Saturday, April 16, 2005

You want something done, you call a Wise Guy


And In Nevada, Reid Is the Name to Know:
WASHINGTON --- It was the kind of legislation that slips under the radar here.

The name alone made the eyes glaze over: "The Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002." In a welter of technical jargon, it dealt with boundary shifts, land trades and other arcane matters --- all in Nevada.

As he introduced it, Nevada's senior U.S. senator, Democrat Harry Reid, assured colleagues that his bill was a bipartisan measure to protect the environment and help the economy in America's fastest-growing state.

What Reid did not explain was that the bill promised a cavalcade of benefits to real estate developers, corporations and local institutions that were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees to his sons' and son-in-law's firms, federal lobbyist reports show.
"Lots of people have children, wives and stuff that work back here," he said. "It is not as if a lot of cash is changing hands."
Just walking around money for these swells, I'm sure.
Seeking favors is as old as the Capitol, but the new tendency to come at it from the side --- through family members --- may be a consequence of campaign-finance reform: As restrictions have tightened on traditional political giving, interest groups have cast about for new ways to ingratiate themselves.

Nothing strikes quite such a personal note as channeling fees or lucrative jobs to relatives --- whether the relatives lobby Congress or perform other services. There are no restrictions. Neither House nor Senate rules bar the practice.

At least 17 senators and 11 members of the House have children, spouses or other close relatives who lobby or work as consultants, most in Washington, according to lobbyist reports, financial-disclosure forms and other state and federal records. Many are paid by clients who count on the related lawmaker for support.

But Harry Reid is in a class by himself. One of his sons and his son-in-law lobby in Washington for companies, trade groups and municipalities seeking Reid's help in the Senate. A second son has lobbied in Nevada for some of those same interests, and a third has represented a couple of them as a litigator.

In the last four years alone, their firms have collected more than $2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington.
Click through for more details from this 2003 article by Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper at the LA Times. I guess the editors didn't spike it because they didn't know what renown Senator Harry Reid would achieve in Donkdom. Don't hold your breath waiting for the Soros funded pressure groups to start complaining. (Hat tip: FR where some folks are wondering whether ole Harry would adopt them.)

Update: What would a story about one of the "families" be without some colorful nicknames? That's what I thought, so I updated the photo.

Friday, April 15, 2005

It's Happy Hour!

Actually, it's a tad early, but it's too late for my usual breakfast or lunch titles for this collection of tasty morsels:

Don't show up unarmed at a gnome fight

Maybe If Sandy Berger Had A Texas Oil Connection More People Would Know What He Stuffed In His Pants. Not to worry though - they've got time for John Bolton's haircut - REMIND US AGAIN WHY NO ONE RESPECTS THE PRESS?.

Lebanon captures canine infiltrators from Israel

Nowadays, however, everything's changed. The good vibrations are nicht so gut anymore. The scene is dominated by the bleakness twins -- Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer. Those Sisters of Mean can put a downer on everything, know what I'm sayin'? Well, maybe not the bank account of a half dozen or so Beverly Hills plastic surgeons, but everybody else. And this has been going on for too long. It's getting so serious I'm in danger of having my Frank Zappa MP3s erased.
John Kerry will be the official starter of the wheelchair division race at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Gosh, I wonder if he's going to wear one of his cool outfits? And who knew ole Lurch pretended to be a marathon runner too?

There Is No Such Thing As "Jobs Americans Won't Do"
One phrase you often hear tossed around during immigration debates is, "Illegal immigrants do jobs Americans won't do."

However, that's totally untrue. There is no such thing as a "job Americans won't do;" there are only "jobs Americans won't do at a certain price."

For example, how many people out there would be interested in shoveling elephant crap at the circus? It's likely that very few of you would. However, what if I said you were going to be paid 10 million dollars a year to shovel elephant dung? In that case, it would be likely that a very high percentage of you would suddenly become quite willing to grab a shovel and get ankle deep in "elephant leavings" if it meant you could become rich.
Where's my shovel? Actually, based on the example of NY Times, some folks are willing to shovel manure for considerably less.

