Friday, December 29

g_ll_w_ p_le


Saddam Hussein, executed. Happy Day!!!

Thursday, December 28

more ford

According to an interview with the NY Daily News on May 11 of this year, President Ford disagreed with the rationale -- weapons of mass destruction -- to invade Iraq.

“Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him, but we shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does (Bush) get his advice?”

I agree and I've been saying that since '03. Hussein did, in fact, possess illegal weaponry, but I always thought it would be incredibly difficult to locate them. The world -- the UN, Europe, Democrats, no one -- could have mounted a legitimate argument against an invasion for 'humanitarian' reasons.

Tuesday, December 26

restoring confidence

"I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots. So I ask you to confirm me with your prayers."
I've always admired and respected President Ford. He led the nation at a difficult time post-Nixon and as the 38th President of the United States, Ford held the distinction of being the only unelected President and Vice President in our history. Ford also shares the distinction, with President Reagan, of being the oldest ex-Presidents at the time of their deaths.

President Ford, superstar athlete, distinguished member of Congress, Vice President of the United States and a truly great President, died tonight in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 93.

Ford put the country first (and his political fortunes a distant second) in his decision to pardon Nixon, a political courage and a moral conviction completely lacking in most of our national leaders today. Ford was a genuine human being, unconsumed with ambition, yet he understood how important it was to restore confidence in American government.

This guy came into office with foreign and domestic disasters on his hands, Watergate mess, Vietnam, race riots from coast to coast, high unemployment, high inflation, an economic recession.

Ford did an amazing job as President, and we forget the enabled Liberal Congress he battled in the wake of Nixon's resignation, a Congress that refused to grant aid to South Vietnam, a decision which resulted in the fall of Saigon to the Communists.

Love those 'tolerant, peace-seeking, freedom-loving Liberals.' They haven't changed a bit in 20 years, have they?

Ford. He did such a great job, he nearly defeated Carter. In fact, some historians, including Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, believe that Ford would have beaten Carter if he hadn't stumbled during an answer about Poland in the '76 Presidential debate.

It was my privilege to meet President Ford in 1976 during a 1976 re-election campaign appearance in San Francisco.

Friday, December 22

ugly

Charging Marines with murder during a war? That doesn't make sense to me.

If civilian blood is spilled in Iraq it is on the heads of the terrorists, since they ingratiate themselves among the general population.

Fighting and winning a war has nothing to do with political correctness.

toasting mr. strauss

Karl Strauss, San Diego's first microbrewer, is dead at 94.

I knew Karl. Whenever I ran into him at one of the Strauss brew pubs, he'd always ask if I was 'enjoying my beer.'

Thursday, December 21

the best girl, ever

Ten years ago, Christmas 1996, Dad's last Christmas. It was a special time. We had such optimism, such high hopes for his recovery from cancer. It was not to be. He passed June 21, 1997 at the age of 61. A month later, he and my Mom would have celebrated 43 years of marriage.

This year, many of you recall the pain at the loss of my black labrador, Pepper, back in February. Christmas is going to be especially hard without 'my fuzzy buddy.' I look at the tree and I think, 'she was here, just one short year ago.' And I remember my father, ten years ago.

Strange how we move on from grief. All summer I thought of her in passing. Now, the past week or so, I've thought of almost nothing else. What an amazing animal. Big members of the family, gone forever. A part of me died with her. And with him.

Here's my tribute to Pepper.

My Dad? That's a post for another time.

chickening out?

Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame wanted their day in court, but now Wilson suddenly doesn't want to testify against Scooter Libby. Very interesting.

From the Washington Post:
Former ambassador Joseph Wilson asked a federal judge Wednesday not to force him to testify in the CIA leak case and accused former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of trying to harass him on the witness stand.

Libby, who faces perjury and obstruction charges, subpoenaed Wilson as a defense witness this month. Libby's attorney, William Jeffress, said in court Tuesday that was a precautionary move and he did not expect to put Wilson on the stand.

'Harass him on the witness stand'? More to the point, Wilson, an acknowledged liar, is a coward too.

The shame in all of this is the sliming of Libby, an honest, diligent public servant.

across the pond

British authorities believe a holiday terrorist attack in London is unavoidable.

"It will be a miracle if there isn't a terror attack over the holidays in London," a senior American law enforcement official tells ABCNews.com.

"It is not a matter of if there will be an attack, but how bad the attack will be," an intelligence official told ABCNews.com.

Authorities say they are seeking at least 18 suspected suicide bombers.

"They hope they are one step ahead, but they seriously fear they may be one step behind," the senior American official said.

British law enforcement and intelligence officials say the ongoing plots have been in the planning stages for at least three years. The officials say the plots are all connected and track back to al Qaeda commanders in Pakistan who have been recruiting and training British citizens of Pakistan descent.

A report from Newsweek says that American al Qaeda figure Adam Gadahn has served as a translator of a 12-member team of Western recruits, the "English brothers," said to be preparing an attack that would be much bigger than last year's attack on the London subway system.

Wednesday, December 20

treachery

Who remembers Sandy Berger, Clinton's former National Security Advisor? One of the biggest examples of media bias in recent memory was the non-coverage of Berger's theft of national security documents from the National Archives in Washington DC back in '03.

Berger was observed stuffing sensitive documents into his pants and socks? He later destroyed some of the documents. Berger was caught and prosecuted, sentenced to paying a $50,000 fine, doing community service and losing his security clearance.

