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Conservative commentary served up in bite-sized bits.
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- Clayton Cramer
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Friday, May 24, 2002
The current edition of The Federalist has this great quote in it. It ties in nicely with the previously linked Ann Coulter piece, exposing further hypocracy.
"(Memo to Ari Fleischer who has yet to produce a lucid talking point rebutting the Left's criticism -- here is one: Last week, the Left was criticizing the Bush administration for not telling the public about a pre-9-11 unconfirmed, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated and unspecified threat (see Federalist No. 02-20). This week, the Left is criticizing the Bush administration for telling the public about a post-9-11 unconfirmed, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated and unspecified threat. (But of course, the criticism is not politically motivated....)"
The only explanation I can figure for all this waffling is this: November, 2002. The Dems are throwing everything in their arsenal at Bush, regardless of how ludicrious it is on its face or how diametrically opposed it is to what they said yesterday, and hoping that, come Election Day, it has some staying power with their base (i.e. those for whom what was said last week let alone last year is no longer remembered or relevant). They'll say that "this isn't enough" and "that's too much" (even, as in this case, they're talking about identical things), but they'll never says what's just right. No one can never live up to their mark because they refuse to set one. All the better to criticize (and get re-elected) with, my dear.
Thursday, May 23, 2002
Liberal pundits & politicians are still eagerly castigating Bush for not "doing something" after the FBI "Phoenix" memo. As I said before, liberals (and Cynthia McKinney in particular) would not have approved of what would have had to be done to really prevent it. Not convinced? Then let's find out what they're doing now, with perfect hindsight. Ann Coulter asks the question, given what Democrats are doing, exactly what do they know now?
Hugh Hewitt asks another question. It's not what did Bush know, but what didn't Bush know.
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Here's an editorial from last October that figures in to the brouhaha about what Bush new before 9/11. During the first week of October, 2001, the Washington Post reported that Clinton could have had Osama bin Laden handed to him on a silver platter, courtesy of Sudan, back in 1996. He refused, even after it was already evident he was gunning for America. Richard Miniter of the Wall Street Journal fleshed out the details; what the options were, and what was ultimately done. It includes the words of Clinton administration officials involved in the decision.
Once again, it's a "both-or-neither" scenario. If Bush is culpable, then Clinton is, and a scandal about refusing to bring a terrorist to justice should've been a much bigger deal than complaints about imprecise intelligence. But this is the press, of course, running one negative story about their guy and hoping it would all go away. If Clinton isn't culpable, then the reaction to Bush is purely political posturing.
The Media Research Center reports that the media have been extremely eager to tie Bush to some scandal, and are using their tunnel-vision (right on cue) to hype the Bush angle on the issue of who knew what before 9/11/01. They continue to report things as though all bin Laden intelligence came in immediately following W's inauguration. However, the MRC's report shows one lone media voice is seeing this for what it is. Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas called the whole story "phony" and "bogus", and said that the media were just so eager for a scandal that they got all excited about it.
Lest one think that the media are always hungry for a scandal, consider this: ABC News reported on the discovery of Monica Lewinsky's blue dress, physical evidence that Clinton did have "sexual relations with that woman", in September of that year. Matt Drudge scooped them, though, by beating them to the story 7 months earlier in February. Where was the hunger for scandal (and accurate, timely reporting) then? The vigor with which the media has pursued the "phony" and "bogus" Bush story further shows their unequal treatment of conservatives and liberals.
Sunday, May 19, 2002
Newsweek is reporting that eavesdropping on terrorist communications is like "taking a metal detector to the city dump". There's so much in terms of real and imagined threats and innuendo, that if the government publicized every potential threat, we'd be so overloaded with cries of "Wolf!" that we'd soon stop listening. Consider how much flak and ridicule Homeland Security has gotten for its color-coded alert status meter. If they can't get any respect after 9/11 in trying to keep people informed, who's to say anyone would've cared about boatloads of announcements before it?
Update: The media is covering one of the reports to Clinton on the potential for terror attack, but only the one easily hand-waved away. The 1999 report only dealt with personality profiles and what terrorists might be capable of doing. It was not based on uncovered evidence of them actually planning it. However, I've heard precious little about the 1995 discover of plans to crash planes into buildings, which would be much harder to defend against if no action was taken. And so far, nothing's been said about what action was taken, if any. So it's still a "both-or-neither" scenario.
Friday, May 17, 2002
It turns out, contrary to the claims of Democrats in Congress, that they did know the same things about Osama bin Laden's threats as President Bush, at least as early as July, 2001, according to a TV interview of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) back then. This prompted Ari Fleischer, the President's press secretary, to wonder aloud, "And that raises the question, what did the Democrats in Congress know. And why weren't they talking to each other?"
And CNN reported, one week after the terrorist attacks, that the FBI knew as far back as 1995 that plans existed for the hijacking of planes and slamming them into buildings. Potential targets included the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA, as well as buildings in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. According to the report, that information was given to the FBI but, "it's not clear what was done with it." So the Clinton administration knew about this 7 years ago and quite possibly sat on it. I found the link to that article on the Drudge Report. So let's see if the news media covers that angle with as much vigor as the attacks on Bush. (Hint: Hold not thy breath.)
Of course, don't expect Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) to consider either of these tidbits in her public outrage. She stands by her statement that the Bush administration was involved in some sort of "conspiracy of silence" about terrorist threats. (I would have to assume that Sen. Feinstein and President Clinton were involved in that "conspiracy" as well, no?) And do you really think Ms. McKinney would have smiled with joy if we had done some serious racial profiling at airports and emptied all tall office buildings in order to prevent bin Laden's guided missles from taking lives? Given the vague nature of what was known, and even if the exact dates, targets and MO were known, those types of measures would've been required to prevent the attacks. Cynthia doesn't like profiling now, and she wouldn't have approved of it then, but she sure does know how to may hay out of hindsight.
Selective memory is beginning to take hold on the Democrats.
Thursday, May 16, 2002
The President knew about an attack on Washington and New York by Osama bin Laden prior to September 11, 2001! A State Department spokesman for the Clinton administration said...excuse me? Oh, you thought I meant the current brouhaha about President Bush getting reports in August, 2001. Well, that's not hard to understand, given the short term memory of the press and the politicians, but consider this: In the archives of the Drudge Report, Matt relayed reports from TIME Magazine and the New York Times about similar threats from the Al Qaeda honcho at least as far back as December, 1998. But does anyone fault Bill Clinton personally for the US embassy bombings that occurred later? No, and for good reason. I'm quite sure that many terrorist attacks have been thwarted in the past by our intelligence folks that we never hear about, but sooner or later something's bound to break through the barrier.
If reports of bin Laden attacks against Washington and New York go back at least 3 years prior to September 11th, you should blame Clinton as well. If you insist on blaming President Bush, then it's a "both or neither" scenario. Hindsight doesn't count.
Should there be investigations into how our intelligence failed and find out how to make it better? Definitely! But keep an eye out for who blames what on whom, and it'll be easy to spot the political partisans from the fair-minded observers. My prediction is that the press and the Democrats (read: liberal elite) will be the ones with selective memory.
Larry Elder did his homework and answers some questions about the Second Amendment: "What did the founding fathers mean by 'militia'?" and "If the phrase 'the people' doesn't mean each individual person in the 2nd Amendment, what happens to that phrase in the rest of the Constitution?" and "What would James Madison have said?"
Monday, May 13, 2002
The National Center for Policy Analysis has a list of 15 Myths About Gun Control. (OK, it's a 10-year-old policy report, but I just bumped into it.) It really deconstructs the claims of the left about how gun control supposedly "works". I'd consider it required reading before entering the debate.
Sunday, May 12, 2002
Consider this quote: "Does this money, when it goes to the families of unwed mothers on welfare, tell another woman, 'Go have babies yourselves, and we will give your family money?' This is ridiculous."
Yet that is what has happened. In far too many instances, unwed mothers on welfare had more babies knowing that they could get more money, disregarding the children. And we thought that this made sense. Could there not have been a better way to provide for needy families than by the welfare system? Hard to know, since liberals treat welfare as some sacred cow.
I must admit, that quote is a bit fabricated. The actual quote, from Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, is:
"Does this money, when it goes to the families of the suicide bombers, tell another boy or girl, 'Go kill yourselves, and we will give your family money?' This is ridiculous."
Wonder how many liberals recognize a connection between Saudi government money and suicide bombers, but fail to see the same connection between U.S. government money and welfare babies. You get more of what what you pay for. It's as simple as that.
Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Consider this interesting take on 'pedophile priests'. David Kupelian tells us that the vast majority of the cases are not against pre-pubescent boys, but of older teenagers (which I alluded to earlier). Further, between 90 and 98 percent of those cases are against males. If the priests involved had the same heterosexual / homosexual mix as in the general population, wouldn't you expect that the ratio would be the exact opposite of what it is? Shouldn't we be hearing about 98% of the victims being girls?
Dave also makes a great case for the Boy Scouts in all of this. Aren't they in hot water over trying to prevent the very thing priests are being accused of? And do liberals arguing against both really not see the contradiction?
Monday, May 06, 2002
Hmmm, maybe if those priest hold out long enough, they'll be retroactively exhonorated. Dr. Laura Schlessinger points out that junk science and liberals with an agenda have fired the first major salvo in the new front on the culture war--accepting pedophilia as normal and, in fact, good for children.
When I used to debate on a local computer bulletin board about how "pushing the envelope" meant that after homosexuality was considered normal then pedophilia was next, I was taken to task for using extreme examples to try to make a point. That would never happen. Folks, when it comes to "liberal values" (oxymoron, I know), there is no extreme, except the eradication of values (read: "tolerance").