Monday, July 31

joe & cindy

My buddy John Fund thinks that next week's primaries in Connecticut and Georgia will tell us just how powerful the hard Left of the so-called 'Democratic' party will be going into the '06 midterms.

I think I already know the answer. Not very.

At the moment the conventional wisdom is that Joe Lieberman is going down to defeat to upstart and MoveOn darling Ned Lamont. At least that's what Bob Shrum thinks. To me that guarantees a Lieberman victory.

Shrum has dog poo for political instincts. He ran the '04 Kerry campaign and was famously the guy who, believing the early exit polling, asked Kerry 'May I be the first to call you Mr. President?'

Besides, as Fund opines, Lamont 'peaked too soon' and even though he leads in polls 51% to 47%, that's well within the margin of error. So look for a Lieberman win.Down in Georgia incumbent Cynthia McKinney is in real trouble. Since striking a Capitol Hill police officer she's been ducking debates and her main competitor, former county commissioner Hank Johnson has opened up a 15 point lead in new polling. Even the Liberal hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, is criticizing her "loopy antics" while decrying her habit of "recklessly playing the race card."

Purging McKinney would be a great cleansing for the Democratic party. The good people of Atlanta deserve to have their interests represented by a serious person not a juvenile clown.

'cowards'



I'm surprised (but glad) to see that UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland called those Hezbollah who operate among civilians 'cowards.' And I'm glad that Hezbollah is finally beginning to face (some) criticism for using innocent civilians as "human shields."

From the Australian Herald Sun:

"This is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon's battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia."

"Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon."

"Hezbollah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets," said a Melbourne man, who took the above photos, and asked not to be identified.

"Until the Hezbollah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was totally devastated. It was carnage. Two innocent people died in that incident, but it was so lucky it was not more."

What does this then say about the supposed human carnage at Qana? Can we really take the word of Hezbollah that Israel 'slaughtered' 54 Lebanese civilians? Perhaps the airstrike at Qana resulted in a smaller number of civilian dead, but certainly not as high a number as 54. And what does that then tell us about the tactics of Hezbollah and other similiar terror groups operating around the world, using civilian deaths to win public relations victories?

newsflash

Forgive me for laughing, but the AP is only today reporting that guards at Guantanamo Bay are routinely abused by detainees:

"The prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay during the war on terror have attacked their military guards hundreds of times, turning broken toilet parts, utensils, radios and even a bloody lizard tail into makeshift weapons, Pentagon reports say."

"Incident reports reviewed by The Associated Press indicate Military Police guards are routinely head-butted, spat upon and doused by "cocktails" of feces, urine, vomit and sperm collected in meal cups by the prisoners."

"They've been repeatedly grabbed, punched or assaulted by prisoners who reach through the small "bean holes" used to deliver food and blankets through cell doors, the reports say. Serious assaults requiring medical attention, however, are rare, the reports indicate."

"The detainee "reached under the face mask of an IRF (Initial Reaction Force) team member's helmet and scratched his face, attempting to gouge his eyes," states a May 27, 2005, report on an effort to remove a recalcitrant prisoner from his cell."

Here's a newsflash: The detainees at Gitmo are dangerous criminals, as President Bush has always claimed.

'the fighting will continue'

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that the Israeli offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon would continue "in the air, at sea and on land."

"The fighting will continue," Olmert said. "There will be no cease-fire."

Thank God someone in Israeli leadership finally understands that cease fires don't work. Terrorists don't abide by cease fires. The only way to deal with terrorists is to kill them.

Sunday, July 30

48 hours

It appears that Israel is bowing to pressure from the 'international community' in the wake of the killing of 54 civilians in Qana earlier today and has announced a two day suspension of airstrikes against southern Lebanon, unless it witnesses continued Hezbollah activity along the northern Israeli border.

Never mind that all residents of Qana -- a Hezbollah stronghold -- were warned to leave. Never mind that the Israeli miltary has video of Hezbollah fighters firing rockets and then hiding in civilians areas. Never mind that the Israeli military leadership is disputing whether they are even responsible for the deaths of 54 civilians. Never mind that the building in question collapsed eight hours after an Israeli airstrike. Nothing Israel does is acceptable in the eyes of the international community.

From YNetNews.com:

"The attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear," Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force Headquarters told journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, following the incidents at Qana."

President Bush should request some national television time tomorrow night and say something like this:

"My fellow Americans. Tonight I would like to congratulate the nation of Israel for advancing the ideal of freedom and democracy in the broader Middle East by cutting off the head of Hezbollah, one of the world's most brutal and insidious terrorist networks."

