Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A wax museum for living politicians?...Hmm...Sounds good mate!

Why can't Phillip Adams write for one of our left wing rags in the States? I suspect that he would skewer the politicians that I happen to like and give a pass to the ones I don't. So why why do I find his column so interesting?
Clearly what Australia needs are more places to park second-hand politicians. Places that get them out of the way where they can't do much harm. Now that all the prime possies - with the exception of the ABC - are occupied, perhaps it's time to be inventive. What about a living Madam Tussauds where, instead of wax figures that never look quite right, you've got the real thing? Instead of oil paintings and bronze busts, a National Portrait Gallery full of actual pollies.

Ideas like that would certainly keep the foxes out of the hen house when they left office. More likely it's just good writing. Adams takes his shots, but sprinkles in the perfect mix of humor and fact and doesn't take himself too seriously. I know a few writers here that should take note, I also know they won't.

Click the title of this post for the article in The Australian.

Monday, January 30, 2006

What if they threw a filibuster and nobody came?

After bravely calling for a filibuster from a resort in Davos Switzerland, John Francois Kerry (D-Vietnam) flew back to rally his troops. He and Cindy Sheehan (MB-Venezuela) teamed up to convince Diane Fienstein (D-CA) to join them. According to the Daily Southtown, Dick Durbin said Sunday only four more votes were needed. The filibuster count was now up to 37.

The pressure was being rained down upon the Senators. The Massachusetts madmen called in the Berkely bomb-throwers. With 24 hours to go it was a shoe-in that Judge Alito would be stopped.

So how did this high pressure campaign work?

Voting to proceed to a floor vote 72, voting to filibuster 25.

And how was the news taken at the AJC cartoon blog? The first response after the vote total was posted was this.
By kimberly

January 30, 2006 05:55 PM | Link to this

GOT FASCISM? You will. Tomorrow. Then watch Der Fuhrer boast about it in prime time. Pop the popcorn! Woo-HOOO. Congratulations America. A President without checks and balances is a Dick-tator. You wanted it, YOU GOT IT!

Once again, Congratulations! Praise the… whatever it is you people praise these days.

As is usually the case, substance triumphs over propaganda. Tomorrow around noon Judge Samuel A. Alito should become Justice Alito and take his seat on the Supreme Court. Congratulations to a fine and deserving man!

**UPDATE** Michelle Malkin has the Kennedy meltdown and a sample of the compassionate responses in theWashington Post blog.

Does the United States really say "Just nuke 'em"?

Quite the eye catching headline from the English language version of Pravda.

France shows support to U.S. doctrine of preemptive nuclear strikes

Often times headline writers will get a little carried away, but look at the last paragraph of the story.
France will not, without doubt, launch nuclear strikes against terrorists or anybody else. At the same time, Chirac's statement is a demonstration of political support to the U.S. doctrine of preemptive nuclear strikes.

The story itself deals with a different kind of arms race. Pravda thinks Germany and France are competing to see which can become America's best friend the fastest. Funny, around here the MSM just says everybody hates us.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mega-Media giant RW-(the original) throws a bone to the NYT

whoever they are. As the untold millions of readers of this blog know there are several smaller publications where someone can get a voice. We know how futile that might seem when you are being silenced by the evil Bush administration and the only outlet you have is an obscure publication known as "The Old Gray Lady", so today we are going to give them a helping hand.

A climate expert apparently has been beaten down by Dick Cheney and his merry brand of torturers to the point of almost utter silence. The New York Times seems to be the last recourse for this poor fellow.

I say every crackpot deserves his moment in the sun, so I refuse to let President Bush bury this man's words on the pages of some obscure dead tree publication.

Sing it loud, sing it proud!!! Whoever this nut is he deserves a voice. If the global warming of the 30's had been taken seriously we never would have had the ice age of the 80's. Too bad RW-(the original) wasn't around then, but the outfit this poor guy has to resort to now was.

Moonbats gone wild

Put Your Head On My Shoulder
Paul Anka

Put your head on my shoulder
Hold me in your arms, baby
Squeeze me oh so tight
Show me that you love me too

Put your lips next to mine, dear
Won't you kiss me once, baby
Just a kiss goodnight, may be
You and I will fall in love

People say that love's a game
A game you just can't win
If there's a way
I'll find it some day
And then this fool will rush in

Put your head on my shoulder
Whisper in my ear, baby
Words I want to hear
Tell me, tell me that you love me too.