What we didn't know was that Berger, according to the the Archives inspector general, hid the documents he stole under a construction trailer.

From the AP:
Inspector General Paul Brachfeld reported that when Berger was confronted by Archives officials about the missing documents, he said it was possible he threw them in his office trash.

Brachfeld also reported that on one visit, Berger took a break to go outside without an escort.
"In total, during this visit, he removed four documents.

"Mr. Berger said he placed the documents under a trailer in an accessible construction area outside Archives 1 (the main Archives building)."

Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.
Berger had so little regard for documents relating to the national security of the United States, that he hid them outside, under a trailer.

Treason? Treachery is defined as "betrayal of trust; deceptive action or nature."

In the old days those who committed treason against the United States were executed.

mob rules

The Wall Street Journal is the best newspaper in America, bar none, and I read it every morning.

Joseph Rago, an assistant editorial features editor, wrote a fascinating op-ed this morning about Blogs, 'The Blog Mob.' (subscription required) Here are the key excerpts for your edification:

The blogs must be timely if they are to influence politics. This element -- here's my opinion -- is necessarily modified and partly determined by the right now. Instant response, with not even a day of delay, impairs rigor. It is also a coagulant for orthodoxies. We rarely encounter sustained or systematic blog thought -- instead, panics and manias; endless rehearsings of arguments put forward elsewhere; and a tendency to substitute ideology for cognition. The participatory Internet, in combination with the hyperlink, which allows sites to interrelate, appears to encourage mobs and mob behavior.

This cross-referential and interactive arrangement, in theory, should allow for some resolution to divisive issues, with the market sorting out the vagaries of individual analysis. Not in practice. The Internet is very good at connecting and isolating people who are in agreement, not so good at engaging those who aren't. The petty interpolitical feuding mainly points out that someone is a liar or an idiot or both.

Because political blogs are predictable, they are excruciatingly boring. More acutely, they promote intellectual disingenuousness, with every constituency hostage to its assumptions and the party line. Thus the right-leaning blogs exhaustively pursue second-order distractions -- John Kerry always providing useful material -- while leaving underexamined more fundamental issues, say, Iraq. Conservatives have long taken it as self-evident that the press unfavorably distorts the war, which may be the case; but today that country is a vastation, and the unified field theory of media bias has not been altered one jot.

Leftward fatuities too are easily found: The fatuity matters more than the politics. If the blogs have enthusiastically endorsed Joseph Conrad's judgment of newspapering -- "written by fools to be read by imbeciles" -- they have also demonstrated a remarkable ecumenicalism in filling out that same role themselves.

Nobody wants to be an imbecile. Part of it, I think, is that everyone likes shows and entertainments. Mobs are exciting. People also like validation of what they already believe; the Internet, like all free markets, has a way of gratifying the mediocrity of the masses. And part of it, especially in politics, has to do with conservatives. In their frustration with the ancien régime, conservatives quite eagerly traded for an enlarged discourse. In the process they created a counterestablishment, one that has adopted the same reductive habits they used to complain about. The quarrel over one discrete set of standards did a lot to pull down the very idea of standards.
When I think of imbeciles I think of Dan and Joe. Maybe I'll create a list of Imbeciles for your enjoyment. I'll do some research so you don't have to.

raise wages, lower taxes

From Reuters:
President George W. Bush said on Wednesday that he supports a Democratic proposal to increase the U.S. minimum wage but said it should be coupled with tax and regulatory relief for small businesses.
"I believe we should do it in a way that does not punish the millions of small businesses that are creating most of the new jobs in our country," Bush told a news conference. "So, I support pairing it with targeted tax and regulatory relief to help these small businesses stay competitive and to help keep our economy growing."
Raising the minimum wage is ridiculous and unnecessary, particularly because it will do harm to small businesses. I know that a majority of Americans support raising it, but a majority of Americans are so idiotic and irresponsible they don't bother to vote.

Burger flipping jobs were never intended to be careers. They were intended to be stepping stones to careers. Minimum wage jobs are temporary, held by teenagers and young adults who are in transformational periods of life.

I'm sorry Bush is going along with this boondoggle.

linkage

You might notice that my posts are a bit different lately.

I'm a Mac user and the browser that works best for OS X is Safari, Apple's proprietary browser. For whatever reason, Safari and Blogger.com don't like each other very much. Firefox didn't work very well on OS X, either, until just very recently.

Hence the change. I'm still getting used to including multiple links in posts. It's liberating after being so severely limited on Safari. Hopefully, you'll enjoy this blog even more than you did before.

needed?

Defeatist Democrats have been urging President Bush to send more American troops to Iraq for two years, despite claims from the Commanders in the field that more troops are unnecessary. Liberals didn't care about what the top Generals, the people fighting the war, wanted.

Now that Bush is considering a short term surge in troops, Liberals are suddenly concerned with what the Generals want.

How ironic.

We've been playing politics with Iraq for three years now. We've been more concerned with the safety of the civilian population than we have with winning the peace. We've forgotten that wars are about killing people and breaking things. We've second-guessed ourselves to death, we've allowed incompetents like John Kerry to go to Syria and waste time 'talking' to the regime of Bashar al Assad. It was Assad who promised Colin Powell Syria's cooperation with the US before invading Iraq, and look how that turned out.

We've also allowed this perception to take hold that Iraq is a failure. That it is a big mess. It isn't a mess. Read my post yesterday, 'Booming.' Iraq is now capitalism central. The reality is that most Iraqi's are optimistic about their future. Out of 18 Iraqi provinces, 15 are peaceful and safe. Only three provinces are having problems. Only in the eyes of the defeatist Left, or the Bush-hating MSM, could Iraq be considered a failure.

