Monday, December 31, 2007
Front Page Magazine is carrying an article by Ben Johnson about the injustice that was done by Time Magazine in not selecting Gen. David Petraeus as their Man of the Year. It is a good piece with some interesting biographical information about Gen. Petraeus and an excellent recap of the progress he has made in Iraq.
It also contains some highly damning quotes from Democrat leaders who pronounced the surge a failure months before it had even begun.
Here is the first paragraph:
IN MOST YEARS, SEVERAL PEOPLE COULD REASONABLY BE SELECTED FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE’S MAN OF THE YEAR. This year, one candidate distinguished himself beyond all others: General David Howell Petraeus. In commanding the U.S. Surge in Iraq, Petraeus has not merely arrested an explosive and deteriorating security situation but has reversed terrorist initiatives, driving al-Qaeda out of a province it once governed and denying it the ability to reconstitute a Salafist safe haven. No one has more significantly advanced the welfare of the United States and the cause of freedom in 2007 as Gen. Petraeus, and none has been as harassed as a result – not merely harassed unduly but harassed precisely because he aided liberty’s cause in a time when so many seek to benefit politically from its diminution. In his selection, FrontPage Magazine maintains its tradition – expressed by honoring Col. Allen B. West, John O’Neill, Orianna Fallaci, and Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean in years past – of especially praising those who have been maligned, derided, and belittled (or worse) for merely doing their duty.
I strongly urge everyone to go read the entire article, but what I want to comment on is the teaser that Front Page used to advertise the piece on their main page it was:
For defeating al-Qaeda in its chosen field of battle, the annals of liberty will be kind to General Petraeus -- a brilliant but simple man who simply did his duty.
Whoever wrote this made an error. Iraq was NOT al Qaeda's "chosen field of battle". The field upon which al Qaeda chose to do battle was Manhattan on Sept. 11. Their desire was to make America's cities the front line in a war we would not have the stomach to fight.
By carrying the fight to them George W Bush changed the battlefield from the American heartland to Middle Eastern soil. Gen. David Petraeus deserves enormous credit for kicking al Qaeda out of Iraq and Pres. Bush deserves just as much credit for keeping them off of US soil.
From The New York Times:
LAHORE, Pakistan — New details of Benazir Bhutto’s final moments, including indications that her doctors felt pressured to conform to government accounts of her death, fueled the arguments over her assassination on Sunday and added to the pressure on Pakistan’s leaders to accept an international inquiry.
Athar Minallah, a board member of the hospital where Ms. Bhutto was treated, released her medical report along with an open letter showing that her doctors wanted to distance themselves from the government theory that Ms. Bhutto had died by hitting her head on a lever of her car’s sunroof during the attack.
In his letter, Mr. Minallah, who is also a prominent lawyer, said the doctors believed that an autopsy was needed to provide the answers to how she actually died. Their request for one last Thursday was denied by the local police chief.
Pakistani and Western security experts said the government’s insistence that Ms. Bhutto, a former prime minister, was not killed by a bullet was intended to deflect attention from the lack of government security around her. On Sunday, Pakistani newspapers covered their front pages with photographs showing a man apparently pointing a gun at her from just yards away.
Her vehicle came under attack by a gunman and suicide bomber as she left a political rally in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani Army keeps its headquarters, and where the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency has a strong presence.
The government’s explanation, that Ms. Bhutto died after hitting her head as she ducked from the gunfire or was tossed by the force of the suicide blast, has been greeted with disbelief by her supporters, ordinary Pakistanis and medical experts. While some of the mystery could be cleared up by exhuming the body, it is not clear whether Ms. Bhutto’s family would give permission, such is their distrust of the government.
Mr. Minallah distributed the medical report with his open letter to the Pakistani news media and The New York Times. He said the doctor who wrote the report, Mohammad Mussadiq Khan, the principal professor of surgery at the Rawalpindi General Hospital, told him on the night of Ms. Bhutto’s death that she had died of a bullet wound.
Dr. Khan declined through Mr. Minallah to speak with a reporter on the grounds that he was an employee of a government hospital and was fearful of government reprisals if he did not support its version of events.
The medical report, prepared with six other doctors, does not specifically mention a bullet because the actual cause of the head wound was to be left to an autopsy, Mr. Minallah said. The doctors had stressed to him that “without an autopsy it is not at all possible to determine as to what had caused the injury,” he wrote.
But the chief of police in Rawalpindi, Saud Aziz, “did not agree” to the autopsy request by the doctors, Mr. Minallah said in his letter.
A former senior Pakistani police official, Wajahat Latif, who headed the Federal Investigative Agency in the early 1990s, said that in “any case of a suspected murder an autopsy is mandatory.” To waive an autopsy, Mr. Latif said, relatives were required to apply for permission.
At a news conference Sunday, Ms. Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, said he had declined a request for a post-mortem examination. “It was an insult to my wife, an insult to the sister of the nation, an insult to the mother of the nation,” he said. “I know their forensic reports are useless. I refuse to give them her last remains.”
By refusing to do an autopsy the government looked afraid of what one would reveal. By refusing to allow an autopsy Ms. Bhutto's husband, and by extension their whole political party, looks as though they are afraid of what one will reveal.
What both sides have done and are doing is giving each other ammunition to use in a coverup or feed conspiracy theories. Neither of which will do Pakistan any good.
All of this is of serious importance to the United States partly because Pakistan is an ally in the war on terror, but principally because of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Remember this the next time some moonbat starts talking about how Iran has a right to develop nuclear weapons. The kind of people we are afraid might get their hands on Pakistan's bombs already run Iran.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
VINTON, Iowa (AP) - It's one thing for Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign to turn down interview requests for the candidate's daughter, Chelsea. But can't a 9-year-old reporter catch a break?
Sydney Rieckhoff, a Cedar Rapids fourth grader and "kid reporter" for Scholastic News, has posed questions to seven Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls as they've campaigned across Iowa this year. But when she approached the 27-year-old Chelsea after a campaign event Sunday, she got a different response.
"Do you think your dad would be a good 'first man' in the White House?" Sydney asked, but Chelsea brushed her question aside.
"I'm sorry, I don't talk to the press and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you're cute," Chelsea told the pint-sized journalist.
[. . .]
Tall and attractive, Chelsea cuts an impressive figure on the campaign trail; she plunges enthusiastically into the crowd after her mother's speeches, shaking hands and posing for pictures while asking, "Are you going to caucus for my mom?"
But onstage, Chelsea never speaks; she stands next to her mother and applauds but utters not a single sentence and doesn't even say hello. And reporters covering the campaign have been put on notice that Chelsea is not available to speak to them. An aide follows the former first daughter as she works the crowd, shushing reporters who approach her and try to ask any questions.
Famously protective of their daughter's privacy, Bill and Hillary Clinton have taken pains to shield Chelsea from the harsh glare and rough edges of presidential politics. She stayed largely absent from her mother's campaign until December, when she made her first visit to Iowa.
Sorry, doesn't work that way. If they're going to use Chelsea for a campaign prop to attempt to make the Ice Queen appear human then she becomes fair game for reporters.
The press should be all over this, but they have nearly 16 years experience whoring for the Clintons and habits that old are hard to break.
Let's see if anyone in the MSM wants to try to salvage some tiny little scrap of their integrity.
I ain't holdin' my breath.
From The New York Times:
Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.
On Sunday, the mayor will join Democratic and Republican elder statesmen at the University of Oklahoma in what the conveners are billing as an effort to pressure the major party candidates to renounce partisan gridlock.
Former Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma, who organized the session with former Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat of Georgia, suggested in an interview that if the prospective major party nominees failed within two months to formally embrace bipartisanship and address the fundamental challenges facing the nation, “I would be among those who would urge Mr. Bloomberg to very seriously consider running for president as an independent.”
Next week’s meeting, reported on Sunday in The Washington Post, comes as the mayor’s advisers have been quietly canvassing potential campaign consultants about their availability in the coming months.
And Mr. Bloomberg himself has become more candid in conversations with friends and associates about his interest in running, according to participants in those talks. Despite public denials, the mayor has privately suggested scenarios in which he might be a viable candidate: for instance, if the opposing major party candidates are poles apart, like Mike Huckabee, a Republican, versus Barack Obama or John Edwards as the Democratic nominee.
A final decision by Mr. Bloomberg about whether to run is unlikely before February. Still, he and his closest advisers are positioning themselves so that if the mayor declares his candidacy, a turnkey campaign infrastructure will virtually be in place.
Bloomberg aides have studied the process for starting independent campaigns, which formally begins March 5, when third-party candidates can begin circulating nominating petitions in Texas. If Democrats and Republicans have settled on their presumptive nominees at that point, Mr. Bloomberg will have to decide whether he believes those candidates are vulnerable to a challenge from a pragmatic, progressive centrist, which is how he would promote himself.
The filing deadline for the petitions, which must be signed by approximately 74,000 Texas voters who did not participate in the state’s Democratic or Republican primaries, is May 12.
Among the other participants invited to the session next Sunday and Monday is Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, who has said he would consider being Mr. Bloomberg’s running mate on an independent ticket.
Please run Mikey. An independent moonbat to siphon votes away from the Democrat moonbat will make Fred's election all that much more certain.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - In a murderous quest aimed at "cleansing" their turf of snitches and rival gangsters, members of one of Los Angeles County's most vicious Latino gangs sometimes killed people just because of their race, an investigation found.
There were even instances in which Florencia 13 leaders ordered killings of black gangsters and then, when the intended victim couldn't be located, said "Well, shoot any black you see," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.
"In certain cases some murders were just purely motivated on killing a black person," Baca said.
Authorities say there were 20 murders among more than 80 shootings documented during the gang's rampage in the hardscrabble Florence-Firestone neighborhood, exceptional even in an area where gang violence has been commonplace for decades. They don't specify the time frame or how many of the killings were racial.
Los Angeles has struggled with gang violence for years, especially during the wars in the late 1980s and early '90s between the Crips and the Bloods - both black gangs. Latino gangs have gained influence since then as the Hispanic population surged.
Evidence of Florencia 13, or F13, is easy to find in Florence-Firestone. Arrows spray-painted on the wall of a liquor store mark the gang's boundary and graffiti warns rivals to steer clear.
The gang's name comes from the neighborhood that is its stronghold and the 13th letter of the alphabet - M - representing the gang's ties to the Mexican Mafia.
But they only come here because they want to work. . .
The Iraqi interior ministry lauded its achievements over the past year on Saturday, saying that 75 percent of Al-Qaeda's networks in the country had been destroyed in 12 months.
Ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf also outlined sharp falls in the numbers of assassinations, kidnappings and death squad murders.
He told a news conference that increased patrols along the borders with Saudi Arabia and Syria had slowed infiltration by militants and played a key role in Iraq's improved security situation.
"We have destroyed 75 percent of Al-Qaeda hide-outs, and we broke up major criminal networks that supported Al-Qaeda in Baghdad," he said.
"After eliminating safe houses in Anbar province, which used to be Al-Qaeda's base, we moved into areas surrounding Baghdad and into Diyala province. Al-Qaeda headed north and we are pursuing them," he said.
Khalaf said kidnappings were down 70 percent and that an average of three to five people killed by death squads were being found each day in Baghdad compared with 15 to 20 a day in February.
Personnel with militant or criminal links had been weeded out from Iraqi security forces, he said, adding that Sunni-US alliances against Al-Qaeda had also significantly contributed to the drop in violence.
Now time will tell if the Iraqis can get their political house in order. We've given them the chance now they need to take advantage of it.
AUGUSTA, Ark. (AP) - Rumors spread by cell phone text-messaging flew through a school after a student's suicide, rumors that other kids planned to kill themselves, that students planned to bring weapons to school, that there was going to be "a shoot 'em up." Panicked parents rushed to take their children home.
But police and officials at Augusta High School say the panic turned out to be only a way for students to avoid taking semester-ending exams.
"Somebody took advantage of a tragedy that happened in Augusta, a tragedy of a young man taking his life," Superintendent Richard Blevins said. "Somebody exploited that and I guess that made me madder than anything else. Somebody was so insensitive to use that for their own gain."
An existing ban on cell phones at the school will be enforced when the winter break is over.
If you want to know what children are like at their most basic level read Lord of the Flies and Superintendent Blevins should know that. Or perhaps not. After all as an educational bureaucrat Blevins probably hasn't had much contact with kids since his semester as a student teacher going through education school.
Fact is that someone you don't know kills himself. Nothing you do or refrain from doing can either bring him back or make him "more dead" so why not try to give his death some meaning and purpose by using it to get one over on the system?
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- A New York City police officer has been arrested on charges of raping a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.
Trent Young, 39, of Middletown, N.Y., was arrested in his home Thursday morning, police said. He faces charges of second-degree and third-degree rape.
Young teaches karate at the Iron Tiger Martial Arts Center in West Milford, N.J., and at his home. The girl was his student, police said. Young allegedly abused her in his home and at the martial arts center.
Police said the abuse started when the victim earned her green belt in 2005. That day, Young had the girl sign an oath of obedience and then took her to another room, where he told her to remove her clothes until she was naked, police said.
Young then sexually abused her, police said. After she put her clothes back on, Young told her it was all part of a test, according to police.
In 2006, Young allegedly pressured the girl to have sex, continuing to say that doing so was part of the oath, police said. Young and his alleged victim had intercourse between 20 and 40 times until October of 2007, police said.
Young told another female student, also 15, to remove her clothes as part of an oath, but she refused, investigators said.
According to the Iron Tiger Martial Arts Center's Web site, Young taught in the New York City school system for seven years before joining the NYPD. The Web site also says he has trained thousands of students in martial arts.
Young was being held in Orange County jail.
The New York City Police Department declined comment Friday, but Middletown police said Young has been with the NYPD for nine years and worked in the 26th Precinct in upper Manhattan.
In New Jersey, Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano said his office had no information about the case.
A loyalty oath? I don't know which is more pathetic, that he thought that would work or that the girl actually fell for it.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Tonight we have a double feature consisting of two takes on a traditional Irish love song, Mo Ghile Mear (My Gallant Darling). First we have some of the greatest talents in the Celtic music world including Karen Matheson, Mary Black, Karan Casey and Mary Ann Kennedy. This is from the BBC series The Highland Sessions and was the last musical number of the series, which is why the video features a retrospective look at the series.
Next we have Celtic Woman's more modern version which is more energetic with its full orchestral backing.
From The Daily Mail:
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has strongly hinted for the first time that she could write an eighth book in the series.
Rowling, 42, admits she has 'weak moments' when she feels she will pen another novel about the boy wizard.
All kidding aside there are millions of Potter fans out there who would love more books set in the Harry Potter universe. One thing she might consider doing is opening the Potterverse to other authors of proven ability.
Before reading this articlel from The Daily Mail understand that the Vatican says that it isn't true. Still it sounds kind of cool:
The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.
Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult.
They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."
Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.
The initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican "exorcistinchief," to the online Catholic news service Petrus.
"Thanks be to God, we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on," he said.
"Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the Devil. You have to hunt high and low for a properly trained exorcist.
