from Reid, if not the avalanche of angry phone calls and emails melting their deactivated communications apparati, that Bush-McCain-Kyl-Kennedy-Take A Number is not something that should be enacted.

What's the old expression? If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably not a shetland pony.

Not to worry, though. Senator Pencil-Neck's haste made for some hilarious waste:

Someone once said not to watch how sausage or legislation are made. Today especially I prefer to be at the sausage factory.

As if the Senate floor situation could get any worse, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s staff is now rewriting the Clay Pigeon amendment behind closed doors. It is the intent of the Majority Leader to bring this new unread Amendment up without the Republicans seeing the language. Yesterday Senator Reid did not have his massive 373 page amendment ready when he started debate on it and mistakes were made in the initial drafting. This fact was not discovered until Republicans objected to waiving the reading of the bill, and the Senate Clerk had nothing to read. Shockingly, Reid scrambled around, put the floor in morning business for a few hours, and then allowed Kennedy’s staff make final changes to the amendment. The language was finally made available around 5:30 pm and Reid “graciously” gave Republicans the night to go through it before moving to it this morning.

This morning Republicans announced that Reid’s amendment did not include the Sessions EITC provision in the touchback section, despite the fact that all previously passed amendments were supposed to be incorporated in the bill and the Clay Pigeon amendment. This oversight is the only mistake so far found, yet there may be other mistakes and intentional omissions in the 373 page amendment. This morning Reid put the floor back in morning business and sent his staff off to rewrite the mega amendment once again. Today, “the most deliberative body in the world,” is left to debate legislation that they do not have a copy of…
That's right, dear readers, a 373-page "amendment" to a 388-page bill. Doesn't that little detail alone tell you how utterly bleeped-up this whole thing has become? Multi-hundred page "amendments" nobody has seen, full of "mistakes" and "omissions" that strangely only seem to affect Republican amendments, that when they're noticed get the "amendment" sent back for "re-write," AGAIN with no chance to read them. And yet floor debate goes on anyway! How can you f'ing debate an f'ing bill before it's f'ing written? Can this get any worse?

C'mon, GOP Senate caucus. I know Darth Queeg and Darth Small and T.L. Worthless have flown the coop, but the rest of you have no excuse for continuing to facilitate this travesty.

Jim DeMint (the Republican senator from South Carolina), seems to understand what's going on:
After the Senate voted to cut off debate on the question of whether to resurrect the Senate immigration bill, Senator Reid set up unique debate process that guarantees votes several hand-picked amendments but blocks consideration of all others. Senator Reid used a parliamentary tool called a “clay pigeon” to divide a giant amendment into multiple amendments and then moved to block all others. No other member of the Senate besides Reid could have accomplished all of this without being stopped by another Senator. No other Majority Leader in history has done this.

Republicans better wake up soon or they can expect Senator Reid to use this tactic in the future to raise taxes, increase spending, and weaken our national security. [emphases added]

So much for "the greatest deliberative body in the world". Dirty Harry is turning it into a synthesis of the House of Lords and the Mafia.

And, in so doing, winning a battle (if even that) but losing the war:

That’s why the fundamental bill has no credibility, and basically what we are saying today is it is dead on arrival in the House, we can’t have secret deals, this has to go through committee, it has to go in pieces. A comprehensive bill will not pass the House.
The evil Barney Fife has overreached so far he ripped his own arms out of their sockets. Now the GOP has to take this exercise in corrupt authoritarianism and flog the Democrats mercilessly between now and November 2008 the same damn way they used the so-called "Republican culture of corruption" against us in 2006.

Yeah, that's probably a fantasy. But it's a darned pleasant one.

They're Really Going To Do It

Looks like DiFi wasn't bluffing:

“It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine,” said Senate Majority Whip [Ali Dickbar al-Durbini] (D-IL). “I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

The Fairness Doctrine, which the FCC discarded in 1985, required broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on controversial political issues. Prior to 1985, government regulations called for broadcasters to “make reasonable judgments in good faith” on how to present multiple viewpoints on controversial issues.

Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she planned to “look at the legal and constitutional aspects of” reviving the Fairness Doctrine.

“I believe very strongly that the airwaves are public and people use these airwaves for profit,” she said. “But there is a responsibility to see that both sides and not just one side of the big public questions of debate of the day are aired and are aired with some modicum of fairness.”

I'm confused. When did television and print media and the Internet cease to exist? I know I take a lot of naps these days, but I'd think I would have noticed if I had ambled down to my living room, yawning and scratching myself in unsavory but satisfying places, turned on my brand new flatscreen Hi-Def digital console and gotten nothing but snow. And don't the viewpoints of people like DiFi and al-Durbini dominate the former two and generate disproportionate noise in the third? How, in today's ubiquitous deluge of multi-media noise, can these Donks (and RINOs like T.L. Worthless) possibly claim with a straight face that the ONE branch of the media they don't control with an iron fisted Kung-Fu grip needs to have "balance" forced upon it by government diktat or the American public will only get "one side of the story"?

The short version is "fairness" means "silence". There is one reason why the Right attracts so many listeners on talk radio and the Left can't cover themselves in maple syrup and draw ants: the free market. Conservative talk radio arose precisely because the rest of the media was wall-to-wall liberal. Conservative talk radio remains precisely because the rest of the media is STILL wall-to-wall liberal. Because conservative hosts draw huge audiences and liberal hosts, as Err America delightfully demonstrated, do not, talk radio stations, which are for-profit enterprises which make money by selling advertising at as high a rate as the market will bear, will always opt for the conservative shows. It's simply good business.

Well, no good noodle stars for deducing that Democrats, as good orthodox leftists, hate markets, have contempt for the wishes and preferences of the people, and are incapable of tolerating any opposing point of view, up to and including legislating it out of existence. They tried to compete in the one media segment that eludes their monopoly, failed spectacularly, and are now returning to their roots and preparing to send in the FCC storm troopers to bind and gag Limbaugh, Hannity, Hewitt, Prager, Levin, Michael Reagan, Laura Ingraham, Bill Bennett, and maybe even all of us humble little hobbyists at Blog Talk Radio.

I've been visited in my domicile by the feds once, a little over eight years ago (they were serving me with a grand jury subpoena). Not an experience I'd like to repeat, even if it would give me the opportunity to ask them if they've seen my BTR ratings. I don't know if agents have a sense of humor, but it would be fun to make them look foolish as they were snapping on the cuffs.

I jest, of course. Perhaps. What is breathtaking is that the Donk/RINO axis is making so public an assault on the First Amendment at all. They presume to dictate to radio stations what content they can run? Or jack up FCC license fees and funnel all the confiscated lucre to NPR? I knew Newt and the boys should have abolished the Corporation For Public Broadcasting when the had the chance twelve years ago. Big Bird be damned.

But then there is precedent for it. And the Dems ARE back in power. And they didn't hide who and what they really are to get there. So their natural conclusion is that the American people are fully behind this fascistic attempt to crush any dissent to permanent, one-party Democrat rule.

As I always say, though, that's what I expect from the Dems, and am never disappointed. The question, also as always, is what are the Republicans going to do about it?

One House 'Pubbie - Mike Pence of Indiana, and a former talk radio host himself - says he'll give it the college try:

"Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airwaves. It is a dangerous proposal to suggest the government should be in the business of rationing free speech.

"Congress must take action to ensure that this archaic remnant of a bygone era of American radio does not return. There is nothing fair about the Fairness Doctrine.

"During my years in radio and television, I developed a great respect for a free and independent press. Since being in Congress, I have been the recipient of praise and criticism from broadcast media, but it has not changed my fundamental belief that a free and independent press must be vigorously defended by those who love liberty. It is with this in mind that I will introduce the Broadcaster Freedom Act.

