Contact Me

About RightWing NutHouse

Site Stats

blog radio

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More


(Romeo St. Martin of Politics Watch-Canada)

"The epitome of a blogging orgasm"
(Cao of Cao's Blog)

"Rick Moran is one of the finest essayists in the blogosphere. ‘Nuff said. "
(Dave Schuler of The Glittering Eye)

October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004



Blacksmiths of Lebanon
Blogs of War
Classical Values
Cold Fury
Diggers Realm
Neocon News
Ravenwood’s Universe
Six Meat Buffet
The Conservative Cat






















‘Unleash’ Palin? Get Real






"24" (96)
Bird Flu (5)
Blogging (198)
Books (10)
Caucasus (1)
Cindy Sheehan (13)
Decision '08 (288)
Election '06 (7)
Ethics (172)
Financial Crisis (8)
FRED! (28)
General (378)
GOP Reform (22)
Government (123)
History (166)
Homeland Security (8)
Iran (81)
Katrina Timeline (4)
Lebanon (8)
Marvin Moonbat (14)
Media (184)
Middle East (134)
Moonbats (80)
Obama-Rezko (14)
Olympics (5)
Open House (1)
Palin (5)
PJ Media (37)
Politics (649)
Presidential Debates (7)
RNC (1)
S-CHIP (1)
Sarah Palin (1)
Science (45)
Space (21)
Sports (2)
Supreme Court (24)
Technology (1)
The Caucasus (1)
The Law (14)
The Long War (7)
The Rick Moran Show (127)
War on Terror (330)
Who is Mr. Hsu? (7)
Wide Awakes Radio (8)


Admin Login


Design by:

Hosted by:

Powered by:
CATEGORY: Politics

Image Hosted by

For an astonishing 38 years out of the 53 that I have lived on this planet, there has bee a Daley as Mayor of the city of Chicago. Also in those 38 years, the legendary patronage and payoff operation known as “The Machine” has dominated local politics.

The current Mayor Daley – Richard M. – has just been reelected to an unprecedented 6th consecutive term, garnering more than 70% of the vote against two African-American challengers:

Richard M. Daley laid claim to history on Tuesday, steamrolling two opponents and winning a sixth term that promises to make him the longest-serving mayor in Chicago history.

Another four years in the office will push Daley past the current record-holder—his father and role model, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley.

With more than 95 percent of precincts reporting, Daley had received about 71 percent of the vote to defeat challengers Dorothy Brown and William “Dock” Walls. But Chicagoans apparently considered it a ho-hum election, with only about a third of the city’s 1.4 million registered voters turning out to cast their ballots.

A jubilant Daley walked into a ballroom of the Chicago Hilton & Towers to the strains of “Takin’ Care of Business” and, in a speech that lasted just a few minutes, claimed victory before excited supporters.

“An election is not an end,” Daley declared. “Instead it offers a new beginning. ... I want to thank the people of Chicago for their continued support.

But the real story of this election was the defeat of a couple of veteran Daley allies on the City Council and the fact that an almost unprecedented 11 Council members will have participate in the run off election in April:

In the worst election night for City Council incumbents in more than 15 years, three aldermen lost their jobs Tuesday, including Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd), the colorful, veteran alderman of downtown Chicago.

Ald. Darcel Beavers (7th) lost to Sandi Jackson, the wife of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), and scandal-plagued Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) was also unseated. But Natarus was hesitant to concede.

Another 11 council members appeared headed toward the runoff election in April after failing to win a majority.

On a night when Mayor Richard M. Daley easily won re-election, the results in wards across the city showed that the mayor’s popularity—and his once-powerful patronage armies—no longer could be counted on to pull along council allies.

And what may have finally put the Machine out to pasture was not legions of reformers storming city hall or massive demonstrations protesting the corrupt way that the city has done business forever. There was no sudden, bolt-of-lightening election that overturned the status quo and brought sunshine into the dark areas of City Hall.

Instead, it was simple disgust. And changing demographics. And a new generation of African American and Hispanic politicians who have made their bones without becoming absolutely beholden to the Daley Machine.

All of this created a perfect storm – a storm that was fashioned by a scandal that typified the way that city politics has been since Big Bill Thompson was taking orders from Big Al Capone; a system where the politician and the criminal walked side by side, rubbing elbows sometimes, while being indistinguishable from one another at other times.

The scandal began with a $40 million a year hired truck program where the city would hire trucks by the hour to perform various city services. Here was a program aching to be fleeced. And The Machine didn’t disappoint. Some of the revelations in the Chicago Sun Times investigation were jaw dropping examples of blatant and systematic corruption at the highest levels of city government:

  • Some politically connected companies were getting paid for doing little or no work.
  • Some of the trucks were owned by known mobsters.
  • Even though city employees were barred from taking part in the program, many set up their wives or relatives with city contracts.
  • Truck owners paid bribes in order to get into the program.
  • 44 people have been charged in the scandal with 41 already pleading guilty or convicted.

That was just the start. The investigation eventually led to City Hall and one of the mayor’s staunchest supporters, his former patronage boss Robert Sorich. After a court order prevented the city from hiring people based on their political loyalty, Sorich rigged interviews and falsified documents to hide the fact that City Hall was lousy with Daley loyalists. The Feds got him for mail fraud along with two others and snared a 4th for lying to the FBI. For a while, there was considerable buzz that Daley himself was under the prosecutor’s microscope but to date, there have been no charges filed nor are any likely in the near future.

The Machine has known scandal before. It has known federal investigations and indictments before. It has known newspaper exposes, legions of reform minded citizens groups, good government gurus, even reform politicians before. And The Machine just kept chugging along. It absorbed, bribed, or destroyed most of the reformers. It shrugged off the Feds and the States Attorneys. And in election after election after election, it rolled to victory. Sometimes the reformers would gain a modest victory here and there. But in the end, The Machine triumphed because it worked.

So what happened yesterday?

In past elections, patronage armies loyal to the mayor crisscrossed the city to help elect aldermen who readily heeled at the mayor’s command. They scared other council members into submission. But the federal probe of patronage hiring in the mayor’s office crippled those groups.

Labor unions that are feuding with the mayor vowed to step into the void left by the mayor’s legions of campaign workers.

The Service Employees International Union and other labor groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and deployed hundreds of workers for challengers. SEIU contributed to the Reilly and Jackson victories, and at least four targeted incumbents were headed to runoffs with union-backed foes.

Jerry Morrison, executive director of SEIU’s state council, declared the results a “big, big win for working families and unions.”

There were several new African American faces who won through to victory including Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s wife, elected outright as an Alderman from the 7th ward running against the daughter of one of the Mayor’s most valued allies. And even the Mayor’s losing opponent Dorothy Brown, County Clerk of the Circuit Court, showed a feistiness and strength that will probably make her a future star in city politics.

Unions, reform minded minorities, and a population trending younger, hipper, and more liberal could mean that this may have been Hizzoner’s last hurrah. For all the graft, corruption, and electoral shenanigans, Daley has presided over something of a city-wide Renaissance with all areas, income groups, races, and neighborhoods enjoying at least some kind of renewal. And while blacks and Hispanics have plenty of bones to pick with Daley, even they admit he has been a good listener and has staffed his office (and The Machine) with plenty of minorities.

Four more years of Daley and then what? The Machine has been eulogized before only to come back stronger than ever. But this time, the city itself has changed. The old ways may not die all at once. But I suspect they will gradually give way to the impulse of the reform minded to replace the machine with something else – something of their own creation.

There will still be graft and corruption. But there won’t be the city-wide control of patronage and contracts exercised by Chicago mayors for nearly a century. We will see if that affects how the city is actually governed. And whether the city will itself be governable.


