Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ABC News: "Of Course We're Leftist Thugs"

Mark Halperin is the Political Director of ABC News. Below is an interview of Mark Halperin by Hugh Hewitt regarding Halperin's new boo, "The Way To Win," on the The Hugh Hewitt Show:


HH: Of those hundreds [of ABC News staff members who Halperin works with], what percentage do you think fairly, honestly, are liberal, and would vote Democratic if they voted?

MH: The same as in almost every old media organization I know, which is well over 70%.

HH: Isn’t it…Thomas Edsall, in an interview that I know you read, because you wrote me about it, he said 95…

MH: I think 95’s well overstated…

HH: He said 15-25:1 in the Washington Post, liberal to conservative. Do you think that’s fair?

MH: Absolutely. And again, I mean, look. John and I work for old media organizations. We write things in the book that most people in old media won’t admit. But we’re proud of our organizations, but I don’t want to say it’s singular to ABC. It’s in all these…it’s an endemic problem. And again, it’s the reason why for forty years, conservatives have rightly felt that we did not give them a fair shake.

HH: And so, given that we know that proportion is there, I don’t know the relevance that the fever swamp generates some antagonism towards you, that Daily Kos yells at you, doesn’t in any way, I think, not you personally, but media, doesn’t in any way change the basic underlying problem, which is that you’ve set up sort of castles full of liberal and hard left reporters, and that they’re criticized from the left doesn’t in any way diminish their left wing bias, does it?

MH: Not at all. It only adds to the current problems, or the previous problems of the left wing bias on a lot of issues. What it adds is, people feeling cowed from the other direction, and it adds to the general lack of respect, which we have brought on ourselves, because look, we are too weak, and we are too superficial, and we have failed to stand up to power, as we should, if we’re going to play a proper role in a democracy. So the left criticisms, I think, don’t diminish the liberal bias, but they do make weak organizations, already under siege, more under siege, taking fire from a different direction.

...HH: .. I think my giant unified field theory here is that liberal media has destroyed the necessity of the left having to debate, having to reach a message across, because you guys have always papered over the weakness of their arguments. And so, in essence, by creating an echo chamber, and by allowing them to get away with saying silly things, you’ve destroyed the incentive to be smart and facile.

MH: I agree.

MSM Coverage Skews Dem....Gosh, You're Kidding..

Ummm...Gosh, really?

Heavy coverage at midterm favors Democrats, study says

The media mix
By Peter Johnson

Network news coverage has favored Democratic candidates in the midterm election, and the page scandal involving former congressman Mark Foley has been the main story line, drawing almost as much coverage as Iraq and terrorism combined, a new study finds.

An analysis by the Center for Media and Public Affairs of midterm election stories aired on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts Sept. 5-Oct. 22 found that 2006's coverage has been almost five times as heavy as in the 2002 midterm elections: 167 stories, compared with 35 four years ago.

The study found that three out of four evaluations of Democratic candidates' chances of winning — such as sound bites — were positive, compared with one out of eight for Republicans. Coverage has been dominated by two major themes: the effects of the Foley scandal, and the impact the Bush presidency is having on the party's congressional candidates.

The Foley scandal produced 59 stories alone, compared with 33 on Iraq and 31 on terrorism/national security issues. “What's hurting Republican candidates is the media's focus on two non-candidates: Mark Foley and George W. Bush,” says center director Robert Lichter.

Because of the focus on Foley, the re-election race of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., was featured in 42 stories. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was featured in 10 stories, even though he's not up for re-election this year. Sen. Hillary Clinton's possible 2008 presidential run was grist for nine stories.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Little Middle East Tea-Leaf Reading

Militant factions at war with each other. Jihad and civil war becoming indistinguishable. Each accusing the other sect of various transgressions, including collusion with the unclean West.

Big building going up in Dubai, the Burj Dubai. Tallest building in the world.

A symbol of modernism and internationalism, perhaps.


Will the forces of medieval islamofascism allow the Burj Dubai to stand as a testament to islamic modernism and internationalism?

I Wanna Hold Your Hand...

Back in the day, Bummer would say just about anything to a girl, if he thought it would improve his chances. "Do I like to line dance? Sure, I Love It!" Etc.

Graduate students, in Bummer's day, tended to be male. Bummer has an image of female graduate students. Let's just say, they tended to be in upper-level English courses or the Art School, and they liked to hang out at the pub where the scrappy guitar guy with the beret did 4 solo sets a night.

Anyway, so why does it not surprise Bummer that it's possible -- quite possible -- that a guy leaving a polling station will tell a female graduate student pollster, pretty much whatever he thinks she wants to hear (and that isn't, "I just voted Republican"):

"The late Warren Mitofsky, who conducted the 2004 NEP exit poll, went back and found that the greatest difference between actual results in exit poll precincts and the reports phoned in to NEP came where the interviewers were female graduate students -- and almost all the discrepancies favored the Democrats."

Pollser Michael Barone has more, here.

"Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? Let me whisper in your ear...!!!"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Million 'Raqi Pieces II

Archive piece, but germane:


Now, Bummer ain't all that modest. 'Specially when he sorta nails it, before others.

You've read here before (here, here, here, here) that under the Wolfowitz Plan - the strategic reason for invading Iraq - that a "unified Iraq" was neither necessary nor sufficient, respecting the ultimate efficacy of the Wolfowitz Plan in Iraq.

Michael J. Totten's blog, "Middle East Journal," runs a good analysis explaining that the Kurds have already left the Iraqi building:

"In January 2005 the Iraqi Kurds held an informal referendum. More than 80 percent turned out to vote. 98.7 percent of those voted to secede from Iraq. Not only have the Kurds long dreamed of independence, when they look south they see only Islamism, Baathism, blood, fire, and mayhem. If Middle Easterners had drawn the borders themselves, Iraq wouldn’t even exist. Blame the British for shackling Kurds and Arabs together when they created the new post-imperial and post-Ottoman map."

Don't fear the Balkanization of Iraq. Realize that it is part of the intellectual underpinnings of the Wolfowitz Plan. It will take a generation (or two) for the Plan to fully work its way, exposing the various Big Lies of the Middle East, sufficient to break the intertia.

Think about it: The crack-up of Iraq is almost a given. The original Wolfowitz Plan was a plan to break up Iraq, into Saddam-controlled and U.S.-controlled (free) parts. The gamble was that Iraqis would prefer the U.S.-controlled part, and that process would topple Saddam from within. (Hey, it worked in Iron curtain Europe...)

Now, Iraq is in a mini-civil war. But let's level with ourselves - that is pretty much what the Wolfowitz Plan intended - internal strife as Iraqis battled their despots. We visualized a "revolution" where Iraqis overthrow Saddam. The US military sorta turbo-charged the TV images of that revolution - the difference now is that the revolution is a low-grade civil war, and the despots are in the minority, rather than in control.

The Kurds, who are not centrally embroiled in the civil war, are quietly setting up their own country. An arab, muslim democracy, amidst a "revolution."

Exactly what was prescribed.

Why Bummer Isn't A Bush Fan

Some of the Bummer '23 don't like Bummer's occasional foray into long-term "economic disaster" lecturing. 'Specially when Bummer is critical of Mr. Bush.

It ain't Iraq that's got my craw.

Bush had the political capital to be a Roosevelt or a Reagan, and he blew it.

OK. Let's let the chief numbers guy speak, instead:

GAO Chief Warns Economic Disaster Looms

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - David M. Walker sure talks like he's running for office. "This is about the future of our country, our kids and grandkids," the comptroller general of the United States warns a packed hall at Austin's historic Driskill Hotel. "We the people have to rise up to make sure things get changed."

But Walker doesn't want, or need, your vote this November. He already has a job as head of the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress that audits and evaluates the performance of the federal government.

Basically, that makes Walker the nation's accountant-in-chief. And the accountant-in-chief's professional opinion is that the American public needs to tell Washington it's time to steer the nation off the path to financial ruin.

From the hustings and the airwaves this campaign season, America's political class can be heard debating Capitol Hill sex scandals, the wisdom of the war in Iraq and which party is tougher on terror. Democrats and Republicans talk of cutting taxes to make life easier for the American people.

What they don't talk about is a dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows, or at least should. The vast majority of economists and budget analysts agree: The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and will founder on the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done to correct it.

There's a good reason politicians don't like to talk about the nation's long-term fiscal prospects. The subject is short on political theatrics and long on complicated economics, scary graphs and very big numbers. It reveals serious problems and offers no easy solutions. Anybody who wanted to deal with it seriously would have to talk about raising taxes and cutting benefits, nasty nostrums that might doom any candidate who prescribed them.

"There's no sexiness to it," laments Leita Hart-Fanta, an accountant who has just heard Walker's pitch. She suggests recruiting a trusted celebrity - maybe Oprah - to sell fiscal responsibility to the American people.

Walker doesn't want to make balancing the federal government's books sexy - he just wants to make it politically palatable. He has committed to touring the nation through the 2008 elections, talking to anybody who will listen about the fiscal black hole Washington has dug itself, the "demographic tsunami" that will come when the baby boom generation begins retiring and the recklessness of borrowing money from foreign lenders to pay for the operation of the U.S. government.

"He can speak forthrightly and independently because his job is not in jeopardy if he tells the truth," said Isabel V. Sawhill, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution.

Walker can talk in public about the nation's impending fiscal crisis because he has one of the most secure jobs in Washington. As comptroller general of the United States - basically, the government's chief accountant - he is serving a 15-year term that runs through 2013.

This year Walker has spoken to the Union League Club of Chicago and the Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Sons of the American Revolution and the World Future Society. But the backbone of his campaign has been the Fiscal Wake-up Tour, a traveling roadshow of economists and budget analysts who share Walker's concern for the nation's budgetary future.

"You can't solve a problem until the majority of the people believe you have a problem that needs to be solved," Walker says.

Polls suggest that Americans have only a vague sense of their government's long-term fiscal prospects. When pollsters ask Americans to name the most important problem facing America today - as a CBS News/New York Times poll of 1,131 Americans did in September - issues such as the war in Iraq, terrorism, jobs and the economy are most frequently mentioned. The deficit doesn't even crack the top 10.

Yet on the rare occasions that pollsters ask directly about the deficit, at least some people appear to recognize it as a problem. In a survey of 807 Americans last year by the Pew Center for the People and the Press, 42 percent of respondents said reducing the deficit should be a top priority; another 38 percent said it was important but a lower priority.

So the majority of the public appears to agree with Walker that the deficit is a serious problem, but only when they're made to think about it. Walker's challenge is to get people not just to think about it, but to pressure politicians to make the hard choices that are needed to keep the situation from spiraling out of control.

