Day By Day Cartoon

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stupid, stupid, stupid

I don't really care what your sexual preference is in this matter. If you've tested clean from AIDS and the like, your vital organs can save lives. Being gay is NOT reason enough to help others.

Tucson man's organ donation rejected due to his homosexuality.

Hell. Yes.

"Their mission isn't spreading Freedom; their mission is to keep traffic flowing along the airport road. They'll do it, not because the vice president gave them a pep talk from half a planet away, but because the captain told them to and he's a decent leader, even if he doesn't know a thing about hip hop. And they'll do it because a few weeks back a couple of their buddies died when an IED went off next to their vehicle and there's no way they're going to let those insurgent bastards get away with it."

Read the whole thing

Monday, November 28, 2005

Oh, THAT silent majority

70% of the respondents in a bipartisan poll say criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale.

55% of self-identified Democrats believe criticism hurts morale.

And a majority believes the motive is really to "gain a partisan political advantage".

BTW, another poll by the same people has some interesting insight into 2008....

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Two tidbits from the Times

Bruce Willis to make a movie based on Michael Yon's writings?

Please, dear God, let it not suck.

Afghanistan "too dangerous" for the Dutch army, says a Dutch MP


Saturday, November 26, 2005

A mi,

me gusta Costa Rica, la Suiza de Centroamerica ./~

5,000 Ticos march for free trade.

God Bless 'em.

Rolling Rock

Take that, IED's.

Bush lied, E.T. died.

Former Canadian Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Paul Hellyer called on the U.S. to halt it's work on establishing a permanent presence on the Moon, stating "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."

This guy was Trudeau's Deputy Prime Minister.

All of sudden, a lot of things about the Trudeau administration make a lot more sense...

(Via Instapundit).

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I agree with John Kerry

Yes, you read that right.

"... the only exit strategy is victory, this is our common mission and the world’s cause."

Quick question:

Bosnia and Iraq are two of the most recent countries where the U.S. and other countries have had to use military force to prevent ethnic violence. Major military operations were wrapped up in November of 1995, ten years ago. Military operations in Iraq are ongoing, but there's been no nation-wide combat for 2 years now.

Given the 8 year difference between the two, you'd think that Bosnia was further along in the process of normalization and democratic reform.

And you'd be wrong

Monday, November 21, 2005

Four little words

"I support our troops."

That's a good thing. But it's easy to say. What does it mean to live it? What actions would be indictative of your support? Not hating the troops isn't enough, as that's just evidence of a lack of malice, it implies no positive action on our part. So what does supporting the troops actually mean?


"I support our troops."

"That's nice. Do you trust them?"

I like dogs. But I don't own one. I'm not willing (yet) to put up with housebreaking one, putting up with chewed-up shoes and loud barking and slobbering, nor do I have the patience or funds to train a puppy (now) to avoid such things.

But I like dogs. I don't kick puppies. And I support my friends who have dogs, and I play with their dogs when I go to their houses. But no, I don't own a dog. No commitment on my part. I love dogs, and please, don't question my love for animals just because I don't own a dog.

It's the difference between believing in God and being a Christian. It's the difference between taking pictures and being a photographer. It involves risk and courage, and it makes all the difference in the world.

End of discussion

"The most passionate discussions in Washington last week were about the past—whether the President intentionally misled the country into war—not the future. They are a waste of time. Two questions need to be addressed: Will an American withdrawal from Iraq create more or less stability in the Middle East? Will a withdrawal increase or decrease the threat of another terrorist attack at home? It does not matter whether you believe the war was right or wrong. If the answers to those questions are less stability and an empowered al-Qaeda, we'd better think twice about slipping down this dangerous path."

Joe Klein, in Time Magazine.

Via BullMoose blog


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Al-Zaqwari dead?

Maybe I spoke too soon...

