Al Gore makes another contribution to global warming


Al GoreIan at Hot Air has video of Gorius Maximus on last night’s Jay Leno show where Gore made a crack about Antonin Scalia’s comments on the global warming case currently before the USSC, and mixed it in with another crack about the 2000 elections.

After all this time, the guy still can’t get over the fact that he LOST. Here’s a helpful tip for you, Al, that I hope you’ll take into serious consideration:

Let. it. go.

Hat tip: Greg Tinti

FEC to politicians: Feel free to report yourself


What the hell? Via AP:

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission on Thursday took steps to encourage politicians and contributors to report their own possible violations of campaign finance laws by offering them significantly reduced fines.

Commission officials said the number of self-reported violations has increased recently, prompting the need for a specific policy that spells out how the FEC will dispose of such cases.

“This is not meant to be a get out of jail free card,” said Commissioner Ellen Weintraub. “If you’re racing to the FEC three steps in front of the guy who’s got the complaint in his hand against you, this policy is probably not for you.”

Before fully adopting the policy, the commission has asked for public comment on the proposal by Jan. 29.

The proposal contains two penalty recommendations for violators who voluntarily blow the whistle on themselves. One would reduce civil penalties by 50 to 75 percent of standard fines, depending on the steps taken to report and correct the violation. Another would set the reduction at 50 percent, but give the commission leeway to lower or increase the discount based on mitigating factors.

“What this policy focuses on are people who come in and tell us things that we would not otherwise know,” Weintraub said.

Right! I’m sure at a time where campaign violations are used against a political opponent with a vengeance and will continue to do so, that politicans are going to be “encouraged” more now to step forth and admit they violated campaign laws, because their fines won’t be as big. Oh, and I don’t buy the bit in the article about “the number of self-reported violations has increased recently” because if they had, there would be no need to provide incentive to do so.

Is there anyone with a functioning brain at the FEC these days?

Questionable Iraq reporting source watch


I can barely keep up with all the news on the constantly developing story about the MSM’s use of highly questionable and possibly unreliable sources for some of its reporting about what’s going on in Iraq.

Curt at Flopping Aces has been the “go to” guy on this story, so make sure to check out his blog for all the latest. Here’s his latest, but just keep scrolling at the main link (alternate link here) for more.

Thursday open thread


Got your Christmas decorating inside the house and in the yard all done? I have :D

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit during the 74th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in New York November 29, 2006. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)

Absolutely lovely at Rockefeller Center, isn’t it?

More proof that the “liberals are more charitable than conservatives” Accepted Truth is a myth


John Stossel and Kristina Kendall add their own evidence to the pile already out there that debunks the old Accepted Truth about liberals supposedly being more generous than conservatives.

This is not to say that liberals in general don’t favor generosity – they’re just ok with being generous with other people’s money while, apparently, holding on to more of their own.

We might be crazy – but at least we’re more generous ;)

Those crazy conservatives!


My friend Brian at Iowa Voice has blogged today about a “study” that supposedly suggests that there is a “direct link” between those who support Bush and mental illness:

A collective “I told you so” will ripple through the world of Bush-bashers once news of Christopher Lohse’s study gets out.

Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.

Lohse says his study is no joke. The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.

But before you go thinking all your conservative friends are psychotic, listen to Lohse’s explanation.

“Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader” Lohse says. “If your world is very mixed up, there’s something very comforting about someone telling you, ‘This is how it’s going to be.'”

The study was an advocacy project of sorts, designed to register mentally ill voters and encourage them to go to the polls, Lohse explains. The Bush trend was revealed later on.

As Brian correctly points out, it isn’t exactly Republicans who are putting folks with questionable mental capabilities in positions of power.

