Friday, September 30, 2005

Mickey Kaus has a great line here about sorting out the talking points on Katrina:

Hurricane Parties: It's getting a bit confusing, what with the press revisionism and all. Let me make sure I've got the competing party lines down correctly--

Liberal position: Racist neglect caused poor New Orleans residents to suffer from the unspeakable things that only a racist would assume actually happened!

Conservative position: A fatherless underclass culture caused poor New Orleans residents to do the unspeakable things the anti-Bush MSM falsely reported they did!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fouad Adjami in the WSJ.

The remarkable thing about the terror in Iraq is the silence with which it is greeted in other Arab lands. Grant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi his due: He has been skilled at exposing the pitilessness on the loose in that fabled Arab street and the moral emptiness of so much of official Arab life. The extremist is never just a man of the fringe: He always works at the outer edges of mainstream life, playing out the hidden yearnings and defects of the dominant culture. Zarqawi is a bigot and a killer, but he did not descend from the sky. He emerged out of the Arab world's sins of omission and commission; in the way he rails against the Shiites (and the Kurds) he expresses that fatal Arab inability to take in "the other." A terrible condition afflicts the Arabs, and Zarqawi puts it on lethal display: an addiction to failure, and a desire to see this American project in Iraq come to a bloody end.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Anti-War, My Foot - The phony peaceniks who protested in Washington. By Christopher Hitchens Another great piece on how the MSM never seems to follow up on groups like ANSWER or any of the other loony groups opposing the war/Bush/America/etc.

The name of the reporter on this story was Michael Janofsky. I suppose that it is possible that he has never before come across "International ANSWER," the group run by the "Worker's World" party and fronted by Ramsey Clark, which openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the "resistance" in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Clark himself finding extra time to volunteer as attorney for the génocidaires in Rwanda. Quite a "wide range of progressive political objectives" indeed, if that's the sort of thing you like. However, a dip into any database could have furnished Janofsky with well-researched and well-written articles by David Corn and Marc Cooper—to mention only two radical left journalists—who have exposed "International ANSWER" as a front for (depending on the day of the week) fascism, Stalinism, and jihadism.

Friday, September 23, 2005

VDH's Private Papers::Strategy, Strategy Everywhere Here's a good antidote to the Time magazine piece linked below.

Jonah Goldberg describes my feelings here pretty well. The Republicans seemed to have squandered their chances to do anything worthwhile and are becoming increasingly hard to defend.

On the home front, while I obviously think much of the criticism of George W. Bush from the Left often amounts to a form of paranoid delirium heard from muttering autodidact vagrants at the public library, slow-poisoned monarchs, and two thirds of the contributors to the Huffington Post, I have to concede that as you move closer to the center the criticisms have enough heft of fact to them to make defending Bush less fun. And even if you win these arguments, they tend to be pretty small victories.

Sure: Bush’s response to Katrina wasn’t racist, and not nearly so incompetent as it seemed at first, but it was still far less than sufficiently competent — and it was indisputably politically disastrous. As we look to the future, what are we supposed to say? Hell no his overspending isn’t irresponsibly lavish! His overspending is simply responsibly lavish! The porkbusters fight is fun now, but not since early cave men tried to train grizzly bears to give them tongue-baths has a project seemed more obviously doomed to end in disappointment. Expecting Congress — of either party — to give back pork which has already been approved and passed into law is like expecting crack whores to give refunds days after services have been rendered.

Worse, while I would love to be proven wrong, I can’t help but think the chances of all the fun domestic stuff Bush was working — on tax reform, Social Security reform — will now be sacrificed in order to make sure every street corner in New Orleans is outfitted with a soft ice-cream machine and an ergonomic moving sidewalk.

Which, in all honesty, would be pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Saddam's Revenge God is this depressing. Who knows how accurate it is though? Soldiers on the ground say things aren't nearly as bad as this makes them sound, but do they really see the big picture or just their small part of it?

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Unvanquished: A Cop's Story Not all the New Orleans cops were dirt bags or deserters. This is a great story and great writing.

More Horrible Than Truth: News Reports At least the NYT is starting to cover the rumor mill. Who knows how many of the New Orleans horror stories will turn out to be true, but they will be believed whether they happened or not.

Howard Witt, the Southwest bureau chief of The Chicago Tribune, wrote early on that much of what he had been told, even by public officials, did not check out. And he found himself inundated by rumors.

"The Web and talk radio fueled these rumors in the days following the storm, and the evacuees themselves contributed to the misinformation because they were so scared," he said by telephone from Baton Rouge, La. With the grid down and accurate information at a premium, a game of toxic telephone supplanted logic.

"I talked to a friend and, after the flood, they heard on the radio that a gang of 400 armed black looters were coming over the bridge to Hanrahan, where he lived," said Ken Bode, a professor of journalism at DePauw University and a former correspondent for NBC. "He and his neighbors were sitting in the street with guns and they decided to load up all they could and caravan out. He said the looters never got there because the National Guard turned them back."


Monday, September 12, 2005

Jack Kelly: No shame Here's some great lines from a military guy on the fed's relief effort:

"We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering.

"The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.

"You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.

"No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above."

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ill wind may not blow to the Whitehouse Figures an Irish paper would have something this well written. Great stuff.

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush's presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the entire political agenda of George Bush's second term will not still be damaged in some terribly satisfying way.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that the entire political agenda of George Bush's second term consists of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, with a clear Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, he can carry on doing pretty much whatever he likes.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Greg Gutfeld: HUFFPO EMERGENCY BUSH BASH BLOG APPLICATION FOR THE VICTIMS OF ALL DISASTERS EVERYWHERE! This is the funniest thing I read in awhile. Greg Gutfield on the Huffington Post Blog. The outraged and angry Lefties who comment afterward are almost as funny.

SECTION ONE: WHO ARE YOU?

Are you famous?
Do you know someone famous?
have you ever brushed up against someone famous?
Was it Warren Beatty?
Did you think he'd be firmer?

Is your husband famous?
(check one of the following)
- Yes I am Rebecca Pidgeon.
- Yes I am Laurie David
- Yes, I am Shiva Rose
- No, but my wife is rich AND famous, I am Brad Hall
- Other lady of leisure:____________________

Where did you spend your summer vacation?
- French Riviera
- Camp Casey
- Deepak Chopra's Seducing the Spirit Retreat
- working as Sean Penn's personal photographer


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Deadly Bigotry of Low Expectations?: Did the rumor mill help kill Katrina victims? So much of what we've been hearing about this mess is going to turn out to be bullshit, yet it will never die. Both the Left and the Right will have their pet stories that comfirm what they already believe and nothing anyone can say will change a thing.

By Thursday," the Chicago Tribune's Howard Witt reported, "local TV and radio stations in Baton Rouge...were breezily passing along reports of cars being hijacked at gunpoint by New Orleans refugees, riots breaking out in the shelters set up in Baton Rouge to house the displaced, and guns and knives being seized."

The only problem—none of the reports were true. "The police, for example, confiscated a single knife from a refugee in one Baton Rouge shelter," Witt reported. "There were no riots in Baton Rouge. There were no armed hordes." Yet the panic was enough for Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden to impose a curfew on the city's largest shelter, and to warn darkly about "New Orleans thugs."