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A News and Politics Blog, With a Smattering of Sports

Saturday, July 19, 2003

8:05 PM: 
[NOTE 7/24 to those following the link from The Public Nuisance: The Nuisance did not specify which of my blog posts he was talking about, so I guess you can go hunting for them. However, I have responses here and here.]

Rapid City Journal: GOP poll puts Daschle over Thune by 6:

"The poll, conducted July 9 and 10 by Washington-based GOP pollster Robert Moran, shows Daschle would get 46 percent of the vote and Thune would get 40 percent of the vote, if the election were held now. Moran's poll shows 10 percent are undecided, with 1 percent leaning toward Thune and 2 percent leaning towards Daschle. The poll has a 4.9 percent margin of error."
Promising in two regards. Daschle is below 50 percent, and the poll is within the margin of error (MoE is per candidate- think of it like this, if the poll overstates one candidate by 4.9 percent, then the other two answers are going to be understated by a combined 4.9 percent, with most of the understating coming at the expense of the other candidate).

But on the "let's not get too excited side", it is a poll by a partisan organization (which may or may not have been conducted without bias) and this is not a case where the candidates are unknown to the voters.


6:39 PM: 
Similarities to McCain strategy could help Dean in Michigan- oh really? Howard Dean is going to try Being John Malcontent? Does this mean Dean will be paying for phone calls to be made with the following script?
"This is a Catholic Voter Alert. Governor President George Bush has campaigned against Senator Governor John McCain George McGovern Howard Dean by seeking the support of Southern fundamentalists who have expressed anti-Catholic views. Several weeks Not long ago, Governor President Bush spoke at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. Bob Jones has made strong anti-Catholic statements, including calling the Pope the anti-Christ and the Catholic Church a satanic cult! John McCain Walter Mondale Howard Dean, a pro-lifeabortionchoice Senator Governor, has strongly criticized this anti-Catholic bigotry, while Governor President Bush has stayed silent while seeking the support of Bob Jones University. Because of this, one Catholic pro-life Congressman has switched his support from Bush to McCain Dean, and many Michigan Catholics support John McCain Adlai Stevenson Howard Dean for president."

11:42 AM: 
T D F - 2 0 0 3 : canal le Tour - OLN:
"Lance Leads Jan By Just 15 Seconds!
Lance Armstrong has lost 19 seconds to Jan Ullrich in the 13th stage. The time bonuses at the finish have helped Ullrich move to within 15' of Armstrong's overall lead."
Meanwhile... Two eagles have landed Tiger Woods in the British Open lead for the first time this week.

10:09 AM: 
Go Postal!:
"15 H 54 - Lance & Jan Out Of Saddle
Manuel Beltran continues to set the tempo of the main peloton. Roberto Heras is now also near the front of this pack. Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong are the next riders in this group. The two riders at the top of the overall classification have been standing as they follow the seated tempo of Beltran."

10:00 AM: 
I enjoy clear, concise language:
"'The judge said, 'Go pound sand,'' said Chris Wysocki, spokesman for Rescue California Recall Gray Davis, the best-funded of three recall groups."

9:57 AM: 
BRITISH SCIENTIST COMMITTED SUICIDE-POLICE

As I guessed- cause of death: slashed wrists. A brilliant scientist. His life, over. And in death, now will begin a circus.


9:52 AM: 
I forgot to mention in my blog about Bill Thomas cutting off the snarky Democrat Fortney "Pete" Stark that Fortney is a real...jerk:
"Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (Calif.), a 15-term Democrat, nearly came to blows with Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts (Okla.) after declaring that all of Watts' children were illegitimate. Only Watts' first child was born out of wedlock.

During a hearing before the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, Stark - discussing the topic of welfare policy and marriage - referred to a 'current Republican Conference chairman whose children were all born out of wedlock.'

Years earlier, Stark had called Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) a 'whore' for the insurance industry. He also referred to her marriage to a doctor, saying, 'The gentle lady got her medical degree through pillow talk.'"
He fits in just fine in the party of Al Sharpton, Kweisi Mfume, Jim Moran, Cynthia McKinney, and a host of others.

The modern Democrat party is an absolute disgrace.

9:40 AM: 
Fallout from the death of Kelly in England will result in an examination of a favorite subject of mine- anonymous sources:
"Even now, the normal informal exchanges between officials and reporters that make good reporting possible are under threat: for what official is going to talk to a journalist now if he feels he's going to hauled up before a committee of parliament?"
The assumption being, of course, that good reporting is impossible without anonymous sources. I find that highly dubious. Whenever an anonymous source is presented, the author is demanding that the reader surrender his ability to judge credibility to the author. This is done in the name of getting better stories. But does it result in better stories?

Every day we are bombarded with stories from anonymous sources, deliberately attempting to manipulate public opinion. Reporters freely admit that politicians, government officials, defense attorneys, movie studios, and so on all leak information under the condition of anonymity in order to move public opinion. How is the public better served when the news reporting is openly and admittedly subject to manipulation?

Bob Woodward asks rhetorically, "Well, sure it does [deprive the reader of needed information], but the question is, is the information more important than where it came from?" Mr. Woodward, the answer is that if the story uses the words of an unnamed source as the foundation, then it is impossible for the information to be more important than where it came from. The more important the story, the more critical it is that people be able to judge the credibility of the information.

Will the press change? Only if people demand that they do.


9:14 AM: 
Nevada is spreading to California:
"'The superintendent took a look at the Nevada case and their finding that the core job of the Legislature was to fund education and that trumps any procedural issues,' said Rick Miller, of the California Department of Education."
Let's apply this logic to something much more important than funding education-- keeping us alive by thwarting terrorism (one cannot learn if one is dead). And let's apply this on the federal level instead of on the state level.
'The core job of the Executive is to protect the people and that trumps any procedural issues such as that pesky fourth amendment.'
Judicial activism must be stopped. Yet the Senate Democrats won't allow any judge who rejects judicial activism be confirmed.

9:00 AM: 
Stocks Rally After 3 Days Of Declines:
"Since March 11, when this year's rally began, the Dow has climbed 1,664.09, or 22.1 percent, the Nasdaq 437.04 points, or 34.4 percent, and the S&P 192.59 points, or 24.1 percent."
This continues, and the Democrats chances will completely evaporate. Do you realize that the Dow is now up over the past 12 months? So is the NASDAQ. So is the S&P.

12:18 AM: 
Tonight's closing quote, from James Monroe:
The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil.

Friday, July 18, 2003

10:08 PM: 
Ann Coulter:
"Manifestly, there is no civil liberties crisis in this country. Consequently, people who claim there is must have a different goal in mind. What else can you say of such people but that they are traitors?"
Ex act ly.

8:27 PM: 
Lonely Death of Man Who Found Saddam's Anthrax (David Kelly):
"A police source ruled out hanging, an overdose, a gunshot wound or natural causes in his death."
What does that leave? Slashed wrists or neck?

8:09 PM: 
House Democrats Storm Out of Ways and Means Committee:
"The reading began, with Thomas interrupting at one point to say loudly, 'In the House, the minority can delay. They cannot deny.' When the Democrats left for the library, Rep. Fortney 'Pete' Stark (D-Calif.) stayed behind to prevent the Republicans from obtaining unanimous consent to dispense with the reading.

After several minutes, Thomas again asked unanimous consent to dispense with the reading, and instantly brought down his gavel. Stark said later that he had objected, and Thomas had replied, 'You're too late.'"
*snicker*

5:37 PM: 
So Kobe Bryant is going to be charged. How tragic. If he is guilty, I hope they get him. If he is innocent, then how does he ever recoup the damage caused to him so far?

4:30 PM: 
Washington Monthly has an article up by a friend of Steven Glass, disgraced journalist.
"One day in January 1996, I sat in Steve Glass's apartment following the returns to the New Hampshire primary with him and one or two other colleagues of ours at The New Republic. We were watching a C-SPAN call-in show, and Glass began speculating about how callers can get on the air. Glass picked up the phone and called the number, and said he lived in Manchester. His status as an apparent bonafide New Hampshirite thrust him to the front of the line--within seconds he was talking to the host. His immediate success flustered him. Asked whom he had voted for, Glass stammered, ''Uh, Lamar Alexander.'' Why? ''I was, uh, concerned about Pat Buchanan's anti-Semitism,'' he explained. The host asked him what he did for a living. Glass replied, ''I'm a worker."

His interview ended, and as he hung up the phone I doubled up in laughter. Real workers, I told Glass, would describe their job specifically--say, foreman at a tire plant. They don't refer to themselves as ''workers.'' Only Marxists do that. Nor are they usually obsessed with anti-Semitism at the expense of all other issues. When I told all this to Glass, he could only blush and confess that he hadn't been able to think of anything else to say. "
This tells us quite a bit about the calls that come in to C-Span (tons of posers, mostly radical leftists) and also about Glass. "Marxists do that". Indeed.

