Thursday, November 15, 2007

Barry Bonds has been indicted.

The SF Chronicle has the dope (sorry). So perjury and obstruction, but no tax evasion or actual taking of steroids. Odd mix. I thought that by now all the prosecutors had left was tax evasion - shows what I know. Does this mean that Greg Anderson has gone all stool pigeon on his boyhood friend?

ESPN is reporting that President Bush has issued a statement expressing disappointment in Bonds. Doesn't he have anything more important to worry about?

Strategic Drift, eh?

John Podesta et. al. certainly don't believe that we have won/are winning in Iraq. Let's take a look.

With apparent disregard for the opinion of the American people, the debate over whether the large U.S. military presence in Iraq threatens our national security has been put on hold. Both political parties seem resigned to allowing the Bush administration to run out the clock on its Iraq strategy and bequeath this quagmire to the next president. The result is best described as strategic drift, and stopping it won't be easy.

The debate is on hold is it? I suppose that this vote never happened. And check this out - 40 more imaginary votes!

Strategic drift is being aided by many in the legislative and executive branches (in both political parties), most of the foreign policy elite, and several policy research institutions. Conservatives continue to align themselves with Bush's Iraq strategy; some have offered muted criticisms of the implementation and handling of the war, but there has been no call to change direction.

So people in the Executive Branch are helping the President implement his policy? What perfidy! Mr. Podesta was Pres. Clinton's Chief of Staff for four years. One might think that he would realize that those in the Executive Branch actually work for the President. They are doing their jobs. And the Presidents political allies are with him too - whoulda thunk it?

Proponents of the current path claim that, after four years of failed strategies, the surge was needed to get Iraq on track. They point to recent declines in the overall level of violence and cooperation at the local level between some Sunni insurgents and U.S. forces. But the progress being made at the local level often undermines the stated goal of creating a unified, stable, democratic Iraq.

The last sentence here is actually a fair point. Gen. Petraeus is now going around the Federal Gov't. in Iraq to give aid directly to local gov'ts/sheiks/merchants/etc.. I'm not sure that I can prove it, but this seems like a tactic that could be very helpful in the short term while possibly damaging when one takes a longer view.

Similarly, the presence of a large U.S. combat force contributes to regional instability. Since the surge began, the number of internally displaced Iraqis has more than doubled. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has said that more than 2 million Iraqis have left the country, and tens of thousands flee every day, often to squalid camps in Syria and Jordan.

I guess the esteemed authors couldn't be bothered to notice that this trend has started to change.

These guys could do better.

Have we won in Iraq (2)?

UVA Prof. Lawrence Caesar is the latest on the bandwagon. Oh, and Tony Blankley has hopped on as well.

I'm shocked! Shocked I say!

Well, maybe not. The thing about this is the utter dumbness of it. Surely Sen. Clinton's campaign has list of verboten donor names. And for $5k? WTF? They can't be that desperate for cash.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shut up, Senator Breck

This isn't even good posturing. Loser.

What will the Supremes do?

Robert Levy lays out the 2nd Amendment case that the Supreme Court may take up this term. This would be a great case for a sweeping pro-civil rights judgment.

Please do it.

Senate Democrats may force Republicans into a real filibuster over the latest Iraq funding bill. Good for them. I don't much care for the filibuster as a tool. At some point, legislative bodies need to vote on important questions.

This attempt would be dumb, even by the standards of Leader Reid. It's hard to imagine that even someone as dense as he is would believe what he said in the story.

Have we won in Iraq?

Greyhawk thinks so.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

'08 Analysis

Stuart Rothenberg takes a look at what the '08 election may portend in the House of Representatives. He knows of what he speaks.

By the way, lots of good stuff at RCP today.

More No News Is Good News

This is starting to get routine. Ralph Peters is the latest to note a trend in the reporting on Iraq.


Duncan Anderson of The American Thinker makes a great point in this column about our modern memorials. War memorials should feature soldiers with guns not just lists of names.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Blogging

So exciting. What lesson will Republicans take from last Tuesday's election losses? I'll be interested to find out.

