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9/30/2003

 

Dizzbot Party Candidate Withdraws


Arianna Huffington is not a serious person.

Arianna Huffington went on CNN's Larry King Live show this evening and announced this: Huffington withdraws from governor's race.

According to Reuters, she yawned: "I'm pulling out and I'm going to concentrate every ounce of my time and energy to defeat the recall. I've realized that's the only way now to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger." Arianna is not a serious political observer, so it should be taken as irrelevant that she now concedes that she will now oppose the recall -- support Gray Davis -- simply as a means to stop Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is irrelevant taht she does not think it possible that Cruz Bustamante could win on question two. Perhaps she spoke with the Davis people, because that is what they're saying in private.

Huffington said at her first rally on August 6, the day she announced on NBC's Today show: "And if we keep electing the same kind of politicians [as Gray Davis] who got us into the same kind of mess, funded by the same kind of special interests, we'll never get out of this mess."

She has a week to convince her supporters to do what she now wants them to do, provided she doesn't leap back into the race, blaming it all on an "iron pumping dirty tricks squad." We tried to contact her supporters, but their mother said they were down at the pub again and that they should get a job and move out.
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Victoria Plame-gate


Here's another thought on the matter of someone telling Bob Novak about Joe Wilson's wife, and maybe it could relax Chuckie Schumers bowels, which are currently Uproar-con Delta.

A reader just suggested:
"I think that CIA / FBI agents should te treated like juvenile sex offenders and have lists giving their names so decent people wouldn't have to live next to them. I doubt they have been right about anything in the last half century."
One never knows, now, if a parent of the girl whom you entrust with the task of baby sitting your children could be a CIA/FBI agent. These days, you just never know....

Then again, think of what such disclosures might do to property values? Yikes. ;)
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Third Quarter Fundraising


The Dems have until midnight tonight to wrap up their third quarter fundraising, and here is what is being said on their mailing lists:

John Edwards:
We only have 36 hours left before the end of the quarter to make our $595,000 goal - a dollar for every American who lost his or her job this year under the Bush administration's disastrous economic policies.
Dennis Kucinich:
I have been challenging the Bush Administration more vocally than ever in the last few days, and I want to tell you about it. And please forward this message. But first, I need your help. There's only one day left before this quarter's fundraising deadline. Tuesday is the last day. My presidential campaign is counting on you.
John Kerry:
Bush is raising tens of millions of dollars from his special interest Pioneers. We need to stand up to the Republicans and show them that we have strength in numbers. The funds we collect in the next 24 hours will determine the media perception of the strength of our campaign, and these funds will determine our media budget for the critical early contests.
Joe Lieberman
The response to my call for help has been overwhelming. Thousands of you have contributed to our fight to return integrity to the White House. Now we need each of you take one more step to help me reach my $300,000 fundraising goal before midnight tonight.
Howie Dean
Our goal is to raise a total of $15 million dollars by midnight tonight. If we are going to beat George W. Bush and his fundraising machine, we must show right now—at this early stage in the primary season—that your individual contribution, combined with the contributions of tens of thousands of others, have the power to take on the special interests. This is the day that you make history.
Enough of that nonsense.

They are doing it. They are raising money. No one can sit back and suppose President Bush and Vice President Cheney have the money to fight what will be a machine larger than merely the DNC and their nominees campaign. Supposing does not pay the bills, but we can help. Click HERE if you can donate whatever amount to Bush/Cheney ’04. The third quarter is ending for them also, and the alternative is just too disingenuous. And flawed.

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The Ten Commandments Defense Bill


H.R. 2045, the “Ten Commandments Defense Bill,” proclaims these rights:
(a) DISPLAY OF TEN COMMANDMENTS- The power to display the Ten Commandments on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions thereof is hereby declared to be among the powers reserved to the States respectively.

(b) EXPRESSION OF RELIGIOUS FAITH- The expression of religious faith by individual persons on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions thereof is hereby--

(1) declared to be among the rights secured against laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion made or enforced by the United States Government or by any department or executive or judicial officer thereof; and

(2) declared to be among the liberties of which no State shall deprive any person without due process of law made in pursuance of powers reserved to the States respectively.

(c) EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL POWER- The courts constituted, ordained, and established by the Congress shall exercise the judicial power in a manner consistent with the foregoing declarations.
To support these rights, H.R. 2045 lists several findings, among which is:
(4) The rights secured under the first amendment have been interpreted by courts of the United States Government to be included among the provisions of the fourteenth amendment.
The following is an article by Dr. Christina F. Jeffrey, a political scientist who is, among other things, a former historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. She and her husband, Dr. Robert Jeffrey, are Catholics who were strong supporters of Judge Roy Moore in Alabama.

She offers a look at and behind H.R. 2045. With permission:


A Bill Not to Defend the Ten Commandments
by
Christina Fawcett Jeffrey (copyright 2003)


When the sixth district congressman from Georgia, the "late" and lamented Newt Gingrich, wanted to look like he was supporting traditional legislation, he would talk it up, write it up, and then sabotage it legislatively. He's no longer with us, legislatively, but his tactics live on. Someone drafted H.R. 2045, the so-called "Ten Commandments Defense Bill," with a deliberate eye to seeing it fail.

Not only could H.R. 2045 fail, but we must hope that it will fail because passage of this incoherent, contradictory, gibberish will do more harm than good. It starts off well enough, but by paragraph 4 of the very first Section, it is off track, using language which would make both Hamilton and Jefferson blush, to wit,

"The rights secured under the first amendment have been interpreted by courts of the United States Government to be included among the provisions of the fourteenth amendment."

The Bill of Rights was written to protect individual rights against Congressional action, but the Supreme Court has applied them to the State governments as well, through a method called incorporation, based on the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. It has so far been an extra-Constitutional trick used solely by the Courts, but 2045 would take the judicial gimmick and give it the blessing of Congress. Incorporation would be legitimized in legislation.

The proposed Bill goes on to use the Fourteenth Amendment to insist that Congress has the power to force its interpretation of the First Amendment down the throats of the States. Is this what the Honorable gentlemen from North and South Carolina who have signed onto H.R. 2045, want to do? This bill actually represents a major expansion of the power of the U.S. Government to enforce its will on the States.

Surely most of the co-sponsors of H.R. 2045 are just not aware of its contents. They probably never read past the third paragraph.

The problem is not Congress' failure to properly interpret the Constitution. Instead, the real problem is the Congress' failure to reign in a Supreme Court which has misinterpreted the Constitution for years.

H.R. 2045 will only serve to take the heat off of the United States Government for grossly interfering with local and state laws and customs--prayer in school and at school events, and the Ten Commandments being posted, among others even more serious, such as who can marry whom.

It will do nothing to accomplish its stated goals, much less solve other problems resulting from an out-of-control judicial branch . The proposed act does not include the Supreme Court among the courts which it says must permit display of the Ten Commandments, as well as expressions of religious faith by individual persons "on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions thereof."

Since H.R. 2045 does not attempt to bind the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court can simply overrule any lower court's ruling when that ruling is appealed to the highest level. But worse, this Bill, if passed, could be viewed by one and almost all as Congress' final and complete abdication of its Constitutional Article III power to make "exceptions to and regulations of" the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

A serious bill to defend the Ten Commandments would prohibit decisions made pursuant to it from being appealed to the Supreme Court. It would also have a clause stating that judges who rule contrary to the statute will be removed for cause, that is, lack of "good behavior" as a result of their refusal to follow the law.

If H.R. 2045 passes, then before one could even say, "incorporation doctrine," it would become the "settled law" of the land that Congress lacks all power to restrain the Court. This would mark the death knell of Republican government and our 200 year experiment in representative democracy. Our system of government would become simply a kritarchy, that is, rule by judges.

Many of the people who have signed onto this Bill are lawyers. Thus they have very little excuse for putting their names on this pretend defense of the Ten Commandments. We deserve better. Our guys need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a real bill to defend the Ten Commandments, not just "boob bait for the bubbas".

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Bob Novak's word...


This from the DRUDGE REPORT®. Robert Novak says:
"Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this. In July I was interviewing a senior administration official on Ambassador Wilson's report when he told me the trip was inspired by his wife, a CIA employee working on weapons of mass destruction.

"Another senior official told me the same thing. As a professional journalist with 46 years experience in Washington I do not reveal confidential sources. When I called the CIA in July to confirm Mrs. Wilson's involvement in the mission for her husband -- he is a former Clinton administration official -- they asked me not to use her name, but never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else.

"According to a confidential source at the CIA, Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operator, and not in charge of undercover operatives."
What to make of this?

The argument being stirred by Wilson and the Dems is that someone in the White House -- Karl Rove, on which they are counting -- purposely disclosed (leaked) the name of an undercover CIA operative (Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame) in order to enact revenge on Wilson for his anti-Bush column in the New York Times and/or to keep others from contradicting the administration.

It wasn't a leak. The White House person who mentioned it to Novak in a different context seemed not to know that she was undercover.