"The Broadcaster Freedom Act will prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from prescribing rules, regulations, or policies that will reinstate the requirement that broadcasters present opposing viewpoints in controversial issues of public importance. The Broadcaster Freedom Act will prevent the FCC or any future President from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. This legislation ensures true freedom and fairness will remain on our radio airwaves, and I would encourage my colleagues to cosponsor and support this bill.

"John F. Kennedy stated, 'We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.'"

Will the Broadcaster Freedom Act ever see the light of day? Probably not. The Dems are feeling their oats, know they have the political wind at their backs, and are going to go for the jugular and crush their domestic political enemies once and for all. But by fighting this Naziesque power grab on the part of the two-headed Joseph Goebbels (um, Feinstein and al-Durbini) to the bitter end - while they're still allowed to do so - Republicans can highlight for the entire country to see just exactly what the Dems are trying to do and what it reveals about the totalitarians-at-heart they truly are. And perhaps that might make a difference in 2008, and even ensure that free and legitimate elections continue to follow that one.

As the Democrats march us down the Hugo Chavez road, the Right's rallying cry should be, "If the government has no business in our bedrooms, then get them the hell away from our radios!"

Central Command News, 6/27/07 PM

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

Fallon Visits Bayji Oil Refinery.aspx

Posted: 27 Jun 2007 09:10 AM CDT

BAYJI, Iraq—Admiral William Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, met with Major-General Benjamin Mixon, 25th Infantry Division commander, and other Iraqi and coalition leaders, June 11, 2007, at the Bayji Oil Refinery to discuss the future of the refinery.

American Indian Marine represents family, heritage in Corps.aspx

Posted: 27 Jun 2007 09:01 AM CDT

AL ASAD, Iraq - It is estimated that more than 12,000 Native Americans served in the United States military in World War I. There are more than 190,000 Native American military veterans; as the years continue to compile, so do the numbers of Native Americans in the military.

Basrah Railroad Station Vital to a Growing Region and Economy.aspx

Posted: 27 Jun 2007 08:30 AM CDT

BASRAH, Iraq - The rehabilitation of the Basrah Railway Station is one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Gulf Region South (GRS) District efforts to build and develop the basic services and strategic infrastructure for Iraq.

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 27 Jun 2007 10:33 AM CDT


Posted: 27 Jun 2007 10:30 AM CDT


Posted: 27 Jun 2007 07:13 AM CDT

Central Command News, 6/27/07 AM

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What Defeat Will Look Like

Me, Election night 2006:

Whether you attribute tonight's results to the "six year itch" or the war that President Bush said from the beginning would be a long one or any of the myriad of Democrat memes throughout the year, the bottom line is that the American electorate has made some profoundly foolish and short-sighted choices the consequences of which will not be long in manifesting themselves beginning in January. A huge tax increase is a certainty without any legislative action at all from the new House majority by virtue of letting the Bush tax cuts expire. Pulling the plug on the war, both through bitterly recriminatory hearings that feed Bush lieutenants backwards through the bunghole on everything from terrorist surveillance to "torture" of enemy "detainees" and outright defunding of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is inevitable. [emphasis added]

The Hill, today:

When they won control of Congress in November, Democrats pressed their case to withdraw troops from Iraq and refocus on Afghanistan, but some are growing impatient with U.S. operations in Afghanistan as well.

A few congressional Democrats go so far as suggesting that the Pentagon should pull out of Afghanistan now, while others say that troop withdrawal will be addressed after the military is out of Iraq.

Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), a senior defense authorizer [Goodness, but that's a terrifying thought], wants the U.S. out of Afghanistan immediately, calling operations there “futile” in trying to effect political change in a country with a tangled history....

“We are finished there, militarily speaking,” said Abercrombie, the chairman of the Air and Land Armed Services subcommittee.

“There is no useful purpose for our troops there,” Abercrombie stated in a recent interview. “The military should withdraw now,” he said, though he stressed that the U.S. could keep “isolated pockets” of special operators.

Instead of using the military to effect political change, the U.S. should have a complete diplomatic re-engagement in the region, “with an understanding that our role there should change,” Abercrombie added....

