Thursday, December 29, 2005

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! President is honest! >link<

The Chicago Tribune has done an analysis of the President's statements about why he took this country to war against Iraq. The paper's conclusion? The President did not lie!

After reassessing the administration's nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege. Example: The accusation that Bush lied about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs overlooks years of global intelligence warnings that, by February 2003, had convinced even French President Jacques Chirac of "the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq." We also know that, as early as 1997, U.S. intel agencies began repeatedly warning the Clinton White House that Iraq, with fissile material from a foreign source, could have a crude nuclear bomb within a year.

Seventeen days before the war, this page reluctantly urged the president to launch it. We said that every earnest tool of diplomacy with Iraq had failed to improve the world's security, stop the butchery--or rationalize years of UN inaction. We contended that Saddam Hussein, not George W. Bush, had demanded this conflict.

Many people of patriotism and integrity disagreed with us and still do. But the totality of what we know now--what this matrix chronicles-- affirms for us our verdict of March 2, 2003. We hope these editorials help Tribune readers assess theirs.

Oh. Don't question the "patriotism" of anyone opposed to the war...of course, they are free to question OUR patriotism, our intelligence, and our honesty.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NY Times in hyperventilation mode >link<

The NY Times has a breathless headline...Defense Lawyers in Terror Cases Plan Challenges Over Spy Efforts. I link to the story above.

Well, this is a blinding glimpse of the obvious. The defense counsel in any terrorist trial are going to cry foul over anything that the government does. Many of them particularly love to trash the US and the civil right bestowed upon all citizens and legal residents. I guess they miss the irony that they live in a country where you can bad mouth the nation's leadership and its institutions while trying to defend a client in a criminal can this without fear of retribution. Try doing that in any Arab country.

Gerry Spence, who is the lead counsel representing Brandon Mayfield, a Portland lawyer who was arrested in error last year in connection with the Madrid bombings and is now suing the government, said of the security agency program: "We are going to look into that. The calmest word I can use to describe how I feel about this is that I am aghast."

Well, pardon me for not being surprised. Gerry Spence will say anything to benefit one of his clients. He is less of a legal legend than you might otherwise believe. He is quite good at winning long as they are tried in his pet courtrooms in his home district...the judges there give him remarkable leeway in controlling the minute details of courtroom procedures for the benefit of his clients.

No doubt, Mr. Spence will describe the United States in the most terrible terms. And he can do this without any concern that government agents will knock on his door in the middle of the night and drag him away...never to be seen again.

This is an excellent reason why these types of suspects should not be treated as common criminals and should not be tried in civilian courts.

Monday, December 26, 2005

US News and World Report - more immoral support for the Enemy >link<

Good morning readers. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I did. And, now that I have a little excess time and energy on my hands, let me add a post to this woefully neglected blog.

Get a load of the article linked to above. US News and World Report provides information about a secret Federal program where teams with scanners are looking for traces of radiation .... apparently setting up scanners outside of Muslim sites, without warrants. Some legal scholars think this is illegal, basing their opinion on Supreme Court cases that stated that it was an "unreasonable search" to scan for heat signatures using thermal scanners (cops would scan for excess heat in an effort to find indoor marijuana cultivation).

Well, excuse me. But, it is a lot easier to scan for radiation at a distance than it is to scan for heat. And there is no way that any of these sites should have any of this radiation coming out unless they are planning to NUKE US!

So, in short, the DEFEAT LOVING LIBERALS want to hamstring our government in looking for illegal nuclear material. I only hope that if the terrorists set off a nuke, they detonate it right next to the offices of the NY Times and US News and World Report and blow them all to atoms when it goes off. What will the NY Times editorials say after that? Oh...they won't be ALIVE sorry!

NY Times is at war with America >link<

The New York Times seems hell bent on disclosing as much classified information as it can in order to embarrass the President with its unsurprising disclosures regarding NSA monitoring of world communications.

The NY Times is helping the enemies of civilization. The FBI should investigate. NY Times reporters should be forced to identify the traitors who are disclosing this information...if they refuse to give up the information, they should be treated as the enemy and locked up for the duration of hostilities. They should not have the luxury of knowing that they will be freed in 18 months (which, if I remember correctly, is the maximum amount of time that a judge can hold a person for contempt of court).

The identity of the leakers must be found. These individuals should be punished to the full extent of the law. It is one thing to hate President Bush. It is another to leak information that will alert our enemies to our ability to monitor their communications. This is not just giving them a general idea that their phone conversations and emails can be tracked...this giving them much more warning about what is happening.

People are going to die because of this. It is an outrage. This is treason against the civilized world.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

NSA domestic monitoring gives liberals PMS

The Dems finally have their perfect scandal. In the past, they would howl with outrage over some action by the Administration...which would remain passive and quiet. So, the Dems would howl even louder...which would be met by more silence. Finally, they would reach a ridiculous crescendo of outrage...and the Administration would calmly release information that would conclusively show that its actions were justifiable and legal. The Dems would skulk away, looking like idiots (though their more rabid members would pretend that their version of the events was still the truth and keep on complaining).

