Wednesday, November 30

alito

I've never taken a position on abortion in this space because I don't consider abortion to be a political issue to be legislated. I think it is a moral issue and I'm disgusted that the issue of abortion has become THE judicial litmus test of our time.

On the one hand, I certainly believe abortion to be the killing of an innocent human being and the staggering number of abortions each year is a form of genocide.

But on the other, as a handicapped man with Osteo-genesis Imperfecta, I believe it would be cruel and unusual punishment to knowingly bring a severely handicapped baby into this world. If I were ever presented with this difficult choice, I honestly don't know what I'd do.

As a Christian, I hold true that all unborn babies automatically and instantly go to heaven. So they experience some pain and suffering from the abortion procedure itself, but after they spend eternity worshipping Almighty God.

Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito, we learned today, in the words of Reuters, 'as a Reagan Administration lawyer, outlined ways to limit abortion rights in 1985,' without overturning Roe V. Wade.

This 'detailed road map' was released with a bunch of other Reagan-era memos as part of a document dump related to Alito's Senate confirmation hearings scheduled for January.

This is pretty silly. Aside from the predictable Liberal hysteria over a pro-life nominee to the Supreme Court, the fact remains that SCOTUS is not going to overturn Roe V. Wade. It won't happen. It will not happen. And even if it does, the matter would then be thrown into the Legislatures of all 50 states. Abortion then would become a State's Rights issue, which wouldn't change anything.

Right or wrong, right or left, abortion is going to remain legal.

great white

Wasn't Halloween last month? Kinda reminds me of a great white shark.

joel

My buddy Harlan's dad died on November 19. Joel was a good man and we remembered him yesterday, happily. No more pneumonia. No more doctors. No more nurses. No more medicine. No more suffering. It was a wonderful day.

Finally, he and Ann have been re-united.

holiday reading

I can't wait to read the new Richard Miniter book. From the inside flap:

"You’ve been fooled. If you think...
— Al Qaeda terrorists are likely to cross the Mexican border

— Suitcase nuclear weapons are a real threat

— There was no link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (and no WMD in Iraq)

— That Halliburton made a fortune off Iraq ..then you’ve accepted some of the most prevalent myths about the War on Terror

—myths that are demonstrably untrue. If truth is the first casualty of war, urban legends are the first product of America’s War on Terror. In Disinformation, investigative reporter and terrorism expert Richard Miniter punctures twenty-two myths about terrorism, al Qaeda, and the war in Iraq. He has sifted the written record, met with countless high-level sources, and traveled the globe, from Sudan to the Philippines, Egypt to Iraq, to track down and refute some of the most widely believed—and often pernicious—legends of the War on Terror. Provocative but irrefutable, with startling new reporting, Miniter reveals:

— Why racial profiling of terrorists won’t work

— Why Iraq is not "another Vietnam"

— Why Osama bin Laden is not a massively wealthy criminal mastermind, was not funded or trained by the CIA, and is not on dialysis

— Why poverty doesn’t cause terrorism"

And I can't wait to read the revelatons from Peter Schweizer about those hypocritical Hollywood Liberals. For instance, did you know that Michael Moore owns Halliburton stock?

pink panther

The Motorola Razr is the coolest phone, even in pink, or, excuse me, MAGENTA!

stating the obvious

President Bush, in his speech to the Naval Academy this morning, said the following:

"Their objective is to drive the United States and coalition forces out of Iraq, and use the vacuum that would be created by an American retreat to gain control of that country. They would then use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks against America, and overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East, and try to establish a totalitarian Islamic empire that reaches from Indonesia to Spain. That's their stated objective. That's what their leadership has said."

Isn't this obvious?

Intelligent people understand this and recognize the wisdom in the Bush Doctrine. But then there are about 48 million of my fellow Americans for whom stating the obvious is a daily necessity.

If you want to piss off a Liberal just call them 'anti-American.' But if the shoe fits...

Democrats continue to call for complete and total troop withdrawal from Iraq, which would essentially be handing al Qaeda a victory. How can that not be described as an 'anti-American' position? It's the same ridiculous logic that allows some people to think they can support the troops but their mission.

crackberry conundrum

I don't yet own one of those ubiquitous Blackberry pagers. But if you do, please be advised that you may experience a small interruption in your service this week due to a protracted legal battle between Research In Motion, the creator of the Blackberry and NTD, a patent holder accusing RIM of patent infringement.

The case is a real threat to all US users of the technology and as the link above from the WSJ points out, the Federal Government is hugely dependent on Blackberry's, some 300,000 of them are in use in official Washington. In fact, these devices are so important, the DOJ has filed what's called 'a statement of interest' in this case, requesting an injunction that would allow Government-issue Blackberry's to be excluded from any service interruption.

Monday, November 28

'iraqi sensibilities'

In the clearest sign yet that she's running for President, Condi Rice spoke last week of the possibility of American troop withdrawals from Iraq in the near future. In normal circumstances it would be only one person making such comments in public--the President, himself.

Bush will be giving a speech on Wednesday at the US Naval Academy, where he will compliment Iraqi forces on their vast improvements in readiness.

The LAT is calling this 'a pivot' on the position of the Bush Administration, which just falls too conveniently, too nicely into the MSM's opinion, a flimsy one at that, that the President has never had 'a exit strategy' for Iraq. Apparently they believe that Bush was happy to just leave the troops in Iraq forever, or at least until January '09, when he leaves office.

All you need to know as a reader about the editorial position of the dorks who wrote this piece, LAT writers Paul Richter and Tyler Marshall who apparently believed they were tasked with writing an op-ed, is the following sentence:

"U.S. officials hope that by the end of 2007, the remaining U.S. force will be small enough to not offend Iraqi sensibilities yet large enough to help Iraq's military with reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and air power."

'Not to offend Iraqi sensibilities'?

Instead, according to a former top Pentagon official who served in Bush's first term that there is 'a growing consensus' that about 40,000 troops will be withdrawn before the mid-term elections, followed by substantial pullouts in '07.

Other senior US officials said that Rice was only 'stating the obvious' when speaking about withdrawals. "It looks like things are headed in the right direction to enable that to happen in '06."

All of this amounts to yet another feather in the cap of President Bush and big wins for the GOP next November.

bribes

Randy "Duke" Cunningham, my congressman for sixteen years, has resigned his Congressional seat.

When the charges against him first came to light, he immediately declared he would not be seeking re-election next year, which I greatly respected. Today, after pleading guilty to taking bribes, he resigned his seat. I respect him for rapidly acknowledging his wrongdoing and for quickly stepping aside.

I've met Cunningham on a number of occasions and have always found him to be remarkably candid. I had no idea that he was on the take, to the tune of $2.4 million.

''He did the worst thing an elected official can do -- he enriched himself through his position and violated the trust of those who put him there,'' U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said.

applause signs

Great NYT piece from Eve Gerber, who gives a peek inside the world of live/taped television and studio audiences.

From Regis, to Oprah, to Leno, Letterman, Ellen, every show seeks to genetically modify their studio audiences based on looks or energy level or gender or whatever classification fits a particular show.

I've been to a number of these tapings over the years and one thing is always the same. It's phony. Television is really deceiving in the way that it makes everything seem larger than life when everything is actually very, very small.

Everything is pre-arranged, leaving absolutely nothing to chance.

Or as one Late Show With David Letterman staffer put it, "Whatever Dave says, let's laugh because it's all about the ego."

