Jason Hayes

Libertarian thought, policy, religion, the environment, tech, coffee, and Tabasco – the stuff of life
This is my personal blog - the thoughts and ideas expressed here are posted on my own time and are mine and mine alone.

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Ann Coulter has become Miley Cyrus

Bernard Goldberg nails it in his recent editorial, “How Ann Coulter Became Miley Cyrus.”

It’s clear that Ann has effectively confirmed her “jumped the shark” status when she thinks she can pretend to innocently refer to the President, not once, not twice, but (incredibly) three times in one interview as a “monkey.” (A term she very well knows has been a treasured verbal epithet of brain dead racists throughout the ages.)

Ann Coulter was on television plugging an old book that just came out in paperback and a new one coming out next month. So Ann did what Ann always does to drum up business. She came up with something outrageous to say that would get the buzz going.

She went on Sean Hannity’s TV show and decided the best way to create some noise would be to call the first black president of the United States of America … a monkey. …

Ann Coulter is the Miley Cyrus of political commentary. Miley tried to shock us with her sex act on national TV. She wanted everyone over 25 to gasp and be outraged. Instead we yawned and said she’s pathetic. Anyone who tries that hard to shock is automatically boring. Take note, Ann.

It’s time for Ann to step it back a whole lot. Maybe in doing so, she could regain a touch of credibility.

I get that it’s a free country – even free enough for racist morons to spew their garbage – even free enough for Ann to pretend that she didn’t mean to call the first African-American President a “monkey” (three times). I get that she’s trying to sell books. I get that she’s trying to be edgy.

I get it, but honestly, I’m tired of all the edgy, wild, libertine souls among us trying to shock and offend as a means of proving how liberated, or new, or different they are from all the other squares out there. That sort of thing worked for James Dean in the 50’s. It worked for Elvis in the 60’s. It worked for the Sex Pistols in the 70’s. It worked for Boy George in the ’80’s. It even worked for Jaye Davidson and Madonna in the ’90’s. It’s getting old now, and it’s pathetic to see people like Ann, Lindsay, and Miley duke it out for the wild-child title belt today.

The sad thing is that Ann’s boorish behavior only distracts from the fact that Putin did completely outmaneuver President Obama by publicly claiming to have brokered a deal with Syria to address the oversight and disposal of their chemical weapons.

Of course our mainstream media will pull a hamstring struggling to build a story that the entire world somehow suddenly fell under the sway of the President and was forced by the sheer power of his personality, Nobel Peace Prize, and the threat of his Clinton-esque “just lob a few cruise missiles at it” style of foreign diplomacy to step in. The reality is, however, that to the rest of the world President Obama came away from this situation looking like a bumbling weakling and a fool.

Everyone else on the planet can see that Putin took charge in this situation, while Mr. Obama just fumbled around claiming he wouldn’t help Al-Qaeda by helping Al-Qaeda and trying to lay the blame for yet another diplomatic failure on Congress, the world, President Bush, … anyone at all, except for himself.

Our President is turning our foreign policy into a complete joke and rather than addressing that in a head on, honest fashion, Ann somehow manages to verbally twerk the situation into something even more pathetic.

I’m just hoping now that Jimmy Kimmel will step into the picture with a fire extinguisher and let us know that the whole thing was a hoax.

Now a hindrance, Sheehan has been tossed aside by MSM

Interesting article on washingtonexaminer.com on the changing attitudes of the press when it comes to Cindy Sheehan.

This week ABC News anchorman Charles Gibson, who extensively covered anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan’s demonstrations against George W. Bush in 2005, said “Enough already” when it comes to Sheehan’s plans to protest next week at Martha’s Vineyard, where President Barack Obama will be vacationing.

Now Sheehan has responded. “I am sure that he just wants me to go away like most of the rest of the anti-war movement has done under the Obama presidency

While I have to give her credit for consistency, I still believe that Sheehan is a very troubled individual who has a lot bigger issues she’s dealing with than just the loss of her son. However, I am surprised at how quickly she was used up and tossed out by the MSM. It’s pretty clear that, to the MSM, Sheehan was nothing more than the next guaranteed anti-Bush sound clip that they so desperately desired. But, with Obama in the White House, the last … THE LAST … thing they want to do is bring attention to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (and Pakistan), as it might do even more damage to Obama’s plummeting approval ratings.

No, the media did everything they could to make sure the world saw Iraq and the Middle East as solely the providence of George Bush. Now that Obama is continuing the same war, in the same countries, in the same style as Bush, spending the same money as Bush, and many more American soldiers are continuing to die, the pro-Obama MSM needs the anti-war movement and Cindy Sheehan to go away quickly and quietly.

Confused about the doublethink

Victor Davis Hanson was in fine form with yesterday’s column describing the average “idiot’s” inability to decipher the doublethink and doublespeak coming out of Washington. Our fearless leaders are so busy protecting their political power that they don’t seem to realize they’re contradicting themselves almost every time they open their mouths.

I feel like Winston Smith in Oceania, confused about all the doublethink coming out of Washington. Great Depression—no Great Depression. Recession for years; its end at the end of this year. Signing statements bad; signing statements good. Fundamentals hardly strong; fundamentals really sound. Earmarks terrible; 8,000 wonderful. Bush’s $500 billion deficit reckless; Obama’s $1.7 (trillion) sober and judicious; Iraq horrific and the worst whatever; Iraq suddenly quiet, democratic, and hopeful; highest ethical bar in an administration ever—Richardson, Daschle, Killefer, Solis, etc. cannot meet the lowest; Guantanamo a Stalag; Guantanamo open for a year, pending the recommendations of a “task force”; Guantanamo a torture place for unlawful combatants; Guantanamo a nice place without unlawful combatants; Obama not to be blamed for massive collapse of stock prices since November; Obama to be praised for modest gains last week. At some point, someone in the media must be getting embarrassed that they are all working at the Ministry of Truth.