Democrats continue to advocate failed policies, failed ideologies and failed methodologies, leaving those of us on the other side of the aisle to conclude that they are fools. Talking only foments additional terror because it gives the appearance of weakness and every terrorist on the planet knows that Democrats are weak and ineffective when it comes to fighting terrorism. That's why the terrorists hate Bush. They fear him. They have no doubt of his commitment to defeating them because he's been consistent in his language for six years.

What's needed in Iraq is very similar to what's needed in America: The closing of borders. Sealing off Iraq from Iran to the east and Syria to the north would instantly make Iraq safer. Stemming the flow of fighters and weapons is the most logical first step to victory.

penchant, part ii

What the world needs now -- a re-release of "It Takes A Village," the decade-old book that claims we are all responsible for raising children.

Let's get something straight. I am not responsible for raising your kids. You are.

And here's a holiday shocker: Hillary Clinton got a warm welcome this morning on 'The View.'

Clinton called Barack Obama a 'terrific guy,' while denying that she was the front runner in '08.

"We're going to have a lot of good people running in the Democratic primary and I think that's exciting," she said.

From the AP:

"We are probably as fanatic about Christmas as anyone you'll meet," Clinton said of her husband, former President Clinton, and daughter, Chelsea. She added that she loved making homemade ornaments and trimming the tree.

"You'd be surprised how crafty she is," host Rosie O'Donnell cracked.

Oh, that's so funny, Rosie!!! Just hysterical!!!!

Picking up on yesterday's post 'Penchant,' Newt Gingrich has a new book called "
Rediscovering God in America." I'd like to see him go on 'The View' to hawk his book and share his holiday rituals. Do you think Joy and Rosie would be as chipper, as engaging, as supportive of the former Speaker of the House as they were of Mrs. Clinton this morning?

Would Rosie ever gush over Gingrich and mention how much he enjoys Christmas?

Tuesday, December 19

'nice photo-op, but nothing else'

Global superstar Bono was on Capitol Hill last week meeting with Democrats seeking assurances that $1 billion in planned U.S. spending promised for Africa would actually get to where it is needed.

Mrs. and Mr. Scrooge, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, respectively, said 'no.' Bah humbug.

'It was a nice photo-op, but nothing else,' said the U2 lead singer.

Read about it here.

witness

Vice President Cheney will be called as a defense witness in the Scooter Libby case? Good. The truth will come out and Patrick Fitzgerald should be embarrassed. (As he should be, since his case depends on prosecution witnesses like Tim Russert and Judith Miller.)

Read about it here.

'sorting it out'

National Review's Byron York wonders whether or not Mitt Romney is going to be able to convince Conservatives that he's not a pro-choice, pro-gay Reagan-hater. Read about it here.

The bigger problem? The 'recent-ness' of his views on particular subjects, just as he's ramping up to run for President.

After meeting Romney last week and speaking to him at length on a variety of subjects, I don't doubt his sincerity on abortion, or his social conservatism in general.

Voters, indeed, will have to sort it all out.

penchant

Joy Behar comparing Don Rumsfeld to Adolf Hitler? It's not as offensive as it is ridiculous. Where is the outrage?

If a Conservative compared a Liberal to a genocidal dictator the condemnation would be universal. Said Conservative would most likely lose their job, the New York Times would do 74 expose stories about the 'controversy,' their reputation forever sullied to the point of a cautionary tale and the entire episode would be endlessly parodied on SNL and YouTube.

These double standards are striking. 'Tolerant Liberals' can say anything they want, no matter how insulting, or untrue. They can -- and do, regularly -- slime anyone with whom they disagree and they are never held responsible.

We can't say anything we want. There's no such thing as free speech for Republicans. It doesn't exist. But we are held to an impossibly high standard. The standard is so high, in fact, that points of view are now being censored. Yes, I said censored.

Many Republicans, myself included, don't speak our minds sometimes because we are concerned about how it might play out. Who in their right mind wants to be crucified for holding a particular point of view? Who wants to be told they are 'no better than a child molester'? A woman at a bar told me that recently. My crime? I pointed out to her that Mark Foley was not going to be charged with a crime.

Look what happens when Tom Tancredo talks about illegal immigration. He's branded a 'racist' because he wants to stem the flow of Mexicans flowing into the country. Look what happens when President Bush opposes gay marriage -- he's labeled a 'bigot,' and 'anti-gay.' Trent Lott was labeled a 'racist' when he praised Strom Thurmond a few years ago, saying that he believed Thurmond 'would have been a good President.' Somehow, that statement was twisted into racially insensitive language.

Meanwhile, it's never been widely reported that Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, was a card carrying member of the KKK. It's never been widely reported that Ted Kennedy is a murderer. It's never been widely reported that Speaker-of-the-House Nancy Pelosi refuses to hire union workers at her hotels, restaurants and vineyards across Northern California.

The overwhelming hypocrisy of the Left is never widely reported.

Monday, December 18

mt. hood

I'm sorry about the deaths of these three climbers, but let's be honest.

How stupid was it to attempt this climb in December? How selfish was it to risk causing an avalanche, harming, injuring or killing numerous others? How insensitive to scale the mountain and not consider the safety of others in the event of a necessary rescue attempt?

Engage in reckless and dangerous hobbies all you want, just don't get someone else killed in the process.