That's not to say that they don't cause damage. The drop in the President's poll numbers has to be due, in part, to the endless attacks and negative publicity that the Dems, and their allies in the main stream media, heap onto the Administration.

Things could be different with the current make-believe scandal over the NSA's monitoring program; the White House will not be able to defend itself. To do so would involve disclosing details of the monitoring program that would provide invaluable information to Al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

Things seem different this time. Usually, the President lets the Dems go on and on with their baseless attacks on an issue, allowing them to make total asses of themselves, before conclusively ending the argument by presenting the facts. It is unusual for the President to come out swinging. Though, one important difference this time is that, in the past, the issues were mostly political whereas THIS time it is policy and directly involves the way we are waging the war.

So, the Dems can complain all they want - they can make up all the nefarious details they want - and the Administration can't do anything to defend itself (at least without jeopardizing national security). Of course, even if the Administration did completely divulge the details of this program, the Dems would still continue to bray...the truth is never good enough reason to stop playing politics...but then they would also be able to charge that the Administration harmed our national security by disclosing details of the program. You already have Jay Rockefeller and Tom Daschle saying that although they were briefed, but did not support the program.

The President's only hope is that the American public will see the good sense in his actions. The Dems are using "Frankenstein monster" arguments: "Warrants GOOD! NSA warrantless searches, BAD!" The tin foil hat brigades of the left will buy into this quickly and completely. Many libertarians and "leave me alone" conservatives will be angry as well. But I think that many of the less partisan citizens on the left and in the center will see the wisdom of this policy.

The global war against terrorism is not like "the war on drugs" or "the war against poverty" (or even like Jimmy Carter's "moral equivilant of war" against the recession). This is a real, gun shooting, people killing WAR! We want the our country's security agencies to try and track down and monitor enemy communications.

I have no idea how the public will react to this issue. A lot of people just assume that the government is already monitoring telephone and electronic communications and agree with the process in general principles. I think the Dems are assuming that most people will have a strong negative reaction to the idea of warrantless wiretaps and domestic spying.

Certainly, the politically interested lawyers are having a field day discussing this even though NONE of us know the details of the program. Our only sources of information are the details in the NY Times reports (which are going to be inaccurate in many areas), the contents of the President's radio address and press conference, and a speech by the Attorney General. We do not know the details of the program and it would be insanity for the Administration to disclose those details in an effort to defend the President and the policy. Consequently, it is impossible for outsiders like us to evaluate the legality and constitutionality of the program.

My guess is that the program is tightly constrained, well supervised, and safely legal. Dems will disregard the facts and just try to tarnish the President by screaming "illegal domestic spying!" However, this gives the President a chance to come out swinging and show everyone that he is (as he has always been) a strong leader.

The Dems will come across as legalistic whiners who are more concerned with legal niceties than with keeping us safe. The President's poll numbers have finally started to come up...let's see if they keep rising. Of course, it is possible that this debate will cause his numbers to drop...but I think that the poll numbers for Congressional Dems will also drop (and those numbers are a lot lower than the President's approval numbers already).

The Dems are hoping that the American public will be so outraged at the thought of domestic spying that they can turn this into a political tsumani that will wash the Republican majority out of the House of Representatives (and maybe even the Senate) next year. The Dems are whipping their base into a frenzy with talks of impeaching Bush (and Cheney as well). Of course, under Title 3 USC Section 19, that would leave us with President Pelosi!

Fat chance! Let's remember what happened in 1998. The pending impeachment of Bill Clinton was political poison for the Republicans. I think the same would be true for the Dems next year.

I am still amazed at all the people giving legal opinions about the NSA's actions and the Presidential approval of the program. They are mostly basing all their opinions on the NY Times report. We all know how inaccurate press reports are. Look at the Plame scandal and the inaccuracy of Joe Wilson's allegations (first made anonymously, then in that guest editorial in the NY Times). If the NY Times report is that inaccurate, it is doubtful that the NSA's actions are anything close to criminal. In all liklihood, the leaks came from the CIA, not the there may also be an element of inter-agency rivalry (and additional possibilities for inaccuracy).

Of course, the looney left takes Joe Wilson's crazy claims as the absolute truth (even after he has been discredited and admits that he was wrong), so it will be with this issue. The truth will not distract the looney left from their conspiracy theories.

President Pelosi...what a nightmare!

Mass Transit Difficulties

New York City is enduring an illegal strike by the transit authority employees. Frankly, I think it was a mistake to ever allow government employees to form unions.

I can't write with any authority about what is happening in the Big Apple, but things here in Columbus, Ohio are only slightly better. The employees of the local bus company, COTA, are threatening to go out on strike. For the last two days, it seems as if they have been giving the residents of Columbus a taste of what a strike will be like.

