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Monday, October 31, 2005
The Fantastic Four
You heard it here first...Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito will be henceforth known as the Fantastic Four...although Ralph Neas may want to take the old "Four Horsemen" label out of the closet for this battle.
He's not Scalia - he's actually more grounded, which is not a bad thing. My friend clerks for a District Judge in his circut...so hopefully she will have some insight into him.
What a difference a weekend makes.
Besides the nickname, "Scalito," my favorite part of this story is that his mother is 91 years old. He's fifty-five, so that would be 36 years if he lives as long as his mom. I am looking forward to having a really good beer with the SCG's to celebrate his retirement in 2041.
Oh, and the best part is that even if the Democrats are successful in borking him, who do they have to look forward to... Luttig? Janice Rogers Brown?
Lesson: elections matter. Glad to see the Bush administration finally realized it.
Judge Alito Bi0
from the White House:
JUDGE SAMUEL A. ALITO, JR., BIOGRAPHY
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Am I crazy?
Maybe I'm just getting a little unhinged but in the Libbey coverage (which seems to desperately try to make link between the Iraq War and this indictment) reporters have appropriated - wholesale - anti-war talking points.
To quote the Twilight Zone..."Submitted for your approval":
From the AP
"Bush took the country to war with Iraq"
Now maybe I'm crazy - but - doesnt using this language seem similar to the anti-war critiques from John Kerry, Howard Dean etc... - "Bush took this country to war under false pretenses"
Not to parse too much but - isn't it an unusual choice of words?
From the NY Times
"Mr. Fitzgerald's unvarnished charges that Mr. Libby lied repeatedly about his knowledge of Ms. Wilson's role (when Mr. Cheney was one of those who told him most explicitly that she was involved in counterproliferation work at the C.I.A.) kept alive questions about whether the administration misled Congress and the public with its original rationale for a war with Iraq that this week logged its 2,000th fatality."
I thought he lied about how he had discovered her role - not her actual role. Also, I thought Fitzgerald explicitly said that they did not address "questions about whether the administration misledCongess and the public"?
Now this is news "analysis" - but...isn't this just not true?
If I'm going crazy - please let me know...but, if not, I think that sign up ahead says we're in the Twilight Zone.
Breeder's Cup Picks:
JVF – Folklore w/Original Spin and Knight’s Templar (and others beneath)
JUV – Stevie Wonderboy (california boy) on top of several
FMT – Megahertz, but it’s wide open – I have arguments for 8 horses
SPT – Three horse box (Silver Train, Wildcat Heir, Lost In The Fog)
MIL – Artie Schiller w/Host, Major’s Cast, Singletary and Lerochalk
DIS – Ashado w/Stellar Jayne, Happy Ticket and Island Fashion
TRF – Also wide open – Last years winner Better Talk Know being overlooked, watch out for balloon ball Laura’s Lucky Boy
CLS – Saint Liam might not be beatable; Suave’s a nice deep play
Good luck to the horse players.
Friday, October 28, 2005
A not so Merry Fitzmas?
Fitzgerald seems like he has a pretty good case against Libby on lying to the grand jury. It seems likely that one of the sources was, in fact, contrary testimony from people like Rove and Ari Fleisher.
It is telling that there is no indictment for the actual leak. I guess he found no evidence of treason, eh? Fitzgerald stated that Plame's position at the agency should not have been revealed, but his decision to not indict on the most important issue of the investigation indicates that it is unclear whether Libby knew of that status (or perhaps, that her status was sufficiently unclear to make a conviction unlikely). As I have said before, I thought an indictment on the leak was unlikely and the thing most likely to be a problem is people covering up what, in the end, turns out to be a non-crime (at least in Fitzgerald's prosocutorial judgement).
I think it is a mistake for anyone to defend Libby on the legal jeopardy he faces. He did the wrong thing by lying and, the right thing by resigning.
The most interesting part of this is the Tim Russert angle. Why would Libby lie that Russert gave him this information? After being caught in about six lies, the Prosocutor has to give the benefit of the doubt to Russert. It just seems like an odd thing for Libby to lie about. I don't want to speculate about it, but falsely implicating Russert seems like an unlikely move for a political professional who has, undoubtedly learned the lesson that you don't anger people who buy ink (or tv time) by the barrel. Was Russert the only reporter who would fit Libby's false timeline? Clearly Libby knew the information prior to his conversation with Russert, but upon learning that Russert knew about it, perhaps he took that as a green light to hit the phones? If so, why would Russert lie? I can't make sense of this either way. Given that Russert is a Bills' fan, you have to take that into consideration. If it was a Sunday, he may have been drinking.
Full disclosure...I don't like most prosecutors. I think they're high handed and moralistic. Prosecutors like Patrick Fitzgerald are the reason I feel this way.
