Chief Justice Roberts Hospitalized After Fall

Chief Justice John Roberts has been hospitalized, apparently as a precaution, following a fall at his island home in Maine. Details are still sketchy, but it appears that he was not seriously injured, thank the Lord.

Update and bump: The AP reports that it was a seizure, and that this is not Roberts' first seizure, leading to a probable diagnosis of epilepsy coming in the near future.

Over at Wizbang's comments section, there's been some speculation about Roberts being asked to resign because of this. I said there, and I say again here, if anyone tries that, they'll be tarred and feathered for being anti-disabled. There is nothing in epilepsy that would make Roberts unfit to serve on the Court.

However, part of me wants the lefties to try it, just for the fireworks.

Eight Things About Me

I've done been tagged by a meme by Tom Blogical... and, what the heck, it seems to be fun, so I'll join in.

  1. Like Tom, I've considered going to culinary school. I've already been to the culinary school of hard knocks... that's the one you go to when your family is in the restaurant business (they're not in it anymore).
  2. I love Seattle. Yeah, it's probably the second most lefty town on the west coast (San Francisco is obviously #1), but I still love that city. I just don't ever wanna live there. Now, Bremerton...
  3. I have absolutely no sense of time. Without looking at my watch or a clock I can't tell you if 10 seconds have gone by or 10 minutes.
  4. On the other hand, I have an excellent sense of direction. I can usually find my way somewhere after I've been there once or twice. And yes, I can read a map... and even fold it back up properly!
  5. Meatloaf is one of my favorite dishes. I think its bad reputation primarily stems from people trying to cook it who don't know how.
  6. I love watching it snow.
  7. If I won the lottery, I'd probably open a used book store. I just love books.
  8. I set my alarm to go off at least 30 minutes before I have to actually get up. That's because I have a bad habit of smacking the snooze button. Several times.
Now I am gonna tag CatholicandGOP of Faith and Country, Revbeaux of Liberal Implosion, and Whiskeyboarder of Educated Soldier. Hope they all forgive me!


Three Inconvenient Iraq Truths.

My eyes perk up when an article starts with something like this:

Democratic Party opponents of the Iraq War are now deeply invested in a withdrawal strategy. They argue, as Harry Reid has phrased it, that the war is lost. But there are three inconvenient truths...
I'd love to share a longer excerpt, but it's not the kind of article that lends itself to cutting apart like that.

So, I invite you to read it all at the original site.


Perspective from an OIF Vet

Steve at Educated Soldier blog has a post relating his experience in ar Ramadi in 2005 titled Ramadi Part One.

What is most interesting is his description of how much Ramadi changed and improved during the first six months of his last tour. Also, he stays in contact with friends of his old unit, some of whom are currently deployed to Iraq, They are relating to him good news and dramatic improvements in security.

He also relates the disconnect he found between what Americans thought of Iraq and what he knew was the reality.

I do disagree with his conclusion that the mainstream media is not inherently biased or liberal. I of course find the media to be inherently biased and liberal. However, sometimes it's hard to see until you've read examples of how they accomplish it. Before I read a couple of books on the subject and found some media watch dog sites, I didn't realize just how insidious it could be.

The Plame Still Flickers

Despite the celebration last week that the Plame suit against the Bush Administration (blogged about in Plame Suit Flames Out) being dismissed, the decision is being appealed to the DC Circuit Court.

Erwin Chemerinsky (professor of law at Duke University Law School) and John Eastman (Dean of Chapman University Law School) are regular guests on Hugh Hewitt's radio show - usually on Wednesday. Hugh refers to the pair as The Smart Guys. Today the issues were executive privilege and the Plame-Wilson suit. Erwin is one of the attorney's for the Plame's and argued the case in federal district court.

(from the transcript)

EC: I was, I was the lawyer who argued the case in federal district court. I continue to be the lawyer for Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson, and I will be involved in writing and arguing the case on appeal in the D.C. Circuit.

HH: And your grounds for appeal will be what?

EC: Well, the Privacy Act does not apply to the offices of the president and the vice president. That was conceded by all of the parties in this litigation, and the judge recognized it. And of course, at least as to Cheney, Libby and Rove, the Privacy Act provides no remedy. And our argument is a statute that doesn’t apply can’t be used to preclude a civil suit under the Constitution. Also, we have four Constitutional claims, a privacy claim, but also a 1st Amendment claim, an equal protection claim, and a due process claim. And our argument is that at most, the Privacy Act should preclude the privacy claim, but not the others.So, there's the basis for appealing the dismissal of the suit. When asked if he thought Richard Armitage had committed a crime, Chemerinsky said yes:

HH: But let me ask you, do you think Richard Armitage committed a crime?

EC: Yes.

Chemerinsky clings to the belief that Valerie Plame was a covert agent, stating that he knows for a fact that she held that designation:

HH: But it seems to me that…what’s obvious to all of us is that Fitzgerald concluded there was no crime in the revelation of Valerie Plame’s identity, because she was not covert, and it was not what the intent of the law was intended to do in this instance, and that therefore, Armitage wasn’t charged, because there was no crime, and that therefore, Libby didn’t commit a crime, and the Grand Jury ought never to have met, because he knew, Fitzgerald did, before the investigation even opened, that Armitage was a leaker, and he never charged him, therefore no charges and no Grand Jury should have happened.

EC: Some of what you said is just false, some I don’t know. First, there’s no doubt whatsoever that Valerie Plame was a covert operative. The attorney for the United States government said that in open court on May 17th, in the District of Columbia. So I don’t think we can dispute that she’s a covert agent. The United States government said that they would agree that at least for a certain period of time, she was a covert operative.

HH: Erwin, we certainly can dispute that, because it was not made in a context at when it could be challenged to an impartial observer. And of course, the United States government’s going to say that in that circumstance. I don’t believe it for a second, I’ve never been persuaded of that, and I think it is nonsense to ask my audience to take that on fact. It’s a disputed issue.

EC: I’ll tell you, I mean, you’ve known me a long time, whatever trust you have in me, I know as fact she was a covert operative.

From what I heard during the discussion and what I've read and heard previously on this matter, I'm still not convinced that Plame was a covert agent as defined by the law. What we do know is that the special prosecutor did not charge or indict anyone for revealing Plame's identity. That leads me to believe Fitzgerald didn't think she fit the definition of a covert agent or that anyone who revealed her identity didn't commit a crime as defined by the law.

Something else that I believe gets overlooked in this debate - someone revealing Plame's identity has to know she held the distinction of being a covert agent. Simply saying she works for the CIA reveals nothing except that she works at the CIA.

Erwin is a liberal, and that comes out clearly in most of the positions he takes
week after week on judicial issues. He also doesn't like President Bush and I'm sure he'd love to be the attorney who helped to hang a crime on the President or someone in the Administration.

I still think they are tracking a cold trail, but maybe we'll still get to see Plame and Wilson cross examined in open court.

To read the rest of the interview, follow the transcript link above, or listen to the audio here (app. 30 minutes).

Dead Right There

This news is sort of old, but I just heard the story on Neal Boortz. This is another in a string of recent stories I've read on blogs and news sites chronicling would be thugs getting their come-uppance when they decided to mess with the wrong person - namely, a vet, and in this case, a Marine.

