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« October 2005 | Main | December 2005 »

November 30, 2005

Pelosi Has The Intelligence Of A Turnip, Thankfully

With opposition leader's like Nancy Pelosi...Bill Kristol comments on the unbelievable news conference that Nancy Pelosi held in response to the President's speech at Annapolis today. Turns Jack Reed and John Kerry's press conference into a pack of lies - and they weren't even done speaking yet! An excerpt:

"Pelosi's endorsement today of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq makes the House Democrats the party of defeat, the party of surrender. Bush's strong speech today means the GOP is likely to be--if Republican Congressmen just keep their nerve--the party of victory. Now it is possible that the situation in Iraq will worsen over the next year. If that happens, Bush and the GOP are in deep trouble. They would have been if Pelosi had said nothing. But it is much more likely that the situation in Iraq will stay more or less the same, or improve. In either case, Republicans will benefit from being the party of victory."

Brainiacs in Republican Leadership Unintentionally Help Laffey...Thank God!

K-Lo over at NRO points to this press release and info over at Club for Growth on the ridiculous ad campaign being run against Lincoln Chafee's primary challenger Steve Laffey:

"Press Release on the NRSC's Anti-Laffey Ad Campaign

NRSC ANTI-LAFFEY AD CAMPAIGN BACKFIRES
Following NRSC Ads, GOP Primary Voters More Likely To Support Chafee Challenger
Washington, D.C. — Results from a poll by the Club for Growth, the nation’s leading free-market advocacy organization with over 33,000 members, show that a Rhode Island TV ad campaign by the National Republican Senatorial Committee designed to help liberal incumbent Senator Lincoln Chafee appears to be angering core Republican voters and driving up support for his Republican primary challenger, Cranston, Rhode Island, Mayor Stephen Laffey.

The poll of 300 Republican primary voters was conducted by National Research Inc. on Nov. 14-15. The poll asked whether respondents had seen television ads about Stephen Laffey. Among those who had, three out of four respondents said the ads either made them more likely to support Laffey or had no effect. Among those who reported that the ads affected their views, nearly three out of five of those (or 58%) respondents reported they were more likely to support Laffey.

“From bridges to nowhere to campaign ads that have the opposite of their intended effect, some Republicans in Washington are proving that they are simply no good at spending other people’s money effectively,” said Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth. “If the NRSC really wants to win the support of GOP members in Rhode Island, they should try encouraging Sen. Lincoln Chafee to vote for what the Republican party is supposed to stand for — a pro-growth agenda of limited government, lower taxes and less federal spending.” The poll produced the following results:

"THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE IS SPENDING MONEY ON ATTACK ADS AGAINST STEPHEN LAFFEY, A FELLOW REPUBLICAN HERE IN RHODE ISLAND. DO YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BE SPENDING MONEY ON THIS NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN, OR SHOULD THEY BE SPENDING MONEY AGAINST DEMOCRATS INSTEAD?

SHOULD BE     9.3%
SPEND AGAINST DEMOCRATS     71.7%
DON‘T KNOW/REFUSED     19%

HAVE YOU SEEN ANY TELEVISION ADVERTISING OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS ABOUT STEPHEN LAFFEY?

YES     61%
NO     35.3%
DON‘T KNOW/REFUSED     3.7%

AND DID THE ADVERTISING MAKE YOU MORE LIKELY OR LESS LIKELY TO VOTE FOR STEPHEN LAFFEY IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR U.S. SENATE?

MORE LIKELY     33.9%
LESS LIKELY     24.6%
NO EFFECT/UNDECIDED     39.3%
REFUSED     2.2%

“Washington-based Republicans’ elevation of incumbency protection over principle is disgusting rank-and-file GOP members. Great numbers of them are hoping for leaders who advocate returning the party to the pro-growth agenda that helped it achieve a governing majority in the first place,” concluded Toomey. “While I’m sure Mayor Laffey actually appreciates the results of the NRSC’s ads against him, it’s a sad commentary on the state of the Republican party leadership in Washington.”"

If they backfire this well, perhaps we can encourage the NRSC to do more ads against Laffey!

The Democrats' Response...