20 minutes

Picture this. You're at a bar and you meet a member of the opposite sex. There's chemistry. A strong attraction. Hormones are jumping around. What do you do? You don't know this person from Adam or Eve. You don't even have a condom.

No problem. With the rapid take-at-home H.I.V. test (coming to a pharmacy near you in the next year or so, but already available in clinics) you can bang your brains out, sans condom, in as little as twenty minutes.

But don't get too excited. It's still gamble due to the fact that H.I.V. infection takes anywhere from two weeks to three months to become detectable, so this test can't screen for recent sexual exploits.

Nevertheless, kiss that entire concept of 'Safe Sex' goodbye forever.

wen ho lee

I know, I know. Lee was exonerated in this case--the judge even apologized to him for the way he was treated--BUT I believe to this day that Lee did, in fact, pass along defense secrets to the Chinese.

How do you not prove at least one count out of 59? Everybody knows OJ killed Ron and Nicole, but he still got off. And what about Michael Jackson? The guy is guilty as hell.

Read the indictment above. Pretty damning stuff. Hard to imagine all those charges being false.

roaming, part ii


And speaking of Democratic Governors, New Mexico's Bill Richardson has been claiming for the better part of thirty years that he was drafted by the Kansas City A's baseball club back in the year I was born, 1966.

Turns out, he wasn't.

Richardson defends himself by saying that he saw the words 'drafted by K.C.' written on an old baseball program and on that alone he based his belief that he had been drafted.

''When I saw that program in 1967, I was convinced I was drafted,'' Richardson said. ''And it stayed with me all these years.''

How in the hell do you not know if you've been drafted by a professional sports team? You get a phone call. You get A CONTRACT. There's a paper trail and it's not three words scribbled on an old magazine.

Let's remember, dear R.F.L. readers that on Richardson's watch, when he was Energy Secretary under Clinton, Wen Ho Lee gave ream after ream of classified and restricted information regarding the national defense of the United States to the Chinese.

Like most Democrats, Richardson is an imcompetent boob.

roaming

Once I cooled off from reading the C.E.A. piece, I took a sip of coffee, turned on the Chargers/Redskins game and began reading 'Out West, Democrats Roam Free' by Tim Egan, which points out how Democrats can own the country the way they currently own the Western portion of the US--the Governors of Arizona, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming are all Dems--stay away from Howard Dean and John Kerry.

And go to church.

Egan writes:

"In the Rocky Mountain West, where Democrats made their only real gains in last year's general election, the governors favor abortion rights, but are not afraid to be seen in church. They called for an investigation of the oil companies in price-gouging. And when the divisive social issues come up, they change the subject, or state their piece and move along."

Note the phrase 'change the subject,' when it comes to answering tough questions or actually being honest about true beliefs.

c.e.a.

My Sunday routine varies based on the time of year, but there are four constants. One, Pepper and I wake up early and go for a walk; two, we drink coffee; three, we read the NYT; four, I get mad at the bias of the reporting and question why I even subscribe.

That's what happened yesterday anyway, especially after I finished reading Daniel Altman's piece entitled 'Help Wanted: Academic Economists, Pro Bush,' in which he tried to make the case that the White House can't find a respected economist from the hallowed halls of academia to name as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. And then there's the two spots on the Federal Reserve Board that are also vacant.

What is that idiot, that Texas Cowboy Bush going to do? (pictured above, making calls to the troops in Iraq on Thanksgiving morning)

Altman would have you believe that there aren't three conservative economists out there.

Without reading the article, even I know that any President, Democrat or Republican, is going to have a difficult time luring people into public service away from tenured positions. That just stands to reason.

But Altman can't wait to quote William A. Niskanen, who was a member of the council during President Ronald Reagan's first term and is now chairman of the Cato Institute, as saying "Bush's reputation in at least the academic community is about as low as you can imagine."

Wow. How shocking. Not that American colleges and universities aren't repositories for hard Left activist professors or anything, especially at Harvard and Yale, both of which count our President as an alumni.

The stupidity of this article really is striking, considering the unbalanced percentages of registered Democrats versus registered Republicans in academia. It's not even close. I would bet the ratio of Liberal to Conservative would be something in the neighborhood of 40 to 1.

Striking too is how many of these academics are on the wrong side of reality when it comes to understanding that tax cuts are the best friends of any economy.

you go, girl

I really like the new German Chancellor Angie Merkel, not only because she's a conservative but also because now, with that blowhard Gerhard Schroeder gone, we can finally enjoy a fresh start, a renewal in American/German relations, which will greatly enhance our ability to wage the war on terror.

Merkel's rise to power is nothing short of remarkable. Just ten years ago she was a scientific researcher in East Germany. Today, she's the first female Chancellor in German history.

The unfortunate thing is that Merkel's victory was razor thin, she has no mandate to really turn Germany around, which is what's badly needed. Germans are out of work and dramtically over-taxed, essentially living in a welfare state. As such, she is going to be forced to preside over a coalition government that has the potential of doing absolutely nothing to get Germany back on track, except empower the minority parties like the Greens.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger writes that Merkel is becoming Chancellor at "a moment of crisis" for Germany, which is "poised between domestic reform and economic doldrums and social deadlock; between stalemate and new creativity on European integration; and between tradition and the need for new patterns in the Atlantic Alliance."

Kissinger predicts that Merkel, who has lived most of her life under Communist rule, will seek to be a bridge between disparate interests, not only at home, but abroad as well.

Godspeed, Madam Chancellor.

x-cnn employee

A Turner Broadcasting switchboard operator has been fired in the wake of controversy over last week's "X" over the face of Vice President Cheney.

The operator, in response to a caller's question, said 'If you don't like it, don't watch it,' and 'Bush and Cheney should stop lying and bring the troops home.'

Funny, but that commentary sounds nearly identical to the crap CNN anchors spew on the air.

From Drudge:

"Laurie Goldberg, Senior Vice President for Public Relations with CNN, said in a release:

"A Turner switchboard operator was fired today after we were alerted to a conversation the operator had with a caller in which the operator lost his temper and expressed his personal views -- behavior that was totally inappropriate. His comments did not reflect the views of CNN. We are reaching out to the caller and expressing our deep regret to her and apologizing that she did not get the courtesy entitled to her."

Tuesday, November 22

happy thanksgiving

It's going to be ham for me this year with sweet potatoes, mash potatoes, green beans and jello salad. And no pie. I can't have pie.

We have much to be thankful for, dear R.F.L. readers. We live in the greatest country in the world, we are free to argue and debate, we are free to travel, do eveything, do nothing. We are free to do whatever we want, whenever we want.

So be thankful.

I am grateful for all of you who come by and say hello and read my random thoughts about the events of the day. I've enjoyed getting to know a number of you this year.

See you next week, travel safely and don't eat too much...

fat, happy

Tony Blair is coming under fire today for revealing his plans to deport 20 terrorists from Britain to countries in North Africa and the Middle East that have a history of torturing detainees and NEWS FLASH human rights groups are outraged.

Didn't we already talk about this today? (see 'indictment,' below)

I'll just have to risk sounding like a broken record. Who cares about protecting terrorists? Who cares about the way they are treated?

Seriously. Why are there people in this world who insist upon coddling and protecting the very same people who plot day and night to kill us and destroy Western civilization?

Blair should send the 20 bastards down to Guantanamo Bay.

Prisoners at Gitmo receive brand new copies of the Koran, they get brand new prayer rugs, they are told when they should point their dumb asses to Mecca to pray and they are being fed so well they are gaining weight.