Novak contacted the CIA for confirmation, and they didn't warn him not to publish the name. The CIA told Novak that Ms. Plane was an analyst, not an undercover op.

It seems, then, that this story of Karl Rove calling six reporters in order to savage Wilson is pure fantasy. Democrats and the press were eager to believe it, smelling blood. Remember, this was Karl Rove's blood, so it could quite probably be some blood from Bush/Cheney '04.

"Move along. There's nothing here to see."
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Whither Pete Wilson?


Former California Governor Pete Wilson, if you'll recall, was front-and-center getting Arnold's campaign ready to run for governor. Wilson's people staffed the campaign, with Wilson-manager George Gorton ran the show early on, until Arianna complained publicly to Arnold about how he was "pahn-du-whing to the Pete Vill-sun team that youhh've suhrrhounded yourseff whith."

I wondered, just last night, where Wilson had gone now that a poll showed things looking very good for Arnold. I found this bit by Dan Smith of the Sacremento Bee.
Sean Walsh, Schwarzenegger adviser and former top lieutenant to Wilson, said the former governor is working behind the scenes on policy and fund raising. His high visibility early on, Walsh said, occurred because the fledgling campaign needed a surrogate spokesman quickly.

. . .


Finally, Schwarzenegger had had enough: "Let me make one thing clear," he said. "On October 8, it's not going to be Governor Wil-son or Governor Bush or any of those things. It's going to be Governor Arnold, OK?"
I am not certain that this is something Arnold actually said, or rather a sentiment attributed him by Sean Walsh. (The Arianna quote I used above is accurate, taken from piece, with the spelling modified to better capture the speaker's sonorous syllables.

Pete will probably be at the victory party, but that probably won't take place early in the AM a week from tomorrow. The count will, I'm told, take days. (Weeks, if they want to go fishing for chads.)
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California Dems fear Arnold


Good morning. It seems that California Democrats Tri-Valley Herald Online - More Local Newsfear a Governor Schwarzenegger beause he has promised not to raise taxes.
"He's already serving ultimatums to the Legislature in terms of what he would never do," Assemblyman John Dutra, a Fremont Democrat, said in an interview. "Obviously, the legislative branch is not going to be dictated to by Mr. Schwarzenegger."
AND:
Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, said in a telephone interview that if Schwarzenegger wins and "stands by his (no-tax-hike) promises, we are going to turn the schools in California into a third-world education system, for starters."
AND:
"I'm concerned that he (Schwarzenegger) is saying, under no circumstances, will he consider any kind of a tax increase even if the end result is Draconian cuts in education, health care and public safety," Dutra said.
It's not the end of the world for Dems. Arnold is not the first GOP politician to challenge: "Read my lips." And remember, Arnold issued is pledge only after his newly-selected campaign economics advisor, billionaire Warren Buffet, said that California could well need a tax hike.

It is, however, frightening to note that, true to form, Democrats break out in hives and panic whenever it is even hinted that a tax cut could be leaving the equation. They need to confiscate as much money as possible for to put it wherever they feel it belongs. Man's purpose in life is to feed the blob. (sick)
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9/29/2003

 

California Latinos for Cruz


There's a cute piece in the Tuesday WashPost about how excited the Hispanics who "have long toiled in the fields" are about the prospect of voting for Bustamante:
"Bustamante!" exclaimed Maria Munoz outside the travel agency where she works. "He is the only one to vote for, no one else. He thinks like us."
That is a startling admission, but there you have it. There is an entire group of people, to whom Ms. Munoz refers as "us," who think like Bustamante.

There's a problem, though. (Not whether to call them Hispanics or Latinos, as I don't know the difference and do not know that they care either.) A lot of them, it seems, want to retain Joey Davis. The nodus is this:
At the same time, they face a quandary. Polls show Latinos evenly split on whether to recall Gov. Gray Davis (D). Some feel the recall is unfair and say they will vote to keep Davis in office, even if it means losing their best chance yet to elect a Latino governor. Others so badly want Bustamante that they plan to vote to dump Davis and vote for him. But that brings a risk of electing actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, new polls suggest, is the leading candidate to replace Davis, running ahead of Bustamante.
Hispanics make up, according to the WashPost story, some 14% of all registered voters. They are a smaller portion of the electorate than are Tom McClintock supporters (18%). (And I doubt the two groups -- Hispanics and McClintock voters -- are mutually exclusive. There plenty of conservative Latinos in California, I'm sure, but...)

The story says: 100 percent of California Latinos want to retain Davis, but half of them will not vote to do so simply because they want to vote for Cruz Bustamante. Who conducted these polls, and how many of them are there? Did every poll show this? If two polls showed there was the Latino dichotomy and ten did not, one could still truthfully say that "polls show Latinos evenly split."
"Arnold is fake -- that's what a lot of us think now," Villanueva said here in Delano. "He doesn't realize that the driver's license law, just like Prop 187, is about respect."

Villanueva angrily said that one his friends, an illegal immigrant who is a farm hand, had to go to court a few days ago for the first time because a police officer caught him driving without a license.
Villenueva's friend, the illegal immigrant, is a fake. His friend is breaking the law by residing in the country illegally, and thus is entitled to respect only for his life as he is escorted back home.




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Joe Wilson #3


The relevant portion of Bob Novak's July 14 column was this:
Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. "I will not answer any question about my wife," Wilson told me.
The key sentence for our current purposes is: "'I will not answer any question about my wife,' Wilson told me."

Notice that Novak asked Wilson for comment before the story disclosing his wife's CIA employment was published, and Wilson said he would discuss his wife. This means that Wilson knew beforehand yet did not object. That makes him an accessory to the leaker. He allowed a column to be published identifying an undercover CIA agent.

Chuckie Schumer doesn't get it.
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Gray Davis the Perotista


Back in 1992, Ross Perot ran for President for a while, quit the race, then got back in. He explained his depature this way (paraphrase): "Now, Larry, Larry, listen to me Larry. You didn't let me finish, Larry. You see, Larry... are you listening to me, Larry? Good. We got that straight. Now Larry, I got out of the race because the Republican dirty tricks squad was going to disrupt my daughter's wedding, Larry. It's a pig in a poke, Larry."

Seriously -- if one can muster that much in situations like these -- Perot said he quit the race because the "Republican dirty tricks squad" had planned to disrupt his daughter's wedding. But Perot's eccentric. We can forgive such things from society's real nuts.

I've just read that the Davis camp accuses Schwarzenegger campaign of 'dirty tricks.'
Davis spokesman Peter Ragone said the campaign had obtained an e-mail showing that the Schwarzenegger camp was trying to stack one of the governor's town-hall meetings "with shills for their campaign, Republicans who would disrupt and attack the governor."

"We find that deeply troubling and deeply disrespectful to the process," Ragone said, terming the tactic "dirty tricks."
Which brings to mind: "Larry, now listen to me, Larry. Larry, I'm just trying to be govenor of California, Larry. Nations largest State with people from all planets in the universe, Larry. And the Schwarzenegger dirty tricks squad, Larry, tried to disrupt my town hall meeting, Larry. It's a pig in a poke, Larry."

He's desperate. There's still time for him to resign. This would make Bustamante governor and negate the recall, and it would probably mean that he'd have to move.
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Iraqi Oil Revenue News


This from the Kuwait News Agency's web site -- out of Kuwait, with the kw internet exension.
Iraqi oil export revenues be [sic] USD 15 billion soon


BAGHDAD, Sept 29 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Oil Ministry undersecretary Thamer Al-Ghadban exclusively told KUNA on Monday the Iraqi oil export revenues will reach USD 15 billion soon if approving the price of 20 dollars per barrel. Al-Ghadban pointed out the ministry had achieved its goals in a standard period and the production capacity reached some two million barrels daily, "which we expected to achieve by the end of this year," he said.

The Iraqi official expected Iraq will witness production capacity of some five million barrels per day which had never been achieved before. (end) [ital. added]
The story shows an Iraq definitely not in chaotic anarchy, able to plan for its own oil production, soon to be able to contribute mightily to its own rebuilding effort, and about to be producing at rates not seen during Saddam's hate fest.

I'll fax that to Ted Kennedy later.
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Joe Wilson 2


I've written about 800 words about this deal with former ambassador Joe Wilson, his wife Valerie Plame, Karl Rove, and what I see as an effort to remove the President's top political advisor, Karl Rove, from the mix pre-election. It's for tomorrow's Rightsided Newsletter, and it's easy to subscribe free to that.

Her name is Valerie Plame. Joe Wilson's wife, the CIA agent, is named Valerie Plame. Do a Google search, and you'll get 1,780 hits. This has been common knowledge since July, as the search results will bear out, as has the alleged "leak/smear." So many newspaper's today are not printing her name so as not to appear as "culpable" as Karl Rove. Let's be clear on this: the Dems will not be happy until the leak is Rove.

This could well be an act of desperation on the part of the Dems. The field of nine was going nowhere. General Wesley "The Answer" Clark turned out of be more a cipher than a solution, and if they want to stop Bush, go after Rove.
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Autumn in Baghdad


A Paris-based journalist writing for a Lebonese paper (former Washpost Associate editor David Ignatius) is not what one would expect to be an objective source of information on the goings-on in day-to-day Baghdad, one which matches what we are being told by our military, delegations returning from there, and the Administration.

In today's Lebanon Daily Star, I found just such an Op/Ed pice -- Baghdad improves as window of opportunity closes -- and I commend it to your attention.

It's not a puff piece, and I cannot vouch for it's accuracy, but it has the air of a version pretty near the truth. He is in rather a rush, though, and sees the situation as tenuous, writing that "catastrophe is still looming" and, of course, "harbingers of a true guerilla war."

He concludes:
Baghdad is a neater place than it was, and Iraqis and Americans are united in wanting real security. But the window for cooperation won’t stay open much longer.
One assumes, then, that he's going to close it?
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Mr. Wilson! Mr. Wilson!


Dennis the Menace never had it so good. Ambassador Joe Wilson travelled to Niger last year, decided they weren't selling Uranium of Saddam, and wrote a report which he claimed had to have been read by Dick Cheney and other decision-makers in the Bush Administration. On July 6, he wrote an Op/Ed to this effect for the New York Times.

His wife is an agent of the CIA, and someone leaked this information to columnist Robert Novak. Both National Security Advosor Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell said they didn't know. This is a paragraph which didn't make it into yesterday's Rightsided Newsletter:
Ambassador Joe Wilson’s wife was evidently a CIA agent who was “outed” by someone within the Bush Administration. This disclosure was unauthorized, and Russert wanted to know “if head will roll” because of it. (The man could well be living at some point in revolutionary France.) National Security Advisor Rice told the MTP host that she knew nothing about it, the Justice Department was investigating, and the “President would not expect his White House to behave in that way [unauthorized disclosure].” This sounds very civilized, so it seems that Charlotte Corday is safe from Russert’s guillotine. For now.
And HERE is a bit from Reuters about Dr. Rice on yesterday's Sunday shows.

Joe Wilson is a guest on C-SPAN's Washington Journal as I type. Of the leak regarding his wife, he told host Paul Orgel that his sources tell him: "The campaign to discredit me by exposing my wife was run out of the White House." He fingered Karl Rove directly, but he said he doesn't believe that President Bush knew about it.

The highlight of his career, he tells us, was when he helped take Clinton on that famous trip to Africa. Before joining the diplomatic corps, he worked for former House Speaker Tom Foley and former Senator Al Gore. Although he insists that diplomat must be apolitical, he notes: "My political leanings are left of center."

He is one of the "Bush haters" who've been getting some press as Bush haters of late. He just told a caller -- I am listening as I type -- that her voice can be heard, that her vote counts: "despite what some people might thinik about Florida." He also said he is working for the liberal Moveon.org, that very liberal but politically unsophisticated internet group.

I guess we can all come to our own conclusions, but the man makes me sick. His self-important partisanship in the guise of a neutral public servant turns my guts. Get off my screen, Wilson.

[Note: The Bob Novak column is several months old, being dredged up from July 14. Read the text: HERE.]
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9/28/2003

 

They Loathe Davis...


California Governor Joey "All Cats are Gray" Davis is loathed by his next door neighbor. Mike Snell sent this story to his exclusive list, and it's a New York Times feature story regarding 79-year-old Charlotte Goland. She lives next door to the governor of California, and donated $2,000 -- unsolicited -- to the Recall Gray Davis petition drive.
For five years now she has watched the man come and go. He passes by in his limo, windows always up, without ever once saying so much as hello. ''Maybe I'm stubborn,'' she says. ''But I've got such a violent reaction to the man. It's a gut reaction. I don't like him. It's intuitive. I'm not really sure this feeling I have for him would be as strong if I didn't live here next to him.'' She motions to the pond out her back window. ''You'd never see him out there. He just goes in that house and shuts the doors and closes the curtains.'' She says she doesn't believe there is a trace of originality in her view of Gray Davis; the neighbors she knows all share it. ''You ought to talk to some other people here,'' she says.
His other neighbors hate him, as well, and it seems more visceral than anything otherwise substantive.

The piece also looks at some of the candidates to replace Davis, like this one:
S. Issa likes the effects of the recall -- ''I think it's a wake-up call for California'' -- but he admits that he's not going to vote for it. He's not sure any of the candidates are qualified to replace Davis, with one possible exception. If it came to that, he says, he could do the job, because he is guided by the sincere desire to leave the world a better place than he found it. ''Money, it comes and goes,'' he says. ''Fame, it comes and goes. Health, it comes and goes. One day I will die. There will be a judgment. I'll be asked: 'Did you do something good?' And I'm going to say, 'I tried to run for governor.' ''
As Sean Hannity's liberal sidekick, Alan Colmes, used to say drolly on his syndicated radio talkshow: "Beautiful."

It is almost over. After all this, it is finally nearing the end.
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Powell on Clark


Here's this, something I mentioned briefly in this afternoon's Rightsided Newsletter:

CNN's Judy Woodruff, subbing for Wolf Blitzer this AM on Late Edition, asked Secretary of State Colin Powell about a quote from him in a recent Newsweek. The magazine alleged the General Powell had recently referred to General Wesley Clark as "Lieutenant Colonel Clark," certainly a derisive "demotion." Supposedly because Powell thought Clark to be something like an "overeager general-wannabe."

Powell denied it. He said that General Clark was a Lt. Col. when he worked for him, but he never used that appellation after the Lieutenant Colonel was promoted. "I don't know where they get those quotes," Powell said, this time derisively.

Of Clark, he said: "One of the most gifted soldiers I ever had working for me." That is, indeed, a compliment, but it also puts Wes in his place. (He was once the Secretary's subordinate.)

Which reminds me. On CBS's Face the Nation, Howie Dean dismissed General Clark as a "sign of desperation by some inside-the-beltway Democrats." Clark is the only potential major Dem candidate besides Dean who is not a per se Washington insider.

Are we having fun yet?
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New California Poll...



The latest California poll to hit the wires is one which was taken after the recent candidates' debate, the first CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll taken in this race.

The results had 63 percent of the registered voters surveyed would vote to recall Davis, with only 35 percent wanting to keep him on. His departure seems to be a foregone conclusion, but everyone but him and a few national Democrats have known this for a long time.

To replace him, 40% picked Arnold, 25% chose Bustamante, 18% chose Tom McClintock. There are some also rans, according to the survey: 5% went with Greenie Peter Camejo and two percent opted for Arianna Huffington of the very wealthy dizzbot party.

If this bears out, and we don't know what the results of the survey would be once the afterglow of the debate [yeah] has passed into darkness. Either way, it looks like Arnold will win even with McClintock in the race. Tom McClintock will be seen as the brave conservative who did not back down.

Babs Boxer is up for reelection next year. Despite her name, she's not the Cassius Clay of the debating world, so the over-under would have to be one round. Like those old Tyson fights. ;)
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BILLION$ AND BILLION$


This some Sunday Morning Talk Show stuff which didn’t fit into today’s Rightsided Newsletter, but is as important as any of it.

Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic, was wrote in yesterday’s New York Post about the Democrats’ reaction to the President’s $21-billion (of the full $87-billion) request for rebuilding Iraq’s civilian infrastructure:
The second response is that Democrats can't evaluate Bush's request without more information. At the CBC debate, John Edwards said he wouldn't vote yes "without the president telling us how much this is going to cost over the long term, how long we're going to be there, and who is going to share the cost with us." But this isn't a position; it's a dodge. We already know who is going to share the cost with us: almost nobody. … Edwards has all the information he needs to make a decision on Bush's budget request right now. Liberal internationalism says he should vote yes; the Democratic base says he should vote no. And his demand for plans, estimates, and timetables is a device to avoid choosing between the two.
It’s obvious that if the United States does not see that Iraq is given a decent chance to build a Democracy, we will have failed the people or Iraq and the people of the United States. Edwards called Iraq, on Fox News Sunday this morning, “a shooting gallery.” The term “quagmire” is tossed around carelessly. A breeding ground for terrorists, which conjures to mind an image of a stagnant pool of fetid water from which dangerous mosquitoes spring forth. The only way to clean this up is to clean it up.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Dick Gephardt declared: “There are a lot of questions that Congress needs to ask, and will ask.” Like, how much will other countries will contribute? But that does not matter. Paul Bremer has estimated the cost for rebuilding Iraq to be about $60-billion, with estimated Iraqi oil revenue covering some $40-billion of that. Either way, it has to come from somewhere.

On CNN’s Late Edition, Senator Trent Lott (R-Tennessee) told sub Judy Woodruff: “I don’t think he’ll [President Bush] get every dollar, but he’ll get most of it.”

