Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Good News, Bad News

So, do we call the Dems unpatriotic yet? Or, do we just go along, acting as if it is perfectly normal for one of the two predominant political parties within the only remaining superpower on the face of the earth to openly now, openly, root for our defeat in Iraq? The Dems have been given chance after chance to prove otherwise. Yesterday brought the latest example of blatant political power grabbing at the expense of the security of our armed forces overseas and our people here at home.

Yesterday a story emerged from the pages of The New York Times. The Op-Ed page ran a contribution from Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack, both Democrats in good standing. They are back from an eight day trip to Iraq where they traveled around the country, speaking with soldiers and civilians. These two men are respected by both sides of the aisle for their intellectual integrity. They are both of the left side of the aisle, definitely, but they are of good reputations. O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank in D.C. and Pollack is the director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. They were both opposed to the way the Iraq war has been executed. They were both opposed to the surge.

That was then. This is now. They have become aware that the surge is working in Iraq.

"Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily "victory" but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with."

"...the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration's critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place."

I think they are very aware and quivering over it. They will refuse to listen to General Keane, as I posted about a few days ago on the actual reality on the ground. Michael Barone, a walking encyclopedia on American politics, pointed to the example of Rep. Nancy Boyda of Kansas, as I did in my earlier post. She was the representative, you may recall, that was so overcome with anger that she had to leave as Keane spoke, she claimed, because he's nothing but a big fat liar and she wasn't going to listen to his testimony. She had quite the little hissy fit, making professional women across the country proud of such a display. Not.

The problem is, with the progress in Iraq under General Petraeus, the Dems voted for him unanimously in the Senate and with a good majority in the House to carry on the surge. The Dems, however, didn't really believe it would accomplish anything. And if progress was made before the withdrawal they demand occurs, they planned on continuing with the insistence of doom and gloom, aided and abetted by their friends in the media. They never, ever, considered that two respected fellow Dems would tell some truth to the country. And in The New York Times, no less. Holy cow.

Now what?

Well, the icing on the cake yesterday was a verbal interview with the Washington Post reporters Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina . The interview was recorded for the Internet version of the newspaper. Clyburn was asked what he thought would be the reaction of the Dems if the surge progress report from General Petraeus in September showed good news. His response: "that would be a real big problem for us, no question about that." A real big problem for us, he said. That may not seem like a smoking gun to you about the Dems game plan but Clyburn is not just any congressman. He is the number three person in the House of Representatives for the majority party, the House Majority Whip. He takes his orders directly from Grandma Mimi Pelosi.

So, good news is bad news if you are rooting for the defeat of your country at a time of war. Sounds like treason to me. Certainly sedition.

The Dems just want to be in control. They don't want to lead. They investigate instead of legislate, hoping to smear every Republican possible up until the 2008 election. What have they accomplished since January? The minimum wage increase, which President Bush called for in his past State of the Union addresses anyway. No opposition there. That's about it. They have sent bills over to the Senate, yet they remain in limbo.

The Dems in leadership are not a part of mainstream America. They think they are the majority now because the voters mandated a withdrawal of troops from Iraq. They were wrong. Polling consistently shows, while Americans are worn out by the war and frustrated, rightly so, Americans don't want a loss. We are Americans. We expect success.

Bad news is not good news to us.

The influx of Blue Dog Dems into Congress in 2006 is working against the left wing of the party. The Blue Dogs respect General Petraeus and have every intention to listening to him, waiting for his report to congress. It doesn't matter that creepy voiced Harry Reid declared the war lost in March and then again and that Petraeus is incompetent in May. So, why'd he vote for an incompetent to lead the surge? Was he duped by that stupid George W. Bush again?

The Democratic leaders in both houses are cowards, not worthy of holding office in this country. They are so obsessed with power that nothing else matters. I think they are doing us a favor. By waking up this early into the election season, the heartland of America is noticing and taking notes about them. It's not pretty. The people of the heartland don't hate Bush more than they love America, as the Dems prove over and over that they do.

Unpatriotic. They are despicable people and America is noticing. Defeatism is not an acceptable political strategy.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Do You Know What Day It Is?

Today is the our 24th wedding anniversary, that's what day it is today. On this day, July 30, 1983, during the hot and humid afternoon hours of a southern Indiana day, the question was answered. The question? Do blind dates ever work out? Yes, indeed. Sometimes they do.

Another example of the good work YMCAs do with summer camps came to light in the newspaper yesterday with an article about Camp Hamman Ranch near Bandera (TX) that serves teen campers with one or both parents deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The summer camp is a part of a program called Operation Purple sponsored by the National Military Family Association, one of several around the country. Reporter Melanie Markley of the Houston Chronicle interviewed camp director Len Masengale.

About 85 teens with parents deployed will be able to take part in such activities as rifles, archery, GPS training, mountain bike riding, horse riding, rappelling, tracking, canoeing, and a high ropes course. They'll visit a piece of living history, an 1800's village, where the teens can touch and run some old equipment.

The camp becomes its own support group for the teens. They know the counselors are available to listen to their fears and concerns, help with problems and offer support for future questions. Campers offer friendship with each other, an ability to know what it is to live the life they lead.

Another story recently was printed about an Iraqi artist, Nebil Anwar, whose dream of an art career was altered by the war. He began painting portraits of soldiers wives and children. He has moved on to Jordan, though, to find safe harbor. His life was threatened and his offense was contact with U.S forces. He was labeled a collaborator. He began painting portraits out of necessity. He was unable to exhibit his work with other artists because the religious extremists demanded all art reflect their ideology. Pre-war the artists were focused on national propaganda, during this war the focus is on religious propaganda, according to Anwar. Anwar is a Kurd and is not a person interested in religion or politics. He was merely hoping to survive economically making a living with his artistic talents.

And, finally, an article concerning cancer research in the state of Texas. As is well-known, Texas is home to many fine medical hospitals and research facilities. Houston, in particular, is proud of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, a world renown institution on the forefront of the battle against cancer. The 80th Texas Legislature has launched on of the nation's largest efforts to find a cure for cancer.

Two cancer research measures serve as a memorial to former Governor Ann Richards. Richards died last September after a long fight with cancer. Governor Rick Perry has made cancer prevention a priority of his administration. He was in the headlines not too long ago after sticking his neck out and trying to mandate the cervical cancer vaccine for all girls up to the age of 14 as another school required vaccine. The far right of the Republican party objected on religious reasons, arguing the vaccine will encourage sexual activity, and the liberals objected that girls from poor families wouldn't be able to afford the vaccine. Then the governor said the state would pay for vaccines for poor families. Still not good enough. So it was all tabled. Pity.

So, the voters of the state of Texas "will be asked to approve $3 billion in general revenue bonds to distribute $300 million a year for 10 years to Texas cancer research institutions." I hope it passes and make a difference.

July 30, 2007. Happy Anniversary, Sweetie. Next year, Ireland for our 25th.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Oops, He's Been Duped. Again.

The theme of the past few days seems to be, from the left side of the aisle, all about victimhood. So far I've heard from Hillary's people, John Edwards on the campaign stump, and Chuckie Schumer in an interview. Poor things, victims all. What would the Dems be without victimhood? They seem to have fallen for their own oppressive tendencies.

Hillary's people are in a snit because newspaper writers noticed her new feminine makeover as far as her style of clothing goes. They think this is simply not worthy chatter about her majesty, Queen Hillary.

John Edwards complains no one is listening to him. He cries that no one is interested in his campaign issues. Well, every time a poll is taken and folks are asked what issues are most important in their lives, John's topic du campaign, poverty, is dead last. Just after the environment. Alert Al Gore. If John got into the game as big time as Elizabeth and started talking about health care, national security, education, and all that good stuff, maybe someone would stifle a yawn and pay attention. That lovely coiffed hair only goes so far.

Charles Schumer, D-NY, says he was duped, duped I tell you. He says Bush and his administration duped him and the other senators into confirming John Roberts and Sam Alito for the Supreme Court and come to find out, these two guys are conservatives. Can you imagine? You mean to tell us that George W. Bush wanted conservatives on the Supreme Court? I'm all aghast.

Schumer, high hypocrite that he is, says, well, now, the administration can just forget it. No more hearings or confirmations should another place on the court come up. He's planning on waiting for Hillary to sit into the Oval Office and she can bring in the likes of more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and Janet Renos to take up any vacancies. I can't wait.

The thing is though, Chuckie didn't vote yes to either Roberts or Alito. Did he think we forgot? I realize we are not as smart as Chuckie, in his mind anyway, but he really, really, really wants you to know this is an important issue for the upcoming election and by heavens, you better pay attention.

Just yesterday I read an article written by Robert Barnes and Jon Cohen of the Washington Post and the headline? "Court is too far right for 31% in new poll." Stop the presses. 31%? Oh, wait, that's not even close to a majority. Oops. You almost fell for it, didn't you? I guess they're on Schumer's talking points memo list. The socialist they quoted, disguised as the president of the liberal (their characterization, not mine) People for the American Way. "And it's why a major priority for us over the next 16 months will be to emphasize the importance of the Supreme Court and why it should be an important factor in voting for president." Chuckie has spread the word well, don't you think? No question the poll showing 90% of journalists in DC voted for Kerry and other Dems is quite legitimate now.

