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Friday, March 31, 2006

Kenneth Ford is No Sandy Berger

Former NSA computer analyst Kenneth Ford was sentenced to six years in prison for taking classified documents and storing them at his home.

I'm sure Sandy Berger is more than pleased with his own community service after hearing the news.

Former FISA Judges: Warrantless Wiretaps Legal

This won't come as a surprise to anyone who has actually followed the facts of the terrorist surveillance issue, but former FISA judges have confirmed that President Bush's warrantless wiretaps of terrorists are perfectly legal.

THOUSANDS OF TROOPS have died fighting a war he chose to fight--a war that increasingly appears to be a microcosm of something much larger than what the American people had bargained for. He seems to be stretching presidential power beyond what his predecessors ever imagined. His approval ratings hover around the freezing point. It's no coincidence that his party is beginning to stray from him, and the press is writing him off as a failure.

Such was the description of Harry S. Truman in 1951. I have no doubt Bush's legacy will draw similar positive reactions to Truman (or Reagan) in 20 years, despite what polls may say today (think of liberal politicians saying, "sure, he was strong, but Iraq and Afghanistan were no brainers - any President would have done the same thing").

Read the article at the Weekly Standard.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fox: U.S. Will be Begging for Mexican Workers

"I dare say that in 10 years, the U.S. will be begging, will be pleading with Mexico to send it workers," said Fox, who meets with President Bush in Cancun today to discuss what he calls the "migration" problem.

Fox's statement (or threat) is plain idiotic. If the U.S. becomes really desperate for cheap labor (which is very possible), all we have to do is increase the number of visas - 1 million, 2 million,...however many we think is required to keep our economy going strong. And then the immigrants will be legal.

Liberals Finally Helping McCain?

For a long time, I didn't think John McCain had much hope winning a GOP presidential nomination. Now, however, he has hired many former Bush campaigners. More importantly, as John McIntyre points out, he now has liberals criticizing him as "too far right," which means that conservatives might start to like him.

The liberals and MSM might be responsible for the GOP keeping the White House beyond 2008 - not by supporting him, but by beginning to attack him. It's still a long way off, but an interesting thought.

Congresswoman Blames White Police

Democratic Congressman Cynthia McKinney, who allegedly punched a police officer after he didn't recognize her and tried to get her to go through a metal detector, says that she often gets harrassed by certain "white police officers." Ankle Biting Pundits has the story.

I knew it - the cops are racist - McKinney should be allowed to do whatever she wants to them.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Scalia Writes Scathing Letter to Boston Herald

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a letter to the editor of the Boston Herald after the Herald falsely said that Scalia made an "obscene gesture" in Church to a reporter after a question by reporter Laurel Sweet. (I also read elsewhere that he gave the reporter "the finger," which is also false.) Another shoddy reporting job all around.

The letter is classic - clear, biting and humorous.
Read it here.

Dems Promise to Eliminate Bin Laden

If Democrats are elected, they promise to "eliminate" Osama bin Laden. All right folks - let's all vote Democrat and Bin Laden will be history.

This tactic reminds me of 2004, when John Edwards promised that if they were elected, Christopher Reeve would walk again.

On Immigration: Let's Reform Ourselves

As far as I can see, there are two major reasons why Americans would like to see better controls on immigration:

1. The potential threat of terrorists entering
2. The cost factor

POINT NUMBER ONE: Regarding terrorism, it's a valid concern. We don't want terrorists entering the US via Canada, Mexico, or even Yale. It's tricky because as we all know, most terrorists in the world do not come from Latin America, Canada, or Yale.

However, we do know where most terrorists do come from. I'm convinced that the best defense is to be most dilligent of the people that FIT THE PROFILE. This means men, 18-45. And this also usually means Middle Eastern. If there's monitoring to be done, 90% of it should be done on those that fit the profile. (just like in Spain, 90% of the effort is on those with Basque names, or 10 years ago in England, when 90% of the effort was on those with Irish accents.) We should be equally diligent on those with this profile whether they enter via JFK, Canada, Mexico, or Yale. Pretty simple I think.

POINT NUMBER TWO: Realistically, I don't think there's much that can be done about the 10-15 million illegal immigrants already in the US. And I don't think there's much that should be done with them either, unless they are felons or cheating the system.

But regarding future reform, I'm convinced that the best reform is to reform our own system. If people are worried that immigrants receive more benefits than they give us in tax revenues (I'm not convinced this is the case, but if it is), then why not cut the benefits? Eliminate all welfare benefits for newcomers. How hard is that?

If 90% of immigrants come to the US to work and 10% come to cheat (I just made those figures up), we'll eliminate cheaters in one fell swoop by eliminating welfare. This also includes the dual language programs at schools which make those kids dependent, and the dual language instructions at the voting booths, drivers' registry, etc. Hey, I'm in favor of kids learning Spanish, but if everyone is forced to learn English first, they'll assimilate more quickly and become independent faster.

I'm a proponent of immigration. Immigrants grow the economy, keep inflation down, and they'll pay for social security (if that's important). There's also a shortage of engineers, doctors, nurses, policemen and all sorts of jobs in the US, and because we have full employment, we need qualified people.

I hope democrats and republicans don't take the latest demonstrations to become increasingly protectionist and anti-immigration - that's the wrong stance to take.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Justice Breyer: "This is Not a War"

Holding enemy combatants might become more difficult, based on preliminary comments from the liberal wing of the Supreme Court in a case brought by Gitmo prisoner Salim Ahmed Hamdan, one of Osama bin Laden's drivers. Right now, the four liberals on the Court are opposed to holding enemy combatants without bringing "charges," while Chief Justice Roberts recused himself because he already decided in favor of Bush's policy at a lower court. So that leaves only Thomas, Scalia and Alito in favor - with Anthony Kennedy being a decisive vote. But I don't see the Court being deadlocked 4-4 on a case, so I think the current policy might be in jeopardy.

Interestingly, Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer said the following:

"You want to try a war crime. You want to say this is a war crimes tribunal," Breyer said. "One, this is not a war, at least not an ordinary war. Two, it's not a war crime because that doesn't fall under international law. And three it's not a war crime tribunal or commission because (there is) no emergency."

So we are not at war - I wonder what our soldiers would have to say about that.

Scotus blog has more on the case. Meanwhile, Positive Liberty writes that Scalia has received lots of pressure to recuse himself for a public speech earlier this month about his views regarding enemy combatants. (That would leave only 2, or at most 3, votes for the government policy.)

Fed Raises Again - No Surprise

The Federal Reserve raised the overnight rate to 4.75%, the 15th straight 1/4 point increase. My guess is that Bernanke goes for three more and stops at 5.50%.

Maybe Dems have another talking point in this year's coming elections: "Sure, the economy is good, but how long can it last with dangerous rising interest rates?"

