Reaction to the death of the megalomaniacal dictator Saddam Hussein runs the full gamut of emotions from joyful celebration by his former victims to outrage from his cadre of supporters.
Iraqi Shiites and Kurds who felt the boot of Saddam's oppression were jubilant at the news of his fate. The Vatican issued a statement through the Holy See's spokesman spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, calling the execution "tragic". The White House issued a statement from President Bush stating "Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial - the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime." Leftists in the United States used this as another opportunity to rail against President Bush and the War in Iraq.
Hugh Hewitt notes that this moment was Brought to You Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue. Mr. Hewitt rightly notes that although President Bush has waged a muddled campaign to restore Iraq and confront the three-headed threat from Iran, Syria and North Korea, yet this President is feared by his enemies who just happen to be the enemies of the United States. Inasmuch as Mr. Bush's conduct in prosecuting the war on terror scares liberals it is anathema to the governments opposed to the United States. The leaders of rogue governments around the world wonder if they would meet a similar fate suffered by the Butcher of Bagdad should they undertake an attack upon the United States and its interests as long as this President is at the helm of our ship of state. As Hugh Hewitt notes, any attack suffered upon the United States by a self-declared foe will be returned in disproportionate measure courtesy of the US Armed Forces under the guidance of their current commander-in-chief.
On a lighter note ScrappleFace offers a tongue-in-cheek dig at Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward with the faux reportage of Bob Woodward's release of a "secret" interview he did with Saddam Hussein "in which the dictator questioned U.S. President George Bush’s rationale for invading Iraq." The piece does have the ring of Mr. Woodward's style of writing and for lack of a better word,....style.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Reaction to the death of the megalomaniacal dictator Saddam Hussein runs the full gamut of emotions from joyful celebration by his former victims to outrage from his cadre of supporters.
Friday, December 29, 2006
The major news services are reporting the death by hanging of Saddam Hussein.
Reuters carries the story here.
MSNBC reports on Hussein's execution, adding that a last minute appeal to a U.S. Federal District Court was denied this evening.
Iraq the Model has the latest news circulating around Bagdad.
The AP reports on the reaction of Iraqi-Americans in Dearborn, Michigan.
From the AP as posted on Yahoo News, "An adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saddam would be executed before 6 a.m. Saturday, or 10 p.m. Friday EST."
Fox News Chronicles the Atrocities of Saddam Hussein. A legacy of shame.
Saddam may hang within hours so reports a senior Iraqi source to Reuters on Friday. Known as "the butcher of Bagdad" Saddam's execution was set to be carried out by Sunday of next week. The former dictator is to be handed over to Iraqi custody which is the prelude to the execution of Saddam Hussein. Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki who signed the warrant calling for Saddam's death by hanging was quoted in Fox News saying "our respect for human rights requires us to execute him, and there will be no review or delay in carrying out the sentence."
The article continues with the Prime Minister's remarks that "those who oppose the execution of Saddam were insulting the honor of his victims." According to Fox News Al-Maliki made the remarks in a meeting with families of people who died during Saddam's rule.
For a reminder of Saddam's brutality see IN DC Bill's story on the "Kay la Nansa" - Kuwait's "Not to Forget Museum".
Allah Pundit says expect some news today at 4PM Eastern time.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Hugh Hewitt enters a post about "The birth of the youthful curmudgeon" regarding his recent interview with blogophobic Joe Rago, an assistant editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal. Rago recently wrote a column in the Journal highly critical of the blogosphere and its readers. Hewitt opens with a direct quote from Rago who surmizes that journalism is “history as refracted through the prism of the unfolding present.”
Who can top an explaination like that?
I thought the four pillars of good Journalism were Thoroughness, Accuracy, Fairness And Transparency. If the teaching of Pretzel Logic has been added to the list at the Nation's top J-Schools then it may help explain a lot about what is submitted as news today.
Hewitt continues in his deconstruction of Rago's anti-blogoshpere motiviation. He notes that lawyers, bankers, doctors and other professionals who blog and are good writers are able to do the job of influencing the political class with greater effect, than the minions of Journalism school graduates who specifically went to school to learn how to write for others. The J-School grads believe that they've paid their dues while attending Board of Aldermen meetings and taking whatever obscure assignments came their way with the aim of building an audience. Now these professional journalists are circumvented by neophytes who upstage them in their ability to influence public opinion.