The Democrats responded like they hadn't read the Strategy for Victory or heard the President's speech. Reed and Kerry pranced out and said the President hadn't told the American people what it would take to succeed. Yes, he did. Then Kerry made the claim that Democrats never were looking for a timetable for withdrawal, they were looking for a "timetable for success to determine when to draw-down the troops".

What the hell is a "timetable for success"?! And how is the statement by Kerry above not a timetable for withdrawal?! And Kerry has said (last month in a speech at Georgetown) that there must be a strictly adhered to troop reduction schedule in order to defeat the insurgency?! What's that, the "Kerry Run Away and We'll Win" strategy?! And Democrats have been screaming for troops to come home for months now, regardless of the needs on the ground (see Murtha)! The rest of Reed and Kerry's comments were just embarrassing. If they didn't have the help and support of the media in distorting what is going on, they'd be laughing-stocks. And they deserve to be laughing-stocks.

The President's Speech

Here's the text of the President's speech this morning:

"9:45 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:    Thank you. Thanks, please be seated. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome. It's good to be back at the Naval Academy. I'm pleased to provide a convenient excuse for you to miss class. (Applause.)

This is the first year that every class of midshipmen at this Academy arrived after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001.    Each of you has volunteered to wear our nation's uniform in a time of war -- knowing all the risks and dangers that accompany military service.    Our citizens are grateful for your devotion to duty -- and America is proud of the men and women of the United States Naval Academy. (Applause.)

I thank Admiral Rempt for his invitation for me to come and give this speech. I appreciate Admiral Mike Mullen. I'm traveling today with a man who's done a fine job as the Secretary of Defense -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. (Applause.) Navy aviator, Don Rumsfeld. (Applause.) I'm proud that the Governor of the great state of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, and his wife, Kendel, is with us.    Thanks for being here, Governor. (Applause.)

I so appreciate that members of the United States Congress have joined us, starting with the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John Warner of the state of Virginia. (Applause.) Former Secretary of the United States Navy, I might add. (Applause.)    Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Congressman Pete Hoekstra. (Applause.) From the state of Arizona, Congressman John Shadegg. (Applause.) And from the state of Indiana, Congressman Mike Pence.    (Applause.) I'm honored you all came, thanks for being here.

I appreciate the Mayor of the city of Annapolis, Mayor Ellen Moyer, joining us. I want to thank all the state and local officials. I want to thank the faculty members here. Thank you all for letting me come by. (Applause.)

Six months ago, I came here to address the graduating class of 2005. I spoke to them about the importance of their service in the first war of the 21st century -- the global war on terror. I told the class of 2005 that four years at this Academy had prepared them morally, mentally and physically for the challenges ahead. And now they're meeting those challenges as officers in the United States Navy and Marine Corps."

Continue reading "The President's Speech" »

South Park vs. Al Quaeda

In one of the funniest, yet most insightful, articles that I've ever seen ex CIA head James Woosley write, he and his family shows us the secret weapon against Al Quaeda, and terrorism in general, that all of us have within us - humor and mockery. Terrorists do their thing in order to create enough of a sense of terror - of imminent danger - to cause a change in our behavior that benefits their ends. Hence the name. Now it's not easy to find humor in people being killed in front of you, nor when you have a bomb sitting next to you, but you have to admit that there is something mockable in the seriousness that the terrorists view themselves and their cause. And if its mockable, then it can be made to be humorous. Not the acts of terrorism, but the terrorists and their causes. The Woosley family notes that the best evidence of this is on South Park, and specifically in the creators of South Park's (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) movie Team America- World Police, which fillets North Korea's Kim Jong Il. When you can really laugh in the face of something terrible, that terrible thing forever loses its control over you. Then it just becomes something else to eliminate from your life, and in extreme cases, the world.

How to Lose a War...

You might think that I'm referring to the speech now being made by my other Senator, Jack Reed, and John Kerry in response to the President's speech on Iraq. No, actually I'm referring to another thing that just as well could have been cooked up by them - a recent command from the Pentagon that restricts an individual soldier from acting in self defense. In a column on Townhall, Kathleen Parker informs us that:

"In June, the Pentagon changed its Standing Rules of Engagement to allow commanders to limit individual self-defense by members of their unit. Interpreted for me by two Army judge advocate general officers (JAGs), this essentially means that soldiers and Marines may not have the individual prerogative to fire upon an enemy when they are faced with an imminent threat of death or serious injury.

