Saturday, March 31, 2007


The worthless United Nations continues to be useless. Iran goes into Iraqi waters and kidnaps 15 British sailors, one of them a woman, and the best they can do is to express "grave concern." Oh wow! Grave concern! I'm sure that really curled some beards in Iran. The U.N. originally intended to "deplore" the hostage-taking, but Russia objected. And here we thought that Putin was mad at Iran for not paying its bills! I guess not.
Face it. The U.N.'s response to this naked aggression shows that the organization serves no practical purpose and should be downgraded to a Sunday afternoon tea society.

Here you have an open-and-shut case of a rogue, dictatorial regime kidnapping and holding hostage innocent soldiers...soldiers that were not in Iranian waters when they were apprehended. The Brits have the GPS data to prove it. One of the sailors is a woman, making the situation all the more outrageous. On top of all this, Iran is parading the soldiers on direct violation of the Geneva Convention.

And what does the UN do? Nothing. Why? Because the UN is anti-American, and that makes it anti-Brit. It's time for not only the United States to pull out of the United Nations but for us to kick them out of the United States. Let's form another international organization composed of countries with elected governments that adhere to principles of economic freedom and guaranteed rights for their citizens. The UN? Give it Haiti. The two deserve each other.

The left always tells us we need the U.N. as a place for countries to settle international disputes. Tell me just one international dispute the UN has settled! It's a sounding board for third-world anti-Americanism. Nothing more.

Friday, March 30, 2007


The Senate approved a bill yesterday calling for the surrender of U.S. forces in Iraq within a year. The bill, has no chance of becoming law. Bush says he will veto it. On the other hand, since there's no abortion or stem cell research provisions in the bill ... who knows? If he does veto the bill there is no chance for an override. Islamic fascism, it seems has plenty of friends on Capitol Hill. Knowing that Joe Lieberman would never vote for such a travesty, you may be wondering what Republicans went along with this nonsense. The answer is (of course) Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel and Gordon Smith from Oregon (who? me neither.)

Check out this quote from Patty Murray, who managed the bill: "Our troops have done everything we've asked them to do, and now it's time to start bringing them home." It is? Well then I am sure the Democrats will have no problem cutting off funding for the war. That will bring them home, right? Well, evidently not. Only an artificial deadline that will never become law will do, I guess.

So what's wrong with all this? Imagine you're a solider serving in Iraq...and you turn on the TV and see that your own Senator has voted to surrender in Iraq. Don't you think that might dent morale just a bit? And what about the terrorists? They will be more emboldened than ever, knowing that they're winning the war in the arena of public opinion.

You do know our efforts were showing success in Iraq, don't you? This is the most dangerous situation for the Democrat Party. Any measure of success in Iraq costs Democrat Part votes in 2008. Can't let that happen. For God's sake, bring the troops home before they can actually succeed!


The plot thickens in the U.S. Attorney firing non-scandal. Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff says the Attorney General was involved in the firings, contradicting his boss. Who cares, right? Bored Democrats with no agenda, that's who. And they show no signs of letting up. Once again, the Democrats are looking for somebody's head in the administration...and that somebody is Alberto Gonzales. Get a nice resignation here and victory will be declared. Then it's off to get the leftist pro-Democrat media to bite on another non-scandal.

Yesterday Kyle Sampson, the AG's former chief of staff said he discussed the firings with his boss on two occasions. Gonzales said at a press conference 17 days ago that he was not involved in the firings. Gotcha! The attorney general is obviously a liar that must be fired. New York Senator Chuck Schumer said Gonzales' credibility has been shattered. But remember, Democrats only worry about credibility when they're talking about Republicans. Fellow Democrats don't count. Just ask Bill Clinton or Congressman William "Cold Cash" Jefferson.

But a little further down in the coverage of Sampson's testimony yesterday is this little nugget: "To my knowledge, no US attorney was asked to resign for the purpose of influencing a particular case for a particular reason." In other words, there's nothing to the Democrats' allegations and never was. Is this witch hunt what people voted for in the last election? Somebody down at the DNC thinks so.

Oh..and did you know President Bush was going to fire all 93 U.S. Attorneys, just as his predecessor had done? He only decided to fire eight. An inconsequential fact.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff says the 8 U.S. Attorneys were fired over politics. That is, they didn't support President Bush's policies the way they administration thought they should. This is the message that will be delivered in testimony today. Expect it to make big news, but it really isn't. This has to be the biggest non-scandal to hit Washington since, well..the last biggest non-scandal: the Valerie Plame affair. God forbid they should tackle something important like the coming crash of this stupid Social Security system we have, or doing something about the Mexican invasion. Eight U.S. Attorneys get fired for political reasons. Who cares? These are political jobs. These are positions just like the ones in the White House...political appointees that serve at the pleasure of the president. Bush could fire them all just for kicks one day. Wait....Bill Clinton already did that once. Nobody cared when George W. Bush replaced his chief of staff, did he? Nope...his choice.

And so here we go...more testimony and more calls for Alberto Gonzales resignation. His former chief of staff will testify on the Hill today over what he knew and when he knew it. The "investigation" is being led by liberal Democrat Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He says nothing will stop his hearings, not even Gonzales' resignation.

Why? Because he's hit a political goldmine. The Democrats have the Republicans on the ropes over nothing. They simply invented a scandal out of thin air and the media has gone along for the ride.


The Senate passes the Retreat Deadline bill.

Forty-eight Democrats and independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont were joined by two Republicans, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon, in voting for the measure. Opposed were 46 Republicans and Connecticut independent Joseph Lieberman.

Sens. Mike Enzi, R-Wy., and Tim Johnson, D-S.D., did not vote.

Hello, veto.


N.Z. Bear at Victory Caucus notes that Congress is in such an urgent state of emergency over the war spending bill that it's going on Spring Break:

So what happens now? Well, President Bush has made crystal clear that he will veto the bill. But he won't even get a chance for several weeks. The Democratic leadership have decided to stick to the normal (read: non-emergency) calendar, and so Congress is now heading home for Spring Break. Once they return, the Senate bill still needs to be reconciled with the House version, and so the final bill won't make it to President Bush's desk until at least mid-April.

Meanwhile, our troops are waiting. So it turns out that according to the Democratic leadership, funding for the Tree Assistance Program, sugar beets , and the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program are all "emergencies". But there's nothing urgent at all about actually getting funds to our soldiers on the battlefield.

Party on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


By Austin Bay

The sailors call them "RHIBs" -- rigid hull inflatable boats. Add powerful outboard motors, and the agile, shallow-draft RHIB becomes an ideal watercraft for scooting around the Tigris and Euphrates estuary or for slipping among suspicious dhows in Iraqi coastal waters.

Light boats like RHIBs, however, aren't fighting vessels. Use one for patrol, boarding and police duties (missions 15 British sailors and marines were conducting last week), and the sailors have no protection other than the craft's swiftness and their own individual body armor. One long burst of light machinegun fire will likely sink the boat, as well as kill several of the sailors on board. Life vests worn over body armor will keep survivors bobbing, but make them easy targets for the next machinegun burst.

In 2005, I spent several days with American sailors who were conducting inspection operations in the northern end of the Persian Gulf. The sailors used RHIBs for the close work. The sailors were armed with shotguns and light automatic weapons (as the 15 Royal Navy personnel taken hostage by Iranian Revolutionary Guards most certainly were).

Even a routine boarding has its moment of doubt. A young petty officer acknowledged a fishing dhow could be a floating bomb, with the fisherman a potential "martyr." But he judged the possibility to be remote. "We know a lot of these fishing boats," he said. "We've watched them."

The U.S. sailors, however, weren't alone. A U.S. patrol boat with automatic cannons was never more than a few hundred meters away. A British frigate and an American cruiser patrolled nearby. We were in fairly deep water, 15 kilometers offshore.

The Royal Navy sailors and marines were apparently closer to shore in small open boats when the sailors were surprised and surrounded by Iranian craft. They surrendered in order to avoid a bloodbath and a larger international incident.

Britain says it has definitive evidence its personnel were in Iraqi territory. Even if they strayed into Iranian water, the fact the sailors and marines were surrounded and outgunned suggests a planned operation.

The British sailors are now hostages in an intercontinental game of brinksmanship. Once again, a tactical (small-scale military) engagement in the War on Terror has strategic (large-scale) political and psychological consequences.

