Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dems in Dixie: What a Drag!

Quick-thinking GOP operatives spoiled a Democratic message last week. It seems that Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue's campaign was distributing to supporters a cell-phone ringtone with a pro-Sonny message. This Perdue ringtone was made available at his campaign Web site and -- as the AP's Dick Pettys reported -- a Democratic Party blogger who thought this amusing decided to link to the ringtone, telling Ga. Dems, "prepare to laugh."

Well, who's laughing now? When visitors to the Dem blog clicked on the blog link ...
... it takes them not to the Perdue ringtone but to a photo of Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Kahn wearing a dress and bonnet that make him look like Mother Hubbard, while former Gov. Roy Barnes and former Congressman Buddy Darden laugh heartily in the background.
LOL! (H/T: Peach Pundit) Obviously, the Ga. GOP oppo-research team must have spotted the Dem blog traffic to Sonny's site and switched the URL to the Kahn drag photo. (The Dems eventually figured out they'd been scammed, it seems.)

For non-Georgians, I will explain that Roy Barnes was the phenomenally unpopular Democratic governor who finally destroyed the state party in 2002; it was Barnes' toxic reputation that helped sink Sen. Max Cleland that year. Rep. George "Buddy" Darden was the Democra who voted for the 1994 gun-grab, thus enabling the NRA to elect Republican Bob Barr to Congress from the 7th District of Georgia during the "Republican Revolution."

So a photo of Kahn, in drag, yukking it up with Barnes and Darden, is sort of a Rorschach test that was sure to annoy Dems, reminding them of their declining power, which I have commented on here and here previously.

RALPH REED UPDATE

I have to admit that I went to PeachPundit hoping to find some new dirt on Ralph Reed's GOP campaign for lieutenant governor of Georgia. Why are so many people salivating over the prospect of Reed's comeuppance? Why are so many conservative Republicans cheering for Sen. Casey Cagle to stomp Ralph into a pulp?

Oh, so many reasons! Among them, Reed has parlayed his God & GOP Inc. operation into a $4.5 million personal fortune. I've known some Republican activists, both before and since I came to Washington, and have seldom met anyone who trusted Ralph Reed farther than they could throw him. Long, long story.

-- McCAIN

UPDATE: Thanks for the link from NoVaTownhall. I decided to take down my joking suggestion for a campaign prank on Reed -- a "Girls, Girls, Girls" fundraiser on Piedmont Drive in Atlanta -- which was posted here Saturday night. You see, I had just taken a couple of Ambiens and was on my way to a 2:45 a.m. vote in Congress when I posted that. If there was a Mayo Clinic program to treat sarcasm, they'd have sent me to rehab long ago. But the point is, like Patrick J. Kennedy, I'm a helpless victim and thus can't be blamed for my bad jokes. We now return to our regularly-scheduled Reed-bashing ...

Did you know that Microsoft paid Ralph Reed over $1.5 million? Neither did I. But I do know that Microsoft found Bill Gates is a huge supporter of a global effort to impose contraception and abortion on Third World women. They used to call that "eugenics"; now it's called "women's rights."

Whatever you call it, Gates is pushing the same agenda supported by Ted Turner and others on the left, an agenda steadfastly opposed by all serious pro-life Christians. Maybe someone in Georgia -- the Casey Cagle campaign? -- could ask Ralph to explain to conservative Christians why Reed was pimping for Gates, who's pushing the same agenda as Jane Fonda.

Rick Anderson of Seattle Weekly reports:
In 2004, Microsoft paid Reed a $20,000 monthly retainer while he again campaigned for Bush, playing a major role as the party's Southeast regional campaign coordinator. Exactly what duties he performed for Microsoft haven't been revealed. ...

Microsoft dropped Reed, a notorious opponent of gay-rights laws, about the time the company was also suffering a public-relations meltdown for failing to support a gay-rights bill in Olympia, which was defeated. The company did a U-turn and threw its support to the bill this year, and it passed. It will take effect in June.

Gee, Ralph Reed gets $20,000 a month as a "retainer" for Microsoft. Y'know, there's plenty of folks down in the small towns of Georgia who make about $20,000 a year -- and vote Republican. This here Microsoft thing's gonna be mighty hard to explain to those folks.

