Archive for October 9th, 2006|Daily archive page

Look: A Democrat. Quick Shoot!

Wolf Blitzer isn’t one of my favourite people. In this case, he does manage to get to the point though. One has to wonder occasionally whether these people listen to themselves. It was the Democrats, the evil, sneaky, partisan Democrats.

BLITZER: Do you have any evidence at all that Democrats or others might have been behind the timing of this scandal?

MCHENRY: Look, let’s be honest…

BLITZER: Do you have any evidence to back that charge up?

MCHENRY: No, no, actually, if the Democrats had any issue with saying this, putting all the facts out on the table, they would say, certainly, I’ll testify under oath that I had no involvement in it. They’ve said no.

BLITZER: Well, you don’t have any evidence, though, right?

MCHENRY: Well, look at the fact points.

BLITZER: Yes or no, do you have any evidence, Congressman?

MCHENRY: Do you have any evidence that they weren’t involved?

BLITZER: I’m just asking if you’re just throwing out an accusation or if you have any hard evidence.

MCHENRY: No. It’s a question, Wolf. The question remains, were they involved? And if they were not involved, they need to say clearly. And it’s a question. It’s not an accusation.

Mr McHenry, framing an accusation as a question doesn’t change it. Of course even more interesting is the fact The Hill has come out saying it was a Republican aide who leaked the information.

The source who in July gave news media Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-Fla.) suspect e-mails to a former House page says the documents came to him from a House GOP aide.

That aide has been a registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote, said the source, who showed The Hill public records supporting his claim.

The same source, who acted as an intermediary between the aide-turned-whistleblower and several news outlets, says the person who shared the documents is no longer employed in the House. [my emphasis]

Read that again: a Republican aide. This is the party that has started to alienate it’s own aides enough that things like this get leaked shortly before an election. Mr McHenry, why has your party alienated it’s own base so far that Republican aides are willing to tank an important national election?

I have another question for Mr McHenry. Does it matter that the Democrats knew of this issue before it became public? If a Republican leaked the information, shouldn’t heads be rolling in your own party right now?  Why not? Remember Mr McHenry, the person who leaked the information was a Republican aide.

Oh! I remember. Sex is only a problem if it happens between a Democratic president and a consulting adult. Thanks for the reality check Mr Mc Henry.

Hat Tip: Trees/Anomalous Data

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Vengeance Is Mine

Wow, what a day for Republican-dishonesty tie-ins. According to WFTV, the Republican Congressman Tom Feeney made a minor Fo’ Paw faux pas during his campaign in Florida.

Over the past week, more than 100,000 Central Floridians opened their mailboxes and pulled out the flyer and not all of them were thrilled by what they read.

The mailing features congressional candidate Clint Curtis’s head superimposed on what’s supposed to be the body of Playboy magazine publisher Hugh Heffner. It went out to 110,000 voters across Central Florida, including Dina from New Smyrna Beach.

It might have passed Mr. Feeney’s attention that a. Hugh Heffner is not Larry Flint (big difference) and b. financial supporters don’t necessary reflect the ideas and goals of the candidate. But then again Mr. Feeney managed to improve his golf game in Scotland funded by someone named Abramoff so he might think differently.

But why is Mr Feeney getting flack for this mailing malfeasance? It’s obviously God’s The Designer’s will. The Bible says  ’you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’ (Exodus 20:16). Maybe Mr. Feeney felt he could pull off this stunt because he doesn’t live right next door to the Democratic candidate Clint Curtis, i.e. not a neighbor – not a problem.

That’s not the way it works Mr Meeney. This stunt has backfired according to WFTV

But it all left a bad taste in Dina’s mouth. Not only had she never heard Curtis’s claims, she also had no idea who her congressman even was. Now she does and she isn’t impressed.

“How about sending what a politician can do for someone and what you stand for, because now all I have is negative thoughts that stick in my head because of what I read,” she said.

God’s Designer’s will be done. Good luck Mr Curtis.

Hat Tip: Liz/BlondSense

There’s a need

Reed A. Cartwright has a post up at Panda’s Thumb and at his blog talking about the landmark documentary released earlier this year.