It's also a reminder that when confronting terrorists and terror states, everyone is a potential hostage. In 1979, Iranian theo-fascists took the entire U.S. embassy hostage, in what many have come to regard as the first attack in the War on Terror.

But this latest hostage-taking incident smacks of desperation, not revolutionary fervor.

Late spring 2007 finds the Iranian "revolutionary government" facing an extraordinary range of internal and external problems.

There's a war inside Iran -- several wars, actually. Minority Baluchis, Azeris, Kurds and Arabs are restive.

The mullah's core problem is the Iranian people. Under-30 Iranians have had it with the mullahs' failed revolution.

A recent visitor to Iran described a twenty-fold increase in "the standard bribe" Tehran bureaucrats demand for a building permit. Call it indicative rumor, supporting the assertion that Iranians now believe their current government is more corrupt than the Shah's. Moreover, Iranians are aware of Iraq's political progress. There's a war in Iraq, yes, but also an emerging Arab democracy -- and that irritates Iranians who regard themselves as being more sophisticated than Arabs. The latest U.N. sanctions resolution increases political and economic pressure. It also freezes the economic assets of 28 people and organizations -- so the sanctions are tailored to hit specific Iranian actors (bad actors). The resolution passed unanimously, meaning the mullahs cannot count on China and Russia.

Confronting these problems, Iran's Islamist hardliners take Western hostages.

"These people have to be released," Britain's Tony Blair said on Monday. At the moment, Britain and its allies are pursuing diplomatic means. If they fail, Blair says, "then this will move into a different phase." Two U.S. aircraft carrier groups are now operating off Iranian shores. They are not small, open boats.


The Democrat-controlled Congress is currently fighting to pass a $124 billion emergency war supplemental laden with pork projects. Last week the House voted 218-212 to pass the bill and the Senate is expected to pass it shortly. Senate Republicans said they expect President Bush to veto the bill because it sets a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal in Iraq. The following list highlights the most egregious earmarks contained in the Senate's version of the bill, as ranked by fiscal hawk Sen. Tom Coburn's staff.

10. Allows transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop

9. $3 million in funding for sugar cane

8. $3.5 million in additional funding for guided tours of the Capitol

7. $12 million for the Forest Service money which the President requested in the non-emergency fiscal year 2008 budget

6. $20 million for insect damage reimbursements in Nevada

5. $24 million in funding for sugar beets

4. $75 million for salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency

3. $165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief, funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

2. $40 million for the Tree Assistance Program

1. $100 million in funding for the 2008 national party conventions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


There are 600,000 illegal alien fugitives in this country that our government cannot account for. The people charged with the responsibility of keeping up with these people are claiming inadequate resources. How about lack of will? But hey, no worries. We learn that the Feds expect to have them all of these fugitive criminal aliens out by the end of 2012. So only another 4 years or so before we round up all the murderers, rapists and thieves from the Mexican invasion and ship them back from whence they came. Of course, by then, another 600,000 -- likely many more --- will crossed the border heading north.

Criminal aliens? Yeah .. that's what I call them. A little insensitive reaction of mine to seeing these people carrying their "I'm not a criminal" signs. You cross the border illegally, you work illegally, you stay here illegally ... you're a criminal. Plus you have the fact that a significant percentage of illegal aliens are committing a large number of crimes. Sexual predators especially...all courtesy of our neighbor to the South. But the media isn't anxious to report this wave of crime courtesy of Mexico. Next time you're watching your local news and you see a report about a crime committed by someone who could be an illegal alien, noticed they never mention their immigration status. That would be politically incorrect.

So the invasion continues. One of the excuses being given as to why the fugitive backlog is so high in this country is because there aren't enough places in the jails for them. Here's an about shipping them back to Mexico and letting them deal with it? We used to do was calling deporting somebody. Look it used to happen. A long time ago.


Iran is changing its tune on the 15 kidnapped British soldiers, saying it is questioning them to see if they're innocent. It seems the Iranians think now maybe their supposed trespassing in Iranian waters was an accident. More accurately .... perhaps the Iranians have some hint that their little kidnapping ploy isn't working out all that well for them and they had better find a way out of this mess. By the of the 15 is a woman. Just how much of this is the world going to put up with?

By the way, the Blob (that's Rosie O'Donnell for those of you who are new to the show) thinks we made the whole thing up. That's right, theBlob implied on 'The View' that the United States somehow set up this whole thing so as to provoke the Iranians into giving us an excuse to start a war with them. Yeah, that's what happened. George W. Bush probably did all this in his spare time while he was planning more plane hijackings so he could continue the War On Terror. I'm starting to think that this hideous woman really is as stupid as she sounds. Stupid --- not ignorant. You can fix ignorant.

Anyway, it could be that mounting international pressure is changing the Iranians minds...but it's still astonishing that nobody is doing anything about it. Snatching those 15 soldiers was an act of war....except Britain hasn't reacted. Why? Evidently because they're continuing their policy of Islamic appeasement...and letting the Iranians slide. The strongest words Tony Blair could come up with was that they were taking the matter very seriously. That's it. Which is too bad...because this would be a great opportunity to put the Mullahs in Tehran in their place.

But instead, the UK is holding Iran's hand...softly telling them to please return the soldiers. I wonder if they're going to pay money for their release? Perhaps a prisoner swap? It's really that absurd.
Where are the Islamic fascists going to push next?

Monday, March 26, 2007


Iran continues to play games regarding these British sailors they took hostage in Iraqi waters the other day. These were our allies operating in a war led by the United States. Is it time for a showdown? Is it time for Bush should give Tehran 24 hours to return them without a scratch...or else?

The Islamic fascists are going to continue to push until they find that magic point where we push back. Evidently kidnapping soldiers off the high seas isn't that point. Our response should be no different than if Iran took a group of U.S. Marines hostage from international waters. So what are we doing about all of this? Not much. How about the Brits? Well, not much either.

Tony Blair says they're taking Iran's actions seriously. Yeah! That ought to show them! This is why Iran does the things that it does...because it knows it can get away with it. Ahmadinejad knows he can exploit the weakness of the politically correct Islamic appeasers in Europe. He rightly calculated that he could draw attention to himself by capturing these soldiers and perhaps arranging a prisoner swap. No one is standing up to him thus far. So, perched atop his phone book in Tehran, he continues his nuclear weapons program and has now taken these prisoners.

Britain is an ally and this was an act of war. Why not give them what they seem to want? Reagan wouldn't have put up with this. And just to be bipartisan about it, neither would Harry Truman or Franklin Roosevelt. How long do we wait until we push these dangerous people back?


The Tax Foundation has issued a new report entitled "Who Pays America's Tax Burden, and Who Gets the Most Government Spending". You can read the report for yourself right here, though I suspect you already know the answers to the questions.

As you might now, economists and government bureaucrats divide us into quintiles. There's the highest income one-fifth, the lowest income one-fifth, and the three-fifths in the middle. The Tax Foundation study shows that the lowest-earning one-fifth of households in America get about $8.21 in federal, state and local government spending for every dollar they paid in taxes in 2004. If you're in the middle one-fifth, you got about $1.30 in spending for every dollar in taxes. Now, can you guess what happens if you're in the top one-fifth? Right. You get raped. You get about 41 cents in government spending for every dollar you pay in taxes.

Those of you out there who so ardently hate the rich might want to rethink things. Looks to me like you need them to cover your cost of living. Pity you can't care for yourselves. Maybe that's where the hatred comes in. The dependence that those in the lower income brackets have on government handouts breed resentment .. and that resentment is aimed at those who have more. Perhaps instead of resentment these people might want to think in terms of gratitude. Thank goodness there are people out there who do go the extra mile, make the extra effort, work the extra hours to get themselves into those higher brackets. Who is going to create all of this wealth that gets redistributed if they don't? The government?

Sunday, March 25, 2007



Al Gore showed up on Capitol Hill Wednesday proclaiming his devotion to the concept of bipartisanship, calling on Republicans to join ranks with him and the Democrats in his great crusade to save the world from being barbecued by the warming of the globe that he insists is threatening our very survival.

