ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, November 04, 2005

Kerry - Election was Stolen

Source is DU and it's a second hand account attributed to Mark Crispin Miller at that, but will post once I get the transcript:

BREAKING: Kerry now believes the election was stolen. - Mark C. Miller

Mark Crispin Miller on DemocracyNow just stated that Kerry said to him personally that he, Kerry, believes the election in 2004 was stolen. He also said that Kerry is trying to talk to other senators to move the issue front and center. Sen. Dodd is among those opposing efforts.


Even the DUers think Kerry should give it up...
36. IT doesn't matter what the hell kind of evidence he has now!
Edited on Fri Nov-04-05 09:48 AM by Walt Starr

All the Republicans need do is rel=play and replay and replay his concession speech and say two words, "Sour grapes."

He could prove that Karl Rove himself was on a computer changing votes as they came in, and it would change nothing and he'd only get swiftboated again.

Kerry is making the WRONG move at the WRONG time. He's trying to steal thunder from other Democratic Senators who are doing real work and making real progress.

If he has damning evidence that the election was stolen, he should shut his mouth and hand it over to another Senator who was never directly connected to his campaign and let them run with it. Opening up his big mouth now does more harm than good if he has real evidence.

The Republicans simply need to shoot the messenger on this. A wholly unconnected messenger with the same evidence would f$%^ up the Republicans. Kerry doing it is just more grist for the mill.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Alito & The Disingenuous Left

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom provides an excellent analysis of the Left's attempts to twist Judge Alito's opinion in Casey.

In a peripheral swipe at Samuel Alito, the Washington Monthly’s Kevin Drum points to two posts that challenge the idea of “husband” notification with regard to abortion restrictions, before concluding:
As I’ve mentioned before, abortion is just one of a constellation of hot button conservative social issues that have at their core a desire to enforce traditional sex and gender roles, and notification laws are yet another example of that. They aren’t about notification, they’re about control. In the case of parental notification, there’s at least a reasonable argument that this kind of one-sided control is appropriate, but in the case of husbands and wives, there isn’t. Not in the 21st century, anyway.
Here, Kevin’s superficial analysis is long on ascribing motive and short on allowing for good faith—and so represents a method of argumentation that is quickly becoming the standard tactic of many left-leaning political commentators (and some on the right, as well). In this case, the motive, Kevin says, is a desire on the part of...who, exactly?—conservatives? the Pennsylvania legislature? Alito?—for enforcement and “control” over women’s bodies, though notably he doesn’t explain how such an ironfisted rule would precisely work. Notification, after all, is not consent, and so would seem to imply a coequal interest in the fetus (or, for those morecomfortable, with the clump of cells, from a property rights standpoint) moreso than a desire by the Pennsylvania legislature (or Alito, or those who defend Alito’s dissent) to control a woman’s body).

(At this point, it is important to remind readers that Judge Alito’s role in all this touches on none of these social issues—no matter how desperately those who oppose his SCOTUS nomination try to switch the grounds of debate to make it so; instead, Alito’s role was to decide whether the Pennsylvania legislature had the Constitutional right to pass such a spousal notification law, and Alito decided that they did, using Justice O’Connor’s “undue burden” standard—and existing analogous legislation—to decide the case. His role was not to decide whether or not the Pennsylvania statute was a bad law. That is is the debate we are having here. Instead, his role was to decide whether the law passed Constitutional muster, and his thinking, from a legal standpoint, is rigorous and well-argued.)
Once there, any serious debate is going to require good faith on both sides. Drum and Franke-Ruta—in assigning to their opponents cartoon motives more properly relegated to the kinds patriarchal boogeymen who haunt the dreams of belligerent, second-wave gender feminists like Amanda Marcotte—miss the opportunity to have a discussion on reproductive issues that proceeds from the neutral ground where men’s interests and concerns are allowed into the equation, not simply dismissed as some fantastical desire to control a woman’s uterus.

Sadly, though, I believe that reducing the debate to cartoon terms is precislely the point. Whether or not spousal notification is a good or practical compromise (and do remember that notification is distinct from consent or permission, words you’ve likely heard many on the left use to frame the issue) in reproductive and “property” rights disputes should be an open question, one that is hashed out inside an informed and honest debate; alas, some folks committed to women’s identity politics would rather just do away with the difficult work of having to weigh competing rights and interests, and instead assert the primacy of their rights by cowing their opponents into retreat by leveling charges of misogyny, or by insisting that the very desire for discourse or legal redress is, in its very nature, part of a conspiracy to subjugate women and re-institutionalize a system of perfidious male domination.

Read the whole thing.

It's amazing that, no matter how many times we say it, the Left refuses to recognize that we're not supporting Alito and originalist judges because they'll impose their values on us. We support them because they rightly recognize that the people make such difficult decisions as spousal or parental notification in the legislature.

As I mention here, Scalia was very clear in one of his rare television appearances. I paraphrased him with the following:
The basic message from Scalia is that if you want our laws & government policy to evolve with the people, DO IT THROUGH THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. Convince and persuade your fellow citizens that your position is correct and get it passed through our democratic process. The "Living, Breathing Constitution" perspective empowers unelected justices to impose their feelings on these matters, while at the same time removing the issue from further debate (ie if it's unconstitutional, it no longer becomes a matter for the legislatures (federal or state)). Our government is more flexible when the Constitution is interpreted through original intent, because the difficult issues of the day (on which our opinions will change over time) can be decided through the legislative process year after year.

That they do not recognize this shows that they're either acting in bad faith in the debate or that they really have issues with basic comprehension.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Harry Reid as Evil Knievel?

