Ahoy Mates!

C-C-G was magnanimous in inviting me to contribute to his blog based on a few comments I posted on a blog we both frequent. He doesn't realize those were some rare moments of clarity and insight. Despite that, I'll do all I can to help C-C-G realize his goals of growing readership and visibility.

I'm a 40'ish, US Navy retiree ('77-'99). A registered Republican since eighteen. A political prisoner in the state of California, in a little town in the middle of the Mojave Desert, represented by the stupidest member of the United States Senate - Babs Boxer.

These are vibrant, dynamic times. They are troubled times for the conservative movement. There are opportunities before us to shift the debate and conclusions to our beliefs. It was encouraging to see the activism during the illegal immigrant amnesty debate, and witness the outcome. We can influence events as long as we don't get discouraged, and give in and give up.

I see the purpose of the right-o-sphere blogs not so much as converting non-believers to our cause, but rather to provide the arguments to influence the debate and to keep each other enthusiastic. To keep us engaged and active, to keep the momentum going. It's easy to be overcome by campaign fatigue, from political fatigue, but rest assured, the other side will not stop, and neither can we.

I hope to contribute to the debate and help keep our spirits and enthusiasm high.

C-C-G, thanks for the opportunity.

Welcome John!

I'd like to welcome a new voice to my little corner of the blogosphere, John from California. He's posted a few comments here and on other blogs, so I suspect that everyone will enjoy reading him.

Say hello, John!

Immigration Enforcement Shifting to Cities and States

The San Jose Mercury News tries hard to paint this as a negative:

The collapse of congressional efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration laws is expected to dramatically accelerate an effort by state and local governments to take matters into their own hands to deal with the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants.

The result, advocates on both sides of the issue say, could be a patchwork of laws and ordinances with vastly different approaches, ranging from measures that harshly penalize illegal immigrants and their employers to the spread of "sanctuary cities" that prohibit police from questioning suspects about their immigration status.

"There's going to be a barrage of local laws dealing with immigration policy," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a leading sponsor of a White House-backed immigration bill that stalled in the Senate this week. "In some areas of the country, it will be sanctuary. In other areas of the country, if you look at someone who looks illegal, you can lose your business license."

Personally, I think this is what federalism is all about. If a state wants to get tough on illegals, great! If a state wants to be lenient, well, they can handle all the problems and costs of illegals without bothering the other states.

Of course, one can hope that a future administration will start penalizing "sanctuary cities" and states, but for now, just letting them bear the burden is good enough for me.

McCain: Courage or Foolhardiness?

Yesterday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) wrote a piece on NRO praising the "courage" of John McCain (R-AZ) in bringing forward the amnesty immigration travesty bill.

It saddens me that so many commentators will judge Senator McCain’s actions by how his role in this debate will impact the next poll or fundraising report. Survival is not the highest virtue in politics. Sacrifice is the highest virtue. In battle we don’t ask which soldier was a success — the one who charged the hill and lives a long life or his friend beside him who falls and leaves a widow and children behind. Whether this week helps or hurts Senator McCain politically is not the point. What matters is that without courage, we all lose.
I've been doing some ruminating, and I think I must respectfully disagree with Sen. Coburn. I see it not as political courage but political foolhardiness.

Coburn relates McCain's courage in military terms, so I will follow his example.

First off, McCain was fighting for the wrong objective. If we go with a military parallel, he was attacking the third house on the block when the objective was the fourth house. He was pushing a de facto amnesty, regardless of how the supporters spin it, and that has been shown by past experience (see 1986 Amnesty bill) to be of little help and probably much harm. As has been pointed out by many others, at the time of the '86 amnesty, we had an estimated 6 million illegals. Now the number is estimated to be two to over three times as many, 12 to 20 million. I don't call a 200-300% increase in the number of illegals a "success." By pushing a bill that would effectively grant all of these people amnesty, McCain showed that he was fighting for the wrong objective.

Secondly, McCain was using the wrong tactics. He was using sneaky closed-door bill-writing, playing fast and loose with the rules of the Senate, bypassing key steps (i.e. committees), and even stooping to tossing around insults about opponents of his bill that are reminiscent of the farthest left wing of the Party of the Donkey (i.e. racist). In military terms, this one is hard to find a parallel for, but we could say that he was relying on a plan that wasn't really kosher and above board, if you see what I mean.

Third, McCain's timing was way off. Doing something this controversial while running for President is ill-advised at best, and the factors above make it an almost sure-fire guarantee of political suicide. In military terms, he's hitting the house at high noon instead of in the dead of night when the US Armed Forces' advantage in night-vision systems would have given a great advantage (yes, this metaphor breaks down a bit when you consider that much of his political maneuvering was "in the dark"--work with me, here). If he could have waited until he was no longer a candidate, for whatever reason, he might have had more success, both with the bill and with his campaign.

Fourth, and finally, he's assaulting an objective that didn't need to be taken. There are laws already on the books that cover everything except his desired amnesty. The proposed bill would have authorized 370 miles of border fence... last year they passed, and Bush signed, a bill authorizing 700 miles of border fence (note that the proposed bill would not have added another 370 miles to the fence). The proposed bill offered another guest worker program... there are already five guest-worker programs in operation. So we really didn't need this bill. Continuing the military metaphor, McCain is assaulting a building that has nothing we need or really want at this time.

Wrong objective, wrong tactics, bad timing, and an unnecessary fight at that. That's not political courage, Senator Coburn. That's political foolhardiness.


Making an American

In the aftermath of the immigration debacle debate, a naturalized American (that is to say, a legal immigrant) writes on what it means to be an American. One short excerpt, then ya gotta read the whole thing.

We cannot forget who we are. We are Americans. This is a great nation. We Americans insist on holding to the connection between freedom and justice, courage and moderation. We think that equality and liberty have ethical and political implications, and, as we have shown time-and-again throughout our history, we are willing to fight and to die to make men free. We need to impart these principles to succeeding generations.
Amen. Now, please, go read the whole thing. And if you aren't moved by it, you're not human.

Fred Slips Up

Looks like Fred committed a Bushism today, and it may come back to bite him.

In his speech, Thompson assailed "unbearable tax burdens," called for restrained spending, and argued for a smaller federal government. He expressed his opposition to the immigration bill in Congress and decried the flow of illegal immigrants from Cuba, saying: "I don't imagine they're coming here to bring greetings from Castro. We're living in the era of the suitcase bomb."
Fred's office later contacted NRO with the following clarification:
"I am concerned that Castro might be sending agents into the United States through Mexico. Our porous border is unable to distinguish btween friend and foe. My feeling is that Cuban Americans share this concern."
Now, there is something to that concern, however, it seems Fred could have stated it clearer. As it is, it looked for a while like Fred was attacking the one group of Hispanics that reliably vote Republican.

I just hope the Cuban-Americans forgive him for his slip-up.

Update and bump: Fred has posted a somewhat longer clarification at the Fred File. I think he does a good job of explaining what he meant. I still wish he'd been clearer the first time around, tho.

Supreme Court Rules Racial Discrimination is... Well... Racial Discrimination!

The SCOTUS ruling on the Seattle and Louisville school segregation case seems to have stirred up the lefties. For a good analysis of it, check out Peter Kirsanow at NRO (link in title above, as usual). I would excerpt it, but it's not the kind of article that lends itself to short excerpts.

In any event, I gotta agree with Chief Justice Roberts: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Simply put, any program that takes the melatonin level of someone's skin into account is discriminating on the basis of race, and should be declared illegal. This ruling is a big step in that direction, methinks.


McCain Camp Lashing Out

I know it's not straight from the candidate's mouth, but an anonymous source in the McCain camp had this to say to the WaPo:

A top fundraiser for the Arizonan, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk for the campaign, was more blunt: "It's hurting with the main money guys. Overall, it's definitely a negative."

He added that the constant barrage of criticism from the likes of Rush Limbaugh is making it difficult to raise money from the conservative wing of the party.

"Like it or not, our base listens to that stuff," the fundraiser said. "Whether it's a good bill or a bad bill or an indifferent bill doesn't matter. The folks who are listening to that stuff, it's hard to persuade them with facts."

