Monday, May 30, 2005

"On Iwo Island, 

...uncommon valor was a common virtue."--Adm. Chester Nimitz.

But also in Baghdad. And at Khe Sanh. And Chosin.

And everywhere else American servicemen and women have served, fought and died in our behalf.

God rest their souls and give us, the living, a proper sense of gratitude, awe and respect. Amen.

And thanks to all those who have served and still serve so well & so ably today...you're simply the best!

Now folks, go enjoy your Bar-B-Cues, your families, your friends and your freedom--that's just the way they'd want it!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Let's Make A Deal! 


Although he was not a party to this deal, this was a failure of leadership on the part of Bill Frist. There should have been a vote on principle months ago, with no nominees involved. By letting it drag on, Frist gave an opening to the grandstanding 'Gang of 14'.

There was a lot of inappropriate touching happening on that stage, most of it involving John McCain and, well, John McCain. One gets the unmistakable impression that McCain views voters as illegitimate interlopers trying to unduly influence the outcome of elections. John Warner was in his full Foghorn Leghorn glory, as much in love with the sound of his own voice as the day they first met. DeWine looked like an insurance salesman who just found out his wife is cheating with the Top Annuities Salesman of the Akron Division, 1993. And I'm not sure, but I think Lindsey Graham wet his pants. Several times. But in his defense, it was past his bedtime. Snowe, Collins and Chafee are the easiest to understand; they simply want nominees like themselves who will legislate the liberal agenda from the bench while giving it the "Republican" stamp.

Hugh Hewitt nails it:

"Other than the war, there is no issue of greater consequence to GOP activists than the courts, and this includes all GOP activists, not just faith-based conservatives. The sub-parties of national defense and free enterprise inside the GOP know all too well that the courts control many issues, from interpretations of the president's war powers, to the reach of federal regulation over the interstate-commerce clause and tort excesses, to judicial decrees on same-sex marriage and the use of international law to declare state death penalty statutes null and void."

"The disfigured filibuster is a constitutional horror, and only the left's babblers pretend otherwise. Writing in a super-majority to the advice and consent clause of Article Two, Section 2 is simple willfulness by a deeply distressed political party, a naked power grab which should have been struck down immediately upon its introduction in 2003, and one which gains false credibility with every day it's left alive."

Jonah Goldberg also makes a good point:

"A second and related annoying assumption is that arguments are bad. Whether you think the Democrats were right or the Republicans were, their disagreement over judicial nominations was healthy. It informed the public about extent of judicial power today. ...But nooooo, once again, the assumption was that arguments are a danger to the republic."

"I'm sorry, but the Senate is a debating society. Its job is to debate and then vote on the strength of the arguments presented. Comity and collegiality are fine, but they are supposed to elevate the arguments, not obviate them."

"Besides, it is far more dangerous when democracies choose not to have arguments. This is because political arguments represent conflicts of legitimate interests and legitimate perspectives. Intellectually shabby compromises by their very nature don't settle the disagreements, they merely postpone and exacerbate them."

..."This filibuster fight itself is the bastard of Roe vs. Wade. If the Supreme Court hadn't declared that the courts were going to decide abortion and issues like it, then judicial nominations wouldn't be nearly so high-stakes for both sides."

"That would have meant forcing the Senate to do what it was meant to do: have a big argument."...

It is not a "crisis" everytime Democrats throw a temper tantrum. If it is, then we are in a Permanent Crisis. And what is so wrong with asking that those who were elected by a majority vote conduct a majority vote to ensure that a majority vote is the standard for nominees, just as the Constitution says?

Like the Kansas-Nebraska Act, this deal is not long for this world. Making a Gentleman's Agreement with Sheets Byrd is like opening a joint bank account with a crackhead. A crackhead with a gambling addiction, child support payments, unpaid bar-tabs, an angry bookie and Dog the Bounty Hunter filming next season's pilot based on your life story.

No, I'm more concerned about what strange new Hell the Court will inflict when it senses the impending departure of one of its activist-majority members.

Grow a pair, people.

Or trade them for this lovely box that Carol Merrill is now pointing to.

