Can Democrats Reid?

Once again, the Democratic Leadership is uttering things that, to an educated and informed public, would be considered ridiculous. Unfortunately, it is my opinion that the majority of people listening to people like Harry Reid last night take what they are told at face value.

While President Bush was giving his speech last night [ full transcript ] and discussing his Strategy for Victory in Iraq [ read it here ], Harry Reid was giving a little rhetoric of his own. And he is hoping that you will believe him and not actually listen to (or read) the President’s message.

Even though the President outlined his strategy for success and pointed viewers and listeners to whitehouse.gov to read it, Reid said Bush “once again missed an opportunity to lay out a real strategy for success in Iraq that will bring our troops home.” It is pretty clear that Reid’s definition of success has nothing to do with a stable democracy in Iraq, or a country that can protect itself from terrorists. Reid’s definition of success is how soon can we cut and run. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. A timetable for withdrawal is a strategy for disaster. Sure it would get our troops home sooner. But we would pay the price of this shortsighted non-strategy in the future with Iraq prone to control by the terrorists.

Unfortunately, the only way to know that is to actually listen to the President’s speech, read the strategy for success, and compare it to Reid’s response. Since that would require an effort on the part of the observer, the vast majority of Americans will go under- or misinformed.

Pesky Things, Those Facts

That fabulous group of Americans known as MoveOn.org have never been known to let something as trivial as facts get in their way. Not when they have the opportunity to politicize a natural disaster and smear the President.

Seems that last week they put three Katrina survivors on display outside the White House as part of their “protest”. Seems they still want to blame President Bush for the levee break in New Orleans. However, under Bush, funding for the Corps of Engineers in Louisiana was the biggest chunk of the Corps’ budget for 2001 – 2005, getting $1.9 billion. Three Corps flood control projects around New Orleans received $391 million during that period.

So, when MoveOn.org comes out and wants to play the blame game and point the finger at Bush, they really don’t seem to care about what the reality of the situation is. No. That would just spoil their fun.

Just think. If these people would spend half as much time doing something constructive with their time, instead of staging these moronic protests with no factual basis to stand on, think of the monumental greatness they could accomplish. Good grief! I’m beginning to sound like my mother.

But I digress… Back to the facts.

The other gripe by Moveon? Iona Renfroe, one of the MoveOn puppets on display at last week’s protest sums it up with this statement:

There has been “absolutely no response by the federal government … absolutely nothing has been done.”

I’m wondering what Renfroe defines as nothing, since the Department of Homeland Security is stating the following information:

  1. 71,000 federal personnel
  2. 45,000 rescues (23,000 by the Coast Guard alone)
  3. 273,000 citizens evacuated
  4. 550 federally-organized shelters
  5. 11.3 million MREs distributed
  6. 18 million liters of drinking water

So here comes the kicker. Tom Matzzie, Washington director of MoveOn.org Political Action comes out with this statement:

“What looks like incompetence by the president and his appointees is actually something worse,” Matzzie claimed. “This is what government looks like when it is in the hands of people who don’t believe in government, who want to privatize, who want to cut back and reduce the ability of the government to serve its people.”

There you have it. Matzzie (and I assume he speaks for MoveOn as a whole) thinks government is the answer. People should not rely on anything but government for the solution to their problems and to guarantee jobs, security, and money. Ok then. Why bother with Income Tax. Why don’t we just move to a more socialist system of government and hand over our entire check to the feds. Dispense with local and state government. Just turn all authority over to the federal.

Mr. Matzzie, privitization is what makes this country great. Capitalism is why we have what we have. It is the sole reason that we have the money to assist our own citizens in a time of crisis. It is the sole reason that we are able to provide so much to the rest of the world. Without our economic system, you remove any incentive for excellence. Did you learn nothing in the great Capitalism vs. Socialism race of the Cold War?

MoveOn.org Implies Bush at Fault for Levee Breaks — 09/09/2005

Since we are on the subject of inaccuracies, why don’t we throw in a little more information into the “Blame Bush for the Levee Break” fray. If you want to point fingers for the levee break, why don’t you go right to the source of the problem. Save Our Wetlands (SOWL) has been responsible for opposing every improvment to floodwater management of Lake Ponchartrain. But don’t take my word for it. Read it on their own website.