In a rather bizarre display of the spirit of bipartisanship, he then promptly refused to appear until after the Republicans made their opening statements and insisted on being allowed to subject them to his own 35-minute rambling opening statement, delivered in the manner of a British resident commissioner reading the 39 articles of the Anglican Confederation to a conscript assemblage of Zulus, as the late Murray Kempton once remarked about Bill Buckley’s announcement that he was running for mayor in New York City years ago.

That was just the beginning. In both the House and Senate the Democrats paid him homage and allowed him to run roughshod over any Republican rash enough to raise questions about his specious recitation of the alleged facts behind global warming.

Chairing the hearing in the Senate, Sen. Barbara Boxer allowed Gore to avoid answering Republican questions by letting him run on and on with meaningless observations, thereby using up the questioning senator’s allotted time and limiting his ability to seek answers to legitimate questions.

In one instance, after Sen. Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.) asked him to sign a pledge that he would not use any more energy than the average American family -- he uses 20 times that amount -- he avoided making that pledge by talking about other matters thus using up most of the senator’s allotted time.

Here is a man who makes no bones about wanting to limit population growth by forcing Africans to stop having children but escapes any criticism for what is undisguised racism. If a Republican engaged in such racist proposals he would be ridden out of town on a rail.

But cutting population by abortion and contraception and other such methods is not Gore’s only contribution to population control in Africa. He and his fellow envirocrats have an even better way of getting rid of lot of inconvenient Africans -- deprive them of the opportunity to have electricity by banning building power plants -- a lack of which now kills at least a million Africans every year.

As Paul Driessen explained in the British documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” depriving Africans of the opportunity to have electricity will continue to kill at least a million Africans every year, as the lack of electric power on the African continent is doing right now.

Driessen, a former environmentalist activist himself, reminds us that in the name of environmental safety a million Africans die ever year from malaria, a disease that could be all but eliminated by the use of DDT, which has been banned thanks to Al Gore’s pals in the environmental movement.

"It was Environmental Defense and the foundations that created it that launched this nasty campaign against DDT just as they're doing on global warming,” Driessen told in an exclusive interview.

“They just vilified anyone who tried to stand up in defense of DDT -- an inquisition threatening to burn them at the stake and they just beat them into silence.

“So that in the end you end up with the same situation you have now with global warming -- incredibly nasty attacks on companies, on users of energy -- a repeat of the same tactics, and they're gunning for the same power and control -- it’s not just over a chemical or the chemical industry or one particular insecticide (as in the case of DDT) but what is over the foundation of civilized society -- energy, abundant reliable and affordable energy, and you don't get there with wind power or solar power or any of these other clean, green, fanciful, imaginary energy technologies that they approve of.”

Gore tells us that we must change our way of life by cutting our use of energy. For many Africans, however, changing their way of life simply means dying.


Sen. Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) isn’t an old man, but he’s old enough to remember when calling someone a “conservative” was sort of an insult. In an interview yesterday, the Senate minority leader said that the equation of his youth is reversed. “Ronald Reagan made the term, ‘conservative’ popular,” he said, and now “Democrats are running away” from the “liberal” label. McConnell is in a position to keep them running.

McConnell has a tough job, holding a fractious and often fractured group of 49 Republicans together to stop the (forgive the redundancy) liberal Democrats’ agenda of high taxes, illegal immigration, retreat and defeat. We talked briefly Thursday about how McConnell is shaping Republicans’ strategy and a host of issues in which the Democrats are trying to violate key conservative principles.

First, McConnell believes that the 2006 election results reflect the unpopularity of the war in Iraq. It wasn’t, he said, “a rejection of center-right politics.” Post-election polling supports McConnell’s conclusion, showing that a large majority of Americans did not want to withdraw from Iraq, but weren’t at all happy with the way the President was prosecuting the war.

That translates to the Republicans in the Senate being able to reshape some of the Democrats’ legislation and stop the rest cold. McConnell said, “We’ve demonstrated in the last three months that we will not be run over.” There are two more demonstrations he seemed to be itching to accomplish.

First is the Dems’ payoff to big labor, eliminating the secret ballot requirement for union elections. McConnell said Republicans would kill it and “probably brag about it.” If they do, conservatives should be throwing the party.

Next on McConnell’s target list is HR 1433, the Democrats’ bill creating a voting member of the House of Representatives for the District of Columbia. HUMAN EVENTS is strongly opposed to the measure for precisely the reasons McConnell cited.

He told me the bill is unconstitutional and reached for a pocket-sized edition of the Constitution to prove it. McConnell cited Article 1 Section 2 (“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States…”) and the 23rd Amendment, which gave the people of the District of Columbia the right to vote in presidential elections. (It provides, in part, that, “The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint…A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State…”) The fact that the District of Columbia isn’t a state has apparently escaped the Democrats and, sadly, some Republicans.

McConnell said HR 1433 isn’t -- as some would disguise it -- a civil rights issue. He said Republicans would kill it if they can because it is unconstitutional and must be stopped for that reason alone. But what of the legislation -- like the Democrats’ budget plan -- that can’t be reshaped and which Republicans can’t stop altogether? (At this writing, HR 1433 has been pulled from the House floor because of an effort by Republicans and Blue Dog Dems to add a repealer of the D.C. gun ban. HR 1433 is down, but not out. It will almost certainly be revived).

I asked McConnell if he had talked to President Bush about unlimbering the presidential veto. He wouldn’t, of course, reveal his personal discussions with the President but he did say that some bills that deserve to be killed may well not be because they deserve the dramatic death that comes with the veto.

We hope McConnell’s prediction of more vetoes comes true, especially with regard to the Democrats’ budget plan. That plan -- which the Dems’ amen chorus in the media isn’t reporting -- would have raised taxes on Americans by $900 billion over the next few years, which would be three times as large as the largest tax hike in history, the 1993 Clinton tax increase. McConnell said it had been pared down to about $700 billion, which is still mind-bogglingly huge.

McConnell forecast the fight conservatives have been waiting six years for: a real knock-down, drag out battle over a presidential veto. President Bush’s reluctance to veto almost anything since being elected (he did veto a stem-cell research measure) has left conservatives wondering just how bad something has to be to get Bush to kill it. The McCain-Feingold bill wasn’t. Now, the Dems’ attachment of a “cut and run” specified date for withdrawal from Iraq may be the one. McConnell predicted there would be a big fight over it in the Senate and -- if the measure passes Congress and the President vetoes it -- a showdown on a veto-override vote.

If it is managed correctly -- as McConnell is ready to do -- that showdown could be one of the political dramas that shape the course of the 2008 presidential race.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


By John Tamny

Calvin Coolidge once said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." The 30th president's words are particularly prescient in light of hand-wringing by our political class over subprime mortgages, our "problem" du jour.

Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat has said, "There's going to be a significant role for Congress" in working out the alleged subprime mess, while Sen. Christopher Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, has suggested that Congress should curb what he deems predatory lending. Mr. Dodd has also spoken of finding ways to help "millions of families" facing foreclosure, which, when translated, means Congress will seek to fleece millions of U.S. taxpayers to bail out those who sought financing in the subprime market. Given Congress' track record in dealing with past problems in the banking sector, investors and taxpayers should hope any legislation is stalled in committee. Indeed, the S&L debacle of the late 1980s should make even those in Congress wary of wading into more banking legislation.

Nearly 30 years ago, the savings and loan (S&L) industry was on life support. Amidst skyrocketing interest rates between 1979 and 1982, S&Ls lost $4.6 billion in 1980, and $4.1 billion in 1981. By 1982, S&Ls had a negative net worth of $100 billion. Rather than allow the industry to die a slow death, Congress stepped in to save the day.

The slow death of the S&Ls began in the 1970s when interested rates skyrocketed in response to the weak dollar. In previous decades, the S&L sector was a prosaic one where its assets were long-term mortgages paying higher rates, while its liabilities consisted of short-term, lower-rate deposits. This worked well until short-term rates rose sharply. Unable due to regulations to pay depositors more than 5-1/2 percent, S&Ls gradually lost deposits to money-market funds paying well in excess of 51/2 percent, while the falling dollar eroded the value of their fixed-rate mortgages.

Regulations and poor Fed policy surely hindered the S&L industry, still the explosion of the mortgage-backed securities market and worldwide banking competition rendered S&Ls obsolete.

But like most long-established industries in the U.S., the S&Ls had powerful political benefactors interested in keeping them alive. Congress passed the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980, and the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 to keep them afloat. Both acts served to privatize any deregulation successes, while socializing the inevitable failures.

