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A News and Politics Blog, With a Smattering of Sports

Saturday, July 26, 2003

10:17 PM: 
Tonight's closing thought is from Abraham Lincoln:
"'When we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen... and when we see those timbers joined together, and see that they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, allthe tenons and mortises exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few... in such a case we find, it impossible not to believe that... all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft, drawn up before the first blow was struck.'

10:13 PM: 
Economy of Niger:
"Exports - commodities: uranium ore 65%, livestock products, cowpeas, onions (1998 est.) "
So when Saddam sent a trade mission to Niger (which is not disputed), was he looking to buy uranium, cows, cowpeas, or onions?

12:06 PM: 
FrontPage magazine:
" According to the French analyst Jean François Revel, 'If you remove anti-Americanism, nothing remains of French political thought today, either on the Left or on the Right.' Revel might just as well have said the same thing about German political thought or the thought of almost any Western European country, where anti-Americanism reigns as the lingua franca of the intellectual class."
Quite. And if one examines French political thought, you will find it resembles Democrat political thought as much as John Kerry (who served in Vietnam, by the way) looks French.

10:47 AM: 
Jan Ullrich has crashed- that is going to make it very difficult for him to pick up time on Armstrong. The fat lady has almost sung- and it looks like Texas will conquer France. Again.

10:10 AM: 
And speaking of Seamole, where I have dropped off the Plame-Wilson tangent for the time being, he has not, and you can find latest updates here and here. His is a high quality blog- I highly recommend that if you take the time to visit mine occasionally, you do the same for his.

10:03 AM: 
Seamole came a'visitin' and dropped a comment below that I did not fully get ("Good afternoon, or, as John Kerry might say: “Bonjour!”"). After visiting his blog, I now get it. The DeLay rant which I loved so much is now up in full here. It is outstanding.

Friday, July 25, 2003

10:20 PM: 
Tonight's closing thought: "Save me, oh God, from people who have no sense of humor." -- Ludlow Porch

10:01 PM: 
Howard Dean Calls for Reinstatement of Saddam- it is a parody, but boy does it strike close to the root:
"'Just because Saddam was a brutal genocidal dictator doesn't mean that America has the right to go and depose him,' Governor Dean said as he addressed the Annual Meeting of the Transgendered Vegetarians Association. 'When you get right down to it, George W. Bush isn't any better than Saddam. Why, there are still transgendered vegetarians in this country who have to endure daily discrimination and the Bush Administration hasn't done one thing to alleviate their suffering. That's far worse than anything Saddam has done.' "
I mean, that sort of is Dean's argument, is it not?

9:36 PM: 
Dennis Kucinich, meet the orbital mind control lasers.

We control the horizontal. We control the veritcal.


9:32 PM: 
Terry McAuliffe, Nancy Pelosi, may I introduce you to the Hammer. Hammer, the Democrats:
"The national Democrat Party seems to have lost its marbles...Their single organizing philosophy is an irrational, all-encompassing broiling hatred of George W. Bush... Most of all, Democrats hate the president because on every political issue of significance since he came to office, he has beaten them like rented mules... The extreme, Bush-hating wing of the Democrat Party has decided to either ignore or reject the fundamental realities of 21st century life, and rather than distance themselves from the hate, the party's leaders have embraced it...

...Bob Graham, a respected former governor and chairman of the Intelligence committee, is calling for the president's impeachment ... John Edwards, a so-called moderate, compares the president to a dangerous socialist... Dennis Kucinich, a long-time member of Congress, now calls for legislation -- I love this -- to ban 'mind control' weapons in outer space... It makes you wonder if at their next presidential debate, the Democrats are all going to show up wearing aluminum foil helmets to protect their brain waves from the mother ship."


5:22 PM: 
DEAD HEAT--DASCHLE THUNE POLL:
"A McLaughlin and Assocs. (R) poll; conducted 7/16-17 for the NRSC; surveyed 200 likely voters; margin of error +/- 4.9% (release, 7/22). Tested: Sen. Min. Leader Tom Daschle (D) and '02 nominee/ex-Rep. John Thune (R).
Daschle 47% Thune 46%
Daschle Unfavorable 36%
Thune Unfavorable 22%"
No word if this poll compensates for shenanigans on Indian reservations.

2:27 PM: 
Ed Gillespie ate Chris Matthews' lunch last night on Hardball:
"MATTHEWS: What defense-what is the threshold you have to pass to justify us striking first, us going after another country and overwhelming it, taking it over and occupying it? What standard do we have to meet before we do something like that?

GILLESPIE: The one we saw with Saddam Hussein is a good threshold, the one where the United Nations, not only the British and U.S. intelligence but the French, Hans Blix, former President Clinton, former Senate Intelligence committee chairman Bob Graham, former Senate Intelligence Committee member John Kerry all acknowledged that there was a universal agreement that Saddam Hussein was developing a weapons of mass destruction program and he refused to come forward, and that necessitates preemptive action on the part... "
The only weakness there was calling John Kerry "former Senate Intelligence Committee member" and not "the French-looking former Senate Intelligence Committee member, who by the way served in Vietnam".
"GILLESPIE: ...And I want to point out something, Chris, by the way. Your viewers have the right to know that your assertion that the vice president dispatched Joe Wilson to Niger to investigate the charge about the uranium purchase is inaccurate. He did not dispatch Joe Wilson... what you said was that the vice president dispatched Joe Wilson. He didn’t. That’s factually inaccurate. I want to make the record clear about that.
"
Matthews decided to go on the offensive as soon as he heard the name Wilson. I skipped much here, but this was a nice exchange where Gillespie stopped Matthews from putting words in his mouth:
"MATTHEWS: It’s the 16 words we’re talking about. It’s the 16 words we’re talking about regarding a nuclear arms deal with Africa, the very thing that’s been an issue now for two and a half weeks.
I’m asking you how could the vice president know that something was wrong with that document, as you pointed out, and not alert the president, in fact sign off on his State of the Union and let him make an inaccurate statement?

GILLESPIE: I didn’t point out-I believe you’re misrepresenting what I said, Chris. I didn’t point out that the vice president knew that that was wrong.
In fact, my understanding is that the vice president was not briefed by Joe Wilson as you asserted on your air, was not aware of that before the fact and learned of this change or this assessment by Joe Wilson after the State of the Union speech in the spring, is what was-is what’s been put out by the White House in their briefing. And I believe them, and so if you don’t, we have a difference of opinion.

MATTHEWS: No, we don’t."
And one last exchange:
"MATTHEWS: But let me ask you this. If what the president said was accurate, and certainly it will be debatable forever, why did Ari Fleischer say that the statement should not have been in the speech? Why did George Tenet take blame for it? Why did Steven Hadley, the deputy of the national security council aide take blame and offer to resign?
Why all this blame accepting if there’s nothing to blame people for? And why doesn’t the president get in here and take some of the heat?

GILLESPIE: Because there was a difference of opinion, obviously, in terms of the-that assessment. There are others who don’t think that assessment meets a standard of accuracy that the British do and by the way, others inside the U.S. government. But take that...

MATTHEWS: You know more-the difference of opinion is, Ed Gillespie, is about to be Republican national chairman, you take different view than the head of-the director of the CIA, the deputy national security council, and-just a minute-and the president’s press secretary.
All said there’s something wrong with the president saying this. And you said there’s nothing wrong with them saying this. That’s a big difference of opinion.

