Sunday, December 31, 2006

Draining the Swamp

The Hill is reporting that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has taken responsibility for a series of ethics violations involving his most recent campaign. Presumably the new head of the House Judiciary Committee, Conyers "repeatedly violated House ethics rules by requiring aides to work on local and state campaigns, and babysit and chauffeur his children..."

There's a thread here.

Recall that Alan Mollohan (D-WV) is a former chair of the House Ethics Committee. That's the same Mollohan under federal investigation after the National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint with the department regarding a bizarre increase in Mollohan's net worth. For 2005, Mollohan and his wife reported assets worth $6.8 million to $25.7 million, up from $116,000 to $315,000 in 1999. His financial disclosure restatements came only after the group's complaint.

And John Murtha (D-PA), incoming chair of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, smells of rot himself. The Post reports that a charity founded by a longtime Murtha aide has become a "funnel for money" to his campaigns from defense contractors and lobbyists who directly benefit from his decisions. A Taxpayers for Common Sense spokesman noted, "It's a real tangled web between the congressman, the nonprofit, the defense contractors and the lobbyists."

And William Jefferson (D-LA), who was found with $90,000 in marked bills stuck in his freezer at home. The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) believes Jefferson will be indicted within the next few months.

The list goes on and on. Drain the swamp, eh? A one word reaction: sure.

Hat tip: Larwyn

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

World Exclusive: Saddam Hussein's Last Interview

Imagine the future, Saddam. Because you're not in it.

Oh, and I've canceled all your appointments for this afternoon.




What the...? Wh... where am I?

Welcome to Gehanna, the portal to Hell. I am Iblis, the thrice-damned -

What the hell? I am a Martyr! Where are the virgins, feeding me honied figs?

Martyr? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. You did one heck of a job up there, what with the thousands of destroyed villages, millions of murdered and starved innocents, the chemical weapons, the rape rooms... let's just put it this way, you're going to be in some august company shortly.

No! This isn't right - I was a guiding light for my people. I just had to protect them from the unjust forces of -

Suurrre... like the unjust children who died in their Mothers' arms. Save it for someone who gives a crap, Saddam. Oh, like I was saying, you'll be joining Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin in the Acid Racks momentarily...

The... acid... racks?

Oh, the torture pits beneath the River Cocytus. The very lowest level of Hell. For twelve hours each day, you'll have acid --er-- inserted into your carcass while being flayed with barbed-wire whips. For the second half of each day, you'll roast on a spit as poisonous leeches bite your private parts. Not a great deal of fun, from what I understand.

But what about Rumsfeld and Cheney? George W. Bush and his father? Why aren't they here???

Oh, you Kos Kidz crack me up! Don't believe everything you read on the Left Wing blogs, Hussein. Far as I can tell, they're headed to a different floor of the afterlife. One upstairs, if you get my drift.

Excuse me, my BlackBerry's ringing. Yes, your eminence?

Send Hussein down to my office. I want a few moments to gloat before he goes to the racks.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Save the Internet: Congress must ensure Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is a concept that every blogger -- and for that matter, every Internet user -- should be aware of. Net Neutrality is a kind of "First Amendment of the Internet." As currently enforced by the FCC, it ensures that the cable and telephone companies (telcos) can't discriminate between different types of content. Traffic from Google, Yahoo, or Joe' all get treated the same.

But the telcos have spent millions (by some estimates, hundreds of millions) lobbying Congress to destroy net neutrality. Why? Their goal is to turn the Internet into cable television, where the carrier controls the channels that actually get to the consumer. And with AT&T absorbing BellSouth, the number of carriers continues to drop. If Congress doesn't take action now to implement meaningful Net Neutrality provisions, the future of the Internet is at risk.

Ready to learn more?

Net Neutrality ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. With Net Neutrality, the network's only job is to move data — not choose which data to privilege with higher quality service. Net Neutrality prevents the companies that control the wires from discriminating against content based on its source or ownership.

Net Neutrality is the reason why the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech online. It's why the Internet has become an unrivaled environment for open communications, civic involvement and free speech. It's why the United States has become a hub for Internet commerce, invention, and value creation: think YouTube, Google, Digg, and the thousands of other websites founded in garages or dorm rooms.

The carriers want to destroy all that. They want to control which application providers and partners -- including their own services -- should have competitive advantages. They want to turn the Internet into a service like pay-per-view cable television.

Learn more and take action in Net Neutrality 101. It's time you helped save the internet.

Why it was warmer in the Middle Ages than today

PoliPundit's Oak Leaf takes note of a bizarre statement by the Secretary of the Interior. To wit, that polar bears are in "deep trouble" because of global warming and therefore should be listed as a "threatened species."

There's only one, teensy, weensy little problem with this pseudo-science. It was warmer in the Middle Ages than it is today. I first came across this information in a book called The Great Mortality, an unrelated study of the spread of the Great Plague during the Middle Ages. This data has since been reiterated in a series of studies.

...the scientific community is unable to agree on whether the warming is caused primarily by CO2 emissions, whether it will continue, or whether it would be harmful if it did... "One reason for this uncertainty is that the climate is always changing," said Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Two centuries ago, much of the northern hemisphere was emerging from a little ice age. During the Middle Ages, the same region was in a warm period. Thirty years ago, we were concerned with global cooling..."

So, if the Middle Ages were warmer, doesn't this mean that early cars must have been belching out emissions in the Middle Ages? Isn't that the only possible explanation for this 'Middle Ages warming period'?

New evidence has come to light that shouts, "Yes!" This rare lithograph, carbon-dated to somewhere prior to the invention of carbon-dating, is irrefutable proof that automobiles existed in the Middle Ages. And, therefore, that they were the cuprit behind warming period during those years.

You heard it here first.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Friends of Terror Scrapbook

The State Department just declassified documents relating to the murders of U.S. diplomats in the Sudan in 1973. As many have suspected, the U.S. was aware (HTML conversion courtesy of BizzyBlog; original PDF is available from the State Department) that Yasir Arafat directly orchestrated the killings:

The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasir Arafat, Chairman of the [PLO], and the head of Fatah... ...Fatah representatives based in Khartoum partcipated in the attack, using a Fatah vehicle to transport the terrorists to the Saudi Arabian Embassy. ...The terrorists extended their deadlines three times, but when they became convinced that ther demands would not be met and after they reportedly had received orders from Fatah headquarters in Beirut, they killed the two United States officials and the Belgian Charge...

Put simply, the U.S. was aware that Arafat had supervised and arranged the vicious kidnapping and murder of its diplomats.

This is, of course, the same Arafat that was a frequent visitor to the Clinton White House. Arafat, despite continual coddling, remained a terrorist to the end of his days.

The State Department's declassified document, of which Bill Clinton was certainly aware, is typical of his administration's attitude of appeasement and cowardice in the face of terrorists, dictators, and thugs.

You may remember Hillary Clinton warmly greeting Arafat's wife.

But that pales in comparison with other Clinton-era coddle-fests.

North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, responsible for as many as three million deaths through mistreatment and starvation (source: Human Rights Watch) used a simple negotiation with the Clinton administration to gain access to nuclear weapons. Madeline Albright admitted on Meet the Press that North Korea was, "cheating" on the Clinton administration's deal; and ended up with nukes.

Clinton's response (or non-response) to a series of terrorist attacks is also rather well known.

Jimmy Carter, already responsible for a disastrous set of foreign-policy decisions while serving as President, has befriended Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Chavez, of course, has come under increasing scrutiny in South America for creating a huge stockpile of weapons.

...Billions of dollars, dog eared for government programs, have simply disappeared, most likely siphoned-off by corrupt officials... The Centralized Social Fund (Fondo Unico Social), are defunct and run by military officers who have little to no oversight... It has become clear that leaders of Venezuela's military, as long as they remain loyal to Chavez, receive no oversight from Caracas. Venezuela cannot offer any reasonable assurances that AK rifles purchased from Russia or manufactured in Venezuela will not leak into the hands of the FARC or other extra-legal groups in the region...

Carter has also befriended Cuba's despotic leader, Fidel Castro. Cuba's government, such as it is, is described by Human Rights Watch as:

...a highly effective machinery of repression. The denial of basic civil and political rights is written into Cuban law. In the name of legality, armed security forces... silence dissent with heavy prison terms, threats of prosecution, harassment, or exile. Cuba uses these tools to restrict severely the exercise of fundamental human rights of expression, association, and assembly. The conditions in Cuba's prisons are inhuman, and political prisoners suffer additional degrading treatment and torture. In recent years, Cuba has added new repressive laws and continued prosecuting nonviolent dissidents while shrugging off international appeals for reform and placating visiting dignitaries with occasional releases of political prisoners...

Among the visiting dignitaries are useful dupes like Carter.

* * *

Are you detecting a theme here related to Democrats and terrorist-supporting, despotic thugs? Some sort of recurring pattern involving appeasement that simply strengthens these nightmarish regimes? Well, the Democrats aren't done yet.

Here's Hezbollah-supporter and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad meeting with Senator Bill Nelson. Yes, that's the same Hezbollah responsible for murdering 241 U.S. Marines.

Here's Assad meeting with John Kerry and Christopher Dodd. This series of meetings with the dictator was described by the White House as "not helpful" and "not appropriate."

Now the Iraq Survey Group advocates additional discussion with despots and terror-supporting thugs. The obvious flaws in this approach have been suitably dismissed in many other, more sober and thoughtful venues.

It nets out simply, perhaps in terms even "progressives" can understand. What have we gotten from coddling dictators and terrorists? Mass-murder, mass-suffering, destruction, and chaos.

Now we can add, thanks to consistent Democratic patterns of appeasement, nuclear weapons and -- quite possibly -- ballistic missile technologies to the mix.

Have the Democrats learned anything from this disastrous sequence of events? Apparently not, if Dodd, Kerry, and Nelson are any indication.

Hat tip: Larwyn

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The AP's grim milestone: 100th time they've promoted a "grim milestone" meme

Gateway Pundit has all of the critical data that the anti-American information warriors at the AP can't find time to report. Rather, the AP continues its effort to promote yet another set of "grim milestone" talking-points. Maybe they figure that this sort of thing sells more papers. From the results the newspapers are posting these days, though, the AP better figure out some new memes. Quick.

But maybe the AP has a point. I'm sure we all remember the reporting shortly after Pearl Harbor, when the American death toll exceeded the fatalities incurred during the sneak attack.

During February and March, 1942: ten Allied ships are lost in the battle of the Java Sea and 2,173 sailors are lost

Another "grim milestone" that comes to mind is that this is about the 100th time the AP has tried to promote a "grim milestone" theme in its long-running information war against America. The meme hasn't resonated with mainstream America because it's a bizarre non-sequiter. For instance: one estimate puts the economic impact of the 9/11 attacks at half a trillion dollars. Have we spent that much in prosecuting the war on terror, in order to preempt even more catastrophic attacks? Say, attacks involving radiological weapons of the type Jose Padilla intended to use? Is that another grim, economic milestone we should be tracking?

The AP ought to print its press releases on plexiglass, because their anti-administration agenda is just that transparent.

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If you're after defeatism, feel free to read the various voices on the left, who seem to be rooting for American retreat, an abandonment of democracy and human rights in the Middle East, and therefore (as the American Digest patiently explains -- in terms even "progressives" can understand) an eventual genocidal holocaust.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Books on my Amazon Wish List

I didn't get these for the holidays, so they are still on my wish list. Anyone know Judith Regan's email address? These book concepts are gold, Jerry, pure gold...

The protaganist of Harry Reid's novel is a Senator that receives a $1 million windfall in a land sale related to a controversial rezoning effort.

Rep. William Jefferson's complex, multi-faceted story is worthy of a John Grisham novel: a web of front companies, thousands of dollars stored in a freezer, and hundreds of thousands "sloshing through bank accounts."

Sandy Berger's exciting tale reads like a spy story: top-secret documents left at a "dead drop," a commission investigating a massive terrorist attack, and a coverup of extraordinary proportions.

Hillary Clinton's rags-to-riches story describes a working girl's savvy investment of $1,000; and how -- through determination and sheer grit -- she was able to turn that into nearly $100,000 in just a few months' time. It's inspirational material of the highest caliber!

Ted Kennedy's classic tale of a party, a girl, a bridge, and a soggy morning-after needs no introduction.

Major hat tips: Conservative Cat and iHillary.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Pelosi's Celebration: Give credit where credit's due

Al Qaeda's message to leaders of the Democratic party is that credit for the defeat of Congressional Republicans belongs to the terrorists. Ayman al Zawahri, in a tape made available yesterday, has two messages for Democrats: aren't the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen -- the Muslim Ummah's vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq -- are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost... and if you don't refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate...

In that regard, Larwyn offers the following excellent idea:

The Bush administration should request the State Department issue "safe-passage" visas to Iran's president Ahmadinejad, Syria's leader Assad, Ayman al Zawahiri, etc. in order that they can attend the Democrats' four-day victory fete for Nancy Pelosi:

[this] is what a true "compassionate Conservative" would do... [also] invite Chavez, Castro, Kim, Mugabee and all of Jimmah's buddies too... Conservatives believe in rewarding merit. Well, we must then give credit where credit is due, that is the Conservative way...

I think this is a great idea! Let's raise awareness in the blogosphere for this effort...

Update: here are a couple of banner ads. Feel free to copy and distribute. Let's get this party started!

Standard 468 x 60 Ad Banner

BlogAds-style banners

Hat tips: Larwyn and Curt

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Also see: An Illustrated Guide to Democratic Election Celebrations

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Sandy Berger Experiment: Bush Official Destroyed 9/11 Documents

Former National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice was accused of the theft and destruction of classified materials related to 9/11.

In 2003, Rice spent several days reviewing classified materials in the National Archives, prior to a deposition before the 9/11 Commission. She allegedly removed material related to the Bush administration's activities leading up to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. She later admitted to destroying the documents.

During a visit to the Archives to review 9/11 material, she took a break outside without an escort. She had placed four documents in her purse. She then was said to have slid the documents under a construction trailer; later, she retrieved the material from the construction site.

When officials from the National Archive realized that some documents were missing, they called Rice at her office.

Aware that mere possession of the documents could incriminate her, she shredded the classified material and placed it in the trash.

Rice had access to National Security Council (NSC) numbered documents, printed copies of e-mails, and staff member office files (SMOFs). The SMOFs contain working papers of NSC staff members, including Rice, and their content is not inventoried by the Archives at the document level. The SMOFs given to Rice during her first two visits contained only original documents.

Therefore, there appears to be no way to determine whether original documents related directly to the 9/11 Commission's investigation were stolen or destroyed.

Once this shocking news broke, the media piled on. The New York Times ran a series of nine straight, "above-the-fold" front page stories on the Rice scandal and how the documents could have served as evidence of the Bush administration's prior knowledge of 9/11.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer devoted an entire week of shows to the scandal, filming his show in front of the National Archives, and interviewing noted experts Paul Begala, Jack Cafferty, and James Carville.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann also pilloried the Bush administration, accusing the president of advance knowledge of 9/11 and a subsequent coverup. In a series of shows captioned, "What did Bush know about 9/11 - and when did he know it?", Olbermann began a campaign to have Bush impeached over the incident. He stated that the destruction of the documents, "cast a dark shadow over everything that this administration has ever done."

The Democratic leadership in Congress also hammered the Bush administration. They demanded a harsh prosecution of Rice, noting that a typical sentence for the destruction or theft of classified documents was in the range of ten to twenty years.

Democrats also formed a committee to explore the impeachment of the President.

As expected, the talk shows ran wild with the story. David Letterman ran two top-ten lists on the topic over the course of a single week. One centered around a John Kerry guest appearance. Kerry read the "Top Ten Documents that the Bush administration 'Lost' ".

* * *

Oh, wait.

I'm very, very sorry. I got part of this story wrong. It wasn't Condoleeza Rice and the Bush administration. It was actually Sandy Berger and the Clinton administration. My mistake. Never mind.

Amazing how a party affiliation impacts news coverage and political sensibilities, eh?

* * *

Just one more thought on this whole matter.

In the original report (PDF), Berger admitted stealing "four documents, all versions of the MAAR" (Millenium After Action Review - described on page 7 of the report).

What no one in the mainstream media is asking is: why would Berger would take four copies of the same MAAR document? And why is the media downplaying the possibility that original documents were also stolen or destroyed?

Oh, that's right. Berger's a Democrat. Sorry, forget I asked.

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