Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ill Winds

Is a single (albeit massive) suicide bombing all it takes to bring Hamid Karzai to his knees - and at strategic eye-level with Mullah Omar?:
A Taliban suicide bomber wearing an Afghan army uniform set off a huge explosion Saturday while trying to board a military bus in the capital, killing thirty people, most of them soldiers, officials said. Hours later, the Afghan president offered to meet personally with the Taliban leader for peace talks and give the militants a position in government. ...

Saturday's explosion ripped off the roof of the bus and tore out its sides, leaving a charred hull of burnt metal. It was reminiscent of the deadliest insurgent attack in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 — when a bomber boarded a police academy bus at Kabul's busiest transportation hub in June and killed thirty-five people.

Dozens of civilians and police officers searched for bodies. Police and soldiers climbed trees to retrieve some body parts. Nearby businesses also were damaged.
I don't know what is the more baffling - the Afghan president's supine eagerness to sue for peace, or the Taliban's year-long strategy (up until now) of trying to take on American-led NATO forces in straight-up battles and absorbing the inevitable string of bloody, lopsided massacres. If Karzai is on the level with his offer, Omar has to be kicking himself awfully near where Karzai is offering his "services".

Oh, it's not quite as sickening as that on its face; the Taliban would have to "renounce violence," cut ties with the foreign jihadis under their current command, and accept and pledge to work within the structure of the new Afghan democracy.

You can probably see why I added the qualifier "on its face"; all Mullah Omar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar would have to do is give advance instructions to their "foreign terrorists" to continue the insurgency and then make a big show of complying with Karzai's demands. Then, as the war continued unabated, the Taliban "party" leaders would have their plausible deniability, and Karzai would end up looking weak, incompetent, ineffective, with his enemies both on the outside and the inside wreaking wanton havoc. Indeed, Omar could even sell himself as the Afghan "Nixon," the only member of the "democratic" government with the ability to "reach out" to the insurgents and "make a lasting peace." Presto-chango, the Taliban win the next elections, gain democratic legitimacy (just like Hamas did in "Palestine"), order NATO out of the country, and you can fill in the rest (such as the American Left agitating for a retreat from Afghanistan after they'd secured our defeat in Iraq).

Oh, maybe Omar couldn't pull that off personally, but perhaps an Ahmadinejad-like frontman not directly tied to the previous round of Taliban rule could.

Worst case scenario? Unquestionably. Would it be the first time that the "good guys" outsmarted themselves? Not by a long shot.

~ ~ ~
Going back a couple of weeks, both the Russian Federation and Red China took, shall we say, an unfavorable few of [I never thought I'd ever combine these words in the same sentence] French sabre-rattling vis-a-vie Iran:
Any US military intervention in Iran would be a "political error" that would have "catastrophic" consequences, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said in an interview published Tuesday. ...
"We are convinced that there is no military solution to the Iranian problem. It's impossible. Besides, it is quite clear that there is no military solution to the Iraq problem either. But in the case of Iran everything could be even more complicated," he said. ...
China is opposed to threatening Iran with war over its nuclear program and stands for a diplomatic solution, a government spokeswoman said on Tuesday. ...
"We believe the best option is to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations, which is in the common interests of the international community," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular briefing.
"We do not approve of easily resorting to threatening use of force in international affairs," Jiang said when asked to comment on remarks by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner raising the prospect of war with Iran.
This is hardly surprising. Iran is a big source of oil and natural gas for the ChiComms, so their economic interests alone would auger for Beijing cultivating good relations with the mullahgarchy. And, of course, they have many more interests than just cheap energy.
The Russians' motivations, by contrast, do not come from a position of burgeoning strength, and thus are more complicated and unstable, as PubliusPundit points out:
One might well ask: Where does Ahmadinejad get the brazen hubris necessary to confront the overwhelmingly more powerful team of the United States and Europe in this haughty, contemptuous manner? His nation, alone, is far too puny to work up such suicidal pathos (look how easily the U.S. destroyed the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq). There's a clear answer: He gets it from Russia, and specifically from Russia's dictator Vladimir Putin. It is no overstatement to say that Russia is the real root cause of turmoil in the Middle East. There would still be violence and conflict in the region if Russia ceased to exist, but it would be far more subject to U.S. influence if Russia were not fanning its flames.
And make no mistake: turmoil in the Middle East is directly in Russia's interests. Even if it doesn't actually undermine U.S. security, it still creates the conditions of uncertainty which tend to keep international oil prices inflated, and those prices are the Kremlin's lifeblood. By supporting terrorist and rogue regimes in the Middle East, Russia not only gets the chance to vent its pathological hatred of America and her values, but more importantly supports the only pillar of its economy. Peace and stability in the Middle East are the last things Russia wants.
Vlad Putin wants to make his country a superpower again, but he doesn't have the direct means to do so. This explains his partnership with the ChiComms and his cultivation of rogue regimes like the NoKos and the mullahgarchy (and formerly, Saddam Hussein's Iraq) in order to try and tie down the U.S. in multiple regional "brushfire" conflicts any one of which he can exploit to force a global showdown when he feels he's ready to win it.
Publius agrees:
[T]he two are very literally in bed together where hatred of America, Europe and Western values are concerned. Recently, the U.S. military confirmed that Iran is providing missiles to the Islamic terrorists in Iraq which are being used to kill Americans on the ground there. While these particular missiles apparently came to Iran by way of North Korea, Putin's Russia is also providing Ahmadinejad's Iran with the technology it needs to develop nuclear energy, which Iran hopes will be the basis for its obtaining a nuclear weapon. Faced with the threat of Western attack should a bomb become possible, Iran has also obtained a missile defense system from Russia to thwart such an attack. Russia has continually refused to cooperate with Western moves to sanction Iran, providing it with the diplomatic cover it needs to continue killing American soldiers in Iraq as it seeks to exercise imperial control over that troubled nation. How long will it be before we learn that Russian weapons supplied by the Kremlin and wielded by its Iranian friends are killing Americans in Iraq, or elsewhere in the Middle East?
And we must not forget that Russia is doing far more than making common cause with Iran in order to foment turmoil and instability in the Middle East. It is directly supporting Hamas itself, as well as Hezbollah and Syria, with diplomatic protection, weapons and lots of cold hard cash. And Russia's hostility is not limited to the Middle East; it is also providing weapons and diplomatic support to the crazed dictator Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and seeking to cooperate with the abusive, anti-democratic communist regime in China.
The best near-term U.S. response to this neoSoviet "phoenix" rising from the ashes of the Evil Empire happens to be identical to the action needed to prevent the 21st century theocratic Hitler from getting his hands on nuclear weapons that we know he will use to plunge the globe into a planetary Armageddon: the invasion of Iran and destruction of the Islamic regime, its mission as the hub of global Islamic terrorism, and its three-decade war against the United States. This would also eliminate at a stroke Comrade Putin's last, best chance to hold the economies of the West hostage by proxy and take us all back to the Bad Old Days. It might also ultimately save Vlad's own ass as well, before he has to face the reality that it doesn't belong to him anymore.
As Robert Tracinski wrote a week ago:
The coming of the war with Iran has very little to do with our intentions and has everything to do with the enemy's intentions. Our only choice is how we will respond. Will we continue to evade the need to confront this threat - or will we finally begin to fight back?
A lot more asses than just Vlad's hang on the answer to that question.

Don't Row

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from Whom His whole family [a] in heaven and on Earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

-Ephesians 3:14-21

VBC Missionaries Of The Week: Dave & Joan Ohlson

Dave has oversight of Wycliffe Canada, along with five hundred members who minister around the world. His responsibilities include recruitment, fund-raising, member care, and encouraging prayer support for the ministry of Wycliffe.

Joan works in the Human Resources Department.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Magic Marker Wisdom

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. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the LORD, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ.

