Wednesday, June 30, 2004

PLEASE Please Please Pick Hillary!

Oh if this should be true!

"But what about impeachment and Monica -- wont that overshadow her being picked? It' now been covered in the book. Not only that, but she is a women scorned who has dealt with what so many American women deal with and stuck it out to keep her family together. And Whitewater? It's in the book. Vince Foster? Book. Billing records, White House travel Office? Book, book. All have been covered. All Republican slime tactics."

Were the Pyramids built by ancient astronauts? Read the book!

"But what Hillary about having to wait to run for president? If Bush wins then she is the nominee for 2008 because it will be all Kerry's fault."

The only time Democrats thought that way, Walter Mondale went on to lose 49 states. I believe it cured them.

This source sounds too giddy to be believed. Which is too bad. A Kerry/Hillary ticket would be a nice gift to the GOP. Hillary is just too LOUD. She's too prone to dumb soundbites, like her 'common good' quip this week. She's too brazen, too liberal, to let Kerry's policies evade scrutiny.

Not only would Hillary help sink Kerry by drawing attention to his incoherent attempts at centrism and his record of dedicated liberalism, she'd destroy her own myth at the same time. A loss as a running mate would ensure that Hillary Rodham Clinton would never rise higher than Senate Committee Chair, granting a Democrat majority in the Senate within a decade. I'd prefer heavyweights like Bush and Cheney meet her head-on than who-knows-who in 2008.

So I'd like to believe, but my money is on Sen. Edwards, the only one I know of lobbying for the post...

Never Get Out of the Boat

Part of Drudge's Hillary Veep story:

"Kerry believes that no one is better on national security than he is, he served in Vietnam after all, so he has that covered and the suggestion that he needs to strengthen the ticket with someone who has national security credentials is dismissed as foolish."

Senator Kerry isn't so confident that he doesn't mention Vietnam at almost every opportunity. In remarks to PUSH, Senator Kerry seems to drift in the current of memory, forgetting who his audience is, and why they care about politics, to the point he sounds like Patrick Buchanan:

When I was in Vietnam, I served on a small boat on the Mekong Delta with men who came from places as diverse as South Carolina and Iowa ... Arkansas and California. We were literally all in the same boat -- and we came together as one. No one asked us our politics. No one cared where we went to school or what our race or backgrounds were. We were just a band of brothers who all fought under the same flag, and all prayed to the same God.

I happen to believe that patriotism, service, and religious principles are a more important basis for civic life than race, education, or socio-economic background--which I why I don't agree with Rev. Jesse Jackson's.

Blood on the Water 2: Mexifornia

From Senator Kerry's website:

Earned Legalization
John Kerry supports a proposal that will allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their status if they have been in the United States for a certain amount of time, have been working, and can pass a background check. This makes sense for the economy, provides fairness to people in our communities who have worked hard and paid taxes, and will also allow us to strengthen our homeland security by bringing undocumented workers out of the shadows and into the light of greater accountability.


Get it? You enter the US illegally. You get an illegal job. You avoid capture. You avoid prosecution for the tax evasion, frauds, perjuries, and forgeries involved in working illegally. You get away with all of that long enough, and President Kerry will legalize you! (I think "validate" would be better NewSpeak than "legalize".)

I notice they don't state how long that "certain amount of time" will be. Is that because it's so long it would be disheartening to those needing validation, or because it's so short that American citizens would be outraged?

The same website also offers this pledge:

John Kerry believes that ensuring there is a fair playing field for workers is important to a strong economy. He supports increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. He will improve workplace health and safety while fighting for fair overtime rules and a worker’s right to join a union. He also believes that workers need more protections against corporate fraud so they don’t lose their lifetime savings because they are working hard for the wrong company...

Does Senator Kerry think inviting skilled illegal immigrant labor aids the unions?

Anyone who remembers the California recall knows a big reason Cruz Bustamente lost was his support for illegal immigration. Yet even at their worst, our Lt. Gov. and others like state Sen. Gil Cedillo have never proposed 'grandfathering' long-term illegals into legal residents. Senator Kerry not only offers a more liberal border policy than President Bush, he's more extreme than Lt. Gov. Bustamente.