'booming'

From Newsweek:

"Civil war or not, Iraq has an economy, and—mother of all surprises—it's doing remarkably well. Real estate is booming. Construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are healthy, too, according to a report by Global Insight in London. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports 34,000 registered companies in Iraq, up from 8,000 three years ago. Sales of secondhand cars, televisions and mobile phones have all risen sharply. Estimates vary, but one from Global Insight puts GDP growth at 17 percent last year and projects 13 percent for 2006. The World Bank has it lower: at 4 percent this year. But, given all the attention paid to deteriorating security, the startling fact is that Iraq is growing at all.

"Iraqna, the leading cell phone company, posted revenues of $333 million in 2005. This year, it's on track to take in $520 million. The U.S. State Department reports that there are now 7.1 million mobile-phone subscribers in Iraq, up from just 1.4 million two years ago."

Sunday, December 17

merry christmas

We all had one thing in common. We all wished each wished each other a Merry Christmas.

Each and every attendee of last night's dinner party unabashedly and unapologetically agreed not to be PC.

It was so refreshing.

So I say Merry Christmas to you, all my blogosphere buddies.

yawn

Was 2006 boring? Is this the best the brainiacs over at Time Magazine could come up with? Everyone -- you and me and everybody else -- are the 'persons of the year'?

How PC, how touchy-feel-y is that? It is as if the editors at Time said, 'hey, we know that our brand of journalism is about having a point of view, but we just don't have one right now.'

Thursday, December 14

another layer

Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi is recommending the creation of a new House oversight committee to closely examine US spy agencies' actions and spending.

The Select Intelligence Oversight Panel would be a part of the powerful Appropriations Committee and would draw its membership from that spending committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence.

It would hold hearings to examine the president's intelligence budget, it would prepare the classified details to the annual defense spending bill and conduct oversight of the use of appropriated funds by intelligence agencies.

"It will protect the American people with the best possible intelligence, recognizing the role that Congress plays in all of this," said Pelosi.

No, it is an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy that will slow the Federal Government's reaction to real time threats. It just gives Liberals more of an opportunity to talk and debate and examine the various nuances in everything. This is a big waste of time. In the age of global terror this slowdown could be deadly. That's not 'protecting the American people.'

In arguing for oversight, members of Congress have complained that only Appropriations is fully briefed on particular issues because they hold the purse strings. Members of other committees, because they have no budget oversight, sometimes feel less informed on particular issues.

I don't have a problem with oversight, as long as it is serious and laser focused. I have huge problems with ceaseless hearings and games-playing Democrats obstructing national security programs as a way to bash Bush.

senator johnson

South Dakota's Democratic Senator Tim Johnson is in critical condition after two surgeries, one, a procedure checking for blood clots, the other an emergency procedure overnight -- to repair bleeding inside his brain.

The Senator suffers from Arteriovenous malformation, a congenital condition that causes arteries and veins to grow abnormally large, become tangled and sometimes burst. About 300,000 Americans are afflicted with AVM.

Johnson, 59, is said to be "recovering without complication."

nimble thumbs

Did you know that teengage girls in Japan on average send 200 text messages a day?

I learned this within the context of an WSJ article this morning about the ice cream maker Coldstone's push into the Japanese market. They've chosen sponsorships of certain events as the foot in the door approach to appeal to their consumers.

Two hundred text messages a day? My thumbs hurt just thinking about it.

Wednesday, December 13

t-bell

What the hell is going on with Taco Bell? First, this e coli bacteria thing was believed to have been from green onions from California. Then it was some crap about chili pepper powder. And now we're supposed to believe that lettuce was the contaminated item?

C'mon people, level with us. I did crisis management back in my P.R. days and rule numero uno is always 'be honest,' and that means honesty straight out of the gate, the second the crisis breaks, tell people the truth so your company can survive.

According to the website the company changed lettuce suppliers 'strickly as a precautionary measure' on December 9.

Whatever. 'Thinking outside the bun' is always going to be difficult for me.

'tired, lifeless'

Pollster extraordinaire Frank Luntz believes the GOP lost the midterm elections because of poor communication skills.

"The Republicans who won in 1994 were bold, passionate visionaries with the courage to go to the people with a clearly-defined, new agenda and a freshly minted lexicon around The Contract with America that educated average Americans, not just political elites. Issues and principles drove them. Words and visions excited them.

"The Republican Party that lost in 2006 was a tired, lifeless shell of the articulate, reformist, forward-thinking movement that was swept into office in 1994 on a wave of positive change."

now playing

I'm glad to see my old San Diego buddy Mark Hoppus is doing so well with his new band, +44.

50-50?

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) has suffered a stroke today. According to the AP, he became disoriented and began stuttering during a conference call to reporters and was taken to George Washington University Hospital.

If Johnson is unable to serve in an official capacity, the Governor of South Dakota -- Republican Mike Rounds -- would name a temporary replacement Senator, likely a Republican, which would then create a 50 seat tie in the Senate.

I wish Johnson and his family well, but a 50-50 Senate would be an early Christmas present for the country and the GOP.

'iraqslogger.com'

Former CNN news division chief Eason Jordan is launching a blog that will focus exclusively on Iraq.

'IraqSlogger,' inspired by Donald Rumsfeld's description of the Iraq war as 'a long, hard slog,' will offer a morning roundup of US newspapers, translated stories from Iraqi newspapers, Iraqi blogs, “viral videos," and so-called “nuggets," missed by major media, like the Iraqi getting addiction to the American television series “Lost." Jordan calls it "original reporting from Iraq beyond the traditional."

