Thursday, September 29, 2005

Light Thursday

Light Tuesday has been switched to Light Thursday for the time being.

Now this is exactly what the country needs.

Judge orders release of Abu Ghraib photos

I can't wait for the next round of foul photos to hit the media. The accompanying ramblings from the left should provide a whole new chapter of entertainment.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Delusions of the Opposition

Good news for Republicans. The learning curve is too steep for Democrats.

Filibuster Showdown Looms In Senate

If the above article holds true, Democrats will set themselves up for a steep fall, losing the nomination battle, the filibuster battle, being the first faction of the ‘Gang of 14’ to break the agreement, and damaging their less than good chances of pulling off any sort of election coup.

In an interview, (Howard) Dean said Democratic unity is essential in the upcoming battle and that the party "absolutely" should be prepared to filibuster Bush's next high court nominee, if he taps someone they find unacceptably ideological.

I have been anxiously waiting for Dean to get revved up again. In one statement, he has blown every argument that the Democrats have made in favor of their wave of filibusters out the window. The whole debate has been an extension of politics, not some valiant attempt to vet unqualified appointments. ‘Unqualified’ now means, ‘doesn’t agree with us’.

He cited appellate court judges Priscilla R. Owen and Janice Rogers Brown as two who would be likely to trigger such opposition.

I can’t wait for this fight. This will be as good as the Super Bowl. (not really, but you get my drift)

"If we lose, better to go down fighting and standing for what we believe in, because we will not win an election if the public doesn't think we'll stand up for what we believe in."

And thus hits the crux of the matter. Dean and other Dems are delusional in their belief that they know the pulse of the country. Filibustering will certainly hurt any chance they may have in the 2006 elections. And all of this before any names have been submitted.

The Gang of 14 agreement barred filibusters against judicial nominees except under "extraordinary circumstances."

Owen and Brown were cleared for confirmation to the appellate courts as part of that agreement, and Republicans said then that Democratic acquiescence in their confirmation meant the opposition party could not use ideology to bar future Bush nominees.

Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), a member of the Gang of 14 who plans to vote for Roberts, said a filibuster will be warranted if "the president appoints someone who brings a right-wing ideology and is going to use the court to advance their views."

Besides being utterly hypocritical, that statement clearly shows Salazar plans to break the agreement. In the words of one famous Dem: “Bring It On!”

If Democrats threaten a filibuster, Republicans are likely to respond by bringing back the nuclear option.

You think? Fire away!

Democrats think Bush is too weak politically to take on a difficult fight over the court. Some also argue that Republicans would lose politically if they change the rules to force through a nominee.

More delusions from the left. They continue to believe that public criticism of Bush over Iraq or Katrina somehow translates into their own popularity. And, as I state in just about every post these days, Bush isn’t running again. But Republicans running in 2006, no doubt, will breathe a sigh of relief as it becomes clear that the loyal opposition continues their obstinate ranting and failed strategies.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Does anyone else have a problem with this?

New Illegal Immigrants to U.S. Surpass Legal Immigrants

The number of new illegal immigrants to the United States surpassed the number of authorized immigrants from 1999 through at least last year, according to a study based on government statistics that was released today by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Why not just scrap all immigration laws since they no longer play a part in our immigration policy?

Why have laws at all if there is only selective enforcement?

Why have borders?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bush, Big Oil, Save Texas From Rita

I often bash the AP. I feel much better about it now.

Newsview: In Two Storms, Two Worlds Seen

…residents of heavily Republican Texas seemed to get better treatment from the government during Hurricane Rita than the mostly black, poor and Democratic victims of Katrina in Louisiana.

Rita was second. Rita was smaller. Rita didn’t hit a metropolitan area. Texas is above sea level. Texas has a competent governor. If you have considered the AP a fair arbiter of information in the past, take a close look at this silliness.

Texas is the president's home state, has a Republican governor and is the home of big oil. New Orleans before Katrina was heavily populated by poor blacks who vote Democratic.

I knew 'big oil' was responsible for all of this! How long before we connect the dots to Karl Rove?