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Prayers for Patrick J. Kennedy

The anti-PJK hatefest continues in the blogosphere, and poor Paddy has to be feeling lower than a snake's belly about now. Having slung a bit of it myself Thursday and Friday -- hey, I'm no Wonkette, but I'm not always Ned Flanders, either -- I'm feeling a bit guilty.

But honest remorse is, I confess, mingled somewhat with self-interest. Now that the Kossacks are calling for PJK to resign from Congress, I realize we might have gone too far in hatin' on Paddy. If a Kennedy should actually resign in disgrace, this would to some extent contradict a key finding of DONKEY CONS, namely that being a Democrat is like holding the "Get Out of Jail Free" card in a monopoly game (something that seems to have occurred to Point Five on Thursday).

Unwittingly, PJK has been handed a weapon with which he might slay a fierce dragon, if only he'd have the good sense to use it. If Patrick Kennedy were to resign now -- he represents a safely Democratic district in Rhode Island -- he'd not only save his party embarassment in the key '06 election, but he would strike a small blow against the widespread perception that Democrats are the beneficiaries of a double standard when it comes to scandal.

I rather doubt that Paddy will actually do the right thing. When your dad is Chappaquiddick Ted, it may be that your DNA is defective, lacking the genes for humility, honesty and decency. And doing the right thing might be seen as an act of betrayal to the Democratic Party tradition embodied by Bill "The Stain" Clinton.

To a Democrat caught in scandal, the siren songs must be seductive:

Stick it out, kid. Don't be a quitter. Look at Ted -- he's a grand old man now, lecturing Supreme Court nominees on national TV. Look at Hillary -- she never misses a chance to accuse Republicans of dishonesty and malice. Whatever you've done wrong, kid, it can't be as bad as Chinagate, and look how the DNC walked away from that without a scratch. And look at you: You cashed in bigtime with the Abramoff thing, and nobody even seems to care. So dry it up, cowboy. You're a Kennedy, for crying out loud! Hang tough.

If PJK actually showed the courage necessary to reject such corrupt counsels, and told 'em all where to shove their precious little House seat, it might give hope that the Democratic Party could reform itself. Which is why the smart money says Paddy K won't step down.

And that's why he needs your prayers. God help any poor soul who gets mixed up with the Democratic Party. As the first right-wing blogger to stop hatin' on Cynthia McKinney, now I've stopped hatin' on PJK, too.

-- McCAIN

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Friday, May 05, 2006

OK, let's stop hatin'

I think it's some kind of sign when a Kossack calls for Patrick Kennedy's resignation. (H/T: Malkin) I'm not ready to stop hatin' on PJK just yet, but I am ready to take a breather.

Speaking of signs, have you seen Right-Wing Howler's most recent "Chick of the Week"? I have, and I feel guilty and shameful. I'm a happily married man, after all. But I'm enough of a libertarian that I believe you should be free to decide for yourself whether you also feel guilty and shameful. So, though Christian mercy requires me to caution you against this peril to your soul, you are free to click here and see Estella Warren.

Don't say I didn't warn you. And have a fun weekend, you sinful wretch.

-- McCAIN

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He can't do anything right ...

Fisking the Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-UI) press conference:

He can't handle his depression.
He can't handle his medication.
He can't handle his addiction.
He can't handle his booze.
And he sure can't drive.

But ... we can trust Patrick Kennedy to govern American!

He paints himself as a helpless victim.
He says he takes "personal responsibility."
He calls for passage of "mental health parity" legislation.
He's going to the Mayo Clinic for treatment.
But ... he's still running for re-election.

You know, Rush Limbaugh had a problem. He got help. But he's just a guy on the radio; you can always turn the station.

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, on the other hand, collects a salary of $165,200 from the taxpayers. The average House member has a (taxpayer-funded) staff of 14. And, as a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Patrick Kennedy gets to vote on every dime of a federal budget of nearly $2.8 billion.

Patrick Kennedy is 38 years old. He's been in Congress since he was 26, and has never accomplished anything worth mentioning. He is a pathetic, self-pitying loser, and if his last name weren't "Kennedy," nobody would even show up if he called a press conference.

The Kennedys! The Democrats! The Party of the People!

And to think I actually used to be a Democrat ....

New DCCC 2006 Campaign Slogan:
You Don't Have to Be On Drugs
To Vote Democrat -- But It Helps!

Previously on THE KENNEDYS:

5/5: Lame Excuses ...