Continuing his prognostication as to the root cause of youthful curmudgeoness Hewitt writes, "IT HAS TO BE FRUSTRATING for journalists that hordes of bankers, lawyers, professors and other anonymous shlubs can so easily crash their gate. It’s probably still more galling that the gate crashing can only go one way. If the typical journalist said he wanted to give being a law professor a whirl, no matter how skilled he was at refracting history through the prism of the unfolding present, he would find no takers."
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
From the AP via MyWay News, Former President Gerald Ford Dies at 93. President Ford died Tuesday evening at his home at 6:45PM Pacific Time. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country," his wife, Betty, said in a statement.
Gerald Ford was the longest living former American President. Even former President Carter said of him that he was "one of the most admirable public servants and human beings I have ever known."
Funeral arrangements were to be announced today. Our prayers and good wishes go out to his family at this time.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has approved taking down some military roadblocks that have hindered travel for Palestinians in the West Bank. The PM approved the lifting of the roadblocks "to strengthen moderate elements," according to a statement from his office writes Mark Lavie an Associated Press Writer.
The measure is not without opposition reports Lavie, "Brig. Gen. Yair Naveh, warned in a closed meeting that even that would aid Palestinian militants in attacking Israelis, according to security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.".
Call me a little skeptical but I think the radical elements in the West Bank will take this opportunity to show their appreciation for Olmert's magnaminity by lobbing a few Qassam rockets at Israel.
"Ethiopia said on Tuesday it was halfway to crushing Somali Islamists as its forces advanced on the religious movement's Mogadishu stronghold after a week of war in the Horn of Africa." So writes Guled Mohamed, in a current posting on Yahoo News.
Power-Line posts "Troops halp Jon Carry in Irak". Very funny piece on the comeuppance of the Junior Senator from Massassachusetts. John Kerry is ignored everywhere while in Iraq. He can't even get anyone to attend his press conference. Let's hope for more isolation like this for the top Democrats coming into power this session of Congress.
This priecless photo posted by Scott Hennen was taken at the mess hall at the US Embassy yesterday morning.
Joseph Morrison Skelly has a piece up on National Review Online on how at Christmastime sixty-two years ago, the brave men of the 101st Airborne Division fought off the hordes of the Nazi Wermacht's Panzer, Volksgrenadier, and Kampfgruppe Divisions at a town called Bastogne in the Ardennes forest of Eastern Belgium.
These valiant men gave their generation in the words of their acting commander Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, "a worthy Christmas present". This indeed was a present that would endure for that generation and countless generations thereafter.
As said by the Savior who's birth we celebrate this week, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13).
Monday, December 25, 2006
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke: 2:1-16)
The Arrival of the Magi
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.' "
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:1-12) via http://www.biblegateway.com
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas this year. May the celebration of the Savior's birth bring you and your family closer and may His Peace which surpasses all understanding reign in your hearts both now and forever.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Joy Behar of "The View" likens Rumsfeld to Hitler. Not that this woman whom Rush Limbaugh refers to as "that blithering idiot" would know any better. It seems that in order to get on TV these days you just have to say a lot of stupid things.
If Ms. Behar could draw parallels from history she need look no further that the "Friends of New Germany", a group which preceded the German-American Bund of the 1930's. The main goal of the Bund was to promote "peace and friendship between the United States and the (New) Germany" under Adolph Hitler and prevent another war. Sounds great on the surface, and I'm sure it would have tickled the ears of Ms. Behar and her cohorts, but the German-American Bund had a purpose other than peace. Its main goal was to create a clone of the Nazi party in the United States, and sway public opinion in favor of the "New Germany".
Perhaps anxious for peace-at-any-price, had Ms. Behar and other Pollyanna-like liberals been around in the 30's they would have taken the bait the Bund offered and been all aflutter at the chance to speak with and gain an understanding of the leader of the "New Germany", Adolph Hitler. Would they have gone on-and-on about how Herr Hitler only wants peace between our two nations and is looking for some kind of common ground so that we can live in harmony with the new National Socialist Germany? Would they have urged that we conduct a dialogue with Chancellor Hitler? Would they have talked about how the Germans of the 1930's could never accept Democracy as we know it in just the same way they claim today that modern day Iraqi's can never adopt a Democratic form of government? I think it highly likely.