I got out to my usual bus stop at 7:15 am yesterday... it was a brisk 10 degrees F. outside. The buses usually run 6 to 8 minutes apart that time of the day. I waited until 7:35 am and two buses arrived at the same time. One was standing room only; the other one (I guess the later bus) was almost empty...the two buses played frog leap the entire way into downtown.

This morning, another super-cold one, I got to my bus stop at 7:05 am. No difference; the bus did not arrive until 7:35 am. This time it was only one bus; and it was standing room only. It got only worse as we headed into town...more and more people tried to crowd in. The problem with buses is that if one is late, more and more people line up at the bus stops. That means the bus keeps falling further and further behind because it takes time for all those people to get on board (and time for them to get off).

I think that illegal strikes should be punished to the full extent of the law. President Reagan fired the air traffic controllers when they went on strike. According to the news, the City of New York got a court order today imposing $1 million in fines per day for each day the transit workers are on strike. The workers also lose 2 days wages for each day they are on strike. I think the leaders of the union should be thrown in jail. Hit 'em hard with the law!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Jonathan Alter - TRAITOR >link<

Well, the liberals are doing their best to convert the NSA monitoring program, a program reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel and by Congress, into a scandal. Take a look at what Jonathan Alter at NEWSWEEK has to say:

Finally we have a Washington scandal that goes beyond sex, corruption and political intrigue to big issues like security versus liberty and the reasonable bounds of presidential power. President Bush came out swinging on Snoopgate—he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Yes. A President focused on protecting the American public from attacks by terrorists from overseas has run afoul of the liberal mainstream media's sense of morality. The media will try to present this monitoring program in a light that will trigger a sense of outrage in Americans, who generally don't like the idea of the government snooping around in their private dealings.

We don't know the procedures followed by the agents carrying out this program. We don't know how specific communications were chosen for monitoring. But that does not matter. The MSM is going to howl about the very fact of the monitoring...and if it turns out that it was highly constrained and Congress was briefed...who cares...they want to bring Bush down.

And just look at how Alter is fantasizing:

This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.

Alter has already convicted this President, even though he has no idea of what actually happened.

Odd thing is, American may not respond the way the liberals want. A peek over at the Volokh Conspiracy shows a split. Some people are angry; others wonder what the big deal is. I feel that if there were appropriate procedural safeguards, then these warrantless "searches" were legal and justified. 3,000 American died on 9/11 because the Justice Department would not allow the FBI to search the computer hard drive of Zacarias Moussaoui.

What do the liberals want? "Search warrants" before each and every bombing run by the US Air Force? Reading "Miranda" rights with loud speakers during battle to enemy soldiers?

The liberal argue that the FISA was good enough and that there was no excuse for avoiding its warrant requirement. But, Byron York over at NRO had a different take on this:

People familiar with the process say the problem is not so much with the court itself as with the process required to bring a case before the court. "It takes days, sometimes weeks, to get the application for FISA together," says one source. "It's not so much that the court doesn't grant them quickly, it's that it takes a long time to get to the court. Even after the Patriot Act, it's still a very cumbersome process. It is not built for speed, it is not built to be efficient. It is built with an eye to keeping [investigators] in check." And even though the attorney general has the authority in some cases to undertake surveillance immediately, and then seek an emergency warrant, that process is just as cumbersome as the normal way of doing things.

Lawmakers of both parties recognized the problem in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks. They pointed to the case of Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent who ran up against a number roadblocks in her effort to secure a FISA warrant in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative who had taken flight training in preparation for the hijackings. Investigators wanted to study the contents of Moussaoui's laptop computer, but the FBI bureaucracy involved in applying for a FISA warrant was stifling, and there were real questions about whether investigators could meet the FISA court's probable-cause standard for granting a warrant. FBI agents became so frustrated that they considered flying Moussaoui to France, where his computer could be examined. But then the attacks came, and it was too late.

Rowley wrote up her concerns in a famous 13-page memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller, and then elaborated on them in testimony to Congress. "Rowley depicted the legal mechanism for security warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, as burdensome and restrictive, a virtual roadblock to effective law enforcement," Legal Times reported in September 2002.

So, we had a monitoring program that was closely monitored by the Attorney General or the President...a program that members of Congress were briefed about.

There is a real scandal here...somebody at the CIA or the NSA is leaking copious amounts of highly classified information to the NY Times and the Washington Post. This needs to end. It is high time that a full investigation be conducted to identify the leakers and have them face criminal charges.

light blogging

Sorry folks. I can't blog from work anymore...and between working out at the gym, shopping for gifts, getting dinner for my 82 year old mom (who is recovering from cancer), and my very wonderful girlfriend, my blogging has been rather light. I generally only get to make entries early in the morning or late at night.

I promise to put in more entries after Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

NSA Monitoring US based communications >link<

The link above is to a discussion thread at the Volokh Conspiracy concerning the NY Times story yesterday describing how the NSA has been monitoring communications to and from the US during the war against terror.