Talk about human rights abuses.

guilty

A 24 year old American citizen, Abu Ali, was convicted today of personally plotting to assasinate President Bush, plotting to hijack American planes and plotting to provide support to al Qaeda.

Ali, an al Qaeda member, told police shortly after being arrested in June 03 at a Saudi Arabian university that he planned to become the leader of an al Qaeda cell in the United States.

Nice. Now we have American citizens dreaming of jihad.

drop the bomb

Will someone please tell me what's wrong with bombing the al Jazeera television network?

Seriously. This network does nothing but spew anti-American propaganda and misinformation about the rebuilding of Iraq and inflame these idiot extremists.

I say pull the trigger, Mr. President, with my complete blessing.

indictment, part deux

Here's something I am definitely NOT for: Surveillance cameras in American cities to monitor the comings and goings on you and me.

Oh? It's already happening?

Nevermind. I think I'll go back to San Francisco and get drunk again. Wanna come along?

playtime

It turns out that my buddy JD Hayworth was the driving force behind that forced vote in Congress last Friday whether or not we should pull the troops out of Iraq.

According to JD the impetus for the vote was actually his lovely wife Mary, who I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and spending time with on several occasions.

And I learned this morning from Hayworth about the specifics of Congressman Murtha's 'plans' about troop withdrawal. It seems the Represenative from Pennsylvania believes that the best way to combat terrorism post-withdrawal is to station our troops on boats just off the Iraqi coast--a 'rapid reaction force'--so when a flare up occurs, they can go ashore and beat back the violence.

This is a plan?

For all of you Liberals out there who want to pullout of Iraq, I implore you. Please get serious. It's beyond time for you guys to get a clue.

jose padilla

The indictment of Jose Padilla is a excellent example of how the Patriot Act works and why it remains of such vital importance to our national security.

US authorities have been able to hold Padilla since '02 without charges. Whether or not certain people aren't comfortable with the fact that an American citizen was held without being formally charged with a crime misses the point.

A dirty bomb DIDN'T go off in Chicago, as was purportedly Padilla's plan.

Am I saying that I don't care about civil liberties? No. Am I saying that I'm advocating that American forfeit certain civil rights? No. Am I saying that I favor the Federal Government ruling over all 280 million of us with an iron fist? No. I don't want to live in a police state, but I recognize that there are real bad people out there and there are some very real threats facing our nation that threaten our existence, so, in that context, the Patriot Act is a win-win.

I find it remarkable that many people are bitching about our Government PROTECTING us. Now we can debate all day long about methods and principles and laws. But the fact remains we haven't been hit again since '01,which tells me that our Government is doing a pretty damn good job.

Back to Padilla. I know the Government's 'evidence' him is pretty shaky, according to his lawyers. What else would you expect an attorney to say about their client? Yeah, yeah, the case against him is comprised of double and triple hearsay, but again I say. Who cares? This is a bad guy. He's a former gang member, a new convert to Islam. He was arrested as he re-entered the US after a trip to Pakistan.

C'mon. At some point we have to conclude that the safety of 280 million people is a lot more important than one person's civil rights.

cnn

Oh yeah. There's no such thing as media bias.

Monday, November 21

5 drunk bozos

Note the reflection of my iPod in the upper left corner.

Meeting the boys @ the 21st Amendment in SF, Saturday. Rooster, Paul, me, Mason (in Fresno State cap).
Paul, me and Sean Sunday night @ Candlestick Park.
Sean and Paul early Sunday morning @ the Pacific Heights Inn.
Rooster, Sean and Paul @ Candlestick.

Amazing time. I love my buddies. I really do have the best friends in the world--Mason, Sean, Paul and Rooster--and this past weekend in San Francisco with these guys, it was just awesome.

Paul and I drove up--yes, we DROVE. We just threw our shit in the car, put the iPod on shuffle and hit the road.

Cut to Saturday, noon. The 21st Amendment, on Second Street, just up from SBC Park. Beer, calamari, onion rings, more beer. And then more beer.

Then it was off to find a hotel. This was the part of the trip that we looked like dorky tourists, even though two of us are former SF city dwellers. There we were, idiots driving around in circles, a caravan of four vehicles. It was pretty comical. Mercifully, it didn't take us long to find the Pacific Heights Inn, and then we jetted over to the Bayside Bar on Union Street, which became the staging ground for the first of our adventures.

Now, keep in mind that there were three football games we were interested in. One, the Big Game, Cal and Stanford, which Cal won, 27-3. Go Bears. Game Two was the Fresno State/USC game. Who cares? This was big for us because Rooster, Sean, Mason and I are Fresno State alums. I'll be honest and tell you that I don't really remember when Sean arrived--sometime during the third quarter, I think--from a wedding in South San Francisco. He was my little fraternity brother in Lamdba Chi.

Anyway, 'SC won 50-42, but I'll tell you, FSU played well enough to win. They said it couldn't be done. But it almost was. Even better we were gentlemen and refrained from getting into fights with these USC assholes sitting right next to us, who made dumb comments about FSU being just 'a public school.'

Post Bayside Rooster was tired. And I don't blame him. He's just not a night person anymore and with good reason, those strange hours he works. So with Rooster retired for the evening the rest of us hailed a cab and ended up at the Balboa Cafe, which I understand is partly owned by SF Mayor Gavin Newsome.

We walk in and I'm standing at the bar--and I remember this really well, because it was right there, at that moment, that I stepped out of my drunken haze--and Sean hands me a kamikaze and a Bass Ale, some of which I spilled because this HOT drunk girl grabbed my arm because she recognized me from the Bayside. Kristy--a USC fan--expressed concern for me because of the emotional loss my team had just suffered at the hands of those spoiled private school brats and managed to console me with some extremely nice kisses in full view of my drunk buddies.

Rooster--my season is ON, Dude!

We closed down the Balboa Cafe and it was into another cab and onto the search for a late night snack. We just kinda went in circles because the cabbie was pretty clueless and because of 3AM traffic but somehow we ended up at this really old diner. And since we were so full of booze we really needed to find a bathroom. So as we're walking in to the diner we're told that the men's restroom is downstairs.

So Sean and I go down this long, old, rickety set of stairs into this maze, this labyrinth of hallways. It was really strange. You know, it reminded me of that scene in 'The Shining' when Jack Nicholson was looking for Shelly Duvall. Sean and I were just opening doors at random. We never did find the bathroom.

Back upstairs, we couldn't find anyone to take our order either, so we left and went across the street to Jack In The Box.

Mason, another one of our Lambda Chi brothers, another Sean and I have a long and rich history of eating Jack In The Box tacos--the three of us could put away 30,40 tacos at a sitting--and since we'd been joking around about Jack tacos all weekend, it was fitting that we ended up there at the end of a long day of killing brain cells.

I got a bag of ten tacos, expecting to share with the guys. Instead I gave some of my food to a homeless guy. Hey! There's Compassionate Conservatism in action, baby!

Mason said it best. We drank for 15 hours straight and lived to tell about it. You know the feeling. That mix of sleep deprivation, alcohol poisoning and beer farts. We're too old for this shit.

Game three was the Seahawks/49ers game on Sunday. Paul and I met former 49er linebacker stud Keena Turner. We had great seats. Actually, come to think of it, these were the same damn seats we had last year, too. Anyway, great game with Seattle prevailing 27-25. And those 49ers cheerleaders!! At halftime, Steve Young was inducted into the 49er Hall of Fame (ahead of his induction into the Pro Football H.O.F.) and the crowd was really rowdy, everybody was throwing beer (shameful AND wasteful) and peanuts and there was a bunch of fights. Typical Candlestick Park stuff.

Next year we're all meeting in L.A. Something about a Dodger game...

pullout

Why do I miss all the good stuff? I was on my way to San Francisco last Friday when all the rancor was taking place in Congress.

Harold Ford screaming and running around the room? Marty Meehan yelling 'you guys are pathetic,' at Republicans?

What's pathetic is the very idea of pulling out of Iraq immediately as PA Congressman John Murtha advocated last week.

Anyone with a brain knows that's not true. Zarqawi would be crowned President of Iraq about 21 seconds after the last transport of American soldiers was in the air and every Iraqi elected official, every Iraqi police officer and troop, every Iraqi civilian that had embraced freedom and capitalism, EVERYONE OF THESE PEOPLE would be slaughtered.

The Democrats are worried about civil war breaking out in Iraq. If we pulled out today civil war is exactly what would happen.

This Democratic grasping at straws, trying to gain traction on ANYTHING, on ANY issue, is really pathetic.

Murtha and his compatriots don't really want to pullout. They are playing politics with Iraq. They smell blood in the water because of Bush's low poll numbers and they need something to talk about, some issue to seize upon ahead of the '06 midterm elections, so they are throwing this cut and run idea out and see how it plays out.

Which is why the actions of my Congressman, Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was so important. By forcing a vote of the Murtha resolution, Congressman Hunter was asking Democrats to put their money where their big mouths are. He exposed them as the phonies, the cowards, the blind partisans that they are.

And the vote tells the story, 403-3 NOT to pull troops out.

Thursday, November 17

leggo your ego



Tip 'o the hat to Matt Drudge for reporting on the gigantic egos of Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) who saw fit to name Federal buildings after THEMSELVES.

probe wilson

Acknowledged liar, bitter partisan hack and washed up diplomat Joe Wilson thinks WaPo's Bob Woodward should be 'probed,' in the phony CIA leak investigation.

"It certainly gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. He (Woodward) was taking an advocacy position when he was a party to it," Wilson said.

Here's an idea: After two years of bullshit, how about we FINALLY get down to serious business and probe Wilson about this matter?

taking a break

And you thought all I cared about was politics...

u.s. china policy

correcting the record

"As most of you know, I have spent a lot of years in public service, and first came to work in Washington, D.C. back in the late 1960s. I know what it's like to operate in a highly charged political environment, in which the players on all sides of an issue feel passionately and speak forcefully.

In such an environment people sometimes lose their cool, and yet in Washington you can ordinarily rely on some basic measure of truthfulness and good faith in the conduct of political debate. But in the last several weeks we have seen a wild departure from that tradition.

And the suggestion that's been made by some U.S. senators that the President of the United States or any member of this Administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.

Some of the most irresponsible comments have, of course, come from politicians who actually voted in favor of authorizing force against Saddam Hussein. These are elected officials who had access to the intelligence, and were free to draw their own conclusions.

They arrived at the same judgment about Iraq's capabilities and intentions that was made by this Administration and by the previous Administration. There was broad-based, bipartisan agreement that Saddam Hussein was a threat … that he had violated U.N. Security Council Resolutions … and that, in a post-9/11 world, we couldn't afford to take the word of a dictator who had a history of WMD programs, who had excluded weapons inspectors, who had defied the demands of the international community, who had been designated an official state sponsor of terror, and who had committed mass murder.

Those are facts.

What we're hearing now is some politicians contradicting their own statements and making a play for political advantage in the middle of a war. The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out. American soldiers and Marines are out there every day in dangerous conditions and desert temperatures – conducting raids, training Iraqi forces, countering attacks, seizing weapons, and capturing killers – and back home a few opportunists are suggesting they were sent into battle for a lie.

The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history.

We're going to continue throwing their own words back at them. And far more important, we're going to continue sending a consistent message to the men and women who are fighting the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other fronts.

We can never say enough how much we appreciate them, and how proud they make us. They and their families can be certain: That this cause is right … and the performance of our military has been brave and honorable … and this nation will stand behind our fighting forces with pride and without wavering until the day of victory."

--Vice President Dick Cheney, November 16, 2005.

Wednesday, November 16

deep throat '03?

According to Bob Woodward, he learned the name of Valerie Plame NOT from Scooter Libby and NOT from President Bush's chief of staff Andy Card but from ANOTHER Senior Administration official.

And it's NOT Karl Rove.

This is important because Libby wasn't charged with leaking Plame's name. He was charged with lying to the FBI and to the Grand Jury about what he told Judy Miller, Matt Cooper and Bob Novak.

Patrick Fitzgerald, in his now infamous press conference following the indictment, believed Libby to be the ONLY Senior Administration official to have leaked Plame's identity. He rambled on, attempting to influence public opinion and the future jury pool, about national security, being able to recruit spies and the importance of protecting identities. Remember?

Oops.

"Libby's lawyer, Ted Wells, said in a statement that Woodward's disclosure contradicts Fitzgerald's statement that Libby was the first government official to discuss Plame's identity.

"Hopefully, as more information is obtained from reporters like Bob Woodward, the real facts will come out," Wells said."

Are we on the verge of Woodward creating a new, modern version of 'Deep Throat'?

Pat, do the right thing. Drop the charges against Libby and go back to Chicago.

joe

I lost all respect for Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) when he became Al Gore's lapdog in 2000. But after hearing his speech yesterday on the floor of the US Senate, all is forgiven.

"I am grateful to the American military for the extraordinary bravery and brilliance of their campaign to remove Saddam Hussein. I know we are safer as a nation, and to say the obvious that the Iraqi people are freer as a people, and the Middle East has a chance for a new day and stability with Saddam Hussein gone.

We will come to another day to debate the past of prewar intelligence. But let me say briefly the questions raised in our time are important. The international intelligence community believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Probably most significant, and I guess historically puzzling, is that Saddam Hussein acted in a way to send a message that he had a program of weapons of mass destruction. He would not, in response to one of the 17 U.N. Security Council resolutions that he violated, declare he had eliminated the inventory of weapons of mass destruction that he reported to the U.N. after the end of the gulf war in 1991.

I do not want to go off on that issue. I want to say that the debate about the war has become much too partisan in our time. And something is happening here tonight that I believe, I hope, I pray we will look back and say was a turning point and opened the road to Republican and Democratic cooperation, White House and congressional cooperation, to complete the mission. As Senator Levin said, no matter what anyone thinks about why we got into the war and whether we should have been in there, it is hard to find anybody around the Senate – I have not heard anybody – who does not want us to successfully complete our mission there. I feel that deeply.

If we withdraw prematurely from Iraq, there will be civil war, and there is a great probability that others in the neighborhood will come in. The Iranians will be tempted to come in on the side of the Shia Muslims in the south. The Turks will be tempted to come in against the Kurds in the north. The other Sunni nations, such as the Saudis and the Jordanians, will be sorely tempted, if not to come in at least to aggressively support the Sunni Muslim population. There will be instability in the Middle East, and the hope of creating a different model for a better life in the Middle East in this historic center of the Arab world, Iraq, will be gone.

If we successfully complete our mission, we will have left a country that is self-governing with an open economy, with an opportunity for the people of Iraq to do what they clearly want to do, which is to live a better life, to get a job, to have their kids get a decent education, to live a better life. There seems to be broad consensus on that, and yet the partisanship that characterizes our time here gets in the way of realizing those broadly expressed and shared goals.