5/4: Mary Jo Kopechne ...
4/14: Compromise with Kennedy?

UPDATES: Just in time for the PJK press conference, the GOP delivers its "Democrats Ethics Breakdown" (PDF format).

As usual, Michelle Malkin is all over it. I'm convinced, by the way, that the VRWC has secretly cloned Michelle. There must actually be 3 or 4 Michelle Malkins by now. When was the last big breaking news story where Michelle's blog wasn't right on top of it, right from the start? The blog, the column, the books, the TV appearances, the speeches ... See what I mean?

Expose the Left quotes PJK: "I don't remember ...." So, you don't remember a near head-on collision with a police car, you don't remember ramming your car into a barricade, you don't remember claiming (at 2:45 a.m.) that you were on your way to a House vote. OK. Your brain is so toasted you can't remember anything. You are a total burnout. But will you resign from Congress? "NO!"

Iowa Voice also has been right on top of the PJK story from the start.

Political Pit Bull has video of the press conference.

I watched the press conference live on Fox News, where ex-Washington Times guy Major Garrett was pretty tough on PJK, as Right Voices reports:
Major Garrett: He made it clear he has no recollection of driving. Ambien, the medication Kennedy took, has been linked to occasionally causing sleep driving. Major Garrett calls Kennedy’s statement “very artful.” Garrett reports that Dems may have likely intervened in the last 24 hours to persuade Kennedy to shift the focus of the story.
FOX analysts note that Kennedy made no mention of painkillers last night. Former prosecutor Michael Farkas: “This is an obvious attempt to garner sympathy from the public.” Worse than that, Farkas notes, it’s inconsistent with his statement last night and probably indicates that he probably did commit a crime.
Wonkette — who, at least snark-wise, reminds me of Lynn — points out that, not only did the blogosphere get Dan Rather off CBS, we just put a Kennedy into rehab. If this had happened in the old days of the MSM monopoly, the cops would have been paid off, the Kennedy PR machine would have covered it up, and PJK would be on his way to greater glories -- just like dear ol' Dad. Instead, Paddy gets exposed as an incompetent loser and is off to the Mayo Clinic to see if he can adjust to his pathetic reality.

Dems, don't be hasty to judge my judgmentalism. Remember: I was hatin' on Cynthia McKinney before most of these right-wingers ever heard of her, but I was also the first to stop hatin' on Cynthia. And, frankly, now Cynthia needs to call her own press conference: "If I was white and my name was Kennedy, I could blow past metal detectors on Capitol Hill every day. But if I did what Paddy Kennedy did ... can you say 'Rodney King'?"

Just got off the phone doing the Lars Larson show. He was doing the show live from Ithaca, N.Y., and we had a fun 20 minutes. I pointed out the "Don't Try This At Home" aspect of the PJK saga: If any ordinary citizen had (a) been driving at 2:45 a.m. near the Capitol; (b) nearly had a head-on collision with a cop car; (c) rammed his car into a barricade; and then (d) staggered out of the car ranting gibberish at the cops, I can pretty much guarantee the cops would have him in cuffs before you could say, "field sobriety test." But if you're Ted Kennedy's kid, you're off the hook.
And that's PJK's basic problem: The Kennedy name is like Teflon against consequences for your screw-ups. To be a third-generation Kennedy is to exist in a sort of Nerf world, where everything is padded for you, and no matter how stupid and irresponsible you are, nothing really bad can happen to you. Not exactly a character-building environment, you see.

The ever pithy Dan Riehl calls Patrick J. Kennedy "a disgrace to humanity."

Holy Coast: Cinco de Mayo (Clinic)

Gotta say one thing for old Paddy K: He's a godsend for bloggers. The great PJK trackback orgy has bumped our Technorati number up by, oh, about 6,000 ranks in 24 hours. Not only that, G. Gordon Liddy booked me Friday -- another chance to plug that great book you should buy -- and so I'm trying to share the PJK-induced love by linking everybody who's blogging our boy: Leaning Straight Up, Dan Flynn, Donkey Stomp, Stop the ACLU, Media Crunch, FullosseousFlap, Stuck On Stupid ...

If you're blogging the PJK saga and got left out, please e-mail me!

LAST UPDATE: The chain-letter of trackbacks has come full circle, and now Lawhawk has e-mailed to say he got lots of love (over 2,400 visitors) from his PJK post. Lawhawk's been blogging since 2004 and says he's never had it so good. My advice to Lawhawk: Say a prayer of thanksgiving.

-- McCAIN

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Lame excuses, a Kennedy specialty

Wonkette really nails the amazing lameness of Patrick Kennedy's excuse:
Was his excuse written by the producers of "Dateline NBC"? ... We could’ve come up with an even more zeigeisty excuse than that, in half the time (“had to get over to Pelosi’s to watch 'The Sopranos,' and I have the bird flu”). ... Is he voting under the influence?
Voting under the influence of ... what? Never mind. I like the "zeitgeisty excuse" angle:
  • "Going to the drug store to get Plan B for a Darfur refugee ..."
  • "... investigating price-gouging at Exxon stations ..."
  • "... upset by Paris getting voted off 'American Idol' ..."
But Wonkette has a simpler explanation: Like most people in D.C., Patrick Kennedy can't drive worth $#*%. I bet he's one of those morons who sees a sign that says, "RIGHT LANE CLOSED 1/2 MILE -- MERGE LEFT," and thinks: "I'll drive up to the last orange cone, then put on my left blinker ...."

Speaking of morons, let's talk about Patrick's dad, Ted Kennedy, the most famous C student in Harvard history. Obviously, the old man set a high family standard for lame excuses, as we might imagine:
"Well, your honor, we were celebrating the regatta ... My neck? Just fine, why do you ask? ... Oh, that. Yes, I did wear a neck brace at my little press conference, you're right. ... Doctor? No, I haven't seen a doctor, but I don't see .... Well, a man doesn't need a doctor's permission to wear a neck brace, does he? ...
"Kennedy. The name's Kennedy, your honor, like the martyred president, 'Camelot' and everything.

"Anyway, so we were celebrating the regatta at an isolated cottage, myself, five other married men, and six unmarried women, and ... Well, no, of course not, your honor. What makes you think there's anything 'suspicious,' as you say, when six married men and six unmarried women go to a cottage on an island to celebrate a regatta? ... Kennedy. K-E-N-N-E-D-Y.
"Where was I? Oh, yes, the cabin. Did I mention the booze? Three half-gallons of vodka, four fifths of scotch, two bottles of rum, two cases of beer ... Yes, I suppose that is a good bit of liquor, but when you've got six married men, six unmarried women, and a regatta to celebrate at a rented cottage ...
"Of course, I had been drinking all day long, your honor. That's what the witnesses said, and why would they lie? ... K-E-N-N-E-D-Y. As in 'Senator Kennedy,' your honor.

"As to what time I left this regatta celebration with Mary Jo, I'm not really sure. The ferry had already left for the mainland, which kind of makes that story about taking Mary Jo back to her hotel sound kind of silly, I suppose. ... We started to park, but then we saw the sheriff's patrol car, and so I wheeled out of there and took off down Lover's Lane ... err, I mean, down the Dike Road ....
"Sure, I knew that road like the back of my hand, your honor. Been all over that island, many years, you know. ... No, I'm not quite certain at this point how I missed the bridge. Perhaps I was distracted, wondering if that sheriff's deputy might follow me, cause a fuss or something. But the obvious fact is that I did indeed miss the bridge and, next thing you know, we're in the water and the car's upside down!

"Somehow, I managed to save myself. It was ... well, like a miracle, I suppose, but somehow I did escape. Then I went back to the cabin and got my friends, and about 45 minutes later, we got back to the bridge and my friends tried swimming down to the car. ... Kennedy, your honor. Edward Kennedy. ...
"Police? ... Well, I suppose we could have called the police, but I was too busy trying to come up with a cover story. Like, hey, what if we said Mary Jo was driving the car? But my friends didn't like that story. ... I guess the car went into the water about 12:45 a.m., your honor. ...
"So I made 17 phone calls to different people, and my friends cleaned up all the booze and the mess from the party at the cottage. All the girls went to their hotels, and then I checked into my hotel and ...
"Excuse me, your honor. Where was who? ... Oh, Mary Jo! She was in the car underwater, like I told you and ... Well, by the time I checked into my hotel, it was certainly several hours later, broad daylight and ...
"The clerk? Yes, I suppose I did speak to the clerk, but I don't see why ... No, I didn't say anything to the clerk about the accident or Mary Jo. Why would I do a silly thing like that, your honor? The name's Kennedy. K-E-N-N-E-D-Y.