This process creates pressure to find a crime. To understand how silly these charges are:
The crime was blowing a CIA Agent's cover.
Despite his best efforts Fitzgerald could not prove these charges.
The statute requires intent and knowledge and the underlying act.
However, Fitzgerald's questions - which he admits - went to motive.
This would be the "baseball analogy"
The statute doesn't care whether or not the pitcher was 'angry'.
He shouldn't have dug into those questions - it was wrong and way out of line.
This isn't determinative of the charges - but it shows something:
Patrick Fitzgerald isn't upholding the law - he's a peeping tom with supoena power.
Notice the wiggle room he used in describing Valerie Wilson's 'cover'. He used a declarative statement - came on strongly - and then took it back saying that her identity was not "widely known."
What in the world does that mean?
From the Washington Times:
"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990.
Remember - Fitzgerald told us that it's not the statute used - it's the underlying bad act...
Too bad he can't prove this 'bad act'
How can he use the words that her "cover was blown" when he can't state this for a proveable fact?
It was wrong for Fitzgerald to make these statements without the underlying facts to prove them - they were reckless and wrong.
It was also reckless for him to subject Libbey to these questions without making the inferential links in the chain up to Libbey's communications to the media.
This indictment is a joke. He's trying to squeeze Libbey - it's bullying, it's wrong - and it's what I hate about prosecutors.
Please try to contain yourselves...
Good lord. Why does every dem/lefty I know feel the need to call or yack at me, downright giddy, over the Scooter Libby indictment?
All day with big grins on their faces: In meetings, "got to get back to my desk and check on the indictments." In the parking lot, "well, one down!"
I mean really, please try to contain yourselves out there. I realize I may be the one Republican/conservative you know and asscoaite with, but really - I don't care. If they prove he lied, put him in a cell. But is this what your spending your gloating dollars on? Really? Must be pretty lonely out there.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
It's good to see the President come to his sense - and it is nice to see that the Conservative movment can still flex its muscles. It does look like the President is moving back towards his base - I noticed that he decided to support budget cuts for Katrina funding which is another step in the right direction.
Throwing out a possible name: Ted Olsen. He's not a judge, he's brilliant - one of the best trial lawyers of his generation and he's not a product of an eastern elite institution (actually - Cal Berkley). I can't imagine too many other potential judges who could out-Roberts Roberts in a confirmation hearing - but I think he could. If he'd accept the nomination - he would be an excellent choice.
I've been waiting all day for some comment. Who is going to go first? Is the hold up due to long drafts being prepared?
I believe her actions cause the Bush Administration more harm than good. It causes them to look weak, and for the first time, able to be pressured into making decisions. I think they are now operating from a position of weakness.
Any thoughts on a new nominee?
Maybe you will all get the fight you have been looking for?!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
For those of you not lucky enough to live in New York City:
The voice of reason crying in the wilderness, The New York Post had this on their front page today -
Also, TJ has been getting on me for not posting on Miers. I'd rather not pile on to what looks like a mistake that's entering an endgame, but I do look forward to the next nomination. (Once again Janice Rogers Brown would be the best choice. Takings are the civil rights issue of the 21st century and she's the best there is on that subject.)
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I'm sorry to have to say it, but over 2,000 deaths in such a short period of time tells me that this region will never be peaceful.
I have to, reluctantly, conclude that it is a quagmire. I'm not sure if it is because we didn't have a plan or because we didn't have enough boots on the ground, or because of intelligence failures.
Yes, it is true, they have a constitution and they have voting rights, but what good is that without safety and security? They were better off under the thumb of the tyrant.
Of course, the tyrant I am talking about is King George and the region I am talking about is the Northeastern United States, with
2,269 murders in 2004.
You can read about them here.
TIBS, better pack your bags.
The Big Mo
The next few weeks are going to have a huge impact on the Bush Presidency.
The President is dealing with low approval ratings - for many reasons, but not surprising if you consider historic trends for other presidents in the first year of their second terms.
Consider upcoming events that could change things:
- Decision on the Plame-Lbby-Rove investigation.
- Nov. 7th hearing on Harriet Miers
- Consideration of the Budget Reconciliation bill. The Senate (with some needed urging from the White House) has an opportunity to cut spending and offset costs for the Hurricanes.
- December elections in Iraq.
The momentum can change dramatically one way or the other for Bush/the Republicans and the Dems. The Democrats have been putting it to Bush pretty well, despite still being disjointed and in shambles. If those items turn in the GOPs favor, Bush needs to become aggressive and take advantage of the opportunity.
One decision they should make immediately is to lay out goals and objectives for the new Iraqui gov't to help them move more quickly to a gov't less in need of our support. Build our exit strategy around them. Benchmark them and hold them accountable if they continue to want our support.
