Tuesday, May 31, 2005
You never know where this will lead. Perhaps we can get Sen. McCain's attention. Why not? Some might scoff. But really, why not? Maybe we'll get some FEC goons coming to our doorsteps ... or our IP portals ... whatever ... trying to silence us. If you have such an encounter, please direct all such inquiries here.
A few things I want to say as we get going, for clarification ... 1) I am not for Hillary ... this is not where this enterprise is going. No, I won't be making the same "mistake" that McCain seems to always make -- hurting every Republican except himself; 2) let's have some fun with this deal; 3) the way I'd like to see us work is kinda like "Outback Steakhouse", i.e., "No Rules, Just Right"; and 4) in light of #2, would you take a gander at this?
I mean, Nick, for the sake of all things decent, lay off the man when he is in a moment of weakness. Geez.
Friday, May 27, 2005
This morning as we look out from the front porches of our homes in the land that Pres. Reagan called the "Shining City on a Hill", we remember what it has cost to build and defend this land. We remember all the members of our military who have paid for our freedom with their lives.
I would like to provide you a snapshot of one particular sacrifice by one American defending a hill in a faraway land. Perhaps it will encourage you (as it has me) to remember the sacrifices of those who have made our freedom possible.
In the Spring and Summer of 1990, I was a one of a class of a couple of hundred Marine lieutenants trying to find my way through The Basic School -- a six-month-long indoctrination of Marine lieutenants learning the "basics" of leading an infantry platoon before being sent to our respective duty stations and jobs in the fleet.
TBS was grueling, boring, and high-stress-inducing all in one. Job selections and duty stations depended upon performance. And worse still, the Marine Corps looked for a few, maybe as many of a half-dozen of us, who might have slipped through the cracks at OCS -- those lieutenants who either needed to be "recycled" through another TBS class or even worse ... discharged and sent home.
So, in addition to our concerns about our futures in the Corps, our fears of being one of those left behind drove us on. No one wanted to be at the bottom of the class.
Our land navigation class was an island of encouragement in a sea of exhaustion and dread. Each day a wiry, upbeat, square-jawed captain, whose name I still can't remember -- to us, he was just "Capt. Land Nav" -- would greet us with a wide, genuine smile and say, "It's a great day in the Marine Corps!! Hooyah!" Actually, the day usually wasn't good, but we would go wild any way.
Then, before he would teach us land navigation, he would begin each day's class by reading a Medal of Honor Citation of a Marine. Day after day, we just sat in awe as Capt. Land Nav read us the citations of these heroes. Months of land navigation. Days, weeks, months of citations. We heard of the heroism of Marines in places like Belleau Wood, the Chosin Reservoir, Iwo Jima, and Viet Nam. A number of these heroes were officers, too. Officers who had been there at TBS and tried to stay awake in classes, just like us. Every citation was amazing and inspiring. Yet, one stands out.
Here it is:
BOBO, JOHN P.We sat in silent awe for a number of seconds.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF
Place: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam
Date: 30 March 1967
Entered service at: Buffalo, New York
Born: 14 February 1943, Niagara Falls, New York
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
Company I was establishing night ambush sites when the command group was attacked by a reinforced North Vietnamese company supported by heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire. 2d Lt. Bobo immediately organized a hasty defense and moved from position to position encouraging the outnumbered Marines despite the murderous enemy fire. Recovering a rocket launcher from among the friendly casualties, he organized a new launcher team and directed its fire into the enemy machine gun positions. When an exploding enemy mortar round severed 2d Lt. Bobo's right leg below the knee, he refused to be evacuated and insisted upon being placed in a firing position to cover the movement of the command group to a better location. With a web belt around his leg serving as a tourniquet and with his leg jammed into the dirt to contain the bleeding, he remained in this position and delivered devastating fire into the ranks of the enemy attempting to overrun the Marines. 2d Lt. Bobo was mortally wounded while firing his weapon into the main point of the enemy attack but his valiant spirit inspired his men to heroic efforts, and his tenacious stand enabled the command group to gain a protective position where it repulsed the enemy onslaught. 2d Lt Bobo's superb leadership, dauntless courage, and bold initiative reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
And then Capt. Land Nav broke the silence: "There's more, lieutenants," he said. How could there possibly be more, we thought? There was no way.
"Lt. Bobo," the Captain said, "finished last in his class at The Basic School."
You could have heard a pin drop, as a couple hundred Marine lieutenants sat in stunned silence. All of us had been facing our fears for some time. All of us, whether we wanted to admit it or not, wondered: Would I have what it took not to let my fellow Marines down? Was I good enough?
And this guy ... this guy who had finished last ... truly, the last had become first. He had done more than any could have expected. He took his final stand defending the high ground on a faraway hill so that his comrades and the rest of us could live securely on the "high ground" at home.
I thought of Lt. Bobo for the rest of TBS. Remembering his sacrifice gave me confidence and courage.
Lt. Bobo's sacrifice dramatically impacted his comrades, too. These were men whom he literally and figuratively carried to the "high ground".
Fifteen Marines in Lt. Bobo’s already-depleted platoon died on that fateful day in 1967. Nearly all of the survivors were wounded in the brutal onslaught of enemy mortar fire. But because of his sacrifice, Lt. Bobo helped 15 of his Marines not only to survive, but incredibly to repel the assault of an enemy with vastly superior numbers and firepower.
For the survivors, the 24-year-old lieutenant altered the course of their lives.
These were Marines with families. With children. With dreams. Like us. They told of Lt. Bobo’s heroism, which had carried them back up the hill and home to the "Shining City".
One life willingly laid down became a pebble in the ocean of humanity. Which led to waves of inspiration ... of second-chances ... of victory ... of lives saved ... of dreams sustained ... of families reunited and children born ... of hope.
Some forget. They won’t. They can’t.
There are thousands and thousands of others who, like Lt. Bobo, have given all. Few know their stories. Perhaps none know. There is the soldier who fell on a grenade to save his friends. There is the pilot whose plane went down in the dark of night. There is the sailor at sea, doing his duty, when a boat full of terrorists rammed his ship with explosives. Each had a story. Each gave all they could give. Each carries us today.
When you’re younger, it’s hard to realize and appreciate what you have. It's hard to understand how blessed you are to wake up every day and already have the world by the tail simply because you are an American.
As you get older, though, you begin to realize that the good things in life are not accidents. Indeed, the really good things are the exceptions to the chaos and disappointment that often characterize this temporal world. The truly great things in this life don't just happen. They require great sacrifice.
Indeed, though the desire for it beats in every human heart, freedom is the exception in this world rather than the rule. Freedom does not spontaneously combust. Without those willing to make great sacrifice for freedom, yes to fight for it and even to die, we will ultimately have peace. But we will not have freedom.
But this can sometimes be hard to grasp when you are born in a "Shining City" ... indeed, on freedom's "hill".
Young people don’t often feel the need to stop and reflect. They are moving too fast. Life calls. "Hurry!", it says. There is fun to be had, adventures to experience, boys and girls to meet, college degrees to attain, money to make, careers to plan.
But ironically freedom calls our young people back ... time and again ... to make the sacrifices continually required to reside on freedom's "hill". Because if you won't defend the hill you live on, ultimately you won't live there.
For tyranny does spontaneously combust. And then it advances on the free.
Approximately 1,800 young Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11. They had dreams. They had comforts. They had opportunities. They had families.
They had children. About 1,300 children of service members have lost a parent (mostly fathers) since 9/11. This is sad, no doubt. However, we take comfort in knowing that these children have been left a legacy of service and dedication. And because of the example left to them -- which they will remember -- many of them will no doubt do the same.
Still more Americans will certainly perish in these conflicts we are fighting even as I speak. Why do they do it? They certainly didn't have to. In fact, they volunteered. They signed up because they love their country and their countrymen. They remembered what it takes to keep this land free.
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
We must take on their leader directly. That would be Sen. John McCain -- (D) Arizona. But I want to make this campaign positive. You know, keep it upbeat. I thought about a while back starting a "Blogs Against McCain", but two considerations kept me from it. First, I am a "for" guy. I like being for things. That's why I describe this here blog as ... "for national security ... for cultural preservatation ... for liberty ... for America and her friends." This is also why I haven't joined "Blogs against Hillary". This is not to criticize those fine Americans who are already dogging Ms. Clinton. I am in solidarity with their great cause. Yet, I must ask: What if Hillary runs against McCain?
So, it is conceivable that this project could eventually become the campaign arm of the Hillary Clinton run for president. We will just have to cross that bridge when we come to it, won't we? Perhaps if the two of them run, we could drive turnout below 15% nationally. We can dream.
In launching this campaign to purge the Moderate Party's leader from Republican politics and the public square, I do hereby declare and find the following to be true:
That John McCain has been a constant source of grief for Republicans;
That John McCain has heaped far more praise upon Democrats than he has Republicans;
That John McCain in fact never has a harsh word for Democrats, and he is chums with Sen. Ted Kennedy, for crying out loud;
That John McCain meanwhile has serially violated Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment": Do not criticize thy fellow Republicans;
That John McCain has routinely attacked the Republican base, who financed and put McCain and his moderate friends in office;
That John McCain gave cover to Sen. John "sure I'll sign my Form 180, I'll get right on that, honest" Kerry during the presidential election cycle;
That John McCain did not immediately rebuff Kerry when he made repeated VP overtures to McCain;
That John McCain did not publicly say to Sen. Kerry, "Get away from me, you hideous and odious man.";
That John McCain has caused the late, great Ronald Reagan much grief from the other side of the grave by McCain's repeated invocations of the Reagan legacy when McCain's political career resembles nothing of what Pres. Reagan fought for;
That John McCain always has an excuse not to cut taxes;
That John McCain has been in the Senate for many years, and has only McCain-Feingold to show for it;
That McCain-Feingold was a horrible piece of legislation that gave Democrats and their allies a 2-1 funding advantage in the 2004 elections;
That John McCain called those who questioned the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold "radical rightwingers";
That John McCain has now emboldened the FEC to breathe down bloggers' necks;
That John McCain has rejected my compromise to have the FEC shut down/regulate only liberal blogs;
That the most dangerous place in Washington to be is the space between John McCain's face and a television camera;
That John McCain is in love with the MSM and vice-versa;
That John McCain has said negative things about Rush Limbaugh, and these things have been said in public;
That John McCain has consistently and publicly challenged our military leaders in the field on their decisions in Iraq;
That John McCain has to be wooed, consulted, cajoled and stroked for every single thing that happens in Washington, because dangit ... he should have been the president, not Pres. Bush;
That John McCain is loyal to no Republicans and that he and his gang of moderates happily threw Sen. Frist overboard;
That John McCain sells out any one who stands in the way of his poltical ambitions;
That John McCain and his gang of moderates in the name of "comity" actually sold out the Republican base so that their pet projects and donors -- namely, big business -- could get taken care of;
That John McCain still says out loud that the problem in Washington is "money in politics"; and
That John McCain and his ilk are the real problem in Washington.
It is therefore resolved that I will start "Blogs for McCain's Opponent", and that all who join will be linked here and will provide a reciprocal link at their site. Further, as I don't know how to generate a code with a blogroll or a cool button, any help in that regard will be appreciated.
Let me conclude by saying that I have made the statement before, and I will make it again. I respect Sen. McCain for his service to the nation. But, as Hugh Hewitt said, McCain is "a great American, a lousy senator, and a terrible Republican."
So resolved. Or should I say ... I am so resolved.
If you wish to join, send me an email at dcutter-at-gmail-dot-com.
Yours in "blogging for" ...
Update: The Swap Blog joins in as the inaugural member ... Who's next? How 'bout a prize? I don't know ... First 10 members get to paddle li'l Lindsay Graham. I mean, it's the next best thing to paddling the lily white one of the McCain-in-Chief. Indeed, Hugh H. is saying that Lindsay is positioning himself to be McCain's VP. So, we need to keep our eye on and paddle in contact with li'l Lindsay. Call that little whiner and gripe at his staff. The McCain-in-Chief does not answer his phones.
Important Note: Please understand ... this is not and will not be a blog alliance advocating Hillary's run for the WH. Some comments I have received thus far indicate a potential misunderstanding in this regard. There are several reasons for this: 1) Unlike Sen. McCain, I will not support a position/candidate simply to defeat a Republican candidate or to make him/her look bad; and 2) there is not enough room on Air Force One (Hillary's broom) if she were to win and want to take all the members of this blog alliance for a spin.
In sum, let's first concentrate on making sure that 1) McCain does not go back to the Senate; 2) does not get the Republican nomination for the WH in '08; and 3) does not run as an independent and "Go Perot" on us ... thus giving us 8 more years of Clinton.
Just so we are clear: I will not be a part of an effort that helps the Demos (unless they look like Zell Miller) in '08. Don't worry ... I've got the keys to the blogroll, and the effort won't undermine conservative advancement. And if that isn't clear enough, let me add the following. I approach elections in a very practical fashion: Who can win? Of those who can win, who will better help the advancement of conservative ideals? I have little patience for theoreticians who make meaningless "statements" on election day. Wishing we had a parliamentary system like the Euros doesn't make it so, any more than wishing will enable you to ride your bike to the moon. If you want to make a statement, go stand on the corner and make a speech. But voting has a specific purpose ... electing some one. That is, ballots are not meant to be thrown in the trash. So, you will not see me participating in such an effort. The idea is to cast more for the best candidate who can win.
And one more thing ... See my posts of June '08 and beyond for my take on who I am supporting in the '08 presidential race and why.
To those who may think that some of the responses are a bit harsh, I would say that we need to look to the perpetrators of the worldwide violence in the name of Islam to explain the damage to the reputation of Islam.
Let me say, too, that I realize my question could have been broader. Indeed, I could have asked: Would you deface or destroy a Bible to save another human being? In fact, Jess asked this very question.
The crux of the matter here is this: We are weighing two competing values -- the value of respecting a book believed to be holy by millions of people (in my question, the Koran) versus the value of saving a human life (in my example, an American life).
To the extent the Koran were to represent God's revelation, in my view, it would be the words and truth communicated rather than the paper and ink they are written on that have true value. Likewise, in my view, the Bible has lasting value because of what it says -- not because of the paper and ink that makes up any particular copy.
Interestingly, we have learned recently that some Muslims apparently regard the Koran itself as something worthy of worship. This is a foreign concept to the Judeo-Christian mind, where God alone is worthy of worship. To the Jew and the Christian, the Bible is God's revelation; it is not God.
So, for me, it is not hard to decide that I lean toward protecting human life over the respect for a religious symbol. To the extent that the Muslim world doesn't understand this, my retort is I likewise don't understand their point of view. Just how can people riot and kill other people made in the image of God because of the purported disrespect shown to a copy of the Koran? I realize that certainly a minority of Muslims participated in such an outrage, but where is the Muslim outrage at their conduct? Let's hope that this is just a public relations problem.
Before getting to my "official" answer, I must say that I find the Leftist response/non-response to the question interesting. Usually, leftists love and completely comprehend situational ethics vignettes, especially those that have been used to shake public school students' faith in absolute morality. But here ... there hasn't been a lot of response, even when I posed the question on their "home turf".
To his credit though, after much prodding, Scott did respond to my question, with a "I would probably consider it". But clearly, most of the Left wishes not to discuss this question. Why?
Maybe they would have been more comfortable if I asked if they would sacrifice a Bible to save a whale? Or a leftist? Or a Muslim? Maybe they were still trying to square the Muslim outrage over the Newsweek flap with the "Christian one" over "Piss Christ". Who knows?
At any rate, on to the answer ...
This may surprise some of you, but to me, the answer is the same no matter the scriptures involved or the person to be saved. The answer to the question, for me, is simple: Yes. I would do what it took to save the human life -- even putting the scriptures in a toilet. But I wouldn't call in Newsweek to watch.
Let me explain "why" and provide a bit of background. First, I should say that I have no respect at all for the views of those jihadis who argue that the Koran advocates Holy War and all manner of terrorism against "infidels". To the extent that they seek to destroy the West, we should seek each of them out and do the same. There is no dialogue with such people. Also, to the extent that the Koran itself advocates 9/11-type violence, it also is not worthy of respect, either. Yet, having said the foregoing, I do believe that the sensibilities of the majority of Muslims who do not advocate or support Holy War should be respected.
For me, though, the Newsweek incident and the resulting fallout takes me back to more fundamental questions about Islam and how we should respond to it in light of the answers to those questions. Some don't wish to consider these questions, but they are screaming to be asked ... and answered.
For instance, just how many Muslims do believe in Holy War? And does the Koran sanction it? Who is right about whether the Koran sanctions Holy War, any way? Am I the only person struck with the alleged usage of a religious symbol to supposedly prick the conscience of a terrorist?
Indeed, there is a debate among Muslims (albeit strangely a quiet one) about the answers to these very questions. That is, what does the Koran truly say? Who is truly following Allah -- the moderates or the jihadis? Here is how Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch describes the Islamic concept of "jihad":
Jihad is a central duty of every Muslim. Modern Muslim theologians have spoken of many things as jihads: defending the faith from critics, supporting its growth and defense financially, even migrating to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of spreading Islam. But violent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. Many passages of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad are used by jihad warriors today to justify their actions and gain new recruits. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad. The theology of jihad, which denies unbelievers equality of human rights and dignity, is available today for anyone with the will and means to bring it to life.Spencer presents a sobering picture indeed. Yet, for me, my Christian worldview leads me to two seemingly contradictory conclusions regarding respecting the beliefs of Muslims.
First, I think Islam -- even peaceful Islam -- is wrong about many things. Fundamentally from my perspective, it is wrong about Jesus Christ. Islam teaches that Christ, like Mohammed, was a prophet. However, Christ taught that He was the Messiah, and that eternal life is found only through faith in Him. In other words, He was not a mere prophet; He was and is God in human flesh. Thus, Islam is self-contradictory. That is, Christ the "prophet" fatally undermined the teachings of the Koran in teaching a completely different way to heaven than Mohammed taught. Ah, details ...
Second, however, I believe that the sensibilities of peaceful Muslims, along with their right to believe what they wish about God, should be respected. Regardless of a person's views about God, Christ taught that each individual must be respected and allowed to make his or her own decisions in matters of faith. Witness the deference shown by the Apostle Paul to the Athenians in Acts 17, all the while making his case for Christ. As Pres. Bush eloquently said in his 2000 speech when he accepted the Republican nomination, "I am tolerant not in spite of my faith, but because of it."
Monday, May 23, 2005
All told ... I think it will not end up so bad, frankly. Actually, the Demos may have hung themselves and not know it. RedState thinks it will be a good deal long-term for the Republicans, provided that Sens. DeWine and Graham have the male equipment necessary to vote properly if, er when, their Demo colleagues violate the agreement. Which will probably be very soon, and most likely no later than the next S.C. appointment.
Here are some random thoughts to get off my chest on this issue, and then I will happily move on:
1) The Demos' filibusters of Pryor, Owen, and Rogers-Brown have been shown for what they are -- partisan crap. So now these "extremists" advance to the bench without a whimper from the Demos? Extremist one day ... confirmed the next? These are poster-children for what is not "extraordinary" circumstances. Congratulations to these fine judges.
2) It's an outrage that Henry Saad and Bill Myers are still stuck in limbo. This shouldn't be. If the Demos are true to their word, then both should get a vote.
3) McCain and his band of "moderates" are just as concerned about their voters as the Republicans who were seeking the to employ the Byrd Option. If I hear one more tribute to the principled tassle-loaferians who saved the Senate, I am going to barf.
4) McCain's presidential ambitions are finished. That's not a bad thing, either.
5) I am looking forward to the forthcoming S.C. nominations. The Demos are now left in the position of having the option to filibuster to appease their Leftist base while simultaneously infuriating people who will be watching this obstruction when it unfolds at the S.C. nomination level.
6) Karl Rove is far more politically astute than the Senate. This ultimately gives me some degree of confidence that the Demos are going to somehow continue to lose ground legislatively and judicially, all the while being painted as obstructionists.
Leftists, feel free to comment here (open borders, like the U.S.) and fear not the rumors that I go on a riotous intellectual rampage in search of Leftist infidels who descecrate this blog. In other words, come out of your caves/holes, stop hiding under your desks, loosen your corsets and let 'er rip.
And if this isn't enough motivation for you ...
For JulieB and P. Wanker, I just have two words: "Bawk. Bawk."
Update: JulieB weighs in below ... with a very middle-of-the-road answer, even after my clarification of the hypo. DC's verdict: Still ... bawk, bawk. Meanwhile, PW's treatise on the subject is still somewhere in the chicken coop. Bawkity, bawk, bawk.
Friday, May 20, 2005
I have asked some Leftists to respond, but so far ... no takers.
I'd like to hear your thoughts from all over the ideological spectrum. If you're nice, I will give you mine.
So, perhaps we will talk about this next week, along with senatorial nuclear war.
P.S. Okay, bonus question. How many of you got at least a giggle out of this? If you didn't laugh at least a little, please explain why.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
It is good to see this debate underway. Good to hold the tassled-loafer crowd to account. Good to see the Demos burning political capital on appellate court nominees.
What good did we do to be granted adversaries such as these?
Check out the posts/photos below. I guess Goomba's return has got me feeling frisky.
I mean, I even went to the Middle East to interview two Muslim protesters. Well, it's a fake interview, but it really did happen ... or could have.
... Peabody Award-winner Dan Rather's imaginary friend. "Fake may seem 'fake' to you," Rather said after receiving a congratulatory kiss from Buttreall. "He may even be fake. That's not the point. He's a real friend to me." Rather quieted the thunderous applause from the fawning journalists, and then choked back tears to explain, "I perceive, therefore you are wrong."
Imagine for a moment ... explaining to the young Muslim on the left that, yes, Newsweek does deserve to be banned, but we can't do that in America. Even libs are allowed to speak. And then ... in earshot of the young Muslim on the left, explain to the fellow on the right that no, President Bush should not apologize for the desecration of the Koran because a) it didn't happen, and b) he is not responsible for the actions of an American media outlet. Unlike the proposed banning of Newsweek, though, the President is permitted to apologize. Understand guys?
While perusing blank stares from the pair, then proceed to ask the following questions: 1) Hey fellas, who did the signs for you?; 2) So, were the 17 or so deaths justifiable homicides?; 3) How many people were killed in the protests over the animal-like mutilations perpetrated by Zarqawi in the name of Islam?; 4) Have you ever heard of a lutefisk?; and 5) What do you think of the lutefisk desecration riots caused by Newsweek in the Midwest?
Make no mistake. The Democrats are targeting judicial conservatives, in particular people with pro-life views. And in particular women and minorities. The advancement of such people to the federal appellate courts represents an unacceptable political setback and threat to the Left. Miguel Estrada is one such distinguished nominee that the Democrats have already defeated with their hyper-partisan attacks.
Here is the description, in the Democrats' own words, as to why Miguel Estrada was "too extreme":
We must not forget. I will not.
In the 2001 memo to Mr. Durbin, the [Democrat] staffer explained the concerns that the outside groups had about Mr. Estrada.
"They also identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous because he had a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment," the aide wrote.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
I waded through the Morse Code and tapped in a comment. Then, later in the afternoon, Goomba himself emailed me and confirmed that he is preparing a slow, "first gear" return to posting.
This is great news.
No word yet on whether P. Wank will lead a filibuster to the impending appointment of Goomba as "Most High One -- the Great Goomba of the Blogosphere" upon his return. I am not sure if the fragile Leftist psyches ever got used to the Goomba-esqe barbs.
At any rate, this just energizes me. As you know, Nickie has been a great straight guy for me in my efforts in this here blog. We've been through a lot, both been hacked ... although the Nick has been shot up really good. And we became fast friends after an evening of carrier quals at the White House at the Inauguaration Party. And ... I haven't told this before, but ... when Nickie wore my "bo-lo" tie as a thong, THAT was something. But I digress ...
So, keep a sharp eye to see what Goomba is up to. Libs be warned: I have single-handedly surrounded you and gotten whole herds of you stampeding in panic. But when Goomba returns, even if it is only part-time, it is going to be ugly.
The excruciating agony of self-absorbed politicos considering the myriad dire ramifications to befall them as a result of their being forced to take a controversial position on an important issue is just outstanding. Bring it on.
Yes, there is something to be said for consensus and compromise. For sure. But there is also something to be said for the principle that we can't all agree in a free society. There must be winners, and there must be losers on issues. Sometimes the issues are big. Like this one.
I have to laugh at the "compromises" that keep floating around. There are several plans the Demos have floated to get the Republicans to scrap some of the current list of seven appellate court nominees. The Demos have now offered their final "compromise", which was for the Republicans to scrap three of the nominees. And ... oh ... the opportunity to filibuster future nominees, including S.C. picks, would not be allowed except in "extreme circumstances." This is no deal. But it is at least funny. C'mon, laugh.
Let me explain. Okay, where do I start? The seven current judicial nominees that are held up are being held because they are ... let me get this right ... yes, "too extreme". We have heard this mantra over and over by the likes of Kennedy, Schumer, Reid, et al. Yes, the Demos are taking a very principled stand against judicial "extremism" in the likes of Justices Owen and Justice Brown.
I must say, if one is committed to stopping judicial extremists, however, could you ever let even one on the bench? I would hope not. So, why are the Democrats willing to now let four of the extreme 7 make it to prime time? Politics. That's why. These are not extremists. If they were, these nominees wouldn't have made it to their respective positions as state supreme court justices, federal district court judges, and the like.
But now the Demos will take the "extreme" measure of accepting four "extremists" to the appellate bench.
And ... they will only reserve the right to filibuster in "extreme circumstances", like the next time an "extremist" (i.e., a judicial conservative who is a conservative Catholic or evangelical) is nominated for the bench. Sometimes things don't make sense because they don't make sense.
So, Greenjeans and Co. better get ready to debate these nominees (you know, blurting out stuff from FBI files ... Demo-approved tactics for the War on Extremism). Because they are coming.
Sen. Reid complains that the Republicans have "given nothing". They insist on all or nothing, with Pres. Bush's nominees assured of a floor vote.
I say give them something. The Byrd.
Monday, May 16, 2005
So, with the caveat that I am not a prognosticator, I do have some thoughts based upon my observations of statements made by both Democrats and Republicans over the last two weeks, along with my own interaction with the staffs of the various senators.
Here is how I see the overall vote coming down: The Republicans will be able to change the Senate rules to eliminate filibustering of judicial nominees. It may be that Democrats will actually do something smart and vote to stop a filibuster this week (i.e., on either Justice Brown or Justice Owen), but I see this as a less-likely scenario than Republicans actually giving the Demos the "Byrd".
A quick recap of some of the uncertain votes: According to Confirm Them, Sens. Chaffee, Snowe, and McCain's have stated intentions to vote with the Demos on the filibuster issue. Of course, both parties are firing shots across the bow in attempting to force a deal that would keep these very collegial senators from going to war. So, I take these assurances with a grain of salt. However, I do think that at least two of these will probably end up with the Demos. The one most likely to vote with the Republicans? McCain -- (D) Ariz. ... but I will believe it when I see it. Ol' John believes he is President now, and he probably still at least wants to entertain the idea of getting the voters to make it official in 2008. So ...
That leaves six other Republicans in play, according to Confirm Them. (Sen. Roberts, whom I had seen as on board, has released a statement today saying he will, if necessary, vote to end judicial filibusters.) The Demos need to get two of them to abandon the GOP ship to keep on filibusterin'. Here is how I see the remaining six, key senators:
Susan Collins of Maine: A toss-up. Seems conflicted. She looks to be the type that has a hard time ordering at Starbucks, much less deciding on this issue. Hard to say which way she will go, but I think in the end she will vote to end filibusters.
Mike Dewine of Ohio: One of the benefits of Sen. Voinovich's "principle" of last week on the Bolton committee vote is that Sen. Dewine can now show some good ol' midwestern common sense, and thus help Ohio avoid pariah status at the White House. And, oh yeah ... Ohio voted for Pres. Bush is a margin greater than Michigan and Pennsylvania went for Kerry. He will vote with the GOP.
Chuck Hagel of Nebraska: He wants to be McCain so bad ... he wants to be from a swing state so bad ... but he just can't. He will vote with the Republicans. God bless Nebraska.
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: She's on the GOP team.
Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania: In the GOP column. He can use Scottish law, etc. on the floor to vote against Pres. Bush's nominees, like he opposed Judge Bork in 1987.
John Warner of Virginia: Sen. Warner is an old-line, "can't-we-just-get-along?" senator. I mean, we're all friends, right? And dignified? He desperately wants a compromise, but if pressed ... he is more hard-line about being reelected until he is about 100 years old. So, he's in the GOP column.
Thus, the Demos are at least one vote short. Probably two. But it gets worse for them, because I believe that there is one Democrat that we can look for to perhaps vote with the Republicans this week -- Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Look for Sen. Nelson to let down the Demos. Did I tell you that I love Nebraska?
In the end, what the Republicans are proposing (a guaranteed floor vote on the President's nominees) is a reasonable alternative that allows all Senators to vote their consciences on the nominations. No one has to vote to confirm a nominee that a particular senator opposes.
The dirty little secret here is that a lot of senators don't want to be forced to vote ... and have their views exposed to either their constituents or party leadership. Hence, the dedication to a fictitious version of "senate tradition".
There's a simple solution for that: Make 'em vote.
Friday, May 13, 2005
First, listen to this magnificent floor speech by the Demos' senior statesman.
Then, consider the brutal, right-on commentary by Radioblogger about Byrd:
The chief proponent to save the judicial filibuster, the filibuster that never existed before the year 2000, is Robert Byrd of West Virginia. He was once a Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan. He once filibustered against the Civil Rights Act. He acted without any reservation four times to restrict the minority's rights to filibuster by way of a rule interpretation through the Chair four times, exactly like Frist wants to do now once. He wants unlimited debate. He wants to be able to filibuster endlessly. ...Radioblogger elaborates on how Byrd's rambling, nonsensical statement is relevant to the judicial filibuster debate:
I did nothing to this audio other than shorten the long pauses. This is what constitutes debate on the Senate floor. And people wonder why nothing gets done in the upper chamber.Frankly, this sounds to me like Byrd the "born-again" Christian is trying to establish a theocracy. And mandate the King James Version as the only authorized version of the Bible.
If this is an example of why to save the filibuster, I rest my case for now. Esther was a Jew? He's the only guy I know that pronounces the word Jew with four syllables.
Bonus Theological/Political Questions for Liberals: How many years after Byrd's conversion to Christianity did it take for him to learn that it was wrong to a) be in the KKK; and b) filibuster against the rights of minorities to vote?
And ... check out the post below. It seems the Left is rolling out the dastardly lies and character smears as it scrambles to battle stations on the looming nuclear showdown.
See you on Monday ...
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Actually, the following speaks volumes about who is winning this debate and also what kind of people are opposing Senate votes on Pres. Bush's judicial nominees.
There's a Pony, er Rather, in there Somewhere
Incredibly, CBS News has struck again -- with another fictitious story in the middle of an important national debate. Earlier this week, CBS News reported that Ken Starr, formerly the anti-Christ prosecutor of Bill Clinton, had seen the light and now saw the pending Senate vote to end judicial filibusters as a "radical, radical departure from Senate tradition and history" and "an assault on the judiciary", as well. Pretty strong stuff from a noted conservative lawyer, indeed. The only problem is that CBS quoted Judge Starr about Senate scrutiny and approval of judges on the basis of judicial philosophy, not the ending of the Democrats' disfigured judicial filibuster.
In other words, CBS lied. And blatantly so.
Here is how Judge Starr described it:
Harry Reid on the Respect for Privacy
I contrasted the current practice . . . with what occurred during Ruth Ginsburg’s nomination process, as numerous Republicans voted (rightly) to confirm a former ACLU staff lawyer. They disagreed with her positions as a lawyer, but they voted (again, rightly) to confirm her. Why? Because elections, like ideas, have consequences. . . . In the interview, I did indeed suggest, and have suggested elsewhere, that caution and prudence be exercised (Burkean that I am) in shifting/modifying rules (that’s the second snippet), but I likewise made clear that the ‘filibuster’ represents an entirely new use (and misuse) of a venerable tradition ...
Is Harry "the President really is a Loser" Reid for real? I mean, I know he is fighting hard over these judges. For one thing, he wants to protect the the Left's Holy Grail -- the "right to privacy". Except for Pres. Bush's judicial nominees, apparently. Today, Sen. Reid slandered one of the stalled nominees, Henry Saad, with the following statement on the floor of the Senate:
Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway. He's one of those nominees. All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the F.B.I., and think we would all agree there is a problem there.Amazing. These hypocrites argue that Republican-appointed judges would not follow the law, and would willy-nilly disrespect individual rights and the Left's sacred "right to privacy". And then Reid pulls this?
Where is the Democrat moral outrage? Where is the Democrats' McCain? Oh, I forgot. McCain is the Democrats' moral outrage.
How they ever identified this as a "Blog Right", I'll never know. I thought I was fair and balanced, but ... I am grateful to see some liberals tripping over here to be ensnared in truth and logic. Welcome. Open borders here. Like the Bush Administration immigration policy.
A couple of thoughts for you as you ponder your Action Items:
Quote of the Day: "Why should we pay any attention to Sen. McCain? He doesn't listen to any one else?" -- Rush ... via Hugh Hewitt. Love the intersection of the blogosphere and talk radio.
A Word on History: Okay, I will try to be statesmanlike and rational. How do I put this? Okay ... ahem. The Democrats are LYING!! Okay, was that clear? I know some of you are shocked, but there is absolutely no historical precedent for filibustering appellate court nominees. It has never happened before 2000, and one Supreme Court nominee was filibustered briefly with bipartisan support in 1968. It is the Demos who are distorting history and Senate traditions and overly-politicizing the judicial confirmation process. They started this garbage in the Bork hearings, you will recall.
About "Extremism" and the Proverbial "Mainstream": Democrats' claims that they are trying to protect the judiciary from being overrun by judicial "extremists", which Patrick Leahy outrageously likens to "jihadists", are way out of bounds and would be laughable if the tactics were not so way out of bounds. The Demos are just trying to make sure -- by any means necessary -- that no judicial conservative makes it to the appellate bench, especially a minority or a woman. Let's be honest. This is all about politics. Period. Republicans want to get these judges confirmed and Democrats don't like the views of the judges. That's it. But instead of arguing the merits and giving a vote, the Demos label Janice Rogers Brown essentially an "Uncle Tom" and a "jihadist". Why? Not sure. And why can't Demos admit that there are all types of views -- conservative and liberal -- in the mainstream? I am not sure about that, either.
But I do know that they know that ...
The Democrats can not win a national election ... or a national debate on an issue where they show their true liberal colors. So, they demagogue and try to destroy the character of their opponents.
Here is a modest proposal for the very august, sober, and erudite Senate to ponder: If 50 senators vote for a particular judicial nominee ... 50 statesmen representing roughly half the country, give or take because of the distribution of two senators per state, that is ... then by definition, wouldn't such a nominee be in the mainstream? How can a minority define the majority's views as "extremism"?
They're Democrats. That's how.
It's time for something out of ordinary in the Senate ... action. Action that reflects the will of the people.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Tens of thousands of people greet the President in Georgia ... Tblisi, not Atlanta ... as he becomes the first American President to visit the former Soviet Republic. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Ukraine ... people are getting on board. I wonder: Is there any one world leader today more responsible for the worldwide push toward democracy than our President?
Monday, May 09, 2005
Here is the passage that really got my attention:
Americans hate hypocrites most of all. When you meet a guy from the Chamber of Commerce or insurance association, you pretty much know that what you see is what you get: comfort with American culture and values, an upscale lifestyle that reflects his ideology and work, and no apologies for success or excuses for lack of same.Hansen sums up what, in my view, is the the Left's main problem: They appear to be inconsistent hypocrites, and the American public doesn't either like or trust them as a result.
But if you listen to Dr. Dean and his class venom, it hardly seems comparable with how he lives or how he was brought up. John Kerry's super power boat, Teresa Kerry's numerous mansions, Arianna Huffington's gated estate, George Soros's jet, Ted Turner's ranches, Sean Penn's digs — all this and more, whether fairly or unfairly, suggest hypocrisy and insincerity: Something like, "High taxes, government regulation, racial quotas, and more entitlements won't hurt me since I have so much money at my own disposal anyway, but will at least make me feel good that we are transferring capital to the less fortunate."
Worse yet, such easy largess and the cost of caring often translate into contempt for the small businessman, entrepreneur, and salesperson who is supposedly illiberal because he worries that he has less disposable income and is less secure. And when you add in cracks about Wal-Mart, McDonald's, and the "Christian Right" — all the things the more cultured avoid — then the architects of a supposedly populist party seem to be ignorant of their own constituencies.
How do they appear to be hypocrites? Consider the following:
They're for stopping terrorists, you see. They're just against i.d. cards, increased border security, killing large numbers of terrorists, and all manner of aggressive tactics designed to get information from jihadis before they kill Americans.
In fact, they care very much about "torture". They are very, very upset about the panties-on-the-head activities that occurred at Abu Ghraib -- which were, in fact, not torture. Yet, they say hardly a word about Americans being slaughtered like animals by Islamic terrorists.
They claim to support our President in a time of war, but when have they ever praised a thing he has done in the prosecution of the War on Terror? Rather, their rhetoric indicates that in fact they believe that President Bush is more of a threat to national security than OBL or Zarqawi.
They claim to support the troops, but they incessantly talk down the troops' missions and the progress made in Afghanistan and Iraq ... even after two democratically-elected governments have been installed.
They say they are all for the advancement of women and minorities ... unless we are talking about conservative women (i.e., Sec. State Condi Rice and Janice Rogers Brown) or minorities who will be hard on terrorists (i.e., AG Alberto Gonzalez) ... or women for that matter who are mistreated by liberal institutions, such as the U.N.
And you know that the National Organization for Women was all torn up and making lots of noise about Terri Schiavo's estranged husband with two kids from another woman deciding that Terri would starve to death. I mean ... the crickets were deafening. Womens' rights or bust, baby.
But they say they believe in utilizing every procedural safeguard and using all means necessary to save a life, as long as we are talking about a convicted murderer or an animal. To extend such protections to innocent human life amounts to the establishment of "theocracy", you see.
Speaking of theocracy (which they do often these days), they're misunderstood to the extent that people understand them to be down on "people of faith", in particular conservative evangelicals and Catholics. Yet, they rail and actually scream "jihad" about ... Christians, while real "jihad" is being carried out by radical Muslims. They seem to see more of a threat to the republic from fundamental Christianity than radical Islam.
And our liberal friends in Congress are all for people being able to decide where to send their kids so as to escape failing public schools and also to make choices in their retirement accounts ... people in Washington, that is.
Oh, and they're all for gay rights, too ... except for conservatives or supporters of the President. Then, they support all manner of personal attacks and "outing".
That's just a few, folks. Ah, but don't think by pointing these out that any will be remedied. These flaws are structural and likely fatal.
That is, they must be hypocrites ... to at least have a chance of winning by fooling some of the people some of the time. For exposing the Left's real agenda behind the hypocrisy is certain disaster -- it means losing all the time.
Friday, May 06, 2005
I regret to inform you that I have had to work way too much to give proper attention to this blog in general and the nuclear post in particular. I am hopeful to turn this around within the week.
And this I pledge: Before launching the nuclear post, I will announce it and give all members of the Secular/Leftist coalition the opportunity to surrender and/or flee and take cover.
In the meantime ... I have got to get back to work for the American people -- literally. I mean, if they won't let us fix the SS system, then I have got to work to support those three welfare recipients that I am currently supporting. And I've got to make sure I've got the money to send my kids to college so that they can support the two that they are going to have to support.
But, it's okay. It's all for a good cause -- welfare. Good thing libs don't believe in forcing any one to accept behavior they don't agree with.
Finally, I would like to congratulate all the liberal bloggers, especially Charlie, who contribute to Pusillanimous Wankers -- an excellent humor blog. PW is at about at the 10K hit mark. Of course, I am largely responsible for that, for I have found that my logic and discourse have livened up the ol' leftist echo chamber. The discussions have been great: "Stop using facts, you @@#$!" ... "God is dead, but Satan is alive in the White House." Seriously, it has been a lot of fun.
By the way ... how many days since PW pasted up the ol' Krugmaster? I lost count. Just another example of how I am fulfilling my duties and making a difference as Most High Minister of Information Control in this here theocracy. I demand you paste him up there now, PW!! In the name of all things good and decent, give us our Krugman ... and tell us to "Read the rest." Now, before you furiously type a comment back to me with your hair on fire dear leftists, just take a deep breath, please ... But if you want to fire off a missile at me (which would be a very unwise thing since I have the bomb now), that's okay, too. Just remember, I get the laughs when you do this, and I am capable of using the English language deftly at times, so proceed with caution.
Finally, PW and Co. be advised that I head off to worship this glorious Mother's Day weekend to pray God's rich blessings on your lives, that you would be showered with His mercy and grace, and that you would glow such that your tin foil hats would melt all over your tie-die t-shirts.
Until next week ...
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
In the meantime, life interferes with my desire to play at the computer and pontificate and ridicule all forms of liberal life. Yet, I find the whole enterprise is not challenging my supreme blogging talents.
Thus, I shall post ... soon, I hope ... my entry in the "terd in the punchbowl" meme.
My "terd in a 'bowl" will not stink. This, I pledge.
UPDATE: Here's my T-in-a-bowl entry ... for Jess:
Send in the Tongs
Terd in a punch bowl ...
A Christian crashes the Demos' party.
Terd in a punch bowl ...
The laughter and appetites no longer hearty.
copyright 2005 by DC.
I went ahead and copyrighted this masterpiece, to make sure that I get all the royalties I am due. Please note the subtle, yet dark humor. I have taken a disgusting meme and turned it into the blog equivalent of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" (which reminds me ... I am working on a sequel: "Terd in a P-Bowl: Nevermore.")
Okay, I participated in this little meme deal for my Demo pal Jess, but in protest I will not pass it on. Besides, Michael and Ogre have already said all that needs to be said on this subject. Marines have a knack for cutting through ... and commenting on ... the bull. Plus, just because I can polish a terd doesn't mean that other less-talented bloggers can.
Oh, my here's a bonus poem ...
DC Rules the Punchbowl
Terd in the punchbowl ...
Shall we get the tongs and abolish it?
Terd in the punchbowl ...
Or take it to DC and let him polish it?
Copyright 2005 by DC.
Please, stop me ...
Two Demos' Talking about Extreme Terds
Terd in the punchbowl ...
"We could put it in toilet ... or the custard."
Terd in the punchbowl ...
"No. Let's just talk. Let's filibuster."
Copyright 2005 by DC.
Okay ... I need to rest for creating masterpieces wears me out.