damnum absque injuria

August 31, 2004

G.O.P. Convention: Day Two

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:55 pm

I am officially vindicated. Earlier in the summer, the lineup for the convention came out, and all the Real Republicans were fit to be tied. How dare the G.O.P. invite such Karl-rove-approved RINOS as Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger to water down their party’s message! Half the Republicans in Congress signed a letter of protest demanding that everyone’s favorite adulterer/gun-grabber, Henry Hyde, be allowed to speak the convention in a prime time slot. Kate O’Beirne of NRO went even further, attacking the very fact that these faux Republicans were allowed to speak at all. Quoth Ms. O’Beirne:

The decision to showcase rogue elephants as representatives of the modern Republican party is not the mark of a self-confident party establishment. If the lineup is intended to make an overwhelmingly conservative party attractive to swing voters, it does so by pretending to be something it’s not.

Michelle Malkin agreed wholeheartedly, citing the above passage with approval in a blog entry titled “CONSERVATIVES NOT WELCOME.” Spoons swiftly replied, citing the “purging of any vestige of conservatism from the Republican Party” as a reason for his refusal to support George Bush this fall. Countless others agreed. At the time, I was virtually alone in arguing that the decision to invite the nation’s most popular Republicans, rather than the most doctrinally conservative ones, was the right thing to do. My argument was essentially twofold. On the one hand, I argued that the real purpose of the conventions should be to win the election this November, not to get into a pissing contest over who can be more conservative than who else. On the other, I opined that for all of the ideological differences between these “rogue elephants” and the “real” Republicans, the “rogues” were unlikely to deliver messages inconsistent with the basic views of the party.

Partial vindication came shortly after the Democrat convention, which produced no bounce for Kerry, or worse. Further vindication followed when my brother, one of the typical left-leaning Bush-despising independents the Democrat convention was supposed to reach – informed me and my moonbat aunt that he thought the Democrats – whom no one accused of inviting too many DINOs – had thoroughly stunk up the joint. But true vindication came yesterday and today, when John McCain, Rudolph Guiliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger – three of the alleged RINOs all the hard rightists had been so hot and bothered about – delivered three of the finest speeches I have heard on my life, without watering down the Republican message one iota.

Maybe Bloomberg and Pataki will blow it. I don’t even care. Those two were mandatory “courtesy” invites anyway. You simply can’t hold a party convention in any city with a mayor and a governor who are members of your party and not invite both of them to speak. I don’t expect them to advertise their RINOhood any more than McCain, Guiliani and Schwarzenegger did, but I don’t expect to be wowed by them, either. That’s OK.

Final thoughts for the day:

  • Only Nixon could go to China.
  • Only McCain could attack Michael Moore.
  • Only Schwarzenegger could rehabilitate Nixon.

P.S. Am I the only one who, couldn’t listen to Arnold’s “you are a Republican” litany without being reminded of Xrlq Foxworthy’s legendary “You Might Be a Redneck” routine?

G.O.P. Convention: Day One

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:25 am

For me, Guiliani’s speech was the highlight, though McCain’s wasn’t half bad, either. Money quote:

But it’s important, and critical, to see the contrast in approach between these two men. President Bush, a leader who’s willing to stick with difficult decisions even if public opinion shifts, and goes back and forth and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position even on important issues. Now, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War.

[Massive booing ensues.]

Ahh, but he must have heard your booing.

[Booing immediately changes to cheering.]

Because later, he said he actually supported the war. Then, in 2002, as he was calculating his run for the Presidency, he voted for the war in Iraq. And then just nine months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops. He even at one point declared that [sic] himself as an anti-war as an anti-war candidate. And now he says he’s a pro-war candidate. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position four or five more times.

That was my favorite part. What was yours? Or your least favorite?

August 30, 2004

How Many Violent and Serious Offenders Will Prop 666 Put Back on the Street?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 5:16 pm

Somewhere between 4,000 and 26,000, probably. No way to tell for sure because the statute wasn’t drafted in English. Patterico has the scoop.