Whereas S&Ls were previously limited in terms of the interest rates they could offer depositors, the aforementioned legislation removed all caps on rates they could post to attract deposits. Capital requirements were reduced from 5 percent to 3 percent, plus S&L loans were no longer limited to home mortgages. To pay the high rates offered on deposits, S&Ls had the incentive to make higher-risk loans and equity investments in areas beyond traditional home mortgages, including commercial and construction loans. If the S&Ls had been left to fend for themselves in this newly deregulated world, the new legislation would have been fine.

The problem, as previously mentioned, was that Congress also chose to socialize any failures. The Garn-St. Germain bill raised the level of federal deposit insurance from $40,000 to $100,000. This created enormous moral hazard in that depositors could place their funds at high rates of interest with the S&Ls worry-free. And just the same, S&L executives could be lax in their lending and investment standards with full knowledge that U.S. taxpayers were on the hook if their investments soured.

Importantly, the weakest S&Ls had the greatest incentive to swing for the fences in making loans, and this made it even more difficult for the healthy S&Ls to compete. The rest, as they say, is history. More than 1,000 S&Ls failed in the 1980s. The bloodbath continued into the 1990s; much of it on the dime of U.S. taxpayers.

Returning to the existing subprime situation, according to a recent report from Morgan Stanley, there are slightly more than $600 billion of subprime mortgages outstanding. If there were defaults on half that (thought by many to be the worst-case scenario), it would work out to 2 percent of the $15.7 trillion U.S. bond market. Considering how active foreign investors are in U.S. debt, this number shrinks to 1 percent of the $33 trillion global market. Further, $300 billion is only 1.3 percent of the U.S. housing market, and constitutes only 0.5 percent of the $55.6 trillion net worth of U.S. households. In short, $300 billion is pretty tiny in the big picture, and something the markets can easily handle. And as this is public information, stocks have already priced any presumed fallout.

Not yet priced is the governmental response to something it should best stay out of. The Bush administration has joined the echo chamber in saying it will vigorously prosecute any cases of predatory lending -- meaning future homebuyers on the riskier end of the lending curve will find it tougher to get financing in the future.

If the heads of failed subprime firms face prosecution, there will be an even greater incentive for successful firms in the subprime space to exit the industry. To the extent either lenders or borrowers are bailed out, U.S. taxpayers will eventually have to pay for the inevitable carelessness that government guarantees engender.

Still, as evidenced by the numbers involved, this is a very small problem. To avoid making it a bigger one, Congress should let the subprime scare slide into the ditch.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to be in New York this weekend to address a UN Security Council meeting most likely aimed at imposing sanctions on his country. How about we arrest him while he's here and send him to Gitmo? He is an Islamic terrorist, you know. What's most outrageous is that here you have the president of a country that is our sworn enemy....stepping onto our soil. If America is such a terrible place, he sure doesn't seem to mind visiting. Must be the high-heeled shoes.

But visit he will....and just what good tidings will the good Iranian president bring? He says he has new proposals for the U.N. They must be feeling the pinch just a bit in Tehran. Must be that Russian collection agency breathing down their necks. Ahmadinejad says Iran still won't give up uranium enrichment.

It's also incredible that the American State Department has issued Visas to Ahmadinejad and his entourage. This is a country that still supports terrorism...that's training insurgents and sending them to Iraq. He's killing our troops...and we're welcoming him to New York. What's next...inviting Castro? Oh wait...we already did that. Perhaps The Gargoyle will visit us soon. At least we could get some more use out of the official U.N. booster seat.

Friday, March 23, 2007


By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Alberto Gonzales has to go. I say this with no pleasure -- he's a decent and honorable man -- and without the slightest expectation that his departure will blunt the Democratic assault on the Bush administration over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. In fact, it will probably inflame their bloodlust, which is why the president might want to hang on to Gonzales at least through this crisis. That might be tactically wise. But in time, and the sooner the better, Gonzales must resign.

It's not a question of probity, but of competence. Gonzales has allowed a scandal to be created where there was none. That is quite an achievement. He had a two-foot putt and he muffed it.

How could he allow his aides to go to Capitol Hill unprepared and misinformed and therefore give inaccurate and misleading testimony? How could Gonzales permit his deputy to say that the prosecutors were fired for performance reasons when all he had to say was that U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president and the president wanted them replaced?

And why did Gonzales have to claim that the firings were done with no coordination with the White House? That's absurd. Why shouldn't there be White House involvement? That is nothing to be defensive about. Does anyone imagine that Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. attorneys in March 1993, giving them all of 10 days to clear out, without White House involvement?

The Bush administration fired eight. Democrats are charging this was done for reasons of politics, and that politics have no place in the legal system. This is laughable. U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president -- and, by tradition, are recommended by home state politicians of the same party, not by a group of judges or a committee of the American Bar Association. Which makes their appointment entirely political.

OK, say the accusers, but once you've made the appointments, they should be left to pursue justice on their own. It's nice to see that Sen. Charles Schumer, who is using this phony scandal to raise funds for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has suddenly adopted a Platonic view of justice. But the fact is that there are thousands of laws on the books and only finite resources for any prosecutor to deploy, which means that one must have priorities about which laws to emphasize and which crimes to preferentially pursue.

Those decisions are essentially political. And they are decided by elections in which both parties spell out very clearly their law enforcement priorities. Are you going to allocate prosecutorial resources more to drug dealing or tax cheating? To street crime or corporate malfeasance? To illegal immigration or illegal pollution? If you're a Democrat today, you call the choice "political'' to confer a sense of illegitimacy. If you're a neutral observer, you call the choice a set of law enforcement priorities reflecting the policy preferences of the winner of the last presidential election.

For example, both voter intimidation and voter fraud are illegal. The Democrats have a particular interest in the former because they see it diminishing their turnout, while Republicans are particularly interested in the latter because they see it as inflating the Democratic tally. The Bush administration apparently was dismayed that some of these fired attorneys were not vigorous enough in pursuing voter fraud.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Pursuing voter fraud is not, as The New York Times pretends, a euphemism for suppressing the vote of minorities and poor people. It is a mechanism for suppressing the vote of (among other phantoms) dead people. Conservatives have a healthy respect for the opinion of dead people -- conservatives revere tradition, which Chesterton once defined as "the democracy of the dead'' -- but they draw the line at posthumous voting.

If the White House decides that a U.S. attorney is showing insufficient zeal in pursuing voter fraud -- or the death penalty or illegal immigration or drug dealing -- it has the perfect right to fire him. There is only one impermissible reason for presidential intervention: to sabotage an active investigation. That is obstruction of justice. Until the Democrats come up with any real evidence of that -- and they have not -- this affair remains a pseudo-scandal. Which would never have developed had Gonzales made the easy and obvious case from day one.


Out of Iraq Caucus members Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Barney Frank (D-MA).

Democrats are still trying to find the votes to pass a measure setting a timeline for surrender in Iraq. They're still a couple votes short...and as for the $124 billion funding bill that does everything from fund the war to bail out the spinach industry in California? They're all going to vote for it. So much for principle...I guess everything does have a price.

The Out of Iraq caucus...a group in Congress dedicated to surrender in Iraq....was evidently appeased enough by a timeline attached to the appropriations measure that they've now decided to not block the measure. The real reason is they don't have the votes to stop it. With Democrats loading up the bill with pork, it is destined to pass. Forget about stopping the war....this is is all about buying votes and cashing in.

But here's the absolute best part. As a result of the Democrats' inability to stop the war in Iraq and cut the funding for it, ultra, anti-war leftists have begun protesting at campaign events and showing up at members' offices in Congress. The latest victim of a protest? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Just yesterday a bunch of crazies were arrested outside Pelosi's office yesterday afternoon.

The name of the demonstration? "Pin the war on the donkey." Priceless.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


No matter how much liberals try to dress up their nutty superstitions about global warming as "science," which only six-fingered lunatics could doubt, scratch a global warming "scientist" and you get a religious fanatic.

These days, new religions are barely up and running before they seize upon the worst aspects of the God-based religions.

First, there's the hypocrisy and corruption. At the 1992 Democratic Convention in New York, Al Gore said: "The central organizing principle of governments everywhere must be the environment." The environment would not, however, be the central organizing principle of Gore's own life.

