Shouting 'Cross the Potomac
but never a Monday morning quarterback
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Virginia Pundit Watch Will Vehrs' Weekly Column at Bacon's Rebellion
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UVA Center for Politics and Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Predictions 2002
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On the Third Hand
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the talking dog
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The Road to Surfdom
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perfunctory links(We think it's "the Mother of links pages for news and pundit junkies" - eds)
Independent Gay Forum
Town Hall: Conservative News and Information - The Conservative Movement Starts Here
Saturday, February 22, 2003
You've Heard of "Diploma Mills"?
Tony AdragnaWell, seems that the House GOP has been running an "Honors Mill" for at least five years
The call starts with flattery: You have been named businessman of the year, or physician of the year, or state chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Business Advisory Council.OK, reading the rest of the story makes clear that it's not akin the fraud you see in college degree scams, but it's still sleazy. I've never heard of an honoree being asked to pay the cost of attending the honors banquet — I've helped plan such events, and those people are usually comped.
Friday, February 21, 2003
Powell Getting Pushy
Tony AdragnaFrom today's WASHINGTON IN BRIEF
Powell Defends Work Style, Eschews 'Living' in a PlaneWhy would the Secretary of State need to say the obvious — unless it's not so obvious that Mr. Bush is relying on his "principal foreign policy adviser" for foreign policy advice.
For the record, though I support war against Saddam's regime, and I find within liberal tradition precedent for supporting war against such a regime, I'm not happy 'bout how this administration has handled the diplomatic assault — there's too much of "Talk [loudly] and carry a big stick." I think that's the right approach when addressing enemies, but when trying to bring allies aboard — even those viewed as only nominal allies — it's best to just agree to disagree, or engage the debate in private, rather than carry on a public disputation.
There are two reason why I think public disputation is best avoided, and both ought be obvious: a ) Slights, whether or not intentional, never go unrequited, and b ) these public disputes are a distraction from and a gift to the enemy we're supposed to be uniting against.
I've also a problem with all of the "unilateralist" talk. I know I've said this often enough, but I'm gonna say it again: The only U.S. unilateralism we've seen is rhetorical. This is just my gut feeling, but I'm of the opinion that had Mr. Bush reigned in the unilateralists sooner, then we might've gotten a stronger Resolution 1441.
Maybe the preceding grafs expose me as a naif — I've been charged with worse.
Nothing I've written should be taken as full agreement with the Powellite position, though. I fear that playing the game according to those rules would have us indefinately on deck instead of in the batter's box. Neither will I defend those governments that stand in opposition to "American Imperialism" & "unilateralism", or take umbrage at trivial offenses. While the Bush administration's rhetoric has oft been more blustery than I would like, it's nonetheless a long overdue wake-up call. The proper response would be to get out of bed and make ready for an active day — the wrong response is to ignore the alarm & go back to sleep.
Me & Kristol Agree? Sorta... Was watching Frontline last night and found a Republican who agrees with me on how the Clinton era GOP was a much different animal — read the transcript. Kristol also shares my own opinion that pre-Sept. 11 Mr. Bush was on foreign policy more influenced by the neo-isolationists & realists than by the neo-Reaganites [neo-conservatives].
And Kristol had some pointed criticism of GOP opposition to Mr. Clinton
A couple of things should be said about the 1990s. I think Clinton deserves a fair amount of criticism. But it's not as if Republicans were united in advancing a Bush Doctrine-type approach. Republicans were very badly split. The Republican Congress was quite isolationist. They were spending much more time opposing Clinton on Bosnia and Kosovo than encouraging Clinton to be tougher on Iraq. We were spending time worrying about American over-extension around the world, very nervous about the commitment of U.S. troops. Even in the Somalia debacle, Clinton deserves some criticism, and Republicans in Congress, their type of criticisms tended to be, "Why are we there in the first place?" Not, "We've got to go in and punish the people who just killed some Americans."...I wonder, had there not been so much opposition from the GOP might Clinton actually have gotten something done? Well, he did in the Balkans, but that wasn't the only fight, and Mr. Clinton then was sounding like Mr. Bush now... Hmmm... Anyway, seems to me that much of the neo-isolationists opposition was less principled than opposition for its own sake — 'bout where the Democratic "anti-war" "progressives" are coming from in the instant case.
Neo-Reaganite? Really, I'm glad my t.v. viewage is done while in bed with my head propped up — I woulda hurt myself falling over laughing had I been standing up. Did Kristol actually link Reagan's name with a foreign policy that's about "We've got to go in and punish the people who just killed some Americans."? Is Kristol serious?
OK, I was in the U.S. Navy during Reagan's second term, and I was everywhere but out "punish[ing] the people who just killed some Americans." Reagan bowed to Congressional pressure when he withdrew U.S. forces from Lebanon — see Clinton & Congress in re Somalia.
Reagan's national security team got involved in the Iran-Contra guns-for-hostages market
The Iran Arms SalesThis happened even as "On June 18, 1985, President Reagan made a public statement that would prove to be ironic in light of the arms-for-hostages shipments that were to occur over the next eighteen months"
Let me further make it plain to the assassins in Beirut and their accomplices, wherever they may be, that America will never make concessions to terrorists -- to do so would only invite more terrorism -- nor will we ask nor pressure any other government to do so. Once we head down that path there would be no end to it, no end to the suffering of innocent people, no end to the bloody ransom all civilized nations must pay.In fairness, Mr. Reagan did have his successes — we sure taught those Commie Grenadan's a lesson. Now back to some real threats: an Iraqi pilot "accidentally" fires two Exocet missiles at the U.S.S. Stark, killing 37 U.S. sailors, and we accept an apology. There's a war we were definitely on the wrong side of...
Thursday, February 20, 2003
A Good Reason to Support Pre-marital Sex & Pronography
Tony Adragna'Cause if you don't, then the Communists have won...
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Tony Blair's Question Misapprehends The Argument