That belongs only to commanders, who may not be present to make a decision every time a soldier or Marine faces a deadly threat."

What?! Now Parker goes on to say that the rule was designed to help prevent killing innocents (a noble cause), but she then correctly quotes critics as saying that the only way to achieve that is by better training. Not a stupid rule such as this one, obviously drawn up either by one of our enemies or a trial lawyer (you pick). Sheesh!

Hugo Chavez Buys US Politicians...

To great fanfare, Hugo Chavez has agreed to supply Massachusetts (and I believe New York) discounted home heating oil in a deal that was brokered by Mass Democrat Representative William Delahunt. The Wall Street Journal has an editorial on it in today's edition. It's being spun as "We know he's a bad guy, but it's for the children...", but it really is a troubling development. Because of what is going on in other areas of the world, American's are largely ignorant about what is going on in South America. And you're not going to get any real sense of who and what Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, is from any of the media, who seem happy that Chavez sticks it to Bush anytime he can. Chavez is a monster that we will have to deal with in some way or another in due time - that a Mass Democrat and a Kennedy sucks up to him is disturbing but not surprising. Here's some quotes to give you a gist of what's going on:

"Money can't buy love, unless you're Anna Nicole Smith. But these days a little heating oil can buy friends in Washington, especially when they come as cheap as Democrat William Delahunt. Massachusetts wants bargain oil prices to help it through the winter. Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chávez wants influence in Washington. Leave it to the Congressman from the Commonwealth and a Kennedy to close the deal.

Last week Venezuela announced that its U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum would sell 12 million gallons of home heating oil at a 40% discount to help the poor in Massachusetts. The deal was announced by Mr. Delahunt on the lawn of a beneficiary before Thanksgiving, with Congressman Ed Markey at his side. "This today is about people, it's not about politics," Mr. Delahunt said with a straight face. Massachusetts-based Citizens Energy, run by the Kennedy clan, will be one of the distributors."

And here's who Chavez and Delahunt are:

"Mr. Chávez came to power in 1999. In seven years he has a domestic record of human rights abuses, election fraud, property confiscations a la Zimbabwe's Mugabe, erosion of the independent judiciary, limits on press freedom and militarization. His best friends include Fidel Castro, the Iranian mullahs and Colombia's FARC terrorists.

The Bush Administration is worried about all this, but Mr. Delahunt has no qualms. After Mr. Chávez was briefly deposed in 2002 because of his use of violence against dissent, Mr. Delahunt visited Venezuela and proclaimed, "I think he's learned from this. I think he understands that healing and reconciliation are the true qualities of leadership, not division." Mr. Chávez's attacks on his critics have since worsened.

Mr. Delahunt returned to Caracas to dine with Mr. Chávez in August and was asked whether he might be acting in opposition to U.S. policy. "I don't work for Condoleezza Rice. I don't report to the State Department. I report to the people who elected me in the state of Massachusetts. I belong to an independent branch of government."

Which would be more accurate if it were possible for Massachusetts to have a separate foreign policy. Mr. Delahunt's lobbying for the dictator undermines any official U.S. pressure on Mr. Chávez to behave more humanely, which is precisely why Mr. Chávez is returning the favor by plying Mr. Delahunt with cheap oil.

For less pliable Americans, el jefe del Caracas has a different policy. On Monday, a U.S. Congressional delegation led by House International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde and ranking Democrat Tom Lantos was barred from entering the country and held aboard their aircraft for two hours. The delegation's itinerary had been known to Venezuelan officials for weeks. For a little more discount oil, perhaps Mr. Delahunt will explain to his colleagues how this was all just one big misunderstanding."

Victory in Iraq

The National Security Council just released a new document entitled Victory in Iraq (caution pdf file!). I've just glanced over it, it's pretty good - summarizing all of the points that the Administration has been making over the past few months in one document. I only wish they had done it earlier. The President will be making a speech at Annapolis this morning, I'll report back later.

