May 31, 2006

Sensenbrenner: Congressmen Are Above The Law

More on the search of Rep. William Jefferson's Capitol Hill Office from the Washington Post:


The Justice Department yesterday vigorously defended the recent weekend raid of Rep. William J. Jefferson's Capitol Hill office as part of a bribery investigation, asserting that the Democratic lawmaker attempted to hide documents from FBI agents while they were searching his New Orleans home last August.

The government questioned in a 34-page motion filed in U.S. District Court here whether it could have obtained all the materials it had sought in a subpoena if it had not launched the surprise raid on Jefferson's congressional office May 20. According to the government filing, an FBI agent caught Jefferson slipping documents into a blue bag in the living room of his New Orleans home during a search.

"It is my belief that when Congressman Jefferson placed documents into the blue bag, he was attempting to conceal documents that were relevant to the investigation," FBI agent Stacey E. Kent of New Orleans stated in an affidavit that was part of the government's court submission. The document was filed in response to Jefferson's lawsuit demanding that the government return to him documents seized during the raid on his Capitol Hill office 11 days ago.

Robert P. Trout, Jefferson's attorney, said he would refrain from commenting pending further review of the government's documents. Meanwhile, the recent FBI raid spurred new tensions between Congress and the administration, as a House committee chairman vowed to interrogate top Justice Department officials.

Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) said he wants Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to appear "up here to tell us how they reached the conclusion" to conduct the raid, which Sensenbrenner called "profoundly disturbing" on constitutional grounds. The chairman also said that his committee "will be working promptly" to draft legislation that would clearly prohibit wide-ranging searches of lawmakers' offices by federal officials pursuing criminal cases.

Sensenbrenner if a fucking idiot, and quite frankly, I am ashamed to say that he is a member of the Republican Party.

For as much of a pathetic exuse for a political party as the Democrats may be, the Democrats should have no problem in the midterm elections - the Republicans are doing as much as they possibly can to hand over the House and Senate to them.

This asshole goes even farther than Hastert did (at least Hastert tried to rely on an existing constitutional provision to support his ridiculous assertion that Congressional offices are "no-search zones"). Not only does he ludicrously claim that there was a constitutional violation, but instead, he also vows to have his committee draft legislation to officially and explicitly make Congressional offices off limits to law enforcement personnel.

I have an idea. Rather than working on such legislation, why not try to actually work on the nation's business? You know - solving the judiciary problems that your committee should be working on??

Why not just come out and say that Congressmen are above the law? Let's stop tap dancing around the issue. Because, after all, that is what this is about... make no mistake about it.

Too Many White Musicians

Jabari Asim's column in the Washington Post criticizes National Review's list of the top 50 conservative rock songs of all time:

WASHINGTON -- If "American Idol" didn't completely satisfy your appetite for gimmickry, you might consider turning to National Review. A recent issue offers its handy list of the top 50 conservative rock songs of all time.

The list is intended to be provocative because rock is often considered a focal point of progressive sentiments. What I found far more striking, however, was the relative whiteness of the artists. Exactly when did rock 'n' roll, once the province of Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, become so white? The only black band listed is Living Colour, whose "Cult of Personality" is less a praise song to conservatism than a blast at egotistical leadership of any political stripe.

The National Review list suggests that blacks have become little more than a footnote to a cultural phenomenon they are largely responsible for creating -- or, more plausibly, that black conservatives rarely express themselves via rock songwriting.

This passage points out the relative hypocrisy in discussions of race. Mr. Asim, who is black, essentially laments that the list contains a disproportionate number of "white" musicians. Can you imagine the uproar if, for instance, Mr. Asim were white and had instead lamented the inclusion of so many "black" musicians?

May 25, 2006

WaPo: Uproar Over FBI's Search of Jefferson's Office Is Overblown

In an editorial today, the Washington Post gets it right:

THE UPROAR over the FBI's search of Rep. William J. Jefferson's congressional office is understandable but overblown. A demand yesterday by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the Justice Department return the papers it seized goes way too far. Constitutional provisions designed to protect lawmakers from fear of political retribution, such as the speech-and-debate clause, counsel restraint and caution in circumstances such as these. They do not transform congressional offices into taxpayer-funded sanctuaries.