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

-Ephesians 5:8-21

Can Open McGovernism Win?

If former South Dakota Democrat senator and 1972 presidential flop George McGovern is known for anything from that campaign besides his rabid, panderingly anti-Vietnam war stance, it is his ludicrous and widely ridiculed scheme to buy the electorate really cheap by simply having the federal government write a $1,000 check to each and every American. He called it the "Demogrant". Evidently the voters called it something else, as they opted for the soon-to-be-disgraced Richard Nixon in a landslide. No Donk presidential aspirant has proposed anything like it since.

Until now. And you'd never guess who:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns eighteen if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.
Well, doing the math, that comes out to twenty billion dollars per year (nearly as much as the budget for the Department of Justice [h/t Phil Klein]) - to start with. As with all entitlements, the price tag would only go exponentially up from there, as both the per-participant dollar amount and the definition of eligibility expanded like the remnants of a supernova. Thus would unrestricted abortion-on-demand come to be looked upon by the federal government as more of a method of "cost-control" than "birth-control" - and don't think Mrs. Clinton hasn't figured that angle out as well.

J-Ger thinks that the cost angle combined with the entitlement mentality makes this 21st century "demogrant" idea a non-starter:
I realized why this program will never become a reality - it has to have a starting date. And then everyone will insist, "What about my child, who was born before the start date? It's not fair!" And eventually the program will turn into providing $5,000 to every American.

300 million Americans x $5,000 = $1,500,000,000,000.

Not gonna happen.
That's one and a half TRILLION dollars - or a little over half of the current annual federal budget. And, of course, no such program with that limitless a scope could or would ever get enacted.

But this is where her scheme differs from George McGovern's. The "demogrant" was a one shot distribution, not an entitlement. And it isn't talking about raining confiscated money on everybody - just "the children". Why else does the Master of the Campaign Spot think no Democrat, "responsible fiscal conservative [snort]" or not, has pointed out the straightforward fiscal logic of the idea? C'mon, folks, "baby bonds" would close any portion of the socialist dragnet that SCHIP and its eventual incarnation, HillaryCare, missed. The cradle would belong to the Democrats as completely as Medicare and Social Security have delivered them the grave.

Sure, eventually every American would get one of these "accounts," and its cost would far exceed the starting $20 billion annual price tag. How that would square on a practical, day-to-day basis with the FIFTY TRILLION smackers we're short on Social Security liabilities, and perhaps even more on Medicare, is anybody's guess, since it doesn't take a green eyeshade to recognize that we can't remotely afford even one of them even if the economy booms like never before for the entire rest of the century.

What would our choices be? Well, it gets rather draconian awfully quickly. Unless mathematicians can come up with an honest-to-goodness 1,000% bracket (to say nothing of social scientists conjuring up a means of mass hypnosis to make it politically palatable), tax increases aren't gonna do it. Any form of benefit cut defeats the purpose of the entitlement, so that's out. What does that leave? How about a "one-child-per-family" law like Red China's? Or mandatory sterilization? And on the other end of the life cycle, is anybody ready for mandatory euthanasia at retirement? Maybe we'll have colonies on Luna and Mars by then, in which case "excess lives" can just be herded off-planet or something. Or perhaps the government will convince everybody that such extraterrestrial colonies exist, and people will be shot off into space never to be seen again.

Wow - Logan's Run and Capricorn One in the same graph. Who says Hillary's candidacy isn't inspiring?

The bigger point is we're not supposed to think ahead where proposed (or existing) entitlements are concerned. Because if we did, their ludicrous unaffordability would become obvious, and they'd never get enacted. That, too, would defeat the purpose of the entitlement. They're all about NOW, not later. That's what makes them so saleable: the pitch is all about what they'll put in your pocket after the next election, not where it's going to come from in the near- and long-term. It's the ultimate scam - and it almost always works.

Now I realize that that hasn't been the case for the past generation. For years the so-called "Great Society" has been what looked like Big Government liberalism's last gasp. For forty years Republicans have dominated the presidency (and eventually, Congress), and the two Donk exceptions were both southern-fried Trojan horses. Dems that ran openly as left-wingers (McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry) have gotten smoked.

Except....the second Trojan [snicker] horse - Bill Clinton - got re-elected. And the latter two didn't lose by much. And the GOP actually added to the entitlement burden with the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit in 2003. That at least suggests that, in terms of domestic politics, the electorate is drifting back towards the left, perhaps enough that a return to open advocacy of Euro-socialism is not just no longer politically suicidal, but might actually be popular. Certainly the rest of the Donk field is doing it, both on domestic policy and on the war; if the Clinton Machine is dropping the mask of "centrism," there must be something to the theory.

As long-time readers of this blog are aware, I've considered a Hillary Clinton presidency to be inevitable ever since her sexually incontinent hubby surprised me by relinquishing the office (Or maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, come to think of it....). And as long-time Clinton-watchers are aware, their modus operandi has been "triangulation," the practice of pretending to be something - non-liberal - that they're not.

And yet, when you look at Mrs. Clinton, you see so many differences from her two-term spouse, and none of them positive for a presidential resume. Bill was a multi-term governor; Hill has spent this decade in the Senate. Bill was seen as "southern"; Hill never was, and is now closely identified with the northeast; Bill is a [*AHEM*] "people person"; Hill is a dragon in private and an iceberg in public, whose caked-on charm is as obviously ersatz as powdered eggs. If you want a candid historical parallel, Hillary Clinton is Dick Nixon in a skirt (or a pink pantsuit).

But Nixon won the presidency, as I recall. Twice, in fact.

However, that was at the beginning of the GOP ascendancy, and came at the expense of the incumbent vice president of the administration that got us mired in Vietnam. Many historians believe that if Bobby Kennedy hadn't been assassinated, he would have crushed Tricky Dick like a bug in 1968.

We won't have Dick Cheney running next year, but we will have a nominee who will (more or less) stand for every right-of-center idea that appears to be reaching or passing its political expiration date - winning the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism, keeping taxes low, reducing federal spending, promoting market economics, reconstitutionalizing the federal judiciary, and transforming the doomed entitlements state into the "ownership society". If the worm is turning, and far-left liberalism is rising from the ashes to its former ascendancy, then it may not matter how much of a shrew Mrs. Clinton is, or whether she's the honest radical or the phony "cautious trimmer".

And HillaryCare and "baby bonds" may just be her ticket, not to political punchline status for the next generation, but to power unlimited and everlasting.

Prayerful Pelosi?

Call me judgmental, call me harsh, call me whatever. This turns my stomach:

Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., held an "enrollment" ceremony for the doomed bill, enclosing the document with their signatures into a fancy binder before handing if off to a House Clerk Lorraine Miller, who will take it to Bush and his veto pen.

Just prior to the event, Pelosi called Bush and told him she is praying for him and praying that he would change his mind and sign the bill, which expands a federal insurance program by $35 billion over five years, far in excess of Bush's own proposal.

Don't get me wrong, President Bush needs our prayers and he needs them regularly. But it's hard to take seriously this statement by a woman who routinely slanders his character, honesty, and integrity; looks into the camera a calmly lies to the American people, and, frankly, is a Democrat in today's climate. She is a shrew, and in my humble opinion she's even lying about praying for Bush.

Central Command News, 9/29/07

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Hurrieder I Go, The Behinder I Get

It's frustrating being an Ed Morrissey wannabe. In order to properly keep up with the blogging fodder, I would need to quit my day job and do this full time, when, of course, I can't earn a living by doing this or my version of Heading Right Radio. So I'm perpetually several days behind the cutting edge. It's either that or give up sleeping.

Take congressional goings-on, where I'm now four stories behind again. So, rather than be able to write four separate posts, I have to cram them all into an omnibus "catch up" post instead.

