My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Heading Out

Off to the nation's capitol in the morning, and for the next several days. I will attempt to blog while gone, but I'm not exactly counting on it.

To keep up to date, visit my friends in the RMAB--links over there, to the right. Have a nice week.

Colorado Senate News

Ben and Jonathan have a lively discussion going on the day's news in the Coors-Schaffer race. Give them a look . . .

Even read their comments to each other. If you have the stomach for happy endings.

Kidding, guys.


The Toricelli Option??

According to RCP and the Sun-Times, Jack Ryan will pull out of the Illinois Senate Race.

Within the article is the key info to solving the dilemma I blogged about last night:
The deadline to put a name on the ballot is Aug. 27. The difference in New Jersey was that Toricelli pulled out of the race after the deadline, and Lautenburg's name was put on the ballot in direct contravention of the election guidelines set up by the duly elected state legislature.

That problem solved, I sure hope the GOP bench is deep in Illinois. It would be nice to get that one back to competitive.

Al Gore and his Amazing Timing

Never mind the absurdities of the whole speech, which border on insanity. What struck me was the well-thought out accusation about "brown-shirted" enforcers for the President.

So today I'm searching the news coverage for signs of the American SS at the opening of Michael Moore's movie. Not that they're going to get in the way--probably just taking names and digital photos of people entering the theater.

Honestly, does Al Gore really believe this crap or he just trying to stay in the news in some desperate way. To accuse the President of Nazi-like media manipulation on the day the most hateful anti-Bush propoganda tool enters the theaters is on a par with "There are no Americans at our airport. There are no Americans in Baghdad. We have run them off in shame."

Oh, I get it. Al Gore is auditioning for the role of chief spokesperson for. . .who? who needs someone capable of inane falsehood to cover ineptitude?. . . How about Kofi Annan? The UN could use a shameless spokesperson right about now.

Senate Thoughts

Other members of the RMA (see list, right) have knowledgeable and insightful posts on the state of the GOP primary race here in Colorado. My quick take, which is admittedly neither knowledgeable nor insightful, is that both candidates played to their stereotypes in the debate yesterday: Coors, amiable but not quite ready for prime-time, and Schaffer (particularly with the Martin thing) quite capable but personable like a porcupine.

But there are other important Senate races out there to keep our eyes on--Illinois, for one. Sure, part of my interest is that it seems every time Jack Ryan gets mentioned on TV we get treated to a picture of his ex-wife, the lovely Jeri Ryan (who first came to my attention (an understatement)as seven-of-nine in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). And sure, the whole thing seems quite tawdry now.

The problem is, if as RCP is now speculating, Jack Ryan is likely to pull out of this race at this point, how close are the parallels to the Toricelli fiasco of two years ago? I thought it was absurd and shameful what the Democrats did, with complicity from a friend on the bench, to circumvent clearly written intentions of the legislature with regard to elections. Now, I will admit to not knowing Illinois campaign laws (something about vote early, and vote often, I think. . .) but would Jack Ryan pulling out or being pulled out at this point be in any way similar to the New Jersey situation? I only ask because, you know, it wasn't looking like he was headed for a win, anyway, so if his pulling out doesn't stink of Dem style politicking, I say hit the road, Ja. . . Yeah. Not gonna finish that one.


Making An Argument

I did something risky tonight: I talked politics with a friend and neighbor who I knew was a Democrat.

We had them over to dinner because they're going to be watching the house while we go on vacation in the next few weeks, and we had to show them around. I had no intention of bringing it up, because I remembered the "Mike Feeley for Congress" sign in their front yard two years ago. However, the she of them started railing haphazardly against Bush and "all Republicans", to which my wife answered "where does that leave us, because we're both Republicans" and the conversation started.

I was, all the while, cognizant of being a good-natured debater while not letting plain facts slip by. For instance, she lauded the relative peace and prosperity of the Clinton years, and longed for that time, but had no answer for the fact that Clinton let bin Laden slip away on at least three occasions. She also went on a tangent about how the rich (Kobe Bryant) get away with lying and rape because they have wealth and power, but was willing to ignore that Bill Clinton lied under oath. She voiced concerns about Americans dying all over the middle east, but was unwilling to deal with the reality that the choice is between trained and equiped American soldiers dying in the middle east or women and children dying in the streets of Denver.