November 29, 2005

A Nod To Joe Lieberman

Senator Joe Lieberman has one of the strongest and clearest articles on Iraq that I've seen recently over at OpinionJournal.com. The courage that this man has to be able to speak like this as a member of today's Democrat Party is remarkable. If he were to run for President, then there would be a real choice for many people like me. But he, and his "Scoop Jackson" kind, have no chance or place in a Democrat Party led by Howard Dean and run by Moveon.org and DailyKos. Some quotes:

"Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory."

"...Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do. And it is important to make it clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still but has changed over the years. Mistakes, some of them big, were made after Saddam was removed, and no one who supports the war should hesitate to admit that; but we have learned from those mistakes and, in characteristic American fashion, from what has worked and not worked on the ground. The administration's recent use of the banner "clear, hold and build" accurately describes the strategy as I saw it being implemented last week."

"...I cannot say enough about the U.S. Army and Marines who are carrying most of the fight for us in Iraq. They are courageous, smart, effective, innovative, very honorable and very proud. After a Thanksgiving meal with a great group of Marines at Camp Fallujah in western Iraq, I asked their commander whether the morale of his troops had been hurt by the growing public dissent in America over the war in Iraq. His answer was insightful, instructive and inspirational: "I would guess that if the opposition and division at home go on a lot longer and get a lot deeper it might have some effect, but, Senator, my Marines are motivated by their devotion to each other and the cause, not by political debates."

Thank you, General. That is a powerful, needed message for the rest of America and its political leadership at this critical moment in our nation's history. Semper Fi."

Thank you, Senator Lieberman...

Whatever Happened to Katrina?

Two excellent Katrina pickups by Stephen Spruiell's Media Blog over at NRO. He notes that Howard Kurtz is wondering why Katrina isn't a focus of the media anymore, even though people are still suffering. Duh. Spruiell posits, and I agree, that it remained on the front page only as long as it could be used against the Bush Administration. He then says that the media went on to bigger 'get Bush' stories, like the Delay indictment, etc. I recognize that, but I think that the real reason they put the story on the back-burner is because the MSM's original spin began unraveling. FEMA should have been there first only works until people realize that FEMA shouldn't have been there first - they're not first responders. Deserted buses, local authorities not letting the Red Cross in, Nagin not ordering a mandatory evacuation until he was told to by Bush, and stories like this started to get real play in the media - and the media ran scared. Just wait until the big story comes out - the corruption, graft, and mismanagement associated with the levee associations, all run by Democrats for decades. We'll hear nary a peep, methinks...

The second Katrina story that Spruriell links to is an article on Reason by Matt Welsh titled "They Shoot Helicopters, Don’t They?" which just tears into the myths spread by journalists during Katrina. I mean they were just horrible. And the media is still congratulating themselves over the coverage!

"From a journalistic point of view, the root causes of the bogus reports were largely the same: The communication breakdown without and especially within New Orleans created an information vacuum in which wild oral rumor thrived. Reporters failed to exercise enough skepticism in passing along secondhand testimony from victims (who often just parroted what they picked up from the rumor mill), and they were far too eager to broadcast as fact apocalyptic statements from government officials—such as Mayor Ray Nagin’s prediction of 10,000 Katrina-related deaths (there were less than 900 in New Orleans at press time) and Police Superintendent Edwin Compass’ reference on The Oprah Winfrey Show to “little babies getting raped”—without factoring in discounts for incompetence and ulterior motives.

Just about every local official and emergency responder with access to the media in those first heartbreaking days basically screamed, and understandably so, for federal assistance. With their citizens stranded, desperate, and even dying, with their own response a shambles, and with their families and employees in mortal jeopardy, they had ample temptation to exaggerate the wretchedness of local conditions and ample fatigue to let some whoppers fly."

Welch is way too kind to the journalists and their motives. And they were missing the biggest story of what was going on - while talking heads were screaming "Where are the Feds?", they were there. An estimated 50,000 people were evacuated by the Coast Guard and the military in the first few days. These were people stranded in neighborhoods and stranded on rooftops. While the cameras focused on the Superdome, heroic work was being done elsewhere. It just didn't fit into the media's storyline.

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