It is often said that those who are ignorant of history, (or just plain ignorant) are doomed to repeat its mistakes. It is uncanny how today's liberals have picked up the talking points of the appeasers and the members of the German-American Bund of the pre-World World II era and run to the defense of indefensible tyrants.
Today liberals bash President Bush because of the war in Iraq and his toppling of Saddam Hussein. They chant "Bush lied while people died" and compare the President to Adolph Hitler, when it is clear from their actions that they would have rushed to Hitler's defense as they did for none other than his successor in the Arab world, Saddam Hussein.
In the 1930's liberals went after Winston Churchill because of his stand against National Socialism which was all the rage among the self-styled elitists of the day. The press pilloried Churchill the same way they scourge President Bush today. The effete elites of that time did not see any threat in the antics of the little Austrian Corporal who became Chancellor of Germany just as they refuse to see any threat in the antics of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Bashar Al-Assad of Syria. No, these high-minded, short-sighted liberals instead flock halfway around the world for photo ops with Bashar Al-Assad in order to look relevant to the press. How Mr. Al-Assad must laugh at the preposterous popinjays who queue up for their chance at a photo-op with "Doctor Bashar".
To sum it up, in life you have the Joy Behar's of the world who close their eyes to the dangers that exist in a sometimes treacherous world and the George Bush's and Donald Rumsfeld's of the world who meet and defeat those dangers head-on.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled that a fourth grader can sing "Awesome God" at her elementary school's talent show. So reports KRISTV.COM an NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, TX.
You GO girl!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Kofi Annan, the sanctimonious plutocrat of U.N. sponsored "Food for Palaces" fame has left the building. The seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations delivered a bitter-sweet farewell address at the Truman museum in Independence, Missouri yesterday as he chided the Bush administration with the charge, "that America must not sacrifice its Democratic ideals while waging war against terrorism". His eminence further noted in another jab at George Bush that, "The Security Council is not just another stage on which to act out national interests,". Mr. Annan refrained from mentioning George Bush by name but instead lauded praise on the late President Harry S. Truman for his role in the founding of the United Nations.
I have a bit of news for the Secretary-General. The thirty-third President of the United States would never have put up with the likes of the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Harry S. Truman whose catchphrase was, "the buck stops here" had no tolerance for the kind of political chicanery entrenched at the United Nations today. President Truman who said, "I hate corruption everywhere," also said, "It is ... immoral to use the lawmaking power of: the Government to enrich the few at the expense of the many, as it is to steal money from the public treasury. That is stealing money from the public treasury.". Compare Harry S. Truman's no nonsense approach to governance to the modern day U.N. with its operative credo of pass the bucks please.
As to the Secretary-General's charge that the Security Council should not be"just another stage on which to act out national interests," I call Mr. Annan's attention to the events of July 7th 1950, when the Truman administration which he applauds pushed through the United Nations Security Council a resolution to fight North Korean aggression on its Southern neighbor with the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 84. Council Resolution 84 was passed in response to the unprovoked armed attack on the Republic of Korea by North Korea. In the resolution which was passed due to the absence of the U.S.S.R., the Security Council "recommended UN member states make military forces and other assistance available to a "unified command" -- the UNC -- under the United States, to repel the North Korean armed aggression and restore international security in the region.".
And yes, the purpose of the United Nations is to serve as a conduit for Nations to make the case for their interests, people and matters of security before the world body politic. The Charter of the United Nations states in Chapter Six Article thirty-three that, "The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.".
Our President has made the case to this world body of the dangers facing our country and of the challenges that lay ahead for the free world. This President has used the tools made available to him to negotiate, enquire, mediate and adjudicate matters pertaining to our national security before the world body. In no way has this President violated the good faith and protocols as established by the U.N. nor has he placed the rights of U.S. citizens on hold while he prosecutes the war on terror as is implied by Mr. Annan.
Other bloggers have summarized their opinions of the Secretary-General's exit from the world stage more colorfully than I have here.
Little Green Footballs: Kofi Annan, Graceless to the End
Michelle Malkin: Good riddance to you, Kofi Annan
The Jawa Report: Good Riddance, You Worthless Piece of .......
A story making the news this weekend regarded a Seattle area rabbi who asked that an 8ft. menorah be placed next to a Christmas tree in the lobby of the SeaTac airport. The request did not seem to be too unusual until it was further reported that the rabbi found the display of Christmas trees at the airport offensive and DEMANDED that the airport authorities put up the menorah or face litigation.
