Carol Platt Liebau: September 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Murtha and the FBI

Over at The American Spectator, there's a director's cut of film of Murtha during the Abscam scandal. No wonder Murtha's campaign for House Democratic Majority Leader doesn't seem to be gaining a lot of traction, even with liberals.

Oh, wait . . . according to this piece, it has nothing to do with the credible allegations of corruption. It's because Murtha's perceived as too conservative on social issues. Guess that tells you what matters to the left.

Be Ready

For more stories like this, discussing "perceptions" that Mormons are polygamists (note that the story quotes no hard numbers about which or how many Americans experience this "perception"). It's an ugly and, sadly, inevitable byproduct of the increasing stature of Governor Mitt Romney.

There has been speculation that Romney's faith might hurt him with the evangelical Christians who are an important part of the GOP nominating process -- and no doubt there are those in the MSM (as well as people like putative rival John McCain) who were hoping this would happen; it would have offered what would appear to some to be the dual advantage of eliminating a solid and charismatic conservative from the race while allowing aspersions of bigotry to be cast on conservative Christians.

But instead, many evangelicals are embracing Romney. And that's why we should all be prepared to see more articles attempting to portray Mormonism as some otherworldly religion of which we should all be very, very wary. It's about the election -- and to the extent that Romney continues to creep up on media favorite McCain, the press is going to get tougher and tougher on him.

The Difference Between the Parties

Let the Democrats try to gin up a scandal in the wake of Mark Foley's resignation (Apparently, they've forgotten that such scandals can be bipartisan and that Democrat Gerry Studds never apologized even for having sex with a 17 year old male page).

Republicans should be reminding the public that however deplorable the Foley story is, it's essentially a distraction at a time when the nation is at war and there is much at stake beyond one congressman's disgusting behavior. Here's what Republicans ought to be talking about, as articulated by Bill Kristol:

[L]ast week's votes in Congress on the detainees legislation were . . . significant. The legislation had nothing to do with Iraq. It was a "pure" war-on-terror vote. And the parties split. Three-quarters of the Democrats in the House and Senate stood with the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union for more rights for al Qaeda detainees, and against legislation supported by the Bush administration (as well as by John McCain and Joe Lieberman). Some Democrats in competitive races--such as Rep. Harold Ford, running for the Senate in Tennessee--supported the legislation. But it remains the case that a vote for Democrats is a vote for congressional leaders committed to kinder and gentler treatment of terrorists.

To the extent that the Democrats obsess on the Foley story instead of concentrating on the war on teror (and on explaining how they would address it), it's just another reminder of the different priorities of the parties . . . and more proof that Dems just don't take the war on terror seriously.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Beating Something With Nothing?

Mort Kondracke points out that the Democrats have chosen to put forward no meaningful plan for leading the country, intending to rely solely on disaffection with the Republican Congress.

It's possible that the strategy will work, but it's awfully hard to beat something with nothing. Especially when that "nothing" comes across as little more than obstruction and partisan sniping.

Especially during a war. Especially when a number of Democrats -- including the putative leaders of a Democratic Congress -- seem more concerned with the rights and dignity of terrorists than the safety of fellow Americans.

Scandals on Both Sides

Republican Mark Foley has resigned from Congress, and his name will remain on the ballot. Note that the Washington Post reporter remarks hopefully that this could be an "opportunity" for Democrats.

In the meantime, the AP notes wistfully that Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey has a "real fight" on his hands, attributing his troubles to his opponent's well known family name. This, of course, allows the reporter to remain decently reticent about what's referred to dismissively as "corruption allegations" (which aren't even mentioned until almost the end of the piece).

Are the different tenors of the coverage a coincidence? You decide . . .

Just Like the Dems

Al Qaeda's number 2 had some pretty harsh words for President Bush (and Pope Benedict). Not surprisingly, his denunciations sounded a lot like what's been emanating from the Democrats.

Reading the Tea Leaves

Well, here's yet another "October surprise." Bob Woodward is obviously a good reporter, but he's also very good at reading the zeitgeist and figuring out what type of informaiton and inside gossip will result in maximum book sales.

His last book -- back when the war was still a "cause celebre" -- portrayed the Bush White House as "surprisingly" engaged on foreign policy. Now that the left is at unprecedented levels of rabidity and the war has lost popularity, Woodward's emphasis has shifted, and he's reporting (surprise!) that there were disputes and hostilities in Bush's inner circle, and that mistakes have been made in the aftermath of the Iraq war.

Well, that's a news flash, isn't it? And so different from other wars, where no mistakes have ever, ever been made. Right. Note also that, as always, Colin Powell comes off smelling like a rose (as George Tenet does, as well). It's always easy to figure out who the leakers are. The people who talk to Bob Woodward (like Powell) are uniformly portrayed as the omniscient, the caring and the foresighted. Those who don't (like Rumsfeld) pay the price.

Ultimately, the question for the upcoming elections isn't whether the Bush team is perfect, but whether the Democrats would be better. And I think more Americans than the media realizes know the answer to that.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Brace Yourself

The House Government Affairs Committee is preparing to release a report that details Jack Abramoff's dealings with The White House.

Not surprisingly, the Democrats are trying to use the report to resuscitate the "culture of corruption" claims that were chilled by Rep. Jefferson's freezer. While they're at it, they might want to look into the stench of corruption surrounding Democrat Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Congressmen Mollohan and Conyers, as well.

But don't expect the press to pursue those claims with the same vigor. After all, Chuck Schumer's NRSCC has behaved with borderline criminality, to conspicuous silence.

Instead . . . be ready. The press will be trotting out Democratic "scandals" and talking points with discouraging regularity from now until Election Day.

A Step Forward

The Senate has approved legislation providing for the interrogation of terrorist detainees.

It passed 65-34, which means that a number of Democrats joined the Republicans in supporting it. Notably, however, Republican Lincoln Chafee voted with the Democrats -- and the Dems who would constitute the Democratic leadership opposed it, which tells you all you need to know about where the country would head if the Dems were in the majority. Note also that 160 Democrats opposed the House bill.

Hugh Hewitt has transcribed Patrick Leahy's diatribe on the Senate floor today -- a rant that clearly shows that, like so many Democrats, Leahy is more concerned with the rights of terrorists than the safety of Americans.

Thankfully, President Bush seems to understand why it's important to highlight the contrasts between his approach and that of the Democrats. Long unused to making sharply partisan statements about his adversaries, today, the President commented that:

Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstructionism and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt), the party of Harry Truman, has become the party of cut and run.

And he's quite right. For too long, Dems have attacked the President with impunity. It's time they understand that he intends to respond, and point out the differences that make it clear why Republican leadership in the war on terror isn't just preferable -- it's vital.

In Search of the Drop-Offs

According to this account in the Chicago Sun-Times, here's an overview of the Dems' strategy for November, at least according to DCCC Rahm Emmanuel:

And the entire focus of our effort, God willing there are no reporters in here to make sure the NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee] hears about it, and that means that is to focus on those people who do vote presidential but don't vote in non-presidential years . ...

And our entire resources of mail, telephone, door knocking and person-to-person contact is to that universe. . . . That's what we are doing.

Don't know, but that doesn't sound so secret or unexpcted to me . . .

Still in the Cards?

Fred Barnes argues that if George Allen is still able to win reelection in Virginia, a relatively successful presidential run may be in the cards.

Obviously, it's hard to tell at this point. But one of the things that's most troubling about Allen's campaign against Jim Webb is his willingness to attack Webb from the left when it comes to Webb's views on women in the military. In essence, Allen intends to make hay of the fact that Webb's views, at least as expressed in the past, have been anything but politically correct.

The problem is that Allen's supposed to be a conservative, and to understand why women in combat is, indeed, a bad idea. What's more, he was governor when the state supported Virginia Military Institute's effort to remain single-sex.

So when Allen attacks Webb on anything approaching PC gender grounds, not only does it seem faintly opportunistic -- it's also hypocritical. After all, if there's one thing we've learned about George Allen, it's that there's a distinct streak of political incorrectness running through a portion of his own statements.

Well, any port in a storm, I guess.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What Happened to Honor?

