Thursday, March 29, 2007
There comes a time in the life of every person where they come face to face with their own fragile humanity. Nobody enjoys dealing with the fact that, despite the best efforts of modern science and medicine, our society will always require the services of a grave digger.
Most of us receive difficult medical diagnoses in the company of close friends, family, and doctors who (we hope at least) have our best interests at heart. Treatment plans and similar arrangements are discussed far from the glare of the public spotlight – a fact for which most of us are very grateful.
Such is not the case for public figures such as Elizabeth Edwards (wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards) and W’s Head Spear Catcher, Press Secretary Tony Snow. Both of them have had to deal with the return of cancer – a crucible through which both of them had already passed once before.
My regular readers will already know I don’t hold John Edwards in very high esteem. That said, when the public persona is lifted, he is what I am – a husband and father. Elizabeth is his wife of over three decades – the mother of his children. That side of him I understand and I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel something for a man who – somewhere deep inside himself – knows his time with his sweetheart will be shorter than either of them would like. John, may her days be such that there is time for more joy than sorrow.
My heart goes out to Tony Snow in much the same manner. He is a devoted husband and father – titles he cherishes far more than any title or honor he will ever receive. I’m sure in the back of his mind he knew recurrence was a possibility – just not one he ever wanted to deal with. Tony knows what its like to be sick. His attitude is truly one to be emulated.
Receiving a difficult medical diagnosis is a lot like getting “clotheslined” on a football field. You’re running down the field, intent on finding the ball carrier and separating him from his shoulder pads when suddenly you are blindsided by an opposing blocker. Your momentum stops, you see the tops of your shoes in front of you and suddenly you’re on your back on the grass looking up at the bright lights and wondering why you can’t breath so well. (That’s what people tell me anyway. I, of course, never ever got clotheslined. That’s my story and I’m sticking too it.)
Being blindsided by a serious medical problem is a little harder than that. Medical blindsiding usually involves waking up on a very uncomfortable ICU bed to find yourself hooked up to an IV, blood pressure cuff, heart monitor, and one of the medical professions most heinous torture devices ever invented, the foley.
If you don’t know what a foley is, trust me, you really, really, really don’t want to know.
It is in these moments you really have to ask yourself the question posed by the theme song to John Wayne’s 1970 movie Chisum – “Can You Still Keep Movin’ On?” On the playing field, as in life, you really have but two choices to consider. One is to lie there on the field and feel sorry for yourself. In so doing you run the risk of being trampled by a bunch of sweaty guys with spandex pants and bad attitudes. The other choice is to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and stagger back to the huddle to prepare for the next play. The next play comes at you whether you’re ready for it or not.
Both Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow have elected to pick themselves up and continue with their lives despite dealing with difficult medical diagnoses. For that effort they are to be commended. Their private battles will be party waged on a very public stage. As someone who has received my own difficult diagnosis – which I won’t go into here – I take strength from their example of courage.
Life, dear reader, is not fair. Any one who tells you different, to quote the Dread Pirate Wesley, is selling something. Life rolls along and my experience has taught me that rolling with it is much better than kicking against it.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Jim Webb Tosses Aide Under The Bus
As most of my readers here know, I’m not a fan of Virginia’s freshman Senator Jim Webb. He owes his senate seat more to a relentless cheap shot barrage from the Washington Post than to any political prowess he may or may not possess.
Thus far in his short time on the job, he’s done little to distinguish himself as a leader and on two occasions has done much to embarrass the very people he claims to represent.
Webb is a 2nd amendment supporter, as am I. I believe the Constitutional guarantee of a right to keep and bear arms means exactly what it says. Virginia has laws on the books allowing her citizens to carry concealed weapons. Webb has just such a permit. He says, and I believe him, that
It's important for me personally and a lot of people in the situation that I'm in to be able to defend myself and my family.That’s all fine and good. However, with the right to have a gun comes the responsibility of keeping track of said weapon.