Ex-Chicagoan now Texan Tom Elia noticed something in the Trib story:

My two favorite parts of the following Tribune piece? The song played at Hizzoner’s victory party: Takin’ Care of Business; and the reason given by experts as to why perhaps stronger candidates didn’t challenge Mayor Daley: they would get ‘throttled.’

They wouldn’t just lose. They would get ‘throttled.’ Hey … it’s Chicago. Takin’ care of bidness.

Sorta like my White Sox “throttling” your Cubbies this year during the Cross Town Showdown, eh Tom?

By: Rick Moran at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2) Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Chicago voters weigh another Daley term
CATEGORY: Iran, Politics

It’s one thing for an hysteric like Seymour Hersh to go off the deep and and talk about the real possibility that we would use nuclear weapons to destroy Iranian nuclear research and development sites. We expect such stupidity from the man who accused the American government of deliberately testing the Soviet Union’s air defenses by sending a passenger plane into Russian air space only to have it shot down much to our propaganda advantage.

But when the theory is advanced by “experts” like George Lakoff, well. . . all we can do is bow to the superior intelligence and perspicacity of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and start digging bomb shelters:

The stories in the major media suggest that an attack against Iran is a real possibility and that the Natanz nuclear development site is the number one target. As the above quotes from two of our best sources note, military experts say that conventional “bunker-busters” like the GBU-28 might be able to destroy the Natanz facility, especially with repeated bombings. But on the other hand, they also say such iterated use of conventional weapons might not work, e.g., if the rock and earth above the facility becomes liquefied. On that supposition, a “low yield” “tactical” nuclear weapon, say, the B61-11, might be needed.

If the Bush administration, for example, were to insist on a sure “success,” then the “attack” would constitute nuclear war. The words in boldface are nuclear war, that’s right, nuclear war—a first strike nuclear war.

We don’t know what exactly is being planned—conventional GBU-28’s or nuclear B61-11’s. And that is the point. Discussion needs to be open. Nuclear war is not a minor matter.

At the very least, we can gather from his writing that the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley is concerned about nuclear war. It’s just a shame that a Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley is a little deficient in the cognitive and not very adept at the linguistic.

But then, it takes a Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley to understand the nuances and “Euphemisms” of the enemy (that’s the White House to those uninitiated into leftist doublespeak) in order to wrest the truth from the dark corners of the Bush Administration so that the glorious light of reason can be shone and the nefarious plans of Bushco destroyed:

As early as August 13, 2005, Bush, in Jerusalem, was asked what would happen if diplomacy failed to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program. Bush replied, “All options are on the table.” On April 18, the day after the appearance of Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker report on the administration’s preparations for a nuclear war against Iran, President Bush held a news conference. He was asked,

“Sir, when you talk about Iran, and you talk about how you have diplomatic efforts, you also say all options are on the table. Does that include the possibility of a nuclear strike? Is that something that your administration will plan for?”
He replied,

“All options are on the table.”

The President never actually said the forbidden words “nuclear war,” but he appeared to tacitly acknowledge the preparations—without further discussion.

I see the cognitively challenged Professor’s point. The President also never actually said the forbidden words “Hillary is a slut” but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t wholeheartedly believe it.

Or maybe, this linguistics expert missed the President’s point. Do you think that when he said “All options are on the table” he really meant “I’m gonna nuke them suckers back to the stone age?” Or did he mean “All options are on the table?”

It’s a tough call which is why I’m glad we have a Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley working on the translation problem. In this case, not just any old High School English teacher will do. We need someone with not only the linguistic skills to decipher the President’s cryptic comments but also someone very well versed in cognitive dissonance – er, theories that is.

As for the aforementioned Hillary Clinton, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley helps in translating her rather obscure pronouncements on Iran:

Hillary Clinton, at an AIPAC dinner in NY, said,

“We cannot, we should not, we must not, permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons, and in dealing with this threat, as I have said for a very long time, no option can be taken off the table.”

Translation: Nuclear weapons can be used to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons can also be used to make excellent scrambled eggs but that doesn’t mean we will use them for that purpose – or for any reason for that matter. But our cognitiveless professor can see beyond the nuance, beyond the horizon, even beyond reason to glean the truth from the utterances of the powerful. Or so he thinks.

The nomenclature “All options are on the table” has been used in one form or another for centuries. The idea of using that phrase has never been to threaten or even hint at the use of nuclear weapons in any situation but rather to 1) state the obvious; and 2) keep a potential adversary guessing about your intentions. To make the gigantic leap of illogic as the professor does that all of a sudden this innocuous, boilerplate response – a response fully expected by the questioner – somehow is revealing of the deep, dark plans of the Bush Administration to use nuclear weapons on Iran is absurd on its face. It is idiotic. And it is embarrassing for anyone with more than a 6th grade education to advance such puerile drivel.

Perhaps it is the result of this Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley being so far out of his depth that he is unable to see the nose in front of his face. But that simply doesn’t matter. It is the superior goodness, the purity of heart, the absolute moral certitude of the professor that counts when coming to grips with the problems of . . . dare I say the words that none dare say?

To use words like “low yield” or “small” or “mini-” nuclear weapon is like speaking of being a little bit pregnant. Nuclear war is nuclear war! It crosses the moral line.

Any discussion of roadside canister bombs made in Iran justifying an attack on Iran should be put in perspective: Little canister bombs (EFP’s—explosively formed projectiles) that shoot a small hot metal ball at a humvee or tank versus nuclear war.

Incidentally, the administration may be focusing on the canister bombs because it seeks to claim that the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 permits the use of military force against Iran based on its interference in Iraq. In that case, no further authorization by Congress would be needed for an attack on Iran.

The journalistic point is clear. Journalists and political leaders should not talk about an “attack.” They should use the words that describe what is really at stake: nuclear war—in boldface.

First of all, I agree with the professor. From now on, when writing the words “nuclear war” on this site, I will place a smiley face :-) immediately after it (boldface can get old very quick – especially when you consider how many times every day I write the words “nuclear war” :-) on this site, being the war mongering, bloodthirsty neocon that I am.)

As far as the Bush Administration believing that the AUMF is all that is needed for an attack on Iran, isn’t it strange that the only ones making that argument at the moment are liberals in the blogosphere? I have yet to hear anyone from the Administration advance that rather novel theory – especially as the professor frames the issue as being Iran’s interference in Iraq. So far, the Administration has used what they consider evidence of Iran’s assistance to the militias and death squads only to crack down on Iranians in Iraq and not to threaten an attack on Iran itself. That certainly may change. I sincerely hope not. But Bush would almost certainly find the political rug pulled out from underneath him if he attacked Iran without specific Congressional authorization. Even many Republicans have made that clear.

Lakoff is pathetic. His rationale for not using nuclear weapons is self evident and simple minded. What is truly stupid is his belief that he’s somehow saving the world by writing about it – as if the rest of us had become so enamored of destroying Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities that we have lost sight of the consequences of using nuclear weapons. It takes someone awfully full of themselves to presume to lecture the rest of us about the immorality of using nuclear weapons or even the practical consequences that would flow from nuclear war :-).

