Archive for July, 2006

It’s crystal clear that Ned Lamont is creating alot of problems for the traditional left, especially amongst Jewish voters. That’s only one of the problems that a Lamont primary victory would pose.

“It does present a dilemma,” said Steve Grossman, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “If you consider yourself first and foremost part of the pro-Israel community, you will stick with Joe Lieberman,” said Grossman, who also is a past president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “If you’re so overwhelmingly convinced that ending the war as soon as possible is of paramount importance, I could understand why you would find Joe Lieberman a candidate you could no longer support.”

Would a Lamont primary victory tell traditionally loyal Jewish liberals that their issues just aren’t that important? Lamont has shown a definite disinterest in Israeli matters, barely mentioning Israel on his section about the Middle East.

Lamont’s campaign says he is focused on Israel. “Israel’s security is a topic that is very important to Ned,” said Liz Dupont-Diehl, the campaign’s communications director. “He has a lot of respect for Israel.” She said Lamont had met with a number of Jewish leaders, but Jewish officials say they haven’t sensed any outreach. “I don’t think he’s spoken out effectively to things the mainstream Jewish voters feel,” said Richard Greenfield, publisher of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger.

It’s apparent that Lamont doesn’t care about Jewish voters because he hasn’t reached out to them or shown any understanding of the issues nearest and dearest to them. That isn’t sending a hospitable message to Jewish voters whose biggest concern is the protection of Israel. You can bet that Mssrs. Rove and Mehlman are plotting how they’ll exploit that issue.

Another problem that a Lamont victory creates is a war between the anti-war extreme left and the more centrist DLC, who view each other as mortal enemies. This split has already doomed the Democratic presidential nominee, whoever that is. The nominee will have to be credible on national security issues, something that Democrats are seen as unserious on. The nominee will also have to cater a certain amount to the kook fringe base. We already see what that looks like because Hillary’s been trying to triangulate that mix for a year. She’s looked pathetic doing it.

Six years ago, Joe Lieberman camp up 538 votes short of being the Vice President of the United States. Now a bunch of purist ideologues are pronouncing him unfit to be their senator. Don’t think that won’t send a message to independents. That message is “Moderate and conservative Democrats need not apply.” There used to be such a thing as a ‘Scoop Jackson Democrat’. That group slowly became Reagan Democrats. As the nutty left grew in importance, that group, represented by Zell Miller, are slowly becoming Republicans.

Another problem that a Lamont victory brings to Democrats is that of a Democratic Party whose 2 newest potential senators are northeastern ultraliberals. Bernie Sanders is an admitted Socialist and Ned Lamont is beloved by the wacky left fringe of the Daily Kos and That duo couldn’t find the mainstream of American politics if their lives depended on it. Rest assured that Mr. Rove is waiting to tell America just how out of touch Mssrs. Lamont and Sanders are.

It’s worth noting that a Lamont victory is already sowing seeds of contempt in the Jewish community:

“The people who are doing this have no concern for Israel or issues of concern to the Jewish community,” said Dr. Ben Chouake, president of Norpac, a nonpartisan, New Jersey-based political action committee. “This is an example of an extreme left that really is looking to put a scalp on their wall to show that they have power.”

Dr. Chouake certainly sounds like he doesn’t much like the bunch. I’m certain that he isn’t alone. It’s obvious that they feel powerless because a fired up bunch of extremists have hijacked a party that once cared about being Israel’s ally.

That party is gone for all intents and purposes.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Friday, Warren Christopher wrote one of the most insulting op-eds in history. The good news is that Bill Kristol wrote a brilliant counterpoint article to rebut Christopher.

Christopher: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s just-concluded trip to Lebanon, Israel and Rome was an exercise in grace, bravery and, to my regret, wrongly focused diplomacy. Especially disappointing is the fact that she resisted all suggestions that the first order of business should be negotiation of an immediate cease-fire between the warring parties.

