Channel 4 news in Britain: 'I never thought I'd find myself saying thank God for Drudge. The infamous US blogger has broken the best kept editorial secret of recent times. Editors have been sworn to secrecy over Prince Harry being sent to fight in Afghanistan three months ago. Drudge has blown their cover. One wonders whether viewers, readers and listeners will ever want to trust media bosses again. Or perhaps this was a courageous editorial decision to protect this fine young man?'
He is also, I feel, an emotional man. But sometimes he's a sentimentalist, and that's different. He is in love with America. Not the idea of America, but rather an inchoate notion of a space - a glorious metaphysical entity. But it is clear that since its mendacious beginnings, this war has thrown up a series of abuses that disgrace the U.S.'s central proposition. In the need to find morally neutralizing euphemisms to describe torture and abuse, the language itself became tortured and abused. Rendition, waterboarding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib - all are codes for what America is not. America has mortally compromised its own essential values of civil liberty while imposing its own idea of freedom on others who may not want it. The Bush regime has been divisive - but not in Africa. I read it has been incompetent - but not in Africa. It has created bitterness - but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.
This notion of imposing freedom has always fascinated me, perhaps because I simply don't understand the concept. How is freedom an imposition? Freedom, by definition is the absence of impositions. Yeah, but the critics say "What business of ours is it? What if they're not ready?" To the first question, it's not our business, until the tyrants stick their noses into ours. The second question is also perplexing and self-defeating. President Bush and America are slammed for bravado, hubris, arrogance, et al. How about proclaiming that a people is not ready for freedom? How arrogant is that?
So back to the main question. Did Iraq not want "the idea of freedom." Certainly Saddam and his family didn't, and many others of his ilk, but what of the people that did? Why are their desires not valid? It's not as simple as "not imposing freedom on those that don't want it" for those that don't want it also don't want it for anyone else. They made the decision that they hate freedom and democracy and they would deny it to everyone. That's the true imposition.
MORE: I can't get enough of this clip:
You'll hear this a million times...Obama is a very good speaker, he carries himself very well. Unfortunately, the fact that he's wrong on every issue probably won't matter to a majority of voters. The only way Obama can be defeated is with a strong ideological campaign, one based on Friedman-style capitalism and Lockean theory. Or, put another way, conservatism. This is why I don't give McCain much of a chance. He pays conservatism lip-service here and there, but McCain's real ideology is McCainism. He's like the William Shatner character on "Boston Legal." McCain thinks all he has to do to win over voters is say "I'm John McCain!"
We're in trouble.
Of course, there's always the possibility that Mitt Romney may end up on the ballot as a vice presidential candidate — or even, some suggest, the party's nominee if the campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., continues to falter.
Did I miss something? McCain's campaign is faltering and continues to do so? When did this happen?
Although Mitt Romney has taken himself out of the race, McCain's campaign has been hurt by a report that implied he had an improper relationship with a female lobbyist. Political pundits have said that could lead to an opening for another candidate, especially Mitt Romney.
Who said this? What political pundits?
My G-d...the love affair between McCain and the MSM really is over and it ended worse than a Brittany Spears' marriage.
UPDATE: Okay, this is kinda weird. The Lefty blogs are getting all excited by reports that Josh Romney says his father may get back in the race. On the LA Times blog there is this paragraph:
Josh Romney, one of former Gov. Mitt Romney's five sons, says it's "possible" his father may rejoin the race for the White House, as a vice presidential candidate or as the Republican Party's standard-bearer if the campaign of Sen. John McCain falters.
If the campaign falters is a lot different from continues to falter. Plus, the line is not attributed in the LA Times to anyone with only the world "possible" in quotes. Now, if the campaign falters makes more sense as scandals or illness are always possible, but that's a big if, though factually correct. Neither story attributes the "falters" line to Josh Romney though the Times post seems to lean that way. We need some big-time clarification here.
His first post involved the moral relativism of Barack Obama who intends to meet with our enemies and deny American exceptionalism. We're in trouble.
His name has never bothered me...it's his stand on the issues that's troubling. John McCain has me by the you-know-what's. I never thought I'd cast a vote for the Arizona Senator, but it looks like I'm gonna have to. Well played, old man, well played.
Pretty clearly they wanted to do to John McCain what they did to Rudy Giuliani—start a series of stories that required constant replies and corrections whose monotonous net effect was a thousand nicks that bled the target to death. And that has become old hat. Whether it was the ad nauseam spate of daily stories that made national news out of the absence of women at the Augusta Golf Club and the Masters controversy, or the daily running commentary on Abu Ghraib, the signature trademark of the Times now is to take a particular ideological position, and then advance its advocacy by creating "news" on the front page—each subsequent day nuancing and tweaking the theme until the reader is exhausted, sighs "OK, we agree, enough already" and the desired result is achieved. What happened this time was that national outrage nuked the lead story—at least for now.