Perhaps he will be using a motorcycle to jump over the Grand Canyon, because apparently Harry Reid has a new profession as a stuntman:

Democrats claim that the Republican leadership had been dragging its feet on completing the so-called phase two of the Senate Intelligence Committee (search) investigation into pre-war intelligence, which the panel began working on in February 2004. They argued they had no choice but to bring a halt to Senate operations to highlight the probe's progress.

But Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (search) says he told Democrats on Monday that Republicans were ready to wrap up the most difficult part of the probe — looking at statements made by public officials about Iraq and seeing if they were justified by the available intelligence at the time.

"What has not been told by the Democrats, when they had the leadership meeting and went on this attack mode, is that we started this phase two investigation in February ... had a May 17 (2005) business meeting, they balked, and then there were several other provisions where we've had problems," Roberts told FOX News Wednesday.

Roberts said work has continued, and earlier this week his staff spoke with Democrat staffers to say they were going to wrap up work on the matter next week. "Next thing I know, we're getting blamed for dragging our feet. That is simply not the case."
The result of Tuesday's closed session was a deadline of Nov. 14 for six members of the Senate — three from each party — to assess the progress of the committee's investigation into pre-Iraq war intelligence.

The committee will also meet from Tuesday through Friday next week to review staff findings. Roberts said hoped to make the phase two report public when it was complete.

"What's going to be carried out in closing this phase two of the investigation had already been discussed by the Intelligence Committee with the timeline already set out for hearings next week and that's why they took this surprise tactic to shut down the place to get the headlines, which they were able to do," Frist said.
Republican Intelligence Committee staffers told FOX News that to compare the intelligence gathered from phase one to the statements made by officials in the lead-up to the war, they collected more than 250 comments by Republican officials. Then they took statements from 100 Democratic officials and took the names off of all the comments.

Republican staffers said they were then ready to present the statements to Democrats in May 2005, but the minority members on the committee objected to the anonymous nature of the comments. That backed up the discussion, the committee's GOP staff director said.

Roberts said he wanted to present a truly impartial look at statements that were made and what intelligence was available to those officials at the time they made their assessments. The chairman said from what they know now, there is no "there there."

But Democrats insist that they want to look at Republican administration statements to see if the intelligence assessments were used for political advantage and manipulated to justify war.

Well, great political maneuvering, Harry.... The Kossacks and DUers are all atwitter. However, the folks in Peoria are looking at you and wondering "Why are they so unhinged?"

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Jimmy... call your office...

Generation Why (H/T Instapundit) has pulled some quotes from good ol' Jimmy Carter (Jimmy Carter? He is history's greatest monster!) on Saddam's WMD programs.

It seems that Jimmy was all for using intelligence that Saddam had WMD if he could use it for a reason to not go to war.

November 2, 2005
"The Bush Administration's prewar claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction were manipulated, at least to mislead the American people."

February 18, 2003
"We want Saddam Hussein to disarm but we want to achieve this through peaceful means. He obviously has the capability and desire to build prohibited weapons and probably has some hidden in his country."

This exposes the true motive for the left's recent talking points on investigating pre-war intelligence. It's not about "finding the lies" its about turning American victories (the toppling of Saddam) against the President. In essense turning victory into defeat.

They were all for WMD's being in Iraq if it meant we would be too scared to go into Baghdad. If I were on the Senate Intelligence Committee, I'd subpeona Jimmy Carter, since he obviously thought there were WMD's in Iraq as well.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Fallujah? No, Paris

It seems that the French problem regarding unassimilated Muslim immigrants is reaching a tipping point:

Paris riots spread, shaking French government

The French government was reeling after nearly a week of suburban rioting outside Paris spread to other areas around the capital, laying bare what observers said was the country's failure to address deep problems of poverty and immigration.

Gangs of stone-throwing youths clashed with police and torched 180 cars overnight in several towns north and west of Paris in an escalation of dusk-to-dawn violence that has raged since last Thursday following the death of two teenagers in the northeast suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.

Thirty-four people were arrested in the rampages, which have so shaken authorities that President Jacques Chirac came forward to call for calm and vow to investigate the teens' deaths.

"Tempers must calm down," a spokesman quoted him as telling his cabinet.

Chirac warned that "an escalation of disrespectful behaviour would lead to a dangerous situation" and asserted that "there can be no area existing outside the law" in France.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin put off indefinitely a trip to Canada originally scheduled for Wednesday to call an emergency meeting of ministers to discuss the problem and attend a parliamentary session in which he called the violence "extremely serious".

He told ministers that "the government will ensure public order and will do so with the necessary firmness."

He said he was counting on Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy -- who cancelled a trip next week to Pakistan and Afghanistan to deal with the situation -- to "take the necessary measures."

In all, more than 80 people have been arrested and two dozen police hurt since the start of the riots last week

The spark for all of this was the shooting of two Muslim teenagers who were fleeing police and then the launching of tear gas into a mosque.

Perhaps France could use some UN peacekeeping troops? Or perhaps America's 4th Infantry Division?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm Speechless

Just looked at Michelle Malkin's page and found this:

This was posted on the liberal blog of Steve Gilliard but was pulled down. It purports to represent Michael Steele the Lt. Governor of Maryland who is running as a Republican for the Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes. This is repulsive.

I do not have to say anything. The image speaks for itself and the type of people who support this sort of thing. Malkin goes on to detail African American political types in Maryland who state this sort of thing is just fine. It is not just fine.

This angers me.

It is an anger born of sadness.

Steve Gilliard just keeps 'em coming. Here's his latest post:

Just comes to mind when I think
of Michael Steele. Of course, this
is a picture of Clarence Thomas,
but they all look alike, don't they?

He also says that he pulled the offending photo pictured in MontereyJohn's original post not because it was offensive, but because the Washington Post owned the original, undoctored photo.
[from the Washington Times story I mentioned here]This week, the News Blog -- a liberal Web log run by Steve Gilliard, a black New Yorker -- removed a doctored photo of Mr. Steele that depicted him as a black-faced minstrel.

