Sunday, July 31, 2005

Mrs. Doubtfire & Other Terror Suspects

A few excellent posts from Charles Krauthammer and another from Tunku Varadarajan of the Wall Street Journal (both courtesy of RealClearPolitics) on terror profiling.

It reminds me of the movie Airplane where the old lady is violently frisked, as the middle-eastern terrorists walk past with the bandoliers and rocket launchers. And it would be just as hilarious, if the consequences were not so obviously deadly.

The noble (or naive) decision not to use profiling to detect terrorists raises a single question (besides the obvious "Why!?!?"): Who are we afraid we will offend? The terrorists?

The left equates profiling enemies with Japanese internment camps during World War II. But wasting ten minutes of these peoples' time at mass transit checkpoints to inspect them for weapons is a little different from rounding them up as a population and disrupting their lives for a period of years. And it does not violate equal protection. Nobody is being treated differently under the law in a way that matters. And a momentary inspection to achieve a compelling governmental objective will certainly pass muster. Inspection of individuals at certain public checkpoints makes sense. It also makes sense to focus our efforts on people who actually fit the profile.

People will get offended, but we need to get away from the notion that the Constitution protects us from having our feathers ruffled. Re-read it. It doesn't. Society will irritate, and protection from harm will potentially rub against certain individuals who meet the known characteristics of terrorists. And we do not have to cater to the most easily offended elements of society or their serial defenders.

I really didn't object to being frisked. But I did object to the fact that the only people in the search queue were those who were least likely to be terrorists by the profile. Profiles aren't perfect, but we're only kidding ourselves with our own politically correct arrogance if we think that such a completely silly approach has any affect.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Bob Herbert Has Finally Lost It

Bob Herbert of the New York Times has run out of criticism for the Bush policies in Iraq, so he has decided to return to Michael Moore's bubbling cauldron of hate and lies, and wasted precious electricity, paper and ink to do it.

Here is his latest post. It's a must read, if only to figure out where the far left is going. We've gone back to "blood for oil". Have they run out of material that quickly?

His first sentence already has him going wrong. "It is now generally understood that the U.S.-led war in Iraq has become a debacle." Which is why there are so many calls from the general citizenry to pull out. I don't think so.

But in any case, his argument is essentially that an elected government could not possibly survive in Iraq. It's the typical leftist arrogance. Because they don't have Herbert's enlightenment, they couldn't possibly aspire to a democratically elected state.

Herbert gives a bunch of cute justifications of why we should never have opposed Saddam. Saddam was better at hiding WMD than we were at finding them, we supported him against Khomeini in the Iran-Iraq war (meaning we could never oppose him again, of course), and there was no link between Iraq and al Qaeda, despite Stephen Hayes' article "Case Closed" which did away with the silly argument that Herbert offers. Yet the favors his own ignorance over the facts.

But that's not the big point. Herbert, going past the quagmire statements and past the prayers that our effort in Iraq will fail, goes straight for the right wing cabal and Fahrenheit 9/11. He accuses the Republicans and "necons" of trying to take over the world's oil supply to create an American empire. Forgetting that that is exactly what Saddam Hussein tried to do in 1990, he makes it appear as if conservatives want to see Darths Cheney and Bush with the Emperor Buckley ruling the world. The only thing missing from this article is the word "Halliburton". This would be objectionable if it weren't so completely silly.

But it is bitter partisan screaming that detracts from the public debate. It is talk that indicates that these people WANT America to fail and want American servicemen to get killed.

Leftists like Bob Herbert want the facts in Iraq to equal their rhetoric (which they don't). And if you have relatives over there fighting, as I am about to, they want to watch them fail. They would love nothing more than another Vietnam with American blood liberally spilled.

And wait until the 300th serviceman dies in either Iraq or Afghanistan. At that point, they will trash the airwaves with screams that we lost as many people in these wars as we did in the 9/11 attacks, meaning that the number lost in the war exceeded the number we lost in the attack which gave the war its genesis, making it, for reasons known only to them, a waste. Because everyone knows that a war cannot lose more lives than the attack that started it...nobody ever accused the left of being rational. We lost 300,000 in World War II, despite losing over one-one thousandth of that at Pearl Harbor. Would that Hitler tried his effort in this day. The American left would make his work most easy.

Rosie O'Donnell - The Queen of Mean

Rosie O'Donnell could have rivaled Oprah. The "Queen of Nice" was someone who got the attention of soccer moms across the nation. Yes, it was believed that she was probably a lesbian, but people put that aside, because she seemed to be pulling an Elton John or Freddie Mercury: her lifestyle was her own business and she did not make it America's business. She was about being "Rosie" not Rosie the lesbian.

And then things changed. She was abusive to guests, most notably Tom Selleck (whose presence makes most of her audience swoon), and putting her sexuality on her sleeve. The Queen of Nice title quickly was replaced, almost overnight with the Queen of Mean.

And with good reason. Take a look at this post from Michelle Malkin who minces no words. Rosie and her unlucky lesbian lover had a child, and the mother was nursing the baby. Until, that is, Rosie had her say. She didn't like the fact that the baby was bonding to the mother and not to Rosie. So Rosie demanded that the mother stop. To use her own quote on the topic, "I'm like, 'You've had your limit, honey, no more!'" Rosie demanded that the baby stop the best kind of feeding around so that Rosie could benefit to the baby's detriment. Selfish, obnoxious, and shameless.

And think about it this way. What if a creepy father demanded that his wife stop breastfeeding because he didn't want the baby developing an attachment to the mother but rather to him, and demanded that she bottle-feed? Women everywhere would be up in arms. Issues of choice, matters of gender politics, and the character of the father would be dragged out and dissected, with the father being the ultimate loser. So why not here?

Does the fact that Rosie is also female negate the issue that she cut off a baby from her nursing mother? Does the fact that she is a belligerent and noisy liberal gay insulate her from criticism for such proud and boorish selfishness? Do her wants trump the needs of the mother and baby?

The double standard is striking. A baby's needs come second to an obnoxious, self-righteous liberal woman. But it's been that way since Roe anyway.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Roberts - Neither A Conservative Nor Liberal Be

Conservatives could end up being John Roberts' worst enemies.

Ann Coulter has already said that she does not know just how conservative Judge Roberts will be, and as a result is withholding her support. Similarly, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) one of the more conservative members of the Senate, says he needs plenty more information on Roberts before he can support his nomination. they are just a few of the many who are right of center, asking just how conservative the judge will be. Which is just the inquiry conservatives must avoid.

He may indeed be conservative. Or he may be pro-choice. These considerations are largely irrelevant. Our inquiry needs to be his judicial philosophy, meaning what does he believe about the Constitution and laws of the United States and the roles of judges? Is the original intent of the Framers to be derived from the Constitution or are more modern political meanings to be put into them? And are judges mere interpreters who ensures that the laws keep with the documents that form our social contract (the Constitution) or do they also have the power to alter the meaning of statutes and the Constitution itself?

So I'll offer a fairly daring opinion:

We don't want a justice who is going to claim to be a "conservative". If we do, we do the same things the Dems do when they seek out people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. They are both reliable liberals who legislate their beliefs from the bench. As such, that makes them unfit. And it makes their rulings unfair, because a judge who refuses to apply applicable law to a case or creates or strikes laws based upon their own political beliefs, changes the playing field underneath the players in the middle of the game.

If laws are changed for political reasons (as opposed to reasonable Constitutional grounds which create no new legal standards), people have no notice of the behaviors which society expects of them. Partial birth abortion prohibitions are stricken because they make no provision for the health of the mother. But "health of the mother" is not a Constitutional standard--it is one borne of feminist politics and a lay perception about medicine. The Roe discussion of trimesters was equally extra legal. Somebody just thought it was "fair". And Plessy v. Ferguson, a decision based in Jim Crow politics said, essentially, that the 14th Amendment didn't really matter if you were black, because the separate accommodations were "equal".

But a judge who refuses to inject his or her own beliefs into their decision of others' cases, but rather applies all of the applicable law to the situations before them, whether they agree with the law or find its drafting to be inartful, is doing a public service.

And insisting upon a conservative as opposed to an originalist justice may work a disaster in the end. Conservatives can be political hacks like anyone else with no respect for the law. And after years on the bench, may make the grave error of reading their own press and decide to be "generous" to the other side. See David Souter--widely believed, and with good reason, to be a conservative, who is a reliable liberal activist.

An originalist feels no allegiance to anything but the law itself, to which there is only one side.

I'd love to see Roe overturned. I'd love to see all 50 state legislatures take up the matter. I'd love to see Roper (states cannot use death penalty for juvenile murderers) and Lawrence (sodomy cannot be outlawed by states) overturned.

But I don't want politics making that decision. I want it to be on the law or through the Congress. Because many of the left's most dear policies are the result of judicial activism. And though they cheated in the open to get them, I'd like the satisfaction of beating them fairly.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

'Gating a Presidency

The toppling of Richard Nixon was the high water mark for investigative journalism. They did a good service in rooting out renegade behavior in the White House.

