Saturday, March 18, 2006

Police looting OK in New Orleans

Hat tip to The Dead Pelican for this news: If you're a New Orleans cop, it's your DUTY loot Wal-Mart:

Four New Orleans police officers have been cleared of looting allegations stemming from a news videotape that shows them taking items from the Uptown Wal-Mart two days after Hurricane Katrina, but the officers were suspended for 10 days for failing to stop civilians from cleaning out the ransacked store, the New Orleans Police Department said Friday. ...
Despite an avalanche of public outrage over the officers' actions, an internal investigation recently cleared them of looting allegations, said Assistant Chief Marlon Defillo, commander of the Public Integrity Bureau. He said the officers had permission from their superiors to take necessities for themselves and other officers. The New Orleans Police Department later informed Wal-Mart management, after the store had been secured, that its officers had taken some needed items, he said.

Perfect. In the midst of the greatest natural disaster in recent U.S. history, what is the most important duty for the New Orleans P.D.? Shopping! Then, "after the store has been secured" -- that is, after it's been thoroughly ransacked -- the police chief will tell you: "They weren't looting, that was ... uh, an official requisition of emergency necessities." More:

The four officers -- Olivia Fontenot, Vera Polite, Debra Prosper and Kenyatta Phillips -- were suspended for 10 days without pay for "neglect of duty" because "people can be observed illegally inside the store with property in their possession and you took no police action to prevent or stop the looting," according to their disciplinary letters. ...
Superintendent Warren Riley said Friday: "It was determined that all four officers had received permission from their commanders to get clothing for fellow officers who were soaking wet. They did not steal anything."
Defillo said the officers, all assigned to the badly flooded 3rd Police District, were among the officers rescued from that district's emergency shelter at the LSU Dental School in the aftermath of the storm.
"They were putting underwear, socks and shoes in the (shopping) basket," Defillo said. "The problem we had with their actions is that there were citizens in the store taking nonessential items and these officers did nothing to prevent these citizens from looting."

This is how ill-prepared the NOPD was for Katrina: Its own police officers had to be rescued from their "emergency shelter." And the department's backup plan in case their uniforms got wet? Loot Wal-Mart.

Here's more:

On top of her 10-day suspension, Fontenot received an additional three-day penalty for her "discourteous" response to MSNBC correspondent Fred Savidge, her disciplinary letter states. ...

In the video, the officers never offer an explanation as to why they're filling a shopping basket with merchandise. Instead, Fontenot tells Savidge that they are "looking for looters."
When Savidge points out that he can see looters everywhere, the following exchange takes place:

Fontenot: "That's what I see, including you. What are you doing in here?"
Savidge: "I haven't taken anything, ma'am."
Fontenot: "But you're in the store, huh?"

OK, this actually makes me like Officer Fontenot, because of my deep loathing for TV "journalists." TV reporters are paid at least twice what print reporters earn, and most of what you see on TV news is based on reporting originally done by print journalists. How many times have I turned on the TV and seen some airhead chick reporter saying, "Eyewitness News has learned ...." without telling her viewers that the Big Scoop was "learned" by reading that morning's newspaper?

Fred Savidge is lucky all he got was a "discourteous response" from Office Fontenot. Being rude to TV reporters should be encouraged, not punished.

Previous DONKEY CONS coverage of New Orleans:
3/17: Dean screams about New Orleans

2/15: Morial spews a flood of lies
2/4: New vote-fraud opportunities
1/26: Knee-deep in the Big Muddy

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Can this be true?

I got bored with the Dubai ports deal early on and stopped paying attention, but fortunately The Prowler did not:
If Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton did not know about her husband's standing with the United Arab Emirates and with Dubai World Ports, members of her Senate staff most assuredly did.
"There were enough people in the Clintons' orbit who were potentially going to be part of the deal," says an employee of a firm that does work for both Clintons. "We were pursuing work on the ports deal, and we cleared our participation with Clinton's office. We didn't want there to be a conflict."
In fact, at least two senior outside advisers to Senator Clinton were attempting to get business out of the Port Deal, and President Clinton was the go-between. Associates with the Glover Park Group, which houses just about the entire shadow staff for Hillary's run-up to a Democratic presidential bid, were attempting to get a slice of the DPW deal before the deal was made public about three weeks ago.
According to current and former President Clinton staff, Hillary Clinton's Senate office was aware that Glover Park was in the running to do work on the DPW deal."
She was also very much aware of President Clinton's financial arrangements with the UAE," says a former Bill Clinton staffer. "We're talking about more than a million dollars, some of paid out soon out after they left the White House. That income helped the Clintons buy the properties that allow them to live both in New York and Washington, D.C. This was not an insignificant financial arrangement."

