Friday, June 30, 2006

Supreme Court Hamdan Case Update

More than 24 hours since the Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld decision by the Supreme Court of the United States and more analysis is coming out to clarify the good, the bad and the ugly.

I did a quick turn around various sites looking for new material. But I have yet to find anything new that Flopping Aces hasn't already excerpted and linked to. Few bloggers have the capacity to read and synthesize the amount of material Flopping Aces handles on a story like this.

A couple of quick points: I think that much of the concern on the right about this decision may be overblown. And of course the cheering on the left is out in orbit even more than usual.

Congress will address the issue and make whatever corrections are necessary. Meanwhile, we have another fault line forming for the November political battle. There are two sides here. One, those who realize we are at war and we must do all within our power to win and two, those who are less concerned with the threat of terrorism than they are with the protection of the civil liberties of those who commit atrocities outside the bounds of all legality and decent society.

Which side are you on?

The Hamdan decision exposes those fault lines, but also offers a dangerous precedent: that of the Supreme Court inserting itself into the Constitutional prerogative primarily of the President but also of the Legislature to manage national security issues in a time of war.

Both Justices Thomas and Scalia (pictured right) in their dissents spoke to the danger of that problem. Of special concern is that the Supreme Court would revise U.S. law on the basis of International treaties and extend protection to terrorists who have never been covered by the Geneva Conventions.

However, the opinion of Richard Samp of the Washington Legal Foundation cited at SCOTUSblog seeks to allay many of those fears. We shall see.

Dennis Byrne at Real Clear Politics also debunks the left wing glee and points out what this decision does and does not do. But Dennis, like many of us, is mystified about the decisions position on Geneva Convention protections.

Lastly, Ronald A. Cass, Chairman of the Center for the Rule of Law, Dean Emeritus of Boston University School of Law weighs in with one of the best short essays on the subject.

I encourage each of you to read the entire text yourself. Simple excerpts do not do the piece justice, but here's a sample anyway:

Liberty may have been the traditional casualty of war, but common sense is its new colleague. The Supreme Court, trying hard on the anniversary of last term's Kelo decision to find a suitable sequel, performed a rare triple loop in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It found jurisdiction in the face of a statute directly taking jurisdiction away from the Court. It second-guessed the President on the need for particular security features in trials of suspected al Qaeda terrorists. And it gave hope to One-World-ers by leaning on international common law to interpret U.S. federal law. If that weren't enough, the (left, lefter, and far left) turns were executed in the course of giving a court victory to Osama bin Laden's driver. What a perfect way to end the term!

The case challenged the Bush Administration's plan to use military tribunals to try Guantanamo detainees as enemy combatants who are neither within the criminal law and due process protections of the U.S. Constitution nor within the protections afforded prisoners of war by the Geneva Conventions. The Administration has been assiduously trying to prevent al Qaeda terrorists from learning what it knows and doesn't know about their operations - an effort opposed by The New York Times, the left side of the Democratic Party, and most of France. Its plans for trial by military commission and its detention at Guantanamo of al Qaeda suspects captured outside the United States are part and parcel of that effort.

The five-justice majority of the Supreme Court that decided the Hamdan case yesterday showed great interest in demonstrating their commitment to upholding constitutional protections and protecting international human rights, both admirable instincts in many settings. They showed less appreciation for the fact that Americans are threatened, and thousands of innocent Americans were killed by brutal thugs - the sort who behead civilians, film it as sport, and post the video on the Internet. And the justices showed no appreciation for the fact that Congress and the President might well know more than they do about the security needs of the United States.
The President may not have made perfect choices on the procedures used for these trials. He may not have perfectly balanced concerns over fair process with concerns over national security. But the President, not the Court, has expertise on this subject. Justice Breyer's concurrence says that Congress didn't give the President a blank check to fight the war on terror. But the Constitution also doesn't give the justices a blank check to write the law. It especially doesn't give them a check drawn on a foreign bank.

Yesterday's decision may bring a smile to the faces of Bush-bashers. It should be as fleeting as the smiles with which developers greeted the justices' creativity in Kelo. Let's hope it's as easily corrected.

Read the rest. There will be a quiz on this material!

Secretary Rice to Russian Foreign Minister: Stop Whining About Your Diplomats in Iraq

Ooops! The Russians left open the microphone at a closed session of G-8 Foreign Ministers in Moscow yesterday just in time to catch U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice give the Russian foreign minister an earful about complaints that security for Russian personnel in Iraq in the wake of four murdered diplomats was not good enough.

From the Washington Times:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking unknowingly into an open microphone, chastised her Russian counterpart yesterday for bemoaning the killing of five Russian diplomats in Iraq, saying it was wrong to focus on the deaths of diplomats when so many others are dying there.

"The implication that by somehow declaring that diplomats need to be protected, it will get better, I think is simply not right," Miss Rice said during a closed luncheon as the foreign ministers from the Group of Eight leading industrialized countries negotiated their meeting's final statement.

The Russians, who chair the G-8 this year, fed out audio from part of the luncheon discussion, apparently by mistake.

The testy exchange came when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who hosted his colleagues, tried to insert in the text a sentence urging the Iraqi government to make efforts to protect foreign embassies in Baghdad.
"It implies they are not being taken and you know on a fairly daily basis we lose soldiers, and I think it would be offensive to suggest that these efforts are not being made," Miss Rice said. "We are making those efforts, and we are making them at quite a sacrifice."

Mr. Lavrov said the sentence was "not intended to criticize anyone" and was "just a statement of fact."

"The Iraqi Interior Ministry should pay more attention to the safety of foreign missions. If you feel uncomfortable about it, maybe we should make it shorter, saying there is a need for improved security for diplomatic missions," he suggested to Miss Rice.

She interrupted him with some asperity.

"Sergey, there is a need for improvement of security in Iraq period. The problem isn't diplomatic missions. The problem is journalists and civilian contractors and, yes, diplomats as well," she said.

"I understand that in the wake of the brutal murder of your diplomats that it is a sensitive time, but I think that we can't imply that this is an isolated problem or that it isn't being addressed," the secretary said.

The final statement "strongly condemned the barbarian killings" of the Russian diplomats, who were kidnapped by al Qaeda fighters, and said that "this tragic event underlines the importance of improving security for all in Iraq."

The verbal spat between Miss Rice and Mr. Lavrov, which lasted for most of the Iraq discussion, provided a rare glimpse of the atmosphere during their meetings and of behind-the-scenes diplomacy.

The secretary also disagreed with text calling on the Iraqis to "achieve national accord," saying they are already doing it.

Mr. Lavrov objected to a U.S.-proposed sentence about an "international compact" that would provide economic support to Iraq, telling Miss Rice that the concept had not been entirely fleshed out yet.

In both cases, Miss Rice won the argument, as reflected in the official statement.
The two ministers clashed even in public when Miss Rice repeated U.S. criticism of some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's domestic policies during a press conference. Mr. Putin will host heads of state and government from the G-8 countries in St. Petersburg from July 15 to 17. ....

Good job Condi! You go girl!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kerry Can't See the Light. But Lie He Can

Brit Hume's Political Grapevine had this nugget:
'Sneaking Into St. Louis'?

In a fundraising e-mail to supporters two days ago, Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry wrote that President Bush would be "sneaking into St. Louis" to raise money for Missouri Republican Senator Jim Talent.

In fact, the president arrived in broad daylight aboard Air Force One for yesterday's publicly scheduled 6 p.m. fundraiser, which received television coverage.

