Thursday, September 29, 2005


It was bound to happen. Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) was indicted. I had no doubt that Prosecutor Ronnie Earle would get to it eventually. He's been pursuing Delay for over two years now. Like Captain Ahab, he wouldn't rest until he's landed his white whale.

I'm not going to take the position that Delay has done no wrong. Shady dealings in raising campaign money have become the norm. Increasingly restrictive campaign finance laws have created a situation whereby politicians have to be extremely creative in raising funds. I'd be surprised if there was even one member of Congress who hadn't received at least some money that may have violated one or more laws.

As to the indictment, my initial reaction was that Delay would be acquitted at trial. Then I read the indictment today at the Smoking Gun website. Here's the case against Delay as laid out in the indictment:

-Delay is indicted as a co-conspirator.
-Delay co-founded Texans for a Republican Majority PAC with his two co-conspirators.
-Delay waived the statute of limitations so he could be indicted beyond the three year mark.

That's it folks. There are no other specific allegations against Delay in the indictment. There are several against his alleged co-conspirators, but none against Delay. No specific allegation that he even knew what the other two were up to. Don't believe me? Go read it for yourself. It's only four pages long. Kinda short for a conspiracy indictment.

My prediction now is that Delay will not only not be convicted, he will not even be tried on this charge. Earle had nothing specific about Delay's criminal conduct in the indictment because he has no evidence. Look for this thing to evaporate before it goes to trial. Earle won't want to embarrass himself in a courtroom trying to sell his evidence-free case to a jury. Besides, he's already achieved his goal. He forced Delay to step down and gave the Democrats several weeks of anti-GOP sound bites.

Legally speaking, this whole case is B.S. The real question is this: how much political impact will it have?

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but check out this blatant example (is there another kind?) of left-wing media bias. The following experiment was conducted at 12:50 p.m. eastern daylight time.

I went to the Google News search engine and typed in the terms "Schumer" and "credit report." The results (sorted by date): twenty (20) stories.

Next I typed in the search terms "Frist", "HCA", and "stock." The results (sorted by date): five hundred forty-eight (548) stories.

Based on the dates of the stories, they broke about one day apart. Yet the media is all over the Frist stock sale story, while there is little interest in the invasion of privacy committed by Schumer staffers. Media bias? What media bias?

Update: A few of the Schumer stories I found had nothing to do with his staffers illegally running a credit report on Maryland's Lt. Governor Steele, so I refined my search criteria. By adding the term "Steele" to my Google News search on the Schumer story, I wound up with seventeen (17) stories as of 8:30 p.m. EST.

As of 8:30 EST, Google News listed five hundred fifty-three (553) stories on Frist.

Update 2: As of 12:30 p.m. EST on 9/25/05, the results of the modified Schumer search is down to 13 stories. Apparently, what little interest there was in the Schumer story is waning. On the other hand, interest in the Frist story is growing. As of 12:30 p.m., there are now 581 stories about the Senate majority leader's stock sale.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


This isn't surprising. We all know that Hill's running for Pres in '08 (can't they just hand the job to her? After all, she was born to be President, right?). If she had voted "yes" on Roberts, she stood the chance that he might make ruling on a case before the court that would infuriate Hillary's base (that would be the extreme left). Can't have that.

On the subject of Hillary '08, check out the Dick Morris column in yesterday's New York Post. Interesting.


I only wish I were surprised by this.
BALTIMORE -- Federal prosecutors have opened an inquiry into allegations that two Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee employees illegally tapped into Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's credit history.

WBAL-TV 11 News reporter David Collins reported the workers obtained the report in July while executing opposition research on the lieutenant governor.

In June, the Republican lieutenant governor announced he had established an exploratory committee to explore a candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Paul D. Ellington, Steele's chief of staff, issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon in reaction to the allegations.

"Lt. Gov. Steele was extremely disturbed to learn about the alleged criminal identity theft of his personal finance records by (a staff member of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.,) at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

"He was notified by the FBI that a federal criminal investigation is under way and has been asked not to comment on the specifics of the case.

"He intends to honor this request and expects that those responsible for these actions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? Don't hold your breath. Ever fearful of looking "partisan", Republicans are afraid to prosecute prominent Dems for wrong-doing. Ever since a certain ex-president beat a perjury rap in the Senate, being a high profile Dem is almost a license to steal. Hell, I'm surprised they even had the guts to slap Sandy Berger on the wrist for the serious felony (not to mention a breach of national security) he committed.

That Chuckie Scummer is involved in this is probably the least surprising thing of all. Mr. "Right to Privacy" himself. Maximum hypocrisy.

Update: Apparently, the NY Times -- "The Old Gray (area) Lady" -- hasn't found space in it's pages for this story. Michelle Malkin has some info on how the paper's "ombudsman" responded to a question about this omission. You can read all about it here. I'm wondering how many articles the paper has printed about Tom Delay's supposed scandal. More hypocrisy, but not surprising. Let's not forget, the Times worked on the Air National Guard memos story with Dan Rather. It may not be too many years before the paper follows Rather into irrelevance.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I've blogged before about leadership in a crisis situation. Remember the golden rule? Lead, follow, or get out of the way! If you want to see what leadership in a crisis looks like, keep your eye on LTG Russell Honore. Check out his handling of a recent press conference about preparations for hurricane Rita:
Honore: And Mr. Mayor, let's go back, because I can see right now, we're setting this up as he said, he said, we said. All right? We are not going to go, by order of the mayor and the governor, and open the convention center for people to come in. There are buses there. Is that clear to you? Buses parked. There are 4,000 troops there. People come, they get on a bus, they get on a truck, they move on. Is that clear? Is that clear to the public?