Correct me if I’m wrong, though, but I haven’t heard of Bush supporters seeking counseling for depression after this month’s election loss like we read Democrats did after Kerry lost to Bush in 2004, have you? ;)

Seriously, I’m not trying to make a joke of out mental illness, because it’s not funny, but you just know the liberal blogs are going to filled up with posts about his this “proves” that Bush supporters are nuts, all the while demonstrating that those same far lefties parrotting this “study” as though it’s the gospel truth have more than earned the nickname “Nutroots.”

Iraq Survey Group to recommend “gradual pullback” of troops out of Iraq


Allah’s got the lowdown on the NYT report – obviously leaked – which discusses recommendations the ISG plans to announce officially in a week.

Dean Barnett doesn’t like what’s he’s read so far:

From what we know so far, the Baker Commission is going to recommend that we cut troop levels in Iraq, attempt to make nicey-nice with our determined enemies in Iran and Syria, and demand Israeli concessions to serve as the deus ex machina to bring about peace in our time. In a word, oy vey!


WE KNOW WHO’S GOING to love the Baker Commission recommendations. The Democrats at home who think getting out of Iraq is the only thing that matters will jump aboard the report as an intellectual life raft. Bereft of any ideas of their own for the past five years, Democrats will seize on the report as cover for getting our illiterate children in the armed forces home.

But the Iranian mullahs will be even happier. The Baker Commission report will give them the same feeling that Hitler got in Munich – these men will not fight. They will see a solid chunk of the American body politic eager to sell out an ally while making concessions to our enemies without requiring those enemies to fire a single shot.

But here’s the killer part: Even if President Bush does the right thing and shoves this report in a part of James Baker’s anatomy where the sun don’t shine, the Commission will still do incalculable harm. The media, the Democrats and even many Republicans have already given the Baker Commission the sheen of omniscience once wrongly bestowed upon the 9/11 Commission. Regardless of the obtuseness of the Baker Commission’s recommendations, they will be hailed as genius and indisputable by wide swaths of the public.

Our country will look ridiculous. And a country like ours can’t afford to look ridiculous. Or weak. Especially at this point in history.

Andrew McCarthy doesn’t like it, either:

So now comes James Baker’s Iraq Study Group, riding in on its bipartisan white horse to save the day. The democracy project having failed, this blue-ribbon panel’s solution is: Let’s talk.

Let’s talk with our enemies, Iran and Syria. Let’s talk with terror abettors as if they were good guys — just like us. As if they were just concerned neighbors trying to stop the bloodshed in Iraq … instead of the dons who’ve been commanding it all along.

Someone, please explain something to me: How does it follow that, because Islamic cultures reject democracy, we somehow need to talk to Iran and Syria?

What earthly logic that supports talking with these Islamic terrorists would not also support negotiating with al Qaeda — a demarche not even a Kennedy School grad would dare propose?

There’s none.

When I grew up in The Bronx, there were street gangs. You mostly stayed away from them, and, if you really had to, you fought with them. But I never remember anyone saying, “Gee, maybe if we just talk with them ….”

Nor do I remember, in two decades as a prosecutor, anyone saying, “Y’know, maybe if we just talk with these Mafia guys, we could achieve some kind of understanding …”

Sitting down with evil legitimizes evil. As a practical matter, all it accomplishes is to convey weakness. This spring — after trumpeting the Bush Doctrine’s “you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists” slogan for five years — Secretary of State Rice pathetically sought to bribe Iran out of its nuclear program with a menu of all carrots and no sticks … and certainly no demand that the mullahs stop fomenting terror. The result? They’re still laughing at us, even as they build their bombs, harbor al Qaeda operatives, and arm the militias killing American soldiers in Iraq.

While our rhetoric blathers that we’ll never let them have a nuke, our talk begs them, pretty-please, to stop building one. And our actions all but hand them one. If all that makes you wonder who’s the superpower, what do you suppose they’re thinking?


For our own sake, we need to respect the enemy. That means grasping that he’s implacable, that he means us only harm, and that he must be subdued, not appeased. Negotiating with such evil is always a mistake, for any accommodation with evil is, by definition, evil.

‘Nuff said.