Kristol: First, “an immediate cease-fire must take priority, with negotiations on longer-term arrangements to follow.” In other words, the fact that one of the warring parties is a state that had withdrawn from occupied territory and was scrupulously complying with its obligations, and the other is a terror group that was arming itself to the teeth and killing and kidnapping citizens of a neighboring country, is irrelevant.

The term for Christopher’s approach is appeasement, which is based on moral equivalence. As Mr. Kristol notes, thinking that Hezbollah and Israel both have legitimate and equal gripes is insulting. Christopher’s approach amounts to telling Israel that they don’t have a right to defend themselves against terrorists who don’t think twice about killing innocent civilians. Christopher’s approach should be rejected by anyone with a sense of morality.

Christopher: Second, if a cease-fire is the goal, (ed. it shouldn’t be.) the United States has an indispensable role to play. A succession of Israeli leaders has turned to us, and only us, when they have concluded that retaliation for Hezbollah attacks has become counterproductive. (editor’s translation: Israeli leaders have started negotiating after the Clinton State Department has abandoned them.)

Kristol: The highlighting of U.S. indispensability is a (moderately clever) way of disguising the fact that Christopher wants the United States to yield in its view of the Middle East conflict to the Europeans and the United Nations. What does U.S. indispensability mean to Warren Christopher?
That only we can muscle the Israelis into an agreement, and that “the Europeans are unlikely to participate in a multinational enforcement action until the United States commits to putting its own troops on the ground.” In other words, what is indispensable is not a distinctively American view of the situation or the exercise of American leadership. It is helping the international community to impose an evenhanded settlement on Israel and Hezbollah.

Christopher’s approach is all about accepting the ‘European perspective’, which amounts to saying that Israel shouldn’t be killing terrorists because the terrorists are victims of Israel’s aggression. Kristol’s approach amounts to telling the terrorists that we accept Israel’s right to defend itself.

At the end of the day, Kristol’s is the only moral approach to the matter and to terrorism.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

That’s Andy McCarthy’s opinion of the Seattle murder rampage yesterday. Here’s part of Andy’s post:

A Muslim man walks into not just any building in Seattle, not even just any identifiably Jewish location in Seattle, but into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, whose mission since 1926, according to the website it maintains, is to “ensure Jewish survival and to enhance the quality of Jewish life locally, in Israel and worldwide.”
The Muslim man has obviously not only carefully chosen the target but cased the place. There’s a security system, so he waits until someone attached to the Federation enters using her access code, then he pounces, forcing his way through the open door. He brandishes a large caliber, semi-automatic handgun. He announces that he’s a Muslim angry at Israel. Then he randomly, wantonly opens fire, shooting six women, one of whom is pregnant, one of whom is killed.
So what happens? The police don’t even want to admit that he’s Muslim (“You could infer that,” the police chief tells the reporters who press this patently relevant question). And the FBI insists it’s not terrorism.
Now, it could not conceivably be more clear that it is terrorism. If the FBI is saying they can’t link him to any known terrorist group, that doesn’t mean it’s not terrorism. It’s too early in the investigation to have run down whether the guy has ties to known groups; even if he doesn’t, not all terrorism is committed by known groups (sometimes the acts of terror are how we get to know them); and even if he is acting alone, federal law recognizes the concept of lone-wolf terrorism. It is terrorism because it is a sneak attack, in this case against civilians, which is motivated by a purpose to affect government policy and/or further a political/social/religious cause. The shooter was not there to rob the register or kill someone he knew over some private dispute.

It sounds like he simply hated Jews and that he acted on that hate, which sounds like terrorism to me. Mr. McCarthy is right on the money in highlighting this fundamentalist mindset to everyone. Strip away all the peripheral issues (According to Hugh, the Agenda Media has picked up on his “history of mental” issues.) and it’s still obvious that we’re dealing with a terroristic mindset.