Female reporter: Where do they move on...

Honore: That's not your business.

Male reporter: But General, that didn't work the first time...

Honore: Wait a minute. It didn't work the first time. This ain't the first time. Okay? If...we don't control Rita, you understand? So there are a lot of pieces of it that's going to be worked out. You got good public servants working through it. Let's get a little trust here, because you're starting to act like this is your problem. You are carrying the message, okay? What we're going to do is have the buses staged. The initial place is at the convention center. We're not going to announce other places at this time, until we get a plan set, and we'll let people know where those locations are, through the government, and through public announcements. Right now, to handle the number of people that want to leave, we've got the capacity. You will come to the convention center. There are soldiers there from the 82nd Airborne, and from the Louisiana National Guard. People will be told to get on the bus, and we will take care of them. And where they go will be dependent on the capacity in this state. We've got our communications up. And we'll tell them where to go. And when they get there, they'll be able to get a chance, an opportunity to get registered, and so they can let their families know where they are. But don't start panic here. Okay? We've got a location. It is in the front of the convention center, and that's where we will use to migrate people from it, into the system.

Male reporter: General Honore, we were told that Berman Stadium on the west bank would be another staging area...

Honore: Not to my knowledge. Again, the current place, I just told you one time, is the convention center. Once we complete the plan with the mayor, and is approved by the governor, then we'll start that in the next 12-24 hours. And we understand that there's a problem in getting communications out. That's where we need your help. But let's not confuse the questions with the answers. Buses at the convention center will move our citizens, for whom we have sworn that we will support and defend...and we'll move them on. Let's not get stuck on the last storm. You're asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don't understand, maybe you'll confuse it to the people. That's why we like follow-up questions. But right now, it's the convention center, and move on.

Male reporter: General, a little bit more about why that's happening this time, though, and did not have that last time...

Honore: You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out. This is the way we've got to do it. So please. I apologize to you, but let's talk about the future. Rita is happening. And right now, we need to get good, clean information out to the people that they can use. And we can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months.

Now that's leadership. I wish more of our political leaders in Washington could show that kind of leadership.

Check out the rest of Radio Blogger's commentary and his transcript of Glenn Reynolds' radio interview about the press conference. Good stuff.

h/t: Michelle Malkin

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Well, 9/11 has come and gone, and I failed to post anything about it. But make no mistake, the importance of the day weighed heavily on my mind. I spent 9/11 --and the entire weekend, for that matter -- in uniform. It was a busy drill weekend. We spent it preparing for an upcoming exercise.

I was surprised and disappointed that no mention was made of the anniversary of 9/11 by the powers that be on my base. Last year 9/11 fell on a drill weekend as well. An announcement was made on the PA system to coincide with the time that the first plane hit the WTC and a moment of silence was observed across the base. This year, as far as I could tell, there was no such announcement.

Equally dismaying was the media's tepid treatment of the occasion. Oh, there were news reports on the anniversary and a few specials on some of the channels, but nothing fitting the importance of the anniversary of the deadliest attack by a foreign power on American soil in history.

I'm concerned that the enormity of what happened -- and the seriousness of the threat we still face -- has been forgotten by many of us. Have we broken our promise to never forget? I hope not. But this eerily prophetic quote from the 1993 video Red Cell keeps reverberating in my head:
I was just up in New York right after the World Trade Center got hit, and two blocks away it's like it's if they didn't pick up garbage last week. You know, "if you weren't involved, don't worry about it." So they forgot about it. That's just part of our American way.

-Cdr. Dick Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team 6

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Imagine for a moment you are in a burning building. It is a large building. You are unfamiliar with the layout of the building. The fire rages and you are certain that the roof will begin to collapse soon. You and the other people trapped inside look to someone to lead you safely out of the building before the roof collapses. Just then, the building superintendant walks into the room. You feel a sense of relief. Surely he must be able to lead you out.

You and the others gather around the superintendant and wait for instructions. The first words out of his mouth are "if this place had a better sprinkler system, this fire would've been put out right after it started." You're getting nervous about the impending roof collapse, so you ask him how to get out of the building. He responds "if they put better fire route maps in the halls, it'd be easier to find our way out." You generally agree with his statement, but the fire is raging on and he isn't moving. "What do we do?" one of the other people asks the superintendant. "If the fire department had better response time, they could've rescued us already. They were probably just sitting around playing cards for awhile after the alarm sounded" he replies.

The fire rages on, the super isn't moving, and he isn't giving you any useful guidance. Your best course of action is:

a) Draft a strongly worded letter to the company that manufactured the sprinkler system.

b) Form a committee to investigate the fire department's response time.

c) Contact you attorney and inquire about the possibility of suing the building's owner.

d) Find a way out of that building fast and lead the others to safety.

The correct answer is "d". If you had any trouble arriving at this answer, don't feel too badly. You're in good company. Many of our politicians apparently wouldn't know the answer either.

Like the burning building in my example, hurricane Katrina (and its aftermath) is a crisis situation. Solve the problem first, point fingers later. Anyone who is pointing fingers now should be pushed aside immediately. They are not only not helping, they are hindering efforts. Remember the golden rule of crisis situations:


Unfortunately, many of our politcos are incapable of leading, won't follow, and flat out refuse to get out of the way.

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