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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Sunday, April 30, 2006
 
What If You Threw A Boycott...And Nobody Cared?
by Cordeiro
Well, dear reader, tomorrow is May Day. This is a day in which immigrants, more illegal than legal, have decided to show America what life would be with out them. They claim they will stay home from school, avoid shopping, skip work, and attempt to shut down major US cities by - again - taking to the streets to demand legal recognition of their illegal status.

In response to a request by his Latino workers, Wasatch Beers' Greg Schirf offered this suggestion:

How about this? We'll just take a company holiday. We'll call it 'Latino Appreciation Day.'
If I drank beer, I'd have a Wasatch Beer just to show my support for Schirf's capitalistic common sense in the form of sarcasm.

There is very little common sense in the demand of law breakers to have their behavior legalized. There is even less common sense in their threats to paralyze this nation's economy with a one day boycott. Personally, I think the boycott organizers will be surprised by the lack of impact the boycott will have. When workers don't show up do their jobs, some will get fired. That will increase the overall pitch of the whining.

Lest I be accused of being "anti-immigrant", I am not in favor of mass deportations. If there are in fact some 10 million illegal immigrants in this country, the sheer logistics of such a mass re-migration are staggering. It would require roughly 192,307 Greyhound busses to move that number of people - and first you have to find them.

Should there be deportations? Absolutely. Where should the first cut be made? I'd suggest we deport most of the non-citizen gang members and criminals to their countries of origin. That would be a good place to start.

Common sense needs to invade this debate. Neither side will get all it wants, but regardless of your view on history, the United States of America needs to come out on the beneficial side of the equation. This country gets to decide who stays, and under what conditions they do so.

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
 
United 93 Movie Review
by Cordeiro
I've read several reviews of United 93 - some were insightfully well written, others were not. As they were written by professional movie critics their reviews, in the end, mean a little less than the bandwidth used to publish them.

Here is a review from the only source that really matters - a father of one of the heroes of United 93, one David Beamer. His son, Todd Beamer, is credited with the rallying cry which still sounds in the ears of most American:

Are you guys ready? Let's Roll.
Read Mr. Beamer's thoughts on the film. His is a voice worth listening to.

Remember.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
 
Send In The Next Spear Catcher
by Cordeiro
Well, this should make the daily White House Press Briefings a little more interesting if not entertaining.

Tony Snow, former Bush 41 speech writer, host of Fox News Sunday, and most recently his own syndicated talk show, has accepted W's request to be the next White House Spear Catcher - a post commonly referred to as White House Press Secretary.

I'll make no excuses, I like Tony Snow. I think he has a lot of great experience on both sides of the White House podium and will acquit himself well as the new face of the White House. If nothing else, the ratings for the daily press gaggle will go up.

He makes no excuses for his personal views. He's taken some well placed shots at the current White House Press Corps. They won't be able to ride rough shod over his press briefings.

Helen "Two Bag" Thomas beware!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
 
Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm....
by Cordeiro
Conspiracy? Coincidence? I'm not willing to go out on a limb yet, but those arrows intersect in a lot of different places.

HT - Mind in the Qatar via Ian.
 
Staff Sergeant Martin Richburg, United States Army
by Cordeiro
I love it when I can find a reference to living heroes.

Via Blackfive and Anchoress, I submit for your reading the heroic actions of Staff Sergeant Martin Richburg, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division of the United States Army. Sergeant Richburg is currently stationed in Al Kisik, Iraq.

The full details of his story can be found in the Stars and Stripes article. As far as I can tell, there are no MSM references to this incident. When you figure out what possible reason there can be for this oversight, please let me know. In the mean time, go read the whole thing.

As I was reading the article, a sudden realization came to me. The Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro calls me on either my office or cell line three or four times a day. Occasionally I have to put her on hold, or set the phone down to take care of some professional business, placate the boss, or similar activities. Needless to say, I've never had to postpone my conversation with the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro to go and wreck the designs of a would be suicide bomber.

Which brought to mind the question: What exactly did he tell his wife? "Hold on for a second honey, I've got to go save the day"?

Whatever it was, Sergeant Richburg, kudos for a job well done. The Army Commendation Medal with the Combat "V" is well earned. With all due respect to the Army, the nomination for the Bronze Star falls just a little bit short of what you deserve.
Monday, April 24, 2006
 
Newsweak Misses The Point - Again
by Cordeiro
Every film needs a critic - someone who just so outraged by the very subject matter of the motion picture they can't get past their own personal bias long enough to talk about the film. They have to talk about the politics surrounding the film - both real and what they wish was real.