"poor folks were told to evacuate and they had no means to do it. In Texas, we had a different type of situation. But even there, the local, state and government failed those people," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. "Not to the extent they did with Katrina. But there's no question that affluency made a heck of a difference."

I didn’t realize the rural Texas had become so affluent. Rangel often speaks from ignorance, but you would think he would make the effort to refrain from it. Then again, he’s speaking to the home team, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

President Bush...was a whirlwind of activity this time. He bounded from one command post to another over the weekend to monitor Rita, first to Colorado, then to Texas and then to Louisiana. He went to the Energy Department on Monday for a briefing, and planned to visit storm-affected areas in Texas on Tuesday.

Having just suffered blistering criticism following Katrina, I can’t believe that Bush didn’t encourage residents of Texas to stay put and drown. Anything short certainly gives the impression of bias.

In an AP-Ipsos poll earlier this month, three-fourths of blacks surveyed felt the government would have responded faster if the victims of Katrina weren't poor and mostly black…

The AP must feel the need to encourage that incorrect view.

Suggesting inflated rhetoric on both sides, Earl Black, a political scientist at Rice University in Houston, said: "My view is that it's probably not wise for anybody to make too much partisan hay out of tragedies."

That is politics 101. The rhetoric is coming from only one side. I haven’t seen anything inflated in the comments from the White House. Democrats are making a typical mistake. Regardless of what blacks think, without some plurality of whites, elections will continue to be lost. Proposing unfounded racial accusations is not likely to gain any votes for Democrats, yet could, in fact, send voters the other way.

One major point continues to be lost on both Democrats and the press. Bush isn’t on the 2008 ticket! I guess I should thank the AP for encouraging Democratic failure, but reading articles like this still irritates me greatly, if only on the grounds that I would like to have a responsible press.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Protest Happened and No One Cared

I didn’t make the protest yesterday. It came down to Cindy Sheehan vs. college football and well, that really isn’t a contest. People living in the DC area are used to protests. The inclination is to stay away because of the traffic. Chief Ramsey stated that 100,000 anti-conflict protesters showed up. And the Post, once again, drooled all over the protesters.

Antiwar Fervor Fills the Streets

They quote some of the more entertaining signs.

"I never thought I'd miss Nixon"

"Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam."

It strikes me that Cindy Sheehan thinks she has ignited some sort of movement. She needs to stop believing her own press. Below are listed a few of the prominent attendees. You decide for yourself if this looks like a movement, or a case of anti-Bush Democrats on parade.

Cindy Sheehan
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson
Jessica Lange
Joan Baez
Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney
Peter, Paul and Mary
Ralph Nader
George Galloway

The fringe left teamed up with the usual IMF/World Bank detractors looking for a reason to party downtown. Toss in some washed up Vietnam protesters and you get…politics as usual. A popular movement would consist of more than the fringe, and I have found nothing to indicate that anyone other than the fringe was in attendance. Jesse Jackson clears up the real motivation behind the 'movement'.

"When you march, things happen. We'll change the Congress in 2006 and take back the White House in 2008."

Thanks for throwing that out there Jesse. Politics is the order of the day and nothing more. Let them get excited, they have so little else to cling to.

Little Green Footballs has the best coverage of the protest I have found. I urge you to check it out.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Junk Science

The British Press can be counted on for a good laugh from time to time. Global warming, which like homelessness, started in 2001 when the Bush Administration took office, has given junk science the perfect forum to join the political debate. Mix in a couple of hurricanes and you get some great tabloid fodder.

This is global warming, says environmental chief

Super-powerful hurricanes now hitting the United States are the "smoking gun" of global warming, one of Britain's leading scientists believes.

I wonder if any of Britain’s other leading scientists might disagree.

The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

I keep hearing that experiencing two class 5 hurricanes in one year is quite unusual for the United States. Then I remember that we haven’t had two class 5 hurricanes. We had one class 4 about the size of Hurricane Hugo, and one probable class 3. Many hurricanes are class 5 while in open water. But no one cares about that. It’s landfall that counts. It just so happens that the 4 hit a large city with a crummy dike system while the other looks like it may hit another metropolitan area. Sometimes you just have to chalk one up to bad luck.

