Tuesday, February 28

casing the joint

Did you know that this guy, a former spokesman for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, is presently attending Yale University?

Rahmatullah Hashemi was little more than a PR hack for the Taliban. He came to America several times, on what were billed as 'goodwill tours.' More accurately he traveled around the country, speaking to university students and newspaper editorial boards, which is how my buddy John Fund of the WSJ became acquainted with him.

Fund recalls, in his OpinionJournal.com piece today, that in the spring of 2001 when Hashemi was leaving the lower Manhattan offices of the Journal, he stared for a long time, with strange fascination, at the neighboring World Trade Center. Fund recalled Hashemi's strange actions immediately after the towers fell on the morning of September 11.

Here's my question: What the hell are we doing allowing foreign students, especially people like Hashemi who have ties to terrorists, into America in the first place? And why are we allowing them to become students at our universities?

how about some chicken curry, mr. president?

President Bush is heading to India tomorrow with scheduled stops in Pakistan (and possibly Afghanistan) after that.

The trip to India is a big deal, as the President will attempt to clarify the 'civil' nuclear technology agreement he forged with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seven months ago.

Bush agreed to sell nuclear fuel and reactors to India's power program and to influence other nuclear suppliers to do business with India. India agreed to unbundle their seamless weapons and power programs and to cooperate with international monitoring organizations.

Since that time, there's been some confusion as to what exactly the two leaders actually agreed upon. This should be fun to watch.

Meanwhile, I'm hungry and thinking about Indian food...

highest in the west

No wonder high income individuals are leaving California in droves. Wealthy taxpayers fell to 25,000 in 2003, down from 44,000 in 2000, costing my state $9 billion a year in uncollected tax revenues.

Last year, a higher number of people left California--239,416--than the number of people who decided to move here. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that California has the highest business tax rate--8.8%--in the western United States.

Meanwhile, crazy Left wing kooks like Rob Reiner, of whom I wrote about yesterday, are trying to steal even more of my tax money. And Reiner, as chair of the Children and Families Commission, may have illegally authorized spending $23 million to promote his statewide universal pre-schooling propaganda program.

From the WSJ:

"This use of taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars may violate state law preventing taxes from being used to finance campaign activities."

Monday, February 27

totally objective

Look at this image of Bush straight from CBSnews.com. OH YEAH, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS MEDIA BIAS! NO WAY!!!

where's scooter?

You haven't heard much about Cheney's former Chief Of Staff, Scooter Libby, have you?

From what I understand, his legal team is moving forward, crafting a defense, even going so far as to ask Independent Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to specify the damages, if any, suffered by Valerie Plame, who was allegedly 'outed' as a former covert operative of the CIA.

Remember that Libby wasn't charged with outing Plame, which was the initial charge of Fitzgerald. Instead, Libby was indicted on lying to the Grand Jury and to Fitzgerald.

Anyway, Fitzgerald's office has denied providing any information to the Libby legal team on the above question, saying the matter was 'none of Libby's business.'

Also of concern to the team is the perceived reluctance of the White House to release the daily Presidential briefing papers, what the Vice President has referred to as 'The Family Jewels,' because of their highly classified information.

"The very heart of our defense is about the family jewels," said Libby attorney Theodore V. Wells Jr. "We need the notes and the PDBs to put together a story to make the jury believe that his defense is not concocted."

rob reiner

A brewing controversy out here in the People's Republic of California: Left wing Hollywood blowhard Rob Reiner, who chairs the First 5 Commission, an advocacy group promoting universal, tax funded pre-school education for every California child, has discretion over $230 million of tax money, most of which has been used in misleading ad campaigns.

Meathead, in his current capacity, is a holdover from the previous Governor, Gray Davis. Inexplicably, Governor Schwarzennegger could have replaced Reiner as an act of reform upon taking office in 03, but hasn't.

This entire affair has a pungent stench attached to it. Nearly a quarter billion in taxpayer funded advertising, a host of no-bid contracts, and the apparent Hollywood buddy system, alive and well. It is President Bush who is often accused of 'cronyism,' but not the Governator.

Arnold, already much defanged after his reform proposals went down to special election defeat last year and beset by a multitude of other problems in what promises to be a tough re-election year, might very much regret not ditching Reiner, who reportedly is eyeing a run for statewide office himself.

mullah w

This made me smile. Thank you, LL.

cookies or ice cream?

British journalist Con Coughlin has written a great piece about Guantanamo Bay.

The stupid, Leftist press would have you believe that Gitmo is a 'gulag,' a terrible, dungeon-like place, an extension of Abu Ghraib where George Bush is illegally holding a bunch of innocent Arab men. According to Amnesty International and the United Nations and other Leftist groups, these people are being inordinately tortured and abused.

To the critics, I have four little words. Cookies or ice cream?

There are three different categories of detainees at Guantanamo. The 'compliant' are the majority who accept the daily routine and are cooperative. Each prisoner has a personal air-conditioned cell, equipped with a toilet, a sink and an arrow painted on the floor, pointing toward Mecca. They can play games like backgammon and chess or they can study their American taxpayer-provided copy of the Koran. They get two hours of exercise time a day and with their meals.

And they have their choice of ice cream, cookies or peanut butter for desert. Isn't that just terrible, inhumane treatment?

The second detainee category are those who are 'compliant' by cooperating with interrogations. In exchange for said cooperation, not only do they receive all of the above, but extra perks as well, like communal living and playing football or basketball.

These two groups of 'compliant' detainees have been so 'mistreated' they have actually gained weight, and have gotten healthier, since they've been in Cuba. That's not exactly the image the beaten and deprived prisoner many of Leftist persuasion want you to envision.

The third detainee category are the 'non-compliant' detainees, who are known for hunger strikes and throwing 'missiles' of feces and urine at prison guards. According to Coughlin, the response of the guards to these attacks was once an area of controversy.

He writes: "Fearful of a repetition of the prisoner abuse that occurred at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, the guards are under instructions not to retaliate."

Now let's imagine for a moment that you are one of those prison guards. Some guy throws his piss and shit at you but you're not allowed to strike back for fear of being accused of 'abuse' by one of those hypocritical 'human rights' groups. Whom, exactly, is being 'mistreated' here?

Some of these same detainees, as a form of protest, have declined their meals, leading to force-feeding, which has also been criticized by human rights groups and the United Nations.

The rationale of the Left is that the detainees cannot be punished out of concern for their wellbeing but it is perfectly accceptable for these very same detainees to starve themselves to death.

That doesn't make any sense. Particularly because the reason these guys are being detained in the first place is so that they can provide information to the U.S. government about the global machinations of al Qaeda to prevent future terrorist attacks. It doesn't make any sense to mistreat these people. In fact it is in the best interest of the United States to treat these people extremely well so we can extract information from them.

Remember that many Democrats were publicly critical of the Bush Administration's use of Gitmo, but since visiting Camp Delta the calls for closure and the accusations of mistreatment have all been silenced. They simply cannot demagogue this issue any longer.

There is no denying the fact that Guantanamo is well run and that the treatment of the detainees is beyond humane. Do you hear me Tony Blair? The realities of Guantanamo are the exact opposite of the scurrilous myths that have been formulated by the enemies of truth, justice, peace, freedom and democracy.

Sunday, February 26

disrespect

Sunday's NY Sun has a front page piece about the tattered American flags flying around Manhattan.

As the Sun correctly points out, 'Chapter 1 of Title IV of the United States Code says that flags no longer fit for display should be destroyed with dignity.' It will come as no surprise to many of you that courts have ruled that enforcement of the law can infringe upon free speech.

And if you watched even five minutes of the Olympics you undoubtedly noticed the casual, disrespectful attitude of many American athletes as they wrapped themselves in Old Glory. Most of the medal winners didn't place their hands over the hearts during the national anthem. Some American coaches coached foreign athletes, while one idiotic Team USA athlete was spotted wearing a Russian Olympic team sweatshirt.

What the hell has happened to our national pride? Especially in a time like this, when the United States is doing great things around the world on a daily basis? We continue to be the beacon of light and freedom to the entire globe. Every one of us should be proud that we are Americans.

I know one thing: Parents aren't teaching their kids the importance of patriotism like they used to do. Like they should do.

march 15

"Multi-Day Event, Beginning March 15, come when you can and stay as long as you can - we are taking over the White House until they leave. Torture, Occupation, Genocide - Must End Now.

For Nat Turner, For Martin and Coretta, For all the Torture and Assassination in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and many others - We will not allow the Slave Holders that Still Prevail in this Country to Rule us any longer. Imprisonment and torture based on race, religion, resources or region is no different than the slavery we sought to abolish years ago. The Administration is Criminal and if they will not step down, we must storm in.

We are calling on all Member Nations of the U.N., All Representatives and Justices in the World Court and International Criminal Courts, all soldiers and CIA agents and government officials who have been blackmailed by the dictators to incarcerate Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. The Political Cooperative will put a new government in place that is comprised of people from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and all the organizations that have finally made us aware of the truth of the savage practices and illegal policies of our government in assassinating our own officials as well as people throughout the world who oppose their criminal activity."

Fascinating. For more info, check out politicalcooperative.org.

'exaggerated'

A Saturday press conference by the Iraqi government sought to clear the record of inaccurate media coverage in the wake of the Samarra violence. Counter-terrorist methodology was also discussed, including barricades in certain neighborhoods, a ban on the public carrying of arms, schools closed until March 5, and the calling on of all tribes to refrain from violence and to protect the shrines.

From IraqTheModel:

"Mosques attacked/shot at without damage: 21 not 51
Moderately damaged: 6 not 23
Mosques destroyed totally: 1 not 3
Mosques occupied by militias: 1 not 2 (evacuated later).
Civilians killed: 119 not 183

It was also announced that day-time curfew in Baghdad and three other provinces (Salahiddin, Diyala and Babil) will continue for another two days."

"...The interior minister said "we are not going to show tolerance towards those who cause violence anymore, those who felt like doing something have done what they done but we will accept no more of this" obviously referring to those who let their anger push them to violence.

The defense minister added that they are working in the government on activating the counter-terrorism laws which includes "arresting anyone who's found guilty of provoking violence". And added "We have put the armored units of the Iraqi army on high alert and these units (one division+) will be deployed to the streets one we see a real need for that."

It was also reported that "the Iraqi army's armored division prepares for deployment and performs successful maneuvers with live munitions for the first time."

Friday, February 24

calling for iraqi calm

From the AP:

"It appears as though the people have really listened to the government of Iraq as well as their religious leadership in terms of not allowing this to break down into violent acts," said Col. Jeffrey Snow, a U.S. Army brigade commander in Baghdad in a teleconference with Pentagon press."

Thursday, February 23

bloodshed

From the AP:

"Gunmen shot dead 47 civilians and left their bodies in a ditch near Baghdad Thursday as militia battles and sectarian reprisals followed the bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine. Sunni Arabs suspended their participation in talks on a new government."

tivo-proof?

KFC has an anti-TiVo commercial where a message is embedded in the content of the spot. So no more commercial zapping you TiVo freaks.

port responsibilities

consistent

Lost in the atrocious analysis of this port deal, what absolutely nobody is talking about, is that President Bush's hands are tied. The sale of P&O, from a British company to a U.A.E. company, has absolutely nothing to do with Bush or with America's national security.

I don't care about the Democrats are saying. They remain as irrelevant as ever. When Hillary Clinton, a woman with zero credibility and zero integrity, demagogues this issue it only underscores again how unsuitable Liberals are for positions of national leadership.

What I do care very much about is the meritless criticism Bush is absorbing from the Right on this issue because it does nothing but weaken the otherwise strong GOP base and give fuel to a possible insurgency from the Left wing domestic terrorists in an election year, no less.

I heard Laura Ingraham on the radio this morning talking about this U.A.E. port deal in a 'security' context. As if P&O would be responsible for daily operation of these ports in addition to security and checking cargo. That's not what has been proposed.

Our side must get the story straight instead of devolving into hysterical caterwauling, like we did with Harriet Miers.

I'll admit that when news of this story broke, I was ready with a similar knee jerk reaction to oppose this deal. But then I looked at the facts, thought hard about Bush's record on national security and came to support the U.A.E. port deal as currently structured.

Do I wish foreign companies were responsible for the operation of six American shipping ports? No. But that issue was decided long ago.

If the only way to win support of the Arabs around the world is to win their hearts and minds, then let's follow the President's example and reward the U.A.E's good behavior these past four years by awarding P&O this contract. And let's continue to tell Muslims around the globe that America's War on Terror is not a war on Islam. And let's continue to rebuild Iraq, even though it will continue to be a long, hard slog.

Bush should get credit for being consistent, if nothing else.

Wednesday, February 22

'a critical moment for iraq'

Uniform-wearing terrorists blew up the Askariya shrine in Samarra today.

Considered one of the holiest and most revered mosques, the destruction of the Askariya mosque reminds me of the stupidity of a great number of people in Los Angeles, back in 1992, who burned and destroyed large sections of their own communities.

Case in point: These people aren't getting anywhere with this type of behavior--they're just making themselves look like assholes.

Both Iraq's U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, called today's destruction 'a critical moment for Iraq.'

I agree.

It seems that virtually every week another mosque is blown up, each one supposedly 'holier' than the one before. It just goes to show you that the terrorists have so perverted Islam, changed the religion so drastically in their warped minds, that they are willing to use the destruction of one of their own houses of worship as a platform for expressing their anger and hatred.

The words 'civil war' are beginning to be bandied about.

I disagree.

I believe that the true Iraqi patriots and the average Iraqi citizens will be so outraged by the events of today that resisting and defeating terrorism will give them the resolve necessary to beat back the threat of terror. I believe that the concern about individual and collective survival will keep Iraqi's united against the natural and common enemy of the al Qaeda terrorists.

myth

This print ad from the fine folks @ Amnesty International is a complete farce.