"And so, I guess I've made a mistake, just like lots of people make mistakes, and I certainly regret leaving the scene of an accident, your honor. I believe that's a misdemeanor, right? ..."
You can read about this on pages 39-43 of DONKEY CONS, of course, and if you want to read more about the girl who died because she trusted the senior senator from Massachusetts -- that's K-E-N-N-E-D-Y, right? -- Leo Damore wrote an entire book about it, Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-Up.

Hmmm. ... Seems there's a renewed interest in the Kennedy driving record this morning: Damore's book, which was published 18 years ago, has jumped up to #37,417 in the Amazon rankings as of about 2 a.m. Friday. Imagine that!

And, as Michelle Malkin first reported on Thursday, Miss Kopechne remains unavailable for comment.

-- McCAIN

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mary Jo Kopechne ...

... was unavailable for comment!

Ted Kennedy's son, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) "crashed his car near the Capitol” at 2:45 a.m. Thursday. A police official said Kennedy appeared to be drunk — you don't say! — but Kennedy denied it: "I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake."

An official said cops were not allowed to require Kennedy to perform a field sobriety tests. Kennedy has a history of drug and mental-health problems. Roll Call is following the story.

(HAT TIP: MALKIN)
* * * * *
10:20 P.M (ET) UPDATE

Kennedy blames the accident on PRESCRIPTION DRUGS!
Well, Congressman, we're sure Rush Limbaugh would be understanding and tolerant, but you won't get any sympathy from Rep. Major Owens (D-NY).

12:20 A.M. (ET) UPDATE
Hey, wait a minute! OK, you're taking prescription sleep medication. Got it. So why are you driving around Capitol Hill at 2:45 a.m.? "Gosh, I've taken four or five Ambiens, it's almost 3 in the morning, and, doggone it, I'm still not sleepy. Guess it's time to head on down to the office ...."

* * * * *
Patrick J. Kennedy was one of the top House Democrat recipients of money from Jack Abramoff's clients.

And remember: Chappaquiddick Ted was the genius behind our current immigration woes.

-- McCAIN

UPDATES: GOP And The City: "Stop me if you have heard this one before... Kennedy gets drunk. Kennedy crashes car. Kennedy tries to cover up."

Howie Carr has the report (in PDF format) of Patrick Kennedy's April 15 accident in Portsmouth, R.I.

According to the April 15 report, filed by Sgt. Anthony K. Cambrola, Kennedy was driving a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria — owned by his re-election campaign committee — about 10 p.m. on a Saturday night when he turned left, directly in front of a 2000 Nissan Maxima driven by Thomas J. Guthlein. Kennedy's handwriting on Page 6 of the report is an illegible scrawl.

Expose the Left has video of a "Hardball" appearance by a Roll Call staffer.

Dan Riehl links us (thanks, Dan!) Now Dan has added more analysis.

Ace of Spades
is, as usual, all over it.

Also on the story: Holy Coast, Third Avenue, Wizbang, Sandbox, AllahPundit, Free Republic, Outside the Beltway, Texas Rainmaker ...

Joust the Facts
reminds us of the Lewinskyesque treatment Patrick Kennedy got from the MSM:
"Patrick Kennedy: The Rise to Power'' is a new, unauthorized biography billing the young Rhode Island congressman with tousled hair as Camelot's torch bearer.

The son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and the nephew of President John Kennedy, Patrick is the highest-ranking Kennedy of his generation and embodies the political future of his family. ...

The 161-page paperback stretches from Patrick's asthmatic childhood to his battles in the Rhode Island Statehouse, then to his rise to a leadership position in Congress. It points out that since his cousin, Joseph P. Kennedy II, retired as a Massachusetts congressman in 1998, there's been more room on the stage for Patrick.

"Patrick is now the political crown prince,'" said Brown University professor Darrell West, the book's author. "People aren't aware of how influential Patrick has become nationally, he really has arrived on the national scene as a player.''

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: What did Ted pay Professor West to write this book?

