Archive for December, 2005

It’s a Mark Steyn New Year

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/31/2005

Lots of good stuff at SteynOnline.

Including this essay on song writer Jule Styne.

Posted in Blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

Jimmy Carter, ESP, and the CIA

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/31/2005

They don’t call Jimmy Carter America’s stupidest living ex-President for no good reason.

Posted in The Left | Leave a Comment »

Bush Admits Screw Ups on Intelligence

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/30/2005

and on Iraq war strategy — but only after internal warfare within the administration:

President Bush shifted his rhetoric on Iraq in recent weeks after an intense debate among advisers about how to pull out of his political free fall, with senior adviser Karl Rove urging a campaign-style attack on critics while younger aides pushed for more candor about setbacks in the war, according to Republican strategists ..

Democrats forced an extraordinary closed-door Senate session to demand further investigation of the roots of the Iraq war. That proved a galvanizing moment at the White House, according to a wide range of GOP strategists in and out of the administration. Rove, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and White House strategic planning director Peter H. Wehner urged the president to dust off the 2004 election strategy and fight back, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal deliberations. White House counselor Dan Bartlett and communications director Nicolle Wallace, however, counseled a more textured approach. The same-old Bush was not enough, they said; he needed to be more detailed about his strategy in Iraq and, most of all, more open in admitting mistakes — something that does not come easily to Bush.

Although Rove raised concerns about giving critics too much ground, the younger-generation aides prevailed. Bush agreed to try the approach so long as he did not come off sounding too negative. Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University specialist on wartime public opinion who now works at the White House, helped draft a 35-page public plan for victory in Iraq, a paper principally designed to prove that Bush had one ..

The humility theme was woven into speeches, often in the first two minutes to keep viewers from turning away. Aides had noticed that anger at Bush after Hurricane Katrina subsided somewhat after he took responsibility for the response. The idea, one senior official said, was like fighting with a spouse: “You need to give voice to their concern. That doesn’t necessarily solve the division and the difference, but it drains the disagreement of some of its animosity if you feel you’ve been heard.”

I’ve spoken here several times about President Bush’s need to regain his credibility by ending the pretense that the American people are a bunch of Pollyannas — because Bush has carried on as if he could pretend that nothing has gone wrong with either U.S. WMD intelligence or U.S. security strategy in Iraq. I guess the assumption was that if he could pretend none of this existed, the people would start pretending themselves that none of this exited.

Bush was too much of a politician — or too scared — to talk about the elephant in the living room. Well, it’s best we talk about it, because it isn’t going away and not talking about it doesn’t help make it go away — it draws more attention to it.

Bush has turned a corner because talking about the elephant breaks the spell of fear surrounding the elephant. If you can talk about it you can deal with it — which is what the U.S. government needs to be doing.

So what is Bush doing to fix American intelligence? What is he doing to wipe out the infrastructure of the suicide bombers?

These are the things that matter for the future — and these are the things the President needs to address and explain to the satisfaction of his employers, i.e. you and I. So far he hasn’t done it — not to my satifaction. But at least now I know he thinks these are real problems. Until recently Bush seems intent on denying even that.

Posted in Politics, Terror War | Leave a Comment »

Ben Stein Looks Back

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/30/2005

Ben Stein is turning nostagic over happy memories from the past. In a “Ben Stein Special Report” he looks back — and thinks of those who made those moments possible. Quotable:

Other happy moments flood back to me: lying in my parents’ living room not long before they died, with my mother offering me grapes and my father reading the American Economic Review, and all of us at peace. And this was a rare moment indeed. All inside the glittering dome made for us by the men aboard nuclear submarines and the women caring for the sick, and the policemen of the District of Columbia and the firemen and EMT’s, too.

And my favorite moments now, lying in bed in front of the fire, wind blowing through the palm fronds outside, with the dogs and my wife, napping while the dogs snore and my wife reads her mysteries: and all while far better men and women than we are fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families live in terror back home.

I often think similar thought. The whole thing is worth a read.

Posted in Liberty | Leave a Comment »

The Trillion Dollar War

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/29/2005

Was the Iraq war worth it? ParaPundit weighs in:

I can think of a lot of productive ways to increase American security for a lot less than [the $281 billion spent on Iraq in 2005], let alone $1 trillion [the total cost of the war]. The Iraq war has a very large negative return on investment ..

I opposed the first Iraq war — in part due to my ignorance of modern warfare. I have supported the “second” Iraq war because the “first” war was not over and needed a positive conclusion. Also VP Cheney assurances convinced me that Saddam was a likely nuclear threat. He probably wasn’t. Over the years Dick Cheney’s credibility stock has take a huge hit in my book.

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GUILTY — Sacco and Vanzetti

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/29/2005

Much of I was taught growing up came filtered through a leftist lens — not because I was taught by leftist but because that was the lens through which most all American history and culture got delivered to the young.

Again and again most all of what I was taught has turned out to be false — sometimes lies, sometimes naive bogusity, sometimes intellectual fraud. Margaret Meade, Freud, Keynesian economics, Alfred Kinsey, leftist accounts of the Stalinist spy war in America, and on and on.

I’ve come to expect to find that what I’ve always been taught is the sacred truth is not the truth at all. So it doesn’t surprise me at all that famed “innocents” Sacco and Vanzetti were in fact guilty as charged — and that lefty activists like Upton Sinclair knew it.

The truth is now coming out — but no one should be caught claiming they are shocked, shocked that Upton Sinclair and other lefties didn’t tell us what they knew was the truth. The left has been lying to us for generations. Get used to it.

Here’s a bit of insight into the leftist mind:

Other letters tucked away in the Indiana archive illuminate why one of America’s most strident truth tellers kept his reservations to himself.

“My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book,” Sinclair wrote Robert Minor, a confidant at the Socialist Daily Worker in New York, in 1927.

“Of course,” he added, “the next big case may be a frame-up, and my telling the truth about the Sacco-Vanzetti case will make things harder for the victims.”

He also worried that revealing what he had been told would cost him readers. “It is much better copy as a naïve defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public,” he wrote to Minor.

You see it again and again with the left — if the truth doesn’t help a leftist in his lefty efforts, kill the truth. It’s a mindset that goes with the territory. But that’s a big story I don’t have time for now.

Posted in The Left | Leave a Comment »

Blogging in “light” mode

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/29/2005

We’re still trying to recover from Christmas here at the Ransom home. Blogging will continue light over the next few days.

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The NY Times Smells Up The Town

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/28/2005

Michelle Malkin gives a few examples.

Posted in The Left | Leave a Comment »

Bush endorses “Kwanzaa”

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/28/2005

The President refused to send out a “Merry Christmas” card this year — but he did take time out to issue an official Presidential Message in honor of “Kwanzaa”, the fake holiday created by a Marxist thug to express his hate for liberal democracy, white people and Christianity — La Shawn Barber has lots more on “Kwanzaa”, and be sure to scroll down and check out some other articles telling the true story of “Kwanzaa”.

Posted in Bush, I kid you not | Leave a Comment »

It’s as if I’m living in France

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/27/2005

Vandals trash a menorah in my home town. If fact, technically I’m part owner of that menorah.

Hey, I payed for that menorah! Leave my menorah alone!

Posted in California | Leave a Comment »