Friday, September 5, 2003
Janklow has to go
Michelle Malkin has the right idea in her September 3 column. She excoriates Bill Janklow (R-SD), whose lead foot resulted in the death of a 55 year old father of two, when Janklow blew through a stop sign (at 70 mph) and ran over a man on a motorcycle.
Janklow has a history of speeding tickets, and apparently a history of accidents. None, until now, have been fatal. However, he has been charged with manslaughter in this incident. The GOP must rise above the specter of losing this seat to a Democrat, and tell Janklow to take a hike. Either resign, or get expelled.
Politics be damned. Janklow is a repugnant lawbreaker addicted to speed and power. His callous disregard for the rules cost an innocent man his life. The Republican Party should turn its back on Janklow and bear the electoral consequences.
Last year's Trent Lott episode showed that the GOP can hold its leaders to higher standards. Party officials once again have an opportunity to show that personal accountability is more than a catch phrase. The Democrats have their Chappaquiddick. Republicans don't need one, too.
The GOP has a much better track record of censuring its own idiots than do the Democrats (not only the Lott affair, but also the wholesale condemnation of Falwell and Robertson; contrast them with the circle-the-wagons attitude of the Dems during the Bill and Monica show). This is another opportunity to seize the moral high ground, even if it means narrowing their majority by one seat in the House. Allow him to remain in office, and the GOP is no better than the Democratic Party that allowed Kennedy to remain in office after Chappaquiddick. Hopefully, the reciprocity effect will kick in again. Being a loyal Republican doesn't excuse Janklow from being giulty, and his intention to continue to serve marks him as pond scum. The GOP will be better off without him, even if it means one less vote for their bills.
posted at 08:47 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
It seems Hamas is running scared.
Ha'aretz reports that Hamas leaders are being rebuffed in their efforts to stop the Israeli campaign against them, and consequently have been forced to take a much lower profile than that to which they have become accustomed.
Over the last few days, Hamas leaders have sent messages to both the Palestinian Authority and Egypt in an effort to revive the cease-fire. The answers they have received sound almost like Israel's demands: First they must agree to disarm, and then it will be time to talk about a cease-fire.
If Egypt is telling them to disarm, there is hope. The toothless PA doesn't hold any imperative over Hamas, but the Egyptians have considerable influence.
Journalists have been having trouble finding senior Hamas officials over the last few days. Abdel Aziz Rantisi and his colleagues are not only reluctant to come to television studios in Gaza, they are even cutting down sharply on their use of the telephone. But beyond the real fear for their lives that Hamas members at every level are feeling (a fear that Israel is encouraging through repeated declarations by Ya'alon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz about their intention to continue the assassination policy), the organization is facing a serious dilemma. The problem with the Jerusalem attack, from Hamas's viewpoint, is that it was too successful. The large number of people killed, and the large number of children among them, aroused American and European anger at the organization (Europe is even considering declaring its "political" wing a terrorist organization) and provided a rare moment of international legitimacy for Israel's forceful response. The question is, what will happen if Hamas's retaliation is similarly "successful" - and if, once again, the gain proves to be not worth the cost?
For more on the EU deliberation on the subject, refer to this story (also from Ha'aretz), which mentions that only three countries (Ireland, Austria, and Greece) have openly opposed the move to declare Hamas a terrorist group. Five countries (Italy, Britain, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) support the change. France, of course, is waffling, since it is caught in the bind; supporting Germany would mean that they also support the US position, which is anathema to them.
(Links courtesy of Common Sense and Wonder and Shark Blog.)
posted at 07:35 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, September 4, 2003
BBC admits lying
The BBC has admitted to "sexing up" their account of David Kelly in the brouhaha between the Beeb and the Blair government, an interesting turnabout from their accusations of 10 Downing Street doing the same thing. Read this Guardian article for the whole story.The BBC appears to realize just how badly their attempted media coup d'etat has backfired, since they have been furiously backpedaling for days now on the issue.
(Link courtesy of On the Third Hand.)
posted at 08:22 AM | permalink | Comments (1)
Improvement in Iraq
If you were to get your news entirely from a few left-leaning sources (such as the Boston Globe) or outright leftist outlets (such as Britain's Guardian), you might develop the impression that Iraq is a basket case. It's quite understandable, since these papers feature idiotic commentators shrieking (from their comfortable perches in Cambridge, or from Belgravia) about how appalling life has become for the Iraqis since Saddam was deposed.
The reality, however, is quite different. Jim Miller links to a source on the ground in Iraq, who is impressed with the improvement since the War. The column he links to is even more upbeat than the letter from a friend of Salam Pax that I linked to in July. He contrasts this onsite report with a pair of ideologically blinkered nitwits, a Brit and a Bostonian, who sniff that the war was an unmitigated disaster, and that the occupation is even worse. Jim's analysis is dead-on as usual, so check it out.
UPDATE: I should make clear that Mr. Joseph (the column's writer) was the human shield who was so appalled by conditions in Iraq that he changed his mind about the war. Jim Miller alludes to that in his commentary on the subject, but I failed to make the connection in my mind.
posted at 08:11 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Miguel Estrada, the eminently qualified Bush nominee for the DC appeals court, has withdrawn his name for consideration for the post.
The Democrats have won this round; they managed to successfully demagogue and obfuscate the issue (and willfully abuse the filibuster process) for over two years now, and Estrada has had enough. However, they may have lost the war, as the GOP will now feel free to do the same thing to any and all Democratic nominees who fail GOP litmus tests, such as school choice, Second Amendment issues, environmental extremism, and so forth. What goes around, comes around.
posted at 06:59 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Sad, but true
Today's Cincinatti Post editorial cartoon is a sadly true commentary on the state of the United Nations today.
posted at 06:53 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Bias? What Bias?
Britain's Independent, one of the pillars of the British far left (The other is the Guardian), slipped in an appalingly obvious swipe at the death penalty in what was ostensibly a news article.
The decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dealt a new blow to the credibility of the death penalty in America after the mass commutation of more than 140 death sentences in Illinois last year amid increasing doubts, even among members of the US Supreme Court, that capital punishment can be administered fairly and safely.
So much for impartial reporting. I think even the most ardent opponents of the death penalty will see that the above quote is slanted in their favor.
posted at 05:53 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Media Catch On
The media are finally acknowledging, grudgingly, something that conservatives have been stating for quite some time: The Democratic Party is the party of big-money special interests.
Buried underneath some flattering coverage of Howard Dean's campaign, the last few paragraphs of ths CNN story quietly note which party has a network of smaller donors.
One of Dean's biggest successes has been raising money. When the next reporting period ends on September 30, he is expected to pass former President Bill Clinton's Democratic record of $10.3 million raised in a single three-month stretch.
Much of that money has come through small donations, a huge switch for a Democratic Party that has relied on now illegal soft money donations to help level the playing field with Republicans.
"Historically, our party has raised an enormous amount of money from a few people," Strother said. "Dean is building a base of small donors, which is what Republicans have done for years and we've never done."
Interesting how Democratic Party consultants are only now acknowledging that their party is the party of big money, now that McCain/Feingold has turned off the spigot of soft money contributions. Prior to that, the GOP was "the party of the rich special interests". They are still using that phrase, but if enough people see what their consultants are saying, perhaps the truth WILL come out.
In the same piece, the article notes how identity politics may prove to be Dean's undoing:
Dean's rivals have begun to copy elements of his campaign, beefing up Internet operations and stepping up attacks on Bush. But some party leaders say Dean has not shown he can reach the black, Hispanic and labor constituencies that form the party's backbone, and they question his staying power.
"I just don't see him building support in minority communities," said one activist, adding: "He has peaked."
Translation: In order to win a Democratic primary, you need to pander to a variety of ethnic pressure groups. The GOP has a similar problem (religious conservatives) but they are both less powerful and more flexible than their analogues on the left. Remember, the Christian Coalition publicly supported the Contract With America, despite the fact that the contract had almost nothing to do with their mission. They supported it because it was a popular initiative that resonated with the voters, not because it advanced their ideology.
posted at 05:33 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
"Terrorist" versus "militant"
Someone in the media finally gets it.
Philip Gailey, editor of editorials for the St. Petersburg Times (the one in Florida, not the one in Russia) is the first major media figure (the paper has the largest circulation in the state of Florida, and is one of the 20 largest in the country) to recognize that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not militants, they are terrorists. The column is a refutation of the whole "militant" mindset.
His most rousing denouncement of the whole issue comes in the last two paragraphs of his column, in which he levels some harsh criticism at the public editor of Central Florida rival Orlando Sentinel, and the fabulously stupid statement he made on the issue:
Manning Pynn, the Sentinel's public editor, recently wrote that despite the style committee decision, the paper will continue to use "militant" to describe Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, both of which are on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. "The term "terrorist' certainly expresses judgment: It imputes to the person or organization being described the motive of trying to instill fear. "Militant' seems to me much more neutral," Pynn wrote.
Foolish me. I thought instilling fear is exactly what Hamas and Islamic Jihad mean to do when they send their suicide bombers into markets, restaurants and buses to kill and terrorize Israeli civilians. I'm all for fair and balanced reporting (I hope the Fox cable news network doesn't slap me with a lawsuit for trademark infringement), but I also believe that words do matter. And if the word "terrorism" is to have any real meaning, then blowing up a bus crowded with women and children must be condemned for what it is - an act of terrorism.
I have a few quibbles with word choices ("assassination" for the Israeli targeting of terrorist leaders, for example), but overall, the column is a stunning refutation of the media establishment's pussyfooting around the issue. It should be required reading for every editor across the country.
(Link courtesy of Common Sense and Wonder.)
posted at 09:11 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Not THIS man's best friend
I found this story in Stars and Stripes; The Arizona Republic has it online. The headline reads:
Police dog captures suspect for 4th time
And the second paragraph read:
In the latest incident, Repp was arrested Tuesday, accused of leading police on a high-speed chase in a 1980 Corvette, crashing into a tree and fleeing on foot until he was stopped by Reno, a Longview police dog.
My first thought was "Why is this guy not in prison"? Apparently, Arizona is not a "three strikes" state.
Later in the article, we find out what he is being charged with on this escapade:
...where he was booked for investigation of felony eluding, taking a motor vehicle without permission, reckless driving, obstructing an officer, resisting arrest and third-degree driving with a suspended license.
Maybe he'll spend a bit more time than he did in his last run-in:
After the last incident, in October 2001, Repp received a five-day jail sentence and a $400 fine for reckless driving and resisting arrest.
Something tells me that the other prisoners will be dogging him for some time.
posted at 08:24 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Bustamante and MEChA
Stefan Sharansky is all over MEChA's racist, marxist, rabidly anti-American agenda (and Bustamante's support of said agenda) at Shark Blog. Start here and scroll down; there are many links and some interesting discussion about MEChA and how Bustamante has not only failed to distance himself from the group, but has tacitly supported them by downplaying their radicalism.
In one of the more intense threads, a Bustamante apologist tries to bring up Arnold Schwarzenegger's father's ties with the Nazi Party during World War II. Since it was Schwarzenegger himself who discovered and revealed the ties (with assistance from the Simon Weisenthal Center), it's not exactly a big secret. It's also totally irrelevant to Bustamante's ties to MEChA, since Arnold's father is not running for governor. For those who wish to tie a father's views in to a current politician, why not look at Joseph Kennedy (father of JRK, RFK, and Ted Kennedy; considered to be the patriarch of the whole "Camelot" dynasty thing). Kennedy was a supporter of the Nazi government, and actively lobbied to keep the US out of the war. His sympathies haven't torpedoed the political careers of his progeny; JFK was president, RFK would likely have been president, fat Teddy has represented Massachusetts forever, and Patrick Kennedy is a Rhode Island congressman.
I have been banging the drum about reciprocitythe need for the left to denounce their idiots as loudly and consistently as the right has done with Buchanan, Robertson, Lott, Santorum, and others. I have not seen even one liberal who has taken Bustamante to task for his association with a racist group, yet they would be up in arms if we were talking about John Ashcroft and the now defunct Southern Partisan magazine (check out Google if you doubt me on this).
Unlike the Ashcroft interview, which requires a good deal of "interpretation" of "code words" for Republican racism, MEChA is right up front with its aims: Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.(For the race, all. For those outside the race, nothing.) This is unvarnished racism. It is reprehensible, whether it comes from a white supremacist group denigrating nonwhites, an Islamist group condemning non-Muslims, or a Chicano group denouncing non-Chicanos.
I will begin taking the left's charges of racism against the GOP seriously when they get their own house in order. The deafening silence from them ensures that it will be a cold day in hell before that happens.
posted at 08:12 AM | permalink | Comments (1)