Have Voters Finally Moved On?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:55 pm

Right now, this piddly little blog outranks Moveon.org in the TTLB Ecosystem by four positions and six unique links. Heh.

I’m still several slots behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, however. Seeing as SBVT has a significant chance of deciding this year’s presidential election and DAI does not, I suppose that’s understandable.

August 29, 2004

L.A. Times and Gun Control

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:31 pm

I think I’ve finally figured out why the L.A. Times staff is so keen on taking everyone’s guns away: if everyone had one, it’s a near-certainty that someone would use his to put this guy out of our misery.

Illegal Alien Lobby Strikes Back

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:20 pm

The illegal alien lobby is back with a vengeance. You may remember SB 60, the idiotic bill that Joe “Gray” “Gris” Davis signed in hopes of heading off the recall that ended his career last fall. You know the rest: referendum proponents easily gathered the signatures they needed, and the new governor used them to persuade the Legislature to repeal its own bill, promising to work with them in future bills that address its security issues. Among these issues was the fact that pre-1993 licenses, like the ones that would have been issued under SB 60, imply that illegal aliens are in fact legal residents. Soon it became clear that the Governator would not sign a bill that did not distinguish illegal aliens’ licenses from those of citizens or lawful resident, a requirement which long-time illegal alien lobbyist/legislator Gil “Ha, ha, just kidding about that ‘public safety’ thing” Cedillo decried as a deal-breaker. As recently as Thursday, the Orange County Register declared the concept dead.

So if you are like most rational human beings, you probably thought the Fake IDs for Illegal Aliens Act was dead and buried for at least the year, if not for the remainder of Schwarzenegger’s term. Think again. Since February, Ass. Bill 2895 was a bill relating to domestic violence, which had nothing whatsoever to do with driver licenses for illegal aliens. Suddenly, on Friday, the Legislature gutted and amended the old bill out of existence, replacing it with a new bill to issue driver licenses to illegal aliens. You know “illegal aliens,” right? You know, the guys who aren’t supposed to be here, but are anyway? They’re the same guys who cryptostupid people often refer to as “undocumented workers,” regardless of whether they actually work, and regardless of whether or not adequate documentation exists to prove the illegality of their presence in this country. Once that domestic violence bill had been beaten to death by the very woman it had trusted to protect it, the abuser turned murderer easily sailed through both houses of the Legislature, on a near-party line vote. On the one hand, every single Republican – including the moderate ones that an Angry Rottweiler or a Spoon might otherwise decry as a RINO – cast a vote against this monstrosity. On the other, only three Assembly Democrats – and none in the Senate – did, with three other Democrats in each house (and again, no Republicans) abstaining.

No biggie, you might say. After all, Ahnold has already assured us that he would never sign a turkey like that, right? Right. Trouble is, he doesn’t have to. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that something else is going on next week which just might lure Mr. Schwarzenegger out of the state. Once his plane crosses the Nevambleda state line, guess who becomes acting governor? That’s right, MEChA-Man himself!

Lest you harbor any illusions that MEChA-Man would hesitate to usurp the governor’s power and sign a driver licenses for illegal aliens bill himself if given the chance, take a gander at this L.A. Times article, which I obtained from the Save Our License email alert. Money quote:

On Saturday, Cedillo and members of the governor’s staff acknowledged that approval of the bill by Bustamante was a possibility, however remote.

Asked about such a move, the lieutenant governor declined to state any intention.

“I’m very supportive of the bill,” Bustamante said through a spokesman. “As to whether I would sign it or not — that calls for an extreme amount of speculation.”