Ultimately, she got around to her big point, which is health care (she works in a hospital). She cited a case of one abdominal surgery--necessary--for which the bill was almost $20,000. A steep price, to be sure. She used that as evidence that the health care system needs dramatic reform, and that as long as Republicans are beholden to HMOs there will never be adequate health care in this country. I asked a simple question: how much of that $20k actually goes to the doctor and the facility? She said very little. Where does it all go? Damned insurance companies. And where from there? Lawyers.

Do you think we're ever going to have adequate health care in this country until we get serious tort reform? And who is talking about that? It sure as hell isn't the Democrats.

That seemed to be the end of the conversation. Her husband, for his part, is pretty reasonable--he has objections to the President, but understands that this is wartime, that things are pretty serious, and this is a pretty good team to be dealing with the world right now.

And, for her part, she was very happy to agree to disagree, and we had a very pleasant evening after that. I know that I probably did not break through to pursuade her to my point of view, but I feel that I argued fairly and accurately with respect to facts, but pleasantly and in a way that wasn't "mean-spirited" or "rancorous." That was my goal. I know I didn't reach her, but maybe I made enough points to get her husband thinking seriously, and that struck me as a victory.

I don't know. I think the battle of ideas can be won pleasantly and without making enemies of adversaries. That's what I'm going to strive to do in the next five months, and I hope it has some positive effect.

Clinton Coverage

I have not bothered to sit through a single interview of Bill Clinton in the last four days.

But I have been watching the coverage of the Clinton Memories Tour, and one thing strikes me: everything seems to be about Lewinsky. Sure, he takes shots at a lot of different opponents, and rails on Ken Starr, and self-congratulates himself a lot. But the highlight reels of the interviews are full of Lewinsky.

Which indicates one of two things to me. Given that the interviews have all been by persons quite friendly to the former President and his political positions, they must have made the calculated decision that this is the easier topic. His friends would rather ask about Lewinsky because that's a PR battle he's already won, and it means he doesn't have to face real questions. Questions like Mark Rich, like why he named Saddam a threat and didn't do anything about him, why he didn't pursue bin Laden with all the resources available to him, like the Chinese fundraising goofiness. Much rather focus on Lewinsky--easy win.

Or. . .it could be an indicator of just what an accomplishment-less presidency Bill Clinton presided over. If the main thing that lasts out of the 90s was the Lewinsky story, then Bill Clinton is going down in history as nothing more than a capable steward of the economy. And that's just got to drive him nuts.

I think, in the long run, he severely miscalculated the effectiveness of this book as a means of rehabilitating his image. Probably should have waited another 20 years.


Kerry In Town

I had hoped to get down to the rally today--not as a participant on either side, but more to satisfy a sort of journalistic curiosity. However, between the weather, the confusion about the starting time, and a general fatigue over the work of the last week, I decided to skip it.

Good thing, too. Even if my window of opportunity had allowed me to go down at 3 instead of at 1, I note that the guest of honor did not bother to show up until 4:30! Not that the supporters minded a bit, but that is part and parcel of the arrogance of John Kerry--his time is more important than anybody else's.

I did note on the coverage on the news that both Gary Hart and Frederico Pena were present, along with many other 'dignitaries.' And as 9News ran his opening comments, I couldn't help but repeat to myself "This guy is as dull as drywall." I even noticed that one of the people directly behind him on the podium was neither cheering nor smiling during the speech.

As to the substance of his speech, that got little coverage. But his theme this week seems to be that the Federal government is best equipped to do medical research, and it should devote more resources to it. Benhas a pretty good argument on his site about the efficacy of embryonic stem cell research, so I won't go in to that. But I do think it rather ironic that Kerry is making the case for government to do major research on the same day the the first private astronaut takes flight. To quote (or paraphrase) a former head of the National Institute Health, "If the federal government had been in charge of finding a cure for polio, we would have the best iron lung money could buy, but no cure."

