Those 'Brilliant' Liberals
One of the memes that deserves a stake through the heart is the idea that liberal Democrats are smarter than conservative Republicans.
John Kerry's underperformance in college compared to George W. Bush was amusing.
Howard Dean's destructive lack of self-control makes him the Anti-Rove.
But Nancy Pelosi's ignorance of essential Constitutional concepts is just downright scary.
I weep for a nation that can produce no better quality opposition than this. No wonder the Democratic first resort to dealing with issues is invective, blame, and character assassination. Really, they do not have the brain power in leadership positions to be capable of much more.
Ireland Vindicates Free Markets
Thomas Friedman informs us that Ireland is the second-wealthiest nation in Europe, and lays out the encouraging way in which this upstart achieved its marvelous success.
Rove Should Apologize
It is understandable that many Democrats are upset by what Karl Rove had to say about their response to the 9/11 attacks. It is true that most of them did in fact support Bush's call for war against Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of those savage attacks.
Karl Rove: "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."
I do not think this is an accurate characterization of the view most Democrats had immediately after the attacks. I, for one, am grateful that they did support Bush's actions, and Rove should not take credit away from them. The nation was quite united at the time behind the President's strategies. It was the last time this nation was united, in fact.
On the other hand, if Rove was talking about the entire time frame from the invasion of Afghanistan to the present, his charge is correct. The Democratic party in general does now favor legalisms both for captured and non-captured terrorists over the get-tough approach. And right now at Ground Zero, liberals are lobbying for displays that call for an 'understanding' of the causes of 9/11, which is code for an attempt to blame the victim right at the very scene of the crime.
But, lumping the original Democrat zeal to wipe out the Taliban in with their later deterioration into Vietnam-haunted cowardice is a mistake. Karl Rove should clarify, make a non-waffling apology and move on. Not much damage will come of it I think - what Rove said still pales in comparison to Durbin's hideous remarks last week. And notice how the Republican outrage over Durbin's statements is on behalf of the men and women fighting for our country overseas, while the Democrat's outrage over Rove's statements is on behalf of themselves. Democrats are rather thin-skinned about the weak-on-defense charge (methinks they doth protest too much?)
Chuck Shumer (D-NewYork) said that" Rove "took something that is virtually sacred to New Yorkers" -- the tragedy of the September 11 attacks -- "and politicized it for political, opportunistic purposes."
Rove was not referring to the 9/11 attacks, he was responding to the very lame approach some Democrats advocated to handling terrorism in the wake of that tragedy. And don't forget, there were some Dems and liberal commentators arguing for pacifism even toward the Taliban.
Saying that Rove was 'politicizing' 9/11 is off the mark.
Update: Captain's Quarters has a good selection of wimpy Democrats that actually did call for complete cowardice directly after 9/11. I still think such folk represent a small minority opinion.
Dick Durbin apparently got the apology thing right the second time around, after an embarrassing "sorry you were too stupid to understand me" apology last week.
Lots of folk are saying Durbin gave an adequate, and even heartfelt apology. That may be so . . . but Durbin still needs to be censured.
This is not at all for partisan reasons. Nor is it to 'get' Durbin and humiliate and embarass him. I for one would have far preferred he had never uttered his grotesque remarks than to have him damaged politically, as much as I disliked Durbin even before this debacle.
Durbin's status as a leading U.S. Senator is what enabled Al-Jazeera to capitalize on Durbin's witting or unwitting propaganda coup. The Senate can now use its status to undue a modicum of the damage Durbin has done, reminding the world that the real atrocities are being committed by our enemies, not us.
Israel To Resume Assassinations
Due to the failure of Mahmoud 'Iron Fist' Abbas to rein in Palestinian terrorists, Israel has resumed its policy of assassinations of terrorist leadership.
Israel announced the resumption of this policy after a failed missile strike Tuesday.
Once again, it is up to Israel to do Abbas' own dirty work for him.
Update: Captain's Quarters has a good rundown of the failed meeting between Sharon and Abbas during which the assassination resumption policy was announced.
Sharon apparently excoriated Abbas for doing nothing to bring the terrorists to heel.