However, what could be a game changer is how McCain reacts from here on out. We know that the man has a nasty temper and holds grudges. If he treats the NY Times the same way he treated George W. Bush early in his presidency, then we might see signs of a Republican candidate worth voting for, i.e. one that directs his rage on someone who deserves it.
In a related story, it seems that in a world ruled by the Socialist Messiah, weapons screening wouldn't be necessary, as the populous would have no guns...you know, like the Chinese in Tiananmen Square.
UPDATE: Told ya.
We're in so much trouble.
The New York Times hit the stands with a story they've been working on for a while, and McCain has been trying to bury. It revolves around a female lobbyists that some say was too close to McCain, especially given his position on the Commerce Committee. Was it romantic? No one knows but the Times claims to have anonymous sources that say they were pretty convinced. Read it yourself.
Bottom line, it's the end of the affair...the MSM affair.
"He will give us hope by giving us hope: for many, the appeal has the magical perfect logic of a tautology. It's a nice dream. But compromise is impossible when you have a fundamental differences about the proper way to solve a problem. I believe we can achieve a fair society by taking away your house and giving it to someone else. I disagree. It is my house. Then let us agree to give away half of your house. Compromise! But that is not a compromise. You have taken half my house. We have compromised on your behalf with those who would have taken it all. Let us not return to the politics of division. There are strangers living in my spare bedroom. Then we have truly come together. Look, this isn’t a matter on which we can compromise, because we have conflicting premises. You’re pretending matter and anti-matter have the same relationship as Coke and Pepsi. They don’t."
It occurs to me that if Obama were to become a Scientologist, there'd be no stopping him.
I defy anyone to name me one big Clinton Presidency accomplishment that wasn't the result of the Republican-controlled Congress. Name one. In the future, if history is written by true scholars, these two presidencies side by side will have quite a stark contrast, and not the way the MSM wants you to think.
If you’re looking for one measure of the impact of last year’s troop surge in Iraq, look at Gen. David Petraeus as he walks through a Baghdad neighborhood, with no body armor, and no helmet. It’s been one year since the beginning of what’s known here as Operation Fardh Al Qadnoon. According to the U.S. military, violence is down 60 percent. One key to the success is reconciliation.
RTWT. Other than Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, everyone, including prominent Democrats and the MSM, is now acknowledging the situation in Iraq. The Surge has worked and continues to do so, both militarily and politically. I hate to admit it, but this may be reason enough to vote for McCain. Granted, Obama or Hillary, once in the White House, wouldn't pull out like they say, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't mismanage the situation. At least with McCain, we'd know the good things would continue.
You also have to wonder about General Petraeus. The Persian Gulf War made heroes out of Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, launching a political career for Powell. Could the same be in the works for Petraeus? What do we know about him from an ideological standpoint?
I'd love to ask a Hillary supporter who's against the eavesdropping on Americans who speak with terrorists how they can vote for someone who confiscated dozens of FBI files for her own political use.
"I’ve hunted. My father taught me how to hunt. I went duck hunting in Arkansas. I remember standing in that cold water, so cold, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men. The sun’s up, the ducks are flying and they are playing a trick on me. They said, 'we’re not going to shoot, you shoot.' They wanted to embarrass me. The pressure was on. So I shot, and I shot a banded duck and they were surprised as I was," Clinton said drawing laughter from the crowd.
Great...not only does she claim to have hunted, but she was really good at it and put some sexist men in their place. This was followed by several jokes about Dick Cheney.
"You know I couldn’t believe that, I really thought that I have gotten over being totally outraged by the Bush Administration." Clinton continued, "Once he (Cheney) is out of office, the Secret Service is not around to protect people from him. We better be careful about where he goes hunting. Safety protocol would be useful, don’t’ you think?"
Good Lord! I'm not a sportsmen, but this stuff is more than I can take. My sympathy to all you hunters out there.
Well, it's not as good as death, but we'll take it. They keep talking about these "reforms" that his brother Raul, who will take over, wants to implement. Like what? Casual Fridays? All political prisoners get to wear shorts during their daily beatings?
Still, I guess it's time to celebrate, but the big day will come when he finally dies. I'll have a cigar at the ready.
Now don't get me wrong, despite my Midwestern-conservative-libertarian-Hayekian philosophical views, I am a fan of the theater...but I hate The Crucible! It's a play about McCarthyism that ties the search for communists in the 1950s to the search for witches in Colonial America. It's hard for me to enjoy something when I know from the start that the premise is completely wrong, but Arthur Miller is a god in theater departments across the country.