"Thankfully, Benedict XVI believes in the existence and danger of evil - going back to the time he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." The CDF is the oldest Vatican department and was headed by Benedict from 1982, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, until he became Pope in 2005.
Father Amorth said that during his time at the department Benedict had not lost the chance to warn humanity of the risk from the Devil.
He said the Pope wants to restore a prayer seen as protection against evil that was traditionally recited at the end of Catholic Masses. The prayer, to St Michael the Archangel, was dropped in the 1960s by Pope John XXIII.
"The prayer is useful not only for priests but also for lay people in helping to fight demons," he said.
Father Paolo Scarafoni, who lectures on the Vatican's exorcism course, said interest in Satanism and the occult has grown as people lost faith with the church.
He added: "People suffer and think that turning to the Devil can help solve their problems. We are being bombarded by requests for exorcisms."
The Vatican is particularly concerned that young people are being exposed to the influence of Satanic sects through rock music and the Internet.
In theory, under the Catholic Church's Canon Law 1172, all priests can perform exorcisms. But in reality only a select few are assigned the task.
Under the law, practitioners must have "piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life."
The rite of exorcism involves a series of gestures and prayers to invoke the power of God and stop the "demon" influencing its victim.
From The Scotsman:
BANNING boys from playing with toy guns is futile and may even damage their development, a leading child psychologist has warned.
Confirming what many guilty parents long suspected, Penny Holland says boys will indulge in gunplay regardless of attempts by schools, nurseries and guardians to stop them.
Holland, who claims boys have fallen victim to politically correct dogma, claims that suppressing their need for boisterous play may be counter-productive.
Holland, senior lecturer in early childhood studies at London Metropolitan University, believes that boys who have been banned from playing at soldiers, pirates, or superheroes, become disruptive and live up to a "bad boy" image.
But her views have been strongly opposed by gun control groups and families of the children killed in the 1996 Dunblane massacre. The tragedy dramatically accelerated the existing trend towards banning toy guns and swords in shops and nurseries alike.
But in a new book, We Don’t Play With Guns Here, Holland says the ban on violent play should be reconsidered.
She argues that the zero-tolerance approach that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s was wrong to assume that "the spiral of male violence" could be broken by preventing boys from playing aggressive games.
Holland claims that 30 years after the ban on playing with guns and swords came into vogue, there has been no evidence of a decline in their desire to play violent games.
Boys continued to play behind the backs of staff, even when they had been told it was wrong. Even when the plastic guns and swords were taken away, they did what generations of boys have done before. Pieces of wood, tennis rackets and even pens and crayons, all became guns, swords, and daggers in the fertile young imagination.
Holland adds there is no evidence that boys were more or less likely to grow into aggressive men because of the games they played.
The book suggests that nurseries that had relaxed their ban on guns, swords and violent games reported that boys had more fun together, made closer friendships, and became more creative in other areas of play, such as dressing up as princes in fairy tales. Most such nurseries found that the amount of real fighting between boys declined.
Holland said of the war games: "It is very much part of them making sense of the world. It relates to timeless themes of the struggle between good and evil.
"It seems to represent a developmental need to play with these things and my feeling is that it is counter-productive to work against that.
"Where there has been rigorous enforcement of zero tolerance, it marginalises these children because their interests are so squarely rejected. If they are constantly receiving negative responses to their play interests, with people saying, ‘No, we don’t play with guns here’, they absorb the sense that they are bad boys. They seek negative attention and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle."
If Dr. Holland isn't careful she will wind up being transported to the colonies for daring to speak such unpopular truths. If things go on like this they next start talking about doing away with the ban on pointy things.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Here is a video by Karan Casey that was up on YouTube then got yanked then was up again then got yanked again and now is back. So here it is again.
The sond is Buile Mo Chroí (Beat of My Heart) from the CD The Winds Begin to Sing.
Ralph Peters writes about the Bhutto assassination in the New York Post:
December 28, 2007 -- FOR the next several days, you're going to read and hear a great deal of pious nonsense in the wake of the assassination of Pakistan's former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.
Her country's better off without her. She may serve Pakistan better after her death than she did in life.
We need have no sympathy with her Islamist assassin and the extremists behind him to recognize that Bhutto was corrupt, divisive, dishonest and utterly devoid of genuine concern for her country.
She was a splendid con, persuading otherwise cynical Western politicians and "hardheaded" journalists that she was not only a brave woman crusading in the Islamic wilderness, but also a thoroughbred democrat.
In fact, Bhutto was a frivolously wealthy feudal landlord amid bleak poverty. The scion of a thieving political dynasty, she was always more concerned with power than with the wellbeing of the average Pakistani. Her program remained one of old-school patronage, not increased productivity or social decency.
Educated in expensive Western schools, she permitted Pakistan's feeble education system to rot - opening the door to Islamists and their religious schools.
During her years as prime minister, Pakistan went backward, not forward. Her husband looted shamelessly and ended up fleeing the country, pursued by the courts. The Islamist threat - which she artfully played both ways - spread like cancer.
But she always knew how to work Westerners - unlike the hapless Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who sought the best for his tormented country but never knew how to package himself.
Military regimes are never appealing to Western sensibilities. Yet, there are desperate hours when they provide the only, slim hope for a country nearing collapse. Democracy is certainly preferable - but, unfortunately, it's not always immediately possible. Like spoiled children, we have to have it now - and damn the consequences.
In Pakistan, the military has its own forms of graft; nonetheless, it remains the least corrupt institution in the country and the only force holding an unnatural state together. In Pakistan back in the '90s, the only people I met who cared a whit about the common man were military officers.
Bhutto embodied the flaws in Pakistan's political system, not its potential salvation. Both she and her principal rival, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, failed to offer a practical vision for the future - their political feuds were simply about who would divvy up the spoils.
From its founding, Pakistan has been plagued by cults of personality, by personal, feudal loyalties that stymied the development of healthy government institutions (provoking coups by a disgusted military). When she held the reins of government, Bhutto did nothing to steer in a new direction - she merely sought to enhance her personal power.
Now she's dead. And she may finally render her country a genuine service (if cynical party hacks don't try to blame Musharraf for their own benefit). After the inevitable rioting subsides and the spectacular conspiracy theories cool a bit, her murder may galvanize Pakistanis against the Islamist extremists who've never gained great support among voters, but who nonetheless threaten the state's ability to govern.
As a victim of fanaticism, Bhutto may shine as a rallying symbol with a far purer light than she cast while alive. The bitter joke is that, while she was never serious about freedom, women's rights and fighting terrorism, the terrorists took her rhetoric seriously - and killed her for her words, not her actions.
Nothing's going to make Pakistan's political crisis disappear - this crisis may be permanent, subject only to intermittent amelioration. (Our State Department's policy toward Islamabad amounts to a pocket full of platitudes, nostalgia for the 20th century and a liberal version of the white man's burden mindset.)
The one slim hope is that this savage murder will - in the long term - clarify their lot for Pakistan's citizens. The old ways, the old personalities and old parties have failed them catastrophically. The country needs new leaders - who don't think an election victory entitles them to grab what little remains of the national patrimony.
In killing Bhutto, the Islamists over-reached (possibly aided by rogue elements in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, one of the murkiest outfits on this earth). Just as al Qaeda in Iraq overplayed its hand and alienated that country's Sunni Arabs, this assassination may disillusion Pakistanis who lent half an ear to Islamist rhetoric.
A creature of insatiable ambition, Bhutto will now become a martyr. In death, she may pay back some of the enormous debt she owes her country.
Americans don't like to hear that. But it's the truth.
Peters pulls no punches and he is very likely far more right than wrong. But what can we expect? Pakistan is, after all, a Muslim country.
Remember Pakistan used to be part of India. When the British gave up their control over their colony Pakistan split off to become an independent nation. Look at the difference in progress between India and Pakistan since then.