The only place Al Gore conserves energy these days is on the treadmill. I don't want to suggest that Al's getting big, but the last time I saw him on TV I thought, "That reminds me -- we have to do something about saving the polar bears."

Never mind his carbon footprint -- have you seen the size of Al Gore's regular footprint lately? It's almost as deep as Janet Reno's.

But I digress. As has been widely reported, Gore's Tennessee mansion consumes 20 times the energy of the average home in that state. But it's OK, according to the priests of global warming. Gore has purchased "carbon offsets."

It took the Catholic Church hundreds of years to develop corrupt practices such as papal indulgences. The global warming religion has barely been around for 20 years, and yet its devotees are allowed to pollute by the simple expedient of paying for papal indulgences called "carbon offsets."

Americans spend an extra $2.2 billion on gas a year because they're overweight, requiring more fuel in cars to carry the extra pounds. So even with all those papal indulgences, Gore may have a small carbon footprint, but he has a huge carbon butt-print.

Further proving that liberalism is a religion, its practitioners respond with the zeal of Torquemada to any dissent from the faith in global warming.

A few years ago, Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg wrote a book titled "The Skeptical Environmentalist," disputing the hysteria surrounding global warming and other environmentalist scares. Lomborg is a Greenpeace anti-war protester -- or, as he is described on liberal websites, he is a "young, gay vegetarian Dane with tight T-shirts." His book was cited favorably in The New York Times.

But for questioning the "science" behind global warming, Lomborg was brought up on charges of "scientific misconduct" by Denmark's Inquisition Court, called the "Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation." I take it Denmark's Ministry of Truth was booked solid that day.

The moment anyone diverges from official church doctrine on global warming, he is threatened with destruction. Heretics would be burnt at the stake if liberals could figure out how to do it in a "carbon neutral" way.

Climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball is featured in the new documentary debunking global warming, titled "The Great Global Warming Swindle." For this heresy, Ball has received hate mail with such messages as, "If you continue to speak out, you won't live to see further global warming."

I'm against political writers whining about their hate mail because it makes them sound like Paul Krugman. But that's political writers arguing about ideology.

Global warming is supposed to be "science." It's hard to imagine Niels Bohr responding to Albert Einstein's letter questioning quantum mechanics with a statement like: "If you continue to speak out, you won't live to see further quantum mechanics."

Come to think of it, one can't imagine the pope writing a letter to Jerry Falwell saying, "If you continue to speak out, you won't live to see further infallibility."

If this is how global warming devotees defend their scientific theory, it may be a few tweaks short of a scientific theory. Scientific facts are not subject to liberal bullying -- which, by the way, is precisely why liberals hate science.

A few years ago, The New York Times ran an article about the continuing furious debates among physicists about quantum mechanics, which differs from global warming in the sense that it is supported by physical evidence and it doesn't make you feel good inside to "do something" about quantum mechanics. It is, in short, science.

Though he helped develop the theory of quantum mechanics, Einstein immediately set to work attacking it. MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark called the constant testing and arguing about quantum mechanics "a 75-year war."

That's how a real scientific theory operates. That's even how a real religion operates. Only a false religion needs hate mail, threats, courts of inquisition and Hollywood movies to sustain it.


The showdown is beginning between the Congress and the administration over these U.S. Attorney firings. Soon they Democrats say they will actually issue subpoenas to White House officials. The president will claim executive privilege and it will be thrown into the courts. All over nothing. So far, there is absolutely no charge that anything illegal took place. There is no crime in firing U.S. Attorneys for political reasons. These are political jobs. Maybe what President Bush should have done was fire all 93 like Bill Clinton did. Then nobody would have noticed.

This really has nothing to do with the U.S. Attorneys. It's all about the Democrats #1 agenda: embarrassing the White House and diverting attention from their empty agenda. Really..what have Democrats done since taking over Capitol Hill in January? Does anybody remember any landmark legislation from their first 100 days? Raising the minimum wage, well there was that. Yawn.

So now the White House says if the House issues subpoenas for Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, the deal of being able to meet with them both in private is off. Still, there are signs Democrats may be backing down, just a bit. John Conyers and Chuck Schumer say they are continuing to negotiate with the administration. Is this because they know their subpoenas won't hold up in court? Perhaps.

This is just like the Valerie Plame non-affair. A lengthy, expensive investigation into...nothing. Welcome to the Democratic Washington.



At the Goracle hearing, Sen. Barbara Boxer cattily lorded her power over Sen. James Inhofe during Inhofe's questioning.


(After Boxer squabbles about the length of Inhofe's questions to Gore...)

Inhofe: Why don't we do this? At the end, you can have as much time as you want to answer all of the questions...

Boxer: No, that isn't the rule. You're not making the rules. You used to when you had this (holding up the gavel). You don't do this anymore. Elections have consequences. (Audience cheers)

Now, it's one thing for the audience to cheer.

But CNN anchor Don Lemon couldn't help chiming in, too (click to watch):


Reported Lemon: "Good for her."


Despite Boxer's valiant attempts to cover for Gore, she couldn't save him from revealing his "Do As I Say" stripes. Here's the vid of Gore refusing to take an energy ethics pledge.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


With the current partisan debate on Iraq raging in Congress, it is time to consider the reality there and consequent United States' options as they truly are, not as many wish. In broad terms, the U.S. has three options:

  1. Staying the course, i.e. more of the same, with only limited changes in U.S. strategy. This option leads to inexorable defeat and to a pointless loss of lives. It is not clear that the President's "surge" is sufficient to avoid this.
  2. Withdrawal, on the assumption that the U.S. has done what it could, but should now cut its losses. The harsh reality, however, is that the U.S. can not really disengage from Iraq and the Middle East, no matter how much it may want to, because the region's deep seated and violent ills will follow it back home. The Jihadis' and other "crazies'" hatred of the U.S. did not begin with the invasion of Iraq and will not end if it leaves.
  3. Staying for the long haul, but with realistic objectives, recognizing that failure to achieve even a minimalist, bare bones, definition of "success" (a unified, stable and peaceful Iraq, no more), may lead to severe ramifications for the region and U.S. This approach would require a comprehensive strategy and for the Bush administration to tell it as it is: that the U.S. will have to remain in Iraq for the long haul, because the alternatives are even worse.

If the U.S. withdraws without achieving even this minimalist definition of "success", Iraq will deteriorate into ever worsening violence and may splinter into its component parts. Turkey may then invade Kurdistan, whose possible independence it views as a threat to its own territorial integrity. Iran will become not only a primary player in Iraq, but the primary one, possibly even annexing Shiite areas outright. The Saudis, already threatened by rising Shiite influence in the region, petrified by a possible Iranian presence right on their border, may similarly choose to preempt this by grabbing parts of Iraq. Jordan, with an Iranian controlled Iraq on its border, might collapse. For Israel, the consequences will be severe.

If the U.S. can be driven out, the Islamist fundamentalists, Jihadis, insurgents and other dark forces in the region, will have won. There will simply be no one to prevent them from using terror, WMD, subversion and religious fanaticism to pursue their aims. No one. The radicals of the Moslem world will be triumphant -- Iran, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah and more.

Iran will end up the big victor, the regional hegemon, whose ambitions and nuclear program, will become unstoppable. As things look, there is a very real possibility that Iran will announce, within a few years, that it has achieved an operational nuclear capability, threaten to destroy Israel and to rain fire and destruction on other U.S. interests and allies in the region.

A nuclear Iran is a dire threat for nearly all countries in the region. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others already feel threatened and have announced their intentions to begin "civil" nuclear programs, which, as we all know, tend to "morph" into military ones. It is unclear that the U.S. can effectively cope with a nuclear Iran, but far worse, a multi-nuclear Middle East now looms. The U.S.-Soviet nuclear rivalry may pale in combustibility.

Is the U.S. -- are you -- willing to have the entire Middle East, the world's primary source of energy, under the threat of Iranian nukes? Not a "biggie," just the future of the western economy and way of life. Think about it the next time you take a drive, or turn up the heat.

In the even more radicalized Middle East that will follow a U.S. failure in Iraq, we can abandon any hopes for reform in the region and for any change in the root causes of its ills. The existing regimes will heighten oppression to retain power, the radical camp will be emboldened, the prospects for the "peace process" even dimmer than now. If the Middle East looks bad today, it will look wonderful in comparison and it will again engulf the U.S., no matter how much it wishes to disengage.

The administration has it right when it contends that failure in Iraq entails unacceptable risks. The question, however, is not whether 21,500 more troops are needed, or some other figure, but what the overall goals are and what strategy is needed to achieve them. A minimalist success -- a unified, stable and peaceful Iraq -- would require:

A U.S. commitment to stay for the long haul and to deploy sufficient military force to make the difference on the ground. The administration will have to recognize that transfer of authority to the Iraqi government and forces is largely an illusion, for a long time. People divided by ethnic hatreds and biding their time in anticipation of a U.S. withdrawal, do not constitute an effective military force, or responsible government. A U.S. commitment for the long haul could provide the reassurance and stability necessary for political and economic reconstruction.
Massive economic aid, not the token $1 billion announced. The U.S. spends over $500 billion a year on defense: a 1% cut could yield $5 billion in economic aid annually, 2% $10 billion. The bureaucracy has yet to be established that can not tolerate a 1-2% cut, no matter how stretched.
Real political reform, with clear benchmarks for the Maliki government, coupled with a harsh warning that if it fails to deliver, the U.S. will not pack up and go home, but send the Iraqi regime packing and impose a new political process of U.S. choosing.

It is not clear that this, or any other strategy, can achieve even the minimalist "success" outlined above. Only one thing is certain: Getting out before this happens guarantees failure and many, if not all, of the ramifications, presented above.


Now the Democrats are talking about subpoenas for Bush staffers. Democrats couldn't be more thrilled that the media has really glommed on to their manufactured scandal over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. That partisan fool Patrick Leahy wants show hearings on Capital Hill.

Hearings for what? There has been no crime here. There has been no wrongdoing. The president is clearly permitted to fire U.S. Attorneys whenever he decides he wants to. He hires them, he fires them. Clinton fired every one of them. That had never happened before. He even fired the U.S. attorney who was in charge of the investigation of his wrongdoings with his pals at Madison Guaranty Federal Savings & Loan. Did Leahy demand hearings? Of course not! Leahy had no desire to manufacture a scandal a crisis in the Clinton administration .. but with an evil Republican in the White house, things are, of course, different.

Leahy and the media are trying to tell us that most Americans are on the edge of their seats virtually every day waiting to get to the bottom of the story with these U.S. Attorneys. NOT SO! If Americans were concerned about these attorneys being fired I would be hearing about it from my callers. I'm not. People don't care.

It's time for Bush to stand his ground. If he gives in to Leahy and crowd on this one ... it's just a matter of days or weeks before the Democrats come up with another manufactured scandal to push to their buddies in the media. Remember ... the Democrat plan is to have some sort of working Bush scandal on the front pages of the nation's liberal newspapers right up to election day 2008.

Here's something for you to ponder. OK ... so the Democrats hate Bush. They've vowed revenge since the 2000 elections. They wanted a selective recount in Florida -- a recount of only heavily Democrat counties. They wanted the votes of our military personnel overseas tossed out. They didn't care that thousands of military votes in the Florida panhandle were lost when the major networks declared the polls closed and Bush the winner with one hour left to vote in the heavily Republican areas of Florida. Bush won ... and the Democrats just can't stand it. They've been dedicated to the destruction of all things Bush ever since --- even to the point of weakening America by working against Bush's efforts to fight Islamic Fascism. Now ... think of how things might have gone with the Democrats scandal-a-week strategy if the mainstream media hadn't been in the Democrats pockets for the past six years!

By the way ... wouldn't it be nice if these Democrats were demanding answers to the mystery of how that $90,000 in cold hard bribery money was found in the freezer of Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson? Oh, wait. Excuse me. I almost forgot. He's a Democrat. When a Democrat takes bribes he ends up on the Homeland Security Committee. When a Republican takes bribes he ends up in jail.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Democrats, who supposedly oppose the war in Iraq with such vigor, are having absolutely no problem loading up an emergency funding bill with their pet pork projects. How much is being thrown down the proverbial pork barrel? Try $10 billion dollars. That's right...billion...with a 'B.' Let's look at just a few of the examples, shall we?

Among the war spending: $3.7 billion in farm subsidies. How this benefits our fighting men and women in Iraq, who knows. Another $2.9 billion is thrown in for good measure, this time for Gulf Coast know, Katrina and all. Topping off the list is $2.4 billion for things like money for school districts, health insurance for the poor and such. But what's even more comical is that Democrats are defending it.

They say the money is needed and can't wait for the new fiscal year. This is just you have all these Democrats opposed to the war, who say it's wrong, who want it to end...but they have no problem larding up the spending bill that will be used to fund the war they so despise. Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to describe this charade.

Oh, and don't forget the $1 billion for bird flu vaccines...and $500 million for wildfire suppression...sounds like war spending to me!


Democratic spokeswoman Rosie O'Donnell has posted a new theory on her blog about 9/11. That theory would be that the twin towers were brought down on purpose by the government to...are you ready for this? To get rid of records of government investigations into corporate fraud. The Blob actually posted that on her blog.

And you thought Howard Dean was nuts...this one takes the cake.

Her theory reads like an e-mail chain letter...the fires in the World Trade Center tower weren't evenly distributed. Firefighters warned the building was going to blow up. The building collapsed perfectly! It was an obvious demolition with Chaney observed running from the scene with a case of dynamite! So what exactly was the motivation behind blowing up the World Trade Center on purpose?

To destroy government records, of course. In particular, records involving corporate investigations of McEnroe. So evidently Mohammed Atta and his band of hijackers flew the planes into the towers just for show. The real action was the buildings being blown up.

How long does Baba Wawa keep this moonbat on her television show?

Monday, March 19, 2007


Haditha Marine Sergeant Frank Wuterich's trial may be months away, but last night '60 Minutes' reporter Scott Pelley decided to court martial him on national television. It was one of the most outrageous displays of media bias ever. In case your memory needs refreshing, the Haditha incident was a situation in Iraq where a group of Marines, led by Wuterich, cleared a house that they thought was being used by insurgents. It turns out it was occupied by several women and children and all were killed. They've been charged with murder and their trial is expected later this year.

Wuterich says he's innocent. That the way he cleared that house was consistent with his training and that if Marines start asking before they shoot, they die. That's war...that's how it works. People die...and sometimes those people are innocent. It's called collateral damage. So anyway, all of this wasn't enough for the smarmy, condescending Scott Pelley on '60 Minutes' last night. He interviewed Wuterich and naturally, immediately took the side of the enemy.

Pelley called it a massacre...wrong. A massacre would be walking into a house, ordering everybody out, and shooting them in the head. This was a house-clearing operation, something that's done to root out insurgents in Iraq everyday. But Pelley continued his interrogation of the 25-year-old Wuterich...questioning his actions and mocking him because he hadn't seen combat prior to Haditha.

Ironically, with Pelley's interview..he may have created quite a bit of sympathy for Frank Wuterich. Just what we expect from the mainstream media...always blame America first.

Wake Up, Dammit!

CNN had a series of stories this past weekend dealing with the health care soldiers returning from the war against Islamic fascism (CNN calls it the "war on terror") are receiving at our veterans hospitals and other government medical facilities. In short ... it's not good.

One particular story dealt with a young soldier suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) His efforts to receive treatment were being met with roadblocks virtually everywhere he went. On one occasion he told a case worker that he was feeling suicidal. The case worker told him that they would have a bed for him in 26 days. He was dead within a week. Hanged himself.

So .. here I am again delivering the same message again. This is the future of your medical care! If not for you, then almost certainly for your children and grandchildren!

This is the reality of socialized medicine. Yes, there is socialized medicine in the United States right now ... and there has been for generations. It is to be found in our system of military hospitals, clinics and dispensaries. I grew up with this medical care system. When I was sick my mother would take me to the base dispensary. Never heard that word? Well, the dictionary describes it as "a charitable or public facility where medicines are furnished and free or inexpensive medical service is available." Medical care was free for military families, thus the name. This has been quite some time ago, but I can still remember the excessive waits for even serious problems ... such as a large wooden splinter being driven up underneath a fingernail. Who would forget that one?.

The clamor of the people for someone --- anyone --- other than themselves to take care of their medical needs is leading us inexorably to a system of socialized medicine for us all. No, they won't call it socialized medicine. "Universal health care" seems to be the term of choice right now. But socialized medicine it shall be ... and the stories coming out of our veteran's facilities will be yours to tell in the future.