If that's still true when Gov. Schwarzenegger speaks to the nation at the Republican convention, I believe Senator Kerry may lose California.

But I may be wrong to take any of this as sincere, for the website begins:

The first thing John Kerry will do is fight his heart out to bring back the three million jobs that have been lost under George W. Bush. He will fight to restore the jobs lost under Bush in the first 500 days of his administration...

Where did that extra million come from?

More proof that Senator Kerry campaigns in the hope that nobody's looking...

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Liberal Pith

We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, June 28, 2004

Monday, June 28, 2004

This Summer's French Whine

ISTANBUL, Turkey — French President Jacques Chirac said Monday that President Bush went "too far" by saying the European Union should admit Turkey, and he added that Bush commenting on Turkish-EU relations was like a French leader commenting on U.S.-Mexican ties.

"If President Bush really said that in the way that I read, then not only did he go too far, but he went into territory that isn't his," Chirac said.

"It's a bit like if I told the United States how they should manage their relations with Mexico."

Bush met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara before attending Monday's NATO summit in Istanbul, and he pledged to fight for Turkey's membership in the European Union.

In a speech Bush made in Ireland before traveling to Turkey, Bush said: "Turkey is a proud nation that successfully blends a European identity with the Islamic traditions."

"As Turkey meets the EU standards for membership, the European Union should begin talks that will lead to full membership for the Republic of Turkey," Bush said.


Well first of all, commenting on another nation's relations with a third-party is half the work in diplomacy. Take the French foriegn minister's remarks last year that Blair should get off the US-UK tandem bike and ride with Team Europe. Or every single French comment on US opposition to Saddam's Iraq. Or French comments on Palestinian-Israeli violence.

When the International Court of Justice ruled the US violated the Vienna Convention by not informing Mexican consuls of the arrests of Mexican nationals, did the French government refrain from comment?

And why is it we never hear a peep about US 'going too far' when we're supporting Paris?
The President said if Turkey meets EU membership standards, the EU ought to begin talking about bringing Turkey into the EU.
Offering an open-ended, unspecific opinion supporting a hypothetical conditional development in EU relations is 'going too far'?
Did we "go too far" bombing Serbia for 90 days, or are the Balkans 'our territory'?

Questions for Lawyers about Rasul v US

Why can't we have the Guantanamo detainees prosecuted by the new governments of Iraq and Afghanistan for crimes of violence and conspiracy? Then we could 'request' custody of them as convicted felons serving out a lengthy prison term instead of holding them indefinitely as persons of indeterminate status. Would that work?

Or, for future situations where those governments don't exist yet, make unregistered ownership of firearms by noncombatants a felony violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, try suspects by military court, and then grant clemency to anybody who cooperates with our government. Would that work?

If you think these are possible alternatives to indefinite detention, should we employ them?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Regrettable But Necessary?

The Federal Election Commission may inform Michael Moore to stop advertising for his movie too close to the GOP Convention, or be prosecuted.

Will the liberals and communitarians cheer this decision? By the logic the US Supreme Court accepted, if Moore were allowed to go forward, Kerry might win the election, and then Kerry would owe Moore all kinds of favors. So rather than allow that, I guess Moore just has to forfeit millions of dollars for the good of American democracy. Right?

Sadly I doubt this will convince anybody that McCain-Feingold is an outrage against the Bill of Rights. It will just lead to calls for Moore to be given special treatment.

Signing onto the criminalization of political speech, in the hope that the Supreme Court would preserve the First Amendment, is probably Bush's greatest mistake so far. Actually enforcing McCain-Feingold would be a greater one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Whitewashing McDougal

With Clinton's new book out, there's a rush to rehabilitate Sarah McDougal, who supposedly was thrown into jail by Kenneth Starr for refusing to help persecute Bubba.

Only she wasn't. Here's a Byron York article from National Review February 19, 2001 that tells it like it was:

Susan McDougal wasn't jailed by Kenneth Starr.
After being convicted of four Whitewater felonies, McDougal was held in contempt by Judge Susan Webber Wright for refusing to testify about Clinton's role in the affair.

