Thursday, August 31

veto

We've seen these scary faces before: Barney Frank, John Conyers, Charles Rangel, John Dingell, Alcee Hastings and Henry Waxman. These are the same obstructionists that resisted Bill Clinton's 'New Democrat' ideas. In fact, 13 of the 19 voted against the welfare reform Clinton signed in 1996. These are the hard Left radicals.

Conyers is the likely chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He recently published a 370 report titled, "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Coverup in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance." His agenda is pretty clear.

Rangel, is the likely chairman of Ways and Means, which is the House's chief economic policy panel. He opposes free trade and tax cuts. His health care subcommittee would be run by Pete Stark who criticized Hillary Clinton's healthcare proposal because the government lacked oversight in the program. And over at Financial Services, Frank would likely sweep the $16 billion accounting scandals of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Energy and Commerce would fall to Dingell, a member of Congress since 1955. That means more regulation for the Internet and windfall profits tax on the oil companies.

Hastings, one of the most corrupt Democrats in Congress, is the likely chairman of the Intelligence Commitee if Speaker Nancy Pelosi can force Jane Harmon out because of her support for finishing the mission in Iraq.

Voters looking to send a message to the GOP might want to think long and hard before pulling the lever for Democrats in November. And if not, God save us.

To quote an old Ministry song 'everyday will be halloween' with the Democrats in charge.

name that storm

2006 hurricane name list:

Alberto
Beryl
Chris
Debby
Ernesto
Florence
Gordon
Helene
Isaac
Joyce
Kirk
Leslie
Michael
Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sandy
Tony
Valerie
William

Courtesy of Charleston's ABC affiliate, WCIV.

hola ernesto

My new screenplay is set in Charleston, South Carolina...which is under a tropical storm warning right now with Ernesto just 75 miles off the coast.

The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength just before it makes landfall tonight someplace between the the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

Radar image courtesy of Charleston's CBS affiliate, WCSC.

quintessential burns

The United States is up against a faceless enemy of terrorists who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."

So said Montana Republican Senator Conrad Burns during a fundraiser yesterday with First Lady Laura Bush.

lies, part ii

The Democrats continue to spread the myth that tax cuts benefit only the rich. But according to a Treasury Department news release issued last week, the very people the Left claims to care so much about -- lower income Americans -- are the very ones who will suffer if President Bush's tax cuts are not made permanent.

In 2011, a family of four making $56,300 will be taxed an additional $2,092, an 132% increase. The same family making $67,600 a year would pay an additional $1,858, an increase of 58%.

Call your elected representatives and demand they vote for permanent tax relief.

Take a look at the dire predictions made by some Democrats about the effects of the Bush tax cuts: (compiled by IBD)

• Tom Daschle, the one-time Senate Democratic leader who was voted out of office, predicted in February 2003 that the Bush tax cuts would have "no real benefits on most American families."

• "The poor suffer. The rich benefit. The middle class pays the bill," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said last year during debate on a small ($56 billion) tax cut.

• "Is it justice to steal from the middle class to give tax cuts to the ultrasuper rich?" Pelosi asked in January 2003 during an earlier round of debates.

• "Their tax cut plans put the wealthy first," Rep. Charles Rangel, who would be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee if that chamber falls to the Democrats in November, said of the Republicans in 2003.

• "His entire first eight months was tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the rich, and he lied and said the tax cuts would help average Americans," columnist Molly Ivins, a Texan who holds a blinding hatred for the Bush family and has an exceptional love for class warfare, wrote in 2003.

What a bunch of lies. And all of these people know they are lying, that's what is so distasteful about it. Just as Kerry knows he's lying about voter fraud in Ohio. (see previous post)

So the Bush tax cuts have resulted in (1) an unrivaled period of economic growth and (2) some 43 million Americans, nearly a third of all taxpayers, having no income tax liability.

Yet the Democrats (the self appointed "Party of the People") and the MSM continue to emphasize class warfare, pitting different groups of Americans against each other. The phrase 'tax cuts for the rich' is meant to engender hatred and jealousy. It's divisive demagoguery. Everyone could use tax relief.

lies

John Kerry is attempting to raise money for Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland by accusing the Republican candidate and current Secretary of State Ken Blackwell of 'suppressing' the 2004 vote.

If Blackwell (who has been called "Jesse Jackson's worst nightmare") really attempted to suppress voters turnout then he is a collosal failure because in 2004 Ohio voter turnout rose by 600,000 over 2000, and the black vote rose by 25%.

Instead what really happened was that Blackwell enforced an election reform bill by requiring voters to prove their identity with a driver's license.

From IBD:

"What really irks Kerry and the Democratic conspiracy theorists is that President Bush defeated Kerry in Ohio by 119,000 votes, largely because Bush increased his percentage of the black vote there from 9% in 2000 to 16% in 2004."

And while Kerry lies about voter fraud in Ohio in 2004, just as Gore did in Florida in 2000, he ignores examples of rampant Democratic wrongdoing. Take the case of Georgianne Pitts in Defiance County.

The Toledo Blade has reported that while she was working on behalf of the NAACP National Voter Fund, Pitts admitted to giving crack cocaine in lieu of cash to a young worker who supplied her with completed voter registration forms. Said forms listed supposed Ohio voters like 'Mary Poppins,' 'Jeffrey Dahmer' and 'Janet Jackson.'

More IBD:

"Kerry's purpose, in trying to energize Ohio Democrats with baseless conspiracy theories, is twofold. He's clearly trying to get a Democrat elected governor in Ohio in 2006 and at the same time pick up a colossal IOU that he could redeem in a 2008 presidential run."

Bingo.

target practice

"Death of a President," a new TV docudrama features the fictional assassination of President Bush as he leaves the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago in October 2007.