Ahmadinejad: “Israel will soon disappear”

From Brietbart.com we see that Ahmandinejad is once again threatening to destroy Israel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot “satanic powers” and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported.

“I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene,” he said.

“Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started.”

Since taking the presidency in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly provoked international outrage by predicting Israel is doomed to disappear.

“I tell you that with the unity and awareness of all the Islamic countries all the satanic powers will soon be destroyed,” he said to a group of foreign visitors ahead of the 19th anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ahmadinejad also again expressed his apocalyptic vision that tyranny in the world be abolished by the return to earth of the Mahdi, the 12th imam of Shiite Islam, alongside great religious figures including Jesus Christ.

“With the appearance of the promised saviour… and his companions such as Jesus Christ, tyranny will be soon be eradicated in the world.”

This madman is predicting that Muslims will bring about the “fall of the satanic power of the United States” and is threatening to “wipe Israel off of the map” and saying that Israel is “about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene.” However, Barack Obama blithely stumbles along, promising that he will meet with him in the first year of his presidency, with no preconditions. In Obama’s world, those threats don’t really mean anything, the Iranians only make those threats against us and our allies because the U.S. is “just downright mean” and “guided by fear.” In Obama’s world, those threats are our fault, so why wouldn’t we immediately sit down and break bread with a lunatic and dictator?

It’s abundantly clear that Obama doesn’t even begin to understand the preconditions that others like Reagan and Kennedy had already established before meeting with Khrushchev and Gorbachev. They made it clear that any aggressive actions against the U.S. or its allies would be met with force. Additionally they had the military wherewithal and political support to defend the country if necessary. Obama on the other hand is riding the wave of Democratic anti-war sentiment and is promising to demolish our military by cutting military spending and pushing that money toward welfare programs. With a demoralized and unequipped military, as well as an overtly anti-war Congress, Obama plans to meet with all of the people who are threatening our demise — without preconditions.

The man is a complete neophyte, a baby, untested and untried, and apparently completely unaware. He doesn’t appear to understand (believe or care) that that the radical islamists mean business. He doesn’t seem to mind that the threats we are hearing are part of a religious crusade for Ahmadinejad. It’s not a political situation that he’s discussing. In Ahmadinejad’s mind, it’s his job to usher in the time of the 12th imam and to do that, the world needs massive wars, famine, toil, trial, and unrest. There is no middle ground or “common interests” that can be reached with that mindset. When faced with Ahmadinejad’s demands, he expects that you will give in and convert to his brand of Islam, give in and become a dhimmi, give in and die, or die fighting against it. Ahmadinejad is not seeking a middle ground, he’s seeking a worldwide caliphate with him and the mahdi in charge.

Obama, by his own admission, is willing to help Ahmadinejad right along by raising his stature with an official meeting from the President of the United States. By agreeing to meet with him and others like him — without preconditions and in his first year in office — Obama is engaging in a wholesale program of preemptive capitulation.

It is sad that he, and so many others in this country, don’t seem to understand or care that they are doing so.

Chris Matthews manages to turn a eulogy for Russert into an attack on Bush

Few reporters (or people for that matter) are as completely partisan and reprehensible as Chris Matthews. How degraded an individual do you need to be to try and turn a eulogy for a professional and a leader in an industry — someone you claim to “look up to” — into a partisan attack on the Bush administration?

Amazing! This is one of Matthew’s first on screen reactions to the death of Russert and he turns it into an anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war tirade as well as a backhanded slap at Russert (because, in Matthew’s eyes, he was fool enough to be duped into supporting the war). Even worse, he claims this is one of two “really important” things that he “has to say” about Russert immediately after his death.

Give it a rest for a few minutes Chris! Honor Russert’s work, his integrity, and his ability to transcend politics but for one or two days, let your hatred of Bush and the Iraq war go.

Scott Ott describes also just how offensive Matthew’s “eulogy” was in this Townhall.com post.

Yes, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews found a way to use even the death of a beloved journalist (there’s a term you don’t see often) to again roll out the liberal chestnut that the Bush-Cheney cabal had manipulated Americans into war by raising the specter of nuclear weapons in the hands of Saddam Hussein and like-minded ne’er do wells.

The Hardball host’s live shot from Paris last night gave vivid illustration to the expression “like a belch in church.”

Asked by a justifiably teary-eyed Keith Olbermann to reflect on the sudden death, Mr. Matthews professed his love and admiration, calling Mr. Russert “everyman”, a “true patriot”, “Mr. America” — by which he meant that the Meet the Press moderator had supported the Iraq invasion because of the trumped-up threat of nukes.

Olberman’s later admission that the mainstream media had, with the death of Russert, lost its one member who appeared to have any serious interest in getting to the “truth” was equally revealing. Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue, perhaps it was a momentary weakness at the loss of a friend that allowed him to admit to the hard partisan slant that he and Matthews (along with so many others in the mainstream media) insert into their editorialized version of the “news.” However, it was clear that both he and Matthews understand at their core that they are not “journalists” in the true and original sense of the word.