GILLESPIE: No, I’m not. Because what I’m saying is the statement was accurate. The statement is accurate now and it was accurate then. Now whether or not it meets the standard to put in the speech is-there’s a difference of opinion there. And that’s fine.
Take it out of the speech. If it’s out of the speech, does that mean we should not have removed Saddam from power? Of course not. We had to remove Saddam.

MATTHEWS: No, the question...

GILLESPIE: That doesn’t affect whether or not there was universal agreement that Saddam Hussein was developing a weapons of mass destruction program. That was agreed upon."

1:50 PM: 
The Note notes:
"Governor Davis formed his all-star campaign committee called 'Californians Against the Costly Recall.'"
I think he should have gone with 'Californians Against the Costly Abjuring', which would give his efforts the fitting acronym "CACA".

1:34 PM: 
A day or two ago, Bill Clinton made some statements that undercut the partisan politics that the Democrats were engaging in over Yellowcake. At the time, I asked what is he up to? According to The American Prowler, an anonymous (grrrrrr) Deanie thinks he knows:
"'He had to have done it for Hillary. They are up to something,' says a Howie Dean presidential campaign staffer in New Hampshire. 'We can't believe our party's leader would stab us in the back unless there was something more to it. Maybe he's setting us all up for something else. Or he thinks by clearing the field of a national security topic, it will be easier for Hillary to enter the race and focus on domestic policy. Whatever, we can't believe he did it.'"
The same article makes it clear that Sen. Rockefeller has angered other Democrats for making it more difficult for them to play politics over the 9/11 report. The report was noteworthy in that it was not a partisan witchhunt. But it appears that the top Democrat leadership can't abide by that-- they feel a compelling need to play partisan politics with national security, and have no offsetting moral code to stop them.

That's not to say that Clinton had such a code. I am sure he wants people to believe he does, but my hunch is that the Dean staffer nailed it- he did it for Hillary. Her book roll-out coming when it did, a Quinnipiac poll showing her suddenly leading all Democrats (when not even a candidate) and Bill's actions all lead the same way. I didn't think she would, but it is clear she is going to run in 2004.


7:34 AM: 
GOP Head Ed Gillespie:
"Some Democrats who supported the war have seen former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean gain political traction and financial support from anti-war activists (both energetic early caucus and primary voters) and have responded by shifting their own positions toward Dean... These Democrats increasingly oppose the president's policy of meeting gathering dangers before we are struck. They are becoming antagonistic toward preemptive self-defense. It is a passive, reactive approach that fails to connect the dots and would put America's fate in the hands of people who seek to destroy us.

I believe Americans will reject that approach. They want the front lines in the war against terror to be in Baghdad, not Boston; Kabul, not Kansas."

7:21 AM: 
I have a Bacon Number of three (acheived in at least two different ways).

7:06 AM: 
Retired U.S. Army Officer Ralph Peters:
"Saddam cherished his sons so blindly that he tolerated their monstrous excesses. Uday was wildly vicious, Qusay coldly murderous. Together, they seemed to guarantee the enduring power of the House of Hussein - perhaps even beyond the American occupation.
Now the chain is broken. "

Thursday, July 24, 2003

10:52 PM: 
Tonight's closing quotation strikes close to the heart of this lover of capitalism:
"The business of America is business."- Calvin Coolidge

10:48 PM: 
Compare and contrast George Will and Dick Cheney.

George Will: "Today a conservative administration is close to asserting that whatever the facts turn out to be regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the enforcement of U.N. resolutions was a sufficient reason for war."

Dick Cheney: "Our strategy in the war on terror is based on a clear understanding of the enemy, and a clear assessment of our national interest. Having lost thousands of Americans on a single morning, we are not going to answer further danger by simply issuing diplomatic protests or sharply worded condemnations. We will not wait in false comfort while terrorists plot against innocent Americans. We will not permit outlaw states and terror groups to join forces in a deadly alliance that could threaten the lives of millions of Americans. We will act, and act decisively, before gathering threats can inflict catastrophic harm on the American people."

Hm, I must be missing the part where the administration is coming close to suggesting that the U.N. resolutions were the reason for the war.

More Cheney: "Events leading to the fall of Saddam Hussein are fresh in memory, and do not need recounting at length. Every measure was taken to avoid a war. But it was Saddam Hussein himself who made war unavoidable. He had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. He bore a deep and bitter hatred for the United States. He cultivated ties to terrorist groups. He built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction. He refused all international demands to account for those weapons.


Twelve years of diplomacy, more than a dozen Security Council resolutions, hundreds of UN weapons inspectors, and even strikes against military targets in Iraq - all of these measures were tried to compel Saddam Hussein's compliance with the terms of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire. All of these measures failed. Last October, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly to authorize the use of force in Iraq. Last November, the UN Security Council passed a unanimous resolution finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations, and vowing serious consequences in the event Saddam Hussein did not fully and immediately comply. When Saddam Hussein failed even to comply then, President Bush, on March 17th, gave him and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq. Saddam's decision to defy the world was among the last he made as the dictator of that country."

I still don't see the part where he says that the U.N. resolutions were the reason we went to war. Oh well.

Back to Will: "The administration also intimates that ending a tyranny was a sufficient justification for war."

Cheney: :"Now the regime of Saddam Hussein is gone forever. And at a safe remove from the danger, some are now trying to cast doubt upon the decision to liberate Iraq. The ability to criticize is one of the great strengths of our democracy. But those who do so have an obligation to answer this question: How could any responsible leader have ignored the Iraqi threat?


Last October, the Director of Central Intelligence issued a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's Continuing Programs of Weapons of Mass Destruction. That document contained the consensus judgments of the intelligence community, based upon the best information available about the Iraqi threat. The NIE declared -- quote: "We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of UN Resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons, as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions. If left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade." End quote.


Those charged with the security of this nation could not read such an assessment and pretend that it did not exist. Ignoring such information, or trying to wish it away, would be irresponsible in the extreme. And our President did not ignore that information - he faced it. He sought to eliminate the threat by peaceful, diplomatic means and, when all else failed, he acted forcefully to remove the danger."

Am I missing the part where Cheney comes close to saying that humanitarian reasons were all we needed or had to go to war?

More Cheney: "Consider another passage from last October's National Intelligence Estimate; it reported -- quote: "all key aspects - the R&D, production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive [biological weapons] program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War." End quote.


Remember, we were dealing here with a regime that had already killed thousands of people with chemical weapons. Against this background, to disregard the NIE's warnings would have been irresponsible in the extreme. And our President did not ignore that information - he faced it, and acted to remove the danger.



Take a third example. The NIE cautioned that quote: "Since inspections ended in 1998, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort, energized its missile program, and invested more heavily in biological weapons; in the view of most agencies, Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program." End quote.


Here again, this warning could hardly be more blunt, or disturbing. To shrug off such a warning would have been irresponsible in the extreme. And so President Bush faced that information, and acted to remove the danger.


A fourth and final example. The National Intelligence Estimate contains a section that specifies the level of confidence that the intelligence community has in the various judgments included in the report. In the NIE on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the community had "high confidence" in the conclusion that "Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to U.N. Resolutions." The Intelligence Community also had high confidence in the judgment that - and I quote: "Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material." End quote.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is some of what we knew. Knowing these things, how could we, I ask, have allowed that threat to stand?"

How indeed.

The discontent I am having this summer is with certain conservatives who cannot see the forest for the trees.


10:16 PM: 
American soldiers really aren't spoilt, trigger-happy yokels says the Telegraph (U.K.)- read it and feel proud.

The Guardian would never print this article.

Hell, the New York Times would never print this article.


5:17 PM: 
The Corner has some comments from Senator McCain that I actually agree with and am glad to hear:
McCain replies: "I am astonished. A lot of people have compared me with Governor Dean. I could not disagree with him more to say that the ends doesn't justify the means. The ends were the eradication of two psychotic murdering rapists, and the means were through legitimate use of the American military helped out by some excellent information that they gained. How in the world someone could in any way think this end was not justified by anything which was the removal of two odious characters, frankly, is beyond me. And I think, frankly, Mr. Dean does the nation a great disservice when he doesn't recognize how wonderful an event this is and how important it is to the morale of the troops that these guys are gone. I mean, our troops serving in Iraq."

McCain, on if Dean is catering to the left or "tone deaf": "I don't know which it is, but I think even the far left, people who did not support the war, are glad that these two thugs, these two, you know, adjectives, I don't know enough adjectives that are not four letters, frankly, that describe these two guys. I think even the far left are glad that they're gone. My god, this guy, you know the things he's done. They're well documented. Both of them."
Reason #3245 that I do not fear Howard Dean, I look forward to Howard Dean if he is the Democrat candidate.

4:58 PM: 
I just wrote a letter to Jonah Goldberg that I would like to share.
Mr. Goldberg:

I read earlier a number of comments on The Corner regarding Will's piece. I also noticed the somewhat pessimistic comments made by Rick Brookhiser ("All he omits is W.'s foolish pursuit of the Great Brown Whale, the Hispanic vote."), John Derbyshire ("This administration is going to kill conservatism stone dead. If it can."), and you ("Republicans are doing great, conservatives are taking a terrible beating").

Yes, Mr. Will makes some good points. But is his overall point a valid one, or are conservatives finding the dark clouds in an otherwise sunny day?

Mr. Will suggests there are four main aspects conservatives are concerned with regarding foreign policy. I think he leaves off a fifth tenet that is crucially important- namely preventing attacks on the United States. Terrorism threatens our way of life, something conservatives must be concerned with. Surely minimizing the threat of terror is of paramount importance. Any nation building we are doing in Afghanistan (and rebuilding in Iraq) is a side effect of the necessity of eliminating as much of the terrorist threat as possible.

Will also seems to be arguing that we went to war with Iraq because the UN demanded it, and not because we determined it to be in our strategic interests. We determined that Iraq was a threat, and we acted despite significant pressure from the UN to not attack. Further, when it comes to marginalizing the UN, this administration has done well. It demonstrated the UN is all talk when it comes to its own resolutions. It has spurned Kyoto. It told the UN any small arms treaty that infringed on the right of individuals to keep and bear arms is a non-starter. It discarded the ABM as being not in our interests. An argument that the administration has been strengthening the UN, UNESCO notwithstanding, seems weak at best.

Similarly, while the administration's refusal to reign in spending is troubling (and rightfully disappointing to conservatives), the scorecard on the tax front also is positive. The negatives (the farm bill, the tax cuts for non-taxpayers) are outweighed by the positives (across the board tax cuts).

And while I am not a huge fan of the prescription drug plan, a conservative argument can be made for it not being as bad as it first seems. Conservatism, I like to say, is the application of the wisdom of the ages, and societies throughout history have learned that taking care of the elders is to the benefit of society. Yes, it would be better for families to take care of their own, so the prescription plan is not optimal. But whereas so many other government altruistic plans suffer from creating a dependency class, the nature of the elderly (namely, being that their time left is limited) makes this negative less severe in this case.

And taking the scorecard to matters judicial, I again would argue that the scorecard from a conservative perspective is clearly in the black. The Supreme Court decisions of late have been disappointing, and it has been aggravating to hear the administration cheery-talk them, but the fact remains that Bush's nominees have been exemplary. What is not to like when it comes to Paul Cassell, D. Brooks Smith, Charles Pickering, Carolyn Kuhl, Miguel Estrada, John Roberts, Terrence Boyle, Dennis Shedd, Priscilla Owen, Deborah Cook, Jeffery Sutton, Michael McConnell, and Bill Pryor? What is not to like about the administration reversing the decades-old stance of the government that the Second Amendment is not an individual right? What Bush has done with the judiciary speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what he says when he makes political nice-talk to some unfavorable decisions.

And it is not just the nominees. The biggest hurdles to getting the right kind of justices on the bench are the Democrats. What has Bush done in this regard? He put his political capital on the line and went out strong during the off-year campaigns, and managed to help win some races to help swing the tide some from the Democrats.

Which brings me to the most significant positive Bush has done for conservatives. You said "Republicans are doing great, conservatives are taking a terrible beating", but the fact is that those doing the most damage over the years to things conservatives hold dear, and who present the biggest hurdles to conservatives achieving what we desire in reforming government, are the Democrats. Bush has the Democrat party off balance and in danger of imploding on their own contradictions, and they are reacting by moving further and further left--further and further away from the views of mainstream Americans. If his political instincts, which drive us conservatives batty at times, continue to be as successful as they have been to date, then the ability the Democrats now have to stymie judicial nominees and to build enough support for spending programs to tempt over moderates like Chaffee, McCaine, Specter and Snowe will be minimized.

If you had told most conservatives in 2000, that:

  1. Terrorism would become as great a threat to the American culture as communism is or was, and that Bush would respond to the threat forcefully and effectively, and
  2. That Bush would lower taxes more than he would raise them, and
  3. That Bush would put the Democrats on the verge of collapse, and
  4. That Bush would nominate such a fine slate of judges, and
  5. That Bush would tell the UN to pound sand as often as he has, and
  6. That during his tenure, the nation's view of abortion would become less and less favorable,
Then I think that most conservatives would have said, "Bring it on".

There are compromises I wish he had not made, but frankly his political instincts have served him well. We may think the compromises were foolhardy and need not have been made, but given the state of the Democrats, the evidence suggests he (and Rove) have some idea as to what they are doing. Given the possibilities for the future if he can continue to befuddle the Democrats to where their representation in all levels of government is even smaller, and given the positives achieved so far, I do not find this to be a summer of discontent at all. I think conservatives are living up to one of our negative tendencies, namely to be dour when there is reason for optimism.

Sincerely,
"William McKinley"


1:50 PM: 
This is unbelievable:
"CHARLESTON, W.Va.--This is from a story that Reuters news service ran this week with my byline:
Jessica Lynch, the wounded Army private whose ordeal in Iraq was hyped into a media fiction of U.S. heroism, was set for an emotional homecoming on Tuesday. . . . Media critics say the TV cameras will not show the return of an injured soldier so much as a reality-TV drama co-produced by U.S. government propaganda and credulous reporters.'

Got problems with that?

I do, especially since I didn't write it...

I understand that news wire services often edit, add, remove or write new leads for stories. What amazed me was that a story could have my byline on it when I contributed only a few sentences at the end--and in later versions I didn't contribute anything at all. "
But leftist media bias is a figment of the imagination of conservatives.</sarcasm>

11:08 AM: 
Nick Schulz on the Corner picked up on the exact same bit of the George Will article that I did.

10:46 AM: 
Wish I had said that:

In response to the story about the Cal Berkeley study that implies conservatism is a mental disorder, freeper Lockbox came up with this diamond:

"YES! And every time a law is created which harms Conservatism we should sue under the Americans with Disability Act."
Quite.

10:07 AM: 
Just one voice, singing:
"Liberalism is well past its 'sell-by' date and the US experience is clear. Voters are increasingly seeking a government that will get the basics right.

Take a poll any time and the result is the same. People want safe streets, good schools, decent housing, strong communities with a moral foundation rooted in traditional family values.

Currently, the political spectrum is completely unbalanced, with liberal leftist social democrats on all sides. There is a crying need for a real opposition. Ireland needs a radical, not a reactionary, party that would put the case for 'responsibilities as well as rights' - a party that's not afraid to denounce the anti-family policies of successive governments.

Fianna F'il has lost the plot completely. Is Enda Kenny the man to do it? Has he the guts to tell the people that the day is not too far away when the European dole runs out and that the big boys there will not pick up the tab forever? Has he the courage to stand four-square behind the culture of life, from womb to tomb? Can he harness the energy of the right demonstrating a total commitment to a democratic civic culture?

It is surely a noble call.

Michael Sheehan,
Castlelyons,
Co Cork "
Couldn't have said it better meself.

9:50 AM: 
Who knew?:
"France as it is presented to us does not exist."

9:47 AM: 
U.S. jobless claims [386,000] fell in latest week:
"US JOBLESS CLAIMS IN JULY 19 WK BREAKS 22-WEEK RUN ABOVE 400,000"
The turnaround continues.

8:30 AM: 

Presidential Survivor

Later today, I am going to unleash the Presidential Survivor poll. Each week, I'll put up a group of five Presidents, with the groupings chosen at random (a few groupings will only have 4). At the end of the week, the President with the most votes for removal will be cast out of McKinley's America (as President McKinley said, "be gentle with him, boys). When we get to the final handful, then we'll vote off one per week until we have a winner.

8:02 AM: 
George Will has an interesting critique of the Bush administration. One quibble:
"Today a conservative administration is close to asserting that whatever the facts turn out to be regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the enforcement of U.N. resolutions was a sufficient reason for war."
Mr. Will is engaging in the same sort of reductionism that many Democrats and anti-war activists are-- simplifying the argument for the war down to a single point. I have not heard the administration say that the reason for going to war with Iraq was the U.N. resolutions. I have heard the administration say we went to war because it was in our own interests, Saddam was a threat, Saddam was a tyrant, and taking out his regime was key for the war on terror. The only thing I have heard the administration use the U.N. resolutions for is to point out that the U.N. agreed that he had not disarmed, that the U.N. agreed he was a tyrant, and the U.N. agreed that he deserved 'serious consequences'. That is quite different than what Mr. Will is suggesting.

7:40 AM: 
Two more thoughts came to me related to the Nuisances.

If a diplomat was so 'obvious' a choice to handle looking into the Niger/yellowcake documents, why Wilson (who would have to be flown over) and not the current Ambassador to Niger, Gail Dennise Mathieu, who was already there? Why not former Ambassadors to Niger Richard Wayne Bogosian, Carl Copeland Cundiff, Jennifer C. Ward, Joseph Diatta, Barbo Owens-Kirpatrick, or Charles O. Cecil? Why someone who never was Ambassador to Niger like Wilson?

Also, how come all of these left wing blogs and advocacy groups (such as Truthout) are all in a tizzy because a CIA agent may have had her cover blown but were silent when poster boy (and Burger King lover) Scott Ritter was exposing that his inspection team had nine of them?

Al Zahawie, however, says that these experts were excluded because many of them were engaged in espionage activities while in Iraq under U.N. mandate. Inspection team leader Scott Ritter himself acknowledged that nine operatives were carrying out covert CIA operations during the inspections.
Selective outrage is a beautiful thing, is it not?

You see, conservatives will be more than willing to say "if Novak or his sources endangered the life of a CIA operative, then he or they should be jailed". Let's see how long it takes the left-bloggers to say "fair's fair. Ritter should be jailed too."

I won't be holding my breath.


3:47 AM: 
The Public Nuisance:
Oddly enough, the only right-leaning blogs showing on the search were seeming to hint at some sort of a vast left-wing conspiracy to discredit Bush, although they never really explained just what the conspiracy was.
The word vast is a hyperlink to my blog (hello, Nuisance). Let me clarify something since PN sees a 'hint' where none exists-- I do not think there is a vast-left wing conspiracy to discredit Bush in the Plame affair. I believe there is a small one-- Wilson, his wife, perhaps one of two others. I believe Wilson is playing games-- I actually do not think that is even debatable, given that he made several speeches and wrote several articles over a period of months after the State of the Union, and never once made mention of the Niger affair, until suddenly deciding to make a stink about it in late June. And I believe that the left -- not in any coordinated fashion other than the Dean campaign suggesting it is a big deal-- is trying to make it into a big story. PN goes on:
"In fact Wilson, who had served in both Niger and Iraq, was a rather obvious selection."
Perhaps left leaning bloggers would find it an obvious choice, but I would welcome full blown hearings into the whole affair. I am confident most Americans would not find it obvious, but rather would think along the lines of Clifford May:
What may be the biggest mystery in this melodrama has been missed by all the major media as far as I'm aware. Early in 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney had questions about reports of Saddam buying uranium from Niger. So he asked the Central Intelligence Agency to find out the truth. Consider: 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?"
Why, indeed. So yes, bring on an investigation. Whoever is playing games, good guy or bad, should be brought to justice. If Novak did endanger US Intelligence Agents with his report, even if he was just passing on what he was told, he should be prosecuted, as should whoever told him things. And if Plame-Wilson is not an undercover agent, or if her role was already public knowledge, then those trying to smear the administration and/or Novak should be brought to justice as well (although there may not be any crime committed so it would have to be in civil court with financial penalties).

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

10:48 PM: 
Tonight's closing thought is from Booker T. Washington:
Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.

8:48 PM: 
Radical atheists want to change what they are called. Not Godless, but 'bright'. Why?
"'It's positive, memorable and people don't know what it means."
Ever notice how the left, just like the Nazis, find ways to name themselves something innocuous or positive, because accuracy would turn off people?

7:28 PM: 
This article, Admitting Stupidity, is one of the best I have read in a long time. It deals with affirmative action and racism, starting with current UCLA and Cal Berkeley policies and winding through American history and conservative/libertarian philosophy, and is done with wit and bite. Some excerpts:
"Nevertheless, Ms. Ferri’s rationale explains why, as the article reports, Bianca Martinez (daughter of a breast-cancer patient) got admitted to UCLA with an 1110 SAT score, Dania Medina (whose sister has Down syndrome) with an 1100, and Rosaura Novelo and Susana Pena (both daughters of lower-income fathers) with sewer-pit scores of 980 and 940, respectively, while the average accepted SAT score at UCLA is around 1350.

But wait. Even in this already muddled oil painting—considered so beautiful and so touching by so many—there are a few confusingly changing colors. For you see, this rationale does not quite explain why Stanley Park, who had to tutor in order to pay the rent for his breast-cancer infected single mother, while scoring a whopping 1500 on the SAT, got rejected by both Berkeley and UCLA. Nor does it explain why Ms. Jae was still turned down after an appeal.

Ah, but then we find that there is another, alternate purpose to the hardships criterion behind sensitive sentiment: “to make the student body as reflective as possible of the state’s population.”

So as it turns out, the new “hardships” jargon is, for the most part, just a bunch of California hot air. The program is really affirmative action under a different gift-wrapping—one made modestly, to be sure, from recycled brown paper bags and a worn shoestring for a ribbon. It’s yet another loophole to the racial-preferences-barring Proposition 209, passed in the golden state in 1996. And to that effect, both Mr. Park and Ms. Jae suffer hopelessly from being Korean."
Some are more, or less, equal than others.
Like most “progressive” causes, affirmative action could not be more ancient if it were a sensible Parisian thought. Its primary basis is the same that ruled the societies of status in the past: that it is legitimate to evaluate an individual based entirely on factors over which he has no control; not now, not then and, as Michael Jackson would surely be willing to tell you, not ever. Whether that factor is color, caste or creed, the principle is the same: preordination above personal quality. In other words: collective judgment versus individual evaluation.

When the Founding Fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, they established a society based on value, for the first time in history, as a national principle. As those finely-penned signatures were drawn on the sacred documents, the fate of the age-old institution of racism was sealed under “D” for doomed, devastated and disqualified—even if many people were yet to realize it. The sentiments the Founders espoused were the matches that lit the fire of the passionate and philosophical abolitionist movement which, while certainly brewing before, flourished almost immediately after Independence Day. It was this abolitionist movement, and not what it sought to abolish, that was unique to America.

Booker T. Washington realized this. He realized that the only way to crack the stale notion of racism was to expose its contradiction with Americana in the purest, most powerful way. Washington called for a mass demonstration. A cry to actually demonstrate—skills, talents, work ethic, value. What Booker T. advocated, in essence, was a direct appeal to the principles fought for by that other Washington before him...Washington summarized his view of the racial question this way:
I think the whole future of my race hinges on the question as to whether or not it can make itself of such indispensable value that the people in the town and the state where we reside will feel that our presence is necessary to the happiness and well-being of the community. No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual, and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is long left without proper reward."
Booker T. Washington was an amazing man. Compare his attitude with the 'enlightened' attitude of a modern University president, the way the article does:
"This is the attitude of most guilt-gagged white liberals, though they try to only admit it amongst themselves on the sidelines at little Tailor’s AYSO game or in line to declare bankruptcy at the sperm bank. Inevitably, however, it breaks out in the open, such as in 1995 when former Rutgers University president France Lawrence told a faculty meeting: “The average SAT (score) for African-Americans is 750. Do we set standards in the future so we don’t admit anybody? Or do we deal with a disadvantaged population that doesn’t have that genetic, hereditary background to have a higher average?”

Once upon a time, beholders of this doctrine were called White Supremacists, and later, Nazis. Today, they’re called civil rights advocates, while labeling opponents of their doctrine racists, and getting away with it! In any case, they’re nothing but condescending self-supremacists—the elitist-intellectuals."
George W. Bush called it the soft bigotry of low expectations. But it is not soft, this bigotry. It destroys lives. The only soft part to it is the soft handling of it by the media when it accidentally pokes its head into view from one of the noble intelligencia.

Outstanding work, Mr. Mouhibian. Well done!


12:33 PM: 
The Angry Clam found a gem here (if fecal matter can be called a 'gem', even sarcastically). One of the main thrusts of the article is that a rejection of egalitarianism means one is on par with Hitler and Mussolini.
Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form.
Seeing how Mussolini and Hitler were major forces in modernizing Italy and Germany, I am not quite clear on how this statement could be considered accurate, but I quibble. I always enjoy being called a fascist, although I would love to get a definitive answer from all of the Democrat candidates on if they believe in a perfectable egalitarian state (after all, if they don't, then they 'condone inequality in some form', just like Hitler and Mussolini). I wonder if Kurt Vonnegut, author of the anti-egalitarian warning parable "Harrison Bergeron" enjoys falling into the same classification.
"Glaser acknowledged that the team's exclusive assessment of the psychological motivations of political conservatism might be viewed as a partisan exercise."
Ya think?

12:25 PM: 
Arlen Specter, as is his pattern during run-ups to elections, voted conservatively and held with the party in the vote on Pryor, who survives the Judiciary Committee on a straight party-line vote.

10:20 AM: 
What is Bill Clinton up to here?
"'People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.' "

9:25 AM: 
Four elections of note took place last night.

In Pennsylvania:

"Republican Matthew Good defeated Democrat Brian McGrath by more than 7,000 votes — a margin of nearly three to one — to win the state House seat in the 3rd Legislative District in the special election Tuesday.

The voter turnout was 40.2 percent."
Democrats outnumber Republicans in Erie County (although in this district, Republicans outnumber Democrats by 296), and Governor Rendell had been stumping for McGrath. The most surprising thing here is the turnout; the local Erie paper had been projecting about half the turnout that occurred and a close race. Basically, all of the 'extra' turnout was for the Republican. The seat previously had been held by a Republican.

In Georgia the news was not good for Republicans. Democrat Mike Snow won the runoff for the Georgia state House seat over Republican Jay Neal by 80 votes. This was the third time this seat was contested since November (Neal won by 195 then, and Snow won by 73 in January). Judges had ruled both elections invalid due to errors. Snow has held this seat for over 20 years.

In Wisconsin, there were two races. Democrat Louis Molepske Jr. won a tight race over Jackie Szehner for the Assembly by just 138 votes. Turnout was higher than anticipated. Had Szehner won, it would have been a tremendous upset, as that district has been in Democrat hands since 1966. Meanwhile, Republican Mark Honadel won a seat formerly held by the Democrats in a district covering part of Milwaukee. Honadel took over 60% of the vote for a seat last held by a Republican in 1928.

In summary, the Democrats held on to two seats that have been controlled by them for decades by a combined 218 votes. The Republicans gained a seat they had not held since 1928, and did so in overwhelming fashion, and they held another seat in a race that was supposed to be close but ended up a laugher. It was a good night for the Republicans, but very close to being a disaster for the Democrats.


Tuesday, July 22, 2003

10:31 PM: 
Josiah Quincy (via Henry Clay) is the source for tonight's closing thought:
“Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.”

9:21 PM: 
Taranto:
"The Associated Press reports that the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, 'said Monday that President Bush circumvented portions of the congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq by failing to exhaust all diplomatic options before attacking Baghdad'"
I crack up every single time I see Taranto call him the haughty, French-looking Massachusettes Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam. Every single time.

5:39 PM: 
More insipid and vile shenanigans from Democratic Underground:
"DISPLAY THE BODIES Iraqis should not believe this is so unless the bodies are put on public display. Sanchez said the bodies are identifiable. So display them."
Yeah! To hell with the Geneva Convention!
"What is it exactley that the sons did that gives the US the right to assasinate them?"

"How fortunate for George. He sure is lucky. I wonder when the killing of Saddam or Osama will happen. Hmmmm, let's see, around October '04? Yeah, that's the ticket."

"I'm sorry, if these guys are such criminals they should have been brought to justice, not just murdered by our military. Convenient isn't it?"

"sniveling about murder of foriegn nationals does no good if you have no integrity or value for human life if it is not waving an american flag and submitting to the great fiction this country has become."

5:26 PM: 
There are some really insane people in this world.

Some highlowlights:

"How do we know they weren't captured earlier and then just conveniently killed today just to get the heat off shrub and the WH over the intelligence flap?"

".....opportunity for Bush to stand atop their coffins and declare yet again "Mission: Accomplished" with that half-assed smirk on his mug

I'm not buying it yet, seems odd that they'd be holed up in same spot"

"the Iraqi official the US has in custody (don't remeber his name or what card he was)identified them from a picture taken of the bodies. This guy apparently was very close to Saddam and sons and saw them on a daily basis. Yep,I am believing every minute of this s*** they are shoveling."

"...so what? If Daddy Hussein is still out there then the world just became a little scarier as I see it. These are people that believe in "blood revenge" and the death of two sons is not going to taken lightly..."

