Sunday, July 31, 2005


Thomas Mann & Rep. Jim Moran, (D-VA), essentially downplayed this week's legislative accomplishments. Michael Barone has a different perspective, a perspective that's alot more widely accepted. Here's Michael's take:
This was an important victory for the administration, an indication that Republicans are firmly in control on Capitol Hill & that the Republican leadership won't flinch in the face of discouraging numbers. To read most media accounts of this session of Congress, you’d think that the administration's program is a shambles. Social Security changes have been deferred, free trade is in trouble, judicial nominations are being held up, etc., etc. Actually the Republicans have been faring pretty well. They’ve passed the bankruptcy bill & the class-action bill. The House is moving with uncustomary speed on appropriations. The defense authorization bill, with important provisions, is moving forward. Senate Majority Leader Bill First is pressing estate-tax repeal.
The Agenda Media's 'reporting' notwithstanding, the reality is that alot of things got done this past week because the GOP majorities in both houses of Congress pushed hard for common sense legislation. In the end, all the Dems' bluster & obstructionism didn't mean much except delaying the inevitable. While the Agenda Media talks about how hard the President had to work to get anything passed, the real truth is omitted from their reports, namely that the President's agenda still keeps getting passed & signed into law.
Notice the nice dig Mr. Barone gets in on the Agenda Media? Michael's absolutely right to say that "you'd think that the administration's program is a shambles" if all you've read was the Agenda Media. Thankfully, people don't have to rely on them anymore now that you've got honest citizen journalists.

September is also the deadline for the report of the tax commission headed by former Sens. Connie Mack & John Breaux. No one's sure what they'll put forward. But Ways & Means Chairman Bill Thomas has shown the capacity to steer complex legislation through committee & to success on the floor, sometimes by only one or two votes. His procedure is to put together complex & sometimes unrelated provisions which can add votes to the measure until he comes up with a majority. If you pass a bill by more than one vote, he once said, you’ve given away too much.
I'm predicting that the Democrats will initially obstruct the legislation recommended by the tax reform commission. Anyone want to bet against me? I'll gladly take your money. Eventually, the tide will turn & that legislation will pass, too. Anyone want to bet against that, too? I'll gladly take more of your money.
Many conservatives expressed dissatisfaction with the Bush administration & the Republican legislative record on the grounds that it hasn't produced the kind of massive changes that Bush has promised. Many liberals in the media & otherwise have made similar characterizations.
There’s some truth to these charges. But what Bush & the Republicans have been doing, you can see it most clearly on tax cuts, where they’ve rolled out one incremental change after another, is less to reduce government than to change it, step by step, so that it provides individuals with more choice & accountability.
Notice the strategery in Bush's agenda? Incremental steps leading to dramatic changes. This is yet another way that the Agenda Media misunderestimates President Bush & Karl Rove. No single step is sweeping or dramatic but when they're viewed through the lens of history, they're cumulative effect is sweeping & dramatic. That's how they'll get Social Security reform passed, too. Anyone wanting to bet against that? I'll gladly take what's left of your money.
The way that the Agenda Media want you to look at it is that there weren't any dramatic Hail Mary plays that stand out as a 'Crowning Achievement' moment, therefore President Bush really hasn't accomplished much. That's nonsense. Any championship football coach will tell you that a ground game that makes steady yardage wins most games because it eventually wears the other team down WHILE putting points on the board. That's what President Bush is doing. The key in this stategery is to keep your eyes on the prize & ignore the Agenda Media's benchmarks.

Lame Duck President, Part II

Just 2 months into his second term, President Bush was called a lame duck president who couldn't possibly get anything accomplished by the Washington Post. Last week's passage of the enercy bill, ratification of CAFTA & the gun shield law that protects manufacturers from many gun-crime lawsuits are significant pieces of legislation that will have a positive effect on the country for alot of years. Does that mean that President Bush isn't a lame duck president anymore? Not according to the LA Times & some liberal pundits & politicians. Here's a sampling of their quotes:
"The president ends up realizing impressive victories," said Thomas E. Mann, an expert on Congress at the centrist Brookings Institution. "But there are no really big, consequential pieces of legislation."
Mann must think that passing sweeping energy reform & setting longterm policy isn't consequential enough & that CAFTA, which enhances farm trading opportunities isn't significant. The fact that Democrats are playing obstructionist again on Social Security reform doesn't seem to make it onto Mann's radar for whatever reason.
Democrats made a concerted effort to withhold their party's support from CAFTA that passed the House last week by a two-vote margin. In recent years, more House Democrats have supported trade measures than the 15 who voted for CAFTA. Moran, one of the 15, said the absence of Democratic support was a measure of how polarized Washington had become during Bush's tenure. "This passed marginally, when it should’ve passed overwhelmingly," Moran said.
Representative Moran is right that CAFTA should've passed overwhelmingly. That it didn't is testimony to the fact that it got about 75 fewer Democratic votes than NAFTA did. That's testimony to the fact that Democrats aren't the international party anymore but rather are the protectionist/obstructionist party. Shame on them for that. John Kennedy, Scoop Jackson & Hubert Humphrey wouldn't recognize the current Democratic Party. How the mighty have fallen.

Bush won a long-sought victory with passage of the energy bill, which provided tax breaks & other incentives to boost domestic energy production. But critics call it a hollow victory, because it does little in the short term to make the U.S. less reliant on foreign oil or provide relief for motorists paying record prices for gasoline. "The bill is most notable for the contrast between rhetoric & reality," Mann said.
That this bill's critics call the sweeping energy legislation a hollow victory doesn't mean anything to me. That's why they're called critics. They're more accurately called pessimists but that's a totally different topic for another time. I'm more interested in the legislation's provisions than what a pack of pessimists tell me.
This legislation provides for a major upgrade in our electrical grid infrastructure as well as major incentives for alternative energy sources & major drilling operations. If that isn't significant, then I don't know the definition of significant. (That's why I readily discounted what "the critics" had to say.)

For all the Republicans' fanfare, however, none of the bills passed in the last week was on the priority list in the first news conference Bush gave after his reelection. Bush's defenders said that was, in part, a function not of diminished clout but of how ambitious the president's agenda was. "He's tackling huge issues," Rep. Paul D. Ryan, (R-WI), said. "It's heavy lifting no matter who is president."
The reality is that Democrats have continued playing the obstructionist card time after time. In that context, it shouldn't be surprising that President Bush's list of achievements isn't as sizeable as he'd like. That isn't a cut against him but rather against the current obstructionist Democratic Party, which is increasingly showing that they'll oppose good legislation just because President Bush likes it. That's the real headline to this story.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

God's moving in a mysterious way!!!

HT Glen Reynolds' Instapundit
Faithful flock to church in China
By Richard Spencer
July 31, 2005
Chinese Christians outnumber members of the Communist Party.

The beauty salon near Beijing Zoo gives its customers more than they bargain for: not just facials & manicures, but the Word of the Lord. Its owner, Xun Jinzhen, sees beauty salons as a good place to transform souls as well as bodies. "I introduced 40 people to the church last year," he said. Mr. Xun, & millions of other Chinese Christian converts like him, may well be living proof that God moves in a mysterious way.