That fact of the matter is that elections have consequences. The president gets to pick his nominees. The Supreme Court is comprised of the same ratio of conservative and liberal thinkers as before. Usually the judges go towards the middle over time, except for Bader Ginsburg, of course, and it is a natural progression of maturity. Schumer's accusations of veering to the far right, always with the far right slinging, is simply all hooey. The liberals used to complain about Sandra Day O'Connor until she voted their way a few times in her waning years. Then all of a sudden she was a moderate, a real consensus builder. They are simply delusional.

So, damn that stupid George W. Bush fooling those innocent Democrats. Again.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Both Sides

So far so good with the Saturday weather. We have a bit of sunshine this morning and that is good. The guys dashed out and purchased the lumber and more supplies for the big Eagle Scout project of the son's scheduled for next weekend. To say it will be a relief when this whole episode is over is an understatement. I realize achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is suppose to be difficult, noteworthy. But,man, I sure understand why such a small amount of boys go through with it. Jump through this hoop, then this one, that one, submit this paperwork, confer with this supervisor, blah, blah, blah.

We teach our children that actions have consequences, don't we? I think that's why most adults have little patience for other adults who seem to have forgotten that lesson. I read an article in the Vail Daily newspaper a couple of days ago. Writer Allen Best was detailing the decline of ski group reservations in Telluride for the upcoming winter season. Why? Seems it is a backlash resulting from a resolution adopted by the Telluride Town Council recently calling for the impeachment of President Bush and VP Cheney. This brought a bit of a chuckle from me as I remembered, just a week or so ago, watching a Houston City Council meeting on local access cable and the Cindy Sheehan folks there to call for impeachment, too. Our city council, however, declined to bite. They rose above petty partisanship and thought of the greater consequences of such actions for the city. The Houston City Council is predominantly liberal Democrat, as is the Mayor, a former Clinton administration deputy secretary of Energy, so it's not like the urge to do such things isn't there. The issue has been brought up before by councilpersons. So far it hasn't gone anywhere.

Do the folks calling for impeachment at city council meetings, many of whom don't even live in the community but are brought in for demonstration purposes, think that only anti-administration people live or visit the city? Do they not even think that such resolutions will offend or anger reasonable citizens?

One commenter, on the subject of ski group cancellations wrote, "Let 'em go to Vail". Telluride's Mayor John Pryor remarked to the newspaper that he found the number of cancellations coming in "unbelievable". "Hundreds of people are bailing. The Web site is flooded with people saying they're canceling their vacations here." He called it a 'silly initiative', yet he voted for it.

There's a growing group of liberal activists, encouraged and organized by MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America's Future and blogs like DailyKos.com, who are compiling a database of advertisers on Fox News. The advertisers are to be targeted by the moonbats demanding they stop advertising on Fox. They plan telephone campaigns, with the first to go to local businesses running ads, then on to the national commercials.

Already Home Depot has been targeted by the moonbats and has held firm. They have stated, "We're not in the business of censoring media," "We need to reach our customer base through all mediums available."

You remember what recently happened to JetBlue, don't you? When corporations succumb to such political grandstanding and censorship, they soon learn that consumers come with all kinds of political beliefs. Those opposing censorship soon simply go elsewhere.

Doesn't it seem that those loudly opposed to the existence of Fox News have never actually watched the channel or not enough to actually analyse the programming? During the daytime programming, the news shows are hourly programs and each anchor is responsibly presenting both sides of each argument. Both conservative and liberal guests argue the issues. In the evening, which get all the headlines, the news shows are commentary/opinion shows, not hard news. First is O'Reilly, with a conservative bent to the events of the day but usually shows both sides, then Hannity and Colmes, one conservative, one liberal and their guests represent both sides, then Greta who usually has crime investigations and not political issues being discussed.

So, what's the problem? Fox News is a lot more balanced that CNN or any of the networks or other cable channels. Any wonder why Fox has twice the ratings of CNN? Triple MSNBC? Do you think there are twice as many conservatives as liberals in this country? No. Viewers from all spots on the political landscape watch.

And, that's the problem for the far left, isn't it? If Fox wasn't successful, they wouldn't waste their time or money to shut them down. The very fact that a network presents a conservative point of view is noticeable to the far left. How dare they? Only our speech is worthy of free speech, they think.

MoveOn and the others even cowed the Dem candidates from appearing on Fox for a debate, co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, as had been done in 2004. The first to be cowed? John Edwards. If he's afraid of Fox News, how will he be strong enough to run the country? Is that why he plays good cop/bad cop with Elizabeth?

The same goes for talk radio. Back in the 1980's when conservative talk radio began the market was ripe for it. There was no where else for conservatives to turn to hear their point of view. It sure wasn't on network news, back in the pre-cable days of only the three big alphabet networks. Liberal talk radio has mostly failed because the outlet isn't necessary. Liberals get their strokes everywhere. Air America failed because it was full of nothing but anger and hosts not particularly well educated, or so it seemed. No one wants to hear hours of rants. Al Franken? Janeane Garafola? Seriously? Franken is running against Norm Coleman for the Senate in Mn now and that should be interesting. Coleman was once the Dem mayor of Minneapolis and knows how to fight back. Garafola once said in an interview that she became involved in political speech when she got clean and sober. OK then.

So, the haters just don't want to hear it. Too bad. This country remains pretty evenly divided between conservatives and liberals. That's why the atmosphere is so contentious.

Free speech goes both ways.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What If We Win?

A very rainy Friday morning here in Space City. I tuned into C-SPAN coverage of the House Armed Services Committee meeting with a panel of two witnesses: General Jack Keane (Ret), a former Army Vice Chief of Staff from 1999 - 2003 and continues to advise, and Lawrence Korb, a Senior Fellow from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank run by John Podesta, formerly of the Clinton administration and still involved with Hillary. The think tank was started with seed money from George Soros.

The purpose of the committee meeting was to hear the opinions of these two men on two House Resolutions under consideration: HR 3087 and HR 3159. These resolutions deal with demanding the President, along with the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, etc. produce a redeployment plan within 60 days. And it deals with the time a service member stays at home between deployments.

General Keane didn't sugarcoat the war in Iraq. He spoke of the failure in dealing with the insurgents for the past three years with a too small military force. He said, however, the surge is now showing progress and the facts on the ground tell him it is far from hopeless. He regularly goes to Iraq and returns next week for two more weeks there. He has spent many years with General Petraeus.

Keane's highlights: 1. Policy failure from 2003-2006. 2. The enemy was underestimated for 3 years. 3. Security is necessary as a prerequisition for economic progress, especially in Baghdad.

Keane sees a time frame of 12-18 months to stabilize Baghdad and buy time for necessary economic growth. He said the military commanders know this is the final effort. He spoke to the fact the solution in Iraq is not strictly military but the use of force is necessary to change attitudes on the ground. After one month now of the implementation of the surge, being on the offensive, a significant change is noticeable. Security has improved in every neighborhood in Baghdad, schools are open, markets thriving, people in cafes and socializing, government services are being applied to people. It's not a tourist destination but it is beginning to work again as a functioning city. He said progress is steady and sure.

Keane said that when he talks with everyday Iraqi civilians, they consistently tell him they do not want the U.S. troops to leave yet, not until they can have the security necessary to keep their families safe. He said that U.S. causalities rose at first, as predicted, but now are down by 30%. He spoke of Shia and Sunni reconciliation beginning. In a grassroots movement by the Sunni, huge accomplishments are being made politically and this isn't being appreciated here in this country. He said al Qaeda is being defeated and on the run, especially after losing AnBar Providence as a sanctuary. And he said al Sadr is not the force he once was, he is back in Iran.

Keane said the actions on Congress were in direct opposition to realities on the ground. He said the resolutions tie the hands of the military. He spoke of the idealism and courage of the troops, willing to die for their country. Their courage comes from a profound sense of duty and they show 'true honor', he said. He asked that they be supported. He asked the committee to encourage Congress to fight its demons and find the courage the troops find. Well, you can imagine how some responded to the honesty of the retired General. Demons? Why we don't have demons, the chair of the committee, Ike Shelton of Missouri said. We don't fight demons, we legislate. That was parroted by several others from the left side of the aisle. Keane struck a nerve with that one, I'll tell you.

Keane said the two resolutions under consideration were senseless and embarrassing, that the members shouldn't give into anger and frustration of the progress of the war, or the President, or his administration. He said it's not about them or about Republicans or Democrats. He said it is about the best interests of our country.

Then Korb spoke. He started out with the standard talking points. It was a war of choice. He didn't support the invasion. He didn't support the surge. He smirked and smiled approvingly at the Code Pinkos as they interrupted the hearing with their silliness until the Chair told security to remove them from the room. Korb demanded immediate passage of the two resolutions and that the troops be brought home by year's end.

Korb said the troops, the Army, was broken. He cited quotes from Colin Powell, Barry McCaffery, etc as his sources. This was refuted by Keane. Keane also said what an insult to the forces this type of commentary was and that in a time of war the armed forces are stressed and stretched, yes, but it is to be expected. It is normal. Keane said morale remains high and re-enlistments continue to be above average.

Korb spoke of desertions, substance abuse and dumbing down of the average enlistee by accepting lower testing scores. Keane refuted that desertions were 1/10th of 1% which is a magnitude less than Vietnam days, and that yes substance abuse is often a by-product of the stresses of war but it is still not high as with previous wars, like Vietnam.

Keane stressed the fact the Army is all volunteer and professional. Highly motivated.

Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-KS, was a mess. She berated General Keane, after he had to leave the hearing and wasn't there to respond, therefore proving her cowardly behavior, and said he made Iraq sound like a place to take her family on vacation. She said she had to leave the room as he testified because she was so angry with him. What a loser she is. She said the country has to come together, a fact many of us have been saying forever, yet then she went on to talk about a conversation she had with a 'right wing talk show host' and how angry he made her. She's just one angry woman.

