Reid and Pelosi Courageously Vow to Block Senate Pay Raise —

From the A.P. via the Washington Post:

Members of Congress are in line for a $3,300 pay raise effective Jan. 1 unless they block it, and Democrats said Thursday they intend to try.

Officials said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the party’s leaders, had notified Republicans they will try to add the anti-pay-raise provision to a bill that provides funds for most government agencies through Feb. 15.

Reid and Pelosi are standing firm in showing solidarity with every other hard-working blue-collar American who has to make do on $141,300 a year and endless perks, and they won’t accept a penny more! (shady land deals, however, are still fine)

The Iraq Study Group and James Baker’s Saudi Connection: Dem Skepticism Takes a Magical Holiday

As we’re all aware, the Iraq Study Group, otherwise known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission (lawyers can’t do anything without having the word “commission” in the title, can they?) has released their report.

The “Study Group” — the stated goal of which was to pursue a round-table bipartisan discussion on commissions for the purpose of delineating task forces and implementing two-way dialog on methods for eliminating bureaucracy in the arena of Middle-East think-tanks — found that the United States is way off course in its goal of getting out of Iraq. President Bush disagrees in many areas.

Democrats in Congress and the mainstream media have gleefully devoured the report as damning evidence of the failures of Bush and Rumsfeld to properly wage war (by “properly” I mean doing it so nobody gets hurt or loses cable reception in the process). Gee, normally Democrats are so inquisitive about the source of their information. What happened?

Just for fun, lets ponder one question for a moment. Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, some Americans filed a $1 trillion lawsuit against Saudi officials and the Sudanese government. Who is a senior partner in one of the law firms Saudi Defense Minister Sultan bin ‘Abd-al-‘Aziz hired for his defense? You guessed it: James Baker III.

This all could be meaningless as it pertains to the Study Group findings, or maybe not, but still, how loud and how often would this fact have been trumpeted in the media if the Iraq Study Group report found that Bush’s war plan was right on track? How come nobody is pointing to Baker and questioning his personal motives? How can Baker be considered “neutral” in any of this?

What about Hamilton?

Then of course there’s Lee Hamilton, who once co-chaired a commission (there’s that word “commission” again) to investigate security issues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This was again done hand-in-hand with James Baker. The Baker-Hamilton report on Los Alamos, which was commissioned (doh!) in the early summer of 2000, after the theft of hard drives at the apparently not-so-heavily-guarded laboratory, released their recommendations later that year.

And how’s that going? Earlier this year, police in New Mexico, responding to a routine call at a trailer park, found nuclear secrets from Los Alamos that were allegedly “accidentally” taken by an employee — who was keeping them nice and warm next to a meth lab. The Baker-Hamilton report recommendations sure did a bang-up job there. What was recommendation #1? “Fire Gilligan as security director and replace him with Barney Fife”?

So, take the “Iraq Study Group” report for what it is: An opinion presented by people who have potential agendas and past track records of laughable failures, not to mention have the word “commission” listed way too many times on their resumes.

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The Iraq Study Group and James Baker's Saudi Connection: Dem Skepticism Takes a Magical Holiday

As we’re all aware, the Iraq Study Group, otherwise known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission (lawyers can’t do anything without having the word “commission” in the title, can they?) has released their report.

The “Study Group” — the stated goal of which was to pursue a round-table bipartisan discussion on commissions for the purpose of delineating task forces and implementing two-way dialog on methods for eliminating bureaucracy in the arena of Middle-East think-tanks — found that the United States is way off course in its goal of getting out of Iraq. President Bush disagrees in many areas.

Democrats in Congress and the mainstream media have gleefully devoured the report as damning evidence of the failures of Bush and Rumsfeld to properly wage war (by “properly” I mean doing it so nobody gets hurt or loses cable reception in the process). Gee, normally Democrats are so inquisitive about the source of their information. What happened?

Just for fun, lets ponder one question for a moment. Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, some Americans filed a $1 trillion lawsuit against Saudi officials and the Sudanese government. Who is a senior partner in one of the law firms Saudi Defense Minister Sultan bin ‘Abd-al-‘Aziz hired for his defense? You guessed it: James Baker III.

This all could be meaningless as it pertains to the Study Group findings, or maybe not, but still, how loud and how often would this fact have been trumpeted in the media if the Iraq Study Group report found that Bush’s war plan was right on track? How come nobody is pointing to Baker and questioning his personal motives? How can Baker be considered “neutral” in any of this?

What about Hamilton?