The Bush Administration would like for its allies in the war against terror to forgive some $100-billion in Iraqi foreign debt incurred during the reign of Saddam Hussein. (They also owe some $98-billion to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from the 1990-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The Kuwaiti parliament recently turned down an Administration proposal to forgive that debt.)

Iraq owes most of the $100-billion to -- besides the Saudis -- France, Germany, and Russia. Three familiar names. (They also owe some $1.7-billion to Bulgaria, who took a different tack and became a part of the Coalition of the Willing.) Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), looking very vice-presidential on Late Edition alongside Trent Lott, said that he wants those nations to forgive their debt before the United States commits rebuilding money, “because its not right for those who supported Saddam to be repaid,” while the American taxpayer is not. He was referring the U.S. contributions to Iraq which would help pay off their debt, much of which is owed to France and Germany. (On this, he is more unforgiving than is the President.)

Woodruff asked him about Joe Biden’s proposal which would repeal the tax cut for the “wealthiest 1%” to defray the cost of reconstruction in Iraq. Bayh objected at first, and Woodruff insisted that “it’s only for the wealthiest one-percent,” not for everyone. Bayh stood his ground, insisting that he would not consider such a repeal if the money goes to France and Germany.

Asked by Steph on This Week if the United States would consider loaning the money for reconstruction to Iraq, rather than giving them outright grants, Secretary of State Colin Powell insisted: “We don’t want to saddle the Iraqis with any more debt.”

Rebuilding Iraq is going to be a complicated and expensive [ad]venture. I literally shudder when I think of a Kerry or a Dean moving into the White House in time to screw it up royally. The first budge for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania proposed by Governor Crazy Eddy Rendell last March was for $21-billion. The President will probably get an amount similar to that requestion, so… vote Republican.

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Distance and Closeness


Good morning. While getting ready for this morning's talk shows, I noted a piece on the web site of the Des Moines Register: Ted Kennedy stumps for Kerry in Iowa. Now, Kennedy is popular with ultralibs and most partisan Dems, but his recent anti-Administration slurs -- slurred imputations -- have drawn the ire of sober-thinking Americans. What good would a Kennedy so recently tained to for Kerry in the decidely non-Massachusetts State of Iowa? Let's make something perfectly clear:
"We reached a different conclusion, but we didn't have differences going into what we were driving at," Kennedy said. "He believed that they could achieve the objectives, which I agreed with, by a different way."

Kennedy this month called Bush's justification for war "a fraud" motivated by politics. Kerry is among four presidential candidates who voted for the war resolution, but he has criticized Bush's pre-war diplomacy and refers to postwar Iraq as a "quagmire."
Kennedy drew a distinction, and Register staff writer Thomas Beaumont did his best to amplify Kennedy's contradictory snarls.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) attacked Kennedy's remarks and called on Kerry, among a few others, to directly repudiate them. Kerry responded: "Tom DeLay is a bully. He tried to bully Democrats in Texas and we're not going to accept his shrill partisan attacks or allow him to suggest that patriotism belongs to one political party.'' He did not seperate himself from Kennedy's remarks; rather, he changed the subject to the struggle of the Texas State legislature to draw Congressional districts for their own State.

Neither Kerry nor Kennedy will be on this morning's Talk Shows, though John Edwards will talk to Tony Snow on Fox News Sunday, Dick Gephardt will be on NBC's Meet the Press, and Howie Dean is set for CBS's Face the Nation.
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9/27/2003

 

Are the 10 Dems a-leaping hanging out in Nigeria?


Guess what. A Russian rocket has put the first ever Nigerian satellite into orbit. A 27-year-old Nigerian security guard named Prosper Sunday beamed: "It makes me proud to be a Nigerian. It shows our nation is progressing. We've joined the space age."

We ought to be proud for them. The Nigerian satellite will monitor military facilities, infrastructure, and the country's oil piplelines, from which freeloaders siphon hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil each day.
"It's a great feat for Nigeria," said Joseph Akinyede of the National Space Research and Development Agency, based in the capital Abuja

"We have a footprint in space."
But in walk the Dems.
"They should be helping the poor. Most people here are just struggling to find something to eat."
A 27-year-old barber named Adam Ahmed, who owns neither a TV nor a radio and thus hadn't heard of the satellite, complained:
"They haven't told us much about space," he said.

"I've heard of people going to the moon but I don't know how they got there."
I propose a seperation of charity and state.


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Who must now resign...


...according to Kerry and Dean. RNC spokeswoman Christine Iverson notes: "If John Kerry calls for one Administration official to resign, Howard Dean has to call for two."

On Friday, Kerry called for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign because he has acted "in an arrogant, inappropriate way that has frankly put America at jeopardy." This is why I said, a few weeks ago, that Ted Kennedy should give up the political ghost. Kerry has nothing on Rumsfeld.

Neither has Dean, who also called on Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to resign. He promised to start an internet petition drive calling for their resignations. A couple dozen Dem cranks with 25,000 Hotmail accounts each, and Dean has himself a groundswell of public sentiment.

Just a reminder: tomorrows Rightsided Newsletter is the one which reviews the Sunday morning Talk Shows. The RSN is free, of course, and you can subscribe by visiting its web site, or by clicking on THIS to fire up your mail client to send a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe [at] topica.com.
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Two views of the Dems from the Post


[Jim McCaffrey told me of two Dem-related Op/Ed pieces in this morning’s New York Post -- one by Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic (TNR), and another by National Review (NR) editor Rich Lowry. Then when I could not find them online, he sent me a couple of pcx files. (I subsequently found the Beinart piece as a “TRB from Washington: Cheap Shots,” HERE.) Jim wrote: “Anything for the cause.” Thanks, Jim.]

TNR is generally center-left, while NR is “is America's premier journal of conservative political thought. As would be expected, each distinguished editor approaches the Dems from his own angle.

Beinart’s (TNR) piece is Post-headlined “The Iraq-Money 3-Step,” and it begins:
A week into his presidential bid, Wesley Clark looks less like the Democrats' solution than another symptom of their basic problem. That problem is that much of the Democratic base still doesn't take national security seriously. Sure, Democrats know that most Americans don't trust the party to keep them safe. But they deny that this distrust has anything to do with prevailing Democratic ideology. The party, they reassure themselves, merely needs a tougher image.
It didn’t work for McGovern or Cleland, he writes, and it will not work for Wesley Clark this fall: “The voters--shocking as it may seem-- actually care what the parties believe.”

He writes: “[A]t the very moment Democrats are swooning over Clark, the party's views on Iraq are growing even more confused.” First, they trashed the President for underestimating the cost and the difficulty of post-Saddam Iraq; then, when the President requested $87-billion for this purpose, they respond in three ways: “The first response is that the Bush administration should be spending the money at home. … The second response is that Democrats can't evaluate Bush's request without more information. … The third dodge is to equate reconstructing Iraq with lining Dick Cheney's pockets.”

The Democrats do not have a coherent national security doctrine, Beinart concludes. “You can dress up the Democratic Party in whatever uniform you want, it still doesn't have a strategy for the defining challenge of our time.”

Lowrey (NR) takes a different tack in his Post piece, “A Party Caught in Contradictions: The ’04 Dem Credo.” He proceeds to list the contradictions for which today’s Democratic Party stands going into next year’s election. Here is a sampling:

  • “President Bush is isn’t devoting enough resources to the reconstruction of Iraq… and -- in light of his $87 billion aid proposal -- he is devoting too many resources to the reconstruction of Iraq.”


  • “Punch card ballots are a travesty of justice … unless they elect a Democrat (as they did in California just one year ago).”


  • “Bush is responsible for an economic downturn that began before he was elected … and Clinton is responsible for an economic recovery that began before he was elected. (At last -- a kind of consistency.”


  • “The Patriot Act is denying Americans their liberties … and John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards or Bob Graham should be elected president after having voted for it.”


  • “Library records are sacred documents … but the Constitution -- a 'living document' subject to manipulation by judges -- is not.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence McAuliffe objects to any attempt to portray his party as fragmented based on the varied cackles of its current crop of candidates. The party will eventually settle on one man, one message, he insists. He readily admits that the common cause of all Democrats is ousting President Bush.

What do we have if they somehow succeed? What is the Democratic Party, in terms of positive principles? The motion: Void, zilch, zero, naught, nothing, vacuum.

Without objection, so ordered. Hearing no objections, it is so ordered, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.

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Gray and Ozzy


Ozzy Osbourne is an aging rocker -- used to sing with a group called Black Sabbath -- who recently scored a hit with his family on MTV. His wife Sharon now has her own daytime talkshow; Sharon Osbourne cursed opposite the Queen on British TV last Christmas.

When Ozzy Osbourne talks, nonsense syllables emit from his throat; likewise, when Joey "Gray" Davis speaks, few can be certain if we hear words, whimpers, or unintelligible nonsense. Ozzy and Joey are each married to a gal named Sharon, although Sharon Osbourne's husband is a popular guy, in some circles, suffering from the mass-suicide of his brain cells, while Sharon Davis's husband is universally reviled.

Sharton Davis has granted an interview to the Associated Press.
Petite and impeccably dressed, with a scrupulous memory for facts and detail, Sharon Davis has long been an effective if underutilized ambassador for her husband, Gov. Gray Davis.
Ms. Davis might be an effective ambassador, but methinks its time for Governor Davis to shut down his embassy and let California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres open up an Interests Section, much like Castro has in D.C.
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President Bush and Vlad


President Bush and Vlad have hooked up at Camp David this weekend and they held a joint press conference this morning. The main develop is that the United States and Russia are friends, allies. Putin said that any differences are bushed aside, etc. The Coalition of the Unwilling was, half year ago, France, Germany, and Russia; Schroeder and Putin have fallen pretty much in line, and the Coalition of the Unwilling is now France. This is very big.

Part of Chirac's motivation in opposing the war against Saddam was to build a coalition of nations which could stand as a counterbalance to the interests of the United States, kind of a paper-superpower. France, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Germany and the former Soviet Russian Federation, was to be Chirac's counterbalance, starting the United States in the eye and not blinking.

The world now has a bad case of the blinks. France's dream is dead, probably for a very long time.
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Letterman, Russert, Whomever


Good morning. The following exchange, which took place last night on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman proves the currently popular theory that Letterman and NBC's Meet the Press host Tim Russert are interchangeable.

Interviewing Secretary of State Colin Powell, Letterman wanted to know if the Secretary would serve in a second Bush Administration, or if -- as rumoured in the Washpost and elsewhere -- he would leave after the first term:
Letterman: "Let's assume that [Bush] wins a second term. Would you be his secretary of state? Would you like to continue or have you in fact told him you would not continue?"

Powell (smiling): "I have enjoyed my job enormously and I will serve it at the pleasure of the president How long do you want to do this?"

Letterman: "I would infer then that you will be a secretary of state if [the president] wins another term?"

Powell: "Oh, I'll be secretary of state for as long as I serve at his pleasure."

Letterman: "And you're still in his pleasure, you haven't incurred his displeasure have you?"

Powell: "Not so far today, but it's early."
Until a decade ago, Letterman worked for NBC, and it is possible that he and Russert bumped into each other in the hall and exchanged interviewing techniques via osmosis.

Seriously, though the CNN.com story bears the subhead "Secretary of state deftly sidesteps questions about his future,"the Secretary cannot declare that he will serve in the second Bush Administration. The President chooses his cabinet, and Powell implied that he will serve if asked.
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9/26/2003

 

New Tom McClintock Ad in California


I happened across an AP Analysis of McClintock's new television ad, and it seems that the ad is more of what he has been doing: pushing his experience and deeply held convictions. A paragraph of their analysis caught my eye:
The words honesty and integrity, which also scroll across the screen, refer to McClintock's conservatism.
The terms honesty and integrity are apt descriptions of conservatives. Back in my Rand-ie days, we called it: "Non-Contradiction."
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Dean's Doofuses


For laughline purposes alone, here is the latest fundraising e-mail from Howie Dean. He has President Barlett doing his shilling for him.
Dear Friend,
I am writing you today as a fellow supporter of Howard Dean. It is now more important than ever that we stand up with him.

At yesterday's presidential debate in New York City, the Washington candidates continued their relentless attacks on Howard Dean. For the past month, the establishment candidates have been conducting orchestrated assaults on Dean's
character, employing radio ads, speeches, direct mail, and a whisper campaign
questioning the Governor's commitment to key Democratic values -- one of them has even created a website devoted exclusively to criticizing Howard Dean.

As Howard Dean said at the debate, "We need to remember that the enemy here is
George Bush, not each other." We need Howard Dean's bold leadership in the White House. Strong fundraising keeps our campaign's momentum going; it pays for much-needed media buys in key battleground states and it attracts new supporters to Howard Dean. And continuing strong fundraising will also help with the campaign's latest bold move: hiring a coordinator for each of Iowa's 99 counties.

[fundraising URLs and that]

Thank you for taking the time today to support Howard Dean.

Sincerely,

Martin Sheen
These Hollywood types have joined Howie on whatever the alternate plan of existence is from which he sends his signals.
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West Watch


It looks like Issa's people were able to negotiate a Friday date for the announcement with Arnold's people, because Issa back Arnold officially today. We knew it yesterday, of course, but the Issa crew had to get permission from Arnold's boyz as to when the formal announcement could be.

Said Issa: "I cast my endorsement today for the man I know is going to take us in the right direction." (My conspiracy friends say that Darrell is tight with the Generals who run Syria, but to me, merely backing the Syrians keeping troops in the Lebanon, if he actually did, does not, in and of itself, make one a bad person.) [See Congressman Issa's statement of April, 2002, HERE.]

Campaigning with defrocked former Texas Governr Ann Richards in West Hollywood today, California Governor Joey Davis challenged Arnold to a debate: "Right here, right now, I challenge him to a debate." Davis and Schwarzenegger will not be competing in the upcoming recall election. There is no reason why the two of them should debate, except that Davis has a few weeks left and needs something to save his failed governorship. Schwarzenegger turned him down, with a campaign spokesman offering: "So, sorry Gray, you are on your own, pal."

Davis is going down, and he has decided to take as many unborn babies down with him as he can. Davis today signed SB 332 and SB 771, two bills related to human embryonic stem cell research. However, the Senate still has a bill to pay for the experimentation:
What wasn't discussed is SB 778, which authorizes the issuance of a bond for the purpose of funding biomedical research facilities, as well as research grants or loans. It is stuck in a Senate Appropriations committee. Sponsor state Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) says she'll try to move it next year.
Methinks it is time for some fiscal reality. The State of California cannot afford to continue throwing money at medical experiments on unborn babies. "This research has the potential to..." It's had that potential for ten years and you've found nothing. Try something else.
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Bureaucrats say the most moronic things


This is from Congressional Quartley's daily "CQ Today Midday Update" of this afternoon:
"Our Constitution allows consumers to choose not to receive commercial telemarketing calls. We will seek every recourse to give American consumers a choice to stop unwanted telemarketing calls." -- Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy Muris, of a court decision declaring the national "do not call" registry unconstitutional.
This is wrong, and it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of our Constitution. Our Constitution empowers the Federal Government to do certain things. It does not empower the individual to do anything. This is basic stuff, Muris.
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Dems and their 527 Committees


Section 527 of the IRS code was enacted in 1975 “to cover the tax treatment of all political organizations intended to influence the nomination, selection, appointment, or election of a candidate for federal, state, or local public office.” A 527 committee, named for that section of the code, can accept as much soft money as is offered from individuals, corporations, and interest groups. A politician 527 Committee is affiliated, of course, with a politician, such as is the case with candidate John Edwards’s New American Optimists. McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan/Bush proscribes national committees and individual candidates from accepting such donations.

Because of these 527 committees, it is reported, are cutting into the Republicans’ standard fundraising edge.

From the WashPost story comes word of a study by The Center for Public Integrity:
The center's study, which covered the period from August 2000 to August 2003, found that money going to Democratic-leaning groups -- such as unions and environmental and abortion rights groups -- was more than double that going to Republican-affiliated groups, $185 million to $81.6 million, a difference of $103.4 million.
The story also reports that former Clinton aide Harold Ickes is will soon be opening his own political 527 committee -- as differentiated from politician 527 committee which serve the candidates directly -- to spend some $50-million on television advertising. (Ickes supports such current candidates as General Wesley Clark and Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania).)

The GOP receives more hard money, natch.

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Beam me Up


Former Representative James Trafficant (D-Ohio), lodged in a federal penitentiary, will note be running for President, as such, in 2004. If had heard mumblings -- and that's all they were -- about this, but I just now discovered that his draft committee had its own web site.

The details are linked, but suffice it to say that his people did not raise by Wednesday the necessary $100,000 to qualify for Fed matching funds.

So that ends that chapter. But he would make a great running mate for Wesley Clark should the general best the rest of the insuffereable Dem field.
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Davis: "Debate Me!"


California Governor Joey Davis, a man not invited to the debate between his potential replacements, is once again talking about a one-on-one debate with GOP frontrunner Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"I'm going to set the record straight. I'm getting sick and tired of his distortions," Davis said. "If he doesn't set the record straight himself, I may have to debate him."
Davis issued such talk very early in the process, sounding as if he would have been granting Schwarzenegger credibility by deigning to debate him.

Even now, Davis is acting as if it is his choice whether or not to debate his challenger. He is not talking about debating the most qualified of all the candidates, including the governor, State Senator Tom McClintock. He does not hint at lowering himself to challenge Cruz Bustamante. Of the three serious candidates to replace Davis, only Arnold Schwarzenegger is new to this political thaang, and Davis wants a piece of him.

Schwarzenegger's camp dismissed Davis's talk as that of a governor in trouble, desperate to gain some standing. Indeed, the polls indicate that most Californians want rid of Davis. He will be left to sink and swim on his own.


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9/25/2003

 

Don't Call Me, II


Earlier today, an indignant House of Representatives pass, 412-8, HR 3161, a law authorizing the Federal Trade Commission to implement its do-not-call list. The Senate quickly followed suit. Both houses of Congress were livid and united in passing a law essentially banning a nuisance which they were not empowered to outlaw. Permit me to use the word "stupid," because it is. Permit me to use the term "silly," as that is how they acted. Matters of war and peace, life and death, pale by comparison to thwarting an annoynac.

HR 3161 was passed in a rush by an angry Congress in response to an Oklahoma judge's decision to block implementation of the FTC regulation because Congress had not authorized them to force it onto telephone advertisers.

Now this: New York City - 2nd Court Blocks Don't Call Law. U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham, out of Denver, wrote:
The Federal Trade Commission has chosen to entangle itself too much in the consumers' decision by manipulating consumer choice and favoring speech by charitable (organizations) over commercial speech.
The FTC says it will appeal.

The mere fact that a majority of the population find telemarketing calls to be annoying does not empower the federal government to proscribe them. Our federal government is authorized to do only specific things. If a majority of the people want a federal law banning telemarketing telephone calls, they should draft then ratify a Constitutional Amendment empowering it to do so.

But that was not the argument out of Colorado. Judge Nottingham held that the law violated the First Amendment's Free Speech clause.

The signals I'm getting tell me that the telemarketers will not fight the law if eventually found to be -- ::shudder:: -- Constitutional.
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Arnold's Allies


The chief sponsor of the effort to recall California Governor Joey Davis, Representative Darrell Issa, has will publicly back Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday, according to sources. Today, last year's GOP candidate Bill Simon announced his support: " think it's now time to get behind one candidate for governor and I believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger has the best chance to be the next governor of California, and I think that is a very good thing." Simon's name is on the recall ballot, but he has officially dropped out of the race.

Fox News reports that next week, Schwarzenegger gets the public backing of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former recall candidate -- another still-on-the-ballot who dropped out -- Peter Uebberoth, while CNN reports that Uebberoth will talk to Schwarzenegger and California State Senator Tom McClintock, then he will decide.

The Visalia Times-Delta former California Secretary of State Bill Jones endorses Arnold and wants McClintock to leave the field. Jones was a candidate for the 2002 Republican gubernatorial nomination, losing to Simon.

McClintock says he is not going anywhere, telling supporters in an e-mail message:
[B]ack then, Reagan was sent an open letter by three Republican legislators who asked him to rise above personal ambition, drop out of the race and get behind [former San Francisco Mayor George] Christopher for the good of the Party.

Reagan declined. The rest is history. Ronald Reagan proved then as we can prove today, that a conservative Republican can win a statewide California Election.

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Wesley Clark's 1st Dem Debate


There are ten of them. The Democrat candidates for the opportunity officially to run against President George W. Bush next autumn met on stage in New York this afternoon in an event -- FOXNews.com - Politics - Dems Field 10th Man in Economic Policy Debate -- hosted by "the Next Tom Brokaw," MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.

The usual things were said, and little of it bears repeating again, but we did discover why Wesley Clark decided earlier this month, after months of media speculation, that he would be a Democrat:
"I am pro-choice, I am pro-affirmative action, I'm pro-environment, pro-health. I believe the United States should engage with allies. We should be a good player in the international community. And we should use force only as a last resort. That's why I'm proud to be a Democrat."
Force as a last resort? Wesley Clark?

This is from an August 2, 1999 story on CNN.com: Sources: Top NATO commanders clashed over Russians' actions in Kosovo:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark, who is stepping down early as NATO supreme commander, clashed with British commander Gen. Mike Jackson over how to react to the movement of Russian forces in Kosovo after the alliance's victory there, sources say.

Pentagon and NATO sources told CNN that Clark ordered Jackson, the commander of NATO ground forces in Kosovo, to dispatch helicopters to take control of Pristina's airport before the Russians arrived June 12.

Jackson reportedly favored a less confrontational approach and was slow to relay Clark's orders. As a result, Apache helicopters were unable to reach the airport because of bad weather.

After the Russians took control of one end of the airport, Pentagon sources say Clark ordered Jackson to move British tanks onto the runway to prevent Russia from flying in reinforcements.

This time, Jackson delayed while he sought political guidance from London. Clark also appealed to political leaders in Washington for support, the U.S. magazine Newsweek reported Sunday.

Clark's orders were never carried out. "I'm not going to start World War III for you," Jackson is quoted in Newsweek as telling Clark after the incident.
Wesley Clark is both reckless and a liar. Wesley Clark is thus a reckless liar.
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The name's Bowles, Erskine Bowles


Last year's candidates for Jesse Helms's former North Carolina Senate seat were Elizabeth Dole of the Republican side and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles on the Dem. Bowles lost to Senator Dole by 4 percent, and his friends say he's been hankering to give it another go: Charlotte Observer: Bowles plans to run for Senate again.
"I am excited about this campaign," he wrote. "I look forward to talking with folks across the state and you can be sure that I will devote every ounce of energy and ability I have to this race."
His probably GOP opponent will be Representative Richard Burr, who sat out the election to replace Helms at the urging of Karl Rove -- according to Bob Novak at the time -- and was being groomed to challenge incumbant Democrat Senator John Edwards, who is now candidate Edwards and will not seek reelection to his Senate seat.

A poll last week by the Raleigh News and Observer, anticipating this matchip, had Burr polling at 43-percent and Bowles trailing with 37-percent. The remaing twenty-percent of those surveyed had no Earthly idea.
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DO NOT CALL!!!


Two days after a judge in Oklahoma tossed aside a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reg prohibiting telemarketers from calling people who put their names and numbers on a government list, the House of Representatives passed legislation (HR 3161) specifically authorizing the FTC to maintain such a list. The Oklahoma judge had ruled that Congress had not specifically authorized the FTC to create a do-not-call list.

Since June, over 50-million phone numbers had been submitted to the registry, and Congress was outraged that the court would not allow the list. Energy Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-Louisiana), who introduced HR 3161, screamed from the House floor: “Did you hear me, judge? We really mean it! We want the national do-not-call list to become law October 1!!!”

The final vote for passage was 412-8. The bill is very popular with voters who do not care so much for their liberties as they do to be rid of an inconvenience. Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress empowered to pass such a law, but the Constitution is not quite a relevant thing when Mom-n-Pop back in the district are fed up as heck at getting phone calls while boiling their cabbage.

This is the kind of dross required to get those punchinellos pumped up and unanimous for an all-consuming cause, such as it is.

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The California Debate


I didn't watch it -- but for a moment -- but here is a summary from the San Jose Mercury News: FREEWHEELING EXCHANGE: FRONT-RUNNERS ARE MAIN TARGETS AS CANDIDATES FIGHT TO STAND OUT. This particular summary has an entire section of the piece of the debate I saw, labelled: "The Quip."

I'm an unpologetic fan of the NBC series The West Wing, and they opened their season last night with a Republican President. I had fears of the treatment this would get, of course, but John Goodman -- of all people! -- did a good job as Speaker turned President Walken. It wasn't what I expected.

I could have taped that and watched the debate of FOX. I didn't, because -- as with the last California debate -- I refuse to waste my time with a clown-show, and that's what anything with Arianna Huffington would be. I take my politics seriously. Huffington is not a serious person.

However, as I pointed out when they both used the same microphones outside a court house after entering the race -- Arianna knocked them over before Arnold's turn, though they were set up specifically for him -- I thought it would be cute to hear the Greek Arianna and the Austrian Arnold debate each other. I wanted subtitled, but they were not offered for the piece I saw when I flipped over during a commercial break.

Schwarzenegger interrupted Huffington, and the dizzbot shot back: "Let me finish. This is very impolite,'' she said. "This is the way you treat women. We know that." There was some mumbling between the two candidates as the moderator re-asserted control. Arnold then shot back: "I just realized I have the perfect part for you in Terminator 4." (There evidently was a female villain in Terminator 3. And there is little doubt that line was rehearsed, Schwarzenegger knowing Huffington would come out spitting.)

The moderator moved on to the next question, but Schwarzenegger could be heard it the background wanting to keep discussing the same subject, whatever that was.

I was pointed this morning to a good review of the debate from the American Realpolitik blog. I concur, and it doesn't sound like it was exactly Lincoln-Douglas. (The rules are that we must have at least one pundit deliver that remark after each and every modern debate. I took the fall this time.)

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9/24/2003

 

Redistricting Map


Despite shouting, stammering, and lawmakers fleeing to Oklahoma (Texas House) 0r New Mexico (Senate) for weeks, the Texas State senate Wednesday passed its redistricting plane, 18-12. (One Republican voted NO.) (CBS News | GOP Wins Texas Redistricting Fight .)

The plan still has to be reconciled with one passed by the Texas House and signed by Governor Rick Perry, but it looks like the State of Texas will finally have a redistricting plan which was approved by their elected representatives. (The redistricting plan in place after the last census -- giving the Dems an unrepresentative 17-15 edge in Congressinal Seats -- was drawn by a court.)