For the upcoming United 93 this critic is David Ansen of Newsweak Magazine. He praises the director and cinematography of the movie as a motion picture, but is quick to cite the "outrage" surrounding the subject matter.

Evidently the offensive subject matter is the act of 56 people deciding they were not going to go quietly into the September morning. Aware of what had happened to three other hijacked planes that morning, they decided to fight back. That is what outrages Mr. Ansen.

Unable to resist taking political potshots at W and Big Time for their actions that morning, Mr. Ansen takes a thinly veiled jab with this verbiage:

Though you know the outcome, you can't help hoping (as you would at any thriller) that things will turn out differently, that the military will intervene, that the president will be found, that someone will define the rules of engagement. (Emphasis added)
There were no procedures in place for the events of this day. A Presidential Order to fire on American Citizens had not been given since the Civil War. If Mr. Ansen were to have done his research and actually read the accounts of that morning, he would know that the President was never "lost" and that the order to fire had been given.

Under the headline "Is This Film Necessary" he calls into question the very reason for the film - one which was made only after every single family member had given their individual blessing to do so. I have no doubt the subject matter will be disturbing - as it should be. We should never forget those who perpetrated the attacks of that Tuesday morning in September, nor should we forget those who gave the last full measure of devotion in defense of this nation on that same day.

Mr. Ansen may be disturbed. He may be outraged. He has the right to both of those emotions. I simply call into question his ability to divorce his political and intellectual slant from a commentary on a film which all Americans need to see.

Remember.

Here endeth the lesson.

UPDATE: Memo to Representative Charles H. Taylor, (R-NC):

Sir, you are on the wrong side of this issue. Find some other tract of land on which to fight your battle against Federal land ownership. Build the United 93 Memorial in Shanksville. Your fifteen minutes are up.
 
The Politics Of Leaking
by Cordeiro
In the round of Sunday political talk shows, the left has shown, with surprising candor, its hypocrisy on the subject of the leaking (authorized or not) of classified information.

The Junior Senator from Massachusetts, John F. "Lurch" Kerry came, unsurprisingly, down on both sides of the issue:

A CIA agent has an obligation to uphold the law, and clearly leaking is against the law. And nobody should leak. If you're leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you . . . put on that person.
In the same breath which uttered "I'm glad she told the truth," he also stated that Mary McCarthy would have to face the consequences for breaking the law. Video from Ian.

The left side of the MSM lives on leaks. It is the bread and butter of their industry. Without leaks, they can do little more than read press releases as their journalistic skills for acquiring information not already public has greatly declined. The Clinton (Sorry Excuse For) Administration leaked like a porous sieve. It was a great time for the MSM. Enter the W Administration whose clamp on leaks has strangled the MSM access and all you hear is howls about secrecy and the public's right to know.

The Lurch Leftists will and have attempted to compare Mary McCarthy's action to the authorized disclosure of classified information (technically known as declassification) by W in his attempts to refute Joe Wilson's fantasies regarding Niger.

Here's the main difference. McCarthy was an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. Her job was to maintain secret the classified activities and information of the United States Government. At her pay grade, she did not have the authorization or permission to disclose classified information to the Washington Post. That, dear reader, is the definition of a leak.

W, however, as the Chief Executive (commonly known as The President) has the authority to declassify what ever he sees fit to declassify. He can then disclose it to whomever he sees fit whether it be the Wall Street Journal or a less respected MSM outlet such as the New York Times.

Jackass Caucus members like Jane Harman (D-Ca) want to have it both ways:

...while leaks are wrong, I think it is totally wrong for our president in secret to selectively declassify certain information and empower people in his White House to leak it to favored reporters so that they can discredit political enemies.
Jane, by definition you can't leak declassified information. The only way to combat lies is with the truth. W made that call, it was his to make - not yours. Better luck next time.

McCarthy has, if reports can be considered accurate, violated several tenets of Federal Law in regards to unauthorized disclosure of classified information. She allowed her personal political leanings to interfere with the performance of her sword duties as a US Intelligence Officer. For this she has been fired, and I hope she's lucky enough to spend a good long time contemplating her actions whilst wearing an orange jumpsuit in a 6x9 federally furnished condominium.

Here endeth the lesson.

UPDATE: Captain Ed cites Moran's Nut House on the possibility the Black Site Prison story may have been part of a sting operation designed to out the leak source personified in Mary McCarthy.