Then of course there’s Lee Hamilton, who once co-chaired a commission (there’s that word “commission” again) to investigate security issues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This was again done hand-in-hand with James Baker. The Baker-Hamilton report on Los Alamos, which was commissioned (doh!) in the early summer of 2000, after the theft of hard drives at the apparently not-so-heavily-guarded laboratory, released their recommendations later that year.

And how’s that going? Earlier this year, police in New Mexico, responding to a routine call at a trailer park, found nuclear secrets from Los Alamos that were allegedly “accidentally” taken by an employee — who was keeping them nice and warm next to a meth lab. The Baker-Hamilton report recommendations sure did a bang-up job there. What was recommendation #1? “Fire Gilligan as security director and replace him with Barney Fife”?

So, take the “Iraq Study Group” report for what it is: An opinion presented by people who have potential agendas and past track records of laughable failures, not to mention have the word “commission” listed way too many times on their resumes.

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Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com

The Marlboro Candidate: Smoking Harmful — To Obama’s Presidential Ambitions?

Did you guys know that Barack Obama is a cigarette smoker? If I heard this before, I’d forgotten.

We could be about to see the true level of committment of certain liberals to their pet candidate. Smoking? Oh my God! It probably won’t be too bad, though. Hell, a good Democrat can even kill a voter and be re-elected time and time again.

I did some poking around, and it’s funny, because all of a sudden, when it’s their guy, Democrats don’t seem to think it matters that Obama smokes.

Hell, smoking can even help a candidate.

“How smoking helps Obama” is the title of this commentary in The New Republic, reprinted in the Dallas Morning News in full here. “Smoking may help Obama’s image” claims the author.

One commenter at Rolling Stone wrote “who the f*#k cares if Obama smokes?”

I certainly wouldn’t, as long as these same people were this passive as it concerns the habits of rest of us.

The Marlboro Candidate: Smoking Harmful — To Obama's Presidential Ambitions?

Did you guys know that Barack Obama is a cigarette smoker? If I heard this before, I’d forgotten.

We could be about to see the true level of committment of certain liberals to their pet candidate. Smoking? Oh my God! It probably won’t be too bad, though. Hell, a good Democrat can even kill a voter and be re-elected time and time again.

I did some poking around, and it’s funny, because all of a sudden, when it’s their guy, Democrats don’t seem to think it matters that Obama smokes.

Hell, smoking can even help a candidate.

“How smoking helps Obama” is the title of this commentary in The New Republic, reprinted in the Dallas Morning News in full here. “Smoking may help Obama’s image” claims the author.

One commenter at Rolling Stone wrote “who the f*#k cares if Obama smokes?”

I certainly wouldn’t, as long as these same people were this passive as it concerns the habits of rest of us.

Gates To Success: The Lesson For Future Bush Nominees

Note to President Bush: Instruct all your future nominees, from the courts all the way to your cabinet, to say America isn’t winning. Confirmation guaranteed!

Case in point — Robert Gates, who will be the next Defense Secretary. Gates was asked by Senator Carl Levin if America was winning in Iraq. Gates said “no.” Levin nearly soiled his Mens Wearhouse slacks with orgasmic political glee. Here’s a short video of the exchange. (Note: Gates also said “we’re not losing, either,” but the Dems were willing to allow him one indiscretion since they already had their desired soundbite)

The committee then voted unanimously to send Gates’ nomination to the Senate floor for confirmation, and probably even offered to take him out for drinks.

Whether or not Gates is right doesn’t really matter in this case — it was the sight of Democrats nearly dry-humping a Bush nominee that was the story of the year, and it should serve as a lesson for future Bush nominees facing a Democrat controlled Senate.

Note to future nominees: Learn to face Senate Democrats and include one of more phrases like these in your responses, and you’re a shoo-in:

“America is not winning”

“The fault of big oil”

“…on the backs of the poor”

“For the children”

“To avoid future disenfranchisement”

“Lack of health care”

“Unfair distribution of resources”

“Unfair distribution of global power”

“Unfair distribution of methods of distribution”

“The unspeakable horror of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo”

“Wal-Mart’s low wages…”

“Exhorbitantly high CEO wages”

“The travesty of racial profiling”

“Corporate greed”

“Trans fats kill more people every year than ______”

“Behind in our U.N. dues”

“To ensure the continuation of a secular government”

“Lovely pantsuit, Mrs. Clinton”

Sens. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer react after hearing Defense Secretary nominee Gates’ opinion that America is not winning.