No one wants to have FBI agents pawing through lawmakers' files. Prosecutors and agents need to exhaust other avenues of obtaining evidence before doing so. If a search is required, they must take care not to trample on lawmakers' privileged activities

It's not yet possible to make determinations about whether these principles were followed in the apparently unprecedented search of Mr. Jefferson's office. But the material for which agents searched had been under subpoena for eight months; Mr. Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat, resisted complying. Under those circumstances, seeking judicial approval for a search warrant is more reasonable. And while the "Saturday night raid," as Mr. Hastert called it, sounds melodramatic, it's less disruptive than having FBI agents in the House during normal business hours.

Mr. Jefferson was, according to the search warrant affidavit, caught with cold, hard cash: Agents videotaped him taking $100,000 in $100 bills from a Northern Virginia investor working undercover and then found $90,000 of it in his freezer. This was no fishing expedition.

Congress is not, nor should it be deemed to be "above the law". Moreover, Congressional offices should not be deemed to be "no search zones". Otherwise, can you imagine the lawlessness and corruption that would ensue?? It would make the Abrahamoff scandal look trivial.
If any one of us had refused to comply with a subpoena, we would be in jail. Yet, Jefferson was allowed to ignore his subpoena for over eight months?? Makes little sense to me.

Come to think of it... can you imagine what Congress would say if someone ignored a Congressional Subpoena?? They would find the person in contempt of Congress and have him put in jail.

These assholes can subpoena any executive branch employee to be present for days of ridiculous hearings on any subject or investigation that the Congressmen may deem appropriate. Of course, given their new found respect for separation of powers, I think that Congress would understand if a President refused to allow his subordinates to appear before Congress for "hearings".

Just a thought.

Madonna: Jesus Wouldn't Mind My Stunt

This is interesting:

Pop superstar Madonna has hit back at criticisms the crucifixion stunt on her Confessions tour is disrespectful to Christians, arguing her motives are honorable.

The singer sparked a religious backlash on the first night of her Confessions tour in Los Angeles when she mounted a 20-foot-high mirrored crucifix and sang "Live to Tell."

But the 47-year-old claims the iconic image was only employed to spur audience members to donate to her AIDS relief charities.

She tells the New York Daily News, "I don't think Jesus would be mad at me and the message I'm trying to send.


"Jesus taught that we should love thy neighbor."

Accompanying the stunt were images of Third World poverty, which were flashed across huge video screens at the venue, and a reminder that 12 million African children are now orphans because AIDS has killed their parents.

Look, I am not a Christian, so I will leave it to others to argue over whether it was offensive or should have been done. However, I really, really am not sure what the connection is between third world AIDS and a millionaire pop singer pretending to crucify herself on a stage... anyone out there help me figure this one out???

Dixie Chicks Blast "The View"

This is funny:


Country trio The Dixie Chicks have infuriated the hosts of TV talk show "The View," after claiming they were "above" appearing on the show.

The band is very selective about which programs they appear on to promote their new album, Taking the Long Way, and say they hope to emulate their musical and political hero Bruce Springsteen.

In an interview with Time magazine, frontwoman Natalie Maines says her new motto is, "What would Bruce Springsteen do?"

Band member Emily Robison adds, "Not that we're of that caliber, but would Bruce Springsteen do 'The View'?"

After reading the article, angry "View" co-host Joy Behar ripped up the offending interview live on air Tuesday, declaring, "They're ... not doing ... 'The View.'

"It's one thing to diss the (George W.) Bush administration, it's treason to diss 'The View.'"

The show's moderator Meredith Vieira fumed, "We are furious. This is obnoxious, obnoxious.

"We started these girls -- back in 1998, they couldn't get arrested. We were one of the first national shows to give them a platform, because they deserve a platform -- they are incredibly talented performers."

Maybe I was wrong about the Dixie Chicks. I wouldn't want to appear on the View either!

Seriously, though...Sorry ladies, but you are not even close to Bruce Springsteen. You are supposedly on a "come back" after having self-destructed your career a few years ago. One would think that you might welcome the exposure that this national T.V. show would offer. Just a thought.

Gregg Easterbrook Takes On "An Inconvenient Truth"

This is interesting:


An Inconvenient Truth comes to the right conclusions about the seriousness of global warming; plus we ought to be grateful these days for anything earnest at the cineplex. But the film flirts with double standards. Laurie David, doyenne of Rodeo Drive environs, is one of the producers. As Eric Alterman noted in the Atlantic, David "reviles owners of SUVs as terrorist enablers, yet gives herself a pass when it comes to chartering one of the most wasteful uses of fossil-based fuels imaginable, a private jet." For David to fly in a private jet from Los Angeles to Washington would burn about as much petroleum as driving a Hummer for a year; if she flew back in the private jet, that's two Hummer-years. Gore's movie takes shots at Republicans and the oil industry, but by the most amazing coincidence says nothing about the poor example set by conspicuous consumers among the Hollywood elite. Broadly, An Inconvenient Truth denounces consumerism, yet asks of its audience no specific sacrifice. "What I look for is signs we are really changing our way of life, and I don't see it," Gore intones with his signature sigh. As he says this, we see him at an airport checking in to board a jet, where he whips out his laptop. If "really changing our way of life" is imperative, what's Gore doing getting on a jetliner? Jets number among the most resource-intensive objects in the world.

This raises the troubling fault of An Inconvenient Truth: its carelessness about moral argument. Gore says accumulation of greenhouse gases "is a moral issue, it is deeply unethical." Wouldn't deprivation also be unethical? Some fossil fuel use is maddening waste; most has raised living standards. The era of fossil energy must now give way to an era of clean energy. But the last century's headlong consumption of oil, coal, and gas has raised living standards throughout the world; driven malnourishment to an all-time low, according to the latest U.N. estimates; doubled global life expectancy; pushed most rates of disease into decline; and made possible Gore's airline seat and MacBook, which he doesn't seem to find unethical. The former vice president clicks up a viewgraph showing the human population has grown more during his lifetime than in all previous history combined. He looks at the viewgraph with aversion, as if embarrassed by humanity's proliferation. Population growth is a fantastic achievement—though one that engenders problems we must fix, including inequality and greenhouse gases. Gore wants to have it that the greener-than-thou crowd is saintly, while the producers of cars, power, food, fiber, roads, and roofs are appalling. That is, he posits a simplified good versus a simplified evil. Just like a movie!

May 24, 2006

Dixie Chicks Want No Part Of Country Music

From CNN.Com:



NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Billboard) -- Disappointing airplay for the first two singles from the new album by the Dixie Chicks exposes a deep -- and seemingly growing -- rift between the trio and the country radio market that helped turn the group into superstars.

"Taking the Long Way," due out May 23, is the band's first album since singer Natalie Maines sparked a major controversy in 2003 by declaring that she was ashamed to hail from the same state as fellow Texan President George W. Bush. Radio boycotts ensued, and many fans abandoned the band.

The first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," peaked at No. 36 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, beginning its descent after just seven weeks. The second single, "Everybody Knows," is now at No. 50, down two places in its fourth week.
Not Ready to Make Nice" performed only slightly better at adult contemporary radio, peaking at No. 32 on the AC chart and falling off after six weeks.

From the beginning of the album rollout, the Dixie Chicks were eager that their songs be worked to radio formats beyond country. The album was produced by rock veteran Rick Rubin, whose credits include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down and Johnny Cash.

By picking the defiant "Not Ready" as the first single, they've reopened a wound that was particularly deep for country radio fans, and left many country programmers with the burning question: Why on earth would the band choose to do this?

After hearing the album, WKIS Miami program director Bob Barnett says he was "excited about the opportunity to introduce some great Chicks music to the listeners." But the group's decision to come with "Not Ready" as the lead single left him "stunned, especially in light of the fact that, when asked, programmers and consultants that listened to the project were virtually unanimous in saying we should put the politics behind us and concentrate on all this other great music we were hearing."

KUBL/KKAT Salt Lake City PD Ed Hill criticizes the song's "self-indulgent and selfish lyrics."

Barnett played the song for a week, but pulled it after listeners called to say it sounded like the Chicks were "gloating" or "rubbing our noses in it," he reports. "We didn't need to pick at the scab any longer."

He and other country programmers were upset that the group chose to launch its new album with a single that rehashed all the angst of three years ago.

Of course, Natalie Maines has said that this is all according to the Dixie Chicks' plans:

The Dixie Chicks and reps from their label, Columbia Records, declined to participate in this story. But -- at least as far as Maines is concerned -- the drop-off at country radio was part of its plan.

Maines was quoted in late January on EW.com, before the single went to country radio, saying: "For me to be in country music to begin with was not who I was ... I would be cheating myself ... to go back to something that I don't wholeheartedly believe in. So I'm pretty much done. They've shown their true colors. I like lots of country music, but as far as the industry and everything that happened ... I couldn't want to be farther away from that."

Maines also said, "I don't want people to think that me not wanting to be part of country music is any sort of revenge. It is not. It is totally me being who I am, and not wanting to compromise myself and hate my life."

At KNCI Sacramento, California, the Chicks' music weathered the 2003 controversy only to be pulled as a result of Maines' new Entertainment Weekly comments, coupled with poor scores in local music tests.

"When an artist says that they don't want to be a part of that industry, it made our decision a no-brainer," program director Mark Evans says. "There are too many talented new artists dying to have a song played on country radio, so I'd rather give one of them a shot."

Yeah right. On second thought, maybe it is part of their plan and they are really, really stupid.

The Dixie Chicks, who are unquestionably a very talented band, are also unquestionably a country music band. There is no other way to look at it. Sorry, but slide guitar, the fiddle and banjo are not prominently used in any other musical genre. While the Dixie Chicks did enjoy some cross-genre success with their music being played on "pop" radio stations as well as "country" radio stations, anyone that has listened to their music will tell you - they are, at their core, a country music band.
The Dixie Chicks may enjoy some support from non-country music fans that may allow them to sustain themselves, however, will those fans be there for the long haul? Or, will the Dixie Chicks be forced to transform themselves into a band that they are not?
I am used to musicians and actors being liberals and espousing views that are not similar to my own. As such, her comments, while I felt they were in poor taste and classless, did not really bother me too much. However, I can understand how they might have affected others. I can understand the anger.
As a previous fan, I have listened to their new album and it really didn't do too much for me. Maybe it will grow on me, but I am not holding my breath. Their new single, Not Ready To Make Nice, showed a real, immature contempt and anger that did nothing but leave me rolling my eyes.

According to Dixie Chick Martie McGuire, the Dixie Chicks don't need country music fans - they want what they perceive are "cool fans":

"I'd rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith," Maguire said. "We don't want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do."

Why insult your fanbase? Many Dixie Chick fans are, at heart, country music fans. Why insult the people in your industry? Because, they are stupid.
The Dixie Chicks may continue to do well on iTunes, but that is not going to sustain them for very long. Radio play was instrumental in bringing them to millions and ensuring their cross-genre success.

No matter how the "left" wants to spin this issue, however, this is not a "free speech" issue. Everyone - even the Dixie Chicks - has every right to speak their mind and to pontificate as to their political views (no matter whether they are right, wrong or ignorant) without fear of governmental interference or punishment. However, what happened to the Dixie Chicks is not governmental interference or punishment - there is no governmental action that is infringing on their ability to speak.

Rather, this is a free market issue. The Dixie Chicks have the right to say they hate President Bush and country music fans - but their is no corresponding right that guarantees that, by doing so, there will be no economic ramifications. The Dixie Chicks must consciously understand that, by espousing their political views, country music fans, who do not share or support their views, may choose not buy their music or attend their concerts and country music stations may exercise their right not to play the Dixie Chicks' music on their radio station.

Congressional Hypocrisy

Democratic Congressman William Jefferson's office on Capitol Hill was searched by the FBI in connection with the bribery case being made against him.

At a very odd time to practice bipartisanship, several Republican Congressman challenge the FBI's ability to search Representative Jefferson's office:

Displaying bipartisanship for one of their own, House Republican leaders are expressing concern that the FBI's search of the Capitol office of Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson crossed the constitutional boundary between the White House and Congress. Tuesday, House Majority Leader John Boehner called the weekend raid "the Justice Department's invasion of the legislative branch" and predicted the issue would "end up across the street at the Supreme Court." Read all about the ramifications of the raid — which one blogger calls "The Shot Heard 'Round The Hill" — from The Associated Press, The Washington Post and The Hill.

Bullshit.

The FBI had every right to search his office. I need not get into a real constitutional analysis, because, quite frankly, there really is no serious separation of powers issue.

However, let's look at this from a common sense standpoint. What these assholes are alleging is that no executive branch agency (i.e., no FBI, no SEC, no ATF, no DEA, etc.) officers may search a Congressional office. Congress is corrupt now. Can you imagine what it would be like if law enforcement agencies could not enforce our laws there? Bribery over the table. Congressional brothel? Drug dealing on the floor? Sky's the limit!

Yet, these assholes can subpoena any executive branch employee to be present for days of ridiculous hearings on any subject or investigation that the Congressmen may deem appropriate. So, its o.k. for Congress to investigate the Executive Branch, but the Executive Branch cannot investigate Congress? Yeah, that makes sense.

The Real Lies

Read all of this column by Pat Wehner at OpinionJournal.com, which completely debunks several of the Democrats' big lies.

With respect to the Democratic "lie" that Bush lied to get us into the Iraq War:

The president misled Americans to convince them to go to war. "There is no question [the Bush administration] misled the nation and led us into a quagmire in Iraq," according to Ted Kennedy. Jimmy Carter charged that on Iraq, "President Bush has not been honest with the American people." And Al Gore has said that an "abuse of the truth" characterized the administration's "march to war." These charges are themselves misleading, which explains why no independent body has found them credible. Most of the world was operating from essentially the same set of assumptions regarding Iraq's WMD capabilities. Important assumptions turned out wrong; but mistakenly relying on faulty intelligence is a world apart from lying about it.

Let's review what we know. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is the intelligence community's authoritative written judgment on specific national-security issues. The 2002 NIE provided a key judgment: "Iraq has continued its [WMD] programs in defiance of U.N. resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of U.N. restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade."

Thanks to the bipartisan Silberman-Robb Commission, which investigated the causes of intelligence failures in the run-up to the war, we now know that the President's Daily Brief (PDB) and the Senior Executive Intelligence Brief "were, if anything, more alarmist and less nuanced than the NIE" (my emphasis). We also know that the intelligence in the PDB was not "markedly different" from that given to Congress. This helps explains why John Kerry, in voting to give the president the authority to use force, said, "I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security." It's why Sen. Kennedy said, "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." And it's why Hillary Clinton said in 2002, "In the four years since the inspectors, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability and his nuclear program."

Beyond that, intelligence agencies from around the globe believed Saddam had WMD. Even foreign governments that opposed his removal from power believed Iraq had WMD: Just a few weeks before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Wolfgang Ischinger, German ambassador to the U.S., said, "I think all of our governments believe that Iraq has produced weapons of mass destruction and that we have to assume that they continue to have weapons of mass destruction."

In addition, no serious person would justify a war based on information he knows to be false and which would be shown to be false within months after the war concluded. It is not as if the WMD stockpile question was one that wasn't going to be answered for a century to come.

Or, how about the Democrats' lie that the Bush administration pressured the CIA and other intelligence agencies to find that Iraq was a threat:

The Bush administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments. Earlier this year, Mr. Gore charged that "CIA analysts who strongly disagreed with the White House . . . found themselves under pressure at work and became fearful of losing promotions and salary increases." Sen. Kennedy charged that the administration "put pressure on intelligence officers to produce the desired intelligence and analysis." This myth is shattered by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's bipartisan Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. Among the findings: "The committee did not find any evidence that intelligence analysts changed their judgments as a result of political pressure, altered or produced intelligence products to conform with administration policy, or that anyone even attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to do so." Silberman-Robb concluded the same, finding "no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's prewar assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. . . . Analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments." What the report did find is that intelligence assessments on Iraq were "riddled with errors"; "most of the fundamental errors were made and communicated to policy makers well before the now-infamous NIE of October 2002, and were not corrected in the months between the NIE and the start of the war."

The mainstream media, which is essentially a lap dog for the Democratic Party, has chosen to not challenge the Democrats when they make such outrageous attempts to revise history. They should be ashamed. Serious journalists, my ass...
As for the Democrats, it shows that they are more serious about playing politics than either defending our country or, what the hell, being honest.
Read it all.

May 22, 2006

Democratic "Culture of Corruption"? - Part V

This is interesting:

A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer.
At one audiotaped meeting, Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa.

As Jefferson and the informant passed notes about what percentage the lawmaker's family might receive, the congressman "began laughing and said, 'All these damn notes we're writing to each other as if we're talking, as if the FBI is watching,'" according to the affidavit. ...

As for the $100,000, the government says Jefferson got the money in a leather briefcase last July 30 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington. The plan was for the lawmaker to use the cash to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian official — the name is blacked out in the court document — to ensure the success of a business deal in that country, the affidavit said.

All but $10,000 was recovered on Aug. 3 when the FBI searched Jefferson's home in Washington. The money was stuffed in his freezer, wrapped in $10,000 packs and concealed in food containers and aluminum foil...

Two of Jefferson's associates have pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges in federal court in Alexandria. One, businessman Vernon Jackson of Louisville, Ky., admitted paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the lawmaker in exchange for his help securing business deals for Jackson's telecommunications company in Nigeria and other African countries.

The new details about the case emerged after federal agents searched Jefferson's congressional office on Capitol Hill Saturday night and Sunday. The nearly 100-page affidavit for a search warrant, made public Sunday with large portions blacked out, spells out much of the evidence so far.

The document includes excerpts of conversations between Jefferson and an unidentified business executive from northern Virginia. She agreed to wear a wire after she approached the FBI with complaints that Jefferson and an associate had ripped her off in a business deal.

Jefferson's lawyer, Robert Trout, contended that the prosecutors' disclosure was "part of a public relations agenda and an attempt to embarrass Congressman Jefferson. The affidavit itself is just one side of the story which has not been tested in court," Trout said in a statement.

The affidavit says Jefferson is caught on videotape at the Ritz-Carlton as he takes a reddish-brown briefcase from the trunk of the informant's car, slips it into a cloth bag, puts the bag into his 1990 Lincoln Town Car and drives away.

The $100 bills in the suitcase had the same serial numbers as those found in Jefferson's freezer...

But, according to the Democrats, it is only Republicans that are corrupt....I am soooooo confused.

May 18, 2006

Neil Young's Sales Not Doing Well

Neil Young's anti-Bush album is not doing too well in stores:


Funk-rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers topped the U.S. charts for the first time in its 22-year history on Wednesday, while Neil Young's tirade against President Bush failed to do much for his sales.

The veteran Canadian rocker's "Living With War" opened at No. 15 with sales of 60,000 units in the week ended May 14, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan. His last album, "Prairie Wind," started at No. 11 last September with 72,000 copies sold its first week.

John Murtha Slanders U.S. Troops

From Expose the Left:


CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let me ask you Mr. Murtha to give us some details about that. Draw us a picture of what happened at Haditha.

REP. JOHN “JACK” MURTHA: Well, I’ll tell you exactly what happened. One Marine was killed and the Marines just said we’re going to take care – we don’t know who the enemy is, the pressure was too much on them, so they went into houses and they actually killed civilians. And, and –

MATTHEWS:—was this My Lai? Was this a case of – when you say cold blood Congressman, a lot of people think you’re basically saying you got some civilians sitting in a room around a field and they’re executed.

MURTA: That’s exactly it.

This is fairly irresponsible. The investigation into this particular incident is still on going.

It is one thing to disagree with the war, or seek our withdrawal. But, to allege that our soldiers are no better than crazed killers is beyond the pale. If the investigation proves that a soldier acted in such a manner, then fine... condemn him. But, can't he just wait for the facts??? I would expect this sort of behavior out of the kids at DailyKos or Democratic Underground, but not a U.S. Congressman.

And the Democrats wonder why the military vote for Republicans....

May 17, 2006

Jodie Foster Piles On

Jodie Foster, who was invited to give a commencement speach, took the opportunity to speak her mind about the Bush Administration:
The U.S. "squandered" the goodwill and sympathy other nations offered after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Foster said. She also criticized officials for the "disastrous and shameful" handling of Hurricane Katrina.
Yawn.

A Look At The Liberal Movement

An interesting post from the Environmental Republican:


Hitchens is rightfully appalled that the left he was once a central figure of has disintegrated to an anti-American/anti-democracy group that will cozy up to the most ruthless of dictators and become said dictators apologists. You can rattle them off, Chavez, Castro, Milosevic, Hussein and Hezbollah. They are all supported by todays sorry excuse for an ideology that was once intelligent and thoughtful but is now reactionary and debased....While I don't profess to being a liberal--far from it actually--the right side of the blogosphere is closer to the liberal movement of the middle part of the last century than todays "progressive movement" is. While we are pointing out daily the abuses wrought on the people of Darfur, China, Iran and in the past Rwanda, "progressives" are writing made-up stories about Karl Rove indictments and praising Hezbollah as Noam Chomsky did last week.

If Bill Clinton had freed 50-million people from barbarous oppression as Bush did, we would've given him the praise he deserved (instead he bombed the Iraqi nation for the duration of the impeachment trial and stopped the day the trial did). These people were subject to rape, stoning of homosexuals and imprisonment for uttering a bad word about their "leaders" even in the privacy of their homes. Sadly, todays left can't bring themselves to applaud the freedom they now have. Instead they point out the lack of electricity or count the American military dead with glee. (Update: a great example of how these people think can be found here via this site who, again, linked with glee.)

How did the true liberal movement digress to the grotesque state they now have become?

There is no argument that would suffice in protecting wanton criminals who rule through brutality and fear.

The neo-liberals in this country--out of shame most likely--defend the tyrannical dictators by comparing them to Bush and in some circumstances saying that Bush is worse. Who could be so intellectually dishonest as to even conceive of that analogy?

Great post, but even better point - what happened to the Democrats?
The Democratic Party that I knew (and was previously a member of) was the party of human rights. It was the Democrats who were most vocal about torture and death dealt by cruel dictators in far away places. It was the Democrats who were most passionate about providing assistance to our fellow human beings. It was the Democrats who passed the Iraqi Liberation Act (thereby making regime change in Iraq an official U.S. governmental policy). The Democratic Party that I knew was not the party of isolationists that they would seem to be today.

May 13, 2006

College Professor Quits Over Condi Rice

Steve Almond has quit his job as an adjunct professor English at Boston College for a fairly bizarre reason. Evidently, Condi Rice is giving the commencement address:

He chose to quit by "open letter" in the Boston Globe:

An open letter to William P. Leahy, SJ, president of Boston College.
DEAR Father Leahy,

I am writing to resign my post as an adjunct professor of English at Boston College.

I am doing so -- after five years at BC, and with tremendous regret -- as a direct result of your decision to invite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the commencement speaker at this year's graduation.

Many members of the faculty and student body already have voiced their objection to the invitation, arguing that Rice's actions as secretary of state are inconsistent with the broader humanistic values of the university and the Catholic and Jesuit traditions from which those values derive.

But I am not writing this letter simply because of an objection to the war against Iraq. My concern is more fundamental. Simply put, Rice is a liar...

...I cannot, in good conscience, exhort my students to pursue truth and knowledge, then collect a paycheck from an institution that displays such flagrant disregard for both.

I would like to apologize to my students and prospective students. I would also urge them to investigate the words and actions of Rice, and to exercise their own First Amendment rights at her speech.

My first reaction? This guy must be independently wealthy. Who else would quit a job over such little provocation.
Why not have her speak? This woman, whether or not you agree with her political views, is incredibly intelligent and has accomplished much in a very short time. I personally find her fascinating.
My favorite part? His exortation to his students to "exercise their own First Amendment rights at [Condi Rice's] speech". In other words, the students should shout her down and be disrespectful while she speaks. What about Condi Rice's right to freedom of speech? What about those who would like to hear her speak? What ever happened to college being a "marketplace of ideas"?
What is he teaching his former students? He is teaching them to not respect the viewpoints of others. He is teaching them that the only views that matter are those that you agree with. College sure has changed.
One of the most often touted rationales for college's use of affirmative action is "diversity" of viewpoints and experiences. Yet, it appears that if you are a Republican, you deserve not to be heard...
You know, it wasn't too long ago that the idea of an African-American Secretary of State was unthinkable. It wasn't too long ago that the idea of an African-American commencement speaker was unimaginable. We, as a country, should be proud that our society has become more integrated and racism - while it still exists - has diminished greatly.
The funny thing is that, if Condi Rice was a Democrat and some idiot professor decided to quit because she was going to give an address at Boston College, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney and others with so much invested in race-baiting would have tripped over eachother to be the first to proclaim that this professor was nothing more than a racist. I doubt we will hear a word from them.

Patrick Kennedy DUI Cover-Up? Another Interesting Update

This is getting even more interesting....:

Capitol police in Washington, D.C., investigating U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s early-morning car wreck have been told by witnesses that the Rhode Island congressman was at a Capitol Hill bar before the crash, the Herald has learned.

A source close to the probe said witnesses have told detectives that Kennedy was at the Hawk & Dove before he slammed his Ford Mustang into a security barrier near the U.S. Capitol. The source added that cops are continuing to seek evidence to confirm that Kennedy was at the watering hole.

The Herald reported last week that a Hawk & Dove hostess said the 38-year-old pol is a frequent customer and was drinking in the bar before the May 4 crash. Kennedy has denied he was drinking, blaming the accident on a cocktail of prescription painkillers and sleeping pills. He has since checked into a Minnesota rehab.

A Kennedy spokeswoman declined comment. A Capitol police spokeswoman also refused comment, citing the ongoing probe.

The crash sparked a furor within the Capitol Police Department after angry patrol officers said higher-ranking cops blocked them from giving Kennedy a sobriety test. Police union head Lou Cannon said two watch commanders on duty the night of the crash have been transferred.

A police report on the 2:45 a.m. crash cited alcohol as a factor, describing Kennedy as slurring his speech, being “unsure” on his feet and having red and watery eyes.

Kennedy told cops he was on his way to a House vote, even though Congress had adjourned three hours earlier.

The source said detectives are still trying to track down a woman who Kennedy claims he was with before the crash.

Anyone that actually believes he was "sleep-driving" should have their heads examined. Either they are incredibly naive, a Democrat trying to "spin control" or actively in the Kennedy payroll. There is no doubt in my mind that he was driving under the influence and, upon being stopped by police, was the beneficiary of a police cover-up.

On a side note, it is disconcerting that the police have been unable to track down the woman. Chappaquidick Part II?