Uh, Mr. Fundraiser, don't you mean it's hard to persuade us with spin? Because the facts are very clear about what that bill would have done, and we want no part of it; nor McCain, who was pushing it; nor arrogant fundraisers like you.

With staffers like this, it's no wonder McCain's campaign is going under for the third time.

The American People Win One!

The immigration travesty has gone down in flames, and by a humiliating 46-53 vote. In short, they couldn't even get enough votes for passage, let alone cloture.

The American people, through calls, emails, faxes, and letters, convinced enough Senators that their jobs were on the line if they voted for this, and that's a good thing.

However, don't think that this is the end:

But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the key members of the coalition that crafted the bill, warned is Republican colleagues ahead of the vote.

“Remember this day if you vote ‘no,’” Graham said, adding that this bill would not come back in its current form and it is “as good as it gets.”

I guess Senator Graham is looking to be unemployed, because if he keeps angering his constituents, that's where he'll be after his next election.

Addendum: Senator Graham appears to be unclear on how negotiations like this work. If a bill fails, generally one wants to make the next version better, not say this is "as good as it gets" and bring forward a worse bill. I doubt if a bill that's not as good as the one that just died will even get cloture on the first motion. However, if the gentleman from South Carolina wants to commit political suicide by trying even worse bills, far be it from me to stand in his way.


Fred Replies to Donkeys

Seems Mr. Thompson has a message for his Democrat critics... click the title to visit his blog and hear it.

Love the ending zinger, Fred!

Oh, I made it semi-official (sort of like Fred's candidacy)... I have just applied to be part of the Blogs for Fred Thompson team. You can see the blogroll over to the left.

Democratic Congress May Help Fred Thompson's Campaign

I've been doing some ruminating, and I think that the current Democratically controlled Congress may actually help in getting Fred to the Oval Office. The logic goes thus:

  1. The American public, we've been told, likes a divided government. If one party holds Congress, they wish the other party to hold the White House. This serves as a block on proposals that are seen as too far right or too far left, we are told.
  2. Democrats, to be honest, appear to have a solid lock on Congress at least through the next election cycle. There's just not that many truly vulnerable seats, nor enough good candidates from the GOP, to change that, it seems. Of course, things could change, but that's the way it looks now.
  3. Therefore, if #1 and #2 above are correct, the public is going to be looking to keep a Republican in the White House.
  4. If the current leadership of Party of the Donkey in Congress swings even further to the left, or passes the Immigration fiasco bill, or both, that may anger enough people in the center to be looking for a strong counterbalance in the White House.
  5. If #4 is correct, then Fred is probably the man they'll be looking to.
    1. McCain is tied to the immigration debacle, so I have a real hard time seeing him surviving the primaries.
    2. Giuliani has some huge skeletons in his closet, some of which I've discussed before, and he's coming off one of his worst weeks ever; not to mention being pro-choice in a pro-life party. Rudy also has a tendency to "open mouth, insert foot" (as he's already done with the abortion question) that won't do him much good in the primaries.
    3. Romney is a serious contender, but his prior experience with a Democrat legislature isn't exactly stellar--in fact, it's downright Bush-like in his willingness to compromise just to get something passed--see his health-care package, for example.
  6. In contrast to the folks listed in #5, Fred has been speaking his mind, both when he was in Congress and now on the radio, on blogs, and in columns. He tells it like it is, sometimes with both barrels, and he's got a speaking style that is folksy enough that he can get away with things that Mayor Rudy can't (must be the drawl). In short, he may be another Great Communicator that will inspire the public to trust him with reining in a far-left controlled Congress.
  7. Therefore, I think we can place our money on Fred.
Of course, your mileage may vary, and all the usual disclaimers. But that's the way my ruminations have been going.

DeLay Completely Cleared of Charges

The Houston Chronicle reports:

AUSTIN — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today refused to reinstate criminal conspiracy charges against former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and two co-defendants.

DeLay, R-Sugar Land, and political consultants Jim Ellis and John Colyandro were accused of conspiring to violate state election laws in the 2002 elections for the Texas House. But lower courts threw out the indictment on grounds that conspiracy to violate the election code was not a crime until 2003,

A majority of the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed.