Nor is the professor’s list of worst case scenarios complete – not by any means. No word from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley about what Vlad the Impaler in Moscow might think of a radioactive cloud wafting over Russian territory. Such a turn of events would almost certainly spoil family outings in southern Russia for quite a while. For that reason alone, despite the claim that “all options are on the table,” I think that we can all stop digging those new bomb shelters and emerge from the darkness with a fair amount of assurance – if not absolute rock solid certainty – that we will not use nuclear weapons if we decide to take out Iranian nuclear sites, thus avoiding “nation destruction” and – heaven help us – nuclear war! :-)


From the milblog ARGGHHH!!:

Sometimes it’s best to actually study the subject before you go off screaming, ‘Bush is going to start a nuclear war!’ Just being smart doesn’t make you a polymath with a deep grasp of everything you know.

Do you have to destroy something to put it out of commission? Is mission kill sufficient? Is offline for 2 months to a year sufficient for national policy goals? What are the national goals wrt Iranian nuclear weapons research? None of these questions is asked. Just straight to ‘those batiches are going to employ nuclear weapons because we know he’s a Nazi!’

And why are these guys taken seriously? I can only guess ignorance.

Actually, reader Patrick Murray just emailed to remind me that Lakoff was hired in 2004 by the DNC to “reframe” the message coming from the Democratic party for the election.

We know how well that worked out.

During the 2004 campaign, Lakoff suggested that instead of talking about how Bush had run up the national debt, Democrats should label it a “baby tax’’ the Republican president had imposed on future generations.

He has suggested that same-sex marriage should be referred to as “the right to marry.’’ Trial lawyers like vice presidential nominee John Edwards should instead be called “public protection attorneys,’’ and the term environmental protection, which brings to mind big government and reams of regulations, should instead be termed “poison-free communities.’’

Excuse me while I call my public protection attorney about suing my poison free community so that my partner and I have the right to marry and allow us to work together, hand in hand, cheek to cheek, to lower the baby tax.

Is this a great country or what?

By: Rick Moran at 10:27 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (8)

The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 03/01/2007

Despite the fact that Speaker Pelosi has made it very clear that Representative Murtha’s slow bleed the troops plan is a non starter, the Pennsylvania Congressman is evidently determined to bring the issue to the floor for a vote. And at least one influential Democrat is hoping he does:

He described his plan to the Democratic Caucus two weeks ago and again more recently on last week.

No sooner was the interview aired than Middle East hawks that have been cheerleading this war from its inception (the White House, FOX News and the myriad of entertainers who make up the Republican right-wing noise machine) started licking their chops at the prospect of exposing the Democrats as cut and run peaceniks that don’t support our troops.

They suggest that efforts such as giving our troops 1) mandatory home base time with their families between deployments—365 days for the Army and 270 days for the Marines 2) sufficient training and equipment and 3) mandatory face to face physical, mental and emotional health evaluations upon their return from combat—a standard practice before this Administration came to power—will demoralize our soldiers and turn the Middle East into a cauldron of blood and chaos.

First, an obvious disclaimer: Representative Jim Moran (D-Anti-Semite) is absolutely, positively, and without qualification not related to me in any way, shape, or form. I would hazard a guess and say that our genes diverged millions of years ago – his branch of the Morans ending up evolving with the slugs and slimy things in prehistoric swamps only to emerge quite recently to slither around the halls of Congress. The true and noble branch of the Moran family stayed in the trees and ate nuts and fruit, learning how to walk upright only recently because, obviously, we were waiting for the invention of the automobile. No sense in walking when you can grab a ride, right?

At any rate, Mr. Moran has it all wrong. There are precious few of us who would not vouchsafe our military people sufficient rest, time with their families, health screening, and adequate training so that they can continue to perform in such spectacularly competent fashion in Iraq.

And there certainly is not a monolithic response on the right to Mr. Murtha’s plan. Oak Leaf at Polipundit:

Having 12 months between deployments, ensuring that soldiers are trained to military (not Democrat/Republican) standards and returning stop loss to an emergency measure not a routine personal policy is good for readiness, good for the troops and good for the Nation.

If you believe in the Global War on Terror, you will support these reasonable common sense measures and let the military (not politicians) set readiness and training standards.

Not only being the “right thing” it is good politics in the long run.

I, and most others on the right would normally agree with these benchmarks. However, despite what has gone on in the past with deployments, this time around, the stakes are far from normal. We are, in fact, in what I think most people agree – both right and left – is the political crisis of the war.

I say this because it is painfully obvious that regardless of how the present surge strategy plays out, this will be the last opportunity for the Administration to succeed in tamping down the violence in Baghdad (and Anbar province) while giving the Iraqi government some desperately needed political capitol to effect changes in society that will give the Sunnis hope for the future.

The oil revenue sharing plan recently agreed to is an excellent first step – a small one to be sure – but hugely significant. It is the first time the Iraqi government has officially recognized the Sunnis in a positive way. All other recognition of the Sunnis in the Constitution were related to strictures against the Baathists. There have also been some petty local laws that have made the Sunnis feel like outsiders in their own country. This is what has been driving the insurgency; Sunnis believing they have no choice but to die or be herded out of Iraq as refugees or fight the government and the foreign troops that enable their oppressors to survive. As long as the Maliki government can make steady progress on other fronts, the surge will have fulfilled its purpose.

But beyond the surge is the almost dead certainty that we will begin drawing down our forces probably no later than the end of this year and at the latest by the Spring of 2008 regardless of whether the surge works or not. There is no political will in Congress even from Republicans to maintain troop levels beyond that date. There will be no precipitous withdrawal. But neither will there be the desire in Congress – especially by Republicans – for the war to continue at its present level.

There will be “redeployments” and troop rotations back home. Those troops will be replaced by Iraqi troops and police who evidently are benefiting enormously from living with Americans in the neighborhoods where they patrol together, especially the latter.

All of this is in the future. The present situation is an acknowledged crisis and extreme measures are called for – even beyond what has occurred in the past with redeployments. To make a crude analogy, suppose instead of redeploying from the States to Iraq, we were talking about redeploying Patton’s Third Army during the Battle of the Bulge.

Patton’s army was facing east and fighting a pitched battle against the Germans on December 19th when Eisenhower asked the General how long it would take to pull his troops out of the line and march them north to hit the Germans in the flank as they moved farther into the salient or “bulge” made by their rapid advance. Eisenhower, not knowing that Patton had already made plans for such a turn to the north, was surprised when Patton told him that it would take only 48 hours.

The move itself would have the effect of “relieving” Bastogne where the 101st Airborne was hanging on grimly, surrounded as they were by the German army. But, despite the inference made by Patton boosters and popular culture, his move north was not intended to specifically “relieve” anyone. It was an offensive operation aimed at destroying the German army who had finally come into the open. The relief of Bastogne would be a consequence of successful operations carried out against the enemy.

Patton had not only planned the move in advance of his meeting with Ike, he actually started his troops moving before he left for the conference. Thus, 72 hours later, Patton’s Third Army was facing the spearhead of the German attack after pulling his troops out of one fight in south central France, turning them 90 degrees, and marching them more than 150 miles to the north in order to engage the enemy in another battle. It was a truly remarkable achievement in logistics and support not to mention a demonstration of the strength and stamina of the American GI.

Now a careful commander may not have pushed his troops so far so fast. And he almost certainly wouldn’t have engaged the enemy without giving his troops a little rest and a chance to eat a hot meal in the bitter cold. But Patton correctly saw the opportunity to crush the German army and he pushed his exhausted troops into the fight immediately. And despite what I am sure could be defined as severely degraded readiness and efficiency within the ranks of the Third Army, those Americans went into battle because of the enormous opportunity the Germans presented the allies by coming out from behind their defensive positions and going on the offensive.

As I said, a crude analogy but I hope my point is understood. There are times when the die must be cast and the risks taken. This is one of those times. The opportunity we have in Iraq will not come again. And while no one is expecting miracles, there is every hope that the situation can improve dramatically enough so that the Iraqi government can begin to exercise more control over their own capitol while taking the steps necessary to bring the factions together and start the long process toward reconciliation and peace.

