Monday, October 25, 2004
This weekend CIA came out to say that there does not appear to be a terrorist plan in the states before the election.
This is probably because the terrorists have decided that an attack on US soil might tilt the election toward Bush. Their efforts are much better spent keeping violence against civillians in Iraq in the news, to erode American resolve which would translate into votes for Kerry at the polls. That and the fact that they want desperately for Iraq to fail and become a dictatorship again, theocratic or not.
This morning on Morning Edition, it was reported that UN inspectors are furious at Duelfer and his report for saying that Saddam planned on restarting his WMD programs as soon as sanctions were lifted, and for leaving out the crucial fact that the sanctions were working and that the UN had planned to oversee Saddam's weapons programs for years.
Sort of like they oversaw the oil for food program? Yeah, that was effective. Trutfully, some well placed bombs, inspections, and sanctions by the UN were, in fact, effective through about 1995, when Saddam was reduced to the point of accepting the Oil for Food offer. However, the UN gave Saddam far too much autonomous control in the program. What Duelfer reported was that Saddam quickly found a way to scam the program by selling oil well under the market rate and splitting the profits with the buyers in secret bank accounts -- to the tune of 2.6 and 2.8 billion dollars with the Russians and French, and just under 2 billion with the Chinese. Since the UN was kicked of Iraq out in the mid 90's, Saddam was in fact building missiles while continuing his huge propaganda campaign of dead babies and other social hardships which could easily have been avoided if, in fact, Saddam would have used the Oil for Food program for .... Food. He was within a year or two of having sanctions lifted.
So... the sanctions worked until Saddam took the UN up on Oil for Food and found a way to use it to negate the effect that sanctions had on his goals while he exploited the consequential suffering of his own people to get the sanctions lifted. There were no inspectors until right before the invasion of 2003. Saddam was quite successfully thumbing his nose at the UN to the point of practical subversion.
And this organization, the UN, was going to oversee Saddam's weapons programs and make sure he was on the up and up for years after the sanctions were lifted.
Pardon me for having less than 100% confidence in the UN.
This man was up to no good. He had proven himself an expert at deception, and was well on his way to having the UN let him off the hook even in the weeks leading up to the war. If Bush had let things take their course, Saddam would have gotten away with it. Bush knew that. He said enough screwin' around -- we're takin' him out with or without your support -- and it was the right thing to do.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Reasons vary from George helping out his "old oil buddies" (right. gotcha. next?) to reasoning that the war in Iraq raised the price of oil ... which it did, but that wasn't an unexpected side effect of the war. You don't refrain from doing the right thing because it will raise gas prices.
Anyway, good article here from today's Cato Daily Dispatch --
What Should the Government Do About Higher Gas Prices?
and another on the first amendment, Sinclair, Michael Moore, and both parties....
Sinclair Decides Not to Broadcast "Stolen Honor"
Let's not forget, liberty, free speech, and free markets go hand in hand. Those should be our government's priorities. Health Care & Gas Prices are OUR problems.
Edwards responded by saying Bush's decision to forgo a shot is no answer.
"I love this ... that's a great solution for the country," Edwards said. "This president couldn't even deal with the flu shot crisis."
Mmm-hmmm.... And Kerry/Edwards solution would have been something like this, I suppose....
We have a plan for the flu-shot crisis. We're going to make sure that every American who needs one, the sick, the young, and seniors, get the flu shots they need and deserve.
Which, like all of their other "plans", is not a plan, it's a goal. A goal is not a plan. Bush, of course, has that same goal, but the government agencies in charge of making the plan have already made it and are executing it.
Cheney, who is over 65 and has a history of heart problems, would easily fit the definition of someone who should get one. And he did.
And to that the Kerry/Edwards campaign responds:
"Once again, the Bush administration proves that it is the 'do as we say, not as we do' White House," the campaign said in a statement issued in Pittsburgh where Kerry was campaigning."The very week that (health) secretary (Tommy) Thompson is telling Americans to keep calm, Dick Cheney, John Snow and Bill Frist are getting flu shots."
Well, I'm keeping calm. I guess according to the Kerry/Edwards I should be panicing. I, for one, plan not to get a shot. Maybe late November I might do the mist if it's still available -- there's only about a million doses of that, but people are more reluctant to take it because you could get a little mini-flu for a few days. I'll probably just skip it altogether and try keep my hands clean.
As to John Snow and Bill Frist, I don't know what their health situations or their ages, and it's not for me to pass judgement. It is still the perrogative of every American to make his or her own choice about whether or not to seek a shot.