During the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong's China turned on itself, torturing & killing hundreds of thousands of people. But the seeds were sown for an unexpected upsurge in Christianity. In a social revolution that’s prompted a heavy-handed response from the Government, religion is spreading through town & countryside & Chinese communities abroad. Protestantism & Catholicism are among the approved faiths, the others being Buddhism, Taoism & Islam.

Buddhism & Taoism claim most worshippers but the state-sanctioned churches count up to 35 million followers. More significant are the underground or "house" churches, which are believed to have up to 100 million members, many more than are members of the Communist Party. Visits to villages in rural provinces or to urban churches in Beijing, where even on weekdays the young & middle-aged gather to proclaim their faith, confirm the ease with which conversions can be won.

One woman told a gathering of hundreds at Kuanjie official protestant church in Beijing last week: "My brother's daughter had a virus which doctors had never seen before. She was on a ventilator & everyone had lost hope. But I prayed for her & she recovered. Now her family follow Christ too." The association of Christianity with healing powers may be embarrassing in the West, but in China it’s one of conversion's driving forces, particularly in rural areas that lack health services.
- Telegraph

Lame Duck President?

The Washington Post's Charles Babington & Justin Blum are now reporting that reports of President Bush's lame duck status are greatly exaggerated, evidenced by a flurry of accomplishments for President Bush.

In an article titled On Capitol Hill, Flurry of GOP Victories, Babington & Blum summarize:
After years of partisan impasses & legislative failures, Congress in a matter of hours yesterday passed or advanced three far-reaching bills that’ll allocate billions of dollars & set new policies for guns, roads & energy. The measures sent to President Bush for his signature will grant $14.5 billion in tax breaks for energy-related matters & devote $286 billion to transportation programs, including 6,000 local projects, often called "pork barrel" spending. The Senate also passed a bill to protect firearms manufacturers & dealers from various lawsuits. The House is poised to pass it this fall. Combined with CAFTA that Congress approved Thursday, the measures constitute significant victories for Bush & GOP congressional leaders, who’ve been frustrated by Democrats in some areas such as Social Security.
For being a lame duck, that's a long laundry list of accomplishments. Then again, that's become the norm for President Bush. His opponents make a habit of misunderestimating him. That's fine with me.
I doubt that the Agenda Media will admit this anytime soon but the fact is that alot of their articles are intended, not to report facts or truths, but to shape the debate in such a way that helps their allies in Congress. This isn't surprising to the right blogosphere.

But Why Can't Hillary Win?

That's the question that Jacob Weisberg asks in this article. Here are a couple of the most compelling reasons given:

"I'm one of the few in the semi-inner circle who don't think she can win," her adviser Harold Ickes Jr. told Time just after the 2004 election. "It’d be a brutal, bruising fight. It’d make this year's race look like kindergarten." Ickes is surely correct that any contest involving Hillary will get nasty & ugly. Conservatives would find it absurdly easy to whip up their base against her. But why should that spell automatic defeat for a Democratic nominee?

Jacob, the biggest reason that should "spell automatic defeat for a Democratic nominee" is because the Republican Party is bigger & better organized than the Democratic Party. It's obvious that it's better organized when Ken Mehlman is constantly on the road doing outreach to one African American group after another while Howard Dean is out firing up the ever-shrinking base. Ken Mehlman is out touting the mainstream positions that the GOP is firmly behind while Gov. Dean is misrepresenting the truth about Republicans while asking people to fight for what they believe in, no matter how far outside-the-mainstream their thinking is. Get the picture, Jacob?

Yet Hillary does face a genuine electability issue, one that has little to do with ideology, woman-hating, or her choice of life partner. Plainly put, it's her personality. In her four years in the Senate, Hillary has proven herself to be capable, diligent, formidable, effective & shrewd. She can make Republican colleagues sound like star-struck teenagers. But she still lacks a key quality that a politician can't achieve through hard work: likeability. As hard as she tries, Hillary has little facility for connecting with ordinary folk, for making them feel that she understands, identifies & is at some level one of them. You may admire & respect her. But it's hard not to find Hillary a bit inhuman. Whatever she may be like in private, her public persona is calculating, clenched, relentless & a little

DUHHHH!!! That's what I've said all along. Her speeches are pure torture to listen to for all but the most rabid pro-Hillary supporter. That won't win many centrist votes. Hillary also is an easily unlikeable figure, partially because people see her as manipulative & doing whatever she has to do to grab more & more power. Put up with a cheating hubby to stay properly positioned for her own political career? No problem. Be unflinchingly pro-war so she can say she's a hawk? Sure, as long as I can rip the mission in Iraq while visiting the troops in theater. Talk about the "tragedy" of abortion? Why not? It isn't like I'll carry through on that stuff anyway.
People put up with Bill because they could relate to him. That same likeability factor got President Bush re-elected. The difference is that people now want the real deal instead of the phony deal. For those of you in the Democratic Underground faction, Hillary is the phony. Someone like Fred Thompson or Sen. George Allen would carry every currently red state & give Hillary a strong run for her money in Pennsylvania & Wisconsin. According to elections guru Alexander McClure, anyone thinking that Florida is in play for Hillary can forget it because the economy is so strong & the GOP is using that economy to enlarge their base.

Weisman's last mistake is shown in this quote: "With the American electorate so closely divided, it’d be foolish to say that Hillary, or any other potential nominee, couldn't win."

This country isn't as closely divided as the Agenda Media portrays it to be. In fact, it's on the verge of getting split wide open. With the moonbat left becoming ever more vocal & demanding, thoughtful people are fleeing from the Democratic Party in droves. That will be evidenced in the midterms & exploited in 08. You can take that to the bank.
Where does that leave Hillary & the Dems? Out in the cold once again, I'm afraid. You don't win elections with a rock star & no supporting cast. You win with millions of ground troops who are committed to winning while supporting a likeable, intelligent candidate.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Zygi Wilf Era Begins

Zygi Wilf, the new owner of the Vikings, arrived at Gage Hall in Mankato for the start of Vikings training camp.
The Strib is reporting that he "signed autographs for a good 10 minutes before getting a tour of the dorm life. Wilf said he was surprised by the crowd & the warm reception he received. Fans began applauding as he approached.
As a certifiable Vikings fanatic, I'm excited about Zygi owning the team & I'm even more excited about the team the Vikings have put together. Simply put, this should be the best Vikings team since the juggernaut 1998 Vikings fell 1 field goal shy of the Super Bowl, mostly because their defense should be among the best in the NFL.
Over the past 2 winters, they've added CB's Antoine Winfield & Fred Smoot, both of who are near Pro Bowl quality. During the Denny Green era, it was difficult identifying a single competent CB, much less think about a starter quality nickel back like Brian Williams complaining about playing time behind a pair of top CB's like Winfield & Smoot.
This winter, they added NT Pat Williams through free agency to stiffen up the run defense & to take pressure away from DT Kevin Williams, who might be the best DT in the game.
While the Vikings don't have Randy Moss's skills anymore, they've still got a productive offense, led by Pro Bowl QB Daunte Culpepper & Pro Bowler Matt Birk. Also expecting to contribute to the offensive onslaught are new #1 WR Nate Burleson, newly acquired WR Travis Taylor who approached the Vikings the minute free agency started. Taylor played with the Ravens prior to joining the Vikings. Now he's finally got a real QB getting him the ball & a passing offense to flourish in.
Back, too, are Jimmy 'The Beast' Kleinsasser & Mike Rosenthal to bolster an already solid offensive line. Expect Jimmy K to open alot of holes this season for RB's Michael Bennett, Mewelde Moore, Moe Williams & rookie Ciatrick Fason. Also expected to bolster the offensive line is rookie OG Marcus Johnson, drafted in the 2nd round. Johnson is expected to win a starting spot this preseason, most likely at RG.
Let the fun of 2 a days begin.