"The long standing policy of my Administration has been that those nations that harbor terrorists are no better than the terrorists themselves. It is the case that Lebanon, for thirty years, has been the host country to Hezbollah. And it is also no secret that the Republic of Iran is Hezbollah's single greatest benefactor."

"Tonight I call upon Iran to withdraw its support of Hezbollah. Withdraw all manpower, all weapons, and all financial backing in a transparent manner, one in which the international community can be certain once and for all that Hezbollah has been defeated, that a lasting and permanent peace between Israel and her neighbors might be given a fair chance."

"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given me assurances that once Hezbollah has been disarmed, Israel will cease all military operation against Lebanon."

qana

Hezbollah has repeatedly launched rockets from the village of Qana, Lebanon into northern Israel. Today, an Israeli airstrike crushed a building in Qana, killing 56, the deadliest attack thus far in the conflict.

"Why are they killing us? What have we done?" screamed Khalil Shalhoub, who was helping pull out the dead until he saw his brother's body taken out on a stretcher. The dead included at least 34 children and 12 adult women, security officials said."

Um, you're harboring terrorists? That's what you've done.

Keep decimating Hezbollah. Keep going. Keep fighting. Don't stop.

Saturday, July 29

gift

The sunday NYT is reporting that the US State Department agency in charge of reconstruction money for Iraq used an 'accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress.'

According to a federal audit released late friday found that 'the agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.'

Everyday I read about fraud and theft as it relates to the rebuilding of schools and hospitals in Iraq. 'Contractor overhead,' and 'increased construction costs,' are just as common there as here. Everyone is on the take. Some mistakes have obviously been made in the process, but does this story warrant this misleading headline?

"U.S. Hid Cost of Iraq Projects." Yes sir, all wrapped up and tied with a pretty decorative ribbon, yet another election year gift to the Democrats from 'The Newspaper of Record,' that paragon of fair and objective reporting, the fishwrap work product of Liberal hack Bill Keller.

keep fighting

Today the UN called for a three day truce in the Israeli/Hezbollah war, which, of course, would do nothing but help the terrorists.

The official idea behind the truce, ostensibly, is that the three days would be used to send aid to Southern Lebanon and to remove the dead. What the pacifists don't understand is that these three days would also be used by Hezbollah, the 'Party of God' (aided by Iran and Syria) to regroup, rest and re-arm.

"It's been horrific...There is something fundamentally wrong with the war, where there are more dead children than armed men," said UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland.

Again with the dead children. Remember that leaflets were dropped, warning people to leave before any and all Israeli airstrikes. To the extent that there are dead children in Lebanon it is the fault of the cowards of Hezbollah, who like al Qaeda, uses civilians as human shields. Terrorists hide in civilian populations because they know they will be safe and protected because of Liberal politics and corrupt diplomats like Egeland and Kofi Annan, both of whom sat idly by as 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda.

If we as a society are truly serious about eradicating terrorism from planet earth, we are going to have to come to terms with the loss of civilian life. This squeamishness about the reality of war and the tactics of the enemy is ridiculous and counter-productive to winning.

Pictured above is the mayor of Baalbek, Lebanon walking through the Roman ruins of his town.

Friday, July 28

khaibar-1

Hezbollah fired a new longer range Iranian-made rocket into Israel. The Khaibar-1, hit Afula, an Israeli town 10 miles south of Haifa.

Pictured above, an Israeli firefighter works to extinguish a blaze close to the Israel/Lebanon border.

dow up 118.87

From the AP:

"Major U.S. stock indexes climbed more than 1 percent Friday on optimism the Federal Reserve may soon be done raising interest rates after data showed the economy slowed more than expected in the second quarter. Also, gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 2.5 percent at an annual rate in April-June after soaring 5.6 percent in the first quarter, the government said. Economists had forecast a rise in GDP of 3 percent."

tony

Prime Minister Blair is back in DC for another joint press event with President Bush today. The topics: UN resolutions, quelling the violence between Israel and Hezbollah, plus Lebanon, Iran and Condi Rice's second trip back to the Middle East tomorrow.

proximity

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah is said to be "hiding out" at the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

From the Washington Times:

"U.S. officials confirmed the existence of intelligence reports about Sheik Nasrallah hiding in a Beirut embassy after Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper reported Wednesday that the Hezbollah leader was thought to be in the Iranian Embassy. The newspaper, quoting intelligence officials, said Sheik Nasrallah has set up an operations center in an embassy basement that is coordinating Hezbollah attacks."

Thursday, July 27

'backlash'

Insight Magazine, quoting conservative allies of President Bush like Newt Gingrich and Richard Perle as being concerned that Secretary of State Condi Rice is 'incompetent.'

This group has urged Bush to move Rice out of the State Department and back to a senior advisory role.

Newt Gingrich said:

"We are sending signals today that no matter how much you provoke us, no matter how viciously you describe things in public, no matter how many things you're doing with missiles and nuclear weapons, the most you'll get out of us is talk."

Richard Perle:

"Condoleezza Rice has moved from the White House to Foggy Bottom, a mere mile or so away," Perle wrote in a June 25 Op-Ed article in the Washington Post that has been distributed throughout conservative and national security circles. "What matters is not that she is further removed from the Oval Office; Rice's influence on the president is undiminished. It is, rather, that she is now in the midst of—and increasingly represents—a diplomatic establishment that is driven to accommodate its allies even when (or, it seems, especially when) such allies counsel the appeasement of our adversaries."

Some criticize Rice for being ignorant of the Middle East, for relying far too much on Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, the architect of US foreign policy, and believing the solution to all problems in the region can be solved by applying differing amounts of pressure on Israel -- most recently Rice bucked the President by urging Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to show 'restraint' against Hezbollah/Lebanon.

There is an expectation within the White House, according to this Insight report, that Rice will be reassigned 'in the wake' of the midterm elections.

"By that time even Mr. Bush will recognize the failure of relying solely on diplomacy in the face of Iran's nuclear weapons program. At that point, Rice will be openly blamed and Bush will have a very hard time defending her," said a GOP source with close ties to the administration."

Rice is dealing with Iran in an constructive way. Obviously the outcome of the Israeli eradication of Hezbollah is going to have an enormous effect on the region. If Rice is pressuring Israel to go easy on Lebanon, she's wrong. US policy should be focused on encouraging Israel to fire at will on Southern Lebanon, collateral damage be damned. Wiping out Hezbollah will improve the health of the entire region.

Re: Gingrich & Perle...keep in mind Newt's running for President and needs a forum. Rice is an easy target. Perle is auditioning for a post in the next Republican Administration, taking office in early '09.

'iraq is free, and the terrorists cannot stand this'

It is important to read the entire Maliki speech. It doesn't comport at all with what the Daily Kos drones tell you, it doesn't agree with the comments of Arianna Huffington or John Kerry or Jack Murtha. When you read Prime Minister Maliki's comments you'll realize what an idiot Cindy Sheehan is and how wrong the Democrats, and the MSM, have been about what's really going on in Iraq:

"This is the new Iraq, which is emerging from the ashes of dictatorship and despite the carnage of extremists, a country which respects international conventions and practices noninterference in the internal affairs of others, relies on dialogue to resolve differences, and strives to develop strong relations with every country that espouses freedom and peace."

"We are working diligently so that Iraq returns to take the position it deserves and it plays a positive role in its regional and international environment as a key, active player in spreading security and stability, to give an example of positive relationship between countries through denouncement of violence and resorting to constructive dialogue, solving problems between nations and peoples."

"And we have made progress. And we are correcting the damage inflicted by politics of the previous regime, in particular with our neighbors."

"My presence here is a testament of the new politics of a democratic Iraq."

"Ladies and gentlemen, in a short space of time, Iraq has gone from a dictatorship to a transitional administration, and now to a fully fledged democratic government."

"This has happened despite the best efforts of the terrorists who are bent on either destroying democracy or Iraq, but by the courage of our people who defied the terrorists every time they were called upon to make a choice, by risking their lives for the ballot box. They have stated over and over again, with their ink-stained fingers waving in pride, that they will always make the same choice."

"The transformation in Iraq can sometimes be forgotten in the daily, futile violence."

"Since liberation, we have witnessed great accomplishments in politics, the economy and civil society. We have gone from a one-party state, ruled by a small elite, to a multi-party system where politics is the domain of every citizen and parties compete at all levels."

"What used to be a state-controlled media is now completely free and uncensored, something Iraq had never witnessed since its establishment as a modern state and something which remains alien to most of the region."

"What used to be a command economy in Iraq, we are rapidly transforming into a free market economy."

"In the past three years, our GDP per capita has more than doubled. And it is expected that our economy will continue to grow. Standards of living have been raised for most Iraqis as the markets witness an unprecedented level of prosperity. Many individuals are buying products and appliances which they would never have hoped to afford in the past."

"And, in keeping with our economic vision of creating a free market economy, we will be presenting to parliament legislation which will lift current restrictions on foreign companies and investors who wish to come to Iraq."

"While we are making great economic strides, the greatest transformation has been on Iraqi society."

"We have gone from mass graves and torture chambers and chemical weapons to a flourishing -- to the rule of law and human rights."

"The human rights and freedoms embodied in the new Iraq and consolidated in the constitution have provided a fertile environment for the ever-growing number of civil society institutions which are increasing in scope and complexity and provide a healthy reflection of what is developing beneath the violence."

"The rights chartered in the constitution will also help consolidate the role of women in public life as equals to men."

"And help them to play a greater role in political life."

"I am proud to say that a quarter of Iraq's Council of Representatives is made up of women, but we still have much to accomplish."

"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, our nascent democracy faces numerous challenges and impediments, but our resolve is unbreakable and we will overcome them."

"The greatest threat Iraq's people face is terror: terror inflicted by extremists who value no life and who depend on the fear their wanton murder and destruction creates."

"They have poured acid into Iraq's dictatorial wounds and created many of their own."

"Iraq is free, and the terrorists cannot stand this."

"They hope to undermine our democratically elected government through the random killing of civilians. They want to destroy Iraq's future by assassinating our leading scientific, political and community leaders. Above all, they wish to spread fear."

"Do not think that this is an Iraqi problem. This terrorist front is a threat to every free country in the world and their citizens. What is at stake is nothing less than our freedom and liberty."

more hezbollah

Bill Roggio at CounterTerrorism Blog writes about Hezbollah:

"The Israelis targeted the town of Bint Jubayl with the hope of obtaining further intelligence on Hezbollah's organization and capabilites, as well as the location of their two captured soldiers. The documents and computer seized by the IDF may outline Hezbollah's command and organizational structure in southern Lebanon, although this is unknown at this time. Israeli intelligence is currently analyzing the data."

"The Israelis have confirmed that Hezbollah is fighting like a professional military. Their units are fighting at the company level at the least (Unit size of approximately 100 men), and perhaps in larger formations. Intelligence also confirms there is specialization within the Hezbollah units, including trained infantry, mortar teams, missile squads, and logistical personal. Iran has trained and organized Hezbollah's army into something far more deadly than a militia force. Hezbollah's core 'active' army is estimated at 3,000 - 5,000, with as many as 50,000 part time militia and support personnel that can be called upon to fight (20,000 is the average estimate)."

"Intelligence sources also have confirmed that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force have indeed been killed during the fighting in southern Lebanon."

Israeli troops have also "seized Hezbollah computers, documents and monitoring devices used to observe the Israeli border, in addition to the "electronic surveillance equipment, weapons and communication devices made in Iran," Roggio says.

fear, strength, respect

A new CBS poll finds that 60% of the world's leaders don't respect President Bush.

This is CBS, so I automatically question the results and the methodology of this poll. A majority of world leaders don't 'respect' Bush but they certainly fear him, they fear American force and strength and they fear and remain envious of America's place in the world. Fear and respect are both synonymous with reverence.

Blair respects Bush. As does Canada's Harper. As does Australia's Howard. As does Israel's Olmert, but he doesn't count (in the world's eyes) because he's Jewish. Putin certainly respects Bush, as does Germany's Merkel. Chirac doesn't, but he doesn't count (in my eyes) because he's French.

World leaders understand that when Bush speaks he means what he says and he always does what he promises to do, rare qualities in the world of politics.

contradiction

DNC Chairman Howard Dean criticized Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as an 'anti-Semite,' yesterday because of his refusal to condemn Hezbollah. Maliki has instead called for the end of the Israeli 'aggression' against Lebanon.

Howie knows all about being an 'anti-semite.' Here he is back in '04 campaigning in Iowa, wearing a Palestinian kaffiya, which signifies allegiance to Al Fatah, the Palestinian movement founded by Yassar Arafat.

Back to Maliki. Yesterday he was in DC to visit Bush and to address Congress, a rare honor afforded to foreign leaders. Some Democrats, like Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Gary Ackerman, Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi, protested the speech.

From FoxNews.com:

"Maliki did not denounce Hezbollah, a terrorist organization or repudiate amnesty for Iraqis who killed Americans soldiers. Therefore, I won't be attending,” Schumer said."

"I am not ready to honor Prime Minister al-Maliki in the chamber of the House of Representatives until I have some very serious questions answered by him," Boxer said in a statement. "When will he be able to take over the security of his own country so that American soldiers may leave?"

One wonders if Boxer is going to ever learn how to ask an intelligent question. NOBODY knows when Iraq is going to be "ready." Maliki doesn't know. Bush doesn't know. We are only going to be able to leave when the conditions on the ground improve to the point that terrorists lack the ability to overthrow the democratically-elected Maliki government. Otherwise, all of our efforts in Iraq to date will have been wasted.

The simpleton Democrats don't understand that.

I have been extremely critical of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), but to his credit he questioned Maliki directly after the speech if he believed Hezbollah was a terrorist organization. Somewhat arrogantly, Maliki refused to answer the question and even questioned Durbin's 'right' to ask the question.

This is all legitimate debate, but I don't believe you can fault Maliki for what he said about the current Israeli conflict. It is unreasonable to expect him to be pro-Israel. He's got to appeal to Iraqis, and they are Arab after all, so that means they are pro-Palestinian. Like every other politician on the planet he's got a constituency to satisfy, and he also has to keep enemies like al Sadr in line.

Unreasonable too is the expectation by some on the Left that Iraq should share American foreign policy goals. What's important is that on the crucial details America and Iraq are on the same page.

coming around

Remember the avarice about John Bolton when Bush nominated him as United Nations Ambassador a year ago? Remember Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) crying because he was 'concerned' about his grandchildren? Somehow, in his mind, Bolton, "the arrogant bully," was a danger to the future of civilization.

Now Voinovich has 'come around' and is expected to support the reappointment of Bolton as are New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton.

Bolton is a bulldog. He's done a tremendous job and seems to be the sole voice of reason and sanity at the UN.

Wednesday, July 26

hezbollah & the u.n.

Jed Babbin, a former undersecretary of Defense in the George H. W. Bush Administration, writes a brilliant piece @ OpinionJournal.com about the close relationship between the United Nations and Hezbollah.

"The U.N.'s years-long record on the Israel-Lebanon border makes mockery of the term "peacekeeping." On page 155 of my book, "Inside the Asylum," is a picture of a U.N. outpost on that border. The U.N. flag and the Hezbollah flag fly side by side. Observers told me the U.N. and Hezbollah personnel share water and telephones, and that the U.N. presence serves as a shield against Israeli strikes against the terrorists."

"The Israeli response to the attack by Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorists was much more violent and effective than Hezbollah, Iran or Syria expected. The Olmert government failed to make any significant response to previous raids from Gaza and Lebanon, which encouraged both terrorist regimes. The Syrian and Iranian regimes practice brinksmanship as their foreign policy. They attack as often as they can in as aggressive a manner as they believe will not trigger a decisive response. Iran wanted to distract the G-8 summit from agreeing to do anything about its nuclear weapons program, so it apparently told its Hezbollah surrogates in Lebanon that the time was ripe to begin a major offensive."

"The Hezbollah attacks began about two weeks after Israel suffered the usual international condemnations for its response to the Gaza-based Hamas kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. Even after the Gaza incursion, Iran and Syria--emboldened by international condemnation of Israel's "disproportionate" response--were convinced that Israel would do no more than make token raids into Lebanon. For the first time, Israel has acted in accordance with what used to be President Bush's theory: that a government that contains, supports or harbors terrorists is responsible for their actions. Israel is now demonstrating that there is a price to be exacted from nations who collaborate with terrorists. The reason Israel must not agree to a cease-fire now, and why a U.N. force must be rejected is the fact that the Arab nations may be starting to open their eyes."

andrea yates

'Not guilty by reason of insanity.'

Unbelievable.

Mary, 6 months
Luke, 2
Paul, 3
John, 5
Noah 7

Sane or insane, does it matter? She killed these children. Imagine the horror they experienced as their mother dragged them into the bathtub and forced them under the water. They deserve justice. Put this woman out of her misery. Execute her.

A father would never be found 'not guilty' for a similar crime, regardless of his mental state. The guy would fry.

14 israeli soldiers killed

While battling over a key southern Lebanon hilltop position, Hezbollah fighters killed 14 Israeli soldiers.

According to al Arabiya television the soldiers were 'burned alive in their tanks.'

Fighting has been especially heavy the last several days in the border towns of Bint Jbail, Aitaroun and Maroun al-Ras, where the IDF is going after the terrorists who have been firing rockets into Israel.

Israeli commanders have also backed off their more aggressive plans deciding, at least for now, not to push further into Lebanon. Instead they are attempting to kill as many Hezbollah fighters as possible and move others back away from the border. Yet, the word is that the current offensive will last 'several more weeks.'

"Given the progress over the last two weeks, I reckon it will continue for several more weeks," Major-General Udi Adam, head of the northern command, told Reuters.

Also, four United Nations observers were killed when their post in the southern town of Khiam was inadvertently hit by an Israeli airstrike. Kofi Annan said the airstrike was "apparently deliberate," and called again for an immediate cease fire.

snowball

When I met Duf Sundheim, the California GOP Chairman, the other day at that Arnold event I should have asked him why the Republicans can't field a decent candidate to challenge Dianne Feinstein.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure Richard Mountjoy is an incredibly decent, lovely man, but he's just another middle aged white guy in a long line of middle aged white guys the Republicans have nominated over the years to run against Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. We need a more 'marketable' candidate, someone who will play better in the population centers of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

And we need some buzz, some momentum. The Mountjoy/Feinstein race is so far under the radar...It is invisible. When I voted in the special election a few months ago I came across Mountjoy's name on the ballot and I was like 'who is this guy?'

Dick Mountjoy wrote Proposition 187, and he quotes Bible verses on his website. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell defeating Feinstein.

Tuesday, July 25

bad programming

Monday in Denver presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton unveiled what promises to be at least part of her domestic campaign plan, the "American Dream Initiative," a series of unnecessary federal programs.

On homeownership:

Hillary wants to create an enormous program to expand homeownership by creating a huge federal program. Ironically, the Bush Administration has already driven homeownership to record levels WITHOUT a federal program. In fact, the homownership rate each quarter of the Bush Administration has exceeded homeownership each quarter of the Clinton Administration.

Sounds like a new spin on HillaryCare.

Clinton also wants the federal government to have greater oversight on hedge funds. This program coupled with higher taxes ought to be great for the stock market.

Then there are the "American Dream Accounts," which are the same private retirement accounts President Bush proposed last year when he tried to reform Social Security.

Gosh, the Democrats sure are creative, aren't they?

The "centerpiece" of this turkey is a $150 billion giveaway to Liberal college professors.

From the NY Sun:

"This is swathed in language about "America's success in the global economy,"but it looks an awful lot like a plan to subject yet more impressionable young Americans to indoctrination by unionized, lopsidedly left-wing professors. If America has an education problem, it's that the government-run, unionized public school monopolies haven't been preparing students to succeed at college-level academic work. Mrs.Clinton offers no solution to that but to lavish more government money on the colleges, many of which are already so well-endowed that they are spending their funds on fancy student centers instead of science laboratories or libraries."

arnold + 8% in new field poll



Monday, July 24

tv conservatives

ABC is betting big on "Brothers & Sisters," a new drama premiering this fall after "Desperate Housewives," starring Patricia Wettig, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin, Sally Field and Calista Flockhart, who plays a conservative pundit NOT in the Ann Coulter mold.

"She's not Ann Coulter. She's not insane," said 'B & S' producer Ken Olin, the former star of Thirty Something.

Writer Jon Robin Baitz added, "No, I think she's a thoughtful conservative. She's ideologically, in some respects, very much in mind with the older parts of the party, the sort of Eisenhower Republican, the William Buckley conservative."

"For years and years, the Left has looked at the Right in complete incomprehension and felt, 'We just can't connect.' And maybe there's an effort in the show to try and bridge that in some way.”

How can you not pre-judge this show? Hollywood's tendency to stereotype is itself stereotypical. But I'm a tolerant Conservative. I'll render a judgement after I see a couple of episodes. My guess is that the Flockhart character will be very much like Coulter, maybe even a little bit more over-the-top.

Sunday, July 23

john kerry, superhero

From the Detroit News:

"If I was president, this (the Israeli/Hezbollah war) wouldn't have happened," said Senator John Kerry."

Yes, it's John Kerry saving the day again with his all-powerful diplomatic skills. Kerry's tried and true method of talking and talking and talking and continuing to talk, putting everyone to sleep, thereby preventing violence.

"The president has been so absent on diplomacy when it comes to issues affecting the Middle East," Kerry said. "We're going to have a lot of ground to make up (in 2008) because of it."

Democrats don't know beans about foreign policy. If the Middle East becomes safer, it will be because Israel eradicates Hezbollah and Bush ignores calls for a cease-fire from idiots like Kerry.

pain @ the pump

The AP is reporting that San Diego has the highest gas prices in America -- $3.28 a gallon. Wrong! The Mobil station down the hill from 'Casa de Kent' is charging $3.31.

backstage




Newsweek's Richard Wolfe writes a balanced, excellent piece about the behind-the-scenes action at last week's G8 summit in Russia:

"The cold war may be ancient history, but Secret Service agents believe the president and his aides are under surveillance at all times. They have ordered White House staffers to hand in their BlackBerrys and cell phones so Russian spies can't track their conversations. Russian security refuses to allow a sweep for bugs at "the cottage"—a McMansion-style villa complete with a pool and weight room. Hovering above the ground nearby is a white communications balloon that Bush's aides believe is recording everything they say outdoors. The only totally secure place is the president's armored, soundproofed limo, which the White House has airlifted to Russia. Whenever Bush's advisers want to strategize about Putin, they're forced to sit in the car, parked in the driveway. Inside one of the cottage's rooms, the Secret Service has set up a black tent, where aides can handle classified documents out of sight of any cameras buried in the walls or furniture."

And later...

"Bush has left the lunch to meet with Hu Jintao, but the Chinese president is late. Since China isn't an official member of the G8, the Russians won't allow him to arrive by car. It's a snub that forces him to take an unreliable, smoke-belching hydrofoil across the Gulf of Finland that separates the palace from St. Petersburg. Several boats have broken down in the last few days.

"As a result, the president of the United States is left cooling his heels outside his cottage. He passes the time by chatting with a Chinese security agent, quizzing him about his English. "You been practicing?" he asks. A moment later, the agent's cell phone rings. The young man has a split second to choose: does he turn his back on a once-in-a-lifetime conversation with the president of the United States, or just let it go into voice mail? The agent snaps open his phone, and walks away. "Cell-phone violation!" Bush calls out. His staffers chuckle nervously: chirping phones are one of Bush's biggest peeves. "The guy didn't know the rules," says Bush. "Give him a break, will you?"

life underground

Israeli familes in the Ben Eliazer bomb shelter in Haifa.
Natalie Roginoff, with her daughter Aliana, 4, in a shelter in the working-class neighborhood of Hadar, in Hafia. The family arrived six months ago from Russia.
A woman, praying, with her son in the Ben Eliazer shelter.
A family in a shelter in Haifa’s Ben Eliazer neighborhood. Those sheltered here complained of lack of ventilation, sanitation and running water.
Chiraz Cohen, 3, and her father in a shelter beneath an apartment building in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona. Beds attached to the wall help maximize the space.
A family in the underground-parking-lot shelter near the southern suburbs of Beirut.
Yousif Nasseralla, with his son Hassan, 7, at the Furn al-Shiback school.
A makeshift playground inside the underground-parking-lot shelter.
Maryam Shaar, 80, with her faimly at the Fun al-Shibak secondary school.
Mirza Kahawai washing clothes, while her niece, Yousra, 3, waits to be bathed, at a shelter erected in the Furn al-Shibak Secondary Public School for Girls, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, controlled by Hezbollah.
Zainab Suaidan and Fatima Kahaji with their children at the shelter in the Furn al-Shibak Secondary Public School for Girls. July 19, 2006.
A young girl asleep at an underground shelter located between two apartment buildings in Ben Eliazer, a low-income neighborhood of Haifa. July 17, 2006.

Friday, July 21

time's mike allen is a liberal hack

Time's White House correspondent Mike Allen writes in 'The Allen Report':

"(Secretary of State) Rice was to announce her plans at a briefing this afternoon, officials said. Officials were using the word "umbrella" instead of "coalition" to avoid reminders of the struggling coalition the U.S. led into Iraq."

More MSM mythology. If I recall correctly there was a long ass list of member nations in the "Coalition Of The Willing," that joined us in Iraq, by contributing troops, weapons, financial assistance, use of airspace or airports. Anyway, pure media bias in that comment.

So Condi's leaving Sunday night for the Middle East, where she'll spend next week building new bridges of agreement amongst Arab nations about the importance of disarming Hezbollah, I mean, Iran.

More B.S. from Allen:

"Although some conservatives have been fretting that Lebanese rocket fire and Israeli warplanes are making President Bush look helpless, administration officials revealed to TIME today that they have plans to harness the chaos as a "leadership moment" for Bush that could wind up helping his flagging goal of transforming the Middle East."

Two questions: (1) Who are the 'conservatives' Allen is talking about? (2) Bush's goal of 'transforming the Middle East' is flagging? Really? Afghanistan, Iraq, 50 million + people have been liberated, women (and everyone else) are voting in free and fair elections, The Taliban is weakened, Hussein and his two bastard sons are gone, now Israel is weakening Hezbollah and by extension Iran and Bush is intelligent enough to actually try something different in the region instead calling for the ever-so-predictable cease fire. What exactly about the Middle East as it relates to Bush is 'flagging'?

Don't you just love that fair, objective journalism?

More on Condi's trip from an Administration official in the 'know':

"She's not going to come home with a ceasefire, but stronger ties to the Arab world," an administration official said. "It's going to allow us to say that America isn't going to put up with this and we have Arab friends that are against you terrorists. What we want is our Arab allies standing against Hizballah and against Iran, since there is no one who doesn't think Iran is behind this. We're going to say to Hizballah and the terrorist groups, 'This will not stand.' That is the way to bring real change to the Middle East. If you just have a ceasefire, then soon or later, they go back to fighting."

war & peace

Conservative thinker Thomas Sowell writes today that 'peace movements bring war.'

For all of you leaning toward the 'cease fire' approach in the current Israeli military conflict, think back. Was WW II won by a cease fire? No, it was won when the Allies destroyed the Germans and the Japanese. Today's global War on Terror won't be won by granting radical Muslims unwarranted protections under the Geneva Conventions. It will be won when the last terrorist is killed.

Sowell writes:

"One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts."

"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements -- that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war."

"Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent."

Everything that has ever been tried in the Middle East has been a failure. We've seen again and again that you can't reason with terrorists. That's one reason I applaud the Bush Doctrine, because it seeks long term change instead of short term and unlasting 'peace.' And I support Israel as they are in the process of demolishing Hezbollah.

War brings peace. If you don't believe that, its time for you to brush up on your history.

israel at war

From the Jerusalem Post: Soldiers pray at an artillery position near Kiryat Shmona on Wednesday.
A hospital worker cleans pieces of shattered glass after a rocket hit the northern town of Safed, Tuesday.
Hallel Cheskis, 6, carries a sign to show support for Israel during a protest held by the Harrisburg Jewish Federation, Tuesday, in Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
Israelis react as they walk out of a shelter near the site where a rocket fired by Hizbullah killed a man in Nahariya, Tuesday.
From the Jerusalem Post: Residents of Nahariya exemine the Katyusha rocket, which killed Andrei Zelinsky on Tuesday as he raced toward a bomb shelter.
Rescue workers evacuate a woman from a building directly hit by a rocket in the Haifa, Monday.
A member of the Lebanese civil defense rides his motorcycle amongst rubble, in the suburbs of southern Beirut where Hizbullah's stronghold used to be.

whiners




On July 19th the US State Department warned Americans NOT to travel to Lebanon. Some people didn't listen to that advice. State also urged registration at the US Embassy. Most people didn't do that either. Then the war started and when the American military came to the rescue, the American travelers STARTED WHINING.

Whining about delays. Whining about the long lines to the bathrooms. Whining about flies. Whining about the heat. Just whining.

Some of these people are now attempting to create the myth that the US Government's response to evacuating Americans from Lebanon is glaringly similiar to that other myth -- you know the one -- that the US Government's response to Hurricane Katrina last year was slow. Both are lies. The LA Times reported breathlessly that the French government chartered a ferry to take some 800 French citizens to Cyprus. Isn't that special?

There are an estimated 25,000 American tourists, business travelers and students in Lebanon this summer and they are scattered about the country. I'd say its a bit easier to round up 800 people than it would be to find 25,000, wouldn't you?

Read the official warning from the State Department website:

..."U.S. citizens who (travel to or) remain in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should exercise heightened caution when traveling in parts of the southern suburbs of Beirut, portions of the Bekaa Valley and South Lebanon. The Hizballah terrorist group has not been disarmed and maintains a strong presence in many of these areas..."

dreamers, part ii

While linking Amnesty International's website to the previous post I noticed the following:

"Amnesty International is calling on the UN Security Council to urgently adopt measures to protect civilians caught up in the deepening Israel-Lebanon conflict."

"Amnesty International condemns the continued attacks on civilians by both Israel and Hizbullah. Such attacks are a blatant breach of international humanitarian law and amount to war crimes."

Has Amnesty condemned the killing of Iraqi civilians by al Qaeda? Just curious.

Asking the United Nations to 'urgently adopt' anything is like asking Howard Dean not to lie. It's impossible.

War crimes? Again with the war crimes. Everything is a war crime to these people. Declaring war would be considered a war crime to Amnesty International.

dreamers

Here's a screen shot of an email I received from the fine folks @ Amnesty International. The copy reads:

"Dear Kent,

"You don't have to be a star to dress like one! This summer, stand in solidarity with artists such as Clive Owen, Tom Morello, Deborah Harry, Sam Rockwell and Josh Charles and other supporters of human rights."

Buy an Amnesty T-Shirt and Make Some Noise!"

“Make Some Noise” is an exciting new Amnesty International campaign. Featuring new recordings of John Lennon songs by some of the world’s best artists, it’s a mix of music, celebration and action in support of human rights."

This is the same organization that opposed the liberation of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein, while at the same time advocates the release of prisoners -- even violent criminals like murderers and rapists -- from jails all across the globe.

5,000 reservists




Israel is lining up along the Lebanon border after calling up 5,000 reservists.

This truly is a battle between good and evil. This is one of those black and white situations Annalis and I discussed yesterday. It couldn't be more clear. Hezbollah randomly fires Katushya rockets into civilian neighborhoods in northern Israel, while the Jewish military drops leaflets on Lebanon warning of coming attacks.

Here's praying that Israel escapes this ground war without a single scratch.

From the Jerusalem Post:

"We have no intention of being dragged into something that Hizbullah wants to drag us into," Peretz said. "Nevertheless, we will operate in every place that we find it necessary."

"On Friday afternoon, the IAF (Israeli Air Force) dropped leaflets over southern Lebanon all the way up to the Litani River calling on residents to move northward to avoid being caught in clashes between IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) and Hizbullah cells. The move could signify a step in preparation for the ground incursion."
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