Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Night The Prez and the Press Bury the Hatchet (In Jonathan Klein's Back)

Of course, I'm talking about the White House Correspondents Dinner, almost always an occasion of high hilarity and good times for all (although Don Imus famously got on Hillary's bad side one year). Two items of note this year: first, I think Laura Bush is the best damn first lady we've ever had, at least in my lifetime; check out her masterful performance in this clip from Trey Jackson's place.

Even better, though, is watching CNN president Jonathan Klein make an ass of himself once again. Said Klein of the event:
�I have a modest proposal for the White House Correspondents� Association,� Klein told the National Association of Broadcasters last week. �Cancel the gala and instead spend that time and energy creating standards�and enforcing them�for those who would call themselves White House correspondents.�
Here's a suggestion for you, Johnny Boy: cancel your own trip to the gala and spend that time and energy trying to salvage a once-great news network - if you would call yourself a 'broadcaster'. Just don't let anything keep you from covering that monumental runaway bride story...

Two Home Runs From The Great Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini has one of the better blogs around, and he knocks the ball out of the park with two recent entries. One is his simply excellent poll concerning the Republican nominee for '08, broken down by top issue, referring blog, ideology, and candidate intesity (be sure and click the link for 'digging through the data' near the bottom of the post). More on this poll, soon, along with the newest candidate profile.

The other home run is yet another variant of the Bush Social Security Calculator, incorporating the latest proposals; I stand to make $400 - $500 more a month than with the Democratic proposal (i.e., what crisis? Let's do nothing). I'm proud to display this at the bottom of my blog (why the bottom? Scroll down and look at the size of that mother!).

Frank Rich Takes On South Park Conservatives

Brian Anderson is much in the news with his new book, South Park Conservatives (I haven't read it, for the record). Frank Rich, always desperate to grab hold of some 'hook' for his columns, uses Anderson's book as the hinge for this week's installment. Oh, boy, I thought, when I first read Rich's opening, here we go again:
Conservatives can't stop whining about Hollywood, but the embarrassing reality is that they want to be hip, too. It's not easy. In the showbiz wrangling sweepstakes of 2004, liberals had Leonardo DiCaprio, the Dixie Chicks and the Boss. The right had Bo Derek, Pat Boone and Jessica Simpson...
That's both poorly conceived and executed...but Rich is a better talent and deeper thinker than his cohort MoDo (talk about damning with faint praise!), so he recovers somewhat after a shaky start.

Rich wisely admits what many conservatives found so amusing about Team America and South Park's skewering of such liberal icons as Barbra Streisand:
Among their other anarchic comic skills, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone have a perfect pitch for lampooning what many Americans find most irritating about liberals, especially Hollywood liberals: a self-righteous propensity for knowing better than anyone else and for meddling in everyone's business, whether by enforcing P.C. speech codes or plotting to curb S.U.V.'s and guns.
And yes, Rich has a point when he points to conservative overreach on the religious issue. What Rich fails to notice is the double-edged sword of overreach, oddly enough, since he correctly perceives the double-edged sword of South Park (to say that South Park has a conservative sensibility is, I think, a little too pat; I'd say Parker and Stone pretty much go after anyone that gets a little too full of himself).

What I mean to say is this: I've been on the Times editorial staff for what has seemed to me to be a barely disguised hostility towards religion. If Rich bothered to watch Bush's news conference this week, though (and I'm quite sure he did), he would (does) know that Bush's view on the divide between religion and politics is squarely in the mainstream: Bush says that while religion plays an important part in his life, it is a largely private matter, and certainly not the business of the state.

Rich is correct that some Republicans have perhaps confused mainstream disgust with the coarseness of today's culture with a desire to be 'all religion, all the time'; but he is sadly mistaken if he thinks Americans would prefer 'no religion, none of the time'. I don't want to live in a society of prudes and censors, nor do most Americans, but there has to be some cultural balance. Will there be an anti-conservative backlash, as Rich argues? Yes, I think so; but the good folks at the NY Times would do well to remember that what brought conservatism back into vogue in the first place was the morally bankrupt philosphy of relativism that is as large a threat to America as a theocracy.

Mario, Meet Luigi

No, I don't know what that title means, either; I'm just in a goofy mood today. Mario Cuomo has a reputation largely built upon a single speech he gave, ages ago, at the Democratic Convention. Since then, I can't really see that he's had much influence in Democratic circles. His radio address today perhaps indicates why.

The fellows at Power Line are aghast at the logical sleight-of-hand demostrated by Cuomo, and rightly so; it isn't just that Cuomo is wrong, his argument has no consistency from sentence to sentence. Read the post and see if you agree. Meanwhile, Jayson at PoliPundit is wondering if Dukakis was booked already...

Weekly Jackass Number Twenty-One: Rosie O'Donnell

I wasn't really sure who my Weekly Jackass was going to be this time, but then I saw Virginia Heffernan's review of "Riding the Bus With My Sister" (hat tip to Ace) and all doubt disappeared. Here is a woman who went from one the sweetest gigs in television, and quite a bit of (inexplicable) adulation, into basically a laughingstock overnight.

I disliked (I hate the word 'hate') Rosie before disliking Rosie was cool, though. An ex-girlfriend who lived with me during a period of unemployment watched Rosie's daytime show without fail, and without fail, I found the experience excruciating. Rosie was given to such cutesy affectations as calling Tom Cruise a 'cutey patootie', but that wasn't the worst: the worst was that voice - my God, that voice! The stuff of nightmares.

Then there's Rosie's sexuality. The fact the she is a lesbian is immaterial to me. The fact that she throws it in my face, though, is another matter. If I have to listen to one more person talk about the 'courage' of someone like Rosie coming out... - please. First of all, she's got more money than anyone except Oprah and Bill Gates, so her financial future is secure. Homosexuality in the arts isn't exactly a novelty, either (though one hesitates to call Rosie a member of the arts community - her acting is horrific, her writing atrocious, and her blog beyond parody).

Let's get one thing straight - I despise discrimination in all its forms, though, like everyone, I'm sure I don't always live up to my ideals. I refuse, however, to salute someone because of who they like to sleep with. Frankly, I don't want to know about who's sleeping with whom, gay or straight, thank you very much, and it takes no 'courage' to have a preference for the same sex. Yes, I know, it does take a certain amount of courage to expose yourself to bigotry, and in some situations, coming out could indeed be courageous, but again, we're talking about a very wealthy woman in a very tolerant community.