In the Cloak and Dagger world of Barium Meals and the Art of Walking Back the Cat, if this story angle is true, it would be the ultimate roundhouse kick to an overzealous media willing to believe the worst allegations in order to bring down a president in time of war. Evidently the standards of Pulitzer journalism have sunk to a new low.
Friday, April 21, 2006
 
Friday Highlights
by Cordeiro
Just a round up of somethings people in Washington attempted to bury in the Friday afternoon news dump:

A Leak? From the CIA? I'm Shocked!!

Chalk up one in the V column for Porter Goss. While the MSM will no doubt howl at the moon about this, its about damn time some heads rolled at Langley in regards to the incessant leaking of classified information.

Today, an unidentified CIA officer was fired for evidently leaking information which contributed to last year's Pulitzer prize winning story in the Washington Post alleging the existence of secret US prisons in Eastern Europe.

Perhaps the secrecy oath means something after all.

Glass House Jackasses

The adage about throwing stones when you live in a glass house has just come back to bite the Congressional Jackass caucus in the hind quarters. Congressman Alan Mollohan (D-WV), ranking Jackass on the House Ethics committee is resigning his position on said committee because of...

[drumroll]

accusations of ethical misconduct.

So much for that election year gimmick of an issue. What now, Nancy?

Lurch Thinks

The Junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, John F. "Lurch" Kerry is "thinking hard" about a 2008 run for the White House. Still stuck on stupid, he's pining for the 60,000 Ohio voters who would have given him the 2004 nod. Evidently he has no curiosity as to the 3,012,497 who also found him to be made of less than presidential material.

Stay tuned for the next Lurch plan.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
 
Mr. Hu Goes To Washington
by Cordeiro
Today, Chinese President Hu Jintao made an "official visit" to the White House. There he was received by W and had the customary press conference on the lawn.

It should be noted there will be no state dinner for Mr. Hu. There will be no official reception as would be accorded a head of state from a friendly or allied nation. Mr. Hu was accorded the same respect as would be the President of Lithuania - with one small, but glaring exception.

Meet the credentialed Chinese-American journalist who writes for a publication sponsored by Falun Gong. Mr. Hu and company hate Falun Gong.

As Mr. Hu was making his speech, she started to scream at him - loudly. In English she yelled:

President Bush, stop him from killing...stop persecuting the Falun Gong!
Then in Chinese, so Mr. Hu would not misunderstand:
President Hu, your days are numbered, No more time for China's ruling party.
Mr. Hu is completely unfamiliar with the concept of heckling - especially prolonged heckling. In China this woman would've been shot before the she drew a second breath with which to denounce Mr. Hu.

China's communist party lives under the delusion that it snuffed out the yearning of the Chinese people for a strange concept called Freedom in 1989. They believe they bludgeoned, shot, trampled, and otherwise destroyed the people's desire for freedom in a place whose name has become synonymous with the struggle against oppression for liberty. That place is called Tiananmen Square and it sits in the heart of Beijing.


It was a place where a small band of students gathered to demand simple freedoms like those enjoyed and guaranteed to Americans. Freedom of Assembly. Freedom of the Press. Freedom of Speech. Their protests were met with tanks, rifles, and grenades. Final casualty estimates from the Tiananmen Square Massacre range from the official tally of 300 to a Red Cross estimate of 3,000.

Today, Mr. Hu heard the echoes of Tiananmen Square in the voice of one woman as he delivered his sanitized prepared remarks. He was clearly unnerved by this event. W looked at him with an expression of "Hey, pal, this is what I deal with every day."

Mr. Hu would do well to realize he lacks the ability to destroy the human desire for freedom. What starts with one voice often turns into a chorus joined by those who have already made the ultimate sacrifice for liberty. The Echoes of Tiananmen will only grow louder.

Here endeth the lesson.

Video HT Michelle
 
Send In The Next Spear Catcher
by Cordeiro
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellen announced his resignation as the official Spear Catcher for the W Administration White House.

The MSM is trumpeting this as a "major" restructuring effort by W and Company which began with Andy Card's resignation as White House Chief of Staff. They must have a really broad definition of "major". To illustrate the absurdity of this claim, please answer the following two questions (no Googling or other web search allowed):

1) Please list for me the full names of the last three White House Press Secretaries.

2) Please list for me the full names of the last three White House Chiefs of Staff.

Take your time. I can wait.

Ok, Give up? Me too.

After having given much thought and research to the issue, I believe this to be the real reason behind McClellen's departure:


Honestly, dear reader, if every day of your professional life you had to step up to a podium and field inane questions from Helen "Two Bag*" Thomas, how long would you last? This woman is like the mythical Wraith whose immortality is fueled by its ability to suck the life-force from other human beings. Two Bag Thomas has been sucking the life force out of White House Press Secretaries since the Coolidge Administration.