Must be another Zionist plot! Has Manischewitz gone meshugah?:
The 117 year-old company best known for its matzah, canned kosher chicken soup and jarred gefilte fish preserved in goo is setting its sights on a new demographic: Heavy metal enthusiasts.
Click through for the photo.

We're so darn diverse

Illegal alien, 17, ran down hero officer:
A Salem patrolman decorated for bravery last year is expected to make a full recovery after being struck by a car driven by a 17-year-old illegal immigrant from Brazil who didn't have a license, authorities said.

``I saw the car in front slowly veer to the right and then I saw the officer get hit and saw him flip in the air and land on the sidewalk,'' witness Kathleen Kallama of Topsfield told police after Leila Lopes plowed her friend's 1992 Honda Accord into the officer Wednesday night.
Thankfully, while he was in critical condition, it now looks like he'll make a complete recovery.
Lopes, who stands 5 feet and weighs only 98 pounds, appeared distraught as Judge Santo J. Ruma held her without bail at her arraignment at Peabody District Court. She pleaded innocent to unlicensed operation of a car and negligent driving.
There's a good laugh.
Lopes was detained April 4 by the U.S. Office of Immigration and Naturalization after sneaking over the border in Texas with her father, prosecutor Cesar Archilla said. She was released, but ordered back for a hearing.
It's the famous Illegal Alien Catch and Release Program! If caught by the border patrol, just tell 'em that you are from some country other than Mexico and they will release you and tell you to come back at a future date for a hearing. That's sure an effective plan.
One Brazilian woman from Newburyport said she visited Lopes shortly after the arrest.

``She just wanted to know how the guy is,'' Viviane Viana, 28, said of Lopes' inquiry into Shea's condition.
Send him a post card when you get back to Brazil, Leila.

That's unlikely, I know, but I can always hope. But not much - 11 illegal aliens fail to appear for court date:
Eleven illegal aliens who were released by federal authorities after a traffic stop in Fairfax County on Sunday did not show up for immigration proceedings yesterday.

"None of them came back, and I think that the fact that these aliens failed to appear showed the challenges of immigration enforcement," said Manny Van Pelt, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Mr. Van Pelt said about 30 percent of illegal aliens who are ordered to appear for immigration proceedings fail to show up. Of those who do appear, about 85 percent become fugitives if a judge orders them to be deported.
I find it amazing that 70% actually show up on the first pass. I wonder if Manny is funnin' us?
Federal authorities will now issue a notice that will be sent to an address the aliens had given to ICE officials. If the aliens do not show up at any immigration proceedings, a judge will issue an order for their deportation.

The illegals will have 30 days to appeal the deportation ruling before federal authorities input the aliens' personal information into the National Crime Information Center as "fugitive absconders."
I wonder how many aliens named "Vincente Fox" with last known address of "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC" they are currently looking for?

Turn's out it's not too many as revealed in Authorities free 1 million aliens amid proceedings:
Mr. Sessions said ICE is far behind in entering the names of the 465,000 alien fugitives into law-enforcement databases, which means that if those people are picked up in another arrest, they would not be turned over to immigration authorities.
So they haven't even finished entering all the Vincente Foxes in the database. Is this a great country or what?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

It doesn't get any better

The Russians will send the Constitution into space:
The Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori will be carrying a copy of the as yet unratified Constitution for Europe (presumably it will be wheeled along in a trolley) as he boards the Soyuz rocket that is due to take off tomorrow from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

So, finally, that document will be in the environment that is most appropriate for it: space. It is not quite clear what will happen to it eventually. One assumes Signor Vittori intends to come back to earth at some later date. Will he bring the hefty document back with him? Surely, the EU is not so wicked as to pollute space with it.

Meanwhile, Günther Verheugen, Commission Vice President has waxed lyrical on the event:
“In orbit, the constitution will not only encompass Europe, but the whole world. Let us hope that this symbol of European identity will be well received both by Europeans and by the peoples of other continents.”
Someone should do something about Herr Verheugen’s medication in our opinion.
More japery by following the link. And while you're there, check out Rigging the debate:
Chirac is, according to The Daily Telegraph returning to the fray tonight, in a televised "debate" on the private TF1 channel.