1:08 PM: 
Griffey out for season after rupturing tendon

It is very sad to see what has happened to Griffey. He had a legitimate chance to finish his career as one of the ten best to ever play the game. He'll still be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, but there will always be that aura of "what might have been" surrounding his career- a less tragic version of Doc Gooden or Darryl Strawberry, with the devil being chronic injuries rather than drug abuse.


12:46 PM: 
Accused tells of terrorist training:
"A Jordanian man on trial for plotting attacks on Jewish targets in Germany has told a court that training in Afghanistan left him pumped up with hatred, and that he and fellow members of a radical Palestinian group welcomed the September 11 attacks on the United States."
Of course, the radical leftists at places like Truthout want everyone to believe that Afghanistan was another example of American imperialism, and about a natural gas pipeline. Radical leftists like Ray McGovern, ally to Joseph Wilson of Yellowcakegate fame.

12:26 PM: 
Go Postal!:
"Lance has called this race the most important time trial of his life so far to drop the hammer and not show weakness to his competitors going into the Pytenees Mountains, where he is expected to have a climbing advantage."

11:25 AM: 
Ms. Crawford takes on a new Oregon initiative:
"Oregon’s Road User Fee Task Force (what a name) is proposing that a GPS transponder be installed in every vehicle, and that every vehicle should be tracked and monitored so that “road taxes” may be paid for every mile the car is driven. In other words, for every mile you drive, you’ll be taxed. They might as well call it a fee for the privilege of moving about, because that’s exactly what it is. This new tax is proposed to cover the costs of road repairs – obviously, the already high gas taxes aren’t enough."
Let's leave aside the debate over if there should be taxes on moving about, taxes on the use of roads (there shouldn't). But taxes on road usage are nothing new; toll roads exist, and some states and localities make more use of them than others. Oregon appears to be wanting to take this a step further, and turn every road into a toll road.

But appearances can be deceptive.

Why on earth, to accomplish the stated goal, would Oregon need to install GPS units on all cars? Why not just check the odometer at registration or inspection time? And as Freeper Sloth notes, gas taxes "already do a nearly perfect job of taxing road wear on a per-mile/per-ton basis". So why this need or desire for GPS to accomplish the 'same' thing?

The answer is threefold, in all likelihood. First, because someone stands to make some money off the sales of these GPS units. Second, because some whacko environmental groups believe fewer cars will be sold if they can cause the cost of automobiles to go up. Third, because it would expand the scope of government, which Democrats always want-- even at the cost of privacy or individual liberty.


11:00 AM: 
Left-leaning professors overpopulate campuses:
"Contrast that with the survey last year by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, which canvassed more than 32,000 full-time undergraduate professors.

Some 48 percent identified themselves as either liberal or 'far left,' compared with a mere 18 percent that considered themselves conservative or 'far right.'

That ideological disparity on college campuses explains the findings of the Luntz Research Companies, which surveyed more than 150 Ivy League professors. Of those who voted in the 2000 presidential election, 84 percent cast their ballots for Al Gore, while only 9 percent voted for George W. Bush."
Yesterday, I pointed out how Paul Johnson, co-author of Uncommon Knowledge had stated rhetorically, "In an age of democracy, history should be considered the School of Peoples. Why isn't it? There's no answer to that." But there is a reason. The reason is that history is not kind to the left, and the left dominates the schools.

10:21 AM: 
May's piece No Yellowcake Walk also asks a few questions I (and others) have been asking here and on Free Republic:
"Here's a request from the White House on a vital national-security issue. Does the CIA put their top spies on the case? No. Who do they put on the case? No one. Instead, they apparently decided to give the assignment to a diplomat.

I assume they contacted the State Department. Even so, they didn't get the Foreign Service's most talented ambassador, someone with investigative skills and broad experience in nuclear proliferation and related issues. No, the assignment went to a retiree who is far to the left of the Bush administration. Why?"
A retiree with ties to Al Gore, at that.

10:10 AM: 
Clifford D. May succinctly notes that while journalists are all a-tizzy over 'yellowcakegate', the important matters are not being discussed. There are significant intelligence problems, that long predate the current administration but apparently still continue:
  • "We did not have reliable human-intelligence assets inside Saddam's regime, either before the first chapter of the Gulf War or over the past 13 years leading up to the most recent phase of the conflict.
  • Our intelligence has not been able to discover what Saddam did with his stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. Did he hide them, transfer them, or destroy them?
  • We did not have intelligence assets in the radicalized European mosques where many terrorists were being recruited.
  • In the 1990s, it appears our intelligence analysts didn't grasp how dangerous it was that tens of thousands of terrorists were being trained in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. (I assume they at least knew that such training was taking place.)
  • Our intelligence experts did not know that even as we were paying North Korea billions of dollars in exchange for not building nuclear weapons, they were building them anyway.
  • President Clinton bombed an aspirin factory in the Sudan based on what was apparently faulty intelligence.
  • President Clinton bombed suspected WMD sites in Iraq - did he hit any?
  • Our intelligence services didn't predict or prevent the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania or on the USS Cole.
  • Our intelligence services still haven't been able to determine whether those Iraqis implicated in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center were doing so on Saddam's orders, as researcher and former Clinton adviser Laurie Mylroie has long maintained.
  • Our intelligence services failed to respond to increasing terrorist threats from the Middle East and Central Asia by recruiting and training a sufficient number of agents and analysts fluent in such languages as Arabic, Urdu, and Pashtun.
  • Our intelligence didn't predict or prevent 9/11."
George Tenet should go. Not because of yellowcakegate. Not because the CIA is leaking to the press. Not because he is a Clinton holdover. He should go because the performance of the CIA has not been up to the standards we need.

9:54 AM: 
Enriched Uranium detected in Iran:
"The diplomats, who asked not to be named, said initial analysis showed enrichment levels possibly consistent with an attempt to make weapons-grade material and high enough to cause concern at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

If Iran, dubbed part of an 'axis of evil' by Washington, has been enriching uranium without telling the IAEA, this would deepen U.S. suspicions that its nuclear ambitions go beyond its stated aim of using nuclear energy only to generate electricity.

However, the diplomats said the mere presence of enriched uranium in the samples was not solid proof Iran had done the enrichment itself. Contamination was another possibility, though how it had arisen would have to be explained to the IAEA."
The reporter's last paragraph makes it sound as if it is less troublesome if the detected EU came from contamination, but would it be? If it was from EU that Iran had not made itself, that means that Iran was acquiring EU in other ways-- and without the IAEA or any other oversight body knowing about it.

Either Iran is enriching uranium itself, or it is purchasing enriched uranium. If it is the latter, then it means they know from who to buy it, and we do not know who is selling it. I find that thought perhaps even more troubling, since that would mean we have no idea about the extent of the proliferation.


8:36 AM: 
Republican Rants nails this one:
"Tony Blair spoke of America and it's people not as another country, but rather as a brother in a proud family. He spoke of America with such passion and pride that you would swear he was in fact the President of the United States. He spoke of our strength, how it was so necessary in todays world yet still so misunderstood. He spoke of how our two nations are now bound together in a way they have never been before. All in all he praised this country in such a way that you would expect from only an American.

I guess in a way I can understand why the democrats showed their disdain for Tony Blair while making his speech before them. In his speech he showed just how out of touch and how petty they truly are. When Tony Blair spoke of what we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq he showed a united front with this country. But as for the democrats, well they have shown this country that all they are interested in is power."
Surely they aren't just interested in acquiring power. Surely JoeLie (hey, I like that) really truly passionately deeply believes that Kweisi Mfume belongs on the Supreme Court.

8:08 AM: 
The Daily Howler is not nearly as impartial as he portrays himself (I engaged in an email discussion with him in 2000 which made that point abundantly clear to me). However, he has the goods on how Harold Meyerson murdered the facts as he beat up on stubborn old Cheney. You'll have to read the linked page to get the supporting evidence, but here are some key conclusion phrases:
"The press has Brilliant Points to make, and scribes are changing facts to make them...Meyerson’s charge is completely made up...Sorry. No such statement ever occurred. That damaging statement by Harold Meyerson is completely and wholly invented...Readers, you have to make a decision: Are you willing to tolerate nonsense like this just because it feels good going down?"
At least Mr. Somerby attempts to be impartial, and at least he understands intuitively that he fails at this often enough that his audience is mainly going to find Meyerson's charges pleasant 'going down'.

7:37 AM: 
Seamole and Dog make not of the following:
Alan Foley is best known today for being the "senior CIA analyst" who had the infamous conversation with Robert G. Joseph about the notorious 16 words in the President's State of the Union address from last January.

In March 2001, Foley was appointed head of the CIA's Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control (WINPAC) Center, overseeing about 500 employees. Foley is thus the boss of Valerie Plame Wilson, who is the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.
How very, very convenient!!!