Now get off my stage.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Remembering, Then & Now... 

(From Memorial Day, 2003)

This Memorial Day, Americans find ourselves involved in the early stages of a global struggle against an ideology of hate, murder and repression.

Yet we have been here before.

On a bright summer's day in 1943, Americans gathered to honor our dead, while in the midst of a world war against a similarly monstrous evil.

Simliar, yet different.

While these evil scum do control nations, such as Iran, this conflict is less about nation-states than a clique of madmen in many countries, including our own. Then, as now, our enemies proclaimed a perverted purity...but the only pure thing about them is pure hatred.

President Bush correctly uses the term 'Battle of Iraq'. It's one battle in a long war. It's not over.

Which brings up the charge made by the critics; that we are waging 'Permanent War'. It is indeed as hard to see the endgame of this conflict as it was on that day in 1943, but to call the charge a 'half-truth' gives it too much credit--by half.

'Permanent War' is what has been declared against us...We are Americans; we wage Victory.

Here are some images from that day, just six short decades ago. Then, just as today, we rode upon the precipice of a cresting wave; unsure exactly where the future would lead, but sure of our purpose and duty as Almighty God gave us the light to see it.

Take some time today to honor those who have given "the last full measure of devotion". 'Memorial' means 'remember'. So remember them. Some of us have forgotten.

And tell your children of their countrymen who fell along the way.

It's the way that has lead us to freedom, the freedoms we so easily enjoy on this sunny summer day, some 60 years on.

And above all, tell them the truth; tell them that even now--especially now--

...Freedom still isn't Free.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Id, Ego, Super-Ego, 


Did you catch this from the Washington Times?

"Moments earlier as the deal was about to be announced, several Republicans offered the lectern to Mr. Byrd, who demurred, waiting instead for "his turn.""

""Your turn is whenever you want it to be," said Mr. McCain, a chief architect of the deal who had to leave the press conference before it ended to make an early screening of a movie about himself."

Time to bring Squinter back.

(From our Dec. '03 archives:)


Sen. John McCain announced a new round of Reform proposals today.

"Christmas has become institutionally corrupt," said the Senator. "I woke up the day after Christmas feeling like a 2-baht Saigon hooker on a Tet Love Holiday. And it's not just me; we just can't stop ourselves."

"That's why I'm proposing Christmas Finance Reform," he explained. "Families are too close to children, just like Parties are too close to candidates. And we don't want children to feel indebted to fat-cat donor-parents. So from now on, all private gift-giving will be a crime and we'll have public financing of all Christmas presents."

"Did you promise little Susie a new doll-house next year? Tough!" said McCain, his left eye beginning to twitch. "The Federal Gift-Selection Commision has decided she's getting a toy dump-truck. The Government wants more female truck-drivers anyway. Sure; little Susie will cry, but just tell her we here in Washington know what's best."

Another provision of the Act would ban all Christmas caroling 60 days before the holiday. "That's my favorite part...I've always hated that "We Three Keatings" song!" said Squinter McCain.

In the now-familiar, yet unhinged sing-song voice long known to criminologists and FBI profilers, McCain shouted--and then whispered--"Nobody said Reform would be pretty...but I think she's pretty..."

While the proposed Act is endorsed by many serial Congressmen, most legislators recognize that this Act would violate their oaths to the Constitution. Pres. Bush has also said he is firmly against it, and it is widely expected that the Supreme Court would strike down such an outrageous assault on our liberties.

Therefore, it will be passed by Congress, signed by the President and approved by the Court in time for next Christmas.

Justice O'Conner could not be reached for comment, as she was busy researching Saudi court rulings regarding the celebration of Christmas in Mecca.

When asked what was next on the Reform agenda, Squinter McCain, now in full 'Bruce-Dern-on-a-meth-bender' mode, said: "Ya' know...the 4th of July has always kinda' bugged me."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Justice DeLayed 


Howard Dean on Osama:

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found. I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."

Howard Dean on Tom Delay:

"There's corruption at the highest level of the Republican Party, and they're going to have to face up to that one of these days, because the law is closing in on Tom DeLay."

"I think he's guilty...of taking trips paid for by lobbyists, and of campaign-finance violations during his manipulation of the Texas election process."

"I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence."

On Planet Howard, bin Laden gets a presumption of innocence...but Dean has already convicted & sentenced Tom DeLay without indictment or trial.

And the prosecutor?

"Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog."--Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle on '60 Minutes'.

"This case is not just about Tom DeLay. If it isn't this Tom DeLay, it'll be another one, just like one bully replaces the one before. This is a structural problem involving the combination of money and power. Money brings power and power corrupts."--speech at a $102,000 Democrat fundraising event by Earle.

Is it standard legal practice for a prosecutor, during an ongoing investigation, to slander a putative defendant in a partisan speech for fund-raising purposes?

In Bill Burkett-Land, it is. And Earle has a history of prosecuting political opponents, whether justified or not.

This is why Republicans changed their rules. Previously, if a House officer was indicted, he had to step down. But that presumed good faith on the part of the prosecutor. That cannot be presumed in this case.

That rule painted a big, fat target on Tom DeLay because of a rogue prosecutor. In other words, the rule was changed, not because of Republican tolerance for corruption, but because yet another Democrat has proven he can't be trusted with power. Mr. Ronnie Earle of Travis Co., Texas does not get to pick the Majority Whip of the House of Representatives.

Earle, not Tom DeLay, should resign. And whoever replaces him should either bring charges or shut it down. In the highly unlikely event Tom DeLay is proven to have committed a crime, I'll join in the call for his resignation. I don't support crooked politicians just because they're on my team--I'm not a Democrat.

But the only crime I've seen any evidence of so far is malicious prosecution.

This is the worst kind of politics; "Travis County, Texas: All 'Banana' and no 'Republic'!"

Tom DeLay has been a principled conservative leader. Let me say that again: Tom DeLay has been a principled conservative leader. Ya' know what? I'm gonna say it again: TOM DELAY HAS BEEN A PRINCIPLED CONSERVATIVE LEADER.

And he deserves our support.

(Hat-Tip: Patterico)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Slogans R' Us 


The New York Daily News reports on the latest efforts at sloganeering by Democrats. They seem to have concluded that their candidates and issues were fine--they only lacked a good slogan.

The proposals include:

* ..."a hard-charging donkey blasting out of an American flag. "The use of stars shows that the Republicans aren't the only party with patriotism," reads the firm's entry in the upcoming issue of Esquire.
Below the image is a straight-from-the-'60s slogan, "Dems: power to the people."

Fear the Cutting Edge Sensibility! These people are stuck in a time warp.

"Several in-your-face ads based on the slogan were developed, including a poster with the imagine of a blindfolded captive who appears to be Mideastern being guarded by a U.S. soldier. Under the photo blares the message: "POWER TO KNOW WHEN NOT TO ABUSE IT,"...

Here, Dems; try these slogans:
"America: We're Just As Bad As The Terrorists!"
"Let's Make Abu Gharib Day A National Holiday! And Cancel Christmas!"

*"... the words "Power to the Purple" frame an image of the Statue of Liberty. "What better way to leave the divisiveness behind than by embracing purple?" the firm wrote."

If they mean the purple fingers of Iraqi voters, they'll first have to get approval from their nuts who think those were "faux" elections "imposed" on the Iraqis by the evil BushHalliburtonWal-MartDiebold Conspiracy.

*...""We Are the People," written in calligraphy like the Constitution's, is positioned on top of the word "Democrats," which is rendered in a decidedly modern font. "It harkens back to our Founding Fathers, so we wanted to stay away from marketing slogans and cliches such as the American flag," the firm wrote. "By using the actual calligraphy of the Constitution and adding a single word to 'We the People,' we have 1788 meeting 2008,""...

Ah; now we come to the real, true Democrat slogan:

"Democrats: We Find Extra Words In The Constitution That Nobody Else Can See!"

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Don't Get Huffy with Me 


Like you, when I first heard of Arianna Huffington's new blog, I too was filled with an inchoate feeling of dread somehow coupled with a massive, yawning sense of indifference bordering on the cosmic.