Why 'Am I A Pundit Now?'
It is a split decision in the blogosphere as to whether I am a pundit now or not.
A commenter at Wizbang has been calling me 'Not Yet A Pundit', so that is one vote nay.
Miller's Time says yea, so I guess it is undecided.
Well actually no. I am not a pundit, and that is why I named my blog what I did - a blogger does not necessarily a pundit make. A pundit is a serious person who does lots of research and cogitates and stirs the pot and comes up with serious reasoned answers.
Me, I just opine.
I don't want the responsibility of a pundit - I would have to be right all the time, or at least have lots of notes and research to paper over my bogus conclusion. Too constricting - not enough fun. And when it comes to blogging, I am all about fun, or venting.
P.S., I forgot to mention that I comment a lot at HuffPo, and there is someone there who calls themself Am I A Nazi Now? in my honor!
Kinda makes it all worthwhile. I have my own little pet troll now. I just hope it is housebroken.
Downing Street Memo: Fake?
Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it, and we may have that here with the supposed 'Downing Street Memo', in what looks like the next Rathergate.
Captain's Quarters is suggesting that they are fakes, or at least highly suspect.
Fake evidence for John Conyer's fake hearings, how appropriate.
The Art Of The Rant
This guy could even be a plant for all I know, but this is what I call a rant, from commenter 'Rob in LA' over at Wizbang:
Ha , jason and the rest of you losers dream on , why don't you impeach that lying fraud Jon Fraud Kerry . You retards are a disgrace to the human race . You should be admitted, you people must have been hypnotized or something , your from another planet. Democrats are synonymous with lying , cheating , election fraud , corruption etc. what are you stupid or what . I laugh at you , if you stood before me I would laugh even harder.Your all traitors , liars and losers. Sore losers , mad as hell because you lost get over it . Clinton was a fuck up admit it , he did it to himself , don't you asses remember .CLINTON SAID HE DID IT BECAUSE HE COULD. Grow up or drop dead. Your a disgrace to this nation , the world does not revolve around you and besides your just fricken stupid civilian. What the hell did you people lose ??? Not a dam thing . Hell I voted for Clinton both times you shit for brains . Stop putting our troops in danger and stop trying to make shit up just cause someone told you not to like Bush. Guess what they lied to you too about John Kerry being smarter Than Bush , Well your own party lied to you too aren't you mad. Bush is a hell of alot smarter than Kerry , has a higher IQ and he the President of the United States. So there. Kerry got 5 D's HA one in pol. sci. . I always asked why do you say Bush is dumb?? not one person has ever been able to answer. You should feel dumb for being a Democrat. I voted republican nov.2 2004. first time . never again for the traitor liars election stealing democrats."Heheheh I can almost feel the energy coming of this guy's fingertips while typing, maybe a bit of spittle landing on the keyboard . . .
Iran Admits Nuclear Cheating
While most of the focus on Iran's nuclear program has focused on gas centrifuges being used to enrich uranium, Iran has recently admitted that it had also enriched plutonium - years after it had claimed it had stopped doing so.
The IAEA did its job and caught the Iranians red-handed by testing plutonium samples for enrichment.
Both plutonium and uranium enrichment can be done for peaceful purposes, as long as these materials are not enriched so much that they can be used as weapons.
But it's gotta make you wonder: why does a nation swimming in oil need nuclear technology?
Durbin Really Is A Dick
Dick Durbin, Democratic embarassment from Illinois, is now on the Congressional Record as a propagandist for Al-Qaeda:
On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. ..... On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.I would hope the Senator will be censured for these damn-near treasonous remarks.
Dumbing Down Torture
What are the sources of all this anguish about the detainees in Gitmo? What is the underlying psychology pushing this hysteria about the alleged 'abuse' of these prisoners? The Left has an obvious agenda here: America is Mordor. We torture just for fun, and if the victims are oppressed third-worlders all the better. The Newsweek journalists and Michael Issikoff are not necessarily this type of crypto-socialist, trying to speed up the inevitable collapse of capitalism via the word processor. Issikoff probably thought he was 'correcting' abuses at Gitmo, in the name of aiding national security. After all, we don't want all those enraged muslims to be even angrier at us, do we?
