The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Socialist P****s in a Pod
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
Another "W" for the Good Guys
1213, Al Qaeda: 0
I wrote earlier this week about militants killed in a missile strike in Pakistan. At the time, I speculated that they were going after "high-value targets" (HVTs), and speculated that the attack may have been a U.S. Predator drone strike like the one that targeted al Qaeda's Number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2006.A leading al Qaeda member in Afghanistan, Abu Laith al-Libi, has been killed, a Web site often used by the group and other Islamists said on Thursday.It remains to be seen if any other high-ranking al Qaeda figures were among the 12 killed, and whether or not it was, in fact, a U.S. drone operating well inside Pakistan.
A banner on the Ekhlaas.org site said Libi had fallen as a martyr, without giving further details.
It was not immediately clear if Libi's death was linked to a suspected U.S. missile strike that killed up to 13 foreign militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region this week.
The attack had targeted second or third tier al Qaeda leaders, according to residents in the tribal area.
Tribesmen in the area had said a deputy of Libi, a senior al Qaeda leader, had been staying there and was among the dead, according to an intelligence official.
Why We MUST Support Mitt Romney (or else...)
But don't just ask me; The Great One himself (Mark Levin), who also was a Fred supporter has now come to the same conclusion (h/t Glenn Reynolds..."get it in gear" indeed):
There is more, and you will want to read it all.
As for McCain “the straight-talker,” how can anyone explain his abrupt about-face on two of his signature issues: immigration and tax cuts? As everyone knows, McCain led the battle not once but twice against the border-security-first approach to illegal immigration as co-author of the McCain-Kennedy bill. He disparaged the motives of the millions of people who objected to his legislation. He fought all amendments that would limit the general amnesty provisions of the bill. This controversy raged for weeks. Only now he says he’s gotten the message. Yet, when asked last night if he would sign the McCain-Kennedy bill as president, he dissembles, arguing that it’s a hypothetical question. Last Sunday on Meet the Press, he said he would sign the bill. There’s nothing straight about this talk. Now, I understand that politicians tap dance during the course of a campaign, but this was a defining moment for McCain. And another defining moment was his very public opposition to the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. He was the media’s favorite Republican in opposition to Bush. At the time his primary reason for opposing the cuts was because they favored the rich (and, by the way, they did not). Now he says he opposed them because they weren’t accompanied by spending cuts. That’s simply not correct.
Even worse than denying his own record, McCain is flatly lying about Romney’s position on Iraq. As has been discussed for nearly a week now, Romney did not support a specific date to withdraw our forces from Iraq. The evidence is irrefutable. And it’s also irrefutable that McCain is abusing the English language (Romney’s statements) the way Bill Clinton did in front of a grand jury. The problem is that once called on it by everyone from the New York Times to me, he obstinately refuses to admit the truth. So, last night, he lied about it again. This isn’t open to interpretation. But it does give us a window into who he is.
Of course, it’s one thing to overlook one or two issues where a candidate seeking the Republican nomination as a conservative might depart from conservative orthodoxy. But in McCain’s case, adherence is the exception to the rule — McCain-Feingold (restrictions on political speech), McCain-Kennedy (amnesty for illegal aliens), McCain-Kennedy-Edwards (trial lawyers’ bill of rights), McCain-Lieberman (global warming legislation), Gang of 14 (obstructing change to the filibuster rule for judicial nominations), the Bush tax cuts, and so forth. This is a record any liberal Democrat would proudly run on. Are we to overlook this record when selecting a Republican nominee to carry our message in the general election?
But what about his national security record? It’s a mixed bag. McCain is rightly credited with being an early voice for changing tactics in Iraq. He was a vocal supporter of the surge, even when many were not. But he does not have a record of being a vocal advocate for defense spending when Bill Clinton was slashing it. And he has been on the wrong side of the debate on homeland security. He supports closing Guantanamo Bay, which would result in granting an array of constitutional protections to al-Qaeda detainees, and limiting legitimate interrogation techniques that have, in fact, saved American lives. Combined with his (past) de-emphasis on border-security, I think it’s fair to say that McCain’s positions are more in line with the ACLU than most conservatives.
Why recite this record? Well, if conservatives don’t act now to stop McCain, he will become the Republican nominee and he will lose the general election. He is simply flawed on too many levels. He is a Republican Hillary Clinton in many ways. Many McCain supporters insist he is the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama. And they point to certain polls. The polls are meaningless this far from November. Six months ago, the polls had Rudy winning the Republican nomination. In October 1980, the polls had Jimmy Carter defeating Ronald Reagan. This is no more than spin.
But wouldn’t the prospect of a Clinton or Obama presidency drive enough of the grassroots to the polls for McCain? It wasn’t enough to motivate the base to vote in November 2006 to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker or the Democrats from taking Congress. My sense is it won’t be enough to carry McCain to victory, either. And McCain has done more to build animus among the people whose votes he will need than Denny Hastert or Bill Frist. And there won’t be enough Democrats voting for McCain to offset the electorate McCain has alienated (and is likely to continue to alienate, as best as I can tell).
McCain has not won overwhelming pluralities, let alone majorities, in any of the primaries. A thirty-six-percent win in Florida doesn’t make a juggernaut. But the liberal media are promoting him now as the presumptive nominee. More and more establishment Republican officials are jumping on McCain’s bandwagon — the latest being Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has all but destroyed California’s Republican party.
Let’s face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president.
UPDATE: Dr. Rusty Shackleford is also "all in"
The McCain Nightmare Deepens
Also (just curious) has anyone looked at whether any of McCain's big contributors are also giving to Huckabee? I ask this because there is no question in my mind that Huckabee is running for one reason and one reason only: to dilute the Conservative vote of those who would otherwise vote for Romney. If someone plugged into all this can find some financial links, it might be fruitful for the public to know it.
... As for his line about "some greedy people on Wall Street who need to be punished", aside from being almost entirely irrelevant to the subject under discussion (the subprime "crisis"), it reveals, I think, one of the most unpleasant aspects of McCain. For a so-called "maverick", he's very comfortable with the application of Big Government power, and the assumption of Big Government virtue. Undoubtedly there are "greedy people on Wall Street". Why should he and his chums be the ones who decide whether they need to be "punished"? If greed is to be punishable, why doesn't he start with a pilot program applied to, say, the United States Senate and report back to us in five years how that's going?Primary triumph doesn't seem to be doing anything to mitigate the small and graceless side of McCain.
Count me in with Dan Riehl's incredulity; he previews what a McCain-authored platform might look like. If this isn't a reason for Romney to go the distance (i.e. so that worst case his delegates can exert its influence over the platform), I don't know what is:
Has anyone stopped to think that if McCain gets the GOP nod, there will come a time when the party has to draft a platform with an obstinate, if not defiant, McCain - an often angry man with a history of holding conservatives in disdain? Someone pinch me, please. Has anyone thought of what that platform will look like? In 2004, it was called pablum by Novak. In 2008, I'm thinking tofu. Or, maybe cereal. Wouldn't want to make the old folks have to chew.
Will it say we will advocate strongly against any new drilling or exploration of so-called pristine areas? That we will encourage states to pass legislation against off-shore drilling, thereby saving those precious resources for China and others using technology to stand far off-shore and drain them down?