The SOTR wishes Scott McClellen luck in his future capitalistic and hopefully annoyingly (to the Washington Jackasses at least) profitable endeavors. We also hope the White House health coverage plan has a rider for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Here endeth the lesson.

*Two Bag is a reference to an encounter where both parties are required to wear bags over their heads in order to protect one person from the effect of looking upon the other.
Monday, April 17, 2006
 
Jason Leopold reads SOTR
by Cordeiro
One week ago, I wrote a post on a hit piece written by one Jason Leopold on a DailyKos wannabe site Truthout.org. To sum up my remarks, Leopold claimed to have broken a news story that was not, in fact, news.

In fact, his whole premise of 1,228 words lacked any basis in substantive fact what so ever.

We don't get too many comments here at SOTR, and between Bonjo and myself we're fine with that. We know our readership pretty well and it can be safely said we don't blog for the exposure or fame. Between the two of us, we're pretty technically adept, so when a new reader (or commenter) comes across our blog, we have a pretty good idea where they came from.

So when "Anonymous" left a derogatory, inflammatory, and downright nasty comment on my post regarding Mr. Leopold's lack of journalistic talent and literary expertise, my curiosity got the best of me and I set about checking into this mysterious commenter.

I've been known to be wrong, on occasion, however both Bonjo and myself feel pretty confident in asserting that only a self-absorbed narcissist would search through 32 pages of Google results looking for websites featuring his/her name. So it is with great pride that we welcome Jason Leopold to the SiteMeter rated 25 readers of the SOTR.

His byline will mention his former employer as the Dow Jones Newswires. Conspicuously absent is any mention of his time at Salon - where his attempted smackdown of former Secretary of the Army Thomas White blew up in his (Leopold's) face.

It seems Leopold has a little problem with mixing facts with his own delusional dreams. When that takes too much time, he simply lifts entire paragraphs from the journalistic works of others. More on his checkered "professional" work can be found here.

So, Mr. Leopold, welcome to the ranks of the SOTR readership. Stick around, you might actually learn something.

Here endeth the lesson.

PS: Jason, if you comment on this post, watch your $&^%@*# mouth or we'll delete yet another of your comments.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
 
Happy Easter!
by Cordeiro
Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. - Luke 24:5-6
Friday, April 14, 2006
 
Bienvenidos: Hijos de la Repùblica
by Bonjo

You might notice a new look and feel to the SOTR website template. A number of factors have motivated our recent changes.

According to many in political spheres, our country is losing workers and losing population. In order to sustain growth, we must allow our neighbors to the south to enter our great nation.

Indeed, to increase SOTR readership we, too, must reach out. Thus SOTR is introducing HdlR: Hijos de la Repùblica! In order to sustain our readership growth, we must expand our readership base by reaching out to our immigrant neighbors.

What more, once someone has illegally entered the country, has a good job, a home, a computer, and Internet connectivity, we feel they will feel quite welcome here on SOTR. Just to make things fair, anyone of Mexican descent who wishes to comment will not be subject to the normal HdlR comment policies.

We would like to thank those who willingly offered their assistance to be the "face" of HdlR; Mexico President Vicente Fox, actor Ricardo Montalban, and... uhh, sorry, I didn't catch his name, but he's working for cash. I highly recommend his services.

Coming soon: hdlr.com.mx!

Ahora, vuelvo al mi capitalismo.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
 
The Line In The Sand
by Cordeiro
Today the MSM and both sides of the Blogosphere are replete with analysis and commentary regarding Iran's growing nuclear ambition. Look around and you'll see every position on the issue from those who advocate patience to those who advocate turning Iran into a glass covered radioactive hole in the ground.

First we go to what the Islamofacist Murdering Thug Caucus currently running the show in Iran. Their view was summed up by Armed Forces Joint-Chief of Staff General Hassan Firouzabadi:
When a people master nuclear technology and nuclear fuel, nothing can be done against them. The West can do nothing and is obliged to extend to us the hand of friendship.
Not to be out done by a lowly general, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad added:

Our answer to those who are angry about Iran achieving the full nuclear fuel cycle is just one phrase. We say: Be angry at us and die of this anger. We won't hold talks with anyone about the right of the Iranian nation (to enrich uranium). Today, our situation has changed completely. We are a nuclear country and speak to others from the position of a nuclear country.
This from a man who has also declared that the State of Israel needs to be wiped off the map.