And, given which party runs Congress these days, it's unremittingly depressing anyway.

***Now that the so-called "Ethics" bill (i.e. the Democrat Corruption Entrenchment Act of 2007) has been passed and signed into law, the coast is now clear for the Enemy Media to notice what an utter and complete fraud it is:
When no one was looking, someone cut a hole out of the Democrats' much-hyped ethics bill. A watchdog group which caught it suspects the Democrats of undermining their own effort to clean up Capitol Hill....
No shit, Sherlock. And there were plenty of us looking, wannabes or not.
....Dubbed "the biggest reform effort in a generation" by its sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007 represented the Democrats' plan "to change the way Washington works." ...

The victim of the edit: a section that would boost public disclosure of earmarking. As it was approved by the Senate, the 2007 ethics bill required senators to disclose not only which earmarks they've requested, but also the name and location of each intended recipient. For instance, a $1 million earmark for an Army purchase may in fact be directed at a manufacturer in a senator's home state. The bill also required senators to detail the purpose of the earmark.

But the law as Bush signed it requires senators to publicly swear that neither they nor their family will personally benefit from any of the earmarks they have inserted. House members must still disclose the companies who stand to gain from their action.
The aforementioned Admiral wrote, I'm hoping with sacrcasm....:
It's good to see that some of the news media have begun to realize the sham that Harry Reid & Co. pushed into law. Too bad they didn't notice it before it passed....
Well, yeah - but isn't that the whole point? What good is a purported "watchdog" if he's asleep at his post by design and doesn't start barking until the wolves have devoured all the sheep? Don't shepherds take such dogs out and shoot them? Doesn't that suggest that they're really wolves themselves? And isn't the whole point of the "ethics" bill to enable Dirty Harry to "disingenuously claim to have cleaned up earmarks" for a party that is beyond embarrassment over their corrupt, partisan excesses?

***The federalization of the inter-state rugby scrum that is the contemporary presidential nominating process has officially begun:
Enough already, say three U.S. Senators in presenting what is one of those rarities, a truly non-partisan idea. They are Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). Their reasoning is that the chaotic current situation - compressing actual campaigning into about sixty days - has two things wrong with it. First, most candidates have neither the time nor the money to adequately campaign in so many states in such a short time. This deprives voters in many places of an opportunity to get to know the candidates on the ground. Secondly, the compression factor, requiring so much "up front" money, will have the effect of discouraging lesser-known candidates from making the race (those year-ahead televised debates are only warm-ups).

What the Senate trio proposes, beginning with the 2012 presidential election, is a series of four regional primaries: East, South, Midwest and West. The regions would draw straws to see which goes first that year. The next time, 2016, the region that went first in 2012 would drop to fourth place as each other region moved up, and so forth.

The regional primaries or caucuses would be held on the first Tuesday (or within six days of it) in March, April, May and June, respectively for the regions.

This plan would make campaign costs more rational (some media often cover good-sized regions and travel would be more concentrated) and reducing the cost of campaigning is always desirable. Television news coverage would be more concentrated geographically so that the viewing public would get a better idea of trends in a particular region.
On its face the Klobuchar-Alexander-Lieberman plan does make sense. More sense, at least, than the current irrational scheduling chaos, all driven by the phallic-superiority-impulse determination to be the state with the most "clout," whatever the hell that means anymore in this, or any, context. The lamentation to take away from it is that in order to restore some order to the primary campaigns, the principle of federalism must be dragged out to the edge of the figurative ditch and shot in the back of the head.

The punchline of K-A-L is that it grants Iowa and New Hampshire exemptions from this NCAA tournament-style regional scheduling format - which is, of course, what inspired this crazy interstate stampede in the first place. A truly impartial reorganization would have played no favorites at all.

We can expect rival bills to contain even more self-serving mulligans that, given Congress' current tilt, will be about as honest and above-board as Harry Reid's "ethics" legislation.

***Guess what John Dingell wants to do under the guise of "fighting global warming"? Impose Al Gore's early-90s, economically ruinous energy taxes:
Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won’t like — a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks [specifically the mortgage interest deduction that is only sacrosanct, I guess, when arguing against a flat tax] for some home owners.

“I’m trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it’s going to have a measure of pain that you’re not going to like,” Representative John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with the Associated Press.
Sure makes the argument for term limits, doesn't it? Heck, it would almost make me re-think my opposition to mandatory euthanasia of the elderly, were it not that I'm now closer to that end of the life cycle than my youth.

At any rate, Dingell is full of shit about his justification for this confiscatory rampage. It has nothing to do with "saving the planet" and everything to do with "doin' what Donks do":
Some of the revenue would be used to reduce payroll taxes, but most would go elsewhere including for highway construction, mass transit, paying for Social Security and health programs and to help the poor pay energy bills.
Hell, I could care less if the stolen money was going to "anti-global warming" programs - the point is in a time of three-dollar-a-gallon gasoline where federal and state taxes account for over a dollar of that pump price, I don't want to be syphoned fifty cents more to subsidize the greasy bicycle paths and pork-happy mass transit boondoggles and bacon-wrapped "bridges to nowhere" of overtenured thieves like John Dingell - and Harry Reid.

Sheesh, the Republicans were pork-happy, but at least they were honest about it - and didn't try to mug me (extra) to pay the bill.

***Most Republicans, it seems, are no different than their forebearers: they're as gutless as the day is long.

Or, in other words, they didn't take my advice, and have chosen to go down with the SCHIP:
The Senate, with an overwhelming bipartisan vote yesterday, sent President Bush a $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, setting up the biggest domestic policy clash of his presidency and launching a fight that will reverberate into the 2008 elections.

Bush has vowed to veto the measure, but he has faced strong criticism from many fellow Republicans reluctant to turn away from a popular measure that would renew and expand an effective program aimed at low-income children. Democratic leaders, while still as many as two dozen votes short in the House, are campaigning hard for the first veto override of Bush's presidency.

They secured a veto-proof majority last night in the Senate, with the 67-29 tally including "yes" votes from eighteen of the forty-nine Republicans, including some of the President's most stalwart allies, such as Christopher S. Bond (MO), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) and Ted Stevens (AK). Democratic leaders are likely to send the measure to the White House next week, giving advocates a few more days to pressure Bush to sign it.

For Republicans, the issue is politically perilous. Every Senate Republican facing a difficult reelection bid bolted from Bush yesterday. Most House Republicans in swing districts abandoned him Tuesday when the House approved the bill 265-159. Those Republicans "took the vote that was easiest to explain," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO). [emphasis added]
No, Mr. Blunt, they're gutless. They took the easy way out. They bowed to the Beltway Donk-Enemy Media Axis and screwed over their base supporters once again, who, if you'll recall, place a higher premium on small-government principle than on amoral pragmatism.

Besides, it's not as though there isn't a compelling case to be made against this misbegotten legislation. It's classic left-wing demogoguery: a measure that manifestly is NOT aimed at "low-income" children, but seeks to ensnare on the federal dole basically every "child" of the middle class, and holding "poor" children's coverage hostage to do it; that defines as "children" young adults up to the age of twenty-five; and purports to help pay for it via massive, Tennessee-style cigarette tax hikes that will only redistribute income FROM the "poor" TO the middle class; all of it wrapped up in the same tiresome "compassion" package designed to stigmatize Republicans as "cruel," "mean," "heartless" bastards if they so much as question any of it.

And of course, it's all about politics for the Democrats. They've already got the "poor" in the constituency bag; entitlements boondoggles like SCHIP help keep them poor and thus permanently indentured. Bury the same hooks in the jaws of the middle class - where elections are won, as James Carville and Stan Greenburg envisioned a decade and a half ago - and Democrats will return to the hegemonic heyday of FDR, only atop a socialist super-state that the [*AHEM*] cigarette-toking swindler could never have dreamed of. Whereas aping the Donks will get these craven Pachyderms not a strengthened lease on political life, but an increased absence of core supporters come next Election Day.