I daresay many in the military probably feel as Oak Leaf does and I wouldn’t blame them one bit. But at the same time, you can’t shut the political realities off any more than you can forget the sacrifices of the families and troops who are now bearing the brunt of our past failures and mistakes in Iraq by being forced once again to deploy with less time off and less training than they need or the military may desire.

This, for all practical purposes, is it. Time to realize it and act accordingly.

By: Rick Moran at 7:45 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (10)

The Strata-Sphere linked with Another Dem Iraq-Debacle In The Works
CATEGORY: Moonbats, Politics

First of all, I must point out that most of the blog posts on the left about the attack at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan that the Taliban claims targeted Vice President Dick Cheney have, for the most part, played it straight with a little grumbling about his gallivanting around the world at this point. (For some shocking and notable exceptions, see Malkin, AJ Strata, and Dean Barnett.)

Having said that, this post at Down With Tyranny deserves special attention – not only for its towering ignorance but for its unhinged hatred and despicable comparison of Vice President Cheney to Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler’s chief lieutenant in the Gestapo and at the time of his assassination, Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia:

When I was just a child I used to wrestle with a moral dilemma. If I could go back in time to the very beginning of Hitler’s chancellorship—and knowing in the early 1930s what we know currently about what he and the Nazis were up to—would I kill him? The fact that it would mean my own death was something I discounted entirely. Hitler was a man consumed with hatred and insanity who wielded immense power, power he used for destructiveness on a level rarely seen in history.

How does history judge Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik, respectively a Czech and a Slovak soldier, who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942. They didn’t travel back in time to do it, but from Britain and with the blessing of the Czech government in exile. Heydrich was an SS-Obergruppenfuhrer, chief of Gestapo, one of the 2 or 3 main architects of the Holocaust, and the brutal Governor of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia). He wasn’t the vice president of Germany but at the time of his death Hitler considered him his political heir. Kubis and Gabcik ambushed him in his open car in a Prague suburb on his way to work. They were more successful than the Taliban suicide bomber was today.

Oh! So heroic! Oh! So dramatic! Discounting one’s own death in order to kill Hilter? One needs to ask if, in fact, the writer has grown up yet so that he can disabuse himself of such childish notions. What, pray tell, would have been the “moral dilemma” about killing Hitler? Especially, as the morally confused writer points out, if we knew “in the early 1930s what we know currently about what he and the Nazis were up to…”

This would seem to be a no-brainer – even for an unhinged loon like this poor fellow. Except dealing with concepts like “right” and “wrong” is still a chore for most of the left. They have resolved their dilemma by positing the notion that anyone and anything to the right of Ted Kennedy is evil and wrong. That way, they don’t have to think very hard – or know very much for that matter.

As far as what history has had to say about Heydrich’s assassins, some historians have criticized the British for allowing the boys to go ahead with their attack. That’s because what our morally feckless correspondent fails to point out is that as a result of Heydrich’s death, the Gestapo and SS went on a rampage that echoes down through the years all the way to the present.

More than 13,000 Czechs were rounded up and either murdered outright or sent to concentration camps. The entire towns of Lidice and Ležáky were razed to the ground, bulldozed until no trace of human habitation remained. All the men and boys over 16 were executed. Most of the women were sent to camps – others became subjects of medical experiments.

And the children? Immediately after the war, there were pitiful cries for help from the few surviving mothers of Lidice begging for news of their lost children. It wasn’t until several years later that their grim fate came to light; of the 105 children taken from the two towns, only 17 survived. Nine had been adopted by German families with another 8 found in an orphanage in Prague. The rest had been given “the shower treatment” shortly after being taken.

I’ll give you a real moral dilemma, my morally immature blogging friend. Suppose you were Winston Churchill and knew full well the fury that would be unleashed upon the Czech people as a result of the killing of such an important Nazi. Would you still countenance the support of your government for the assassination plot, even knowing that thousands would die horrible deaths?

Kinda makes your moral dilemma about killing Cheney seem rather insipid now, doesn’t it?

Because that is what, in a roundabout and cowardly way you are trying to get at here. If only someone had killed Cheney when he was but a youngster, the world would be such a fine place, isn’t that what you’re saying? I don’t know any other way to read it – especially your disappointment that the Taliban suicide bomber was less “successful” than the Czech assassins of Heydrich.

Perhaps realizing he had gone over the edge, our Brave Sir Blogger pulls back at the last moment and advocates impeachment rather than assassination:

The deaths of vom Rath and Heydrich did nothing to slow Hitler down. What would have happened had the Taliban succeeded in killing Cheney is something we’ll never know. America’s fate is in the hands of Americans. We need to solve our own problems—and fortunately we have a constitutional process in which to do that.

If this is so, why the big write up about the heroes who assassinated Nazis? Why go so far as to point out that Heydrich “wasn’t the vice president of Germany but at the time of his death Hitler considered him his political heir” thus clearly connecting Cheney and Heydrich in your assassination fantasy?

(Note: It is doubtful that Hitler himself ever considered Heydrich his heir but it is clear that many in the inner circle believed the younger man – he was only 38 when he died – would be able to claw his way to the top eventually due to his sheer ruthlessness.)

I am not one to shy away from nasty political epithets. Nor do I believe political give and take to be a sport for the faint of heart. Politics is, in fact, a blood sport waged full tilt and with few holds barred. But anyone who doesn’t see how far beyond the pale this post and this blogger have gone deserve to be banished to the outer darkness. Sickening in its implications, shocking in its hate directed against the Vice President, I wonder if anyone on the left will denounce this calumny as so many on the right do when one of our unhinged brethren steps over the line?


Go. Read Goldstein. Now.

Speaking of Goldstein, I think this comment by him responding on the post linked above, should be saved for all time and should be carved into Glen Greenwald’s mausoleum:

Christ, if Greenwald were any more full of himself he’d run the risk of getting himself pregnant, or at the very least, being charged with his own rape.

By: Rick Moran at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (15)

The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 02/28/2007 Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Cheney makes surprise Pakistan visit
CATEGORY: Politics

Call it “redeployment.” Call it “withdrawal.” Call it what ever you wish but what it comes down to is “retreat.” And since our boys are still getting shot at, there is no other way to put it except to state that the Democrats want to retreat in the face of the enemy.

Don’t pretend to be offended. Don’t pretend to be angry that anyone is “questioning your patriotism.” What is it about the word “retreat” that angers you so? It is not unpatriotic to argue for retreat now nor is it necessarily uncalled for. But trying to gussy the concept up by hamstringing the President or the Pentagon without actually effecting a retreat is cowardly. In actuality, by initiating the slow bleed the troops plan (now evidently as dead as a doornail, thank God) you force the President to do your retreating for you.

Why the Democrats are so timid about announcing this strategy to the voters is a mystery. There is nothing immoral or even unpatriotic about advocating retreat from Iraq. The immorality lies in their subterfuge, trying to hide what they are doing from the American people by scrambling every which way to couch their strategy for Iraq in something less than honest terms. This after loudly proclaiming that the election in November was a mandate on Iraq.

The problem with having a mandate, however, is that it would be nice if someone, somewhere in the Democratic party would define it for us:

Democratic leaders backed away from aggressive plans to limit President Bush’s war authority, the latest sign of divisions within their ranks over how to proceed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

Senior Democrats who drafted the proposal, including Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Carl Levin of Michigan, had sought swift action on it as early as this week, when the Senate takes up a measure to enact the recommendations of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission.

Speaker Pelosi also appears to be at a loss on how to define the Democrat’s “mandate” from the November elections:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn’t support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress’ spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Pelosi said she supports holding the administration to training and readiness targets, but added: “I don’t see them as conditions to our funding. Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops.”

Good to hear but hardly the stuff to please the rabid anti-war left who are already foaming at the mouth about the refusal of the Democrats to simply declare defeat and bring the troops home by not giving Bush another penny to fight the war. The problem, as the Democrats are beginning to realize, is that the American people have some pretty strong opinions about the war and not all of them line up in lockstep with the loony netroots who are hell bent on taking the Democrats for a long step off a short plank.

While partially debunked by some expert pollsters, the recent Public Opinion Strategies poll did in fact give the lie to many arguments made by the left that the American people agreed with them down the line on Iraq. Instead, despite problems listed by Pollster.Com and Kirsten Powers – two political professionals whose views should be respected – I still stand by the thesis of this article I wrote about the poll; that the American people have a much more nuanced view of what our role in Iraq should be than either the right or the left give them credit for.

And this is the problem that the Democrats are running into when they flail about looking for a strategy to differentiate themselves from the President without appearing to undermine either the troops or the mission. But it’s not for a lack of ideas. Here are just a few of the proposals floated in the House and Senate by the Democrats in addition to the aforementioned Biden plan on de-authorizing AUMF and Murtha’s slow bleed the troops plan:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL) On His Resolution: “The time for waiting in Iraq is over. The days of our open-ended commitment must come to a close. The need to bring this war to an end is here. That is why today I am introducing the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007.” (Sen. Obama, Congressional Record, 01/30/07, pS.1322)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY) On Her Proposal: “I don’t want to defund our troops. I’m against that. But I want to defund the Iraqi troops. I want to defund the private security going for the Iraqi government if they don’t meet these certain requirements.” (Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume,” 01/18/07)

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI) On His Resolution: “U.S. Senator Russ Feingold today introduced the Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007. Feingold’s bill uses Congress’s power of the purse to force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq by prohibiting funds for continued operations six months after enactment.” (Sen. Feingold, “Feingold Introduces Iraq Redeployment Act Of 2007,” Press Release, 01/31/07)

SEN. TED KENNEDY (D-MA) On His Resolution: “I have introduced legislation which would require the President to get the authority he needs from Congress before moving forward with further escalation in Iraq. I intend to seek a vote on it, unless the President changes course. … I look forward to that debate and a vote at the earliest possible time.” (Sen. Kennedy, Congressional Record, 02/06/07, p.S1588)

SEN. CHRIS DODD (D-CT) On His Resolution: “Mr. Chairman, as you know on January 16, I followed up my statement of opposition to the President’s plan in Committee with the introduction of binding legislation in opposition to the President’s proposal to escalate US combat involvement in Iraq. I have done so by statutorily limiting troop levels to those on the ground as of January 16, 2007, absent the explicit authorization in advance from Congress to increase those levels.” (Sen. Dodd, “Prepared Remarks Of Senator Dodd – Dodd Amendment Limiting Troops Deployed To Iraq – Foreign Relations Committee,” Press Release, 01/24/07)

(HT: Jon Henke, New Media Advisor, Senate Republican Communications Office)

Some of these plans would make for interesting debate in the Supreme Court as one side or the other would almost certainly contest the constitutionality of various provisions contained in the bills or the President’s refusal to abide by them. Such would make for good political theater but hardly solves either the Democrat’s dilemma of how to retreat from Iraq without appearing to advocate it or the President’s problem of being able to keep recalcitrant GOP members in line long enough to give his strategy a chance to succeed.

The fact that Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi cannot even get a consensus within their respective caucuses on the way forward should give the President a small bit of breathing room on Iraq.

But I would bet that by the time the National Symphony revs up The 1812 Overture for the fireworks show on the 4th of July, if there is not a noticeable improvement in the security situation in Baghdad and – even more importantly – there is no tangible progress by the Maliki government on the host of political issues facing the country with regard to Sunni participation in the political life of the country and national reconciliation, I would suspect that the Democrats will once again find their voice and begin this process all over again. Only this time, they will be joined by many frightened Republican legislators who see Iraq as a millstone around the neck of the party and have no desire to go down to defeat carrying it with them.

It is too early to say much of anything about the surge except it seems to have gotten the Iraqis attention, especially Muqtada al-Sadr and his murderous militia. And the fact that the Maliki government has finalized the oil rights agreement is the first good news from that quarter in months.

But even that will not be enough to blunt the momentum for retreat if the Democrats ever get their act together. It won’t be for lack of trying. But as long as they insist on hiding behind sophistry and legislative tricks to accomplish their goals, the American people will treat them with the contempt they so richly deserve.

By: Rick Moran at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (4)


Last night’s episode highlighted the enormous challenges faced by the United States Secret Service, perhaps the most unsung of all federal law enforcement agencies.

No one talks about the “Silent Service” very much, which suits the agents just fine. While their missions have expanded much in recent years to include investigating financial crimes (so-called “white collar” crimes), identity theft, counterfeiting, and computer related crime, their primary mission remains as it has since 1901 – the protection of the President.

In that thankless role, several agents have given their lives or been severely wounded as a result of their dedication to their mission – to place themselves as “human shields” around the President to protect his life at the expense of their own. Most recently, Special Agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the abdomen when he deliberately placed himself in the path of a bullet intended for Ronald Reagan. Video of the assassination attempt clearly shows Agent McCarthy, his arms akimbo in order to place more of his body between the shooter and the President, moving sideways as the gun tracked President Reagan, taking a bullet that could very well have struck the President.

(Reagan was not hit by a direct shot but rather by a ricochet that struck the inside of the open door to the limo.)

And a uniformed member of the Secret Service, White House Police Private Leslie William Coffelt, was shot and killed defending President Truman who was staying in The Blair House across the street from the White House in 1951 while the mansion was being renovated. Two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, attacked Blair House, wounding Coffelt severely who was on duty guarding the front door. As the assassins entered the foyer, they ran into a hail of bullets from Secret Service Agents including the wounded Coffelt who fired a bullet while lying prone on the ground hitting Torresola in the head and killing him instantly. Two other Uniformed Secret Service members, Donald Birdzell and Joseph Downs, were also wounded in the attack and recovered. Coffelt died later that day.

Oscar Collazo was convicted and sentenced to death but his sentence was commuted to life in prison by President Truman. In 1979, Jimmy Carter commuted the assassin’s life term to time served and he was released from prison.

Despite these heroics (and many more that rarely make the news), the Secret Service still desires to maintain a low profile for the most part. Only when the threat level is elevated will the agents make an ostentatious show of their numbers as well as how well armed they are, all the better to discourage assassins.

Instead, the Secret Service relies much more on prevention than on actual protection. To accomplish this, they have the most modern. up to date tools available through the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), a unit that makes much of what the fictional CTU does pale in comparison.

The NTAC draws intelligence and expertise from all over the government and disseminates their findings to law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. While they may not have as many cool gadgets that CTU purports to show, they have massive amounts of data that can identify and track potential threats. Sometimes, acting on some of this data leads to the Secret Service showing up at the door of bloggers, or high school kids,, or even elderly letter writers who make innocuous comments about the President.

Some see this vigilance as overkill or even ascribe more sinister motives to these visits. What all of us fail to realize is that the Secret Service is required by an Act of Congress to investigate all threats or potential threats to the President regardless of who they are from or how serious agents might consider them to be.