Anyway, John J. Miller touches on this subject in a throw-back column that has significance on this day known as Presidents' Day.
MORE: Why not be proud of this?
The bigger story is the effort to count the delegates from Michigan and Florida. Here's hoping the Democrat Convention is a replay of 1968.
"The emotional burden can have negative consequences for a child who is developing," Gilles Moindrot, general secretary of the Snuipp-FSU trade union which represents most primary school teachers, said in a statement.
"One can not place on a child of 11 the responsibility for what happened back then."
This is the future of our country. It's only gonna get worse.
Well, I'll have to mull that over, but in the meantime here's the story (via the Daily Record) of a man who has spent most of his life searching for the Loch Ness Monster, but has now come to a...conclusion: (Hat tip: The Corner)
LEGENDARY Nessie hunter Robert Rines is giving up his search for the monster after 37 years.Words...they can't express my feelings right now. We can probably make the assumption that he means "man-made" global warming, er-freaking-go! what we have here is an imaginary environmental threat killing an imaginary monster.
The 85-year-old American will make one last trip in a bid to find the elusive beast.
After almost four decades of fruitless expeditions, he admitted: "Unfortunately, I'm running out of age."
World War II veteran Robert has devoted almost half his life to scouring Loch Ness.
He started in 1971. The following year, he watched a 25ft-long hump with the texture of elephant skin gliding through the water.
His original trip was to help another monster hunter with sonar equipment and quickly identified large moving targets.
He was smitten and returned the next year, which is when, he says: "I had the misfortune of seeing one of these things with my own eyes."
Since then, he has been obsessed with tracking down the creature with a staggering array of hi-tech equipment. It was this gear that took the famous "flipper" picture that year which created a stir around the world.
Despite having hundreds of sonar contacts over the years, the trail has since gone cold and Rines believes that Nessie may be dead, a victim of global warming.
Seclusion, here I come.
John Derbyshire goes apesh*t on this topic with many good questions:
What are we electing here, a faith healer? What is Obama's view of the executive power? How, exactly, does he propose to "bring us together"? Just by being half-black? What if I don't want to be "brought together" with radical socialists who want to jack up my taxes and shut down my freedoms of speech, property, and association? What will Obama do? Steve Sailer has been documenting the astonishing — for a guy with Obama's résumé — absence of any paper trail for Obama's thoughts, ideas, and opinions. There's just his autobiography, which is unreadable (I tried), and The Audacity of Hope which I guess (I didn't try — you can only ask so much of a guy) urges us all to be really audacious and hope a lot.
Is Obama just an empty suit, who never had a thought about anything, other than his own amazing wonderfulness, in his entire life? What, for example, does he think about conservatism? Modern American conservatism is a huge and various body of thought, with many mansions. Has Obama explored it? I'll lend him my Nash if he wants to make a start. Heck, I have read Kolakowski all the way through, all three volumes; has Obama read Hayek? Buckley? Kirk?
There's more. RTWT.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq faces an “extraordinary crisis”. Last year’s mass defection of ordinary Sunnis from al-Qaeda to the US military “created panic, fear and the unwillingness to fight”. The terrorist group’s security structure suffered “total collapse”.
These are the words not of al-Qaeda’s enemies but of one of its own leaders in Anbar province — once the group’s stronghold. They were set down last summer in a 39-page letter seized during a US raid on an al-Qaeda base near Samarra in November. The US military released extracts from that letter yesterday along with a second seized in another November raid that is almost as startling.
That second document is a bitter 16-page testament written last October by a local al-Qaeda leader near Balad, north of Baghdad. “I am Abu-Tariq, emir of the al-Layin and al-Mashahdah sector,” the author begins. He goes on to describe how his force of 600 shrank to fewer than 20.
Tough times...but don't despair! There are still people in your corner:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said twice Sunday that Iraq "is a failure," adding that President Bush’s troop surge has "not produced the desired effect."
So buck up, Akmed. Your fans in America will soon be in total...control...of...the...U.S. government.
We're in big trouble.
Feeling so hopeless about 2008, I'm already looking to the future.
Do the math and the Dems would be fools not to nominate Obama.
Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded...
Did you get that? In order to produce clean-burning fuels, we have to process them which produces greenhouse gases. In other words it's like a low-flow toilet. You get it with the desire of using less water but ultimately you have to use more water (i.e. more flushes) in order to get it to do its job (i.e. well, you know).
But what's even sadder is that these facts won't matter in today's political discourse.
