Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pakistanis Hit Militants on Afghan Border

The AP is reporting that Pakistanis hit some terrorists hard in the North Waziristan area just across the border from Afghanistan. Here's some details from the attack:

Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships struck a militant hideout Wednesday in a tribal region near the Afghan border, killing or wounding at least 25 militants, an official said. The militants had entered Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region after a raid inside Afghanistan. Army troops and three helicopter gunships attacked them, said Syed Zaheerul Islam, the top government administrator of the region.
He said between 25 and 30 militants were killed or wounded in the raid. He said militants were running a training camp and that the strike triggered explosions in an arms dump at the site. "They were foreigners. They had set up tents in mountains in the area," Islam said.
The early morning operation took place near Saidgi, a village about 9 miles west of Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan said. Sultan said the raid was carried out on "confirmed intelligence" that militants were in the area.
The raid comes just before President Bush visits India and Pakistan. It's nice to read that the Pakistani general said that the "raid was carried out on "confirmed intelligence" that militants were in the area." This should make for some interesting conversations in the Pakistani press, too.

Cross-Posted at California Conservative

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Court Rules Pro-lifers Aren't Racketeers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the RICO statute couldn't be used to "against protesters at abortion clinics." Predictably, both sides had immediate reactions to the ruling:
Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, charged that by vacating a nationwide injunction against abortion clinic protesters "on narrow, technical grounds, the Supreme Court sided today with thugs and bullies, not peaceful protesters." Mrs. Gandy held that the injunction "contributed to the dramatic reduction in clinic violence that we have witnessed in recent years." She noted that the 1998 injunction was imposed after a Chicago jury found that clinic demonstrators had engaged in a pattern of racketeering by interfering with clinic operations, damaging clinic property, menacing doctors and assaulting patients. Mrs. Gandy said that if yesterday's ruling "ushers in a return to clinic violence in the United States, NOW stands ready to fight in every jurisdiction."
Pro-lifers exulted in the decision.
"Naturally, I am gratified to be vindicated once again by the U.S. Supreme Court," Joseph M. Scheidler, national director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League and petitioner in the case, Scheidler vs. NOW. He said the Supreme Court was "right" in 2003 when it initially lifted a nationwide injunction against clinic protests by pro-life groups. "But NOW refused to acknowledge defeat. They convinced the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to keep the case alive in spite of the Supreme Court's clear mandate to end it," Mr. Scheidler said.
Frankly, it's more than melodramatic for NOW to say that "clinic demonstrators had engaged in a pattern of racketeering by interfering with clinic operations, damaging clinic property, menacing doctors and assaulting patients" or that the Supreme Court's ruling might usher in "a return to clinic violence in the United States..."

If she didn't think it might lead to increased violence, then the only other explanation for her saying that was to play the 'fear card'. I guess that that's certainly possible considering the circumstances.

I suspect that NOW will use this ruling to gin up financial support for their narrow cause, likely saying something like "this ruling is proof that the radical right wing is intent on taking away a woman's right to choose." Of course, that claim won't hold water considering that the vote was 8-0. Then again, NOW doesn't need facts because lies work just as well in this type of argument.

Pro-lifers were expectedly pleased with the ruling. I, along with most pro-lifers thought that using RICO laws against abortion clinic protesters were a bit of overkill. If states want to pass laws that provide a buffer zone around a clinic, that's their call. But calling pro-life protesters the equivalent of gangsters is over the top.

On another note, I liked that the majority opinion was written by Stephen Breyer and that it actually made sense. The unanimous verdict was gratifying, too.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Propaganda or Not?

So far today, I've come across more propaganda today than I can handle. Here's what I've found:

One article tries telling us that two thirds of Americans think that President Bush isn't doing a good job. Another tries telling us that Americans hate high gas prices when oil companies charge high prices but they don't mind it if their government taxes them more. Finally, a newspaper thinks it has a right to see "highly classified" documents that would leave us far more vulnerable against terrorist attacks.

The CBS poll that just came out is nothing more than propaganda. I can't even call it bad polling because calling it that would denigrate bad polls like AP-Ipsos.
First off, the poll was taken Feb. 22-26. In other words, the polling is skewed by part of it being conducted over the weekend.

Second of all, it's badly skewed with the representation of political parties. According to their own breakdown:
  • "Total Republicans" contacted: 272 unweighted and 289 weighted or 28% of the sample.
  • "Total Democrats" contacted: 409 unweighted and 381 weighted or 37% of the sample.
  • "Total Independents" contacted: 337 unweighted and 348 weighted or 33% of the sample.
Worse yet is that the poll wasn't of registered voters or likely voters. So who cares what this propaganda tool says?

This story taken by itself is bothersome but it gets worse when taken in context. Let's look further into the propaganda business. Here's the opening paragraph in a NY Times article:
Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to a higher federal gasoline tax, but a significant number would go along with an increase if it reduced global warming or made the United States less dependent on foreign oil, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
What type of question would produce that type of result? People are vehemently opposed to higher gas prices when they think it's the result of oil company's price-gouging but they're cool with paying more at the pump when the government steals the money? Surely they don't expect us to be that stupid, do they?

Let's take a poll of our own. Here's what I'm asking:

A. Are you ok with higher gas prices if it's the result of higher gas taxes?
B. Are you ok with higher gas prices if it's the result of higher profits for oil companies?
C. Are you not ok with higher gas prices under any circumstances?

Let me know by commenting on this article. I'll update the results every couple hours.

This propaganda tells me is that the 'poll' is weighted heavily towards Democrats predisposed to increasing taxes. Other than that, the 'poll' is total garbage.

If you think these stories are absurd, wait. I've saved 'the best' for last:
The New York Times sued the Department of Defense on Monday, saying the government has refused to turn over records related to its The New York Times sued the Department of Defense on Monday, saying the government has refused to turn over records related to its domestic warrantless surveillance program. In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Times asked the court to order the government to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request requiring it to release documents or provide a lawful reason why it cannot. The spying program was revealed by the Times in a story in December.
This is breathtakingly inaccurate and arrogant. Look at that first sentence: They're still calling it DOMESTIC surveillance. ENOUGH!!! It isn't DOMESTIC. when a person boards a plane in LA and they fly to Vancouver, BC, does the airline call it a domestic flight? People would ridicule the airline from sun up to sundown if they tried characterizing it that way. Yet the NY Times, the Washington Post, the AP, the 3 broadcast networks and CNN all call it that way. And not just once in awhile. Every time.