President Bush vetoing the SCHIP expansion, and congressional Republicans sustaining it in favor of their far less insane alternative, would be, thus, a bold, courageous, and, yes, compassionate stand both for the middle class AND the "poor" - both on its specifics merits, and in terms of not hastening the looming entitlements crunch by piling another huge piece of HillaryCare atop that already crumbling (try $50.5 TRILLION in unfunded Social Security liabilities alone) bureaucratic edifice.

You'd think that 'Pubbies could say as much in response to this "intense pressure" to which they get subjected on a daily basis. At least more often than once every forty years.

By 2034, I think it's going to be just a bit too late.

Looking Out For Others

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature [a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature [b] of a Servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a Man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!

-Philippians 2:3-8

Things That Piss Me Off

Yeah, you probably can't imagine the genial, mild-mannered host you listen to and are highly entertained by every Saturday morphing into a younger, more handsome, but considerably heftier Howard Beale. And to be fair, I rarely reach that level of blithering rage outside of rush hour traffic and futile attempts to make my son do his chores and homework.

But if I found myself directly and personally confronted by situations like those that follow, all bets would be off....

~ ~ ~
Democrats are always for ever-higher, oppressive, more punitive taxes. And when I say oppressive, I mean oppressive, as Fred Thompson's homefolks are finding out:
Starting today, state Department of Revenue agents will begin stopping Tennessee motorists spotted buying large quantities of cigarettes in border states, then charging them with a crime and, in some cases, seizing their cars.
Critics say the new “cigarette surveillance program” amounts to the use of “police state” tactics and wrongfully interferes with interstate commerce. But state Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr says his department is simply doing its job, enforcing a valid state law while protecting Tennessee retailers who properly pay state taxes.
Agents have already been watching out-of-state stores that sell cigarettes near the Tennessee border to “get a feel where problem areas are,” Farr said.
While declining to be specific, the commissioner said “problem areas” are generally along interstate highways with exits near the Tennessee border.
A jackbooted revenue-collector named Reagan? C'mon, he had to have legally changed his given name out of a twisted sense of ironic humor.
What are these "criminals" doing? Well, for starters, they're smokers, which in lib eyes is criminal all by itself. Beyond that, they are doing precisely what you would expect intelligent, adult human beings to do under such circumstances: obtain their smokes while legally avoiding the taxes their home state has tacked onto them by purchasing them in another jurisdiction.
Or, at least, it was legal.
HA! Fooled you, didn't I? Just a little feint toward what's become my trademark political fatalism since last November - in point of fact, it is the Tennessee Revenue Gestapo that is way, WAY over the line:
First, Tennessee has no jurisdiction over what stores in other states sell, even if the material was illegal, which tobacco is not. They can't conduct surveillance in Missouri, for instance. The fact that they are "watching out-of-state stores that sell cigarettes" should be enough to demand some resignations, starting with the commissioner himself.
Second, people do have the right to cross state lines to purchase legal commodities. If Tennessee wants to hike its cigarette taxes far beyond its neighbors, then it's the state's fault that its shop owners can't compete. It's not the fault of the consumer who makes a smart choice to cross the border and buy in bulk. Unless the product itself is illegal, the state of Tennessee has no right to interfere in that transaction.
To sum up the list, the Tennessee revenuers have violated federal sovereignty in interstate commerce, the 4th amendment, and the spirit of the entire Constitution. They are arresting legitimate, law-abiding citizens, stealing their cars, and threatening them with as much as six years in prison and a $3,000 fine per count for the possession of a legal product.
Did you know that the SCHIP "upgrade" the Senate passed the other day includes....a huge hike in cigarette taxes? What's Tennessee going to do now that they're in the process of creating a tobacco black market? Close their borders? Invade Missouri, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas? And when the feds start doing the same thing at President Rodham's direction, will Canada and Mexico be next?
~ ~ ~
Remember when three American soldiers were kidnapped by Islamist terrorists in Iraq a few months back? I bet you thought no stone was left unturned and no effort, or means, was spared in doing everything humanly possible to rescue them, right?
Well, yes, for the most part - but not right away:
U.S. authorities racing to find three kidnapped American soldiers in Iraq last May labored for nearly ten hours to get legal authority for wiretaps to help in the hunt, an intelligence official told Congress on Thursday.
The top U.S. spy agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, sent Congress a timeline detailing the wiretap effort as the Bush Administration makes its case to wary Democrats for a permanent expansion of its authority to eavesdrop on the foreign communications of terrorism suspects.
The timeline shows that at 10 a.m. EDT on May 15, after three days of developing leads on the whereabouts of the three soldiers who went missing south of Baghdad, U.S. agencies met to discuss ways of obtaining more intelligence.
Concluding at 12:53 p.m. EDT that requirements for emergency eavesdropping approval had been met, officials spent more than four hours debating "novel and complicated issues" in the case. They spent about more two hours to obtain final approval from then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who was traveling.
The wiretap began at 7:38 p.m.. Authorities then had 72 hours to obtain a special court's endorsement of the emergency authority, which was granted, a U.S. official said.
You may be wondering what the devil FISA has to do with using overseas wire-tapping of foreign overseas enemies to locate and reacquire captured U.S. personnel, well, overseas. It's not exactly straightforward or intuitive, I readily agree.
The answer is as unsurprising as it is infuriating:
McConnell told the committee last week that an outdated provision in the eavesdropping law made the approval necessary because the targeted foreign communications were carried in part on a wire inside the United States.
"We are extending Fourth Amendment (constitutional) rights to a terrorist foreigner ... who's captured U.S. soldiers," he said, arguing that this was unnecessary and burdensome.
"Unnecessary and burdensome"? Try mother-bleeping insane. And that's just what the Democrats want to take us back to, American lives be damned.
~ ~ ~
Mark Steyn contributes this little capillary-burster:
Okay, Muslim foot-baths in Kansas City airport, gender-segregated swimming sessions at French municipal pools, banning pork from Aussie hospital menus, no eating donuts for Belgian cops during Ramadan, no seeing-eye dogs or alcohol in Minneapolis taxi cabs, fine, fine, fine. Must be sensitive and all that.
But this is an amazing victory. In Vancouver, infidels can't smoke but Muslims can.
Perhaps I should disclose at this juncture that I don't smoke - which must frustrate libs everywhere since they can't use their quasi-neo-moralistic tobaccophobic dodge to confiscate any more of my hard-earned cash then they are already. I look upon smoking through "don't ask, don't smell" lenses. If people want to suck toxic fumes into their lungs and kill themselves prematurely, and I don't have to participate collaterally, that's their business.
Whereas it is the tax issue that fried me above, here it is the pandering to Muslims. And the fact that libs are extending that pandering to an act about which they are moral absolutists shows just how appalling this galloping dhimmism is becoming. It has prompted one blogger to ask a very salient question: "What about MY culture?":
By creating a special exemption for Muslims - who do seem to be the only immigrant group actively demanding these sorts of “cultural accommodations” we are basically declaring our Muslim citizens worthy of special treatment and, at the same time, unworthy of the health concerns which are purported to be the basis of general smoking bans.
This leads to the next logical query: Why are libs so eager to lavish special treatment upon Muslims? Trademark neurotic guilt? Vicarious self-loathing? A fearful pre-emptive "cultural protection" racket?
Try all of the above. Then imagine how much worse it's going to get after Hillary takes over. We may be under sharia law before the end of her first term.
~ ~ ~
Chapter Six Billion and Three on why I detest the UN:
For me, there was only one really memorable moment associated with Mahmoud's New York tour. It was on Tuesday, when Ahmadinejad gave a press conference at the United Nations. Somehow, Karnit Goldwasser made her way into the press conference and commanded a microphone.
If you don't know who Karnit Goldwasser is, a good place to start would be her appearance on Bill Bennett's radio show; we posted the audio here. Mrs. Goldwasser had been married to Ehud Goldwasser for only ten months when he was kidnapped by Hezbollah terrorists, along with another Israeli soldier, and spirited into Lebanon. That was in July 2006. Since then, Karnit Goldwasser has worked tirelessly on three continents to bring attention to her husband's plight and to try to secure his release. If there is such a thing as a hero in the world today, Mrs. Goldwasser qualifies. It has now been reported that the two Israeli soldiers were critically injured when they were captured by Hezbollah, and most observers doubt whether they are still alive. But Karnit Goldwasser has never flagged or faltered in her effort to save her husband, if that is still possible.
On Tuesday, she had the opportunity to confront the man who, more than anyone else, controls the organization that kidnapped her husband and either murdered him, or still holds him prisoner. The moderator called on her for a question. She was, as always, calm and intelligent:
"Why are you not allowing the Red Cross to visit them?" Karnit Goldwasser asked of her husband Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who was kidnapped with him. When Ahmadinejad didn't respond to her questioning, despite her having been called on by the moderator, she asked, "How come you're not answering me?"
Mahmoud appeared stunned; he looked around the room for someone to take him off the hook. The United Nations cut the power to Mrs. Goldwasser's microphone. She was escorted from the room, and Ahmadinejad, the distinguished lecturer, continued his press conference and his triumphal tour of New York, which included a dinner with Brian Williams, Christiane Amanpour, and other distinguished journalists and academics. And thugs handed out leaflets that said, "Kill the Jews."
Y'know, if Mohammed Atta and the boys just HAD to take down a building in New York six years ago....let's just say that they targeted the wrong one.
~ ~ ~