Written by Gabriel Range and Simon Finch and directed by Gabriel Range, "Death" will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September and purportedly explores the impact the war on terror has had on the American body politic.

Peter Dale, head of More4 in London, which will air the film on October 9 between episodes of the Daily Show and Without a Trace, says the film is a "thought-provoking critique" of contemporary US society.

"It's not sensationalist, or simplistic but a very thought-provoking, powerful drama. I hope people will see that the intention behind it is good," Dale said.

Not 'sensational'? This film fits thevery definition of 'sensational.' 'Thought-provoking'? What kind of thoughts will this film provoke? Will some people wish it were true that Bush is going to be killed 13 months from now? And good for whom? Good for 'tolerant' Liberals who loathe President Bush and disagree with his policies?

I don't recall filmmakers glorifying the death of Bill Clinton back when he was our president. Had there been one every elected Republican in America would have been relentlessly pressed by the MSM to disavow it in the most unequivocal of terms.

I won't be holding my breath for the Bush-hating Democrats to do the same.

Wednesday, August 30

lincoln chafee

I can't wait for Steve Laffey to defeat New Hampshire's Republican-In-Name-Only incumbent Senator Lincoln Chafee in the primary in two weeks.

The RNC is supporting Chafee, much the way they supported Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania two years ago against the more conservative Pat Toomey. Specter had more statewide appeal and its the same thing here. New Hampshire is a Blue state.

I understand the strategery behind it -- it's a game and you play to win. But I still think Chafee's got to go. Chafee, who didn't vote for President Bush in '04, who voted against the Bush tax cuts, against the war in Iraq, against ending the death tax, against Sam Alito, said this week that he opposes the death penalty, even for Osama bin Laden.

Outrageous. If you live in New Hampshire please vote for Steve Laffey, a real conservative Republican, on September 12.

jihad on wheels

A 29 year old man from Afghanistan, Omeed A. Popal, drove his black Honda Pilot SUV around the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday, gleefully hitting and running down pedestrians on sidewalks and crosswalks, killing one and injuring 14 others.

It all began around noon in the East Bay town of Fremont, home to the nation's largest Afghan community, when Popal mowed down a man near a park. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Popal then drove across the bay into San Francisco where he terrorized and injured random people of all ages, leaving one person in critical condition.

According to a report on San Francisco's KTVU Channel 2, Popal drove over an elderly man, then came back around the block to hit him again, but an alert pedestrian pulled the injured man to safety.

Popal reportedly called himself a 'terrorist' when the police arrested him. I'd agree.

alterations

Someone over at CBS just learned how to use Photoshop. The 'real' Katie is on the left.

How's that for irony?

Tuesday, August 29

saying too much

It turns out that two people outed former CIA agent Valerie Plame, and neither of them happen to be Karl Rove or Scooter Libby.

First, hyper Liberal partisan Joe Wilson leaked his wife's identity when he wrote an op-ed for the NYT describing his trip to Africa to discredit the Bush Administration in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Second, neocon critic Richard Armitage, (pictured above) Colin Powell's former deputy at the State Department, leaked Plame's name to columnist Bob Novak, according to "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War," a new book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

Then journalist Bob Woodward learned of Plame's identity in a "casual and offhand" conversation with an administration official he declined to identify, but most likely was Armitage.

Click on 'Saying Too Much' above for a link to the Newsweek piece on Armitage, which is indeed a strange piece of writing from Isikoff.

On one hand he writes, 'Armitage's central role as the primary source on Plame is detailed for the first time in "Hubris," which recounts the leak case and the inside battles at the CIA and White House in the run-up to the war.' But then later in the same piece, Isikoff states clearly 'Armitage himself was aggressively investigated by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, but was never charged. Fitzgerald found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame's covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward.'

Three years of Plamegate, and $25 million later, we've learned is that Wilson is a liar, Armitage is a disloyal employee, Fitzgerald is a lazy prosecutor and Libby is most likely innocent of all charges against him.

katrina: 12 months later

The next time you hear someone say Democratic-controlled New Orleans is a mess and the Federal Government hasn't done enough, remind them that the Feds have kicked in $122.5 billion toward Gulf Coast reconstruction. Also remind them that Republican-controlled Mississippi is already rebuilt and the number of building permits in Mississippi are four times higher than in New Orleans, some neighborhoods remain overwhelmed with water and have only spotty electricity, hot water and sewage systems.

Remind those critical of the Bush Administration about the $2,000 debit cards FEMA handed out to cover necessity items, but were used by some instead to buy luxury items like plasma TV's and video games. Remind them too about the Federal Government spending $400,000 to rent mobile homes and $200 million to rent Carnival cruise ships for displaced area families.

If the Feds were late to the party it was only because the local officials dragged their feet so long. Governor Kathleen Blanco waited FOUR days to call in the National Guard to quell the rioting and looting, while Mayor Ray Nagin failed to utilize a fleet of unused school buses to evacuate the poor.

But once the Feds arrived, the money came flowing in; generous Americans stepped up and donated to the needy, while Uncle Sam spent some five times more on Katrina relief than any other natural disaster in the past 50 years.

Meanwhile, inept and crooked Louisiana politicians continue to enjoy a long and rich history as obstacles to progress and apparently still are doing what they do best: Lining their pockets with cash siphoned away from intended people and projects.

'm' is for majority

The campaign to suppress Republican votes is well underway. The Democrats and their over-eager accomplices in the press are busy counting their chickens, daydreaming about "Speaker Pelosi" and 30 seat pickups in the House. They are even talking about how now, with the midterm elections just two months away, the Senate is within reach of the Democrats.

All of this propaganda is a clever way to depress Conservatives ahead of the elections. The constant drumbeat of negativity is meant to discourage the GOP base from working hard and from turning out to vote this fall. "It's over," they hope we'll think. "The Democrats have already won. What's the point?"