Cold Warrior Weinberger Dies

Caspar Weinberger, defense secretary under President Reagan, died today at age 88. Even in death, the media desires to paint him as an evil right winger. Just read the brief article and note:

Weinberger, who presided over an unprecedented peacetime military buildup costing more than $1 trillion...Weinberger performed with gusto the task of persuading Congress to spend over $1 trillion on arms in Reagan's first term and billions more after that.

(Media translation: he spent money needlessly on U.S. defense.)

He also steadfastly opposed concessions to Moscow in arms control negotiations advocated by Secretary of State George Shultz and other more moderate members of the Cabinet.

(Media translation: he was a right-wing idealogue and was anything but "moderate.")

He made himself unpopular with many lawmakers by his unbending, often contentious push for funds for arms and for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative -- a program, commonly known as "Star Wars," to develop a land- and space-based shield against incoming ballistic missiles.

("Star Wars" was the term coined by the media to belittle SDI.)

He called "absurd" a White House decision in 1985 to sell arms to Iran but supported Reagan a year later after the president decided to send missiles and spare parts to Tehran.

(Media translation: he was a "liar.")

For devoting his life to public service and helping Reagan to win the Cold War, you would think Cap would receive a slightly more glorious writeup.

Monday, March 27, 2006

San Francisco's Great Tolerance

(From Tongue Tied.) San Francisco is a tolerant city, as long as you agree with them on their politics, economics and overall liberal philosophy. This is how San Francisco's government reacted to a rally by thousands of Christians who advocate a more Christian lifestyle:

City leaders prepared for the battle earlier this week, when the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the "act of provocation" by an "anti-gay," "anti-choice" organization that aimed to "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."

Oh so tolerant - of their own.

Tony Blair: Anti-Americanism "Madness"

In addressing the Australian Parliament, British PM Tony Blair said that the growing anti-American sentiment around the world is "madness" in the face of global security problems.

"The danger with America today is not that they are too much involved, the danger is that they decide to pull up the drawbridge and disengage. We need them involved. We want them engaged," he said.

Blair is right. I really don't think it would take too much for an American pullback around the world. I'm not convinced that Democrats would pull out of Iraq immediately even if they should somehow come to power, but they certainly would not take the lead in any future engagement (and certainly not without UN approval).

"Peace Activists" a Useful Propoganda Tool

It's no wonder Saddam Hussein had previously welcomed activists in Baghdad as a "useful propoganda tool." They say exactly what Iraqi terrorists hope they would say:

The three Christian peace activists rescued by U.S. and British forces in Iraq last week said they were well treated by their captors. Although they didn’t get as much food as they wanted, they were always fed. They were not always bound during their four months of captivity and were allowed to exercise regularly, a spokeswoman for their group said Friday.

As the article points out, they failed to mention the treatment their American friend, Tom Fox, received from his captors.

Scalia Rejects Enemy Combatant "Rights"

Justice Antonin Scalia tells it like it is. He sums up his views towards granting full rights to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield:

“If he was captured by my army on a battlefield, that is where he belongs. I had a son on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son, and I’m not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it’s crazy,” he said. Scalia’s son Matthew served with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Just good old common sense to me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Time's Sensationalism on Climate Change

Time's cover story entitled, "Be Worried. Be Very Worried" is sensational Malthusian journalism at its worst. (Even non-subscribers can read the piece by listening to a 15-second Time commercial, though I don't think it's worth the time.) The article begins,

No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth...the crisis is upon us."

Oh brother. Did Al Gore advise on this article?

The last 12 months have been alarming.

Without any scientific evidence, the eco-authors are telling us that nature is crossing its "tipping points" and last year's natural disasters is evidence of that fact. Further, the article cites public polling opinion as proof that "global warming probably is happening."

There is nothing new in this article. Yes, if all the ice sheets in Greenland melt, that will be bad. And yes, where we can try to reduce pollution and emissions, we should try to do so, within reason. However, to take as fact a Time magazine article that is clearly written by individuals who are in essence, environmentalists, is a bit ridiculous to me, especially when they didn't offer a single opposing viewpoint to balance their argument.

I've offered a few sites to check out for a little perspective on the global warming argument:, Ice Age Now and Myths of Global Warming. You can make up your own mind, but you deserve to read both sides of the argument.

Tim Russert's Selective Memory

NBC, the new and strongest anti-Bush force in the MSM, shows its stripes with Tim Russert's selective facts, yet no one will call him on it. In his interview with Condoleeza Rice this morning on Meet the Press, I noticed a few interesting points of his focus:

1) He referred to the mountains of documents found in Iraq and grilled Rice on Russian involvement with Iraq during the runup to the war. However, he never once mentioned the more significant documents that show Saddam's involvement with Al Qaeda.

2) He then referred to the fact that Iraq's Foreign Minister Naji Sabri was apparently an informant of the CIA and told them that the U.S. was given prewar details on WMDs. However, as Powerline pointed out last week, NBC's summary of the story was "grotesquely misleading" because Sabri actually told the agency Iraq did indeed have WMDs.

3) Finally, Russert ended with his standard anti-war rhetoric about how the Bush administration was wrong on everything, thousands of people have died, etc. He never seems to have time to get the real facts out, but he always has time for his old anti-Bush rhetoric.

I guess Chris Wallace-type thorough questioning is a bit too "fair and balanced" for NBC.

Freed Leftist Hostages Refuse to Help Others

The three Left-wing activists and terrorist apologists have refused to fully help those who saved them with information that could potentially help other hostages detained in Iraq. They have also yet to thank those who rescued them.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Rally for [Illegal] Immigrant Rights

A crowd of over 500,000 protested a bill to try to control illegal immigration into the U.S. However, note the title from the LA Times: "More than 500,000 Rally in L.A. for Immigrants' Rights."

The article never once mentions the rights of the millions of people around the world on waiting lists waiting to immigrate legally. I guess that's their problem that they didn't break our laws.

9/11 Commission Democrat Does 180

Former Senator Bob Kerrey now says that in light of the new documents found in Iraq, that he does believe Iraq collaborated with Al Qaeda, indicating that the new documents were a:

signficant set of facts...It does tie him into a circle that meant to damage the United States.

While many people and most MSM continue to toy around with words, saying yes, all these new discoveries prove there was a working collaboration between Saddam and Al Qaeda, while continuing to stick with 911's conclusion that there was no 'operational' relationship. To me the argument is all semantics and reminds me of that Simpson's episode, when Mr. Burns says:

Hear me out Simpson! I don't want you to come back as a technical supervisor, or supervising technician, or whatever the hell you used to be.

Friday, March 24, 2006

St. Paul, MN: Goodbye Easter Bunny

The Easter bunny apparently is a religious endorsement in St. Paul, Minnesota and therefore, it has to go. The City Council has decided it's appropriate to remove from public offices any Easter messages, as well as symbols such as the Easter bunny.

Perhaps St. Paul should remind itself how its own name came about...

Mark Steyn on the MSM

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, Mark Steyn pounds the MSM for its awful Iraq coverage. He also is one of the first to call out Tim Russert, who I believe has become so far Left that he is now not much better than the folks on 60 Minutes. But for some reason, perhaps because he is a genuinely good guy, he gets a free pass.

Tim Russert said today, he defended NBC, the media's Iraq coverage, by saying we capture reality. Yeah, they capture reality in the same sense that those insurgent guys capture people. They saw it's head off and shout Allah Akhbar at reality. That's what they're doing when they capture reality. The reality of what's happening in Iraq is very different from what Tim Russert thinks it is.

You can read the trascript at Radio Blogger. Mark Steyn also has a great article in the Jerusalem Post, where he discusses part of the cost we would be paying in Iraq if we had never gone in to remove Saddam.

Spirit of Protectionism Picking Up Steam

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I'm fearful that the U.S. economy is headed towards protectionism. In another sign that the protectionist fervor is becoming popular again, Check Point Software, a public firm traded on Nasdaq but headquartered in Israel, called off its plans to acquire Sourcefire, a network security company with government clients.

Also, the State Dept. is being criticized for purchasing computers from Lenovo, a public company whose parent company's main shareholder is the Chinese government.

Sensitive deals should rightly be scrutinized by CFIUS, but I'm afraid we're going to be hearing a lot of Pat Buchanan-types who think that every foreign investment is bad for the U.S.

More Saddam Terror Connections

Stephen Hayes, who has uncovered mountains of information linking Saddam to Al Qaeda, has a new piece in the Weekly Standard uncovering links between Saddam and the Philippine terror group, Abu Sayyaf.

Once again, the information is compelling. But didn't the media tell us that Saddam wasn't involved in terrorism?

More Details on Hostage Rescue

The Scotsman has a few additional details on the hostages who were rescued in Iraq.

Acting on this, the SAS was able to launch a snatch raid on Wednesday night to seize two of the kidnappers or their associates. It seems that the prisoners were "persuaded" to give up information on the whereabouts of the hostages. This might have been done with the offer of a financial inducement or the use of some of the more extreme interrogation techniques criticised by human rights groups.

"Peruaded" to give up information? You can't mean....the exertion of physical or mental stress or other means to give us information on where the hostages were?? Someone call the ACLU! Return the hostages - the way we got them back was unfair and will not be looked upon favorably by our friends in San Francisco, Boston, or the Left side of Congress.

US Troops Asked to Stay in Quagmire

In Kosovo. Amity Shlaes of bloomberg has a great article on the situation in Kosovo where she recently visited. In the region there are about 1600 American troops there and there's one thing that both sides can agree on: that US soldiers must stay.

While most of the media has forgotten about this quagmire, where drug trafficking and gun-carrying seem to be the norm, it's refreshing that the people there recognize what American troops are doing for them.

When Serbian Foreign Minister, Vuc Draskovic, was asked if American troops could be replaced by European troops in Kosovo, the response was:

No. Europeans are good fellows. They operate in two speeds. Slow and Slower.

It's good to know the yanks are making a difference.

You Can't Handle The Truth!

ABC News does deserve some credit for at least reporting the latest translated Iraqi documents found. If you do a google for bbc saddam documents, you get ignorance (or probably ignorance by choice).

However, I challenge ABC News to simply report the translations, and not their dumbed-down editorial content. For example, one document clearly indicates that Bin Laden met a member of Iraqi intelligence on Feb 19, 1995 and that Saddam was informed of the meeting. Bin Laden was seeking an operational relationship to get rid of foreign forces in Saudi Arabia. Guess who the foreign forces are. Saddam listened to Bin Laden's request and complied with his request. Kudos to ABC for reporting this!

However ABC won't let us rest until we hear their own opinion. They follow-up by saying, this document has no official seal. Umm, I get it - this extra disclosure is designed to tell us the document may not be official. Fine, but has this ever been indicated before by ABC News? Did the Watergate tapes have an official seal? Then they say that there is still no evidence of any formal operational relationship between the two. Yes, the two groups met and cooperated, but there's no evidence of any ties.

I'm convinced that until we find those birthday invitations that Bin Laden mailed to Saddam, ABC will assume no operational relationship between the two.

I challenge ABC News to do their job - report the truth! If I want an editorial, I'll go to the opinion page.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Iraqi General: Newsweek Translation Wrong

Former Iraqi General Georges Sada, author of "Saddam's Lies" (which is a great read, by the way), claims that Newsweek's translation of Saddam's tapes is simply wrong. Specifically, Newsweek reported that Saddam claims to have said he had no WMDs in Iraq.

Why would Newsweek publish an erroneous story? Sada believes they used unqualified translators who confused Arab dialects. Others believe Newsweek may have a vested interest in perpetuating the story that Iraq had no WMD.

General Sada also says that chemical or biological weapons were flown to Syria in 56 flights, but was unable to confirm it.

I have no doubt that, as the documents and tapes get out, people will understand clearly that Bush was right about everything from WMDs to the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection and Iraq's overt state-sponsored support of terrorism. (See today's ABC News piece that speaks of Iraq-Bin Laden ties, among other interesting tidbits.)

"Image" Problem for the EU

Dan Mitchell at the Market Center Blog points out that, while the EU is largely suffering from economic stagflation, it is more concerned about its image than about fixing what ails it.

Several EU member states have questioned the ambitious economic goals the Austrian presidency has included in this week's summit conclusions, arguing it is damaging to the EU's image when targets are not met.

That's a great strategy, Europe.

Our Fallen Soldiers has an interesting analysis of US military deaths under the last four US presidents, during their first term in office. Here's what he comes up with:

George W. Bush . . . . . 5187 (2001-2004)
Bill Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4302 (1993-1996)
George H.W. Bush . . . . 6223 (1989-1992)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . 9163 (1981-1984)

Carter lost more military people in 1980 than GW has lost in any one year.

I believe all of these military deaths should be honored, and I hope they are. At the same time, I sense that the MSM, in counting the number of deaths on a daily basis in Iraq, is not trying to honor our fallen best.

Christians Freed in Iraq - Ungrateful Activist Blames Bush

Today, three kidnapped Christians were rescued from terrorists by a US-led raiding campaign. This follows the recent murder of kidnapped American Tom Fox, from the same group. The four Christians were in Iraq as part of a group called Christian Peacemaker Teams. Most in the world are very grateful for the release of these innocent people.

However, the head of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Doug Pritchard, has a different take on the situation, saying,

"the US led invasion of Iraq is to blame for the kidnapping."