Representative Diane Watson (D-CA), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, said that it is time for the U.S. military to start leaving Afghanistan and the Middle East altogether. “We are not securing America by being there,” she pressed. “The longer we are there, the more plots start growing in our country.”

Watson, who supported the war in Afghanistan, said that the military ought “to start leaving Afghanistan” and that the U.S. should allow Afghan officials to “formulate and run their own government.”

Am I a prophet? No. I just know the Democrats. Maybe not as intimately as every square inch of my pudgy, blemished, generally unsightly naked body, but well enough.

What we have here is a continuum. The left's "anti-war" fetish vis-a-vie Iraq started on the fringe (Yes, even a fringe can have its own fringe) and metastasized inexorably toward what laughably passes for the Donk "mainstream." While bashing the war helped cost John Kerry the 2004 presidential election, it won his party control of Congress last November. Now, as the Hill article observes, just about every Democrat is willing to be publicly identified with the "cut & run" crowd, but their "mainstream" still walk the logic tightrope of supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

However, as Brother Hinderaker points out, the arguments in favor of staying in Afghanistan are pretty much the same ones for staying in Iraq: in both theaters we're midwifing (or nursemaiding) fledgling democracies; in both theaters we're heavily engaged with al Qaeda; abandonment of either theater would have the same disastrous consequences - an Islamist administered bloodbath of the indigenous population we left behind, handing a giftwrapped new base of operations to the terrorists, and gifting an even bigger strategic victory to the Iranian mullahgarchy.

Consequently, having gone so far down the road toward running away from al Qaeda and the mullahs in Iraq, it is head-explodingly irrational to flip over and say that we've got to battle them to the death a few hundred miles to the east.

Not that Dems aren't still trying:

Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have stressed over the past several months that the U.S. should refocus on stabilizing Afghanistan and capturing Osama bin Laden, the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“The Taliban played a role in the 9/11 attacks by providing a safe haven for bin Laden,” said Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s spokesman. “Preventing a successful resurgence by the Taliban is a national security objective of the United States, and our troops will remain in Afghanistan until the objective is achieved.”...

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) said, “A lot of the problems in Iraq are of our own making. In Afghanistan we still have the continued threat of al Qaeda having a base to operate. We have to continue to be there.”

“[The American people] are prepared to take losses, if they make sense. You don’t hear people saying, ‘We need to get out of Afghanistan.’ People know the difference,” said Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI).

Yeah, people know the difference - Democrats and their Fifth Column of a base haven't spent five-plus years viciously, hysterically, and treasonously lying about, mischaracterizing, demonizing, and all-around bashing Operation Enduring Freedom as they have Operation Iraqi Freedom. It's taken four years for them to bludgeon down public support for a theater of operations that is of far greater strategic importance to US national security interests in the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism than Afghanistan is. After they've dragged us out of Iraq, how long do you think it'll take them to reprise the meme where "Bush's war" began?

The logic is, as I say, irrefutable. Psychopathic lunatics like Congresscritters Abercrombie and Watson are already saying it. The Vietnamization of Iraq having greased the skids, I wouldn't think it would take even to the end of Bush's presidency to force our headlong retreat from Afghanistan as well.

Here, though, is a question that I don't think I've seen any Dem or RINO agitating for quitting the Middle East and surrendering to the Islamic Caliphate address: What would a crash retreat from Iraq (and Afghanistan) actually look like?

Frank Gaffney answers the question on NRO today. And the picture is not just not pretty, it's downright infuriating to even contemplate:

As it happens, the only way a truly rapid disengagement and redeployment from Iraq can be accomplished would be via a kind of Dunkirk in the desert: a pell-mell rush for the beachhead points of embarkation the object of which would be to extricate as many personnel as possible, probably without regard for their equipment and surely at the expense of their safety.
The reason for this is eminently practical: we have too many troops and too much stuff in Iraq to carry out an orderly withdrawal in anything less than ten to fourteen months at best. This is because all of the equipment, weaponry, vehicles, etc. have to be cleaned, assembled, crated, loaded on transports, etc. And given that we would be exiting via the same way we entered - Kuwait, with no access to Saudi ports - that would further slow down the unnecessary exodus, all the more so if the retreat was compressed into a ridiculously and dangerously compressed political timetable. Can you say "world's biggest bottleneck"?