Promises made, promises broken – a retrospective on Pelosi’s 9-11 Commission promises


Well, they promised the most “honest, ethical, and open Congress in history“, which proved to be complete BS post-election after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not only let it be known that she was throwing her full support behind the ethically challenged Rep. John Murtha for House Majority Leader, but that she wanted impeached former federal judge-turned-House Rep. Alcee Hastings to chair the House Intelligence Committee as well. Neither are going to happen, as we now know, but the fact that Pelosi would support either shows the intent and will to completely disregard that campaign promise not even a week after the Democrats won control of Congress.

The latest promise broken that was made prior to the election? The WaPo has the details:

It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation’s intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers.

Because plans for implementing the commission’s recommendations are still fluid, Democratic officials would not speak for the record. But aides on the House and Senate appropriations, armed services and intelligence committees confirmed this week that a reorganization of Congress would not be part of the package of homeland-security changes up for passage in the “first 100 hours” of the Democratic Congress.

“I don’t think that suggestion is going anywhere,” said Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee and a close ally of the incoming subcommittee chairman, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.). “That is not going to be their party position.”

It may seem like a minor matter, but members of the commission say Congress’s failure to change itself is anything but inconsequential. In 2004, the commission urged Congress to grant the House and Senate intelligence committees the power not only to oversee the nation’s intelligence agencies but also to fund them and shape intelligence policy. The intelligence committees’ gains would come at the expense of the armed services committees and the appropriations panels’ defense subcommittees. Powerful lawmakers on those panels would have to give up prized legislative turf.

But the commission was unequivocal about the need.

“Of all our recommendations, strengthening congressional oversight may be among the most difficult and important,” the panel wrote. “So long as oversight is governed by current congressional rules and resolutions, we believe the American people will not get the security they want and need.”

Now Democrats are balking, just as Republicans did before them.

Nancy Pelosi, 9/13/2006 in a press release talking about 9-11, and chastizing the Congress for not implementing the 9-11 Commission’s recommendations (emphasis added):

“But as we vote for it, I call upon the Speaker of this House to bring to this floor before we adjourn for the elections, legislation to enact the 9/11 Commission recommendations. We have all the time in the world to do it. Nothing is more important than the safety of the American people. We have no greater responsibility as elected officials than to provide for the public safety and national security of our country. Nothing else matters if we do not protect the American people. Instead, we have ignored those needs. We are cutting the COPS program so that neighborhoods are not safer. We are making matters worse. We have the opportunity to make matters better.

“If we do pass the 9/11 Commission recommendations, only then will we truly be honoring the memory of those who died. Only then will we truly be keeping our promise to their families that we will make America as safe as we can be. I urge the Speaker, once again, to bring the 9/11 Commission recommendations to the floor, to make America safer, to bring some peace to the families of 9/11, and bring to justice those who are responsible for those heinous acts five years ago.”

Nancy Pelosi, 12/5/2005:

“The 9/11 Commission’s final report card is an indictment of the continued failure by the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress to meet the security needs of our nation and make Americans safer.


“Four years after the 9/11 attacks, the American people are not as safe as they should be. They have every reason to ask why and demand President Bush and Congressional leaders make safety of the American people their number one priority.

“Democrats continue to support addressing completely all of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and will continue to fight for bipartisan solutions that will keep Americans safer.”

Nancy Pelosi, 12/7/2004, on the Congressional oversight recommendation – which is what the WaPo reports Dems are balking at:

“There is one recommendation of the 9/11 Commission that we are not considering today and that is congressional oversight. In addition to the changes in the executive branch, the Commission also recommended changes in the intelligence oversight process in the Congress. Without effective congressional oversight, the reforms put in place by this bill will be less successful in protecting the American people. I look forward to working with Speaker Hastert in a bipartisan way to institute more effective congressional oversight.

“Today, we must move forward. This bill, although not perfect, strengthens the process by which we manage the collection, processing, and dissemination of intelligence. In so doing, it reduces risk to the American people. It honors the work of the 9/11 Commission.