Another issue that needs immediate attention is the drag that the cost of energy is putting on our economy. This has been hanging around since the Clinton Administration and only addressed through half-hearted efforts. It is costing the White House and Republicans dearly and causing them fits - and it is only going to get worse this winter.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Another Rule-of-Law Republican
I agree with Michelle Malkin -- "Perjury and obstruction of justice are serious crimes, whether committed by D's, R's, or otherwise. Period."
I think we have to give the prosocutor the benefit of the doubt at this point -- and wait to see what the charges are.
Senator Hutchison is lamely comparing this to Martha Stewart's case. That's fine except for the fact that Martha Stewart was, er, guilty. Telling the truth under oath isn't a "technicality." It's the law.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
RALPH PETERS... ON THE NUMBER 2000
Breathless anchors and voice-of-God columnists will suggest that 2,000 dead is an exorbitant price to pay in wartime, that reaching such a threshold means we've failed and that it's time to "support our troops and bring them home."
All lies. Certainly, the life of every American service member matters to us. But the left's attempt to exploit dead soldiers and Marines for partisan purposes is worse than grave-robbing: Ghouls only take gold rings and decaying flesh; the left wants to rob our war dead of their sacrifices and their achievements, their honor and their pride...
...If the American left and its media sympathizers want someone to blame for our combat losses, they should begin with themselves. Their irresponsible demands for troop withdrawals provide powerful encouragement to Muslim fanatics to keep on killing as many American service members as possible. On the worst days the terrorists suffer in Iraq, our "anti-war" fellow citizens keep the cause of Islamist fascism alive. Their support is worth far more to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi than any amount of Saudi money.
It would be wonderful to live in a world in which war was never necessary. But we don't live in such a world. And there are no bloodless wars. We should honor every fallen American. But we also must recognize that, on this maddened earth, only the blood of patriots shed abroad allows us to live in safety here at home.
As they say, read the whole thing.
Un-Circling the Wagons
While I think the DeLay case is pretty clear, I think it is still too early to express an intelligent opinion on whether an indictment (if there is one) of Scooter Libby or Karl Rove is in order.
I think it is pretty clear that there was no underlying crime committed by talking to reporters about Plame. There are a lot of hoops for the prosocutor to jump through to show knowledge of covert status, intent and harm to US interests. Her covert status is unclear, at best. From what I understand, Miller did not hear about this first from Libby, but from another reporter. Further, Libby's own knowledge did not come from an official source, but from a reporter. Finally, Wilson's own role in lying about how he was chosen for the trip to Niger opened the door for reporters to press for answers as to HOW he was actually selected. Since early on, Taranto has laid it out way better than I have over at BOTWT.... Bottom line, no crime on Plame.
That said, the argument put forward by Rush, Hannity and some other Republicans that obstruction of justice charges or perjury charges are irrelevant because there was no underlying crime is just plain wrong. Subverting an investigation is a crime, whether or not the underyling offense being investigated turns out to have not occured. I think we have to be consistent on this one. If there is evidence of perjury... then Rove and Libby should resign.
Of coruse, right now, we have no idea what transpired in front of the grand jury. The prosocutor may have strong evidence of obstruction... or a flimsy case for obstruction. I think we wait and see (a) if there are indictments and, if there are, (b) what the evidence shows.
Again, right now we don't know anything. Anything we think we know is either (a) false or (b) an illegal leak from the grand jury process. If it turns out that these "leaks" have been accurate, I would hope that the prosocutor took the time to investigate those leaks and pursue additional prosocutions.
I think it is important we stand on principal and resist the urge to lower our standards on the rule of law. Of course, I'm sure all of our liberal readers will be just as consistent on this issue as they were on Clinton's witness tampering and Betty Currie's mistatements.
W need to stay consistent because this is a slippery slope. One minute you are defending perjury, the next you are defending the "one free grope" rule when women get sexually assaulted in the West Wing. I've seen it happen to poltical partisans, and it isn't pretty.
This picture made my day.
I have to hand it to Tom DeLay. Earle and the Democrats were hoping to use the booking photo as part of a PR campaign against him and Republicans in general. The TV stations all showed the photo, but it wasn't quite what the left had wished and hoped for.
DeLay is a confident man. Perhaps he is overconfident. What you have not seen from DeLay is dissembling. He is out there, doing media and standing up against this. I respect him far more for this than I ever did.
The judge in this case has a clear conflict of interest, having donated to groups directly opposing DeLay and his effort to elect a Republican legislature in Texas.
I think DeLay's days as majority leader were numbered prior to this trumped up legal circus. Now, I am nearly 100% certain that he will serve another 6-8 years as majority leader. Keep in mind, I blame DeLay for the failure of the House GOP to stand up against wasteful spending (I have no hopes for the Senate GOP).
Prediction: Tom DeLay will use THIS headshot in his own campaign literature. There will be a minor flap when Democrats doctor the photo for their campaigns (putting in the prisoner numbers, using a frowning DeLay or some such thing...).