But there is more than just practicalities involved. And this is where the unquenchable anger comes in:

[U]nder the approach to withdrawal advocated by virtually all Democratic leaders and several prominent Republicans, Americans will surely be retreating under fire. As Tom Bowman put it, Americans “would likely have to fight insurgents overland, all the way to Kuwait.” This endeavor, according to one officer quoted by NPR, would require “attack helicopters [and] recon helicopters in the air, possibly tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and, of course, armored Humvees [on the ground]” providing protection for the disengaging forces.

The result would almost certainly be calamitous. It may even be that the United States military would be subjected to the reverse of the notorious “Highway of Death” of Desert Storm, albeit on a smaller scale. Perhaps a few legislators still recall what happened to Iraqi Republican Guard and other units who were fleeing along a fixed road system in Kuwait and came under murderous Coalition fire — until JCS Chairman Colin Powell, unnerved by negative publicity, ordered U.S. forces to cease their assault. There is no likelihood that al Qaeda and other terrorists will be similarly moved to pity our troops should they be forced by politicians at home to make a similar evacuation. [emphases added]

Pissed off yet? Let's distill it down even further: the Democrats and their pathetic RINO pussy lackies want to get hundreds or even thousands of U.S. soldiers killed retreating that would come home safely if left in Iraq (and Afghanistan) to complete the missions there - and sent rolling into Iran to crush the mullahgarchy and win the war.

Remember this the next time a lib smarmily says that s/he "supports the troops". Then tell them that defeatism kills - and not just soldiers, either.

Speaking of Iran, they have evidently invaded southern Iraq with their regular armed forces and attacked British forces:

Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces have been spotted by British troops crossing the border into southern Iraq, the Sun tabloid reported on Tuesday.

Britain's defence ministry would not confirm or deny the report, with a spokesman declining to comment on "intelligence matters".

An unidentified intelligence source told the tabloid: "It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran - but nobody has officially declared it."

"We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us. It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot."

The Sun said that radar sightings of Iranian helicopters crossing into the Iraqi desert were confirmed to it by very senior military sources.

The Admiral isn't comfortable with the source of the story being the British equivalent of "USA Today with hooters" and questions whether the Iranians would be foolish enough to jump the gun like this. I can't speak to the first part, but the latter makes perfect sense to me. After the past four years of feckless, appeasenik dawdling on the part of the West vis-a-vie Iran's nuclear weapons program, and the Coalition's utter passivity in the face of blatant Iranian proxy warfare against our forces in Iraq AND Afghanistan, can it really be surprising that the mullahs may have concluded we're so weak-willed and cowardly that they can send their regular forces rolling across the border before we've even started to evacuate our own? Put yourself in Adolph Ahmadinejad's shoes: if American politicans are demanding that we run away from mere "insurgents," wouldn't you conclude that a rout was just waiting to happen? Why NOT invade directly? It wouldn't be the first time that a dictator with global ambitions was emboldened to recklessness by the unkillable Western pacifism fetish.

Or maybe the Sun is full of silicone, and the mullahs will wait to invade until we're in the throes of the Democrat-enforced pell-mell bug-out. Bet they could turn it into a "highway of death" for the Great Satan a lot better than their scraggly "insurgent" proxies could.

Afghanistan is landlocked, so I don't know how the Dems are going to fill up the bodybags fleeing from there. Direct surrender to the Taliban? Loading up air transports that'll get shot down over Pakistan? Seek asylum in Iran?

I've long said that the Democrats' goose-stepping march back to power would wade through American blood. The sheer malevolence of their heedless, impenetrable ignorance is, it seems, making of me a prophet after all.