In a series of outspoken comments - a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration, Sir John hit out at neoconservatives in the US who still deny the reality of climate change.

The Queen should really screen these knights better. First Sir Mick, now this wacko. Then again, going political got him printed.

In an unusual turn of events, the BBC shows some sanity for once, blowing Sir John and the rampaging hurricanes theory out of the water.

Hurricanes and global warming - a link?

In the polarised world of climate change, this cocktail has proved an irresistible temptation to organisations which campaign against President Bush's administration in support of enhanced action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The latest to succumb was the British newspaper The Independent, which screamed on its front page: "This is global warming", above an alarmingly portentous graphic of Hurricane Rita's projected path.

This article has some nice graphs that you should check out regarding trends involving hurricanes in the Atlantic. (I can’t believe I am stumping for the BBC.) The verdict? Hung jury. The Independent article and Sir John’s comments are sour grapes over the worthless Kyoto accords that Bush blew off. Those accords were the silly rules that would have limited growth in the United States while allowing China and India to emit as much CO2 as they please in their bid to catch the United States economically. China, remember, pumps those profits largely back into their military which is being expanded at a great rate to one day face down the United States in the Pacific.

Here is a bit more from the BBC article:

"Based on recent research, the consensus view is that we don't expect global warming to make a difference to the frequency of hurricanes," explains Julian Heming, from the UK Meteorological Office.

"Activity is naturally very variable in terms of frequency, intensity and regional occurrence; in the Atlantic, there are active phases and not so active phases, and currently we're in the middle of an active phase.

"It's very dangerous to explain Rita or Katrina through global warming, because we have always had strong hurricanes in the USA - the strongest one on record dates back to 1935."

Records from the 20th Century suggest that hurricane formation over the Atlantic has changed phase every few decades: the 1940s and 50s were active, the 70s and 80s less so, while the currently active phase appears to have commenced in 1995.

Read both articles if you have the time. It is enlightening, not just on hurricanes, but it exemplifies the extent to which the left wing media is willing to go to paint Bush with blame for every bad thing that happens in the world. And don’t think it’s just a British phenomenon.

The ChiComms are on board. Fathom that.

Hurricanes become stronger as global warming worsens

Some of our own left wing loons have taken up the cause as well.

Studies suggest storms linked to global warming

I concede that it is certainly possible that not only does global warming exist, but that it may have an effect on weather patterns, including hurricanes. But the blathering coming from the press on the issue these days is enough to make even an amateur observer such as myself quite skeptical of anything ‘experts’, ‘studies’ or the media have to say about it.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Post Peace Puff Piece

The Washington Post takes its usual anti-Bush stance in a puff piece that could have been written by Michael Moore, extolling the virtues of the fringe left march on Washington. If ever anyone thought that the peace movement was a fad, the following article ought to solidify that belief. There is no substance. Just more rambling from a gaggle of has-been 60ish peaceniks pining for the days of the Dead and the Groovy Van.

Peace by Pieces

hey knock down doors to start wars / With hands stained by the blood of foreign sands

Sheer brilliance! That line rivals Chuck D.

Vietnam? The unquiet ghost, the untamed analogy, is loose in the air.

Yep, the boomer protesters are back. Goody gum drops.

Cindy Sheehan, the movement's own Mother Courage, commands the kind of obsessive cable coverage usually lavished on titillating crimes.

What bad luck, getting pre-empted twice by the weather. Mother Courage can't compete with Mother Nature.

Seeking to capitalize on the momentum, Cagan's United for Peace and Justice and the ANSWER Coalition have organized a rally and encirclement of the White House on Saturday morning that they hope will draw 100,000.

Even Farrakhan mustered more than that. A protest of 100,000 in DC could best be labelled as average. Reading this article does engender thoughts of a movement, just not the kind that Sheehan has in mind.