Olberman’s quote of Barbara Walter’s admission that “… this is a loss in terms of the ability to get information from an honest broker — someone who managed a neutrality that the rest of us dream of” and Matthew’s refusal to correct or expand on the issue, also laid the myth of an unbiased media to rest.

Sadly, the passing of Russert makes their unrelenting bias that much more of a clear and oppressive stain on their industry.

Obama’s frighteningly irresponsible plan to disarm the country

Investors Business Daily and Little Green Footballs have a review of Obama’s campaign promises to gut the military, scrap numerous military programs and weapons development programs, as well as his promise to unilaterally scrap our nuclear defenses in the face of growing Russian, Chinese (and Iranian) nuclear programs.

Of course none of those cuts in spending would go to tax reductions. All of it would be redirected to “education, health care, job training, alternative energy development, world hunger and deficit-reduction.”

The Obamatons of the mainstream media have failed to report one of the most chilling campaign promises thus far uttered by the presumptive Democrat nominee for president.

He made it before the Iowa caucus to a left-wing pacifist group that seeks to reallocate defense dollars to welfare programs. The lobbying group, Caucus for Priorities, was so impressed by Obama’s anti-military offering that it steered its 10,000 devotees his way. …

“I’m the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning; and as president, I will end it.

“Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems.

“I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Review is not used to justify unnecessary defense spending.

“Third, I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.” …

On the chopping block: the F-22 Raptor, the V-22 Osprey, the Virginia-class sub, the DDG-1,000 destroyer and the Army’s Future Combat System.

Cutting allegedly “unproven” missile defense systems is music to Kim Jong Il’s and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ears, let alone all the PLA generals wishing our destruction.

Yet Obama wants to kill a program that’s yielding success after success, with both sea- and land-based systems. The military just this week intercepted a ballistic missile near Hawaii in a sea-based missile defense test.

Proposing “deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal” amounts to unilateral disarmament, and it’s suicidal given China’s and now Russia’s aggressive military buildup.

Meanwhile, Iran and North Korea threaten nuclear madness, and Osama bin Laden dreams of unleashing a nuclear 9/11 on America.

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA): Dems lied to voters about the war

He calls it “stretching the facts.” Any other reasonable person calls it a lie and Rep. Paul Kanjorski openly states that “any good student of government” (read anyone but those dimwit voters) should have seen that Democrats were brazenly lying about their intent to get the country out of the war in Iraq during the last election. Furthermore, he openly states that lying to the voters was a key aspect of their strategy to retake the Congress.

Listen to him yourself – you’ll hear Rep. Kanjorski tell the people in the room,

“I’ll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we…the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn’t say it, but we implied it. That we … if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody who was a good student of Government would know that wasn’t true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts…and people ate it up.”

It never was about the war for the Democrats and Rep. Kanjorski’s words prove that. They wanted power, nothing more. And if they had to play at supporting the troops and stopping the war to get that power, oh well. You voters should have known better. If you were “good students of government,” you would have known they were lying. But you weren’t — you were too busy “eating up” every one of the Dem’s lines. So, it seems that the joke’s on you.

To those who voted Democrat in the last election and who believed that your vote was going to do something to stop the war in Iraq, you need to give Congressman Kanjorski a call and let him know that you don’t appreciate his poking fun at your intelligence, or his gaming of the electoral system.

They used you as a dupe and Kanjorski is bragging about just how dense you people really are.

Obama claims Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. as a close friend

Check out this editorial and this video to see how Obama introduced his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., as a close friend and great leader while speaking on the issue of a “quiet riot” that was occurring in the African-American community. I noted two key things about this video 1) He made this speech while stumping for the Presidency, on June 5, 2007 and, 2) He takes almost a full minute at the beginning of his speech to introduce Wright, encouraging the crowd to applaud him and recognize him (1:15 in the video).

And then I’ve got to give a special shout out to my Pastor. The guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend and a great leader not just in Chicago but all across the country, so please everybody give an extraordinary welcome to my pastor Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., Trinity United Church of Christ.

Where’s he at? There he is. That’s him, that’s him right there.

You wearing a suit today, Rev?

At about 18:15 in the video, Obama even recognizes the discussion around Trinity United Church being seen as a divisive force or as a “separatist church.” So his recent suggestions that he had no knowledge of the concerns over Wright’s preaching and his calls for African-Americans to be “true” to Africa, ahead of America are ringing more and more hollow. I find it difficult to believe that a man who is as intelligent as Obama clearly is could simply forget those concerns in the intervening months since he gave this speech.

It’s also worthwhile to listen to Obama’s repeated Christian references — phrases like “when the Spirit moves me,” “God’s grace,” “praise God,” “my sins could be redeemed,” “we understand the possibilities of God’s power,” “principalities and power,” “Our Father which art in heaven, hollowed be thy name,” “our God is big enough to … (insert his preferred government program here).” However, when a Republican does something similar, (even inadvertently) they are attacked as injecting religion into a campaign.

As an aside, it’s not hard to understand why people have come to like Obama so much. If you take the time to listen to his speech, he has an almost musical voice. The cadence and tones that he uses are impressive — almost hypnotic — and his speech writer used a brilliant analogy of taking the bullet out. Very well done!

However, it is sad to hear him consistently demanding more and more handouts at the expense of the taxpayer. His discussion on the impacts of Katrina are one long demand for more government involvement, more government funding, and how an alleged lack of money is an indication of racism. His discussion on the economy is another long diatribe about how the government needs to raise the minimum wage, subsidize housing, provide free health care, subsidize transportation, provide free child care, provide job training and relocation services, provide training programs for repeat offenders, and provide more funding for government education and universities.

