Mark A. Kilmer's Political Annotation…

…is at www.rightsided.org. We've still some heavy lifting, but...




Good morning!

  • 'T was the morning before Christmas Eve, and Democrat Christine Gregoire was leading Republican Dino Rossi by 10 votes in the Washington State gubernatorial recount. Okay, this is not done yet. There are still 735 previously rejected absentee votes from Democrat-leaning King County, hundreds of rejected Republican votes from around the State that the GOP will be pushing, and/or the Republicans might take the results to court or to the legislature.

    But Washington will emerge with a governor, even if I have to do it myself. (I suppose I could move there, or perhaps govern from here.)

  • New-look Senate Intelligence Committee, still fronted by Pat Roberts (R-Kansas). Two of the members will be voted from the committee – it will be two members smaller – and each remaining members will get to pick a new staffer. The new staffers were to handle appropriations, but intelligence appropriations were moved to an intelligence appropriations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. The new staffers are going to be unelected Senate staff with access to classified meetings, reports, and databases. This will solve what I will called the "JF Kerry problem," in that with the news staffers with access, the individuals Senators will not have to bother to show up for Intelligence Committee meetings.

  • Blogging will be very light on this Blogspot blog as we await transfer to the new Wordpress version set up over yonder. Someone has to point DNS name servers, or some such, and we'll see how that goes. www.rightsided.org will soon not point to this version of the blog, perhaps taking you to an error message for a while until the stuff is properly aligned.

    You can still reach this page for any interim blogging by visiting http://rightsided.blogspot.com.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • 12/22/2004


    The End is Near

    The end of this Blogger blog as it now looks and feels is at hand, though 't will be reborn anew at the same address. I have to import a bunch of stuff, add a few links, etc., so I shall do that now. I also have to get the new site hooked up to this URL. I might be gone a day, I might be gone for the weekend.

    Either way, you can access this version always at rightsided.blogspot.com, and I'll keep doing at least the PRE-FACE here every morning until the new look is reachable.

    Just in case, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. (For those of you who practice other faiths, or even no faith at all, I hope the holiday I celebrate is a great Saturday for you.)

    I'll see you soon. The URL for the new blog will be the same as this one: www.rightsided.org.

    Oh, and please bear with me!

    Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers

    Their press conference seemed mainly to address what now looks a lot like a suicide bomber with stuff strapped to his belly at lunchtime in Mosul, but the press "demanded to know." His reaction to the accusations is news, so no one can be faulted.

    Reuters (linked) seems to believe he looked "subdued." I think he looked saddened and busy, which are what one would think he would be.

    What could have been done to prevent this bombing? Probably nothing, but let's ask Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton anyway.


    To Turn One's Back

    Those in either denial or refusal over the results of last month's Presidential election are planning to turn their back on the President as his inauguration goes passed.

    I mentioned this briefly on November 28, noting: "It is not likely, after the ferocity we've seen from the ABB crowd this year, that it will be limited to that. Or hollering. Or public urination. Or…"

    Well, Nathan Feitzer at GOP Insight.com posts a letter he's sent to the organizers of this back-turning sub-protesters who "simply can't accept the truth" about the greatness of Bush's Presidency. He then lists accomplishments, and the list is long.

    And here we had be taught that deNial was an Egyptian river. It looks like it will be on the parade route in DC, exposing its back.


    Washington Governor Gregoire?

    King County will announce its results today (Wednesday), but AP reported Tuesday night that Democrat Christine Gregoire had defeated Republican Dino Rossi by eight votes according to preliminary recount data.

    King County Democrats kept "finding ballots" somewhere, and they always seemed to push Gregoire ahead as need be.

    Hire Al Gore's attorneys to straighten it out. We already have judges deciding our laws, why not give them control of our elections? Yeah, the Washing Supreme Court is also scheduled to hear a case concerning 730 "discovered" ballots in King County which are evidently not part of the total.

    King County (Seattle) is a Democrat County, Gregoire seems to be a nice enough lady, and this one has been scribbled on the wall. Perhaps by thieves rather than by prophets.


    RSN site: new Stock column

    We've the new column by Barbara J. Stock, What is a Prophet?, is now live on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletters. In it, she looks at the startling prophesies, gleaned she said from the Virgin Mary.

    Read the column at the RSN site: HERE.


    PRE-FACE – Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    Good morning!

  • President Bush met with outgoing NAACP president Kweise Mfume for 40 minutes Wednesday to discuss the strained relations between the Administration and the interest group.

    Karl Rove also attended the meeting, and Mfume has been given his walking papers by group chairman Julian Bond.

  • Last night in post regarding Newsweek's citation of her on Dan-o's memos, I spoke of what I'd heard of Wonkette, though I'd never actually visited her blog. This is my first ever citation of Wonkette.

    She remarks that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan had been "honest with each other," and she excerpts his Tuesday press briefing, in part:
    Q. All right, sorry, I don't know what I'm talking about.