Police: Former Marine Shoots 2 Subway Robbery Suspects

PLANTATION, Fla. -- A retired United States Marine disrupted a robbery in progress when he shot two men who attempted to rob a Subway sandwich shop, fatally wounding one of them, police said.
I went in search of the original article in the Sun-Sentinel but the link was dead. I did find most of the original article posted on Cassy Fiano's blog
John Lovell had just finished dinner at about 11: 15 p.m. Wednesday when, Plantation police say, two men armed with guns rushed inside a Subway shop and demanded cash. After robbing the store, the men turned to Lovell. They wanted his money, police said.

But like his attackers, Lovell was armed.

The retired military man opened fire, shooting dead Donicio Arrindell, 22, of North Lauderdale, and critically injuring Fredrick Gadson, 21, of Fort Lauderdale.

Lovell, 71, of Plantation, has a valid concealed weapons permit and is not expected to be charged in the shooting, said police spokesman Detective Robert Rettig. Gadson, however, faces multiple felony charges that could include murder, he said. Under Florida law, anyone who commits a felony such as armed robbery resulting in a death can be held accountable for the capital offense.


According to a police statement, Arrindell ordered Lovell to hand over his wallet. He intentionally dropped it on the floor and refused to pick it up, saying he was afraid. That's when Arrindell ordered him into the women's restroom.

"The victim believed he would be executed and when he noticed [Arrindell] distracted ... reached behind his back, removed his loaded .45 caliber handgun from his holster and fired seven rounds," the statement said.

Arrindell was struck twice — once in the head and once in the stomach — and collapsed. Officers found him face down, wearing sunglasses and a bandanna, with a gun near his left hand. Gadson was hit in the chest and ran from the store. Police dogs found him in the hedges of a nearby office building and bank.

Sebastian Shakespeare, 23, of Lauderhill, was going to buy a sandwich at the Subway at 1949 N. Pine Island Road when he saw Lovell, gun in hand, standing over Arrindell. A former employee, Shakespeare worked the night shift and often worried about getting robbed.

He said Lovell did a good deed. "A civilian was a hero."


A good citizen, hero for the day, right? Well, not to everyone -

But Gadson's grandmother, Rosa Jones, said: "He ain't no hero. He is a murderer and God will serve justice."

She and her husband, Ivory Jones, pastor of a Fort Lauderdale church, sat on their front porch in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday wondering how a man could shoot two people and not go to jail.

They said their grandson sometimes hung with the wrong crowd but never got into legal trouble. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, he has no arrest record. They said Gadson, who never finished high school, got tired of low-wage jobs and was pursuing his GED.


You see don't you? It's not the young boy's fault they did an armed robbery, then selected the wrong guy to try to rob. It's society's fault and Lovell is a meany.

In other articles I found, Lovell had piloted Marine One for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

At Topix, I found a string of comments commending Lovell for his action, well, with the exception of one commenter - sickoftheknowitallpeople:

We dont know the whole story....Just what we read. Lord knows how they sensationalize everything. He knew if he killed them that he wouldnt be charged. He could have shot them in the legs, let the cops take them to jail where they would have to pay for their actions. But hey...it's better to just kill them. Two young black men...who cares huh!!!!
As if shooting someone in the leg will keep them from shooting back.

Good thing Florida is a state that allows it's citizen's to arm themselves to protect their life and property.

Semper Fi, Mr. Lovell!


Democrats and Gitmo

In a sort of follow-up to my piece yesterday about the dilemma of the Dhimmicrat party, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) points out a bit of evidence that supports my conclusions.

Two weeks ago, while most Senate Republicans were focused on the parts of the defense-authorization bill that related to military training and support, several prominent Democrats drafted an amendment to the bill that would have mandated sending terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay to the states. The bill never got a vote, but a Republican alternative prohibiting such a move overwhelmingly pass the Senate the following week. Amazingly, every Democrat sponsor of the original amendment ended up voting for the Republican alternative.
"Overwhelmingly pass" is a bit of an understatement... it sailed through 94-3. In short, the Senators from the Party of the Donkey don't want to have to tell the voters, "yes, we voted to bring the terrorists from Guantanamo Bay into your neighborhoods."

The next time some lefty starts bloviating about Gitmo, shove that vote in their face. Their reaction should be priceless.


Rich Galen Joins Team Fred

Rich Galen, former Newt-ite, has signed on with Fred Thompson.

"Assuming he gets into the race, I think Fred Thompson may well be the best combination of insider-outsider experience and possess the kind of new ideas that don't exist in either party," Galen said.

Sounds like Galen has captured the essence of Fred.

The Dhimmicrats' Dilemma

The Democrats have successfully stuck themselves between Scylla and Charybdis, which has led to their wild antics over the last few months.

On the one hand, they have their rabid-anti-war base... the folks with the money. They have to placate these people, or their money dries up.

On the other hand, they have the voters. They know they can't be seen as pulling the rug out from under the troops, or the votes dry up.

Thus, the Party of the Donkey is trying its best to chart a narrow course between these two dangers. This is why they have well-publicized debates (like Harry's overnighter) talking about yanking funding--that's to please the ultra-radical lefties with the dollars. It's also why nothing ever really happens--that's to keep the voters from turning away from them.

We can give some credit for this state of affairs to President Bush. By clearly saying that he will veto any bill with a pullout date on it, he has taken away the Dhimmicrats' hope that they can drop the chaos that would ensue from a pullout in his lap. The Dems know now that Bush is no Nixon, he won't cooperate in a pullout that will leave things worse than they were before the invasion.

This also explains why General Petraeus sailed through his Congressional approval hearings. The Dems have one slim thread of hope, and they're clinging to it for all they're worth: that Petraeus can pacify enough of Iraq so that the Dems can actually force a pullout and not have Iraq degenerate into another Darfur... or Cambodia.

The big problem with that is that pacifying Iraq quite possibly will take quite a while... leaving the Dems waffling over cutting off funding.

Fun to watch, tho!


HamNation: Harry's Sleepover

My favorite conservababe, Mary Katherine Ham (blog) has posted her most recent installment of HamNation (video wall) - Harry and the Dems Sleepover Party.

The vlog features First Lt. Hegseth of Vets for Freedom. Hegseth and members of his group were on Capitol Hill the day of the Senate Iraq Debate/Sleepover. Pipsqueak Harry Reid had time to meet with members of Moveon.org and other anti-war groups, but didn't have time to meet with First Lt. Hegseth.

Read NRO's Stephen Spruiell's First Lt. Hegseth Takes the Hill

Was Harry's Sleepover a slumber party, or just a snoozer?

Michael Totten Reports from Baghdad

Michael Totten is in Iraq and files Welcome to Baghdad. He relates the long and winding road getting from Kuwait to the Green Zone. But also relates his first impressions as he arrived in Baghdad. It's not nearly the war zone the driveby media depicts it as. In fact, he doesn't hear any explosions or gunshots during his first hours there.

[...] I watched helicopters fly over the city in the distance and launch burning white countermeasure flares to confuse heat-seeking missiles as the pilots flew over hostile parts of the city. This was the only evidence I saw that I was in a war zone. I heard no shots fired, and I heard no explosions.

After having spent several days Baghdad’s Green Zone and Red Zone, I still haven’t heard or seen any explosions. It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war. Last July’s war in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon was hundreds of times more violent and terrifying than this one. Explosions on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border were constant when I was there.

You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine. Certain areas are still extremely violent, but the country as a whole is defined by heat, not war, at least in the summer. It is Iraq’s most singular characteristic. I dread going outside because it’s hot, not because I’m afraid I will get hurt.


