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

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pelosi & Her Posse

This news regarding Air Force Three for Speaker Pelosi is amazing.

Does anyone have any idea how this would be covered if, say... Newt Gingrich was pushing to increase the size of the plane from a 12 seater to a 70 seater jumbo-jet? And taking that valuable resource from the armed forces during a time of war?!?!

And we know why she wants this big of a plane - it's not for refueling. It's so she can wine & dine reporters, supporter, and contributors while she travels in luxury.

Here are bits from two stories, this one from the San Francisco Gate:

Former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert used a military 12-seat jet to carry him mainly from Washington's Andrews Air Force Base to airports near his home district in Chicago's suburbs.

Top House Republicans such as Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida, chairman of the House Republican Conference, agree the speaker merits the use of a military jet for security reasons, but say Pelosi has been pressing the Pentagon to provide her with a bigger jet than used by Hastert so she can ferry family, other lawmakers and lobbyists across the country.

Pelosi and her staff scoff at the criticism, saying she has just asked the Pentagon for guidance because of the travel distance to California and even President Bush believes security concerns warrant military aircraft for her.

But Putnam said Pelosi's bid for a bigger plane, which he dubbed "Air Force Three,'' shows "an arrogance of office that just defies common sense'' and constitutes a major deviation from the previous speaker's perks. He argued that Pelosi should settle for a smaller plane even if it means having to stop for refueling while traveling to and from California.
[...]
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the Pelosi ally who chairs the House military appropriations subcommittee, said he has spoken to Pentagon officials about the need to provide Pelosi with a bigger plane that can fly passengers coast to coast in comfort.

But he denied pressuring the Pentagon. "I don't need to pressure them. I just tell them what they need to do,'' Murtha said.

A statement from Livingood said that although Hastert used a military jet with a 2,000-mile range, the House bureaucracy is unsure of the rules for air travel. For instance, it isn't clear if Pelosi can carry staff, family or other members of Congress at government expense or whether she could use government planes for political travel.

No information was immediately available about the number of trips Hastert took in military aircraft nor the rules for their usage while he was speaker.

Livingood, a 31-year veteran of the Secret Service, said he was talking with the Air Force to work out guidelines for the speaker's flights. Pelosi's office received a letter from the Pentagon late Wednesday offering her the continued use of the plane used by Hastert and negotiations will continue, source said.

Navy Cmdr. Jefrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, told the Associated Press Wednesday that Pelosi will be offered "shuttle service for no more than 10 passengers between Washington and San Francisco only based on aircraft availability."

"This does not guarantee nonstop transport," Gordon said.

Pelosi also said that her celebrity as the first female speaker has upgraded security concerns from the U.S. Capitol Police who guard her and other top congressional leaders. "As the first woman speaker they think there is a need for increased security,'' she said.

Wherever she goes, even within the Capitol, the speaker is accompanied by several plainclothes security officers.

Murtha said House speakers' use of military planes preceded Sept. 11, 2001. He said he had interceded on behalf of former Democratic Speakers Thomas "Tip" O'Neill and Jim Wright on occasion to get them access to military aircraft.

Murtha said he is convinced the Pentagon has been leaking information about the possibility that Pelosi would use large military planes to make her look bad. But he said, "They're making a mistake when they leak it because she decides on allocations for them,'' referring to the Pentagon budget.

Pelosi, who has served in the House since 1987, has customarily flown commercial flights on trips to and from California.

Her spokesman, Brendan Daly, said Pelosi has used a military craft once to fly to California and back since she became speaker in early January. Daly said he was uncertain what kind of aircraft Pelosi had flown in, but said it was a plane that Hastert had used as speaker.

Daly had no information on the cost of the flight.

Among the models in the Air Force fleet that Pelosi could use to fly nonstop to San Francisco is the C-37, a 16-seat business jet made by Gulfstream with a range of 5,600 miles.

The C-40B, a military version of the Boeing 737, was built especially to carry members of the Cabinet and Congress, Boeing says. What the company calls the flying "office in the sky" can carry 42 to 111 passengers, depending on its configuration.