And they haven't stopped looking for their second shot. RealClearPolitics had a piece by Michael Barone which lays out the fact that the leftist media have not stopped in their desire to inject themselves into history, rather than just reporting it.

Interestingly, the media sat out their now-resumed effort to bring down a president during the most scandal-laden Administration of the modern era, that of Bill Clinton. And were it not for media and Hollywood pressure in the other direction, casting several acts of perjury as a private sexual matter to be dealt with by the Clintons themselves, he may have come close to removal after a Senate trial.

So to be very clear, Barone's observations are quite appropriate, as the left has cried wolf much too often. But the media's wolf crying seems to be done only against Republicans.

Discovery Odds

Discovery will be (barring anything really unusual) lifting off this morning. The odds from what I hear are 1 in 100. For comparison, the chances of an airline disaster are about 1 in 2,000,000.

But if invited to go, I'd most certainly go. Who wouldn't? Exploration isn't a safe thing. It's about going into the unknown, taking risks, and giving us information to build on for tomorrow.

Take our people safely to the skies, Discovery. And bring them home just as safely.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Big Labor Shrinks A Tad

It seems that the AFL-CIO is going to lose a bit of power. Numerous union organizations, including the teamsters, and various service employees unions are departing the AFL-CIO.

It's easy to see why. Union members used to be one out of every three private sector employees. Now they are less than 8%. Any number of things would have caused it, but chief among the issues are that the unions have become anachronisms. They have been unable to protect workers from the vast workplace changes that have taken place over the past twenty years, but have continued to exact dues with fewer and fewer results.

Their president, John Sweeny, has become more of a hack for the Democrats than an advocate for the people whose money he takes but for whom he produces few results. Sure, the minimum wage may get boosted, but then certain folks get laid off because the costs of employment go with it.

The splinter groups will try to rival the power of the AFL-CIO to create some competition, but I think that this will only hasten both of their deaths. Labor unions were highly relevant when the manufacturing sector was heavily labor dependent. Today, automated factories have done away with the need for as much in the way of human labor. Make no mistake, the need exists, but not to the extent that it once did.

Despite the fact that they have become largely political organizations, and one of the chief financiers of the Democrats, labor unions have done much good in the 19th and 20th centuries. They increased our standard of living by demanding higher wages for the people that made corporate profits possible. As a result, businesses are remiss not to reward employees with decent salaries and benefits packages. And those employees spend that money, keeping the economy fired. Also, we owe them the two-day weekend. Things which we take for granted now were things that the unions fought to provide.

But it seems that the Jurassic period is ending, and the AFL-CIO dinosaur may be about to prepare itself for fossilization. Good luck to those who seek to adapt organized labor to the peculiarities of the 21st century. And good riddance to an organization that lost its direction and purpose.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

John Kerry Misses The Irony

"We cannot do our duty if either Judge Roberts or the Bush administration hides elements of his professional record," said Massachusetts Senator John Kerry yesterday, firing a shot at the President's Supreme Court nominee.

Really now?

Of course, it might have "helped" if we had known Senator Kerry's complete and unedited military service history last year, as the version we received in the spring was pretty clearly the beneficiary of expungement of some form. But he refused to sign off on the form to release all of his records, despite promising to do so. He was for it before he was against it, it seems.

But aside of Kerry's glaring double-standard chuckler, the Dems are seeking documents which may be protected by the attorney-client privilege. Administrations have a right to the advice of counsel, and same is not waived when their counsel is appointed to a judgeship. No, not even when it's a perpetually discontent bunch of Senate Democrats requesting the privileged documents. I don't care what's in them, but the Democrats' witch hunt needs to have its boundaries.

Also, it came to my attention through the linked article that Judge Roberts had some involvement in the Florida 2000 recount, and the Democrats want to know about it. Which says zilch about his qualifications, but makes a few matters quite clear. The Dems are still furious about Florida 2000, and that anyone who participated in the crime of "stopping the voting," "disenfranchising minorities," "preventing 'every vote' from being counted," etc. (i.e. preventing them from stealing a close election) is unfit the bench. Meaning that their goal of pulling the steal was thwarted, causing the ultimate indignity--the election of George W. Bush. Of course, that raises an interesting aside question...if Laurence Tribe or David Boies were nominated by a President Gore or a President Kerry, would the Democrats find them acceptable despite their own efforts to permit unequal standards in vote counting or the pernicious exclusion of military ballots which while secured contained no postmark? Just wondering.

But this raises a greater point. I had thought that as a result of Schumer & Leahy's rather muted reaction to Roberts' nomination that they had essentially decided to save the fight for another day. Katie Couric and Matt Lauer could only get Ted Kennedy in to talk down the nomination on the morning after. But in order to keep the caucus together to make a future attack on a future nominee look legitimate, one would have to lock the nuts in the basement until the whole event was over, and then proclaim their own magnanimity. But Senator Mensa-Boxer was loose, making predictable comments about abortion and other reproductive and gender issues. Ted Kennedy is unrestrained. Now John Kerry. I think they cannot help themselves, and I am fairly certain that they cannot keep their special interest laden constituency happy without a socially unacceptable and embarrassing show trial that will turn off voters.

Self control is not one of their strong suits. The goal may indeed have been to let this battle go. But between their inability to control the morons in their caucus and their record of uncollegial behavior over the past five years, I cannot imagine that these juvenile people will allow any opportunity for another self-inflicted humility lesson to pass.

Yesterday's Roundup

I had a wonderful post ready, but lost it when the publishing software failed to operate properly. The joys. In any case, I'll spare you the lengthy rundown, and just give you the thumbnails.

London Subway Part III

The Brits got off easy on Thursday when four separate bombs failed to fire properly in a copycat attack to 7/7, causing no casualties. It exposed breaches in their security which I am certain was properly embarrassing. But their response yesterday was redeeming. They shot a man who was linked to the failed bombings entering the Underground, and running from police. And when they had him cornered, with an overcoat on a hot day, they shot him, as he appeared to be about to do something desperate. The big issue here is that this was London, not New York. The British police don't regularly carry firearms. But this guy got the attention of quite a number of police who unloaded at least five shots into him. It seems the Brits are in the game.

And this says much about the ongoing war on terror. The terrorists are becoming significantly more limited in their abilities. I have tired of hearing from the left that each and every terrorist attack is evidence that the civilized world is losing the war on terror. Such simplistic and fatalistic thought ought to be regularly dismissed out of hand, and the persons speaking of it should be branded as fools. Presuming that casualties are evidence of failure presumes that our efforts both at home and abroad to prevent terror must guarantee a 100% success rate to be legitimate--an impossible and unfair burden. Which further presumes that if they are not perfect that they may as well not be tried at all. Which is much like saying that the Battle of the Bulge was reason for the Allies to surrender to the Nazis, despite the fact that it was the enemy's last significant stand.

Mike Bloomberg - Not A Giuliani

Mike Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, is great when he follows Rudy Giuliani's lead. And he is worthless when he doesn't. To wit, his response to the London attacks. Bloomberg indicated that random searches would be done of people's bags going to enter the subway. To be sure, it presents very real 4th Amendment problems (as that Amendment is interpreted nowadays), but it is a bold approach: searches of people's bags who are using public transportation. But then he threw it away by unnecessarily bending to the anti-security left. He said that he would not tolerate any profiling, thus removing one of the more effective tools of criminal and terrorist interdiction. Because it might hurt someone's feelings.

Let's be really clear. I'd be able to live with having my feelings hurt if I knew that my inconvenience would ultimately lead to a terrorist's capture.

But Bloomberg misses the boat on the issue. All the while a young middle eastern male with a backpack and a long coat scoots by while granny gets frisked. Keep it up. Arrogant, elitist philosophies like that get people killed.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Have The Dems Riled The Kids Up Too Much?

The Dems, apart from a few of the more unhinged members may have blustered their way into a corner on Judge Roberts.

They may have discovered that it is not safe to set fire to every nominee (or alleged nominee as we learned this week) that comes around. The American people aren't interested in another months long diatribe from the Dems about abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action, nor are they interested in a defense of terrorists' rights. And Roberts, while most uncomfortably conservative for the Dems is a very hard man to attack. He is likely the ideal nominee from Bush's perspective. He looks good, has a good conservative record, and has not sought out political controversy.

Attacking him could prove embarrassing and politically costly. But Paul Mirengoff's post at Powerline indicates that not everyone is taking that attitude.

Barring an abomination in his closet, Roberts is guaranteed to be confirmed.

But here's the dilemma for the Dems. They've talked this up for months. Their special interests are geared up for a big, big fight over any judicial nominee more conservative than David Souter. And these very angry, agitated people write very big checks.

So therein lies the problem. The Dems want to demonize the guy. Make no mistake about that. But wiser heads may be seeing the very dangerous downside to that. But NARAL, NOW, the ACLU, NAACP, People for the American Way, The Alliance for Justice, the Human Rights Campaign, and Lambda among numerous others are expecting a show that is emotionally satisfying. If they don't get it, that can cause problems.

Of course, these radical special interests would never dream of donating to Republicans in the alternative, but they may just save their cash, or allocate it more "efficiently" if the Dems disappoint. Of course, to get back in their good graces, the Dems may need to stir the angry leftist pot of boiling lava all the more... It's a loser of a proposition. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

Defining Wilson

Michael Barone (courtesy of RealClearPolitics) offers this assessment of Joe Wilson.

He likens him to a liar who brought down all of those taken with his false message. But the example Barone gives breaks down when it comes to Schumer's adoption by association of Joe Wilson.

Unlike Titus Oates, Wilson is already impeached by various individuals' statements, but more precisely by The Senate Intelligence Committee's report last year, finding among other things, that Valerie Plame recommended her husband, Joe Wilson, for the job in Niger, there was evidence that Saddam had tried to by uranium from Niger, Bush's State of the Union Claim was accurate, and a number of other revelations which made Wilson's claims seem to be more than simple fact errors.

And a year later, Schumer associates himself with the man, knowing that his word is not worth the air upon which its sound is carried, in an effort to hit Karl Rove and thereby the Administration. But the old saying that if you are in the business of throwing excrement, you will get some on you, is especially relevant. Wilson is already impeached on the matter of his wife's cover. We know she was not undercover. He said so. So it seems like Wilson and Schumer aren't just throwing it, they're rolling in it.

So something stinks when you get close to them.

Thumbscrew Time

Fox & Sky News are reporting that the exposives found in today's terrorist bombing of the London Underground are of the same variety as used two weeks ago. Which means that the buggers are still afoot.

Pakistan has one of the plotters. What say we turn up the heat on that guy a little bit? It will be most helpful to break up that cell and squeeze the terrorists for information.

And I think the notion of a "Patriot Act" is becoming more and more attractive to the Brits.

Dems - Attacking Roberts for Being Hard on Terror

Kudos to Powerline and Captain Ed for picking up this issue yesterday. They are about a decision in which Supreme Court nominee, Judge John Roberts was involved, which held that a driver for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan had no rights under the Geneva Convention. The case overruled a Federal District Court ruling that Hamdan (the driver) could not be tried in a military tribunal until his Geneva Convention rights were determined. The reason for the lower court ruling was one of political philosophy; if we treat these terrorists in a less than cordial way or soldiers will be treated likewise. But that's not a decision for a judge. Political controversy is to remain outside of their decision-making. The overturning paves the way for a tribunal trial, acknowledging that this man has no rights under the Convention, and that philosophy has no place in the Courts when written law gives us very clear guidance.

So here's the rub: Captain Ed referenced this article in Slate, which indicates that the Hamdan decision may be fodder for the Dems' attacks. Per the Slate article, it's an attack on civil liberties. To any legitimate viewer, it neither grants the terrorist new rights nor deprives him of any rights which he had before, and it clarifies what his few existing rights are. Interpreting the law for what it actually says...a novel concept with which most Americans can comfortably live. The leftists like Boxer, Kennedy, Durbin, Schumer, and Leahy, however, may just be so deep in the radical leftist swamp that they see it as a P.C. discrimination/civil rights issue and not one of national security.

They are soft on our enemies and hard on America. And using this case to hit John Roberts would prove that like never before. Do they really want to be caught on national TV advocating for a terrorist and lambasting a judge who allowed him only the rights that the law permits? I for one would welcome the attack. Roberts can easily defend the case he joined.

Americans already know that the Dems are weak on national security. This would be a disastrous lemming plunge that would completely destroy any remaining credibility they retain just in time for the 2006 mid-term elections.

And you think that the Dems were upset after 2002...

They're Back...

...but then again, they never left. London's subway has been hit once again by terrorists. First things first. The BBC needs to call them "terrorists". That's what we call people in the western world who target civilians rather than challenging the armed forces. They are not properly called "bombers" as the media, and especially the BBC likes to do.

The term "terrorist" carries with it a moral implication. The term "bomber" does not. Many peace-loving countries employ "bombers" as aircraft to drop bombs on wartime enemies. The Allies dropped many millions of them on Germany in World War II. And the result has indeed been a good one. Likewise, the Nazis dropped many a bomb on Britain. Not a good result. And a bomber can be the teenager who drops a cherry bomb down a school toilet for laughs, with no interest in hurting anyone, save the plumbing and the bathroom interior. Bombs are neither good nor evil (although a world with no need of them would be a very nice thing); it's all in how, why and by whom they are used.

These bombs were used by "terrorists". A catchy term that describes people who like to hurt other people by surprise, who cannot possibly fight back. They have no legitimate political goals. They just want you scared into doing their will. That's evil.

And it's stupid to call them anything but what they are, because doing so plays into their game. The leftist media wants to avoid making any judgments about these people by using words like "terrorist". But being so chicken-hearted in the face of murderers is the very kind of quarter that terrorists want. It lends them just the ounce of legitimacy they need. And it paves the way to getting more people killed.

Call them what they are. Because there is a moral component to killing unarmed civilians.

Wasting Oxygen On Roberts

John Roberts is what he is. His bio is all over the web, and his cases (however many or few there may be), can be read in many different ways. But I warn all of you...this is divination. Roberts has been a judge for two years, but that's barely enough time for him to get his feet wet. What I mean by that, is that his quality--his staying power as an originalist--is an unknown.

And this is something which had better have crossed the President's mind.

Some of the most destructive nominees to the Supreme Court have been made by Republicans. Earl Warren, William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, David Souter, and to a degree (the magnitude of which remains to be seen) Anthony Kennedy. They were Republicans who turned reliably left and activist. Ask someone on the left and they'll tell you that these justices "grew" in office. Indeed. "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny..."

They all fell for the contorted view that it was the place of the courts to do the job of the legislature--to "expand" or even wholly rewrite the law. Where or why they went liberal I do not know, unless they wanted to read their own press. Earl Warren was the author of Miranda v. Arizona from which, while doing away with confessions which were the product of coercion, also hampered the police from receiving freely offered confessions which were not the product of interrogation, thus hampering the legitimate work of enforcement. But the most notable result of this unfortunate trend is the work of Justice Harry Blackmun. Blackmun wrote Roe v. Wade, the most controversial opinion of our time. It invented a right where none had existed before. At the time it was decided, the states were making their own decisions about that right, but through legal legerdemain, that power was stripped from them and forcibly crammed down American throats, as five people somehow found quarter for "reproductive rights" in the Framers' words. And today, Justice Stevens has established himself as the head of the Court's left wing. Souter, a reliable liberal, is right behind him, holding the Court as a bastion of legal revisionism based upon the justices' own policy preferences.

Conversely, the Democrats' appointments have been fairly reliable. Thurgood Marshall never met a liberal cause he didn't support on the court. He was all liberal politics. No surprises there. Felix Frankfurter was one of the founding members of the ACLU, and the first member of that organization on the Supreme Court. When appointed by Franklin Roosevelt, he predictably went left and stayed there. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an ACLU counsel is a reliable liberal vote regardless of what the law says. This shocked nobody. Their presence on the Court hasn't been a good thing, but likewise, their qualities were known and very nearly guaranteed.

So Bush's appointment of John Roberts carries with it a number of uncertainties. People are trying to read the tea leaves of his resume and opinions. They may portend much. I am encouraged by his Federalist Society membership. And then again, they can be completely useless. We thought Souter was a conservative...

Fortunately or otherwise, we won't know the outcome until he is a few years out in the Court. I am encouraged by his past. I am discouraged by what I have seen Republican Justices become.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's No Fun When The Left Gets Predictable

I posted last night about the hysteria that the left was engaging in over an individual who ended up not being nominated. Here was the People for the American Way post on Clement. "Confirmed Judges Confirm Our Worst Fears". Hysterical enough. But then they post this on John Roberts. (As an aside, whoever writes this stuff for PFAW is pretty simple. It is more of a sneering assessment of the judges, not an intellectual discussion.)

Who are they kidding? There is nothing genuine about their concerns. This is a fill-in-the-blank opposition. All they needed was a name. It reminds me of the anarchist protesters who often show up at World Bank, IMF or G-8 conferences and bring with them blank placards so that they can write in the "anti-" du jour.

Similarly, the left is anti everything Bush. And it's really not fun anymore, now that they are so easily led and predicted, as they were by the White House last night when they prepared a tirade against a judge who ended up not being the nominee. But it did prove an important point. They had dossiers ready on anyone that the president might appoint. They predetermined that they would not be happy no matter who was appointed. And it says very little for them that they have become so cynical.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sen. Mensa Drops the F-Bomb

Before even knowing exactly who the nominee was, Sen. Mensa, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today on the floor stated that the filibuster was coming. My response? DUH! Of course it is! It's coming more surely than the sunrise tomorrow morning. But I had thought that they would have locked the Senate's resident village idiot into the basement.

I'm listening to Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Pat Leahy (D-VT). They are indicating that John Roberts has a tough road to hoe. Schumer revisited his vote to put Roberts on the D.C. Court of Appeals. He didn't answer specific questions about how he would hold on certain cases and his personal views at that hearing (same ones ACLU counsel and now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg refused to answer), and that this will be a huge matter.