Susan McDougal was convicted of felonies unrelated to her testimony.
Her pattern of behavior began in 1995, when she was charged with Whitewater felonies that included mail fraud, misapplication of funds, making false entries in a Small Business Administration report, and making false statements. "I am not going to testify against anybody," McDougal told reporters after pleading not guilty. "They can forget it."...In May 1996, a federal jury convicted Susan McDougal on four felony counts, and in August, she was sentenced to two years in prison.

Susan McDougal served less time in prison than she deserved.
By March 1998, she had served 18 months, the maximum allowed for coercive detention for contempt. Instead of being released, however, she immediately began serving her two-year Whitewater sentence...While she awaited trial on contempt charges, a federal judge released McDougal from prison after she had served just three and a half months of her two-year Whitewater sentence.

Don't hold your breath waiting for any media outlet to print this.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Difference Reagan Made

Lex Communis has a link to the infamous "malaise" speech given by President Carter.

I was only four years old when that speech was given, so I have no memory of it. Reading it, I was struck by how often I hear the same sort of navel-gazing rhetoric today. And I wondered just how Reagan managed to strike a vastly different note in his Presidency.

The American Experience website also has transcripts of Reagan speeches, and I chose the one given to the British Parliament on June 8, 1982, less than three years after Carter's speech.

Both speeches have similar purposes: to rally the American public towards optimism and confidence. But notice how differently the two Presidents approached that task.

Carter reminded everyone that government wasn't very connected to the American people. He then read a list of complaints and advice from common Americans. He said he had meant to speak about very bad problems, but upon reflection, noted that our material problems were only symptoms of a deeper crisis of confidence. He proceeded to list statistics demonstrating a lack of confidence, and gave the factual reasons why Americans should lack confidence in their country. He suggested that America start the long road back by focusing on one particular problem, energy, and laid out proposals to begin solving the energy problem. He urged Americans to give him more ideas, and to speak well of the country to boost each other's confidence.

By contrast, Reagan's speech gave only two sentences towards acknowledging any problem with America: optimism was coming hard to the public, and Americans were shy about committing to the global battle for freedom. The bulk of his speech was given to explaining why America's enemies were currently losing, and why they could be expected to fail in the end. He quoted examples of courage and determination from historical figures, and cheerful anecdotes of personal courage from the Blitz.
His only mention of a specific program was a cooperative effort by bipartisan leaders that was already underway.

I think this speech demonstrates Reagan's mastery of the modern soundbite media. Any ten-second clip of his speech, any three-line quote in print, any accurate paraphrase of his address, would give only positive and encouraging points. Reagan could speak for specific programs and policies, but he understood the value of pep talks--in fact the need for them-- and knew when to rally the emotions and when to give a sales pitch. By contrast, Carter's speech was branded with a word he never uttered-- "malaise"-- and his proposed policies died on the vine.

At a time when media bias has crossed over into outright distortion, it is an especially necessary lesson for President Bush. I think he has learnt it well.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Blood on the Water

Julia Duin writes about another reason John Kerry will not win in November: religion.

The Rev. Robert Drinan, a Jesuit priest who served in Congress during the 1970s, says he has advised the campaign to clamp down on religious rhetoric and "keep cool on the Communion thing" after four Catholic bishops either barred Mr. Kerry by name from taking Communion in their dioceses or said pro-choice Catholics should be denied the sacrament.
"The mood now is to shut up about it," said Father Drinan, who teaches at Georgetown University Law Center. He said the Communion debate "is a nonissue" in the Kerry campaign and simply a tool of the Republican Party.
Mr. Kerry's detractors "are dying for him to say something. But he won't take them on," the priest said, adding that he was part of a "kitchen Cabinet" to advise the Kerry campaign on religious matters..


That's what I'd want for $40,000 a year plus books and fees and room and board, I'd want my kids educated by a priest who advises Senators to "cool it on the Communion thing".
Despite my mere BA, I know that when something is a "nonissue" to your side, and a "tool" to the other side, you are being whupped so badly with it, you dare not mention it.

"...former Clinton aides Paul Begala, John Podesta and Mike McCurry have tutored campaign operatives on more aggressively using religion to appeal to voters.
"Why the campaign is not listening to any of them, I don't know," the source said. "Conservatives are about 20 years ahead of us on this stuff."