You asked for it. You're going to get it. And you're not going to like it one little bit.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


One of the things that liberals -- along with the liberal media -- have inculcated in the American psyche is the notion of entitlement. That is, people are entitled to things -- even things they have not earned. Lately, this entitlementarian attitude has been especially prevalent in the way that immigration news is reported.

For instance, here is how, on February 19, the Associated Press reported the news that soon the fees for immigration applications would be raised. It began with: “Supporting herself and a 7-year-old son on a preschool teacher's salary in suburban Marin County, one of the nation's priciest housing markets, keeps [the immigrant named in the report] on a tight budget. One expense she can't control is the rising cost of filing the forms she needs to work and travel in the United States while she waits to become a permanent resident. Those fees have already pushed her careful bookkeeping into the red….”

Neither in those words nor in the rest of the report was there even a hint that immigration to America is only a privilege -- and not a right. Or that immigration is a choice -- a choice made by the immigrant.

If her budget is stretched so thin, then why is she still living in “one of the nation's priciest housing markets”? There is plenty of cheaper housing available in the 3.6 million square miles of the U.S. that is outside of Marin County, California. Why are we asked to feel sorry for a foreigner who can’t make ends meet because she lives in an expensive area? If she finds the fees so objectionable, then she has a choice -- she can return to her native country.

A naturalized American, I used to pay countless immigration fees (work permits, visa extensions, etc.) in the many years that preceded my naturalization. I considered myself a guest here -- and not once did I think I was entitled to affordable fees. As a poor immigrant from the Third World, I was very thankful to America just for letting me in. I knew America had the absolute right to set immigration fees to whatever level it deemed proper. The choice was on me to pay the fees -- or leave.

That AP report was occasioned by the recent proposal of the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that adjudicates immigration applications, to raise fees by some 66 percent. The current fee schedule is apparently based on a 1998 baseline.

According to the USCIS, the raise would defray, for instance, the improvements needed to reduce application processing delays. Besides, the current fees do not cover all the expenses of administering immigration benefits to foreigners. The USCIS loses $3 million a day due to such expenses -- yes, $3 million every day.

Who pays when the USCIS runs up a deficit? Of course, the American taxpayer -- you and me. It therefore makes complete sense that immigrants -- the very people who ask for immigration benefits -- should pay for the services.

But such logic is anathema to liberal entitlementarians, who are quick to portray the impending fee increase as an infringement of an entitlement. Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said, “Many in the immigrant community see the increase for what it is -- increasing the cost of the American dream, telling those least fortunate among us they probably need not apply."

Of course, that is preposterous. The American dream has never been inexpensive -- even for Americans. For instance, is there anyone who really thinks that the proverbial two-car garage home in the suburbs -- the dream of many young couples -- comes with no mortgage and no taxes? Of course not. The mortgage and the property taxes are the price of admission into that home. Likewise, immigration fees are the price of admission into this country.

For instance, the current fee for an application for naturalization is $400 (which includes $70 for fingerprint processing). The proposed fee would be $675 (including $80 for fingerprints). Think about that -- a mere $675 for citizenship in the greatest country in the world. Since most applicants have to live here for five years before naturalization, they have five years to save $675 -- hardly an onerous requirement. Furthermore, that is a one-time fee -- pay it once, and you are a U.S. citizen for life. That is hardly the case with the various taxes that liberal politicians have enacted over the years -- taxes that we keep paying until we die.

Finally, critics of the fee increase should consider what the so-called “coyotes” (smugglers) charge to bring people across the border from Mexico. People pay these smugglers several thousand dollars just to come here -- illegally, at that. In comparison, a fee increase of several hundred dollars for legal permission to live and work here is not even worth debating.

Mr. de Silva is an engineer with side interests in politics and history.



We will not tolerate intolerance!

Set fire the faggots (No, the first definition in the dictionary, not the current vernacular) and throw the heretic on the auto-da-fe.

Kill the messenger.

Burn the books.

Put the infidel to the sword.

Shun them. Silence them. Do not let them speak, lest they despoil tender minds.

Why does the first recourse seem always thus?

Perhaps it is the baser side of human nature. The raw animal instinct that needs to be mitigated by the nobler philosophies of rational and civilized minds.

First, the rabid left of the Democratic Party demanded a boycott of a planned debate of Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada because it was to be broadcast on the hated Fox News cable television network, the cable news outlet with the highest ratings. The state party acquiesced and canceled.

When the Review-Journal editorially criticized the state party, we got several dozen e-mails, most like this from a Californian: "Fox News is an agenda-driven operation more adapt at cheap shots than news gathering. For Fox to host the Democrats would be like holding a convention of postal workers in a dog pound."

Next came the thousands of e-mails from all over the country to editorial page editors demanding that they stop publishing the columns of conservative bombastician Ann Coulter after she quipped at a political conference, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word faggot, so I -- so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards."

A number of newspapers, promptly complied, though she had never used such language in her column. The Review-Journal continues to publish Coulter.

People let us know they did not like Coulter's slurs and did so with a few of their own.

Another Californian offered, "Please drop Ann Coulter, a buffoon and proponent of hatred ... You should stop publishing ravings of psychosexual neurotics by calling them opinions. It is truly shameful to do so, like calling smut art. Your readers know it when they see it."

At least radical lefty Ted Rall, whose editorial cartoons and occasionally a column appear on the op-ed pages of this newspaper, weighed in with support for Coulter. As well he should, because he himself has been the target of boycott demands.

"As a fervent proponent of the First Amendment and an opinion monger who relies upon the right to free expression to earn a living, however, I must set aside my personal resentment -- and I ask you to do the same," Rall wrote.

But perhaps the best response came from a Las Vegas Army officer who said he despises Coulter but reads her columns and analyzes her claims.

"I have given the devil consideration, and dismissed her on the lack of merit in her claim rather than the lack of agreement with my own personal viewpoint," Ryan Jean wrote in a letter published Saturday. "Ann Coulter must be allowed to speak, even if it is worthless, because the First Amendment to that cherished document protects her right to do so. The real test of this right isn't what we do to the speech we agree with, but what we do with the speech we don't. If you want to secure liberty, this is fundamental."

And finally, when Review-Journal columnist Erin Neff suggested that Gov. Jim Gibbons' legal entanglements had mounted to the point that he should resign, we promptly received a letter declaring, "I've read enough, it's time for Erin Neff to go!"

I wonder if these people ever stop to consider that their demands to silence those with whom they disagree is in the same vein, differing only by degrees, as the demands of Muslims that Muhammad never be depicted and that the cartoonists who did so for a Danish newspaper be put to death.

As for this newspaper, we will not cower just because a few brats throw a tantrum.

I'm not saying that people should not call for bans on speakers and writers, that would be a tad hypocritical. Calling for a ban on bans, so to speak. But I will suggest that the civilized thing to do is to curb the animal instinct and answer speech we abhor with countervailing and superior speech, rather than boycotts or violence.

Thomas Mitchell is editor of the Review-Journal and writes about free speech and press. He may be contacted at 383-0261 or via e-mail at tmitchell@

Saturday, March 17, 2007


If you believe the media and the cry-baby left, the entire world hates the United States of America. I don’t believe that. The reality of it is they don't hate us; they just love our money and wish they could get their hands on more of it. That's all the rest of the world ever cared about.

Sure, a lot of the French hate America, but they hate every nation that isn’t France.

Lefties across the globe hate America because they are insanely jealous of our prosperity and our standard of living, but they are not anything like a majority.

Ask yourself this: If America is so hateful, why does half the world want to come here to live in such a hateful country?

If you really want to know who really hates America don’t look abroad. Look right here in the United States for the real hate-America crowd; look at the left-wing crazies who run the Democrat party.

Think about it. America is at war. Tens of thousands of Americans in the armed forces are fighting that war, and more than three thousand of them gave their lives battling the terrorists sworn to destroy this nation.

Yet aside from Osama bin Laden and his crew of merciless killers, the people most dedicated to seeing the United States defeated in a battle for the future of the world are the liberal Democrats now feebly trying to run the Congress.

You really have to hate America and its people to lust after the defeat of your own country.

Sure, they don’t come right out and say it. They cover their tracks by calling a headlong – and shameful -- dash for the exits a “redeployment,” their way of saying cut and run. They say they fully support our troops, while they mutter about cutting the funding for them and leaving them defenseless far away from home.

As the new strategy for winning the war in Iraq begins to take hold, they refuse to recognize any of the signs of progress. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the despicable John Murtha announce to the nation that we are losing the war, and moreover, can’t possibly win it.

You really have to hate America to stand on the sidelines, root for an enemy triumph and do everything you can to make sure we lose a war.

If you want to know who really hates America look at the Democrats who jumped on the media bandwagon to attack Walter Reed Army Medical Center charging that they have not given good medical care to our wounded troops coming back from a Iraq when they are fully aware that these wounded heroes have received the finest medical care ever a given to anyone, soldier or civilian, in the entire history of the world.

Thousands of wounded members of our armed forces who would have died of their wounds in previous wars are alive today as a result of the medical care available at Walter Reed and other armed services hospitals.

But what do we hear from the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? Praise for the great care the Army and Navy have provided for the wounded and disabled? No.

Instead we hear allegations that slyly suggest that the conditions in substandard living quarters are in actuality symptoms of poor medical care being given to our troops. That's a flat-out lie, and you have to hate America to tell it.

The fact of the matter is that those veterans forced to live in substandard quarters and receiving extraordinary medical care were victims, not of the Army, but of the federal bureaucracy which operates under rules and restrictions dictated by the Congress when it was under the control of the Democrats.

Moreover it was the Congress which allowed Walter Reed medical center to be scheduled to shut down in 2010 -- just three years from now -- putting it in that category to deprive them of adequate funding.

You really have to hate America to attack -- for purely political reasons -- a system of medical care that is saving huge numbers of Americans. They have no shame.


Gabriel Schoenfeld

Was Valerie Plame under oath today when she testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and declared that she played no role in sending her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, on a fact-finding trip to Niger? “I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him. There was no nepotism involved. I did not have the authority,” she said.

Does this contradict an exhaustive Senate Intelligence Committee report on pre-war intelligence about Iraq, which looked closely at the genesis of the Wilson visit?

The report, issued in 2004, notes that some officials at the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) of the CIA “could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador [Wilson].” But it states unequivocally that “interviews and documents provided to the committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip.” In particular, the CPD reports-officer told the Senate committee “that the former ambassador’s wife ‘offered up his name.’”

What’s more, the Senate committee obtained a memorandum addressed to the deputy chief of the CPD from Plame herself, in which she wrote: “my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light” on Iraqi uranium purchases. The Senate report goes on to say that Plame also approached her husband “on behalf of the CIA and told him ‘there’s this crazy report’ on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.”

An additional sidelight: the Senate committee also notes that Wilson had previously traveled to Niger on a CIA mission in 1999. He had been selected for that trip “after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future.”

Did Plame lie to the House committee today, or does that question hinge on the meaning of the word “recommend,” or the meaning of the word “suggest,” or the meaning of the words “did not”?


By Jack Kelly

To its enemies, the most endearing quality of the Bush administration must be the frequency with which the Bushies act as if they've done something wrong, even when they haven't.

President Bush caused himself no end of grief when he apologized for saying in his 2003 state of the union address "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," even though every word of it was true.

That blunder may have been topped by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at his news conference last Wednesday. The "senior Justice Department official" who told reporters Mr. Gonzales' performance was "disastrous" was being kind.

Mr. Gonzales called the news conference to respond to the manufactured "scandal" of the administration's decision to fire eight of the 93 U.S. attorneys.

"Mistakes were made," Mr. Gonzales said, without explaining what those mistakes were, or who made them. The Justice department has issued shifting explanations for why these U.S. attorneys were dismissed. The Attorney General said he supported the firings, but was unaware of the specific details of how they came about. Which is curious, because his chief of staff was heavily involved in them.

That he didn't know what was going on under his nose is, however, the most credible thing Mr. Gonzales said. Only President Bush, with his apparently boundless enthusiasm for mediocrities (Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job), imagined that Mr. Gonzales was a good choice to be attorney general, and he has lived down to the expectations most held for him. The FBI's bungling of the issuance of national security letters is just the most recent bit of a mountain of evidence the Justice department under Mr. Gonzales is as well managed as was the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the hapless Michael Brown.

U.S. Attorneys are political appointees who usually are recommended for their jobs by the U.S. senators from their states who are members of the president's party. They serve at the pleasure of the president, and can be dismissed at any time for any reason. When President Clinton took office, he dismissed all 93 U.S. attorneys in one fell swoop, a fact which somehow hasn't made it into most news accounts of the current controversy.

If any of the U.S. attorneys had been dismissed because of how they were conducting an ongoing investigation, that would be improper. But there is no evidence of this. The emails released by the Department of Justice indicate seven of the eight were dismissed because they weren't pursuing the administration's enforcement priorities, or because they'd bungled earlier cases, or both. (The eighth was fired because the Bushies wanted to give his job to another guy.) This is perfectly ok.

If the boss wants you to do something, and it isn't illegal, immoral or fattening, you should do it. If you choose not to do it, you shouldn't be surprised to find yourself pounding the pavement.

Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. Attorney, said the brouhaha pits incompetence against hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is winning. Democrats and journalists who saw nothing amiss when President Clinton dismissed a U.S. attorney who was actively investigating him and his wife in the Whitewater land deal, and another who was actively investigating criminal activities by Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, then the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, express mock outrage over these firings.

None have done it as dishonestly as the Los Angeles Times. The Times implied that Carol Lam, the U.S. attorney in San Diego, was dismissed because of her investigation of the corruption of GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

But as the Times well knows, the Justice department emails reveal Ms. Lam had been targeted for dismissal months before a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune triggered Ms. Lam's investigation of Rep. Cunningham. The Bushies were unhappy with her because of her unwillingness to pursue immigration law violations, not her eagerness to pursue political corruption.

The phony scandal puts conservatives in a quandary. Alberto Gonzales is a bumbling fool who ought not to be attorney general. His efforts to shift blame for the curt and clumsy manner in which the firings were conducted are both pathetic and deplorable.

But there is a big difference between being a bumbling fool and being a crook. If Mr. Gonzales is forced from office for these spurious reasons, we can expect more bogus assaults on administration officials. Sigh. I suspect conservatives, even more than liberals, long for an end to the Bush administration.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Oh we're reading that Karl Rove may have had a hand in the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. Hmm...since he's the president's political consultant and since those attorneys are political appointees....what's the big deal? The media sure is worked up over this. Funny how there wasn't the same outrage when Bill Clinton canned all of his U.S. Attorneys. But, as you know, there is a different standard between Republican and Democratic presidents. It's called media bias.

There is absolutely nothing to this story. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees...they serve at the pleasure of the president. Why they were fired, how they were fired, who fired them...what they were fired for.. none of it matters. Just like cabinet secretaries, the president can fire them all whenever he wants. There is no explanation needed. There is no controversy here. This is all just an invented scandal by the media and the left.

And some spineless "Republicans" are actually going along with it. Calling on the Attorney General to resign? What for? Doing his job? There are already some media outlets comparing this non-scandal to Watergate. How? In what way? When you serve at the pleasure of the president, you can be fired at anytime for any reason. There is real story here. The president exercised his prerogative ... and some U.S. Attorneys were fired. The Dems know, however, that they can make this into a major scandal because they have a media establishment that is not only willing, but positively eager to help them out.


The media is now downplaying the claims of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed...saying he may be exaggerating his testimony. Of course, this is being done to try and minimize the threat of Islamic terrorism. As if being responsible for 9/11 weren't enough. Democrats, who are in denial about the terrorist threat, are seeking to minimize any success the Bush Administration may be having with fighting the war on terror. And naturally the media is along for the ride.

You know what the implication is here. We obviously tortured him, right? He's just telling us what we want to hear....lying about his conquests. One man couldn't possibly be responsible for all of that. Funny how every time we capture or kill an Al-Qaeda bigwig, Democrats downplay it as just one person. But in the same breath, they turn around and mock the Bush Administration for not capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden yet. Wait a minute...I thought he was just one man?

So now we get to watch the media and liberals stir up sympathy for an Islamic terrorist. Rosie O'Donnell defended poor Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on 'The View.' That's not far off the mark when it comes to the latest Democratic response.