Friday, October 21, 2005
The Coburn Amendment
Only 14 Republican yes votes to cut $200 million bridge to nowhere to help pay for Katrina. Only 1 Democrat vote.
"...None of Coburn's amendments to a federal spending bill mustered more than 15 votes, and Coburn was the only senator who dared to speak..."
An absolute disgrace.
Yes, it is a bipartisan affair, but Republicans have the majority. Republicans are the party of spending cuts, right? I think that the political calculation -- that porkbarrell spending is more important than actual reform -- is 100% wrong. The bigger risk for the Republican majority is to do nothing about spending. The only way the Republicans lose is if Americans decide electing a Republican Congress doesn't matter all that much anyway.
The simple thing to do is to DELAY the projects, rather than kill them. Delay them a year or two. That pushes everything else back -- but makes it harder to identify which projects were actually "harmed."
What is an opponent going to do -- say you didn't bring home the bacon? Big deal. Now it is your opponent who is advocating running up huge federal deficits in the face of a national disaster.
If Republicans can't make that case, then they don't deserve the majority.
Notice I didn't say, "we." I'm a Republican, but I am first and foremost a conservative. The party needs to wake up. This is a conservative country. When we make the case, when we walk the walk, we win. Ok -- I am saying we again, but I am angry.
Our elected Republican leaders need to stop acting like big spending Democrats -cough-New York-cough- and start making the case for actual conservate policies. For G---s sake, I can't turn around without seeing a Pataki ad, which I helped pay for, asking people to sign up for more welfare.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Should I just fill in "Indy over Houston" for Scott? (who has no pride!)
JPC Atlanta over NJ Jets
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Jason's earlier post, refers to the "SCG boyz." I reacted in the post, but I think this brings up an important issue.
I do not believe we should ever use the phrase "boyz" again. I'll repeat some of my comments from earlier, but I think they bear repeating.
I can't tell you how much the word "boyz" bothers me. It conjurs the image of us wearing wife beaters and wearing chains and hats pulled sideways. That is just disturbing.
In some circles, fifty years ago the greeks, portugese and italians were considered more black than white. That just is not true today. You just don't get more white than our group. That's neither a bad thing nor a good thing. It's just a fact.
Let's face it, when Sip takes off his shirt by the pool, the reflection can be seen from space.
God, I hope I have never used it in a previous post. Damn this all knowing "internet."
Peace out, J.
ROVE, LIBBY, DELAY
We may know this week whether any indictments will be announced relating to the Wilson/Plame affair. The circus in Texas is also continuing.
1. From what we know, no underlying crime appears to have been committed in this case. Plame was not, within 5 years of the conversations, a covert agent. Further, there is no indication that any WH official knew of her formerly covert status. Fitzgerald may have evidence that suggests otherwise on both counts, but I have yet to see a convincing case made.
2. Wilson himself opened the door on this line of inquiry by falsely claiming that he was sent to Niger by the Vice President's office (not to menton lying the findings in his own report). Those lies have been detailed by the Senate's own definitive report on the subject. The media has alleged a "conspiracy" to discredit Wilson. Well, no. Making it clear that Wilson was not sent to Niger by the Vice President is not a "conspiracy." It is the truth. And, of course, reporters then asked the obvious question -- if the VP's office didn't send him to Niger, who did? The answer to that question: his wife, Valerie Plame. Who made that question necessary? Joe Wilson, by lying. Assuming that Libby acted in good faith and didn't know about Plame's formerly covert status, there is no crime there.
3. The big problem for Libby and Rove is perjury/lying to a grand jury. That is a crime. To some extent, there is a lot of he said/she said here. There isn't likely to be a smoking dress, as it were that proves inconclusively who said what. Regardless, Republicans have to be firm on the question of perjury. It is a serious crime that undermines the integrity of the judicial process. If you are called before a grand jury, you need to be honest, regardless of the consequences, personal or political. If either Rove or Libby committed perjury, then they should resign. Regardless of their guilt, if they are indicted, they should take a leave of absence and request a speedy trial. That isn't to say they are guilty before being proved innocent... but an indictment is an indictment. They need to address it before going back to work in the West Wing.
4. Can there be any greater contrast between prosocutorial styles than Fitzgerald and Earle? The prosecutor in the DeLay case (Earle) had a freakin' movie crew in to chronicle his efforts to take down DeLay. I'm not a huge DeLay guy, but Earle's multiple grand juries, his indictment do-overs, his film crew, make me fairly confident that this case is going to be thrown out of court. At this point, if anyone does go to jail over this, it is more likely to be the prosocutor himself rather than DeLay.
5. What really rankles the media is that DeLay helped Republicans in texas win the statehouse, which they used to redistrict the state more favorably for Republicans. What they don't tell you is that the lines drawn by Democrats were horribly skewed. Earlier in the decade, Republicans garnered 54% of all congressional votes, but only 31% of the congressional seats. So, save all your crying about wanting "fairly drawn" districts for someone else.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Starting at the Bottom
One of the things that young people often fail to understand is that the vast majority of (in my case moderately) successful people have to do their share of washing dishes, sweeping floors and mowing lawns in their lifetime.
For good or bad, as we move up the ladder in our chosen professions, these jobs fall off our resumes and are replaced by more recent (and hopefully more prestigious) positions.
I think it would be really helpful to those just starting out, if people fully disclosed every job they ever had. People don't just start out being bank presidents... or television producers... or white house aides; they work their way up to those positions. I am very interested in learning more about the journey that people take to the top (or in my case, the bottom middle) of their professions. Most everyone, I would bet, starts at or near the very bottom.
For what it is worth, here is mine:
High school work study program -- helped clean bathrooms, sweep floors at St. Francis High School to pay for tuition.
Summer work crew, Town of Cheektowaga, NY. (Built wooden bridges and trails in Losson Park).
Diswasher and busboy, Ponderosa Steak House; Taco maker and cashier, Mighty Taco.
Parked cars at a restaurant part time.
Tacos again. Elmwood Taco and Sub. Taco maker and cashier. Worked 6 to 7 days a week, with shifts sometimes as long as 20 hours a stretch (I wish I were exagerating) to pay for college.
Work-study, Audio-visual department (set up VCRs). Only lasted a week -- I changed over to another position.
Work-study, Student Activities Office. 10-20 hours a week.
Stockperson, Campus Bookstore during school breaks.
Bartender, Campus Food Service (for catering events & weddings). I did this off and on another 3 years.
Stockperson, big food market chain, Buffalo, New York. I unloaded trucks (which was not bad) and stocked produce (which was not so good).
Mail delivery guy - delivered mail to an off campus apartment for residence life, earning a few bucks here and there.
Phone call center - I worked for about three weeks at a call center, calling people who didn't pay their bills. For some reason, Fingerhut (a mail order store, I think) was a main client. My fake name was "Chuck Brady," the lost Brady brother (but no perm). I quit (along with two friends who started the job with me) when we realized that the people who succeed in that business are the lowest form of human life.
Night Shift Cleaner - Worked for a buddy who opened a business cleaning Buffet restaurants at night... we would clean 3-4 restaurants a night, with shifts running from 11 pm to 3 or 4 am. One of the worst jobs I ever had because...
Summer Maintenance Crew - Worked with campus facilities to handle landscaping and general maintenance/cleanup. I worked this at the same time as the cleaning job -- I would get home around 4 am and have to be at work at 6am for maintenance. Despite the lack of sleep, this was one of the best jobs I ever had.
Security Guard, Buffalo Zoo. 1 night. The strangest experience of my life. There was about 1,000 keys on a gigantic ring, a gauntlet of potentially life-threatening animals, and a crazy indian maintenance guy who liked to sneak around the zoo at night.
Production line, Niagara Candy. We had a mini production line set up in a mostly abandoned, asbestos filled factory outside of the airport. We took pre-packaged candy and put it into boxes for shipping. I did this one break.
Grad School (I)
Teaching Assistant -- I finagled a half-time position during the second semester of grad school.
Pizza maker, dishwasher, delivery guy - At a pizza place.
Early Career (Washington, DC)
Another one day job: waiter at a gay restaurant (I can hear the jokes now -- one of which being, how can a restaurant be gay?). I knew the owners were gay (and as I have articulated here before, that doesn't bother me), but I was given the understanding that the customer base was "diverse". Unfortunately, I found out that by diversity they meant drag queens, and leather. I YMCA'd myself out of there pretty quickly -- though I did finish my shift. On the positive side, I found out that the restaurant had a sandwich named for Skip, though I never really learned why.
Maintenance guy -- cleaned out rooms at checkout for washington internship program in exchange for free room.
GOP Phone Bank -- called people to hit them up for donations to "the cause."
There are probably some others, but that is what I remember right now. I also worked several unpaid internships, 1 in college with Jack Kemp and another during my DC days working for a member of the House Republican leadership in DC.
I consider myself lucky. From this point on -- age 23 or so -- I was able to stay pretty much in the political world -- bouncing from teaching to politics and then back and back again.
I'm not sure why this interests me, but it does. I guess the prospect of having to return to this world if things go poorly in my own chosen profession have made me think more about it.
Please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.
NOTE: Since posting, I have edited for clarity and appearance.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Charles Rocket, RIP
You have to say this about the guy, whether it was SNL or life itself, he knew how to make a memorable exit.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
So you think the Army has Recruiting Problems?
Check out this story, courtesy LGF -- hat tip, polipundit:
In another raid, the army arrested a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who told his interrogators that militants from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades — which has ties to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement — pressured him to carry out a suicide bombing after he quarreled with his father.
Militant groups have increasingly turned to youths to carry out attacks in recent years, hoping the army would be less suspicious of them. The boy, identified by militants and his parents as Salah al Jitan, would have been one of the youngest Palestinian suicide bombers.
Salah’s parents, who confirmed their son is 14, said that after they quarreled with him about a month ago, five armed Al-Aqsa militants came to their house to tell them to leave the boy alone. Last week, they came again, this time to take him away for a suicide bombing, said his father, Moussa al Jitan.
The father said Salah did not want to go, adding that he would not let them take him. The teenager did not leave the house until Israeli forces arrested him Monday, a move his parents welcomed. “Good, he will be in jail. That’s better than dying,” said Sariel al Jitan, his mother.
The teenager said the militants threatened to kill him and tell everyone he was a collaborator with Israel if he didn’t carry out the attack, the army said.
Jamal Tirawi, an Al-Aqsa commander the army accused of recruiting the boy, said the account was “a lie.”
Tirawi said Salah was 17 and approached the group to volunteer to carry out an attack. Al-Aqsa refused because he is the only son in his family, Tirawi said. “The boy is lying, and the Israelis are lying,” he said."
Of course, I'm sure this is just another example of the strength of islamic terrorism.
NOTE: I orginally misread this story-- I thought it was a story on Iraqi terror. Of course, those guys have an unlimited pool of "volunteers," even those who are drugged and handcuffed to their vehicles filled with explosives.
Is it me...
Does this AP story on the constitution's passage betray just a tiny bit of dissapointment?
Saturday, October 15, 2005
A Big Win
Today's vote is a huge victory. Even if it fails, the Iraqi people are choosing for themselves how they want to live. That's what this fight is about because, in the end, our security depends upon the end of tyranny in the middle-east and the expansion of freedom. Their right to self-government and our fight for freedom are tied together.
Chester is live-blogging the election. He points to Tony Blair's speech to Congress from July of 2003 as particularly appropriate for this moment:
"We are fighting for the inalienable right of humankind--black or white, Christian or not, left, right or a million different--to be free, free to raise a family in love and hope, free to earn a living and be rewarded by your efforts, free not to bend your knee to any man in fear, free to be you so long as being you does not impair the freedom of others.
That's what we're fighting for. And it's a battle worth fighting.
And I know it's hard on America, and in some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I've never been to, but always wanted to go...
I know out there there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, "Why me? And why us? And why America?"
And the only answer is, "Because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do."
And our job, my nation that watched you grow, that you fought alongside and now fights alongside you, that takes enormous pride in our alliance and great affection in our common bond, our job is to be there with you.
You are not going to be alone. We will be with you in this fight for liberty.
We will be with you in this fight for liberty. And if our spirit is right and our courage firm, the world will be with us."
NOTE: I fixed an error noted by MMark. The speech was from 2003, not 1993. Thanks, Mark.
Friday, October 14, 2005
CORRECTING A TYPO
In a hastily written post earlier this week, I wrote:
Friday afternoon, the President will withdraw the Meiers nomination.
Of course, I meant to say:
Friday afternoon, the President will be called on by National Review to withdraw the Meiers nomination.
Please note this correction.
Also, please note my new strategy. I will make an outrageous and bold prediction every week. When one of several thousand actually happens, I will campaign to send this prediction across the blogosphere to illustrate my omniscence. I will also use any proceeds from talk show invitations to buy a dictionary to check the spelling of "omniscence".
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Football Picks - And then there were two...
Scott Indy over St. Louis
JPC Seattle over Houston
I have been suckered into picking a team other than Indy after having heard J's recommendation (whine) that players should not be allowed to pick the same team multiple weeks in a row and that he may perhaps ask for a rule change for the next round.
Let me finish off Scott the Greek and drink my bottle(s) of scotch....
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Uncommon Common Sense...
From a recent Deory Murdock piece on the risks and rewards of pharmaceuticals:
"Drug makers should market whatever they wish, provided they frequently disclose the numbers of deaths and serious side effects associated with their products along with the numbers of people taking them. Patients and doctors should compare risks and rewards and consider individual circumstances instead of categorical edicts. Forbidding and mothballing drugs may satisfy those jeopardized by certain compounds, but doing so often amplifies the agony of those for whom the disease remains worse than the cure."
Friday afternoon, the President will withdraw the Meiers nomination.
You read it hear first.
The President faces a lose-lose situation. If he wins, he loses. History shows that the mediacrats will give him no support for sticking to his guns on the nomination. If he succeeds in putting Meiers on the court, he sticks a fork in the eye of his core supporters headed into the 2006 midterms.
He has no choice. The dye is cast. Take a mulligan and pick someone better.
There isn't much positive on this, but to seek a silver lining -- at least this creates a precedent for Republicans denying a President's nomination of a stealth candidate with a minimal public record on legal issues. I hope we don't have to rely on that precedent again with a Democrat president, but it could be useful.
I'd rather we not have the precedent and didn't go through this un-needed bloodletting, but it is what it is.
"md," I've contacted all of the SCG boyz, even those that are often undercover on deep Right Wing Conspiracy black ops missions, and none was responsible for deleting your comments in my earlier post. This may be a problem with the Blogger software, and we'd like to report it. Please le us know in either a comment to this post or by e-mail what your original comments were and when you posted them. Thanks.
Monday, October 10, 2005
The Supreme Abortion Court?
If this makes me a lousy conservative, so be it. A Supreme Court Justice candidate's opinion on abortion isn't that important to me. Well, that's not exactly true, it's not unimportant, but it's also not in the top five questions I would ask them. I'm not sure it's in the top ten. I've become increasingly annoyed that the primary concern on both sides of the political spectrum when it comes to judges, especially Supreme Court judges, is where they stand on this one topic.
And I get it too. I understand the passion on both sides, and I understand the implications of upholding or overturning this one decision. I have an opinion on the matter. I think everyone knows my opinion on the matter. I think everyone knows how I would like to see the court rule on the matter if it were to come before the court again.
Still, regardless of where you stand on the issue, is it worth risking the integrity of the Supreme Court, of the judicial branch as a whole even, just so you can have that one issue decided in your favor? It's that kind of thinking that gets a highly qualified nominee (like Robert Bork) defeated. It's that kind of thinking that gets judges with absurd viewpoints on American law as a whole nominated in the first place (like Ruth Ginsburg). Who cares if they're nuts. Who cares if they view the constitution - the guiding document on which their very role and purpose is based - as some pliable "concept," or worse still just one of many "guiding" legal documents to consider from both inside and outside our borders. Doesn't matter - as long as we KNOW what their stand on the all mighty abortion issue is - everything else is secondary.
Abortion. That's it. That's the Supreme Court's only purpose now. Don't think so? Watch a little TV coverage - listen to talk radio, right or left - watch the pitiful joke that are the "confirmation hearings." Every thought, every analysis, every interpretation, every line of questioning is intended for one purpose - to glean where the candidate will come down on the only thing that matters.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
My disappointment in the president's choice for the Supreme Court grows every day. The repercussions of this decision will far outlast this administration, and I can not believe Bush did not nominate a no-questions-asked conservative candidate.
JPC makes the case that Bush won't get far on his agenda if this SC nominating process gets bogged down, that we could lose the Senate, etc. I don't buy it. Bush is at his best when he is on offense, and lately he's been completely on defense. Yes, Frist, Delay, Katrina, etc, aren't helping the GOP image, but the base will completely rally around the president and a proven c-o-n-s-e-r-v-a-t-i-v-e nominee. I know....I'm part of his base. This would also help energize the base for the mid-term elections.
While I AM confident that Harriet Miers is a highly capable person, I'm also confident she's not the best candidate for the Supreme Court, which troubles me greatly. Bush's introduction of her as his nominee underscores this point ("She has argued cases in state and federal courts!" "She was elected to the Dallas city council!") I can't go forward on good faith with Bush's "Trust me" regarding Miers (God knows we've been burned before).
I hope somehow the president's aides can convince Miers to withdraw. Yes, it would look horrible, may even energize the Dems to fight like hell against the next nominee. However, some things are worth fighting for, and a nominee aligned with Bush's judicial philosophy, with the unashamed track record to prove it, would energize the conservative base (and hopefully the GOP in general) to participate.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Meanwhile, back in the real world…
The actual President gave a stunning speech today focusing on the War on Terror. This speech, much like the Inaugural address earlier this year, is exemplary in its clarity of purpose and vision. This President Bush certainly does have “the vision thing,” and perhaps that is one of the reasons that conservatives sometimes express disappointment over those to whom the execution of those visions are entrusted. The full text of the speech can be found here. Here is one excerpt that I believe is compelling:
“Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001
-- and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 180 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan.
Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence -- the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers -- and no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.
On the contrary: They target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory.”
Say it over and over and over again.
The (further) decline of Al Gore...
Wow. Drudge has a link up to a transcript of Al Gore's speech given yesterday in New York.
My two intial reactions:
1. Good Lord, this guy why nearly President of the United States.
2. After just the first couple of paragraphs - and good luck reading the WHOLE bloody thing by the way - you just knew it was a lead in to an intro for his new "Current" TV news network. Which it is, so feel free to skip the German philosophy lesson and go straight to the plea for viewership in the last few paragraphs.
I knew his "network" was unwatchable, but I didn't realize just how sad he personally has become. President Gore? I mean is that scary or what?
Weekend Football Picks
TJ Tampa Bay over the Jets
Scott Indy over San Fran
JPC Indy over San Fran
Jason - Out-
Had to note for our readers who is still in and who is out. Worth noting and gloating.
AND - hockey is back!! It was so great to come home from coaching last night - both Mite and Squirt practices - and watch the NHL again.
Another "highly credible" source...
Dan Rather once described his source for the phony Bush Air National Guard memos as "highly credible."**
In that same spirit, the BBC is now pushing a story that President Bush told a group of Palestinans, including their President, that "God told him to invade Iraq."
I don't see any reason to be skeptical. After all, why would a Palestinian leader lie to us?
**For what it is worth, I have never believed that Rather was referring to Bill Burkett, the long time Bush hater. I believe that Rather was, in fact, referring to CBS' initial source on this -- the people who connected Burkett to Mapes in the first place -- specifically, Clinton's former press secretary and, perhaps, Senator Max Cleland. Highly credible indeed.
Hardball v. Whiffleball
Compare and contrast the very different Democrat and Republican approaches to the following issues.
On the Delay indictments, Democrats on the offense.
On Sandy Burgler's theft and destruction of documents in the 9/11 commission investigation - Republicans silent. On Chuckaquidick -- the abuse of social security information and private financial data by Democrat operatives in an attempt to slander a rising black Republican star in Maryland, Republicans again drop the ball and fail to keep the pressure on.
In hearings on Katrina -- Democrats (and liberal Republicans like Shays) on the offense, hitting Michael Brown hard (though often deservedly so).
In hearings on Katrina -- Republicans agree in advance not to ask ANY questions to the Democrat Governor of Louisiana during the Katrina hearings.
Supreme Court Picks
Democrats threaten a fight against any conservative candidate.
The President acts defensively, attempting to avoid a fight by picking candidates who don't have any paper trail. In the first instance, Roberts, he pulls it off. In the second, Meiers, he passes over dozens of excellent confirmable, conservative picks to go to second or third tier candidate with no paper trail.
We have unilaterally disarmed. The Democrats are approaching this like war, and we are playing with the Marquis of Queensbury Rules. You can get away with it in the short term, but in the long term, there is a price to be paid.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Conservatives and Judges
I'd love to go back and hear what the conservative movement said about Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, etc. I'm sure that some 'conservative' group somewhere had some great fear that the those judges weren't conservative enough. Enough concern to feed the media beast and attract all the other roosters to the blood. I'm sick of it - bunch of Chicken Littles. (note: two aviary barnyard references in the same paragraph!)
Aren't some of our SCGer's and frankly some of the 'conservative groups' in the movement questioning Roberts and Miers the same that supported McCain in 2000? Your credibility and judgement is certainly in question. (SmacK!)
Leonard Leo from the Federalist Society, one of the only 'conservative groups' with conservative credibility on federal judges, supports her. NARAL opposes her.
On a personal note, she is one of the decent, fair, and intelligent people I've ever worked with. Completely un-rattle-able. Great listener and arbitrator. No nonsense and precise. On the same note, I don't exactly know her politics and never spoke with her about such. I also take into account the type of person that she is now and was despite the era that she grew up in.
I support her nomination.
Go gaze at your navels.
Monday, October 03, 2005
The More I Think About This Nomination, The More I Don't Like It
Conservatives are not pleased about Meier.
I have given the President my support on a lot of things. But what do you think is more likely -- that she turns out to be a "stealth" Scalia or a "stealth" Souter?
Yeah. I think so too.
The only question now is whether Democrats want to give Bush a defeat so badly that they will risk another nominee. I think the smart move is to take what you can get and let the right feast on Bush for a while. But the Democrats have proved that they will never let smarts get in the way of pleasing their base.
Given that I cannot imagine who would advise Bush to select Meier, I have to assume this was his call, done over the objections of his advisers. That would explain the sour tone in the President's voice this morning when he announced the pick.
I am hopeful that this isn't the moment we look back and say that the President has "jumped the shark." There are lots more opportunities in the next 3 years... and she could turn out to be a great justice. But I wouldn't bet on it.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Time for an Honest Dialogue on Class in America
First, the California wildfires send thousands of celebrities and other high income homeowners fleeing in their lexus minivans.
Now, the Heritage foundation has released a report that says the rich are bearing a disproportionate share of the burden in the war on terror. Sadly, kids in rich neighborhoods are being faced with the choice of spending four years at elite liberal arts institutions or spending four years in Iraq. The injustice of it galls me too.
To top it off, the richest five percent of Americans are paying way more than their fair share when it comes to taxes.
I know we shouldn't rush to pass legislation in the heat of the moment. But, in light of the sacrifices at home and abroad, don't these people deserve another tax cut or something?
At the very least, I am hopeful that this opens up an honest dialogue about class in America.