The CBS.com story is linked above with their: "GOP Wins Texas Redistricting Fight." Actually, the majority wins.


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Trading Places?


When U.N.S.C. Resolution was being debated in the Security Council a year ago, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder -- campaigning in a close election -- ruled out any assistance in a war against Saddam Hussein. French President Jacques Chirac, on the other hand, was cautious, but he rejected outright refusing to use of French troops in such an effort. As Christoph Nesshöver wrote for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the time:
For the first time since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, Germany has isolated herself in a major question of international policy - and there is no easy way out for Chancellor Schröder and foreign minister Joschka Fischer. With his categorical rejection of any military action on Iraq, the Chancellor violated one of the most important principles of German post-war foreign policy: never walk alone. Due to her history, Germany, more than other countries needed and needs political allies to exercise international influence.”
Of Chirac and France, he wrote:
France's position is more comfortable. President Chirac never ruled out French participation in war against Saddam Hussein. And the French proudly point out that since the United States' fight for independence, France has always stood by America's side when the going got really tough.
France, of course, became their ally. But as Schroeder put distance between himself and the election, and France became more wild-eyed and preposterous in their obstruction -- with de Villepin jetting around Africa to drum up opposition to the United States -- Germany backed off a tad.

Still, word was that President Bush took Schroeder’s obstinance personally while insisting that he could still work with Chirac and France. This from the June 3rd issue of the Rightsided Newsletter
He [President Bush] also approached German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in St. Petersburg and asked, “How are you doing?” Schroeder is said to have replied “Fine,” and the two never again spoke there or in Evian. There was a more cordial, but not overly affectionate handshake with French President Jacques Chirac, to whom the President gave a three-volume set of books about American Indian culture as a gift to the leader of the host country of the G8 summit. This seems in line with a statement the European press, and subsequently their American counterparts, attributed to National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice concerning the United States’ post-Saddam foreign policy regarding Europe: “Punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia.” (Of the alleged Rice quote, Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “It's a great line a journalist came up with and repeated quite a bit.”)
Events have proven that France is hopelessly fractious, even in partial acquiescence. Germany now seems more trustworthy and flexible.

It would be simple to say that the United States won this round, except that this one was not entirely a diplomatic game. If we are to collect tokens -- and that looks like the prize at this point -- we can hope to get some movable pawns; elsewise, the President will have spoken to those morbid diplomats for naught.

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And then there was France...


President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder met today in New York, and this from Reuters: Bush, Schroeder Set Aside Differences on Iraq.

They said that they were putting past disagreements behind them to take care of the situation in Iraq. This what the President asked of the world community, and Schroeder said:
"I have told the president how very much we would like to come in and help with the resources that we do have. We very much envisage that we will assist and supply training for the security forces and police functions or be it some form of military function."
During the negotiations for UNSC Resolution 1441 about a year ago, it was Germany which came across as most obstinately against the President's proposed resolution, while France seemed more likely to move in our direction. We speculated in the Rightsided Newsletter at the time that Schroeder was pumping up the anti-American rhetoric for what were set to be very close elections in Germany on September 27, 2002. In his interview with Fox News' Brit Hume Monday night, the President speculated of Schroeder's initial intransigence: "I think he got into an election and the German people are essentially pacifists because of their -- many still remember the experience of World War II."

So Germany is with it on rebuilding Iraq. (NPR, thinking simplistically, wonders how many troops they'll send, as if that is all that is needed.) Where is Jacques on history? (I've since learned that his foreign minister, the poet DeVillepin, is also an historian. How 'bout that?)
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First Hispanic Governor


California gubernatorial candidate Cruz Bustamante has repeatedly told potential Hispanic that he seeks to become the first Hispanic governor of California -- should they decide to vote for the recall which he claims not to support. Whatever he believes, this is a lie.

My friend Mike Snell tells me "that would be accurate except for the inconvenience of Renaissance man and former Governor Romualdo Pacheco, who became a Republican governor of California in 1875. He began his political career as a Democrat, and he "died on January 23, 1899 in Oakland, California."

As Mike points out, Cruz could get away with his little lie because "Californians were mostly educated in California public schools.

[NOTE: Mike is a Californian, not an onlooker like me. At my request, he has explained some of the dynamics in that State to me, and this recall bit does make sense in their context.]
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Wictory Wednesday


Fellow blogger PoliPundit had, to borrow Lieutenant Colonel Ollie North’s term from back in ’87, “a neat idea.” It’s called “Wictory Wednesday,” and it is when we devote a little space every Wednesday to do our thing for Bush.Cheney ’04. Because of this Internet, it is easy to volunteer for online work or to donate even your pocket change. Just click on the links, and you’re there.

There are reports that, far from trailing anyone in fundraising, private, big-$$$ Dems like George Soros and his ilk are all set to put up over $250-million to elect whatever Dem: Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Lyndon LaRouche… whatever their flavor. We’re the ones to assure that this doesn’t happen.

We need to have a President who will stand up to enemies of our Republic, like Saddam Hussein, Jacques Chirac, and Ted Kennedy. (That last name was not included merely as a partisan joke. We've discussed Kennedy's most recent perfidy.)

So click these links to volunteer for or donate something to the re-election of President Bush. (The links are to his campaign site.) And if you are a blogger who also wants to take part in Wictory Wednesday, just drop PoliPundit a line by clicking HERE.

And here is the Blogroll of the Willing:


Algol
Bowling for Howard
Dean

BushBlog.us (unofficial blog)
Bush-Cheney 2004 (unofficial
blog)

ExPostFacto
The Hedgehog Report
Jeremy Kissel
Left Coast
Conservative

Mark Kilmer
Matt Margolis
PoliPundit
Southern Conservatives
Viking Pundit


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9/23/2003

 

Some Balance


In an effort to share some ideological balance, I include a link to the story from Alternet.org: Annan Trounces Bush at UN.

It begins:
While the U.S. media will most likely play up George Bush's boring speech to the UN, the day clearly belonged to Kofi Annan.


In his distinctively quiet-spoken manner, Annan trounced the Bush administration's foreign policy doctrine of unilateral preemptive strikes at the United Nations General Assembly. Saying the world had "come to a fork in the road," at what "may be a moment no less decisive than 1945 [the founding of the U.N.] itself, when the United Nations was founded," Annan spelt out explicitly and in the most public way possible the position he has until now reserved for quiet off-the-cuff sessions with the media. Drawing on the power of his office, he ripped apart the U.S. policy of hot preemption – though without pointing specifically at the Bush administration.
How delightfully juvenile.

Kofi seemed to me to blast the U.N. as much as the United States. He said that the body he leads has to lean to decisively act when confronted with bad actors. (Not his exact words, of course.)

And the "moment no less decisive than 1945 itself" took place last September, when the U.N. could either act or risk irrelevance. The U.N. risked irrelevance, but they did survive, albeit weakened.


And here is more balance. How many of you have been following the stormy "JenBen" thing. It has something to do with Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck falling in love on the set of a movie called Giglie. They were to be wed a few weekends ago, but it didn not work out. A story was that his mom and Christian Slater talked him out of it and she cried all night.

Britney Spears, who was in town for the wedding, was left stranded in her hotel using an alias.

Look, don't quote me on that. I don't know who those people are, really, but I've picked up some chatter, so to speak.

The latest is from Celebrity News @ Hollywood.com.
According to reports in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Associated Press, the celebrity duo [Ben and Jen] was spotted Monday at the Liberty County Courthouse in a southeast Georgia town, and "looked totally together, smiling and happy," a deputy registrar at the courthouse told the Journal-Constitution, just weeks after canceling their impending nuptials in California. Although a Liberty County sheriff told AP Affleck stopped to ask about a gun permit, the reason the two were at the courthouse is still up for speculation. The couple recently purchased a home together on Georgia's Hampton Island. [Ital. mine]
Affleck is a supporter of Dennis Kucinich. Does he not know that Dennis's new position is that gun permits are illegal death warrants?

The archives are coming back, and the permalink problem should be solved soon. (Knock on silicon.)
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Ted Kennedy's Day


While President Bush was speaking to the United Nations this morning, Senate Republicans were taking to the floor to denounce Ted Kennedy and his disgusting remarks of last week: Senators Dispute Charge That Iraq War Is 'Fraud'.

From the Reuters piece:
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, a Virginia Republican, talked of a serviceman's "young wife surrounded by small children" who "hear that this whole thing has been a fraud. Is that safeguarding those put in harm's way? I say no."

Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison complained that Kennedy was making "a slur" on her home state of Texas "to say this plot was made up" there.
I was having my eye shot up with a laser this morning, so I cannot offer you the story of what actually happened, but it is a safe bet that it was a lot worse for Kennedy than we're told. Check C-SPAN for their schedule, as I can't doubt that they'll re-air it tonight.