Put your head on my shoulder
Whisper in my ear, baby
Words I want to hear, baby
Put your head on my shoulder

Cindy Chavez perhaps? I have to say I thought this was Edith Bunker during the passionate kiss. Hugo must have told her there was really nothing he could do about George afterward, though.


I guess things worked out afterall

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Annie get your guns!

The Kos Kidz are trying to give you your wish!

A few weeks ago Ann Coulter wrote this article asking, tongue in cheek, why she couldn't get indicted.

I'm getting a little insulted that no Democratic prosecutor has indicted me. Liberals bring trumped-up criminal charges against all the most dangerous conservatives. Why not me?

Democrat prosecutor Barry Krischer has spent two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to find some criminal charge to bring against Rush Limbaugh. Political hack Ronnie Earle spent three years and went through six grand juries to indict Tom DeLay. Liberals spent the last two years fantasizing in public about Karl Rove being indicted. Newt Gingrich was under criminal investigation for 3 1/2 years back in the '90s when liberals were afraid of him. Final result: No crime.

Well all it took was a tasteless joke to get the get the folks at DailyKos to call for Ann's prosecution.

Way to go Annie, you've got them indicting you on their blog and John Kerry telling the World how powerful you are on the Senate floor. (Scroll down to read beyond these excerpts)

"The President made this nomination about his political base he made about an ideological shift in the court. He made it about unassailable conservative credentials and an unimpeachable judicial philosophy and if you want proof of that, all you have to do is look at comments made by Miss Ann Coulter. And We all know Miss Coulter is capable of being as inflammatory and conservative as anyone in the country often engaging in character assassinations. [True, but at least I never called American G.I.s war criminals.]

She denounced the nomination of John Roberts. She attacked the nomination of Harriet Miers calling her completely unqualified and lamenting President Bush had quote, 'thrown away a Supreme Court seat.' Yet she celebrated the nomination of Alito saying that 'Bush gave the Democrats a right hook with this stunningly qualified nominee.' [After Miers, I would have said that about Roberts, too.]

Ann's comments in bold.

(hat tip to getalife)

Friday, January 27, 2006

From the see no liberal bias files.

In today's LA Times we have some new polling data. On page 2 of the website story we see this:

A narrow plurality, 49% to 45%, said they supported Bush's decision to allow the National Security Agency to intercept, without a warrant, international communications suspected of links to Al Qaeda.

On page 5 we see the question that generated that response:

Q: George W. Bush authorized federal government agencies to use electronic surveillance to monitor phone calls and e-mails within the U.S. without first getting a court warrant to do so. Do you consider this:

Acceptable: 49%

Unacceptable: 45%

Don't know: 6%

I'll give the Times credit for at least listing the question in the story, but why the loaded wording of the poll question? It doesn't mention terrorists, Al Qaeda, or International communications at all. In fact it explicitly asks about phone calls and e-mails within the U.S. It certainly seems they were hoping to use this language to achieve a much different result.

Then when they get the results, which surprise me immensely considering the question they asked, they change all that in the story to international communications suspected of links to Al Qaeda.

Full LA Times story here

Boortz has developed a thing for America's crazy Aunt

In today's Nealz Nuze talk show host Neal Boortz proposes to Helen Thomas.

Yesterday George Bush had a press conference. Helen Thomas was there. Helen Thomas raised her hand every single time. She was never called upon. Helen ain't happy. She says that she wanted to ask George Bush why he went into Iraq. If she doesn't know the answer to that question, she just hasn't been paying attention. But Helen also had another question. Bush has said that the FISA law regulating wiretapping is out of date. Helen wanted to ask "You keep saying it's a 1978 law, but the Constitution is 200 years old. Is that out of date too?" Now that's a damned good question, and I would like to hear Bush's answer. I would also like to hear Hillary Clinton respond.

OK, so it isn't really a proposal and Neal does have a point that the second question would be an interesting one to have answered. The problem is that it would never have been asked.

Helen Thomas says that she was going to ask the Iraq question and then try to follow up with the outdated law question. Anyone that has watched Helen question this administration knows that she would get bogged down with what she would see as dodges in the President's answer.