[Steve Gilliard Responds] (Note: The original photo belonged to the Washington Post, and as they owned the copyright, it was only appropriate that I pull the photo. I didn't have permission to alter it, so, off it went. It is in no way a retraction)

It seems that Gilliard has now attacked Tim Kaine for pulling their ads from his site. It seems that when politicians are running for office, they don't like to be associated with racist charges.

Well, it seems that the Kossacks think this is a terrible affront to free speech. (It's not like Gilliard's site is being taken down... someone's just choosing to not PAY to have their ad on the site... jeesh, the Kossacks are thick.)
This has me stewing. I hate Democrats scared of their own shadows. And apparently Virginia's Tim Kaine (or those running his campaign) is one of them.
The last thing any of us need are bloggers afraid to be themselves lest they lose out on ad money. And that's what this sort of shit creates. It's a chilling effect.

I'm sure Tim Kaine will take this to heart and start paying for his ads to run on Neo-Nazi and Communist Party USA sites... Let me remind the Kossacks - it's a GOOD thing to distance yourself from racists. Just because a racist is "being himself" does not mean you should support them (financially or otherwise).

Check out Real Clear Politics for a chronology of events...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Elevating the Level of the Debate

Whenever they're given an opportunity, the Left always elevates the level of the debate. Oh, wait... what am I saying?

'Party trumps race' for Steele foes
By S.A. Miller
Published November 2, 2005

Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.

Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.

Operatives for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also obtained a copy of his credit report -- the only Republican candidate so targeted.

But black Democrats say there is nothing wrong with "pointing out the obvious."

"There is a difference between pointing out the obvious and calling someone names," said a campaign spokesman for Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.

"Party trumps race, especially on the national level," she said. "If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It's democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy."

Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.

"Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people."

During the 2002 campaign, Democratic supporters pelted Mr. Steele with Oreo cookies during a gubernatorial debate at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

In 2001, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. called Mr. Steele an "Uncle Tom," when Mr. Steele headed the state Republican Party. Mr. Miller, Prince George's County Democrat, later apologized for the remark.

"That's not racial. If they call him the "N' word, that's racial," Mrs. Marriott said. "Just because he's black, everything bad you say about him isn't racial."

This week, the News Blog -- a liberal Web log run by Steve Gilliard, a black New Yorker -- removed a doctored photo of Mr. Steele that depicted him as a black-faced minstrel.

However, the blog has kept its headline "Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house." A caption beneath a photo of the lieutenant governor reads: "I's Simple Sambo and I's running for the Big House."

Add to that the same take on Clarence Thomas by the Milwaukee Journal and it becomes clear that the race-obsessed Left will cast aside some of the greatest achievements of blacks, simply because they do not share their political views or are members of the appropriate political party.

Let's truly heed Dr. King's dream:
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Let's face it... Blacks are not a monolithic group. Thinking such a thing is in itself a racist stereotype in my book.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tax "Reform" - Rearranging the Deck Chairs

Was glad to see this Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal today, which confirms some of my fears about the proposed "tax reform" plans:

To pay for AMT relief, the plan limits the housing deduction to $315,000 and the employer health care deduction to $11,000 per worker. There's rough justice in this because the panel discovered that at least two out of three Americans are fated to lose the mortgage deduction due to the encroachment of the AMT. Nonetheless, yesterday the home builders were yelping.

Meanwhile, Democrats from high-tax states, such as New York's Chuck Schumer, are upset because the plan eliminates the deduction for state and local taxes. We say good riddance. This deduction has always unfairly subsidized liberal and often richer states at the expense of states that have lower tax rates, or no income tax at all. Eliminating this deduction would do a favor for residents of New York and California by forcing their politicians to reduce their rates to stay competitive.

But the real economic juice in the Mack plan would come from the gradual shift to taxing consumption instead of income. The plan cuts capital gains and dividend taxes and allows Americans to tuck away at least $20,000 a year in so-called Roth IRA accounts. This nearly quadruples the amount of annual tax free savings for middle-income families.
The disappointment is that the Mack plan leaves tax rates close to where they are now and thus falls well short of where Congress and President Reagan got us in 1986: with two rates of 15% and 28%. The Mack plan has four rates, and it keeps the highest and most economically damaging rate at 35% (although a slimmed-down option would cut that to 33%).

A big part of the explanation for this is that President Bush insisted that Mr. Mack and his friends propose a "revenue neutral" reform. This means that every dollar "lost" from a tax cut had to be made up with a dollar from a tax increase. To make matters worse, the tax panel opted for "static" tax scoring, so it failed to take into account the impact on growth and federal revenues from a more efficient, less onerous tax code.

We have powerful evidence from this past year that when tax rates are lowered on capital gains and investment, the economy grows, the tax base widens and receipts surge (by some $274 billion in fiscal 2005). Had the panel made reasonable estimates of the growth effect from tax cuts, it could have proposed cutting marginal rates even further. This points to the larger Republican failure, during their time in the majority, to reform the Joint Tax Committee and its anti-growth assumptions that make it so difficult to cut taxes.

The Mack plan is already being shot at from all directions -- from high-tax, income-redistribution liberals, and especially from business lobbies intent on protecting their tax subsidies. But even some of our supply-side friends are assailing the panel. The latter are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Nearly all of the commission's proposals make economic sense, and if implemented would be the best change in tax policy since the 1981 Reagan tax cuts.

As for the politics, we agree the Mack panel may have made too many pre-emptive compromises. [...] A bolder (and lower-rate) flat tax may also be the only way to galvanize public opinion to defeat the death-by-a-thousand-lobbyists that most reform plans suffer.