Some might consider this ungrateful, especially since US forces actually freed the captives. Anyway, if you look at this group's website, it all makes sense. Upon further analysis of this group, it looks like this group of peacemakers are actually left-wing activists, and tend to support many anti-American causes. In the past, the group has supported illegal Mexican immigration into the US, as well as opposing the US's use of Vieques as a defense training ground in Puerto Rico, while the US continues to protect the island. They've also protested against US soliders at Fort Benning.

The group also takes a stand against house raids in Iraq, the same kind which helped free their terrorized members. Maybe next time, we should leave it to the Christian Peacemaker Teams to free their own activists.

If you have a message for this group of activists, or their ungrateful leader, you can send a message to them at:

South Park and Scientology

How does South Park respond when pressured to do the politically correct thing? When Scientology reps called asking not to air the show which depicted the "religion" as a cult, South Park made an episode out of it - I wish I had seen it. Ankle Biting Pundits has more.

Apparently you can view the episode online at

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Belarus Protests for Democracy

It seems that the citizens of Belarus have seen enough democracies blossom over the past two years and now they want one of their own. Publius Pundit has more on the protests.

Again...what wrath has George Bush brought?

Soldier Deaths in Perspective

LGF has a great post that keeps the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq in perspective. The point is not to lessen the tragedy of their deaths, but simply to point out that tragedies and deaths occur even when no battle is raging. It's worth a read.

What the World Might Look Like Without US Involvement

In a word - Sudan. 200,000 civilians have died in the civil war, or genocide, and there's a huge refugee problem. Mostly muslims killing muslims. Kofi Annan has asked the US to send soldiers, although the man obviously has a lot of nerve, after his anti-US stance on about everything he says and does.

I'm in favor of helping countries in need of help, if we're in a position to help. However, the US was criticized for trying to help feed the famined in Somalia 13 years ago, when the rest of the world put its collective head in the sand. Again, I'd be in favor of helping, but where is the rest of the world? All of Africa was once a European colony, and the Europeans still have much more influence on the continent than the US. In addition, where are Sudan's African neighbors or their fellow muslims in the Middle East?

Which leads me to my conclusion. Europe is either unwilling or unable to help. The same thing with Africa and the Middle East. Which is why Kofi is knocking on the US's door again, although I'm sure he'll be first in line to criticize if something doesn't go perfectly. It's time for the UN to show what it can do. After all, if they cannot help out during a humanitarian disaster, then what good are they?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Protectionist Dream; Free Market Nightmare

One of the risks of the Dubai/ports deal might well play out very soon in the U.S. economy. Recently another Dubai acquisition has drawn scrutiny from the U.S. Congress - this time a Dubai private equity firm's purchase of Doncasters, a British aerospace manufacturer that provides parts to U.S. aircraft.

Even if there were legitimate security questions regarding the ports deal, protectionist members of Congress (and friends of labor unions) now have a perfect (and maybe even popular) excuse to turn down very standard acqusitions in the name of national security. While the headlines are true that Doncasters provides critical engine components to both commercial and military aircraft, the same can be said of thousands of other foreign companies.

I hope that Congress and the media will be responsible in separating national security interests from protectionist rhetoric in future business deals. Otherwise there might be a retrenchment from global capitalism, which is not good for Americans or the rest of the world.

Helen Thomas - At Her Worst

Helen Thomas (aka Madeleine Albright's less appealing look-alike, if that's possible) was finally given a chance to ask President Bush a question today. Now we know why the President doesn't bother calling on her. As Drudge reports, Thomas was at her most idiotic:

...why did you really want to go to war? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

Bush was too nice - all he had to do was say, "Just read the resolution that Congress passed - they spelled it out very clearly...and you're right, oil wasn't mentioned." Then Thomas asserted,

They [Iraq] didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

Again, Bush could have simply pointed her to the Congressional resolution. Hopefully she got her fill of ignorant questions because I'd rather see just about anyone in a press conference than her mug.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Libby's Defense Plays Hardball

Although most people outside the Beltway don't care much about the Scooter Libby investigation (the "Valerie Plame leak" case), Byron York explains that Libby's defense is going to play hardball with prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald - and have a very good chance of winning.

In essence, Libby is seeking significant details about the "leak," the reasons for the leak, the background of the decision to send Joseph Wilson to Niger and other interesting tidbits. While Libby's defense is building its case for his defense, I believe the result of the information, if the judge determines that the prosecution must share it, would be very interesting. The information could shed light on much of the anti-Bush infighting within both the CIA and State Department and call out Wilson for what he was - a political hack who was sent to embarrass the President.

And based on what I have read so far, I think the judge will agree with Libby's defense team and force Fitzgerald to hand over lots of information that could prove embarrassing to the anti-war, anti-Bush forces. (Not that the media will give it much attention.) Should be interesting.

Afghan Man Faces Death For Conversion

An Afghan man who allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity is being prosecuted and may be sentenced to death.

It's hard to believe that after liberating Afghanistan from the Taliban and bringing democracy to the nation that we can't help "persuade" the country to allow for basic and essential freedoms.

Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which states that any Muslim who rejects their religion should be sentenced to death.

"We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law," the judge said. "It is an attack on Islam. ... The prosecutor is asking for the death penalty."

Ah, Islam: the true religion of peace.

Change of Heart Over Crusades?

Under Pope John Paul II, the Catholic Church went out of its way to try to create a politically correct atmosphere with Muslims by asking for "pardon" for the Crusades. According to LGF, that attitude is being re-examined under Pope Benedict XVI.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Perception Still Key for Democrats

We're about 6 months from the 2006 mid-term elections, and there's still only one thing that I know Democrats stand for: being perceived as thinking in line with our military and other government leaders.

Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times obtained a Democratic Senate memo that encourages Dems to stage press events with anyone in the military or government that are willing to bash Bush in some way - either in Iraq, on Katrina or on wiretapping.

"Ensure that you have the proper U.S. and state flags at the event, and consider finding someone to sing the national anthem and lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the event," the battle plan states.

Hey, it's a strategy, even though I don't think anyone will believe them.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Massive Protests in France

Protests against new labor laws that would make France's labor force more flexible turned violent today, resulting in violence and the gratuitous torching of cars.

Perhaps we should send in the UN to help.

More Hypocrisy Out of Europe

After the death of Milosevic and the recent suicide of Milan Babic, both in European prisons, one has to wonder what Europeans are doing to their inmates. It's about time the world knew. First, how do we know that these deaths are suicides? Maybe there was torture involved. Either physical or some crazy definition of psychological. Maybe Europeans just routinely kill their prisoners. What's needed is a full investigation.

Of course, I'm being a little saracastic. But there still hasn't been ONE death of any inmate at Guantanamo, and look at all the hysteria built up by the sensitive Euros.

As Victor David Hansen points out, this obviously is not the first incidence of Euro hypocrisy. Euros criticize the lengthy circus-like trial of Saddam, yet Milsovic, after four years of trials, still had no verdict. He died an innocent man in jail, probably poisoned. Any outrage from Euroland?

I also seem to remember Chirac saying recently that it was France's right to nuke any terrorist. Now if GW had said anything remotely close to this, what would have been the Euro-response?

I don't really care and I'm not alone. After all, who cares what they think? - it's only Europe. The average American is quickly losing respect for Europe for all the obvious reasons. Meanwhile, others in the world, whether Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or Muslim terrorist, never had any respect for Europe and if they have any feeling for them at all, it's one of contempt. Unfortunately, I don't see this changing, as long Europeans do not realize who their real friends are.

In the meantime, I'll patiently wait for the one-sided documentary which fully investigates the potential "unilateral terror and murder" which is occurring in European prisons.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Uncovered Documents Suggest Iraq-Al Qaeda Link

Now that Iraqi documents are finally being translated, we're learning a lot of interesting things about the war on terror. As ABC News indicates, one document, dated Sept 15th, 2001, talks about the Taliban's relationship with Iraq, while another talks about Bin Laden's group meeting with Iraqis. Others dated 2002 talk about Al Qaeda in Iraq. Other documents suggest a possibility of Iraqi intelligence bribing French government officials.

However, ABC News, in their quest to be impartial, warn us about the translations. They say just because we know that Al Qaeda spoke with Iraqi agents and had a relationship with them, does not prove collusion, and does not prove collusion specifically for the 911 massacre. I guess they're right, but then again, there's no actual evidence that Bin Laden was behind 911 either. I mean, were his fingerprints found at the scene of the crime?

Thanks for that ABC. Unfortunately, unless someone uncovers a photo of Bin Laden and Hussein, together, high fiving, in one of the 911 airplanes (as it strikes the twin towers,) there will never be any enough evidence to prove a connection between the two, at least in MSM's minds.

Democrat Caught in Dirty Tricks

Lauren Weiner, a Democratic operative working for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, plead guilty to illegally obtaining Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele's (Maryland's current lieutenant governor) credit report.

Weiner stole Steele's social security number to fraudulently obtain his credit report. She struck a plea deal and will likely be spared any prison time or major fines. Gotta love those Democrats' dirty political campaign tricks.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

From The American Thinker:

According to The History of the Irish Race by Seamus MacManus, the following is the sacred prayer or hymn chanted by Patrick and his missionaries as they were marched to Tara to face the pagan king there. He wrote it, the first such work in Gaelic.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of the wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of earth…
God’s power guide me,
God’s wisdom teach me,
God’s eye to watch over me,
God’s hand to guide me,
God’s shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me…
Against everyone who
Meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether the few or the many.

Compassionate Conservatism and Spending

Peggy Noonan has a very justified criticism of President Bush and runaway spending. Bush is in an unenviable position these days. Conservatives are criticizing as he's spent like a Democrat. And Democrats criticize because while they agree with the spending, they would prefer to do it themselves.

The solution, in my opinion, is Bush needs to listen to his base of voters. He's spent too much time extending olive branches and moving to the center. Time to listen to the people who voted him in.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Filibusters Continue

Bob Novak writes that the Democratic filibuster strategy on conservative judges continues unabated. Only this time, the Senate Republicans don't seem to care much.

If they can't cut spending, extend the tax cuts, drill in ANWR, reform Social Security, or control illegal immigration, you would think they could at least get in their judicial nominations.

Katherine Harris to Stay in Senate Race

Katherine Harris, who appeared on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" last night, said that she will remain in Florida's U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. She further pledged her own $10 million inheritance to her campaign.

So far Harris has had nothing go right for her. She is scorned in the MSM and she gets very little help from either the Florida or national GOP (including the Bush administration), but she still won't let that deter her. And she is as solid a conservative as one can get.

I like her and I'll be pulling for her come November.

Don't Copy Our Model, say Nordic Economists

Many in the EU, and in the US, for that matter, believe that the best economic model to follow is that of the Nordic countries. The Nordics, as the whole world realizes, combines capitalism and innovation, with generous social policy, and they get the best of both worlds. Right?

Not quite. As these Nordic economists point out, socialism has almost killed the prosperity in Scandinavia. Sweden, during the period of 1890-1950, when taxes were low, was one of the fastest growing countries in the world, when their tax burden was 10-20%. Fast forward to 1980 and socialism, and the system was decaying under the heavy burden of higher taxes (50% of gdp).

To illustrate, Denmark and Sweden were 3rd and 4th ranked, worldwide, in terms of GDP/capita in 1970. But now they're 7th and 13th. But it's only been recently, that through cutting taxes and privatizations in the 90's, that these countries have regained some of their economic vitality. Ditto for Finland and Iceland.

Countries might want to think again before they adopt the socialist Nordic model as their own.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Romney Looking for Church Exemption

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is drafting a bill for an exemption to Catholic Charities that would allow the organization to continue to uphold its practices of placing children with parents that consist of one father and one mother. (Crazy thought.) Of the 720 children Catholic Charities has placed over the past 20 years, only 13 have been placed with gay couples as a last resort.

My question is this: since abortion is legal in the state, will Massachusetts begin forcing Catholic-run hospitals to peform them too?

French Students Shoot Themselves

French students are protesting the new law which will allow companies to fire workers under age 26 if they've been working for the company for less than 2 yrs. Under existing legislation, it's very costly and difficult to do so.

As Caroline Baum indicates,

that companies might actually hire a few more folks if they had greater flexibility -- seems to have gone right over the young tetes des eleves

So they're protesting job security, before they can actually find a job itself. The unemployment rate for French under 25 is at depression era levels, at 22%, and it's because no global company, in their right mind, would ever invest in this sort of inflexible environment. Jobs are moving to eastern Europe every day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We Were Right to Invade Iraq, says Guardian

Say it ain't so, but Oliver Kamm of the Guardian is making the point. He does point out the obvious - that the millions of refugees disaster scenario never occurred. Nor did George Galloway's prediction that Saddam would be the last man standing in the bunker. He also indicates that WMDs weren't found. All in all though, he concludes his reasoning that hey - eventually we would have had to confront Saddam. Everyone knows it, and better to do it now, at a time of our choosing, than later.

The jury's out as to where Iraq will end up in 10, 20, or 50 years. Eisenhower said the same thing about Germany - that the truth would be found in 50 years time, and if Germany were a thriving democracy in that time, then we will have known that we've succeeded. (paraphrased)

The press is always going to write about the last greatest and most spectacular event, and guess what, it's usually going to be negative. So while the press will do their daily critiques, what is really needed is a long term view - much like the ones taken with Germany and Japan.

"Moderates" Again Hijack Spending Cuts

If you want to know why Congress can't cut spending, simply look to those GOP jellyfish. As Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) explains:

"For the great majority in my conference, they'd like to do some aggressive things on spending," he said. "But we need 51 votes. You might have 48 votes, but that's not 51, and it's as simple as that."

Captain's Quarters explains the mess the "moderates" are making:

In other words, we can thank the same "moderates" who helped bring us the Gang of 14 for this exercise in federal growth, as well as a few others. For instance, Arlen Specter apparently has been reading a little too much of Tom DeLay's press releases. He told the press that Congress is now "beyond cutting the fat and beyond the bone. We're down to the marrow." Specter wants to introduce more expansion in health care, education, and worker safety (by "billions of dollars above the president's request") along with the higher spending on security issues.

Milton Friedman penned a WSJ editorial a year or two ago where he mentioned that there is a publicly acceptable level of budget deficit. I'm convinced that the only way to reduce spending is to actually increase the budget deficit from today's very acceptable levels (approx. 2.6% of GDP) to somewhere around 3.5%-4.0% of GDP. Only then will Congress get serious about reducing spending.

Another Easy Way to Slash the Budget

The House of Representatives has another great, little known perk for its members. They are allowed to lease luxury vehicles at the expense of taxpayers.

While some Congressmen do not take any public funding for cars and others like Sue Myrick (R-NC) drive efficient cars like Honda Accords at $215/month, others take full advantage of living on the public dime.

Michael Ross (D-AK) leases a Ford Expedition at $1,248/month while Charles Rangel (D-NY) enjoys his Cadillac DeVille at $1,000/month and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) has his Lexus at $1,068/month.

If Congress really cares about the budget deficit, they can start with this perk. With the generous salaries, health care programs, individual retirement plans and other perks, I think Congress would be ok without greasing taxpayers for luxury cars.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Tapes Reveal Saddam's WMD Plans

Bill Tierney's tapes on Saddam, which clearly show the dictator's WMD plans in his own words, are still largely ignored in the media, despite this column by Rowan Scarborough in the Washington Times. Let's hope that all the tapes and documents get translated and released as quickly as possible. Maybe then the MSM will give it some airtime (hey, we can hope).

Carter: Isreali "Colonization of Palestine" Precludes Peace

Jimmy Carter says that the "pre-eminent obstacle to peace is Israel's colonization of Palestine."

At least Carter's stock is rising in the world of terrorists, if no one else respects him...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Another Leaked "Sensitive Security" Document

It seems that any time a sensitive security study might damage President Bush and Republicans and help Democrats, it is leaked to the press.

The AP's latest article about lapses at U.S. ports, including specific examples of lapses, could be used as a "how to" supplement for terrorists. More importantly, Democrats will use the report to publicly make their case that their party should be trusted to handle our national security. The next step will be to have CNN run push polls specifically on port security and which party is better equipped to handle it.

This morning I heard from several Democrats on the Sunday news programs talk about how it's been almost five years since 9/11 and not all port security issues have been addressed. This statement is absurd. While there likely are a few things we could do to make security better, I could list thousands of ways a terrorist could hurt the U.S. if they wanted to do so (Amtrak security, highway security, shopping mall security,...). Will bringing the U.S. economy to a halt by hand inspecting every cargo container actually make us safer? Of course not, but it is a great thing to demagogue.

There are gaps that will always exist in a free society and "ports security" is far from the most important - it is simply the latest example where Democrats truly believe they can capitalize politically. And I have no doubt the MSM will try to help them any way they can - this latest release is just the latest example.

Former NFL Player Joins Marines

Jeremy Staat, a fomer roommate of Pat Tillman's at Arizona State University, just finished boot camp to join the U.S. marines.

Staat said he was felt compelled to join the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but Tillman, who was his roommate at Arizona State, advised him to stay with professional football until he qualified for retirement benefits.

It's good to see that despite the media and some Congressmen decrying the war as folly, people still think it's the right thing to do.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Saddam-9/11 Connection

Scott Malensek at Accuracy in Media has a must-read piece on the connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, described by numerous MSM sources, including The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, and ABC News.

The Guardian reported, "Saddam Hussein's regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to U.S. intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials. The key meeting took place in the Afghan mountains near Khandahar in late December. The Iraqi delegation was led by Farouk Hijazi, Baghdad's ambassador in Turkey and one of Saddam's most powerful secret policemen, who is thought to have offered Bin Laden asylum in Iraq."

Hijazi was reported to have traveled through five American aircraft carrier battle groups, thousands of American aircraft, through Pakistan, and into the winter mountains of Khandahar, Afghanistan on December 21, 1998, and he was described by the Italian newspaper, The Corriere della Sera, as "…the person who has been responsible for nurturing Iraq's ties with the fundamentalist warriors since 1994."

And then you have this (and I recall excerpts like this appearing every day in the Iraqi newspapers):

In February 1999, An Arab intelligence officer who knew Saddam Hussein personally predicted in Newsweek: "Very soon you will be witnessing large-scale terrorist activity run by the Iraqis."

At the same time, Saddam himself—long described as too secular to work with Islamic radicals—called for Islamic Militants to fight on his behalf: "Oh sons of Arabs and the Arab Gulf, rebel against the foreigner...Take revenge for your dignity, holy places, security, interests and exalted values."

The MSM must have forgotten about their own statements.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Victory for Racial Profiling

Congress won't admit it, but they just overwhelmingly legitimized racial profiling by strongly opposing the UAE/ports deal. Otherwise, if it's just foreign "control" of U.S. ports they oppose, one wonders whether the Saudi, Danish, Singaporean, Hong Kong, or Chinese companies will have to divest their respective operations as well.

All in all, I'm sick of this story and glad it's dead. Plus, now that racial profiling is admittedly OK for security purposes, we can just tell the ACLU to take a seat and keep quiet when we scrutinize 20 year-old Muhammed at the airport a little more closely than granny.

The Religion of Peace Not Viewed Positively

According to a new poll, Americans have an all-time low view of Islam.

The poll found that nearly half of Americans — 46 percent — have a negative view of Islam, 7 percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks...

It looks like Muslims have some work to do to convince the U.S. that it's not a violent religion. It's too bad, but the onus is on them to convince Americans otherwise.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Let Their Middle East Friends Support Them

Our return on investment from Palestine is very very low. John Hawkins lays out the argument that perhaps we should just allow someone else to take care of them for a while.

Senate Drops Tax Cuts, Spending Cuts

The GOP jellyfish in the Senate have acquiesced again - not to push for spending cuts or the extension of Bush's income, capital gains and dividend tax cuts.

This means that we will be going into 2007 with major uncertainty as to whether tax rates increase dramatically the following year. I don't think the markets are going to like that very much, particularly if Democrats can manage to win either the House or the Senate in the fall.

The GOP has disappointed conservatives again.

Iran: Deja vu

Iran is again talking about the potential for violence against the U.S.

"The United States may have the power to cause harm and pain but it is also susceptible to harm and pain," it said in a statement obtained by Reuters on the sidelines of the IAEA board meeting in Vienna. "So if the United States wishes to choose that path, let the ball roll."

This is exactly the way Iraq used to talk about hurting the U.S. throughout the 1990s and before the Iraq War - advising its citizens to attack the U.S. around the globe wherever they could. Like Iraq, Iran sponsors and supports several terrorist groups, so I believe it when the mullahs say the will cause "harm and pain."

The only question now is what President Bush should do. From a liberal's standpoint, it's easy. You wait until the future and then criticize his decision. If Iran sponsors a terrorist attack against us, then Bush should have acted against Iran; if Bush acts against Iran, then it was just an innocent country that was contained, just like Saddam.

A year ago I wrote about why I thought an attack on Iran is imminent. I still believe it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Repercussions of Closing Gitmo

Kofi Annan and his Democratic ACLU friends don't mention what would happen to the prisoners if the U.S. ever closed Guantanamo Bay's terrorist detention center and the U.S. sent the prisoners home.

But many of the prisoners are fearful that they will be sent home. That's right - they admit that they much prefer Gitmo to returning to their own countries. (Jimmy Carter, where are you?)

The Successful Clinton Cover-up

In case you missed it, the 10-year investigation into Clinton's disgraced HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros, was released in January. Unfortunately, the most interesting 120 pages were redacted, thanks to FOBs in the Senate.

Mark Goodman, a self-described liberal Democrat, has some interesting color on his personal experience involving a quashed IRS investigation during the Clinton years.

Harvard, the Bastion of Tolerance

After forcing Lawrence Summers out for his "insensitive" remarks, Harvard University is again showing its great diversity. Pro-abortion advocates have been tearing down pro-life posters around campus. Although the actions are likely organized by individual students, this again shows how accepting that great university is of opposing viewpoints.

IAEA Still Optimistic on Iran Deal

Rose-colored glasses anyone? The IAEA thinks that a nuclear deal for Iran could be just "days away" and then we can eliminate the need for UN Security Council action.

Sure. And based on the IAEA's track record, I'm sure we would all have complete confidence in such a deal.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Cutting-Edge Boston Globe

James Carroll of the Boston Globe is only about a week late with his story. This morning, Carroll writes about Bush and the "secret" videotape about how the President had been warned of a breach of the New Orleans levees.

Apparently the Globe didn't get the memo that this story had already been debunked last week by the AP itself. Yes sir, the Globe seems to be fitting in very nicely with its NY Times family.

Hillary and Bill and FOBs

Was Bill Clinton registered as an Agent of a Foreign Principal? That is what Dept. of Justice lawyers are trying to determine, since federal statute requires anyone doing political or public affairs work to be registered as such.

What does seem clear is that Hillary knew perfectly well that Bill and Friends of Bill were advising Dubai on the ports deal:

"There were enough people in the Clintons' orbit who were potentially going to be part of the deal," says an employee of a firm that does work for both Clintons. "We were pursuing work on the ports deal, and we cleared our participation with Clinton's office. We didn't want there to be a conflict."

In fact, at least two senior outside advisers to Senator Clinton were attempting to get business out of the Port Deal, and President Clinton was the go-between. Associates with the Glover Park Group, which houses just about the entire shadow staff for Hillary's run-up to a Democratic presidential bid, were attempting to get a slice of the DPW deal before the deal was made public about three weeks ago. According to current and former President Clinton staff, Hillary Clinton's Senate office was aware that Glover Park was in the running to do work on the DPW deal.

Hillary lying about her lack of knowledge for political opportunism? Say it ain't so!!

My Oscar Award Post

Apparently the Academy Awards were on last night.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Ports Disaster

OK, I now admit it - the Dubai/U.S. ports deal is now a disaster for the Bush Administration and will push him to lame duck status very soon. I hate to be so pessimistic, but based on comments and positions from well-respected conservatives who are now opposing Bush on various issues, particularly the ports deal, the GOP coalition in Congress seems to be lost.

While I continue to believe the story is much more bark than bite (and quite easy to demagogue), the repercussions will likely be far greater:

1) Democrats were given a gift on "national security," by allowing them to appear tough on port security and immigration. (This, despite the fact that they would rather try terrorists in a court of law than kill them on the battlefield and still think Saddam posed no threat to the U.S. And does anyone really think they would have a better policy on immigration?)

2) Democrats now have a chance to take over Congress in 2006 elections. (I don't think it will happen, but before this issue, there was exactly zero chance it would happen.)

3) The tax cuts will unlikely garner enough votes from the GOP to be extended, at least until it becomes an issue in the 2008 elections. Be prepared for the uncertainty of higher tax rates.

4) No reduction in government spending. Neither Republicans nor Democrats will be willing to give up any pet projects now; pork projects will define elections (rather than national issues) for most Congressional races.

With Tom DeLay gone, Bush will have a very tough time holding the GOP together. And his handling of the ports deal has only added to his difficulty. (Where is communications "expert" Karen Hughes?)

Prisoner: Gitmo is "Paradise"

In its report last week, the UN decided (without visiting the prisoner or talking to guards) that it was a torture camp and should be closed. Unfortunately, the corrupt body obviously has not spoken to former Gitmo prisoner Abdul Hakim Bukhary, who had the following to say:

"Prisoners here are in paradise," he exclaimed. "American people are very good. Really. They give us three meals. Fruit juice and everything!"

"I like to talk because I found that nobody bothers me. Nobody beats me. Nobody hits me," he said, adding: "About democracy. It is really good."

Now we're even brainwashing the prisoners!

07 Iraq Troop Withdrawals: I'm Skeptical

The Daily Telegraph claims to have the inside information on US and British troop withdrawals. I'm skeptical. Sure, a British defense official, who is the likely source of the story, might want to believe he knows the truth, but I'm pretty sure that George Bush has not changed his mind of what he's said all along: that we will withdraw when US troops are no longer needed.

So take this story with a bag of salt.

Joint Chief Chairman Peter Pace said that the story is "not true."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

America's Savings - Is Anyone Saving?

By now, everyone is familiar with the doomsday reports of the American consumer. Economists have been predicting the demise of the American consumer forever. I thought it was just a recent pheonomenon, but then I spoke with a 65 year old in my office and he said that he remembers similar reports about Americans in the 50's and 60's.

The doom scenario goes like this: Americans had a savings rate of 10% from 1974-1984. Then it went to 4% by 1994. Now this year, it has even turned negative - -.7%. Most economists sight these statistics when talking about how overspent the American consumer is, and that's why the economy is on the verge of a collapse. So how come these so-called experts are always wrong?

Well, an alternate viewpoint is that Americans do save, but in recent years, more and more Americans are buying equities and property, and capital gains do not show up in the savings rates. William Nordhaus, a Yale econ professor has stated that if assets were included then the savings rate would be close to 25%, hardly problematic.

