Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Democratic Defeat

The Democrats and their allies in the so-called mainstream media have long been working to ensure that the United States does not prevail in the Iraqi Campaign, while they simultaneously tell us that they "support the troops". This work was revealed for all to see today by House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, who admitted that a strongly positive report by General David Petraeus would "impede his party's efforts to press for a timetable to end the war".

Clyburn was at least honest in admitting that the Democratic party has become without apology the party of defeat. They cannot bring themselves to put the national interest over their narrow partisan goals, and they above all cannot and will not root for American success. if the United States goes to battle, you can count on most of the Democratic Party (including their mouthpieces in the national Press) to do all in their power to make sure America loses.

The Washington Post newspaper reported of Clyburn's comments:
Clyburn noted that Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. Without their support, he said, Democratic leaders would find it virtually impossible to pass legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal.

"I think there would be enough support in that group to want to stay the course and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us," Clyburn said. "We, by and large, would be wise to wait on the report."

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."

I have a couple of problems with this. First, why does General petraeus carry weight only among the Blue Dog Democrats and not among the rest of the party? Is this because most Democrats do not respect military leaders, or because they simply will not listen to anything that might support the continuance of the campaign?

Secondly, where is the disapproval from Americans that a national political party has dedicated itself to the defeat of its own people? For that is what the Democrats and their Press allies seek. For some reason they seem to feel that defeating George Bush is more important than defeating Islamic imperialists. Let me remind Democrats that Islam despises most of the causes Leftists and Democrats hold dear, including abortion on demand, gay and lesbian relationships, a free Press (though how much Democrats actually support a truly free Press is in doubt), and an open political speech (here again, how much Democrats really support free speech is in question).

I thank Representative Clyburn for his openness and honesty. However, I am truly amazed that this clear declaration of the Democratic Party's determination to work for the defeat of their own country does not prompt outcry and maybe even criminal charges. Clyburn's comments are an admission that much of the Democratic Party is working to assist our country's enemies. Didn't that used to be called treason?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wetzel on Race

In the aftermath of Michael Vick's indictment on animal-cruelty charges, Yahoo! Sports columnist Dick Wetzel wrote a column stating that the case highlighted a racial divide. He's right in that it seems that most of Vick's supporters are black and maybe he is right that the animal-rights extremists who were there to protest against Vick were mostly white, but I think he completely missed the bigger point.

Why is it that African-Americans get the benefit of the doubt where whites do not? If Wetzel was truly concerned about racial divides, he might have done something to quiet the rush to justice in the Duke lacrosse case. But he didn't In fact, I cannot recall Wetzel writing anything at all in favor of those falsely accused players- accused by Crystal Mangum, a black woman. And I can only guess it was because those defendants were white men. No need to grant them any due process.

And that is the tragedy. It shouldn't matter what the defendant's color or sex might be- the Constitution promises due process for everyone. I have no idea if Michael Vick is innocent or guilty, and in any case it is not my place to guess or to tar him with accusations that may be untrue. I hope for hiss sake that he is innocent of everything except bad judgement in friends. But it is interesting that reporters seem to feel the need to call for restraint when the accused is black, yet do not grant that same privilege to white defendants. Did Wetzel call for restraint regarding the three (falsely) accused lacrosse players? No, he did not. He may not have fanned the flames, but he certainly did not make any effort to smooth them either.

I think it is time that the United States stopped pointing racial fingers. Race should be irrelevant to a crime that is committed- it is a matter of perpetrators and victims. If a crime was committed for racial reasons, whether by the Ku Klux Klan or the Black Panthers, then the penalties should be doubly harsh- no matter the color of the accused. And whether it is three white men falsely accused of raping a black woman, or a famous black man accused of killing dogs, we need to grant both of them the very privilege mandated by our Constitution- innocent until proven guilty.

It is a pity that our media has not yet learned that simple fact, but then they have long wanted to highlight excesses as opposed to restraint- evil over goodness and death over life. it is a pity that they can't be somehow put into the dock with Mr. Vick, for they are as guilty of exacerbating the situation as are those who actually killed the poor animals in question.

Illegal Visits

Although the U.S. federal government doesn't seem to understand the idea that a sovereign state has a right to decide who comes to live within its borders, Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona doesn't seem to have any problem understanding the idea. Already well-known for some of his unique ideas on dispensing justice, the sheriff announced today that illegal aliens are not allowed to visit relatives incarcerated in his jail.