To show that the looming fiscal crisis is not a partisan issue, he brings along economists and budget analysts from across the political spectrum. In Austin, he's accompanied by Diane Lim Rogers, a liberal economist from the Brookings Institution, and Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

"We all agree on what the choices are and what the numbers are," Fraser says.

Their basic message is this: If the United States government conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more, adjusted for inflation. That's almost as much as the total net worth of every person in America - Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and those Google guys included.

A hole that big could paralyze the U.S. economy; according to some projections, just the interest payments on a debt that big would be as much as all the taxes the government collects today.

And every year that nothing is done about it, Walker says, the problem grows by $2 trillion to $3 trillion.

People who remember Ross Perot's rants in the 1992 presidential election may think of the federal debt as a problem of the past. But it never really went away after Perot made it an issue, it only took a breather. The federal government actually produced a surplus for a few years during the 1990s, thanks to a booming economy and fiscal restraint imposed by laws that were passed early in the decade. And though the federal debt has grown in dollar terms since 2001, it hasn't grown dramatically relative to the size of the economy.

But that's about to change, thanks to the country's three big entitlement programs - Social Security, Medicaid and especially Medicare. Medicaid and Medicare have grown progressively more expensive as the cost of health care has dramatically outpaced inflation over the past 30 years, a trend that is expected to continue for at least another decade or two.

And with the first baby boomers becoming eligible for Social Security in 2008 and for Medicare in 2011, the expenses of those two programs are about to increase dramatically due to demographic pressures. People are also living longer, which makes any program that provides benefits to retirees more expensive.

Medicare already costs four times as much as it did in 1970, measured as a percentage of the nation's gross domestic product. It currently comprises 13 percent of federal spending; by 2030, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will consume nearly a quarter of the budget.

Economists Jagadeesh Gokhale of the American Enterprise Institute and Kent Smetters of the University of Pennsylvania have an even scarier way of looking at Medicare. Their method calculates the program's long-term fiscal shortfall - the annual difference between its dedicated revenues and costs - over time.

By 2030 they calculate Medicare will be about $5 trillion in the hole, measured in 2004 dollars. By 2080, the fiscal imbalance will have risen to $25 trillion. And when you project the gap out to an infinite time horizon, it reaches $60 trillion.

Medicare so dominates the nation's fiscal future that some economists believe health care reform, rather than budget measures, is the best way to attack the problem.

"Obviously health care is a mess," says Dean Baker, a liberal economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington think tank. "No one's been willing to touch it, but that's what I see as front and center."

Social Security is a much less serious problem. The program currently pays for itself with a 12.4 percent payroll tax, and even produces a surplus that the government raids every year to pay other bills. But Social Security will begin to run deficits during the next century, and ultimately would need an infusion of $8 trillion if the government planned to keep its promises to every beneficiary.

Calculations by Boston University economist Lawrence Kotlikoff indicate that closing those gaps - $8 trillion for Social Security, many times that for Medicare - and paying off the existing deficit would require either an immediate doubling of personal and corporate income taxes, a two-thirds cut in Social Security and Medicare benefits, or some combination of the two.

Why is America so fiscally unprepared for the next century? Like many of its citizens, the United States has spent the last few years racking up debt instead of saving for the future. Foreign lenders - primarily the central banks of China, Japan and other big U.S. trading partners - have been eager to lend the government money at low interest rates, making the current $8.5-trillion deficit about as painful as a big balance on a zero-percent credit card.

In her part of the fiscal wake-up tour presentation, Rogers tries to explain why that's a bad thing. For one thing, even when rates are low a bigger deficit means a greater portion of each tax dollar goes to interest payments rather than useful programs. And because foreigners now hold so much of the federal government's debt, those interest payments increasingly go overseas rather than to U.S. investors.

More serious is the possibility that foreign lenders might lose their enthusiasm for lending money to the United States. Because treasury bills are sold at auction, that would mean paying higher interest rates in the future. And it wouldn't just be the government's problem. All interest rates would rise, making mortgages, car payments and student loans costlier, too.

A modest rise in interest rates wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, Rogers said. America's consumers have as much of a borrowing problem as their government does, so higher rates could moderate overconsumption and encourage consumer saving. But a big jump in interest rates could cause economic catastrophe. Some economists even predict the government would resort to printing money to pay off its debt, a risky strategy that could lead to runaway inflation.

Macroeconomic meltdown is probably preventable, says Anjan Thakor, a professor of finance at Washington University in St. Louis. But to keep it at bay, he said, the government is essentially going to have to renegotiate some of the promises it has made to its citizens, probably by some combination of tax increases and benefit cuts.

But there's no way to avoid what Rogers considers the worst result of racking up a big deficit - the outrage of making our children and grandchildren repay the debts of their elders.

"It's an unfair burden for future generations," she says.

You'd think young people would be riled up over this issue, since they're the ones who will foot the bill when they're out in the working world. But students take more interest in issues like the Iraq war and gay marriage than the federal government's finances, says Emma Vernon, a member of the University of Texas Young Democrats.

"It's not something that can fire people up," she says.

The current political climate doesn't help. Washington tends to keep its fiscal house in better order when one party controls Congress and the other is in the White House, says Sawhill.

"It's kind of a paradoxical result. Your commonsense logic would tell you if one party is in control of everything they should be able to take action," Sawhill says.

But the last six years of Republican rule have produced tax cuts, record spending increases and a Medicare prescription drug plan that has been widely criticized as fiscally unsound. When President Clinton faced a Republican Congress during the 1990s, spending limits and other legislative tools helped produce a surplus.

So maybe a solution is at hand.

"We're likely to have at least partially divided government again," Sawhill said, referring to predictions that the Democrats will capture the House, and possibly the Senate, in next month's elections.

But Walker isn't optimistic that the government will be able to tackle its fiscal challenges so soon.

"Realistically what we hope to accomplish through the fiscal wake-up tour is ensure that any serious candidate for the presidency in 2008 will be forced to deal with the issue," he says. "The best we're going to get in the next couple of years is to slow the bleeding."

Friday, October 27, 2006

Just Another Fed-Up Non-Aligned Pussy Moderate

The female writers score a hat trick today.

Bummer likes the results of a balance of power. The Republican Party - whatever that means - has controlled 2-1/2 to 3 branches of government for 6 years now.

If you are Republicanish - and I think a good share, and perhaps a majority, of the B23 are - do you think that the Republicans have done a good job for 6 years, in full control of the government? Or, do you find yourself defining the benefits of 6 years of Republican control, only by referencing that "it would be a lot worse" if Dems were in partial or full control?

Now, mind you, that's a perfectly fine rationale. Living beats dying, and most things beat a sharp stick in the eye.

The Republicans get a pass from me on Iraq. (Call me crazy...it's war.) Bush, however, blew all of his 2004 re-election currency on Social Security reform, done in by the "personal accounts" footnote which allowed the Dems to scuttle the reform as a Wall-Street gambit. A debacle. It will bankrupt the program in 30 years.

Bush has botched immigration reform and enforcement. Absolutely blew it.

Bush's Medicare and prescription drug benefit giveaway, dwarfs anything that Wilbur Mills cooked up back in the 70's. It will bankrupt the nation in 25-30 years.

The nation is begging for leadership in weaning the country off of oil. Like JFK, setting a goal ("man on the moon this decade") and then spending like a sailor ashore to make it happen. Bush has squandered this opportunity. In 10 years, we will be in horrible shape. I'm talking geopolitically f*cked, not about so-so science of global-warming.

Anyway, back to the chicks.

Peggy Noonan is, with others, sanquine, perhaps, with likely Repuplican losses the week after next - "Is There Progress Though Loss?":

I said I thought the Republicans would take it on the chin in 2006, and that would force the beginning of wisdom. She surprised me. She was after all a significant staffer giving all her energy to helping advance conservative ideas within the Congress. "Yes," she said, in a quiet, deadly way. As in: I can't wait. As in: We'll get progress only through loss.

That's a year ago, from the Hill.

This is two weeks ago, from a Bush appointee: "I hope they lose the House."

And one week ago, from a veteran of two GOP White Houses: "I hope they lose Congress." Republicans this year don't say "we" so much.

What is behind this? A lot of things, but here's a central one: They want to fire
Congress because they can't fire President Bush.

Why the Blue Dress Mattered

Camille Paglia's critique of the feminist movement, the National Organization of Women (NOW) and other leftists was all but drowned-out by the MSM.

So Paglia Camille gets a rare double-posting from Bummer today, as her Salon interview succinctly reiterates Why MonicaGate Mattered*:

"And with the Democrats' record of sex scandals, what the hell were they thinking of? For heaven's sake, after we just got through the whole Clinton maelstrom! What Clinton did with Monica Lewinsky was far worse than any evidence I've seen thus far about what Foley did with these pages. Clinton, whom I voted for twice, used his superior power as an employer to lure Monica Lewinsky, who was perfectly willing, into these squalid sexual assignations on the grounds of the White House. There was a time when feminists were arguing, in regard to sexual harassment in the workplace, that any gross disparity in power cannot possibly produce informed consent. All of a sudden, all of that was abandoned for partisan reasons in the Clinton case. ...But to use the hallway off the Oval Office for those encounters -- to be serviced by a young woman to whom he gave no other dignity and whom he used like a washrag -- he turned that hallway into a sleazy mosh pit!"

* - Also, the President engaged in bold-faced lying under oath, with DNA evidence busting him, will have material adverse effects upon the zeitgeist of the young, as such behavior became so aggressively defended by the political and media elite of the country. It f*cks with kid's morals and heads, and will play out over the next generation.

Foley Buggery Thuggery II

Camile Pagilia, a clear-thinking liberal conservative who was a lone feminist voice in skewering NOW and the feminist lobby for their jawdropping hypocracy over MonicaGate, comments on the junction of MSM thuggery with Foley buggery:

" Mark Foley was never on the radar of anyone outside the small circle of news junkies. So his fall and banishment from Washington were nothing ... the Democratic leadership was in clear collusion with the major media to push this story in the month before the midterm election.

"Every time I turned on the news it was "Foley, Foley, Foley!" -- and in suspiciously similar language and repetitive talking points. ... I was especially repulsed by the manipulative use of a gay issue for political purposes by my own party.

"We saw the beginning of this in that grotesque moment in the last presidential debates when John Kerry came out with that clearly prefab line identifying Mary Cheney as a lesbian. ... You'd expect this stuff from right-wing ideologues, not progressives.

"...It's very worrisome and yet more proof that the Democrats have lost their way."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Another Thug Loss in the Courts

Bummer is a day late commenting on NYTimes stuff, 'cuz he dumped the home delivery after one too many front-page seditious articles by the Times.

The Times has just lost another "immunity" claim in Court. Like the boy who cried wolf one too many times, or perhaps Chicken Little (pick your fable), the MSM has eviscerated its legitimate claim to some reasoned level of 1st Amendment "immunity" by its continual, illegitimate use of immunity claims for partisan purposes.

Accordingly, when a legitimate (i.e., "real journalism") instance comes along, the NYTimes has shat the immunity sheets so badly, that one can't help cast the claim in the worst light. Anyway, here's the latest:

Times Is Ordered to Reveal Columnist’s Sources
By Neil A. Lewis

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 — A federal magistrate judge has ordered The New York Times to disclose the identities of three confidential sources used by one of its columnists, Nicholas Kristof, for columns he wrote about the investigation of the deadly anthrax mailings of 2001.

The order, issued Friday by Magistrate Judge Liam O’Grady, requires the newspaper to disclose the identities of the three sources to lawyers for Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, who has brought a defamation suit against The Times. The order was disclosed Monday.

Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for The Times, said the newspaper would appeal the ruling.

Dr. Hatfill, a germ warfare specialist who formerly worked in the Army laboratories at Fort Detrick, Md., has asserted that a series of columns by Mr. Kristof about the slow pace of the anthrax investigation defamed him because they suggested he was responsible for the attacks.

Five people died in the attacks. Although the federal authorities identified Dr. Hatfill as a “person of interest” in the case, they have not charged him with any crimes.

At a deposition on July 13, Mr. Kristof declined to name five of his sources for the columns, but two have subsequently agreed to release him from his pledge of confidentiality. Judge O’Grady’s ruling identifies the remaining unnamed sources as two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and a former colleague or friend of Dr. Hatfill at Fort Detrick.

The judge ruled that the laws of Virginia applied and that under that state’s law, reporters have only a qualified privilege to decline to name their sources that may be outweighed by other factors.

He wrote that for Mr. Hatfill to have a chance of meeting his burden of demonstrating that he was defamed by the columns, he “needs an opportunity to question the confidential sources and determine if Mr. Kristof accurately reported information the sources provided.”

Mr. Kristof wrote about a government scientist he initially referred to as Mr. Z, saying he had become the overwhelming focus of the investigation. In August 2002, he wrote that Dr. Hatfill had acknowledged he was Mr. Z. at a news conference in which he said he had been mistreated by the news media.

The lawsuit was originally dismissed by a federal judge in Virginia in 2004. A divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond reinstated the case and the full appeals court, by a 6-to-6 vote, declined to overturn that ruling. The Supreme Court declined to intervene last March.

Judge O’Grady wrote: “The court understands the need for a reporter to be able to credibly pledge confidentiality to his sources. Confidential sources have been an important part of journalism, which is presumably why Virginia recognizes a qualified reporter’s privilege in the first place.”

He said Virginia law required the use of a three-part balancing test as to whether there is a compelling need for the information, whether the information is relevant and whether it may not be obtained any other way.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pragmacon Redux

With the White House confab going on this weekend over Iraq, let's revisit an interesting series of essays/predictions from December 2004, initiated by Kerry Spot's Jim Geraghty (original post doesn't appear in his archives; too bad) and Powerline regarding so-called "Pragmatic Conservatives" and Iraq.

As Powerline summarized Gerahty:

Jim Geraghty at the Kerry Spot predicts that 2005 will see the emergence of "Pragmacons" -- a new self-proclaimed “middle group” of conservatives who share the pro-democratic goals and ideals of the neoconservatives, but who believe that "American options and resources in this effort are limited by a faulty U.S. intelligence system and the Herculean difficulties of turning 'subjects' into 'citizens.'"

Interesting to see how it shakes out. Bummer's take back in December 04 was that a partitioned Iraq was a perfectly acceptable goal of the Iraq War:

Jim Geraghty thoughtfully writes:

“… 'Okay, bringing democracy to Iraq hasn’t worked as well as we hoped or expected. What do we learn from this?'

"… 'Pragmacons' … will share the ideals of the 'neocons' - spreading democracy, pluralism, free markets, free speech and religious freedom throughout the world, and relentlessly crushing Islamist terror networks and the rogue states that snuggle with them. But the Pragmatic Cons will also conclude that American options and resources in this effort are limited...."


True, I guess, if you define our stated Iraq objectives as bringing democracy to all
areas of Iraq, as one family. But don’t forget the basic and critical “Wolfowitz Plan” element underlying it all. U.S. objectives are far grander - which might require a more modest Iraqi democracy. The key Wolfowitz objective is establishing and supporting an Islamic democratic zone in the region. In short, such democratic zone will, over a generation, break the vicious cycle of despotism and radicalism, in the same manner that the daily exhibition of freedom and wealth under post WW-II Western European democracies taught the common man behind the Iron Curtain which social ordering was better, despite all efforts by the Soviet Bloc to the contrary. The Bloc collapsed.

Establishing an Islamic democracy zone(s) is the strategy. Doing so in Iraq is a tactic. Doing so in Iraq while preserving a "unified Iraq" - that is, with pre-invasion borders - is neither a strategy nor a tactic. It's a minor goal, which can and should be jettisoned if and as needed. As one or more democratic zones are established in Iraq, the pre-invasion borders may or may not stay the same. If they do, and one big democracy zone results, then great! If not, so what? The Iraqi borders were just some straight lines drawn on a map by some white European colonialists early in the century.

The Bush administration included the maintenance of pre-invasion Iraqi borders as a goal, but not an absolute. A unified Iraq nation (i.e., with pre-invasion borders) is not essential to long term Mideast peace and American security that necessarily follows therefrom; but a democratic Islamic zone is essential -- be it the Kurdish region, the Shi’ite region, or both of them.

75% of the population forming two democracies covering 90% of the landmass formerly known as Iraq satisfies the strategic objective. (Remember, the initial tactic under the strategy [per Wolfowitz and Richard Perle] kept Saddam in place and instead would have established a democratic zone in the western Iraqi desert at the US airbase at H3, protected by the No-Fly zone.) If some or all of the Sunni Triangle cannot be pacified at acceptable cost, then we shoulnd't waste our assets on a non-strategic, non-tactical goal. It isn't worth it.

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 Plan.

So in assessing "What went wrong, and what can we learn?"," don't give short shrift to the notion that our tactical move in toppling Saddam and establishing one or more democracies - be they zones, territories or a single nation - achieved our strategic objective.

Mystified by the French attitude towards America? They're pissed off that the U.S. - all by itself - is about to conclude a successful global strategic move previously reserved to a few Europeans.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sorta Cool

ya got that right

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Goes His Own Way

Lennon/McCartney and Brian Wilson penned the pop soundtrack of the 60’s. To Bummer, surely Elton John/Bernie Taupin and Lindsey Buckingham similarly architected the pop music soundtrack of the 70’s.

Fleetwood Mac was the soundtrack to one's learning about girls – and then women. Learning to drink beer – and then wine or scotch or blow. The soundtrack of going to class. Of driving. It was -- the soundtrack of the teen and young adult years.

Now, imagine the Fleetwood Mac genius, Lindsey Buckingham - instead of cranking out a dozen more chart-busting Fleetwood Mac hits – instead locks himself in the hotel bathroom during a lengthy Mac reunion tour, and writes those same songs. But instead of writing them for Stevie to sing and dance to, for Christine to harmonize, for Mick to add the backbeat or John to add the deep tones, Lindsey writes them for himself. All alone. Like a troubador street performer outside the restaurant on the 3rd Street Promenade pedestrian mall. It's called, “Under the Skin.”

You won’t instantly hear any Fleetwood hits ... at first. A few licks and hooks here and there, hint at it.

But ... wait 10 days. Like a Barolo that needs 8 hours of air, it opens up. Big time. Then you realize that pretty much every song, with just a little rearrangement, could instead have been arranged by Lindsey as a massive Mac mega hit, if that had been the intent.

I won’t prattle on about which songs do what. If the opening paragraph of this post strikes you as correct, then no more need be said.

Lindsey has for 3 decades been the master of potential energy in song. He knows how to create the aural semblance that the song is choosing to keep its energy veiled. Sometimes thinly, sometimes heavily. 'Under the Skin' is a return to the Buckingham bridled subtlety of, for example, his simple yelp on the FM Live version of 'Go Your Own Way,' or the underappreciated energy and genius of 'Don't Let Me Down Again' from the pre-Mac B/N years.
It's those few licks, here and there, on 'Under the Skin' where he lets you in on the secret, that he's harnessed the mega-hit energy that otherwise would have been rendered into the Mac's 'Go Your Own Way' or pretty much any tune off of Rumours.

Almost as if,Lindsey is allowing you to hear advance copies of what are draft Mac hits before he and Richard dress them up for the group. Once you're in on that secret -- i.e., in 10 days or so - every song opens up. Like your TV suddenly switching into color mode.*

'Under the Skin' is a stunning work, if you know the Mac and if you have the time to let it open up.

The album won’t sell enough copies for cab fare, which in a perverse way makes it all that much better – it won’t be promiscuously pawed over by the masses.

Bummer's highest recommendation. Kudos to LB. Believe it.

*- For you Ween fans, like the expansion in the first minute of 'Exactly Where I'm At' off of 'White Pepper'.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Catastrophic Air Crash

Leftwing pirate radio and MSM darling Air America plunges from 33,000 feet and slams into the asphalt somewhere in Brooklyn.

Magically, all on board will survive, as the MSM will manage to hail this bankruptcy as part of a well-thought-out, long campaign in the war against the forces of darkness.

Thinking folks know better, that the radio experiment was the dabble of a rich synchophant, with on-air dj's who were so not funny, not entertaining and not informative, that the radio network consistently drew ratings below that of their main competitor, AM-Polka Radio.

Stories abound that would-be listeners searching for the station often thought they had found Air America on the dial, when in fact they were listening to a periodic government Emergency Broadcast System anouncement that stations must run each week.

Here it comes:

"This bankruptcy will allow Air America to emerge, with a stronger voice, blah blah...!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BergerGate Back in the News

Bummer didn't like the file cleansing done by Sandy Burglar Berger.

As the recent controvery over the TV show Path to 9/11, and the Clinton outburst to Chris Wallace at Fox, demonstrated, Team Clinton really doesn't want any scrutiny of its record. Sandy Berger was a key man in cleansing that record -- to with, to sanitize classified copies of an after-action report that cataloged the failings of the Clinton approach to terrorism.

Maybe it's just protection against the Dems' investigations getting out of hand after the midterm elections, but in any event, glad to see this:

A group of House Republicans called Wednesday for a congressional investigation into the improper handling of classified documents by President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger.

Berger admitted last year that he deliberately took classified documents out of the National Archives in 2003 and destroyed some of them at his office. He pleaded guilty in federal court to one charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material and was fined $50,000.

Ten lawmakers led by House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R- Calif., and Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., released a letter calling for the House Government Reform Committee to investigate.

They asked the committee to determine whether any documents were missing from Clinton administration terrorism records, to review security measures for classified documents and to seek testimony from Berger.

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korean Prescription

North Korea is not a significant threat to the U.S. It will not have delivery vehicles for weapons anytime soon.

North Korea IS a menace to its neighbors. Industrial giant China. Industrial giant Korea. Industrial giant Japan. Superpower wannabe Russia.

Remind me: WHY do we care about North Korea? Surrounded by regional industrial giants , why isn't this a Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Russian problem?

Bummer's prescription for North Korea:

1. The U.S. becomes beligerant.
2. The U.S. declares an embargo on nuclear material coming in and out of North Korea.
3. The U.S. declares a maritime blockade of North Korea, unless North Korea abandons its nukes and submits to U.N. inspections.
4. The U.S. sets up a bureaucratic inspection station at sea, whereby every North Korean -bound ship must go into a quarantine inspection zone. Yep, it'll take 2 weeks per ship, at least.
5. A couple of U.S. submarines sink any and every ship inbound or outbound from a North Korean port, that does not comply with the search and seize rules.
6. The U.S. does nothing more. Let North Korea fester. It's a Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Russian problem. Those countries are successfully foisting their problems on the U.S. Why? Just say "no."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

...Because Your Math Sucks, That's Why

Peggy Noonan is best, not only when she notes the heretofore ignored 900-lb gorilla-in-a-tutu sitting in the room, but when she provides insightful commentary on the ape's wardrobe.

In reviewing Woodward's book, "State of Denial," she dresses up the argument -- which nary is mentionned in the MSM -- that, "Of course the Republican White House ignored the State Department; they had been continually and consistently wrong for several generations; why pay heed now?":

"The young, mid-level guys who came to Washington in the Reagan years were always at the table in the meeting with the career State Department guy. And the man from State, timid in all ways except bureaucratic warfare, was always going "Ooh, aah, you can't do that, the Soviet Union is so big, Galbraith told us how strong their economy is, the Sandinistas have the passionate support of the people, there's nothing we can do, stop with your evil empire and your Grenada invasion, it's needlessly aggressive!" Those guys from State--they were almost always wrong. Their caution was timorousness, their prudence a way to evade responsibility.

"The young Reagan guys at the table grew up to be the heavyweights of the Bush era. They walked into the White House knowing who'd been wrong at the table 20 years before. And so when State and others came in and said, "The intelligence doesn't support it, we see no WMDs," the Bush men knew who not to believe."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Gay Immunity

I'm not really interested in the Foley mess.


It's difficult to fire a black woman. Almost impossible.* Because you will immediately be accused of both race and sex discrimination. The costs -- both economic and emotional (who comes to work to be branded and picketed as a racist by the local activists?) are considerable; accordingly, you tend to have a much, much higher threshold for firing a bad black female employee, vs. someone who is not of protected status. The flipside, simply not appreciated by activists,but which is SOP among bosses (Bummer knows...):

Who would you rather hire? Someone who you can fire, if they are lousy, or someone who you will be virtually unable to fire?

Professors and activists can blah blah blah all day long, but that's where the rubber meets the pavement.


It's difficult - almost impossible - to accuse or censure a gay of sexual misbehavior. Because the pro activists will view any criticism of the gay as an attack on his sexual orientation, rather than his misbehavior. Again, the costs are considerable, so gays tend to be left alone. The fight isn't worth it.

Gay immunity. Believe it.

* -- Bummer has between 50 and 100 employees at any given time, of a marvelous mix of class, religions, nationality,sex, age, etc. Bummer knows.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Yeah, I know, some blogs gets tens or hundreds of thousands of hits per day.

But S&C just hit 300,000. In about 24 months.

That's around 400 per day. I'll assume half that is spider and bot noise. But still....maybe the Bummer 23 have increased ... .

Y'awl come back now, ya hear?

Thothes Thathssy, Thessy 'Demths

Amusing: Top 10 Democrat Sex Scandals in Congress:


10. Sen. Daniel Inouye. The 82-year-old Hawaii Democrat was accused in the 1990s by numerous women of sexual harassment. Democrats cast doubt on the allegations and the Senate Ethics Committee dropped its investigation.

9. Former Rep. Gus Savage. The Illinois Democrat was accused of fondling a Peace Corps volunteer in 1989 while on a trip to Africa. The House Ethics Committee decided against disciplinary action in 1990.

8. Rep. Barney Frank. The outspoken Massachusetts Democrat hired a male prostitute who ran a prostitution service from Frank’s residence in the 1980s. Only two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to censure him in 1990.

7. Former Sen. Brock Adams. The late Washington Democrat was forced to stop campaigning after numerous accusations of drugging, assault and rape, the first surfacing in 1988.

6. Former Rep. Fred Richmond. This New York Democrat was arrested in 1978 for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old. He remained in Congress and won re-election—before eventually resigning in 1982 after pleading guilty to tax evasion and drug possession.

5. Former Rep. John Young. The late Texas Democrat increased the salary of a staffer after she gave in to his sexual advances. The congressman won re-election in 1976 but lost two years later.

4. Former Rep. Wayne Hays. The late Ohio Democrat hired an unqualified secretary reportedly for sexual acts. Although he resigned from Congress, the Democratic House leadership stalled in removing him from the Administration Committee in 1976.

3. Former Rep. Gerry Studds. He was censured for sexual relationship with underage male page in 1983. Massachusetts voters returned him to office for six more terms.

2. Former Rep. Mel Reynolds. The Illinois Democrat was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault with a 16-year-old. President Bill Clinton pardoned him before leaving office.

1. Sen. Teddy Kennedy. The liberal Massachusetts senator testified in defense of nephew accused of rape, invoking his family history to win over the jury in 1991.


What about Gary Condit and Wilbur Mills?

Balance of Power

Maybe it will be a good thing for the Dems to take one house of Congress. The Dems will then have to have actual programs. The Leftie element vs. the fast-fading Centrist element will be on public display.

It's not as if the 'Pubs have been particularly effective whilst in control of all 3 branches of government.

We'll see, soon.

Monday, October 02, 2006


In case you've missed it, the emails sent by disgraced gay child porn fan ex-Representative Foley appear to be altered, at least in some instances.

May go all kinds of ways, including that the story -- like the faked RatherGate TANG memos -- was held back, for use just before the election. Seems like an Occam's Razor violation to me -- what could the Dems gain from holding back the story, other than (a) red herring as to the Terror War and (b) link it to the Republicans at large.

Not sure if there will be much to this, other than navel gazing. Foley is a sick perv. He got caught. Good riddance. Bigger issue? Doesn't appear to be, but let's see. Maybe he's just gay, and not into child porn (won't THAT be a quandary for the gay advocates.. see prior post). Maybe the 'Pubs wanted to keep it quiet until after a close '06 midterm, so as to not lose the seat (and maybe, the entire House?) Wouldn't THAT be a footnote to history:
"Republicans Lose House by One Member, Thanks To Gay Child Porn Fan"

Hey, if you believe that the gay marriage issue (and the balloting thereof in over a dozen states in '04) was a critical factor in Bush's victory, then ... why not?

Buggery Thuggery

The gay voting bloc comprises something like 5% (who knows, though...) of the voting population. It's not so much the average (Bummer doesn't believe the bloc is of particular sway in Missouri), but in concentrated urban centers, it is powerful. The urban concentration gives the gay advocates something approaching proportional representation (i.e., the Euro-style democracies with ruling coalitions), as opposed to the winner-take-all American version of democracy.

This gay voting bloc is virtually 100% Democratic. Along with the African-American vote, it forms the core 15% of the Democratic Party.

The MSM, as Bummer's 23 know, has largely functioned as the press office of the left-of-center for the past 30+ years. That hegemony is breaking, now, thanks to alternative media, but the MSM still rules. As such, the MSM still controls and filters the message.

Millions will die because of AIDS. The truth has been known for 25 years. What is the causal connection among the gay advocacy groups, the MSM, the Democratic base, and those millions of deaths?

This AP item is of interest:

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Almost half of the European Union population continues to have misconceptions about the ways in which HIV/AIDS can be spread, the European Commission said Monday.

A survey by the EU executive found that although many know that sharing needles, receiving infected blood and having unprotected sex were the three most prominent ways to get infected, 45 percent also believed donating blood, sharing glasses and sitting on a toilet seat could spread the disease.

Only 40 percent knew the virus could not be passed by kissing on the mouth.
"We must not lose sight of the fact that HIV/AIDS is still one of the biggest preventable killers worldwide," said Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou. "I am most worried about the decreasing attention for prevention."

Particular concern centers on the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004. "More needs to be done, in particular to inform the citizens of new EU member states, where the epidemic is still strong, and which border the countries where the epidemic is on the rise," Kyprianou said.

The AIDS pandemic is spread by one, and only one, material factor: Gay men having unprotected.... ahem... anal sex. Although there is significant support in Western countries for a "live and let live" attitude, particularly respecting attitudes toward gays, the MSM has become the propaganda office of the gay voting bloc on the AIDS issue. That is, the MSM and the gay advocates simply will not address the 900 lb. gorilla-in-a-pink-tutu sitting in the room: AIDS is a disease residing almost exclusively among men having anal sex with infected men.*

Instead, the MSM bombards the message that President Reagan caused AIDS because he didn't do anything; "women get AIDS too;" the old Haitian canard; "lack of funding is a deliberate program to eradicate gays; " etc.

There is no MSM message on point: "AIDS is spread exclusively by men having anal sex with men."

So....any wonder why people are confused about AIDS? It's been 25 years. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of $ have been spent. And at best, public understanding that "AIDS is spread exclusively by men having anal sex with men" remains elusive.

Effete thugs of the MSM. The MSM, carrying the water for the gay advocate bloc, as a core Democratic voting bloc, obfuscate the truth. And millions will die.

If that isn't thuggery, I don't know what is. Buggery thuggery.

*-Isolated instances of transmission via other methods are not significant enough to continue the viscious transmission cycle. That is, they are so isolated that, like two rare recessive genes, they almost never cross in the wide population.