Holy blockbuster, Batman! If this was Tom DeLay's spouse lobbying for a foreign government or if this was Bill Frist's staff angling for a slice of the DPW action, the story would be on the cover of Time and Newsweek, front page of the NY Times and the Washington Post, leading the broadcast every night on CBS, ABC and NBC, and 24/7 on CNN! Quick, get me Bob Woodward's cell phone number! Send a fax to Russert's producer! And e-mail Blitzer, ASAP!

If this is true, I'm shocked that Republicans aren't demanding an investigation. Foreign contributors funnelling OVER $1 MILLION to the spouse of a U.S. Senator? This would be a HUGE scandal. No wonder Hillary was against the DPW deal -- if she had come out in favor of it, the disclosure of Bill's Dubai deals could have destroyed her political career.

Again, I repeat: IF this is true. Still, even if it's just gossip, and even though Hillary campaigned against the DPW deal, can you imagine if someone even suggested such a thing about a Republican? Every network satellite truck in Washington would have been camped out in front of that Republican's house the next morning -- a huge story.

But even though I'm in the news business, listen to talk radio, keep tabs on the blogosphere AND just happened to have recently co-written a book about Democratic scandals, I totally missed this Prowler item until I saw where Bob Parks quoted it on his blog. And what really caught my eye was this little tidbit from an MSNBC story that Bob linked:
Officials from the UAE also donated between $500,000 and $1m to fund Mr
Clinton's presidential library in Arkansas.

Wow, that sounds kind of familiar -- a lot like something in Chapter Nine of DONKEY CONS. Hmmm. Let's see, big contributions to the Clinton library and something about a scandal. Escapes my memory. Oh, well, pardon me.

And I've also forgotten something else, so somebody please help me remember: Who is the "party of the rich"?

-- McCAIN

Paging Dr. Howard Dean

Howard Dean's chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee gives new meaning to the term "physician-assisted suicide." He's the Jack Kervorkian of politics, administering the lethal dose to the Democratic Party. CNS News reports Dean's comments on plans for the April 22 elections in New Orleans:
The head of the Democratic Party criticized the Justice Department for approving a plan for New Orleans to hold its first elections since Hurricane Katrina.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Friday called the decision "to pre-clear a problematic plan for next month's New Orleans elections" a "disappointing development that raises serious questions about the integrity of the vote." ...
"The integrity of the vote"! Oh, this is rich. In Chicago, the Daley machine turned out an "army" of city employees, on the taxpayers' dime, to campaign for Rep. Rahm Emanuel and other Democratic candidates. In Detroit, thousands of dead people voted in the last election. In Maryland, Democrats are pushing to expand voting rights for convicted felons. But in New Orleans -- where ex-Mayor Marc Morial's Democratic machine openly handed out checks to people to vote for Sen. Mary Landrieu -- Howard Dean is concerned about "the integrity of the vote." You can't make this stuff up.
"Protecting the right to vote is a fundamental American value. Democrats are committed to helping citizens participate fully in our democracy, but this cannot happen unless our government works to inform voters of how they can most effectively exercise their right to vote," said Dean in a statement.
"Committed." Yes, Dr. Dean is definitely committed. Or needs to be, anyway.

Look, there have been three successful elections in Iraq, a nation devastated by war, riven by ethnic and religious strife, and beleaguered daily by a so-called "insurgency" (in fact, subversive terrorism fomented by Syria, Iran and al-Qaeda). So if they can have elections in Iraq, why doesn't Dr. Dean want New Orleans to have elections?
"We must also do everything possible to maximize the availability of satellite voting locations, not only for early voting but for voting on Election Day as well. This includes reconsidering the possibility of establishing out-of-state satellite voting locations in places where we know there are significant numbers of displaced voters," said Dean. "If we can set up satellite voting stations for Iraqis living in America, there is no reason we can't do the same thing for Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina," he said.
OK, let's point out why that analogy is totally bogus:
  • If your name is Hassan Ali and you speak Arabic, and you live in the U.S. but want to vote in the Iraqi election, and you have an Iraqi passport and U.S. visa identifying you as Hassan Ali of West Baghdad, officials can be reasonably certain that no vote fraud will be perpetrated on the Iraqi people.
  • If you show up at a "satellite voting location" in Texas, claiming to be Pierre Bosilier of Bourbon Street, Democrats won't even require you to show a photo ID!
Does no one remember the liberal howls when Georgia decided to require photo ID for voting? A leading Georgia Democrat called it "one of the most regressive pieces of voter rights legislation since the Jim Crow era." As a result of this entrenched liberal hostility to what Dr. Dean calls "the integrity of the vote," setting up satellite voting in Houston, Memphis, Atlanta, etc., would be an open invitation to election mischief.