While the WSJ likes the fact that the plan is a first step, it has some of the same reservations that I have about it. While it may reduce the number of words in the tax code in the short term, both of the proposals are sure to morph back into massive regulation as time passes.

A few other things... don't know about you, but the increase in the cap on annual Roth IRA contributions to $20 grand won't exactly benefit me. Similarly, keeping 3 or 4 tax brackets with similar rates surely won't help those in the middle class - especially as their mortgage deductions are removed. (However, they'll now feel the pain of the bracket they're in.) The fact that the tax panel was constrained by the revenue neutral criteria AND the static scoring model (which doesn't take into effect economic data showing that lower taxes increase economic growth and thus tax receipts), is a sad statement on the leadership in Congress and the Bush administration.

Yes, I am making the good the enemy of the perfect... but, that's the goal of the panel in the first place. What is the best possible tax system that we should have if were were to design it today. Simply rearranging the deck chairs is not a bold proposal. If this is what was proposed, imagine what will happen as the final legislation approaches passage.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Jimmy Carter - History's Greatest Monster

I couldn't believe the idiocy on display by our former President Jimmy Carter this morning on the Today show.

n a subsequent Matt Lauer interview, Jimmy Carter -- on to plump his new book "Our Endangered Values" -- was so quick to accuse his his own country and government that even Lauer was taken aback.

Said Carter: "The news this morning about torture around the world by Americans is going to [make a lot of news]."

To his credit, Lauer corrected the record for our Blame-America-First ex-prez:

Carter also longed for a return to our previous values in foreign policy... I assume he's referring to coddling of dictators, rubber-stamping "elections" of dictators, and no doubt prostrating ourselves before the Islamists.

He also ridiculously claimed that the Geneva Conventions (perhaps even Protocol I which even he had the sense to not sign) should apply to terrorists, since all countries have signed on to it. Of course, I don't remember seeing Osama Bin Laden at the signing ceremony...

Perhaps he slept in on 9/11 and never saw the gruesome act which set this country on a different path than the realpolitik of the past which just ensured that our friends today would become our enemies in the future.

He needs to understand that on September 12th, the past policies weres shown for what they were - mistakes.

Jimmy Carter - History's Greatest Monster

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Transformation of the Democratic Party

All you need to know about the Dems and the "Phase II Investigation" by the Senate Intelligence Committee. From Harry Reid's office (source is Kos, though):

For more than two years we have been seeking this investigation. Finally thru the course of this closed session we were able to get the attention of the majority and lock in (with a timeline) the commitment of the senate intelligence committee to investigate how intelligence was manipulated and manufactured with. Its an investigation we desperately need.

I'm not sure why we need an investigation when Harry Reid purports to know that the intelligence was manipulated & manufactured (with?).

When you become a registered Democrat, apparently in addition to your registration card, you receive a tinfoil hat. The extreme elements of the Left have apparently taken over the entire Democratic party. Nevermind all of the evidence to the contrary that Saddam had WMD; nevermind his ties to terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda (although not "operational tie"s to 9/11, he certainly had ties); nevermind that an Iraqi delegation actually made a trip to Niger, consistent with Bush's claim that "Saddam sought yellowcake from Niger"; nevermind that the French, the Russians, the UN, the Brits, the Saudis, [insert country here], believed that Saddam had WMDs - it all is cast aside when it comes time for the Democrats to play politics.

You just knew that when the polls started to dip on the war in Iraq that the Dems would cave... How many actually think that the Dems would be taking these extreme measures if a Gallup poll showed slightly higher numbers than they do today? [sarcasm on] It's great to know that you can count on the Democrats to make the tough decisions and live up to our former President's claim claim that we would "bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe..." [/sarcasm off]

And then they wonder why the American people don't trust them on National Security and the War On Terror. I s'pose that when you try and undermine the war effort at every turn, you shouldn't be surprised.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler


And now for something completely different... This is just hilarious.

Key activists have come to that conclusion, too, figuring they'll have a better chance of finding an anti-war candidate than of moving Clinton. Already, the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and the Progressive Democrats of America have begun casting about for a challenger. Some envision the perfect candidate as an anti-war Iraq veteran, like Paul Hackett of Ohio, who announced his run for a U.S. Senate seat last week. Others have a different kind of cachet in mind.

"When I heard the name Cindy Sheehan," says DeBar, the Ossining activist, "I thought, great."

Last month, DeBar, himself a former Green Party candidate, proposed a Draft Sheehan effort on a Green message board. Unlike some Greens who are pushing a Sheehan for President initiative, DeBar wants to see her move from her home state of California to run against Clinton in the New York primary next year. That way, he writes in his post, "she could force a seismic shift in the direction of the Democratic Party."

Activists see obvious potential in Sheehan. The movement's icon did, after all, rescue anti-war activists from hibernation, breathing new life into their cause from the moment she set up her bivouac at Camp Casey. At the Brooklyn Peace Fair, hordes of fans flocked to her as she descended the platform, lining up for pictures, praising her speech, offering to escort her if she ever comes back to town. After Sheehan signed the back of a postcard with "Peace, Cindy," an ebullient middle-aged woman produced it, repeatedly, for all to see.

Besides, she has proven to be astute politically, as evidenced by anyone who has seen her work a crowd. At a recent vigil of Grandmothers Against the War, she pressed the flesh with dozens of aging activists, shaking each hand, thanking each volunteer, just like any politician.

"Cindy would be the perfect foil," DeBar says, "because everyone knows who she is." Activists wouldn't expect Sheehan to win in '08, or even in '06, not with Clinton's formidable war chest and high polling numbers. But she could garner enough support next year—5 or 10 percent—to dip into the senator's vote margin and thus send a message.

Now, if only Sheehan would buy into the argument. "I love your state, but I don't think I want to move here and run for the Senate," she tells the Voice. "I know you can. I know that's what Hillary Clinton did. But I don't know . . . " she says.