Help me out here, someone, please.
Will it advocate mirandizing non-uniformed, enemy combatants suspected of assaulting, maiming or killing US troops in Iraq, or Afghanistan? Keeping a bevy of ACLU lawyers on hand overseas, preventing questioning, unless agreed? Because if it doesn't, there is no way an effective prosecution could ever take place within the US Courts, as McCain insists. How do we draw distinctions between what would, or wouldn't be a Guantanamo detainee-type without first violating protections of which they will later be assured back to their time of arrest? Does McCain even understand the complex can of legal worms he is opening up for which he and Republicans would be held to account?
Will it advocate not supporting any tax cuts for what the Left defines as "the rich?" That we will actively seek out alleged evil doers from Main Street to Wall Street who make what we feel are excessive profits, so that we can punish them, as he suggested in tonight's debate?
Are you kidding me? Am I freaking dreaming here, or what?
Obviously it will support America unilaterally adopting anti-Global Warming measures that cripple our industrial base to improve our International profile on the issue ... while we lobby China and India to please play along. I suppose, if they don't co-operate, we will support turning that effective ogre, the UN, loose on them to straighten them out. Right?
Help me because my head is going to explode. I simply can't get my mind around it. What is a Republican Platform for 2008 going to look like with a McCain as the nominee. I need to know, because by the time I am finished comparing it to the Dems, America might actually be better off under theirs.
Think about it. This is freaking insane. Has al qaeda poisoned our water with an hallucinogenic, or are the Republicans actually on the verge of nominating John McCain?
Watching him lie about Romney and his obviously self-satisfied preening at the debate last night was bad enough. But contemplating a political platform with this man in the lead is just too much. I feel as if there aren't enough Republicans left in America to stop this madness.
Speaking as an Independent, you guys have gone insane. That may mean McCain fits right in, but, geez, guys, you may have to count me out.
And no sooner do I read this than I see on television that the Governator is about to endorse McCain; Arnold is being introduced at a company called Solar Integrated Technologies in LA. Prior to introducing McCain its CEO is talking about the "harm" of greenhouse gasses (you know, like the one that trees need in order to create O2...). And now Arnold can't stop talking about Global Warming, and says he is endorsing McCain (and I quote), because he too is interested in a "Green Future". Wow. It is like hallucinating. I include this anecdote because it punctuates everything in the Riehl piece.
God help us all. I've always been skeptical of third parties--they almost always do very little other than to help decide the elections in favor of the worst candidate. But if a real viable Conservative Party were to emerge with big hitters in tow (Gingrich would be a great start...), and lots of GOP defections, count me in. And now McCain is talking about the need for a Global commitment... Also there is an announcement today that Texas Governor Rick Perry will endorse McCain. He was a Rudy guy, but I still view this as a betrayal. Un-freaking-believable.
The only bright spot that I can see on the horizon is that Mitt Romney just bought up a huge amount of ad time for Super Tuesday. Mitt on the Super Bowl?
Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds is reporting that some Thompson supporters are keeping hope alive. But they are going about it the wrong way. The right way is to vote for Mitt and derail this runaway train before it is too late. Let's deadlock this thing!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Stimulus Package Includes "Rebates" to Illegals
That apparently is the gist of the "stimulus" package that Congress is trying to get the Senate to rubber-stamp with no changes; so I guess we are "stimulating" the flow of American tax dollars to Mexico. Nice... :
Everyone’s getting a ride on the stimulation-palooza bandwagon–including illegal aliens. Of course. Congress and the White House supposedly are sending the money to people so they can spend, spend, spend it to give the U.S. economy a jolt. What will the illegal aliens do with their rebates? Remittances, baby, remittances. Rep. Tom Tancredo, whom I noted earlier this morning was one of the 25 Republicans who voted against the economic stimulus boondoggle, blasts the new illegal immigration stimulus:
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) today criticized the tax package passed by the Tom Tancredo Democrat-controlled Congress as a giveaway to illegal aliens. The package, among other shortcomings, would direct the Internal Revenue Service to issue checks of up to $600 to individuals and $1,200 to married couples, as well as rebates for any children. The legislation does not, however, contain any provision barring illegal aliens from taking advantage of these benefits.
“This package will stimulate one thing for certain: more illegal immigration,” said Tancredo. “It’s just the latest unfortunate example of American workers footing the bill for illegal aliens.”
The bill would allow so-called “Resident Aliens” to receive rebate checks. The Treasury department classifies someone as a “Resident Alien” based on how much time that person has spent in the United States. No proof of legal presence, however, is required. The IRS’ explanation of the term can be found at: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc851.html
“Worse, a large portion of this money will just be sent back to the home countries of illegal aliens,” concluded Tancredo. “So it might stimulate someone’s economy – just not ours.”
The bill was considered under a procedure in the House of Representatives that did not allow for any opportunity to amend the bill to restrict payments to illegal aliens.
Sounds like a bill right out of the John McCain playbook.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Whittle Speaks Again: Forty Second Boyd and the Big Picture
This will make you think, make you proud, make you feel "right" about something for a change, as only Bill Whittle can do. Ejnoy
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
A Moment of Truth for the Conservative movement
I am very disillusioned tonight; I am disgusted with our tricked up, crossover State Primary process which allows Democrats and Big Media to choose our nominees in the "early states". I am disillusioned that so many so-called Republicans have bought into McCain's sudden conversion to conservative principles, when he has spent his entire career stabbing the National Party in the back. I buy McCain as a "Conservative" as much as I buy anything Clinton has ever uttered.
Yes McCain supports the War on Islamic Fascism, and the War is extremely important. But when it comes to extracting life-saving information from high value captured enemy personnel; when it comes to granting "Constitutional rights" to non-US citizen foreign POW's; when it comes to closing Gitmo; when it comes to ensuring our ability to monitor the communications of foreign enemies without asking some Carter or Clinton appointee judges' opinions first--when it comes to any of these vital questions, one wonders if McCain's so-called "support" doesn't actually hurt America more than it helps.
At home, the prognosis is even worse. It seems clear to almost anyone watching (including the Left) that McCain's court appointments would send the Constitution into a further tailspin; that his assault on free speech may not stop until we have another "Fairness Doctrine"; and that his economic and "amnesty" record when it comes to listening to "the base" is nothing short of shameful.
Even if McCain were fortunate enough to win in the fall (I fear that only Huckabee would be more unlikely than he to win), McCain's tax-raising domestic policies could be the harbringer of a Jimmy Carter-like "malaise" to our economy. Only in this case the economic damage done would be associated by the media with a "Republican" Administration, rather than with the Left as it would be more accurate. Because the real irony would be that the entire Republican base would be holding its nose for the entire term as McCain's anti-Republican agenda is slowly enacted.
It comes down to this: we had better work like hell this year to ensure that we take the Congress back; otherwise if this McCain "momentum" continues, we could be in a world of hurt this year.
All in all, a very sad day for the cause.