The bottom two quintiles of Americans do have a savings rate of 7%, or roughly equal to thrifty nations like Japan or Germany(where cap gains do show up in the stats). The problem in the US is the top quintile which has a -2% savings rate, but again, the top quintile of Americans is awash in property and equity which is not included in the official statistics. Roger Cass is one optimist who has considered this and has been bullish on the American consumer.

I'm not about to make any prediction about the US economy. No one ever gets this right anyway. I do think however, that the savings rates calculations, if we're going to use them, need to be all-conclusive, or they're just not that valuable. It's very possible that the US consumer might be in better shape than many give him credit for.

Bush in Pakistan

Bush tries out cricket in Pakistan (I wonder if Al Gore would try this...) Hmm - it seems that Bush has had some major diplomatic successes in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

I'm sure he won't get any credit for his diplomacy, as some people still prefer to think he's a "unilateralist," but he continues to build relationships with once-ignored countries in South Asia.

Casey: Iraqi Sectarian Violence Exagerrated

Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that the news coverage of sectarian violence in Iraq over the past two weeks were "exagerrated." (Seems hard to believe that the MSM would actually exagerrate negative news in Iraq, doesn't it?)

Gen. Casey said that in a reported 30 attacks on mosques, only two were severely damaged. Of eight mosques that were reported damaged, inspections showed only one had damage -- a broken window.

Casey also said that suicide bombings in Iraq have actually been declining:

Despite the sectarian violence, the number of suicide bombers in Iraqi in February stood at 17, about half the total in January. Last summer, there were about 60 per month. Suicide-bomber attacks are the main tactic of al Qaeda in Iraq, the foreign infiltrators whose numbers have declined in the face of tighter border-control measures.

Darn - Democrats and the media thought they had themselves a full-fledged civil war - big disappointment...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Carter vs. the U.S. (Again)

When the NY Times editorial board declares, "When it comes to reforming the disgraceful United Nations Human Rights Commission, America’s ambassador, Jon Bolton, is right,” you know that there are problems with the UNHRC.

Still, that does not deter the one and only Jimmy Carter from siding with those bastions of human rights - Cuba, Pakistan, Syria, Zimbabwe, etc. over the stance of the U.S.

WMD Story, Continued

There have been several recent reports about Russia's and Syria's assistance in moving Iraq's WMDs prior to the Iraq War, which is what many people have speculated since the Iraq War. Here is a good overview of the story at (Hat tip to Transterrestrial Musings for the link.) What bothers me most is that some elements in the CIA dismissed outright any evidence of Russian involvement as "Russophobia," stating that "the Cold War is over." Porter Goss is right - there is a significant battle going on within the Agency.

You would think that, with the thousands of MSM stories gushing about Iraq's innocence in the WMD arena, that we would have at least one story about the recent relevations regarding the Russian/Syrian alliance with Iraq in the WMD disposal. But then again, it's a bit like the Joe Wilson story - report on the story continually for weeks and months and then when the Senate Intelligence Committee determines that Wilson's story was a total fabrication - just ignore it.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

69% Oppose Ports Deal, but Meaningless

Even though a FoxNews poll shows that a wide majority of Americans oppose the Ports deal and it is obviously unpopular politically, these figures are both unsurprising and meaningless.

The main reason the poll is both unsurprising and meaningless is that if you asked any American the question, "Would you want your company to be acquired by a foreign (nevermind Arab) firm?," the poll results would likely be very similar. In other words, not many people voluntarily like it when foreign firms buy American firms (even though in this case, it's a British firm being bought).

Secondly, Americans are rightly concerned about security, and like it or not - we do have a skepticism about Arabs when it comes to security. Maybe it's all those stereotypes such as Alibaba and the Forty Thieves, maybe it's the reality that not many Arab countries have been particularly helpful in our fight against terrorism (even though some are obviously more helpful than others), or maybe it's just because we don't like "outsourcing our U.S. jobs" to foreign firms.

Whatever the case, we live in a capitalistic society, so we can't outlaw foreign ownership of U.S. assets, unless of course, there are security risks. In this case, those risks should be evaluated, but the deal should be judged on the merits - not on some poll that produces an obvious conclusion.

The Other, More Dangerous Port Company

What is it with Clinton Administration officials and the Chinese?

If Congress is really concerned about port security, they should look into Port Security International, a company with whom it has a close relationship to both Clintonista Sandy Berger and Hu Haifeng, son of Chinese president Hu Jintao.

Why isn't Hillary concerned about this company? (That is, apart from the fact that we already gave them all our nuclear secrets during the 90s?)

Contrasting Economies: Ireland vs. England

Apart from its Guinness, all countries can learn a thing or two about the change of fortunes in Ireland over the past two decades. When Congressmen (or others) question what happens when a country dramatically lowers taxes on individuals and corporations, you can point to Ireland.

While England is faltering, Ireland's citizens are now richer than their Limey brethren. Read the article here.

The results of this growing divergence between the two economies are entirely predictable: throughout recorded history Ireland has been poorer (often considerably so) than Great Britain; today incomes in Ireland are now 20% higher than Britain's, and growing twice as quickly...

The New Clinton Triangulation on Dubai

In Clintonian fashion, they have figured out a way to straddle all sides of the Dubai port issue: Hillary opposes while Bill supports. As Robert Novak explains, Bill was actually working behind the scenes to help his friends make money from lobbying in favor of the deal.

I have to admit - at least it's a better alternative than the standard Democratic action: support the deal, then oppose it.

The New "Big Story" for the MSM

The positive press President Bush is receiving in Afghanistan and India is not news to the media. Instead, they have elevated as top news the "secret videotape" story whereby officials supposedly briefed Bush prior to Hurricane Katrina that the levees could be breached in the storm. (I say supposedly because the clip that CNN has run non-stop for the past 12 hours never even mentions it - nor has any station shown anything other than a weatherman briefing Bush.)

Anyway, this "smoking gun" story about "Bush's failure" to stop or deal with Katrina appropriately should keep the MSM busy for the next week. Someone wake me up if real news occurs...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Positive on Bush

Negative views towards Bush? Try telling that to India, where a majority of the population have a positive view of the United States and President Bush's handling of world affairs.

Or try telling that to Hamid Karzai, whom President Bush visited in Afghanistan today before he heads to India. You might not notice it from US media, but lots of people in the world still admire President Bush.

AFL-CIO / NEA Partnership

The National Education Association cares oh so much for our nation's children. The 2.8 million member Leftwing organization made a deal with the AFL-CIO which allows teachers to join the even-larger labor union.

Reg Weaver, head of the NEA, said, "the arrangement won't affect the union's national stance on education but could affect local affiliates' efforts at education reform." Oh well - the kids probably don't deserve it anyway...