Our leader, the guy I'm voting for, chose not to get one as an EXAMPLE -- as a good leader should do. He didn't make an ultimatum or law (and he couldn't - he's not Congress, and that's the way it should be) -- but he set the example. It's up to us to follow it or not.
To put things in a little perspective Center for Disease Control director Julie Gerberding points out
"Just a few years ago, we went through the whole flu season with the same number of doses that we're dealing with this year."
I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but it sure has been magnified this political season.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
If you can't deal with the responsibility (I know, there I go with those out-dated conservative ideas again) -- of getting yourself informed so you know how to vote and where you're supposed to do it, stay home and let people with a clue vote.
Oh, sorry... is expecting people to be responsible for themselves too intimidating?
Raise your hand if you think the Democrats have nothing to do with the dividedness of the country right now.
For the past 18 months, Democrats have worked tirelessly to stoke up divisiveness in this nation with one self-serving goal: to defeat President Bush. In their version of the world, George Bush never has, and never will, do anything right. They like to accuse him of politicizing 9/11 -- it is the Democrats who have politicized it.
Everything, to them, is George Bush's fault. And do you think their patrionizing contempt for Christian America has anything to do with why the nation is divided?
They forget that at least half of America is still Christian and has relatively conservative social values (and by those I mean responsibility and consideration) -- but it's ok to ignore them... they're uneducated. Unenlightened. (read: they don't think like Liberals do, so they're wrong).
Oh, I know, I'm partisan. (Wait, I've voted Libertarian in every election since 1992 -- until this one).
What other purpose could Teresa Heinz Kerry have had in mind than to slam the first lady when she said "...I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up." It was couched in all kinds of qualitative language, but if she didn't mean to "dis" her, then why put it that way?
Clearly, she wanted to frame Laura as the vapid Stepford Wife that Democrats would like everyone to think she is -- and by doing that imply that Bush is some sort of controlling freak with no respect for women.
Clearly, Laura Bush has more class in her left pinky than Teresa Heinz will ever have. It can't be bought.
I saw ACT in our neighborhood a few weeks ago and got suspicous about who they were and looked them up. Now it appears they are, at least in Missouri, handing out fliers with a 40 year old shot of a fireman blasting a young African American with a firehose. The caption reads "This is what they used to do to keep us from voting." Implying that Republicans are trying to intimidate black voters.
Of course, the caption should have read "This is what Southern Democrats used to do to keep us from voting", because I'll guarantee you that it wasn't a Republican who ordered the hosing.
Let's review. The party was organized in Ripon, WI on February 28, 1854, as a party opposed to the westward expansion of slavery. Abe Lincoln, a Republican, led the fight to end slavery. President Grant committed federal troops to the South to enforce the constitutional rights of the freed slaves. Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, sent troops to Arkansas to enforce desegregation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have passed if a majority of Republicans hadn't supported and voted for it.
Republicans believe in African Americans just as they do anyone else. They're colorblind in policy. They want African Americans to gain their own self-respect by working hard and being decent folk like everyone else. America is divided if we look at it any other way.
Democrats want African Americans to believe that they need Democrats to protect them. They thrive on stirring up divisions between black and white America. And look where 35 years of condescending liberal policy have gotten them?
Self-Righteous. Condescending. Those two words describe the core of the liberal self-appointed elite.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
A Kerry victory would be seen and used by Al Queda as an Al Queda Victory. As I've noted before, give a screaming child what it wants, and you can expect more screaming. You've just taught him that his tactics work.
It does not matter whether or not Kerry would chase down terrorists and kill them or how much more effectively he might (speculatively) do it.
We are at war. Our enemy realizes that there is no way to defeat us militarily. They opt, therefore, to fight a propaganda war. Not one where they just stand up and bloviate, but one where they provide fodder for Amercans and others with no stomach for fighting to stand and say "enough!". This is a war where they let us defeat ourselves with our own internal propaganda. It worked in Vietnam. It's dangerously close to working today.
Osama Bin Laden and Al-Zarkawi don't have to say "we kill more and more of you every month". They just step up their efforts and let our own press analyze & re-hash & speculate & bloviate, and allow Kerry to stand up and say "More in July than June, more in August than July, more in September than August" -- he is their mouthpiece, as he was 30 years ago after he left Vietnam for the Viet Cong.
As Putin said a few days ago, "Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush."