If that isn't stupid enough, then there's the NY Times' request through the FOIA for classified information. Sure. Let's hand that information right over to them. In fact, let's turn this information over to terrorists, too. Actually, we don't have to since this information will be part of a NY Times series on the NSA.

Anyone thinking that these clowns are the mainstream media isn't in touch with the mainstream of American politics. Then again, CBS and the NY Times couldn't find the mainstream of American politics if their life depended on it.

Cross-posted at California Conservatives

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Closing In?

The people at the American Spectator seem to think that something might break in the NSA Leak Scandal. Here's a glimpse into their article:
Word out of the Defense Intelligence Agency and law enforcement sources has the FBI and the Department of Justice comparing notes and dates on who in the U.S. Senate received national security briefings on both the overseas terrorist prisons and the NSA overseas terrorist monitoring programs, and when those briefings took place. "The number of Senators who received briefings is not as large as people think," says one law enforcement source. "These were programs with a limited 'Need to Know" list on Capitol Hill."
Focus of the investigation remains on the staffs of two Senators, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Sen. Dick Durbin, as well as committee staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee and career intelligence staff detailed to U.S. Senate offices and committees.
Insiders have suspected that Rockefeller was one of the leakers for awhile now, which makes sense. He's the person that developed a plan to politicize an intelligence report about whether the WH unduly pressured intelligence. He's also the guy that leaked a letter he typed on the NSA matter that he said was so top secret that he couldn't put it on his computer. It was so secret that he couldn't even have his secretary type it up.

I hope that the investigation hands down indictments against Rockefeller and any of his staffers who leaked this information.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Media Update

I'd like to thank Lores Rizkalla for inviting me on her Just a Woman radio show Sunday night to talk about the Dubai Ports World fiasco. Lores was a most gracious host and I thoroughly enjoyed getting interviewed by Lores. Follow this link to listen to the interview. I was on for two segments so they're broken down into two parts.

As I listened to the first hour's callers, it was obvious that most of the callers were strongly opposed to the deal. I'm glad that I listened to these callers because most, though not all, of their worries were legitimate worries. Because I'd researched these issues this past week, I think I helped bring a comfort level to more of the listeners.

One thing that Lores and I strongly agreed on is that the Bush Administration did a miserable job handling this story. As I told Lores in an email this afternoon, what's most frustrating to me is that this issue wouldn't be such a wide split (Last I'd heard, it was a 62-17 split) had the Bush communications team done a better job of educating people as quickly as possible.

One other thing that became apparent during the interview is that Lores' interviewing style was far less confrontational than the WH press corps, which I think is a far better interviewing technique.

I strongly recommend that everyone make time to listen to Lores' show. You won't be disappointed. (Follow this link to listen to the live audio stream.)

Major AQ in Iraq Figure Jailed

Abou al-Farouq, a Syrian who financed and coordinated groups working for Iraq's most wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was captured Monday.
Acting on a tip from residents, members of the Interior Ministry's Wolf Brigade captured al-Farouq with five other followers of al-Zarqawi near Bakr, about 100 miles west of Baghdad, the ministry officer said.
What's most interesting to me is the absense of American troops in this capture. "Residents" gave al-Farouq up and Iraq's Wolf Brigade brought al-Farouq and five followers to justice in a raid.

If that isn't enough positive news, here's more:
"That crisis is over," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad declared. "I think the country came to the brink of a civil war, but the Iraqis decided that they didn't want to go down that path, and came together," the ambassador told CNN. "Clearly the terrorists who plotted that attack wanted to provoke a civil war. It looked quite dangerous in the initial 48 hours, but I believe that the Iraqis decided to come together."
This was the closest that Iraqis have come to letting a civil war get started and it didn't happen. Let's hope that Amb. Khalilzad is right in saying that Iraqis never want to go down that path and that they have come together after this. The positive thing that I took from this weekend were the goodwill gestures by the Sunni and Shi'ite clerics towards each others and their urging calm for their followers.

Without their calling for calm and without them condemning "the blowing up of the Shiite mausoleum of Samarra as much as the acts of sabotage against the houses of God", this could've escalated into a much worse situtation.

I think that the initial response to the destruction of the Golden Mosque was purely visceral but the susequent responses were logical, intelligent responses. It would have been preferable to not have that initial response but at least we got the more rational response later.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Polling Analysis

According to this Washington Times' article, the national polling doesn't look as bad for Republicans as the Agenda Media and the DNC have been crowing about. Let's take a look at that article:
Most polls say a majority of registered voters would vote Democrat if the congressional elections were held today, but a new independent polling analysis now finds that Republicans could lead among people who actually vote. The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll reported last week that the Democrats led Republicans among registered voters in the generic congressional survey by 50 percent to 43 percent, a seven-point margin that could give Democrats enough victories to take control of the House, if their supporters participate in November's elections.
But a deeper analysis of these numbers by David W. Moore for the Gallup Poll said, "It is likely many voters will not do so" because turnout among registered voters tends to be lower than that among "likely voters" who say they plan to vote and usually do. In his analysis, Mr. Moore writes that Gallup's "experience over the past two midterm elections, in 1998 and 2002, suggests that the [registered voters] numbers tend to overstate the Democratic margin by about 10? (sp) percentage points. Given that Democrats currently lead by seven points, that could mean that among people who will definitely vote, Republicans actually lead by three to four points," he said.
As I've written about numerous times, the best way for a conservative to view polls is with a hefty bit of skepticism. This article shows why. Who cares how the general public feels in terms of campaigns if they won't show up and vote? It's a totally useless statistic, like the right track/wrong track numbers. The truth is that I ignore all right track/wrong track polling totals unless they're really dramatic.

This should also put a little more lift in the steps of the GOP. Until this article, we've been told again and again that we were sunk, we'd lost the House already, that the Senate was ready to flip, etc. I didn't give those opinions alot of credibility, though, because they underestimate the passion that conservatives have towards conservative candidates.

I highly recommend that you read the entire article.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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White House Rejects Special Counsel

This morning, I wrote "A special investigation to determine the legality of the NSA intercept is a facade." That's still how I feel. Today, though, the White House weighed in on the issue:
The White House on Monday rejected the call by more than a dozen House Democrats for a special counsel to investigate the Bush administration's eavesdropping program. President Bush's spokesman Scott McClellan said those Democrats should instead spend their time investigating the source of the unauthorized disclosure of the classified program, which "has given the enemy some of our playbook." "I really don't think there's any basis for a special counsel," McClellan also said.
I love that last shot because it shows that the White House isn't taking the WH press corps' guff anymore. They aren't just slipping the questions, which is what McClellan did during the Cheney debacle. They're hitting back and with good reason.

The truth is that the WH press corps is mostly the PR machine for Congressional Democrats, meaning that slapping the WH press corps is essentially the same as slapping the Congressional Democrats.

As I said earlier, the only way to put a final stamp of approval on this issue is when the Supreme Court rules in the President's favor on this issue, which is precisely what I'd expect the opinion to be. After all, all prior precedents have said exactly that.
The Democrats see "ample precedent" for a special counsel, citing the Justice Department's appointment of U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Oddly enough, the 'Fitzgerald Precedent' is undergoing tight scrutiny on constitutional grounds. There's a question as to whether his appointment was valid since he wasn't approved by Congress or appointed by the Executive branch. That's the threshhold established by the Constitution. I understand that that's just a motion but it's got some merit to it. If the defense wins that motion hearing, then the case will be dismissed since the ruling would mean that Fitzgerald wasn't legally authorized to conduct an investigation.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Sunnis Ready to End Boycott

It's welcome news that the AP is reporting that Sunnis are willing to get to the negotiating table so that a government can be formed.
Sunni Arabs are ready to end their boycott of talks to form a new Iraqi government if rival Shiites return mosques seized in last week's sectarian attacks and meet other unspecified demands, a top Sunni figure said Monday.
Adnan al-Dulaimi, whose Iraqi Accordance Front spearheaded the Sunni boycott, said the Sunnis have not decided to return to the talks but are "intent on participating" in a new government. "The situation is tense and within the next two days, we expect the situation to improve and then we will have talks," he told The Associated Press. "We haven't ended our suspension completely but we are on the way to end it."
Bit by bit, the tensions are diminishing. The key to understanding this situation is to know that it's a process, not an event. It's about putting subtle pieces of the puzzle together.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Boxer's Rebellion

In a major departure from their opinion, the LA Times is excoriating Sen. Boxer for playing politics with free trade. Here's a glimpse into the excoriation:
Now there is a Republican in the White House, and of all the grandstanding surrounding the Dubai Ports World deal, none tops Boxer's performance. She said last week that she would support legislation preventing any foreign firm, state-owned or not, from buying port operators. Memo to Boxer: 13 of the 14 container terminals at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, the biggest port complex in the U.S., are run by foreign-owned companies. She later told The Times that she meant such deals should get greater scrutiny, not be banned. Still, this is the sort of proposal one would expect from a senator from a land-locked state like Vermont, not one where international trade plays a vital role in the economy. The Clinton-Menendez bill, which Boxer is backing, would do little more than disrupt port operations and attract international protest.
Boxer had a more enlightened view in 1998, when she supported the Cosco move. She now borrows a line from George W. Bush and says the world has changed since 9/11, but that still doesn't explain why she supported terminal operations run by a foreign government-owned company eight years ago but now distrusts any foreign operator whether it comes from a country involved in terrorism or not.
One possible explanation is that the Cosco deal was heavily backed by a Democratic administration, while the Dubai Ports World deal is heavily backed by a Republican administration. But that would mean Boxer is working against the interests of her state in order to score cheap political points. She would never do such a thing. Would she?
I wasn't expecting the LA Times to attack Sen. Boxer on anything but it's a welcome sight. The LA Times obviously knows the importance of free trade on California's economy. I suspect that they'll cut Boxer alot of slack if the subject was anything else.

The truth is that Boxer is the ultimate anti. I won't predict this but I wouldn't be shocked to find Boxer arguing with the President if he said that the sun rose in the east. As I've said before, Sen. Boxer is all about being against everything that the President is for. That's her right except that she frequently does it without any thought or logic.

The people of California deserve far better than Sen. Boxer. She's defined the notion of loyal opposition down to simply opposition. The distinction is worth noting. When Democrats controlled the House, Senate and the White House from January, 2003- January, 2005, Republicans opposed alot of legislation but it wasn't a knee-jerk reaction. It was based on substantive beliefs. You can't say that about today's Democrats.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Democrats Seek Probe of NSA Eavesdropping

In yet another attempt to damage their chances of taking back the House or Senate, 18 House Democrats told President Bush that Alberto Gonzales should appoint a special counsel to investigate the legality of the Bush administration's eavesdropping program.
"If the effort to prevent vigorous and appropriate investigation succeeds, we fear the inexorable conclusion will be that these executive branch agencies hold themselves above the law and accountable to no one," wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, (D-CA), a member of the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees.
The Democrats see "ample precedent" for a special counsel, citing the Justice Department's appointment of U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. After 22 months of investigation, Fitzgerald indicted the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, for allegedly lying about his role in the disclosure. "Indeed, the allegation of a secret NSA spying program conducting warrantless domestic surveillance of U.S. persons is at least as serious" as the matter Fitzgerald investigated, the Democrats wrote.
A special investigation to determine the legality of the NSA intercept is a facade. The only way to make a final determination is by getting the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. All the 'investigations' in the world won't resolve the issue.

Democrats have shown their hand by holding up Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation as what they prefer. Let's remember that Fitzgerald didn't find wrongdoing on the initial concern of his investigation. That should've stopped the investigation dead in its tracks. Instead, Fitzgerald didn't follow the mandate given him by the Justice Department.

If Fitzgerald had wanted to investigate the White House on whether they violated the IIPA or the Espionage Act, he would've started by asking all of the reporters that said that Plame's identity was common knowledge to national security writers.

Similarly, all that this 'investigation' is intended to do is to criminalize policy differences. Democrats don't have to say anything when the word investigation is used, and rumors swirl about possible charges. All they have to do is sit back and talk about how worried they are at 'possible improprieties' that the current Administration might be involved in.

The truth is that the NSA intercept program is keeping us safer because we're intercepting AQ's international communications. That's the dirty little secret that Democrats don't want highlighted.

Cross-Posted at California Conservative

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Biden Blasts Bigots, McCain Manhandles Hillary

As is always the case, the Sunday morning talk shows created more than a few notable quotes. The funniest soundbite of the morning shows came from Slow Joe 2.0 (as Hugh Hewitt likes calling Sen. Biden):
Biden said the Bush administration had caused "a diplomatic problem" by not briefing congressional leaders on the Dubai ports deal before criticism reached a fevered pitch. "The diplomatic problem has been brought on by this administration's tone-deafness," he told Fox. "What they should have done, knowing this [ports] application was being made, they should have brought in Republican leaders in the first place. They should have gone through this thoroughly and showed everybody what was going on."
Biden thinks that it's the Bush Administration's fault for not leading loud-mouthed senators by the hand through the process? Biden makes it sound like the hyperbole could all have been avoided had the Bush Administration laid out all the facts that anyone on the, say, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee could've had a staffer find out?

The only reason why this got so blown out of proportion is because (a) loud-mouthed politicians wanted to sound important and (b) because the Agenda Media whipped the public into a frenzy by running one factless article after another on the subject.

In fact, it wasn't until talk radio, starting with Rush, and the Right blogosphere got involved that we started learning pertinent information about the deal. In fact, at the risk of sounding self-important, this blog was one of the first to tackle this issue in a substantive, serious way. (I'd hate to think that senators can't find out more about national security issues than bloggers find in 24-36 hrs.)
"The fact of the matter is that there are some people, I'm sure this is anti-Arab-bashing," Biden told "Fox News Sunday," adding, "I'm sure that's true." But in the next breath Biden said that Arab allies throughout the Mideast should be treated differently from European nations. "You don't sell the same aircraft to Saudi Arabia, our great ally, that you do to England or to France or to a NATO country. So there's always been a distinction."
Sadly, Joe, I'm afraid you're right. And it didn't have to happen if only people weren't pre-disposed to thinking ill of ALL Arabs.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week", John McCain took Hillary to the proverbial woodshed on the Dubai Ports' issue, saying
Sen. John McCain said Sunday that the reaction to a Dubai-based company's proposed takeover of several U.S. shipping terminals has reached the point of "near-hysteria," singling out Sen. Hillary Clinton for criticism. "The near-hysteria about this is not warranted, particularly in light of the other major crises that we're facing throughout the world," McCain told ABC's "This Week."
The Arizona Republican criticized Mrs. Clinton for urging that all foreign operation of U.S. ports be banned, warning that if she gets her way, "We've got a lot of disinvestment to do. Does that mean the British are not allowed?" McCain posited, before reminding that convicted al Qaeda shoe bomber Richard Reid "was British, as you know. I think obviously this has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis," he added, rejecting Mrs. Clinton's blanket ban. McCain said that the United Arab Emirates, home to Dubai Ports World, is "freer than China," reminding that "700 [U.S.] warships have visited Dubai."
The 'debate' started off as more heat than light. Now serious people are weighing in, from Sen. McCain to Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol to the Heritage Foundation. I hope that President Bush follows these gentlemen's defense up with a series of speeches similar to the one he did on Iraq just before Christmas. That got Democrats back on their heals for awhile.

When the American people know the facts about port management and port security, the more they'll see this as just another time when politicians started talking before they had a clue on what's going on. When they learn that Democrats tried politicizing national security again, they'll express their disgust in November.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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45 Day Delay: Time to Kick It Into High Gear

Everyone's been yapping about the need to go through the full 45 day investigation for the Dubai Ports deal, which the Bush Administration has agreed to. I'm all for it, especially if the Administration uses the time to go on the offensive on this.

As I've said before, I expect the deal to get done so I don't believe that's what this delay is about. Instead, I'm hoping that the Administration targets the bigotted Democrats that we've heard from this week. My first target would be Gov. Jon Corzine, (D-NJ), who gave the Democratic radio response yesterday.

Here's a taste of Corzine's hate-filled speech:
"Dangerous men, tainted blood money and nuclear technology have moved across UAE borders," said Corzine, who is suing to block the government-approved acquisition by Dubai Ports World, a state-run company. We were told that the president didn't know about the sale until after it was approved. For many Americans, regardless of party, this lack of disciplined review is unacceptable," Corzine said.
Gov. Corzine is right in noting that "blood money and nuclear technology have moved across UAE borders..." What he fails to note is that most of that activity happened during the Clinton Administration. The Clinton Administration didn't push UAE to reform their banking laws so that terrorist money wouldn't go washing through the UAE without restrictions.

The reason the Clinton Administration didn't push the UAE at that time had alot to do with the fact that they didn't take the terrorists' threat seriously. It would've been nice to have seen them done so.

Let's also remember how helpful the UAE has been post-9/11:
The UAE Is an Ally. Since 9/11, the UAE has provided unprecedented cooperation to the United States in the war on terrorism, including finding, arresting, and turning over high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives and participating in the U.S. Container Security Initiative to screen cargo bound for the U.S. That Dubai World Ports is owned by the UAE should reassure Americans.
That's part of the Heritage Foundation's research on Dubai Ports. This isn't insignificant information. I'd use this information and more to gore Democrats who have sounded awfully bigotted this past week. They haven't made distinctions between troublespots in the Gulf Region and allies in the region. Generalizations are how bigotries get started and re-inforced.

We owe our closest allies far better than that type of rhetoric.

Cross-Posted at California Conservative

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Hadley Sees Violence Subsiding

Appearing this morning on CBS' Face the Nation, Stephen Hadley said that the White House was optimistic that the violence was subsiding. Naturally, a Democrat stepped forward to criticize his statement.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), said more sectarian violence and a failure to form a government would bring the country "a step away from major civil war. The worst thing would be for the United States to get caught in the middle," Feinstein told CNN's "Late Edition." Feinstein criticized Bush for not stating his plan for dealing with a civil war if one were to develop. "This is a deteriorating situation, and we have to deal with it as such and not just say, 'I'm optimistic,'" she said.
I'm getting tired of the Democrats' whining about our military plans for every contingency. Are they saying we should announce to the entire world what we'd do if something happens so they'd know what to do to counter our strategy? Besides, what's to say that the plan would work based on a thousand different variables that aren't knowable beforehand?

It's also worth noting that Lt. Col. Bill Cowan, appearing on Friday night's O'Reilly Factor, said that it's important that American soldiers be in their bases during this violence, not in the streets. Cowan retired from the USMC and is now a senior military analyst for FNC. I don't suppose that that's good enough for Feinstein, though, because she sounds like she knows better than the military.

Also, if Mrs. Feinstein weren't so quick to criticize, she might've read this AP article. Here's the most important part:
The government also decided not to extend the ban on private vehicles in Baghdad because of an easing of the sectarian crisis and the impact of the heightened security on the public, an Interior Ministry official said Sunday.
I'm not predicting that this means that all violence is over but it is improving as more Sunni and Shi'ite clerics are coming together to renounce the violence. Even Muqtada al-Sadr is looking like a statesman of sorts.

Now if only we could get the Democrats to start sounding like statesmen we'd be alot better off...

Cross-posted on California Conservative

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Media Alert

For West Coast and nightowl readers of this blog, I'll be interviewed by Lores Rizkalla of Just a Woman Radio to start off the 1am hour. We'll be talking about the Dubai Ports deal and how I went from initially opposing the deal to supporting it now. Follow this link to listen to the live audio stream.

Be sure to check out Lores' blog, too.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

"Pact of Honour"

According to The Australian, "Four sheikhs from the Sadr movement made a "pact of honour" with the conservative Sunni Muslim Scholars Association", which is great news.
H/T Captains Quarters)

It gets better:
The agreement was made in the particularly symbolic setting of Baghdad's premier Sunni mosque Abu Hanifa where the Shiite sheikhs prayed under the guidance of Sunni imam Abdel Salam al-Qubaissi. The meeting was broadcast on television and the religious leaders all "condemned the blowing up of the Shiite mausoleum of Samarra as much as the acts of sabotage against the houses of God as well as the assassinations and terrorisation of Muslims".
"It is not permitted to spill the Iraqi blood and to touch the houses of God," said the statement, adding that any mosques taken over by another community should be returned. The meeting also announced the formation of a commission to "determine the reasons for the crisis with a view to solving it", while also calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops.
This is splendid news, though it doesn't guarantee that the fighting will end immediately. I suspect, though, that this show of unity is making it alot more difficult to justify future acts of violence to other Iraqis. I also suspect that anyone still planning these types of attacks will get reported to the authorities.

Let's hope that this is just another puzzle piece to true peace.

Cross-Posted at California Conservative

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A Liberal Voice Of Sanity

Congratulations to Thomas Friedman for being a liberal voice of sanity on the Dubai Ports issue. Writing for the Desert News, Friedman asks some important questions. Here's a glimpse:
If there were a real security issue here, I'd join the critics. But the security argument is bogus and, I would add, borderline racist. Many U.S. ports are run today by foreign companies, but the U.S. Coast Guard still controls all aspects of port security, entry and exits; the U.S. Customs Service is still in charge of inspecting the containers; and U.S. longshoremen still handle the cargos.
The port operator simply oversees the coming and going of ships, making sure they are properly loaded and offloaded in the most cost-effective manner. As my colleague David E. Sanger reported: "Among the many problems at American ports, said Stephen E. Flynn, a retired Coast Guard commander who is an expert on port security at the Council on Foreign Relations, 'who owns the management contract ranks near the very bottom.'"
Mr. Friedman makes more intelligent points in those brief paragraphs than everything Senate Democrats have said on this issue in their 'hearings'. By alot. He follows those points up with this bigger, more important point:
My point is simple: The world is drifting dangerously toward a widespread religious and sectarian cleavage, the likes of which we have not seen for a long, long time. The only country with the power to stem this toxic trend is America. People across the world still look to our example of pluralism, like no other. If we go Dark Ages, if we go down the road of pitchfork-wielding xenophobes, then the whole world will go Dark Ages.
There is a poison loose today and America, America at its best, is the only antidote. That's why it is critical that we stand by our principles of free trade and welcoming the world to do business in our land, as long as there is no security threat.
America is the example of true freedom to the rest of the world. Even the terrorists agree with that. In fact, al Qaida hate America because they prefer closed societies that more closely resemble the fifth century AD than anything modern.

If we don't show the Arab world that we reward those who change their habits in the Post-9/11 world, we'll lose the hearts and minds battle we must win to win the GWOT.

It's really that simple.

Cross-Posted at California Conservative

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Free Speech Fascists

Cathy Seipp has written a column in today's LA Times on what passes for free speech. This quote says it all:
However, it did occur to him that perhaps the long-delayed English translation of Oriana Fallaci's new book, "The Force of Reason," might finally be available, and that because Fallaci's militant stance against Islamic militants offends so many people, a store committed to selling banned books would be the perfect place to buy it. So he asked a clerk if the new Fallaci book was in yet.
"No," snapped the clerk. "We don't carry books by fascists."
Forgive me but that sounds alot like censorship, doesn't it? I haven't read the book and don't know much about it or the author. It seems to me that not exposing yourself to different perspectives is how you develop blinders, which leads to an uninformed mind.

Isn't that what we're worried about in big city newsrooms and in universities? Aren't we worried that there isn't a diversity of opinions there? Aren't we worried that the only diversity we'll find there is diversity in skin color or ethnicity? I'm not saying that that type of diversity isn't worthwhile but if that's the only type of diversity you'll find, then they're fallins short of the mark.
Now let's just savor the absurd details of this for a minute. City Lights has a long and proud history of supporting banned authors, owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was indicted (and acquitted) for obscenity in 1957 for selling Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," and a photo at the bookstore showed Ferlinghetti proudly posing next to a sign reading "banned books."
Yet his store won't carry, of all people, Fallaci, who is not only being sued in Italy for insulting religion because of her latest book but continues to fight the good fight against those who think that the appropriate response to offensive books and cartoons is violent riots. It's particularly repugnant that someone who fought against actual fascism in World War II should be deemed a fascist by a snotty San Francisco clerk.
Now that's chutzpah. Calling someone fascist that fought real fascism during WWII is like Ted Kennedy calling someone a drunk or a philanderer. I don't know this bookstore clerk's name is but that person doesn't have an ounce of credibility.

In fact, I'd say that this clerk is emblematic of what's wrong with liberal elitists. There isn't a bit of depth to their arguments. There's only name-calling. What a sad picture.

It's nothing like the liberalism of Hubert Humphrey, Pat Moynihan and Christopher Hitchens.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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al-Qaida Threatens to Hit More Saudi Sites

The AP is reporting that al-Qaida is threatening more attacks on Saudi soil. If their attacks are as well-planned and executed as their attack on the Abqaiq oil processing facility, let's hope that al Qaida is planning alot more of those types of raids.
A statement appeared on a militant Web site saying that Friday's attack was "part of a series of operations that al-Qaida is carrying out against the crusaders and the Jews to stop their plundering of Muslim wealth." It was signed "al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula", the name of the Saudi branch of the terror network. The statement did not acknowledge that the attack was foiled. In fact, it claimed that the two "heroic holy warriors" managed to enter Abqaiq.
Forgive me for saying this but al Qaida sounds like they're settling for moral victories like Democrats do these days. When al Qaida terrorists get blow to smithereens without even entering the gates of their target, their website praises two "heroic holy warriors". When Paul Hackett came close and lost in the special election in Ohio, Democrats talk about getting on a roll and that the Republicans are headed for defeat in 06.

I hate breaking this to them but failing can't be categorized as winning. It's still a defeat. It's still nothing to get excited about. In fact, it means that you've got to do better, if you can. And the "if you can" part is still much in doubt. It isn't my intention to sound flippant about al Qaida's attack on Abqaiq. Instead, it's my intention to ridicule the futile nature of the attack.

Remember to put this in context, too. At the start of this GWOT, we were told that Arabs respected strength. If that's true, which I believe it is, then Arabs ridicule weakness and ineptitude. In light of that context, shouldn't we be mocking AQ's diminishing capabilities?

Cross-Posted at California Conservative

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Iraq Mosque Update

Alot has happened since I last talked about the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarrah so here's some updates on the situation:

Omar at Iraq the Model has posted about the defense minister's press conference. Here's some important facts from that press conference:
The defense minister in a press conference currently on Iraqi TV gave statistics to correct what he described as "exaggerated media reports" about civilian casualties and attacks on mosques since the attack on the Samarra shrine:
Mosques attacked/shot at without damage: 21 not 51
Moderately damaged: 6 not 23
Mosques destroyed totally: 1 not 3
Mosques occupied by militias: 1 not 2 (evacuated later).
Civilians killed: 119 not 183
That sounds more like Katrina reporting than anything I've seen since Labor Day Weekend. In fact, I'd say that doesn't sound like reporting but rather wild-eyed speculation.

Follow the ITM link for the entire update from Iraq.

Then there's this report:
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari reached out to Sunnis and Shiites, promising to rebuild the Shiites' Askariya shrine in Samarra and Sunni mosques damaged in two days of reprisal attacks. The daytime curfew kept most vehicles and pedestrians off the streets of Baghdad, preventing many people from reaching mosques for the main Muslim prayer service of the week but also blunting protests and preventing attacks. People were allowed to walk to neighborhood mosques, many of which were guarded by heavily armed Iraqi police and soldiers. Preachers at several leading mosques urged their followers to maintain calm for the sake of the nation.
In an overture to the Sunnis, the country's top Shiite political leader, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, issued a statement expressing regret over the deaths of all Iraqis. He said those who carried out the Samarra attack "do not represent the Sunnis in Iraq," blaming Saddam Hussein loyalists and religious extremists from al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"This is what al-Zarqawi is working for, that is, to ignite sectarian strife in the country," al-Hakim said in the statement broadcast by Iraqi television stations. "We call for self-restraint and not to be dragged down by the plots of the enemy." A Sunni spokesman, Dhafer al-Ani, called al-Hakim's statement "a step on the road of healing the wounds." But he said his Iraqi Accordance Front was waiting for an apology for failing to protect Sunni mosques from reprisal attacks.
The Iraqis aren't out of the woods yet but we're seeing signs that they're taking the first steps to getting out of those woods, which is an important first step. Let's hope and especially pray that the transition to peace continues and that the AQ terrorists and the Saddam loyalists get their comeuppance.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Iranian advisor: We'll Strike Dimona In Response to U.S. Attack

Again proving that they're a bunch of hotheads, an Iranian advisor said that Iran would attack "Dimona nuclear reactor and other strategic Israeli sites such as the port city of Haifa and the Zakhariya area. Haifa is also home to a large concentration of chemical factories and oil refineries."

This is stupid on several levels, not the least of which is that most Arab countries would say that Israel would be justified in defending itself, especially if they didn't invade Arab airspace.

I have no doubt but that there would be a major uproar if Israel attacked Iran in a pre-emptive strike. But that dynamic isn't in play in the 'attack Israel' scenario. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Jordan gave Israel permission to attack Iranian jets in the narrow situation of an attack against Israel.

It's just opinion on my part but I think of this statement and the attack on the Saudi oil processing facility as part of a plot to widen the conflict currently going on to include Israel to inflame Arabs to turn against the spread of freedom.

I say this because it's obvious that AQ terrorists aren't making an impact against our forces, which is causing them to resort to more desparate measures. At the same time, Iran's threats are happening because they see Iraq's democratization as a major threat to the mullah's rule.

Bit by bit, the noose is tightening around al Qaida's and Iran's throat. The key to ending their threat is (a) persistence and (b) winning people over as to the benevolence of 'the Great Satan'. Thus far, we're doing both, which is why al Qaida and Iran are getting desparate.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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AQ Attack Thwarted

Al Qaida attempted an attack against a Saudi oil processing facility. According to Reuters, it's the largest such facility in the world.

Several news reports have called the attack bold or daring but I can't call it that for one reason. The attackers didn't even breech the first security perimeter. There are three security perimeters at the Abqaiq facility.
The assault began when two cars tried to drive through the gates of the outermost of three fences surrounding the processing facility, al-Turki told The Associated Press. Al-Arabiya reported that the attackers' cars bore the logo of Aramco, the state oil company that owns the facility. Guards shot at the cars, and both vehicles exploded, al-Turki said. The explosions caused a fire that was quickly controlled, the oil minister said. Guards then battled for two hours with two other militants outside the facility, said a Saudi journalist who arrived at the scene soon after the explosion. He said he saw workers repairing a pipeline.
The attack in Abqaiq, about 25 miles inland from Saudi Arabia's eastern Gulf coast, took place at about 3 p.m., several hours after the weekly prayers on Friday, a day off for Saudis though the facility was in operation.
"We have no clue so far about who are the perpetrators or to what group they belong," al-Turki said. Later, the al-Qaida terror group said two of its militants carried out the suicide attack. The claim was posted on a Web site frequently used by terror groups but there was no way to check its authenticity. This "is part of the project to rid the Arabian Peninsula of the infidels," the statement read.
In my opinion, AQ's getting desparate when they cite ridding "the Arabian Peninsula of the infidels." The truth is that AQ hates Saudi Arabia's attempt to rid "the Arabian Peninsula of" AQ.

I acknowledge the need to take threats seriously but I refuse to take this attack seriously.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Why The Left Should Cringe at The Mention of Hugo Chavez

Alvaro Vargas Llosa has an op-ed for RealClearPolitics that focuses on why liberals should be distancing themselves from Hugo Chavez. Llosa deserves alot of credit for that position, especially in light of the fact that liberals have seemed more than willing to get pictured with him recently. Of the 9 items that should concern liberals, these are the 2 that stick out most to me:
4. CHAVEZ WANTS TO BECOME A WORLD BANK. Few causes have impassioned the left more in the last few decades than the foreign debt of underdeveloped nations, which is attributed to a conspiracy on the part of big banks and their government backers. Chávez is fast becoming a creditor to many Latin American nations by buying their sovereign bonds (which are issued only after he offers to buy them.). He has become an IMF and a World Bank onto himself. Argentina and Ecuador combined owe him a bit less than $2 billion so far.
This should scare the daylights out of people. Anyone that thinks that Chávez is content with being Venezuela's president haven't been paying attention. This man wants to be the big fish in a big pond. Him being the banker to the Caribbean isn't something that I'm comfortable with.
5. CHAVEZ POLLUTES THE ENVIRONMENT. The left has denounced industrial capitalism as an assault on the environment and has called time and again for the replacement of oil as a primary source of energy because of its polluting effects. But Chávez´s government owns scores of refineries and cashes in big time on the processing of his sulphur-heavy crude. In the U.S. alone, Citgo, the affiliate of Venezuela's state oil concern, owns eight refineries and pays Chávez almost $500 million a year in dividends!
Citgo is something that everyone should be wary of. In fact, I've advocated the boycotting of Citgo stations for quite awhile now. The money Citgo makes helps fund drugrunners in Columbia, anti-democracy rebels throughout Central America and props up Castro. If you want Chávez´s wings clipped, that's the fastest, most direct way.

At the day's end, Chávez´s powergrabbing ways should make Americans very nervous. Clipping his wings now is the intelligent thing to do.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Rice Makes Surprise Beirut Visit

This morning, the Jerusalem Post reported that Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice made a surprise visit to Beirut this morning in an effort to bolster efforts to separate Lebanon from Syrian control.
Rice said she came to Lebanon "to affirm the firm support of the United States of America for the Lebanese people as they work to have a fully sovereign, democratic Lebanon." In a visit of several hours, Rice met Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and leaders of the anti-Syrian majority in parliament, but she did not meet President Emile Lahoud, a staunch ally of Syria.
Rice met Saad Hariri, son of the slain Rafik and leader of the anti-Syrian majority in parliament, and the Druse political leader Walid Jumblatt. The two men have played key roles in the campaigns against Syrian influence and President Lahoud. She also met Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, the spiritual leader of the influential Maronite Catholic Church whom she described as a strong voice calling for freedom and democracy.
This is typical of her visits to the region. She's refused to meet with leaders who oppose true democracy while meeting with leaders who've fought courageously to gain true independance for their nation. Jumblatt and Hariri fit into the category of courageous leaders of the march to democracy in Lebanon.

Let's hope Dr. Rice's visit provides the boost that Beirut needs to separate themselves from the last of Syria's influence on them.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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What Happened to Actual Debate?

This past week, we've seen politicians of both parties defining political debate downward. This week, the issue that's allowed them to sink to new lows is the Dubai Port 'Scandal', which isn't a scandal at all. Daniel Henninger, writing for OpinionJournal.com, has noticed too. Here's a glimpse into his column:
One would not have thought it possible, but Washington's political class is defining our politics down. After nearly seven days of elevating the Cheney bird-hunting accident to the level of a national crisis, now comes this week's flap over managing the ports. To be sure, the matter of secure U.S. ports trumps the hunting of quail as an affaire d'état. But it was the strikingly low quality of the politicians' commentary and behavior that attracted notice.
Within hours, if not minutes, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Rep. Robert Menendez announced "emergency" legislation to "ban foreign governments from controlling operations at our ports." No matter that most of the current operators of our ports are from Denmark, Britain and, uh-oh, China. Chuck Schumer: "It's hard to believe that this administration would be so out of touch with the American people's national security concerns." Yes, that is hard to believe.
It's worth noting that it was Bill Clinton that was president when China gained control of several West Coast ports. As I said last night, Democrats think that we don't remember anything beyond last week. We didn't hear anything from the co-president then, did we? We didn't hear anything from Schumer, either, did we?
What we have here is the dawn of the new Yosemite Sam school of national politics. Put any news event in front of our politicians now, Hurricane Katrina, Terri Schiavo, Dick Cheney's quail or this week the ports, and like Bugs Bunny's hair-triggered nemesis they'll start spraying the landscape with wild remarks and opinions decoupled from what is knowable about these events.
This week has reminded me of an episode of Hogan's Heroes. In this episode, the POWs are in a hotel bar as waiters for some hotshot generals. Newkirk starts throwing smokebombs on the floor. As people start looking for the door out of the room, Newkirk runs around hollaring "PANIC...PANIC!!!"

This week, Congress is panicking while journalists are running articles that are the equivalent of Newkirk hollaring "Panic!!!"

It's been a pathetic sight, a sight that can only be defeated by electing senators and representatives who pay alot less attention to the Agenda Media outlets. Remember that this November when you go to the polls.

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Heritage Foundation on Dubai Deal

The Heritage Foundation has weighed in on the Dubai Port deal with a must read. They've made the most sense on this subject that I've seen thus far.
Not a Terrorist Gateway. Dubai World Ports is a holding company, and it will have little to do with the day-to-day management of these port facilities. Its ownership alone does not entitle its employees to access any classified or sensitive security information unless, as now, they meet the requirements of ISPS and U.S. law. Moreover, almost all of the employees at these facilities are U.S. citizens. As well, with over $6 billion invested, no company would want to see its facilities used by terrorists. Finally, terrorist tradecraft does not involve high-profile purchases of companies. Terrorism infiltration, like criminal smuggling, involves penetration by individuals. That is a challenge for any company.
The UAE Is an Ally. Since 9/11, the UAE has provided unprecedented cooperation to the United States in the war on terrorism, including finding, arresting, and turning over high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives and participating in the U.S. Container Security Initiative to screen cargo bound for the U.S. That Dubai World Ports is owned by the UAE should reassure Americans.
Based on this analysis, I don't see a need for legislation isn't needed. Further, I'd say that hearings and briefings are appropriate. Finally, establishing safeguards that guarantees port security is needed.

At the end of the day, though, building up an ally like the UAE is vital in winning the GWOT. That isn't the type of thing we can ignore. When they say that "the UAE has provided unprecedented cooperation to the United States in the war on terrorism, including finding, arresting, and turning over high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives and participating in the U.S. Container Security Initiative to screen cargo bound for the U.S.", this should tell you about the great change that they've underwent.

What this points out, too, is that Democrats aren't guided by principle. During the 04 campaign, John Kerry lamented the fact that President Bush didn't assemble a "real coalition." Now it's Democrats that are willing to stick a finger in the eye of a valuable ally.

Further, don't think that the Arab world isn't watching. Don't think the terrorists aren't hoping this falls through so they can use this to use this as 'proof' that America hates Muslims.

At the end of the day, this is a decision that deserves scrutiny. At the end of the day, it's a decision that will only strengthen our ties into the region, something that we need in the fight against the terrorists.

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GOP Outreach Update

The Washington Times' Brian DeRose has a good article on how Ken Mehlman's outreach is affecting the recruitment of minority candidates.
Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman said yesterday that despite the party's significant progress in attracting black supporters and candidates, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and lingering mistrust stemming from the 2000 presidential vote recount have posed great challenges. "Katrina has made it harder because people saw a government at every level, federal, state and local, not operating the way it should," he said.
I've reported that the GOP, through Mehlman's leadership is making progress. That said, I've never said that the black vote would flip anytime soon. Destroying the black voting monolith is going to be more of a process than an event. With that in mind, it's wise that Mehlman speaks candidly with minority voters.

Mehlman deserves kudos for being a good listener too. Listening and acting is a great way of showing someone that you care, which is vital in changing the black voting monolith.
There are more than 50 black Republicans running for federal, statewide and local offices this year, with more announcing candidacies daily, like Ada M. Fisher, who last week announced she will challenge Rep. Melvin Watt, a Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, in North Carolina's 12th District. But Mr. Mehlman focused on two candidates, Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, running to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, and former Pittsburgh Steeler Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, who is running for governor of Pennsylvania.
"I can only talk about those two because they are nominees running unopposed [in Republican primaries], but there are other great candidates, like Ken Blackwell, who is running for governor of Ohio, and [the Rev.] Keith Butler, who is running for Senate in Michigan," he said. He said state Republican parties are clearing the field for black candidates while Democrats "are putting up obstacles to one of their Senate candidates in Maryland, Kweisi Mfume, making it tough for him and anointing someone else."
As I've said before, the more that people see black candidates winning as Republicans, the more the monolith will weaken. This won't happen overnight but it's coming.

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Port Substance

I just finished reading Andrew McCarthy's piece for NRO on the Dubai Port transaction. If only our legislators were as serious as people like Mr. McCarthy, we'd be in alot better shape. Here's a glimpse of Mr. McCarthy's article:
With the approval of the Bush administration, a company owned by the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over commercial management of shipping and stevedoring operations at six major American ports, located on the eastern seaboard and in New Orleans. When attention was suddenly drawn to this development last week, the urge toward public-safety questions was understandable. Not panic, but legitimate questions.
Sure as Dean follows Howard, though, understandable concern rapidly degenerated into calculated hysteria from poseurs seeking to claim the high ground from a president against whose measure they stand as national-security Lilliputians. Accelerating the downward spiral, the administration’s initially temperate but unconvincing defense of the transaction devolved just as quickly into nauseating politically correctness.
Neither corner of the ring has distinguished itself. In one, leading Democrats and some Republicans are evidently shocked to learn that many of the nation’s ports are managed by foreigners. Indeed, even as they railed against the prospect of this buy-out by UAE’s Dubai Ports World, Inc., they skipped past the inconvenient fact that the seller, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, is a British concern.
McCarthy isn't fully on board with the idea of having the UAE managing these ports but he's very dismissive of Democrats who think they're damaging the President's reputation on the issue of national security.

To raise questions on the sale is one thing but it's another thing to play politics with the issue. Clearly, the average American doesn't think that everything should be turned into a political fight, especially with national security. I'm not ready yet to say that Democrats are overplaying their hand yet but it's obvious they're heading in that direction.

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