Friday, September 29, 2006

This September 2006 Imprimus article is an outstanding piece on how elements of modern Islam have become almost nihilistic. It's an important enough piece that I'm keeping a copy at the Senescent Man library blog: Oblogatory Reading.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What I Should Have Said Last Night

Well, my participation on PRI's Open Source turned out to be a bit off from what I had expected. I was of the understanding that several of the conservative RI Bloggers were likely going to lead the discussion and I was probably only needing to be available for a few words. It ended up that I was in a debate with mostly everyone else on the program. I thought the producer had said RightRI, when she must have said RIFuture (Matt Jerzyk).

Anyway, I found myself reluctantly defending Chafee. Not exactly what I was intending to do. I was anticipating parsing the results of the primary and discussing why so many RI conservatives were reluctant to support Chafee at this point. Instead we talked a good deal about other matters: mainly Whitehouse versus Chafee, which I suppose is appropriate at this juncture, but I wasn't well prepared for the topic.

Of course what goes through one's mind was a lot of things I wish I had said instead of what I did say.

By the way, if you have an hour to waste, here is a link to the web page where you can download last nights show. Warning: the first half hour was a dialogue between host Christopher Lydon and Projo Political Editor Scott MacKay, who, by the way, was very good and unusually balanced.

Okay, here's what I would have liked to have said:

(1) Oh, you keep saying Bush's approval ratings are in the 20's? And you scoffed when I said he's in the 40's. Well, here I am, as we are speaking, looking at a Chicago Tribune article on the web dated September 21, 2006 saying that his approval rating is up to 41%!

(2) Yes, I will hold my nose and reluctantly vote for Chafee in November, but Chafee is vulnerable to a loss primarily because many RI Republicans are struggling with his atrocious record in the Senate, and the intense heat of his extremely negative campaign against Laffey. It was a scorched earth methodology sanctioned by the NRSC - a National Republican Party affiliate to our great dismay. Chafee will need these votes in November and he may not get them. They will either stay home or, perish the thought, actually vote for Whitehouse. But, as I've said before, I understand the logic. What will Chafee do about it? Would he reach out an offer conservatives something?

(3) The Iraq war is not the most important issue in America, albeit it is an important issue. There are issues such as: N. Korea, jobs moving to Asia, Supreme Court Justice nominations and the Bolton nomination. What to do with Iran, and by the way, have you noticed that the economy is really buzzing right now?? And so on.

But that's perhaps for another (rare) occasion for this blogger to be on a nationally syndicated radio program.

I want to thank Producer Robin Amer at Open Source for giving me a shot at this. It was a mistake, but I'm still glad I gave it a whirl.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Senescent Man will appear on (NPR) Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon with RightRI and the Projo tonight at 7PM EDT.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I suspect we will see him show up on an Al-Jazera video in a week or two.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Deal or No Deal ?

Rep. Nicholas Gorham weighs in here with his take on the trustworthiness of the RI General Assembly when it comes to working out the details of the Harrahs casino deal. He knows the G.A. from the inside as House minority whip, but is going to be criticized as a spoil-sport of the minority party just looking to grab some press coverage. Don't be fooled by this false claim. The G.A. has acted contrary to IT'S OWN STUDY COMMISSION regarding the issue so it certainly shouldn't be trusted to make the deal.

Vote NO on question 1 in November folks. Our "leaders" have very nearly sold the State to an outside corporation under the guise of helping it's fig leaf partners. The referendum is the only thing keeping that from being accomplished.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Letter from the GOP

It's ironic, but I received the following urgent message this afternoon from the GOP:

It's sickening!

"Republican In Name Only" (RINO) Senator Lincoln Chafee is about to scuttle the confirmation of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations!

In fact, a vote that was supposed to occur to advance the nomination of John Bolton -- the tough-talking, no-nonsense U.S. Ambassador the United Nations -- DID NOT happen because of Chafee's opposition.

You know Lincoln Chafee!

He's the Rhode Island Senator who practically inherited his seat from his father -- he has consistently worked AGAINST the conservative agenda that a majority of Americans want.