Webb’s aide, Phillip Thompson, was arrested for carrying a loaded gun (with two spare magazines) into the US Capitol complex. Turns out this is Webb’s gun and, according to Webb, should have been left at a Virginia location. In case you’re wondering , gun control laws in DC are strict to the point that a cap gun can get you a few months in the slammer.
Well, today Webb’s story is starting to unravel. Thompson spent the night – and the better part of his 45th birthday – in jail before being released on his own recognizance. After he got out of jail, Thompson was promptly run over by the Jim Webb express bus when Webb stated to the Hill
I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson, and that’s all that I think I’ll say.Webb’s waffling begs the following question: If Senator Webb did not give his gun to Thompson, exactly how did Thompson get it? Is Senator Webb so careless with a loaded weapon and enough ammunition to take down a strip mall that he loses track of the bag? Does he just toss it in a car and hope for the best?
This is about responsibility. If you are going to take advantage of the gun laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia, then you get the responsibility for what happens with the gun. It really is that simple.
This is not Webb’s first gaffe. It will not be his last. To add my own voice to that of PoliticalDerby.com’s Jason Wright, “Virginia deserves better”.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Yet Another Fabricated Scandal – This Time With Subpoenas
The Congressional Jackass Caucus really wants Karl “Sith Lord” Rove. Having gone wide left on their previous attempt to frog march him out of the White House using Patrick Fitzgerald as a cattle prod, Head Judiciary Jackass John Conyers has now given himself the authority to issue subpoenas for Sith Lord Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers.
John Conyers, Dusty Harry, and New York’s Junior Senator Chuck Schumer have done their level best to make the recent firings of eight US Attorneys a federal case. They’re upset at the fact that W broke with tradition and ended the terms of said US Attorneys before their prescribed tenures were up. Sith Lord Rove evidently made some email commentary on the issue some time ago and upon hearing that Rove may have said something at the White House Watercooler about US Attorneys who were subsequently dumped, the Congressional Jackasses and their more than willing MSM accomplices began to froth at the mouth – literally.
There’s only one real problem with the impetus behind their frothing. Every single US Attorney is a political appointee. They serve, like all other appointees, “at the pleasure of the President of the United States”. In the interest of further educating the Democratic left – that means W can fire them at any time for any reason. Its what private sector employers like to call “At will employment”.
Most hard left Democrats don’t understand this concept. Many of them come from a Union Thug environment where it’s easier to amend the Constitution than it is to fire a lazy employee.
And mentioning the Constitution, may I be so bold as to remind the Congressional Jackasses that there are in fact three co-equal branches of government. For those who missed that High School Civics lecture, remember the fact that US Attorneys serve under the Executive Branch. The Legislative Branch – where all Congressional Jackasses reside – doesn’t have the authority to hire or fire anyone under the Executive Branch. That’s W’s job. Ain’t Separation of Powers grand?
W has made an effort to make the requested individuals available to consult with the Congressional Jackasses. Under no circumstance will he allow them to be paraded before the MSM cameras and subjected to a show trial for which DC is famous. The Jackasses may be so bold as to take W to court on the issue – where they’ll lose.
Schumer, Dusty Harry, Pelosi and Conyers have greatly over-reached on this issue. That’s normally when bad decisions come back to bite. Now that will be entertainment.
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The Political Cowardice Of The Breck Girl
History is a very interesting subject when you start making comparisons between the struggles and battles men have fought in the past and the challenges men face today.
Retired USC history professor A.J. Langguth - in Union 1812 - details the years between America's first and second wars of Independence, the second more popularly known as the War of 1812. On the recommendation of Blogfather Hugh I listened to the unabridged recording of Union 1812 over the past few weeks.
What astounded me was the number of "generals" - mostly American but sometimes British - who would surrender their positions without so much as firing a shot to defend themselves. They would not go out and do battle unless victory was a sure thing. A few of these "generals" were tried and convicted as cowards - justifiably so.
