Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What Did the Governor Say?

AP via Yahoo: "I can only imagine that this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour....

AP via NYTimes: ''It looks like Hiroshima,'' Gov. Haley Barbour said Tuesday....

NY Times: "It looks like Hiroshima is what it looks like," Gov. Haley Barbour said....

LA Times: "I can only imagine," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said slowly, "that this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago."


I can't help this snark: One of the lesser Kennedy brains: "Perhaps it was Barbour’s memo that caused Katrina, at the last moment, to spare New Orleans and save its worst flailings for the Mississippi coast."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Penny of Thoughts

Victor Hanson continues to nail it to the tree:

"Yes, the long corrupt and murderous Middle East is aflame. ... By [Leftist, anti-war] logic, 1942 was far more disastrous than 1939, when the sway of prewar autocracies was unquestioned and we were at peace."

I think the Iraq War debate will now get down to pragmatism. I've written a bit (e.g., here and here, etc.) about the Iraq War, but not too much.

There are two strategically satisfactory outcomes in Iraq that are so politically incorrect that they cannot even be hinted at in public, but they may get fleshed now as pragmatism seeps into the debate.

The first non-PC yet satisfactory outcome centers around the reality that, A Unified Iraq Is Not a Primary Goal:

"So if we’re going to get all practical, let’s be practical. A unified Iraq is a four-run homer, accelerating the Mideast peace process by years. But a one-run homer is all we need, and perhaps all we can afford. To wit: A balkanized Iraq with two working democratic zones, territories or countries (Kurdistan; Shia’stan) satisfies the basic strategic objectives of the [Wolfowitz] Plan."

The second non-PC yet satisfactory outcome recognizes this: Regional Mideast civil wars, involving democracy movements, are an improvement over the status quo and a likely step in the generational struggle that awaits the Mideast. (Hey, the US, European, Central and South American democracy movements were all marked by generations of rebellion and civil war; why should we somehow expect the Mideast be exempt?)

Of course, Bush didn't detail the ugly realities of war in his casus belli - no Western leader ever does. Roosevelt didn't; Lincoln didn't; Churchill didn't.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Gone Fishin'

Out for a week. Leave a comment as to a BummerTopic that needs addressin'.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

MSM Slant-A-Thon VI

Folks who decry the bias of the mainstream media seem to have a special place in their hellhearts for Paul Krugman of the NYTimes Op/Ed page. True, Maureen Dowd is an idiot, but she's an ex beauty magazine staffer who favored someone; we expect her to be a tower of babel.

Granted, Krugman is not a news reporter; he is an opinion writer. So yes, he gets some leeway.

But, leeway doesn't equal faking facts. The CBS News folks behind MemoGate learned that lessobn; Paul Krugman has not.

Krugman uses fake data. Scientists get fired for doing that; students and professors get bounced out of the school. Lawyers gets sanctioned. Krugman gets a cost-of-living raise.

Krugman seems to know his citations are fake when he uses them, but he does it anyway. His attitude seems to be, "I have the bully pulpit, and you don't, so you can't stop me." The end justifies the means.

We readers have supposed that one or more NYTimes editors and factcheckers catch errors, and therefor Krugman's fakery, the way that any thinking 8th grader would have caught the forged Rathergate memos.

But they don't. Krugman just keeps doing it, without editorial oversight.

The first NYTimes "Public Editor," Daniel Okrent, a self-described liberal Democrat, in his parting article for the NYTimes, blasted Krugman for his "habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults."

Fancy talk for calling someone a liar.

Krugman deserves his hellheart place, because he is a microcosm of a very similar m.o. in the main stream media. Like Krugman's use of fake data, the MSM massages the hard news - i.e., the factual stream reported to the public - so as to render the facts to the MSM's liking.

Krugman the op/ed writer uses facts he knows are false. The MSM similarly omits certain facts, and shades the reporting and/or emphasis of other facts, in a manner that is designed to comport with the political preferences of the MSM.

Hey, this ain't new. Powerline fisks another Krugman piece today, but as they say, it's almost not worth the effort.

But it is worth the effort, because it shines a light on this nefarious Rathergate-type activity. And for that, thanks, Hinderaker. Your blog is well-read, and the case against Krugman to date has been manifested only on little-visited blogs. You should do a "Klugman's Top 25 Fakes" for the record.