Sounds like a very cool blog, one that I will definitely read. But Jordan is a squid. He ignored (and instructed reporters not to report on) Hussein regime atrocities in order to secure CNN's access to Iraq, and he was forced to resign from the cable network after he suggested that coalition troops had "targeted" a dozen journalists in Iraq.

wisdom

I heard Donald Rumsfeld talking about how he believes that President Bush has been 'victimized' by his own success. No attacks in five years, yet Bush, in the minds of the Left is 'incompetent,' a 'miserable failure,' a 'moron' and an 'idiot.'

Well, the 'idiot' continues to do a great job. Yesterday, for example, the Department of Homeland Security nabbed 1,282 people in a six-state raid on meat processing plants. Sixty five of those arrested face criminal charges on the identity theft of hundreds of Americans.

Today, the 'moron' said he 'won't be rushed' on deciding on a new direction in winning the war in Iraq. "I will not be rushed into making a difficult decision ... a necessary decision," said Bush.

That's good. Hastily-made decisions are usually poor decisions. Considering the pressure the President is under -- from Democrats, from the military, from allies within his own party, from the American public -- its a good thing, a wise decision on Bush's part not to 'be rushed' into a new plan on Iraq.

Yes, Bush is so 'incompetent' he makes the Democrats look dumb by comparison. But at least he knows the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite.

Tuesday, December 12

advice

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl and Clinton's former CIA Director Jim Woolsey have written an open letter to President Bush about the ISG.

"In short, Mr. President, we encourage you to follow your better instincts. By all means, review,
assess and, as appropriate, adopt the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and those of the
executive branch agencies you have commissioned. We urge you, however, to continue to reject
any course of action that would signal that America has become a country that, to quote the
scholar Bernard Lewis, is “harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.”

Amen.

scrutiny

I really enjoyed meeting Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney last night at the San Diego GOP Christmas party.

Romney and I share the belief that we are currently living in the most tenuous period in American history. He spoke passionately about the importance of defeating terrorism, protecting America, about American workers and corporations being competitive in the world, the urgency of restricting illegal immigration and improving education by "putting kids first and unions dead last."

Mitt could be a very formidable candidate for President in '08, although I still believe him to be vulnerable on the Mormon issue. The Romney people claim to have extensive polling data that says otherwise, but I'm not convinced because anytime I hear people mention the word 'Mormon' the word 'cult' is never far behind.

But if Minnesota can elect a radical Muslim to Congress in the person of Keith Ellison, why can't a conservative Mormon like Romney be elected to the Presidency? He's already proven himself as an exemplary chief executive of America's most Liberal state.

Religion is likely to be an issue, and there definitely will be charges of 'flip flopping' on the gay marriage issue. The American Spectator reported yesterday that the NYT will be running a big expose this weekend about Romney.

Back when he ran for Governor in '02, Romney curried favor with gay rights groups by pledging his support to their cause. Two years later in his unsuccesful Senate campaign he promised to be a 'a stronger crusader for gay rights than Ted Kennedy,' and he adopted the Clinton 'don't ask, don't tell' approach for gay and lesbian members of the military.

Now in '06/'07, at the start of his presidential campaign, Romney is recognized as a national voice in opposing gay marriage. No wonder people are confused. What to believe, what to believe?

Both sides are about to become engaged. Thinkers like Tony Perkins and Paul Weyrich on the Right are going to be skeptical of Romney. Meanwhile Liberals can now claim they were right all along about Romney's conservatism, and they will spare no opportunities to call Mitt a bigot while attempting to define him as a narrow minded extremist.

Reminds me of the flap over George H.W. Bush's flip flopping on abortion back in the '80s, and look how that turned out.

now playing

This isn't new anymore but I still dig it.

Monday, December 11

quiz

Silvestre Reyes, the new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, failed a terrorism quiz of basic questions. He's paid $165,200 a year to know this stuff.

From CNN.com:

"When asked by Congressional Quarterly National Security Editor Jeff Stein whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam -- Sunni or Shiite -- Reyes answered "they are probably both," then ventured "Predominantly -- probably Shiite."

"That is wrong. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics."

Reportedly Reyes knew little about Hezbollah, a Shiite terrorist group with Iranian connections which is based in Southern Lebanon.

Stein, 'amazed' at Reyes' lack of knowledge, compared it to a baseball commissioner not knowing the difference between the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Said Stein: "You're not going to have the respect of the people you work with. If you don't have the basics, how do you effectively question the administration? You don't know who is on first."

Stein claims that Reyes is not the only member of the House Intelligence Committee that lacks what he (Stein)considered basic knowledge of terrorist organizations.

"It kind of disgusts you, because these guys are supposed to be tending your knitting," Stein said. "Most people are rightfully appalled."

Jane Harmon (D-CA) certainly understands the difference between Sunni and Shia. She has been a member of the Intelligence Committee for a long time. She was next in line to Chair the Committee, but she and Speaker-elect Pelosi don't get along, so Nancy picked the chubby Latino who knows almost nothing about the enemy we are currently facing in the GWOT.

We've discussed this before in this space how untrustworthy Democrats are when it comes to protecting America and Americans from terror and now we have demonstrable proof of their imcompetence. Putting a personal vendetta ahead of national security is unconscionable and unforgivable.