Friday, November 9, 2007

No News Is Good News

Rich Galen notes some big news in the NY Times.

Way To Go, Joe

Sen. Lieberman lays into his own party. Well said.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Busy Day

I don't think that I'll be posting much of anything today - like it's a problem.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Stupid Government Tricks

Thanks in no small part to our own Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-6), internet gambling was largely banned last year. An effort is underway to reverse that asinine decision. The "we know better than you" crowd is revving up to stop a fairly commonsense bill sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). I don't think that the ban is going anywhere any time soon.

Crazy Man Endorses Giuliani

Pat Robertson is now in Rudy G's camp. I think that P-Rob's a loon, but his endorsement is gold in Republican nomination races: 1988-Bush; 1996-Dole; 2000-Bush. We'll see if the trend continues.


More good news from Iraq. I wonder if this will make front page news like the most recent bad news did? Ahhh, who am I kidding?

Election Recap

Republicans did not hold on. If I may pat myself on the back, that 18.5 o/u for Repubs in the Senate looks pretty damn good with the GOP coming in at 19 out of 40.

So Dems have (as of now) picked up 4 seats in each house. It looked as though they would do better than that a few weeks ago. I think that the abusive driver fees didn't help them as much as they had hoped. Too bad Gov Kaine had to amend the trans. bill to exclude non-residents. Further, several Repub districts in each house trended more traditionally than seemed likely a few weeks ago.

It's still a significant win for Kaine and the Dems. Congrats. January in Richmond may be more interesting now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

GOP Holding On?

Polling Day

You have only about 3 1/2 hours left to vote here in Virginia. Get out there and do your duty.


Andrew Bacevich writes about the dumbest thing I've read in a while. I can't decide whether the question begging or the vague platitudinal blather is the worst of it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tuesday's Elections

Looks like we're gonna have a changing of the guard in Virginia's Senate. Republicans hold 23 out of 40 seats now. I'd say that their over-under for January is 18.5. I'm more inclined to support Republicans than Democrats, but I'm not so sure that this outcome would be all that bad. Having the General Assembly split during redistricting is probably a good thing.

I shouldn't be so quick to assume that the GOP will assume minority status in the Senate. If several of their districts work out the way you would normally expect, the Reps may be able to hold on. We'll know soon enough.

Well Said

J. R. Dunn of the estimable American Thinker pens a column on torture for RCP. Pretty well spot on, I'd say.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Breaking Good News

It looks as though at least two of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are going to act like grownups after all. Good for them. I'll admit that may be treating Sen. Feinstein unfairly - but not Sen. Schumer.

More on Iraq

The WaPo reports on the decreased violence in Iraq - but notes some less hopeful items as well. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi wants to change the country's electoral system. He may have a very good idea - it's obviously hard for me to say. I do wonder if his very poor showing in the 2005 election has anything to do with his desire to change the rules.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

(Mostly) Good News from Iraq

This LA Times article is worth a read. Here's a bit:

They say the decision to send 28,500 more troops to Iraq has made a difference by allowing them to send soldiers to live on the fault lines between Sunni Arab and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, and to conduct sweeping offensives in provinces east and south of the capital against strongholds of Shiite Muslim militias and Sunni militants linked to foreign insurgents.

But others say that the picture is more complicated than that because those seeking to cleanse their neighborhoods of rival religious sects have largely succeeded. The civilian death toll plummeted nationwide in the last two months; the toll was 2,076 in January but 884 in September and 758 in October, according to the Iraqi Health Ministry.

It remains to be seen if local political progress will translate in progress on the national level. With losses among our troops and Iraqi civilians dropping, maybe optimism is justified.

Some Advice for Republicans

This perspective comes courtesy of Tony Blankley. I wonder if the GOP will have the wisdom to heed his warning.

The Politico

Do you read If not, here's something of an introduction. They have an article on voter anger today. The claim is that angry voters are fed up with Washington and that is bad news for Democrats. I suspect that things are somewhat more complicated than that. Plenty of voters are upset that Dems have not come through on the promises about ending the Iraq War. Do you really think that any of them are suddenly going to vote for Republicans because of it? I think that is a small cadre of voters who may vacillate between the two parties, but most of them will stick with the Dems in 2008.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The (Sort of) Sacking of Stanley O'Neal

Clarence Page hits all the right notes. I'm waiting to hear from Jesse and Al.

Do You Believe in Redemption?

Vivian Paige would like to know. I'm for yes. I hope that Alphonso Albert will get a chance prove himself in his new job.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Evidence Mounts

I know that some people will always refuse to believe it, but another study points to sexual orientation as "genetically wired." I hear that there's gambling at Rick's, too.

Moment of Silence

Illinois's law faces a court challenge. It makes for an interesting case. I don't think that a moment of silence is likely to fail against a Constitutional challenge, but the idea that it is not meant to promote prayer is nonsense. It just takes a wink and a nod.

Hillary vs. Ronnie P.

Well, this revelation is interesting. It's good news for Republicans, and further proof of Sen. Clinton's high negatives. She has a year to work on those, however....

Update: look at these numbers, too.

I'm back.

I know you're excited. I'd further regale you with tales of 3 days off, but I know better. More posting shortly.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Does Church Make You Poor?

Looks like it. The U.S. and Kuwait are outliers. I wonder how strong the causal relationship really is. Sleeping in on Sunday looks like an even better idea than I already thought it was.

The Fabled Bypass

The News & Advance has an article about the state of the proposed Rt. 29 bypass. I'm happy to see that Senator Newman has gotten an opinion from Attorney General McDonnell on payback by the Culpeper District, for what it's worth. That's pretty much nothing right now. Gov. Kaine owes too many favors to donors in the C'ville area to allow the bypass plans to go forward. Hard to imagine that it would be different under any Democratic Governor. Score one for McDonnell '09.

I see that I'm not the only one.

Stephen Green (Vodkapundit) writes about his libertarian backsliding. I have to say that I've followed a remarkably similar path in the last few years. I would have voted for Ron Paul without much hesitation in 2000 (it took me a little longer to get into freefall). 2008? Not a chance. Let me further say that Rep. Paul's overeager followers are nearly as annoying as those idiotic 9/11 "truthers." God, what a plague those losers are.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gov. Kaine acts on MRSA

Here's an excerpt from the Governor's press release:

Governor Timothy M. Kaine today approved an emergency
regulation by the State Health Commissioner that requires laboratories
to report Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection
to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). The regulation is effective
today, and will assist public health authorities in the effort to
compile data on the prevalence of MRSA for surveillance and

Today's action was prompted by concerns among citizens and health care
professionals following the recent death of a Virginia teenager due to
invasive MRSA, as well as the recent release of a study by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control identifying MRSA as a major public health
problem in the United States.

This kind of stuff makes me a little uneasy, but it's hard to imagine that he was going to do anything else. MRSA may well be dangerous enough to justify this action. I suppose that we'll find out in time.

We can only hope.

I hope that Eli Lake is right.

Al Sharpton, call your agent.

Craig Franklin is the Assistant Editor of the Jena Times. He has an interesting piece in the Christian Science Monitor called Media Myths of the Jena 6. It's rather eye-opening. I'll give you the first myth: the whites-only tree. Good work, CNN, et. al..

The Greatest Story Never Told

Dean Barnett is exactly right. This practice of the media is exceptionally galling. I know that bad news is bigger news, but still....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So Lame

I'm no Instapundit so far. I'll try to do better.

A couple of columns worth reading

Ralph Peters takes a critical look at Turkey in USA Today. With the exception of his last point, I think that this is right (Woo-hoo, what an endorsement!).

In the NY Times, Peter Galbraith opines on the idea of partitioning Iraq. This seems like a very tough decision (?) to me. I find myself vacillating on it maddeningly. I'm starting to think that breaking up of Iraq might be better for the region than for Iraq itself. When I say that, I understand that the result could be regional instability. The Kurds might well become more of problem for Turkey (as well as Iran and Syria) if they start to see hope for Kurdish homeland. It's certainly an idea worth considering.

So here I go.

I hope to post a few observations daily. We'll see. It's not like anyone is reading this, right?