On today's edition of The Chris Matthews Show, liberal panelist and blogger Andrew Sullivan made the argument that "insurgents are legitimate" and the Bush administration wants to make a "deal with them and he wants to bring them into the process". Ironically, the process is liberating the Iraqi citizens from insurgents and various other types of terrorists. Full transcript follows.
Newsweek contributing editor and "The McLaughlin Group" panelist Eleanor Clift attacked Bush's Speech at the U.S. Naval Academy as well as other important things, such as the banners at the speech and the photo used by the New York Times:
"It’s hard to know which to admire more, the choreography or the chutzpah. White House spinmeisters put up banners that blared PLAN FOR VICTORY in case anybody missed the message in President Bush’s latest iteration of his Iraq policy in a speech on Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy.
The photo the following day on the front page of The New York Times showed Bush bathed in the Navy colors of blue and gold and heroically positioned as though standing on the bridge of a battleship. All he needed were some stripes on his sleeve and he’d be ready for the lead in "H.M.S. Pinafore."
No tremendous shock here, but the New York Times has done it again. Specifically, in editorializing against the services of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, the Times has reinforced the perception that it has become an active arm of the liberal and world-elite.
The editorial, "Blocking Reform at the U.N." says that Ambassador Bolton is "threatening to hold up its entire two-year operating budget unless his demands for major reforms are met almost immediately."
Dan Froomkin writes a White House column weekdays for the Washington Post’s web site. In case you're not familiar with his work, let's just say that in terms of bias and tone, he's sort of an online version of Dana Milbank. (And, in case you're not familiar with Milbank: Lucky you.)
"The experts have spoken, this hurricane season will go down as the biggest, baddest, deadliest, and costliest of all time," Jim Acosta ominously intoned opening his report on the November 29 edition of the CBS Evening News. Yet while the loss of life and livelihood from Hurricane Katrina was horrific, the loss of life in the 2005 season was not record-breaking.
Over 20,000 died in the Great Hurricane of 1780, Hurricane Mitch in 1998 killed over 11,000* in Central America, and the Galveston hurricane of 1900 killed 8,000. [see link]
See my article with more detail at FreeMarketProject.com
* NOAA's Chris Vaccaro gave me a more conservative 9,000-total death toll figure over the phone, which I included in my article. At any rate, the death toll from these hurricanes far surpasses the death toll for Katrina.
Secular liberalism emerges in the funniest places, or pages. There was a Washington Post review yesterday of Carrie Underwood’s new country album. In attacking the entire album as a pre-fabricated mishmash, Dave McKenna had to mock her mention of Jesus Christ in the music:
The websites of many major media organizations (including USA Today, MSNBC, ABC News, and CNN) aren't wasting any time reporting the guilty plea by California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a Republican who admitted taking $2.4 million in bribes. They all are placing his story high on their homepages. That alone isn't bias, as corruption by public officials should always be at the top of the news headlines.
However, I'm guessing that few who hear about Cunningham have ever heard of former U.S. Rep. Frank Ballance, a Democrat who as a North Carolina state senator used his official position to channel public funds into a private nonprofit that he operated. He received a four-year sentence in federal prison on Oct. 12 after admitting guilt to redirecting taxpayer dollars for his private use. He had resigned his congressional seat last year.
We have a contingency of liberal hold outs who believe that surrender and the subsequent slavery to totalitarians is preferable to fighting for freedom. I wouldn't worry, except that in this case, they are in positions of power called Congress, and backed by another position of power called Main Stream Media.
It is very hard to overcome these groups when you have no power other than logic, reason, and truth. After all, they can’t be expected to waste their time with such nonsense.
We have Bill Clinton who has stated that "the war was the right thing to do" but also claims it "was a mistake." To those of us who think first and feel second, this makes no sense. How can something be right and a mistake? And why the 180 degree change in direction?
Media Matters and the blog Daily Kos are among two liberal mouthpieces who look to be on a slippery campaign to rewrite one of the more ugly episodes in recent memory for Democrats.
It appears they are trying revise the history that Oreo cookies were thrown in the direction of Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele at a gubernatorial debate on September 26, 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Steele is a black man, and an "Oreo" is a terribly derogatory term to describe a black person who is perceived as "black on the outside, but white on the inside.") At the time of the debate, Steele was the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. Steele was in the audience for the debate between Democrat Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. weeks before he and Ehrlich went on to rack up a triumphant election victory over the incumbent Townsend.
The BBC has a funny view of international law - make sure the obligations fall on Israel.
Yesterday, Israel responded to a broad Hezbollah attack - including artillery-supported cross-border raids - by, well, responding:
Hizbullah launched a failed attempt to kidnap soldiers Monday in an assault on Mount Dov and the northern town of Rajar and a coordinated mortar and rocket barrage on northern Galilee towns and kibbutzim.
A fierce Israeli response killed four infiltrators and struck at Hizbullah targets in south Lebanon, but at least 12 soldiers were wounded and a house severely damaged in Metulla by Hizbullah mortar fire.
It may not get much play in the MSM, but the Catalogue for Philanthropy's latest National Generosity Index finds a clear majority of the most generous states are in the Bible Belt where evangelical Christianity is strongest and household income is lowest. The least generous states are mostly in areas in which evangelicals are least common, but household incomes are highest.
Here are the Top 10, including six that are the heart of the Bible Belt and two more that are strongly influenced by it. The dollar figure in parenthesis is the U.S. Census Bureau's latest available (2004) household income figure, followed by the state's national ranking for that factor. The B indicates Bush carried in 2004. K indicates Kerry carried in 2004:
1. Mississippi ($31,642)(50)(B) 2. Arkansas ($32,983)(49)(B) 3. South Dakota ($38,472)(42)(B) 4. Oklahoma ($35,357)(45)(B) 5. Tennessee ($38,794)(41)(B) 6. Alabama ($36,709)(43)(B) 7. Louisiana ($35,110)(48)(B) 8. Utah ($47,074)(17)(B) 9. South Carolina ($39,837)(38)(B) 10. West Virginia ($31,504)(51)(B)
Now take a look at the second 10, which includes another six that are either clearly part of the Bible Belt or strongly influenced by it:
Now, scan the Bottom 10 least generous states, which includes eight Yankee states where Southern Baptists are as scarce as common sense at a Michael Moore fan club meeting:
41. Michigan ($44,905)(21)(K) 42. Hawaii ($53,554)(7)(K) 43. Colorado ($48,198)(14)(B) 44. Minnesota ($50,860)(10)(K) 45. Connecticut ($60,528)(2)(K) 46. Wisconsin ($45,315)(20)(K) 47. Rhode Island ($48,722)(13)(K) 48. New Jersey ($61,359)(1)(K) 49. Massachusetts ($55,658)(5)(K) 50. New Hampshire ($55,580)(6)(K)
The states with the lowest household income are in the Bible Belt and that is where people are the most generous givers to charitable causes. Every one of the Top 10 most generous was carried by President Bush in the 2004 presidential election.
The most secular states with the highest household incomes are the least generous. Nine of the 10 least generous were carried by Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee.
CNN reporter Dana Bash did some ‘bashing’ of the President’s actions during his trip to Asia.
She begins the segment with the President attempting to open a locked door at the end of a press conference. She said reporters on the scene immediately dubbed this "the no exit strategy press conference". Even the sheepish President couldn't ignore the obvious metaphor.
Bash continued her segment by concluding President Bush's trip to Asia was a failure because of the failures at home in the US.
When Bush was asked “Is that evidence that your party is increasing splitting with you on Iraq?”, Bash dubbed his answer as "talking points".
Bash called Vice President Cheney’s speech as "red hot Iraq rhetoric" and then said his speech was to "discredit Democrats criticizing the war". She referred to the statement released by the White House that compared Murtha to Michael Moore as a "blistering statement".
She concluded the segment by noting a reporter that asked a “question on many minds”, "Mr. President you seem to be a little bit of your game". Bush responded with "have you ever heard of jet lag". Bash gave the reaction of "how dare he say that".
The hed isn't snappy, but I'm trying to come up with new slogans for a paper
that can't bring itself to accurately describe Rep. John Murtha.
There's a slim ray of hope from congressional reporter Shailagh Murray, who in a live chat today acknowledged there was more to his background than what we've been reading in her paper:
Why won't the Post tell its readers about Murtha's mixed record on the
Iraq War? For example, he said two years ago that he'd been misled
about WMD and joined with Rep. Pelosi in calling for high-level
administration resignations; he accused Bush of delaying a major
military callup until after the presidential election (a callup that
never happened); he joined a small minority in voting against a
resolution declaring the world safer for having been rid of Saddam; and
voted in favor of Rep. Rangel's (in my view, bogus) resolution to
reinstate the draft. He's entitled to these views -- but aren't the
Post's readers entitled to know about them, as opposed to the simple
"hawkish Democrat" narrative you and your colleagues are presenting?
Chris Matthews has never pretended that he's an unbiased journalist. He's a former aide to Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 1980s. His show, Hardball, developed an audience during the late 1990s, as he was one of the few liberal pundits not to accept the Clinton spin, for the most part, during the scandal-ridden 2nd Clinton term. But he's still a liberal, and he's made some utterly outrageous comments over the border in Canada, as reported in the Toronto Sun.
"The period between 9/11 and Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said.
I don't know what he was watching during that 18 month period, but I remember quite a lot of what I'd consider a "robust discussion" of what was happening. The President made his "axis of evil" comments in January of 2002, and the next 14 months were spent clearly headed to a showdown with Iraq. There was discussion in the press. There was discussion in the House of Representatives. There was discussion in the US Senate. There was discussion at the United Nations. There was discussion in print and on the airwaves. I'd wager that there was "robust discussion" on Matthews' own television show.
"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."
Who, exactly, does Chris want to say is not evil? Bin Laden? Hussein? Zarqawi? The Taliban? The men who flew the planes into the twin towers? The bombers of the U.S. Cole? The bombers who blew up the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania? The bombers who first went after the twin towers in 1993? Are those not evil acts? Or are they just evidence of a "different perspective?" And if it is just a "different perspective," what difference does it make? Are we not entitled to look upon a perspective that targets the death of countless innocent civilians as "evil?" An embarassing performance from one of the guiding lights of the Washington punditocracy...
Last Friday on MSNBC’s “The Abrams Report,” Hoda Kotb made an appearance to plug that evening’s NBC “Dateline” program centering on John Lennon’s murderer, Mark Chapman. Ms. Kotb said that in listening to 100 hours of audiotape she was struck by Chapman’s being “so meticulous. He’s so calm. He’s so measured; all the while he is plotting out one of the most heinous crimes of the century.”
Lennon’s killing was tragic, as most killings are, but categorizing it as “one of the most heinous crimes of the century” is a gross overstatement.
This is, after all, the century in which we saw millions of people killed by Mao. Millions of people killed by Stalin. Millions of people killed by Hitler. And what of the more than 900 who died in 1978 at the hands of Leftist “Reverend” Jim Jones in Guyana? Then there were Leopold and Loeb, Susan Smith, Charles Manson, Andrew Cunanan, Timothy McVeigh, Dennis Rader, Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, and Charles Starkweather. Moreover, there were Columbine, Heaven’s Gate, the Zebra Killers, the Tylenol murders, the Birmingham church bombing and the Atlanta youth murders. The list could go on and on.
So, Vice President Cheney is addressing the American Enterprise Institute about why the war in Iraq is fundamental to the War on Terror. He explains that a retreat would leave Bin Laden, Zarqawi, and Zarwahiri in control. He explains why the terrorists want Iraq, and what they plan to do with it. CNN's real-time summary at the bottom of the screen?
CHENEY: Terrorism has nothing to do with Iraq war.
I suppose they would argue that that's a capsule of Cheney's comments that 9/11 happened before we invaded, but aren't those capsules there specifically for people who are just finding their seats? Perhaps they might try something that actually reflects what he said, something like:
Montgomery Gentry are too blue collar for blue America.
At least that's the impression you would get reading Bill Friskics-Warren's review of the country duo's latest album, a "greatest hits" entitled Something To Be Proud Of.
"Staunch blue-collar populists" like Montgomery Gentry, worries the reviewer, root themselves in nostalgia for a time before "among other cultural advances, the women's and the the civil rights movements."
As proof of sexism and misogyny, Friskics-Warren bemoans the subject of "She Couldn't Change Me" being "put in her place," and is chagrined by the "smugness of the song's macho protagonist."
MRC Free Market Project's Amy Menefee gives two thumbs down to Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Living over at freemarketproject.org.
Writes Menefee, "claims against the company in [producer Robert] Greenwald’s film were
undermined by his hyperbole and his staunch refusal to acknowledge the way
Wal-Mart really impacted communities – paying millions in taxes, employing
thousands, and saving countless shoppers millions of dollars."