"I think the depression and malaise that followed not being able to stop the war and not being able to do anything after the election has shifted," Steele says, "and people who felt deflated and defeated are now coming together in recognition that we can do something and we are doing something."

The depression that she speaks of is one thing and one thing only. The depression resulting from the 2004 election. Those comments clearly show the 'movement' is simply the same lefties with a new complaint. Last time I checked, the counter-insurgency was still in full swing.

The attempt to cause America to fail in the Iraqi conflict is sad. Someone let the Post know it’s not 1970. The 'movement' is misnamed. It should be called the ‘Lose Movement’, as that is the entire purpose of this exercise. The herds of spineless minions unable to see a fairly minor conflict through to the end only serve to show our enemies that some in the American public have no backbone to wage any sort of armed conflict when the necessity arises. Let’s hope we never have one.

What is especially disgusting to me is that the fuel that motivates this tribe is all political. This is Bush hatred and nothing more. I would be willing to wager that less than 5% of the unwashed hoards that will grace our fine city voted for Bush in 2000. So be it. The more the American populace gets to take a look at the fringe left, the better it is in the long run. Leaving Iraq now would be the single most idiotic foreign policy blunder the US could possibly make. Of course, seeing America fail is the intent.

There is more good news. We will get the Joan Baez trio after all.

That will be followed by Operation Ceasefire, an 11-hour concert featuring Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Thievery Corporation and the Coup. United for Peace and Justice is planning more antiwar activities for Sunday and Monday.

I’m wondering when these folks might attempt winning an election rather than shooting for air time. In any case, all eyes are turning towards Rita. That and several great football games will render the legion of smell basically ignored, even with the Washington Post cheerleading section in full gear.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Harry Reid Assumes the Position

He just couldn’t resist. Harry Reid will vote against SCOTUS nominee John Roberts. Surprise surprise.

Top Democrat To Vote No On Roberts

No one doubts that John Roberts is an excellent lawyer and an affable person," Reid, D-Nev., said in a speech on the Senate floor. "But at the end of this process, I have too many unanswered questions about the nominee to justify a vote confirming him to this enormously important lifetime position."

Ultimately, this is good for Republicans. John Roberts will be nominated anyway and Democrats will assume their typical position as obstructionist blowhards with nothing worthwhile to say.

"failure of the White House to produce relevant documents" and Roberts' failure to "fully and forthrightly answer questions" from senators at last week's Capitol Hill hearings had contributed to his decision to oppose the nomination.

Reid is setting the stage for the forthcoming filibuster of the next nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Conner. I don’t get the logic though. It seems to me that if that were the plan, Democrats would go out of their way to look reasonable this time around. Next time, substantial opposition or a filibuster will come off as the same old tired Democratic obstructionist tactics. That can’t be good for a party on the wane. Taking the high road might have lent more credibility to a future blockade. Then again, logic does not apply to these folks anymore.

In Sports:

I will be taking tomorrow off as I will be present in RFK to boo renown cheater and steroid user Barry Bonds. In case you are wondering, I'll be the one in the red hat with the W on it.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Schiavo, Sharks and Storms

I’m going for a triple play today.

Michael Schiavo to Co-Write Book

Michael Schiavo is co-writing a book with author Michael Hirsh to tell his side of the end-of-life case that divided much of the country.

I’m looking for the part that says something on the order of: ‘Proceeds will be donated to research efforts aimed at helping those in a persistent vegetative state.’ Perhaps I just missed it. I’m sure Michael Schiavo would not consider profiting off of the death of his wife.

Speaking of snakes, I mean sharks…

Shark Attack #3

With all of the action last week, I completely missed the most pressing of stories.

Shark scare couple relive ordeal

Two British divers rescued from shark-infested Australian waters have spoken of their six-hour ordeal.

This should really be categorized as a ‘shark scare’ rather than a ‘shark attack’. But hey, it made the BBC, and that’s good enough for me.