It would be nice if we could do without the finger pointing. That would leave more energy for the efforts of rebuilding the Gulf Coast. It would be an opportunity for the country to come together and get things done. Unfortunately, the way I see it, most of the finger pointing and the blame game is coming from the loud mouthed left. They could do everyone a favor by shutting their mouths for a while and help with the task at hand. There will be plenty of time for them to spout off later, but now is not the time.

Newsflash! The Right Wing Conspiracy Now Controls the Weather!

Let me see if I understand this. Hurricane Katrina is all President Bush’s fault. He didn’t sign the Kyoto Treaty. Therefore, he is solely responsible for global warming. Global warming caused hurricane Katrina. If funds for the Army Corps of Engineers weren’t diverted to the War in Iraq, the levy wouldn’t have broken. Not to mention the fact that Bush wasn’t reportedly on his way to tour the damage within 5 minutes of the eye passing the beach. This last point alone is clearly responsible for death and carnage.

Right. And in other news, someone reported to have seen flying swine and a snowball supposedly manufactured in Sheol.

Now if I’ve got this one wrong, someone please correct me.

Anyone?

Ok, then. Since this is the left’s line of reasoning, can I just add this? Are you people crazy? (Yes, that is rhetorical. I already know the answer.) This has got to be the absolute lowest… No wait, I take that back. Everytime I think these nuts can’t possibly get any lower, they come out and astound me with a new zinger.

RFK, Jr., Cindy Sheehan, and others are reported to have actually made this claim out loud. To them, a piece of advice:

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

How Many Nuclear Weapons Can You Make from 500 Tons of Yellow Cake?

A recent comment on the blog opined that Bush is a muderous liar and therefore we should leave Iraq now, that there were no weapons of mass destruction, and that history would prove him right. Unfortunately, history is being made every day, and it is proving him wrong. Too bad he isn’t paying attention to what is going on in the world around him.

The major rally cry of the anti-war crowd is “Bush Lied, People Died!” Somehow, they have narrowed down the sole reason for war in Iraq was WMDs. And, they contend, there were none. Therefore, Bush lied to get us into a war for some personal Bush-family vendatta against Saddam Hussein.

Now, if you are some kind of extremist, conspiracy theorist, or just simple minded enough to buy a one-sided argument, that might actually hold water. And if you believe this is the whole story, you probably also believe the Freemasons and the Illuminati are plotting to take over the world. But, that is a far cry from reality. I prefer to base my opinions on something a little more substantial than conspiracy theory and circumstatial evidence.

So let’s focus on the Weapons of Mass Destruction, since that is the main point of contention. Let’s look at what we know about Iraq’s weapons programs. I submit the following as a few examples:

So we know that Saddam Hussein did have programs to develop nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and that these programs did in fact continue on in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions. So, why have these stockpiles of weapons not shown up.

Well, who is to say they haven’t? One specific example comes to mind – al Tuwaitha. The Tuwaitha site was heavily bombed during the ’91 allied campaign, yet, when the allies showed up in 2003, they found that this site had continued to be used to stockpile material as part of an appearent nuclear weapons program.

Here is an interesting statement to consider. It is from M.N.H.Comsan of the Egyptian Nuclear Physics Association, Cairo, Egypt. He states that as of July 10, 2001, all fissionable material had been removed from Iraq.

According to discussions, all nuclear and fissionable materials were removed from Iraq, equipment were destroyed, research in nuclear sciences was severely contracted, and most of scientists left the country. 30 years may be needed for the Al-tuwaitha site to recover and peaceful nuclear activities started again.

How surprised Dr. Comsan must have been at the recent discovery of 500 tons of yellow cake uranium located at the Tuwaitha site, along with 300 tons of radioisotopes including Cesium-137 and Cobalt-60. Both are extremely radioactive substances that are ideal for use in Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDD), or “dirty bombs.” Yellow cake is uranium that has been milled into uranium oxide that can be enriched into weapons grade uranium. The discovery of depleted uranium at the Tuwaitha site indicates that the enrichment process was indeed taking place. A total of 1.8 tons of enriched uranium have been discovered and removed from Iraq since the war started in 2003.

Now, the IAEA knew about the yellow cake after the first Gulf War and they sealed it so that it could not be used by Saddam Hussein. The American Thinker offers this must read article to consider why on earth would the agency charged with preventing nuclear proliferation allow this material to remain in the hands of a dictator that clearly desired to develop nuclear weapons.