[Update] The American Thinker posts a Krugman fisking, somewhat similar to the Powerline blast.

Compare Powerline's* and the American Thinker's relative deference to polite language:

Powerline: "The consortium's a far cry from Krugman's claim."
AT: "Quite simply, his statement is false. It is a lie."

* - Note to Hinderaker: Don't be gray when the matter isn't gray.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Court: Immunity No Shield for Thuggery

I swear I didn't write this article:

Calif. Court: Judicial Immunity No Shield for Thuggery
Mike McKee, The Recorder

Judicial immunity is not absolute, a California appeal court ruled Wednesday in a bitterly contested case in which a lawyer acting as a referee was accused of assaulting a litigant.

"A judge's robe is not a king's crown," Justice M. Kathleen Butz, of Sacramento's 3rd District Court of Appeal, wrote. "[Judicial immunity] was neverintended to protect acts of thuggery against litigants merely because the assailant happens to be a judge.

"...We cannot accept Price's claim that a judge may, with absolute immunity, physically assault a litigant on the ground that he was exercising his powers to compel the parties to proceed with a scheduled deposition," Justice Butz wrote. Under the same rule, a judge could, without incurring civil liability, step down from the bench and choke an unruly litigant under the 'judicial' auspices of restoring order to the courtroom."

Absolute immunity linked to thuggery? Gosh, what a novel thought.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Four Smoking Guns of Clinton Coverup?

Three stories broke - or, revived - so quickly this month that their collective import is hard to discern. See items 1-3, below. All three stories, plus one to come, bear proximately on the question of, "How could 9/11 have happened?" And all bear directly upon the competing claims of the political parties as to war policy, and corollary domestic policy (such as the Patriot Act). Hence, the MSM slant (or, refusal to pursue one or more of the stories) will be acute.

The fourth story will revive, to wit, "How is the 'After Action Report' related to the three stories?"
Put another way, "What was the objective of Clinton's National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, in his multiple trips to the National Archives to destroy memos concerning the Clinton Administration's actions regarding al qaeda?*"

Four Smoking Guns of Coverup:

1. Able Danger. CIA [oops; Pentagon - ed] operatives fingered the specific Atta gang a year before 9/11, but Clinton administration barriers prevented the CIA/Pentagon from notifying the FBI.

2. The Mary Jo White memos. Directly related to the barriers, a prosecutor more-or-less predicts that a 9/11 will result...years before 9/11.

3. The State Department Memos. The State Department warned that bin laden's move to Afghanistan in '96 was tantamount to mobilization for war.

4. Millennium Bombing After Action Report. Internal, top secret "failure analysis" of the Clinton Administration's approach to bin laden and al qaeda.

* - Here are the reported facts, and timeline, that I have pieced together (online) re Bergergate:
July - September 2003
On July 18, September 2 and October 2, Berger goes to Archives, and is allowed into top secret room, to prepare for 9/11 commission testimony; and/or respond to 9/11 commission subpoena to Clinton administration.After Berger's visit, Archives officials believed documents were missing. An Archives employee called former White House deputy counsel Bruce Lindsey, who is former president Bill Clinton's liaison to the National Archives. The Archives employee said documents were missing and would have to be returned. The documents were returned the following day from Berger's office to the Archives. This returned batch did not include any 'after action reports.' It is unclear whether the Archives staff knows, or suspects, that after-action reports were taken in this first visit.

October 2003
After being busted in September, informally, by the Archives staff, Berger goes back to the Archives. Archives officials were wary, and this time, they specially coded the papers to more easily tell whether some went missing. They devised a coding system and marked the documents they knew Berger was interested in canvassing, and watched him carefully. They knew he was interested in all the versions of the millennium review, some of which bore handwritten notes from Clinton-era officials who had reviewed them. At one point an Archives employee even handed Berger a coded draft and asked whether he was sure he had seen it.Berger repeatedly persuaded monitors assigned to watch him review top-secret documents to break the rules and leave him alone. Berger asked them to leave the room so he could make sensitive phone calls. The Archives monitors told the FBI Berger was observed stuffing his socks with handwritten notes about files he reviewed that were going to the Sept. 11 panel.After this second round, Archives staff contacted the FBI.Berger hired a lawyer and volunteered that he had also taken 40 to 50 pages of notes during his visits. However, Berger still does not return at least some of the 4 or 5 copies of a 15-page "after action memos." They were "inadvertently discarded" according to Berger's attorney.