Even if it were possible to verify that only genuine New Orleans evacuees were voting im such satellite locations, the fact is that by Election Day, it will have been more than 6 months since any of these people actually lived in the city. News accounts have repeatedly pointed out that many Katrina evacuees have established lives in their new communities, with new jobs and new homes, and have no desire to return to their former homes. Even if they wanted to go back, many of them no longer have anyplace to return to -- their houses were destroyed by the storm and it's doubtful they'll ever be rebuilt.

Never mind, of course, the question of how a former New Orleans resident now living with relatives in Nashville is supposed to make an informed choice in the April election, where 24 candidates are running for mayor -- including two openly gay candidates, one of whom is delighfully blunt in describing the city's "reputation of corruption, political payoffs and sweetheart deals." (Send that man a copy of DONKEY CONS! We say the same thing, almost word-for-word, in Chapter 8.) An evacuee living in Jackson, Miss., or Little Rock, Ark., probably isn't going to get a lot of information on TV news and in local newspapers to help him evaluate the candidates and their platforms.

Still, if they are genuinely interested in voting in the April elections, Katrina evacuees can call the New Orleans registrar's office and request an absentee ballot. One wonders what all the overheated rhetoric from Dean and others is meant to accomplish; instead of yammering on about "satellite voting," they should just work with FEMA, the Red Cross and other relief agencies to get the simple message out to evacuees: "Here's the number to call if you want to cast an absentee ballot in April."

As Bill Clinton always liked to say, elections are not about the past, they're about the future, and whatever their past in New Orleans may have been, the future for many evacuees will be in Dallas or Atlanta or wherever they've re-settled. The plight of former New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina is tragic, but it won't be helped by demagoguery about "disenfranchisement," any more than it will be helped by angry rhetoric about how many trillions of dollars the federal government should spend to rebuild homes in a flood zone. Instead of pandering to false hopes, responsible political leaders should encourage these people to get on with their lives where they are.

That's what responsible leaders should do. Howard Dean's exploiting of the election issue is apparently just a play to the Kos Kool-Aid drinkers, another transparent attempt to exploit the Katrina disaster. How does he think his "disenfranchisement" demagoguery will play with the suburban "swing" voters, soccer moms and NASCAR dads that the Democrats need to win over if they're going to have any hope of recapturing Congress in November? Does he think Americans are just too stupid to see through his ploy?

Democratic primary voters (and Al Franken) rejected Dean in 2004 because they could see he was not a mainstream candidate and was trying to take the party in the wrong direction. Why the party then turned around and entrusted Dean with the DNC chairmanship is one of the great mysteries of our age. Imagine if, after 1988, the GOP had installed Pat Robertson as RNC chairman, or if Pat Buchanan had been named party chief in 1993.

For all the talk about the Religious Right's influence over the Republican Party, if the GOP were as beholden to Christian conservatives as the Dems now are to the MoveOn moonbats, the Republican Convention would look like a Sand Mountain revival meeting, complete with faith healings, snake-handlers and speaking in tongues.

But it's useless for anyone to try to talk the Democrats out of their lemming-like leftward march to disaster -- Democrats don't even listen to their own voters!

Previous DONKEY CONS coverage of New Orleans:

1/26: Knee-deep in the Big Muddy
2/4: New vote-fraud opportunities
2/15: Morial spews a flood of lies

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Friday, March 17, 2006

Harris stays in Fla. Senate race

Several bloggers -- including blog buddy Rob Huddleston and his Tennessee friend Brian Hornback -- have commented on Rep. Katherine Harris' announcement that she will remain in the Senate race in Florida.

A few years ago, my wife and I met Mrs. Harris at the D.C. premiere of "Gods and Generals." My wife really liked Mrs. Harris. She was very down-to-earth and friendly. Unlike some Congress-critters who never go anywhere without their entourage (remind me to tell my Dick Gephardt story sometime), Mrs. Harris was just this little lady standing in the lobby of the theater during intermission. I say "little" because she is very petite -- about 5 feet tall and certainly not more than 100 pounds.

During the 2000 Florida recount nightmare, the liberal media demonized Mrs. Harris. I particularly recall a nasty Robin Givhan profile in the OP (Other Paper) that lampooned Mrs. Harris' cosmetic choices. Typical liberal hypocrisy -- anybody who says a word about the appearance of certain left-wing Democratic women is a heartless sexist pig, but GOP women are always fair game. And it's not like Katherine Harris is unattractive. She just happened to be wearing blue eye shadow the day of her big media event and, to the snobby bitches in the D.C. press corps, blue eye shadow is some kind of low-class thing.

The problems affecting Mrs. Harris' campaign are typical of something Lynn and I observed in researching DONKEY CONS. When a Democratic politician is at the center of controversy, Democrats rally around and staunchly defend their own. (Think of congressional Democrats applauding Clinton at that 1998 White House photo-op the day the House impeached him.) But Republicans -- and here I especially mean the party leaders, big campaign donors and major conservative pundits who influence GOP decision-making -- are very gun-shy about controversy.

There is a good side of this: You don't see anybody in the GOP claiming that Jack Abramoff or Duke Cunningham were the targets of a "partisan witch-hunt." One reason Republicans have less scandal is because all Republican scandals tend to end in three words: Resigned in disgrace. But there's also a bad side of this aversion to controversy, and Mrs. Harris is experiencing it with her Senate race.

First: Republicans are a middle-class, business-oriented party. Thus, Republicans expect their candidates to be "presentable" in the same way as an IBM executive -- the ideal GOP candidate is outgoing and friendly, but also bland, boring and harmless. Democrats like dangerous "bad boy" candidates like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Democrats will make heroes of clowns and demagogues, so long as those clowns and demagogues win elections. But the Republican power and money crowd is always uncomfortable about "colorful" candidates: Bob Dornan, for example. When Dornan lost his House seat to Loretta Sanchez in 1996 -- a close election in which Dornan's supporters said the Democrats cheated -- he seemed genuinely hurt that the GOP didn't jump in to back his challenge to the result. You got the feeling, however, that the grand poobahs of the Republican Party were a bit embarassed to be associated with "B-1 Bob," and they sort of walked away from him after that election.

Sometimes this tendency goes so far that Republicans will actively oppose "controversial" Republicans in the general election. Ask Oliver North about how many people in the GOP fought against him in his 1994 Virginia Senate campaign. Judge Roy Moore in Alabama has experienced the same thing -- Moore has strong grassroots support and statewide name recognition, but the Republican establishment just hates Moore because they consider him a bad stereotype of the Religious Right.

That points to a second factor that's hurting Mrs. Harris in Florida: Republicans have internalized the self-image created by their opponents. By this, I mean that GOP people are always afraid of acting like what Democrats say they are: rich, greedy, warmongers, racists, sexists, homophobes, etc. That's what leads the GOP to do silly stunts like the notorious "diversity night" at the 2000 Republican convention. And this relates to Mrs. Harris because she comes from a wealthy family -- her grandfather was a cattle baron -- and she has the kind of society pedigree that some Republicans find embarassing. Republicans know they're seen as "the party of the rich," and so they're always a bit uneasy with a candidate with inherited wealth like Mrs. Harris or, to cite another example, Steve Forbes.

This is one reason why Reagan -- once he beat the GOP establishment's concern that he was "too extreme" -- was always so good for Republicans. Reagan came from a rather modest Midwest background and became successful through his own talent and hard work. That biographical narrative not only embodied the basic GOP message of economic opportunity, it also countered the image of Republicans as the "born rich" party.

A big reason some Republicans don't like Mrs. Harris as a Senate candidate, I think, is that they fear she plays into that "born rich" stereotype. The GOP loves Old Money campaign contributors, but they don't like to put Old Money names on the ballot. So when Mrs. Harris says she'll put $10 million of her own money into her campaign, that hurts her in some Republicans' eyes.

I haven't followed the Florida election closely and don't know what the issues are. I don't know what Mrs. Harris' stances are on various issues, and certainly don't mean this post as an endorsement. But her situation does illustrate some of the different tendencies of the two parties that we talked about in DONKEY CONS. And these tendencies may do a lot to explain why some people have such negative view of Mrs. Harris.

---McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: About the book

For the kittens

Some time back, I explained why you should buy DONKEY CONS "for the children" -- our children, to be more specific. Lynn and her husband have two kids; my wife and I have six kids. So everytime you buy DONKEY CONS (and you should buy TWO copies), you're contributing to the well-being and happiness of eight wonderful children. It takes a village to raise a child and ... wow, I'm starting to sound like Sally Struthers or something.

Unfortunately, the "for the children" message encountered difficulties. Namely, my wife, who didn't like having her daughter's photo on the Internet. Mrs. McCain has seen the TV reports about Internet predators, MySpace, etc., and .. well, she's a mom, you understand. So I deleted that message.

But it's not just children who will benefit every time you buy DONKEY CONS. There's also ... the kittens.

Yes, our cat recently had a litter of adorable little kittens. They're fluffy, fuzzy and just so doggone cute. Our family loves animals, especially cute, cuddly kittens like these. It would be a shame if we had to give them away ... or send them to the animal shelter. Our kids love to play with the kittens, but kittens have to eat, and cat food costs money. And so if you love cute little kittens -- and we know you do -- then buy DONKEY CONS. Go ahead, click the link and buy it now from Amazon. If you buy TWO copies, the shipping's free.

