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.

  • 12/17/2004



  • The United States has forgiven about $4.1-billion in debt owed it by Iraq. Iraqi Finance Minister Adil Abdul al-Mahdi signed the agreement at the State Department with Secretaries Colin Powell (State) and John Snow (Treasury). Powell urged other Paris Club members to keep their promises and relieve Iraq's debt. The club agreed to 80-percent, but the U.S. stepped beyond that and forgave them every cent in what al-Mahid called "our second liberation after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein."."

  • Michael Gerson, President Bush's head speechwriter, has successfully undergone angioplasty to open two arteries. Stents.

  • The British paper Independent has revealed that Rummy has been excoriated for his answer to the body armor question in Kuwait )asked by a National Guardsman who was given the question by a reporter who got it from the Kerry campaign).
    The remark was "very troubling", said Senator Susan Collins of Maine, adding her voice to those of John McCain, Chuck Nagel and Trent Lott, the former Senate majority leader.
    There is no Senator Chuck Nagel, and he forgot Norm Coleman. (I'm purposely not mentioning Evan Bayh, another who mouthed-off recently, as he's not a Republican.)

    The paper adds another name to the list: "William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, the neo-conservatives' house magazine." I haven't heard what Kristol said, but the paper asserted that he joined "at least four senior Republican senators" in calling for Rumsfeld's dismissal. Not one of the Senators, except for perhaps Susie, has called for Rumsfeld to step down.

  • I'm listening to Darius Milhaud, a 20th century French composer who kept a better tune than did Schoenberg.


    You may spend our money our way, or not at all

    The Dallas Morning News reports that voters in Mustang, Oklahoma, have refused to rubberstamp their school districts $11-million bond issue. Why not? It seems their school district refused to allow 5th graders to include the baby Jesus in a Christmas play.
    [O]ther religious and cultural symbols – including those of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa – were allowed to remain in the production, as well as a Christmas tree and a Santa Claus.
    Of course, the superintendent was only acting out of fear, of a hassle brought on by an ACLU or atheist law suit. The only solution is for the courts to start throwing out the suits.

    [HT, Teagan Goddard]


    Rummy Watch

    It's Friday evening.

    Against Rumsfield: GOP Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Susie Collins, Trent Lott, and Norm Coleman. To one extent of the other.

    For Rumsfeld: President George W. Bush.

    Also for Rumsfeld: Bill Frist and his whip, Mitch McConnell, so we hear from the AP:
    "I am confident that Secretary Rumsfeld is fully capable of leading the Department of Defense and our military forces to victory in Iraq and the war on terror," Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said in a written statement. "Most importantly he has the confidence of his commanders in the field and our commander in chief."

    Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP whip, said Rumsfeld "is an excellent secretary of defense and we are fortunate to have a man of his courage and vision serving the president at this critical time."
    But to hijack a few terms from John O'Sullivan in the latest National Review, the Prez no longer has Colin Powell to play the super-ego to Rummy's portrayal of the President's id. (In the idiom.)


    They've found the baby

    Someone murdered the pregnant mother and cut the baby, eight months from conception, from her womb. After an Amber Alert, the child has been found.

    The ways in which this story speaks to various debates should be obvious, but the great news is that the child has been found alive.


    The WH backs Rummy

    Republican Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Trent Lott, Susie Collins, and Norm Coleman have each either blasted Sec Def Donald Rumsfeld in the press or said that he should quit.

    The White House, however backs their Defense Secretary:
    "Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a great job leading our efforts at the Department of Defense to win the war on terrorism and to help bring about a free and peaceful Iraq, and the president is focused on working closely with him on those matters," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
    It's the President's cabinet, and the only thing Rummy has done which would demand his immediate resignation is that he has not played the MSM game, admitting that they were correct as always and he is a… Miserable Failure. (Where's Dick Gephardt? I borrowed his term.


    Housekeeping: Sometime after the 1st of the year, or before it, this li'l weblog will be published using something called "Mingus." As much as that conjures up the image of one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, it's just blogging software.


    Strippers to wear permits

    In San Antonio, the city council has passed an ordinance requiring strippers to wear permits when they are onstage.
    But Jim Deegear, a lawyer for several strip clubs in the city, said it would put strippers in danger by making it easier for an obsessed customer to find out a dancer's real name and where she lives.
    Or if "she" is a he. I watch CSI.

    Yeah, but there is no one on whether the permits will have to be worn "strategically placed."

    [ht. Ellesu at Free Republic]


    Coleman hassles Rummy

    Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) is the latest GOP Senator to leap on the media-driven bandwagon of excoriation for Sec Def Donald Rumsfeld for not providing soldier in Iraq with enough HumVee armor. He did not call for Rumsfeld's resignation; rather, he wants answers. Dammit.

    He joins McCain, Hagel, Collins, and a partridge in a pear tree.

    We're still waiting for proof that more armor is needed to keep our troops safer. As far as we know, the issue was invented by a reporter and fed to a soldier to ask the Secretary.


    Domestic Spending Freeze

    AP calls it a "stringent approach," but President Bush has warned domestic spenders to expect their budgets to be frozen or even cut next year.

    We'll see what he submits in February, but it looks like he might dissolve the delusion.


    PRE-FACE – Friday, December 17, 2004

    Good morning!

  • 'T is Friday.

  • The two-day SSI conference has ended, and the people selected to attend agreeing with the President that a problem is a crisis. Brazenly setting up camp on the "Third Rail of American Politics," the President is ready with his political capital in hand.

    Who needs a "caretaker" domestic President during wartime?

  • Anonymous "officials" have told the Washington Post that the President is considering naming Federal Reserve Board governor Ben Bernanke to be the chairman of his Council of Economic Advisors.

    Note that the paper does not claim to cite a "senior Administration official" or "sources close to the White House." They later in the story cite an "[A]dministration aide," who cautioned that it was still early in the process.

    Don't bet the farm on this piece, not that we all have farms to wager.

  • The Green and the Libertarian Parties were ordered to pay a $1.4-million deposit for a recount in last month's Presidential election. The Greens complained that this was more money than they had raised for the election itself.

    They're looking for guaranteed space on the 2006 ballot.

  • 12/16/2004



  • Just to fill in those who don't know. Those columns to which I link, labeled "from the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter, are from the web site of an e-mail newsletter I began in February of 1997. At that time, it resembled maybe a bad blog post. It has gotten a lot better, but now that there is this outlet, it's been scaled from thrice to twice per each week: Wed and Sun.

    It's just something I do, and it has a global subscriber base. The columns by others came when I wanted to do that, as well. And I've political 'toons on the site.

    The RSN is still around, twice weekly, so if you want to subscribe FREE, just send a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe [AT] topica.com.

  • In time for the most-wonnerful-time-of-the-year, Pejman Yousefzadeh (Pejmanesque) has a piece about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich quest to rid society of "graphic violence, nudity, obscene language" incarnate as vid games.

    She [the vid game slattern] may not be a witch, but she's dressed like one. Well, we did do the nose. And the hat. BUT SHE'S A WITCH! (Burn her anyway.)

  • If he could name his replacement, which he technically cannot, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge might pick LA Police Chief William Bratton and the county's Sheriff Lee Boca. Of course, Ridge was in that town to give California $282-million in homeland security $$$.

    Boca was mentioned by Congressperson Jane Harman (D-California) as her pick for the next head of the DHS on ABC's This Week last Sunday.

  • I'm listening to Antonin Dvorák's Serenade for Strings in E, arguably the most relaxing piece of music every written and performed. It's saved our little Siamese from my wrath several times.


    When the Swifties were Debunked…

    PoliPundit, qua PoliPundit, posted this (Thursday) morning about the overt bias in AP piece regarding Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. A quote he used as an example intrigued me:
    [Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill] said it was frustrating that the first ad continued to eat up so much air time even after the central allegations were debunked.
    The problem here is the assertion that "the central allegations were debunked. They weren't. The only thing remotely debunking the Swifties' claims are Kerry denials "backed up" by that Rassman fellow who followed the candidate around like a little kid who had been saved from an oncoming car by the class clown. But that's no a refutation by a long shot.

    If Kerry wished to DEBUNK the Swifties, he could have signed a form and had his Naval docs released. He didn't. The charges still stand.

    They are much less important now, though, as Kerry is safely out of our hair.


    Annan promises U.N. help if absolutely necessary

    Kofi Annan was in Washington Thursday, where he met with Colin Powell and Condi Rice. He was snubbed by President Bush, but promised he was not offended.