January 2004
The FBI raided Berger's house for missing documents, and he became the target of a probe.The missing documents are a number of copies of a January 2000 "after-action report" (4 or 5 copies, with handwritten comments) criticizing the government's response to terrorism plots at the turn of the millennium. The document was written by Richard A. Clarke, at Berger's direction. This report is said to be highly critical of Clinton terrorism strategy and response, and the various drafts have Clinton officials' comments on them. Perhaps two dozen specific recommendations - spin for "failure analysis" - were included in the report. (And the comments? They provide a real-time, irrebuttable snapshot of what the Clintons did, and did not do. Pretty much zero wiggle room. And during a post-9/11 election, something that takes away one's wiggle room is a bad thing. Bad things need to be scrubbed.)Clarke testifies to the 9/11 Commission in March, 2004, concurrently with the release of his book "Against All Enemies." Clarke, a Democrat, was the poster child for the political position claiming that Clinton was on top of the game against al qaeda, whereas Bush was negligent. The thrust of Clarke's book and testimony, coordinated with the 9/11 Commission hearings, echoed during the Democratic primaries, and his story was a significant factor in shaping the tone and substance of the Democratic candidates' (anti-war) positions and attacks on Bush.If it were to be shown that Clarke's book, and his 9/11 testimony, were misleading about Clinton, such would significantly lessen, if not destroy, the political message that Clarke came to symbolize, and constituted a blow to the Democrats' "Blame Bush" campaign message.The "After Action Report" is the smoking gun that supposedly does just that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

AbleBerger Continues...

A number of Bush supporters and Republicans have downplayed, even criticized, the so-called Able Danger story as a possible hoax, or worse. The problem - as with Memogate - is the lack of any credible evidence. In other words, the affair is comprised of nothing but speculation with no foundation.

Low and behold, just when you thought the affair would die a deserved death, a witness has come forward.

Kudos to the NYTimes (so often bashed here), for running multiple versions of the breaking story:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 - A military intelligence team repeatedly contacted the F.B.I. in 2000 to warn about the existence of an American-based terrorist cell that included the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a veteran Army intelligence officer who said he had now decided to risk his career by discussing the information publicly.

The officer, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, said military lawyers later blocked the team from sharing any of its information with the bureau. Colonel Shaffer said in an interview on Monday night that the small, highly classified intelligence program, known as Able Danger, had identified the terrorist ringleader, Mohamed Atta, and three other future hijackers by name by mid-2000, and tried to arrange a meeting that summer with agents of the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to share its information.

But he said military lawyers forced members of the intelligence program to cancel three scheduled meetings with the F.B.I. at the last minute, which left the bureau without information that Colonel Shaffer said might have led to Mr. Atta and the other terrorists while the Sept. 11 attacks were still being planned.

"I was at the point of near insubordination over the fact that this was something important, that this was something that should have been pursued," Colonel Shaffer said of his efforts to get the evidence from the intelligence program to the F.B.I. in 2000 and early 2001.

He said he learned later that lawyers associated with the Special Operations Command of the Defense Department had canceled the F.B.I. meetings because they feared controversy if Able Danger was portrayed as a military operation that had
violated the privacy of civilians who were legally in the United States.

"It was because of the chain of command saying we're not going to pass on information - if something goes wrong, we'll get blamed," he said.

Compare the NYTimes-written version with the AP version. See if you don't agree that the AP version is watered down, compared to the NYTimes. Again, kudos to the NYTimes.

I've speculated as to a potential Able Danger link to Sandy Berger and his Archives caper.

And there is ample criticism as to why 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick refused to resign from the 9/11 investigative panel ... investigating matters under her direct control during the Clinton administration. The arsonist wearing a Fire Department investigator's badge?

How nasty, should a Gorelick-Berger coverup result from this.

Throw in a little gasoline regarding a parallel revelation - the "Mary Jo White" memos - and you start to wonder what the hell is up.

To you folks who read books, none of this should be a surprise. Gerald Posner's book, "Why America Slept," pre-dates the 9/11 Commission Report, and detailed many of the systemic reasons for the failure of Agency A to pass along information to Agency B, all of which would have prevented 9/11.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cannon on a Gravel Road

If I were Bush, I'd walk out and meet with the unbalanced protestor named Cindy Sheehan. For effect, I might even do it without any security detail.

