Friedman gets it in other areas like outsourcing and the global economy, but on the subject of foreign affairs, he's still in a New York state of mind. I have a friend who tells me I don't have a full understanding of America's place in the world because I haven't been overseas, but in the same breath he tells me he will never visit or having anything to do with the part of America located between Las Vegas and New York City. I suspect Friedman has a similar philosophy.
What he needs to is to take a hiatus and live in the Midwest for about six months to a year. Yes, he's been to Europe, Africa, South America, etc., but I doubt he's ever actually been to his own country...the United States.
Charlie Wilson was known in Congress as the "liberal from Lufkin." During his time in the House, he championed many liberal causes from Medicaid to minimum-wage, regulations on business, abortion rights and even the Equal Rights Amendment. Wilson also had a reputation as a partier. He loved the drink, he loved women and he loved Las Vegas, hence his nickname "Good Time Charlie."
Sounds like a Kennedy or a Clinton, doesn't he? Well, there was one important difference. Wilson was a hawk. Unlike many of his party brethren (especially today), he understood that the United States and freedom itself had enemies and that these enemies had to be dealt with. This belief came to a head one fateful day in Las Vegas when Goodtime Charlie was sitting in his hotel room in Las Vegas watching a "60 Minutes" report on Afghan rebels fighting the Soviets. A plan was hatched and Wilson, along with a rogue CIA agent, were able to covertly secure funding for the rebels that allowed them to beat back the Soviets. This story will soon be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks. (Interesting that this covert operation to beat communists is worthy of a heroic movie but not, say, Oliver North's story. You never know with Hollywood).
Speaking of Iran-Contra, Charlie Wilson has a key roll in the funding of the Contras as well. President Reagan faced a key vote on the issue in the House and called Wilson expressing his need for his support. Wilson was gravely ill at a military hospital in Germany, but he made the trip back and was brought onto the House floor in hospital pajamas and an IV drip to cast his vote. It was the stuff of legend. The legend also says that two liberal colleagues threatened to pull out his IV unless he voted no. He told the "pinkos" to buzz off, and voted yes.
My questions to the Democrat Party of 2007: where have all the Charlie Wilson's gone?
Sounds like a Paula Cole song, doesn't it?
Then there's Mark Levin, who I call the conservative guilty pleasure. If you're feeling really pissed off about the state of affairs in this country and need to blow off some steam by hearing someone that's as pissed about it as you are...Mark's your man. Case in point, his take on Media Matters.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration imposed economic sanctions against senior officials of Myanmar on Thursday, condemning the military-run government's crackdown on protesters.
The Treasury Department announced the sanctions against 14 senior officials of Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Among those targeted for the sanctions are the junta leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, and the No. 2 man in the military regime, Deputy Senior Gen. Maung Aye.
The action by Treasury will freeze any assets that the individuals targeted have in U.S. banks or other financial institutions under U.S. jurisdiction. The order also prohibits any U.S. citizens from doing business with the designated individuals.
"The president has made it clear that we will not stand by as the regime tries to silence the voices of the Burmese people through repression and intimidation," said Adam Szubin, director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Okay, I have a question...why are we doing this now and not 19 years ago when these thugs came to power? We're supposed to be the United States of America, the beacon of freedom and democracy...the shining city on the hill. You're telling me these guys have been allowed to keep money in U.S. banks and to do business with U.S. companies for two decades? Why????
I know why. It has many names, but my preference is the word postmodernism...the sick, twisted philosophy that all cultures are to be respected, that there is no right and wrong, only perspective, and that the United States has no right to interfere in any way with the oppression committed by foreign governments. What are these so-called "sanctions" supposed to tell these people fighting for their freedom in Burma? The government stepped over the line this time but everything they did before was hunky-dory? Oh, that's right...I'm sure we have been in "talks" with the junta for many years...being nice and pleading with them to put a smiley face on their regime.
Then there's this:
As the Treasury Department announced details of the sanctions, the White House called on the junta to allow a U.N. special envoy full access to all relevant parties, including those jailed by the junta and religious leaders, while he is in Myanmar, beginning Friday.
Yeah, that'll work. I wonder what kind of bribe we'll offer them to "play nice?"
Last night, for the first time this election cycle, I watched a Democratic presidential debate. It was appalling. But it was also, in a way, encouraging. Before last night, I thought it was 50-50 that the Republican nominee would win in November 2008.
Now I think it's 2 to 1. And if the Democrat is anyone but Hillary, it's 4 to 1.Here, judging from the debate, is what the 2008 Democratic nominee is likely to be for. Abroad: ensuring defeat in Iraq and permitting a nuclear Iran. At home: more illegal immigration, higher taxes, more government control of health care, and more aggressive prosecution of the war on smoking than of the war on terror. And this is only a bit of an exaggeration. Going into last night, I had no great expectations of the Democratic field. But the level of routine irresponsibility demonstrated throughout the debate was jaw-dropping. Bush may remain unpopular, and the Republican "brand" unattractive. But I believe the toughness of Giuliani, the sobriety of Thompson, the gravitas of McCain--any of these would be very difficult for the Democratic nominee to overcome.