Which brings me to today's optimism: as proven by the intrepid crew of SpaceShipOne, the American people, and the American people alone, are capable of extraordinary feats of both research and development. Government should do its best to get the heck out of the way of the people. Which is why I am beginning to come around to the idea that this November's election won't be as close as some are saying it will be: the people are a heck of a lot smarter that the punditry give them credit for. This country would never put John Kerry in charge of defending them, no matter how much they may disagree with small policy points of the President's.

Add to that Kerry's tree-like qualities on the stump, and I think thes election may not be all that close (recent polls notwithstanding).


Out On A Limb

What does John Kerry need in a running mate? Somebody who shores up his national security credentials, certainly; ideally, also someone who could energize a segment of his base and maybe have a certain regional strength that turns a soft Bush state into a battleground or a battleground into a Kerry state. On top of that, an energetic and capable campaigner, with national experience, who could lend some weight to the campaign.

At the same time, if he could pick someone that might help his party pick up a Senate seat, then all the better.

Does that sound like anyone we know?

I'm not going so far as to predict this, but. . . [trumpets sound] don't be too surprised to hear the name Gary Hart bounced around soon.

Hmmm. . .and isn't John Kerry going to be in Hart's backyard sometime soon?

For that matter, whatever happened to Federico Pena? Sure, he doesn't help on security, but he brings the other credentials.

A Slam From An Unusual Source

The Washington Post wrote an unusual editorial today refuting many of John Kerry's claims about jobs and outsourcing. While still taking an opportunity to criticize the President, it delivered this body blow to the Senator from Mass:

Mr. Kerry has clearly decided that voters want him to feel their pain, and he's willing to deliver what his audience expects from him. . . Fixing it will require a style of leadership that faces tough choices -- which is not what Mr. Kerry is providing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did leave out the gratuitous shot at the President, which adds somewhat to the shot at Kerry. Nonetheless, for the WaPo to decide to shoot down one of their candidate's top platform points is remarkable, and indicative of the trouble Kerry may be waddled into.

UPDATE: the Wall Street Journal does an even better job of tearing apart the argument.



You may have surmised (both of you out there) that my blogging activity is an indicator of project success--it is! Tonight's phase--grout--went according to Hoyle, only requiring one beer. Tomorrow I seal the project, trim and caulk, and hang up the tool belt for a while. Just in time for Father's Day--which will require more beer (the whole tribe of in-laws is coming over).

Paul Johnson

God Bless him and his family. And God Speed to the men and women tasked with hunting down and ending the zealots and cowards who killed him.

My question--and one echoed by Mort Kondracke on Special Report--is if the Saudis could find the murderers after the fact, why couldn't they find them earlier this week? Seems just a little strange to me.

Senate Thoughts

I was not able to hear the HH interview of Bob Schaffer today, though I will go back and listen to it over the weekend. I expect, and this view is so far substantiated by the good reporting by the other RMABers, that he will come off as passionate, articulate, and with well-considered conservative positions.

I did, however, listen to the Pete Coors interview on Wednesday. And he also seems to have well-considered conservative positions. The problem is he has still not obtained a passionate, articulate voice for those positions. Much like at the JeffCO Assembly, he said the right things poorly, and doesn't seem at all comfortable with the role,yet. This may change, but it will have to change soon--very soon--for him to be viable.

I think I am able to give some articulation to why I think Bob Schaffer will have a harder time statewide than Pete Coors. And, actually, it isn't Bob Schaffer at all--it's his supporters, as evidenced by the call-ins to Hugh's show. I must except my fellow bloggers who speak well, reasonably, and civilly about Pete Coors; that said, if all Coloradans knew about Bob Schaffer was who supports him, and all they knew about them was those who called in on Wednesday, Bob Schaffer comes off as a hard-core Religious ideologue with zero tolerance or flexibility. This will lose him the election.