The film Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (http://flockofdodos.com/) now has a distributor, Documentary Educational Resources. Institutions, like libraries and universities, can now buy a copy for $345. It includes the public performance rights that educational institutions need.

I suggest that if you get enough people together, you can buy a copy, watch it, and then donate it to your local library.

Check with your library first to make sure that they will accept the DVDs. Libraries can’t accept home consumer DVDs because libraries need to purchase public performance rights, which home DVDs don’t have.—Too bad for all those evangelicals that bought The Passion to donate to public schools.—However, this DVD comes with the public performance rights; although, they may not transfer.

He recommends getting people together to purchase the DVD and donating it to your local library. I’d like make a different suggestion. Ask your pastor at your local church if you can make an announcement after mass. I’ll just quote another luminary in the battle of science against ID-iots.

I said there is a need, if you want to donate that’s fine.

Of course that quote comes from the testimony of William Buckingham, the Dover school board member who ‘donated’ fifty copies of ‘Of Pandas and People’ to the public high school in Pennsylvania after taking a collection at his church. He also pushed through the ID-friendly curriculum change that put that small town on a rather dubious map and made Kitzmiller a household name. He was also specifically tattled by Judge Jones in the ruling for lying about buying the books during his deposition. (But he didn’t lie about people so that’s OK before the eyes of God Designer – if not the American justice system.)

He was asking for money to buy ‘Pandas’, perhaps this would be a nice time to return the favor.

Foley Fallout

Staying with the nuclear metaphors this morning, I thought I’d give a heads up to the two Foley stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times. The slant is in the Times – evangelical conservatives are seeing Foley’s failings not as a republican issue but a private misstep. If anything, the liberals are to blame not the Republicans; the excellent example given in the Times

David Thomas, a father taking his family to the [evangelical rock group MercyMe] concert, said that he, too, was leaning toward voting Republican and that the scandal only reinforced his conservative Christian convictions. “That is the problem we have in society,” Mr. Thomas said. “Nobody polices anybody. Everybody has a ‘right’ to do whatever.”

Interestingly the evangelicals can probably spin Republican knowledge of the scandal to their own advantage. The Washington Post has an article about new revelations about who knew what, when.

A Republican congressman knew of disgraced former representative Mark Foley’s inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) confirmed yesterday that a former page showed the congressman Internet messages that had made the youth feel uncomfortable with the direction Foley (R-Fla.) was taking their e-mail relationship. Last week, when the Foley matter erupted, a Kolbe staff member suggested to the former page that he take the matter to the clerk of the House, Karen Haas, said Kolbe’s press secretary, Korenna Cline.

How does this work for the Republicans?

It turns out that Jim Kolbe is the only openly gay Republican in the House. This fact is paragraph seven material for the Post but would be my lede in an evangelical sermon if I wanted to give one. Kolbe is also retiring at the end of this term. To toss him to the evangelical wolves is in line with how Karl Rove works. Even if there is no wiggle room, turn the strengths of the opponent into weaknesses. Returning to the New York Times

But in dozens of interviews here in southeastern Virginia, a conservative Christian stronghold that is a battleground in races for the House and Senate, many said the episode only reinforced their reasons to vote for their two Republican incumbents in neck-and-neck re-election fights, Representative Thelma Drake and Senator George Allen.

“This is Foley’s lifestyle,” said Ron Gwaltney, a home builder, as he waited with his family outside a Christian rock concert last Thursday in Norfolk. “He tried to keep it quiet from his family and his voters. He is responsible for what he did. He is paying a price for what he did. I am not sure how much farther it needs to go.”

The Democratic Party is “the party that is tolerant of, maybe more so than Republicans, that lifestyle,” Mr. Gwaltney said, referring to homosexuality.

The Democrats seem to have been unable to point the conversation in the right direction. Not that Foley was a gay paedophile but that the supposedly anti-homosexual Republican leadership knew of the problems and still supported him and his re-election campaign. It is this moral breakdown, tied to the Abramoff scandal and the increasingly blatant lies being presented about the war on terror that the Democrats must use. The fact that the Republican leadership is morally bankrupt just isn’t making inroads into the American media.

But presenting this issue as a Democratic failing, a Democratic problem is disingenuous. Then again the Ten Commandments doesn’t say ‘don’t lie’, it says ‘you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’ (Exodus 20:16). Basically don’t lie about other people. This apparently gives the Republican leadership the religious out they need. It’s OK to lie, just don’t talk about specific people; it’s OK to use distortions against political parties, sexual orientations or when creating timelines.

Especially if the political fallout is religiously radioactive. But only for Democrats.

The Evil Axis Lost a Bushing

Remember my post last week about the Democratic party needing four more political bullets before the November elections? Pyongyang just gave them one. Last week Pyongyang announced it was planning to test a nuclear weapon; according to the Washington PostThe New York Times and Spiegel-Online, they have done just that.  This from the Washington Post

North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test and the blast had been successfully set off underground with no radioactive leakage from the site.

An official at South Korea’s seismic monitoring center confirmed a magnitude-3.6 tremor felt at the time North Korea said it conducted the test was not a natural occurrence. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition his name not be used, because he was not authorized to talk about the sensitive information to the media.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that information still needs to collected and analyzed to determine whether North Korea truly conducted its first nuclear test.

U.S. and South Korean officials could not immediately confirm the report.

The ramifications of this test will likely send tremors not only to seismic monitoring stations but into the political conference rooms in Washington, Brussels and New York.

First, this test is a political, not a scientific message. It is highly unlikely that the North Korean government would have really needed to test this weapon unless it was trying to send a message. The message is not addressed to the world but to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. After the change of watch in the White House, all advances made during the Clinton administration broke down; the American hawks in the guise of eagles stopped all discussions with the Norks, forcing the dangerous but small country to take even more extreme measures to be heard. I would compare this to a child who gets guns in order to feel safe in the playground. He is disturbed but the children tormenting him don’t make the situation any better.

This test will force the Bush administration into overload. It is one thing to overlook missing WMD’s in Iraq after claiming America is in danger. Here we have a very clear and present danger. Proof of a nuclear weapon, the means of delivery – if not to the American mainland, at least to two of her most important allies in the region, South Korea and Japan – and that coupled with a dictator who is less stable than Saddam Hussein. North Korea knows that an American military without a draft, doesn’t have enough men and women, not to mention material, to be a major threat to Pyongyang. With the American military stretched to the limit in Iraq, the president is unable to any project power into the region. Indeed troop levels in South Korea have been reduced in recent years.

On 06 October 2004 the Department of Defense announced that after several months of close consultations, the United States and the Republic of Korea had reached final agreement regarding the June 2004 US proposal to redeploy 12,500 US troops from Korea. [my emphasis]

  • The first phase was conducted in 2004 and included the 2nd Brigade Combat Team that was sent to Iraq in August 2004, and associated units. The redeployment in 2004 totaled about 5,000 troops.
  • During the second phase, 2005-2006, the United States will redeploy a total of 5,000 troops (3,000 in 2005, 2,000 in 2006), comprising combat units, combat support and combat service support units, units associated with mission transfer areas, and other support personnel.
  • In the third and final phase, 2007-2008, the United States will redeploy 2,500 troops consisting primarily of support units and personnel.  

How will the Administration spin this in the last weeks before an election? Here we have a NIE showing that the number of American hating religious fanatics has increased, now we have proof that one of George W. Bush’s special enemies has WMD’s. And he can’t do anything about it. This has to become the Democratic party’s number one theme, America is less safe with a hawkish Republican House, Senate and White House. The current administration has been pushing the fear button for years, now it is time to push back. While I really don’t think the Norks are an immediate threat, they do represent a destabilizing factor in the region. One that needs to be addressed with realistic discussions and not just a big stick.

One thing is certain. Pyongyang has thrown a nuclear wrench in the Republican machinery and nothing will run smoothly for a while. Perhaps the best way of solving the problem is to remove the screeching part. Simply replace the Bush-ing.