    On Oil for Food, Kofi declared: "We must get to the bottom of these allegations."

    The U.N. has promised 25 election monitors for Iraq's November elections, which I'd haphazardly guess is probably enough for about 5 Baghdad precincts. He said he will expand U.N. support for the elections if he really has to. From BBC:
    This sentiment was reiterated on Thursday when a White House spokesman said "we encourage them [the UN] to continue to expand their presence in Iraq".

    But Mr Annan told reporters following his meeting with Mr Powell on Thursday that "from a technical point of view, we have done all that we need to do".

    "We have enough people in there to do the work," he said.

    He conceded that "if need be", more staff would go in, but insisted: "We are doing the job".
    It seems the U.N. is not good for much at all.


    New OBL tape

    Not a vid this time, but Osama bin Laden can be heard on a new audiotape screeching about the Saudi government. He said that they weren't Moslem enough and they were too tied to the infidels in the United States.
    "The sins the regime committed are great ... it [House of Saud] practiced injustices against the people, violating their rights, humiliating their pride," the speaker said. He accused the Saudi royal family of misspending public money while "millions of people are suffering from poverty and deprivation."
    It seems he's turned into a really violent social reformer. He ought to do what Babs Streisand has done: get a web site on which to rant. Better yet, OBL could blog.


    Susie Collins vrs. Don Rumsfeld

    An anti-Rummy wing is emerging amongst the GOP. Senator Susie Collins, a Maine Mod Squadder, sent a letter to Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, scolding him about his "troubling" remarks in response to the recent question from Kuwait and about the Pentagons lack of body armor.

    She joins Chuck Hagel, Trent Lott, and John McCain. Hagel wants a share of McCain's maverick rep, Lott has been a wildcard since his Strom Thurmond remark, and McCain is McCain. Collins, as I've said, is a part of the GOP Mod Squad, with Linc Chafee, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, and occasionally George Voinovich. Expect statements critical of Rumsfeld from the rest of them (though GV is pretty quiet).


    RSN site: new Sterrett column

    We've the new column by Isaiah Z. Sterrett, Democrats' Blueprints, live on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter. Looking ahead at the left...

    Read it on the RSN site: HERE.


    No baseball in DC

    The Montreal Expos were to become the Washington Nationals.
    Robert A. DuPuy, baseball's president, appeared to rule out renegotiating with the city. In a statement released last night, DuPuy said the council's decision to require private funds to pay for half the cost of building a stadium "does not reflect the agreement we signed and relied upon."

    [ . . . ]
    Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D), the architect of the legislative amendment that required private funding, said she was "looking to reduce the cost and risk for the District."
    I do not mean to insult Ms. Cropp, but she is an falsely indignant crab.

    She brings to mind the Democrats in Congress and their favorite columnist who scream fear over saving (privatizing) social security because it might "cost too much."

    It brings to mind a lyric from an old song, one which I liked much better in its Midge Ure remake:

    Let us close out eyes;
    outside their lives go on much faster.
    Oh, we won't give in,
    we'll keep living in the past.

    Living in the past, indeed.


    Lott, Rummy, the Elections, and a new verb

    Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) gave a speech to the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning, and the big story is:
    "I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld," Lott, R-Mississippi, told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning. "I don't think he listens enough to his uniformed officers." …

    "I would like to see a change in that slot [Sec Def] in the next year or so," Lott said. "I'm not calling for his resignation, but I think we do need a change at some point."
    The Senator wants a plan to leave Iraq at some point after the elections, and he does not believe Lott's the man to implement such a plan.

    I'd have to see the text of his remarks, but from the little bits we're getting from the MSM, they do not sound as if they were the result of much careful thought. Yes, Senators are entitled to their gut feelings and instincts, but they have to be careful their hunches aren't cloudy by the static of non-factually based "common knowledge."

    My own gut agrees with Lott, though, to an extent. I don't think we yet need an exit strategy as such; rather, that should be contemplated once we see the behavior of the anti-capitalist insurgency after the elections. They will not stop "insurging" merely because there is an elected government in place. They're attacking the U.S. by proxy, not per se Iraq.


    RSN site: New Adamo Column

    We have the new column by Christopher G. Adamo, ACLU Steals Much More Than Christmas, live on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter. And you can find it on the RSN site: HERE.


    PRE-FACE – Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Good morning!
  • The New York Times this morning salivates that a few well-heeled military attorneys are scrambling to oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzalez to be the next attorney general, saying that the White House counsel authored memoranda authorizing torture at Gitmo. They assert that the memos showed "unsound legal judgment."

    To back up their story, they cite two retired officers of high rank, working now in the private sector.

  • In San Diego, it now looks like Democrat councilwoman Deborah Frye's write-in campaign to unseat Republican Mayor Dick Murphy has managed to collect more votes than the opposition, but the question remains: Which votes are legit? You see, there are 5,547 ballots on which voters scribbled Frye's name but neglected to darken the oval.

    Elections must be a matter of law, not mere intent. Does "close" count even in horseshoes?

  • Today is the 234th anniversary of the birth in Bonn of Ludwig van Beethoven. Our local classical station is giving him a "Beethoven Week," which is good; however, last March, the gave J.S. Bach only a day. Maybe he's not trendy enough. And Beethoven is? That's a good question to ponder this morning, I suppose.

    Here is a Beethoven portrait gallery put together by Classical 103.5, which is not our local classical station.

  • 12/15/2004


    AFTER-WORD – Wednesday, December 15, 2004

  • The first test of an under-development missile defense system in two years has failed. The MSM seem to think this is nifty, assigning costly "boondoggles" to the President.

    It hasn't failed. Yet.

    The project should be turned immediately over to trusted entities in the private sector.

  • Eric Erickson saw Jay Nordlinger debate Wayne Rogers on The Bill O'Reilly Show. The topic was: Wal-Mart, bad or good?

    Erick observes: "Wayne Rogers is truly an idiot." He is also a television actor. Alan Alda used to call him "Trapper."

    Why was he debating Nordlinger? Why don't they sent Middle School football teams into Heinz Field to take on the Steelers?

  • I watch West Wing. My wife made me do so several summers ago, and I found that I really liked it. (Sorkin might be a cokehead lefty, but he was a brilliant writer. And now that he's gone, there are almost no more cheap shots at the good guys.)

    It was dry after Sorkin left – none of the cutting-edge references which drew me to it – but it's turned back into a fine drama.

    There. I've confessed.

  • I'm listening to Maurice Ravel's Ma Mère L'oye. That's how the French say, "Mother Goose"; in fact, that's how Charles Perrault titled the tales -- Contes de ma Mère l'Oye, ou Histoires du temps passé -- when he wrote them in 17th century Paris.

    We ought to keep Frenchmen like Ravel and Perrault in mind before we condemn an entire nation for one dolt in Elysee palace and his sleepover club.

    Then again, the two I've mentioned are both dead.


    Ron Brownstein's Ugly Image

    Here's Ron Brownstein from Wednesday's Los Angeles Times:
    The Times' analysis, which provides the most detailed picture yet of the vote in Southern communities, shows that Bush's victory was even more comprehensive than his sweep of the region's 13 states would suggest.
    Brownstein? He calls it "the old Confederacy," evoking the image of Bush voters, especially Republicans, with features obscured by white hoods.

    They can't help themselves.

    On NPR, the afternoon of November 3, Mara Liasson spoke of how the President had swept "the old slave States."

    This is pure ugliness.


    A Doug Hagin Column

    In time for Christmas and the secularists, we have the latest column by Doug Hagin -- "Offended by Christmas? TOUGH!" -- live on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter. It's an ongoing story…

    Read his column on the RSN site: HERE.


    From Joe: "NO!"

    Sources who might or might not have decided that John Snow was out as Treasury Secretary, have allegedly told CNN that Joe Lieberman has turned down two (count 'em) employment overtures from the White House: U.N. Ambassador and now, Secretary of Homeland Security. Lieberman's people are not talking.


    MAKPA Quote of the Hour

    This one is from Middle East Online: a story about the upcoming trial of Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein's cousin, who in 1998 allegedly gassed the Iraq-Kurdish town of Halabja killing some 5,000 people, three-quarters of whom were women or children, as well as other heinous crimes against humanity.
    "The trials will take place from next week until mid-January, and the first to be tried will be Chemical Ali," said [Iraqi] Defence [sic] Minister Hazem Shaalan, quoted by his spokesman.
    I don't think he'll receive a fair trial, not that it is any of our concern. What if the man's own attorney refers to him as "Chemical Ali"?


    U.S. Christmas Decorations in Cuba

    With the holiday decorations at the US specials interests section in Havana is a large "75" in neon, in memory of 75 political dissidents rounded up by Fidel Castro's regime last year.
    "We think it's appropriate, at the holiday season, to remember these people, these people who are missing because of political repression," the spokesman [State's Richard Boucher] said.
    The French story (AFP) indicates that the U.S. press had argued that the decorations were designed to provoke Castro, though there was evidently no complaint from the Cubans.


    Introducing Jim McCaffrey…

    Jim McCaffrey has been a gifted writer and astute political observer, jotting his thoughts analysis for family and friends, a pursuit which helps keep one on his toes. He recently began combining his thoughts into a weekly e-mail called Notes from a Padded Cell, and I talked him into letting me put it on the Rightsided Newsletter site so more people could see it.

    I think it's must-read stuff. Here's a sample from this week's Padded Cell:
    Whistling Past the Cemetery – The other day, for some reason known only to himself, the execrable Terry McAullife, Chairman-for-Life of the DNC, [or at least it seems that way] recited an up-beat, state-of-the-Party report to the gathered Dem capos. The Chairman was bursting with unfounded optimism, as his disbelieving gathering sat numbly, while their disbelieving eyes glazed over. Seriously though, in view of the Party’s record in the electoral battlefield since 1994, instead of a delirious fairytale of what might have been, and what never will be; shouldn’t Terrence the Great have laid out a Party plan for what the Democrats like to call, “an exit strategy”?
    I'll be offering Jim's thoughts every week, and you can read all of this week's Notes on the RSN web site:HERE.


    Ginsberg backs Rehnquist

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 71, told the AP that she survived chemotherapy and radiation in 1999, when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She remarked that Chief Justice William Rehnquist is doing well with the court despite his problems:
    He has done remarkable," said Ginsburg, 71, a Brooklyn native named to the court by President Clinton. "He's gotten out two opinions. He and I are the only ones who have gotten out two opinions already."
    And she thinks he will swear-in the President next month:
    "He said he is going to try to get there and, knowing the chief justice, he will probably succeed," Ginsburg said in New York after accepting the degree [honorary, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York] and giving a speech about America's first chief justice, John Jay.
    It's based just on a feel for the man, but I think he'll be there as well. I've also speculated that it might be his last official act as Chief, marking a graceful end to a profound legal career.


    RSN: new Stock column

    We have the latest column by Barbara J. Stock, Hollywood: Tinseltown or Twinkieland, is now LIVE on the Rightsided Newsletter web site. You can look at her look at the post-election hand-wringing from Beverly Hills on the RSN site: HERE.


    It's… Wictory Wednesday!

    We're still concentrating, for Wictory Wednesday, on the recount in Washington. You can donate to the State GOP by clicking HERE, and if you are a Washingtonian, you can volunteer to help out by clicking info [AT] dinorossi.com.

    Wictory Wednesday is a GOP bloggers thaang, working for total control. To see the blogroll of participants, or to find out how to participate, visit THIS POST from the PoliPundit.


    PRE-FACE – Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    Good morning!

  • Addendum of the Hugh Hewitt symposium. Hugh does this from time-to-time, opening his Top 25 blog as a collection point for opinion on a matter of interest.

    My response (see below) dismissed the Newsweek piece as the standard pabulum, while, Hewitt notes, Mark A. Roberts and Dr. Robert Mohler do a more thorough, point-by-point job on the piece.

    Visit Hugh's blog for links to responses from around the blogosphere.

    The Newsweek article, though, is essentially a paid hatchet job on Christianity by someone who knows the religion so little his assumptions are hardly even relevant.

  • The Sydney Morning Herald, out of Australia, reports that Bernard Kerik commanded control of an apartment donated as a rest spot for weary Ground Zero workers, wherein he snogged with publisher Judith Regan. ("We was not snogging!")

    What a bad, bad man. Impeach Bush, etc. (I'm being facetious, but this nonsense is over the top. The Washington Post is still contending that the WH blew it in an act of exquisite negligence.)

  • The New York Times tells us that Michigan's John Conyer's, the ranking Dem on House Judic., is demanding an investigation into "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering" in Ohio's Hocking County.

    What makes life worth living for the Dems in defeat if they cannot spend four more years screaming "stolen election"?

  • 12/14/2004


    Newsweek Tries to Comprehend

    This is for a Hugh Hewitt symposium: Vox Blogoli VI: What does Newsweek's story on Christmas tell us about MSM?

    What poor Jon Meacham has attempted to do in Newsweek is something which had been attempted thousands of times over thousands of years by thousands of people with much more intellectual firepower than he possesses, so my question is: Why did he do it? What made him attempt to explain away Christianity?

    The answer, of course, is simple: An editor. "Give me [fill in number] words by December 1 on Jesus Christ."

    As a Christian, I am not offended. We were told to expect insults, and even buffoonery.

    The article is a case of the secular press talking to itself regarding that which it cannot begin to comprehend.

    I thought it especially amusing when he assigned motives to the early church leaders and members. He presumed that they were all or mostly Jews who had to make their cult of a demigod look like something legitimate. He misses the beautiful dichotomy of the dual-ministries, Peter's to the Jews and Paul's to the gentiles. They could coexist with differing rules and rituals, as Paul made clear, because this was dressing. It was the truth of Jesus Christ which held the church.

    When he dismisses the stories of the birth of Jesus as later additions, inventions for convenience and/or necessity, he misses another fundamental tenet of early Christianity. God, as the Holy Spirit, dwelt within these people, inspired their words. Where the stories contradict, or seem to contradict, this was caused by the Spirit's motives. For whom was what being written?

    What does this say about the mainstream media (MSM)? The editor wanted a Jesus Story, assigned a Jesus Story, and the writer threw together a Jesus story. It sells magazines. There was nothing either intellectual or challenging about the article; rather, it was an attempted rationalization of something which the writer could not comprehend. And what's sweetly ironic about that is this: it is precisely why these folks believe people invent religions: to explain the inexplicable.

    The poor man seemed to be as confused as the state which he tried to attribute to the Blessed Virgin.


    It's a Democracy…

    Well, Baghdad Dweller, who describes himself as an Iraqi living in the Netherlands, informs us that the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) will be fielding257 candidates in January's elections. He further informs:
    "Simply ICP represent a majority Iraqis."
    Communism requires the death of all religion. I don't think so.


    U.S. Opposes New Term of ElBaradei

    The United States government opposes a third term as International Atomic Energy Agency chief for Mohammed ElBaradei, according to State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. The reason given is that the U.S. opposes more than two terms.

    I'd like for him to stay and further discredit the IAEA, which should be immediately disbanded. He is remembered by the mainstream press in the U.S. and in Europe for having stood up against President Bush's insistence that Saddam Hussein had WMD. He did no such thing. He said that he couldn't find any evidence of a nuclear program but that he was not allowed to inspect everywhere.

    He's done very little of merit. North Korea, Iran, and France continue to thumb their noses at his international org, possessing and or developing nuclear weapons. (France should be disarmed, but I'll leave the reasoning for another post.)

    To oust ElBaradei, the United States needs the backing of 12 other members of the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors. The U.S. has almost never in the past four decades been able to eke out that kind of support.

    The Australian press reports that the U.S. sought Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to run against ElBaradei, but that Alexander maintains that he is "very happy with the job I have got."

    Putting an Australian at IAEA would make perfect sense, and it would restored credibility and perhaps effect to the organization.


    General Myers visits Baghdad

    Joint Chiefs Chairman General Richard Myers visited the troops at Baghdad Airport today with comedian Robin Williams, Football Hall-of-Famer John Elway, and model Leeann Tweeden.

    I wrote this post primarily as an excuse to provide a jpeg of Miss Tweeden, but I could find none suitable. She evidently doesn't wear much.

    But he did say that there were still little pockets of resistance in Fallujah, as well as some land mines to be cleared. He noted that the city's residents should be able to return home soon, which is the call of the Iraqi government.


    Kojo Annan denies any… anything

    Kofi Annan's son Kojo, 31, wrote a note to CNN:
    "I have never participated directly or indirectly in any business related to the United Nations."
    Basically, it's: DON'T LOOK A ME. I DIDN'T DO NOTHIN'!

    Of course, he picked up on the defense that worked so well for President Bill Clinton several years ago:
    "I feel the whole issue has been a witchhunt from day one as part of a broader Republican political agenda," Annan said in his statement to CNN.
    The MSM will doubtlessly want to eat that one up and start picking its villains.


    Don't "Move On," Pick Roemer

    Dem leaders Nancy Pelosi (House minority) and Harry Reid (Senate minority) have lent their support to former Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer to be the next head of the DNC, rebuffing MoveOn.org's assertion that it "owns" the party and is moving it out of DC.

    Roemer quit Congress after 2002, and he recently became a MSM "rock star" as a member of the 9-11 Commission. Indiana is a Red State.

    Most notably, Roember voted in Congress to ban human cloning, against partial-birth abortion, for the flag desecration Amendment, and yes on "No Child Left Behind."


    Presidential Medals of Freedom

    And the go to: General Tommy Franks, Ambassador Paul Bremer, and former DCI George Tenet.

    Posting at OTB, James Joyner can see the first two, but Tenet he doesn't get: "He was the guy who said Saddam's ongoing WMD program was a 'slam dunk.' Why he would get a medal for that is beyond me."

    Reflecting, it might be that the President genuinely likes the guy, or at least felt that he got a bad break from the disingenuous, partisan MSM, mostly because he was part of Bush's team. The President demands loyalty, so it makes sense that he would reward it.

    And it never hurts to thumb your nose at the press corps which could not drum you out of office.

    I would still like such an award to go to Gerard Schwarz.


    MAKPA Quote of the Hour

    "[E]ven as they were being liberating from Saddam, Iraqis felt shamed by the fact that they couldn't do the job themselves."
    - Steven Vincent from his book The Red Zone, excerpted in NRO.

    Understood, but they had thirty years. Saddam Hussein was an extant and growing threat to the United States and the world, not only to the Iraqis.

    They should not feel bad about having to rely on the United States to make things right. Most countries do.


    First European Impressions and President Bush

    Ace analyst Charlie Cook suggests in his weekly e-mail column "Off to the Races" that Europe loathed President Bush even before he was elected:
    The truth, of course, is that most Europeans have disliked, and possibly loathed, George W. Bush from first sight. When former President Clinton left the White House, he was so popular among Europeans that he practically could have been elected prime minister of almost any country in the region. …

    George W. Bush, though, has had more than a few things working against him since he became the party's nominee in 2000. Europeans tend to look upon American governors who move up to the presidency with some degree of skepticism, given a governor's perceived lack of foreign policy experience. Their fondness for Clinton is more the exception than the rule.

    Second, what most Europeans know about Texas, they learned from re-runs of the television show "Dallas," which did not exactly put the Lone Star State's best foot forward. Bush's renown swagger and studied anti-intellectualism seemed to feed the stereotype. If Europeans tend to put intellectuals on a pedestal, Americans are inclined to believe that intellectuals are a group of smart people who lack common sense.

    Fourth, it has not helped Bush that Texas ranks first in the nation in the number of death penalty executions. Europeans are consumed by this country's use of the death penalty, which they think is barbaric and amounts to state-sanctioned murder. American foreign policy experts are always struck with how conversations with Europeans on American politics seem to invariably turn to the death penalty, rarely a major topic in the U.S.

    And finally, Europeans have long believed that U.S. policy is not critical enough of Israel, and that the United States is not an honest broker in Middle Eastern politics -- a pattern they saw intensifying under Bush. They further think that Washington is becoming even less committed to the Middle East peace process than before.
    It appears, then, to be a France vrs. Texas battle they have going.

    Dr. Cook was obviously exaggerating when he suggested that Clinton could have won leadership office anywhere in Europe, though he seems to have bought into the standard group-think image of the President's intellect. I refer him to the President's vision of the future Middle East and its effect on the world.

    Cook also goes on to suggest that the President has a sub-average IQ. ("T]here has never been a correlation between IQ scores and winning presidential elections, or for that matter, between IQ scores and successful presidencies," he said he explained to the Europeans. He also argued that the President "was more than just an arrogant cowboy.")

    I'd link his column, but it is available only via e-mail. You can subscribe for free by visiting this page, and if you'd like a copy of this week's, drop me a line.


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