Robin Hood & Air America

The Washington Times has put up an op-ed on their website about the Air America-Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club scandal. Here are the main points to the controversy:
In late June, city officials designated the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, an NPO that runs mentoring programs for children & day care for Alzheimer's patients, a "non-responsible city contractor." Investigators found "significant inappropriate transactions & falsified documents that were submitted to various City agencies." The city subsequently suspended the club's contracts, which run well into the millions.
This paragraph establishes as documented fact that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club was involved in "significant inappropriate transactions & falsified documents" & that the city "subsequently suspended the club's contracts, which run well into the millions" for their role in these transactions.
It turns out, according to sources quoted anonymously by the Bronx News, that the mishandled money went to Air America. One source claims that $480,000 was wrongly transferred.
That's an awfully big amount of money to a radio network losing money left & right. I'd also think that it'd be hard not to notice that big of an infusion of cash when you're that broke. The "I didn't notice" excuse won't fly with this one.
The city investigation is concentrating on Charles Rosen, the club's president for 15 years, & Evan Cohen, the development director, who is a former chairman of Air America. Mr. Cohen resigned from Air America in May after the network's leasing plans in Chicago, San Francisco & elsewhere fell through.
It's obvious why they're concentrating on Mr. Rosen. The time-tested "what did you know & when did you know it" question is certainly in order. Also, an accountant called into Hugh's show tonight & said that the "I didn't know" defense wouldn't work because the trustees at Air America had an affirmative duty to know. Also, this accountant said that the "we just bought the company" excuse won't work if members of the original board that stay on board with the new company.
UPDATE: Brian Maloney of was interviewed by Hugh today & is asking that everyone who reads his blog about this story would then write their newspapers to tell them about it so it doesn't get dropped.
I checked Air America's statement on this scandal & found a curious wording. Here it is in full context:
As reported in the Wall Street Journal & the HBO Documentary, Left of the Dial‚ the company that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club officials gave money to, Progress Media, has been defunct since May 2004. That company was run at the time by Evan Cohen who hasn’t had any involvement in Air America Radio since May 2004.
The current owners of Air America Radio have no obligation to Progress Media’s business activities. We're very disturbed that Air America Radio's good name could be associated with a reduction in services for young people, which is why we agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction.
Notice the wording "We're very disturbed that Air America Radio's good name could be associated with a reduction in services for young people, which is why we agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction. Notice that they didn't say that they HAD COMPENSATED them as a result of the transaction. By Air America's own admission, they promised this "months ago."
Did they pay the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club back? We don't know. Until they produce a returned check or other similar evidence, it'll stay a point of contention. Air America's statement is full of questions, in fact. In the first paragraph, they were trying to pass it off like the Boys & Girls Club was the problem. In the second paragraph, they distanced themselves from "Evan Cohen who hasn't had any involvement in Air America Radio since May 2004."
They also said that the Boys & Girls Club officials gave money to Progress Media, a company coincidentally defunct since May 2004, which, coincidentally was run by Evan Cohen. The thrust of the third paragraph was that the "current owners of Air America have no obligation to Progress Media's business activities? (I thought that was something that the legal eagles needed to decide.) This is where they said that they'd arranged to fully compensate the Boys & Girls Club. That's an awful lot of coincidences to swallow, isn't it?
Here's Air America's full statement:

If the allegations of mismanagement & corruption at Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club are true, it’s absolutely disgraceful.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal & the HBO Documentary, Left of the Dial‚ the company that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club officials gave money to, Progress Media, has been defunct since May 2004. That company was run at the time by Evan Cohen who hasn’t had any involvement in Air America Radio since May 2004.
The current owners of Air America Radio have no obligation to Progress Media’s business activities. We are very disturbed that Air America Radio's good name could be associated with a reduction in services for young people, which is why we agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction.
We at Air America Radio strongly believe in the mission of Boys and Girls Clubs to provide a safe & nurturing place for young people to learn & grow. As a result, we recently allowed the same club, Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, to use our name in a fundraising effort for a summer camp for children in their community.
The funding for Camp Air America was raised & collected entirely by the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, & Air America promoted the camp on air & urged support for it. A link on our web site sent those interested in contributing to the camp to the Gloria Wise web site.
Regrettably, the camp didn’t survive the closure of the Gloria Wise organization. We’ve offered any individuals who contributed to the camp as a result of Air America's promotion the option of a refund paid for by Air America Radio & the Club offered the alternative option of having their donation redirected to Kip's Bay Boys and Girls Club.

Hastert Eyes Immigration

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan, reporting in this article, says that House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has put a high priority on immigration reform. He writes:
The Illinois Republican placed immigration near the top of the list of priorities when Congress returns from its August recess, just below the must-pass spending bills & just before Social Security. He said any immigration bill must mix enforcement, a program for new foreign workers & a solution to the illegal aliens now here.
This seems like a smart mix of the key components of effective immigration control. Part of immigration reform needs to address how to handle people who've essentially illegally 'jumped to the front of the line' ahead of those chosing to do so legally. Again, the devil is in the details. If legislators come up with something sensible, then I'll know that they're serious about immigration reform.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., (R-WI), would shepherd any bill through. A spokesman said yesterday that the committee plans to work on immigration legislation this fall & said all options are on the table. Mr. Hastert has tapped Rep. John Shadegg, (R-AZ), to meet with House Republicans who are interested in the immigration issue in order to try to forge a consensus on what should be in an eventual House bill.
Again, I'll reserve judgement until I see if a consensus emerges that makes sense. Until then, I'll be skeptical that this is a serious attempt at immigration reform. I'll give Mr. Hastert credit, though, for prioritizing immigration reform. I believe that this issue is the 600 pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to deal with because it's potentially politically dangerous.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Citizen Journalists vs. Big Government?

Mark Tapscott, writing in today's, thinks that isn't just possible but almost inevitable.
In his article, Tapscott points to last December's Tsunami videos & the July 7th London bombings as evidence of how invaluable bloggers are in being the reporting world's 'first responders'. He also points out that bloggers were present

"when the FEC held a March 24 hearing on its proposal to regulate political speech on the Internet...insuring that all the facts were reported. It didn’t matter if The Washington Post buried the story or The New York Times ignored it. Instead of it being days or weeks before people found out, they knew what the FEC was doing as it happened. That sparked a blogswarm that forced the bureaucrats back to the drawing board."

It seems to me that the FEC livebloggers were literally lifesavers in forcing these mindless bureaucrats to consider their actions being exposed to the light of day. No longer are important meetings by a plethora of regulatory agencies swept under the rug. Gone are the days when the Washington Post & the NYTimes could bury or hype stories to fit their likings. It's literally a brave new world & it should scare the daylights out of mindless bureaucrats & politicians.
From now on, politicians' ideas will have to be substantive instead of demagogic because the blogosphere will destroy their legislation with widespread fisking of their legislation. It also seems to me that anyone with a cellphone with video capability will be able to shine the light of truth into school board meetings, union negotiations & any number of critical situations.
As bloggers become more widely read, the more that advertisers will pull their ads from the Agenda Media & put them into subject-driven blogging portals where people can read about anything from local events to events happening half a world away to judicial nomination fights to local sporting events to healthcare blogging.
It's also time to let our politicians know that it's time for them to stop being timid because they don't have to worry about the NYT or the Washington Post & other members of the Agenda Media. They don't have to worry because the Instapundits, Powerlineblogs, Hugh Hewitts & Polipundits of the world are there to set the record straight with accurate reporting in real time.

Total Insanity vs. Insanity

That's as good a title for the fight that Hillary Rodham-Clinton just stepped into.
Byron York, writing for the Hill Magazine reports that HRC tried using the DLC get together in Columbus, OH "to make peace between centrist Democrats like those in the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), who helped her husband win election, & then reelection, to the White House, the first Democrat to do so since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, & the world of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy (VLWC), the coalition of, liberal bloggers, Michael Moore, Air America radio & others on the left who helped John Kerry win election to the White House. Okay, strike that last part.
That's triggered an all out war from "Berserkely, CA", Marshall Wittmann's term for the home base for the Daily Kos. This won't be pretty either, because both camps see each other as the death of the Democratic Party. It's obvious that the DLC has moved left over the past 4+ years but they're still far saner than the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy wing of the once-great Democratic Party. Mr. York supplies proof that that fight will be nast via these quotes:
“The poor, poor DLC forced to ‘return fire?’” Moulitsas wrote this week. “Please. The DLC has always been at the forefront of intra-party mud-slinging. They’re just finally being called on it & suddenly it’s time for peace?”No way, said Moulitsas. In addition to opposing centrist Democrats on a wide range of issues, Moulitsas & his Daily Kossacks are incensed that one prominent DLC type, Marshall Wittmann, had the temerity to suggest that the Daily Kos home base, Berkeley, CA, is a bit, uh, way out there on the left.
This isn't a friendly dispute amongst friends; it's a fight to the death of one or the other or both. The truth is that the VLWC movement is driving moderates away from the party in droves because, uh, they're "way out there on the left" & their ideas (I use that term loosely) aren't remotely coherent.
Pundits have tried saying that Daily Kossacks will eventually re-vitalize the Democratic Party the way Reagan revitalized the GOP. There's a big difference, though, in that Reagan's ideas gained acceptance the more people knew about them. The opposite is true of the Kossacks' policies. The more people hear them, the more they run away because they're, "uh, way out there on the left."
This is just one reason why Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat will win the White House anytime soon. The truth is that I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Kossacks ran an ultra-liberal for president in 2008. I don't have proof of that but it's the next logical step in this process. The other logical option is that the Dems nominate someone who is a darling of the Kossacks, thereby driving DLC types to the GOP. That's the least likely thing to happen, though.

Follow this link to Byron's full story.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ressam sentenced to 22 years in prison

In one of the most ridiculous sentences ever handed down, Judge John Coughenour sentenced Ahmed Ressam, the so-called Millenium Bomber, to 22 years in prison. At the time of his arrest, Ressam had "a trunkful of explosives" & was on "way to blow up LAX on December 31, 1999. Judge Coughenour's ruling also gives Ressam credit for the 5.5 years he's been in jail & it provides for "an additional 3 years off for good behavior. He could be out by the time he hits his 53rd birthday, before 2020 rolls around." H/T: Hugh Hewitt.
Coughenour said this trial shows that the justice system in this country works. "All of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial," Coughenour said. "There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel. The tragedy of September 11th shook our sense of security...Unfortunately some believe that this threat renders our Constitution obsolete," he said. "It’s my sworn duty, & as long as there’s breath in my body I'll perform it, to support & defend the constitution of the United States."
Judge Coughenour, you're an idiot & an appeaser. It's obvious that you haven't figured it out that we're at war & that Ressam wanted to kill thousands of innocent civilians. As for the self-serving comment that those of us who take the first Constitutional command seriously would "render the Constitution obsolete", you might be wise to read the provisions within the Constitution that expand the Executive Branch's powers during war.
Hugh Hewitt is also calling for everyone to mail an umbrella to Judge Coughenour. Hugh says that the umbrella is "the universal symbol of appeasment." Mail these umbrellas to Judge Coughenour, c/o The United States Federal Courthouse, Seattle, Washington.
I ask any blogger sending an umbrella to Judge Coughenour to leave a comment to this article. I'll include a link to your blog as a charter member of "The Umbrella Coalition."
UPDATE: Hugh's recommending that everyone "defeat Washington State's Maria Cantwell & other incumbant Dems in the U.S. Senate who've obstructed George W. Bush's nominees to the bench. (Dino Rossi, are you listening? Please run.) Yes, this judge was an early Reagan mistake, quite obviously a gimme to a GOP Senator & an example of how not to conduct judicial appointments. But this president isn't making those sorts of mistakes. You can start with a contribution to Congressman Mark Kennedy, Republican candidate for the open Senate seat in MN." I wholeheartedly agree.

Kennedy Miffed That Conservative Bloggers Know More About Roberts Than The Democrats Do

That's the headline of my blogging partner Elisa's story found here. Follow the link to the full story. It's must reading!!!
I can't say that it's surprising that center-right bloggers know more since we care about being intellectually honest. Here's one of Elisa's main points:
Senate Democrats & Judiciary Committee minority staffers are miffed that conservative bloggers appear to have more information about Bush Supreme Court nominee John Roberts than they do.
"They've got material out there that we don't know about," complained Sen. Edward Kennedy, who's leading an effort to force the White House to turn over any documents it has on Roberts.
It seems to me that facts haven't been important to Agenda Liberals like Sens. Kennedy & Boxer & Chairman Dean. It also hasn't dawned on Sen. Quagmire that we aren't getting this information from the White House but rather from googling alot of Judge Roberts' rulings. They're found easily enough since they're at the DC Circuit's website. What Sen. Kennedy is essentially saying is that center-right bloggers are more industrious than his staffers. If that's true, then that's the most sense I've heard Sen. Kennedy make in ages.

Hillary's Democratic Party

Hillary Clinton, speaking at the DLC's Columbus, OH meeting, outlined her vision for the Democratic Party of 2020. To say that it's pure fantasy isn't too strong a characterization. Here's a sampling of the Democratic Party of 2020:
The first thing we notice about America in 2020 is that it’s a safer place. We’re better protected against terror here at home & more capable of defeating it wherever it exists, with a unified, coherent strategy focused on eliminating terrorists wherever we find them, improving homeland defense & delivering a message of hope & freedom that’s far more compelling than the terrorist celebration of chaos & death.
Hillary, to think that the Democratic Party will dump the pacifist majority inside their party is pure fantasy. Unless you dump the moonbat Michael Moore wing of the Left, you'll never achieve that vision. To think that the moonbats will actually acknowledge that terrorists exist (as opposed to Howard Dean's characterization of terrorists as revolutionaries) is laughable. There are segments of the party that won't even use the word terrorist. Others think that we should cut & run. You're gonna change that? I'd bet the ranch that that won't happen.

We’ve revamped our intelligence services, strengthening our cooperation with other countries to deter terrorist acts & to secure & destroy nuclear, chemical & biological materials the world over. We’ve also made progress undermining the evil ideology of terrorism, working with mainstream Muslim & other religious groups to de-legitimize the twisted teaching & thinking that there’s glory in killing innocent civilians.
I hate telling you this, Hillary, but President Bush is cleaning out the intelligence services that got clogged with pacifists during the Clinton administration. Also, we're already cooperating with other countries in detering terrorist acts. The only reason it doesn't seem that way is because some self-serving countries didn't join the military coalition. Also, President Bush has already started "working with mainstream Muslim" groups to not only undermine terrorists but also to affirmatively codify human rights into the constitutions of Iraq & Afghanistan. What you're saying isn't leadership; it's me too-ism. We can get that from any idiot senator.

We’re finally making policy decisions based on scientific research, facts & evidence, not substituting ideology & politics.
Hillary, you wouldn't know how to use real scientific information & you certainly wouldn't substitute scientific information for "ideology." You're a hyperpartisan who couldn't survive if you couldn't try imposing your hard left ideology.

By 2020, & I hope a lot sooner than that, we have a strong, enforceable international ban on human cloning but we also have reversed the ban on stem-cell research. And we’re realizing the benefits of human genome discoveries. We may just have found cures & prevention strategies for juvenile diabetes, for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & other diseases.
I thought you wanted scientific information would replace ideology. Michael Reagan & Dr. Charles Krauthammer both serve on research boards that deal with adult stem cells. They're on record as saying that embryonic stem cell experiments are extremely prone to causing cancer. That's borne out in the testing & the reports from the testing. So much for the ending of substituting information for ideology.

The Republicans abandoned arithmetic; well, we brought it back. In fact, we’ve reformed the tax code to favor work over privilege, productive investments over non-productive ones.
The Clinton administration abandoned national security to pacify the peaceniks in his party & to have an artificially balanced budget. The Bush economy isn't being supported by a dot com bubble & it isn't being created by ignoring the needs of our military & our intelligence-gathering organizations. Also, it should be noted that, although the Clinton administration started with budget cuts the first year, they spent like a drunken sailor the last 3 years in office. Conversely, the Bush administration started with runaway spending & has slowly slowed down the rate of spending each year.

We can & should differ with one another on this or that detail of politics & ideas. After all, we’re thinking Democrats, not lockstep Republicans.
Thinking Democrats? Where? Prove it. You mean like Sens. Boxer, Reid, Durbin & Schumer? Or are you talking about the moonbats that fill the Daily Kos, Atrios or Democratic Underground blogs? Or would they be found in meetings?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mehlman Outreach Tour Continues

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman was again on the road, this time reaching out to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Convention In Houston, Texas. The full text of the speech is found here. As is always the case, Mr. Mehlman highlights the history of the Republican Party in terms recognizing the case that the Civil Rights Movement was borne in the Christian community & that Martin Luther King & some of the other original often referenced the Bible in inspiring their crowds. Here's an example of that:

On March 25, 1968, ten days before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the 68th Annual Convention of the Rabbinical Assembly. King opened by saying that it was a beautiful thing to hear We Shall Overcome sung in Hebrew. And as he often did, he quoted one of his favorite Prophets from the Old Testament, Amos: "Let justice roll down like the waters & righteousness like a mighty stream." Fifteen days later, Ralph Abernathy turned to another giant figure from the Old Testament when eulogizing his friend. Quoting the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis, Abernathy said: "Let us slay the dreamer & see what becomes of his dream."

The truth is that the Jewish & Christian communities were the driving force behind much of the civil rights legislation. As an aside, Christians are often characterized as intolerant, evil people by the secular left. The quotes from Ralph Abernathy & Martin Luther King, Jr. prove that people of faith are anything but intolerant or evil. It's time that the secular left noticed.
Here's more proof:

The civil rights movement was led by the faithful, whose fierce sense of justice was rightly offended by an institutionalized, legal bigotry that kept children of God in inferior homes & schools…prevented them from voting…in short, took away their God-given rights. A century before that, the Republican Party was born amidst the abolitionist movement, another creation of the faithful who were fighting for justice.

I suspect that alot of school kids don't know this because political correctness & agenda demagogues don't want them to know the true history of the Civil Rights Movement. That's a major loss to both our society & to our future leaders.
Here's more important history on the matter of racial relations:
It was the Republican Party that was the home of heroes of our past, people like:
· Harriet Tubman
· Booker T. Washington
· Sojourner Truth
· Frederick Douglass
It was the Republican Party that led the effort to pass the 13th, 14th & 15th amendments.
We spearheaded the Homestead Act of 1862 & the Morrill Land Grant College Act, which recognized that education & opportunity & property ownership were all essential to the American Dream. It was a Republican president, Teddy Roosevelt, who invited Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House, shocking official Washington at the time.
This is the type of outreach that matters. Ken Mehlman's outreach has been thoughtful, intelligent & sincere. Above all else, caring & sincerity matters. This will pay off in the midterms & in 2008. That's my prediction & you can take that to the bank.

Annan Urges Trump to Bid on U.N. Contract

The AP is reporting that Kofi Annan wants Donald Trump to on a UN renovation contract if he thinks he can do the job cheaper & better than anyone else.

Trump told a U.S. Senate hearing last week that the U.N. would commit a boondoggle of immense proportions if it goes ahead with its plan to renovate the outdated U.N. secretariat, a project it says will cost about $1 billion. Trump predicted that if the U.N. continues with its proposal, the cost will balloon to $3 billion. And he argued that he could do the job for $700 million. "If that's the case I'm sure he’ll get the contract & so I’d encourage him to bid," Annan said Monday.

It seems to me that Annan didn't have much choice but to ask Trump jump into the mix after his incredible testimony in front of the Senate committee. This is good news in the sense that they won't be wasting tons & tons of money but it isn't good news in that they either (1) didn't even have a clue they were wasting that much money or (2) they didn't care that they were wasting that much money or (3) they knew they were accepting overinflated bids & knew that they were sharing in the profits of their corruptions.

U.N. officials say their plan for the renovation is sound & express skepticism at Trump's claims.

Yeah right. That these idiots would even issue a statement like this is utterly laughable. That these idiots would doubt the word of Donald Trump, who's built tons of high-priced buildings is simply another motivation for Mr. Trump to prove them wrong. Personally, I'm not foolish enough to bet against Mr. Trump in this situation.
To trust these U.N. officials' statement over Donald Trump's statement is like trusting the comments of Nancy Pelosi on military strategy over those of Tommy Franks. One group's comments are laughable & the other group's comments are specific & knowledgeable.

Dru Sjodin's mom to lead rally for sex crime law

The Strib is reporting that "Linda Walker, Dru Sjodin's mother, plans to lead a rally in Washington, D.C., today for passage of a law designed to protect children from sex crimes."
The Children's Safety Act comes in the wake of Sjodin's 2003 kidnapping & death. Walker, of Pequot Lakes, MN, & Sjodin's father, Allan of Minneapolis, have been working to stop similar crimes by improving laws & tracking sex offenders.
Let's hope the laws don't get watered down too much. Anyone who knows me knows that I've been pretty passionate about the need to eliminate the "tracking of level 3 sex offenders." Quite frankly, their recitivism rate is astronomical to the point that we can say with a fair amount of confidence that that group of criminals can't be rehabilitated. If that's the case, why shouldn't these criminals get life sentences without parole?
The other benefit to this type of sentencing is that it eliminates the need to hire adequate staffing to track these criminals so they don't pose a threat to society. They eliminate the need to track them at all. Frankly, the tracking of these criminals is atrocious at best. I'll cite Alfonso Rodriguez, John Couey & Joseph E. Duncan III as examples of how the tracking system went badly wrong.
We don't need any more innocents getting mercilessly slaughtered by these beasts. No civilized society can tolerate that & survive. Throw the book at them & get it over with. They don't deserve a second chance because of the violent nature of their crimes.

Monday, July 25, 2005

White House May Sidestep Dems on Bolton

The AP is reporting that President Bush is strongly considering using the President's recess appointment power to name John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush has used his power for temporary appointments when "he has to get people in place that’ve waited far too long to get about doing their business." He said that "sometimes there's come a point" when Bush has decided he needs to act.
I'll applaud President Bush if he finally uses his recess appointment powers to install John Bolton as our ambassador to the U.N. It's long past due to frustrate the Senate Democrats for making fake excuses for filibustering presidential nominations.

A Rove Perjury Rap?

NRO's Byron York has an article ridiculing the possibility of a Rove perjury charge. Here's the most telling paragraphs:
Just moments after finishing his conversation with Cooper, Rove wrote a description of the talk in an e-mail to Stephen Hadley, who was then the deputy national-security adviser. The e-mail indicates that the two men did indeed begin their conversation with welfare reform. "Matt Cooper called to give me a heads-up that he's got a welfare reform story coming," Rove wrote in the e-mail, which was first reported by the AP. "When he finished his brief heads-up he immediately launched into Niger..."
The e-mail appears to be solid, at-the-time evidence that the two men discussed welfare reform. "It appears that Rove's recollection of a conversation having been initiated about welfare reform is consistent with a contemporaneous e-mail he wrote to Hadley moments after he hung up the phone with Cooper," says a knowledgeable source.
This email is perfect evidence to counter Cooper's testimony that he didn't recall talking welfare reform with Rove. Since Rove's email was sent so quickly after his conversation with Cooper, it isn't a stretch to think that Rove's account is accurate. It isn't a stretch to think that Mr. Rove wasn't thinking about a potential coverup by emailing Stephen Hadley immediately after that conversation with Matt Cooper.
There's more:
"Even if he didn't have that contemporaneous e-mail, it has to be about something material," says Victoria Toensing, a former federal prosecutor who also, as a Capitol Hill aide, helped draft the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
That's the law. It's hard arguing against the relevance of that testimony. Patrick Fitzgerald would have a difficult task of proving that charge, if it even goes that far.

Major Discord in (Dis)Organized Labor

The Washington times is reporting about the impending breakup & major reorganization of the AFL-CIO.
Among the things they're reporting is that "Four unions yesterday stormed out of the AFL-CIO's convention in Chicago, boycotting the annual event hours before it began, & likely will announce today that they plan to leave the federation entirely. The Teamsters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) & Unite Here said a lack of will to put sweeping reforms in place at the labor federation persuaded them to boycott the convention."
This is a major slap in the AFL-CIO's face. When "the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) & Unite Here" say that the AFL-CIO lacks the "will to put sweeping reforms in place at the labor federation", those are fighting words. Essentially they're saying that the AFL-CIO isn't responsive to reform even when significant members of their coalition strongly urge their adoption.

Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, was among the most agitated by the walkout, calling their action "treasonous." "They abandon us. They abandon their mission," Mr. Haynes said.
I told you that these unions' actions were fighting words. Admittedly, I don't think that Mr. Haynes' views represent the majority of AFL-CIO leadership but I definitely think that it represents the opinion of a significant number of AFL-CIO members. Still, people at the union are spinning this as just a momentary spat. Here's the telling quote:
Anna Burger, chair of the Change to Win Coalition, the group formed by the disaffected unions, said yesterday was a historic day. "These leaders refused to accept the status quo & had the courage to unite behind a simple burning goal, better lives for American workers. The debate is over. It’s time to go to work. That's what we're going to do," she said.
That doesn't sound like the talk of reconciliation that others are suggesting. That's the talk of someone who's had enough of the status quo & is ready to fight for what they believe in. These defections couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

Lebanese democracy & its enemies

After Dr. Rice's surprise visit to Beruit this weekend, I had a brief email 'conversation' with King Banaian, the man behind SCSUScholars on Dr. Rice's visit. We both agreed that her visit was a stroke of genius because it was such a morale booster. We also agreed that part of that visit served as a shot across the bow to Beruit's enemy.
King wondered why we didn't see more coverage of her visit. Fair point. It was fairly well covered in the newspapers but it was all but ignored on TV. King & I saw Dr. Rice's visit as historic & I said so in this story.