Well, that's all well and good, you might say, but what about being a bad lesbian actress/writer/whatever makes someone a jackass? Nothing, of course - but now comes the politics. Oh, my, yes, the politics - Rosie is perhaps the most nauseatingly leftwing celebrity since Babs herself.
  • Exhibit A: Rosie went after Tom Selleck like a pit bull in a butcher shop after inviting him on her show. Why? Because he's a mean old NRA member, of course!
  • Exhibit B: While raising funds for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign, she blasted Rudy G. for enforcing vagrancy laws in NYC in front of the live studio audience.
  • Exhibit C: Her breathtakingly ignorant view on Bush's 'coup d'etat': "The country was really taken over. It was a coup. This man was not elected, he sits in the White House and he's declaring war. That's a coup d'etat. America should be in the streets picketing. And our boys and our girls, our teenagers and 20- year-olds, are off there killing people. And war begets war."
  • Exhibit D: The famously brilliant Rosie on Bush's intellect: "The man is not the brightest bulb. He really isn�t. And to think he went to Harvard and Yale. Okay. The guy failed at every single thing he ever did in his life. He failed at every business. He was a horrible student. He failed, he failed, he failed and he�s now the president of the United States, giving a nine billion dollar uncontested bid to Dick Cheney�s former country�company�to rebuild Iraq."
  • Exhibit E: Rosie's stirring history lesson at a nearly deserted John Kerry campaign rally: "Every single thing this White House has done goes against the foundation of what our country was built on. For us to tell the United Nations we would ignore their doctrine and their resolutions, for us to say that we will not adhere to the Geneva Convention during this war [sic]. We are America, we are better than that. We were built on the foundation of freedom and truth and equality for all people. And the rich, corporate, horrible, horrible people who have been destructing [sic] and ruining everything this country was made on has [sic] been really unbelievably damaging to all of us spiritually, emotionally, monetarily."
I truly could go on and on and on: Rosie is one of those rare celebrities (okay, maybe not so rare) who seemingly can't get through an interview without saying something outrageously dumb. I can't wrap things up any sweeter, though, than executive producer of The Late Show with David Letterman Rob Burnett did: when Rosie declined to appear on the Letterman show over a perceived slight that is five years old (real mature, there, Rosie gal!), Burnett responded:
"...the last thing I want to do is get into a fight with a powerful celebrity who has a blog read by tens of people."
Ouch, that's gotta hurt...

Andrew Sullivan Freak-Out Advisory Update

Well, the meds have kicked in, and all of your hard work and vigilance has paid off...on the heels of President Bush's press conference, Sullivan has been temporarily diverted from the warpath and is reportedly sleeping fitfully in a rest stop outside of Camden, New Jersey. The current level of purple, 'Chagrined', is not likely to last long, however, caution officials: after all, the Sunday morning talk shows are imminent....

Kerry Campaign: Initial Phases Going Smoothly

In a hastily organized news conference, a spokesman for the Perpetual John Kerry for President Campaign said the initial phases of "Operation Sign Form SF-180" were going better than expected. Specifically, in the 90 days since Kerry promised on national television to sign the form releasing his military records, the following milestones have been achieved:
  • a pen has been procured from a Wal-Mart on the outskirts of Little Rock "for substantially less than the $12,000 budgeted";
  • a special committee has been formed to discuss the best way to remove the cap from the pen;
  • a copy of the notoriously difficult to obtain form has been located on eBay and bidding is underway; and
  • a "Dinner With John" fundraising extravaganza is in the works to obtain the necessary postage to mail the signed form, should such a step be required.
The spokesman hastened to add that Kerry would not be bound by a timeline, stating "Senator Kerry believes strongly that announcing a proposed signing date would only encourage further attacks by insurgent bloggers".

UPDATE 6:54 a.m. - It's always a treat to get a link from PoliPundit; welcome, one and all, I'll be in the back if you need anything; come back soon and often...

UPDATE 2 10:03 a.m. - Hey, whattaya know, the good folks at Power Line have linked, too - what a nice surprise. Thanks also to Viking Pundit - enjoy your Saturday, everyone, mine's off to a great start...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Miscellanea: What Liberal Media? Edition

Though it was surely not her intention, Georgia at the Daily Kos has inadvertently thrown a spotlight on the consistent media hostility towards President Bush...

Both sides of the aisle suspect Michael Kinsley of stacking the deck...

This post by the Therapist made me laugh out loud...

Daly Thoughts has another great post putting the stake in Democratic claims that there's nothing unusual in the rate of rejection of Bush's judges...

Patrick Ruffini has more on the Big Lie and Social Security reform...

The Damned of the West - The Conclusion

Part 4 of Rusty Shackleford's excellent series of interviews with the family of American hostage Roy Hallums is up...don't miss it, and be sure to lend your support in whatever way you can. Great job, Rusty...

Friday Night Must-Read: The Field, For Now

I could try to excerpt this article, but I wouldn't know where to begin, so check out this National Journal article just full of 2008 speculation (hat tip to RealClearPolitics). The short version: Hillary is the Democratic frontrunner unless she takes herself out with a big mistake; the Republican field is wide open. Read the whole thing, though, it's full of great analysis...

The Party of Hate

As discussed below, Bill Maher says it's the Republicans. I wonder if he's seen this website. It's crammed full of Bush=Hitler allusions. It's amazing how many people have cheapened the memory of the Holocaust victims with their casual use of this vile comparison. See for yourself (hat tip to the good Dr. Shackleford)...

Quick Shots: It's Called Projection, Bill

Everyone's favorite 'comic', Bill Maher, has an editorial in the L.A. Times where he claims the Republicans are the party of rage; this is so far from reality that you know he doesn't even believe it himself. Check out the Democratic Underground, Bill, pick up the Nation, go see the Kos, then tell me about rage, TV boy...

Mike Rosen of the Rocky Mountain News puts the Salazar episode in perspective, and let me tell you, it's not looking good. Don't get too settled in your Washington digs, Ken, it's not going to be a long stay...

The Rites of Spring

It's a celebrated sign of the season - the pitcher throws one out there, leaves it hanging over the plate, and the batter swats that mother into the next ZIP code. Baseball? Nope, it's the newest Krugman column, and the Minuteman, as usual, makes short work of it. Best of all, this season lasts year round (at least until Krugman retires). Catch the latest here...