According to posts made by media outlets covering the story including KING 5 TV News of Seattle, SeaTac airport removed the Christmas (Holiday) trees in response to a complaint by a rabbi. The rabbi states that he made no such complaint, does not find the display offensive and simply asked that an 8 ft. menorah be erected alongside the Christmas tree.
Michael Medved vouches for the good character of the rabbi and clears up the errors that he says were made by the media in reporting the story. I believe Michael and the rabbi.
I have to admit, after reading the initial reports made the media on this story I was left with the impression that the rabbi was some sort of villain bent on spoiling the holidays of others.
After reading further information in the light of day it appears the SeaTac people are the ones playing Scrooge.
The Port of Seattle has an update up on their website giving their wimpy, wet noodle position (if you can call it that) on this issue.
Let the SeaTac people know where you stand.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
James Baker and company have made the short journey from all wobbly to total French.
The report submitted by the ISG (Iraq Study Group) released today has been hailed by Democrats and Jihadists alike.
To the Democrats it shows how the failed policies of BushHitler have led us into another quagmire like Vietnam. A gratified Senator Harry Reid stated today that "It's up to the president to fulfill his obligation, in my opinion, to the country, and follow the recommendations of this study group.".
Liberal Republicans, not wanting to be left waiting on the platform as the "peace" train leaves the station chimed in to praise the report. "The report is an acknowledgment that there will be no military solution in Iraq. It will require a political solution arrived at through sustained Iraqi and region-wide diplomacy and engagement." said Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.
The leading lights of the Democratic Party, believe that if we leave Iraq then the insurgents will too. Unfortunately many RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) are joining in the chorus of nay sayers.
To the Jihadists, the report means that their tactics of wreaking havoc in time to meet the daily news broadcasts back in the USA are working. The mere mention of the words Vietnam and quagmire are like the sounds of music to the Jihadis. Their media war is being waged for them by the gulible American press.
The report gives both parties hope.
I sincerely hope that our President finds a nice comfy spot in the round filing cabinet for the ISG report.
Sixty-five years ago today, the nation was attacked by another foe. The generation then were single-minded in their determination to completely and utterly destroy the grave threat facing the nation.
Dave Logan has a nice tribute commemorating that day.
Monday, December 04, 2006
You can see why James Baker and the other members of his Blue Ribbon panel want to cozy up with Ahmadinejad of Iran. A recent proclamation from the illustrious leader before a throng of admirers (probably comprised of members of the Western press) went, "I'm telling you in plain language that as of now on, if you try, whether in your propaganda or at international organizations, to take steps against the rights of the Iranian nation, the Iranian nation will consider it an act of hostility,". Gee kind of defensive for a guy who just wants to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Breitbart has the story here.
Isn't this the same guy who wants to wipe Israel off the map?
Monday, November 27, 2006
A bi-partisan panel is recommending a diplomatic initiative to involve Syria and Iran in the effort to bring stability to Iraq. The panel includes some heavy-hitters from both sides of the Beltway aisle.
From the New York Times, "Several commission members, including some Democrats, are discussing proposals that call for a declaration that within a specified period of time, perhaps as short as a year, a significant number of American troops should be withdrawn, regardless of whether the Iraqi government’s forces are declared ready to defend the country."
That's the ticket; let's get the foxes to watch the henhouse! After all they have a vested interest in what goes on in their neighborhood and the foxes know the lay of the land. Let's not bother ourselves with what goes on in the henhouse after we leave.
My bet is that Ahmadinejad in Iran and Bashar al-Assad in Syria smell blood. They see the weakness of the Democrats and the dithering of the Republicans coupled with the constant defeatist drumbeat of the American Press and they know they have a winning combination. It doesn't hurt their efforts that the American Press can be counted on to relay the talking points of the enemy to the American public.
From the way things are shaping up, the U.S. Media and the Diplomats in Washington and Europe will serve up Iraq to Iran and Syria on a silver platter just to make it go away. Given the tenor of the pronouncements coming out of Western capitals and media outlets these days, expect to see the anschluss of Iraq by Iran and Syria once coalition forces leave. For the mortal enemies of the Jewish nation it will be clear sailing for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to try and implement his final solution for Israel.