The Air Force said the plane features "a crew rest area, distinguished visitor compartment with sleep accommodations, two galleys and business class seating with worktables.''

But Republicans charged that Pelosi would use the biggest aircraft available -- a C-32, which is a configuration of the Boeing 757 with a four-section passenger area.

I love how Murtha's "not pressuring" the military - he's just "telling them what they need to do." While at the same time making a not-so-veiled threat regarding appropriations for the military budget.

This is unbelievable. And now this one from the Washington Times:
In an interview on Fox News, Mrs. Pelosi said the plane request was not hers.

[yeah, right!!!]

"I wish I didn't have to have so much security, because I like my freedom of mobility," she said, adding that she would be willing to fly commercial aviation. "I'm not asking to go on that plane. If you need to take me there for security purposes, you're going to have to get a plane that goes across the country."

[it's getting deep in here!!!]

But Mrs. Pelosi's requests for the larger jet still has drawn ridicule from Republicans, who have dubbed the requested plane "Pelosi One."

It's especially galling, they say, since Mrs. Pelosi and her fellow Democrats ran on campaigns to clear out many of the perks provided to lawmakers.

One of the first changes she made to the rules governing House members was to ban free air travel by members of Congress on corporate-owned or chartered planes.

[...]

"So let's get this straight," Republican Study Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a statement yesterday that reproduced a picture of a transcontinental U.S. military jet. "During a week in which Democrats are pushing a resolution that states, 'it is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating the United States military force presence in Iraq,' they believe that securing Speaker Pelosi the military plane pictured below for luxury flights is in the national interest?"

Come on... If this were Gingrich, is there any doubt what would be leading MSNBC's Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, the MSM broadcasts morning, noon, and night?

GatewayPundit also covers the Global Warming angle of the story here.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Mmmm, Gimme Some Yellowcake

Ann puts things in context and wraps it all up with a nice little bow. Those of us who have followed this story since the beginning are aware of the fact that Wilson is a lying putz with something of a Walter Mitty complex, but Ann's column is a nice reminder that the Left's and the MSM's entire position is ridiculous:

Yellowcake and Yellow Journalism
by Ann Coulter (more by this author)
Posted 02/07/2007 ET
Updated 02/07/2007 ET

To see how liberal history is created, you need to tune into the nut-cable stations and watch their coverage of the Scooter Libby trial. On MSNBC they're covering the trial like it's the Normandy Invasion, starring Elvis Presley, as told by Joseph Goebbels.

MSNBC's "reportage" consists of endless repetition of arbitrary assertions, half-truths and thoroughly debunked canards. No one else cares about the trial -- except presumably Scooter Libby -- so the passionate left is allowed to invent a liberal fable without correction.

Night after night, it is blithely asserted on "Hardball" that Wilson's trip to Niger debunked the claim that Saddam Hussein had been seeking enriched uranium from Niger.

As David Shuster reported last week: "Wilson goes and finds out that the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger is not accurate."



There have been massive investigations into this particular claim of "Ambassador" Joe Wilson, both here and in Britain. Nearly three years ago, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that this was not merely untrue, it was the opposite of the truth: Wilson's report actually bolstered the belief that Saddam was seeking uranium from Niger.

"The panel found," as The Washington Post reported on July 10, "that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts." So you can see how a seasoned newsman like David Shuster might come to the exact opposite conclusion and then repeat this false conclusion on TV every night.

Wilson's unwritten "report" to a few CIA agents supported the suspicion that Saddam was seeking enriched uranium from Niger because, according to Wilson, the former prime minister of Niger told him that in 1999 Saddam had sent a delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" with Niger. The only thing Niger has to trade is yellowcake. If Saddam was seeking to expand commercial relations with Niger, we can be fairly certain he wasn't trying to buy designer jeans, ready-to-assemble furniture or commemorative plates. He was seeking enriched uranium.

But Wilson simply accepted the assurances of the former prime minister of Niger that selling yellowcake to Saddam was the farthest thing from his mind. I give you my word as an African head of state.

Chris Matthews also repeatedly says that Bush's famous "16 words" in his 2003 State of the Union address -- which liberals say was a LIE! a LIE! a despicable LIE! -- consisted of the claim that British intelligence said there was a "deal" for Saddam Hussein to buy enriched uranium from Niger.