Ralph Peters deplores a blabby, big-mouth culture where government servants leak America's secrets -- your secrets -- and the press prints them, all in service of an agenda that has little to do with protecting the American people, or anything higher than serving their own self-interests.

New Sheriff in Town

There has been warning after warning about the tone and substance of comments appearing on this site. I have now changed the settings on this blog, and no comments will appear until I have approved them.

As always, comments that challenge my writing or that of any other commenters are welcome, as long as they are civil. Those that are not will not appear. No warning, no editing, no nothing.

It's a shame that the mindless sniping of just a few commenters have made this policy necessary, but it's clearly long past due.

Enough is enough.

Clinton on the Couch

In yesterday's LA Times, Andrew Klavan makes a fascinating study by contrasting the psyches of Presidents Reagan and Clinton.

One could summarize by noting that Clinton believes in a sort of multicultural, shape-shifting concept of the truth; President Reagan's take is much less modern and -- dare one say it? -- much more "true" in the real sense.

Incestuous Embrace

Jon Stossel quite rightly points out that big government and big business aren't -- as the left commonly assumes -- adversaries, but allies.

When I handled small business issues for Senator Bond (who was a member of the Senate Small Business Committee) over a decade ago, the truth of that insight became painfully clear. In fact, when big business wants to stifle its competition, it goes to the only place that can really put someone out of business once and for all . . . the government. That's because big businesses have the size and capacity to absorb the expenses and added layers of paperwork and bureaucracy that government regulation adds. Small businesses don't.

Losing Ground?

An intercepted letter from Al Qaeda, released yesterday, shows that the terrorists believe they are losing ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let's not let the Democrats rip defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


With reports describing what the National Intelligence Estimate really said, it looks like a document that the Democrats had hoped to use to injure President Bush may, instead, prove damaging to their own hopes to retake Congress -- and cut and run in Iraq.

As leaked (incompletely) by Bush adversaries, the NIE report was purported to demonstrate that the Iraq war had increased the terrorist threat -- thereby, the Democrats argued, worsening the problem and making us less safe.

It should be obvious that when any threat is addressed directly, it will grow worse while the battle rages. After all, back in 1941, the "problem" with Japan worsened enormously after Pearl Harbor, when we fought back. Ultimately, however, the Japan problem was "better" than if the United States had never gone to battle; in fact, it was solved.

The analogy is the same here. Of course, when terrorists are confronted directly, the threat grows while the battle is joined. The question is whether victory can eliminate or reduce the threat.

Put in context, the NIE report actually notes that if the US and the Iraqi government defeat the terrorists in Iraq, it will hinder the recruiting of more terrorists -- thereby making us more safe. In other words, if we win the war, it will be a serious blow to the Islamofascist cause.

So a report that was intended to injure President Bush merely serves to sharpen the contrast between Republicans like the President, and the Democratic Party's non-approach to the war on terror. It's a contrast that works to the Republicans' advantage.

When it comes to the war in Iraq, the Democrats want us to retreat from Iraq and cede victory to the terrorists. The Republicans understand that the danger increases temporarily while we fight, but that, as General Abizaid told Hugh Hewitt, the war is winnable and can bring with it a real reduction in the threat to America.

Ultimately, as always, the choice is left to the good sense of the American people. Will we elect leaders who are committed to the victory that will make us safer, or to a policy of defeat and retreat that will only embolden the terrorists that have been recruited throughout the war?

Ronald Reagan once said, "I don't believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing." The decision is ours.

What the NIE Report Really Means

Jack Kelly hits the nail on the head with a brilliant column:

Attacking our enemies does tend to make them angrier. But they were angry enough to start with, and failing to respond to their attacks can have worse consequences than defeating them in battle.

Anyway, all we know about the NIE is what the leaker and the New York Times want us to know. That's not enough. . . .

I'm for declassifying as much of the NIE as can be done without breaching security. But the Bush administration should not be put in the position of having to choose between protecting itself (by declassifying the report and exposing distortions) or protecting our nation's secrets.

What should trouble us most about the New York Times story is not the dubious proposition it advances that the war in Iraq has made the struggle against Islamic radicalism more difficult. It is that there are people in the intelligence community who use secret intelligence for partisan political purposes.

Amen to that. It's long past time for a housecleaning of America's inept, incompetent -- and partisan -- intelligence service.

Say It Isn't So!

Bill Clinton lying?! No - say it isn't so!

But Condoleezza Rice contradicts his account of his alleged efforts in the war on terror -- and she isn't alone. Ex-Clinton "advisors" are weighing in, too.

More inconvenient facts here.

Forcing Us to Lose the War

This article is a frightening glimpse at the shape of things to come if the Democrats win the House of Representatives. Some among them -- including putative chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel -- are willing to force a defeat for us, and a victory for the terrorists, in Iraq by simply refusing to fund the war. Note this isn't the first time Democrats have flirted this with idea.

Remember also that this technique is the way they forced a defeat for the USA (and the South Vietnamese) in Vietnam. The only difference, of course, is that in those dark days in the '70's, we didn't have to worry about emboldened enemies taking advantage of our weakness to attack innocents in our own homeland.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Religious and Multiculti Truth

Michael Ledeen makes an incredibly important point about the discussion and coverage of religion worldwide, noting:

The stuff about Islam was predictably discussed in the usual context of political correctness, according to which it is always wrong to criticize another person’s beliefs, and very wrong to criticize the beliefs of a foreign “culture.” They seemed unable to comprehend that, in ultimate issues, this sort of total tolerance doesn’t work. And the pretense that violently conflicting views of the world can be smoothed over in pleasant conversation only has the effect of intensifying the conflicts. We have arrived at the present unhappy situation not so much because we challenged those with different worldview, but because we ceased to assert our own values and advance our world view.

It's worth asking: Why, exactly, is it that we "ceased to assert our own values and advance our world view"? What precipitated this crisis of confidence?

In my view, it's been the advent of multiculturalism. Not for the leftists who originally propounded it, of course -- their hostility to America and all it stands for couldn't be clearer. But over time, the "lazy libertarianism" that mindless multiculturalism breeds has become virtually the only style of moral reasoning that many in our culture can practice . . . a sort of "who am I to judge?"-style abdication of the responsibility for making reasoned judgments when it matters.

The problem with multiculturalism, of course, is that for it to make any sense, one must buy into moral relativism. There isn't any "right" or "wrong"; it's what's right for me and/or wrong for you. When one is nothing more than the product of a culture, there are no natural rights and no ultimate truths.

And when that view has been drilled into a society's mind with sufficient frequency and force, it diminishes the cultural and moral confidence that's required for asserting our own values and advancing our world view.

Where Is the Press?

As this piece in The American Spectator points out, some very, very ugly behavior by lefties has been revealed in the course of several campaigns.

If such goings-on had been reported on the part of Republicans, you can bet it would be all over the MSM. Bias doesn't always have to be overt -- or even conscious -- to be incredibly pernicious.

So much for the lefty theory, articulated most recently by President Clinton, that the press is somehow unfair to liberals like him.

Romney: Looking Good

At the "Values Voter" summit over the weekend, a number of GOP presidential hopefuls made the rounds.

The astute John Fund suggests that Mitt Romney is rapidly emerging as the socially conservative alternative to John McCain. Sounds good to me -- everything I've read and heard about Romney sounds right on, including this. What's more, it takes no inconsiderable political skills, after eight years as governor as one of the bluest states in the nation, to have the credibility to campaign as a social conservative.

(And let's not even mention how good looking Romney is, because that would be frivolous.)

What a Takeover Means

Good. Donald Lambro writes that Republicans are beginning to emphasize the kind of leadership that America would have if -- Heaven forbid! -- the Dems took the House.

Well, some of us have been doing that for a while, because the Democratic "alternative" would be deadly to our hopes for success in the war on terror.

Really Bright 'n Early

If 6:00 am rolls around really early when I'm in St. Louis, you can imagine how 4:00 am feels on the west coast. Even so, it's worth it to have the chance to sit in with Jamie Allman for the fabulous KFTK morning show "Allman and Smash in the Morning."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

News Flash

Who knew? Men and women are different.