I pray President Bush and his Administration will in no way buy into what this group or commissions of similar content are trying to sell.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
The leader of the group believed to go by the name of Tom led the gang onto the ramp for the eastbound train to freedom via Suffern, New York. No doubt they planned to escape the fate they'd be sufferin' at the hands of some Sous Chef in New Jersey.
Earthlink has the holiday story of an escape most fowl.
Friday, November 24, 2006
You thought you had a long pull to the malls this morning. Europeans are flying in to the US to join the fray. Events like after Thanksgiving sales where shoppers queue up to buy gifts at bargain prices are unheard of in Europe. I guess that's one of the benefits of living in a country with a burgeoning economy unencumbered by Socialism.
The Washington Times covers a story of some very intrepid Europeans who make the 4,000 mile journey to shop in the USA and trundle through the aisles of plenty with the maddening herd of holiday shoppers.
With so much going on the world the Democrats have jumped in to make their contribution to the chaos. Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan has talking up his plan to subpoena the Pentagon for documents related to the ramp up for war with Iraq.
With so much time on his hands and tax payer money to spend on useless investigations and so many opportunities for photo ops the Senator must be counting the days and hours until the usual media suspects set up cameras at one of his Soviet era inspired show trials.
What if they gave an "investigation" and nobody came?
Drudge reports that our pals the Russians are sending advanced weaponry to Iran. Gee, any guess as to whose side they're on in the conflict between the US and the mullahcracy in Iran?
Just in time for the holidays, the Russians send rockets, advanced air defense systems and the chief of Russia's nuclear agency. No word yet on that Partridge in a Pear tree.
With friends like this who needs enemies?
Thursday, November 23, 2006
We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving 2006.
We can be thankful for the comfort of our homes, the company of our families and loved ones and for the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
From our nation's founding the leaders of our country have recognized that God has been the source of our many blessings and freedoms. We live in a country that was founded on religious freedom by Pilgrims in search of a place where they could express their faith free from the dictates of the State. The land that we now call the United States of America was founded in the search of God.
We live in a country that is dedicated to the premise that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights," as penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
We can be thankful that we are able to lead peaceful lives here at home because of the courage and dedication of our armed forces who will visit violence upon those who would harm us. We have had no further attacks on this country since 9/11 because of the leadership of our President and the work of brave men and women to protect our nation.
We can be thankful that this booming economy has produced record profits for investors and wage earners alike.
We can be grateful that with an unemployment rate of less than 4.5% anyone in this country who wants a job can have a job. This fact stands in stark contrast to other industrialized nations of the world whose unemployment rates constantly hover at 14% or more.
We are indeed blessed as a nation but we are also a nation at war.
Take some time today to give thanks for our many blessings and pray for our nation and our complete victory in this war against terror and terrorists so that every man and woman serving in the Armed Forces can come home to their families knowing that their mission has finally been accomplished.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
A couple claiming to be Hurricane Katrina evacuees were able to take advantage of the generosity and goodwill of a congregation in Memphis, TN. It seems the two apparent scam artists convinced a local church in Memphis that they were homeless and wanted to settle down in their newly adopted community. After shedding big crocodile tears and telling a harrowing story about their escape from the ravages of the Hurricane, the church ponied up for a $75,000 home for the couple. The couple promptly showed their appreciation by "flipping" the property for $88,000 and then headed back to Nawlins. The unfortunate poor dears gave nary a look back at their benefactors as the "husband" told a TV reporter to "Take it up with God" when asked about the sale of the gift home.
I seem to recall that in the gospel of Matthew 24:12 Jesus says, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,..". Hey, I have a Bible passage for you grifters, “God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
Thursday, November 16, 2006
We often hear about how deals are made in the halls of Congress. "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." as the saying goes. The Russians also have a euphemism for this comerce of deal-making that goes; "Me for you and you for me.". That dynamic is in play in both the House and the Senate as the partisan leadership of both legislative bodies select their members with a mix of high-sounding rhetoric, fraternal back-slapping and old-fashioned horse trading.
John Murtha of Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District is out of contention as the number two man in the House of Representatives pecking order by losing his bid to become the House majority leader. House Democrats overwhelminly chose Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland as the House majority leader. Hoyer's selection is a rebuke to new speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who reportedly has had a cool working relationship with Hoyer dating back to 2001 when Pelosi and Hoyer were at loggerheads to see who would become the House minority whip.
Listed among the reasons for Murtha's 86 - 149 vote loss to Hoyer was that Hoyer traveled to the Congressional Districts of the Freshmen Congressmen who were in tight races to beat their Republican opponents. Hoyer befriended the new Congressmen he had mentored and garnered their loyalty and respect. Trying to move these Congressmen away from Hoyer was going to be difficult to say the least. Reportedly the House members were resistant to pressure by Mrs. Pelosi and her allies to gain votes for her friend, John Murtha.
The majority of House Democrats voted against Murtha recognizing that he was damaged goods given his role as an unindicted co-conspirator in the FBI Abscam probe of the late 70's. During this sting operation FBI agents posed as Saudi shieks offering bribes to Congressmen in exchange for favors such as Aslyum and money transfers out of Saudi Arabia. Murtha was never indicted due to the intervention of Thomas Tip O'Neil who was then Speaker of the House. It was clear from the tape that the FBI had made during their undercover meeting with Murtha that he was open to doing business with the "Sheiks" at a later date but refused to take any money at that time. At the very least Murtha was obligated under House Ethics rules to report the incident of attempted bribery which he did not. So the Democrats took a cue from the "culture of corruption" meme that Mrs. Pelosi asserted was the order of the day for the Republican leaders of the House and in so doing dodged an issue that would come back to haunt them in 2008 election.
In the Senate, the Republicans made Trent Lott the minority whip of their chamber. Senator Lott has a long history in the Beltway and is known as a respected motivator of his caucus and consumate deal-maker. Don't be too surprised next year to see a bipartisan measure to increase the minimum wage. It may be payback for an agreement that dates back to Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate.
Another item to look for next year may be some sort of guest-worker program for illegal aliens. By placing Senator Mel Martinez of Florida at the helm of the Republican National Committee the Bush administration may be looking to gain inroads to the Hispanic vote. Senator Martinez is a proponent of creating a guest-worker program that pundits like Patrick Buchanan refer to as amnesty for illegal aliens. One can only wait and see what comes out of Washington next year.
This is how it's done. To be sure you have idealogues on every issue and on every front but for the most part the wheels of governance are greased by a little give-and-take.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Will the Republicans ever learn? It doesn't look like it. One pundit wryly noted that there are two parties in our Political system; the Stupid party and the Evil party. The Pubs are definitely the Stupid party. Karl Rove the architect of so many Republican victories in the past has tapped Senator Mel Martinez as the next chair of the Republican National Committee.
In the humble opinion of the Rocketeer, Michael Steele would have been a much better choice. The Republicans are probably thinking that they'll head-off trouble in Florida in the future and gain the loyalty of Hispanics because of Senator Martinez's co-authorship of a bill to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.
The Rocketeer is not alone in this assesment. You too can vote for your pick at Hot Air.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
An amusing post by Paul Krugman in the New York Times is dissected by NewsBusters. Krugman salivates at the prospect that we may be watching the death of evil Conservatism. Oh, how exciting for him. He can barely contain his glee at the thought that Conservatism as he writes is an "alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right" that took place he claims in the sixties and seventies has fallen from the American political landscape. He goes on to describe the transition of the GOP as that party of Eisenhower to the party of the Liberal's bogey-man Karl Rove.
Hey Krugman, Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States in the fifties, not the sixties and seventies man!
Everything for Liberals started in the sixties and seventies.
Hopeless scribblers like Krugman got more than they bargained for in the election of Democrats like Jim Webb of Virginia to the US Senate. Senator elect Jim Webb took a moment in his victory speech last week to praise the Marine Corps. Webb's crowd of supporters cheered a little less enthusiastically than they had before he praised the Marines. Then he went on to praise the men and women in the armed services. The crowd got quieter. Then he went on to thank his Republican opponent Senator Allen for the many years of service that he had given to Virginia and how he was going to meet with Allen over lunch this week. You could almost hear a pin drop. It gets better. From PowerLine.
It will be fun to watch the affect this former Marine will have on the oh-so-PC Senate doves in his party.
One of the reasons for the Democratic victory last Tuesday was that many Republicans stayed home. This fact is brought up in more detail by Hugh Hewitt in his Just the Numbers Please post.
As mentioned earlier, there was no massive ground-swell of Liberal sentiment expressed in last Tuesday's election. The victories that Democrats enjoyed were gained by slight margins in almost every race. Republicans who would have otherwise pulled the lever for their candidate chose to sit-out this election as is typical of mid-terms.