There now -- don't you feel better about yourself?

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Behind the book

Headline Update (March 17)

Today's DONKEY CONS HEADLINE UPDATE(TM) -- in a special bipartisan RED and BLUE edition -- is brought to you once again by Tonto, Tarzan and Frankestein:

JESSICA: GOP, Yall!
JESSICA: Actually, no ...
BASIL: Blog lessons

FONDA: Ain't from around here, are ya?
MALKIN:
SchumerGate
GINSBURG:
Hates Constitution (h/t: Powerline)

ACE: Durst not funny
CLOONEY: "Abused"!
ARIANNA: Translated
HOROWITZ: History. STOP!
NAWLINS: Let's vote!
NCAA: Terrorist hot dog stand
SEIPP: New meme
DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: About book

Advanced whining at Harvard Law

Few things in the world are more annoying than overprivileged yuppies whining about how miserable things are for them:

[F]actors such as large student loan obligations and high housing costs in the cities where most young adults go to start their careers are making the transition to fully independent adulthood harder for young adults to achieve. The interview gives some interesting insights as to why $200/month student loan payments really can be a heavy burden for 20-somethings.
That's from Katy S. McArthur, who had previously blogged:

Statistics show that almost half of students who start a four-year degree program have not graduated in six years. If the debt burden is unmanageable for the students who actually do graduate, what must it be like for the students who give college a try but don't make it to graduation?
Adult males with some college but no degree earn an average of $37,500 - just a few thousand more than their peers who never even attempted college. When you look at it this way, going to college is suddenly a very risky proposition - for those who don't succeed, you're very likely to be significantly worse off than if you'd never tried at all, since your years out of the work force and the significant debt you've incurred won't be offset by a meaningful income difference unless you graduate.
I'm thinking back to when I was a 25-year-old college graduate driving a forklift in a bearings warehouse on Fulton Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta for $4.50 an hour. My foreman, who was making about $6 an hour, had a business degree from Auburn University and another guy on our crew had a University of Tennessee degree in psychology.

When I hear this kind of whining about how horrible it is for young people today (when the unemployment rate is under 5%), I've got to wonder who's doing the whining. So I clicked over to the bio of Katy McArthur and discovered she's a second-year Harvard Law student who used to be an investment banker at Lehman Brothers!

Oh, cry me a river, Katy! You're four years out of UT-Austin and your prospects are just so bleak, aren't they? Poor, poor Katy -- walked away from Lehman Brothers and still had to borrow money to go to Harvard Law!

Miss McArthur, I'm guessing you're about 27, right? Sweetheart, when I was your age (in 1987) I was positively overjoyed to get a job as a sports editor at the Calhoun (Ga.) Times at the princely salary of $275 a week ($25 a week more than I'd been making in Marietta at Otis Brumby's Neighbor Newspapers). Woo-hoo! $14,300 a year before taxes!

Miss McArthur, nobody put a gun to your head and forced you go to UT-Austin. Nobody compelled you to quit your investment banking job and enroll at Harvard Law. These are called "choices," and if you can't afford the tuition, you always have other choices. But don't worry: Just another year or so and you'll be a Harvard Law grad who can then spend the rest of her life looking down her pretty little nose at the rest of us dumb slobs.

As for my own kids, I expect the girls to work their way through school (probably not Harvard Law, OK?) and the boys ... well, I'm expecting my sons to enter the University of Parris Island so they can qualify for special scholarships.*

At CPAC this year, I met Thomas Frank, who wonders why liberals can't seem to connect with average red-state voters nowadays. Mr. Frank, I think I've found your answer, and she's a second-year student at Harvard Law.

-- McCAIN

*Of course, if we sell a million copies of DONKEY CONS (the movie rights are still available, Mr. Clooney -- have your people call my people, OK?), maybe I could afford to send my kids to UT-Austin and Harvard Law, so ...

SNOTTY RIPOSTE: My esteemed co-blogger Stacy writes: "My foreman, who was making about $6 an hour, had a business degree from Auburn University..." No wonder he was making $6 an hour. A business degree from Auburn is like a cattle-ranching degree from the University of Calcutta. Which, come to think of it, might make a good fallback position for Miss McArthur. We hear students there are thrilled with their rupee loans.
(ROLL TIDE!)
- VINCENT

Riposte to the snotty riposte: Lynn, it's bad enough you've gotten me involved in your shameless partisanship, but now ... Alabama vs. Auburn? That kind of stuff could cost us some readers down around Opelika. Me, I bleed crimson (Dad was UA '51), but some of my best friends are War Eagles.
-- McCAIN

BUY DONKEY CONS!

BUY TWO COPIES!

DONKEY CONS: About the Book

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ronald Reagan, guest blogger

I Am a Conservative.

There, I Said It!

By Ronald Reagan

Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. ...

Well, I mean, if the HUFFINGTON POST can do a fake blog by George Clooney ....
Actor George Clooney is standing by scathing comments aimed at Democrats made in a blog on Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post blog site this week, except that he noted that there's one problem: He wasn't the actual person who wrote it. ...
In the purported blog entry entitled "I Am a Liberal. There I Said It!" posted Monday ... Clooney purportedly tossed an F-bomb at Democrats who "caved in" during the run up to the Iraq war. ...
Huffington explained, "We put together a sample blog from answers he had given on Larry King Live and an interview with the Guardian in London, and sent it to him to rework in any way he wanted."
Huffington blames the blunder on a publicist ... who said they would get the sample blog to Clooney. Huffington said that three days later, the publicist e-mailed her back, "approving, without any changes, what we had sent." ...
RIGHT: "Have your people e-mail my people."

I wonder if Lynn and I could hire a publicist to get other people to blog for us? I'm pretty sure that's how Glenn Reynolds and Hugh Hewitt do it, right?

Meanwhile, according to Technorati, more than 200 blogs had linked to Clooney's popular left-wing rant.

Kind of like the New York Times and those West Virginia tobacco fields, I suppose.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: About the book ...
DONKEY CONS: Buy it now!

Lifestyles of the rich and shameless

Live it up in chic Chicago nightclubs, party with Playmates at the Super Bowl, wear Armani suits, smoke the finest cigars, stay at the poshest hotels, relax at a day spa, pick up the $3,000 dinner tab ...

Isn't it good to be a Democrat?

When the family name is becoming increasingly synonymous with political corruption, that kind of high-roller stuff might not play too well with the poor folks down home.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More Monkey Business

OK, you're a left-wing Democrat and you figure the whole Iraq-as-Vietnam thing is getting a bit stale after three years. So, how about ... Napoleon's retreat from Moscow? I am not making this up:

They burned Moscow down around Napoleon. Denied his last great triumph, the disappointed emperor abandoned Moscow and started home. Along the way, he lost the world's most powerful army.

Now, in Iraq, former Sen. Gary Hart (D-Aspen) says:

It is strange to contemplate the possibility that the greatest army in world history could be slaughtered in a Middle East conflagration. ... The United States is in danger of finding combat forces trapped in a civil war that they cannot prevent, control, or win. America's army is in danger, and that danger is possibly just around the corner.
Gary Hart knows as much about military strategy as Paris Hilton knows about abstinence. Uh, hello -- winter? Gary? Do you think the Russian winter might have had something to do with Napoleon's problems? And does it occur to you that, at least in this respect, Iraq is very un-Russian?

What Hart and other pretentious dimwits can't seem to understand is this: The "history repeats itself" mode of reasoning only works when you employ true parallels.

War particularly seems to lend itself to bogus "lessons" like this, because American schools have never done a good job of teaching military history. This allows the likes of Gary Hart to crib an account of the 1812 campaign from an encyclopedia article and present himself as a sage to a readership that knows even less about the subject than he does.

So vast is this ocean of ignorance, Hart can be certain that no regular HuffPost reader will object: "Hey, what about America's postwar occupations of Germany and Japan? Those turned out OK. And besides, what's a few dozen casualties a month in Iraq compared to the thousands of American troops who died to take Iwo Jima or Okinawa? If the war's worth winning, then casualties are part of the unavoidable cost. Do you want to pull another scaredy-cat cut-and-run like we did in Somalia?"

Gary Hart's stupidity is legendary. When rumors started circulating of his extra-marital affairs in 1987, Hart challenged the press to follow him. They did, and caught him, complete with color photos of him aboard the notorious "Monkey Business," forever destroying his presidential ambitions. The fact that such a has-been loser can present himself as an "elder statesman" at HuffPost tells you a lot about what's wrong with the Democratic Party. Who's up next on HuffPost? Mike Dukakis?

HAT TIP: Kaus

-- McCAIN

Stupid donkey tricks

Never give the suckers an even break, says Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Kool-Aid) as he flim-flams the moonbats into thinking an NSA anti-terrorism program is "domestic surveillance" that violates Americans' rights, and then convinces them that grown-ups might take this propaganda seriously:

Senate Democrats refused to allow a vote yesterday on a proposal by one of their own to censure President Bush for his warrantless terrorist-surveillance program.
Sen. Russell D. Feingold accused Mr. Bush yesterday of breaking the law and lying to Congress for ordering eavesdropping within the United States without warrants. The Wisconsin Democrat introduced in the Senate an official resolution to censure Mr. Bush, which by nightfall had been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. ...