Chafee has fought AGAINST tax cuts, he thumbs his nose at demands to control out-of-control spending, he's been a squish on national defense; you name the issue and Chafee's name always comes up as an ally to the liberal opposition!

And now, he's also the Senator who is working to defeat John Bolton's confirmation!
It's hard to deduce exactly what Chafee is scheming. Indeed, according to a survey released by the Hudson Institute...

75% of Americans believe the U.N. is no longer "effective" and "needs to be held more accountable."

71% believe the U.N. "needs to be considerably reformed."

67% believe "there are too many undemocratic nations in the U.N. that do not care about promoting democracy and freedom."

Only 37% believe the U.N. is "effective in PREVENTING wars and military conflicts."

Only 32% believe the UN is "effective in ENDING wars and military conflicts."

And, here's the kicker: A majority of Americans, a whopping 57%, "now believe the United Nations should be scrapped and replaced if it cannot be reformed and made more effective," according to the survey.

John Bolton's views on the United Nations are in step with those of the American people. And during his recess appointment, Bolton has shown that he won't back down to the U.N.

bureaucrats and dictators who hate America.

Lincoln Chafee may THINK he has stopped Bolton's nomination cold.

But Chafee forgot one very important thing.

He forgot about YOU! He forgot about the diligence of the American people!

And with your help -- he's going to THINK AGAIN!

One thing is certain: If Bolton isn't confirmed in the next two weeks -- there is a very good chance that he will be forced to step down and step aside, as his recess appointment will expire soon after Congress adjourns.

And if that happens, liberals like Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry and Kofi Annan will raise their glasses in celebration and whoop and holler with joy!

And we are just not ready to take defeat -- not at the hands of a RINO Senator!

Use the hyperlink below to send your URGENT Blast Fax messages to President Bush, Republican In Name Only Senator Lincoln Chafee -- as well as the remaining 9 Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- and the Republican leaders of the United States Senate!

Tell them that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Demand that Chafee be disciplined for this betrayal of his party and the American people and -- if necessary -- demand they strip Chafee of his committee assignments.

And furthermore, remind these Senators that John Bolton MUST be confirmed in the next two weeks at all costs and by any means necessary. Remind them that an election is coming up in less than 60 days and that the American people are sick and tired of the stalls and obstructions on the Bolton nomination -- especially stalls and obstructions that come from so-called Republicans!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It appears that a Black Republican will face a White Democrat in a tight Maryland race.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Modest Proposal

My esteemed colleague, Gary Boden, is steamed (see post below).

So is Justin Katz at Anchor Rising.

Many who regularly post comments there are likewise steamed. And so am I.

I not only anticipated a victory for Steve Laffey, but a victory by a sizeable margin. I determined he had the Big Mo. But as others have noted we were fooled by the normal effects of heavy negative campaigning – and negative campaigning that essentially was not rebutted. It took its toll. That, along with the huge “Independent” vote which Laffey had aimed at with his admixture of populism and conservatism – which, in Rhode Island, I would have thought an absolutely winning strategy. But it was not. The Independents went with Chafee. We have to admit it.

I am just now listening to the calls on my answering machine, and one by one I have deleted my messages, but, in retrospect, I should have saved them for posterity because there were messages from so many celebrities, and all on one tape! I mean I had calls from Elizabeth Dole, John McCain, Christy Todd Whitman, Lincoln Chafee, and many, many others.

Sure, I think Chafee's voting record is an absolute disgrace. I also agree that we'd be better off with a Democrat who is at least vulnerable in 6 years as opposed to 6 more years of Chafee. I mean, I’ll have wait 12 years to see a chance at a real Republican in that seat. By then I'll be gumming my food and too arthritic to write a word.

But anger will soon give way to resignation. So I have determined a rather, and in my humble opinion, modest proposal for my brethren:

Chafee could sure use my disgruntled vote. He needs my vote now more than ever. If I were to give it, I’d want to know that I'm going to get something for it. N’est ce pas?

