Saturday, November 01, 2003

Confederate flag dustup

I guess this is more evidence of Dean's "anti-black" agenda, though Edwards says that Dean was insulting Southerners.

It's funny. A part of me thinks that Dean is going to be extremely difficult to beat for the nomination, and another part of me is convinced that he's going to open his big mouth, say something stupid, and talk himself out of it. I go back and forth on which prediction I believe the most.

UPDATE: I guess what I'm trying to say is that no one can beat Howard Dean except Howard Dean.
Media impact

The media, with their insistence on limiting their Iraq reporting to those stories about Americans being killed, have succeeded in giving Americans the wrong picture about Iraq. Most Americans don't know that most of the country, including major cities like Basra, Mosul, and Kirkuk, are peaceful and rapidly making progress toward self-rule. Here are a few comments from interviews conducted by the Washington Post:

Sitting on the porch of her peach stucco house in the Albuquerque area, Lily Villaneuva, a Democrat, said it is time for the United States to get out of Iraq. "It would be embarrassing to pull out, but the way they are killing our soldiers," she said. "We should get out before they kill everybody."

Frustration over Iraq runs deep, cutting across party lines. Many of the people interviewed during the past two weeks said the near-daily reports of U.S. combat casualties and terrorist attacks have caused them to question the president's policy, including many who believe it was right to get rid of Saddam Hussein.


If there is one figure that has punched through to public consciousness, it is the $87 billion Bush has requested to fund military and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Opposition has risen to 64 percent.


Heather Rockwell, an Albuquerque Republican mother of two and casino supervisor, is critical of Bush, her choice in 2000, because "we need to be spending more money here, not in a country [Iraq] where we train them and educate them and then they end up killing us."

Will this media spin be enough to convince Americans to vote Democrat in 2004? Unlikely, because it's very unlikely that Iraq will still be a mess a year from now. It's much more likely that the country will be installing a democratic government, and President Bush will receive lot of praise for having the courage to see the thing through to the end.

In a typical article trashing President Bush titled "Disinformation through the Stovepipe," a writer for Radio Netherlands writes:

Not a trace of Saddam's notorious WMD machine has been found, President George Bush recently admitted there was no demonstrable link between the ousted Iraqi dictator and al-Qaeda, and US troops on the ground have been pelted with grenades instead of flowers.

Of course, that statement is false, as President Bush only stated that there were no provable links between Saddam and the 9-11 hijackers, while specifically maintaining that there were links between Saddam and Al-Queda. And President Bush is right -- there is plenty of evidence.

So we have disinformation in an article criticizing President Bush for supposedly doing that very thing. Ironic? Yes. Surprising? No.

The horror -- liberalism helps legal immigrants instead of illegals

Jim Miller brought my attention to this hilarious story. Misguided liberals in Washington state tried to pass a law helping illegal immigrants pay in-state rates for college tuition. Instead, most of the beneficiaries have been legal immigrants with visas.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Louisiana gubernatorial update

I haven't been blogging much about Louisiana's gubernatorial election lately, but Bobby Jindal (R) is going to win. Every time I see Kathleen Blanco (D) talking on TV, she sounds like she's trying to remember her talking points, and she simply doesn't seem to have the intelligence necessary to be an effective governor. I originally thought that the runoff would be close, but now I think Jindal is going to win by 10 points.

If you want to read a lot of good stuff on the election, visit Timshel, who is liberal but seems intellectually honest.
Muslims are great -- it's just the 90% of them who hate us who are the problem

Diana West nails it today. Small sample:

The impulse to hide the truth about Islam -- about its connection to terrorism and its disconnection from Western civilization -- is a shocking fact of the "war on terrorism."

We may not be fighting a war against their civilization, but they are certainly fighting against ours.

UPDATE: Wes Pruden makes a similar point, and compares the Boykin flap to the Dreyfus case.
The flap over Lt. Col. West

I'm completely of two minds over this issue. On the one hand, the man successfully saved the lives of American soldiers. On the other hand, we hold our officers to a high standard and they understand the rules that they have to live by. Removing Lt. Col. West from his command is appropriate, but I don't understand why the military has to court martial him for this. The man made a mistake, but he's served his country for 20 years -- I say let him retire and collect his benefits.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

No protests over Ramadan dinner?

Scrappleface makes a great point.

Wictory Wednesday

Every Wednesday, I and the other bloggers on this list encourage you to donate your time or your money to President Bush's campaign. Be sure to check out some blogs that you haven't looked at before.

Sharpton Calls Dean's Agenda 'Anti-Black'

Oh boy, this is going to be good. The Democratic Party is going to regret treating the racist, anti-Semite Sharpton as a serious candidate. He's going to hurt them one way or the other. (That is to say, he will either alienate level-headed white voters who see his extremism and think that any party who embraces Sharpton is not the party for them, or he will end up discouraging black voters from voting for the Democratic nominee -- or maybe both.)

UPDATE: Rice Grad had the same thoughts I did.

Building Democracy in Iraq

Most Democrats, including Kevin Drum, went off on President Bush for saying that the recent bombings in Iraq represent progress. I posted the following response in his comments:

I agree that any attacks on our troops can in no way be properly described as progress -- that's what was happening in March as we advanced into the country.

The attack on the Red Cross, however, does certainly smack of desperation, because it again indicates the frustration of the so-called "resistance" with attacking military targets. Simply put, they are able to pick off one or two of our soldiers now and then, but they basically have no means of making a dent in our military strength.

Attacking the Red Cross seems to be of a piece with Saddam's "Mogadishu strategy." The Baathists/terrorists obviously hope to incite enough domestic opposition to our actions to cause us to withdraw our troops. They hope that Americans will decide that Iraq is a hopeless quagmire and pull out.

The Baathists/terrorists bomb the Red Cross at considerable cost to themselves, because it will only make ordinary Iraqis hate them and support the American objective of bringing peace and stability. It should be no surprise that recruiment for the Iraqi police is very strong, despite the fact that they are consistently targets of attacks. Many of these people want to fight the terrorists.

Bombing the Red Cross makes ordinary Iraqis more likely to run to the Americans the next time they see someone with a bomb or hear anything about a bomb. Like the UN bombing, it provokes worldwide outrage and increases worldwide support for American actions to provide security and democracy for Iraq.

So, yes, it was a very desperate act. They know that they are losing.

On the other hand, it seems odd to me that many Americans don't realize that we are winning. At a cost, yes, but there is obvious progress in Iraq toward democracy and construction of a civil society, something that will pay huge dividends for America in the future as we attempt to change the Middle East from a hotbed Islamic fanaticism and collection of tyrannical regimes into a pro-western collection of free people.

When Dennis Kucinich and others call for us to "bring all of our troops home," they are doing exactly what Saddam wants them to. Most of them are not motivated by the desire to help Saddam, but that is the impact of their actions, because every call for the withdrawal of our forces encourages the Baathists/terrorists to think that their strategy will work.

UPDATE: Boots on the Ground testifies first hand about the bravery of the Iraqi police. These people are going to build a great nation.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Why Dean will lose big to Bush

William Saletan gives us a preview in his comments about the Democrats' debate. Discussing Kerry's attack on Dean for wanting to raise taxes on the middle class:

On taxes, Dean is in bigger trouble. He wants to repeal all of Bush's tax cuts; Kerry wants to keep the parts that benefit the middle class. I've seen them spar over this several times, and it's increasingly clear that Dean's position is indefensible and a huge albatross in the general election. The sound bite he tried out in this debate—"What middle-class tax cuts?"—might well show up in Republican ads as evidence that he's out of touch.

Part of the problem is that the average middle-class person's share of the tax cuts, while low, isn't zero. As Kerry points out, for people with kids, it's substantial. Another part of the problem, noted by Kerry and Joe Lieberman, is that the middle-class portion of the tax cut was originally pushed by congressional Democrats. But the biggest problem is Dean's stated reason for repealing that middle-class portion: that he has to do so in order to balance the budget. If the amount of money involved is so small that you don't need it as a taxpayer, why is it so big that Dean needs it as president?

Dean's responses to Kerry on this point were exceedingly lame. He argued that anyone who agrees with any part of the Bush tax cuts is too similar to Bush to be elected. That's ridiculous. Nobody's going to have trouble distinguishing Kerry's position from Bush's. Dean's other response was that people will vote for a presidential candidate who says what he believes, even if "70 percent of the people in this country disagree with me." Tell that to Bruce Babbitt and Walter Mondale.

The ultimate eco-warrior

Like others I'm sure, I noted the recent news story about the man killed by a grizzly. With apologies to Paul Harvey, I didn't know the rest of the story. It's really hard not to laugh when reading about this idiot. (via DailyPundit)
Gephardt boomlet

Howard Kurtz wonders why the media is suddenly pushing Gephardt's candidacy:

The last time I checked, the Missouri congressman had been relegated to also-ran status. He was old news, unexciting, and didn't even have his own blog. If Howard Dean and Wesley Clark were hot, Gephardt was like lukewarm meat loaf -- comforting, appealing to lunch-bucket types, but decidedly not nouvelle cuisine.

So how come a bunch of journalists are suddenly saying nice things about Dick?

Is it because Gephardt's understated virtues are finally being recognized? Or because journalists are tired of the Dean-is-running-away-with-it story line and are hankering for a real contest?

Anyway, the Dick G mini-surge must be real, because several reporters have said so. And as we know, that's enough to start a trend.

Actually, there are several good reasons for the Gephardt boomlet. Chief among them is the fact that he has regained the lead from Howard Dean in most polls in Iowa. Secondly, there is John Kerry's collapse and Wesley Clark's failure to maintain his initial momentum. Someone is going to be in the final round against Dean, and everybody else is becoming less and less likely. By default, that may leave the race as Gephardt vs. Dean after the dust settles from Iowa and New Hampshire.

Of course, I still think that Dean will win.
Boykin update

Here's a strong article in the Weekly Standard. Sample graf:

Some journalists are all in favor of General Boykin's right to say and believe what he chooses--so long as Secretary Rumsfeld fires him. They are working under the theory that it is unacceptable for a DoD official to say that Christianity is true and that other religions are, therefore, false. The general also stands accused of calling for a Christian "jihad"--but he never used that word, and the accusation has long since been exposed as phony. And Boykin has been accused of casting aspersions on Islam--Heaven forbid! (What prigs we should all feel, after Islam has been so sweet to us.)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Iraq reconstruction continues

If more reporters would get their lazy butts out of Baghdad, they would probably write a lot more stories like this one.

"It's too early to draw firm conclusions, but early evidence suggests that here at least the mixture of military might, generosity and democracy may still work."

What a surprise.
More taxpayer-funded trash from NPR

Kausfiles has the story. I get pretty angry when I hear claims that the radio airwaves are controlled by ultra-conservative, right-wing extremists.

By the way, William Luse has been blogging up a storm about Terry Schiavo. If you haven't been to his blog lately, start at the bottom and read up.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?