Also, if point 8 confuses you, here's some clarity on that.
Anyway, here's the South Carolina Senator on so-called "Stimulus Package."
Later, campaigning for his wife in South Carolina, Clinton suggested an Obama victory there would be a racial one, like the Rev. Jesse Jackson's twenty years ago.
Critics accused Clinton of injecting race into the Democratic campaign.
"A lot of the things that were said were factually inaccurate," Clinton said. "I did not ever criticize Senator Obama personally in South Carolina. ... But I think whenever I defend her, I, A, risk being misquoted, and, B, risk being the story. I don't want to be the story."
Misquoted on raw videotape. Yeah, that's it.
-JFK was a cold-warrior. He hated communism as much as Ronald Reagan and was determined to stand up to the Soviet menace. This including instructing NASA that they must beat the Russians to the moon.
-JFK was not a fan of FDR's New Deal economics. While he would run for and serve in Congress as a "New Deal Democrat," Kennedy wrote in his diary in 1945:
"Mr. Roosevelt has contributed to the end of capitalism in our own country, although he would probably argue the point at some length. He has done this not through the laws which he sponsored or were passed during his presidency, but rather through the emphasis he put on rights rather than responsibilites."
-When Kennedy became president, he cut taxes, both corporate and personal, increased defense spending and refused to increased spending on social programs. In short, if JFK were here today, he would be a Republican. The man's biggest flaw was that he was a member of the Kennedy family.
So before you swallow all the JFK/Obama comparisons, check the record.
"We're putting an end once and for all to one of the last prejudices -- that of the bigger-busted woman," said brand director Fiona Lambert in a statement.
It's about time.
All in all, he's doing okay, but I gotta say, I don't have a lot of confidence in his appeal to voters next to Obama. Hillary maybe, but what a huge risk. *sigh* I wish I could go on vacation for 9 months.
It occurs to me as I listen that McCain would have been in much better shape at this moment in time, with all his disagreements with the conservative base, if he had just been more of a gentlemen about it. Yes, some expect 100% purity, but most just want politicians to be honest with them. If he had just over the past decade not been so quick to be snide and thumb his nose at the conservative critics, he'd have been better off. If I were one of his campaign strategists, I would say, "okay, the number one thing we need to work on is your temperment with the base...you either need to change it or fake it." Assuming I didn't get thrown out a window, I'd concentrate on that. I still don't think I can vote for the man, but 9 months is a lifetime in politics. The ball is in his court.
UPDATE: Just watched a clip of Mitt's speech here. Pretty good and I think he'll be seen as a hero with the base for falling on the sword for the "good of the country." His message was that the war on terror was too important to allow Hillary or Obama to win. While he didn't necessarily endorse McCain, he more or less did by saying he didn't wish to "help" the Democrats win the presidency. Thus, look past McCain's problems, maintain the war on terror.
As I've had a chance to calm down since Tuesday, I'm very conflicted about what to do in November. Then I realized, wow, that's 8 months away. Lot's of time to think.
There's also a Machavellian move that could be made: Fred Thompson. He was the hope of the conservatives until he ran one of the most listless campaigns in recent memory, and despite his conservative credentials, he is good friends with McCain (he even supported "part" of McCain-Feingold). Thus, he would be the running-mate that would supposedly mollify the conservative base and his folksy style would come off as non-threatening to many moderates.
I wouldn't fall for it, but many Americans probably would.
His defense of Fox was great, but what I really loved was how he called bullsh*t on the "babies in Iraq" line. Folks, it's a volunteer army of adults and 99% of them knew what they were getting into and are proud to serve. They are NOT babies.
Can a media narrative about a Republican candidate ever have a truly happy ending? Most Republicans doubt it. The biases have been too ingrained for too long. But I suspect the media won't suddenly rediscover faults in McCain they have previously ignored. That would be too obvious and might actually raise sympathy for him. No, theirs will be a tale full of sorrow told with great reluctance. First the stories will come out about McCain being the oldest president ever on inauguration day should he win. Then we will increasingly see photos that make McCain look every bit his his age. Film clips will be selected for the way they make it look like each year is an bearable weight upon Republican nominee's shoulders. The camera will linger on hands marked with liver spots. Stories will start to appear about him not remembering something he said, though it will of course be attributed to his talking to so many people on the hectic campaign trail. (This might already be happening. The Wall Street Journal's John Fund has stated that McCain must have forgetten what he has said about Justice Alito because he chats with so many people.) The media coverage of McCain's campaign will slowly take on an autumnal quality. In a wistful voice someone on a news panel will say if only McCain had won his party's nomination in 2000. How different the nation might be. Another one will pipe up. Better yet, imagine if he had made the primary challenge to Bush (41) in 1992 instead of Pat Buchanan. Short elegiac news segments of McCain on the stump will be sandwich between much longer ebullient stories of the history being made by the Democrat nominee, as if McCain even lacked the stamina to be the subject of an extended news story, much less shoulder the responsibility for the nation's business.