Recommended reading. There's nothing like the independent journalists who are reporting from Iraq, absent the agenda and framework the MSM typically uses to bound their viewpoint.

h/t: Yael at Oleh Girl


Fred and the Abortion Lobbying Kerfuffle

The Campaign Spot over at National Review Online notes that the NY Times has received the billing records from the lobbying firm in question. In two posts, here and here, Geraghty takes a good hard look at them.

You can read his conclusions for yourself, but here's my take on it.

Lobbyists are paid to advance a policy to those in power. They do not necessarily agree with all the policies they promote. (come on, folks, can you say you agree with every policy your job makes you adhere to and--if you have contact with people outside the company--promote?) Therefore, this whole thing is much ado about nothing.

Also worth noting is that Fred spent 19 hours total over 14 months. The longest time period billed was around 2.5 hours. Let's see... 14 months, 40 hours a week, if we assume 4 weeks a month that's 2,240 hours. Of which 19 (nineteen) was for this particular client. If I am figuring this right, that means that 0.8% of his time over those 14 months was on this client. They weren't really that important a client to him, I daresay.

Thompson's pseudo-campaign does, however, need to get some communication straightened out. It seems that Fred and his spokesman Mark Corallo were on two different pages, and that's not good. Fortunately, there is time to recover yet.

Plame Suit Flames Out

Valerie Plame's lawsuit against members of the Bush Administration was dismissed today by John D. Bates, United States District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

A federal judge dismissed former CIA operative Valerie Plame's lawsuit against members of the Bush administration Thursday, eliminating one of the last courtroom remnants of the leak scandal.
The only thing Plame got right in her lawsuit was the inclusion of Richard Armitage as a defendant. One of the many odd things about this whole affair has been the distinct absence of Armitage in the accusations of culpable names in the supposed leak of Plame's covert status.

Bates dismissed the case against all defendants: Cheney, White House political adviser Karl Rove, former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

Judge Bates is a Bush 43 appointment to the court. I suspect, if the left holds true to form, charges will fly that the judge is a Bush toady. Judge Bates is also the judge who dismissed Congress's lawsuit by the Comptroller to force Vice President Cheney to reveal information about his energy task force. However, Plame's lawyer had known from the beginning they were facing an uphill battle with the suit.

Plame's attorneys had said the lawsuit would be an uphill battle. Public officials are normally immune from such lawsuits filed in connection with their jobs.

In a way, I'm disappointed this will not go to trial. I was looking forward to Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame being put on the stand in public, under oath, and being cross examined by a good defense attorney. It would have been interesting to see how they resolved their conflicting testimony during Congressional hearings with their public statements and reporting by the driveby media.

Plame-Wilson's fifteen minutes of fame are over. Time to retire to their new digs in New Mexico.


We Got Another One!

Associated (de)Press(ed) reports:

BAGHDAD (AP) - The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter



In Web postings, the Islamic State of Iraq has identified its leader as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, with al-Masri as minister of war. There are no known photos of al-Baghdadi.

Bergner said al-Mashhadani had told interrogators that al-Baghdadi is a "fictional role" created by al-Masri and that an actor is used for audio recordings of speeches posted on the Web.

"In his words, the Islamic State of Iraq is a front organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within al-Qaida in Iraq in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq," Bergner said.

(emphasis added)

But it's a purely Iraqi civil war, right? Iran isn't involved, and claims to the contrary are just Dubya trying to start another unnecessary war, right?

Media Mythbusters

A group of experienced new media people have just launched the Media Mythbusters wiki to create a single source reference in debunking and highlighting media myths and falsehoods.

The goal of this site is to serve as a reliable resource providing news consumers with tools and information to allow them to determine how best to use the information they receive through various news sources.
Bookmark it for your reading enjoyment and for those times when you need to throw out a trump card on media bias deniers.

H/T: Little Green Footballs

General Petraeus Interview

Hugh Hewitt had a taped interview today with Commander, Multi-National Forces Iraq.

Listen to the Audio here (32 minutes) or read the Transcript here, it's worth the time. Consider it an early report on what we might hear in September. I wonder if the democrat leadership in Congress will have time to listen to General Petraeus this time.

From the transcript:

HH: Some have warned that a genocide of sorts, or absolute terms, would follow a precipitous withdrawal of coalition forces. Do you agree that that is a possibility, or a…and a significant one?

DP: Well, obviously, it depends on the conditions when we withdraw. I mean, eventually, we are going to withdraw. We cannot maintain the surge forever, as everyone knows. There’s always been an intention that the surge would be a somewhat temporary endeavor. So it has to do with the conditions at that time. I mean, we saw the sectarian violence of late 2006 and early 2007, and obviously, that was very tragic, and really quite horrific in a number of Baghdad neighborhoods. It literally changed the face of Baghdad. It struck at the very fabric of Iraqi society in places like Baghdad, and in other mixed, sectarian areas. And again, unless the conditions are sustainable by the Iraqis, one would certainly expect that sectarian violence would resume at a very high level. That’s not to say there’s not still some going on right now, although the level in June was about the lowest in a year, and we’re certainly trying to sustain that. I don’t know this month whether we can, given the two horrific bombings that took place, however that is certainly what we’re trying and fighting to do.

There is little doubt the terrorists, al Qaeda in Iraq, play to the media. Every time the democratics make Iraq surrender a center piece of Congressional debate, the terrorists ramp up their efforts, staging spectacular and deadly attacks that are sure to garner headlines and be featured on the nightly news


Pajamas Media Straw Poll - Week 26

Pajamas Media's weekly straw poll, week 26, is open. Click on Polling Booth at the top of the right hand column to vote.

Bill Richardson continues to win the straw poll for the democrat candidates. Ron Paul has won the weekly straw polls for several weeks for the Republican candidates.

Ron Paul has been dropped from this week's straw poll for the Republican party as he failed to reach the required one-percent threshold in the most recent Gallup Poll.

The sound you hear is thousands of Ron Paulbots searching for internet polls with their favorite candidate listed so they can run their voting scripts.

Thompson/Giuliani 2008?

Over at the Campaign Spot on NRO, Jim Geraghty has an interesting article about Fred and Rudy.

I had been talking with a strategist with neither the Rudy nor FDT campaigns, and he had mentioned his theory on running mates. This strategist said tickets no longer need geographic or ideological balance; instead, what mattered was that the strengths of the vice-presidential nominee echo the strengths of the presidential nominee. The choice, he said, says, 'The qualities that are so great about me are so important to the job of president, that I want the man (or woman) who is a heartbeat away from the presidency to have the same strengths.'
Come to think of it, a Fred/Rudy ticket would probably be pretty much unstoppable on law and order, as well as national security concerns. And I sort of feel in my gut that those are going to be the big issues in this election.

Now, if only Fred can talk Rudy into being #2...


Something New Has Been Added!

Since I am one who enjoys the back-and-forth of political discussions, I've opened a free web forum specifically for discussing conservative ideas... and for conservatives to just get together and shoot the breeze as well. It's called RightForum and is linked above in the title (as usual), and also above in the name.

Some topics from here will be cross-posted there, and vice-versa, but not all of them. Since it's free to join RightForum, why don't you take a moment and do it?


Mistakes and Learning

Okay, I've been ruminating again, so it's time to see if my thoughts make any sense to anyone else.

A wise man (and I can't seem to track down who, sorry) once said, "A mistake is evidence that someone tried to do something." In short, in this world, at least, those who attempt things will sometimes slip up.

Apply this to the Iraq war debates currently going on, and an interesting viewpoint emerges: Yes, we have made mistakes; but imagine if we had sat upon our hands and done nothing?

Saddam Hussein, as pointed out by many reports, probably would have been a good deal closer to developing nukes of his own, if he didn't have them by now. As of 2003 the Oil-for-Food program was riddled with holes and Saddam was doing everything he could to push his nuclear program forward.

Iraqis would have continued to die at Saddam's hands. Although many on the left like to point to the supposed body counts (none of which can be proven to be anywhere near scientifically accurate), yet they are strangely silent on the mass graves that Saddam himself filled up. There is absolutely no evidence that the situation would have been better had we left Saddam in power; he had shown the capability and willingness to use poison gas on his own people.

Also, it is worth considering that if we had gone into Afghanistan but not Iraq, many of the terrorists fleeing our troops in Afghanistan would quite possibly found a safe haven in Iraq. It's well known that Saddam financed terrorists himself (in fact, he himself was a terrorist of a kind), and he hated the United States of America with a passion (a passion apparently shared by at least some on the left, given their loud and very Saddam-like denunciations of America). It's quite plausible that terrorists could have found a new home in Saddam's Iraq.

Yes, we have made mistakes; we've learned from them. Edison was once asked how it felt to have failed over 100 times in his quest for the light bulb. His response was, "I have not failed once. I have discovered over 100 things that don't work." General Petraeus' plan has taken what we know won't work and turned it into something that is working.

A wise person does not give up when he fails; he learns from that and tries again. Edison did. Petraeus has. It appears the anti-war folks, however, would rather we tried, failed, and then gave up.

A pity, really. They stifle their own learning with that attitude.


Iraq Mid-term Eval

The highly anticipated, and speculated on, White House Iraq Progress Report is due for formal release today. It will show that the Iraqi government has made satisfactory progress on eight of eighteen benchmarks.

A widely anticipated White House report on Iraq, set for release today, contends that Iraq has made "satisfactory" progress toward nearly half of the political and military goals sought by Congress, while acknowledging that an equal number remain "unsatisfactory," an administration official said yesterday. (via Boston.com)
The findings of this report will be pored over, dissected and argued about. Considering the current debate in the Senate on the best plan to ensure we lose in Iraq, I'm sure the results will be used as evidence by democrats that Iraq is a lost cause, and we should surrender as fast as we can.

If we measured our federal government in eighteen critical areas, would eight of them be satisfactory? Probably not. Perhaps it's time we give up and pull out of Washington, DC.


Why Iraq Debate in Senate Right Now?

The Democrat lead United States Senate has set aside this week and next to debate the Iraq War and try to figure out a way to make sure we lose.

It has been asked, why must they do this now? Why don't they wait until September when General Petraeus reports to the President and Congress on the effects of the surge and his outlook on the situation in Iraq?

I think the answer to those questions are found in the Senate calendar. The Senate is in recess from August 6 to September 3, 2007. If they don't do this now, in July, when the Senate reconvenes in September it might be too late. If General Petraeus reports that the surge is effective and his outlook positive, the democrats could have their legs cut out from under their defeat plans. That's why they have to have their defeat plan in place before the August recess.

Despite Harry Reid's best efforts, the democrat surrender plans may not work.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, saw two amendments (S. Amdt. 2012 and S. Amdt 2032) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R.1585) go down in defeat. Both amendments would have set limits constraining Department of Defense and the Commander in Chief in deploying troops to Iraq.

If they can't get amendments passed limiting deployment lengths or dictating time between deployments, it could be they will not be able get anything passed dictating a withdrawal mandate.

The only way the anti-war caucus in the Senate can be sure to get the defeat they seek is to cut the funding for the war. That is clearly in their Constitutional bounds. Except the democrats won't do that, as that will put our defeat in Iraq squarely on the democrats shoulders and they don't want that.

Note: On S. Amdt 2032 the roll call vote was 52 Yeas to 43 Nays. Roll Call vote summary for the amendment indicates it was rejected despite the vote. The summary does not show it was a cloture vote. I'm not sure what is going on with that, unless it was brought to the floor under some special rule requiring sixty votes for acceptance.

Fred and the Practice of Law

Fred has an interesting piece on Powerline where he talks about lawyers, including observations like this:

The easiest and most generally used tactic when running against a lawyer is to trade off a general perception that most people dislike lawyers. Goodness knows that a lot of lawyers have earned disfavor but, as it turns out, folks understand our system better than a lot of politicians think they do. In my first run for the Senate, my opponent tried the old demagoguery route – “He has even represented criminals!” – to no avail.

A first cousin of this ploy is to associate the lawyer with the views of his client. Now-United States Chief Justice John Roberts addressed this notion during his confirmation hearings. “… [I]t’s a tradition of the American Bar that goes back before the founding of the country that lawyers are not identified with the positions of their clients. The most famous example probably was John Adams, who represented the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre.”

Roberts pointed out that Adams was actually vindicating the rule of law. Every person, unpopular or not, is entitled to representation. He further said, “That principle that you don’t identify the lawyer with the particular views of the client or the views that the lawyer advances on behalf of the client, is critical to the fair administration of justice.”

Even though he doesn't come right out and say it, you know and I know that he's talking about the allegations that he lobbied for a pro-abortion group. And I think this is a fair response to those allegations.

Some Food for Thought

Something non-political I saw today... and decided it was worth passing on:

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or ... I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or ... I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or ... I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or ...I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or ... I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or ... I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or ... I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or ... eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or ... I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Have a GREAT DAY ... unless you have other plans.

Changes to Comments

Because there is a service out there that basically spams blogs, I've decided to move from the regular old Blogger comment section to Haloscan. As an unfortunate side-effect, the old comments have been buried (they're still there, just not visible anymore).

I believe that the added security is well worth the small inconvenience of the old comments being buried, however.

However, any comments after this will hang around just fine, since I don't intend to move from Haloscan in the forseeable future, since they work with many blogging platforms.

Other than that, carry on!

Fred! is Running!

Updated and Bumped 7/11/07 - Pictures of Fred! at yesterday's Freedom Concert. Fred! with Charlie Daniels and Larry the Cable Guy. (h/t: I'mWithFred)

Listening to the Sean Hannity Show broadcasting from the site of tonight's Freedom Concert. Fred! Thompson on live with Sean. Hannity just asked him, "Are you running for President?" Fred! said, "Yes. But I'm not going to tell you when." (As closely as I can accurately repeat the exchange.)

Of course, we all know Fred! is running, but it's good to hear a "yes" straight from his mouth. As I understand the testing the waters and exploratory committee rules, the potential candidates have to be careful of what they say about a candidacy. The wrong turn of phrase or statement can propel you from possible candidate to candidate and changes all the rules for donations and reporting.


Environmental Whacko Hypocrisy

I know, you're shocked. Imagine, hypocrites in the global warming alarmist and environmental whacko community. Yet, NewsBusters has this post ABC Bashes Bottled Water Companies, Ignores the One RFK Jr. Owns, highlighting not only the hypocrisy of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., but also the lack of inquisitiveness and bias of the driveby media.

During RFK Jr.'s wild eyed rant at Saturday's "Dead Thunk!" (commonly known as LiveEarth) event at Giants Stadium, he slammed politicians, the media and conservative talkers Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck, calling them "lying Flat Earthers". (video)

In the fervor to advance the global warming alarmism and environmental whackoism, ABC World News aired a segment (via Business and Media Institute) bashing bottled water companies because they are hurting the environment.

“With every sip are you actually hurting the environment?” teased anchor Dan Harris
In their haste to reinforce the message of the weekend, ABC failed to recognize that environmental activist RFK, Jr. owns a bottled water company. As reported by the NY Times in 1999:

[...] Using seed loans from friends and family, Mr. Kennedy and other environmentalists formed Tear of the Clouds L.L.C. to introduce Keeper Springs, which is named after the 35 "keeper" groups across the country that protect and improve local waterways. [...]
You might be thinking the same thing I did. That was 1999, maybe RFK, Jr. saw the error of his ways and divested himself of the evil, environmentally harmful bottled water company. After all, the anti-bottled water craze is a relatively new wrinkle in the larger global warming alarmism and enviro-whackoism movements. But no. After perusing the website of RFK Jr.'s bottled water company I found on the "Contact Us" page: AN ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT BY ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.

That's all for now. I'm off to buy a case of bottled water.

Hat tip: NewsBusters.

Global Warming History

July 10, 1913: The mercury hit 134 degrees at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, CA, the hottest reading of record for the North American continent. Sandstorm conditions accompanied the heat. The high the previous day was 129 degrees, following a morning low of 93 degrees.

Wonder if they were concerned about global warming way back in 1913?

Fred and the Pro-Abortion Lobbying Job

By the way, for those of you concerned about the allegations that Fred lobbied for a pro-abortion group, Jim Geraghty does a far, far better job of taking it apart here, here, and here.

Some points worth considering:

  • Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo’s observation that there are no billing records.
  • Corallo’s further explanation that another lawyer at the firm may have done the lobbying. Thompson "may have been consulted by one of [his] firm's partners who represented this group in 1991"… it was "not unusual for one lawyer on one side of an issue to be asked to give advice to colleagues for clients who engage in conduct or activities with which they personally disagree."
It’s significantly problematic that every person the Times quotes would appear to have incentive to take down Thompson, as he was a pro-life senator and all of these folks are not merely pro-choice, but professional lobbyists in support of that view. If one Republican or pro-life, or pro-Fred source had been quoted on the record, “Yes, Fred did this work and it was significant” then the charge would carry a lot more weight.
And also...
Also, a sharp mind in Washington tells me [Geraghty], "if the abortion group isn't willing to produce the invoices they paid the law firm (which will have every [bad word]ing lawyer's name on the bill), they should go to hell."
I sort of suspect that this is a classic media hit piece, a la the now-infamous Bush National Guard memo. We shall see if this pro-abortion group comes forward with any billing records, and whether those records stand up to scrutiny; or if this just sort of vanishes from the news. I'd bet on the latter.


The Incredible Disappearing Quote

Turns out the LA Times is trying to some creative editing on a story that has a very inconvenient quote in it.

The original quote goes like this (emphasis added):

But Judith DeSarno, who was president of the family planning association in 1991, said Thompson lobbied for the group for several months.

At one of the meals, she recalled, Thompson re-enacted a cowboy death scene from one of his movies. She also remembered him telling her that Sununu had just given him tickets for a VIP tour.

However, a sharp-eyed observer over at Captain's Quarters points out that Fred hadn't acted in a Western until this year.

So now the offending quote has been removed.

Do ya think we can get Judith DeSarno for perjury because she remembered something wrong?

Would she get 30 months?

Inquiring minds want to know!

The Surge is Just the Beginning

Now that the "troop surge" has been a success, Gen. David Petraeus is beginning the second phase of his Iraq plan:

The first phase of the new strategy unfolded over five months--between the president's announcement of the "surge" on January 10 and the arrival of the last of the five additional Army brigades and Marine elements in early June (though critical enablers for those combat forces have only just arrived). As the new units entered Iraq, commanders began pushing forces already in the theater forward from their operating bases into outposts in key neighborhoods of Baghdad and elsewhere. The purpose of these movements was to establish positions within those key neighborhoods and to develop intelligence about the enemy and relationships of trust with the local communities.

Also during this first phase, additional Iraqi security forces were deployed to Baghdad in accordance with a plan developed jointly by the U.S. and Iraqi military commands. All of the requested units were provided. The Iraqi military has just completed its second rotation of units into Baghdad; as before, all of the designated units arrived, and they were generally closer to being fully manned than in the first rotation.

The new U.S. troops have increased the available combat power in Iraq by about 40 percent, from 15 brigades to the equivalent of 21 brigades. Generals Petraeus and Odierno allocated only two of the additional Army brigades to the capital. The other three Army brigades and the equivalent of a Marine regiment they deployed in the surrounding areas, known as the "Baghdad belt." There, under the guise of Operation Phantom Thunder, they are now working to disrupt the car-bomb and suicide-bomb networks that have been supporting al Qaeda's counter-surge since January.

But this second phase is designed primarily to support the clearing and holding operations in Baghdad itself, which will continue for many months. It is those operations that are meant to bring lasting security to Iraq's capital and thus create the space for political progress.

In short, it's too soon to be calling Iraq a failure. But that won't stop the Party of the Donkey or weak-kneed Republicans.

The Left Fears Fred

It seems that someone on the left really fears Fred Thompson.

How else do you explain something like this:

Scott Armstrong, former Democrat Watergate investigator, who many former colleagues on the Watergate Committee believe leaked inside information about the investigation to Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and then apparently parlayed those ties into a job as a Post reporter, wasn't happy enough with his 15 minutes of fame back in the 1970s. Now that his former colleague on the committee, former Sen. Fred Thompson is garnering some attention, Armstrong is elbowing his way back into the news.
Now, if Fred isn't a threat, why bother with him?

On the other hand, if he is perceived as a threat, Armstrong is a pretty good one to send after him... well, once you discount his past record of failures:
Back in 1985, Armstrong founded the National Security Archive, a group that was operated through the leftist Fund for Peace. The Archive encouraged the leaking of national security information to the public. Armstrong, according to insiders at the Ford Foundation, was too extreme politically for the foundation, which at the time was the Fund for Peace's key donor. Armstrong was pushed out.

Today, Armstrong is involved in another leftist group, the Information Trust. Again, its mission is the enabling of federal government leakers of classified information. Information Trust, according to Senate Intelligence Committee staff and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, is believed to have played a critical role in the leaking of national security and intelligence data to the New York Times and Washington Post about the CIA's secret prisons that housed al Qaeda terrorists overseas. The organization also is believed to have assisted in the leaking of information on the SWIFT financial monitoring system out of the Treasury Department.
I guess that sort of thing appeals to the modern Party of the Donkey.

I kind of doubt that Armstrong's accusations are gonna get any traction, but I could be wrong.

Pajamas Media Straw Poll - Week 25

Pajamas Media's weekly straw poll, week 25, is open. Click on Polling Booth at the top of the right hand column to vote.

Bill Richardson continues to lead for the Democratics; Ron Paul continues to lead the Republican field in this straw poll. He has an extremely active and fervent internet support base. If Paul was as popular in national polling as he is in internet polls, then he might be a viable candidate. Fortunately he's not and he won't be.

More in line with actual national sentiments, Fred! shows a close second to the Ron Paul internet phenomenon.


Mother Sheehan vs. America's Mother-in-law

AP reports that Cindy Sheehan is threatening to challenge Nancy Pelosi for the Eighth Congressional District seat if Her Speakerness doesn't bring impeachment proceedings against President Bush by July 23rd.

Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush.
Sheehan made similar noises prior to the 2006 elections, saying she would challenge Dianne Feinstein if she didn't filibuster Judge Alito's Supreme Court nomination.

This development is funny. As much as I would revel in SanFranNan being defeated, even if it's by radical liberal, Sheehan is not the person to do it. Despite most Republican's strong dislike for Pelosi, the chances of her being unseated in her district are slim to none. She won in 2006 with 80% of the vote (pdf warning).

Face it, Mother Sheehan is a walking, talking disaster. She can barely string two coherent sentences together, let alone two ideas. If you've heard her talk without a script or prepared statement, you'll understand this.

During her rise to national prominence in August 2005, Chris Spittle Boy Matthews asked if she was considering a run for Congress. I recall thinking at the time he must have a pretty low threshold for who he thinks should represent us in Congress.
Matthews: "Are you considering running for Congress, Cindy?"
Sheehan: "No, not this time. I'm a one issue person. I know a lot about what's going on in Iraq but I don't know anything about anything else. And I want to focus my energy on bringing the troops home."
Matthews gushed: "Okay. Well, I have to tell you, you sound more informed than most U.S. Congresspeople, so maybe you should run."
Someone should smack Matthews in the chops just for planting the idea in her head.

She can probably count on Medea Benjamin and Code Pink, American Socialist Workers and her good buddy Hugo Chavez for support, but
Mother Sheehan doesn't have a prayer of defeating Americ's Mother-in-law, but it should make for good comedy.

Like most radical liberal activists, Cindy Sheehan is nothing more than an attention whore.

Why the Left Doesn't Support the Boy Scouts

It's because of things like this:

A Scottsdale boy who raised 13,000 comfort goods for the Marines is praying that his efforts will come full circle.

Nick Balbona, 14, started the prolific donations drive in May in an effort to become an Eagle Scout - the highest rank in the Boy Scouting program.

Every Eagle Scout hopeful must spearhead a service project that shows leadership and ambition, Balbona said.

After documenting his hard work, Balbona plans to send his reports off to Boy Scout officials, who will decide if he is worthy to move up in rank.

"I'm pretty confident," Balbona said.

"People have been so generous."

Whatever the outcome, one thing is for sure - his efforts weren't in vain.

During his final count, Balbona marked off 3,898 pens and pencils, 584 bars of soap, 858 granola bars, 203 tubes of toothpaste and hundreds of other goodies.
Yep, we can't have young men really supporting the troops, can we?


Hamnation Gets Silky

My favorite conservababe, Mary Kathering Hamm, (almost) weekly video presentation: Hamnation Gets Silky.

Immigration, Amnesty, and Terrorists

Once again, we have a link between people trying to get into the US and a terror plot. Thank God, this time they were not successful in getting in, so they did the next best thing. They tried their terror where they were, in Britain.

Two of the seven doctors arrested in Britain after last week's failed bomb attacks had explored the possibility of coming to the United States, making inquiries to a Philadelphia-based organization, sources said.

The two took preliminary steps to apply for graduate medical-education programs in this country, sources familiar with the FBI investigation told The Inquirer.

This is the first indication that members of the alleged terror cell in Britain expressed any interest in coming to the United States.

Now, imagine for a moment if the amnesty bill had passed. It's not that far-fetched to believe that these people might actually have been allowed to enter the country.

Lefties and other amnesty supporters will be quick to spin this with, "well, their bombs didn't detonate in Britain, why assume they would have detonated here?" The correct question is, why assume they would not have detonated here?

This story is also bad news for John "The War On Terror Is A Bumpersticker" Edwards and the rest of the Party of the Donkey Presidential hopefuls. It's another reminder that we're not immune to terror attacks, like the attempted Fort Dix or JFK Airport attacks.

So watch for the Dhimmicrats, their willing accomplices at ABCCBSCNNNBCNPRPBS, and those Republicans who supported amnesty to downplay this one.

Lieberman: Iran is a Danger We Must Face

My favorite former Democrat is at it again, watching the Middle East like the hawk that he is and observing danger signs the Dhimmicrats would rather ignore:

According to Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, the U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, the Iranian government has been using the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah to train and organize Iraqi extremists, who are responsible in turn for the murder of American service members.

Gen. Bergner also revealed that the Quds Force--a special unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps whose mission is to finance, arm and equip foreign Islamist terrorist movements--has taken groups of up to 60 Iraqi insurgents at a time and brought them to three camps near Tehran, where they have received instruction in the use of mortars, rockets, improvised explosive devices and other deadly tools of guerrilla warfare that they use against our troops. Iran has also funded its Iraqi proxies generously, to the tune of $3 million a month.

This is the sort of thing that needs to be dealt with quickly and firmly. Mr. Lieberman explains how he would go about it:

America now has a solemn responsibility to utilize the instruments of our national power to convince Tehran to change its behavior, including the immediate cessation of its training and equipping extremists who are killing our troops.

Most of this work must be done by our diplomats, military and intelligence operatives in the field. But Iran's increasingly brazen behavior also presents a test of our political leadership here at home. When Congress reconvenes next week, all of us who are privileged to serve there should set aside whatever partisan or ideological differences divide us to send a clear, strong and unified message to Tehran that it must stop everything it is doing to bring about the death of American service members in Iraq.

The problem is, members of the Party of the Donkey, which, you will remember, found Lieberman not lefty enough for them, aren't interested in stopping the deaths of American war fighters. They believe that the more body bags that pile up, the easier it will be for them to force us out of Iraq, pleasing their rabid anti-war supporters.

In short, we cannot depend on Democrats to support stopping Iran. And thus, there's a very good possibility that we could be in real trouble sometime in the not-too-distant future.

After Amnesty After Action

Illegal Immigrant Amnesty (formally known as Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 {S. 1348}) died on June 28, 2007. Despite the best efforts of its advocates, it failed. The opponents of the legislation prevailed. The bigots, nativists, loud people, and right wing talk radio hosts, prevailed. Most of all this odious piece of legislation died because of the tens of thousands of citizens contacted their senators and told them it sucked big fat rotten eggs. Or something like that.

Since then there have been many articles and blog posts written, heralding it's demise, chronicling it's death; postmortems written detailing the maneuvering of both sides in the legislation battle and analysis's on the future of immigration reform and the current status of our illegal immigration problem.

We learned we could have an impact. I learned that any major legislation with the names Kennedy or McCain is probably bad legislation. Some GOP Senators stood strong on conservative principles, helping to defeat the bill. Some of them were old reliables like Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK). Some were less well known like Jim DeMint (R-SC) and David Vitter (R-LA). There were others, including the MLB Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim Bunning (R-KY). And there were others.

If you are so inclined, take a minute or two and send an email to one, or all of those Senators that stood strong and helped defeat this legislation. Thank them for doing a great job.

We breathed a sigh of relief, believing we had dodged a bullet, and celebrated our victory. However, it's no time to rest. There is still work to be done on immigration. We still have a porous border, we still have millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.

It is time to demand that the administration enforce our current immigration laws. It's time to build the really big fence, time to enforce work place employment rules, time to find and deport visa over stays. Time do whatever is required to secure our border and let illegal immigrants know they can't blatantly violate our laws and sovereignty.