Matthews huffily wonders aloud why Wilson's incorrect report didn't get into Bush's State of the Union address "rather than the president's claim of British intelligence that said there was a deal to buy uranium, which of course became one of the underpinnings of this administration's argument that we had to go to war with Iraq."

Considering how hysterical liberals were about Bush's "16 words," you'd think they'd have a vague recollection of what those words were and that they did not include the word "deal." What Bush said was: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Even if the British had been wrong, what Bush said was factually correct: In 2003, the British government believed that Saddam sought yellowcake from Niger. (Not "MSNBC factual," mind you. I mean "real factual.")

But in fact, the British were right and Wilson was wrong. By now, everyone believes Saddam was seeking yellowcake from Niger -- the CIA, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, Lord Butler's report in Britain, even the French believe it.

But at MSNBC, it's not even an open question: That network alone has determined that Saddam Hussein was not trying to acquire enriched uranium from Niger. Actually one other person may still agree with MSNBC: a discredited, washed-up State Department hack who used his CIA flunky wife's petty influence to scrape up pity assignments. But even he won't say it on TV anymore.

Shuster excitedly reported: "We've already gotten testimony that, in fact, that Joe Wilson's trip to Niger was based on forgeries that were so obvious that they were forgeries that officials said it would have only taken a few days for anybody to realize they were forgeries."

This is so wrong it's not even wrong. It's not 180 degrees off the truth -- it's more like 3 times 8, carry the 2, 540 degrees from the truth. Shuster has twisted Wilson's original lie into some Frankenstein monster lie you'd need Ross Perot with a handful of flow charts to map out in full.

During Wilson's massive media tour, he began telling reporters that he knew Saddam was not seeking yellowcake from Niger because the documents allegedly proving a deal were obvious forgeries.

Again, thanks to endless investigations, we now know that Wilson was lying: He never saw the forged documents. (Not only that, but Bush's statement was not based on the forged documents because no one ever believed them.)

The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report notes that Wilson was asked how he "could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports." Indeed, the United States didn't even receive the "obviously forged" documents until eight months after Wilson's trip to Niger!

Wilson admitted to the committee that he had "misspoken" to reporters about having seen the forged documents. Similarly, Cain "misspoke" when God inquired as to the whereabouts of his dead brother, Abel.

But on "Hardball," the forged documents that no one in the U.S. government saw until eight months after Wilson's trip now form the very impetus for the trip. A perfectly plausible theory, provided you have a working time machine at your disposal.

If you wonder how it came to be generally acknowledged "fact," accepted by all men of good will, that Joe McCarthy was a monster, that Alger Hiss was innocent, that mankind is causing global warming and that we're losing the war in Iraq, try watching the rewriting of history nightly on MSNBC. Don't forget to bring your time machine.

Meanwhile, despite all of the evidence, the lies and distortions will continue ad infinitum in the MSM.

BTW, speaking of Chris Matthews and the recurring criticism that Bush is in a bubble, out of touch, etc, etc. Has anyone ever watched Matthew's Sunday program? I mean, it's just pure inside the beltway lefties week in and week out. They have zero perspective from outside the DC beltway and decide never to include an actual conservative. When Chris does his pundit vote at the end of each week on some topic or another, take a look at the faces... they're all Leftist inside-the-beltway reporters.

But Bush is the guy in the bubble. Methinks that a fish in a fishbowl also thinks that everyone outside of the bowl is trapped.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Little Russ to the Stand

As Russert heads to the witness stand, there was the following comment on JustOneMinute:

Time to lay down your bets on what Russert knew and when did he know it.
Well no time like the present.

I've been thinking about this and waffling in my own mind. There is a lot for Russert to lose here as well (although in the MSM media world as they know it, maybe not).

If, as TM theorizes, Russert's public "denials"---I didn't know her name, I didn't know she was an operative---is really just so much crap, isn't he going to look bad? I mean, in that case he let this man waiver under indictment for over a year, lose his prominent DC job, etc. He couldn't pick up the phone and call Fitz and say something to the effect of, "you know, we had that 20 minute interview in my lawyer's office, and you didn't ask this, this and this, which might be relevant"?

Or he didn't pick up the phone and call Wells, and tell them, "look I'll sign an affidavit that I did know from Mitchell and Gregory, some of the details"? That would give Fitz the chance to dismiss the charges before the trial.

If so, who would even talk to the man, much less go on his show? Why would the public watch the show ever again? MTP has been the "top dog" of the Sunday shows for a while that I remember, why throw that away by stonewalling on that stupid parsed denial.

If on the other hand, what Russert has said in his denial is true, unequivocally, doesn't he look like an idiot for not knowing when all the other reporters seem to as well? Is he just a stuffed shirt to get the questions read to him through his ear on TV?

My guess is that Russerts testimony is going to be a bunch of "to the best of my recollection" kind of stuff. He didn't know her name or operative status until Novak, but its possible they discussed Wilson and who sent him. It's even possible that he told Libby something that could be misconstrued, but he doesnt' remember exactly.

Of anybody in the media, I think Russert was the one hoping the most that this whole trial would just go away. I expect his testimony to hedge in any way possible.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Yet Another Inconvenient Truth, Part 1,762

Algore, always one for a rational discussion of the facts, is claiming that the Bush admin is paying scientists to refute the new religion of global warming.

Gore says Bush administration paying scientists to dispute global warming
MADRID , SPAIN (CNN) -- Former Vice President Al Gore said in an interview on Tuesday the Bush administration is now paying scientists to dispute global warming since the administration can no longer argue against it.

During an interview with CNN affiliate Cuatro in Madrid, Gore said, "they've lost the argument and they don't want to stop dumping all this pollution into the Earth's atmosphere. The only thing they have left is cash and now they're offering cash for so-called skeptics who will try to confuse people about what the science really say. But it's unethical because now the time has come when we have to act."

Gore was the Democratic nominee against Bush in the 2004 presidential election. His film, An Inconvenient Truth is up for the best documentary Oscar.
--CNN's Al Goodman

Of course, CNN is about as reliable as my 4 year old son when it comes to facts... I assume that the 2004 was just a typo and they really mean 2000. Or perhaps it's because the past two presidential nominees from the Dems have both been robotic.

Meanwhile, Cambodians are experiencing temperatures in the 40s - something that hasn't happened since Elvis' body was still warm:
Cambodians ponder an unfamiliar concept: cold
Temperatures in the 40s spurred some people to don socks, sweaters, and even coats.
By Erika Kinetz

Across Cambodia, residents have been engaging in a rare activity: turning off their air conditioners and stilling their fans. Some of Phnom Penh's intrepid moto drivers have even been seen zipping around the streets at night in puffy parkas.

It has been cold here – the coldest in 27 years of recorded history, according to Seth Vannareth, the director of meteorology at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

As the cold settled in, she counseled this correspondent to "please take a coat with you." Yesterday, she had good news: The cold spell was officially over.

Still, for Cambodians, the brief flirtation with sweater weather has been such a far cry from the norms of the cold season, which peaks in early January, that some people were even wearing socks.

The cold snap began on Jan. 30. Low temperatures have ranged from 7 to 15 degrees C (mid-40s to mid-50s F.) in the northeast and mountainous areas, far below norms of 17 to 20 degrees C.

What, if anything, this has to do with global climate change, Ms. Seth will not begin to guess. She attributes the chill to a high-pressure front moving down from Siberia, which, she says, has cooled off greater Indochina, including Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and parts of Thailand.

Ms. Seth - It's called weather, not "climate change."

And don't forget that the Midwest is caught in an Arctic chill.

I half expected a polar bear to maul me when I was in Chicago over the weekend. After 5 minutes in the wind, I couldn't tell if I was drooling or not because my face was numb.

It's a good thing we have global warming - otherwise people would be dying...



And yes, that's 53 degrees in San Diego...

Oh and I'd just like to say thank you to algore for giving me something to blog about. I just can't resist making fun of you - you Nobel HAHAHAHAH Peace HAHAHAHAHA Prize HAHAHAHAHA Candidate....

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler