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

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pelosi's First of Many Failures

It seems that nonna Pelosi has just experienced the first of many future failures as Speaker of the House:

House Democrats on Thursday chose Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer to be House majority leader over Rep. John Murtha, the choice of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in line to become speaker.

Hoyer was elected on a vote of 149-86.

The balloting marked a personal triumph for him, but also a snub to Pelosi, moments after the rank and file selected her unanimously to become speaker when the House convenes in January.

"We made history and now we will make progress for the American people," Pelosi told the party caucus moments after her selection.

She vowed that after 12 years in the minority, "we will not be dazzled by money and special interests."

Pelosi also called for unity in the party, but within moments she put her prestige on the line by nominating Murtha for majority leader.

Murtha is powerful lawmaker on defense matters, and he gained national prominence last year when he called an end to U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

He and Pelosi have long been close, and when Pelosi issued a statement supporting Murtha on Sunday night, it raised the stakes in a leadership election within a party that is taking control of the House in January for the first time in a dozen years.

Pelosi and Hoyer have long had a difficult relationship. The two ran against each other in a leadership race several years ago. Pelosi won, but Hoyer rebounded more than a year later when he was elected the party's whip.

A note to the Speaker-elect - You weren't supposed to endorse anyone publicly. It's considered bad form and exposes you to this very problem.

And, the fact that you picked a guy that's so stupid (redeploy to Okinawa) and corrupt (see this) shows that you're not that bright. Of course, we already knew that since, when discussing any issue, you're unable to get beyond the 2 talking points that your staff and the DNC have given to you.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Bush Doctrine (?)

The Bush Doctrine is a pretty clear set of guidelines. Its initial formulation was outlined by Bush on the evening of September 11th, as the nation mourned:

We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

It was later expanded (as outlined in his speech to West Point graduates in June, 2002) to include the concept of preemption, seeking to mitigate the risk of another terrorist attack on US soil - especially when Weapons of Mass Destruction might be involved.

I've pointed out before that the Dems gut reaction to criticize the President regarding the war in Iraq and their apparent desire to undermine any chance of success there will have ramifications which they cannot foresee - primarily our inability to move against future enemies which may be more dangerous than the thugs in Baghdad were.

Well, it appears that the Bush Doctrine, while perhaps not dead, has one foot in the grave. Before you Moonbats cheer, read the two following stories.

First, we all know - at least, those of us in the reality based community - that Iran is aggressively pursuing the development of nuclear weapons (and may be closer than we think). from ABC News:
Plutonium Found in Iran Waste Facility

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- International Atomic Energy experts have found unexplained plutonium and highly enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in Iran and have asked Tehran for an explanation, an IAEA report said Tuesday.

The report, prepared for next week's meeting of the 35-nation IAEA, also faulted Tehran for not cooperating with the agency's attempts to investigate suspicious aspects of Iran's nuclear program that have lead to fears it might be interested in developing nuclear arms.

And it said it could not confirm Iranian claims that its nuclear activities were exclusively nonmilitary unless Tehran increased its openness.

"The agency will remain unable to make further progress in its efforts to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran," without additional cooperation by Tehran, said the report, by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

Such cooperation is a "prerequisite for the agency to be able to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program," it added.

As expected, the four-page report made available to The Associated Press confirmed that Iran continues uranium enrichment experiments in defiance of the U.N. Security Council.

Both highly enriched uranium and plutonium can be used to make the fissile core of nuclear warheads, and Iran is under intense international pressure to freeze activities that can produce such substances.

But Tehran has shrugged off both Security Council demands that it stop developing its enrichment programs and urgings that it cease construction of a heavy water research reactor that produces plutonium waste. It insists it wants enrichment only to generate nuclear power and says it needs the Arak research reactor to produce isotopes for medical research and cancer treatment.

needs the isotopes for medical research... this is eerily familiar to Hitler's claim that aircraft production was only for civilian passenger lines, despite the potential conversion of the planes to military bombers.

