Earlier today on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, contributing correspondent Bruce Morton hosted a list of "political gaffes." Noticeably missing from the list was former President Clinton and VP Al Gore, as well as Al Sharpton and a long list of other Democrats.
While CNN set up the piece with the latest outlandish comments from Hillary Clinton and Mayor Nagin, I do find it telling that they picked on Pat Robertson while they had only a millisecond of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Highlighted gaffes included: Republican Trent Lott on Thurmond, Bush Sr. - No New Taxes, Rev. Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson calling Jews hymies, former VP Dan Quayle on Murphy Brown, and James Watt, former Secretary of Interior under Reagan.
Today (Tuesday) the San Francisco Chronicle ran an editorial entitled, “Why Alito is the wrong choice.” Instead of demonstrating what it says, it demonstrates why the Chronicle has failed to do its homework as reporters, in preparing its editorial. Here’s why:
The editorial begins with this statement:
In some ways, Alito's taciturn approach to questions about the great constitutional issues of our time was similar to that of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. But the distinction between the history of the two judges -- and the role of the justice they were nominated to replace -- are important.
First, this fails to note that the “taciturn approach” followed by Judge Alito was exactly the same as Justice Ginsberg’s. It is a gross violation of judicial ethics for any judge on any bench to comment publicly on any issue likely to come before him/her in a case.
Yesterday on Face the Nation Bob Schieffer asked Dianne Feinstein if she would support a filibuster. Despite the fact that she said Alito was "qualified", Feinstein has allowed her politics to dictate a "no vote" for Alito as she said that there most likely wouldn't be a filibuster.
Okay, please take this with a grain of Cheesehead salt, but um, I have a reason why conservatives could root for the Carolina Panthers against those dreaded Chicago Bears today. Bears QB Kyle Orton? Big liberal. In the midst of some research into the weird absence of the words "Kerry" and "Hillary" within 50 words of each other in the fall of 2004, I came across this USA Today piece, where an Orton teammate at Purdue related, "He said that if John Kerry doesn't get elected, he's going to throw himself headlong into the Hillary Clinton camp." The report had more detail:
Now he understands that Orton's success on the football field could one day be seen as the introduction of an ambitious liberal democrat to a larger audience.
On tonight's edition of Hardball, host Chris Matthews makes it look like that we would not being this way if it wasn't for the oil resources in Iraq. His proof? Because Vice President Cheney CEO of Halliburton.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why is the President saying it's wrong to say this war was about oil or Israel. I can see where the Israel part would be sensitive, but why is he denying this was about oil? Does he think anybody think we would go into Iraq if it was down in the Congo or Bolivia. It's oil that makes that such a sensitive area, isn't it?
RICHARD HAASS: On one level, you're right. It's the strategic background to everything we do in the Persian Gulf. But it is fair to say that oil was not the thing that led the United States to pull the trigger. The people who are arguing for this war were not basing it on access to oil. They were arguing it on weapons of mass destruction, on the idea we would transform Iraq or the region politically. This was not a war about control of oil.
MATTHEWS: Even though there were promises made around the edges that we would get cheaper gas?
HAASS: Some people thought that. But as you know now, it's producing less oil been of that the war it was never a war about gaining oil supplies. It's always the left that talks about the economic motives to American foreign policy. The kind of thing the Marxists did for years, they were wrong then and they're wrong now.American foreign policy -- for better or for worse -- tends to be motivated by ideas, not things like oil.
MATTHEWS: Do you think that's true of Cheney?
HAASS: Very much.
MATTHEWS: Really? I think of the first resident Bush and Jimmy Baker who said the issue of going into Iraq the first time was jobs, jobs, jobs, he was right there saying it wasw about oil. These are guys from the oil patch. You've got a Vice President from Halliburton. You're telling me this has nothing to do with oil, that fact that we're over there fighting these wars?
During the time Matthews was going on about his conspiracy theories of why (the last thing he said) we're over there because of oil, Richard Haass was laughing.
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The AP’s Jennifer Loven used President Bush’s trip to the Gulf Coast region to throw in some not so subtle digs at the Commander in Chief.
Loven started the piece by pointing out the President’s “three-month absence from the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.” After Katrina, President Bush was criticized for not visiting the disaster area fast enough. Then the President was criticized for visiting the area too much and going to the Gulf Coast region just for photo-ops. The President should coordinate a timetable for disaster area visits with the media so the spacing is more appropriate.
Have you ever asked yourself: Why, when evidence overwhelmingly shows gun banners are wrong, do they persist in making outrageous claims about law-abiding gun owners? There may finally be an answer, so read on.
“Protecting your proverbial castle would not only include your home, but also your car and any place you are legally allowed to be. "It would decriminalize the use of deadly force or lethal force in self-protection circumstances," said Wayne Groth – a supporter of [Michigan] state House Bill 5142 and House Bill 5143.”