And now for the real news of the day:

Bush/Rove Create Second Hurricane to Attack Poor

Florida Keys evacuating as Rita nears hurricane strength

The Bush assault on poor southerners continues as Tropical Storm Rita nears the Gulf of Mexico. Clearly, the Bush plan, in which global warming is encouraged so as to create larger hurricanes and thus increase the suffering of those too poor to catch a bus out of the path of eminent hurricanes, is taking shape. Oil profits should go through the roof this time around.

Rita is the 17th named storm of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, and with water temperatures in the Florida Straits in the high 80s, it has plenty of fuel.

And the evidence can be found here: Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger, Study Says

All this is happening as sea surface temperatures have risen across the globe between one-half and one degree Fahrenheit, depending on the region, for hurricane seasons since the 1970s.

"Our work is consistent with the concept that there is a relationship between increasing sea surface temperature and hurricane intensity," said Webster. "However, it's not a simple relationship. In fact, it's difficult to explain why the total number of hurricanes and their longevity has decreased during the last decade, when sea surface temperatures have risen the most."

Now we know the real reason Bush canned the Kyoto agreement.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pope's Envoy Scolds America

I’m going to try to put this delicately, as I run the risk of being seen as anti-Catholic, anti-Pope or anti-Religion, because I am none of the above. But the following article engenders but one reaction…Shut Up or Go Away!

Pope's Katrina envoy: 'Shameful' poverty in U.S.

Pope Benedict XVI's envoy to the United States to bring aid for Hurricane Katrina's victims said Saturday that many of them have been struck by "shameful" poverty in "rich America."

There is, of course, only one answer to that. German style socialism right?!

The German-born Archbishop Paul Cordes…

I knew it.

"Many were struck by ... poverty, at times shameful, in rich America," Cordes told Vatican Radio.

Yep, poverty is bad. But that is a political statement, not a sympathetic statement.

"I do not want to hide my personal fear -- that the superpower isolates itself and remains isolated even in dealing with the disaster," Cordes said. "In this dramatic emergency, the United States must not be abandoned."

Abandon away. Other than lip service and a platoon of Mexican Army cooks who took time off from running drugs across the border, what has the world done for New Orleans? Nada! But many foreign leaders, much like the DNC, have used the occasion to slander the US. I am somewhat saddened (as Tom Daschle would say) to see Vatican City joining in. So, if the Vatican wants to call us ‘shameful’, go for it. But why don’t we hear that sort of rhetoric aimed at Cuba or the Philippines? US poverty pales in comparison to those mostly Catholic countries.

If you want to help out, fine. If you want to use the occasion to make a political statement at America’s expense, take it elsewhere. There are other parts of the world that could use some charity more than the United States.

"Thus, for me, in the bad part of this event there is also the hope, for many citizens, of seeing that the world is greater than the United States."

What utter nonsense. The hope is that America gets knocked down a notch? How petty.

Speaking of Germany: Schroeder hits a new low.

Schroeder's party exploits U.S. war dead

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democratic Party has put up campaign posters featuring images of dead American soldiers in flag-draped coffins, reviving the anti-Iraq war message that helped the party stay in power three years ago.

"It's totally tasteless," said CDU Secretary-General Volker Kauder. "There are limits even in an election campaign. You don't use the dead to win votes."

A Western diplomat in Berlin said yesterday that the new posters, which show five coffins wrapped in American flags being loaded on a military aircraft, were "absolutely tasteless and outrageous."

I wonder what Archbishop Paul Cordes would think of that. I don't see too much difference. American tragedy makes good politics all over the world.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

US to Invade Venezuela

Hugo Chavez and Pat Robertson should do brunch.

Chavez: U.S. planning to invade Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday he has documentary evidence that the United States plans to invade his country.

Which is easily obtained through Michael Moore.

...plan is called "Balboa" and involves aircraft carriers and planes.

The majority of our plans involve aircraft carriers and planes. Afterall, what good would those carriers be without planes?

He said U.S. soldiers recently went to Curacao, an island off Venezuela's northwest coast.

Could this be a percursor to an invasion of Curacao? Andruw Jones will not be happy.

On Thursday, he denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq and told other leaders they should consider moving the U.N. headquarters out of the United States.

Finally, something we can all agree on! I vote for Paris.

Prepare yourself for, perhaps, the classic quote of the month...

In the event of a U.S. invasion, Chavez said the United States can "just forget" about receiving any more oil from his country.

You think!


Friday, September 16, 2005

Chuck D on Hurricane K

Oh lovely. A public figure with some intelligent input on Katrina relief and government response.

Giving Bush a bad rap

Chuck D, leader and founder of the legendary rap group Public Enemy and host of a show on Air America, recorded a new song, “Hell no, we ain’t all right” criticizing the Bush administration.

“Racism in the news still one sided news saying whites find food, prey for the National Guard ready to shoot, cause them blacks loot.”

The way we have come together on this is magnificent. Chuck D for Governor!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Light Thursday

I know it's not my normal light day, but I have a terrible cold.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

One Nation, Under the Federal Judiciary

Here we go again.

Federal Judge Pulls Plug On Pledge

Is there such a thing as a secular fanatic?

A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday, a decision that could put the divisive issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case last year, saying Newdow lacked standing because he did not have custody of his elementary school daughter he sued on behalf of.

Someone straighten me out here. If the Supreme Court dismissed the case, then there is no precedent right? Obviously, I’m no lawyer, so someone make me understand. A case can be deep sixed, yet the precedent stands?

The decisions by Karlton and the 9th Circuit conflict with an August opinion by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. That court upheld a Virginia law requiring public schools lead daily Pledge of Allegiance recitation, which is similar to the requirement in California.

I knew all of the sane folks were in Virginia.

Karlton, appointed to the Sacramento bench in 1979 by President Carter…

I should have known.

Karlton dismissed claims that the 1954 Congressional legislation inserting the words "under God" was unconstitutional. If his ruling stands, he reasoned that the school children and their parents in the case would not be harmed by the phrase because they would no longer have to recite it at school.

Now I’m confused.

In any case, let’s go back to the 'separation' clause:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…”

Looks to me like the Founding Fathers were attempting to avoid a theocracy, but what the heck do I know? I suppose the mere speaking of words is enough to establish a religion. I plan to establish my own religion now that I know how easy it is. It's certainly easier than establishing credit. SCOTUS sidestepped this issue last time around. Let’s see them wiggle out of this one.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Welcome to 'Biotown'

Readers of this site may remember our discussion about the renewable pee powered battery. I suggested that pee powered autos weren’t too far away. Well, I was close.

Indiana town to turn stinking hog manure into power

They cannot escape the stench, but residents of tiny Reynolds, Indiana, hope the oceans of hog manure produced nearby will power their homes and businesses some day soon.

Indiana's energy conservation-minded Gov. Mitch Daniels will take his ethanol-powered recreational vehicle to Reynolds on Tuesday to designate the single stoplight town the world's first "Biotown."

This brings back memories of that 'Mad Max' movie with Tina Turner in it, though I believe they used a different phrase for manure.

"The goal is to create a new use for the manure that's surrounding the town -- as a biofuel,"

He added: "And they're talking about using our own (human) waste as a renewable resource."

Remember where you heard it first!

Side note: I happened to do a Yahoo search on the title of this article, just to see where it had been re-published. When searching on the words ‘Indiana town to turn stinking hog manure into power’ the first hit that comes up, at least as of 5:54 pm, is:

The Democratic Party

Now that’s hilarious! I guess the combination of keywords hog, manure and power did it. I doubt it was Indiana.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Rove Casts Spell on New Orleans Mayor

It seems that some interesting facts have been overlooked in regards to the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, according to Jack Kelly.

The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed

Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:

"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

A better question -- which few journalists ask -- is why weren't the roughly 2,000 municipal and school buses in New Orleans utilized to take people out of the city before Katrina struck?

One might be tempted to chalk this up to a conservative writer defending the president. But it seems New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (who was in charge of those school buses) is with the president as well. He has changed his stance quite dramatically from his blistering criticism of the president in the early days of the crisis.

President 'made things happen'

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin yesterday said President Bush "made things happen" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina…

"My interactions with the president, at any time I talked with him and gave him what the real deal was and gave him the truth, he acted and he made things happen," Mr. Nagin told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Now, on its face, this makes no sense. Thank goodness we have the Daily Kos to clear this up for us.

Nagin carrying (flood) water for Bush and Rove

Nagin is carrying water for Rove and Bush…

…aligning himself perfectly with Rove's strategy

It was Karl Rove! How could I have missed it?


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Reuters Finds Another Bush Scandal

Could this be the first scandal of the Hurricane Katrina Saga? Reuters seems to think so.

Firms With Bush Ties Snag Katrina Deals

Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Shocker! A construction and engineering company getting construction contracts! Call out the special council. Next thing you know, Boeing will be getting government aircraft contracts!

Experts say it has been common practice in both Republican and Democratic administrations for policy makers to take lobbying jobs once they leave office, and many of the same companies seeking contracts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina have already received billions of dollars for work in Iraq.

Let’s connect the dots. Since Bush orchestrated the Iraq War so as to help Dick Cheney make money off of his Halliburton stock, he must have set up the hurricane to do the same. It could not be clearer. Bush saw the hurricane coming and determined to help out his rich buddies on the backs of the poor in New Orleans.

The article goes on, but the gist seems to be that Reuters finds it scandalous that some former Bush administration officials are now lobbyists for various companies that have received some hurricane recovery contracts. In addition, there is this…

Halliburton continues to be a source of income for Cheney, who served as its chief executive officer from 1995 until 2000 when he joined the Republican ticket for the White House. According to tax filings released in April, Cheney's income included $194,852 in deferred pay from the company, which has also won billion-dollar government contracts in Iraq.

Cheney's office said the amount of deferred compensation is fixed and is not affected by Halliburton's current economic performance or earnings.

Dots connected. In sum, Hurricane Katrina was Cheney’s fault. You heard it here first. You would think that Bush and Cheney invented lobbying from reading this article. Perhaps we should make our elected officials declare a vow of poverty.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Berger Fine Miniscule Relative to the Crime

Sandy Berger’s fine for stuffing classified information down his drawers was increased from one slap on the wrist to two.

Berger Is Fined For Smuggling Classified Papers

A federal judge yesterday ordered former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger to pay a $50,000 fine and give up his security clearance for three years as the penalty for smuggling classified terrorism documents out of the National Archives in 2003.

…Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson said the punishment, which also included two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, would more "sufficiently reflect the seriousness of the offense."

Oh please. I’m sure that fine will weigh heavily on Berger’s mind.

He admitted to stuffing copies of documents in his coat jacket as he left the National Archives and then destroying some at his office and pretending he had never possessed them.

Not to mention stuffing them in his BVDs. Right now this is a minor issue in contrast to Hurricane related news, as it should be. But reading this, I can’t help but compare the whole incident to the Rove uproar of a few months ago. This story has never gotten much traction from the press.

Here is a little more:

Berger fined for taking papers

His attorney, Lanny Breuer, said his client would not appeal the ruling, adding that the September 11 attacks "weighed heavily" on Mr. Berger and he took the classified documents, along with handwritten notes, from the Archives to get the facts correct on the terrorist attacks.

I’m not sure how the man can say that without choking.

Thank goodness he shredded the documents considering where they had been. Burning them might have been better, but who knows what that would have done to the atmosphere.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rabid Left Starving for Attention

Jane Fonda’s anti-America tour has been cancelled due to lack of popular demand.

Fonda Puts Brakes on Bus Tour

‘…she said that she didn't want to distract people from Cindy Sheehan's bus trip, which is already under way and gathering support.’

She has to be kidding. It must hurt to play third fiddle. First of all, no on cares about the Cindy Sheehan anti-America tour as the public’s attention is where it should be, on saving the victims of Katrina. So, the competition for the rabid anti-American left is too great for Fonda. Why not just join the Sheehan bus ride to nowhere? I think a Jane Fonda/Joan Baez duet would be much better than a Baez/Joe Wilson sing along. And why not drag George Galloway along for the ride? We could have a regular hate fest, featuring some old stand-bys in Fonda and Baez, yet combined with the new ‘hate-America’ crowd in Sheehan, Galloway and Wilson.

Though Sheehan is certainly within her rights to be distraught over her son’s death, the rest of the hangers-ons are clearly not upset by casualties so much as ready to seize a political opportunity. I’m not sure that Sheehan herself has not crossed over into that territory. Fonda, Galloway, Wilson and the gang are just opportunists. Each of them is simply scratching a political itch, gaining attention for themselves in the process. I have taken a lot of heat for comparing war casualties counts to auto accident deaths so as to highlight how misplaced all of that rage is (the ratio is 40:1 for those that care). Mother Nature now makes the point much better than I ever could. Yet, the show must go on. Ride Cindy Ride. Ignore the crickets.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Light Tuesday

I am climbing out from under a pile of work. I will be back to my regular posting soon. I may be busy, but unlike Sean Penn, my boat still floats.

Rescue attempt by Hollywood actor Sean Penn founders in New Orleans

Efforts by Hollywood actor Sean Penn to aid New Orleans victims stranded by Hurricane Katrina foundered badly, when the boat he was piloting to launch a rescue attempt sprang a leak.

I wouldn't begrudge Mr. Penn's attempt to help, but I can't shake the feeling that he was simply trying to grab some press.

With the boat loaded with members of Penn's entourage, including a personal photographer, one bystander taunted the actor: "How are you going to get any people in that thing?"

Talk about 'up the creek'.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Do What You Can For New Orleans

To all foreigners...most of us would politely like to ask you to shut up.

Across U.S., Outrage at Response (Account Required, Skip Ad)

I am absolutely disgusted," said Sajeewa Chinthaka, 36, watching a cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka, according to the Reuters news agency. "After the tsunami, our people, even the ones who lost everything, wanted to help the others who were suffering. Not a single tourist caught in the tsunami was mugged. Now with all this happening in the U.S., we can easily see where the civilized part of the world's population is."

Reference the following: Tamil Tigers, decades of revolution, poverty and war. Then repeat that statement.

This is an admittedly emotional reaction by me. I keep running across these foreign jackasses. How about one week of understanding before the recriminations. If you can't do that...keep it to yourself.

To the Democrats...keep up the heat. Any pressure, political or otherwise, that gets people in gear is good. Once this is under control, I will open up with both barrels on you. Until then, you do service by adding criticism, whether it is founded or not.

I am helpless today. There is nothing I can do other than send in my donation and rail online. I will be highlighting misinformation in the coming days. Don't take it the wrong way. It's just what I do.


Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans Falls Apart

So, I go on my first vacation in 5 years and New Orleans drops into the third world. I should have known better.

This is going to be one whale of an issue. Nothing good will come of it. The blame game has already started. Jesse Jackson is at the podium. Hugo Chavez is using it as well. In fact, the two of them have set up a tag team.

I know that the taste for using American military on American soil is low, but it occurs to me that dropping some airborne units into New Orleans might do wonders for the situation.

There is a lot of blame to go around, but before we all turn this into a political issue, let's just say that no individual is to blame. This is a collective failure. If the dikes in New Orleans (the ones that hold back water) were built to withstand a cat 3 hurricane, and hurricanes range up to a category of 5, then whomever came up with that idea needs to take a remedial math class. I have to admit, it was not in the forefront of my own thoughts. Who sits around wondering if the levy will break in New Orleans? I guess someone should have.

I am just getting back on track after my vacation and will have my thoughts more organized soon. If there is one tiny sliver of light in this mess, it is that it may add some perspective to our nations thinking. Cindy Sheehan has finally been thrown off of the front pages. I can't find one shark story either. I didn't see any sharks on my vacation by the way. There was one whale sighting, but nothing worth reporting really.