More ominous for the Democrats is the specter of Senator Joe Lieberman switching his party affiliation from Independent to Republican when the Senate reconvenes for its next session. This would break the majority the Democrats currently hold by one seat and bring that chamber to a 50 to 50 tie between the parties. Vice-President Dick Cheney would then have the power of a tie-breaking vote in the Senate. No doubt this would bring headaches galore for the Democratic leadership. Dude, what happened to my mandate?
I don't think Senator Lieberman has forgotten how his former colleagues in the Democratic Party turned their backs on him in the August primaries.
Great weather for Veteran's Day Weekend. Relax, take some time to enjoy with your family and remember the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifice and dedication of the brave men and women of the armed forces.
Michelle Malkin has a great piece on remembering Veteran's Day.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
What Happened on Tuesday.
The Republicans had an unsettling loss yesterday. But it was not entirely unexpected.
There were several reasons for the drubbing the Republican Party received at the hands of the Democrats. The Rockette points out that the difference was that the Democrats didn't win as much as the Republicans lost. What does that mean? There were many Republicans who simply sat out the election and stayed home. They were fed up with the performance or better said, non-performance of the Republican leadership.
The first and most important was that they drifted away from their roots. Here was the party of small government out-spending the Democrats! Between their massive Education Bill, and entitlements the Pubs surpassed the days of Bill Clinton's administration and made the Democrats the party of fiscal moderation!
Second was scandal. The GOP had a whole slew of candidates who were morally challenged to put it lightly. Not only did the Republicans have the Mark Foley and Bob Ney scandals that rocked Washington, but other Republican candidates for the Senate and House who were also dealing with scandals involving money, sex and abuse of privilige. Note to the Political class: Voters don't elect their representatives to high office so they can act like Lords and Ladies at Court.
Third was Imigration. The Republicans had no leadership in this area and left it to the opposition to shape the debate and the policy. By the time the House and Senate had a bill ready for the President to sign into law, we were given a proposed seven-hundred mile fence to show for their work.
Fourth was Communication. There was no communication. The Republicans instead went back to their old play book and let the media define the issues. The party of Lincoln had no effective communicator to espouse the policies put forth by the party.
Last was leadership. The House and Senate leadership could not get their caucus to move as one. There were defections of Party members in House and Senate which cost the Republicans valuable time and momentum. Bill Frist in the Senate and Denny Hasterit in the House blew the opportunity they had handed to him in the last election cycle by not leading out on the issues the Republicans took on and did nothing about!
There was one big winner in Tuesday's election. Conservatism. A closer look at the Democratic candidates who won the election reveals a group of people who believe in Second Amendment rights and the right to life itself.
This country, as observed by one of the leading newspapers in England, is a conservative country. The freshmen candidates who won over their opponents and turned the House and Senate over to the Democratic party represent more of the mainstream values of this country than did those of the Republican party who were either tainted by scandal or by the inaction of the last Congress.
People send their representatives to Washington to get the job done. Let's hope the next Congress will put down the partisan rhetoric and actually work together to get the job of running the country done.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Don't forget to vote today!
It is vitally important that you get out there and Vote Republican today.
And as President George Bush said in his closing remarks at the end of one his Presidential debates, "If you're going to vote for my opponent, please only vote once.".
The stakes involved are simply too great. The future direction of the Republic and its very survival are at stake. Orson Scott Card, a loyal Democrat writes a cogent piece "The Only Issue This Election Day" in Real Clear Politics that sums up the stakes involved in this race.
During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem in titled "The Defense of Fort McHenry". It is from this poem that we got our national anthem. The first verse of the poem is familiar to us since we stand to sing the lyrics of this poem at the start of major public gatherings. But have a look at the rest of the poem. This poem speaks volumes about the fight our nation has had to endure through its existence and about the people who held the ideals of the nation aloft during times of adversity. We dare not forget the sacrifice and dangers those early Americans faced in preserving the Nation lest we lose them now in the face of our latest peril.
(The Defense of Fort McHenry)
September 20, 1814
By Francis Scott Key
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war's desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, And this be our motto: "In God is our trust." And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Get out and Vote. And Pray for this great land, its people and its preservation.
God Bless the USA!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Let's play compare and contrast. You're an intellegent denizen of the Internet taking time from your busy schedule to read a post by the Rocketeer.