Instead what Issikoff did was feed right into the culture created by the self-loathing American Left that believes we deserved 9/11.
It infuriates the Left that its allies all throughout history have been proven to be real torturers and killers. It is a very damning argument against them - it shows that they will engage in the most heinous means necessary to try and overthrow capitalism, all in service of the Grand Marxist Experiment. Never mind that Marxism was a genocidal failure that produced a modern dark age that makes medieval Europe look enlightened by comparison. Once it has been established that the United States is just as bad, the Left may once again freely support the progressive-murderer-of-the-week without guilt. And once again Marxism will be seen as a relatively palatable choice - after all, capitalism is just as bad, right? So why not take another look at socialism?
This odious mindset has been purchased whole by the once-respectable Amnesty International, which perhaps needs this immoral equivalence between the U.S. and the forces of darkness precisely because Amnesty harbors guilt over its lack of investigating real abuses, such as in North Korea or Zimbabwe. Thus, detaining several hundred terrorists in balmy Guantanamo Bay magically becomes the equivalent of decades of forced labor for innocent millions in the arctic Gulag.
Naturally the Left wants normal America to buy into this, and the tactic they have chosen is to dumb down torture. Now, loud music is 'torture'. Putting ladies underwear on a man's head is now a 'torture'. The mere presence of a woman in front of pious muslim men is 'torture'. Does this notion offend the feminists? No, because truly tolerant Leftists perfectly understand that muslims consider women to be loathsome, and we need to respect that.
This dumbing down torture tactic has largely worked unfortunately, and now millions of otherwise insightful Americans now believe that we are torturing people, because they have only caught the merest whiff of this story, and have not had a chance to look at the entire record. The Europeans too, feeling deep guilt over their own history of genocide and inventing murderous philosophies, naturally ache for the relief brought by being able to point the finger at someone else. Such anti-Americanism gives cover to their neuroses.
Worst of all, this story gives cover to the many third world regimes that can now avoid opprobrium by pointing at the United States. 'Is this your democracy?' the Bashar Assad types will sneer, grateful that they too now have the immoral equivalence weapon in their arsenal.
Dean 'Til The Bitter End
I find Howard Dean to be a fascinating figure. I actually admire the guy in a lot of ways, he says what he thinks, he is a fighter, and he throws himself into his tasks. It would be more fun to sit down and have a beer with this guy than most of the straight-laced controversy-averse politicians on the stage these days.
He has blinded too many of the Democrats to his obvious failings, however. The liberal rah-rah chorus is happy that someone is going to finally tell off the Bush administration (yes we have been woefully short on criticism of Bush) and they probably wouldn't care if he wore his underwear on his head during a press conference as long as he serves up some red meat. In the teeth of ample contrary evidence, the die-hard Democrat base will never admit that Dean is actually bad for them.
Dean apologists include Paul Waldman at TomPaine.com, who thinks that if the Democrats didn't backstab Dean over his intemperate comments, the press would lay off. He proposes that the Democrats invoke the code of omerta, to protect Chairman Dean from fratricidal criticism, in order to make it seem as if the Democrats walk in lockstep support of him.
Waldman forgets two things however - the press started tearing Dean apart before his fellow Democrats started criticizing him, and he also forgets that papering over Dean's faults will not make them go away.
Americans Want Troops To Leave Iraq
A Gallup poll on American attitudes toward the war in Iraq shows that 6 in 10 Americans want the U.S. to withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.
Well that seems quite non-controversial doesn't it? Who doesn't want our troops home?
The poll also stated that Americans are split as to whether the U.S. should keep troops there until the insurgency is contained, or bring them home 'as soon as possible'. Note that the poll does not ask if we should bring all of our troops home now, regardless of the circumstances.
But no doubt the Left will spin this poll to say exactly that: that most Americans want us to cut and run from Iraq now. From this poll, it seems like only a small fraction of Americans are actually saying that.
What The Dems Need To Do
Well here is another little list, inspired by a very interesting conversation over at Dean's.