Debka and the Jerusalem Post are reporting that Al-Zaqwari may have been one of eight Al-qaeda suspects who blew themselves up after being surrounded by coalition forces outside Mosul.

Adios, seventy black-eyed virgins and Allah, hello, jahannam and Shaytan.

Open season

One of the biggest obstacles to peace in the Middle East is the blood feud, where relatives of someone killed go after the killer, then those relatives go after the kiler's killers, and so on, and so on.

So when the relatives of Al-Zaqrawi renounce him (yeah, I know, Washington Times. But the story's from AP. Via Powerline), he's now in a world of hurt. No one's got his back, and when he's killed (not if, when), no one's going particularly upset about it.

Actually, I'll be quite happy when that happens.

Update: Al-Jaazera has more on Zaqwari's familial connections.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


" job is to arrange the meeting."

Murdoc Online points out something I missed about my previous post on small arms in Iraq.

"Even the 7.62mm snipers have continued to catch surprised targets (at up to 800 meters.) The Iraqi idea of a “sniper kill” is usually at ranges of less than 200 meters. The concept of longer range shots has not yet become accepted among them."

With an AK-47 that's not been serviced in a while, 200 yards is probably pushing it. But the "Insurgency" (c'mon, who are we kidding. Insurgents mean natives in revolt, and who we're fighting in Iraq is mainly foreigners) have Dragunov sniper rifles, too, which are a darn good weapon.

What they lack, and what will prevent them from ever being an significant fighting force, is the training and the will to use them, or any other weapon beyond basic small arms and bombs, against their opponent. The NVA, they're not.

"Any damn fool can die for his country. The trick is to make the other poor S.O.B. die for his." - General George S. Patton

Friday, November 18, 2005

Twelve Little Words

Hugh Hewitt's the smartest right-wing commentator out there right now, (Note to KKNT, I didn't listen to Liddy and Hill when they were on your competitor, and I don't listen to them now they're on your station. Bring back Hugh.).  I enjoy listening to him for his lack of demagoguery and understanding of how blogs are changing the political debate in this country.

And this post, on how the GOP needs to right (no pun intended) it's ship, is brilliant in it's simplicity.

Win the war.
Confirm the judges.
Cut the taxes.
Control the spending.

Note the distinct lack of any social conservative agenda. I like it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Breaking the circle

White phosporus is a "Chemical Weapon" and therefore a WMD.

Saddam had massive stockpiles of white phosporus.

Ergo, the war was justified.

Absolutely friggin' brilliant post

Via Instapundit

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Join the chorus

Wizbangblog played a big role in unmasking Mary Mapes, and their conservative credits are welll-established.

So why is one of their authors saying almost the same things about the Democrats in 2006 and beyond that Kirk and myself said?

I am Markos Moulitsas, blogger of bloggers

look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

Ok, a liberal blog ad network isn't a bad idea, (heck, everybody deserves the right to be heard), but this smacks of hubris.

Stand in review looks at what went wrong and right with small arms in Iraq.

Some thoughts...

1. We've always known the M-16 was fidgety and underpowered (it's basically a .22 on steriods), but the XM-8 seems a giant leap in the right direction. If development of the XM-8 is on hold due to issues with the 5.56 round, fine, just switch it over to 6.8mm (GREAT varmint round, btw) and let's move on.

2. Shotguns are effective in close combat. Gee, we seem to keep re-learning the same lessons we learned in WWI, the Pacific Theatre in WWII, Korea, Vietnam...

3. The M-14 is a helluva good weapon, but the issue with it and every other 7.62 NATO weapon has been and always will be the weight of the ammo for the weapon vs the lighter (in every way) 5.56mm round.

4. No mention of the new MGL-140 or the Marine's badass new shotgun, but the jury may still be out on those.

5. Dissappointing to hear of problems with the M243, it's a great idea and should be pursued further. Maybe replace it with a 5.56mm (or 6.8mm, if that's the way things go) version of the M240.