Rep. Michael Tucker, R-OH, is a new favorite of mine. He mentioned that Korb in his statement presented to the committee listed references and footnotes from Korb's own speeches and writing. He said Korb listed all the tv shows he regularly is a commentator on and implied he was full of himself. Which he is. Korb was a part of the Reagan administration as former Asst Secretary of Defense from 1981-1985 and does have a doctorate in political science. Somewhere along the line, however, he became just another defeatist and whiner. Pity.

Keane pointed out to the committee that they can't legislate missions. "This is a war. We are fighting a war. To say we shouldn't stress and strain the forces makes no sense." The stress and strain are the reason the troops should leave Iraq according to Korb and his fellow defeatists. Keane voiced amazement at the statement that we should have the troops redeploy because of stress. He said he can't believe we, the United States of America, would bring the Army home and lose a war to prevent strain.

Keane was calm, steady, never raising his voice, unemotional, and fair in his assessments. Too bad we didn't get the same from Korb. Keane showed no political agenda. He spoke that this is a national issue, not a political score for either party.

I'll listen and trust General Keane. What happens if the defeatists are proven to just be cowards?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Protecting John Doe

Since the attacks of 9/11/2001, we've been told by everyone in federal, state and local government to say something if we see something suspicious in a crowd, on the city streets, or even on an airplane. Not too long ago, Muslim Imams were escorted off an airplane after passengers reported odd behavior from them. They seemed to mimic behavior used by the 9/11 hijackers. The passengers observing the Imams before and after boarding the plane were uncomfortable and some were just nervous with them as fellow passengers. Under the circumstances, completely understandable.

So, what did the Imams do? They teamed up with CAIR and began legal proceedings against the airline and threatening to sue the passengers who complained about their behavior. This was sending a message to any ordinary citizen - shut up. Just ignore those around you and mind your own business.

After an aborted initial attempt by Congressional Republicans to bring legislation to the floor to protect citizens following the advice of our government - see something, say something - finally a vote was taken yesterday on this matter. In the Senate the vote was 57-39. Yes, 39 Senators, all Dems, voted to allow lawsuits to go forward on citizens speaking up. Free speech? Vigilant citizens? No, the party of trial lawyers and tort abuse decided to go with supporting prosecuting, not protecting Americans and other innocents in our country. Every Republican voted to support the Susan Collins amendment, referred to as the John Doe amendment. You may be interested to know that Hillary Clinton and Chuckie Schumer voted in the affirmative. The election cycle makes for strange bedfellows.

It took a week of negotiating but it passed. Obama was not present to vote, as seems to be an emerging pattern for him, now that he is running for President. The other three not voting were Brownback, running for President, Fienstein of California and Tim Johnson of South Dakota, still recovering from his massive stroke.

So, to be clear: the strategy of the Dems, to date since taking over in January, is to investigate, not legislate and to prosecute, not protect. Any wonder why they are at all time lows in the polls? Interestingly enough, the President's numbers are inching up and even The New York Times today had to admit that support of going into Iraq in the first place is up among those surveyed. Americans are skeptic but noticing some success of the surge in Iraq. And the Washington Post is tsk-tsking Reid in editorials. Hmm.

Another through the looking glass moment happened late this afternoon. Seems the Intelligence Committee chair in the House thinks the President doesn't need extra permission to use wire tapping surveillance on suspected foreign terrorist activity. Seems he doesn't think FISA needs to be overhauled as the CIA Director requested today on The Hill. Today's advanced technology requires a major overhaul of the process, written in the 70's, and the Director was requesting the overhaul begin. As soon as possible. So, the very act that Senator Russ Feingold, the hack from Minnesota, used as justification for requesting censure of the President, the surveillance Feingold claims is illegal, is now okey dokey? Left hand, meet right hand. Or, in this case, other left hand.

This Jane Doe would appreciate all the protection I can get, thank you very much.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stupid Senators

Members of the Senate Judicial Committee roasted and grilled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales yesterday for all the world to see. We get it already. The Dems don't like him and some of the Repubs are playing along. Did anyone notice we have a war going on?

Senator Harry Reid bragged that so far, in the seven months of Dem reign on Capitol Hill, 100 hearings have been on the war in Iraq. He boasts he plans on calling 100 more. What have the first 100 produced that 100 more are necessary? Oh yeah, blurbs in the newspaper and tying up precious time for real work. It's all about 2008.

Do you think Reid has noticed the Congress's approval rating is below the President's? His numbers went up a bit while theirs continue to sink to all time lows. Yesterday the Dems held a press conference with Union leaders to brag that the minimum wage was raised for the first time in 10 years. That happened two months ago but it's still all they've got to boast about. Nothing like proving they are all still in the pocket of Unions.

Chairman Leahy (Leaky Leahy) told Gen. Gonzales, "I don't trust you". Well, that's something coming from the senator from Vermont who was kicked off the Senate Intelligence Committee a few years back for leaking sensitive intelligence findings directly to the New York Times, now isn't it? And the lispy Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, who has been a senator for about 5 minutes, told Gonzales he couldn't possibly solve credibility problems in the office of Attorney General, as he is the problem. Ah, such scholarship. I imagine that Leahy, known for the most viciously hateful office in the Senate, stopping at nothing to smear those in disagreement with him, patted rookie Sheldon on the head on the way out of the hearing. Good boy, Sheldon. Now, wait for further instructions.

Even if Gonzales resigned, do you think there is any possibility of the Dems confirming a replacement for him with 17 months left in the president's term?

We are still at war overseas. It would be in our country's best interests if a united front was presented to the world from here at home. Just today there are the stories of four cities being used as dry runs for potential terror attacks. The main airport in my city is one being tested by those wishing us harm. The cities named today are Houston, San Diego, Baltimore and Milwaukee. These evil people are not stupid and they are very patient. They will wait and find places from which to launch attacks on our people.

It would be nice for those in the Senate to grow up and act like they are concerned enough, not just with the next election, but to do work that will continue with the president's record of keeping us safe here at home.

And Senator Clinton, stating that when she is President she will hunt down binLaden? She and her co-President, Bill, had 3 documented opportunities to capture him. But, since they didn't want to get their hands dirty and mess up a potential legacy for Bill, they did nothing. Hence, continued attacks against us and the final attacks of 9/11. Bill still has no legacy, other the memories of scandal, ugly pardons at the last moments of his term, and impeachment.

Was it worth it?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Two Paws Up

In today's Houston Chronicle I read that the Katrina people will have HUD vouchers extended through June 2008, which entitle them to free or reduced rent here in Houston. It applies to the 3,500 families still on assistance in our area as well as to the 11,000 households across the country.

When do we just stop this charade and just call it as it is, permanent assistance? They were, most likely, living on government assistance before the hurricane and there is no reason to think they will live otherwise now. Some are elderly, some disabled, some just not capable of supporting themselves. Why the HUD Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, felt compelled to come here yesterday and make a big show of meeting with the 'victims' and announcing the extension is beyond me. The vouchers will cost the government, you and me the taxpayers, about $105 million. I think it is high time to stop calling it the Disaster Housing Vouchers and just call it what it is - welfare. Enough with the feel good photo ops already. It's been two years.

John Edwards kicked off his newest poverty tour using the 9th ward of New Orleans as his prop. He did the same when he announced his candidacy for president. Enough of using them. The Democrats have done enough damage over the last two generations.

Did you want to know who won the World Series of Dog Shows held here over the weekend? It was an orange-colored Irish terrier. Her name is Lily. She won "Best in Show" in an overall field of 2,852 dogs. She is a resident of Houston. She is a 3 year old dog and this was her 20th win for the title of "Best in Show". That's one busy girl.

Lily's prizes included $500, a ribbon, a pewter tea set and a tack box of dog supplies. What? Your dog doesn't drink tea? Hmm.

Representative Walter Jones, R-NC, is introducing legislation for a national monument honoring "Devil Dogs" who aided Marines in WWII. They alerted the military to landmines and served as protection. Dogs were first used in WWI as sentry capacity.

Two paws up for the hero dogs.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Croissants and Brie, Red White and Blue Style

It seems France is on the road to redemption now. A story I didn't notice in the msm, shocking I know, is a favorable one for our cheese eating surrender monkey friends across the pond so I will send kudos their way.

There is a website, http://www.thefrenchwillneverforget.com/ and it is good news for Americans. A non-profit organization was founded in 2003 by 4 French citizens as a grassroots movement to reinforce the friendship between the U.S. and France. Their first event was in July 2003 and involved French children, townspeople and soldiers laying roses on the graves of every one of the 60,511 American soldiers who died during World War 1 and ll and were buried in France. The second year, the event was also successful. By 2004, the organization had grown to the point of enabling 100 U.S. veterans to travel to France to be awarded the Legion of Honor by the President of France. In 2004, the organization financed a trip with first class accommodations for 10 WWII veterans to attend, as the last members of the platoon who liberated the Eiffel Tower. Two were awarded the Legion of Honor by the French Defense Minister. In 2006 the efforts continued with ceremonies awarding the Legion of Honor to several U.S. veterans, this time on U.S. soil.

On July 4, 2007 a crowd of 2500 people gathered on Omaha Beach in Normandy to form a human chain to honor the American heroes who fell in battle liberating France during WWII. The U.S. ambassador to France and his wife were at the event along with several American and French personalities. The chain formed the phrase France Will Never Forget, along with the flags of France and the U.S.

"Our goal is, once again, to demonstrate the deep respect and gratitude of the people of France, for their recovered freedom thanks to America's extreme sacrifices during the Second World War and which no one can, or will ever forget, " declared the co-founders of the organization.

I must have missed this coverage by all the news outlets. It flies in the face of the whole 'the-world-hates-the-U.S.' line they are so heavily invested in, now doesn't it?

The best part is the fact that this organization was begun while Chirac was still running the show. The supreme cheese eating surrender monkey, while on the take from Saddam and denouncing America and Great Britain for advancing the cause of freedom in the world, was being undermined by his own. There is great hope for France once again now that the new President is in office. He shows great support for traditional western values, especially the march for freedom and is aggressively extending the hand of friendship to President Bush and America. Time will tell, but it's a start in the right direction.

France is suffering from the effects of appeasement and neglect of its growing Muslim population. They have virtually been segregated for the past two decades and have grown now to the point of voicing demands of the political leadership. The past two summers have brought increased violence in the streets as a means of protest of deplorable living conditions and lack of services. I think this new leadership understands freedom loving peoples can no longer turn a blind eye to the roots of Islamofacism and its spread throughout Europe.

Will Americans wake up before it's too late?

If Americans do have an awakening of any grand scale, it won't be thanks to leadership in Congress. Under the new leadership we have continued on the path of governance by slogans and negative reactions to the White House, not any real ideas or solutions to anything of substance. They continue to waste time and resources on pointless investigations to matters already decided by our court system. Federal judges? Plamegate? Are you kidding me?

The 9/11 Commission long ago decided, after lengthy bi-partisan investigation, that no wrongdoing occurred as far as the intelligence community was concerned during the lead up to the war in Iraq. Several bi-partisan panels in Congress have made the same conclusion. So what does Congress offer? Senator Fiengold want the President censured. Another toothless, non binding action. And he wants the President impeached for the loss of 'rights' the American people have suffered.

The interesting part of all this is whenever those complaining about 'loss of rights' is actually asked if anyone has made such legitimate claims and taken action against the administration with any sort of successful legal outcome, the answer is no. Don't you think if, after 6 years since 9/11, such 'loss of rights' were occurring the outcome would be different? Where are all the righteously indignant and their lawyers? It's ridiculous.

A group of journalists sued the government over alleged loss of freedom to do their jobs without surveillance. They had no evidence of said surveillance, mind you, only feelings of such. Again with the feelings. It was tossed out of court. Please, lose the feelings. Deal with reality. Aren't journalists supposed to be fact oriented people?

Never mind.

This administration is using legitimate Executive power, especially during a time of war. Unlike the previous Democrat administration who had to use Executive powers to cover up and then defend a sex scandal that led to a sitting President lying to a Grand Jury and later impeachment, this President is using the power available to his office for something much greater. As long as we fight on foreign soil and not in our cities here at home, his plan is successful.

John Conyers, D-MI, head of the House Judicial Committee, says he is only 3 short of having a large enough number of votes to begin impeachment procedures on Bush and Cheney. With only 17 more months left in this administration, is this the best use of his time? When does it get to the point that country comes first, before party and the next election?

Harry Reid takes down the appropriations bill for Defense which included pay raises for the military, as well as funds for improving Walter Reed Hospital. Seems there was also plenty of pork, especially for Dems and their families who work for said pork getters. Reid is working with Pelosi to quietly re-work how pork is labeled and keep taxpayers in the dark as it goes through the legislative process. Could it be because Reid's sons are lobbyists? Could it be because so many Dems as well as those evil corrupt Republicans have family members lobbying Congress? Hmm. I thought they were going to clean all this up.

My favorite bakery in my part of town is a French bakery. They make a mean chocolate almond croissant.

Croissants for everyone. Send a little brie to Russ Feingold, Harry Reid and John Conyers.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry, The Music Man, Dog Shows and Blind Racers

Today we picked up the son's copy of Harry Potter. He began reading it in the car and didn't stop until dinner. He knocked out half the book in short order. We interrupted him, though, as we had tickets to The Music Man at the nearby playhouse. It was really good. The little theatre was packed, sold out. I like seeing that. It's the first play of the playhouse's 51st season and they've remained small and a wonderful venue for local thespians.

The World Series of Dog Shows is here this weekend. I won't go because my husband boycotts them. He believes the dog show world has ruined whole species of dogs for cosmetic reasons.

The dog show has lots of vendors there, of course, hawking their wares. One person looking to have a good weekend is Lisa Green, a Houstonian who happens to be a pet psychic. Yeah, that's not going to make the event any more credible for the husband.

And here's a strange story from today's newspaper. A local man, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, lost his sight in battle. He had a dream, however, of being a race car driver. A reality show, hosted by former Indy Racing League team owner, Joey Truscelli, highlights people "who need a boost by using the racing community to make that happen," said show spokeswoman Melinda Kay.

The show arranged for 128 motorcycles, six race cars and 200 cheering neighbors, friends and family members to converge outside his home. The reality show taped his reaction to the commotion. The tapes were stolen along with equipment and donations. I don't understand why it all was at a Sam's Club in the area, as the article doesn't explain. But, anyway, the show has made an appeal for the tape to be returned, no questions asked.

The veteran will be able to take the wheel of a race car at Houston Raceway Park and Joey T. will be his co-pilot. His competitor will also be blindfolded. Again, the article isn't clear. I hope the competitor also has a co-pilot.

I also hope that reporter learns how to write.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Of Cleavage and Girly Stuff

It's Friday evening. I am enjoying a glass of white wine my husband graciously handed to me a few moments ago. Dinner is in the oven - pork loin filet, to be accompanied by rice pilaf seasoned with ginger and garlic, and corn. Most of the afternoon was taken by my spectacular hair stylist so I'm presentable for public viewing once again.

I am now emboldened to speak of Hillary's cleavage. Strange, I know, but true. You see, during the high political theatre that was the debatathon put on by the Dems the other night I noticed a bit of a change in Hill's wardrobe. The weekend before I saw her on C-SPAN in Iowa, I think it was, and she was appearing in khaki colored trousers, a belted shirt and lightweight jacket over the shirt. Hmmm. She seemed to be re-vamping her wardrobe. Thinking it was just me being too critical of said re-vamping, as the trousers were too short and tight for her build, I shrugged it off. Then during the debatathon I noticed something that caught my attention. I'm a girl and girls notice what other girls are wearing, like it or not. Hill was in a black low cut, v-neck pullover style t-shirt looking top under a jacket. She was speaking on the Senate floor and I am happy to read it's not just my observation. In a piece by Robin Givhan in the Washington Post, the writer notes the same wardrobe oddity.

Hillary is often described by many different adjectives, depending on if you are a fan or not. However, sexy is not one adjective mentioned by either camp. She seems to go out of her way to appear sexless, it seems to me. I don't know if it's a holdover from her ardent feminist days or because sex is a word applied in conversations about her husband, albeit with other women. She always appears in black or occasionally a red pantsuit, plain but tailored to her figure, and always with a very buttoned up look to it.

The more casual look while campaigning in warm weather in the heartland made sense. I was hoping someone on the staff would, however, make sure she has better fitting khakis. But the cleavage peeking out of the top? No. Don't go there, Hillary. It is too late and no one buys it.

I suppose she is trying to soften up the image she has of shrill, tough and rather butch. Southern women know how to work with the guys without dressing like one of them. It's ok to be a girl, unless you are a toss back to the old days of feminism above everything else and trying to out do the men.

Recently Elizabeth Edwards entered the fray, again, by saying to an interviewer that John would be a better president for the issues of women than Hillary. She said Hillary is too concerned with acting like a man.

Polling shows that 49% of the American public will not vote for Hillary, no matter what the circumstance. Her negatives remain high with the regular voter. The far left is being cowed to now by her as she goes completely against her previous stances on the Iraq war. She was recently reprimanded, by letter, by Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman for demanding in a letter to Defense Secretary Gates that he report on alternatives to the current policy in Iraq, in open session of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. Open session. Yes, Hill wants our war plan right out there for the terrorists to hear and then plan on. What an idiot.

Hillary, believing an election in 2008 is unnecessary and she is already President, wants to make the way out of combat operations as smooth as possible so as not to interrupt her re-election campaign for 2012. Do you want her as your president dealing with military matters? She was the First Lady, remember, who insisted uniformed Marines guarding the White House entrance doors act as waitstaff at her dinners in the White House. She and her husband, Bill, so decimated the Defense Department budget, to balance the national budget, that when we were attacked the department had to scramble to put equipment in the field of battle. Then she was one of the ones bellowing that the military wasn't properly equipped.

My hair is on fire.

So that you don't think I'm being sexist on poor, wonderful Hillary, I also complained loudly about Bill's fashion faux pas of the short shorts while jogging, exposing his doughy, pasty white thighs, and his casual attire in the Oval Office. Of course, his whole attitude about the Oval Office was one of white trash. There's a Southern expression for you. And, I didn't fall for Al Gore's fashion makeover by Naomi Wolf during the 2000 campaign. You remember Wolf, don't you? She was hired to makeover Al as a man of the common man. Earth tones, not D.C. suits. And she was paid $20,000 a month for the consulting fees. A friend of a Gore daughter. Nice gig if you can get it.

So, please. No Hillary cleavage. It's just not right.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Eye of the Beholder

Recall Alert: The Easy Bake Oven has been recalled for the second time this year. Bummer. Besides my Chatty Cathy doll, who talked when you pulled the string in her back, the Easy Bake Oven was my favorite childhood possession. I loved that thing. They look all updated and cool now but it brings back fun memories.

If I respected and liked Al Gore even a little, I'd start to feel a little sorry for him. He can't catch a break on his faux pas this and that being exposed in the press. First the very lifestyle he lives is exposed to be in direct contrast to what he expects everyone else to do, because he thinks he can buy his way out of excess and make money on alternative energy companies' stocks while planting trees. He doesn't plant them, mind you, but his staff would. Next, Live Earth concerts were not so successful and every time speakers came forth while the musicians were on break, the audiences thinned. TV viewership was very low. And now, his daughter's recent wedding reception is coming under fire by the animal rights activists. Seems old daddy Al served guests Chilean Sea Bass as an entree at the reception and it is on the 'threatened' list. Not endangered and protected, but just threatened.

May I suggest a nice white wine from Chile with your Sea Bass? Chilean wine is a wonderful secret of the husband and mine. We discovered it while living in Venezuela and it is really good tasting wine. Discovering Chilean wine was a pleasant surprise and we buy it still .

And last, his speaking contract has been published by the website, The Smoking Gun. Seems Al charges $100,000 per speech extolling the wonders of his knowledge of the planet. He also gets travel, hotel, security and per Diem expenses. He requires ground transportation, a sedan not an SUV, etc. Kinda cheap compared to the likes of his old boss, Bill Clinton, who has become the $60 million man since leaving office, in speaking fees alone.
The big Harry Potter book release is tomorrow night at midnight. I pre-ordered our son's copy in February and it will be waiting for us at the bookstore. No, we're not going at midnight. I've confirmed that the bookstore will hold it for us through Saturday. I'm disappointed but not surprised to hear that The New York Times has a review of it in its paper today, having scored an advance copy and chosen to not honor the press embargo on it. That newspaper is so predictable, isn't it? It has gotten downright boring, no wonder their subscriptions are in the dumper.
This is a quote from Book Six, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in honor of the upcoming release of Book Seven:
"I take you with me on one condition: that you obey any command I might give you at once, and without question." A quote from Dumbledore to Harry. I would like those in my life to follow that quote, too. Unreasonable? Pish posh, I say.
Unreasonable is in the eye of the beholder.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Word Salad

I heard that term on the radio this morning and I think it fits perfectly with what all has been going on in the world of politics the past 24 hours. Word salad.

Words have meaning, we are told. Words encourage, anger, comfort, insult, praise, scold, all sorts of reactions to them. A little bit of reason goes a long way in a debate.

This morning on C-SPAN I watched a few minutes of Rep. Mel Watts, D-N.C. speak of his reprimand from the Parliamentarian of the House of Reps for calling the President of the United States a liar, on the floor of the House during a speech he delivered. He was enlightened to the fact that such language, especially against the President, is inappropriate. It is against the protocol of the House. By his own admission, the speech was not one given out of emotional distress, but in a calm, measured tone. He removed the remark from the record in a later sub-committee meeting. So, he doesn't offer up runaway emotions as justification. Just more Bush Derangement Syndrome run amok.

Chuckie Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor just an hour or so ago, during the debate spectacle of the Levin-Reed Amendment to wave the white flag in Iraq, that the term 'cut and run' is a nasty slogan used in debates for or against the war effort in Iraq. Interesting. Last night as the debatathon was under full swing, I watched as the Dems put up a bright yellow sign stating "Let us vote". Slogan? You decide. How about the origins of the term 'disenfranchisement' in today's political debates? Pot calling the kettle black, just maybe?

Schumer is the one who has hijacked foreign policy and judicial nominations from the American voter to move it to the farthest fringes on the left, all in the name of good polling numbers, for future seats he claims the Dems will pick up in the Senate in 2008. Time will tell if it all works out for him or not. America loses in the meantime. He declares 'war' on Republicans ( his term overheard, not mine) during policy discussions, but not on terrorists.

There was never any question as to the vote on the Levin-Reed Amendment taking place in the Senate. The only question was on if it could be passed with a simple majority of 51 yes votes or if 60 were required. The answer? 60 are required. Majority Leader Harry Reid feigns distress that the very rules he put into place as the minority are now being used by the Republican minority. Boo-hoo. The Dems, while in the minority, even held up all judicial nominations for a full 60 yes votes on the floor. That was a first for the rules. But, that was then, this is now.

Reid claims the Republicans are 'protecting the President instead of the troops'. That's quite a slap at the troops, isn't it? The troops are protecting us, not the other way around. They are trained as a combat fighting force and they make this nation proud each and every day, despite the efforts of Reid and his ilk to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. An all voluntary force, too.

I don't know what victory looks like now in Iraq. So many mistakes have been made that I think, though, that the very least we should do is allow General Petraeus the opportunity to pursue his strategy of counter-terrorism until his report is delivered in September, as he was given permission to do on a unanimous vote by the Senate in the Spring. I urge the defeatists to read Michael Yon's blog and read his latest dispatches from the battlefields in Iraq. He is one of the last remaining journalists embedded and reporting outside of the green zone. He doesn't sugar coat his writing and his photography is exceptional.

What's the plan after withdrawal? Then what?

Why would Iraqis rush to stand up on their own and aid the coalition forces when they are told daily by those vested in defeat, the politicians and the journalists doing their bidding using the war on terror as a fundraising effort for the Dems for 2008? Iraqis know as soon as the U.S. troops leave that they will be slaughtered if they are believed to have been helpful to us.

Those crying out about Darfur? Wait till they see the aftermath of a premature withdrawal from Iraq.

The Levin-Reed Amendment failed to move forward, by a 52-47 vote.

Angry that the debatathon was aptly labeled as a stunt, I offer a suggestion to Senator Reid. Call for an up or down vote on the war in Iraq funding. Do it today. Do it tomorrow. Do it.

War funding is the only tool available to the Senate. They know that. Being so skilled at reading polls, though, they also know the American people aren't there yet. Yes, the majority of the public wants the war over. I don't know anyone who doesn't. But most people, 52% in the last polling, don't want immediate withdrawal. Iraq is still our best locale to try to bring some form of democracy to the middle east, hoping for more democracy movements to latch on.

We have to remain a hopeful people. Unity in the mission would be a pleasant change of pace.

The Iraqi government is very slow, by our standards, at getting their act together. They are a democracy in its infancy stage. They have no blueprint for a democratic government. They are scared witless. Maybe they won't ultimately be up to the challenge. But they have the opportunity. And, Iraq is one scared country at this point. Do they put all their faith into America to stand with them? Most provinces are up and running. Anbar is working again, just a year after it was thought to be forever lost to the terrorist element. Baghdad will tell the tale. It is the most densely populated and the center of power.

The terrorists think we are cowards. They think we will run and they think we are spineless, gutless people. They continue to say so. President Bush and his administration have completely failed on communicating the importance of this battle against the Islamofacists.

One encouraging note is that the administration is sending out Fran Townsend on the media rounds to talk about the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate released to the public yesterday, after being leaked for days. She is a strong voice, faring well against the defeatists. She's a Democrat and she gets it. She also takes no guff from the foolish questioning of journalists wanting to rehash every misstep from the beginning of the war in Iraq. The defeatists have no plans for the future, only rehashing the past.

Why do you think the approval ratings of the Congress are lower than the President's?

So, Creepy voiced Harry Reid has pulled the entire Defense Policy Bill from the floor of the Senate. Maybe he can come up with something better than the vague, withdrawing some troops within 160 days, and only fighting al-Qaeda, and training security forces. What do they want the troops to do? Ask for id cards as the bullets and bombs are flying?

The Defense Policy Bill contained a 3% raise in pay for the military. That's gone with the bill now. Is that supporting the troops, Senator Reid? Or is your pride more important?

The defeatists on the Republican side? They were Gordon Smith of Oregon, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Time to primary all of them. The two Independents split their vote: Lieberman voted no and Sanders of Vt (the Socialist, self-proclaimed) voted yes. Creepy voiced Harry Reid voted no as a procedural move.

Word salad. Great phrase.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Making Tin Foil Hats

As I've written about in past posts, I put my money where my mouth is as far as supporting companies doing the right thing. Here is one on the 'over my dead body' category : JetBlue. Too bad, too, as they have recently expanded here in Space City and offer the occasional cheap flight to and from NYC. Why, you ask, have they fallen out of favor? Seems JetBlue is sponsoring the Daily Kos Convention this year. The Daily Kos, a nasty toned, 'progressive' website, underwritten by the likes of George Soros, is holding their annual convention of tin foil hat wearers and JetBlue has jumped right in with support. JetBlue denies a political agenda.

Tidbits from the site: after Tony Snow's cancer returned, a blog voiced the opinion we would all be better off if Tony just died, Cheney enjoys killing, and the Pope is a primate. And those are just the tamest of statements from these bloggers. The usual mature talking points from the moonbats. Why do they just sink to the lowest common denominator by using nasty speech instead of real points? They sound like a bunch of whining babies. Not to mention, no intellectual high wattage there.

So, the idea of a convention bore fruit last year and all the Kos Kids met in Las Vegas. The Speakers were Wesley Clark, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Howard Dean, Joe Wilson, and former VA governor Mark Warner. The jaw dropping part was the claim that it was a bi-partisan event. So, where and who was the token conservative? I don't see any names of conservatives.

This year's convention boasts a Presidential Leadership Forum Advisory Board. The board members are: Gary Hart, Walter Mondale, George McGovern, Donna Brazile, Adam Green (MoveOn.org), Christy Hardin Smith (Firedoglake.com), and Ari Melber (The Nation), among others. No conservatives there.

The confirmed candidates invited to speak: Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Christopher Dodd. Any Republican candidates? Umm. No.

Yes, this is their idea of bi-partisanship. And they say Fox News is a wing of the Republican party.

Speaking of Harry Reid, in order to get the votes on the floor of the Senate that pertain to the Iraq War and trying to embarrass Republicans with them, he says he'll keep the Senate in session all night tonight if necessary to stop any potential filibusters. Good. Bring it, Harry. It's about time they did some real work and declared real intentions. I want it to be perfectly clear, the differences in those supporting real policy and those with no answers. What was Reid's response to a reporter's question when asked what would happen if troops withdrew immediately? He wouldn't answer the question. Why? Because he knows the answer and he's not about to speak the horrors of the reality.

As long as it's all about the Democrat party and trying to take the White House in 2008, their numbers will continue to be lower than the President's. They have the strategy that opposing the President and angry, empty rhetoric will score additional Senate seats in the upcoming elections. The public, however, continues to be angry with the Dems and that is what the polls reflect. They have no new ideas, nothing but negative speeches with no uplifting messages. Who wants to listen to them?

So, head on out to Chicago for the upcoming convention with the cool kids from the left fringes. They're going to par-tay like it's 1969. Don't forget your hat.

Monday, July 16, 2007

At The Local Level

Celebrating a whopping six months in the U.S. House of Representatives, Keith Ellison, D-MN, enjoyed a little gathering among atheists to preen and entertain the folks with his intellectual brilliance. About 100 atheists gathered at the Southdale Library in Edina to hear the musings of the first Muslim elected to Congress. He is also Minnesota's first black member of the U.S. House.

Contained in Ellison's riff : He calls the war in Iraq an occupation. He compared Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany. He calls for the impeachment of VP Cheney. He refers to Cheney as authoritarian, totalitarian and a dictator. He says if Scooter Libby is pardoned, he should lose his right to use the 5th Amendment. He mocks President Bush's faith-based initiatives as the Department of Religious Outreach, a public relations outreach arm of the administration to benefit the 'far right of the evangelical Christian movement'.

According to the Star Tribune article, Ellison's speech before this group, Atheists for Human Rights based in Minneapolis, drew the largest gathering for the organization. The group's spokeswoman said "We're trying to upgrade the image of atheists. They don't think we have a moral compass." Gosh, I wonder why 'they' would think that?

Human rights, again, but only for those deemed worthy by the fringe left. Others are chastised for being 'far right' or Christian nut bags. Atheists being preached to by a Muslim. Gotta love it.

So, when does someone speak up and demand better from the Muslim? Or is he just above any criticism because of political correctness, don't want to offend anyone? Unless it's a Christian.

I watched a Houston City Council meeting for a bit over the weekend. The meeting took place last week. The Council listens to citizen concerns at the end of each meeting. The citizens sign up to speak and everyone is given 3 minutes to make a point. I've seen some really interesting speakers the times I have tuned in, I must say. By interesting, I mean crazies.

The highlight of the meeting this time was the group who monopolized the time demanding the Houston City Council pass a resolution calling for the impeachment of the Bush/Cheney administration. The group looked just like you would picture them in your mind. Washed up has-beens living in the 60's mind frame. Having lived in the 60's and then grown up, it is so sad to see those who can't quite make the transition into today. Why, they even had Cindy Sheehan herself on the list.So, there you go. I guess she couldn't spare the time waiting for her 3 minutes, though, because when her name was called, she was a no-show. She was in town after signing over her peace ranch in Crawford to the new buyer from California.

One member of this group was asked by a councilperson what other cities have passed such resolution? I knew the names of some but this intellectual couldn't come up with a single city to name. Why would a group put up people to speak in public and answer questions when the very basic of information escapes them? How serious are they if they are not even able to relate basic information? Another was asked what other actions she had taken to voice her opinion. She said, well, she's been to Nancy Pelosi's website and signed the petition online.

Are you kidding me?

The fringe on the far left is angry that impeachment is not being pursued. We get it. John Conyers, D-MI, the chair of the judicial committee in the House, enjoyed the impeachment bandwagon being touted on his congressional website up until the election. Then Pelosi slapped him and told him impeachment was not on the agenda. Conyers wife is on the City Council in Detroit. Detroit is a city who has passed such a resolution.

These resolutions bear no weight. Cities don't set foreign policy. These 'activists' are old enough to have been in school when Civics was still being taught. They know better. Just like Mama Cindy, it's just all about them and a bit of public attention.

Flower people, the bloom is gone.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Coffee and Ice Cream For Everyone

Happy National Ice Cream Day! The proclamation was made by President Reagan.

The company from whom I order coffee beans donates weekly shipments to the troops overseas. However many pounds a customer donates from his/her shipment to the program, the company matches the donation. I received notice that the shipment my latest donation contributed to is on its way to FOB Brassfield Mora. So, I researched this base, as I usually do, to learn about it.

Also known as Camp Brassfield-Mora, it is about 10 km north of Samarra. It is named to honor two soldiers killed in separate mortar attacks in October 2003, according to the website Global Security.org. Specialist Artimus Brassfield and Jose Mora are the two soldiers honored. An Iraqi Army base is located directly behind it.

"The cooks of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment run one of the few Army-only dining facilities in the area of operations, and cook all the meals themselves. They put their lives on the line, convoying out three to four times a week to bring back the food that will be cooked, baked, grilled or fired before being fed to the hungry, hardworking Soldiers of Task Force 1-26."

"These cooks serve hot breakfast and dinner to every growling stomach on post. Unlike most forward operating bases in Task Force Danger, the Brassfield-Mora dining facility doesn't have civilian contractors to help lighten the load. They cook the food, wash the pots and pans, clean the equipment and serve hot meals twice a day. After a long day of patrolling near the City of Samarra, soldiers can get tired of the same old stuff. The cooks of HHC 1-26 try to mix up the usual fare by providing some variety. Their most popular dish is their grilled T-bone steak, which they serve on Sundays."

A renovated building, a new dining facility, allows for indoor meals and more sanitary conditions. Sounds like a terrific location for some freshly roasted coffee to me.

I drank lots of this coffee yesterday morning. I was up and out early, getting the son's hair trimmed and styled at the salon then off to the photography studio for his Senior pictures photo shoot. My baby. They took different poses, some formal, some casual, some in jacket and tie, some in graduation gown with diploma. Looking forward to the proofs in a couple of weeks.

Times have changed. When my Senior photos were taken in high school, back when dinosaurs roamed, the photographer came to the school and took the photo. We all had the same pose shot and we were all draped in a velvet fabric to resemble the gown, no cap. We had a choice of color, that was it. Stand up straight, smile, look here, thank you, good-bye. Next.

Like the cost of class rings, I'm waiting to see the change in the photo packet pricing, too.

Coffee and ice cream for everyone, that's what I'm saying today.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Week's end. Can't be here soon enough for me. I fear the world is coming to an end. Why? Well, it seems even the usually supportive libs in the media are turning on old pal Michael Moore. Seems the crockumentary maker is being held accountable this time around. You know when Wolf Blitzer and USA Today are critical of "Sicko" something must be afoot.

Seriously, what is wrong with him? How did he go from a pampered childhood in suburban Michigan to an adult singing the praises of Cuban health care? What is the fascination on the left for Cuba?

Moore exploits 9/11 workers and their health problems by taking them down to Cuba to get free health care, as I understand the story to go. He does the standard liberal swipe at Camp Gitmo by parading past the gate demanding the same health care for the 9/11 workers that the military get there. He seems to defeat his own argument that the prisoners are being mistreated there since he acknowledges the good medical treatment available.

I think the far left show an utter naivete about communist agendas. Did Moore really think the average Cuban was receiving good health care, better than what is practiced here? People from all over the world come here for treatment. Our country has the world's best health care. There are problems with non-insured folks but very few end up being excluded from treatment due to economic status or insurance coverage. It is the exception, not the rule.

Instead of coming back from Cuba and speaking out against the conditions in that country, Moore does the opposite. It's always America is bad for his exploitive purposes. Our system isn't perfect but it's still the best around. In socialized medicine scenarios, procedures and testing are frequently done in a less than timely fashion. If the procedure isn't an absolute emergency, a patient will wait months for it. And, if you are not considered a good risk, forget it.

When our son was born, we were without health insurance. We did it the old fashioned way. We priced hospitals and went with the best at the cheaper price. My doctor took payments as well as the hospital. I was admitted into the hospital on a Friday afternoon, my son was born just before noon Saturday and by Sunday morning I was back home. All on a holiday weekend. Yeah, Labor Day weekend. You saw that coming, didn't you? From birth my son has done things within his own time frame. He came into the world after 22 hours of labor, even after the labor was induced. And, I did it without an epidural.

My point is, it may not be easy but it can be done in this country. The truly poor and even the illegal population in this country use the emergency room as a doctor's office. It is a terrible stress on the system but they are, in fact, treated.

A member of our immediate family went to Cuba a couple of years ago with his wife. They were so rebellious, don't you know, going to Cuba even though there is a travel restriction for American citizens. They went in from Mexico. They were so proud of their plans before the trip, they were going to stick it to our government. How dare the politicians in Washington tell them where they can travel. Especially with George Bush in office?

Well, they came back and during a phone call to us, the male family member was telling me he was so shocked that the family they stayed with were not allowed to have their family Bible out in the open. He was shocked at the religious persecution in Cuba.

He was shocked at the poverty. He said most people were welcoming but everyone was guarded in their speech and actions.

I asked him why he was shocked. I asked him if he thought all this time that his country was lying to him about the life of the average Cuban. Did he think our government was exaggerating how barbaric life under Castro was? Just plain naive. He's educated, well traveled for purposes of restful vacations, a creative artistic fellow. He went to explore the music scene. He's a 'progressive' who thinks NPR is way too conservative to be heard in his house. Just plain naive.

So, let the celebs and filmmakers go there and preen about with Castro. Finally some glimmer of hope is coming out. Eventually even CNN will have to remove its blinders.

It's easy to bash our system. The answers aren't so easy. And socialized medicine? The last thing we need is more restrictions and higher taxes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I've Got A Feeling In My Gut

Lady Bird Johnson, 94 years old, has died. She was at her home, in Austin. This is kind of expected as she has been hospitalized recently for high fevers and testing. She leaves a legacy around the country promoting natural beauty, especially the planting of wild flowers on our nation's highways. Our state of Texas is magnificent in the spring when the bluebonnets bloom in open fields for all passersby to enjoy. Lady Bird deserves that credit.

So, how secure do you feel with Michael Chertoff in charge of Homeland Security? Seems he has a feeling in his gut. Yep. A feeling in his gut. This feeling in his gut tells him of a new period of increased risk, according to the AP.

Feeeeeeeeeellllliiiiingsssss.....whoa, whoa, whoa, feeeeeeeeeeellllllllingsssss.....

Is this what the department has become? See, my gut feeling told me back when this monstrosity was created that the idea was a bad one. The very last thing the federal government needed was another lumbering, inefficient bureaucracy. When the Democrats proposed the idea, surprise! the party of big government wanted bigger government, the President should have gone with his gut feeling and remained opposed to the idea. But, like so many other decisions, he accepted bad advice and caved. The department was created and we began with such nonsense as the color code of terror threat levels and being told to stock up on duct tape. Over one hundred positions in the department remain unfilled.

I think instead of the investment made in this new department, the monies should have been used to fix our existing intelligence agencies. Train scores of new intelligence employees. Improve local offices across the country.

Now we have gut feelings. I understand this was said during the course of an interview discussing the increased amount of chatter among sources in the field wishing to do us harm. I understand we are a bit on edge after what has been happening in Europe in recent weeks. But, please, don't subject us to such quotes as gut feelings from the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Apparently there are new video tapes from al-Zawahri continuing his rants on jihad. Rumors fly that government buildings are to be targeted. Who hasn't been having that thought anyway? If you've been to a courthouse in recent times I sure hope you've encountered more intense levels of security. It's there for a reason.

Or, maybe it's just a right wing conspiracy to take away all your civil rights. Republicans are the devils on earth.

Americans suffer from short attention spans when it comes to the continuing threat to our way of life. It'll take another catastrophic attack to shake everyone awake again. It's when, not if. Remember how the country came together immediately after 9/11? Then it began to fade. Then the politicians began the gamesmanship of political expediency. It continues today. This country couldn't even come together to continue the fight on into Iraq, a good spot to begin democracy in the middle east. I admit I was one who thought we should have finished up in Afghanistan before anything else was put on our plate. I was just as hesitant on invading Iraq as I was on invading in 1991. After the politicians approved the intervention and removal of Saddam, our policy since Clinton signed it into law in 1998, and President Bush grew serious with it, then screams of Vietnam and quagmires begin after about a week of the initial maneuvers. I have been amazed and completely disheartened by my fellow Americans who have held party over country. Terrorism is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The terrorists don't ask for your party affiliation before the bombs go off.

Now, as the administration struggles to end the deployment of the majority of the soldiers in Iraq, all we hear is loss and defeat and timetables to insure defeat. Suddenly, after 30 years of awareness of climate change and environmentalism, global warming is the most pressing issue of our times. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Meals on Wheels, the program to deliver meals to elderly or ill folks, has a new twist to it here in Space City. It is called AniMeals on Wheels and the volunteers deliver pet food along with people food to those living with four legged friends. Isn't that a really wonderful idea? And why did it take so long for someone to figure that out? I wish I had. What the volunteer delivery angels were finding was that the clients were sharing their meals with their animals, so neither were being properly nourished. So, requests went out for bags of dry food for dogs and cats. And, the addition to the traditional Meals on Wheels program began.

I love it.

It just makes sense, doesn't it? If I ran out of pet food and wasn't able to get out and purchase more, I'd share my people food, too. People food, however, isn't the best nutrition for animals.

The national Meals on Wheels office is very supportive of the new inititive and is offering grants to local agencies to develop programs of their own, to support the residents in their communities. The CEO, Enid Broden, cites the fact that seniors lives are enriched by pets and the pets help to keep seniors healthy. By focusing on another living creature, the senior wants to remain able to 'stay on top of your game so you can take care of your pet,'according to Ms. Borden.

Although no economic requirements are made to be eligible for the home delivery program, the clients have to be 60 years or older and have trouble shopping or cooking for themselves due to physical difficulties. It is said the average recipient is 65 to 79 years of age and lives on less than $10,000 per year, according to national data.

The number of seniors in Harris county served by Interfaith: 3,200
The number of pet owners receiving AniMeals on Wheels: 132

Here in Houston, in Harris county, the majority of clients are served by Interfaith Ministries, the rest are served by others. Interfaith is funded by both private and public monies. AniMeals on Wheels, however, is entirely run and sponsored by volunteers and donations. Houston's ASPCA has supplied most of the pet food for Houston's program. Girls Scouts and other organizations have conducted pet food drives. The deliveries of pet food are made one Saturday a month.

There is no shortage of volunteers. The program is catching on across the nation.

I love it.

Monday, July 09, 2007


The escort business owner in D.C. is set to release her phone records, thus narcing on her patrons. So far, Senator David Vetter, of Louisiana, has outed himself and apologized for his less than wise choice of behavior. My first reaction was, oh well, he's from Louisiana, what can you say? But, who knows how it'll play out. He said he used the 'service' before he was elected to his Senate seat.

From the reviews I've read and heard, the big believe-in-impending-doom-from-climate-change-or-you're-a-fascist-flat earth-knuckle dragging drooler, organized by the Al Gore for President campaign Saturday turned out to be less than stellar. No wonder from the clips I saw on tv. The likes of RFK, Jr screeching in his raspy voice about conservatives on talk radio who are nothing but stooges for big business and commit treason by giving political diversity a voice. Yes, treason. Why would anyone but the deranged take a person taking that nonsense seriously? And poor Madonna. Telling the audience to jump up and down to end global warming. I kid you not. She looks good, but she was singing out of key.

None of the usual big names for social causes showed. No Bono, no McCartney, no Geldof. Geldof said, "Why is Gore actually organising them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that problem for years." Exactly.

In Johannesburg the weather was so cold that the turnout was very low.

And just as sure as the big hustlers for governmental controls and taxing the citizens to control carbon footprints, as if humans are going to effect such changes in the atmosphere, are intensely invested in the businesses they instruct the sheeple to use to save the earth, the politicians have been busy bees working up legislation on capitol hill. Representative John Dingell of Michigan who is the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is proposing a new carbon tax that raises the cost of using oil, gas and coal. He has a different twist on the subject, as opposed to the others scrambling to out green each other. He thinks Americans, when faced with the actual costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, will be critical of unrealistic legislative benchmarks. Do you think, for instance, the price of gas is too high when you fill your vehicle? Well, the first of the proposals will be a 50 cent per gallon additional tax on gas. That's the dirty little secret about gas prices, you know. Taxes slapped on a gallon of gas from the levels of government are the biggest contributor to the price at the pump. It makes the extremists feel better to bash 'big oil' but government plays a big role, too.

So, good luck to the politicians and taxpayer, beware. Hold on to your wallet.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"Hope is a remarkable muscle."

I don't want to jinx it but we may actually be having a day without rain.

My mother in law is cruising the Caribbean on a private yacht, fully staffed. The six on board are being pampered by the likes of a private chef trained at Commander's Palace. She and her male companion flew to St. Thomas Thursday, where the yacht lives. The yacht is owned by her companion's daughter and son in law. She'll be vacationing a week. I'd like to think when I'm 85 years old, I'll be healthy, active and vacationing in exotic locales, too.

The title of this post is a quote of Mariane Pearl is from her book, recently published in paperback. I read 'A Mighty Heart', the story of Danny Pearl's life written by his widow, Mariane. Danny Pearl was the Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. It is a remarkable read. She is a strong woman, devoted to preserving the memory of her devoted husband. It is a riveting story and she weaves the story from a personal point of view on the threat of terrorism to all nations today.

I didn't want to read it but I did want to read it. I put it off until the paperback version came out. Knowing the ending, it was too horrible to imagine reading such a heart wrenching story. I'm glad I did, though, as I learned some parts of the story I didn't know, or have forgotten.

I learned that the President of Pakistan, Musharraf, blamed Danny for being in Pakistan, doing his job. He was furious of the publicity the kidnapping brought to Pakistan.

I learned that Mariane, a citizen of France born of a Cuban mother and an Iraqi father, was treated well by Jacques Chirac. I have no use for Chirac but I was pleased by his support of her. He offered whatever assistance he could give to her immediately after the incident became known, as did President Bush, and the both of them followed the progress of the events. She met with Musharraf as she left Pakistan, at the end of Danny's story. Musharraf wants her to remember the existence of moderate Pakistanis, that the radicals are trying to kill him, too. Meeting with Chirac when she returned to their home in Paris, she was amused by the photos he insisted be taken of her and him together, and then of photos taken on the others who accompanied her to the meeting. Laura Bush asked to come by for a visit while she was in Paris and Jenna came, too. Mariane was impressed that Mrs. Bush did not bring press or publicity to the visit, it was on a personal, intimate level. She appreciated that Mrs. Bush didn't bother with small talk after presenting her with a bouquet of pink and white roses. Mrs. Bush expressed her outrage that the video of Danny's beheading was running on the Internet and that CBS News refused to honor Mariane's request that portions of the tape not be played on the evening news. Dan Rather was insisting on running it and the president of CBS, Hayward was told by Mariane, "You sleep with your conscience. But I'm going to tell you what really makes me sad. It is that those f***ers knew all along they should make a video, because they knew all along you'd be ratings-hungry enough to broadcast it. They appealed to your weakness, and you gave in."

The original placement of the video on the Internet was traced back to Saudi Arabia.

Mrs. Bush talked with Mariane about how unprepared Americans are for the new kind of war. They agree on that. They agree that Americans don't truly understand the international threat. She tells Mariane she has a mission, now, to speak up and share what she has learned with the American people.

Mariane spoke of the fact that she hadn't expected to be moved by a visit from the First Lady, yet she felt much stronger when the meeting was over. She found Mrs. Bush to be an intense, compassionate person with a seriousness of purpose.

Mariane met with President Bush when she arrived in the U.S. At the meeting, Attorney General Ashcroft, Colin Powell, and Condi Rice were also in attendance. She tells that President Bush has continued to be in touch and has written several letters to her. Bush encouraged members of the Gridiron Club in D.C. to write letters to Adam Pearl when he was born and tell him about his father. Mariane writes of being moved by that spur of the moment suggestion the president included in his speech.

The main reason I've been so hesitant to read this personal story was because this is my worst nightmare. For most of our marriage my husband has traveled the world as he works in the oil drilling business. He works his engineering magic in some dangerous parts of the world. We had an agreement that he wouldn't tell me any horrific stories until he was home and safe. Over the course of the past 24 years, he's come home three times with stories of the rigs being taken hostage by armed militants demanding ransom from the oil company doing the drilling. All of his incidents have been on the west African coast. Fortunately he was never harmed.

Currently, there are 5 known U.S. citizens being held hostage in Iran. They are being 'detained'. Very little is told of their plights in the media. I cannot image the nightmare existence being experienced by their families. Let's hope we respond a bit better than our friends the Brits did when their military members were held recently.

A great segment of the American public is naive of the ways of the world around us. With the new war on terror being waged, the sooner people wake up, the better. Europe is scrambling to quell the mess on their hands. Our only hope of survival is to remain on the offense.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mish Mash

Many random thoughts floating around the pondering mind today. The rain pattern is giving us a bit of a respite this morning and that is a good thing. It will make a return visit later this afternoon.

Tomorrow is 7/7/07. Numerically a lucky day. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya? That's what the date brings to mind. Clint Eastwood. Ok then. I understand a record number of weddings are expected to take place in locales like Las Vegas. Well, seems to me if you are eloping to Las Vegas to wed, perhaps a little extra luck may be a useful thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I think I'll play the lotto. Someone's got to win, may as well be me.

Tomorrow is the big day for rock star wannabe Al Gore. Poor guy. He was basking in all the glory of his assinine display of human arrogance, as if humans are going to change weather cycle patterns and poof, no more global warming, and what happens? The youngest child, his 24 year old son is busted for speeding, in his hybrid automobile of course, and the police find marijuana and pills in his possession. Do you think he was speeding to dad's concert, well prepared for the experience? Al Gore cancelled press interviews, except NBC who will devote the day to free publicity to Al's political agenda.

Will NBC be doing a day's worth of free publicity to the community that believes in moderation to the solutions of climate change? You know, fair and balanced. Don't hold your breath.

What is interesting is the growing skepticism to the extreme measures promoted by Gore. The scientific community has always been divided as to the severity of the alleged Gore claims and causes. As he himself admits to exaggerating his own claims, for effect, then he is seen as less than a serious speaker. Rightly so. Do not believe for a minute that this is anything but a political agenda for Gore. If all goes well for him, he'll affect policy so that you will be taxed and regulated to new levels. Gore was born into politics and raised to be President. He didn't all of a sudden have an awakening and become someone else.

You'll notice the celebs doing these silly concerts are anything but 'green' themselves. Groups like the Artic Monkeys (I have a teenage son) are not participating as they see the hypocrisy. Aren't the very events being held a huge waste of energy and contributing to the problems of waste removal and stressing communities? Rio tried to shut it's concert down due to all the security issues and additional people needed to provide security.

Now, if someone like Ed Begley, Jr. is speaking at one of the events, by all means take heed. But, you'll notice that he doesn't succumb to participating for publicity. He has been living the green lifestyle for 20 or so years and doing so very quietly and privately. Remember, those who shout for publicity, calling attention to how wonderful they are, are rarely the real McCoy.

Some of us have been going about our lives, trying to live well and do right by the environment since the awareness of the first Earth Day, in the early 1970's. Back when Earth Day was begun, though, it was due to an impending coming of a new ice age. Oops.

It's the arrogance that kills me. Yes, our air is polluted. I live in Houston where we are told each day the pollution level, in the form of ozone alerts. Our country, however, has regulations in place like the Clean Air Act (1970 under Nixon) and others that strive to do the right thing. Human interaction into our environment only goes so far. The current 'crisis' is anything but and the politicians pushing this agenda du jour are fully aware of the problems and solutions. Let's tax manufacturers and say it's for the good of everyone. Who do you think will pay for the new taxes? Lots of money will be made by investors in products and companies labeled environmentally friendly. Do you think Gore has been at this for so long out of the goodness of his heart? It has been very profitable for him. And the research for his books? Done by minions at Harvard, not even at Gore's personal expense. It's a great deal for him, isn't it? Nobel Prize worthy to some. PowerPoint the sheeple into submission. Now that's entertainment.

Maybe Al Gore II will step back a bit and tend to the needs of Al Gore III. The son has been arrested before for drugs and has several high speed citations. Changing his environment seems like a good idea. Just a thought.

The Scooter Libby sentence? The sentencing board or whatever it is called, recommended far less than the judge decided to use. Seems the judge is aggravated that Scooter didn't take the stand in the trial. So, instead of allowing Libby to remain at home during the appeal he said no, you must go directly to jail. This is not standard procedure for someone with no criminal record and a long distinguished career of public service. He's not a flight risk and not able to work in his chosen profession, law, with a felony conviction.

I thought a full pardon was reasonable. The Bush bashers are having a heyday, of this you can be sure. Hearings will be held by Conyers. What will be done? Nothing. President Bush has the authority to do what he did. His action was less than admirable in my eyes, but he can say he upheld the jury decision, the fine will be paid, the conviction stands on Libby's record, he will be unable to practice law. He'll be on probation for 2 years. No, no jail time but more punishment than is standard, to be sure. He wasn't convicted of leaking a covert CIA agent's name. She wasn't covert and the leaker was known 2 full years before the trial began. Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's minion, was the gossiping operative telling everything he knew to whomever would listen. The 9/11 Commission found there to be no cherry picking of pre-Iraq war intelligence or pressure from the administration to come up with favorable intelligence findings. Joe Wilson has been proven to be a liar, a grandstanding, self absorbed phony.

For Hillary to criticize Bush's action is in a word, RICH. Her husband was impeached for lying to a Grand Jury and admitting to doing so. Her husband's administration was flooded with indictments and jail sentences. Hill herself was found to be 'factually dishonest' before a grand jury in the travelgate matter but not charged after a mock trial and mock jury determined a conviction of the First Lady would not be possible in D.C. Her husband pardoned Rich, who fled the country to avoid his trial and his ex wife led the charge for pardon, also a major contributor to Clinton's presidential library. The constant claims of strong ties of the Bush family and Saudis? Some, sure, but who do you think has been the largest single contributor to the Clinton presidential library in little ole Little Rock? Yes, the Saudi royal family. Hmm.

And, Sandy, the burglar, Berger, admitted to lying to his grand jury about theft of federal documents from the archives and destruction of documents. All this stealing and destroying as he prepared to testify before the 9/11 Commission about the Clinton administration's actions in foreign policy. He received a $5o,ooo fine, no jail time, and was eventually disbarred in D.C. Again, he admitted guilt.

So, I think Hill should continue to drone on in her monotone speaking voice, nice and shrill and loud at her campaign events about Bush cronyism and corruption. It serves to remind people of our recent past. And Bill on the trail? Please, use him as much as possible. He strains to not outshine her at the events and further reminds everyone of the days of two-for-one. Fully half of the voters polled say they will never vote for Hillary as it is.

And, Joe Biden. Yesterday I read he called the President 'brain dead' before a group at an event for his presidential bid. There's a class act. Maybe he can go before a group of school kids and call Bush a liar as Harry Reid did. Remember, Biden had to leave the presidential race in 1988 due to plagiarism in his speechifying. 'Nuff said.

President Bush has continually disappointed me throughout his terms in office. Other than tax cuts and the war on terror and record levels of support to the problems in Africa, plus the first federally funded stem cell research, there is little to celebrate. The less than pardon of Scooter Libby is added to the negative side.