This Tuesday November 7th as we go to the polls we have a clear choice with two distinct roads that lay ahead. Each political party, Democrat and Republican, offers its own vision of what they want for the USA. One party wants the USA to prosper and succeed and be a force for good in the world. The other Party is lead by Howard Dean.
On the war front the Republican Party is for finishing the job of securing Iraq for the Iraqis and the rest of the people of the Middle East. The Republicans have not disparaged the integrity and intelligence of our military and don’t advocate a “peace-at-any-price” policy when confronting aggression.
On the economy the Republicans have approved a series of tax cuts and business incentives that have resulted in the lowest unemployment rate in five years. We have seen record gains the in stock market and an increase in spendable income for all Americans. In short, the policies of the Bush Administration have brought prosperity to the US economy.
When it comes to ethics we have the Republican Party which has weathered the buffeting of recent scandals involving Rep. Mark Foley’s instant messages to a male page in Washington and Bob Ney’s association with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In both of these cases the Republican Congressmen involved quickly resigned their posts. No attempt was made by the Republican Party leadership to excuse or distract from the behavior of these men.
The Democratic platform for conducting the War is: War? What War? There's a War? The Democratic position on conducting the fight against terror is to let law enforcement handle it. They may not have sorted out their defense policy because they now advocate a mandatory draft. I thought they were opposed to the draft. Hey, do you remember the sixties man? Far out Man! Not content with advocating a turn-tail-and-run solution to Iraq which they euphemistically refer to as “redeployment” the Democrats eagerly take on the talking points of our enemies. How else do you think they earned the ringing endorsements of so many people dedicated to the destruction of the Middle East Policy of the United States? People who want to chase the US out of the Middle East so they can literally turn their guns on Israel. But what then? Awww let law enforcement handle it!
For the economy the Democrats have a solution for that too. Raise taxes! Enact penalties on Corporations, in particular Big Oil! The Rocketeer wonders, how do they power their big limos and SUVs? Patchouli oil maybe? But this isn’t enough for the "greater good". They also want to raise the minimum wage. They want to do it for the little guy. They care about the little guy. They send the little guy holiday cards at Fitzmas. They’re very concerned about the little guy as they motor past him in their climate-controlled-chauffeur-driven-energy-efficient- environmentally-friendly-limousines. They haven’t realized that unlike government grants hte consumer has to PAY for the increased minimum wage. By increasing the minimum wage they introduce scarcity into the marketplace for the little guy when he tries to enter the work force. It now becomes more expensive for an employer (someone who is a necessary evil in the Democratic economic equation.) to hire the little guy. Now your hamburger and fries with a side of your favorite soda will cost you ten dollars at the local fast food outlet. Maybe we should all become vegans. Let's not even begin to talk about what your grocery bill would look like - even for vegans.
When it comes to ethics (in the Democratic handbook ethics is a place to avoid at all costs), their higher ground is a circuitous path of expediency. Who could ever forget Bill Clinton’s most memorable soliloquy, “It depends on what the meaning of the word IS is.” When dirt is revealed within their ranks they quickly circle the wagons and fight any challenges to their grip on power and privilege. For a quick refresher on how the Democrats handle scandal within their ranks you need look no further than how Congressman William Jefferson (D) New Orleans and Senator Harry Reid (D) Nevada handle challenges to their integrity. The Rocketeer has a career tip for the Senator from Searchlight, Nevada: Give up that dead-end day job in the Senate and become a Real Estate Televangelist. A great opening line for your commercials would be, "Hi I'm Harry Reid, I used to be the Senate Minority Leader until I found that I could make REAL money in Real Estate without owning property and so can you! And you won't have to deal those pesky Republicans on the Ethics Committee!".
Despite the charge leveled by House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi that “Republicans have had a culture of corruption” the Dems are strangely quiet when it comes to purging one of their own.
So, which way to vote this Tuesday? Hmmm.
Let's consult the Official Rocketeer Election Ballot.
0 Howard Dean
0 Howard Dean
0 You get the idea.
I know! On November 7th let’s vote for victory in the field of battle, prosperity at home and integrity in public office by voting Republican. The Democratic alternative of humiliating retreat, recession at home from higher taxes, penalties on corporations, bad hair days from the sixties and more business-as-usual deal making in Washington is not a good choice. Not now - not ever.