Now when someone does ask this question, how long will it take for the tin foil hat crowd to say Helen Thomas and the White House are conspiring to have questions submitted to the President in advance?

Tiananmen and Google, what a difference a "cn" makes!

This post at Little Green Footballs shows the difference between a US Google image search of Tiananmen and the newly censored China search. These pictures are the first image from each search. Can you guess which is which?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Since the Democrats won't say what they mean, David Limbaugh does it for them

We often talk about the Democrats' conspicuous lack of a policy agenda as proof they are a party in decline. But I think there's even better evidence of the phenomenon: They habitually misrepresent what they stand for and what Republicans stand for, and constantly mischaracterize President Bush's actions.

If they had confidence in the salability of their ideas, would they need to play word games, resort to euphemisms, revise history, distort facts and repeat patently false charges?

I long for the days when the worst you could expect from a liberal was the articulate but good-faith presentation of wrongheaded ideas. Today, the political exponents of liberalism reside predominantly in the Democratic Party, which -- on the national level -- is on the verge of intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

David Limbaugh

Read the rest as Limbaugh takes you through Iraq, swings by New Orleans, visits a few dark places, and heads back to Washington.

**UPDATE** An alert reader, who obviously never uses the wrong wording or makes a spelling error, which is likely the case here, points out that David has an error in this paragraph. Let's go ahead and fix that:

How about their deliberate attempts to smear Judge Sam Alito as unethical for not initially recusing himself in a case involving Vanguard, a company in which he owned an amount of stock whose value couldn't conceivably have been eaffected by the outcome of the case? Even after Alito's eminently credible explanation for sitting on the case, Sen. Ted Kennedy tirelessly repeated the charge, as if Alito had confessed to flagrant misconduct.

Better anonymous complainer that is already identified here, but wishes to remain unknown elsewhere seneca?

Zombie, the best photo journalist on the web

Why do the socialists show up for any leftist protest? Well anyway this latest effort by Zombie is actually covering the "Walk For Life" rally held in San Francisco on January 21st and it's various protesters. For some reason the "free speech" crowd really hates it when someone disagrees with them. Their answer is always to try to silence their opposition. I don't suppose they would be interested in the definition of hypocrisy.

There is even a babe off on page three.

Zombie, you are truly the best. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Do all the maniacs in the World get their ideas from Howard Dean's outfit?

Saddam Hussein is going to sue us, I wonder if John Edwards has a job yet. Maybe he can channel Udey and Qusay in the courtroom.

Defence lawyers for Saddam Hussein Wednesday distributed copies of a lawsuit against President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair for destroying Iraq.

The suit accuses Bush and Blair of committing war crimes by using weapons of mass destruction and internationally-banned weapons including enriched uranium and phosphoric and cluster bombs against unarmed Iraqi civilians, notably in Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, al-Kaem and Anbar.


Remember how great Thriller was? What happened?

MANAMA, Bahrain -
Michael Jackson' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> Michael Jackson visited a mall in Bahrain's capital Wednesday, covering himself in a black abaya robe traditionally worn by conservative Bahraini women and a veil hiding his face.

The 47-year-old pop star was accompanied by three children, apparently his, whose faces were covered with dark scarves. They wore yellow shirts and sweat pants or khakis, without robes.

If you want more, although I have no idea why you would.

Maybe Jacko is still a trend setter to some!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

An honest liberal! Despicable yes, but honest.

Finally! We know that most of the "I support the troops, but not their mission" clowns feel this way, now maybe they can honestly share their true thoughts.

This LA Times column by Joel Stein has been posted all over the blogosphere, usually deriding Stein. I'm glad he came out and said it.

I DON’T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.
I’m sure I’d like the troops. They seem gutsy, young and up for anything. If you’re wandering into a recruiter’s office and signing up for eight years of unknown danger, I want to hang with you in Vegas.

And I’ve got no problem with other people — the ones who were for the Iraq war — supporting the troops. If you think invading Iraq was a good idea, then by all means, support away. Load up on those patriotic magnets and bracelets and other trinkets the Chinese are making money off of.

But I’m not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they’re wussy by definition. It’s as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn’t to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward. ...