History of the al Tuwaitha site up to the 1991 Persian Gulf War

Nuclear material found in Iraq and removed: UN complains about 1.8 tons of enriched uranium the US removed from Iraq

U.S. Rep Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan visits the al Tuwaitha site:
http://hoekstra.house.gov/Photos/?PhotoID=19218
http://hoekstra.house.gov/Photos/?PhotoID=19299
http://www.freedom.gov/Hoekstra/Uranium.wmv

More information al Tuwaitha from the International Atomic Energy Agency: Nuclear capabilities of Iraq – The IAEA plan of action

More food for thought – 500 tons of uranium is enough to create 142 nuclear weapons

History of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program prior to the Gulf War

No. The liar here was not George Bush. It was Saddam Hussein. He had the base material to manufacture nuclear weapons. 1.8 tons of enriched uranium later, we are lucky he didn’t get that far.

Our next discussion will focus on multiple reports of warheads loaded with sarin from different parts of Iraq. Yet Saddam said he destroyed his sarin loaded weapons a decade ago. If he is not credible on this point, do you actually think he is to be believed in other areas involving WMDs?

It’s About Respect

Here is one of the best quotes I’ve seen that sums up why it’s important to support the troops in their mission:

In Vacaville, Toni Colip, 50, said her son, David, went to high school with Casey Sheehan and is now in the Marines, although not in Iraq. She said her son opposes Sheehan’s activities and has asked her to support his military service even if he is injured or killed.

“He said, ‘Don’t dishonor me, don’t walk on my grave,'” Colip said.


Bush Backers Amass to Counter ‘Peace Mom’

Cindy Sheehan could take a lesson here. I didn’t know Casey Sheehan, and I’m going on the heresay of the media here, but it sounds to me like he was what I would consider a hero. He was an eagle scout and then he went into military service. He re-upped after the war in Iraq was in full swing so he knew what he was getting into. And from what I understand, he volunteered for the mission in which he was killed, and it was a rescue mission at that. To me, this man should be honored.

I’m glad to see that there are military families out there with the “You don’t speak for me, Cindy” slogan. They accept what has already been accepted by their sons and daughters: they are serving on a mission that their country asked them to do and they do it with honor. If they make the ultimate sacrifice, we should not deny them an honorable memory. To not support their mission takes away what they gave their lives for.

My city has lost several sons to this war, on 9/11, in Afganistan, and in Iraq. We have a memorial to the victims of 9/11, complete with a beam from the WTC and stone from the Pentagon. This is also a memorial for one of our own residents, Naval Commander Dan Shanower, who died in the attack on the Pentagon.

The memorial takes its theme from an article written by Commander Shanower entitled “Freedom Isn’t Free.” In it, he wrote: “Those of us in the military are expected to make the ultimate sacrifice when called. The military loses scores of personnel each year. Each one risked and lost his or her life in something they believed in, leaving behind friends, family and shipmates to bear the burden and celebrate their devotion to our country…Freedom isn’t free.”

When Cindy Sheehan stands up at an an anti war rally supporting Lynne Stewart, who aided and abbetted terrorists, and says “This country is not worth dying for,” she spits on the grave of every member of our military who answered the call of duty and made that ultimate sacrifice. Compare and contrast the following statements, one from a fallen soldier, on from a soldier who may be called to make the ultimate sacrifice, and one from a mother whose son has fallen:

Those of us in the military are expected to make the ultimate sacrifice when called.” – Commander Dan Shanower

Don’t dishonor me, don’t walk on my grave.” – David Colip

This country is not worth dying for… I would never have let [Casey] go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have.” – Cindy Sheehan

Sorry, but I have no respect for Sheehan. She has stepped out of the sympathetic role of grieving mother and into the role of antiwar activist. Think about that when picking which side you are on.

Cindy Sheehan, It’s Time to Stop

I had originally written this post earlier today and saved it as a draft since I wasn’t sure I would actually post it. Since this was written, Reuters has released a story that Cindy’s husband has filed for divorce. Of course her response to the press is that they had decided this before she camped out in Crawford. However, since their son was killed over a year ago, my guess is that she has allowed her grief or her selfish need for attention (I’ll leave it up to you to decide which) completely consume her life. So I find it unlikely that her husband’s decision is totally unrelated.