DeLay, Ellis and Colyandro were charged with plotting to funnel illegal corporate campaign contributions to several Republican House candidates in 2002, when the GOP gained its first House majority of modern times.

The three also were charged with money laundering, but a trial on those charges has been held up pending a resolution of the conspiracy charges.

DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said he was pleased with the ruling but sorry that it took so long and resulted in DeLay's resignation from Congress, where he represented Houston's southwest suburbs for more than 20 years.

"Ronnie Earle indicted Tom DeLay for a crime that didn't exist, wasn't on the books," DeGuerin said.

Think this will make it onto the newscasts of ABCCBSCNNNBCPBS? Doubt it.

This was a political smear-job from the get-go, and it's sad that it actually accomplished at least part of its goals: getting DeLay out of Congress. However, vindication still has to feel good to Mr. DeLay.


Roll Call on Cloture for Immigration "Reform" Travesty

Linked above is the official Senate roll call on the cloture vote for the Immigration Bill Travesty that is currently being pushed by the increasingly out-of-touch White House.

For ease of reference, here's the Yea votes... if one of these is your Senator, and you oppose this bill, be sure to let them know they have just thrown away your vote in the next election... and then follow through!

Akaka (D-HI)
Bennett (R-UT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Bond (R-MO)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brownback (R-KS)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Craig (R-ID)
Dodd (D-CT)
Domenici (R-NM)
Durbin (D-IL)
Ensign (R-NV)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Schumer (D-NY)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)


Cornyn Nails It

Courtesy NRO's Corner, remarks from the Senate Floor by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):

"I continue to hope that we can pass meaningful, safe immigration reform. Everyone knows that our immigration system is broken, and I would like to see it fixed. This bill does not do it.

Finally, one of the biggest problems we have had with this legislation centers around the way that it has been handled. Written behind closed doors, this bill did not even see the light of a committee room. Instead, it proceeded promptly to the floor of the Senate. The short term result was predicable: Senators offered numerous amendments, many of them including important improvements which might have been most appropriately dealt with in the committee process.

The majority leader’s frustration led to that bill being pulled after almost two weeks on the Senate floor. Now, a new bill is back. Instead of learning from our mistakes, the bill has once again been secretly negotiated, and will once again forgo the committee process.

What’s worse, we’ve been told that it will be presented to us with bipartisan amendments already chosen by a select few negotiators, unrepresentative of the wide variety of strongly held views in the Senate.

There are a list of Amendments which I believe ought to be included in this bill, amendments that I think may find support from many of my colleagues. Provisions, Mr. President, such as one which would prevent criminal aliens from delaying and even avoiding their deportation by filing frivolous Z Visa applications and appeals against their denied applications.

Another amendment would prohibit criminal aliens, including gang members and absconders, from tying up our courts by frivolous appeals from the denial of a request for a waiver of grounds for removal. The bottle neck, sure to ensue without these two provisions, will cause extensive delays that will only increase the costs involved with this bill, and allow abuse of the system.

A third would require judges to consider national security implications before issuing nationwide injunctions against immigration enforcement, an essential provision to protecting our border, something this bill claims to do.

I would like to add an amendment preventing those who have committed terrorist acts or aided terrorists from asserting “good moral character,” something which seems so inherently obvious that I am shocked that this bill would allow it. Last year, Mohammed El Shorbagi pleaded guilty to providing material support to the terrorist organization HAMAS. His conviction, however, did not specifically bar him from becoming a U.S. citizen, because under the law aiding an organization which routinely fires rockets on families and neighborhoods, abducts innocent civilians, and has most recently staged a violent coup of an established unity government, does not in any way affect your “good moral character.” It is a dangerous shortcoming of our laws which will not be addressed because of the closed and secretive manner by which this bill is being considered.

I would also like to limit the time frame for an appeal to two years, so that court proceedings don’t drag on endlessly, wasting tax dollars, and allowing an illegal alien to remain indefinitely, under the cover of an appeal.

These are only 5 of the amendments which I think are necessary to make this bill better. Others would make it harder for gang members to qualify, force immigrants to file a change of address notification to DHS when they move, and authorize the detention of dangerous aliens during their deportation trial.