Given the angry and resentful tones laced throughout Michele Obama’s recent speeches, the clear and very angry/separatist/bigoted tones of Wright’s widely publicized sermons — which Obama spent 20 years listening to on a regular basis, and the fact that similar tones and themes are lacing Obama’s rhetoric, I am having a great deal of difficulty believing Obama’s claims that he was unaware of Wright’s contentious views.

More and more it seems that Obama is employing the same double-talk that so many other politicians employ. His use of the term “change” is just so much politicking.

Whatever it takes to get elected; be anyone that the person standing in front of you wants you to be and then change that up for the next person. All the while tell anyone who questions the chameleon-like nature of your changes that they don’t understand where you come from or that they’re a racist/bigot/sexist/homophobe. Where someone like Jeremiah Wright can help Obama win votes, he claims him as a close personal friend and a trusted spiritual mentor, then he trots him out and waves him around like a banner. Where Wright’s extreme views might hurt him, he claims to reject and renounce him.

Clearly Obama’s change is only about ‘changing’ the person and party in power. Other than that, I don’t see a whole lot of other changes in store for the country.

Bring the impeachment on

I have to agree with Bryan at Hot Air. Since a few of the Democrats appear dead set on bringing up the “Bush lied and people died” argument for impeachment over and over and over again; let’s do this thing and get it over with.

I think it’s high time Congress let Kucinich lead an impeachment drive. Let Denny K trot out his Soros-funded “study” and let the Republicans counter with everything that Horowitz & co have compiled at Discover the Network. Let Denny K accuse Bush & Cheney of lying about Iraq, and let the Republicans counter with clip after clip after bloody clip of everyone in the Clinton administration taking the exact same line on Iraq that Bush took. Bring all those Clintonistas in and get them under oath about that 1998 town hall meeting at Ohio State. Ask them why they were there to promote taking action against Iraq. What was that about?

Let’s get it out of the closet and all aired out. Let the Dems stand up, in the open and in the sunlight, and defend their Soros-funded hysteria. Let’s take away Kucinich’s means of getting in good with the hardcore left-wing and give the rest of the Congress a chance to distance themselves from his ravings.

Get it over with once and for all, because I for one am sick and tired of the sham, tough guy act Kucinich and the other extremists keep putting on. If you’re going to do it Mr. Kucinich; do it! Quit just talking about it, and then scurrying back to the podium to strike it from the record.

Ron Paul: Big questions that need some answers

James Kirchick of the New Republic has published a damning and extensive review of historical issues of Ron Paul’s past newsletters.

Since at least 1978, Ron Paul has attached his name to a series of newsletters–Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report, and The Ron Paul Investment Letter

Kirchick’s review reinforces the information that had been brought up about Paul’s past and that I had considered in previous posts (here, here, and here).

Essentially these newsletters that were either written by Paul himself, or produced under Paul’s supervision, contain a broad swath of information including — among other things — outright bigoted and racist diatribes against African-Americans and Jews, extensive anti-Isreali/anti-Zionist rhetoric, open support of the militia movement (in the early ’90s), attacks on Martin Luther King Jr. (as a pedophile and philanderer), and verbal attacks on U.S. troops and accusations that they may have carried out war crimes and atrocities in during Desert Storm.

While one can reasonably question the veracity and biases of anything that is published in the New Republic, Kirchick supplies links to pdf copies of the newsletters with the offending sections highlighted.

Paul’s campaign people appear shocked by the writings and honestly perplexed by them as they do not fit with the Ron Paul they claim to know and support.

When I asked Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign spokesman, about the newsletters, he said that, over the years, Paul had granted “various levels of approval” to what appeared in his publications–ranging from “no approval” to instances where he “actually wrote it himself.” After I read Benton some of the more offensive passages, he said, “A lot of [the newsletters] he did not see. Most of the incendiary stuff, no.” He added that he was surprised to hear about the insults hurled at Martin Luther King, because “Ron thinks Martin Luther King is a hero.”

Noted Paul supporter Andrew Sullivan has also provided a reasonable defense for Paul, noting that none of the language in the pamphlets seems at all like the current Paul campaign or discussion.

Do these sound like Ron Paul to you? I’ve listened to him speak a great deal these past few months and either he has had a personality transplant or he didn’t write this. … there is a simple way to address this: Paul needs to say not only that he did not pen these excrescences, he needs to explain how his name was on them and disown them completely. I’ve supported Paul for what I believe are honorable reasons: his brave resistance to the enforced uniformity of opinion on the Iraq war, his defense of limited constitutional government, his libertarianism, his sincerity. If there is some other agenda lurking beneath all this, we deserve to know. It’s up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past.

Even if Paul does disown and disavow the publications, Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters has added a valid critique of Paul’s ability to serve as the country’s chief executive. He notes that if Paul was personally responsible for the content of the newsletters, as opposed to some unnamed radicals, no right thinking person could continue to support his candidacy. If, however, he was completely unaware of the fact that the bigoted, secessionist, incendiary, and conspiracy-laden passages were being printed in his publications over a period of several decades, no right thinking person could continue to support his candidacy.

But here’s the problem, which Andrew grasps as well. If this all had come from a single newsletter, then one could accept the “loose cannon among the staff” explanation, along with an apology. However, these went on for years, according to both the Chronicle and TNR. It stretches credulity to the breaking point that his staff produced these newsletters for that long without anyone in the office, including Ron Paul himself, noticing the objectionable material in them.