Nancy Pelosi, 10/15/2004:

“The Speaker’s announcement today that the 9/11 conference committee will finally meet does little to address concerns that the House Republican leadership has failed to act upon the urgent recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. When the commission released its report nearly three months ago, the commissioners emphasized that we must move rapidly to make our nation safer, or risk terrible consequences if we did not.


“If President Bush truly wants an effective 9/11 bill, he must insist that the 9/11 conference committee act immediately to honor the work of the 9/11 Commission, respect the wishes of the 9/11 families, and make the American people safer. House Democratic conferees look forward to working with other members of the 9/11 conference committee to produce a final bill that will reduce risk for the American people and provide comfort to those who lost so much that day.”

This is the “change” the people who voted for “change” are getting.

Captain Ed is on a similar wavelength:

People should take note of the reforms that the Democrats wish to pursue in this next session of Congress. They want to clear out the Republicans from the levers of power, but offered John Murtha for Majority Leader, along with his pork-barrel extortive politics and the legacy of Abscam. They promised a tough and competent effort on national security, but offered a disgraced and impeached former judge to run the Intelligence Committee. Democrats pledged to take immediate action on all of the Commission’s recommendations, but they will balk at any meaningful reform that limits the power of their master appropriators, including Murtha himself.

In other words, the Democrats plan on using Intelligence budgets the same way that both parties have used them in the past: as a means to perform favors for powerful friends. Those who believed they voted for change in the midterms might find themselves vindicated; it looks like Congress will change for the worse, and in record time at that.


Just for the record, I’m not a big fan of the 9-11 Commission, because I think they whitewashed – in an effort to be “bi-partisan” – a lot of the Clinton administration’s efforts (or lack thereof) on counterterrorism. But the fact that Pelosi and Co. would go on and on for over 2 years about implementing all of the Commissions’ recommendations and then backtrack once she and her cohorts are elected to a majority of Congress is just one more example of how Democrats can talk the talk – but not walk the walk. They said what they needed to to get elected, but obviously don’t have plans to practice all of what they preached.

Hat tip: My friend Cump, who blogs at Amber and Chaos

Update: Here are more links, via Drudge:

Nancy Pelosi, 6/13/06:

“Republicans’ misplaced priorities mean America is not as safe it should be. Democrats have a new direction for the American people — one that will fully implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and make the security of the American people a top priority.”

Now-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 10/9/06:

Reid said if Democrats take power, they would work to redeploy troops off the battlefields. Renew efforts to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Fully implement the 9-11 Commission’s recommendations. Rebuild the military, which some estimates show needs a $75 billion investment to bring it back up to pre war levels of readiness.

PM Update 12:32 PM: Tom Maguire notes in the comments section Pelosi’s 100 hour pledge. Via Pelosi’s official site:

In the first 100 hours:

We will start by cleaning up Congress, breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation and commit to pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending.

We will make our nation safer and we will begin by implementing the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

Oops …

Show us the plan, man


There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what should be done about the situation in Iraq, with prominent Democrats calling for a “phased redeployment” (that’s fancy talk for cut and run), the Iraq Study Group preparing to submit its recommendations to the President, and the President forming an Iraq policy review group separate from the ISG.

My friend Josh Manchester at the Adventures of Chester (who I met at Carolina FreedomNet 2006 last month) has an article published at TCSDaily today in which he discusses his thoughts on what we need to do.

By the way, the ISG (aka the Baker-Hamilton Commission) will reveal its conclusions and recommendations in a news conference on December 6th.

Wednesday open thread


Sheesh – just realized that I haven’t started one of these in a few days. Enjoy, ya’ll.

BTW, isn’t this beautiful?:

Caption: Snowy scene : Fresh snow covers evergreen trees seen through a window in Beaver Creek, Colorado. (AFP/Don Emmert)

I just love this time of year.