I want him to support Bush's court appointments. That's not asking a whole lot.

I’ll begrudgingly acquiesce in his absolutely foolish view of taxes. I will hold my nose at his egregious pork barrel projects. Heck, he can even remain as environmentally green as he wishes. Just give me the judges.

I’m calling out for a team effort here.

I propose a strategy with my fellow anti-RINO, conservative Republicans who are considering either not voting in the U S Senate race at all, or even going so far as voting for Whitehouse.

Chafee needs us in a race that will remain close.

He claims he can bridge the divide. That he's a good horse trader, a negotiator, and a go-between.

I say prove it.

Let’s see you bridge this divide. Yeah, bridge this!

Fellow conservatives:

Let us band together and offer our vote to him as a block with the firm if-and-only-if proviso, signed-in-blood commitment by him, to vote for all of Bush's nominees for the remaining 2 years. And, if the next President is a Republican, to vote for his nominees as well over those succeeding years.

With that firm commitment, I will, with great agony, commit to voting for Chafee – and not to write in John H. Chafee as I suggested I might do, but for (hold your breath) the knuckle headed son, Linc.

But I don’t think he’s going to go for it. I haven’t seen him so much as life a finger to an olive branch towards us. Have any of you? But the question is: what would he be willing to give to get our votes? Anything? Nothing?

Let’s throw it out there and see what happens.

What say you?

A day after the primary it's time for reflecting on what happened in the competition for the Republican Senate seat. Laffey put up a spirited challenge to the status quo, but lost to the inexorable inertia of the RI electorate. We just want our clueless Brahmins to represent us inadequately as the world goes rushing by. Cha-house, White-fee -- they're really the same cardboard cutouts with different affiliation stickers pasted on. So regardless of who eventually collapses over the finish line ahead of the other guy in November, we get empty platitudes, dead-end policies, stagnation. Who could want more? Laffey pledges to vote for Chafee. Whether that show of loyalty to a Party that declared it would abandon him if he has won is classy, self-righteous, or looking to the future, I don't know. I don't really care. I'm not voting for Chafee and certainly not for Whitehouse. Maybe I should consider a write-in...and so should you if you were a Laffey supporter. Keeping the Senate under RINO control is hardly a victory.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This could mean almost anything on this Primary day, but who knows, possibly a bad omen for Laffey?

Monday, September 11, 2006

On the 5th Anniversary of 9-11 - Memorials are Erected When the War is Won

Excellent piece by Chris Hitchens on the editorial page of the WSJ on the anniversary of 9-11. A reminder that we are in a war with barbarians, not just in Iraq. An excerpt:

In the past five years, I have either registered or witnessed or protested at or simply "observed" the following:

(1) The reopening of a restaurant in Bali, where several dozen Australian holidaymakers and many Indonesian civilians had earlier been torn to shreds. (2) The explosion of a bomb at a Tube station in London which is regularly used by two of my children. (3) The murder of a senior Shiite cleric outside his place of worship in Iraq. (4) The attempt to destroy the Danish economy--and to torch Danish embassies and civilians--as a consequence of the publication of a few caricatures in the Danish press. (5) The murder of the U.N. envoy to Baghdad: a heroic Brazilian named Sergio Vieira de Mello, as vengeance (according to his murderers) for his role in shepherding East Timor to independence. (6) The near-successful attempt to blow up the Indian parliament in New Delhi, and two successful attempts to disrupt the commerce and society of Mumbai. (7) The destruction of the Golden Dome in Samara: a place of aesthetic as well as devotional importance. (8) The bombing of ancient synagogues in Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco. (9) The evisceration in the street of a Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, and the lethal threats that drove his Somali-born colleague, a duly elected member of the Dutch parliament, into hiding and then exile. (10) The ritual slaughter on video of a Jewish reporter for this newspaper.

This list is not exhaustive or in any special order, and it does not include any of the depredations undertaken by the votaries of the Iranian version of Islamic fundamentalism. I shall just say that I have stood, alone or in company, with Hindus, Jews, Shiites and secularists (my own non-sectarian group) in the face of a cult of death that worships suicide and exalts murder and desecration. This has not dimmed, for me, the importance of what happened in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania. But it has made me slightly bored with those who continue to wonder, fruitlessly so far, in what fashion "we" should commemorate it.

The time for commemoration lies very far in the future. War memorials are erected when the war is won....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

National GOP Attempting to Bite Nose to Spite Face

From yesterday's NY Times on the Chafee - Laffey race:

Still, Mr. Chafee appeared heartened, if slightly bemused, at the image of Washington Republicans riding to his rescue. He said he thought that was because he had taken care in how he positioned himself as a red senator from a blue state.

“I’ve taken an extra step in my rhetoric not to go over the line, so to speak,” he said. “I have walked a fine line in how I vote and not taking it too far to alienate some people who could be helpful. [i.e., liberal Democrats, get it? wink - wink]”

If this doesn't capture the essence of just who this guy really is; if it doesn't tell you where Chafee is coming from, nothing will.

LGF is reporting that the Abu Graib prisoners are crying out for the Americans to come back!

Ten Things I (dis)Like About You (Sheldon)

For those who think Sheldon Whitehouse will waltz into the US Senate were he to face the more conservative (than Linc Chafee) Steve Laffey, think again. The Daily Kos has a litany of issues the Left dislikes, but it underscores how the man can waffle. You can also look here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Saddam al Qaeda Whitewash

Big headlines on MSNBC: "No Saddam, al-Qaeda link."

But here's what the Weekly Standard says about it:

ONCE AGAIN headlines from media outlets around the country declare "No Saddam, al-Qaeda link." This time the news cycle is being fed by the release of two reports by the Senate Intelligence Committee, both of which purport to investigate the uses of prewar intelligence. The first of these two reports, titled "Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments," has pleased Democrats.

Senator Carl Levin says that the report is "a devastating indictment of the Bush-Cheney administration's unrelenting, misleading, and deceptive attempts" to connect Saddam's regime to bin Laden's al Qaeda. Senator Jay Rockefeller agrees with Senator Levin's assessment, saying the report will confirm that "the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq was fundamentally misleading."

But beyond the obvious political gamesmanship, there is little merit to this posturing because there is little serious analysis in the Senate report: Far from providing the definitive word on Saddam's ties to al Qaeda, the report is almost worthless.

We forget we are at war, and we ought to band together against a common enemy, but it is more important to grandstand and bend the truth than it is to win the battle against our sworn enemy. Don't we realize that we're just extending the war by this kind of game?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Chafee Pulls a Fast One on Bolton Nomination

There are some very good comments posted at Anchor Rising re: the Laffey v. Chafee race indicating that clearly, it must be Chafee's intention to axe the Bolton nomination. National news item: Chafee stalls the Bolton vote. Why? He intends to vote no, but doesn't want to do so before the primary. Win or lose, he's apt to vote no just the same.

Will voters realize what he's up to? Laffey should get some headlines with his response. An excerpt:

According to the Associated Press today, Senator Chafee “pulled the plug” on John Bolton’s confirmation as UN Ambassador, “saying he had more questions that needed to be answered.” Once again, Senator Chafee has demonstrated how indecisive he is on the critical issues. Whether it is his vote on Justice Alito, or his vote in the 2004 Presidential election, or his vote on Bolton, Senator Chafee clearly lacks the decision-making skills required of a US Senator.Over the past year, John Bolton has demonstrated that he is a capable and effective representative of America’s interests in the United Nations.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bogus Republican Group Aiming at Laffey?

Something really suspicious is going on with the sudden emergence of the "Republican Main Street Partnership." Normally, a group cannot call itself "Republican" unless it clears it through the RNC. That's to keep pseudo-liberal groups out. Looks like it's not working.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Chafee Complains about Laffey's Facts

Chafee's campaign committee issued a press release stating that Laffey played fast and loose with his facts on ABC's THIS WEEK with George Stephanopoulos. HT: RightRI.

They complain about three points:
Not sure these will really play in Peoria, but we'll see. Could be they recognize that the ABC Sunday news program really made Laffey look good, and Chafee look, well, not so good.

Everybody Out of the Pool

LGF has a post on how radical Islamic nations intend to share lethal nuclear technologies with other Islamo fascist regimes around the world when they get their clutches on it.

Now we learn that China and Russia are planning to veto any sanctioning actions against Iran on the part of the West due to their kookie nuclear pursuits, this being the result of our giving Iran a long period of time to consider a liberal offer through the United Nations to shut down their nuclear ambitions. The big carrot has been refused. It should be time for the big stick.

In response, I think we should consider sanctions on Russia and China. With all those major multinational companies systematically locating operating facilities in these low cost economies, wouldn't it be interesting if the State Department suddenly announced "everybody out of the pool!" Wouldn't that be a big surprise to both those countries and the big companies, but it might just get the leaders of China and Russia thinking. Hmmm, US dollars or Iranian oil? Hmmm, influx of US dollars and local employment or Iranian camels?

Tough choice, but maybe we have got to force them consider such an offer. Especially if we want to start having an effect on the Ahmadinejhad government.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Laffey on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Chafee on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Train Station in Cologne - Barbarians at the Gates

There's an interesting "I get it" unsigned editorial in this morning's (September 2) Projo. An excerpt:

On July 31, German officials say several people with Arabic names planted bombs in suitcases on trains departing from Cologne's main station with the intention of killing hundreds of people. Luckily, the bombs were discovered in time. And several people have been arrested as suspects in the case.

Some readers might be surprised -- after all, Germany opposed the Iraq war, hasn't had many nice things to say about the Israeli attack on Hezbollah and has, all in all, tried to make nice with the Islamic world. For that matter, some of the 9/11 attack was planned in Germany.

But wait! How about another reason: Islamic terrorists just don't like the West, any of it, though they may be drawn to its material benefits.

Our contention exactly! We are in a war with extremist Islamic fascists. And it doesn't matter if we try to play nice. Therefore, civilized western culture has no choice but to fight back to survive.

Does the West wish to survive?

What did Rome do when the Barbarians were at the gate of the city? They folded. Will we?

Has Chafee Thrown in the Towel?

Am I just imagining it, or has Senator Chafee already thrown in the towel? I haven't seen any policy statements emerging from the Chafee camp of late, and it seems like the heavy lifting continues to be done by the NRSC.

Is it the polls? I suspect that the inside polls are telling the story. I was thinking that the flood of really nasty, negative ads were rolled out because they can see Laffey either closing the gap, or surpassing the incumbent Senator. Many put faith in negative ads because they tend to work, though the risk is in backfiring, which is what I believe they've been doing to Chafee for the last several weeks.

Laffey seems to be emerging as more acceptable to those who previously were hypercritical of him, and Laffey's policy statements and positive ads are giving hm traction.

But I wonder about the Chafee camp.

Hello? Is there life out there?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Replay of Laffey on Lardball. HT: RightRI.

Senescent Milestone

We enter into our third year this month, with the founding of the Senescent Man blog on the first anniversary of 9/11.

God willing, we anticipate continuing our rather craggy, crotchety and conservative view of the world from the vantage point of liberal, Southern New England (and from Washington DC) with the help of our friends and coauthors.

Welcome to our blog and feel free to join in the debate.

Laffey v. Chafee on This Week Sunday Morning

This Week with George Stephanopoulos will be good to watch this weekend:

"I go "On the Trail" in Rhode Island with incumbent Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., and GOP challenger Mayor Stephen Laffey. Could control of the Senate hinge on this one race? With the primary more than a week away, will the moderate incumbent be able to hold onto his seat? Or, will he be cast aside by his own party the way Connecticut's Joe Lieberman was just one month ago?

"On our roundtable, New York Times columnist David Brooks, The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, and ABC News' George Will join me to debate the week's politics."

I'd be interested in hearing David Brooks' view of this race.

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