Great minds think alike, I had very similar thoughts on this last night. I think you can boil down the race for the Democrat Party nomination for president on one simple question: who wants to roll back our freedoms the most? That seems to be the competition among the candidates. Any time one of them ups the ante, the rest follow. It's a question that should be asked of all the candidates from all of the political parties: Are you going to roll back freedom or maximize freedom?
If this story proves anything, it's that there will never be an open dialogue on race in this country...the MSM simply won't allow it.
MORE: Tammy Bruce: "A Gestapo has emerged in America."
If there's better advice out there, I haven't heard it! (Hat tip: Instapundit)
While we in America are working to limit our own freedom day after day, those that really know what it's like when the government "crushes dissent" are risking their lives for freedom.
I'm talkin' about friendship. I'm talkin' about character. I'm talkin' about - hell, Leo, I ain't embarrassed to use the word - I'm talkin' about ethics.
-From the movie Miller's Crossing
It's becoming clear that at least a good part of the motivation behind Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS is his desire to harm the Bush Family.
When asked by Carol Joynt, host of the "Q&A Café" held at Nathans restaurant who worked with Rather at CBS in the 1970s, whether "he'd like to" call President Bush as a witness in the trial, Rather said "I'd like not to answer the question," leaving both Joynt and audience members wondering whether the newsman has Bush in his sights." Joynt later told Yeas & Nays, "From the look in his eye -- and he gave me a definite Ratheresque look -- I got the impression he will call the president as a witness. Possibly both of them: 41 and 43. He implied the suit is not against them, but what the suit is about stems directly from his antagonistic relationship with them."
Really stunning. Many of us remember the rude interview he conducted with then Vice President Bush over the Iran-Contra scandal. He finished off his career pushing a story that he hoped would unseat President George W. Bush. He really, really hates the Bushes and it looks like he's willing to do whatever he can to harass them.
Now, there's a part of this story I want to explore. Rather has stated many times that while the documents may have been fake (and he's not willing to concede that they are), they still have the story right. His most recent statement: "we got the truth, but we left ourselves vulnerable." Rather is so convinced of Bush's guilt that he can't let it go. It is possible that Rather is right and Bush got out of completing his military service thanks to daddy, but Rather didn't have the evidence...and that was the point of the fallout. I'm sure there are dozens if not hundreds of reporters who know things...really bad things, but they don't have evidence so they don't report it. It's a matter of ethics, remember those?
In this recent interview, Rather was asked if he thought President Bush hated him. Wouldn't a more apropos question be whether Rather hated Bush? He would deny it, of course, but it sure looks that way. This is what we on the Right side of the political spectrum are talking about when we cry liberal-bias in the media. It's that ingrained belief that one side is right and the other is wrong and it's their job, as journalists, to fight for their people and fight against their perceived enemies. Sure, everyone has their own personal biases, but Rather took it one step further. He abandoned the ethics of his profession in order to harm someone he sees as an adversary, and it looks like he isn't finished.
My head hurts.
But it's all a lie. They don't believe in a free marketplace of ideas. It's easy to say you would allow a Nazi dictator who's been dead for 60 years to speak at the University...if you had a time-machine. No, they have a soft-spot for anyone who is willing to thumb his nose at the evil-empire known as the United States. The administration at Columbia are Stalinist who believe that what's bad for America is good for their side. Don't be fooled by hollow arguments.
That's all well and good, but there's a classic assumption here that isn't being addressed. What's wrong with going to war for oil? "No blood for oil" is the common mantra of the anti-war types, but to them I say, what better reason to go to war? Oil is what keeps America going. It allows me to get to work, to go on trips, to enjoy my life. It gives me the freedom to move about as I wish. Without it, our economy would grind to a halt and we'd never realize our full potential. Oil puts food on the table. What better reason for our soldiers to go to war than to protect our ability to keep the American engine running? This is not a radical position, or at least it shouldn't be.
-The Patriots and the Colts are so far and away better than the rest of the teams in the league, it's scary.
-John Kitna is giving the Detroit Lions reason to get up in the morning.
-49ers are 2-0. Better days seem to be close for this once unstoppable franchise.
-Not so for the Dolphins.
-Very significant win for the Cardinals. For this team to come back and upset Seattle after losing a heartbreaker the week before is very un-Cardinal like...and that's a good thing.