Today, the Washington Times this op-ed talking about the enemies that wish Beruit harm. It's worthwhile reading because of all the struggles Beruit faces. One paragraph tells the tale of how effective President Bush's Mid Eastern enemies see him. Here it is:

Hezbollah's secretary-general, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has told associates that his group only needs to wait out the U.S. for three more years, in other words, until President Bush is on his way out of office. Then he believes Hezbollah won't have to worry about an American president determined to go on the offensive against Islamofascism.
This says that Hezbollah, & I suspect other terrorist groups, see President Bush's all out war on their practices as particularly damaging. The significance of this is also to refute the argument that we should set a timeframe for withdrawal from Iraq. That paragraph says that terrorists are in 'survival' & 'wait-them-out mode'. That isn't acceptable. PERIOD.
It' our duty as voters to ask this question to anyone running for elected office & it's especially our duty as voters to ask future presidential candidates as to whether they'll continue President Bush's policy to aggressively take the war to the terrorists.
What say you?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Perspective Thing

John Hinderaker & Mike Ebensteiner wrote this op-ed piece for today's Strib. Their points cut to the heart of the matter over the budget battle that shutdown the state government for a little over a week. Here's their op-ed article:
Mike Wigley & David Strom of the Taxpayers League wrote in last Sunday's Op-Ed section about the "bubble of unreality that is the governor's office." On the contrary, they need to be reminded of reality. We believe that the narrow view they expressed isn’t good for conservatives, the Republican Party, or Minnesota. Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the best thing that’s happened to Minnesota & our party in a long time. He’s as smart as anyone in politics & is a likable guy who’s connected with Minnesota's voters. In challenging times, he’s doing a superb job.
We were there when Pawlenty stepped to the podium on election night. While he thanked all of his supporters & those who voted for him, he declared that he was going to be the governor of all the people of Minnesota. And he’s done what he promised, moving the state forward with pro-growth policies. Minnesota's economy is advancing strongly & steadily, with excellent job growth & just 3.7 percent unemployment.
With government intervention kept to a minimum, our basic industries of agriculture, mining, timber & manufacturing are making good progress. Pawlenty has laid a foundation for Minnesota's future economy by bringing Mayo & the University of Minnesota together in a historic Bioscience Initiative. Entrepreneurs & small businesses are gaining ground against national & global competition.
In public policy, it can be tempting to focus too much on tools & not enough on goals. Wigley & Strom seem fixated on a tool, the Taxpayers League's Pledge, to the point that they're missing the results Pawlenty's administration has achieved. The governor is focused on pursuing a growth agenda for all Minnesotans, not on satisfying an interest group, however much we may sympathize with that group & agree with it the vast majority of the time. He faces a fundamental problem that Wigley & Strom fail to acknowledge: Two political parties are active in this state. The Democrats hold about half the seats in the Legislature & control the Senate.
Pawlenty was elected governor, not emperor. He has to deal with the Democrats. No budget can become law without passing the Democrat-controlled Senate & Democrats were determined to raise taxes by $1.4 billion. Tim didn't give into their budget-busting demands; he went toe to toe with them, to the point where Democrats walked out & shut down state government. If Pawlenty hadn't agreed to some kind of compromise, the government would be shut down still.
Wigley & Strom seem to think that the governor gave away the store in order to get Minnesota's government back to work. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Pawlenty has been spectacularly successful in containing state spending. In his first year in office, he closed a $4.5 billion deficit, without raising
taxes by a nickel. Between 1994 & 2002, spending in Minnesota ballooned out of control, rising an average of 13.4 percent per biennium. Under Pawlenty's leadership, the rate of growth has been cut nearly in half, to 7.3 percent per biennium, bringing it in line with population growth & inflation.
What about the tax increase on cigarettes that prompted Wigley & Strom's attack? It constitutes a mere 1.3 percent of the state's budget. Perfection is great, but it’s hard to achieve when the tax-and-spend party controls one house of the Legislature. Pawlenty faced down the Democrats & made a great deal for the citizens of Minnesota, which will help to assure continued economic growth
during the remainder of his term.
We’ve fought in the trenches for a long time for conservative values & Republican candidates. So has the Taxpayers League, which performed a great service for Minnesotans. But it’s no service to divide the Republican Party, in search of an unattainable purity, at a time when Minnesota has the best governor within memory, Tim Pawlenty.
Ronald Ebensteiner is president of Wyncrest Capital & former Republican Party
chair. John Hinderaker is a partner at the Faegre & Benson law firm & one of the authors of the Powerline blog.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Cheney visits Minnesota to back Kennedy

The Strib's Rochelle Olson reported on Vice President Cheney's stealth fundraising visit for Mark Kennedy. The report she filed is a perfect illustration of the adult behavior of the Republicans & the pathetic behavior of the current Democratic Party. Hubert Humphrey would be rolling over in his grave if he knew that this the party that he knew & loved.
Vice President Dick Cheney made a stealth visit Friday to a Lake Minnetonka luncheon fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy, while the DFL Party & national Democrats put on a dog show. About a quarter-mile from the GOP campaign contributors-only event at TCF Chairman Bill Cooper's lakeshore mansion, a couple dozen DFLers held a news conference depicting Kennedy, the Republican Sixth District congressman, as a lapdog for President Bush.
Meanwhile, two national Democratic groups stepped into the media vacuum with attack-dog news releases about the event. The DNC’s broadside was headlined: "Karl Rove Scandal Machine Comes to Minnesota." The DSCC offered up ideas for how to spend $4,200 instead of having a picture taken with the vice president: immunize 420 children, pay a teacher's salary for a month, buy 2,400 school lunches, provide 14 bulletproof vests for police or pay for a semester's tuition at the University of Minnesota.
You'd think that a major political party would show more class & dignity than to put on a dog show while offering nothing but insults & lies for public consumption. Chuck Schumer & the DSCC are utterly hypocritical in suggesting that people shouldn't let their money work for causes & candidates that they prefer.
Are we to think that we should donate the $4,200 so that the Democratic wish list would be fulfilled? Or is it that Democrats want to raise taxes by $4,200 per person to pay for their wish list? Or is it just their way of saying that the Democratic Party isn't a serious political party anymore? Or is it that the Democrats gave us a dog show because they're so far behind in fundraising that they couldn't afford a dog & pony show? Or is it all of the above?
When in doubt, you can't go wrong voting for all of the above.

Dems' Pitch to People of Faith

Anytime that Jim Wallis & Michael Lerner organize a Democratic Party outreach to people of faith, it's in trouble. Tony Snow's column in Jewish World Review details the Dems' attempt to win over people of faith. Here's a couple of paragraphs that illustrate the point:
Rev. Jim Wallis, editor of the left-wing magazine Sojourners, wants to help Democrats get their groove on with Christians. Michael Lerner, who edits the left-wing Jewish magazine Tikkun, hopes to do the same with Democrats & Jews. Both know their party has big problems with devoutly religious Americans, which is why they're hosting a "progressive interfaith conference" this weekend at the University of California-Berkeley.
Just one problem: Wallis, Lerner, et al., well aware of the historic tensions between church & state, have decided to resolve the problem by tossing faith overboard, as if that somehow will convert disaffected Southern Bible thumpers & disillusioned Rust Belt Catholics.
You read right. To win over people of faith, Wallis & Lerner are hosting a conference that's devoid of any lengthy and/or serious discussions on issues of Christian or Jewish faith. Couple this conference with Howard Dean's pronouncement today that Dems have to reach out to "pro life Americans" & you easily see that the Democratic Party won't win over voters of faith anytime soon.
The notion that you can have such a weekend conference without seriously addressing the central issues shows that the Democratic Party views Christians of all stripes & Jewish believers as aliens from another planet. If they want to win over people of faith, the Democratic Party must become a political party that is itself Christian or Jewish.
In Dr. Dean's mind, & likely Jim Wallis' & Michael Lerner's minds, too, just saying that you like people of faith while having nothing in common with them is enough. It isn't. For this reason, people of faith will continue staying away from the Democratic Party in droves for the forseeable future.
  • It doesn't dawn on Dems that people of faith demand that you be in their corner when the going gets tough.
  • It doesn't dawn on Dems that people of faith won't vote for candidates who'll abandon them once they're elected.
  • It doesn't dawn on Dems that people of faith value the bonding that only comes from fellowshipping with people of similar views.
  • It doesn't dawn on Dems that people of faith don't trust them because the Democratic Party is so secular that they wouldn't recognize an issue of faith if it bit them.