But, rather than confront his critics in a genuine debate, l’escroc has opted for a live studio appearance with 80 carefully selected "young people", as his way of counter the forces of dissent.

And, already, the tactic seems to be backfiring on him. Questions are being asked about the participants in the broadcast, and about the role of the president's daughter, Claude, who leads his communications team, in its planning. Opponents have seized on the absence of any champion of the No cause. Journalists from other stations unsuccessfully asked France's broadcasting watchdog, the CSA, to intervene, condemning a "confusion of information with entertainment".
Only if you have a very broad definition of "entertainment." Of course, you'd have to have an even broader definition of "information."

This just in!

Thailand to Host World Toilet Summit:
Thailand plans to upgrade hygiene in its public toilets to meet international standards as it prepares to host the World Toilet Summit next year, a health official said Wednesday.

"Toilets are very important for the country's image in the eyes of visitors," said Somyos Chareonsak, a senior official of the Public Health Ministry.
It's run by the World Toilet Organization, but don't tell the lefties. Just say the WTO is planning a big meeting in Bangkok in May, 2006.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Fun from all over

The wages of Socialism:
No word yet on whether Congressman Chris Shays will call for Sanders’ resignation—though a source close to the Connecticut Republican noted that “he may as well, now that the grandstanding douche has gone and shot his mouth off about Tom DeLay.”
The solution to the problem of kids drinking and driving was so obvious it was ignored--keep the drinking age at 18 but don't let kids drive until their 21. Behind the wheel they're menaces even sober.

LGF Has People Making "LGF Minion" Leather Biker Jackets, And I Can't Sell a $15 Schmatta
People asked if I was in a depressed mood, as they thought that Nietzche quotes were a subconscious cry for help.

Well, I wasn't depressed then. I am now, though.
Doing The Hippy Hippy Shake In The Senate:
Rich Lowry has some hysterical, and at the same time maddening, posts at The Corner about the most recent controversy over the Bolton appointment. It seems that John Bolton actually puts his hands on his hips, speaks in a low voice and asks tough questions from time to time.
I wonder how long these namby-pamby Donk Senators would last down at our local hardware store where there's a "Don't Spit" sign on the indoor ashtray.

LA Times: "Jews" Target Killdozer Day:
Once in a while, the LA Times manages to uncork a headline so tone-deaf and subconsciously nasty that it leaves their biases standing revealed. Here’s the headline for Teresa Watanabe’s highly sympathetic coverage of the moonbat campaign against Caterpillar: Jews Target Caterpillar Shareholder Effort.
Funny, I don't look Jewish. Hmm, that reminds me! Where'd I stash the Rachel Corrie photoshops? Not to mention the pancake jokes.

UPDATE: Here's a good one from the folks on FR:

Which reminds me that Arafat thought they gave him some disease.

Vroom! Vroom!

New improved Green Bruce:
She’s a slow-moving hatchback with continuously-variable transmission
She’s a gas-electric hybrid producing zero emissions!
Late at night, battery power’s restored
I swear I think of your pretty face when I plug in the cord
New Bruce same as the old Bruce. What a tool.

Morford's panties are in a bigger knot than usual

Ths SF Chronicle's wingnut online columnist, Mark Morford, is all atwitter - Earth To Humankind: Back Off: Say good-bye to your car, computer, everything. We are burning up the planet too fast to hang on. Do your part, Mark! Turn that computer off! Mark's probably worried about what he'll use to power the sex toys which are a regular feature of his screeds.

Hillary! C'mon down!

Minutemen Mulling Hillary Invite:
The lead organizer for the border patrol group the Minutemen said Tuesday that he wants to invite New York Sen. Hillary Clinton to come to the Arizona-Mexico border this month to review their operation, which has so far netted the arrests of more than 300 illegal immigrants.
She's been "broadening her appeal" lately - why not?
Gilchrist's decision to invite Clinton was likely prompted by her tough comments on border security - remarks that place her sharply to the right of the Bush administration on the issue.