The President needs to hear that we want the border secured, existing laws enforced. Send the White House an email. I sent one the day after the bill was defeated. If the President receives as many emails or faxes as the Senate received during the debate, maybe he'll get the message.

Contact your Senators and tell them the same thing. You want the existing immigration laws enforced.

Some Senators are already trying to get some movement on this. Senator DeMint sent a letter to the President on this issue:

June 12th, 2007 - Today, nine U.S. Senators wrote a letter to President Bush urging him to fulfill the border security provisions listed in the Senate immigration bill whether the legislation passes or not. Each border security trigger in the bill can be implemented under current law without any need for new legislation from Congress. The text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. President:

We respectfully ask that your Administration enforce the border security laws that have already been authorized by Congress regardless of whether the Senate passes the immigration reform bill. The bill assumes that several critical border security benchmarks can be achieved within 18 months. These security triggers are already authorized under current law and can be completed without the immigration bill. We believe these enforcement measures are vital and should not wait until Congress passes additional immigration reforms.

Securing the border is the best way to restore trust with the American people and facilitate future improvements of our immigration policy.


U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R – South Carolina), Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma), Mike Enzi (R – Wyoming), David Vitter (R – Louisiana), Jim Inhofe (R – Oklahoma), Jim Bunning (R – Kentucky), Charles Grassley (R – Iowa), John Ensign (R – Nevada) and Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama).
USA Today op-ed piece:

We do not need the Senate immigration bill to secure the border.

Congress has already passed laws authorizing border security, but the Homeland Security Department has failed to fully implement them. The administration already has the authority to build hundreds of miles of border fencing, hire and train 6,000 border patrol agents (bringing the total number of agents to 18,000), end catch and release, and create a national employment verification database. Essentially, all of the security benchmarks in the current Senate bill are already law.


There are Congressmen who are working to get our borders secured. They need your support. This democrat Congress seems to want to investigate or have hearings on everything. This would be a legitimate subject for their inquisitiveness. Let them call Secretary Chertoff up to Capitol Hill and explain why our southern border isn't secure.

Whatever the administration does, it has to make the effort to enforce the immigration laws and secure the border.

There is about sixteen months until the 2008 elections. There is time to make great strides on border security, to make this a winning issue for the GOP, and time to make it a winning result for America.

Man On The Street

What are they teaching in school these days? Or, more precisely, what are they not teaching in school these days?

If you're a regular listener to Sean Hannity's radio show, you're aware of his irregular, weekly Man on the Street interviews. One of his staff goes down to the lobby or sidewalk around his radio studio building and corrals unsuspecting people and asks them questions about things that are in the news.

Over the time I've heard these pop quizzes, I've been astonished, and often dejected, with the lack of awareness and knowledge of what should be basic subjects by a citizen who has graduated from high school and stays in tune with the news.

Granted, I've not heard every one of these shows, but have never heard any questions concerning arcane or little known events or facts. There's nothing like what does Article Two of the Constitution address. We're talking about basic things about government and history and current events.

Once, shortly after the annual National Geographic Geography Bee the street interviewer had a map of the United States, absent the names. The quiz was to ask the man (woman, guy, girl) on the street to point out the state that was given. The results were disappointing. Most could point out major states such as California and Texas. A couple of them, who were standing right in New York, were not able to point it out on a map on the first try. In fairness, they didn't actually live in New York. However, one of them lived in New Jersey and couldn't pick out New York on the map. I mean, c'mon, New Jersey is practically part of New York. Apologies to Garden State residents, I know you all are sensitive about that.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007, the subject of the Man on the Street pop quiz concerned The Fourth of July, Independence Day. Flirty Flipper put in a guest appearance to conduct the street interviews. During the prelude, Hannity asked her some of the questions they would ask that day. Flipper didn't fare so well. I guess that proves you don't have to know a whole lot to write a kids book.

The Independence Day Man on the Street result's were mixed. The quizee's ranged in age from about 21 to 33. All high school graduates, a couple in or graduated from college. The best was the first victim, Fresh, who probably did the best of all of them. However, when asked who he liked for the presidential race, he answered Hillary. When Hannity asked him what she had done that he liked, he had nothing, and said he would vote for her because she's a woman and it's time we had a female president. Sean asked if she was a Republican would he vote for her for the same reason, he said no. I guess we're only ready for a female president if she's a democrat.

As discouraging as the early results were, the last victim sent my optimism plummeting. She was a kindergarten teacher from Miami. I'm guessing she has to have at least a four year college degree in something, and maybe even a fifth year for a teaching certificate. She stumbled and stammered over the answers, finally coming up with England as being the country we fought to gain our independence. When asked what the name of that war was, she came up with WW1.


Some will say none of this stuff matters in everyday life, it's basically irrelevant. I disagree. A nation that doesn't have a grasp of it's history is a nation that will lose it's fervor to exist. There are just some basic things that have to be taught, and learned, in school. American History is one of those subjects. We are obviously failing.


John Edwards' Hair has a Carbon Footprint

John Edwards' hair is in the news again. It's like a cowlick he can't get rid of. You'd think at $400 a clip he could get rid of that cowlick, but it's the $400 clipping that keeps propelling this story back into view.

I don't care how much Breck Boy spends on his haircuts - $400, $1000, $4000, it's his choice. I think he's an idiot, but I think that even without the spendy haircuts.

I do have an issue with Edwards running around preaching to us about Two America's , the "haves" and "have nots", the class warfare plank of his campaign, while he's spending $400 on haircuts and flying his bestest, most special hair stylist around the United States to tend his tonsorial needs.

The Beverly Hills hairstylist, a Democrat, said he hit it off with then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at a meeting in Los Angeles that brought several fashion experts together to advise the candidate on his appearance. Since then, Torrenueva has cut Edwards's hair at least 16 times.

Along with John Edwards' class warfare campaign plank, he has made a big deal about global warming. Edwards proposes capping carbon emissions in pursuit of solving that non-problem. Yet, Edwards has no problem flying his expensive barber to his locations on the campaign trail in carbon emitting commercial aircraft. Sure, that's better than the private, carbon spewing jets these global warming alarmists typically use for their own travels, but when you're a global warming alarmist, flying your hair dresser all over the United States has to be seen as frivolous in the carbon footprint aware community. I'm sure Breck Boy is purchasing carbon offsets for this; probably from Al Goreacle's carbon offset business. Hopefully not from campaign funds.

At first, the haircuts were free. But because Torrenueva often had to fly somewhere on the campaign trail to meet his client, he began charging $300 to $500 for each cut, plus the cost of airfare and hotels when he had to travel outside California.

Torrenueva said one haircut during the 2004 presidential race cost $1,250 because he traveled to Atlanta and lost two days of work.

Another detail about John Edwards that came out in this story - you don't want to be a buddy of his when he gets embarrassed by one of his missteps, 'cuz Breck Boy will disavow knowing you.

Edwards said that he was embarrassed by the cost and that he "didn't know it would be that expensive," suggesting the haircuts were some kind of aberration given by "that guy" his staff had arranged. [...]

"I'm disappointed and I do feel bad. If I know someone, I'm not going to say I don't know them," he said. "When he called me 'that guy,' that hit my ears. It hurt." He paused and then added, "I still like him. . . . I don't want to hurt him."

I guess there is Two America's after all; John Edwards and the rest of us schlubs.

Pardoning an Administration Member Convicted of Perjury

Amid all the kerfuffle about President Bush commuting the sentence of Scooter Libby, one fact has been missed over and over.