Dick Durbin, calls Roberts a "controversial nominee" who will generate a more "controversial nomination process."

Let's make no mistake Roberts has significant experience and quality. He is highly respected by everyone except the Senate minority.

And lets be clear...the most extreme judge appointed to the court is the aforementioned Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Dems will filibuster (or at least try it). If they don't, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. These Democrats are as extreme as they claim the President and his nominees are. These are the 1960s SDS leftists. They concede nothing, they object to everything. This will be a fight.

Strap yourselves in.

It's John Roberts

Per Drudge, Bush has selected John Roberts. A man known to him. Interesting...

Is The White House Playing Games?

Ok, so we thought we'd be dealing with Edith Clement, but is it possible that we could be dealing with Michael Luttig? He was spotted with his family in D.C., which is strange, given that he lives near Richmond. Also, John Robert might be the pick, as there may have been an instruction to gather the data on him...

I have no idea. But this hubbub means something.

The White House let us sit on the idea that it was Clement for some time. Just long enough for silliness like this, and this to take root. Why? To show that the left was going to oppose just about anyone. They were waiting for a name. They had the script ready. How stinking phony.

ADDENDUM

My bad. I pulled a typo correction in the first line. The correction was to the word "dealing", from some wierd typo I let get through.

Habeus Jusdicium - We Have a Judge

Probably a bad attempt at Latin, but I thought it was funny.

The wire services, as well as RealClearPolitics, Drudge, and various MSM sources, are reporting that Bush will make the announcement today, and that the winner is none other than Edith Brown Clement.

A few positives...she seems a fairly straightforward originalist. She is a member of the Federalist Society which allows nothing other than originalists to join. She also is one who seeks to restrict federal power in the public domain. Several of her decisions have opposed the overly broad use of the Commerce Clause which Congress has used over the years to extend its power into areas which are strictly state matters by alleging some tangential affect on interstate commerce. And People for the American Way can't stand her. Always a good sign.

They nitpick a few of her opinions, criticizing more the fact that she disagrees with them, rather than her legal reasoning. Note the fact that they criticize her for making a decision based on federalism grounds, with federalism in quotes, as if that is not a legitimate reason. The Federalist papers were treatises designed to persuade the people to tell their legislatures to ratify the Constitution because the Federal Government would not overreach into state matters and that Federal power would remain limited and checked within itself. But leftists like PFAW reflexively prefer more federal control.

Check Supreme Court Nomination Blog for all sorts of links, but this could be a good thing. She is no ideologue, but she seems to have the staying power of an originalist who has dealt with Federal law for the past 4 years.

And yes, I think she's going to be a certain a filibuster/slime victim by the Dems and the left. Her crime is being a Republican and not believing what those on the far left do.

Reasons Why People Get Hurt

Imagine it's 1980, opening day for The Empire Strikes Back, and I walk up to eager moviegoers in their costumes, fighting with lightsabers, etc., and announce the following in a dark, deep voice "Luke, I am your father!" Such a person would very rightly deserve a violent beating on the spot, to the point of death.

Mancow this morning on Fox & Friends blew the end of the book. I will not do so here, nor will I give any details, other than the fact that at the halfway mark, the book is excellent.

Mancow didn't need to say anything, yet he did just to be a complete jerk. So I recommend that Q-101 who plays him experience lighter ratings this week. Turn the guy off as a listener-imposed blackout until Wednesday of next week. It's the least we can do for such a class act.

ADDENDUM

Steve Doocy just e-mailed me with apologies. Clearly they could not anticipate that Mancow would be such a complete clod and reveal the ending of the book. But he made fairly clear that nobody at Fox & Friends was too happy about it either.

The Counter Petition

Elisa and Gary over at Boxer Watch, the site with the fairly easy job of deconstructing any Sen. Mensa comment. And now, she is circulating a petition with about 35,000 signatures on it. The petition says in pertinent part:

It is time for President Bush to send a clear message that we do not intend to
remain in Iraq indefinitely or maintain permanent bases there. That doesn't mean
we should set an exact date for withdrawal. But it does mean we need a general
timeframe to complete the mission.

Translation: "Set an artificial timetable." It continues with the usual tripe about leveling with the American people, etc., which means falsely stating that Iraq is a failure, a quagmire, and another Vietnam to please the Democrats, because any American military intervention lasting longer than 2 days is a disaster (because on the 3rd day of the Iraq invasion, the MSM called it a quagmire, as the assault was halted for a few hours to let supply vehicles catch up to the battle vehicles..we were actually going too fast!).

They have a petition which gets the Iraq War and the greater war on terror right. Not that the president needs persuading here, but that he needs to hear from those of us who, while not 100% pleased with everything going on, are still pleased that he is keeping the pressure on the bad guys, and that he is rooting out terror in Iraq.

Because the only way Iraq becomes another Vietnam is if we leave.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The MSM Got It Right For Once, Then Gets It Wrong Again

I caught this piece on the Rove/Plame issue off of RealClearPolitics, and found it enlightening. It links to the amicus brief in the case against filed by the media in the Judith Miller/Michael Cooper/Time case, which argues a number of things which the media itself is not arguing in its own reporting on the issue.

The brief is short and to the point. Read it. They argue that no crime was committed because there was no intent to expose Valerie Plame, the CIA didn't try to conceal her identity, as she could be seen traveling to and from her CIA desk job, and her identity as an agent had been leaked twice before. Once to the Soviets and again to the Cubans. More importantly, she had given political contributions under the name "Valerie E. Wilson". Her existence as an employee of the CIA was known.

So then why all this hubbub about firing Karl Rove if it seems that this whole matter is a non-issue to the media? If no crime was committed, that means that Rove benefits from the same facts, right? Wrong.

As I stated before, this is about a witch hunt, not answers. And the fact that Scooter Libby's name (Dick Cheney's chief of staff) has come into it, reflects the fact that the Dems and the media are again looking for Watergate. They want a head, any head, and they will do anything to get it. Already we have them calling it a national security issue, which is just about as ridiculous as it gets, and rather than improving their national security image, it makes them look all the more clueless on the issue. They want something to bring down the White House. They won't find it because they seem to think that the prosecutor is barking up the wrong tree.

The goal is to turn up the pressure on the White House so that the uninformed become enraged by the seriousness of the charges (no matter how false they may be), so that Bush is forced into firing Rove. It probably won't work out that way, but for having two faces in this story, the media should be ashamed.

Friday, July 15, 2005

More on Plame's Status

Two pieces from Drudge. One which says that most of the neighbors knew that Plame worked at CIA, the other quoting her discredited imbecile husband, Joe Wilson, saying that she was not operating under cover at the time of the disclosure. Which kind of makes this whole thing about Rove moot, now doesn't it?

I come down quite hard on Wilson because he lied through his teeth. It started when his wife proposed that he go to Niger to investigate the claims that Saddam was trying to buy uranium from that nation. He concluded that there was nothing going on and wrote a report that was placed in the mix with other intelligence. Then, he tried to falsely promote himself as someone hand picked by Dick Cheney to do the mission. Then after the President's 2003 State of the Union speech, Wilson accused Bush of lying by claiming that Saddam was trying to purchase uranium from Africa. Then came the revelations about Plame's advancing her spouse for the job came out and Wilson penned a book, dripping with self-promotion, self-righteousness, and self congratulation and pity. And then came the unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee report, which debunked all of Wilson's rants, and made him out to be a complete liar and fool.

Any time this guy gets on his high horse, he does it to make the fall harder, as it seems that he's about to take another hit in the game of Washington PR. Because he doesn't want Judith Miller talking...but I think she's not liking jail.

The Dems Want A Witch Hunt, Not An Answer

The Valerie Plame hubbub that needlessly fills out TV screens is complete foolishness on many levels, but I think it shows a couple of things about the arrogance and cluelessness of the Dems and their brothers in the MSM.

As I stated in an earlier post on the downfall of the Dems, national security is a loser of an issue for them. They don't understand it for the same reason that I don't understand the first thing about knitting. I don't care about it in the least, but unknowingly enjoy the results.

So when people like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer declare that Valerie Plame's "exposure" is a serious breach of national security, it really doesn't do much to dispel the very salient impression that they are absolutely lost on the issue. Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are limousine liberals who hate George W. Bush which is why the Democrats care in the first place. Plame had not been on an assignment in over five years, so there goes the argument that a government objective was lost or that her safety was imperiled in the least. It was poor national security policy when the Dems in 2002 tried to put unionized government employees' interests over those of the Secretary of Homeland Security to hire and discharge employees as he saw fit. It was very bad national security policy when many Dems, including John Kerry, voted against (after he voted for) increased equipment for our soldiers. It was an extremely serious breach of national security to allow nuclear secrets at the Los Alamos laboratories to be leaked to China under the watch of Bill Clinton and current New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. Note that nobody was prosecuted for that and the full results may not be known for some time.

Bottom line - calling the Valerie Plame matter a national security issue, let alone a serious one reflects that the Dems have no idea what national security is. Remember, it's knitting to them.

But the involvement of Karl Rove in this whole mess is very helpful in our effort to decode what the Dems are really up to. And let me begin by saying that if his name was "Sidney Blumenthal" this would not be an issue at all.

The media is making a great deal of noise about having this matter investigated, and it is being investigated. But they are the very ones obstructing the investigation. Judith Miller just took up residence in a federal "hotel" because she would not reveal who had fingered Plame. And to be real clear, it wasn't Karl Rove. First, Rove alleviated the journalists of their confidentiality, so there is no way that Judy Miller is letting this go on as part of an exercise. And most importantly, does anyone think that the leftists at the New York Times would apply journalistic standards of confidentiality to Karl Rove? She's covering for someone, but we'll never really know what happened until Judy Miller or the NYT rolls over.

But in the meantime, Rove is under an illogical but media-fed cloud of suspicion. The cloud began to clear yesterday when the "nonpartisan" Joe Wilson appeared with the equally unbiased Charles Schumer to call for Rove's job. And then with this revelation courtesy of RealClearPolitics which indicates that Rove was told by reporters--not the other way around--that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. So Rove is effectively out of the mix, given that reporters already knew who she was from another source. But you wouldn't know that from the bluster from the Dems.

The way things sit now is that the facts are in Rove's favor. He looks pretty clean and only confirmed what was already known. Judy Miller holds the keys, both to the mystery and to her own cell, so we won't resolve anything until she opens her mouth. But without a solution, the Dems can continue to demonize Rove as the sole cause of Plame's alleged "outing". They don't want this resolved. They want to be able to get a scandal on the Bush Administration.

And as I argued before, Joe Wilson, self-righteous, self-important, and self-promoting fool that he is, may indeed be the person whose identity she is hiding.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Joe Wilson History

The RNC has a nice set of news excerpts about Joe Wilson. Enjoy. The guy is a fake, an admitted liar and a shill for the Democrats. Don't believe for a second his claims to be "independent".

Is Judy Miller Covering for Joe Wilson?

Joe Wilson, ambassador and boob, called on the President to fire Karl Rove for blowing his wife, Valerie Plame's, CIA cover. I'm sure the President took note of the comments.

But the statute that the Democrats allege Rove has violated probably doesn't apply. Rove would have to have intended to blow her cover, know that she is a covert operative, and know that his comments were blowing such a cover. The story is that Rove mentioned, after a reporter said that CIA Director George Tenet preferred Joe Wilson for the Niger uranium job, that it was likely his own wife who works at the CIA who advanced him. Lots of people work at the CIA, very few have covers. But the Dems care not. They want the head of the guy who has thrice humiliated them, as that was his cardinal offense.

But that's not the interesting thing. John Podhoretz has a series of comments over at The Corner that are must reads. (thanks to RCP for leads to all posts). The posts, here, here, and here, are worth the read.

The net is that Joe Wilson, who was caught in a series of lies after writing an unbelievably self promoting book (belonging in the narcissist section next to Richard Clarke's tome) or was simply exposed as a partisan fool, may have been the one to "out" his own wife in order to lend credence to his claims that his Niger investigation was serious work being reviewed by the White House.

It is most doubtful that the New York Times would extend protection to Karl Rove that they would extend to say, a more like-minded. They would have exposed him as the source sometime in October 2004 if he was the one to finger Plame, which likely means that the Rove obsession will die fairly soon.

And Joe Wilson's rather boisterous and blustery protestations, usually the prelude to another public embarrassment for him, may indicate that he's the target. He won't get in trouble because he likely did nothing illegal either, but it will be the end of any remaining credibility he may at some point have had after his book proved to be a joke.

A fitting end to a complete dolt.

Anon Got It Right

My post below about the suicide bombers and their fairly middle-class well educated upbringing was addressed by none other than "Fluffy Bunny", who dumped quite the supply of un-argued talking points on the matter of the genesis of terror. And then an anonymous poster (who really needs credit for his/her thoughts) saved me the trouble of dispelling the twaddle.

A few things though by way of clean up.

If economics bred crime and terror, then every poor person (or just about) would be committing crimes and making bombs. The explanation (and the only salient one) I usually get for that from the left is that not all people choose to commit crimes. Which is quite correct, meaning that committing crime is a matter of choice, not irresistible compulsion programmed into someone from poverty. And note well the behavior of many of our athletes. I can't tell you how many members of the Baltimore Ravens have ended up in the dock for very real criminal activity. They're filthy rich. There is no correlation between economics and crime.

But the argument about the "little people" of the world being the fodder for Saddam's (or whomever's) woodchipping was perfect, and I reserve the right to use it in the future (with credit to Anon, of course). The left views the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, whom they will never meet, as backward and quaint little demi-people whose existence is the topic of their academic discussion. Guess what? It's arrogant attitudes like that which spur hatred. Ever met a full-English speaking Arab? Ever met an Iraqi exile? I have. Their tongues aren't silver, but more properly like iron. And they don't like to be looked down upon by liberals without a clue.

ADDENDUM

I forgot to mention Fluff's comment that this site is hateful. Not really. Actually, it is a place for advancing certain ideas and striking others. The left misses the point that disagreement is not hate. But since they cannot effectively argue and become frustrated, they equate competing ideas with malevolence.

When argument won't work, use labels.

ADDENDUM II

Most people on the left don't get their hands dirty. They sit here in the coziness of the U.S. and rationalize that the Iraqis didn't want to be invaded because they at least had some stability under the Dorito-loving Saddam. If Fluffy wants to condescend to help the masses in Iraq and Afghanistan, feel free to join the peace corps or perhaps the Army or Marines, like my brother-in-law who will be leaving his wife of 5 months to spend the next 18 months there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Is Arlen Specter Stupid?

Jonah Goldberg probably said the best thing ever about Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA). During the Clinton impeachment and after Specter resorted to Scottish law (which oddly enough didn't apply) to cast a meaningless vote, Goldberg said Specter voted "Glenfiddich" (after a nice single-malt scotch).

The unbelievable disloyalty of Specter, who owes his seat (both in the senate and the one at the top of his legs) was discussed by me here, insofar as he immediately turned his back on Rick Santorum (who may have a very hard fight next year to retain his own seat), and the president, by indicating that he was more likely on the side of the Dems when it comes to getting judges heard and confirmed.

Dopishness is nothing new to Pennsylvania's senior Senator. He was on the Warren Commission, and determined that the bullet that struck JFK could have zigged and zagged to create numerous injuries between Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connolly. The magic bullet theory. And if one was gullible enough to believe it, it made the impossibly unlikely theory that Oswald was the only shooter possible. Genius.

And the stupidity keeps on leaking out of his mouth. Specter suggested that, despite the fact that Chief Justice Rehnquist has not retired, Bush appoint her to the Chief Justice position. Brilliant. So we replace her, then replace the as yet unretired Rehnquist, then we hold another series of confirmation hearings next year, because we like wasting the government's time by holding yet more rancorous hearings where the Dems will put Robert Byrd's klan hood on any candidate offered by the Administration. A kindergarten child's suggestion. How blitheringly stupid.

But then he suggested that perhaps the courts aren't the only place to find nominees and remarked that at one point Senators were appointed to the bench (by FDR, which started the current era of a politically tinkering judiciary). I wonder which Senators he means?

This man has reached the pinnacle of his usefulness, and it is unfortunate that a man who cannot be trusted to be rational actually has a say in how judges and justices are appointed to the Federal courts.

The Conditions That Breed Terror

The London terror attacks teach us something about the genesis of terrorism, which some of us already knew. Here are the profiles of the terrorists. All educated, middle-class young men with economic opportunity available to them, living in a neighborhood not too different from mine. Which means that I probably ought to watch my neighbors more carefully--or not.

It was not economics that did it, but good old fashioned hate. No, socialism and a welfare system won't make these people any happer than it has in America. The inner cities remain a violent, crime-ridden problem. The left also likes to argue that fighting terror encourages it. And it may indeed steel up some testosterone-loaded young men. But failing to fight it because it may upset a bad guy is like failing to fight the Nazis because it may make them fight harder in their effort to take over the world. Guess what folks...same thing.

Terror comes from one place. Hate. An individual's choice to be of bad character. No social program, other than a proper upbringing, will fix that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Dems Need to End the Unity Talk

The Democrats are calling on Bush to nominate a judge who will bring America together and unite us. Which is like an arsonist complaining about the heat and blaming the fire department for the structure damage because they didn't get to his fire fast enough.

First, they want a liberal on the Court, not a unifier. So all of the unity talk means that they won't engage in spewing the partisan lava that they have already been doing about President Bush's as yet unnamed nominee if that person is another Stevens or Souter.

Second, judges and their decisions don't unify. I heard Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), a fool, speaking this morning outside the White House where he made numerous suggestions which I will cover later, but chief among them that Brown v. Board of Education was a unifying decision. It was not. It was simply a long-delayed decision that actually interpreted the Constitution appropriately and spread the seeds of justice. It stirred up both sides and mobilized the civil rights movement which, while certainly having its effect on the legal environment, more than anything affected the moral environment, which was the hardest and most important work of all. But nonetheless it was divisive. Which has nothing to do with its righteousness.

But it is not the job of judges per se to encourage or discourage unity. It is their job to interpret the laws of the United States and the various states and apply them to the cases before them. Judges were not meant to be political figures in that respect.

I posted on this same faux unity issue after the election and after the Ukrainian election when Democrats and Viktor Yanukovych called after their respective elections for unity. The Dems did nothing but claim that Bush was an evil, dirty, rotten, liar taking us into a quagmire for oil interests, and was killing our men and women in uniform. They made the sexual orientation of Dick Cheney's daughter an issue, and jumped on the false issue of Bush's Texas Air National Guard service while Kerry was not releasing his own military file. Yanukovych's people were more to the point. They simply tried to kill Yuschenko.

But perhaps the Dems could switch their wording a bit and replace unity with the idea they really mean to use: "conformity". They are two very close concepts, but the former is a willing agreement, while the other is forced.

So spare us the talk of unity, those of you who spread division for political purposes. The hypocrisy is painfully transparent.

The Left Hates America

Julianne Malveaux, left wing commentator, finally spilled the beans yesterday on Sean Hannity's radio show. She stated in no uncertain terms that America is a "terrorist nation", it is not a good nation (only a "nation"), and as a result, the "chickens have come home to roost." Meaning we got what we had coming on 9/11.

Which means that Malveaux is a complete fool. It's her right to think that.

But the kicker is that she said that even though she is a citizen of a terrorist nation as she says, she is not a terrorist.

No, those were the people who died on 9/11--the "little Eichmanns" to borrow a phrase from that other great patriot and non-terrorist, Ward Churchill. After all, they had it coming, right Dr. Malveaux?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Where Did It All Go Wrong For The Dems?

Note: I made a few grammatical changes since the original release, but the text is more or less exactly the same.

The past few months will likely prove to have been a very significant and unfortunate turning point in the history of the Democrat Party. No more are they under the protective PR cloak generated by Bill Clinton. The image of progressive moderates who even verge on the conservative is long, long gone. The party of Andrew Jackson has changed significantly. Its heart likely ended with Scoop Jackson, and today looks a heck of a lot more like Jesse Jackson. Today, it is a caricature of what it once was, and is in danger of collapsing. But it was not always so. What the heck turned this once great national party into the freakshow it has become?

The Democrats were indeed a powerful party, if not the most powerful for most of the early to mid Twentieth Century. Lions like FDR, Harry Truman, Jack and Bobby Kennedy, and even Lyndon Johnson to a degree, despite whatever failures (which are common to any presidency) occurred on their watch, were particularly effective leaders who history views favorably. But since that time the party leaders have increasingly placed themselves out of the mainstream by adopting policies of the far left that progressively moved them further and further to the left and away from the ideals of the people who would elect them. But until recently, they have been able to downplay just how radical their views are. But rather than hide behind a very effective moderate cloak as Bill Clinton did, they have instead allowed themselves to engage in political rhetoric that has eroded public support for both their policies and for themselves as politicians.

The last election where the Democrats could compete with the Republicans was 1968. A dark horse, Hubert Humphrey, was nominated at the Democratic National Convention after Bobby Kennedy was killed. Humphrey was liberal in many ways, but he was certainly a hawk where the Soviets were concerned. He was ardently pro-American and was not going to put a different face towards the Soviets than either Johnson or Kennedy had. But he was not the star of the show that year. Young radical leftists rioted throughout Chicago where the convention was held. They were anti-war and anti just about anything else. They got the camera time and made themselves known as the extremists they were. And they began to infiltrate and influence the party.

And in various critical ways which we will examine, the Democrats have departed from the very things that made them great, turning themselves into a party that in the coming years may become a second tier political organization.

Economics
The Democrats since the days of FDR have been the party of big government which carries with it numerous other issues. The goal was to benefit all Americans through state programs, and to be sure, that goal was realized to a degree, but the 1980s showed us that there was no better social welfare system than a job. It kept people busy, paid, and out of trouble.

But big government requires big bucks. In order to get the money, taxes were raised, and up until the Reagan years, income taxes were confiscatory. And while many Southern "Blue Dog" Democrats favored the Reagan economic plan, the left wanted no part of it. And the left was the up and coming branch of the party.

Coming out of the 1960s, these people favored government solutions to social problems and were quite suspicious of corporate America. They presumed that the wealthy got that way on the backs of the poor, and that business needed to be heavily regulated in order to prevent economic injustice.

But over-taxation and regulation of business and individuals create problems for the very people whose interests the left claims to be protecting. Taxes and regulation compliance cost businesses money, which means salary to pay for lower income jobs. Push them enough and they'll close up and move somewhere else. Because businesses never stay where they are not wanted. Same with people. They stop spending when the government takes more of their money.

And so the left wing Democrats sell tax cuts as Republicans throwing money at their rich friends. They willingly ignore the economic activity that grows out of tax cuts and the fact that once they take full effect, they end up literally soaking the rich, as the rich pay an even greater percentage of the taxes than they were paying before. They don't mind because their investments have generated significantly greater income for them than before the tax cuts, and they end up benefiting along with the Treasury. The government does less and makes more. Everyone wins.

But these facts have never dissuaded the left from their belief that it is their job to police the market to ensure that people are not making "too much" money. And the implication that someone lawfully and ethically engaged in business could make "too much" money means that the left views the market as a necessary evil, rather than a place for individual effort and intellect to generate prosperity as our Founding Fathers intended. And the idea that people should not be allowed to keep most if not all of the money they earn is uniquely un-American.

But rather than capping an individual or corporation's income and advocate moving to a command economy, the left favors people continuing to work jobs and paying taxes in order to pay for their government programs which redistribute wealth to those who do not or will not work or hold higher-paying jobs. But the short-term benefits of the welfare state are greatly outweighed by the long term costs, insofar as government handouts have created a permanent, dependent underclass. It was easier to stay home and collect than go out and work, and the more children one had, the more one collected. It became a very easy calculation that if one mass produced children, more money came in. It was not designed to work that way, but once the abuses became clear, the left would never do a thing to fix it. As a result, people remained out of the workforce, did not develop skills, did not learn to advance themselves, and children grew up with parents modeling sloth, perpetuating the cycle.

It's a nice way for the left to ensure their own job security. The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on Paul's vote.

So it seems that the best way to sum up the Democrats' economic plan is that everyone loses. Except them.

Leadership and National Security
Part of being a realistic American is recognizing that America occasionally goofs. We never claimed to be perfect. But the impression that our leaders must put forth is that we are indeed the greatest nation that has ever been placed on the earth. No nation has ever earned and given so much of its own money with no expectation in return. No other nation in history has ever used its military to disgorge horrid governments to replace them with popularly elected governments with nothing in return. And despite what some may say, we are indeed a heroic nation like no other. Call me a jingoist, but when the people ruled by enemy governments look forward to our invasions, it says libraries about the perception of us in people's hearts and minds.

And while American presidents come and go with different policies that affect Americans in different ways, regardless of which party occupies the White House, the rest of the world--and especially our enemies--should not be able to discern any difference between one leader and another. And there was a time when they could not.

Containment was the U.S. policy toward Communism, and it was marginally successful at best. Nonetheless, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford all treated the Soviets in much the same way. Granted, they may have smiled for the cameras, but nobody was fooled. You don't compete in a military build-up and fight proxy wars with friends. We always moved to check them and they despised us for it.

But there came a time when the Democrats willingly blinked.

Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976, and for the first time, the Soviets saw a very real opportunity. Not for peace (as they never wanted that to begin with), but for expansion. Carter knew, as did everyone, that the Soviets were inherently expansionist. But for reasons known only to him, he believed that they had softened. But it wasn't the Soviets who had gone soft on Communism.

After a warm and loving meeting with Leonid Brezhnev, Carter announced that our inordinate fear of Communism was over, and inked the Salt II treaty in March of 1979. Then in December of the same year, in their centuries-old desire for a warm-water port and access to the Middle East, the Soviets moved their military southward into Afghanistan. Carter did nothing more (other than dooming the hopes of American athletes by boycotting the Moscow Olympics) than utter some strong words, claiming that Brezhnev had lied to him, which was not much of a secret to the rest of the nation he claimed to lead. And when we had hostages taken in Iran from our largely unguarded embassy in 1979, Carter did nothing (other than freeze their assets in the U.S. and send the Delta Force into Iran on a mission which they advised was a long shot, and likewise ended in disaster) and thus made himself and his nation appear painfully ineffective against a tinpot dictator, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who was one of the earliest stirrers of the pot of Islamism.

His flaccid approach to Communism had very tangibly destructive results and created the very real impression that Americans thought little of their great nation, to have elected a man who did nothing more than whine in the face of Soviet progress in the Cold War.

But he was not alone. George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis all believed much the same thing. And in an era when voters were concerned about national security, which meant checking the Soviet Union's ambitions, these men lacked the seriousness and spine which it would take to stand up to Moscow. And voters rejected them for it by fairly significant margins (especially in the cases of Mondale and McGovern)

But those Democrats were not alone. Ted Kennedy, brother of the two hawks, significantly departed from their ways and opposed Jimmy Carter's reelection because he felt that Carter was too liberal--a sobering thought even in 1980. Upon the election of Ronald Reagan, Kennedy actively worked with the Soviets in an effort to avert what he felt would be serious consequences of Reagan's policies of military buildup and challenging their expansion. Granted, the Soviets never took Ted Kennedy particularly seriously, but showing a face of panic and unnecessary mercy to the most aggressive government at the time, highlighted to the enemy the vast difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. And it was fairly clear to them that the Democrats were much preferred to Republicans.

As a result of the pressure of the Reagan years, the Soviets spent themselves into collapse to keep up. They lost the Cold War.

But it would not have happened had a hard line not been taken.

Fast forward to today. The Democrats do not get the war on terror, and this piece from the Weekly Standard says it better than I ever could. The Democrats cannot and will not take National Security seriously, instead focusing on the cultural accommodations and physical comfort of terrorists in our custody, and blaming us for making terrorism worse by combating it. Of course, I expect that the terrorists are not happy with our efforts, but neither were the Nazis. Neville Chamberlain was concerned about upsetting Hitler. Look at the benefits of his appeasement.

The American people believe that security means stomping out terror and its sources. The Democrats believe that it will be solved as a matter of law enforcement, requiring no military involvement. Not only is their approach naive, it is willingly ignorant of known dangers.

Leadership means putting your nation's interests first and being proud of it. It also means not putting the concerns of an enemy above that of the United States. The "global test" isn't the best one.

But in any case, the Democrats have repeatedly failed that test for over thirty years when national security has been an issue, alienating them from the electorate.

Law and Justice

One of the most amazing things about America is that we are not governed by fiat, but by laws that are passed by a legislative body on the federal level made up of 535 men and women from across the nation. The Founders wanted the lawmaking power diffused in such a way, as Congress's job in setting the laws by which we would be governed is by far the most important one.

But when those laws lose their meaning, we lose our freedom.

The idea of law and order is an arcane one, but it is also one that keeps our neighborhoods safe. And the Dems have consistently favored the criminal since the 1960s. Rather than prosecution and punishment, they make excuses. The perpetrator's parentage, upbringing, the fact that he or she was underprivileged, uneducated, etc. It was no longer the fault of the criminal, but of the society that put him at a disadvantage which predisposed him to crime. Of course, by that logic, every person living in poverty would be a criminal, or at least predisposed to it. And it would be someone else's fault.

And they brought in another wonderful element to the justice system--the race card. Law needed to be enforced with sensitivity to the race of the accused. Enforcement was equated with racism, because many more blacks than whites were ending up in prison. They argued that law was being enforced disproportionately between the races. Which would be a valid criticism if crimes are committed equally among the various ethnicities in America. Crime quotas. But they aren't. And while certain lifestyles, as argued above, do indeed make crime potentially more attractive, they do not induce crime. It is the choice of the individual and the moral fiber of that person.

But when law becomes secondary to psychosocial and racial politics, the social framework that keeps us safe erodes and we slide into anarchy. The alleged benefits of politically correct racial politics is not worth the boundaries, incentives and disincentives created by laws to encourage lawful behavior or discourage crime. And Americans do not like the idea that crime could be coddled.

Michael Dukakis in 1988 was hammered by the Bush Campaign, among others, for an unusual softness on crime. It was reported and confirmed that as Governor of Massachusetts that he allowed violent criminals in jail to have passes to walk free on weekends. The reasons for it were never made clear, and if they were, would not have been understandable to reasonable people. One such character, Willie Horton, left prison and forgot to return at the end of the weekend. But he didn't forget how to harm people. He made his way south to Maryland where he harmed a suburban D.C. couple and nearly killed them. It was an embarrassing moment for Dukakis, but he blew it off...even when it slammed him in a debate. Bernard Shaw asked him what he would think about the weekend passes if the criminals raped and otherwise harmed his wife. The question was no problem for Dukakis who had a very well nuanced and reasoned answer--which shocked the nation as remarkably irrational, immoral and cavalier. He cared nothing about crime and wanted to be loving to the criminals, and that issue more than any other defined him and brought an end to his candidacy.

Much like the national security issue, law & order is a loser for the Dems.

And then there is the matter of the formation of the law which brings us to a very significant argument of the day--who gets to make the laws.

The U.S. Constitution is very clear about how laws are made. The Congress writes them. The President approves and carries them out. The courts handle decisions based upon them. Of course, the courts granted themselves a little more power in the case of Marbury v. Madison where Chief Justice John Marshall writing for the Supreme Court held that despite the fact that nothing in the Constitution says so, it is the job of the courts to review the constitutionality of the laws and actions of the other two branches.

Which is very different from inventing things that one thinks ought to have been in the constitution or laws to begin with.

The Founders wanted our laws being drafted by a legislative body, not a committee of a few or a single individual. Because representative government means that the laws passed are approved by the majority of the representatives of all of the people across the nation. And the vast majority of them risk their seats (to whatever degree in reality) every two years and risk the wrath of their constituents if they got wrong their will.

But laws passed by just a few or even a one are subject to insular thought. And it's downright tyranny when those few or individual lawmakers are unaccountable to the governed. But herein lies the problem. The Democrats favor courts that will settle disputes by rewriting laws, not applying the laws as they are. It's not that leftist Democrats per se favor courts as lawmakers, but they cannot pass their social agenda any other way.

If Bill Clinton had approached the 1992 election by stating that he intended to liberalize sexual practices by openly advocating gay marriage, mandatory teaching of young school children about the gay lifestyle, legalizing sodomy and doing away with age of consent laws, widening access to abortion to permit minors to have abortion on demand, confiscation of private citizens' firearms, truncation of religion to the point that the faithful were restricted to expressions in private only, restrictions on teaching children religion, and liberalizing divorce laws or taking them away from the states and federalizing them among other things, his candidacy would have been dead on arrival. To be clear, Bill Clinton was liberal, but by no means did he advocate such filthy debauchery. But many on the left hold a number if not all and more of these propositions as goals. And no legislature in America would pass them. But perhaps a liberal judge will.

The Constitution makes no provision for abortion, and per the 10th Amendment, the states made their own decisions on the matter. But in 1973, the Supreme Court changed all of that. Justice Blackmun writing for the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade pulled out of thin air (among other places) the Constitutional Right to abortion, giving the feminist movement its own personal right. There was no Constitutional basis for it, regardless of what the text of Roe said, but any reasonable person will agree that the left defends Roe like a mother bear defends her cubs. It was not law, but five unelected people made it so. In Lawrence v. Texas, they overturned their own prior decision of years before in Bowers v. Hardwick that states could criminalize sodomy. They recently pulled on foreign laws, philosophy and even psychology to illegalize the death penalty for minors, and they placed individual property rights subordinate to those of the government cooperating with private interests. It's legal because five people said it was. And other things will be too.

And in the new debate over filling Justice O'Connor's position, Charles Schumer (D-NY), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Harry Reid (D-NV), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) are all demanding a "unifying" judge. Meaning that they want a judge who will reflexively uphold Roe v. Wade and who will be willing to "grow" in office like Harry Blackmun, David Souter, John Paul Stevens, and possibly even Anthony Kennedy. They are prepared to demonize the president's pick without even knowing who that person is. Because they want law that will tilt their way and "grow" away from statutes that their own legislative branch passed which they do not like, in favor of judge made law that is likely to work in their direction.

The law that protects us is something to be "worked" for the Democrats and their leftist allies in the ACLU. It protects us. It infuriates them. Because they want us to be like them.

Just like with national security, law and order and legal integrity are issues that are losers for the Dems.

Morality and Values

The previous issue leads nicely into this one. The Democrats favor the liberal gay agenda of repealing sodomy laws (Lawrence took care of that), age of consent laws, state funded and unlimited abortions, even to minors with or without parental consent. They are tending more and more to be irreligious. Note last year's debate between John Kerry and the church of which he claims to be a member. The Catholic clergy of Massachusetts turned on Kerry because he rejects many of their teachings--just not their imprimatur of piety, as that gains votes. Howard Dean's favorite New Testament book is Job--much more easily located in the Old. I discussed their problem in the values department here. They don't lack values. They just have in abundance the wrong ones. And there is very little faking that. And it seems they know that, as they are even now discussing what values they want to hold as a party. Which is troubling, as these people are already officeholders. Might they have wanted to have this detail resolved before then? Or is it all about power?

And there is something in particular that strikes me as peculiarly perverted about a party whose most important value, the one that they defend more vigorously then any other, is the right of a woman to end an inconvenient pregnancy by dismembering and killing the unborn baby. It is strange that they picked this one as their defining issue. And it has defined them in the culture war.

Values are an equally losing battle for them.

Candor and Fair Play

Nobody likes a liar. Bill Clinton came to office promising a tax cut, which he broke in his first few days of office. He told us that he had no involvement in numerous scandals, but in the end, on the day before he left office, cut a deal to avoid prosecution. He wouldn't have done that if he thought he was innocent. He claimed that he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, but then a year later admitted that had done something "wrong" with her. It all depended upon what the meaning of "is" is. He smoked pot but didn't inhale. John Kerry voted to properly arm our solders in Iraq--before he voted against it. He released his entire military record, once some documents were removed. Harry Reid and the Democrats promised that they wouldn't filibuster any more judges except in "extraordinary circumstances" which means that a Supreme Court appointment that does not agree with their values is extraordinary. And just after that deal was inked, after Harry Reid promised Bill Frist that he would not do so, and while it was wholly unrelated, they filibustered John Bolton for the UN Ambassador position. The filibuster agreement was designed to do away with unnecessary partisan bickering. Instead, Reid filibustered because the "agreement" didn't really deal with Administrative nominees like Bolton. We can't believe a word they say.

Bush is a Nazi. I can't list the number of Hollywood leftists who have said that. But Dick Durbin (D-IL) likened our soldiers to them, the KGB and the Khmer Rouge too. Gitmo is a torture chamber. Bush lied soldiers died. Kerry said that Bush and Cheney were a dirty bunch of liars. And Howard Dean said...well...lots of things. Jimmy Carter, the aforementioned failed leader takes every opportunity to criticize the Bush Administration's efforts in the war on terror, accusing him of illegal acts. Michael Moore made a movie that went deeper into the malaria-infested fetid fever swamp of radical leftist conspiracy theory in his movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 which numerous Democrats lauded, earning him a spot in the presidential box at the Democrats' convention. The 1968 rioters would be proud.

Civility is gone. They divide us based on race, economic status and political ideology. And then they claim that we need unity.

They have lied to us, dodged the truth, and behaved like maniacs in their public statements. They have abandoned all reason and are openly coming unglued, to the delight of the very people they detract.

Candor is equally a losing issue.

The Dems are willing to blame America for the behavior of our enemies because they do not take seriously our value as a nation and the goodness that is America, not the importance of defending our interests and homeland. They believe that our money is theirs to take and spend as they see fit, and that we have to justify our earning it to them. They have no respect for our system of government or of separation of powers, because they want laws to agree with their political objectives, not laws that will be passed by the Congress as the Constitution prescribes, and they are fairly regularly soft on crime. They have values, but none resembling yours. And they'll tell you the truth, if it helps them.

This is not the honorable party of patriotic folk from the early 20th century. This has become the party of the baby boomer, flower child left who abandoned flip-flops and torn jeans for business suits. But as adults, they do an excellent job behaving like children. And it turns voters off.

That's what happened to the Democrats.

Checking in...

Sorry no posts for the past few days. I'm working on a big one that I want to be perfect befoer I release it, and hopefully I'll drop it on you all tonight. So check back, and thanks for being a reader!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Strategic Errors

The terrorists goofed. The attacks in London, while hideous, hit not too far from where the G-8 summit is being held. The intent was to disrupt the meeting. The effect may be quite different. The leaders in attendance stood together in a fairly short appearance as Tony Blair read a statement of resolution in the face of these attacks. The leaders looked pretty resolved. Which is where the mistake finds its cost.

The point of terror is to scare the hell out of people--NOT to make them mad. Mad people hit back. The problem with this occuring in such proximity to these leaders, and with the goal of disrupting their efforts, may indeed have the effect of steeling all of them. Remoteness often engenders complacency. The fact that this happened around the corner will create a significant degree of personal involvement for each of these leaders.

And you don't want world leaders with cash mad at you.

They Hit Our Brothers

Our prayers, hearts and minds go out to the Brits who are feeling the effects of terrorism. Few details, much confusion, and much speculation, but it appears that the public transportation system in London was hit.

May God be with them. Brits, we've been there, and you will not stand alone. You have our support.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Prepare for Borking

The Democrats are serious about derailing Bush's pick for the Supreme Court. The only problem with that plan is that we don't yet know the identity of that person. Byron York offers a very good assessment of what is to come (courtesy, RealClearPolitics).

It doesn't take a genius to deal properly with the questions that the Senators will throw out. And probably the best way for any nominee to show their quality would be for them to rephrase the Senators' questions to get to the crux of what is really being asked to avoid the "loaded question". For example, Sen. Schumer, Kennedy or Durbin asks:

"Do you believe that the principle of stare decisis applies to Roe v. Wade? The question asks whether the legal principle that decided matters should remain undisturbed applies to Roe v. Wade. The real question is will you disturb Roe v. Wade? Here's the way the nominee handles the issue effectively:

"I believe stare decisis applies to all matters settled in the law."

So when the follow-up question hits about Roe, because they won't leave their sacrament alone, the heavy answer can come this way:

As I said Senator, settled matters should remain settled, but we cannot pick and choose the matters to which stare decisis applies. It either does for all or it does not for any. It applied to Bowers v. Hardwick [1986 holding that states could criminalize sodomy], at least until Lawrence v. Texas [2003 holding that they couldn't] was decided. So the courts can and throughout history do on very rare occasion correct their earlier holdings, recognizing that they may not have gotten it exactly right, or maybe even got it completely wrong. So yes, settled matters should remain so, but that rule should not exist for the particular benefit of any single case, nor should we presume that that rule is more important than the integrity and justness of the law itself.

Which answer they'll hate. And when they want to go further and get into the "living document" twaddle:

Senator, the stare decisis principle you just laid out is in direct conflict with the "Constitution as a 'living document'" paradigm which you are now trying to advance. Either the law as written by the Congress and approved by the President says what it says and governs us as such, or it says whatever the individual reader wants it to say depending upon the prevailing mores of the day, but it cannot be both. If one wants the Constitution to say a particular thing that it does not expressly say, the
Founders provided us with a process, so far exercised 27 times, where we changed
the meaning of the document. That way the people, whom the Constitution
protects, can decide through their representatives both in Washington and in the
various states how they will allow themselves be governed. But a Court cannot simply put meaning into the Constitution because they--however rightly or wrongly--believe that it ought to be there. The ought comes from the Congress, not from the Courts.

Beyond that, the Founders who believed that the people should have various individual rights even before the Constitution was written, were dissatisfied with the fact that it did not expressly confer various rights which they felt were fundamental rights. Therefore, they drafted the first ten Amendments to guarantee those rights. Doing this adds meaning to the document, and therefore "life". A court writing meaning into the document that is not plainly there detracts from and rather twists the meaning of the document, making it more of an unclear guideline than a clear demarcation of the rights of individuals versus those of the state. If one wants to find new rights, they can be added by Amendment. The Founders did not provide an alternate approach to the changing of the Constitution's meaning.
All of which will send the Democrats into an unqualified filibustering fit. And the nominee will be a racist, bigot, homophobe, anti-woman, roll back the rights hatemonger. But it will outline the fact that the law may be born in politics, but that it cannot continue to be influenced by it once it hits the books, unless of course modified by the same process that gave it birth.

The Dems know that their radical left agenda won't get passed by originalists any more than it would be passed by the Congress or the states, hence their opposition to them. And given that a filibuster is a guarantee anyway, it probably wouldn't hurt for the originalist nominee to point out the inconsistencies in the Dems' arguments.

ADDENDUM

John Hinderaker at Powerline posts that Charles Schumer was overheard discussing a filibuster one way or the other. He points out that Bush loves Thomas and Scalia. Which makes me think that he will not appoint Gonzales, unless he is convinced that Gonzales is a guaranteed originalist who will not make new law. And then he'd have to appoint a new Attorney General for a new set of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. And the thought of seeing that again is more than I can bear.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Senator Mensa

Elisa over at Boxer Watch posts this little item which confirms what we already knew well enough to suspect. The Dems are planning a filibuster of anyone who is no pro-abortion.

And like the little pre-schooler who can't keep a secret, Senator Mensa, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) spilled the beans.

To open her mouth in such a way indicates that the Senator is about little more than abortion, which should be equally not surprising. But note Elisa's salient points: Boxer assumes that the point of the Supreme Court is to sanction and then protect a right to abortion. Elisa's comments about other issues facing the court, however, presume that the senator is able to comprehend them.

Boxer is profoundly obtuse. She will not understand complex and age old issues such as land use and property rights. She does, however, understand what can be termed "women's issues" in terms of talking points. She regurgitates them on the talk shows (or else writes them on her arm, which may explain why she sounds better in short sleeve weather). Because that's all she is. Abortion is not an issue which all women or families find relevant to them, but someone as hopelessly doltish as Barbara Boxer can't possibly grasp that concept.

This was a very destructive disclosure for Sen. Mensa to make. Her party leaders must be gagging with fury, as this kind of disclosure detracts significant legitimacy from their feigned righteousness on the judicial issue. The filibuster will now be viewed in light of NOW and NARAL. And it shows that abortion is the only real issue these people care about. Good for them. The abortion party.

And we have Sen. Mensa to thank for it. Is there a village in the Bay Area that has lost its idiot?