Next, this story out of the UK's Daily Telegraph:
Teheran 'providing refuge for al-Qaeda terrorists'
By Philip Sherwell in Washington

About 25 al-Qaeda leaders, including three of Osama bin Laden's sons, are running terrorist operations from their refuge in Iran rather than languishing under house arrest as the Teheran regime claims, intelligence officials have said.

The disclosure comes as Maj-Gen James Dutton, the commander of British forces in south-eastern Iraq, reiterated on Friday that the technology for lethal new rebel bombs was crossing into the country from Iran.

A "top-ranking Western secret service agent" has told Cicero magazine that the senior al-Qaeda operatives, who fled across the border from Afghanistan into Iran after the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, have been provided with a secure hiding place, logistical support and equipment by the Revolutionary Guards.
Iran claimed that it put the al-Qaeda leaders under house arrest after they crossed the border, saying it would put them on trial. But there has been no legal action and Teheran has also ignored requests from Saudi Arabia and the West for access to the wanted men.

United States intelligence sources have told the Sunday Telegraph that the group was living in compounds in eastern Iran guarded by al-Qaeda bodyguards. There have also been persistent but unconfirmed reports that bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, might be in hiding near the Afghan-Iranian border rather than Afghanistan's frontier with Pakistan.

Sounds like "harboring" to me... It's also interesting to note that this Telegraph story states that Iran is grooming Al-Qaeda's next generation of leaders. And then there is this story which discusses links between Iran and the Al Qaeda terrorists involved in 9/11.

And finally, this article - again from the UK's Daily Telegraph:
Al'Qaeda 'has network of sleepers across North America'

Last Updated: 1:00am BST 15/09/2001

THE real fear for the future since the attacks in New York and Washington is that dozens, perhaps hundreds of operatives loyal to Al'Qaeda are in America and Canada ready to strike again, awaiting a call from Osama Bin Laden.

Well, I'm sure Bin Laden will probably wait until the Dems prohibit the NSA from eavesdropping on calls from Al Qaeda operatives to locations here in the US - because we wouldn't want to infringe on the civil rights of those who are receiving international calls from terrorist organizations.

So, let's connect the dots of these three stories - something which the US (both Dem and GOP administrations and the bureaucracies which actually run this country) failed to do.
  1. Iran on the verge of creating a nuke
  2. Iran harboring Al-Qaeda's current leadership (and also 1) is grooming the next generation of Al-Qaeda leaders; and 2) has links to the 9/11 terrorists)
  3. Al Qaeda likely has sleeper cells in the US waiting for instructions from Al Qaeda operatives abroad
This sounds like the nexus of terror that the Bush Doctrine compels us to prevent.

nd my question to all Americans is this - Is the Bush Doctrine still alive and well?

Or are we destined to wait for the next terrorist attack on US soil - possibly nuclear - before we figure out that our enemies mean what they say.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

2006 Weblog Awards

FYI... it appears that the inestimable guys over at Wizbang are doing their annual Weblog Awards. We weren't in the running last year, but think it'd be just groooovy to see how we would rank compared to some of the bigger fish in the sea... on second though, perhaps not. Anyway, we could nominate ourselves (and may have to resort to doing so), but thought it would be interesting to see if one of our several thousand hundred regular readers think we'd be worthy of a nomination.

So, anyone willing to nominate us? There are several categories we could be nominated for... Best Blog, Best Conservative Blog... while I don't think we'd qualify right now, but perhaps Brian might be willing to ring up Jeff GannonGuckert in order to make us eligible for the Best LGBT Blog category.

Best New Blog is out, since our first post was back in late Feb 2005... (Why didn't we enter in last years contest again?)

Or I suppose that we could be considered under the Best of 3501-5000 Ranked Blogs.

(Wow, we're only ranked 4701... we did hit around 1000 a while ago. BRIAN!!! MONTEREY JOHN!!! TIME TO START POSTING!!! DEADLINES, PEOPLE, DEADLINES!!!)

Please don't make us look like John Kerry in this photo:

Hey, guys? Can I walk with you? Hey! Nancy! Harry! Dickie! Patty!!


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Culture of Corruption: Under New Management

GatewayPundit has this video showing that Harry Reid's Culture of Corruption is now just under new management.

In addition to this, GatewayJim reminds us of John "I'm a Jackass" Murtha's involvement in Abscam.

The Culture of Corruption is Dead!! Long Live the Culture of Corruption!!!!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

G-Spot of the American Body Politic - the Middle

At least, that is the poor choice of words by Jonathan Alter in this week's issue of Newsweek.

There is so much that is wrong with this column, but it does reflect the conventional wisdom and the frame of reference for many of those in the media bubble that I thought I'd comment on it.

Alter: The End of the Road for U.S. Conservatism
Bush must now admit that America is not Dittohead Nation.
By Jonathan Alter
Sure, the US isn't a dittohead nation... if by dittohead you're referring to the 20-40 million fans of Rush Limbaugh, since our country is made up of some 300 million people. However, there is a large group of people that consider themselves to be conservative in this country and many self-described independents who have little in common with the Bay Area or New York City Left.
Nov. 20, 2006 issue - The Category 4 political hurricane of 2006 was more than a referendum on an unpopular war and president: it signals the end of the conservative tide that began rising 40 years ago; it's the end of a pernicious six-year experiment in "governing for the base," and in many ways it's a blessing in disguise for George W. Bush, who now has the opportunity to salvage something of his presidency.
Conservatism is dead... a boy can dream, can't he? And pernicious is a choice word here... Very deadly to try and fulfill the promises you made to your base when running for office. God knows that after you win an election, you should adopt the policies of your opponents who lost and make their base happy. I remember the complete liberalization (in the classic sense, not the socialist connotation of today) of the Health Care system by Hillary Clinton in 1993...

Back to Alter:
Pat Buchanan and I rarely agree, but he rightly points out that the election marked the exhaustion of the movement that Barry Goldwater launched with his 1964 campaign. The intellectual vitality and coherence that once characterized modern conservatism have been shattered. Karl Rove is still arguing that the hot issues of this election—Iraq, corruption, sexual hypocrisy—are only "transitory." He's ignoring deep fissures in his party. Neocons have been discredited and theocons dispirited. Libertarians feel betrayed by big spenders, incompetent interventionists and moralizing busybodies. In the Schiavo case, in which 70 percent of voters thought Washington should have butted out, Republicans drove a wedge through their own ranks. Same with immigration, which pits the free-trade business wing against nativist Lou Dobbsians. Most important, the stitching that was meant to hold the GOP's big tent together contained none of the hope and optimism essential to success in American politics. Fear failed.
Buchanan's eagerness to claim that Goldwater's movement is dead may have something to do with the fact that in a room of conservatives, Buchanan thinks that he's the only one who is truly conservative - and he has a personal interest in taking up the mantle of conservatism, from magazine subscriptions, to bookings with the punditocracy, to another potential presidential bid.

Oh, and I don't consider Lou Dobbs to be a conservative. He's anti-business, pro-subsidy, and was against the Bush tax cuts. That Alter thinks Dobbs is in the conservative camp indicates his poor grasp of the conservative movement.

While there are protectionists in the GOP camp, many of them follow Buchanan - not Dobbs.
It failed among the young (18 to 29), who were evenly divided four years ago, but this time gave the Democrats a 20-point edge. It failed among Hispanics, who favored Democrats by 69 to 30 percent. And it even failed among white soccer moms and office-park dads, who turned the American suburbs an unrecognizable shade of blue. The 49-state GOP landslides of 1972 and 1984 are now distant memories, as onetime bellwether states like California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and even Ohio trend heavily toward the Democrats. Texas and the Old Confederacy are no competition.
Yes, there is a shift in the electorate. Economies in Ohio and the rust belt are falling for the leftist class warfare typically on offer from the Dems and are turning away from free trade which they see as a direct threat to their local economies. However, if you look at the top 10 states for population growth, the only "blue state" to appear is Washington. (Pennsylvania, for which Alter pines, is ranked #48.)
To recover, conservatives plan to return to what they call the "core principles" of small government and lower taxes. But there's a reason they abandoned budget balancing: it's a loser politically. There just aren't many votes in it, and that's why Republicans didn't cut spending. People want the government to deliver for them. Without earmarks—which will now flow to pork-hungry Democrats—and the protection-racket money they got from selling out to lobbyists, Republicans might have lost an additional 20 seats. More than two dozen GOP incumbents won by six points or less and are vulnerable next time.
Yes, the pork-barrel earmarks and shaking down lobbying efforts is what brought out the GOP voters and the right-leaning independents. I can't believe he actually wrote this paragraph, frankly.

People want the government to deliver for them? Deliver what? Bridges to Nowhere? That was a big success. Universal Healthcare? That went over big back in 1993... And voters are always raving about the experiences that they do have with their government, from the local Dept of Motor Vehicle licensing bureau to the IRS to the Social Security Administration to the education system. They all get 5 star ratings from the voters, is that it Jonnie-boy?
Their peril has its origins in Bush's highly divisive effort to intensify the conservative movement instead of governing from the center. After the razor-thin 2000 election, he listened to shortsighted advice from pollster Matthew Dowd that "swing" voters were extinct and success lay in turning out "the base." But more than one third of American voters identify themselves as independents, which is a higher percentage than claim a party ID. Smart politicians have always known that the G spot of the American body politic is in the middle.
Thanks for the imagery... This is another stupid comment by Alter. The problem with independents is that it's difficult to get them out to vote and they are not as reliable as your base. And, if the goal is to increase the size of your base (and thus the number of votes your party gets), there are two options available to you:
  1. Sell them on the ideas and principles of your party - ie, convince them that your positions are appropriate and right for the country and them as individuals
  2. Give up your principles and tailor to the independents who may still not turn out to vote for you come election day, while at the same time alienating the voters who would love to vote for you if you only lived up to your campaign promises.
Sounds like great strategery to pick the latter option!
So the Conservative Era is over, a cautionary tale for Democrats who might be tempted to impose a liberal one. Bush, who worked well with a Democratic legislature in Texas, must now admit that America is not Dittohead Nation. He is free of the one-party rule that kept him from being pragmatic—the not-so-secret ingredient in every successful presidency. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill (taxes and Social Security), George H.W. Bush and George Mitchell (the budget) and Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich (welfare reform) all showed how presidential concessions in a divided government can burnish a president's legacy, and even lead to new wings in his library.
Yes... the successful Presidency of George H.W. Bush and the one item which is credited with making his presidency a success: The reversal of his key campaign promise - "Read my lips, no new taxes." That great piece of "presidential concessions" ushered H.W. out of the White House and Bill Clinton in - at a time when Bush had a 90% approval rating and the heavy hitters in the Dem party were unwilling to challenge him.

And Welfare Reform was such a big hit with the Democratic base and certainly endeared former GOP voters from 1994 to pull the lever for Bubba in 1996: a gain of 8 house seats for the Dems and a loss of 2 Senate seats. Way to energize your base, Bill!
For Bush, there are opportunities for consensus not just on Iraq but on immigration, Social Security reform, energy—and even on tax cuts, which he could shift from the wealthy to the middle class. The near wipeout of moderate Republicans makes it tougher. But the interest of the president in his legacy and the Democratic Congress in putting points on the board are aligned. After all the predictable vetoes and subpoenas and finger-pointing, this alignment has the potential to give Bush new political life—and his party a chance to avoid the grim fate of all extremists in American political history.
Yes, extremists like the idiots that spent like drunken Democrats. Get those bastards out of the Congress and the White House.

That Alter gets paid to provide such idiotic commentary is amazing. That Newsweek actually pays money on top of that to have such commentary printed and distributed is laughable.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler