Everyone should cut and paste the link below, go to the page and look at the second picture in the first row. The one which shows the Illegal immigrants protesting. Now read the caption which appears when you move the cursor over the picture. Go now and then come back here.
There is a clear bias among those within the left-wing media which not only opposes any substantive immigration reform, but also heavily favors amnesty. Everyone from AP down refuses to even call Illegal immigrants, "illegal" They're just called "immigrants" in just about every form of media from the time stories originate on the wire services until the story appears in the next day's newspaper.
Now I am not coming from a hardline perspective on illegal immigration. I believe that all illegals currently in this country should be given amnesty, but that it should be the last time, and that the amnesty should be given in conjunction with a serious increase in border security. I do believe that CNN is being overly sympathetic to Illegals in this example, and I base that on the words which they chose to use in conveying their simple message.
Then again I could be over reacting, because I'm bored. Let me know what you think.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Everyone should cut and paste the link below, go to the page and look at the second picture in the first row. The one which shows the Illegal immigrants protesting. Now read the caption which appears when you move the cursor over the picture. Go now and then come back here.
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:09 PM
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
.....but I've been busy with finals and a whole mess of other stuff, so I'll let Matt Ladner say it for me this time.
Lot's of year end punditry coming soon.
Want to reduce poverty? Lower those tax rates.
Building a strong economy – and helping the poor – means keeping taxes and government spending low.
By Matthew Ladner
PHOENIX – When the US government ended "welfare as we know it" in 1996, it handed responsibility for reform to the states. In so doing, it also created a real-world test of two competing economic strategies used to fight poverty. The results are in and the lessons are clear: Low tax rates lift up the lives of America's poor.
Many people argue that government can reduce poverty by "redistributing" wealth through progressive taxation - imposing higher tax rates on higher income brackets - and through more government spending.
Most economists, however, say the best way to reduce poverty is through stronger economic growth. Growth means more jobs, a surefire antipoverty plan. Building a strong economy means keeping taxes and government spending low.
A study published last month by the Goldwater Institute, "How to Win the War on Poverty: An Analysis of State Poverty Trends," tests these different theories by examining state poverty rates from 1990 to 2000.
Nationwide, states took great strides in reducing both general and childhood poverty. Poverty fell by 5.3 percent and childhood poverty by 9.4 percent. Some states, however, reduced poverty much more than others, while some states suffered large increases.
Take Colorado. It reduced its childhood poverty rate by almost 27 percent. Meanwhile, Rhode Island's childhood poverty rate increased by almost the same amount. What accounts for those differences?
Using data from the Census Bureau, the report found that states with the lowest tax rates enjoyed sizable decreases in poverty. For example, the 10 states with the lowest total state and local tax burdens saw an average poverty reduction of 13 percent - two times better than the national average. The 10 highest-tax states, meanwhile, suffered an average increase in poverty of 3 percent.
Some high-tax states, such as California, Hawaii, and New York, suffered catastrophic increases in poverty. As California began to reject the low-tax legacy of the Reagan governorship, the state's poverty rate jumped 13 percent in the 1990s.
Some will be quick to dismiss this as a consequence of illegal immigration. But lower-tax border states such as Arizona and Texas had substantial declines in poverty while also experiencing large increases in immigration.
In fact, California's high taxation has been so damaging to the economy that another increase like the one in the 1990s would result in poverty exceeding Mississippi's by 2010.
When a state has a low tax burden, economic growth is stronger. Economic growth delivers more job creation and higher per capita and median family incomes. Economic growth is a powerful means to pull people out of poverty.
Although some policymakers justify high taxes for the sake of the poor, the data show that higher taxes and related spending do little to reduce poverty rates. Rather, states with healthy economic climates have much more success in lifting people out of poverty.
The causes of, and solutions to, poverty are complex, but one policy is clear: Low tax rates are a significant factor in achieving the universal goal of poverty reduction.
Matthew Ladner is vice president for research at the Goldwater Institute, a public policy organization in Phoenix
Any liberal's out there care to respond? Anyone? Beuller?
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:01 PM
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Sphere: Related Content
New 007 Daniel Craig says he wants the secret agent to do a gay love scene in the next Bond film saying:
"Why not? I think in this day and age, fans would have accepted it."
First they ruin the rainbow for everyone and now James Bond.
Possible new Bond catchphrase: "May I push in your stool?"
It's official. Idiocy is contagious.
Operation: "Make Paris Hilton look like less of a skank" appears to be off to a pheonomenal start.
So Gwen thinks that "The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans." This from a woman who named her kid Apple. I suppose however that compared to her collegues in this nation's music and film industry who Gwen spends most of her time with, George Galloway is a real MENSA candidate.
"All I'm saying is..hic..that besides you Rosie..hic, my wife is the hottest woman in Hollywood...hic. "
Where are the human rights advocates? They should be all over this guy for making fun of the mentally ill and people who stutter. Once again "The View" proves itself as a breeding ground for stupitity.
"Happy Kwanza Everyone."
Question: What's dumber, Michael Richards or Kwanza?
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:10 AM
Monday, December 04, 2006
Anyone who still opposes John Bolton's presence as the U.N. either hasn't been paying very close attention, or is so blinded by partisanship that they have ceased to do what's in the best interest of the US and the broken world body which it hosts and funds.
In other words....The Democrats and their liberal money men.
Will the UN ever work again? Rumor has it that George Mitchell will be pegged to fill Bolton's position, more on this later.
As I have said before, it's going to take someone who is going to honestly tell the beuracrats at the UN that they are on the verge of making the world body irrelivant, to fix the problem.
Bolton was perfect for the job, but it's obvious that the Democrat's are not as inerested in "Draining the Swamp" at the UN as they claim to be about draining the one in Washington.
December 05, 2006
Partisan Politics Defeat Bolton Nomination
By Jack Kelly
Now more than ever we need a strong voice at the United Nations. But petty partisan politics has deprived us of one of the strongest ever. Most important is what the UN will or won't do about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. An effective UN sanctions regime may be the only step, short of war, that can keep weapons Hitler only dreamed of out of their hands.
Push is coming to shove. The U.S., the four other permanent members of the Security Council, and Germany are meeting in Paris Tuesday to agree on the text of a UN resolution. This is not a time for the US delegation to be leaderless.
Push is also coming to shove in Lebanon, where Hezbollah, the Shiite militia backed by Iran and Syria, is trying to force the democratically elected Lebanese government to resign. The purpose of the Hezbollah putsch, many think, is to derail the UN inquiry into the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, in which Syria is implicated.
The Oil for Food and related scandals have shown the UN bureaucracy is rife with corruption. There will be no meaningful reform of the UN without vigorous American leadership.
But the White House announced Monday that UN Ambassador John Bolton will leave his post when Congress adjourns this week.
This is not because of any shortcoming in Mr. Bolton. He has been the most effective UN ambassador since Jeanne Kirkpatrick (1981-85) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1975-76). But he was serving as an interim appointee because he could not obtain senate confirmation.
Mr. Bolton's resignation "represents a tremendous blow to the effectiveness of U.S. leadership at the UN, as it disrupts the continuity of our diplomacy at a critical moment," said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn, who in the expiring Congress chaired a subcommittee which investigated the Oil for Food scandal, in which Saddam Hussein bribed UN staff members and officials in France, Russia and Britain.
"Ambassador Bolton's tireless diplomatic efforts yielded considerable results, including Security Council resolutions condemning North Korea's nuclear activities and a call for UN peacekeepers in Darfur," Sen. Coleman said. "He has built a consensus among our allies on the need to constrain Iran's nuclear program and work towards reform of the UN."
It's been customary for the senate to confirm a president's nominees for executive branch positions -- provided the nominee is qualified, and there are no issues of moral turpitude. (Federal judges, who serve for life, are another story.) But most Democrats in the senate -- including all those on the Foreign Relations committee -- opposed Mr. Bolton when the president nominated him in January, 2005.
There were enough votes on the floor of the senate to confirm Mr. Bolton. But the defection of two liberal Republicans on the Foreign Relations committee sealed his fate.
Initially, it was Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio. But after watching Mr. Bolton at work for a year, Sen. Voinovich changed his mind: "He has demonstrated his ability...to work with others and followt he president's lead by working multilaterally," Sen. Voinovich said in a statement in July.
Then the fly in the ointment became Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, an initial supporter of Mr. Bolton, whose switch doomed hope the lame duck senate would confirm him.
"The American people have spoken out against the president's agenda on a number of issues, and presumably one of those is on foreign policy," said Sen. Chafee, who was defeated in the election. "At this late stage in my term, I'm not going to endorse something the American people have spoken out against."
But Americans are unhappy about Iraq, not about Mr. Bolton's stellar performance at the UN.
Ostensibly, Democrats opposed Mr. Bolton because he'd been an outspoken critic of the UN, and because he'd been said by some to be a difficult person to work with...a criterion which, if universally applied, would sharply circumscribe Hillary Clinton's opportunities in public service. But I suspect much of the Democratic pique was derived from Mr. Bolton's role in the Florida recount in 2000. When it comes to politics, Democrats have long memories, and hold grudges.
It's appalling to me that Democrats would let partisan pique deprive America of as able a public servant as John Bolton at this critical time.
James Webb, the senator-elect from Virginia, made headlines when he snubbed President Bush at a White House reception last month for the new members of Congress. Some commentators described his behavior as uniquely boorish. But I think he'll fit right in
Posted by Falling Panda at 9:32 PM
Friday, December 01, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Not only is Virginia's new Jr. Senator a socialist and the author of some questionable materials, but apparently he is also an incredibly pompous jerk.
November 30, 2006
Webb Offends Bush & the English Language
By George Will
WASHINGTON -- That was certainly swift. Washington has a way of quickly acculturating people, especially those who are most susceptible to derangement by the derivative dignity of office. But Jim Webb, Democratic senator-elect from Virginia, has become a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language before actually becoming a senator.
Wednesday's Washington Post reported that at a White House reception for newly elected members of Congress, Webb "tried to avoid President Bush,'' refusing to pass through the reception line or have his picture taken with the president. When Bush asked Webb, whose son is a Marine in Iraq, "How's your boy?'' Webb replied, "I'd like to get them (sic) out of Iraq.'' When the president again asked, "How's your boy?'' Webb replied, "That's between me and my boy.'' Webb told the Post:
"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall. No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. (But) leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is.''
Webb certainly has conveyed what he is: a boor. Never mind the patent disrespect for the presidency. Webb's more gross offense was calculated rudeness toward another human being -- one who, disregarding many hard things Webb had said about him during the campaign, asked a civil and caring question, as one parent to another. When -- if ever -- Webb grows weary of admiring his new grandeur as a "leader'' who carefully calibrates the "symbolic things'' he does to convey messages, he might consider this: In a republic, people decline to be led by leaders who are insufferably full of themselves.
Even before Webb's studied truculence in response to the president's hospitality, Webb was going out of his way to make waves. A week after the election, he published a column in The Wall Street Journal that began this way:
"The most important -- and unfortunately the least debated -- issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country.''
In his novels and his political commentary, Webb has been a writer of genuine distinction, using language with care and precision. But just days after winning an election, he was turning out slapdash prose that would be rejected by a reasonably demanding high school teacher.
Never mind Webb's careless and absurd assertion that the nation's incessantly discussed wealth gap is "the least debated'' issue in American politics.
And never mind his use of the word "literally,'' although even with private schools and a large share of the nation's wealth, the "top tier'' -- whatever cohort he intends to denote by that phrase; he is suddenly too inflamed by social injustice to tarry over the task of defining his terms -- does not "literally'' live in another country.
And never mind the cavalier historical judgments -- although is he sure that America is less egalitarian today than it was, say, 50 years ago, when only about 7 percent of American adults had college degrees? (Twenty-eight percent do today.) Or 80 years ago, when more than 80 percent of American adults did not have high school diplomas (85 percent have them today), and only about 46 percent owned their own homes, compared with 69 percent today?
But notice, in the second sentence of Webb's column, the word "infinitely.'' Earth to Webb: Words have meanings that not even senators can alter. And he has been elected to be a senator, not Humpty Dumpty in "Through the Looking Glass.'' (When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.) America's national economic statistics are excellent; Webb could actually tell us how
much richer the "top tier'' has become, relative to other cohorts, over a particular span. But that would require him to actually say who he is talking about, and that takes time and effort, and senators -- Webb is a natural -- often are too busy for accuracy.
Based on Webb's behavior before being sworn in, one shudders to think what he will be like after that. He already has become what Washington did not need another of, a subtraction from the city's civility and clear speaking.
Apparently, he is also an all-around unpleasant character, as we see in this article by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., posted on CNN's site.
WASHINGTON (CREATORS) -- When Ronald Reagan's former secretary of the Navy, James Webb, eked out victory against the Republican Sen. George Allen in Virginia, what did the Democrats gain? To be sure they gained control of the Senate. That has been widely noted. Less widely noted is the fact that they gained something infinitely more subtle, but delightfully more amusing as will become apparent in the months ahead. In Webb they gained yet another very unpleasant person as a conspicuous member of the party hierarchy. He will not be easily obscured. Webb now takes his place with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Howard Dean, Al Gore, Jean-Francois Kerry and so many other Democratic notables as a rebarbative blowhard with whom you would not want to share a gondola. Nor would a civilized American want to have any of these churlish cads to dinner or even as neighbors down the block. Just the other day one of Sen. Clinton's neighbors turned up with a gunshot wound. I would not be surprised if it were self-inflicted.
All of the above are demonstrably unpleasant individuals, known for their public temper tantrums, their rudeness to staff, their slipperiness with the truth and their occasional bizarre outbursts. The Republicans have a few such stinkers, for instance Newt Gingrich, but not nearly as many. It almost seems that to be a Democratic notable one has to be ill-tempered and, as I say, unpleasant.
Think back to Dean's historic scream and frequent public demonstrations of bile. Think of Clinton's and Gore's mendacious moments and lapses into self-absorption when public matters were at issue, for instance 9/11. Think of how often all of them have played the role of the bad sport after a failed election or, in Hillary's case, a visit to a grand jury.
Recall, if you will, Sen. Kerry's recent catastrophic joke on the campaign trail. To many Americans he seemed to be saying that our solders serving in Iraq are dolts. Call me naive, but personally I accepted his explanation that he merely botched a joke meant to imply that President George W. Bush is a dolt -- Bush, who, incidentally, graduated from Yale with a higher grade point than this intellectual mediocrity. Nonetheless, it was in Kerry's defense of his botched joke that he revealed his unpleasant essence. He snarled that, "I apologize to no one." In his hastily called press conference he went on to pout, "I'm not going to stand for it." And he went on in his bullying diatribe to thunder, "I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans ... Enough is enough. We're not going to stand for it." For what? For perceived mistreatment from "these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country ... " blah, blah, blah.
As I say, Kerry is an unpleasant fellow in a party increasingly led by unpleasant fellows and fellowesses. Consider incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who blustered to Time magazine not long ago, "Anybody who's ever dealt with me knows not to mess with me." Again, is this someone you would care to dine with or even pass in a hallway?
As it happens I did dine with Webb, sometime after his brief stint at the Department of the Navy. He is a pretty good novelist and in print at the time had expressed some ideas of which I approved, particularly his scruples against women in combat, though other of his references to women strike me as coarse. At any rate, I invited him to dinner for what turned out to be a gruesome evening. Webb is one of those people of whom it is said he is uncomfortable in his skin. At first I thought his discomfort might come from the fear he was going to have to pay his way. It was a classy eatery. I reassured him that he was my guest. I went on to make clear I considered him a fine writer. Nothing I said reassured him, not even my insistence that he have dessert. I left baffled. Most of the military men I have known are gents. Many writers are cads, but I thought a writer who had also served high up in the Reagan administration might be civilized. After that dinner I never made the mistake of inviting him anywhere again.
His campaign was a prolonged demonstration of his caddishness. He who had called President Bill Clinton's administration the most corrupt in modern history invited Clinton to campaign with him. He actually exploited his own son's present service in Iraq for political advancement. While campaigning he paraded around in his son's combat boots! There were others in the 2006 election with sons in Iraq. One is a leading opponent of the war. None put a son in such an embarrassing and potentially dangerous position. Once elected, Webb took his boorishness to the White House.
Invited there with other freshmen members of Congress, Webb refused to stand in the presidential receiving line. He would not have his picture taken with the president. "How's your boy?" the Washington Post reports the president asking him later during the reception. Webb replied that he would like to get the troops home, a point appropriate for the campaign trail but not at a White House social event. "That's not what I asked," the president persisted, "How's your boy?" "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," the unpleasant Webb replied, and he cut his host. This the Post portrayed as part of Webb's "unpolished style." "I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," he told a reporter. Well, then a gentleman does not accept the president's invitation to the White House and no one told him he would have to display the picture anywhere.
According to The Hill, Webb even told a source for the paper that "he was so angered by this (encounter) that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief." Webb claims that one of his heroes is President Andrew Jackson. I too admire Old Hickory, but I at least recognize the rough ways of the early 19th century are not to be reprised in the 21st century. What next, will the junior senator from Virginia begin challenging those who arouse him to a duel? What century does Webb think he is living in? Believe me Sen. Webb is going to be a vast source of amusement, and he will fit in nicely with the unpleasant pols whose political base is the Angry Left.
I have said it before and I shall be saying it again, often politics is not a rational act. Increasingly, especially in the Democratic Party, it encourages behavior that is abnormal: politicians windsurfing to assure their constituencies that they are just like them or ranting to show how genuinely human they are. These pols play on the fantasies of mildly delusional voters. In the case of the unpleasant Webb, the delusions are a bit over the top. It makes me wonder why his stay at the Department of the Navy was so brief. Did the Reaganites shove him out? Did one of them make the mistake of taking him to dinner? Or did they catch him acting up at a White House reception that has gone unreported? Some reporters should have looked into this.
Webb's predecessor was most certainly a flawed candidate, but he was an excellent Governor and a good Senator as well. He payed for Maccaca and the war in Iraq with his political career.
I expect that it won't be long however until we see "Don't Blame Me I voted for Allen" bumper stickers all over the Old Dominion.
Posted by Falling Panda at 12:16 AM
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Sphere: Related Content
Surrender as 'Realism'
Retreat would win us no friends and lose us no adversaries.
by Robert Kagan & William Kristol
12/04/2006, Volume 012, Issue 12
Foreign policy realism is ascendant these days, we are told. This would be encouraging if true, because our foreign policy must indeed be realistic. But what passes for "realism" today has very little to do with reality. Indeed, if you look at some of the "realist" proposals on the table, "realism" has come to be a kind of code word for surrendering American interests and American allies, as well as American principles, in the Middle East.
Thus, the "realists" advise us to seek Syria's help in Iraq even as the Syrian government engages in a concerted campaign of assassinating every Lebanese political leader who opposes the return of Syrian hegemony in Lebanon. Presumably, the "realist" position is that we should give Lebanon back to Syria, or at least turn a blind eye to its murderous efforts to regain control there, as an incentive to Syria to help us in Iraq, where Syria is also engaged in supporting terrorists. "Realism" is letting dictators get away with terror and murder--and, in particular, letting them get away with the murder of our friends.
The "realists" advise seeking Iranian help in Iraq as well. They are coy about suggesting what the United States could give Tehran as an inducement for such assistance, but the implications of their position are clear. After all, the Bush administration has already offered to talk to Iran, provided the Iranians agree to suspend enrichment of uranium. That has also been the position of the Europeans. The Iranians have refused.
So the "realists" are
adapting to the reality of Iranian intransigence. They are in effect suggesting that the administration drop its long-standing position and begin negotiating with Iran despite the Iranian regime's refusal to agree to the common U.S.-European demand. What the realists have in mind, then, is that the United States should turn a blind eye to Iran's nuclear weapons program, in exchange for Iran's help in easing our retreat from Iraq. Who cares if this would destroy U.S. credibility, weaken those in Europe who are trying to be strong, undermine the effort to prevent Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, and lead to a cascade of additional nuclear states in the region? It would at least make possible further "realistic" accommodations to these new and deadly realities.
The "realists" also advise putting pressure on Israel to deal in a more forthcoming way with the Hamas-dominated Palestinian government. Israel should be induced to make concessions despite the ongoing violence and the refusal of Hamas to ratify even Yasser Arafat's acceptance of Israel's right to exist. Thus, in order to conciliate Arab dictators and radicals, Washington should retreat from long-standing principle and hand a dramatic victory to the forces of violence and extremism in Palestine.
So let's add up the "realist" proposals: We must retreat from Iraq, and thus abandon all those Iraqis--Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, and others--who have depended on the United States for safety and the promise of a better future. We must abandon our allies in Lebanon and the very idea of an independent Lebanon in order to win Syria's support for our retreat from Iraq. We must abandon our opposition to Iran's nuclear program in order to convince Iran to help us abandon Iraq. And we must pressure our ally, Israel, to accommodate a violent Hamas in order to gain radical Arab support for our retreat from Iraq.
This is what passes for realism these days. But of course this is not realism. It is capitulation. Were the United States to adopt this approach every time we faced a difficult set of problems, were we to attempt to satisfy our adversaries' every whim in order to win their acquiescence, we would rapidly cease to play any significant role in the world. We would be neither feared nor respected--nor, of course, would we be any better liked. Our retreat would win us no friends and lose us no adversaries.
What our adversaries in the Middle East want from us is very simple: They want us out. Unless we are prepared to withdraw, not just from Iraq but from the entire region, and from elsewhere as well, we had better start figuring out how to pursue effectively--realistically--our interests and goals. This is true American realism. All the rest is a fancy way of justifying surrender.
--Robert Kagan and William Kristol
This is the first big battle of the Pelosi era and we have to win it.
When we left Vietnam it lead to the deaths of an additional 3 million in Southeast Asia. It also legitimized a political class to whom the answer, when faced with a difficult situation, is to quit.
You got crazy Charlie Rangel who wants to bring back the draft. Conyers wants to impeach the President even though Pelosi knows that the Dem's don't have anything to impeach him over, and a wackadoodle, bribe taking, impeached judge ready to take over the intelligence committee (once again, affirmative action at work.) I'm ranting here I know, but this is what happens when you bend over backwards to satisfy the insane, Congressional Black Caucus.
Oh, and this is too funny "....who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?" Yeah Charlie. Everyone's just dying to get a flat in Harlem.
Anyway, my point is that Kristol is dead on as usual.
I interviewed voters coming out of a polling station in a heavily Democratic part of Sherman Oaks on Election Day. It was an assignment for a journalism class and it shocked me how many people actually wanted an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
Joe Six pack has absolutely no concept of the consequences that such a move would have. This is because Joe Six Pack doesn't read articles by Bill Kristol.
Posted by Falling Panda at 6:53 PM
Monday, November 13, 2006
Politics is full of highs and lows. Around this time two years ago Republicans celebrated after successfully defending their President from constant, dishonest and unjustified attacks which the far left bellowed for four straight years without coming up for air. We won that election, and knowing what we now know about John Kerry it was probably a very good thing.
You can’t keep winning forever. The GOP lost last Tuesday after 12 years of almost uninterrupted electoral victories.
Unlike some political parties, we aren’t going to call the American people stupid for handing us a loss. We aren’t going to create fantasies of stolen elections.
Mike DeWine and Kenneth Blackwell lost big in Ohio despite the fact that all Diebold machines are rigged to give 100 votes to the GOP for every one vote cast by an African American.
No, we’re better than that. We’re good losers. And we lost.
After almost six years of one party government, the people have once again divided power among the parties. But will they get what they wanted from their new liberal congressional leadership? Probably not. Let’s examine.
First off, lets make it clear what the American people said a week ago. The message they sent was a clear rebuke of the President’s handling of the Iraq war and Congressional corruption and scandal.
It was not about the President’s domestic agenda or the economy.
Had the American people been upset about those things the GOP would have lost 50 seats in the House instead of 28. Of course despite this fact, newly elected Democrats like Missouri Senator-elect Claire McCaskill continued the class warfare, by promoting boneheaded economic policies like repealing tax-cuts for the top wage earners and putting it towards a tax cut for the middle class. Pretty talk, bad policy.
It’s also incredibly ironic that the day the folks decide to kick the GOP out on their rears was the same day the Dow Jones hit a record high.
By the way, the people did not vote for national health care Senator Clinton. Didn’t you learn anything the last time Congress changed hands.
Next up, Iraq.
After telling us for months leading up to election day that they did not want to “cut and run” Pelosi endorses the king of the “cut and runners” for the post of House Majority leader in John Murtha. So much for moderation.
This is borderline retarded.
If I were Nancy Pelosi, I would be constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure that Steny Hoyer wasn’t following me with a meat cleaver.
We should have known that feel good policy ideas like immediate troop withdrawals and timetables would be the first ones brought forward by the party, which has thus far put forth no sensible solution to our problems in Iraq. That’s just what Democrats do during war- time. But they should tread much more lightly if they want to hold on to their majority for more than two years and have a shot at taking back the White House in ’08.
They don’t yet appear to realize that Ned Lamont lost by 10-points on Election Day.
Within a week of their victory, the Democrats have mistaken the American people’s understandable displeasure with the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy, with an endorsement of the far-left’s anti-growth, anti-War on Terror agenda.
The Democrats who gave the party its new House Majority are mostly moderates. They are not in any way ideologically similar to the Democrats who make up the new House leadership.
These Democrats are now in the precarious position of having to explain to their constituents why the first two things they did when they got to Washington was to vote for a San Francisco liberal as Speaker of the House and give up in Iraq, two things that the American people don’t want.
The situation is similar in the Senate. Again, Jim Webb and John Tester are the two candidates who gave the Dems their Senate majority. They are fairly conservative guys and won by a very slim margin in both of their races. One death in a state with a Republican governor, one unhappy Democrat who decides to jump parties (I’m looking in your direction Senator Lieberman) and everything changes.
In the House, the GOP must detach itself from the leadership that blew it for them in the first place. There are plenty of good candidates out there, but new blood is the key. Hastert is already out and John Boehner should follow.
Same thing in the Senate. Bill Frist is gone as are Rick Santorum and George Allen, who would have been in line for leadership positions. The party needs a friendly center-right face. Sorry Mitch McConnell. Your'e just too grumpy.
Lamar Alexander would be an excellent choice on this front. The capable Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Liddy Dole would also be good choices, bringing a prominent female into the GOP leadership to help counter the media’s love affair with Ms. Pelosi.
President Bush has lost much of his power to push through legislation, but he pushed through most of the important stuff in his first term so it’s not that big of a deal.
He will have to make some concessions. Rumsfeld’s resignation was the first one, and a modest increase in the minimum wage is another mostly harmless compromise.
While he only has two years left, Bush can use the innate power of his office, as well as the fact that he is ideologically more in step with the electorate than The House leadership, to win battles on the federal budget and veto any tax increase that they manage to get to his desk.
As Clinton showed us in his battles with Congress in the mid-nineties, it is far easier for a president to appear moderate than it is for a 435-member body which must appeal to dozens and dozen of different factions to get anything done. Especially a Congress whose leadership is as far to the left as that of the 110th promises to be. Bush could benefit significantly from this.
Bush also has the power to finally be a real Republican and curb spending. If you thought the last congress loved to spend, wait until you see this one go. It would not surprise me the least bit if Democrats intentionally tried to run up the shrinking budget deficit in order to use it as a tool against Republican’s next time around. Remember, the President gets the blame for bad economic news. Especially a Republican President.
The dynamics of the presidential sweepstakes have also morphed significantly as a result of the election.
George Allen is done. John Kerry is even more done than he was after the ’04 cycle.
Hillary’s stock has risen dramatically among Democrats who owe her big for her help in winning a handful of House seats in New York, and for raising ungodly amounts of cash.
As long as she doesn’t fall into the health care trap again she should be fine.
She wont be anywhere near the Senate for the next two years. She will be in Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina, so she doesn’t have to worry about voting, taking positions or any of that messy stuff.
Speaking of senators with no positions. The Democrats have remained true to the principles of Affirmative Action, by continuing to gush over the possibility of Barack Obama running for President. His qualifications for being made the leader of the free world? He’s black and speaks in complete sentences.
Therefore I’m proposing that freshman Senator Jim DeMint consider running for the Presidency in ’08 as well.
Who? You ask.
Exactly. He’s white.
John McCain is the one who stands to gain the most from the GOP’s election debacle. He can now position himself as the one who can successfully lead the GOP out of the political wilderness. He can say that if nominated he would have coattails, and he would probably be right. Republicans want to win. If McCain can convince them that he is the only one capable of doing that, then conservatives may hold their noses and choose him over Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, the two men who appear to be emerging as the biggest obstacles to McCain’s presidential ambitions.
Despite all of the changes that have come to pass over the last week however, one thing has not changed. Bush is still the President. He still must do whatever he feels necessary in order to win The War on Terror, and should not be deterred on that front by the political posturing of the opposition party. A bad idea is a bad idea, even if supported by an electoral mandate.
I will leave you this week with an interesting observation made by Michael Barone, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite journalists. For a good quick read check out the Almanac of American Politics.
President Bill Clinton tried to create a natural majority for his party but fell short. George W. Bush attempted the same for his party but has also missed the mark. The 2002 and '04 Republican majorities were too small to withstand the winds of 2006.
For a dozen years, our politics has been bitterly polarized, dominated by two baby boomer presidents who happen to have personal characteristics that people on the other side of the cultural divide absolutely loathe. Clinton in 1992 and Bush in 2000 both made genuine efforts to run as unifiers, but once in office proved to be dividers.
Posted by Falling Panda at 10:48 PM
Monday, November 06, 2006
HOUSE : Dems + 19
SENATE: Dems + 3
MO: Talent (R)
The mobilization of GOP voters will make the difference here.
VA: Allen (R)
A repeat of the 1996 Warner vs Warner race. Don't be surprised if Webb leads early.
TN: Corker (R)
Ford meltdown. He should never of confronted Corker at that press conference.
MT: Burns (R)
Big Comeback. Kerry's comments will tip the balance in this red state.
PA: Casey (D)
This race has been over since last year.
RI: Whitehouse (D)
Keep an eye on this race. Some polls have Chafee closing the gap. One even has him ahead.
OH: Brown (D)
The problems with the Ohio GOP are going to cost that state a great Senator in Mike Dewine
MD: Cardin (D)
Could be an upset, but Maryland will reject two excellent GOP candidates in Steele and Governor Erlich in favor of liberal tradition.
NJ: Menendez (D)
If Satan rose from the bowels of the earth and ran as a Democrat in New Jersey he would still win by 10-points
AZ: Kyl (R)
National trends will not be enough to oust Arizona's other Senator.
CT: Leiberman (I)
He's going to owe the GOP big time.
Keep checking back. This could change.
Posted by Falling Panda at 12:19 PM
Thursday, November 02, 2006
And here we are. This week Republicans and Conservatives will have to come to grips with the fact that Democrats will most likely gain control of The House of Representatives and probably the Senate as well.
The majority of the mainstream media is aiding, abetting and cheering those Democrats, on, in a fashion which has never been seen before during a mid-term election, with stories on the big three networks, CNN and most of the print press that keep with tradition and run negative towards the GOP and positive towards Democrats at a rate of about 5 to 1.
While Democrats will likely have much to cheer about on election night, the last few weeks of this election cycle have exposed a great deal in regards to the psyche of those who are rooting for a Democratic takeover as well as those lawmakers who will benefit from a Democratic majority.
In the last month Bill O’Reilly has been hawking his latest book “Culture Warrior” all over the place, including shows on which the hosts are well-documented left-wingers, or “secular-progressives” as Bill would say.
This says a lot about O’Reilly in that he is not afraid to be challenged and that he can back up his points without being made a fool of by a hostile host or a anti-O’Reilly audience. This is perhaps why O’Reilly is the most powerful individual in the news media today.
On two of these shows, “The View” and “The Late Show With David Letterman” O’Reilly did very well. He stood his ground. When challenged with snide remarks or sweeping generalizations, he hit back with facts. Many believe he also out-funnied a visibly angry David Letterman.
The most telling moment however, happened on both shows and exposed a common trait among this nation’s liberals.
Bill O’Reilly asked both Rosie O’Donnell and David Letterman a very simple question which both talk show hosts either could not or would not answer. The question: Do you want the United States to win in Iraq?
To his credit Wolf Blitzer answered it immediately when asked the same question by Lynne Cheney who rightfully confronted the CNN host on his network's recent showings of political bias.
“The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about that. You think we want terrorists to win?” Replied Blitzer. Of course if he had answered in anything other than the affirmative he probably would have lost his job.
Rosie and Dave however are not held to the same standard as Wolf Blitzer. They are a part of Hollywood’s inner-circle of leftists and their views are shared by many Bush–haters, left wing bloggers and my guess is, many who will hold leadership positions in a Democratic congress.
They want the U.S. to lose in Iraq.
Their hatred of The President is so great, their desire to say “I told you so” to justify their initial opposition to the war, so strong, that they actually want to see us be forced to prematurely pull out of Iraq, making the situation in the Middle East even worse than it is now.
We give a lot of wiggle room to American citizens who genuinely hate this country or who think that we are the bad guys and that the terrorists are justified in their actions.
But, if you want us to lose the war in Iraq, regardless of where you stand on the issue or where you stood when the initial debate took place in 2002 and 2003, then you are a bad American. That’s right, I said it. You’re unpatriotic.
So what to make of Senator John Kerry’s recent comments?
Let’s be clear. Kerry was talking about the troops, not the President.
Kerry claims that the whole incident was simply a botched joke, but this is very hard to swallow given the Senator’s history of undermining our troops in the field from his ivory tower.
Kerry’s anti-military leanings have come out on several occasions, dating all the way back to the Vietnam era, when he stabbed his fellow soldiers in the back by accusing them of atrocities which he said were reminiscent of a fellow whose name sounded kind of like Genghis Khan when pronounced by Kerry. This gave birth to the “Swift Boat Vets” who told America that they hadn’t seen any of this when they were with Kerry in Southeast Asia.
After his electoral loss in 2004, he accused our troops of terrorizing innocent women and children while once again giving no evidence to back up his claims.
Now it comes out that in ’72 he believed that a volunteer army would consist of the "...poor, black and brown." This has not turned out to be the case with our current army, but apparently no one bothered to tell Kerry that.
Now he expects us to believe that the whole thing was just a big misunderstanding, and that he was simply trying to make another joke about how stupid the president is.
Now forget for a moment how tasteless it is for a sitting Senator to joke of the Commander In Chief's stupidty during war time. Remember, Democrat's abandoned any kind of civil political discourse long ago.
So let’s assume that Kerry just badly botched a very unfunny, very unoriginal joke, and that he was referring to the President having not gotten a good education and because of this, he got us stuck in Iraq.
If this is the case then Kerry could have just as easily been talking about himself.
Kerry’s grades at Yale were just as bad, if not worse than the Presidents. In addition to this he voted for the war……before he voted against it, of course.
So either way, Kerry’s statement was boneheaded as all Hell.
But, even given Kerry’s proclivity to make boneheaded remarks around election time, I believe that in this case he meant what he said and said what he believes.
It was a poorly thought out statement, in front of one of the far-left’s greatest constituencies –college kids- in which his elitist, holier than thou attitude was on full display, and in which he expressed his true anti-military feelings.
I have never thought very highly of John Kerry as a person, regardless of his ideological leanings. I also saw no need for Kerry to give an apology, which he finally did yesterday after two days of painful explanations as to how he was misunderstood.
His recent remarks, his past remarks and his voting record are an accurate indicator of how Kerry views the American military, so by all means he should do what we elect our officials to do and tell us what he really thinks. John McCain calls it "straight talk".
Kerry is now the deserving poster child, but these sentiments are not simply a Kerry problem, or a Letterman problem, or a Rosie problem. They are a Democratic problem.
It’s a loathing of the American military and the men and women who serve in it. It is the view expressed at cocktail parties on the upper-west side of Manhattan and in Hollywood, that our troops are brainless dupes. Helpless pawns in a military which is not a force for good in the world, but rather the cause of many of the worlds problems.
This view has been expressed by Democrats such as Bill Clinton Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin and my guess is that it is shared by Liberals such as Pelosi, Dean, Rangel and many others who want to lead the next congress. Is that what you want?
Even if you're one of those independents who hates Bush, and who believes the smear merchants who accuse him of everything from lying about Iraq to being behind the September 11 attacks, can you really stand for a party that genuinely looks down on the men and women who bravely serve in our military?
Is that better, than the admittedly flawed leadership that we have now?
I think not.
But its out of my hands at this point.
So I'm begging all of you. On Election Day, keep John Kerry in the minority. If you do this Rosie O'Donnell's head will explode and when that happens, everybody wins.
Posted by Falling Panda at 10:08 AM
Saturday, October 28, 2006
This is a huge problem. Now that it has become commonplace on the left to buy into the fairy tales surrounding the elections of '00 and '04, they will henceforth feel justified in cheating in able to achieve their goals. 'If their doing it then the only way to save the country is if we do it as well.' That is their justification.
ACORN accused of more bogus election forms
Posted on Wed, Oct. 25, 2006
CLAYTON, Mo. - St. Louis County Election officials claim hundreds of fraudulent voter address changes have been turned in by ACORN, a group that's been criticized for its voter sign-up work in Missouri.
St. Louis County's Republican elections director Joseph Goeke said if a county voter does not get a polling-place notification card in the mail right before the election, the address could have been changed behind their back.
Election Board employees estimate hundreds of fraudulent address changes were submitted.
The address changes included forged signatures and are among questionable or fraudulent voter registration cards submitted to the county within the past couple of months.
County officials told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that most of the suspicious registrations and address changes were submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
Similar fraudulent voter registration cards have turned up this month in St. Louis city and this week in Kansas City, as well as other states, including Ohio.
The cases are often similar. Voter registration cards were forged for a dead person, had false signatures and change of addresses or incorrect and missing personal information, Goeke said.
ACORN has registered hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters across the country, paying workers about $8 an hour in some cases...
Every year the folks from ACORN do everything they can to steal our elections. And when they aren't rigging elections, they are stirring up trouble with their endless protest demonstrations.
So why is ACORN is one of the largest taxpayer funded programs out there? Why are they not only tolerated but funded by our government?
Just think what more ACORN will get in government largess with the Congress in control of the Democrats.
And what more they will be able to accomplish.
Piss the conspiracy theorists off. Vote for this guy:
Jim Talent for Senate.
Posted by Falling Panda at 9:20 PM
This is ridiculous. Even for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Liberal People
ABC Scolds 'Incendiary' GOP Ad, 'Many
See Racial Overtones'
A night after the NBC Nightly News tried to discredit as racist an RNC ad against the Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee, Harold Ford, ABC joined the effort. On Wednesday's World News, Dean Reynolds asserted: "Drawing on Ford's attendance at a Playboy magazine Super Bowl party last year, the national GOP has been running this commercial, with what many see as racial overtones. First, people lampoon Ford's positions, and then a woman in a suggestive pose says this:" The woman: "I met Harold at the Playboy party." Reynolds: "And after a few more digs, she adds this just to drive the point home." Woman again: "Harold, call me." Reynolds then declared: "To many, the message is clear, and in some parts of Tennessee, potentially incendiary." In case anyone missed the supposed implications, a professor explained: "He's talking about interracial sex, interracial relations."
The October 25 CyberAlert recounted: Another campaign, another opportunity for the mainstream media to discredit a Republican campaign ad as racist. On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared: "Tonight some are saying that one commercial in particular in one very close Senate race has now crossed a racial line." Andrea Mitchell proceeded to critique the RNC ad attacking Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford and she highlighted how "the NAACP said the ad, quote, 'plays to pre-existing prejudices about African-American men and white women'" and "advertising experts like Jerry Della Femina, a Republican, says it is a blatant racial appeal." See: www.mediaresearch.org
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the October 25 World News story:
ABC anchor Charles Gibson: "Back to politics, and the midterm elections are 13 days away. And one of the fiercest fights is taking place in Tennessee, a bitter contest that might determine the control of the Senate. It has just about everything -- hints of sex, allegations of racism, and the possibility that a Southern state could elect a black Senator for the first time since Reconstruction. ABC's Dean Reynolds reports tonight from Tennessee."
Dean Reynolds: "Bob Corker should be coasting. A Republican running in a conservative red state that was carried twice by President Bush, his prospects should be looking good."
Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican Senate candidate: "What people really want in the United States Senate is somebody who thinks like they think."
Reynolds: "But his Democratic opponent, Congressman Harold Ford, has proven to be a more adept campaigner, insinuating at every stop that Corker's undeniable wealth includes ill-gotten gains, and tying Corker to an unpopular war and an unpopular President."
Harold Ford, Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate: "I'm running as an American that wants to help provide better leadership in Washington."
Reynolds: "Faced with the loss of a must-win Senate seat, the Republicans decided to downshift away from Ford's politics to his persona. Drawing on Ford's attendance at a Playboy magazine Super Bowl party last year, the national GOP has been running this commercial, with what many see as racial overtones. First, people lampoon Ford's positions, and then a woman in a suggestive pose says this:"
Woman in ad: "I met Harold at the Playboy party."
Reynolds: "And after a few more digs, she adds this just to drive the point home."
Same woman whispering in ad: "Harold, call me."
Reynolds: "To many, the message is clear, and in some parts of Tennessee, potentially incendiary."
Prof. John Geer, Vanderbilt University: "I mean, he's talking about interracial sex, interracial relations, relationships. I mean, it's really quite amazing. And it's not the kind of ad you'd expect somebody to be running if they thought they were ahead or at least in a tie."
Reynolds: "Corker, the man the ad was supposed to benefit, says it should be withdrawn."
Corker: "We've taken the high road in this race, and I think the ads are tacky."
Reynolds: "Ford said all of this means one thing."
Ford: "Our message is resonating. Otherwise, they wouldn't be running these ads."
Reynolds: "Late today, officials at the Republican National Committee acknowledged that the ad in question has received a lot of negative attention, and they have decided to stop running it here. In a few days, they'll know if the ad did its job or was a risk they should never have taken. Dean Reynolds, ABC News, Knoxville."
One of my professors was going off the other day about how racist this ad was. Since this professor puts the "liberal" in the liberal arts, and most of my classmates ,who rarely understand the material, tend to agree with him, I decided that it would be a waste of my time to debate him. I mean, I don't want to jeopardize the A, which I will inevitably get. But I almost made this point to shut him up.
Do you really think that the residents of Tennessee who are likely to get upset over an implied interracial relationship, were ever going to vote for a black Senate candidate in the first place?
The NAACP is perhaps the looniest political organization in the country today. Even more insane than the ACLU.
On behalf of incredible candidates such as Michael Steele in Maryland, I encourage that body to abandon its partisan leanings and do the job which they were created to do.
And stop referring to everything that you don't like as "racist". We're sick of it.
Don't buy into it. Vote for this guy:
Posted by Falling Panda at 8:47 PM
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Sphere: Related Content
It's almost as if Va. Senate candidate Jim Webb was reading Mark Foley's e-mails.
The press release, as provided by the Allen Campaign:
WEBB’S WEIRD WORLD
The Author’s Disturbing Writings Show a Continued Pattern of Demeaning Women
· Some of Webb’s writings are very disturbing for a candidate hoping to represent the families of Virginians in the U.S. Senate.
· Many excellent books about the United States military and wartime service accomplish their purposes, and even win awards, without systematically demeaning women, and without dehumanizing women, men and even children.
· Webb’s novels disturbingly and consistently – indeed, almost uniformly – portray women as servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these. In novel after novel, Webb assigns his female characters base, negative characteristics. In thousands of pages of fiction penned by Webb, there are few if any strong, admirable women or positive female role models.
Why does Jim Webb refuse to portray women in a respectful, positive light, whether in his non-fiction concerning their role in the military, or in his provocative novels? How can women trust him to represent their views in the Senate when chauvinistic attitudes and sexually exploitive references run throughout his fiction and non-fiction writings?
· Most Virginians and Americans would find passages such as those below shocking, especially coming from the pen of someone who seeks the privilege of serving in the United States Senate, one of the highest offices in the land:
– Lost Soldiers: “A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy’s penis in his mouth.”
Bantam Books, NY, 1st Edition, 2001, (hard cover), page 333.
Quote is from para. 10,.Chap. 34.
– Something to Die For: "Fogarty . . . watch[ed] a naked young stripper do the splits over a banana. She stood back up, her face smiling proudly and her round breasts glistening from a spotlight in the dim bar, and left the banana on the bar, cut in four equal sections by the muscles of her vagina."
William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 36.
Avon Books, New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 35
Quote is from para. 29, Chap. 2 “The South China Sea,”, Section 2
– A Country Such as This: "[He] could see Jawbone and Ashley Asthmatic [two guards at a Vietnamese prison camp] napping together in the grass. They faced inward, their arms entwined. It looked like they were masturbating each other. It didn't surprise him. … It was common to see men holding hands, embracing, playing with each other. Some of them [the guards] had wanted him. He could tell in those evanescent moments between his bao cao bow, the obligatory deference when a guard entered his cell, and the first word or blow that followed it… Quick, grinding voices, turgid with repressed passion. An exploratory reaching of the hand near his groin…”
Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NY, 1983 (hardcover); page 396.
Bluejacket Books, 2001 (Trade paperback edition), page 396
Page numbers are the same in the Naval Institute Press (paperback) edition, 1983.
Quote is from fifth para, Part 5 “A Country Such As This,” Chap. 24, Section 1
– A Sense of Honor: “Nurse Goodbody, dark and voluptuous (Lenahan had forgotten her actual name, it was something long and Italian), was a bedtime friend to many of the doctors in Bethesda. She had hinted to Lenahan that she simply could not contain herself. Doctors tending to patients, she explained, aroused her. Morphine Mary (again Lenahan could not remember her exact name) was a thin, nervous drill sergeant type, a disciplinarian who did not allow her patients even to complain. Lenahan was convinced that Morphine Mary did not even sleep with her husband. She wasn’t bad looking, he mused again, staring at her thin frame. If she’d just get laid every now and then she’d mellow out and stop being such a damn witch.” (p. 164) (Lenahan brings Goodbody home with him and has sex, pp. 188-190)
Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 164
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 164
Quote is from fourth para in Part 3, “Chapter 4:1600”
– Something to Die For: "[Fogarty] has been thinking of the firm, springy skin and the sweet smells of a young Filipina woman named Maria in whose bed he had spent three nights almost twenty years ago. . . . She was a deliciously bad young woman. . . . On the second night, he had brought her a box of Godiva chocolates . . . . he had awakened to find her in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet with her knees underneath her chin, eating chocolates and counting her rosary beads as she prayed."
William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 32.
Avon Books New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 30
Quote is from third para in Chapter 2 “South China Sea,”, Part 2
– Something to Die For: "We're on our way to becoming the world's recreational center, a nation [USA] not to be taken seriously. Where are we still the undisputed leader? Music. Movies. Fast food. Drugs. . . . the billboards fifty years from now as you come over the bridge and stop at the tollbooths outside Manhattan: A smiling beautiful naked woman, and the sign saying AMERICAN ASS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT."
William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 199.
Avon Books New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 237
Quote is from para. 38, Chap. 13, Part 1, (five paras before Part 2).
– Fields of Fire: Snake (the protagonist) sees his mother on the bed: "She looked as if she were carefully attempting to re-create a picture from some long-forgotten men's magazine . . . . She was naked underneath the robe . . . . and the robe fell loosely away, revealing her. Snake shrugged resignedly."
Prentice-Hall, New York, 1978 (Hardcover, 1st edition), p. 8
Bantam Books "mass market [paperback] edition" published in Sept. 2001. p. 9.
Quote is from paragraphs 18-23, Part 1 “The Best We Have”, Section 1
(NOTE: Part 1 is after the Prologue)
– Fields of Fire: "He saw the invitation with every bouncing breast and curved hip. . . . He was thirteen. . . . She was fifteen . . . . In a few moments she drew him to her and he murmured in his quiet voice, 'I am still small.' 'You are large enough,' she answered. And he found he was."
Prentice-Hall, New York, 1978 (Hardcover, 1st edition), pp. 211-212
Bantam Books "mass market [paperback] ed." published in Sept. 2001, pp. 280-81.
Quote is from paragraphs 8-20, Part 2 “The End of the Pipeline,” Chapter 24
– A Sense of Honor: “… that is, if you knew who your sister was, Brustein, and if she’d been born with anything between her legs except an asshole, I’d be happy to bring some class to your low-rent name by knocking the bitch up.” (p. 223)
Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 223
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 223
Quote is from 17th para in Part 4, “Chapter 7:1930”
– A Sense of Honor: “You wouldn’t have believed it, Swede. She just dropped her britches and lifted up her skirt and pissed like a man. Didn’t lose a drop, either. Not a drop.” (p. 183)
Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 183
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 183
Quote is from 23rd para in Part 3, “Chapter 8: 2300”
Now if this is all true, there is no way the Democrats can pick up this seat, making it so they must now win the Senate seats in Missouri and Tennessee in order to pick up the Senate.
With the Ford campaign seemingly in freefall and the Michael J Fox add mobilizing the base for Jim Talent,in a few days polls may tell us that the GOP has a little bit less to worry about on election day.
Posted by Falling Panda at 5:46 PM
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Sphere: Related Content
October 24, 2006
A Blank Check from America?
By Thomas Sowell
Media pundits have just about given this year's election to the Democrats -- at least in the House of Representatives and perhaps in the Senate as well. They might even be right, for a change.
Some are saying that this could be like the 1994 midterm election shocker when the Republicans seized control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. If so, the Democrats will win by following the exact opposite strategy from that which brought the Congressional Republicans to power in 1994.
The Republican strategy, crafted by Newt Gingrich, was to spell out their stands on key issues and to promise to bring those issues to a vote in Congress. They called their agenda "The Contract with America."
It is now clear to all that this year's Democrats are deliberately avoiding spelling out any coherent policy program of their own.
Their strategy is to second-guess, denigrate and undermine Republicans instead of offering an agenda of their own. Rather than having a contract with America, they are seeking a blank check from America. Moreover, they may get it.
How did the Republicans manage to bring themselves to this dire condition, just two years after winning both Houses of Congress, the White House, and most of the state governorships?
It wasn't easy -- and it wasn't new. It was the same thing that caused the first President Bush to lose his bid for re-election in 1992, after having had sky-high approval ratings in 1991. It was betraying the trust of supporters.
Back then it was the betrayal of the "No new taxes" pledge. More recently, it was the even worse betrayal of trying to legislate amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, combined with insulting our intelligence by saying that it was not amnesty.
Add to this the Republicans' runaway spending and the fact that the war in Iraq has been going badly, and you have all the ingredients of a political debacle.
One of the ironies of this election is that it is the Republicans in the House of Representatives who seem most likely to pay the biggest price for the disaffection of Republican voters -- when in fact it was the House Republicans who stopped both the Senate Republicans and the White House from making mass amnesty the law of the land.
Senate Republican leaders deserve whatever happens to them. If this election were about the fate of one political party rather than another, it would hardly be worth thinking about.
But elections are not about which politicians get to keep their jobs, though the media cover the news as if the political horse race is the issue. Elections are about the fate of 300 million Americans and the future of this nation.
That fate hangs grimly in the balance as two irresponsible regimes in North Korea and Iran seek to gain nuclear weapons. Neither leader of these regimes can be deterred by threats of nuclear retaliation, as the Soviet Union was deterred.
Both are like Hitler, who was willing to see his own people decimated and his own country reduced to rubble rather than quit when it was obvious to all that he could not win. If you can imagine Hitler with a few nuclear weapons to use to vent his all-consuming hatreds in a lost cause, you can see what a nuclear North Korea or a nuclear Iran would mean for America and the world.
It is obscene that our media should be obsessed with some jerk in Congress who wrote dirty e-mails to Congressional pages -- and was forced out of Congress for it -- when this nation faces dangers of this magnitude.
It would be worse than obscene for some voters to cut off their nose to spite their face by either staying home on election day or actually voting a blank check from America for a party with a decades-long history of irresponsibility on national defense.
Even today, Democrats are arguing for more talks with North Korea and Iran, as if talk is going to stop such regimes from going nuclear, any more than talks with Hitler in the 1930s deterred him.
This is no longer about hawks and doves. It is about ostriches who bury their heads in the sand -- and about those voters who are prepared to give a blank check to ostriches.
Posted by Falling Panda at 12:48 AM
Sunday, October 15, 2006
What a great guy that Gerry was!
AP - Reaction to the death of former Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass.:
"Gerry's leadership changed Massachusetts forever and we'll never forget him. His work on behalf of our fishing industry and the protection of our waters from my driving has guided the fishing industry into the future and ensured that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and learn from the sea. He was a steward of the oceans. And boy did he love having gay sex with children."
- U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
"No one fought harder for human rights, particularly in Latin America; for our environment; and for the fishermen of New England and the entire nation. He was a true pioneer of having gay sex with underage kids and getting away with it."
- U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., whose wife, Lisa, once worked as an aide to Studds.
"Gerry often said that it was the fight for gay and lesbian equality that was the last great civil rights chapter in modern American history. He did not live to see its final sentences written, but all of us will forever be indebted to him for leading the way with compassion and wisdom. He gave people of his generation, of my generation, and of future generations the courage to be who they are, if who they are, are people who enjoy having gay sex with minors."
-Dean Hara, who married Studds in 2004.
"Gerry was a stalwart champion of New England's fishing families as well as a committed environmentalist who worked hard to demonstrate that the cause of working people and the cause of the environment go hand in hand with the right leadership. Not to mention the cause of underage House pages who enjoy having gay sex with congressmen. When he retired from Congress, he did not retire from the cause, continuing to fight for the fishing industry, and New England's environmental causes, and illegally sodomizing young men throughout our nation's capital."
- U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
"I am very saddened by the death of Gerry Studds. From his days in the early 1970s as an articulate and effective opponent of the Vietnam war, through his consistent leadership on environmental issues, to his insistence that the U.S. government stop ignoring the AIDS crisis, Gerry was a forceful advocate for causes that were not always popular and that were consequently shunned by many politicians. I never understood why politicians always shunned causes such as having gay sex with minors. He showed us all that if you're a Democrat, you can pretty much get away with anything. Gerry set the bar so high that the only thing I could do to top him, was to run a gay brothel out of my basement. Now back to the real bad guy here. Dennis Hastert."
- U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
Ok I admit, I altered these quotes a bit.
It must ease Mark Foley's mind a bit knowing that he can look forward to having Republicans tell us all what a hero he was after he's dead. Right?
Posted by Falling Panda at 6:03 PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I just wanted to briefly comment on the disgraceful actions of some students at Columbia University last week.
In case you haven’t seen it on the news. Minutemen founder and former congressional candidate Jim Gilchrist was about to give a speech on illegal immigration when he was shouted down by a bunch of pro-illegal immigration students.
They unfurled banners and yelled at Gilchrist calling him a fascist and a racist, in typical leftist fashion. Gilchrist was forced to cancel the speech due to the students refusal to let him be heard. Here’s a link in case you haven’t seen it.
Today the students proceeded to defend their actions in two ways. First they positioned themselves as defenders of equality from the big, bad, racist, anti-illegal immigration forces such as the Minutemen. Again, they played the race card so as to simplify an issue, which is incredibly complex, in order to sway the simple minded and their fellow students. As I said, typical.
Then they used another technique that has become standard fare for radicals of all kinds. They defended their actions by saying they were simply exercising their right to free speech.
Ok, no. That’s not free speech, that’s heckling and intimidation. You are a detriment to the Constitution, not supporting its principles, if you drown out somebody else’s free speech, simply because you don’t like the message.
Far-left student groups have been doing this for years now, but only to conservative speakers mind you.
These recent developments should serve as proof that our nations colleges and universities are ceasing to be the open-minded places in which freedom of speech, freedom of thought and diversity are encouraged, as was intended. Instead, they have become places in which groupthink and a one-sided political ideology are encouraged by both student groups and administration. All others are shunned or shouted down. This is scary stuff.
So, all you radical students out there who think that all of us on the right are just a bunch of evil, racist, dupes, let me teach you something that your professors have obviously neglected to mention to you in class.
There is a big difference between freedom of speech and being obnoxious and loud when someone else is trying to tell you something.
Shame on those students at Columbia who participated in this closed-minded hit job and shame on anyone who doesn’t vigorously condemn their bad behavior.
Posted by Falling Panda at 12:49 AM
Friday, October 06, 2006
One shouldn't excuse Mark Foley's bad behavior by pointing to other representative’s bad behavior in the past, however the idea of Dennis Hastert resigning his post is utterly ridiculous. Especially considering that there is no evidence that Hastert even knew about the e-mails that Foley sent which were sexual in nature.
Foley deserved what he got, but guys like Barney Frank, Mel Reynolds and Gary Studds deserved far worse than the forgiveness and presidential pardons, which they ultimately received.
The Redder They Are, The Harder They Fall
Republicans More Damaged by Scandals
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 3, 2006; Page C01
Sex scandals involving politicians are as old as Thomas Jefferson, but the outcome seems to depend on which party you represent. In recent years, for the most part, Democrats have been able to survive their sordid escapades while Republicans have paid with their political lives.
The latest example: Mark Foley, a Republican congressman from Florida, who abruptly became an ex-congressman from Florida last week amid revelations that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys who were serving as House pages.
Foley's creepy behavior might have done him in even if he'd been the most liberal of Democrats. But that's not assured. With a Republican at the center of the seamy scandal, however, it was almost a slam-dunk that Foley would have to quit.
That's how it usually turns out for members of the conservative, traditional-family-values party. Just ask Bob Livingston, Jack Ryan, Bob Packwood, Dan Crane or others in the GOP who've watched their careers go pffft! with salacious disclosures. Or ask Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, Barney Frank and other Democrats who've withstood embarrassing revelations to govern another day. Consider, for example:
· Packwood, from Oregon, resigned his Senate seat in 1995 amid repeated allegations that he had sexually harassed women. A few years earlier, Rep. Jim Bates, a Democrat from the San Diego area, faced similar allegations by two female staffers. Bates refused to resign and won reelection (he eventually lost his seat to Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who ran into his own ethics problems last year, and resigned after being convicted of bribery).
· In 1998, Livingston won the Republican Party's blessing to succeed Newt Gingrich as speaker of the House. But Livingston, of Louisiana, never served a day in the job. He was sunk by revelations that he'd had an extramarital affair, a disclosure that carried the additional baggage of hypocrisy since, at the time, Livingston was leading the Republican impeachment of President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, of course, ultimately survived impeachment.
· Rep. Thomas Evans (R-Del.) was voted out of office in 1982 after he publicly regretted his "association" with a lobbyist named Paula Parkinson, who later posed for Playboy; Evans and two other Republican House members (including one named Dan Quayle) had shared a Florida cottage with Parkinson on a junket. Contrast this to the reaction to allegations of an affair between Sen. Chuck Robb (D-Va.) and Tai Collins, a former Miss Virginia. Robb claimed that Collins had only given him a back rub in a hotel room. Robb won reelection three years later.
· The clearest illustration may be in the divergent outcomes of the cases against Crane (R) and Studds (D) in 1983. Both men were censured by the House for having sex with underage congressional pages -- Crane with a 17-year-old girl in 1980, Studds with a 17-year-old boy in 1973. Crane, of Illinois, apologized for his actions, while Studds, who declared he was gay, refused. Crane lost his reelection bid the next year; Studds, of Massachusetts, kept winning his seat until he retired in 1996.
A double standard? And if so, by whom?
"The reality is that Democrats seem to get away with more," says Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the Hotline, a daily political journal. "They can have an affair and bail [themselves] out. There's a lower threshold for Republicans. I guess it's more of a hypocrisy thing," he adds, because such scandals put Republicans at odds with the party's socially conservative image.
Todd thinks he knows who's to blame for this: "It's the media, to be honest. What is the standard 'gotcha' story in the media? It's hypocrisy. If we can prove hypocrisy, we have a story. . . . So in a sex scandal, the bar for Republicans is lower."
He cites the case of Jack Ryan, the Illinois Republican whose bid for the Senate was derailed in 2004 when his wife, actress Jeri Ryan, alleged in divorce papers that he had taken her to sex clubs and had asked her to engage in sexual activity in front of other patrons. "What's amazing is that his candidacy hit the wall not because he had sex, but because he was thinking about having sex," says Todd.
But it's tough to blame the media when it's the electorate that determines who stays and who goes.
In Studds's case, he happened to represent a liberal (and apparently quite forgiving) district, while Crane came from a conservative rural district. Ditto with Barney Frank, who was reelected in his liberal Massachusetts district after it was revealed that he hired a male prostitute in 1985 to work in his District apartment, and the young man used the apartment to run a prostitution service. Clinton, meanwhile, was elected president twice, which may have had something to do with his ability to survive the storm over alleged extramarital affairs.
"A scandal's a scandal and the media will jump on it, no matter what party," notes Michael Farquhar, author of "A Treasury of Great American Scandals." On the other hand, notes Farquhar, a reporter who is on leave from The Post, "there's probably that extra twinge of delight [in the media] when, say, a gay-bashing Republican gets caught soliciting sex in a men's room, or a pious espouser of family values sleeps with his secretary."
There are exceptions, of course. A few Democrats have lost their jobs as a result of scandals. Wayne Hays, a Democrat from Ohio, resigned his House seat in 1976 after the disclosure of his affair with Elizabeth Ray, the curvaceous blonde who "worked" in Hays's office despite no evident secretarial skills. Gary Hart, who famously dared reporters to follow him around to prove he was squeaky clean, blew up as a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 after reporters found him leaving a Capitol Hill townhouse after spending the night with a woman not his wife. And Gary Condit, a conservative Democrat from Modesto, Calif., lost his seat in 2002 following saturation coverage of his relationship with murdered intern Chandra Levy.
It's also true that Wilbur Mills, the powerful Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in the 1970s, lost his chairmanship after cavorting in the Tidal Basin with Fanne Foxe, "the Argentine Firecracker."
What's forgotten, however, is that Mills won reelection after his Tidal Basin romp; he was stripped of his chairmanship only after he appeared on a stage in Boston with Foxe, apparently drunk. House Democrats demanded his resignation, and got it.
While some Conservatives have turned on Hastert in order to win their own elections and bolster the party's chances in the upcoming elections, Democratic party chair Howard Dean has taken this mess and used it to bash Hastert and to imply that the GOP is not good for children. That's election year politics at its worst and raises the question: When did the Democratic leadership start taking sex scandals seriously?
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:54 PM
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
A ten year status report for America's number one cable news network and the channel which you are most likely to find me watching at any given time during the day.
Fox News: Enraging Liberals for 10 Years
Cable news ratings king celebrates its first decade, as the left tries to muzzle Murdoch's creation.
By Brian C. Anderson, BRIAN C. ANDERSON is senior editor of City Journal and author of "South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias."
October 4, 2006
FOX NEWS turns 10 this week, and it has every reason to celebrate. Launched by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and former political consultant Roger Ailes as a refuge for viewers fed up with real or perceived liberal bias elsewhere in the media, Fox is the undisputed ratings champion of cable news. It's been trouncing CNN, MSNBC and CNBC for years, and it sometimes draws a fatter audience share than all its competitors combined, though viewership has slumped a little of late. Pugnacious Bill O'Reilly and conservative tough guy Sean Hannity have become two of the nation's most powerful broadcasters thanks to this kind of ratings pull. Fox is the news media success story of the last decade.
Liberals aren't celebrating the channel's birthday, though. Even before an angry Bill Clinton exploded at "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace a couple of weeks ago, accusing him of "a nice little conservative hit job" after getting pressed about his record on fighting Al Qaeda, Democratic pols and advocates have relentlessly attacked the cable network, accusing it of being a Republican propaganda mill. Al Gore has likened Fox to a right-wing "fifth column." Leftist groups, including MoveOn.org, funded the documentary "Outfoxed," which purports to expose the channel's nefarious Republican agenda, and petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to ban Fox's use of its famous "Fair and Balanced" slogan as deceptive advertising.
"When a news outlet is allowed to blur the lines between opinion and journalism and call it 'fair and balanced,' I think it's confusing to consumers of information in this country, and it's dangerous to democracy," fretted an official at Common Cause, one of the organizations joining the petition. Hollywood celebrities never miss an opportunity to bash "Faux News." Comedy Central's witty "Colbert Report" is a nightly satire of the channel and of O'Reilly in particular.
What explains all this hysteria? Success, of course.
The propaganda charge is unfair, at least when it comes to the network's presentation of news. In the 2004 presidential race, Fox pollsters consistently underestimated President Bush's support. In its final preelection poll, Fox had Kerry winning by a couple of points, one of the only polls to show the Democrat on top. I'm not sure a right-wing fifth column would do that.
A recent comprehensive study by UCLA political scientist Tim Groseclose and University of Missouri-Columbia economics professor Jeffrey Milyo found Brit Hume's "Special Report" — Fox's most straightforward news show — more centrist than any of the three major networks' evening newscasts, all of which leaned left.
The program is a model of smart news television.
And although it's true that the network's opinion shows (as opposed to its news shows) are, as they're supposed to be, noisily opinionated, it's equally true that Fox's biggest star, O'Reilly, is no mainstream Republican. He regularly charges the oil companies with price-gouging and attacks big business for squashing the little guy. And who can say what host Greta Van Susteren's politics are? She mostly zeroes in on lurid murder mysteries and scandals.
Liberals troop into and out of the Fox studios every day — some of them, like host Alan Colmes and news analyst Marvin Kalb, affiliated with the channel. There's no doubt, of course, that Fox News is more conservative than CBS or CNN. But, after all, that was its founding mission.
Fox's real ethos is not Republican but anti-elitist — a major reason it connects with so many Americans and annoys so many coastal elites. "There's a whole country that elitists will never acknowledge," Ailes once observed. "What people resent deeply out there are those in the 'blue states' thinking they're smarter."
This anti-elitism shows itself in Fox's pro-U.S. stance in covering the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and its broadcasters' use of terms such as "terrorist" instead of "militant" to refer to … well, terrorists. Since the Vietnam War era, mainstream journalists have tended to see such blunt language and side-taking as unsophisticated, a betrayal of journalistic objectivity.
Another aspect of Fox's anti-elitism: Christians, far from being seen as lunatics or curiosities — as too often is the case in the mainstream media — actually get some respect.
"We regularly have on the Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. James Dobson and other religious leaders, just as we put on Pat Ireland and Eleanor Clift," Hannity told me a while back. "Most Americans believe in God and have that as their foundation in life. So why shouldn't we have as guests people that they like, respect and want to hear from?"
What really frustrates liberals about Fox, though, is simply that, along with talk radio and the conservative blogosphere, it has helped shatter the left's near-monopoly on news and information. Fox's opinion-driven programming gives conservatives and liberals a chance to get a hearing for their ideas. But Democratic politicians and activists who go on Fox also must defend their views, often against tough questioning, something that happens less often on the networks, where most journalists are left-of-center, survey after survey has shown.
Even more significant, Fox came on the scene a decade ago as a professional news organization that could define and report news as something different from what the elite consensus says it is. To take one of many examples, the corruption of the United Nations' oil-for-food initiative in Iraq, initially downplayed by the mainstream media because of their sympathy for internationalism, was uncovered — deemed newsworthy — on Fox.
All this wouldn't matter if Fox News wasn't so influential. But it is. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 20% of Americans now claim to get news from it, and lots of them (37%) are Democrats or independents. The network's success has also sparked a "Fox effect," leading some competitors to become more open to right-of-center opinions: MSNBC's "Scarborough Country," hosted by former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, is a prime example. Until a few years ago, Democrats never had to deal with all these mediatized conservatives.
Nothing would please liberals more than to drag the nation back to the days when the New York Times and CBS News determined what was newsworthy. A group of congressional Democrats has warned Fox to end its supposed anti-Democratic bias — or else. Should Democrats retake Congress, an effort to shut down, or at least muzzle, Fox, is far from inconceivable, creepy and illiberal as that sounds.
Something Fox News doubtless is keeping in mind as it pops the champagne corks this week.
One footnote. The author of this article also penned a moderately interesting book entitled "South Park Conservatives" which attempts to explain an emerging species of moderate conservative whose views are similar to those expressed by the creators of Soth Park via their brilliant cartoon.
A footnote on that. The cartoon's season premeire airs tonight on Comedy Central. So don't miss it. Unless of course you hate laughing.
Posted by Falling Panda at 4:26 PM
Saturday, September 30, 2006
If every undecided voter would simply read articles by guys like Kristol, Krauthammer and Barone, the GOP would be preparing for signifigant gains on Nov. 7, unfourtunately many of them are watching "The View."
Here Kristol makes some good points and gives us some interesting poll numbers that you may not have heard.
Who's Really in Denial?
It's not President Bush.
by William Kristol
"Americans face the choice between two parties with two different attitudes on this war on terror."
--George W. Bush, September 28, 2006
President Bush is right. It would be nice if he weren't. The country would be better off if there were bipartisan agreement on what is at stake in the struggle against jihadist Islam. But despite areas of consensus, there is still a fundamental difference between the parties. Bush and the Republicans know we are in a serious war. It's not the Bush administration that is in a "State of Denial" (as the new Bob Woodward book has it). It's the Democrats.
Consider developments over the last week. Democrats hyped last Sunday's news stories breathlessly reporting on one judgment from April's National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)--that the war in Iraq has created more terrorists. More than would otherwise have been created if Saddam were still in power? Who knows? The NIE seems not even to have contemplated how many terrorists might have been created by our backing down, by Saddam's remaining in power to sponsor and inspire terror, and the like. (To read the sections of the NIE subsequently released is to despair about the quality of our intelligence agencies. But that's another story.) In any case, the NIE also made the obvious points that, going forward, "perceived jihadist success [in Iraq] would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere," while jihadist failure in Iraq would inspire "fewer fighters . . . to carry on the fight."
What is the Democratic response
to these latter judgments? Silence. The left wing of the party continues to insist on withdrawal now. The center of the party wants withdrawal on a vaguer timetable.
Bush, on other hand, understands that the only acceptable exit strategy is victory. (If, as Woodward reports, he's been bolstered in that view by Henry Kissinger, then good for Henry. Invite him to the Oval Office more often!) To that end, Bush should do more. He should send substantially more troops and insist on a change of strategy to allow a real counterinsurgency and prevent civil war. But at least he's staying and fighting. And the great majority of Republicans are standing with him. The Democrats, as Bush has put it, "offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut-and-run."
So there really is a profound difference between the parties, as Democrats are happy to acknowledge, since they think Iraq is a winning issue for them. The Democratic talking point is this: We're against Bush on Iraq, but we are as resolute as Bush in the real war on terror (understood by them to exclude Iraq). Except that they're not.
That's why last week's votes in Congress on the detainees legislation were so significant. The legislation had nothing to do with Iraq. It was a "pure" war-on-terror vote. And the parties split. Three-quarters of the Democrats in the House and Senate stood with the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union for more rights for al Qaeda detainees, and against legislation supported by the Bush administration (as well as by John McCain and Joe Lieberman). Some Democrats in competitive races--such as Rep. Harold Ford, running for the Senate in Tennessee--supported the legislation. But it remains the case that a vote for Democrats is a vote for congressional leaders committed to kinder and gentler treatment of terrorists.
No wonder voters think the country will be safer from terrorism if the GOP retains control of Congress. And no wonder that focus groups--according to the Democratic polling firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner--show that "attacks on Democrats for opposing any effort to stop terrorists . . . were highly effective." The Democratic pollsters recommended countering the attacks forcefully. But how? There are votes, in black and white in the Congressional Record, ready to be used in campaign ads.
The most important front in the confrontation with terror-sponsoring, WMD-seeking Islamic jihadism in the next two years may well be Iran. Republicans are viewed by a 12-point margin as the party that would be more likely to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We have been critical of the Bush administration's lassitude in attending to this task. But with sand in the diplomatic hourglass running out, voters can fairly be asked: Would Bush have more help in denying Ahmadinejad nuclear weapons from a Congress controlled by Republicans or by Democrats (whose main suggestion has been to cozy up to Iran without insisting that it verifiably suspend its nuclear program)?
Off-year elections--especially when one party controls the presidency and Congress--are almost always dominated by the expression of grievances with that party's performance. The Bush administration and the congressional leadership have given cause for grievance. But the choice is so stark this November that grievances should be put aside--if Republicans have the nerve to continue to clarify the choice over the next month. Last week was a good
By the way, if anyone out there knows why I have been unable to post pictures on my blog recently, i'd appreciate their advice.
Posted by Falling Panda at 8:39 AM