The Captain And Salazar

No, it's not the sequel to the Captain and Tennille, but rather my cutesy Maureen Dowd-ish way of referring you to Captain Ed's lengthy post on the Ray Salazar 'Antichrist of the world' kerfuffle. Recommended reading...and while I'm recommending, let me just point you in the direction of Punditish's excellent commentary on last night's press conference. He's got some good points to make about the terrorist question, and I agree that it was by far Bush's worst answer.

The Big Lie, Continued: The Left Defends the Rich

I noted earlier how, all of a sudden, just because it's proposed by Bush, means testing has become an ugly concept to the Left after a lifelong love affair. Michelle Malkin has two posts, one focusing mostly on the MSM, the other on leftwing bloggers, showing the hypocrisy in action. One essential part of the Big Lie is relying on people's short attention span; Josh Marshall and company are not getting away with it this time, though.

UPDATE 03:12 p.m. central: After being challenged by Jacques Distler in the comments, I will admit that some Democrats have, in so many words, endorsed means testing, but always at great expense, due to the uproar from the AARP. What am I trying to say? Merely that 'a lifelong love affair' is perhaps not the best phrase to use in this context. Hey, blogging means sometimes having to say you're sorry.

Two Other Takes on the News Conference

I gave my reaction yesterday; here's a couple of others for you. Viking Pundit was (mostly) impressed with the President's passion on Social Security, and offered this prescient observation:
Get ready for the Democrats to demagogue this point as a �cut� because for many workers they would receive less than the current formula offers.
It's happening, all right, not just with the Democrats, but with the MSM, as well. I find it interesting that for years the Democrats have argued for means testing, but now, just out of spite towards Bush and the Republicans, they think it's a horrible idea.

Meanwhile, Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit also gives a thumbs-up, though she wishes he had more to say on the judicial nominations. Lorie says there were no moments that made her cringe, but I do think Bush fell prey to a lifelong nervous habit of repeating himself, often within a few sentences. I stick by my earlier judgment: decent job, moved things forward a little, but far too little, too late.

UPDATE 3:31 p.m. central: I'm guilty here of perhaps relying on my memory a bit too much. I feel certain I recall Democrats being in favor of means testing, but it may not have been as widespread as I made it seem. Perhaps a followup will be forthcoming...

Very Intriguing Developments Afoot

Roger L. Simon has the scoop on a venture that looks quite promising - a professional news service and aggregator of blogs to increase traffic and corporate's backed up by some real heavies in the blog world: Simon himself, Glenn Reynolds, Tim Blair, Charles Johnson, The Power Liners, and others. It certainly has more appeal than the Ariana Huffington celebrity bore-a-thon. Best of all is what appears to be the proposed name: 'Pajamas Media'. More as this develops (hat tip to John at Power Line)...

Today's Must-Read: Now THAT'S A New One

E. J. Dionne, Jr., has written another column critical of George W. Bush; no news there. What IS unusual, though, is the specific criticism: that George W. Bush is too intellectual. Read it and see if you agree (hat tip to RealClearPolitics)...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Quick Shots: How to Waste Hours and Hours...

...if you're a movie fan, that is. Check out all the cool stuff at this site...

Hasan Akbar has received a death sentence for killing fellow soldiers near the beginning of the Iraq War...

Howard Fineman asks if Bush has lost his touch (hat tip to RealClearPolitics). It hasn't been a pretty month or two, since the Iraqi elections, but it seems to be part of the normal ebb and flow to me; Bush has had tough patches before; because he is fundamentally right on the big issues, he will recover...

Thoughts on the Press Conference

This was a typical George W. Bush performance, for the most part. News conferences are not his forte, that's a fact; but at times he was excellent, at other times painfully awkward. The debates all over again, in other words. The best answer was the one on religion and politics - no theocracy here, sorry, MoDo, Frank Rich (not that you were paying attention!).

The good news is nobody watches these things but geeks like me, so it will be a net plus. This is because of the bully pulpit effect of the presidency. By merely raising the issues in a national forum, the President again takes the initiative. The press, as usual, was downright hostile at times, particularly the loathsome Terry Moran (hey, pretty boy, I still remember you from Court TV, big shot!). My gut take is this: it won't be enough. I don't think Social Security reform has much life left, unfortunately, and the nation is the worse for it. God knows I hope I'm wrong...

Kondracke On Religion: Highly Recommended

Mort Kondracke has written the best piece of commentary on the religious divide that I have read in quite some time. Kondracke chides the Democrats for their 'theocracy' hate-mongering, but also takes the Republicans to task for being overly zealous (which we sometimes are). Best of all, read the commentary by British writer Adrian Wooldridge near the bottom of the article:

Underlining the point, Economist correspondent Adrian Wooldridge said that, during the 2004 campaign, Bush got his best crowd response by declaring that "'the Democratic Party believes that Hollywood people represent real American values.' People went crazy. That's why Republicans have a lock on the presidency."

Wooldridge, co-author of the 2004 book "The Right Nation," said that Democrats had three options for recovery. The "stupidest," he said, was to "follow Frank Rich" - to "be the party of liberal values and denigrate the opposition. The party will basically be reduced, on that liberal fundamentalist strategy, to Manhattan and Manhattan Beach."

The other two options? Well, read the article and find out (hat tip to Viking Pundit)...

Poll of Insiders: Allen vs. Clinton in '08

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire reports on a National Journal poll of 'insiders' to be released tomorrow on 2008 candidates. The result: Senator George Allen of Virginia vs. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. That doesn't smell right to me; two senators? I'm a firm believer in the Southern governor strategy, myself (of course, I'm generalizing). Still, I should profile Allen, I suppose. Look for it this weekend, time permitting (a hat tip to Chris Bowers, again)...

Congressional Loyalty Scorecard: Thanks for the Tips, Chris!

I plan to make good use of the Chris Bowers Congressional Loyalty Scorecard, though I don't share his conclusions. Chris ranks all the current House members on how they voted on eight pieces of legislation (in Part 1, linked; there are other parts, as well) that he obviously opposes (I oppose a couple of them myself). Chris is a 'progressive', so our definitions of a good vote often differ, but it's still a nice collection of data that most people will find revealing, on both sides of the aisle.

Kos On Salazar: Now It Begins to Make Sense

What would possess the formerly 'moderate' Ken Salazar to engage in such Kossack-sounding rhetoric as calling James Dobson's Focus on the Family 'the Antichrist of the world'? Really, it's not hard to understand at all, and is an instance of a well-known phenomenon that afflicts both right and left. The Daily Kos makes it explicit with this post:
The calls are 3-2 in favor of the wingers, but those efforts are hilariously scripted. It'd be far too much to expect them to find their own words on the issue.

But here's the thing -- our elected officials need to know we have their backs when they take a courageous stance. The other side has been working the refs for so long, that our side has become timid and fearful.

But that was then, and this is now. We have our own growing noise machine, and we need to wield it to protect those who would maliciously attack our party. Dobson wants to call Salazar -- a devout Catholic who attended seminary school -- un-Christian? Let him. But when Salazar strikes back, and strikes back hard, we'll be there to back him up.
If you've looked at the post by WILLisms that contains the ad in question, you will see that Dobson did not call Salazar 'unchristian' - that was Salazar's own statement when he tried to dig himself out of this hole. Regardless, what is happening here is that the noisier elements are always the most radical, and the Kos and his ilk have apparently scared Salazar enough that he's falling in line (read his whole post and see how he skewers Salazar for previously daring to reach across the aisle).

Since Kos explicitly calls on his folks to wield the noise machine, we need to make a little noise of our own and let Salazar know he was right the first time when he promised to support an up-down vote on Bush's nominees. I'm not big enough in terms of audience to compete with the Kos, but every little bit helps. The number for Salazar's Washington office is (202) 244-2852, and you can send comments through his website here. We've got to start taking back this debate; we've let the Democrats out-hustle us on getting the message out since the election.

Daily Kos Is Down! Is Rove To Blame?

A cryptic message awaits visitors to the Kossack lair right now, referring to database maintenance...but think about it. If Rove is clever enough to steal two presidential elections, doesn't it stand to reason he could put a phony message on the Kos's servers? (Oh, and btw, if you look closely at the Apollo moon landing photos, you can see the reflection of a young Karl Rove on the studio set in Armstrong's faceplate)...

Today's Must-Read: Selling Vulgarity

Martha Bayles has an excellent piece in today's WSJ on the increasingly vulgar, violent, and misogynistic culture of today's rap. I remember when a group like Public Enemy could rule the hip-hop charts with clever, forward-looking rap that was challenging both musically and mentally. Those days seem to be long gone. You may say, "Why should I care?", and here's why: it's the Cosby and Thomas Sowell message again. Hip-hop style is increasingly influential on the young, and the lessons it's teaching right now are anything but good.

The Party of Tolerance

Democratic Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado campaigned on a promise to support an up-or-down vote on Bush's judicial nominees. He broke his promise. James Dobson's Focus on the Family called him on it, and ran ads criticizing Salazar and other Democrats for their delaying tactics. In return, Salazar said, during a television interview, "From my point of view, they are the Antichrist of the world."

So, Chairman Dean, how's that plan to win back the religious vote going, anyhow?

UPDATE 04/28/05 10:07 a.m.: Welcome to all newcomers and thanks to Lorie at PoliPundit, Betsy Newmark, and the good Dr. Shackleford for the links...kick off your shoes and stay awhile, glad you're here...

UPDATE 2 10:42 a.m.: Don't miss this excellent follow-up post by WILLisms, including the ad that prompted Salazar's outburst, and some good background on the campaign promise...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Oliver Kamm on America's 'Contribution' to 9/11

Oliver Kamm manages to say everything I wanted to say about actress Maggie 'America's responsible in some way' Gyllenhall. I'm going to quote at length, because it's so on target, but you should really read the whole thing:
What can you say of a young lady for whom history has never happened, and who mistakes amorality and ignorance for personal bravery? The notion that we - the western democracies allied to the United States - might have knowingly provoked the murder of 3000 civilians is beyond everyday categories of stupidity. The amount we contributed to this 'conflict' unknowingly is moreover a matter on which it is unnecessary to speculate, for we already know the answer: it is zero. The theocratic totalitarians who attacked the Twin Towers and the Pentagon did not leave a suicide note, but their leader has made no secret of his ambitions. As he explained to the BBC in an interview in 1998, he regarded "holy war against Jews and Christians" as a duty. We could adopt every single policy laid out in the 2004 election manifesto of Ralph Nader and still be the target of holy war by our declared Islamist enemies. There is no negotiated solution possible in such a conflict - only military victory for our side or theirs. And to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, this is just as well, because what their side objects to about us is everything - everything - that distinguishes our societies from the clerical barbarism that they represent: democracy, pluralism, liberal political rights, sexual equality, religious liberty, homosexual rights and so on.
Right on, Oliver...

Drum on Liberalism

I spend a lot of time crawling through the sewer that is the Daily Kos, and let me just say Kevin Drum is always a nice change of pace. Drum is an unabashed liberal, but one who argues his side forcefully, cogently, and without excessive venom. Tonight, Kevin has an interesting post up on the relatively mushy ideas underpinning today's liberalism and invites comments...alas, most of the comments are full of the same sort of vapid vagueness that Drum was complaining about in the first place.

Kevin's first suggestion, the same tax rate for everyone and all types of income, isn't too bad, but then he comes back with a 'fair shake for the unions' thing that just leaves me cold. Still, he's smart enough to see the problem, and that's the first step to the solution. Good thing for us conservatives there are so many more Kossacks than Kevin Drums out there (that's not true, actually; it's mildly amusing to see the Kossacks work themselves into a frenzy, but it's not constructive, and America sorely needs a Democratic Party that comes back to its senses - it's good for all of us to have healthy, intelligent debates on substantive issues).

McCain, Giuliani Both Beat Hillary In Hypothetical '08 Matchups

All kinds of interesting numbers in this poll by Rasmussen Reports, including McCain and Rudy G.'s relatively low negatives next to Hillary's. Not surprising at all is that McCain does better with Dems and Rudy G. with the elephants. McCain's real problem, of couse, is that he can't win the primaries: only 51% of self-described conservatives have a favorable opinion of him.

Oil-For-Update: Volcker Says Report Didn't Exonerate Annan

The money quote:
"I thought we criticized [Mr. Annan] rather severely," Mr. Volcker said of his panel's interim report, released March 29. "I would not call that an exoneration."
Asked point-blank whether Mr. Annan had been cleared of wrongdoing in the $10 billion scandal, Mr. Volcker replied, "No."
I suspect Volcker is feeling the heat over the recent resignations of senior investigators on his panel who complained of a whitewash.

Warning: Sullivan Freak-Out Advisory At Red!

Be on the alert for any emotionally overwrought former editors of TNR with British accents...proceed with caution...more as events warrant...

Dishonesty At The New York Times? Say It Ain't So...

The Instapundit has the scoop on a particularly egregious case of revisionist history. I've said in many prior posts that I believe we should have relied more on the moral case for removing Saddam and less on the threat of WMDs. However, to pretend that the moral case was not being made (and, 'neocon' conspiracy buffs, being made WAY before George W. Bush became president), is to ignore the plentiful evidence to the contrary.

I agree with Glenn: one should expect more from the NY Times, though standards are clearly declining. For all the flaws of the Howell Raines era, the quality of the journalism was, to this reader, higher under his reign. Witness yet another editorial today in the long string of recent opinion pieces decrying the current influence of religion on politics. I don't recall similar outrage over, say, the huge amounts of trial lawyer money influencing Patrick Leahy and the Democrats.

Time to take off the blinders; interest group politics have been the meat and potatoes of the Democratic Party for years...why are things so different when the interest group is religious people? The editorial board of the Times has adopted this cause as their own, and are as guilty of stoking the flames of the culture wars as those on the right who have reached too far in their zeal.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m. central: Shortly after posting this, I came across this editorial expressing many of the same sentiments. Exactly...

Quick Shots: Not A Fan of 41

Our good friend J.A. Gillmartin disagrees with my assessment of George Bush 41 - to say the least...

If you dislike Katie Couric as much as I do, you'll enjoy this and this...

If you haven't already, drop by Patrick Ruffini's place and participate in a most interesting poll...

Dole On The Nuclear Option: Justified Outrage

Bob Dole joins the ranks of those who have come to believe that Republicans would be well-entitled to employ the 'nuclear option' if the Dems don't quit playing obstructionist games. His op-ed in the NY Times today is right on target, and persuasive. I highly recommend it...

More On Air America: Joking About Assassination

Air America is apparently under investigation for a 'comedy' skit that aired Monday night that seemed to allude to assassinating President Bush as a response to Social Security reform attempts. Ohh, that's get it, don't you? On the numbers front, Byron York has some more thoughts at National Review Online.

A Very Important Wictory Wednesday

Let's face it, the Democrats have been very successful in framing the debate since their defeat in November. It's easy to be active when you're an activist, but those of us in the silent majority must do something at times, too. Here's a very easy way to contact your senators and let them know you want action on the judicial front. PoliPundit has the details here...

Morning Must-Read: The Best Man for the UN

Thomas Friedman has a pick that...well, let me put it this way: I'd dump Bolton in a heartbeat if there were a real prospect of it happening...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

That MoDo Mojo: One Long Character Assassination

If you ever want to show someone the textbook definition of character assassination, look no further than the latest from MoDo. It's a hallucinogenic mixture of what is, what was, what could be, and what could never be, with no attempt to seperate fact from fiction from speculation. Needless to say, it's a disgusting display to any but the most rank partisans. Dowd is a vicious hack, nothing more; what talent she may once have had has been buried under layers of accumulated bile; clearly, she couldn't care less if her rants have any factual basis. How else to explain garbage like this:
...Who doesn't want to see him [Bolton] outrage North Korea by calling Kim Jong Il a fat, maniacal munchkin?...he [Bolton] was in sync with the approach of Condi Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Hadley and Bob Joseph - who were all up for big jobs after they torqued up intelligence to fit the White House's theological beliefs.
Of all the foul cheap shots taken towards the religious background of conservatives by Dowd, the notion that we invaded Iraq for theological reasons is the capper. (And once again, we see the famous Dowd consistency - I thought it was the WMDs, Maureen?). To suggest that Bush put the lives of our soldiers on the line for anything less than national security is outrageous. You can argue whether he was right or wrong, but to relegate his horrifyingly difficult decision to a simple reflexive religious tic is nasty, brutish, and damn near unforgivable. Dowd owes an apology to the families of every single serviceman who has given his or her life in Iraq to make the Middle East more secure against the destabilizing force of the evil dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. That apology won't ever be forthcoming, though - that would take at least a sliver of class.

Miscellanea: Are Republicans Getting Fed Up?

The Bernoulli Effect makes the argument, and I would tend to agree, that Republicans in Congress are making a hash of things right now. We need and deserve better leadership in Congress...there, I said it...

Speaking of poor leadership, whose brilliant idea was it to send Tom Delay out with George W. to push Social Security reform?...

Captain Ed has the scoop on yet another sign of poor leadership - after 100 days, Reid and Frist have managed to reach...square one...

Americans for Freedom has some links to folks dedicated to bringing democracy to 'the last dictatorship in Europe'...

You can learn a lot about a person by the anniversaries that he observes...

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Russ Feingold...but our good buddy the Kos considers himself 'in the community of equals' with the Senator, then says he (Kos) would be the worst UN pick since Bolton (haa ha eh...get it?) since he won't get all diplomatic with the Senator. For the record, Feingold is a former Rhodes Scholar who has been in the Senate since 1992, graduated from Harvard Law School with honors, and a member of the Judiciary, Foreign Relations, and Budget Committees. Markos runs a successful website, was paid to shill for Howard Dean, and raised a lot of money for 12 candidates who all lost in 2004. Yep, that's about equal...if your head is swollen as big as the Kos's...

What If Al Franken Threw a Party, and Nobody Came?

It's not a hypothetical, actually...listeners are avoiding Air America in droves. I mentioned before that it recently came to Austin, by a good measure the most liberal city in Texas, and, despite the fact that I know one other conservative in my building, and at least 40 liberals, I have yet to hear a single solitary comment regarding it. In fact, the only way I even know it came to Austin was this love letter in the local progressive rag, the Austin Chronicle. A damning statistic from the piece: to welcome Austin into the fold, Franken brought the show on the road to our proudly liberal city of 700,000, and the historic State Theatre, seating capacity 320, was 2/3 full for the free broadcast. 200 people, Al Franken in person, free, population of 700,000 - if anyone asks you how Air America is doing, there's your answer (hat tip to Michelle Malkin)...

Another Important Must Read

Be sure to check out part 3 of Rusty Shackleford's Damned of the West series, focusing this time on an interview with the daughter of American hostage Roy Hallums...good job to Rusty for his important work on this. Please take the time to read this one...

Maurice Hinchey Receives More Travel Gifts Than Tom Delay

Who's the recipient of the most travel gifts in the U.S. Congress? It ain't bad ol' Tom fact, our old buddy Maurice Hinchey gets more bang for the buck than the embattled Texan. Check out the details at QandO...

Was Social Security Reform a Mistake?

I don't think so, and neither, it seems, does Viking Pundit. Commenting on a Fred Barnes piece suggesting Bush and team adopt a Social Security exit strategy, Eric has this to say:
...there�s still a chance that Dubya can turn things around perhaps by shifting the argument from solvency to financial freedom. But, whatever may occur, I believe that Republicans will be rewarded � not punished � for taking on the issue of Social Security�s long-term solvency. It would be wrong to think about the midterm elections when there is a strong case for responsible reform.
To which I might add, ditto. If mistakes were made, they were tactical; just as the best argument for the liberation of Iraq was never WMDs, but the transformation of the Middle East 'equation', so it can be said that perhaps we should have emphasized the financial freedom argument, as Eric calls it, from the beginning. I hope he's right that it will be a long-term plus, politically, but regardless, it was and is the right thing to do. And that should be the bottom line.

Whither Bolton?

Yea, says Rove; too close to call, says Arlen Specter (I know who I'm putting my money on)...

Syrian Withdrawal Complete?

Well, the MSM has finally noticed that Syria has withdrawn its troops from Lebanon. So they say, anway; a UN team is on the ground to verify the withdrawal (let's hope they do a better job on this than on most of their other assignments). What you won't see, at least not at CNN, the NY Times, or MSNBC, is any mention of the influence of the opening of Iraqi society in convincing the Lebanese they could at last rid themselves of the Syrian occupation.

Now, all eyes will be on Hizbullah. What will become of the organization now that it has lost some of the proximity with its protectors? No doubt, this isn't the end, but a beginning.

Thomas Sowell: Culture Holds Back Black 'Rednecks'

Provocative, convincing op-ed in the WSJ today by the excellent Thomas Sowell, who makes the Cosbyesque point that neither race nor racism can explain the relative success of, say, blacks from the West Indies or Africa as compared to their 'keeping it real' counterparts - in the words of Chris Rock, yeah, you're keeping it real - real dumb. Authenticism that values street cred over learning and accomplishment is the enemy of advancement - and let it be said that the argument applies to white 'redneck' culture as well. A must-read.

Hitchens On Blair: Right On The Things That Matter

Christopher Hitchens makes the case for Tony Blair in much the same way as I would (though, of course, with far greater erudition); we can quibble about certain points, but on the big, foreign-policy questions, he has nearly always been right. I would make the same case for Bush being a great president; his approval ratings stink, and he's made a lot of domestic policy mistakes, particularly in term two, but he's been right where he should be in the realm of foreign affairs.

Monday, April 25, 2005

A New, More Difficult Poll

Now that we've determined just how smart we all are, it's time for a more abstract, provocative poll. Goodfellas ran away with best Scorsese flick, but the whole thing was tainted since I left off Raging Bull. Remember, when trying to respond to this week's brainteaser, there are no wrong answers, only wrong questions...

My Readability Results

I've seen lots of folks putting up the results of their blog's Readability Test (hat tip to Kevin Drum for being the first that I saw). Here are my results for my front page as of Friday, I think it was:
  • Total Sentences: 747
  • Total Words: 8,099
  • Average Words Per Sentence: 10.84
  • Words with 1 Syllable: 5,344
  • Words with 2 Syllables: 1,751
  • Words with 3 Syllables: 686
  • Words with 4 or More Syllables: 318
  • Percentage of Words with Three or More Syllables: 12.4%
  • Average Syllables per Word: 1.5
  • Gunning Fog Index: 9.3
  • Flesch Reading Ease 68.64
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade: 6.38
What's it mean? Well, a Fog Index of 9.3 puts me smack dab in the middle of 'most popular novels', above Reader's Digest, and slightly below Time and Newsweek. Another way of reading that is that, roughly speaking, you would need 9.3 years of schooling to understand my content (sorry, all you eighth-grade Decision '08 fans, don't mean to speak over your head...dudes - like, for real). The folks who put this together recommend a Reading Ease of between 60 and 70, so I guess we're okay there.

But what's it really mean? Why, it means Decision '08 readers are the smartest on the Internet, silly! (But you knew that already, didn't you?)...

Quick Shots: Doesn't Sound Like A Blog To Me

When referring to the newest venture of Arriana Huffington, I'll defer to the great Tim Blair:
Sounds like a pile of crap.
Heh. Indeed...

You've probably seen this already, but if you haven't, don't waste any time - go there right now! On the basis of this report, I'm knocking both Hillary and Kerry down (and I'm throwing in Al Gore, too!) - see their respective profiles for new odds, or just look right over there on the right hand side ------->...

It's official, again, no WMDs - how many times are we gonna make it official, anyhow?...

Eric Alterman again toots his own horn in his dispute with John Cloud. Today's highlights: he takes offense at those who thought he was touting his resume (hah!), then again makes the ridiculous assertion that Cloud said he wasn't responsible for fact-checking (with the clear implication that Cloud was talking about the Time piece). In fact, what Cloud clearly said was that, when doing a profile on a subject, you're not responsible for fact-checking every word that subject has written. And of course (need I say it?), Cloud is right. I bought the issue just because Alterman hates it...

A Match Made In Heaven

MoDo reviews Jane Fonda: whose prose is worse? Ye gads, take a look:
''My Life So Far'' is not a lyrical title, but it captures Jungian Jane's Sisyphean, Oprahphean struggle to process her pain and banish her demons. Her book is a psychobabble loop of ''tectonic shifting,'' forfeiting her authenticity and feeling disembodied, then trying to reinhabit her body and ''own'' her womanhood and her space and her vagina, her leadership and her wrinkles and her mother, so that her ''authentic self'' can emerge; if the ''functioning self'' and ''embodied self'' could merge, she could fully engage with another fully authentic person in mutual affirmation, a whole being not overlapping into another being in a ''relational dance of patriarchy,'' and live happily ever after in a ''shrinking, congested planet with diminishing resources and no vast, conquerable frontier to escape and expand into.''

Of course, MoDo finds space to knock religion:

...about finding God: ''It was more an experiencing of His presence, a psychic lucidity, that was allowing me access to something beyond consciousness. It wasn't long, however, before I found myself bumping up against certain literal, patriarchal aspects of Christian orthodoxy that I found difficult to embrace.'' Duh.

We learn that Fonda was taught by the best:

[Roger] Vadim, she says, ''knew how to validate only my facade.'' She went into her radical chic phase, learning about black voting rights from Marlon Brando and the Vietnam War under the tutelage of Simone Signoret. ''Never underestimate what might be lying dormant beneath the surface of a back-combed blonde wearing false eyelashes,'' she writes.

Warning: don't read this next passage if you've had anything to eat recently:

She and...Tom Hayden...met, not cute but causey. Having finished a book about how the Vietnam War paralleled American ''genocide'' against Native Americans, he showed up at a slide show she had given about Vietnam. He was wearing a long braid and ''rubber sandals of the type I'd been told the Vietnamese made out of the tires of abandoned U.S. vehicles,'' and asked her for help with an art exhibit designed ''to show the Vietnamese as human beings.'' Within days, they were making love on the living room floor.

Wow. That really stinks. Really, really, really

A New Indiana Jones Movie?

...the good Dr. Shackleford links to a story that says so. I sure hope so, I've been holding INDI4 long on the Hollywood Stock Exchange for over a year, and I'm seriously underwater...

Syrian Troops Leave Lebanon: Civil War Missing In Action

As the vast majority of the remaining Syrian troops pulled across the border with Lebanon yesterday, an All-Points-Bulletin was issued for the promised outbreak of civil war (last seen in the company of the MSM coverage of the good news from that area). Guess the NY Times doesn't want to take valuable space away from the anti-Bolton crusade, fawning book reviews of Jane Fonda's latest, and criticism of the 'religious right', eh?

Sullivan: Benedict=Law?

Andrew Sullivan continues his one-man crusade against the new Pope, by using speculation and unsourced quotes to draw a direct parallel between then-Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Law. Hey, Andrew, here's a thought - the Pope has been installed, and you won't change that - how about waiting to see what his Papacy is really like before assuming the worst and condemning him beforehand? His public words since assuming the mantle seem to show an awareness of the concerns some have towards him and a determination to avoid the worst fears of his critics. Maybe he'll surprise you, Andrew, but if he does, will you even be open to admitting it?

George Soros - The Open, Government-Funded Society

Would you agree with the federal government spending money to defeat George Bush in 2004? Would you give any of your hard-earned pay to billionnaire lunatic George Soros? Both things are happening, at least indirectly...Michelle Malkin has the details.

Quick Shots: What's In A Name? Dreaming of What Could Have Been...

John at Kill Righty has a good roundup of possible future Pope names that I've been meaning to link to for a few days now...

Alex at Marginal Revolution
has some thoughts on increasing IQs and TV and movie plots. I have to agree that (most) movies were more boring in days gone by - Wuthering Heights and A Day At The Races come to mind - but then, there is the glory of The Philadelphia Story and My Girl Friday to compensate (not to mention Citizen Kane). Worth a read...

Barone on Faith: A Masterful Commentary

Michale Barone is one of the most solid, clearheaded commentators on the scene today, and as usual, he manages to cut right to the heart of the faith / theocracy debate. He dismisses concerns we're headed down the theocracy road as 'silly', takes a shot at Andrew Sullivan's hysterical reaction to Benedict XVI, and makes the excellent point that those faiths that stay 'conservative' are growing in numbers, while the ones that dilute their message through 'reforms' are losing members.

His conclusion: while America is like to remain a place that welcomes freedom of religion, secular Europe faces the prospect of becoming predominantly Muslim. Read it all here.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

That MoDo Mojo: Compares Ratzinger to Cheney, Thinks It's An Insult

Alright, I'm late in getting to the latest installment, but (surprise, surprise!) MoDo has decided, for a change of pace, to criticize a religious figure (as opposed to just criticizing someone for practicing religion). Her big brainstorm this column is that Dick Cheney selected himself, and so did Ratzinger (of course, Ratzinger did no such thing, but truth never gets in the way of a MoDo column).

Here's a gem from the column for you:
...just like the vice president, the new pope is a Jurassic archconservative who disdains the "if it feels good do it" culture and the revolutionary trends toward diversity and cultural openness since the 60's.
Christianity is 2,000 years old, Maureen, so 1960's nostalgia won't get you very far. For that matter, I'm quite opposed to the 'if it feels good do it' culture myself, as I suspect most Americans are. There's another word for that: relativism, the point of view that all points of view are valid. If Ratzinger sees that as the enemy, then he's already one up on the NY Times editorial board.

I can't resist a partial fisking, as this column is vintage Dowd:
The two leaders are a match - absolutists who view the world in stark terms of good and evil, eager to prolong a patriarchal society that prohibits gay marriage and slices up pro-choice U.S. Democratic candidates.

A patriarchal society is one that prohibits gay marriage - what an unusual definition! The world is made up, largely, of good and evil - if you need a refresher, Maureen, good = trying to democratize the Middle East, bad = beheading innocent victims in an attempt to install a true theocracy.

The two, from rural, conservative parts of their countries, want to turn back the clock and exorcise New Age silliness. Mr. Cheney wants to dismantle the New Deal and go back to 1937. Pope Benedict XVI wants to dismantle Vatican II and go back to 1397. As a scholar, his specialty was "patristics," the study of the key thinkers in the first eight centuries of the church.

Apropos of nothing, Maureen mentions the rural roots of Cheney and Ratzinger. Hey, Modo, I grew up in a town of 11,500, and I know the word 'apropos'! I should be in a freak show or something, eh? This paragraph is everything that's wrong with Dowd in a nutshell: patronizing, sloppy, senseless (exorcising New Age silliness? That's a bad thing?), and insufferably 'cute' (1397? Why 1397? No reason, of course, other than it's one digit off from 1937. Vatican II was six centuries after 1397).

They want to enlist Catholics in the conservative cause, turning confession boxes into ballot boxes with the threat that a vote for a liberal Democrat could lead to eternal damnation.

This is a flat-out lie; here are Ratzinger's exact words on the last election:

"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia," Cardinal Ratzinger wrote. "When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons," he said. In other words, if a Catholic thinks a candidate's positions on other issues outweigh the difference on abortion, a vote for that candidate would not be considered sinful.

Their gloomy world outlooks and bullying roles earned them the nicknames Dr. No and Cardinal No. One is called Washington's Darth Vader, the other the Vatican's Darth Vader. W.'s Doberman and John Paul's "God's Rottweiler," as the new pope was called, are both global enforcers with cult followings.