On a related note, Philip Klein over at The American Spectator makes the case for Rudy Giuliani as the best hope for beating Hillary. One very big reason for this is the fact that Rudy is willing to take on Hillary himself and not rely on his lackeys or his wife like many other candidates have been doing. Certainly the MSM will eventually play the "wounded female card" the way they did against Rick Lazio in 2000, but don't expect Rudy to waver. As Klein says, "This looks like a battle Giuliani was born to fight."
UPDATE: And what about HillaryCare for illegals? Take a guess.
UPDATE: Holy Crap! O.J. arrested!
However, unlike some Husker teams before Coach Callahan arrived, this team shows no quit. They played a full 60 minutes even though they knew it wouldn't be enough. That's the kind of fight they'll need to win the Big 12 North.
They also lose a draft pick or picks. If they make the playoffs this year, they forfeit their first round pick in '08. If they don't make the playoffs, they will forfeit their second and third round picks. Belichick, however, will not be suspended nor will they have to forfeit their victory over the Jets.
My take...I would have at least suspended Belichick or stripped them of their victory. These guys swim in money, so I don't see how that's much punishment. Draft picks? Eh...about 1/3 of draft picks are a washout anyway...what's one pick to a team that's already loaded? However, I'm just a guy in the stands and I have no reason to doubt Goodell's judgement. The other factor to look at is how this plays in the court of public opinion.
I wonder when the Pats will be in Philadelphia...that should be fun.
It's just odd. This is the best NFL franchise this decade, with three Super Bowl trophies. It's hard to believe that videotaping defensive signals would have such a benefit as to propell the team to the heights they've reached the past six years, and that the payoff would be worth the risk. It's also odd that they've been caught once before but continued to do it anyway when it seemed to be common knowledge among other teams that they did this kind of thing. The boys at ProFootballTalk.com has some more thoughts.
Goodell is considering severe sanctions, including the possibility of docking the Patriots "multiple draft picks" because it is the competitive violation in the wake of a stern warning to all teams since he became commissioner, the sources said. The Patriots have been suspected in previous incidents.
??? They? Who are they? Planes? Surely you mean little crop-duster type planes, right?
I watch the coverage for about an hour. I couldn't get my head around the fact that something like this was happening in the United States. I saw one of the towers collapse...still numb in disbelief. What am I seeing? Realization came slow.
I went to work for what would be a very long work week. The Las Vegas Strip was empty. What now?
Anyway, it's funny how the big events stick with you. This was the JFK assassination for my generation, and unfortunately, it's proved to be just as politically divisive.
I don't think anything can put a finer point on the fact that the likes of Reagan and Wyman are from a different era, a different time. I very much doubt that Donna Hanover is going to give Rudy Giuliani the same courtesy once he's in the White House (yes, I'm being confident).
After Reagan became governor of California and then president of the United States, Wyman kept a decorous silence about her ex-husband, who had married actress Nancy Davis. In a 1968 newspaper interview, Wyman explained the reason:
"It's not because I'm bitter or because I don't agree with him politically. I've always been a registered Republican. But it's bad taste to talk about ex-husbands and ex-wives, that's all. Also, I don't know a damn thing about politics."
A few days after Reagan died on June 5, 2004, Wyman broke her silence, saying: "America has lost a great president and a great, kind and gentle man."
And you folks in Nebraska...don't be fooled by Bob Kerrey again!
GLENN: Right. But isn't illegal immigration a crime in and of itself?
GLENN: Aren't you saying --
GIULIANI: Glenn --
GLENN: You're protecting criminals by saying that being treated as a criminal is unfair.
GIULIANI: Glenn, it's not a crime. I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime.
GLENN: It's a misdemeanor but if you've been nailed, it is a crime. If you've been nailed, ship back and come back, it is a crime.
GIULIANI: Glenn, being an illegal immigrant, the 400,000 were not prosecuted for crimes by the federal government, nor could they be. I was U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York. So believe me, I know this. In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it's not a criminal proceeding. It's a civil proceeding.
GLENN: Is it --
GIULIANI: One of the things that congress wanted to do a year ago is to make it a crime, which indicates that it isn't.
GLENN: Should it be?
GIULIANI: Should it be? No, it shouldn't be because the government wouldn't be able to prosecute it. We couldn't prosecute 12 million people. We have only 2 million people in jail right now for all the crimes that are committed in the country, 2.5 million. If you were to make it a crime, you would have to take the resources of the criminal justice system and increase it by about 6. In other words, you'd have to take all the 800,000 police, and who knows how many police we would have to have.
GLENN: So what's your solution?
GIULIANI: My solution is close the border to illegal immigration.
GLENN: How do you do that?