What all this agitation means for Clinton is anyone's guess. Her aides say the senator respects the views of anti-war activists. But at the same time, her constituents elected her to apply her best judgment and do what's in the national interest. Do anti-war Democrats want to pick a fight with a senator who at least champions their other causes?

And given that the DNC now routinely parrots information and lines of argument that are generated on Democratic Underground and DailyKos, this is just the latest example of the leftward pull on the Democratic party.

This is truly hilarious...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

What Now?! History Repeats Itself

The Democrats have called for closed door session of the Senate following the Libby indictment. If I understood the news stories right, and assuming the MSM has the facts straight (never a safe assumption), they want to investigate whether the administration "lied us into" the War in Iraq.

Democrats Force Closed Meeting on Iraq
Nov 01 3:28 PM US/Eastern
Email this story

Associated Press Writer


Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that led to the Iraq war and deriding a lack of congressional inquiry.

"I demand on behalf of the America people that we understand why these investigations aren't being conducted," Democratic leader Harry Reid said.

Taken by surprise, Republicans derided the move as a political stunt.

"The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," said Majority Leader Bill Frist. "They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas," the Republican leader said.

Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. The public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, and the doors were closed. No vote is required in such circumstances.

Reid's move shone a spotlight on the continuing controversy over intelligence that President Bush cited in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Despite prewar claims, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and some Democrats have accused the administration of manipulating the information that was in their possession.

Question: What do the Democrats of 2005 have in common with the Democrats of 1864?


Todays Democrats, like those who opposed that evil tyrant Lincoln, are doing everything they can to undermine the sitting president, who, incidentally, was elected by the people.

Have they no shame? Or are they so deluded they have come to believe their own crap? This latest move borders on sedition.

I need to stop and cool off.

***UPDATE - St Wendeler***
No Worries, John... Ankle Biting Pundits provide this nice consolation:
Look at the bright side folks - so long as Reid is doing this, the Senate isn't spending our money. He's also making himself and his party look like petulant whiners and horse's a$$es (as if they needed help). And keep this in mind. If the Dems in the Gang of 14 do try to filibuster, do you think this is going to help them win over anyone to vote against the Constitutional Option.

So chill out, grab a brew ("Don't Cost Nothin'") and enjoy the spectacle of a grown man and a national party becoming [unhinged]
Sorry, had to put in a link to the new book out by Malkin...

And PoliPundit says this is a great opportunity to ask some tough questions:
Frist should go before the cameras and say:

“America DOES need answers…
- WHY did Sandy Berger steal top secret documents during the 9/11 hearings??
- WHY did Joe Wilson LIE in his Op/Ed…and what did he REALLY find out?
- WHY was Joe Wilson chosen in the first place?
- WHY did Clinton close down Able-Danger…and what did they learn?”

Clearly they're afraid that the Libby indictment doesn't have legs and this is the only way they can knock Alito off of the front page and get the Plame B.S. back on the front burner.
*** END UPDATE - St Wendeler ***

Further update from our pals at NRO:

RE: WHY REID DID IT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Or it might have been Animal House that inspired him:
Otter: No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Tax Reform (?)

Wait a second... I thought the whole point of the "bipartisan expert panel" was to simplify the tax code and make it easier for the average American to file their taxes. (Ideally, it would allow individuals to file their taxes on a 3x5 index card and do away with much of the IRS bureaucracy and the industry that has developed to help people comply with IRS regulations).

Well, it looks like the tax reformers are only looking to "reform" the deductions away so they can eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax:

The advisory group, composed of two former members of Congress, former government officials, academics, and an investment company executive, recommended the Bush administration follow one of two plans.

One -- the "Growth and Investment" plan -- taxes income from dividends, capital gains and interest at a flat 15 percent rate and businesses that are not sole proprietorships at a flat 30 percent. That plan would also reduce tax brackets to three from the current six, with a top rate for individuals at 30 percent.

The current top individual tax rate is 35 percent.

The other, the "Simplified Income Tax" plan, would have four tax brackets with a top rate of 33 percent. It would allow exclusions for dividends and capital gains from U.S. firms but tax interest at regular tax rates. Small businesses would be taxed at regular rates under that approach.


Both plans would replace the current mortgage interest rate deduction, which taxpayers can claim on mortgage debt up to $1.1 million. Instead, the panel proposes a home credit equal to 15 percent of mortgage interest paid.

A credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in tax, while a deduction is an amount that reduces the income subject to tax.

The panel would put the upper threshold of mortgages that qualify for the credit at the average regional price of housing -- expected to range between $227,000 and $412,000, the panel said.

"Today, less than 30 percent of American taxpayers take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction. Under our proposal, everyone who has a mortgage will get a benefit," panel chairman former Florida Republican Sen. Connie Mack said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Both plans would would eliminate the minimum alternative tax, a provision originally intended to insure that affluent taxpayers with many deductions would pay some taxes, but which now affects more middle-income taxpayers.

The panel also proposes eliminating deductions for payments of state and local income taxes.

In addition, both plans would cap at $11,500 the amount a family can shelter from taxes to pay for health insurance.

I'm sorry, I would not characterize going from six to four brackets as the "Simplified Income Tax Plan." What happened to the bold policy proposals of a National Sales Tax plan (with the elimination of income tax entirely) or the Flat Tax, which would make it extremely difficult to increase taxes since everyone would bear the burden of the hike?

Unless President Bush boldly reasserts these possibilities, it's likely that we'll have another "reform" plan that ends up being more complicated than the previous system. Once you start allowing Congressional leaders to tinker with this item or that item in the tax code, you end up with a huge codified mess. That is what makes the Flat Tax so appealing...

And I just LOVE the thought of a government bureaucrat formulating the average house price in a region and thereby determining the tax credit that I'd receive. Like I said - I thought the goal was the SIMPLIFY the tax code, Mr. President!?

The only way that such a mess can be fixed is to have two plans: One loaded with deductions and credits and thousands of pages of code; the other a simple flat tax. Allow taxpayers to decide which system they liked better.

The Wall Street Journal has found that the current tax code is between 2.4 million and 9 million words. Regarding the discrepancy, they make the following argument:
The larger point here is that, whichever number you pick [2.4 million and 9 million words], the tax code is monstrous. The 1986 Reagan tax reform cut the code in half, according to the National Taxpayers Union, but since then it has grown back like jungle brush, thicker than ever. A complicated tax code leads to wasted time and money as taxpayers and their advisers comply with its myriad rules. As President Bush's tax reform panel winds up its business today, we assume that reducing complexity will be high on its to-do list.

While the panel's proposals may reduce the number of words in the tax code, like Reagan's reform in 1986 the tax code will grow again into the monstrosity that it currently is unless our leaders have the courage to take us down a different path.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

ARC on Allman & Smash in the Morning - 97.1 FM Talk

Jamie Allman and Smash were kind enough to invite us on their radio show for their weekly Blogger segment. Previous blogger guests have been Ankle Biting Pundits, Gateway Pundit, and NewsBusters.

It was great to be on the show and discuss the topics of the day. I was able to record the audio and have posted it here. Filesize is 7 MB, so dialup connections will take some time to download. (Also, I accidentally cut off the final seconds, but this still has the substance of the segment.)

FYI - I'm introduced as Todd...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler


Well, this isn't surprising...

Monday, Oct. 31, 2005 10:23 p.m. EST
Howard Dean: Indict Dick Cheney

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is urging Leakgate Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to indict Vice President Dick Cheney if he had anything to do with the decision of his chief of staff, Lewis Libby, to leak CIA employee Valerie Plame's identity to the media.

"I do think there needs to be more investigation of the vice president's office," Dean told the Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes" Monday night.

"One of the things established by the special prosecutor in the [Libby] indictment is that Vice President Cheney was the source of 'Scooter' Libby's knowledge about who the CIA agent was," Dean said in an interview with Alan Colmes.

"And the question is, did the vice president instruct 'Scooter' Libby to reveal that name?"

"If he did," insisted Dean, then "the vice president is probably criminally negligent and he ought to be indicted as well."

The top Democrat predicted that "we're going to find that out - because Fitzgerald has a reputation for being ruthless, relentless and totally non-political."

Now, clearly Dean is unhinged... But, given some of the other whackier things he's said ("interesting theory is that Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand", etc), I'm not all that surprised. And, as Brian called it last week, the Left isn't satisfied with their Scooter indictments and wants Bush and Cheney to be frogmarched from the White House. While they have sympathizers in the Media who will do their best to make that happen, the prosecutor won't be swayed by political pressure.

It's great that the darling of the Kossacks and DUers is now heading up the Democratic Party, as it just ensures that their idiocy will be amplified as each campaign season approaches.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, October 31, 2005

Administrative Note

First, Brian and I are scheduled to appear on 97.1 Talk's Allman & Smash in the Morning Show at 7:10 CST. For those readers in the St Louis area, be sure to tune in. Those outside of St. Louis, you can listen live over the internet.

Second, this blog's address has been updated to the following:

Please update any bookmarks accordingly. We may be switching blogging platforms at some point, so the blogspot address may disappear entirely (although we'll definitely provide a link to the new location).

Third, Pixie Sticks can be tricky for three year olds. Be sure to have scissors handy so you can cut them shorter after they've gotten all of the sugary goodness wet & clogged in the stick.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

DUers: All I Got for Fitzmas was Underwear

Saw this great cartoon by Cox & Forkum and thought I'd share it here:

As I pointed out on Friday, the DUers and Kossacks are not happy.

This also helps explain why the MSM, Democractic Leadership, and the implacable Joe Wilson so quickly changed their argument into calls for Rove be fired. I think they realize that it's highly unlikely that Fitzgerald has anything on Rove, since the fundamental issues surrounding the "leak" are still unanswered and Rove was smart enough to testify truthfully before the grand jury.

As one DUer put it on Friday:

7. Fitzmas: we just got underwear; no pony, no bicycle

We were all still hoping for the price pig, Karl Rove, to get a few indictments he so rightfully deserves.

Getting Libby is fine, but I was expecting Rove. This is the equivalent of getting underwear for Fitzmas, instead of the pony you wanted.

It's pretty sad that you have to pin your hopes and dreams on the efforts of a prosecutor and not on the efforts of your party and the ballot box.

Add to that the fact that all of the charges against Libby are related to a single piece of his testimony - which he repeated multiple times, resulting in multiple charges - and you can see why they're so disappointed.


*** ARC: Brian adds ****
This also helps explain why the MSM, Democractic Leadership, and the implacable Joe Wilson so quickly changed their argument into calls for Rove be fired.

I do believe I called this last week....


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Hell Hath Frozen Over

It seems that Durb's populist rhetoric doesn't even get the support from the St Louis Post-Dispatch!!! This is just a stunning Op-Ed:

OUR VIEW: OIL: Oil company profits are what keep supplies steady
Monday, Oct. 31 2005

Oil companies are rolling in money these days, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., wants to take some of it away from them. Mr. Durbin is one of several members of Congress proposing excess profits taxes on oil companies.

The idea is excellent populist politics and lousy economics. It's a bad idea that would ultimately leave us with higher gasoline prices and tie us even more tightly to the unstable oil states of the Middle East.

It is true that oil companies are celebrating a profit gusher. Last week, ExxonMobil reported quarterly profits up 75 percent to $9.9 billion. Shell's take is up 68 percent to $9.04 billion.

Figures like that stick in the craw of all of us with sticker shock at the pump: $50 for a tank of gas! But those sky-high profits now will help ensure a steady supply of oil in the future.

Gasoline is expensive for two reasons: Demand for oil is exceeding our ability to pump it. The world's wells are running flat out and there's still not enough to meet growing world demand. On top of that, there's a shortage of American refineries to turn oil into gasoline. Refineries were running at 96 percent capacity before two major hurricanes knocked several off-line this summer. That, more than the price of oil, was why gasoline prices soared over $3 per gallon this summer.

In the long run, the answer is to use less oil by conserving, investing in public transit and designing vehicles that are more fuel-efficient. Mandatory higher mileage standards are essential.

But in the short term, the key to price relief is to dig more oil wells and expand refineries. Oil companies will do those things if they are highly profitable.

After all, oil drilling is a risky business, and refineries cost billions. Today's profit levels provide a great incentive to drill and build. But companies must also take gamble on what oil prices may be when new wells and refineries come on line. Long experience with the ups and downs of oil prices have taught oil executives to bet cautiously. That, along with the Gordian knot of regulatory red tape, helps explain why no new refinery has been built in America since the 1970s.

Taxing away the chance of high profits lowers the potential reward for investment in production. There'll be less drilling and building. The result: High gas prices for years to come.

Mr. Durbin's plan would siphon off half the profits that result when oil exceeds $40 per barrel. It sold for $64 on Friday. At today's prices, the tax may yield about $33 billion a year. He'd send $150 checks to consumers and fund energy assistance for low-income families. He'd pour $1 billion into improving fuel efficiency for cars, and spend money relieving highway congestion.

Those are all great ideas, but they won't bring American consumers what they want now - immediate price relief - and they won't guarantee supply in the future. Mr. Durbin is one of the most progressive thinkers in the Senate. But with the friends the oil companies have in high places, and the cold hard facts of supply and demand, his noble ideas won't get very far.

While there's some Leftist assumptions in there, it's great to see the Post-Dispatch actually discuss market forces in the industry. While gasoline prices have been high, we haven't had any shortages and that's precisely because folks like Durbin aren't running this country. Short term price shocks are tough for any economy, but our economy and consumer spending don't appear to have been affected based on 3rd Quarter economic data :
The U.S. economy grew at a robust 3.8% annualized rate in the third quarter, marking the 16th consecutive quarter of growth and confirming that the economy weathered the hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast.

Price inflation remained tempered, with wages and consumer prices excluding food and energy relatively low. A widely watched gauge of consumer confidence fell in October.

The Commerce Department said Friday that growth in the third-quarter gross domestic product, the total value of goods and services produced in the U.S., outpaced the 3.3% rate in the second quarter. Increased consumer and federal-government spending contributed heavily to the increase, while residential and nonresidential construction slowed and inventories declined. Exports also decelerated, while imports remained unchanged.

Treasury Secretary John Snow, in an interview Friday with The Wall Street Journal, said, "it really does reflect something powerful going on inside this huge engine that we call the American economy that we can take the blows that hit us late August and September and continue rolling through it. It really is a remarkable thing how resilient this economy is."

"Without Katrina, this 3.8 would have probably been something into the mid 4s," said Michael Strauss, chief economist of Commonfund Group, an investment firm serving nonprofit organizations.

Let's just hope that more than 50% of the people in Congress have a better understanding of economics than Senator Durbin.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Vote on Alito's Nomination

Visit Hugh Hewitt's site and vote on whether you like the Alito nomination or not.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

It's Alito

I have a feeling that the base will be pleased with Bush's decision to nominate Justice Samuel J. Alito, Jr (nicknamed Scalito):

Bush to Nominate Alito for Supreme Court
Monday, October 31, 2005

WASHINGTON — President Bush, stung by the rejection of his first choice, will nominate Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, selecting a conservative federal judge to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate.

The choice, confirmed by two senior Republican official, was likely to spark a political brawl. Unlike the nomination of Harriet Miers (search), which was derailed by Bush's conservative allies, Alito will face opposition from liberal Democrats.

Bush planned to announce the nomination at 8 a.m. EST.

The White House hopes the choice mends a rift in the Republican Party caused by his failed nomination of Miers, and puts his embattled presidency on a path to political recovery. Democrats already put the White House on notice that a conservative judge such as Alito would create problems.

So consistently conservative, Alito has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (search). But while Scalia is outspoken and is known to badger lawyers, Alito is polite, reserved and even-tempered.
Here's the Wikipedia entry for Samuel J. Alito, Jr, which will likely be updated as we learn more. He's 55 and reliably conservative. Oh, and he has all the credentials that the GOP elites require... Princeton as undergrad, Yale law school, etc. But, we'll certainly have a fight on this one... Let's hope that the GOP caucus gets behind this nominee. Losing this nomination would be a huge defeat.

Check out Scotusblog, Confirm Them, Wizbang, and Michelle Malkin for more.

Two things:
  1. There is no doubt in my mind that Schumer & Co will see this as extraordinary circumstances and a "dagger" at the heart of our country's judicial system and there will be a fillibuster. That's not even a tough call. The biggest question is whether the spineless 7 GOPers in the Gang Of 14 will get behind the nominee and stop the fillibuster. This will be interesting to watch, but a disaster if ScAlito never gets confirmed.
  2. Here are the talking points from the Left:
    • Extremist on Abortion
    • The base is supporting this nominee because he's white and male. Just Another White Guy from the Republicans.
    • The timing of this is curious. No doubt Rove wanted the press off of his back. What did he know and when did he know it?"

Here's the initial response from the Lefties over at DemocraticUnderground:
Start the filibuster now

Refer to the nomination as "dead in the water". No point in even discussing the nomination. No point in even delving into the personal/professional history of Alito. It's all moot. He won't serve on the Supreme Court, so there's no need to even discuss the issue. Start the filibuster now.

Of course, they had a similar reaction when Miers was nominated, but this isn't just your standard kneejerk reaction to anything Bush does. In this case, there's a originalist track record to which they're reacting, not just the fact that he's nominated by a Republican. Fortunately, DUers and Kossacks don't sit in the judiciary committee or in the full Senate. Ooopppssss.... what am I talking about? The Duers, Kossacks, and MoveOn-ers bought & paid for the Democratic Party and have a lot of influence in the MSM.

And per my previous update, the DUers smell Rove behind the timing:
25. Tin foil hat being placed on head.

Has the criminal-in-chief chosen the nominee most likely to cause a ruckus in order to allow Fitzy's investigation to sink into the background? I hate the smell of Rove in the morning.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Why do I know more about the Plame Leak than paid journalists?

After watching the Sunday morning shows and the primetime "exclusives", I'm amazed at the lack of knowledge on display by the journalists. It's as if they haven't been following the details of the case, as uncovered by bloggers like Tom Macguire at Just One Minute. In order to clear the air, here are some key items that seem to escape the MSM. Everyone should know the following and be able to shut down the Leftist attempts to make this a bigger scandal than it is:

  1. Plame wasn't covered by the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act (minor detail, eh?)
  2. Wilson's assertion that his trip to Niger contradicted the Bush Administration position is false. The Senate Intelligence committee reviewing the materials found that his "mission to Niger" actually supported the Bush administration's position that Iraq had made contacts with Niger for yellowcake.
  3. It's unlikely that there was malice on the part of the Bush administration, at least as it regards to Valerie Plame (ie they did not intend that she be harmed, nor did they likely know that she had "undercover" status back in the 90s). Rather, they were trying to explain why someone so critical of the administration and its foreign policy could have been entrusted with such a critical intelligence mission, thus the need to explain exactly how in the heck this idiot was selected. He was given the mission on the recommendation of his wife, despite his lies to the contrary.
  4. It is unlikely that this was the first instance of Plame's identity being made compromised. In fact, she was pulled from undercover status precisely because it was felt that her identity was compromised by Aldrich Ames.
  5. Perjury is a serious crime and that's why Libby was indicted and will face the consequences. (If only the Left was as consistent on this issue as the Right has been.) It's instructive that only Libby was indicted.
  6. The damage from this is not as serious as Mr. Wilson is portraying it to be. According to the Washington Post:
    There is no indication, according to current and former intelligence officials, that the most dire of consequences -- the risk of anyone's life -- resulted from her outing.
    And this from Bob Woodward (that right-wing partisan that he is):
    WOODWARD: ... They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment.
  7. Just because you say "What did he know and when did he know it?" does not make this the Watergate scandal.
  8. Others haven't been indicted (for perjury or the original focus of the investigation) and it's unlikely that others will be indicted.
The only place where I saw even a few of the above items mentioned was Fox News Sunday during the panel discussion (which is the most balanced panel on Sunday).

If you're a mainstream journalist, I recommend that you spend a day and go through Tom Macguire's archives so you don't look like a fool. At least read this, this, and this... and then go through his archives. You should also check out these three bloggers:
  1. Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom (here and here);
  2. This post by Patterico about Wilson's lies; and
  3. This post by Jay Tea at Wizbang.
The fact that you don't know this information and continue to hang on to every one of Wilson's words shows that you're either stupid or unconcerned about the facts. In either case, instead of writing for the St Louis Post-Dispatch or appearing on network news I recommend that you submit your "news" here, here, or here.

Be sure to read this post from the American Thinker:
The Mediacrats are fearful that the Valerie Plame story may not have legs. Karl Rove has not been indicted, and may never be, and other than a few Washington insiders, nobody has ever heard of Lewis (Scooter) Libby before.

The solution is to push two themes: 1) this is really Cheney’s treachery and a White House hatched conspiracy, and 2) Americans are and should be very upset about it.

***UPDATE 2***
Check out Gateway Pundit's excellent timeline... He's even more comprehensive than I was!

And there's this breaking news from The American Thinker:
Joe Wilson's speech

A month before Robert Novak wrote his column supposedly outing Valerie Plame, Joseph Wilson gave a speech in which he talks in the third person about a person who is obviously himself, allows Valerie Plame to be identified as his wife, and discloses his intense opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as his anti-Israel sentiments. He makes clear that he is the source of the Kristoff/Pincus leaks about his mission. He even says that “this thing has legs,” that it will take two or three months, but it has legs – implying, perhaps, that he had already been working with the Kerry campaign to make this issue big – attacking the President’s credibility on the war.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Oh No he didn't......

Thanks to Gateway Pundit for the link. Now that Rove is likely to escape indictments, we'll be able to continue the conspiracy without those pesky jailcell bars in the way. Be sure to check out this post, which is a nice summary of the facts that the MSM just doesn't seem to be aware of.

Sitting here watching Tim Russert on Meet the Press, he just mentioned that (paraphrasing until I can get a transcript):

We no know, that Rove talked to Nove and Cooper, We now know that Libby talked with Cooper and Miller....
Whats missing here? Why Tim himself! He's integral to this story. He's involved. His name is mentioned in the indictments. No mention of it on Meet the Press at all however. That's NOT reporting the whole story. That has to be a violation of journalistic ethics.

He doesn't have to testify ahead of time on his program, but he has to at least mention that he's integral to the case against Scotter Libby.

*** Update ****
Ok, so it appears that in a later stage of the program Tim does mention his role (using the term "me") but doesn't go into it any further than his NBC press release.

Since it was only reporters on the roundtable, its no surprise any of them didn't ask for details that Timmy may have.....

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian