Thursday, November 03, 2005

Aaron Brown Gesphincto At CNN

I always considered Brown a cross between Frank Burns and a rodent. But Jonathan Klein opines: (With commentary goodness non-italicized)

We have made some programming decisions which will impact our prime time schedule as well as our colleague Aaron Brown. Aaron will be leaving CNN and is very much looking forward to some well-deserved time off with his family. (In much the same way Jack Torrance was...) Aaron has made enormous contributions to CNN since his groundbreaking anchoring of Sept. 11th through the war in Iraq to the Tsunami to the recent hurricanes. (And other various Bush-bashing in which we have engaged.)

Outside of the big stories, on a nightly basis, Aaron has provided our audiences with insight into the events of the United States and the world with eloquence and the highest journalist integrity. (Along the same lines as Dan Rather.) Besides his stellar work as an anchor, Aaron stands as an absolutely brilliant writer, evident by the thoughtful perspective he injects into every story he touches. (Think non-WASP Brian Williams.) Personally, I will miss Aaron and his wicked sense of humor. We cannot thank Aaron enough for the skills and professionalism he brought to CNN. Given his respect throughout the industry, there is no question that he will be missed. (But not enough to keep me from firing his ass.)

A MoDo Deconstruction

Katie Roiphe, of Slate, has an amusing take on the life and loves of Maureen Dowd here.

She is, at her best, a brilliant caricaturist of the political scene, turning each presidency into vivid farce.

What a well-written phrase and a better summation of why I think her commentary has become superfluous, in these more challenging times, than I could have written. Read the whole thing.

Harry Reid, Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Republican Majority

David Brooks has a pretty good riff on Harry Reid and his conspiracy theories that led him to invoke Rule 21 and send the Senate into a closed, secret session:

Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It's been four weeks since he launched his personal investigation into the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence to trick the American people into believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Reid had heard of the secret G.O.P. cabal bent on global empire, but he had no idea that he would find a conspiracy so immense.

Reid now knows that as far back as 1998, Karl Rove was beaming microwaves into Bill Clinton's fillings to get him to exaggerate the intelligence on Iraq. In that year, Clinton argued, ''Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons.''

These comments were part of the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence on Iraq.
Reid now knows that in the late 1990's, Dick Cheney and other Republican officials used fluoridated water in the State Department and other government agencies to brainwash Clinton administration officials into exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

In 1997 Clinton's defense secretary, William Cohen, went on national television and informed the American people that if Saddam has ''as much VX in storage as the U.N. suspects'' he would ''be able to kill every human being on the face of the planet.''

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright compared Saddam to Hitler and warned that he could ''use his weapons of mass destruction'' or ''become the salesman for weapons of mass destruction.''

Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m. Odd thoughts rush through his brain. He cannot trust the letter "r", so he must change his name to Hawwy Weed. Brian Lamb secretly rules the world by manipulating the serial numbers on milk cartons. Reid realizes there is only one solution: 'Must call a secret session of the Senate. Must expose global conspiracy to sap vital juices! Must expose Republican plot to manipulate intelligence!

The whole column can be read at Times Select, or one of the approximately 10,000 website that post Times Select material for free.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ouch Is Right

"I was part of that wild and crazy Class of '94 that shook the political landscape by taking over the House after more than 50 years of unfettered Democrat control. We came to Washington full of ideals and conviction. But sadly, what they say about absolute power is coming to reality in the 2005 GOP Washington. Republicans in just 10 years have developed the arrogance it took the Democrats 30 years to develop."

-- Former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK), writing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

I remember the excitement of working for a Republican Congressman in 1994. I recall talking to newly-elected Senator Rick Santorum. To Speaker-Apparent Newt Gingrich. The possibilities seemed endless. Now J.C. Watts is right. How sad.

Sliding Headlong Into Irrelevancy

The formidable Michelle Malkin has been all over the way in which the New York Times omitted part of a letter a soldier serving in Iraq had written to his girlfriend if he were to die in service to his country. He subsequently did, which is tragic. The Times, however, had a broader (and leftist) point to make in covering this story. Read Malkin's coverage for yourself.

As this chart shows,

the last couple of years haven't been pleasant ones for owners of NYT stock. The brilliant move of Times Select doesn't seem to be helping matters much either. Not only does the Old Gray Lady face increasing competition from the blogs and other alternative media, but its consistent arrogance in dealing with claims of bias has turned many readers, and subscribers, off. Good.

Only Black Liberals Need Apply

The treatment of Michael Steele, a Republican African-American running for the Senate in Maryland, is a national disgrace. From the Washington Times:

Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican. Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.

Operatives for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also obtained a copy of his credit report -- the only Republican candidate so targeted.

But black Democrats say there is nothing wrong with "pointing out the obvious." "There is a difference between pointing out the obvious and calling someone names," said a campaign spokesman for Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

So what Frizzell Gray, Mfume's real name, is saying is that he really meant to be the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Liberal Colored People. Will Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton be rushing to Steele's side to defend him from this obvious racism?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's On.

The U.S. Senate prepared to go into closed session Tuesday after Democrats enacted a rare parliamentary rule forcing the shut down of the Senate so senators could speak in a classified session about the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid demanded the chamber be closed so they could hold a secret session that they say was prompted by "misinformation and disinformation" given by President Bush and his administration prior to entry into the war in Iraq.

What an idiotic move by Reid. What he has effectively done is open the door for unilateral actions within the Senate. Did he have the right to do so? Absolutely. Will it come back to bite him in the ass? You betcha.

If Bush has been accused of bowing to his base in nominating Alito, will Reid also be called to task for such a partisan ploy meant to serve as a sop to the far-left and a prelude to the parliamentary tactics he might use in the Alito confirmation process? Unlikely.

What Reid has done is now made it a little easier for moderate Republicans, like Snowe, Collins, and Chafee, to oppose not only the Democrats' tactics but positions as well. Also, it seems pretty clear that Harry can't count to 51, because with the G.O.P. in control of the Senate, and Vice-President Cheney there to break ties, this is a battle he can't win.

The text of Rule 21:

1. On a motion made and seconded to close the doors of the Senate, on the discussion of any business which may, in the opinion of a Senator, require secrecy, the Presiding Officer shall direct the galleries to be cleared; and during the discussion of such motion the doors shall remain closed.

2. When the Senate meets in closed session, any applicable provisions of rules XXIX and XXXI, including the confidentiality of information shall apply to any information and to the conduct of any debate transacted.

Cindy Sheehan For President

No, this doesn't come from The Onion, but The Village Voice.

The "C" Word

The MSM, prodded by a torrent of talking points from liberal interest groups, has seemingly come to the conclusion that Justice Alito's real name is The Conservative Alito, and not Samuel. Why am I not surprised?

Can his views be considered conservative? Yes. Those in favor of his nomination should not shy away from that appellation. But note, if you will, the number of time groups like the Alliance For Justice, People For The American Way, the ACLU, are described with the term liberal. Why would the decline to be so labeled? These groups are exceeding liberal but still have the temerity to proclaim, at least publicly, that they are only desirous of a Justice "in the mainstream", a mainstream defined, of course, in their own terms.

In politics it is always easier to attack rather than defend which is why these liberal interest groups will spend millions of dollars villifying Judge Alito. But will any ads be run stating what they really want in a Justice?

Monday, October 31, 2005

It's Alito, I'm Elated

President Bush's selection of Samuel Alito for the Court is the choice he should have made the first time. Yes, the predictable howls of protest are already coming from the perpetually aggrieved Chuck Schumer and the liberal interest groups, which is a good thing.

Supreme Court nominations are one of a very small number of things that last long after a particular presidency is over, so these choices are important. (Just ask W's father about that.) Therefore, the "L" word, and in Washington it is legacy and not love, gets used when discussing whom to pick for the Court. But there is another way to create a legacy, and I hope Bush seizes this opportunity as well. Have a national debate, in the context of this nomination, over the role of the judiciary in American life.

If Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, and Harry Reid have a strong belief regarding the power a judge should have in interpreting or "discovering" laws, let's hear it. Shouting "Roe!" doesn't count. Condemning Bush's choice with "outside of the mainstream" and "radical" will not suffice either. In the confirmation hearings, through press conferences, via the Internet, they should explain and expound on the legal philosophy that makes Ginsburg a fantastic justice but Scalia evil incarnate. In other words, make a case for why not only Alito but others with his judicial philosophy should be precluded from the federal bench.

Let the surporters of Alito make their case. And let the American people decide whom they prefer.