Click on the 'quiz' headline above to read a transcript of the Reyes interview and prepare to be outraged by Democratic carelessness and recklessness.

heckled

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was heckled by Iranian students today at a prestigious Tehran university.

The Iranian student news agency ISNA reported that the protesters chanted "students can die but they do not accept degradation" by lashing out at the United States, while lighting fire to his photograph and seting off firecrackers.

"It is my honour to burn for the sake of the nation's ideals and defend the system," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling protesters who set fire his picture, calling them the "oppressive" minority.

"Americans must know that even if Ahmadinejad's body is burnt a thousand times for this purpose, Ahmadinejad will not retreat even a centimetre from these ideals," he said.

december 31

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan apparently fancies himself to be like Winston Churchill. Sixty years ago President Harry Truman invited Churchill to Missouri where he gave his famous Iron Curtain address to warn Americans of the menace they faced in the Soviet Union. Today, Annan accused the Bush Administration of 'human rights abuses' during his 'farewell address' today at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library in Missouri.

"Human rights and the rule of law are vital to global security and prosperity," Annan's text said. When the U.S. "appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused."

Confusion? There has been a deluge of misinformation and a myriad of bad reporting about the Bush Administration but there's no confusion about what the Bush Administration is doing. Informed people understand the Bush Doctrine and they voted for it overwhelmingly in '04.

There is certainly no confusion about the feckless Annan, who during his ten year tenure at Turtle Bay, ignored genocides in Angola, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, Syria, Sierra Leone, Zaire, Liberia and the Balkans.

Prior to that, as the head of the UN's peacekeeping operations, Annan stood by and did nothing as 7,000 Bosnians were massacred in Srebenica. And he failed to act in preventing the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda. In fact, Annan's office explicitly forbade peacekeepers from raiding Hutu arms caches in Rwanda just four months before the genocide.

Kofi, you are no Winston Churchill.

Annan and the UN have done nothing about global terrorism and have failed to act as Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda kill innocents with impunity from Jakarta to Jordan.

The UN has conveniently looked the other way as Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, among others, have stolen elections across Latin America. Annan's UN allowed Saddam Hussein to slaughter, torture, maim, rape and kill his own people. In fact, all of Annan's back channel efforts failed to prevent the invasion of Iraq, which ultimately resulted in the liberation of Iraq and the discovery of the UN's corrupt Oil-For-Food scheme, of which Annan and his inner circle were intimately involved.

That's quite a legacy you're leaving behind, Mr. Secretary-General. Thankfully it ends on December 31.

wolfgang

I read over the weekend that Van Halen has fired original bass player Michael Anthony after he 'aligned himself' with former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar on Howard Stern.

Says Eddie VH: "I got no problem with these guys, but they're billing themselves as the other half of Van Halen. My brother is the other half of Van Halen. They're out there selling hot sauce and tequila and playing all my songs. It doesn't bother me. It just makes them a cover band."

Anthony's replacement? Wolfgang Van Halen, Ed's 15 year old son.

Friday, December 8

culture of corruption

Think the voters of Louisiana's 2nd district will have the good sense to vote the corrupt Democrat William Jefferson out of Congress?

This is the guy who has been claiming he has 'never taken a bribe,' even though $90,000 was found in his refrigerator.

'manipulating, distorting'

This is great stuff. Kenneth Stein, director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, resigned Tuesday as Middle East Fellow of the Carter Center because he claims Carter's new book on the Middle East is full of lies and distortions.

Stein, in his resignation letter said the following:

"President Carter's book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments."

"The purpose of the book should be to try to bring people together, to try and reconcile them. He published in the LA Times because his book tour is going in that direction," Stein said. "I'm a historian, I believe in the integrity of my profession, I believe that things should be written accurately, even if you disagree with them."

And Israel expert Dennis Ross, the former national security advisor to Presidents Bush 41 and Clinton, is also now claiming that maps used in Carter's book are in fact Ross's maps, used without attribution or permission.

Carter the worst President in history, he is responsible for the rise of radical Islamic terror, he has overseen a number of illegitimate elections in Latin America and has made a career out of propping up dictators, he an angry, bitter, contemptible, dishonest critic of our current President. And he has finally been exposed as a liar and a fraud.

jeanne kirkpatrick

Reagan's former UN Ambassador, the conservative icon -- a former Liberal Democrat who abandoned her party when it abandoned common sense -- Jeanne Kirkpatrick has died in her sleep at the age of 80.

Jack Kemp describes Kirkpatrick as 'the Margaret Thatcher of the United States,' due to her many talents and contributions.

Says Kemp:

"She was a profound thinker, speaker and scholar whose place in history is reflected in her many awards, accolades and tributes from both sides of the political aisle and from all over the world."

apocalypto

The new film Apocalypto is controversial only because Mel Gibson wrote it and directed it. This film was never going to be embraced by the Hollywood elite anyway, not because of Gibson's anti-Semitic comments this summer, but because of 'The Passion of the Christ.'

Jesus is persona non grata in Hollywood, so Mel's name has been mud since '04. And the stratospheric success of 'Passion' -- a domestic gross of $370 million -- didn't help either.

Bottom line: Mel is a talented filmmaker, writer, actor and director. Nobody makes better movies.

Apocalypto is supposed to be the most graphically violent movie in history, full of beheadings, amputations, rapes and eviscerations. Sounds like fun.

Thursday, December 7

'unboxing'

There are at least 72,595 bored people in America. I know this because that is the number of people that have watched David Abrams (above) open his new PlayStation 3 on YouTube.