Here's what the copy says:

"After the shocking photographs from Abu Ghraib prison were publicized, a few low-ranking personnel were courtmartialed. The people in charge were not. Civilian and military leaders authorized torture, then let their troops take the fall alone. This is a betrayal of America's best values and a violation of our laws.

If we want our laws and values to survive for our children, then we must stand up for them now. Please tell your representatives in Congress you want an independent commission to investigate, demand accountability at all levels, and prevent further abuse."

Only 'a few low-ranking personnel were courtmartialed'? Really?

What about the Commanding Officer of Abu Ghraib, the former Brigadier General Janice Karpinski? Her punishment? Karpinski was demoted to Colonel.

Only an ignorant Left wing kook would consider a Brigadier General 'low-level' personnel.

Here, exposed for all to see, is the tried-and-true modus operandi of the Left. Actively and aggressively advancing myths in the hope that, if they repeat something enough times, it will become fact in the minds of those brain dead Americans who don't follow politics all that closely--i.e., the constituents of the so-called 'Democratic' Party.

even more ports

Let's recognize this port deal controversy for exactly what it is: Politics. The Democrats can't be taken seriously on the issue because it is an election year so it is a given that they are going to take whacks at the Administration on anything and everything.

The Democrats can't be taken seriously on national security because they've attempted to undermine President Bush's counter-terrorism methods in total since shortly after 9/11.

Congressional Republicans can't be taken seriously on the port deal because many of them are in tough re-election battles. They can't afford NOT to break with the President at this point. Some of these same Republicans are considering a run for the Presidency in 08. Perhaps this is an opportunity for people like Bill Frist and George Allen to carve out their own individual political identities.

The fact is that the U.A.E. is an ally with the United States on the War On Terror. Hell, they even caught the perpetrator of the U.S.S. Cole bombing, something that the Clinton Administration didn't even try to do. They've also been extremely helpful in training Iraqi troops. They were one of the earliest countries to join the US container security initiative, which seeks to inspect cargo in foreign ports. U.A.E. leaders have cracked down on terrorist financing and WMD proliferation, making themselves targets for al Qaeda.

The company in question, P&O, under British ownership, has already been operating these same six American ports. Where was the 'concern' for national security then?

Bush isn't just making excuses when he says that prohibiting this port deal to go through would 'send the wrong message to one of our allies.' If this deal is not allowed to go through it will be insulting to the U.A.E. It would be like saying, 'Hey, thanks for your help in combating terror, but because of some Islamophobes in our country, we've gotta kill this deal.' The collective result would be the exact opposite of 'winning hearts and minds' in the Muslim world.

And despite the hysterics of the politicians, nothing will change, in terms of operation, at the ports themselves. From the WSJ:

"Kristie Clemens of U.S. Customs and Border Protection elaborated that "Customs and Border Protection has the sole responsibility for the cargo processing and cargo security, incoming and outgoing. The port authority sets the guidelines for the entire port, and port operators have to follow those guidelines." Again, nothing in the pending deal would affect that arrangement."

After saying all of that we're still left with the fact that the Democrats are playing politics yet again with the national security of the United States.

Tuesday, February 21

more ports

From Drudge:

"Bush called reporters at about 2.30 ET aboard Air Force One to issue a very strong defense of port deal...He said he would veto any legislation to hold up deal and warned the United States was sending 'mixed signals' by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge... Lawmakers, he said, must 'step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard.' Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement... 'I don't view it as a political fight,' Bush said."

is halliburton available?

I'm not quite sure what to make of this port deal, under which a company based in the United Arab Emirates would operate six American shipping ports in Baltimore, Philadephia, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York and Miami.

I trust President Bush implicitly, but on the surface it sounds incredibly imprudent. National security is national security. It transcends politics, but why even risk the appearance, or give the impression of, weakening national security?

From a political standpoint, why give the Democrats an opening on the GOP's strongest issue? It doesn't make any sense.

Perhaps this is some type of strategic partnership between the United States and the U.A.E. That might explain Bush's position. Remember, the contract is for operation of the ports ONLY, not for security or for inspection. Nothing really will change.

If the Administration is saying 'Look, here's a company, P&O, that specializes in ports or ports management, and they are the ONLY company that can do what they do,' then fine, I'll support the plan. But if P&O is like a bunch of other American companies that all do the same thing, then I think Bush should say 'ixnay on the U.A.E.'

If you know nothing else about the plan know this: Jimmy Carter supports it. But here's my question. Can Halliburton can do the work?

Monday, February 20

'new energy technology'

From the AP:

"Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would "startle" most Americans, President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil."

"One of Bush's proposals would expand research into smaller, longer-lasting batteries for electric-gas hybrid cars, including plug-ins. He highlighted that initiative with a visit Monday to the battery center at Milwaukee-based auto-parts supplier Johnson Controls Inc."

"During his trip, Bush is also focusing on a proposal to increase investment in development of clean electric power sources, and proposals to speed the development of biofuels such as "cellulosic" ethanol made from wood chips or sawgrass."

"Our nation is on the threshold of new energy technology that I think will startle the American people," Bush said. "We're on the edge of some amazing breakthroughs - breakthroughs all aimed at enhancing our national security and our economic security and the quality of life of the folks who live here in the United States."

zero coverage

Since ABC aired the Brian Ross story regarding those 'secret' Saddam audio tapes on February 13, there's been next to no MSM coverage. In a perfect world, of course, the American press would present the news without editorializing, rather than the world we actually live in where the press reviles Bush to the extent that they won't report the truth about Iraq.

IntelligenceSummit.org is an interesting site will the actual audio files of the Hussein audio tapes (as well as a sister PowerPoint presentation) available for download.

Sunday, February 19

privatize

Whenever I see an ad for the US Post Office, I get so pissed off. It's not like there's a mail shortage. Do Americans REALLY need to be reminded to use the USPS?

These ads only remind me that the Post Office is one of the most inefficient enterprises in the history of mankind. They've lost so much ground in recent history to Fed Ex and to UPS, two extremely well-run private companies, they have to pay an advertising agency $70 million dollars a year to rebrand themselves and expand their service offerings just to be relevant.

Why don't we follow the Japanese plan and privatize?

'the next cool thing on hbo'

An original series about polygamy? I can't wait til March 12.

'Big Love' airs right after the season premiere of 'The Sopranos.'

Saturday, February 18

it's the tax cuts, stupid

Newt Gingrich, policy wonk extraordinaire, gets the midterm elections exactly Right in the weekend edition of the WSJ:

"From a Republican perspective they've got to be strongly in favor of passing the tax cuts permanently. And I think this goes back to the question of who votes in an off-year election. Our base are the people who work and pay taxes. Our base cares about abolishing the death tax permanently and it cares about extending the tax cuts." And then the kicker: "If our base sees that it can't rely on a Republican Congress to do something that's profoundly Republican, I think there's a grave danger." He spells it out: Come fall, "people will just stay home."

Friday, February 17

1992-2006









Our eyes met, and I instantly loved her.

Not just any ordinary love. A different kind of love. A love of devotion. Of commitment. The kind of love that never dies.

My best girl, 'my fuzzy buddy,' my 'sugar plum.' Pepper, my black labrador, died yesterday. She was 13 and she was really somebody.

I can't believe she's gone.

Wednesday, February 15

'pulling the trigger'

"Ultimately I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry," Cheney said in his first interview since the incident. "I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend, and that's something I'll never forget."

cellphone backup

CellStik is a cool new product from Spark Technology that allows cell phone users to backup their contacts and address books without cables or computer drivers.

Newly supported phones include:

LG C1500

Samsung A570

Samsung A840

Motorola V300 (my phone!)

Motorola V400

Motorola V557

LG VX6000

The only rub? The CellStik is incompatible with Mac. Bollocks!

timeline

From the WSJ:

"• 5:30 p.m., Saturday (all times Central Standard Time). Mr. Cheney sprays Harry Whittington with birdshot, and the Secret Service immediately informs local police. Who is Harry Whittington and whom does he lobby for? Does he know Scooter Libby?

• 6:30 p.m. White House Chief of Staff Andy Card informs President Bush that there's been a hunting accident involving the Vice President's party. Did Mr. Bush ask followup questions? Was he intellectually curious?

• 7 p.m. Karl Rove tells Mr. Bush that it is Mr. Cheney who did the shooting. Why was this detail withheld for a full 30 minutes from the President? Who else did Mr. Rove talk to about this in the interim? Was Valerie Plame ever mentioned?

• 5 a.m., Sunday. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan learns that Mr. Cheney is the shooter. He also fails to alert the media. Did he rush to write talking points or fall back to sleep?

• 11 a.m. Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch where the shooting took place, blows the story sky-high by giving the news to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. According to Ms. Armstrong, Mr. Cheney told her to do what she thought made sense. Has Ms. Armstrong ever worked for Halliburton?

• 1:30 p.m. The Texas paper posts the story on its Web site, after calling the Veep's office for confirmation. Everyone involved confirms more or less everything, or so the official line goes. Their agreement is very suspicious.

• 1:27 p.m., Monday. Mr. McClellan finally holds a press conference and gets grilled. One reporter actually asks (and we're not making this one up), "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"

'saddam tapes'

Bill Tierney, a former member of a United Nations inspection team, has given ABC News 12 hours of video tapes from the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. On the tapes, Hussein is heard discussing future terrorism on American soil, as well as the existence of Iraqi WMD.

"'Because of my experience being in the inspections and being in the military, I knew the significance of these tapes when I heard them,' says Tierney."

ABC will broadcast portions of the tape tonight.

lobbying dollars

The WSJ has a fascinating report about the money spent on lobbying the Federal Government.

The largest lobbying organization was the American Association of Retired People (AARP) which spent nearly $28 million during the first half of 05 to defeat President Bush's Social Security reform and several tort-reform issues.

In distant second place was General Electric, which spent nearly $14 million on issues like asbestos-litigation overhaul and tax policy and an additional $6.3 million on Social Security and tort reform.

Social Security is broken, to be sure, but no one of these old farts wants to ensure that the program will be solvent for the long term. As long as todays' selfish old geezers get their money, they could care less about what will be left over for my generation when we hit 65.

No wonder I'm so conflicted on the euthanasia issue.

Tuesday, February 14

cheney shoots a lawyer

I'll admit to the fact that I laughed when I first heard about the Dick Cheney hunting accident.

Harry Whittington failed to inform the other members of his hunting group of his exact location. It's Whittington's fault he was shot. Period. End of story.

But what's really funny about this story is the reaction of the MSM after being informed of the accident some 20 hours late. NBC's David Gregory shouting at Scott McClellan? C'mon!

dark

Have you taken a good look at the eyes of Al Gore lately? They are black. Dark. Scary. The man has clearly lost his mind, he's crazy. He's angry. He's possessed. The transformation from lightweight statesman to mental lunatic has taken six years, but it is now complete.

Investor's Business Daily takes Gore to task for his anti-American screed in Saudi Arabia.

This sums it up perfectly:

"The ex-vice president once felt entitled to move unimpeded into the Oval Office. Unhinged by the 2000 electoral debacle, he has forgotten the meaning of 'loyal opposition.' Now his only entitlement is disgrace."

Monday, February 13

mccain

I am NOT a John McCain fan. I hated his platform back in 2000, especially the little known part about forbidding corporations to write off advertising and marketing costs as a business expense.

I'm not a fan because I think McCain is, at best, nothing more than a publicity whore. He spends a majority of his time in press avails, talking about himself as a 'straight talker.' McCain, is out for McCain, which is what differentiates him from Bush and Cheney, neither of whom need public service as validation.

I'm not a fan because I think the man lacks good judgment, as evidenced by McCain Feingold, which is both naive and unconstitutional. And McCain's position on torture is not only naive, it should rightfully disqualify him from the Presidency. Telling our enemies what we can and cannot do to them in a time of war, particularly when it comes to extracting life-saving information during interrogations, is absurd.

And I'm not a McCain fan because every Liberal I know loves McCain. That's enough of a red flag for me.

McCain, nonetheless, is hard at work attempting to repair his image among his fellow Republicans. He's 'building alliances,' mending fences with conservatives, pressing the flesh, taking lunches with Governors, making pilgrimages to battleground states and filling key staff positions, like Bush media guru Mark McKinnon, all in preparation for 08.

One senior Bush 2004 advisor says of McCain: "I thought he would be a contender and a good general election nominee, but a year ago I would not have thought I would be seriously considering being with him. Now I am."

And this from the WaPo: "A number of Republicans loyal to Bush now see McCain as perhaps best positioned to continue the president's national security policies."

big labor

I received this poll over the weekend from the National Right to Work Foundation:

Take the poll and post your answers.

1. Should big labor be allowed to use the pension money of its members to lobby Congress?
Yes, No or Unsure?

2. Do you think that union political activity funded by forced dues has made the left-wing movement in America stronger?
Yes, No or Unsure?

3. Do you agree with Big Labor's practice of using the mandatory dues of union members to pay for influencing political campaigns?
Yes, No or Unsure?

4. Would you support a federal law forcing union bosses to publicly disclose the total amount of mandatory dues spent each year on lobbying and political action?
Yes, No or Unsure?

5. In your view, should union members have a vote in deciding which political candidates their unions endorse?
Yes, No or Unsure?

6. Do you agree with attack ads paid for in part by Big Labor that accuse President Bush of trying to destroy Social Security?
Yes, No or Unsure?

7. Do you believe that public employees such a police and firefighters should be forced to join labor unions?
Yes, No or Unsure?

8. Do you believe that labor unions should fund political goals with voluntary contributions--just like every other private organization in America?
Yes, No or Unsure?

live from saudi arabia...

I'd like to take a moment and recognize the savvy political analysis, the impeccable timing, the erudition of Al Gore.

The former Vice President on Sunday delivered a speech from Saudi Arabia where he accused the United States of mistreating Muslims. Interestingly, this is the very same Saudi Arabia that mistreats its own citizens, who just happen to be Muslims. This is the very same country, Saudi Arabia, that forbids women to drive cars.

Gore speeches are like nuclear winter for the Democrats.

On behalf of a grateful nation, Al, thank you. Thank you for guaranteeting a momentous Republican 2006 midterm election victory.

Saturday, February 11

private sector

Privatizing the United Nations? Sounds like a great idea.

Eliminating several layers of unnecessary bureaucracy at the UN? Exactly. Cut deep, too.

Award tasks by merit, rather than geography? Exactly.

And let's eliminate this ridiculous Human Rights Commission while we're at it. The mere fact that human rights-abusing nations like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Togo, Egypt, China and Zimbabwe are members of this Commission prove the UN's non-commitment to stemming human rights abuses worldwide.

Fortunately John Bolton is finally in place in New York and is attempting to lead an effort to move the UN towards the efficiency of a private company, and relegating the position of UN deputy secretary general into a type of chief operating officer.

'protecting the court'

Here's the piece from WaPo that provides further depth on the previous post.

Some FISA judges apparently believe, when it comes to counter-terrorism, the 'protection of the FISA court' takes precedence over the protection of the country. At least that appears to be the belief of U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is the current presiding judge of the FISA court, which issues wiretapping warrants.

bad law

This is the reason why we can't rely on FISA as a counter-terrorism tool. From the WSJ:

"We'd like to thank the Washington Post for publishing a story yesterday that so quickly proved our editorial point of the same day about the folly of putting judges in control of national security decisions. That's what we call service.

The front-page story reported that on rare occasion the Bush Administration has used information from the NSA's warrantless foreign-linked wiretaps to seek domestic wiretapping authority from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This was said to have upset chief FISA judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, and the tenor of the story is that this is one more example of how the warrantless wiretaps are an abuse of power. But the better question is, Who elected Ms. Kollar-Kotelly?

The story's real news is that Judge Kollar-Kotelly, and her predecessor Judge Royce Lamberth, took it upon themselves to erect a new "wall" concerning how intelligence is to be used to protect America. They decided that pertinent information gleaned from a warrantless wiretap should never be used later to justify a domestic warrant. But why not? If a tip gathered from an email from Pakistan leads to suspicion about an American-based contact, what's wrong with using that news to get a legal warrant to track that suspect in the U.S.? It might even prevent a domestic attack.

In any event, why is an unelected judge such as Ms. Kollar-Kotelly making these decisions? Under the Constitution, those calls ought to be made by the President, who swears to defend the U.S. and can be held accountable by the voters if he fails. Under the current FISA court process, Judge Kollar-Kotelly answers essentially to no one.

GOP Senator Arlen Specter is saying he wants to write legislation putting even more power in the hands of FISA judges. This isn't merely unconstitutional. As the Post story shows, in a world of WMD and fast-moving transnational terrorists, it's dangerous."

'i don't michael moore it'

The Guardian has an interesting interview with George Clooney.

Friday, February 10

surplus

The Federal Government posted, according to Reuters, 'a surprisingly big' $21 billion budget surplus for January.

That Bush is such an idiot.

Thursday, February 9

truth is art

Courtesy of 'The Study Of Revenge.'

hypocritical democrats

So much for the notion that the Jack Abramoff affair is 'a Republican scandal,' as Harry Reid, the Senate's top Democrat, has repeatedly claimed.

It turns out that Reid aided Abramoff's clients. If Reid wasn't benefiting from a relationship with Abramoff in some way why would be do ANYTHING on behalf of the disgraced lobbyists' clients? Here's the short answer: He wouldn't.

Reid would be wise to stop casting aspersions on Republicans for the sake of scoring political points ahead of the midterm elections, especially since the evidence against Reid being 'on the take' is a lot more damning than any of the supposed evidence against DeLay.

Some examples: Reid's chief of staff went to Malaysia on Abramoff's dime. Abramoff hired one of Reid's legislative aides as a lobbyist and then that aide held a Reid fundraiser at Abramoff's firm. Reid intervened at least five times to help Abramoff's Indian tribal clients. Reid has received an estimated $68,000 from Abramoff-related activities, money that he has, so far, refused to return.

I have an idea. Let's stipulate that Democrats are just as guilty of using lobbyists for their own personal gain as the Republicans are. Then we can drop this ridiculous blame game and figure out the best way to reform the system to ensure that the minimum amount of money influences the legislative process going forward. I know we can't eliminate all the money from politics, but we can minimize it.

foiled

President Bush, out on the stump again today, explaining to all that will listen that his methods for protecting the country from terrorism are necessary and legal and yielding results.

"The terrorists are weakened and fractured, yet they're still lethal," the president said in a speech at the National Guard Memorial Building. "We cannot let the fact that America hasn't been attacked in 41/2 years since September the 11th lull us into the illusion that the threats to our nation have disappeared. They have not."

Bush discussed three foiled al Qaeda plots, one in October 2001 involving Asian men, rather than men of Middle Eastern descent, who planned to crash a hijacked plane into the 1,017 foot tall Library Tower, the highest skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles.

The second plot was foiled in mid-2003, when authorities learned of a al Qaeda plan to use hijacked planes to attack cities on the East Coast.

Then there is the case of Jose Padilla, an American citizen who has become a rallying point for the radical American Left. Fortunately, Padilla's plot to blow up a dirty bomb in an major American city never materialized, due to the Bush Administration's aggressive counter-terrorism methods. Padilla, classified as an enemy combatant, remains in custody without bail.

Thanks for taking your job seriously Mr. President.

grammys


Here's something I don't understand. How can the Grammy's recognize work that, in some cases, is two years old? Green Day and U2, both of whom were honored last night for records that came out in 04.

I guess I'm just stuck on the Oscar method of awarding film released within the last 12 months.

About the broadcast. I really enjoyed the Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Paul McCartney performance. Very cool. I also was impressed by the style and grace of Bono and the boys. They seem now to be the elder statesment of music, which couldn't be more appropriate because they are such classy gents.

Wednesday, February 8

'clueless, classless'

I see the NY Post is echoing my comments about Jimmy Carter in a blistering op-ed today.

"Jimmy Carter may or may not have been the worst president of the 20th century — history will have the final word on that — but his disgraceful performance yesterday at Coretta Scott King's funeral marks him as the most shameless."

Regarding Carter's critcism of the NSA wiretapping program:

"...had Carter made better use of electronic surveillance back in his day, 52 Americans might have been spared 444 days of Iranian captivity. (Indeed, the world might well have been spared the Iranian revolution — and the current nuclear crisis — had Carter been up to the job.)"

Re: The time honored practice of ex Presidents not criticizing their successors:

"There was a time when former presidents did not publicly attack their successors, but that respect long ago went by the wayside as far as Carter, America's national scold, is concerned."

And re: Carter's shameless use of Mrs. King's funeral to seek to embarrass the sitting President:

"To be sure, Mrs. King probably would have agreed with the sentiments — though she was far too gracious to openly insult a president of the United States to his face.

Not Jimmy Carter.

No clue.

No class.

Some things never change."

leahy the leaker

Nice guy, this Pat Leahy. The Senior Senator from Vermont resigned his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1987 after he was accused of leaking classified information about Iran and Libya to a reporter.

An op-ed in yesterday's Investor's Business Daily does a valuable public service by telling the truth about Leahy's efforts to hamstring the intelligence community in

In 2000, Leahy blocked reforms that would have made it easier for the FBI to monitor terrorist suspects. Why? Because he and other key Democrats didn't want the FBI 'spying' on the Muslim community.
From IBD:

"In 1985, Leahy threatened in a letter to the CIA to disclose details of a top secret plan to undermine the government of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. A few weeks later details of the plan found their way into The Washington Post.

"Then he leaked a draft report on Iran-Contra to an NBC reporter. At the time he was vice chairman of the intelligence panel. In resigning his post in shame in 1987, he maintained that he didn't breach national security. He did admit, however, that he "carelessly" let the reporter "examine the unclassified draft and to be alone with it."

Why isn't Leahy in jail? Why is he still in the Senate? Imagine if a Republican had done similar things? The 'objective' press would never stop banging that drum. But if a Democrat endangers National Security, not only is it perfectly permissible, but it gets swept under the rug.

There really is something to nicknames. Mine, for example, is 'Yoda.' Not sure why. I'm smart? I'm short? I wear a lot of green? Who knows? The people who know Pat Leahy best call him 'Leaky Leahy.'

I wonder if this slug could have had anything to do with leaking the existence of the once secret NSA wiretapping/counter-terrorism program?

Tuesday, February 7

no virgins, no jihad











These are the OFFENDING cartoons, originally published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten. You can really see why there's so much outrage, especially the part about 'running out of virgins.' That's the ENTIRE radical Islamic sales pitch, right there, out the window.
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