    MR. McCLELLAN: -- this week. That's okay, I don't either, so -- (Laughter.)
    By Jove, that is cutting edge stuff!

    Oh, we all have our moments. I'm done with that one for now.

  • For all my chatter regarding the move to Wordpress, Erick Erickson is already there!
    The Dark Lord, Mike Krempasky, has been on me about switching to Word Press. I finally bit the bullet and he did the work. He’s a political genius and a Word Press genius. Thanks Mike!
    I'll have to get with Mr. Krempasky about the sidebar, but judging from the feel of Eric's site, I'm even more psyched about this move.

  • The Administration has released a pair of reports ordered by Congress. These reports evidently find that it is difficult to ensure the safety of imported drugs.

    Surprise, surprise!

    In the article linked, the Washington Post criticizes the reports as proof the President is "in no hurry to liberalize rules governing the importation of cheaper drugs." Undermining the production of safe drugs seems to be one of the MSM goals.

  • 12/21/2004


    AFTER-WORD – Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    I'm still waiting on Omar to create my database, which is due by tomorrow night at 7p. (That's the end of the 24-48 he gave me.) I suspect I'll have to contact him with the digital Ouija. Once I get the database, I'll have to install. After that…

    Well, I've been able to blog surreptitiously with Wordpress. My brother had a mySQL database laying around, and he installed the software in his space. We've been having fun with that, and I can at least get started getting things together. A fellow blogger friend has given me the name of someone to contact who knows his Wordpress.

    When I get to the new digs, and it looks like next week 'til that happens, I'll write an obituary for my blogger days, but I will compose it entirely in anagrams.


    We's Misunderstood

    Betsy Newmark calls it:
    Bill at INDC and Jim Geraghty just rip Newsweek a new one for going to Wonkette for a quote about Rathergate. They show how the MSM just really doesn't get the blogosphere. Newsweek thinks that a Sex in the City-type blogger like Wonkette says and knows more about the political blogging phenomenon than serious bloggers who are doing analysis that runs rings around so much of the usual suspects in the MSM.
    This was to be expected. If Wonkette is what she's been described, the she's a sarcastic potty mouth who has captured some imaginations in the MSM. It's a nihilistic style, then, which they kinda dig, and it takes one nowhere.

    The pulse of the blogosphere cannot be detected in an intellectual bloodless corpse.



    The losers of last month's election will be having their counter-inaugural balls, and such, planned for the President's inauguration January 20.

    Organizer Shahid Buttar says that their theme will be: "Bush is corrupt and illegitimate."

    It's a shame I'll have to miss it. Maybe Michael Moore will shoot some vid and spice it up with lies and hyperbole.


    Teen Fashion Magazine Sold

    The Washington Post reports that it will purchase the online Teenybopper fashion magazine Slate from Microsoft.

    This could confuse the kiddies who were used to the slate.msm.com address, but Microsoft promised that they would keep pushing the Slate content on the MSN home page.


    MAKPA Quote of the Hour

    This quote is from a representative of the anti-Bush crowd, made last August:
    ''If I ever have a gun, I will shoot him between the eyes.''
    That was a young woman named Catherine M. Guertin, who plead guilty Monday to two counts of threatening the President of the United States.

    Ms. Guertin also said of the President: "I want him gone." Although no background was given for her statements, I doubt they were part of her doctoral thesis.


    RSN site: new Hagin column

    We have the new column by Doug Hagin, Merry Christmas, live at the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter. You can read it: HERE.


    Committee Assignments

    The Senate Republicans have released their committee assignments for the next term, and Redstate.org has them, first for the "A" Committees: Agriculture; Appropriations; Environment and Public Works; Finance; Foreign Relations; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Homeland Security and Government Affairs; and Intelligence.

    At least three of those committees – Agriculture; Environment and Public Works; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions – should be abolished as beyond Congressional purview.


    No Charlie Cook

    No Charlie Cook fix this week:

    Charlie Cook's "Off to the Races" will not publish on December 21 and December 28. It will return Tuesday, January 4, 2005.
    We will survive.


    Parents of Slain Marine Want to Read his Mail

    The parents of fallen Marine Lance Corporal Justin Ellsworth want to get a glimpse of his thoughts prior to his death in the Al Anbar province of Iraq last month, but Yahoo is stubbornly sticking to its uniform privacy policy and refusing to give his password.

    One would think that the next of kin of the deceased, who would inherit his other property, would also get his password. That's the "clinical" way of looking at the condundrum, but no matter, an exception could be made for a special circumstance. Corporal Ellsworth was killed by a roadside bomb. His parents are grieving at the loss of their son. They want to feel close to their son, and this is one way.

    What Yahoo has done is thoughtless. Perhaps they hadn't planned for such exigencies, but now would be a fine time for them to revise and refine their policy. And allow grieving military parents to grieve with memories.

    Yahoo has no children to lay down their lives for our country, as Yahoo is barren.


    PRE-FACE – Tuesday, December 21, 2004

  • Lisa Montogomery killed Bobbie Joe Stinnett, and the press is now saying that officials located her by tracking her IP address ( Earlier, she was caught because of an intrepid sheriff managing to secure an Amber Alert for an unborn child. Is the MSM manipulating the story so as to distract from the potential good to come from rights for the unborn? Or did the MSM get it wrong the first time?

  • Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and Senator-elect Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) are new additions to Arlen Specter's Judiciary Committee, replacing Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia). Neither those added nor those departing are Mod Squadders like Specter, but any panel becomes decidedly more pro-life with the addition of Brownback.

  • Representative John Conyers (D-Ohio Michigan), always something of a crank, is still demanding a recount in his States popular vote from last Month's Presidential election. This comes after a tech demonstrated a repair he had made to a voting machine on election day and assured officials that this did not affect the outcome of the election.

    Methinks Conyers' initial demand backed him into a corner from which he's afraid he cannot escape whilst saving a little face.

  • 12/20/2004


    AFTER-WORD – Monday, December 20, 2004

  • This may be shaping up to be another slow week, as Christmas nears and we anticipate the end of the year, but I'm afraid I have to agree with Joe Biden, who said: "I'm tired of talking about Rumsfeld." The press won't get their scapegoat on which to assign blame for a war that was wrong, for to receive that sacrifice would be an admission that our efforts in Iraq were a mistake. They are not.

  • These MSM-folks may have romanticized the reporters whom they believed help end the war in Vietnam. They want to be remembered with the same nostalgia, as heroes to their professional progeny, so they've latched onto a new anti-war movement. Its woefully misguided, but I'm afraid this is all they have.

  • Remember when we were told before the election that a clear majority of Americans surveyed thought the war was a mistake, the first time this had happened? It was a bad poll and the number was 51%, within the margin, but it was repeated incessantly that a majority of Americans opposed the war.

    Well, Washington Post reports, Monday, that their new poll marks "the first time since the war began that a clear majority of Americans have judged the war to have been a mistake." 56% But 58% think we should stay and get the job done.

    The election is over. Who cares? We should not be governed by these semi-scientific polls. (I use the term "semi-scientific," because the results vary by the phrasing of the questions, etc., and that can be any damn thing the pollster wants.)

  • I'm listening to George Gershwin; specifically, An American in Paris. Spend a half hour reading the New York Times online, you'll get the feeling.

    Seriously, it's a great piece, lots of fun. It's pure America.



    It will be light for a while. I've got a host – my first – at Digital Space, and I'm awaiting the mySQL database so I can install WordPress. I've got to get everything going and the domain transferred and blah, blah, blah.

    It will be a new universe.

    Should I do trackback?


    Yushchenko v. Yanukovich, the debate and a song

    Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, seemingly wearing heavy makeup, debated incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich Monday as they prepare for their rematch after the first match was declared void (Putin-infested). Yushchekno accused Yanukovich of cheating in their first go-around, while Yanukovich called on the winner to set-up a unity government. (Unity governments traditionally include all political parties, and since Yanukovich is set to lose…)

    Meanwhile, Nikita Demosthenes has available for download an mp3 of the pro-Yushchenko Ukrainian rap song: "Razom Nas Bahato." The link is on the upper-righthand of the blog, and the rap sounds like grassroots Democracy.


    LaShawn Barber in NRO

    LaShawn Barber, whom we know best from her LaShawn Barber's Corner, has an article posted in Monday's NRO concerning the important role played by the smaller bloggers in the busting of Dan Rather. On her own blog, LaShawn writes:
    The idea came to me after I was overwhelmed with envy while reading stories about blogs like Power Line and Little Green Footballs. (No offense, guys!). While I didn’t do much besides link to other bloggers, many others investigated and interviewed people, but they weren’t getting calls from the media.
    The blogosphere is a big place populated by some brilliant people.


    Most Annoying Liberals

    Right Wing News offers their "3rd Annual Twenty Most Annoying Liberals In The United States: The 2004 Edition."

    Eric Lindholm wonders where's Krugman.

    I wonder why they insist on the existence of Ted Rall.


    Top Ten Christian News Trends

  • James Jewell of Rooftop Blog looks at the Top ten Christian news trends of this past year. Number 1 is the Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ and its effects.

  • Jayson Clark has a snow angel.


    McCaffrey: Notes from a Padded Cell

    We've the latest piece of prose from my friend Jim McCaffrey. His weekly Notes from a Padded Cell can, for now, be found exclusively on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter, and I'll once again call it a must-read for conservatives who want to cut through the bull droppings and euphemisms.

    A sample:
    Miss Congeniality – To Americans who fret and fuss over what the U.N., the crooked leaders of other nations, and their miscreants-in-the-street think of America and its President, some advice: Drop the “valley girl”, self-consciousness, and quit obsessing over what others think of us, or what we’ve done to bruise their tender sensibilities. We are not in some kind of global popularity contest. It’s not about us, or the “imperialism”, which they falsely claim that we are practicing. It’s about the cowardice, corruption, or intrinsic evil of our enemies, their supporters, and those who enable them through their passivity.
    We don’t “give peace a chance”, when an organized global psychosis has set out to destroy us.
    And the Muslim-in-the-street is not exactly in a position to pass learned judgment on us either, what with they being the Neanderthal, goon, products of dark, backward, brutal and oppressive tyranny. It’s not our job to reshape America enough to make these nut-bags happy. Rather it’s our responsibility to spotlight what is wrong with them, and to promote change in their decrepit societies!
    I'm not marketing this; rather, I love his stuff.

    You can read it in full: HERE.


    The Press Conference

    We shan't see the headline: Defensive President Stammers Through Press Conference. He was at ease, in control, and assured. [text]

    What lesson has he learned from Kerik-gate? "The lesson learned is, continue to vet. And ask good questions." (I called it Kerik-gate with full facetiousness; the press did not.) The President explained that the White House began asking him questions and he withdrew his name.

    At one point, fairly early in the 55-minute shindig, the President referred to "the interminable press conference… I mean, press party." He did mean the party.

    He explained that it is Congress who makes laws. He has to work with Congress, which he is looking forward to doing. He never vetoed a spending bill in his first term because Congress did what he had asked: "[H]ow could you veto a series of appropriations bills if the Congress has done what you've asked them to do?"

    Rumsfeld? "I asked him to stay on because I understand the nature of the job of the Secretary of Defense, and I believe he's doing a really fine job."

    But what about Signature-gate? "Listen… I know Secretary Rumsfeld's heart. … He's a caring fellow. Sometimes perhaps is demeanor is rough and gruff, but beneath that rough and gruff, no-nonsense demeanor is a good human being who cares deeply about the military, and deeply about the grief that war causes."

    There was even a bit for the supporters of the erstwhile President Clinton:
    Cox Broadcasting's Bob Deans: Your predecessor said once it [the Palestinian-Israeli conflict] was like going to the dentist without getting your gums numbed. I'm wondering what great --

    President Bush: Guy had a way with words.
    Those who believe this President should be insecure, defensive, and apologetic -- given their opinion of his policies and disfavor amongst "the people" – can only hate him more after today's performance. For the rest of us, it should be awfully good to recognize that he is the man entrusted with the high office he holds.


    Interesting Sermon Topic

    Lisa Montgomery murdered Bobbi Jo Stinnett and cut her child from her womb. She and evidently clueless husband showed the child to her husband's minister, the Reverend Mike Wheatly. The topic of Rev. Wheatley's sermon Sunday, written weeks ago, was fortuitous:
    [M]y sermon was [called] "A Baby Changed Everything." And it was really meant to be about Jesus Christ. And you could correlate, I suppose, this situation because the sermon had been written -- I wrote it two weeks ago. So the fact that it kind of tied in with what was going on in Melvern [Kansas] was totally coincidental, and that was definitely the Lord.
    In attributing the correlation to the Lord, Rev. Wheatley was reflecting a school of Christian though which has Jesus Christ influencing certain events in ways which reflect his love and lead to the furtherance of his will. (That's definitely a non-theologian's phrasing.) I agree with that school.


    RSN site: new Hawkins column

    We have the latest column by Dustin Hawkins, Of Race and Politics, live on the Rightsided Newsletter web site.

    Check it out on the RSN site HERE.


    PRE-FACE – Monday, December 20, 2004

    Good morning!

  • The Washington Post asserts this morning that now that the election is over and the President safely reelected, the maverick one "has wasted no time reasserting his independence from the White House." But even during the campaign, he took shorts at the Bush Administration's policy; he didn't stress it and the press corps didn't underscore it, but McCain is McCain. He's a pill.

  • The temp on the outside thermometer reads: 3º.

  • The Post reports that someone asked White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to react to telling people that the WH put him up to writing that Rumsfeld-bashing Post piece. McClellan, who was standing near Kristol when the comment was allegedly made, said he hadn't heard it. The Kristol denied having said it, alleging:
    "I maybe said that if he [the President] pats me on the back and says, 'Good op-ed, Bill,' that would indicate something,"
    He's raising the possibility that the White House wants rid of Rummy but wants to seem forced into making him quit.

  • The big question on everyone's lips must be: What will MAKPA look like on WordPress?

  • 12/19/2004


    AFTER-WORD – Sunday, December 19, 2004

  • Here's a piece about a public opinion survey in which the President rates lower than his father in categories such as honest and trustworthy, likeable, and understands the issues.

    The public will romanticize past Presidents, especially when they remain vigorous and look good in the public eye. The public will be overly critical of the current President, assigning immediate problems to him.

    Either way, the poll was devised by a… Clymer.

  • I've a term for what Sec Def Donald Rumsfeld was expressing with his mechanized signatures affixed to soldiers' death notices: auto-sympathy. He's a busy man with a skillion crucial responsibilities, but the soldiers must be first.

    I don't see this as "another example of…" or "proof that…" blah, blah, but he should have signed those important letters.

  • I'm listening to Christmas Music on Classical 103.5. This is magic stuff, but it is 8º outside and I must walk out to the garage to unplug the Christmas lights.

    Hey, 't is the season.


    Curious Headline

    This is over a Reuters piece regarding the time magazine award:
    Bush beats Moore for 'Person of the Year'
    Michael Moore? Was he even considered? Methinks a Reuters editor was taking a cheap shot at the American President.

    [hat tip, Ian at The Political Teen.]



  • This year's TIME magazine Person of the Year is President George W. Bush. This marks the second time that he's won. For his part, President Clinton won the award 1 ½ times, sharing the '98 award with Ken Starr.

    Commenting on my review of ABC's This Week on Redstate.org, "Putter" remarked:
    Funny How Rumsfeld's name did not come up during the discussion of Time's Man of the Year. As I recall, it was his for the asking a couple of years ago. I guess he was being arrogant then, when he said that the troops deserved it more. Bill Kristol, et-al are on my excrement list.
    That's sad irony.

  • TIME also named a Blog of the Year. This is good news for bloggers, in that the blog is gaining a certain legitimacy which, sadly, can be bestowed only by the establishment media. This is great news for TIME's Blog of the Year for 2004: PowerLine. Congratulations, guys!

  • I'll do my own MAKPA "… of the year" awards during the week after Christmas. It should be fun, as that's the week my wife and I begin our biannual (semiannual) viewing of my Monty Python's Flying Circus DVD set. With nights off for earlier sleep and Sunday night's reserved for silent movies, it should last us well into February.


    MAKPA Quote of the Hour

    I recently came upon a copy of a short story I had written several years ago, Bokor Medly, and noted a section. In this one, the protagonist (Nick) is confronting what his life had become on its own through his neglected. His fear is symbolized by a Bokor, a voodoo practitioner of the black arts.

    He confronts the Bokor, whom he knew as a homeless bum named Jim, with a quote:
    “This is not a counsel of despair. Our own life has demonstrated that we are incapable of despair. Men will die in defense of principle; men will sacrifice their all rather than compromise themselves and renounce that which distinguishes them from the beasts - their moral faculty.”

    He cleared his throat and paused; the Bokor was frozen. Nick continued.

    “If this force in men can but be awakened and focused on the problems of each day, we shall survive each day to the dawn of each tomorrow, and in this survival guarantee to our children and our children's children a lifetime of peace and security, under justice and right, and under God.”
    To Emperor Haile Selassie, I'm convinced, he was speaking of communism. Can we not also mean leftism? I don't mean the liberalism of the friendly lefty blogger or a mild lefty politician. I'm speaking of something more insidious, perhaps born by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Jesse Jackson. Or, better yet, the Eurocrats.

    What of Kos? I haven't read enough of his stuff to tell for sure that he is bright enough to be dangerous. He could well be, but he seems often crass – in the same sense as Mo Dowd, although I have read enough of her stuff to have a good bearing on her intellectual state.


    Moore for Gov?

    Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Judge Roy Moore, who stood by his Ten Commandments monument in Montgomery last year and was booted from the court for disobeying a court order, says he might run for governor in 2006.

    This could make him a primary challenger to Republican Governor Bob Riley, who was with him on the monument up until Moore disobeyed the court order.

    The Supreme Court says it will hear such a case in 2005.

    It sounds like Judge Moore is being touted by friends, perhaps sycophants, and can do nothing but say he will pray and consider. If he has the financial backing, a run against Riley won't hurt so long as Moore does not try to damage him. If Riley feels the challenge and starts throwing out the "religious radical right" innuendo so favored by the left, he's going to alienate a constituency he'll doubtlessly need.


    Andy Card on TW

    A seemingly harried George Stephanopoulos had as his guest on ABC's This Week White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, who let us know that he "serves at the pleasure of the President"

    President Bush is once again TIME Magazine's Person of the Year, and Steph spoke to someone from the mag about this. The guy from TIME indicated that some within the magazine had wanted the President to share the award with Karl Rove.. The decision was taken to ward the President alone, he said, because the President defined the election and could have won without Rove, while Rove could have lost with someone else.

    Steph did not like this and wanted the award to have been given to both the President and his political advisor. Card said that President Bush "doesn't focus on who's the person of the year in one magazine or the other."

    Steph demanded to know why the President could have been considered Man of the year. Card went down a detailed list of accomplishment, and Steph began his attack on the Iraq war: "You can't say that the war has been one."

    Card: "The war has been won, but the opportunity for democracy is still being fought."

    Steph: "HOW CAN YOU SAY THE WAR HAS BEEN WON ?!?" Everybody's dying and it is a nasty mess that will be the end of us all.

    Card calmly explained that things were bad in place, but that the overall progress has been tremendous. "Things are not as pessimistic as the media's always showing it."

    Steph attacked Secretary Rumsfeld. Card responded: "Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a terrific job of waging."

    Steph brought up the attacks of McCain, Hagel, Collins, and Lott and suggested that Congress now hated Rumsfeld. Card responded: "Secretary Rumsfeld has a good relationship with Congress."

    Steph brought up Bernie Kerik. Card responded that "Bernie Kerik… did not understand the nature of the scrutiny" he would receive. Steph wanted to know why the White House vetting process had failed so miserably. Card said that when Kerik saw the scrutiny and knew he couldn't survive, he withdrew his nomination.

    Steph began the attack on the President's plan for Social Security. Why no details? Card explained that the President has "defined the challenge," set the goals, now he wants to sit down in a bi-partisan manner, "without that fear of touching the third-rail," and discuss it. Steph wasn't buying it and demanded specifics.

    Steph's boss, President Clinton also received TIME's award twice, in '92 and '98, though he shared his second award with Ken Starr. Bush has won the award twice outright, and could match FDR if he wins another one. Wippeeee.

    For a review of the rest of the Sunday shows, click here, or venture of the Redstate.org.

    The Sunday Morning Public Affairs Shows

    The Sunday Rightsided Newsletter, my review and analysis of the Sunday Morning talk shows, has been sent to the sundry global inboxes and can now be read LIVE on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter: HERE.

    The notes on ABC's This Week can be found in this space later, and the whole thing – broken neatly into posts – will be found on Redstate.org as the afternoon progresses.


    The Gaggle on MTP

    As I'm coverning the Sunday shows this morning for the Rightsided Newsletter, these are from my Meet the Press notes:

    [Senator John] Warner admitted: "I wake up some mornings and look at myself in the mirror and say, 'I'm tired of you, Warner. You better get your act together.'" I'd like to have that on vid.

    He said we have to stick with the war's leadership and with the President.

    [Senator Carl] Levin blamed "bad policy decisions."

    [Senator Joe] Biden admitted: "I'm tired of talking about Rumsfeld." He said that the Iraq situation, which they had all agreed was bad, was the fault of the President for having the "arrogance of not acknowledging mistakes." By this thesis, if the Prez said "oooops" a few times, all would be well.

    We've an arrogant Biden criticizing the President for not fessing up to what Biden himself perceives to be mistakes. And we've got John Warner scolding himself in the bathroom mirror.

    The U.S. Senate has been called: "The deliberative body." An old civics teacher once described it as "the saucer that cools the tea." I've never poured tea into a saucer, and I don't know what the heck Joe Biden does with his tea.


    Rumsfeld's Signature

    Secretary of Defense has survived Abu Ghraib-gate and Body Armor-gate, so far, but can he go on after the latest Rumsfeld scandal: Rubber Stamp-gate? It seems, the French wire AFP reports that the Sec Def's signature was signed to letters of the families of deceased Iraqi soldiers with an autopen. He did not personally sign the letters.

    Rumsfeld told the Stars and Stripes paper that we will sign them individually in the future.

    Yes, I'm being facetious with calling everything "-gate," but he ought to have personally signed the letters for the soldiers who personally died in defense of America and America's interests. I don't know why he didn't.


    PRE-FACE – Sunday, December 19, 2004

    Good morning!

  • Michael Kinsley, who "know[s] something about the blog phenomenon," opines with surprise that the bloggers to whom he wrote -- Sullivan, Kaus, etc. – took one of his ideas dropped on them and gave it digital life. None of the print pundits would give him a moment.

    There's the Old Punditry and now there is the New Punditry. (That might be a tad Rumsfeldian, but it is glaringly simple and accurate.)

  • The New York Times mentions a "secret and evolving" DOD plan for the military to assume "a more prominent role in intelligence-collection operations," right in the face of the 9-11 Commission Law just inked by the President.

    One idea, the paper reports, is "fighting for intelligence," or initiating combat for the express purpose of gathering intelligence. The left would love that one! So might have Machiavelli.

  • Here's California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from an interview with Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung paper:
    [T]he Republican Party currently covers only the spectrum from the right wing to the middle, and the Democratic Party covers the spectrum from the left to the middle.

    I would like the Republican Party to cross this line, move a little further left and place more weight on the center. This would immediately give the party 5 percent more votes without it losing anything elsewhere.
    He's wrong, of course. Few lefties would vote Republican no matter what the party said or did. Probably well over 5-percent of current Republicans would desert if the party veered left.

  • 12/18/2004


    AFTER-WORD – Saturday, December 18, 2004

  • Out of Oregon (Blue State), the Eugene Register-Guardian editorializes that the United States' growing budget deficit is caused not by "government entitlement programs," namely Social Security and Medicare; rather, they opine, the problem is the President's tax cuts. They are, and here the magazine borrows the words of the lefty Brookings Institution, "simply not affordable."

    But the spending is.

    This must be a frightening way to feel. We know it is tragic.

  • When I was a young teen and the Pittsburgh Steelers were on their way to winning their third and fourth Super Bowls of the decade, there was a little lyric in the air: "I've got a fee-eee-ling, Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl. This won't be the last time, Pittsburgh's going to the Superbowl." (Is the Pennsylvania city the only one which ends its "burg" with an "h"?)

    It was 33-30 over Eli Manning and the Giants this afternoon.

    I can sense a certain legitimacy to this team which I have not sensed from anyone on the football field since Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers. (I haven't seen it on the diamond since the '98 Yankees, but that's another story.)

    I just hope they don't play that awful Freddie Mercury song.

  • I'm listening to a composer named Hans Erich Pfizner. The CD arrived in the mail this afternoon, and it's an opera called Palestrina, after a splendid medieval composer who died, it is rumored, in 1594. He wrote a famous Mass to 4th century Pope Saint Marcellus.


    The Sunday Morning Talk Shows

    Meet the Press (NBC): Host Tim Russert has Senators John Warner (R-Virginia) and Carl Levin (D-Michigan), Dick Lugar (R-Indiana), and the ubiquitously onscreen Joe Biden (D-Delaware).

    FOX News Sunday: Host Chris Wallace talks to Treasury Secretary John Snow and DC Mayor Marion Anthony Williams. [NOTE: I cannot say "DC Mayor" without thinking of someone else, now a member of council.]

    Face the Nation (CBS): Host Bob Schieffer talks to Senators Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island).

    This Week (ABC): Host George Stephanopoulos will talk to Andy Card and a few people (FDA drug safety reviewer David Graham and Pfizer chairman and ceo Hank McKinnell about the Celebrex thaang. [The FDA missed this one. Pfizer called it.]

    Late Edition (CNN): Host Wolfgang Blitzer talks to Treasury Secretary John Snow; Iran's U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif; Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Evan Bayh (D-Indiana); Representative Roy Blunt (R-Missouri); and Kean and Hamilton from the imperishable 9-11 Commission.

    I'll review and analyze them for the Rightsided Newsletter, to which you can subscribe for free by visiting the web site or by sending a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe [AT] topica.com.

    I'll link a copy here, and this is where the review and analysis of ABC's This week can be found.

    If you would like to read it in a form broken down by Shows and Guests and/or to comment on the shows, my stuff can be found at Redstate.org on Sundays. They have blogdom's first 527, so these gentlemen are willing to put their money where their pens tread.


    The Green's, Kyoto, and the End

    Here's an admission from the greenies regarding their beloved Kyoto Protocal:
    I think that everybody agrees that Kyoto is really, really hopeless in terms of delivering what the planet needs," Peter Roderick of Friends of the Earth International [FOEI] told CNSNews.com.
    Okay. This is from an FOEI press release dated September, 2002:
    "This is marvellous [sic] news! Russia and Canada have resisted intense US pressure. The Russian promise alone means Kyoto will be a reality. The global villain, George 'W' Bush has been foiled again. This will put massive pressure on Australia and the US to reverse their previous positions and ratify Kyoto themselves. But soon all nations will need to go beyond Kyoto and agree fair and tough long term targets, if climate change is to be stopped."
    They want something other than Kyoto. To effectively diminish the "greenhouse gases" they theorize are making the globe a hotter place on which to trot, governments and treaties will have to control the means of production. This was tried in the U.S.S.R., and it failed because it had a quasi-capitalist system competing against it. In the FOEI model, there would be no such competition, as their protocol would be universal.

    What would have happened to the Soviet Union had there been no Free World, namely the United States? The workers lacked the means of overthrowing the government, so absent a military revolt, they would have starved.

    Take that and smoke it in your pipe, emitting, for the sake of the argument, copious carbon dioxide.


    Barack Obama's Book Deal

    Senator Barack Obama will ink a book deal: three books, $1.9-million advance.

    One of the books, on which he'll work with his wife Michelle, will be a children's book. That counts for $200,000 of the advance, all of which will be donated to charity.

    Obama, who is said to enjoy writing, will also write two adult books.

    And I'll let that sentence stand as written.


    Friedman's Shortest Distance Between Two Points

    Foreign Affairs pundit Tom Friedman opines in today's New York Times that the shortest distance between two points in Iraq today is not a straight line.

    The U.S. neo-cons, he posits, should back the Iraq neo-Ba'athists in the upcoming elections so as to "advance the interests of the pro-Baath Sunni Arab nationalists in Iraq, but do it with a more progressive, pluralistic outlook than the old Baath Party of Saddam Hussein."

    (Note to John Derbyshire, I think Friedman, for better or for worse, is at least a borderline intellectual. Remember, the best ones neither look nor act the part.)


    Merry X-mas

    This is from Erick Erickson:
    I noticed this too. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I go out of my way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas -- particularly those who chime in first with "Happy Holidays." AND, I never wish anyone a Happy (or Crazy or Phat) Kwanzaa. In fact, I do not recognize Kwanzaa as an official holiday.