“There is no reason to pass a law that sends a signal to the most aggressive people in society that they can act more aggressively than they can now,” said Peter Hamm, Communications Director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. [Emphasis added]
A piece by Neil Lewis in today's Grey Lady has a curious pseudo-profile of some of the prosecutors (led by head prosecutor Noel Hillman) who cut the plea bargains and deals in the Abramoff case. Members of the Department of Justice's Office of Public Integrity are highlighted in the piece. It begins with a somewhat misleading lede, which is an indication of the cloudiness to come:
"The plea agreement from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, which has the potential for a multitude of legal troubles for Congressional Republicans, has been largely the work of a team of career prosecutors in the Justice Department led by an avid surfer and early Bruce Springsteen fan from New Jersey."
Today's web-only column on the Alito hearings by Newsweek's Jonathan Darman contains an irritating sentence ("In the coming days, Alito and the White House will use small gestures to assure moderate senators, and moderate Americans, that he lives in the same world they do") that suggests that Jonathan may be related to Richard Darman, the famously centrist OMB director under Bush 41.
Far worse, though, is Jonathan Darman's smirky, ahistorical quip, bolded at the end of the excerpt below, at the expense of Clarence Thomas:
Women were everywhere in the first two days of Alito’s confirmation. Seated just behind him as he took the podium yesterday were nine females, including his wife, sister, daughter and mother-in-law. These women were largely silent (though the Alito women were overheard breezily joking with one another on a ladies’ room break). But their mere appearance makes a difference. TV cameras zooming in on his face couldn’t help but capture two striking figures seated behind him wearing robust red. One was the nominee’s wife, Martha, the other, Rachel Brand, the Justice department attorney charged with preparing his nomination. This image, an earnest jurist with a rosy angel on each shoulder sent a message: Let the Democrats say what they like, this judge will remember the ladies.
Call me overly suspicious, but the story of 16-year-old Farris Hassan traveling to Iraq on a whim strikes me as unbelievable. The Florida teen of Iraqi descent was all over the news in December when he apparently took off without telling his family and headed to Iraq to see what all the fuss was about. Hassan was able to finance his plane ticket to Kuwait with money he earned trading stocks on the Internet.
All the media coverage portrayed Hassan as a naïve young man who simply wanted to, in his own words, "experience…the same hardships ordinary Iraqis experience everyday." In an essay written by Hassan and e-mailed to his teacher from Kuwait, he seemed to have pro-American views and he spoke passionately about the need to defeat the terrorists in Iraq. He was also interested in a career in journalism and after taking a course in "immersion journalism," he made the decision to go to Iraq. In the process, he found himself smack dab in the middle of a war zone.
Today's "legal context" article in the NYT shifted the focus of the Alito confirmation hearings from abortion to the limits of presidential power. Once again, reporter Adam Liptak offers a confusing round-up of the issues Alito will likely face in the hearings today and during the week.
The opening line of the article, however, is key when asking some later questions:
"The opinion is more than 50 years old, and it is not even binding precedent."
The opinion Liptak is referring to is a 1952 decision from Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company v. Sawyer, in which President Truman attempted to sieze private steel mills in order to put down labor disputes during the Korean War. The Truman Administration argued that it was in the interest of national security to have steady steel production, but this position was rebuked a court which felt Truman was over-stepping his presidential authority.
Had it not been for coverage provided by the blogosphere (hat tip Malkin), most people would not have known that the trial of the Election Day Slashers had started today. The coverage of the trial to this point is limited to a few local sources such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
As Michelle Malkin puts it:
"If these dudes were Republicans, their faces would have been all over the news today as their trial on felony counts of vandalism in the Election Day 2004 tire-slashing of more than 20 vehicles rented by Republican campaigners finally got underway"
Indeed, with a witness list that includes the President of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, and Illinois Democrat Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and seeing how the alleged perps include the son of a Congresswoman (Gwen Moore) and the son of a former Milwaukee Mayor, one would think that such a scandal involving Republicans would be well-known by now.
In her most recent Human Events column titled 'This Is Why We Don't Trust Democrats With National Security', Ann Coulter relates that "The Democratic Party has decided to express indignation at the idea that an American citizen who happens to be a member of al Qaeda is not allowed to have a private conversation with Osama bin Laden," adding that "If they run on that in 2008, it could be the first time in history a Republican president takes even the District of Columbia."
Once again Miss Coulter has managed to hit the nail squarely on the head, so to speak, just as she's done so many times in the past. Indeed, how suicidal do you have to be, both politically and actually, to argue that President Bush doesn't have the right to order the interception of communications between individuals in the U.S. and known terrorists overseas unless, as Congressional Democrats require, he first asks some lawyer in a black robe for permission?
Here we go again, the liberal media leftist elite have nothing better to do with their time than to attack Pat Robertson again. This time they are taking issue with Robertson's comments regarding Ariel Sharon's health and how Sharon has given away part of the holy land for "peace".
"God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine."'
Before introducing his guest Byron York, Matthews gave the following segue:
Now The National Review, one of the staunchest defenders, a big conservative magazine has said Delay must go.
The above statement was followed with "we're joined right now by Byron York of The National Review and Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The Nation." There was no mention that The Nation is a liberal magazine or that Katrina Vanden Heuvel is a staunch liberal.
York was asked the first question about the recent scandal involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and was hurried and cut off to give his answer. When Vanden Heuvel was asked a similar question, she was given all the time to answer it with a liberal spin. In fact, she praised Sen. Russ Feingold (D) for having "one of the best lobbying and ethics reforms plans". Not so quick, Katrina. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is reporting that Sen. Feingold has received at least $1,250 from Abramoff or his associates. I guess the saying is right, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Of course host Chris Matthews didn't question her, in fact he just completely changed the subject.
Once in a while, it happens. TV serves up human drama in real time. So it was on this morning's Today show, when the bereaved son of one of the Sago miners confronted the governor of West Virginia over allegedly lax safety enforcement in the mine.
Matt Lauer began with a stand-up interview at the disaster site of WV Governor Joe Manchin. Lauer then brought in John Bennett, the adult son of Jim Bennett, one of the miners who died. Bennett stood at Lauer's other side.
Bennett described the history of violations in the mine. Lauer turned to Manchin to inquire about the violations. Manchin had launched into his response when Bennett took matters into his own hands.
Bennett, wearing the red cap in the photo here, spoke across Lauer directly to Manchin:
In an appearance on MSNBC today just after 1 PM Eastern time, Chris Matthews didn't accuse Jack Abramoff of being in the "Republican culture of corruption", but still uses the term:
MATTHEWS: He's cut a deal. The deal means he has to talk and that means if he's plead guilty to bribery that means he's bribed people. (Editor's Note: Thanks Chris for telling us the meaning of bribery) That means he's going to tell people who he bribed and that could be a half-dozen Congressman, it could be more, we've seen reports of more than 20 people involved here, including staffers. Mostly Republicans, not all Republicans who've figured in this story so far. I think it's going to be a big, sleezy story. I'm not sure it's partisan. I'm not sure people are going to see him as part of any Republican culture of corruption.
Matthews then went on to describe Abramoff's looks -- which was kind of scary -- and called him "Satan."
Sometimes a story comes along that may look to be something particular, but then turns out not to be. The story written by Associated Press (AP) journalist Patrick Condon titled: "Sign Tallying Iraq Casualties Causes Stir" is just such a story.
Condon seeks to portray Vietnam veteran Scott Cameron as anything but an anti-war, politically motivated Democrat, who just so happens to have his "modest memorial" to U.S. forces posted in the Campaign office of Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Steve Kelley. Kelley's office just also happens to be next door to the Army's military recruiters office.
The New York Times syndicated cancer has an editorial about the NSA spy story that hit some newspapers today. This time they have outsourced the dishonesty to James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, a 23 year old book on the NSA.
For the agency to snoop domestically on American citizens suspected of having terrorist ties, it first must to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA, make a showing of probable cause that the target is linked to a terrorist group, and obtain a warrant.
As we all now know, that is flat out untrue. But who even said the calls intercepted were American citizens? This NSA program looks at calls to terror states or terrorist suspects. How does Mr. Bamford and the NYT know the person placing that call is a US citizen rather than a visitor from abroad?
On tonight's edition of 60 Minutes Dan Rather was supposed to interview Former President Bill Clinton for the "work" his foundation has done for AIDS relief. However, it quickly turned into a fluff piece that promoted his Presidency, how much he accomplished, and his hopes to be the First Husband.
Clinton blames those big bad pharmaceutical industries for charging high prices for medicine that prevents people who are suffering from AIDS to use it. He accuses them of price gouging and thinks that they can "sell them for a lot less and not lose any money". Of course the report does not mention the amount of money and time devoted on researching cures and medicine that will prevent death.
On the subject of AIDS relief failure during his Presidency, Clinton blames Congress:
CLINTON: Well I don't think I could have done more. It was like pulling teeth to get any foreign aid money from Congress when I was there and when they had a President of their own party and they had their core Christian conservative constituents saying okay we want to fight this, and then it became much easier. I wish I could have gotten more but I couldn't have.
Yes, that darn Congress. I don't think Clinton heard what he said. He thinks that Congress withheld on giving money and then some how predicted that a Republican President would be elected in '96 or in '00 and then they would give it. Congress punished millions of people just because Bill Clinton was not of their party? I hope that Bubba does know that not all members of Congress were Republican during his tenure as President.