Majority Leader Bill Frist dismissed the proposal as "political gamesmanship" and said that if the Senate was going to consider such a serious sanction, he wanted an immediate vote on the matter, which the Democrats would not permit. ...

Democrats quickly rejected voting on the censure resolution. ...

No Democrats yesterday publicly supported Mr. Feingold's resolution. ... At a press conference, Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada declined to endorse the resolution and said he hadn't read it.


You'd think the moonbats -- who congratulate themselves on their superior intelligence as they derogate Bush (a Harvard MBA) as a "smirking chimp" -- would start wondering after a while why Democrats think they're stupid enough to keep falling for their lame stunts. But the moonbats fall for this stuff every time. (Hat tip: Malkin)

I'm genuinely amazed at how the moonbats never figure out they're being hosed by clowns like Feingold:
It's the same with this "domestic surveillance" meme: As much as it might excite the Kool-Aid drinkers to think that this is the biggest scandal in all human history -- bigger even than Plamegate! -- it's a sure-fire loser. All any Republican has to do is ask, "Do the American people want us to spy on al-Qaeda or not?" and the issue evaporates, just like the Iran-Contra "scandal" disappeared the minute Lt. Col. Oliver North showed up to testify in his Marine uniform and raised his right hand. (In case the moonbats don't get this analogy: Iran-Contra ultimately called attention to the question: "Do Americans want us to fight Commies in Nicaragua or not?")

But facts, logic and ordinary common-sense political strategy are wasted on the moonbats. In a year when Democrat might have their best chance since 1994 of re-capturing Congress, Flim-Flam Feingold and the Kool-Aid Kos crowd seem determined to blunder their way to another defeat. Karl Rove must be laughing himself silly.

-- McCAIN

VINCENT'S TWO CENTS:

The uproar over the tergiversating turncoat Russ Feingold (D-France) is as fully justified as his behavior is standard among Democrats. As Bill Clinton had his "bimbo eruptions," the party's left-wing has its apparent "treason eruptions." Let us not forget that Feingold hails from the party of…

- Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Baghdad), who, at the height of pre-war tensions, traveled to Iraq and publicly proclaimed the mass murderer Saddam trustworthy (!) and George W. Bush, who had just masterfully guided Americans through a devastating attack on their homeland, a liar.

- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Grenada), who in the 1980's collaborated with the Marxist dictator Maurice Bishop to undermine the Reagan administration's national security policy during the Cold War.

- Sen. John "I can't decide whether I want to be a war hero or a war criminal, but I know I want to president" Kerry (D-Cambodia…well, sort of…almost), who today is honored in a Communist museum in Vietnam for having aided the North Vietnamese by testifying (falsely, it turned out) against his own brothers in arms.

In Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, we spend an entire chapter discussing left-wing Democrats' standard policy of undermining American security. We could've spent an entire book.

- VINCENT

Democrats Slaughter Ethics

Let's see, Howard Dean has squandered the DNC's budget and so Democrats don't have money to hire political operatives to gin up talking points. What to do?

Hey, let's BILL THE TAXPAYERS!
Talk about ethics? Yes, let's do that, says the National Republican Congressional Committee. Republicans accuse Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, of violating House ethics rules by directing her staff to prepare a "report" on alleged Republican corruption -- then using the report to raise campaign cash.
Republicans say Slaughter, the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, is trying to raise money by using political propaganda that was prepared by House Rules Committee staffers and funded by the American taxpayer.
The propaganda masquerades as an official House Rules Committee staff report, and Slaughter mentions it in a fund-raising email she sent out this week. The email begins, "Last week, my office from the House Rules Committee released a report, 'America for Sale: The Cost of Republican Corruption.'" Slaughter includes a link to the "report" in her email message, along with a link for
"contributions."

Likewise, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee began a recent fundraising newsletter by referring to the same "report." ... After summarizing the report's findings, the DCCC invites recipients to "contribute for change."

Is it any wonder why the Democrats have refused to let the House Ethics Committee meet for over a year?

-- McCAIN

Baltimore and bias

Why are most people unaware of the widespread corruption within the Democratic Party? One reason is that the party has long been strongest in big cities where news stories about corruption are often greeted with a "ho-hum" response. And with few exceptions (such as the recent federal trial of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell), investigations and prosecutions of municipal corruption are treated by the media as strictly a local story. Consider, for example, the Chicago "hired truck" case -- a HUGE scandal in the Chicago area, but almost entirely unknown at the national level.