Unfortunately, the majority leader has provided us with no opportunity for these measures to be considered and included in the final bill. Rather, the world’s greatest deliberative body will be presented with a bill that they have not had a full and fair opportunity to debate and amend. Since when did the Senate have so little say in the shaping of the legislation which they vote on? Since when did the majority leader get to force legislation on the rest of the Senate?

I cannot support this flawed bill or this broken, secret process that produced it. I hope my colleagues will join me in insisting upon the free and open debates which are the hallmark of the Senate, and which are the only possible path forward to providing a rational and common sense answer to the challenge of immigration reform."

Go get 'em, John!

THIS is How You Do Immigration Reform

Turns out one country on this planet knows how to take care of illegal immigrants... and it ain't the US:

...reform needs to focus on tough sanctions against illegal immigration, cultural assimilation, a paring back of family reunification, greater language competence and job skills, and temporary-worker programs that are truly temporary.
Which country is this?


Yes, France, home of the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys."

Turns out Sarkozy wants to get tough with illegal immigration, and so does the rest of the EU:
The European Union has just proposed a tough new plan, featuring sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Under the proposed new policy, ten percent of Europe’s companies would be inspected every year, employers would be required to run identity checks, fines would be levied on business violators, and employers who repeatedly or egregiously breach hiring laws would be subject to severe economic penalties or imprisonment.
For once, I think America would do well to emulate the European model.

And maybe I can go back to being proud of my French heritage.


Immigration "Reform" Supporters Claim Empty Boxes Contain Letters

Somebody got caught trying to pull one over on the media and the public, and it wasn't the opponents of the so-called immigration "reform" bill.

Lawmakers were pointing to "empty boxes" at a press conference last Thursday, a Capitol Hill newspaper reports.

"At a pro-immigration rally Thursday, a group of politicians including Sens. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) addressed reporters while picturesquely standing in front of an impressive tower of boxes they said contained letters from a million supporters of comprehensive immigration reform," Emily Heil reports for Roll Call's 'Heard on the Hill.'


"As the Members repeatedly referred to the letters and gestured toward the boxes allegedly containing them as evidence of the support for the immigration bill that is struggling in the Senate, a crack Roll Call photographer on hand at the event began to grow suspicious," Heil continues. "He could see light shining through the handles of the boxes, indicating that they weren’t full."

The paper reveals, "Sure enough, a quick check revealed that the boxes were, indeed, completely empty."

Ya know, that makes a perfect metaphor for the immigration bill itself. They make grandiose claims, but when you look inside, what they claim isn't in there.

Hat Tip to the indispensable Wizbang.


Comprehensive Immigration "Reform": Making It Easier for Terrorists

The Heritage Foundation took a good hard look at the current bill and finds some serious issues with the claim that it increases homeland security:

Under Sections 601 (h)(1) and (5) of the bill, if an ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agent apprehends any alien who appears eligible for the Z visa (in other words, just about any illegal alien), the agent cannot detain him. Instead, ICE must provide the alien a reasonable opportunity to apply for the Z visa. This stands in stark contrast to the status quo, in which ICE can place the alien in detention and immediately initiate removal proceedings.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Read the whole thing (link in the title) to be really scared.


I Never Thought I'd Say This...

... but I agree with John Edwards:

On other national issues, Edwards was asked about his views on immigration.

Edwards said he preferred to respond in the context of the immigration bill that has been considered by the U.S.Senate. While Edwards said the bill clarifies the laws on immigration, he does not think the bill creates a practical path to citizenship for immigrants, which is what he would like to see.

Emphasizing that he does not favor amnesty but “earned citizenship,” Edwards said he is opposed to any measure that creates “a first-class group of citizens and a second-class group of laborers. This is what results from the current bill .”

“I think there should be fines if they came here illegally, and, this is the controversial part, I think they should learn to speak English,” Edwards said.

Edwards said he favors a much tougher stance on those employers in the United States who knowingly hire, and in many cases, abuse illegal immigrants. His latter statement, as well as that on requiring new immigrants to speak English, drew applause from the town meeting crowd.
So, now we have bipartisan dislike of the bill, to cancel out bipartisan approval. Can we kill it now?


Parse This One Out with Me...