* * * * *
* * * * *
Dan Flynn spots the anti-Kennedy plot:

Can you believe the nerve of the Capitol Police? First they make Cynthia McKinney assault one of their officers, and now they cause Rep. Patrick Kennedy to run his car into a security barrier. .... Apparently, C-SPAN has joined the Capitol Police in the conspiracy as well. Curiously, the network has no video of the House of Representatives vote at quarter of three this morning that Congressman Kennedy heroically rushed to make. ... The entire Republican caucus, too, conveniently decided to miss the vote, lending credence to this Internet conspiracy theory that there was never a vote at 2:45 a.m. in the first place.
By the way, did I mention that the shocking TRUTH about Chappaquiddick is told in Chapter 2 of DONKEY CONS? That's to say nothing of the stolen 1960 election (Chapter 3), the Kennedy clan's mob ties (Chapter 4), their hypocrisy (Chapter 9) or JFK's obsession with hookers (Chapter 10).

Curt at Flopping Aces has a pretty good rundown of recent news in the Democrats' "culture of corruption." But Curt, you forgot about: former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, the Chicago Hired Truck scandal, the Philadelphia "pay for play" scandal, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, the "Tennessee Waltz" investigation ...

Patrick Kennedy was challenged in both 2002 and 2004 by Republican David W. Rogers. Rogers is a former Navy SEAL. Both times, Kennedy got over 60% of the vote. There is a Rhode Island Republican Party, but ... hey, this is Lincoln Chafee territory.

In March 2000, Kennedy got into an altercation with an airport security guard at LAX.

Don Surber points out the privilege factor:

No sobriety test even though it was 2:50 a.m. and he just crashed into an inanimate object. ...
Double standard. He gets off because he is DWIC -- Driving While In Congress. ...
This is not about party politics. This is about the rule of law. Either the rules apply to everyone equally, or the law is unfair and we live not in a democracy, but in a feudal system with princes who inherit lands and titles. ...
Now we know why the Capitol Police exist: To serve to protect Congress from the law.

One thing I'm suspicious about: There are no reports of any women in the car with Kennedy for either the April 15 or Thursday accidents. Think about this. A Kennedy, in a car wreck, and ... no chicks? Kind of makes you long for the good old days of the "waitress sandwich" ...

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Around the 'Net

Not much time for blogging today, so let's see what's up on the 'Net:

Will Hinton
The Atlanta blogger — who contemplated, then decided against, challenging Rep. Cynthia McKinney -- is, like a lot of Republicans nowadays, profoundly depressed:
So why are our leaders afraid to lead? Because they are too in love with power. I honestly believe that most of our representatives go to Washington desiring to do good and represent those who sent them. But with few exceptions, they quickly abandon many of their beliefs in order to stay there. This is true of both parties.
Though a pessimist by nature, I'm not a defeatist. I mostly agree with Hinton's negative assessment of the current situation, but ... well, like Vince Lombardi said, a quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.

Matthew Continetti
It was Continetti's great reporting on the Abramoff debacle that revealed the deep evil at the heart of that scandal, and helped shape the concluding chapter of DONKEY CONS. Continetti's own discoveries seem to have disillusioned him, as he tells Reason Online:
In some ways you can see [the Abramoff gang's] activities as the logical consequence of big government. I think that is an arguable interpretation of what the scandal is about: Rather than effectively limiting government, conservatives came to power and government continues to expand. ...

[Government has expanded] exponentially in the past six years under President George W. Bush. And one has to ask why that is. Is it the institutional pressures? Is it the nature of republican democracy? I think certainly "yes" to both. I also think, however, once people find themselves in power, they are very unwilling to give it up, and they want to look for ways big government, which they now control, can help them.

Certainly, Continetti would get no argument from me about the failure of the Republicans to stop the growth of Big Government. Something seems to have gone horribly wrong since those heady days of late 1994-early '95, when Gingrich urged Americans to read Tocqueville as the blueprint for the planned "revolution." But, as with Will Hinton, I would counsel against despair. Like my dad used to say, "Can't never could."

Jason Mattera
Remember the good old days, when the phrase "sex on campus" evoked the image of a pimply sophomore getting frisky with a Delta Zeta pledge? (Alas, my misspent youth!) Nowadays, sex on campus is part of the curriculum for the tenured weirdos:
[New York University professor Don] Kulick told the TV audience that watching porn breaks down the "defenses" of students' underlying prejudices: His screenings lead young people to say, "I had moral standings that I didn't realize I had." ...
Kulick also uses his professorship at NYU to sponsor sex panels, such as the recent one entitled "Sex and aging: Removing taboos, restoring respect."
If ever I saw an unconscious plea for help, this is it. Deconstructing these remarks, we see the subtext of Kulick's request: "Launch a faculty investigation -- I'm sexually exploiting undergraduates! And please, police, get a warrant to search my hard drive!"