Here's the point. When's the last time the Democrats, and by extension the press, told us the truth about anything? Liberals are great at playing politics. They are spin-masters. But their policies are unrealistic and they don't have a clue about how to govern.

And when the national media isn't busy trying to undermine America's national security, they are engaged in shoving various bullcrap stories down our throats. Here's a sampling of what the so-called "Democratic party"/MSM wants you to believe:

"Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror." No it isn't.

"The economy sucks." No it doesn't.

They maintain that "the Federal response to Katrina was slow," even though it wasn't, yet they affix absolutely no blame whatsoever to the real culprits, local Lousiana officials.

"Bush is an idiot." He got better grades at Yale than John Kerry did. And Al Gore got kicked out of divinity school, yet he's supposedly a freaking genius. Yeah sure he is.

"There were no WMD." Uh, yes there were.

"Karl Rove outed Valerie Plame." No, he didn't. The so-called 'independent counsel' Patrick Fitzgerald has known for years that Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's deputy at the State Department was the leaker.

"Bush's approval ratings are a record lows." Actually, Bush's numbers are up for the first time in six months.

"Tax cuts only benefit the rich." Wrong again. Tax cuts benefit everyone who pays taxes. Economics 101, baby.

If the press was honest and told the truth about the stories they cover there would be no Democratic Party. But unfortunately, the MSM is actively engaged in misleading (and/or endangering) the voting public. Or put another way, the press constantly lies to you and to me. You cannot trust what you read. You cannot trust what you hear on the nightly news. Somewhere along the way journalism got out of the information business and into the opinion (disguised as information) business.

Keep that in mind as you contribute to candidates, as you volunteer for campaigns, as you talk with your friends and neighbors. Don't lose heart. Keep working. Keep the faith. Don't give up, no matter what. The Conservative message is superior in every way to the non-plans of the Democrats, and as a result the GOP will remain America's Majority party.

Saturday, August 26

10 years ago

Bill Clinton's one achievement as President was the sign into law 'bipartisan' welfare reform. But like everything else in his Presidency it was mostly smoke and mirrors because he was merely co-opting the GOP agenda.

The legislation ended "entitlement" welfare, under which low-income parents with children could receive federal assistance with relative ease. Now welfare recipients have a time limit for how long they can remain on the rolls, and they must show they are actively seeking work.

Talk about co-opting! The 42nd President actually vetoed this Republican legislation twice before political strategist convinced him of the electoral peril that awaited him (a re-election loss in '96 to Bob Dole) if he didn't sign it.

As for the claim that the welfare reform was 'bipartisan,' that's just more revisionist history. In fact 98 House Democrats bitterly opposed the bill.

From the WSJ:

"Former Georgia Congressman (now Senator) John Lewis not too subtly raised the specter of fascism as he literally screamed on the House floor, "They're coming for the children. They're coming for the poor. They're coming for the sick, the elderly and the disabled."

New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg predicted that "U.S. streets would "look like the streets of the cities in Brazil" where there are children "engaging in prostitution."

As usual Liberals were wrong. Welfare reform is working. The welfare rolls are down from five million in 1995 to two million today. People are less dependent on the federal government and more responsible for their own behavior, their own circumstances. It's called individual responsibility, a key Republican tenet.

25 years ago

Reaganomics turned 25 a couple of weekends back. It is amazing to see just how much impact this 'cowboy actor' continues to have on the world, particularly on the top income tax rates, from Australia to the UK and all points in between.

In 1980, the top income tax rate in Ireland was 60%. In 2004 it was 42%. Canada, 60% to 39%. Germany, 65% to 46%. Italy, 72% to 47%. Spain, 66% to 35%. Korea, 89% to 40%. In the US, 70% to 35%.

From the WSJ:

"Adherents of Rubinomics -- after Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin -- are still not converts, arguing that tax increases are virtuous if they reduce the deficit. We've addressed that argument many times and will again. But even the Rubinites haven't dared to repeal indexing for inflation (which pushed taxpayers via "bracket creep" into ever-higher tax rates), and even the most ardent liberals don't propose to return to the top pre-Reagan income tax rate of 70%. They also now understand that, at some point along the Laffer Curve, high rates begin to yield less tax revenue. The bipartisan consensus in favor of sound money has also held."

What about the stock market? In 25 years the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone from 800 to 11,000, an increase in national wealth on the order of $25 trillion.

As the WSJ puts it. "Not bad for a President dismissed as a dreamy former actor."

Friday, August 25

win, lose or draw?

Interesting perspective today from Amir Taheri in the WSJ.

"Hezbollah's position is no more secure in the broader Arab world, where it is seen as an Iranian tool rather than as the vanguard of a new Nahdha (Awakening), as the Western media claim. To be sure, it is still powerful because it has guns, money and support from Iran, Syria and Hate America International Inc. But the list of prominent Arab writers, both Shiite and Sunni, who have exposed Hezbollah for what it is--a Khomeinist Trojan horse--would be too long for a single article. They are beginning to lift the veil and reveal what really happened in Lebanon."

"Having lost more than 500 of its fighters, and with almost all of its medium-range missiles destroyed, Hezbollah may find it hard to sustain its claim of victory. "Hezbollah won the propaganda war because many in the West wanted it to win as a means of settling score with the United States," says Egyptian columnist Ali al-Ibrahim. "But the Arabs have become wise enough to know TV victory from real victory."

Thursday, August 24

'responsible power'

The always astute Rich Lowry gets it right about America's place in the world in the George W. Bush decade.

The critical paragraphs:

"Say what you will about the efficacy or delicacy of U.S. foreign policy, this is cynicism, bad faith, and rank selfishness of which America is almost incapable as a world power. Indeed, in our willingness serially to believe the unreliable assurances of the French, we are an innocent abroad. First, they snookered us three years ago into believing that they wouldn’t kick up trouble for us at the U.N. in the event Saddam Hussein didn’t fully comply with his disarmament obligations. Now, we have been played the fool in Lebanon."

