Monday, January 29, 2007

The Actual Nominations are Just a Formality

Robert Novak this week:
Republicans feel withdrawal of troops must begin in the next six months for their party to have any chance at retaining the presidency in 2008, and a Bush Cabinet member -- not associated with national security -- made that same assessment to me last week.
An unknown person cannot defeat an unknown person two years from now, unless we BUG OUT!!

To make the six figure salary of a national party analyst, do you really have to believe that crap, or could you get by just spewing it?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

False Outrage has this disgusting ESPN story on a man locked up for "consensual" sex with a minor.

Outrage at the sentence? I'm outraged that ESPN considers a law punishing people for having sex with 15-year-olds is "archaic".

I remember when somebody asked Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda about Darryl Strawberry's drug use. And Lasorda said, I feel for him, but he does it to himself. Nobody puts that stuff into him. He does it. He chooses it.

Nobody forced this 17-year-old to go to a Days Inn and do booze and pot. Nobody forced him to invite 17 and 15 year olds over for an orgy. Nobody forced him to abandon the 15 year old butt-naked and make her call for help.

And nobody forced them to videotape it either.

And nobody forced him to turn down a plea deal and go for acquittal in front of a jury.

Genarlow Wilson is paying for that stupidity, and it's up to the people of the state of Georgia to decide how hard he oughta pay.

But I really object to ESPN telling me so what, big deal, some 15-year-olds are "instigator"s, they're sluts, use 'em and lose 'em. We've got no right locking up our football stars for plowing 10-year-olds.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Democrat Response

Didja notice:

The President talked about radical Islam and vowed to stop it. Webb talked about President Bush and vowed to stop him.

Webb completely forgot that in October 2002 Dems DEMANDED a chance to vote for war before the November elections. Will Senator Webb now denounce their "reckless" warmongery?

SENATOR Webb is asserting the power to set the diplomatic and military agenda based on previous PRESIDENTS?

As Capn Ed noted: Senator Webb considers the Korean War to have ended in 1951? (Or does he propose Bush declare an armistice and leave an Army in Iraq for 60 years of sentry duty?)

"Regional diplomacy" can't mean Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey--we're already talking with them about Iraq. So who does that leave...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Vulture Politics

"What Congress Can (And Can't) Do on Iraq

By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey
Tuesday, January 16, 2007; Page A19

Congressional Democrats (and Republicans) who oppose President Bush's decision to send additional American troops to Iraq may frustrate his plan, but not -- as suggested by Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn -- by imposing 21,500 strings on the 21,500 new troops. Just as there are constraints on the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief, there are limits on Congress's ability to direct presidential action. In particular, Congress cannot use its power of the purse to micromanage the president's execution of his office. Indeed, although the prosecution of the Iraq war looms large in today's political discourse, the consequences of substantive decisions related to the war are dwarfed by the imperatives of protecting the integrity of the core rules governing interactions between the executive and legislative branches, which are rooted in our distinctive constitutional fabric.

This constitutional fabric features two coordinate political branches, with unique responsibilities and independent legitimacies. Thus, even if one assumes that, as critics allege, the November election results were a call for disengaging from Iraq, efforts by some congressional Democrats to chastise the president through a resolution of "no confidence" in his Iraq policy have no place in our constitutional culture. The Framers did not establish a parliamentary system.

This does not mean, of course, that Congress is powerless. It could -- if the leadership mustered veto-proof majorities -- immediately cut off funding for U.S. operations in Iraq. Alternatively, Congress could refuse to pass new appropriations once the current ones expire. The refusal to pay for particular policies -- whether in war or peace -- has been the most important check on executive power in the Anglo-American political tradition, dating to the British Parliament's ancient insistence on the right to seek redress of grievances before voting supplies (i.e., money) to the monarch. Under our constitutional system, however, the power to cut off funding does not imply the authority to effect lesser restrictions, such as establishing benchmarks or other conditions on the president's direction of the war. Congress cannot, in other words, act as the president's puppet master, and so long as currently authorized and appropriated funding lasts, the president can dispatch additional troops to Iraq with or without Congress's blessing.