'Unboxing' has become enough of a pop culture trend that it warranted a page one article in today's WSJ. Apparently people find it compelling or interesting to watch complete strangers opening the original packaging of their cell phones, PDA's, video game consoles and MP3 players.

In the case of the sold-out PS3, unboxing seems to serve as a type of vicarious thrill. 'Watching somebody else taking a PS3 out of its carton is the next best thing to owning one,' writes the Journal's Emily Steel.

There are entire websites dedicated to unboxing, like unbox.it and unboxing.com. Wow. And to think it all began at a Microsoft press conference in September, when company officials opened a box containing the new MP3 player, the Zune. Photographers caught the unboxing live and the video became a Web sensation.

"It wasn't really purposefully done as an unboxing video, but what was really interesting about the whole thing was how viral it became," says Chris Stephenson, Microsoft's general manager for global marketing.

I counted 72 unboxing videos on YouTube, but I was bored so I didn't watch them.

65 years ago

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor 65 years ago today, drawing a reluctant America into the second World War.

Sixty five years ago, Americans had the resolve to fight to preserve civilization, to defend freedom and liberty. Back then our nation had the collective intelligence to recognize the enemy when it attacked us without provocation.

America was also attacked on 9/11/01 without provocation. Unfortunately many Americans today lack the collective intelligence to recognize the threat we face in Islamic fanaticism.

The historian Victor Davis Hanson reminds us that during World War II, an average of 8,000 American soldiers died every month. Today in Iraq, an average of 50 American soldiers die each month. Our resolve in WW II, our dedication to victory, never wavered. Today, while waging the global War on Terror, Americans have done exactly what Osama bin Laden predicted we would do: We've lost our resolve to fight as the body bags have begun to mount.

There isn't a doubt in my mind that the Islamic fanatics are even more dangerous than Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. Al Qaeda doesn't belong to one country, they don't wear the uniform of a united, cohesive fighting force and they don't defend any specific territory.

Today, the majority of Americans are blissfully uninformed about domestic affairs, foreign policy and politics. They don't care much about preserving civilization. They are too lazy and comfortable to defend freedom and liberty. Many are too busy watching YouTube videos of people opening boxes, the latest craze in tech-geekdom. (see above post 'unboxing')

God help us.

Wednesday, December 6

robert gates

My reaction to Bob Gates' Senate Armed Services Committee testimony was mixed.

On one hand you could consider the words of the new Defense Secretary 'a new tone' from the Administration in the wake of the November election and the Rumsfeld resignation. With Democrats about to be in control, the new spirit of bipartisanship, and all that crap. Gates was saying, essentially, 'I'm here and I'm ready, willing and able to work with Democrats.' He was also saying 'I'm not Don Rumsfeld.'

Gates' testimony could be considered quite scary on the other hand. Not only did he loudly proclaim that we are 'losing the war' in Iraq, but also communicated to the world that war with Iran is off the table and that the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption and Middle Eastern democracy-building was a failure.

Many conservative pundits have already concluded the latter. I hope they are wrong and I think it may be just a bit premature, so, even though he looked a bit squishy and weak during his testimony, I'm going to give Gates a chance and see what happens before I make my judgment.

Footnote: You can, however, color me concerned at the sudden and noticeable absence of the word 'victory' from Washington's lexicon when it comes to describing 'the way forward' in Iraq. That's not a good sign. And where the hell is Cheney?

isq report

Obviously things in Iraq 'aren't working out,' as the Iraq Study Group report says. That's quite a statement. What brilliant analysis. This is the report that DC has been waiting for huh? This is the best James Baker can do? I'd say 'the old statesman' Jim Baker is washed up.

Establishing an Iraq International Support Group excluding Israel while including Iran and Syria in that group? Pure genius!

I hope the White House throws this crap in the trash and engages serious people about real solutions toward the Iraq problem.

Tuesday, December 5

bolton, post mortem

From the WSJ:

"Mr. Bolton served with exemplary tact at Turtle Bay, notwithstanding critics who said he wouldn't. More important, he has stood forcefully for American interests despite the leaks and sniping from the office of Secretary General Kofi Annan. He helped to corral votes for resolutions isolating Iran and North Korea for their nuclear programs. He was assailed for leading the fight against Mr. Annan's "reformed" Human Rights Council, but he and the U.S. are now looking prescient as that Council descends into one more Israel-bashing cabal. He also fought harder for U.N. reform than have his critics who claim to want that corrupt institution to lead the world in providing collective security.

"Realism" is back in foreign policy fashion (see the editorial on Iran), and we only wish some of that school's alleged practitioners were as realistic as Mr. Bolton. He has understood that the essence of realism is, or ought to be, to see the world as it is and speak with moral clarity about it. He offended America's enemies because he looked at their behavior and refused to excuse it. This is discomfiting to those who prefer to believe that every enemy can be appeased with talk, and that every dispute can be settled with a treaty."

Monday, December 4

sam brownback

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is thinking about running for President.

I like Sam. He's a good guy, but I think he's too conservative to be a national candidate.

'it's a small world after all...'

What's this? Former House Majority Leader George Mitchell reportedly is on the 'short list' to replace Bolton? Are you kidding me?

Oh yeah, Mitchell (who is currently running Walt Disney) would be perfect for the UN. He's a glad-hander, another endless talker. Mitchell, like all Liberals, believes in getting along. A reformer he is not. He's the anti-Bolton.