Interestingly, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently finished reading C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” which, if you haven’t read it, is not about divorce (at least, not in the usual sense of the word). There is a very apropos section of the book where we are introduced to a mother that is so consumed with the death of her son, she not only allowed it to destroy her earthly family, she also refused to accept God’s eternal love. Rather than try to explain, I’ll just say read the book. It’s worth the read.

Anyway, the rest of what I wrote is below, unedited. Take from it what you will…

When Cindy Sheehan first hit the news, I admit that I did have some sympathy for her plight. What real human being wouldn’t? The woman lost her son in war. She deserves to grieve.

But as the Bush-hating media has glommed on to exploit her, she has shown her true colors. She has shown that she is a willing participant in her own exploitation. That says to me that, since she is willing to cheapen the death of her own son, she obviously has an agenda. Given what has been pouring out of her mouth, her request to meet with the President isn’t to gain closure or ease her pain. In fact, if Bush did meet with her, it would likely take the wind out of the sails of her real agenda, which is clearly becoming an extremist agenda.

Consider this from IBD this week:

Grief is something to be endured, not exploited. Those who use it to push their agendas end up cheapening it. A mother’s grief becomes just one more emotional lever to manipulate the media and the public. That’s where compassion ends and cynicism properly starts. [read the entire editorial here]

Also consider her recent statement, “You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism” indicates that she has now somehow become an expert on foreign relations and international diplomacy. Yet to do that would only reinforce the belief among the terrorists that we are weak and without resolve, encouraging further attacks. It is abundantly clear that Sheehan has absolutely no concept of militant fundamentalist Islam. To them, every citizen of the world must either be Muslim or be destroyed. There is NO middle ground.

What I think is the worse than dishonoring the death of her son is that she cheapens the ultimate sacrifice of every soldier who has died in Iraq. She is saying to the parents of every fallen soldier in this war, “My son died in vain and so did yours.” To say you support the troops and then illigitemize their sacrifice is hypocritical.

So the question to me has become, “Has Cindy Sheehan completely lost her sanity due to her pain and grief, or is she truly that selfish that she will allow her self to exploit her son’s death to achieve her 15 minutes of fame?” I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she has lost it. I will submit as evidence the following:

  1. Claims George Bush killed her son, so she doesn’t owe a penny of 2004 taxes.
  2. Claims Bush should be impeached and tried for war crimes.
  3. Her family has issued a letter of NONsupport for her tirade

Recess Appointments

One Hundred and Forty. That is the number of recess appointments made by President Clinton during his two terms in the oval office. I have no recollection of anyone, Democrat or Republican, screaming that it was an abuse of power. Yet, when our current President uses the Constitution to direct his actions, he is accused of “a devious maneuver that evades the constitutional requirement of Senate consent” [Kennedy] and that this is “the latest abuse of power by the Bush White House” [Reid].

This kind of grandstanding disgusts me. I am growing weary of the continued antics of some extremists in the Democratic Party who throw words around like they actually mean something. Unfortunately, their arguement doesn’t hold water according to the Constitution. It seems to me that often times the rhetoric is based on the fact that a lot of people in America are either too lazy to read the Constitution for themselves, or simply uneducated, or a combination of both.

In this age of the Internet, there is simply no excuse for not reading the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They have been made readily available to the public on many web sites, including the site of the U.S. Senate. Kennedy and Reid should do themselves a favor and actually read it.

Here is the clause in question for anyone who can’t look it up themselves:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

-US Constitution, Article II, Section 2

I have more respect for the statement from John Kerry, since he seems to have actually read the Constitution:

“The president has the right to make this recess appointment.”

But then he goes on to attempt to manipulate the minds of those that won’t do their own research:

“John Bolton has been rejected twice by the Senate to serve as our Ambassador to the United Nations. This is not the way to fill our most important diplomatic jobs.”

REJECTED by the Senate? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that to be rejected, one must be put up for a vote. Bolton was filibustered, not rejected. Now there is nothing in the Constitution about filibusters. It is strictly a Senate rule.

When I hear Senators Kerry and Dodd saying that Bolton doesn’t have the support of the Senate, it just doesn’t hold any credibility with me because we don’t know if he did or he didn’t. There never was a vote. The vote was stonewalled by a minority party. Why would they do that? Certainly if Bolton didn’t have the support of the MAJORITY of the Senate (and I mean majority of the Senate, not the majority party), there wouldn’t be a need to filibuster. So I can only conclude that Bolton actually did have enough support in the Senate to be appointed.