    Any holiday made up in jail by a race baiting criminal as a way to celebrate the ethic-self of black Americans is not a legitimate holiday. It's like the Jehovahs Witnesses of holidays. Except, unlike the JW's (a Made in America religion) Kwanzaa (a Made in post 60's America holiday) gets treated legitimately by the MSM because it celebrates the antithesis of white America and gives the MSM an excuse to ignore Christmas, the second most important holiday to Christians (notice how Easter is altogether ignored by the MSM).
    He links to Glenn Reynolds, who links to James Lileks, who writes:
    Maybe it's just me. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive. But when I wish a store clerk "Merry Christmas!" they often appear stunned and flummoxed for a moment, as if I've just blabbed the plans for the underground's sabotage of the train tracks in front of the secret police. I've said something highly inappropriate for the public square, and I almost expect a security guard to take me aside on the way out. . . .

    I don't get it. There's this peculiar fear of Christmas that seems to get stronger every year, as if it's the season that dare not speak its name. Check out the U.S. Postal Service Web site: two different stamps for Kwanzaa. One for Eid, two for Hanukkah. Two for non-sectarian "Holiday," with pictures of Santa, reindeer, ornaments, that sort of thing. One for the Chinese New Year. One for those religiously inclined -- it features a Madonna and Child. But the Web site calls it "Holiday Traditional." The word "Christmas" doesn't appear on the site's description of the stamps. Eid, yes. Hanukkah, yes. Kwanzaa, yes. Christmas? No. It's Holiday Traditional.
    We're a diverse nation in which people who share the beliefs of the majority are expected not only to respect the various minority beliefs – which is a fine thing, no prob – but are also expected to feel guilty about not sharing these other beliefs.

    And a certain segment of our more intelligent class also feels guilt for their intelligence, in that they should use it in an enlightened way. Enlightenment, they reason, cannot come from hayseeds, so they must look to Europe. And European intellectuals have surpassed Jesus Christ.

    This is folly. Nothing can surpass Jesus Christ or His nature, but we're dealing here with human beliefs.

    The world has become a hayseed while it thinks it is escaping.

    Merry X-mas! X is the Greek letter Chi, which is the abbreviated "Christos," which stands for Christ. The early church would substitute Chi for Christ, giving them X-mas as Christmas. Merry X-mas is Merry Christmas, so the joke is on those who wanted to use the term to take Christ out of His birthday.

    To those of your celebrating other religious holidays at this time of year, folks, the lamp burned for eight days 'til the new consecrated oil arrived. Yes, I believe in Chanukah.

    I'm not sure what to believe in for Kwanzaa.

    Merry X-mas!


    To the Wire in Washington

    Republican Dino Rossi, Washington State's certified governor-elect, is leading Democrat Christine Gregoire by 50 votes in a hand recount with every ballot tallied but those in Seattle's King County.

    Democrats in that county had recently (Friday) "discovered" hundreds of new and heretofore uncounted ballots, but Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend decided that they were discovered too late to be added to the tally. The ruling is being appealed to the State supreme court.

    This begs a question: How did Kings County elections officials lose these ballots in the first place? Where did they find them? Behind something? Under something? Was Jimmy Hoffa with them? Congressman Hale Boggs?


    Rummy Watch

    We've got several Republican senators criticizing Rumsfeld. We've Senator Evan Bayh and commentator Bill Kristol demanding that he step down.

    The President supports him.

    Now comes word that Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) insists that now is not the time for "further colossal mistakes," so Rumsfeld should quit.

    He cited Abu Ghriab-gate and Body Armor-gate.

    It's still amusing, but it shan't be for long. For lack of anything better about which to write, I might soon keep my threat to discuss the ontology of William of Ockham.


    PRE-FACE - Saturday, December 18, 2004

    Good morning.

  • From Newsday:
    WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush on Friday signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence-gathering in 50 years, hoping to improve the spy network that failed to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.
    So: September 11 happened because our spies neglected to anticipate it? There is absolutely nothing to be gained by falsely blaming ourselves, and it is nearly impossible that another layer of bureaucracy could have prevented what happened on September 11, 2001.

    If we want to blame ourselves, blame President Clinton for his abject failure to adapt to the post-cold war world. If you'd sooner blame the terrorists for 9-11, I agree.

  • The F.B.I. will have sole responsibility for conducting espionage regarding arms smuggling, as has been agreed between the bureau and the Department of Homeland Security. This was done without the 9-11 Commission's bill, which was silent on this important matter.

  • The A.B.B. group A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition had requested permits to protest and to build bleachers along Pennsylvania Avenue for the President's inauguration, but the National Park Service has not acted on those permit requests. Instead, the service has granted permits to erect bleachers to the Presidential Inaugural Committee. A.N.S.W.E.R. is demanding "equal access to Pennsylvania Avenue."

    The main event of the day for which the Park Service must plan and issue permits is the Constitutional inauguration of the President of the United States, not a group of unhappy souls who want to make noise. They have a right to do that, of course, but not in the middle of a Constitutional process.

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