Intersesting as well to hear of no calls for a PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) for support troops and vehicle crews. Maybe that's a non-existent problem, or current weapons like the M4A1 are good enough.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The stars aren't aligning

It looks like 2006 has little chance of being another 1994. (If you can't read it, use Mozilla and BugMeNot).

Things arguing against a Democratic Contract With America in 2006:

1. No dramatic redistricting

2. Fewer retiring Congressmen

3. Delay and Rove's worries pale in comparison to the House Bank Scandal and the Keating Five.

4. The South ain't shifting back to the Democrats anytime soon

I do think the Dems have a chance to make up some ground, but I don't know if it'll be another realignment like 1994 was. 

Monday, November 14, 2005

Looks like someone finally grew a pair

And about time, too.

Hillary's 2008 nightmare scenario:

Presidential Debates, 2008

"Senator Clinton, do you believe, as others in your party do, that former President Bush intentionally misled the country in the buildup to the Iraq war, and that he and other members of his Cabinet pressured the CIA and other agencies to shift the focus of pre-war intelligence towards a war with Iraq?"

*begins Dan Quayle-esque "What, we had homework?" look*

If she answers yes, she's lost the center. If she answers no, she's lost the left.

In the meantime, one of her likely opponents is already staking his position out.

Making flippy-floppy

Judo: The combat art of using your opponent's power against himself.

Political judo: The art of taking your opponent's success and using it to defeat him.

Why didn't anyone in the Democratic Party think of this before?

What initiative looks like

Kirk and I agree: For the Dems to take 2008 (or sooner), they need to get proactive, and fast. So what does that mean?

ideas vs. opinions

Via BrandAutopsy.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

"When shall we three meet again,"

"In thunder, lightning or in rain?"

This should be an interesting meeting...

I like this guy

Australian Treasurer Peter Costello:

"If you are somebody who wants to live in an Islamic state governed by sharia law you are not going to be happy in Australia, because Australia is not an Islamic state, will never be an Islamic state and will never be governed by sharia law.

We are a secular state under our constitution, our law is made by parliament elected in democratic elections.

We do not derive our laws from religious instruction.

There are Islamic states around the world that practise sharia law and if that’s your object you may well be much more at home in such a country than trying to turn Australia into one of those countries, because it’s not going to happen."

Can we elect him Prez in '08? Please?

Via Tim Blair.


Look, when you've gone so far on the whole terrorism thing that Islamic Jihad is backing away from you, you know you've gone to far.

People on the Right have been asking "Where's the outrage from moderate Muslims?"

Well, here it is. This is going to get interesting, as the moderate Arab nations (Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, etc.) turn up the heat on the more hard-line nations (Saudi Arabia, parts of Pakistan, et al). There's not been the equivalent of a Reformation/Renaissiance in Islam. Yet. Is this the beginning of sweeping change in Islam? Let's hope so.


I can't see an easy landing ahead for the Democrat's recent strategy of trying to convince the electorate that pre-war intelligence was intentionally falsified. Let's assume it works: What do they say next?

1. "The intelligence was faked, and we were so powerless we couldn't do a damn thing about it!"

Oh yeah, that'll bring out the vote.

2. "Trust us, we know how to interpert intelligence data. I mean, so we were responsible for The Bay Of Pigs, The Gulf of Tonkin, the Iranian hostage rescue mission and Somalia. But no, really, we don't make intelligence mistakes."

Ummn, yeah.

Either way, it portrays the Democrats and the electorate as victims and/or dupes. And that certainly won't bring out the votes. Give the American public hope, and you win. Reagan understood that, Clinton did, too. Even Dubya was more upbeat than every single Democratic candidate in the last election. This country was founded on hope, that things can and will get better. The quicker the Democrats realize that, the sooner they get back into power.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


"A number of Israelis staying on Wednesday at the Radisson hotel were evacuated before the bombing by Jordanian security forces, apparently due to a specific security alert. They were escorted back to Israel by security personnel."