The article quotes The Hammer on the House side saying that Kennedy's remarks were "as disgusting as they were false," and demanding from Kennedy an apology to the country.

Daschle complained that the GOP Senators were only unveiling "an orchestrated effort to attack those who criticize." Kennedy himself took to the floor and shouted that the President should have used his U.N. speech this morning to "take responsibility for his administration's mistakes in going to war without the broad support of the international community." Ted Kennedy wants the U.S. to admit mistakes it didn't make and to negotiate from weakness with the likes or Jacques, the poet DeVillepin, and France.

Niether Daschle nor Kennedy addressed or defended Kennedy's specific remarks.

I've noticed that my archives have gone missing, so here is my original entry on this matter:

Kennedy's Lost It!

Either Ted Kennedy has lost his mind or he thinks his bizarre rhetoric is goint to help whomever is the Dem nominee in 2004. Or he's drunk, which is always a possibility. Either yesterday or today, Kennedy deigned to allow the Associated Press to interview him, and here are the results: Kennedy Says Iraq War Case a 'Fraud'.

Quotes from the man can shoot no straighter than he drives: "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud," Kennedy said.

And: "My belief is this money is being shuffled all around to these political leaders in all parts of the world, bribing them to send in troops," he said.

And: "I think all of those [al Qaeda, Afghanistan, North Korea] pose a threat to the security of the people of Massachusetts much more than the threat from Iraq," Kennedy said. "Terror has been put on the sidelines for the last 12 months."

We're still fighting al Qaeda, and we're still winning, moreso now than before we went into Iraq last March. Afghanistan is coming a long, and it is not a threat to Massachusetts or even to Vermont (Howie). North Korea is being properly contained and dealt with. Iraq was a threat because of Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party, which were threats because they were serious elements of a broader culture which want to see us all dead. Now, Iraq is more a threat only if we run away. Afghanistan was obviously a threat at one point, in that it contained was home to terror training depots.

This rhetoric is childish and irresponsible, and if believed, it is dangerous. For the security of our nation and for the future of mankind, I call for the immediate resignation of Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
# posted by M Kilmer : 9/19/2003 02:31:22 PM #
Kennedy's not going to resign, so perhaps now this will be put aside until it is useful in next year's campaigns.
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Chirac-xymoron


First off, the girl reading the NPR hourly news this after pronounced the name of the French President: "Jack Sheerack." This will not influence me to begin listening to All Things Considered, mind you, but I thought it funny enough to note.

When the President address the U.N. General Assembly this morning, Jack Shee... er. Jacques Chirac was seated with his foreign minister, the poet Dominique DeVillepin, in the France spot on the floor of the U.N. (In the camera shot, the poet de Villepin's eyes were rolled upward into his forehead for a Jack Nicholson effect.) Jacques addressed the crowd after President Bush spoke, saying such things as: "No one can act alone in the name of all and no one can accept the anarchy of a society without rules" and "The war, launched without the authorization of the Security Council, shook the multilateral system. The United Nations has just been through one of the most grave crises in its history." That is what President Bush had warned them last September: the U.N. could either act or risk becoming irrelevant.

President Bush met with Jacques after they're speeches, but (from Forbes.com): Bush, Chirac fail to bridge Iraq differences. From the short piece:
Asked if they had made any progress on bridging their differences, the U.S. official said: "I think we're going to have to keep working on it."

Bush told Jacques that "the premature transfer of sovereignty which is within the French proposal is just not in the cards," the official said.
The French proposal calling for an Iraq provisional government in a month and a constitution by the end of the year was said to be the brainchild of the poet DeVillepin. Jacques subsequently dumped it and took a softer line on Iraq, stating unequivocally that he will not exercise France's Security Council veto. This on that from the web site of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper:
This sudden dumping of the de Villepin approach, suggests that M Chirac knows it will be far more difficult to emerge as a hero from a debate on the transfer of sovereignty than one on the reasons for war.
If he can't be someone's hero, he does nothing to move further in his quest for a bipolar geopolitical landscape.

Jacques is an oxymoron.
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His Excellency, George Bush


It might be a bit much for American ears, but that is how the President was introduced at the United Nations this morning; he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York, a city which he said was transformed into a “battlefield and a graveyard and the symbol of an unfinished war..”

He restated his old theme concerning that which motivates the terrorists, asserting that the U.N. HQ in Baghdad was destroyed by terrorists because it “stood for order and compassion.”

Incompatible with humanity. Of the terrorists, the President said: “By the victims they choose and by the means they use, the terrorists have clarified the struggle we are in. Those who target relief workers for death have set themselves against all humanity. Those who incite murder and celebrate suicide reveal their contempt for life itself.” He later added: “All governments who support terror are complicit in a war against civilization.”

The left either cannot grasp this concept or do not want anyone to understand. Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond are not merely a part of the hunt for Osama bin Laden or a payback for September 11. This is about eradicating the mindset of terror.

In the President’s words, the war in Iraq was about this:
Success of a free Iraq will be watched and noted throughout the region. Millions will see that freedom, equality and material progress are possible at the heart of the Middle East. Leaders in the region will face the clearest evidence that free institutions and open societies are the only path to long-term national success and dignity.

And a transformed Middle East would benefit the entire world by undermining the ideologies that export violence to other lands.

Iraq, as a dictatorship, had great power to destabilize the Middle East. Iraq, as a democracy, will have great power to inspire the Middle East.
It bears repeating: “Undermining the ideologies that export violence to other lands.” That is the goal. It was this ideology of hatred and anger which Osama bin Laden spread and which the war in Iraq sought to begin to destroy. In that way, Osama bin Laden and September 11 were connected, in their genesis, with the mindset of Iraq. That is what Vice President Dick Cheney said on NBC’s Meet the Press a few weeks back which had the liberal media idiots screaming that he was trying to say that Saddam was responsible for 9-11. They are seemingly incapable of grasping the concept.

We're not.
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A Decisive Fork in the Road


Good morning. A liberal subscriber to the Rightsided Newsletter writes to tell me that Kennedy is the only person telling the truth, and that Brit Hume, when interviewing the President yesterday, served up only "softballs from the conservative media."

What affects these people? Perhaps the same thing which generates a Joe Lieberman. This from a fundraising e-mail I received -- in my dummy Inbox -- this AM:
Joe Lieberman remains the only candidate who combines principle, integrity, and a clear vision for America. Joe Lieberman has said from the start that he'll call them as he sees them. That strength is what makes Joe the candidate to continue the policies of Bill Clinton and Al Gore -- and the candidate to defeat George Bush. Joe represents the best values of our party and the best way to bring security and prosperity to our country while restoring fairness and integrity to the White House.
False prosperity and a massive lessening of security. More of the same, Joe?
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9/22/2003

 

The President's Interview


I just wrote a bit about it in the Rightsided Newsletter, and you can subscribe free by visiting the web site or sending a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe -at- topica.com. Of course I'll talk about it here, but I cannot bypass the plugging opportunity.

Brit Hume mentioned Teddy Kennedy and the Dem candidates piling it one him, and the President said: "I really don't pay attention to that." He offered: "Senator Kennedy… should not have said we’re trying to bribe foreign nations…. I don't mind people trying to pick apart my policies, and that's fine and that's fair game. But, you know, I don't think we're serving our nation well by allowing the discourse to become so uncivil that people say -- use words that they shouldn't be using.”

But kids will be kids. He said that there are nine of them fighting now. When it is time for him to enter the race, there will be only one. At that point, he said, "hopefully I will be able to elevate the discourse in a way that will make people proud to be citizens of this country." [from scrawled notes]

He's going to be the adult. That's a good rebuff, but he needs to spread that word a lot further than just one TV interview in prime time opposite a coupld of series season premiers. Let Scott McLellan and others have to shout it often.
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In Chirac's Eyes


Chirac sees this conflict as one between Christians and all Moslems. From the New York Times interview:
Q. But there is no reason to wait for the immediate symbolic transfer?

MR. CHIRAC No. It's psychological, it is a political act, to tell the Iraqis, "Your destiny is in your hands. Now we shall help, but you are responsible. You are not under the authority of a governor who is Christian and foreign. That’s a lot, isn’t it?"
The idea, then, is that Iraqis would resist a Christian governor. (Former Iraqi Vice President Tariq Aziz was a Chaldean Christian who had a pre-war audience with Pope John Paul II, so they are somewhat used to Christians in power.) More significantly, Chirac tacitly told the Times that he sees the war on terrorism as one between Christianity and all of Islam. (Depending, of course, on the accuracy of the translators at the Times.)

They have a mindset at the Times. The interviewer also spoke to Chirac’s opposition to warfare against Saddam, his preference to keeping the sanctions going interminably while the United States paid to blockade Iraq. The Times interviewer shot this one to Jacques:
Q: Are you sometimes tempted, Mr. President, to say: “President Bush, you were wrong.”
The Times is attempting to generate and reinforce this image amongst their readers, and their leading Jacques into doing it for them. Chirac in his answer, however, played the magnanimous French guy.

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