So how did Kerry respond today? By again accusing the Republican party of "sneaking President Bush" into Missouri, "under cover of darkness." In yet another fundraising e-mail, Kerry asks potential donors to make the GOP "pay a price" for the president's "under the radar" travel.
Gee Kerry... Lot of daylight left at 6 p.m. in late June last time I checked.

And Bush is not exactly "sneaking" in Missouri. His speech is even posted on the White House web site.

Maybe Kerry's just been out in the sun too long. He's starting to act as goofy as Jack Murtha. But then he did say on the Senate floor: "So I ask my fellow Senators, are we really that frightened of somebody's willingness to go out and be stupid? In the United States of America, you have a right to be stupid."

P.S. Make sure to see the last item in the grapevine: "The American left is blaming a new culprit in the country's turn towards the Republican Party in recent years — air conditioning." You can bet that as soon as the left succeeds in getting global warming controls in place they'll ban air conditioning in the South.

Correcting a Bad Supreme Court Decision

Full size image here. Found at Crush Liberalism

It's still early innings in the wake of the Supreme Court Decision overturning the establishment of military tribunals to deal with Al Queda scum held at Camp Gitmo. But let's lay the groundwork for fuller analysis with a few points:

  • If you are inclined to decipher legalese, Here is the Supreme Court decision, in PDF format for Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld.
  • Senator's Kyl (R-AZ) and Graham (R-SC), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee released the following statement regarding a legislative action to allow military tribunals.
  • Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted terrorists from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing weighs in before the decision with concerns for our ability to deal effectively with terrorists. And if you want a good summation of the problem the decision creates, this is it.

The question is: will Congress now act to enable military tribunals in the way that they have been constructed by the Bush Administration prior to this ruling? Or, will Congress now open up the Pandora's box of permitting terrorists the full Constitutional rights of the same citizens they sought to kill?

The Supreme Court's 5-3 decision (Robert's had to recuse himself as he ruled AGAINST the suit in a lower court) reminds us all of the importance of appointing sound judicial nominees, as President Bush promised: "In the mold of Scalia or Thomas." Both Scalia and Thomas entered dissenting opinions in this case and were joined in much of their dissent by Justice Alito.

There can be few better motivations for conservatives this fall than winning the battle for Congress and assuring that future judicial nominees meet the Scalia/Thomas standard and act to protect the American people from the foolishness of those who do not realize what is at stake in the war in which we currently find ourselves.

No Human Rights for Murdered Israeli Teen

Sad news from Israel: Eighteen-year-old Eliyahu Asheri, was found dead by Israel Defense Forces late Wednesday night in Ramallah. He was murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

Another young life taken by Palestinian monsters who recognize no human rights for others but are first in line to demand them for themselves.

And right on schedule, the Council of American Islamic Relations has a press release calling Israel's military action in Gaza a "war crime." No mention of the kidnapping and brutal murder of Asheri, nor of the kidnapped soldier believed to be held in Gaza.

Expect the usual handwringers to claim that as Israel brings justice to these Palestinian monsters that Israel is merely perpetuating a "cycle of violence" that makes the Jews complicit in the unending nightmare that grips this area.

So much for Israel's attempt to buy peace by pulling out of Gaza and much of the West Bank.

Violence and acts of inhuman barbarity have been a central part of the region's Arab culture for centuries. Long before the founding of the Jewish state. And when Arabs weren't murdering Jews, or attacking infidels they were killing each other.

And once again the Arab culture of death will inflict itself on more innocents as the murderers of Asheri and the kidnappers of Corporal Gilad Shalit hide behind women and children in both Gaza and the West Bank.

There can be only one way to deal with these barbaric and inhuman Palestinian fiends. They must be hunted down and killed like rabid animals. There is no negotiation that can wipe away this evil. Defeat is the only solution.

A Michael Ramirez cartoon (orginal here). A Palestinian child wearing an "I (heart) suicide bombers" T-shirt says: "They've bulldozed our home. His father, wearing a "Kill Jews" T-shirt says: "Why? His mother's dress has "Bomb Israel."

Thanks Skye for finding the cartoon.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's In "Public Interest" To Know Who Leaks Secrets

UPDATE: Privacy International: "filed simultaneous complaints with Data Protection and Privacy regulators in 33 countries concerning recent revelations of secret disclosures of millions of records from the banking giant SWIFT to U.S. intelligence agencies....The issue was first brought to light on Friday June 23rd 2006, when the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times published details of the private arrangement between SWIFT and the United States Government."

NY Times Disclosure No Big Deal?

Seems the left is busy today trying to pooh-pooh the idea that the NY Time's front page splash revealing the perfectly legal program to monitor terror funding is nothing new. In an attempt to derail criticism of the NY Times, they cite a Boston Globe (a paper which is owned by the New York Times) story which describes how various elements of monitoring terror funding have been long known. Of course that defense is tantamount to an admission that the NY Times apparently decided to recycle old news in another naked attempt to stir up fears of civil liberties being violated by the Bush Administration.

And as usual, it's a disingenuous argument. Adding new layers to information on sources and methods that is already too public merely makes the awareness of our enemies all the more keen.

Our "Public Interest": The Right to Know Who Leaks.

The New York Times seeks to elevate itself above our elected political leadership who has the responsibility to keep us safe and wage war against our enemies claiming that there exists a "public interest" in this matter.

But what about the public interest in knowing what motivates those who leak national security secrets and the motives of those who brazenly publish them. Would it not be in the public interest to examine those motives? Doesn't the public have a right to know if there are people in this country actively undermining our efforts to be effective in waging the war on terror?

As an answer to all those who think this story, is nothing new or not damaging, I recommend the letter from outgoing Treasury Secretary John Snow. From the Department of the Treasury web site:

Mr. Bill Keller, Managing Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Dear Mr. Keller:

The New York Times' decision to disclose the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, a robust and classified effort to map terrorist networks through the use of financial data, was irresponsible and harmful to the security of Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide. In choosing to expose this program, despite repeated pleas from high-level officials on both sides of the aisle, including myself, the Times undermined a highly successful counter-terrorism program and alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails.

Your charge that our efforts to convince The New York Times not to publish were "half-hearted" is incorrect and offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times - from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.

Indeed, I invited you to my office for the explicit purpose of talking you out of publishing this story. And there was nothing "half-hearted" about that effort. I told you about the true value of the program in defeating terrorism and sought to impress upon you the harm that would occur from its disclosure. I stressed that the program is grounded on solid legal footing, had many built-in safeguards, and has been extremely valuable in the war against terror. Additionally, Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey met with the reporters and your senior editors to answer countless questions, laying out the legal framework and diligently outlining the multiple safeguards and protections that are in place.

You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that "terror financiers know" our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.

Lastly, justifying this disclosure by citing the "public interest" in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective. Indeed, you have done so here.

What you've seemed to overlook is that it is also a matter of public interest that we use all means available - lawfully and responsibly - to help protect the American people from the deadly threats of terrorists. I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.


John W. Snow, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Al Queda Times: All the News That's Fit for Jihad

This graphic from the always funny People's Cube has been making the rounds:

Here's an interesting take on the issue from Virginia Buckingham in the Boston Herald:
Prosecute The New York Times and censure Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.)? I have a better idea: Sit back and watch them self-destruct.

War and the Times: Related articles, multimedia & images The Good WarTimes an unworthy first line of defense

Murtha and The New York Times have done more to aid the fight for Republicans to retain their House and Senate majorities in the last couple of days than Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman could possibly do all year.

But no one, not even the guys who are so devoted to the GOP that they wear elephants on their ties, should be cheering.

What has been lost by Murtha’s rantings and the Times’ irresponsibility can never be regained by electoral victory in the fall. But nor will they regain what they have lost by their own words and actions - the moral high ground.

Let’s start with the Times.

We are less safe today from terrorist attack than we were before the Times disclosed the existence of the National Security Agency’s terrorist surveillance program.

We are more in danger today because The New York Times and other outlets disclosed that American intelligence has access to foreign banking transactions.

Combined, these two programs gave American officials tools they did not have before Sept. 11 to track and disrupt terrorist plots before thousands die.

By the Times’ own admission, the “penetration” into international banking networks helped track down the Bali bombers.

How many more innocent young lives were saved, as a result, from a similar fate in other discos in other terrorist strongholds or, as possible, in a nightclub in New York?

Before the Times revealed the two security programs, literally in black and white, al-Qaeda and its allies did not know, could no know for sure, how best to avoid detection.

They know now.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), no Bush administration-toadie he, said it best: “Nobody elected The New York Times to do anything. The New York Times is putting its own arrogant, elitist, left-wing agenda before the interests of the American people. The time has come for the American people to realize and The New York Times to realize we’re at war and they can’t be just on their own deciding what to declassify, what to release.”

But they did exactly that, in violation of the law. Yet, prosecuting them will allow publisher Bill Keller and his Democratic defenders to change the subject from their disregard for American safety to their stewardship of the First Amendment. The Bush administration ought to keep this escape hatch firmly closed.

And Murtha?

The damage done by this self-proclaimed and much acclaimed moral authority on the Iraq war is far less quantifiable.

Did Murtha bring a smile to al-Qaeda leaders’ faces when they read his remarks over the weekend that America has “become the enemy” in Iraq?

What must Kim Jong-Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad think of America’s seriousness when a Democratic leader says with a straight face that our nation “is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran?”

I’ve no doubt most Americans respect Murtha’s valor in Vietnam.

Surely many respect yet disagree with his position on immediate troop withdrawal.

But Americans are united on this: We’re not infallible, but we are not part of the axis of evil. America is the greatest country on Earth.

A political party and its advocates in the media who forget that will be reminded this November.

Enjoy the show.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Multiculturalism: A Left Wing Suicide Pact

In an effort to understand the sad reality of homegrown Jihad Johnnies, Cox and Forkum published the above cartoon as part of an excellent post on the suicidal side-effects of multiculturalism.

C&F asks:
What motivates a person to wage war against their own country and sympathize with the likes of Osama bin Laden? Part of the answer lies in the spread of multiculturalist ideas. These citizens have been taught by our intellectuals to hate their home countries, and that hate is fertile ground for Islamism.
C&F goes on to cite a February commentary by Keith Windschuttle : The Adversary Culture. Here's a short clip:.

Cultural relativism claims there are no absolute standards for assessing human culture. Hence all cultures should be regarded as equal, though different.

The moral rationale of cultural relativism is a plea for tolerance and respect of other cultures, no matter how uncomfortable we might be with their beliefs and practices. However, there is one culture conspicuous by its absence from all this. The plea for acceptance and open-mindedness does not extend to Western culture itself, whose history is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.

Since the 1960s, academic historians on the left have worked to generate a widespread cynicism about the nature of Western democracies, with the aim of questioning their legitimacy and undermining their ability to command loyalty. ...
The anti-Westernism of which I am speaking is not only about the past but has as much to say about current affairs.

The aftermath to the assaults on New York and Washington on September 11 2001 provided a stark illustration of its values. Within days of the terrorist assault, a number of influential Western intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag and youthful counterparts such as Naomi Klein of the anti-globalisation protest movement, responded in ways that, morally and symbolically, were no different to the celebrations of the crowds on the streets of Palestine and Islamabad who cheered as they watched the towers of the World Trade Centre come crashing down. Stripped of its obligatory jargon, their argument was straightforward: America deserved what it got.

Enclosed by a mindset of cultural relativism, most Westerners are loath to censure Muslims who go on violent rampages, burn down embassies and threaten death to their fellow citizens. Many of us regard this as somehow understandable, even acceptable, since we have no right to judge another religion and culture. ...
Their real aim is not religious respect but cultural change in the West. They want to prevent criticism of its Muslim minority and accord that group special privilege not available to the faithful of other religions. Instead of them changing to integrate into our way of life, they want to force us to change to accept their way of life.

Well said. There are countless other examples describing the danger of multiculturalism. In the recent debate on immigration, the goal of political elites was to "assimilate" immigrants to become Americanized. Yet, as was pointed out in the Mike's America study on immigration and assimilation, multiculturalism discourages assimilation and deepens the racial and ethnic animosity that pits groups of people against one another.

The most striking evidence of this was the study cited by Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies in a 1997 piece titled "Will Americanization Work in America?:"

Sociologist Ruben Rumbaut has studied students in San Diego who are children of immigrants or who immigrated themselves at a very young age. He first surveyed them in 1992, when the students were in the eighth and ninth grades; three years later the same students were surveyed again.

In terms of ethnic self-identification, the change was dramatic. Three years of high school caused these students to see themselves as significantly less American; there was a 50 percent drop in the proportion (already small) of those who considered themselves simply "American," a 30 percent drop in the proportion of those considering themselves hyphenated Americans, and a 52 percent increase in the proportion of those describing themselves exclusively by national origin.

Among the American-born students, the percentage who identified themselves solely by their parents' native country doubled, to one-third. As Rumbaut points out, the results "point to the rapid growth of a reactive ethnic consciousness. Change over time, thus, has not been toward assimilative mainstream identities, but rather a return to and a valorization of the immigrant identity."

In a nutshell: multiculturalism encourages the "balkanization" of American society, dividing it into groups with separate identities and fostering grievances that pit one group against another. This is also the troubling ethos of the Democrat Party, a variant of which was clearly expressed in the presidential campaign of John Edwards and his Two America's speech.

The result is that segments of our society have been encouraged not to aspire to the great opportunity offered by the American dream, but to stew in their victimhood with grievances which are now validated by multiculturalism. Ultimately, those who sip that flavor of Kool-Aide have only to take a short step from that level of hate and delusion to potential violence.

Restoring Sanity: One Step at a Time

While multiculturalism remains entrenched in the education system and agencies of cultural transmission in both the news media and Hollywood, there is reason to hope that recent inroads exposing the dangers are taking hold. Whether it's on college campuses or in high schools, there is no longer a free pass given to every teacher who attempts to push this flawed ideological perspective.

It's a long road of course, and one that requires a significant attention to the lessons of history which show how damaging multiculturalism AND it's kissing cousin, moral relevance in education can be.

For more, see Midnight Blue's interesting take on "How do you say "Cheesesteak" in Flemmish?"

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mike's America Subs for Palmetto Pundit

The Palmetto Pundit asked if I would stand in while he vacations at the shore this week. Since I vacation at the shore year round, it's no great sacrifice for me to share with PP's readers a taste of Mike's America. The following is my introduction to Palmetto Pundit's readers.

Why Mike's America ?

The idea for doing a blog came to me during the 2004 Presidential election. I was one of those people sending out emails with news and information about the campaign to friends and family. So, taking the next step and putting it all in a blog which affords a range of text, audio and visual possibilities in an easy to reference web page seemed a natural.