Now, seriously, folks, has anyone in the history of the planet ever referred to either Cheney or Ratzingers as Dr. or Cardinal No or Darth Vader before Dowd? Anyone, ever?

Cardinal Ratzinger did not shrink from advising American bishops in the last presidential election on bringing Catholic elected officials to heel. He warned that Catholics who deliberately voted for a candidate because of a pro-choice position were guilty of cooperating in evil, and unworthy to receive communion. Vote Democratic and lose your soul.

Maureen shows here that she does, in fact, know what Ratzinger said, which makes her earlier statement a deliberate falsehood, which she then repeats at the end of this paragraph. (Of course, Maureen very well may believe the only defining principle of the Democratic Party is to make abortions easier to get - I give the Party more credit than she does, apparently).

Moral absolutism is relative, after all. As Bruce Landesman, a philosophy professor at the University of Utah, pointed out in a letter to The Times: "Those who hold 'liberal' views are not relativists. They simply disagree with the conservatives about what is right and wrong."

No, Maureen, moral absolutism isn't relative; that's an oxymoron. As for Landesman's comment, would that that were true, but wasn't Dowd just celebrating 'If it feels good, do it'?
As I said before, sloppy, sloppy, sloppy - and so typical of Dowd, wanting to have her cake and eat it, too. Dowd is an embarrassment, and the Times must know it by now. This isn't even at the level of college newspaper editorials. What a waste.

Miscellanea: Judge Not Edition

Since the Economist is a (mostly) pay site, Prof Bainbridge does us the favor of printing a most devestating graphic...

Ward Churchill: Too cool for his school...

Carpe Bonum is riding high with another Instalanche...

With a hat tip to the Bernoulli Effect, here's a vicious fisking of what passes for military analysis in the world of the Kossacks...

More mash notes to Maureen Dowd at Ankle Biting Pundits (hat tip to Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit)...

And if you're still hungry for more, more, more!, here's a round-up of good links from Darleen's Place...

Decision '08: Award-Winning, Hard-Hitting, And Supported By Beagles Everywhere

No doubt in a foreshadowing of my first Pulitzer for Excellence in Blogging, the SHEEP'S CRIB has awarded Decision '08 the First Double E Award (Easy to Read and Excellent in Content). Much appreciated; I would like to thank Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd for giving me such prominently-displayed garbage to ridicule...oh, yeah, and my beagle, who is still hard at work on her promised expose (she says to let everyone know she is negotiating with the Bush Administration with Barney as the conduit, so that her story is vetted for national security concerns). Enjoy what's left of your Sunday, the weekend's almost over...

America 'Responsible In Some Way' For 9/11, Says Actress

Maggie Gyllenhaal, saying 'America has done some pretty reprehensible things', made the comment at the Tribeca Film Festival. So, Maggie, let me see if I understand the equation properly: the U.S. has done some bad things (and it has: slavery, some of Kissinger's foreign policy decisions, Watergate - these are a few things that come to mind), so 3,000 innocent people just making a living at their office building deserve to be incinerated by terrorists. Did I get it straight? Moral relativism, folks - it's the single biggest threat to intelligence, and it must be fought whenever and wherever it's found.

Kevin, Allah, and Ace: Your Services are Needed!

Gentlemen: it is my considered opinion, knowing full well the consequences entailed, that we must raise the Sullivan Freak-Out Advisory Level to Orange. The evidence may be found in today's Times Online column:
...Ratzinger�s election has sent shockwaves across America...When the news came through, my phone lit up with voices of panic, dread, fear and even sobs...In a culture where women have reached near parity in the world of work and family, the Pope has declared that women should pursue either motherhood or virginity...this theological ultra-conservatism has become fused with a political agenda in American politics...the man who must have been celebrating more than many others last Tuesday was Karl Rove [curse you, Karl Rove! Is there nothing you don't control?]...The culture wars in America are already aflame, his elevation as Benedict XVI amounts to a barrel-full of petrol on the fire. Those of us struggling to live as modern, open-minded Catholics can only hope the church isn�t burnt in the process.
I know this decision is not to be taken lightly...but in the event of a freak-out of massive proportions, I want my conscience to be clear.

UPDATE 2:35 pm central: The advisory level has been raised. Slublog gets the credit, but I don't mind that, this isn't a contest; the important thing is to keep everyone safe...Ace gives a timely reminder to just remain calm and keep going about your normal routine (for now)...

Frank Rich of the Times: Can You Guess the Subject?

A gold star for you if you said [sigh] an attack on religion. I can't even make a joke of this anymore; like clockwork, Frank Rich will find some way to attack Christianity in column after column. I can't even bring myself to discuss this column on its merits, as it has none. When Republicans engage in any public function involving religion, to Rich, this signifies insincerity and exploitation.

Hey, Frank, a question for you, Genuis Secular Boy: when the Democrats speak to a labor crowd, are they exploiting the working man? How about the teachers' union? Insincere about education, are they? If Hillary kisses the tushes of every big-time Hollywood fundraiser, is she exploiting the movie industry? If not, please explain the difference to poor little ol' stupid me, or get off the subject already, please. It's hard to imagine even the most hard-core New York secular Red-State hating liberal not getting tired of this song-and-dance...

Thank Your Belief System Your Kids Don't Go To School Here

Wow, oh, wow, oh, holy cow...or is the world holy acceptable any more? Check this one out...don't expect any Maureen Dowd columns on our rampant secularism, though...

Oil-For-Food Update: The Volcker Committee's Credibility Has Evaporated

If there were ever any doubt that the Volcker Committee has been hired to deliver a whitewash, let that doubt be removed. Richard Gladstone, a member of the panel, told CNN that the two investigators who resigned earlier this week, Robert Parton and Miranda Duncan, had done so because their work was finished, not because, as reported first by blogger Roger L. Simon, they felt that the investigation was avoiding the paths the evidence was leading to. The same yarn had been spun earlier in the week by a committee spokesman.

Well, Parton is having none of it, and as Simon reports, he is going public in a big way. Parton accuses the committee of being determined to protect Kofi and engaging in 'a de-factor coverup'.

At this point, two questions present themselves:
  1. How can we believe anything the committee says? If this were a trial, their evidence would now stand hopelessly impeached; and
  2. How can the UN possibly be taken seriously on any subject of import as long as Kofi Annan is at the head of the organization?
This is a grave matter, indeed; will the chant now become, 'Kofi Lied, People Died'?