Today one can look upon John "Breck Girl" Edwards, the Nevada and indeed the national Democratic Party, and every single Democratic presidential candidate and think the same thing about them that I think about the aforementioned "generals".
They were to have met in Reno on August 14th for a debate which would have been broadcast by Fox News. The fact it was to be broadcast by Fox News evidently so infuriated the Democratic Party power brokers - those being Kos and Moveon.org - they demanded said debate be cancelled.
Their excuse? An attempted joke by the Fox head honcho Ailes. Personally, I think they were scared people might actually watch the debate. Fox News Channel actually has live viewers. CNN, MSNBC, and ABC barely register in the ratings wars. If it were possible for ratings to have a negative number, CBS would do just that.
Breck Girl Edwards was the first to cave to the surrender demands of the Moveon.org crowd. He declared, via Jonathan Prince:
Fox News has already proven they have no intention of providing "fair and balanced" coverage of any Democrat in this election.You see, Democrats are afraid - yes afraid - of entering any arena where they do not control the coverage. Heaven forbid, Breck Girl, Hillary, Obama, and the rest of the crown might actually have gotten a hardball question from Brit Hume - or whoever was the debate referee.
The Cowardly Dems have now followed Breck Girl's lead - most likely the only time he's ever led them in doing anything. Leave it to Dusty Harry Reid to follow the advise of a one term Senator who couldn't even buy his own re-election, let alone carry his state for his party in the 2004 election. Battle Born politics - yeah, right.
The current crop of Dem presidential contenders has badly blown this issue. Perhaps they thought it better to be thought fools rather than go on television people actually watch and remove any doubt whatsoever.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Obama’s Closet Cleaning
I guess one always has to start somewhere. Every presidential candidate is going to have the press digging through their financial records. Some will merit more scrutiny than others. Barak Obama is already learning this as the New York Times launched the first salvo in what will no doubt be a very long campaign cycle.
The New York Times picked this low hanging fruit story because it didn’t take much digging. Obama bought some stock in companies which had business before committees he sat on. If these companies were major market players, it could be written off as a rookie mistake, however:
the stock purchases raise questions about how he could unwittingly come to invest in two relatively obscure companies, whose backers happen to include generous contributors to his political committees.This story will fester for awhile.
So Obama has evidently now decided to start cleaning out some of the skeletons currently residing in his closet. Two weeks before he launched his presidential campaign, he paid $375 to clear up 17 outstanding parking tickets he owed to the city of Cambridge. That’s a lot of cash for parking tickets until you consider the fact the tickets were issued from 1988-1991 – years when Obama was a Harvard Law student.
Obama’s spokesbabe Jen Psaki said Obama’s situation wasn’t unique:
Many people have parking tickets and late fees. All the parking tickets and late fees were paid in full.Yes, Jen, some people have parking tickets and late fees. Few people have 18 year old parking tickets they just now are getting around to paying for.
What’s next? Will Obama pay overdue book fees from grade school?
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
John Edwards' New Gig
In an effort to prop up his sagging presidential campaign, John "Breck Girl" Edwards has taken on a new gig. He's now (at least in his own mind) a spokesman for Jesus.
This isn't Breck Girl's first foray into evangelism. If you'll remember, back on October of 2004, he made the claim that if Lurch Kerry were elected President, people like Christopher Reed would walk again.
Personally, hearing somebody who built a 22,000 square foot house call me "selfish" just makes me laugh.
A Little Perspective, If You Please
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has now been convicted on four felony counts of perjury an obstruction of justice. These convictions prove one of two (or a combination of both) things – either Scooter deliberately (and stupidly) lied to Federal investigators or he honestly couldn’t remember the exact details of conversations which occurred some two to three years ago.
Before you get on your conspiracy horse (yes, Mr. Jason Leopold, I’m talking to you) let me ask you if you remember what you had for dinner on February 12, 2003 and what was said over that meal. Let me know when you have those details and remember, if your recollection is even the slightest bit wrong you’ll spend the next 25 years of your life sharing a 6 by 9 cell with a 6’8” 425 pound roommate named Bubba.
Now let’s get down to the actual facts of the case in question because none of them were settled with the end of this farce of a trial. Richard Armitage leaked the identity of Valerie Plame to Robert Novak who subsequently published it in the column that started this whole thing. You’ll note that neither man was charged, let alone tried, for their actions. The wolves wanted Big Time Cheney, and Scooter was the closest they could get.
Another fact: Joe Wilson is a lying son of a%$@. This fact is not open to negotiation. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report (pages 49-57) proves it beyond any doubt whatsoever. (HT Rick Moran) So obvious were Joe’s lies that even John “Lurch” Kerry fired him from his campaign staff in the summer of 2004. With Lurch’s slight dominance of facts, Joe’s dismissal showed he couldn’t even meet the low standards of Lurch’s sorry excuse for a presidential campaign.
The MSM would have you believe W, Big Time Cheney, and the rest of the White House went out to smear Joe Wilson and endanger the very life of his wife. Wilson, they would tell you, did everything in his power to stop the war hungry neo-cons from rigging intelligence data to take this country to a war based on lies.
The fact remains that Joe Wilson’s New York Times exposé was so full of factual holes it wasn’t even good for fish wrap. W and Big Time knew this and set out on a mission to confront Wilson’s lies with facts. The MSM hates facts, especially when they get in the way of skewering the President and bringing down a Vice-President.
So, three years, thousands of hours of FBI work and Grand Jury testimony, and millions of dollars of taxpayer funds have resulted in one man being convicted on four counts. No Karl Rove or Big Time Cheney frog march. No impeachment of W. Prozac sales inside the beltway will no doubt skyrocket over the next few days.
Scooter Libby, by all accounts of those who really know him, is a good and decent man who has given the better part of his life to public service. The vicious politically charged and media driven witch hunt has now ruined the life of a man who never sought the limelight. While his “crimes” shouldn’t be minimized, neither should the question of whether or not charges should’ve ever made it to trial.
The legal system, however flawed it may be, is a double edged sword. Joe Wilson has filed a civil lawsuit against Big Time Cheney. Having done such he will be required to submit himself to a hostile deposition during which time he’ll be placed under oath and subject to the very perjury laws which may cost Scooter his freedom.
Answer carefully, Joe.
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Jim Webb’s Legislative Fumble
Senator Jim Webb (D-Va) is in serious need of a legislative and constitutional tutor. In one of his first acts as the Junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Webb has introduced legislation to limit W’s ability to confront Iran’s aggressive actions against the United States.
In unveiling his proposed legislative straightjacket, Webb “boldly” declared:
To state the obvious, Iran is not Iraq. And the president has no authority to begin unilateral military operations against Iran.Thank you, Jim, for your astute geography lecture. Now that we’ve settled where Iran and Iraq are, let’s get to the particulars of your hopelessly flawed argument.
Before you go spouting off on what W has the authority to do, you might want to check your history – and recent history at that. To save you the trouble of looking it up, let me quote for you the language of the Use of Force Resolution signed passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law on September 14, 2001:
Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States;You see, Jim, the Constitution invests in the President the authority to act in a military way. Short of a Constitutional Amendment to the contrary, you’re out of luck there. Continuing to the “Be it resolved” portion of the aforementioned resolution:
That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons. (Emphasis Added)There is no doubt in the mind of any serious individual to the fact that Iran has American blood on its hands. The vast majority of IED material and the more deadly Explosive Formed Penetrator (EFP) bombs can be traced directly to Iran.
Mr. Webb, for someone who is as concerned about the safety of your son as you espouse to be, I’m shocked that you would seek to limit the ability of his Commander-in-Chief to protect him by confronting those who would seek to blow him up. The threat posed by Iran to the United States is clearly looming and must be confronted by serious people.
You, sir, have proven that you aren’t serious about anything other than hobbling a President in time of war. That, Senator, is a shameful act.
Here endeth the lesson.