Actually, no, it doesn’t. Based on a statement like that, I have to conclude that Bustamecha is either being deliberately coy, or he is planning on signing the bill and faxing a copy of his middle finger to the real governor’s hotel in New York. It wouldn’t take any speculation on his part to say what his intentions are. Thus, the real governor has to consider that there is a real possibility MEChA-Man will hijack the process and sign this horrible bill if given the chance. Given that possibility, here are the Governator’s options, as I see them:

  • Veto the bill before leaving. This would be the ideal option, of course. I’m not sure it really is an option, though. According to the Legislature’s web site, Ass. Bill 2895 has not yet been enrolled or sent to the governor for signature. He can’t veto what isn’t on his desk, and the bill may not reach his desk until it’s too late to catch a flight to his scheduled speech. Even that assumes he hasn’t left already, which he probably has, as his original itinerary had him leaving yesterday. If he’s left, it’s a bit late to exercise that option, though theoretically he could fly back briefly just to veto it, and then fly back to New York again. Massive jetlag, but minor compared to traveling 45 years back in time, so it’s doable.
  • Skip the convention. Short of actually signing Ass. Bill 2895, this is the worst option of all. For all we know, maybe Cedillo, Nunez and the rest knew their bill wouldn’t stick and the whole idea behind this stunt was to put the national GOP convention in disarray. If he takes that bait, the terrorists will have won.
  • Stick to the Original Schedule. This option all but invites MEChA-Man to “make Schwarzenegger’s day.” It’s high stakes poker, in a way, but the stakes aren’t really as high as they may look at a glance. After all, if the bill were signed during Schwarzenegger’s absence, he could suspend enforcement pending a referendum that would easily qualify for the ballot, even more easily than the last effort, in which Schwarzenegger played no role. So in a sense, the bill wouldn’t really do anything, except to “get out the vote” among Republicans, independents and sane Democrats, and maybe even spark a new recall effort against that moron who never should have been elected to the position in the first place. I’d like to think it may lead to a reform allowing statewide recalls of individual legislators, but that may be a bit too much to hope for.

UPDATE: Dan Weintraub says no way, no how, citing a KTKZ interview in which the governor’s ommunications director, Rob Stutzman, assured listeners that the governor will veto AB 2895 and “won’t let anyone else get their hands on it before he does so.” I’m not convinced, for two reasons. First, Weintraub names the wrong bill, SB 1160 (the original Cedillo bill), and dismisses as a “rumor” and a “tale” the possibility that Cruz Bustamante might sign the bill – a possibility Bustamante himself refuses to rule out. These two errors suggest that Weintraub has not been following this issue as closely he ordinarily would. Second, neither Weintraub nor Stutzman has offered any explanation at all as to what, exactly, a governor can do from outside the state to prevent the Legislature from sending an enrolled bill to the desk of the acting governor. Until Ahnold’s plane touches down in Kalifornia, I don’t rule anything out.

UPDATE x2: Weintraub has fixed the reference to the bill number, but has not explained how, or even if, a governor absent from the state can prevent a lieutenant governor from doing anything that the governor himself could do while inside the state. Meanwhile, this idle radio talk show rumor has spread to the pages of Weintraub’s own newspaper, which reported as recently as Tuesday that Gil Cedillo was still urging Cruz Bustamante to sign the bill (h/t: Lonewacko) if it reached his desk before Schwarzenegger returned. Forget Weintraub and Stutzman’s glib assurances, folks. This one ain’t over till it’s over, and may not even be over then.

August 27, 2004

O’Neill Should Admit His Goof

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 5:29 pm

John O’Neill has taken some Q&A from WaPo readers. At one point he elaborates on the in vs. near Cambodia controversy:

Dayton, Ohio: Mr. O’Neill, I recently heard a portion of the White House audio tape of your meeting with President Nixon. I heard you tell President Nixon that you had gone to Cambodia on your swift boat.

I also heard you tell a reporter recently (on tape) that you had never been in Cambodia.

Did you lie to President Nixon or did you lie to the reporter?

Have you ever been in Cambodia, and if so, when did you go and did you go more than once?

If you have never been in Cambodia, how close did you ever get to the Cambodian border (in feet or miles)?

John E. O’Neill: I lied to no one. You quote the first half of the statement but ignore the following sentence. I clearly said that I was on the Cambodian border. I was on a canal system known as Bernique’s Creek located about 100 yards south of the Cambodian border from which it would have been very difficult to get into Cambodia at least from a boat.

I never went to Cambodia. Unlike the Kerry story you are defensive about I don’t believe I can ever fairly be interpreted as saying anything different. John Kerry on many different occasions said that the turning point of his life was being in Cambodia illegally for Christmas Eve and Christmas in 1968. This was in a different area than I was in and close approach to Cambodia was not possible for him in that area. In fact he was more than 50 miles away. How many people invent the turning point of their life and repeat it on the Senate floor, in articles and more than 50 times in 35 years?

By contrast, O’Neill told President Nixon in 1971 that “I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.” He didn’t mention Bernique’s Creek by name at the time, but I see little reason to doubt that that was the point “along the border on the water” to which he was referring. Only for some reason, in 1971, that area was “in Cambodia,” while now, it’s 100 yards away from it.

Unless someone can come up with evidence that Bernique’s Creek really is/was inside Cambodia, or that O’Neill really did enter the country at some other point, I think we should be able to put the “O’Neill Lied, Kerry’s War Record Died” myth to rest. It would help, though, if O’Neill himself would admit to his own mistake. Any of the following answers would have gone a long way toward that:

  1. “Yup, you got me there. In 1971, while talking one on one with the President of the United friggin’ States of America, I got a little nervous and ended up saying ‘in’ when I really meant ‘at the border of.’ So fisk me.”
  2. “Yup, you got me there. In 1971 I was a twenty-something kid whose knowledge of geography was just as crappy as most kids of that age today. When I served at Bernique’s Creek, I thought I was on the Cambodian side of the border at least part of the time. I later learned that that whole canal system was one football field shy of the border. So fisk me.”
  3. “Yup, you got me there. I said I was never in Cambodia, but maybe I did technically hit cross through a bit of Cambodian water at some point. Even then, the nearest Cambodian land was a good 100 yards away. So yes, I was technically ‘in Cambodia,’ but I was never there in any meaningful sense, or on any ‘secret missions’ of the kind Kerry has been babbling on about over the years. I should have made my point a little more precisely than I did. So fisk me. “
  4. Yup, you got me there. I’m a pathological liar, see. Like Tommy Flanagan, I’m a member of Pathological Liars Anonymous. In fact, I’m the president! Yeah, that’s the ticket. I lie all the time, for no good reason, even when it doesn’t help my case and the facts were on my side to begin with. I lied to get into Vietnam. As a graduating law student, I landed that job clerking for Justice Rehnquist by lying and telling him I was at the top of my class at “Texas” Law School, when reality I was only in the top half of my class at South Texas College of Law. Well, techncially, that one wasn’t a lie; it is a law school, and it is in Texas. Ha! I also lied five minutes ago when I told you Bernique’s Creek was 100 yards south of Cambodia. Actually, the canal system extends just far enough into Cambodian terroritory that I was able to stand halfway inside Cambodia from half of the ship, just so I could tell President Nixon I had been “in” Cambodia, tell you later I had not, and actually be half-lying both times. Nevermind, that was a lie, too. The truth is that John Kerry and I kissed and made up years ago, but never told anybody. Then we figured that if he ran for President and I supported him or said nothing, people might get suspicious. So we both agreed it would be best for me to be the one to blow up that Christmas in Cambodia story, and then discredit all his critics at once by getting caught in a lie myself. I was rearing to go with different lie, but I then I saw old John get all tongue-tied over that “in/near” thing, and I just couldn’t resist. I had to come up with a lie of my own that had both of us Johns splitting the same exact hair, and this was it. But now I’m coming clean. Kerry for President! Yeeeeeaaaaaaauuuuugggghhhh!!!!!

OK, maybe that last example was a bit of a stretch. I had to throw in some possible explanation to accomodate those who still insist that O’Neill couldn’t possibly have misspoken or made a minor geographical error, he had to be telling a dirty, rotten, stinking lie. The rest of the explanations seem plausible enough to me, and any of them would, if uttered by O’Neill himself, end all reasonable debate on the subject. Then again, maybe I’m expecting too much from a liberal who enthusiastically voted for Humphrey in 1968, who voted for Gore in 2000, and who, given the choice, would gladly have voted for Edwards in 2004. Also, if I recall correctly, O’Neill is also one of those choads who not only voted for Pee-Rot in 1992, btu actually voted for him again in 1996. People who vote like that almost never admit they were wrong.

Swift Boat Schmift Boat

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:49 pm

It looks like we can add Rear Admiral William Shachte (h/t: Daily Pundit) and the entire friggin’ U.S. Navy (h/t: Drudge) to the ever-growing list of people who must all be lying if John Kerry is telling the truth about his service in Vietnam. Between Schachte and the Swift Vets, it now seems almost certain that John Kerry’s first Purple Heart was bogus, and that Kerry himself knew it was at the time he requested it. Without that first Purple Heart, Kerry would not have been allowed to leave Vietnam when he did, after only four months of service.

I haven’t blogged much in the past about Bush being, or not being, AWOL, partly because I never believed that story, and partly because I don’t much care. There’s no question Bush served honorably for the four years he was on active duty; the only question is whether he was technically AWOL at some point during his fifth year, as a reservist in 1972, while the war was winding down and there was a glut on the market for pilots. But let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that Bush was in fact AWOL during that period. Can any Kerry supporter who is still pushing the “Bush was AWOL” theory explain why that it was worse for a reservist pilot to have gone AWOL in 1972 than it was for a sailor on active duty in Vietnam to fraudulently seek and obtain a release from combat in 1969?

Watcher’s Council

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:21 pm

The Council has spoken, from its new domain.

Congratulations to Just One Minute for the winning non-Council Entry, “I Attempt a Swift Ad.” Thanks to all who voted to make my entry, “Letters From La-La Land,” the winning Council entry of the week, and a booby prize for those who didn’t.

August 26, 2004

In vs. Near, Part Duh

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:44 pm

Sometimes, the difference between one preposition and another can be huge. Other times, not so much. Compare and contrast the following two purely fictitious sentences, uttered by two purely hypothetical characters I will call “Johnny” and “Neil.” Assume both John and Jon both served in the Coast Guard, with both serving on the same boat at the same time.

  • Jon: I was in Mexico, sir. I worked along the border on the water.
  • Neil: I was near Mexico, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

Upon hearing this exchange, some might conclude that either Jon and Neil are describing two separate incidents, or one of them is lying. I wouldn’t draw that conclusion myself, however. What would conclude is that both individuals are describing the same event truthfully. Neil, like most people, probably didn’t think of the southern half of the Rio Grande as being part of Mexico, although technically speaking, it is. Jon, by contrast, thought about issue, and correctly noted that at least some of the time that he patrolled the border, he was, strictly speaking, in Mexico.

Now consider a second hypthetical exchange between two more purely fictitious characters, whom I’ll call “Johnny” and “Cary.”

  • Johnny: In fact, I remember spending Cesar Chavez Day of 1989 five miles across the Mexican border being shot at by our Canadian allies who were stoned and celebrating Cesar Chavez Day. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Clinton claimed there were no American troops was very real.
  • Cary: In fact, I remember spending Cesar Chavez Day of 1989 five miles north of the Mexican border being shot at by our Canadian allies who were stoned and celebrating Cesar Chavez Day. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies near a country in which President Clinton claimed there were no American troops was very real.

Any questions?


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