Last night’s episode revealed the service at its best and perhaps their worst. Should they have been able to detect the bomb parts in Carson’s briefcase? One would hope in real life, that such would be the case but I’m not so sure. The Agent inspecting the contents of the briefcase appeared to do a thorough enough job, going so far as to make sure that the dictation device that would contain the assembled bomb actually worked. It may be that other bomb parts that were unassembled would have been noticeable to a real Secret Service Agent but we just don’t know. Clearly, in the aftermath of any such assassination attempt, a review of how the bomb made it by security would have top priority. And if a weakness was found either in training or procedures, you can be sure that the Service would rectify that weakness to the best of their ability.

It is also worth noting that at least 3 agents raced to protect the President when Assad yelled “bomb” just before the explosion and that at least two appeared to have died. If so, they gave their lives as they had sworn to do; upholding their oaths to protect the President with their lives if necessary.

A thankless job for which all Americans should be grateful that there are men and women possessing the courage and dedication to perform this necessary and hazardous duty.


We find Gredenko at what appears to be a deserted air strip waiting for that mysterious shipment from Las Vegas. He calls Fayed and tells him that once he has delivery, that setting up and reconfiguring the electronics will take a couple of hours. Somehow, these two are going to have to hook up so that the two parts of the plot can come together. When that happens, expect one or both sides to try and betray the other. The ultra-nationalist Gredenko and the fanatical jihadist Fayed are like oil and water; the idea that they will mix and complete the plot together doesn’t seem likely. Gredenko makes this even more likely when he sneers ““The Arabs and the West can destroy each other,” which could mean he will eliminate one of the only links in the plot who is aware of his involvement.

Besides, the Gods demand that both crooks try and double cross each other. If so, bet on Fayed to come out on top.

Back at the White House, the President gets a visit from an ambassador of presumably Middle Eastern origin who is informed of Assad’s upcoming speech to his radical jihadist buddies across the world asking them to “lay down their arms” and support this peace initiative.

The more I think about this, the sillier it is. The fact that any President of the United States would take this “peace overture” seriously is even sillier. And silliest of all perhaps is the notion that the many and disparate terrorist groups around the world – including narco-terrorist organizations like the Columbian based FARC or the communist inspired “Shining Path” in Peru who are responsible for hundreds of innocent deaths would care what one Middle Eastern terrorist was doing.

Having pointed this out, if we haven’t learned yet to suspend our belief in reality when watching this show then we are almost certainly not watching it anymore. It makes it all the more entertaining to watch as the left continues to hyperventilate about the show and its plot lines, drawing some kind of parallel between what happens in real life and what happens in this fictional drama.

The ambassador seems offended at the President’s demand that his government issue a statement supporting Assad’s efforts – that is until Palmer makes it clear in no uncertain terms that if another nuke goes off, the ambassador’s country is Number One with a bullet on our hit list.

Back at CTU, Jack calls Bill and tells him for the first time that his father is in on the plot and that he will fill him in later. What Jack really needs from Bill is authorization to speak to former President Jellyfish who has offered to help in the search for Gredenko. Jack asks Bill why the terrorist supporting Logan has not been punished for his crimes and we are informed that after pleading guilty to “obstruction of justice,” Logan has retired to his estate and is under house arrest.

Once again, the reason given is that we poor citizens just couldn’t handle the bad news that our President is not only a crook, but a traitor as well. Do you think that one day, the powers that be will stop treating us like children, hiding information that they believe might upset us?

Outside the hotel, Jack tells Marilyn and Josh to get back to CTU where they will be “safe.” Given the porous security we’ve seen in the past at CTU headquarters, they would probably be better off just about anywhere else including their own home. At any rate, Jack tells Josh (still wild speculation that the kid is Jack’s) that one day he will tell him what a creep his dad really was and how he masterminded plots to kill thousands of Americans. Well, perhaps he wasn’t quite as graphic but the kid isn’t stupid and knows enough about his dad and now his grandfather that he realizes he is part of perhaps the most spectacularly dysfunctional family in America. Maybe in world history although the Medici’s could give the Bauers a run for that title.

And judging by that special moment shared by Jack and Marilyn before they parted – the tender caress and soulful exchange of glances – my guess is that Audrey has her work cut out for her if she expects to retain Jack’s fealty. Perhaps the issue could be settled between the two women at 20 paces with revolvers. More likely, a good old fashioned cat fight would decide the issue – preferably in a ring filled with mud or jello. Think of the ratings bonanza for that episode.

After guiding Carson through the Secret Service checkpoint with the unassembled bomb in his briefcase, Reed tells him about Lennox and how he has had to restrain him lest the plot be discovered. Carson, who works for the “Abbot Institute” (sounds an awful lot like the conservative think tank Hoover Institution), calmly informs Reed that Lennox will have to be killed, preferably by making his death appear to be a suicide. But Reed is nothing if not loyal and objects saying that once the Muslims are being rounded up and the missiles start flying, Lennox will be back on board. Carson is unconvinced and begins to assemble the bomb.

Poor Morris is having a devil of a time concentrating on his work and Chloe suspects the worst – that he’s been drinking again. She asks if he has called his AA sponsor and Morris says that he has although when he would have found the time is not apparent. As Morris goes off to play with the server, Chloe surreptitiously finds the number to Morris’ sponsor and calls, leaving a message for the sponsor to call her back. Nadia also gets in on the controversy, believing that Morris is incapable of performing his duties by eventually deferring to Chloe’s judgement.

The confrontation between Jack and Logan is tense but delicious. You can almost see Jack’s hands itching to place themselves around the ex-President’s neck. Insincere and as oily as ever, Jellyfish tells Jack that Gredenko has a conduit at the Russian consulate in Los Angeles, the Consul General himself Anatoly Markov, who probably knows where Gredenko is and what he’s up to. Logan informs Jack that only he can get Markov to spill the beans about Gredenko because he was involved in all the plots from last year and he can threaten to expose the CG to his superiors. When Jack sneeringly asks what Logan wants in return, Jellyfish claims he got religion and only wants redemption.

Jack is unconvinced but with precious little else to go on calls the President for the Executive Order that would free Logan temporarily. Palmer too is skeptical but after talking to the man who murdered his brother, nevertheless gives the go ahead.

At the deserted air strip, Gredenko finally welcomes the shipment from Las Vegas: two small US army aerial drones that will presumably be used to drop the bombs.

This is actually an excellent choice by the terrorists. The drones are too small to be tracked by all but the most sophisticated radar, are virtually noiseless, and have a huge range. The fact that there are three bombs but only two drones makes how they deploy these weapons a very interesting problem that I’m sure the writers will either ignore or invent some lame situation where they can be re-loaded. Judging by the size of the drones, they would be incapable of carrying more than one bomb at a time.

Back at CTU, things are getting dicey for Morris. Bill tries to relieve him but still in the grip of his dry drunk, Morris announces to everyone in the conference room that even though he has had a very bad day, he can still do his job. Bill relents and allows Morris to continue over Nadia’s objections. Chloe also has her doubts which are fed a few minutes later by Nadia who shows her where Morris has evidently made a simple mistake in one of his reports. When she confronts Morris, he dismisses it as inconsequential, charging Nadia with having it in for him just to prove that she was right to question his abilities in front of Bill. Chloe just doesn’t know what to make of things and starts to obsess over the problem.

Back at Logan’s ranch, Jack proves that he is always prepared by showing up in a suit looking like a million bucks in order to pass himself off as a Secret Service agent. He gets the authorization from the President while Logan is in front of the mirror in his bedroom preening like a peacock. He quotes a verse from the bible as part of a personal pep talk, that makes us wonder just how far this religious “conversion” has gone.