Tell me, dear readers, are there any among you who honestly believe diplomatic negotiations are going to bear fruit with people like this at the table? Is there anyone in favor of attempting to appease these thugs? I'm sure there are - most likely the same people who thought a diplomatic solution could be reached with Kim Jong "Mentally" Il in North Korea.

Memo to Madeline: In case you're wondering, yes, that was a shot at you.

So, despite Rick Moran's request to relax, I respectfully reiterate the position that Iran cannot be allowed to enter the nuclear clubhouse. Bill Kristol quoted a W speech from 2002 in which the proper strategy for this situation is outlined:

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic. . . . We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. . . . We can't stop short. If we stop now--leaving terror camps intact and terror states unchecked--our sense of security would be false and temporary. (Emphasis added)
Blogfather Hugh said much the same thing, which lends more proof to the theory that Bill and Hugh are actually the same person.

Years ago I penned the post On Preemption. I won't rehash the arguments made there, all of which I believe are still true today. I don't believe the world will be a safer place if we are to rely on a diplomatic solution. If you need numbers and statistics to convince you, I offer you Captain Ed's analysis:

So how long before Iran can produce enough highly-enriched uranium? Even with the 3,000-centrifuge cascade the Iranians plan to implement immediately, they could produce enough fissile material within 271 days of its completion. We have only months before Teheran can put a nuke on top of its Shahab-3 ballistic missile and threaten the entire Middle East and most of Europe. If the Iranians develop their 54,000-unit cascade, they could produce two nukes every month, making them capable of developing an inventory of nuclear weapons that will quickly escape accounting -- and enough excess capacity to supply its proxies with smaller, portable devices that could cross borders and strike anywhere around the world.
Months, not years until Iran gains the power to indiscriminately lay waste to any nation according to the dictates of their Islamofacist Murdering Thug mentality.

Can you say "Clear and Present Danger"?

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
 
Mr. Newt Misses The Point
by Cordeiro
According to the Souix Falls Argus Leader, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, also known as Mr. Newt, told the assembled students and faculty at the University of South Dakota that

...the United States should pull out of Iraq and leave a small force there, just as it did post-war in Korea and Germany.
Now this is a media account, and I'm hesitant to speak ill of a fellow republican, however I have to believe Mr. Newt is familiar with post war troop levels in Korea and Germany.

Just for fun, I found some statistics at the Heritage Foundation website. The Excel data is here, if you want to see reams of mind numbing numbers, but using the AVERAGE function, I came up with these numbers:

1950-2003 Average Number of Troops Deployed in the following countries:

Germany: 195,327
Korea: 63,593
Japan: 74,568

These are averages over a 50+ year period. At first glance, nothing about those numbers seems to me to be anything resembling a "small force".

Mr. Newt is due on the Sean Hannity show later today to discuss this issue. Should be interesting.
 
Scotch On The Mall
by Cordeiro
Among my many talents I count the ability to speak, read, and write in the Portuguese and Spanish languages. I have, in the past, used these skills in my employment, so I consider myself a professional linguist.

For those of you in Rio Linda, that means I can make a living speaking more than just English.

I have heard Spanish spoken well, and I've heard it spoken badly, both by Americans attempting to communicate and Hispanics attempting to speak the language of their forefathers. In all my years of bi-lingualism, I have never, ever, heard the Spanish language so thoroughly slaughtered as I did yesterday by Ted "Dude, Where's My Scotch" Kennedy as he addressed the assembled throngs of immigrants on the National Mall.

His attempts at Spanish have earned him a new SOTR moniker. From now on, when speaking on immigrant issues, Scotch will be referred to as Eduardo "Chavo, donde está mi Tequila" Kennedy.


Political Pitbull has the video.

Scotch Kennedy is nearly as incoherent in English as he is in Spanish. This rally took place in the afternoon, so evidently he'd already had time for his daily consultations with the Three Wise Men - those being Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Johnny Walker.

What Tequila Kennedy really saw on the Mall


For the record, Scotch, Martin Luther King's rally took place at the Lincoln Memorial. That big stone pointy structure behind you is the Washington Monument. Work on your facts, Scotch. Sí, Se Puede.

Here endeth the lesson.
 
E.J. Dionne, Unhinged
by Cordeiro
I've never been impressed with the ramblings of Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne. His persona isn't much more impressive than his prose, and having sat across from him on a train from New York to DC, I can personally state his presence inspired little more than a four hour nap from me.

In today's Post, Dionne leaps upon the towering pile of journalistic bodies covering the latest 'revelations' in the Plame leak case. At least he wastes little time getting to his question:

Did Bush know a lot more about this case than he let on before the 2004 elections?
You can stop reading there. Dionne makes little sense after that question. As Mr. Dionne seems to be search for answers, let me here inscribe some enlightenment for him in hopes that his quest for knowledge might be satiated.

Memo to Mr. Dionne:

You are not entitled to know everything W does about this or any other case. Your status as a journalist - tenuous as that may be - does not carry with it authorization to anything of substance. Your column archives bear witness to this fact.

Did W know things about this case he didn't reveal to the Press prior to the 2004 election? I certainly hope so. Grand Jury proceedings are sealed for a reason.

You seize upon a 2003 W statement quoted in Time Magazine which I requote here for the sake of my reader:

Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. (Emphasis Added)
Yes, the Time magazine writers did mention W's emphasis of those last two words. Your allusion to der Schliekmeister's (Clinton's) musings as to the real meaning of "is" is a pathetic cheap shot - and it completely misses the target.

If the Chief Executive makes the decision to declassify information for release to a chosen outlet, said release is authorized and therefore not a leak. You scoff at the use of those two words "classified information" as a "legalistic defense". Well, since it is legal and covers the act in question, I guess that does make it a viable defense. I can't say the same for Clinton's attempts to hide behind the "is" fig leaf.

Your column is full of questions, Mr. Dionne. Most, if not all, the answers are contained in sealed Grand Jury testimony or other such records. Go ahead and pin your hopes on the ability of Arlen Specter to convince W and Big Time to reveal all they know "so that it can be evaluated." I believe your faith in Senator Specter's influence in the Senate and Republican party is vastly over rated.

I know you've got column inches to fill every week, but recycling these straws you grasp is a waste of paper, ink, and in my case bandwidth.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, April 10, 2006
 
Right Wing House Goes Nuts
by Cordeiro
Perusing the Blogosphere today, I came across a post on Rick Moran's Right Wing Nut House which trumpeted the headline BIG TROUBLE FOR BUSH.

Moran references an article found on an obscure site titled Truthout.org written by Jason Leopold - citing un-named and thus uncorroborated sources claiming W and Big Time discussed the covert status of Valerie Plame prior to the leak with blew whatever cover she may or most likely may not have been under at the time.

[Cue conspiracy music]

Leopold does his best to convince the reader that "Scooter" Libby has fingered W and Big Time as the originators of the Plame leak. My guess is Leopold has been camped out on the White House lawn since the original Robert Novak article - waiting for W to be frog-marched off the premises with Big Time right behind him.

For someone whose claim to blog fame is that he's "spent the last year cultivating sources close to the CIA leak investigation", Leopold is surprisingly dense. The only thing Libby has fingered W and Big Time for doing is authorizing the release of certain up-to-then classified portions of a National Intelligence Estimate regarding WMD's in Iraq.

Memo to Mr. Leopold and the rest of the MSM punditocracy: All intelligence agencies operate under the Executive branch of the Government. Its in the Constitution - look it up. As the Chief Executive, the President, and by delegation, the Vice-President, have the authority to de-classify and release what ever information they see fit. Authorized release of information is not a leak. End of memo.

Mr. Leopold claims W and Big Time discussed Plame's CIA employment four-months prior to the Novak column. By extreme deduction, he also insinuates authorization to leak said status was given during or subsequent to that meeting. Mr. Leopold's premise is fundamentally and structurally flawed.

First, discussion does not equal leak authorization. When W said in October 2003 he "no idea who was responsible for unmasking Plame Wilson to columnist Robert Novak and other reporters" he meant just that. No evidence what so ever exists for Leopold's accusation that:

...just four months earlier, they had agreed to launch a full-scale campaign to undercut Wilson's credibility by planting negative stories about his personal life with the media.
Nice try, Jason. Why Dow Jones ever hired you for journalistic skills is beyond me.

For the record, Libby's indictment (read the whole mind-numbing thing here) does not accuse him of leaking Plame's covert status. He is principally accused of perjury in that he told the Grand Jury he learned of Plame's status from NBC's Chris Matthews (Matthews has denied knowing anything about this, or anything else for that matter) when in fact he had learned it from government sources.

Leopold, and Moran by proxy, are searching for a smoking gun. What they have found is a little less than nothing masquerading as a bombshell behind banner headlines.

Nice try. Actually nice try is too much of a compliment. Mediocre at best.

Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, April 07, 2006
 
Immigration Bill - Its Dead, Jim
by Cordeiro
After much fanfare, pomp, and manufactured circumstance yesterday in the Senate in which Senators Frist, Specter, and Dusty Harry claimed victory, Immigration Reform - Senate Style - came to a dead end today.

Efforts to revive the bill resulted in a ghostly voice reminiscent of Star Trek's Dr. McCoy whispering "It's dead, Jim."

The cause of this bill's demise seem to center on the inability of the Senate to protect the bill from amendments which would weaken, change, or possibly strengthen the measure.

For some odd reason, I can't even manage to conjure up crocodile tears to shed. After doing some research on the Senate bill, I've come to the conclusion no bill is better than a bad bill. Over the past 20 years, some 7 different "Immigration Reform" (read "Amnesty") laws have been passed, implemented, extended, and re-extended. From Michelle:

·The 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act blanket amnesty for an estimated 2.7 million illegal aliens

·1994: The "Section 245(i)" temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens

·1997: Extension of the Section 245(i) amnesty

·1997: The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act for nearly one million illegal aliens from Central America

·1998: The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti

·2000: Extension of amnesty for some 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed eligibility under the 1986 act

·2000: The Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, which included a restoration of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty for 900,000 illegal aliens]
[Author's note - Michelle has good sources to cite, but her tone on this issue is a little shrill, even for me]

These laws, and the various extensions and modifications thereof, have broken new ground in the areas of ineffective and unenforced border security and immigration policy. The message sent to illegal immigrants is "if you can get across the border and stay here long enough, you'll be legal."

Having read the various positions floating around the MSM and the Blogosphere, I think the best reasoned position is that taken by The Blogfather, Charles Krauthammer, Hedgehog, and various others. Blogfather Hugh call it the "Fences and Carrots Coalition". It's a solution I can live with.

I'm somewhat familiar with legislation, policies, and proclamations which in the end are - to paraphrase the Bard - full of sound and fury but in the end signify a little less than nothing at all. This is fine if its a resolution recognizing the contribution of Hawaii's sugar plantations to the tooth decay of this nation. Its not fine when it has to do with issues concerning border security and illegal immigration.

I hate to shock my readers, but I actually agree with Senate Minority Leader Dusty Harry (D-Luxor Casino). Ok, full disclosure, I agree with the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993 proposed by then Congressman Dusty Harry. What a difference a decade plus three years makes.

So now its back to the drawing board in the Senate. I hope the second act will be more effective than the first.

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
 
Thursday Highlights
by Cordeiro
Baby Shower Brawl

This is yet another reason why I avoid baby showers.

A Tale Of Two Immigrants

Via Expose the Left, here's an interesting take on the immigration debate.

Cos on New Orleans
Here's a an event that suffered from non-coverage over last weekend. William Cosby, Ph.d (AKA Comedian Bill Cosby) took part in a rebuilding rally in New Orleans.

As Cos, famous for making people laugh in addition to failing to toe the Jesse Jackson party line, spoke his mind - as he is apt to do on occasion:

It's painful, but we can't cleanse ourselves unless we look at the wound. Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate, unto each other. You were dealing drugs to each other. You were impregnating our 13-, 12-, 11-year-old children. What kind of a village is that?
Here's the 64 Large question: What is going through Jesse's mind as he watches Cos shred Jackson's platform?

Lurch Has A Plan For Iraq

Cut and Run starting on May 15, 2006.

That's basically what the Junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took 625 words to say.

Memo to Lurch: You lost.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
 
Is America Ready For United 93?
by Cordeiro
Go see the trailer. Check out the site. Are you ready for a movie about something that really matters?

I know where I'll be on April 28th.
 
Cynthia "All Race, All The Time" McKinney
by Cordeiro
Her case has been referred to the Feds for prosecution. McKinney claims her hairdo was "profiled" as opposed to the fact she wasn't wearing her identification pin issued to all Members of Congress.

Face recognition is the issue .... The pin doesn't have my name on it and it doesn't have my picture on it, and so security should not be based on a pin ... People are focused on my hairdo.
She's got a rather loose definition of the term "hairdo". She must take hair tips from James Traficant.
Ms. McKinney, the Capitol Police have much better things to do than memorize the facial features of all 535 Senators and Representatives. One of those things just happens to be defending the Capitol from nutcases who want to shoot people and blow things up.

Memo to the voters of Georgia's 4th Congressional District:

Retire this woman in November, please. She's on the fast track to becoming the leading National Embarrassment in Congress - and believe me, there's a lot of competition for that prize. She's the poster girl for every moonbatty, half-baked, and far flung conspiracy theory on the map. She's groveled before foreign princes for political cash. Now she's turned around and smacked someone whose sworn job it is to protect her.

This has little, if anything to do with racism. The central point of this issue is the fact that Cynthia McKinney believes she's above the law, and therefore above reproach. The cop did his job. If she isn't willing to adhere to the requirements of her job, then the time has come for her to be relieved of the privilege of serving in Congress.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, April 03, 2006
 
How Not To Win The Immigration Debate
by Cordeiro
*Photo HT - Michelle

I've resisted commenting on this issue for some time now, mostly because I think the premise that people who break the law to enter this country are entitled to the benefits, rights, and privileges enjoyed by legal and lawful citizens of this nation is patently absurd. This isn't about immigration. This isn't about migrant workers. This is about illegal immigration. Words mean things. Let's skip the politically correct pretense and call a spade a spade.

Most of the people taking stands in this debate have spent little, if any, time living or working outside the United States. I'm excluding the tens of thousands of protestors taking to the streets of major cities across the United States because, as far as I can tell, they are not American citizens. While they may make a lot of noise, the only people who matter in this debate are the American citizens and their duly elected representatives.

The crowd may chant "Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote", but as far as I can tell, only citizens of this nation decide its laws.

I have spent a good chunk of my life living overseas. Most of this time was as a military dependent living on American military bases in foreign lands. However, I did spend some years living and working in Brazil. While I won't go into my purpose for living there, I will tell you what I didn't do:

I didn't take to the streets carrying an American flag protesting the absolutely ignorant and stupid bureaucratic hoops I had to jump through in order to get a resident visa - and I was supporting myself, not looking for a job on the Brazilian economy.

I learned to speak, read, and write the Portuguese language. I didn't demand English translations of street signs, medical forms, or restaurant menus. Had I demanded this, I don't think I would have gotten very far. In Brazil, you see, you are expected to either speak Portuguese or eat stuff you can't recognize. Needless to say, I learned fast.

I didn't demand government subsidies for my living expenses and lifestyle. I didn't take to the streets with my American compatriots and expect Brazil to coddle me just because I decided Sao Paulo was a good place to try to live.

I didn't disrespect the flag of my host country, nor did I subjugate it to that of my birth country.

In short, I pretty much behaved myself and learned to assimilate into the Brazilian culture, language, and people.

I cite my experience in sharp contrast to that shown by illegal immigrants over the past few weeks. More protests are evidently planned. The unspoken undercurrent of these protests is the idea that California - and evidently most of the southwest United States - belong to Mexico, thus the illegal immigrants are only taking back what was stolen from their forebearers.
Sure, guys. You go ahead and return the land you stole from the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas (if you can find any of them) and then we'll discuss your rights to land you've never lived on. Right now, you're an uninvited guest in my country (yes, I'm a native born Californian) - so forgive me if I ask you to behave yourself in the same manner I did whilst living in your land. Sí­, Se Puede.

Yes, there needs to be an open, honest, and viable debate on the issue of legal immigration. This debate needs to revolve around the laws American citizens will pass and enforce regarding who does, and more importantly who does not gain the right to live and work in this nation.

This is the United States of America, amigos. Her flag has flow over this nation for 230 years, 156 of those over the State of California. She bows to no foreign power or potentate. You gain no allies to your cause by subjugating her to the flag of your birth nation.

If you are so upset as to the treatment you receive here in the United States of America, you would do well to realize the border works both ways.

Here endeth the lesson.
 
Monday Highlights
by Cordeiro
The Right Brothers

Check out this song. If you work in a leftist dominated office, grab your headphones.

Looney McKinney on Parade

Most people, after smacking a cop with a cell phone, would see a precinct room through iron bars. Not Cynthia "Looney" McKinney. She gets to hold a press conference and decry racism in the Capitol Dome. She works under the security blanket provided by hardworking and honorable law enforcement officers, and then has the nerve to publicly lambaste them for doing their jobs.

The Honorable Congresswoman. Yeah, right.

Laura - According to Ron Kessler

Drudge has excerpts from the upcoming Ron Kessler book Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait. Time will tell if there's any truth to what he writes, however I can't pass up his account of Laura's first tour of the White House, courtesy of Hillary. According to Kessler, Laura thought the Lincoln Bedroom looked "worn out".

That's what happens when the Lincoln Bedroom gets used like a Motel 6.

My, My, My, What A Mess!

Portable toilets meet freeway. Not a pretty sight.


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