But there's another reason why people don't connect municipal corruption with Democrats, as this story from Baltimore highlights:
For the past six years Baltimore City Council President Sheila Dixon has steered government work worth at least $600,000 to her former campaign chairman, most of the time without a written contract.
Since becoming council president in December 1999, Dixon has continually authorized Dale G. Clark to manage the council's computer system. But records obtained by The Sun show that Clark has worked without a contract since the lapse of his first no-bid deal -- crafted by Dixon and authorized by the Board of Estimates -- in March 2001. ...

City procurement rules require that all contracts over $5,000 be approved by the five-member Board of Estimates, which is chaired by Dixon and controlled by Mayor Martin O'Malley.
Williams said that Dixon has suspended her deputy chief of staff, Carolyn Blakeney, for one week without pay because she is responsible for overseeing the council computer contract. Dixon also "severely reprimanded" her chief of staff, Beatrice Tripps, Williams said.

Nowhere in the story is it mentioned that Sheila Dixon is a Democrat.

In February, another Baltimore Sun article reported on an apparent ethical lapse by Dixon, but again -- no mention of Dixon's party affiliation.

What's going on here? Is this media bias? Maybe not. Probably what's going on is that in most big cities, Democrats have a monopoly or near-monopoly on elective offices, so reporters just take it for granted that mayors and city council members are Democrats. It's only when a city official is REPUBLICAN that the "man bites dog" factor makes party affiliation worth mentioning.

This is why scandals in Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and other big cities are seldom acknowledged as part of a pattern of Democratic Party corruption. And it explains why Nancy Pelosi (whose family, by the way, used to control politics in Baltimore) thinks she can campaign against a "culture of corruption," even while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is headed by Rep. Rahm "Hired Truck" Emanuel, who was elected by the Daley machine in Chicago.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS shipping from Amazon

DONKEY CONS has started shipping from Amazon.com! Official publication date is not until April 4 and the Amazon site says it's still in "pre-order" status, but the first orders shipped on Friday.

What they're saying about DONKEY CONS:

"Relentless and stunning ..."
-- Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

"An irresistible book ..."
-- David Horowitz

"Fabulous! This can't-put-down book reads like a suspense-filled mystery novel."
-- Debbie Schlussel

"Vividly written and witty."
-- Peter Brimelow
author of "Alien Nation"

Remember: Buy TWO -- do it for the children.

-- McCAIN

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sowellism

Thomas Sowell's VISION OF THE ANOINTED is one of my favorite books of all time and during the course of Lynn's and my collaboration on DONKEY CONS (buy TWO -- do it for the children), I'd frequently mention Sowell in our conversations about how Democrats' class-warfare ideology is related to their "by any means necessary" tactics. When we'd finished the book, Lynn went out and bought VISION OF THE ANOINTED and quickly became a missionary preaching the gospel of Sowellism.

What's great about Sowell is that his writing is concise. I sometimes take one idea and elaborate it at length. Sowell has a great talent for doing the opposite: taking a complex subject and boiling it down to a few clear sentences. The best example of this is in THE QUEST FOR COSMIC JUSTICE. On pages 121-126, Sowell completely dismantles Lenin's Imperialism. Considering that Imperialism is perhaps the most influential Marxist tract ever written -- Chomsky, Zinn and Michael Moore all reflect Lenin's vision of international trade as "exploitation" -- this is an astonishing passage.

If the bogusness of Lenin's doctrine can be conclusively demonstrated in just seven pages, the obvious question is: Why did people ever believe this stuff? This is "a triumph of propaganda," as Sowell explains:
The utter failure of Lenin's Imperialism as a work of logic only highlights its success as propaganda. To convice people of the truth of something that is true by logical inference from evidence requires no talent whatsever in the arts of propaganda. But to convince many highly educated people around the world of a theory that is demonstrably false ... is clearly a triumph of propaganda. ...

Marxism-Leninism is the ultimate in a common pattern among intellectuals with cosmic visions -- highly sophisticated defenses of primitive misconceptions.
[Emphasis added.]
A moonbat recently wasted a 1,200-word e-mail endeavoring to convince me that (a) we fought a Halliburton-inspired "war for oil" that killed "hundreds of thousands" in Iraq, and (b) the 240,000 new U.S. jobs created in February were all bad, low-paying jobs, and that despite an unemployment rate of 4.8% or any other evidence, Bush has "destroyed" the U.S. economy with "tax cuts for the rich."
"Highly sophisticated defenses of primitive misconceptions"!

-- McCAIN

Aramaic lessons

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin:

Ralph Reed has become such a sorry spectacle that his erstwhile supporters -- many of whom have long since turned their backs on the former Christian Coalition leader -- are probably reminded of King Belshazzar.

Or, as someone else put it:

"He has shamed the evangelical community ...."

-- McCAIN