It's a good life.
MORE: Michelle Malkin and Mark Levin weigh in.
Meanwhile, Hillary and Obama each held their own with Hillary getting the edge with the California win.
But there's something bigger here which I'll opine in great detail later, but it comes down to this: there's been some kind of shift in the country. The Rockefeller Republicans are emboldened and are taking the party back from the Reaganites. It also feels a lot like 1992. Many of us knew who Clinton was and what he was about, but it didn't matter to a majority of the public. We're facing a similar scenario in both parties this time around.
Alas, everything is cyclical...I say, let it come down!
McCain's behavior in this (Dole) episode is revealing. It demonstrates that regardless of how compelling the political case is for GOP conservatives to swallow their many issue disagreements with McCain, the biggest obstacle is the character of the senator. A leader is someone capable of inspiring confidence and articulating a shared vision. McCain's limitations as a leader are clearly illustrated by the past 24 hours. Typically, when someone tries to form and lead a coalition and can't seem to pull it off, the blame belongs to him, not to the audience he's trying to reach. By reveling in the kind of identity politics commonplace on the Left (substitute veteran status for race or sex), McCain is sabotaging his own attempts to persuade his target audience.
This is an event far more telling about one's capacity for leadership than are past efforts to pass bipartisan (bad) legislation.
McCain thinks he's the next Reagan? Okay, ask yourself...would Reagan do this.
It occurred to me that this has become Republican equivelent of abortion for the Democrats. When Clinton was using the Constitution as toilet paper in the 90's, his supporters said, "yeah, but he's kept abortion legal." It seems that McCain's support for the war on terror has become the catchall for his supporters. Yeah, he hints how he hates big business and he's an enemy to free speech and he supports open-borders, BUT he's strong on the war on terror...and hey, Tom Coburn likes him.
Give me a break.
-How much did the whole Spygate/Senator Specter thing play into it? We'll never know for sure, but the Pat's seemed uncomfortable to me the whole game.
-I'm really happy for Tom Coughlin. I've never been a fan of his style, but in the last off-season he realized how off-putting he could be and adjusted accordingly. It takes a big man to realize and act on the fact that he needs to first make some changes within himself. It paid off.
-I think Belichick leaving before the final kneel-down is a non-issue. Besides, he's got bigger things to worry about.
-Dwight Clark, meet David Tyree.
Now that was exciting. Did Karma catch up to the Pat's?
Now an interesting off-season awaits.
Eli named MVP. That's fine, but you can make an argument that David Tyree made the catch of the century.
Or maybe Arlen Specter deserves a few MVP votes?
WASHINGTON - Democrat said Sunday she might be willing to garnish the wages of workers who refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans.Do I have to comment on this?
The New York senator has criticized presidential rival for pushing a health plan that would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified the enforcement measures she would embrace, but when pressed on ABC's "This Week," she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."
Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. With her proposals for subsidies, she said, "it will be affordable for everyone."
That's called a pre-game distraction, folks.
Could prove to be a very interesting offseason.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., says the City of Berkeley, Calif., no longer deserves federal money.
DeMint was angered after learning that the Berkeley City Council voted this week to tell the U.S. Marine Corps to remove its recruiting station from the city's downtown.
"This is a slap in the face to all brave service men and women and their families," DeMint said in a prepared statement. "The First Amendment gives the City of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money."
So Senator Obama, still want to sit down and have a summit? Of course you do. Why would something like this change any Democrat's way of thinking?
And I know what some of you are thinking. You're saying this proves that while McCain may hold many positions we find troubling, we need someone like him in the White House fighting terrorism. I ask you this: if we couldn't trust him on tax cuts, campaign finance, et al, why do we assume he'll stay true to his war on terror positions? Furthermore, if for instance we caught some of the men behind the planning of this attack, what would McCain want to do with them? Why, sent them to court of course!
Anyway, there is an interesting nugget to all this picked up by the gang at ProFootballTalk.com. There's talk that Matt Walsh, formerly of the Patriots video department, knows something big and won't talk to anyone in the media without some kind of agreement to pay all legal fees that may arise from said interview. Bizarre. Seems like this is the kind of story that will crop up some years later in a blockbuster book and taint the Patriots legacy. Or maybe not, but, it adds another element to the game on Sunday.