From Sky News, via NRO's Corner:

A Pakistani minister says Muslims would be right to launch suicide attacks over the Queen's decision to award Salman Rushdie a knighthood. Religious Affairs Minister Mohammed Ijaz ul Haq told parliament: "This is an occasion for the (world's) 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision. The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the 'sir' title."
So, first he says, "The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism." Then he suggests what most sane people would call "extremism and terrorism."

In other words, he's proving our point for us.

Gotta love people with their heads up their backsides.


Fred Launches Blog!

Fred Thompson has started a new blog in his ImWithFred.com website. So far, he's collected a bunch of his earlier writings on it, but I'm sure there'll be new stuff soon.

Onto the blogroll he goes!

Common Sense on Iraq

The Prime Minister of Iraq has penned a piece that runs on OpinionJournal.com today, and it's really worth reading. The money line, for me, is this one:

Today when I hear the continuous American debate about the struggle raging in Iraq, I can only recall with great sorrow the silence which attended the former dictator's wars.
Kinda hits the lefties hard, doesn't it?

Read the whole thing.


Michelle Malklin Blows the Lid Off Immigration and Amnesty

That's all I can say about it. She literally blows the lid off it. (Title is the link, as usual)

Now, if enough people pay attention and complain... and actually throw the bums out that are doing this...

...and other daydreams.


The Perils of an Anti-War Stance

Jeffery Lord, a former Reagan White House Political Director, has penned a great article:

John Edwards may be dubbed the "Breck Girl" by Rush Limbaugh, but his real problem -- the problem Democrats should be thinking about even if they can't bring themselves to just say it -- is the real world political legacy of Edwards' brisk sail towards abject surrender in the War on Terror. Even more terrifying for the dwindling ban of FDR, Truman, and JFK followers should be the enthusiasm of all the other Democratic candidates as they elbow each other aside in their frantic quest to climb aboard the Democratic ship as the leading anti-war candidate for 2008.

One has to wonder whether these candidates and their bevy of expensive consultants read history, in this case the history of their own party and the history of anti-war movements in America. The Democratic Party has been here before, in both the 19th and 20th century, and in each instance the perception of a clear majority of the American people that Democrats had turned their back on even an unpopular war proved to have deadly political consequences.
Read the whole thing (link, as usual, is in the title); it is well researched and builds a damning case against the Party of the Donkey's chances to win the Oval Office.


Libby Gets 30 Months

Lewis "Scooter" Libby has just been sentenced to 30 months in jail.

Expect an immediate appeal.

Will update with reactions from the blogosphere as other activities permit.

Update the First: Sticky Notes has a pretty good comparison.

Update the Second: Let's take a wander through some online journals of conservative thought and see what they think. IMPORTANT NOTE-- this is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it intended to be. The statements made are correct as of 14:00 PDT, things may change later.

Human Events
: silence.

National Review Online: "We said it in March, when I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby became the only person convicted of any crime in the CIA-leak investigation, and we’ll say it again now that he has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison: President Bush should pardon Libby, and do it now."

(otherwise known as the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal): silence.

The American Spectator: silence.

The Weekly Standard
: "So much for loyalty, or decency, or courage. For President Bush, loyalty is apparently a one-way street; decency is something he's for as long as he doesn't have to take any risks in its behalf; and courage--well, that's nowhere to be seen. Many of us used to respect President Bush. Can one respect him still?"


Godspeed, Senator Thomas

WASHINGTON (AP) - Wyoming Sen. Craig Thomas, a three-term conservative Republican who stayed clear of the Washington limelight and political catfights, died Monday. He was 74.

The senator's family issued a statement saying he died Monday evening at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He had been receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

Political considerations (and there are some) can wait.

May God bless his family in their time of grief.

Democrats and the Culture of Corruption, Part II

Looks like the Democrats are about to have their own culture of corruption exposed a little bit more.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes and money-laundering in a long- running bribery investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.

The indictment handed up in federal court in Alexandria., Va., Monday is 94 pages long and lists 16 alleged violations of federal law that could keep Jefferson in prison for up to 235 years. He is charged with racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Jefferson is accused of soliciting bribes for himself and his family, and also for bribing a Nigerian official.

Watch ABCCBSCNNNBCPBS clam up on this story.

Anti-Mormon Rumors Surfacing

Turns out one of Mr. Romney's opponents for the GOP nomination may (emphasize, may) be working on a rumor-mongering campaign against Mr. Romney's religion.

I suspect this will backfire on the other candidate, and backfire badly. Even if one disagrees with Mr. Romney's religion, as I do, that is no reason to start a back-door whispering campaign like this.

It appears, however, as though one candidate, or at the very least his staffers, seem to believe otherwise.

To find out which campaign I am referring to, hit the link in the title above.

UPDATE: According to NRO, the Romney campaign has responded thusly:

"I sincerely hope that the Giuliani campaign did not send that e-mail out to reporters in an effort to provoke questions about a fellow candidate's faith. They may have just been passing it along for other reasons, but given the focus of the article, they should be more careful since it could very easily be seen as an effort to question Governor Romney's faith. An action like that would be terribly disappointing."

-Kevin Madden, spokesman for Governor Romney

That about covers it, I think.

One Side Doesn't Want to Debate Immigration

The editors at National Review have reiterated... for the second time... an invitation to the editors of the pro-amnesty Wall Street Journal to debate the immigration "reform" bill.

So far, it seems the WSJ editors are more interested in spinning than in a substantive debate:

Paul Gigot, in contrast, told the New York Times that he has no appetite for such a debate because he invited two NR writers to come on his Fox News show to discuss the bill the week before last. Both declined for scheduling reasons.

But dueling sound bites on a TV show moderated by Paul Gigot is not the kind of debate we have in mind. We’re challenging the Journal to a Firing Line –style debate — an extensive, detailed engagement on all the important issues surrounding the immigration bill.

Once again: Our challenge is two or three of us against two of three of them, in a neutral venue, with a moderator of the Journal’s choosing. What could be fairer? And who can doubt that the bill — the most important immigration reform in decades — deserves such an airing? “I wish we could lift up the level of discourse and dialogue,” Sen. John McCain said the other day. That’s exactly what we hope to do.

As we’ve mentioned before, in their recent videotaped editorial meeting, the Journal’s editors said that opponents of the bill are irrational and bereft of arguments. If that’s really the case, they should be willing to come out and prove it. What could they possibly have to fear?
In other words, the Journal says they want to debate their way, not the way a real, substantive debate should be done. And note that National Review will permit the Journal to pick the moderator.

The fact that the proponents of this travesty of a bill won't even engage in a true debate should speak volumes about it.

Views on the Immigration Fiasco from Outside the Beltway

Human Events went around the country to talk to GOP officials about this travesty called an immigration bill, and what they heard wasn't pretty:

Some state chairmen declined comment, perhaps out of deference to the Republican President. “They want to support the President on this, but need to be convinced those who’ve broken the law are not being given a pass” says one chairman. Others who did agree to speak were clear: conservatives, indeed voters in general, are not pleased. Benkiser says that Texans are “angry and disgusted.” She says that whatever the subject matter of state party communications to voters the answer comes back: “unless you secure the borders and enforce the laws we don’t want to talk to you.” Hoffman reports that “voters can’t understand why such a simple solution and an overwhelming majority” doesn’t lead to a far different proposal stressing border security. He notes that GOP headquarters has been “flooded” with angry calls. Saul Anuzis of Michigan is more circumspect, saying voters are “cautious and concerned” while Republicans (and all voters) in Maryland are “very upset” according to Pleura. Priebus also confirms that voters in Wisconsin are “not happy” and have “grave concerns” about the Senate compromise. Pitney agrees that in California “GOP activists are upset about the Senate bill.” A western state chairman says one thing is clear: the base is extremely frustrated with President Bush.
Opinions are mixed on how this will impact Mr. McCain, given that most anti-illegal people weren't really in his camp to begin with. However, I believe that this underestimates the number of registered Republicans who don't pay attention to politics on a day-to-day basis that will nonetheless be very dissatisfied with this bill. Expect McCain's opponents to hang this albatross around his neck every chance they get.

Don't call the moving company to take your stuff to the Oval Office yet, Mr. McCain.