Facts vs. Conclusions

Jack Kelly points out that the "conclusions" adopted in a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee aren't supported by the facts contained in the report itself -- and they're being used for political purposes by the Democrats.

What Lies Beneath

If there were anyone left who really didn't know where Tim Russert's political sympathies lie, it became patently clear today. Contrast the tone and questions of his deferential, softball interview with Bill Clinton to the style and tone of his Dick Cheney interview two weeks ago.

Worsening the Problem?

As this report points out, a leaked National Intelligene Estimate has charged that the war in Iraq has "contributed to an increased threat of terrorism."

Hm. It will be interesting to see if all the lefties -- who dismiss the fact that the National Intelligence Estimates also said there were WMD in Iraq -- decide that this one is eminently credible.

But it strikes me that some fairly significant logical leaps are necessary in order to reach this conclusion. How is it that the war in Iraq -- as opposed, say, to that in Afghanistan -- has increased the terrorist threat? Why would zealots object more to the removal of Saddam Hussein than to the removal of the Taliban?

And finally, what exactly is the implication of such a report? That we shouldn't do anything -- will that ensure that the threat of terrorism will diminish? And how, exactly, would such a strategy be feasible, and how, exactly, would it keep us safe? After all, we were in neither Afghanistan nor Iraq on 9/11. And does anyone really think that if the 9/11 terrorists had had nuclear bombs then, they wouldn't have used them?

The Democratic Hate Machine

I've written before (for example, here and here and here) about the destructive results of the Democrats' hate for President Bush, both for the country and for their party.

Today, this piece in The New York Post makes essentially the same point.

As Craig Charny writes:

In fact, the fury against to Bush has reached unprecedented levels, even compared to the animosity among Republicans to his predecessor. Not long ago, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that "strong disapproval" of Bush was 10 points higher than that recorded for Bill Clinton at any point during his presidency, including his impeachment. (That wasn't during a war, either.)

Obviously, the public isn't stupid. Americans understand that a party so committed to seeing President Bush fail is willing to see the country fail. And that means that its members hate President Bush more than they love America, and that they care more about their party than about their country -- in wartime, no less.

If the Democrats lose again in 2006, this will be the reason, as it was in 2004.

Don't Look Now . . .

But this report suggests that Al Qaeda's operational control has been severely diminished.

Clinton: Unplugged and Unhinged

On Fox News Sunday, Bill Clinton gave his first interview to the Fox News Channel. At first, the overall impression is that he's incredibly defensive and sensitive about his manifold failures in the war on terror -- to the point where it seems obvious that he knows that he messed it up. Everybody's at fault except good ole Slick Willy.

As Ace of Spades points out, President Clinton simply lies. But we're used to that, of course, after eight long years. What was so shocking was Clinton's demeanor and the nature of his assertions.

Through the course of the interview, it became clear that former President Clinton is -- perhaps "crazy" is too strong a word -- but definitely unhinged and somewhat paranoid when it comes to his views on the media . . . ironic, given that the lefties have tried to portray President Bush as someone who's unwilling to apologize, reluctant to admit fault and living in a bubble.

Below is a sample of some of the weirder stuff. First, thought, it's worth noting that the question that set off President Clinton's diatribe was nothing more than the following:

Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaeda out of business when you were President? . . . why didn't you do more to connect the dots and put them out of business?

Here are portions of Clinton's rant:

I'm being asked this on the Fox Network. ABC just had a right wing, conservative running their little "Pathway to 9/11." . . . All the right wingers who now say I didn't do enough said I did too much. Same people. They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day, after we were involved in Black Hawk down and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.

You did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me.

You set this meeting up because you're going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch's supporting my work on climate change, and you came here under false pretenses and said that you'd spend half the time talking about what we did out there . . . and you don't care.
(This is after only the one question set forth above).

[After Chris Wallace noted that his one question had sent Clinton "on a tear"]: It set me off on a tear because you didn't formulate it in an honest way and because you people ask me quesitons that you don't ask the other side. . . . You falsely accused me of giving aid and comfort to bin Laden . . .

You've got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever, but I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it, but I did try.
(He then goes on to blame the military for being reluctant to go into Afghanistan, etc.)

I always get these clever little political deals where they ask me one set of questions and other guys another set. It always comes from one source.

Judging from this inteview, President Clinton is not a healthy man. Hillary must be incredibly dismayed by his comments and deportment, because it's clear that someone so isolated from reality, quick to anger, and paranoid has no business being in The White House, even as First Gentleman.

President Bush has received infinitely more criticism on these topics than Clinton ever dreamed of. Can you imagine the outcry had he behaved in such a weird and borderline manner?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Allen's Travails

Contrary to many whose judgment I respect, I've never been a big fan of George Allen. Even so, who would ever have foreseen the gravity of the political wounds he's inflicted on himself, as laid out in this comprehensive Weekly Standard piece by Matthew Continetti?

Obviously, Allen's behavior, as the article documents, has been distasteful on a couple of levels. But his handling of the "macaca" incident and the discussion of his mother's religious heritage has been as destructive of his presidential hopes as the actual substance of the incidents.

One of the key elements any party wants in a presidential nominee is a certain nimbleness, an ability to transcend mistakes and missteps. Certainly, no one has this skill like Bill Clinton (and frankly, he's got a little too much of it, hence the "Slick Willy" moniker).

But Allen has shown the remarkably disturbing skill of worsening a bad situation simply by his "management" of it. If he's struggling to overcome problems of his own making in a statewide campaign, how, exactly, is anyone supposed to be optimistic that he can move past other issues that would undoubtedly arise -- through both the MSM and his opponent -- in a national campaign?

Voices from the Left

As I noted here, it took long enough, but Charlie Rangel and Nancy Pelosi finally spoke out against the bizarre verbal abuse being dished out by Hugo Chavez.

Amazingly, some on the left are now criticizing Rangel for doing so, as John Hawkins points out at Right Wing News (HT: Jack Kelly at Irish Pennants).

Tells you a lot about what "patriotism" means to the lefties.

If So, Good Riddance

There are credible reports -- but not yet confirmation of them -- that say Osama bin Laden is dead.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Time to Take a Stand

As Byron York notes, with the Bush and McCain/Graham/Warner compromise, the GOP headaches are over, and the Democratic ones are just beginning.

It's worth pointing out to the American people -- as Republicans no doubt will -- that the Democrats thus far have been willing to abdicate responsibility for participating in one of the most important public debates of the day . . . content to let McCain do the dirty work of hassling the President.

But now, McCain and the President are on the same side. So where will the Democrats be? With the President, on the side of protecting the American people -- or with the ACLU, sharing its obsession with the "dignity" of terrorist detainees?

Worth Waking Up For

What a joy it's been to sit in with St. Louis media icon Jamie Allman on the midwest's premier morning show.

I'll be back on for one more day on Monday.

A Voice of Defeat

Here is how the left justifies its position that it's better for Americans to die than for terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Muhammed to be "coerced" into revealing terror plots.


Checking It Out

Over at the IWF Inkwell, Charlotte Allen has a host of mischievous observations about President Clinton's meeting with admirers, including one extremely well-endowed female.

Sign of the Apocalypse

Can it be true that young female lawyers actually have to be taught to wear bras and hose to work at a law firm?

Certainly, they should know better. But perhaps the lion's share of the fault belongs to their parents -- who aren't teaching them any better -- and a culture where, too often, "self-expression" is placed at a premium over decorum and appropriateness, when it comes to dress.

Lots of "Understanding"

So Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) "understands" the frustration with the United States voiced by people like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Perhaps Senator Harkin should tell us whether he "understands" this behavior by Iran's government or this kind of stuff in Venezuela.

The Contrasts That Matter

Ken Mehlman lays out what's at stake in the upcoming elections.

Doing the Right Thing

Columbia has withdrawn its invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinehad.

Build the Fence

If the Senate will approve the legislation, the President will sign a bill to build the 700 mile long border fence, and not a moment too soon -- along with other provisions to close illegal immigation loopholes.

After all, who knew it was against the law to go over a fence into the United States, but not under one?

A Grand Compromise?

So Senators McCain, Warner and Graham have reached a compromise on the issue of procedures to govern the interrogation and trial of detained terrorists.

Obviously, the details aren't being made available, lest they provide our enemies with a heads up. But there is some confidence to be gained in the fact that Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a very solid conservative, helped to broker the deal.

Seems to me that the President has been damaged not at all by the entire episode. If anything, it's John McCain who has seen his presidential chances diminished exponentially. People might have been able to forgive his stances on campaign finance reform and illegal immigration if they had the confidence he would be willing to do what it takes to keep the country safe -- even if it's unpopular with the Democrats and "the world."

Now, of course, that hardly seems to be the case.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel have now, apparently, figured out that it's ridiculously inappropriate to remain silent when Hugo Chavez directs his invective at the President of the United States, even though they disagree with him.

It's noteworthy that Chavez is trying to prove he's a great guy by giving low cost or oil to poor Americans (who should, in my opinion, tell him to go pound sand). It's pretty rich for a guy coming from a country with a poverty rate like Venezuala's.

Dirty Tricks in MN Senate Race

The Democratic candidate for the US Senate has fired a campaign staffer for some dirty tricks (HT Hugh Hewitt).

Relying on "The Rich"

The next time one of your Democratic friends tries to insist that "the rich" are exploiting the rest of American society, refer them to these figures.

Learn it, love it, live it:

According to the Department of the Treasury, the top 1% pays 32.4% of the total tax burden. The top 2-5% pays 20.9%. That means that the top 5% pays 53.5 percent of the total tax burden.

As for the bottom 50%? Their share of the total tax burden: 3.4%.

So much for the myth of "the rich" not paying "their fair share."

Please Fence Her In

Patt Morrison has a silly collection of non-arguments against a border fence in today's LA Times. But perhaps the most ridiculous argument in a ridiculous column is this little bit of sarcasm:

WHAT, no land mines?

If the United States really means business with that fence along the Mexican border, why flinch at installing things that go blooey?

Well, duh. The fact is that many of us believe that US immigration laws should be enforced. That doesn't mean that illegal immigrants should be killed. It just means they should apply for US citizenship or residency in accordance with the law.

They give space on the LA Times op/ed page to arguments of this deplorable quality?

More on Torture

Yesterday, my column dealt with the "torture" controversy. Today, Mark Davis makes an important point:

It really is this simple: Even without making them full-fledged beneficiaries of Geneva Conventions rules, we are treating this enemy with a dignity unmatched in the history of warfare. From the dietary and religious favors we bestow to the perpetual reviews of their combatant status, it is specious to argue that we are somehow not generous enough with basic rights. We have released detainees who have later been found back on the battlefield working to kill more Americans.

Up and Adam! (or "At 'Em!")

Ther isn't much that can pry me out of bed so early in the morning, but having the chance to sit in on the fabulous Allman and Smash show is one of them . . . even though it's from 4-7 am Pacific time (6-9 am Central).

A Few Questions . . .

John McWhorter has a few reservations about Barack Obama.

Whose Views Matter

As this piece points out, there has been remarkably little scrutiny of Ahmadinejad's radical religious views.

Contrast the kid glove treatment of his faith, versus the way that President Bush, Bill Pryor, and even Ken Starr have been treated. How is it that conservative Christianity is deemed bizarre and outre, but radical Islamic fundamentalism is considered out of bounds as part of polite conversation?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Scary Times, Prescient Men

Tony Blankley has pointed out that the moral confusion that has been surrounding the issue of Islamofascist terrorism is, slowly but surely, gaining clarity.

This poll suggests that there has been some progress -- people understand the Islamofascist threat -- but that opinions differ not just on how, but whether to confront it; 47% believe we must confront the threat, 45% apparently believe that we can avoid it simply by staying out of the Middle East.

Well, it's time for the 45% to understand that this isn't about a defined set of political objectives on the part of the terrorists; it's about destroying our way of life across the globe, and offering theirs as a substitute.

Insane, But Hardly Alone

Here is a transcript of remarks by Venezuala's "leader," Hugo Chavez.

They are so ridiculous and so over-the-top that they seem almost silly to mention. But the vituperative rhetoric -- he calls President Bush "the devil" -- is worth a mention. That's because a lot of his charges sound vaguely reminiscent of garbage that's spewed from the American left in recent years; note that he cites Norm Chomsky.

I wasn't a fan of Bill Clinton, and I can't stand Jimmy Carter. But if any foreign leader, or foreign person, were to critique either of them in such terms, I'd be outraged. But the sole commenter on the topic over at the Huffington Post sounds strangely complacent, almost resigned.

Where is the disgust from our Democratic friends over Hugo Chavez's remarks? Certainly, one doesn't want to give him disproportionate significance, but it likewise seems appropriate for our country to signal that when our President is attacked personally by some crack-pot, tin-pot dictator, the repudation from America is universal, and it is bipartisan.

Who Are the Real Dividers?

CBS's Dick Meyer is convinced that polarization in America is all the fault of the mean old Republicans.

It's apparently easy for Meyer to overlook the Democrats' "people vs. the powerful" and class warfare dialogue, the constant race baiting of Democrats like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and the consistent efforts of the feminists to create a battle of the sexes. And don't even think of the way they've tried to convince the American people that the war is all about "big oil."

Somehow, for people like Meyer, when Democrats divide, they're only standing up for the oppressed. When Republicans do it, it's all a part of a pernicious plot. Well, it's easy to stick with a comforting thesis like that, especially after you overlook all the contradictory evidence.

A Win for Common Sense

So the very existence of Chief Illiniwek has been found not to violate Illinois' civil rights laws, courtesy of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Chalk one up for common sense.

Getting Serious About Vote Fraud

The House GOP has taken a step in the right direction by passing legislation to phase in a requirement for official photo ID in order to vote.

Ritzy Mekler is none too pleased, and predictably, the Democrats are protesting. But it's worth noting -- because few Democrats will -- that the bill provides for free ID to be given to those who otherwise can't afford to obtain it.

As for cries that it places a "burden" on voting, well, if the Iraqis can risk their lives, walk miles in the desert heat and wait for hours, surely we Americans can obtain a photo identification.

Townhall Column

My Townhall column, drafted late last week, is posted here. It's about Senators McCain, Graham and Warner's misguided efforts to tie the President's hands in the war on terror.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Supporting Marriage

It's an amazing sign of the times that there would actually have to be a statement calling for legal and social support of marriage -- and that to some, that principle would be controversial, or at least seem unattainable.

Liberals love to act as though social stigma attached to certain kinds of sexual misbehavior (such as out of wedlock childbearing) is nothing but a collection of misbegotten attitudes from a neanderthal past. Actually, it's central to helping a free people remain free.

That's because -- the less people are able to exercise self-restraint, and the less society encourages them to do so -- the more government must become involved to mediate the mess that results, with custody agreements, social workers and the like. The end result of untrammelled "sexual liberation" is less actual freedom from the dictates of the state.

This truth was, in a sense, what John Adams was talking about when he said: We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.

Getting It/Not Getting It

Nancy Pelosi obviously doesn't understand that the world is at war with a worldwide foe -- Islamofascism. (Voters across the country know she's clueless, though; hence the emergence of the "Pelosi strategy").

Thankfully, it appears that the former Archbishop of Canterbury does get it, and is willing to speak out. Where are the other religious leaders -- are forced religious conversions OK with them?

Ahmadinejad Speaks

Here is the text of the Iranian president's address to the U.N. Read it carefully and be afraid. He's a serious ideologue, with serious plans, none of which mean anything good for the forces of progress, freedom and the West. As with all committed propagandists, he makes every effort to twist the facts to fit his own, distorted (and hate filled) version of reality.

And here's something that should give a shiver -- Ahmadinejad's call for the 12th imam: "O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace.

He's a dangerous man, and the head of an evil regime. Read his speech, and realize that he says what he means.

A "Slap in the Face"

EJ Dionne argues that the Pope's comments about Islam somehow constitutes a "slap in the face."

If anything, his column is a "slap in the face" to common sense.

Notably, Dionne can't find anything objectively objectionable in what the Pope said; rather, it's objectionable only because it caused "offense" on the part of Muslims. Apparently, for him, the role of religion is more not to offend, than to stand up substantively for something that matters. He's one of the proponents of the warm, cuddly bath theory of religion.

You Think?

The Washington Post notes that McCain's stand on the treatment of detainees may pose risks for his '08 presidential bid.

You think?

After all, the conservatives who have stuck with McCain despite his stand on illegal immigration and campaign finance reform have done so because he's perceived as being strong on the war on terror.

Now he's losing even that distinction.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Smash-ing Good Time

It was so much fun before, I'm doing it again! This Thursday and Friday, I'll be filling in for the irreplaceable Smash on the Allman and Smash morning show, on 97.1 FM, here in my hometown of St. Louis!

Well Worth a Read

Father John Nehaus discusses the controversy surrounding the Pope's recent remarks.

This Is "Torture"?

According to a piece in England's Guardian, the interrogation techniques the CIA is seeking permission to use are the following:

[I]nduced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called "the attention grab" where a suspect's shirt is forcefully seized; the "attention slap" or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the "belly slap"; and sound and light manipulation.

And there are Americans, like John McCain (who knows what real torture is), John Warner and Lindsay Graham who would rather put American lives at risk by being unable to extract useful information from terrorist suspects than see them subjected to "sleep deprivation" and similar uncomfortable, but hardly dangerous, discomforts.


Don't Look Now . . .

But there's good news in Iraq. The Iraqi army has taken over operational control of the second province since September 7.

Some Welcome Candor

In a remarkable piece, writer Sam Harris notes:

[M'y correspondence with liberals has convinced me that liberalism has grown dangerously out of touch with the realities of our world — specifically with what devout Muslims actually believe about the West, about paradise and about the ultimate ascendance of their faith. . ..

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are.

Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Harris. Hope you're not expecting a friendly review of your new book in the pages of The New York Times.

What They're Saying

According to this AP piece, an Al Qaeda group in Iraq, reacting to the Papal controversy,

said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."

To add to the post below, this is another reason that the Republicans have reason for optimism. With each news cycle, it becomes clearer that it's not Bush policies that have created terrorists -- rather, they're there, they're threatening us, and the President is merely serious about trying to respond.

In contrast, all the left offers is retreat and defeat. And does anyone really think we can safely surrender Iraq and Afghanistan to groups like that quoted above?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

No Compromise

The Bush Administration is talking like it might compromise with the McCain, Graham, Warner contingent on legislation establishing guidelines for the interrogation and trial of terrorist detainees.

Please, Mr. President, don't give away the store. You are right on this topic and McCain et al are wrong. What's more, the American people are with you. So please, please do what it takes to secure the authorization to take the measures that are necessary to keep America safe.

The Way It Really Is

Cyrus Nowrasteh, the writer of "The Path to 9/11" gives the MSM and its coverage of his docudrama a richly deserved black eye.

And he's absolutely right -- his major sin was trying to set the record straight about Bill Clinton's deplorable record on terrorism. Some truths simply aren't as welcome as others when they focus on the "wrong" people.

Unease on the Left

Could it be that the Democrats have been counting their chickens before they've hatched?

There are reasons for optimism among Republicans. First, right now, it looks like the RNC will outspend the DNC on congressional races by a factor of 5. Second, it seems that Republicans simply run tighter, better-organized campaigns than Democrats. Finally, with national security issues front and center (and, as Bill Kristol points out, some reason at least to hope that Democrats have stepped into a national security trap), and gas prices going down, right now it seems that Republicans have some advantages that at least help neutralize the drumbeat of negativity that emanates so consistently from the MSM.

To Be Liked, Or Respected?

In today's New York Post, Adam Brodsky asks whether the U.S. has a greater chance of remaining secure if it is liked, or if it's respected.

He then modestly goes on to say that he's unable to answer the question.

Well, OK, but I can. We're better off being respected, as the history of the 1990's proves. President Clinton was, we're repeatedly told, extremely popular throughout the world, but that didn't prevent Islamofascist terrorists from coming after us across the world (or at home, as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the thwarted 2000 New Years attack prove) . . . and it certainly didn't prevent the execution of 9/11.

It's worth pointing out that the US hasn't been attacked on its mainland since 9/11. No doubt this is due in part to improved security measures, but note that Spain and Britain haven't been as lucky -- and that threats are extant against Germany and France, despite both countries' pandering efforts to curry favor with the enemies of civilization.

Could it be that the terrorists are looking elsewhere, in light of demonstrated experience that, if America is attacked, it will come looking for the evildoers, and has proved itself willing to kill people and break things in self-defense?

Nice Try

The effort to boycott South Dakota because of its passage of a restrictive abortion law has failed. In fact, tourism revenues are up.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

An Unholy Mess

The IRS is investigating whether All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena has violated federal tax law.

Here is a piece detailing my experience with All Saints.

Update on the Pope

Pope Benedict has expressed regret for offending Muslims by pointing out, in this address that forced conversion ("spreading the faith through violence") is wrong -- in any religion.

As a result of what seems to be a fairly unexceptional statement, there have been attacks on Catholic churches in Palestine; Arab newspapers are throwing around lots of war talk and the Muslim Brotherhood is calling for a personal apology.

Try it in the Muslim world and see what happens, girls.

All this from one statement -- can anyone imagine what the Arab world would do if it were subjected, say, to Catholics flying airplanes into their buildings? Or the criticism that would result if conservative Christians reacted so vehemently to criticism of them?

Would Rosie O'Donnell and Rosa Brooks like to reconsider their ignorant remarks equating conservatives of faith with Islamofascists? After all, the Pope is having to boost his security; in contrast, these two women can spew their bigotry on national television or in the pages of a national newspaper, without having to fear anything more than that someone might (horrors!) disagree with them.

NYT Hypocrisy Alert

So the New York Times is calling on Pope Benedict to apologize for quoting words that offended Muslims. Perhaps he should agree to do so, as soon as the Times apologizes to Scooter Libby and Karl Rove for its biased credulity in the "Plamegate" affair.

In any case, the Times' call provides a revealing snapshot of the way that liberals, like those at the Times, see the purpose of religion. It's simply to make everyone feel good, like being put to bed after a warm bath with tender words and comforting cuddles. It's about softness, about "I'm ok / you're ok" feel-goodism, and nothing more.

In fact, it could be argued that the world needs a more muscular, robust Christianity that is willing to look evil in the face without flinching, call it by its true name, and fight it eternally.

As the Pope will be the first to clarify, he wasn't intending to criticize the millions of peaceful Muslims worldwide. But by their overheated response, many of them are justifying his implied critique -- and The New York Times, which so values its own speech rights, are amazingly hypocritical to try to wring an apology out of the Pope for exercising his.

The Best Offense . . .

Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan assesses whether a strong defense will be enough to keep Republicans in control after Election Day.

Friday, September 15, 2006

An Overly "Rosie" View

Obviously I'm not the only one who objects to Rosie O'Donnell's crass and ignorant remarks about the war on terror.

What does it say about Barbara Walters that the only nominal "conservative" on the show is an easily-intimidated young woman? Why don't she, Rosie and Joyce Behar pick on someone their own size (at least age-wise)?

One and the Same?

In an era of Michael Barrett and Ward Churchill, LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks identifies the biggest threat to the academy as the efforts of those who support an academic bill of rights.

A couple of things are remarkable about the piece. For one, Professor Brooks just can't understand how the bill's proponents could support ideological diversity without favoring affirmative action based on race and sex. To the rest of us, one would assume the difference is clear: The former distinguishes among people on the basis of what they think (the matter that, it would seem, is most central to the university's mission); the latter, on the basis of immutable characteristics of skin color and biology.

Finally, Brooks winds up with this pithy little paragraph:

Silly me, getting my militant conservative Islamic extremists mixed up with my militant conservative Judeo-Christian extremists! Though now that I think about it, they seem to have an awful lot in common.

Her equation of terrorists to those who disagree with her on the need for an academic bill of rights is amazing. And like the comments emanating from the unfortunate Rosie O'Donnell last week, it highlights the left's total and utter lack of seriousness when it comes either to understanding or combatting Islaofascist terror. To them, all the people they "don't like" are essentially one and the same.

"Right" Away!

The need is real, the time is now. Go check out Rightroots and make a donation to the candidate(s) of your choice.

Just remember, regret is a terribly ugly thing. If you don't like the sound of "Speaker Pelosi," "Chairman Conyers," "Chairman Leahy" and "Chairman Kennedy," you know what to do. You can make a difference, but only if you do something!


To its eternal shame, the Senate Armed Services Committee has rejected the President's plan for terrorist tribunals.

For a thorough explication of why the objections of John McCain, Lindsay Graham and John Warner's objections are completely meritless, Andrew McCarthy's piece is a must-read.

The fact is that McCain, Graham and Warner have done nothing to enhance the chances of our own troops' security should they be captured by Al Qaeda. Terrorists, unfortunately, have been amply demonstrated to lack the chivalrous impulse to reciprocate courtesies demonstrated to them under the Geneva Convention or in any other context. Rather, they've only provided more grounds for the enemies of America to harass its investigators and the people who are trying to keep us safe by launching specious "war crimes" allegations.

John McCain had better pray there's no terrorist attack on this country that could have been forestalled by interrogation of a terrorist captive using methods he has opposed. Otherwise, his presidential ambitions are completely dead (even assuming that he hasn't annoyed so many Republicans that he's done as it is).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Democratic Obstruction

The Democrats are working hard to prevent any nominations from being reported from the Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, it seems the Republicans are inadvertantly helping them.

Chalk One Up for Vote Fraud

A Missouri judge has struck down legislation requiring a state ID in order to vote. Because the paperwork to get a driver's license isn't free (and women who get married must show proof of their name change), a judge has ruled that the law is a particular burden on women and the poor.

Somewhere, Ritzy Mekler is yapping for joy.


Once again, I am writing to remind commenters that they must be civil if they intend to continue participating on this site. You are welcome to disagree, but you must do so in a courteous and dignified fashion. There has been enough trashing and name-calling of other commenters and of me and even my husband. Although I'm reluctant to single anyone out, "Editor" has been a particular offender, although others have been involved, as well.

It's worth remembering that no one is required to visit this site. If you cannot do so without poisoning the atmosphere for everyone else, please drop this blog from your daily reading. Again, spirited debate and challenges to my opinions and those of other commenters are encouraged. But mean spiritedness, name calling and gratuitous nastiness are out of line, and they're an abuse of the free speech rights that we all cherish.

Cowardice Never Pays

Note to the Democrats: Appeasor nation France is now being targeted by Al Qaeda, despite its strong opposition to the war in Iraq and generally cowardly behavior.

So much for the theory that U.S. policy is the reason why "they hate us."

Ideas Have Consequences

This piece outlines the sorry impact earlier McCain grandstanding has had on America's ability to extract intelligence from terrorists.

If America's hands are tied so that we're unable to learn anything from the next Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and an attack results, are people like Senator McCain going to apologize, or are they going to resort to sanctimonious efforts to figure out "what went wrong" (on the part of the White House, of course).

Clintonian Double Dealing

What a shock -- Hillary Clinton is trying to have it both ways. Even as she was denouncing the Dubai "takeover" of US ports, her primary circle of advisors (pretentiously nicknamed "The White House in Exile" in this piece) was lobbying in favor of it.

So here's the question: If the ports deal was that dangerous to America, how can Hillary Clinton countenance her advisors advocating for it -- wouldn't that render their judgment suspect? If it wasn't, why was she beating the drums to defeat it?

Stories like this always seem to follow the Clintons the way night follows day. Let's hope we're not in for four long years of them beginning in '08.

Pants on Fire . . .

According to Bob Novak, Richard Armitage is a liar, and a deeply dishonorable one at that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Moment of Decision

Legislation ratifying the President's warrantless wiretapping of terrorist phone calls passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. What's more, legislation to establish terrorist tribunals is out, and likewise headed toward the floor.

People like John McCain and Lindsay Graham are enjoying their moment in the sun -- it's impossible that they're unaware of the press plaudits they receive for bucking the bills favored by the President. But regarding the terrorist tribunals, it strikes me as naive in the extreme for McCain and Graham to worry about the impact on our troops of the President's interpretation of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Can McCain and Graham seriously believe that the way we interpret Article 3 will have any impact on the way our troops are treated by, say, terrorists? That the people who intended to torture and behead American troops will be constrained from doing so if the softer McCain approach prevails? Please.

In any case, it's time for illuminating contrasts to be drawn. Let's see who, like John Cornyn, is serious about fighting the war on terror, who's not -- like most Senate Democrats -- and who's really enjoying a little legislative grandstanding (and we all know who that is).

Election Results

Here's a summary and some commentary from The Washington Post.

Most notable is the analysis of Lincoln Chafee's win over Steve Laffey in the Rhode Island Senate race. It's attributed to Laffey's reluctance to run negative ads. I'd offer a slightly different interpretation . . . that some Rhode Island Republicans who would otherwise have vented their disgust with Chafee began to worry that his seat would be important to holding the Senate for the Republicans, and they therefore held their noses and voted for him. It's regrettable, but it may well have been what happened. See you in six years, Senator.

But where is the coverage of radical Keith Ellison's victory in Minnesota's 5th District?

Crimson With Shame

Professor Harvey Mansfield offers a damning indictment of the behavior of America's universities in the wake of 9/11.

A key passage:

The jihadists say they will triumph because they believe in death while we believe in life. That is not quite so. We do believe in life -- but not at any cost. We too value sacrifice and honor for a decent cause. But we let our soldiers speak for us. The professors, who should be our spokesmen, have learned nothing from our soldiers and have nothing to say on why they volunteer to risk their lives.

Sadly, the universities seem determined to render themselves irrelevant.

Let's Ask the Dems

According to this piece, we lost the opportunity to take out numerous Taliban leaders because our rules of engagement prevent launching attacks in cemeteries.

Although this is a fine rule in general, it seems that there should be enough flexibility to waive these standards in unique circumstances. But because Democrats seem on the one hand to demand immediate and decisive victory and on the other object to many ways that might actually be achieved, let's ask what they think: Should an attack be allowed in any circumstance in a cemetery?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Who's Really Politicizing the War?

As noted below, Democrats have been accusing the President of politicizing the war on terror. But according to Hugh Hewitt's interview with Senator John Cornyn, it sounds like they're actually the ones who are allowing their political ambitions to inappropriately interfere with their official responsibilities.

According to Senator Cornyn, the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are deliberately obstructing legislation that would establish a consensus approach to handling the military tribunals of detainees in teh war on terror:

[T]hey've very expertly used the rules which allow senators to object if a committee, if we're in session, the committees can't go more than two hours if a senator objects. And so what happened, basically, they fill it up with making statements and offering amendments, and then we run up against that two hour time limit, and someone objects.

Either the Democrats really don't care about establishing any method to try terrorists -- or they care less about it than they do about winning the next election. Either way, it's hardly becoming.

An Idiotic Charge

Democrats are accusing the President of politicizing 9/11 because of remarks he made last night. Read the remarks here and decide for yourself.

As I noted before, the Democrats realize they are weak on national security issues, and it makes them crazy to think that they might lose Congress yet again on this basis. So any time the President makes a national security address, they'll say whatever they need to in order to undermine its effectiveness, and his effectiveness as a war time leader.

It's all very reminiscent of the 2004 elections, when the president's political opponents voiced strong objections to the use of any images of 9/11 in the campaign. They understand that, to the extent that national security and 9/11 are on voters minds, the Republicans, party of peace through strength, will have an edge.

And because they know it's an argument they can't win, they prefer to try to shut down the debate entirely with false accusations.

More Jackson Inanity

It's amazing how some of the most divisive politicians in America are the ones constantly bemoaning our lack of unity. Exhibit A is Jesse Jackson, whose piece is a spurious rehash of every left-wing canard that's been propagated over the past five years and one day.

Jackson always seems to tip his hand; he remarks right at the outset that "[The terrorist threat] is not the worst threat we face." In fact, he's more worried about the U.S. trade deficit, global warming, and pandemics. No doubt many Democrats share his view, but have decided it would be impolitic to be as forthright as Jackson.

He follows up with a paen to the national unity that was, in his view, harshly dispelled by the President "playing politics" with the war on terror. No doubt Jackson has forgotten that the first political move was made by Tom Daschle, who asked why nothing had been done in Afghanistan (unfortunately for him, on the eve of the actual invasion) and went on to play such politics that the Bush Administration, rarely given to the harsh partisan rhetoric beloved by President Clinton, finally called him an "obstructionist" (to the great dismay of The New York Times).

CBS News notes that Democrats were opposing the President as early as October 6, 2001. Presumably, the "sacrifice" that Jesse Jackson is angry that people werent' asked to make would be a tax increase to pay for the $75 billion "stimulus" (read: boondoggle) package that Tom Daschle wanted.

As for a "war of choice" in Iraq -- well, if the Democrats think that one of America's enemies can sit on a stockpile of WMD (as the entire world believed Saddam had) that had been used before (for example, on the Kurds) and do nothing, then they're crazy. In such a situation, where diplomacy has failed because of bribery and duplicity on the part of "allies," it strikes me that war isn't a "choice" . . . it's a necessity.

But maybe that's just another area where Democrats differ from Republicans. Vote accordingly.

Out of Both Sides of Her Mouth

In this piece, the Washington Times covers Claire McCaskill's hateful remark that the President let people die in New Orleans "because they were poor and because they were black."

What the Times doesn't point out is that the remarks were made in an atmosphere where there's reason for McCaskill to be concerned that she's in danger of losing some of the black vote.

But the Times does report McCaskill's damage control efforts -- which amount to arguing that she was merely acknowledging the sentiment of many Americans. Get it? It's not what she thinks, just what "many people" think.

It's noteworthy that she made the remarks to Pub Def Weekly, a nonpartisan political blog concentrating on the City of St. Louis, because the city is largely African-American. And so, coupled with McCaskill's explanation, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Claire McCaskill is the kind of candidate who simply whispers to each constituency what she thinks it will want to hear . . . whether it's the rural voters in "Ashcroftland" or the African-American voters in the City of St. Louis. And she's not above a little race-baiting as she does it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What the Stakes Are

Commemorating the fifth anniversary of the attack on America, President Bush gave this address. Notably, he linked what's past and out of our control, to what we can still affect by our deeds and our words:

If we yield Iraq to men like Bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened ... they will gain a new safe haven ... and they will use Iraq's resources to fuel their extremist movement. We will not allow this to happen. America will stay in the fight. Iraq will be a free nation, and a strong ally in the war on terror.

It's worth pointing out that nothing can defeat America and its brave, mighty military but a failure of public will here at home. The kind of resolution that most of the country, along with the President, has displayed over the past years has resulted in notable progress in fighting Islamofascist terror, as Ralph Peters points out.

And that kind of courage and determination is warranted, for, as Rudy Giuliani notes, what's at stake is nothing less than the survival of freedom, and even Western Civilization.

It's a fight worth waging, and a battle that must be won. Certainly, it's easy for everyone to put on their solemn faces for one day a year (as Rush Limbaugh has observed, it seems to be the one day that the left is actually willing to acknowledge the U.S. was attacked). But as the 9/11 observances draw to a close and the political season gets underway, it's worth asking: Who is most committed to taking the fight to the enemy? Who will not shrink from making the tough calls and doing what needs to be done?

Who best remembers the lessons of 9/11 and has most firmly resolved to never, ever let it happen again?

A Sad Commentary

Democratic Senator Rockefeller has opined that it would be better to have Saddam Hussein still in power in Iraq.

No doubt this woman, a survivor of Saddam's chemical weapon attack on the Kurds, would disagree.

Since [Saddam's] trial opened on Aug. 21, witnesses have offered grim testimony of entire families dying in chemical weapons attacks against their villages. They said survivors plunged their faces into milk to end the pain from the blinding gas or fled into the hills on mules as military helicopters fired on them.

So much for the party of "compassion." How far Democrats have come from teh days when they were willing to "bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Five Years Later

There is hardly a man, woman or child who was alive on 9/11/01 who doesn't remember the horror of that day -- knowing that fighter pilots patrolled the skies of our capitol, seeing the footage of people jumping from the World Trade Center, learning about the existence of a place known as Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and hearing about the terrible but brave final moments of the ordinary Americans aboard three doomed jetliners. Across the U.S., we watched and prayed, filled with grief and impotent anger, and then sprang into action giving blood, praying, trying to help our neighbors.

9/11/01 was the day that America lost her innocence -- the confident belief that, although bad things might happen and our soldiers might die heroically on distant shores, our homeland was secure, and our lives immune from the kind of daily terror that afflicts so many peoples across the world. As we remember, let us vow do to whatever it takes so that we never again see our country so wounded, and Americans wondering, with stoicism but also some fear, when the next shoe would drop.

The best, and really, the only way properly to honor the past and those who were lost is renew the resolution forged in the difficult days after 9/11/01 -- that we would never again permit terrorists to decide that it's possible and virtually costless to try to bring death and destruction to American shores. Since 9/11, we've seen wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the former vastly more popular than the latter, but both undertaken in order to ensure that Americans cannot be threatened by weapons of mass destruction, nor held hostage by those who want nothing more than to frighten us into submission to their hateful and totalitarian aims.

Make no mistake -- the kind of people who wounded us on 9/11 don't see the war in Iraq as separate from the war in Afghanistan or the war against Hezbollah. They are engaged in a war against America, a war they think they can win because they believe both that we have become too soft, too cowardly to bring the fight to them, and to maintain the commitment to seeing it through.

Are they right? I don't believe so. Americans are a gentle people, but firm when roused to anger. They are not quitters, especially when they understand that they are fighting a just war, and one that must be won.

As Ronald Reagan once pointed out, our national anthem is the only one that ends with a question: Does the Star Spangled Banner still wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? Five years after the attack on America, whatever our flaws, whatever the missteps, tragedies and mistakes that have followed our efforts to ensure that another 9/11 never wracks American shores, almost all Americans stand united in the determination to do what must be done to keep our country free and her citizens secure.

God bless all the innocents lost on 9/11/01, their families, and all those who ministered to them. God bless every member of the military who has sacrified so much to keep us safe, and the families that support them. God bless America.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Path to 9/11

It would take a seriously narcissistic personality (hello, President Clinton) or exreme insecurity and paranoia (hello, Democrats) for anyone to interpret "The Path to 9/11" as a political program in any sense of the word.

If the Clintonoids had just kept quiet, this program would have had limited political impact . . . after all, how many ordinary Americans really understand who Sandy "Docs in Socks" Berger is -- or cares?

No doubt the uproar kept a few more viewers on the string . . . and led them to the conclusion that any unfavorably portrayed character had to be associated with Bill Clinton.

Worth Dying For

Here is one Brit who understands America. Bless him.

"Show Me" Discontent

African Americans in St. Louis are increasingly expressing vocal discontent with the way they're being taken for granted by the Democratic Party. Some even plan to vote for Senate Jim Talent (good for them!).

Could this phenomenon explain Claire McCaskill's hateful remarks of last week? Was she simply engaging in a little race-baiting in order to stem the drift of the African American vote? Would she really behave so shamefully?

We Are Safer

That's the point that John Negroponte makes here.

But watch for the distracting formulation that a lot of Democrat talking heads have been purveying -- arguing, in essence, that many Americans don't "feel" safer. That's probably true, but it isn't relevant to the issue of whether, in fact, we are safer.

People who have been alerted to a threat -- when, before, they were blissfully oblivious -- are, of course, going to "feel" less safe. It's just like a person who gets mugged on the subway. He may buy mace or even begin to carry a gun, but he'll still feel a sense of unease he hadn't experienced before the attack. While he's safer in fact, he certainly doesn't feel safer.

And that's why Democrats' obsession with how safe people "feel" may be a nice talking point, but there's very little substance behind it.

What's There & What's Not

Courtesy of Editor & Publisher, here is a summary of what appeared in "The Path to 9/11" in the New Zealand version. Sounds like a lot of the sharp edges have been filed off in response to the left-wing crybabies, but that the overall thurst remains largely intact. We'll see.

Good thing that President Bush isn't a creature of such exquisite sensitivity.

Those Mean Old Republicans

The Washington Post appears shocked, shocked! that Republicans will use (gasp!) opposition research for the upcoming elections.

Well, that's hardly news. Of course they will . . . as will the Democrats, some of whom have gone well beyond the pale in their efforts.

The point is that, for all the tsk-tsking that's regularly visited on opposition research, it's an important component in keeping the electorate informed about the true positions and past deeds of candidates on both sides of the aisle, assuming, of course, that it's accurate.

In my view, those who lean left have always been more opposed to paid negative advertising than Republicans are . . . but that's because Democrats have long been able to count on the MSM to highlight Republicans' negatives, where Republicans haven't been able to count on the same coverage of Democrats when it would be in their favor.

The Left-Wing View

On Fox News Sunday, Howard Dean asserted that Afghanistan is the "center" of the war on terror -- because that's where Al Qaeda is.

If one is going to define where the war on terror is being fought by where Al Qaeda is, how does Dean explain Al Qaeda in Iraq?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stoking the Mommy Wars

Responding to an unnecessarily provocative review in Reason Magazine (not available online), Carrie Lukas ably defends her excellent book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism.

The Reason reviewer argues that the necessary effect of Lukas' book (and that of another, by Caitlin Flanagan) would "force" women home because they point out some of the trade-offs and difficulties confronted by working mothers.

But the reviewer's reaction is typical of what we often hear from the feminist left. Ironically, a libertarian magazine, supposed to be devoted to individual freedom, is effectively arguing that women shouldn't be given all the facts from different perspectives, lest they make the wrong (in her judgment) choice.

And for way too long, researchers with an agenda have worked hard to prove that children have no particular need for their own mother -- just as for too long, Americans were told that divorce had no impact on them. People like Lukas are simply presenting the other side of the story, so that everyone can make her own choice . . . an informed one.

So who's really trying to "force" women into a choice they may not want? Seems to me it's the people who want to deprive women of the facts they need to make and live by their own decisions.

Good Luck with That One

Elinor Clift's prescription for a Democratic victory this November is as follows:

Democrats can’t change the channel [on the renewed war on terrorism]. They’ve got to win on the ground that Bush has established. That means thinking like Karl Rove and going after the opposition’s strength until it becomes a vulnerability. Iraq is a quagmire. Whether U.S. troops withdraw next year or in 10 years, they will leave behind a country fractured by civil war and an oil-rich theocratic government dominated by Iran—hardly the democratic beacon to transform the region.

That's a straegy -- she thinks they're going to win with that? Because whatever the Democrats' problem with voters understanding they're weak and irresolute when it comes to battling terror -- their other problem is that the American people understand that they're also defeatists. They've been rooting for the Iraq war to go poorly almost since it began. People who root against their own country, welcome bad news for it with glee, and are eager to see it humiliated and defeated aren't likely to be people in whom normal Americans (who are not quitters) will put a lot of faith.

Thank Heavens For Men

So new research has shown that men more aggressively protect their interests in the face of adversity than women do; researchers have concluded that this behavior explains why men are more likely to lead and fight and support wars.

Obviously, there are lots of poeple who are going to "tsk tsk" over what's being called the "male warrior effect." And of course, unqualified aggression is a terrible thing. But for my part, I'm grateful that there are men who are willing, maybe even eager, to fight and die to protect America.

And I support the war wholeheartedly . . . if that's not typically "feminine," well, that's okay with me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Amusing, Futile, Ironic

Writing at The Huffington Post, here's how lefty Matt Stoller would advise Bob Iger to handle the controversy over "The Path to 9/11":

There is a window of time now for Mr. Iger to step up, an 'apologize for Tylenol tampering' moment. He needs to cancel this miniseries, and take personal responsibility for inadequate oversight. He should privately fire the people responsible for this total disaster of a project, and apologize.

Right. But what's more interesting is that Stoller goes on to hint about various threats to Disney's corporate health if it refuses to toe the lefty line:

It's pretty obvious to Democrats if this movie airs that Disney is not a responsible public steward of the airwaves it controls right now.

Wow. It's worth wondering why the leftists are so demented about preventing Americans from seeing a movie most of them, themselves, haven't seen. It isn't about Bill Clinton's legacy, or Sandy Berger's -- no one cares about that.

Rather, the reason is this: The Democrats see themselves as finally having a shot in the post-9/11 world to capitalize on public disenchantment with Iraq and take back at least the House of Representatives. The one thing they still fear is the perception that they're too weak to handle the war on terror.

Now, at a moment when victory seems so close at hand, it's obviously crazy-making for them to face up to the fact that the American people may have the chance to watch a docudrama that amply demonstrates the feckless foolishness of the last Democratic administration. As such, it must be stopped at all costs.

It won't happen, because Bob Iger is a man of honor. But the lefties are working hard to make it as ugly for him as possible in the meantime -- thereby doubtless driving up public interest and the viewing numbers for the show when it airs this Sunday and Monday. Ah, irony.

Not Ready for Prime Time

Last week, she was disdainfully referring to rural Missouri as "Ashcroftland." This week, unconscionably, Claire McCaskill has come out with an outrageous slur:

"George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black."

Claire McCaskill has tried to build a Senate campaign based on being something other than the same-old, same-old left-wing liberal out of touch with Missouri values, a la Harriett Woods, Gerry Rothman Serot, Alan Wheat and so many others. But it seems that she's let the cat out of the bag: She's just the same-old, same-old liberal, and certainly not above trying to whip up a little racial animosity for her own electoral ends.

What's become clear about McCaskill is that she's the type who will try to convince rural voters that's she's one of them, even as she speaks of them dismissively to Washington columnist George Will. And she's clearly the type who will try to erect a facade of moderation when she ventures out into "Ashcroftland" -- while her real opinions are very different.

Even though it's misguided, it's not dishonorable to be a liberal. It is dishonorable to be a liberal -- and yet appeal for votes on the basis of "moderation" that doesn't, in fact, exist. And that's just what McCaskill is doing.

Why the Hysteria?

It's impossible to listen to the radio today without hearing how upset all the Clintonistas are about the docudrama "The Path to 9/11" being aired on Sunday and Monday nights. Funny how people who have judged, blamed, and scrutinized the Bush White House so intensely are strangely sensitive about having their own actions put under a microscope.

As this piece in Investors Business Daily points out:

Based on the 9-11 commission report and ABC News correspondent John Miller's book, "The Cell," the film strips away the conventional wisdom that somehow the fledgling Bush White House was responsible for 9-11 through neglect or indifference.

The film strips bare the Democratic talking points, exposing them for the fraud they are, accurately depicting the chances the Clinton White House missed to kill or capture bin Laden and the barriers they put up to connecting all the information.

Democratic partisans are seizing on dramatic liberties (someone doing something on one day that he actually did on another, for example) to claim that the docudrama is inaccurate. Most offensive is Sandy "Docs in Socks" Berger's insistence that he never refused to authorize the capture of Bin Laden. If not, he should take it up with the 9/11 commission report, because it's in there, too.

Methinks the liberals protest too much, especially when the Senate leadership is effectively threatening ABC -- the shape of things to come should Democrats regain control of the Senate?

They strike me as analogous to a thief who isn't sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail: They blithely let Osama bin Laden slip through their fingers, and really weren't worried about those facts appearing in the 9/11 Commission report because they weren't terribly publicized. Now that these facts may receive an airing in a larger forum -- well, that can't be tolerated.

It's all about the politics for these guys.

Columnist to the World

Here is a wonderful profile of one of my favorite writers, the brilliant "columnist to the world" Mark Steyn.

I'm delighted to learn that he, too, is a fan of Cole Porter. Take that, Radioblogger!