GIULIANI: You do that by building a fence, a physical fence and a technological fence, and the technological fence is more important than the physical fence. The technological fence would alert you to illegals approaching the border well in advance so the border patrol can get there and stop them. You deploy the border patrol every 50 miles along the border. I've already outlined this on a map. I did this in detail about two weeks ago. And then you have the border patrol stop people from coming in, literally stop them from coming in. If you did that for a year or two, you would end it. You also have a tamperproof ID card that every person from a foreign country should have that comes into the United States. The goal has to be, yes, you're allowed to come to the United States but you have to identify yourself before we let you in, and we have to be sure you're a safe person. And then if you come in, you'll be in the computer base, you'll be able to work, you will have to pay your fair share, you'll have to pay taxes but we have to end it right at the border by having the resources to stop people from just walking into this country and not identifying themselves. Only the federal government can do this. If the federal government doesn't do this, there is no way that the local governments in this country can handle it other than in a practical way. If you make people that are just going to be here for the next 20 years, if you put them in a situation of danger and risk, you're going to have more crime in your communities.
Okay, I'm no lawyer (and I'm hoping Glenn Reynolds or the boys at Volokh chime in) but it seems like what he's saying is that talking about immigration laws is a waste of time because we couldn't possible enforce them all with open borders...so we need to first close the borders with a physical and technological fence and then go from there. That may be a generous take and I admit to being a Rudy guy, but it seems to me that elements of the conservative base are just looking for a reason to scuttle Rudy. They're mad he's not saying in a booming voice, "no more illegal immigration!" and instead is hitting us with legal facts. Is he right on the law?
UPDATE: American Pundit seems to agree my position on this.
Honestly, who knows what to believe here? I wouldn't put it past the Clintons to do something like this, but come on. It seems a little suspicious to me that she's in the news, whining about this manuscript being stolen, a few months before the book comes up. Drumming up publicity, perhaps?
But, like I said, who knows what the truth is? The book probably is damaging to the Clintons' reputation, a feat that isn't entirely difficult. However, it isn't exactly the first negative book to be published about the Clintons. What information could Kathleen Willey have that previous authors did not, information scandalous enough that the Clintons would feel the need to hire some goon to keep her quiet? It isn't that I wouldn't believe it of them, but this particular story seems a little unlikely to me.
That's all well and good, but what I'm really waiting for is a touch-screen laptop computer. That would be awesome.
Super. More at Samizdata.
Sedley said he was aware his idea would be viewed as a dangerous breach of civil liberties.
"It is authoritarian measure to the extent that it demands people depart with some further measure of their autonomy and privacy and it has to be justified," he added.
Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said there were no plans to make the database compulsory for all residents and visitors for the foreseeable future.
"But no-one ever says never," he told BBC radio.
Anyway, the reason I write about this Jerry Lewis thing is that I find it interesting how the level of outrage depends not on what word was said but on the standing of the person that said it. Don Imus lost his job for saying "nappy-head hoes" and there was quite a bit of media-created outrage over the incident. Meanwhile, Jerry Lewis uses the word "faggot" and the response is tepid at best. Yes, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation fired off a press release, but that was about it. Could this lack of outrage mean that Jerry has a huge amount of moral authority because at the time of saying the gay slur he was hosting a telethon for sick children? If so, where is the line? Is it possible to be so full of "moral authority" that you can say anything with no repercussions? Like Noam Chomsky?
My thoughts on this: silly; overzealous paranoia; one toke over the line.
But then Hillary has to come along and say things like this:
"This (Social Security) is the most successful domestic program in the history of the United States," Clinton said to applause from seniors gathered in Washington to push their policy agenda. "When I'm president, privatization is off the table because it's not the answer to anything."
I don't see how Marx or Lenin could disagree.
TIPTON, Iowa - Democratic presidential hopeful said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.
"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."
Am I the only one that finds this insane?
It gets better with this guy...
Edwards, who has been criticized by some for calling on Americans to be willing to give up their SUVs while driving one, acknowledged Sunday that he owns aBe afraid. SUV, purchased within the year, and a Chrysler Pacificia, which he said he has had for years.
"I think all of us have to move, have to make progress," he said. "I'm not holyier-than-thou about this. ... I'm like a lot of Americans, I see how serious this issue is and I want to address it myself and I want to help lead the nation in the right direction."
He said he would not buy another SUV in the future.
UPDATE: Ann Althouse: "Why does he not even realize how bad that sounds?" (Hat tip: Instapundit)
MORE: Not surprisingly, Edwards has the support of the Steel and Mine workers unions.
The big story, however, was Nebraska's run game led by Marlon Lucky's 233 yards and three touchdowns. West Coast offense or not, the running game has been and always will be the bread-and-butter of Nebraska football. Lucky and Quentin Castille look to be a nifty two-man running attack for the Huskers this year.
Wake Forest is up next...
...and USC looms.
But more importantly, there is a big civil rights issue here that needs to be addressed. This officer is my opinion is entrapping people and that's an abuse of power. There may be many in the gay political community happy to see a conservative Republican driven out of office, but they should not be heartened by this incident, they should be outraged.