Notice, too, that there's nothing in the events that talks about God's ability to change peoples' hearts. There isn't a discussion of anything of spiritual depth. There's simply an overabundance of spiritual superficiality. In other words, the more that people of faith hear about this conference, the faster they'll run away from the Democratic Party.

The Beltway Boys

One of my favorite segments on the Beltway Boys are their 'Ups & Downs' section. In today's segment, Karl Rove was 'up'. Fred explained that Karl Rove is confident that he isn't the subject of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation & that he isn't in trouble either with regards to the IIPA or with possible perjury or obstruction charges.
If that's true & Rove doesn't get in trouble, what do you think the Fever Swamp crowd will be? I'm sure they'll still say that the prosecutor didn't do his job & that Rove is still evil & that the Bushies bought Fitzgerald off, etc. I'd pay admission to see their meltdown. Let's hope it happens soon.


Well, we've got some more nasty thunderstorms, complete with strong straightline winds bearing down on us this morning. I just took a look at the radar for St. Cloud & the line of t'storms is massive & intense.
WJON-AM, the go to station during stormy weather, is interviewing Lori Lyon, who's on the west side near Caribou Coffee. Lori said that she pulled over when an awning blew across Division St.
UPDATE: WJON is reporting that power is out near Munsinger Garden/Clement Garden just across the river from the SCSU campus. WJON is also reporting that this storm has 'featured' straightline winds in excess of 60 mph near the Stearns County town of Regal.
10:00 UPDATE: the front is nearly right above me. I just saw a cloud-to-ground lightning strike followed within 2 seconds by a loud clap of thunder.
Stevens, MN had a machine shed totally destroyed; Waite Park, St. Cloud's next door neighbor, has an 18" wide tree down.
10:10 UPDATE: WJON is reporting that we've had .98" of rainfall thus far & that the rain is falling at a rate of .75" per hr. They're forecasting that the rainfall will continue at least until noon.
10:30 UPDATE: Well, it's behind us now. The storm, travelling at 55 mph, is now pretty much in the rear view, with only the rain remaining. The bottom line is that St. Cloud citizens reacted well & stayed out of harm's way pretty well. Now all that's left is a much-needed rainsoaking. We've been in a drought here lately so this is a welcome sight.

Leaving No Doubt

After reading this article, I have no doubt but that the CIA needed to be cleaned out. I've also believed that the CIA was definitely anti-Bush because he tried cleaning house there. Here's a couple of the most telling quotes:

Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson used the Democratic Party's weekly radio address Saturday to reiterate comments he made Friday to a panel of House & Senate Democrats. At that event, Johnson & others expressed great frustration that CIA operative Valerie Plame's name was made public.

Any claim that Mr. Johnson's had on objectivity is gone after that statement. First of all, Ms. Plame isn't an operative, she's an analyst. Surely Mr. Johnson knows the difference. As for Mr. Johnson & others being frustrated that Ms. Plame's name was made public, I'd rather he was insensed that they'd consistently botched intelligence up. Instead, he's upset that an analyst who worked at Langley is 'outed.'

If that isn't enough, he further sticks his foot down his throat by saying "Instead of a president concerned first & foremost with protecting this country & the intel officers who serve it, we’re confronted with a president who’s willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson."

"Savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson"? He can't be serious. It's funny how a proven liar like Joe Wilson still has a shred of credibility with the Agenda Media. Republicans don't have to "savage Joe Wilson." All they've got to do is let him keep talking & let him lie himself into oblivion. Ironically, that seems to be the only job that he's proficient at.
Johnson said he wished a Republican lawmaker would have the courage to stand up & "call the ugly dog the ugly dog. Where are these men & women with any integrity to speak out against this?" he asked. "I expect better behavior out of Republicans."
If he expects better from Republicans, doest that imply that he doesn't expect much from Democrats? As for expecting better, I definitely thought that a man like Mr. Johnson was more trustworthy than being a political shill for a morally bankrupt party like the Democratic Party. It's disappointing that he'd call Joe Wilson "a good American."

The Forehead Demands an Apology

Randy Hall, Staff Writer reports that Paul Begala has used a liberal blog to try to refute a Cybercast News Service story that quoted him as saying Republicans wanted to kill him & his children to preserve tax cuts for the rich.
"Imagine my surprise in returning from taking my boys fishing with their grandfather in a remote mountain village in upstate New York to find I'd accused the Republicans of wanting to kill us," Begala stated on the blog. "But, of course, the Republicans don't want to kill us," he said. "They just want to lie about us. In large ways & small, that's what they do."
Mr. Begala would be wise to not make such condescending comments, especially when there's a transcript available to the public. Mr. Begala's story won't fly because he's made so many hateful comments about Republicans that people simply won't trust him. Now that I think of it, there aren't alot of people who have credibility within the Democratic Party these days.

Writing on the Campus Progress blog, Begala explained that "when the matter of national security came up (at the conference), I repeated an argument I'd made scores of times on television & in speeches, that the terrorist threat is, in fact, very real. I concluded with the observation that, perhaps if the terrorists killed me, the Republicans would want my children to take comfort in knowing they won't have to pay any tax on the money they'll inherit."
However, a transcript of Begala's July 13 remarks indicate that he said the following: "I was driving past the Pentagon when that plane hit" on Sept. 11, 2001. "I had friends on that plane; this is deadly serious to me," Begala said. "They want to kill me & my children if they can. But if they just kill me & not my children, they want my children to be comforted, that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit," Begala said. "That's bulls*** national defense & we should say that."
It's clear that "they" refers to who did the killing & also to who would comfort his children by cutting his taxes, specifically the inheritance tax. There isn't an ounce of wiggle room in those statements. PERIOD.

In the blog response to the CNS story that quoted him, Begala explained: "Rather than clearly delineating between Republicans & terrorists, I'd referred to each as 'they', in very different contexts. Begala conceded that, "I did use the pronoun 'they' without a clear antecedent." He apologized to a former high school teacher, who Begala stated had taught him sufficiently for him not to make such a grammatical slip.
Mr. Begala also needs to apologize to Republicans for accusing them of not caring about national security & for wanting to kill him while comforting his children with a bigger inheritance due to their cutting that tax.
Mr. Begala knows better than to word things that way. He knows full well that he's lying through his teeth. Words mean things, especially to Begala. After all, words are what he does for a living on CNN.