Sunday, February 19, 2006

This Hyper-Secretive Administration [link]

Mark Steyn from the Chicago Sun Times cracked me up this morning.

The third jolly event of the week was those other excitable fellows -- the Big Media White House reporters -- jumping up and down shouting "Death to Dick Cheney!" NBC's David Gregory, the George Clooney of the press corps, was yelling truth to power about why the Elmer-Fudd-in-gun-rampage story was released to "a local Corpus Christi newspaper, not the White House press corps at large.'' I know how he feels. I remember, like, four or five years ago -- early September, maybe second week -- there was this building collapse in New York and I had to learn about it from the TV because this notoriously secretive paranoid administration couldn't even e-mail me a timely press release. For an NBC guy discovering that some hicksville nowhere-burg one-stop-light feed-price sheet got tipped off before he did is like a dowager duchess turning up at the royal banquet to discover the scullery maid's been seated next to the queen.

So anyway David Gregory's going bananas and yelling "I will yell!" and "Don't be a jerk!" at the White House press secretary, and there's more smoke coming out of his ears than from Ronald McDonald in Lahore, and I'm thinking, you know, maybe Karl's latest range of Rovebots that he planted in American media corporations are just a wee bit too parodically self-absorbed to be plausible. And then this lady pipes up and asks, "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"

The narcissists in the mainstream media can't get over the fact that they did not get word of this story instantly. Well, duh, it broke on a weekend. The word was all over the world by Sunday. Hardly a cover-up.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Democrat back stabbing [link]

Be warned gentle reader (and at this point, I think I am back to having just one reader), the link above is to an online report in Mother Jones Magazine.

I was looking for a place where I could buy oni-giri, but instead I found this report about how the Democrat leadership forced Paul Hackett out of the race for US Senate.

Democratic Senate candidate and Marine Corps Major Paul Hackett is accustomed to waging quixotic battles and taking his hits. He just didn’t expect the lowest—and fatal—blows to come from his own party.

In an announcement that stunned many in Washington and even some in his campaign staff, Hackett declared on February 13, 2006, that he was dropping his bid for U.S. Senate in Ohio, ending his 11 month political career. “I made this decision reluctantly, only after repeated requests by party leaders, as well as behind-the-scenes machinations, that were intended to hurt my campaign,” he said, only hinting at what had gone down. The day after his withdrawal from the race, he told me about the backroom battles that forced him out.

Too bad, I would have preferred to see Hackett in the race...his rhetoric was so incendiary that Mike DeWine (who is about as low key and gentle a person as you will ever find) would have wiped the floor with him, electorally speaking.

Hackett’s scorching rhetoric earned him notoriety and cash on the campaign trail. He declared that people who opposed gay marriage were “un-American.” He said the Republican party had been hijacked by religious extremists who he said “aren’t a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden.” Bloggers loved him, donors ponied up, while Democratic Party insiders grumbled that he wasn’t "senatorial."

Obviously, the Dems recognized this too, and also recognized that Hackett would appeal to the Kos-o-maniacs for the same reason (even though I think that Kos himself has disassociated himself from Hackett). So, the Dems engaged in a campaign of rumors and lies to get Hackett out of the race. The Dems call this "Swiftboating." But I don't know if this is a fair description of what happened. There was TRUTH to what the Swiftboat vets were complaining about.

Swift boats soon appeared on the horizon. A whisper campaign started: Hackett committed war crimes in Iraq—and there were photos. “The first rumor that I heard was probably a month and a half ago,” Dave Lane, chair of the Clermont County Democratic Party, told me the day after Hackett pulled out of the race. “I heard it more than once that someone was distributing photos of Paul in Iraq with Iraqi war casualties with captions or suggestions that Paul had committed some sort of atrocities. Who did it? I have no idea. It sounds like a Republican M.O. to me, but I have no proof of that. But if it was someone on my side of the fence, I have a real problem with that. I have a hard time believing that a Democrat would do that to another Democrat.”

Oh please, "Swift boats soon appeared on the horizon." I guess the term "Swift boats" will join "Borking" in the political lexicon.

Hackett backers suspected the smear was being floated by Sherrod Brown’s campaign. A senior Brown staffer angrily dismissed the charge this week as “ridiculous.”

N'yuck n'yuck n'yuck.

With the very real prospect of a smear against him going public late in the campaign—a la the Swift Boating of John Kerry—Hackett knew that dollars would be especially important for him. “If I don’t have the $2 million or $3 million it would take to respond in the final weeks, to influence the battlefield with my message, then I would just be reacting and I’ll get trounced,” said Hackett.

Hackett had demonstrated his ability to shake money from donors during a January fundraising roadshow in California and New York. But he soon discovered that top Democrats were attempting to cut off his money. The hosts of a Beverly Hills fundraiser for Hackett received an e-mail from the political action committee of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) that concluded, “I hope you will re-consider your efforts on behalf of Hackett and give your support to Sherrod.” Waxman’s chief of staff, Phil Schiliro, said the e-mail was only sent to a handful of people and that “it probably came from a suggestion from the Sherrod Brown campaign.”