Just because they haven’t identified a group that he’s with doesn’t mean that he isn’t associated with a terrorist group.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Career politicians like Mike Hatch and Amy Klobuchar should know what CAIR represents, making it puzzling that they’d participate, along with Matt Entenza, Walter Mondale & R.T. Rybak, in this CAIR event:

“This is kind of our once a year opportunity for speaking about ourselves and letting people know who we are,” said Hesham Hussein, the group’s president. But the convention, “Nurturing a Muslim American Generation,” also gives Muslims a chance to get to know each other, he said, and to learn how to become activists, working on issues of importance to the Muslim community.
They’ll get advice on political participation from former Vice President Walter Mondale, Attorney General Mike Hatch, Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Rep. Matt Entenza, D-St. Paul, minority leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Mr. Hussein saying that they want others to “know who we are” is laughable. I’d believe him if he said that they wanted others to learn about their public image as opposed to who they are.
The CAIR press release says that they got “advice on political participation from former Vice President Walter Mondale, Attorney General Mike Hatch, Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Rep. Matt Entenza” so let’s find out what political things they’re involved in:

CAIR-NET: Rally for Lebanon and Palestine Aug. 12 in DC

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/28/06) – CAIR today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to join the thousands of people expected to take part in the August 12th National Emergency March on Washington to protest Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and Gaza.

Hundreds of organizations, including CAIR, have endorsed the August 12 rally, which was initiated by the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism), the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA) and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. Other rallies will take place in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle for those who cannot travel to Washington, D.C. A similar ANSWER Coalition rally in 2002 drew 100,000 protesters in support of Palestinian rights.

The clear intent of that first paragraph is to absolve Hezbollah of any blame in the killing of Lebanese civilians while placing blame for those deaths on Israel’s military, which is as intellectually dishonest as anything I’ve ever read. Hezbollah embeds themselves with civilians so that Israel is forced to either kill civilians while they’re killing terrorists or to not kill terrorists. It’s a win-win situation for the terrorists.

That’s who Democratic politicians are getting involved with when they speak at a CAIR or ANSWER event. Do we want politicians associating themselves with terrorist-sympathizing organizations like CAIR? I certainly don’t.

Voters should take into account that Ms. Klobuchar & Mr. Hatch chose to speak with CAIR & that they apparently either didn’t know what CAIR was about or they knew and spoke with them anyway.

Ms. Klobuchar’s appearance is especially disturbing in light of this Strib article. Here’s what the Strib article said:

GOP candidate Mark Kennedy and DFL candidate Amy Klobuchar agree that Israel has the right to use massive force against Hezbollah and a right to create a buffer zone in southern Lebanon. Both also support the Bush administration’s opposition to an immediate cease-fire before Israel has accomplished its goals.

Ms. Klobuchar should be asked whether (a) she sided with CAIR in officially blaming Israel for the outbreak of violence or (b) whether she agrees with Israel’s attacks on the terrorist strongholds or if (c) she supports Israel in public and CAIR away from the public eye.

Demanding voters want to know.

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It’s time that John Murtha came clean and showed us who he represents. In the past, people refered to Murtha as a “Democratic hawk”, something that I didn’t totally buy into. I certainly don’t buy into it anymore.

Still, it’s worth noting that Murtha got a -2 rating from Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel for 2003-2004. A -2 rating is roughly a D- or an F. Here’s how VoteSmart worded it:

2003-2004 Based on a point system, with points assigned for actions in support of or in opposition to Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel’s position, Representative Murtha received a rating of -2.

The ‘parent’ organization for Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel is United for Peace & Justice, which advocates, among other things, getting us out of Iraq. Immediately. Here’s their official position on Iraq:

1. Bring the U.S. troops home now.

2. Iraqi sovereignty must be reestablished immediately.

3. The Iraqi people, not foreigners, should make the decisions about the future of their country, including security. Iraqis should decide the structure of their economy and control Iraq’s reconstruction. The corporate invasion of Iraq must be ended and the privatizations laws passed under the occupation repealed. Labor and human rights should also be guaranteed.

4. The United States should pay for the reconstruction of and reparations to Iraq, in accordance with international law.

5. The United Nations and other international organizations should refuse to endorse or collaborate with the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But once the U.S. ends its occupation, if representative sectors of Iraqi society invite it, the UN, backed by other international bodies such as the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, should help the Iraqis establish mechanisms through which to choose their own leaders and reclaim sovereign control of their own country.

Let’s fast forward to November 17, 2005. Let’s remember John Murtha’s press release from that day:

Staying the course in Iraq is not an option or a policy. I believe we must begin discussions for an immediate re-deployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. I believe it can be accomplished in as little as six months but it must be consistent with the safety of U.S. troops. We must insist that the Iraqis step up and seize their own destiny.
The public is way ahead of Congress and is thirsting for a new direction. Over 70% of the responses I have received are in favor of my re-deployment plan. The public knows this war cannot be won with words. Most agree the insurgency cannot be won militarily. The Iraqis themselves must be the driving force. Yet we have lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. America wants and DESERVES real answers: What is the clear definition of success? Is there a plan? How much longer and how many more lives? In short, what is the end game?
Aside from the fact that the original plan to win the peace was flawed, two and a half years later, the indices that would determine the ultimate success of a stable Iraq have not improved. Electricity and oil production are below pre-war levels, unemployment remains at 60% and insurgent incidents have increased from 150 to over 700 per week. Average monthly death rates of U.S. service members have grown since the Abu Ghraib prison incidents from 1 per day to almost 4. Despite the addition of MORE troops, MORE equipment and MORE money, Iraq and the region have become LESS stable over time. Global terrorism has risen. What is MORE of the same going to do for Iraq or the region?
Some claim the answer is to put even more troops on the ground, but many of our troops are already on their third deployment, our Army cannot recruit to its current target, even as they lower recruiting standards. We cannot do this without a draft.
My plan calls for a more rapid turnover of Iraq to the Iraqi people. General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing, “the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.” We have become a catalyst for violence. A recent poll showed that 80% of the Iraqi public are “strongly opposed” to the presence of coalition troops and 45% believe attacks against Americans are justified.
The Iraqis are a smart and proud people. They must take control of their country. My plan motivates the Iraqis to take control, sooner rather than later.

Notice the breathtaking similarities between UFPJ’s official position and Murtha’s ‘immediate redeployment’ proposal.

UFPJ: 1. Bring the U.S. troops home now.
I believe we must begin discussions for an immediate re-deployment of U.S. forces from Iraq.

UFPJ: 2. Iraqi sovereignty must be reestablished immediately.
Murtha: We must insist that the Iraqis step up and seize their own destiny.

UFPJ: 3. The corporate invasion of Iraq must be ended and the privatizations laws passed under the occupation repealed.
From Murtha’s Press Conference:

All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free, free from a United States occupation.

UFPJ: 5. The United Nations and other international organizations should refuse to endorse or collaborate with the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Murtha: I said two year ago, “The key to progress in Iraq is Iraqitize, internationalize and energize.”

This isn’t to say that Murtha’s done anything illegal. He’s entitled to his opinions. My point is that Murtha went from disagreeing with an anti-war organization all the time to agreeing with that anti-war group’s parent organization like they were writing his press releases. This raises troubling questions like:

Why would Murtha accept as fact that the US is an occupier? Why would he think that “the international community” would help the Iraqi people when they haven’t helped in the rebuilding thus far? Why does Murtha think that immediately pulling our troops from Iraq would make Iraq safer? Does he think that Saddam’s thugs will stop their attempted ‘hostile takeover’ if we leave?

This information raises the question what other policy ramifications this might have if Murtha becomes the House Majority Leader. UFPJ’s position on Iran is troubling at best:

United for Peace and Justice opposes any military action against Iran, as well as covert action and sanctions. We reject the doctrine of “preventive war.” All diplomatic solutions must be pursued.

Does Murtha support their position on Iran? God help us if he does. Based on how totally he’s accepted their position on Iraq, I can’t rule it out that he’d oppose any action on Iran except endless ‘negotiations’ with Iran until they develop a nuclear weapon capability.

Here’s UFPJ’s view of the Israeli-Hezbollah war:

We condemn Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli civilians, and we condemn the Israeli assault in Gaza and Lebanon. We also see the vast differences in the scope and scale of these actions. As the French Foreign Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, described it, Hezbollah’s seizure of the soldiers and firing rockets into northern Israel were “irresponsible acts”; Israel’s bombing of the Beirut international airport was “a disproportionate act of war.”

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy is wrong: “Hezbollah’s seizure of the soldiers and firing rockets into northern Israel” weren’t “irresponsible acts”. They were acts of war. Does Murtha agree with UFPJ on that, too?

George Bush is giving a green light to Israel’s use of force, which is being conducted in part with U.S.-supplied weapons. The Bush administration’s trampling of international law and national sovereignty in its war on Iraq has also emboldened Israel to disregard international condemnation of its behavior.

Based on this quote from UFPJ’s website, it’s obvious that they think that George Bush is a war criminal and that Israel’s ignoring of the international community’s condemnation for its behavior is unacceptable. Israel has every right to ignore the international community’s condemnation, especially if they abandon Israel when Israel is attacked by international terrorists.

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Minority leaders Reid & Pelosi issued a joint statement on a ‘bold, new direction’ for the country. Let’s get started with the fisking:

With the country at a crossroads, facing an historic choice between the status quo and a change in course, House and Senate Democrats today joined together to call for a New Direction for America. After years of paying the price for a Congress that has favored the special interests and enduring the failed leadership and incompetent policies of Republicans in Washington, the American people have had enough, and they want change.

Isn’t it impossible to travel in a new direction when the people who’d chair the committees have been serving in the House for half a century?

Nobody can take the ‘New Direction’ slogan seriously knowing that fossiles like John Conyers, Charlie Rangel, John Dingell, Pete Stark & Henry Waxman would chair the committees. Fossiles like Conyers, Dingell, Rangel, Stark, Waxman & Murtha are the poster children for the status quo.

Republican incompetence has put our national security in doubt and left our troops at risk.

What a pair of BS’ers. Nobody in their right mind thinks that Republicans have endangered Americans’ lives with their foreign policy beliefs. On the other hand, it’s easy to point to John Murtha’s detrimental effects on our war effort. The landscape is littered with his defeatist, almost-scandalous statements.

Failed economic polices have left the middle class working harder while making less, unable to afford the rising cost of health care, college tuition, and gasoline.

Tax increases would make life easier on the middle class? Supporting outrageous budgeting processes at colleges will slow the rate of growth in college tuition? Blocking the building of more refining capacity won’t decrease the price of gasoline. Nor will blocking the building of nuclear power plants. It’s indicative of Democrats’ thinking that Pelosi and Reid think that their poll-tested slogan will hide a plethora of disastrous policies.

“Millions of Americans across the country have had enough,” said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today.

The only thing that “Americans across the country have had enough” of is whiny liberals telling them that the nation is going to hell in a handbasket.

“They’re tired of coming in second to Big Oil, Big Drug Companies and the radical right. They’re tired of been ignored by this Do Nothing Republican Congress, while their everyday problems only grow worse.”

I haven’t noticed a massive groundswell of people who are “tired of been ignored by this Do Nothing Republican Congress”, much less people who think that “their everyday problems only grow worse.”

“They want a new direction, and with Democrats, they’re going to get it.”

That’s the last thing they’ll get. We already know that a Democratic House will mean impeachment proceedings against President Bush over a policy disagreement. We already know that we’d see an open borders, no enforcement immigration policy.

We will unite America behind an agenda that works for all, a change in course in Iraq, affordable health care, a stronger middle class, and a belief in science and medical research. It’s time for a New Direction, and it starts today.”

So now Dean, Pelosi, Reid and Murtha are the great uniters? Right.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Nancy Pelosi issued another statement, this time stating that the “Republican record on border security” is “a ‘catastrophic failure.'”

“Once again, Republicans are touting their record on border security in which they do not have a single accomplishment and have failed miserably. For five years, the Republican Congress failed to secure our borders and has repeatedly underfunded the border patrol.”

It’s true that Republicans haven’t secured our borders but it’s equally true that Democrats have been willing accomplices in not securing the Mexican border. Here’s just one example:

Virtually all Democrats were joined by the chamber’s lone independent and 28 Republicans in opposing Mr. Session’s amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Only two Democrats, Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, supported funding the fence.

I know that Pelosi can’t control what Senate Democrats do but the point is that I’d doubt that she’d oppose Ted Kennedy’s idea of immigration reform.

Ms. Pelosi, If Democrats capture the majority in the House, are we to understand that you’d direct John Conyers to take up a strong enforcement-first immigration bill on the first day of the new Congress? Or would you give him permission to start impeachment proceedings> Would you tell Ted Kennedy to back off his spineless, no-enforcement bill? Or would you agree with him on an ‘open borders’ type of ‘immigration reform’ bill? I suspect that you’d choose the ‘Kennedy Option’.

It’s time that the Democrats didn’t try disguising a laundry list of complaints against Republicans as an agenda.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

That’s the title of David Broder’s latest column. Since I’m an honest man, I can’t call it must reading. Here’s a taste of the article:

My weekend visitor was one of the founders of the postwar Republican Party in the South, one of those stubborn men who challenged the Democratic rule in his one-party state. He was conservative enough that in the great struggle for the 1952 nomination, his sympathies were with Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio, not Dwight D. Eisenhower. He has lived long enough to see Republicans elected as senator and governor of his state and to see a Republican from the Sun Belt behemoth of Texas capture the White House. His profession won’t let him speak with his name attached, but he is sadly disillusioned.
“My wife was thrilled by the veto” Bush administered last week to the bill expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, because she shares the president’s belief that those clumps of cells destroyed in the research process represent human life. “I thought it was stupid,” he said. “I know too many people who are like this”, and he shook his hands like a victim of Parkinson’s disease, “and their only hope of a cure is in stem cells. Now Bush is forcing that science to move overseas.”
He went on: “How the hell long can they refuse to raise the minimum wage?” He was furious, he said, with the Republican leaders of Congress who keep blocking bills to raise the minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for years. “I’m a conservative,” he said, “but they make me sound like a damned liberal the way they act. They spend like fools, they run up the deficits and they refuse to give a raise to the working people who are struggling. How the hell are you supposed to live on $5.15 an hour these days? If it wasn’t for Pelosi,” he said, “I’d just as soon the Democrats take over this fall. Get some checks and balances and teach these guys a lesson.”

It sounds like the rantings of another misinformed blueblood RINO. At least he condemns Pelosi, which is about the only positive I found about him.

Broder brings this up to suggest that Republicans will stay home, giving Democrats a strong shot at retaking the House. Broder couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the GOP will gain seats in the House this year. In fact, Nancy Pelosi will contribute to the GOP retaining control of the House:

Pelosi coming to MN to raise $ for Wetterling

Patty Wetterling’s campaign manager Corey Day says U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, will hold a fundraiser for Wetterling on August third. Wetterling, a DFLer, is running against Republican Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. Bachmann brought in some high profile fundraisers of her own in the past month. They include Vice President Dick Cheney, White House political director Karl Rove and House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

This will be a disaster for Wetterling. There aren’t a hundred people in the Sixth District that think highly of Pelosi. If I were Patty Wetterling, I’d treat Pelosi like she’s radioactive. I wouldn’t be within fifty miles of her.

It’s official now that John Murtha will be campaigning for 41 House candidates while he loses his seat in PA-12. How on God’s green earth anyone can think that Murtha isn’t delusional or a fool is beyond me after this:

Murtha says he thinks such a race is likely and told The Hill that if the election were held now Democrats would be catapulted into the majority. “If it was today, we’d win 50 seats,” he said, adding that Democratic strategists have assessed the field of competitive races in which they think he can help.

This isn’t the first time that he’s made that prediction, though it’s still just as stupid as the first time.

“In 41 seats they think I can help,” he said. “They’ve got it narrowed.” Murtha said he plans to campaign in all of them. He also said, “I’m going to where Nancy sends me,” referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

I can believe that they’ve “narrowed it.” In fact, that’s something that I’m predicting. In 2004, Kerry kept pulling ad buys in states as his electoral chances dwindled. They’ll do that this year too because the majority of voters in America’s heartland don’t relate to Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha or Howard Dean.

I first became aware of the spreading discontent on the right in visiting with people in the church social hall after the funeral this spring for Lyn Nofziger, Ronald Reagan’s longtime press spokesman and adviser. The comments about the Bush White House people, who were notable by their absence at the service, startled me. But since then I have heard the refrain over and over: They never reached out to us. They never thought they needed our help. Now they’re in trouble. To hell with them.

It’s the ‘inside-the-Beltway’ bluebloods that don’t like the transformational policies of the Bush administration. Big deal.

Whether or not the complaints are justified, they are epidemic. They are often accompanied, as they were in the case of my weekend visitor, by the comment that everything the White House does seems to be aimed at pleasing only one section of the Republican coalition, the religious right.

Broder needs to get out into the heartland because he’s convinced himself that the Washington, DC GOP is the majority. Broder also needs to read Glenn Reynolds’ An Army of Davids. Politics are driven now by the activists, not the bureaucrats.

It’s also disappointing to hear Broder believe the canard that the Bush administration caters only to the Religious Right. It’s stupid to think that that’s accurate. If the Bush administration only cared about the Religious Right, then the GOP would be a minority party.

But the dissent threatens Republican chances of avoiding a major defeat in the midterm elections. Andrew Kohut’s survey for the respected Pew Research Center last month found Democrats far more motivated to vote this year than Republicans.

So what? Democrats were highly motivated to defeat Brian Billbray in the CA-50 special election. Francine Busby still lost. Now she’s trailing Billbray for this fall’s regular election by 10+ points.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Simply put, the Twins just played too good to be beat this series. The Twins were led Wednesday by Justin Morneau’s & the bullpen’s stellar performance. The only noticeable blemish on the bullpen’s record today was Rob Mackowiak’s seventh inning homer off Brooklyn Center native Pat Neshek. That was the second hit allowed by Neshek & the first run he’s allowed.

Justin Morneau’s improvement has been dramatic to say the least. With the Twins leading 2-0 in the third, the Twins seemed on the verge of wasting a leadoff triple by Luis Castillo. Nick Punto hit a sharp grounder to second on the first pitch to him. Then Mike Redmond lined out to Jermaine Dye. In years past, Twins fans would’ve expected Morneau to get outclassed by a quality southpaw like Mark Buerhle. This year, we’ve come to expect positive things from Justin. Just like clockwork, he delivered a two-out, run-scoring single to left.

Unfortunately, Twins’ starter Carlos Silva couldn’t make that lead stick giving up three runs in the bottom of the fourth on Dye’s two-run HR & a run-scoring single by Joe Crede. Suddenly, Commiskey was rocking again & the hometown announcers were smelling a comeback to salvage something from the series.

That feeling didn’t last long. Redmond laced a one out double down the left field line before Buerhle got Michael Cuddyer. At this point, Buerhle & Ozzie Guillen combined to lose the game. With first base open, they chose to face Morneau instead of intentionally walking him. Justin made them pay on the first pitch, hitting a belt high fastball that caught too much of the plate almost 440 feet. BBTN’s John Kruk surmised that, had there not been a stiff wind blowing in from right field, Justin’s shot might’ve left the stadium entirely.

A startling statistic showed that the Twins’ 7-8-9 hitters hit .459 for the series. Another noteworthy statistic for today was that the Twins’ bullpen gave up 1 run on three hits today while striking out 5 hitters over 4 innings. For the series, the Twins’ bullpen gave up 3 runs on 7 hits with 8 K’s over 9 innings.

A good contrast of the teams came in the Chicago second & Twins third. Chicago started their second with back-to-back hits, leaving Konerko at third with no outs. Former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzinski bounced a grounder down the third base line that Nick Punto made a nice stab on. Konerko had committed a careless baserunning mistake by attempting to score. Punto’s throw to Redmond nailed Konerko by 20 feet. Konerko should’ve waited for the ball to clear the infield. Of course, the next Chicago hitter hit a long fly to left, which would’ve scored Konerko. With two out & runners on the corners, Mackowiak lined out to left.

Contrast that with how the Twins capitalized on Castillo’s leadoff triple. Yes, it took a two-out hit but they got the run home.

As you know, I’m an opinionated man. I’m ready to share another opinion with you & that’s this: This Twins team is good enough to win it all this season. This team’s got a ton of intangibles. They’ve got a deep, talented bullpen. Their defense is solid most of the time & spectacular the rest of the time. No hitter in their right mind wants to face Liriano & Santana. No pitcher in his right mind wants to face Mauer or Morneau. Cuddyer, Castillo, Bartlett, Punto and company are tough outs who’ve exceled at getting clutch hits the past 7 weeks.

There’s nothing in the NL that comes close to scaring me. The Tigers are the closest thing to a scary team in the AL other than the Twins.

The Yankees won tonight but that’s only because they didn’t have to face a quality bullpen. Instead, they erased a 4-2 deficit with a 4 run inning in the eighth against Texas’ setup man, only to fall behind 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth before getting a homer against Texas’ closer to win it in the top of the ninth. Had they faced the Twins, they would’ve gotten a heavy dose of Juan Rincon & Joe Nathan & they likely wouldn’t have scored in either inning.

I’ve also got to say that the Yankees’ defense is awful, with Giambi at first, ARod at third & with an aging outfield that covers about a third of the ground that the Twins outfield does. Nobody in their outfield has a reliable throwing arm, either.

Their pitching staff is mediocre at best when anyone other than Mike Mussina or Mariano Rivera is pitching. Randy Johnson’s been a dominant pitcher in the past but he’s having a mediocre year by every measure.

The Red Sox are a better team but only because they’ve got Josh Beckett & Curt Schilling in their rotation. They’re a nice team defensively but hardly the defensive team that the Tigers & Twins are. They’ve also got Jonathan Papelbon to close games for them. They don’t have much range in the infield or outfield, though, which costs you runs in the playoffs.

Twins fans should start making plans for watching baseball late into October. It’s that simple.

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Writing with his wife, Dick Morris has written a must read article for the Hill Magazine. Here’s the comparison he makes:

Ten years ago, on April 18, 1996, Israel attacked Hezbollah in Lebanon for 16 days in an operation called Grapes of Wrath. The global condemnation of Israel was fierce, especially when it bombed a U.N. refugee camp, killing 107 people, an attack that Tel Aviv said was a mistake. At the time, the United States did nothing to stop the tide from turning against Israel and President Clinton said, “I think it is important that we do everything we can to bring an end to the violence.”

Fast forward to today:

Clinton’s willingness to use American power to force a cease-fire on Israel before it had fully eradicated Hezbollah stands in stark and sharp contrast to George Bush’s insistence on letting Israel proceed with its attacks until the terrorist group is neutralized.

There’s clearly a different mindset between the Bush and Clinton administrations. Clinton’s preference was to deal with the immediate things and ‘kick the can down the road’ on anything longterm. President Bush loathes leaving things for others. He holds fast and deals with root causes. That’s a big part of why his approval ratings aren’t as high as Clinton’s. In the end, though, history will rate President Bush as the more consequential president.

While Clinton said he embraced the need for Israeli security, when the going got rough, he bowed to world opinion and called for a cease-fire. When the United States asks Israel to stop fighting, it is like a boxer’s manager throwing in the towel.

Some ally, huh?

It is really the Christian evangelical right that stands up for Israel. The reason Israel has to fight in Lebanon today is that the United States did not permit it to finish the job of destroying Hezbollah in the ’90s. Now, fortunately for Israel’s true friends, the White House is letting Tel Aviv win without reining her in.


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Cross-posted at California Conservative