It seems that one of three things has to happen in this issue, 1) the newsletters will be proved to be fakes and Paul will emerge stronger than before, 2) Paul will have to admit that he was involved with and aware of the publication of the newsletters, or 3) Paul will have to admit that for several decades he was completely unaware of his staff’s activities but was still willing to sign his name to their work.

It’s unlikely that this many newsletters could all be proved fraudulent, so we’re left with the distasteful choice between Paul being a fringe lunatic, conspiracy theorist and a bigot; or an overly trusting but wholly incompetent manager. If someone out there can come up with another option, I’m all ears.

Clearly, however, it is time for Paul to openly and honestly address the issue. By ignoring it, he is heaping damage and derision onto the libertarian ideals that he claims to represent.

WaPo secret prisons article may have been plagiarized

There’s an interesting article at AIM.org that describes how the Dana Priest / Washington Post article that divulged sensitive security information on so-called secret CIA prisons. Apparently the article was not only damaging to American security and anti-terrorism efforts, it may also have been plagiarized.

Winning a Pulitzer Prize for a story about CIA “secret prisons” has been quite lucrative for Dana Priest of the Washington Post. She now commands $15,000 – $20,000 a lecture (“only” $7,500 for a speech in the Washington, D.C. area, where she is based) and an official “fan site” has been established in her honor to promote her work. But the article for which she won the prize not only damaged the security of the United States and endangered the safety of American citizens but appears to have been largely based on the work of London-based journalist Stephen Grey. …

Like Grey, Priest would compare the CIA “secret prisons” holding al- Qaeda terrorist operatives to the Soviet gulags that became known for holding millions of political prisoners. It was a sensational but completely misleading charge designed to smear the U.S. counterterrorism effort.

Yet the Priest article made no mention of Grey’s work.

So much for that Pullitzer, right Ms. Priest?

Reuters admits that Bush might not be a total failure

Writing this article has to have caused the ‘reporters’ at Reuters to have broken out in hives. If you listen closely, I’m sure you’ll hear their teeth still grinding.

With an intensifying White House race drawing attention to his legacy, President George W. Bush could leave office without the baggage of complete failure in Iraq thanks to new U.S. military gains, some analysts say.

American success at quelling sectarian and insurgent violence has raised hopes that the relatively calmer conditions of the past few months in Iraq might last into early 2009, when the next U.S. president takes over.

“The overall prediction has to be that George Bush will escape this without an obviously visible abject failure. It may become that again over time. But right now, it looks like Bush will escape by the skin of his teeth,” said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution. …

Bush’s so-called surge strategy, which placed an extra 30,000 troops in Iraq this year to stabilize Baghdad and its environs, has contributed to a steep decline in violence the past two months, statistics released in recent weeks show. …

O’Hanlon is not alone in expectations for Bush to achieve a grim victory by avoiding the worst of Iraq legacies.

“The Bush administration has managed to basically gain enough time to come to the end of the administration without any serious deterioration in Iraq,” said Joost Hiltermann, a long-time critic of Bush policy in Iraq at the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.

“He’s bought himself enough time to sit out his presidency: applause. Bush won in that sense,” Hiltermann added.

All around the world, liberal/socialists, suffering from BDS are weeping tonight and Democrats are watching their dearest wishes for a complete U.S. loss in Iraq — which they could try to spin into electoral wins in 2008 — fall apart.

Ron Paul receiving support from Neo-Nazis?

UPDATE: To be fair to Paul, he makes a very clear statement on his website that he does not condone racism.

Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called “diversity” actually perpetuate racism.

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence – not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.

After having said something like that, I cannot understand why he would knowingly accept donations from people like Don Black.

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Why is it that Ron Paul has to be so frustrating?

As I have blogged here and here before, I want to be able to support him as so many of the things that he says are bang on, accurate. His take on the need to reduce the size of government, reduce taxes, increase free trade — all of those are absolutely correct.

However, his take on islamist terror is 180 backward. He chooses to blame the U.S. for the actions of a group of deranged lunatic cultists. As I stated clearly in a previous post,

However, there is no way — I’ll say it again — NO WAY that someone who is this confused about the underlying reasons for 9-11 and the continuing problems with islamist terror around the world could make an effective president.

This country needs someone who will stand up for the country and defend it against people who hate us and want us dead for no other reason than our freedoms. Paul’s comments tonight show that he is fundamentally misguided or simply does not understand this issue. No doubt he made up a lot of people’s minds on who not to support as a Republican candidate in 2008.

(UPDATE: I need to add If it is accurate,) This post from the American Thinker puts another VERY SIZABLE dent in Paul’s shining armor, (I’ll pull a few quotes from the post)

There is more. The Texas-based Lone Star Times October 25 publicly requested a response to questions about whether the Paul campaign would repudiate and reject a $500 donation from white supremacist Stormfront.org founder Don Black and end the Stormfront website fundraising for Paul. The Times article lit up the conservative blogosphere for the next week. Paul supporters packed internet comment boards alternately denouncing or excusing the charges. Most politicians are quick to distance themselves from such disreputable donations when they are discovered. Not Paul.

Daniel Siederaski of the Jewish Telegraph Agency tried to get an interview with Paul, calling him repeatedly but not receiving any return calls. Wrote Siederaski November 9: “Ron Paul will take money from Nazis. But he won’t take telephone calls from Jews.” [Update] Finally on November 13 the Paul campaign responded. In a short interview JTA quotes Jim Perry, head of Jews for Paul describing his work on the Paul campaign along side a self-described white supremacist which Perry says he has reformed.

… During Paul’s 1996 Congressional campaign a Houston Chronicle article raised questions about a 1992 Ron Paul newsletter article. Under Ron Paul’s name was written: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.’ Paul added: “I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city (Washington, D.C.) are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

Texas Monthly later interviewed Paul. He claims:

“They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them . . . I actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn’t come from me directly, but they campaign aides said that’s too confusing. ‘It appeared in your letter and your name was on that letter and therefore you have to live with it.'” …

Paul’s real motivation for appeasing Islamists may be underlined in quotes from a May 24, 1996 Congress Daily article:

“Stating that lobbying groups who seek special favors and handouts are evil, Paul wrote, ‘By far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government’ and that the goal of the Zionist movement is to stifle criticism.”

This open letter to Ron Paul that by radio talkshow host Michael Medved should prove equally disturbing to any serious and reasonable libertarian.

Dear Congressman Paul:

Your Presidential campaign has drawn the enthusiastic support of an imposing collection of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 “Truthers” and other paranoid and discredited conspiracists.

Do you welcome- or repudiate – the support of such factions? …

If Paul refuses to stand up and openly repudiate this charge and the actions of the racists and neo-Nazi fringe, he deserves to lose all his support and funding from reasonable people.

As I noted in a previous post, this sort of thing makes you want to tear your hair out there isn’t really any options in the two main parties, as they are all for varying levels of BIG government, stifling of freedoms and liberties, and tossing out much of the Constitution. However, if you are going to point that same type of skepticism at Rudy, Fred, Hillary, John, and the others, you need to point it at Paul as well.

Doing that means you need to apply little things like the opening statement of the Declaration of Independence to the things that Paul says, writes, and allows to be published under his banner.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The “all men are created equal” applies to whites, Asians, African-Americans, Jews, atheists, Christians, Muslims … just like it says, it applies to “all men.”

Refusing to repudiate a statements like the “fleet-footed” or “Zionist movement” comments quoted above is the mark of a man who does not believe in that statement, or who believes in selective application of that statement. That is not libertarian and it is not worth my support.

Limbaugh’s eBay auction attacked by DUers

The denizens of the Democratic Underground are showing their true colors in this post and the comments that follow it.

Reasonable people may find it hard to believe but many of them are actually trying to get Limbaugh’s eBay auction removed from the auction site.

Remember folks that this is an auction for Harry Reid’s letter — signed by 40 sitting Senators — demanding that Limbaugh be censured by Clear Channel for his “phony soliders” comment. Limbaugh has openly stated in the eBay auction description and on his radio show that the proceeds from the auction — plus his matching check — will go to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Fund.*

I had left the whole “phony soldiers” thing alone prior to this because it was such a farce and a waste of time, but this is just too much. By trying to have this auction removed, the DUers are literally trying to steal scholarship money from the kids of soldiers that were killed in action.

To provide some background here, the hard core left had tried to score some political points against Bush and the war in Iraq by slandering the reputation of General Petraus with their General Betray Us ad. They failed; miserably.

The country saw their attack for what it was and was (quite rightly) disgusted by Moveon’s actions. However, instead of tucking tail and apologizing, as they should have, the left began searching around for something to divert the public’s attention and take the heat off. They found something to work with in Limbaugh’s “phony soliders” comment.

The people at Media Matters took a two word phrase out of a 10 minute discussion and then fabricated a massive story around those two words. They claimed that Limbaugh had attacked all soldiers who supported a pull out of Iraq and that he had called another soldier a suicide bomber.

The problem is that anyone who heard the discussion in which Limbaugh uttered the phrase “phony soldiers,” and who is willing to honestly recount what was said, could not deny that Limbaugh was talking about “soldiers” that lied about their service and created fake stories about so-called atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers in Iraq. In fact, he had done a morning update on the same subject just a day or two prior.

Undeterred, the Democrats and the MSM picked up on the Media Matters stories and ran with them. Harry Reid went out on the Senate floor and openly attacked Limbaugh, using the Media Matters fabrications as the foundation for his comments. He then cobbled together the now infamous letter and managed to gather signatures from another 39 Democrat senators. There’s no getting around the fact that Limbaugh was smeared by Reid and the folks at Media Matters.

Limbaugh explains the situation quite clearly here.

The whole issue is pretty straightforward. You don’t have to like or agree with Limbaugh to see that his comment was taken out of context and the issue is a created media story, designed to take the heat off of the left for their attacks on the military and General Petraus.

Despite the disagreements and misunderstandings and charges about one another’s patriotism flying back and forth, even if we stipulate the arguments put forth by Media Matters, Reid, and the 40 Senators, even if we pretend that they are all correct, why on earth would the DUers try to stop Limbaugh from donating upwards of $4 million dollars to a charity that helps the children of veterans killed in action? It’s one thing to dislike or disagree with Limbaugh, it’s quite another to allow your hatred for one individual and his politics to interfere with the lives of the kids of our dead soldiers. With this little bit of politicking the hardliners at DU are going too far.

For those not familiar with the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Fund, they exist to provide “scholarship bonds for children of Marines and Federal law enforcement agents killed in the line of duty; medical assistance for eligible children of Marines. They also provide free plastic surgery and dental services to Marine vets of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, among other important services.

Nevadans like Harry Reid less than they like Bush

This article was too funny to not make a note of it.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s appeal among Nevadans has plunged dramatically in a new Review-Journal poll, which finds him viewed unfavorably by most likely voters in his home state. …

The poll asked 625 likely voters from around the state whether they recognized a politician’s name, and if so, if they had a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of that person. The survey carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Reid’s favorable rating was 32 percent, compared with 51 percent unfavorable and 15 percent neutral. (Nevada Gov. Jim) Gibbons was viewed favorably by 30 percent, Bush by 34 percent.

Not surprisingly, Reid’s incompetence is proving to be a long-term issue, whith his favorable numbers bouncing back and forth between the high teens and low thirties for several months now. The near complete lack of faith that American voters have in Reid could hardly be described as surprising as he and Nancy Pelosi have managed to be effective at only one thing since they were elected in 06 — destroying the American people’s confidence in the Congress. Other than that, they have failed to achieve any of their key goals and objectives, such as passing the immigration amnesty bill and losing the war in Iraq.

So next time you hear the Dems in Congress trumpeting Bush’s poll numbers, just remind them that as much as people dislike Bush’s performance, they dislike Reid’s even more.

That’s not meant as a defense of Bush’s failures (like the immigration amnesty issue and social security reform), he has made enough of his own mistakes. However, I can’t stomach hearing the Dems trying to gain headlines by talking about Bush’s low approval ratings, when their approval ratings are even lower.

“We” the people (except Katie Couric)

Katie’s little admission about how Americans using the term “we” when referring to their country makes her uncomfortable is actually VERY revealing. It says more about her than I think she realizes.

The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying “we” when referring to the United States and, even the “shock and awe” of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and just a little uncomfortable. And I remember feeling, when I was anchoring the “Today” show, this inevitable march towards war and kind of feeling like, “Will anybody put the brakes on this?” And is this really being properly challenged by the right people? And I think, at the time, anyone who questioned the administration was considered unpatriotic and it was a very difficult position to be in

You should read Jonah Goldberg’s thoughts on the matter at the NROs Corner. He nails the left’s discomfort with the notion of being American before being a ‘citizen of the Earth.’

What a fascinating little slip! How deeply disturbing it is when Americans refer to the United States in a time of war as “we”! Some may think this is a little thing, but I truly don’t. I hear liberals refer to the United States as “this country” quite often, usually accompanied with an eye roll, as in: “Of course, in this country, we have to pay for our own health care.” Or, “in this country people think it’s ‘unpatriotic’ to call America an evil empire.” The “in this country” thing makes it sound like some sort of accident or mistake that the speaker was born here. Woops got off the bus one country too early on the Northbound express!

Still waiting on Murtha’s apology (and waiting ….)

Jason Mattera deserves an award for this one.

I will be the first one to stand up and thank Mr. Murtha for his service in the past. However, serving in the past does not give him the right to openly accuse the men and women serving in Iraq of “murdering innocent civilians in cold blood.” What Murtha did to these Marines was as disgusting and offensive and cowardly an attack as I have ever seen and he needs to be called on it over and over again until he admits that he was wrong and openly apologizes.

Moveon.org: no surprise there

I’m not in the least bit surprised that Moveon.org paid for the odious and despicable full-page ad that questions the patriotism and valor of a man that has spent his life serving the country. While their ad printed what people who have actually spent time in Iraq call

wholly inaccurate to the point that a candid person might call them lies,

I’m quite sure that the truthers and other assorted oddballs and nuts on the far left sang their praises for this disgusting attack.

That Moveon.org is siding with the enemy, pandering to the lowest common denominator, and dancing on the fringes — if not blundering well into the realm — of treason here, is no surprise. They are the personification of the lunatic fringe. They are so far over board that the hard core left of the Democrats in Congress have even had to distance themselves from their actions. Even CNN is now admitting that Moveon is a “liberal advocacy group.” Heck, even John Kerry, of Winter Soldier fame, has called the Moveon ad, “over the top.”

It’s no surprise that Moveon would sink this low. The real problem here is what Micahel Yon noted in his NRO editorial.

The responsible parties are those at the New York Times who accepted money and prostituted their pages to print tabloid-level rants.

That the New York Times allowed itself to be sullied by the foul stench of this Moveon.org ad shows that it is still stuck in the mindset that brought on the Jayson Blair affair. They apparently are still the same group that will do anything for a headline; anything for a buck. They have once again shown that in their eyes honor and dignity don’t mean a thing, and if a flashy headline hurts the country, so be it.

I expected this and worse from Moveon. I had hoped for better from the NY Times.

UPDATE (Sept. 11, 2007): Confederate Yankee has an amusing side discussion going on about the rate that Moveon.org paid for the full page “Betray Us” ad. I do know, from my own experience, that it is not unusual for companies to pay a different rate than the one listed on the rate card (normally they do pay the set rate, but there are exceptions). However, I also know that when we’re selling ads, we don’t typically rush to give 60% discounts to advertisers that want to publish ads containing content which is philosophically and morally divergent from our own views.

I laughed, I cried, I’d listen again (or not)

A truly stirring musical exposé by Ian Brown (of Stone Roses fame) and has-been Pope-shredder, Sinead O’Connor

The driving beat and introspective lyrics force you to reconsider, to think about deep and moving things, like … What’s up with Brown’s neck? Did he miss his last chiropractic appointment? Who wrote those lyrics? How much did they pay Brown to get involved with something this bad (we know that Sinead just NEEDS the money)? Where does Brown get his plastic surgery done? (Allahpundit is right, his cheek bones are great.)

[tag]Ian Brown, Sinead O’Connor, anti-war, Iraq[/tag]

Media backpeddles on Iraq

I recently posted on the issue of the New York Times offering up a positive view of the U.S. and the American military presence in Iraq (surprise!!).

That same theme was revisited by the Times in a July 30th op-ed, authored by two anti-war staff members from the left-leaning Brookings Institution. In this op-ed, the authors admit that the Bush-Patraeus surge strategy could actually be effective and the war in Iraq could end with a “sustainable stability” in the region. This theme is echoed in the title of this piece, “A War We Just Might Win.”

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.

In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks — all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups — who were now competing to secure his friendship.

This theme was also echoed a few days ago on Chris Matthews’ Sunday news show.

Something happened on Sunday’s “Chris Matthews Show” that likely shocked virtually all viewers on both sides of the aisle: the panel, stocked with liberal media members as usual, actually discussed reasons why America shouldn’t pull troops out of Iraq.

In fact, not only was this issue seriously debated, but some of the statements made could have come from well-known conservative columnists like Fred Barnes, Bill Kristol, and Charles Krauthammer.

Yet, this panel was comprised of the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, Time’s Michael Duffy, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, and U.S. News and World Report’s Gloria Borger.

The shocking discussion was set up thusly by host Matthews:

Mike Duffy, you wrote a big piece for Time magazine last week highlighting three dangers Bush is pushing about if we withdraw: sectarian violence; safe haven for al Qaeda, and; a proxy war in Iraq fueled by its neighbors.

Duffy responded:

The Administration estimates that we have a thousand Iraqis dying a month at the current rate. That could explode, maybe ten times as many, if the U.S. leaves.

Later, Matthews asked Ignatius the following:

When we get a national intelligence estimate that says al Qaeda is back and strong, and all over the world, what good does this war in Iraq do to reduce that threat?

Great question. Even better, Ignatius by no means gave the normal liberal media member response (fasten your seatbelts):

Well, these struggles are different fronts of the same war. There is a radical Islamic movement that is active all over the world. It’s seeking to hit U.S. targets and targets of our allies…This national intelligence estimate says that it has regained its strength, and most important, it has regained a safe haven in northwest Pakistan. And, the big question the U.S. is going to have to decide: that’s a very stark warning, that they have, they have a platform to stage 9/11 level attacks. What are we going to do about it?

The notion that, you know, a defeat for the United States and its allies in Iraq is costless in terms of the larger war against al Qaeda is just wrong. I mean, you know, bin Laden said again and again, “The Americans are weak. If you hit them hard, they’ll run away. They were hit hard in Beirut, they ran away. They were hit hard in Somalia, they ran away.”

If, if the Iraq experience shows the same thing, that will be emboldening.

[...]

Whether it’s Bush’s argument or not, I think anybody who rejects it out of hand hasn’t read Osama bin Laden’s writings.

In my previous post, I had admitted some surprise at the New York Times’ willingness to take a more reasonable stance on this issue; they typically parrot the ‘blame America first,’ ‘Bush lied and people died,’ ‘we need to pull out now’ line of argument. However, the continuation of the theme by the Times, followed by the open admission from the journalists on the Chris Matthews Show that an immediate pullout could have disastrous consequences for Iraq, the Middle East, the United States, and the remainder of the world indicates that there is something bigger going on here.

I am tempted to suggest that maybe a few, more reasonable, voices in the media are starting to be heard. Perhaps they realize that, despite their best efforts, the American people are not buying into the notion that we need to have another Vietnam, where American helicopters are filmed pulling the last diplomats off the roof of an embassy. Perhaps they realize that the people we are fighting in the war on terror won’t just stop in Baghdad if we pull out and that we will need to continue the battle against islamist fascism somewhere else. Perhaps, but their track record doesn’t seem to support this concept.

Given the vitriolic partisanship that the majority of the MSM typically engages in, I am hesitantly leaning more toward the idea that they are hedging their bets. They have seen how badly their ‘blame America’ mindset has failed; it simply has not won the hearts and minds of the American people. Additionally, the MSM is looking forward to the very real possibility that the Democratic Party will be in control of the Presidency and the Congress after the ’08 elections. They see that reality looming and realize that, if it occurs, they will need to start spinning the Democrats management of the war in a more favorable light.

At the very least, they know that Hillary will need cover for her previous support of the war after she wins the Democratic primaries. The media knows that they can’t just leave Hillary and their chosen party hanging out to dry as they did with the Republican Congress and the Bush administration and this admission that something could possibly be going right in Iraq is just the first forays by members of the media into that realm.

I hope that I am wrong, but I see no real indications that I am. I hope that more reasonable voices in the MSM are now daring to speak out over the constant din of anti-Americanism and Moveon.org talking points, but past history indicates that that notion is a bit naive. It is far more likely that portions of the MSM have started looking forward in time to when the Dems are going to have to win votes from the broader population, or to a time when they could control both the presidency and the Congress. They know that their allies in the Democratic Party will need media cover for the decisions that they will have to make (i.e. refusing to simply pull out of Iraq, to avoid ensuring al Qaeda’s unfettered proliferation in the Middle East) and they are now stepping up to provide shelter for them before the election gets into full swing.

It would be nice to think the media is just doing its job by providing balanced coverage on this important issue, but it is simply more realistic to admit that they are rallying the troops for (what they hope will be) Hillary’s big win in ’08.