Even though India retarded its progress by attempting to implement socialism for too many years they still have managed to sail past Pakistan in every measure of progress. Any way you look at it you cannot escape the conclusion that Islam is the most retrograde force in human history.
Arizona Resistance has joined the Hillbilly Ecosystem! As you might guess from their location they cover the border security situation pretty closely. They are also anti-tax and you got to love that.
Go over and introduce yourselves and check the place out.
From The Chicago Tribune:
Republican Mike Huckabee took his presidential campaign for a quick pheasant-hunting expedition in Iowa on Wednesday, and at one point, a reporter asked why he hadn’t invited sporting enthusiast Dick Cheney along. "Because I want to survive all the way through this," Huckabee replied, in a chuckling dig at the vice president’s accidental shooting of a quail-hunting partner last year.
Any good sportsman, though, couldn’t miss a distinctly Cheneyesque moment in the press accounts of the former Arkansas governor’s morning hunt: At one point, Huckabee’s party turned toward a cluster of reporters and cameramen and, when they kicked up a pheasant, fired shotgun blasts over the group’s heads.
This, friends, is dangerously bad hunting form.
Your Swamp correspondent, the son of a longtime hunter education instructor, grew up plying the corn rows and stream banks of rural Oregon with a Labrador retriever and a Mossberg 20-gauge pump shotgun. On our hunts for pheasant, grouse and quail, merely swinging a gun barrel in the general direction of another person was grounds for day-long banishment to the truck (which smelled like wet dog).
Suffice to say, if any of our hunting mates had pulled a stunt like Huckabee’s yesterday, we never would have invited them back. It’s the sort of behavior that drives safety-conscious hunters up the wall, because it reinforces a reckless, gun-totin’ stereotype.
My colleague James Oliphant reports that Huckabee’s party was about 75 yards away from the press corps Wednesday when a pheasant jumped up and flew toward the reporters, drawing several shots. “That was too close,” he reports a cameraman saying.
Perhaps Huckabee missed hunter’s safety classes – Arkansas only requires them for hunters born after 1968 – but the etiquette on this point is clear.
“Never point a firearm at yourself or others,” the International Hunter Education Association declares in its Basic Safety Rules. Later, it adds, “Never point your firearm at something you do not intend to shoot. Make sure you positively identify what you are shooting at and know what lies in front of and beyond it.”
Huckabee emerged happily from his hunt, three dead pheasants in tow, Oliphant reports. Asked for a metaphor to describe the hunt, he replied, "Don't get in my way. This is what happens."
Too bad he didn't blow some left-wing reporter's head off. You know, two birds with one stone.
Seriously, this is really bad behavior for a hunter and the worst part is that Elmer doesn't even seem to understand that he screwed up.
This tells us something important about Rev. Gantry's character. He does whatever the hell he wants to, could care less about the consequences and accepts no responsibility.
This remind anyone of another governor from Arkansas?
From the Los Angeles Times:
As she races through Iowa in the days before next week's caucuses, Hillary Clinton is taking few chances. She tells crowds that it’s their turn to “pick a president,’’ but over the last two days she has not invited them to ask her any questions.
Before the brief Christmas break, the New York senator had been setting aside time after campaign speeches to hear from the audience. Now when she’s done speaking, her theme songs blare from loudspeakers, preventing any kind of public Q&A.
She was no more inviting when a television reporter approached her after a rally on Thursday and asked if she was “moved’’ by Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Clinton turned away without answering.
Her daughter, Chelsea, had the same reaction when a reporter approached her with a question.
Hillary Clinton’s no-question policy didn’t sit well with some of the Iowans who came to see her speak.
The Clinton campaign has no choice. Every time she opens her gob in public she risks saying something which might tip voters off to the kind of creature she really is.
It is burning her up inside that she is even having to campaign since the nomination and then the presidency should have been hers simply for the asking. The volcanic fury that she feels at the miserable little pissant voters for making her prove herself is too likely to come boiling out.
Best just keep the old trap shut unitl she's in the White House.
From The Washington Post:
For Benazir Bhutto, the decision to return to Pakistan was sealed during a telephone call from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice just a week before Bhutto flew home in October. The call culminated more than a year of secret diplomacy -- and came only when it became clear that the heir to Pakistan's most powerful political dynasty was the only one who could bail out Washington's key ally in the battle against terrorism.
It was a stunning turnaround for Bhutto, a former prime minister who was forced from power in 1996 amid corruption charges. She was suddenly visiting with top State Department officials, dining with U.N. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and conferring with members of the National Security Council. As President Pervez Musharraf's political future began to unravel this year, Bhutto became the only politician who might help keep him in power.
"The U.S. came to understand that Bhutto was not a threat to stability, but was instead the only possible way that we could guarantee stability and keep the presidency of Musharraf intact," said Mark Siegel, who lobbied for Bhutto in Washington and witnessed much of the behind-the-scenes diplomacy.
But the diplomacy that ended abruptly with Bhutto's assassination yesterday was always an enormous gamble, according to current and former U.S. policymakers, intelligence officials and outside analysts. By entering into the legendary "Great Game" of South Asia, the United States also made its goals and allies more vulnerable -- in a country in which more than 70 percent of the population already looked unfavorably upon Washington.
Bhutto's assassination leaves Pakistan's future -- and Musharraf's -- in doubt, some experts said. "U.S. policy is in tatters. The administration was relying on Benazir Bhutto's participation in elections to legitimate Musharraf's continued power as president," said Barnett R. Rubin of New York University. "Now Musharraf is finished."
Bhutto's assassination also demonstrates the growing power and reach of militant anti-government forces in Pakistan, which pose an existential threat to the country, said J. Alexander Thier, a former U.N. official now at the U.S. Institute for Peace. "The dangerous cocktail of forces of instability exist in Pakistan -- Talibanism, sectarianism, ethnic nationalism -- could react in dangerous and unexpected ways if things unravel further," he said.
But others insist the U.S.-orchestrated deal fundamentally altered Pakistani politics in ways that will be difficult to undo, even though Bhutto is gone. "Her return has helped crack open this political situation. It's now very fluid, which makes it uncomfortable and dangerous," said Isobel Coleman of the Council on Foreign Relations. "But the status quo before she returned was also dangerous from a U.S. perspective. Forcing some movement in the long run was in the U.S. interests."
Bhutto's assassination during a campaign stop in Rawalpindi might even work in favor of her Pakistan People's Party, with parliamentary elections due in less than two weeks, Coleman said. "From the U.S. perspective, the PPP is the best ally the U.S. has in terms of an institution in Pakistan."
The US really needs to come off of its fetishistic attachment to democracy in all times and places at all costs. In a nation with a high proportion of fundamentalist Muslims democracy means one man, one vote, one time.
Then someone like Osama bin Laden is in power and a nuclear power like Pakistan suddenly becomes the world's number one security threat.
A pro-Western Musharraf dictatorship is infinitely to be preferred to a freely elected Islamofascist theocracy which would vie with Iran for the title of the worlds biggest sponsor of terrorism.
I just pray that Washington sees that in time and doesn't pull another Carter and hand another nation over to another batch of insane mullahs.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tonight's music video choice is inspired by the news of the day.
The Republican primary race has narrowed down to three men none of whom are anywhere near worthy of the office.
The Democrat primary race never had anyone in it remotely worthy to hold the office.
The Bhutto assassination has caused Pakistan to disolve into chaos and threatens to see a takeover by Islamofascists - who will then control Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.
Oil prices are headed back up on fear of what is happening in the region.
Johnny Walker will no longer market their green label whisky in the US.
American Thinker asks some good questions about Elmer:
A couple of weeks ago Mike Huckabee was skyrocketing out of sight. Now the polls are tightening up. But Huckabee is a dark horse in more ways than one. For one thing, he must know that his public record is much too controversial for him to get elected president.
So why is he running?
Think about that for a second.
Huckabee is not a conservative. He is a populist, like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Hewey Long.
He started off as a very successful radio preacher. Huckabee has years of practice doing off-the-cuff repartee with radio listeners. He is a master of the exploding sound-bite. But Huck is no Rush Limbaugh, and he's certainly no Reagan. He could be the Rush from the Dark Side, using those awesome talents to undermine conservatism, rather than build it up.
Credible conservatives get the creeps about Huck: George Will, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, William Kristol, Robert Novak, National Review.
Huckabee plays the game like a pro, by getting the Big Megaphones of the liberal media on his side. Liberals love Huckabee. Coming out of nowhere, Huckabee rocketed to fame just weeks before the Republican primaries, when voters couldn't know about him. He did it with superslick TV commercials in Iowa and New Hampshire, from a campaign that is supposed to have no money.
TV commercials aren't cheap. Great ones cost a lot of money.
But Huckabee has far too many dubious statements on the record. Some of his associates play straight into the Left's worst stereotypes about born-again Christians. And Huck's Christianity is right there on his sleeve -- he's running as a preacher. The trouble is that the United States has never elected a preacher as president, because we have too many different denominations. As Rush pointed out, the media will kill him, just on the basis of his very publicly paraded fundamentalism alone. So again, we get the same question: Why is this man running for a job he can't win?
Huckabee says this is all a miracle. But it looks like he has been preparing it for years.
How do we know? Because as Arkansas governor, he flipped from conservative to liberal in 2002 --- five years ago. That's why the Left likes him so much.
As the Cato Institute writes,
[Huckabee] "...went from being one of the best governors in America to one of the worst. He receives an F for his current term and a D for his entire tenure. The main reason for the drop was his insistence on raising taxes at almost every turn throughout his final term.Now it's possible that Mr. Huckabee had a Pauline conversion just 9 days after his reelection in 2002. More likely, like a good political pro, Mr. Huckabee was just planning four years ahead. It takes time to prepare all those miracles Huckabee attributes to the Lord.
"Nine days after being reelected in 2002, he proposed a sales tax increase to cover a budget deficit ... He agreed to a 3 percent income tax 'surcharge' and a 25-cent cigarette tax increase." (italics added)
Conservatives might support tax increases for education if they were being spent on voucher plans for sending their kids to competitive schools. Or to reward teachers for better teaching.
But Huckabee's tax increases were the opposite kind. They went to support public schools that don't have a good track record. Arkansas has 10% fewer college degrees than the average state. This is not an education system that's working well. But the teachers still got sizable salary increases, thanks to Governor Huck.
The Club for Growth writes:
"Nominating Mike Huckabee for president or vice-president would constitute anCould be that Governor Huckabee was just buying the loyalty of the National Education Association, one of the big players in the Democratic Party. So he swung hard Left in his second term, getting the endorsement of the teachers' unions by giving more tax money to them. And he's gotten big money from an embryonic stem cell outfit. He's built up a lot of credibility on the Left over five years.
abject rejection of the free-market, limited-government, economic conservatism
that has been the unifying theme of the Republican Party for decades."
Huckabee has now been endorsed by the teachers' union in New Hampshire --- the first time in history that it's ever endorsed a Republican.
It's another Huckabee miracle.
Rush Limbaugh likes to say that " nothing is coincidental with the Clintons." It could be that Huckabee, who is coincidentally from the same state, isn't that much of a coincidence either.
Even if he gets the nomination, Hillabama would nail his skin to the wall. He has lots of dubious associations, as Robert Novak just wrote. He's weirdly contradictory on foreign policy, as if he tried to slice the baby in half. He has a lot of sucker slogans, like "abolishing the IRS," and putting a true Christian into the White House. (As if President Bush is not a true Christian.)
So why, Governor Huckabee, are you running for a ticket that will bring Hillary or Obama into the White House?
There's something fishy here.
The last Big Hype candidate who couldn't win was Ross Perot. He got 18.9% percent of the vote in 1992, enough to put Bill Clinton in the White House. And shrewd old Ross ran just like Huckabee, talking up the populist vote. Ross dropped his Reform Party like a hot potato when he was done with it.
Now which old Arkansas governor knows this game inside and out? Yes, that's right.
And Mr. Huckabee was nothing but nice to President Clinton during his troubles.
And we know Bill Clinton talked up Huckabee to George Stepanopoulos -- his own White House spinner -- who is now an objective journalist for ABC. 3
That's some amazing coincidences.
I'm not sure that I'm ready to totally buy into the idea of Elmer as stalking-horse for the Clintons, but I can't say that I absolutely reject it either.
If it's true then I sure as hell named him right.
If Republican voters were hoping for a wide open presidential race this holiday season, they are clearly getting their wish. A new FOX News poll shows that Rudy Giuliani (20 percent), John McCain (19 percent) and the surging Mike Huckabee (19 percent) are clustered together at the top of the GOP hill—with Mitt Romney (11 percent) and Fred Thompson (10 percent) still within striking distance. Since a large share of Republican voters are still undecided (13 percent), this race is about as "up for grabs" as any in recent memory.
Giuliani suffered the biggest drop in support since November, losing a full 13 points. On the other hand, Huckabee has shot up from 8 percent in November to 19 percent in the current poll. Romney (up 3 percent) and McCain (up 2 percent) scored small gains in the last month.
As has been widely reported, the overall character of the Republican race has changed dramatically over the last several months. In fact, as late as September, Huckabee registered only 2 percent in a FOX News poll. Barely three months later he is a now co-front-runner.
• Click here to view full results of the poll. (pdf)
I have to admit that there have been times of late when I found myself thinking that a McCain presidency wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. After all with Fred Thompson seeming to be stalled and all the other candidates looking so horrid . . .
Then I remember that McCain is a betrayer and almost certainly clinically insane and I want to start looking into who the Constitution Party is running.
From the Union Leader:
THERE IS A reason Mitt Romney has not received a single newspaper endorsement in New Hampshire. It's the same reason his poll numbers are dropping. He has not been able to convince the people of this state that he's the conservative he says he is.
Like a lot of people in New Hampshire, we wanted to believe Romney. We gave him the benefit of the doubt. We listened very carefully to his expertly rehearsed sales pitch. But in the end he didn't close the deal for us. Now, two weeks before the primary, the same is happening with voters.
Republicans and right-leaning independents in New Hampshire gave Romney a chance. His events have not been sparsely attended. Nor have they been scarce. He's made more campaign stops here this year than any other Republican, even John McCain.
And after a year of comparing Romney to McCain, of sizing up the two in person and in the media, Granite Staters are turning back to McCain. The former Navy pilot, once written off by the national media establishment, is now in a statistical dead heat with Romney here.
How could that be? Romney has all the advantages: money, organization, geographic proximity, statesman-like hair, etc.
But he lacks something John McCain has in spades: conviction.
Granite Staters want a candidate who will look them in the eye and tell them the truth. John McCain has done that day in and day out, never wavering, never faltering, never pandering.
Mitt Romney has not. He has spoken his lines well, but the people can sense that the words are memorized, not heartfelt.
Last week Romney was reduced to debating what the meaning of "saw" is. It was only the latest in a string of demonstrably false claims -- he'd been a hunter "pretty much" all his life, he'd had the NRA's endorsement, he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. -- that call into question the veracity of his justifications for switching sides on immigration, abortion, taxes and his affection for Ronald Reagan.
In this primary, the more Mitt Romney speaks, the less believable he becomes. That is why Granite Staters who have listened attentively are now returning to John McCain. They might not agree with McCain on everything, as we don't, but like us, they judge him to be a man of integrity and conviction, a man who won't sell them out, who won't break his promises, and who won't lie to get elected.
Voters can see that John McCain is trustworthy. Mitt Romney has spent a year trying to convince Granite Staters that he is as well. It looks like they aren't buying it. And for good reason.
I can't argue with them on Romney. But we need to remember that John McCain is the man who would go back home to Arizona and talk like a real conservative when he was campaigning then head to Washington and stab the Republican Party in the back courting the favor of every left-wing media outlet he could find.
At least Mitt Romney didn't say one thing when running for governor and then do another when elected.
While al Qaeda is considered by the U.S. to be a likely suspect in the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Banazir Bhutto, U.S. intelligence officials say they cannot confirm an initial claim of responsibility for the attack, supposedly from an al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan.
An obscure Italian Web site said Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan, told its reporter in a phone call, "We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahedeen."
It said the decision to assassinate Bhutto was made by al Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman al Zawahri in October. Before joining Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Zawahri was imprisoned in Egypt for his role in the assassination of then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
Bhutto had been outspoken in her opposition to al Qaeda and had criticized the government of President Pervez Musharraf for failing to take strong action against the Islamic terrorists.
"She openly threatened al Qaeda, and she had American support," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism adviser. "If al Qaeda could try to kill Musharraf twice, it could easily do this," he said.
Al Qaeda had claimed responsibility for the bomb attack Oct. 18 during Bhutto's homecoming rally that killed 140 people but left the former prime minister uninjured.
Senior U.S. officials say it will take several days to sort out who was responsible and that it will be "a test of credibility for the Pakistani government."
U.S. officials monitoring Internet chat rooms known to be used by Islamic militants say several claims of responsibility have been posted, although such postings are notoriously unreliable.
There is nothing inherently unlikely about al Qaeda being behind this attack. If that turns out to be the case I hope we use this as inspiration to redouble our efforts to wipe them off the face of the earth.
ORLANDO, FLA. -- With about 150 supporters crowded around a podium set up on the tarmac of Orlando Executive airport (and about 20 Ron Paul supporters waving signs outside) Mike Huckabee strode out to the strains of “Right Now” by Van Halen and immediately addressed the Bhutto situation, expressing “our sincere concern and apologies for what has happened in Pakistan.”
He said the assassination is a reminder that here in the US, we are lucky to vote “not with bullets but with ballots,” and said “I guess we are sometimes lulled into failing to appreciate the magnitude” of the democratic process.
After moving onto other subjects in his rally (more on that in a moment) he took questions from the press. I asked him what he would do right now if he were President to tackle the situation. He avoided taking a strong policy position, saying he would offer sincere sympathies to the people of Pakistan, and monitor who’s behind it. When asked what he thinks of the Musharraf government and how it has handled the security situation and aid from the US, he replied, “I think today is not the best day to comment on what the Musharraf government should or shouldn’t have done” though “we need a full accounting of that money.” He was also asked if today’s news highlights why the next President needs to have foreign policy, which he lacks. His reponse: “I think it’s more important to have the right principles for the American people.”
He made a bad choice of words when saying the U.S. needs to consider “what impact does it have on whether or not there’s going to be martial law continuing in Pakistan.” He should have said whether or not martial law will be reinstated – it was lifted nearly two weeks ago. A minor slip, maybe, but not a subject he wants to mess up on when he is already considered weak in the area of foreign policy.
What in the name of Great Reagan's Ghost is this asshat doing "apologising" for the Bhutto assassination? Does he think the US is behind it? Is he confessing that he is behind it?
Remember how Billy Blow Job went all over the world on an endless apology tour telling everyone who would listen how sorry he was for everything the United States had ever done, or even been accused of doing, on the entire planet?
I guess we have two candidates running now for a third Clinton term.
Lord help us.
December 27, 2007 -- AS Bill Clinton crisscrosses America defending his wife's candidacy, he's fuel ing speculation about who'd be in charge should Hillary be elected. Sen. Clinton - the incredible shrinking candidate - seems at times almost a bystander at her husband's campaign, merely playing a somewhat more active role than she did in '92.
In our modern era of dynastic politics, the elder members of the dynasties have a duty to step aside to let their less experienced heirs shine. Former President George H.W. Bush, for example, has stayed well out of the limelight to let his son have center stage. Yet Bill Clinton is playing an ever-larger role in his wife's campaign.
At first, his appearances were novel and politically helpful. But then they came to underscore her weakness. It was as if Dennis Thatcher had stood up for Maggie as she faced down the Argentine junta in the Falklands war. Now, Bill's oversized presence on the national stage raises an even more profound question: Is he using his wife's candidacy to seek a third term in office, prohibited him by the 22nd Amendment?
Increasingly, he seems like former Gov. George Wallace - who put his wife Lurleen into the Alabama State House after he was forced from office by term limits. (Or, in a more recent example, like Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who stepped aside only to have his wife, Christina Fernandez Kirchner, take power.)
In '90, Hillary Clinton faced a similar problem when she flirted with the idea of running for governor of Arkansas. Bill, determined to seek the presidency in '92, was weighing whether to run for another term as governor or to step down and seek the presidency as a private citizen. Key to his decision was whether Hillary could take his place, both to keep the seat warm for him should he lose the presidential race and to stop any unwanted revelations from surfacing while he was off campaigning.
But the polls I took at the Clintons' behest found that voters saw Hillary merely as an extension of Bill, not as an independent political figure. Arkansans saw her possible candidacy for governor as an attempt to be a placeholder for her husband.
When I likened the public reaction to Hillary's candidacy to that of Alabama voters to Lurleen's years before, Hillary and Bill exploded in shock and indignation (more his than hers) at the metaphor; they even asked me to do a second poll to confirm the results.
Hillary thereupon began a 20-year effort to differentiate herself from Bill and craft an independent identity.
Now that project is at risk. Bill's intervention has become so overt, voluble, high-profile and independent that it calls into question the entire premise that Hillary is running for president as anything other than a figurehead.
The idea that you get "two for the price of one" was a misnomer in the '92 campaign when Bill first broached it. He was always the president. Yes, Hillary was his chief adviser in '93 and '94 (and again between '98 and '00). But in '95, '96 and '97, she acted merely as first lady, touring the world and promoting her book.
Until Bill began his active campaigning for Hillary, she benefited from the merger of their identities. Lacking much experience on her own (except for the health-care debacle), she could expropriate his record to provide a basis for her candidacy. She could run promising an extension of his presidency, but in a new time with a new candidate at the top.
But now the merger is working against her. Voters are wondering for which Clinton they will be voting when they pull the lever.
Could it be that "two for the price of one" still misrepresents reality? Does Bill so dominate the stage that he'd overshadow his wife were she elected? As Bill campaigns all over all the time, Americans are wondering, "Whose presidency will it be, anyway?"
The problem is that if Bill doesn't campaign for her she will certainly lose because she can in no way win on her own. She is a deeply unlikable woman with wretchedly poor political instincts and no meaningful experience wielding executive authority. Only a demonic perversion of Santa's goody bag brimming over with expensive taxpayer funded boondoggles designed for the sole purpose of creating an infantilized and dependant population, or I should say an even more infantilized and dependant population.
As bad as this is making Hillary look she can't afford to stop. Half of the people who are planning to vote for her are only doing so because they look at her presidency as a third term for Bill. Take that belief away from them and they will support Obama or Edwards.
I would feel sorry for her if she weren't such an utterly detestable excuse for a human being. As it is all I can do is pour a glass of good scotch and light up a fine cigar.
From The Sun:
FORMER Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a gun and bomb attack.
At least 20 people were killed when the bomber struck after opposition leader Mrs Bhutto addressed a political rally, witnesses said.
It has been reported that Mrs Bhutto was shot in the neck and the chest before the bomber blew himself up.
Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General hospital, said Mrs Bhutto died at 6.16pm Pakistani time (1.16pm GMT)
Babar Awan, Bhutto’s lawyer, said: “The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred.”
A witness at the scene of the attack said he heard two shots moments before the blast.
“As party leaders, including Bhutto, started coming out a man tried to go close to them and then he fired some shots and blew himself up,” said a police officer, at the scene.
Police said about 15 people had been killed in the blast.
Earlier, party officials said Bhutto was safe.
Body parts and flesh were scattered at the back gate of the Liaqat Bagh park, in Rawalpindi, where Bhutto had spoken.
Police official Abdul Karim had said Bhutto had already left the area in her vehicle when the blast went off, just minutes after her speech to thousands of supporters.
Another police official, Saud Aziz, said it was a suicide attack.
The road outside was stained with blood. People screamed for ambulances. Others gave water to the wounded lying in the street.
The clothing of some of the victims was shredded and people put party flags over their bodies.
After the suicide bombing of her motorcade it was clear that Pakistan would not be safe for Ms. Bhutto. Of course the question which will occupy the world now is whether the current government was involved.
I tend to doubt it, at least based on what information we have available now. The Suicide bomb attack is the mark of the Islamofascists who President Musharraf is attempting to keep from taking over Pakistan.
CARNATION, Wash. - Two people were arrested Wednesday evening after the bodies of six people were found earlier in the day at a rural property east of Seattle, a sheriff's sergeant said.
One of two suspects in the slayings of six people near Carnation that occurred in the afternoon of Christmas Eve is the daughter of the oldest victims, police said.
Family members said the six victims are Wayne and Judy Anderson, who own the property, their adult son Scott Anderson and his wife Erica of Black Diamond, and their 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
The two suspects under arrest are Wayne and Judy's youngest daughter, 29-year-old Michelle Anderson, and her boyfriend who live on the property.
The pair came to the crime scene after investigators arrived there this morning, were questioned by investigators, then arrested shortly after 4 p.m.
Both were booked into the King County Jail Wednesday evening. Sources said both suspects admitted to the murders independently. There is no indication of drug or alcohol use and so far, the murder weapon has not been found.
Investigators had not determined a motive for the deaths, but a family member said there had been tension between Michelle and the family for years.
I wish I could say that this was a surprise. Mom and dad have a daughter who turns out to be white trash but they still love her so they let her and her white trash boyfriend live on their property rent free (I'll bet big bucks they were parking an old single-wide there). Then one day the pair decide that they are tired of being looked down on by better off family members who just got lucky in life (by doing things like staying in school and showing up for work sober and on time) and decided to get even.
Of course getting some extra cash for drugs might well have figured into the mix as well. However if the motive had been only cash they could have gone to the next town and robbed a gas station with far less chance of being caught.
This was mostly the hate that those who have screwed up their own lives tend to feel for those who haven't.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Huckabee is a "compassionate conservative" only in the sense that calling him a conservative is being compassionate.
He responded to my column last week -- pointing out that he is on record supporting the Supreme Court's sodomy-is-a-constitutional-right decision -- by saying that he was relying on the word of a caller to his radio show and didn't know the details of the case. Ironically, that's how most people feel about sodomy: They support it until they hear the details.
First, I'd pay a lot of money to hear how a court opinion finding that sodomy is a constitutional right could be made to sound reasonable. But the caller had the right response when Huckabee asked him, "What's your favorite radio station?" So he seemed like a reliable source.
Second, Huckabee's statement that he agreed with the court's sodomy ruling was made one week after the decision. According to Nexis, in that one week, the sodomy decision had been the cover story on every newspaper in the country, including The New York Times. It was the talk of all the Sunday news programs. It had been denounced by every conservative and Christian group in America -- as well as other random groups of sane individuals having no conservative inclinations whatsoever.
The highest court in the land had found sodomy was a constitutional right! That sort of thing tends to make news. (I was going to say the sodomy ruling got publicity up the wazoo, but this is, after all, Christmas week.)
So this little stretch-marked cornpone is either lying, has a closed head injury, is a complete ignoramus -- or all of the above.
Huckabee opposes school choice, earning him the coveted endorsement of the National Education Association of New Hampshire, which is like the sheriff being endorsed by the local whorehouse.
He is, however, in favor of school choice for kids in Mexico: They have the choice of going to school there or here. Huckabee promoted giving in-state tuition in Arkansas to illegal immigrants from Mexico -- but not to U.S. citizens from Ohio. "I don't believe you punish the children," he said, "for the crime and sins of the parents."
Since when is not offering someone lavish taxpayer-funded benefits a form of punishment? That's almost as crazy as a governor pardoning a known sex offender so he can go out and rape and kill.
Huckabee claims he's against punishing children for the crimes of their fathers in the case of illegal immigrants. But in the case of slavery, he believes the children of the children's children should be routinely punished for the crimes of their fathers.
Huckabee has said illegal immigration gives Americans a chance to make up for slavery. (I thought letting O.J. walk for murdering two people was payback for slavery.)
Just two years ago, Huckabee cheerfully announced to a meeting of the Hispanic advocacy group League of United Latin American Citizens that "Pretty soon, Southern white guys like me may be in the minority." Who's writing this guy's speeches -- Al Sharpton? (Actually, take out "Southern" and "white," and I agree with Huckabee's sentiment).
He said the transition from Arkansas' Southern traditions would "require extraordinary efforts on both sides of the border." But, curiously, most of the efforts Huckabee described would come entirely from this side of the border. Arkansas, he pledged, would celebrate diversity "in culture, in language and in population." He said America would have to "accommodate" those who come here.
All that he expected from those south of the border was that they have a desire to provide better opportunities for their families. Basically, we have to keep accommodating everyone but U.S. citizens.
For those of you keeping score at home, this puts Huckabee just a little to the left of Dennis Kucinich on illegal immigration and border control. The only difference is that Kucinich supports amnesty for aliens from south of the border and north of Saturn.
In a widely quoted remark, Huckabee denounced a Republican bill that would merely require proof of citizenship to vote and receive government benefits as "un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life," according to the Arkansas News Bureau. Now, where have I heard this sort of thing before? Hmmm ... wait, now I remember: It was during the Democratic debates!
In his current attempt to pretend to be against illegal immigration, Huckabee makes a meaningless joke about how the federal government should track illegals the way Federal Express tracks packages. (Can a Mexican fit in one of those little envelopes?)
In other words, Huckabee is going to address the problem of illegal immigration by making jokes. It's called leadership, folks.
Huckabee confirms for liberal TV hosts their image of conservatives as dorks by bragging about how cool he is because he "likes music." What's he doing -- running for president or filling out his Facebook profile? Arkansas former fatty loves to make jokes and play the bass guitar. Remember what happened to the last former fatboy from Arkansas trying to be "cool" by liking music? I'll take "Stained Dresses" for $400, Alex.
According to Huckabee, most people think conservatives don't like music. Who on earth says conservatives don't like music -- other than liberals and Mike Huckabee? This desperate need to be liked by liberals has never led to anything but calamity.
Huckabee wants to get kids involved in music at an early age because he believes it leads to a more balanced and developed brain. You know, as we saw with the Jackson family. Maybe someone should tell him the Osmonds are voting for Romney.
He supports a nationwide smoking ban anyplace where people work, constitutional protection for sodomy, big government, higher taxes and government benefits for illegal aliens. According to my calculations, that puts him about three earmarks away from being Nancy Pelosi.
Liberals take a perverse pleasure in touting Huckabee because they know he will give them everything they want -- big government and a Christian they can roll.
From The Wall Street Journal:
In Iowa, the Republican presidential race has come down to two former governors who offer caucus goers a stark choice. It's the pulpit vs. the boardroom, poverty vs. privilege, passion vs. preparedness.
Mike Huckabee loves homespun tales and self-deprecating jokes. Mitt Romney basks in PowerPoint slides and statistics. Mr. Huckabee, a firefighter's son, is a Southerner born and bred. Mr. Romney, son of a CEO-turned-governor, roamed from Michigan to Massachusetts to Utah.
They embody two wings of the Republican Party -- social conservatives and economic conservatives -- that sometimes sit uneasily.
We can stop right here because the WSJ had gotten it completely wrong. Huckabee is a conservative on only a few issues of concern to social conservatives. Yes on abortion he is right, but on illegal immigration he is dead wrong. On school choice, a massively important issue, he is dead wrong. On taxes, which is a social issue as much as a fiscal one, he is dead wrong. Does Huckabee really think that sucking more money out of a families bank account through higher taxes will help them? When a leading cause of divorce is financial difficulty - giving the family less is helping them????
CARNATION, Wash. - The King County Sheriff's Office says six bodies, including the bodies of two children, have been found at a home near the small town of Carnation.
Sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart. says the victims are most likely three generations of family.
Police say they have ruled out the possibility of a murder-suicide, but say they're looking for possible suspects. They said they do not have a specific suspect in mind.
The homicides happened on Christmas Eve, either late afternoon or early evening. The victims include a man and a woman who appear to be in their 50s, a man and a woman appearing to be in their 30s, a 6-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. They likely died of gunshots, police say.
Sgt. Jim Laing says the bodies were discovered about 8 a.m. in a home in the 1800 block of 346th Avenue NE. They were found by a co-worker of one of the victims who worked at a post office. The co-worker went to the home when the usually reliable postal employee failed to show up for work.
Detective Bob Conner, says there is "no ongoing threat to the community" related to the killings. He said Carnation is a very close-knit community, and he wasn't aware of police being called to the crime scene address for past incidents.
The home appears to be a large older house on isolated property in the mostly rural area. A mobile home is also located on the property.
King County's "Guardian One" helicopter could be seen flying over the area.
Detectives are searching outbuildings as well as the home. They towed away a black pickup truck sealed with evidence tape.
"It's a very wide area here. Very dense, wooded, and part of the investigation is checking the whole area and terrain out to make sure there isn't other evidence or possibly other victims," said Conner.
It seems to be hard now days to get through a major holiday like Christmas without at least one of these kind of incidents making the news. I did a criminal background check on a job applicant today who had just gotten out of state prison for breaking into someone's home on Christmas Eve back in 1993 and killing them.
I have just one question for the cops out there. If they don't know that the murderer is dead at the scene and they are looking for possible suspects then how in hell can they say that there is no ongoing threat to the community?
If some person or persons capable of butchering an entire family, including children, is running around free I would say that the community is in some danger. Wouldn't you?
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
If you need a last minute gift the Amazon gift certificate is a great idea. You have have it delivered by email so you can order it even on the night of the 24th and it will be there for them on Christmas morning.
Just click the banner.
From The Washington Post:
DES MOINES -- A year ago, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney gathered his campaign team for the first time at his suburban Boston home. There were PowerPoint presentations, and Ann Romney made sandwiches. "It was like the first day of school," said one senior-level participant.
It was then that Romney put in motion his strategy to become president: Win Iowa and New Hampshire by wooing fiscal and social conservatives, and use that momentum to overwhelm the competition in the primaries that followed. But with less than two weeks before Iowans vote, that strategy is in danger of unraveling because former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has seized the conservative mantle and has emerged as the front-runner. His sudden rise in the past month -- sparked by passionate support from the same Christian conservatives Romney has been unable to win over -- has raised questions about Romney's strategy.
"In Iowa, someone was always going to challenge Romney as a conservative alternative," said GOP consultant Scott Reed, who managed Robert J. Dole's presidential campaign in 1996. "Huckabee has caught the eyes of social conservatives in Iowa, and the issue is if they have grown enough in numbers to deliver a win."
Romney's advisers bristle at the notion that he could have run his campaign differently. They are particularly sensitive to charges that the former governor changed his positions on abortion, immigration and gay rights to be more in tune with Republican voters, particularly in Iowa. They say his conservative credentials are genuine.
And, they say, they always knew Romney would face a challenge like this, though at the December 2006 meeting, the talk was about former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani -- not Huckabee.
"We were sitting around with a PowerPoint," a senior adviser, one of a half-dozen who were at the December gathering, said on the condition of anonymity. "We weren't sitting around with a crystal ball."
A year later, Romney's top aides spend their time in meetings working to beat back Huckabee's challenge.
"Are there moments of quiet and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation? Of course," another longtime adviser said. "But . . . this is the strategy we have. We don't have the option of doing anything else."
"We can do no other, here we stand. Amen." (Shriekback from Running on the Rocks from the Big Night Music CD).
I feel sorry for Romney. He had a good plan but he simply didn't take into account how negatively his Mormon religion would affect voters.
I think the primary reason that Christians reacted so strongly against Romney's Mormonism is the aggressive campaign that the LDS have mounted over the past few years to have Mormonism seen as just another Christian denomination. They are not. They are a non-Christian religion and because they claim to be Christian they are a pseudo-Christian cult.
Christians are instructed to have no fellowship with such people in order to avoid confusing non-believers as to what the Christian message is.
I do not believe that any of that is grounds for not voting for him since we are electing a president and not a pastor. However a great many of my Christian brothers and sisters feel differently.
I just wish they were not turning to Mike Huckabee. He is conservative on a couple of social issues and hard-core liberal on everything else. What's worse is that back when he was governor of Arkansas he said that his deviations from conservastism where prompted by his Christian faith. He wanted to take a very lenient policy of illegal immigration becaue it was the "Christina thing to do". Yet now he is talking very tough on illegal immigration.
Is he now willing to do the "non-Christian thing" because the polls tell him that anyone wanting the Republican nomination has to be hawkish on the borders? What about his committment to Christ? The Bible tells us to be true to God at all costs. I am not able to judge the state of Huckabee's heart. Only God can do that, but the evidence of eyes and ears tells us that there is a great deal to be suspicious about with Huckabee.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The Cooler has some of the goods on Elmer Gantry:
The Cooler has obtained documents that show Mike Huckabee received $378,000 in consulting fees during 2006, while he was still governor of Arkansas.
Most noteworthy, $35,000 came from Novo Nordisk, one of the world's largest embryonic stem cell researchers. It seems that when money is at stake Huckabee may be able to look past his supposedly fervent opposition to this procedure.
He also received speaking fees and honoraria from churches while Governor.
It is certainly calls into question whether or not it is appropriate for a Governor to be taking a consulting fee from interest groups, as Huckabee did, when issues surrounding that interest group could come across his desk.
The consulting money was funneled through an organization called 12 stops, a group created in 2004 to handle Gov. Huckabee's book deals. With all the attention Senator Obama received for running a separate PAC and potentially funnelling money from maxed out donors through that PAC, it calls into question whether Huckabee may have done the same.
You can view a full list of Huckabee "donors" here.
My fellow conservatives, my fellow Republicans, my fellow Christians. Do not put your trust in this man. He is deceitful and dishonorable and will let you down in a major way.
There is a real conservative in this race and he is Fred Thompson. Back him and you will not be disappointed.