The sheriff intends to run background checks on every visitor, and all visitors will have to prove their identity. Should an illegal try to visit, it appears that they may just wind up inside with the one they were visiting. The sheriff shrugs off criticism, saying simply, "I run the jail. I decide who goes in there."

I'm sure that the illegal-alien industry will scream bloody murder, but I can find nothing but approval for the sheriff's actions. Illegal aliens, by definition, are illegal. They are breaking the laws of the United States, and I personally do not understand why we should be making any effort whatsoever to pander to them. They should have access to no services in this country. They should have no ability to work in their native language and they shoud definitely not have access to US courts. Illegal aliens should be arrested and sent home whenever and wherever they are found.

Why can't Congress understand this simple fact? Illegals are illegal.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Judges Strike Back

It would seem to most people that they have the right to decide who can live in their town, and if there are illegal aliens hiding, then the townsfolk should be able to tell their police to round them up and hand them over to the federal government for removal. Unfortunately, it seems that judges either have no common sense or are too blinded by their desire to destroy the United States and turn it into Mexico, Junior.

Today, federal judge James Munley struck down Hazelton, Pennsyvania's anti-illegal alien law on the ground that it infringed on teh federal government's prerogatives.

This is truly sickening. Judges have no problem letting the federal government walk all over the rights of the States and the People, but when municipalities try to help out (especially when the Fes are lying down on the job as they are in this issue) then judges have no problem telling the municipalities that they cannot step in. And what was this judge thinking? Municipalities have a perfect right to police themselves, so this is not in the slightest infringement- it is helping out. Maybe Judge Munley simply doesn't want to give up his Mexican housekeeper or his garden boys?

It is time that municipaliites rise up and demand action. Sovereign nations have a perfect right to protect their broders, and towns and locals have a right to determine who can enter. These illegals are, well, illegal. What doesn't Munley understand about this?

This decision is an embarrassment. However, this will almost certainly end up before the Supreme Court, in the end, though I think it is time that Congress removes the issue of rights for illegals from the purvey of the federal judiciary. They have proved they cannot be trusted, either on POW or on illegal alien issues.

A Voice of Reason

...on environment. Investors' Business Daily published a much-needed blast of fresh air through the emotion and illogic of climate-change, pointing out that If scientists can't get near-future projections in a limited area right, how can they predict the climate decades from now?.

This is an excellent question. The editorial goes on to point out a few other common-sense truths regarding the entire climate-change hysteria, including:
- Local weather forecasters cannot predict more than ten days in advance, and even those predictions are often sadly wrong
- Short-term predictions of worldwide temperature changes have never been accurate. As evidence, IBD uses NASA scientist James Hansen's prediction that the world would warm up by .45 degrees from 1988-1997. He was wrong; the world warmed just .11 degrees.

I cannot forget as well that most of the same folks (including much of the global media) who are claiming we face a cataclysmic warming now were clamoring that we faced a coming ice age less than fifty years ago. They were wrong then, and there is no reason to suppose that they will be any more correct this time around. Setting aside the fact that virtually none of the green crowd are very good at logic, they aren't very good at predicting much of anything- almost every single one of Greenpeace's claims regarding the environment has proven at best overblown and at worst plain false. As Investor's Business Daily concludes their article,

"The formula for a climate of fear, though, requires nothing more than a lot of thunder and a bit of heat generated by political activists."

I could not agree more.

More MSM Misinformation

One would think that CBS had hlearned that deliberately reporting false information was not a good idea. However, in the wake of President Bush's July 25 speech it appears that CBs at least is still determined to present their own opinions and bias as news.

Some examples are provided by the folks over at Power Line:
CBS's attack on Bush is remarkable. The network essentially called the President a liar. Here are some of CBS's key statements; let's take them one by one:

President Bush appealed today for more time for his Iraq strategy to work, but this time with a new rationale. *** President Bush's rationale is clearly shifting, from policing sectarian violence to targeting al Qaeda.
As the White House pointed out today, the President has talked about the threat of al Qaeda in Iraq in more than 40 speeches and other public appearances this year. It's interesting, too, that CBS thinks the old rationale was "policing sectarian violence." I'd be interested to see a single instance where President Bush has said that our mission in Iraq is "policing sectarian violence." CBS continued:

The President linked al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq directly to Osama bin Laden...
Bush: Fellow citizens, these people have sworn allegiance to the man who ordered the death of nearly 3,000 people on our soil.
But this is a clear contradiction of the January speech setting limits on U.S. involvement.

First, what Bush said is obviously correct. The leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq have indeed sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden. CBS doesn't directly deny this fact, but claims instead that it somehow contradicts Bush's speech on January 10. CBS next shows a clip from that speech, in which Bush says:

I have made it clear to the Prime Minister, and Iraq's other leaders, that America's commitment is not open-ended.
How on earth are these two statements in conflict? Bush said in January that our commitment to Iraq is not open-ended. He said yesterday that the leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq have sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden. And CBS calls this a "clear contradiction?" This can only have left viewers scratching their heads.

When, oh when will we see the federal judiciary start to force news organizations to be a little more careful in lying to the public? There are laws to prevent this kind of thing, and esecially in cases where the "news" organizationss are clearly lying to the public. Why can't they be used. A few hefty fines and (for the leakers at the New York Times, some hard time in jail, might convince these enemies of the American people that they would be better off being less overt in their antagonism towards an elected President.

CBS, CNN and the other members of the Old Media have made it their business to destroy this PResident and his Administration from the moment that they tried to throw the 2000 election to Al Gore. They have never been fair, nor have they made any real attemtp to report the actual news- they have instead reported their own slant, becoming bolder as it becomes clear that for some reason Republicans fear the media. If this had been the Clintons, Janet Reno and the Justice Department would have undoubtedly been on the case by now- recall the vicious attacks promulgated on anyone who dared to criticize the Clintons.

In any event, it becoming clearer and clearer that the mainstream media need to have their teeth pulled, and the only way we can do that is by turning off our televisions and closing forever the pages of these tired propagandists. Time to let network news and the liberal Press go the way of the dodo bird- into rightly-earned obscurity and poverty. Faster, please...

Hat tip to Power Line.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

China's NBA Problem

When Yao Ming was chosen as the number one overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, China successfully used its influence to ensure that Yao ended in a situation that benefited both him and China. China was pleased with the success of their not-so-subtle machinations that resulted in Yao playing in a city that boasted both a heavy Asian influence and no competition for playing time from an established American player.

Fast forward to 2007. With the Number 6 pick in this year's draft, the Milwaukee Bucks franchise took Chinese forward Yi Jianling, who has been touted as the next great Chinese player. Neither Yi's agent nor the Chinese government was pleased, as Milwaukee does not have a large Asian population, and there are a number of other players on the Bucks' roster who could potentially be a bigger star than Yi- which in turn would limit Yi's playing time and thus his opportunity to get better against NBA-caliber competition. These handlers are pushing to get Yi traded to a city where he would be able to play more and have a more Asiatic audience.

China has always been one of the more overtly racist countries- in fact a good friend who is of Chinese origin states bluntly that Asia is the most racist area in the world. they have also been accustomed to throwing their weight around with few consequences, as the only nation with the power to counter their moves has been reluctant to do so. However, this may teach China the limits of their ability to influence foreign events, and could potentially backfire catastrophically on them.

The owner of Yi's Chinese team, Chen Haitao, apparently has stated that Yi would not play for Milwaukee. The Beijing Times reported that,
"The national team and the Olympic Games are now our key considerations," Chen said. "If Yi goes to a team where he can't compete, that would be being irresponsible to the national team."

Well, that may be irresponsible to the Chinese national team, but American teams are not required to consider the Chinese government's wishes in drafting players. They draft to improve themselves, and if Chinese players want to play in the NBA, they cannot dictate to American sports teams- and neither can the Chinese government. NBA teams draft players based on their own decisions of how to improve. Milwaukee thought that Yi might be of some use, so they drafted him. His obligations to the Chinese national team, or China's desires do not enter into it. From the Bucks' perspective, if he is good enough, he will play. If not, he will sit. China's desires do not enter into the situation at all.

There is also another factor to consider. the owner of the Bucks is United States Senator Herb Kohl. As a member of the United States government, he is well-placed to resist any outlandish demands from China about Yi, and China can ill-afford to offend the United States. And of course, if Yi refuses to play for Milwaukee, then Milwaukee can simply keep him from playing at all, and Yi will neither improve nor be able to play for any other US team. And future Chinese players will be tarred with the Yi brush. Just as Darko Milicic's failure made European players less popular, as this year's draft clearly showed, Yi's refusal to play where he was drafted may rebound negatively on China. And that is something China does not want.

Ultimately, I believe that Yi will probably play with Milwaukee. China's leverage in this case, unlike with Yao, is not strong enough to force the Bucks to trade Yi, and Yi's own actions make him less attractive to other teams. Nor does he have the track record of success that would convince a team to take a flyer on him. But the entire situation may end up being a black eye both for Yi and for China- something that neither can afford.

Bush 1, Plame 0

Valorie Plame's attempt to sue the Bush Administration for leaking her identity as a CIA covert operative was shot down in flames today, as federal judge John Bates dismissed her case against the Bush Administration. Judge Bates found that Plame's suit could not continue on jurisdictional grounds, but according to Yahoo! News, he also seemd to agree with the Administration and not Plame.

While Bates did not address the constitutional questions, he seemed to side with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.

This seems absolutely correct to me. Plame's identity was initally disclosed to the Press by Richard Armitage, no friend of the Bush Administration, following Plame's husband Joe Wilson writing an opinion colomn in which he falsely claimed that the Bush Administration, particularly Vice-President Richard Cheney, had sent him to Niger and then lied about his findings of Iraqi attemtps to purchase uranium there. However, Administration officials then debunked Wilson's claims by pointing out (correctly) that Cheney did not in fact send Wilson- he got the job through his CIA wife's efforts, Valorie Plame. The Congressional Committee on Intelligence further found that it was Wilson, not Cheney or Bush, who lied about what he reported.

Finally, for Plame to claim that the Administration somehow leaked her CIA identity is somewhat ridiculous, seeing as how Wilson was a former Ambassador and Plame was in "Who's Who" with him- identified as a CIA employee! Never mind the fact that even Special Investigator Fitzgerald fuond that no crime was committed in the whole affair- Libby's prison sentence came for obstructing justice, not from leaking a CIA employee's identity. The New York Times has done far more leaking- with far more serious results, I may add- than anyone in the Administration.

This whole affair has beeen a tempest in a teacup, with absolutely no wrongdoing by anyone, other than Lewis Libby, who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice- though not what Fitzgerald wass investigating! Let us hope that this represents the final whimper of the Left's hopes of somehow inventing criminal conduct to pin on Bush, Cheney, or anyone else highly placed in the Administration. Compared with the previous Administration, Bush's has been almost unbelievably free of scandal, depsite the best efforts of the Press and the Democratic Party to manufacture one.

Policies of Leaking

The New York Times has done it again. Leaked, that is. Before the heavily guarded launch of one of the most eagerly anticipated literary conclusions ever- the Saturday release of JK Rowling's seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, the Times managed to obtain a copy and publish a review of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

However, the Times, in the person of reviewer Michiko Kakutani, was kind enough to maintain the secrecy and avoid giving away any vital plot points, such as who exactly dies, who lives and how the final conclusion plays out. It appears that the Times has a policy of leaking. When dealing with literary releases that, while they may be eagerly anticipated around the world have no real impact on people's lives, the Times is more than willing to protect information that may otherwise disappoint millions of fans.

However, when dealing with United States government programs that may end up being the difference between life and death for millions of Americans, the Times has no compunction about revealing any and every detail that may hurt the U.S. government's ability to defeat the enemies of all of us. Equally, they seem surprised when informed that their leaky mouths might actually end up killing people- and helping the Muslim terrorists.

I find the Times's priorities disappointing, but unsurpirsing. Like much of the rest of the Press and the Democratic Party, the Times decided long ago that it was more important to destroy the Presidency of George W. Bush, no matter how much harm that may bring the nation, than it is to actually help protect the lives of this country's citizens.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Galloway Punished at Last?

It has been apparent since the fall of Saddam Hussein that most of his erstwhile defenders were in fact on his payroll. The governments of France and Russia who worked so hard and so long to prevent the United Nations from enforcing the fourteen separate resolutions finding Iraq in non-compliance with the terms of the 1991 cease-fire had under-the-table sweetheart deals with Iraq. As for appeasers at the U.N., the entire Oil-for-Food boondoggle was designed to enrich the top officials at the U.N.and allow Hussein to continue his weapons programs- not put food into the mouths of the oppressed Iraqi people.

The loudest and most despicable of Hussein's apologists has been George Galloway, Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom. Now, a new report released by Parliament finds Galloway took money for Hussein in return for using his position to delay sanctions and military action against Iraq. The report recommends that Galloway be suspended from Parliament for a month.

while none of this is exactly news, it is nice to see Galloway get some punishment for his activities. In my opinion, the disciplinary committee should have thrown Galloway out of Parliament and stripped him of his citizenship. Accepting money from a foreign power with which your country is at odds is disloyal at best and treason at worst. And no country in the world extends legal protection to traitors- Member of Parliament or not.

Hat tip to Power Line.