It's not the first time a President has pardoned a member of his Administration convicted of perjury.

In 2001, as he was leaving office, President William Jefferson Clinton pardoned Henry Cisneros, who had been his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Cisneros had been convicted of giving false information to the FBI (essentially perjury).

So, the next time your lefty friends complain about Bush's pardon, bring up Henry Cisneros and ask what they think about that.

The Declaration of Independence from Liberals

The history of the present leaders of the Democratic Party is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these United States. To prove this, let the facts be submitted to a candid world.


They have disrespected Conservative representatives repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness their invasions on the rights of the people.

They have endeavoured to expand the population of certain states; and for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to discourage their migrations hither.


They have erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance and have kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies of bureaucrats without our consent.

They have attempted to render the military irrelevant to and devoid of the affections of the civilian power.


They have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving their assent to their acts of immoral legislation:


For diminishing our Constitution, abolishing our most valuable laws and altering fundamentally the limited forms of our governments:


They have excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and have enabled the emergence on our shores of merciless Islamist savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

They have given appeasement to our enemies by protecting them with mock trials, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States.

They have plundered our private property, ravaged our educational system, disparaged our history, and demoralized the very lives of our people by discouraging public worship of the almighty and merciful Sovereign of the universe.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A party whose character is thus marked by every act which may define tyranny, is therefore unfit to participate in the governance of a free and moral people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our Republican brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their moderates to extend their agenda over us. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We may someday, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation and hold them, as we hold liberals; enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the Conservatives of the United States of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good people of these red states, solemnly publish and declare, that we are, and of right ought to be, free and independent from liberals; that we are absolved from all cooperation with the Democratic Party, and that all political connection between them and us, is and ought to be, totally dissolved.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Read the whole thing.


Happy 4th of July!

Well, looks like John has the blogging well-covered today (thanks, John!), so I am gonna pretty much take the 4th off, I think.

Before I do that, tho, I'd like to do a quick look at some Independence Day tributes around the web.

Human Events reprints the text of the Declaration of Independence and gives us two articles on the Fourth, one by Armstrong Williams and one by Frosty Wooldridge.

National Review Online has several articles of a patriotic nature, including one on the removal of the Bald Eagle from the Endangered Species List (and it wasn't the List that saved it).

OpinionJournal.com has a very moving article about the Founders.

And, closer to home (at least cyber-home), our own Revbeaux posted this article on his blog at Liberal Implosion. It is well worth a read.

Last, but certainly not least, it's probably worth a few minutes of your holiday to sit back and listen to the late great Red Skelton explain the Pledge of Allegiance in his own inimitable style.

God Bless America!

It's Dubya's Fault - Hillary

The democrat presidential candidates had a pander fest June 30th at Walt Disney World, attended by 1,000 delegates of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, from across the United States.

Naturally, they took the opportunity to blame the lack of comprehensive immigration reform on President Bush, Republicans, talk radio hosts and conservatives who have called for the building of the really big fence. Apparently, they didn't charge anyone with being a racist, nativist, xenophobe, bigot or of being really loud.

Edwards used the forum to further his class warfare campaign plank of Two Americas:

...warned that without any legislation, the U.S. teeters on becoming a nation of "first-class citizens and second-class workers."
Obama, when he got called out, flip-flopped on the really big fence:
...who voted last year for a 700-mile border fence, seemed taken aback when asked about it during the candidate forum, quickly suggesting he no longer embraces the approach.
Not to worry. If the really big fence somehow gets built, Bill Richardson promised, if elected, to tear it down:
[...] He drew cheers when he vowed that, if elected, "the first thing that will come down is the wall that Congress wants to build."
Did you know Richardson is the only hispanic in the presidential race? And he speaks Spanish really well?

We're not done yet, oh, no.

The master panderer, Hillary, blamed George Bush for the continued poverty in Mexico that's driving the illegal immigrants into the United States:
... she said Bush has ignored the poverty in Mexico that is spawning the flood of immigrants.
I wonder what she thinks the President is supposed to do about the poverty in Mexico? Expect a proposal from the Clinton camp for a poverty abatement program in Mexico that will be paid for with profits taken from big agriculture.

Maybe Mexican voters should consider not electing corrupt politicians and endorsing corrupt government. Last fall they came close to electing a true socialist as el Presidente. I'm sure he would have solved all their problems, as he promised them everything they wanted.

What else will turn out to be George Bush's fault? Stay tuned.

Pajams Media Straw Poll

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Porkbusting Hero: Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake (R-AZ-6th District) is a Taxpayer Superhero as bestowed by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today offered hearty congratulations to Taxpayer Superhero Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) after his first victory in the House yesterday to strip wasteful and egregious pork-barrel projects from spending bills.

During Thursday’s floor debate on the fiscal 2008 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R. 2829), the House approved Rep. Flake’s amendment to eliminate a $129,000 congressional earmark slated to go to an economic development initiative called “The Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree.” The project was submitted by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.). The final vote was 249-174, with 100 Democrats joining the majority voting in favor of the amendment. Rep. Flake offered a total of 19 amendments last year to eliminate earmarks and was defeated in each and every foray.

“Rep. Flake has been a leader in changing the culture of wasteful spending in the nation’s capital. Not coincidentally, CCAGW just released its 2006 Congressional Ratings and Rep. Flake was the only member of Congress to earn a 100 percent rating, making him Congress’s only taxpayer Superhero,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.
Did you read that? "The Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree". Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10th District) feels that $129,000 of our hard earned money should be spent so that some body, some group, his district, can do some project concerning "The Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree". I had to repeat that just so it sunk in.

Maybe Representative McHenry felt he needed to compete with Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5th District). She managed to wrangle $550,000 of our hard earned money for the Sparta Teapot Museum.
[...] Congresswoman Foxx secured the $550,000 in federal money for the Sparta Teapot Museum in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The money was part of a Transportation/Treasury/HUD appropriations bill.
But this is not about McHenry or Foxx. This is about Jeff Flake and pork. Did you catch the part about Flake being the only Congressman in the last year to receive a 100% rating? That means of 535 representatives and senators, he was the only one that did not have an earmark. The only one!

Then there's the fact that of 19 amendments Flake offered last year to cut an earmark, none of them passed. Not a single one!

The roll call vote on this amendment was 249-174. The vote by Republicans was 100-94. I find that the most disturbing; that 94 Republicans voted to keep the earmark for $129,000 for the perfect Christmas tree project. Ninety four Republicans!

Perusing the list, just some prominent names jumped out at me:

Republicans voting in favor of the amendment (to cut the earmark): Flake (of course), Bachmann, Boehner (Minority Leader), Hensarling, Pence, Tancredo, McCarthy (my Rep., thank goodness).
Republicans voting against the amendment (to keep the earmark): Foxx (go figure), Lewis (under investigation) Renzi (under investigation) Hunter (running for President!), Blunt (Minority Whip).

Folks, these people are willing to spend our money on anything. The only way it's going to stop is when you, the voter, tell them to stop. When you get your next paycheck, look at it hard. Don't just look at the net, the amount you brought home, look at that box that says FITW. Look at the dollar amount and ask yourself how much of that goes to teapot museums and perfect Christmas trees.

I'm not picking on North Carolina here. It just happened to present itself as a handy target. I could do this to any state, to almost any Congressman.

In the mean time, let's be thankful there is someone like Jeff Flake in Congress fighting this pork battle.