I was wrong.

Huffington's Toast is the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread.

UPDATE: Reader Mazola V. Crisco emails that Huffington's Toast is not affiliated with Arianna Huffington or her blog.

Okay, I was right.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

There Are Democrats 

and then there are democrats:

"I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on these grounds is that they are not true....Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters."--C.S. Lewis

The Coldest War of All 

President Bush noticed that when America entered WWII, half of Europe was in the grip of a evil totalitarian ideology; and when the war was ended, half of Europe was still in the grip of an evil totalitarian ideology.

Here's one of the reasons why:

Reed Irvine:

..."Some day historians will have to acknowledge that Harry Hopkins [President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s closest adviser] was the greatest traitor in American history, overshadowing Benedict Arnold by far. Arnold, at least, was open in his betrayal, and his potential for damaging the American cause was small by comparison. Hopkins was a Soviet agent who pretended to put America’s interests first while secretly advancing the interests of Stalin.

In his 1990 book "KGB: The Inside Story," Oleg Gordievsky, a high-level KGB defector, reported damning information about Hopkins he heard from Iskhak Akhmerov, an undercover spymaster who controlled the KGB’s "illegal" agents in the U.S. during World War II. He said that Akhmerov had described Harry Hopkins as "the most important of all Soviet wartime agents in the United States." He said that other KGB officers in the directorate in charge of illegals and the U.S. experts in the KGB’s code section, "all agreed that Hopkins had been an agent of major significance."

Gordievsky’s co-author, Christopher Andrew, was not comfortable in publishing this charge. He said Gordievsky had gradually come to believe that Hopkins was an "unconscious" agent, meaning that Hopkins did not realize that Akhmerov was a Soviet spymaster. Akhmerov, who served as a liaison between Hopkins and Stalin, had no open connection with the Soviet embassy or any official Soviet organization in the U.S.
His cover is believed to have been running a clothing store in New York. He used at least three different aliases in dealing with the agents under his control. Hopkins was not so naive as to think that a small businessman who could deliver and receive messages from Stalin was anything other than a high-ranking Soviet intelligence agent. Hopkins never told anyone about this strange little man who was in close touch with the Soviet dictator. He didn’t ask the FBI to investigate him because he knew he was dealing with a Soviet spy.

Further confirmation of Hopkins’ conscious collaboration with the KGB came with the publication last year of "The Sword and the Shield: the Mitrokhin Archive." This was based on copies of KGB files spirited out of Russia by retired KGB officer Vasili Mitrokhin. One of them disclosed that Hopkins had informed the Soviet embassy that the FBI had bugged a secret meeting between Steve Nelson, a member of the U.S. Communist underground, and a Soviet embassy official.

The official had gone to California to give Nelson money to finance his espionage operations. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover informed Hopkins in writing that the FBI had planted bugs in both Nelson’s home and in the Communist Party headquarters in New York City. In passing this information to the Soviet embassy, Hopkins proved that he put the interests of the U.S.S.R. above those of the U.S.

Further confirmation of Hopkins’ treachery has been found in a Venona intercept in which Akhmerov reports that an agent identified as "19 " reported a conversation between Roosevelt and Churchill. An endnote in the Mitrokhin book says that "it is probable almost to the point of certainty that Hopkins was ‘19.’"

Over strong opposition, Hopkins persuaded the ailing Roosevelt to go to Yalta, where the fate of Poland and other countries under Soviet occupation was sealed. Hopkins said the Russians had been "reasonable and farseeing." Robert Sherwood, a Roosevelt speechwriter, called Yalta "a monstrous fraud." Hopkins had been instrumental in our supplying, with no conditions, the arms that enabled Stalin to defeat the Germans. He helped seal their control of Eastern Europe, and he is suspected of having authorized shipments of uranium that helped them develop their A-bomb.

No wonder Akhmerov considered Hopkins his most important agent. According to Gordievsky, the KGB believed he helped it triumph "over American imperialism." Hero of the Soviet Union? Yes. American hero? No way!"

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