Racing Toward Defeat

Democrats have long been trying to force the United States to lose the Iraq Campaign in the global war against Muslim aggression and terrorism without being forced to bear the consequences for said loss. While they do not have the intestinal fortitude to end the war the one way they indisputably have the Constitutional power to use- end funding for the troops- they have tried a variety of methods to allow the Islamist forces to win.

Now, The Politico is reporting that Democrats have issued orders to "blitz their states with anti-Bush messages" as they prepare for an overnight session in the Congress that just happens to coincide with nationwide rallies pro-Muslim groups such as MoveOn.org.

The Politico reports,
Leaders are instructing Democratic lawmakers to blitz their states with anti-Bush messages as the Senate gears up for an all-night debate on Iraq withdrawal, according to an internal memo provided to The Politico by a Democratic official.

“We need every Senator’s help throughout the next two days to amplify our message and highlight Republican obstructionism,” says the memo from the Senate Democratic Communications Center, part of the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.). “This is a caucus-wide effort and your help is needed.”

Obstructionism? Coming from the Democratic Party, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Let us not forget that it was Democrats who used the obstructionism tactic to block many initiatives by the Republican majority in the previous two Congresses. As a single example, Democrats filibustered to block Republican-nominated judges from receiving an up-or-down vote in the Senate.

Republicans, on the other hand, have yet to filibuster anything in this Congress. However, they are perfectly justified in blocking legislation with which they disagree. That is the method by which the Founders set up the system- checks and balances. If the Democrats wish to pass legislation, they will have to work with Republicans- just as Republicans had to work with Democrats when they held the majority.

However, the tactic I find most repugnant is the Democrats' willingness to use rhetoric that has no place in these United States. When did it become acceptable to equate a sitting, twice-elected President who has clearly broken no laws with an appointed dictator who used street gangs to consolidate his power, as Representative Keith Ellison recently did? Since when is it acceptable to paint one's opponent as a criminal, as the Democrats seem to have no problem doing to George W. Bush?

I would hope that we can disagree without descending into the fever-swamps of hate. During the Clinton years, while there was plenty of anger among some talk-show hosts, no Republican called Clinton a criminal, nor did anyone make any comparisons to illegitimate regimes, though some of Clinton's actions- notably the seizure of Elian Gonzalez against a court order- certainly were borderline illegal. But Democrats seem to think that this kind of rhetoric is acceptable when used against Republicans, though when conservatives point out Democrats' own questionable alliances- such as Ellison's long-standing relationship with the terrorist-aiding Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Democrats scream bloody murder.

It's time that we the people put our foot down. There is no place for this kind of speech in American politics, and any politician who engages in it ought to be shown the door immediately. Whether it is Republican or Democrat, one should be able to disagree and argue the issues on their merits without engaging in the kind of character assassination that the Democrats have made part of their arsenal since the 2000 election.

And a word for the media as well- the arena of ideas is one in which issues should be presented for the people to determine. It is not the media's job to try to tell us what to think. Lay out your opinions, by all means, but straight news is straight news. I fear too many of our so-called journalists have forgotten that simple fact.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sense On Environment

At last. After much hyperbole from most members of the media regarding global warming- a topic that no reporter has any real knowledege of and which is certainly still controversial at best- a reporter injects a little common sense into the debate. Doron Levin, a Michigan-based reporter for the Bloomberg News wrote a colomn on July 10 noting that while the command-economists are rightly ridiculed, the global-warming crowd seeks exactly the same thing.

Levin wrote,
The folks against sports cars in Europe and big sport utility vehicles in the U.S. often are same ones who hate McMansion-sized homes, corporate jets, jumbo freezers, yachts, 60-inch flat-screens TVs, overnight-delivery services and other trappings of Western-style wealth and energy use.

Do people demonize these goods because they can't afford them? Or because they think others shouldn't have them? Proposals to limit carbon dioxide often sound like basic opposition to prosperity and rising living standards.

Planet in Peril?

Outside of a handful of command economies, few today would agree that a central authority ought to regulate who owns what. But attacking those who ``waste'' energy achieves the same goal.

Many ardent environmentalists are convinced that the planet is in peril. Why can't they be just a bit cautious, humble or skeptical in their advocacy of reduced energy consumption, which in turn must mean reduced global economic growth?

The main reason I'm wary of Al Gore's call for radical, immediate reduction of worldwide energy consumption is that he's way too sure that the human race is on the cusp of catastrophe. With no credentials of his own, Gore relies on scientists who insist we must hurry because we're approaching a point of no return.

This is completely true. Most environmentalists are the same as the groups who want to ban all luxurues and who wish to cripple Wesstern ecomonmies though somehow they have no provblem leaving much greater-polluting Third-World economies alone. COuld it be that this is because said Third-World countries actually can enforce restrictions on what these do-gooders want? Or is because the population of he third world contains violent fasnatics who are willing to kill to reach their desires- such as is common aomng Muslim countries? in any event, it is telling that the green crowd only tries to enforce their restrictions on wealthy countries where they have access to a Press who supports their goals.

One can only hope that the American people will read Mr. Levin's comments, as opposed to those of hypocritical bloviators such as Al Gore.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Congressional Concerns

We discussed in a post earlier in the week the fact that the new Democratic Congress is now enduring popularity ratings far lower even than those of President Bush. In fact, as at least one Gallup Poll reported, Congress' approval may be as low as 14 percent.

As a result, as Reuters reports, the Democrats in charge of Congress are beginning to feel the pressure of actually governing. While they were in a minority, they were free to snipe at will, secure in the knowledge that there would be no consequences, as their minority status, coupled with their free propagandists in the mainsstream media would ensure that their message was spread to the American people without the necesssity of producing specifc plans for change. Unfortunately, elections do have consequences, and the Democratic victory in the 2006 mid-term elections has now forced the Democrats to try to come up with a trategy that will make their nutroots happy, whiloe sparing them the responsibility for a massive defeat in the war against Islamic Agression.

All of the pressure has Democrats worried. According to Reuters,
Experts attribute the woeful rankings to an inability to force a change in direction in Iraq, the priority Democrats campaigned on to gain power in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in last November's elections.

But that is not all. There has been little to show on other priorities, including a change in Social Security and other entitlement programs that will run out of money in the years ahead, in addition to overhauling a health care system that has left millions uninsured and a broken immigration policy.

"I think Americans were expecting a great deal from the new Congress, and Congress has always been held in low esteem, but Congress really hasn't delivered on what it promised, especially on Iraq," said Paul Light, a congressional expert who is a professor at New York University.

I think that ultimately, Democrats need to focus on delivering something to the American people, and forcing a defeat in Iraq may backfire on them, as polls consistently show that while Americans are tired of the war, they also still support achieving victory by a wide margin, and do not want a retreat or defeat. This places the Democrats in a tough position, and unless they can somehow deliver either a Republican scandal or a legislative victory, they may find that the same voters who turned against Republicans in the last election may turn on them in turn in the next one.

Sheehan for Congress!

It is hard to believe that the nutroots lurking in the fever swamps of the hard left can possibly belive that somehow Nancy Pelosi is not a sincere enough believer in the bnutroots preferrred strategy of retreat, surrender and defeat in the face of Muslim aggression. However, it seems that at least one nut does indeed believe exactly that. Acccording to Breitbart News, Cindy Sheehan will challenge Nancy Pelosi in the 2008 Congressional elections.

Sheehan's reasons for challenging Pelosi are that she claims Pelosi isn't working hard enough to hand the Muslim terrorists victory in the Iraq campaign. Breitbart reports that,
Sheehan, a Californian, officially announced that she intends to run as an independent against Pelosi in 2008 if the San Francisco congresswoman doesn't move to impeach Bush by July 23, the day she expects to reach Washington.

However, those are not the only reasons Sheehan has decided to run for office. She also says that,
Bush should be impeached because she believes he misled the public about the reasons for going to war, violated the Geneva Convention with the torture of detainees and crossed the line by commuting the prison sentence of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

These statements show such an incredible lack of understanding that is it hard to know where to begin. Her claim that Bush "misled the public" has been debiunked often enough thatr we should not need to do it again here. However, for anyone who somehow has managed to completely close their ears, let's recap. Bush used Hussein's proven possession of weapons of mass destruction as the main rationnale for his removal of Hussein, based on analysis from every single intellignce agency at the time. In addition, every major Democratic leader had made similar statements prior to Bush's election, and the U.S. Congress, on the basis of information that was less alarming than that showed to the President voted to give Bush the authority to proceed against Hussein. No one was misled, though the aftermath clearly showed that our Intelligence either was seriously in error or Hussein managed to successfully hide his wepons program before his removal. In either case, acting on the best information available at the time, no matter whether it was correct or not, does not constitute "misleading".

As for the Geneva Convention argument, let us remind Ms. Sheehan of the following:
  • The United States signed andd ratified the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which specifically restrict their scope to organized armed forces and specifically exclude groups such as Hezbollah and al-Quaeda from its protections.

  • The additional Geneva Protocols of 1977, which did extend the protections of the Geneva Conventions to terrorists like Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Quaeda, were signed in 1977 but never ratified by the United States, thus per the United States Constitution those Protocols do not bind us, despite what some judges may think.

That anyone would even make this argument shows that they are entirely ignorant both of the terms of the U.S. Constitution, and also the terms of the actual Geneva Conventions signed and ratified by the United States. So let me remind Ms. Sheehan of the actual text of the Constitution on the topic:
"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."
The preceding refers to the fact that the President may sign a treaty, as President Carter did in 1977, but that without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Sernate, it is not legally binding. Although President Carter signed the Protocols, the Senate refused to ratify, thus the protocols do not bind the United States. If Ms. Sheehan wishes to become a member of Congress, it might behoove her to actually know the text of the document she swears to uphold.

As for Sheehan's accusations of torture, she has a curiously narrow definition. Apprently it is only torture when it is done by Americans to Muslims? However, I find her thoughts on the subject difficult to take seriously until and unless she condemns the actions taken by our enemies with as much fervor as she uses to condemn her own countrymen. We have not beheaded anyone, nor have we forced them to plead, or forcibly converted them to any other religion. All of this has been done by the Mulsims we are fighting, yet i do not recall Sheehan or anyone else on the Left issuing condemnations. Have they forgotten the rapes of the captured Supply Corps soldiers? Or is it that the dignity and rights of the Muslim terrorists are more dear to them than the dignity and rights of their own countrymen and women?

Finally to address her last accusation, that of the President "crossing the line by commuting Lewis Libby's sentence". Ms. Sheehan, the constitution specifically give the President the power to do precisely that. While I do not necessarily agree that he ought to have intervened in this case, he absolutely has the power to commute and even pardon anyone other than those impeached and removed from office. Thus to claim that he somehow "over-stepped" shows again a lack of familiarity with the powers specifically granted to the president under the Constitution.

If Sheehan wishes to run against Pelosi, she is welcome. One far-left hypocrite replacing another will not affect the balance of power in the House. But her lack of familiarity with her own Constitution and her self-serving moral equivalency make her more a buffoon than a serious contender.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Congressional Priorities

The Democratic majorities in the 110th Congress clearly took their victory in the last election as a mandate to try to find evidence of misdoings by the current Administration. And, according to Ed Morrissey over at Heading Right, they have indeed so far spent most of their time looking for said evidence.

Unfortunately for them, these efforts have both distracted them from their Constitutional duty of passing legislation and have turned up no evidence of any wrongdoing. And it appears that the Administration is finally getting tired of the entire circus. As the White House spokesman, Scott Stanzel reminded the media yesterday, Congress has launched over three hundred investigations since taking power in January. And he also reminded reporters that the White House has so far turned over 200000 pages of documentation regarding these many investigations. But while Congress has been steadfast in their investigating, how many pieces of legislation have they passed? Six. Yes, you heard that right. Six- and that includes the troops' funding that took them almost two months to put together.

According to a July 5th article in The Hill newspaper,
Bush spokesman Scott Stanzel told reporters during the daily briefing that the White House has been subject to an average of about six oversight hearings a day since Democrats took control of Congress. In that time, he added, the administration has turned over 200,000 pages of documents.
Said Stanzel: “I would raise those issues because it raises the question, what does Congress want to do? Do they want to pass legislation for the American people or would they rather investigate and have politics be the course of the day?

Personally, I agree with the Heading Right commenter "Skip" who wrote, "Let’s rephrase that. Would the American people rather have them passing laws, or investigating? For me personally, having them spinning their wheels in meaningless investigations is just about optimal, rather than passing bad laws. I take it as a given that passing good laws is out of the question."

Unfortunately, with the recently postponed immigration boondoggle, together with the threats about the Fairness Doctrine (which we all know would never be enforced against the hopelessly liberal media like PBS), and the not-so-veiled threats to try to force the U.S. military to surrender to the Islamists, I must agree with Skip. I also would rather Congress spend their energies investigating crimes that exist only in the nut-roots' collective imagination than actually passing bad legislation. However, the investigation strategy does hold some element of risk for the Democrats. I agree with Captain Ed, who writes,
By the time of the next election, Democrats had better show some heads on the wall with these multitude of investigations, or some significant legislative victories, or both. If they have neither, they can kiss their majority good-bye.

In my opinion, the sooner the better, so long as a Democratic loss of Congress doesn't translate into President Hillary. That really would be a disaster.

Hat tip to Captain's Quarters.

Journalism 101

Reporters are not known as experts in much of anything. This lack of knowledge is increased by the fact that many journalism departments are esentially places for honing one's writing skills at the expense of analysis and hard study in more demanding areas. Reporters-in-training take little or no mathematics, statistics, history or any discipline where actual research and analysis is required. With such a weak background, is it any wonder that so few reporters, unless they are among the few who have trained in a real discipline, can actually report complex stories with both accuracy and objective analysis?

The Washington Post newspaper provided a perfect case study with their July 5th article claiming that the body count in Baghdad has increased during the surge. Unfortunately for the Post and their incompetent staff, the real numbers do not support this story at all. In fact, as documented by John Wixted at Back Talk, the numbers clearly show that the body count among civilians has dramatically dropped since the surge began. And the Post itself published a story contining completely different numbers.

This is yet another example of reporters who understand neither statistics nor military strategy taking numbers from a non-official source that happen to support their particular agenda. While this behavior is understandable in the context of the Press' blind hatred of Presiden Bush and their desire to see his Administration destroyed, it is neither professional nor is it good business. This kind of pseudo-reporting is easy to debunk, and Wixted does a fantastic job, with plenty of corroborative evidence.

This is simply another nail in the coffin for the reputation of the mainstream media. They have shown us their bias, their incompetence and their unprofessionalism too many times. The only question remaining is why anyone still actually buys their increasingly pathetic product.

Hat tip to Power Line.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

Today is the 231th anniversary of the independence from England of the United States of America. I hope that we all enjoy ourselves on this FOurth of July, and thank God that we live in the greatest, freest country on Earth. Remember, freedom is not free, and if no one stands up to defend our beliefs, our culture and our nation, we will all be wearing the marks of the dhimmi sooner or later.

God bless the United States. Have a wonderful Independence Day, everyone.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Scooting Free

In a manner of speaking. President Bush today commuted Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence, meaning the former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Richard Cheney will not serve asny jail time, though he will still be a convicted felon, and he will have to pay a $250000 fine.

I have thought all along that the investigation that led to this conviction was a travesty, although the jury apparently acted reluctantly and sincerely believed Libby lied to them. However, in making the decision to comute, I also believe that the President made the right decision. Libby's crime was real- you do not lie under oath, no matter what the questions may be. That is what Clinton did and it iss inexcusable whether it is a Republican staffer or a Democratic President.

However let's consider that Libby is the only member of Bush's Administration to be convicted of anything, let alone the only member even to be indicted- compare this with the Clinton Administration, whose national Security Advisor Sandy Berger has been convicted with illegally stealing and destroying classified papers, whose associate attorney general (the number three post in the Justice Department) Web Hubbell has been convicted of tax evasion, whose former Director of Central Intelligence Agency John Deutch was found guilty of mishandling classified information (leaking), and whose Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Ciscneros was found guilty of lying to the FBI over a bribery case. Deutch and Hubbell were later pardoned by Clinton on his last day in office. In addition, many of Clinton's business partners and close associates were convicted and imprisoned in the Whitewater investigation, including Susan McDougal, who was pardoned as the President left office. And that is without discussing the many peopled who fled the country to avoid being quetioned in the China campaign money scandal (John Huang, Charlie Trie and others). As a reminder to Democrats, Matt Drudge has posted a link to a complete and useful listing of the pardons Bill Clinton issued. Bush commuted Libby's sentence- he did not pardon him.

However, while no Democrat complained about Bill Clinton pardoning criminals convicted of far more serious crimes, and though all of the current House or Seante leadership defended Bill Clinton for the exact same crime ("It's all about the sex", remember?) that Libby was convicted of, many Democrats were not so forgiving this time.
"The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own vice president's chief of staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law." - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

I would take Seantor Reid more seriously if he or his party had mustered the same condemnation for their President, who was actually impeached for perjury.

In the main, I think President Bush made the correct decision. L:ibby committed a crime, and he ssholuldd make restitution. However, this is a man with no previous offenses, and his record says that he is unlikely to do it ever again. Paying his fine an serving his time under probation is sufficient as far as I am concerned. And although many conservatives may howl, I think that in the long run, Bush may even be appreciated for his courage in commutation without pardoning. Ultimately, I agree with Ed Morrissey, who writes,
If Bush wanted to take any action -- and I would have advised against it -- this is as far as he should go. It allows Libby to remain free while he pursues his appeal, but it makes it clear that the White House won't undo convictions for official misconduct. It strikes a balance that few will appreciate now, but later will accept as wise, as far as it goes. If Libby has a good case for reversal, let the courts make that decision.