Judging from his past history, we can safely assume that we can trust President Jellyfish about as far as we can throw him.

The dam breaks at CTU when Chloe gets a call from the woman who was listed as Morris’ sponsor on his personal phonebook. She claims she hasn’t talked to Morris in three years. Convinced now that Morris is lying, she hunts him down in the men’s bathroom and interrupts her ex-husband while he is in the process of attending to a very serious call of nature.

Claiming that he now has another sponsor and that Chloe has gone off the deep end, Morris convinces her that everything is, if not fine, then certainly not as bad as she believes things to be. Right after Chloe leaves the restroom, ashamed for doubting him, Morris pulls a liquor bottle (3/4 empty) from his pocket and, after deliberating briefly, pours the remainder down the sink while throwing the empty bottle in the wastebasket, Since it is probable that even the wastebaskets in the bathroom are inspected to make sure nothing important is thrown away, Morris’ drinking will probably be discovered anyway. But for now, he is safe.

Back in the boiler room, Carson is still constructing the bomb while Lennox is tended to by Reed. Tom pleads with his former aide to not become a terrorist by killing the President but to no avail. In the meantime, the President’s secretary calls Reed asking after Lennox who the President wants at Assad’s speech. Reed assures her that Tom is on his way while he hurries Carson along in his bombmaking. With the bomb assembled, Carson shows Reed how to activate it by punching a code into a palm pilot. Fifteen seconds later – kablam! The President must be in “the kill zone” of ten feet for the bomb to do its dirty work.

Making his way to the broadcast studio where the speech will first be rehearsed by Assad with the President in attendance, Reed sidles up to the podium and places the bomb inside. Just then the President walks in with Assad.

Back in the boiler room, a desperate Lennox sees a way to manipulate the steam pressure by turning a valve with his feet. Even though the alarm briefly goes off, Carson is able to bring the pressure back down and warns Tom that any further trouble will bring swift retribution. Tom can only suffer in silence as the moment approaches.

After brushing off the President with excuses about Tom’s whereabouts, Reed leaves the studio and stands outside the door. As Assad stands at the podium with the President standing only a few feet away, Reed punches the code into the PDA and waits.

The seconds go by with agonizing slowness. As the chemicals in the bomb mix toward criticality, some of the fluid leaks and dribbles down the podium. Curious, Assad stoops and looks inside. Deducing the threat he yells “Bomb!” and lunges toward the President as do 3 other Secret Service agents.

The explosion rocks the little room sending debris flying around like shrapnel everywhere. It is apparent that at least 3 Secret Service agents and possibly even Assad are dead. Secret Service agents rush past Reed who is still standing outside the room as if nothing happened, not even seeming excited about what just occurred. Let’s hope the agents remember this behavior later as it certainly would be considered suspicious under any circumstances.

But the President moves slightly suggesting that he is badly hurt but still alive. The agents probably deflected just enough force from the blast to save him. But it is also apparent that he is in no shape to continue in office – at least for a while. That means that the Vice President and his nefarious plans to destroy the Constitution as well as perhaps start a world war will move front and center.


It seemed obvious that at least three Secret Service Agents (or bystanders) were dead with Assad’s condition not confirmed. My guess is we will find out next week what the total body count was so until then, we will go with only the three obviously departed agents.


SHOW: 370

By: Rick Moran at 10:47 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (6)

CATEGORY: War on Terror

With Vice President Cheney’s “unannounced” visit to Islamabad, the Bush Administration appears to be finally waking up to the fact that the situation in Pakistan has deteriorated to the point that it threatens not only Musharraf’s status as our primary ally in the region in fighting the War on Terror but also the safety and viability of the government of Afghanistan.

Musharraf’s Faustian bargains with several northern tribes – tribes allied with the Taliban and who tolerate al-Qaeda operatives in their midst – has backfired in spectacular fashion. The strictures in these agreements against crossing the border to fight in Afghanistan have been honored in the breach as NATO troops report Taliban fighters pouring across the border in great numbers. And since President Musharraf prohibits NATO forces from carrying out “hot pursuit” missions into Pakistan in order to catch and kill the Taliban when they retreat, northern tribal areas have become safe havens for the enemy who can then rest, refit, and re-enter Afghanistan virtually at will. Pakistani border guards don’t stop them. And the Pakistani army is precluded from operating in those areas as a result of the agreements.

With all this in mind – plus the presence of al-Qaeda in territory that the Pakistani army cannot operate – Musharraf’s credentials as our most important ally against radical Islamic terror groups have been tarnished considerably. In fact, the Administration may very well be losing confidence in the Pakistani President as a partner in both the War on Terror and in supporting the government of President Karzai in Afghanistan.

I have discussed on numerous occasion the impossible position Musharaff finds himself in as a result of his alliance with the United States. As a result, the Pakistani President has been trying – unsuccessfully – to juggle his need to please the Bush Administration (who have doled out $5 billion in military and economic aid over the last 4 years) and his need to appease elements in his own government who support the Taliban and even al-Qaeda.

It is true that Musharraf initially played the role of strong ally, locking up hundreds of Taliban fighters and al-Qaeda foot soldiers following our invasion of Afghanistan. And their help in capturing high value targets like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been invaluable.

But much of that support has fallen by the wayside. Indeed, it took a herculean diplomatic effort on the part of the United States to keep Musharraf from releasing hundreds of those detainees following his agreement last fall with North Waziristan tribes. Apparently some high level Taliban prisoners were scheduled for release and only the intercession of both the State Department and the CIA prevented that from happening.

And now it appears that Musharaff isn’t even going through the motions of trying to keep the Taliban from Afghanistan soil and is instead blaming the Afghans themselves for their resurgence:

Underscoring growing alarm in the West at how militants have regained ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday sought Pakistani aid to help counter al-Qaida’s efforts to regroup, officials said.

However, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf insisted his forces have already “done the maximum” possible against extremists in their territory _ and insisted that other allies also shoulder responsibility in the U.S.-led war on terrorism…

“Cheney expressed U.S. apprehensions of regrouping of al-Qaida in the tribal areas and called for concerted efforts in countering the threat,” Musharraf’s office said.

He also “expressed serious U.S. concerns on the intelligence being picked up of an impending Taliban and al-Qaida ‘spring offensive’ against allied forces in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

If Musharraf actually believes he has done “the maximum possible” to keep the Taliban from infiltrating in Afghanistan, his value as an ally in the War on Terror has dropped considerably.

Fueled by profits from a record poppy harvest in Afghanistan, emboldened by their political victories over Musharraf, and benefiting from help received by elements inside Pakistan including conservative religious parties and the Pakistani intelligence service, the Taliban appear poised to make a major effort this spring to inflict ruinous casualties on NATO troops that would almost certainly awaken the European left and send them into the streets calling for a withdrawal of their nation’s forces from the fight. And Musharraf, buffeted by mounting pressure from all segments of Pakistani society to pull back from his relationship with the US, is probably at the end of his rope and can do little else to assist us overtly in the fight against the Taliban and radical Islamists.

I would suggest the Administration start dusting off their “worst case scenario” plans regarding Pakistan and Afghanistan. And if there’s a rabbit they can pull out a diplomatic hat that will alter the political situation even marginally in Pakistan, now’s the time.