7:30 AM: 
Stressed Americans ripe for GOP con:
"Republicans are the party of the rich, so it seems appropriate that when they are in power they take care of the rich. The irony is that not all Republicans are rich."
Not ironic at all, Mr. Greeley. If we accept the premise that Republicans are the party of the rich, then it makes sense that the Republicans, as a party, would adopt programs which would make more people rich so as to enhance their electoral chances.

Similarly, the Democrats are a party that benefits from economic misery. Those who are poor, and those who feel exploited within the market, vote Democrat predominantly. It is in the Democrat party's self interest to adopt programs which will make more people fall into these categories-- that is how the party gains power.

The Democrats have always been the party for the poor, for the dependent, for the oppressed, and for the downtrodden. As such, they have always had a vested interest in pursuing policies which would maximize poverty, dependency, oppression and misery.

The irony is where Greeley writes of Americans being 'ripe for [a] GOP con', he is writing as if he thinks Americans are ripe for a Democrat con.


6:52 AM: 
DAVID KELLY GOES AWOL- from the Guardian:
"David Kelly, the government adviser named as the possible source for the BBC's report claiming the government 'sexed up' a key intelligence dossier on Iraq, has been reported missing by his family...

With two defence ministry police sitting behind him, Dr Kelly confirmed he met Gilligan in a central London hotel on the same day that the reporter said he met his sole source at a central London hotel.

But Dr Kelly said he did not believe he could be the primary source of the report at the centre of a bitter row between the BBC and No 10.

"I believe I am not the main source. From the conversation I had with him I don't see how he could make the authoritative statements he was making from the comments that I made," Dr Kelly said...
With this latest update:
Guardian: LATEST: Police searching for David Kelly find man's body. More details soon ...
UPDATE: The body found matches the description of Kelly, and is believed to be him.

6:36 AM: 
From Phil Dragoo:
Bush delivers SOTUSJan 23, 2003
Wilson Jim LehrerFeb 6, 2003 No mention of SOTUS/Niger
Wilson Op-ed NationFeb 13, 2003 No mention of SOTUS/Niger
War With IraqMarch 20, 2003
Combat Phase endsApril 15, 2003
Wilson Op-ed NYTJuly 06, 2003 [6 months after SOTUS]
Bush Leaves for AfricaJuly 07, 2003

QED Wilson, Plame, Tenet, Novak, Corn serve McAuliffe...

Wilson did not say he found no evidence Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger. He said he found no evidence of a transaction, a wholly different matter.

'nuff said.

6:33 AM: 
What do you get when you don't read carefully enough? Some egg on your face.

That Harris poll? If you read the last line in that article, it says that the poll was conducted between June 10-15. Why they decided to write an article in July about a poll conducted in June is anyone's guess.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

8:35 PM: 
I lied. One more before I go (to whom it may concern). The newest Harris Poll is out. The article I link to talks about how Bush's approval is down; the rating "which surged to 70 percent in April, has now fallen nine points to 61 percent."

Now for the bias (yes, left bias in the Washington Times, due to it being a wire piece from UPI). The whole article is centered about how Bush's poll numbers are in decline.

What was Bush's approval rating the last time Harris ran this poll, back in early June?

61 percent- same as here.

Why UPI totally ignores this fact is beyond me. I take that back-- the most likely reason is because it would not have fit in with the spin they wanted to put on the results. This was an example of results-oriented reporting.

There was no change in Bush's ratings noted, even with the media drumbeat on Yellowcake. This fits in with the pattern I noted here and here. The media myth is that la affair de yellowcake has cost Bush 10 points in the polls. The reality is, it has cost him very little in the polls.


8:24 PM: 
Send chicken soup- I have a summertime cold. Tonight will therefore be an early evening. Without further ado, the closing thought for the day:
"[G]overnment's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. "

Ronald Reagan, Remarks to the White House Conference on Small Business, August 15, 1986

7:58 PM: 
The AP does the heavy lifting for Jacques Baute. Jacques Baute, for those unfamiliar with the name, is France's representative to the IAEA, and he is also, coincidentally, the official who determined that the Niger documents were forgeries. He's now saying that this claim in the SOTU was false:
"'Our intelligence sources tell us that (President Saddam Hussein) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production,' Bush said. "
Why is it false?
Spinning cylinders made of aluminum can be used for inferior models of enrichment centrifuges, which separate out bomb uranium. But the Iraqis by 1990 had advanced to a much more productive design using carbon fiber tubes.
Oh I see. We said they are trying to reconstitute their nuclear weapons program, we offer one piece of evidence, and the refutation is that the Iraqis were using a more advanced version. Why do I not see the refutation there?

And never mind that gas centrifuge that was dug up in the scientist's backyard, under a rose bush.


7:34 PM: 
Some constructive criticism for the President from The Federalist:
"It is not enough to continue rationalizing the Bush administration's decidedly Left-of-Center domestic-policy positions as being necessitated by pragmatic political calculations. In his campaign for the presidency, then-Gov. Bush articulated clearly his intent to appoint 'constitutional constructionists' to the federal judiciary, and he has not wavered in that determination. But what the nation needs now is a constitutional constructionist in the executive branch -- one who will uphold his oath to 'defend the Constitution' and be its most vocal advocate on issues like spending cuts and containment, if not elimination, of unconstitutional domestic social programs. "

7:17 PM: 
According to the new Fox Opinion Dynamics poll, Bush's approval ratings are down 1 point from a month ago. Along with these results, this yeilds an average drop of 3.17 percentage points (or 3 on the nose if you throw out the highest and lowest results). This, in polls with a margin of error of 4. If there has been any damage done by the Democrat attacks of late, it has been slight.

6:12 PM: 
Champion show horse, stablemate put to death after mysterious attack at ranch

Senseless.


5:51 PM: 
Ramesh Ponnuru is all over a scandal involving the Traditional Values Coalition (with an update here).

The Traditional Values Coalition, along with cheerleader Jerry Falwell, ought to be ashamed of themselves. And while good Christians should forgive them, we should certainly not trust them any longer. There are plenty of other worthy, more worthy, pro-life organizations to support.

That said, can you imagine Democrats going after one of their special interest groups to keep them honest? I can't.


5:39 PM: 
Sen. Bob Graham Just Called for Impeachments On MSNBC Over Supposed Intelligence Failures...

Which means that Bob Graham is actively campaigning to be Howard Dean's Vice-Presidential nominee.


5:15 PM: 
News:
"A close associate of Osama bin Laden is being held in Iran, it emerged yesterday. Authorities in Tehran have acknowledged to the Kuwaitis that they are holding Kuwaiti-born Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who took on the role of spokesman for al-Qa'ida after the 11 September terror attacks.

According to the Kuwaiti Interior Minister, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the Iranians 'wanted to extradite Abu Ghaith ... but we do not recognise Abu Ghaith, he is not Kuwaiti [any more]'."
Kuwait should have taken him, and dropped him off in handy, nearby Iraq (giving us some advance warning, of course, so that we could greet him).

4:28 PM: 
The incomperable Registered presents Uncle Gray?

Give me Uncle Hulka over him any day!


4:20 PM: 
Tony Blair is speaking before Congress. I am not a big fan of his 'third way' politics, but I was grateful for his steadfastness regarding Iraq, and I continue to be impressed at how good he is at delivering a speech.

I am also dumbfounded for how much disdain Hillary Clinton has for American institutions. When Blair was talking of the American Revolution, Hillary had this look on her face that can best be described as the "give me a break" face. What a dispicable woman.


3:37 PM: 
Paul Johnson, co-author along with Robert Bork of Uncommon Knowledge has answered a few questions posed to him by readers of The Corner on National Review Online. His closing comment muses:
"In an age of democracy, history should be considered the School of Peoples. Why isn't it? There's no answer to that. It ought to be. It must be."
Mr. Johnson, there is an answer to that. Conservatism, I often argue, is the application of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. The radicals have long controlled much of the educational process in America, and they have a vested interest in discouraging actual curiousity and interest in the lessons of history. They dumb it down, reshape events to suit their desires, and most of all ensure it is as far from stimulating as possible. "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow... yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone... Why not think about times to come, and not about the things that we've done?" The lessons of history are not kind to the progressive, the communist, the anarchist, the egalitarian, the radical. As Napolean and Snowball did in Animal Farm, history must be rewritten, and forgotten-- for the radicals to succeed.

3:13 PM: 
BBC reporter who claimed "sexed" up Intelligence accused of changing his story.:
"The BBC journalist who claimed that Alastair Campbell had 'sexed up' intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction was tonight accused of changing his evidence by MPs. "
Oh come on you bloody Brits, say the obvious. He 'sexed up' his charge that Campbell had 'sexed up' intelligence.

It just goes to show that safe sexing-up is no match for abstaining from sexing up.


3:11 PM: 
Groups threatening recall of Nevada Supreme Court justices

I fully support the bringing of a case in federal court to overturn the ruling by the SCON that the state's constitution could be ignored by the Legislature. That said, a recall is even better (and should be done regardless of how the court case turns out). The Justices have shown that they are incapable of their primary responsibility-- defending the public by implementing the Constitution. I wish the recall effort all the best, and suggest that they hire The Flying Elvi to help publicize the cause.