I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much. I gotta — Here is a morning update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. And they have their celebrities.

One of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth. Now — and he was a "corporal." I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse Macbeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn’t his Purple Heart, it wasn’t his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse Macbeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences, he told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq. American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth describes the horrors this way:

"We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."

Now, recently, Jesse Macbeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army, Jesse Macbeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp, Jesse Macbeth isn’t an Army Ranger, never was. He isn’t a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart. And he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen.

Probably haven’t even heard about this. And if you have, you haven’t heard much about it. This doesn’t fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero; don’t look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse Macbeth’s lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is, fiction is what serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can’t find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.

Jesse McBeth - which I have to believe is an alias, BTW - is an outrage all by himself. But that's not the outrage NRO's Peter Wehner is driving at.
It shouldn't take a crystal ball to divine what it is, either:
In the latest effort to target Rush Limbaugh, the left-leaning group Media Matters has manufactured yet one more false — and by now yet one more tiresome — controversy. This one has to do with Limbaugh’s use of the phrase “phony soldiers.”
According to the Media Matters narrative, on his September 26 program Limbaugh accused troops who want to withdraw from Iraq of being “phony soldiers.” Once Media Matters published this charge, key Democrats dutiful echoed it.
In a public statement, Senator John Kerry said this:
“This disgusting attack from Rush Limbaugh, cheerleader for the Chicken Hawk wing of the far right, is an insult to American troops. In a single moment on his show, Limbaugh managed to question the patriotism of men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for his right to sit safely in his air conditioned studio peddling hate. On August 19th, the New York Times published an op-ed by seven members of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division critical of George Bush’s Iraq policy. Two of those soldiers were killed earlier this month in Baghdad. Does Mr. Limbaugh dare assert that these heroes were ‘phony soldiers’? Mr. Limbaugh owes an apology to everyone who has ever worn the uniform of our country, and an apology to the families of every soldier buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He is an embarrassment to his Party, and I expect the Republicans who flock to his microphone will now condemn this indefensible statement.”
What's that old Gorilla Monsoon line? "One lies, and the other one swears to it." Or perhaps it's that Media Matters has managed to accomplish what many had heretofore thought impossible: giving cherry-picking a bad name.
One thing's for sure: the reports of John Kerry's disappearance have been greatly exaggerated - momentarily, anyway.
Did you know he served in Vietnam?
~ ~ ~
MSNBC's David Shuster is an asshole. Just ask Tennessee GOP Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (and also see my gut responses in italics):
SHUSTER: "Let's talk about the public trust. You represent, of course, a district in western Tennessee. What was the name of the last solider from your district who was killed in Iraq?"
BLACKBURN: "The name of the last soldier killed in Iraq uh - from my district I - I do not know his name ...
ME: I don't know, Dave, but I'll just bet you do.
SHUSTER: "Okay, his name was Jeremy Bohannon. He was killed August the 9th, 2007. How come you didn't know the name?"
BLACKBURN: "I - I, you know, I - I do not know why I did not know the name..."
ME: Well, Dave, you know how hard it is to hire good staff these days. And I'm guessing your reason for knowing his name differs grotesquely from the reason you think I should know it, right?
SHUSTER: "But you weren't appreciative enough to know the name of this young man. He was 18 years old who was killed, and yet you can say chapter and verse about what's going on with the New York Times and Move"Don't you understand, the problems that a lot of people would have, that you're so focused on an ad. When was the last time a New York Times ad ever killed somebody? I mean, here we have a war that took the life of an 18-year-old kid, Jeremy Bohannon, from your district, and you didn't even know his name."
ME: That's what I thought, Dave. To paraphrase a favorite senator of yours, your disgusting attack, borne of your cheerleading for the treason wing of the far left, is an insult to American troops, including Jeremy Bohannon. In a single moment of this interview, you have managed to question my patriotism for criticizing your fellow travelers' attack on the honor of General Petraeus, a man whose boots you're not worthy to lick, and by extention the men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for your right to sit safely in this air conditioned studio using their willing sacrifice to peddle your hate.
By the way, how's this for an epilogue?:
One problem: the soldier in question wasn't from Blackburn's district. Another problem: MSNBC producers got the name from, which has been ompiling the names of deceased military personnel and feeding them to reporters for "gotcha" interviews.
Trust me, for creatures like this, "asshole" is a euphemism.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hillary Milhous Rodham?

Hillary says she won't quit Iraq the day she's sworn in, or for the rest of 2009. Patrick Ruffini was astonished by this, as well as the fact that she's saying it now, four months before the first primary votes are cast.

Beats me why. Remember that any tactically sane withdrawal from Iraq would take between twelve and eighteen months. And notice that she said nothing about 2010.

At least, not until last night's latest Donk confab:
The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term in 2013.

"I think it's hard to project four years from now," said Senator Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation's first primary state.

"It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting," added Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

"I cannot make that commitment," said former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.
Never mind Opie's and the Generalissimo's commission of the unforgiveable nutroot sin - call it "The Petraeus Effect" - as they're all playing Winger to Hillary's Hulka. What's of interest here is Medusa's triangulatory hedging - first off, that she was back to triangulating after having committed the mother of all gaffes by voting against last week's Cornyn amendment to the Defense appropriations bill condemning the ad in the New York Times smearing General Petraeus - for whose command and mission Mrs. Clinton voted eight months ago - as a "traitor". But more to the point, that refusing to commit to a firm withdrawal deadline is all she did.

The aforementioned Mr. Ruffini spends most of his post recommending that the GOP replay the avenue of attack George Bush successfully used against John Kerry in 2004, a strategy I think would fail miserably. Not just because of the old adage about generals always fighting the last war instead of the next one, but also because he seems to forget that it isn't just Hillary we'll be going up against, but the entire Clinton Machine, which proved itself well-nigh invincible throughout the 1990s.

But buried deep within is this key passage:
Fleshing this out further, you could easily argue that President Hillary’s middle ground approach would be just as dangerous as complete withdrawal. Under President Hillary, we’d have 75,000 troops in Iraq — not enough to get the job done and but still taking significant casualties. Iraq 2010 would look like Vietnam 1970 and you can call her Hillary Milhous Clinton. [emphasis added]
Ruffini thinks the Donk base will desert Hillary next November because of this bow to foreign policy "realism". I think he's nuts. Think about it: Leaving aside that the nutters would rather gargle jellied napalm than lose a third consecutive presidential election and see the war they detest continue to be vigorously pursued, if Senator Thunder Thighs is a "cautious trimmer" unwilling to take any PR chance by adapting a bold stand with the remotest possibility of being unpopular (the reason more than any other why Bill Clinton never "pre-empted" al Qaeda when he had repeated chances) yet wants to embrace defeat as much as the Kos-hacks and moveon.orgers do, what better way to have her cake and cover her ample ass than to screw our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan by putting them in an untenable, no-win position? Whatever public support for the war effort that remained would collapse, the momentum for another pell-mell retreat would rebuild, only this time with no steadfast Commander-in-Chief to resist it, and Mrs. Clinton could deliver the defeat and national humiliation her base has lusted after for all these years - and claim that she is simply "carrying out the will of the American people."

The nuclear 9/11 this disaster would precipitate would be a separate problem, and might complicate Chelsea's chances in 2016, but that would be a second term issue, and Hill wouldn't be running again anyway (one way or the other).

~ ~ ~

I know you're probably astonished that I didn't watch the Donk "debate" (mutual Hillary admiration society is more like it - none of them want to end up in the Alaska gulag, either), but I did skim the highlights.

Gotta give kudos to Tim Russert for actually asking some tough questions - including taking his life in his hands on this exchange with the former first lady:
Throughout the debate, Senator Clinton relied on her now-standard laugh/cackle when asked questions she didn’t like, which was most questions. But she wasn’t laughing when she learned that she had been hit with the gotcha question of the night, and perhaps of the campaign to this point.

“I want to move to another subject, and this involves a comment that a guest on Meet the Press made,” Russert said. “I want to read it, as follows: ‘Imagine the following scenario. We get lucky. We get the number three guy in al Qaeda. We know there’s a big bomb going off in America in three days and we know this guy knows where it is. Don’t we have the right and responsibility to beat it out of him? You could set up a law where the president could make a finding or could guarantee a pardon.’”

Russert asked the candidates to comment. Obama said he wouldn’t torture the prisoner under any circumstances. So did Sen. Joseph Biden. Then Russert turned to Senator Clinton. “Should there be a presidential exception to allow torture in that kind of situation?” he asked.

“You know, Tim, I agree with what Joe and Barack have said,” Clinton answered. “As a matter of policy it cannot be American policy, period….These hypotheticals are very dangerous because they open a great big hole in what should be an attitude that our country and our president takes toward the appropriate treatment of everyone. And I think it’s dangerous to go down this path.”

Russert then delivered the punch line. “The guest who laid out this scenario for me with that proposed solution was William Jefferson Clinton last year,” Russert said to Senator Clinton. “So he disagrees with you.”

“Well, he’s not standing here right now,” Clinton said.

“So there is a disagreement?”

“Well, I’ll talk to him later,” she answered.
Yeah, I'll just bet she'll "talk to him later." And when he gets out of surgery, and the swelling dies down, he might still make that December GQ gig. She might save some of those licks for herself, though; for somebody as ostensibly competent and polished and disciplined as Hillary is supposed to be, it's difficult to fathom how she, of all people, wouldn't have been aware of what Mr. Bill said on the "torture" topic not even a year ago. Which means her campaign staff is going to each get thirty-nine lashes in the very near future, after she's finished thrashing Bill.

Best analysis line came from Brother Meringoff:
[T]he highlight of the evening came when Biden warned that if Hillary is the candidate, a lot of unpleasant "stuff" from the Clinton administration will come back into play. As the camera showed Hillary's face going glacial, Biden added that he was referring to policy stuff. The glacier did not melt, but after a few moments a painted smile appeared on it.
I don't know about you, but picturing that phrase reminds me of those old claymation kid's shows like Davey & Goliath - and Mr. Bill, Sick Willie's namesake.

Lastly, the stakes were summed up well by Bill Kristol:
Here, judging from the debate, is what the 2008 Democratic nominee is likely to be for. Abroad: ensuring defeat in Iraq and permitting a nuclear Iran. At home: more illegal immigration, higher taxes, more government control of health care, and more aggressive prosecution of the war on smoking than of the war on terror.
And, of course, teaching second-graders that it's okay to sodomize each other with Pixie Stix. Kristol thinks that gives Mitt or Rudy or Fred a significant general election advantage. I think that constitutes the second time in under twenty years that the gullible American electorate won't see it coming until it's too late.

Only this time the consequences won't be eight and a half years in coming.

Not by a long shot.


You know how the Clintons never got, or get, anything but fawning, sychophantic, adoring, worshipful press coverage? Much of it is due to the generational factor and the all-encompassing aura of rock star charisma eminating from Mr. Bill, but as the Politico brought out anew the other day, there's also a brick inside that glitzy velvet glove - or, in this case, Hillary's purse:
Early this summer, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.

So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.

Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said.
Neat, huh? Think THAT isn't a Louisville Slugger that Mrs. Clinton couldn't use to stifle any and all negative press coverage that might ever occasionally emerge about her embryonic-but-already-criminal administration? That would leave just the new mainstream media (talk radio, the handful of conservative newspapers and magazines, and the blogosphere), and she'd use the "Fairness Doctrine" to squash us.

The former isn't quite an evisceration of the First Amendment, since GQ did have a choice. And the men's magazine was obsequiously gutless in folding to the Clinton Machine like a K-Mart deck chair. But once Hillary is back in the White House, the distinction will rapidly blur into de facto irrelevance. How long, I wonder, will it take for the frogs that put her there next November to realize the (tin)pot into which she's thrown them is boiling them toward a Hugo Chavezian tyranny that will make her, one way or the other, the last president of the United States?

In the mean time, the Admiral adds that spiking the tough story and substituting the Sick Willie-fellating one could constitute an in-kind campaign contribution on GQ's part. Which is a nice segue into the next layer of the Norman Hsu scandal, a chapter which could cast the Clintons' latest Asian bagman as a really scuzzy version of Spiderman - not for the webs he slung, but the ones he wove with other people's money:

Disgraced fund-raiser Norman Hsu did a lot more than just pump $850,000 into Hillary Clinton's campaign bank account: He also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local, state, and federal candidates who have endorsed Clinton or whose support she courted.

A major fund-raiser for Democrats since 2003, Hsu became one of Clinton's biggest bundlers - gathering scores of individual checks and sending them to her campaign. But since revelations last month that Hsu was a fugitive in a 15-year-old California fraud case, Clinton has said she would return the $850,000 she has taken from him and his associates.

In at least some cases, Clinton or her aides directly channeled contributions from Hsu and his network to other politicians supportive of her presidential campaign, according to interviews and campaign finance records. There is nothing illegal about one politician steering wealthy contributors to another, but the New York senator's close ties to Hsu have become an embarrassment for her and her campaign.

This, then, is Hillary's idea of "networking": hire Oriental conmen to bilk, embezzle, and outright steal millions of dollars from any skinnable cat and distribute the excess around to buy intra-party endorsements and by so doing pre-empt any serious opposition to her coronational processional. Her satisfied "customers" include Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, Nevada gubernatorial candidate Dana Titus, Senators Tom Harkin, Debbie Stabenow, Dianne Feinstein, and Mark Pryor, New York governor Eliot Spitzer and A-G Andrew Cuomo, and a posse of state and local officials to numerous to count.

Will it derail her triumphal march to the pinnacle of global power? Don't be ridiculous. The FBI investigation in which Mr. Morrissey is placing so much hope will bog down, and can't possibly reach any election-influencing decisions before next November. And once Mrs. Clinton is safely elected, she'll spike it in any case.

Think Republicans will drum up a campaign slamming her for "politicizing the Justice Department"?

I said don't be ridiculous....

Sewing & Reaping

6 Anyone who receives instruction in the Word must share all good things with his instructor.

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.

-Galatians 6:6-9

Once More Through The Libosphere

Like this isn't gonna be a regular feature....

***Could it not be said, fairly and without exaggeration, that George Soros is waging an ongoing financial war against the United States?:

Soros' efforts go beyond spin. He has also bankrolled groups involved in the manipulation of elections, an activity that has increased since his money came into the picture. Two groups — Americans Coming Together and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — were sanctioned recently by the Federal Election Commission for fraud.

Soros pledged $10 million to ACT, which has since been fined $775,000 for illegally funneling $70 million set aside for voter registrations to Democratic candidates.

He also gave at least $150,000 to ACORN, the left-wing group best known for pushing minimum-wage hikes, marching for illegal-immigrant amnesty and arassing
Wal-Mart. ACORN has been accused of voter fraud in 13 states since 2004 and was convicted of falsifying signatures in a voter registration drive last July, drawing a fine of $25,000 in Washington state.

Soros says he has ended funding to voter-drive organizations, but he still heads a secretive rich-man's club called "Democracy Alliance" that has doled out $20 million to activist groups like ACORN.

Not only is Soros actively trying to undermine and destabilize American democracy systemically through rigging and fraud, but as IBD goes on to explain, he also heavily subsidizes both eco-terrorist organizations like Earth First! and the Ruckus Society and left-wing aiders & abettors of Islamist terrorism like Lynne Stewart.

IBD calls him a "political nihilist" who reaps financial bonanzas from these speculative assaults on national soveriegnty and seeks by such means to force the entire world into a UN-controlled global super-state, the character of which can be gleaned from his comment at Davos, Switzerland last year that America needs to be "de-Nazified".

I call the Hungarian billionaire an enemy of the state. And he should damn well be treated that way.

***Here's the version of "Mahmoud goes to Columbia" that Iranians got from their "democratic" government:

Despite entire US media objections, negative propagation and hue and cry in recent days over IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scheduled address at Colombia University, he gave his lecture and answered students questions here on Monday afternoon.

On second day of his entry in New York, and amid standing ovation of the audience that had attended the hall where the Iranian President was to give his lecture as of early hours of the day, Ahmadinejad said that Iran is not going to attack any country in the world.

Before President Ahamadinejad's address, Colombia University Chancellor in a brief address told the audience that they would have the chance to hear Iran's stands as the Iranian President would put them forth.

He said that the Iranians are a peace loving nation, they hate war, and all types of aggression.

Referring to the technological achievements of the Iranian nation in the course of recent years, the president considered them as a sign for the Iranians' resolute will for achieving sustainable development and rapid advancement.

The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises.

At the end of his address President Ahmadinejad answered the students' questions on such issues as Israel, Palestine, Iran's nuclear program, the status of women in Iran and a number of other matters.

Leave aside the obligatory lies and propaganda (I wish the wild applause had been one of them); what is conspicuously missing from this "report"? Give up? Try university president Lee Bollinger's prefacing speech in which he pretended to "expose Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a 'petty and cruel dictator'".

The only question in my mind is whether anybody but Bollinger will be surprised by this. And I have my doubts about his credulity as well. Given American academia's slovenly, gluttonous overindulgence in disseminating hard-left propaganda to its captive student audiences, I have to think the Columbia poo-bahs have more than a passing acquaintance with Propaganda 101.

***Pardon moi whilst I glom one of the Admiral's ledes:
Over the weekend, John Coatsworth, acting dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, suggested that had Columbia invited Adolf Hitler to Columbia in 1939, he would not have underestimated the will of the American people and would have avoided declaring war on the US.
Bret Stephens gave Coatsworth his deserved beat-down in the Wall Street Journal the other day. I, however, do see a small silver lining in the dean's ludicrous speculating: at least he's drawing the correct historical parallels to Adolph the Younger.

***Double-H raises a good point: If president Bollinger really believes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a "petty and cruel dictator" as well as a national security threat to America and her allies, and is sincere in extolling the bravery of U.S. troops fighting the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism, might he put some money where his mouth is by allowing the ROTC to return to the Columbia campus, from whence it was chased by the leftie establishment years ago?

Yeah, that's what I figured, too.

***What's wrong with the following statement from the Barack Obama for president campaign?:
I would not have extended an invitation to give President Ahmadinejad another platform for his hateful rhetoric. Adolph Hitler was the worst mass murderer in the history of the world, and Ahmadinejad's denial of his crimes is offensive to Jews, to Americans, and to all people of goodwill.

But this is America, and we should never be afraid to confront the ranting lies of dictators like Ahmadinejad with the power of truth and the strength of our own values. What Ahmadinejad will learn while he's here is that America is united in rejection of his hateful views, and in opposition to the Iranian government's support of terrorism and pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Well, for one thing, Obama doesn't sound all that disappointed, much less outraged, at Columbia's invite to the Geico Caveman From Hell. As if to say, "I wouldn't have invited him, but I don't object to somebody else doing it". That's not the flaw in question, however.

It's this:
[Didn't] Obama promise to meet with the Holocaust denier, the "ranting, lying dictator," the orator of "hateful rhetoric," the supporter of terrorism and the pursuer of nuclear weapons within a year of taking office[?].
The only thing worse than inviting Adolph Ahmadinejad here would be the president of the United States going to Tehran as a bootlicking supplicant. Or does anybody seriously believe that Obama would march into the mullahgarchy's midst and start reading them the riot act?

***And from the "Pardon Me For Breathing" Department:
Fred Thompson uses his Tennessee beginnings as if they were a Hollywood setting, but today Fred Thompson will use the Volunteer State as his personal ATM and an excuse to withdraw from the Florida Values Voters debate.

"Tennessee is too important and too pivotal in the 2008 presidential election to be used as a backdrop or a checking account," said Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Wade Munday."

These times are too perilous to have an actor parading around the state, portraying a presidential candidate, and avoiding serious debate for serious times," Munday continued. "Fred Thompson has yet to offer a substantive response to our military friends and families in Iraq, but he's willing to raise money using their sacrifices as a political soundbite."

Aside from the financial withdrawals, Fred has withdrawn from debate after debate on account of some rather unimpressive campaign appearances. Now he uses Tennessee as an excuse to withdraw from a debate on values, because he has yet to memorize those lines."
J-Ger sez, "How dare Fred Thompson... raise money for a presidential campaign! He should be like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and John Edwards, and never hold any fundraisers at all! Why doesn't he act like Hillary and rely on nice men like Norman Hsu to give him money!

My reaction? Man, but Tennessee Donks have had the Fear of Fred put into them.

Central Command News, 9/27/07

The New Democrat

Ann Coulter certainly nailed it this week in her column. The little Muslim Smurf Ahmadinejad sounded more like the Democrats than the Democrats themselves. Here's how Ann puts it:

Democrats should run Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for president. He's more coherent than Dennis Kucinich, he dresses like their base, he's more macho than John Edwards, and he's willing to show up at a forum where he might get one hostile question -- unlike the current Democratic candidates for president who won't debate on Fox News Channel. He's not married to an impeached president, and the name "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" is surely no more frightening than "B. Hussein Obama."

The sad thing is, Ahmadinejad would probably get a respectable number of votes from the loons in the Democrat base. All you have to do is take a trip over to the DailyKos, Democratic Underground, or Huffington Post to see that he has his fans with those nutjobs. They have a psychotic hatred of President Bush in common with him, so he's A-OK in their book.

Rush has done a side-by-side comparison of some of Ahmadinejad's comments, and those of the Democrat leadership. Check it out. It honestly is chilling. They are saying the same things! WHY don't more people notice that? I'm hoping that come election day, we will find out that the American people HAVE been paying attention, and do not want a wimpy, whiney, global-warming-is-scarier-than-terrorism Democrat in charge of our national security.

Back to Ann:

Except Columbia doesn't have that tradition. This is worse than saying "the dog ate my homework." It's like saying "the dog ate my homework" when you're Michael Vick and everyone knows you've killed your dog. Columbia's "tradition" is to shut down any speakers who fall outside the teeny, tiny seditious perspective of its professors. When Minutemen leader Jim Gilchrist and his black colleague Marvin Stewart were invited by the College Republicans to speak at Columbia last year, the tolerant, free-speech-loving Columbia students violently attacked them, shutting down the speech. Imbued with Bollinger's commitment to free speech, Columbia junior Ryan Fukumori said of the Minutemen: "They have no right to be able to speak here."

I was as shocked as everyone else at Bollinger's scathing introduction of Ahmadinejad. It tells me, though, that either a) he was scared of losing funding from sensible people outraged that the little dictator was invited in the first place, or b) he and his brethren in liberal academia DO realize the threat that terrorism poses, and just lie about it to suit their purposes. It certainly has nothing to do with "free speech," which also carries responsibility, something that liberals have very little of.

At Ahmadinejad's speech, every vicious anti-Western civilization remark was cheered wildly. It was like watching an episode of HBO'S Real Time With Bill Maher.

Ahmadinejad complained that the U.S. and a few other "monopolistic powers, selfish powers" were trying to deny Iranians their "right" to develop nukes.

Wild applause.

Ahmadinejad repeatedly refused to answer whether he seeks the destruction of the state of Israel.

Wild applause.

He accused the U.S. of supporting terrorism.

Wild applause.

Only when Ahmadinejad failed to endorse sodomy did he receive the single incident of booing throughout his speech.

Says a lot about the students at Columbia, doesn't it, and what they're being taught. I wouldn't send my dog there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jesus Sets Us Free

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

-Galatians 5:1-6

The "BS" In PBS

J.C. Watts and Newt Gingrich think the Republican presidential top-tier is making a mistake by skipping the PBS-run debate at Morgan State University this week - and Admiral Ed agrees with them:
A former member of the House Republican congressional leadership - and the last African-American to serve as a member of the GOP in Congress - harshly criticized Tuesday the decision of the Republican presidential front-runners to not attend a debate focused on minority issues.

"I think the best that comes out of stupid decisions like this," said former Oklahoma Representative J.C. Watts, is "that African-Americans might say is, 'Was it because of my skin color?' Now, maybe it wasn't, but African-Americans do say, 'It crossed my mind.'"

All [three] GOP presidential front-runners -- former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, ...., former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson - have said they will not attend a PBS debate at a historically black college in Baltimore hosted by Tavis Smiley.

The invitations were extended in March, but the front-runners have claimed scheduling conflicts. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's weighing getting into the race, called that excuse "baloney" and called the no-shows "fundamentally wrong." On Good Morning America today, Gingrich said GOP candidates are making a mistake because "African-Americans have been hurt more by the failures of government" than any other group.
Their argument boils down to one of "engagement" with black voters - if Republicans ever hope to convince black Americans to switch to their "brand," they will have to make a significant - more likely, herculean - effort to "reach out" to them with a conservative message that many would look upon favorably once Donk brainwashing was overcome. Attending the Morgan State confab would be a step in that direction.

That sounds reasonable, at least in principle and seen in isolation. However, Jim Geraghty, who debated Morrissey on this topic yesterday, added some immediate context to Fred's, Mitt's, and Rudy's decision:
Problem One: It’s on PBS - As one Republican strategist told me earlier this year, “our voters watch Fox News.” The last Republican debate on Fox News drew a 2.2 rating and 2.47 million households (UPDATE 3.14 million viewers.) I haven’t been able to find the ratings for the AARP debate on PBS last week, but I suspect the audience was tiny; it certainly didn’t make much of a splash in the news.

All of these candidates have an immediate and pressing goal, to win over Republican primary voters. Never mind whether the topic is one that is important to those groups of voters; the venue is one they don't watch.
As is so often the case in life, practical considerations tend to take precedence. For GOP presidential hopefuls, there's little or no point in participating in a "debate" that Republican primary voters are highly unlike to watch because of the broadcast venue, and which will never be reported on favorably through the Enemy Media filter. It would be pandering literally gone to waste.
Problem two: It’s at the end of the fundraising cycle - This doesn’t prevent every candidate from every debate invitation, but the organizers of this debate had to know this when they set the date. One might even suspect they picked the time of year candidates were least likely to show up. Appearing at this debate will take them away from a fundraiser, and several of these guys need to collect every last dollar before the deadline to avoid the “he’s toast” buzz. [emphasis added]
In other words, a set-up either way (see "Problem Four" below).

Problem three: There are too darn many of these debates - ....[A]s noted at the link above, it’s not like this is the only debate the top Republican candidates are turning down – they turned down the ValuesVoter event as well. Is this a sign of anti-Christian attitudes in the GOP's frontrunners? Come on, it says the opportunity cost of participating in that debate was too high.
True; but then it's not nearly as likely that evangelicals will go on the warpath against their own for such an insignificant "snub," too.

Now we get to paydirt:
Problem four: Moderator Tavis Smiley - ....[W]hen asked about Republicans not showing up for this debate, Smiley responded, "When you reject every black invitation and every brown invitation you receive, is that a scheduling issue or is it a pattern?... I don't believe anybody should be elected president of the United States if they think along the way they can ignore people of color. That's just not the America we live in."

When you pretty much accuse candidates of racism before they walk in the door, that doesn't make them more inclined to accept your invitation.
Smiley wasn't quite as candid as one of The View cunts, who cracked that Thompson, Romney, and Giuliani REALLY couldn't make the Morgan State confab because "they were busy at a Klan meeting at the same time," but his words were in the same ballpark. Which reinforces the notion that this "debate" was another trap best avoided, and that we should find better ways & means to "engage" "African America".

To my knowledge there's no direct connection between that story and this one, but I find the similarities to be quite educational:
The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday's 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock.

But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams's talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News.

Williams said yesterday he was "stunned" by NPR's decision. "It makes no sense to me. President Bush has never given an interview in which he focused on race. . . . I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me."

Ellen Weiss, NPR's vice president for news, said she "felt strongly" that "the White House shouldn't be selecting the person." She said NPR told Bush's press secretary, Dana Perino, that "we're grateful for the opportunity to talk to the President but we wanted to determine who did the interview." When the White House said the offer could not be transferred to one of NPR's program hosts, Weiss took a pass.
I guess my gut reaction to this is to wonder why in Frigg's name Dubya "reached out" to NPR in the first place. Unless, of course, he calculated he'd get this kind of response so that when he did the Williams interview on Fox instead, he could say, "Well, we tried...." I highly doubt that, but at least that way the decision would have been at least somewhat palatable.

The educational part is that here was an instance of a Republican president doing precisely what J.C. Watts and Mr. Newt and the Admiral criticize the 2008 GOP presidential field for not doing - reaching out to black voters via PBS - and PBS told Dubya to go pound sand, ostensibly over the White House designating the interviewer, as though Juan Williams (the author of two books on race-related topics) isn't conversent on the topic, and a lot moreso than Melissa Block, the host of All Things Distorted.

Probably their beef with Williams is that he works for FoxNews, so that "taints" him. That and having been hand-picked by the Left's "Great Satan". It just goes to show that in order to "engage" black Americans, Republicans will need a vehicle that doesn't have a vested interest in steering their attempts into the PR ditch.