Here is the link to the NY Times story:

The issues, as I seem them, are as follows:

(1) Is the NSA monitoring "right" or "wrong" ("good" or "bad")?
(2) Is the monitoring moral or immoral?
(3) Is the monitoring ethical or unethical?
(4) Is the monitoring legal or illegal?
(5) Is the monitoring constitutional or unconstitutional?

The answers to the first two questions are highly subjective; the answers to the remaining three questions are somewhat more objective. I think we all need to recognize that we do not know the specific types of communications that were monitored. We don't know how they were selected. We don't know the procedures used to determine which communications would be monitored.

Not all warrantless searches unreasonable; not all warrantless searches are illegal or unconstitutional. Until we know what the procedures were, we really can't answer the five questions above.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

MAJOR SNOWSTORM HITS OHIO - reports of cannibalism

Just kidding....

They are predicting one to three inches of snow and you would think, from the tenor of the news reporting, that it was a major blizzard.

I, for one, will wear my shoe covers (dare I call them "rubbers"?) and go out to catch a bus in less than an hour.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

KING KONG - Hugh's Review

Ok, so I decided to go to a midnight was hard finding one that was not sold out, but there was a little theater near campus showing it. There was not much of a crowd (surprising since all the other midnight shows were sold out).

The first thing that surprised me was that the movie was in such terrible condition. The music and soundtrack were scratchy and filled with noise. I thought we would have Dolby digital sound...instead this sounded like the optical track video from old film strips. Even more shocking, the film was in black and white and was NOT wide screen!

And the special effects? Oh my God! Horrible! The most pathetic stop-motion animation I have ever seen. This was like something from the 1930s! And, as sometimes happens, all those scenes they showed in the tv commercials and the movie trailers did NOT show up in the movie.

There were a few good points. One, Naomi Watts bore an unbelievable resemblance to the late Fay Wray. Two, it was the FASTEST 3 hour movie I have ever seen...I could swear that it did not last more than 100 minutes!

N'yuck n'yuck n'yuck

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tookie's Dead!

And the crowd went wild!

I am a bigtime supporter of capital punishment. I believe that it is the ultimate way for society to demonstrate its rejection of a criminal's behavior and wrongdoing. It also demonstrates our confidence in the system...we are willing to impose the ultimate punishment on a defendant because we have total confidence in our belief system. We know that our laws are right and we are willing to execute those who insist on living outside those laws.

It shows our society values the lives of its innocent citizens. If someone takes your life, we show respect for your life by imposing the ultimate penalty on the criminal who deprived you of it. If we allow a killer to live, we allow him (most murderers are men) the chance to enjoy a life. Even a life behind bars has values (especially because of the Constitutional mandates on treatment of prisoners).

I recognize the strengths of arguments against the death penalty...the most compelling of which is that an innocent person could be executed. There are chances for error in all human endeavors; but reducing the chances of errors is a matter of procedure. Ideally, prosecutors, judges, and defense counsel should work together to develop a profile and a set of procedures for identifying cases where errors might have occurred...this could then be used by Governor's and parole boards in ruling on requests for clemency. Sadly, the death penalty defense bar would never agree to such a project...because its successful conclusion would make it more likely that people would be executed (the existence of the profile and procedures would increase the confidence of the states that many of the killers were fairly tried and not likely to be innocent).

Let's face it, most killers on death row are going to claim that they are innocent. They count on the fact that the public and the press are not intimately familiar with the facts of their cases and the evidence used to convict them. Look at Tookie; look at Mumia....both of these men were convicted after significant amounts of evidence were presented at trial...there was no reasonable doubt of their guilt (of course, maybe their victims were killed by replicants beamed down from the Starship Enterprise, but that is not reasonable). Yet, they declare their innocence and people around the world believe them. I have seen the anti-death penalty crowd at work...they take pot shots at the evidence, come up with alternate explanations, and loudly condemn the process

Anyways, time to go to work.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Clintons use the Justice Department to Silence Foes >link<

The link above is to a column by Tony Snow over at concerning the fight Dems have been waging to prevent publication of certain parts of a report by Independent Counsel David Barrett concerning his investigation into a scandal that, initially at least, involve Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for President Clinton.

At issue was the publication of a report by David Barrett, an independent counsel who has spent the better part of a decade looking into some of the most hair-raising allegations of presidential malfeasance in American history.

This seems like old news and rather boring...another minor scandal during the Clinton administration. But there is more to it...MUCH more.

He found unsettling evidence that Justice Department officials were actively interfering with the probe and even conducting surveillance of Barrett and his office. Worse, there were indications that Team Clinton was using key players at the IRS and Justice to harass, frighten and threaten people who somehow got in the former president's way.

* * * *

By all accounts, the 400-page Barrett report is a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential prospects. At the very least, it would bring to public attention a scandal that would make the Valerie Plame affair vanish into comical insignificance.

Democrats know this. Using provisions in the independent-counsel statute that permit people named in a report to review the allegations against them and file rebuttals, attorneys close to the Clintons have spent the better part of five years reviewing every jot and tittle of the charges arrayed against their clients and friends.

The most amazing factor to me is that the Clinton Justice Department was trying to investigate the Independent Counsel and his doubt in an effort to do to them what they did to Ken Starr and his staff...tar and feather them.

This report needs to be made public. The Dems who howl with outrage over the supposed "outing" of Veronica Plame should support the release of this report...the contents of which show abuses that are several orders of magnitude worse than the alleged leaking of a CIA employee's name.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

If you want the rich to pay more taxes, lower the rates >link<

Long time readers may remember my post from October 14th...TAX REFORM AND OTHER TRAGEDIES, I noted that lowering the top marginal income tax rate causes tax compliance by the wealthy to go up.

Well, the link above is to a story in The Investor's Business Daily that makes the same observation.

A big reason is that tax avoidance recedes along with rates. When top personal rates are high, the rich find ways to pay less. That's why our tax code is 55,000 pages thick. When rates are lower and flatter, such behavior disappears.

This also explains why the richest Americans' share of all income taxes paid has soared to 34.27% from 19.05% in 1980 even though their average income-tax rate has fallen by roughly a third — from 34.47% to 24.31% in 2003.

So, let's soak the rich...LOWER tax rates!

Thank You Al Gore Part - Conclusion

In the last chapter, I discussed the legacy of Lyndon Johnson and, with generous quotes from Robert Caro's history: MEANS OF ASCENT, noted how LBJ's unrestrained dishonesty tarnished the office of the Presidency.

The rules changed with Johnson. Nixon was driven from office by liberals who despised him and were no longer restrained by the aura of the Presidency. Nixon's sins paled in comparison to those of his predecessors...but it was a new age. Nixon's misconduct cannot be excused; but it was unnecessary and dangerous to drive him from office for behavior that was tolerated - or even expected from - previous presidents. The American government was in disarray after Nixon's much so that we allowed North Vietnam to conquer the South without so much as a peep.

The liberals despised Reagan and did everything they could to ridicule him, hinder him, and marginalize him. They failed. But they tied up his second term with investigations over Iran-Contra - a scandal caused by the Administration's refusal to openly confront and oppose the Congressional Democrats' unconstitutional limitations on the President's foreign policy powers through the Boland Amendment. Reagan should have emulated FDR's Lend-Lease program...directly oppose the Congressional limitations and DARE them to stop him. Instead, Reagan tried to do it discreetly...and the secrecy gave the Dems the opening they needed to howl on about a scandal.

What was Iran-Contra about? Reagan was trying to stop the spread of Communism in Central America and get American hostages freed from terrorists in Lebanon. Hmmm....there was no element of self dealing there. No one was trying to get rich. No one was grasping for power (except the Dems in Congress that pushed through the laws limiting the President's ability to support the Contras).

And now we have GWB. Once again, the Dems are hunting for scandals. The first one was the supposed "outing" of CIA employee Veronica Plame. Some scandal...looks more like a CIA covert op to shift blame from "the company" to the White house. And then the claims that "Bush lied" about the causes for the war with Iraq.

The Dems want a weakened President. They don't realize the harm they are doing to our country...if you keep this President weak, that weakness will continue on in his successors...including any DEM successors. They don't realize the harm they are doing to the WORLD. The internal attacks on the President lead the rest of the world to discount the President and his foreign policy. The rest of the world WANTS a weakened US so that THEY can be more important. All the while, militant Islam is trying to build forces so that it can mount more attacks against the world and terrorize all of us into submission.

And Al Gore's conduct during the 2000 recount was the first act in these attacks to diminish President Bush's authority and legitimacy. Gore and his team fed misinformation and lies to their supporters in order to ramp up Dem hatred and distrust of President Bush. The rank and file Dems did not have the legal expertise to realize that the Gore legal arguments were spurious and self serving....they did not want to know....they were told what they wanted to hear.

Gore should have calmed the waters. He should have requested the recount, but emulated Paul Pfeifer in the 1990 Ohio Attorney General's race. Recognize that Bush probably won the race, but ask for the recount just to be sure. But no....Gore tried to game the system by requesting recounts only in a handful of strongly Dem counties. He wanted to find just enough extra Dem votes to eliminate Bush's lead...then claim victory. He would have had more moral authority if he had called for a state-wide recount from the very start....but he did not want moral authority; he wanted VICTORY.

So now, the Dems hate Bush and there is no possibility that they will be able to overcome that hatred and work with the President. The Republicans have to try to run the country without any assistance from the Dems. The Dems are acting like a minority party in a third world country...oppose the ruling party on all issues, no matter how sensible the proposed legislation may prove to be.

And we will all suffer because of this. Our country is nearly paralyzed during a time of war. The rest of the world is sitting back to let the US solve the major problems (because we have done that for too long). If we fail, the world could find itself in a peril comparable to WW II.

So, thank you Al Gore. Thank you very much.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thank You Al Gore Part III

Sorry about the light blogging....real life has been intervening. I can't blog at work anymore...I can't do any non-work related internet use at all I can only blog early in the morning and late at night. But, back to my story....

I was working as a General Counsel for the Christian Coalition of America in DC on election day, 2000. Our offices were directly across the street from DNC Headquarters (and their overflow offices were in our building. The headquarters for the RNC was just a few blocks away. At lunch I would see staff members from both parties milling around. It was a thrilling time to be in DC. It would have been more fun to have been in Florida (especially since I am admitted to the Bar there...but I was not permitted to go).

Whatever, I have some expertise in statutory analysis and giving legal advice to government officers. I did a thorough analysis of the Florida election law and it was clear to me that Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, was acting in a cautious, professional, and fair manner. The lower level Florida courts agreed...but the Florida Supreme Court jumped in with a blatantly partisan decision putting affairs in as favorable as possible for Gore.

I looked at the decision and I saw a problem...there is a test that courts are suppose to use when they overturn a ruling by an administrative agency. The Florida Supreme Court ignored that test (don't worry Megalon, I won't go into the finer points of the Chevron Doctrine). I knew that the Supreme Court of the United States would take action.

DO OVER! But the Florida High Court tried a dodge. It issued a second opinion that ignored the SCOTUS...and lower courts don't get to do that too often. The SCOTUS came back with a 7 to 2 decision overturning the Florida Court's decision (though Associate Justices Breyer and Souter disagreed with the other five members of the majority on the nature of the remedy...hence the fiction that it was a 5 to 4 decision).

Most non-lawyers don't understand these issues. Heck...most LAWYERS don't understand these issues. So, compliments of the Florida High Court and the partisan hacks in the Gore campaign, we have people running all over the country crying that the race was stolen.

I understand how they feel. I was ready to "man battlestations" if the SCOTUS had not intervened. Gore and the Dems were willing to risk the integrity of the Presidency in order to win at all costs. They figured that a win is a win, and even if they lost, the Bush Presidency would be handicapped by questions of its legitimacy.

Of course, how could Al Gore and the Dems know that 10 months after the election, the US would be hit by the worst act of terrorism in history? They may be forgiven for that, but the current actions of the Dems to question the competency of the Bush administration and our military (and even to question our ability to win in Iraq) is foolhardy.

The disrespect for the Presidency did not start with Bush. It did not start with Reagan, or even with Nixon. It really started with Lyndon Johnson. I am currently reading MEANS OF ASCENT, the second volume in Robert A. Caro's four volume history of LBJ. The introduction of the book is entitled "Ends and Means." In it, Caro points out Johnson's greatest personal flaw: his inability to stop lying.

March, 1965, had been a month of ringing words; April, 1965, was a month of whispers - whispers and lies. Making his decision to commit United States troops to the Asian conflict, Lyndon Johnson had warned participants in a crucial meeting in the White House that there was to be no mention of the new strategy to the press. When the truth crept out, almost two months later - in the words of one typically ourtaged editorial: "The American people were told by a minor State Department official yesterday that, in effect, they were in a land war on the continent of Asia" - Johnson ordered his aides to deny that such a decision had been made.

That had been one of the first duplicities, but it hadn't been the last. Nor did the duplicities concern only Vietnam. In an attempt to justify sending American troops into another small country, the Dominican Republic, (in that same month, April 1965), Lyndon Johnson told the press an the American people that the American Ambassador had said that otherwise "American blood will run in the streets." (He hadn't.) He said that the Ambassador had said tht he "was talking to us from under a desk while bullets were going through his windows." He hadn't. Johnson said that fifteen hundred innocent people had been murdered, some by decapitation. They hadn't. He said that the revolution had been taken over by "a band of Communist conspirators." They hadn't. Nor were the duplicities confined to foreign affairs. They were present in the President's discussions of the budget, of politics, of appointments - even of trip schedules. "Distrust of the President," as Theodore H. White put it, "was slow in growing." But the duplicities continued and multiplied; "thus, men paid attention to what he said and began to check his statements." And when they did, they found that the President lied - lied about big matters and small, lied not only about policy but about personal matters; his most publicized such misstatement, that his great-grandfather "died at the Alamo," although his great-grandparents had not arrived in Texas until years after the Alamo had fallen, was only one of many misleading remarks about his personal history. A new phrase - "Credibility Gap" - entered American political dialogue. It was printed in headlines, and on buttons, even on buttons pinned to fak jackets; men who had been sent to Vietnam on Lyndon Johnson's orders went int action wearing a button - "Ambushed at Credibility Gap" - that called their Commander and Chief a liar.

* * * *

"It is difficult today to remember, much less . . . . to understand, the extent to which 'the President' - any President - was then revered, respected, feared," Tom Wicker, who covered the White House for the New York Times, recalled in 1983. In times of foreign crisis, Wicker pointed out, the last two Presidents before Johnson, right or wrong, had been able to count on that reverence: Eisenhower after the U-2 incident, Kennedy despite the Bay of Pigs; Kennedy until the very day he died could be certain of the nation's loyalty, almost fealty, in summit confrontation or missile crisis.

* * * *

With a note of sadness, Wicker wrote in 1983 that "the reverence, the childlike dependence, the willingness to follow where the President leads, the trust, are long gone - gone, surely with Watergate, but gone before that . . . .After Lyndon Johnson, after the ugly war that consumed him, trust in 'the President' was tarnished forever."

Powerful words. And so true. The Presidents after Johnson had to fight for any credibility.

To be continued....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dean = Disgrace = Defeat >link<

DNC Chairman Howard Dean says that the war in Iraq is unwinnable. I guess we had all best convert to Islam and enact the Sharia into US law. If we lose the war in Iraq, militant Islam will rally...just as they did after Israel pulled out of Lebanon. They will be emboldened and become more aggressive.

They will eventually acquire nuclear weapons and will not be the least bit shy about using them. Afterall, who would we strike back at? They could keep hitting us again and again and we would not have a target to go after.

Dean's comments are disgraceful. He wants to score political points no matter how damaging they are to our Republic. I guess Democrat = Defeat.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thank You Al Gore - Part II

As I discussed in Part I of this essay, I believe that Al Gore is responsible for much of the ugly, disrespectful treatment that Dems give to President Bush. Gore attempted to steal the 2000 election through a clever strategy of requesting selective recounts in Florida.

Fortunately for George Bush (and for the nation as a whole), the Republicans were wise to what the Dems were attempting to pull off. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris had excellent legal advice and she executed her responsibilities in a cautious way. She described the process and clearly informed the Gore campaign what it needed to do if it wished to continue with its challenges to the election outcome.

But the Dems did not want fair rules. They wanted rules that would assure them victory. So they challenged Harris' procedures in the Florida courts. The lower level courts (with Dem judges presiding) ruled in favor of Harris following the long honored law that administrative interpretations of statutes were given broad discretion in interpreting the laws they are charged with enforcing. Sadly, the Florida Supreme Court chose to ignore law and precedent an tried to throw the race to Gore. I will discuss this in more detail in a later chapter.

The Gore team was irresponsible. Most people are not lawyers and cannot analyze, evaluate, and interpret statutes. Dems were fired up by the Gore campaign's charges that the race was being stolen from them. The Florida Supreme Court made matters even worse. Its politically based, NON-legal based opinions gave the Dems all the intellectual support they needed to claim "We waz robbed!"

Gore was not the first presidential candidate to lose by a close margin. The previous person to suffer this fate was Richard Nixon who showed tremendous grace by conceding to John F. Kennedy inspite of serious concerns about vote fraud in Illinois and Texas. Nixon knew that challenging the outcome would be horrendously disruptive to the American policial process...something this country could not afford in light of the Cold War and the simmering conflict with the Soviet Union and its communist client states.

All my life, I have heard stories about how Kennedy/Johnson stole the 1960 presidential election. But, since Nixon chose not to fight the outcome, all that ever came from this argument was talk. No one ever denied that JFK was the President of the United States. Of course, there were sections of the country that hated him. I was recently reading a book about the Kennedy assassination, DEATH OF A PRESIDENT, which describes how fired up and passionate the anti-Kennedy crowd in Texas were back in 1963...similar in tone (but not in size or scope) to the anti-Bush crowd today.

Maybe Gore felt that the world was a safer place and a destablized America would not create much risk. Maybe he was too selfish and self centered to care. Of course, Gore was Vice-President in an administration that ignored the growth of Al Qaeda and increasing rounds of violence that were coming from militant Islam in Africa and the Middle East. Gore was just too blind to realize the dangers out there in the world (as was Clinton).

Whatever the reason, Gore took a volatile situation (a close loss in a presidential election) and through gasoline on the fire with superheated rhetoric and spurious legal claims. As I described in Part I, recounts do not have to be this way.

To be continued....

Nuclear Iran - Disaster on the horizon >link<

According to a report today in the Jerusalem Post, IAEA chairman Muhammad ElBaradei says that Iran is only months away from developing nuclear weapons.

Well done, UN. Well done EU. Well done Russia. We have a desperate theocratic government that supports militant islamic terrorists that will soon have weapons of mass destruction. Russia sold much of the technology...the EU and the UN looked the other way. I guess their hope is that the first city to be vaporized will be Tel Aviv or Haifa.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thank you Al Gore - Part I

I spent a good deal of time thinking about the anger that the political left has towards President Bush. It is an anger that is causing them to miss the horrendous dangers our country is facing from militant Islam just so that they can score political points against the Bush administration by doing their best to make the Iraq war as unpopular as possible. And, the liberals' friends in the main stream media are making it easy by amplifying all criticisms of the administration and conveniently ignoring the inconsistencies (and outright lies) in the left's arguments.