UPDATE: More from Paul Johnson of Power Line. My heart says its not over. But my gut feel doesn't seem to be so convinced. From a real conservative's standpoint, I think the best we can hope for is a deadlocked convention (which would likely mean Fred...):
A victory by John McCain tonight of, say, 2 to 4 percent tonight would not, in itself, be anywhere near fatal for Mitt Romney. It would provide a small dose of evidence that, even though many rank-and-file Republicans don't like McCain, he may be a bit more popular than Mitt Romney among Republicans collectively, at least when he receives endorsements from a state's key politicians. But this would be his first victory in a state where only Republicans vote, and a narrow victory at that.
However, Rudy Giuliani's poor showing -- he's getting only about half the vote of McCain or Romney -- adds an important angle. Giuliani may well decide to pull out after tonight, and even if he doesn't he'll surely be a diminished force. This figures to help McCain, especially if Rudy endorses his friend.
In other words, McCain appears to have a small advantage on the existing playing field, and the playing field may be about to tilt his way.
UPDATE: Fox News now says McCain will win. His lead is up to 5 percentage points. Meanwhile, Giuliani has just given a speech in which he referred to his campaign in the past tense. Some sources speculate that he will endorse McCain as early as tomorrow.
Maybe this will look different to me tomorrow, but I think McCain is clearly in command now.
JOHN adds: I think McCain is very much in the driver's seat. He has engineered a remarkable comeback from last summer, when he was out of money, laying off staff, and counted out by just about everyone. With hindsight, the early skirmishing wasn't as important as we political junkies thought it was at the time. Most people just weren't paying attention, and when they started to choose up sides, they gravitated toward the early front-runner, John McCain. Of course, the success of the surge helped a little, too.
Paul wrote a long time ago about the "stature gap" between the Republican Presidential candidates and the Democrats. I think we're seeing that, in the eyes of most Americans, the real stature gap is between McCain and the rest of the field. Americans generally choose the person, not his policies. That's frustrating to many of us, but history suggests that it's usually wise. Those who remember Quemoy and Matsu know what I'm talking about. I'm still not sure what I hope will happen, but I'll be very surprised if McCain doesn't wrap up the nomination, for practical purposes, at least, a week from tonight.
Another Manufactured "Atrocity" reported as "fact" by Big Media
A Video worth Thousands of Words (and Dollars)
This is sheer brilliance, courtesy of Bryan Preston at Hot Air.UPDATE: The thousand dollar question: was McCain standing or sitting?
Monday, January 28, 2008
(Way) Off the Reservation
Cartoon by Glenn McCoy (click to enlarge)
A plea to our friends in Florida: Vote for Mitt Romney tomorrow
- McCain is a Democrat wolf in Conservative Sheep's closing. He has voted with the Democrats on MANY key issues. Probably the most important thing that McCain would do other than continue the War until won (which all the candidates except favor are strong advocates also). Secondly, if McCain wins Florida he may gain enough momentum to render the other subsequent states almost irrelevant. McCain would LOSE to Obama and would probably lose to Hillary too because the anti-McCain Conservative base would likely not turn out well for him in the fall. Particularly troubling are:
- His absolute disregard for the First Amendment in crafting and continuing to defend McCain/Feingold; his continued defense of that decision is a horrific precedent in being a NON-Constitutionalist. If he considers the intent of the Founders to be "living and breathing" here, how would he not believe the same applied to other important parts of our Constitution?
- His support of the McCain/Kennedy that would have conferred instant amnesty on 20 million illegals with no background check.
- His backstabbing of the Republican party in helping the Democrats to deny the right of the President to appoint judges to the Appeals Court. Some courts still have 5-6 vacancies because Bush's nominees have been DOA, and the Dems have basically said they will confirm no Bush appointments this year. Thanks a lot, John...
- His statement that waterboarding is torture, and would never do it, even if a city was at stake is not putting his country first, period. As we know warterboarding has already saved thousands of American lives by preventing terrorist attacks when Khalid Shikh Mohammed was captured.
- McCain's notorious temper and track record for destroying those who ever get in his way is exceeded only by the Clintons.
- His statement recently--as reported by John Fund--that he "might draw the line" in appointing to the court another Alito, because Alito "wore his conservatism on his sleeve".
- His vote against the Bush Tax Cuts and with most of the Democrats, even though the cuts did more to help a reeling economy than anything else in the past 10 years.
- His complete support of Al Gore's Global Warming agenda.
- His endorsement by the NEW YORK TIMES. Hello??
- The fact that if he wins Florida he may be extremely difficult to stop after that, whereas if Mitt (by far his closest competitor) takes it, McCain is fighting an uphill battle
- Rudy--the second most Conservative candidate remaining on most issues--arguably Romney is the most Conservative across the board, but Romney is somewhat less strident and passionate than Rudy in articulating Conservative principles (other than Rudy's pro-choice stance, which would cost him with the evangelical vote). Still to overcome his differences with many conservatives that issue, Rudy has promised to nominate strict Constitutionalists to the court, which I happen to believe he would do despite his personal pro-choice beliefs. But here is the rub: Rudy's numbers are in the tank, and his chances of winning Florida are almost down to nil. His personal life is a big negative as is his using of NY State funds to provide protection for his girlfriends. I like Rudy, but have come to the inescapable conclusion that a vote for Rudy is truly a vote for McCain, because it takes votes from the only Conservative who has a real chance to derail his momentum in the states where Democrats and crossover independents voted for him heavily. So the bottom line: a vote for Rudy is really a vote for McCain, because it will mostly dilute votes that would otherwise have gone to Romney and given Romney a big chance to stop McCain's momentum--and the cheerleading for McCain from the pro-Democrat media like the New York Times.
- Huckabee is dropping like a rock. He is out of money, has been discredited by his arguably Democrat-like record in Arkansas, including making Arkansas a "sanctuary state". The Confederate flag statement didn't help either. His many tax raises as Governor are troubling. His prior open-borders policy is horrible. And the guy is clearly wearing whatever faith he does have on his sleeve and trying to make it an issue to woo the evangelists, to the exclusion of his decidedly NON-Conservative record as Governor. Huckabee has NO CHANCE to win. And I stick by my contention that he is merely still in the race in order to dilute Rudy and Mitt votes and give McCain a better chance of winning. He wants to be McCain's VP. Those two would make a godawful ticket and a no-win situation for Republicans. Again a vote for Huckabee is really a vote for McCain.
- Deep deep pockets for the General, more than any other candidate left.
- A record of consistently going into bad situations and turning them around.
- A solid conservative record as Governor of Massachutes, a liberal state.
- A good command of all the issues and nuances--which will be a BIG plus in any debate.
- Charisma and good looks that would be a match for Obama's stage presence and easily overshadow Hillary's.
- A squeakly clean image where it is doubtful that any meaningful dirt could be found and used against him by the DNC slime machine.
- Solid record on everything important to Conservatism: Stopping Iran, Winning in Iraq and Afghanistan, Appointing Constitutionalst Judges, Extending the Bush Tax Cuts, including the repeal of the Marriage Penalty and Death Taxes. Keeping our economy strong and job creation a priority. And stopping Illegal Immigration. What's not to like in ANY of these things?
Floridians: don't let this happen. It is time we elect a real Republican to represent Republican principles in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. The choice now is clear: McCain must be stopped before we hand victory to the Democrats. The way to mobilize conservatives and the base in the fall is to put someone as our nominee who shares their passion for conservatism and the principles of the founders. So tomorrow, when you go into that booth, and vote for those principles. Mitt may not have been your first choice; he wasn't mine. But today he represents the last best hope for our movement and for our nation.
Tomorrow when you go to the polls, show America, its enemies, and our detractors in the media and the Democrat Party that we are not going to follow their "script" for us. Stand up to the destruction of everything our party stands for. Cast your vote for Mitt Romney and tell these detractors that it is OUR party, not theirs.
Are ALL ex-Arkansas Governors Racist?
But you have to admit, identifying one's self as an ex-Arkansas Governor seems lately to be taking on a whole new dimension--a legacy of shame. And it would not be nearly as apparent (other than Hitchens' take linked above), had not the first Arkansas ex-President and (we were told) "the first black President", blown the lid off of that charade by what seemed by many to be a planned "planted remark" to Wolf Blitzer. Clinton's subtlety has certainly seen better days.
Obviously, you would have to be living in a vacuum not to have heard about Bill Clinton's remarks over the weekend, because BIG media is suddenly interested--after all when it comes to stirring up the pot of identity politics, the media takes second place to no one. But the irony here is heavy: Republicans have been talking about the scorched earth tactics of the Clintons almost since we knew who he was. Now, suddenly a "fact of life" that all Republicans have been aware of since 1992 is suddenly big news because the target of Clinton's Blitzkrieg is a popular, charismatic (and yes, black) Democrat. And there is no one with an objective brain who does not know that Bill's comment was meant to communicate exactly what it did.
Suddenly, over the course of about one week (remember Bill fast asleep at the MLK ceremony?) the "first black President" more closely resembles Robert Byrd or some other Dixiecrat from the 40's than, say, Martin Luther King, Jr.--now I count it as a positive that most of America knows the truth now. The truth can sting, but it can also make you free.
The elites in the DNC media also now see clearly--as any Republican on Planet Earth could have told them--that there is nothing that the Clintons will not do, no action it will not take against people who they see as threats to their lust for power. Just think of all of the women the Clintons set out to ruin, including women who claimed they were raped (and for all we know, might have been). Kobe never had it so good...
You might also recall all of the so-called "right-wing conspiracy" rumors about Arkansas state troopers making threats and using dirt from Clinton private investigations into its rivals' and political enemies' backgrounds--including their pilfering of opponents' FBI files, which remained "missing" for almost two years before turning up in the White House residence of all places. In short, all the things the media accused Richard Nixon of--with the Clintons (and the media's see-no-evil love fest insulating them), the same media has taken a "pass" and looked the other way, because he was one of "theirs". Well, welcome home, fools. How about a towel for all of that egg on your collective faces?
Now don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Barack Obama, simply because he may be the closest thing to a true Communist who has ever had a real chance at the Presidency. I mean, to use a Hollywood pitch, this guy is Das Kapital meets Farrakhan meets JFK. But still, as a candidate you can hardly argue that Obama has taken the low road. He seems like a nice, likable man on the surface, and there are not a lot of contradictions in his positions either. He is what he is: almost unashamedly Marxist. Yet--unqualified for the office as he may be--he certainly did not deserve the bigoted medicine the Clintons were serving up this weekend.
So what's next? Will the Clintons go hat in hand like all the other kiss-the-ring supplicants to Al Sharpton's radio show? Don't bet on it, and frankly it wouldn't make much difference if they did. After all, President Clinton's point (some strategists are even calling it a "brilliant move" because of the relatively low number of African-Americas in the upcoming states..) was to take this ball game into a whole new direction for Democrats; well maybe not literally a "new" direction, but certainly we have not seen this ugly an attack on a popular African American by a Democrat since George Wallace back in the 60's.
Do we really want to go back to those days as a country? Is this a critical mass point of the Balkanization of America, circa 2008? Or will it finally open up the eyes of people of color as to who their real friends are--and aren't.
A reminder: it was Republicans who made it possible for Lyndon Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act in 1964, over the negative vote of virtually every Southern Democrat. Without that Republican support it would never have come about. And now here we are "Back to the Future" again. This seems to be a perfect opportunity for morally responsible Republicans to go after the African-American vote, by explaining how they've been chasing a fantasy for years, by voting in effect to continue "being kept down by the man" every time they've voted for a Democrat. The one thing the Left stands for is having more power over the distribution of income, not less. Yet the Dems have ruled Congress for most of the last 50 years and had several Presidents since the 60's: so where's all the progress? Maybe if African-Americans began to actually help to elect people who would let the economy and the markets work for a number of years, then an ever larger percentage of number of lower, middle and upper class African-Americans would finally begin to recognize en masse where wealth really comes from--and it damn sure ain't the government.
Note to Huckabee: you don't get to play in this sandbox, either; uou too now have "legacy" to deal with. And for any other unmentioned Governor of Arkansas, present or past, perhaps this "legacy" has nothing to do with you. But based on the recent track record, I still might want to at least consider hiring a PR firm to ensure I was not going to be grouped with the other Arkansas politicians who have so openly played the race card.
Let's face it: these recent statements have done a lot to keep Arkansas reputation mired in the forgettable events of the 1950's and 60's, not exactly a shining example of the best the State has to offer. It keeps people who don't know any better thinking their state is backwards still.
I know Arkansas; it is a very a beautiful place, with very friendly people. I've been to Fayetteville for a football game, was treated very nicely by everyone I ment, even despite wearing the hated Burnt Orange and Texas winning the game (on that occasion anyway...) Good people, good impression of the State overall. But when you see the regrettable statements of some of its most notable Governors lately, maybe you start to figure out where the school chant "Pig Sooey" is coming from. And where the unfortunate reputation comes from too.
I'm sure that Arkansas can do better with its Governors in this century. And admitting the truth about some of its previous mistakes--and which party is really the party of Abraham Lincoln, Civil rights, and economic growth for all--would be an excellent place to start.
Steyn: 'Orwell would be Proud'
My favorite headline of the year so far comes from The Daily Mail in Britain: "Government Renames Islamic Terrorism As 'Anti-Islamic Activity' To Woo Muslims."
Her Majesty's Government is not alone in feeling it's not always helpful to link Islam and the, ah, various unpleasantnesses with suicide bombers and whatnot. Even in his cowboy Crusader heyday, President Bush liked to cool down the crowd with a lot of religion-of-peace stuff. But the British have now decided that kind of mealy-mouthed "respect" is no longer sufficient. So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated "anti-Islamic activity." Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. "There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief," she told her audience. "Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic."
Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be "anti-Islamic" — in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an "anti-German activity." But I don't recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a five-year old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen. ...
Beautiful! I would put Steyn's similies up against Dennis Miller's anyday--and that is saying something.
Obviously you will want to read it all. But I could not resist adding Steyn's last few grafs to this "teaser" also:
... Here's another news item out of Britain this week: A new version of The Three Little Pigs was turned down for some "excellence in education" award on the grounds that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues" and, as a result, the judges "had concerns for the Asian community" — ie, Muslims. Non-Muslim Asians — Hindus and Buddhists — have no "concerns" about anthropomorphized pigs.
This is now a recurring theme in British life. A while back, it was a local government council telling workers not to have knick-knacks on their desks representing Winnie-the-Pooh's porcine sidekick, Piglet. As Martin Niemöller famously said, first they came for Piglet and I did not speak out because I was not a Disney character and, if I was, I'm more of an Eeyore. So then they came for the Three Little Pigs, and Babe, and by the time I realized my country had turned into a 24/7 Looney Tunes it was too late, because there was no Porky Pig to stammer "Th-th-th-that's all, folks!" and bring the nightmare to an end.
Just for the record, it's true that Muslims, like Jews, are not partial to bacon and sausages. But the Koran has nothing to say about cartoon pigs. Likewise, it is silent on the matter of whether one can name a teddy bear after Mohammed. What all these stories have in common is the excessive deference to Islam. If the Three Little Pigs are verboten when Muslims do not yet comprise ten per cent of the British population, what else will be on the blacklist by the time they're, say, 20 per cent?
A couple of days later, Elizabeth May, leader of Canada's Green Party (the fourth largest political party), spoke out against her country's continued military contribution to the international force in Afghanistan. "More ISAF forces from a Christian/Crusader heritage," she said, "will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a jihad." As it happens, Canada did not send troops to the Crusades, mainly because the fun was over several centuries before Canada came in existence. Six years ago, it was mostly the enemy who took that line, Osama bin Laden raging at the Great Satan for the fall of Andalusia in 1492, which, with the best will in the world, it's hard to blame on Halliburton. But since then, the pathologies of Islamism have proved surprisingly contagious among western elites.
You remember the Three Little Pigs? One builds a house of straw, and another of sticks, and both get blown down by the Big Bad Wolf. Western civilization is a mighty house of bricks, but who needs a Big Bad Wolf when the pig's so eager to demolish it himself?
He's got a point. And trust me, the "pigs" are alive and well in the DNC. The Brits may have a lead on us in this respect, but only a slight one. And if Clinton or Obama are elected this fall, expect that "lead" to rapidly vanish. And if the "pigs" reference is not Orwellian, what is?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Clinton Plants Knife in Obama's Back; Nutroots go beserk
It’s blue-on-blue in-fighting again over in the land of the Donkeys. Hillary Clinton posted an announcement on her campaign website today that is causing aneurysms on the Left:
Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton on the Seating of Delegates at the Democratic National Convention
“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.
“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.
“I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.
“I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well.”
As Poligazette explains, Hill is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game:
Hillary Clinton is now arguing that the convention should seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida that everyone agreed shouldn’t be seated. Whether that decision was right or wrong, every Democratic candidate in the race agreed not to campaign in those states because of their (too-)early primary dates, and every major candidate but Hillary withdrew their name from the Michigan ballot. Because of her massive edge in name recognition and because no advertising or debates took place in Florida, Hillary has essentially won by default in both states. Having “won” a considerable number of delegates solely because no one else contested the races, all of a sudden she is struck by the manifest unfairness of not seating the delegates — and just in time for a) a bounce in the Florida poll for sticking up for them, and b) Obama to have no chance to contest the Florida race!
Friday, January 25, 2008
McCain's Enormous Baggage
Here is the latest dirt on the many-faced McCain, in case you haven't heard:
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Billy Jack Rides Again
Cartoon by Chip Bok (click to enlarge)
Lame Questions, Lame Answers
Ah well, fortunately the great writers over at The Corner are liveblogging the debate. But the only word I can think of is lame. Rudy probably won in my mind, Romney second. Huckabee and Paul are a joke.
FISA Debate Heats Up; Dodd, Hard-Left push for filibuster
Democrat Chris Dodd is threatening a filibuster. And the jihadists are cheering.
As Andy McCarthy explains:
Dodd’s objection is about as counterproductive as it gets to national security. He is unhappy because a far from perfect but comparatively sensible FISA-reform proposal that won overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate Intelligence Committee would provide telecommunications service providers with immunity from legal liability.
The telecoms, in the wake of the 9/11 atrocity, acceded to the Bush administration’s requests for assistance in carrying out the NSA’s warrantless monitoring of wartime terrorist communications that crossed U.S. borders. This effort, relying on presidential authority consistently acknowledged by the federal appeals courts, did not comply with FISA protocols.
Granting the telecoms immunity, which is not merely the only fair thing to do but the only smart thing to do, would end numerous lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and others.
…Dodd and his colleagues in the Democratic party are desperate to keep the courts front and center. Feeling the heat from their hard-Left base, they would have al-Qaeda operatives given protection against surveillance not only inside the United States but overseas — such that if, for example, jihadists inside Iraq were plotting to kill American marines there, the government would have to seek a judge’s permission before eavesdropping on their communications.
This is so patently absurd and dangerous that even the energetic Leftist Congress which enacted FISA in 1978 did not attempt it, taking pains to exempt intelligence collection outside the United States from the new (and ill-advised) requirement that the president — the constitutional official principally responsible for national security — obtain court permission before monitoring spies and terrorists. The Democrats would obviously prefer to depict such foolishness as the doing of judges rather than a policy choice bearing their own fingerprints.
Thus the Dodd gambit: Just say “no” to telecom immunity while pushing for an 18-month extension of the temporary deal Congress and the administration struck this summer, which permits the CIA and NSA to continue overseas surveillance without court permission.
Currently, that deal is scheduled to sunset in early February. The Democrats’ strategy is transparent. They realize their position underscores how weak they are on national security and how beholden they are to the CAIR/ACLU/MoveOn.org Left, which is more animated by the “rights” of terrorists than the lives of Americans. If they can con the Bush administration into accepting the 18-month extension, that takes the issue off the table for the 2008 election. Not only would Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama be able to avoid being accountable for their party’s unpopular position. The ducking would further help one of them win the presidency, whereupon she or he could help Democrats sculpt a more terrorist-friendly FISA in 2009, when no one is up for re-election and public scrutiny ebbs.
The Bush administration and the Republican presidential candidates should not let them get away with it. FISA needs a major overhaul to make it easier, not harder, to monitor the people trying to kill us. Osama bin Laden doesn’t need to apply to a sharia court before blowing up an American embassy; the president shouldn’t need to apply to a federal court to try to stop him…
The nutroots are cheering on the Dems’ obstructionist effort to block a lasting FISA makeover. Where are you?
Make your voice heard.
Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The Fred Scenario
It ain't over 'till it's over.
Fred Thompson could still become President of the United States. This year. Steven Stark lays it out:
You will definitely want to read the whole thing.
If McCain loses in Florida, the Republicans may well be headed to a deadlocked race and convention. And history teaches us that the likeliest candidate to emerge in that scenario is someone like Warren G. Harding: the prototypical, less-than-stellar candidate to which conventions turn when the going gets rough.
This year's Harding? Believe it or not (are you sitting down?), despite the fact that he's withdrawn from the race, is Fred Thompson.
In fact, Harding's showings were so atrocious that he had to be continually convinced not to drop out of the race by his advisors. Sound familiar?
But as the convention approached and no one was near the number required for nomination, Harding had two huge advantages over the other candidates, even though they had proven themselves far bigger vote getters. He looked and sounded like a president. And, much more important, no one disliked him nor had any strong reason to oppose him.
That, in fact, is the key to winning a race that deadlocks. And, this year, it is Thompson's ace in the hole.
Think about it: the GOP establishment is scared to death of Huckabee, the outsider who has the allegiance of the evangelicals. The only way he's going to get nominated is if he can win a majority of delegates in the primaries. Ditto for Giuliani: his personal life, social liberalism, and New York background make it unlikely that he can win the GOP nomination any other way than through the primaries (which, unless he can win Florida, is a long shot).
McCain? The GOP establishment and mainstream Republican voters have never really trusted this maverick, either, given his sponsorship of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance legislation, his friendship with Democrats such as John Kerry, and his current stance on immigration. McCain can win over a few stray delegates committed elsewhere. But unless he's close to a majority as the convention approaches, he's unlikely to be the acceptable second choice of most delegates.
Romney? Parts of the GOP establishment (i.e., the National Review crowd and Rush Limbaugh) like him, but he has the highest negatives of any candidate in the race. Evangelicals don't trust him, perhaps unfairly. And the other candidates can't stand him, which, if a deadlock should occur, will hardly leave him the likely beneficiary of any efforts they might make on someone else's behalf.
That leaves Fred.
Yes, he's been a reluctant suitor. And, yes, he didn't prove himself to be a terrific candidate. But he has always been the establishment's choice. The flip side of his failure to articulate much of a platform is that he hasn't really alienated anybody. He certainly looks like a president, so much so that he's played two in the movies. And he's been vetted: though there are no shining accomplishments, there are also no skeletons in the closet (which actually puts him one up on Harding).
It would be absurd to suggest that Fred's failure to do well was part of some grand strategy. But this year, it would be equally absurd to write him off just because he was a disappointing candidate. When conventions deadlock, history teaches us that yesterday's disappointments become tomorrow's stars. If McCain can't stampede to the nomination and Super Tuesday doesn't produce another clear front-runner, we may not have heard the last of Fred, even if he doesn't believe it himself.
Now Here's a Big Surprise...
Day by Day by Chris Muir (click to enlarge)
UPDATED Boehner Takes the Bull by the Horns
To any Republicans who are still on the fence, it is quite simple: it is our money, not yours. It is a bit disingenuous to be criticizing the Dems for their spending while you are still buttering up your own districts. How about putting your country first for a change? When Hillary unveils her $800 Billion dollars of Socialism this fall--and then she tries to sell the electorate on it by "triangulating" with the President-for-life wannabe husband of hers, using every Saul Alinsky Stalinist tactic that her sleazy campaign can muster, it just make make quite an imposing contrast for a change if the Republicans can actually offer an alternative that the voters will take notice of. This brainchild of Boehner and other Republicans might just be the ticket
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) delivered a stern warning to GOP leaders at their last closed-door meeting: They will never win back the majority until they end their addiction to pet spending projects.“If we don’t get serious about it, and get serious soon, we’re going nowhere,” he told the GOP lawmakers, according to notes taken by one attendee.
France warned of "pending" Al Qaeda attack
The "Black Widow," Fatiha Mejjati, warned France of an Al-Qaeda attack.
She told the French daily Le Parisien that "France would be punished" soon.
Fatiha El-Mejjati is the widow of Karim Mejjati a French-Moroccan killed in April 2005 and the suspected mastermind of the Madrid terrorism attacks on March 11, 2004.
China View and Global Incident Map reported:Fatiha Mejjati, the "black widow" of Al-Qaeda warned recently that France would be the "target" of terrorism attacks and would be "punished soon," French daily Le Parisien reported on Monday.
Mejjati is the widow of Karim Mejjati (pictured), a French-Moroccan killed in April 2005 in Saudi Arabia. Karim had been suspected of masterminding the terrorism attack on March 11, 2004 in the Spanish capital Madrid that left 195 people dead.
In an exclusive interview with the daily, Mejjati, who now lives in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, said France would be "punished" for "its fidelity to the United States."
"France will no longer be set apart nor be protected", she said, adding French foreign policy is currently aligned with that of the United States and France's political independence in the period of former President Jacques Chirac no longer exists.
Kucinich the Nut Job Peddles Impeachment: Bring it on!
Soros Leads Media Cheerleading
Go figure! You can read the rest here.
The right side of the blogosphere is all over the clueless media coverage of a new “study” and database compiled by “two nonprofit journalism organizations” that purports to show that BUSH LIED to entice American into Iraq. You would think by now that the MSM would try to spare itself some embarrassment and at least do a cursory Google search before casting the researchers as neutral, reliable, disinterested parties. But noooo. They dutifully published these transparent moonbat briefs for impeachment without disclosing the “nonprofit journalism organizations’” ties to BDS sugar daddy George Soros.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Cartoon by Eric Allie (click to enlarge)
Islamism Rising: Defense Department in Crisis
This "point man"--who is in a remarkably important Defense Department position, considering we are at WAR with the "political wing" of Islam (i.e. the Islamofascists)--has, simply by virtue of firing Coughlin, had a decidedly negative impact on neutralizing the funding of radical groups right here in the United States. I would argue that this could just be the tip of the iceberg.
Gaffney has termed this scandal "Front-gate" because the issue is Islamic Front groups and a Defense Department that seems to have made a choice to let them operate with impunity. It's horrifying, and it reads like something right out of (the original) Manchurian Candidate (emphasis is mine):
Read the rest. It is scandalous. And it is also a fine example of what can happen when even a well-intentioned organization allows the sickness of Political Correctness to infect his rational thinking. (see President Bush's "courtship" from day one of the decidedly pro-Sharia organization CAIR). It also suggests a critical need for a more thorough vetting by the FBI of people working in positions of influence. In a time of War, Political Correctness has no place anywhere near individuals making policy for that War. War is what it is. Lives are on the line. In this case, not just military lives, but also innocent American lives. It was people who think like the ISNA who brought down those towers in New York. It seems to me we life in far too consequential time to allow our prosecution of an enemy bound to either kill or assimilate us all to become a sacrifice at the altar of the cancer that is PC.
It is now well-established in Washington that any scandal, no matter how seemingly innocuous, soon is given the suffix "-gate," establishing a lineal connection to the mother of all scandals, Watergate.Well, let me be the first to suggest that a recent scandal in the Pentagon be known hereafter as "Front-gate" in recognition of the central role played in the drama by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization designated by the Justice Department as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan). With the House and Senate both back in business this week, Front-gate should be subjected to close congressional scrutiny since it may involve the most strategically ominous case of official misconduct since the Clinton administration's China-gate.
The Front-gate saga began with the firing last month of Stephen Coughlin, a major in the Army Reserves working as a civilian contractor for the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he ran afoul of one Hashem Islam, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England's point-man on Muslim community outreach.
Hashem Islam is also evidently an admirer of ISNA. He arranged for Mr. England to address one of the group's meetings last year — a huge help to an organization reeling from its designation by the Bush Justice Department not only as a Brotherhood front but as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing conspiracy.
According to reporting by The Washington Times' national security correspondent, Bill Gertz, the sacking of Maj. Coughlin was precipitated by a sharp disagreement with Mr. Islam over ISNA. The former had made a serious study of this and other Islamist organizations as part of a 333-page thesis titled "To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad," prepared for and recently accepted by the National Defense Intelligence College.
Based on his analysis of the Islamofascist roots and agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, Stephen Coughlin was given to warning his military audiences that it was no "moderate" organization. For example, he notes that one of the Ikhwan's most prominent leaders, Sheik Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, has declared: "The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is an obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately."
Maj. Coughlin has also studied the evidence submitted by the government in the Holy Land Foundation trial, including this chilling passage from a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum about its mission: "The Ikwan['s]... work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
Mr. Islam reportedly told the Joint Staff's Maj. Coughlin to soften his criticism of the Brotherhood's ISNA and, when the latter refused, defamed him as "a Christian zealot with a pen." Some accounts add that it was a "poison" pen. Since Maj. Coughlin is not giving his side of the story to the press, it may require a congressional subpoena to get it properly told.
What is known, however, is that shortly after this exchange, the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not renew Maj. Coughlin's contract, which will expire at the end of March. Mr. Gertz reports the Chiefs deemed it "too hot" to retain the services of a man widely believed to be the military's most knowledgeable expert on the Islamist ideology of our enemies.
Robert Spencer, who has received threats on his life from these so-called "benign" groups representing the "Religion of Peace", has a post up on Jihad Watch on the serious implications of the firing of Major Coughlin.
Bush shoots America in the foot on Guns
Read the whole thing here.
The amicus brief filed by Solicitor General Paul Clement agrees with this part of the D.C. Circuit ruling. But then it goes on a bender about violent felons wielding machine guns, urging the Supreme Court to reject the legal standard applied by Judge Silberman. Instead, the SG invites the Supremes to hand down an elaborate balancing test that would weigh "the strength of the government's interest in enforcement of the relevant restriction" against an individual's right to bear arms.
This is supposedly necessary because of this single phrase in Judge Silberman's 58-page ruling: "Once it is determined -- as we have done -- that handguns are 'Arms' referred to in the Second Amendment, it is not open to the District to ban them" (our emphasis). This has alarmed the lawyers at Justice, eliciting their dire warnings that somehow Judge Silberman's logic would bar the regulation of M-16s, felons with guns, or perhaps even Sherman tanks.
This is bizarre. The key word in Judge Silberman's opinion is "ban." His opinion readily concedes that regulating guns and banning them are not the same. He explicitly notes that felons may be barred from owning guns without implicating the Second Amendment and points out that weapons of a strictly military nature are not encompassed by the right to bear arms. Nothing in Judge Silberman's opinion precludes reasonable restrictions on weaponry.
More ominously, if Mr. Clement's balancing test were adopted by the High Court, it would be an open invitation to judges nationwide to essentially legislate what is or isn't proper regulation. The beauty of Judge Silberman's standard is that it carved out wide Constitutional protections for arms -- such as "most" hand guns and hunting rifles -- that Americans now own and that might reasonably have been anticipated by the Founders. The Bush Justice Department is instead inviting the Supreme Court to uphold an individual right to bear arms in principle but then allow politicians and judges to gut it in practice.[....]
So why would his own Solicitor General do this? The speculation in legal circles is that Mr. Clement is trying to offer an argument that might attract the support of Anthony Kennedy, the protean Justice who is often the Court's swing vote. But this is what we mean by "too clever by half." Justice Kennedy would be hard-pressed to deny that the Second Amendment is an individual right, given his support in so many other cases for the right to privacy and other rights that aren't even expressly mentioned in the Constitution. No less a left-wing scholar than Laurence Tribe has come around to the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right for this very reason. Mr. Clement is offering a needless fudge.
The D.C. Circuit's opinion in Heller is forceful, clearly reasoned and Constitutionally sound. By supporting that decision and urging the Supreme Court to validate it, the Bush Administration had the opportunity to help the Court see its way to a historic judgment. Instead, it has pulled a legal Katrina, ineptly declining even to take a clear view of whether Mr. Heller's rights had been violated. It dodges that call by recommending that the case be remanded back to the lower courts for reconsideration.
The SG's blundering brief only increases the odds of another inscrutable High Court split decision, with Justice Kennedy standing alone in the middle with his balancing scales, and the lower courts left free to disregard or reinterpret what could have been a landmark case. Is anybody still awake at the White House?
One might expect something like this from a Democrat Administration; it is shameful that it comes from a President who has portrayed himself a "Conservative". It is yet another example of "good intentions" whose unintended consequences (or perhaps the intended ones) rob the rest of us of Liberty that was granted to us by the founders, and which millions have fought and died to defend since then.
The transformation of President Bush in his second term from champion of conservative principles and taking agressive pre-emptive action on enemies who want us all dead, into a populist moderate who says "how high" when the State Department says "jump"--and who on some issues like the right to bear arms, might as well be a leftist-- has not been fun to watch.
UPDATE: On the other hand, at least this President did get a couple of thins right...
"We're Lucky to Have Men Like Fred"
You believed him when he said Saturday night, “It’s never been about me. It’s never even been about you. It’s been about our country and about the future of our country …. Our party is being forced to look in the mirror….” If it was about him he’d probably have kept his comfortable Law & Order paycheck (nevermind the syndication paychecks!) and let someone else brave the Iowa State Fair heat and reporters’ comments on his Guccis and golf cart.You can read the whole thing here.
They say he had no “fire in the belly.” As he’s put it: If the worst thing you can say about him is that he does not want to be president desperately enough, that’s not a bad position to be in.
Whoever winds up the Republican nominee for president this year, he’d be doing his country a service if he read Fred’s pre-caucus message to Iowa voters that Thompson posted on his website. In it he listed “the fundamental, conservative principles that have unified us for over two centuries.”“Doing our part. Stepping up to the plate. Stepping up for service. Stepping up to do the right thing.” That’s how Fred Thompson put it on Saturday night. That’s what he’s done. And no pandering or hand-holding (or -raising!) along the way.
-First, the role of the federal government is limited to the powers given to it in the Constitution
-Second, a dollar belongs in the pocket of the person who earns it, unless the government has a compelling reason why it can use it better
-Third, we don't spend money we don't have, or borrow money that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back
-And the best way to avoid war is to be stronger than our enemies. But if we’re caught in a fight, we need to win it because not doing so makes us much more likely to be attacked in the future
-Also the federal judiciary is supposed to decide cases, not set social policy — and bad social policy at that
-And the bigger the government gets, the less competent it is to run our lives.
There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing him again — he’s too invested in this country he loves for us not to. Thank God for Fred Thompson. May he inspire more to serve. And may he encourage us to rethink our may-the-man-with-the-best-soundbites-win electoral process.
We'll miss Fred; now we have to make sure his support doesn't go to McCain or Huckabee.
UPDATED Fred makes withdrawal official, but (good news) will not endorse another candidate
Fred Out of Thursday's Debate; Doesn't Plan on Endorsing
I spoke to one of my Thompson sources.
He's still with his ailing mother. "He's just being a good son."
He has not spoken to any other campaign or any other candidates, nor does he intend to at this time.
He will not endorse, I am told by this source close to Thompson.
I am also told, "he has no interest in a vice presidency or a cabinet position." At an "appropriate time" he will outline his plans for the near future.
This source believes that the race has demonstrated that whatever happens from here on out, the GOP has to stand for consistent conservative policies across the board.
At one point, I asked this source if the attitude was, 'if you can't be Reagan, be Goldwater,' and the source responded, "exactly."
If I were a betting man, I would bet on him departing the race in the not-too-distant future.
Good. He doesn't throw conservatism under the bus by endorsing the DIRC (Democrat in Republican Clothing--and I want the trademark!).
More good news: Huckleberry is out of money.
UPDATE: Fred made it official. Very sad day in the DT household.
Just to get this off of my chest: why the hell are we allowing States who allow Democrat crossover votes and Independents to bus in from other States and to decide for Republicans who should be our candidates? Who came up with this brilliant idea in the first place?
Here's a suggestion: why don't we start the 2012 primaries in Texas? God's country, staunchly conservative, and a whole pile of delagates at stake. And yes, we do separate the Democrats and Republicans in the primaries. I am frankly sick of our candidates having to pander to the centrists and leftists in New Hampshire or Iowa before they even sniff the South.
If we are going to let one state dictate our country's direction, why not a state that really matters in the grand scheme of things.
There. That feels a little better. But not much.
"The Great One" Rocks the House
So now we have full disclosure: I am a dyed in the wool Levin fan. Hell, I even have a sister whose kids are named Chase and Lauren (also the names of Levin's children...), one of whom is attending the University of Alabama (like Levin's daughter does). This is most certainly coincidence, but my high esteem for Levin is not. And when I say that Levin's show yesterday was one of the best I have ever heard, so soon after linking another of his shows, that is not empty rhetoric. I listen almost every day. In this particular audio, Levin discusses McCain and Huckabee, but he also discuss the true meaning of Martin Luther King and also the Clintons' smear tactics against Obama. But my description in no way does it justice.
Perhaps it is the election and the media's pandering to McCain and Huckabee that have energized him so, but my readers should trust me on this one; you will want to listen to the great one's show last night: streaming here (it is the 1/21 show), download here. This one's a keeper.
That's back to back grand slams for Mark (not to mention his great NRO piece); I can't wait for tonight's show to see how he follows it up.
Market Corrects Slightly; NYT leads hysterical "Recession" Cheerleading
- Good: Fed cuts reserve rate 3/4 point ("What if the media gave a recession and nobody came...")
- Better: War News Good? Let's create a recession. Includes a screen print of a search within the New York Times' website, in which the word recession in mentioned 210 times in the last 30 days, and also a very apropos comment:
No, it’s not your imagination.
Once it became undeniably clear to our watchdog media that the surge in Iraq was working, they decided it was time for a recession.
After all, their bosses at the DNC need something to run against.
For the past several years, the heavily propagandized DNC-led media coverage has likely resulted in the loss of real American lives abroad by encouraging the enemy to fight harder (i.e. giving the "insurgency" the very 'voice' it was looking for...) and also by spoon-feeding to America's enemies the very secrets that America is using to save lives; not content with this criminality, they are also now actively hurting Americans at home.
Hey, but anything for a vote, right Messars. Soros and Sulzburger?
This is their idea of "caring" about "the common man"...
Who needs the New York Times? A: No one does. They are an albatross around this nation's shoulders. The sooner this paper goes belly up, the better for all of us. If I could help it do so I would. (Rupert, keep that heat turned up, baby.)
Monday, January 21, 2008
One of the most dispicable things I have ever heard of...
Here is where you can donate, if you are so inclined. Someone who would do this... well I am not going to say it. You fill in the blank...
NOT Holy. And no longer on a "Roll"
Day by Day by Chris Muir (click to enlarge)
The Assaults on Speech (by Thought Police) are alive and well in Canada
A few days ago, I was interrogated for 90 minutes by Shirlene McGovern, an officer of the government of Alberta. I have been accused of hurting people's feelings because, two years ago, I published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in the Western Standard magazine.
Ms. McGovern's business card said she was a "Human Rights Officer." What a perfectly Orwellian title.
Early in her interrogation, she said "I always ask people … what was your intent and purpose of your article?"
It wasn't even a question about what we had published in the magazine. It was a question about my private thoughts. I asked her why my private feelings were of interest to the government. She said, very calmly, that they would be a factor taken into account by the government in determining whether or not I was guilty.
Officer McGovern said it as calmly as if I had asked her what time it was.
When she's doing government interrogations, she always asks people about their thoughts.
It was so banal, so routine. When she walked in, she seemed happy. With a smile, she reached out her hand to shake mine. I refused — to me, nothing could have been more incongruous. Would I warmly greet a police officer who arrested me as a suspect in a crime? Then why should I do so for a thought crime? This was not normal; I would not normalize it with the pleasantries of polite society.
This was not a high-school debating tournament where Human Rights Officer McGovern and I were equals, enjoying a shared interest in politics and publishing. I was there because I was compelled to be there by the government, and if I answered Officer McGovern's political questions unsatisfactorily, the government could fine me thousands of dollars and order me to publicly apologize for holding the wrong views.
I told her that the complaint process itself was a punishment. Even if I was eventually acquitted, I would still lose — hundreds of hours, and tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills. That's not an accident, that's one of the tools of these commissions. Every journalist in the country has been taught a lesson: Censor yourself now, or be put through a costly wringer. I said all this and then Officer McGovern replied, "You're entitled to your opinions, that's for sure."
But that's not for sure, is it? We're only entitled to our opinions now if they don't offend some very easily offended people.
One of the complainants against me is someone I would describe as a radical Muslim imam, Syed Soharwardy. He grew up in the madrassas of Pakistan and he lectures on the Saudi circuit. He advocates sharia law for all countries, including Canada. His website is rife with Islamic supremacism — offensive to many Canadian Jews, gentiles, women and gays. But his sensitivities — his Saudi-Pakistani values — have been offended by me.
And so now the secular government of Alberta is enforcing his fatwa against the cartoons.
It's the same for Mohamed Elmasry, the complainant against Maclean's magazine for publishing an excerpt from Mark Steyn's book, America Alone. Egyptian-born Elmasry has publicly said that any adult Jew in Israel is a legitimate target for a terrorist attack, a grossly offensive statement.
Both the Canadian and B.C. Human Rights Commissions are now hearing his complaints against Maclean's.
Read the rest of this stunning story here.
For me 1984 is a nightmarish allegory of a society which has already adopted Stalinst Socialism. But for an even more gripping illustration of how a society gets to that point in the first place, I find Animal Farm to be far superior. I would dare any American: just try reading Animal Farm today and not relating it to Democrats, their class warfare, and their "identity politics". I am grateful to my English teachers in high school AND college; I think faculties are less likely to be exposing their little Stalins in waiting to that one these days--it goes against the PC grain. But I highly recommend both for any parent's summer reading list for their kids... it had a profound effect on me, along with The Fountainhead... You can buy both Animal Farm and 1984 together in one hardbound volume here (which includes a nice introduction by Christopher Hitchens...).