"I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants," she announced in Feb. 2003 radio interview, adding that "people have to stop employing illegal immigrants."

"I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties," Clinton railed. "Stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx; you're going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work."

"Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country," the top Democrat urged.
Unfortunately, Hillary's idea of a tough decision is likely how much money to give illegal aliens, but I won't prejudge. C'mon Hillary, show your stuff!

Don't you just love it!

LGF provides some multilateral amusement - UN springs into action. From the Reuters article:
The 191-member U.N. General Assembly approved a nuclear terrorism treaty on Wednesday that would oblige governments to punish those who illegally possess atomic devices or radioactive materials.
Ya think?
The document, after seven years of negotiation, is the 13th anti-terrorism convention and the first completed since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Dang, they're like greased lightning!
The pact will be open for signature on Sept. 14 in New York, during a high-level summit ...
I guess it takes time to organize a fancy shindig with all the requisite expense account padding.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

More multilateral fun!

MEPs say "Let's go for the gold!":
Members of the European Parliament rejected moves yesterday to clean up scandal-ridden arrangements for their travel allowances and expenses. Their decision prompted anger and disbelief from British MEPs, who voted for proposed reforms.

In a series of votes carried by a margin of six to four at a full session of the parliament in Strasbourg, MEPs resisted proposals for audits of their accounts and turned down calls to impose sanctions on those found to have defrauded the taxpayer.

The votes "gave an all-clear to embezzlement", said Chris Davies MEP, the leader of the British Liberal Democrats in the parliament.
More hijinks by following the link. I especially liked the way a MEP can fund his pension from the paperclip money.

Of course, there's a reason for the rapacity in the multilateral bureaucracies as explained by Peter Dennis in The U.N., Preying on the Weak:
Anyone who was shocked by the most recent revelations of sexual misconduct by United Nations staff has never set foot in a U.N.-sponsored refugee camp. Sex crimes are only one especially disturbing symptom of a culture of abuse that exists in the United Nations precisely because the United Nations and its staff lack accountability.

This lack of accountability is the central blemish on today's United Nations, and it lies behind most of the recent headlines. Whether taking advantage of a malnourished refugee or of a lucrative oil-for-food contract, the temptation is there, the act is easy and the risk of punishment is nil.
When's the last time you saw one of the kleptocrats doing the perp walk?

Number 1 is going to be grumpy about this!

Soros Shadow Party Stalks DeLay:
Soros’ power grab was ten years in the making. Beginning in 1994, he began pouring millions into the campaign finance reform lobby. The result was the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act.

As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted on December 30, 2003: "Combine… the $1.7 million that Mr. Soros gave the Center for Public Integrity, the $1.3 million he gave Public Campaign, the $300,000 to Democracy 21, the $625,000 to Common Cause, and the $275,000 to Public Citizen – and you can be forgiven for believing Mr. Soros got campaign finance passed all by himself."

Note that all five of the organizations listed above are now attacking Tom DeLay.

What did the McCain-Feingold Act do for George Soros? Why did he spend seven years and millions of dollars pursuing it? It now appears to have been a power play, whose purpose was to gain control of the Democratic Party.

The McCain-Feingold Act barred political parties from collecting "soft money" — that is, donations which are earmarked for no particular candidate, and which are therefore exempt from federal limits on their size. Under McCain-Feingold, the parties could only accept heavily regulated "hard money" donations limited to $2,000 per donor, per candidate.

This rule put the Democratic Party in peril. Republicans had long enjoyed a three-to-one advantage over Democrats in raising hard money. Consequently, Democrats depended for their survival on huge donations from unions, corporations and wealthy individuals — that is, they depended on soft money.

Now Soros had cut off the Democrats’ soft-money supply. The Party seemed doomed. But Soros showed them a way out. He offered Democrats an alternate money source — one which he personally controlled. That source was the Shadow Party.
I call it SPECTRE. Much more by following the link. And I guess that's what the Soros minions at his affiliate mean when they say they "bought it" and "own it." Looks good for the minions so far - they got their boy, Howie Dean, as head of the Democratic National Committee.

And, gosh! The Christian Science Monitor even noticed in an otherwise fairly sappy article about Tom Delay:
In recent weeks, Democrats and activists who helped fund the 2004 presidential campaign have created their own "good government" coalitions to target DeLay. Billionaire George Soros's Open Society Institute has contributed some $2.5 million to ethics coalition groups.
I bet they aren't going to like it when Number 1 chews them out!

Ta ta, Zsa Zsa

All good things must come to an end and while I have enjoyed the patronage of Empress Teresa for many months, different voices are now calling to her and to be cold about it, she's not really relevant anymore. Therefore, although I'll keep a warm spot in my heart for her, I have removed her mug from the side bar.

Of course, it's not as though my many tributes to the Empress really paid off - not even in squishy plastic packets of tomato byproducts. But I'm very hopeful now that I have installed the primo patron of world wingnuttery to take her place. When SPECTRE speaks, I listen!

And while I was spiffing up the sidebar, I added Sean Gleeson's Autorantic Virtual Moonbat. Who needs the unwashed folks on Democratic Underground when you can have a nice clean robot deliver the equivalent drivel?

Rev. Al Alert!

There's one politician who always has his priorities in order:
The FBI, as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the Rev. Al Sharpton, secretly videotaped him pocketing campaign donations from two shady fund-raisers in a New York City hotel room and then asking for more, it was reported yesterday.
I'm sure he was just taking the loot to the bank.
An FBI wiretap picked up Hawkins telling White he believed they had raised more than $140,000 for Sharpton in the previous quarter — but Hawkins fretted because Sharpton had reported only about $50,000 on his federal election filing.
Ruh oh! And you knew the Rev's answer to this, didn't you?
Sharpton ripped the federal probe and the secret videotaping of the hotel meeting, saying, "Can you imagine what would happen if it was a white presidential candidate?"
Good question, Al. We'd laugh their porcine butts out of town, but I expect you'll be able to dine out on this one forever and likely increase your cash flow. Thanks for asking.

An idea whose time has come

Tamar Jacoby at the Union Leader:
Last month, House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner succeeded in attaching his Real ID Act to a must-pass Iraq appropriations bill. Now that spending measure is coming up in the Senate, and though it’s unclear how the upper chamber will handle the congressman’s proposal, members are girding for an all-out fight over immigration.
The bill’s history in the House, where it passed on a 261-161 vote, holds crucial lessons for the debate ahead. It’s no accident that only eight Republicans dared vote against it, or that even President Bush, who prefers a more measured approach to illegal immigration, ended up endorsing it. What Sensenbrenner grasps — and his opponents ignore at their peril — is that when it comes to immigration, what the public wants is control.
The unavoidable answer — albeit deeply unpopular in this country — is a credible “employer verification” system: one that replaces existing fraud-prone employment practices with a better way of ensuring that businesses hire only legal residents.
It’s hardly surprising that the last time we tried an employer-based approach — penalties against businesses that hire illegal workers are part of the landmark Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) that Congress passed in 1986 — it was so watered down as to be all but irrelevant. Still, unappealing as it may sound, an employer-verification system is probably the only way to remain a nation of immigrants and meet our labor needs without giving in to epidemic illegality of the kind we live with now.

The question is less “if” than “how”: how to make sure a new verification program is effective and that it preserves our rights — everyone’s rights. The first principle, a lesson learned from the failed IRCA sanctions, is that the task assigned to business must be one it can realistically perform. As is, we put employers in an impossible position: We require that they determine, merely by eyeballing an employee’s documents, whether that person is legally authorized to work. All new hires, citizens and foreign-born, must by law show some form of ID — the many possibilities include driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, U.S. or foreign passports, green cards and school IDs; some are enough alone, others only in combination — and many of the forged documents presented by illegal immigrants look convincing. Yet if employers ask too many questions, we accuse them of discrimination, and when there is a violation, we give them no clear guidance about how to handle it.

What businesses desperately want and need is a simple, streamlined, inexpensive method to make sure that they are on the right side of the law — to verify that their employees are legitimate and to protect themselves from legal jeopardy.
Gosh, it sounds like Polipundits longstanding proposal.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Viking Pundit:
“But the United Nations is more than a debating club or a bureaucratic agency.” True, they also have a gift shop.
They also employ the otherwise unemployable.

Smells like a "Pew Job" to me

Only this time the target of our betters in tax exempt foundation land is Tom Delay. It's going just as outlined by Ryan Sager in the "campaign finance reform" disinformation campaign (much more at his blog):

Step 1: Have the tax exempt organizations like George Soros' Open Society Institute fire up their flying monkeys in an alphabet soup of "government watchdog groups" with antecedents that are mysterious, when they aren't pure leftoid Democrat. For garnish, trot out some old line liberal groups like the Campaign for America's Future and have them spend some union members' dues on running ads denouncing their target. The only novel twist this time is that they laundered some of the money through the 527's like MoveOn and ACT, which they created in the original Pew Job.

Step 2: Call in the peanut gallery in the mainstream media to add their one-sided yapping. This NY Time's vignette is special too.

Step 3: Keep the big name Donks under cover, although a few little pissants like Ronnie Earle who likes to indict anyone he doesn't like are OK. It's a popular groundswell, dontcha know!

Step 4: Convince a few RINO's to join in the moanfest.

And there ya go - a perfect recipe. Just sit back and watch it bubble. The only thing that seems to be missing is the Pew foundation itself, although who knows what a little digging would turn up. But that's OK, they've got George Soros, so why settle for second best.

The only problem with this swell plan is that all the complaints are about activities which aren't unethical and which pale by comparison to the Democrat leadership.

My favorite whine is that Delay's daughter and wife are on his campaign payroll for the munificent sum of about $40K each a year. These aren't no show jobs - they do run his campaigns and it's a common practice in Congress to have relatives working on campaigns. Why not? I seem to remember ole RFK ran JFK's Presidential campaign. Now if you want to haul down really big bucks for your relatives, you can do what Senate Minority leader, Harry Reid does - have a crop of family members running lobbying operations.

The other big whine is that Tom Delay took some trips paid for by lobbyists. Sorry to break the news, but that too is business as usual in Congress. Sheesh, Democrats went along on the trips they are whining about! I'd say he's got a ways to go to approach Nancy Pelosi's finder's fee, but the MSM doesn't seem to be chasing her with pitchforks. Why am I not surprised?

The real question is whether our betters' estimate of the American public is correct and a "Pew job" this lame will succeed.

I always say "Go to the experts!"

CBS to Give CIA Tips on Infiltrating Enemy Groups

Nothing is as appealing to leftoids as a good vote fraud

(Via BrothersJudd) Labour to halt postal vote fraud but only after election:
LABOUR is planning to legislate to stop cheating in postal voting immediately after the general election in spite of repeated assurances from ministers that the present system is safe, The Times has learnt.

The disclosure will embarrass the Government, with critics pointing out that it is happy for the system to be used in the general election, even though it is clearly flawed enough to require speedy legislation.
But they have a swizzle in the UK that the whiners over here haven't thought of yet:
Government sources last night confirmed that all the evidence showed that individual registration, where everyone in a household has to register separately, reduces the number of people who vote.
Gosh, I wonder why that is?
The measures have become a priority as Labour was thrown on the defensive over the issue. Two judges in the past week have said that the system was wide open to fraud after scandals in Birmingham and Blackburn, where Labour stole thousands of people’s postal votes in local elections.
But at least it's refreshing they haven't bought into the whine, so common in the USA, that asking registrants to actually provide some proof of identity somehow violates their "rights."

Keep sending those cards and letters, folks!

Big Bad John:
At half past nine this morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will meet to begin considering the nomination of Big Bad John Bolton to be our next ambassador to the United Nations. The mere thought of Bolton being our UN ambassador has driven the Mooron Dems into a frothing rage. They can't stand the thought of an ambassador to the UN who isn't a shill for Kofi and the rest of the Turtle Bay crime family.
I think the Frenchies call that "nostalgie de la boue." The rest of us call it plain nuts.
UNconvinced? Just look at the New York Times' condemnation of Bolton. Its opposition editorial of April 8 said that Bolton was unqualified for the job because, "at a minimum, the United States representative to the United Nations should be a person who believes it is a good idea." UNsurprisingly, this is the principal argument the "Citizens for Global Solutions" organization makes in its anti-Bolton "briefing book" published on its "Stop Bolton" website website. The CGS -- actually the old one-world government whackos operating under a new name -- is, naturally, more crafty and dishonest about it than the Times.
What a hoot - the World Federalists Assocation had a makeover and their old web site (see the top link) now points to an evangelical church in Delaware!
Last week, on Greg Garrison's radio show, I interviewed Mort Halperin (he of Pentagon Papers infamy, now an employee of George Soros), who is leading the hard left's campaign against. He said that President Bush has decided to support the UN and work with Kofi Annan, so Bolton can't be the ambassador because he opposes Bush's policy. Huh?
I don't think ole George is getting full value for his money.

More fun by following the link, but here's the nut and its all about the Republican Senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel:
If the Bolton nomination makes it to the Senate floor, he will be confirmed. But because the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has too many wobblies and RINOs, confirmation remains a big "if." That's why the hardest-core lefties are working feverishly on Lincoln Chafee (RINO-Rhode Island) and the ever-wobbly Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Committee Chairman Dick Lugar of Indiana isn't a tower of strength either. If the vote on Bolton fails in committee, it is possible that Lugar could try to bring the nomination to the floor with a negative vote, but that would face a certain filibuster. Would Bill Frist risk the nuclear option to save Bolton? We may find out.

Hagel will be the determinative vote on Bolton. If he votes in favor, Lugar will be able to report the nomination on a straight party-line vote. (Not counting Chafee, a UN-ophile, who is a lost cause and should be as ignored as Canada's PM, Paul Martin.) Hagel, who aspires to the 2008 presidential nomination, is the subject of the Soros organizations' television ad campaign against Bolton. Countering this, Hagel should hear a simple but forceful message from the President and every other conservative. If you don't back Bolton, your presidential ambitions will be opposed by every one of us with as much money, as many votes, and as much public scorn as we can muster. Should the Bolton vote be a -- shudder -- litmus test for Republican presidential aspirants? Yes, and there will be many more between now and 2008.
Think about it, Chuck. Do you feel lucky?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Who's up for a boondoggle in foreign parts?

Clinton To Serve 2 Years as U.N. Envoy:
UNITED NATIONS, April 9 -- Former president Bill Clinton will spend at least two years in his new role as the top U.N. envoy promoting recovery in tsunami-hit countries and demanding accountability for the unprecedented billions of dollars donated by countries and individuals, his deputy said.
Maybe he'll join OJ at the golf course? OJ can look for the real killers and Bubba can look for missing bucks. I don't remember the watchdog role being part of Bubba's original brief for this gig, but who's more watchful than he?

Inspector Bubba on the job

By the way, the "deputy" is ole Erskine Bowles who ran for the Senate twice in North Carolina and pretended he didn't know the Clintons. Now he's got a different gig on the gravy train:
Bowles, who was Clinton's chief of staff at the White House from 1996 to 1998 and is now the United Nations' deputy special envoy for tsunami recovery, traveled to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in March for a firsthand view of the devastation while the former president was recovering from surgery.
But not to worry, Bubba will be reporting for duty shortly:
Clinton is scheduled to make his first public appearance as a U.N. envoy Wednesday.

He is to meet with Secretary General Kofi Annan for the first time since his appointment was announced on Feb. 1, and they will hold a news conference, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Friday.

Bowles said the former president plans a week-long trip to tsunami-hit countries on the Indian Ocean, probably in late May, and will go through Europe, where he plans to meet the heads of some nongovernmental organizations that have major roles in the recovery efforts.
Get 'er done, Bubba! Just like the swell display you put on at the Pope's funeral.

Someone 'splain it to me!

Table Candy:
JANE Fonda and Sally Field will lead the Hollywood contingent at this year's White House Correspondents dinner at the end of the month as guests of Knight Ridder. Donald Trump, Jack Welch, Robert Duvall, Georgette Mosbacher and Patricia Duff are guests of John McLaughlin. Newsweek has secured the company of Richard Gere. "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be guests of the Denver Post. The dullest table could be ABC News, featuring liberal windbag Al Franken.
Why are these room temperature IQ preeners attending the "White House Correspondents dinner"? Well, it is getting harder to separate the reporters from the thespians. Of course, it'll be all right if ole Sally reprises her "You like me! You really like me!" speech.

Revised career path alert!

An odd twist for an ex-dominatrix:
When Susan Peacher hung up her latex evening gown and wooden paddle for a job with the federal government, the former dominatrix thought she was done with abuse.

She went to work for the Treasury Department in San Francisco, but when she arrived at her new job, she found that one of the office managers was a former client.
And to make a long story short, he was no better than he should be. Only in San Francisco.

But speaking of fancy dress, Roger Simon points to an article by Mike Adams which discusses one of the nation's "educators" who has a web site with a fetching snap of herself and some chums fitted out as terrorists. The picture is small and rather grainy, but there are some obvious oddities in the poseurs' outfits, most particularly that Jihad Jane's head mask doesn't seem to be an ordinary balaclava. Instead, it appears to have a zipper up the center. It's nice to make a career change where you can recycle your old gear.

Same old, same old

Michael Wines in the NY Times - Tough on Togo, Letting Zimbabwe Slide:
Even the heads of state who were its members called the old Organization for African Unity a dictators' club, one reason why it was replaced three years ago by a new African Union that was modeled, in name and purpose, on Europe's own union.
Funny though, it has the same old members.
The old O.A.U. fulminated about colonialism and liberation, but was often silent on human rights and the consent of the governed. The new group, bowing to a democratic breeze blowing from Mali to Mauritius, stood for the premise that the rule of law is in, and despotism out.
More like "stood for putting lipstick on the pig."
So when Robert G. Mugabe attends the next meeting of the African Union, will he have to stand?
No peeking to see the answer!
Why do African leaders who no longer tolerate a Togo coup blanch at denouncing Mr. Mugabe's strongman tactics? The question seems almost nonsensical, given that Zimbabwe's political and social implosion has flooded its neighbors with unwanted refugees and made the nation a potential vector for regional instability.
It's a trick question, right?
Foremost, perhaps, African leaders fear that the defeat of a serious ruler like Mr. Mugabe may help spread the notion that any entrenched leadership can be unseated by a committed opposition. In Africa, where most democracies are effectively one-party affairs, such a notion can be dangerous.
Ruh Oh! Of course, what he really meant was: "In Africa where dictatorships pretend to be one-party democracies."
Maybe that helps explain why South Africa endorsed the Zimbabwe vote even more warmly than did the African Union, and why its president, Thabo Mbeki, has emerged as Mr. Mugabe's most powerful ally.

Coincidentally, perhaps, Mr. Mugabe's opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, enjoys strong support from South Africa's labor movement and from its Communist Party. Both groups are part of Mr. Mbeki's ruling African National Congress, but are widely expected to split from it before the 2009 national election.
Quite a choice - Thug A or Thug B. But not to worry, the Times has a multilateral solution from an anonymous AU staffer:
The African Union can put down a coup in Togo, he said, because its charter explicitly permits intervention in a member nation's affairs in the case of a coup. But the charter is silent on whether the bloodless theft of political power by, say, stealing an election, is a coup in all but name.

"What could change that is if Zimbabwean groups themselves make the call to the A.U.," he said. "You could make quite a strong argument that rigging and manipulating elections is a kind of constitutional coup."
It's a joke, right?