1. Stop dissing religious folk.
Honestly I think number two is the most important one here. People are fed up with the Democrats' constant harping on the perceived errors of the Bush administration, sometimes even when they agree with the criticism. Negativity, even when it is correct, is just such a turnoff and it drives people away. So much of it is history that cannot be undone in any event, and so the Democrats often sound like they are just refighting the Civil War.
Right now, it is hard to figure out what the Democrats are actually for.
Kerry Is For Kidz
Got the latest email from John Kerry!
His new angle is children living without health insurance.
I get the feeling that the consultants working for Kerry just polled the nonsense out of this issue and found it to be a winner.
And . . . he is trying to outmaneuver Hillary on an issue with obvious feminine appeal.
Apparently the words 'arrogance', 'power grabs' and 'radical agenda' are polling well these days also.
Infuriating Democratic Dimthink
Here is just a quick list of things far too many democrats actually believe:
1. Bush is Hitler.
There must be hundreds more of these, I am sure I will be adding others soon.
Justice Brown: Liberalism = Slavery
The New York Times has an article about the 'controversial' statements of Janice Rogers Brown, who was approved today by the Senate. The first, and perhaps most telling, quote from Justice Brown is this:
In the heyday of liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery."
Perhaps the liberals do not hate Justice Brown because she is 'extreme' - perhaps they hate her because she has their number.
Huffington Post: Thumbs Up
Kudos to the Huffington Post, which now has comments. Now it feels more like a real blog, instead of the "commands from down high" posture it has without the ability of schmucks like me to heckle back.
I notice that even some of the politicians like John Conyers are now allowing comments.
Good for them, good for us - we need the give and take.
I think HuffPo is a keeper. It has enough substance and serious viewpoints to keep it from being a timewaster, and they are pretty good at headlining interesting and timely news stories (though Drudge still has them beat).
I will be interested to see what the naysayers think a few weeks or months from now. HuffPo is far from perfect, but will people find it useful? I think so.
John Kerry: Lookin' Good!
Good God, is this really John Kerry? He looks like he joined the casting call for the Adaams Family.
Apparently he wasn't a very brilliant student either, via The Boston Globe.
Consistency Is The Hobgoblin Of Big Minds
And that Big Mind belongs to Justice Clarence Thomas, who displays an admirable consistency on federalism.
The now-infamous medical marijuana Raich case may have enshrined Thomas as the hero of those who believe the Constitution means what it says.
Heh, in many circles that makes him an 'extremist'. I didn't realize the Constitution, as written, was that 'extreme'.
Even his buddy Antonin Scalia dropped the ball on this one I think.
Update: The Layperson's Guide To Raich is at the Drug War Rant - despite the blog's title this is an excellent one-stop breakdown of the case and its implications.
Impeachment Hopes Spring Eternal
In Search Of Utopia gives choir cheers to Recovering Liberal, looking forward with childlike delight to the impeachment of the lame duck George W. Bush.
Lame duck? Outside the Beltway sees it differently.
Ken Says: I would have linked to Recovering Liberal directly, but that blog does not yet seem to have discovered the innovation of permalinks.
Victims of the Factual Revolution
I found this post at Powerline called 'Blumenthal Responds, Kind Of' to be both fascinating and instructive.
'Sid Vicious' Blumenthal, writing for Britain's Guardian Newspaper makes the charge that Bill Frist is a hypocrite, alleging
Frist, like most Republicans in favour of the nuclear option, had enthusiastically filibustered against Clinton's court nominees, 65 of which were blocked from 1995-2000."We can handily apply the 'ol chess fork to Blumenthal here: either Blumenthal is lying through his teeth, or he does not know what a filibuster is.
I ask you: what are the chances that a former Assistant to the President does not know what a filibuster is? Not bloody likely, is it. That only leaves the alternative.
In his defense, Blumenthal cited Dianne Feinstein, who makes completely disingenuous arguments that Clinton's judicial nominees were 'filibustered'. Apparently the Democrats, now desperate to show that judicial filibusters were started by the Republicans, are now labelling any and all procedural hurdles a 'filibuster'. If the language does not help the Democrats, it is the language that must change, not the Democrats.
The lesson I drew from the Powerline post is that demagogues like Blumenthal are having a much tougher go of things now than they have in the past. As Powerline points out, Blumenthal probably thought he could write for a british audience without fear of being contradicted on his 'facts'. Blumenthal has been quite thoroughly chewed up and spit out over his lack of integrity, the Powerline post pretty much tears him limb from limb, and a few years ago he would not have needed to defend himself. There was no forum to challenge him, but now there is.
Perhaps we are witnessing the emergence of a 'factual revolution' in which slippery operators like Blumenthal will not be able to gain a toehold. Whereas once they were rewarded with money and percs for peddling half-truths and insinuations, they will now become fodder for the corrective machinery of bloggers and other alternative media. This does not bode well for the Democratic party, which gleefully places someone like Howard Dean, who speaks first and thinks later, in a position to become a laughingstock.
It does bode well for the Republicans however. Republicans thrive on facts, new ideas and reasoned defense of theory. That is what earned the Republicans control of both houses and the White House. Compare the leftists blogs like Kos or Eschaton, etc., with blogs like Powerline or Captain's Quarters. The leftists are just hopelessly outclassed and outgunned. Why? Because people like Kos think that demagoguery, character assassination and invective is political discourse. Granted, those can be effective ways to convince or convert undecideds, but in the end they do not suffice, there is a limit to their appeal. And those pesky facts just don't seem to want to go away.
Instead of fighting the Factual Revolution, perhaps the Democrats need to join it.
Syria Fires Scud Over Turkey
And it breaks up and showers bewildered farmers with bits of missile.
Tough guy Bashar Assad had better stop playing games. He is on the excrement list as it is, and this imprudent move will do nothing except maybe raise his status in the eyes of his father's hardliners that remain in Damascus.
And having your missile break up in parts in the atmosphere is more likely to inspire ire rather than fear in your enemies.
Dean Inserts Foot In Mouth Again
DNC chair Howard Dean is out on the stump with his unique brand of democrat warmheartedness, telling the Campaign for America's Future that the GOP has a "dark, difficult and dishonest" vision for America, and that "a lot of Republicans don't make an honest living." Via USA Today.
Terry McAuliffe used to say ignorant things like this also, but it was not newsworthy when he uttered a slew of untruths. Now, the press seems to be eager to pick up on the latest Howard Dean gaffe, to add to the ever-growing file.
This is unfortunate, because I was hoping Dean would get a lifetime appointment as DNC chair, particularly because Dean is a horrible fund raiser.
Josh Marshall: Bush = Nixon
I haven't blogged on the revelation of Mark Felt as Deepthroat because everyone else is, so why should I jump in?
Well, I am interested in things like this: people like Josh Marshall trying to paint Bush as Nixon redux. In this vein, Marshall takes on Peggy Noonan for criticising Felt:
I guess, though, we owe Peggy et al. thanks for stipulating for the record that they don't think anything of any consequence was done wrong in Watergate because that provides a helpful context for understanding why they keep carrying the water of this administration, knowing as they do that many of the same things are happening."What are these many 'same things' that are happening? Waging an unauthorized and illegal war, such as Bill Clinton did against Serbia? Using F.B.I. files to establish an enemies list, such as the Clintons did? Using unauthorized wiretaps, such as Kennedy and Johnson did?
Please Josh, be a little more specific in your allegations. Just throwing out the Bush = Nixon meme might get you far among the Leftists, but more skeptical folks are going to need a bit more information to buy into that one.
Conyers Wants To Impeach Bush?
We learn via this opinion in The Nation that Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) is considering filing Articles of Impeachment against George Bush based on revelations in the Downing Street Memo.
Conyers has called the memo the "the smoking bullet in the smoking gun." One thing that strikes me as odd, then, is this quote from the Downing Street Memo:
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.Why would the U.S. and Britain be warplanning WMD exigencies here, if they knew these weapons of mass destruction didn't exist?
It will be very tough for Conyers to get around that one. So much for the smoking bullet.