Weds/Thurs open thread and blogging schedule

Hey ya’ll,

The next couple of days blogging will be light during the day, but I’ll do my best to make up for it in the evening. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

If you have sent me an email in the last few days, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you – I’ll be catching up in the evening tomorrow. This has just been a bit of a crazy week for me.

Check out the beautiful Capitol Christmas tree:

The Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony takes place on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006. The 37-year-old Silver Fir from Olympic National Forest in Washington is 65 ft. tall and is adorned with about 3,000 ornaments and special energy efficient LED lights.(AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

The White House is gorgeous and elegant all the time, but especially this time of year. Here are some pix of the WH at Christmastime. HGTV had a “White House Christmas 2006” special on tonight at 8 ET but I missed it. It’ll be re-aired at midnight. Scroll down on this page to see the schedule for other times it will air this month.

Al Gore confuses Bush with Bubba

That’s the only conclusion I could come to after reading this tripe (emphasis added):

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: Calling the Iraq war “the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States” and “worse than a civil war,” former Vice President Gore urged President Bush to find a way to get U.S. troops out of Iraq “as quickly as possible without making the situation worse” while appearing this morning on NBC’s “Today.”

“I would urge the President to try to separate out the personal issues of being blamed in history for his mistake and instead recognizing that it is not about him. It’s about our country,” Gore said in an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer.

Bill Clinton and Al Gore What the hell? Excuse me, but where on earth did Al Snore get the idea that the President was more concerned with his legacy than whether or not we win in Iraq? The only president in recent history obsessed with his legacy was the chap Gore was second in charge to: former Prez. Bill Clinton. Clinton was (and is) so obsessed with keeping the lid on his administration’s counterterrorism failures (afterall, the 9-11 Commission all but gave him a pass) that his lawyers demanded that ABC not just change but pull the 9-11 docudrama Path to 9-11 because he thought it unfairly portrayed the Clinton record on counterterrorism (it didn’t). This is also the same guy who expected softballs about his charity work be thrown at him when Fox News’ Chris Wallace did an interview with him back in September. When the topic of the interview switched to the Clinton administration’s record on counterterrorism, Clinton became red-faced and essentially accused Chris Wallace of a ‘conservative set-up’ – simply because Wallace asked him the same type of tough questions about Al Qaeda under his watch that he did of then-Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Get a clue, Al.

BTW, here are some clips from that Lauer interview with Gore. A partial transcript is available via Mark Finkelstein at Newsbusters.

Related: LOL! Andy Borowitz strikes again ;)

Iraq Study Group findings

There’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about the findings of the Iraq Study Group, which were released in full today.

I haven’t had a chance to look at them, but wanted to link up for discussion purposes to the report itself and Washington Post story about it so you guys could weigh in with your thoughts.

Democrats are saying that the ISG’s findings are “consistent” with their proposals. Which pretty much tells me I’m not going to find very much – if anything – in that report to get behind.

Jay at Stop The ACLU has a blogger/pundit roundup of reactions, and so far the consensus is “it stinks.”

Here’s the President’s statement on the report.

Debra Burlingame on the six imams controversy

Just scanned Memeorandum this morning and came across this piece from Debra Burlingame, who lost her brother, American Airlines Flight 77 pilot Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III, whose plane was hijacked by terrorists and slammed into the Pentagon, in which she responds to the controversy over the six imams who were escorted off a plane at the Minneapolis International Airport a few weeks ago. She writes:

In five years since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. commercial carriers have transported approximately 2.9 billion domestic and international passengers. It is a testament to the flying public, but, most of all, to the flight crews who put those planes into the air and who daily devote themselves to the safety and well-being of their passengers, that they have refused to succumb to ethnic hatred, religious intolerance or irrational fear on those millions of flights. But they have not forgotten the sight of a 200,000-pound aircraft slicing through heavy steel and concrete as easily as a knife through butter. They still remember the voices of men and women in the prime of their lives saying final goodbyes, people who just moments earlier set down their coffee and looked out the window to a beautiful new morning. Today, when travelers and flight crews arrive at the airport, all the overheated rhetoric of the civil rights absolutists, all the empty claims of government career bureaucrats, all the disingenuous promises of the election-focused politicians just fall away. They have families. They have responsibilities. To them, this is not a game or a cause. This is real life.


Here’s what the flying public needs to know about airplanes and civil rights: Once your foot traverses the entranceway of a commercial airliner, you are no longer in a democracy in which everyone gets a vote and minority rights are affirmatively protected in furtherance of fuzzy, ever-shifting social policy. Ultimately, the responsibility for your personal safety and security rests on the shoulders of one person, the pilot in command. His primary job is to safely transport you and your belongings from one place to another. Period.
This is the doctrine of “captain’s authority.” It has a longstanding history and a statutory mandate, further strengthened after 9/11, which recognizes that flight crews are our last line of defense between the kernel of a terrorist plot and its lethal execution. The day we tell the captain of a commercial airliner that he cannot remove a problem passenger unless he divines beyond question what is in that passenger’s head and heart is the day our commercial aviation system begins to crumble. When a passenger’s conduct is so disturbing and disruptive that reasonable, ordinary people fear for their lives, the captain must have the discretionary authority to respond without having to consider equal protection or First Amendment standards about which even trained lawyers with the clarity of hindsight might strongly disagree. The pilot in command can’t get it wrong. At 35,000 feet, when multiple events are rapidly unfolding in real time, there is no room for error.

We have a new, inviolate aviation standard after 9/11, which requires that the captain cannot take that airplane up so long as there are any unresolved issues with respect to the security of his airplane. At altitude, the cockpit door is barred and crews are instructed not to open them no matter what is happening in the cabin behind them. This is an extremely challenging situation for the men and women who fly those planes, one that those who write federal aviation regulations and the people who agitate for more restrictions on a captain’s authority will never have to face themselves.

Likewise, flight attendants are confined in the back of the plane with upwards of 200 people; they must be the eyes and ears, not just for the pilot but for us all. They are not combat specialists, however, and to compel them to ignore all but the most unambiguous cases of suspicious behavior is to further enable terrorists who act in ways meant to defy easy categorization. As the American Airlines flight attendants who literally jumped on “shoe bomber” Richard Reid demonstrated, cabin crews are sharply attuned to unusual or abnormal behavior and they must not be second-guessed, or hamstrung by misguided notions of political correctness.

Amen. Make sure to read it all.

By the way, did you hear the news that three different probes into this incident have found that that airline (US Airways) acted properly?

Related news: More bad news for the Burlingame family.

Today’s must-read on the lying imams: Investor’s Business Daily: Tale Of Fibbing Imams

Also blogging about this: Captain Ed, Michelle Malkin, Allah, See-Dubya at JYB, Pirate’s Cove, Blue Crab Boulevard, Blog For All, Leaning Straight Up, Max Conservative