The terrorists want Bush to lose. That is their biggest short-term tactical objectiveright now. If Kerry wins, whether or not it's correct (though I believe it would be), they would believe it was because of their terrorist efforts. Their inexcusible violence against civilians (terrorism) will have changed the political landscape of the United States of America. It would be a huge morale boost to them, and a potent recruitment tool.
They are throwing everything they have at Iraq right now in a desparate effort to bring Bush down. If they succeed, all of the health-care, social security, and jobs in the world won't be enough to make up for the victory the American people will have handed them. As they did after Somalia, Al-Queda will use for their recruiting the tagline that America has no stomach for a fight, and we will have proven them right.
This is serious. You want to deliver a blow to Al-Queda yourself without firing a shot? Now is your chance. Get out and vote. You and anyone else you can convince -- get out and vote against Bin Laden by voting for George Bush.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
I've been waiting to see this. Kerry's insistence that "we had him cornered" and "let him go" by "outsourcing the job" (as if we turned our backs while the Warlords took bribes) probably cost Bush dearly in undecided votes -- because he didn't rebutt it. I'm not quite sure why that was.
But here's the crux of Tommy's letter:
First Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.So we did have Afghans and Pakistanis helping us, but we were there running the show. I guess "acting unilaterally" is good when Bush doesn't do it, and it's bad when he does. Make up your minds.
Second, we did not "outsource" military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.
Third, the Afghans weren't left to do the job alone. Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes. Pakistani troops also provided significant help - as many as 100,000 sealed the border and rounded up hundreds of Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
To be fair, Jefferson DID mention the words "Separation between Church and State" when addressing a Baptist Congregation once, to reassure them that the state would not try to dictate what they could say.
I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
Christian Antagonists love to quote the first part of that "no law respecting an establishment of..." but ingnore the "or prohibiting the free exercise of" part. It was meant to protect religious freedom, not to remove religion from society. The intent was to protect churches from the meddlings of the state.
I've been reading leftist comments on the web -- and I note that anyone who has an opinion that opposes one of theirs is a "Right-Wing Shill" or a "Republican Shill." They love to label and throw what they don't like in the "it would be ludicrous not to ignore these people" pile.
Of course, somebody calls a lefty a "Liberal" and he'll scream "labels! libels! labels!"
I heard someone interviewing soldiers in Iraq on NPR last night. The interviewer, it seemed, went out of her way to make sure to get an equal number of soldiers saying they would vote for Kerry as would vote for Bush.
The story didn't say it, but it leaves the impression that military folks are evenly split between Kerry and Bush. I understand the equal-ness in air time and all, but what I want to know is... what's the truth? Are Military voters more likely to vote Bush than Kerry, or not?
The right wants us to believe that the Military leans heavily Bush, while the left wants us to believe that they're all unhappy over there and don't believe in what they're doing. Which is true?
My suspicion is that the first position is the correct one, but it flies in the face of the left's position that Big Bully Bush threw our boys and girls over there unprepared and armorless and they're not happy about it. I think that NPR wants us to believe that it's more evenly split so that we can buy the argument "Support Our Troops. Bring 'em Home." I suspect if they really were evenly split, it would have been mentioned for sure -- but that could have been refuted by a poll. Rather than take the poll themselves and report an answer they don't like, they opted for the more subtle approach -- air 4-6 interviews, evenly split Bush/Kerry and just leave the impression.
A friend recently went ballistic over a headline in the St. Louis Post Dispatch that proclaimed that the Archbishop of St. Louis declared a vote for Kerry would be a mortal sin. Not only was she pissed at the Bishop, she was pissed at the Post Dispatch, saying she'd never buy the paper again because they put that story so prominently on the front page.
So I suppose this means she stands firmly against the First Amendment, and for supression of news she doesn't want people to hear.
However, she was apparently also for the First Amendment, as she decried it as a violation of the "separation of church and state".
So here's the first amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Note, just for the record, that the words "separation", "church", and "state" do not appear anywhere in there.
First, the Church cannot make laws. It cannot use the power of the state to throw you in jail or in fact do anything to you if you refuse to do what it says. The government does not support or refute the church's position, which is clearly one of the intents. The Church is free to peaceably assemble people and say what it wants.
So where's the problem?
She said the Church should lose its tax-exempt status for speaking its position on the race for the Presidency. I didn't push her, but I wonder how she feels about labor unions telling their employees to back Kerry (tax exempt) and the Muslim Cleric who recently stated that it was the moral responsibility of all American Muslims to vote for Kerry. I'm sure she was fine with that (although she'd probably have to back down from that in a public argument because it's such a ludicrous double-standard).
That's where the Left wants to take the country.
Monday, October 18, 2004
But it's nice to see someone in a position of informed authority -- president of an anti-Iraq-war country, no less, come out and say it flatly:
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says terrorist attacks in Iraq are aimed at preventing the re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush and that a Bush defeat "could lead to the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world." . . .
"Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush," Putin said.
Well, they succeeded in Spain in removing Anzar. Success breeds success. They are trying and will continue to try here. If they succeed here, they will be emboldened to try to push their world view on us and the rest of the world. I don't think many of us want that world view. And sorry, it is NOT the moral equivalent of Bush's.
Give a screaming child what it wants, and you can expect more screaming. Give killers of innocent people what they want, and you can count on more killing of innocents.
Let's see, Osama Bin Laden wants Kerry to win. Kim Jung-Il wants Kerry to win. Ingrid Newkirk (PETA) wants Kerry to win.
Do I need any more reasons to vote for Bush?
The first move would be no surprise, first of all, as Bush has already come out in favor of taking the difficult but responsible move to wean social security away from a gigantic pyramid scheme (aren't those illegal for everyone else?) that's about to collapse under it's own weight. The plan is to do it in a way that protects people who are retired or are about to retire. Nonetheless, the intent is to frighten seniors into voting for Kerry in large numbers.
Kerry, on the other hand, plans to leave the pyramid scheme alone (at least until he's elected by the in part people who are for that) and then he can change his mind later when the political winds dictate it. Remember, this campaign is far from the first one to expose Kerry for the weathervane that he is.
The draft issue is a complete fabrication. The Republicans recently brought the Democrat-sponsored bill up again in order to kill it and end all speculation on whether or not it would happen. Even the bill's sponsor voted against it. It's dead. Bush said No, Congress said No, Kerry's hoping to use this Halloween season to keep it's ghost alive.
Friday, October 15, 2004
So I can think of two reasons why he would have brought her up.
- Some say that it's a back-handed compliment aimed at pointing out some sort of hypocrisy on the part of the Bush Administration for being against gay marriage while having a prominent gay in their midst.
- The other reason, which I'd like to find to be the more probable one, would be that he was trying to diffuse any advantage Bush/Cheney might have on the issue because the Cheneys do have a family member that is gay who they love and embrace -- which might give them more legitimacy on the issue. Perhaps the back-patting was genuine.
So while I think it was in the end inappropriate, (one's sexuality is personal) especially if the flag was raised by the Cheneys after the VP debate, I'm not so sure it was ill-intended.
I'm not going to pretend I understand the emotions that caused the Cheneys' tempers to flare, but a simple "I'm sorry if I offended anyone, I certainly didn't mean to" from the Democrats
would probably be the proper response.
Mrs. Edwards' response to the flash of anger on the part of the Cheneys, however, stinks to high heaven.
"She's overreacted to this and treated it as if it's shameful to have this discussion. I think that's a very sad state of affairs. ... I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences. ... "
Shows a classless and condescending attitude toward the Cheneys.
The Left is so busy self-righteously bashing Christians' self-righeousness that they can't see their own. Their attitude toward the populace is "we, the enlightened and educated will tell you how to think", and "we will take care of you".
Which is the basic difference between the country they want and the country I want. I want a country where I'm free to take care of myself and believe what I want to believe. They want me to believe what they want me to believe, and they want to use the coercive power of the government to do it. It's the very reason we have the separation of church and state -- so the government is not promoting or hindering any deeply held ideologies on the entire populace.
I've said, I'm for gay unions, but I don't want it legislated that I have to call it marriage, and to me, that's what this is about. Recognize gay unions, give gay couples rights to health-care benefits and visitation rights. Just don't force a language change on the country because YOU think that's what I should have to call it. We can bestow rights on people in different situations without re-defining what we call one of them.
As a Libertarian, I'm against a lot of federal controls, and actually agree that ideally it should be left to the states -- however, I understand Bush's point on activist judges passing law from the bench and bypassing Congressional representation. That's not the way it's supposed to work, and it works more and more like that as years go by. Something needs to be done about that.
Judges need to rule that they can't legislate, only interpret laws that the legislature passes.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Great quote from today's Cato Daily Dispatch by Doug Bandow
Soul molding is important business, but it isn't government's business. The state doesn't do the job well; the government's agenda won't always be benign.
Most important, that's not the state's proper role. Government has been instituted to secure individual rights, not to empower those who would reprogram their neighbors. The state should step out of the way of the family, church, community, and other institutions as they seek to shape values. Government should not seek to override or supplant those institutions.
Couldn't have said it better myself. This is what the activists want... to use government to reprogram their neighbors.
How is Kerry going to make sure everyone is covered without government subsidy? It also sounds to me like he plans to "lower costs" by having the government pay the difference. This isn't lowering costs, it's hiding it. When the government guarantees the medical profession the high prices they charge - they can charge what they want. And why not? The government will pay for it.
The fact is that government subsidies have as much if not more to do with high health care costs as anything else.
I'm hearing that Kerry won this debate. I missed it last night and watched recording of afterwards. I'll tell you right now Kerry lost on abortion no matter which side you're on -- he was all over the map. Frankly, I can't tell where he stands. He lost on gay marriage. He wants it both ways. He wants to be against it and for it. (for the war and against it. His faith guides his decisions, unless they'll lose him the votes of his base). And he lost on Social Security. The man with the plan's answer was not convincing. It sounds to me like he's trying to reassure the skiddish seniors to get their votes.
Here's a good quote from Kerry... "The fact is we have people from the middle east... allegedly.... coming across the border...."
The fact is... allegedly. Boy that sounds as convincing as "the fact is, these memos are authentic... allegedly...." Beware when you hear people in a political campaign start their sentences with "the fact is", or "the truth of the matter". It may be a fact or the truth, but don't just take it at face value.
Economically, guys, the equation is simple. Raise taxes, lose jobs. Raise minimum wage, lose jobs. Government pays for health care, cost goes up (and taxes must follow).... surely the American people see this. Take the president up on his challenge. Ask countries that have socially run healthcare... federal health care plans, how they feel about health care in their countries, as well as the tax burden they bear.
To listen to Kerry, the President has done nothing right in the last 4 years, he hates women, sinisterly helps big business buddies of his, hates the middle class, hates blacks, started a war for political gain, doesn't give a rot about health care, and is a big, stupid liar -- this is an unreasonable mode of thought, and underscores the fact that the democratic campaign is much more about defeating Bush than it is about John Kerry being president.
Kerry talks as if there's this magical box of free money somewhere to pay for the programs he wants more spent on, yet he bashes the president for money he has committed to things such as national security. He wants to pay as you go, balance the budget, and pay for a bunch of new and expanded government programs. The equation doesn't add up.
I must disagree with the assessment that Kerry won this debate. I don't think he did.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
"I take full responsibility and apologize for any information given in good faith that has subsequently turned out to be wrong," Blair told the House of Commons, in a stormy session dominated by the war.
"What I do not in any way accept is that there was any deception of anyone. I will not apologize for removing Saddam Hussein. I will not apologize for the conflict. I believe it was right then, is right now and essential for the wider security of that region and world."
This is a much more elloquent and consise way of putting Bush's position on the subject. George, put this one in your speech book.
This is what I buy, and I've bought all along. If you go back to the beginning days of my blog in the leadup to the Iraq war, I've been pretty consistent on this. I do not believe the conspiracy theories about the war largely because they don't make sense.
- Blood for Oil? Bull hockey. We were getting plenty of oil before the war and there was no reason to believe the war would improve the situation any.
- Corporate interests? Right. I think any objective analyis of George Bush, the man -- will tell you that he wouldn't send a thousand Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis to their deaths to give Halliburton a boost in profits.
- Revenge for Dad? Hey, there are all kinds of motives for doing things, and I'm sure the assassination attempt on his father didn't detract from the argument any.
- Imperialism/Empire Building? -- that's the shrill Left shrieking out one of its many conspiracy theories.
- Knew Saddam didn't have WMD? Right. Perhaps you weren't paying attention to the UN between 1991 and 2002.
I remember what was going on leading up to the war. Saddam was playing the UN like a marrionette show and succeeding. The longer we waited, the better the chance that there would not be enough support at home, let alone the world, to take the man out.
Saddam wasn't a direct threat to the US mainland -- and I think everyone knew that. -- However, the world knew he had Chem/Bio weapons, was willing to use them and demonstrated that willingness by using them, and thought nothing of annexing a neighboring soveriegn country. It now appears that he had indeed gotten rid of the Chem/Bio stocks and his nuclear program (though that may have been outsourced), but he seemed to go out of his way to look like he had something to hide. What was the world to assume after 9/11?
It wasn't like he was going to fire a missile at Miami or Washington DC. More likely, he would take a cue from Al-Queda or even perhaps enlist their help by passing chem/bio to them for use here and elsewhere.
A sworn enemy of the United States and a proven unscrupulous man, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and keeping the whole country clutched in fear, who cheered the 9/11 "bombing" of Civillian America and provided safe haven for terrorists such as Al-Zarkawi, who sponsored suicide bombings in Israel at one time had weapons of mass destruction, used them, and tried very hard to cover his trail even when he disposed of them, who refused to prove he disposed of them, who routinely shot at our planes as we tried to enforce some of the 17 UN resolutions and sanctions -- dude, I just don't feel bad that we didn't find any WMD.
Does that mean we invade Iran or North Korea?
No, it doesn't. As Bush has said, they're entirely different situations. That question is based on the assumption that we went in to Iraq for one reason and one reason only, WMD. That was just a part of the argument.
Kerry, who voted against the 1991 war AFTER George Senior got UN approval for it and the much touted "good" Coallition, said himself right before the war (and after voting to authorize it)
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous
dictator, leading an oppressive regime. He presents a particularly grievous
threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation."
and went on to say that the threat of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction is not new, but that "it had been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War."
It's a little disingenuous to attack the President for "lying" and "rushing to war" with those two statements under your belt.
I have no doubts that if John Kerry and the UN got what they wanted, Saddam would still be in power, eroding the effectiveness of UN Resolutions and sanctions at the expense of the US and UK (as we were pretty much the only ones with our necks on the line enforcing them) until he re-established his chem/bio programs, all the while killing & torturing more Iraqis, sponsoring terrorism in Israel and encouraging and supporting it elsewhere, shooting at our planes, and possibly passing out Anthrax to terrorist agents regargless of their Al-Queda affilliations.
Bush, Blair, and Anzar did the right thing.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
His record on gas prices?
The government should have nothing to do with gas prices (other than the tax... is Kerry proposing a gas tax cut? That should help his budget-balancing act ... and make the Enviro-Activist left REAL happy.)
Go away, Kerry.
Monday, October 11, 2004
But not before Hannity ran a brilliant collage of about 50 or so different clips of Kerry saying "I have a plan" -- the funniest thing I've seen since the Daily show ran clips from Bush's farewell speech to Texas when he left for the Whitehouse, where he said "Texas" ... um... several times.
On the other hand, I think Bush is proud to be called a Texan and he's proud of Texas. So frankly, it worked for me.
But I've heard very little about Kerry's plan, only that he has one, and I've heard that he has one over and over and over. Or one for everything. His plan for ending war is peace. His plan for regaining our popularity in the world is to have a big meeting and find out what we have to do to get in the club. His plan for health care is to spend a lot of money from the Infinite Money Chest of the Rich and Priviledged so everyone is covered. His plan for unemployment is to get jobs for everybody. See how this goes?
Go to JohnKerry.com and download the "Plans" -- lots of quotes, not a lot of substance -- or what one might call a "plan".
I have a great solution to end world hunger. We'll make sure everyone gets enough to eat!
Ran across a good article (Oct 10) on voting and who should, shouldn't, and why: Conservative Crust the Oct 10 Article "Thoughts on Voting ".
Let's see, "Bush Leads... but"...
"...whatever bad news develops in Iraq..."
Yeah, we see where you're going with this.
Looks like the Afghan election went pretty well -- although they had hangnails instead of hanging chads. Can't really complain - as we learned in 2000, elections aren't perfect and that can make a difference in close ones. I don't know how close the election in Afghanistan was, but I'm thinking it wasn't that close. We'll know soon. Congratulations, guys! May this be the beginning of a bright new future for Afghanistan.
Been reading more in Coulter's book. She continues to be witty and biting -- she's a very entertaining writer. You know she's cherry-picking some of the facts, but the libbies (and there are a lot more of them) have been doing that for years. I have found some examples of her biting too hard to the Right, but -- there is a lot of truth to be gleaned from her viewpoint that gets ignored in this world where the Liberal point of view isn't typically qualified by the word "Liberal", whereas if you have a conservative point of view, it is pre-emptively tagged "Conservative" so it can be dismissed without discussion.
Bush did well Friday night. I especially appreciated him bringing up the fact that there IS still such a thing as ethics, and calling Kerry out on 1) not voting, 2) voting against a thing or two he said he was for, and 3) specifically when Kerry charged Bush with sending kids to Iraq without body armor, and Kerry voted against it. Well, after he voted for it -- you know the drill.
Oh, and the stuff about doing the right thing when it's not popular? Bingo, buddy.
And of course, the whole "how're you gonna pay for this [big social package]?" thing.
I noted Coulter mentioning that the new liberal tactic is to prefix propaganda with "The fact of the matter is,...." and "studies show...." - I noticed a lot of that in the debate and post-debate spin.
Friday, October 08, 2004
Bush claims 1.7 million jobs created. Kerry counters "ah, but they're not private sector jobs" (hey, doesn't the money spend the same?). And in the end there is some factiod about 1.6 fewer private sector jobs than when Bush took office.
And my response is....????
Does anyone honestly thing that Bush's policies have Jack to do with the bulk of these numbers? Geez, I'm glad we didn't have a nation-wide drought on Bush's watch. We could blame that on him, too.
The economy can certainly be affected by Federal policy, but it's very hard to correlate and it's usually quite slow in reacting. For one thing, the economy is always an up-and-down thing. It has it's own cycles, and on top of that there are other factors in this economy that have had far more impact, not the least of which was 9/11 and fear-driven oil prices. To say that Bush's policies led to huge job losses is ludicrous.
Don't let Kerry slip crap like that by you tonight, Mr. President.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
So I just bought her new book (How to Talk to a Liberal) looking for the terribly heartless bitch that the Liberals complain about. She's just not there. (Don't the liberals love lamenting "if a woman is opinionated, then she's a bitch". Well, apparently it's only a lament if the woman has Liberal opinions. Otherwise, she's a bimbo bitch.)
When I read, I try to look for the truth behind what someone is saying. In today's politically charged times, I mostly see people (especially in the media) reading to find one inconsistency, one inaccuracy, one outrageous statement and then use that to discredit the whole work if they don't like where its going.
[Oh, I know. You wanna ding me on Dan Rather. Dan held up something as "irrefutable" proof that "W" got preferential treatment. The fact that it was not only refutable but he knew it was refutable at worst, or at best knew that he didn't know it was irrefutable.]
Ann is willing to say things media does not want to admit. Not only does the media not want to admit them, it refuses to let the Ann Coulter side of the topic to be brought up.
The book title mostly refers to Chapter 1. The rest of it is various entertaining and thought-provoking articles she has written over the past year or so.
She's right about the Left's tactics in arguments. No, not the statesmen who have to get normal peoples' votes to elect them (they're usually more careful about actual rhetoric), but the core leftist base. You bring up a fact or angle they don't like, and they haul out the labels. "Nazi" usually being their favorite. Over the last 20 years, that one has replaced the previous favorite of "Facist" which is now down in the #2 spot. Search the web on Ann Coulter and you hear the Left calling her a bimbo because she's got long blonde hair and wears short skirts and heels. "We don't have to address what she's saying. She wears short skirts!" They love to demean her skinny legs, and infer that if a woman has something like a libido and embraces femininity and expresses it -- she must be brainless. And what is this, anyway? I thought we weren't supposed to be holding women to a particular body image.
The other thing she brought up about arguing with a Liberal is also something I've noticed when doing the same myself. It's almost impossible to argue with a liberal at all (no, not because they're right, but) because they keep shifting what the argument is about in some clumsy "slight of mouth" fashion. As she says, "you think you're talking about the war in Iraq, and suddenly they're talking about Nixon and Oil."
Anyway, I'm enjoying the book.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Mr Kerry said Mr Bush knew there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda when he ordered the invasion of Iraq and, on Monday, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed to add weight to Mr Kerry's arguments when he said he had not seen "strong, hard evidence" of a link.
Ok. The charge?
Mr. Bush knew there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda when he ordered the invasion of Iraq.
The "supporting argument"?
"[Rumsfeld] said he had not seen 'strong, hard evidence' of a link."
There's a big difference between "knowing" and "not having strong hard evidence."
Friday, October 01, 2004
So here's how debate prep should have gone: Get some willing (probably conservative) news guy to ask questions he thought Leher might ask. Bush would play Kerry. Rumsfeld would play Bush. Bush observes Rummy, then they switch roles.
Yeah. Oh well. Too late now. Bush didn't exactly lose, but I think Kerry gained more than Bush did. I hope I'm wrong. See previous post for my expounding.
But how one comes across and what's really going on in the world are two separate issues. Kerry made some strong attacks against the Bush Administration's policy in the war on terror, especially where Iraq is concerned.
One of his strong points was that US troops had Osama Bin Laden surrounded in Tora Bora with 1,000 of his followers, and that we "outsourced" the job to less competent and less motivated Afghan forces. I don't think Bush responded to this well -- he should have challenged and refuted it.
After the debate, in an interview with Tommy Franks (the guy in charge of the operation) he said that there were intelligence reports at that time that placed Bin Laden all over the Afghan map. Kerry made it sound like we knew right where he was and let him slip away.
A second point to that issue would be that the world, especially the left and the Arab world -- were desparately trying to paint the war in Afghanistan as US agression and imperialism. By coordinating with Afghan troops who know those mountains better we showed that real Afghans had both the interest in and the capacity to police their own state -- and that it was, in fact, an Afghan state, not an American "colony".
The fact of the matter is, we did not know then nor do we now know where he was at that time. We had some "dots of possibility" on the map. And there were very good reasons we chose to involve and leverage the Afghans.
Kerry also made the tired charge that the war in Iraq was about oil, citing that the Iraq Oil ministry was protected, but the nuclear power plants were not.
Question1: Which was the more likely target?
Question2: Which resource was/is the most vital for getting Iraq on it's feet again as quickly as possible?
Once again, Kerry tries to paint Bush as the Head of the Greed lobby, when there is another, better, more easily supported explanation. Quite simply, interruption of oil production would have the most devastating effect on Iraq's economy -- and come winter, Iraqi's chances of staying warm. For Iraq's new government to succeed, it must have a strong economy, and that economy comes largely from Oil.
It's also not like someone could just barge into a nuclear power plant and walk out with rods of uranium and plutonium in a suitcase.
Question3: How many of Iraq's nuclear power plants were attacked after the invasion?
Looks like Bush was right after all when you look at it that way.
Bush's counterattacks on Kerry's charges that Iraq is a diversion from the "real" war were ok, but too soft. The term "walk and chew gum at the same time" comes to mind, and would've been very effective coming from his Texas mouth. But one of Bush's drawbacks is that he's not extremely elloquent and didn't distill the (I believe correct) argument that Iraq and our involvement there from 1991 to 2003 had a lot to do with our problems in the middle east. If we could have gone in in 1991, finished the job, and gotten out, it is likely that 9/11 would not have happened. The very fact that we had an active military presence in Saudi Arabia to support the U.N. No Fly Zone policies in Iraq-- was Bin Laden's biggest gripe about the U.S. That condition would not have existed were it not for our role in enforcing the U.N.'s will after the 1991 expulsion from Kuwait.
So Iraq had plenty to do with 9/11. It probably wasn't involved in the planning and support, but that doesn't mean that the situation had nothing to do with it. Bush should've made this argument.
A big point Bush missed was that Kerry blamed the lack of body armor on Bush, but Kerry voted against the funding package that was to provide, in part, just that. He should not have let that one slip by.
Kerry kept stressing that he has a plan, but the plan seems to be that he's going to have a big meeting with world leaders, and then commit a bunch of new troops. U.S. Out of Iraq? Not under Kerry.
On the UN Rules The World issue, Kerry said the following
"No President, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test, where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."
For all of Kerry's posturing to the contrary, it is clear he still believes that the US needs the world's permission to do what it thinks is right. Here he flip-flops himself in the same statement.
Bush pounced on it, probably got his point across, but not with the knockout blow that should have come after that. I mean, Kerry set him up for a spike on that one. The first part of his response was good, the second could've been much stronger. But the president was playing it safe.
"I'm not exactly sure what you mean, 'passes the global test'. You take preemptive action if you pass a global test? My attitude is you take preemptive action in order to protect the American people, that you act in order to make this country secure."
The final topic I think was important was North Korea. Kerry made the argument that North Korea is nuclear because of our handling of the war on terror, and that simply is not true. Bush did not make it clear that North Korea's been thumbing its nose at us and our treaties for years, long before he ever became president. The CIA believes that they had 1 or 2 nukes before Bush ever took office. This is not a new development since we unseated Hussein and declared the "axis of evil". Kerry hinted at the idea that North Korea was a more important military target. In the Leftist simplistic "all countries are equal" view, since North Korea was a known nuclear state while we only thought Iraq was, the same solution should be applied to both in order of certainty. Of course, the fact of the matter is that as long as Saddam had oil, sanctions were not working in Iraq, whereas the North Korean economy is crumbling much like the Soviet Union's was in the last days of the cold war. The two situations are, in fact, different and different approaches make sense.
So in effect, Kerry sort of "won" the debate because he made some shaky claims that Bush did not challenge well or at all. It doesn't change the fact that Kerry was wrong, but it may change the minds of some voters if they don't get their facts from multiple sources as I try to do. Hopefully, some of the facts and arguments I've presented will come out post-debate and quell some of that, because it's the facts we need to vote on, not arguments that are off-base.