Friday, September 29, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
What I Should Have Said Last Night
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
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Deal or No 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
"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!
WE MUST TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW!
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
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
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!
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?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
On the 5th Anniversary of 9-11 - Memorials are Erected When the War is Won
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
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.
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]”
Ten Things I (dis)Like About You (Sheldon)
Friday, September 08, 2006
Saddam al Qaeda Whitewash
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
Will voters realize what he's up to? Laffey should get some headlines with his response. An excerpt:
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Bogus Republican Group Aiming at Laffey?
Monday, September 04, 2006
Chafee Complains about Laffey's Facts
They complain about three points:
- Laffey's altercation with the fireman at the Cranston city council meeting
- Laffey's seeming waffling over the issue of embryonic stem cells, and
- Laffey's claims about cutting spending to offset the need for higher taxes
Everybody Out of the Pool
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
Saturday, September 02, 2006
A Train Station in Cologne - Barbarians at the Gates
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?
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
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
"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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