Michael Fleming, who manages Internet millionaire David Bohnett’s political and charitable giving, was one of the recipients of the Waxman email. Bohnett has given to hundreds of progressive candidates, but Fleming says, “This was the first time I had ever gotten an email or communication like that. I find it discouraging and disheartening. It’s unfortunate that the powers that be didn’t let the people of Ohio figure this out. We should be in the business of encouraging people like Paul Hackett and viable progressive candidates like him to run. The message instead is don’t bother, it’s not worth your time.”

Sen. Schumer was also reported to be trying to turn off Hackett’s cash spigots. No one would confirm this to me on the record. But veteran political activist David Mixner, who described himself as “a fanatically strong supporter” of Hackett and who helped sponsor a New York fundraiser, confirmed that he “received calls from a couple people in Congress urging Paul Hackett to withdraw or not to contribute money to his campaign. The reasons ranged from he can’t win, to he’s too controversial, Brown has more money, is more centrist, and more appealing. It was that inner beltway circle crap,” said Mixner. “They are people who have no idea what’s going on in the country but believe they know everything.”

Brown is a centrist? Really? He is a Dem party hack from the liberal stronghold of Cleveland. I guess he is a centrist for Cuyahoga County...but that is like being a centrist in P'yong Yang, North Korea.

Hackett was infuriated by the subterfuge. “I felt like I got [expletive deleted] by the Democratic Party because they enticed me in and then they pulled the rug out from beneath me. It sounds eerily familiar to sending in the military to Iraq, which was a misuse of the military, and then not giving them what they need to fight.”

In what is being called the Valentine’s Day Massacre, Paul Hackett threw in the towel, and insisted he would not be running for elected office anytime soon. He declined requests to switch races and run again in the Ohio Second Congressional District against Rep. Jean Schmidt, saying he had promised the candidates currently in that race that he wouldn’t run. “My word is my bond and I will take it to my grave,” he declared.

As word spread about the intra-party intrigue that helped bring down Hackett, supporters have reacted angrily. “If the Democratic Party continues with these suicidal decisions, we will continue to defeat ourselves,” declared Yolanda Parker, who recently attended a California fundraiser for Hackett. “The only strategy the Republicans need to stay in power is patience. They just need to wait while our party self-implodes through idiotic decisions such as the one to pressure an articulate Iraqi war veteran to pull out of the race.”

I am sorry to see Hackett go. But politics is not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hillary and hypocrisy

Now we have the spectacle of Hillary Rodham Clinton criticizing the Bush Administration for being slow on releasing information. And the media lets her get away with this.

Does anyone remember Howard Kurtz's book about the Clinton Administration's strategy for dealing with scandals? The book was called SPIN CYCLE and was published right before the Lewinsky scandal broke.

In a nutshell, Kurtz wrote that the Clinton's method for dealing with embarrassing information was to tell the media that they were investigating what happened and that they would make a complete release of information as soon as they could. But then, they would start offering defenses and explanations (even before the information has been gathered and reviewed). And, while the Clinton personnel would always be saying, "More rather than less; sooner rather than later," the reality was that they dragged their heels as much as possible and delayed releasing information. They would release small amounts at a time in order to lessen the outrage.

This White House has been a breath of fresh air compared to the Clintons. was only a 14 hour delay between the time of the accident and the initial press report. And it was just that, an accident. An event that had no national significance.

Three cheers for actor Gary Sinise!

All too often you read about Hollywood types who denigrate our country, our leaders, and our military. It is wonderful to read about a celebrity actor who supports what our forces are doing in Iraq.

9/11 really shook up Mr. Sinise's world: "And all of a sudden to be attacked on our shores like that was a real slap in the face and a wake-up. I just felt like, well, we're a country at war now, and I wanted to be able to do something to help."

He decided to go out and do something productive.

Well, I don't know anybody who wasn't affected by it; certainly at the time everyone was affected by it. I think there are some people that got more active in terms of volunteerism and feeling like life is much more precious than they had ever thought before and having a feeling of wanting to make the most out of it. That's what happened to me. I'm sure it happened to other people as well. And I'm sure there are many people who went back to sleep, or "it's business as usual," and that's unfortunate because I think the world changed that day. We've all heard that said. I just really believe it.

And Mr. Sinise is not following the typical Hollywood mantra about what is going on in Iraq.

I'm in touch with dozens of military service members over there who are working quite diligently on their mission, accomplishing positive things, making progress, and who have a dedication and belief that what they are doing is helping, and therefore their morale is high. Yet in so many media reports we get a completely opposite view of what's happening with our military service members, that they are demoralized or broken or their morale is low and whatnot.

Hat's off to Gary Sinise. I don't watch much tv these days (mostly Fox News and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), but CSI: New York is now getting added to my viewing schedule! We need more performers like him to provide a boost for our morale here at home and for the troops who are bravely serving our country.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The rage blazes on

As always, Victor Davis Hanson has an intelligent commentary about the riots in the Muslim world over the Danish cartoons.

The level of immaturity in the Muslim world is amazing. Their newspapers and media are filled with insults and blood libels against the West and Israel. Yet, make the slightest negative comment about them, and they riot in the street and burn flags.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I am just too happy for words. Another solid conservative on the Supreme Court! And the Dems managed to make themselves look like fools in the process.

No more stealth nominees! Let's have principled conservatives. The Dems will try to Bork them, but if they are humble, intelligent, and well-qualified, they will be confirmed!