Let me stress that last point. Israeli citizens were evacuted for their own safety from Jordanian territory by Jordanian security forces.

Former enemies, working together.

Who said terrorism never accomplished anything?

Update: Yeah, it was too good to be true.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Mirror, mirror

Tonite's live debate on The West Wing had some great acting and some even better zingers ("Going to war over oil is like going to war over sugar."), but one exchange in particular got me thinking. The Democratic candidate, Matt Santos, blasted the G.O.P. candidate, Arnold Vilnick (played by Alan Alda), on the G.O.P.'s expulsion of liberals from it's ranks. And rightfully so. With Limbaugh, et al, cracking the whip, it's become easier for the G.O.P. to tread a tighter party line.

But has the Democrat's treatment of conservatives within their party been any better? Zell Miller would say no, and Joe Liebermann's a pariah in his own party. As much fun as it is to play the polarization card against your opponent, the fact is, both parties are rapidly turning into monocultures, with little tolerance for diversity of thought. And that's a shame, as Dubya's granddad, Poppy Bush, was a liberal G.O.P. senator, and my political hero, Sam Nunn, was for years a strong voice for tough spending and military strength within the Democrats. The rich history of give and take within each party is rapidly devolving into two armed camps, to the detriment of we in the center.

Out of left field.

Kirk's a friend from HSX, and we both wrote double-blind pieces for each other's blogs on what the Democrats need to do to re-gain power in Washington. He didn't know what I would write, and vice-versa

So without further ado....

Originally, the purpose of this post was to describe what I believed that the Democrats had to do to win in 2008. However, I don’t believe the Democrats can win in 2008 without at least a little momentum going in, namely from doing well in 2006. So here’s what I think the Democrats have to do to be successful in 2006 to lay the groundwork for any kind of run in 2008.

Take the Initiative

This seems simple enough, but for some reason major political parties have problems doing this. The Democrats seem to be waiting for the GOP to eat itself. While it is doing a fine job, the electorate needs to be given some reason to vote for the Democrats. The GOP waited forty years before realizing that maybe they should do something and not just hope for the Democrats to screw up so badly that the country is handed to them.

Right now, we have a President with the lowest approval rating this side of Nixon. We’ve got the Chief of Staff to the Vice President under Federal indictment. We’ve got the Majority Leader of the House under indictment for money laundering (essentially). We’ve got a majority party with egg all over its face for not getting the Social Security reforms through it wanted.

There’s more here than even in 1993, the year before the "Republican Revolution". The difference is that the GOP had a plan, the Contract with America. And it had a revolutionary in Newt Gingrich. Right now, the Democrats don’t have either.

Find Religion

70% of the people in the United States believe in and/or have a personal relationship with a higher power. Several Christian denominations have been traditionally strong allies of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has often been able to draw majorities in both the Jewish and Muslim faiths. Right now, the Democrats act as if the tables were turned and only a small minority of people in this country believe in a higher power.

The Democrats need to remind the country that God is not a partisan. Every time the GOP quotes Leviticus the Democrats need to quote Luke. Show the country how the GOP is doing with one of the main tenets of Christianity, helping the poor. Just this week, we’ve had the GOP tax reform panel suggest limiting employer provided health insurance benefits, at a time when 45 million have no health insurance. They’ve also decided to cut food stamps to help pay for extended tax breaks for the wealthy. They’ve already cut Medicaid in an effort to stem the red ink (the Missouri GOP has eliminated the program entirely beginning in 2008).

There are other issues which the Democrats can show that their traditional positions marry nicely with members of more liberal denominations. Environmentalism is a big one. Peace and the Death Penalty also lean more Democrat than Republican.

I know that the Democrats will never win converts in the more conservative denominations. However, the Democrats need to show that Christianity means much more than abortion and gays. They need to show a face that allows devout Christians to identify with the Democratic party rather than just showing them the door.


Everyone knows the income tax system is broken, well except the Democratic leadership. Part of the problem is the GOP, which passed a business tax cut last year where the explanation ran longer than War and Peace while espousing tax simplification. The Democrats need to come up with a plan to simplify taxes where the real benefits do not flow upward. I am of the belief that the vast majority of people should be able to file their own taxes. Simplify the W-2 reporting taking out the crap people don’t need and only listing relevant items to individual tax returns. Replace the plethora of tax breaks with one large break per person and filter out a lot of the flotsam. Keep only the barest of tax breaks: charity, retirement savings, and medical care. Cover everything else with the large deduction that everyone gets. This will do the most to simplify the system and keep it progressive.

For those that don’t know, this is what I do for a living. And I still believe that the only benefit to the current system is keeping accountants employed.

"A tax practitioner who opposes the devil of tax complexity is a bit like the preacher who struggles against the forces of evil: we fight on the side of the angels, but Satan is good for business."


I *hate* political catch phrases like "security mom" and "NASCAR dad". But the Democrats need to be able to make the "security moms" feel safe. The simple fact is that the GOP has laid out a plan for keeping the country "safe" from terrorism. No matter how misguided that plan is, it’s at least something. The Democrats have been too busy shrieking about the problems with the GOP plan, all the while reinforcing that the Republicans have a plan.

Now, I’m really not a smart enough guy to figure out the terrorism problem. And maybe no one is, but the Democrats at least have to have a plan that sounds plausible. The GOP has invading countries, building fences around the borders, and national ID cards. The Democrats have complaints about civil liberties and the tacit approval of illegal immigration. This isn’t going to cut it. While the memory of 9.11 fades and the electorate focuses on other things, another attack will happen. And when it happens the Democrats need to have something to say. Maybe it won’t happen by 2006, but I’d be willing to bet cash money it will by 2008.

As long as the Democrats allow the GOP to control in this arena, they will be the minority party.


Once again, this is the idea of doing something. The GOP has passed education "reforms" (again, no matter how misguided) at the Federal level and is working to do something about education at the local level. The Democrats, who have to worry about the teacher’s unions, have largely been for the status quo. The status quo simply is not working in cities such as St. Louis, where the schools are more segregated now then they have been at any time since Brown and where kids are coming down with lead poisoning from their broken down schools.

The Democrats need to do something to equalize the funding of school districts, first and foremost. While this is largely a local/state issue (as it should be) the national Democratic party needs to throw its weight behind some proposals similar to the national GOP has with school vouchers and other reforms. They need to have a plan to make schools better that is different from just throwing more money at the problem.

These five ideas are certainly not going to guarantee victory for the Democrats in 2006. They need to find good candidates to espouse these ideas in less than 500 words (I think John Kerry is still giving a campaign speech). They need to get organized. They need to find big issues that will dominate the campaign like the GOP have done in the last few elections.

For additional ideas, the DLC has prepared a "State and Local Playbook" for candidates to use to generate ideas.

Kirk writes for Left of the Middle. He is a pro-life Democrat that fiddles with numbers all day (very large ones) and spends his free time playing with his young daughter. He can be contacted at

Am I missing something here?

I thought one of the hallmarks of journalism was the reliance on multiple sources, on fact-checking, on getting the story right before it goes into print.

Apparently, I was wrong.

And some journalists are waking up to this as well.

But not in time, it seems.

One of the beautiful things of the blog world is instant, collaborative fact-checking. If ("if"? - Ed.) I post something here that's patently untrue, it'll be corrected by those in the know. Can any one source of news compete against the entire Internet?

Ask Mary Mapes. She knows.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Look, I don't want to be this way.

I like a two-party system. I really do. But when one party decides to shut down Congress to argue something that's been proven to be false, do I have a freakin' choice?

I don't allow him to throw temper tantrums, so why should I condone it such behaviour in (alledged) adults?