I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq. I get mad when I’m tricked into clicking on a pop-up ad, so I can only imagine how they feel. ...
I know this is all easy to say for a guy who grew up with money, did well in school and hasn’t so much as served on jury duty for his country. But it’s really not that easy to say because anyone remotely affiliated with the military could easily beat me up, and I’m listed in the phone book.

I’m not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn’t be celebrating people for doing something we don’t think was a good idea. All I’m asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.

Seriously, the traffic is insufferable.

Joel Stein Michelle Malkin LGF


Hugh Hewitt interviewed Joel Stein today.the Radioblogger transcipt is here.

If you die on the subway, try to fall

It seems that sitting up might make you a "Weekend at Bernie's" candidate.

Reilly, a mail handler, worked the 4 p.m.-to-12:30 a.m. shift and was headed home, his wife said. He was sitting up in his seat, which transit officials said was likely the reason their workers left him alone for so long, the newspaper said.

"The policy is that if someone is sitting up, employees are not allowed to touch them," said Deirdre Parker, a city transit spokeswoman.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Now we know why the TSA frowns on knitting needles

Knitting has some very unusual hazards

Valerie Makin of the southern city of Melbourne was sitting on her couch knitting and watching television when she saw the unwanted visitor out of the corner of her eye, the Melbourne Sun newspaper reported on its online edition.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mama Moonbat on Matriotism

Matriotism is the opposite of patriotism…not to destroy it, but to be a yin to its yang, and balance out the militarism of patriotism.

Not everyone is a mother, but there is one universal truth that no one can dispute no matter how hard they try (and believe me, some will try): Everyone has a mother! Mothers give life, and if the child is lucky, mothers nurture life. And if a man has had a nurturing mother he will already have a base of Matriotism.

Cindy's essay on the latest language change in the "progressive" dictionary

LGF has the itinerary for Sheehan's South American tour here.

U.S. antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan will open the World Social Forum in Caracas on Tuesday together with other political and cultural leaders from diverse nations with a mass action, organizers for the event said Sunday.

Sheehan, mother of a dead soldier in Iraq who achieved notoriety from heading various antiwar actions against the government of George W. Bush, will give a speech at a march that will kick off the World Social Forum in the Venezuelan capital, said dara Edgardo Lander, a member of the organizing committee of the event.

In the action for which the activist will assist, “she will give an antiimperialist tone, anti-war, and also exhalt life and counter war”, the organizer explained in a press release.

The march that will initiate the World Social Forum in Caracas will begin on Tuesday in the afternoon from a nearby plaza to the Central University of Venezuela, to the south of Caracas, and end in the historic Paseo Los Próceres, neighboring Fort Tiuna, the main military base in the capital.

Moonbats on Parade!

No not these guys, the ones in the comment section that think President Bush belongs on this list. Quite a few think he should be #1!

The Parade list is here.

In several comments the logic is that President Bush threw out the Constitution by taking office after losing the popular vote to Al Gore in 2000. Never mind that switching to the popular vote really would have been extra-constitutional. Let's say enough Ohio votes had turned, in 2004, to give the State to John Kerry. Would these same people be saying, "no John you lost the popular vote, taking office would make you a dictator?"

As for the story itself, this is an annual feature in Parade that is always well done. Kudos!

Since when do lawmakers operate on request only?

The Democrats seem to have turned on a dime with respect to warrantless wiretaps. As polling data has shown public support for snooping on suspected terrorists, the Democrats have begun saying that although the President was wrong he should have the authority. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said on Fox News Sunday, that the President should just ask them and they will whip up some legislation.

Now why would Senator Durbin say this? It's not as if Congress can't take up legislation without a special request. They aren't called the Legislative Branch for nothing. It's not even a matter of needing to clear other business as they are in the middle of debating renewal of the Patriot Act.

No, it seems the new Democrat strategy is to get President Bush to ask them so they can use his request as an admission of wrong doing. The President believes he has inherent authority under the Constitution, Congress thinks the FISA law is what applies. This is a question that needs to be resolved, but more than likely at the Supreme Court level. If the courts decide that the power was in the Constitution, then Congress can't write a law that changes that. That change could only be effected through a Constitutional Amendment.

John Kerry (D-MA) has picked up the theme on "This Week" on ABC saying essentially the same thing as Durbin, albeit in a few hundred more words.

Senators, if you truly feel this is an authority that the President needs and you have some doubt as to whether that authority exists write a law that removes that doubt. It is your job description, after all.

Congratulations Miss Oklahoma!

Associated Press
The 2006 Miss America, Jennifer Berry, from Tulsa, Okla., competes in the swimsuit competition.

As this story shows, she gets quick results.

The first thing she wanted after winning the crown was her favorite high-fat snack – French fries dipped in ranch dressing. Pageant organizers delivered.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

John Kerry takes a stroll down memory lane in the strangest places

According to this post at Little Green Footballs titled Flipper posts at Kos, John Kerry is trolling the fever swamps for a little lovin'. Now whether or not this is really the Poodle is up in the air, but the Kids at Kos are swooning.

Well most are, some just want a refund.

Who are you and what have you done with Joe Klein?

Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters has an interesting piece giving credit to Time's Joe Klein. I would be tempted to agree, but this sounds to me like Klein has been kidnapped and someone is writing under his name. From the Time article:

The Bush Administration had similar concerns. In the days after 9/11, it asked Hayden to push the edge of existing technology and come up with the best possible program to track the terrorists. The result was the now infamous NSA data-mining operation, which began months later, in early 2002. Vast amounts of phone and computer communications by al-Qaeda suspects overseas, including some messages to people in the U.S., could now be scooped up and quickly analyzed.

The release of Pelosi's letter last week and the subsequent Times story ("Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show") left the misleading impression that a) Hayden had launched the controversial data-mining operation on his own, and b) Pelosi had protested it. But clearly the program didn't exist when Pelosi wrote the letter. When I asked the Congresswoman about this, she said, "Some in the government have accused me of confusing apples and oranges. My response is, it's all fruit."

A dodgy response at best, but one invested with a larger truth. For too many liberals, all secret intelligence activities are "fruit," and bitter fruit at that. The government is presumed guilty of illegal electronic eavesdropping until proven innocent. This sort of civil-liberties fetishism is a hangover from the Vietnam era, when the Nixon Administration wildly exceeded all bounds of legality—spying on antiwar protesters and civil rights leaders.

Friday, January 20, 2006

25 Years Ago Today

Ronald Wilson Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States. Shortly after his death last year the press must have gotten caught up in the moment. With the huge public outpouring of affection, the MSM actually wrote some nice things. The Media Research Center took a look back at the way Reagan had really been treated in the press:

In a commemorative issue published the weekend Ronald Reagan died, Time magazine described the former President as "a man with the power to pull history around a corner" and "change the conversation of our politics and culture as much by the sheer force of his personality as by the power of his ideas." The national media's often gracious coverage in the days after Reagan's death obscured the unfortunate historical record of media coverage: a chronicle often filled with not just disagreement, but with disgust, hatred, ridicule, and insults. Below are listed five categories the Media Research Center has assembled to assess the "objective" national media"s most biased takes on President Reagan, his record and his times:

This Executive Summary has links to all the different catagories in the MRC report.

RIP Wilson Pickett

His "Mustang Sally" is to bar bands what "Stairway to Heaven" is to FM classic rock radio. It's probably safe to say that in some bar around the world, at this exact minute, a dance floor is filled with people shuffling to it being played by some cover band.

RIP Wilson

Jimmy Rabbitte: Soul is the music people understand. Sure it's basic and it's simple. But it's something else 'cause, 'cause, 'cause it's honest, that's it. Its honest. There's no fuckin' bullshit. It sticks its neck out and says it straight from the heart. Sure there's a lot of different music you can get off on but soul is more than that. It takes you somewhere else. It grabs you by the balls and lifts you above the shite.

Thanks Wicked Pickett, see you on the other side!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A sudden change of heart or an oh s%$@ moment?

Why do you suppose Harry Reid is suddenly apologizing to 33 Senators that he just attacked yesterday. A visit from a few ghosts, a sudden burst of conscience, or the fact that he had just used tax payer funds to produce his political hit piece?

Reid came under attack Wednesday over the report, which was issued by his staff on Senate letterhead, even as he and fellow Democrats released ethics overhaul proposals.

"Researching, compiling and distributing what amounts to nothing more than a campaign ad on the taxpayers dime raises serious ethical questions," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, one of the lawmakers named.

Story Here

Any chance the Democrats mean what they say on TV?

One day after the Democrats, with much pomp and fanfare, claimed to be the party of honest and open Government they have the chance to show us. The Barrett report is being released today, well at least the parts that the Democrats haven't fought to keep secret. Captain's Quarters gives the newly minted open and honest party some starting points. Will Hillary join in the call to release the full report? An excerpt from Captain's Quarters illustrates the quandary Mrs. Clinton finds herself in.

Someone has a lot of explaining to do. And while she tries to come up with an explanation, this will remind everyone what a "culture of corruption" really looks like, as this will bring up the ethical morass of the Clinton years all over again. The Democrats may well have to rethink their electoral theme for 2006 -- again.

OK, Democrats we're watching. Are you for open and honest Government or not? Demand the full release of the Barrett report and maybe we will take you seriously.

UPDATE: Newsbusters has a rundown of the New York Times wild spin job as they join in the cover-up.

The article points out at several points that former Attorney General Janet Reno had clamped down on the investigation, limiting it to the investigation of one tax year (which limited the investigation so much that it appears to have “killed” it). The NYT yawns. She also fostered an atmosphere of obstruction among administration officials under investigation, causing them to “grow resistant to referring issues to outside prosecutors…at the request of Mr. Reno.” So the Clinton Justice Department, aware that a lid was going to be blown off with the case, obstructed and limited the special prosecutor into such a narrow investigation that only 18 felony indictments could be brought against the subject. That seems rather…NIXONIAN of the Clinton Administration, no? Of course, you could theoretically indict a ham sandwich (and an indictment is not proof of guilt), but the NYT forgot that during the DeLay smearing (and in its coverage of Bob Ney’s situation, which I wrote on the other day).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hillary O'hara?

Cox & Forkum has the round up here.

Democrat Hypocrisy?!?! Say it ain't so....

....., but they are Democrats.

This story from noagenda.org points out that in their photo-op to promote themselves as the party that is pure as the wind driven snow, they broke the rules of the Library of Congress.

John Boehner (R-OH) has a few words for the people throwing around the "culture of corruption" label

Culture of corruption, Culture of corruption, Culture of corruption......say it enough and people might start sharing a few inconvenient facts with you.

One reminder came today from John Boehner (R-OH) , Congressman Boehner has some experience with fixing past corruption in the House.


WASHINGTON, D.C. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following comments in response to statements by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other congressional Democrat leaders on the need for passage of lobbying reform measures in the United States Congress:

When I hear Democratic Party leaders throwing around terms like culture of corruption, I have to think: You oughta know.

Yes, Republicans are outraged by the actions of Jack Abramoff. But we're outraged, in part, because our standards are higher than the standards that were held by the Democratic majority we replaced after 1994. We are repulsed at Abramoff and his crimes, in part, because they remind us of the corruption we uprooted and stamped out when we took the majority away from the Democrats a decade ago.

Minority Leader Pelosi, who has served in Congress since 1987 and was part of the last Democratic majority, should recall that corruption well. It wasn't that long ago that gifts and personal loans from S&L interests to a Democratic committee chairman, made in hopes of winning favorable treatment from regulators, resulted in a half-trillion dollar scandal and a $125 billion tab for the American taxpayer. Nor was it that long ago that the Democratic chairman of the House Administration Committee stood idly by while drugs were being dealt from the House Post Office, hundreds of Members of Congress were bouncing checks and floating themselves zero-interest loans from the House Bank, and lobbyists were being given assigned parking spots on the Capitol grounds. Nor was it that long ago that the Democratic chairman of the Ways & Means Committee was trading taxpayer-purchased stamps for personal cash, leading to his conviction and jail time in 1993.

An honorable majority responds to its stumbles with contrition, reform, and an effort to fix that which is broken. This is precisely the path Speaker Hastert and Chairman Dreier have charted for our majority in recent days. I applaud the Speaker for his leadership, and challenge Minority Leader Pelosi to join Republicans in our effort to change the way Congress works.

During his freshman year, Boehner and fellow members of the reform-minded Gang of Seven took on the House establishment and successfully closed the House Bank, uncovered dine-and-dash practices at the House Restaurant, and exposed drug sales and cozy cash-for-stamps deals at the House Post Office. Boehner later pushed successfully for passage of the Congressional Accountability Act, legislation requiring Congress to live under the same laws it imposes on the rest of the country.

It's nice to see a Republican finally standing up to the cacophony of sound-bite politics. I just hope John doesn't find himself between Nancy and a TV camera.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Who shot JP?

Well readers of the Exponet, a Purdue University student newspaper, may have been surprised to learn that in 1981 Judge Sam Alito attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul.

click picture to enlarge

The first people that seem to have caught this are at educeme. Read their link for the hilarious correction run by the Exponet. I first saw the story on Regret The Error whose web site was featured by Kim Komando as her "Cool site of the day." Check out "Regret the Error" to see corrections in all their glory and Kim's site for great computer tips.

Now if I could only figure out what sentence was out of place...hmmm!

Monday, January 16, 2006

What did the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief actually say?

Much continues to be made of the August 6, 2001 PDB, but what was really actionable in that briefing?

There is the ominous sounding title.

Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US

I'm pretty sure everyone knew that already, but if they didn't they would probably expect this to be a much more informative document.

After six paragraphs of historical recaps we get to the heart of what our friends on the left claim is the smoking gun that President Bush was ignoring the threat.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attackswith explosives.

OK all the right buzzwords are there, but what do you do?

The first excerpt above (paragraph 7 in the briefing) gives a very generic description "Muslim/American Youths", so do we set up internment camps for Muslim/American youths? Wiretap and search them all, civil liberties be damned?

No, there isn't anything there to work with.

The next paragraph seems to suggest a hijacking for the purpose of a hostage for prisoner swap and while it says a US aircraft it doesn't suggest, nor would common sense dictate, that a hijacking for this purpose would be done in the US.

Paragraph nine (third excerpt) has all the proof the left needs to hang President Bush for 9/11. After all it has the words hijacking, buildings, and New York in it, so why wasn't this attack prevented?

The possibility of hijacking does now sound like it might be a domestic plan, but it still leaves the goal as a hostage/prisoner swap. Federal buildings in New York doesn't exactly pin down the plot or the targets and in this briefing New York refers to the State. A fair reading of this paragraph couldn't possible be, "see it says right there planes are being hijacked to fly into the World Trade Center buildings".

The next argument is usually along the lines of "well even if it wasn't specific why didn't President Bush do something?" OK, let's look at the last paragraph. Does 70 full field, Bin Ladin-related, FBI investigations really sound like nothing?

I can imagine the conversation at the briefing:

President Bush: What are we doing about these threats?

Briefer: Sir, we have 70 full field investigations into these issues.

President Bush: Do they have the tools and manpower to do their job?

Briefer: Yes Sir.

A few weeks later we tragically found out that our focus had been wrong, nothing in that August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing could have changed that.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Walter, can't you try enjoying retirement?

It seems that Walter Cronkite, once called the most trusted man in America, is having a little trouble with his lack of influence these days.

"We had an opportunity to say to the world and Iraqis after the hurricane disaster that Mother Nature has not treated us well and we find ourselves missing the amount of money it takes to help these poor people out of their homeless situation and rebuild some of our most important cities in the United States," he said. "Therefore, we are going to have to bring our troops home."

Does Cronkite think our military should come home and be forced into the construction business or does he want to disband them to save the money? Maybe he thinks abandoning Iraq by lying to the world would make us look better in Europe. Maybe he just longs for the good old days when his word was enough to turn public opinion.

Walter, you've had a long and eventful career, isn't it time to enjoy retirement?

Led Zeppelin Viking Kitties

Nothing is quite as relaxing as the Led Zeppelin Viking Kitties to start or end your day.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Butterscotch-(the original)

**UPDATE** 2/2/06 Against all odds Butterscotch is fighting an incredible battle against her cancer. She refuses to let it get her down and although she sleeps more than usual, she is an absolute joy when she's awake. (Have I mentioned rats tend to be nocturnal?)

**UPDATE** 2/10/06 Butterscotch has begun to get nosebleeds as the tumors grow. She is still full of life, but the end is likely near. If she starts to suffer there is a steroid medication that can ease her through the last days. This is so sad to see such a beautiful little life passing by far too soon.

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