My father-in-law, an old school union Democrat, is fond of saying that the greatest threat to freedom today is the Religious Right (I always counter that the greatest threat is clearly the PC left); the Schaffer campaign had best do something to distance itself from those that substantiate that view with their harsh, truth-stretching personal attacks--ON A FELLOW REPUBLICAN! Pete Coors has the advantage of a very positive and well-funded ad campaign and if all we learn about Bob Schaffer is that his supporters throw heavy bricks this primary could be very damaging to the party.

I find it interesting that the state assemblies in Colorado both put the candidate that could be seen as more ideologically "pure" in the top slot on the ballot. Not in so much as they did it, but in the margins that they did it by. Clearly, there is a dynamic at work that I don't think is quite understood yet. Schaffer, while not maybe as well-known state wide, is very well known by activists, and I would have expected a larger margin for him; I think the GOP is playing a more savvy game this time around, putting party above all else. But on the Dem side, I don't think there's any explanation except that Mike Miles is just flat outworking Ken Salazar. This could be a very good sign for the fall--I expect Salazar to be the nominee, but a good campaigner may be able to out-hustle him to the election. We'll see.

This Explains the Desperation

No wonder John Kerry went out to shoot the moon with his VP pick. Today the President revealed his campaign funds, got an important endorsement, and enjoys a 10-point lead in the Harris Poll. On top of all that, Vlad Putin says that his government warned the US of Iraqi plots to carry out terrorist attacks in the US after 9-11, substantiating the claim of Saddam's intent to harm America.

A pretty good day for the President, I would say. Remarkable, considering that two days ago the story was the 9-11 staff report distortions.



The re-model is proceeding apace. In fact, after a near melt-down early this afternoon, I can now see the end in sight. At this point, I would venture that the next step is a simple one--maybe a one-beer step; and after that it's just clean up and touch up.

Which probably means I'd better go out and get me a sixpack.

I appreciate all the encouragement and kind words. However, I am very disturbed at the idea of three trips to Home Depot being a good benchmark--I lapped that a week ago and have been there almost every day this week, with one more likely trip to go.

Oh, well. At any rate, normal blogging is just around the bend.


On A Completely Different Note. . .

A friend of mine has a theory for how you decide what home projects to undertake. You try to look at it objectively, and decide how many beers it's going to take you to get the job done. For instance, mowing the lawn is clearly a one beer project; re-roofing the house all by yourself is a many, many beers project. His idea is that anything over a six-pack, and you either try to give yourself an unlimited window of time for completion, or you call in an expert.

For the past two-and-a-half weeks I've been deeply immersed in a kitchen re-model. Looking at it objectively, I figured on a six to eight beer project (this estimation plays into another theme: lack of expertise). Two weeks later, it still looks like a six to eight beer project, and I've done quite a lot of work. Of course, some of it was bad work and work I've had to go back and re-do (there's that expertise thing, again), but I've been bustin' my hump on this project, and it still looks gruesome. The only positive I can see so far is that it is quite a different color, and my wife an I have managed to work in close spaces together without killing each other for many days now.

This silliness really adds to my respect for Jonathan, whose own remodel of his house looks like something on a reality TV show (no, not those. . .the nice ones).

No real point to this post. Just had to get that off my chest. I'll be in a better mindset to contribute to the Coors/Shaffer/Hewitt debate in a couple more days. Until then, pour me another cold one and hand me the caulk.

I wonder if there's a connection between beer consumption and lack of expertise. . .


Of course, Geraldine Ferraro was the running mate of Walter Mondale, not Michael Dukakis. Thanks for the correction.

That actually, however, makes my point even stronger--Mondale got his clock cleaned after shooting the moon with his running mate choice. You keep hunting, Sen. Kerry.


Quick Hit

Soooo... John McCain has rejected overtures by John Kerry to be his Vice President.

And I was looking forward to Kerry's explanation to his base: I actually did pick a Democrat, BEFORE I chose a Republican.

Or his voters' explanation: I actually did vote for a Democrat, BEFORE I voted for a Republican.

Obviously, jokes like this could go on for a while. The point is, does anybody else see this as a desparate Hail Mary? If he was seriously considering McCain, how much must he be thinking that the Democratic base/Bush haters will not get him elected?

Not often a candidate's first big choice is to shoot across the aisle. Sometimes confusing, sure (ahem. . .Dan Quayle); but not outright goofy.

And if memory serves, the last two times a candidate has tried to make a strong statement with their running mate they lost--Dukakis/Ferraro and Gore/Leiberman.

Oh, well. Keep shootin', Senator.


Lessons From The Past

The Rocky has been running a series over the past two weeks about the aftermath of Vietnam and the Cambodian Killing Fields and what some are trying to do to heal that scar.

This brings two direct questions to mind:

For lefty peaceniks whose idea of supporting the troops is to bring them home: Are you willing to sanction a re-enactment of the Killing Fields? Because your solution would cause just that.

For John Kerry: you were SO wrong about the result of your actions in 1972 and afterwards with regard to the horrors that were visited upon southeast Asia; in fact, you were also SO wrong about the result of military policies throughout the 1980s, as well; what can you tell the American people to reassure them that you are more likely to be correct now in your assessment of the world than you have been your whole adult life?

And Now, Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Program

Powerline has a link to another story about the UN having information about what Saddam did with his WMD in the build-up to the war. Imagine that--everybody thought he had them, but we're only now wondering about how he got rid of them so fast.

I second the gents' point, however: why has this administration been so slow and so inept at putting this information in front of the American people? I could see it if there was some advantage to holding onto the info, but we're getting to a point where the "Bush lied" idea is starting to harden. Now would be a good time to get this info out there.


Final Thoughts

I was able to watch the majority of the coverage tonight, though very little of earlier today. I will try to catch up to today's events in replay tonight.

A few images that stuck out to me:

:the crowds, the crowds, the crowds. I am absolutely astounded at the size, respectfulness, and passion of the crowds lining the streets of the procession. I think it would have been normal and expected to see some people--but not like this. Several hundred thousand wait through very long lines and difficult weather to walk past the casket, and tens of thousands more stand through the same to see the hearse go past. Can there be any question that this man was loved, admired, and respected?

:Nancy is a class act through and through. What a picture of strength and nobility and dignity. I have just finished a tome on the ancient Romans, and the idea that leaps to mind is the Roman idea of dignitas, and the degree to which she always added to his. Tears welled up when, for the first time that I'd seen, she broke down over the casket with folded flag in hand. While there is no way to ease the loneliness she will no doubt experience, one must be jealous of her: how many people in the world can say that they were the center of the Universe to a man who is loved the world over?

:Has the world ever produced a woman--and few men, for that matter--the likes of Margaret Thatcher? The monumental act of flying across this continent to be there at the final service for her friend, and the simple grace of the bow to the casket, tell me everything I need to know about both of these people: of her, a magnificent spirit; of him, he was great enough to earn her respect.

I've been thinking over the last few days about the 80's. It seems to me that when I went away to college in 1987 I was significantly more liberal than I am now--which still left me way out to the right of the CU student body. I remember being in a PoliSci class during the '88 election cycle, and being amazed at the vitriol of the Socialists in the room, but essentially being in much the same ideological place as them. You know the 18-year old mantra: the government should be paying for college and for arts productions and 'Wouldn't it be great if the government had to have a bake sale to build bombs while education had all the money it needs?' Of course, I never quite went that far, but my leanings were that way.

I understand now that, though the Wall wasn't down yet, I had the luxury of being a liberal because Ronald Reagan was strong enough to change the world. I had the luxury of being a liberal because Ronald Reagan made the country great enough to be worthy of criticism. And it has only been since the birth of my children that I realize that I can no longer afford that luxury. 9/11 notwithstanding, the only way to guarantee that my children will someday have the luxury of being liberal is for me to espouse the strength and freedoms that allowed me that luxury.

Perhaps that is the lesson of Ronald Reagan's life: strength of character and conviction, backed up by the courage to act, have a remarkably LIBERATING effect. And sometimes not just on ones' self, but on the entire world.

For more--and actually insightful--commentary, see Powerline.

God Have Mercy On the soul of Ronald Reagan--a great and a good man. And God Bless Nancy, Ron, Patti, and Michael.


Not Gone For Long

Well, I suppose a whole week was too much to expect. What was, on Sunday, respectful if grudging rememberences of the former President by his political opponents are starting their inevitable morph back into the hateful, hyper-partisan, revisionist blathering that passes for discourse on the left these days. A quick listen to any call-in radio show (or watching Tom Brokaw) reveals that they cannot even manage to learn from the crassness that lost them the Senate seat in Minnesota two years ago; this time, in the face of such widespread public love of the former President, the left may be walking out onto ice too thin even for it.

Still With Us

Though it turned out to be nothing, doesn't it say volumes about the world we live in that nobody--NOBODY--took anything for granted as the capitol building was being hastily evacuated?

Reagan's greatest lesson, in my opinion, was calling the world as he saw it, thereby making it possible to honestly and effectively confront that which was wrong. I am fairly certain that he would approve of the way Pres. Bush is approaching the war on terror, both militarily and rhetorically.

Reagan Memorial

I watched a good part of the events today--I even tried to make my 8 year-old sit with me for some of it, trying to explain what was going on. Right idea.. . .wrong audience.

Anyway, I found myself surprisingly moved at the whole thing. I think the sight of Nancy bearing it so strongly and the military honors are what got to me most.

A note on the eulogies: Dick Cheney can flat-out speak. "Ronald Reagan spoke of a nation that was hopeful, big-hearted, daring, decent and fair. That is how he saw America, and that is how America came to know him. There was a kindness, simplicity and goodness of character that marked all the years of his life." Well done, Mr. V.P.

On the other hand, Sen Stevens' speech was both inappropriately political and just plain bad. I know it's tough to talk about the President without talking politics, but Mr. Reagan's accomplishments transcend petty politics, and I wish someone from our side would have reminded the good Senator of that.

Missile Parts Found

. . .in Jordan, according to UNMOVIC.

U.N. weapons experts have found 20 engines used in banned Iraqi missiles in a Jordan scrapyard along with other equipment that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction, an official said Wednesday.

So mustard gas, sarin gas, and now evidence of at least 20 illegal missiles with the makings of WMD.

Nope. No story here. Not worth the New York Times' time.

Seeks Confirmation, Please

I thought I heard on something-or-other this evening that pres. Chirac of France has said that he will not be attending the State Funeral for Pres. Reagan on Friday (even though he's "in the neighborhood"). However, I have not been able to find a news link to back this up. If anybody knows of such out there, please shoot it to me--I feel a rant coming on.


A Point Of Comparison

It seems if you really want to start drawing comparisons between Ronald Reagan and George W Bush, you should begin with their influence on one man: Moammar Khadafi.

Khadafi was the chief sponsor of state terrorism in the Carter years and a belligerent opponent of American efforts in the world. His role in terrorism effectively ended whe President Reagan ordered a few cruise missiles launched into Khadafi's earhole.

Khadafi, it turns out, was actively seeking to capitalize on the growing WMD markets that sprung up in the Clinton years. His role in weapons proliferation effectively ended when he volunteered for UN inspections after watching the President-Bush led war depose Saddam Hussein.

Just one place to start looking.

While GW has almost none of the rhetorical skills of the former President, his ability to see the world with clarity and to act decisively are very much in the same mold. It is a mold we are hapilly reminded of in the wake of the sadness of RR's passing.


Not Enough Time

Light blogging for the last several days. I'm both trying to accomplish getting the kitchen re-modeled (which is much easier to do after the girls go to bed), and shifting my paradigm to allow for six hours of sleep every night. Something's gotta give, and so far it's been blogging. Hopefully, one project will get off my plate soon and I can resume my normal pace.

But I'll go with one thought tonight: I seem to recall at the time of "Evil Empire" and "Tear Down This Wall" that President Reagan was dismissed as simplistic, naive, and unengaged at best; dangerous, cavalier and reckless at worst. Sound like anybody we know now? Of course, history has so far been very kind to Reagan's clarity; one hopes we have the foresight to learn from history.

I also seem to recall Pres Reagan being called "divisive." Truth has a way of doing that.

Not Enough Time

Light blogging for the last several days. I'm both trying to accomplish getting the kitchen re-modeled (which is much easier to do after the girls go to bed), and shifting my paradigm to allow for six hours of sleep every night. Something's gotta give, and so far it's been blogging. Hopefully, one project will get off my plate soon and I can resume my normal pace.

But I'll go with one thought tonight: I seem to recall at the time of "Evil Empire" and "Tear Down This Wall" that President Reagan was dismissed as simplistic, naive, and unengaged at best; dangerous, cavalier and reckless at worst. Sound like anybody we know now? Of course, history has so far been very kind to Reagan's clarity; one hopes we have the foresight to learn from history.

I also seem to recall Pres Reagan being called "divisive." Truth has a way of doing that.



I'm going to lay off of the politics to make two brief statements.

First. . .the first election I payed any attention to whatsoever was the 1980 Reagan/Carter race--I was in 6th grade. I knew very little (so things haven't changed that much. . .) but even at that age I think I understood that America was in the middle of a national shame with the Iran Hostage Crisis, and the country was in chaos with little expectation for change. Ronald Reagan was able to articulate a positive vision of the future, a vision that included a preeminent America drawing a line in the sand in front of the Soviets and empowering the people of America to improve themselves. It was a powerful theme that changed the American psyche, and forever altered the world. On this day I do not mourn--his contributions ended a decade ago; but I am drawn to thinking about the courage and hope that transformed the world and whose ripples resonate still.

Second. . . on this 60th anniversary of D-Day, I am confronted with the reality of 10,000 casualties on a single day--all on the "foolish" hope that God would reward those who took up arms to liberate a country, a continent, and a world. I will pull out the two episodes of "Band of Brothers" for my 8 year old this week most illustrative of the sacrifice of that generation--"Day of Days" and "Why We Fight", hoping in some way to communicate to her the greatness of this country and that generation. Many have written and spoken very eloquently on the contributions of those young men--I can only echo those thoughts and hope that, in some way, I can contribute any small measure of what they gave 60 years ago.

We'll return to your regularly scheduled politicking tomorrow. These two occassions are ripe for thought. . .

but not today. Today, a simple prayer and a "thank you" to the contributions we mark.



"George Tenet resigns!!! He was pushed out by the administration (though we have no evidence of this)!! He must be being held out as the fall guy for the lying!!"

Or so the line goes from the left today. But just for a little sense of what this man really did, keep this in mind: since the formation of the CIA in 1946, 18 men have served as DCI--this is an average of 3.22 years per person. Only one man has remained in the position for longer than Tenet's seven years, and that was the Honorable Allan Dulles from 1953-1961. George Tenet's tenure was more than twice the length of the norm, and the second longest on record, through what had to be, arguably, the single most tumultuous time ever for the Agency.

So don't let the left fool ya. If Tenet was going to be a fall guy, he would have been dumped at any number of points since 9-11 (some argue that that would have been a good thing. . .).


John Kerry Spotting

In what is becoming an increasingly rare occurrence, Sen. John Kerry was spotted today and dealt this beauty:

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday that in spite of deadly anthrax attacks and warnings of further biological assaults on the United States, significant gaps remain in the nation’s preparations for bioterrorism.

You need to prepare your public health facilities. You need to prepare your hospitals and all the immediate first responders. Many of them will tell you right now that despite the talk over the course of the last years, there has not been that kind of preparation,” Kerry said in an interview with Associated Press Radio.

I just wonder how much further along the road to preparation we would be if the creation of the Department of Homeland Security hadn't been delayed for six months by Senate Democrats--including whom???--who thought the unions needed better protections in said Department. And let's also remember what led the Dems to come back and finally approve the DHS--defeat at the ballot box.

Not that I think Homeland Security is flawless at this point--hardly. But, uh, yeah, at some point those six months might look pretty important.

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