Here's a hint: when I see those guys on TV I wonder what lie they're telling and who wrote it for them. I can't be the only one. Kerry may be smart to prefer people with shorter resumes and less baggage.
Conservatives have an edge because conservatives are people of faith who get political, not politicians who get religion.

...Meanwhile, the Kerry campaign also has sidelined its new religion adviser, closing journalists' access to Mara Vanderslice and ignoring her advice on how to appeal effectively to religious voters...Miss Vanderslice, 29, grew up Unitarian in Boulder, Colo., then attended Earlham College, a Quaker institution in Richmond, Ind.
She joined a college socialist group, majored in peace and global studies, and graduated in 1997. After interning for a year at Sojourners, a liberal evangelical magazine in the District, she joined the Jubilee USA Network, a D.C.-based group that campaigns for Third World debt relief.
What Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, found especially problematic was Miss Vanderslice's presence at a violent December 2000 rally in Seattle against the International Monetary Fund and a similar protest in September 2002 in the District against the IMF and the World Bank.
In articles on the protests, the Boston Globe identified her as an organizer and the Denver Post quoted her plans to take part in civil disobedience in order to shut down the IMF meeting in the District.


She's not in trouble because Kerry found out she organized violent rallies, she's in trouble because the opposition found out she organized violent rallies.

...Plans were...for the campaign to assemble a "people of faith" page for the Kerry Web site, at which point Miss Vanderslice was to be announced as the contact person.
But with Miss Vanderslice not being allowed near the press, "They have no one in their communications shop who is conversant in religion," she said.


No big deal...just shift some of your African-American civil rights organizers over.
Oh wait... Vanderslice was supposed to hire them...

At first, Miss Vanderslice was given wide latitude to define Mr. Kerry's positions on spiritual issues and to hire assistants who would reach out to Muslims and black churches, the Kerry campaign source said.

Unbelievable.

A Democrat as distant from black churches as from Muslims, is in trouble. A Democrat who has to hire people to bridge the gap, is in serious trouble. A Democrat who farms out the job of hiring the outreach team to a 29-year-old Peace and Global Studies major, is a dead duck.




Thursday, June 17, 2004

Smackdown

The leak factory at the 9/11 Commission blows another one. I could post about it, but Captain Ed, Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, and Vice-President Cheney do it so much better than I could.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Absent Without Leave

Time flies when you're out of town for a friend's wedding.
Joe's the first of our gang of high school chums to get married. The ceremony was at the old Santa Barbara Mission.
It was very well done, but tightly orchestrated and every frill cost a fee--one of my friends told me he wished his church could match Catholic price-gouging.

I'll be posting more regularly again now that we're back from the coast.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Covert Campaigning

In suspending his overt political activities, Kerry risks losing momentum with voters just as Bush's popularity is at its most vulnerable. To do anything else, however, would appear unseemly amid the outpouring of praise for a president remembered for bridging political divisions.

Still he managed to keep hammering Dubya:

"I didn't agree with a lot of the things he was doing, obviously," Kerry said of Reagan, whom he called a "very likable guy." But he added that he got along well with the Republican, was able to work with him and visited the White House a number of times during his two terms.
"I met with Reagan a lot more than I've met with this president," Kerry said.
The Democrat also said he had more meetings with George H.W. Bush during his one term than he has had with President Bush.
"I liked his father very much. I like his dad. He's a very good guy. He used to write notes. I have a number of notes from him. He's very thoughtful," Kerry said.


Oh and then there's this

Head bowed, eyes closed and hands clasped in front, the Massachusetts senator stood for about a minute to pay his respects to Reagan, the Republican icon who died Saturday and whose body lay in repose at the presidential library.
Kerry, a Roman Catholic, made the sign of the cross and quietly recited the accompanying prayer before departing.
Like other dignitaries, Kerry did not have to wait hours with tens of thousands of mourners; an exception was made for the candidate and his visit lasted about 20 minutes.


What was he doing the other 19 minutes he made others wait?

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Remembering Reagan

We should enjoy the obituaries and memorials on TV this weekend while they last. It will be a very long time before Reagan is remembered as positively.

All too soon, probably within the week, the airwaves and editorial pages will be dominated by Reagan's critics, and we'll hear what a horrible blot on America those eight years really were.

It's up to us to remember and remind that Ronald Reagan believed morality extended to political systems, that democracy in its various forms was morally good, and totalitarianism in all its varieties was evil. Not just distasteful, or pollutive, or economically depressing, or intellectually regressive, but evil. And evil should not be accommodated or managed or even contained, but repulsed and frustrated and, if at all possible, eradicated.

Ronald Reagan believed that America, because of its commitment to freedom and justice, was morally superior to its geopolitical opposition. He believed that America was unique among nations for its ability to embrace reform and heed idealism. He believed that society might not be perfectable, but it certainly was capable of improvement, and with properly optimistic leadership seemingly impossible reforms could be achieved.

And we should also remember that when these ideals were offered to the American public at the voting booth, they were endorsed in a landslide.

The Left never accepted Reagan's message, and even in 2004 they are spouting the same tripe about terrorism they offered about communism: The US can't win. The US shouldn't win. The US doesn't have all the answers, or maybe any of the answers. The US should approach the world humbly as a neophyte awaiting instruction. The US can never be right when it stands alone.

Reagan laughed at that, and went on to solve the most pressing problems of our era. Those of us who experienced Reagan's unrepentant championship of American independence, liberty, and opportunity must continue to meet his challenge, as we go on without him:

"The house we hope to build is not for my generation but for yours. It is your future that matters. And I hope that when you are my age, you will be able to say as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom. We lived lives that were a statement, not an apology."

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Bush Is Always Wrong

What's with this alleged terrorist being set free?

I thought Bush and Ashcroft were the Gestapo. I thought they would lock you up and throw away the key as soon as look at you.

Now we're told they're feckless losers who just don't give a damn who runs loose.

But...remember that Canadian deported to Syria by the eeeevil US government?

Canada didn't want him, we sent him to the land of his birth, Syria, and he says he was tortured for years, a victim of the American Gestapo.

So has al-Marabh been turned loose to kill anew, or condemned to a Syrian torture chamber? Either way, Bush is always wrong.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Know Your Role

There's a lot of incredulity at President Bush's description of President Chirac as a 'friend'.

This shouldn't suprise anybody who understands how the various American social classes hate people:

Lower Social Class: At 8 p.m. you get together with your friends at your house. You all pitch in for a lot of booze with artificial fruit flavor, and drink from the bottle. Everybody wanders over to the despised's house and you tell them why you hate them so much, at the top of your voice.

Middle Social Class: At 8 p.m. you meet your friends at a watering hole. You each pay by the glass for a lot of booze with pieces of fruit in it. You talk about how much you hate the despised and how glad you are to be nowhere near them.

Upper Social Class: At 8 p.m., by prior invitation, the despised arrives at your house to meet your friends. You offer a lot of booze in designer glassware rubbed with fruit. You smother every hint of loathing with agreeable chitchat.

Presidents have to enjoy being in the third group, while expressing regret at not being in the middle group, and ignoring the first group doing their thing on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dowsing With Doonesbury

Gary Trudeau's strip can be a useful measure of left-wing confidence, or humiliation:

Brazen: Direct caricatures of Republicans
Red: Characters interacting with recent events
White: Characters dealing with personal issues
Blue: No fourth wall

I first noticed this when Saddam got captured, and a strong Brazen attack on Bush as a void in a Roman helmet visiting Iraq for Thanksgiving was suddenly dropped for Zonker's talking plants. Quite a bleach job to avoid discussing a signal victory for the President.

(Trudeau used the Bush visit series to mock the notion that terrorists travel: "Gee sir, you mean Baathist guerrillas might strike Ohio?", thus proving that his home planet is so far out that coherent light from 9/11 has not yet arrived.)

Looking over the last month, Trudeau tried to stay Red with BD's lost leg and the month-old casualty list on Memorial Day. But that didn't furnish enough material, with equal time to the White areas of campus corruption and USO tours. Even appearances by Ahnuld as the Gropenfuhrer were at best a weak Brazen, at worst a duck dive over the big stories of the day.
I didn't count a single Bush caricature all month. Now June opens with a solid week of viewer mail.

Deep Blue, two months after the bottom supposedly blew out of Iraq? I believe a corner has been turned...