Where did all this anger and hatred come from? I blame Al Gore and his conduct during the aftermath of the November 2000 election. Gore lost the election by a heart breakingly close margin....but he lost! It was a close enough loss to merit a recount and it would have been irresponsible if Gore had not asked for one. But, the way his campaign conducted itself during the recount created a sense of anger, frustration, and outrage in his followers that continues to build.

A recount does not have to be a bitter affair. In 1990, Democrat Lee Fisher faced Republican Paul Pfeifer in the race for Ohio Attorney General. The race was hotly contested and ended with on a bitter note. Over 3 million votes were cast and Fisher won with a margin of victory of approximately 1,000 votes. Pfeifer requested a recount but the tone of his request was quite different than the one Al Gore presented in November of 2000. Pfeifer recognized that he was behind and stated that it was very likely that a recound would merely confirm this, but he felt that it was his responsibility to verify the vote totals.

Teams of volunteers, consisting of partisan observers and neutral judges, were dispatched to check the vote totals. I was the Republican observer on one of the teams; I got to know my Democrat counterpart fairly well. We knew each other from past activities and were on friendly terms during the entire recount. In the end, the recount confirmed that Fisher won by a 1,234 margin. Pfeifer conceded and that was the end of the story. There was never a doubt that Fisher was the elected Attorney General of Ohio.

Compare this with the 2000 recount. Gore challenged the results and asserted that he was the real winner. Then he tried to game the system by requesting recounts in only those counties with high Dem majorities and worked to have defective ballots counted. The game plan was obvious. Get enough defective ballots counted as genuine votes and the law of averages would give him enough additional Dem votes to overwhelm the margin of victory. The blatantly partisan "Kharnak the Magnificent" vote counting style demonstrated by the Palm Beach County Board of Elections was hardly confidence inspiring and bore no resemblance to the honest, good spirited recount I participated in back in 1990.

Gore was not taking the high road...he was making a direct run for victory at any cost. He was trying the old Woody Hayes strategy for football at Ohio State University: run the ball for "three yards and a cloud of dust" each play. Keep having new recounts and keep closing the gap...then the moment one of the recounts showed him ahead, end the game. This is the strategy that was successfully used by Christine Gregoire to steal victory in Washington State Governor's race a few years later.

To be continued. . . .

Friday, December 02, 2005

European Girls Gone BOOM >link<

I guess the European approach to Militant Islam is, "If you are too lazy to fight them, join them."

The link above is to a story about a Belgium woman who became a suicide bomber in Iraq.

Murielle Degauque was, by all accounts, a normal child. A typical girl next door, you might say. True, as a teenager growing up in southern Belgium, she dabbled in drugs and preferred boys to books. But there was nothing to indicate that she would become the first Western woman to launch a suicide bomb attack in the name of jihad when she blew herself up in Iraq last month.

Fortunately, she was a rather incompetent suicide bomber. She was the only person killed when her bomb exploded. Thank God for small miracles.

There are other parts of this story that make my blood boil.

In April 2003, two Britons walked into a Tel Aviv bar wired with explosives. Asif Hanif's bomb killed three people and wounded 65, in Mike's Place, while his companion, Omar Sharif, fled from the scene after his device failed to detonate. His body was found floating off the Mediterranean coast almost two weeks later.

Sharif's brother and sister, Zahid and Parveen Sharif, were cleared this week by a court of failing to tell police that their brother planned to carry out the attack.

However, the prosecutor told the court that Parveen, a primary school teacher, had asked her pupils shortly after the 11 September attacks: " Hands up who has relatives in New York? Well, they are all dead."

She was also said to have told children the attacks on America were "a good thing" and that she was "on [Osama] bin Laden's team".

Parveen sounds like a "lovely" person...truly disturbed. Hopefully she is no longer working as a primary school teacher. But in England, who knows. Afterall, a homeowner who attempts to defend himself against intruders is subject to criminal prosecution and a burglar who gets injured during a breakin can sue the property owner and win millions!

If she got fired, she could probably sue and win. Is it really so bad to spout hatred and champion the murder of innocents? As long as those innocents are Americans or Jews, many Europeans apparently think not.

Whom the gods destroy... >link<

Some people do not handle celebrity well. They get a taste of it and they become narcissistic. Case in point, Jack Murtha. He received nationwide attention after his supposed change of opinion regarding the Iraq war. How is a back bencher Congressman to stay in the headlines? Why, the same way that Cindy Sheehan saying more and more outrageous things.

Jack Murtha is now slandering our armed forces. He says our Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth." Why thank you, Mr. Murtha. I say that YOU are broken, worn out, and desperate for attention. You loved your taste of the spotlight and you wanted some more.

Of course, the main stream media will roast anyone who tries to disagree with this crusty old Dem hack who once served as a Marine. But maybe he went too far this time and showed everyone just how partisan he really is.