I would let her vent. For a good half an hour. Cameras rolling. She might even hit me. I'd certainly tear up and cry. Her rant would include loads of incendiary anti-Semitic, blood-for-oil, "this country sucks," "down with imperialism" type drivel. If need be, I would bait her with a few softballs to get her rolling on her leftish rant.

At some point, with a calm, father-figure President standing on a dirt road in Crawford, she would explode, like a truant 14-year old. Nothing rebuts a fool, than letting the fool speak.

I'd make sure she got to lay it all out, cameras rolling.

Then, out of the crowd would come the second mother. The mother of another dead or wounded soldier, who would praise country and the flag. She would talk of her son (or daughter's) love of country, of willing sacrifice, and just cause. Of her sorrow, but her support.

And I'd also tear up and cry. Just like I had with the first mother.

And the cameras would roll. The far-left clown squad surrounding Sheehan might heckle and misbehave; someone might even throw an egg. Let the cameras roll.

And then I'd turn and walk back up that lonely dirt road to the ranch.

And let the people choose which of these two is the mother that represents their country.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

MSM Slant-A-Thon V

Data: In the past California election, 153 out of 153 incumbents in the California legislature won re-election. You read that correctly: 100%.


Can you ever remember an instance where, going into an election campaign, the MSM announced: '[Prominent Democrat's] approval ratings are tanking"?

Such as November 1988 in the days before the election, when Dukakis was badly trailing Bush I, and was fading by the hour?

Such as November 1984 in the days before the election, where Mondale was badly trailing Reagan, and was fading by the hour?

Such as, in November 2003 in the days before the Recall election, where the polling to recall Governor Davis was a majority, and trending even worse as each day went by? (You may not know that California's largest paper, the LA Times, not only refused to use the word 'tanking' as to Davis, but also launched a front page 'scandal' story against candidate Schwarzenegger, just 2 business days before the election.]


When it's a Republican, different rules apply. In fact, no need to even use poll numbers when reporting on Republicans, when the MSM wants to portray a Republican as being doomed as an election begins. And particularly not, when the Republican has set for a vote a number of ballot initiatives that threaten to bust up an entrenched, fringe-left, Gerrymandering state legislature, with a fair process of drawing legislative districts:

Washington Post: "In California, [Republican] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's poll numbers are tanking. Protests and boos greet his high-profile appearances... ."

Schwarzenegger was elected, because ordinarily complacent California voters woke up to a $15 billion dollar deficit, announced a few weeks after Governor Gray Davis won re-election in 2002.* In a crowded field of challengers, Schwarzenegger won a majority of votes , based upon a "take no prisoners, I will fix this" campaign.

Arnold achieved a few early successes by negotiation and compromise with an entrenched, ideologically Left state legislature, and state bankruptcty was delayed. Then, gridlock again occurred. So Schwarzenegger has now gone back to the 'nuclear option," which he promised in the campaign. (The state Supreme Court certified Arnold's measures for the ballot, 2 days again, after furious attack by the Democratic Attorney General.)

Meanwhile, the fundraising arm of the state Democratic party (the teacher's union and the government workers' unions) has been in full attack mode for 6 months, running ads against Arnold.

Now comes the MSM: "Arnold's numbers are tanking."

And when millions of average Californians start to pay attention in the few days before the election this fall, and most or all of Arnold's 'nuclear' initiatives win approval, what will the MSM report? Why, of course: "Election irregularities."

* - Bummer is obviously politically involved, yet Bummer cannot tell you the name of his state senator or assemblyman. No one cares, not even Bummer. Imagine the average guy's level of involvement -- less than zero.

But when Arnold says, "Do this," I'll do it.

And so will millions of average Californians who don't know the name of a single state legislator. We elected Arnold to bust things up, and we haven't really asked for an update since November 2003.

Friday, August 12, 2005

MacroEconomics Not Yet Comprehended

Bummer gets a little worked up over IslamoFascists. For 50 years, the US and USSR avoided nuclear annihilation under "Mutually Assured Destruction," built upon the premise that neither would attack first, knowing the result would be retaliatory decimation.

IslamoFascists aren't stupid. Perhaps with 9/11, they had been led to believe that the US would do nothing. OK, that's a theory. But it's a Western-based theory. What if bin laden et al understood that the retaliation by the West against the islamic crescent would be 100-times that of 9/11 -- and intended that?

If a suicide bomber represents the micro-economics of it all (and we think they are nuts), might not 9/11 represent the macro-economics of it all?

A new macro-economics, that really doesn't conform to the Western mind.*

Which is why Bummer gets worked up when journalists and politicians and others put out happy-talk that the IslamoFascists would never act in a manner that would invite massive military retaliation upon themselves:

"And there is one important factor at play: it is one of the Middle East's worst kept secrets that Israel has the nuclear bomb. Iran certainly knows this and it will have a clear deterrent effect.

The result is that Israel might not need to take pre-emptive military action against Iran - if only because Teheran would never use a nuclear weapon against Israel for fear of itself being attacked, and annihilated, by the Jewish state's nuclear arsenal."

The Islamic fundamentalists would "never" use a nuke, for fear of retaliation? Who the hell assured the UK Telegraph journalist of that "fact"?

And an islamic teenager would never blow himself and a trainload of people up, either, for fear of himself ... being ... dead?


I worry that there is a "new macroeconomics" of mutually assured destruction -- the urban cousin to the paisan microeconomics of the suicide bomber. When the West wakes up to the reality of this new paradigm, a Western city or two may already be obliterated by IslamoFascist nukes.

And that's the unfortunate day, I think, when a lot of Average Joes just say:
"F*ck it. Drop the bomb. Exterminate them all."

Pretty much like we did, all summer long, in 1945.

That's a bad day to wake up to.

So I'm gung-ho for pre-emptive military intervention. Call me crazy, but I don't want to wake up on a day when the majority of Average Joes just says, "Nuke 'em all."

* - There is a good argument that the Japanese Imperial leadership in WW2 had a mindset that was not Western-based...and acted accordingly. After the (conventional) carpet bombing and destruction of the 60 largest Japanese cities in the Summer of 1945, what else explains it? It's compelling.

BergerQuiddick is Back

BergerQuiddick, aka BergerGate, aka Sandy Burglar, remains an odd, almost unexplained footnote. I have previously speculated that Berger - a Kerry campaign staffer - went to the Archives to destroy draft memos which contained information that rebutted the Spring 2004 Democratic Presidential campaign theme being pushed by Richard Clarke, in connection with the 9/11 Commission Report.

Whoops, look-y here:
The Sept. 11 commission knew military intelligence officials had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a member of al-Qaida who might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the terror attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a spokesman acknowledged Thursday.

This breaking story has been dubbed the Able Danger Scandal.

The Clinton Administration's CIA warned about Atta being the leader of an al qaeda attack cel, and the Justice Department refused to allow the FBI to be notified? And the Democrats, via Richard Clarke, are claiming that Bush failed to prevent 9/11?

Beneath it all, I'll wager that Sandy Berger was at the Archives trying to scrub away Able Danger references.

Update: Another Blog connects the dots regarding Berger. Note that Berger's sentencing has been pushed until September 2005.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Right-Leaning Lunacy

Bummer was in Vegas a few years back with BummerBrother (BB). BB is a born-again, right-winger. Sitting at lunchtime at the entrance to an event, we watched spectators arriving at a venue. Many in the crowd - maybe 15% to 20% - consisted of female groups of 3 to 5 women each, in age range from early-20's to mid-30's. I commented that things had changed in Vegas. In the mid 1980's through the early 1990's (a peak Bummer-in-Vegas period), you did not see very many groups of women in Vegas, on weekend vacations together. "Man, would I have had a blast," I said to BB.

"They're all hookers," said BB.

"No, they're not. They're here to have a good time. They may hook up with a guy, but they aren't hookers," I said.

"No, they're all hookers," said BB.

"The 50 or 100 women we've seen in groups the past 30 minutes, every one of them is a hooker?" I asked.

"Yep," said BB.

"BB, the last time you were single, Reagan had just been shot. Things have changed. Women do this, now."

BB's buddy chimed in. "Yep, things have changed. Normal women will come to Vegas in small groups, and hang out and maybe hook up with guys."

"No, they don't," insisted BB. "The magazines and TV shows and movies want to convince you that women do that, but they don't. It's all a lie. They're hookers."


OK, then, what's my point?

Cognitive Dissonance. The mind rejecting factual data that does not match ideological programming.


Bill at INDCJournal shines a light on a Right-Wing, dissonance-inebriated blogger. It's classic, true textbook stuff. Check it out.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Bummer's Summer Guide: Impressing Eurochix

OK, so you're not Brad Pitt. But you find yourself in a lounge filled with Eurochix (or, American girls wanting to be Euro). You need to impress at least one, with the semblance that you are more than a Class of '82 Frat Social Chairman from some big university.

My pals have their joke-telling film, the Aristocrats, out there and doing well, what with the telling of a filthy joke.

But sometimes, you need savoir faire instead of a dirty joke. Here's your weapon.

And ... fratboy, one more thing. Trust me on this: Practice the accents. Get it right -it's all about nailing the 6 words, seemingly effortlessly. If you do, the Eurochicas are yours. If you mess it up, then ... hey, you get this round, I get the Eurochica.

It's a BummerRiginal, although I'm sure versions abound... .

St. Peter and the Butterfly

Following the downing of an airliner carrying a UN delegation, Heaven was already bursting at the seams. Only 5 places remained in Heaven for the 6 victims of the crash. One would be banished to Hell.

The 6 unfortunate UN diplomats at the Gates pled with St. Peter to be admitted, but it was just an ugly cacophony from the quarreling American, Frenchman, Italian, Spaniard, Portuguese and German diplomats.

Finally, St. Peter had heard enough of the ruckus, just as a beautiful colored moth fluttered by. St. Peter shouted, "Enough of this noise!" Admiring the moth, he said, "I will admit only those five souls who exhibit their cultural superiority by the voicing of simple poetry about this most delicate creature of God."

So the American went first. "Your holiness, that creature is known to us as the gentle 'Butterfly.' " And as the words fell on St. Peter's ears, he smiled at the juxaposition of the soft nouns and hard consonants, weaving its sonic beauty.

The Portuguese followed, in a soft voice matched to the syllables he spoke: "Most holy Peter, the gentle flutter is that of the 'Borboleta' to my people." And St. Peter seems to nod off in a five hundred year-old trance, as if he had visited the wharf of the great sailing ships on a spring day, nodding at the beauty of the image rendered by the language.

The Italian was next: "Mi papa, in Roma at the base of the Vatican ramparts, for centuries we have spoken of this most dainty creature as the 'Farfalla.' " And St. Peter began softly humming some Verde opera as he closed his eyes to the joy his ears heard.

The Frenchman was next, in a breathy whisper: "Most Honored Father, in ze fields outside of Paris, for two thousand years the children of the parish have chased this little bird with lacy fabric nets worthy of his Holiness, this gentle creature we call ze 'Papillon.' " St. Peter, now almost trance-like, smiled and nodded, "Oui, mon ami."

The Spaniard spoke next, in a faint confession: "Father, I can offer only this: 'Mariposa.' " And St. Peter, speechless, could only tremble at the beautiful sound.

"What, this damned Schmetterling is sending me to Hell?" demanded the German.

MSM Slant-A-Thon IV: Bury It

The editorial powers at the New York Times believe that effective world collectivist government, rather than US-led nation-state power, is appropriate.

Look today in the NYTimes, page A8 of the National Edition. A big story is buried there. The Director of the Iraqi Graft Fund to Bribe European Governments, also known by its diplomatic name "Oil-for-Food", years after the fact, has been thrown out of the UN:

NEW YORK (AP) -- The former chief of the Iraq oil-for-food program resigned a day before investigators were to release a report that is expected to accuse him of taking kickbacks under the $64 billion humanitarian operation.

OK, so bury the story on page A8. I guess we expect that from the MSM. So long as it runs an in-depth analysis of the ramifications of the scandal, to wit: "What negative consequences resulted from this bribery? Would the Iraq War have been necessary if the Hussein regime had not been funneled billions of dollars through the program? Would France and Germany have presented a unified UN Security Council front against Saddam in early 2003, had the bribes not existed?"

There's a Pulitzer Prize awaiting ... .

Alas, no. The New York Times instead uses more column inches in denouncing the scandal as a witch-hunt, than asking real questions:

In his letter, Sevan lashed out at Annan and said the oil-for-food program was far better run than the Development Fund for Iraq, the U.S., British, and later Iraqi-run operation that replaced it after the fall of Saddam's regime in 2003. Auditors have said billions of dollars in DFI money has been mismanaged and contracts were awarded without competitive bidding. ''The real Oil-for-Food 'scandal' is in the distortion and misrepresentation of the accomplishments and the record of the program by now well-established U.N. bashers,'' Sevan wrote.

The NYTimes cannot dig into this story. To do so would be harmful to its editorial bias in favor of international organizations like the UN.

* - The UN should have called it the "Infant Refugee Nutrition Import/Export Program."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The World Is Upside Down

It's all messed up when the Chairman of the Democratic Party abandons the membership.

Democrats have been, and still are to some degree, identified as the party that first and foremost represents the interests of the "working man" - e.g., represents labor, rather than capital.

Illegal immigration, social security bankruptcy and health care costs are the big issues for American workers right now.

And what does Howard Dean do? He denounces illegal immigration reform:

"[In the upcoming election,] Do you know who the scapegoats are going to be? Immigrants," he said.

When commentators claim that the "far left" has taken over the Democratic Party, it's difficult to sort through it all and find the truth. But illegal alien policy is truly an indicator. I connect the dots, here.

Highlights: Socialism and collectivism, by definition, must be adopted worldwide, or they perish. When a liberal politician is more concerned about the international protetariat, than the American worker, he exposes himself as a member of the collectivist movement; to wit, a guy who would have been a card-carrying member of Comintern, a generation ago.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Effective Illegal Alien Strategy

Federalism is a funny thing. Overlapping federal, state and local laws. Where they intersect, it can be messy.

Yes, it's messy at the borders.

States and localities can bypass the buy-off that has occured at the federal level. Here's how:

1A. Pass local trespassing laws. Make it illegal for illegal aliens to enter private property, or to loiter.
1B. Pass local labor laws, to enforce backup withholding (see below). Make it illegal (as a matter of local law) for employers to hire illegal aliens.
2. Local police now have arrest powers.
3. Arrest the illegals. Arrest the employers
4. Speedy trial for illegals - 3 days.
5. Pay a private "Con Air" transport company to take them to the border.
6. Fine the hell out of the employers. Make it costly. Make it more costly than hiring legal workers.
7. For good measure, enact a local backup withholding tax for any workers in the locality. Enfore this by imposing the outbound foreign wire-transfer tax on Western Union and other dispatches to Mexico. (Of course a lawsuit will result - that is the point).

Sure it's radical, but unless you live in a border state, you have no idea how acute the problem is.

Encouraging Essay from the Left of Center

You may not agree with all 5 policy points made by Jim Wallace, but his commentary in today's NYTimes reads like a breath of fresh air.

The NY Times, in particular, has adopted the Leftie tantrum screamer essay as its M.O.; why has it become so rare (now) to find a reasoned liberal viewpoint?

"...Abortion is one such case... . More than 1 million abortions are performed every year in this country. The Democrats should set forth proposals that aim to reduce that number by at least half... [and start] supporting reasonable restrictions on abortion, like parental notification for minors.

"As for 'family values,' the Democrats can become the truly pro-family party by supporting parents in doing the most important and difficult job in America: raising children. They need to adopt serious pro-family policies, including some that defend children against Hollywood sleaze and Internet pornography.... Rather than fighting over gay marriage, the Democrats must show that it is indeed possible to be 'pro-family' and in favor of gay civil rights at the same time."

Poverty, war taxes, environment, morals issues, and national security. Wasn't so hard, was it?

If the Dems were to adopt Wallace's substantive stance, and step to the plate on illegal immigration, social security reform and a willingness/eagerness to kill islamofascists, they'd be the majority party in the U.S.

I don't agree with some of Wallace's specifics, but it's hard to quibble with most of his objectives. But I agree with Wallace more so than with either the current Republican or Democratic platforms.

How discouraging.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Slant-A-Thon III - Russia Boots Out ABC

So, ABC runs a report with a Chechnyan rebel leader. Too sympathetic to the terrorists.

Sorta like an Al Jeezera interview on its New York affiliate, about the sensitive, Che-like qualities of bin laden.

Russia revokes ABC's license in Russia.

And upon what does the MSM - in this case, the New York Times - blame all of this? Russian peasants' seething and evidently growing antipathy toward the United States?

Wait...I was joking. The MSM actually spun it that way?

The decision underscored not only Russia's sensitivity to foreign perceptions of the war in Chechnya, but also a seething and evidently growing antipathy toward the United States and other countries viewed as hostile to Russia.

Wow. In print. There it is. Transference of the writer's U.S.-loathing.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Slant-A-Thon II

Bush installs Bolton as UN Ambassador, over the filibuster of the Senate Democrats.

And yet, per the slanted USA Today headlines (the same folks who co-produced the forged TANG memo attack on Bush), we're supposed to believe that:

"There's 'no clear winner' in Bolton fight."

Sure there is a clear winner. Bush prevailed. The Senate Democrats lost.

Monday, August 01, 2005

MSM Slant-A-Thon

Whatever you think of John Bolton, the MSM "news" coverage of his nomination has been telling. You'd think Lavrenti Beria had just been appointed.

Today's AP newswire sets the desired tone. Focus on lots of nasty adjectives of baseless charges, so that 3/4ths of the "news" story is a delivery vehicle for the spin that something is wrong with Bolton, and Bush is acting in bad faith. Toss in a few vague and tepid statements to "balance" the article.

This MSM recipe has become so ... boring.

Can you imagine the uproar if an AP article delved into the specific claims made by political opponents of Bolton, their motives, that their charges had proven baseless, and that it turns out the Democrats were simply being obstructionist? Unthinkable. Instead, the AP says, Bush is "frustrated."

Left-of-center attack journalism, disquised as news, continues unabated.

[Update: The linked AP article used the phrase, "Bush will circumvent." Later, it was changed to "Bush sidestepped."]

WASHINGTON - Frustrated by Democrats, President Bush will circumvent the Senate on Monday and install embattled nominee John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations' the White House said.

Bush has the power to fill vacancies without Senate approval while Congress is in recess. Under the Constitution, a recess appointment during the lawmakers' August break would last until the next session of Congress, which begins in January 2007.

In advance of Bush's announcement, Democrats said Bolton would start his new job on the wrong foot in a recess appointment. "He's damaged goods. This is a person who lacks credibility," Sen. Christopher Dodd said on "Fox News Sunday." Bush, he said, should think again before using a recess appointment to place Bolton at the United Nations while the Senate is on its traditional August break.

...Bolton's appointment ends a five-month impasse between the administration and Senate Democrats. [But you need to "think again," Mr. Bush. - Ed.]

...At Bolton's April confirmation hearing, Democrats raised additional questions about his demeanor and attitude toward lower-level government officials.

[You have to read to the bottom of the article before the AP lets out the following - Ed]:

...Despite lengthy investigations, it was never clear that Bolton did anything improper.

[But then, the AP gets right back to parsing what was the exact date that Bolton stopped beating his wife - Ed]:

...Witnesses told the committee that Bolton lost his temper, tried to engineer the ouster of at least two intelligence analysts and otherwise threw his weight around. But Democrats were never able to establish that his actions crossed the line to out-and-out harassment or improper intimidation.

Separately, Democrats and the White House deadlocked over Bolton's acknowledged request for names of U.S officials whose communications were secretly picked up by the National Security Agency. Democrats said the material might show that Bolton conducted a witch hunt for analysts or others who disagreed with him.

In the face of objections from most Democrats and at least one Republican, Bush has steadfastly refused to withdraw Bolton's nomination — even after the Foreign Relations Committee sent it to the full Senate without the customary recommendation to approve it. [How dare this Bush guy ask for a - gasp - vote ! - Ed.]

Though the debate over Bolton had largely faded from the headlines, critics raised fresh concerns this week when it surfaced that Bolton had neglected to tell Congress that he had been interviewed in 2003 in a government investigation into faulty prewar intelligence....

"There's just too much unanswered about Bolton, and I think the president would make a truly serious mistake if he makes a recess appointment," Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview.

Image an AP story that was not left-spun:

Attacks on Bolton Prove Baseless

Washington Elite Believe that Libel Rules Should Not Apply To False Claims Against Bolton

WASHINGTON - '9dmr'pv,povjkpvojtfv'jtv' e

etc etc.