David Frum
OK, this has to be one of the most disturbing things I've read this week:
Now comes an important new book, "Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq," by New York Times correspondent Michael Gordon and retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Bernard Trainor. Their story bears hard on Rumsfeld. But it daringly points a finger at a normally blame-proof figure: the general who actually planned and led the Iraq campaign: General Tommy Franks, head of U.S. Central Command during both the Afghan and Iraq wars.
David Frum was one of the first big-name conservative writers I met after I got to D.C. -- at an AEI preview of his excellent book about the 1970s -- but I wonder if he has any idea how bad this column makes him look.

First, Frum's critics already consider him a war-mongering "chicken hawk," and short of enlisting as a Marine Corps PFC and requesting assignment to a combat unit in Tikrit, I don't know how he can ever shake that rep. Thus widely known as a civilian advocate of the war in Iraq, Frum now seizes on this new book to point the finger of blame at Gen. Franks, commander of the force that crushed Saddam's once-vaunted war machine in one of the most amazingly successful campaigns in modern military history.

Blaming Gen. Franks for the post-war mess in Iraq strikes me rather like blaming Gen. Pershing for the Versailles Treaty. The Commander-in-Chief ordered victory in Iraq, Gen. Franks delivered that victory, and it seens unjust -- whatever Gen. Franks' shortcomings or errors -- to make a victorious general the scapegoat for our current Iraqi problems. This would appear to be especially true if, like Frum, you famously denounced as "unpatriotic" (with insinuations of Nazism) those conservatives who were critical of the Iraq war all along. He may delight in being hated by the palecons, but with this anti-Franks column, Frum is inviting the enmity of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Finally, David Frum has the same basic credibility problem as Neil Young -- he's Canadian. I hate to expose myself to accusations of Canuckophobia -- even though some of my best friends are Canadian -- but if the American military now has sunk to the point that it needs strategic advice from Canadians, I am sorely tempted to join Hinton and Continetti in the defeatist camp.

UPDATE: The Frum-Franks feud has provoked some interesting reaction: A Brit officer slams Tommy Franks; but this is mistaken identity, Agricola points out.

-- McCAIN


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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Illegal to give, illegal to receive?

Let's see, if a guy goes to prison for bribing a congressmen, what about the congressman?
A Kentucky technology executive pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to bribing a congressman in charges stemming from an investigation of a Louisiana House member.

Vernon Jackson, 53, chief executive of Louisville-based iGate Inc., pleaded guilty to bribery of a public official and conspiracy to bribe a public official.

The congressman was not identified in court documents or during Wednesday’s plea hearing, but documents make clear that the congressman whom Jackson admits bribing is Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat who represents New Orleans.

Jackson faces a maximum of 20 years when he is sentenced July 27. The plea agreement calls for a sentencing guideline range not to exceed seven to nine years, but the judge is not bound by those guidelines.
Ah, yes, Nancy Pelosi, please tell us one more time about that awful "culture of corruption"!

-- McCAIN

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Who's feeling your pain?

Not liberals. Not if your name is Rush Limbaugh:
What seems to anger the Left, other than Limbaugh's fame as the most successful radio star since Jack Benny, is that Rush has been a long-term opponent of illegal drugs. ...

Florida authorities ... are very lenient in dealing with drug addicts, and officials say Limbaugh's plea deal -- which will spare him jail time if he continues treatment for his addiction -- is not unusual.

Yet this has not satisfied the Left.
These are the same leftists who for decades have told us that illegal drug use is a "victimless crime," despite the numerous crimes committed by dope addicts, or the general social harm caused by those under the influence of intoxicants, legal or otherwise. ...


Perhaps Rush Limbaugh's experience with drug addiction will make him more sympathetic to others suffering similar problems. But, given the enormous law-enforcement resources which an elected Democratic prosecutor has devoted to investigating Limbaugh, we suspect Rush will be even less sympathetic the next time some Democratic official accused of wrongdoing cries, "Partisan witch hunt."

Go read the whole thing!

And here comes Rep. Major Owens, on HuffPo, proving our point. Not to mention lefty bloggers like this one, this one, and this one.