2:51 PM: 
Headline from the Toque:
"Rain In Spain Expected to Fall Mainly In Higher Altitudes, Not Plains As Reported Previously"
It must be a result of global warming-- these extreme temperatures we are experiencing being another example.

2:19 PM: 
Did you know that the Federal Government should be responsible for local fire departments? John Kerry thinks so. He also seems to think we should let Baghdad burn:
"We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad while closing them in Brooklyn," he said.
He's a killer queen, that one. Oh boy, I feel a Freddy Mercury moment coming on:
He has flip-flopped on Iraq more times than the average pol: After voting against the first Gulf War, he turned hawk in the '90s - strongly supporting the half-measures Bill Clinton aimed at Saddam Hussein.

Kerry then flop-flipped, supporting George W. Bush in challenging Saddam - only to declare two days later that "there is no justification whatsoever" for initiating war with Iraq.

By last month, Kerry was whirling like a dervish. He said that it would be "irresponsible" to suggest that Bush "misled" the country in going to war, only to do precisely that himself.
"Any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me. To me."

1:59 PM: 
Iranian official beat Kazemi with shoe

I remember when the New York Rangers went into the stands to do this to a heckling fan. However, the man did not die, and the shoe was used because using a skate would have been a lot messier.

Actually, there is significance in the Islamic culture to using a shoe as a weapon-- it adds a level of degradation. In the aftermath of the fall of Saddam's regime, there were photos and videos of Iraqi men hitting giant murals of Saddam with their shoes. And in one of Baghdad's finest hotels, Saddam had installed an intricate tile mosaic of George H.W. Bush on the ground near the entrance where everyone entering or leaving would have to step on his face.

The Iranians did not just want to hurt this lady journalist, they wanted to degrade her while doing it. And they will not return the body to her son for a burial of his own choosing- she will remain, in body but not spirit, in the ground spoiled by the tread of inhumane Mullahs.


9:11 AM: 
More followup on Activist Judges, this time courtesy of Freeper KC Burke, and Thomas Sowell (from his book The Quest for Cosmic Justice.
A judge cannot "do justice" directly in cases before him. This view was strongly express in a small episode in the life of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes [hardly, a conservative points out KC Burke] After having lunch with Justice Learned Hand, Holmes entered his carriage to be driven away, as he left, Justice Hand's parting salute was:
"Do justice, sir, do justice."

Holmes ordered the carriage stopped.

"That is not my job," Holmes said to Justice Hand. "It is my job to apply the law."

Elsewhere, Holmes wrote that his primary responsibility as a judge was "to see that the game is played according to the rules whether I like them or not." In one of his Supreme Court decisions, Holmes said, "When we know what the source of the law has said it shall be, our authority is at an end." Another Supreme Court decision by Holmes ended, "I am not at liberty to consider the justice of the Act."

The case for upholding legal principles, know and relied upon by others, is precisely that it can be done, and done whiole preserving a free society, whereas laying cases by ear requires far more knowledge than anyone posseses and is incompatible with the rule of law and the freedom which depends on that rule...
I wonder at what point in time did liberal judges stop getting things right? I read some of the older Supreme Court decisions, and even the justices I disagree with mostly, I agree with more than infrequently. I cannot think of an opinion from Stevens, Ginsburg, or Souter with which I have agreed.

9:05 AM: 
Nigeria is working to resolve the Sao Tome coup. Nigeria is allied with deposed President Menezes, who was visiting Nigeria at the time of the coup.

Sao Tome has been favorable to the west and the United States, and has mostly been considered a stable democracy in Western Africa.

The leaders of the coup, however, claim they have no desire for power, and just want to set the right conditions for Democracy and to stop the social and economic decline in the country.
"Since Menezes began his term in September 2001, he has fired four prime ministers and dissolved Parliament.

In January, Menezes revoked a decree that called for early elections and the dissolving of Parliament after striking a deal with lawmakers eager to trim his powers."
Too often in Africa, who the good guys are is clear as mud.

8:58 AM: 
Kathryn Jean Lopez on The Corner makes a wonderful, yet simple, observation:
"If there are surface-to-air missiles in Iraq still in enemy hands, it is certainly conceivable there are other weapons awaiting discovery yet. "
Quite.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

10:19 PM: 
Tonight's closing thought:
"Philosophy is a bully that talks loud when the danger is at a distant; but, the moment she is pressed hard by an enemy, she is nowhere to be found and leaves the brunt of the battle to be fought by her steady, humble comrade, religion." ~ Charles Caleb Colton

10:10 PM: 
I added something new to my blog. Under each entry is a link to make a comment in reply. Feel free to use it. I am not sure what the company that provides that service (for free) gets, although I would imagine that it is a way for them to collect email addresses. You may want to either leave that field blank or add a nospam to your email address (such as williammckinley@nospam.comcast.net)-- I'll know to take the nospam out if I choose to reply via email.

9:02 PM: 
Trouble in Korea:
"South and North Korean soldiers briefly exchanged fire along their border on Thursday, but the South said it suffered no casualties in the shootout.

It was not immediately known whether any North Korean troops were injured or killed in the firefight in the Demilitarized Zone. "

Guess someone doesn't quite understand the concept of a Demilitarized Zone.

8:58 PM: 
I posted a rather lengthy excerpt from "The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party" by Michael F. Holt. The excerpt describes the partisan divide circa 1840, and also how the parties thought about motivating their core of voters. I was struck at how similar the divide politically between the Whigs and Democrats was to the divide between the current Republicans and Democrats. If interested, follow the link.

Excerpting the excerpt, however:

They could usually count on their former supporters voting Whig, if only to inflict a defeat on, or to avert the mortification of a victory by, the despised foe. 'As a general rule,' wrote a Mississippian, 'about one half of those who vote look upon the privilege as worthless unless they can use it to gratify a personal hostility or religious antipathies, or to inflict injury on what they hate.' Party leaders sought to instigate men 'to inflict injury on what they hate' rather than to stay at home on election day. "
"Inflicting injury on what they hate." Not physical injury, mind you. Political injury. Catchy. I like it.
Just as it took the event of the game itself to convert latent into active support in the case of football fans, it took conflict to get Whig and Democratic voters to the polls. Hence, Whig newspapers defined how the parties differed on specific issues, and Whig committees distributed pamphlets highlighting the contrast between the parties. Hence, Whigs and Democrats alike welcomed joint debates on the stump, not only to educate voters on where the respective parties stood but also because the spectacle of Whig and Democrats spokesmen actually clashing on the hustings galvanized a party's voters the way a big game excited a team's fans...

For similar reasons, politicians welcomed attacks from the opposing party because nothing better stirred up the fighting spirit in their own ranks. In 1844, for example, Georiga's Alexander H. Stephens rejoiced that "the Locos seem determined to do what they can by gasconnading, and the only effect of it is I think to arouse the Whigs and make them energetic, and that is all we want." Five years later, a Chicago Whig echoed Stephens: "Whenever a locofoco abuses, or attempts to abuse, a Whig--the more I like that Whig-- and the more opprobrium a Locofoco Press attempts to hurl upon him, the closer I cling to him."..."
This is one reason I do not mind the blatent propagandizing the Democrat party routinely engages in, and one reason that I think the media's complicity in pushing the liberal agenda is not as successful as one would think.



5:42 PM: 
Car Attack in Santa Monica (8 dead, 40 injured). The initial report was that this was not accidental, but now it appears that it was just an elderly man who...who knows. This was at a Farmer's Market.

4:53 PM: 
Following up a bit on Mr. Sjostrom's work on the agenda of Counterpunch.org, it might be handy to know that the technical contact for Counterpunch is Jeffrey St.Clair, who co-authored this book with Alexander Cockburn. St. Clair is also a contributing editor to In These Times.

4:41 PM: 
Do not miss Taranto's Best of the Web Today, particularly today:
"Give Nicholas Kristof credit for being slightly ahead of his time. The New York Times columnist has been beating the drum for more than a month now about purportedly "politicized" intelligence on Iraq...

In that column, Kristof introduced the world to a group that styles itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. This outfit made another appearance in yesterday's column...

So who are these purported voices for "sanity" and against "politicization"? Blogger William Sjostrom did some online sleuthing, and here's what he found...
What he found is... a whole bunch of stuff that deserves a visit, but can be summed up as VIPS is a bunch of far, far left propagandists and activists that fit in well with the TruthOut crowd.

Please take the time to read that blog entry.

3:59 PM: 
Gallup's latest poll:
"These are the results of a Gallup Poll conducted July 7-9, which also found that Bush's overall approval rating is 62%, the same as his average rating for the month of June"

3:50 PM: 
Over on the Corner, Tim Graham makes note of a tiny, interesting comparison:
"'UNtruth & Consequences' -- Time cover, July 21, 2003, complete with pictue of President Bush delivering the State of the Union address

'Truth And Consequences' -- Time cover, August 24, 1998, with black and white picture of President Clinton. "
Imagine that.