"The root of our seeming naïveté is the earnest desire to deal with world problems. Saddam was a menace, but France and Germany were content to play diplomatic and political games at our expense. Southern Lebanon is, as we have seen in recent weeks, a deep source of instability in the region. The U.S. wanted to craft a long-term solution, but since we weren’t going to send troops ourselves, we needed a partner. Enter: France. Exit: any chance of a real settlement."

"Paranoid critics charge that we are in Iraq to control its oil. The French could have pulled off such a self-serving maneuver clothed in idealism, but we are in Iraq for exactly the achingly innocent reasons we say. We are spending and bleeding there trying to plant a liberal democracy in the hardscrabble soil of Mesopotamia."

"When President Bush is gone, conservative foreign policy will change. But it won’t be a change the foreign-policy establishment likes. It won’t be toward a let’s-talk-even-more-to-the-French multilateralism as represented by Nebraska’s tiresome Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel. It will be something more selfish and hardheaded, something more French in its motivation — Bush without the soft touches. Then, the world will miss the earnest do-gooding United States of old."

final act

President Bush has said many times that he won't leave tough decisions for future Administrations...so some are speculating that at the end of his term, if all diplomatic options have been exhausted, the United States might attack Iran.

That doesn't sound crazy at all to me.

'flipping the world the bird'

The Jersusalem Post is reporting that the Israeli government has come to believe that they alone are going to have to 'slow down' Iran militarily.

A senior source says that Iran effectively 'flipped the world the bird' by refusing Tuesday the UN's demand to immediately suspend uranium enrichment.

"The Iranians know the world will do nothing," he said. "This is similar to the world's attempts to appease Hitler in the 1930s - they are trying to feed the beast."

"(The source) said there was a need to understand that "when push comes to shove," Israel would have to be prepared to "slow down" the Iranian nuclear threat by itself."

I would applaud Israel, or anyone, taking swift and hard military action against Ahmadinejad. But if it is in fact Israel that strikes Iran how are we to know that Olmert won't go in at half mast like he did in Lebanon? I'm a big fan of Israel but they care far too much about global opinion for my taste. Caring about global opinion to the extent that the mission goes unfinished is bad for everyone involved.

After that everything else is just talk. (think: waste of time)

Wednesday, August 23

unreasonable

There is an amazing article today in the UK Daily Mail about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran.

Seventy percent of Iranians are under 30, and most don't care about religion or politics. All they want is 'to have fun, to travel and, above all, to have jobs.' In fact, they wish that their leaders would stop 'antagonizing the West.'

Iran also has one of the highest drug addiction rates in the world due to the regime, which today is characterized by 'puritanism, corruption, cruelty and incompetence.'

Daily Mail writer Ann Leslie spoke with an Iranian exile who described Ahmadinejad as the exact opposite of the youth mentioned above. He's a believer in Islam and everything he does he does so because of his religion.

When Ahmadinejad was mayor of Tehran, he ordered the city council to build a 'grand avenue' especially for the return of the Mahdi, an important Islamic figure.

"The trouble with you secular people is that you don't realize how firmly Ahmadinejad believes - literally - in things like the winged horse,' the Iranian exile told Leslie. 'By choosing this date for his decision (rejecting the UN call for halting uranium enrichment by Aug.31) he is telling his followers that he is going to obey his religious duty."

"And he believes that his religious duty is to create chaos and bloodshed in the "infidel" world, in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi - the Hidden Imam. So don't expect him to behave, in your eyes, "reasonably."

This 'Hidden Imam' is a five year old baby, a relative of the Prophet Mohammed, who supposedly vanished down a well sometime around AD 940.

All of this begs the question: How do you deal with a crazy man? By placating him? Trusting his word? I think you prevent him from creating chaos. I think you bomb the hell out of his country before he becomes an even bigger problem.

'shift'?

The ever-influential John McIntyre from Real Clear Politics writes about a possible 'shift' in the '06 elections.

While the conventional wisdom continues to be that the GOP is headed for disaster in November with the high numbers of Americans disapproving of the situation in Iraq, the more important metric, from McIntyre's perspective, is that President Bush's approval numbers are now nearly 41%.

Meanwhile, McIntyre's own "RCP Generic Average" poll, which averages all the big national polls together, shows Democrats only besting Republicans by 8.5%, after leading by 18% in early August.

Maybe things aren't all that bad for Republicans 90 days out from election day? Everyone is so worried, but not me. The Democrats don't have a plan for national security, they don't have a plan for Iraq and they don't have a plan to kill terrorists.

Tuesday, August 22

'discussion'

Hip hop mogul and hard Lefty activist Russell Simmons is hosting a fundraiser for Maryland's GOP Senatorial candidate Michael Steele.

Simmons says 'both Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Steele "should be held up to the light as examples" of Republican leaders who are committed to all of their constituents.'

Crediting Ehrlich with 'urban initiatives, especially criminal-justice reforms,' Simmons says the Ehrlich Administration is raising the Republican Party's profile among blacks nationwide,' adding that 'every Republican (is now) open for discussion among black voters.

Finally.

Monday, August 21

roughage

From the NY Times' Sunday magazine, a story about school lunches. I just liked it.

Thursday, August 17

liberals don't get national security

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor -- a Jimmy Carter appointee -- ruled today that the government's warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional.

From Sealed Case No. 02-001, on Motions for Review of Orders of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court:

"The main purpose of ordinary criminal law is twofold: to punish the wrongdoer and to deter other persons in society from embarking on the same course. The government’s concern with respect to foreign intelligence crimes, on the other hand, is overwhelmingly to stop or frustrate the immediate criminal activity. The criminal process is often used as part of an integrated effort to counter the malign efforts of a foreign power. Punishment of the terrorist or espionage agent is really a secondary objective; (31) indeed, punishment of a terrorist is often a moot point."