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MSNBC Swallows MoveOn.org's Big Lie

Believe it or not, the gang at MoveOn.org -- or, as we prefer to call them, "LoseOn.org" -- is trying to rescue Keith Olbermann from cable TV oblivion:
MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" is celebrating its third anniversary and challenging Bill O'Reilly to become the #1 cable news show.
MoveOn then urges its members to watch the show, the television equivalent of a root canal. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.) This MoveOn.org claim is a big heaping pile of lies. Let us examine the FACTS of cable news, shall we?

April Nielsen Ratings:

O'Reilly (Fox News)
total audience: 2,090,000
Olbermann (MSNBC) total audience: 419,000

So, the Olbermann audience is about 21% the size of O'Reilly's #1 primetime cable-news show. Wow, Olbermann is really "challenging" Bill, huh? Given that "The O'Reilly Factor" is seen by five times as many people, Keith's got a long way to go.

If you go into the numbers, you will see that MSNBC's audience gains -- up 8% in April -- come mainly at the expense of liberal rival CNN which, except for the popular Lou Dobbs, is steadily losing share.

Here's how the overall primetime ratings stood in April:

Fox News: 1,430,000
CNN: 701,000
MSNBC: 370,000

In other words, Fox News had about 360,00 more primetime viewers than CNN & MSNBC combined. And yet LoseOn.org thinks that soliciting left-wingers to sign an Internet pledge to watch Olbermann is an effective use of George Soros' billions?

If Olbermann's obnoxious leftism is more popular than the mainstream liberalism of Paula Zahn on CNN at 8 p.m., well, good for Olbermann. (I've always thought Zahn was beautiful -- wonderful bone structure -- liberal though she may be.) But still, what Olbermann is fighting for is 2nd place, and the No. 1 guy, O'Reilly, is stomping everybody else into smithereens.

Olbermann Watch observes:
MSNBC recently struck gold when the leading far-left internet advocacy, Moveon.org, joined hands to promote MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann by launching a "Civic Action" campaign designed to boost the ratings of the perennial ratings also-ran. Moveon.org, which reported 3.3 million members as of December 2005 ....
Stop right there! MoveOn.org does NOT have — never has and never will have — "3.3 million members." What they've got is 3.3 million e-mail addresses (one of which is mine). By dishonestly describing its spam list as "membership," MoveOn falsely implies that these millions of people are active participants in their left-wing schemes. That's sort of like some Nigerian scammer claiming that I'm part of his fraudulent plans, simply because he's got my e-mail address.

How many active members does MoveOn.org have? Well, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, as of April 28, in the 2006 election cycle, 3,306 people had given $200 or more to the MoveOn.org PAC -- about 0.1% of their claimed "membership." Overall, MoveOn.org PAC has raked in $11.8 million for 2006. And, pray tell, exactly what has MoveOn.org accomplished with all that cash? Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

MoveOn.org is, and always has been, a bunch of clueless clowns who couldn't win an election for 10th-grade class president. If George Soros is giving those idiots money, he's getting ripped off. MoveOn.org has never accomplished any significant political goal, and never will, because it is a transparent hoax.

-- McCAIN

Previously about Soros/MoveOn.org


3/9: LoseOn.org
3/25: Deep Pockets, Sticky Fingers
4/15: Hard Hats vs. Moonbats

UPDATES:

Voluntary Conservative links us -- thanks, Rob!

Olbermann names cancer survivor Laura Ingraham as "Worst Person in the World."

MoveOn.org brags about promoting voting rights for felons:
MoveOn members in Pennsylvania helped protect voting rights in Pennsylvania by making over 700 phone calls to state legislators to oppose House Bill 1318. Those calls helped stop an effort to strip paroled felons of their right to vote. Even though the legislature went on to pass an anti-democratic voter ID requirement by a narrow margin, the visible public outrage persuaded the governor to veto the bill.
Many people find it hard to believe that Democrats are actively in favor of voting rights for killers, robbers and rapists (PDF format) -- letting lawbreakers choose our lawmakers, a phenomenon Lowell Ponte has dubbed "felonocracy." This is discussed at length in Chapter 7 of DONKEY CONS, and is one of the things that really shocks and angers readers.

Olbermann fan Aleksandra seems upset by recent bloggage of her guy. Aleksandra, it seems, is some sort of academic, with writer's block, who's all crushy on Keith. Guess it's like a chick version of the whole Laurie Dhue cult.

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