3:48 PM: 
The Washington Post continues to differentiate itself from the unrepentantly dishonest New York Times:
"Yet that does not mean the decision for war was based on false information. The Africa nugget, after all, formed a small part of the president's argument -- and like other questionable parts of the administration's case, it was widely disputed before the war. The heart of the argument -- that Iraq had repeatedly defied disarmament orders from the United Nations -- was endorsed in December by all 15 members of the U.N. Security Council, and remains indisputable. Similarly, the conclusion that Saddam Hussein had retained chemical and biological weapons was one shared by the Clinton administration as well as every major Western intelligence service. That conclusion is now being challenged, but it hasn't yet been disproved; nor has it been established that Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program. Indeed, the recent unearthing of designs and machinery for producing bomb-grade material in a scientist's garden seems more suggestive than the discrediting of the report on Niger."

1:31 PM: 
More Democrat corruption: The Democrats are trying to derail William Pryor's nomination (or to be more precise, they are attempting to find some justification for the coming fillibuster). In their recent efforts, they have been using some emails...
"But what led them to this trail of questions is more interesting. Those documents they had -- documents that gave them more information about RAGA than Pryor himself has access to -- came from a former secretary of Claire Austin's by the name of Kelly Foradori. Foradori stopped working for Austin at the end of 1999, after helping with RAGA's first-ever major fundraiser (on Kiawah Island, S.C.)...

What is known is that Foradori was a longtime employee of lobbyist Lanny Young -- and a highly paid one at that, said Austin. Austin briefly had a business with Young, and she said Foradori came with Young (already making what for a clerical employee was a hefty salary) when Austin and Young joined forces...

Lanny Young last month pleaded guilty to bribing Nick Bailey, a top aide to former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. Bill Pryor's office is working in conjunction with federal Justice Department officials in the ongoing investigation involving Young, Bailey and others in the Siegelman orbit.

Now Foradori, at least at one time a close associate and employee of Young's, has sent Austin's RAGA documents -- retained against Austin's wishes more than three years ago -- to committee staffers representing U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., a leading Pryor opponent. "

1:26 PM: 
While the cat's away... Coup in Island State With Big Oil Reserves. The island, Sao Tome:
"An army major backed by a small opposition party seized power in a pre-dawn coup in the African island state of Sao Tome and Principe on Wednesday while President Fradique de Menezes was visiting Nigeria.

News reports from the mountainous and densely forested island, 240km west of Gabon said Major Fernando Pereira, the head of the military training school, had seized power and arrested leaders of the country's elected government."

1:12 PM: 
Freeper Theodore R. adds to my rant on Cartman Republicans:
"Also don't forget the hapless GOP in Louisiana. It can't agree on candidates either. Now four Republicans are battling for fourth place in the LA 'jungle primary' set for Oct. 4."
True dat. I am sure Mary "Brown Roots" Landreiu appreciated all of Mike Foster's coyness last election cycle.

12:59 PM: 
Howard Dean comes out squarely against freedom of speech:
"I think we need to re-regulate the media that has clearly abused its authority by censoring information that should be made available to the American people."
How Orwellian. A newspaper or cable broadcasting outfit that makes a choice as to what opinion it wants to present should be controlled by some government bureaucracy which will determine what information it should broadcast or publish.

Is there any doubt as to why Karl Rove is salivating at the idea of Dean being the Democrat nominee?

12:55 PM: 
Howard Dean blogs:
"The media conglomerates now dominate almost half of the markets around the country, meaning Americans get less independent and frequently less dependable news, views and information. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson spoke of the fear that economic power would one day try to seize political power. No consolidated economic power has more opportunity to do this than the consolidated power of media. "
Preach it brother! And what party is overwhelmingly represented within the ranks of reporters and newspaper boardrooms? The Democrats (as Michael Barone noted, "as a poll [in 1995] showed. 89 percent of a sample of Washington political reporters and bureau chiefs voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. 7 percent voted for George Bush."). And which party uses this to spread their talking points? The Democrats.

12:32 PM: 
Cathryn Crawford:
"Dean is the dream candidate for the Democrats. Intelligent, well-spoken, good looking, able to raise money - he has it all...

The Republicans need to start preparing now for a Bush-Dean face-off. It will be interesting, to say the least."
I am reminded of the Paul Wellstone 'memorial'. The rabid leftist partisans within the Democrat party had themselves a raucous good time. They raised the roof, and they were fired up.

The rest of the country looked on, and was appalled.

Which state the Bush carried in 2000 is likely to be swayed by an Angry Democrat? Nevada? Not enough. Ohio? Not likely. Florida? The Democrats tried very hard to rouse anger at Bush in order to oust Jeb from the Governorship, and failed badly. Perhaps by choosing Bob Graham as his running mate, Dean could make a run at Florida, but a recent Florida poll shows Bush comfortably leading Graham in Florida if Graham was heading the ticket.

There is a reason that Karl Rove would like to see the Democrats nominate Howard Dean. No other candidate the Democrats could nominate would be as likely, outside of Hillary, to generate strong Republican donations in opposition or to generate as much Republican turnout. No other candidate is as likely to let his mouth run too far. And no other candidate will be so beholden to the far left to be completely unable to woo the middle.

11:59 AM: 
Looking for the smoking gun: Tom Brokaw talks to David Kay — in charge of WMD search:
"Kay: You know that’s not what worries me. What worries me is that I know if we can’t explain the WMD program of Iraq, we lose credibility with regard to other states like Iran, Syria, North Korea. I also know I have to worry about where did what was here go? It would be the ultimate national tragedy if in a war to end proliferation, we actually allowed to escape to other states and rogue groups. And thirdly, I strongly believe that we are going to learn lessons that will shape the American intelligence gathering system for a generation ahead off of this. We need to get to the bottom of this so we can draw those lessons."
I am impressed. It sounds like Mr. Kay gets it.

Things were there- despite the partisan attempts to fog things up, this was not in dispute from any party or interest outside of Scott Ritter. While the partisan attacks attempt to destroy the administration, the truly important question is not being addressed. There was a significant intelligence failure here-- if there was not, we would have answers already. How this failure occurred must be identified and corrected, and nothing the current witchhunt is doing helps in this regard.

11:45 AM: 
Poll finds 51 percent would vote to recall California governor, and there are some surprising results in this poll.
"When pollsters asked likely voters to state their first choice among those six potential candidates, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan was named by 21 percent, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger 15 percent, failed gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon 12 percent, Camejo 8 percent, state Sen. Tom McClintock of Thousand Oaks 7 percent and Issa 4 percent. A relatively large number of respondents -- 24 percent -- said they preferred someone else or would not vote for any of those candidates. Nine percent were undecided.

The poll found that if Riordan were not in the contest, Schwarzenegger would narrowly lead Simon 20 percent to 15 percent when likely voters were asked their preferred candidate. If Schwarzenegger were not running, Riordan would lead Simon 25 percent to 16 percent. "
36% of recall supporters choose either Riordan and Schwarzenegger, but the support for one does not appear to translate to the other if only one is on the ballot. Only about a quarter of each of these candidates support would go to the other if only one is on the ballot.

This hints to a mindset which explains much of the California Republican party's difficulty in winning elections. Call it the Cartman Attitude- "screw you guys, I'm going home." Jones supporters and Riordan supporters did not turn out for Simon. It appears Schwarzenegger supporters would not turn out for Riordan and vice-versa. California Republicans, both conservative and moderate, struggle to control the party but won't support the party when they don't get their way.

When will Republicans learn? This pattern plays itself out repeatedly. In New Jersey, fractionalism destroyed the chances of Bret Schundler, and torpedoed the Senate aspirations of Doug Forrester. In California, it has led to the Golden State being so dominated by the Democrats that even with approval ratings for Davis being in the 20s (and for the legislature even lower than that), only a slight majority favor throwing out Davis-- with more than a third of those supporting recall stating "how they would vote in a recall election depends 'a lot' on which candidates they could choose to replace Davis".

Barry Goldwater spoke to such a destructive mindset, when he told conservatives to "grow up". But the mindset is not monopolized by conservatives, as 'moderates' in New Jersey and California continually demonstrate, much to the satisfaction of Jon Corzine, Frank Lautenberg, Jim McGreevey, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Gray Davis, the Clintons, and Terry McAuliffe.

9:40 AM: 
Iran Says Canadian Journalist Died from Beatings is the article from Reuters. They show a sharp ability to focus on the germane:
"Her death appeared likely to mar what had been relatively smooth relations between Iran and Canada."
Ya think?

Actually, Reuters may be giving too much credit to the Canadian government. The liberal reaction to totalitarian abuse is normally to capitulate in the mistaken hope to avoid such unpleasantries in the future.

9:35 AM: 
The Washington Post nails the real problem with the hubbub over the SOTU address, and also gets right the insignificance of the triviality, calling it
"a minor intelligence controversy that threatens to obscure the real problems of U.S. assessments of Iraq before and during the Second Gulf War."
That is exactly right. But who does the Washington Post blame for the attention being given to this? Who does the Washington Post blame for making a mountain out of a molehill-- with the mountain obscuring the view of the really significant issues?

The Democrats, with their "pattern" drumbeat? No.

Leftist activists, with their deceptive and instigative press releases, propaganda, and commercials? No.

The Washington Post (surprise, surprise!) blames Bush:

"With significant help from his top aides, President Bush has managed to shoot himself and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in their combined four feet in a minor intelligence controversy that threatens to obscure the real problems of U.S. assessments of Iraq before and during the Second Gulf War."
Shameless. Absolutely shameless.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

8:52 PM: 
Baseball fans, come on over and talk some All-Star game chatter.

7:22 PM: 
Tariq Aziz speaks, and Freeper WL-law notes:
"Tariq Aziz has told interrogators that Saddam Hussain believed right up to the last moment that the US would not invade Iraq, due to 'international pressure'.

It was their [France and Germany] action, in opposition to the UN mandate and US pressure, that threw a lifeline of hope to Saddam, to which he hung on to the last, instead of taking the more reasonable approach of giving up power and leaving in exile. "
Or complying with the U.N. resolutions for that matter. Militant peacenicks always bring the world to war.

7:12 PM: 
Weintraub: Arnold for governor would be powerful candidate:
"That merger of his personal beliefs with public policy is part of the transformation that, coincidentally, turned Schwarzenegger into the ideal California candidate: what I call a pragmatic libertarian.

'I still believe government should ensure a fair start and fair competition for all,' he says. 'It shouldn't rig the outcomes.

'I still believe in lower taxes -- and the power of the free market.

'I still believe in controlling government spending. If it's a bad program, let's get rid of it.

'But I also believe that government is important -- and should be in the business of educating our children, defending our people, ensuring public safety, advancing scientific and medical research, and more.' "
I think that Weintraub hasn't a clue as to what a libertarian is (hint: they do not believe in gun control or government spending on much beyond public safety and defense). It must be Arnold's pro-abortion stance that confuses him, although libertarians are far from united on the abortion issue.

The book I am reading is about a party that Arnold would be right at home in- the Whig party.


6:35 PM: 
Do We Detect a Pattern Here? Taranto does. Excerpting:
"Several candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination spoke out yesterday. Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said Bush's 'factual lapse' cannot be easily dismissed 'as an intelligence failure.' He said the president 'has a pattern of using excessive language in his speeches and off-the-cuff remarks' which 'represents a failure of presidential leadership.' "--Associated Press

"Amid questions about the president's justification for war against Iraq, [John Kerry] the Massachusetts senator [who by the way served in jail] plans to question Bush's credibility next week by citing a pattern of deception on national security and domestic issues, aides said."--Associated Press

"What troubles me is not that single episode, but the broader pattern of dishonesty and delusion that helped get us into the Iraq mess."--Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

"The case of the bogus uranium purchases wasn't an isolated instance. It was part of a broad pattern of politicized, corrupted intelligence."--former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, New York Times

"I think the American people are aware this administration has engaged in a pattern of deceit."--Dennis Kucinich

Let's add to it, lest we forget that the ABCBSNBC networks are wholly owned and operated subsidiaries of the DNC, we have Katie Couric:
"Finally, referring to the controversy surrounding Pres. Bush's allegation that Saddam had obtained aluminum tubes for purposes of his nuclear program, Katie dropped this bombshell: "Could the Bush administration be seen to be engaging in a pattern of deception?" "
We also have Paul Krugman of the New York Times, whose article today is called "Pattern of Corruption"

I am sure it is just a coincidence. (Great job catching this, Ragtime Cowgirl)


6:27 PM: 
Article: Santorum Would Advise His Child to Resist Gay Temptations:
"He continued: 'You try to point out to them what is the right thing to do. And we have many temptations to do things we shouldn't do. That doesn't mean we have to give in to those temptations. I have temptations, as we all do, all the time, to do things we shouldn't do.

'Whether we have that disposition because of environmental factors, genetic factors, whatever, it doesn't mean you have to submit. We are people of free will and free choices.' "
Is this supposed to be controversial somehow? Why would the AP write a story on this?

3:05 PM: 
William A. Mayer on PipeBombNews.com:
"As is the case in many of these “controversies” the public record is already replete with information that can be quite compelling. In the present case the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] catalogued at least 8 instances wherein fissile material was imported into Iraq.

The following from: Fact Sheet: Iraq’s Nuclear Weapon Programme – International Atomic Energy Agency, 25 April 2002
  1. Imported 4,006 kg of natural uranium and 6,005 kg of depleted uranium (DU) from Italy in 1979
  2. Imported 1,767 kg low enriched uranium (LEU) from Italy in 1982
  3. Imported almost 50 kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Russia and France
  4. Procured 429 drums containing 138,098 kg yellowcake from Portugal in 1980
  5. Procured 487 drums containing 148,348 kg yellowcake from Portugal in 1982
  6. Procured 432 drums containing 137,435 kg of yellowcake from Niger in 1981
  7. Procured 426 drums containing 139,409 kg of yellowcake from Niger in 1982
  8. Imported 24,260 kg of uranium dioxide from Brazil between 1981-82

What was Saddam doing with 550 tons of bomb making material, approximately 250 tons of which had been obtained from the very country mentioned in the President's State of the Union Address?
The answer lies within the same report; which details Saddam's successful efforts in enriching this treasure trove of contraband, with the obvious intent of producing a working nuclear device, the ultimate WMD.
  • Produced 109 tonnes of uranium in 168 tonnes of yellowcake at Al Qaim uranium recovery plant, which was constructed between 1982-84
  • Produced 420 drums containing 99,457 kg uranium dioxide at Al Jesira uranium conversion facility
  • Produced UF6 at Rashdiya Engineering and Design Centre
    Processed uranium dioxide to produce UF4, uranium metal and UF6 at Tuwaitha Chemical Laboratories
  • Processed UO2 and yellowcake to produce UO2, U3O8, UO3, UO4, UF4, and uranium metal at Tuwaitha Experimental Research Laboratory for Fuel Fabrication
  • Processed UO2 to produce UCl4 at Tuwaitha Chemical Engineering Research laboratories"

1:52 PM: 
Here is an amatuer who thinks he is a pro:
"Nothing keeps a relationship on its toes so much as lively debate. Fortunate, then, that my girlfriend and I agree on absolutely nothing. At all.

Combine utter, polar disagreement on everything, ever, with the fact that I am a text-book Only Child, and she is a violent psychopath, and we're warming up. Then factor in my being English while she is German, which not only makes each one of us personally and absolutely responsible for the history, and the social and cultural mores of our respective countries, but also opens up a whole field of sub-arguments grounded in grammatical and semantic disputes and, well, just try saying anything and walking away."
Get married first, pal, then come see me. (But I wouldn't want it any other way)

1:40 PM: 
Another thought about the polls that I meant to make earlier, but forgot in my mad rush to take my little girl mini-golfing. I mentioned how the polls did not support the contention that Bush has had a ten percentage point drop in approval-- more like 3 2/3 percentage points.

There is another half to what Podhoretz (and other commentators have) said--namely that the drop has happened in the past week. There is no evidence to support this. The drop has occurred over the past month to six weeks, and we simply do not know when it happened or what caused it.

The conventional wisdom is that it is the Niger/Uranium story and the Democrats' assault. Is it, though? A University of Maryland poll discovered that 84% of those questioned said that the administration had either not made false statements or had been completely truthful, and a majority had said that the administration had not been misleading (if you had only heard that poll's results reported in a way that made it sound like it had the exact opposite result, you need to read this article). With results like that, could it be possible that the yellowcake is the cause?

Or could it be an erosion of support due to the administration abandoning its position on Title IX, throwing support behind the recent SCOTUS decision in the University of Michigan affirmative action case, or any other number of news items which have come down the pipe in the past month?

1:23 PM: 
Pop quiz!!! Who said this?:
"'Now, let's imagine the future. What if he [Saddam] fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, some way, I guarantee you, he will use the arsenal.' "
Click the link and find out (and yes, it is a valid quotation- it was also reported in the Washington Post).

10:02 AM: 
Californians Live In Denial:
"While Californians worry about cuts in government spending on education, health care and public safety, there is little support for higher taxes to avoid those cuts, according to a poll released Tuesday.

A record low percentage of voters approve of the job performance of both the Legislature and Gov. Gray Davis and three-quarters of all of those interviewed said the state was headed down the wrong track, the survey by San Francisco-based Field Research Institute showed."
Can't have cuts. No siree bob.

It sounds like the only way to give the California voters what they want is to give them someone who advocates lower taxes to stimulate the economy and thereby increase revenues (also known as Reaganomics).

The problem is that this is exactly what Bill Simon campaigned on, and the voters did not want that either.

9:53 AM: 
Tour Stage 10:
"15 H 37 - Protest At The 147.5km Mark
The peloton is slowly making its way through the group of protesters which blocked the race at the 147.5km mark. The protesters are supporters of Jose Bove and the peloton is now at a standstill because of their antics."
Is it any surprise that Jose Bove is an anarchist/communist?

8:52 AM: 
Below, I wrote this:
Taking the polls together, we have five polls showing an aggregate 18 point drop for President Bush, an average of 3.6 points-- in polls having a margin of error of about 4.
More evidence that the probable drop in approval of the President is about 3 1/2 comes from dropping the high and low values from the grouping. Most people do not know that when a poll is reported with a 4 point margin of error, what it really means is that 1 out of 20 times a poll of that sample size is conducted, the results will differ from the real public opinion by more than 4 points. Podhoretz relies on a single poll (the ABCNews/Washington Post one), despite the fact that there is a 1 in 20 chance it is horsepucky. By removing the high and low results from a grouping of polls, we increase our chances of excluding all such outlies. The high result is the grouping was a 2 point gain, and the low a 9 point drop. The other polls on average showed a 3.67 point drop in approval rating- pretty much the same as with the two most extreme polls included.

I am reminded of a report I saw on CNN during the run up to the 2000 Republican nomination. Mr. Schneider was reporting some polling results that he had run. I forget all of the details, such as what the poll was about, but what I do remember is how Mr. Schneider had been so taken aback by the results that he was convinced that he had an outlier (that one in nineteen polls that is outside of the margin of error) that he ordered the poll to be redone in order to validate the results before airing them.

This may strike the reader as a reasonable thing to do, but in actuality it injects bias into the system. A pollster behaving like Mr. Schneider will catch those polls that err outside the margin of error when the error is in the side away from his expectation, but will not catch those polls that err outside the margin of error when the error is in the side towards his expectation. The net effect? Over time, such a pollsters polls will overstate public sentiment in the direction of that pollster's own expectations. That is bias.

6:22 AM: 
Oh, what a tangled web they've weaved:
"TONY Blair is preparing a face-saving compromise with the United States in an attempt to heal the rift over whether Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Niger.

France is expected to be blamed for the split between the CIA and MI6 - on the grounds that Paris intelligence agencies shared hard evidence with Britain, but refused to show it to the US...

The United Nations nuclear watchdog was last night said to believe that Britain's evidence on Iraq trying to import uranium from Africa is all based on the forged documents - not from French intelligence."
Freeper Dog pointed out something very interesting on that thread. The IAEA is the organization that identified the documents as forgeries. Who specifically within the IAEA? Mr. Jacques Baute of France.

Imagine that.

6:14 AM: 
Podhoretz:
"THE liberal/ Democratic/media assault on President Bush has 'gained traction,' as the politicos say. Some ostriches on the Right want to pretend otherwise. They ought to know better. The weeklong controversy over the supposed 'lie' Bush told in the State of the Union Address completely overshadowed the president's historic trip to Africa, a trip intended to cast light on his revolutionary new AIDS policy. His poll numbers have fallen 10 points in the past few weeks."
Ostrich? I have a short neck! The point about the Africa trip being overshadowed is correct, but the poll number point is not. A look at PollingReport.com shows the following, comparing the most recent results of each poll with the results from the previous iteration of the same poll:

Taking the polls together, we have five polls showing an aggregate 18 point drop for President Bush, an average of 3.6 points-- in polls having a margin of error of about 4.

The story has indeed gained traction, but I do not see much evidence it has gained much traction with the public. The media has bought the story so much that even conservative columnists, like Podhoretz, are marching in time to the beating drums.


Monday, July 14, 2003

10:55 PM: 
Tonight's closing thought, from Hayek:
"As a result, we have had to the present day two different traditions in the theory of liberty: one empirical and unsystematic, the other speculative and rationalistic -the first based on an interpretation of traditions and institutions which had spontaneously grown up and were but imperfectly understood, the second aiming at the construction of a utopia, which has often been tried but never successfully. Nevertheless, it has been the rationalistic, plausible, and apparently logical argument of the French tradition, with its flattering assumptions about the unlimited powers of human reason, that has progressively gained influence, while the less articulate and less explicit tradition of English freedom has been on the decline."

10:48 PM: 
Great home run derby at the all-star game, with Garrett Anderson winning 9-8 over Albert Pujols in the finals.

In 20 years, we will be talking about Pujols as one of the all time greats. That guy is phenomenal, even if he was only good enough for second this year.

9:17 PM: 
Same story:
Another remembered exchange occurred when an angry Rep. Gervase Hephner, D-Chilton, arguing a farm bill, said the Republican leader, unlike himself, never had dung under his fingernails. (He didn't say dung, however.)

The speaker called Hephner to task for his crudity, then recognized a Wausau representative who later would become governor, Tony Earl.

"The gentleman from the 6th has been biting his fingernails again," Earl remarked.
Tastes like chicken?

9:12 PM: 
News: Matt Pommer: Some Capitol capers are too funny for TV (captimes.com):
"Dueholm's comments were often pointed. During one debate, he wagged his finger at an older, never-married female legislator who led fights against abortion and said, 'If you don't play the game, you don't make the rules.' "
You've got to be in it, to win it?

8:54 PM: 
Filing challenges high court ruling (Nevada Supreme Court Tax Case):
"U.S. District Judge Philip Pro temporarily restrained the action by which the Nevada Assembly passed a tax bill with less than a two-thirds vote. He ordered an en banc hearing with all district judges for 9 a.m. Wednesday in Reno and Las Vegas.

The Assembly voted 26-16 Sunday for a bill that would increase taxes by a record $788 million over the next two years.

Today, Republican lawmakers, citizens and business groups -- upset with Thursday's decision by the state Supreme Court rejecting the two-thirds vote requirement to pass taxes -- filed an action in U.S. District Court seeking to block the court's ruling.

Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, said the federal action is necessary because the 6-1 Supreme Court ruling allowing only a simple majority to raise taxes is unconstitutional.
'We don't believe the court's decision that we can ignore the constitution is legal,' he said."
So the SCOTUS will be deciding if the SCON can rule its own Constitution to be irrelevant. Watch the liberals to scream, if the SCOTUS takes this case, that it is an infringement on states' rights-- an infringement they welcomed in cases such as Lawrence.

For the Constitutional authority for the SCOTUS to overturn the decision by the SCON, I would look to the 14th amendment:
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
By ignoring the Constitution of the State of Nevada, the SCON was enabling the deprivation of some property (in the form of taxes) from persons without the due process of the law as specified in the state Constitution.


8:13 PM: 
The Owner's Manual:
"The small tenters (I call' em sno-cones, their tent is that small, you know,' 'sno pro-choice, 'sno gays, 'sno freethinkers welcome here') are the biggest danger to Bush. The tent may stay too small to include the President himself. Bush's conservative credentials are looking to be more hat than cattle to the true believers who get itchy watching federal government bloat while the administration takes no position on homosexual issues before the courts.

Oh, well, they've always got Ashcroft."
The criticism of the Bush administration avoiding taking a firm position (or worse, taking the wrong position) on several court controversies is more than fair.

But the small tent crowd, from what I have seen, are among the biggest critics of John Ashcroft, which is one reason that I have tended to consider them as permanent malcontents and agenda driven wedge seekers.

6:44 PM: 
Cato's Cathy Young on Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media?:
"The 'so-called liberal media,' to use Alterman’s phrase, have greeted the book warmly: The Los Angeles Times’ reviewer called it 'a well-documented, even-tempered and witty answer, I might say antidote, to such toxic recent bestsellers' as Bias and Slander."
That's right- the reviewer called the books making the conservative case about media bias toxic, but the book making the liberal case an even-tempered, witty antidote. But he's not biased. Not much.

5:23 PM: 
I am not a big fan of LewRockwell.com, but the article Lament of the Single Woman (Women & Marriage) is excellent:
"Radical feminists have succeeded in tilting the balance of marital power strongly in favor of women. And men, fearing that marriage may turn out to be a raw deal, have simply made other plans.

So by weakening the marriage prospects of millions of women, feminism has ironically ended up hurting and victimizing the very persons whose interests it claims to speak for."
Quinn's Second Law- "Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of its stated intent."

5:09 PM: 
Limbaugh Joins ESPN's 'NFL Countdown':

Outstanding!

"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh will soon be calling some signals for ESPN's weekly football preview 'Sunday NFL Countdown.'

Starting in September, Limbaugh, 52, will join the show's line-up as the 'voice of the fan,' delivering an opinion piece near the top of the two-hour telecast each week, the Walt Disney Co.-owned sports network said on Monday.

He also will weigh in three times during each show with a 'Rush challenge,' offering a counterpoint to commentary from the program's three regular analysts -- former NFL players Steve Young (news), Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson (news)."
Do you think CBS will hire Al Franken for competition?

4:59 PM: 
How did I come across Ken Heineman's blog? I am glad you asked (I could feel it psychically through my broadband hookup). I was reading this article in NewsMax, Preparing Tomorrow's Conservative Leaders by Paul Weyrich, and I noticed this line:
"Schneider identifies several up-and-coming young conservative scholars including Ken Heineman, author of a book on radicalism in the 1960s, Ian Dowbiggin, the author of a book on euthanasia, and Jonathan Bean, who recently authored a book that takes a tough-minded look at the Small Business Administration's history."
I got curious and decided to look to see if I could find any writings by Heineman (and will probably do the same with the other names in the article).

I do have to wonder just how conservative Heineman is. The William Jennings Bryan reference raised my eyebrow, but what really got me wondering was this passage from the blog:

"My personal brush with national polling came in 1988 when I was in graduate school in Pittsburgh. It seemed that as a doctoral candidate holding down three jobs while earning $5,400 a year and eating one can of generic tuna fish daily—when not probing the couch cushions for beer money—I was a prime interview demographic...

In addition to the standard “who are you going to vote for questions,” I got to participate in the priceless feelings thermometer. The pollster wasted little time cutting to the chase: “Using of scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the coldest and 10 being the warmest, how would gauge your temperature regarding Michael Dukakis?”

I gave Dukakis a zero...Satisfied with that answer, the chirpy pollster than asked, “So you have warm feelings toward Vice President George Bush?” I responded, “Oh no, I wouldn’t vote for him—I’m supporting Dukakis.” There was dead silence on the other end of the phone though I thought I could hear her mental gears grinding violently.

Finally, ”Um, what temperature do you feel toward Bush?”

”Oh, probably about 3.”

”You’re marginally warmer toward Bush but you’re voting for Dukakis?”

”Yes.”

”Um, why?”

”There is something about George Bush…”

Our interview ended for the day. Remarkably, she kept making return calls for the next few weeks hoping to chart any change in my temperature as the election grew closer. She was destined to be disappointed and in November I maintained my eight-year long presidential voting losing streak.
I know that there were conservatives who were uncomfortable with George H. W. Bush, but 8 year long losing streak? Maybe Mr. Weyrich has a reason for considering Heineman to be conservative, but I find it strange to think of a conservative who would have voted for Mondale over Reagan.


4:48 PM: 
Also from Ken Heineman's Blog Archive, I found the following passage in his "All Politics Is Local" entry to be amusing:
"And here is where this gets politicized. By the time I entered the Council the bills had come due. There had not been a fee adjustment for nine years, meaning that even given a modest 2 percent annual cost of living increase, we were running 18 percent behind actual operation costs—not including the additional expense of hiring someone to monitor the rather sophisticated water treatment facility. Put this together and the answer is: rate hike.

Normally two or three Village people might show up for a council meeting. On the evening we were to discuss the rate hike nearly 100 seniors turned out. The floor bracings of our 19th century council house groaned, though I hoped all the hot air I was seeing expended would keep us from crashing. Every now and then, between furious cries of “get grant money!” and “you thieves!”, I would look up at the oak-trimmed portrait of William Jennings Bryan hanging on the wall and think, “so much for populism.”

It was during this hour that I realized I had made the transition from a Jeffersonian to a Hamiltonian. Democracy requires, even demands, citizen participation. But what if the citizens are unwilling to inform themselves of the issues? What if they only become mobilized when they think it will require them to pay their fair share? (Especially if one considers all the tax abatements many seniors already receive.) Where do people get the idea that grant money grows on trees, not understanding that what goes into one pot must often be taken from another? Darth Vader, I am now convinced, turned to the Dark Side once he realized that the Jedi Council was not going to pay its utility bills."
Quite.

4:35 PM: 
I just found this fascinating piece from historian Ken Heineman's Blog Archive regarding the Buckeye state:
"In all these discussions of the Dixie, whether recent or of an older vintage, I have been waiting for someone to discuss my favorite southern state: Ohio. Yes, Ohio. And I recommend a little more attention to this state not just because I live here, but also for what the developments over the past decade say about the future of the national GOP...

Why do I say Ohio is southern, other than the fact that if you were to extend the Mason-Dixon line westward a good chunk of the state would fall below it? For starters, Virginians settled southern Ohio and its founding political, commercial, and military leaders were southern. A Virginian founded Lancaster, Ohio, home of General William Sherman, in 1800. Lancaster’s state representative during the Civil War was an ardent antiwar Democrat who ended up in a federal prison for preaching draft resistance and opposition to the emancipation of slaves. During the 1863 gubernatorial election, the pro-southern Democratic candidate, Clement Vallandigham, who had been imprisoned and then exiled, carried Sherman’s home county and scored well in the southern tier of the state...

Although party allegiances between northern and southern Ohio switched by the era of the New Deal, the fundamental demographic, cultural, and ideological cleavages remained unchanged. Ohio’s New Deal Democrats built a bare majority largely on the basis of minorities in northern tier industrial centers.

At the very center of the Democratic Party stood Cuyahoga County and a population of working-class Roman Catholics, blacks, Jews, and union (CIO) stalwarts. To carry Ohio, Democratic statewide and presidential candidates usually had to capture at least 60 percent of Cleveland and pick up a few additional votes in Akron, Toledo, and Youngstown...

This longwinded back-story takes me to the present. In the decade of the 1990s something dramatic and mainly unnoticed happened in Ohio. Metro Cleveland lost hundreds of thousands of people and metro Columbus gained in equal proportion. The population gap between the two counties narrowed and the prospects of the state Democratic Party worsened.

What did Ohio Democrats do about the growing clout of central-southern Ohio? Instead of trying to reach out beyond the northern tier of the state and build upon a shrinking cadre of conservative southern Democrats, they attached themselves ever more tightly to their crumbling northern base. The past three unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial candidates have been men of the north...

In 2002, Ohio Republicans marked their tenth year of control over the governor’s office, the state house, and the state senate. This year the GOP solidified its control of state’s congressional delegation 12 to 6 and the Ohio Supreme Court became Republican. (Youngstown Democratic congressman James Traficant is no longer with us. He was the last Democratic office holder in Ohio who had statewide name recognition. Bless him; it appears that even from an out-of-state prison Traficant still won 15 percent of the vote as a write-in candidate.)

Although feminists elsewhere might cheer that the majority of the state court’s members are women, they would be less joyful to hear that at least two of the new female judges are not “progressives.” Newly elected justice Maureen O’Connor, who had been the lieutenant governor, pledged that the era of “judicial activism” in the state was over. She was undoubtedly in part referring to an earlier state supreme court ruling that had thrown out the property tax funding basis of public schools and had mandated hundreds of millions of dollars in additional spending. While the court had backed down a little from its ruling, I expect even the watered-down ruling to become a dead letter, especially with the state facing a $4 billion deficit.

I have not seen the bi-coastal media note that Ohio’s new Republican lieutenant governor is a black woman or that the black secretary of state, Ken Blackwell, is a GOP “movement activist” and protégé of Jack Kemp. Blackwell is well positioned to claim higher elective, though with complete domination of every single state office by Republicans, there are no shortage of rival claimants. And by the way, one of the nice things about Ohio is that no one made an issue about Lt. Governor-elect Jennette Bradley being black. I am thinking, of course, of what happened in Maryland where Democratic activists followed the black Republican lieutenant gubernatorial candidate around passing out Oreo cookies.

So, is Ohio southern? Yes, to the extent that the state has southern demographics and beliefs that certainly differentiates it from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois where the Democrats recaptured their governorships. But there are also enough indications that Ohio Republicans have made serious inroads into the “northern” Democratic base.

Is Ohio a potential model for George W. Bush and a national GOP seeking a sturdy majority? Yes, and, no one pays me to make political strategy. My only concern is that whether on the state or national level, Republicans not forget those left behind by a changing economy. Very little news from the northern tier of Ohio penetrates into the central and southern portions of the state. Complaints about job-destroying steel imports and urban decay from Cleveland country seem otherworldly in this land of milk and honey. Some central Ohioans might rightly note that such complaints have been heard for the past 25 years; it is time for them to move on. Moving on, though, is not always as easy as it sounds. Northern Ohio Democrats need “compassionate conservative” intervention. Perhaps in that Ohio could become a model for the national and Dixie GOP."
While Republicans like Governor Taft and Senator Voinovich leave much to be desired, they are not Gray Davis and Barbara Boxer. The record of the Republican party in Ohio regarding diversity is one which should be trumpeted by the national party nationwide. The Democrats love to portray the Republican party as a party of bigots, yet here is a state which has been dominated by the Republican party for quite some time, and women and minorities are rising to positions of prominence on merit; the Clinton administration had a significantly higher percentage of white males.

Ohio is proof positive that the Democrat party's hammerlock on blacks, Jews, and Catholics can be broken. (Free Republic thread on Heineman's piece here)