Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lieberman on Iraq

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) is a reasonable and independent man. In 2000, he was nominated by the Democrats to run for Vice President. Part of the reason he was nominated was his independence from Clinton, who in 2000 was a drag on the Democrats' hopes to keep the White House. His more moderate and reasonable stands on political issues contributed to his poor showing in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries, which were dominated by the liberal wing of the party.

He just returned from Iraq. His article about the war in Iraq and American policy and politics is in this morning's Wall Street Journal. He understands that we must win in Iraq and that we have a plan to do so. He also notes that the Iraqis are more optimistic than the Americans. For more, read the article or the post at Betsy's Page.

Intolerant Liberal Professor Resigned

Do you remember the hateful, liberal English professor who proclaimed, “Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors.”? He resigned just before Thanksgiving and just before the college had a meeting to discuss what to do about him.

End of Thanksgiving Break

I am back after taking a too long break over the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

College Professor Exposes Self as Intolerant and Worse

An English professor at Warren Junior College, John Daly, showed extreme intolerance and ignorance when he replied to an email announcing the appearance of a decorated Iraq war hero. How extreme is the professor? Here is one of his repugnant comments: “Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors.”

Here is more of what he said:

am asking my students to boycott your event. I am also going to ask others to boycott it. Your literature and signs in the entrance lobby look like fascist propaganda and is extremely offensive. ...

I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won't dare show their face on a college campus. ...

Professor Daly is a mean and hateful man. Do you think any liberals on that campus will rebuke him?

(Hat tip to Junk Yard Blog.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Congress Extends Patriot Act

Congress voted today to extend the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and aimed to give law enforcement agencies greater tools to combat terrorists. Since its passage, liberals have criticized the Patriot Act for infringing on civil liberties.

Common sense seems to have prevailed today in Congress, which is an increasingly rare occurrence. Perhaps the bombing of 3 hotels in Amman, Jordan reminded Congress that, if Al Qaeda can dozens of people in a virtual police state, counter-terrorism law enforcement in the U.S. might need to retain its powers to keep tabs on potential Al Qaeda operations.

UPDATE: Both houses of Congress have passed the Patriot Act extension, but the 2 versions have differences. Therefore, before the extension can become law, the extension bill must go to a joint conference committee to resolve the differences, and the conference bil must be passed by both houses. Expect problems from Democrats and moderate Republicans over civil liberties issues.

Democrats Also Feared Threat from Iraq Before Invasion

Today, many Democrats say they did not share Pres. Bush's belief that the threat from Iraq made the invasion necessary. However, the public statements of leading Democrats before the invasion belie that claim. For example (hat tip to Power Line),
Carl Levin stated on Dec. 12, 2001, "The war on terrorism will not be finished as long as [Saddam] is in power."

Jay Rockefeller said in Oct. 2002, "I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat."

Hillary Clinton stated that same month that Saddam "has also given aid and comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members."

And John Kerry said, soon after we attacked Afghanistan, that "this doesn't end with Afghanistan by any imagination. ... It is absolutely vital that we continue for instance [after] Saddam Hussein."

... Like President Bush, they understood the risk that possession of WMD by Saddam would pose after 9/11. Like President Bush, they believed that Saddam possessed WMD. The first proposition was mainly a matter of common sense. The second was what our intelligence said.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Document Examiner Responds to Mapes

You probably remember Mary Mapes, CBS producer of the Bush National Guard memo-gate story. Because the documents she used in the story turned out to be fake, CBS's already sullied reputation for journalistic integrity took a fatal hit. After an internal CBS investigation, Mapes and others were fired.

Mapes's version of memo-gate was recently released. Ironically, the title of her book includes the word "Truth". In her book tour, Mapes takes the position that the documents have not been proven to be fake, reversing the normal practice of authenticating documents before using them in a news story.

Part of Mapes's book covers her efforts to use document examiner Emily Wills to authenticate the documents. Wills contrasts what the book says with what really happened. (Hat tip to Wills's comments should be required reading for all who interview Mapes about her book. After you read Wills's comments, you will understand that Mapes knew before the story aired that the documents were fake and that she was nonetheless determined, no matter what the evidence, to air the story in an attempt to prevent the reelection of Pres. Bush.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Alito Documents Reveal Conservative

Documents released today in Judge Alito's confirmation process include his applicatio for deputy assistant to the Attorney General. In the application, Alito proclaimed himself a conservative and a lifelong registered Republican. He was most proud of his work to disallow racial and ethnic quotas and to oppose a constitutional right to abortion. Alito believed "very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values." He disagreed "strenuously with the usurpation by the judiciary of decision-making authority that should be exercised by the branches of government responsible to the electorate." The early political influences on him were Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater.

Bill Sammon of the Washington Times has the full story. (Hat tip to Power Line.)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Congress Puts Budget Restraint on Hold

Congress has put on hold a bill to save $53.9 billion out of a $2.4 trillion budget. The bill does not cut spending; it merely reduces the growth of spending. For example, Medicaid spending will grow 7.0% rather than the currently projected 7.3%.

The bill is being blocked by a few moderate Republicans and the Democrats. Out of over 200 Democrats in the House, not one will vote for the bill.

The Republican leadership in Congress should push the bill. Force the Democrats to vote against spending restraint and deficit reduction. Make clear to voters which party opposes spending restraint.

(Hat tip to QandO.)

Status of Riots in France

The Belmont Club gives us an overview of the ststus of the French riots. France has ordered a curfew in many places and has taken other measures to quell the riots. The measures have had mixed results. In general, the riots seem to be smaller, but the number of torched cars in the Paris area increased. The French media, staunchly left wing, appear to be censoring coverage of the riots showing burning cars on TV may help right-wing politicians. Stay tuned.

9/11 Memorial or Cultural Arts Center?

A cultural arts center may be competing with the 9/11 memorial for funding. As is normal, funds are limited, and rising cost estimates are exceeding the budget.

If given a choice between building a cultural arts center or
building the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum at the World
Trade Center site, which would you choose? You can make your voice heard on this issue by voting on the question at http://www.takebackthememorial.org.

Friday, November 11, 2005

House Republicans Cave in on ANWR Drilling

On Wednesday, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives "abandoned an attempt to push through a hotly contested plan to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling, fearing it would jeopardize approval of a sweeping budget bill Thursday".

The decision to drop the ANWR drilling language came after GOP moderates said they would oppose the budget if it was kept in the bill.

The "GOP moderates" referred to belong to the Republican Main Street Partnership, which is funded by George Soros and friends. Soros is best known in political circles for funding ultra-liberal causes, such as MoveOn.org.

The Senate version of the bill provides for drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The ANWR drilling issue and other differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill will be ironed out in a conference committee. The House leadership's surrender makes it less likely that the final bill will provide for ANWR drilling. Given the obvious need for domestic production of oil, drilling in ANWR is a strong plus to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to improve national security.

Keep in mind that politics works in strange ways sometimes. The Senate-House conference will be key. If the conference committee, whose members will be appointed by the leaders of each chamber, put ANWR drilling in the final bill, GOP moderates may have little choice but to vote for the whole package in order to take credit for taking steps to control spending. Cross your fingers.

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor our military veterans. As Gen. Douglas MacArthur declared in his farewell speech at West Point:

The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.

We citizens of this greatest nation on earth owe so much to the veterans who served in our military services. Our veterans did their Duty with Honor for their Country. Remember them this Veternas Day, and honor them as they have honored us with their service.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Who Is Lying About Iraq

"Who Is Lying About Iraq" (hat tip to Power Line) is the title of an article by Norman Podhoretz in the December 2005 issue of Commentary magazine. In the article, Podhoretz notes that former Pres. Clinton, many of his foreign policy advisors, and many Democratic leaders in Congress have made statements agreeing with Pres. Bush about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction and about the threat presented by Iraq. Podhoretz concludes that Joseph Wilson is the one who lied about Iraq and also concludes as follows:

And so long as we are hunting for liars in this area, let me suggest that we begin with the Democrats now proclaiming that they were duped, and that we then broaden out to all those who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger policy being tested in Iraq'the policy of making the Middle East safe for America by making it safe for democracy have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation, and selective perception to vilify as immoral a bold and noble enterprise and to brand as an ignominious defeat what is proving itself more and more every day to be a victory of American arms and a vindication of American ideals.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Suicide Bombers Strike in Jordan

Today in Amman, the capital of Jordan, suicide bombers successfully attacked 3 hotels. The current death toll is 57, and it may rise. The attacks were coordinated and appear to be the work of Al Qaeda.

The targeted hotel are American brands, Radisson, Hyatt, and Days Inn. The hotels are popular with Westerners, Israelis, and the Jordanian elite.

A wedding was being held at one of the hotels. Given the normal clientele of the hotel and the general poverty of the general population, the wedding was probably attended by upper-crust Jordanians. Rumors are spreading that prominent members of Jordan's government are missing.

Jordan is a virtual police state, and yet Al Qaeda succeeded. That should be a warning to us in America. Once the suicide bombers are in the country, they are difficult to stop. Therefore, preventing them from crossing the border is extraordinarily important.

The attacks in Jordan are another battle in the War on Terror. The war continues whether we want it to or not. Doing what it takes to protect Americans in the U.S. is imperative. Keep that in mind when Congress next debates what powers the FBI should have. Maintaining the will to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq and elsewhere is and will remain essential. The war was not of our choosing, and Al Qaeda will pursue us whether we pursue them or not.

Conservative Viewpoints on French Riots

For a variety of conservative views on the riots in France, check this post at DANEgers.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Texas Voters Prohibit Gay Marriage

Texas voters went to the polls today to vote on a few local races and several proposed amendments to the Texas constitution. One proposed amendments defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The primary purpose of the amendment is to prohibit gay marriage.

Opponents argued that gay marriage is already illegal in Texas, making a constitutional amendment unnecessary. The opponents' argument ignores that courts in 3 states, Hawaii, Alaska, and Massachusetts, have ruled that the state constitution requires gay marriage. In Alaska and Hawaii, the gay marriage rulings created a backlash, and the state constitution was amended to prohibit gay marriage.

The voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment, with an early estimate of 76% for the amendment and 24% against it.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Rioting in Europe Worsens and Spreads

From Geopolitical Review:

On the night that France experienced the worst rioting yet with over 1,400 cars burned and the first fatality, the rioting has now moved into neighboring countries.

The rioting is getting worse, with 274 towns reporting riots. The French authorities appear uncertain or even afraid. This only emboldens the Muslim rioters.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Riots in Paris

The underclass in Paris, France has been rioting for the past 6 nights. The rioters are ethnic North and West Africans. The resentment of the immigrants and their descendants has been simmering for a long while, as you can see from this 2002 article (hat tip to The Corner).

Multiculturalism has limits. A failure to integrate immigrants into your society has negative, long-term consequences. The U.S. needs to learn from France's failure.

UPDATE: Make that 7 nights of rioting.