The precise line between congressional and presidential authority is sometimes unclear, and no court has jurisdiction to rule on the issue. The analysis, however, is straightforward. When the two political branches exercise their respective constitutional powers in a way that brings them into conflict -- a scenario clearly envisioned by the Framers -- the relevant constitutional principle is that neither branch can vitiate the ability of the other to discharge its core constitutional responsibilities. Just as the president cannot raise his own funds (by obtaining loans unauthorized by Congress, for example), the legislature cannot attach conditions to federal spending that would destroy the president's authority to direct the military's tactical and strategic operations. This balance makes perfect sense; if Congress could closely direct how the executive branch spends appropriated funds, it would vitiate the president's core responsibilities as chief executive and commander in chief, transforming him into a cipher. This outcome would fundamentally warp the Framers' entire constitutional fabric.

To maintain the integrity of this original design, the Supreme Court has long ruled, in such cases as United States v. Klein (1872) and United States v. Lovett (1946), that Congress cannot attach unconstitutional conditions to otherwise proper legislation, including spending bills. As explained by Professor Walter Dellinger -- President Bill Clinton's chief constitutional lawyer at the Justice Department -- "[b]road as Congress' spending power undoubtedly is, it is clear that Congress may not deploy it to accomplish unconstitutional ends." This includes restricting the president's authority as commander in chief to direct the movement of U.S. armed forces. In that regard, Dellinger quoted Justice Robert Jackson -- who said while serving as President Franklin Roosevelt's attorney general: "The President's responsibility as Commander-in-Chief embraces the authority to command and direct the armed forces in their immediate movements and operations, designed to protect the security and effectuate the defense of the United States."

Although this system may seem unsatisfactory to those who disagree with President Bush's Iraq policy, it has two great virtues. First, it bolsters the Constitution's fundamental design -- the separation of powers between the coequal branches of government. The Framers vested executive authority in a president for a reason. As Alexander Hamilton explained in the Federalist Papers: "Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks." Second, requiring Congress to exercise its power in dramatic ways ensures political accountability. If Congress believes the war is lost, or not worth winning, it must take responsibility for the consequences of forcing a U.S. withdrawal. Otherwise, it must leave the president to direct the war and to bear responsibility for the decisions he has made and will make.

The writers are Washington lawyers who served in the Justice Department during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush."

Democrats are talking about caps and limits on the number of troops and they won't get it. They can't even get a majority behind a straight non-binding resolution calling for an end to the war, the resolution they're drafting now just talks about how more troops isn't the answer.

What they're after is more about getting the President to choose to use his powers to lose the war.
David Ignatius in the WaPo:
"With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Emanuel plans to use Bush's Iraq speech to pose what amounts to a vote of "no confidence" in Bush's leadership -- framing the new strategy as a congressional motion and voting it up or down. Emanuel is certain that Bush's strategy will be voted down and that a sizable number of Republicans will join the Democrats in rejecting the military escalation. Rather than try to restrict funds for the troops (which he sees as a political blunder that would delight Republicans), Emanuel instead favors a proposal by Rep. John Murtha to set strict standards for readiness -- which would make it hard to finance the troop surge in Iraq without beefing up the military as a whole. The idea is to position the Democrats as friends of the military, even as they denounce Bush's Iraq policy...Don't look to Emanuel's Democrats for solutions on Iraq. It's Bush's war, and as it splinters the structure of GOP power, the Democrats are waiting to pick up the pieces."

Which Limbaugh denounces as "vulture politics".
I think the Democrats have already flubbed this one.Rasmussen shows his numbers are about level since April 2006. The speech of Jan 10 has a slight dip that has come back. The bulk of the opposition to the troop "surge" is basically disbelief that the Iraqis will honor their part of the bargain, which Maliki insists they are doing, saying they've arrested 400 Shiite militia this month and letting Americans arrest Iranians.

Since Bush's speech police recruitment in Anbar province is thousands rather than dozens.

Al-Masri has ordered Al-Qaeda fighters out of Baghdad because US troops proved in Fallujah that they know how to win at house-to-house combat.

The Democrats are counting on things like that not to keep happening, and for violence in Iraq to mount. They are rooting against the United States, and that's becoming more and more apparent.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Boneless Wonders

Bill Kristol is as disgusted as I am with our Congress in action.

Sen. McCain and Sen. McConnell are proving themselves worthy of the respect thrown at too many empty suits with the title "Senator".


Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Big Fat Sitting Duck

January 5, 2007 President George W. Bush The White House Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President:

The start of the new Congress brings us opportunities to work together on the critical issues confronting our country. No issue is more important than finding an end to the war in Iraq. December was the deadliest month of the war in over two years, pushing U.S. fatality figures over the 3,000 mark.

The American people demonstrated in the November elections that they do not believe your current Iraq policy will lead to success and that we need a change in direction for the sake of our troops and the Iraqi people. We understand that you are completing your post-election consultations on Iraq and are preparing to make a major address on your Iraq strategy to the American people next week.

Clearly this address presents you with another opportunity to make a long overdue course correction. Despite the fact that our troops have been pushed to the breaking point and, in many cases, have already served multiple tours in Iraq, news reports suggest that you believe the solution to the civil war

in Iraqis to require additional sacrifices from our troops and are therefore prepared to proceed with a substantial U.S. troop increase.

Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed. Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution. Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.

In a recent appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General John Abiz aid, our top commander for Iraq and the region, said the following when asked about whether he thought more troops would contribute to our chances for success in Iraq:

"I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the Corps commander, General Dempsey. We all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is, because we want the Iraqis to do more. It's easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future."

Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.

Our troops and the American people have already sacrificed a great deal for the future of Iraq. After nearly four years of combat, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties, and over $300 billion dollars, it is time to bring the war to a close. We, therefore, strongly encourage you to reject any plans that call for our getting our troops any deeper into Iraq. We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success. We appreciate you taking these views into consideration. Sincerely, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Bare days after taking power, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are calling for America to lose the war.

This Sunday, she was on TV arguing the President must present all future bills to Congress in two nice columns, one for supporting a stalemate, and the other, costs involved in pushing on for victory. Even Sen. Biden balked at that, calling such "micromanage(ment)" "unconstitutional".

In which he is right. Congress cannot pay for a Navy IF it visits Japan and not Australia, or a Marine Corps IF it doesn't go to Iraq. That is no part of the House's decisions, and it is interesting that Pelosi is once again getting ahead of herself.

Sadly, Sen. Biden is probably more aggressively defending this Administration that some Republicans. I find it hard to visit powerlineblog anymore, they are so eager to embrace the Democrat version of a war with one last chance remaining for "victory". No matter what we achieve in Iraq in the next two or three months, the Democrats will demand a pullout. Speaker Pelosi has put herself on record, that the war has already cost too much and offended too many people, and can't go on anymore. France isn't going to like us any better regardless of what happens in Ramadi, and yahoos are going to keep making bombs somewhere in Iraq for some time to come--just as the Symbionese Liberation Army kept on chugging until the bulk of the members got shot down like dogs.

This letter is a huge misstep, and shows Nancy Pelosi is not quite ready for primetime. She will not be able to easily withdraw such an ultimatum, or expect the press to ignore a Speaker the way they could ignore a gaffe by the Minority Leader. It is doubtful she has the whole of the House Democrats behind an immediate reckoning, and as Sen. Biden makes clear, she didn't bother to line up the Senate Democrats behind a precipitate showdown. I expect when the President finally gets through with his little vacation and resumes his duties as a wartime President, that he will shut her down cold. For a time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Let The Circus Begin

The Donks begin with a President promising potential vetoes, and Cindy Sheehan screaming them off their podium. The Senate meets secretly in a committee of the whole, I assume to figure out how to bloviate more genially.

My eye remains on the prize, denied and delayed by a Republican majority, and almost assuredly not to be had under a Democrat Congress. I can yelp and holler though, and will do so just as loudly as when I made up that "circular firing squad."