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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bubba

Billy Jeff Clinton says he doesn't have the slightest idea whether his gal Hillary is a fixin' to run for president in two years. But he'll tell anyone who'll listen: if'n she was to run and win, why he'd "do whatever she wants" because that's what a good citizen would do. And Bill, he's not just a good citizen, why he's a first rate global citizen — like we all should be, don't ya know. Best line of the night:
"You have to make a world with more partners and fewer terrorists," he said. "And we know how to do that."
Yep, "we" do. Now it's true, a lot of 'em — the terrorists — have an idea how they'd like to partner with us, mostly by killing as many of us as they can. Well, we want 'em to know we think there's a better way of partnerin'. Why, to show good faith we'll even take the first step. To Al Qaeda: whatever we did — us Americans — to damage your self esteem so much that you felt compelled to plan an attack on our New York subways, we're just plain sorry, yessiree.

Unshackled

Thanks to the indignant public outcry of Americans who are tired of our fighting men and women being treated like second class citizens, leg and writst shackles have been removed from seven young Marines and a Navy corpsman sitting in a military brig. These soldiers have not been charged with any crime, yet they have already been convicted by headlines like: "Iraqi's slaying planned by Marines, official says"; "Marines planned to kill Iraqi civilian, then planted evidence." Here's a headline that makes sense:
“Saddam [Hussein] has a better circumstance than these guys," declares retired brigadier general
The fearless Michelle Malkin has the story, here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The quantity theory of political psychosis

A certain quantity of insanity must be present within the body politic at all times. Though the exact quantity of nuttiness is unknown, its allotment shifts continuously across the left-right continuum. Often the madness takes the form of conspiracy theories, which, when disproved, are believed with even greater certainty by the mental patients, who remain at large. This is to say that the very act of debunking ludicrous political claims serves chiefly to deepen the faith of devotees in the truth of the claims. In the 1950s and 1960s, the John Birch Society ("Eisenhower is a communist agent") was the preeminent political loony bin of America. These days the greatest derangement exists on the political/cultural left, where a mind-numbing assemblage of jackballs personifies the toxic nuttiness for which Birchers once had no serious competitors. Item: Karl Rove was indicted last May, according to the crackbrain pseudo-news organization that calls itself Truthout. A few days ago, Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised Rove's attorney that no indictment would be forthcoming. Truthout responds: We have "additional, independent sources" that say Rove was indicted secretly. Truthout forgot to mention that the sources are speaking to them through dental implants. Time to get real, Mr. Fitzgerald. Start by tuning your teeth.

San Fran Subversion

Ever vigilant to preserve their reputation as wardens of America's largest open-air asylum, San Francisco's city supervisors have voted $2 million in legal aid and other assistance to illegal immigrants. Yes, that's taxpayers paying for "services" to illegals, including support for their efforts to use the American legal system to flout the American legal system. Supervisor Chris Daly, the most clearly unhinged politician in S.F. (and the short list is not short), declares: "This is smart, this is proactive, this is common sense and this is compassionate."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Gored

"It's only been out a week, but audiences seem not to have poured forth from Al Gore's movie and, in an unprecedented reversal of political polarity, demanded higher gasoline prices." So begins a terrific Opinion Journal op-ed that praises Mr. Gore's altruism:
A valid service is performed in satisfying the eternal human appetite for gloom and doom (and no virgins were sacrificed), distracting people from the reality of life, which is that we all are doomed, while the universe, the Earth and all that environmentalists hold dear will go remorselessly on and on without us. In a million years, the time it takes the earth to sneeze, the planet will likely be shorn of any conspicuous sign we were ever here, let alone careless with our CO2, dioxins, etc. Talk about an inconvenient truth.

Ann Coulter

That her books are so widely read tells us how depraved our society has become — so declares NYT columnist David Carr. I'm old enough to recall how the shootings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy by lone gunmen revealed what a "sick society" we had become. Odd (in that non-surprised yet amused kind of way) how the left's citation of social pathology is ever so so selective. (The number of abortions per year? Why, that's just women's autonomy in action.) But Ann Coulter's extraordinary literary success tells us nothing less than that the end of times can't be far off. Carr's calculus:
Without the total package, Ms. Coulter would be just one more nut living in Mom's basement. You can accuse her of cynicism all you want, but the fact that she is one of the leading political writers of our age says something about the rest of us.
Festive phrase, "total package." Carr seems to be saying: Coulter would be easily dismissed except for her talent (she graduated cum laude from Cornell in 1984, then finishing in the top ten percent of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an editor of The Michigan Law Review) and her beauty (Ann "knows her way around a black cocktail dress"). Otherwise, she's got nothing going for her. Hey Davey, consider this: Coulter is a master satirist in the spirit of Swift, who understood that "satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own." Like, when the walking, talking self-parody Charlie Rangel calls Coulter a "cartoon." Meanwhile, David Klinghoffer gets the main idea precisely right: "If Coulter commits any indefensible excesses, they are small beans compared to her substantive, incisive, important main point," found here.

Rove freed, reporters held, Bush surges, Kerry perseveres

Karl Rove escapes indictment, Dean fit to be tied, Schumer can't let go. The White House press pool gets diverted while Bush jets to Iraq. Meanwhile, the president's numbers are up, and the ever-hapless John Kerry (a day late and 60,000 Ohio voters shy) will be lucky to get three other senators to support his latest declaration of defeat.

Monday, June 12, 2006

To hell with a plan, we just want power

"Democrats to roll out action plan." So declares the San Francisco Chronicle's Monday front one lead headline. "We are unambiguously together on the grand agenda,'' declares Rep. Ellen Tauscher. "Our challenge is to get it down to the five easy pieces that everyone wants to hear. Our challenge is to be succinct,'' she said. Ready? Ta-da:
The Democratic National Committee in May distributed hundreds of thousands of door hangers outlining six elements of "The Democratic Vision,'' which included broad policy items such as "honest leadership & open government,'' and "a health care system that works for everyone.'' "I think that's a pretty good agenda, and I think that works from San Francisco to Selma, Ala.,'' [Howard] Dean said.
Powerful, substantial stuff! But, wait. Turns out not every Democrat is quite on board.
Democratic strategists are split among those who believe the party must aggressively show voters that they offer a reasonable alternative and those who warn against providing a target that might rally opponents.
Apparently they're worried that rolling out an actual program might get in the way of their quest for power. And I think they're right about that. Speaking of donkey-party geniuses, Democrat blogger David steps forth with: "John Kerry didn't lose his race for the president because of his position on any issue. He lost because they said he had no position on some issues." How stupid can a person be? Earth to Sirota: Kerry lost because team Bush successfully communicated to voters Kerry's extremly liberal voting record, and the fact that Kerry had taken at least two positions on every major issue. ("I voted for it before voting against it" being only the most obvious example.)

I miss communism

It was a lousy system. Correction: it was a hideous, monstrous system. Sane people knew this, when the system was called "communism." Many thoughtful people think communism disappeared when the Berlin Wall crumbled, when the USSR disappeared, when Boris Yeltsin came to power. Wrong. The word "communism" may have vanished from common use but the dream endures in the hearts of people who have found what they think is a better vocabulary, one that doesn't set off the radar, raise red flags. (Get it? Raise "red" flags? Unintentional pun, and I'm sticking with it.) Speaking of unrepentant advocates of command economies, there's Hillary, who's nothing if not chasened by her utter failure to impose what used to be called "socialist medicine" on the American people, a decade ago.
Today, her plans to expand coverage are tempered and incremental. Her first major goal appears to be universal health coverage for children, which she hopes to advance by expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or Schip, an existing federal program up for review in 2007.
Key words: tempered and incremental. Bit by bit, step by step, cradle to grave.
"I have to do what the political reality permits me to do," Mrs. Clinton said in a recent interview. She said that covering everyone remained her ultimate goal, but that Democrats would be fighting "a lot of rear-guard actions" as long as Republicans controlled Congress.
We'll do what we can get away with. You won't see it because we'll accomplish our goals under cover of darkness.
She also continues to shy from the ultimate challenge: describing what a comprehensive Democratic health care plan would look like. When pressed, for example, on how to control costs, usually the thorniest issue, she replied: "It depends on what kind of system you're devising. And that's still not at all clear to me, what the body politic will bear."
This time we'll go slow. We won't push the electorate too hard, too fast.
Mrs. Clinton is quick to admit errors and thereby distance herself from the old plan. "I think that both the process and the plan were flawed," she said in the interview. "We were trying to do something that was very hard to do, and we made a lot of mistakes."
Our only mistakes last time were instrumental, procedural, process-oriented.
"No quick fixes. No Band-Aids," she told the group. "No partisanship or ideology. Let's retire the old debates. They haven't served our country well."
Oh, this gal is clever. She knows "the old debates" will kill her ambitions. Avoid any association with socialism. Talk about "fairness" instead. "Social justice."
Mrs. Clinton is also looking ahead to what may be the next major legislative struggle in health care: the review and renewal, in 2007, of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Mrs. Clinton says it should be "funded to the most we can get."
She's not kidding, folks. We'll take what we can get, year by year.
Mrs. Clinton said she was also closely watching the bipartisan health plan recently approved in Massachusetts. "If you've got an executive and a legislature who are willing to work together," she said, "you can actually make progress."
"Progress" = expanding federal control of health care = by any means necessary. (Still thinking of sitting out the November elections?) I really do miss communism. I miss the word, as a reminder of the ideas. Too bad it got so overused, what with the "commies under every bed" syndrome. By whatever name, command and control economies are very bad news. Or as the inimitable P. J. O'Rourke put it:
"Health care is too expensive, so the Clinton administration is putting a high-powered coporate lawyer -- Hillary -- in charge of making it cheaper. (This is what I always do when I want to spend less money -- hire a lawyer from Yale.) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

A storm of scale

"We do not have any significant changes," said Lixion Avila, a senior hurricane specialist. "The system remains poorly organized."
Finally. A FEMA-sized hurricane.