How can Taylor speak about what is and is not constitutional while being clearly ignorant of the President's inherent wartime powers? Taylor, a Liberal Democrat, was more than happy to make this bogus ruling. Nina Easton, from the Liberal Boston Globe, was talking about the ruling on Brit Hume's show on Fox tonight and said "you could tell from the decision that she gleefully came to her decision without much consideration."

The ACLU brought this case (after shopping it around) on behalf of purported clients of questionable standing who claim their Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the surveillance program. How does one know when he or she is under surveillance by the federal government? It's ridiculous.

What about the national security exception to the Fourth Amendment cited by other circuit courts in refusing to hear this case? Even the mega Liberal 9th Circuit in San Francisco has recognized that national security trumps Fourth Amendment rights.

The United States and Great Britain just foiled a big terror plot last week and this surveillance program was an important operational asset in that investigation. Liberals just don't get it.

Next stop: the 6th Circuit where Taylor's ruling will be overturned.

Wednesday, August 16

'emerging threats'

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, considered an ineffectual bureaucrat a few short weeks ago, now seems to be THE face of American counterterrorism.

Chertoff, writing in today's USA Today, explains H.S. strategy going forward by "reviewing prevention efforts in light of emerging threats, not only for past threats. And we do not put our reliance on one layer of defense, but we look to multiple layers that are much more difficult to penetrate."

He names some of those layers: Reliance on human skills and ingenuity; Intelligence-based screening of passengers to identify potential terrorists; Multiple technologies to screen passengers and their carry-on baggage for weapons and detonators; The retraining of 30,000 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers over the past year to identify bomb components and modern detonation equipment, including liquid explosives; Behavior observation techniques; Covert surveillance in airports; Document verification and other new layers of security. (In other words, top secret stuff)

Read the entire piece by clicking on 'Emerging Threats' above.

"The latest terror plot highlights the ruthless nature of our enemy. While we are safer now than ever before, we are reminded of this threat to the ideals that make our nation strong. We thank travelers for their continued patience and cooperation as we adjust to these terrorist tactics. We stand firm in our resolve, and we will not yield in this fight to defend our nation and make our world safer."

junior

The Hill is reporting that Senate Democrats are considering stripping Joe Lieberman of his seniority should be defeat Ned Lamont in November.

Last week Lieberman appeared on "The Today Show" and stated the obvious: That the Democrats are out of the political mainstream.

“At this point Lieberman cannot expect to just keep his seniority,” said a Senate aide. “He can’t run against a Democrat and expect to waltz back to the caucus with the same seniority as before. It would give the view that the Senate is a country club rather than representative of a political party and political movement.”

nothin' but ned

Most of the country has no idea who the hell Ned Lamont is. I should be so lucky. To me, everybody looks like Ned. The guy at the supermarket, my neighbor, even the guy on that Circuit City commercial.

He even wrote an op-ed this morning in my favorite newspaper -- the Wall Street Journal -- "Democrats Mean Business."

Tuesday, August 15

liberal angst

The UK Guardian reports that British officials learned of last week's terror plot via torture.

So?

I suspect that these angst-ridden Liberals would change their tune quickly if faced with a terrorist on a plane or in a tall office building.

Saturday, August 12

1701, 'a key al qaeda operative'

Quite a difference six hours can make, huh? Six hours ago I was chastising Olmert. Now I sing his praises. So goes politics and so goes war. Even Israel and her supporters can be surprised from time to time, right?

Resolution 1701 allows Israel to continue expanding their ground war against Hezbollah until sometime on Sunday, when both Olmert and Nasrallah are expected to sign off on the agreement. Sounds pretty nebulous to me. I want to see with my own eyes this 'robust' UN multinational peace-keeping force actually enforce the resolution.

By the way, I've been slowed from pneumonia this week, so I apologize. In my mind, I've been doing a lot of traveling, and I was delirirous (literally!) in the news about the foiled terrorist plot in Britain.

Liquid explosions, energy drinks, mp3 players, disposable cameras. If you're traveled lately, you've witnessed virtually every young traveler carrying some or all of the above items...Starbucks drinks, iPods, camera phones, fast food, all tucked away into fancy backpacks or messenger bags.

Sounds very doable to me, and it sounds very much like al Qaeda to me, and as the NY Times is reporting, "Explosives experts said detonators could have been hidden in MP3 players or the flashes of disposable cameras."

And:

"Rashid Rauf, was arrested Wednesday in the eastern city of Bahawalpur, the officials said, just hours before the authorities began a series of raids across Britain to break up the plot they say was rapidly unfolding here."

"According to a former Pakistani official close to the intelligence services there, the information leading to the arrest of Mr. Rauf came from a mole planted by the British police who had been monitoring the plot inside the United Kingdom. With Mr. Rauf safely in hand, British authorities on Thursday swept up 24 suspects who they say were planning to carry liquid explosives onto passenger airliners and detonate them as the planes flew to the United States."

"American and Pakistani officials said they decided to arrest the 24 suspects, in part because they were concerned that word of Mr. Rauf’s arrest could send the British plotters underground. The officials described Mr. Rauf, who is of Pakistani descent, as a hardened Islamic militant who had been acting as a liaison for Al Qaeda in its relations with the plotters in the United Kingdom."

“There is definitely an Al Qaeda connection to this,” Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, said."

"In another interview, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, the Pakistani interior minister, called Mr. Rauf a “key Al Qaeda operative.”

God help us...(Walking back to bed)...The US government, employing gifted teens/young adults, and tasking them to think about possible future terrorist scenarios sounds like an excellent idea to me, almost like a side project, a course for university credit, maybe?

Friday, August 11

what?

Imagine the political pressure on Ehud Olmert. Huge pressure. But. And its a big but. Your military commanders wanted to go. They told you let them go. And now, Olmert's the one who will be going, and its a shame.

Tuesday, August 8

a jew and a black racist

Joe Liberman did better than many predicted he would do tonight. He still lost to Ned Lamont, but only by 4 percentage points. So he's going to run as an Independent and he's going to win.

Some irony. The Lieberman campaign website crashed Monday night and died for good Tuesday morning.

"It is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise voters," said Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith.

I'll say. With all the shenanigans with the blackface and the hate blogging? Pretty safe to say that the Lamont people hacked Lieberman's site and email system.

Reminds me of the Gore/Lieberman campaign to "disenfranchise voters," by not counting overseas military ballots during the 2000 election recount. And they weren't just trying not to count the overseas ballots intended for Florida. No, they insisted that all of the military absentee overseas ballots had to go because it was likely that military men and women were more likely to vote for a conservative Republican.

Some irony and more than a little justice. And don't post comments telling me that the VP nominee's got no say in campaign decisions. I have pneumonia and I don't feel good. And its my blog.

I've saved the best for last: We can now say that 'Former Congresswoman,' the racist' Cynthia McKinney lost the Georgia primary. There is justice in the world after all.

Saturday, August 5

iran admits

The Jersusalem Post is reporting that Iran admits for the first time that they did in fact 'arm' Hezbollah with long-range Zelzal-2 missiles to "defend Lebanon," but that Hezbollah only launches attacks with approval of Teheran and "under direct orders from the ayatollahs."

At the same time, Israel believes that they damaged Hezbollah's ability to fire long range missiles in the first night of bombings three weeks ago.

early adopters

Robert Novak writes that MA Governor Mitt Romney runs well in Iowa and that former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani is running for President.

"Romney is particularly strong in Iowa, where caucuses begin the presidential hunt. A win there would swell Romney's now anemic identification among Republican voters."

"A report in this column that Rudy Giuliani intends to run for president has been confirmed by one of the former New York mayor's closest Republican friends. He said Giuliani definitely is running."

us, france agree

John Bolton and the office of Jacques Chirac confirm that the United States and France have agreed on a drafted a UN resolution -- one of two to be drafted -- that calls for an end to the violence between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel to defend itself if attacked.

From the AP:

The draft does not call for an "immediate cessation of violence," officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the draft had not yet been made public."

"That appeared to be a victory for the U.S. and Israel. France and many other nations had demanded an immediate halt to violence without conditions as a way to push the region back toward stability."

The full 15 nation Security Council will meet later today to discuss the draft and officials said that the draft resolution could be adopted in the next couple of days.

Bolton said the second resolution will focus on ''spelling out a larger political framework for peace between Israel and Hezbollah or set the conditions for a peacekeeping force to deploy to Lebanon."

"We're prepared to continue to work tomorrow in order to make progress on the adoption of the resolution but we have reached agreement and we're now ready to proceed," Bolton said. "We're prepared to move as quickly as other members of the council want to move."

Friday, August 4

iran, france & hezbollah

The NY Sun writes today that Iran is 'racing to resupply Hezbollah' with new weapons across the Syrian border:

"Israeli military and intelligence officials here say Iranian technicians were aboard a flight to Damascus on Monday with the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki."

"The Israel Defense Forces also says it has not been able to seal the border between Syria and Lebanon, making it possible to ferry men, small rockets, and other materiel to Hezbollah through the back roads and smuggling routes in the Bekaa Valley."

"The Iranians this week began a double game in Lebanon best summed up by President Ahmadinejad's message to Muslim nations yesterday in Malaysia: "Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented."

"This approach — of seeking both Israel's destruction and a temporary ceasefire — is evident in signals from Iran's Foreign Ministry to European countries. Mr. Mottaki met with his French counterpart Monday at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. The French are supporting an immediate cease-fire and have pledged to contribute troops to an international force for southern Lebanon."

"The meeting was significant because the French in the past year have been supportive of efforts to censure, if not sanction, Iran for its nuclear program at the United Nations, and have pressured Syria to remove its forces from Lebanon in 2005 as part of resolution 1559."

United Nations resolution 1559, which was the first diplomatic unity shown between France and the United States in the wake of the invasion of Iraq, had two parts: Syrian forces would leave Lebanon after 26 years of occupation and Hezbollah would disarm.

We know how that played out. Syria left Lebanon and Hezbollah failed to disarm. The UN failed to enforce its own resolution yet again.

Important to remember here also is that France, back in 1920, was given the land that today is Lebanon and Syria by the League of Nations. They have great history in the region. Perhaps Jacques Chirac, exiting office in '07, is thinking about his legacy.

michael levin

Not much is being made of the death of Michael Levin, a 22 year old Philadelphia man who died fighting with Hezbollah in Ayta A-Shab in southern Lebanon, north of Biranit, according to the Israeli army’s Web site.

Four years ago, Levin went to Israel to study and live on a kibbutz. He later joined the Israeli paratrooper unit, according to his family rabbi Jeff Schnitzer "because he really believed in what Israel is and what it stands for. He didn’t do this to be a hero, although he is,” said Schnitzer, who leads Congregation Tifereth Israel of Lower Bucks County, PA.

I became aware of Michael Levin's story from Jennifer Griffin, a reporter on the Fox News Channel. Griffin, an expert on all things Israeli, has been with Fox News since 1999. Her reports are always fascinating and informative, and because she lives in Israel, she's very connected and well versed in the history of the country.

Jewish law commands that their dead be buried within 24 hours. However, Levin, and his service to the IDF, was so highly regarded that the Israeli military postponed his funeral for a day so that his family could attend.

irrelevant

Hillary Clinton, shamelessly playing politics with the Iraq war yesterday, demanded her questioning of Don Rumsfeld be 'open door,' so she could pander to the far Left unintelligent, intolerant nutjobs that comprise a big portion of her constituency.

Reading from a prepared statement of gripes, insults and inaccuracies, the DNC's great white hope for '08 came across as nagging, lecturing and boring as she sought to portray Rumsfeld, and the Bush Administration, as incompetent.

It was great stuff. Hillary, in her level, trance-like, monotone voice, accusing Rummy of being a 'sunny optimist' with regard to Iraq.

When it was Rumsfeld's turn to respond her took her to task, never referring to notes, knocking down her assertions point by point. Later he told her that 'she'd have a Dicken's of a time finding' any 'sunny and optimistic' comment he's made about Iraq over the years.

Meanwhile, it appears the Democrats have finally settled on a party position on Iraq. They want troops withdrawn completely from the country by the end of this year.

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and 10 other Mensa Democrats have written President Bush a letter demanding a withdrawal of troops this year and "transition to a more limited mission."

How do you place "limits" on fighting terrorism?

incoming

The aftermath of Hezbollah rockets hitting the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmone.

survival

Read the latest Victor Davis Hansen piece. The anti-war nuts don't get it. They don't understand world events. They are ignorant of history. They are irrelevant.

He writes:

"There will be no peace in the general Middle East until Iranians and Arabs have true constitutional government, free institutions, open markets and the rule of law. Without these reforms, they will continue to fail, seeking easy refuge in the shreds of mythical ancestral honor -- and this pathetic neurosis of blaming nearby Israel for the loss of it."

That sounds remarkably similar to the Bush Doctrine.

Thursday, August 3

british humour?

The BBC is coming under fire for a new comedy show satirizing the assassination of Tony Blair, a 9/11 style jetplane attack on Parliament and a Hamas bombing in Tel Aviv.

That's some funny shit.

striking tel aviv?

A deadly day of fighting for Israel, after Hezbollah rockets killed 8 civilians and 3 Israeli soldiers died in southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah leader Nasrallah promised to target Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city, if Israel attacked central Beirut, acknowledgment for the first time that Hezbollah has the long range means -- 80 miles -- to strike so far to the south into Israel.

"If you strike Beirut, the Islamic Resistance will strike Tel Aviv and it is able to do so," he said.

That's certainly tough talk, but I'm not sure how true it is considering that the IDF has been focused on destroying Hezbollah's rocket launchers.

If Hezbollah hits Tel Aviv, the full force of the Israeli military will descend on the entire nation of Lebanon, not just the southern part.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in remarks published on Thursday he expected a U.N. vote on a truce next week.

unbelievable

Arab media coverage on the war with Israel isn't believable anymore. From Haaretz:

"If Hezbollah-run media are to be believed, then 35 Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed or wounded in Aita Shaab, militants downed an Israeli helicopter and destroyed a house in which IDF soldiers were hiding, and IDF troops are always hit in the back because they are running away."

Waging war on the PR front is half the battle for modern terrorists. Seeking to provide an edge, Hezbollah owns a vast media empire, which includes the Al-Nur radio station and the Web site moqawama.net, the satellite television network Al Manar, which is broadcast to Lebanon and the entire Arab world. Hezbollah even uses Iranian television, Al-Alam, to broadcast its messages.

"Hezbollah's reports have become less and less believable in recent days. On Monday, Al-Manar television reported that the organization had destroyed an Israeli ship off the coast of Tyre, which had some 50 sailors aboard - a charge the IDF dismissed completely."

Al Manar was the first to report, back on July 12, that Hezbollah had captured two Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. And Al Manar's 'very impressive broadcasting quality' reporting has had a tremendous influence on media coverage in both the Arab world and the Hebrew press.

No wonder the IDF bombed Al Manar's south Beirut's offices.

tolerant liberals

Ned Lamont is attempting to unseat Joe Lieberman and he's getting some unscrupulous assistance from far Left bloggers.

Check out this classy piece of Photoshop work from Lamont blogger Jane Hamsher, who proudly posted her work on the Huffington Post yesterday.

Hamsher is definitely a fighter, not a lover. Look at the charming things she said about Conservative writer Kate O'Beirne.Yes, the 'tolerant' Liberals are at it again. If a Republican campaign produced something like this you could count on Jesse Jackson, Al Shapton, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and every other civil rights group in the country to file lawsuits, march on DC and cry racism.

Jackson and Sharpton? They're too busy campaigning for Lamont to notice, or care.

What is it with Liberals and blackface?Left wing blogger Steve Gillard defaced Maryland Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele.

What is with Liberals and ADD? It seems many of them suffer from an inability to focus. The subject is politics, not personal attacks. Republicans talk about policy, about their ideas. Democrats spew anger, hate and insults.

Impeach PAC is even blaming Lieberman for skinhead infiltration into the US military. These people are certifiable. And they are among Lamont's most ardent supporters.

If live in Connecticut say no to hate. Say no to Ned Lamont and his merry band of haters. Go Joe.

key players

Meet Fidel's flunkies:







Raul Castro, 75, Fidel's brother, named to succeed him as Cuban leader; former Cuban vice president and defense minister.







Ricardo Alarcon, 69, President of the National Assembly, chief advisor on the United States; former head of foreign ministry's US office and ambassador to the United Nations.







Carlos Lage, 54, Politburo member in charge of Cuba's economics; carried out reforms during economic crisis following Soviet Union's collapse, called the "Special Period."







Felipe Perez Roque, 41, Foreign minister since 1999; Fidel's personal secretary in the 1980's; One of the youngest members of the cabinet; known as a hard-liner.

organized chaos

I originally posted this as a comment on 'Organized Chaos,' my friend Lisa's excellent blog. I cleaned it up a bit to make it a bit more readable.

"Fighting terrorism means not giving terrorists protections under the geneva conventions. It means killing them in the field of battle and doing whatever is necessary to extract information out of them.

Fighting terrorism means allowing our military to fight the battle and worry about hearts and minds later.

Fighting terrorism means being consistent across the board and not deviating from the battle plan.

Fighting terrorism means vividly recalling and remembering history which will remind all of us that the terrorists believe us to have weak stomachs for casualties and long, drawn out battles.

Fighting terrorism has everything to do with common sense and nothing to do with politics, yet, because of policy disagreements, fighting terrorism in a serious way means that Republicans must remain in positions of power and dominant influence and Democrats must remain the irrelevant minority.

Fighting terrorism means protecting ourselves first, placing a higher priority on the safety of Americans and America. It requires a re-dedication to defending our freedom and our liberty.

Fighting terrorism means that we do legitimize the enemy by recognizing them as members of a unified army under the rules of international law. It means we do not grant terrorists days in court or access to legal counsel.

Fighting terrorism in a serious way means that we must destroy those with whom we disagree."

Wednesday, August 2

chicago

Lollapalooza is back. But this time its only in Chicago, August 4-6.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Raconteurs
Queens Of The Stone Age
Wilco
Death Cab For Cutie
Nada Surf
Gnarls Barkley
Violent Femmes
Secret Machines
Flaming Lips
Manu Chao
Reverend Horton Heat
Matisyahu
She Wants Revenge
The Dresden Dolls
eels
Panic! At The Disco
Built To Spill
Pepper
Wolfmother
The Subways
Living Things
Blue October
...and many, many more.

I told Annalis its too bad we can't just drop everything and fly to the Windy City this weekend.

unanimity

The US Senate voted unanimously to transfer ownership of the land beneath the Mount Soledad Memorial to the federal government. President Bush will sign the bill and that should end this 20 + year ridiculous legal battle.

I'm surprised my Senators Boxer and Feinstein voted for this bill. BTW, I just called them both and thanked them.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"Feinstein and Boxer tend to be staunch church-state separation advocates. But both also support a plan to spend federal money to preserve California missions that hold church services because, the senators argue, the missions have historical significance."

“The Mount Soledad cross has been a great source of hope and inspiration for decades, and it has important historical significance to veterans and San Diegans alike,” Feinstein said."

"Boxer said, “I believe this monument to be a memorial to our veterans and therefore should be allowed to stay. The Hunter bill was drafted in a way that is consistent with the latest court action.”

"Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also supported the Senate action, saying that “allowing this landmark to be destroyed would send the wrong message to our nation's veterans.”

Next stop: The Supreme Court, which has shown a tendency in recent years to make contradictory rulings in this area. For example, a cross inside a Kentucky courthouse was unconstitutional but that a 6-foot granite monument outside the Texas Capitol passed muster.

Pictured above: Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Tuesday, August 1

21 days

The WSJ's Bret Stephens writes that Israel is losing the war against Hezbollah:

"If it keeps going as it is, Israel is headed for the greatest military humiliation in its history. During the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Israelis were stunned by their early reversals against Egypt and Syria, yet they eked out a victory over these two powerfully armed, Soviet-backed adversaries in 20 days. The conflict with Hezbollah -- a 15,000-man militia chiefly armed with World War II-era Katyusha rockets -- is now in its 21st day. So far, Israel has nothing to show for its efforts: no enemy territory gained, no enemy leaders killed, no abatement in the missile barrage that has sent a million Israelis from their homes and workplaces."

Israel has widened the ground war and has stepped up the airstrikes. Now maybe they'll get better results.

no mode

The Depeche Mode concert, scheduled for Thursday, 8.03 in Tel Aviv, has been cancelled due to the refusal of the band's technical team's to go to Israel.

Damn terrorists.

mr. popular

I count 35 people (plus a cameraman) gathered to hear John Kerry this past weekend in Iowa.

on offense

A major Israeli offensive is currently underway 'deep' in Lebanon. An Israeli helicopter landed in the Baalbek area in the Bekaa valley - a Hezbollah stronghold in north-east Lebanon. Earlier, Israel warned civilians north-east of Lebanon's Litani River to leave their homes.

The IDF has also pushed farther into southern Lebanon, establishing a 'security zone.'

Said Ehud Olmert:

"Hezbollah would never again be able to threaten the Jewish state," and that "a diplomatic process was under way which he believed would "lead in the end to a ceasefire under totally different conditions from those which existed previously on our northern border."

fidel & raul


Cuban dictator Fidel Castro turned power over to his brother Raul temporarily while he recovers from intestinal surgery, two weeks shy of his 80th birthday.

President Bush, in Miami yesterday, said:

"If Fidel Castro were to move on because of natural causes, we've got a plan in place to help the people of Cuba understand there's a better way than the system in which they've been living under," he told WAQI-AM Radio Mambi, a Spanish-language radio station. "No one knows when Fidel Castro will move on. In my judgment, that's the work of the Almighty."

In Miami, cautious excitment. From Reuters:

"Cuban exiles streamed into the streets of Miami's Little Havana, dancing and cheering to celebrate news that Cuban President Fidel Castro had handed over power temporarily for the first time due to surgery."

"Later on Tuesday the euphoria turned to nervous waiting for updates on the condition of Castro, viewed by many exiles as a brutal dictator whose demise could usher in a new democratic era for their homeland."

"We are seeing the end of this 50-year-old, almost 50-year-old, terrorist regime," U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Miami Republican of Cuban descent, told Miami television station WSVN. "It could be hours, it could be days, it could be months, but it's on the way out."

Above photos: a Castro banner reads "We are doing fine" and a 'homemade' sign that says "Long live Fidel. 80 more.'

'widening' and 'winning'

Prime Minister Olmert is 'widening' Israel's ground presence in Lebanon and is claiming that Israel is "winning the battle" over Hezbollah.
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