Oh sure, Mitchell co-penned (with Newt Gingrich) a '05 USA Today op-ed entitled 'Only Change Can Make UN Useful, Relevant Again.' (Click the headline above)

Remember that Mitchell is the guy who somehow convinced Bush 41 to break his infamous 'Read My Lips, No New Taxes' pledge, which essentially gave Clinton the Presidency two years later.

There's just no way W is considering sending this hard Lefty to the UN. I don't believe it.

bipartisanship?

President Bush has reluctantly accepted the resignation of UN Ambassador John Bolton, whose temporary appointment expires in January.

The Democrats, those paragons of bipartisanship, never would give Bolton an up or down vote, instead prefering to slime him as a man with a bad temper, unable (or unwilling) to work with others, which was untrue. They said he was 'too combative' for international diplomacy. The incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden, said he saw "no point in considering Mr. Bolton's nomination again."

Shamefully, some Republicans even joined the phony fracas opposing Bolton, including George Voinovich and the cowardly Lincoln Chafee.

In fact, Bolton was the lone voice of reason at the UN. He spearheaded change, or tried anyway. He assembled coalitions to deal with North Korea's nuclear threats and Iran's uranium enrichment and reprocessing work. Bolton was the first to address the horrific violence in Darfur and he also made reform a top issue because the UN completely lacks credibility and effectiveness on the world stage.

Bolton did a great job, he represented the best interests of the United States and he deserves better.

Sunday, December 3

this just in --

Here's a shocker. According to the Associated Press, Hillary Clinton is 'actively weighing' an '08 presidential bid.

Saturday, December 2

major adjustments

The NYT will report in sunday editions that Donald Rumsfeld, two days before his resignation as Secretary of Defense, submitted a classified memo to the White House that acknowledged that the Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq was not working and called for a major course correction.

From the Times:

“In my view it is time for a major adjustment,” wrote Mr. Rumsfeld, who has been a symbol of a dogged stay-the-course policy. “Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.”

Rummy was thinking about public relations, too:

“Announce that whatever new approach the U.S. decides on, the U.S. is doing so on a trial basis,” he wrote. “This will give us the ability to readjust and move to another course, if necessary, and therefore not ‘lose.’ ”

“Recast the U.S. military mission and the U.S. goals (how we talk about them) — go minimalist,” he added.

Does this sound at all like gloating? The 'roughly parallel' part:

"The memo suggests frustration with the pace of turning over responsibility to the Iraqi authorities; in fact, the memo calls for examination of ideas that roughly parallel troop withdrawal proposals presented by some of the White House’s sharpest Democratic critics. [Text, Page 28.]"

Rummy's a good man. Too bad he left.

mitt romney

I'm going to meet the Governor of Massachusetts, the likely '08 GOP Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney on December 12 for some private face-to-face time.

The early money certainly seems to be on this guy. He's been a successful Governor in a very Liberal state and now he's raising money hand over fist nationwide. But, he's a Mormon and an abortion flip-flopper...can he really escape the '08 Republican primaries?

I like the guy but I'm not convinced he's a national candidate.

Yet.

Friday, December 1

star wars

Have I not been telling you for the better part of four years that Democrats don't care about America's national security?

Liberals have been undermining every counter terrorism program since 9/11, and they have been primarily responsible for the outing of the terrorist surveilance program and the terrorist financial tracking program, two major components of Bush's counter terrorism strategy.

Now that they are about to be the Majority party, Democrats are signaling that they are going to gut the funding for a key American defense program: Missile defense. That's right. While North Korea and Iran are testing long-range missiles that can strike the U.S. and its allies, including Israel, Japan and Britain, America's newly elected Majority party wants to gut funding for America's missile defense, the same program President Reagan made famous during his Presidency.

'Star Wars' has been widely criticized and roundly rejected by the Left. They called it 'a fantasy.' They chortled while they described it as 'unrealistic.' They even said it was 'destabilizing,' as Michigan Senator Carl Levin alluded to it aloud in the '80s, worrying that the development of our nation's own missile defense might anger the Soviets.

Now, to be fair, this system is twenty years in the making and in the testing and Republicans haven't gotten it completely off the ground either. But Democrats in Congress had a big hand in that.

And, of course, Democrats don't just come out and say they want to kill missile defense. What they do say is that they want to continue to test the system, which is obviously tantamount to kiling it, since 'testing' costs $100 million per test, a couple of 'tests' could chew up the entire Ground-based missile defense budget.

Testing is great, but like all software only the best 'testing' comes 'after deployment.' Most successful weapons systems are best debugged after being deployed.

We're left with one conclusion: Either the Democrats don't care about America's national security, or they are too stupid to understand the importance of protecting ourselves.

silvestre reyes

Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) is Nancy Pelosi's choice to become the new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Reyes, a former Border Patrol agent, is a Purple Heart winner who was drafted into the Army and served during 1966-68 as a helicopter crew chief and gunner. Reyes also served 13 months in Vietnam.

In November, Reyes said that as Chairman he would insist on 'more information' about the Bush Administration's 'most classified programs and how they are working. The Republicans, Reyes said, 'have made a habit of rubber-stamping these programs.

"We haven't required or haven't had the administration give us the details, evaluation or plan of how these classic programs are functioning," he said.

Obviously the programs are 'functioning' pretty well. Five years, zero domestic terrorist attacks.

It sounds like the Democrats are still more focused on waging war on George Bush than they are with doing everything they can do to protect America's national security.
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