The danger is that by spending so much attention on the past here, we contribute to a drop in public support among the American people for the war, and that is consequential. Terrorists know they cannot defeat us in Iraq, but they also know they can defeat us in America by breaking the will and steadfast support of the American people for this cause.

There is a wonderful phrase from the Bible that I have quoted before, “If the sound of the trumpet be uncertain, who will follow into battle?” In our time, I am afraid that the trumpet has been replaced by public opinion polls, and if the public opinion polls are uncertain, if support for the war seems to be dropping, who will follow into battle and when will our brave and brilliant men and women in uniform in Iraq begin to wonder whether they have the support of the American people? When will that begin to affect their morale?

I worry the partisanship of our time has begun to get in the way of the successful completion of our mission in Iraq. I urge my colleagues at every moment, when we do anything regarding this war that we consider the ideal and we are confident within ourselves. Not that we are stifling free debate. Free debate is the necessary precondition to the unity we need to maximize our authority against those who would divide and conquer us. But the point is to make sure we feel in ourselves that the aim of our actions and our words is national security, not partisan advantage."

83,000+

That's the number of foreigners detained by the United States since 9/11/01. Seems like that figure would be--and most definitely should be--higher.

Most American football stadiums hold more people than 83K.

legislation, part ii

Equally maddening to me is Maine Republican Olympia Snowe, who has never met a tax cut that she was in favor of, sided with the Democrats and stalled Senate Bill 7--a bill to make the President's tax cuts permanent--as it was under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee.

legislation

Democrats, always playing games with national security and the troops, have been attempting to lock the Administration down on a timetable with regard to withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Bush, wisely, has refused calls for the timetable. Why tell the enemy what you're going to do before you do it?

Yesterday, amendment #2519 to Senate bill #1042 failed by a vote of 58-40. Had the amendment passed the Senate would have attempted to clarify a new position on American policy related to Iraq and recommend changes in that policy, like withdrawing troops.

One word: gamemanship. Only one Republican, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island voted for the amendment, along with 39 Democrats. By contrast, Democrats Lieberman (CT), Pryor (AR), Nelson (FL) and Nelson (NE) joined 54 Republicans in defeating the amendment.

I like the way Laura Ingraham describes Chafee: 'He never fails to disappoint.'

標題

On Monday I read a preview of President Bush's eight day trip to Asia in the Wall Street Journal, which predicted that Bush wouldn't (and didn't want to) make any headlines on the trip, that he wouldn't say anything provocative and that he wouldn't ruffle any feathers.

I didn't agree with those predictions and today the President is proving me to be correct. BTW, the title of this post is 'headlines,' translated into Chinese, for effect.

The President is urging China to follow Taiwan's example and allow it's 1.3 billion citizens to have more freedom.

"We encourage China to continue down the road of reform and openness," Bush told an audience that stayed silent until its polite applause at the end. "By meeting the legitimate demands of its citizens for freedom and openness, China's leaders can help their country grow into a modern, prosperous, and confident nation."

That's a provocative statement.

More.

"Men and women who are allowed to control their own wealth will eventually insist on controlling their own lives and their own future," he said. "As China reforms its economy, its leaders are finding that once the door to freedom is opened even a crack, it cannot be closed."

That 'opened even a crack' line sounds like a headline to me.

Then there was this comment about North Korea and Myanmar, both of which, Bush said "still have not taken even the first steps toward freedom." He said the price of their "refusal to open up is isolation, backwardness, and brutality."

That'll probably ruffle a couple of feathers.

agreement

Future President Condi Rice refused to end the talks between the Israeli's and the Palestinians until a border agreement was reached.

Whatever you say, Baby!

The result? Palestine is now going to be responsible for the comings and goings of Gaza and the West Bank.

European monitors will oversee the November 25 border opening. Israel will watch, via closed-circuit televison, everyone at the border, which will improve security for Israel and will allow Palestinians to move freely between both states, which will improve economic conditions and make Palestine a viable state.

And here's an interesting seal of approval from the LA Times:

"The final agreement required shoves from Rice. Hours before announcing the pact, Rice said that results would come "with will and with some creativity."

bad things

House and Senate negotiators worked through the night on a new draft of the Patriot Act and have agreed to make most of the provisions permanent, with HUGE changes on wiretapping, on reviewing business records under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and new standards for monitoring 'Lone Wolf' suspects, or those suspects already in the US that are operating independently of a terror organization.

Democrats want to:

* Curb the FBI's subpoena power. As it stands now, records of any citizen can be reviewed as long as it is certified that the investigation is related to a terrorist plot.

* Limit the ability of DOJ to review business records and make it more difficult to conduct roving wiretaps. Law enforcement would also be required to submit proof that a suspect has ties to a terrorist organization or foreign power.

* Force the Justice Department to be more transparent in its secret requests for information of suspects as it relates to what is called 'ordinary people.'

* Make it mandatory that the DOJ give an annual report to Congress regarding anti-terrorism measures. That would include providing the names of 'ordinary citizens' under investigation during the previous 12 month period. Keep in mind that this is Classified information that Congress wants to make public. Classified information!

This is dangerous, irresponsible and reckless. As it currently stands, DOJ is able to act swiftly to gain information. Anything that hinders or impedes that ability is a very bad thing for national security.

The desire of the Democrats to dismantle the Patriot Act is yet another in a long line of examples of just how anti-American the Left has become. Mark my words: if and when the US is attacked again, the Democrats will be the first to accuse the Bush Administration of neglecting to do enough to protect America and Americans, when in fact, it will have been those on the Left that will bear complete and total responsibility for death and destruction in the Homeland.

And look! There's actually more absurdity from the Left, additional things they want to insert into the Patriot Act in the form of 'add on' bills. They want to lower the sentence for sex felons who fail to meet registration requirements. They want to loosen courthouse security. And they oppose any measure that would limit federal appeals of state court decisions.

Democrats are nothing more than homegrown terrorists attempting to take America down.

good things

Jimmy Carter does it routinely. So does Bill Clinton. The two worst Presidents in American history have much in common.

Both are cowards. Both sat passively in the Oval Office, and failed to act, as Americans were killed overseas, reacting only belatedly and insufficiently to terrorism.

Both former Presidents are continuing to break with tradition and criticize American foreign policy from a foreign country, which is shameless and tacky.

Carter won a Nobel Peace Prize for his hateful rants against President Bush. Good for you, Jimma.

And yesterday Clinton was in Dubai talking about how wrong the United States was for invading Iraq, something he didn't have the balls, or the intelligence, to do.

Of course, Clinton wouldn't be Clinton without talking out of both sides of his ass.

The Iraq war was 'a big mistake,' but...time to straddle that fence, Bubba...

Saddam Hussein? It's 'a good thing,' he's gone. It is? Really? No way!

But wait. That's not all. Bill's identified other 'good things happening in Iraq. The new Iraqi Constitution. 'Good thing.' AND the holding of elections, Clinton thinks that's 'a good thing,' too!

Isn't it amazing all the 'good things' that just kinda happened along the way in this 'illegal war'?

now playing

bestsellers

And people wonder why I don't read the NYT Book Review. Take a peek at these 'bestselling' authors.

Jimmy Carter--the worst President in American history.
Doris Kearns Goodwin--an avowed plagiarizer.
Al Franken--a pathological liar.
Billy Crystal--okay, he's cool.
Jackass John McCain--Democrats love him. I don't.

Gag.

Tuesday, November 15

from their own mouths...

Those of us on the Right are relieved and thrilled to finally be seeing the President hitting back against the scurrilous charges by the Democrats, that lies were told, that intelligence was manipulated, that threats were exaggerated, with regard to Iraq.

Click on the above link to see a new GOP video that shows in copious detail the level of bi-partisan support Bush had behind him immediately after 9/11 and the widespread beliefs of Democrats Bill Clinton, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Evan Bayh, Maddie Albright, John Edwards, and many others about the existence of WMD in Iraq and the urgent need to act on behalf of the national security of the United States.

truth

Norm Podhoretz writes the preeminent summary of who-said-what regarding Iraq and the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

I'm putting my foot down and making this required reading for all of you, especially you Bush-bashers out there.

Monday, November 14

tsunami warning

asia

Arnold was 'mobbed' today in China, President Bush is aboard Air Force One on his way to Asia for an eight day tour and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake has just struck off the coast of Japan, 15 miles BELOW the ocean floor.

Think about that for a second. Doesn't that make you feel really small?

torture reflection

On Saturday, I drank a Harp Lager with my next door neighbor. We're sitting there watching the Wisconsin/Iowa game when he turns and says to me, 'I don't like Cheney's position on torture.'

He went on to clarify. 'The detainees are all covered by the Geneva Convention,' he said. I made sure my beer was on his tab and then I told him he was full of shit.

I'm joking. Relax. I explained the Conventions don't apply since al Qaeda terrorists [1] don't wear uniforms, and they [2] target and kill civilians.

He didn't like what I said. And I didn't like that he didn't like what I said.

The notion that being nice to the Muslim extremists is going to help us win the War On Terror is naive. How many times have we discussed this very topic here @ R.F.L.? Reasoning with people who behead their enemies? Are you serious? What's the point? You might as well just chop off your own head right now.

Get it over with.

Understand that I don't advocate torture, but what I do advocate is not telling the world what our soldiers and our military can and cannot do in the midst of a world war. Imagine not being able to bluff when playing poker. Same thing. Besides the sheer force and power of the American military, the hidden value in the unknown makes our enemies fear us, too. All of these things, brought together, makes the world respect us.

Why do we want to give them access to the American judicial system? We don't want to try them in American courts of law. We cannot allow the terrorists to use the laws of our Republic against us.

Okay? Got it? There'll be a pop quiz tomorrow. Moving on --

I'm in a reflective mood today, so please, bear with me. I'd also like to talk about the meanings (and usage) of the following words:

Progressive -- 'favoring or promoting change or innovation.'

Conservative -- one who is 'averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes.'

These monikers, used in combination with the party signifiers 'Democrat' or 'Republican,' I believe, are badly misused. The word 'progressive' is becoming less synonymous with Democrats and 'conservative' doesn't adequately describe Republicans.

How could the Democrats possibly be described as being progressive while opposing Social Security reform? Protecting the status quo is in no way progressive. Fear-mongering and hate-mongering can, in no way, be described as being progressive. The idea-less Democrats can't be viewed as being progressive these days. Waiting until '06 to unveil their 'plan,' like Chuck Schumer said last week and like Howard Dean told Tim Russert yesterday, isn't progressive.

In the same vein, how could President Bush possibly be described as 'conservative' when he remains radically committed to changing the world? 'Neo,' or 'new,' for neo-conservative, doesn't really do it either. No, I think when you take into account the entire Bush agenda, the President would have to be described as a progressive.

Of course, critics will say, 'of course, Kent. Bush can't be described as a conservative, especially when he spends like a drunken sailor, and the deficit is out of control and he's never vetoed any spending, and blah, blah, blah.'

The deficit can be explained in one word: War. And deficits don't matter, either, due to the incredible American economy, which is why it's so important to keep the tax burden low.

I might include this stuff on tomorrow's pop quiz, too, so do your homework and read this post again.

P.S. Iowa beat Wisconsin, 20-10.

musical accompaniment







poster child

Democratic Poster Child Howard Dean spews a hundred lies per minute, but he's such a coward, he refused to do a joint appearance with RNC Chair Ken Mehlman on NBC's 'Meet The Press' yesterday.

Hell, I just want someone to ask Dean why his Gubernatorial records have been sealed for ten years.

mary mapes

The discredited, pathetic and unemployed Mary Mapes is on her book tour. And she's still claiming that the bogus documents are real, even though the fonts on the 1970's 'National Guard documents' hadn't yet been invented.

Mapes has been working on this story for five years. FIVE YEARS! Nice life, Mary.

Of course, while promoting her book Mapes has been the beneficiary of softball interviews on CNN and MSNBC. Even Bill O'Reilly rolled over for her last week. He accepted a 'I'm liberal on some issues and conservative on others' answer from Mapes responding to a question about her politics. C'mon Bill! Gettin' soft? How about asking 'Did you vote for Bush or Kerry in '04, Mary?'

But did anybody see Mapes get rocked by Neil Cavuto?

Cavuto is a bulldog, always cutting his subjects off if they don't answer his questions. He interrupted her and got her off her game and got her goat.

Good stuff. At the end of the Cavuto interview she looked like a hamster that hasn't eaten in three days.

I hope Mary takes some of her book royalties and does something with that hair. Like grow it out over those elephant ears. And her clothes. Everytime I see her she's always wearing the same black suit. Maybe consider some earth tones, like Al Gore. The above picture was taken in '99, but that's exactly how she looked--and what she was wearing--last week.

Friday, November 11

limits, after all

Are my eyes deceiving me or did the Senate actually approve an amendment, 49-42, that would limit the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay?

As it now stands these same detainees have the right to legally challenge their detentions.

From the NYT:

"Mr. Graham said the measure was necessary to eliminate a blizzard of legal claims from prisoners that was tying up Department of Justice resources, and slowing the ability of federal interrogators to glean information from detainees that have been plucked off the battlefields of Afghanistan and elsewhere."

I'd like to know why these terrorists were ever given rights in the first place.

Key phrase from Senator Graham:

"We have done nothing today but return to the basics of the law of armed conflict where we are dealing with enemy combatants, not common criminals."

cowards of the gop

Quite frankly, I'm ashamed of my party today. We are the Majority, but you'd never know it.

America is dependent on foreign sources of energy because we lack the courage to take advantage of our nation's resources.

We have a vibrant economy, due in large part to Bush's tax cuts. Since Americans got some of their own money back from the government, Gross Domestic Products has gone from 2% to 4%. Tax cuts work.

Yet one of our own Senators, Maine's Olympia Snowe, couldn't bring herself to vote for an extension of the current 15% tax rate on dividends and capital gains that is due to expire in 2008.

What the hell are we doing?

Above is a list of the chickenshit Republicans who are attempting to kill ANWR. If you believe, as I do, that we should be drilling in Alaska I urge you to contact them and voice your displeasure over their votes.

paying tribute

My President, strong and courageous, is finally hitting back against the ridiculous criticism from the issueless and feckless Democrats:

"When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong, bipartisan support," the president said. "While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began."

"The stakes in the global War on Terror are too high and the national interest is too important for the politicians to throw out false charges," Bush said. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will."

On this Veteran's Day, it is very important to make the distinction, again, between Republicans and Democrats. While the GOP is honoring the memory of our nation's veterans, the Democrats are actively engaged in dispensing the false charges of which the President spoke.

three men, one woman

Three men and one woman carried out the cowardly attacks on those three Jordianian hotels the other night.

I'm really glad to see that Jordianians are angry with Zarqawi for killing fellow Muslims and fellow Jordianians. Maybe this is the turning point we've been waiting for, where good Muslims finally rise up against the extremists and say 'no more.'

Could be a huge development in the War On Terror.

akkad killed in jordan

Moustapha Akkad, the producer of all eight 'Halloween' movies, died today from wounds suffered in the suicide bombings in Jordan Wednesday night.

Akkad and his daughter Rima, who died instantly, were in Jordan for a wedding.

good & bad

Here's the good:

San Diego Mayor-elect Jerry Sanders is already proving to be a more decisive leader than his predecessor.

R.F.L. regulars will recall the ongoing controversy regarding the Mount Soledad National Memorial and numbnut atheist Phil Paulson, who has been fighting for 16 years to have the 29 foot cross removed because he finds religious symbols offensive.

On Wednesday, Sanders announced that he and City Attorney Mike Aguirre are going to appeal a recent decision rendered by Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett that overruled Proposition A, a recent ballot measure supported by 76% of voters, that would transfer the Memorial to the Federal Government.

Additionally, Charles LiMandri, an attorney for the Thomas Moore Law Center, has agreed to take on the case pro bono, saving the city money on a case which is expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Here's the bad:

Yesterday, former San Diego city councilmember Michael Zucchet, who was found guilty on nine counts of extortion, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, had his conviction on seven of the nine charges thrown out by a US District Judge.

Amazing.

Judge Jeffrey T. Miller--a Clinton appointee--sentenced another former councilmember Ralph Inzunza to 21 months, but appeared both reluctant to do so, and sympathetic, praising Inzunza for his public service.

"I have no doubt that you will ultimately bounce back," Miller told Inzunza.

This is outrageous. PRAISING HIM FOR HIS PUBLIC SERVICE?

Jurors were incredulous about the Zucchet decision. Said jury foreman Kenny Hill:

"It's like we were allowed to play judge as long as we make a decision the judge agrees with. What's the point then? I don't want to play-act the role. He's supposed to be judged by a jury of his peers. If we followed (the judge's) instructions, and we did, it should stand."

I agree. This goes beyond judicial activism. This jury did what the Judge Miller told them to do. They considered each charge according to the law, determined that Zucchet was guilty and returned a verdict.

Why even have a trial? Why waste the time of the jurors? Why waste the money? Why even enforce the law as it relates to public officials and lobbyists?

'my name is karl and i'm not a lawyer...'

Karl Rove gave a fantastic speech to the Federalist Society in Washington DC last night.

"I've thought long and hard about the best way to begin the formal portion of my remarks. The consistent advice I got was to start my remarks in a way my audience will find comfortable, familiar and reassuring. That sounds about right to me. So here goes: My name is Karl--and I am a nonlawyer.

I say that with no sense of superiority. Instead, I offer it as a reminder of what must be a painful point for all with a J.D. 99.7% of all Americans are nonlawyers. We may not have the power, but we nonlawyers are the majority. And it is clear today that many ordinary men and women--nonlawyers--believe our courts are in crisis. And their concerns are well-grounded."

Click above to read the entire speech.

Thursday, November 10

snip, snip, snip

AMWR and offshore drilling suffered big setbacks today in Congress and it came from Moderate Republicans attempting to make nice with Liberals and gain support for a deficit reduction package, a Bush priority.

Democrats, falling back into their default position of opposing anything logical or reasonable, object to reducing America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil for the sake of animals in Alaska, because of their ties to the radical environmental lobby.

The Left is more concerned with protecting the rights of souless creatures than they are with the national security of the nation. But then they actually have the balls to turn around and criticize Republicans for cutting social programs.

Hey, that's politics, which is the act of compromise.

If I were a member of Congress, what would I cut? I doubt I'd cut AMWR because it would only save $3 billion.

Would I cut Social programs? Medicare? Food stamps for legal immigrants? Child support reinforcement?

"We are not cutting Medicaid for those truly in need," said Rep. David Dreier (R-CA).

I'd cut the food stamp thing for immigrants, without a second thought.

nothing

Democrats are still pretending that their victories in New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday actually meant something for the '06 midterms.

That's the weakest spin, ever.

New Jersey is a very Liberal state. It's also a big union state and Corzine never trailed Forrester. And yet, Dems continue to claim this was a big win?

Virginia is a Red state but, historically, the party that wins the White House loses the Virginia gubernatorial election. What the Left fails to talk about is that Virginia's Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General are both Republicans and that the GOP controls the Virginia Legislature, 59-41.

Simple as that. Nothing fancy. No conclusions to be drawn. End of story.

Democrats are also reveling in what is being branded a big defeat for Arnold. I agree with that to a point, but there were eight propositions on the ballot. Yes, the four ballot propositions promoted by the Governator lost, but so did the other four and Schwarzenegger had no connection at all to those proposals.

I haven't yet heard Howard Dean try to compare California to middle America, but when and if he does, I'll be the one laughing the loudest.

They don't call us 'the Left Coast' for nothing. My state is so big and so strange and in such trouble after years of Democratic politics, California simply cannot be categorized. It's a Blue state but only because of the populations of Los Angeles and San Francisco. San Diego and the rest of the state are solidly Republican.

Was it merely a lazy electorate? Was it an angry electorate? Was it a passive electorate?

I say lazy because I've seen a bunch of those lame 'people on the street' interviews and everyone said basically the same thing. 'I voted no because I just wanted it all to go away.'

Wednesday, November 9

talking points?

Holding your nose is always advisable when reading Daily Kos, but this was pretty funny, via Hotline.

'Same old blah, blah, blah,' when referring to Republican talking points in the wake of yesterday's election.

Note the predilection to dismiss anything fact-based, even if it's blended with humor and sarcasm.

(You can't see me, but I'm scanning the document...)

Entitled 'Get Yer GOP Talking Points.'

"Tonight was a vote for the status quo. We began the night with 28 GOP governorships and we concluded the evening with the same amount."

"The two gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia are not determinate of larger trends. Each was a race unique unto itself."

"In these off-year races, the electorate is focused on local issues, and whether the candidates represent their values and beliefs."

Keep reading...

"Since World War II, the president's party has won the Virginia governorship just six times, and not at all since 1973."

"In seven out of the fifteen Virginia gubernatorial elections since World War II, the party that won the governorship has gone on to win more seats in the U.S. House in the following year's election. In eight of the fifteen elections, the winning party has gone on to lose seats in the House."

"Similarly, in eight of the fifteen Virginia elections over the same timeframe, the party that won the governorship won more seats in the U.S. Senate the following year. Five times, they lost seats and twice there was no change in the Senate's partisan balance."

"On the balance, there is little evidence of any larger national significance to the Virginia gubernatorial election."

Okay.

Virginia Realities.

"The out-of-power party in the White House has won every governor's race since 1973."

"The result is not a pick up for Democrats; it is a status quo election."

"Incumbent Democrat Governor Mark Warner's approval ratings are at 80% (according to The Washington Post), an enormous advantage for Kaine."

"The right track/wrong track number for Virginia is 70/25."

New Jersey Realities.

"Only one Republican candidate for governor or senate has garnered over 50% since 1972. (Tom Kean in '85) "

"Democrats have a 300,000-voter registration advantage."

New York City Realities.

"Mayor Bloomberg's won re-election in a city where there are 5 Democrats for every 1 Republican."