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Bolton is Boltin’

U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is a guy who carefully considers the genuine best interests of the United States with every decision he makes. This, of course, doesn’t fly with freshly emboldened Democrats who are filibustering a permanent confirmation, so Bolton submitted his resignation to Bush, and the president accepted.

That’s okay, because seeing a man of integrity like John Bolton in the United Nations was somewhat sad and uncomfortable — sort of like watching John Wayne in a Broadway musical.

Who’s next? No doubt the Democrats plan to force Bush to send the U.N. a holiday fruitcake they’re more comfortable with.

Bolton is Boltin'

U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is a guy who carefully considers the genuine best interests of the United States with every decision he makes. This, of course, doesn’t fly with freshly emboldened Democrats who are filibustering a permanent confirmation, so Bolton submitted his resignation to Bush, and the president accepted.

That’s okay, because seeing a man of integrity like John Bolton in the United Nations was somewhat sad and uncomfortable — sort of like watching John Wayne in a Broadway musical.

Who’s next? No doubt the Democrats plan to force Bush to send the U.N. a holiday fruitcake they’re more comfortable with.

Jimmy Carter Announces Funeral Plans, Wants To Be Buried In Foreign Soil

Why Jimmy Carter would want to be buried in foreign soil is anybody’s guess, but the former president, whose administration was the economic equivalent of root canal while in the throes of amoebic dysentery, has announced his funeral plans.

Carter wants to be buried in front of his home in Plains, Georgia. At this point, we can only speculate how many of brother Billy’s empty beer cans will be dug up by the backhoe. Any bets?

Jimmy also wants a funeral in Washington, which promises to be quite the somber experience. It’ll be like Ronald Reagan’s funeral without all the pesky people getting in your line of sight.

It’s often said that Carter “was a better ex-president than president,” but trying to decide if Jimmy was a better president or ex-president is like figuring out if you prefer the hemorrhoid on the left butt cheek, or the right one.

Carter is probably still in full-blown “Enzyte Bob” mode, as his pal and anti-American goon Hugo Chavez just won re-election as president of Venezuela.

The legacy that Jimmy Carter will leave behind once his funeral plans are fulfilled would be comical if it weren’t dangerous. The self-appointed Special Ambassador to Everywhere has spent the better part of a few decades using his platform as a former president of the U.S. to practice conflict resolution overseas, bash America, and encourage murderers and their victims to find common ground.

Not long ago, Carter monitored the Palestinian elections, where the Islamic militant group Hamas won an overwhelming majority in the legislature.

Here’s what Jimmy Carter had to say about the Palestinian election mere hours after the voting: “The elections were completely honest, completely fair, completely safe and without violence.” We can only wish Carter could offer that same type of knee-jerk deference to an American election.

Remember the days when Billy was the embarrassing Carter?

What Jimmy Carter, knowingly or unknowingly, said to the world that day was that suicide bombings and other violence at polling places won’t occur as long as terrorists are allowed a spot on the ballot.

There are two options with Jimmy Carter: He’s either a gullible fool in search of a legacy or a closet despot lover in search of a closet.

Back in 2002, Carter visited Cuba and hooked up with Fidel Castro for what almost resembled a creepy eHarmony.com ad. At the time, Carter’s visit rankled nerves in the Bush administration because it was thought that Castro had, at the very least, a limited biological-weapons program.

Carter came out of his trip doubting that Cuba had any such programs. Why? You guessed it: Because Castro told him he didn’t. Well, that and because Castro granted Carter “free access to any place that you may wish to see” (with 24-hour notice for “tidying up”). The Cuban government also told its people that they were free to speak openly with Carter, provided they were polite, courteous and willing to spend the next 20 years in a labor camp.

Why does Jimmy Carter seem to have a soft spot for less than desirable dictators and varied despots around the globe? Simply psychology. The malaise, stagflation, low morale, high misery index, bad leisure suit and disco years that were his presidency look great next to the human rights violations, oppression and violent iron fisted rule of the likes of Castro, Hamas, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, et al.

Carter has figured out what’s helped many an ex-president out of a bad legacy jam. You can’t change history, but you can alter your present company. As Rodney Dangerfield’s character eloquently put it in his movie Back to School, “If you want to look thin, hang out with fat people.”

Jimmy Carter has announced his burial plans, and word has it that he’s already down in Plains trying to mediate the dirt out of the hole. I’m a little surprised that Carter didn’t want to be buried in Venezuela, Cuba, or the Middle East — a little closer to home.

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John Kerry: Dead But Too Dumb To Lie Down

Recently, I was re-reading one of P.J. O’Rourke’s books, and this happened to be while John Kerry was on Larry King Live. As Kerry was trying to dig his way out of a hole with such vigor that he was about to reach China, I ran across the chapter title, “Commies: Dead but too dumb to lie down.”

I looked up at John Francois Kerry, and it was as if the gods of fortuitous timing were with me that evening. The chapter title, most of it anyway, was the perfect description of what has become of John Kerry’s presidential aspirations.

The next election is a little less than two years away, and I have no idea who the nominees will be. I do know who they won’t be, though. One thing is certain: John Kerry will not be among the finalists for the Democrat nomination.

Kerry is still assessing the impact of his “botched joke” on his ’08 prospects, as he was doing that night on the Larry King show. This is like Michael Richards assessing the impact of his botched rant on his chances to be president of the NAACP – It wasn’t going to happen anyway. Sorry, John.

Years ago, it all seemed so promising for Kerry, and then…

In 2004, Kerry came back from a distant third to win in Iowa, he had the best hair of any other Democrat seeking the nomination, and, most importantly, among core party voters, he had the only thing that they were looking for in a candidate: he wasn’t Bush.

According to polls before either party’s convention, the race between Kerry and Bush was a dead heat. This was the time for Kerry to make his move. Speculation swirled around who would be Kerry’s choice for a running mate. Would it be Hillary Clinton? Dick Gephardt? Would John McCain cross over? Kerry decided to add some youthful integrity to the ticket, figuring that nobody exudes this quality to Americans like a senator and attorney, if you’ll pardon the redundancy. A fellow wealthy liberal lawyer from an Eastern Seaboard state with a meticulously cared-for coif, Kerry’s choice of John Edwards as his running-mate was like adding salt to caviar.

The Dems convention in 2004 was another problem. Their week in Beantown was like a USO show in reverse, with the entertainers in the crowd, and the troops on the stage. Throw in Edwards reminding the crowd that “Hope is on the way,” and the USO feel was uncanny. Unfortunately, Bob and his trademark golf club didn’t make an appearance, and the constant reminders of what John Kerry did in his early 20’s turned off any voter with the audacity to be curious about anything that has happened since midway through Nixon’s first term.

Things got even worse shortly after the DNC gathering in Boston, when pollsters observed that, after an entire week of speeches and rallies, the biggest convention “bounce” any Democrat enjoyed was at a fundraiser and involved Alyssa Milano and a trampoline.

Just when things seemed to be heading in the wrong direction for Kerry, a hint of potentially good news energized his campaign. Dan Rather and CBS were going to air a report, complete with documentation, that would offer proof positive that George W. Bush received preferential treatment while in the Texas Air National Guard, which allowed Bush to skirt the usual requirements, keeping him out of Vietnam. At last, something for the Kerry campaign that would turn off Bush voters!

By the time it was over, the CBS flap cost Kerry in two key areas: 1) The documents ended up being forgeries, making Bush opponents appear desperate, and 2) In order to push this story forward, they had to admit that Bush was actually in the National Guard.

The loss, the Heinz, the flush, the plunge

Kerry, of course, lost to Bush in ’04, though I do believe some recounts are still being conducted in dusty corners of out-of-the-way polling places by chad-covered denial-addled liberal activists.

After the loss, Kerry went back to being one of the biggest lefties in the Senate, which you can get away with when you’re from Massachusetts, but it still doesn’t work nationally.

Kerry’s “botched joke” is only the final nail in the coffin of his presidential hopes. There were and are many others, not the least of which is his wife.

Frankly, on the likability scale, Teresa Heinz Kerry managed to rank just below “genital warts.” Preposterous elitist meanderings, such as saying that Laura Bush has “never had a real job“ must have made teachers, librarians and mothers everywhere rejoice to discover they’ve never had to work in their lives. Heinz-Kerry later said she was sorry, but, just like an Ike Turner apology, it’s tough to accept because you know that, tomorrow, another slap is coming. The 2004 election may have been the first to be lost due to a candidate’s wife. At the polls, a few voters might have decided that America needed a “First Lady,” not a “Mommy Dearest.”

Other John Kerry factors, such as accusing US troops of terrorizing women and children in Iraq and any other number of insulting things the Senator has said are sure to keep him from having another shot at the Dems nomination. John Kerry has spent the last couple of years helping Republicans produce dozens of potentially negative and damning ads for ’08. It’s nice for the other side when a candidate writes ad copy for his opponent.

The saddest thing about John Kerry is that the last person to realize that he has no chance of ever being President of the United States will be John Kerry. If this particular “botched joke” wasn’t so much fun to watch, I’d suggest an intervention.

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Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com