"The BS meter is on high on this one for me anyway. Thought these two hated each other, but here they are so conveniently together??? I don't believe any of this...then again I don't believe anything the appointed deserter and his ilk spew.

Evil sons...we are learning ALL about evil sons right here in the USA."

"The Bush* junta has become the judge, jury and executioner. They decide who is evil...if they'll be assassinated or bombed or targeted with a laser guided missile. They'll decide who deserves rights, due process and which 'evildoers' will be executed after a kangaroo court.

- These are not the actions of a fair and decent society or a nation of laws. The Junta doesn't have the right to accuse others of crimes and then have them killed before they can offer a defense in court."
The words of the base of the Democrat party. Isn't it lovely?

3:06 PM: 
Sky News: Gunfire and Explosions in Baghdad...

...and it is all celebratory.


3:05 PM: 
Google News still has as the top story on the right "Stock prices fall as investors lock in profits". The page was, according to them, updated 6 minutes ago.

Stocks have been in positive territory for over 3 hours.


1:40 PM: 
Stocks have been up for a few hours now. But if you were to check Google News, you wuold never know it-- one of their top stories is "Stock Prices Fall As Investors Lock In Profits".

11:45 AM: 
I like this line by jriemer:
"In short, the Democrats are looking for any shadow on the brightest day, calling it the dark of night and blaming George W. Bush."
Mmmmmm. Red meat!

11:20 AM: 
From that FR thread:
"To: Frank_Discussion

NBC NEWS: UDAY & Qusay Hussein 'Likely' Catpured Or Killed or Alive or In Hiding or In Disguise or Just About to Be Caught or Whooping It Up Somewhere Else...

I'm just covering all the bases.

12 posted on 07/22/2003 11:04 AM EDT by hellinahandcart "
Quite... funny (and accurate)!~

11:19 AM: 
NBC NEWS: UDAY & Qusay Hussein "Likely" Catpured Or Killed

10:30 AM: 
For those who do not want to register with the LA Times to read that last article, here is a similar one.

10:28 AM: 
One should always assume a gun is loaded, and one should always assume a microphone is on:
"In a meeting they thought was private but was actually broadcast around the Capitol on Monday, 11 Assembly Democrats debated prolonging California's budget crisis to further their political goals.

Members of the Democratic Study Group, a caucus that defines itself as progressive, were unaware that a microphone in Committee Room 127 was on as they discussed slowing progress in an attempt to increase pressure on Republicans to accept tax increases as part of a deal to resolve the state's $38-billion budget gap."
The Democrat party is the party of coordinated obstruction. You see it in California. You see it in Texas with redistricting. You see it in the House (except that Fortney Stark isn't man enough to pull off his part). And you see it in the U.S. Senate with Judicial nominations.

The 'party of the people' has become committed to thwarting the will of the people.

10:22 AM: 
U.S. Troops Say [They] Seize Saddam Allies in Iraq:
"U.S. soldiers stormed a house in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, killing one Iraqi and seizing key allies of Saddam Hussein who were hiding inside, a U.S. officer at the scene said.

'Individuals of very high interest to the coalition forces were hiding out in the building,' Lieutenant Colonel William Bishop of the 101st Airborne Division told Reuters."
More evidence that the killings of American soldiers is a bit more organized than our officials are admitting.

7:23 AM: 
One U.S. soldier killed in ambush north of Baghdad: The one a day continues. Not more, not less. One a day.

7:02 AM: 
Novak reveals name of CIA undercover operative:
"Wilson and a retired CIA official said Monday that the 'senior administration officials' who named Plame had, if their description of her employment was accurate, violated the law and may have endangered her career and possibly the lives of her contacts in foreign countries."
Did they confirm this? Actually, the article suggests not:
Wilson and a retired CIA official said Monday that the "senior administration officials" who named Plame had, if their description of her employment was accurate...
Why the phrasing "if their description of her was accurate?"
"If what the two senior administration officials said is true," Wilson said carefully...
If anyone would know if it is true, it is Wilson. There is no reason for Wilson to be coy here, since the horse is out of the barn. As a matter of fact, there is every reason to not be coy; surely he would not allow his wife to risk her life, as the mother of his children, by continuing as an 'undercover agent' if her cover had been blown-- and going to the press is only going to maximize the scrutiny of what his wife's role is.

Wilson is playing games.


Monday, July 21, 2003

1:41 PM: 
More Democrat Enlightenment:
"The flier, which senators received from Democratic Sen. Guy Glodis on Wednesday, said Muslims believe contact with pig entrails and blood bars them from paradise and dooms them to hell...

"Maybe it is time for this segment of history to repeat itself, maybe in Iraq," the flier concluded."
And if a Republican had said the same thing, this would have been A-1, front-page, top-of-the-fold material.

12:04 PM: 
Liberia in chaos, U.S. evacuating:
"Newly arrived Marines helped evacuate 23 Americans from the U.S. Embassy in Liberia on Monday, as mortar fire rained down around the compound and other parts of the capital, killing up to 50 people."

11:07 AM: 
Final Mountain Climb -2003 Tour De France:
"Lance Wins the Stage!"

9:31 AM: 
Bush targeted by IPS leftwing activists masquerading as 'intelligence professionals':
"A group calling itself the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity sent President Bush a letter demanding that Cheney resign over the issue of Saddam's WMDs... It is a front for the notorious Marxist-Leninist Washington-based IPS (Institute for Policy Studies)...

Of course, the likes of the Independent, The New York Times, CNN, CBS and the ABC have been too busy cheerfully parroting VIPS' agitprop line to bother mentioning its Marxist-Leninist connections. But no one really expects anything less from this bunch of Bush-haters.

If the GOP were to closely examine the links between the IPS and those journalists and Democrats (is there really a difference?) who are running the VIPS-IPS line they might find the results very interesting."
Without question.

7:56 AM: 
U.S. Soldier, Iraqi Interpreter Killed:

As always, this is a tragedy for the family and a painful loss for all of America. But can we put to rest one bit of silliness that Bremer and company keep insisting? It is obvious that these attacks are somewhat coordinated. It cannot simply be coincidental that there is one incident a day that results in a death--no more, no less. Were these just random acts, there would be days with multiple attacks and days with no attacks. But the one-a-day routine cannot result from random behavior. The enemy knows it can apply maximum political pressure and damage by keeping the killings in the news (hence the killing a day), and also knows that the best way they can continue this is by minimizing their exposure to capture or killing (hence no more than one a day).

This is organized. And it is going to continue until we kill the coordinators (and their successors).


7:36 AM: 
Jonah Goldberg teaches about the real story behind the famous photo the LA Times cartoon is based upon:
"But the really disturbing image is of Nguyen Ngoc Loan shooting a man. Everybody has seen this picture or the film of the incident. A cruel and angry South Vietnamese General executes what appears to be a defenseless Vietcong prisoner. Eddie Adams, The AP photographer who snapped the photo, earned a Pulitzer Prize for the picture. That picture helped galvanize the anti-war effort in the United States. Hubert Humphrey, at the time the photo was taken, was on the verge of challenging President Johnson for the Democratic nomination for president. The photo (and subsequent NBC film) helped stir sentiment to the point that Johnson announced he would not seek a second term only two months later. It is one of the most powerful icons for everything that was supposedly wrong with that war. It is precisely the sort of professional coup that a reporter who's 'Dying to Tell the Story' dreams of getting.

Except Eddie Adams wishes he never took the picture.

After the photo was seen around the world, the AP assigned Adams to hang out with General Loan. He discovered that Loan was a beloved hero in Vietnam, to his troops and the citizens...

Just moments before that photo had been taken, several of his men had been gunned down. One of his soldiers had been at home, along with the man's wife and children. The Vietcong had attacked during the holiday of Tet, which had been agreed upon as a time for a truce. As it turned out, many of the victims of the NC and North Vietnamese were defenseless. Some three thousand of them were discovered in a mass grave outside of Hue after the Americans reoccupied the area. The surprise invasion, turned out to be a military disaster for the Vietcong, but a huge strategic victory because of its effect on American resolve.

But at the time, all of this was irrelevant to people like Loan. It was an ugly, shocking assault. The execution of the prisoner was a reprisal. It was an ugly thing to be sure, but wars, civil wars especially, are profoundly ugly things.

Adams wrote in Time magazine, "The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?'" "
Powerful stuff.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

9:17 PM: 
The French just tried to add fuel to the Yellowcakegate fire, but in doing validated Bush's SOTU comment:
"M. V'ne was backed by Rabiou Hassanne Yari, Niger's Minister of Mines, who told The Independent on Sunday that he was 'sure and certain' that his country had never sold uranium to Iraq.
Of Mr Blair's claim that 270 tons had been purchased in the 1980s, he said: 'It's not true. The Iraqis asked, but there was never any transactions.'

He added that the request was not a secret. It was 'officially made and officially turned down'. He pointed out that Niger's uranium production was subject to scrutiny by the International Atomic Energy Agency."
It was no secret- Iraq attempted to purchase Uranium from Africa. Just as the Brits have maintained. And just as Bush stated in the State of the Union. Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Yari!

OK, now I really am heading off for the night.

9:07 PM: 
Tonight's closing thought, from Franklin P. Jones:
Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

8:32 PM: 
Drudge has a headline up of "SECRET SERVICE CONCERN AFTER LOS ANGELES TIMES COMIC DEPICTS 'BUSH ASSASSINATION'". This seems particularly silly. The cartoon is based on a famous execution scene that really happened:

This is not an anti-Bush cartoon. It is showing him being murdered by a heartless thug, just like the unarmed, hand-tied man was executed in the real photo. The Secret Service is being silly, as is Drudge for sensationalizing it.


5:43 PM: 
That 'obit' from the left-wing Guardian on Abu Nidal is quite the pantload:
"Of course, this turn of events suited Israel down to the ground. A rightwing expansionist and founding father of middle-eastern terrorism, Menachem Begin, had just come to power in Jerusalem. Like all extremists, what he feared most was the moderation of the other side. So, even more obsessively than before, it was Israel's policy to destroy the PLO, to fix it indelibly in the international mind as the terrorist organisation it had never wholly been (and was so less and less)."
That's right- Begin, who signed a peace treaty with Sadat, was an extremist who feared "moderation" and peace offerings from his opposites. And Arafat's PLO has never "wholly been" a terrorist organization (and has been so "less and less")....

Whether he was literally Israel's man or not, one thing is sure: no terrorist - except Begin himself - rendered Israel greater services."

God help us if our press ever degenerates to the level of the British press.


5:35 PM: 
Did you know that Abu Nidal was a Ba'athist?

Neither did I.

"Struggling to read on his own, he came upon the underground literature of the Ba'ath, one of the revolutionary movements of an Arab world then in political ferment."

5:25 PM: 
More VDH:
"Eighth, American determination in the mess of postwar Iraq has remained steady amid the shouting about the looting of archaeological treasures, giving way to missing weapons of mass destruction as the new Watergate, leading to the present sniping about a new Vietnam. If our past flight from Beirut, Haiti, and Mogadishu is any indication, even Mr. Reagan, and certainly Mr. Clinton, would have had all the troops home after the first murders, and Iraq would now be left to stew in its own terrorist juices.

Instead, in the upcoming months — given the fact the new liberators are offering the gift of democracy, while the old murderers are offering more of the same death and mayhem — the attacks will taper off, the story about the Husseins' whereabouts will unfold, the mystery of the missing WMD will be solved, we will navigate through the uncharted waters of Iraqi reconstruction — and, once more, the present peddlers of gloom will be refuted."

5:21 PM: 
Victor Davis Hanson provides some sage advice, not for now, but for the future:
"The problem with deterrence — apparently sometimes forgotten by our former presidents — is that it is not static, but a creature of the moment, captive to impression, and nursed on action, not talk. It must be maintained hourly and can erode or be lost with a single act of failed nerve, despite all the braggadocio of threatened measures. And, once gone, the remedies needed for its restoration are always more expensive, deadly — and controversial — than would have been its simple maintenance."

2:46 PM: 
CNN.com - Dismayed Americans contemplate Canada - Jul. 19, 2003:
"'For me, it's a no-brainer,' said Mollie Ingebrand, a puppeteer from Minneapolis who plans to go to Vancouver with her lawyer husband and 2-year-old son. "
Oh darn. Whatever will we do with one fewer lawyer and one fewer puppeteer.

Two votes closer to Minnesota becoming a solid Republican state though...


1:26 PM: 
Dangerous minds / Ann Coulter sharpens her knives and tears into the 'treasonous' liberal opposition:
"Imagine that your 12-year-old daughter hands you her essay. Its opening sentence reads: 'History is an endless process of liberal brainwashing.' Loving parent that you are, you say, 'No, honey. Your sentence is incorrect. It's possible -- although barely -- for the writing of history to be an endless process of liberal brainwashing. But 'history' itself?

Absolutely not. Just think about the commonly accepted fact of Adolf Hitler coming to power in Germany. Is it liberal brainwashing?' ""
"Just think about the commonly accepted fact of Adolf Hitler coming to power in Germany. Is it liberal brainwashing?"
Being that it is taught that Hitler was a right-winger, yes, it is, although admittedly it is more correct to say the (re-)writing of history is liberal brainwashing. Fascism is a leftist ideology, not a right-wing one. See also the book "Leftism Revisited" by Erik Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.

1:04 PM: 
Mark Steyn recently wrote of the Democrats, "this is not a serious party." More evidence he is right comes courtesy of Senator Maria Cantwell:
"Sen. Maria Cantwell says tabloid television talk show host Jerry Springer would make a fine senator for Ohio.

'I think people will be surprised by his intellect,' the Washington state Democrat told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 'There's much more to him than his TV show. He's an incredibly smart person.'""

11:21 AM: 
Go Postal!

Lance still has the yellow jersey.


11:14 AM: 
More excerpts from Weingarten's transcript:
"I have not yet read Hillary Clinton's book, so can't offer a review. But I have read two pages of it, the ones involving me, and it offers an interesting glimpse at the
dextrous use of spin to garner public sympathy at the expense of -- well, for want of a better word -- truth...

According to Hillary, the story was a terrible blindsiding, a brutal Father's Day gift to Bill, and it forced Hillary to cancel dinner plans so she could break the shocking news to Virginia Kelley, Bill's mother. The dinner plans she cancelled were with Vince Foster! It was the last time she would have seen him alive! Who knows what might have happened had Vince been able to unburden himself to his old friend that night?...

Is it possible that Mrs. Kelley did not alert her elder son [Bill] of this? Possible, but hard to believe...

Moreover, as the story indicated, Bill Clinton's half brother HIMSELF had written a long letter to Clinton when Bill was still the governor of Arkansas, explaining who he was...

Whether Bill was ever informed of this correspondence is unknown; possibly his press office simply declined to tell him IN THE MIDDLE OF A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN that there was someone out there claiming to be his long-lost brother. But possibly they thought this was something the candidate should know.

So I'm really doubting that the blindsiding was really a blindsiding at all."
Graham got it just right. It is the mendacity that is both ignored by and propagated by the media that is the true genesis of "Clinton Hatred".

The link to Weingarten's original reporting is here.


11:09 AM: 
Tim Graham in The Corner:
"About a month ago, in a much more obscure place - his weekly washingtonpost.com Internet chat on June 17 - Weingarten was quite upset with the Junior Ultraliberal from New York. He exposed her for lying in her hauteur-biography. In 1993, then-reporter Weingarten broke a very interesting front-page Post story - Bill Clinton has a second half-brother that his father, Bill Blythe, sired on the road as a traveling salesman. But in one of the numerable whoppers in Hillary's Fairy Tales (Amazon called it "Living History", right?), she claimed that she missed her last scheduled dinner with Vince Foster so that she could comfort Bill's mother, Virginia Kelley, with the news. Weingarten notes with an understandable amount of pique that this story is a little implausible:
Virginia Kelley knew precisely what the story was going to say ten days before it was published. I know that because I told her. I reached her by phone and not only told her all the details of Bill Blythe's life and prior marriages, but in the story I QUOTED HER AT LENGTH REACTING TO THIS INFORMATION.
Examples like this are the wellspring of "Clinton hatred." Not simply the blatant lying, but the blatant getting away with it - that instead of the truth, our fearless media have always preferred to give the public plastic, action-figure Clintons, wonkish superheroes doing battle with those hateful hordes who care about whether their utterances match reality."
Quite.

11:01 AM: 
Frank Rich supposedly asks Why Liberals Are No Fun, but the article is really about why left-wing talk radio and television opinion shows do not succeed:
"The conventional wisdom has it that liberals will never make it in this arena because they are humorless, their positions are too complicated to explain [WM's note: try 'convoluted' instead of 'complicated'], and some powerful media companies (whether Mr. Murdoch's News Corporation or the radio giant Clear Channel) want to put up roadblocks [WM's note: were supposed roadblocks the reason, then NPR would be much more successful than it is].

Others argue that liberals are so down and out that they don't even know what they believe any more [WM's note: if they did know it, then they would not have difficulty explaining their positions]...

If humor doesn't bring liberals talk-show success, is the problem that they lack rage? ... But this, too, is changing: Pinch most Democrats these days, and they'll vomit vituperation about President Bush as crazed as that of some Clinton haters of a decade ago. [WM's note: oh yes, the left was all warm and loving towards Reagan, and Nixon before him]"
Mr. Rich goes through all of the reasons and dispenses with all of them as being wrong; he obviously believes there is no reason that the left cannot succeed in opinion media. Reality is not what reality is, and besides, reality is changing; "This may explain why Mr. Franken's forthcoming book was at 550 in the sales rankings at Amazon.com when I checked it early this week, while Mr. O'Reilly's was languishing at 24,574." says Rich. Of course, O'Reilly's book has been out for over a year, and as such one would expect it to have tailed off in sales. Comparing books released relatively close to each other shows a different effect, as Ann Coulter sits at number 6 on the Amazon top 100 while Hillary Clinton languishes at 19. But that does not matter to Rich, who wants to create a new reality by writing it.
"Should this realignment continue, Bill O'Reilly might yet have to face down competition from a liberal talk-show host with an equally self-infatuated TV presence. "The Andrew Cuomo Factor," anyone?"
A non-existant realignment might continue, giving the public "The Andrew Cuomo Factor". It might be funny, if it wasn't so tragically sad that a storied institution like the New York Times is so deluded. And that is the real reason liberals are no fun- delusion is sad, not funny.

10:31 AM: 
MOLE IN SUICIDE RIDDLE- The British media is certainly Orwellian, and even more biased than our own.
"Critics of the Government claim Dr Kelly was branded the mole in a bid to discredit the BBC story. They say the spin doctors hoped to establish that he was Gilligan's main source, then prove he could not have known about anything Campbell allegedly did to the dossier...

Mangold also cast doubt on the view that Dr Kelly was not Gilligan's principal informant. He said: "He felt he was Gilligan's major source.""
This certainly makes it sound as if Mangold is siding with the "critics of the Government" who "claim Dr. Kelly was branded the mole in a bid to discredit the BBC story".

But is that what Mangold is doing? With some more quotations and comments from Mangold, one gets a very different impression:

"Writing in The Mail on Sunday, he said he gave Dr Kelly's name to a second BBC reporter attempting to verify the claims, not realising he had spoken to Mr Gilligan.

The scientist gave only a more sober assessment of why weapons of mass destruction might not easily be found.

"So the larger question remains unanswered: did he really make up the 'sexed-up' allegations or not?," he wrote.

"And if he made them to Gilligan why didn't he repeat them later to the next BBC reporter he briefed?

"Kelly told me he had not made the wider allegations .... This was also his daughter's understanding....

Mr Mangold called on the BBC and Government to remove the "stain on my friend's character".

The BBC must say whether it believed Mr Gilligan's "wider conspiracy theories ... to be either true, credible or unprovable""

10:10 AM: 
statesman.com:
"The British Broadcasting Corp. said Sunday that David Kelly, a Ministry of Defense scientist whose suicide intensified a fierce debate over whether the government inflated claims about Iraqi weapons, was its main source for the story that enflamed the dispute...

``I believe I am not the main source,'' Kelly told the committee Tuesday. ``From the conversation I had, I don't see how (Gilligan) could make the authoritative statement he was making.'' "
Yet another example of anonymous sourcing and the destruction it can yield. Not only does it deprive the reader of a way of evaluating the veracity of a source, it deprives sources a way of evaluating if they are being misrepresented. In the BBC's case, the reporter so distorted what his anonymous source was saying, that the anonymous source did not even believe he was the source being cited.

9:40 AM: 
Same article, and I want some of what Dickey smokes:
"American right-wing intellectuals, on the other hand, probably will love it. Carlos's book is written testament to the notion, increasingly popular at the American Enterprise Institute and in the pages of The New Republic..."
That noted 'right-wing' tome, The New Republic? I guess they don't right 'em like that any more...

9:36 AM: 
From Communism to Al Qaeda:
"The notorious ‘Carlos the Jackal’ has written a boring tome about theories of Islamic revolution. U.S. neocons will probably love it "
The author (Christopher Dickey) latches on to the term neocon and throws it around like an epithet at anyone who would dare to take Carlos the Jackal at his word--insinuating that those who do are somehow celebrating the creep. The author also gets something backwards:
that today’s Islamists draw their inspiration not from old-time religion (which is, er, good) but from old-time leftists (who are, emphatically, bad).
Ignoring the snide comment about 'old time religion'--as if there is a reasonable parallel between radical Islam and Judaism or Christianity-- the Islamists don't draw their inspiration from the old-time leftists, but rather the old-time leftists are now drawing their inspiration from Islamists. Take, for example, Ramsey Clark (please).
'Islam has probably a billion and a half adherents today. And it is probably the most compelling spiritual and moral force on earth today.'
and
'Islam is the best chance the poor of the planet have for any hope of decency in their lives. It is the one revolutionary force that cares about humanity...'
And note that this is not particularly new. Carlos the Jackal didn't suddenly come to believe this to write books. Notice that the article points out that much of his terrorist work was done for the Jew hating Palestinians.

If 'neocons' love this book, it will probably be because it validates part of their worldview. This is most likely the reason that Christopher Dickey hates it-- it destroys his worldview.