"As New York's Republican Mayor, Bloomberg will continue a trend of GOP leadership in the city for the 13th consecutive year."

How does Kos actually function in society, being unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality?

suicide bombings: jordan

Suicide bombers struck at three American hotels in Amman, Jordan tonight, killing 57.

The simultaneous attacks on the Days Inn, the Grand Hyatt and the Radisson SAS hotel smells like al Qaeda.

Why?

Jordan is a staunch ally of America in the W.O.T., the Kingdom shares a border with Iraq and because suicide bombings are a choice weapon of nutjob Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

from the desk of howard dean

DEAN: "The resounding victories tonight by Jon Corzine and Tim Kaine have sent a powerful message that when Democrats stand up for what we believe in, we win. They showed that the values and priorities of the Democratic Party are the values and priorities of the American people."

KENT: The 'values' of the Democratic Party are lies and deception. Corzine attacked Forrester as 'a tax raiser,' and Kaine ran as a conservative. It happens every election cycle. Democrats only win campaigns when they pretend to be conservatives.

Of course, Corzine's $70 million contribution to his own campaign didn't hurt, either.

DEAN: "Jon Corzine and Tim Kaine were strong candidates who offered vision and leadership based on the shared values and priorities of the voters of New Jersey and Virginia. They worked hard to earn the trust and the votes of the people in their states by not taking a single vote or voter for granted.

KENT: Yeah, they worked hard. Of course they ran against two losers. But they still worked hard. Next!

DEAN: "Also tonight, voters all across the country delivered a resounding message: Americans are tired of the politics of hate and divisiveness, and voted for strong Democratic candidates who offered true leadership for their states and communities. These candidates showed exactly what our party is going to do to stand up and win in 2006."

KENT: Get serious. The synonyms of 'hate' and 'divisiveness' are 'Harry Reid,' 'John Kerry,' 'Hillary Clinton,' 'Pat Leahy,' 'Chuckie Schumer,' and 'Howard Dean.'

results

No matter how you slice the results from yesterday's special election here in California, it was a big loss for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Employee unions spent $120 million vilifying the Governor and his plans to reform state government.

It just goes to show how powerful the special interests are. Fighting the system, although not impossible, is tough.

Arnold, I think, underestimated the opposition to his reform agenda. I think he believed that the Californians who elected him Governor two years ago would approve his agenda in the form of Propositions 74, 75, 76 and 77.

The problem is that the Governor allowed the unprecedented union advertising campaign blitz to go unanswered. All summer long, Arnold was continually hammered, by the police union, the firefighter union and the teacher's unions. They all accused the Governor of breaking various promises, of cutting the budgets of emergency services and education.

Those lies needed to be refuted. But Arnold was silent. Whomever was advising him is very likely out of a job in the wake of yesterday's crushing defeat.

For your edification, here's the R.F.L. election Round-up: Enjoy.

Prop 73 Parental notification on abortion
NO 53%
YES 47%

Positioned as a 'safety issue' by the extreme Left; think teens having 'back alley' abortions.

Prop 74 Teacher Tenure after 5 years, rather than 2
NO 55%
YES 45%

It must be great to have the freedom to do a bad job and never be fired. Plus, you get summers off. Woo hoo!

Prop 75 Paycheck Protection
NO 53.5%
YES 46.5%

The unions spent $120 million to defeat this measure. That's more than the Democrats spent on national advertising back in '95 and '96 to demonize Newt Gingrich.

Prop 76 Spending Limits
NO 62%
YES 38%

For every dollar of revenue that comes into Sacramento, the Liberal-controlled Legislature spends $1.10. Anyone who voted no on 76 should be hanged.

Prop 77 Redistricting
NO 60%
YES 41%

I'm glad 77 was defeated. I don't want retired judges responsible for redistricting. Like they wouldn't be political?

Prop 78 Cheaper drugs to uninsured
NO 58.5%
YES 41.5%

This measure was written by the drug companies in order to defeat Prop. 79.

Prop 79 Pharmaceutical discounts
NO 61%
YES 39%

79 was written by the Democrats and by consumer groups in order to defeat Prop 78.

Prop 80 Energy re-regulation
NO 66%
YES 34%

Would have forced large companies to buy their energy from utilities rather than other providers. Bad idea.

In San Diego, common sense voters elected Republican Jerry Sanders Mayor, while other big city incumbent Mayors retained power with lopsided victories in New York (Mike Bloomberg), Atlanta (Shirley Franklin) and Boston (Tom Menino). In Detroit, scandal ridden incumbent Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick barely defeated challenger Freman Hendrix.

In San Francisco, the mecca of all that is crazy and un-American, voters approved Proposition H, which requires that city residents turn in handguns to police by April 1, 2006. HEY! That's unconstitutional. Also, Proposition I, which opposes, but does not forbid, military recruitment efforts on public school campuses, passed by a 59%-41% margin.

In Texas, voters rejected same sex marriage. In Maine, voters rejected a conservative backed proposal to repeal a gay-rights law. In Ohio, four voter reform measures were rejected as was a redistricting proposal.

Meanwhile, New Jersey and Virginia retained Democratic Governors, in Jon Corzine and Tim Kaine, respectively.

Amusingly, the msm has jumped on this story as evidence of a big groundswell of support for Democrats going into '06,

Not true. It's not as if these were two Republican states on Monday. They were already deep, deep Blue states. Corzine essentially bought the Governor's mansion with $70 million of his own money. And Kaine ran as a conservative on taxes and crime, while Republican Jerry Kilgore refused to take the 'no new taxes' pledge.

playing games

Harry Reid and the Democrats are calling for Rove to resign. They are demanding that the President pledge not to pardon Scooter Libby. They are charging that Bush and Cheney lied about the intel regarding Iraq. And, hey, by the way, the charges, if true, would be quite alarming.

But the charges aren't true. And the Democrats know it.

Michigan Senator Carl Levin has been one of the more outspoken critics of the Bush Administration.

But it turns out that Levin himself made claims that Saddam had nuclear weapons AND that there is plenty of evidence to prove it.

Really?

Levin said this on Hardball Monday night:

"There was plenty of evidence that Saddam had nuclear weapons, by the way. That is not in dispute. There is plenty of evidence of that."

And Levin said this, back on December 16, 2001:

"The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as he [Saddam Hussein] is in power."

Interesting. This is what the Democrats do best: play games.

But it sounds as if some Liberals are having a hard time keeping their own story straight.

I say stop dividing the country, already. Tell the truth, support the President, support the troops and support the mission.

and speaking of,

Segueing, from the previous post, to the defeat of a measure by Blair in the British Parliament.

As I understand it, the PM was advocating a law that would have allowed British authorities to hold terror suspects a full 90 days without formally charging them with a crime.

What actually passed was something far less stringent: a mere 28 days, but a certainly a definite improvement on the current 14 day law.

All of this seems rather silly when you consider that a terror suspect is committed to killing you, me and everyone else on the entire planet. Why should a person like that have any rights at all under the law?

It's the identical debate here in the US. Senator John McCain is advocating a bill in Congress which would ban all interrogation torture procedures.

Of course, the backstory on McCain is that he was a P.O.W. and he was tortured. So of course he's going to be rabidly opposed to even the slightest mention of torture.

But again, the question is, do we really want to pass laws that protect the people that are trying to kill us? I don't want to live in a police state either, but, we've got to be realistic.

I value the safety, as Blair rightly said, 'of decent people.'
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