The name, Mike's America came after reflection on the class warfare tactics of the Democrats, most especially that of the Democrats Vice Presidential candidate, John Edwards. In his famous "Two Americas" stump speech (which you may read here)he enunciated the politics of dividing our society, creating envy in the so-called "have-nots" and seeking to punish the "haves" or the successful people in our society whose initiative and drive are the engine which pulls the whole train down the track.

Mike's America is dedicated to the unity of our country, not it's division. And that unity is ever more necessary as we face what truly are life and death issues on a daily basis. Since the awful atrocities of September 11th we have had two national elections in this country where the issues of security, freedom, peace, justice have been front and center along with economic progress and societal fairness.

The voters have spoken in increasing numbers for a unified plan to address that host of concerns. That is the ethos of Mike's America: "Better, Safer, Stronger and Free."

Mike's Experience: A Front Row Seat to History

I formed many of my political views through long experience since my early years as a child. Even in the 4th grade I was politically active. When the teacher asked for students to bring in campaign literature from the presidential campaigns, I volunteered to bring in Nixon pamphlets. Of course they, along with the Humphrey literature, mostly wound up in the wastepaper basket with funny faces painted over the candidate photos. Proving that many Americans, and especially at an early age pay little serious attention to politics.

In college, I had the good fortune to find one of the rare political science professors who was a Republican and also had the distinction of working on campaigns and in the political structure at the state and national level. With his encouragement I worked in my first statewide campaign in Ohio to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would eliminate the partisan gerrymandering of election districts. We suceeded in getting the amendment on the ballot, but it was defeated.

I was also encouraged to start a College Republican Club at Ohio Wesleyan, and after doing so, took club members to the election night celebrations for President Reagan's election in 1980 in Columbus, Ohio. It was that celebratory evening where my group and myself (far right in photo at right) met Congressman John Ashbrook , an early founder of the Conservative movement along with Goldwater, Buckley and Reagan (Ashbrook bio here).

Meeting the "Right" People

After graduation, I worked on Congressman Ashbrook's statewide campaign for United States Senate. Unfortunately, he died suddenly during the campaign. But it gave me the opportunity to meet many of the great conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and later, William F. Buckley, Jr.

In 1984 I was active once again organizing campaign activities on behalf of President Reagan. I founded a student group at Bowling Green State University that at the time had the largest number of new student voters registered on behalf of his re-election campaign. We were rewarded by a visit by President Reagan. It would be his first campus election event.

The atmosphere on campus that September day was electric. It seemed the usual liberal sniveling that often is highlighted by the press at events such as this was totally absent. Perhaps it was the fleet of five helicopters, including Marine One, the President's own, landing outside Anderson Arena that really got the crowd excited.

Students of history may wish to read the speech President Reagan delivered for a flavor of the times. Notice in the question and answer session that followed how one student asked if our involvement in Central America might become "another Vietnam." Some things never change.

The event was so successful, that the Reagan-Bush campaign soon scheduled similar events across the country.

Three weeks later, President Reagan returned to the area again. This time, it was onboard the Ferdinand Magellan, or Car One, a railroad car built especially for use by the President of the United States. I took the following photo at the nighttime scene lit by torchlight. It's too bad they don't do events like this anymore. Buses just don't seem to have the same magic.

Working in the White House

After I completed my postgraduate studies at Columbia University in 1988 (focusing on national security topics under the direction of former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski) I was anxious to play a role in the upcoming presidential campaign. And why not witness the art of presidential politics from a viewpoint inside the White House. So I accepted an internship in the White House Political Office.

The story of my time there was published in the Carolina Morning News, and I reprinted that story along with reflections of President Reagan sent in by other bloggers during the Mike's America celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the first Reagan Inaugural this past January.

Palmetto Pundit also joined that celebration by linking with his description of President Reagan as " not only [] the greatest president of the 20th Century, but also one of the greatest Americans to have ever lived. " You'll get no argument from me Palmetto.

It was at the White House that I was also privileged to witness the arrival of one of the greatest British leaders that ever lived: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, on her last state visit to see President Reagan, her partner in so much good work, before he left office. I took the following photo on the White House lawn, November 16, 1988. (the program cover may be viewed here)

After leaving the White House with the change of administration, I went to work for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It was a marked change from the "can do" White House to a federal bureaucracy where the usual attitude was "can't do."

In 1996, I was disappointed that no place could be found for me with the Dole/Kemp campaign and decided to leave Washington for Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Considering how badly Dole/Kemp did that November (thanks in great part to the interference once again of Ross Perot) it was fortunate I did not sacrifice the many months that would have been required only to be defeated.

Since then, I have used my writing talents, such as they are, to continue supporting conservative candidates and causes from my perch here on the edge of the Atlantic, yet deep in the heart of the New South.

Friday, June 23, 2006

President Bush Issues Order Limiting Eminent Domain & Taking of Private Property

President Bush issues an Executive Order limiting eminent domain.

From the White House:

Executive Order: Protecting the Property Rights of the American People

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to strengthen the rights of the American people against the taking of their private property, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.

Read the rest here.

Hillary Clinton's Monkeys?

Hillary Clinton was speaking to the New Democrat Network today. The NDN is yet another of those organizations where Democrats try to re-invent themselves, or at least offer tips on how to convince voters they are not total losers.

Speaking to reporters after her speech Mrs. Clinton said that Republicans in Congress were "like the three monkeys -- see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."

Could Hillary be confused? Perhaps she was thinking of this old photo from her husband's years if office:

Here you have the three monkeys: Defense Secretary Cohen, Slick Willie and "I love You Kim Il Song" Albright doing the three monkey bit while National Security Advisor Berger is clearly seen to be shoving something into his pockets.

Were the monkeys above discussing North Korea? Or Terrorism? Who knows. But Mrs. Clinton would be well advised to refrain from reminding us who the monkeys in DC really are.

Did Clinton/Albright Make Mistakes in North Korea Policy?

Readers will recall several of the Bush press conferences where reporters demanded that President Bush admit making mistakes. Need a reminder? Here's a well balanced, non-biased piece by objective news reporter Helen Thomas stating in the headline: Bush Admits Mistakes, But Not The Big Ones!

Well isn't that nice.

I wonder when Helen is going to write her piece on the monumental failure of the Clinton Administration's policy to keep North Korea from developing a nuclear weapon and the missile technology to deliver it?

Have you heard a clamor on the news wires calling for former President Clinton to "admit mistakes in response to the recent threat of a North Korean missile launch?

Nope! Instead, we get this rather self-serving op-ed in the Washington Post by former Clinton Secretary of Defense William Perry, and one of his underlings, Ashton Carter.

In it, they admit that North Korea with a nuke and advanced missile systems is a threat. They also grudgingly agree that pre-emptive action (like removing Saddam Hussein) is often necessary.

They go on to recommend that the United States unilaterally destroy the North Korean missile on the launch pad, which would constitute an act of war against North Korea.

Can you see the headlines now? Bush Cowboy Blasts North Korea! Unilateral US Strike!

Before we listen to one more word of advice from Clintonistas, let's take a minute to ask what really big mistakes were made in their handling of the North Korean situation. President Bush has been cleaning up Clinton's messes for five years now and Bush seems to get none of the credit and all the blame.

UPDATE: Now former Vice President Mondale is all for a unilateral attack against North Korea! Too bad you couldn't have found those guts when you were in office Wally.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bush in Budapest

As the fiftieth anniversary of the Hungarian rebellion against Soviet domination approaches (historical review here), President Bush went to the capital, Budapest, to reflect.

President George W. Bush speaks from Gellert Hill in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, June 22, 2006. "Fifty years ago, you could watch history being written from this hill. In 1956, the Hungarian people suffered under a communist dictatorship and domination by a foreign power," said President Bush. "That fall, the Hungarian people had decided they had had enough and demanded change." White House photo by Paul Morse

From the White House transcript:
The lesson of the Hungarian experience is clear: Liberty can be delayed, but it cannot be denied. The desire for liberty is universal, because it is written by our Creator into the hearts of every man, woman, and child on this Earth. And as people across the world step forward to claim their own freedom, they will take inspiration from your example, and draw hope from your success.

President George W. Bush and Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany walk through the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, June 22, 2006. White House photo by Paul Morse

More photos here.

Moonbat Muncher

Toss Hobbes a Moonbat Filet and Make His Day!

Wave your pointer over him and he purrs. Check out the "more" button for moonbat meat to feed him with.

adopt your own virtual pet!

Dems "Swift Boat" Murtha?

If there was ever a poster child for term limits for congressmen, it would be Jack Murtha (D-PA). After 16 terms he has decided to transform himself into the leader of the left wing kook squad. What a legacy to leave behind.

But while his previous 14 terms were spent mostly out of public view, he wasn't lazy. He was busy lining the pockets of family and friends in a way that would make Harry Reid's sons envious.

From the Washington Times:
...Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported how the ranking member on the defense appropriations subcommittee [Murtha] has a brother, Robert Murtha, whose lobbying firm represents 10 companies that received more than $20 million from last year's defense spending bill. "Clients of the lobbying firm KSA Consulting -- whose top officials also include former congressional aide Carmen V. Scialabba, who worked for Rep. Murtha as a congressional aide for 27 years -- received a total of $20.8 million from the bill," the L.A. Times reported.

In early 2004, according to Roll Call, Mr. Murtha "reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco." Laurence Pelosi, nephew of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the time was an executive of the company which owned the rights to the land. The same article also reported how Mr. Murtha has been behind millions of dollars worth of earmarks in defense appropriations bills that went to companies owned by the children of fellow Pennsylvania Democrat, Rep. Paul Kanjorski. Meanwhile, the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign-finance watchdog group, lists Mr. Murtha as the top recipient of defense industry dollars in the current 2006 election cycle.
few might recall that after the massive 1980 Abscam scandal, Mr. Murtha was named by the FBI as an "unindicted co-conspirator."
And lest some screeching lefty tries to claim we are "swift boating" Murtha, Robert Novak let's us in on who it was that brought the Abscam connection up again:
Jack Murtha proves there are second acts in American politics. I had forgotten that federal prosecutors designated him an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam investigation 26 years ago. I was reminded of it after Murtha became a candidate for majority leader, not by a Republican hit man but a Democratic former colleague in the House.
Thanks City Troll for the Times link.

Share Your Global Warming Baloney!

From Opinion Journal:

Story Ideas for ABC Yesterday we noted that ABC News was looking for stories from people whose lives have "been directly affected by global warming." We received a couple of amusing responses, this is from reader Jeff Beliveau:

Tharg and me used to hunt mighty mammoth but he scared to cross ice bridge. It now too thin to take weight of even saber cat. Only mouse or rabbit can cross.
Many of my people have left the caves in search of food.

Sister's daughter's husband says it because of He-Who-Tamed-Fire. He say smoke from fire anger gods and they make it hot. Medicine Man say he full of mastodon droppings.

Medicine Man say Sun God told him Sun God get belly ache every 200 lifes of man. Belly ache make Sun God hotter, like when Og ate red berries birds don't touch.
Sun God say it good thing. He say now we can go south past ice to land he call "Iowa."

He mumble "junk science" and "media hype" and "poorly educated reporters." We no understand these powerful magic words. We afraid to say words now that Moon God warn us. She say magic words make research grants dry up. We no understand.
Must go, little Ky-Rock need help flaking obsidian.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Quick Takes

I realize that readers may get overwhelmed with the volume of reading material available to them online. And I really do want folks to take a look at the speech Condi Rice gave last week (video excerpt below) as well as Reagan's legacy protecting us today against North Korean missiles.

But I couldn't pass up these two stories:
  • Midnight Blue links to this commentary asking where the European peace movement is regarding the spread of nuclear weapons and the destruction of human rights happening in nation's like Iran and North Korea. Well, in some cases, they are defending the right of these states to create nuclear weapons, threaten their neighbors and destroy the human rights of their citizens. READ IT! It's the United States these loons have a problem with.
  • Moonbattery excerpts from Deroy Murdock's commentary in Human Events chronicling the radical environmental movement that promotes the idea of a pristine planet after 90% of the world's human population are killed by an epidemic. No doubt the remaining 10% would be liberals left in charge of what remains.

It's All About "Race"

Gina Cobb found this and several other funnies that you must see.
She also links to a really funny bit about Osama taking a secret trip to Baghdad to meet his new leadership.

Thank You President Reagan: Your SDI Protects U.S. Today

It was 23 years ago in an oval office speech (text), that President Reagan laid out his plan to create a shield to protect the United States from ballistic missiles. His Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was widely derided by liberals who never met a weapons system they didn't want to get rid of.

The Soviet Union was so concerned with the possibilites offered by this defensive system that they desperately tried to get President Reagan to cancel it. At a summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet Leader Gorbachev in Reykjavik Iceland, in October 1986, the Russians offered the United States the "deal of a lifetime" if only we would give up S.D.I.

Reagan refused and the meeting ended with disappointment, as you can clearly see in the above photo. (Reagan's statement describing the negotiations here.) History buffs may wish to view the Memorandum of Conversation (PDF).

Former Secretary of State, George Schultz has the behind the scenes story in this chapter from his memoirs provided online by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation.

It was Reagan's refusal to give up SDI in Reykjavik that is widely viewed as the final victory in winning the Cold War.

Reagan's Legacy: Missile Defense Activated to Counter North Korean Threat

Bill Gertz, writing in the June 20, Washington Times reports that the United States has turned the key activating the missile defense system that is a direct result of the efforts President Reagan began 23 years ago:

The Pentagon activated its new U.S. ground-based interceptor missile defense system, and officials announced yesterday that any long-range missile launch by North Korea would be considered a "provocative act."

Poor weather conditions above where the missile site was located by U.S. intelligence satellites indicates that an immediate launch is unlikely, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

However, intelligence officials said preparations have advanced to the point where a launch could take place within several days to a month.
Two Navy Aegis warships are patrolling near North Korea as part of the global missile defense and would be among the first sensors that would trigger the use of interceptors, the officials said yesterday.

The U.S. missile defense system includes 11 long-range interceptor missiles, including nine deployed at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and two at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The system was switched from test to operational mode within the past two weeks, the officials said.

One senior Bush administration official told The Washington Times that an option being considered would be to shoot down the Taepodong missile with responding interceptors.

Thank you President Reagan! Without your vision and leadership we would have less defensive capability to respond to new threats such as that posed by North Korea.

Thanks Special Agent Utah!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Jack Kelly: Presumed guilty. The clearing of Karl Rove confounds liberals

I really enjoy commentary by Jack Kelly. He's sort of a Mark Steyn for the average Joe. He hits the nail on the head, repeatedly, in this column in the Pittsburg Post Gazette:
There was anger, anguish and incredulity in the fever swamps last week when Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald made it clear he would not indict White House political guru Karl Rove in his apparently endless investigation of the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

This should remind us the greater threat to our civil liberties comes not from the measures the Bush administration has taken to protect us from terrorists, but from prosecutors who abuse their power for political purposes.

Liberals wanted Mr. Rove indicted because he is a skilled political adversary.

The interest among liberals in an indictment of the person who actually told columnist Robert Novak about Ms. Plame (thought to be former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage) is zero, because there would be no political gain from it.

Their efforts to criminalize policy differences stem from two related beliefs, both inimical to democracy.

The first is the belief that anyone who disagrees with me is evil and must be punished. It's hard to find people on the moonbat left who don't think this way.

The second is the belief that whatever I do to obtain political power is legitimate. Many Democrats who recognize belief No. 1 is a crock eagerly embrace this one.

Travis County (Austin) District Attorney Ronnie Earle indicted then House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for a fundraising practice that wasn't illegal under Texas law, and which he knew Democrats were using, too.

For more than two years, the state attorney in Palm Beach tried to indict conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh for a felony because of his addiction to painkillers. Contrast this with the kid-glove treatment given Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., whose substance abuse problems are more public.

For liberals, it's the accusation that matters; not whether or not it is true. Consider the liberal rush to judgment in the Duke rape case.

Duke University lacrosse players raped me, an exotic dancer claimed in March. Because the accuser is black and female, and the accused are white males, liberals needed no evidence to declare their guilt.

Among them was District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was weeks away from a hotly contested primary election.

Mr. Nifong indicted three Duke players based on a questionable identification from the accuser, despite the fact there was no DNA evidence linking them to her, and that at least one of the three had an alibi.

Mr. Nifong won his primary, but his case is falling apart. He'd concealed from the grand jury and the presiding judge that the accuser had told wildly different stories (she'd been raped by three men; she'd been raped by 20 men; she hadn't been raped at all), and that the nurse who examined her found no evidence of rape, or that she'd been beaten and strangled, as she claimed.

I suspect Mr. Fitzgerald didn't indict Mr. Rove because he doesn't want to be known as the Mike Nifong of federal prosecutors. But it may be too late.

Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed to determine whether the Intelligence Identities Protection Act had been violated. The answer was no, because the law applies only to those who are working under cover overseas, or who have done so in the five years preceding disclosure, and Ms. Plame had been manning a desk at CIA headquarters for longer than that.

Not deterred by the absence of a crime, Mr. Fitzgerald indicted Lewis Libby, then the chief of staff for the vice president, for allegedly lying about his conversations with Time magazine's Matthew Cooper. But various drafts of Mr. Cooper's story about Ms. Plame suggest it may be Mr. Cooper who has the credibility issues.

Mr. Fitzgerald is a sloppy prosecutor who rushes to judgment, and then has to backtrack, charged Washington, D.C., lawyer Clarice Feldman.

In one recent high-profile case, Mr. Fitzgerald's staff mistakenly sent 16 cartons of classified documents to attorneys for the terror suspects he was prosecuting, she said.

In another, Mr. Fitzgerald charged the victim in a financial fraud case instead of its perpetrators.

"Fitzgerald is good at creating elaborate facades which tart up the ramshackle huts to which they are affixed," Ms. Feldman said. "Once those facades are removed, it is obvious the cases behind them are rickety."

Journalists who do not wish to be cross-examined about when and from whom they learned of Ms. Plame's occupation want this case to go away. I suspect Mr. Fitzgerald does, too, but it's hard to dismount from the tiger he's riding.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

"Redeploy" Congressman Murtha!

Murtha: "1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq." Let's Leave!

Skye, at Midnight Blue dropped in Sunday morning to ask if I was watching that moron Murtha on Meet the Press. I have to admit there are about a million things I would rather do. But being the open-minded sort, who never shies away from dissenting voices, I printed out the transcript and took it to the beach, where it was a beautiful, balmy day with a wonderful high tide and quite a nice surf.

However, wading through the beginning of the transcript I quickly came to the conclusion that in addition to the high tide, there was an massive influx of B.S.

The first thing that struck me was that this was nothing more than a sputtering screed composed of a jumble of barely coherent talking points. Nothing more than the endless repetition of shopworn shibboleths from the defeatist wing of the Democrat Party.

At one point Murtha asks "who have we held responsible for this thing and accountable? Have we held secretary of defense accountable? Have we held anybody in the White House accountable?"

Excuse me, Mr. Congressperson. But We've had two elections in which accountability was a factor. Guess who won? And along with "accountability" the Democrats have freely exercised their right to dissent and to question and protest every single public official. And each of us who blogs on this issues has likewise been verbally harangued in a tiresome fashion time and again based on the same specious reasoning that Murtha and company continue to cling to.

Here's a quickie overview of Murtha-speak from today's transcript:

"There's no plan"... "Stay the course..doesn't solve any problem."...things are "worse today than six months ago."..."It's getting worse".."we're doing it all ourself"..."we need to redeploy our troops"...[we've] "become targets"..."civil war"...

At this point, host Tim Russert reminds him:
in 2004, you had a view that was much different than you had now, and this is what you wrote in your book: "A war initiated on faulty intelligence must not be followed by a premature withdrawal of our troops based on a political timetable. An untimely exit could rapidly devolve into a civil war, which would leave America's foreign policy in disarray as countries question not only America's judgment but also its perseverance." Aren't you now advocating that?
At this point, the sputtering resumed: ..."if you're not winning, if you're losing, and that's what's happening."..."We didn't have a threat to our national security. That's been proven."..."80 percent of the Iraqis want us out of there."..."Reagan did in, in Beirut, like, like Clinton did in Somalia, you just have to say, 'OK, it's time to change direction."

That's right Murtha... everyone knows what happened when we cut and run in Beirut and Somalia, terrorists took over.

And let's drop the 80% of Iraqis want us out line. Sure, at some point most of them do, as most of us do. But we've already had polls taken in Iraq that suggest your plan is the opposite of what most Iraqis want.

Tim Russert couldn't help but bring up the newly restored Karl Rove, who on June 12th chatised Murtha this way:
I want you to think about the consequences of their proposed course of action. If Murtha had his way, American troops would've been gone by the end of April and we wouldn't have gotten Zarqawi.
Congressman Murtha said, "Let's redeploy them immediately to another country in the Middle East. Let's get out of Iraq and go to another country." My question is, what country would take us? What country would say after the United States cut and run from Iraq, what country in the Middle East would say, "Yeah. Paint a big target on our back and then you'll cut and run on us. " What country would say that? What country would accept our troops?
And after a bit more sputtering, the aged donkey stumbled upon his ultimate solution: send the bulk of our forces to Okinawa, IN JAPAN! That's 4899 miles as the crow flies and quite a bit further if you are forced to traterroritoryunfriendly terroritory.

Murtha claimed repeatedly that we could still have gotten Zarqawi with our forces positioned outside Iraq. While we may have had some air assets handy, what troops would we have had available on the scene in a short time? None! And we certainly would have no rescue forces nearby in case aircraft were downed, or to respond to any other type of immediate situation.

Murtha's redeployment would be a military disaster of the first order and amount to nothing more than surrender. Once our forces were out, our logistics and bases removed, there is little doubt that we would ever return.

Tim Russert again asked Murtha " if we got out you could leave behind complete chaos, which could become a real haven for international terrorists, another Afghanistan pre-September 11?" And in total contradiction to what he said in 2004 Murtha responded "just the opposite." He later goes on to say that there are "1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq."

What's that? Did he really say that there were "1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq?" Yes, and he believes that when American troops "redeploy" that the Iraqis will take care of them.

Well there you have it. About as much of that outpouring from the asinine old fool as I can stomach on such a nice day.

But does anyone think that leaving 1,000 Al Queda and substantially more of Saddam's former murderers to run free in Iraq while Americans are thousands and thousands of miles away in Japan is a good idea?

Does that sound like sound strategic reasoning?

Missed Seeing the classic: "Retreat and Defeat" video? It's right here. And that wonderful GOP video archive is here.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Why U.S. Leadership? Secretary Rice Gives the Answer

In remarks to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 14, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice answered the question: Why U.S. leadership is so imperative?

The following is a video excerpt of her remarks:

"If not for America, who would rally freedom-loving nations to defend liberty and democracy in our world? ...

The weight of international leadership is not borne easily. But we in America are more than equal to this challenge and we must be. For as we imagine a world without American leadership, we are led inescapably to this solemn conclusion:
If America does not serve great purposes, if we do not rally other nations to fight intolerance and to support peace and to defend freedom, and to help give all hope who suffer oppression, then our world will drift toward tragedy.

The strong will do what they please. The weak will suffer most of all and inevitably, inevitably, sooner or later the threats of our world will strike once again at the very heart of our nation.

So together, let us continue on our present course. Let us reaffirm our belief that in the words of Thomas Jefferson "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time....

finally, more than anything, let us resolve to deal with the world as it is, but never to accept that we are powerless to make it better than it is. Not perfect, but better.

America will lead…America will lead the cause of freedom in our world, not because we think ourselves perfect. To the contrary, we cherish democracy and champion its ideals because we know ourselves to be imperfect. "

The full text, along with video and audio links are here.

I am always extremely proud and pleased with the performance of Dr. Rice as she undertanks this most difficult these past five years. Never more so than to hear words of such simple power and eloquence.

They say the truest mark of a great leader is one who finds the best, most capable minds to serve alongside him. In that President Bush has already achieved a legacy that outshines many others by comparison.

Linked to at Chatterbox Chronicles and Assorted Babble

Another Great Week on the March to Victory!

Whew! Two great weeks find us further along the victory road:
  • Tuesday, the surprise visit by President Bush to Iraq was icing on the cake of the previous weeks progress there, both in terms of establishing a permanent government and disposing of the monster Zarqawi.
  • On the same day, Hillary Clinton was booed by leftwing kooks and Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.
  • Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered this stirring speech to the Southern Baptists.
  • Karl Rove was notified that he was cleared of all charges in the phony CIA Leak case.
  • Thursday, The Senate voted 93-6 to kill an amendment based on Senator John Kerry's plan to withdraw from Iraq.
  • Friday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for victory in Iraq and the war on terror.
  • William Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana was removed from his seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

I just wonder what new tricks Karl Rove has up his sleeve to build on this momentum?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Media Supports the Troops?

From Cox and Forkum:
From The Los Angeles Times: In this paper, war heroes are MIA by Frank Schaeffer. (via TIA Daily)
[I]f the "chattering classes" ever wonder why those of us in the military family sometimes bitterly resent the media, they need look no further than the "Haditha story." What bothers me is that I haven't seen one recent story dedicated to the heroism of our troops given such consistent prominence in The Times or other leading papers. Nor have I read a front-page headline about a military medal ceremony and the story behind it, although every year I see front-page treatment in The Times of who wins the Oscars. ...
The prominence of stories about military malfeasance, absent stories about military heroism, creates an out-of-whack impression. When it comes to reporting on the military, it's as if we're back in the 1950s, only this time the media prejudice and insensitivity are aimed at military service rather than race. In the 1950s, you rarely saw a story about an African American unless he or she committed a crime or was portrayed with condescension as a victim. ......

Kennedy: Vote Shows 93 Senators Out of Mainstream

Another excellent satirical dig by Scott Ott at Scrappleface:
(2006-06-15) — After the Senate voted 93-6 today against setting a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy held a news conference to announce that his 93 colleagues are “clearly out of the mainstream of American opinion.”

Senators Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts voted for the timeline, along with Democrat Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa, Barbara Boxer of California, Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

“The six of us represent the heart’s cry of every red-blooded American,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We hear the voice of the people, and the people say they want immediate, unconditional withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.”

Senator Kerry, the presumptive runner-up for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination, criticized the legislation introduced by Republicans as a cheap stunt designed to preempt his own forthcoming Iraq pullout bill.

“I have a plan for a strategic withdrawal from Iraq,” said Sen. Kerry. “I plan to release my plan about the same time the Democrat National Committee unveils its plan for America’s future, or right after Microsoft releases its new Vista operating system, whichever comes first.”
Check out these other Scrappleface Top Stories...
Kennedy: Vote Shows 93 Senators Out of Mainstream
Rove Cleared, Zarqawi Dead, GOP Doomed
Democrats Vow to Fight On After Zarqawi Loss
Iran May Stop Nuke-Making in Exchange for ICBMs
Qaeda Probes Premeditated Murder Charges

Michael Barone: Vietnam, Watergate and Rove

You will want to read the whole piece in Opinion Journal.

Here are the last two paragraphs to whet your appetite:

Historians may regard it as a curious thing that the left and the press have been so determined to fit current events into templates based on events that occurred 30 to 40 years ago. The people who effectively framed the issues raised by Vietnam and Watergate did something like the opposite; they insisted that Vietnam was not a reprise of World War II or Korea and that Watergate was something different from the operations J. Edgar Hoover conducted for Franklin Roosevelt or John Kennedy. Journalists in the 1940s, '50s and early '60s tended to believe they had a duty to buttress Americans' faith in their leaders and their government. Journalists since Vietnam and Watergate have tended to believe that they have a duty to undermine such faith, especially when the wrong party is in office.

That belief has its perils for journalism, as the Fitzgerald investigation has shown. The peril that the press may find itself in the hot seat, but even more the peril that it will get the story wrong. The visible slavering over the prospect of a Rove indictment is just another item in the list of reasons why the credibility of the "mainstream media" has been plunging. There's also a peril for the political left. Vietnam and Watergate were arguably triumphs for honest reporting. But they were also defeats for America--and for millions of freedom-loving people in the world. They ushered in an era when the political opposition and much of the press have sought not just to defeat administrations but to delegitimize them. The pursuit of Karl Rove by the left and the press has been just the latest episode in the attempted criminalization of political differences. Is there any hope that it might turn out to be the last?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The End of Al Queda in Iraq?

The death of Zarqawi may have begun a domino effect, resulting in the end of Al Queda in Iraq.
AP reports that Iraq's national security adviser, Mouwafak al-Rubaie , said Thursday a "huge treasure" of documents and computer records was seized after the raid on terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's hideout, giving the Iraqi government the upper hand in its fight against al-Qaida in Iraq. "We believe that this is the beginning of the end of al-Qaida in Iraq," al-Rubaie said.

The information led to 452 raids in which 104 terrorists were killed and 759 "captured while 28 significant arms caches were discovered, according to Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad.

Caldwell said 255 of the raids were joint operations, while 143 were carried out by Iraqi forces alone.

Zarqawi Strike and Raids Yield Treasure Trove of Information

More from the AP Report:
Iraqi National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie revealed that a laptop computer, flashdrive and other documents were found in the debris after the airstrike that killed the al-Qaida in Iraq leader last week outside Baqouba, and more information has been uncovered in raids of other insurgent hideouts since then.

He called it a "huge treasure ... a huge amount of information."

When asked how he could be sure the information was authentic, al-Rubaie said "there is nothing more authentic than finding a thumbdrive in his pocket."
For the few of you who are not up on the latest computer terminology, a "thumbdrive" is a small computer storage device, about the size of a disposable cigarette lighter, that gives the user personal control and security over his documents and data.

One particular document is claimed to be the strategic assessment of Al Queda's weakness and strategy in Iraq. The authenticity of the document has not been independently verified, but if true, points to a successful Bush strategy which is clearly working.

Here are a few excerpts of the letter along with editorial additions by yours truly in red:
As an overall picture, time has been an element in affecting negatively the forces of the occupying countries [hello Democrats!], due to the losses they sustain economically in human lives, which are increasing with time. However, here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance for the following reasons:

1. By allowing the American forces to form the forces of the National Guard, to reinforce them and enable them to undertake military operations against the resistance. [Bush Plan]

2. By undertaking massive arrest operations, invading regions that have an impact on the resistance, and hence causing the resistance to lose many of its elements. [Bush Plan]

3. By undertaking a media campaign against the resistance resulting in weakening its influence inside the country and presenting its work as harmful to the population rather than being beneficial to the population. [Bush Plan]

4. By tightening the resistance's financial outlets, restricting its moral options and by confiscating its ammunition and weapons. [Bush Plan]

5. By creating a big division among the ranks of the resistance and jeopardizing its attack operations, it has weakened its influence and internal support of its elements, thus resulting in a decline of the resistance's assaults. [Bush Plan]

6. By allowing an increase in the number of countries and elements supporting the occupation or at least allowing to become neutral in their stand toward us in contrast to their previous stand or refusal of the occupation. [Bush Plan]

7. By taking advantage of the resistance's mistakes and magnifying them in order to misinform. [Bush Plan]
Regardless of the authenticity of the document, one thing is clear: Had we followed the Democrat "redeployment" plan put forward by Congressman Murtha and company, we never would have captured Zarqawi and had the success which is so very evident in rolling up large numbers of terrorists in the past week.

We Are Winning In Iraq!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Taxes Flowing Into US Treasury, Deficit Cut in Half! Liberals Upset?

More good news.

From Investor's Business Daily:
Aided by surging tax receipts, President Bush may make good on his pledge to cut the deficit in half in 2006 — three years early.

Tax revenues are running $176 billion, or 12.9%, over last year, the Treasury Department said Monday. The Congressional Budget Office said receipts have risen faster over the first eight months of fiscal '06 than in any other such period over the past 25 years — except for last year's 15.5% jump.

The 2006 deficit through May was $227 billion, down from $273 billion at this time last year. Spending is up $130 billion, or 7.9%.

The CBO forecast in May that the 2006 deficit could fall as low as $300 billion. Michael Englund, chief economist of Action Economics, has long expected a deficit of about $270 billion this year. Now he thinks there's a chance the "remarkable strength in receipts" will push the deficit even lower.

With the economy topping $13 trillion this year, a $270 billion deficit would equal less than 2.1% of GDP, easily beating the president's 2.25% goal. Bush made his vow when the White House had a dour 2004 deficit forecast of 4.5% of GDP, or $521 billion. The actual '04 deficit came in at $412 billion, or 3.5% of GDP, before falling to $318 billion, or 2.6% of GDP, in 2005.

A CBO analysis last week noted that withheld individual income and payroll taxes are up 7.6% from a year ago, with the gains picking up in recent months.

"Those gains suggest solid growth in wages and salaries in the national economy," CBO said.

While gains are broad, those at higher-income levels are enjoying bigger salary hikes. Because they pay higher rates, federal tax revenues soar when they do well.

Those making over $200,000 now pay 46.6% of total income taxes, presidential adviser Karl Rove recently said. That's up from 40.5% — despite Bush's tax cuts.

Nonwithheld income tax receipts are up about 20% vs. a year ago. That may reflect year-end bonuses and capital gains.

Corporate income taxes are up about 30% from last year's pace.
WWWHHHHAAATTT??? I thought we were living through another GOP induced depression?

All that money to spend and liberals are STILL complaining!

Bye Bye "Culture of Corruption" Says Pelosi

From The Hill:
The time to criticize the Republicans "culture of corruption," a Democratic refrain for nearly a year, is at an end, Pelosi said; Democrats need to begin promoting their own vision of America.

"Now it's time to talk about us. Enough of the Republicans. It's time for us to talk about what are the priorities we'd like to see addressed, if we have the opportunity," Pelosi said in an interview with The Hill on Wednesday.

Well how about that? That whole "culture of corruption" thing backfired so badly with the misdeeds of Dems like Harry Reid, Patrick Kennedy, William Jefferson and Cynthia McKinney and Francine Busby, among others, making headlines for months.

And now the Dems are going to tell us what they stand for? Easy: 1. Surrender in Iraq, 2.Gut the Patriot Act, 3. Raise everyone's taxes, 4. Feed every whacko lefty special interest group in sight with endless obstruction of everything that Bush stands for. Pretty much business as usual.

Of course they can't win an election on that platform either, so expect another con job with some nonsense about saving the planet for the next generation. No one's against Children now are they?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Speaker Hastert To Hold Hearings on Senate Immigration Bill?

Well, well, well, well well! Isn't this interesting?

That should put the brakes on that stupid Senate bill.

The Grinch Stole Fitzmas!

As lefties were huddled all cold in their beds, there came over the left a feeling of dread. As Fitzgerald rose, lefties bolted and woke. There would be "NO INDICTMENT OF ROVE" were the words ole Fitz spoke.

And as the news spread, one thing became clear: lefties knew now for sure: No FITZMAS THIS YEAR!

From Breitbart:
Top White House aide Karl Rove has been told by prosecutors he won't be charged with any crimes in the investigation into the leak of a CIA officer's identity, his lawyer said Tuesday, lifting a heavy burden from one of President Bush's most trusted advisers.

Attorney Robert Luskin said that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald informed him of the decision on Monday, ending months of speculation about the fate of Rove, the architect of Bush's 2004 re-election now focused on stopping Democrats from capturing the House or Senate in this November's elections.

Buckle up friends! It's going to be a bumpy ride! Our lefty friends, already teetering on the edge of sputtering lunacy may be pushed over the edge with this news. I doubt they can get any nastier, but they've proven thus far, that no low is too low... So be prepared!

Bush In Baghdad!

President George W. Bush (L) greets Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Baghdad inside the US Embassy during an unannounced five-hour trip. Yahoo News Photo.

A stunning move by President Bush as he left the War Council at Camp David and flew to Baghdad to meet with the new Iraqi leaders.

He told newly named Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "When America gives it's word, America keeps it's word."

No cut and run!

Breitbart report here.

President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki conduct the War Council from Baghdad. Video link to Camp David is in the background.

Drudge has the White House Reporter background info on this trip. A great "behind the scenes read."

President Bush Addresses the Troops in Baghdad:

Press Play button above.

President Bush boarding Air Force One secretively at the back entrance on Monday night as he prepares to head to Baghdad.

President George W. Bush rides in the cockpit of Air Force One on the final approach before landing in Baghdad Tuesday, June 13, 2006. White House photo by Eric Draper

Tony Snow Goes to War!

Tony, pictured left above, goes along for the ride to Baghdad!

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