By: Rick Moran at 3:12 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (3)

The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 02/26/2007
CATEGORY: Iran, Middle East

In this excellent overview of the Israeli’s view of the Iranian nuclear program in the Daily Telegraph, it’s made very clear by the government that attacking Iran before they can acquire a nuclear weapon is not a question of if, but of when:

Having already suffered a near-apocalypse in the form of the Holocaust, the Jewish people have no intention of being the hapless victims of Ahmadinejad’s genocidal designs. Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, last month gave his most explicit warning to date that Israel was prepared to use military force to prevent Teheran from obtaining a nuclear weapon: “The Jewish people, with the scars of the Holocaust fresh on its body, cannot afford to allow itself to face threats of annihilation once again.”

That single sentence sums up the consensus among most of the Israeli people. If the wider world is not prepared to take pre-emptive action to stop Iran from fulfilling its nuclear ambitions, then Israel is ready to act alone.

There are those who do not take the Iranian President at his word that he will “wipe Israel off the map.” But if you are an Israeli government official charged with the safety and security of your tiny nation, you cannot afford the luxury of wondering whether Ahmadinejad is serious or not. He is the leader of a nation that at the very least, is about to get his hands on the technology – uranium enrichment – that can be used for both peaceful and military purposes. If you can enrich uranium for fuel to drive a nuclear reactor, then you can certainly enrich it enough to build a bomb.

The process is exactly the same. The only difference is is in the percentage of isotopes that are converted from U-235 to U238. In short, all you have to do is run the centrifuges for a longer period of time.

Since the Iranians have not shown any willingness to allow for the very intrusive inspections and monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which would give confidence to the Israelis that the Iranian program is peaceful, it is a virtual certainty that they will attack and take care of what they perceive to be a problem themselves:

As for Israel’s offensive plans against Iran, the Iran Command team’s task is to demonstrate that Israel has the capability to act unilaterally.

“No one is going to take this threat seriously until the State of Israel can demonstrate to the outside world that we have the ability to deal with this menace on our own,” said a senior security official who serves on Iran Command.

“The only way we can put pressure on the outside world to deal effectively with Iran’s nuclear programme is to demonstrate that we can do this ourselves.

‘’Of course, we hope it doesn’t come to a military solution, and we hope that this can be resolved through diplomacy. But Iran’s track record is not good.”

If the Israelis do go through with their attack on Iranian nuclear sites, the United States will almost certainly suffer for the Israeli action. The Iranians have made it clear that they consider the US and Israel interchangeable in this matter and that an attack by either one will require a response against both countries.

Given this set of circumstances, the Bush Administration may very well be thinking that if they are going to get blamed by Iran for an Israeli attack on Iran, why not carry out the attack themselves? In for a penny, in for a pound.

Of course, our attack on Iran would set in motion a series of events in Iraq and elsewhere that would have consequences far more costly than a “pound.” The resulting turmoil in the Middle East could have a catastrophic impact on our interests not to mention any interruption in the oil supply deeply affecting our economy.

But it is in Iraq where we would suffer most from our attack on Iran. Some Shia militias would almost certainly turn on us and make any efforts to stem the violence there futile. For this reason, as well as all the other downside probabilities, I believe that we are not seriously contemplating a military strike on Iran.

In fact, we may be playing a willing cats paw for Israel. While we send more and more naval assets to the Persian Gulf while keeping up a constant drumbeat of charges and allegations about the Iranians assisting in the killing of Americans in Iraq, Israel can carry out the enormously complex planning involved in their own attack on Iran largely below the radar of world scrutiny:

For the Israelis, taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities is a very different proposition to the 1981 attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor. Back then, the Israelis had the element of surprise – the last thing the Iraqis expected to see was a squadron of Israeli warplanes in their airspace.

Iraq’s nuclear programme also posed a relatively straightforward target in that all the facilities were concentrated at the Osirak complex, south of Baghdad. A few well-targeted bombs released in a single air raid were sufficient to do the job.

The Iranians, on the other hand, learning the lessons of the Osirak debacle, have scattered their resources around the country. Obvious targets, such as the controversial uranium enrichment complex at Natanz, are set in specially constructed bomb proof bunkers that would require high-precision, bunker-busting bombs to inflict any serious damage.

Yet another challenge is presented by the recent arrival of the Russian-made Tor M1 anti-aircraft missile system as part of an arms deal signed between Moscow and Teheran last year.

The military challenges may seem like a picnic when Israel considers the diplomatic nightmare of what the world’s reaction would be to their attack. Although the Jewish state can hardly be more isolated, actual sanctions would almost certainly be considered by the UN (and vetoed promptly by the US). And the idea of Israel attacking Muslim country would almost certainly roil the Arab street, although it would meet with secret approval in several Arab capitols where Sunnis dominate.

There simply are no consequence-free options on Iran for either Israel or the United States. But for the Israelis, who believe that Iran is willing and will be capable of carrying out another Holocaust of the Jewish people, the only consequence they fear may be from not doing anything at all.

By: Rick Moran at 2:55 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (13)


We are really in for it.

An ice storm has hit and, in all liklihood, will wreak havoc on power lines and such.

Just giving you all a heads up just in case this site is down for a few days.


UPDATE: 2/25

Looks like we dodged a bullet. It warmed up more quickly than our brilliant weather service predicted which meant that most of the ice turned to rain.

Wish we had Al Gore as our weatherman. He’s great. He can predict the weather 100 years from now. What it’s going to be like tomorrow should be a piece of cake.

By: Rick Moran at 10:52 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

CATEGORY: Election '06

Time for the left to get their annual tin foil hat adjustment. And judging by the news coming out of Florida’s 13th Congressional District, they may wish to start saving up their Crackerjack boxtops to buy a new model:

An audit of touch-screen voting machines at the center of a dispute in a congressional election found no evidence of malfunction, Florida’s secretary of state said Friday.

Florida election officials announced yesterday that an examination of voting software did not find any malfunctions that could have caused up to 18,000 votes to be lost in a disputed Congressional race in Sarasota County, and they suggested that voter confusion over a poor ballot design was mainly to blame.

The finding, reached unanimously by a team of computer experts from several universities, could finally settle last fall’s closest federal election. The Republican candidate, Vern Buchanan, was declared the winner by 369 votes, but the Democrat, Christine Jennings, formally contested the results, claiming that the touch-screen voting machines must have malfunctioned.

So if the code was good, what might have been the problem?

While some voters in Sarasota bristled yesterday at the idea that they had done anything wrong in casting their votes, or that nearly 13 percent of all voters could have failed to spot the race on the ballot, members of the investigative team said that those remained the only plausible theories.

The report acknowledged that the huge undervote — in which voters cast a ballot in other races but not for the Congressional seat — was both “abnormal and unexpected.” But it said that all eight members of the investigative team, including some experts who have long been skeptical about the paperless machines, agreed that the basic programming “did not cause or contribute to” the loss of votes.

The study suggested instead that the confusion over the ballot design, which had also drawn complaints from voters, probably accounted for the bulk of the problem, much as the infamous “butterfly ballot” distorted the vote in Palm Beach County, Fla., during the 2000 presidential election.

Evidently, the paper ballots were able to highlight the race for Congressman (or at least set it apart) while the ballot that appeared on the touchscreen was extremely difficult to read. Also, if a voter touched his choice more than once, the vote was negated – obviously to guard against someone being able to stand at the machine and vote numerous times.

It is probable that this was not explained to voters very well which means that around 18,000 people either missed the Congressional choice on the ballot due to the confused layout on the screen or hit their choice twice – about 13% of the total vote.

Because the netnuts triumphed in November, we haven’t heard very much about evil Diebold stealing elections. This begs the question: Did Diebold screw up or is the left full of crap when it comes to election conspiracies?

Just as soon as I get my marching orders from Evil Karl via thought waves, I’ll let you know.

By: Rick Moran at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (11)

The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 02/26/2007
Pirate's Cove linked with Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup